Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I love the mailman

I'm not ashamed to say I love the mailman. I LOVE him.

The mailman always brings me happy news. He brings me little pieces of joy from all over the world, and he never deliversany nastiness because I have registered to receive my credit card bills electronically. Isn't that clever? That way, seeing the mailman is always a good thing.

Today, he brought me two different packages. First of all, the Vogue patterns I ordered in their recent $5 sale - seriously, I love those sales too. You can' beat paying five bucks for a pattern that costs $25 in the shops here!

And then he brought me these fabrics from Hancocks Paducah, who were having a "spend $100 and get free shipping internationally" sale as well - and that is a REAL bargain, considering how easy it is to spend a hundred dollars with the Aussie cusrrency so high against the greenback, not to mention the sometimes exorbitant price of postage from the US.

Here we have the following, from top to bottom:
  • Amy Butler: August Fields in Knot Garden
  • Phillip Jacobs: Grandiose in natural
  • Kaffe Fassett: Daisy in bBlack
  • Phillip Jacobs: Layered Leaves in red
  • Phillip Jacobs: Daffodils and Dogwoods in yellow
  • Kaffe Fassett: Winding Floral
  • Michael Miller: Summer Soiree, Centrepiece in grey
  • Moda: Sanae Oz, Dizzy in black
  • Moda: Tula Pink,  Plume Tail Feathers in aqua
Gorgeous stuff! I know exactly what I'm going to be doing over the Easter break - playing with these lovely combinations!

I have a shirt planned in the Moda Sanae Oz, a sandy linen in mind for the Vogue vintage dress pattern, some quilting to catch up on ..... the list goes on .... and on ..... and on!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Creative Space

There's something very different about my creative space this week. Something strange. Something unusual.

Can you guess what it is?

Yes, that's right ..... it's neutral.

There's nary a colour in sight. Starting on top we have a lovely pumice coloured linen, of the best quality. Then a charcoal Italian wool underneath, followed by a navy blue Italian wool in the same fabric, just a different shade. All sitting on a grey and silver textured upholstery piece.

Neutral. What gives??!

I'm the first to admit that I don't quite know how this happened. There I was, at the Laura Ashley outlet, hungrily pawing my way through thousands of metres of discontinued fabric at THREE DOLLARS A METRE - yes ladies, you heard right - and I came out with neutrals?

No colours? Not one? I must be sick.

(Actually, I am sick, today my throat feels as though it's being lovingly stroked by a chainsaw.)

It's the only thing I can think of that may have thrown me off balance. And it gets worse, too - guess what I'm wearing today. Neutrals. Grey linen pants and a black linen top. I don't even have a coloured necklace on.

It must be time to crawl back under the covers - clearly, something is seriously wrong.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Follow The White Rabbit

If I was a character in Alice in Wonderland, I think I'd have to be the Cheshire Cat.

I'd snooze in a tree all day and create mischief and mayhem by night. I'd see the future, cast opaque predictions, and make acid remarks while drinking umpteen cups of tea.

I'd turn the world upside down, eat scones with the Mad Hatter, and poke fun at the Dormouse. He deserves it, after all.
I wish I could be the Caterpillar - smoking a hookah and dispensing impenetrable observations - but somehow the Cheshire Cat just seems more appropriate.

Which one would you be - the Queen of Hearts? Tweedledee? (I was Tweedledee in a play once when I was younger, and I had to do a somersault on the stage, which was not a super-pretty thing, I assure you). The Duchess? The fish-footman?

Lewis Carroll was an inspired literary genius. I am just a humble sewist who is unashamedly capitalising on his creativity.

Monday, March 22, 2010


So it seems like I'm on a bit of a cushion-fest at the moment - I have gorgeous new cushions coming out my ears. Yay!

That's the beauty of being able to just make what I feel like, rather than panicking about what is going to sell. I get to experiment with colours and combinations and every single thing is a "limited edition".

(Remember this year I'm taking more of a relaaaaaaxed approach to sewing, and not freaking out about stock levels and upcoming markets and product ranges and seasonal colours. No, this year is all about just making what I feel like, and if it sells then great, and if it doesn't - well then,  I have my upcoming Christmas presents to friends and family all taken care of.)  

 So here we have two cute babushka cushions. Aren't they sweet? I love this cotton with coloured babushkas all over it ... I was going to cut it up and make lots of little small things to stretch it out, but then I thought What the hell, le'ts go for maximum impact! I've teamed it with a cute purple polka-dot on the reverse side.

And then here is another one, this time with printed babushkas on canvas, which I matched with the country-cottage inspired striped material.

The two different fabrics were sitting on my sewing table (ahem, that's the dining table actually) and as I turned around I saw them both out of the corner of my eye, and saw how well they went together.

On the reverse side I've used a supersoft pinwale corduroy in grass green. This cushion is so tactile I just want to sit there stroking it! But as much as I love this one it doesn't go in our house, so I think it's going to have to go on Etsy instead.......                            

(oh, and an update: my tres chic Parisian cushion got a great deal of interest at the market from a lovely gent who is moving into his new place on Tuesday and wants another one to go with it! Hooray! I knew I was onto a winner with that one.  .....)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bonjour cherie!

