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So last weekend was my very first market!
It was a funny old day, I’m not really sure how to sum it up. In the weeks leading up to it I’d managed to make shed loads of stuff so I had plenty of stock. We were relatively organised, being only the second last(!) people to set up. Tom had designed some awesome signage and I think the stall looked half decent for a first go. We had a cash box, receipt book, snacks, cushions to sit on… only one thing missing. Some customers!
It was VERY quiet.
The market was arranged off the back of a university open day with thousands of people visiting, but somehow they never made their way into the hall where the stalls were. Bit of a shame as it was otherwise a great little market with lots of talented stallholders selling their gorgeous stuff.
Anyway I did feel proud of our little set-up. Here are some photos!
I won’t write it off altogether, it was a great practice run for a busier market, it forced me to build up my stock and has helped me get organised. I also met some very lovely fellow stallholders. Have a look at their Etsy shops:
Very pretty paper goodies from Gloriousmess:
Amazing paper creatures from benconservato:
Colourful chunky jewellery from Ena &Albert:
Beautifully packaged little soaps from Seventh Tree Soaps:
Really looking forward to my next market wherever that may be!
I am very excited that this coming Saturday I have my very first market stall!
It’s a Makers Market, happening this Saturday 7th September, 10am – 5pm at the UNSW Roundhouse, UNSW, Anzac Gate, Anzac Parade, Sydney NSW 2033. Roll up, roll up!
I’ll be selling a bit of everything – embroidered animal brooches, Peter Pan collars, balloon necklaces and brooches but mostly my new product – hexagon necklaces.The only snag is I need to make about a billion of them so the stall doesn’t look too empty, so I’ve been very hard at work. There’s been a few long nights (notice the empty wine glass).
I am very excited. Hope to see some of you there!
Just thought I would share some photos of a hot air balloon mobile I made recently, for my very cool friend Kat (or rather her super-cute little baby Caitlin).
I got the idea from How Joyful’s brilliant tutorial. Hers are made from felt and have lovely little flags round the edge, they are also much neater! I adapted her template, adding a seam allowance as I wanted to make mine from mismatching fabric rather than felt. I’m not sure I would recommend this option if you’re after an easy life!
It was pretty fiddly and I was making it on and off for about six months. At one point I was afraid it would end up a tangled heap in the drawer of shame (where the unfinished projects live). But I am very happy I finished it off and I think it turned out well! I do love those cheery prints and colours. Apparently baby Caitlin agrees…
OK, I know I am way too old to be buying toys, but I am also now old enough not to care about that.
Tom has a major Lego obsession and on one of our outings to Toys ‘R’ Us I saw these awesome Lalaloopsy dolls.
I’ve secretly wanted one for ages. They have big button eyes like Coraline’s ‘Other Mother’ but less creepy and much more cute. The mini ones are about $9, 7cm tall and perfect for collecting.
Last weekend I cracked and bought Mango Tiki Wiki:
I love her coconut cocktail but most of all her little sidekick who seems to be the offspring of a pineapple and a chicken! A henapple maybe?
Then this weekend I bought two, Snowy Fairest:
And Feather Tell-A-Tale – I love her teddy totem:
I’ve also got the perfect display case for them – some little shelves I bought a few months ago from Rozelle markets. They just need a scrub and a lick of paint.
They can fit exactly 10 Mini Lalaloopsys, and there my collection MUST stop. Famous last words…
Any other Lalaloopsy collectors out there over the age of 12? Please tell me I’m not the only one!
So a bit of a (large) gap between this and my last post, but may I draw your attention to my new and improved website, thanks to Tom. Looks much better don’t you think!
Here’s a few photos of the Sydney Finders Keepers market the other week. This year it was massive with loads more space, being held in the Australian Technology Park.
Here are a few of my favourite stalls.
