Friday, December 16, 2011

A new friend

I have been working hard, nose down to the grindstone the last couple of weeks, trying to make sure that I have enough stock for markets and shops.

Yesterday and today I made the front page of Etsy. Crikeys! I didn't get a load of orders but in my excitement, I frantically took photos of these banners and any stock I had lying around the place. They are a bit dodgy, but will do until next week. I just needed to get them into my shop for the hundreds of new lookers. Being on the front page of Etsy is like have busloads of cashed up tourists visit.

I did these banners last year, and realised they must have gone alright...because, I didn't have any stock left! So I made a few more, and lo and behold, I sold two within the first ten minutes at the BrisStyle Market. Are the gods telling me something?

Now, a little digression here. I thought I would show you our newest  friendly native animal. We had a koala last month, now we are blessed with a diamond python.

He (or she) is living in the chook house, which is great because the rats converge there for any left over scraps. These guys are the best for rat and mice control. However, we think that maybe we didn't have enough vermin to fill Ms Snake's belly, as one of our chooks took very poorly, and then died. We have a theory that Ms Snake had her eye on the chook as her next meal. The pythons squeeze their prey and they devour them whole. Or...maybe the chook was just old.

I have to be careful when I enter the chook shed now, as she lives directly above the door. I am sure this is all bringing back wonderful memories to my sis who was scared s******* by another python when she visited a few years ago. The snake that we had in residence then was a full three metres long and just happened to reside outside her bedroom door in the courtyard. Ha, the look on her face when she saw it curled up, above her head! Priceless!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas cushions

I have been attempting to finish off half finished projects so that I can take them up to the BiDM market next week. Today I found these cushions...I had completely forgotten about on the bottom of a rather big 'to-do' pile. I am on a roll, so these pics have been taken very quickly.

I have also been working on another, but whilst the first three were a breeze, with everything sewing nicely, this next one  (which is my fave) has got the mean reds in it. I think the ghost of my dead mother is telling me not to sell it 'cos he is so lovely.

First the zip was wrong, then I realised that the back was too small, then the pom pom trim gave me grief  and now the final seam just isn't sitting correctly. I shall have to start over I think. I know it is just a square, with a bit of trim, but sometimes these cushions can send me to the asylum!

Keep a  look out for more, particularly floral and birdee cushions. I am a Woman on a Misssion!

I always seem to be a day late linking up with memes. I am playing with the gals at Our Creative Space today. Better late than never!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Qantas V Jet = classic style

Qantas has been in the news quite a bit lately, for bad and for good. I saw that Qantas ambassador John Travolta had flown in to Australia in his classic jet that was described as painted in the V-jet style. It was a gorgeous looking plane, with  shiny wings and  the epitome of retro. Just the kind I would like to park out in my paddock.

By chance I acquired this classic Little Golden Book on the weekend. It is an Australian edition of a Little Golden Activity Book called 'Gorden's Jet Flight', 1963. The American edition published in 1961 had the same title, and featured the 707 Astrojet by American Airlines. The Aussie edition, published 1963, featured the V-jet 707 that was flown by Qantas.

As far as I can gather, the V-jet  was a  707 modified with turbo fans, The 'V' originating for the Latin 'vannus' meaning fan.

It is just so special finding Aussie Little Golden Books. However, the story is quite generic, with no places named. You don't know where Gordon or his grandmother lives. You assume that Gordon lives in Australia and is visiting gran overseas. Quite odd that they undertake an overseas trip with one days notice...oh well it was the sixties. Wonderful things could happen in the sixties! Especially when you had shiny V-jets at your service!

It would have been fabulous if this book featured  TAA, and the Junior Flyers Club. I desperately wanted to  be a member as a child, and get a pin and a bag, but it never happened. Why not? It was the highlight of my day? Maybe only special, privileged children who lived in leafy green suburbs got to join. After all, they were the ones who were flying.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Welcome Home!

I have been screen printing a few special hessian banners orders during the last couple of days. Geez, the heat! Please excuse the pic, it was taken at just before I jumped in the car to make sure I made the last post of the day.

