Saturday, 27 July 2013

knotted and twisted

Sorry if I have been a little absent of late. It was just one of those weeks and I have been a bit tired and out of sorts. I've been trying to get lots of work done, in between having to be at the shop and falling into bed, and have managed to get the raw linen for the quilts all sewn together and then doing the wool suiting quilt length (the photo above is some wool I found in the stash with the production details chainstitched at the end, fabulous, its next appearance will be in a quilt). The quilt lengths now need to be rolled and sent off to the quilter's but I also need to do the blanket quilts and the patched denim. I have been thinking of taking down all the vintage fabrics off the shelves and making that all into quilts too, I barely use any of it these days and perhaps it is time it was all turned into something. A form of de-stashing I think!

Miss Magnolia's blooms are on the verge of bursting open like giant pink popped corn. There is another month of official Winter to go and I seriously do not understand the number of people I saw in the city on Wednesday who were wandering around in thongs (as in shoes not underpants), they are either very hardy or have no feelings in their extremities. Perhaps this is why people complain about the cold so much, they just aren't wearing the right clothes.
Mind you I am complaining too at the moment as my body has decided to go into pain mode and I am crawling about like a hunched over troll. Stiff and sore. I am not sure whether my body has gone out in sympathy with my stressed mood or stressed mood is a result of my twisted body. Bit of both probably.

The Projection Festival finishes this weekend and it has been amusing to see Gertrude Street full of promenading people. I think my favourite bits are just the geometric light shows on the buildings. Come on down/over and visit this weekend. Ladro are doing free popcorn and it's a nice wander.
In the shop news we had a shipment of enamel arrive (still waiting on the big baking/pie order) and are re-stocked in the 1 litre measuring jugs (green and cream), the little teapots (green only and we have a couple of white left I think) and the 'Eastern European' (as we like to call them as they look like they have come off the stove in a dacha) kettles in white, red and blue. I've made new eye pillows and wheat bags and we have a new colour/pattern in the Welsh blanket cushions. And I dyed some gloves but not as many as I should have. Think that is it.
I'm in the shop today, come visit!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

bang the drum

We took to the streets last night, in the pouring rain, which I don't think my compadres were too happy about but I didn't mind, it just added to the atmosphere! I loved The Red Brigade it reminded me of the old 'Rooty Hill Brass Band' that friends played in way back last century, nothing to do with the actually Rooty Hill in NSW, they had just scored some old uniforms and thumped out slightly out of time tunes (similar to an Indian wedding band if you have ever experienced one of those). A bit of a favourite instagram photo this one, I might have to finally order a print!
So it is now Saturday. My week has flown, I've achieved a bit and absolutely nothing. The days slip through my fingers. This weekend I must get dyeing as we are incredibly low on medium glove stock, I hear rumours it is snowing in Daylesford, bring back Winter! I also need to get marmalade cooking as I've had a huge batch of grapefruit arrive. I also need to finish cleaning the kitchen after yesterday morning's flood, thank goodness for concrete floors... and I need to make a decision about the new kitchen bench and whether I will tile the splash back wall and what with. Talking about it with my Aunt Pippa the other day she asked me whether I would make the tiles myself.... she knows me too well.... but I am thinking of NOT going there! I'm saving that for the Dream House... hahaha!
Crap, it's 10am already.
'Shop news?' I hear you ask. We've got lots of lovely Lisa B socks and our angora gloves in stock and cardis and sweaters, all perfect for this wintery weekend. Don't go thinking just because there was a weird hot interlude that Winter is over people! We still have a month and a bit officially to go, embrace it, enjoy it, revel in it! Paulette wrote a great piece about our 'monotone' existence over here (vegans and vegetarians beware of clicking on the link), it's a very beautiful bit of writing.
OK, I'd better make a move, shake a tail feather, wrangle a sad faced cat (he's very moody at the moment) and get the shop sorted for another day. Come and visit! I'll be the one behind the counter talking twaddle.

