Friday 30 October 2009

natural, linen, cotton, vintage, japanese fabric

I loved reading all your comments about fabric.

"Natural fibres"

It seems there is consensus, we all love natural fibres! I've always been drawn to these too - something about the feel and natural qualities of these just feels right to me, and to most of you too :-)

"Feel and drape"
A few of you mentioned the feel and drape of fabric being important. This makes a lot of sense and I can see how different blends enhance this quality.

"Organic fabric"
I really hope that these will become more freely available in Australia and less expensive soon. I'm sure there is a big market out there. It's funny, a million years ago I helped design catalogues for Greenpeace when they first introduced their organic cotton t-shirts. I wish we'd come a bit further in the meantime.

"Vintage, overdying, geometric prints, japanese designs"
I got excited just reading about all of these. Isn't fabric great!! Come back next week and I'll show you pictures of the fabric I've bought to print on!!!!

And now to announce the winner of the giveaway, the very helpful random generator gizmo has chosen - Ellie who said "i love using natural fibres - lots of hemp and organic cotton, and little linen. as well as vintage japanese fabrics. ooooohhhh. anything pretty really.
but love handcrafted fabrics the best!
lovely giveaway you have."

Thanks Ellie. If you contact me with your address I'll pop your prizes in the post.

Thanks again everyone for helping me celebrate my blogging milestone. Its my blogoversary next week, two years. Crazy. But lots of fun. I think I'll be here a while longer.

Thursday 29 October 2009

buku larrnggay

Thank you so much for all the wonderful comments and ideas about fabrics you've all been leaving on my Giveaway post. It doesn't end till late tomorrow so join in and leave a comment soon!!

My brother has been in town the last couple of days, which is great. I don't get to see him that often because he lives in the Nothern Territory, at the top of Australia. He works there for Buku Larrnggay Mulka Centre, a non-profit community arts centre in Yirrkala, on the Eastern tip of Arnhem land.

Buku Larrngay is well known in the international art world as a leading centre of Aboriginal Art. One of their artists, Djambawa Marawili was recently part of the Moscow Bienale, alongside Anish Kapoor, Fiona Hall and others.

Will's down here for an exhibition at Annandale Galleries which opened last night. We all went along to the opening, I love the fact that my kids are such inveterate gallery patrons, having been going since they were little babies, I love to seeing them wandering around, wine glass (full of mineral water) in hand, perusing the art! Here are some images from the exhibition. The three artists showing are Gunybi Ganambarr, Dhurrumuwuy Marika and Boliny Wanambi. It runs for a while so if you are local, go and see it, its great to see it close up. And the gallery is housed in a wonderful old Masonic hall which is beautiful all on its own.

Monday 26 October 2009

Giveaway - 300 posts!

To celebrate all the new colours in my tea towel rainbow, to mark the milestone of 300 posts, and most of all to thank all my lovely readers and blog subscribers here at last is my promised giveaway!

Up for grabs are these two tea towels, the Filigree design in bestselling Royal Blue and White on Unbleached. If you can bear to give them away these make great presents! All my towels come wrapped in a cellophane bag with Flower Press banner and woven label. Also included is this little Keep Calm cloth badge (a gift from one of my suppliers).

To enter leave a comment below, and only if you feel like it I'd love to hear from all of you about what fabrics you like - what you buy and what you use. Cotton, linen/cotton, lamé, plush!? Leave your thoughts, a name and contact details.

I'll be drawing this one on Friday afternoon. I'd love to hear from all of you. Come on - delurk!

Blog followers are automatically included in the draw but if any of you would like to leave a message about fabric, I'd love to hear it.

Friday 23 October 2009

learn to knit - patchwork afghan

I enjoy knitting, its like meditation. And while I'm not quick or experienced I really enjoy patterned knitting - the type that uses stitches to work a design. Ambitious! But if you work carefully they are usually just a mixture of purl and knit.

The last two scarves I've made have had quite intricate designs, the seafoam design I made last winter and another, shown below. I can't remember the name of this design, I adapted it from somewhere. It's not great as a scarf though as it rolls inwards! (Please admire the beautiful bakelite stitch counter my dear MIL gave me from her stash :-) )

The other day at the library I found this book 200 knitting blocks (Aussie version here) and something clicked. A while ago I was admiring this gorgeous blanket on Rummage's beautiful blog. So that's my new project (no I haven't finished my sashiko!). A patchwork afghan. It's a long term project, its nearly summer here so probably not a great time to be knitting, but I like the idea of small squares which can be knitted individually and sewn together down the track. They are small and quick to do and all those different patterns will keep it interesting I hope. I'm hoping to venture into the world of cable when I get more confident.

I'm going to choose five colours of wool, some neutrals and pale coordinating colours (I couldn't wait though so this one is leftover from the scarf - I think it matches my new front door!) but does anyone know any good wool places in Sydney apart from Spotlight?

Tuesday 20 October 2009

300 posts!!

300 posts! I can't believe it! That's a lot!

I promised a celebratory GIVEAWAY in the 300th post, but I'm still catching up on things now the kids are back at school. Come back next Monday, my time, and I promise it will be up.

In the meantime, here are some things that have been occupying my time and brain! These are fabric samples for my first yardage print. I'm so excited but anxious about taking this step, its something that I've wanted to do for so long. I'm still a way off but once I get strike offs I'll be sharing them here.

