Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fly Away Home, subconscious

Right, so after the last horrid dream - see previous post - I've been trying to sleep more deeply and just "live" the dream as it were, experience it and put it aside and not get freaked out by it. Aliens? Invasions? Conspiracies? Pah. Mere trifles. Water off a duck's back.

And then my subconscious got me back last night. "I'll teach you to ignore me!" it roared.

And in a sweet stroke of revenge it unleashed a dream in which I heard the sound of someone turning the doorknob on the front door, crystal clear in my ears, so realistically that -

- that I actually woke, bolt upright, 100% awake, hyperawake even, adrenaline coursing through my veins, to the point that I got up and peeked out through the curtains to see if there was anyone there and then tiptoed into the hallway and deadlocked the front door, because both My One True Love and the Amateur Actress are away right now, and somehow I don't think I can count on the furry babies to protect me in the dead of night. What would Grimth do, smooch an invader to death? Smother him with love? Deafen him with purrs?

This was at 3am. An hour later, at four am I was still lying there, tensed, listening to every single sound outside and trying to identify the telltale sound of footsteps in the side alley.

I drifted back into sleep eventually, and it was all about men invading my home, from the front and the back, swarming in through windows and doors, and me needing to take drastic action with a baseball bat - I can still vividly remember in blinding detail, the practice swings I had to take with it in the bathroom in order to get the velocity and momentum correct in order to wield enough force to smash his brains in when he put his head through the doorjamb.....

This just goes to show, do not ignore your subconscious. It will exact its vengeance.

So subconscious, I am not ignoring you. I am just innocently posting little photos of my two new Hoots - Yossarian Hoot (in camouflage, My One True Love says I should call him the Hootinator), and Fly Away Home Hoot, with the little red ladybirds.

Fly Away Home, subconscious. Your house is on fire and your children are alone.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What would Jung make of this?

As the song goes, Last Night I Had The Straaaa-ngest Dream.

I dreamt there was something sinister happening in Melbourne, and that all citizens had to pack up their necessities and evacuate, at once, under the order of the police. I dreamt the trains were packed to the brim (what's new?) and the roads were choked with cars.

I dreamt I decided to stay behind and try to evacuate after the rush, because I couldn't get through the crowds. I dream-packed my suitcase and realised I had to go outside to get my little childhood toy Clowny - imaginative name, I know - from the shed, and why was he in the shed, when he's so dear to me, and shouldn't I have him inside? I dreamt my suitcase was too heavy and I had to take out all the spare change to lighten the load.

I dream-worried that looters would come through all the empty houses in the street, and that we couldn't lock the house up. I dream-purchased five new collars for the cats, with leashes attached, so we could be sure we wouldn't lose them. I was dream-proud of myself for thinking of this.

I watched the dream-aeroplanes circling the streets, checking for people disobeying the orders. They flew low over the house and I peeked out of the dream curtains as they patrolled past, almost close enough to touch. I dreamt up armed riot police scouring the streets, checking houses and sheds, and forcing people to leave and leave now.

I dreamt the stimulus payments of $900 from Kevin Rudd were actually a payment in disguise, meant to be used for this purpose of leaving town, to keep the masses quiet and controlled. I dreamt there was a big conspiracy afoot.

I dreamt there was poisonous gas in the air. I dream-ran to the car outside, our old green Torana from years ago, and got inside and locked the doors and I was worried, and there was another woman with me, and a boy from my past. As we sat inside the car the dream took form properly, and we all began to see the industrial pod floating through the air like a feather on the wind, except it was massive and shaped like a bell and had clearly just finished its trip through space.

It began to hover above us and the boy reversed the car backwards, around the lemon tree, along the kerb and out of the way of the pod, which landed on the dream street with a dream trailer attached, and there was something that we knew was going to come out of it, but we didn't know what, and our dream hearts were in our dream throats.

