Thursday, December 31, 2009

Things I like today

It's like a fairy house! Cute!

Glad I'm not the only one who uses teacups for storage!

These two beautiful photographs area from Apartment Therapy

Love this photo via here

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Selling my petticoat

I never actually wore it to my wedding as I ended up with a different dress. Perhaps you've always wanted one? You can bid on it here

Friday, December 25, 2009

What lovely gifts!

I've been so lucky lately to receive some of the most wonderful gifts, not for Christmas, just because..

I put a big bag of herbs from my prunings out the front of the house with a little'help yourself, merry christmas' note and was pleased to see that neighbours and passengers by indeed did so. One even left this little note:

I won these gorgeous handmade buttons and bag from new blogging friend chunky chooky:

A dear friend at work made me the most beautiful collage for helping her through a tough time:

People are awesome!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thing I Like Today

Making lots of lists!

lovely vintage crockery

Cute dress

Monday, December 21, 2009

Things I like today

Love this t shirt, might buy myself one ;)

This pic is so cute!

Love these beautiful murals :

How gorgeous is this cake stand by Punky and Me? Includes a fab tutorial.

Movies and bands of the decade?

We're holding a backyard film night for NYE this year. We had some fun at a dinner party last night thinking about bands and films of the 'noughties'... Here's my quick list, far from exhaustive!

Fave Films

The Virgin Suicides (2000)
Traffic (2000)
Chocolat (2000)
Monsters Inc (2001)
Donnie Darko (2001)
24 Hour Party People (2002)
Kill Bill (2003)
Elephant (2003)
Crash (2004)
Capturing the Friedmans (2004)
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
Atonement (2007)
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Bands of the decade:

Art Brut (of course I had to include them or I wouldn't have met my husband!)
Kaiser Chiefs
Bloc Party
Yeah Yeah Yeah’s
Sigur Ros
Franz Ferdinand
The Strokes
Artic Monkeys
White Stripes
The Vines
Maximo Park

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday gardening

I've been far too busy the last few weeks to spend nearly enough time in the garden. Chris and I had a wee stall at CERES this morning to sell of some of our decluttering efforts so it was a great opportunity to visit their nursery and pick up some plants.

Here's some eggplants and beetroots just waiting to be planted once I dig in some compost and worm wee tomorrow:

Basil (the mixed punnet was called 'spice boys' hehe) and lobelias:

I got these polka dot pots in Guernsey and yes, that's an elephant teapot with mint growing from it. The brown legs are the bottom of our old bbq, it's drum is filled with succulents:

We re-use our old pots as plant pots:

Basil and strawberries in a styrofoam box:

These are all deliberately in pots so they can be easily moved to the shade out the front when it gets ridiculously hot. I also bought some more oregano as the last died in the heatwave we had recently...

And here's a quick peak at one of our tomato plants! We have loads of them with tomatoes which we are anxiously awaiting to ripen...

If you'd like to see more of our garden, pop on over to our other blog GreenRenters...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Things I like today

I bought these shoes today

Pretty! I'm getting into composition photographs....

These avocado plants are too cute for words...

Loving this necklace

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Where to now with craftiness???

This is an article I've been thinking about writing for a while. It is purely my own thoughts (many of which change from day to day). I'm really hoping to enter into some dialogue here and hope people will contribute. I don't have all the answers or any particular visions of the future, just wondering aloud...

I've been involved in crafting since I was young but it's only the last couple of years that I decided to take the advice of people who said 'you could sell that' and go for it. Since then crafting as a creative outlet has extended into selling. It's been an interesting ride. I'd had some things sell really well, whilst some things have been dissmal failures. I've received some great positive feedback but also had some which was not so good, even to the extent of having some stock returned unsold from a stockist interstate as it was considered unsuitable. I've had some things copied and sold by others. I've learnt alot. It's a different creative process when what is made is judged in terms of whether people will buy it or not.

What sells vs what emerges

I was thinking the other day that if I saw another fabric covered button hair band or laser cut brooch I'd scream.... I went to visit some of my lovely stockists and saw that some of them were selling the same stuff. There's nothing at all wrong with this, but I wonder if the desire to sell our goodies can stiffle our creative processes? What we create often seems to sit in different spheres: Frankie friendly, kooky, clever hipster design, pastel wearing or what have you.....seeing things that relate a bit to ours can be like a kind of validation. This of course, is influenced at some level by craft blogs, shops, magazines etc. We fit the market. We receive a nod. It's easy to get a bit stuck in this groove.

