Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Small business thoughts

One of the things that I think is holding me back in building my work from home business is thinking that I have to production line my products. That I have to produce scores of different sizes of each design, all identical to the last.

In the past I have had customers ask if I have certain items in another size other than what I have on display for sale. I get stuck in answering them as they want that same design in that fabric but that usually isn't possible for me as I only buy small amounts of each gorgeous fabric.

My ideal way of running my business is to not mass produce. It's to create one-off original items that you most likely won't see again. You certainly won't go to a party and see someone wearing the same dress or top as you. What stirs my creative juices is having the freedom to create what grabs me at the time. To design or create something in response to a delicious fabric or divine vintage pattern that I have bought.

I have it in my head that's it's a rule that I have to mass produce. But in fact there is no such rule
written in any official guide or rule book. I must start to allow myself to run my business the way that it suits me. Have you come across this stumbling block with your small business? I'd love to hear from you how you tackled it.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Crafty Hijinkery

It was on us as quick as a flash. The inaugural Crafty Hijinks get together on September 15th. I had fun organising the day from afar, as it was held in Ballarat at Brown Hill Hall. The hall was suitably low-key and absolutely perfect in a crafty-get together's kind of way.

I drove over from Adelaide on the Friday before hand and the gracious Jodie put me up for a couple of nights in her home. A day of garage sale-ing, getting goody bags ready, crafty shopping and smooching with Jod's beautiful dog. Out for dinner with these gorgeous gals on the Saturday night for some nosh and goss. Big thumbs up to Morgan of The Crafty Squirrel who had been stall queen at a market all day and was absolutely kerschnackered but still made it to dinner.

The day arrived. Up early and setting up the hall. Big thanks go to the gals that came and assisted with the setting up of chairs and tables. Another grateful nod to the very organised stall holders who arrived early, most from Melbourne, to set up their wares before the hordes arrived.

Jodie held a short workshop on how she tackled her rag rugs.

Rebecca of Beccasaurus demonstrated how she put together fabric hexagons and made them into flowers. She and Cam had put together some lovely little kits for the Hijinkers to use.

Wendy of hARTy little peaces showed the Hijinkers how to use colour in their craft and got them experimenting using the colour wheel as a guide.


There was lots of this all day. Smiling. Crafting. Instagramming. Catching up with old and new friends. We ate scones, sandwiches, very interesting slice with lots of coconut in everything.
 We drew the raffles and had some very happy winners. The money that was raised totaled $400 and we will let you know as soon as possible as to which crafty/charitable worthy will be receiving it. We did have one intended recipient but that has gone a little askew so please trust me, I won't be running off to the Bahamas with the $400 just yet!


I love this photo so much!
(Thanks Jodie for letting me borrow it)

 I also got to catch up with one of my most very favourite bloggers in the entire blogosphere. Juddie of Flightless Boyds. Juddie put some long thought about wheels in motion some two years ago when I met her at Sew It Together in Sydney. I was so impressed and girl-crushy about her pin-up/retro style. It was something I had been coveting and wanting to do for so long. Meeting Juddie was a catalyst of sorts and got me really inspired to dress in the 1950's style that I do now most days. And it was even more lovely to see even more of Juddie, with a junior Juddie on board too. How gorgeous!
At the end of the day, we all said our farewells and I headed my weary feet to my digs for the night. Ballarat Premier Apartments was absolutely lovely. Very swish for a crafty gal on her own and I just loved the chandeliers which were everywhere! A glass of well earned champagne and some sticky date pudding which was divine.


 Back on the road to Adelaide Monday morning it was for me. The canola crops in full bloom were magnificent. A gorgeous riot of vibrant acid yellow. I made a few little rest stops along the way, including a quick hello to this likely lad. I tried to attain the same unimpressed facial expression as he totes. Do you think I succeeded?

All in all, an absolute cracker of a time and I had a complete ball. It was great to spend time with Jodie and hang out. It was lovely to meet so many bloggers whom I'd had the pleasure of reading their blogs but never meeting them in person. It was relaxing and mind clearing driving myself over to Ballarat and back. I love solo long distance driving.

And yes, next year, I'm sure Jod and I will get another Crafty Hijinks organised. Thank you to all the sponsors and businesses who donated goods. So very appreciated. Thank you to the stall holders who gave another crafty dimension to the day and sold their gorgeous wares. And biggest thank you of all to Jodie. You're a champ, my friend. I do so wish you lived at the end of my street.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

9/11 remembered

Remembering all those who lost their lives twelve years ago. And to those who worked tirelessly to assist in the aftermath. Especially those beautiful rescue dogs like this one.

Friday, 6 September 2013


Foggy days have blanketed me again.
Right now, progress is made foot fall by foot fall.
Stick with me. I'll find my way out of the murk at some point.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

New Vintage Western Shirt

I have a thang for sewing western shirts. They're not the easiest thing to whip up nor are they a quick fix for a sewing itch. But I always feel so pleased when a western shirt is finished. I'm about half way through this one and am a little bit in love with the lovely brown fabric I've chosen.

I've chosen bronze press studs this time to go for a slightly more subtle approach, instead of the more traditional pearl press studs. Have you ever used these studs? Do you take the hammer and bash kind of approach or do you use a gadget to get press studs on?

