Monday, 30 November 2009

Keep this in mind for when you go Christmas shopping

Those of you who have been following my blog for awhile now, may have realised that I LOVE receiving mail, especially parcels with gorgeous things inside. So when I saw the opportunity for a Swap Shop and Blog challenge I jumped straight in! And I was partnered with the lovely Kerri Laidlaw from Lamp and Motor who sells upcycled vintage bags in her etsy shop!

I sent Kerri one of the card sets from my etsy shop, Whimsical Works, and she sent me one of her colourful bags.

I LOVE the way Kerri presented her gift to me:

In the big parcel was this bag:

(The bag is made from a vintage men's shirt (the white pleated fabric), and the green spotty fabric is from the bottom of Kerri's mother-in-law's trunk of fabrics from the 70s and 80s.)

In the smaller parcel, was this cuter-than-cute brooch, also made from vintage fabrics.

I love all the extra details, like the business cards and the bag label - so incredibly funky!

Kerri told me all about her etsy shop venture:

The lovely Kerri

I am a self-confessed hoarder of fabrics, which is not good when you live in a two-bedroom apartment and work from the dining room table! I am a collector of any textiles with a vintage, kitsch or retro edge. I also love bags and brooches, and can't think of a better way to show off the fantastic fabrics I've found- sharing the love, basically!

What made you start your business?
Sewing has always been something I have loved, although I've been doing it on and off since home-ec days at high school, and have just picked it up again seriously with this current obsession! I didn't set out to start a business, or even sell my bags, in fact I am still surprised when someone wants to buy one! But I have now done a couple of markets and I have an etsy online store, which has been a whole lot of fun.

Butterfly bag
What do you plan to accomplish with your business?I don't have any grand plans. I'm just going to keep doing it while I enjoy it, which I don't see ending too soon!

Autumn leaves bag
What do you most get out of having your own business?
I love the creativity of sewing, designing and trawling through op shops and garage sales, for genuine vintage, kitsch and retro fabrics. I love the independence of selling my own handmade products, from sourcing the fabric to designing and creating, then selling face to face at markets, and online. I also love the craft community and belong to a great group called Bris Style, an etsy street team based in Brisbane, for Brisbane designers and makers of handmade products.
Brown bag
So inspiring! Kerri's enthusiasm and success in Brisbane markets has made me think about selling at markets too.
I LOVE all the kitsch bags she's got happening in her shop; there are even clutches as well!
I'm going to wear my new Lamp and Motor bag with a white top, blue jeans, and a little heel. If I can find a summer shoe in the same green, I'm so there!

Check out Kerri's shop here, and follow her blogging life here.

Think of Lamp and Motor when shopping for the ladies in your family for Christmas - sisters, mothers, daughters, best friends - all girls love bags, and these bags are unique!

P.S. For further online shopping ideas, visit the Shop Swap and Blog at Structured Chaos, to find a host of other new etsy shops!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Jack's Birthday

My beautiful boy was 11 on Saturday - 11!!!!

We had our first summer barbecue, and a yummy marble cake to celebrate.

Jack is a shining light of fun and craziness! He makes me laugh, and I have to say "I love you" to him a hundred times a day! Happy Birthday, Jack!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Pantry Makeover

There is a new channel on Foxtel called the Style Network and I am in LOVE with the shows on there! They are all about befores and afters, or makeovers - something I feel I strive for on a daily basis in one area of my life or another. (Don't we all?) I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with improvement. It helps me get ready for my next makeover challenge!

So here's my latest venture into makeoverism - organising our pantry. I can't for the life of me find the before shots (I'll post them when I do), but the following shots are the result of a couple of weeks worth of unpacking the pantry, chucking out heaps, buying containers, packing them and labelling them. The containers (from Woolworths) cost me about $260, which is a lot in one week, but that's a hey of a lot cheaper than some other container brands I know. And the pantry is full to the brim now. No gaping spaces above the food, no shoving things in any old way, no forgetting what's in there, no spilling stuff, and no trouble reaching to the top. And the boxes don't have to stay in perfect order, you can move them round like a tetris, rather than put the boxes back in the exact place.

I think it's a freaking masterpiece! And it only took me 39 years to come up with it! The moment of true glory was having Jonathon's cousin Chelsea jump off the couch with eyes as wide as saucers when I opened the pantry door. It made it all worthwhile.

Inside the pantry door, there's a nifty keyholder we got from Bunnings.

Hope this makeover inspires you!
By the way, speaking of makeovers, you have just GOT to go to this blog if you want to see the most amazing home makeover. The before photos had me laughing and laughing at how shocking they were, and the after photos had me oohing and aahing. Incredible!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

More Adventures in the Yanchep National Park

After we explored the Crystal Caves, we went koala-spotting,

admired the wildflowers,

and the hot rod display (I'm not even into cars, but these were really cool!)

We wandered by the lake,

saw the grass tree sculpture (made from taps!),

and Jack hung out on the jetty.

We visited the souvenir shop,

and had Devonshire tea in the Chocolate Drops tea rooms -delish!

Here is the lovely Chelsea, who we had staying at our house for the weekend. What a beautiful girl, so alive and inspiring - a breath of fresh air!

After the park we went to the beach, to take a dip in the ocean.

It was so windy!

Only Jack and Chelsea braved the icy water. And went way further in than this... Brrrr!!

Thanks for coming to visit Chels! It was so lovely to have you!

(As an after note, we went to the Yanchep Inn for dinner the night before and I had pavlova again, but it was even prettier this time! Desserts are sooo my weakness!)

Crystal Caves

Jonathon's cousin Chelsea came to visit on the weekend, and we took her to the Crystal Caves in the Yanchep National Park.

So awe-inspiring!

Friday, 6 November 2009

A giveaway!

Over at one of my fave blogs, The Shop Bug, Rachel is hosting a giveaway by Kitty and Polly, an online store selling cute and pretty handmade goods including handbags, kitchen decor, and jewellery. You can win a calico shopping bag with a cute bird design, and a $10 voucher to go towards your next purchase from the store. I'm so there! Here are some of their products that I love, love, LOVE!

toiletry bag,

Double heart necklace,

set of 5 heart decorations,

vintage lavendar birdies,

and vintage purses.

So, if you want to be in it, pop over to The Shop Bug on the weekend and enter the giveaway! Good luck!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Thank you Teresa!

I won my first giveaway (yay!!) and I was so excited to receive my winnings in the post - a fine art print by Teresa Sheeley and a little parcel of crafting goodies!

This pic just does not convey how stunning this artwork is! I love the play of light on it - it already looks as though it is under glass! I love Teresa's work and her honest blogging style, and am compelled to check her blog every day! There are so many beautiful items in her etsy shop, that I've been gearing up all year for a big spending spree for Christmas presents (and some things just for me!) Hopefully my fave items will still be there, because Teresa's stock sells quickly! Check her out here. Love your work, Teresa!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Happy Halloween!!

Halloween was pretty low key for us this year; there are not many kids in our street, and Jack didn't feel like getting dressed up.

Here is a shot of Jack dressed as Hellboy from last year. (Blurry I know, but actually it makes the costume look better!)

Hope you all had a Happy Halloweeeeeeeen!