Thursday, 31 December 2009

And the winner is

It was wonderful reading about the quilts that you keep special and also checking out some new blogs that I had not seen before!

It has taken me a while to get around to doing this, no excuses other than life got busy very quickly leading up to Christmas .. but we are back on track and slowly making our way through all those "draft" blog posts that sit there incomplete.

A big THANK-YOU to all that entered!

The winner is .....
Anna from Quilt Mom's Journey

She has a great blog which talks about her quilting adventures. Email me your mailing details to and it will be in the mail tomorrow!
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Wednesday, 30 December 2009

New Handbags on Etsy: Monsters and Cherry Blossoms

It is sweltering here in Melbourne, but for some reason I am sitting in a non-air conditioned room updating my etsy store.

I've put up four bags into my shop with a range of fabrics ranging from Monsters to Cherry Blossoms. I'm rather proud of the Wizard of Oz bag ...

All fabrics are high quality quilting fabrics and the bags are 100% cotton and therefore machine washable (which is good when you have kids).

Straps are extra long and slides are nickel plated.

My Year in Craft

Northside Makers are doing a Crafty Meme to wrap up the year. Get involved!

1. In my twelve months of crafting, my crafty self made all these...

Bags, bibs, shoes, wallets, pillows, coasters, pendants, pencil rolls, crochet blankets ... and attempted soft toys (not successful). I've been very pleased at my bags and have been enjoying making bags a lot more than the baby shoes that I started off making.

2. If my year was a colour it would be...

I don't think I can give this year a colour, although I have been leaning towards purple as my "colour of the moment".

3. This year I spent way too many craft hours...

un-picking things! I have this basket of things that get un-picked when I am watching things like Glee .. I should really not unpick and just have a seconds sale!

4. This year I wish I'd had more craft hours for...

"no pressure" sewing. Just mucking around for the sake of mucking around. I need to do some skirts for work or re-fashion some old ones, so my muck around time will have purpose. I am quite happy not to have any markets on in January and my husband on holiday, so that I can do this!

5. My proudest craft moment of the year was...

my first quilt for Lexi ... or Wigglesworth!

6. My biggest craft disaster was...

My attempt at a women's wallet. It stills sits there and mocks me ... but in 2010 I will be successful. Hoping to develop some cute Kaos Purses and wallets for my market stalls.

7. This year I had stalls at/visited this many markets...

Sisters Market, Sonny and Coco, Made n Thornbury, Northside Makers .. lots of them!

8. My most enjoyable market was...

definately "our" first market. God it was hard work and stressful, but when it was finished it was so satisfying! On top of organising a market, we three girls decided to also have stalls at it ... crazy women!

Northside Makers; Jennie, Jay and Margaret

9. My best handmade purchase/present/swap/acquisition was...

I swapped something for one of the finki handmade brooches with the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland on it. I also swapped some embroidery for a Mrs Beckinsale Tram Cushions which will arrive sometime next year (no stress).

10. After this year I swear I'll never again...

do 7 markets leading up to christmas .. maybe 3 or 4 MAX ... even though there were more markets, there wasn't more money to go around. Was it worth it? Maybe, it made Christmas less financially stressful but the physical and emotional stress was not worth it.

11. Next year I'm determined to...

Make more crafty things for me, spending more time with friends doing craft and doing craft swaps. I'd like to learn some more practical skills like screen printing or silversmithing, but I probably don't have the time! I am also determined to finish my daughters quilt for her bedr

12. But I'll probably do this instead...

developing things for my markets ... building my business.
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Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Crafty Christmas Things

I managed to finish a few crafty Christmas things and was sewing right up until the last moment ...

Crafty Christmas #1: Cushion for my Mother-in-Law

I came across this gorgeous fabric by Kristen Doran, a sydney based designer. I saw the panel on Duckcloth and decided to get one. It was originally going to be part of an apron that I was planning, but when I saw it in real life .. it became a pillow. I ended up using an invisable zip and size 16 cushion insert from Spotlight.

