Thursday, December 31, 2009

Time to toast the year that was.....

Enjoying a quite one at home tonight with a little whisky,
my besty

aka: Mr.Finki

and fireworks on T.V

Wherever you are and whatever you're doing tonight, stay safe and congratulations on making it through 2009.

I'll be back tomorrow to join in on Curlypops flashback on the year that was.

Happy new year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Guess who came to dinner.............

Yay! The x-mas madness is over.
Well not really...have you been to the shops lately. It's INSANE.
We live minutes away from the Good guys, which is right near Macca's and when heading over yesterday for some banana bread and coffee for breakfast, we had to fight for a park.

Seems that everyone was waiting for Xmas to be over so they could buy new T.V's and fridges. Craziness....

But on a more pleasant note....Xmas wasn't mad at all. Just my usual panicked lead up to the event. Finishing the handmade stuff in time for posting whilst wrapping up a huge round of markets and keeping my new retail space stocked. I was a tad....o.k a lot stressed.
But I made it. Phew!

and best of all.......when we finally got to stop and sit for the day and enjoy good food and great company, guess who came to dinner!

The newest addition to the family,
Miss Elsie Velvet.
(Pictured here with her mum Jess, yaya and my kierah)

This little gem was born only 5 days before X-mas. Just in time.....

Congratulations to Ben and Jessamy, my sister in law and beau. They are doing a superb job of living and learning with there new bundle of joy. She sure has been born into one loving family who absolute adore her.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Silver slippers......

I sat down yesterday to wrap all the handmade gifties I'd bought.......with a little help from mstr.Finn.
I can't say he entirely understood why we were hiding all the pretties in layers of paper, but fascinating it was...
If you've ever wrapped or tried to do anything slightly organizational with a nearly two year old, you'd know already that what should take half an hour ends up taking two hours.

I had all my little piles of whats for who, but little hands would steal from one pile as I dealt with another. Hence the time away from the table searching for pretties that mstr. Finn had absconded with.

Before long he had tuckered himself out and decided that the rainbow spread of tissue paper looked like the perfect place to rest his weary head. So with bubba deep asleep at my foot I turned up the speed dial to finish up....except that one piece was missing!

I was sure as sure could be that I had bought miss lillie some little silver ballet slips to go with her spotty dress, but they were no where to be seen...

I checked all Finny's favorite hiding spots, in the drawers, on his little couch, in the toy slippers any where. So I resigned myself to putting that pressie aside till the missing shoes popped up.

Lo and behold, later that day, when I was down at Mstr.Finns eye level I saw some pretty little slippers dangling from the X-mas cute....

I guess to a little tacker, they do look like any other shiny decoration on the tree.

All the best for the big day, my bloggy friends.
I hope you enjoy time with your little families, your furry friends, your extended family or just peace and quiet on your own.

However you spend your Christmas day, make it a good one and I look forward to catching up with you all before the new year.
Jay xx

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My year in craft.....

Nearly the end of the year, and definitely time for a little crafty break, so what better to do than Join in with Northside Makers 'my year in craft' meme:

1. In my twelve months of crafting, my crafty self made all these...

Hundreds of glass pendants and rings. hundreds of note pads and journals, many bowls, baskets, pen holders and pin cushions, stools, earrings, bracelets, art pendants, bill books and so much more......

2. If my year was a colour it would be...

Every color in the bright and beautiful.

3. This year I spent way too many craft hours...

Dropping little itty bitty jewellery findings onto the abyss called my floor...I'd here the bounce as they hit.....but then they would just vanish! Grrrrr!

4. This year I wish I'd had more craft hours for...

Me!.......does that sound silly and purely selfish? Probably. I just spent soooo much time making stuff for everyone else, that I never had time to make fun stuff for me or the kids.

5. My proudest craft moment of the year was...

So many proud crafty moments this year.

Running our first Northside Makers market,

joining the team at Olive Grove,

Quitting my day job to devote my life to craft.....that was a biggy!

