Saturday, 30 March 2013

the morning of lost things

What a morning!
I got up when it was dark to be awake to buy this, stumbled back to bed, dreamed awful fitful dreams, got up, raced out the door, lost one of my beautiful silver, gold and ruby earrings under into the freezer cabinet at Piedmonte's supermarket whilst choosing ice cream (that'll learn me) and then stepped in a huge pile of dog poo when I went over to feed Ferdy and Pele as I have been on mutt duty. Just wondering what the third thing will be..... 1. lost earring, 2. poo 3. ?
This time I really mean it. Can we start the day again?I suppose there is the old adage 'it can only get better/worse', which will it be I wonder. I now need to decide on another pair of shoes and get myself cleaned up.
By the way we are open today, 11am until 5pm, for all your Easter needs! Be quick for the ceramic bunnies, they are getting low and although we catch them in compromising positions they don't seem to be breeding.
I pulled out the beautiful hand knitted children's mittens and fingerless gloves yesterday (the mittens are hand knitted not the children) and we have the 'wall o'mitts' back up, bring on Autumn and Winter! I spent yesterday overhauling the dye vats and then managed 3 double and 2 single batches of glove dyeing. Finally! Only two months late, mind you who cares with the hot hot heat we've had. It better be a real Winter, I need my bones chilled.
Anyways me friends, I better get cracking, although I'd rather get 'crackling' (slightly obsessed by crispy pork belly at the moment) and get the vacuuming done and if I'm lucky I might get to lie down for 5 minutes before I open the shop.
Come visit!
Oh and I need to dig out an earring, I am feeling unbalanced.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

egg related

Another week of 'not a lot achieved', a little bit ill, a lot a bit VCAT objection writing (hearing is this afternoon, wish us luck), a bit of kitchen renovation, two days of heat and a short Easter holiday week equals 3 hours in the studio yesterday. I did manage to finish a shoe dress in size 4/14 and sewed up a small flock of budgie cushions. Oh how the budgies make me smile! We now have them facing to the left and facing to the right.... face-off!
I've been meaning to let you know that we will be closed Good Friday (HCB Day), Easter Sunday and Monday. I will have the shop open on Saturday though so please drop in. We have some ceramic rabbits still available, a little hill of the beautiful papier mache eggs and a couple of the hilarious needle felt bunnies. Hopefully the rest of the weekend will revolve around glove dyeing. Fingers crossed as I am so far behind on them.
Anyway, hope your weekend brings you fruit bun goodness, chocolate in various shapes and a well earned afternoon nap!
(I'll probably post on Saturday morning as usual!)

Saturday, 23 March 2013

eye bags and baked goods

Dear New Neighbour,
I just thought I'd drop you a line this morning to let you know that I understand moving into a suburb like Fitzroy can be a heady experience. There are bars and pubs and you can overdose on the fun a little, sleeping in on the weekend is definitely on order! Before I forget, thanks so much for the fabulous singing at 4.30 this morning and I was so sad when it finally stopped at 6am! I am of course jumping to conclusions that it was 'singing' as I can not work out how you could possibly have got a bull up the stairs to be neutered.
Anyway I hope you don't mind if I come around and ring your doorbell in the next 15 minutes to convey these wishes in person, I'm sure you will be up and bright eyed as I am sure you need a meagre four hours sleep, crazy young thing that you are!
All the best

I managed about an hour and a a half sleep after all that, fraught with dreams that they were partying out the back and then broke into my house to party some more. Not happy. And very very tired. I'm hoping to stay fuelled on baked goods from Beatrix, please be gentle with me.

So some work got done this week and some ended up in the 'almost finished' basket. The patchwork garments are all done for now, one coat, 8 skirts, two over tops and two cocoon jackets. It's funny but this range was started over three years ago and suddenly people seem to 'get it'. It's like the 'Harvest Smocks', whilst some people (mainly friends) understood this garment, it has taken until this year for them to walk out the door, another three year cycle. And the same with our vintage wool/velvet/scarf quilts. Dell and I were joking that I should make things and then lock them away in the cupboard. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised in that future forecasting was part of what I used to do in my past life.
I do have to say the response on Facebook and Insta has blown me away, thanks to everyone for being so nice about the quilt top stuff. I wish I had more of it stashed away but I am running to the end of it at the moment. We've photographed it all though and I am playing with digitally printing some of the panels, stay tuned!
So the knitwear is all in, the Easter eggs  and bunnies are out, I'm starting dyeing gloves tomorrow and the sky is grey outside at the moment... roll on Autumn! I had better go vacuum as the autumn crud is starting to blow under the door and the magnolia's leaves are starting to dry off and clack in the breeze.

