Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Yummy Scones

Tori has taken to sitting at the kitchen bench for her breakfast and lunch. Often if she wants something to eat she will climb up on the stool and sit there hitting the bench as if to say 'I'm here now, you can feed me!".

I snapped this one on Friday afternoon when she got home from child care. Earlier that day I had made some "Scones in a Hurry" for Nikki's Bloggy morning tea and so when she got home and climbed the stool there was scones there for her to eat. I haven't been taking enough pictures and footage lately. It isn't that the novelty of being a mum has worn off, just that I find myself being pulled in several directions since I returned to work.

It is hard to get Tori to smile sometimes, but we do a little routine where we go "tongue" and we stick out our tongue, "teeth" and we all grin and show our teeth, and then "kisses" and we get kisses. It was more of a strategy to see what teeth she had so that we could brush them. But now we use it for pictures. Mind you I had to take 10 pictures to get this one!

I felt the need to post a picture of her today. Today has not been as productive as it should have been and I found myself stumbling onto a number of blogs, one in particular Bad Mummy. Flipping back through the posts there was one about a brave little girl called Maddie that passed away last April. Tori about is the same age as Maddie and I just want to hug her today, but she is at her grandparents on a Tuesday. The day is going so slowly!

Her mothers blog has a number of links about how you can help to support the family and I am amazed at how the Blog-sphere has banded together to support them. Technology used for retail aims such as paypal has been used to support the grieving parents and sites such as Mommy blips also has an official page on the blog posts made for Maddie.

My prayers are with her family at this hard time.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Virtual Assistants

At the Business Mum's Conference I attended a session conducted by Kylie Short of Tilda Virtual Services. The session was all about documenting processes.. Sensational Systems, as Kylie puts it!

One of the things that I walked away with from the session was that if anything were to happen to me, I don't have my systems documented. Even as a WAHM Crafter, if might be worthwhile to document a few things:
  • Have an order board or folder which clearly shows which orders are in progress and contact details of the person in case my hubby needs to get in contact with them.
  • Document who I have trade accounts and who my contact people are?
  • Who do I do my banking with? Passwords?
  • Who is my accountant? My ABN? My business registration?
  • What process do I go through when I get an etsy order? How do I wrap things, what do I include? Even the simple things like checking the address with the paypal one.
  • If I need to get someone to finish a sewing job because of sickness, who would I ring?
Kylie recommended that you take the time to document things and produce a document which outlines these (everything except the passwords). That way you can also store this document off site (or on a secure web site).

The idea of course is that if I am sick, or I have won Tattslotto and taken off, my significant other can finish my "orders in progress". This means that after you create your user manual for your business you would also test it! Check out her blog, it really is very good.

One of my new financial year resolutions is to develop a systems document for Konstant Kaos ... perhaps after the Sonny and Coco Market next Sunday!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

July Giveaway

I have some scraps left of my map fabric that I just can't get any more of ... and I thought it would be a great opportunity to do another GIVEAWAY!

A while back I made a collection of custom pencil cases for various people with co-ordinates on the front. So, it goes something like this ..... according to my various analytics widgets, I am getting people visiting my site from the US, Canada, Hawaii, Scotland, South Africa and Japan. I love traveling and hearing about other people's adventures.

Guess where these co-ordinates lead you ...

But the short story is, I want to know more about you all!

Dimensions of the pencil case for the give away!

Tell me 1) where you in the world and 2) what interests you about my blog, and you will go into the draw for a longitude/latitude pencil case with your custom co-ordinates on the front and map fabric on the inside. Easy!

Entries into the prize draw go something like this ....
  • One entry for every comment on this post.
  • PLUS, if you comment about my giveaway on your blog, I will give you two additional entries! But you have to tell me about your post in your comment.
The draw closes 31st July 11.59pm Melbourne time! So there area few weeks to enter into this draw!

I so look forward to reading all about where people are from, what interests them about my blog and even if you have been to Australia! So come on Comment!