Lovely bright and bold designs from Scoops Design:
Screen printed pineapples and prawns at Everingham & Watson:
Super cute designer of ladylike outfits, Alice Nightingale:
Whimsy Mileu jewellery and accessories:
I battled with myself over this scarf with the houses on it, I may have to pay a visit to the Whimsy Milieu Etsy shop…
Lovely splodgy painterly and fresh designs from Beattie Lanser:
The delightful and charming The Storybook Rabbit:
I have a major crush on The Storybook Rabbit. I must have spent about 45 minutes hanging around this stall last year, looking longingly at the dainty little illustrated plates and brooches. This year I knew I had to get something and bought an adorable little plate with a shy bunny on it.
Last but not least the lovely Martine Booth with her amazing Vintage Prints:
I helped Martine out with her stall for the afternoon, it was great fun!
Here are a couple of Martine’s prints I came away with.
This is from an 1880’s encyclopaedia. I love those coloured flames and test tubes all neatly lined up. If only chemistry at school had been this exciting:
Tiger illustration from a 1960s children’s book by Brian Wildsmith:
About five minutes before the end I picked up this brilliant 1950s skirt from a vintage stall. It’s very full and made of wool, and I love the design of carousels – it’s very Festival of Britain somehow:
That’s it! It was a grand day out. Looking forward to next year!
Recently when I was browsing on Etsy, I saw a particular dress and immediately – WHOOSH!! I time travelled back to my 80s childhood in a sudden rush.
It was a dress by Clothkits, and their colours, designs and patterns were such a big part of my growing up that they’re burnt into my brain. Both my sister and I were often dressed in matching Clothkits outfits, and my mum definitely had some of their stuff too.
My mum didn’t own this particular dress, but when I sent her a photo she said “Oh, I remember that print!”
It was a bargainous £8 so there was no debate to be had.
Or if you couldn’t be bothered, for a bit more money you could buy the clothes ready made up.
Here’s a page from one of their awesome catalogues:
Here are me and my sister’s Clothkits rag dolls which my little nieces still play with. Mine is Polly with the dark hair, my sister’s is Mary, the blonde one. I remember when my mum finished making Polly, I was speechless, being completely bowled over by her stunning dress and piercing green eyes!
When I found this design I actually felt quite choked up. It’s for a girls’ dress/skirt which both my sister and I had but in a different colour scheme (ours was lilac and turquoise). To me this is the ultimate in beautiful fabric design and nothing is going to beat those bluebells which lodged themselves in my heart at the age of about seven. I’m sure a lot of what I’m attracted to and try and create owes something to this little dress.
I found this photo of a Clothkits toddlers’ dress on Pinterest, titled ‘Oh, my heart stops!’ and I couldn’t agree more.
Sadly Clothkits was sold in the late 1980s and lay dormant until a few years ago when a lady called Kay Mawer rescued it. There’s a good story about it here. Tragically the design archives hadn’t survived, although they’ve managed to bring back a couple of original designs.
I really love this children’s farmyard quilted jacket which is an old design back by popular demand.
Otherwise they’re all new designs, including some lovely patterns by Rob Ryan. Have a look at their website here.
Any other Clothkits obsessives out there?? I would love to hear your memories and see any photos!
Hello! How’s your week been? As always I’m very bewildered by the seasons here in Sydney. It’s 26c, yet everyone else is sticking to their guns that it’s now autumn and are trudging around in big coats and tights. It’s a mystery to a confused Pom like me.
Well I don’t like to speak too soon, but I seem to be keeping up with my new goal of blogging once a week. (I thought best not to make that public in case I don’t keep it up, but now I’m feeling cocky and can’t contain myself).
Just a quick one this time, I thought I would share photos of a couple of recent projects.
Here’s a skirt I made for my sister from some Echino cockatiel fabric. Still my utter favourite, in my opinion the whole world should be covered in this stuff and I am doing my best to make that happen.
My fabric printing course has finished now so I thought I’d share some of the results.
So my first attempt at screen printing was my ladybirds and leaves design which I blogged about a few weeks back…
The tiny ladybirds started out as a orange blob (obviously intentional)… which I decided to make a feature of.
As a relief from all the precision I did this splodgy design, screen printing with ripped strips of newspaper.
I’m now eyeing up home printing kits so who knows, maybe some of these designs will turn up in my Etsy shop…?
