Monday, September 28, 2009

Will you still need me, will you still feed me ...

Jellybeans for my birthday

On Sunday I had what my friend Jacqui calls an "Oh My God" birthday.

So now I'm 40 (and one day), but I don't feel that old. Obviously no one else thinks I'm that old either - my parents gave me a Nintendo DS for my birthday. A part of me - the part that still plays with dolls and skips up the driveway and laughs at the naughtiest jokes - that part will always be 8. Or 14. And I'm happy about that. No point getting old before your time, I say.

Sunday dawned miserable, wet and cold and my heart leapt with joy. I love, love LOVE days like that. It made the afternoon I spent with friends at Gundaroo all the more special. We had our own private dining room, an open fireplace, and the best conversation, food and wine that love and friendship can buy. The only major bummer was that I'd given the Mister my cold - so we had to cancel our dinner on Saturday night and I had to cook my own birthday breakfast, and the company at home was a little less than stimulating while he shoved tissues up his nostrils. Poor poppet.

I received the loveliest emails and text and gifts, and then today I heard that I got a contract and will be starting next Wednesday. Best 40th birthday gift ever (maybe not better than the DS, or the gorgeous necklace from the Mister, or the new Stephanie Alexander bible (which I am dubbing the New Testament), but it's close.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My creative space

My creative space

It's all a bit frantic around here this week. I've had a bad cold and have been trying to apply for jobs whilst also trying to get my kit together for the grand opening next weekend of the "Material Arts Studio Gallery" in Braidwood. That's where I'll be selling my boxes, sunnyboys and crochet flower brooches, alluded to a couple of months ago. Coincidentally my parents will be down that weekend and I'm just a little but excited by the whole event. I feel like I've grown up, or something.

It's been a hard slog - not just the making, but formulating an artist's statement for display in the gallery, and calculating a price for my items while considering the gallery commission and what I think people will be happy to pay. Yesterday, in the middle of a runny-nose attack, I had to dress in something other than polka dot PJs, put some makeup on, do something with one-inch long hair, and take a self portrait. I hate photos being taken of me. It took me about an hour, but I think I have something I am happy with. I still have to find a holder for my business cards and a frame for my artist's statement, but I'm on track to deliver tomorrow.

Oh, and I have an interview this afternoon, although it's more of a casting call, really. I have no idea what the job is or what it entails - such is the life of a contractor. I've just been told to turn up. I'm wondering, in my blurry headed state, whether it will be acceptable to answer the inevitable question "Tell us about your skills" with "Look, I do a little bit of everything and I'm good at it, OK? I just want to get the job DONE".

Maybe it's time for a panadol with a cup of tea first?

More creative spaces here.

And don't forget to check my shop for the quasi-sale - prices go up on October 1 but you can make the most of the improved exchange rate now!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's an exchange rate sale!


If you're an Aussie, you would have noticed the Australian dollar heading up towards 88 cents in the last few weeks. It's fantastic if you like online shopping (why hello Repro Depot and Book Depository!) but not so great if you sell in US dollars on Etsy.

So I'm going to have to put my prices up by a little. I'm so sorry about this! But to make it up to you I'll hold off until October 1. So consider the stuff currently in the shop to be on sale - you're getting a really great deal when you convert the USD across to Australian dollars, and I get to clear out my current stock and make something new.


Plus, if you're Australian you always get free postage and you can't beat that, in my opinion.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My creative space

, originally uploaded by quiltingmick / michelle.

This week I've been busy applying for a job. Well, I've been busy procrastinating about applying for the job.

I've been spending a little time each day enjoying the most beautiful sunshine, sitting on the stairs of my deck and eating my lunch. The garden is so exciting at the moment - the viburnums are sending out their white puffy flowers, the crabapple is about to shoot and the frogs in the pond are warming up for a massive season of croaking.

I expect I'll be spending some more time out here today, trying to work out how to squish answers to seven selection criteria into only 2 pages without resorting to Arial 8 pt.

Maybe if I spent more time doing than thinking ... oh, that could be so dangerous!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My creative space - skirting the issue

My creative space 10 Sept 2009

I used to be a skirt person. When I first started sewing back in the early 90s I used to make my own Chanel-inspired unlined jackets in raw silk linen, and matching printed calf-length skirts with pleats and pockets (pockets were a must-have). Oooh I was the epitome of style, I was.

