Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hello, inspiration {and a request for advice}

Saturday morning reading
Saturday morning reading and cuppa - Frankie, Japanese Craft Book and Mixtape

I feel like something important has shifted in my head. Suddenly I feel like I have the capacity to create again. I have ideas brewing. I'm feeling inspired.

Maybe it was the craft show. Maybe it's that I feel like we've finally reached a point at work where things are moving along smoothly with not too many new surprises & challenges. Either way, I'm looking forward to what comes of this new mindset.

Saturday morning reading
Yay Mixtape magazine

It's also been a long time since I've felt like doing something crafty after hours at home. Making has very much felt like it's in the 'work' domain, which means I haven't really been able to do it purely for fun. I'd like to change that, and for starters I'm going to get a new sewing machine for home!

So... If anyone has any recommendations for sewing machines I'd love to hear them! My budget is around $500 (not much, I know) and I've been looking at this Janome that a couple of friends have recommended. I just want something simple that does what it does well and is easy to use.

Thanks in advance! xx

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stitches & Craft Show Sydney - our lovely neighbours

Definitely the most fantastic part of the Stitches show is the lovely people you meet and getting a chance to catch up with people you've met at previous shows.

This time the Incubator section was much larger than usual so I'm not going to even attempt to mention everyone (plus I'm terrible with names). But I do have to make special mention of our lovely stand neighbours Julie from Juicy Roo (very lovely and capable of the best pep-talks ever) and the ever wonderful and kooky Cathy and Louise (also great for conversation of an entirely different nature).

And here's a snapshot of the rest!

stitches incubator section
Stalls by Bettina of BKH Design, Kristen Doran and Fi of Dear Fii

Stitches Sydney - winterwood
Sandra from Winterwood's stall

Stitches Sydney - pippijoe
Caitlin from Pippijoe

Stitches Sydney - Surface Art and Sprout
Sprout Design and Surface Art (hello Bek)

Stitches Sydney - incubator section
The incubator section (just half of it)

Stitches Sydney - Ric Rac's display
Jodie from Ric Rac's awesome selvedge frock display

dinner with the crafty ladies in newtown
Dinner with a bunch of crafty ladies in Newtown

And I guess I should show you some pics of our stall! 'Scuse the bad lighting (mixed light sources never make for a happy photo):

Stitches Sydney - our stand
The Ink & Spindle Stall

Stitches Sydney - our bolts
Bolts for sale

Stitches Sydney - bundles
Bundles that sell like hot cakes

Stitches Sydney - fat quarters :)
Pretty Fat Quarters - yah!

In conclusion? The show was great. It's definitely worth being a part of the Incubator Section to any of youse who might be considering it for next year. Especially if you're selling kits of any sort of supplies so the crafty folk who attend can actually be involved in the making process. If you only have finished product you might not do so well (although best to ask those who did and get their feedback).

And... it's really important for us to rally behind a show like this. Living Creatively are trying very hard to change the image of Stitches & Craft and breathe new life into it, and I can only imagine how difficult the transition phase is. But if they succeed it can only be a good thing for us new indie crafters. Seriously.

The end! xx

Stitches & Craft Show Sydney - the loot

I have so many photos from the show that it warrants TWO posts! Wow.

Firstly and most importantly I have to document the loot that I acquired. I made sure to go around and actually buy some stuff from my fellow incubator neighbors - something I didn't make time to do in Brisbane.

stitches & craft show sydney - loot

Pictured above:
- Gorgeous little girl's reversible dress by Madi and Me.

- Makeup purse kit (and the purse that I made with stolen time on the Reconstruction Zone machines at the show). The kit is from Nicole Mallalieu AKA You Sew Girl and has great easy to follow instructions!

- Four gorgeous softie patterns from Funky Friends Factory which I probably wont have a reason to sew up for a long time but couldn't resist the little made up samples she had on her stall (I stood cuddling the Lion for far too long)

makeup purse
Make-Up purse - detail

surface art tshirts
T-shirts by Surface Art

I've always loved Moira's Mikko print on the above t-shirts. I loved both colourways and first bought the red and wore it around the show, and then thought what the hey, I'll get the charcoal too.