I backed the pillow with red micro-cord to make it more tacktile and Christmas-y. Check out her panels, she really does some lovely refined work with a european feel.

Crafty Christmas #2: Tool Roll for my Dad

Knowing that my father has a van full of spanners it was quite hard to decide how many to put in this roll. So he ended up with ten spaces. I only have a metre of this fabric and I wanted to use it for something worthwhile.

The tool roll is closed with two D-rings and a strap of heading tape doubled over and sewn.

In order to keep the spanners in, a flap goes over them before rolling them up ...

I used one of those nifty clover 25mm bias makers to make the bias to use around the outside of the roll. Dad will be letting me know what improvements I need to do it it before I make a few for my market stall.

Crafty Task #3: Drink Coasters for my Mum

This started off as a table runner, and then I wasn't happy with the colours or the placement so I ripped it up and decided to do some samples in the form of drink coasteres. The middle pansy was part of panel fabric that I got at a Quilting fair last year and the blocking fabric is purple butterflies from Spotlight.

Crafty Task #4: Flame Diary for Father-in-law

My father-in-law scored a Flame Diary. He has a business "rocks on fire" and this diary fits in well with what he does.

Inside a standard A5 diary with elastic and bookmark.

My crafty Christmas didn't turn out the way it started off. Apron's became pillows and table runners became drink coasters. But that is what I like about creating Christmas gifts, you never know what you will end up with. The positive thing is that no-one got hurt making my Christmas gifts this year (Tori pulled the hot iron onto her foot ...).
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Monday, 28 December 2009

Christmas Wrap Up (at long last!)

It always gets hectic at this time of the year and then there is this slump afterwards when you are left with left overs and lots of presents.

My lead up to Christmas was quite stressful, taking on too many craft markets, a stint in hospital and stress at work regarding my timetable for 2010. But it is all over now and I am now feeling like I can sit back and reflect on the last month and start planning for next year.

Our celebrations start on Christmas Eve when we attend the St. John's German Lutheran Christmas service. It is a trying time for our daughter who is full of energy at the moment, she can't just sit during the service and listen, she has to be doing something. Half way through the service the skies opened up and the rain started (it was a Thursday!). For most, this wouldn't have been a problem. But our church is quite small and at Christmas time they put seats outside to cope with the overflow of the congregation.

Afterwards we assemble at my in laws house and we do Christmas dinner and then presents. Tori got a tea set from her Oma and Opa and she played with it for ages before realizing she had other presents to open.

The pink gingham hair piece was one of the tea set napkins. I might take a pattern and make her an actual hair piece from my stash.

On Christmas Day it was our day to host Christmas. It is nice getting the whole family together for a dinner that essentially never ends.

So we had my folks, my husbands folks and also my brother who had come home from Japan for a few weeks. I love this photo, Tori had so much fun jumping on her trampoline with her Uncle David. God knows how many pictures I took to get this one!

I ended up making quite a few crafty things for Christmas, but I will do that in another post dedicated to my crafty Christmas.

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Thursday, 17 December 2009

Last Konstant Kaos Market before Christmas

I am busy finalising some final creations for my last "market" before Christmas. I am lucky that Tori is at childcare today and that I can do this ...

Etsy orders are still coming in, but I am afraid that the Australian postal strike might put a dampener on their Christmas purchases. All I can do is contact them and let them know and pray that it gets there on time.

There has been a lot of talk about news years resolutions, and I, like many other crafters have been thinking long and hard about "directions" for 2010. What do I enjoy making? But what actually sells?

A question was posed at the Northside Makers Christmas get-to-gether "would you compromise your craft if you knew that the item would sell like hotcakes" (or something to that effect), and then the example was given as a "twilight" styled item to take advantage of the craze at the moment.

I tend not to make things again that I do not enjoy making, or that I don't get some crafty buzz from. But on the flip side, I did make over 100 appliqued bibs, because I knew they would sell and pay the bills. So I guess it is all about making that compromise and finding something that people say "yeah! I'd be happy to pay the money for your efforts" .. what do you think?

