Welcome to my world behind the scenes as I attempt to run a business with no idea what I am doing. I Love comments/ advice/opinions or just a quick G'day so please talk to me. I adore hearing/learning/chatting with you all so every comment is most welcome.!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The weekends! Blink and they're gone!

This weekend I weeded my secret garden.
I admired my mini grove and thought "What water restrictions?" I have never watered anyhow and 2 years ago this was grass. Now I have a mini grove.

I got my printer working brilliantly..
I got my 6 year old to paint his first canvasses

I got my teenage daughter to do some canvasses

(red hot chilli peppers blasting in the background)

Almost finished

And then it was Monday again(insert sad face here)


Friday, November 23, 2007


And so it was done!

I didnt need to think about where to start simplifying, I already knew. I am fortunate enough to be in the position to get away with this philosophy most of the time 'if it aint fun, dont do it!" (Thanks Dear M for making that possible)

So I called the lovely E from my club and I asked her to take over the Newsletter and at the Thursday meeting I will resign my position from the committee and hand over the keys. Brilliant. Took me a year to do that. I wont be making toys for charity anymore. Its time I spent the time making money to contribute before we become charity cases!!

I will wind down all other things that I think are obstructing my new path and be commitment free by Jan 30th next year. Its already in motion.

For the next year I will say no to everything except chocolate, gifts and shiney sparkley tools. If I find anything moderately boring or obstructive I will treat it with the disdain it deserves and disregard it. My business is top priority in 2008 and everything else will have to wait..that rhymed!

Now to put it into action...well its on a blog right, therefor its as good as done right!! I HAVE to do it now!! Right??

Enough chatter, we all know people read blogs for the pictures!


Thursday, November 22, 2007

This is what was today

The oven cooks with such ferocity that even when turned down 20 degrees less and minus 15 minutes in the oven the pies came out with carcinagenic crusts. My husband saw them through pumpkin pie lusting eyes and disregarded the blackey brown bits and still insisted late last nite that they are fine to take to his friends at his old work. I went to bed and pictured my impending shame. The women I was to hand them to was reknowned for her skills at EVERYTHING, especially cooking. I fell asleep with scenarios of the handing over of the pies running through my head. At about 6am my Dear M came and kissed me good bye and may have whispered I love you but all I heard were these magic words "you dont have to take the pies in, im sorry I asked you to do it" I was so relieved and then I thought " omg he saw how burnt they were and didnt want to be embarrassed" Who cares. My public humiliation was averted!

So I get up as usual. I rush to the shops at 7am to get a Joyce a card, make kids lunches, make sure Z is going to go sit his exam today which he wagged the other day(stress levels rising as I type that) and finally all 4 kids are off to school, some with odd socks, but all with lunches in hand. No teacher will be pestering me today because a kid forgot their lunch and I wont have to ask a teacher when they call " is my kid dying, if he isnt dying, if its not life threatening, if its not something that is REALLY important, then please dont call, I work too ya know" (thinks back to a time a teacher called me out of a meeting and wanted me to rush to my sons aid because he got a shoe wet.........)

So off I go, thinking Im late. I hand Joyce her birthday card and she says in her lovely Yorkshire accent" its nawt me birthday teday luv, its next week" ... So she insists I leave the card there, the card that reads "belated happy birthday" and I choof off to the craft shop with her and realize I am not late, im half an hour early... so we wait...

Even with an ominus start to my day I got the list sorted

Bracelet fixed and delivered to craft shop,

Joyces Birthday card delivered early

Joyce delivered early,

Oh and Joyce is going to be 83 not 84!!!

Ink cartridges in the printer.... After I bought 2 BLACK ones by mistake and had to spent my last pennies buying a color one....of course I opened the second black cartridge before I realized it was black, hence, no refund.That was yesterday. Today I spent an hour in the troubleshooting manual trying to get it to work. Refills are evil and I blame them for this printer drama.

Awesome. Job's done!
Job for tomorrow
Simplify life

Blog ya tomorrow


This is what was Wednesday

Good Grief. 37 degrees. That shouldn’t be legal!
I have 7 pumpkin pies to make today for Thanksgiving tomorrow. M gets 3(he is going to share it with the kids I hope), his work gets 2 and his surrogate mother from his last work gets 1 and a friend gets 1. It’s so lovely of him to get his wife to make pumpkin pies for everyone from him. I don’t mind the accolades. Not much else I will be famous for. I could make any kind of pie really and they wouldn’t know because Aussies don’t generally know what the &^%# a pumpkin pie is. My first thought was “what??? You put a pumpkin in a pie, you people are sick? But then M responded the same when he saw his first 4 & 20 meat pie, “what??? You put ground up cow and gravy in here, you people are sick!!”
My husband is from Ohio, hence the epicurean shock from both sides. We may look vaguely similar and we make speak our own versions of the English language that some times need translation but trust me, there are vast cultural differences between me(a dinky die true blue aussie) and my dear M ( something about yanks here)
So I learned to make pumpkin pie and my dear M developed passion for meat pies. I personally can’t stand pumpkin pies. But I share my passion for meat pies, clearly, my bouncy hips and girdle can attest to that!!!