Sonny and Coco Next Sunday

What did you say?

"I have nothing planned next Sunday?" .... well! Konstant Kaos will be having a stand at Sonny and Coco at Preston Town Hall next Sunday! The organisers have taken on board feedback from the last market and have re-vamped their stall holders. So come along and support them.

We are very much looking forward to it and have been busily making all sorts of Kaotic things for this craft market. Come along and see what goodies we have! Flip back through my blog for pictures of what I have been making!

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Japanese Resin Pendants

I am in the process of uploading these resin/pewter pendants ... I love my new MOO business cards for presentation!

I loved making the charm pendant, cutting the fabric for the skeleton hand was so much fun!

Ouka (purple) is one of my favourites. Just a hint of purple against the black background ... yummy!

Keep and eye on my etsy shop over the next few days when I will be uploading most of my pendants.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

As cute as a button

I have busily working away building my product range for the up and coming Sonny and Coco Market at Preston Town Hall on the 5th July.

One of the things that I hate is waste. Making these cute little button hair ties was one way to use up all those scraps that I have been hording. After my last market, I realised that I need more at the $3 - $15 price point. So I have been busy and the tips of my fingers are raw from wrapping fabric around metal bits.

This morning I took delivery of my new MOO business cards, this time they have Konstant*Kaos down the bottom so that I can use them for pendants, hair ties or hair clips. A hole punch here and a hole punch there and voila!

The problem I have now is which ones am I keeping for myself? or Tori?

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Copyright Infringement

The lovely Beky at Pivotal Xpressions pointed me in the direction of this post about Copyright Infringement by Diva against indi crafters selling their goods though Shana Logic.

It seems that the people at Diva, would think nothing of just copying someone's design.

I know that there are people out there in the crafty world who think nothing of just copying someones idea. They trawl through the crafty markets on the weekend looking for the next hot thing to rip off. I try to be meticulous in keeping sketchbooks and a "prototype" box full of all the mistakes I have made. If I were ever questioned, I would hand these over as my proof of product development.

Black Gingham Fabric Box

I am deep in thought over the layout of my next Market Stall, which is Sonny and Coco on the 5th of July. The Business Mum's Network Conference that I went to last weekend gave me plenty of food for thought on how I should be displaying my products for maximum effect. Even though I love to futz around in my sewing room, the reality is that I want to make a business out of what I am doing.

I have been looking for containers to put my handmade products in, frustrated by the fact that none of them were the right size or shape. Inspired by Oh Fransson post on nesting and stacking fabric blocks, I decided to try my hand at making one.

Armed with just some black/white gingham which I bought at Camberwell Market a few months back and some black cotton drill, this is what I made.This fabric box will be used to store my pouches in. It has a PVC pocket in the front to hold a sign (at the moment it has just STUFF in it!).

Today's Woman for Young Wives

I came across this flickr image when searching for Today's Woman magazine images. There is a complete set of images called Perusing Magazines from the various "retro" magazines.

Uploaded by Charm and Poise

I am envious of the models. I have never been able to pull off capri pants (never). Black Levi jeans are generally my best friend. I chuckle at the headlines of "An intimate Interview with Dr. "baby care" spock. Those of you who watched bringing up baby will know Dr. Spock.

There are some real gems in this photo stream including a McCalls Needlework and Crafts front page from 1966 and the politically incorrect front cover of Better Living1954 - Teach your child to kill!

Grannies make fashion headlines

My mother came across this Gem while looking in her favourite Op Shop. My mother has this superpower that allows her to find the most amazing things in her favourite second hand shops.

A 1978 publication from Connecticut in the US, this Today's Woman publication shows how Granny Squares can be applied to just about anything. From jumpers, table cloths and bags. The inspiration is endless!

Laughingly, my husband commented that he wanted me to make him a Granny Pullover ... I haven't even finished Tori's Technicolour Granny (but I am close, one more TV evening and it will be done!). He'd better watch what he wishes for!