6. My biggest craft disaster was...

Crooked booties....not once, but twice did I attempt baby booties and failed miserably. Lucky they were to young to care! (The crooked one is hidden behind the good one)

7. This year I had stalls at/visited this many markets...

OOOh, big year. Had 22 market stalls and visited atleast 30.

8. My most enjoyable market was...

Our first Northside Makers market.
Perfect weather, eager customers and happy children.

9. My best handmade purchase/present/swap/acquisition was...

I'm always so excited when another seller likes my stuff and do swapsies at every market I go to.
It's the best part of doing markets I wreckon.

One of my best handmade purchases would have to be my newly aquired betty jo brooch. I have been admiring them for ages and only just bought my first one at the recent made in Thornbury market.

My best handmade present would have to be these GORGEOUS journals my sister made for my birthday.

and my best swap would have to be with the talented Roze, our screenprint teacher at 'Olive Grove'. She's printed me some so....... so cool t-shirts as a gift for my secret Kris Kringle family member. I can't tell you who and I can't show you yet.....but they are FABULOUS and I'm so happy that I could buy handmade even for the blokes this X-mas.

10. After this year I swear I'll never again...

Stay up till 3 in the morning making stock for a market the next day......!

11. Next year I'm determined to...

Find time to make new stuff....not just re-stocking, but whole new product lines....So excited that now I've quit my day job, this might actually happen!

12. But I'll probably do this instead...
Complain about the weather, sleep to little, and create till my brain melts.

Thanks for reading and now it's your turn to tell me all about your crafty year too!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Last one....

Well, the silly season of craft markets is finally coming to an end.
Tonight's Kris Kringle night market, will be my last market for the year.

Northcote Town Hall
5.30 - 10 pm.

It has been an insane month, with many....many highs and lows.

I look forward to spending the evening with all my crafty friends, doing some last minute shopping and putting out all my 'Finki' goodies on display one last time.

It's always so rewarding to see weeks of work laid out on the table.
A sign that I finished all that I set out to do, and a little reminder of how much I love this crafty life I lead.....

Although my markets will come to an end for a while, from Friday onwards you can shop for the entire 'Finki' range proudly on display in it's new home at 'Olive Grove'.

So one chapter ends and a new one begins........
Thanks for being a part of the journey.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Come and see my new space......

You probably don't need an excuse for a party.......
But here's some any way!

Lots of handmade goodies to buy,
drinks and nibblies for all,
prizes and give aways.......

What's it all about?

The team at Olive Grove have decided to open their doors later than usual so you can steer away from shopping center madness and enjoy some local handmade loveliness.

Olive Grove is an artists studio/ retail space that has been based on Sydney Rd, Brunswick for the last 10 or so years. They currently represent the work of 9 designers that focus purely on hand made, ranging from clothing and art to accessories and toys.

I joined the team at 'Olive Grove' in November and find myself constantly inspired by the creative people around me.

So I'd like to invite you along to have a sticky beak at my new space, see all the funky stuff the others make, and along the way you might even be able to cross a few Xmas presents off your list.

Olive Grove Studios
159 Sydney Rd
Brunswick, Vic

Hope to see yah there!

Won't be there......

Just in case you're heading to the Kris Kringle night market tonight in hopes of seeing the lovely Margaret from Konstant Kaos and I, please be informed that we won't be there...

The forecast for late thunderstorms, 40 knot winds and a long list of unfortunate car...hubby working late....etc...etc.... have forced us to decide that tonight we just can't make it.

Our apologies if you had planned on coming along, but rest assured...come rain hail or shine we will be there next Thursday.

Alternatively, if next Thursday is too far away, you can see us both at the Made in Thornbury market on sat.

Till then, take care..... Jay xx

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Just for something new......

I'll be at Borders Carlton tomorrow......not shopping.....selling! No I haven't started working at Borders! One of the lovely marketing ladies thought it would be a great idea to have a craft market right in the middle of the store. What a grand idea!

So if you're in the neighbourhood, do pop by and say hello. Always nice to see a friendly face.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Had to change that little number....

What a big week...what a big month...hell...what a big year!

Today I had to change that little number in my bio..... the one that said 33 years young!
Cause on Saturday I turned 34.