So today is pie day!
Next..I also need to get a new cartridge because I buggered the one we refill. I could buy a new printer for the cost of the cartridges and I will have a little cry on the inside when I pay for it. Hopefully I will remember to NOT clean the copper flat thingy bit with a harsh scratchy no name paper towel. OK ok I read the instructions but ignored them.
I have a Newsletter to print out!! It’s late!! They might sack me! Now there’s a thought. No more committee meetings, no more editorial duties………… Nah, I couldn’t do it. I’m just being a whinger. Mental note to self *you are out of printer paper too* Foine!! Add that to today’s list.

Email just in from my mum
Hi Melanie,
I’m planning to come over about 12.30 – should be good for weeding etc. and rain is supposed to ease by afternoon.
John has made you a curry. I will make something for the children so that you can have a cooking free day.



THE GARDNER , Jobs Done!!

Awesome!! Don’t ya just love mums! She is thanking me for letting her come over and weed my garden, fertilize it and plant vegies in it? Wow, I hope my kids don’t think I will be gratefully exploited when I am older. I will bake her a pumpkin pie as a thanks to her and my step dad. What a good step dad eh? He makes me individually served curries because My Dear M is epicureanly challenged and won’t eat Indian food or any thing foriegny looking.
Ok so make that 8 pies

Next on list
Get a card for Joyce’s 84 Birthday. Wow! 84. I don’t know what kind of cake to make her because she is a diabetic. I guess I could get a cracker and attach a candle to it. Everything has sugar in it. I really wanted to get her something fabbo but what do you get an 84 yr old that already has everything, including a speedy scooter that I try to race on foot but cant. I can’t make her anything. She is one of those people that could probably make it better anyhow and I will look like I am handing her a show and tell piece from kinder by comparison. While I am making sugary pumpkin pies I will come up with a sugar free birthday idea.

Next on list
A lady was perusing one of my handmade bracelets in the craft shop and she wanted to buy it so as Murphy’s Law would have it, the darn thing broke when she tried to undo it. It wasn’t an undoing one anyhow but nevertheless she still wanted it anyhow. I was chuffed indeed. She also mentioned some one else might be interested, so please make more. YAY
Make 8 pumpkin pies
Get Ink cartridges
Printer paper
Card for Joyce
Idea for Joyce’s present
Fix bracelet and modify
Make 2 more to replace it in shop.
This all has to be done TODAY. When, I don’t think I heard you right? TODAY
Ok ok
Gtg bbl ttfn omg!!


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

And This little cupcake cried wee wee wee all the way home.

I was a women obsessed making these. I totally forgot I was a bag maker. I needed eye candy to attract people to my stall and I ended up making nothing but eye candy but all was not lost because in the process so many things happened.
  1. P from the craft shoppe taught me to do a colonial and french knot. So now I am an ametuer embroiderer.
  2. I fell in love with epoxy resin which is so BAD because im a greeny. I have guilt but oh my god I love epoxy resin. Its so shiny and glasssy! Sparkly! mmmmm
  3. I fell even more in love with sculpeys. So add ametuer sculpeyer to the list.
  4. I found a use for the 3 millions beads I have laying around that I bought during a "beading" phase.
  5. I actually felt clever at designing something from scratch which is much needed after my sewing machines gave me so much grief and wont sew my bags. (the nagging need for an industrial machine arises yet again)
  6. oh and we only had to pay for one stall even though we had booked 2. Bonus!!!

This list was put here as a reminder to myself that you can find positives most things. It also made me forget the negatives about the market and see how funny it all was.

  1. I parked on a beer bottle which smashed under my tyres.
  2. The lid came off of my emergengy glue bottle and spilt over many cupcakes(all ruined) and some bags and other stuff.
  3. A soap lady had a stall next to us and the only person who came back to buy a cupcake said she couldnt because it was s scented and her mum was allergic...... *glares at the soap stall*
  4. police could be located in 3 separate locations and this was a primary school!
  5. Finally, too funny to be real. on our way home and up the road from the school, a young man in a beaten up car was pulled over and being fined by 2 policemen on horseback. I would have loved to have seen that chase!!!

And then finally some questions I ask so that in future my life isnt so chaotic when under pressure.

