Thursday, 30 October 2008

indie fixx!

Thanks to Jen from Indie Fixx who has given me a wonderful rave on her blog! I love the Indie Fixx motto:
Indie Fixx is a celebration of the creativity, tenacity, and general spunky goodness that is the indie design movement. The indie design movement is made up of artists, crafters and designers who make a literal smorgasbord of delectable indie products. Once you shop indie, you'll never go back.
I might be biased but sounds good to me.
(p.s. Jen saw my tea towels on the front page of Etsy, thanks QuercusSilver for the neat treasury, love that Rudolph.)

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

illustrator experiments

I never really learnt to use Adobe Illustrator (I used to be a Freehand girl). I keep meaning to get a book and learn properly but for now I just huff and bluff and muddle my way through things, trying to get the effect I want. Sometimes though this means I fluke some interesting effects.
If you look closely at this image Illustrator has sort of split the line work and made a really cool skeleton effect with the lines. I've been working on this little jam jar of weeds for a gocco print and now I'm not sure whether I don't prefer it in this form. Mmmm?

Monday, 27 October 2008


One of the annual fundraisers at school is a great Halloween carnival with an evening of dressing up, rides and stalls and food. There is a jack o'lantern display (my pumpkin below last year). My daughter designed and cut the bats herself (right) and the boys did the ghost with a bit of help.

Friday, 24 October 2008

gleditsia 'ruby lace'

Quite often I look at the stats for this blog, to see who is visiting and how they got here. Its lots of fun!
Well I've found that one of the searches that brings visitors here crops up regularly and its not what you'd think, its a search for this tree - Gleditsia "Ruby Lace" which is a red leaved version of the normal Gleditsia triacanthos. One of my earliest posts last year shows a photo of the flower of this tree which is also a beautiful colour. So I've been meaning to post some photos of the rest of the tree, to keep all the gleditsia fans happy!!

Before I bought this mature specimen last year I'd seen one a few houses down from my friend's house and been really attracted to the reddish maroon foliage.
This tree is coming back into leaf now and can I say that I just love it. As well as the great colours of the new leaves they have a great shape and movement. Here's some pics. It's planted next to another great tree, Acer palmatum 'Senkaki' which has lovely red stems and the most beautiful delicate lime leaves, as you can see. I don't often show wider pics of my garden as its still a work in progress but here's a bit I'm happy with, also here are Acanthus mollis in flower and my huge snail vine just starting to flower.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008


I had a great sense of achievement today as I drove back to the printer to deliver another batch of tea towels for printing. A couple of designs have sold out and I'm getting some new colourways printed.
Often these days it seems I feel the opposite, frustrated that more of my grand plans are stuck on the drawing board and comparing myself with all the amazing superwomen out there who seem to be producing wonderful new stuff all the time.
I'm conscious too as the year closes in that I'd set a deadline of this year to make a start in fabric design. It's not going to happen. Life has been difficult recently and I've had little time for Flower Press.
On a much more positive note, when I started Flower Press, a year ago in November, I thought I'd give myself a year of concentrating on it and then reassess. At the end of that time I couldn't be more thrilled at where I am, I feel very lucky, I have a thriving business and I love, love love doing it. It has to fit around other commitments but the flexibility is one of the great things about it. Along the way I have been delighted, and quite amazed, at the success I've had... and I've made lots of really nice friends along the way. Spoilt, really :-)

Friday, 17 October 2008


Love these two projects I saw the other day, because I need something extra to add to my arms length to do/to try list! But I do just think these two are great, and I think I might just try them both, some time... if I don't get distracted before... ooh what's that...

The first one is this great idea from One Good Bumblebee (great shop, great blog) for a journal or book, and it sort of similar idea to this japanese binding kit I bought at Erinzam (below).

I love the idea of all the mixed papers. And I think you can get this sort of binding done down at Officeworks, I wonder what they would think of the cupcake wrapper!

Ah Yi's blog is always so beautiful. I already love her gocco prints, some of the first I ever saw but still favourites. I've been intrigued with these lamps she has been making and showing on her blog, so it was fascinating when she published a wonderful tutorial on how to make them. It looks like one of those slow but meditative projects that I quite enjoy. And a practical use at the end.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

blog action day

I recently read about Blog Action Day - Poverty on Pia's blog.
I was pleased to see that one of the actions suggested was to help support microfinance organisation Kiva. I've spoken about this group before. If you haven't looked at it today is another great chance to read about the great work they are doing supplying microfinance in poorer areas.
You can sponsor someone, an adult, in their small business, help them buy materials and ultimately help them support themselves and their families. Even better the money is paid back and you can lend it again!
I love the synchronicity of using my business to support another person in growing their business. To make it even more personal I've chosen to finance women with children in the craft/retail/fashion field. Today I reinvested some of the returns on my first loan to help another person. Join me now!

Today thousands of bloggers will unite to discuss a single issue - poverty. We aim to raise awareness, initiate action and to shake the web!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008


I was really excited and flattered when Brittni from papernstitch blog asked me to participate in her exciting new venture, a monthly curated showcase of artists, designers and makers from around the world. launches today with a fantastic choice of over seventy shops.
What a wonderful way to discover new work from around the world. Her focus is mostly on fine art with some craft and sculpture.
The site, is beautifully and simply designed and easy to browse.
I'm sure you will recognise some of the wonderful artists represented, like Matte Stephens, Wolfie and the Sneak (don't you love the new Peer colouring book!), Nea (moustache cross stitch above) and Anna Ruby King amongst others.

There are also lots of new names to me, great discoveries like Royal Buffet with these exquisite mobiles and Gemma Correll with her many legged kitty cup above.

