The Red Thread- Space to Create

I first found out about Lisa's beautiful blog, design and making many years ago when her friend, Steph Bond, connected some dots between us, asked for some words and thoughts - which I was ever so pleased to be able to pass on. Since then, I've enjoyed visiting Lisa's blog, and being wowed by her skills in taking traditional crafts and reworking them into a modern interpretation. Her tutorials are amazing, with so much detail and thought and time gone into each one. Lisa's styling of her images, as well as the snippets of her home (that she shares with her daughter), are perfectly put together, in a simple and loved way. 
In the past six months I've been lucky to enjoy Lisa's instagram feed; which brings daily joy to many people through her love of bold clear colour and  sharing of skills. I'm so inspired by how Lisa works, and what she produces. 

So, it was completely amazing and humbling for me to receive an invitation from Lisa, a few weeks ago, to be part of her Space to Create blog posts. Where she shares an interview and images from creatives who inspire Lisa. Wow - to know that I inspire someone who inspires me. That's the wonderful circles I'm traveling at the moment!

Anyway, pop on over to Lisa's blog The Read Thread, to read my words on being a creative; a little snippet into our world and my life as a maker. While you're there, please be sure to check out Lisa's tutorials as well as the other Space to Create artists.

Thank you Lisa for your words. xx

with thanks........ from me {I've been featured!}

A couple of weeks ago I was featured on lovely Susie's blog FlowerPress, as part of her Show & Tell series. Can I tell you how happy and excited it made me feel to be part of this series of amazing bloggers and makers; who's work I admire and respect. 

It's funny, Susie and I "met" many years ago through our blogs (and blog-friend links). I won a giveaway she had for her perfectly beautiful hand screen printed tea towels. I know I'm not the only one who hasn't ever used them, as they are like art works. {Though I always say that we should use our best and most beautiful to elevate the everyday}.

Also last week, I was the featured blogger as part of Megan's new series on North Coast Bloggers, as part of her The Byron Life blog. As soon as Megan contacted me, asking me to be part of this wonderful idea she'd thought up, I jumped at the chance. For me this series is all about what blogging means to me - making the connections and the joining the dots with other bloggers. The fact that Megan's series is based on bloggers within my region is even more exciting. It's so wonderful to "meet" new people who are basically your (blog) neighbours. 

Megan and I met last year, when she interviewed me as part of Hey Maker! We talked about pop up shops, and the closing down of businesses in small towns and how people are trying to change that. Her story didn't make it to radio, but was the research and impetus for this radio interview with Jo Olive and myself.

It's funny and wonderful, and interesting and smile inducing to read the things people have written about you. Oh my. Thank you both so much Susie and Megan for your lovely sweet words (you surely made me blush!), and for the photos you chose to go with my words - I looked at them in a new light; and that's always an excellent thing to be able to do with one's own images.

I think for me, both of these features reminded me why I blog, and what my blog is about. I was recently invited to be the guest speaker at a local creative business gathering about blogging, where I shared my blogging story. Connections in the blog world are the biggest reason I blog - finding like-minded creatives, being inspired by them, hopefully inspiring someone else along the way, and all the while exploring my own creative voice. Reading blogs is like gathering for a cup of tea, and enjoying some crafting and conversation with people who get me, and who interest me.

I'm curious - why do you blog? 
What do you get out of blogging? 
Do you comment and connect, or sit quietly watching? Why don't you comment? 
What qualities do you enjoy most in a blog, in the blogs you read? 
And also - what's your favourite blog - I'm always looking for more connections and dot joining...