I find selling things means that I have to make the same things more than once (no brainer obviously). Retailing requires repitition unless you are making some kind of one off goodies which are costed enough to warrant the creative process (time, labour, materials) which each entails. Repitition is not necessarily conducive to creativity in my experience. It can be quite stifling, like wearing a old jumper which was a favourite but not is a bit too small and uncomfortable but you keep it for sentimental reasons...

I have a gocco machine I haven't even got around to unpacking and a shelf few of crockery waiting to be upcycled into something wonderful. Most of my 'craft time' is spent working on current stock. I rarely get time anymore to just create for the sake of creating. This depresses me incredibly! I'm making some changes in my time to give me more time next year, but it's a few weeks away yet.

Money changes everything

The realities of a small time crafter is that small successes can be more stressful than no successes when faced with the tyranny of time. Leisure time is not necessarily relaxing when it's spent working to deadlines trying to get orders and consignments done. I spend alot of time afterwork saying no to various social invitations, spending my time crafting in front of the telly (with a glass of wine). It can be wonderful getting a plug or positive press but then stressful when you actually have to find the time to make things (let alone source materials which can take even longer). It's hard when you aren't at the stage when you could work full time in creative pursuits. It does impact on your relationships. I've met quite a few crafters lately who 'outsource' for want of a better term, designing their products and getting other people to make them before they are retailed. I'm not sure how this sits with me as it seems kinda removed from the handmade ethos. But of course there are only so many hours in the day and there's enough of us working like one person craft sweatshops to know that there must be a better way somehow.

I make enough funds for an overseas trip each year and a little spending money, but not enough for a consistent part time wage where I can claim expenses. Of course, any money made that covers costs or beyond is a bonus when it could have been spent on other activities like gigs and booze or whatever your fancy. But it's hard when so many people measure success with money. Seeing yourself through a monied lens is not always a pleasant or positive experience and can make you feel positively dismal! If I liken this to IT or Design work (both very valuable pursuits) the crafting economy looks a little vulnerable. I wonder how much of this is because the primary creators of craft are female, and prone to underselling their work and undervaluing their skills? Plus, I know I don't really like the idea of competing for sales and I think some sectors of the craft community tend to work this way( etsy anyone?), even some of the markets...

To market to market

I'm going to risk raising the ire and admit that I'm starting to wonder if there are too many markets in Melbourne. Of course, not all markets are equal. Some like, Northside Maker's Market are facilitated by fellow crafters genuinely interested in crafting as an expressive act in itself rather than merely a profit generator. Others are more aiming at the big bucks. I'm not trying to proportion judgement here (as I do believe people should be paid for their labours), but craft materials+ labour + Stall fee + sitting time + food and drink-sales -/- does not always equal an experience leaving you feeling valued and your creative efforts validated.

So where to from here?
I'm intent on spending my christmas holidays relaxing and crafting for crafts' sake. Making things to make me happy (I really don't make enough things for myself in reality!). Trying new things. Failing and trying again. Maybe selling some new successes and abandoning old ones... who knows, that's part of the appeal...

Things I like today

I love squirrels!

Lovely whimsy... via here

Love these letters you can print out and cut out by Tobias Summer. I'm defintely going to do something with them! via Swiss Miss

These biscuits are very cool in a creepy kinda way!
via Design is Mine

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Things I like today

I've admired the work of Michelle Maule
for a while, this one is a favourite :)

This card is cute! I can't find the source alas!

This watch on made me laugh!

I know I've posted Scrabble cushions before, but I just love them! Think I'll try making some of my own for home :)

Polka Dot Rabbit turns 2!

To celebrate 2 years in operation, we're having a sale! Lots of stocking stuffers and gifts for yourself for under $10! Including badge sets, soft toys and Comic wallets! So pop on over to my little shop for some bargains! Link

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Things I like today

An oasis for a hydrangea lover like me!

Patchwork Radish!

I've been eyeing this dress by Amanda Archer for a while...

Funny pic my husband sent me from here

Monday, December 7, 2009


Congratulations to blogger Jess and Kellie from 74 Lime Lane . You've both won copies of Mix Tape Zine! (check your email).

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Things I like today

Lovely dreamy colours, beautiful wardrobe photograph

How lovely are these special occasion knickers by Hopeless Hotel!

Fab use of leftover wool for decorating presents!

Love the embroidered doily, I know it would end in tears if I attempted anything with a paper doily...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Things i like today

Love these stenciled bags with an easy tutorial by How about Orange. They'd be great christmas presents!

Lovely paper flowers from Newspaper Taxi. Can't wait to visit their store when we are in Sydney in February!

I find these cards very inspiring :)

I love these Beci Orphin cushions but they are a bit pricey for me!