Oh and coincidentally mudpuppy are here too, with the little red terrarium mushrooms I bought the other day! Too cute.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

vegie bed

I've been wanting to make a raised vegie bed down the side of our house for a while now. The flowers seem to have taken over out the back (whoops!) and the side of our house is north facing and gets wonderful full sun all day. It is just wide enough to fit in a large wooden planter and thats what I've had my heart set on.
A few months ago J milled some timber with a friend who has a mill. He's been wondering what to do with it because it was quite 'rustic'. So I was so pleased and surprised when I came out the other day and he'd made these beds.
Here they are filled up with soil. We did it last night in the sudden heat but today there is a light drizzle so hopefully it is seeping down in to the new soil. I have lettuce seeds I collected last year in a seedling tray, and high hopes!
To be continued...

Saturday, 11 October 2008


Drove out of town on Wednesday for a night away. It is school holidays here and lovely to get out of town. We travelled down the coast road as far as a little town called Thirroul, staying overnight at a motel. I love a good road trip and explore.
Along the way we saw some crazy hang gliders jump off a cliff into nothing, which I found terrifying, I could never do it! We played on the beach and had dinner out at a cheap Chinese restaurant. The next day we swam in the sea pool in Wollongong, I come here whenever I'm passing through, it is so wonderful, the pools go right up to the rocks which are studded with rock pools full of urchins, anemones and sea slugs. The temperature in the pool was 16 degrees celcius so it was a quick swim for me from side to side and then tingling in the sun wrapped in a towel. The kids on the other hand had races round the edges and got in and out!
We finished the day with lunch at the Nan Tien buddhist temple, high on the hill above town. I've done a couple of stays here, the last one a silent meditation weekend with my sister in law.

Friday, 10 October 2008

fp and feature

I was a bit shy to mention it, but I made the front page again a day after my two treasury coup, what a week! I really like this one, it seems to tell a story (little red riding hood?) with all the different items.
In a similar style, and while I'm banging my own drum (humour me :-) Liana from Mixed Plate emailled me to say she'd featured my tea towels a while back in her Friday Faves Feature. I missed it at the time but isn't it cute, love the jammy toast :-)

Wednesday, 8 October 2008


1. Attic Room, 2. Girl in the Attic, 3. St Anne's church with stars, 4. Capitals, 5. contrast, 6. ., 7. albero, 8. scroste, 9. foglia, 10. Untitled, 11. Untitled, 12. tiny little pot, 13. Untitled, 14. Almost blue, 15. Phonetography, 16. Three's a crowd, 17. another shadow on the teepee, 18. Untitled, 19. maya's flowers, 20. weeds- closer, 21. Flower VI, 22. Blueberries, 23. White Flowers with Fly, 24. Puddle of me, 25. Logwood iron 2, 26. prints galore, 27. new blocks / arranged 01, 28. Jade, 29. *pink twigs*, 30. little spider

It's a year ago today that I uploaded my first photos to Flickr. Since then I've upgraded to a pro site, just so I can have lots of sets! I love Flickr and collect favourites every time I go browsing. For me it is somewhere to show my photos and art and get feedback, its somewhere to be inspired, to share information (the Gocco group is wonderful for this) and to look up new things, explore other worlds.
Along with this I really enjoy the toys on the BigHugeLabs site, one of which I've used to make these mosaics - favourites above and my work below. It's here I can generate my DNA page which shows my most interesting pics, my favourites and groups and any pictures which make Explore (which I still don't understand!).
Anniversaries everywhere now, coming up to my first Gocco prints, my blog anniversary and my Etsy selling birthday. I'm thinking of ways to celebrate these milestones...

Tuesday, 7 October 2008


These water iris are about to flower for the first time in my garden, they came from a friend last year. I love the way they catch the early morning light at the moment.
When we moved into this house three years ago there was only grass and a weedy privet tree in the backyard (now gone). The garden sloped too so you couldn't sit happily on a chair without feeling that you were going to roll down the hill! We levelled it and put in large garden beds, trees and a new lawn. There are steps behind the pot leading to my little part of the garden where balls are outlawed (in theory) and the more precious plants breath a bit more easily.
You can see two of our baby trees in this shot, a native Frangipani (no relation to the plumerias) and a Calodendrum capense, or Cape Chestnut (right). Eventually this will be a large tree and give some shade in the garden. They also flower with exquisite pink blooms, this one unfortunately is still too young though.
The water pots came from the old house. They are overcrowded with lotus, waterlilies and these iris. One day I'm going to build a small pond and they will have more space and hopefully flower more.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Dear diary...

Today I made the front page of Etsy, twice, in a row. I should write posts about Etsy love more often!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Etsy Love

Although I didn't start selling on Etsy till November last year, I did start browsing back in September and joined on September 27. Which means I've been there for a year! Wow!
I still love Etsy as much as the first time I saw it, what a fantastic concept and obviously something which touches a lot of people. I'm proud to say I am an avid Etsy buyer as well as seller. I don't always show the things I buy but I thought it might be a good way to celebrate my Etsyversary.

clockwise from top left 1920 aluminium jewellery box - petitbrocante; vintage ceiling tin banner - CottageInTheSun; blush print - yellena; river stone grey kitchen towel - patapri; bombo necklace - little llama; waiting print - skinny laminx; wooden fabric block - rayela; blockprint fabric - jezze; jellies card - magic jelly; dragonflies are blue print card - mizu designs.

I was quite surprised actually looking at this at the colour scheme. I know I am a big fan of red, after a lot of time not liking it, but I didn't realise how much I am obviously drawn to this turquoise and green combination.
I might share a couple more purchases tomorrow.