Friday, 22 March 2013

you're the (quilt)tops

I'm being very naughty at the moment and not setting the alarm, allowing myself to wake up 'naturally'... ha. Late is more like it but my weird dreams and wakefulness at odd hours are the cause. I am looking forward to Easter a little bit of sleepy-in-ness.I'm meant to be dyeing gloves and renovating  the kitchen that long weekend..... I think the renovating bit might go on hold again.
Yesterday was a very hard day to work. I was so bone weary but I got through the day and made a huge dint in the patchwork quilt top sewing pile. I have two really lovely cocoon jackets to finish today and then I'll move on to the next bit of work that needs doing. And the bit after that and the.... I've been quite blown away by the response to the quilt top range on both instagram and facebook, thanks folks for liking then, I get worried sometimes that I do things that aren't going to be appreciated!
And to go back to the subject of Easter, we still have lovely papier mache eggs- although the bowl of them is much lower than it was, it's funny when you notice the tide going out- and there is only a few of the slightly crazed needle felt bunnies left. Oh and the shop will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday too.
I better go. I've to get to the printers, the haberdashery wholesalers and pick up some dyes before I get to the studio and do some work. I see Jethro is still in bed, lazy little furchild.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

application (lack of)

As you can tell I've been playing with a frame app.
And way too much instagram.
I'm sure some people follow me just to see photos of Jethro and some people are quietly cursing another cat photo.... hell's bells, he's just so photogenic.
So most of Sunday was spent sorting the kitchen ready for the dye-a-thon but strangely it all looks just as crowded and disorganised, there are boxes and bags of gloves everywhere. The soap is three quarters of the way ready to go into the shop (packaging to go) and I need to make more and get it curing.
I finally finished sewing the hems on the patchwork skirts and they are hanging on the rack. The Slade knits started walking out the door as soon as they were unpacked on Saturday and there is now a couple of colours/styles/sizes sold out (a lot in stock though) so if you are wanting to buy for the cooler weather don't leave it until it's too late. We also have some very beautiful knitwear arriving very soon, patterned and super gorgeous but I'll let you know all about that when it arrives.
I'm running late for the studio. It was meant to be an early day today but these autumnal mornings are so nice for lolling about. What will I work on today?

Saturday, 16 March 2013

wool, patchwork and birds

I really really didn't want to get out of bed this morning. Luckily I set the alarm as I think today I would definitely have overslept and then I would have been even more of a mess come shop time. I opened the curtains to find drizzle, perhaps that was why I was so sleep. I've done my morning errands (including Beatrix for Nat's amazing brioche doughnuts, an occasional Saturday treat) and now I just have this to write, a bit of vacuuming and moving a pile of boxes before opening time. Bet I run late. 
I unpacked all the wintery Slade wool sweaters and cardis and hung them all up, the colours are beautiful. Yes Autumn, I love you. There is coral (also known in the business as 'light red') and jade and ultramarine and fuchsia and...... lovely lovely woolly goodness! I've ordered extra size 8s and 10s because they always sell out so fast but we don't carry huge amounts of stock so I suggest you come in quick sticks and pick up some for the colder weather. We also have a beaded twin-set style cardi too this year! In smart smart black. 
This week has been all about the quilt tops and patchwork and I finished a oversized cocoon coat yesterday made from one of my favourite pieces. This is is longer version of the cocoon jacket we have done in the past and is a variation on the 'Harvest Smock' pattern that we regularly play with. I think it will be a brave person who buys this piece I have to admit but I think on the right person it will look stunning. The lining is a mix of hankie check cotton and flower print lawn. 
Also this week I got to make up the sample budgies! The fabric arrived and I was very excited! There will be more coming and hopefully this weekend I might get a chance to photograph some more of our budgie models. Who' s a pretty boy then?
Oh! And half of our new enamel order arrived yesterday! We now have larger tea pots, new kettles, dripping containers (can be used for things other than meat fat!), mugs and rice cooker billies. I'm excited about the tea pots as they are the same as my own favourite one... and our tea cosies look fabulous on them! More enamel stock coming soon, including beakers, pie tins and baking trays and  saucepans too.
Time to dash. I still have facebook to sort (bloody Pages still won't let me post from my phone....) and those bloody cardboard boxes to move.