  1. How do creative people manage to run a household, kids , husbands, dogs, cats and all the orher mundane stuff whilst they are in a creative coma which could last for weeks!!
  2. why do we creative people feel dead if we dont create?
  3. why dont other people see how much work goes into handmade things and appreciate it yet whine when their 2 dollar item breaks or poisons their kid?

The questions could go on all day! I do believe I have a house to clean now.

Blog ya later!


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

To Market To Market we went

The Narre Warren Craft Shop was asked to put a stall in at the local School's carnival where they were holding a trash and treasure market. Whilst it was probably not the best setting for our well loved creations, it was good to be represented out in the public and a fair bit of networking was done. I dont think any money was left after visitors had purchased thier showbags and temporary tattoos. I might reconsider if asked to attend next time.......

I took some fabbo pics though.

JS is a very skilled Teddy Bear maker and these guys are awesome. I love love love her Little ones. I love them all!!

JU is a textile artist and she brought along some skeins of hand spun and hand dyed wool.

and she whipped up some coin purses

And these are my little pin cushions. Totally FAT FREE!!!. I figured that my bags, which is my real business, wouldnt sell and I was right. Perhaps if I screen print some skulls on them next time???

The following pics have nothing to do with the Narre Warren Craft shop. These are pics of the finished rocking horses that the members of the woodworking club I am in have finished. As a tradition we line them all up on Cup weekend. I think a few were scratched though because I am sure there were more. I am awestruck when I see how clever these guys are. Well ahem, most of the makers of these rocking horses are ladies so I use the term guys loosely. I cant help but show them off. I just reckon they're awesome.

So what next?

Well. I volunteer now at a historical site locally 2 days a week until about Christmas. They needed some help and I needed to keep my skills in use so it was a win win thing.

I aim to have my line of environmentally healthy, polypropylene free grocery bags available on my website by the 1st of February 2008 but I desperately need an industrial machine.

I am also working on guides and jigs to start banging out my new and reclaimed wood range of craft handles for all of you crafty bag makers out there. I might bang out a few embroidery cotton reels too. Hmmmm , I better dust off the lathe and the router eh? Move over Mrs Sewing machine, the noisy toys are comin out!!
Im hoping to keep that part of my craft as reclaimed as possible though so it always depends on availability.
Before I do all of this i need to build a room under the carport for woodworking only because I found, to my surprise, sanding and cutting wood in the same shed you sew in is STUPID!!!! Its like confetti. You just keep finding the sawdust in everything. Thank goodness I store stuff in tubs.

Between now and Christmas its a mad dash for cash for xmas. With 4 kids and 1 income ( yes yes, one day I will contribute) it gets really tight and I KNOW alot of people out there can relate to this. So I guess my Xmas list in on my list of things to do.
Time to make that List
Blog ya later


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Boxes of beautiful bounty for premmy babies.

With boxes filled to the brim, feeling very pleased and excited, Phyllis set off to hand over the booties, bonnets, cardigans, pants and many other assorted pieces that the generous woman of the Narre Warren Craft Shoppe had knitted,sewed and crocheted for the premmies. The garments were exsquisitley handmade with love and kindness as is everything these women make for charities and they are on thier way to the Monash Hospital to be given to families with premature babies. The clothes are so tiny. I wasnt a part of this venture as my skills are somewhat lacking in the garment department but I had to write about it with pride to mark the day. I was lucky enough to snag some pictures of the women making garments for one of the other charities. I was, however, too late to snap piccies of the boxes of tiny brand new hand made babies cloths but I did get to see them quickly before Phyll whisked them away and they were absolutely adorable!

If you live locally and love handmade, come and support the girls at the Narre Warren Craft Shoppe in Malcom St Narre Warren.

There is an enourmous range of hand knitted babies outfits as well as other beautiful hand made giftware. Yeah, I know, I go on and on about it, but with good reason. Its places like these that ensure the continuation of the art of craft. You cant buy this kind of community spirit or the atmoshpere created when a group of women are engaged in crafting and sharing their knowledge and skills. Where ever a group like this exists, whether in my town or yours, I want to support it, visit it and embrace it. Anyhow, arn't they marvelous? Good on ya girls!! Good on all the folks that do this kind of stuff!

Oh and totally unrelated,and all about me, its only 8 more sleeps till my first stall!!! Dont know whether to be stressed or excited at this point. Its like " oh my god, will people like my stuff?" Yes yes, everyone who has does the markets knows how I am feeling. But this is all about me remember? A voice in my head is saying " For goodness sakes, go get a real job" And i can often be heard answering that voice in my head out loud with " No, this is my job, shut up"

Last but not least. A big wave to my absolutely fabulous textile arteest friend Jan who occassionally spies on my blog and points out my spelling errors .I say to her, less time critiquing my spelling and more time being arty farty please. Chop chop dahling, 8 sleeps to go!!!!!


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