Monday, 30 November 2009

Northside Makers Market review

The weekend, in fact most of last week has been a rollercoaster for me ... Northcote Kris Kringle Market on Thursday night followed by Northside Makers Market on Saturday.

Konstant Kaos corner at Northside

I think I was burnt out before I actually got there, but we got through it and what ever doesn't kill you makes you stronger ... right?

Two Bits Patches and their model baby Emma

We had been worried sick all week about the weather. Emails flying everywhere between organisers and outside stall holders. The market was fully booked so no space to relocate everyone inside. One of the reasons why we chose the Northcote Uniting Church was for the lovely courtyard and space for outside stalls. But it does mean that we are at the mercy of the weather.

The organisers had outside stalls as well, so we fully understood the anxiety levels of the people outside. All you can be is organised ... Jay did a lovely post on the Northside Makers web site about being a girl guide if you have an outside stall. I was prepared with tarps underneath my stall and an umbrella on standby incase of a sudden downpour. But I did spend most of the day collecting stock as it flew around the courtyard. Most of it ended up getting pinned to my table cloth with safety pins, not sexy but practical!

Mecino, another brave outside stallholder

But despite the weather, people came and braved our outside/inside market. The craft table was popular again, with lots of kids getting balloons and making badges. We had a badge maker set up for kids to make their own badges for $2. Jennie had organised some pre-printed ones or you could draw your own. Kierah was our chief badge operator and she did a wonderful job.

Tori getting a Balloon from the Balloonman (as she called him)

The day wasn't as busy as the first market despite extensive marketing and a dozen press releases being sent out, but our first market was on when there was nothing else on and the weather was spectacular.

I think that there was a little bit too much on that weekend, Daylesford Makers Market, Sexpo and lots of work christmas events (food for thought for 2010). But for Konstant Kaos it was a good day, sales and orders and a chance to buy some goodies for myself from some of the other stalls.

Tori trying to smile again ...

Tori was with us for the pack up which added another level of complexity ... she had spent the day at the German Church Bazaar in Springvale, hence the German Dirndl!

I have yet another busy week ahead, Northcote Kris Kringle on Thursday night again and then the following Monday Craft Fair at Borders Carlton. Come and say "hi!".

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Rain, rain ...

via triniti101

Feeling a bit apprehensive about my market tonight ... we have an outside stall under a marquee ... it will certainly be an adventure. While the idea of more floorspace and hanging space appealed to me, I am now doubting my decision. I am sharing my stall with Finki Handmade.

So what does my list look like at the moment ...

Raincoat (check)
Money for hot chocolate (check)
Umbrella (check)
Humor (check)
Stock that will survive downpours or stock in plastic bags (check)

The positive thing is that if the weather get's it's rain out of it's system then the saturday market might not be that much of a washout ...

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Working overtime

With only a few days before my first Christmas market at Northcote Town Hall, the machines are working overtime and so am I! Bags, fabric covers, shoes, pencil cases ... lots of things on the production line.

In addition to sewing, I am also in the middle of marking and reports at school ... I am a crazy woman!

Here are some fabric covered journals that I finished last night with material inspired by the work of the lovely Cathy ...

I've made the fabric covered books large enough to take either A5 diaries, notebooks or sketchbooks (can you tell that I couldn't make up my mind?). I can imagine the recipe card book being used to keep clippings or notes of your favourite culinary delights.

Scrapbook inside

Journal inside

Diary inside.

I was a bit particular when choosing the diary insert, it had to be functional. For me, having a space to write a list makes it more functional.

If you miss me at Kris Kringle, catch up with me at the second Northside Makers Market at Northcote Uniting Church on Saturday 28th November, 2009.

Northside Makers Market Poster 28 November v1

Friday, 20 November 2009

Camberwell Market

The family made it down to Camberwell Market last Sunday and picked up a few odds and ends. Jennifer from The Mark Makers had 10% for Northside Makers Members, so that was motivation enough to get out of bed and out of the house at an ungodly time!

I bought a few patterns to make some summer dresses for Tori, an Aztec book for $2 (my Humanities kids are doing Ancient Civilizations) and a shadow box for $5 ...

Rather pleased with my shadow box, which will magically turn into a prop for my market stall! While strolling around the market a number of stall owners asked me where I got it from.

Voila! With stock! It fits my coin purses and pendants rather nicely. A few adjustments with some foam will stop them sliding under the particians and lots of space out the front to put price signs.

Close up! The big question is, should I paint it black or red?
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Thursday, 19 November 2009

New Japanese Fabric

I am on a massive sewing frenzy at the moment trying to stock up for all my Christmas Markets that are occurring. The embroidery machine is doing overtime making labels and also small jobs for other crafters.

I have to steal my husbands external flash so that I can take better pictures of my Market Bags. I took a whole stack the other night and decided that they needed far too much photo-shopping to get them looking right. I work on the philosophy that if I spend far too much time in post production, then it takes away my time from actually sewing the products.