My beautiful cake, a present from the lovely Cathie at M.E

All growed up now! Nah, not really. It's just a number and I hope I present as young at heart, even though my body may disagree.
34 is a lovely age to be. I much prefer it to any other number I've turned. I feel so much more 'Me'. Is that silly.

I've always been me of course, but still growing and learning in this big old world.
These days I know what I like, I know what I'll tolerate, I know who I call my friends and I know where I'm headed.

All my beautiful birthday presents.

That's all so much to have learned in 34 years. Many do it quicker than that, but for me that's such a biggie.

In one short year, I started Finki, I started a shop on Etsy, I started blogging and doing markets, which led to me meeting sooo many new friends and especially meeting Jennie and Margaret the two powerhouses that helped me begin Northside Makers.

My recent stall at Northside Makers market.

From there, we turned our craft club into our own market venture, from which came the opportunity to meet the lovely Anna of Polly Pratt.
Anna introduced me to Olive Grove, the amazing artist studio/retail co-op i joined in November.

Through blogging I also met Miriam aka: Bubba chenille, the talented mother of the Lovely Liesa at Handmade heaven, whom offered the opportunity of stocking my 'finki' stuff in her beautiful shop. So now my goodies are in retail land in both Melbourne and Queensland.......and not by being wholesaled to retailers who double your price to on sell, but by shops who support handmade by offering cheap rent, so I can set my own prices and keep my own profit.

It has been an AMAZING year....

Personally and professionally.............. and I can only see it getting better.

I call this the year of saying Yes. Saying yes to every positive opportunity that came my way.
Previously I would have drowned in a sea of 'what if's' when presented with opportunity's but this year I squashed that little nagging voice of concern and doubt and just followed my heart.

I'm so happy that through all the twists and turns life has thrown me this year, I have come out of it, inspired and motivated to do so much more.

I say it all the time.......but really, the days are too short.

Thank you, to all my bloggy readers, mum, yaya and sis included, from the bottom of my heart for your friendship. It has made such a difference to my little world and I am so appreciative of all your support and encouragement.

I know I have been absent of late, the silly season is in full swing in my little end of the world, but I'm still reading and keeping up with you all.
As soon as it settles in 'Finki land' I have much to update you, shopping, new products and life.....

Till then, take care. And start saying Yes to everything good! Might take you somewhere you least expect!

Friday, November 27, 2009

But what happens if it rains........

That was the question on everyone's lips last night when heading off to the first Kris Kringle night market for the season at Northcote town hall.

I left work at 2.30 just as the heavens decided to open up, thunder included, and pelt down for 40 mins. So I too pondered the question....What do I do if it rains?

and what can you do.....

I can't control the weather, the organizers would love it if they could control weather....but the reality is, it all comes down to mother nature and even the best attempt at planning a big event can be marred by the forces of nature, so unpredictable and so unforgiving.

So what can you do:

The easy option is to cancel, stay at home on the couch and think of what could have been.


Buck up, be prepared and wear a smile.

Cause you know what....the organisers have gone to a hell of a lot of effort to promote the event and you won't make any money or friends, sitting at home on the couch.

I chose option two and I'm so glad I did.

Margaret and I shared an outside stall which was a lovely big space to set up in, we brought tarps, marquees, raincoats and a can do attitude.

Apart from the bit of rain during set up, the weather eased up and served us a great night out.
It was a profitable venture for both of us and when i asked each customer if they were just passing by or if they came intentionally.....every one of them said "a friend told me about the market and I really wanted to come to the first one and get a head start on my x-mas shopping."

Come rain, hail or shine, the customers come...... so come rain, hail or shine, the sellers should be there too.
See you at the next one on the x-mas market calendar this Sat, 28th Nov Northside Makers market, 251 High st, Northcote.

Thanks so much to Jen, Cathy, Louise, Lou, Claudia and mum, Rachielle, Liz and all the other lovely peeps that popped by to say hello. It ended up being a fun night for all......

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Finding Finki a home in retail land.....

Check this out.....

'Finki' is now available at 'Olive Grove'.

