Thursday, June 25, 2009

Paper and kids stuff.....

Paper and kids stuff indeed!
That's what my weekend was all about.

On Sunday we headed over the Mathilda's market. To support the bloggers I knew, tiges and weince, buttons by loulou and Lark.
Mathilda's is a market stocking sellers promoting kids only stuff. You know we have a few babies on the way in our little circle, so I was on the hunt for more little gifties to add to my stash. High on the agenda too, was to find some new shoes for Finn. He's quickly out growing all his old ones.

It was such a busy market. I'd highly recommend it, as a buyer and a stall holder. Such a great offering of goodies. From clothes, handmade toys, blankies, and rattles to jewellery, artwork and footwear. It's a feast for the eyes.
The only bad things was the sheer volume of people, including those silly enough to bring prams, made it really hard to get around, and to see things properly. We knew it would be a mass gathering of parents with babies and children, so it made sense to put finny in his backpack and try to ease congestion a bit. If only everyone else had thought of that too!

I got some fabbo screen printed singlets for the Queensland Bub, which i intend on making little floral shorties to match. I did find some shoes for Finn. they had the cutest ones to chose from, with dragons and dinosaurs stitched on, but the stars were the winner today, Some more little goodies from Lark and lastly some cards from Print space. I have admired their prints at a few markets now, and could never decide on just one, so the offer of 3 gift cards for $10 settled the deal. I'll frame them all when we move.

Mathilda's was an early market, so we had time in the arvo ( aussie am I), to head over for the last day of the Paperific expo at he showgrounds. Thanks to Beky at Pivotal expressions for the heads up on that one.
I managed to find my self a new hobby, more about that later...and the most amazing selection of papers. Usually used for scrap booking purposes but you know I like to think outside the box. Suffice to say you'll see a few of them built up into my range of three dimensional stitched items. Very exciting.

Lots on the drawing board this week. With clay, embossing, and stitching. All revealed in my next post.

Monday, June 22, 2009

It can't always go perfectly......

My mum always said if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all....well..... that wouldn't make for a very interesting blog post at all.

So I'll reserve my negativity about Saturdays market stall to one sentence.
Cold, wet, windy, slow going, disorganized, and small.

O.k now that that's out of my system, lets move on to the good bits. Firstly, this bunch.

The talented faces behind Melbourne Epicure, Pepperberry and co, Mish mash mosaics, Polly Pratt, and Curlypops
The best group of girls to share a market day with. So supportive, friendly and amazingly talented. Along with them I had the pleasure of catching up with, Jen, Lara, Mel, Nic, liz and a few of the lovely locals.
Of course there was the best pear tart from Cathy's stall Melbourne epicure, with some gingerbread men stashed away for the kids.

and what day is complete without a spot of shopping. I got a fabulous bookmark from Pepperberry and co,

and another Curlypops brooch to add to my ever growing brooch collection.

I grabbed the cutest wizard of oz bib from curlypops too, but It had already been gifted before I could photograph it, but trust me when I say it was goooooorjus!

The lovely shannon of Rabbit and the duck also popped by, to deliver my new makeup purse, pictured here with some R&D magnets that I picked up at the last Sonny&Coco market.
I just adore my new zippy pouch right down to the red spotty lining.

We all gave up on having to chase our stock each time the wind blew, and called it quits an hour before home time. My apologies to Nikki and anyone else who braved the weather to pop by after we'd gone. I honestly didn't know we were going to be outside, and arrived terribly unprepared for the weather.

Next time, I know to ask!
What I love about all my other markets, is the fact they are indoors. So come rain, hail or shine I'll be there.

After we packed up, I headed down to the market at Northcote town hall and picked up a few goodies,before heading home and sharing those ginger bread men, alongside a hot cuppa.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Under pressure!!!!

A day and a half's notice about an opportunity to have a market stall may seem like the perfect way of inducing stress into one's life.
but me, I work well under pressure.
I thrive on the thrill of last minute preparation, and do some of my best work when the clock is ticking. Saying 'yes' to everything and sorting it out later, sorta works well for me.
Sorta, kinda...mostly!

