Thursday, August 26, 2010

My creative space...

My creative space this week is all about vests....

I'd made black and charcoal ones last week,

for me and the shop......and I just wear them all the time.
(Modeled here with a fab cuckoo clock brooch from Betty Jo)

So I thought I'd add some more colors.

Shades of green, blue and red....Yum!

My wardrobe is well and truly taken care of, for this last little bit of winter. Hooray!

Another change in my creative space will be an update on the mannequin front. Although I do love my current lady, she has no legs to stand on, many tatters and tears and does not adjust or hold her shape anymore. So whilst I'll keep her for her aged beauty and style she just does not cut the mustard when it comes to doing fittings, or creating upon.

So off I go hunting for a real size dressmakers dummy (size 12 - 20 or there about) that will not consume my entire tax return....
I priced one at Spottie Brunswick yesterday, $550 dollars. It was the project runway purple one. Not sure what makes it so special to be hundreds more then the red ones, but I will not be buying that one, that's for sure!

See many more fabulous creative spaces over at Kirsty's....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wordless wednesdays....

See more great blogs playing along with wordless Wednesdays, over here.....

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Flea market finds....

The sun was shining in Melbourne today, so we headed out to our local flea market for a spot of shopping.
Not a great deal of fossicking to be had, but I did uncover this great bag of vintage patterns.

At first I noticed the stitched bag and thought I'll have that, but then started sifting through the patterns to see which ones I'd like. The stall holder said "ten bucks for the lot" could I refuse.

.....and what shopping adventure is complete without a new train set.

Finn has been wanting to get his mitts on dads vintage set for ages, so as a compromise we handed over our $5 and got this one. He luvsssss it and now both boys are happy.

A few other beauties we picked up at local oppies recently are this to die for, orange typewriter......

We almost got into a fight over this one. Two buyers very much wanting, but who got there first scenario......

and another camera for the collection.

It's very rusty and grotty, but we couldn't resist it's vintage appeal.

See more fabulous flea market finds here.... I don't think Sophie's hosting this week but you can see previous flea market delights galore over at her blog.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Election day, garage sale........

My shift at work today was all about getting ready for our election day 'Garage sale' tomorrow.

There sure are lots of bargains to be had.

This is the sale rail so far and that's just the specials from Polly Pratt and I.

There's dresses....



Shrugs and jackets,

Heaps of 'Finki' stuff,


and more.......

So if you're voting at the polls down near the Brunswick town hall tomorrow, be sure to stroll down our way for bargains galore.
The details are: 159 Sydney rd, Brunswick, Vic. 10am - 6pm

All sale prices are valid for 'ONE DAY ONLY'.
Jay xx

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My creative space...

This week my creative space feels a lot like I'm walking round and round in circles....Doing a little bit of everything at once. That's just how it rolls sometimes.

I began the day doing undercoats of paint for some more art bangles.

Whilst they dried I glued the frames onto the art brooches I began last night....

and while they dried I varnished some beautiful birds.....

Of-course that left me with more spare time whilst things dried, so I worked on heat setting my pussy cats....

sewing on buttons to finish some tee's...

and lastly making some bows as fun brooches to go with my even newer tee's...

Doing lots of little bits to work toward lots of finished pieces real soon.....

Doing my laps from study, to kitchen, to study I kept passing the mirror and admiring my new dress in the reflection so I just had to take a pic of that too.
Made By Mim at Olive Grove studios. Lovin it!
(note to self, clean mirror next time before taking pics....)

See heaps more creative spaces over here....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wordless wednesdays....

See more wonderful blogs joining in on wordless wednesday: over here

Monday, August 16, 2010

Puuuuurrrrrrfect tops........

On the drawing board this week are some new screen printed tee's.

This time, some putty tats.....Meow!

I do love my stripes, so have chosen a classic black and white to go with the retro inspired cat silhouette. They look fab with a fun flared skirt (working on them too) and my fave bright cardi.

I 'll have them ready for the weekend just in time for our Olive Grove Garage sale.
Of course they won't be one of the items marked down, but there will be plenty of Finki goodness on special....and if you print this flyer to bring in on the day, you will get 10% off all my new season stuff.

Might see you there, Jay xx

Sunday, August 15, 2010

She works hard for her money.....

So hard for her money....

That was the song ringing in my ears when I bit the bullet on Friday and hit the books.

It was time to do the taxes!
This wouldn't have been such a harrowing proposition if i I promised myself last year......put SOME effort into bookkeeping at any stage throughout the year.

Exhibit A:
Big box is what I stored 09/10 receipts in....little box is where i plan to store 10/11 receipts.

Alas i stooopidly picked the worlds biggest container to stash all my receipts in, knowing that ONE DAY...I would open that lid and deal with them.

The thoughts of losing a day of productivity where overshadowed by my curiosity as to how my second year running Finki went.

