one more day left....

....of fun and crafty talk and inspiration and excitement. And choosing a new outfit to wear! And getting to hang out with Kelley and Ben, and Justine, and Fi and her daily helper, Bec (Fi has a lot of workshops).
Tomorrow is final day of the Brisbane Stitches and Craft Show. I know that when the doors close I'll be relieved that I can have a day of rest. I also know that I'll be so sad that I won't be able to hang out with those fun fun fun people. It sort of feels like school camp - and I'm hanging with all the cool people.
I managed to take a few photos today. Not as many as I wanted, but got a few of our stall.
So, please come on down tomorrow. Pop in and say hi!
To the lovely person who came to say hello yesterday (or was it the day before... time has warped in my head); and I was at one of my workshops - I'm very sorry I missed you. Would have loved to meet you and have a little chat. Say hi, here, hey?!

Leah - I had so much fun with you today. Thank you so so so much for coming all the way up. Was so excellent to hang out and chat, and be sisters together. Hope you love all your new books, and get some sewing done with your fabrics. xxxx

I'll be buying some lovely fabric tomorrow - from here and here especially. And maybe check out the bookshop if I can squeeze into the stall (which was chock full today).

My tote bag workshop today was really great. All the lovely ladies were very creative, doing some beautiful stitching details, and inspiring colour selections. So so so great to see our fabrics and designs reworked with someone else's imagination. (though I didn't get photos again, due to general muddle-headedness).I'm going to bed now. Up early tomorrow morning, to get a little bit of sewing done before last show day. More photos soon.
Good night all xxx

printing in all it's glory

Day two of the Stitches and Craft Show is over, and I am soooooooooooooo tired. But feeling elated and can't wait to go tomorrow.
I'm really having a lot of fun. I'm much more relaxed than at Melbourne, and I'm getting to hang out with the coolest crafters on the block - who actually also happen to be people that I feel I can now call my friends!
Yesterday Sam and I did a printing workshop. I had a lot of fun with this. It felt like sitting in art class with some super arty friends, and making beautiful pieces together. We had two of the loveliest pupils anyone could ever want in a class; two beautiful people to hang out with and chat and laugh and create together. Firstly, Holly (who we met in Melbourne, at the craft show), and has a stall again here in Brisbane; and secondly Danielle, who we discovered lives in our suburb and has a cool blog to check out. (She's doing so many of the wonderful workshops available, that she's organised them in Excel - that's crafty + science, for sure; her blogs called Craft Laboratory).
I actually remembered to take some photos during this workshop, but you can also see a wrap on each of the girl's blogs.
So, if you live in or near Brisbane, and have been considering visiting this show - you still have three more days of fantastic crafters, fabrics, parades, workshops, chatting, learning, exploring, looking, soaking it all in, watching............. Head on down to Convention Centre and support handcrafted love!
PS - we still have some spots in our workshop tomorrow, you can book directly from us at stall #150.

ferny and soft

I've been sewing cushions lately, amongst a heap of other stuff (and then a heap of stuff that is not yet sewn, but either in my head still or half started, half finished - whatever you may call it).
This is one that I stitched up today.
It's our beautiful fern fabric, a soft lightweight hemp/organic cotton. The ferns are multi-printed; blues and greens merging together along the fronds.I've overstitched parts of the print - which I'm really loving doing at the moment. Getting quite addictive actually.
The whole back of these purses were feature overstitched (squiggle stitched).
This ferny cushion is backed with the most beautiful and soft and strokable velvet. It's a green mossy-ferny colour. A Vinnies (or some other op-shop) find - or maybe from the Lifeline Bin. Can't remember now.But I just had to match the ferns with the velvety green. Just had to. No choice in the matter.
You know when fabric talks to you. And if you don't listen, then.. well, you often regret it.
So, this cushion, amongst some others I've been working on (and more that will be talking themselves into being in the next few days), will be at the Stitches and Craft Show.I'll show you the others tomorrow (too dark for photos now); cause I'm really loving them all. They are just morphing themselves, and each one is different, with offcuts and reclaimed fabrics. Which means that I will never be able to make a cushion like that one ever again. That's pretty cool, don't you think.

the crafting countdown...

