Monday, 30 December 2013

we aren't open

It appears I have had upset a few people yesterday when I posted this on Facebook and Instagram. Apparently I have acted like the worst shopkeeper around by forgetting to change the hours on the sign on our door. I am sure that I posted everywhere that the shop would have its annual break and re-open on the 6th of January.... but perhaps I didn't.
We are closed until the 6th of January.
Of course as always you are welcome to call and leave a message and I will get back to you and we can arrange a time if you would like to visit before the 6th. You may have to put up with the shop in total disarray as this is the time of the year I turn everything upside down and give it a good shake.
The whole house is a mess and I am scared to open the store cupboards in the shop. As always at this time of the year I am in that morass of laziness and indecision about how to actually tackle any of this, perhaps that is why people go away, they just avoid it. I seem to be the type to wallow in it and just feel more and more helpless and hopeless.
I have actually managed to get out of bed today (or rather I haven't returned to bed yet) and did a huge pile of bill paying. The bank account looked heathy for a week there but now looks rather anaemic sadly. No more pavlova and cheezels here, we will be back to vegemite rations soon.
Anyway, enough of my moaning. Thought I would pop in and let you know about the opening hours (we aren't open) and see what you have been up to.
p.s. I thought the note was funny.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

the eve is nigh

Just a note as I run out the door to a Xmas Eve breakfast.
We are open today from 10am until about 5pm, the closing time is a bit flexible as we tend to close when a.  the streets suddenly go empty and everyone disappears and b. we have had enough. If you are leaving it to the very last minute you can always call and check but I do believe there is a witching hour for present buying everyone should down credit cards by 5pm on Xmas Eve!
The huge shipment of enamelware arrived yesterday (!) and we have the prep sets finally, they consist of a mixing bowl, 3 pudding bowls and a colander, pretty fab! Also all the usuals like tumblers and beakers and tea pot and kettles and new milk pans.
We are going to be closed until the 6th of January but if you are in town and need a visit you can always ring on 03 9419 2430 to make an appointment.
I'm having a quiet day in bed tomorrow and can't tell you how much I am looking forward to an afternoon nap. I hope you and yours have a lovely day and celebrate it however you do with peace, joy and happiness. Take care and I'll see you on the flipside.

Monday, 23 December 2013

penultimate day

Just a quickie before I steal 15 minutes nanna nap and then open the shop.
It's the last two days before we shut for a little (well deserved) break.
We'll be open from 10am until 6pm today and 10am until probably about 5pm tomorrow (it depends on whether the day dies in the arse and we are too exhausted to cling on for the final bit).
I was out walking in the rain this morning after dropping the car off for new tyres (there's an expense you don't want just before Xmas!) and it was lovely out, drippy soft rain and luminous jacarandas, everything washed clean.I'm unbelievably tired and has one more present to make before I can call it quits for the year. I have a funny feeling our enamel delivery will arrive at 3.30 tomorrow afternoon, Xmas is like that.
OK, I am dribbling on here, that nanna nap might only be 10 minutes now.
Come visit! We have lovely things!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

four to go!

So here we are at the last four days and I would quite happily slither back into bed and curl up.
I reached that point yesterday of getting a bit put out with other people's demands on me (it's a pre-Xmas thing) and then, after dashing out to North Croydon and back and then hotfooting it to Derrimut, I managed to get flat tyre #2. This morning was a tyre juggle to get a new tyre fitted to #1 rim so that I can swap it to #2 and then get the car to the tyre man to get him to fit the other three first thing Monday morning. It's not like the car warrants new (if cheap) tyres as it is crumbling away but it is the minimum to keep it on the road for a little longer.

On top of all of this, after being too exhausted to sleep and finally dropping off, to be awakened by my two doors up next door neighbour belting out extremely loud music at 4.30am with all the windows open. I have the footage if you want to hear just how loud it was, I sent that to their sublet landlady and shortly after the music stopped.....