I dreamt that everything became clear and THIS was the reason everyone was having to evacuate, and the streets were deserted now, and the houses were empty and I was frightened for the furry babies because I didn't know where they were, and they'd be frightened too, and knowing they'd be frightened and I wasn't there to comfort them made me very, very upset.

And then, all of a sudden and without warning, I woke up, sweating.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wonderful booky goodness

Ooo. Oooo oooo. Ooooo!! Look at this. Look, but don't drool.

This is my new booky acquisition, purchased from Readings in Carlton over the weekend.

I love this book. You know why I love this book?

I love it because THIS is the book I wanted to buy after I finished my visit of the Golden Age of Couture exhibition in Bendigo earlier in the year.

This is the book that has all of the photos of the beautiful dresses and outfits and cocktail frocks and evening gowns and gorgeous accessories that I wasn't allowed to photograph inside the art gallery.

This is the book I presumed would enable me to pore over the outfits in detail, understanding their genesis and design, the philosophies behind them, the virtues and values of their creators.

When I exited the exhibition I expected (do you like my alliteration?) to find the traditional exhibition "book" that's usually produced in parallel with these kinds of travelling shows. I had even budgeted for one.

But no!

I looked around in astonishment at the complete lack of exhibition book. A complete lack. Com-pleeeeeete lack. My heart sank. I peeked under piles of handknitted jumpers and scarves. No book. I looked behind buckets of posters. No book. Maybe they'd sold out? Maybe they had more in a box out the back?

But no. It was very sad.

So all I purchased as my souvenir was this beautifully scented soap, named "Little Black Dress". I thought that was appropriate, given the circumstances.

Having found this book over the weekend puts the final piece of the puzzle into place. I KNEW there'd be a book of this exhibition, it just took me five months to find it, in an utterly disconnected place. Thank you V&A Museum!

And then I bought these two great porcelain mugs as well, I couldn't resist them. Two of my favourite novels, right there to drink coffee from.

It makes me smile when I see one in the morning, and there's nothing like starting the morning with a happy smile on your face.

I think I'm going to fill one up right now and go and read my lovely new book in intimate detail.

Check out this page if you'd like one of your own!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Do you ever have those periods of time in your life that just flash past at a hundred miles an hour, and you're doing a hundred things all at once, and there's a million more on the list undone, and you're juggling it all and you don't even have time to breathe, let alone pause, and you're completely frantic and then all of a sudden things just STOP and you go .... oh my god, it's a week later?

You do? I am so relieved!

Because that's been ex-ACT-ly my life for the past week, and it's why I've been sorely neglecting my blog and you, of course, my lovely lovely readers - along with My One True Love, my animals, any thought at all of exercise, my personal down-time, my sewing and of course my cuticles. My poor, poor cuticles. It's just as well you can't see them.

There was a work-related leadership course offsite for three days, which was absolutely fascinating - all about who you are as a person and how you can use those qualities to be a better leader by being true to yourself and your values. Profound, and deeply affecting, and something I am still mulling over and reflecting on.

Hot on its heels came the Northcote Winter Artisans Market, which was practically deserted. Such a shame! Where WERE you all? I missed you! We all missed you! Please come this Saturday!

I only sold three of my marvellous Hoots, which I was very sad about. I did also sell my new Bring LOVE Into Your Home cushion. Does anyone know the song "Buy My Love" by Fairground Attraction? Whenever I sell a LOVE cushion I get that tune tinkling through my thoughts.

And I met the lovely Belinda, who admired my Perfect Pencilroll in Alexander Henry owl material, and who was wearing this fantastic three-panelled skirt. I want one! There must be a pattern out there that I can find to replicate it.

It was so stunning I stared at it across the aisle, and luckily she came over to finger my Pencilroll lovingly, and eventually after I complimented her skirt a number of times (and came round the front of my stall and got down on my knees and felt the fabric and turned the hem up and examined the seams and construction) I had the bright idea of taking a photo for reference and posterity. Sometimes my inability to think of the bleedingly obvious surprises even me.

