Wednesday, 28 October 2009

the boy and the bean

Jethro is a very strange cat.
He doesn't like human food, even Twisties, but loves brown rice and carrot and nibbling cat grass.
Perhaps he is a hippy vegetarian cat.
His favourite thing though is green beans. He's been known to hop up on the bench while I'm topping and tailing the beans and steal them out of my hand.
Last night I left a plastic bag of beans on the kitchen bench. We now have beans from one end of the building to the other. We have beans in the shop, in the laundry, in the kitchen, even in the bedroom. I caught him running around the shop last night with part of a bean hanging out of his mouth like a half smoked cigar. 

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

cygnet ring

I picked up our new postcards this morning.
I found this tapestry on the Tasmania trip. It isn't going to end up on a Carol King pouffé I can assure you. It's framed and although the glass has a huge crack in it I'm not going to replace it- I like the crack.
The new pianola shades are in store, three sizes now- 12", 14" and 18". The new 18" is super cool and I like it a lot.
And I've made up a huge length of tea-towel bunting, perfect for the sunny weather we are having, string it up through the trees and along the veranda..... I would if I had a tree or a veranda......
I'm still sick and getting very bored with it all. The evenings are the worst time with coughing bouts and feeling all shakey. As I said, very boring, and I will stop moaning about being ill soon, I promise.

Saturday, 24 October 2009


I was trying to get some shots this morning of the new batch of re-wired vintage lampbases. They are really hard to photograph enticingly so I ended up playing feathers with the Fur-boy instead.
He is slightly easier to snap, although 9 times out of ten he's blurry because he wants to check out the camera and what you are doing. 
Anyway, just use your imagination. Picture Jethro as a lovely twisty wooden floor lamp with the shade of your choice. 
We are very low on pianola shades but we will have more (hopefully) very soon. In three sizes too! I know it's summer-ish and we have more daylight than darkness but you still need to turn a light on sometime and the pianolas are so nice and golden and soft to the eye. Anyway I'll let you know when they arrive.

Friday, 23 October 2009

tea towel art

I finished up a batch of new tea-towel cushions today and I couldn't help showing off some of the images from my favs.
There is this lovely 'Victoria' souvenir tea towel.

A super cute 'Koala' with lots of really lovely cuddly koala images. Not sure if the koalas above are helping their friend up or trying to make him fall.

'Australian Waterbirds' is very strange.

And this one is an absolutely beauty. From the Queen's Coronation tour of Australia in 1954. Four colour print, lion on one side and kangaroo on the other. Brilliant!

a frog and a dog

Sorry for the lack of posting and thank you to all those who emailed me with get well messages. (And sorry if haven't replied to any emails!)
It's funny getting sick after everyone else!
I'm still a little croaky (frog) and a little husky (dog) and a little cough-y but not feeling quite so dizzy or weird.
I didn't get to go to the exhibition opening at Craft Vic last, I took to my couch instead- I hear it was BIG. Congrats to Emma and Gracia and Louise (and everyone else)!
This morning I raced out to Seddon to deliver Babka danishes and say good bye to Nikki and Anthony. They are off to New Zealand to live and I can't wait to see how living there influences their work. Exciting!!
Two days in the studio and I've spent most of it cutting stuff out and putting zips into things. I have to say yesterday and today are all a bit of a blur so maybe I'm not as over this bug as I thought I was. Hmmm. Thinking about this I now realise I've been very dazed. Curious.
Anyway the first batch of plastic coated zip purses are ready and will be in-store tomorrow. Dell has already stolen one, cheeky little monkey that she is!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

well, well, not so well

So I did stay home today. I thought, deep down, that I was just being lazy until I decided to walk down to the printers to organise our new postcards and only just managed to stumble home all shaky and sweaty. Plans to get work done at home didn't really happen and I have to say I'm not one for midday tv. I just did a bit of reading and sat in quiet for a while. Replied to a few emails and drank cups of tea. Watched Jethro chase flies. Now that was a laugh and I am sure he was hunting flies just to make me smile.
I've finally put the Chimney house shoes out on display. I'd been saving them to go with our spring and summer clothes but I have been so slow getting everything happening I decided they shouldn't sit in the cupboard anymore. They are lovely cotton lined leather slipper but the name 'house shoe' is so much more glamorous don't you think? They are going to go beautifully with the cotton voile garments............

