Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Aint no cottontails here!

It's funny how we view our acquaintances and colleagues at face value, and maybe paint a picture in our mind of what they're home looks like, or even their kids.
As friendships evolve, and you become more a part of each others lives, you meet the family and lunch together on Sundays.
Did you ever get it right?
I mean the picture you painted in your head of switchboard sally's home life, was it what you thought it would be. I, for one, never get it right.
I'm always pleasantly surprised by how I attract like minded people, that are so multifaceted, so artistic and so down to earth.
For some reason, on face value, I think everyone else is, tidy.....styles there fabulous hair in seconds, has the most angelic children, and probably lounges on chesterfields whilst dining on cheese, wine and crackers, when really I couldn't be getting it more wrong.
A common misconception is ones taste in art.
Just last week around the lunch table we were discussing recent art purchases and with the description of cute little kids, I envisioned .......well cut little kids. Think hallmark.
Boy was I wrong. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I got to see what she had bought, and it was these Gothic little illustrations, of kids walking through a grey landscape similar to the set of nightmare before Xmas, by Dave Burke. Just gorgeous.

I proceeded to tell her about our rabbit art. No matter how I described it, I know she was thinkin little cottontail, fluffy bunnies. When I was really trying to portray the fabulous work of local Melbourne artist Carey Potter.

We originally discovered Carey's work over a year ago at Rose st market in Brunswick. Tucked away in a corner, were all these paintings using amazing texture and form. A myriad of backdrops for this obscure figure that vaguely looked like a bunny.
Carey proceeded to tell us about how this bunny figure came to be and evolved into this image that reoccurred through much of his work. This little figure is so haunting, and screamed out to be purchased and come home with me.
I'm always one to be over whelmed by art, and know I can't afford the real deal, so I wasn't even going to embarrass my self by asking prices, just so I could smile politely and walk away knowing I couldn't afford it.
So I just walked away.
I couldn't leave though. I got to the market exit, and sent Ty back to my dirty work.
Just ask him how much the little one was. Maybe we can come back next week and buy it.
$40. It' was only $40. I was back in that corner so fast, timidly I asked on a bigger one...$60.....I my gosh I can afford this. I grabbed two, and went home thinking about all the other ones i saw.
Two wasn't enough.
I thought maybe Carey was new at this art thing, and wanted to be affordable whilst getting himself out there, before selling for uber bucks in galleries, so we headed back the next week and got two more before that could happen.

I'm glad to say that Carey still sells at rose st every weekend, and is still affordable a year and a half later. It' his intention to make art that we can all afford. You'll love it all the more, cause you didn't have to hand over the first born just to have it.
Created by an established and talented artist, at prices I can afford. I'm so proud of my rabbit picks, and there definitely aint no cotton tails here.

On the drawing board, this week.

It feels like I haven't done much in the way of tangible craft this week. Like something that I could hold in my hands to show and tell as I've been busy doing my website. So it's intellectual creativity at it's best.
Of course this has no doubt used more of my brain space than crafting cause I'm just not at all technically minded. So it's a hard yard for my little brain.

I received the bestest present of my domain name and a host for my birthday, November last year! and it's taken me this long to get motivated to sit down and do it. The site is very basic at present, but hopefully directs people to all the right places when they want to buy.

It's free hosting, so at this stage it will redirect to Etsy for a part of it, but I'm happy to have one address I can print on my cards, that will show everything I do.
I sell stationary under finki, jewellery under finkifine, and knitwear under finkifibre. So when considering my next business cards, I don't have to worry about the whole ... directing people to 3 different places. All at one .com address now.

Of course.....that's not all I did. You know I go a little loopy if I haven't made time at least once a week to sit and create. Soooo.........this week I hit the fabric stash, and pulled out the packets of self covered button hardware that I bought ages ago.

There are a few Aussie sellers on Etsy that do the button thing, and I have no intention of stealing there thunder, I actually buy from three of them and they each represent such a different style that is totally unique within that medium. My angle, is vintage.

Years ago I worked at Savers. During my time there and really, over my life of loving those rare op shop finds, i have accumulated..........and I kid you not, 7 super tubs of fabric that stack up to over 7 foot tall, all relics from the 50's, 60's and 70's.
She who dies with the biggest stash of fabric wins...................isn't that how the saying goes.
So far I've done some, rings, earrings and hair pins, and look forward to doing some art brooches, utilising my artwork sewn onto a mish mash of vintage fabric.

On the drawing board next week: labelling products, ready for the market.

How'd they do that!

How good are these lollies we were given at a wedding yesterday....

