Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Busy as a bee

I was busy as bee on the weekend, getting together orders to send off. Have a look at this fabulous Little Golden Book. I think this one is a keeper. It is a 1969 edition and I only cut it up because the last page was ripped. Classic illustrations!

But to segue, I was busy cutting all of my letters for the Pom-Pom Banners (such a thrill when they are all lined up) when I heard an almighty noise.

I thought at first somebody was visiting on a tractor...or a Boeing 747, but on exploration, I discovered that our bees were swarming. It was massive! Squillions and squillions of them! My husband managed to get them into a box, but within an hour, they had escaped and swarmed to a higher, more inaccessible tree.

 This (bad) pic shows them in the early stages. This swarm measured about a metre in length by the time they had settled. They were finally got into a box and moved with great care in the dead of night to their final position. I followed about three metres behind with the torch on tippy toes, trying to remain calm as I heard somewhere that bees can smell your fear.

Next day, they had swarmed again and were gone. No honey for us next year.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The path of righteousness

Well, I am five days back from my trip to Sydney, and just now, beginning to feel normal. I don't know how all those rock stars and 'A' listers do it. Too much excitement really knocks this little black duck around!

I had a fabulous time in Sydney. I hawked my wares at a couple of places and so have two new stockists to add to my list, Newspaper Taxi, Newtown and My Messy Room, Summer Hill. My floral pom pom Home and Love banners were a hit, so I am doing a big run today to fill orders.

I had heard about the utter gorgeousness of Newspaper Taxi shop, seen its fabulous blog, so I wasn't surprised by its lovliness, but what I was surprised with was the person who owns NT. Stefanie, who I had been emailing for a few months, turned out to be an old uni mate! 

I always remember a tutor telling our class that in future years, down the track of life, that we will find the people we went to uni with will turn up in our lives if we are all following our artistic paths. I kind of didn't believe her, as I retreated from that calling for a while, (like a nun in denial) but now I am on the path of righteousness, I find that it is true! (Yes, Big Love is my favourite series)

My Messy Room in Summer Hill was fabulous. It was lovely to meet Stav, who ofcourse knew Anika from Echidna Place here in Bangalow. (Again, small world) Her shop is beautiful, I could have stayed all day, poking and exploring...but serious op-shopping called. If you haven't been out to Summer Hill, take a trip. It is like a pretty country town, with a great vibe, great food, great shops.
Now I am off to my studio to make copious amounts of  righteous Pom Pom Bunting!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spring blooms

Having got over my little garden idyll, I have now turned my attention to making some more of my Doily Jewellery. I am off to Sydney for a visit to my sis and to help her at one of the markets that she does, the Rock 'n ' Roll, Alternative Markets at Jets Sports Club, Holbeach Ave, Tempe.

 Before I leave, I thought I would show you some of my pretty pastel jewellery I make that I will be taking down to sell. (Please forgive the photography, I had to use my phone camera) 


My previous batch of jewellery was all bought up by local stockists, so I am hoping that I can get some feedback from the people who are actually buying them.


All of it is made from vintage doilies and bits of vintage goodies I have collected.



It is quite difficult finding the exact kind of doilies that I need,  but they are out there!

Spring smells

Warning; This will be quite a boring post where I wax lyrical about the glories of country living, much like Anne (of Green Gables) when she goes on, and on, and on, until you want to scream "Shut-up, it is only a flower/sunset/lake/please insert noun!" I don't know why I have this overwhelming need to document it, but alas, I must, so please skip if bored by such themes.

I think that Spring must be my favourite season. I feel so blessed living being a country mouse and experiencing everything that this season offers. My poor spouse suffers greatly at this time of year, but hey, in order to  have the beauty of  wisteria outside your front door with it's gorgeous scent wafting in on the breeze,  you've got to bite the bullet and take copious amounts of Clarityne.

Next to the chook pen, we have a rare old rainforest tree, called a Hard Quandong. It has beautiful clumps of bell shaped flowers, like Lily-of-the-Valley. Some years it does't flower much, but on the years that it does put on a show (like this year) the smell of sweet, sweet honey is overpowering. As it is about 20 metres high and wide, it may give you an indication of the sensory overload one can experience. Plus, the bees go crazy for it. Approaching it, a buzzing starts to resonate in your ears. Stand underneath it and close your eyes and you can imagine being in ane enormous bee-hive.