And I think I may have forgotten to post about these beautiful linen chemises. They are French, they are old and they are all hand stitched. And they are in store. If you aren't up to wearing one (and they do look amazing on) then they would look stunning just hanging on a wall. I love them!

Think I might go lie down. Getting dizzy again.

Monday, 19 October 2009

boring and annoying

I am officially sick.
Sweating fevers, hacking up globules, sneezing and blocked ears. 
A plain old common cold.
But I couldn't stay in bed today (although I probably should have) as I had to go up country to pick something up. In hindsight I can't remember much of the drive but don't worry I was totally together driving, just 'in the zone'. 
The rain has had a huge effect, everything was green with splashes of yellow of the canola fields and weedy daisies flowering in paddocks. 
I didn't have much energy and saw so many vistas that I could have stopped and photographed but just couldn't wrestle the energy up and just drove on. 
I'm thinking I might stay home tomorrow and potter around. I always feel guilty if I don't get to the studio on a 'studio day' but I have a lot of projects I could finish here and I think, in the long run, I should actually have a rest. Once all the school assessment is done in the next two weeks I will be head-down making, making, making and if I'm not 100% working in the studio is just plain frustrating rather than productive.

Friday, 16 October 2009

the little box of haberdashery

I've been working on a new product for the shop.
I've been ransacking my stashes. Hunting out old lace, glass buttons, bits of ribbon, metal sequins, little bits-and-bobs that would fit in a matchbox.

And here they are all piled up ready.
'The Little Box of Haberdashery'.

the great lurgy

Having been the only person I know not to come down with the Great Lurgy of 2009...... it appears I have tempted fate once too often and am now coming down with it (or some version of it). I think it may be a parting gift from one of my students. 
Oh well.
C'est la vie.

Maybe a cuppa and an early night and fingers crossed I'll wake up all better.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

'i make stuff' is back

The new print run of 'i make stuff' is in!
We have copies in store right now. 
New fancy-pants cover, same exciting innards!
Would make a fabulous Xmas present (well you are all coming in saying you'll be back at Xmas so I know you are thinking about which presents you are going to buy!).

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

tick tock new clock(s)

In the spirit of feeling time slipping through my fingers.... a new run of clocks with new pictures.
New kids, new girls, new boys!
I'm going to have to bang in another row of nails we have so many excellent designs (not all of them out on show at the moment). 

Monday, 12 October 2009


I seem to be spending a lot of money on stuff at the moment.
Spending money to make money.
I have run out of all sorts of stuff but after spending time this afternoon doing a bit of a clean and sort I can tell you that I have a ridiculous number of press studs and will never have to ever buy another one ever ever ever. This revelation came on top of buying a bag of the bloody things when I dropped into an op-shop on the way back from running errands this morning. 

I found all sorts of things that I wasn't looking for. A box full of vintage aprons. A scrap of bobbin lace that I made so long ago it must now be antique.

But most of the day, after the errands were done, was spent cutting out and making up new cushions. Lovely, lovely cushions made from vintage linen. My favourite piece is a raw linen printed with a background of brown and covered in beautiful pink peonies and roses and grey carnations. I love English upholstery linens, they are just so evocative. I know someone who would love this fabric too.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

teenagers- they say the funniest things!

Walking back from picking up the Sunday newspapers.....
"Giving an eighteen year old five minutes to get ready is just not acceptable- OK Dad?!?!"

Friday, 9 October 2009


This week has included one day in the studio. 
One lousy day.
Today I had to be shopgirl as Friday-girl was down sick (which is fine, poor thing) but I am starting to get a little jumpy about my lack of time-and-motion. 
I may have to resort to making...... lists.
I'd just rather spend my time 'making stuff'.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

in my craft and sullen art

One of my favourite blogs is written by the girls at Prick Your Finger in London, a 'haberdashery' shop like no other! The lovely Elvis Robertson put me on to them.
Well the girls at PYF have been working on a mammoth project to create a poem in knitted squares- it's finished, it's amazing!
It took 1200+ knitted panels. A call went out a couple of months ago for individuals to knit a letter, the poem was secret, they were all tagged on the back with makers name and their favourite poem and then the PYF elves spent the last week sewing all together. You can see photos on their blog and follow the process. 
14 metres by 8 metres............ and you thought that lap rug you made last winter was impressive!