Happy day my friends, 
Ellie xxx

and .....

there's some big big splotches of rain falling on our roof right now. right now.
the sun was up and shining this morning. but those grey smudgey clouds are there now.

i'm writing lists - both on paper, and in my head.
but really i'm thinking about what direction, where to go, where to push and pull, and move.
that sort of thing.

suddenly it's moved into march. well - how did that happen. the year stumbling, flying along.
suddenly i've got lots happening. and need to be using my diary and calendar and planner efficiently.
suddenly i'm busy with all sorts of things.

but really i'm being slow and thinking each thing as i'm doing it. i'm trying hard to do this, to remember to do this. to focus on the one thing in front of me. trying trying.

i didn't do any sewing today. but tomorrow i will. i'll make sure i do. i'll do some crochet perhaps - right now. well, after lunch, how about.

things i'm liking around the webosphere today -
ink & spindle's new colourway range. those shorts sure are good.good.good!
the outtakes from this fashion collection, seen on sang the bird's blog
this year, some good things to do and remember from le project d.amour's blog. found on  satsuma press.
all the new work that Tiel is doing lately. i'm seeing it on instagram, on pinterest. wishing for walls (a house!!) to put something up. 
Hugo's wonderful polar bear party. oh that cake! Kate, you're an inspiration.
Sandrine, you really are making me happy, making me smile. with your words, your images (oh those flowers from your garden!).

tell me, what are you liking today.....
* that's me looking happy, with a postage bag on my head (it was such a great pattern, i was trying to work out what i could make with it).

right now

the kids will be home from school momentarily.
my computer will run out of power momentarily.

right now the sun is shining hard. its pushed the clouds away and forced itself past the rain we've had. the cicadas are calling. they're booming. getting as much said as they can while the sun is warming them.

this pile of crochet circles is steadily growing. bit by bit I tie another one off my hook. I'm finishing all the strings as I go - I think it would be too much to do it all at the end. But then, that may happen too.

I'm making more crochet covered stones and rocks. mostly collected our creek. perhaps we'll visit the beach soon and collect some from there as well. there seems to be lots of stones along the beaches these days. I keep giving away all the crochet rocks. we barely have any left. and I keep planning on making more for giving away as well. I do love making them, and having them around the house - I'd so love a whole bowlful - that lovely wooden bowl we have. but I also love giving them away.

right now. that's how things are happening.
I'm loving ::
Kate's this week list - I wish mine was that delicious sounding.
Jacqui's wrong side.
Kristen's sweet coasters she made for a friend.
Leah's night romantic inky image.
Abby's sweet place and the light in her life.

*in total disclosure. That moment is over. I'm in another moment right now - at my dad's, with my computer charging, and the mosquitos eating me alive. I keep forgetting, ever forgetting that my moments slip away......... endlessly gone into some other place of non-memory/vague forget/sometimes retain. those moments.

sang the bird....

My dear darling sister, Leah has opened a new and beautiful online shop - with a sweet collection of carefully curated pieces. sang the bird houses cushions, tea towels, little purses and beautiful necklaces. Focusing on handcrafted and ethically designed products, Leah has chosen a small opening range of designers who make her heart sing. A little something special to feather your nest!

Leah also has a pretty little blog where she shares her inspiration, daily journeys, and lots of lovely beauty-full things!
She's currently offering 20% off all items in her shop, just in time for Christmas (use the code 'christmas2011' at the checkout to receive the discount). So - go check it out. I'm sure you'll find a little something.something for yourself, while you're doing a spot of gift shopping for your friends. I just know that Leah will send you a beautifully wrapped little parcel.......

{a handcrafted holiday} Pop-Up Market

When we moved into our new studio, both Nina and I said we wanted to have an open studio day - for fun, and to show off our space and also, really, I do love being a hostess (with the mostess!). Well, that didn't happen (due to markets taking over our lives, and then Nina dashing off to have the adventure of a lifetime in Vietnam). 
One day while chatting with a few of my crafty friends, I decided that I would actually like to indeed have a little open / pop-up day. With the collection of some of my favourite local crafting.making.designing.talented peeps, we're having ::

Please come along for an afternoon of friends, food, music and some of the best {handcrafted}shopping you'll have this side of Christmas. I'm so excited to be hosting this event, and getting just the teeniest bit scared that there's still no music, or coffee van (if you are local and know someone who would fit the bill of making great coffee or playing/singing beautiful and lowkey music, please send me an email Visit our facebook event, and invite your friends and family to come along too. Bring the kids, as we'll have a special area set up for kids crafting and fun.