This little girl has the look of "kill me now" ...

Or how about these, I am tempted after the blanket to try and whip up a jumper for Tori. Might have to make another trip to Camberwell Market to the Yarn guy to get some super soft Marino wool.

Ah! If only I had another 10 hours in the one day, so that I could make more things!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Scottish Connections

As some of you may know, my roots are in Scotland. I was born there in 1972 and we emigrated to Australia in June 1975, Mum, Dad and I. So whilst I have no accent left, I do hold a soft spot for Scotland. I love my kilts and more importantly, I love neat Single Malt.

In the last week, I sent off my biggest order so far to Scotland. A combination of custom bags, pouches and some pendants. Packed neatly into a nice box and off they went.

I experimented with the packaging for the pendants that Andreas and I are making. Not sure if they will be a permanent fixture, but we are enjoying the creative process.

Tonight I spent some time drafting the patterns for and making the first of my range of kilts for the up and coming markets. The top bit of the kilt is meant to be worn under something. A simple cotton top and the bottom is a cotton/poly blend tartan -very easy to wash.

I have three different "tartans". One is a Black Stewart, and the other two are modern tartans red/gold and black/silver. I have hand pleated the kilts and pressed them with a chemical cloth. The design is a traditional wrap around design with the front panel being flat rather than pleated.

There is nothing nicer than a little girl (or boy) in a kilt. Now, can I get a pair of New Rocks to fit Tori? I have put the kilt up on etsy. Expensive, but all handpleated and pressed, it took me ages!

Friday, 12 June 2009

A to Z Meme

Image via synthesefiles

Here is a quick little Meme for a friday via Meet me at Mikes.. Given that this is my work computer, it should be interesting!

G - Google
H - Hamilton Island - where I want to be right now!
L - Lipsum
N - Nelson Info Tech - Secondary Teaching resource Site
P - PivX
Q - nothing!
S - Scribd
U - Nothing
V - VCAA - Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
X - Nothing!
Z - Nothing!

So it is quite easy, type in each letter into the URL section of your web browser and write down the first site that comes up. Link to it and then move onto the next letter!

Leave a comment and let me know if you do the Meme so that I can read your links!

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Winner of the SEWN Giveaway

Better late than never ... what a busy week I have had!

Congratulations, Finki (Jay) ... come on down and collect your dragonfly coin purse!
My next market is the Sonny & Coco Market at Preston Town Hall, you can collect the purse at this market OR I can mail it to you! Contact me!

There were 136 entries in total expected, and through this competition I got to read lots of new blogs that I never knew existed. I need to spend some quality time next week re-organising my blogroll, as it really doesn't reflect who or what I am following!

Check out these blogs of these crafty women!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Vintage Vogue

Last weekend we had a wonderful wedding to go to and in my quest to find inspiration for a frock, I came across this Flickr account ... My Vintage Vogue.

via MyVintage Vogue Photostream on Flickr

I spent far too much time flicking through the lovely photo's mentally making a list of all the things I would love to sew! My favourite was the orange inspired picture from the 1950s. They also have a web site as well, go ... take a look!

We will return to normal scheduling shortly ...

Just a quick note to let you know that I am in the middle of mid year school reports at work (part time 0.4), so my usual posts are not happening as much for the next week.

But you might like to take a look at the journals of these four lovely ladies:
  • Beky has a fresh young business called Pivotal Xpressions where she does graphic design work and makes the cutest gift tags and gift cards. At the moment she has a giveaway, so enter before the 17th of June and you could win goodies!
  • Jennie makes the most lovely tram cushions and other tram memoribilia over at Cravings Frocks.
  • Anna makes the most wonderful crafty things and sells them at the Olive Grove, visit her at Polly Pratt.
  • Nicole has a wonderful business called Circa Vintage Clothing on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy. She has the most wonderful collection of vintage wear for sale and she is very knowledgable as well!

So visit the blogs of these lovely ladies and support their businesses, as they are all doing good stuff!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Chess in Spring

Last night I had an idea for a quilt, and I thought I would share.

