Sunday, December 5, 2010

Another Handmade Market success!

Yesterday's market was a resouding success!  The lead up to the Christmas Handmade Market, launch of handmade living., preparing my own stall for the market, and keeping everything up to date with Shop Handmade has left me little time for...well...anything really!

Canberra has experienced it's greatest rainfall in many years and for the first time in 12 years our dams are at 100%.  The week leading up to the market has seen localised flooding and power outages all over the Nations Capital and it's surrounds but it all stopped in time for the market.  So after all of this rain what should I wear?  Gumboots of course!

My gorgeous gumboots!

"Farmer" Tania McCartney stepping out in style!

I was in the handmade living. marquee with the greatest bunch of designers who feature in the book who had travelled from near and far to be a part of this exciting event.  Tanya from Seven Blueberries, Kirsten from Forget-Me-Not Paperware, Kathy from Studio Amara, Katie from MissChief Maker, Wynona from ivy designs, Catalina Voroneneau,  Rachel from Ricochet Art, Sarah from winterdesigns, Caleena from littlepeopleclothing, Hilary from Hilary Wardaugh Photography and the amazing Tania McCartney - author and creator of handmade living.  At several times throughout the day we had a line up of eager customers trying to get into the marquee to meet all of us and we all soon got used to signing copies!

And here is my feature!  So exciting!

No time to relax for me just yet!  I have 3 days left of work, 2 Christmas parties, 40 orders to finish, book signing and selling on Saturday, another market on Sunday and then the mammoth task of moving house on Tuesday.

Lou x

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Young...Here we Come!

I's been a while - sorry.

They say buying a house is one of the most stressful things you can do.  I think in our case it has been the most stressful thing we have EVER done.  I should add here that we have bought and sold houses before so we knew what we were in for, but this particular house takes the proverbial cake!

Like I said in my last post the vendors of the house we were buying needed to sort out some things and we were stuck in the middle.  My dream house is now just that - a dream.

Our decision was made to move anyway - especially as I have already enrolled the children into their new schools, so the next hurdle was to find a place to rent until we can sort out what to do:
a) wait for the dream house to come back on the market
b) find another suitable house
c) build

Today I was told that we have been approved to rent a 4 bedroom place - with a pool and spa! on 10 acres just 5 minutes out of town.  I am feeling the tension being released from my shoulders already!

So in less than an hour I have booked the removalist, given notice to the current estate agent here, organised garden clean up, booked in carpet cleaners and end of lease cleaners. 

Now all I need to do is get through the next 4 weeks!

Lou x

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Moving to the country...gonna eat me a lot of...cherries!

Well hello blogworld!  Long time no post!

Things are, of course, very busy here - preparing for the Handmade Market on December 4th, making stock for Shop Handmade, psyching myself up for the dreaded end of year school reports, and the biggest of all moving!  I can finally reveal that we are moving to Young, NSW (the cherry capital of Australia) which is a really pretty town about 2 hours away from Canberra. 

We found THE house in July, negotiated the price and agreed on all the terms and conditions.  Since then it has been a waiting game to exchange contracts.  We enrolled the children in their new schools, I have taken long service leave from my teaching job, organised (and paid for!) solicitors and inspections on the house and other general moving business.

And then last Monday it all came to a crunching halt.  After more than 4 months the people we are buying the house from have withdrawn from the sale.  I won't go into too much detail as it is not a nice story but we will hopefully have better news on Friday.  However, we have made up our mind to move there.

Fingers crossed for more positive news on Friday!

Lou x

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Eight Years Ago Today I Was Busy Doing This...

Apparently the traditional gift for eight years of wedlock is Bronze or Pottery.  Hmmmm I think I'll pass.  The modern gift is Linens or Lace - still not fussed. 

I'll take a nice weekend away in Sydney for the NRL Grand Final thanks!

Lou x
(and an extra one for Brendan who is away working today X)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday

More from the ever increasing list...

Kitchen canisters - Set of 3 $19.95 K-Mart 
(I know - who would believe that K-Mart was kinda cool!)

Types of tea...teapot! Madeit seller heyemmaline $35.00 (+p&h)

And to round off this tea-inspired list...

Vintage Revivals Teacup Clock (this is on the to-do list!)

Lou x

Sunday, September 19, 2010

How To Make Your Six Year Old Daughter Love You...Even More! (Part One)

Miss M loves to play with her make-up.  She loves to do make-overs on her unsuspecting Nan and her little brother.  She loves looking at herself in the mirror.  She loves brushing her hair whilst watching herself in the mirror.  So what does this six-year old need?  A dressing table of course!  She was so excited when I told her what we were going to do and she said many times throughout this process "Oh, I love you Mum"  awwwww :)

So the challenge began looking for one for her.  After fruitlessly searching the net I started scouring the second hand shops to no avail.  I also went to Revolve at Pialligo - no glory there either.  So on our way home we stopped at the other Revolve near our house at Hume and found this...