Walking from the chook pen to the orchard you have to go past the mulbery tree. Again, this year, the weather gods have done some magic (unlike last year when they were cranky) and the mulberries are on, big time. Big, luscious, juicy fruits that ripen within hours. My fingers are stained purple. There is nothing like picking fruit off a tree.

Then on to the orchard where all of the citrus fruits are in flower, even though they all still have fruit on them. The air is overpowering with orange blossomy smells. You reach some kind of Nirvana, just standing there and taking deep breaths of the sent.

When I walk through the orchard in bloom, I always think of 1940's weddings and a great book called "Come in Spinner," written by two Australian women during WW2.  I wish I was a size 10 wearing a gorgeous little floral silk georgette frock, with maybe a straw hat to keep the sun from my perfect skin.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Kyogle, or Ko-gal as the old locals call it, (family joke) is a lovely little town nestled up against the Border Ranges about 30 minutes north of Lismore. It has retained its 'old timey' feel, and when you visit it feel like you are stepping back, the old local blokes sit on benches in the street and say g'day as you go past, there are butcher shops (though these might disappear once the controversial IGA goes in) and the street scape retains its original 1930's architecture.

My husband actually grew up there and has a load of little small town stories, one of the most memorable being the time the nun dropped dead in front of his class of six year olds! Classic.

My daughter and I went to visit on Saturday, mainly to pop in on Maya who had the grand opening of her new vintage and gift shop, Plum Vintage. It was a perfect spring day, the sky was blue, the hills were green, the sun was warm and there was good music on JJJ for once instead of electronica. (Sorry I am getting a bit flowery, but I am reading Little Dorritt and being caught up by Dickens descriptive phrases). 

 It was lovely to see everything set up in the shop, and Maya was so excited. She even had a photographer from the newspaper there! The shop looked brilliant and ofcourse my child and I could not refrain from spending and bought a wonderful plaster dog and a little ceramic bird. They joined the absolute bargain we had bought from a garage sale coming into town, a big steamer trunk with original wooden trims. (I haven't taken it out from the car yet). And it goes without saying that Maya of of the good taste is also stocking Collecting Feathers garlands and bunting.

From Plum Vintage we wandered up to the markets. They were fabulous! The stall holders were obviously very proud of their produce and has great taste. There were little vases of flowers everywhere and lordy, we shared the BEST lemon marscapone tart in the world. The woman who baked it had the most delicious baked goods. I am still dreaming about them!

The beautiful old hall has been utilised to house market stalls of handmade and vintage goods. (My husband used to play indoor hockey as a kid in there. Imagine what they wrecked!)

The oppy across the road was great. Got a wonderful memory game and little vase, plus some more Little Golden Books.

Then we sauntered over the the rural store where they were holding a tomato planting information day. People were perched on hay bales listening to speakers, chomping on their free sanga's (sausage sandwiches) It was like a time gone by. The whole morning reminded me of my little journeys to the Blue Mountains in the early eighties, before all the money came back. Really homey and countryish without any pretension.

The folk in Ko-gal certainly have good taste and a lovely relaxed and confident attitude. Maybe it was just a moment in time that can't be revisited, but I am going to try. I just can't get that lemon tart out of my mind!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sugar, sugar

I spent much of the weekend making passionfruit curd and helping rob the bee hives. This in turn has meant that I had to buy a sponge cake slab and fill it with curd and fresh cream. (It lasted about 5 minutes) As the curd onlykeeps for about two weeks, we will have to find ways to eat it. To me that means cakes, biscuits, pies. I think we will develop diabetes!

yes, there is more

 We have so many passionfruit I have to find ways to preserve them, but all I have found are recipes for passionfruit curd and and apricot and passionfruit jam. The latter uses only half a cup of passionfruit, and as our passionfruit are ginormous, that equates to the grand number of two fruits used. It also uses dried apricots, and suggests using only Australian rather than Turkish apricots. Okay says I, I will do as Sephanie Alexander says. Twelve dollars latter, I have my superior Aussie apricots that will make up a couple of jars of jam (if I am lucky) that will in turn help me to use the grand total of two of my passionfruit. Hmm, my thrifty preserving habits don't seem very thrifty on reflection.