What's Olive Grove......
Only the best retail space for handmade fans, in our neighbourhood.
It's is run by 9 fabulous artist/crafters. Including me.....Yay.

The studio/retail space at 159 Sydney rd, Brunswick has been going strong for over 10 years situated down at the oh so funky end of Sydney Rd. They run screen printing classes and represent the handmade work of all the co-ops members.

The products created, range from huge paintings and screen printed art, to bags, kids and adult clothes, accessories, soap, stationary and more.

I handed in my work for assessment last week and lucky me, they said yes! So far I have only put a third of my range in store, including some:

bobby pins, button bracelets and bill books,

fabric covered pendants,

'Finki' art pendants,

and some of the retro tea towel covered stools.
(looking fabulous in the window)

All my goodies look really at home, and I can't wait for my first shift.
Just to be able to sit and craft, whilst surrounded by so much loveliness.......

I can't think of anything better.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gettin' ready...

Lots and lots of exciting things happening in the world of Finki....
too many for one blog post so I'll try my bestest to come back often this week, for updates.

My little study has been a blur of activity as I prepare for an abundance of markets through Nov, Dec. Lots of new fabrics and papers to work with and plenty of ideas running around, so it's been non stop action.

I really do wish the days were longer, or maybe that my body didn't really need eight hours sleep a night ,cause there is so much I want to do....

But, save giving myself an artistic meltdown.....and brain melt....I have reverted to writing lists, lots and lots of lists.
It's the only way I can move forward with a sense of achievement. Ticking as I go.

So on the drawing board this week has been lots of new art journals,

and a little time away from the study, for some sea breezes.

I'll be back soon with more pics of all the other new stuff as well as the goss on my very exciting foray into the world of retail....right here in Melbourne!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My little patch of heaven......

Handmade heaven that is.....

I have just joined all the fabulous Queensland handmadies and rented myself a space at Handmade Heaven.

I'm so happy with my decision to be there.....and I'll tell you why.

I've often been tempted to stock in retailers, but I'm really put off by the equation of having to figure out a wholesale price that makes you a fair profit, so that a retailer can then double it to sell on to the customer.
Of course this is totally viable and common practice. They have overheads to pay....big ones. They have to make a profit too. Only natural.

But it means my customer, the average Joe, would be paying double. That kills me.

So when I heard of how Liesa was planning on running Handmade Heaven a little differently to other retailers, I was eager to learn more. The business structure she's come up with, makes it so affordable for crafters like me to give it a go.

Bottom line...... this means I can stock in a fabulous Queensland retailer and keep my prices the same as I do for my Melbourne markets. That idea sits very well with me....hopefully it does with you too.

shop 11, The Old Flour Mill, Brisbane st, Ipswich.

So do pop by if your in the 'hood and support all the work on display in Handmade heaven. I'll be up there in a few weeks doing all my x-mas shopping too. I can't wait.

If you'd like to see your goodies up there in the sunshine state too, just email Liesa for all the info. Spaces start at only $5....... That's less then a mc value meal!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Feathers, frocks and gigi's.......

Feathers, frocks and a bet on a horse is what its all about today, in little ol' Melbourne. Celebrating the horse race that stops a nation.

The Melbourne Cup.

For the best part it's about getting pissed and having a day off work. But in honour of the event there really is a standstill in the heart of Melbourne at approx 3.20pm on every cup day. the gun fires, the gates fly open and the gigi's (did any one else call them that)....the horsies.... pelt forward all dressed up in there colors and shiny coats.

My dad was a bit of a bookie and used the spend the year looking forward to the big race. He'd follow the horses, jockeys and trainers in there smaller races, to see how they would fair on the day. I'm not sure it helped, cause really, he'd back the whole field at 50 cents a pop just to cover his bases, but then put the big money on his guess as the sure winners.

We'd all get the color page in the herald/sun of the jockeys jerseys and circle our favourites so that dad could go to the TAB and place our bets. My philosophy was usually 'choose the one that had a pretty name. Funny how often that tactic actually worked for me.

So this year, like many others we don't bother fighting the crowds at the big event. We have a barbie at home with family and friends and all choose a horse.
Hats Optional.

