Friday, 31 January 2014

on duty

Morning all.
I'm a wee bit shattered from a killer headache last night, probably my own fault for not have even one cup of tea yesterday when I normally drink a bucket and a half. Although I think it was one of those headaches that was brewing for days and then slammed me hard. 
I spent the day in the studio yesterday and finished a couple of 'party frocks' in this great indigo wax print, sunflowers and 'gingham' (it's not gingham but reminiscent of it) and also managed a couple of cushions made from vintage floral linens (would have done more but realised I only had two inserts of the right size... hate that). 
Today I am shopgirl. Tomorrow I am shopgirl. Most of next week I am shopgirl. 
So fabulous new stock arrived this week, the Nkuku fairtrade wire baskets are wonderful and we have also had their little glass display boxes arrive too. They remind me of the glass and brass boxes that were around when I was a teenager but these are dark lead grey in colour instead of the brass, they have little compartments for displaying things.
The thought of more hot weather is getting me down, it isn't good for a little retailer and I have to admit January has been a shit of a month on that front. The money juggling is making me a little ill and just when I should be in the studio making  things I am skiving off and running away. I really wish I was independently wealthy, it would be so much fun. Which reminds me, I better check my Powerball ticket. A waste of money I know but a girl's gotta dream.
OK. Off to eat brekky and get the things to keep my occupied in the shop together. 
Shopgirl duties await!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014


So I don't know quite how it happened.
A late start to the morning with appointments and stuff and then I am shooting down the freeway to Geelong to pick something up. Then that gets delayed and suddenly (a number of hours later) I am watching the sun going down in Port Fairy.

I feel like I have been stuck at home/shop for the last couple of years and that, perhaps, I have in one instance of 'hitting the road' rediscovered the joys of driving for hours and ending up somewhere else. I know I do it when I am in Tasmania but this is the first time in ages I have just spur of the moment ended up miles from home.
I had to buy a toothbrush (and a phone recharger) it was so unplanned.

The whole thing wasn't totally unplanned, in that I had been meaning to go investigate something in the west but I hadn't actually decided it was to be at that precise moment. It wasn't best  financial time to hit the road but I did and now I am home. I have things to show you. Boxes of stock that we have been waiting 6 months for arrived whilst I was away and I have carted back some special things for the shop. The car still needs to be unpacked and there are piles of things to be carried up to the studio, things to be sorted and made, I have a lot to do.

I am weary from all the driving and think it is time for bed. I have some stock to price in the morning before I hit the studio tomorrow.  I also have a cat that was apparently very confused when I didn't come home last night.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

under the trees with the carni-folk

We did our annual trip up to Fryerstown yesterday for the antique fair. It had rained (in fact was pouring) as we headed up and instead of dust and 40º we had a bit of mud and a mild day, people were definitely in a better mood than past years. I don't ever want t o experience it on the Saturday and Sunday that it is open, even though a lot of stands don't put all their stock out until it is officially open. The downside of going to early bird Thursday and Friday is the CFA barbecue isn't fired up (they used to do Friday). As the years go by I find less and less there but it has become a tradition to go and hunt out the craziest carni-folk dealer selling the worst/battered/broken stuff for the highest of prices.
It was exciting to get home though and find the courier had been and made some deliveries. We've got new stuff coming in and I had one day in the studio this week which made me realise how much work I need to do..... it was nice being in there though and surprisingly not too hot and rather pleasant. New African wax print fabrics have arrived in the country and I am just waiting for it to land on my doorstep, the linen socks have been dyed in indigo and I just need to print off their wrappers, a shipment of glass display boxes that I order 6 months ago for Xmas will be here next week, the cloth bound flex and fittings are ready to be turned into lampcords and extension cards, the jumbo knitting machine is lying in pieces on the floor......
and I only got about 3 1/2 hours sleep last night and wish I could go back for a nap.
Now it is a long weekend here this weekend and the shop is open today and then closed until Tuesday. I must spend this weekend cleaning the house. I really really really must.
Better dash. I have a shop to open in an hour.