I was so glad to see that weddings have moved away from sugar coated almonds, as gifts for the guests to these fab little lollies with the name of the bride and groom on them.
How cool.

It hurt my brain a little to figure out how they make them.....cause you know I can't just appreciate them for what they are......I MUST KNOW HOW THEY ARE MADE!

I figure it's similar to how you might create those polymer clay beads with a pic on them. By building up the long sausage tube in levels of color, so that when you slice it the image appears, but letters... that's gotta be hard to do.

There's this cool old fashioned candy shop at QV in the city, with a window display of a village complete with knomes animals and mushrooms made out of candy. I may just have to sit outside the window and watch them work there magic.

Congratulaions Kasey & Eli.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Check these out....at cottage in the sun.

Jeez I love ETSY. I am forever discovering new stores.
When I do come across one that's fresh and exciting and I see that they are quite well established and have been around for donkeys, I wonder how it could possibly be that I didn't find them sooner.
I'm such a fan of anything patterned, textured, and a little bit grungy. So finding these tin creations met all the criteria of something I just gotta buy.
The last house I lived in had a pantry that utilised the most sumptuous sculpted ceiling tin, as the pantry doors. I just loved the effect, and really wished we could take them with us, alas....it was a rental, so it wasn't ours to take.
So when I found cottage in the sun used the same tin, and worked it into something so pretty, I had to have it.

Cottage in the sun is the brainchild of Annette from San Antonio,Texas. She uses old ceiling tin as her medium to create banners, wall hangings and even garden ornaments.
I'm sure you all have received varying degrees of service from Etsy, or any online store really.
I can honestly say that shopping with Annette was one of the best experiences I had shopping online. Why?
The banners she created for me were a custom order. So with my obscure instructions of liking hearts, something textural, and quite a random selection of colors I liked, she was able to work her magic and come up exactly what I needed. There were many convo's and photo's back and forth to make sure we were both on the same path.
Shipping was quick, and packaging was safe and super cute.

There is nothing I value more than that little extra effort that goes into packaging. Especially when your ordering from O.S. Your so excited to be receiving these hand made gems, and arriving in one piece is paramount.

On the drawing board this week. Card holders.

This week I'm busy making my new card holders.

I don't know about you but I sure do have plenty of those little loyalty cards that were fattening up the old purse. It was literally popping at the seams.

See a need......fill it.

I made mine 4 weeks ago and have been testing the prototype thoroughly. It's holding up fantastically through the rough terrain I subject it to, and boy do I mean rough. I should be the president at shopaholics anonymous considering my shopping habits. Suffice to say that 4 weeks in my handbag could well be the type of use you might see in nann's bag for the whole year!

The inserts hold 30 cards or 60 back to back. Who needs that many right!.............you'd be surprised. Firstly there's all the crafty loyalty cards like lincraft & spotlight, then the library cards (video and books) then the lay by convenience cards, the favourite fashion stores, (TS14+ and big city chic for me) then of course we can forget, hairdresser, dentist, doctor and last but most definitely not least YOUR ETSY BUSINESS CARDS to hand out to all those eager buyers.

You can't believe how streamlined and organised my purse is now, with only cash, visa card, debit card, and id. (I say Id, cause I'm one of those people that don't drive, for you of course this space will fit your license)

I'm planning on robots and dinosaurs for the boys, (ahem....men).....and heaps of Amy butler prints, geisha's and babushka's for us ladies.

On the drawing board next week: A5 covers.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On the drawing board, this week.

It's all go around this place at present.

I started back at my day job 3 days a week, (I've been back from maternity leave since Sept,but only 2 days a week, so we could settle Finn into childcare) Hopefully that one extra day isn't the one that makes it all come undone. Fingers crossed. We are coping at present.

It's also school holidays, so both kids are home with me on my days off.

I'm only getting stuff done at nights. The only thing on the books is getting ready for the next sisters market on Feb 7th, so there's not too much pressure to perform really. Only the little voice in my head that thinks I should get my entire to do list done in 3 weeks.

Reality check....it's just not gunna happen. So I have to pace myself and write lists.
I'm the queen of lists. I need them to keep me sane.

On todays list:

  • Update blog. (I decided Tuesday will be my update blog day)
  • Post orders.
  • make lunch fun, play with kids.
  • Daily walk (today to the Post office.
  • Dinner, family time (maybe to the park if it cools down), kids to bed.
  • Then..........time to work.

On the drawing board today is:

My glass adventures.
Im doing rings, huge pendants, more middle sized ones, and litte double drop ones. It's a five step process of choosing and preparing the artwork or image, sealing the images onto the glass, clean and polish, edges adorned, then findings attached. It's impossible to do all in one day, as the drying and curing times of each process are quite long, so I tend to do them over a week or so.