But isn't the skirt marvellous? The photo doesn't do it true justice. Thank you Belinda for letting me completely encroach on your personal space!

And then it was back to work, and I've had the kind of days where you have seven hours of meetings in a row, and when do you actually find the time to do your real work when you have to spend seven hours meeting with people on different issues? Sheesh.

So I'm exhaustipated, and it's all I can do to type these words out. I think a cup of chamomile tea beckons ... and I think I can smell the scent of a blackberry and apple pie My One True Love has been warming up in the oven .... mmmm.... pie ......

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The photos I promised you ....

Finally - me and the camera, in the same place, at the same time! Here are the photos I promised you.

First of all, three of the four pencilrolls. I don't know what happened to the fourth one, which was all made out of Isadora Phoenix's Woodstock Ombre Dots .... I can't find it. Perhaps the Fatpuss has eaten it. (He went to the vet today for a weigh-in, and since he's been on a diet, he's GAINED four hundred grams. Four hundred! Sigh.)

But here are the other three. I think I like the one on top best, made from Birds of Norway fabric, matched with the orange polkadots.

And here are the fabric buckets I made, out of the Heather Bailey Bijoux Tiles fabrics. And at the front is the strange "boat" that I created when I sewed together the wrong edges of what should have been a bucket.

I blame the instructions, they said "fold fabric lengthways and sew raw edges together". Would you not think that means to match up the two long edges? Well, exactly. It's what I thought too. But no, when they said "lengthways" what they actually meant was "widthways". Silly me. So now I have an odd boat instead of a bucket.

And here are my doorstops all ready to be filled with sand ahead of the market on Saturday. It's been so wet recently that I think I'm going to have to dry the sand in the oven before I can use it.

And lastly, the piece of resistance from Rathdowne Remnants - my lolly pink / calomine lotion coloured wool and cashmere blend. I love it!

It's a very late Sixties kind of colour in my book, and I'm really looking forward to having a suit made, and then wearing it to my very conservative work environment. I love bringing colour into that place, it's like a giant injection of vibrancy into a dark, dark world.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bring LOVE into your home

First day of the working week and I am wrecked. Absolutely wrecked. Getting out of bed this morning was like trying to drag myself up out of a river of treacle.

I blame the sewing machine.

I made another two pencilrolls yesterday, and another Appleblossom Hoot, and a baby Catticus (should he be a Kittencus?), and a new cushion which I've called Bring LOVE Into Your Home. Subtle, eh?

I'm starting to feel like I'm getting more on top of things for the market this weekend, which, let me tell you, is a GOOD feeling and I LIKE IT and all I have to do is keep sewing like a maniac and everything will be FINE!

I dropped into Rathdowne Remnants over the weekend and picked up some more textured black upholstery fabric to make a few more Catticus (what's the plural of Catticus? Is it Cattici? Or Catticodae?) and have a lovely chat with the ladies there. I tell you, that shop is an absolute goldmine for fabric. Every time I go there I get lovely, lovely things.

This time around, in addition to the upholstery fabric, it was a gorgeous lolly pink wool and cashmere blend. The pink is a kind of cross between between bubblegum and calomine lotion, which I'm going to have made into a suit for work - I wouldn't trust my own skills, I'd be bound to muck it up and it's such amazing fabric I couldn't bear that.

And of course I left the stupid camera on my table so I will have to add a picture to this post once I get home from work!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

While the cat's away ....

....flickettysplits will sew! And when I say "cat", of course I mean "husband". He's interstate visiting friends for the weekend, so the furry babies and I have got the house pretty much to ourselves.

And it's just as well I took the sick sewing machine to the hospital a few weeks ago and got it all fixed up, because today I have just about flogged the poor thing to death. With no chores to distract me, and no husband to pay attention to, I've had a full day of sewing to run at.