Thursday, 23 January 2014


I am going to the studio today, I am.
Well that's the plan anyway.
I've tried all week but after the heat of last week my brain has been a bit fried and I have been dealing with a middle ear infection (that occasionally strikes me down) and have been dizzy, headache-y and wearily tired. Bloody January. And it is almost over too. How did that happen? Or do I say that every year?
I have bits and pieces started but nothing is really underway as I seem to get sidetracked.....
I'm heading up country tomorrow in the 'new' car, in the shop on Saturday and, by the way, we will be closed on Monday for our nationalistic-extra-day-off-as-Australia-Day-falls-on-the-weekend-this-year holiday. I better clean the house this weekend.
I hate to think how hot the studio is going to be, locked up after last weeks heatwave. OK, I'd better go face it.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

sunday and we are open!

Shop will be open at 11.30.
Well, maybe 12noon, running a tad late this morning because sleeping was so damn nice.
I know, open on a Sunday and it isn't even Xmas!
Come and visit, we will be open until 4-4.30, depends how we are travelling.
Hope the toast isn't burnt....

Saturday, 18 January 2014


Morning all!
We'll we survived that... just.  Not much was done over the last four days apart from a lot of sweaty complaining and drinking of fluids, really just too damn hot. The whole house is still boiling but I am hoping that when I open the shop door at 11 a cooling breeze will blow though.  Yes the shop is open from 11 and will also be open tomorrow (Sunday) to make up for this weeks retail-outage. 
On the subject of outages Telstra has had a meltdown in the Fitzroy area and we have no mobile reception what-so-ever, so no phonecalls on the mobile in or out, no facebook and no instagram (which might be good) and no emails whilst I am in the shop today. Please call if you need to ask any questions rather than email/message. I had so much to say but it appears to have leaked out my ears....
I managed yesterday to end up by the side of the road in Bulla with no petrol in the car, luckily it was after the change had come through and it was quite pleasant sitting in the breeze and the occasional rain splatter watching the CFA trucks hurrying off to the next fire (well that wasn't pleasant, the fire bit). Coming home later in the evening I could see the Hell's Gate of a fire on the horizon and how it lit the sky red, a bushfire at night is demonic, the moon was up and glowing luridly from all the smoke and I drove home with the window down and it was , apart from the fire, nice to be out of the house.
Some things did happen whilst the shop was closed, sort of, kind of. We received a new shipment of the fabulous Heico lamps and are restocked with our favourite cockatoos and have a new creature to add, a gorgeous little hedgehog, he's really really cute and I have a soft spot for him as I am in lurve with @biddythehedgehog over on Instagram.
Please drop in if you are in the 'hood, you probably need to get out of the house and get some fresh air into your lungs. Go for a walk, have lunch out, breathe some fresher air.... maybe do some shopping!
We are open from 11am until 5pm today and from about 11.30am until 4.30pm tomorrow.

Monday, 13 January 2014

too hot to be open

Morning all.
Here is the UV map for today (and the rest of the week...). The shopgirls have had a meeting (via text) and have decided that there isn't much reason to be open this week with foul 40ºC days forecast. I'm hoping for my own sake that it is dry heat as humidity does things to me that are unspeakable but I see we have little rain symbols appearing later in the week.
So this is the plan..... the Cottage will be open today and closed Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday if the weather continues to hover around 40º. We will reopen on Saturday once the temperature has dropped. If the weather forecast gets revised down then we may open but at this point it isn't looking good.
We brought in the 'over 40º rule' a couple of years ago as it just seemed to stupid to be open when it is baking outside. I know some people are happy to run about like loons on boiling hot days but it seems unfair for shopgirls to get to work, sit around waiting for non-existing customers and then troop home at the hottest part of the day. Whilst the shop is surprisingly cool, you'd have to be a mad dog or english to go out on a fry-day.
Now, if you have decided you are desperately in need of a bit of shopping, perhaps you are in from interstate or overseas, then I will actually be around the shop/home doing some work and all you have to do is call 94192430 (if I don't answer straight away then leave your name and number and I will call you back ASAP) and we can organise for a bit of private shopping. I'll pop the fan on and even supply a cool beverage (don't expect anything fancy!) and  you can have a leisurely shop. Does this sound like a plan?
I am more than happy to provide out of shop hours appointments if possible so please don't hesitate to call or email me if you can't make it during our usual hours.
Please stay out of the sun, drink lots of fluids and stay cool.
Oh! Before I forget, this sort of weather is fabulous if you want to get wool blankets, quilts and eiderdowns and winter clothing washed and dried. If anything good comes from four days of baking weather it would be that you will have summer fresh bedding ready for the cooler weather!

