Tuesday, 31 March 2009

New Shoes on Konstant Kaos!

I have just uploaded more shoes (and other things) to the etsy shop. Firstly another pair of bat booties for baby! In a lovely turquoise colour, this fabric is from the Japanese manufacturer Kokka and it is a lovely linen blend to work with. I only have scraps of this one left, so it is definately a rare make.

The second pair is more of a fun print! Hundreds and Thousands Baby shoes!blue with coloured dots. Not sure if I can remember why I bought this fabric, but they look really cute! I wish I had more of this fabric.

The third pair is another Choo Choo train pair of shoes, this time in 18-24 months! For the larger train driver in your live

Hmmm toasty toes!

Update on Birthday Handbag

Well, the birthday girl seemed to like her new handbag!

And just for my father-in-law, a picture of the inside!

And now a close up of the label and the stippling.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Cut and Polish

I have probably been spending far too much time trying to "polish" my blog presence. Re-arranging gadgets, combining text boxes, trying to get banners to fit properly into templates.

Here are some interesting links for etsy people:
  • Craft Cult has this cool little feature that allows you to see who "heart's" your etsy shop!
  • One Pretty Thing has such a comprehensive list of crafty Business Resources, you must check out.
My husband's family are from Germany, so it would be good to have that one touch translation gadget working! As for my family, they are from Scotland (hence the Morris Minor pic!).

Scones in a Hurry

It was the last playgroup for Term 1, so I managed to squeeze in batch of scones this morning ...

Grandmother's Recipe

  1. Oven switched on at 220 degrees
  2. Roughly 3 cups of self raising flour into a bowl, add 1 table spoon of sugar (different sugars, different taste), pinch of salt and pinch of baking powder. Stir dry ingredients together.
  3. Rub in 80g of room temperature butter. If it comes straight from the fridge then cut it up into cubes and give it 10-15 minutes to come upto room temperature. The dry mixture should be nice and crumbly with no lumpy bits.
  4. Once dry ingredients and butter is properly rubbed in, add a splash of milk and stir with knife. Keep on doing the splash/stir thing until the knife can stand up in the mixture by itself. If it gets too sloppy, then add more flour.
  5. Turn out onto either clean bench, or a sheet of glad bake with a dash of flour and gently kneed until the dough comes together.
  6. Press out until it is 1 inch thick and then either use a glass to cut out circles or use a knife to make shapes.
  7. Brush with milk, then into the oven for 10-15 minutes.
Spread with butter, jam and/or cream and gobble up ...

... roll out the scone mixture, spread with nutella then roll up into a log and put in fridge for 30 minutes to set. Cut up into rounds, sprinkle with brown sugar and then into the oven.
... works well with soy milk and Nutelex as the non-lactose substitution.


Urban Threads

My grandmother passed away a while back and I was fortunate enough to be left some money that I used to purchase my Janome 350e Embroidery Machine.

My first job (of course) was to do my daughters Baptism Gown. Flying by the seat of my pants, I embroidered a lightweight cotton to make a quite a simple dress for her on the day. Typical of me to pick a large project as the first project to do on my machine. Ever since then I have had such fun, doing all sorts of things.

I stumbled across this site last week, Urban Threads and bought a handful of their designs. I did a test sample the other night of one of their cool designs. Not quite too sure what it will turn into, may be some sewing kits with bits inside ... I am looking for some effective lining to go in these pouches.

If I get accepted to the market on the 2nd May, I will have them there for sale.
Urban Designs also have some steampunkish designs that I want to have a play with. If I combine my embroidery with my screen printing then I can come up with some unique designs for sale.