This and my other banners can currently be purchased from my Made It store, and by the end of the week my Blue Caravan store. I am also in the process of creating a Facebook store as I have found, much to my surprise and befuddlement,  that people are quite happy to order through your Facebook page.! Yes, I am converted, I have seen the light!

To celebrate my acceptance of  "The Facebook" on "The Interweb" I will be having a giveaway this week. Firstly, I will have to stalk other 'giveaway' people to see how it is done. There is some special random picker that many use. Oh, so much to do, so little toime!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I am not really a shabby I?

You know, it's funny. I adore minimalism, clean lines, mid century design, graphic 'real' art attests to that, but...when I am making my stuff for the markets, a little shabby chick emerges. (Get it....shabby chic, shabby  chick? My only excuse for such a lame joke is the heat. Ye gods! I am frying here!)

Anyhoo, I just finished off a whole lot of my Vintage Dictionary Prints today, for the BiEco market on Saturday. I don't think I have ever shown you guys these. I only do them for markets as postage would be too expensive.

I always try and relate the page somehow to the image. This feather is on a page with the word "quill."

I don't know who this Shabby Chick is...maybe one of my 'personalities' like Sybil or Tara. I think I shall call her Joelene ('cos I just saw Dolly Parton on telly and I think she is fabulous!)

Pop over to see other creative projects here

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Being completely 'obsessive' about paper

I have developed quite an obsession for Little Golden Books. With the Christmas orders coming in, I have found one of my most popular buntings is The Christmas Story, with pics by my favourite illustrator Eloise Wilkins. But although you try and collect books throughout the never seem to have enough  of some particular books.

I thought outside the box and was looking through a  box of  religous books when I found this. It is a Golden Pleasure Book, printed in Czechoslovakia, 1952. It is the same as the Little Golden Book version, except one page (two illustrations) are missing. I am not sure of the company...was it the English version of Little Golden Books I wonder?

And here is the gist. It is 60 years old and the paper is that lovely thick cardy, fabricy, paper that seems to absorb the inks and makes them all saturated looking. Look at the difference in a newer illustration and the original. (Well, you can't really see much on the computer screen, I admit, but when you seen them in real life, an obsessive person like me can get all gooey and weak at the knees!)

I read somewhere that the US has legislation in place to ban children's books prior to 1980 or so, as the ink contains high levels of lead. I used this excuse when I cut up the book. It is just so special, that it belongs on the wall!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Custom hessian banners

My hessian banners are proving quite popular indeedy.

As well as my stock that I carry, Mr & Mrs, Just Married, We Do etc. I do custom orders.

Most are for weddings and engagements, but there seems to be a smattering of other special occasions creeping in and special little "in' jokes.

I am being very good, and am allocating a special time to complete custom orders as the screen printing process is very messy. (well for me it is.... I get paint in my ears, all over my clothes...everywhere) If you would like to order one of my banners, pop on over to my Made It shop.

Custom orders are printed on Mondays, so I will need  the order and payment by Sunday.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Little Koala comes to visit

We have had a lot of wildlife around our place recently, more so since our dog died...but today took the pip! I was busy working on my computer in my studio when I heard a clip, clip, clip sound behind me. I realised that I had forgotten to close the screen door, and thought a water dragon (lizard) was coming to visit.

Imagine my surprise when I turned around and saw one of the most beautiful koalas I have ever seen, padding around on our timber floor. This is the first time we have seen a koala on our property, and we have lived here 16 years. I have never heard of koalas coming indoors to visit! He/she had the sweetest little face and was light grey in colour, with a white bum. I think from the fur he/she is quite juvenile. It was still soft and fluffy looking. The planting of all of those trees has certainly paid off!

I tried to yell for my husband to look, but the poor little thing took fright and ran (very quickly) for the nearest gum. I grabbed my camera, but wasn't able to take many quality pics. My heart is warmed, and I thank god that I was magnanimous today to put some money in the Save the Koala fund at the markets!