On the off chance that I couldn't fill a table on short notice, I decide to share my space with the lovely Anna of Polly Pratt,

So for some fantastic market shopping this weekend, do head down to our stall at Northcote Uniting Church, 251 High st, Northcote. Saturday 20th June, 10 - 3.

You'll see the friendly faces, and talented crafty goodness of curlypops, pepperberry and co mishmash mosaics, the yummy delights of Melbourne epicure and much more.

As if that wasn't enough, you can also wander down high st two blocks to the fabulous winter artisans market held at the Northcote town hall. All this action is also part of the Northern exposure, visual arts festival happening over the whole weekend.

With so much crafty delight on offer, Northcote is the place to be this weekend.

If your from out of town, mark on your map, shop local, I dream a highway, and the book grocer all in the same block.
We also have the fantastic Westgarth strip of shops just over the hill, perfect for a movie and it's surrounded by numerous cafes for lunch or a coffee.

I won't have the whole Finki range on show, so if you have any special requests, let me know and I'll make sure I bring it along. Catch yah there....

Monday, June 15, 2009

Young designers....

I braved the cold on Sunday to head down to the Melbourne designers market at fed square.

It was amazingly busy. I was really surprised to see so many shoppers packed into this little space. The goodies on offer were just glorious. Really top end designer stuff.

I'd heard the name of this market mentioned before and wondered whether or not my Finki stuff would fit in. To be honest, no it wouldn't. My stuff is too hand made, if there can be such a thing.
Too crafty.....Sort of like having crotchet rugs on a trestle table, beside sculptural modern art on plinths. Hmmm. That's the best I can describe it.
The stallholders had a definitive image and product range. everything was labelled and packaged so professionally, and business cards detailed personal websites and stockist. So it had a very professional feel about it.

I was in awe of the amazingly creative displays, some quite minimalist but all very inspiring. Lots of offerings of high end design pieces like these Zaishu stools, that I'd love to own one day.and these Imandeco chairs reminiscent of those curvy ones from the sixties.

I loved these little baskets from Design House Stockholm,and was glad to see the familiar faces of Sandra and Sharon, presenting a little snippet of the fabulous Pepperberryandco range.

Of course I couldn't go home empty handed.

I got a cute little badge saying 'support local talent' and a s.t.a.m.p.s watch.
I've admired these on a few people and couldn't refuse the special deal I got for two faces to switch around on the one band. I wore it to work today and just loved myself sick in it.

A little bit of Kaos is coming my way....

I won something.
I can't believe I won something.
Konstant Kaos had a blog comp, giving away the prize of one of her fabulous zippy purses, and the winner is me. ......whooohooo!!!

I'm so wrapt. I love Margaret's work, and so does Finn. He's always a show stopper when he wears his little konstant kaos bat booties.

Thanks so much Margaret.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saturday's day at the Sister's Market.

Another market over and three weeks to go till the next one at Sonny and Coco. So, plenty of time to get my act together and produce lots more goodies.

I've got a bit of re stocking to do, as I sold all my story book baskets, most of my pen holders and nearly all of my new art journals. But high on the agenda will be some knit rings for Jen, a lovely blogger who always pops by to say hello and brighten my day.
I'll do some basic block colors, but I think I'll do a few with contrast crotchet edges, and maybe some needlework too.

I had the chance to catch up with quite a few bloggy peeps, thank you for taking the time to stop buy and out yourselves. It's so nice to put a faces to all the wonderful, crafty posts I read.

It was a funny market today, lots of early shoppers....lots. Then a dead stop at 2. From then on, I think it was just locals drifting in. None the less it was a profitable day, and aside from making money, I always walk away having met lots of nice people, having had the chance to get to know my fellow stall holders and of course getting immediate feedback on my goodies...the good, bad and ugly. All of it is so valuable.
I am none the wiser as to 'what people want', which really just reinforces the fact that you should just do what you like, rather than guess what people might like. At least that way you can stand there and really love everything you have to offer, knowing it wasn't influenced by fashion or fad, just pure personal inspiration.