Did you know that some of the best crafters and bloggers are going to be hitting town this coming week! If you didn't know, you'd better sit up and take notice.
The Stitches and Craft show opens in only a few more sleeps. (well, I'm saying sleeps, but I'm not sure if I'll be getting much of that!).

Apart from the fantastic stalls you can spend hours, even days browsing and chatting with (chatting itself could take the whole week); there are also a heap of great workshops going on each and every day. Check them out here.
If you do see one here that catches your fancy, you really should pre-book, some of these workshops are so popular they will sell out (don't say I didn't warn you). Book through Ticketek, or by calling the Stitches hotline on 1800 770 222, or on the day directly from each person's stand, who'll be running the workshop.

A few of the workshops that have caught my eye:

Handsewn Felt Donuts with the beautiful and talented Holly from Two Cheese Please.
:: Create the perfect guilt-free fun treat and enjoy the ideal introduction to hand-sewn softies. The yummy results makes a great pincushion, decoration, toy or gift and is a great way to kick off crafting with felt.
(my kids love theirs, that we got from the Melbourne show - super cute).

Kit $17.00 1 hour. Beginner

Craft Lab 7 -Thursday 11.00am

Craft Lab 2 -Friday 11.00am

Craft Lab 2 -Saturday 11.00am

Craft Lab 2 -Sunday 11.00am

:: :: ::

Hand Carved Rubber Stamps with Holly from Two Cheese Please.
:: Learn how to make your own personalised stamps in this class, where you will carve your own unique designs for scrapbooking, card making, craft projects and more!

Kit $35.00 1 hour. Beginner

Craft Lab 2 -Wednesday 11.00am

Craft Lab 8 -Thursday 1.30pm

Craft Lab 3 -Friday 2.00pm

Craft Lab 2 -Saturday 1.30pm

Craft Lab 7 -Sunday 2.00pm

:: :: ::

Button Bracelets with Dearfii
:: Are you infatuated by coloured buttons? Well, this is the Craft Lab for you; Fiona will supply hundreds of coloured buttons as well as her extensive craft experience and skills for you to construct a gorgeous button bracelet.

Kit $15.00. 1 hour. Beginner

Craft Lab 2 -Wednesday 12.30pm

Craft Lab 6 -Wednesday 2.30pm

Craft Lab 3 -Thursday 11.00am

Craft Lab 6 -Thursday 2.00pm

Craft Lab 5 -Friday 11.00am

Craft Lab 3 -Friday 3.15pm

Craft Lab 2 -Saturday 12.15pm

Craft Lab 6- Saturday 2.45pm

Craft Lab 6 -Sunday 11.00am

Craft Lab 8 -Sunday 1.30pm

:: :: ::

Kumihimo using Disc with Trish from Trishalan Designs.
:: Come and try this creative Japanese Braiding Technique. Using a durable and portable disc create 2 braids for your craft and jewellery projects.

Kit $3.00 1 Hours. Beginner

Craft Lab 3-Wednesday 12.30pm

Craft Lab 2 -Thursday 12.30pm

Craft Lab 3 -Friday 11.00am

Craft Lab 3 -Saturday 11.00am

Craft Lab 3 -Sunday 11.00am

:: :: ::

1950s One Yard Aprons. Presented by Melissa of Thread Den.

:: Cutest aprons ever! In 2 hours you will construct a genuine 1950's apron. Imagine the baking you'll be able to do in these pretty little numbers. Basic sewing skills necessary.

Kit $33.00. 2 hours. Intermediate

Thread Den Craft Lab 10 - Sunday 2.00pm

:: :: ::

No Sew Fabric Flowers. Presented by Louise of Made by Miffy.

:: Learn how to make the sweetest fabric flowers! These flowers can be used as hair clips, t-shirt embellishments, brooches, to sass up your handbags, headbands for starters, and a great little gift for your friends all made by you! When you see how easy it is you'll surround yourself with a handmade fabric flower garden in no time at all! In this Craft Lab you will make 2 fabric flower brooches or hairclips or one of each. Your Kit will have enough supplies for you to create a further 2 flowers and a customised supply list and inspiration guide for you to keep creating!

Kit $18.00 45 mins. All Skill Levels

Craft Lab 8 -Wednesday 2.00pm

Craft Lab 3 -Thursday 2.15pm

Craft Lab 7 -Friday 1.45pm

Craft Lab 7 -Saturday 1.45pm

Craft Lab 5 -Sunday 3.15pm

:: :: ::

Stella’s Cousin- Making a Sock Monkey. Presented by Kristie of Rourke and Henry.

