Saturday, July 25, 2009

Heaven is....

....the Rose St Artists market.

I was like a kid in a candy store. Almost everything I laid eyes on extracted little squeals of delight. There were sooo many cool and unique things that Jess nearly had to hold me back. In the end I settled on a pair of light blue rectangular earrings and a mustard-yellow scarf.

I'm going through a bit of a phase with the mustard-yellow, which I tend to do with colours. Everything I see in that colour I want to add to my bower-bird collection. I also have a particular shade of green, and a kind of blue that really takes my fancy at the moment. I particularly like all these colours letter-pressed against a white background. Eeeeeeee! (that's my little squeal of delight).

I hadn't been shopping in Fitzroy for a while and I'd forgotten how much cool stuff there is over that way. I think I'll have to go back in the not-too-distant future. I'm quite lucky that Jess has pretty much the same taste as me, so we both drool over the same things like funky jewellery, pretty paper (LOVE stationery shops) and attractive packaging. Brunswick St is a haven for all these thing.

In other news, I finished the 'baguette' bag. It turned out really well and I'm quite chuffed with it. I think my sewing skills are improving! Pictures to come....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Passport? Check. 2 months off work? Check. Flights to South America? Check. Excitement? Check!

The flights are now booked and paid for. Time to start getting excited!

This will be the longest and most epic trip I've been on so far. The longest I've been on holidays was the 6 weeks I had in Europe and that felt like a long time. The only problem is that it doesn't really seem that long on paper when you're planning out the route. We also had the added problem of miscounting on the calendar and had accidently made the trip 9 weeks long instead of 8 and so had to cut some things out of the itinerary to get it back down to 8.

So the trip is roughly as follows:

Quito (Ecuador)
Otavalo (Ecuador)
Banos (Ecuador)
Cuenca (Ecuador)
Fly to Lima (Peru)
Overland from Lima to Arequipa via Huacachina/Nazca lines
Arequipa/Colca Canyon/Chivay
Inca trail/Machu Picchu
Lake Titicaca (Peru/Bolivia)
La Paz (Bolivia)
Salar de Uyuni (from Uyuni to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile) 3 day/2 night 4wd tour
San Pedro de Atacama to Salta (Argentina)
Iguazu falls
Buenos Aires
Back to Melbourne

Only 8 weeks to go!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Note to self: Increase blogging frequency

Oops! I really didn't mean to let it get so long between posts.....

I actually did some crafty-type stuff on the weekend, however most of it was helping my friend with her first purse (*polishes halo*). I did manage to get the pieces cut out for my new bag, but only got as far as attaching the interfacing and wadding. It is my mission to make it resemble a bag by the end of tonight. It's my first attempt at a bag with a curved gusset, so I'm a little bit nervous about things aligning properly, but I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and get stuck into it.

I also made it to the Camberwell Rotary market on the weekend.... I didn't find much, but did notice that there was a very small percentage of people who sold handmade stuff....opportunity I think!

I'm also keen to get to the Rose St artist market soon. My friend Ayan always seems to find the coolest jewellery for peoples' birthdays there, including an awesome pair of jigsaw puzzle earrings that I'm currently wearing.

If anyone knows of any other cool markets that are worth checking out, be sure to let me know.

In other news, I've been checking out other crafty bloggers blogs. Sandra from Pepperberry & Co has a highly attractive blog with an interesting story to boot. I heard about her through Nikki Mallalieu of You SEW girl fame. Apparently she got really enthusiastic about sewing, did a class with Nikki, quit her job and started up her own company....or so the legend goes. I happen to think that's rather brave, and so I use that sometimes as a bit of inspiration. It's also reminded me that I have to do some design work on my blog because it's looking a bit visually boring at the moment. My banner is soon to come.

Anyway, I thought I might finish with a few random facts about myself which I have copied and pasted from my Facebook profile:

1. When I was a child I had an irrational fear of volcanoes and quicksand.

2. Until I was 15 I had never been to the beach in any season other than winter.

3. Until I was 21 I had never been in an aeroplane. The second plane I went in, I jumped out of (skydived), and my third flight was a trip to Perth (my first commercial flight) which cost me $90 return (thanks Virgin!).

4. I hate misplaced apostrophes, and secretly cringe when people use 'there', 'they're' or 'their' in the wrong place. I also hate text language and fully spell out text messages.

