What a crazy week, but I'm happy to say I survived it!
On top of preparing and packaging and sending all the shop and wholesale orders, driving across town to buy new packaging stocks when they ran out, and picking up some more christmas gifts, I managed to find and buy (in a one hour window of opportunity mind you!), a new dress and new shoes for a big 40th we are going to tonight. Its being held on a roof terrace with views of Circular Quay and lots of lovely friends will be there. I can't wait!
I feel like Mr F and I have really earned some fun (he's been flat out with his business too). We started slowing down last night with friends for dinner, sitting outside in the garden with a glass of champagne and fresh tiger prawns as the sun set and the moon rose high in the evening sky.
On my birthday I was well spoilt. Takeaway thai noodles at the beach and a snorkel round the rocks. Then home for mud cake and pressies. Lots of lovely thoughtful presents - some vintage, some craft, clothes. This beautiful top from Mr F is from Kisu on King Street, both the fabric and the top were designed by the owner, wouldn't that be cool, something to aspire to! And this trowel from the V&A comes from my Mum, how perfect is that! I said to her if you had to choose an object to represent me you'd be hard pressed to do better.
This is my last post for a while and I wanted to take the chance to wish all of you a Very Happy Holiday (along with any celebrations that are relevant to you!). Thank you so much for visiting, for all your wonderful comments this year, you are so generous and encouraging and nice! I've loved visiting all your blogs too and come away with many new projects, ideas and stories.
I hope to make it back to post an end of year roundup and I might pop in before then, but if not have a wonderful New Year too. I have a few things planned for 2011 (including a great swap, I've got this idea that's been rolling around my head for a while!) and I've already lined up the first Show & Tell interview for February. Meanwhile I'm looking forward to time off to be reinspired and reenergised, time with my family and some vacant staring out at space. Some swimming, in the creek and at the beach, some eating and drinking, some reading, some laughing, some fun!
p.s. Master D was reading over my shoulder the other day and said in a very gentle way, I think you've said 'lovely' too many times. So only two here, I'm reformed ;-)
Beautiful Kate has been hosting a happy link list on her blog this week and I've loved reading all the beautiful contemplations - lots of great words that have brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my lips. While I've tried a few times to sit down and write one of my own its been much too crazy a week this week, and my brain is too scattered to do it justice.
You guys know my list anyway, it starts with family, friends and community. It takes in art, food, nature and making. This crazy week it has been about all those things but also about my little Flower Press business which has been doing a lot lately to keep a smile on my face.
The very best thing was hitting the post office today with lots of Flower Press parcels flying off around the world, especially sending those ones addressed to blog friends around the country who took advantage of my postage discount to buy a little Flower Press of their own. Thanks guys :-)
This manages to combine lots of happy things like art, making, community, friends and giving. It came with lots of nice emails and ended in chaos as my huge box of posting envelopes ran out, my cellophane bags came down to a the wire and my woven labels pile depleted to a handful. And here I was feeling so organised!
Its lovely to be rushed off my feet though, and today's posting was perfect timing. Its my birthday tomorrow and I'm going to be busy all day spending it with my boy doing lunch and the beach then chocolate cake and home made cards and some cuddles with my kids. And phone calls from all my other specials near and far.
Oh and these jars of homemade Apricot Jam are all Suzy's fault. Last week when I talked about mad last minute projects she commented that she'd just picked up cheap apricots at our local fruit/deli market to make a batch of jam (and don't her jars look beautiful, love those labels)! Of course when I had to walk past that particular shop on Saturday I had to go in and buy some, despite Mr F protesting that I didn't have time! I didn't but I'm so glad I squeezed it anyway, don't they look cute with their RickRack hats. And I'm already enjoying giving them away!
Here at last, the design I've been waiting for, the one I shared a corner of last week! Its my new Teapot design, translated from Gocco print to tea towel and looking graphic and beautiful against the linen tea towels just like I hoped it would! I'm really really happy with this one, I just love it! And its only a fingernail biting week late.
It currently comes in beautiful Ocean, Tomato, Sky and White on unbleached. I only have small quantities of the Ocean, due to circumstances beyond my control, but there is one Ocean blue in the shop so if you like it grab it now! Oh and there's lovely new Sky Chrysanthemum tea towels there too, a new colour.
To celebrate this wonderful happening, and all the shiny new stock in my shop, Australian readers I am offering free postage in Australia from now till Saturday night. Parcels will be sent first thing Monday. International readers I wish I'd had stock sooner, sorry, I think its too late for Christmas delivery but convo or email me if you are still shopping and I'll knock 20% off your postage too :-)
Please leave a message to seller or convo/email me to say you're a blog reader and I'll refund the postage straight away!
Consider it my Christmas present to all of you :-) And thank you all for your kind comments this week. Its so nice to have this space to share the good and the bad. I always come away with a smile on my face, and as I might have mentioned I really needed that this week.
In sourdough news my 'sponge' is rising in its bowl, and I'm hoping to bake an actual loaf tonight or tomorrow. Fingers crossed!! Pics to follow if it works.
