Thursday, 28 August 2008

Needles and Pins

HAVE YOU EVER wondered where the week has gone? I'm at that stage right now as I frantically dash down the finishing line to our quilt show this weekend. We set it up tomorrow morning, which means I only have today to do those last-minute chores.

What makes the effort even harder is that when I look out my window I am distracted by a gang of beautiful rainbow lorikeets who are filling their little tummies on the sweet nectar from the flowering tree right in front of me. Which reminds me - one of the chores is to print out a label for the lorikeet wall hanging I finished earlier this year.

I hate making fabric labels, but it's one of those things that must be done to finish off a quilt.

Earlier in the week I was working the poor Bernina to the ground.

Pins are my best friends. Imagine trying to attach a collar to a dress without them! So thank you whoever invented them - probably Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Jefferson - they seem to have cornered the invention market very early on. Anyway, the dress was finished and hopefully will sell over the weekend.

There had been a run on my baby booties (no pun intended), so it was time to re-stock.

Of course, they needed bags:

So now the rest of today will be taken up with freshening up the clothing (I refuse to say ironing - my nemesis), attaching price tags and swing tickets, compiling sales sheets, checking the quilts and, of course, printing out and attaching that fabric label.

Then tonight, I think Tony and I will sit down to a quiet meal and a glass or two of fruity red. Can't wait.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

BrisStyle Meet-up

WHAT A MARVELLOUS time we BrisStyle girls had yesterday at our monthly meet-up. There were the usual suspects, plus some new members and the enthusiasm of the group was truly infectious. It was one of those glorious late summer days - sunny, with the promise of spring in the air.

Show & Tell was very exciting, as you can see. Goodies ranged from incredibly intricate jewellery and beadwork, hand-made books, artist's prints, children's dresses and accessories, and so much more.

Our market on 13 December will be held in the Hamilton Town Hall which can be seen in the background. Plans are leaping ahead at a great rate and we are all very positive that our first market will be an overwhelming success. With live entertainment as well as scrumptious food and coffee to keep the customers happy, we can't see how we can do anything but succeed.

In the meantime, my plans to start on my new quilt have been put on hold for a week, as I frantically make items for the sales room at next weekend's Schoolhouse Quilters' exhibition.

And I can feel a fabric buying frenzy coming on ...

Friday, 22 August 2008

At the Movies

I was admiring the delightful train wallet for little boys made by Bec of Wheresbeckybean ( and was reminded of the tale my son recounted of his trip to the movies last week with his five-year-old son Stephen. Stephen had saved up all his coins and decided to treat Dad to the movies. The film of choice was the new Star Wars animation movie and wisely his mother decided to look after the girls while the boys had a day out on their own.

Up to the ticket office chick marched Stephen, emptied out his wallet of all its coins and politely requested two tickets, please. Then with tickets clutched in one hand, Dad in the other, he led the way into the theatre. Matt said there were three other parents with clutches of excited children, and one lone Star Wars Tragic in his thirties. They had such a great time, with Stephen shouting with excitement during the more suspenseful sections, and generously sharing his movie food with his father. He felt very proud of himself and it was an outing they will both remember for a the rest of their lives. When he grows up he wants to be Darth Vader, which is a bit of a worry.

I have today put the finishing touches to a new dress which will be on sale in my Etsy shop from tonight and also at the Schoolhouse Quilters' Exhibition next weekend (if it's still available).

Can't wait for tomorrow morning - there's a meet-up with the BrisStyle girls and several new members will be there for the first time. Show & Tell should be very interesting!

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Bring on Spring!

As I look at the Beijing Games and see the over-heated long-distance athletes dousing themselves with bottled water, it sends a shiver down my spine. It's really cold in sub-tropical Brisbane this year and the very thought of cold water trickling down bodies makes me almost envious of the hot, humid temperatures of Beijing. Still, Spring is only about 10 days away and already the little birds are doing somewhat seductive dances outside my window.

The Ekka Etsy Sale was a success for most participants and has given us incentive to progress in our plans for our Christmas market.

In the meantime, I am frantically making items to sell at the Schoolhouse Quilters' biennial exhibition taking place the last weekend of August. There are around 90 members of Schoolhouse Quilters and most will have quilts on exhibition. Brookfield is a semi-rural community and an outer suburb of Brisbane. The hall is heritage listed and is set in the delightful showgrounds. As well as quilts, there will be a sales room with items made by the talented quilters and this is why I am frantically making children's clothing and accessories.

So if you are coming to Brisbane at the end of the month, pop the dates in your calendar and do come along for a delightful hour or so. There will be delicious sandwiches, cakes, tea and coffee to keep you sustained. I can guarantee you will thoroughly enjoy the day.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Ekka Sale!

For the uninitiated, the Ekka is Brisbane's agricultural show and as you can imagine, it's an institution. It is a fun-packed 10 days of bright lights and rides, local produce, entertainment and cute animals.