Segue to these Aussie souvenir cushions. I love these, and got the middle one today! One of my earliest memories is a Sydney Harbour Bridge cushion given to us by my godparents in the early 60's. I used to look at the glitter on the Harbour Bridge, and run my hands over the velvet and think it was one of the most beautiful objects in the world. I adored that cushion! Years later, I would stand by a window in Balmain, and just gaze at the Harbour Bridge remembering that cushion. It is weird how intense our early memories are....and that is why I obsessively buy these Australiana cushions whenever I get a chance!

And...for that reason I make my tea towel re-purposed is my little nostalgic trip .

I am playing with ATG today and Nifty Thrifty Tuesday.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Story of a pincushion

Yesterday I went to yet another auction to accrue yet more stuff. It was way out in the boondocks, at a farm on a very long straight road that went on forever, and disappeared into the haze. (I am not only being very poetic, but it my attempt to say it was bloody hot out there!) It reminded me of (what my idea) of Kansas must look like. Long straight  roads, massive plains, big farms with old farmhouses, decaying outbuildings and silos. We don't have the great barns that the yanks have, but the scenery still pulled on my heartstrings as I sang (repeatedly) "Wide Open Road" by the Triffids. Thanks goodness I was by myself,  I think a passenger would have throttled me by the fifth rendition!

A bit grubby...I haven't cleaned them up yet!
Anyhoo...the deceased estate auction was pretty good...lots of locals and only three dealers that I could see were present. I had my eye on a few items, gen-u-ine cowhide suitcases (got two out of three), stetson hats (got em), cute german vintage alarm clock (nada), vintage table top pinball machine (nada) and of course vintage fabric and notions. There was a goodly amount and bidding was fierce. There were about three other women and an older man, the husband of a lady who had an accent, vying for the the sewing items. I only got a small amount of the haul, the prices were quite high. The husband got most of the fabric, and when he won, he picked it up and place it on the ground in front of  his wife saying, "Here you go mother. This will keep you occupied." It was an incredibly sweet gesture.

I degress, this is the story of a pincushion. In one box of rubbish which there was a lovely little silver plate  pin tin (Victorian/Edwardian) with three thimbles in it. They weren't silver, and were much worn. Also in the bottom of the box was this pincushion.

I bid for the box, but pulled out when it got too high. Another woman who had bought some other sewing notions eventually won. I knew that she was after the thimbles and tin but I had my eye on the pincushion. This was a pretty laid back auction, so I approached her and asked if she would like to sell me the pincushion. She looked at it, and said....and this is the gist of the whole rant, "OK, it is only handmade!"

I will give you a few moments peoples to pull yourselves together. "Only handmade!"

This little pincushion (with the tin) were easily the oldest items at the auction. I would place them conservatively at 1900's to 1930's. Given their age and their personal nature, I would assume that they belonged to the mother of the person of the estate. I like to think that these were incredibly valuable items to the lady who died. Apart from rust marks from pins, and a bit of yellowing, this pincushion is in beautiful condition.

Also, given the high prices of all the sewing notions at the auction,  wouldn't you think there would be a high value put on the handmade, particularly this form of feminine history? But no. Silver plate is put before something that was laboured over, and beautifully constructed.

Oh well, it was to my benefit. I now own the pincushion and can construct many little pathetic and heart rending stories about its life. One thing is for sure...I value it and value the work and love that originally went into its construction. "Only handmade!" eye!

I am playing along with Sophie today.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I have just stocked my Etsy shop with some Little Golden Book  Christmas banners, and one has already sold!

I had better get my elves together and start making some more!

Speaking of elves and Christmas, a couple of banners recently flew to the other side of the world to a town called North Pole, Alaska. I had to blink a couple of times when I saw the address. (Then I had to shake my head from side to side like a cartoon character until my lips made a blubbery sound)

North Pole is a tiny town in Alaska and is the official town where all the Santa mail goes! How cool is that! It would also be about the most far away you can get from my little valley, in the world. Isn't the internet marvellous!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

BrisStyle info session

I have been very busy making copious amounts of garlands for orders and suddenly  remembered via a bad dream that I had this morning that I am heading up to Brissie this Saturday for the BrisStyle info session From Hobby To Wholesaling(I knew all along...I was just in denial)

Don't get me wrong...I am very excited because I will be on the panel. However, I have always had a problem with public speaking. My dream reflected that. The stage ended up in flames, the audience had their backs to me, and,  a whole class of teenagers descended on the hall, while I looked on in horror as they scoffed a table full of cakes and sweeties. Needless to say, I didn't get past my introduction.