It cost all of $20 and it seemed perfect.  But Miss M is quite a tall girl and she couldn't fit comfortably under the low middle section and there were too many drawers (read: too many spaces for junk to accumulate).  A lot of the paint was flaking off at the bottom already so I took to it with this...

Pretty good stuff this.  But soon I realised I was trying to strip about 6 layers of paint off plywood - argh!  I needed to move the mid section up anyway so I ripped off the top 3 sections of ply and filed them in the rubbish.

Then I removed the mid section to make it level with the other two sides...

I am planning on putting a sheet of mdf along the top.  But this was as far as I got today.  Project is now on hold for at least another 4 days - when I start 2 glorious weeks of holidays!

Lou x

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Funny

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Lou x

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday

Oh I just HAVE to get one of these!  I stumbled across Happy Loves Rosie's blog and I love her work - probably because she loves red and aqua like me!  I'm picturing something like this as a cubby house for the kids in the yard.

Check out the interior - oh so cute!


Lou x

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Funny

One of my all-time favourites...

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Lou x

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday - Just for Dads

These are on my husband's wishlist this Father's day......

But he will most likely end up with these......

But we will definitely take him out for this......

Happy Father's Day Daddy, love from M & T xx

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Funny

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Lou x

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Starting to think of Christmas...

We are in for a very big Christmas this year in our household.  We have my husband's parents making the big trip down to us from Longreach, Qld and what with all of the other happenings at that time of year - concerts, parties, school reports - I will also have the Handmade Market and Shop Handmade to keep well stocked as well.
I ordered these gorgeous gnomes by Lecien from Quilt Fabric Deights a couple of weeks ago and can't wait to get started on them.

Think they need an aqua ribbon or trim to finish them off nicely.  The middle one with the cherries on his hat is my favourite - he will find a place at my house for sure!

Lou x

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Uber-Nerd strikes again!

I am a nerd.  It's a fact.  I love anything that is technologically new and I just HAVE to have it!  The girls at Shop Handmade have affectionately nicknamed me "Tech Support" and I often fix any technology related problems for them

On the weekend we went to our local shopping centre to get a new mobile phone plan and we ended up getting one of these too - the new T-Hub from Telstra.
It now has pride of place next to my computer and I need to set aside a bit of time on the weekend to enter in all of our contacts information and really learn how to use this fabulous piece of technology.  Nerd heaven!

Lou x

Monday, August 23, 2010

Let the challenge begin!

We have been struggling with Miss M to get her to stop sucking her thumb.  She only sucks it at night and when she is really tired in the late afternoon.  Nevertheless at 6 years of age it is time for this habit to be stopped.  I searched around a while ago and found this helpful chart on Kid Giddy.
The chart is now on the wall with her chosen reward being a Nintendo DSi (we were planning on getting her one for Christmas anyway).  The time line has been set and she will hopefully have her wonderful new treat in time for the next school holidays.  Love the fact it is aqua and red! 

Wish us luck!

Lou x

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I want, I want!

Continuing with my obsession with all things red and aqua I stumbled across this gorgeous idea from Cathe Holden at Just Something I Made.  How fantastic is this?  I love the wagons repurposed into book organisers and would love to get my hands on some of those little aqua drawers!

Our family has quite a big announcement to make in the next few days (I'll tell you as soon as the paperwork is organised!)

Lou x 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Surely there is not 2 of us!

My husband found this on a wall in Williamstown, SA, whilst on his 4WD adventure
amazing that he could actually see or find anything as the rest of the wall looked like this!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Craft and Quilt Fair - Canberra Style!

After the safe return of my camera (and husband after his 4WD trek across the Simpson Desert) I have been itching to get snapping away again.  The opportunity came along when I went to the Craft and Quilt Fair at EPIC last weekend (2hrs of blissfull shopping - on my own!).

I met up with some of the regular stallholders and learnt some great new techniques - although there wasn't enough time to join in with the workshops :(

One of my favourites was Miss Sampson's Drapery - all the way from Swan Hill, Victoria!  I bought a gorgeous quilt kit from them last year (which is still on my to do list) and this year bought some gorgeous Babushka double gauze.  Their stall was in prime position and was set up beautifully.  I also picked up one of these beautiful panels of dresses.