Like many others, when I signed up for Clare Bowditch’s Big Hearted Business this weekend, I didn’t really know what to expect. I umm-ed and ah-ed about signing up as I’d never been to anything like this before. I didn’t really know who Clare was but it sounded like it might be relevant and useful. I wasn’t sure if I should spend the money, but suspected you might get a good gift bag (I was correct). However I am so glad I did sign up, I can honestly say it was one of the best things I have ever done (and not just because of the gift bags!)
There’s something very powerful about being in a big meeting of creative women, all trying to do something similar, whether they’re writers, illustrators, musicians, designers… Everyone was so supportive – it’s funny how people are often a bit apologetic about their own work but everyone else thinks it’s brilliant. I met some awesome people who I will hopefully stay in contact with and maybe even collaborate with – who knows!
The speakers were just amazing. I loved Kemi Nekvapil who reminded us that our health needs to be our top priority, otherwise how can we feel energised and make clear-headed decisions. Natalie Harker shared her social media genuis. And Rachel Power was so insightful in her observations of what women often struggle with, I found it quite moving.
I realised that I am not alone in a lot of things I’ve struggled with, and that it’s normal for there to be a fair bit of angst that goes hand in hand with being an artist. Not because you need to be miserable to be creative, but because so much can get in the way – self doubt, the need to earn a living, not having enough time, putting a value on your work, the pressure to do something more sensible and ‘get real’… If you take the path of least resistance then your creative dreams are not going to just happen, it takes discipline, hard work and courage.
As someone (maybe Rachel) pointed out, accountants probably don’t really struggle with giving themselves permission to call themselves an accountant.
I can honestly say I’ve left feeling more courageous and determined to pursue my creative career, whatever that may turn out to be. It was so wonderful to be reassured that what I’m trying to do is important and not something silly, even if it’s small.
So, go creative ladies! (and gents.) Be bold and follow your hearts!
The reaction to BHB seems to be so massive, it really sounds like they want to extend it beyond the events and offer support to all the like-minded people out there and help them to connect with each other. So don’t worry if you missed it, sign up for the newsletters and I’m sure there will be good stuff coming.
So what did we get in those gift bags??
A Polli ring (love this! And it matches my dress)
A Mozi shower cap! (Pretty sure this is how you are supposed to wear it).
And what was Clare Bowditch like? Basically a real-life angel! That woman is an inspiration.
Happy New Year!! (I know, it’s way too late for that). However this is my first post of the year after a bit of a slow start. In my defence I’ve been busy the last few months making presents for friends and friends’ babies (some of these projects are in fact still ongoing and the children will probably have started school by the time they’re ready).
In the meantime I’ve just started a screen printing class on Tuesday evenings which I already love. I had my very first go at printing this week and thought I would share the results.
I drew up a leaf and ladybird design.
Not wanting to make life easy for myself (or the teacher), I dived straight in and did a repeating pattern. It’s a perfect size for a cushion cover so this may end up on our sofa. Those cushions are multiplying at quite a sinister rate…
Looking forward to next week when I will printing in not one but two colours! I’m going to make the ladybirds red and maybe see if I can rotate some as well.
I had such a lovely surprise yesterday when this little package arrived for me yesterday. It was so beautifully wrapped, I couldn’t wait to see what was inside…
I unwrapped another layer…
It was a gorgeous little handmade birdie brooch from my dear friend Emma Bullen! Thank you Em!
It’s made by We Love Stitches, have a look at her Etsy shop selling very sweet and neatly stitched felties. Top marks for presentation! Just goes to show how much of a difference it can make. I love the tiny clothes peg and little piece of lace sealing the bag.
It was a belated birthday present so it’s nice to feel like it’s still my birthday (it was 3 weeks ago). Might go out for some drinks tonight to celebrate…
I am very excited that The Upcoming (UK based online mag) has done a little article about Rabbit Hutch Designs!
You can read it here.
I thought I would post some photos of this purple blossom that is everywhere in Sydney at the moment. I’ve never seen purple blossom before! I think it’s beautiful. It’s called jacaranda.