At work on Monday, they hosted a chicken and champagne luncheon for us all. Which was just lovely.
We had a hat parade with various themes to get us motivated toward making a day of it.
I chose the challenge of 'scrap to fantastic' making a hat and or outfit from scrap.

First I chose one of our old work shirts, that were given away when we had our 25 years celebration. Not really of any use with an outdated logo on it.

First I cut off the sleeves and upper back to make it a halter me lots of scraps to play with. My next challenge was to cover the foil transfer on the bust.
So I cut all the little scraps into scales and stitched them around the neckline for a feathery layered effect.

I re sculpted the body of it to make it more of a fitted a-line look. I then used the same scales to make a little flower and feather arrangement for the hat/fascinator.

Sadly I didn't win in my category, ......up against the bigwigs, and they totally did not get how much work went into my transformation.... But I was happy with my end result, that's all that matters.

Hope you all have a super Melbourne cup Day, go easy on the champers.....

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sun, spooks and shopping...

The beautiful sun shone all weekend in Melbourne making it really feel like summer. Hot enough to remind me that I best get some of that winter weight off, if I want to fit into last summers clothes and definitely warm enough to sit on the back step with a sunny boy.

We made the trip over to Healesville to visit the markets at the race course. (formerly Yarra Glen market)
It was huge. I can't believe I hadn't been there before. Lots of foodie stalls, craft, clothes and jewellery, even a band and a little farm for the kiddies. Well worth the drive for a nice day out.

Miss Finki jnr had not one, but two Halloween parties, lucky duck. She has a busier social life than us, that's for sure. On the Friday it was dress ups and games at her friends girl guides club, then off for some trick or treating on the Saturday.
They only came across one anti - halloween person, who made a point of telling the parent in charge that she was very dissapointed that he was encouraging such behaviour! Hmmm......
Next year we'll have to remind him only to knock on the houses that have a pumpkin out.

Lots of lollies and a pussy cat tail = one happy girl.

(pardon the blurry photo's...bundle of cuteness in image one.... aka the terror, got his greasy mitts on my lens.....Thanks mstr Finn!)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

some more thrifty finds...

There's something so exciting about entering a room full of antiquities and second hand paraphernalia.
More exciting than the thrill of shopping on sale days in retail land, cause you know when you hit jackpot and find those little gems that come home to be treasured, that they truly are rare gems.

I often have feelings of anxiousness and apprehension as to which way to turn first.

Maybe that woman will get to the tea towels before me.....or what If i skip books to get to the tea towels and then see someone walk past me with 20 little golden books....I'd cry on the inside...oh o.k................ I'd cry on the outside.

So I tend to do a quick skim and then come back to the hot spots for a closer look.

The lovely Beky from Pivx was the little gem that told me about this new place to shop for wonders of old. Well I'm sure it's been there forever but it was new for me. It's the diamond valley antiques and collectibles centre. We got lots of goodies there.

This superdooperly fantastic intercom system, and a vintage microscope still in it's box,

A great cane caddy for my bitses and some more souvenir tea towels for stools and the upcoming apron making for charity sessions...

some great kids books and these naff knitting patterns.
You can't really see the men's vest one, but it's titled masculine knits. Hehehehe...cause you know, if it didn't say masculine the big boys might feel a bit sissy wearing Nana's knitted vests. But now it's all o.k
So funny.

Monday, October 19, 2009

When I was young.....

Yeah o.k......maybe not when I was young.
But back in the good old days when they watched a movie at home, I'm sure it looked a little like this.

We went to a fabulous antique emporium on the weekend and picked up this spiffy projector.
Best of all it had some reels of film in it.

At first I was excited at the beautifully sculptural camera with case included, then I became all the more intrigued, pondering what might be on the film included.

Could it be a happy birthday from days of old, a Hollywood great....or something more sinister like some young lovers late night jaunts....or worse....could it be a travesty, a secret, a murder.... filmed like it was in that gruesome movie with Nicholas cage '8mm'

We had to know!

So home it came.