The new wares are slowly turning up (slow being the operative word!). Here are the new light blue Filigree tea towels. I had a similar colour last year and its one of my favourites, not sure why its taken me so long to reprint. The small print run last time went very quickly.
Straight away I wanted to put this with the Chalk Filigree tea towel. I think the white, fawn and blue two tea towel set would look great together for either summer (read sun, sand, sea, sky) or winter (ice, sky, snow, dry grass).
In between times, for a couple of weeks now I have been trying to get a sourdough starter going. Similarly to the ginger beer plant this is a natural fermentation process where rather than using commercial yeast to make bread you culture the natural wild yeasts present on the flour by growing and feeding a 'starter' where the only ingredients are flour and water. It smells a little sour like sourdough bread but not off at all. The bacteria grow and die as the mixture becomes more acid. I think!
I began the first one a couple of weekends ago. It burst into action about the second day only to collapse and loiter wanly for another week. Part of the problem was I kept reading more and changing tack. I started Mark Two on the weekend, weighing the ingredients this time to make it more accurate. When it showed more early promise the first attempt was shown the door. A third attempt with wholemeal flour and pineapple juice (really!) is waiting in the wings and starting to bubble, but Two started doing its thing yesterday and after its feed of water and flour bubbled up happily by a third.
I'm hoping to try and bake with it this weekend, an adventure in itself, and perhaps take this little being away at Christmas so we can experiment. Mad I know!
I was feeling a bit crazy to be experimenting with this at the busiest time of the year until I ran into a friend of mine this morning. I know that she has a to-do list as long as mine and a week of freelance work next week, but then she tells me today she's making soap for the first time. For handmade presents of course! Gotta love it :-)
Is anyone else trying to fit in some last minute making before the holidays kick in?
p.s. Here's a good site recommended by Kate which gives you the basics if you want to play along, and another Australian one with the pineapple juice method (there is a reason) and some other great info here.
I'm having one of those days today, you know the ones. Lost couriers and cranky kids and its hot and humid so I feel a bit red in the face anyway. I've been trying to breathe, and stopping to smell these roses, my anniversary present yesterday from Mr flowerpress. Fourteen years ago we got married in a little progress hall on the North Coast and celebrated at a beautiful restaurant on the river. Our chef went on to get two hats and we went on to live happily ever after. Apart from those occasional crazy days when nothings seems to go right!
I'm very excited to introduce, new today, these Filigree tea towels with beautiful hemstitching top and bottom. I just love the way the delicate hemstitching sets off the Filigree design and gives them that heirloom quality.
These towels are slightly narrower than the original towels at 450mm but the same length and the same beautiful unbleached linen. Find them in my shop here. And stay tuned for more new stuff tomorrow!
These are only on Etsy at the moment, but Aussie buyers are welcome to contact me for bank deposit.
(p.s. I am going to the post office every day this week to make sure packages arrive quickly! A slight warning though, these beautiful hemstitched towels are the sort of thing you need to buy two of, one to give and one to keep ;-)
More borrowed cleverness - lovely Mel (from little things) posted this advent calendar she whipped up on her blog this week. I loved it from the minute I saw it and then noticed she'd included a bit of my RickRack fabric in the making, which really made me smile. Mel says I can share it here, she is a sweetie like that. Even more impressive is she made it with help from her three year old and a tight deadline. She says its in the 'rushtic' style, I think its perfect. I love the different stitchings and colour combination.
Maybe next year I can convince the kids to give up the cardboard versions!
I think these fabrics would look great as a quilt. Mel kindly shares where she got the other ones on her blog here.
I always love it when people share their process, so that's my creative space today. My new tea towel design from sketch to artwork. Of course there are a few other steps before during and after but you get the idea. Pencil, pen and then scanned to Illustrator. This is just a sneaky corner too, you'll have to wait a bit longer for the big reveal but a few of you might work it out!
A big thanks as always but especially today for Kirsty, for her energy and generosity in hosting another year's creative spaces. I've really enjoyed joining in this year and I'm getting better at remembering to post!
What a lovely bunch you lot are! I've been so touched over the last week by all the lovely comments you've left about my magazine appearance and my Show & Tell interview. You have really made me smile. Everyone was so sweet about my photo too! I'm not sure why I've waited so long to share a pic (well I do - but it was actually quite painless!).
Life has been busy, I spent last weekend finalising the artwork for a new tea towel design. Yay! Hopefully I'll have printed tea towels by week's end or early next week at the latest. I can't wait to share, I also have some new colours of old favourites coming too so that's fun.
And suddenly its December and summer, advent calendars were opened early this morning. Its still raining here though, great for the garden but not so good for the annual street Christmas party planned for tomorrow. A friend of mine and I have been organising this event for the last four years, its a great way to catch up with all our lovely neighbours. We meet for dinner and drinks at a park down the street. I love how all the kids hang out together and play, big ones and small ones, I love the way that new people are welcomed into the gang, and I love that I live in such a fantastic neighbourhood. Go away rain!
This wonderful treasury showcases some other great Sydneysiders, members of the fabulous new Sydney Etsy Team which was started this month. Check out the link for some great Australian sellers, lots of new faces for me, and some old friends too!