And run I have: I started around 10 this morning and I'm just finishing up now. Of course the camera battery died just as I was about to take a photo of the mountain of stuff I've produced - so I'll have to post photos tomorrow and settle for a quick itemised list instead.
  • two lined fabric buckets in four different shades of the Heather Bailey Bijoux Tile print
  • one lined fabric "boat" in Alexander Henry owl material in green tea, with Sandi Henderson's Ginger Blossom Vintage Dots in lime on the inside. This was meant to be a bucket too, originally, but it was the first one I did and I sewed the wrong edges together. Oops.
  • two doorstops - one in a groovy sixties print in blue and turquoise, and one much more staid in a plain rust-coloured corduroy
  • two Perfect Pencilrolls - one using a great psychedelic cotton in purple, pink, lilac, orange and red "eggs", with a pink polka dot lining; and the other in Bird of Norway fabric with orange polka dot lining
  • three doorsnakes: blue, green and rust
And that's ENOUGH for one day!

My poor sewing machine has scuttled off to whimper quietly in the corner for a bit, nursing its wounds.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Introducing Appleblossom Hoot

Here is my new Hoot, I think I'll call him Appleblossom.

That, or Pinkeye. Which do you prefer?

I'm churning through these now, and I love the opportunity it's giving me to be really creative with my fabrics.

For this one, I used some printed canvas drill on the front that I picked up at Spotlight in Penrith a few weeks ago.

I matched it with a crisp red and white floral vintage cotton that came to me via a friend whose mother was clearing our her stash. Classic red polka dot ears seemed the best match I could make with that.

And I tied in the orange from the flower print, with orange corduroy feet as well.

On the reverse side, I chose an ice-blue and chocolate Jennifer Paganelli print.

All my Hoots are designed so that you can play peekaboo with the wings, and the blue of this fabric really matches the blue in the flower print on the front.

And to finish, a tiny sprigged floral canvas drill that I've had in the cupboard for ages. Isn't it nice when you can finally use some fabric that's been in the stash for a long time, just waiting for the right thing?

Hoot hoot!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Taking a new step into wholesaling

Thank you to everyone for giving me your advice and suggestions on wholesale costs and orders - I really, truly appreciate it!

I have stopped quaking in my boots now and am focusing on working out what my approach will be. I value everything you said, especially the bits about making sure I don't underprice and that the deal is good for both me and the order-er.

I find pricing to be the hardest thing about what I do. Does anyone else feel the same? I think it's because I'm a hobby crafter rather than a professional, so I tend to underquote in order to make a sale, rather than setting a firm price and sticking to it.

If I was doing this for a living I'm sure it could be quite a different story, because I'd see the prices in terms of necessities they could pay for (like food, mortgage, expenses etc) ... rather than as a bit of "play money" on the side, which is the situation at the moment.

See these shoes? These lovely orange and grey ankle strap heels from Camper? My One True Love bought them for me on our recent holidays, and even though they were expensive (even by my standards!) I thought: that's okay - I have play money I can use as a backup if we need it.

But I'm not sure I'd have let him purchase them if I'd had to use the play money for Real Things. Like keeping us alive, and fed, and sheltered, say.

Oh okay - I would have let him purchase them. They are beautiful orange shoes, after all. How could I not have let him purchase them? Are you crazy?!? Perhaps using shoes as an illustrative example was not the best idea for this situation I'm trying to describe. Aren't they lovely though? And isn't HE lovely, for buying them? Oh and that reminds me, I will tell you about the purple wedges he also bought for me, on a different day ....

Ahem. What I mean to say though, is that having a bit of play money on the side means I can buy the odd thing without worrying too much about it. If I were making a living out of the play money I'd be much more stingy with it. I'd keep those purse strings tied up tight.

But one day I'd love to give up the day job and focus on my crafting full-time. Wouldn't we all?

I dream of a time when I don't have to go to work and struggle through another politically-charged day just to make a living, gritting my teeth at the impossibly frustrating situations I often find myself in.