I've always dreamed of Flower Press producing yardage, locally printed on natural fabrics. Now its actually going to happen! One of the (many) steps along the way is choosing fabric and I've managed to track down a great range of samples.

I've narrowed it down slightly from the million samples I have, but if you have a preference, some experience or any other input, as always I would love to hear it. For next week's giveaway I'll be asking readers to leave a comment about fabric preferences. So please come back then and share your ideas with us (me!).

Oh, and all blog followers signed up by then will get an automatic entry to the giveaway too :-)

Wednesday 14 October 2009


Despite the very wintery weather (strong winds and rain for most of the week) we had the nicest time away. There is something about being out of town that really unravels the lines of stress that build up in a busy life. For the first few days I did a lot of staring into the distance (probably with my mouth attractively open). I slept in and finished reading Great Expectations which I've been reading and really (really) enjoying.

We did a little op shopping one day, all five of us which was fun. My favourite score was these zips and rick rack for $1 at the Animal Welfare shop. I also bought a holiday jigsaw with this lovely old fashioned inscription. We started it but most of it was a faded green colour and only half was finished by the end of the stay. My sashiko panel however is much closer to being finished.

Our friends' little house was a perfect haven. As an added bonus M is Japanese and there was a bookshelf full of japanese craft books and magazines to savour.
She also has a stack of Australian home magazines and it was fun playing spot the Aussie online peeps.

Food was cooked and eaten in large quantities. Broccoli soup made from scratch. Fresh asparagus and mayonnaise sandwiches were eaten for lunch and Whiting and bream caught off the beach on our one sunny outing were eaten for dinner with chips from the local fish and chip shop, for authenticity ;-)

On Monday we drove the yellow boat to a secluded beach in the middle of bushland and played and beachcombed (A found this paper nautilus shell) and fished and swam (too cold for me) and raced and climbed and read. A dolphin came up and caught his dinner just off the front, dancing around with his tail in the air for our enjoyment. A heartbreakingly perfect day with my gang :-)

Oh, and teeth were lost, two of them. The TF (tooth fairy) got two notes to advise her we were on holidays. I think that makes 14 teeth lost this year between my three little people. And one very busy TF!

Thursday 8 October 2009


The grape vines are bursting with new growth at the moment which always inspires me to make dolmades, as taught to me by my Greek sister in law. Of course hers are just perfect, mine on the other hand never taste quite as good, but they are still really yummy and simple to make.
Here are some photos of the process. I can't find her recipe with exact quantities so here's a Bill Granger one that's similar but uses chick peas and some chilli and paprika. Mine uses fresh leaves and tomatoes and a bit of olive oil in the rice mix. I'm sure you could substitute rice for the extra quantity of chick peas.

I've seen a few recipes online that use cooked rice but these are rolled with uncooked and it cooks inside the leaves. These are the vegetarian version. I didn't eat red meat for many years and I still prefer them without meat.

Even the fussy eaters round here love these, this whole pot, three layers by the end, was finished in a day, most of them for dinner with tuna, boiled eggs and salad.

You can buy preprepared vine leaves but its fun to use your own. The best leaves are fresh new ones, you can see how soft and fresh the new growth is. Collect a pile and trim off the stalks. I roll mine and tie them and then pour boiling water over them for a couple of minutes. (If you don't need to use them you can keep them in the fridge in a plastic bag for a day). My sil likes the leaves from an ornamental grape or glory vine best.

Put a spoon of mix in the centre then wrap bottom right, bottom left, top right, top left and then roll to the centre point. Squeeze them all in together and place a plate on top, right side down (oh, and make sure the plate/pot fit is right to start with!)

Wednesday 7 October 2009

tea towel rainbow

Yesterday I snapped this pic of my full range of tea towels stretched out in rainbow formation. It makes me happy to see all the colours I've used in the past year. Not so practical perhaps to be printing so many different colours, but I love the range and its been fun to experiment.

I haven't listed the teal towels yet (5 and 6 in the picture), but expect to see them in the shop when I return from our time away. I'll be gone a week, wish us luck with the weather gods. Back with photos late next week.

I'm hoping to get a bit more organised then (!?) and list more stock for Christmas. I found some block printed towels cleaning up yesterday that will appear finally and I'm going to get some more cards in store in individual packs. So if you've been after a Teapot or Ruby Slippers card you can buy them in singles or sets.

I think this post is 297 and I've written one that will post while I'm away, 298. Come back next week for 299 and 300 and I'll have that promised giveaway!

Tuesday 6 October 2009

sushi love

School holidays for the next two weeks and we head to the beach on Wednesday, housesitting for some friends who are off to Japan (yay!).
While the boys went off to the city to explore the Harbour Bridge, A and I got down to crafting. She wanted to do some embroidery and I'd bought these frames a while ago. Wondering what to sew, inspiration soon hit, one of her very favourite things in the world is sushi. I pulled out the felt and we hit upon this design. So simple but I love the way they look. She is mad about beads too and decided to make the 'fillings' with beads and ribbon from her stash. Isn't she creative :-)

This was nice and simple to sew but good practice for knots and sewing. I'm thinking a little piece of sashimi might be a nice addition. It would make a nice applique for a purse as well with some japanese fabric lining...

new shoes

red converse shoes
Continuing the red theme :-)