The oven is on, I am off to make scones for my mothers group.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Home Spun Threads and ideas

The one thing that I seem to be good at is coming up with ideas to fill my days ... via Whipup.net I came across Home Spun Threads Patterns and Tutorials, not a good thing to look at just before school break! In particular:
  1. I'd like to have a go at the Kimono shoes, just need to work out the right kind of fabric to use. The firefly booties look cute and I should have known about them before the earth hour party that we went to at Beky's.
  2. The hanging Tote looks like a great idea for when you are collecting mail for someone .... you could just give them the tote to fill while you are gone complete with pockets for contact numbers etc. We are currently collecting mail for the next door neighbours and we have hung behind our door an old paper bag ... these look a lot better!
  3. Need to have a go at making a wallet one of these days with all my funky fabrics! Now that I have a new delivery of D-Rings ... I could do something interesting.
  4. Wrist rattle looks like an easy warm up sewing task. with the right backing it could instantly transform itself into a wrist pin cushion.
  5. Patchwork placemat reminds me that I have to make a PVC lined placemat for Tori's place at the table .. and the floor ... and the wall.
Too many ideas not enough time!

But with so many ideas on the net, why do I feel an overwhelming need to have the physical book in my hand? The new Meet me at Mike's book has just been released and I am looking forward to eventually getting myself a copy. There is also a cute one out called Softies (and I think Softies part two!), and I lust after the Amy Butler books that I don't have.

There is just something about sitting there with a nice cup of tea or coffee and flipping through a well designed craft book with a notebook beside me sketching ideas. Surfing on the net is good as well, but I find that when I am online, I tend to be multitasking Reading a book for me tends to be a singular task only.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Japanese Kimono fabric

I managed to score 4 metres of Kimono width fabric from one of the German Grandmothers at my inlaws Church. The deal is that I have to make a table runner for the German Grandmother and then something to donate to the Church Bazaar in November.

So what should I make?

New Kaos on Etsy

I have some new uploads on etsy that I thought you might like to see .... what is that! Upsey Daisy!

After losing too many soft toys and sippy cups while strolling down Brunswick Street, I decided to utilise some modernish technology to prevent the loss of a loved one again. I managed to get a hold of some skull and crossbone ribbon and voila! A cute little Toy Saver!

I normally just sell these at markets, but they are too cute! The last time we lost a loved one was while visiting the Little Creatures Beer Hall on Brunswick Street. Highly recommended!

Tori has decided that she just likes to eat mayonaise at the Beer Hall!

I had a few lengths of this fabric left and decided that they would be a gorgeous flannel winter wrap! I edged it with purple (Tori has a red edged one). I have only done one of these, there are scraps left, but not sure what I am going to do with them yet. Bibs maybe?

On a business note, I have hooked upto Technorati in a vain attempt to get more traffic to the blog! But the service also does this really cute key word image on my blog that I quite like. The more people link to my pages, the more "ratings" I get, the more sales, the more creations!

Birthday presents

Tonight I gave myself permission to just experiment. Rather than sew an order (which I should have been doing), I just created something from scratch and I wasn't sure where I was going. I haven't done this in a *long* time! Material, batting, interfacing and velcro!

The result, is a birthday present for a three year old this weekend. We are off to the party on Sunday (so hopefully her Mum won't read my blog until afterwards).

Not quite too sure where I got the material from, or where the idea for the two straps came from. The bag just kinda materialised from two squares. I finished it off with some buttons on the right hand side of the picture and a felt flower which I have attached with machine. The top of the bag closes with two flaps and velcro. I wanted to make it easy to open and close.

I also whipped up a quick pencil case from the left overs (note my dodgy attempt at patchwork).

I used my lanyard clips to make a strap open and close the pencil case (not sure how three year olds operate!).

Tori and I are going to put a few more goodies in the bag for the Birthday girl, hopefully she will like it. It isn't my usual style, but I think it might be good for a three year old!

Friday, 27 March 2009

Project Triangle

Stumbled across the 21 Dragon's web site while doing lesson preparation and they have a blog entry about the Project Triangle:

Particularly relevent to someone who has a business making things for others!