Friday, 19 July 2013

sky light

After yesterday's weirdly warm then pouring weather we had our own spectacular light show, double rainbows, pink skies in the east and a stream of photos appearing on IG and FB that had us pissing ourselves laughing. The photos of the rainbow depended on whether you were on the northside or southside of the arc or smack bang in the middle. It was a fitting rainbow-y send off for our lovely Miss Dell who is almost ready to pop out her bubba. I shall miss her dreadfully but am excited to meet the little one.
I've been juggling studio work, sewing huge patchwork lengths of raw linen together and hopefully am nearing the last of this piece. It's two metres wide and about 16 metres long at the moment, a few more metres to go then it will be rolling time. It isn't the end of the patchwork though as I still have another four designs to go, weeks of work still. I'm losing today annoyingly on dentist appointments and racing up country to pick up gloves from my knitters.
There is another light show happening, the Gertrude Street Projection Festival kicks off tonight. Opening night is always fabulous as the housing commission flats at Atherton Gardens will be lit up. I just wish the Taco Trucks were allowed onto City of Yarra land (the council f*ckers have banned food trucks in the City of Yarra) as I could do with fish taco as I wander.
You really should venture out for this.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013


I would really love to be in the studio today sewing up all the piles of raw linen into quilt panels.
I am in the shop instead.
I've had one of those busy mornings and need to get my head sorted for being shopgirl.
I've just had our test-and-tag man through and our lovely cloth bound lamp cords are back in stock, all tested and tagged. We've been doing these for years and I have scored some new cords that I like to describe as 'appliance style', red and white, black and white and orange and black. All part of the PenCorp Electrics range!
I seem to be trying to fit three days work into half a day at the moment, dashing about and confusing myself no end, worrying myself about how I am tinkering with designs. Should we make bigger quilts? Will people pay the jump in price that we will need to do? Boring stuff.
Anyway, I'd better go sort some stuff out before I open the shop.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

hot air

It was a long week but the pouffés are done. Four this time which is, I must say, a mammoth effort as they are exhausting to work on. Jethro has checked them out and he has given them the stamp of approval.
I'm not quite sure what has happened to my morning. I forgot to get the papers so had to go back out to buy them and I am sure there are other things that I am forgetting this morning. Some days are like that, especially after a slightly stressful week, so many things to juggle at the moment.
I seem suddenly to have nothing to say. I think it might be because I caught sight of the list of emails I need to answer and the thought of spending my weekend on the computer does not fill me with joy. I really don't know how people can spend hours trawling the internet, so many other interesting things to do... like daydreaming and snoozing, making and baking, going for a walk and breathing fresh air. Yawn. I really need a nap.
Anyways. I'm shopgirl again today. I have new pouffés if anyone is interested, lots of lovely woolly knits and a bit of other stuff if you want to come for a browse today. The muscle car show is on up at the Exhibition Buildings if you feel like channelling your inner/outer bogan. (I got accosted by a bogan mother and her teenage daughters who were exhibiting at the Expo yesterday evening wanting directions to Macca's, they also wanted to know whether it would be dark when they were coming back, I really really wanted to tell them the walk would be good for them and there was lots of other lovely food for them to try... but I just gave them directions and had a chuckle.) Last week it was ComicCon this week it is the Muscle Car Expo.
I'm blathering.
Better go vacuum.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

working, not much playing

I've tried to be a good girl and work hard in the studio this week. I probably was a little too ambitious and pieced together too many pouffés, three is normally the optimum number to work on but somehow I ended up with five and some spare panels (enough for probably another two) which really is a huge number to be working on at one time. These four just need their bases sewn on and their canvas bladders finished and they will be ready to be stuffed.
Today is not looking good for any studio time sadly. I'll be in the shop if you are looking for me. Tomorrow perhaps they will be finished. At the moment there is a lot of juggling of time/staff/work and may have to start doing evenings in the studio if my days get sidetracked. I am too old for late nights in the studio, all those long nights working in my youth.... counterbalanced by long sleep ins....
Anyway I seem to have lost my morning and although Jethro is acting cute in an attempt to get me back into bed (just to warm it up for him) I better get a handle on what I need to do today.
I've finally got around to packing vintage hankies and pricing the Indian steel and brass scissors, the lovely Indian towels are on the shelves and we've had another shipment of the Lisa B spot and dot socks in all styles.
What else?
Can't think.
OK, better get a move on.
Things to do, places to be.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