Friday, 15 March 2013

sale away

I have so much to do in the studio at the moment and seem to just flit from one thing to another. A bit of last Friday and some of yesterday were spent chopping skirts out of vintage quilt tops. Not quite sure what I should be working on at the moment. The skirts aren't quite ready to go into the Cottage yet as I slacked off last night and didn't handstitch the hems. Soon.
Oh my god, one of our locals is standing outside my window coughing his lungs out, I think I may be sick....
Anyway sorry for that interruption.
Today is the last day of the cotton cardi/Mexican clothing sale so come on down before 6pm. Tonight I'll be getting the wool cardis and sweaters out, priced and one the racks, it's a big job but as it will be a joyful 22ºC forecast I think it is time! We have some lovely colours in and..... anyway I'll talk about that tomorrow. Saturday again, the problem with long weekends they come around too fast.
I managed to sleep in this morning thanks to the cooler nights. Jethro has taken to sleeping with me again and I think he is attempting to get an intense human contact fix after the heatwave, the bedroom is still quite warm though and he is overheating me and then gets annoyed if a move around in bed. He can get quite stroppy.
Better dash, I'm running late already and I still have to drag Jethro out from under the bunk. He came out of his own accord yesterday which means we will probably have a contrary cat today.
Remember last day of the SALE!

Thursday, 14 March 2013


We are enjoying a  cool and slow morning. A light gentle drizzle would make things perfect.
I'm off to the studio in a little while, I'm just waiting for Janita to arrive back from the airport. As you can tell I have a hot weather hangover, moving slow and sleepy. I've a fun job to do at the studio and a pile of sorting and thinking and cutting out to do, carrot and the stick.
I better go and fold some more freshly washed African wax print fabrics and turn the lights on in the shop. Have a nice one.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

prize ribbons

I am sure every local blog, fb and insta this morning will be revelling in the joys of the cool change. My house is still putrid and I feel like my body is exuding heat but every window and door is open and I even have a fan propped in front of the upstairs window pulling cool air in. The studio will be absolutely foul and I am avoiding it for the moment.
In less weather related ramblings, I won the Chutney Club taste off with my pomegranate (2nd prize) and blood orange (1st prize) jellies, neither of which I ever got to try as only a couple of jars were made of each-  suck shit Royal Ag Show, I'd much rather win Chutters! Check out the prize ribbons!! And on Sunday our vintage espadrille cushions were in the Sunday Age mag. The rest of the long weekend was spent on the couch in front of the fan.
In our mini SALE news which was meant to finish today butI think we will keep it going until Friday, then on Friday evening I put all the woolly Slade stock out ready for Saturday, forecast is for 22º which seems perfect for cardis and sweaters. And I really really need to start dyeing those angora gloves! Orders are starting to come in!
OK better get cracking with my day. Roll on Autumn!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

sacrificing summer for the return of autumn

So very worn down by this hot weather, it was 34.5ºC in the studio at about 3pm when I threw in the towel (literally). I'd been making up the tapestry pouffés and managed to turn a full bag of beanbag beans upside down, I ended up with 'snowdrifts' of them and was dripping with sweat by the time I'd cleaned up as much of them as I could, they will keep appearing for months I know, pesky little things.
It was a very busy afternoon and a huge delivery day in the shop yesterday, Easter knickknacks and autumnal knits,customers dodging boxes and stock taking over the counter. The Easter goodies I might save for another post I think, although if you are Instagram you know what they are already! The Slade Winter stock arrived too and needs to be unpacked but I worry if I put them out people will see wool and run away screaming whilst this hot weather continues. Because we have more days of this stinking 30º+ hot hot heat and we need to make some room we thought we'd have a mini SALE, like a Summer sacrifice to bring on Autumn. So the sacrificial lambs are the last of the Slade Summer cotton knits and our beautiful Mexican and Guatemalan dresses and tops and belts. And the deal is 20% off if  you buy one and 30% off if you buy 2 or more. I hate having sales (except when we have a studio sale and one of those will be happening soonish) but I need the room for all our Winter goodies! It starts today and will end at 6pm on Wednesday as they are forecasting it will be a bit cooler by Thursday. So if you have been wanting a Frida or Sophie dress or a lovely cotton cardi now is the time! No laybys, holds or exchanges on this stock and we have limited colours and sizes on some styles.... sorry! We can mail if you are interstate, in the country or incapacitated! Just give us a call at the shop.