"In other words you have three options:

  • Design something quickly and to a high standard, but then it will not be cheap.
  • Design something quickly and cheaply, but it will not be of high quality.
  • Design something with high quality and cheaply, but it will take a long time." Wikipedia

I have just put my prices up on my Baby Shoes. Whilst it pains me to think that I am competing with Chinese imports, the reality is that if I do compete with them on price, then Konstant Kaos will not be around for very much longer! I notice so many business go down the path of getting things made in China and I would prefer not to do that ... so I have to find a happy medium between charging a price that people will accept as affordable and I also have to cover my costs so that I can sew another day!

Food for thought ... 12 Tenets

In my teaching job, I teach Body, Mind and Spirit to Year 7's and Year 9's which is bit like Religious Education. While preparing for my lessons today, I stumbled across this and I think that you might enjoy watching it as well .....

Anthony Robbins 12 Tenets

1. Live a life of service.
2. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
3. Be kind.
4. Be remarkable.
5. Seek unity.
6. Strive for wisdom.
7. Be grateful.
8. Think critically.
9. Be brave.
10. Be humble.
11. Be creative.
12. Be present.

I first saw this a few years ago when it first came out and I printed off a screen grab from each of the Tenets, I have them pinned up in my study as a reminder of what I want to achieve ... especially the "creative" one.

Crafty Buggers

I only got around to reading the Sunday Age the other night and noticed this article in it spouting how "Craft has got it's groove back". Was it ever out of fashion?

The article was quite good talking about how it is very much a lifestyle choice and it also made an interesting comment on some of the not so crafty, craft out there.

A very lovely picture of Pip on the front looking very glam from Meet me at Mikes on Brunswick Street and a picture of Gemma the gal who organised the Bushfire Raffle that my Skull and Cherry Blossom swaddle was donated to, from Kaotic Kraft Kuties.

The empowering thing for me is that you can contribute to social change by the very act of donating something that you have made or supplies for others to make things with. That is pretty powerful stuff. Make quilts not war! *chuckles*

Thursday, 26 March 2009

My shoes are getting bigger!

I had a lovely woman on etsy that conversationed me this morning asking if I would make a size 0-6 months of the "happy skull" shoes. She reflected that her daughter loved them! To which I said, well let's see if I can make some larger pairs. Her daughter is a girl's size 12.

So the questions for me are .... ... do I use the same "style" for older kids? ... larger kids means more durable soles ... do I try and obtain proper slipper soles for older kids? ... if I do this will I be opening myself upto doing adult sizes???

When I make the little shoes, I obviously "fussy cut" the fabric to position the skull on the shoes. It looks so cute on the smaller sizes, but will it translate to the bigger sizes? Do I need to come up with my own skull designs for older shoes? Lots of food for thought.

Links of interest ....

To Do Lists

Just a short note to the crafters that are following me, check out Whip up if you haven't already. Lots of ideas for lovely projects (as if we need more) and lovely links!

As for me ... I have to leave the house to do my part time teaching job in about 3 hours, so I have to work like hell to get some overdue projects started and finally finished. Tori is off at childcare and I am treasuring being at home on my own for just a brief moment .... and now for a cute picture (can you tell I am in a photography club?).

Current to do list ....
  • Shoe order for a very patient shop owner
  • Some more japanese pouches and wristlets as samples for another retail shop to consider
  • Presents for a special girl turning 3, not quite sure what to make yet ... but the birthday is sunday!
  • If I feel like it, starting to finish the gothy quilt I am doing, batting and stippling.
  • Working on a quilt for a young girl as part of the bushfire appeal. This project is a larger one yellows, oranges on a white base. Rather nice if I do say so myself!
  • Refine my "unimportant but nice" sewing list ....
  • Finish Moo Business Card Pin Cushions and mail out pin cushions to friends.
  • Post an order to US on my way through to work at Gertrude Street Post Office (they are so nice in there!)
So lots to do and to keep me occupied and out of trouble! But before then, a quick "listen to CD clean up of the house, put on a wash, feed crazy cats ... it never stops! Who said that working part-time and from home was easier!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

New shoes on Konstant Kaos!

