Saturday, 27 December 2014


AsyouknowBob, in July I bought a new laptop... which has now been replaced by one that actually works.  After a couple of issues in September, it went back for a new hard disk (lucky I'd backed everything damn thing up, hey?) and then it crashed again while I was doing a few routine updates... then the wireless card carked it, and I think they realised it was a Lemon with a capital ELL... so I got a new one.  Thank you James at Officeworks Mona Vale!

I owe emails to people in various parts of the world, my poor blog is sadly neglected, and I haven't moved photos off my phone for months... so I'm hoping that now I can get back to normal.

First things first - the stall... well, it was kind of hilarious - I've been following @littlepaperlane on Instagram, and she'd been so funny talking about her daughter and the obsession with the 'Frozen' dress, mass produced shit made in China, how much she hated it, how she tried to hide it from her daughter, to no avail... well.  Guess what my stall neighbour was selling?  'Frozen' merchandise.  Mass produced, all out of boxes labelled with Made In China, and she did not give a shit that she was peddling rubbish, made in factories by people who earn $20 a month... nope.  She was nice enough, but her products were just so foul... but every child who went past went "Frooooooozen".... and dragged their mothers right past my handmade loveliness...

However, I did have lots of lovely grandmothers pop over to buy gifts for new great-nephews and nieces, and grandchildren, and some lovely people who bought gifts for sisters and brothers... so we sold a bunch of stuff, but surprisingly, hardly any lavender bags.  Need to rethink the presentation of them, maybe??

Here's a pic of what our stall looked like the night before:

Suprisingly tidy, considering.  The tent guy was waiting for me, and we discovered that it's probably a shit load cheaper to buy one than hire it, but hey, hindsight... MGF Deb and Miss Pen came down to help erect and decorate, and we were all ready to go by 0900... there are photos somewhere of the finished product, but I don't have any.  Maybe next year I'll get those to show you...

By crikey it was hot, and the tent roof was dark blue, so it was like sitting in a sauna - my face tends to resemble beetroot when I get hot, and I personally blame that for the 
quietness of the market.... but everybody around us was saying how quiet it was, and how they thought the market was too close to the others... meh. 

I covered my costs, but I think I might try the St Ives craft market next time.  If there is a next time...

But now...I must away to the shower.  It is 12.53pm, and the cricket is at lunch... I don't like to rush into things, as you know... Ciao!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

I Quit!

Yes, Gentle Readers, I gave up the fabulously well paid job at the other corporate salt mine.  It was too much like the last corporate salt mine, and after 4 months, I'd had enough.  I spotted a job in the Internet Job Search toolie thing for somebody to work 3 days a week for a company that sells meat online, and I got the job, despite being old, and somewhat crotchety.  It's busy, without the incredible levels of stress I've previously experienced.  I get to go home every lunch time for a sandwich, and I can wear casual clothes.  Really, what more could a girl ask for?

So, I've been very very busy sewing little critters:

And on and on:

Needless to say there has also been lots of fabric purchasing to facilitate all this loveliness, and I'm kind of thinking that I need to stop soon.  Really.  No, really.

In other news of unparalleled excitement, the brand-new laptop hard drive crashed, and I had to have a new one.  Lucky for me I did a complete copy onto an external HDD when I bought this machine, so nothing has gone missing - amazingly I had the presence of mind to install some software called Photosync which copies the pictures between devices...seamlessly, and so all the photos on my phone & tablet are also available on the newly blank computer.  Thank goodness for wi-fi, hey?  

My favourite Hunter Valley Hound had a small black spot off her nose, and she's wearing a plastic cone around her as they come to hand...

And my lovely friend Jarrah went to dog-heaven, after 16 happy years as a rescue dog:

We miss her.

I've finished sewing up the leg of Number Ten, and the huge bag that's going to Queensland containing the Bilbies is ready to be sealed up.  Oh wait.  Did I mention that?  Oh no... well... the Save the Bilby fund has bought 10 of my little guys, and is going to list them on the website for sale.  Apparently it's really hard to find nice 'hand-made in Australia' Bilbies.  No kidding.  I feel vindicated.  I did them a great deal on the price, because they are a charity, after all, and who knows?  I may become the Bilby Queen (that's kind of like the Borg Queen, only with better resistance) of Newport.

And that, Gentle Readers, is that.  I'm off to bed. 

Buona Notte!

Monday, 3 November 2014

Wait! It's November?

Sometimes I really hate computers.  I wrote a whole long post yesterday about all the sewing I've done in October, put in loads of pictures, clicked 'save' multiple times, and then tried to publish it, but would it?  Oh no.  So I wandered off to do other things (more later), and now I'm back to it... and everything except the first two paragraphs is gone.   Gorne!  Arrgh!!  Anyhoo...let's do it again.

Can you tell me, Gentle Readers, where October went?  I'm pretty sure mine went into the bowels of my sewing room (did you even know it had bowels?  What a disturbing thought!!)...

