Sunday, 31 October 2010

Buttons and Bows

I know that some folk like raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings.  Not me - I prefer buttons and bows.

Which is just as well, because I've been up to my eyeballs in them over the past few days in readiness for the Christmas BrisStyle Market on 4 December at Hamilton and the Twilight Market on 17 December at King George Square.  They are also for sale in my Etsy shop.

Next Saturday is going to be a treat.  I'll be going to the BrisStyle Indie Eco Market as a visitor rather than as a vendor, so I will have all the time in the world to take in the innovative and original handmade goodies that the talented bunch of BrisStyle designers have put together for the occasion.

Can't wait!

Friday, 29 October 2010


We had an awfully big adventure last night.  Two of the Fudgelettes, aged four and two, honoured us with their presence for a sleepover. 

After a visit to the park and lunch at home, it was time for an afternoon of activities.

The Actress was a study in concentration

Grandad Fudge did very well too

Cup cakes were next on our busy agenda.

A little television doesn't go astray.

Dinner time came around all too soon.  Sausages were on the menu but they went down like a lead balloon.  I have to be honest and say that they consumed a plate of tomato sauce with perhaps a fleck of vegetable.  The sausages lay there like roadkill, covered in tomato sauce.  However, the cupcakes we girls made that afternoon went down a treat.  I'm sure their parents understand that grandparents do get desperate at times.

They were little angels and settled down for a full night's sleep, much to our amazement.  Methinks that perhaps the combination of tomato sauce and cupcake is some sort of sleep-inducing potion.  Should I patent it?

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Happy Birthday Schoolhouse Quilters

Twenty years ago I joined a fledgling group of quilters.  This small little band was formed by Sharyn Hall and we returned to Brisbane after an absence of four years in time for me to attend the third meeting in the staff room of Kenmore State School.  Like Topsy, we have grown.

Today was our twentieth anniversary celebration (a month late) and also our Annual General Meeting.  A lot of water has passed under the bridge in the intervening years, but among this group of quilters are some of my closest friends.  We have supported each other through the good times and the bad and I know I am truly blessed to have such wonderful companions.

And what's a special celebration without cake?

Schoolhouse Day President Alison Campbell presents our celebration cake

The honour of cutting the cake went to five Schoolhouse members who were at the original meeting in September 1990.

Original Schoolhouse members Pat Burgess, Robyn Mallett, Kaye Tanner, Denise Barbero and Sharyn Hall

Fresh cream and strawberry topping.  Mmmm ...

It didn't last long.

Next month, let's all wear green.

Muffin Rowlands' Liberty bag with work in progress

The day ended with Show & Tell.  Wonderful. 

To top off the joyous occasion, we basked in the reflected glory of several Schoolhouse Quilters who took out major awards at the Craft & Quilt Fair held at the Brisbane Convention Centre over the previous week.

I'm planning on being around for the 30th anniversary and have already ordered my walking frame.  Happy 20th Anniversary Schoolhouse Quilters.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Two months to Christmas ... Eek!

As the tea towel says, keep calm and carry on.  It's eight and a half weeks away.  I won't quote how many shopping days that is, because it would only alarm you.

In the true spirit of Christmas, I have started on some dresses for the upcoming BrisStyle markets and my Etsy shop.  This Christmas Party Knot Dress is available in sizes 1 to 8.

I fell in love with this adorable fabric when it arrived last week.

I'm almost tempted to make something for myself with it, but it would probably scare the grandchildren.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

BrisStyle's Busy Season

It's nearing the end of October and that can mean only one thing - BrisStyle is about to enter its busiest market period ever.  It kicks of with the BrisStyle Indie Eco Market on Saturday 6 November.  If you like  handmade with an eco edge, this is the market for you.

Samantha of Jetta's Nest is just one of the many stall holders.  Not only does she create the artwork on her amazing brooches, she uses salvaged and rescued timber, some of it hundreds of years old and quite rare.  She shapes her designs with the help of her trusty sidekick, Suzy Scrollsaw (why do I have visions of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre?)

Put the date in your diaries now and give yourself plenty of time to wander around the many stalls at St Augustine's Church, Racecourse Road, Hamilton on 6 November between 9.00am and 2.00pm.   

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Is it Spring yet?

I can't remember the last time I was still wearing winter clothing at this time of the year - bring on Global Warming!  I have to admit that we have had some beautiful days - intermittent, but really appreciated.

It has been sufficient to encourage the flowers to bloom - can summer be far away?  The bougainvillea is stunning and the petunias came as a pleasant surprise, remnants of last summer's dropped seeds. 

They tie in with the skirts I have been working on over the past couple of days - lots of frills and plenty of warm colours.

They are available for sale at my Etsy shop, or you can buy them at the BrisStyle Indie Designers Market at St Augustine's, Hamilton on 4 December, just in time for Christmas.  Hopefully by then it will be warm!

BrisStyle has not been resting on its laurels.  On Saturday 6 November you will find the most inovative designers selling their wares at the BrisStyle Indie Eco Market.  More details in a couple of days. 

Monday, 18 October 2010

Craft & Quilt Fair Brisbane

On Wednesday the Brisbane Craft & Quilt Fair will commence at the Brisbane Convention Centre.  My friend textile artist Sharyn Hall will be featured as guest artist.  You can't help but be inspired by her work and her enthusiasm to impart her knowledge onto others.  Highly recommended.

Shibori Textures  by Sharyn Hall

I will have a couple of small quilts as part of the Jems Quilt Sitters' display, one in the Whispers Challenge, and the other a small quilt of memories of our time in Rome last year.