Next it was on to Murally Craft from Orange, NSW.  They had THE best craft bags there and I bought 3 of them!  I'm actually planning on using the smallest one for all the bits and pieces I need on busy market days.

Next stop was margaret's fabrics who had a fantastic set-up and Monica Poole was there showing her great quilt-as-you-go technique.  Check out her book here for more details!

Canberra fabric store Rosemont the Patchwork Shop was there too with a huge display of quilts, fabrics, patterns and craft supplies.

And I snapped up this Jelly Roll (for a quilt for Master T) for only $25 from Just Patchwork along with these lovely fat quarters - 5 for $10!

My fabric stash is growing by the day and I need to get stitching if I'm going to be ready for the next Handmade Market in a few weeks time!

Lou x

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A New Look!

I have been playing around with the idea of creating a whole new look for my blog, business cards and other associated advertising.  I am so in love with anything red and aqua at the moment - I have been scouring the internet for fabrics and have found some fabulous pieces that I can't wait to make into a quilt.  I'd love to show you some photos but hubby is on a 4wd trip to the Simpson Desert and he has taken MY camera with him :(

Now I am certainly not an expert in html or web design and but even little old me managed to create this blog design with the help of the cutest blog on the block.  They have a link there for which is a really easy to use program, similar to photo shop - but the best thing is it's free!

So what do you think?  There is another reason for the cherries - but that's a secret to be revealed later...

Louise x

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Chocolate Pizza!!!!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT a cook.  I cook only out of absolute necessity, never for fun or to try new things.  It just isn't my thing.  My husband is the cook in our household which makes it life very difficult for the kids and I when he works away for 4 and half weeks at a time!

Miss M recently celebrated her 6th Birthday and invited a couple of her little friends over for a Pyjama and Pizza Party.  The Pizza thing was easy to organise - a quick call to the local takeaway shop took care of that.  But then there was the cake.  I have always made my children their Birthday cakes (albeit a bought slab sponge from Woolworths).  I painstakingly decorate and ice them to look exactly the same as the ones in the book and they usually turn out pretty good.  I guess I want them to look back at photos of when they were young and remember the time that Mummy did in fact make something edible in the kitchen!

This year I took an even easier option - the Chocolate Pizza!  In keeping with the Pizza theme of the party I made this:

This would have to be the easiest cake I have EVER made!  All it needs is:

Sponge Flan (store bought of course)
Nutella for the 'sauce'
Mini M&M's
Marshmallows (pink and white cut in half)

Put them all together like a regular Pizza and there you have it!  I served it with cream and ice-cream and it was fantastic.  The girls loved it and the best thing was it only took about 5 minutes to make!

Happy Birthday Miss M x

Sunday, June 13, 2010

When Work Invades My Home!

For those of you who don't know, I'm a Teacher Librarian 3 days a week.  At this time of year, for teachers all around Australia, it is one of the most stressful.  Report Writing Time!  I am lucky not to be a classroom teacher as their workload is massive and is becoming more demanding with the added pressures of performance based ratings such as NAPLAN and My Schools, the introduction of the new Australian Curriculum as well as considering school based policy and programs, and those of your local state or Territory. Not to mention to find time to mould their students into responsible citizens, teach them to be courteous, how to dress themselves, monitor their eating habits, social behaviour...oh and to read, write, spell and add!

Even though I am a mere TL, I still have a big workload.  I teach 210 students in 3 days and that means marking 210 assignments!  This is what my kitchen table looks like today:

I set my Year 6 students a research task on an Aussie Icon of their choice.  Their range of choices were really diverse (although as I teach only boys most chose sport or motor sports of course!)

As much as I moan about bringing all this work home - and on a long weekend too - I must say that I am so impressed with the young men I teach and the quality of the work they have produced...but I'd better have these marked and delivered back to them on Tuesday or they may stage a revolt against me, so I'd better get back to it.

Enjoy your long weekend!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Handmade Winter Warmer - Wonderful!

Another handmade market is done and dusted.  For the first time I had my own marquee as my lovely friend Rachel was busy at Shop Handmade.  I missed you Rach :-( but I did have you with me - albeit in print form!

I was in a perfect spot on a corner and had a nice bit of sunshine streaming from the side of my marquee for most of the day.  The marquee is a new purchase as Rachel and I have always shared a large 6 x 3 and I had a lot of comments about the arched window!

People were out in their droves and all of my busy, last minute preparations paid off as I made some great sales and handed out a multitude of business cards.
Popular items again were the personalised towels, hairclip holders, and my two new products also sold well - monogrammed cotton bath robes and monogrammed cushions - with orders to be completed for these in the next 2 weeks.

The next market will be on September 11 and it promises to be even bigger, but first I need a little rest!