Friday, January 30, 2009


I'm sure everyone has blogged about this already, but us Victorians are currently experiencing the hottest 3 day period on record. The temperature this week has been hovering around 43/44 degrees (that's around 111 F for you US folk), making next weeks run of 35 degree days seem like a cool breeze.

Our living room currently resembles a cosy bedsitter apartment with our queen bed mattress occupying the space beneath the air-con (much as I hate to use it). At the studio we've given up trying to work (no chance at all printing in this heat) and I'm feeling lucky I can do admin stuff on my laptop at home.

I feel bad for neglecting my blog of late. I feel like I can't post without pictures, and I haven't had the head space to take any.

However I can take the opportunity to blog about Pip's lovely book (pre-order here), which I'm excited to be a part of:

The Blurb: From Melbourne’s best loved crafty store comes Meet Me at Mike’s, a cornucopia of crafty fun and inspiration. Queen of Crafters Pip Lincolne has gathered 25 of the best projects from the country’s most creative cleverbods -everything from baby yoga pants and clutch purses to hankies and softies. You can sew, knit, crochet, collage and screenprint yourself into a frenzy! Each cute and quirky project comes with easy-to-follow instructions and full-size fold out patterns. With such a fabulous range of ideas, you’ll find something to make for all your favourite pals. If you’re looking for fun and creative things to brighten up everyone’s day, have a peek inside and get crafty!

Okay I'm off to check the status of the ice tea cooling in my freezer...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Teatowel swap

I am one very, lucky teatowel-swap recipient (organised by the lovely Leah). Look at this amazing piece of work sent to me by Leslie (I stole the photos from her blog):

teatowel swap
Photo courtesy of Leslie from Onegirl

Isn't it amazing. It's made with linen scraps, some hand-dyed and some hand-gocco-printed. And to think that Leslie has a new bub on her hands and everything...

teatowel swap detail
Photo courtesy of Leslie from Onegirl

teatowel swap detail
Photo courtesy of Leslie from Onegirl

I feel extra guilty now that a craft blogger out there is still waiting for me to send them their teatowel from the swap (if you're reading this - sorry!!). I think I'm trying too hard, and should just go for something simple and nice...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New textiles in the shop!

Fortunately I can't blame Twilight completely for my lack of blogging of late - we've also been doing a lot of printing down at Ink & Spindle, which has resulted in a decent sized shop update!

You might remember that a little while ago I did a little poll as to which of my old designs you'd like to see on screen again. A lot of people seemed keen on the idea of birch at it's original craft-friendly scale, and as I'd been toying with the idea that was enough to tip me over. So now a fresh new batch of birch is available in the shop - yay!

small birch in chocolate
Small Birch in Chocolate on Natural

Another favourite (that came as a real surprise to me) was Wild Geese. Everyone wanted to see the return of my Geese print! But ... I used to print Geese and Bonsai side by side, and every time Bonsai would sell out way before Geese. And I love the Bonsai most anyway. So I've decided to go against advice and bring back my old fav...

bonsai in deep red
Bonsai in Deep Red

I've also uploaded a few more mix packs, and more will come with time when I get some more fabric back from being heat set...

mix packs :)
Mix Pack #4

mix packs :)
Mix Pack #3

small birch in robins egg
Small Birch in Robins Egg

small birch in deep red
Small Birch in Deep Red

Yay, hope you like them :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

something non-work related (finally)

It's a long time since I've been lost in a book. And even longer since I've been lost in a series of books. But last week (or was it earlier?) Teegs pointedly left a book on my desk. I remember thinking "a vampire book - pah, that's soo not my thing... but Teegs is so enthused about it... okay I'll give it a go".

Since then, I've been totally absorbed in the Twilight series of books. Every. Single. Spare. Moment I have been reading them. Yes it's all teen-angsty and other worldly but OMG that woman can write. You get SO absorbed in the story and characters. The movie was done equally well, however I would highly recommend NOT SEEING THE MOVIE BEFORE READING THE BOOK. I can imagine the movie would be ridiculously corny without all the subtle details of the written version.

Anyway, I guess I'm writing this mainly because I just finished reading the series and am waiting for that to sink in. You should have seen the look of anguish that appeared on my face from time to time when I considered how I would feel once the books were all over. But I couldn't stop myself from reading them! It was like torture. But a good kind of course. Dramatic, I know.

Well, enough raving. We've passed the books onto Bee and now she's hooked too. Maybe you should read them if you haven't already, and let me know what you think ;)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

a picture speaks 1000 words

I've been thinking a lot lately about photography. About how - when you blog is the center of your business - the emotional power of images plays such a huge role. Good photographs, good sets, good styling are so important.

They say a picture speaks 1000 words. I reckon 900 of those words are ones we make up in our own minds to form a story around the image. Look at any interiors photograph on Design*Sponge or The Design Files or Olivelse or Bloesem and think of all the assumptions you make about how the owners live, and how fantastic that life might be (even if it's not!). Sometimes the photos create a yearning to have a piece of that life, which we can do by buying or making something for ourselves. It can actually be quite manipulative, don't you think?

Anyway good photography is an area I really need to work on. Not to be manipulative as such, but so I can better convey the images & dreams I have in my head for my textiles. I'm slowly takings steps to work on this:

1) I bought myself a new camera! A Canon G10 (huge thanks to Marcel for getting it cheap for me!)

2) I've been thinking about & researching props etc for textile & product shoots

3) And... I made my blog template wider, so that I can link in my images from flickr which are larger and look MUCH better. Blogger compresses the bejeesus out of photos.

Anyway here's some random studio shots I took yesterday with the new camera. Nothing fancy, just playing around:

... and spindle
... & spindle

the ink mixing master
My Nana's old mixmaster... put to good use :)

Chromatically arranged inks

wall of swatches
Wall of ink sample swatches

birch apron
Apron prototype, also put to good use. Thinking of making apron kits actually - what do u reckon?

Yay new camera :)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Hello 2009

It has been a much needed break. Granted, I've been sick with a cold for most of it, but OMG it's been so good to just stop! Spend time with my family. Clean out the apartment and take things to the tip (I hate how much useless crap we tend to accumulate in life). Make chocolates. Cook. Exercise. Generally be more happy and relaxed.

Why can't we maintain that sort of balance in every day life?

I'm so not ready to go back. The latter half of last year was totally overwhelming and all consuming, and I know that this coming year is going to be pretty similar whilst Ink & Spindle is still in its early days. But I know that I'm fortunate to be able to do something that I love every day.

Now for a bit of eye candy, these gorgeous hand bound books by Nicole of Freshly Blended, covered in my textiles:

Handbound books

Nicole sent me a little stack and I'll pop some in the shop soon :)

Hope you had a great break and are looking forward to what 2009 holds :)