Detail: La Dolce Vita

It promises to be a brilliant few days, with so many tempting crafty vendors' stalls and some stunning quilts courtesy of Queensland Quilters.  Can't wait!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Six Truths About Being Six

My friend Amanda has written an amusing post about being taken back in a time machine to when she was nine and recalled nine events that happened in that year.  She has sent out a challenge and originally I was going to do a piece on Sixty Things About Being Sixty, but thought it may become a tad boring, not to mention narcissistic.  So I dropped the zero and have come up with:

Six Things About Being Six

1.  Despite my mother's best efforts to dress me like a princess, I was a tomboy.

2.  I started school when I was three and a half, so by the time I was six I knew everything.  I remember getting into big trouble for climbing a tree with the boys in my class in the school playground.  The nuns were horrified and I was lucky to hold onto my role as Mary in the Christmas concert.  I blame this incident for not being chosen to be a mini debutant at the school ball that year or indeed in the ensuing years.

3.  I followed my big brother, 18 months older than me, everywhere.  That's why I started school at three and a half.  When I was six we were visiting family friends whose house overlooked Bronte Beach.  In those days the trams used to swing past their house as they rattled through the cliff cutting on the last few hundred feet to the beach. My brother and I snuck out of the back of the house while our parents were distracted, climbed down the rocks and laid a penny on the track. We scrambled back and waited for the tram to come by and flatten the penny, which it did.  We were mightily impressed, so we looked around for something a little bigger and found a piece of linoleum lying close by.  Perfect.  The next thing I remember is the two of us running bug-eyed into the bushes to hide, chased by a red-faced tram driver hurling out descriptions of what he was going to do once he caught us.  Our experiment had failed dismally.

4.  Bessie Weekly Ballet School played a big part of my life when I was six.  Bessie was a formidable soul who whipped us into shape.  At the end of year concert (again with the concerts!) I was to lead one line of tutu babes onto the stage while another girl did the same on the opposite side of the stage.  The climax of the dance came when we were to enter in one line and the other little girl and I had a slight disagreement on who was to have the honour of leading the line.  It all ended rather badly with the two of us fighting fiercely on stage.  My parents were mortified and Bessie wasn't amused.  I gave up ballet.

5.  Our holidays that year were spent at our favourite destination, Patonga.  We spent two glorious weeks swimming, fishing and admiring big brother's new sailing boat.

6.  That year I was in Grade 1 and a new girl was introduced to our class.  She had long thick plaits and her singing and acting abilities even at that early age were astounding.  She was to entertain and amaze us through all our school years.  She is still my dearest and best friend (excluding spouses, of course).

Do you have a time machine at your place?  Why not tell us about it and leave a comment on Amanda's blog, with a link to your post, then invite some of your friends to participate.  Perhaps it will become bigger than a yo-yo craze.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Apron Strings

As a departure from my children's range of clothing and with the fast approaching festive season in mind, I've just finished a few fully lined aprons for the perfect hostess.

Here are a couple which are for sale in my Etsy shop and they will also be on sale at the BrisStyle Indie Designers Market on 4 December - you can never start too early!

What a delight it was to receive these gorgeous fabrics in the mail a couple of days back.  The aprons are now on hold as I get onto creating some party dresses for the BrisStyle market.  I could almost eat them.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Singin' in the Rain

At the risk of being accused of having a Gene Kelly fetish, I couldn't think of a better title for yesterday's BrisStyle Indie Mother & Child Market.  Someone forgot to turn off the tap over Queensland and we have been inundated with non-stop drenching rain, with flooding to the north of Brisbane.  It didn't auger well for our market, with half the participants having outdoor stalls.

Outside looked decidedly gloomy, but that little touch of pink gave a hint of what was in store for visitors inside. 

Luckily our brilliant market organisers Helen and Bel found that with a little re-arranging there was enough room indoors to accommodate all the stall holders and it made for an extremely happy atmosphere. The hall was festooned with a joyful mixture of BrisStyle and Chicks in Pink balloons, and pink was the colour of the day.

And there were so many babies - where did they all come from?  They were so adorable that I wanted to cuddle them all.


My Hot Fudge stand had many pink dresses in keeping with the theme of the day.  Thank goodness I had lots of sales which in turn meant that lots of Hot Fudge Choc Fudge found new homes, leaving precious little for us to indulge in last night.  If I had to look at another piece of fudge I knew I would be ill (a feeling obviously not shared by my spouse the Fudge Buster).

These lovely shoppers travelled all the way from the Gold Coast through torrential rain, after seeing our advertisement in Peekaboo Magazine.

The BrisStyle fairy spread good cheer and free balloons to the gaggle of little children in attendance.

And there were lots of adorable goodies for both children and mothers to indulge in and buy.


The lovely Lesley of Oz Wildlife Studio battled the elements bravely until a spot was found inside.

There was excellent entertainment for all courtesy of the boy band, WheeleR, who performed many of their own compositions.

The little tot to the right is enthralled with WheeleR

So here's to the mothers, fathers, babies and grandparents who braved the wild elements to do a little shopping.  We love youse all.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

We are amused

The pink frenzy has travelled as far south as Sydney.  My daughter spied this usually stern lady throwing her support behind the BrisStyle Indie Mother and Child Market on Saturday.

Photo: Maz Dixon

The Mater Hospital's Chicks in Pink  who will be on site raising awareness for Breast Cancer and of course, there will be the our usual charity raffle, this time in support of Chicks in Pink, with lots of lovely goodies made by the talented members of BrisStyle.

In a last-minute frenzy, today I made a couple of aprons for the oven whisperers among us. 

Fully lined apron

If Pinky Benson was a cross dresser, I think he would love to be caught wearing this little number in his favourite colour.

Hope you can come.