I look forward to using more of my own artwork under the glass, it's just a matter of finding the precious time to sit, and create from scratch.
I have about 10 of my original artwork, used in the pendants at present. My aim is to have all of them using Finki art. Eventually.

On the drawing board next week:

  • Business card holders.

Brilliant bargains........

Oooooh I love to shop.
I most definately buy more than I sell, which is why you'll never see me on the cover of smart business woman in Australia.
I would say that 90% of my purchases are handmade, recycled or second hand. So I'm always proud of my shopping adventure finds.

On the weekend we ventured down to the Greensborough market (which is now held in the car park at latrobe uni.) With the intention of getting some new plants for the front porch. This is our third attempt at having plants out the front.
For some reason we.....I.....just can't keep them alive. I tell myself it's because I buy the pretty flowering ones, seasonal fancies, that die after 8 weeks.
This time I got hardy, native, flowerless plants. All between $3 and $5ea, so cheap.

The plant sellers there, remind me of the greek couple on that t.v ad. The one where nonna is peeling potatoes in the sink and sees birds land on the fruit trees out back and calls guisseppe, guisseppe pull the string (I'm just guessing the dialogue cause really it's in another language) and pappa pulls the string, which connects to a clag, bang creation of tin buckets they've rigged up to keep the birds off the garden. So cute.
I'm thinkin' if non and pop grew them this far, maybe I can too.

Anyways....I picked up the funkiest wine rack at the market.

It was tucked away in the corner of a stall amongst other vintage goodies. Now, I don't really drink wine, but I loved the form of the wood and bought it with the intention of using it for a display at my next market stall.

After the market we headed off to the tip shop. Always goodies there.

Tip shop sounds horrid, let me refrase............. the recylce waste station.
It's where you drop off your hard rubbish, (what didn't sell at the garage sale) they sort through it first for saleable items, then squish the rest. Reduces landfill, makes them some money and is just like any trash and treasure market really.
I got a little cane shelf, (I'm gunna start color grouping all my buttons in little jars, and put them on this shelf in the window) a gorgeous old herb jar and some vibrant green and red ceramic cups that I'll use for props in my photo's on etsy. All for $5. SCORE...

A creative cul-de-sac.

What better place to start, then at the beginning.
The place where ideas are born, products evolve and for once in my life.......things get finished.
My work space:

What started as merely a hobby, has slowly taken over.

Taken over, the lounge, the dining room and every spare corner. That was until finally I decided that this year I needed, no I deserved a room to call my own.

I've managed to have it mostly confined to one space. Sorta........

There's my lonely old work bench in the shed waiting for me to save up for the micro torch, regulators and tanks $$$$$BIG BUCKS$$$$,well for my little income it is. Then there is a bookshelf in the dining room with all my reference books, and visual diaries, so it's almost all in one room.

Really though, I'm sure that like most crafty types I dabble in so many things. Painting, sewing, sketching, beading, knitting, crotchet, clay making, book binding and more.......So it's really impossible for all of that to be tucked away getting dusty. It needs to be out on display, as reminder of what you've accomplished and where your heading to next.

It's so liberating to make the commitment to having a special little place for being creative. It's like saying this is the real deal man. I don't JUST... knit, or paint or play with beads, this is serious stuff. This is my life.

The handmade journey, the road I travel, my creative cul-de-sac.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm so excited...........I just can't hide it.

The world of blogging has found me.
More so, I found it.

I look forward to sharing so much.........not too much!
Just the interesting bits.

My new products on the go, the fabulous handmade goodies I buy, the amazing sites and artists I find day by day, the stockists I find after hours of searching, and a little about me.

I've not quite figured out a plan, when it comes to blogging, but my intention is to share my love of all things artsy, cause it's such a big part of my life.

I constanly have things on the go, and totally believe that just getting it out there creates this amazing energy that propells you forward.

To who knows where........to who knows when. Doesn't really matter. So long as it's onward and upward. It's the journey that's the fun bit.

I discovered Etsy on my travels, a fantastic site that is a forum for all arty crafty tipes world wide, to promote thier wares. I can not speak highly enough of Etsy. Every day I discover new things and just love that I have this wonderful place to buy sell and support handmade.

As I sell my goodies through Etsy, and I'm on there every day, you'll find a lot of my links, purchases and artist discoveries all come back to them. You won't be dissapointed.

I aim to post atleast weekly, to update you all on the progress of my most recent project, and uncover a new place for you to shop.

Enjoy, share, and live for the now, Jay.