So I shall tempt you with the Japanese Fabric that I used to make the bags ...

The challenge is getting a lining that doesn't distract you from the lovely prints. So I am going for basic matching or contrasting colours at the moment.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Quilters 2010 Diary Give away

I have a copy of the Quilters 2010 Diary and a copy of Quilters Companion to give away to a creative blogger ...

What do you have to do to be in the draw?
  1. Blog about my give away on your blog and tell me your "favourite quilting memory". It could be a memory associated with a quilt, about one that you made or about a quilting disaster. Include pictures as well please!
  2. Leave a comment on this post, with a link to your blog post and I will read it and put your name into the hat.
  3. Give away ends at the end of November and I will post it to anywhere in the world! An early Christmas present from Konstant Kaos ...

Pictures of the magazine and diary are taken on a quilt that a friend made for my daughter before she was born. The character is Gigi from Kiki's Delivery Service and my daughter now loves this cartoon. It has been through many washes, been thrown up on, wee'd on and snuggled up under ...

Inside of the Quilters Diary .. lots of inspiration!
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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Feeling unproductive and hot

It is both fortunate and unfortunate that my sewing room is at the front of the house. On lovely days I can gaze out to my garden as I cut out things on my ironing board. But on 30 degree plus days, it gets hot ... very hot, even with the blinds drawn. Once introduce a hot iron to a room that is already warm, it heats up quick.

So on Saturday we ended up seeking refuge in one of the many shopping centres with underground parking. I figured that if I had to do shopping, it should be in air conditioned comfort.

Someone liked the fact that Nanna met up with us and fed us chippies ...

But at the end of the day we were far too exhausted to even take the cracker out of our top before collapsing in the car seat on the way home.
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Saturday, 14 November 2009

Borders therapy

The husband was given a Borders book voucher as a gift for being a guest speaker, so we headed to Borders in Carlton for a bit of retail therapy.

I bought Handmade in Melbourne and Jane Austen's Sewing Box.

It is freaky reading through Handmade in Melbourne and knowing that you have met a few of the artists highlighted. Looking at how crafty Melbourne people are is truely inspirational. I'd love to think that my work might be in this book someday, but sometimes I think that my stuff is a bit too practical and not enough "arty". I might have to start designing my own fabric methinks ...

Jane Austen's Sewing Box has lots of stories and incidental patterns and inspirations from the regency period and Jane Austen's books. I have already earmarked a few projects, just need to nut through how they might work with skull fabric ;-)

It was a hard decision to make, I had to choose two books, but next time, I hope to pick up Kelly Doust's "the crafty minx". Some great projects in there, I love the subtext - "creative recycling and handmade treasures".

Another book that I flipped through was the "Made in France: Linen and Thread" by Monique Lyonnet. A gorgeous book.

I love clicking through blogs and have a quite extensive blogroll, but I also love taking time out to read through a well compiled craft book with beautiful pictures and lucious text.

Borders have quite a good range or craft books, some along and check them out at the Borders Craft Fair on 7th December @ 7pm!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Fabric Obsession

I got through some nice fabrics from the Halloween sales around the net. Most of the fabrics are only a metre in length, so I will have to choose my projects wisely!

bought from Melladoree on etsy

I am sure to have plenty of skull stuff for the up and coming Christmas markets ... but not too much!

bought from McKains Quilting Fabrics

I only got a metre of the "bat" fabric, is is so delicate and it needs to be used on something delicate ... just have to think what. I got two metres of the bodice fabric, so I might make a bag or two or some wardrobe potpourri bags ...

I buy most of my fabrics retail and I notice that not a lot of the good quirky designs make their way to Australia. There was one fabric that I tried to hunt up and I even contacted the distributors and they said that none was shipped to Australia at all!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Borders Craft Fair

After a slow start, the Konstant Kaos Christmas craft fairs are starting to come together. It will be a busy season, with teaching and juggling Tori, but hopefully worth it.

The latest one through is a new initiative from Borders in Carlton. I think the best bit about this fair is that we can wander through Borders and spend our earnings ... or maybe not! Borders are keen to support crafty peeps and encourage local groups to meet at their Gloria Jeans cafe for coffee and craft.

This is a lovely intimate craft fair and I am excited about the range of designers that they have lined up;First Morning Textiles, Cat McInnes, CSerpent Art, Mrs Beckinsale, Finki Handmade, Found n Bound, Betty and Hamish, Our Sweet William, Konstant Kaos, Made by Sarah.

So come along and enjoy the twilight (not in the horrible movie sense) craft fair and support Borders in this wonderful initiative.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Local textile designers

I love working with textiles that have been designed and printed in Australia, or even Melbourne. If you haven't checked out Ink and Spindle in North Melbourne, then head over to their web site and see all the lucious prints that they have. Mattt Bags, uses a lot of their fabrics ... if you are in the general area of Fitzroy, his studio is located on Gertrude Street.

