Monday, December 27, 2010

merry merries

hope you're having a lovely festive season. we've come south for many family and friend festivities. in fact, it's a festival of festivities that isn't quite over yet. one more to knock off tomorrow and then home again home again jiggety jig.

Friday, November 26, 2010

the post in which i make excuses for not making christmas gifts

i'm a maker.
it's true.

however, this holiday season i am also:

a newbie etsy shop owner with christmas orders

a mover of house some 1700 kilometres up the coast

the partner of a very special person turning a very special 40, and

an interstate-travelling solo parent for the week prior to and after c-day

so i'm making in the wee hours to fill orders - something new to me and definitely worth another post when the experience is complete - and to sneak in a handmade with SO MUCH LOVE gift for my very special person without him seeing. soon my supplies for making will be packed and ready to move from one home to the next, my very special gift will be gifted and i will head south with the small folk to celebrate the festive season with family and friends.

hence, in this moment*

my sisters will get a spoonful
my parents will get cafe au lait
my little nieces and nephews will wear these
and the bigger ones will have quite a year
and the in laws will buy goats

*open, and likely, to change with each setting sun

and your list?
please do share. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

on being treasured

i opened my etsy shop a little while ago. listed some of the pieces i've made over the past few months and felt wonderful that they were out there for folk to browse and buy. then i went to bed.

the next morning i awoke and had a note letting me know that one of my pieces had been 'treasured' - included in another etsy members' treasury. a treasury is a thematic list of favorites that etsy members put together for their own viewing pleasure and for publishing on the etsy site.

it was a warming, bouyant feeling. a little wee hee kinda feeling. treasured. shucks. i knew these pieces were beautiful. but to know that others did too? shucks.

two more treasures have been 'treasured' since then. the feeling is still warming and bouyant and i treasure that fact that folk are looking. and liking.

you, too, can put your own 'treasury' together at etsy. i'm currently putting one together for my lovely lover's upcoming birthday. leather satchels and chai kits. go on, make one!

Friday, November 12, 2010

local craft fair

out riding this morning, we headed for the local craft fair. our local it's an old school, tea and biscuits crafting establishment. the fair is a showcase of work as well as an opportunity for association members to sell their wares - embroidery, silk painting, felting, doll making, quilting, pottery and more. we filled our pockets with these little hand sculpted 'uns, among other handmadeness. the caloundra art crafts association annual christmas craft fair today and tomorrow. if you're local, swing past and support the the ladies. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

wee felt treasure bag tutorial

we're currently shacking up in a beachside resort while we look for more permanent digs. as well as it's fair share of 'weekenders', there are some other 'residents' here. our small folk have become part of a little posse of small folk who live here. yesterday we were invited to a birthday party for one of aforementioned posse. a wee treasure bag was stitched this morning then passed over to the smalls to fill. they chose four found treasures,  "one from each of us, mama". simple. happy. from us to you.

these treasure bags are easy to make. here's how i go about it.

time needed
a cup of tea and a peppermint ball

a small piece of wool felt
a glass
a pencil
embroidery floss
sewing needle

choose a glass about the size of the treasure bag you will be making. fold your felt piece over and place the glass on top. use your pencil and draw around the bottom half of the glass, leaving the top of the circle open.

draw a line from one side to the other. i like to make mine a wave, but you can make it any shape you like.

cut them out. you need two pieces.
choose your floss. take three of the six strands and thread your needle. start with an anchoring knot on the inside of one of the pieces. 

stitch your pieces together. blanket stitch your way around the bag. start and finish your blanket stitch about 1 cm from the top on each side. nice clear blanket stitch guide here
stitch some handles. choose a different color floss, take three strands and thread your needle but do not knot (te he!) the end of your floss. stitch a simple running stitch across one side of the bag and then the other. once you have stitched all the way around your bag, knot the ends of the floss together to form one handle.
thread your needle with the other three strands of floss and repeat the running stitch handle, but start your stitching on the other side of the bag. you'll then have two handles, one on either side of your bag.

fill with treasures, pull the handles so the opening gathers, and you are done.

simple. happy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

in business

the guildmaker etsy shop is up and running. i let out a little shout of glee when I posted the first piece, a little skip-a-di-do-dah for the next, a little jig for the next and so on. after having bought a few things on etsy, been inspired by all the aceness on etsy, spent hours (and hours) browsing on etsy and referring most people i know to etsy, it feels right to begin selling there.

within hours, one of my childrens' treasure bags was featured in a treasury (thanks, PeachTree!, you're a treasure!) and someone hearts one of my skirts. hearts and treasury? makes a girl feel good inside.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

starting something

yesterday i started something. i invited local folk, small folk, to come make with me. we painted, we sewed, we cut, we created. in the sunshine. with helpful mamas and papas alongside. in a beautiful space in the beautiful hinterland. the small folk were wonderful. their intent, their energy, their color choices, they way they shared time, space and skill with me and with one another was inspiring. thankyou local small folk for helping me to get something started. more here

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

the shoot

shooting shots of my wares for sale over the past few days.
i have a pocketful of cookies to keep my model smiling.

there's a stack of knowhow published on the perfect shot and how to get it. i'm really enjoying tips on the topic from this book at the moment. The book is small and beautiful, to hold and to read. it's inspiring but not overwhelming. it's confirming alot of what i know to be true about starting up and operating a handmade business as well as sharing new insight, alot of it first hand, that is timely for me right now as i embark on selling my wares online.

Monday, October 4, 2010


i'm partial to a good 'shroom. i found a little bit of 'shroomy delightfulness here from the girls at nuno magazine. those leather numbers make me feel good inside.
i picked up some leather offcuts from the local farmers market a little while back. said offcuts have been waiting patiently for a project like this one. i quickly made a first attempt.
and then i introduced new greenie 'shrooms to the crew. they were welcomed heartily.

but the nuno folk didn't stop at just one medium of 'shroom. no siree. that is one king of the woolly shroom land, my friends. oh me oh my i would like to slumber beneath it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

the making of

a guild. a beneficial assembly.

a cluster of components centred around a core element to provide support to that element.

a guild is designed. composed with intent.

my earliest recollection of the concept is of an old horticulturalist, kevin heinze, speaking at my primary school about the ‘guild league’. the guild league published posters of local native flora and fauna. i poured over them as a small one. still do as a bigger one. kevin heinze led us through our local neighbourhood, pointing out this bush and that tree, which produced this flower and that shelter, which was fodder for that bird and this butterfly. he was my first crush.

more recently, the concept arose again for me in the context of a permaculture design course i completed last year. how and why an apple tree will produce more fruit if its neighbours include a grevillia, some comfrey, a little alyssium and a passionfruit vine. of all the topics covered in the pdc – and there are many – the guild concept was the one that resonated with me the most. each plant and its placement is thoroughly considered in the context of all other plants in the space. there is no waste. yield is increased. the soil is conditioned. pests are deterred naturally. weeds are suppressed without pulling. climbing plants use other plants as support. small birds and insects are sheltered. it is a complex system but so sublime in its simplicity. simple. happy. and it looks beautiful. truly beautiful.

guildmaker is an attempt to take this concept and apply it to my making. i am a maker of simple pieces for small folk using quality new and vintage fabric made from natural fibres. each piece stands alone, but is part of a whole. this dress is complimented by that wristlet and that hat brings it altogether. each piece is enduring - only quality fabric and techniques around here. your piece has a generous hem and an easily accessible waistband to grow as your small one does. no precious pieces around here. they are designed to wear. and to be just a little bit delightful.