Thursday, 27 November 2014

7 years!

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The photos in this post are a catchup of my fortnight. Building, baking (by one of my boys for school), tired feet, a night out, some lunches, screenprinting new turquoise teapots... and the exciting news, which I can finally share, I will be teaching two workshops at the Sydney Finders Keepers Markets in December!!

My popular Fabric Printing with Hand Carved stamps class will run on Friday night December 12th and on Saturday morning December 13th in the wonderful space of the Technology Park at Alexandria Its going to be fun, I can't wait to workshop in amongst all that creative buzz and surrounded by fantastic inspiration. And get some shopping in too. If that sounds like something you'd like to do too please come and join us!

The other thing that happened recently, and I'm a tad late, is my seventh blogging anniversary which was on November 11th!

Seven years, phew!

I've been thinking and talking a bit about blogging this year. Thinking and talking about my corner of the blog community. Trying to articulate what I write about and why I write it.

Its a big call but over that time I've seen the slow, handmade, creative, family-centric, sustainable, artisanal, craft and making blogs and their popularity change the world in their own little way. Yes that is a big call, but I'm making it!

Over those years I've seen the handmade, handcrafted, homegrown and heritage movements become more fashionable and more mainstream. I'm really proud to be part of that. I am a big believer in what we celebrate with these journals and I'm glad to see the best of those values catching hold.

From small beginnings online, blogging has helped like-minded souls find and support each other. Its been easier to document and share the making of our lives and homes. Now from being a small corner on the internet this movement, this documenting, has grown and thrived, along with the shared ideas, as people have seen and read and been inspired to join in.

Funnily enough I never imagined that I would be blogging so long when I started out on my first tentative posts. I thought the whole concept a bit strange. But once online I met so many like souls and quickly developed a whole new world of friends, a virtual community, the strength of which keeps me here.

So many of those first few friends I made online are still my friends today. Lovely friends, real friends, the type I could ask something of and it would arrive without question. Special people. Makers and doers mostly. Inspiring women who combine family, growing, making, art, cooking, small business, big business, writing, selling, life. Thank you friends!

This sort of sharing seems so common now when everyone mini blogs on Instagram. Social media is the theme of the times and visual diaries like ours are much more common and widely shared.

It takes a bit more time and discipline to write a real blog on top of that. For me though I find its worth it to write my blog and read those others. I like the back story - how things work, what inspired it, where the recipe is, what yarn you used, where you got that cute pattern, which tutorial you used, what that landscape is, who those people are, what you ate and most importantly, how you felt.

I love the writing and reading behind the pictures.

That said I'm probably more selective these days on which blogs I read, I used to have a million on my reader, but not any more. And I probably drop in less, though with my favourites I rarely miss a post.

Blogging has given me so much in seven years, more than I can quantify, friendships, inspiration, education, opportunities, publicity, community, swaps, my small business, laughs, tears, conversations, great recipes, patterns, techniques, motivation. So I'm going to keep on blogging a little longer. Thanks for visiting and commenting and being my friend.

Friday, 14 November 2014

big week


Wow, that was a big week! How was it at your place?

Mine started last Friday afternoon bumping in for the Etsy Markets that are part of the Village Bizarre at the Rocks. Turns out we were in a great spot next to the the crazy German performance artist and the Love caravan, and around the corner from the Gin Mill Social bar and assorted food stalls. Lauren and I were also just next to the Etsy photobooth where people queued all night to have their photos taken and a KPop flash mob dropped in to entertain.

The Bizarre and different Sydney Etsy Team sellers will be there for the next six weeks so if you get a chance, its really worth a visit.

We both had lots of lovely customers and it was really nice to meet the people buying Flower Press wares in person for a change. I loved debuting my ceramics and was so pleased when pieces went home with really nice people where I know they'll be loved!

I was also lucky enough to be instagrammed on the night by Inside Out magazine and I was interviewed for the Herald's mystery shopper column online and in tomorrow's Spectrum liftout!! I was especially tickled that the reporter liked my 'delicately hand spun ceramics'! There will be more of those next year and I will be selling online, that's a promise for 2015.

On Sunday I got to teach another workshop at SewMakeCreate. I enjoy these so much, its so interesting to see the designs people dream up and the layouts they print. I love helping people find their creative side, I believe everyone has creativity, but some people don't know it yet! And making really is good for the soul!

If you want to come and learn this easy and adaptable skill I have one more workshop for the year, on the 28th November. Which means its not too late to make those handmade Xmas gifts you've been meaning to! Everyone prints a tea towel, a tote and some fabric at each class and you get to go home with some rubber and a carver to keep printing more!

The rest of the week was catching up with a big stack of orders, paying bills and sorting stuff for my other day job, with a bit of brick cleaning for our little renovation thrown in for good measure. I've been taking some progress pics of the work at our house which I'm going to share next week. Its very exciting!

You know we've actually been dreaming of putting this big new deck on our little house since the very first day we bought it - which in a strange coincidence was exactly ten years ago yesterday!

Hard to believe it was ten years ago we stood biting our fingernails under the big tree out the front before making one last bid, the limit of our funds. We couldn't believe it when everyone else was suddenly silent, the auctioneer banged his gavel and it was ours!

Mr Flowerpress and I finally got to sneak in a long planned and overdue lunch date to celebrate that milestone yesterday. We had dumplings together at the White Rabbit Gallery teahouse and then squeezed in a bit of Daiso shopping action at the nearby Central Park.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

new and Bizarre!

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Hey guess what, I'm having a stall at the Sydney Etsy team's night markets on Friday night as part of The Rocks Village Bizarre!

I'm very excited about it, I love that part of Sydney don't you, I always think its a bit magical even without a festival.

For those of you that don't know it The Rocks is the oldest settled part of Sydney, full of narrow streets and old sandstone buildings. Its right next to Circular Quay where the Museum of Contemporary Art is, where the big cruise ships park side by side with the tiny ferries gliding back and forth between the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Magic!

I have been scrambling this month to get ready for the market, the Flower Press shop has been a bit neglected so it was nice to spend time sorting things out and fast tracking some long planned products to the range.

Please meet the new and improved Teapot tea towel! I've always loved this image which in an early incarnation was one of the first designs in the Flower Press family. Here it is new and revamped and on a tea towel! I love these ones and they go beautifully with the rest of my designs.

Perfect for a tea party, these come in deep Ocean Blue (can't go past blue and white crockery!) and a vibrant Rose pink for all those garden parties you are planning. More colours later as I get time, suggestions welcome.

As well as that I'll have new Flower Press greeting cards, some Lego block pencil cases, some cushions and well... you'll have to come and see!

One thing I'm really excited about is finally sharing my ceramic work - selected pieces will be for sale for the first time on Friday night. I've been teasing you for long enough on Instagram! These are mostly one of a kind too so its first in best dressed.

Do you remember the little ceramic milk bottles I made back here? Well they are back fired and glazed and looking even prettier than before, I love them! I will have just a few on Friday (though I'm hoping to keep at least one for me!) but I'm hoping these lovelies will become a standard item after Xmas when my kiln is set up.

I got some more exciting news today about some fun things happening next month. I can't wait to share that with you as soon as I'm allowed. So stay tuned to hear more about that!!