We rob the bees every year about this time, as the honey is really flowing. This year, was no exception and just six frames got us enough honey for the coming year. Last year I entered it in the show and came in second. (Okay, there were only two entries, but, and it is a big but, they told me that prizes aren't automatically awarded on entry. That is, if both honey's weren't up to par, no awards would have been given)


This year our honey looks a bit dark and not really very clear. I am not sure what the criteria is for judging, but the taste is delicious. Very fruity, with a little tang, not like the stuff you get in the shops.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Done and dusted

Have finally finished these names banners and they are all ready to be sent off to their new homes.

The girls are all vintage florals except for the red and white 'l' in Olivia while Oliver is also vintage (believe it or not) except for his 'i'. Boys are quite hard to do, so I stuck with graphic checks and stripes and on either end are some great vintage boys fabric prints. The boat is a barkcloth and the plane, car and boat is cotton.

As you can see, the turquoise felt was pivotal to all the banners. I would have been very distraught if I hadn't got it, I tell you now bub!

Pat on the back Nick!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Turquoise or nothing!

My creative space today has seen me travelling all over the Northern Rivers in a mad quest for turquoise felt. I am just finishing off some name banners for three lucky little kidlings ready to be sent off tomorrow,  and the one colour missing from my 'pallette' was damn turquoise.

You would have thunk that Spotlight would have it (or would you, they never seem to re-order anything!!) But no, I tried every $2 shop, and every haby type shop in Lismore. I think I became quite deranged. I began accosting people I knew without any pre-emptive "Hello, how are you" etc., and blurting out, (I may have screamed manically) "Have you got any turquoise felt!!" Did I shake them by the shoulders? I have no idea, everything is a blank.

Lismore was a bust, so I drove to Casino. Ditto. I was a bit disheartened, although I did purchase a few little bits and pieces to buck me up.

Driving back home I remembered a little fabric shop on the highway. Eureka! Tucked up the back were four pieces of turquoise felt. I grabbed them up like a mad woman, taking them to the counter and began uttering gibberish to the older (bloke) serving me. I told him of my adventures trying to find the felt. He didn't care at all! Just took my money and looked at me as if I was crazy! The indignity of it all! Doesn't he realise how important turquoise felt is to me?!?

Anyhoo, I have just finished the letters required and will finish the banners tonight. What a relief.

Pop over to Kootoyoo to see other creative adventures!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A very big weekend

My oh my! I am just getting over the weekend! That's what happens when you get old, a simple little adventure turns into an overwhelming and exhausting event.

The markets went really well. I shared with Julia of {a creature strange} who took some great photos of our stall and Jettas Nest

As well as some good sales, a  lovely lady commisioned me to make a couple of custom banners for her niece and nepew, which warms the cockles of my heart. She really appreciated handmade and the love and skill that goes into it.

I really have to get some display stands together. I basically relied on gathering everything up in the house that looked like it might look OK with stuff shoved in it...but for a first market it went fine. I was very tired after the end of the day that I fell into a little Nana Nap on the backseat of the car,  for most of the way back to Lismore.

I can't wait for the next one!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Busy....freakin busy!

Aaargh!! I am trying to get all of my stuff ready for the market on Saturday, but I get distracted! I vowed I wouldn't sit down at the computer, and now look at me. One hour later, I decide to blog that I am getting distracted! Mmm, methinks I have a motivation issue.

I shouldn't have an issue,  as this week I got a brand new sewing machine. First newie in thirty years. The old Brother is still chugging along but it couldn't adapt to the vintage papers that I use on the garlands, so has been superceded by an Elna. I chose this particular machine with my male side of the brain, it was half price at Spotlight, and that was good enough for me. Given the use it will get, I should have put more thought into it but really, I couldn't be bothered. Nothing is made like it used to be, and the selling point was a five year warrantee!

So, as sooon as I finish this blog I am off to the studio to finish up on all of my garlands, cushions, bunting  and hopefully some doily jewellery. I am hyperventilating as I type!

Pop over to Kotooyoo and see what the other creatives are up to.


Related Posts with Thumbnails