I spent another late night in the shop last night unpacking the new shipment of Lisa B socks (the reason for the Derrimut Dash, thank you Fedex). We've got new designs in cotton and new colours in the pin dot cottons and now we have the men's socks in cotton too, there is a men's striped sock colourway that just might end up in my stash. So you need socks for your Xmas stocking? Well we have them! Women's, men's and bubba's!
And I've made new wax print chemise dresses and  a few new indigo dyed velvet and linen cushions.
After selling out of our first two shipments of Ball's mason jars we've got more stock in again, there are the anniversary blues, two sizes in the quilted, 4 sizes from 250ml up to 1litre and more of the Weck preserving jars in the tiny weeny size and the 290ml. I have to admit I have been nicking a few mason jars to do the Xmas sugar based hampers- jams, cookies and salted caramel sauce.
The bonsai scissors and padlocks are back.
There is only one 'ammo' bag left, a stunning range of Cambridge Satchel Co satchels, lots of our handmade granny and 'lumina' zip purses and a lovely bowl full of our indigo gingerbread hearts.
And although we have run out of some birds we still have a lovely selection and there are still stock of our beautiful glass decorations.
Time to get moving.
I'll be here until 5 this afternoon and open again tomorrow.
Pop in!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

10 and a bit days to go

I was up ridiculously early this morning, a quick jaunt to the Coburg Farmer's Market to pick up a stash of Dr Marty's Crumpets (some to eat, some to freeze, ha) and to ditch the cardboard recycling (which I am getting phobic about as it was the cause of Topple #2). I am quite weary, I can't believe that it was only a week ago we were all in the kerfuffle of the BDM, it feels like yesterday or a year ago. 
I'm in the shop again today, I am a little confused by which day it is having worked yesterday and working again tomorrow. There is a change to Sunday trading hours as the Xmas party has been sadly cancelled due to the pneumonic plague (chest infection) in the home of the hosts. No pavlova, no lovely company, no delicious food.... but that is OK as I would rather healthy hosts who have the strength to enjoy their own party!! So the Cottage will be open 12 noon to 4, same number of hours just a slight shift into the afternoon and a little sleep in hopeful.
In shop news just a little warning that we are getting low on a couple of things. We are down to one lone chai tea glass set, three large Turkish towels and a handful of handtowels, the enamel Turkish coffee pots have sold out in some sizes so only a few left in the extra large and small (hopefully we can get another order in next week of these), the small enamel beakers are low as well but if the stars align we might get the new delivery of enamel later this week with new styles and top up of existing stock (fingers crossed) but I suggest not leaving the enamel to the last minute just in case (gulp) and some of the birds are close to selling out, especially the tiny ones.
We still have stock to arrive and I need to get back into the studio of one last making fling. And somewhere in all this I need to get some jam, biscuits and caramel made. 
Oh and I still haven't done the Xmas window.
Anyways my friends, you know where to find me. 

Thursday, 12 December 2013

overtired toddler

Thursday already.
This week has been firmly on the 'recovery' setting. By Monday I was exhausted and managed to burst into tears at my hand therapy session, I spent most of the day sobbing like an overtired toddler. I have actually managed to do errands and hunter gathering that I seem to have had no time for all year, visiting specialist textile agents and investigating and ordering things that I have either had no time or money to sort out. I needed to get these done now before time/money slipped once again from my grasp, not there is a lot of either but I felt like I needed to get a few things ticked off before the end of the year flips over.
The Cottage will be open everyday from here on up until Xmas Eve but it's probably a good idea to check on Saturday and Sunday trading hours. We will definitely be open this Sunday but only from  11am until 3pm as I have a party to get to and if I don't get there in time I will miss out on Maggie's pavlova..... sorry but I am not missing out again this year!
Jethro isn't too keen on December as his routine gets a bit shaken up, he loses his Sunday shop day and hates missing out on our usual sleep in. He had a great deal of fun helping me refit the couch cover last night. It was almost up there with the sheet change shenanigans.
I am shopgirl tomorrow (Friday) and for the following two days so you know where to find me. I also have a meeting with the real estate agent tomorrow morning so the shop might be shut for 5 or so minutes at some stage.... our building is going up for sale next year it appears.... this frightens me just a tad. I bet she makes a disparaging comment about the piles of stuff everywhere, she did last time and I so wanted to retort with something pithy about how she could slink back to her (quite probably) characterless suburban abode.
I'm longing for that time between Xmas and New Year when I shut the shop and get to sleep, loll about and renovate. The kitchen has to be done. The walls need freshening. Crap needs to sorted.
We are still waiting on stock to arrive so stay tuned over the next few days when I start bombarding you with Xmas present and shop talk!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

big design market.... day 3

Last day!
Doors open at 10am.
Come and visit!