:: Combining machine embroidery and hand sewing, learn how to turn a pair of socks into your very own funky sock monkey. Basic sewing machine knowledge is required.

Kit $15.00 1 Hour. Intermediate

Brother Sewing Craft Lab 9 -Friday 1.00pm

:: :: ::

And lastly, these couple that Sam and I will be presenting (if we can find someone to baby sit the store and the children!).
We will be having lots of fun in the printing class - learning new techniques and talking about design ideas.
And I have some beautiful fabrics - organic and reclaimed cottons, etc - to make some unique and special bags to show off to your friends.
We'd love to see you at both or either of our workshops. (If you do the printing one first, you will print a piece of fabric that you can then use in the tote one to make your own bag!).

Hand Printing and Design with Sam and me.
:: Learn composition and style elements to create designs suitable for screen printing, stenciling and handstamping. Using your own hand cut designs (or ours if you like), hand print, learning different techniques you can easily replicate at home. You will complete three projects to take home. You may wish to bring additional items for printing such as a plain pillowcase, clothing or a plain cotton/linen tea towel.

Kit $47.00 2 hours. Beginner

Craft Lab 5 -Wednesday 1.30pm

Craft Lab 5 -Friday 12.30pm

:: :: ::

Organic Cotton Tote Bag with me.
:: Learn to make a fully lined tote bag, using beautiful hemp / organic cotton fabric. Turn your bag into a work of art using different design and crafting techniques and reclaimed materials. Perfect for taking to the market, library or everyday use, the tote bag is an ideal beginner project, or for those looking for new inspiration. All materials provided.

Kit $32.00 1.5 Hours. All Skill Levels

Brother Sewing Craft Lab 9 -Thursday 1.00pm

Brother Sewing Craft Lab 9 -Saturday 1.00pm

:: :: ::

Can't wait to see you there. Please come and introduce yourself; love to meet you.

cloth :: colour :: hands

Just a few photos of some of our newly printed fabrics.
Getting everything ready for the Brisbane Stitches & Craft Show. Won't you come along and say hello to us there.
Ari had to have his hand in the photo - he wiggled them into place, until he said they were exactly how he wanted them, and then I could take the photo. Of course, I love that one best. of course.We have been doing a lot of experimenting with the colours. Mixing them on the screen, which means that each print comes out slightly different - which I totally love. It makes me feel more like the artist (that I think I am), rather than a designer or screen printer (not that either of those things are so terribly terrible - just not how I think of myself. I do so like being an artist).We'll get some more photos before the show. Well, we'll endeavour to - but really we'll be spending a lot more time printing and heat setting and packaging and then planning our stand details and all the rest.
The glorious blue isn't showing itself off very well in these photos - it looks so crisp and bright in real. (stupid computer screens, and phototaking and all that sort of thing; tricks of the eye).Don't you just love pink and red together - I think they are fantastic, and often very much under used. We printed t-shirts for the kids, with our little birdy print in a fantastic bright red. Ari took this photo, in his little photo shoot afternoon (which included pictures of Playschool, on tv, and the ironing board, and very close-ups of some books and the wall and that sort of thing).

reverse garbage silks

These are a few of the silk swatch books I found the other day.
At Reverse Garbage. Such a great place to go - for the kids and the adults. And for those of you who don't sew or craft or tinker about with things; there is a shop there that sells the wares of some amazingly crafted reversed garbage. Everything in the shop has to be made of a certain % of recycled goods; there's handbags and purses, lots of beautiful jewelery, clothing, softies, and all sorts of other treasures.
These silks are destined to be a new skirt for me - I'm reworking a pair of jeans, which will have some silk panels. Making it all up as I go along, so a bit tentative to cut into this beautiful silk.
Some pieces will be part of my Tote-Bag workshop at Stitches & Craft Show. There'll be hemp / organic cottons and reclaimed pieces for people to have some fun with bag making.
(Bookings here - for our tote workshop + the printing & design workshop. Both should be lots of fun).
Okay - kids have gone to grandparents house. I have a pile of paperwork and receipts to wrangle into some sort of order.