My trusty assistant has been helping me to update my etsy shop with some groovy shoes and more coin purses.
Everytime I took a picture of a pair of shoes, she needed to inspect the quality of them to make sure that they COULD go up on etsy ... I hate quality control managers...

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Harmony Day Pinny

I had a real "Sound of Music" moment on Thursday night. The place where Tori goes to childcare had "harmony" day on Friday and they requested that we all dress the kids in orange. The only fabric that I had was this Ikea Fabric ....

So I made her a pinny to wear ... rough around the edges, but it met the criteria .... 1) orange, 2) hardwearing, 3) using a pattern that I am developing ...

I lined it in black cotton and the back of the pinny is black cotton with a metal snap closure. Trying to get a picture of her was hard ... she kept on running around. Back and forth from Dadda to Mammy ... she calls me Mammy ...

Tori loves her Dadda .... I love this picture .... the bliss upon my husbands face is priceless!

Saturday morning goodness

I can't believe I have made it to the end of the week!

If you know me, you will know that I can't start the day without a cup of tea. The fact that I lost a crown from a molar on the weekend, has made the hot cup of tea all the more challenging.

And yes I have my favourite mug ... this is it. A beautifully designed Nicola Cerini mug. Big enough for a decent cup of tea, but not too big that I don't make it down to the bottom of the cup.

Nicola Cerini designs wonderful things including mugs and bags. There are a lot of "knock off's" of her bags kicking around. She was the first to use PVC in front of beautiful fabrics in her bags (I believe).

One of my pet hates at markets, is other stalls that blatently knock off someone elses design. There is a regular market stall that repeatedly knocks off the style of "Mattt Bags". Everything except the Mattt tag. The one advantage that Matt has is that, a lot of his bags have handmade printed fabrics from designers such as Ink and Spindle (you must check out their fabrics, they are to die for!).

I am working on a few design ideas for some bags, but I am quite conscious that I want to create a unique product rather than something that someone else has done. It would be too easy to knock off someone elses design and I would probably sell lots of them, but at the end of the day I want Konstant Kaos to have some kind of integrity in what it sells. All of my patterns are developed by me! Trialed and developed prototypes kick around the house and generally make it into someone elses possession to trial. Yes there are similar things out there, but the patterns are all mine .... with this in mind I have created another blog/shop ... Pin Cut Sew is my space to sell my patterns and to also some of the unique fabrics that I seem to be good at finding (to of course make more money to spend on more fabric .. it is a vicious cycle!).

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Gocco Adventures

I have posted my print Gocco adventures up on etsy for all to buy ... hopefully.

I printed some t-shirts up and then I kept on printing on some cotton that I had spare. I then appliqued the cotton skulls onto some pouches. I thought they were cute at the time!

I had such fun coming up with a design, trying different inks and then finally making something that I would be happy selling.

I look foward to my next printing session!

Goodbye Uncle David

Farewell to my brother who is off to Japan again on another working adventure for a year or two.

Tori will miss the way that you tormented her and made her crack up!

Worn Wild Adventures

I almost feel back to normal after a week of kaos!

Firstly, my brother moved back in with us for a few days before heading off to Japan, secondly I had the Worn Wild Alternative Market to prepare for and thirdly *drumroll* a crown on one of my molars fell off half an hour before I actually started the market. So I braved 5 hours of a market on whatever pain killers I could find ... What a week! In between all of that, teaching, report writing and of course Tori!

So some piccies from the event ... it was a worthwhile exercise and I have so many posts to make on all the lovely stuff that was there!

A bit of a no-brainer, my stand with my hand made sign that I made while doing the Northcote Night Market last year with the lovely Angelica from Jellibat. My "stand" was a 70cm x 70cm table situated "just" outside under an awning. As the day got darker and wetter I slowly inched inside. I warned the people next to me that if it started to rain, I would be dragging the table inside. I didn't want to deal with damp stock.

Some new pouches and coin purses for people to buy.