Then at 5pm we start packing up and lugging it all home. I am longing for a sleep in and a big relax but I have to put the shop back together, have an appointment with the fracture clinic at 9.15 tomorrow morning, need to clean the house, write emails, sort out stock, make new stock, send out wholesale stock, pay bills....... looks like no sleep-ins for me!

We are stand D25, go under the star chandelier to the 'west wing', down where the workshops and seating area are. Look out for our pennant wall.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

big design market.... day 2

Just a quickie today.
I'll be at the Big Design Market again today. The shop will be open too with Dell making a return appearance, just a warning we have had some EFTPOS machine issues (perfect/worst timing, thank you CommBank) and have had to resort to the click-clack machine, they might deliver a new SIM card if we are lucky this morning..... but we can still do purchases.
OK. I'm off to pack some more stock and lug it up to the Royal Exhibition Buildings. We'll all be up there from 10 until 5 this afternoon.

Friday, 6 December 2013

big design market... today!

And so it begins.
It was a huge day yesterday with boxes everywhere in the shop (an the Tara enamel shipment arrived at the same time) and general mayhem with all the market preparation happening. I ran out of room and had to wait for the lovely Ramona and Alan to come and help move everything up to the Exhibition Building before I could sort and pack the next bit. I really couldn't have got everything shifted without their amazing help (I was also told off repeatedly for carrying things). Jen then came in to help me set up and finally we had the stand sorted.
So for the next three days you can find me working at the Big Design Market at the Royal Exhibition Buildings. The Cottage will still be open with Elise and Dell looking after things and yes we will be open on Sunday too, 11-4 both days. Our stall number is D25 which is in the West Wing (as we like to term it) just near the coffee and workshop areas..... so don't spend all of your money as you walk in the door!
Even if you aren't into shopping or the whole design market thingy I suggest you come along anyway, just to see one amazing thing..... Maryann Talia Pau's amazing '1 Million Stars to End Violence' installation. It is incredibly beautiful.
Anyway I better shake a leg! I still have a thousand things to do!
See you at the Big Design Market!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013


Just a quick post before I totally collapse into bed.
Thought you might like to see our new pennant designs.
I think they are rather smashing.
(There is one missing... poor Coburg accidentally got left out.)
I am racing out to Dandenong first thing in the morning, the cushion insert makers stuffed up and made the wrong size so they are remaking and I'm going out to pick them up. Then back to keep packing and organising for the Big Design Market. The shop is full of boxes and is a complete mess and I have a delivery of enamel arriving tomorrow as well. Mayhem.
I am trying to be slower about the set up as we have from 2pm tomorrow afternoon until the doors open at 10am on Friday morning so there is time to tinker. Still not sure how it will come together.....
Time for a quick shower and to collapse into bed.

almost time

So bump in starts at 2pm tomorrow... am I ready for the Big Design Market? 
No fucking way. I think all those years of winging it maybe coming to a resounding splat. Everyone seems to have faith I will pull a silk rabbit out of a sow's hat but I am not so sure, it's the competitive marketeering that has me confused this time. And a stupid run of falling on all fours injuries that has sent my plans into a heap. Oh well, I'll do what I can do.
We have one more box of stock to arrive, which Auspost seems to have lost in its tracking system. Other things have arrived, satchels and the fabulous Paul Cocksedge Studio recycled LP smart phone speakers. Tonight the box packing and sorting will happen but first I need to get the biggest box of pennants sewing. Rebecca's designs are looking absolutely amazing and I really want to get them all done. 
Off to the studio.
Oh, before I forget, a new batch of enamel has arrived, not everything but a we have the little pie dishes back in stock, the tumblers and mugs too (perfect for giving Xmas biscuits in I think) and the new style extra large milkshake cups in enamel have been delivered. These are fabulous and you could use them for cutlery or paintbrushes too. 
OK got to go now. 