I'd be able to work in my pajamas, and the furry babies would be as happy and content as little furry apple pies, all warm and snuggly in the house with me - they love it when I work from home. Sometimes Podae will even sit on my lap when I'm at the sewing machine, which is a VERY rare occurrence.

And wouldn't it be nice to only have to worry about dealing with your suppliers and the mailman, instead of a long and painful list of internal stakeholders? Yes, it would! It would be nice!

So hopefully, one day these Hoots will truly take off (ha! ha! see the joke there?) and I'll be able to make the dream a reality. Until then though, it's back to the grindstone ......

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Climbing the sewing mountain



It's funny how work piles up sometimes without you realising, isn't it?

The day before we left for Coffs Harbour, I gave a Snugglebaby cot quilt to a colleague at work for her leaving present as she headed off on maternity leave. It was the present from the team, and I got the pleasure of putting it together.

There were lots of ooohs and aaahs as she unwrapped it, which was very gratifying, and before the morning tea was over I had orders for another four. Aha! The lightbulb went on. So this is the market for my lovely quilts ... corporate colleagues with no time to shop for themselves, rather than passers-by at my craft markets who have lots of time to browse and choose. I think I'm onto something.

The only fly in the ointment - and it's a very, very small fly in the scheme of things - is that each person needs their quilt in the next three weeks or so. Eep! That's a lot of sewing. I did all the cutting-out on the holiday (I was forbidden from taking the sewing machine on hols, as My One True Love said he would prefer to spend the holiday with ME rather than the machine, if that was alright by me, which of course it was ... somewhat grudgingly....).

So now I'm sewing them together. I'm one down, three to go.

But I also have five markets coming up in the next four weeks, so I have to make a LOT of stock for those. It means a new range of doorsnakes and doorstops. It means fresh soap packs. It means lots and lots of new cushions, and it especially means a bunch of new toys. A big bunch. That's a lot of sewing ... and never mind the full-time job as well!

I was just about holding it together without wilting under the pressure (the pressure! the pressure of it all!) when I got a wholesale enquiry last night through Etsy.

I've never had a wholesale enquiry before, it's my first. And he wants TWENTY Hoots as a start. Ye gods and little fishes, as the mother of the Sister Of My Heart used to say! I am equally proud and happy, and slightly overwhelmed. I've done three, posted at the top here.
Does anyone have any advice for me on how I should price the Hoots for wholesale, by the way? I would usually charge $35 each at my craft markets and I know I have to discount for a big order, but by how much? They take me about three hours to make, so I'm obviously going to lose money on them individually, but for the chance to sell a bulk order into a new market, it's a price I think I'm prepared to pay.

If I just knew how much to discount, then I could relax and enjoy the thrill of getting the order, rather than stressing about it like I'm doing right now!

Monday, June 8, 2009

SEWN giveaway winner ....

.... is DanandKaren, from over in Southern California! Congratulations and thanks for entering the giveaway! Two gorgeously kitsch Australiana teatowels will be winging their way to you shortly.

Which reminds me, I haven't yet revealed what was in the big 101-th giveaway from a few weeks ago...

Fatpuss reminded me today actually, that I hadn't posted the photo yet. I was waiting to hear back from the recipient at thereisabuttonmissing, and the email arrived during the week while I was on holiday. So now that I'm back at the PC, here is a picture of all the goodies she received!

Feast your eyes on this stash... there are:
  • a whole pile of fat quarters
  • a tin of Crabtree and Evelyn hot chocolate
  • a Better Homes and Gardens magazine
  • slightly less than a hundred and one buttons
  • a pencil roll made from vintage fabric
  • a tote bag made from vintage fabric
  • a tissue pack
  • a pile of golden pom poms (possibly a hundred and one of them)
  • a little stash of ribbon and braid
  • a perfumed soap in a lovely cotton sack
  • and something else I can't remember. The Fathead may be sitting on it.
Thanks to everyone who entered - I'm already looking forward to the giveaway for my 202-nd post!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Better late than never? My SEWN giveaway

Gosh, four days without a decent interweb connection really puts a dent in the blogging, doesn't it?