Saturday, 11 January 2014


Saturday morning.
I've done all my errands (and eaten the doughnut from Beatrix) and if I can I might slink back to bed for 15 minutes before I open the shop. Yes, it is my first shopgirl shift for the year, harsh. We had a great start on Monday but things have dwindled as the week progressed.... hot weather and holidays are hard on a little shop. I've been watching friends and others as they record their lovely holiday breaks, near and far, on social media and I feel a little like Cinders by the fireplace dreaming. January always starts with a bang and then reality plays havoc with your dreams and plans!
Just an advance warning... I am thinking that we may be closed a day or two this coming week. Last summer we instigated a 'close early/not open' rule if the weather was was at or over 40º C and as we have a few of those coming up it may come into play again. Although the shop is really quite pleasant, I do think that as I wouldn't go out in such weather, that everyone else would also prefer to stay home and keep cool too. Some times I dream of having air-con, especially in my car, but sitting in front of a fan doing nothing is fine by me.
I'm in the shop today, I have lovely things to sell and would love a visit! Time to prepare for next weeks blast of heat... enamel milkshake beakers perfect for ice cold beverages and colanders for draining your summer berries and cherries in (remember the cherry season only lasts 100 days), wax print chemises (more on the way once I get into the studio) perfect for hot days and even a linen quilt to lie on in front of the fan.
OK, I'm off to have that nanna nap before the shop opens at 11.

Friday, 10 January 2014

trying to shake the lethargy off

I am still poddling about not really doing anything.
I am at the point where motivation might possibly be leaking out of my ears whilst I am lolling about. This is a mixture of good and not good. 'Good' because I love lolling about and 'not good' because I could go on doing nothing forever... and ever... and ever...
I've had a play on one of the knitting machines, I have been stumbling over it for the last year but I had developed a procrastination/fear of (as I often do). It wasn't so bad once I started playing with it but then I went and left it alone for a day and now it is taunting me again. It is also sitting attached at the end of the table surrounded by storage boxes and crap (amongst which Jethro is currently having a floor-nap). The demotivation is also effecting the cleaning up (still) and I am longing to throw everything out the window and letting it all blow away.
January is a love/hate month. I love its slow pace and quietness but hate this too from the retail viewpoint. We had a busy Monday and Tuesday but everything is now barely crawling along, too hot and lethargic. I realised this morning that I am shopgirl tomorrow, if you find me face down on the desk asleep just rock me gently awake.
OK, I'd better load the car with all the crap out the back and get off to the tip. I also need to start glazing the kitchen splashback tiles and organise for the plywood bench and shelves to be cut. January is always renovation time around here.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

lazy days

So I am gradually easing into the year, I'm doing things but more along the lines of research and pottering about. I feel a bit guilty but really this is the only time of the year where I will get to take things a bit slower. Annoyingly most things I am chasing up will be unavailable for at least another week because those little businesses are lolling about too!
I am trying to plan a few things, get projects started and perhaps even go out for some day trips. I've realised how limited my life has been between shop and studio (perhaps living above the shop is an issue!) and how much I miss popping out and about. I think this week I need a mosey about the city, a few jaunts to look at other suburbs/towns and an hour/day lying under a tree somewhere.
Oh, and the house and studio still need to be cleaned.
And I need to choose a day to begin back at the studio.
The shop is ticking along and I will need to start making again.... but I still need a few more days of semi-rest....

Monday, 6 January 2014

and we are open!

... well we will be at 11am...
Jethro is pretty upset about the division between shop and home, although he has spent most of the time since 5pm Xmas Eve asleep on the bed. He has had the last two days soaking up his worshippers adulation whilst curled up on the tapestry pouffés in the window, having his photo taken every couple of minutes. He did get to spend most of the last week climbing things and helping out painting the shop.
Anyway, as you can tell, I am drivelling a tad. I've painted quite a bit of the shop, including the plywood box that holds our change room and storage cupboards. I've also installed more shelves above the racks and packed Xmas away. Cleaning out the store cupboards made me realise how desperately we need to have a studio sale... or perhaps a pop-up sale... really too hard to think about now...
Of course I have got absolutely nowhere with cleaning up the kitchen, the bathroom or upstairs. Or the studio. Oh lordy, I need another nap.
We are open today and shop hours are back to normal.
We'd love to see your smiling faces!