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Christmas Peeps

Still doodling and drawing and colouring this week.  I’ve come up with some new designs (typical of me – at the eleventh hour) and I will include them in a future post.  I am using every spare minute to get ready for my market stall on Sunday.  It’s a bit nerve-wracking, trying to get everything ready and not really knowing how many people to expect.  I might be making a whole bunch of stuff for nothing, or not making anywhere near enough.  You just never know.  I only have one allotted table space on the day so I am also trying to figure out how to display everything so it’s easy to access and makes the most of the limited space I have.  I’m sure it will be ok on the day – I just always get nervous beforehand.  It’s very anxiety-provoking, having your own creations on display, to people other than your family and friends who will tell you everything is wonderful (even if it isn’t) and there is nothing worse than having people pick through your stuff, turn their noses up and walk away having purchased nothing.

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I’ve started pricing everything, which is always a tricky process.  How do you make something affordable but still cover costs and time taken to make the darn thing?  Some of my cards take me HOURS to make.  If I charged at some hourly rate I would be selling cards for about $83.00 each!  You have to be sensible.  The doodled cards take less materials but are all hand-coloured and drawn, so do you take into account the fact each one is an original and took some time to colour or do you just say well, it’s a more simple-looking item and charge accordingly?  It’s hard, but at the end of the day, I need the money and can’t afford to make things so expensive that no one will buy them.  I am also guilty of making things I’m not very happy with cheaper, and then pricing some items up because I really like them and don’t want them to sell, ha ha.

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Anyway, I’d be interested to hear how other crafty people market and price their wares.  Particularly if you’re just a “small concern” like me ie not super professional or running an actual business.  To be honest, I just enjoy the creative process and the money isn’t the most important thing – ordinarily anyway.  But, right now, I am struggling a bit and need the extra moolah to see me through Christmas!

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Hope you are having a successful, stress-free week.  Thank you for reading 🙂

All Things Vintage Car Boot Sale

All Things Vintage Car Boot Sale

A couple of weekends ago, Mum and I attended a vintage market in the hills.   So many treasures and things to look at!  It was very windy and many stalls were in danger of being blown away (literally – it nearly happened a couple of times) which was a bit worrying with all the breakables and china.  A few vintage dresses went flying across the oval, their frantic sellers chasing after them.  Anyway, here are a few pics from the day:

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Loved this hot air balloon.  Wish I had bought it… I have no idea what it was for – it opened up to reveal a section inside which appeared to be for holding eggs!  Not sure about that though…

  IMG_8274Lots of lovely blue and white china…

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Trillions of trios!

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My Mum was eyeing off these old posts.  They were gorgeous but very pricey, so we had to leave them and walk away (sadly, and with a wistful look on our faces)…

 

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All kinds of treasures!

 

My find for the day came early on and I was so thrilled to get it : this gorgeous old doll house (looks Georgian in architectural design but is not actually that old), unfinished and in need of some TLC.  A lick of paint and some gentle distressing and I think this little beauty will be a welcome addition to my home.  I’m going to use it either as storage in my craft room, or as a spice/tea cabinet in the kitchen.  It’s quite large but sits happily on my bench and will save space because of all the things I can fit inside it.  I think I will “wallpaper” the inside “walls” as well to add a bit of colour and interest.  Love it!  It was only $20 – I didn’t even bother haggling!  It’s very well made and has lots of fine detail, with spaces inside for what would have been staircases (the gentleman who was constructing it didn’t finish unfortunately) and the front opens up like a door, giving you access to the “rooms” inside.  I was very happy with my purchase 🙂

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My Georgian Mansion!

I love a good market, car boot sale or swap meet.  So much fun!  And you can pick up such great bargains.