Moving along, let me tell you about my shopping adventures at the market. Fortunately my partner in crime came along to help man the stall, so I could duck away for chit chat's and shopping.

My first stop was to say hello to Kylie over at tiges and weince. I had bought a t-shirt transfer from her during the week and loved the end result, so I had to buy more. I got a blue starry giraffe, which I'll stitch on with orange I think for a fun contrast.
I also picked up some of her funky book marks, I'm glad I did cause they were going like hotcakes. If I left it any later I would have missed out.

Next up I grabbed some chai & honey (yumm) lip balm, from back of the moon day spa. I got heaps from her last time I saw her at the sisters, so I knew it was good.
My neighbour again, was the fabulous miss piggy tales. She's always expanding her range with the funkiest Japanese fabrics, so I just had to have one more piece from the range. I got this red and white babushka pony tail holder.
My across the road neighbour, was Bronwyn from retro bub, where I got Finn the cutest little boy tee with a blue retro space ship on front. All her stuff was just so cute, especially for little girls, but I had to stop and remind my self that I was there to make money.....

Well not before a visit over at Lark. I'm sooooo glad they came all the way from Daylesford. I just had to get a donut rattle for one of the babies on the way, and when I saw how super special the price was I also grabbed peas in a pod, and a watermelon.
Later in the day my daughter popped in for a visit with grandma, sporting a badge that said, I love craft........'where'd you get that from I said'. At Lark's stall.
aggghhh, how could I not see it.
Back to the table, and I found a heap of too cute badges that I just needed to have.
Then My lovely boss Sarah, popped by to say hello. I showed her my Lark rattles, thinking she might like them for her niece. She came back and showed me the cutest knitted beanie she found. 'Where's that from' I say.
Lark......oh my god, how could I have missed it.
So i was back there again to add a beanie to my collection for new babies on the way.
I promise I wasn't stalking Alison and Steph!
I'm amazed at my poor skills of scanning a table and actually seeing all the things I might like. I must have done a 'boy look'

Lastly but not leastly, I finally committed to buying something from Shannon at rabbit and the duck. I love her stuff, and I'm always there touching it...poor Shannon, probably thought I was a stalker too. But what I needed was something to use as a new cosmetics purse. Being the difficult customer that I am, I couldn't commit to oneof the patterns that were there could I?
So I'm getting one made in a babushka print, with a zip. I'll be picking it up at the next Sonny and Coco market, so I'll post you a pick, when it's done.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Makin' for the market..........

I've been lost in a sea of fabric,paper and wool this week, gettin' a whole new bunch of goodies ready for the Sisters market this weekend.

New bobby pins, glass and fabric rings, scrabble tile brooches, additions to the glass pendants and a rainbow of scarves to combat the winter blues.

I'll be having a super sale on my old A5 journals too, as I'll be introducing a new range of A5 art journals. Very exciting.

Pop by and say hello, so I can put a face to your fantastic blogs, when I read them.

Hope to see yah there!

What a transformation.....

Just take one bland and boring shirt, one funky retro elephant transfer from tiges & weince, combine the two and you have the easiest, quickest and cutest transformation on your hands.

I had bought Finn a few plain shirts to hopefully do some screen printing on. But I know he'll grow out of them before I invest the time and money into firstly learning how to screen print and secondly buying all the supplies.

So I was tickled pink to find iron on transfers on tiges&weince blog whilst blogging along the other day.

Little ellie was at my door within 2 days, and ready to wear in 10 mins. After ironing him on, I did a zig zag stitch in green around the edges. I didn't have to, the ironing would be suffice, I just wanted to add a finishing touch. I really like this concept and look forward to visiting the gals at the Sisters Market this weekend so I can pick up some more.

Ye'all know I'll be there too, so come along for some fantastic craftiness.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

That's one cute bootie......

A baby bootie....of course!