The lineup includes ::
KW Ceramics, of Udessi fame. 
{Who'll be having a hugh studio sale on the day, with samples and seconds of her ceramics}. 

& Nook Shop, Lotus Flower Designs...... and more.

Hope yo see you there!

tonight... abcd

 I'm heading out tonight. And leaving Sam at home with three kids (Ash will be having a sleepover). Sounds nice, doesn't it, esp. considering we're in school holidays and all three kids have been at each other for most of the day and I do believe they've really tipped me over the edge this time...........

I'll be hanging out with Kim and the other creatives who turn up at the Udessi + Bondville ABCD (artists + bloggers + crafters + designers) get together. (Unfortunately Steph won't be there, as she now lives in Sydney - but I do think she has events happening down there too). Check out the facebook page for upcoming events. {I'm not much of a facebooker, so I'm not really over there - but I do believe there may be a just a small handful of people who hang around there....}.

Details (if you can sneak out of the house later tonight) are: 7 - 9pm. Bar Alto, Powerhouse Museum, New Farm, Brisbane. And bring a little something to put in the wonderful gift bags that we all get to bring home.... (I'm preparing my little addition right now as I write).

*image used with thanks from ABCD Meetup.

Swap from a French friend {Cozy Homemaking}

When I arrived home on Monday evening {after my weekend away at my dad's (with no kids!) for the Environment Day faire}, there was a parcel waiting for me. Not just any parcel - a lovely big box. I knew straight away what it was.

Recently Sonia and I decided to do a little swap, and she was so prompt with her end of bargain that I've already got the beautiful.delicious.thoughtful.warm.handmade.loveliness in my hands. And some in my tummy too!
Look at this sweet little fabric coaster. With my name custom stamped, and those lovely little stitches. I've been meaning for such a long time to make myself a little coaster to put my cup on while I'm sitting at my desk, at my computer. Did you read my mind, Sonia? This is so pretty - I'm going to love looking at it every day under my cup of tea or dandelion.
And a little note book, brightened up with floral fabric and stitching details. I'll be carrying this around with me every day, in my handbag, to jot down all those things that pop into my head. I'm learning more and more in life to use the beautiful things and not keep them for a special occasion. Everyday's a special occasion, no?
I've already decided to make myself a skirt out of the fabric. It's the soft sweet green + pink floral print seen in the background above. Perfect Summer skirt - which means that I do have a few months before I have to make it (being realistic here, knowing I won't need it for Winter, so I'll put it in my fabric stack for a little while to enjoy). Of course, Mishi already suggested a dress for herself....
And the kids love their new books. We've been making up the story each time we read it, as it's all written in French. It's so nice to see some words that I can work out. But it's nicer still for the kids to have to make the story up, rather than relying on me to tell it to them. They're both very interested and curious about le tour Eiffel. It's also giving me a chance to tell them little bits about my visit to Paris many many lifetimes ago.

And thank you Sonia for the Marie Claire Idees magazine. I can barely believe that you didn't even open it up and read it. I've long seen this magazine around the web, and thought it looked interesting. Even though I can't read it, I'm loving looking at the fashion, the projects and bright fun French magazine. I think I'll be able to work out how to make some of the sewing projects in here, which is good. It's a great magazine, with a mix of things that I really like. 

You're wondering about them tummy bit.... well... Ummmm... I guess I could take a photo of a half eaten box of galettes or sucettes.

Thank you thank you thank you so much Sonia for your beautiful, thoughtful, generous and inspiring gifts. My whole family appreciates it. The kids love their books and cookie cutters (I'll do some baking with them today to use them), and I am so touched by all that you have made and sent me. 
I do promise that I'll get your swap sent off this week. Fingers crossed, promise.

*Please visit Sonia's beautiful blog Cozy Homemaking, and also her very inspiring Naturally Dyeing blog. Check out her Etsy shop, where she has some very special pieces made with love, care, and attention. (She currently has free shipping worldwide).