Saturday, 30 November 2013

leaking time

Morning all!
Yes, today is the last day of November, this is it folks. For a little independent retailer like me this is when the mix of panic and excitement sets in, t'is officially the start of the big Xmas trading month (well 24 days actually).
We are also only a few days out from the Big Design Market, set up begins on Thursday and then three full days of being carni-folk. Are you coming? Is there anything you would like me to have there? We'll be releasing the new batch of felt pennants at the market, Rebecca has done an amazing job on them! Rebecca is the fabulous artist that I worked on the Stitching Time project with and today is the last day you can go to see this exhibition that Dell and Isobel curated.
I've got so much today before the bump in, organising and making, working out timetables and how we will get things there, maybe even making lists. Everyone tells me I am great at throwing it all together but what if I don't manage that this time?? Argh! I'm sure it will be fine (I keep telling myself...). Generally I am good in a crisis.
So I am shopgirl today if you need me for anything. I have new satchels to flog, some new bright birds, I made some more indigo silk velvet cushions and you better be quick as the Turkish towels are growing legs and walking out the door.
Oh and any suggestions for some really comfortable shoes to wear whilst working up at the Exhibition Building? My feet are killing me already just at the thought of it!
OK, time to get moving. This day is leaking time.

Friday, 29 November 2013

rainbow delivery

Just a quicky this morning!
The FedEx man delivered our first Cambridge Satchel order in ages (don't ask...) and we have new colours and the return of some old favourites. A spectrum of leathery goodness! Some of the colours/sizes are very limited so be speedy if you are after a particular one. Funnily enough the new shipment of birds matches the satchels!

We also scored some very cute Mexican bottle brush Xmas trees from our friend Zara, these are delightfully wonky with their little rough wooden bases and are for hanging although you can stand them up too. There are only a few available of these and they go really well with the little deer and reindeers. 
I'm off to the studio in a couple of minutes to attempt to get work done. I am still panicking about Big Design Market as I still have the pennants to make and the artwork isn't quite done yet, so therefore the screens haven't been made and the printing isn't done..... funnily enough this is exactly where we were at last May when we released the first batch! We will get there.
And I found out on Wednesday that I have to have surgery to my hand... but I am just ignoring that at the moment.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

things of beauty, huge mistakes

I'm  sitting at the computer trying to get emails and orders sorted, chasing up shipments and tracking them across the planet, things are on their way, some parcels have arrived and more to come. Yesterday the two boxes of beautiful handwoven Turkish towels arrived (after detouring to Brisbane, they are more travelled than me) and customers were snaffling them even as I unpacked them. We've new colourways in the big towels and best of all we have the handtowels too in six (I think) designs/colourways as well.... they are so pretty! You better be quick as we have sold out of one hand towel style already and have only one left in another style.
(I'm having trouble stringing sentences together this morning. Excuse me if I am a bit all over the place.)
Yesterday was a strange ol' day. Things got done but by 5pm I was so very weary and could have just curled up and slept. I have so much to do this week and am once again pushing that panic down. I did manage to get some indigo dyeing done and now have velvet ready to go for cushions and 'gingerbread' hearts. I also started mordanting in preparation for cochineal dyeing but misplaced the tannin and the first batch of pink/red didn't go quite to plan.... which was good because I then had a play and ended up with an amazing combination of coral pink and indigo velvet. I am rather pleased with it but a bit nervous as it is in the washing machine having its final rinse, this is when things can go horribly wrong.... and I just nipped downstairs to check and yes it is a huge failure.... oh well. It's all just a big experiment. I have plans though...
OK, better get moving.
Lots to do.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

a good year for stone fruit

A slightly crazed morning with a mad dash to Coburg for the farmers market to pick up some of Dr Marty's marvellous crumpets, a big bag of amazing tree ripened organic apricots (hopefully to make jam but I'm not sure how I will go with a knife to chop them up...) and some Myrtleford Butter Co butter. I think the Tasmanian raw honey will only just make it through the weekend with those crumpets in the house. My kitchen sink looks like a floral still life with flowers in various stages of decay and bunches of beetroot lolling about.
I managed to survive this week, splint and all, and am happy that I actually knocked a few things off the to-do list. The felt oven mitts are ready to go out and will be available at Craft and through the  ASRC catalogue soon. I also managed to get some vintage blanket pot holders, mohair hotwater bottle covers  and a couple of African wax print chemise dresses done. There is still so much more to do and I know I am about to lose time in the next week with appointments at the hospital and deliveries and pick ups...
OK, lost time for a while there looking at photos on instagram but now I am back. I must race off and get the shop ready to open. I hope Jethro doesn't decide he has an overwhelming need to be a brat five minutes to 11am as I am not as quick as usual at the moment. We have lots of lovely new stock in, there is more things coming this week (more on that later) and if Fastway Couriers hadn't decided to send a parcel meant for Melbourne to Brisbane we would have even more beautiful things in..... ha.
I'm dithering now. Come and visit. I'm shopgirl, please excuse my slightly dodgy wrapping and receipt writing.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