Enjoy your day. It's sunshiney here, after some rain last night. I'm looking forward to day of quiet working.....

lipstick skirt

This is a skirt I made a little while ago.
I used some off cuts that I had for the main feature panel. All stitched over each other in a big waterfall effect.
Some of our lipstick palm hand screen printed fabric. It's hemp /organic cotton.

Can anyone think of a good name for this skirt? I've been wracking my brain.

I'm hoping to get a few more made in the next week. Lots of plans, ideas, hopes......

In other news, the Craft Show is very fast approaching. We have lots of work to still do, but the way our ideas and products are evolving is really exciting me.
I'll try and keep you better updated here (if anyone's interested......).

come and visit us at...

We have lots of new ideas and different pieces. New products and designs and fabrics.
So, if you're nearby, please come and visit us. Stand 150 in the Incubator Section. We're lucky to be spending the week with Peppermint Mag. What fun.
We will also be presenting some great, informative and fun workshops.

Hand Printing and Design - Learn composition and style elements to create designs suitable for screen printing, stenciling and handstamping. Using your own hand cut designs (or ours if you like), hand print, learning different techniques you can easily replicate at home. You will complete three projects to take home, using hemp / organic cotton and recycled paper. You may wish to bring additional items for printing such as a plain pillow case, clothing or a plain cotton/linen tea towel.

Organic Cotton Tote Bag - Learn to make a fully lined tote bag, using beautiful hemp / organic cotton fabric. Turn your bag into a work of art using different design and crafting techniques and reclaimed materials. Perfect for taking to the market, library or everyday use, the tote bag is an ideal beginner project, or for those looking for new inspiration. All materials provided.

To book either, or both workshops, please contact Stitches & Craft for details.

PS - I have just launched our new look website. Go and have a look, please do let me know what you think. (Still working on some sections).

finally a decent sleep-in...

So, with the Melbourne Show all over, I have finally managed a few sleep-ins over the past couple of days! Must catch up on sleep before we get back home, and continue the work for Brisbane Stitches & Craft Show. (and, no.. I am NOT counting down the weeks yet. Bit too stressful to think about that).
We had so much fun at the five day extravaganza that was Melbourne Stitches & Craft Show. Met so so so many fantastic, fabulous, funny, crafty, supportive, expressive people. I really had to restrain myself from purchasing something from everyone in the Incubator section, and a couple of other stalls. (So, if you're planning on coming to the Brisbane show, start saving your pocket money now. Don't spend it on mass produced; come along and support some fantastic crafters and artists).Looking back at photos of our little stall, I'm really happy with what Sam and I achieved. I love the way it looks. Bright and expressive, and a good representation of us. Bold and graphic. We had so many lovely comments from other exhibitors, customers and many potential stockists and collaborators.
I'll be back soon, with some linking love for all the fantastic people I met, and the treats we got (I am so surprised at my restraint, as I wanted to have a little *lot* of everything!). Too tired now, to link you to all those crafty, chatty, fun ladies. But look at this great photo of Sam and me (thanks Cathy).We were really lucky to spend the week between some cheeky monkeys and some felt doughnuts! Two (well four) people who we would normally have never met, but who we conversed with, laughed with, whinged with, giggled with, swapped small business tips with. Thanks for a super fun week Holly (and her mum) and Monique (and her mum).

(Most photos were actually taken by Sam. I did my silly thing of not remembering to actually go around and take photos of people. For some reason I prefer landscapes and details. Yet I didn't even manage any close ups of any of the texture of the crafty goods on display at the show, and the actual displays themselves. Next time....).

Tomorrow will be our last day in Melbourne, before we drive back home. (only 1700 or klms...). So many places we didn't make it to, Sam and I have already planned a weekend without the kids to explore the shops again.

using the term loosely.....

I had a little look around our house last night, and now have photo proof that we really do need the 'studio' aspect of our name; Red Seed Studio. Currently, work is in the final day(s) before we pack everything off and deliver to the freight company to take to Melbourne for the Craft Show.
On Friday a friend came to look at some of our pieces - our bedroom was the showroom (and scrap room). Lucky we bought a new doona* cover a few weeks ago (half price, replacing the eight+ year old one we had). Our front entrance room is my sewing, pinning, designing / thinking room. The little spot under my sewing desk always has copious amounts of stray threads, which drift throughout the house, requiring (though not getting!) daily vacuums.Our dining table is the fabric pile + some laundry on it's way from the line outside to the pile inside (which one day in the distant future might make it into the draws and cupboards).
And the loungeroom.... Well, my sister visited today and asked where she could maybe sit down. This is the fabric / printed pieces sorting room, the ironing room, the rearranging room. The"kids don't touch the white fabric please" room.Our backroom is the screenprinting and cutting and pinning and rolling fabric room. And the kid's play room.