cut to the quick

I fell into the post break doldrums yesterday morning. I only had 6 days off, can you imagine how pathetic I would be if I went off gallivanting for 3 weeks? I did get a bit of running about done though, met up with my quilter to talk... well... quilting and warn him of the new work that I need to get finished in the next couple of weeks, then had to race over to Prahran to check on some fake birds, the post office to pick up a box of Lisa B socks and then went up to the studio for an couple of hours. That last one was a rude shock to the system as it appears the studio elves have also been on holiday... what a mess.
And now it is Saturday again. Jethro is still in bed, tired from the 4am to 6am shenanigans I think, he had a bad day yesterday, furball issues and then managed to trick Brodie and escaped into the shop, there was hissing and scratching. 'Acting out' apparently as it was the first day since I got back that I was around and he didn't like it. He really is a strange mog.
I'm slowly putting out new stock, we seem to have holes on the shelves at the moment, stripped of almost all our crochet afghans and very low on blanket quilts, there are only 4 left at the moment I think. One box of Lisa B socks has arrived, hopefully the second will come on Monday, and we are restocked on women's dot socks (we have new colours!) and also the women's OTK and men's dot socks. We also received some parcels from India and now have these beautiful brass handled scissors in 6", 8" and 10" and the fabulous barber's scissors. I love scissors like these as they can be resharpened, I hate those ergonomic featherlight things that all the crafters like. I see these ones sitting on the counter with brown paper and string.... which reminds me, I need to re-order more linen string.
I'm thinking we are drawing closer to me having a studio sale. It's going to kill me getting it together but there is no point doing Camberwell with the vintage stuff as that market is hopeless at the moment and I would still need to do a studio sale to sell samples/seconds/stock anyway. I need to sell a couple of sewing machines too. Even thinking about is making me exhausted!
Wonder if I can get the shop ready and have a 15 minute nana nap before opening.....
And I see that it is snowing in Tasmania and I missed it. Grrr.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

i've been away

I've been trying to write this ever since I got back on Tuesday night but other stuff has got in the way.
The computer and modem had a holiday and decided not to talk to me, I was shopgirl yesterday, I had holiday unpacking and washing to do and a cat that needed some attention.
If you follow me on insta then you will know I was off on a short break in Tasmania. Normally I go at the end of August/start of September but with Dell soon to leave us for baby popping it seemed like a good idea to head south a little earlier than usual. So I had 5 nights in Hobart, a lot of driving about in the hired Subaru Forrester (harsh coming back to the 22 year old Nissan Pulsar let me tell you), yummy food, fresh air, beautiful scenery, a fair bit of not thinking and best of all... 
I got an aurora alert at 7pm on Saturday night, I jumped in the car and headed down to Howden where I met a bunch of other aurora-nerds and got to see the beautiful light show! It's not like the photos (all long exposure) but softer and gentler and more amazing. There were columns and ribbons and an aurora curtain that was oh so beautiful, we all umm-ed and ahh-ed and clapped nature for being so freakin' incredible. I dreamed of auroras that night and I can not explain how addictive they are, you want to see another one! 
I did MONA and the new renovated TMAG. I liked last years exhibition at MONA better I must say, I've been every year since the gallery opened but I was amazed at the size of the crowd this year, the MONA Effect is definitely at work. I think I enjoyed the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery more. The work they have done in the old museum is great and they have just opened the Bond Store section which is amazing. I loved Ian Burns installation in the basement, all light globes, clunky switches and magnifying glasses projecting onto the old stone walls. I love that TMAG hasn't chucked out all there old museum cases, there are some stunners in use, and have mixed up the old school museum with the new, it works really well.
I did spend a few days playing the 'which house do I want to live in game'. I think that it one reason I love Hobart, there are buildings right through from Georgian stone, Victorian maritime weatherboard, Edwardian, a splash of Art Deco and fabulous 50s..... and interestingly the you'll notice the windows are larger than usual in similar houses up here. Windows to catch the lights, wood fired heating, glassed in sun porches! And much less restrictive paint colours! Fabulous!
Anyway that was where I was for 6 days if you missed me. I think all the R-and-R leaked out of me pretty quickly on my return and being shopgirl yesterday was hard. I have so much work to do it is scaring me silly.