house, market, splint, panic

It's been a busy week.
I got my splint changed and now have a lighter one made from plastimake and I am back in the studio. I can't say it is easy or painless working with it on but I am trying to get at least one project ticked off each day. I feel like I am working incredibly slowly but I think it is just that I am aware of every movement. I see the surgeon on Wednesday afternoon to find out whether I will have to have surgery to have a pin fitted. Wonder what they will say if I tell them that I can't do it until after the Big Design Market has been put to bed.
Last night was the opening of the TDF Open House. It was a lovely evening, relaxed and chatty, and the house is amazing. Three more days to go and I have heard rumours about some stock selling out in an hour or two. The Dulux dog is making an appearance every day too!
I am still in a total clamped down panic over all the things I need to organise before we do the dump in at the Exhibition Building. It's freaking me out. I've also had stock go missing with it ending up in Brisbane.... very annoying. We are slowly unpacking more and more Xmas decorations and I am trying to find a moment to photograph them and get them into the online shop. Never ending.
My hand is making me very tired, I'm incredibly weary, it's time for bed.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

oh! look! shiny!

Morning all.
How glad I am going to be once this week is over. I have the specialist on Monday seeing to my hand and am looking forward to losing the thumping huge splint and being fitted with something smaller and more manageable. I ended up back in Emergency last night to have the bloody plaster and bandage contraption re-fitted and got all 'woe is me', then thought how lucky we are to have free public healthcare or that my home hasn't been wrecked by a typhoon and realised I was being so 'first world' and was appalled by my inner moaning. I am also looking forward to feeling a little less overwhelmed by everything, it's been a right shit of a year so far but I am luckier than so many people in this fucked up world.

So getting back to be all 'first world' I went and picked up our Xmas decorations and they are so pretty. Old fashioned indent style glass baubles, pretty little birds, funny how sparkly things can sooth a battered soul. The bauble sets are the best vintage style glass ones we have ever come across and are pretty accurate, if you remember my real vintage ones we used to sell you will k now what I mean. We've got some individual ones but also sets on twelve and even some tree toppers. I'm all for liberating them from the tree and hanging them on a wall. even on a pegboard if you have one, you could even washi tape them to a window (or wall), string them across a mantlepiece, hang them from a light. 
My favourite piece is the tinsel garland, made from twisted wire and silver bullion tinsel leaves, it reminds me of the Kinari Bazar in Old Dehli where everyone goes to by wedding finery. This is tinsel in the real sense, made from fine cut metal foil, it shimmers and trembles and this won't be put away once Xmas is over.

I better get a move on. I've got piles of boxes everywhere that need to find a home before I open the shop and I am hoping Jethro doesn't act like a brat this week like he did last Saturday.

Friday, 15 November 2013

what a right shit of a week

Morning all.
What a week this has been, not a fun week at all.
I've ended up with broken bones in my right hand (including a break that was discovered in the CT scan that was missed in the trip to Launceston Hospital back in September) and now have a plaster splint from my palm up almost up to my elbow. Yep, really did a good job this time.
And at the absolute worst time of the year.
And on top of a seriously ill father in hospital.
And being financial stressed.
And exhausted.... the reason I probably haven't bounced well over the last 3 months and have had pinched nerves, bruised coccyx and developed the habit of falling onto all fours on the hard ground.
I'm 'treading water' until I see the specialist on Monday and hopefully will be fitted with a less bulky splint. Apparently the old break makes things a bit more complex. *sigh*
We've got the Big Design Market coming up and I am flummoxed by the logistics of the whole thing at this point in time.