The story is that if you’re a student in Sydney and you haven’t started studying by the time the jacaranda blossoms, then you might not pass your exams. So if you are a student reading this… then get back to work!
This is not jacaranda, but it’s purple and pretty so into the blog it goes. I’m sure Victoria Plum used to wear one of these on her head as a hat?? Anyone?
I thought I would share some photos of our brand new dresser which I am ridiculously pleased with. At last I can display all my pretty china and old lady knick-knacks! We bought it off eBay and I think it’s from the
We had big plans to strip it and paint it, but after about three months that still hadn’t happened… it just sat in two pieces causing an obstruction in the kitchen. True, it was useful for piling recycling on/gathering post/stubbing our toes. But I think it’s much better put to proper use!
I may look serene but it was pretty nerve wracking driving it all round New South Wales with fragile bits of furniture rattling away in the back. We did ‘secure’ it with bits of rope from Bunnings, but I’m not sure we did a particularly professional job.
Who knows, one day we might even get round to painting that dresser…
I can’t believe I haven’t posted since July… shocker.
Anyway, I thought I would post some photos of our trip to Featherdale Wildlife Park last week. I love Featherdale, in fact I have been there 4 times since January! Those poor animals probably think I’m stalking them.
The best thing about Featherdale is they have a LOT of koalas. You can get quite close and even stroke the ones that are on public duty.
So here are some cute cuddly koalas… the inspiration behind my brooches!
She’s holding her baby but you can’t really see them. I don’t know the baby’s name but I may suggest to the wildlife centre they name it Tim Tam, after the classic Aussie biscuit.
This week I thought I would go with a bird theme.
I was looking in my wardrobe today and realised that a LOT of my clothes have bird prints on them. It’s not really a secret that I adore anything with birds on it, but I didn’t realise I’d taken it so far… It’s actually almost pathological. Anyway we’ll not dwell on that, instead I thought it would look nice to photograph some of the birdie bits and bob round our flat, and put them all together.
There’s just something lovely about birds that I just never get tired of looking at, either in designs or in real life.
Here are some picks of my favourite birdie products on Etsy…
First, some unbearably cute needle felted birds by Ainigmati, based in Maine. Hannah needle felts her creatures using wool from her own sheep, which she hand dyes using plants from her garden and the forest. I would have been impressed if she did any one of those things, let alone all three! She makes lots of other little animals, including rabbits and raccoons, all beautiful.
A twirly 50s-style dress with a hummingbird print, by GeorgieBooVintage.
It’s now apparently winter in Sydney and there’s a slight nip in the air. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was actually cold, but nevertheless everyone is wrapped up in coats, hats, scarves…
That’s apart from me. Being a silly Pom, my only concession to the chill has been a cardigan, attracting concerned looks. Tom has even committed to wearing shorts every day, so far an unbroken record. I’m beginning to realise that my winter clothes are not going to get an outing this year. (Sorry, trusty Topshop duffle coat.)
So I have been reminiscing about London winters and proper cold, and maybe getting a bit carried away. Dickensian snowy streets, mulled wine, rosy-cheeked chimney sweeps… well maybe not. But most definitely cosy winter woolly jumpers!
I have just discovered Annie Larson‘s colourful, cheerful, boldly patterned knits, which I would definitely like to wear if I had the need for them.
Annie designs and knits it all herself, on a knitting machine in her studio in Brooklyn.
Who knows, by next winter I may have acclimatised and be able to get all wrapped up again. In the meantime I have a year to become very good at knitting!
At long last my Etsy shop is restocked and open for business! I am very excited.
Here’s a photo of all my stock:
Seeing it all together, I realised I’ve actually made quite a lot of stuff that I’m happy with. It’s a nice feeling.
There are balloon necklaces and brooches, rabbit, koala and cockatoo brooches and Peter Pan collars.
Here are some works in progress…
Now begins the job of trying to market my stuff and tell people about it (which I am terrible at and feel funny about, but will have to get over). If you have any tips on this, then please let me know!
So I think we might go and celebrate with a drink or two. I was all up for smashing a bottle of champagne against the computer (like when you launch a ship), but Tom wasn’t up for that… So we’ll just drink it instead.