I am such a bad business woman...really. If i see it and like it, I buy it. If I think teal is the new black...I'm all over it. There is no cash flow analysis or stock projections here, just fly by the seat of my pants type planning.
Being at Olive Grove I am forced to reconcile my sales on a monthly basis, so i generally have a rough idea how that side of things is travelling but i do overlook the numerous, Lincraft, spottie and Savers receipts that overtake my house. There fore leaving me none the wiser as to what my expenditure is. So Tax time is all about finding out whether I broke even.

My one business goal this financial year was to increase my sales by at least 40%. Not by just wishing and praying, but by doing the hard yard.
I gave up my part time job and committed myself to a full year of 110% effort.
I worked from 3 to 5 days a week, I expanded from jewels and stationary, to home wares and clothing. I gave it everything i had, just so i could test myself. Test my resolve, commitment and ability to keep creating, whilst keeping it interesting and profitable enough to put food on my table and clothes on my kids backs.

After 8 hours of recording mountains of paper work....I KID YOU NOT!

True's some of it!

Came the moment of truth......did i meet my business goal, were all the late nights, long days and craft related injuries worth it.

Yep.....I'd have to say Yes.

My little business improved 130% on last years final figures.


Happy dance, happy days.

Maybe, just maybe...I could be a designer. A designer of my own career. How bloody exciting is that.
There are numerous flaws in my design at present....for example the 60 hour working weeks, the fact I'm paying for a gym membership I don't have time to use and I still have not defined what I do, aghhhh....... but nothing that can not be overcome with a little time management, planning and adventure.

This is an image of my current bookkeeping status, two months in and all accounted for woohoo!....

So my goal this year is to maintain monthly records, have a sound knowledge of my cash flow and most importantly continue to enjoy the crafty journey.

Fingers crossed.
Jay xx

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Time for some close ups......

As promised, a closer look at the wool vests I made.
They are hip length and shaped through the body, fastening with a kilt pin.

You can do it up which ever way suits you best.
Standing collar, V-neck or scrunched.

Whilst I had the camera out, I thought it high time I take better pics of my peekaboo back vests for you too.
These ones I designed with the intention of showing as much color and shape as possible of the body tee worn beneath, whilst still covering all the wobbly bits. I have one each of the black and denim for my wardrobe and I just wear them to death....
Lastly, the finished result of my screen printed ship tee's. Looking fabulous in Navy and white.

Every thing's available down at the shop, as per usual, size 12 -20.

Jay xx

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ship's ahoy.....

On the drawing board this week are some new screen printed tee's....

and some oh so versatile wool vests.

I'm in at work tomorrow with the camera in hand, so I promise to take some images that better display the promised versatility of said vests....

The majority were dropped of at the shop this morning, with a few extra sizes left on the drawing board till my machines come back from an overdue visit to the machine doctor.

So till the man lets me know they are all better there will be little break on the clothes front.

All the more reason to get my groove on with some new jewels.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A new medium.....

Finished my experimentation with wooden bangles today, a totally new medium for me.

They started as plain wooden bangle blanks which I coated with a few layers of paint, ready for the next step.

Some brand new graphic designs....

Flamingo's and hot air balloons,


and dragonflies.

I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. So I'll be sure to work on some new designs quick stix.

They'll all be at the shop tomorrow making themselves at home...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Something old, something new.....

On the drawing board this week is all the bits and bobs to do some major restocking of 'Finki' accessories.

I have been very sidetracked by the clothes making for a few weeks and totally neglected my jools.

So I had to step away from the machine and get crackin' on new goodies for the shop.
My focus last week was making lots of new fabric covered studs and finishing my cushions.

So this week I'm working on new art journals,

finishing some glass pendants,

and working on some brand new bangles.
(I'll make sure I pop back to show you the finished result before I pop them in the shop on Fri)

Sometimes I do wonder if I spread myself too thin by having a range that covers many a crafty genre, but the truth is...I know myself well enough to know that I could never focus on just one thing.
I'd get bored far too quickly and become complacent.
And really.... each week or month that I focus on one project is enough to bring it to completion then move on to something else. Keeps it all new and exciting.

I also find I get a different type of RSI from each each activity when I do it for too long.
I probably sound like a bit of a nanna, but it's true.

When I do my stitched baskets and pen holders for weeks on end, my fingers and arms start to ache. When I machine sew for hours a day, week after week, my shins start to have pedal strain, when I spend weeks on graphic designs I get eye strain from too much computer time.
So all in all it's a pretty perfect system.

I can just put one thing down for a while and pick up something else when the strain, pain and boredom of one activity kicks in.

How do you manage your crafty adventures?
Knit in winter and sew in summer....
Wait till the mojo's flowing then go hell for leather till the end is in sight....

I think the best part of being a sole trader is having the ability to create work routines just for you, to suit your lifestyle, your energy flow and your family. Helps keep it all exciting and fresh too.

Jay xx

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A cushion or two....

Finally finished my new cushions for the shop....

I'm very excited by how well they turned out, it's so hard not to keep them all for myself.

I screen printed two with my dragonfly...

and made the rest with a combination of vintage, retro and modern fabrics.

All delivered to the shop today ready for new homes.