We're home now in Melbourne - I have SO many thing to tell you about (dinner sets, and Coonabarabran, and vanilla slices) - but first I am posting my SEWN giveaway which I meant to do ages ago and completely forgot about. Oops.... I received kindly email reminder this morning and immediately felt terribly guilty. I'm sorry, SEWN! I know you are a great new sewing site and you deserve much better than this!

But also, you know, sometimes forgetting is good, because it means you can give away things that you wouldn't have otherwise had. (See how I'm justifying this? See? It's a long shot, I know.)

Take this lovely whale teatowel from Coffs Harbour for example. Now, if I'd blogged this giveaway before we went on holiday, as I intended to do, I wouldn't have been able to include it, would I? And it's lovely - pure linen, just like the Kangaroo tea towel which came from our
Mildura trip back in March.

So there we have it, two little pieces of Australia, all yours for the taking. International readers, no problems with postage, I'd love these to go to faraway shores!

You know the rules, just join up as a follower if you aren't one already, and if you ARE one, just leave me a comment below this post. I'd love to know what you might do with them ....

There's only a couple of days until this giveaway is drawn, on June the 8th, so you'll have to be quick!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Starting the trip back home

Just a very quick post today as we are shortly off on our looooong trip home.

We're going to drive inland, via Armidale, and Coonabarabran, and Dubbo. Lots of places we'd normally never go! And with any luck, there will be some good antique shops and op shops along the way ......

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The beautiful Dorrigo bakery

Aha ... Dorrigo bakery is still there! Look, here's the evidential proof.

My father walked into the shop and announced proudly: "Last time we were here was 23 years ago, and the bread was so good we thought we'd come back for some more!"

Did I mention we were here with my parents as well?

We bought two of the massive high-top loaves, as well as four sausage rolls, and a giant vanilla slice. That kept us going for a while .... as we wandered around the little shops there and found some nice second-hand bits and pieces, like a collection of bowls and plates from the old Lismore Convent (perhaps slightly too holy for us I think, but we'll eat off it happily!).

We didn't find an old hatbox though, which is the thing we're actually looking for. Fatpuss has decided he loves to sleep in our suitcase, and we've decided we'd rather he slept in one we don't care about, given the amount of black fur he sheds all over it in the process. So we thought an ancient old hatbox would be perfect for him to curl up in - it's round, and nice and deep - but can we find one anywhere? No we can not.

So we went on to visit Dangar Falls, which is absolutely teeming with water at the moment. Remember that nice sunny holiday we were coming away for? Well it has rained every single day since we got here. Sigh.

But never mind ... we've still been able to sleep in, and read, and eat (eat! like you wouldn't believe! I can practically feel my waistband getting tighter each day). And of course rainy weather is the best kind of weather to visit Spotlight in.... and visit it I did, and I will take a photo of all the marvellous material I got, before too long ....

And we went to Bellingen and had a good coffee - the Lodge Cafe was closed unfortunately! - and I found a nice present for the Amateur Actress, who is looking after our three furry babies while we're away, and My One True Love bought some shoes, and then we came home for a fantastic dinner and then fell into bed exhausted.

Today is the Big Banana day, and visiting some cousins, and going to the beach.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's Tuesday and I can't wait to ....

It's Tuesday and I can't wait to .... get in the car, drive to Dorrigo, visit the bakery and relive one of my old childhood memories!

Living in the Riverina as we did when I was young, meant that driving to Coffs Harbour for family holidays was a bit of a massive chore. It was a two-day trip - we'd drive to Sydney, break the journey overnight with one of my aunts and uncles, and then drive to Coffs the next day.

We never took the highway, always the back roads. This was in the days when the Pacific Highway was a one lane deathtrap in both directions. So we would always take the road less travelled. Three young kids, in a van with one of those long bench seats (ie, we were jammed in together like you wouldn't believe, for hours on end) and just about no suspension.