We thought it would be a perfect excuse to have a sale on Etsy to promote our BrisStyle team and our talented members, as well as a chance for the Etsy community to snap up some great bargains.

The Ekka Extravaganza Sale runs from Saturday 9 August to Sunday 17 August (ending 12 midnight Etsy time). Participating shops are offering a variety of great deals; for example, percentages off, free postage or bonus gifts. I will be offering 15% off all items in my shop, apart from those already on sale.

Here is a list of the participating shops – check out the beautiful BrisStyle stores and their great deals!

Jellygnite - - 15% off all items in store + free art card/aceo with every order over $15 (excluding postage);
HotFudge - - 15% off all items in store, apart from items already on sale; - free Owl Brooch & Gift Wrapping with purchase; - free children's gift card with all purchases. Purchase two or more art prints, receive an additional art print, of your choice, for free; - 10% off all items in store; - 10% off all items in store + free postage on orders over $100; - 10% off all items in store + free postage on orders over $100; - 15% off all items in store + a free pair of gemstone earrings on purchases over $100 after discounts; - free gift pack (bookmark, felt hairclip & postcard) with any bag purchase;
Ruby2gogo - - retro Brisbane gift cards with all purchases. Show Bag with purchases over $40; - retro Brisbane gift cards with all purchases. Show Bag with purchases over $40;
Hey - free postage on all purchases.

Have you had a look? Do you see something which you just have to possess? Then hop in early on Saturday morning to swoop in on the bargains. Remember, the sale is only on for for a short period, so don't miss this rare opportunity to buy some wonderful goodies at really good prices.

On Tuesday some of my quilty friends came over for the day. There are eight of us Loose Threads and we have known each other for many years. A few of us had put our quilts into the quilt show at the Ekka and were waiting to hear if any of us had had success at the judging which had taken place the day before. About 30 minutes after they left, the phone rang and a very excited Joy (who is also president of our larger group, Schoolhouse Quilters) informed me that the Schoolhouse Quilters' raffle quilt for this year had won second prize in the group quilt section. We were over the moon, because we had seen what we were pretty sure was the winning quilt in this section and were proud that our quilt rated second behind it.

(That's my block bottom right)

Two minutes later came another phone call. This time from another Loose Thread, Muffin, who had won second prize in her section. I was so thrilled for her, because this heirloom is a hexagon quilt, completely hand stitched and hand quilted. It is one of four she is making for her four granddaughters, all hexagon quilts and all made of Liberty fabrics. The lucky girls will be given their quilts on their 18th birthdays. So if you are in Brisbane and will be spending a day at the Ekka, do go and look at the quilts. Somehow the incompetent organisers lost not only my telephone number, but also my address, as I am still waiting to hear that I have taken out the Grand Champion prize. Sob.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Quiet Weekend, BrisStyle Meet-up, Ekka news

MY ACTIVITIES have been somewhat curtailed over the past three weeks, as my poor husband Tony slowly recovers from his skin cancer surgery. He got carried away when the specialist gave him a positive report on the skin graft on his shin, and took that to mean he could run around like a teenager, which he did last Thursday. Big mistake. Back to having the leg elevated for a few more days. So our plans to break out this weekend and take in a movie (Mamma Mia will have to wait) and just walk around the shopping mall, sniffing in the atmosphere, were put on hold. Getting excited at the prospect of mall trawling? Shows you how stir-crazy we are! I would insert some photos here, but I don't want to scare the kiddies.

It is very remiss of me not to thank Ali of Charlie and Grace blog for presenting me with the prestigious Arte y pico Award.

I don't know what I did to deserve it, but I will cherish it forever. Please keep the applause to a minimum.

At least I did get out last Saturday to meet up with the members of BrisStyle and that was great fun. A couple of new members arrived and I think they may have been a little overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of our little group, but they joined in with gusto and we oo-ed and ah-ed at everyone's show & tell. Our plans for our Christmas Market on 13 December are rolling along nicely and some of the items being created for sale are simply stunning.

At least I have been able to put our temporary imprisonment to good use. The latest fabric arrivals have been turned into dresses.

This is the latest Anna Maria Horner fabric and I simply love it.

I added a big bow for the back out of contrasting fabric from her range and I can see our darling little granddaughters whirling away in it. This one is for sale in my Etsy shop, so I had better make another one for one of them closer to Christmas.

And this little dress is hot off the machine and will be up in my shop tonight.

It's fully lined:

and has ribbon ties at the armholes for easy adjustment to fit all little girls' figure shapes. Hmm... maybe I should make one to fit grandmas!

The Royal Queensland Show (fondly known as the Ekka) is on later this month and the exciting news is that the BrisStyle girls are organising a wonderful promotional campaign to coincide with the show. It will be well worth investigating, so keep an eye out over the next week.