But even while all this has been going on there has still been deliveries happening and lovely things arriving. Look at that unused (!) vintage enamel! Fabulous! And the 'daisy' lids for the mason jars, perfect for sprinkling or drinking! And I am just about to go pick up our glass Xmas decorations. I think it might be time for the Cottage to go a bit Xmas-y, we've had people coming in asking so I think it might be time. It also might actually make me feel a bit better to get the shop tizzed up a bit. Working out where the hell we are going to put things might take my mind off my crippled wing.
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

they shoot horses don't they?

So just to let you know, the shop might be opening a tad late this morning.
I had a bit of a tumble yesterday afternoon taking out the recycling. Ended up on all fours again, much/exactly like the accident at Cradle Mountain in September and have now managed to injure my right hand on the opposite side to that klutziness.  have a bruised radial nerve in my thumb and torn tendons. I'm off this morning for a CAT scan and as I am on shopgirl duty I'm hoping that I will be back in time to open up.
As I was lying there I looked up and discovered I had a flat tyre. In screaming agony I changed the tyre before limping inside (you should see my knees) to sit on the couch with an ice pack. I even went back out to finish my chores before taking myself off to the emergency last night.
Could this be an even worse time to damage my hand- again? I think not.

Monday, 11 November 2013

mini thunder

It's going to be a busy couple of weeks.
I'm getting slowly/quickly more fearful of the work I need to do.
At least this part is done and dusted and delivered! If you look very closely you might spy some Cottage product on the roof of that Mini. If you join in the fun of 'spot the Mini' you can win stuff... reminds me of the 3XY Thunder days!
I'm off today to pick up another shipment of Mason jars and I'm waiting on boxes of Xmas stock to arrive. I'm also waiting for the bank account to lose it's anaemic tinge so that I can get the ball rolling on other projects. Ball rolling/juggling/kicking, I keep trying to tell myself it is always like this at this time of the year, that the switch will flip over and things will start moving again. But what if they don't? Yes I am a pessimist but it means I am never disappointed with the outcome (pleasantly surprised or told you so, it's a win/win situation).
Jethro and I did sleep in a tad this morning. I had strange dreams about op shops in obscure one way streets and shops in basements that you had to enter via ladders. Trying to place orders for things and phone lines dropping out. Having to tramp through office buildings and over bridges to get from A to B. Don't quite know how to 'read' these 'night travels'. Well actually I do.... but let's not going into it too deeply!
OK. I'm off. Vacuuming and box stashing to do.
And I'll be in the shop tomorrow if you are in the 'hood and looking for me.

Saturday, 9 November 2013


It's been one of those weeks, the type that you wish you could cancel and re-boot. One of those weeks that wear you down and leave you so flat you might be mistaken for a pancake. Eight days straight with splitting headaches probably makes it a bit hard to see the world clearly too. If you were to say it was all down to Mercury being retrograde I might even believe you this time, that's how wearisome it has been.
Anyway, I am trying to pick myself up, shake myself off, buck myself up and generally do a lot of wishing for fair weather (really mixing up my metaphors here I think but you get the drift). We've not long until the Big Design Market, Xmas and all that end of year stuff (hence why I shitting myself) so I have to come up with a plan of action. I may actually have pinned a huge sheet of paper on the studio wall with a list of things I need to work on and you know things must be at crisis point as I loath lists.
Even though I was battling with a runny nose and sneezing last night (those headaches might actually be a virus) I managed to do a quick shop change about, the window is kind of same-same but with another wax print chemise and a new rug (it's huge, it's beautiful) and I've changed the cushion colours a bit. Until I can dye some more velvet and make some indigo 'gingerbread' hearts for us (this week's batch went off to the TDF Open House) I've used the heart wall to display these fabulous soap holders. They look like squiggly wiggly drawings of what a soap holder should look like! Over on IG we've been discussing what else you could use them for, lollies, toys, air plants..... We've got a limited number so you better get in quick on these! And if you are desperate for an indigo heart I have a couple stashed away, just ask.
I'm doing the pre-Xmas juggle of waiting for the Xmas spending to start so that I can pay for the Xmas stock we ordered in February, it is an unbelievably stressful time for us little retailers. I've been going to write about this promotion but every time I start typing something about it I feel a little weird and delete it. Let's just say there is credit up for grabs for customers and small shops can also win some money, we take this card and don't mind if you use it. Nuff said. Although I do have to say that the graphics for it look a lot like our lovely Gertrude Street!
Oh lordy! Look at the time! Better dash!
I'm in the shop, come visit!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