I have yet to block out how much fabric I would need and instructions, but what do you think? Should I take this idea one step further and do a pattern?

You could also use large chess pieces appliqued onto it rather than flowers. Not sure why I went for flowers....

Once I finish Tori's Technicolour Granny blanket (nearly there) and also our Zig Zag blanket, then I can start to do some serious quilting!


This flashmob "Do Re Me" at Antwerp Train Station came via a friend on Livejournal. So uplifting and such a happy start to the day watching it. Technically it isn't flashmob as they actually re-hearsed it, but wouldn't it be wonderful to watch it and know that they won't repeat their performance. Or be involved in something like that! What fun!

I wonder if there is such a thing as Flashmob for people that crochet or do craft? Is there an International Day of Craft or something similar? There has to be an opportunity somewhere to do a mass "Granny Square" sit in at Flinders Street station ...

Many years ago, my husband and I took part in a Spencer Tunick Photo in Melbourne as part of the Fringe Festival. Up at 4am and headed down to the entertainment presinct, we then stripped off and lay naked on the oh-s0-very-cold Tram tracks. There were three poses throughout the very cold morning. It was such a terrifying and also satisfying event to be involved in. It certainly took both of us out of our comfort zone.

International Day of Crochet is on the 12th of September according to Jimbo. Not sure how legit, but it sounds good enough for me!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Passion for Fabric

I have a passion for fabric. I get excited by the texture, the colours and the way that it hangs in my hand. I love taking an idea from concept through to product with the aid of beautiful fabrics.

For a while I have been secretly lusting after the opportunity to do some screen printing. I have played around with a Gocco, but it is nothing compared to what other talented ladies.

On Saturday Beky and I went off to take a peak at the Ink & Spindle studio in Kensington. What can I say, it took my breath away. The large workbench, the screens, the designs. I would love to have the opportunity to print my own fabric by hand. There is something very primal about printing the fabric and then using it.

Another Aussie fabric producer is Thea & Sami. Thea recently sent me a lovely email to say that she was reading my blog and she had signed up as a follower. I spent *ages* on her site taking a look at all the lovely fabrics that she has screen printed. I look foward to purchasing some via her store.

I know that the CAE in Melbourne do some screen printing workshops and also the Olive Grove on Sydney Road. Do you know of any other place that does workshops?

Monday, 1 June 2009

Amitie, otherwise known as quilters heaven

I joined the Amitie VIP Blog list.

If you haven't been to Amitie, you need to visit them in Bentleigh. The.most.gorgeous.fabrics! Worth the experience to trek over that side of town. I always spend too much when I go there.

But I thought I would join up not just because it will generate traffic for my blog and hopefully business, but because I get little presents in the mail every quarter. The best kind of presents ... random fabric presents. It costs $30 a year and you get 10% off when you spend money at either their physical shop or online.

I might have to have a few trips out to Bentleigh after work. So if you have a blog, check it out.

What do you enjoy reading on Kaos?

While catching up on the 100's of posts that I missed while sick I noticed that Tall Poppy has a post about a Blog planner and calendar that she stumbled upon in her travels. The idea is to keep track of your posts and the topics to make sure that you have a well rounded blog. For those people who like to plan then post, this tool looks like a good one ... thank-you Tall Poppy for another great link!

Personally I don't have the time to micro-manage my blog to that extent. I tend to spontaneously blog and post, but lately I have been trying to space out my posts using the scheduled function of Blogger. What this means is that you won't get four posts from me all at once. I might space them out over the days when I know I will be working hard and I might not have the time to blog.

Since I am in such a reflective mood, goals for my blog for the rest of the year:
1. More consistent posts at least one every day.
2. Contributing content to the blogsphere, thoughts and ideas. I don't want to contribute waffle!
3. Build up loyal readers and understand what they want me to write about.

So then I ask you all ... what do you want me to write about, or what do you enjoy reading?