Monday, 26 February 2007

black dog blue day

The trouble with going on a small holiday is trying to get back in the swing of things. Having lolled around all weekend (well that's not totally accurate- did a quick pass of Craft Vic to see the wonderful Ramona's window exhibition and then ventured south of the river to check out a few shops as potential fingerless glove homes- anyone who knows me will know how much I hate going south! Sadly was pretty underwhelmed by most of the retail outlets. Is this just me or are they often over-hyped?)

Anyway, headed into the studio today feeling massively underwhelmed by my own work. Not a good feeling when you need to get all fired up. Have been stresing over sizing and cut on some pants I'm working on. Had someone try them on a couple of weeks ago, supposedly she was a size 2 (hmmm) -not- and that sent me into stress mode. Suzie came by with young Lily and Coco this afternoon and tried them for me. Much happier now, just a tweak and they will be fine. I'll put these ones aside as samples and we'll get to production this week. Need to see stock filling those racks.

Also have work for other people to do this week and scarf dresses to go instore asap. Really going to have to get my arse in gear.

Saturday, 24 February 2007

all good things come to those.....

I meant to post this before I ran away. This is a bag that has been on order since about last April.
Finally when the crunch came I managed to resolve all those issues that had been confounding me and produced a kick-arse bag. Quite happy with it even though I couldn't move my hands for a couple of days after hand cutting, punching and stitching the mother-of-all-satchels. Hopefully the poor blighter who's been waiting for it bought it.

Friday, 23 February 2007

I'm back!

Arrived home from the '5 days away from it all' trip.
OK didn't want to come home.
Never want to work again.
See this is what is wrong with taking breaks.
Now have to psych myself back into do work.

Stayed in Daylesford at the Gatehouse at Tasma House. Lovely little weatherboard cottage/barn/loft thingy. No pictures on the cream painted walls, a couple of persian rugs, leather sofas, iron bed, white hotel sheets, mixed up furniture, recycled doors and windows- see that's why I din't want to come home! It was like staying in a dream bed-sit. OK -there was one piece of furniture I toyed with throwing out the door and a vase on the chest of drawers that I kept having to avoid when I looked around the room, but that's pretty good for me! Oh and the doona cover would have to go when I moved in..... took my tea-towel quilt with me and it looked perfect on the bed!

The view from the bench otside the front door. Weather was hot but with that dry air feeling and cool breezes in the afternoon and cool evenings. Got back into Melbourne to humidity that was awful. What has happened to this city? Brisbane or what?! I've been gone since Sunday and the jasmine has taken over the backyard- bizarre!

Have discovered over the years the genetic trait in my family (paternal side- although with the maternal growing up in Meekathara and Kalgoolie probably hasn't helped) of hitting the road and driving. The point being that when you get to the 'destination' you stop for 5 minutes or less and then start driving again..... sometimes not even slowing down. It's strangely meditative, very much the journey not the destination. So you can tell that this is what a great part of my trip away involved. Back-roads and open vistas. Now have driver's arm tan.
Did visit places that I haven't been to for a long time. All those childhood picnics (see above) with 5 kids and 2 adults in the kingswood. 'Back to Dunolly' festivals and looking at mines and historical markers........

It's amazing the landscape around Clunes and Smeaton. Slag-heaps and mines pimpling the paddocks and amazing old engine houses in the middle of no-where. Saw one of my favourite houses along this road, kind of Georgian and should have been in Tasmania rather than Central Victoria. Got to go back in winter and get a picture, quite Brontesque, mm not quite right, will have to pinpoint writer, but you get the idea. This engine house on the Clunes-Smeaton road looks like a Crusader castle, in ruins in the sand.

Op-shopping was of course on the menu whilst vacationing. Not good. Scored a couple of tins (lolly, biscuit etc) and a crochet afghan rug. Did a few antique-y places ( 3 tea-towels and a couple of pieces of fabric) and the best find was a beautiful enamel soup tureen with ladle. Super fantastic! Amazing dark teal blue with black rim and white inside.

Bought back one other thing.

She hitched a ride in the back of the Nissan Pulsar. Her leg span is bigger than the circumferance of the Duralex coffee glass she is currently sitting in. She wouldn't get out when I tried to pop her in the Virginia Creeper over the back. maybe I should drive her home....... (Do you think there are anymore in the car?)

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Resolution: must be a better (more regular) blogger

I keep promising myself that I'll get into the habit of writing this and then stumble home exhausted to spend evenings stirring the dye-pot, washing vintage tea-towels , paper work, etc, etc- in fact I'm not sure where my evenings actually go. This evening however was knitting strips of silk for a new design and watching NCIS (truly atrocious but I love it), dinner out was postponed again and as the girls at HML will tell you there is nothing like a stolen night at home.

The last couple of weeks have been busy as a bee. I now have a helper- Pat the Wonder Machinist- in two days a week. Joy-oh-joy! What did I do without her? How did I manage? She's a wizz with the invisible zip, so the winter range is slowly coming together- lots of mixed up wools- tailored jackets made from 4 different fabrics, wool tweed tops with raw frilled loops on the neckline, snazzy makes such a difference when you aren't making it ALL- just some of it. I even miss her when she's not there! I am wondering if I can clone her.....

Last week saw a mass of cushions go through the workroom, cut, sewn, stuffed and out the door, I didn't get the chance to even blink at some of them and they were gone. The best ones though are still sitting in the corner- four 85cm square floor cushions made from a Red Ensign flag and a Union Jack, the flags were the 'proper' kind, vintage patch sewn wool, hope I can find some more (snowflake's chance I'm thinking but live in hope). I'll download the photos from the camera when I get a chance.

I've been running low on the tea-towel stocks but managed to pick about 50 up yesterday. Its amazing how many I have at the moment that are unusable, might have to send them back from whence they came.
Everytime I get a pile of work completed I don't seem to get a minute to sit back and just look at it- it is a very strange feeling when all your hard slog appears to be for no reason. Phffft gone. I'm beginning to think this is why I always feel as if I haven't actually accomplished anything. It is like some strange act of magic- the Mystery of the Disappearing Handiwork.

Coming back through the Vale of Pascoe yesterday I stopped at what was once on my list of fav op shops. Scored the best half finished embroidered doily of.....the Monarch of the Glen (and his missus). I find the concept of someone wanting to embroider a version of a stag standing on a hill in Bonny Scotland (thistles included) on a linen doily, just bizarre. (interestingly the stag's penis area has been portrayed with a few stitches in pink..... what was this housewife/creator thinking whilst stitching away? Did she blush I wonder. She never go around to crocheting around the edge so I'm guessing it was all too much for her and she had to put it aside.)) I think it will be turned into a cushion for my personal collection. Once again photo to come. Ah- other people's craft is a strange thing. I'll get around to discussing that at a later stage.

Still waiting for the HML girls to come by for a studio visit.....chocolate chip cookies are all gone....

Hopefully I'm off to Daylesford for a break next week (gotta use that birthday voucher before it runs out otherwise I'm deadmeat) so this week feels like I have to cram 3 weeks work into it, Pat will be working whilst I'm 'holidaying' (that's just plain weird- the holiday bit) so I can't believe that things will still be made as I lie around doing what ever it is that one does when relaxing. Wish me luck!