Thursday 30 April 2009

stamp carving

Geninne's Art Blog is one of the first blogs I subscribed to. I remember finding it after discovering her stamp carving tutorial and how inspired and impressed I was by her work. She also sells her beautiful work, above, on Etsy.
Today she has posted the most wonderful video of her stamp carving process. For anyone interested in carving this is invaluable. She makes it look very easy (she is such a talented artist) but still its interesting and very inspiring.
I'm always fascinated in watching people work, especially really skilled artisans in fields such as art, craft, cooking, gardening. Recently I've been hearing that they have identified that many people are visual learners. Immediately I identified with that idea and googling it just now I see it fits me perfectly - here's a summary. I really relate to the reading, proof reading, remembering faces not names (!) and needing quiet when I'm doing something. I am easily distracted by sound.
Here's a quiz to work out what sort of learner you are, visual, auditory or tactile:
My results, surprise surprise, said I was a 'very visual learner'. I wonder if most artists are? I like the idea that we are readers too.

Wednesday 29 April 2009

fabric junkie

Including independent designers - second from top block printed fabric from Jezze (yes Jesse I haven't used it yet!) and second from bottom Saffron Craig.

The other day my daughter and I slipped away together to go bead and fabric shopping (here and here). I had to laugh because on the way to the car she said 'its hard to use the really nice beads because I want to keep them'. Cue recent and not so recent fabric buys, newly washed (but not ironed, sorry) and ready to cut into. I keep buying more thinking it will help me to use the fabric I have. Not so much LOL.
But as I said to her, its nice to have them to look at anyway, that's pretty good too. And she agreed.
Here's a photo Miss A. took of some of the new beads. Don't you like the way she's styled the shot :-)

I was interested to notice when I folded all these off the line that they fell into a couple of quite obvious colour combinations. Very revealing! I think my new favourite colour is turquoise, or aqua, or whatever you like to call it. And chartreuse, mustard and limey greens are close seconds.

Vintage buys from Ebay

Friday 24 April 2009

greasemonkey + etsy hacks = heaven

Today on the Etsy forums I came across a thread talking about the Greasemonkey and Etsy Hacks and how fantastic they are. I'd never heard of either. After a bit of investigation though I worked out Greasemonkey is an add-on for the wonderful Firefox browser (if you don't use this download it now! though they are adapting these to work with other browsers) which runs scripts (bits of personalised programming that automate lots of separate tasks).

Etsy Hacks are purpose written scripts that you can install once you are running Greasemonkey and this is the exciting part - these 'hacks' add great useability to Etsy. They do things you've been dying for them to introduce for ages and some you hadn't even thought of. And they are very easy to install and use.

Some of the Hacks I've added already are: copy a listing rather than starting a new one from scratch (hooray!), edit a listing with drop down menus from the item page (takes you quickly to the right page too!); buyer info which gives you links to email and convos and feedback; a script that lets you add all item tags in one go; searchable sold pages (you can look up a buyer or an item in milliseconds)...

I won't go on, needless to say I'm really excited about these tools. If you are an Etsy Seller they will be invaluable. They will save you heaps of time and stress. For example I've been meaning to list all my Cotton Tea Towels but the idea of generating new item listings for each style has meant I've put it off for ages. With the copy listing and tag adding apps I can do it really quickly. Another hack lets you upload five photos at once. Bliss!!!

The other nice thing about Etsy Hacks is that the commands are integrated seamlessly into the Etsy format. Commands are listed neatly at the side. For a designer like me that makes them perfect!

Thursday 23 April 2009


Bathtub IV from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

I've talked about tilt/shift before. Such a neat effect, gives photos a fairytale miniature effect. So I was interested to read about Keith Loutit's use of tilt/shift and time lapse to make videos (Sydney Morning Herald last week) and I was really blown away when I found them online. So fantastic. This is my favourite so far of the series, I love the story it tells.
One of the things I love about these is they show my beautiful city of Sydney in all its glory.
Here's a page with all the videos.
You can also see them on YouTube, it loads quicker, but the effect isn't as good in the lower definition.
Tonight on the news they showed some of Keith Loutit's film taken at the Sydney Easter Royal Show. I must track them down, they looked so cute! Little cows being walked around the showground by little people. Love it!

Tuesday 21 April 2009

Mother's Day SALE! Help me get to 300 sales!!

As promised I'm having a big Mother's Day SALE!
All cotton tea towels, and I have most designs and colours printed, are only $8 each!
And if you buy two linen tea towels the second towel is 25% off!
(most expensive towel is discounted, that's $3 off a white towel and $3.25 off an unbleached towel). Further mulitiples are %10 off.


OK, that's enough hard sell :-)

Sale ends next Wednesday.
p.s. Sale sign shows sneak preview new fabric design in progress!
p.p.s. Help me get to 300 sales, last count 277!

Sunday 19 April 2009


I've done it! I finally ordered some fabric from Spoonflower today — fat quarters of the two designs above, the turquoise spots I showed before and a new simple woven ribbons pattern which I dreamed up yesterday, literally, it came to me as I woke up :-)
They share a limited colour palette, chosen from 'in gamut' colours on the downloadable Illustrator palette available from Spoonflower here. The designs were drawn in Illustrator which made it easier to get everything exact and I found a great tutorial for making pattern repeats in Illustrator which makes it easy to preview your repeats and make sure they work (important that!)
Once I get my samples safely back (and make sure they work!) I'm going to post my own simple tutorial which will share the technical aspects of preparing a design repeat in Illustrator and saving it in Photoshop to meet the Spoonflower specifications. It took me a while to work it all out and I'd like to share what I learnt along the way.
And now I have the technical stuff clear in my brain I'm looking forward to preparing some new patterns that I've been playing with. I really want to make my Chrysanthemums design into a repeat, using the fabulous blue colour of my tea towel prints.