For other projects the PYF girls have been involved in go to their blog and also check out the Knitted Wedding

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


I had a visit yesterday from this little creature.
Having a messy studio can be a good thing when it becomes a fun obstacle course for a giggling one year old.
We do need to either turn Amory into a babymop or remember to take the vacuum to the studio- you should have seen his dusty knees! Don't ever think that warehouses are 'cool' and spotless environments, they are freezing and dust rains from the ceiling.

Hope the Junior Explorer comes for another visit soon.

Monday, 5 October 2009

am i the only one who thinks this is hilarious?

great gentle cat

Jethro turns one year old today.
Oh how the time has flown!
I dug out his adoption papers last night and they said  in the comments section 'great gentle cat'.

Things the papers didn't say......
* Jethro likes water and climbing the security grills and fly-wire.
* He plays fetch and will drag toys all over the house.
* His favourite toy currently is a fresh green bean closely followed by bouncy balls, kitten tickler, angora off-cuts, zip-lock bags of fleece.
* He is not a lap cat but likes to lie around on the floor (doglike).
* He really really likes to help and really really wants to know what you are doing.
* He's in charge of quality testing all stock.
* He will show off when a friend drops in.
* He likes to kiss.
* He doesn't use his claws when he plays but jeez his teeth are sharp and his jaws strong.
* His current fav snoozing spot is in a box under the sofa.
* If he is this big now how much bigger will he fill out to?
* He has the longest eyelashes.
* If he is lazying around in the shop and someone taps on the window to get his attention he will ignore them, he knows they are there he just won't turn around (it is very funny to watch a cat give the cold shoulder).
* Deep down he is a tree climbing hunter, loping through the snow in his lovely shaggy coat (he is sure he is a Maine Coon/Norwegian Forest Cat hybrid whose real name is Sven).

Whilst I was writing this Jethro was sitting on a kitchen chair watching me, tail wrapped around paws, sitting up straight and proper. He knows today is all about him- but then isn't everyday?

Saturday, 3 October 2009

milk and sugar

Sometimes when you have something on the drawing board for years it can end up being really hard to bring to fruition.
The 'milk-and-sugar project' had become one of these millstones. 
Essentially it was about getting every scrap of seersucker in the studio together, patching it into a long length and sending it off to the quilters to have it fabric-to-fabric quilted. F2F is a form of quilting with no wadding in it, in this case the same 1" diamond I use on the summer quilts, holding together a layer of seersucker and a layer of calico.
250+ patches of fabric stitched together last Friday and I thought my brain might burst. I had spent every studio day for two weeks patching for different things and it was just too much.
Anyway it came back from the quilters and I needed to put scissors to fabric and actually make something out of it, otherwise it really would have ended up as a millstone, a blank piece of paper, that length of fabric you are always too scared to cut into.
So the first project was dresses, same pattern as the pink linen ones in store at the moment.
Having been run through the quilting machines the fabric was all flat and even. The dresses looked a little wrong. Home and into the washing machine- seersucker! The texture all back. Sometimes a piece needs a washing, an iron, a steam to make it come alive. This is the part I love when the leap happens, when a garment or object begins to speak to the wearer.

I love seersucker, in Persian 'shir o shekar' means milk and sugar, such poetry for a fabric that is just a tad daggy at the same time. It stands away from the body, like linen, which is why it is perfect for summer cloths. You can have woven seersucker and chemical seersucker, and there is a bit of both in this patchwork. There will be a few dresses, a couple of skirts and jackets and maybe some bags out of this run. I'll have to start collecting again, the shelves are empty.

she did a bad bad thing

........ but at least it will grow back.
Decided at 9 o'clock last night to clipper my hair off.
Even when you are going from about 10cm down to about 2cm it can be a rude shock- and your ears feel naked!
The decision to clipper has been floating around for a while now. I haven't done it for YEARS.
And now, of course, I am a ton heavier, a squidillion years older and wrinklier but I really wanted to see how my developing grey hairs looked cropped. The next time I clipper will probably be when the full head is grey/white.
And the great thing (and the main reason) is I love the way it grows back as an even crown of curls. If you have curly hair you'll know what I mean. Drastic I know.
So here I am Mad Bertha to Asylum Bertha overnight.

And I forgot until I cut it all off that I have a widow's peak (must be the vampire in me).