I had the pleasure of receiving 3 damn fine bibs this week, courtesy of the fantastically crafty curlypops.
There are two babies on the way in our little circle of friends. One for my sister and the other for my sister in law. So, two of the bibs have been put aside for the minute, till I have time to make the matching booties.

But today, I did make a pair for Finn, to match the robot bib I got from Cam.

Cam was nice enough to give me some scraps in the matching fabrics so I could make the matching booties for each of them...she's an absolute gem!

Boy am I glad I started with Finn's, cause I tell yah I made so many mistakes.

I bought the pattern during the ozbushfire appeal, from jolibebe ages ago and only just got round to using it. The instructions are really easy to follow. It would seem that I'm just not so good at reading instructions.
when I make my own patterns, I know my seam allowances and little things like that so that everything turns out super, but having not paid attention to the fine details on someone else's I stuffed it up big time.
Firstly i did the seam allowances to small and had all this excess that made the top not fit the bottom grrrrrr, then I sewed the top on backwards. So after unpicking and going again my machine decided it didn't like sewing through a seam and three layers of denim at top speed grrrrr stupid needle snapped!
Finally, got it all happening, learnt from all my mistakes in bootie one, so bootie two went a lot smoother ....then.......then.................. IT DIDN'T FIT.
It's too big. Finn's only a little tacker so the 12-18 month one is just too big.
Now a bit of forward planning and 1 minute with a measuring tape could have avoided this, but as usual I went at it like a bull out the gate.
They'll fit soon enough and at least I made all the stuff ups on mine, so the two for presents will be perfect.
I'll post them when I'm done. The colors in them are fabulous.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Owlin' around....

Workin' on some new designs today, to incorporate into A5 journals.

I've had such an attraction to birds of late, so I've finally decided to do bring some Finki birds into the world. Today's focus is on owls in particular.

I will do a budgie or finch down the track, but I thought I'd start with an owl.
They are so much like cats almost, which might sound odd, but after sketching a few you realise that without the defining beak and wings they sort of have a cat silhouette. Probably those cute little ear things they have.

So I haven't narrowed it down yet, but I do like pudgy ones, with a retro inspired pattern on there bellies, and I haven't decided whether or not I'll go for a sketch or if I'll just use the sketch as an outline to create a collage owl. Hmmm...

On the A5 journal front, I have been redesigning. Mainly as a response to feedback at the market.

1: Do you have any with thicker covers.
2: Gee's they're expensive! (which I guess isn't really feedback, just criticism)'s important to hear what everyone has to say, and then take it with a grain of salt.
Now traditionally, I create original artwork for my journals. Print them on 210 gsm card stock, laminate, trim and hole punch them, before spiral binding them to 200 pages of lined or plain paper.

For my first batch, I cut my own papers. My little guillotine only does 10 pages at a time so by the time you get 200, it ends up being a timely process and maybe not all that peter perfect straight either. I went down this road because I really wanted them to be handmade....not just art covers attached to a pre made in china backing book. My thought process was that they would be art journals or sketch books, but people asked for lined pages too.

For the life of me I cannot find lined pages, made in Aus, that I can cut up into the size I need, or a good quality cartridge paper to use for ink pens e.t.c.
If you have any ideas, I'm all ears.
I've scouted out the option of buying the art journals and putting my own covers on, but it seems a cop out. So for now I'm using 100% recycled paper, hand cut and punched. It takes longer, but I feel it's a little more authentic and I can proudly call it handmade.

I have been readdressing my covers too. I really really like a more grungy, artsy, recycled look, and sometimes think my stuff is a bit too polished. So no more laminate.

For my new range of covers I have used recycled board, original illustrations and text from old books, hand stitching and of course a little bit of collage and original Finki artwork.

So, addressing my feedback,
they do have thicker covers ....... but......they are not any cheaper.
Sorry customer number 2, but if you want original art journals cheaper than$12, I can not sacrifice quality and originality just to pump out something made in china and mass produced.

In saying that though....I am trying my bestest to finalise some sketch pads, similar in make to an exercise book. It will have less pages and a less involved making process, therefore working out a bit cheaper.
I can't please every one, but I'll sure try.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Flight of fancy.....