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Cancellation of Northcote Kris Kringle Market tonight

After two weeks of surviving rain and gale force winds ... Konstant Kaos won't be making an appearance at the Kris Kringle tonight .... a bit tired, broken and needing to stay warm!

Cute photo of Geese enjoying the weather via nordoy

But, we will be at Made n Thornbury on Saturday and of course the LAST Kris Kringle Night Market next week!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Borders Craft Fair

When was the last time you had a coffee on Lygon Street?

Set a date for tomorrow night, because Borders Carlton also have a craft fair on and Konstant Kaos are lucky enough to have some table space. There are a collection of lovely designers ranging from pillows to lovely brooches and everything in between. It is part of a new Borders initiative to bring communities into their store.

So come along and check out what will be on display, you might even find some Christmas gifts there!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Wet weather markets - part 2

What is worse than a wet weather market? A gale force market!

Jaylene and I spent about half an hour holding down the marquee asking ourselves whether it would be worthwhile staying ... we tried to put the sides on the marquee, but the wind just kept on picking it up and tried to toss it onto High Street! A few other marquee's found themselves flying away and at one stage one of the Northcote Town Hall people said "It's just not Northcote anymore ... Toto" ... that summed up the evening.

So out came the rope ... lots of it, and we tied it down to everything we could find; the hinge on the town hall door, the tap around the corner. The Town Hall Manager was there with containers of water to help keep down the marquee's. Quite a number of people gave up and went home ... but we soldiered on!

We ended up putting two tables in the middle of the marquee and used the third one as a "rise" to create a point of interest. Table cloths were gaffa taped to the table and then a pricing gun was used to pin everything down. It looked like I was protecting myself against theft, but rather it was more of a wind issue! Several times I had items go flying across the courtyard. But the exercise of having a table that people could walk around worked well, we were in training for our Borders Craft Market experience next Monday night.

At 5.30 we were still not ready despite being there early to set up, most of the time was spent slowly unpacking stock and making sure it was pinned down.

So I add to my list of essentials for windy market stalls:
  • Sandbags, or containers of water (those big 10 litre containers that you take camping with you)
  • Lots of rope, we got a 50m roll of white plastic type rope.
  • Gaffa tape
  • Pricing gun or safety pins to pin down stock to table cloths
  • Definitely a wind stop jacket of some sort
My tubs for stock worked well as something to sit on when it got quiet and certainly easier to pack things away and then clip the top. Because the tub is light as well, it was easier to see things in it in the dark.

Overall a good market night once it got going. Entertainment was interesting, as they had lots of people playing rather than the same set. My treat for the evening was a Grand Manier Crepe from the Crepe Stall! yum

Wet weather markets - eep!

The house is nice and quiet and the cats and I can hear the birds getting excited about the day outside. Tori has gone off to childcare in a good mood and my hubby is off to work as well. Bliss!

It is the lull before the storm!

I am off to the third of my Christmas markets tonight. Last night I spent lots of time packing up stock and making sure that things were labeled correctly and nicely ironed. And of course everything is packed into big plastic tubs ... after the experience of last Thursday night the tubs seem to work very well.

Doing a whole collection of markets in a row forces you to organise your stock differently and think differently about how you go about making your stock. Having markets where it is either very windy or rainy, forces you to yet again to think about how you transport your goods and store them during the market. A bit like packing for a camping trek, wet weather gear on top, things that need to keep dry on the bottom.

A few things that work well for me:
  • If I take my raincoat and umbrella there is a lower likelihood of using them
  • I take a tarp that I can throw over a table "just in case"
  • At the bottom of the tub I have my non-water friendly stock in plastic, just in case.
  • Allow extra time for set up ... for waiting until showers pass
  • Take a towel or two, for making things dry when they get wet (including you!)
Jay has done a great post here about outdoor markets ....

See you at the Kris Kringle Market tonight!