Can’t wait for the next one! 🙂

 

Because sometimes you need to put a hat on a bird…

Because sometimes you need to put a hat on a bird…

Happy Sunday!  I have been crafting all day, making a lovely mess and trying not to get too discouraged with the less-than-inspiring work I am producing.  There’s that awesome self-esteem of mine again!  Actually, I am trying to just be content with the fact I made anything today and holding on to that as a small victory (my creative oomph has been rather oomph-less lately).  I am having a small market stall at a local vintage and craft market next month (eek – time is flying by!) and I want to have lots of different things on it to attract different people.  I’ll have jewellery and cards plus some sewn/embroidered items my Mum is providing.  Her stuff always adds a touch of class and professionalism to my amateurish offerings
*slaps wrist for bad self-esteem again*

I have been making cards for the last couple of weeks because I haven’t got a lot in stock at the moment, having sold them all (or used them myself) before Christmas.  I’ve been trying to use up what papers I have, using colours and designs I might not usually go for.  It’s hard – you can easily get stuck in a rut where colour and design are concerned.  I am also a bit obsessed with my speckled eggs, wings and hats.  I always want to put a hat on a bird.  It just seems right to me.  Maybe it makes it more quirky and less serious?  I don’t know.  But sometimes you just need to put a hat on a bird.  Or wings on an egg.  Etc etc.  A bit of whimsy goes a long way I say.  Or it just really annoys people and they walk away poo-poohing your creations.  That’s ok too.

Anyway – here is what I have made today :

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1. A simple, more masculine card with rusty colours and not much fussiness…

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2. Bird with hat.  Need I say more?

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3. Another slightly more masculine card.

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4. Crowns and wings on eggs.  Why not?

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5. Bird and hat and diamantes and braid. Pink and girly and just a bit silly.

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6. I wasn’t at all pleased with this card but I think it’s ok now.  I guess it’s not horrible

So, a few cards made but lots to go.  My house is a complete shambles at the moment – stuff everywhere.  But I do not have time to feel guilty about it just now.  Today I just enjoyed being quiet and busy (but a nice kind of busy) alone with my own thoughts, some music and plenty of tea.  Life has been stressful and complicated just lately and I needed a recharge day, away from everyone and everything.  Back to work tomorrow but I will be wishing for the end of the week to come quickly so I can have another crafty day to myself.

Hope you’re having a lovely weekend, whatever you are up to 🙂

A Happy Weekend

A Happy Weekend

How long have I been away? I feel like I haven’t written for months but it has only been 4 weeks, which, in blogging world terms, is an eternity.  Apologies.  No excuses – well actually, my computer and internet have been behaving abominably and I have had limited access so I guess I do have a bit of an excuse.  Also I have been dog tired and just not feeling the bloggy vibe.  I had blood tests recently and everything looked ok – kidney basically behaving plus a thyroid test showed that was all hunky-dory too.  My iron and haemoglobin are both well above normal (might be why I am tired – sometimes having an increase in either one can make you as tired as not having enough apparently) but I think work and personal stuff has been getting me down so I always end up feeling physically unwell, just so my body can force me to take time out and chill.  I have a bit of a “negative energy” person around me at the moment and I am finding it very draining.

Anyway, this weekend has been a pretty good one.  Friday evening I went walking my my lovely work-mate SR.  We walked her two pooches, Sam and Chloe (look at them – so adorable!) and then came back and made yummy pizzas (because we had, after all, exercised!).  They were delicious.  SR makes her own bases (more talented than I am obviously – I just use pitta bread!) and had enough to have leftovers for the next day.  Yum!

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On Saturday I went shopping with my Mum – just groceries (boring – except we both bought a pretty little white orchid each) and then went to a local garden show.  Less boring!  I bought a box-load of succulents including an aloe, a briar rose and some weird little ones – stone plants and baby toes.  My Mum bought some nice ferns and an African Violet. I contained myself and didn’t buy too many as I have limited space on my porch and it is already getting a bit crowded there!

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Orchid

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Stone Plant

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Baby Toes

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Briar Rose

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Aloe

Saturday night was awesome.  My Mum, cousin and I went to see “An Evening on the Green” featuring Sting and Paul Simon.  Love!  They are two of my favourites and worth every penny spent on the tickets.  I really like outdoor concerts – they are so much nicer (although we were very chilly, even under a bundle of blankies!) and it’s glorious to be under the stars on a clear night.  The music was fabulous – they played a lot of my favourites (singing their own songs as well as duetting on each other’s) and hearing Sting sing Simon & Garfunkel’s classic “America” was amazing.  People were dancing (always entertaining to watch) and singing along and it was so enjoyable.   They are playing again tonight and I have half a mind to go down to the foreshore (it was held right near the water, so near to my house I can walk there in less than 10 minutes) and just sit outside the official concert zone and listen for free 🙂

This morning I had to take Mum home as she had stayed overnight at my place.  On the way to her house we stumbled upon a Vintage Market being held in a nearby RSL Hall.  Don’t you love it when you just happen upon something like that, completely by accident?  Inside were all kinds of treasures, everything from vintage china, coins and lace to candles, soaps and jewellery – all at very reasonable prices. I nearly bought a teapot (for only $5 – bargain!) but I couldn’t make my mind up so I left it.  It was nice to have a little wander about and I may even speak to the organisers about having a stall there myself in the near future.