Ah, Paris. City of lights, and love, cafe au lait, pain au chocolate. Chic fashion and Gallic noses. I love Paris - who doesn't?

These days though the budget doesn't quite stretch to Paris of course ... damn that mortgage!

And so instead I look lovingly and longingly at my new Bonjour Cherie cushion, all red-white-and-blue like the flag (so patriotic, I know).

When I discovered this month's design challenge from Finki was European Travels, I knew I had just the thing.

So I whipped this up using a wonderful printed linen that recently arrived in the mail, with a beautifully soft indigo denim on the reverse side. And - naturally - my favourite feather and down insert to make it super comfy and wonderful.

Isn't it delightful? I've taken it to the Shirt and Skirt Market with me today ... I wonder if it will be going home with someone else? How utterly, totally French that would be.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Vroom vroom!

Doesn't this bright cushion make you want to rev your engine! Should I call it Hotrods, or Vroom Vroom?

I love Echino fabrics - there's nothing quite like high-quality linen/cotton in smashing prints and colours to brighten your day. I think the yellow colourway is my particular favourite - it's not quite mustard and not quite ochre, definitely not lemon and not even close to butter. Let's call it "hepatitis".

I had some scraps left over after making a series of my One Car Off The Road totes, and as I pushed them around on the table I was struck with the idea for this piece. It's 60cm x 40cm and I've used my favourite feather and down insert inside, so it's supersoft and you can plump it up beautifully. I used to use polyfil inserts in my cushions but I'm not fond of the way they eventually go sad and flat over time. These feather ones are much better - and of course, you know the Lincraft saga that relates to them.

So this lovely thing is coming with me to the Shirt and Skirt market tomorrow down at Abbotsford, and if you think the boy (or girl, we're not sexist) in your life could do with a Vroom Vroom pick-me-up, well then you know what to do.

That reminds me to tell you of another thing that happened to me during that long month away recently - my stall at the Shirt and Skirt Market was filmed by the Postcards crew! Postcards is a Melbourne tv show that tells you all about the cool things you can do in and around Melbourne, and in February they visited the market for a shoot.

I wasn't interviewed like one lucky stallholder, but they came and did some overlay shots of my bright and colourful stall - especially the Arnotts vintage brand cushion and my Hoots and Ellyfumps. I was also filmed tying one of my fabric necklaces round the neck of the host (though I am sure they will cut me out of the shot and just show the host, no doubt), who then played about with it for a while on camera; and then picked up one of my Ellyfumps and did cute play-acting things with it. Nice!

It was only the briefest of brief segments, but I really hope I make it onto the show! Apparently it will go to air in September sometime, so you better be watching to find out .....

Friday, March 19, 2010

After a (long) pause, she returns .....

Right, I think it's fair to say that my break turned out to be a slightly longer hibernation than I had anticipated. Where does the time GO, people??? Any minute now it's going to be Easter, and then my birthday will come roaring up, and then it'll be the middle of the year, and before you know it, I'll be buying Christmas presents again. Cripes.

So where to start? It's been a month since my last post (egad!), and I have MISSED IT and MISSED ALL OF YOU. Perhaps I should start with an apology, in fact. I am deeply sorry.

A lot has happened in the past four weeks. As Innigo Mantoya says in The Princess Bride, "Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up."

First, without really trying, I got offered a new job. Then, to my surprise, I got offered another new job. Both of them good, in very different ways. So then I had to decide between the two new jobs - one with a big schmicky law firm, and one with a small credit union. I thought I had decided - credit union - when my current job came to me and offered me an Amazing, Incredible Opportunity in the form of a five-week secondment to the East Kimberlies. Asotnishing stuff. The kind of secondment that can be transformational - working with a remote Aboriginal community organisation in Kununurra, how cool is that?

So I had to decide between both brand-new sparkly jobs and a five-week secondment. Readers, I chose the secondment, which means that on 27 April I'll be flying to Kununurra to do something that totally scares the pants off me. It's going to be great! Was I crazy, though, to give up both new (permanent) jobs in favour of a short five-week secondment?? I'm trying to take the perspective that when one door closes ..... you know the one.

More on the secondment later. What else have I done in the past months?

My One True Love and I spent our second wedding anniversary traipsing up and down the Grampians, which was absolutely wonderful (though my knees thought it slightly less than wonderful, I'll admit). Lots of Grampians stories for further posts, I promise.

I also have my first retailer, Tender Vuillermin in Auburn Road Hawthorn, which currently stocks my Hoots, Ellyfumps, birds and snakes - I seem to have an animalistic vibe going on right now. I am super excited about this news and will do a post solely on Tender Vuillermin in the days to come. Hooray for me! This is a milestone in my Flickettysplits development, and I am very proud.

Oh, and I made a new Ellyfump pattern of which I am VERY proud! Now Ellyfump stands up by herself, which is great - previously she was only two-dimensional and had to lean against something. Now, she stands up by herself, even if her gusset is not quite the work of art it needs to be just yet, and requires a little bit of tweaking.

So on that note, I would like to welcome myself back into the fold and hope that I haven't lost every single reader I ever had. My huge thanks to those of you who are still here!