The beautiful Megan from (my favourite childrens clothing) Blossom Child just posted the lovely images of her dandelion she printed at our workshop on Saturday.

Megan, Narelle and Kim came to the workshop with their designs ready to start, which gave them a headstart on most other people. It meant they had time to cut out those intricate designs really neatly, and get perfect results. 

I think this design would also look lovely on pillow cases + sheet sets. And t-shirts. Very simple and effective - the best sort of designs, don't you think?!

*image used with kind thanks to Megan.

otherwise known as....... {yum}

I love the current phase of macaron love that's happening around the globe. Been going around for a while now, hasn't it? If you ask me, or any other sweet-tooth.adore.pretty.things sort of person, then it can go on for a whole lot longer.

I'm waiting until I have a decent oven again (miss this one, that's for sure) before I delve into trying to make these intriguing little masterpieces.

{Cannelle et Vanille: Cherry Blossom Macarons}
{Cannelle et Vanille: Cherry Blossom Macarons}
{Cannelle et Vanille: Strawberries and Vanilla Bean}
{and just another reason why I love my dear friend Sandrine and her French style}

{I wanted to show you every single amazing image from Cannelle et Vanille, instead you'll have to go over and look at all the other beautiful, intoxicating, drool-inducing images yourself}.

Oh golly, I'm hungry now. For something sweet and light as air. And deliciously indulgent. And a little like a fairy tale. Or heaven.

*All images used with kind regards from the wonderful chefs.

this is where i want breakfast tomorrow

A long leisurely affair. With freshly baked bread. And delicious tropical fruit. Perfect coffee. The sun slowly creeping across the sky. The dappled shade hiding us from the sun. Who would be there with me?
Perhaps you, my lovely sweet bloggy friends.
Shall we all meet there. Tomorrow.
For breakfast.
And conversation. Laughs and giggles. All the blog references will be understood by everyone at the table.
Of course, there'll be knitting and crochet and stitching. And I'm totally sure there will be lots of photos. Kids will run happily in the fields. From time to time one of us will meander over to see the joy of kids playing in the sunshine and flowers.
We'll all appreciate the textiles, and cushions. The details of the coffee pot matching that sunshine.
We'll be needing a few extra chairs. I'm on the lookout for something just perfect. If you spot anything on your journeys, please be sure to let me know.

Oh, join me there. Tomorrow. Won't you.......

In the meantime, do go and visit the {source} of this beautiful, intoxicating and evocative image. Where there are many many more.

market loveliness - Miss Dish

I keep forgetting to let you know about the lovely and super sweet Nat from Miss Dish. I will be sharing a stall with Nat at the Bris-Style Twilight Market this coming Friday night. It's going to be so fun to hang out with such a girly girl, and have chats and giggles. 
I'm really going to have to make sure I remember to put my make-up on for market night - as Nat is always so stylishly dressed up. 

Nat and I got to know each other at the Bizness Babes course. It's been lovely sharing market, business, crafting and Roller Derby news with her. (We both recently attended the Derby, though didn't know each was there until after the night - what with 4500 other people!)

Have a look at her beautiful jewellery pieces. Old world charm, Hollywood glamour, vintage meets modern meets pretty. 
So, come along and visit us. There'll be shimmery lights and friendly smiles lighting up King George Square, from all the Bris-Style girls and guys.
*All images used with thanks from Nat at Miss Dish.

from Sandrine

I received an email the other day, from the beautiful Sandrine. Such a lovely person to know, to spend market time with, to be inspired by. I so love her felted pieces, and pretty little hats
At one of our Christmas markets, Sandrine took home one of our cushion making kits, and finally after the holiday madness of family life and running your own small business, she had a spare moment to give it a try. 
It's always to lovely to see my designs in someone else's home
Thank you Sandrine. 
I do believe I'm not wrong in saying that Sandrine will soon have her own cushions available for sale at her market stalls and online shop. I have seen some with special felted flowers and other details adorning cushions.

In other news of seeing our things in people's homes - Sam came home from work the other day (he rides his bicycle across the bridge), saying that he'd seen a young woman carrying one of our smoke design tote bags. He'd felt like stopping her and saying Hi! Always makes one happy. 