Others on the panel are:

Vicki Sinclair from in.cube8r Brisbane
Melanie Gray Augustin from Kimono Reincarnate
Kellie Christie from Kellie Christie Jewellery
Belinda Chisolm from Sybella Boutique
Amanda Whitelaw from Hungry Designs
Nicole Zupanovich from Collecting Feathers

It is sure to be a great session. It will be wonderful to learn new strategies and information from these inspiring women.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Punkin Head, Punkin Head

We don't really celebrate Halloween in Australia, but I have had such a visual overload of items from Etsy, that my daughter and I were inspired (at last) to  make a scarecrow for my garden. Let me introduce you to Punkin Head.

He is now living in my asparagus patch and looking out for any bad ju-ju in the garden.

I reckon he looks brilliant, a sinister and creepy and somehow innocent, with his big bulbous head.

We have just fenced the orchard and vegetable garden completely. The geese from next door and my chooks were destroying my veges as soon as I put seed or seedling in the ground.

Although I had to wait until the fence was up to begin my gardening again, I must have planted at just the right time last winter. We are enjoying an abundance of potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, broad beans, rhubarb and carrots.

I picked the last of the oranges on one tree (we have four!)  to juice, and found some ginger that I had forgotten that I planted. Add to that the three grapefuit and two lemon trees and a lime, and I have not excuse if I develop scurvy!

We are going to double the amount of garden beds in the next couple of months. Money can't pay for the thrill you get from going to the garden everyday and harvesting the produce! (particularly long, straight carrots) It is sacrilege to throw away your own grown food. You realise how much work goes into creating it and so you are forced to eat seasonally and treat it more respectfully.

As usual my internet is playing has taken an hour to load this. Some days I have to restart the controller thingy ten times! Some days I can't even access this page, let alone log in! I am trying to leave comments but sometimes it is just too frustrating! So please bear with me if I don't reply to any comments for a wee while...I am visiting you in spirit!

Monday, September 26, 2011


I have been missing in action for nigh on a fortnight now...the longest time that I haven't blogged for yonks. To tell you the truth it freed up a lot of time to make 'things' but also I missed out on a lot of structured actually getting off my bum and photographing my flea mark finds and then loading them into my store. Instead they have been thrown onto the scary pile in my studio, that I am ashamed to say (whisper) has reached the top of my head.

Anyhoo, where to start. I will pick two objects to show and tell. The first is a book of Bambi. I always knew that Bambi was a book, but in all my years, (and there are many) I have never seen a copy. This is a 1950s edition. I did a bit of stalking on the author, Felix Slaten and found that in addition to writing this children's classic, he also is credited to penning a lovely little bit of erotic literature, Josephine Mutzenbacher that I think is still banned  in Germany today!  I think I will have a read of Bambi and see if there is any animal erotica hapening! Of course he was handsomely reimbursed for the rights of the massive amount of $1000.

Second in my show and tell are these fabulous tins. I got these (and more) from an auction a few months back. The others are on the bottom of my pile and I just couldn't get the energy up to dig them out.
I have put Bambi in my Laughing Duck Vintage shop, but the tins are staying home so that I can squirrel away fabulous little bits and pieces, that will never see the light of day again...except maybe at my deseased estate auction!.

Oh, and for a bit of cross advertising,  I am happy to say that my Little Golden Book banners are included in a couple of publications this month. One, is the lovely Peppermint where a couple of my banners are draped across the children's page and the other is an online mag called My Little Jedi.
And peoples, they are not just for the kiddies! On no! I just found this pic whilst perusing through the squillions of images on my computer It was taken last year at the Rock 'n' Roll Market at Tempe. A young woman bought a Rainbow Brite banner from me. I assumed that it was for a niece or friends child...but no, it was for her personally. She was obsessed with Rainbow Brite, so much so, that her whole back was a tattooed Rainbow Brite wonderland! Pretty fabulous!

Linking up with Sophie


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