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The rest of the day was spent doing laundry (ugh!) and making cards (yay!).  I had some patterned papers that I had never been able to do anything with – you know sometimes when a fabric or paper seems like a good idea in the shop, and then you get it home and you can’t make it work with anything?  Yeah, that!  So I’ve had this paper with Babushkas and polka dots, birds and pastel patterns on it for years, just sitting there taking up room.  Today I just spotted it and suddenly became determined to put it to use.  I made a handful of simple cards, just embellished with a few dots of liquid pearls or buttons – nothing fancy.  I think they’re kinda cute – at least I made something.

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Right now I am waiting on a batch of polenta chips I made to have with my dinner.  I’ve never made them before and I’m not usually a huge fan of polenta, but I wanted to give these a go as they seemed easy enough and something I could have instead of chips (which I hardly ever have anyway as I am not supposed to have a lot of potato).  They’re in the oven now so I had better go and check them – if they turn out ok I will post the recipe (if I manage to get a photo before I eat them all!).

Hope you are all well and enjoying 2015 – it’s going so quickly and I fear it will be another year that just rushes by.
Stay happy and take care 🙂 x

Livin’ for the Weekend…

Livin’ for the Weekend…

Ah, the weekend… Never was there a sweeter word (unless of course you work on the weekend and hate your job).  I currently live for the weekends.  There I can sleep in (unless I’m going out for breakfast of course…even I will get up early for that one) and potter about, wear my daggy clothes and no makeup and basically be a bum.  This weekend has already been quite busy, doctor’s appointments, catching up with friends and hanging out with my Mum.  Right now I should be cleaning my filth-pit of a house.  But I’m not.  Obviously.  Because I am writing this entry.  I’m thinking about cleaning and feeling really guilty about it though.  Honest!

This week I have been using every spare second to make things for my upcoming mini-market (have decided not to call it a craft sale – that sounds daggy and twee).  A few nights this week I have stayed up well past my bed-time finishing off earrings and other jewellery items.  I’ve been up late glazing collage pendants and cutting out jewellery cards.  I’ve been making a mess basically.  I’m going to tidy up tonight and get cracking on some Christmas cards because I don’t have many ready for sale and I know a lot of people will be expecting those on the day.

It’s a lovely day outside; sunny and blue sky, light breeze and white fluffy clouds.  Gorgeous weather.  But I have no time to sit around gazing at the sky and being all relaxed and chilled.  I have STUFF to make and ideas to formulate and, um, a messy house to clean.

Which I will do.  In a minute.  Might need a cup of tea first and some reading time.  Craft magazines of course, for research.  I am dying to use my package of paper clay but don’t want to open it until I know exactly what I’m doing with it.  I want to make some birdies and maybe some brooches… I can see these Christmas cards are not going to get made any time soon.

So, here’s a sneak peak at some of the items I have made this week.  I’ve branched out a little bit and made some things using “boho” gold.  I don’t wear gold and don’t like it, but I know a lot of people do, so I’ve had to compromise a bit and use the next best thing which is boho gold – a sort of tarnished-looking, not so gaudy gold.  Lots of silver and turquoise (I have a few friends coming that I know are into the boho/ethnic/aztec look…) and bling:

ImageVery simple, but quite elegant silver heart earrings.  I’d wear these…if I had my ears pierced (must get that done again!)…

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Just bought these glass beads – I think they work well with the boho-gold…

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Butterfly pendant – no bubbles in the glaze!  Hooray!