But tastes change and weight is gained, and damn, Myer put out some nice trousers these days, and before I knew it I was no longer a skirt person. I was a trousers person. I still have one skirt for work in my cupboard - a lovely orange checked felted wool number, but I haven't worn it in years and I really should. It's beautiful.

So the last year I have been contemplating making a skirt (Procrastination is my middle name. Why do you ask?). Surrounded by beautiful fabrics all day, it's hard not to think how I could wear some of them. Last year Lara Cameron printed her houses and bikes fabric. Two of my favourite things on the one fabric? Insane. I bought two big pieces - one brown and one orange - and I have never thought of cutting them up for Sunnyboy Pouches, not once. But I have been dreaming of ways to include the fabric in a skirt. My favourite is the brown one. Would it look best with denim or chocolate linen? Decisions, decisions.

But first a muslin, where I will hopefully be able to add some pockets to the existing pattern.

(My creative space also includes some custom pouches for customers, but you've seen that kind of thing pretty much every week and are probably as bored with that photo as I am).

See Kirsty for more creative spaces.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


With exactly 18 days until my 40th birthday, and a self-imposed deadline looming, I took my quilt in progress to the lounge room and laid it out on the floor.


Bloody hell - it's rather ginormous. I still have 36 blocks to make, 15 half blocks to make, and a two halves to join, and that alone will take me at least two days. I don't think I'm going to make my deadline, but that's OK. And will nine months be enough time to hand quilt it?


It looks even bigger from up on a chair. I measured it, and it will be 238 cm long and 235 cm wide. It's my biggest quilt ever, and I'm going to hand quilt it? I must be completely bonkers. I'm not bonkers about basting it though - that is going to be done by a professional machine quilter. I decided that the moment I saw the monster laid out on the floor.


I'm still loving it though. The Mister wondered if I was stressing myself out with getting the top finished in only a couple of weeks, but I'm not. I sort my colours and pick up my pieces and my threaded needle, and a strange calmness comes over me. I'm in my own world with my own happy thoughts, and I'm really going to miss that world once I've finished.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday afternoon, 5.15 pm

I haven't been online much lately, so I'm sorry if I owe you an email, and I'm sorry I haven't been commenting on any blogs. I'm not too sure what's going on, but I think I just needed a break from my cyberlife.

Today I spent a few hours in the sewing room while the rain fell outside. I got to play with some new fabrics which is always a heap of fun as you never know how cute they are going to look in bags until you turn them inside out at the end of the sewing.

I think these ones meet the required cuteness factor, don't you?

I've decided to do something a little different. Tomorrow morning I'm going to list these bags on Etsy, but I will be making them as they are ordered. It will only take me a couple of days to get them in the post to you, but the benefit to me is that I'm only making bags if people are interested in them.

Anyway, it's just an experiment at this stage as I'm also trying to move Buttontree Lane into a place that will be easy to keep up with once I start working outside of the house again.

It's curried sausages for tea tonight - it's still raining outside so I think it's the perfect night for it.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My creative space

Painting, originally uploaded by quiltingmick / michelle.

My creative space this week takes me outside where I'm painting the Hardiplanked section of the front of our house. It was originally a lichen green, and before that brick red. For the last year it's had a myriad of blue and grey sample pots smeared on it, as we tried to decide on colours, and then procrastinated a lot. It all made our house look a bit avante garde and, well, silly. It's made me so happy to get rid of all the ghastly colours with a fresh coat of this colour.

House painting and I have a funny relationship. I'm not a fan of the cleaning and taping and preparation, but give me a paint brush and a pot of paint and I'm the happiest, dirtiest clam there is. I love how a lick of paint can transform the dingiest, darkest room, and I don't even begrudge the sore muscles I get from climbing up and down the ladder.

This morning was going to be spent applying the second coat so I could say "DONE!!!" but it started raining early, and I have a shocking bout of hayfever. Good excuse to do some sewing, I think.

See more creative people and spaces at Kirsty's.