The machine switched on, it whirred and hummed just like it should. The light shone bright, ready to tell the tale of the little film reels within. But alas, the rubber belt that made the wheel turn was goo. So, so old it had deteriorated into goo.

Determined to unveil the images of old, Mr Finki had an idea!
We had picked up a vintage editing splicer at some garage sale ages ago, for no other purpose than it's vintage geeky appeal.

But being the uber geek that Mr.Finki is...he actually knew what it did and how to work it. So he popped on the reels, plugged it an and wound the handle.

As the picture went flicka...flicka, a yellowed image..... a man, walked on to the screen.
He struggled to carry a large hessian bag that was leaving a trail of something behind as it scraped it's way across the floor. We lent in closer to see if it was, what we thought it was and at that very moment, the bag dropped and out rolled a head....
Do you believe me? Nahhhh...

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is....the movie was a 1922 Hollywood flick called weak end driver. About a man and his motor car. An old model T ford.

So cute to watch.

It's nice to have little bits of history around our house and even nicer that some of it works too.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Right up on High....

Was wandering up on High st on Friday and came across....wonders of wonders....a bead store.

I'm sure I've passed it a million times before, but stupidly, never ventured in.
It's not the most delightful of interiors and there is definitely no sales assistants asking how your days been, but that's sorta appealing in itself.
You can linger longer and take your time touching everything.

They have trays and trays of beads, strands of gems, lots of suede's, leather and tiger tail and some super cheap shop display items behind the counter.

I got some funky beads for a project I'm working on ready for my December markets and at only 10 cents each I could afford a few colors to have a play with.

I also nabbed a display bust for only $8.95.....I've seen them in shop display shops for much more then that, so I was very happy.
I don't usually use conventional display items for my stalls, but the beaded idea I'm working on needs something to set it apart from all the rest, so it was good timing really, that I came across it.

If your in the area and after a bargain, the shops called Bejooled and its at 320 high st, Preston, Vic.

Where's your hoot...........

The lovely Felicity over at Flicketty splits recently posed the thought, "I sometimes wonder where my hoots end up"

I can answer that.....thought I.
As I have had the pleasure of meeting the hoot family and adopting one for me.....

This here is my hoot, she delights in bringing a splash of color and fun to my bedroom and spends her days reclining on plush cushions far far away from little hands.

although little hands sometimes find there way to her abode.

Having seen the absolute adorableness that a hoot can bring to ones home my M.I.L agreed that her home would not be complete without one too.
So meet 'In my gothic garden'

She perches delightfully atop a very funky wicker chair, taunting the many pussy cats that wonder by. She's very at home, indeed.

If you have the pleasure of owning one of the hoot family too, lets start a family tree.....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A partridge in a spare tree......

We have a spare tree or two up for grabs.............

Land is being cleared ready for building and 8 or so lovely trees need to be removed in preparation.

Unfortunately we can't fit them in anywhere else, so I thought I'd put i
t out there, in case you know any one looking to fill some space in their yard.

They were originally planted as little fellas about 10 years ago along the fence line, to grow up big and strong and create a nicer view than the back of the neighbors house.
Well, grow they have.
Each one is about 10 foot high, 5 foot wide give or take.
I think they are
Acmena Smithii or neighbours be gone, but I could be wrong.

Here's a close up for the green'll know better than me.

They are free of course, but you'll have to drive over to Melbourne's north to dig them up and transport at your own expense.

Drop me a line if you need more info, or would like to give them a new home.

Welcome to the world..........

After incubating for the full 40 weeks and then some....bubba no.2 for my little sis has finally decided to join the world.

For now we call her little lumpy, whilst mum and dad decide on a name that sits well.
She has a full head of fuzzy brown hair and an appetite to challenge the hungriest of hippos'

I wish I could be there to welcome her and give her a big squish, but she's up in sunny Queensland. I'll be up in November to catch up on cuddles for sure.

Till then, my thoughts are with her very tired mum, her very smitten big brother and her doting dad.
These first few weeks are the hardest, but will fly by and soon be a distant memory to the delightful giggles, and everyday wonder that is watching a little one grow.

Congratulations little sis and welcome to the world little lumpy.