Monday, 29 July 2013

Crafty Hijinks Get-Together Update

I'm so pleased to be able to say that we already have 47 ladies attending our inaugural Crafty Hijinks day in September! (I keep updating the tally as more people sign up)

That's just awesome. I'll list the attendees blogs below so you can do some blog hopping about and get to know who else will be there on the day. Maybe it will be someone whose blog you've been reading a while now and you'll get to meet them in person! From personal experience, I can tell you that meeting a fellow blogger in real life, one whose blog you've been following for a while, is a somewhat fantastic and very weird moment! It's like, "Arrgghh, so great to meet you, how's the dog and you looked great in that new dress and oh, my name's such and such.... ". Odd but so rewarding to finally put a real life face to a name and blog.

I'll get together a noice button that you can put on your blog soon to say that you are coming along. And please don't forget to spread the word. The more the merrier!

 Oh, and the collection of door prizes are coming along nicely too. Rosalie Quinlan has donated a book, Merrilyn of Threadneedle Craft in Daylesford has kindly donated stitchery panels, a beautiful book and patterns, Elisa of Kelani Fabrics is donating a voucher, fabric from my store and vouchers for crafty accommodation too.

Silly Gilly 
The Crafty Squirrel
You Sew Girl! 
And so, I sew 
Flightless Boyds 
Matching Pegs
hARTy little peaces
Whippet Good
For My Little Monster
Little Red Hen
Thread Needle Craft
Copper Patch
The House on the Side of the Hill
Sue Niven
Kiwi Kids
Ollie and T
The Stitching Room
Farm Gate Creations
Stop That Owl
I thought I'd better write it all down
A House In The Country 
Lilabelle Lane Creations
Jindi's Cottage
MacDonald's Patch
Dancing In Red Shoes
Ballarat Patchwork 
Dabbling All Day
Solomon Sewing
Sew Well Maide
Four Wise Monkeys
dear fii 
Little Felt Houses
Sago on Tuesdays
Rolling in Fabric 

If you have paid to attend but your blog is not listed above, please flick me an email with your blog name and I'll add you in a jiffy!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Getting the cart back behind the horse aka taking some time to reset

I ran today.

I ran today as I haven't been to Zumba in three months. Why? Because it's too hard to go to Zumba and not hear her calling the moves to her favourite tracks.

So I got back on the non-proverbial outside treadmill and ran my local streets. The sun hit my body about half way through and I smiled. No way! I smiled during a run. Who'da thought?!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Returning to work post child

I'm a mum. And looking to get back into the workforce after having seven years off caring for my child. I was naieve. I thought that spending all that time with my daughter, getting her settled into school would be a great thing. Well, it was for her. But for me it was a proverbial 'shoot me in the foot' kind of group of moments.

Now here I am. A qualified Early Childhood teacher. Previously a bank manager, sales person, call center operator, receptionist, amatuer face painter. And currently seamstress.

With a stinking big seven year gap in the middle between all that experience and now. I have been taking relief teaching work in the last six months or so. And I have had a short stint as a receptionist last year.

But it seems to be very hard to get my foot in the door in a role that will match my experience. Relying on that resume is a tough gig right now. How can I get across that I have the valuable mature approach that a lot of businesses value?

So tell me, oh life experienced readers, how did you get over this 'little' hurdle, this speed bump in the career road?

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Crafty Hijinks!

My last post got me thinking. Crafty times with online bloggy friends rock. Spontaneous road trips also are a barrel load of fun. Why not combine the two?!


Soooo, if you are craftily inclined, a blogger and looking for a good old fashioned crazy time, come and join us on Sunday September 15th for a day of Crafty Hijinks at Brown Hill Hall, just outside Ballarat.

Bring some hand crafty goodness to work on. More details to come, including door prizes and who knows what else to surprise and delight you!

Buy your ticket, which includes lunch, here!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Distance makes the heart grow fonder

I heard from a bloggy friend today. It warmed my heart so much. Some years back I made a random and out of the blue road trip across the country to meet her and some other crafty peeps in person who happened to be gathering at a park. I'd never met any of these gals before other than chatted online. I had an absolute ball and found a great friend with whom I have so very much in common. I've since watched this gal make leaps and bounds in her crafty endeavors. We don't talk every month but I hope deep down that she'll always be happy to chat with me about our crazy interests.

It's these sort of things that, to me, make my life worthwhile. Doing stuff that pops up out of nowhere and takes you on a crazy turn that you don't know where it's going to take you. Speaking of which...

Of late I've been taking myself along to see some local Adelaide bands - Lucky Seven, Lady Voodoo & The Rituals and interstate acts such as Ash Grunwald.

I love the way some music just lifts me right out of wherever my head is at and transports me to another moment. I live my day through my music. I have specific songs for different moods and emotions. I have genres of music that I hold close to my heart because they speak to me and make me believe I can be or do anything.

Sometimes I take my camera along to up-skill my photography talents. That is if I can stop jigging and singing long enough to focus the lens. I thought I'd share with you a quick snap I took last night whilst enjoying Lucky Seven play, with Mr Scuba Dee featuring on the vocals. This photo pleases me a lot as it was a quick snap but turned out to be a winner to me.

Friday, 10 May 2013


I have lost my best friend.
She died suddenly, leaving us all to love her even harder now that she's gone.
Rest now, dear sweet Jayne.