In shop news - I'll be loading some new products - cushions and little things I've starting work on - later next week. School holidays are almost over, which means that I'll have time to get back to work and settle into making for the market.

*Image used with thanks from Sandrine.

sweet comments

All you bloggers out there know that one of the very best best bestest things about having a blog is meeting other amazing, friendly, interesting, lovely, creative, talented and sweet bloggers. Online friends are surely one of the best things around - being able to have a real and true relationship with someone who you have never met (in person), have never heard talk, and probably never will. Somehow this does not limit the friendship in any way. And we all appreciate that if we don't communicate or comment or email every second day, it doesn't mean we don't like you any more. 
Another lovely thing about having a blog is the super cute and sweet and meaningful and thoughtful comments you get emailed to you. Isn't it so nice having just a special little comment. And sweet smile; like a flower tucked under your front door while you're out for the day.
I just got such a comment. Oh, and it really made me smile. 
uhmmm excuse me,
but i just thought i'd do a drive by and tell you...

that i think your blog is great :)
x x

A new comment also means that I now have another beautiful new blog to look at, and feel inspired by. And she lives in Brisbane, so we may well run into each other one day........
Visit Lauren's website, blog and shop.  And I think she'll be at the Southbank Young Designer's Market this coming {Easter} Sunday, if you're about.

*all images from laurencarneyart, used with thanks.

Anna - love you

I totally love this blog. Have for many many many ages. Her pops of colour, her fantastic sense of style. The photographs - some so beautiful, some so real. The realness and the truth. And the peeks into some else's home and life.
Go and visit the helylle-fotrata styling experience.

This post is just perfect:
"Some days just don't lift. They stay at ankle height and just work their way down. Today was like that to me. No clementines left, one week to pay day, dog hair everywhere, dishes and brain killing drama for teenagers on TV. But do I complain? Yes. Bring me some glamour. Quick."

Thanks Anna, for your inspiration, your colour and your words.
Now, I'm back to work - more printing to be done.

quiet market days are good for chatting

Today I had my first market stall at the Boutique Markets at Portside. A cold and dark morning (5am wake up), turned into a gloriously warm Brisbane day.
If you've never been over to Portside before, do come by next month when we'll all do it all over again. It's a lovely venue and the quality of stallholders is very high and very friendly. Including some BrisStylettes ~ Ruby2GoGo, BlossomChild, Hot Toffee, Rellesh, Little Diva, Taybian Design, Sandrine Marsh.
The sprinkle of customers who came by where lovely, and admired (a smaller few bought). Being Ekka weekend, we should have expected the quietness.
Anyway, one of the good things about a slow and quiet market is, you can chat with your lovely guest helpers.
Firstly my sweet and dear dear friend Christy dropped by, with Brian and their kissable little Oliver. They brought me a box of stock I'd left at home. And they took a Peppermint Mag home with them.
Ms Kelley herself stopped by a few moments (silly people making her miss ferries, and then other silly people arriving an hour early for their appointment meant she didn't even have time to sit down before she had to rush home again).
The most talking and dreaming and planning was with ever so stylish Danielle. She's just returned from an adventure in US. Visiting friends, and exploring felt exhibitions. Wearing the most adorable red scarf she'd knitted herself, and stripey red stockings. If she and I have our way (which, we will), there is amazing exciting fantabulous news in the coming weeks. So stay tuned.
I did come home with a perfect little outfit for Mishi. I'll take photos and feature it tomorrow, as it really does deserve it's own post!

Good night. xxx
*sorry, photos are from the Boutique Market and Portside websites. Left my camera at home this morning.