Thursday 16 April 2009


I've been trying to make a terrarium for a while. My first attempt survived a while but didn't thrive like I wanted. And the moss I could find for it was limited to pieces found in cracks in the pavement and damp spots of the garden - city moss :-)
On my bush walks at Easter I found a couple of more interesting mosses and collected them to bring home. I also took some charcoal from our campfire.

A bit or reading online has led me to this layering of elements. First a layer of pebbles to drain the excess water; a layer of charcoal to filter the water; some guaze to keep the soil from muddying the water (I used interfacing); sandy soil for good drainage (seed raising mix); moss and lichen; beautiful mini ceramic mushrooms from mudpuppy. And watered not with tap water but rain water.

Wednesday 15 April 2009


I've shown photos of this place before, my sister in law's bush property. A new addition is this straw bale hut and corrugated iron bathhouse. I love the way they sit in the landscape. And such a wonderful landscape, we had such fun camping out here (despite the rain) and bushwalking around its acres.
And my new macro lens let me look a little closer at the tiny jewels that hide in this landscape.

Saturday 11 April 2009

mother's day winner

I'm out of town for Easter and writing this on my mother in law's computer, which is quite apt considering the topic of Mother's Day. She is my second mother and has given me so much over the years, love and praise and knowledge and a wonderful role model.
I was overwhelmed by the beautiful stories left on my Giveaway post. They all made my heart sing with the love you shared with all of us. Thank you all.
My mother in law also picked the winner for me, names were written on paper and mixed in a bowl.
She drew out the name Therese N.
Congratulations Therese, you've won the prize. I will contact you when I am back in town next Tuesday, unless you want to email me before then and tell me which tea towel your mum would like best. And I'll need your address too. my email address is susie at flowerpress dot com dot au.
I truly wish that I could have given everyone a prize. I am so honoured to have had your wonderful comments. Thank you again. And for those who haven't read the comments, go there now!

Tuesday 7 April 2009

salvias *

Thank you all the very delightful entries in my GIVEAWAY. I'm not drawing it till Friday night my time so please enter if you haven't yet. I'm loving reading about all your lovely mums.

We had our school fete garden stall last Sunday. The weather gods played nice and we had a fantastically successful day. And it was fun. I got to play plant nursery for a day.
When I potted them up I'd made about 150 little plants, grown from cuttings and I realised how many salvias I have, and how they make the autumn garden shine. That said, some of them flower all year round. They work hard for you!

I've started most of these from cuttings filched from other people's plants :-) Salvias are so easy to strike. In fact I'm going to do a tutorial soon which shows you the simple methods I use to propagate plants, because I've found that most people don't know them and its such a simple way to get the plants you want, free! I've had success with lots of different plants, lately even roses. It's great when you want a particular rose and can't find the name.

* Whoops, I nearly typed salivas!

Friday 3 April 2009


These earrings below right were a present from D, for Mother's Day last year. I just love them, despite the fact I don't have pierced ears, or any other Gold or Skull accessories! They are tres glamorous don't you think, and I just love the idea that he thought I'd love them. They are not part of the giveaway!!!

With Mother's Day coming soon I thought it would be a nice idea to have a Mother's Day Giveaway. My last one was to commemorate my 100th sale and I am at 270 sales as of this morning! Just leave a comment and tell me why you love your mum, or a funny story, or tell me about a gift you've given her. I will announce a winner next Friday evening, my time.

The Winner will get a TEA TOWEL (of their choice), a LOVE card for their Mum, and a RUBY SLIPPERS card (just for them).

And for those of you who miss out I will be having a Mother's Day Sale starting soon so you can send your mum a designer tea towel and show her how much you love her.

My poor mum, her birthday is on the 6th May. Sooo, well she never really got any Mother's Day presents. Sort of like those poor people whose birthdays are so near Christmas.
This year though she'll have me :-) I'm flying up to be with her for her birthday (its a big one with a nought on the end) and staying through till Mother's Day. The only sad thing is that I won't have my kids with me. It will be my first Mother's Day without them, and you can tell how sentimental I am by the fact that I got a lump in my throat typing that.

Thursday 2 April 2009

birthday x 2

My beautiful boys turned eight today!
We were woken at 5.30 to find all the lights on and someone riffling through presents in the lounge room :-) Luckily he was convinced to go back to bed for a while.
J and D are in different classes this year, for the first time, and that meant 50 cupcakes went up to school today. I did mean to get a photo of them but, sadly... this is the last forlorn orange one. The turquoise cupcakes all got eaten, they did look nice. In fact they all looked wonderful together, orange with turquoise sprinkles and turquoise with orange sprinkles, you'll just have to imagine. It's quite a fantastic colour combination! (Colours chosen by the boys - they had quite definite opinions.)
Happy Birthday Darlings!!!

(Don't you love these funny balloons with ears I got at the supermarket, the owl is so stern!)