Other things to do today (short notice sorry).....
It's the Bikefest Village Picnic down at the Abbortsford Convent today and the Chutney Club has been invited to hold a Preserves Competition. You can take your chutneys, relishes and preserves down to be judged. I think it will be a tasting hoot and I wish I could be there for it! I suggest if you want to be cheeky take down some baguette and cheese to go with the relishes and have a delicious bikerider's lunch!
I'm now popping over to FaceGram to post about the sale. I'm sure this virtual world is sucking the lifeforce from me..........

Thursday, 7 March 2013


It's almost 10am and I have got nowhere this morning. Facebook is stuffing me around, I've just discovered the purchase order from a gallery to the north is completely wrong and will probably cause havoc when it comes to them paying me, I haven't put the shop to rights after we moved in the new piece of furniture last night and it's going to be stupidly hot again today. On the up side I got a rather large batch of pegbags finished, downside they got squashed and need another pressing.
I'm trying to decide what I should be doing today, I am in a quandary. I need to go get filling for the two almost finished pouffés, should I go this morning or after I have finished them? Yes I am looking for excuses to sneak off and do other things..... I have lots of errands to run but in what order should I tackle them? Yep, I am in one of my flighty moods.
Anyway just dropping in to say 'hello'. Nothing much else to report. Bye.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

lazy sod

I think I am essentially a highly functioning lazy sod.
I really didn't want to get up this morning.
I am up now but at the drop of a hat I could quite easily crawl back into bed for a bit of a nap.
I kid myself I am just going through my 'seasonal change', even though the forecast reads 30º+ for the next week we have at last got not-quite-so-hot evenings and the mornings (I notice on the way to the loo in the early hours) are sweetly cool. The sun has slipped in the sky.
Perhaps I could lie down for 15 minutes more, I'm sure if I did I would bounce out the door.....

Saturday, 2 March 2013

nharg nharg nharg

I've just drowned my sorrows in half a piping hot baguette from d Chirico, with lashings of Pepe Saya butter. Some mornings are like that.
Although it was the first day of Autumn yesterday and I should have been rejoicing I had a right old grumpy  day yesterday and was spoiling for a fight, I didn't get into one but you know what I mean, that feeling of nharg nharg nharg. I got to the studio and then couldn't decide what I should be working on first. So many things to do and so many piles of stuff. I made 'harvest smocks' mainly because we have people on the waiting list for them and because they seemed the thing most easily achievable in the mood I was in. Anyway they are done and in the shop as of this morning.
I blame the mood on Sydney and the trade shows, both of them together always get me down. Also lugging a large bag about for three days and stomping all over the town didn't help either. Pain=depression.... will I ever learn? Next week is the thirteenth anniversary of getting slammed into the ground and breaking bones and spirit. Some years the anniversaries hurt more than others, it's looking like it might be one of those this year.
Jethro still has Fear of the Hallway and although the feline pheromones seem to be having a small effect he's still not his old self. I have a theory that the real Jethro has been abducted by aliens and replaced with a slightly less perfect clone. I want the old Jethro back! I did manage to take a really great 'movie' of him chasing balls int he shop last night which ended with him walking up and sticking his nose in the camera... but then I accidentally hit the 'retake' button and lost the whole thing. The lost masterpiece! Technology and I tread a delicate path.
So here we are at Saturday again. My second shop day this week. Whilst I love my Saturdays in the shop and my special Saturday customers I have to admit I am longing for a quiet shut-the-door-Sunday tomorrow, perhaps because I didn't get it last weekend.
New things in the shop this week.... tea cosies, harvest smocks, vintage lampbases and if I get a chance today I will be getting out the stash of Marianne's amazing afghan throws that we have been stockpiling. They are amazing and very different from Ann's beautiful more traditional afghans. You'll just have to wait and see.
OK better dash.