Friday, November 30, 2012

My Reading List

No sewing machine or market preparation means I have time this week to sit down with some of my recently purchased magazines and books.

Young House Love is one of the first blogs I read every morning, I love their interior design style, DIY ideas and funny and informative posts. This is their first book which hubby ordered for me pre-release. It arrived in no time from Amazon and is already on the New York best sellers list.

Decorate Workshop by Holly Becker from the blog Decor8. I have her first book, Decorate, and love the gorgeous photos and decorating ideas so this book was also quickly placed on pre-order.

Homespun Magazine; I don't usually pick up many craft magazines because I browse such a wide selection of blogs but the inclusion of a super cute fluffy hedgehog pattern courtesy of Dolls and Daydreams cemented my need to buy this one.

The first print issue of Tickle the Imagination (not pictured) also arrived last week. The best articles from their online mag are now in print and it features some beautiful handmade businesses and craft ideas. It is especially nice too that it's a local Perth magazine.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Reindeer Softie

This is one of my latest creations, a Christmas Reindeer. I mentioned making her in my previous post but I wanted to share a close up and a few more details. I adapted the Melly & Me Fawn pattern which I love making. I hand stitched on a red nose and reindeer antlers made from felt which were lightly stuffed and triple stitched in place. I also chose to make a felt bow for the neck with two little bells. The fabric for the main body was from the Alexander Henry Christmas Time Collection and she stood at approx 35cms. I love that someone else loved her as much as me and took her into their home. 

Eeek; sorry for the iPad quality pic.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Final Market for the Year

Last Sunday little cloud factory participated in it's last market for the year, phew!! I had tunnel vision for the last two weeks in preparing for the Perth Upmarket, every spare minute I was cutting, stitching and stuffing. And of course with every market lead up comes a certain amount of stress. Was I making enough? Too much of one design? I tried to tell myself to 'just do what you can' but there were quite a few late nights and needless to say I passed out on the couch Sunday evening at 7.30.

I set out to participate in a market or  two this year and I have ended up doing four in four months! I would definitely stagger them better in the future to eliminate the last minute rush and not feel like my children had a part time mother. This last market certainly surpassed my expectations in terms of sales and all the hours I spent making were totally worth it. I received lots of lovely compliments about my fabrics, stitching details and stall presentation which was really heart warming. I also loved meeting fellow crafty people, seeing their wares, creative stalls and hearing about their market experiences.

I did suffer a major glitch in my preparations for the market with my sewing machine refusing to work last Wednesday. I had given the machine a clean and 'service' myself after it was running rough for a couple of days before it decided to jam completely. I love my Bernina matic, it's almost as old as me and it can sew through layers of fabric without missing a beat. So she is with the repairman at the moment and I am hoping to have her back in a few days. I was very fortunate to be lent another machine which allowed me to complete my softies and not dissolve into a complete stressed out mess.

I made a few new items for this last market, the pear pin cushions (pattern courtesy of Retro Mama), the Christmas Elves (original design by myself), Reindeer (adapted from a pattern by Melly & Me) and a small version of my babushka doll design. The reindeer was certainly a very popular addition and I (reluctantly!) sold her a couple of hours into the market, and have received orders for two more.
So with my final market over I'm starting to think about 2013:
* Definitely continue participating in markets. It's great to meet other crafty people as well as interact with the public and allow them to hold my creations in their hands.
* Design and release some new design softies. I always have a few ideas rattling around my brain so dedicating some time to put them on paper and then into reality will be a focus.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Excited Much!

That's right! My softies and I are going to be at the next Perth Upmarket, Sunday 25th November at the University of Western Australia. This, of course, means another busy couple of weeks sewing wise but I'm beyond excited about being there again as a stall holder and getting some serious Christmas shopping done. And it's exciting to think that some of my softies might be under someone else's Christmas tree this year.
See you there!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Recap

I have a bunch of half written posts just sitting there waiting to be edited and have photos added but time (once again!) has not been on my side this last month. Why? Well, planning for yesterday's Made on the Left Market, some paid work at the university, my daughter's fourth birthday and a case of hand, foot and mouth amongst three of us has impacted on my commitment to my blog, sorry :(

Yesterday was the second Made on the Left Market I took part in this year. The July market was a great success, around four thousand visitors and a good re-entry into the handmade scene in Perth for me. Unfortunately the weather was against us yesterday and reduced marketing than the July market resulted in poor attendance and consequently, sales. The creative talent at the market was second to none, lots of unique products and hugely talented people so it was a shame that more people didn't get to see what is on offer in Perth at the moment. I have made a promise to support as many small, handmade businesses I can this year for Christmas so I collected some cards and have started a list of gift ideas. I will share some of my favourite small (Perth based) businesses with you too in an upcoming post.

Here are a few photos from the day and the items that I made.