Fancy this take on flight........I definitely do.
It's my latest purchase from the art world.
An original piece by Cathy .K of Victoria. Aka tinniegirl.

When choosing art, it is such an individual thing. Often what you see in a piece can be quite different to what the artist was thinking when he or she painted it. But what does matter, I think, is that you do find a little of yourself in the pieces you choose to surround yourself with.

So, as much as they are a representation of the artists style, they are also a representation of the time and place you were in, when it first appealed to you.

I remember reading graffiti on a wall I passed on my way to work one day that said 'never forget your childhood dreams'

Well I had.

But now, stepping out of my box and taking on new challenges day by day, I feel my dreams coming back, little by little.

For me, this piece represents such a sense of freedom. Depicting a child like innocence.
A great sense of depth and nostalgia have been captured, with the textured collage dress, and the hint of pattern, from the book cover backboard.

This picture.... is me.....a child holding my dreams with such innocence and trust, and letting it take flight.

Doin' it again....

Well it worked out super for me last time, so I'm doing it again.

The Sonny and Coco Market that is.

It was a mixed bag for sure, but it was the first time for these organizers. Mistakes were made, some things were over looked, but we all live and learn.

The organizers have decided that the second hand stuff will not be there this time. Strictly craft, art, handmade and vintage.

So if you were thinking about it, quick sticks cause it's only 4 weeks away and last time spaces filled up quick. I'd love to see more of us crafty bloggers there.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Adelaide's oppie offerings.....

We headed off to Adelaide over the weekend for a family shindig and managed to squeeze in some fabbo op shopping along the way.

The day started off frosty and foggy in the wee hours of the morning, as we filled the car with blankies, munchies and music to keep us going. 4 hours later, we were hot, bored and covered in crumbs. These road trips always start out to be such a good idea!

We bypassed our usual breakfast stop in Ballarat and continued on to our lunch pit stop at Horsham. This turned out to be a fabulous choice for our lunchtime break as we had time to shop a while at the book fair conveniently open, just as were passing through.

I couldn't see prices, so I just gathered up a fine lookin' collection and hoped for the best. pile was getting bigger than me, so I thought I better ask prices, so I could work to a budget.
Are you ready for it.................. 50 cents each...........................
I was soooo excited. Definitely made this road trip so much better lookin'.

I ended up with heaps of vintage little golden books, some sci-fi fiction for Ty, some kids chapter books for Kierah, the odd 50's craft, sewing and gardening books and the best of all a complete set of 18 golden hands encyclopedias from the 70's.
I actually have a set I scored in Brisbane when were living up there, which my sister made me promise to leave to her in my will. So when I saw these at such an affordable price, I just had to grab them for her.

So now that I had taken up the last of the leg room in the little car with all my books, we grabbed some Macca's, had a run at the park, then continued on.

By about 6, we arrived at Dot's. (Ty's nan) Greeted with the worlds best sausages rolls and potato and leek soup. Yum!
Finn thought dot's place was the best Museum he's ever been to.
Dot's one of those oh so huggable nannas that has a house full of trinkets spanning the generations of all whom lived there.

From the pressed out foil wrappers of 40's lollies and the numerous gift cards kept from every birthday, mothers day and anniversary over the last 50 odd years to the little statuettes of big eyed cats, floral swans, doting deer, and cutesy rabbits. There is always so much to look at and such a wonderful sense of history and home.

Saturday we op shopped in Mt barker, Hahndorf and Bridge water. Lots of goodies to share.
Firstly some knitted blankies, gifts for all the babies on the way.

Then some 1970's new idea magazines....

and the best find was this drawer out of a micro biologist lab. There was a few there, but I really liked this one with fossils written on the front. I plan to use it for my little vintage notebook display at the next market, if I get it cleaned up on time.

The day finished with the family shindig', a whirlwind event of chit chat, balloons, too much food in one sitting.....

and an awfully long rendition of the chicken dance. Intended to embarrass my brother in law, but somehow I got sucked in too!