But last week, I ordered and received these two lovely prints through the mail. They are not earmarked for anything special through my etsy shop or a market stall, they are for me! So they go into the chest of draws in my sewing room that has "special fabric just for Margaret" in it.

The first one is by Spin Spin, a lovely typography print. I saw her prints at the Sisters Market recently, and then eventually ordered online via her etsy store. She has an interesting blog to follow documenting her crafty adventures.

The second print is a print of an Eyechart by Shannon Lamden aka Aunty Cookie. I keep on missing opportunities to hear Shannon speak. I love her range of fabrics and avidly follow her blog. She makes the most beautiful craft panels. My first exposure to her fabric was when I made Trudi's knitting bag. I bought the length from Patchwork on Central.

Not sure what I will do with the eyechart, I might make a pillow or I am thinking it might become a good diary or journal sash, which of course wasn't what it was intended for. But I like to think differently....

Friday, 6 November 2009

New security door

At long last we have a security door on the front of our house! Overwrought in Daylesford do custom security doors. They are expensive, but check it out!

We bought this one not for what it looked like from the outside, but what it looks like from the inside.

Tori has already tried to feed the birds on the door by pushing through bird food!

I love having the front door open now. The cats sit there and watch the world go by ...

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Konstant Kaos Pencils

The lovely Beky from Pivotal Xpressions made me some prototype pencils for my enjoyment!

Oh! They look lovely tucked into one of my covered diaries .. I might just have to make a pencil holder for them to go into!

I'm excited to think what Beky might have on her Christmas stall at the Northside Makers Market in late November! I've been writing in my sketchbook with them ... I think I might get some more made!

I've also been working on some more diary covers today, from left over material in my workroom. These are are one of a kind covers, I may not make any more of these designs ... :(

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Thea and Sami

I received a package with free fabric from Thea and Sami! Very excited! *shhh* I actually received it a few weeks back, but I am only now blogging about it! Tsk, Tsk!

Thea and Sami, are based in Brisbane and hand screen print their own range of delicious fabrics.

So what should I make? There is enough green fabric for me to do something special for Tori with it, perhaps with some matching hand embroidery.

As for the fishes, I might just have to make a few of them with magnets for our fridge. I can imagine a range of magnet softies .... seaweed ... fishies.... star fish!

Although the fishies did come with instructions, I have never been the sort of person that would be a good pattern tester. I cut out the bits and then work out how they go together!

Thea and Sami have got quite a few fabrics on my wish list ...

I love this fabric with the margarite daisy on it. Printed on black linen, I can see this becoming a lovely handbag or pillow.

This fretwork pattern is lovely as well. Comes in red and green and would make an interesting contrasting fabric for a quilt.

Check out their blog, they have some interesting links and news about where they sell their fabric packs.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Facinator anyone?

I can't see the sense in having a public holiday for a horse race, even though I have enjoyed the long weekend...

but someone is getting into the spirit of it ...

When I told her the feathers in her hair was for a "horsey race" she giggled and made lots of horse sounds ... strange child!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Happy Eve of All Saints ....

In Australia, we celebrated Halloween yesterday by attending a lovely party. A friend from Sydney took a quick snap of the hubby and I which turned out reasonably good, so I thought I would share.

In the area where we live, trick or treating is welcomed. There are rules though. We like the kids to have an adult with them and if you are participating in festivities you are meant to pop something on the front of your house or gate to show that you are celebrating Halloween. Last year there was a note that went around saying these things, but probably due to busyness the note never appeared this year. There was however, a healthy amount of kids roaming the streets who had gone to great lengths to look the part.

There are lots of people in Australia that cringe at the thought of Halloween and claim that we are just taking on another countries traditions or just encouraging another hallmark holiday. Mind you, these complaints are often heard from similar people who openly celebrate Christmas and Easter but have never set foot in a church.

As Halloween often happens around the time of Melbourne Cup, many radio shock jocks complain about the fact that the "race that stops the nation" is in the shadow of Halloween and that we should be celebrating the cup rather than this "American holiday". They would rather we celebrate gambling, getting drunk and living excessively than dressing up and paying respects to the dead ...

Reading up on the origins of Halloween is an interesting exercise and there are many web sites with lots of information. Understanding that it is a two day celebration ending with a dinner to celebrate those who have died in the past year is important, and a tradition that I would love to incorporate into our yearly celebration calendar. Unfortunately, just like Christmas and Easter, most people will celebrate the entertainment aspect of this date in our calendar. In our household, we subconsciously ended up eating a meal which reminded us of our very dear Boris who passed away last year.

But for the crafter in me, Halloween is important because it gives me yet another opportunity to craft away and also buy up all the lovely gothic style fabrics in the post Halloween sales (*giggles*). If you haven't worked out by now, I tend to lean towards the quirky fabrics for my creations.

So what does Halloween mean to you, do you celebrate it or frown upon it?
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