I used my embroidery machine to make these large pouches out of velveteen with purple embroidered bats on them! Have to make more for my etsy shop! The skull and wings design pencil case got snapped up rather quickly!

I also had my first Gocco screen printing adventures there as well! My first t-shirt and I made some pouches/clutches big enough for money, keys mobile and other bits. Nice wristlet and some groovy lining. I think I had them priced a bit too high ... lots of interest, not much nibbles!

My task for the next week is to update my store and ship out a few orders that are nearly finished. If only my jaw would stop aching!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Worn Wild Market Sunday 15th March, 2009

I've been so busy sewing that I forgot to post this draft!

... I'm excited ... next Sunday (tomorrow) I have secured a table at the Worn Wild Alternative Designers Market. Being an alternative market means that I will have all of my delicious skully, batty and catty things on sale and also an opportunity to chat about retail opportunties. This event is run as part of the Loreal Fashion Festival, so hopefully some different people will be attracted to attend.

Worn Wild: The Alternative Designers Market
Date: Sunday 15 March 2009 Time: 1pm-6pm Cost: $5.00 entry Venue: La di da (entry next door to yummy Nando's) 577 Little Bourke St (cnr King Street) Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Camden Markets meets London Edge Aussie style!

A brief bio is located on their Exhibitor Details page. Here is a taste of what I will have there ....

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Stitches and Craft Show

Just a reminder that the Melbourne Stitches and Craft show is on again next weekend from March 11 - 15th at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

Lots of interesting things are happening there including a drop off point for Hand made help.

So if you have any crafty projects that are finished that can go to someone in need OR you have supplies that can be given to crafters that have lost their stash, bring it along and donate.

Quilting Sites

Since making the Wigglesworth Quilt for Kerri and her wonderful baby Lexa ... my mind has been a wash with ideas on how I can buy fabric, cut it up into little shapes and then sew it together again to create another masterpiece. I think my husband finds the process a bit pointless ... but I love the creativity in creating something so utterly unique. Especially in a society where uniqueness is far and few between.

Monday night I had a quilting brainstorming session with Jen and she left me with some of her Alice in Wonderland card fabric. I am contemplating turning it into *something* for Tori.

There are a few new quilting sites that have consumed me lately

Moda Bake Shop is a great site for ideas, especially little projects. It does have tutorials on quilts, but it has cute little tutorials to make a quilted pencil case, trivets and other small projects.

Crazy Mom Quilts is another site I have been trawling through. Lots of lovely quilts and

Oh Fransson is a favourite of mine and a site that I point people to when they are thinking about starting quilting. I love her designs and ideas and this month she has a Quilt-a-long where she is running a virtual craft class that you can sew along to.

I am starting to put up some fat quarters onto my etsy site. I like putting material colours together and I might end up putting together some fat quarter packs in the colours I love to work with. Perhaps someone can make something creative out of my colour combinations.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Alice in Wonderland Patchwork Block

A friend came around last night and we experimented with fabrics to give her some ideas for a quilt that she is wanting to make for her newborn (when it arrives in June).

She had some Alice in Wonderland Japanese Print that she bought in Tokyo and we wanted to play around and see how we could use it in a patchwork way.

This design is probably a bit too busy ... but what do you think?

Konstant Kaos now at Devil Kitty

I haven't posted in ages and that is mostly because I have started back teaching part-time. Although I am only working the equivalent of a few days a week, it still feels like full time when you take into consideration the fact that getting to work involves dropping a toddler off at either childcare or her grandparents! Exhausting! Now that things have settled a bit, I can get back to concentrating on Konstant Kaos during my non-teaching days.

Some good news, Konstant Kaos creations are now on sale at Devil Kitty in Brunswick Street, Victoria, Australia. This shop has so much cool Rockabilly stuff - you have to visit!

Pencil Cases, Pouches, Coin Purses and Shoes are all on display! What a buzz!

I am hoping to get a bit more shop frontage to compliment my markets and etsy shop online.