And that's all the rooms, except the bathroom and the kid's bedroom - which is the 'can't bear to look in because of the mess' room!

So, I have tonight (until some crazy hour when I finally tumble into bed), and then tomorrow (where I will have to try and distract the kids with similar games to this one from last night - first photo above) to get the final sewing done. Anything that's not finished is simply not finished. We will be able to take a small amount of extra stuff with us in the car, but not a lot.

So, you get to see the mess tonight. Tomorrow (or Tuesday) I will show you the completed pieces. The collection of work that Sam and I have been pouring our hearts, souls, minds, energy, and a few pin-pricked fingers into.

*In Australia the word 'doona' is a general term for duvet or quilt covers. Really it is a brand name, which has made it's way into our vocabulary. Just like the ugg-boot story.

the perks and perils of work-at-home

These past few days I've been head down at my little sewing machine. I'm starting to feel a bit vibraty in my body, and the whir in my head matches that of the machine. I started to wonder if she was making strange noises and getting sick, but I think my mind was just rambling a bit.
Aside from making one tiny little mistake on my stack of 30 cushion covers (which actually equates to a whole lot of unpicking and re-ironing and sewing; 2 1/2 hours extra to be exact!), things are going quite well.Getting through the list of things that I have to get done for Stitches & Craft, all the things that have to be dropped off at the courier in ..... ummm... less than a week. Yes - you read correctly. We have less than one week to do all the screenprinting and sewing and packing and making and ironing and pricing and......
I'm actually feeling quietly optimistic about it. Though I do have some good child-minding lined up for the next few days. And some late nights planned, and maybe even early mornings. And the back-up plan of taking extra stuff in the car with us down to Melbourne.But I know that whatever we get done is all that we can get done. And it'll be amazing. And Sam and I will look at our work, and smile to ourselves and each other, knowing we've done a pretty fantastic job.
I'll let you know.

So, the little things that have been holding me up, and keeping me a tad bit behind schedule. Well, it's these little creatures.Yesterday we stopped work to have a glorious morning tea picnic. Baby cinos and baby pancakes, served on the new birthday picnic/baby blanket* and the cutest little tea set (which matches the picnic rug quite well). The smallest of us in a ballerina tutu of course.*These baby yoghurt pancakes are so easy to make, you should try them yourselves. We serve them with gloops of sugar free jam and yoghurt (because we rarely have cream in our fridge). To make them you need one cup of self raising flour, one cup of milk and about 3 tablespoons of natural yoghurt (you could use flavoured yoghurt or grated apple or blueberries, and add cinnamon or nutmeg or vanilla if you like - we do try to not add sugar, as the kids often want to smother them in maple syrup or golden syrup). Stir it all up, it will be like a thick slurry, with some small lumps. Add a tiny bit of melted butter - which means that you shouldn't need to grease the pan, and they shouldn't stick. Then dollop into pan, and cook for a few minutes before you turn. These won't bubble to let you know they're cooked the way that regular pancakes do. The yoghurt adds a lovely texture and flavour.Best enjoyed with loved ones, or on your own for a few quiet moments.
*Related post to come very soon.
PS - thank you for your lovely comments on my skirt from my past post - I'm really loving wearing it, and have plans (wishful thinking) to make some more skirts for our Melbourne trip.