heart of blue

It seems like half the people I know spent Cup Day getting their products ready for delivery to The Design Files Open House. I juggled heart stitching in between a splitting headache (still) and moaning about my public holiday peace being shattered by a bobcat revving out in the back lane all day. Not such a restful day off as planned sadly.
Lovely day out, time to come and get your cotton cardis for the warmer weather... although I see it is cooling off again by Friday. I have so much to do this week I am feeling a little scared. I need to move stuff in the studio as I'm helping someone store some equipment and at the moment we won't even be able to get it in the door. So lots of running around, lots of sewing and lots of cleaning.
OK. I better go and get moving.
I also need to make some of these indigo dyed silk velvet and linen hearts for us!
(Not in the shop yet, stay tuned.)

Sunday, 3 November 2013

mail me some birds!

A Sunday night post!
How strange!
Just a quickie to let you know that I have finally got the online store up with a whole swag of birds available. I'll be photographing the owls and other bits for Xmas as they come in. If there is anything you would like me to put online just let me know.
Flat rate of $10 within Australia, so if you buy just one bird it might add a bit but if you buy a few it will be a bargain!
(We've gone back to BigCartel so let me know if there are any problems.)

Saturday, 2 November 2013

shocking generosity

What would you do if you were presented with a box containing this?
I am tempted to take the day off, grab a rug and a fork and go sit with this box full of goodness under a tree and eat myself stupid. Strawberry Roulade Shock is what I am in after the fabulous Nat of Beatrix handed these beauties over to me this morning and I am just so amazed at this gift (a late birthday present).
Alas alack I won't be doing that as it is Shopgirl Saturday and I must be ready for any customers that might venture out on this 'long weekend' (ridiculous how it has become a long weekend because of a 3 minute horse race on Tuesday afternoon).
I managed to accidentally unplug the modem last night whilst trying to plug in the new printer and have just spent the last 3/4 hour on the phone whilst it was being reset. We have internet again and the connection to the outside world is restored. For a moment there I thought there might be no Saturday Morning Post, I better type faster though if I want to get this out there and the shop chores done for the day.
I did manage to get a batch of round bottom granny purses finished yesterday and we now have them in two sizes, the original 20cm framed clutch and the new 15cm frame purse. All made with our lovely vintage linen scraps. I need to spend the next few weeks head down getting stock made. It does feel good to get something made and in store, something we had totally run out of.
Working in the shop this week I discovered where I had managed to stash a box of green enamel tea pots so we have some of these back in stock and we are still waiting on the new shipment to arrive later in the month. I am very good at stashing stuff, you should have seen how much came out of me old studios each time I moved, a TARDIS moment indeed. So this week, new birds, rediscovered tea pots, a few new welsh blanket cushions and granny purses. That's all.
Drop by, we are open until 5 today.... and it's a glorious day for a promenade and a shop.
That's the great thing about 'strip shops', you can take the air and browse, so much better than a shopping mall.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

i'm in the shop again

Just a quick one.
I'm in the shop again today. Not sure what I am doing to keep my hands busy as I seem to have lost most of my morning with silly text messages from a friend up country and an argument about Halloween on Facebook, 10.30 and I already have a splitter of a headache (actually I woke up with it).
Tomorrow I will be in the studio and working hopefully as we seem to have run out of things.
You know where to find me.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

virtual garden, virtual shop, virtual world

Oh dear.
I am in the shop for the next two days.
And I have nothing planned to keep my hands busy, this could lead to trouble.
I do need to get the birds photographed to go online. I need to stop and think and write a 'list' (and you know how I hate those) of all the things I need to get done in the next few weeks.
I've made some lovely vintage linen cushions up. I think I need to excavate the tea towel cushion mountain as it might be a little too scary for people to browse, overwhelming choice and the fear of it all tumbling down is a bit much for most people I think.
I've got stuff sort of planned, no not planned at all but hopefully after next week I'll get full weeks to do what I need to do away from the shop. And by the way we will be closed for Cup Day, I may even spend it asleep in bed.... or working in the virtual shop. Never ends around here.
Looking at the pretty vintage florals calms me down a little and I dream of a house with a sunroom full of crazy florals, like a madly rambling fabric flower garden.
OK I'd better bust a move.
Drop in if you are around.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

what was I thinking?