5. I learnt to drive a tractor before I learnt to drive a car.

6. When I was 5 years old I was obsessed with the colour red. I had a red school bag, money box, lunch box, swimmers (I even bought the exact same pair when I grew out of the first ones), pencil case, barbie doll clothes, toothbrush, dress....etc etc

7. I have never broken any bones or had any cavities in my teeth. I credit growing up near a dairy with this.

8. I work in a stem cell research lab, but dream of designing handbags and fabric.

9. I did piano lessons for 5 years but never learnt to read music properly.

10. My Grandmother sent me to ellocution lessons for 6 years, although you would never know it.

11. This week I am trying to learn Spanish while I'm at work in the lab. So far I know how to say "it is not acceptable for me" and "where do you want to eat tonight?".

12. I can say the alphabet backwards without having to think about which letter comes next. This resulted from me proudly announcing to my Dad that I could say the alphabet and Dad being the smart ass that he is, said "I bet you can't say it backwards", So I practiced until I could do it. I bet he wasn't expecting that - ha!

13. My first crush lasted from kindergarten to grade 6.

14. I'm fussy about which magnets get to go on the fridge.

15. I have a rather long tongue and can touch past my nostrils and can also touch my chin with it.

16. When I got my first tape recorder a couple of friends and I decided to start a rock band called the "Wildcats". We only knew the words to Christmas carols so that was what we sang.

17. I have chewed my fingernails ever since I can remember. Occasionally I will make an effort to grow them once or twice a year and make everyone admire how long they've gotten.

18. My eyes have stayed the same colour since I was born (dark blue).

19. I have a freckle above my lip that my Mum told me was a 'beauty spot' when I was in first grade. Nick Kousoulos used to tease me and call it a pimple, but I was too embarrassed to call it a beauty spot because I worried he would think I was full of myself.

20. I laugh at inappropriate things. If hell exists, I'm going there.

21. I am really shy and most people mis-interpret it as being snobby.

22. I hate peas.

23. I can still remember 2 dreams I had when I was about 3 years old in vivid detail. I also have a recurring dream about maths exams which I have once every couple of weeks.

24. I have an almost photographic memory but am shocking at remembering people's names.

25. I always have an escape plan. I imagine hypothetical situations and figure out how I would escape from them. Usually it involves an intruder breaking into my house and whether or not I would run or belt them with my hockey stick. I also have escape plans for for deadly pandemics, alien invasions, and armaggeddon style asteroids.

Well, I'm off to start sewing in the gusset on the bag *fingers crossed!* Also if you read this blog, be sure to say hi, otherwise I'm going to be feeling like I'm talking to myself for a long time.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

First post

Well, here it is. The first post.

I'm at work and am meant to be doing cell-counts in photoshop right now, but it's just so damn boring. It's funny that whenever you tell someone that you work in stem cell research, they go 'oh wow, that's SO interesting - you must love your job!'. Usually I don't have the heart to tell them that it's not quite as exciting as it sounds.

So anyway, back to more crafty stuff.

I was reading Nikki Mallalieu's blog today and remembered I'd signed up for a blog account a few weeks ago but hadn't done anything about it..... and - voila!

This whole crafty thing of mine started about a year ago when I had an idea (which has since fallen to the wayside) and started to play with Adobe Illustrator. This re-ignited my arty-crafty spark that's been dormant for a while and I got all excited. I'd been feeling for a while that my job in science wasn't really fulfulling my creative needs. My friend Jess introduced me to Etsy and then I suddenly wanted to open an Etsy shop. I'm not quite sure what led me to want to make bags, but I vaguely remember one day realising that I had a real thing for fabrics and I figured that I quite liked handbags too and that surely they couldn't be that hard to make (haha). So I opened an Etsy account, designed a banner for my shop and then started working towards the goal.

I enrolled in Nikki's 'better bags & purses' class at the start of the year. I probably should have enrolled in the 'bags for beginners' course, but at that stage I had 5 months till the class started and I figured I had plenty of time to get up to speed by then. I should have known myself better. When I started the class, all I'd ever sewn was an apron in Yr7, a few pillow-slips, and I'd had a crack at an Amy Butler bag pattern. I didn't even know what topstitching was. As a result, I was a wee bit nervous when I started the class that I'd be out of my depth. Anyway, I needn't have worried - I started off with an easy bag and ended up finishing off an intermediate one by the end of the course. Sweet!

Since then I've been madly collecting fabric, coming up with some ideas, and setting up a little sewing studio in our study. I've realised that I really must buy an Elna press since it took me at least half an hour to iron on all my interfacing on the weekend. God it was tedious.

I did a cute little laptop sleeve on the weekend. All went reasonably smoothly until (at about midnight) I got to the final step of sewing in the lining. I obviously wasn't thinking clearly, because I sewed the lining in the wrong way round (argh!). At that point I gave up and went to bed. I haven't gotten around to unpicking it yet.

I think tomorrow I'll post some photos of the studio set-up, and a few of the things I've collected just to break up the wordiness of this blog a bit. Stay tuned.