And of course, one can't make a trip to Sydney without visiting the Japanese Craft Book section of Kinokuniya. Mmmmmmmmm....

kinokuniya craft section
Just half of the Japanese craft book section at Kinokuniya

Next up - my lovely neighbours....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Melbourne I missed you

I'm back from the Stitches & Craft show!! Had such an awesome time and met so many lovely people. People responded well to our fabrics and I came home with lots of crafty loot from my incubator neighbors. It was great! We flew home in the storm and circled the city in the air for about an hour until we could land in that crazy weather. And I'm so glad to be home.

I've got photos to show and will upload them soon!! xx

Saturday, August 15, 2009

switching off

Wow an entire afternoon of sitting on the couch with cups of tea reacquainting myself with my old friend the internet. 409 unread feeds. Cute Overload to visit. Months of The Design Files to catch up on. It's enough to make a girl feel a little small when all this amazing creativity is going on and it feels like forever since I've had a chance to design something. Or even let any ideas brew.

But then I remembered one cool (well...) thing that me and the girls have been doing - Bobbin Lace classes! I showed you one of our starter projects ages ago, and this is where we've progressed to:

making lace
Bobbin Lace making

making lace
Bobbin Lace making

Pretty. Full. On. That piece took some 23 pairs of bobbins to make. And I'm still not sure how I feel about lace making. I feel like I'm borderline insane for doing it. And my back complains a lot. But it is a very good way to STOP THINKING, which is quite necessary from time to time.

Now, time to sort out dinner...


I'm very excited to be heading off to Sydney this coming week for the Stitches & Craft Show! It feels like a laugh that we get to fly interstate for a week, spend time with lots of lovely fellow crafty folk and make money in the process. Where's the catch??

I didn't get a chance to actually list any of the new colourways in the shop, so if you're local and would like to get your hands on some you'd better come visit! With our printing schedule for the next month I don't think we'll be able to reprint these for a while...

sydney prep

Hope to see you there! Ink & Spindle is in the incubator section on level 4!


Thursday, August 06, 2009

The latest fabric stack

latest fabric stack

Every few months before a big show, after we've done heaps and heaps of printing... there's this rare moment where I can actually step back and take stock of the results of our hard work, stack them up as it happens and take a lovely photo. Before it all gets chopped up again.

Let me present the latest stack of fabrics:

the fruits of our labour

Mmmmm. Some new colours in there, most of which should make it up into the shop over the next few days. People asked for more greens, blues and yellows, so I'm trying ;)

All of these will be coming up to Sydney with us for the Stitches show. Plus many more lovely textiles by Teegs and Bee, of course. xx

Handmade in Melbourne

handmade in melbourne 2009

Totally chuffed to be included in this year's Handmade in Melbourne book! Just like the Melbourne Design Guide it was not that long ago that I was simply admiring the book and it's artisans from afar and didn't think I could actually be included in it.

But this year Ink & Spindle is there between the pages! I do think that the 2008 edition was better - professional photography and writing really makes a book like this and being asked to submit our own was somewhat disappointing. Plus there was a typo when our text was edited to say that it was me who became a secondary school teacher rather than Teegs. But still, I can't complain.

handmade in melbourne 2009
Ink & Spindle's page

handmade in melbourne 2009

And of course there was the launch. Where Penny, Caitlin Bee and I enjoyed the free wine and finger food (a little too much?) and listened to speeches by Stephen Kent and John Brumby who went on and on about ideas and innovation whilst we giggled and chattered and were told to shush.

handmade in melbourne 2009 launch
Me (looking dorky yet again), Caitlin, Penny and her lovely man Chris

handmade in melbourne 2009 launch
Stephen Kent talks, lady in foreground tells us to shut up numerous times

Fun fun.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

a moment's calm

I think this moment of my life could be defined as the eye of the storm. Deceptive calm. I'm not complaining. It's allowed me to tidy the studio, paint the back wall (a lesson in colour matching gone wrong, but still...) visit Life in Style, and go to the Handmade in Melbourne book launch tonight (pics to follow!).

Some more work in progress shots from the past week. Bianca and I print Delft and Birch in Gold (yes gold Birch is finally back!!)

Bianca QC
Print print print...

Birch in Gold
Birch in Gold, mmmm...

Oh and I sent a bundle of fabric scraps to my distant friend Nicole from Freshly Blended and it looks like my textiles have a new fan in the form of Puppy-Kitty....

new textiles fan

new textiles fan

Off to the post office then lunch! xx