It was a busy day in the shop yesterday. The latest shipment of birds has gone AWOL (which is so annoying) and the cushion inserts nearly didn't get delivered but arrived in time for me to start stuffing. I don't know what I was thinking to make so many tea towel cushions  but I suppose they are done now and I won't have to do any more for awhile. The mountain of them does look amazing, I'll have to tear them all down before I open for the day and re-stack them as I am sure there will be an avalanche otherwise. A far more serious avalanche than the welsh blanket cushion one I think, the welshies seem under control at the moment.
I'm very weary today and looking forward to the Sunday Sleep In as is Jethro, he was very grumpy with me for getting out of bed this morning. He's now hiding under the small shop table pretending that I don't know where he is. I am having trouble stringing words together this morning. I think you are pretty up to date with shop stuff (jars are in, birds are in and missing, too many cushions, lots of Slade cotton knits...). It's Garage Sale Trail Day (over 1600 listed for Victoria) today and we seem to be heading into fete time of the year too- I wish I was out fossicking!
OK I'd better toddle off and get the shop engine started!

Friday, 25 October 2013

blue ball

It's been a funny old week. There is stuff going on in the background that makes me sad and weary and that I try to block out through the rest of my day but it seems to pop up in the evening. If you are waiting on emails and things like that then please excuse my tardiness but they are the things I tend to do at this time of day and at the moment not much is being done.
On the shop front we've had boxes full of birds (the second migration should be arriving today) and beautiful Mexican dresses delivered. I picked up our first shipment of Ball blue mason, German Weck and vintage Atlas E-Z Seal preserving jars yesterday and soon it will be time to bottle Summer and get those edible Xmas presents ready. We will also have a range of the clear mason jars next week, I just got so confused about sizes I had to stop for a moment and stand back. I have a vision of my dream kitchen and things in jars... haha, so funny at this point in time.
I'm in the shop today and have deliveries arriving to keep me busy. I have this feeling it will be chaos, there is a shipment of cushion inserts coming on top of everything else. I managed to get a rather impressive batch of tea towel cushions made in between all this week's to-ing and fro-ing and I intend to stuff them and pop them out straight away, the cushion bunk should be groaning in a few hours. Then I think I will be moving on to the tagging of birds, photographing and measuring of dresses and tripping over the massive cardboard box stashed in the hallway.
Anyway, I am shopgirl today and tomorrow if you are looking for me. 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

the birds, the birds

I always know Xmas is just around the corner when the migrating birds start nesting in the shop.
Overnight they have appeared all over the shop, bowls of them, more perched on the cages, on the shelves.  There are even some we haven't caught and tagged yet.
I'm hoping I can get some photos of them and actually get around to popping them in the online shop. I'm going to have to organise some sort of minimum with them as I think it might be a bit silly shipping a single bird out (considering they start at $2.50!). Whilst we bowls of them at the moment remember not to leave your bird purchases to the last minute, every year we have disappointed people coming in and being downcast that they have missed out a particular style. We do have some more coming soon in other styles though.
Pesky cute little things that they are.
You've got to come in and see the purple crested golden glitter bird!
And the ridiculously fluffy owl family.
OK, better dash, it's a studio day today.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

shop! go on you know you want to!

After yesterday's sermon you are probably over me banging on about being in a small business in this economic/political climate. Well it appears I am not the only one in the boat and this is happening today-
'Shop Big in Small Business Day'
Yep you now have an excuse to go out and spend some money!
Call it 'philanthropy'!
If you go to the website then you can check out participating stores and some also have giveaways and bonuses happening today. I believe some lucky people have even received gift cards to spend at participating stores.
I know, I've left it a bit late to tell you but it's been a bit frantic around here with the exhibition and all. If you check on the map for our lovely Gertrude Street then the is Victoria Mason, us, Lark, Metal Couture, Edgeley and Books for Cooks. But really don't just limit yourself to those stores listed, spread the love- shop local, shop handmade, shop owner operated. When you do you are dealing directly with the people who have created these businesses, they are not faceless distant entities but members of your community.
Thanks for your support and kind words yesterday!