I've been very busy making stuff for this market, which seems both terrifyingly close, and frustratingly far away - I can't even confirm until 19th November that I've even got a stall (unless they confirm first, which might happen, and it might not, my initial impression being that these people are not quite in the 21st Century (bank cheques, I ask you - but that's another story)...

So... sewing...

More bilbies, including some that look disturbingly like others I have already made:

And some new friends, as of last night:

I've also got bunting made, a stack of fridge magnets which I'm pretty sure I covered off in tiny detail in the last post, or the one before, and I've got lavender bags coming out the wazoo - MGF Kaz & I had 53 when we were last in the Hunter, and I'm just waiting on the supply of more lavender from the lovely Christine at Ratho Lavender Farm so I can stuff some of them & send them off to her... (Christmas orders in nice & early, gotta love that!!)... what else?  I have a few pouches made a long time ago in nice linens, and I made a few turtles, before I realised that the pattern is for personal use only & I can't sell them at the market:

And I've added in a few of these really cute guys, in dark reds, ideal for Christmas decorations or table centres, with cloves in them so they smell really christmassy.

And in news that's kind of come round unwelcomingly quickly (ooh, that's an ugly mouthful), it's two years tomorrow since the death of My Lovely Ma, and I thought some more of her work deserved an outing:

I still miss her everyday, especially when I go to things like Urban Stitches, which I know she would have really enjoyed.  I don't have any friends who craft, and so it was lovely to be able to ring her and talk about the latest disaster, triumph, hideous fabric I'd seen and beautiful things I'd seen on the internet... 

And that, Gentle Readers, is that.  Now that I have a little more time on my hands, I will endeavour to post more frequently.  What's that?  Why do I have more time on my hands?  Let's just say that things have changed.  

On that mysterious note, I will say only... ciao!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Rapt up in Bilbies

So... from time to time my good friend Kate from Rapt! Upholstery has commented here on my work, and I've often admired hers.. she and I were at Upholstery School together, and she does fabulous work, which you can see on her blog:

Anyway, Kate has a showroom in Jamberoo, where you can select fabrics, have a look at finished works and generally bask in the loveliness that is upholstery, and she's offered to take house some Bilbies until their new owners wander in off the streets and take them home!

These happy guys have gone off today via Australia Post.  Kate and I were thinking of naming them the Travelling Bilbies, but nobody could agree on who was Tom Petty (I'm personally going with Mr Blue Spot Yellow Belly as Tom):

Do they look nervous to you, Gentle Readers?  I'm sure they'll be fine in their new home! But!  In case you want one, and you can't wait until the Mona Vale Christmas Market on 7th December, hint hint, you can order one from my Etsy shop.

More are being made as we speak - and because I worked from home today (gotta love that!), I was able to cut out another pink & grey masterpiece before 0800... and now?  Gotta sew!  Ciao!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A little creativity goes a long, long way

Busy busy, this weekend... Despite feeling like I've been hit by a truck, I still managed to cut out & sew the top of a Schoolhouse Tunic - this is such a great pattern, and pretty easy:

And of course I chose the most expensive fabric in the shop - really, who goes shopping for dress fabric in a quilt shop?  Me, of course.  Well, it's a Liberty Voile, in case you were wondering, and it's so soft... just beautiful.  I'm hoping to finish it on Saturday, to wear to Miss E's Baptism on Sunday.  Proud Father advises it's "smart casual", so I guess I won't be wearing my hat & gloves...

In other news, I took the Second Chance quilt in to be quilted - only to discover that they won't accept anything that's creased, and so I spent an hour ironing the 2m (6'5") X 2.5m (8'2") backing fabric:

It's a good thing this is for MGF Kaz, because I doubt I'd do it for anybody else.  Even Mr Golightly's shirts are the sort that don't require ironing.

Anyway, I have great faith in the quilter, who I'm sure will do a fabulous job, and I promise pictures will be posted before it goes off to the Hunter.

In other news, I have made more Bilbies - I keep selling them to friends and family, and so the numbers need topping up:

 I need to do some more work on the pattern for the bigger guys, because I'm still not happy with the shape.  This guy is made from some linen I bought at the Handmade Market two years ago (I think it's by Saffron Craig, so if you know, please drop me a note to confirm!), it's beautiful quality, and while I was rummaging through the boxes of red fabric to find a co-ordinating colour for the gusset, I found this beautiful lustrous Japanese cotton, with multi-coloured balls - and that's why this guy has purple eyes, to go with the interior of his ears.

This big guy nearly ended up in the bin - he's made from a really soft linen which is going to fray the minute you look at it, and I had to completely unpick the rear seam twice to get it right, and I'm still not happy enough with it to sell him.  He's going on the 'keep at home' pile. 

Which is where I am now, keeping at home.  Back to the office next week, and a return to normal.  Whatever that is.  Ciao!