list of things

Time is squashed up, in my head I can't see or think. I've got tunnel vision, and things are slipping off the edges of my earth / viewpoint. I have lots to tell you, so I'm going to try and condense into short points.
:: I have (finally) randomly chosen two winners for my magazine giveaway. Anna and Elizabeth, please send me your address details. (ellieabeck AT hotmail DOT com). We'll see how long it takes me to get to the post office.
:: Recently I joined in with this children's giveaway, sort of as a stand against the CPSIA that has been threatening the livelihood of a lot of handcrafters and small businesses. I think things have sorted out, for the meantime at least there's a bit of relief in the emergency of the issue. My swap partner is Bean.I have until Tuesday to finish and post my item. I *think* I will get it finished tonight (okay... umm tomorrow), as all I have to do is iron and then top stitch the last little bit. Photos so far haven't proven to be too successful (hopefully tomorrow they'll work out better). It's a fairly biggish doll blanket / wrap thing. I knew straight away that I wouldn't be able to make a softie or anything similar that I'd be happy with. I'm really happy with the way this has turned out. Saccharine pinks and blues and lavenders, and very pretty, but hopefully something that will be loved for a long time.
I am also making one for Mishi's 2nd birthday, which is on Thursday. I just know that she'll love to have a special piece to wrap her babies, or picnic with them, or put them to bed.
:: A dear blogland friend has started a very special project called Craft Hope. The current project is to sew pillowcase dresses for some children who don't get to have pretty and handcrafted items in their lives. Children from the Pan de Vita shelter in Mexico.:: This is a small stack of the first cards I've been sewing for the Stitches & Craft Show (S&C). Many many many more cards are needed to be cut and sewn, and then enveloped and packaged before the month is up. This is just the start.:: This afternoon I really loved walking home from work, wearing my own skirt. Designed and sewn by me, in a rush on Christmas morning, a frantic stress that I wanted something new to wear. I had this fabric, which my sister found for me at the second hand shop - a structured cotton, but like an upholstery fabric in a way. Very textured and ornate. The first time I washed it to red ran onto the white, but upon the second wash it came out, and I soaked it in some pre-coloured water, which gave the white this glorious redish brown sheen.This morning I was complimented for my skirt by my friend - magazine editor and her husband/stylist/designer. We were at a fashion shoot for the next issue. I wasn't modelling or anything, but .... you know, like, well my husband was! A skate board shoot - with my man showing off his board tricks. I'll show you when the issue has been published. Bit exciting, hey. (Think it's about time I got myself a full length mirror, this photo is taken from up on Ari's top bunk bed).
:: I want to write a whole post about this, but will mention it here (in case I run out of *time* to do the whole big thing). It's been almost two weeks now since Mishi has had any mummy milk. Yes, that means she's been weaned. I think I would possibly be sadder if I wasn't so pleased to have that extra bit of sleep it brings (occassionally). At the same time she's finished with nappies - though we still have some accidents with bed wetting.
:: I haven't had much time to check out all my regular bloggy reads as often as I would love. So, if any of you notice anything you think I really need to know in blogland please do tell me.
:: At work today I made a really long and quite unrealistic list of what I need to achieve in the next two weeks, at least, for getting ready for S & C. Tomorrow I think I'll rewrite it, and actually add things like have a shower, play with my kids, do the shopping, cook some dinner, wash the dinners, take the kids to the park, return the overdue library books, say hello/goodbye to my husband (as he races off to work, or I race off to work), talk to my family, plan a birthday party, make a birthday cake (or two), sew a new birthday dress, drink my tea even if it is cold, blog...... Busy month ahead.Okay. That's enough for now, hey. Thanks for sticking with me to the end of this epic update (written on my very slow 10yr-old borrowed computer).

you may have noticed....

.....that little flashing green icon on the right sidebar. Well, check out the link, because we'll be there.
This is sure to be the best Stitches & Craft show ever, funked up and updated by the talented and oh-so friendly (and hard-working) team at Living Creatively. And by saying funked and updated, I actually mean keeping it down-to-earth and handcrafted and designed and local-Australian talent. All showcased in beautiful crafty inspiring surroundings.
We'll be part of the new (and totally fantastic + supportive) Incubator which showcases the best of Australian emerging and established independent crafters and designers.There are going to be so many super-talented bloggy crafters there. I can't wait to meet them during the show. There will even be a special section for us to do our blogging, and keep you in the loop about the fun we are having. (When I told Sam that, he rolled his eyes and said 'weirdos' - non-bloggers just don't get it, do they!).
But, before the fun is that hard work. I'm going to try and pop in here and show you all the fantastic things we will be making.
If you'd like to see any more inspiration check the flick pages of Indie Crafters, Living Creatively and Stitches & Craft Show.
PS - Anna, this is the big news I talked about last week; I'm not sure if you had something different in mind...