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Dainty little turquoise earrings.  Cute but colourful…

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Blown-glass hearts – such a pretty pale green…

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More turquoise – this time showing off my new backing cards – I was pleased with the cards, they work really well with all the different earrings and were easy to make (using Kaisercraft papers)…

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Blingy bracelet – kinda reminds me of Christmas with its little stars and bells… The bells were actually off a vintage bracelet I took apart to make things with…

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“Time for Tea?” earrings…

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“Travel” necklace – I was pleased with how this turned out and the colours together work (I think)…I’d had those charms for ages and couldn’t find a use for them but paired with some bright beads, I think they’re pretty funky…

I’ve made LOADS more stuff but don’t want to bore you with it all at once.  Lots more to make and I am freaking out that I only have about 5 weeks until my market day.  I want to have plenty of things on display so it looks great when people walk in.  I’ll have to make the most of every day, even when it’s only a few hours after work.  Oh well, housework will have to wait.  What a shame 🙂

Market Day, Mags, & Love from Mum

Market Day, Mags, & Love from Mum

My Mum is awesome.  She is loving and gentle and tolerant and fun and inspiring.  She has nurtured my brother and I, never judging us or making us feel like we weren’t good enough.  She understands us (or at least tries to!) and protects us, even in our adulthood.  She is also super talented and arty.  She and I share a love of all things vintage/shabby chic/collage/mixed media and whimsical.

Yesterday we took some time out to go to the Guildford Fair.  We had not been before but it had a special draw this year – Miss Johnson’s Vintage & Handmade Market.  We have loved Miss Johnson’s Market for years – it showcases beautiful handmade items as well as vintage clothing, jewellery and bric-a-brac.  Always inspiring and always a good way of spending lots of money (you can’t leave without buying something).  In the last year or so, the market has been unable to run in its usual setting – The Guildford Town Hall – due to financial constraints (public liability insurance being the main problem – just too expensive) and so we have missed out on all the goodies.  But this year – huzzah! – they appeared at the Fair and, lucky us, we got to be there and check out all the yummy items for sale and display.

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Artistic Journey – a mixed-media haven of vintage/shabby/altered goodness!  And LOTS of Somerset Studio mags for sale – yay!

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I wanted to tuck all these vintage suitcases under my arm and run off home with them.  Strangely enough, the stall-holder (Mulberry Tree Vintage) wouldn’t let me!

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Pretty, pretty things! (from Tea)

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Love this dress made from old sewing patterns!

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Industrial Chic – lots of yummy altered pieces.

Mum and I LOVE Somerset Studio magazine – in fact, pretty much all the Stampington & Company publications are like drugs to us! – and we were really hoping to snag a few issues from one of our favourite stalls, Artistic Journey (the lady there used to have the most amazing mixed-media supplies shop that was just heaven!  Sadly not a bricks-and-mortar store any more, just online I think…).  As luck would have it, there was a whole rack of magazines just asking to go home with us…and we obliged!

IMG_7752Stampington & Company – magazines, magazines, magazines (what more is there in life!?)

Somerset Studio and the other Stampington mags are just soooo expensive here in Australia – they are totally worth the price but who has $30-$40 to spend on one magazine?  Not us!  So here, at the market, they had back issues at $10 each – heaven!  We bought, between us, ahem, 14 copies of Somerset Studio, Where Women Create and Somerset Life.  Whoops!  There goes my savings!  But totally worth it!  I also bought some rusty wire (you never know when you might need some rusty wire!) but other than that, we just got the mags.

Afterwards, we went back to Mum’s for a cuppa and to look through our haul.  So many inspiring things to look at and use for a creativity boost!  My Mum also surprised me with a little art work she had made the previous day – a Kelly Rae Roberts-inspired mixed-media piece, just for me.  We love Kelly Rae Roberts (in fact, just last week, I bought one of her pieces, the “Become a Possibilitarian” dish featured in one of my previous posts here) and find her work very inspiring.  Mum and I had been watching some of her Youtube videos the week before and Mum had secretly gone home and gotten straight to work, creating and finishing a couple of pieces.  Here’s the one she made for me:

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So pretty!  I am jealous because Mum can “do” faces and I can’t.  The picture is lovely though – don’t you think?  She layered pieces of patterned scrapbook paper, scraps of music sheets, paint and rubber stamps.  I love it.  I want to make one now!  The sentiment is perfect for me too – I don’t believe in myself enough and I really need to work on that!

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So, all in all, a lovely day.  Lots to think about (creativity-wise) and plenty of things to inspire and get us in the mood for craftin’.  Now I just want to ignore all the mess in my house and start painting/stamping/glueing etc.  Cup of tea first methinks and then I’ll get cracking.  Hope you are having a lovely day – thanks ever so much for stopping by.  I appreciate all the “likes” and comments 🙂