I really loved the drive though, despite the inevitable fights with my sisters and the whingeing about no room, and the sly pinching that went on.

I loved it because it meant we'd drive up through the rainforest, and to me at a young age, it was one of the most magical things I could ever imagine.

Coming as I did from a town where everything was hot, and dry, and plants grew limply in the dusty ground, the rainforest was a revelation.

Ferns! And giant trees! And canopy! And leaf litter rotting into humus! And strange birds! ANd lovely sounds!

It was like driving through an enchanted grotto. And to me, it always signalled that Coffs Harbour was close, and holidays were about to begin. It was a kind of limbic journey, where travelling through the wet and dripping and verdant rainforest was a transformation.

We'd stop for lunch at Dorrigo. Dad would go to the bakery to get a high-top loaf and we'd all get out of the van and stretch our tired legs, glad to be away from each other for a few minutes. Mum would cut up the tomatos and cheese we'd brought with us, and we'd munch on our sandwiches and drink our water (always water, we were always on a budget and wouldn't waste money on flavoured drinks).

And then, before long, it'd be time to get back in the car and drive the rest of the way to Coffs, and I'd be yearning eagerly inside myself for the smell of frangipani flowers on wet concrete and the utterly foreign tropical experience of my cousin's house that was so far, far away from my home town.

My best childhood holiday memories are of Coffs, and I can't wait to revisit this one.

Hop on over to Buttons By Lou Lou and see what others can't wait to do today.

PS, at the top of this post is the fabric I picked up in yesterday's scour of the Coffs Harbour op-shops. So many! And so good! I thought it was suitably appropriate that everything I found was a shade of tropical green.

Monday, June 1, 2009


Hooray! After close to 19 hours of driving over the course of two days, My One True Love and I are finally in Coffs Harbour! Whoo hoo!! And we didn't even die on the Pacific Highway along the way. This is an achievement.

I'm all excited. I don't know what to do first. The Big Banana? The Pet Porpoise Pool? Korora Beach? The Coffs Harbour Spotlight?

Actually I shouldn't joke about that. We'd only been driving for one-and-a-half hours on Saturday morning when I made my first holiday fabric purchase.

Well, you can't blame me... we'd stopped for a snack in Benalla (him: coffee scroll, me: vanilla slice, or as our friend Pommy John likes to call them, a "snot block" .... eeeuuuwww). And there was a CWA fete right there beside the bakery. For overseas readers, the CWA stands for Country Women's Association, and they are FA-mous for their fetes and jams and cake days.

And look at this great material I got, for the bargain bin price of $2! I think my favourite is the mustard-y, lime-y, lemon-y Seventies piece.

The old apricot-flowered tablecloth is going to be cut up and go into one of the three new quilts that have been ordered for various babies arriving shortly. The aqua piece is very interesting too, I thought it had pictures of goldfish all over it, but in fact they're stylised fauns - like Bambi - except they've got their heads at very strange angles and kind of look like their necks are broken. I think that's part of the reason I like it. And at the back is a simple white cotton with coloured pinstripes on it. That'll go nicely into the quilts too.

So now that we're actually HERE in Coffs, having broken the journey briefly in the Blue Mountains and caught up with the Sister Of My Heart, Mountaingirl, and the Sober Judge, (photo of his new Hoot attached here) ... is it wrong to be longing to explore the new local fabric shops up here first???

I promised My One True Love that I wouldn't bring the sewing machine on this trip, and I made sure I was true to my word by dropping it off at the health spa that is Camberwell Sewing Centre.

I miss it already ... sniffle .... sob ....

But we are on holiday, and so I must be brave. I can't wait to look around Coffs and revisit some of my favourite childhood haunts (not just the Spotlight).

Coffs is where we used to come for our family holidays when I was small ... I have a number of seminal memories which are centred around Coffs Habour, and I shall reveal these to you slowly over the coming few days ... so stay tuned!