Nook - opening tomorrow

19 Browning St, West End, QLD, 4101.

If you live in Brisbane, then you really must make the time to visit a new store that is opening tomorrow.
A lovely looking little shop :: handcrafted :: local :: ethical :: eco :: recycled :: funky.
I haven't yet seen the shop, but I've visited the blog many times. Enjoying the views of the setting up. And I've chatted with Michelle (of Pedrosprout) about it. About how she found all the fit-outs on Ebay - they look like great finds, beautiful piece, not regular shop fit-out at all.
And I've spied the pieces coming in. A few I know personally; Beckybean (sisters Bec and Jade), Edward & Lilly (beautiful and intricate embroidery), Hot Toffee, Scampsville, Peppermint Mag, Paper Boat Press... as well as a handful of others.
Red Seed Studio will be there, too. As soon as I get on top of all my orders and printing and sewing.
Brisbane really is a lovely place to live. So many exciting things happening and starting. The handcrafted movement is in full momentum. People are taking notice. Regular people. Not just crafty people.So, pop in to Michelle's shop and support a local business who is supporting handcrafted.

*All photos from the Nook site, with thanks.

I'm sure you're all hanging on the edge of your seats waiting to hear about my market weekend marathon.BrisStyle Indie Designer's Market, on Saturday, was so so lovely. What a glorious, friendly, smiley and talented group of women. The weather was almost perfect (bit too windy and standing in the sun all day took it out of me). The customers started before we'd even properly set up our stalls and continued until just after lunch time - when we were allowed to pack up and go home.The location was so perfect - the grassy grounds of a church, and inside their hall. We missed a bride, but did see the groom and best man as well as some well dressed guests.Unfortunately I didn't get around to see all the stalls. I did take one extended (chatting along the way) toilet break, but apart from that missed out on the great set ups and amazing crafts and wares that were on offer.Check over at the BrisStyle blog to see all the other Stylettes, and read a great little round up of the whole glorious day. Also, thanks to the ever-smiley and beautiful Steph Bond for taking a photo of our skateboard buttons before they all sold out. You heard it - Sam had to rush home and make more for the Southbank YDM, for Sunday. Still didn't get to see her little one - fast asleep in the pram.The biggest thanks must go to the amazing women - Helen, Sophie, Chris, Bel, Ali, Robyn, Bec & Rebecca - who put so much into getting it all organised and together. For working tirelessly, during your "normal" jobs, your own crafting and parenting and general life. For putting the word out there, getting promo spots all over the place. And for having all sorts of customers come along and support the handcrafted movement.Kelley and I had a fun, exciting day - meeting people, and smiling and saying hello (many faces I know, but not always able to put names to! Please forgive me if I didn't remember you....).
Southbank Market wasn't quite as sunny or warm. But I did get to spend the day with Katy, from whatkatydid. I met her at Brown Owls, where we chatted over granny squares. And when I put out the call for help, she offered. We chatted all day (seeing as how there were basically no customers... poohy) about all sorts of things. Katy is so much more mature than her years (ok, I don't know how old she actually is - but she looks like a "spring chicken" to me. like I'm some old-fogie). She's one of those people that tries all sorts of things and has skills and talents in so many different crafts and arts. Check out her new machine - can't wait to see that and have a play with it. Thank you so so so so much Katy for spending your day with me, and helping. It was fun and I learnt so much from you. Can't wait to catch up again.
Also, she wore her world's coolest skirt. I forgot to take photos. I think we were chatting too much!
********** I'm sorry about the quality of my photos. Not sure what's wrong with them, hope my camera isn't starting to do cheeky things.

threads around the web

I just wanted to show you these lovely creations using some of our Red Seed Studio fabrics.Gina from clutterpunk emailed me a little while ago, showing me her sweet little aprons that she made using our little bird fabric in green. What a great idea for showing special fabrics, and having an easy to wear piece. Make sure you check out her blog for many wonderful other creations.Katy is working on the "world's coolest skirt" using some of our lipstick palm fabric in red. Going off her last skirt, I can't wait to see the finished results. This is the stash I sent her, lovely bright photo - glad to cheer someone up.

It's really lovely to see our fabrics out there - stretching around this spider's web we all crawl through. I'd love to see your creations. Or even your photos of our products in your home - your styling. I've started a little flickr group, if you'd like to join.

*Photos from clutterpunk site. Thank you Gina.