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.!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Storage....does it make you get excited too?

No I didn't get this shed but I dream about it often. I am in love with the American barn. Put in some colonial windows along the length and make at least one door double swings and I'm in heaven........
OK I'm awake now, back to reality......mmmm over sized and ornate chandeliers as lighting.......oops sorry I keep slipping back,
I fit some more drawers into my studio/shed that I purchased from the Op(Thrift) shop today and have 9 new drawers made me giddy with excitement. I wonder if any one else reacts this way to new storage space?
I know I am probably completely bonkers but I don't dream of new houses, I dream of new sheds. Big sheds!

I have been making space for a new cutting table so I can bang out a few hundred bags. I finally finished at 10pm and of course had to blog about my excitement. Jobs done. Cutting table slotted in. Big sleep now. Orders to post tomorrow then cut cut cut cut cut cut cut...... you get the picture.

Cheers and good night:)

Melanie

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Good question

In my last post I was asked "What do you make?"
I make "real" green bags. Grocery bags that can be thrown in your compost, reused as rags or weed mat as opposed to landfill being the only option. I also make bags out of materials that were brand new or used that were destined for landfill such as banners, yacht sails and fabrics.
Basically I make Tote bags. My blog a good look into how an unmotivated(lazy), uneducated but totally convinced she can do it married mum of 4 can or cant do this at home.
Alas, I got sidetracked along the way and became a reseller of various wares and my other goal of using discarded wood to make bag handles has been delayed due to lack of work space for the machinery required.
I also make froofy frilly crafty stuff for The homestead which is more of a hobby.
Due to lack of space, cash flow, family distractions in my workspace and the slow acquisition of all of the machinery, I was making more money reselling than any of my creative endeavours.
My business is evolving after the struggle to begin and has found a way to function with all of the above distractions. Space and safety is my biggest issue. My woodworking equipment is unsafe to leave out with children around and is too heavy and cumbersome to drag out on a regular basis. Once I forgot to put it away and although it was undercover the rain blew in so far and hard I lost a drop saw,mouse sander, and an orbital sander all in one hit. These are small cheap replaceable items so I was annoyed but relieved that I learned not to set up my big woodwork gear in that spot.
Anyhow I am rambling.
The shop buttons to the left are inactive at present and there is a little note above them saying this but it is very faded and may be overlooked.
With all of that said.
I actually do have stock now FINALLY and am in the process of listing:) Hence the website I am working on and the constantly rearranging blog.
Thanks for asking that question.
It is now 7:12am. Time to wake the sleepy heads for school!
Cheers
Melanie

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Coming soon!





I started this at lunch time and before I knew it school was out and I had lost 3 hours. Completely immersed and totally lost in the world of website stuff. So far to go, but started at last:)

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Custard Cupcakes

Ingredients

4oz butter
1/4 cup of caster sugar
1/4 cup of custard powder
2 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup of low fat milk
2 cups self raising flour

Chuck everything in a bowl and mix
spoon into patty pans
cook in a moderately hot (about 180ºC or less if fan forced) oven 10 to 15 minutes
Top with favourite frosting

This recipe is a more crispy flaky texture. Melt in your mouth. Modify it yourself and let me know how you have improved it.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday was...

a day of reflection as I walked around the grounds of The Old Cheese factory on my break

and a moment of pondering as I realized dreams coming to fruition

and rewards for hard work completed.

mmmmm new yarn for a new scarf. Yes, its time to think about all of the cool new scarves I can wear this coming winter.
Have a fab weekend!
Melanie

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

I love delivery men

Delivery people aren't like the posty. Nope, delivery men bring you good stuff like eBay winnings, pressies from overseas relatives and supplies. Not bills like the Posty brings. Or letters from Malaysia asking if I could give my bank account details to a guy and he would deposit 45million US dollars..yeah right. Now I am getting spam in my real letter box.

Today my delivery guy brought me boxes of supplies and stock. Now then, if only I could remember the password to my own website maybe I could list some of these beauties. Mmmmmm bamboo embellishments. I wonder if they will even make it to the stock pile. They're so gorgeous that they might not make it past my stash.

a box of glue for me.

Doesnt that make your creative bone go all tingly?(and I dont mean from sniffing it guys)

I am back in my element now and after a chat to my daughter about invading work space we have come to an arrangement and the house is filled with love again. for now...

OH and in a week I have shed 2 kilos so I am super chuffed about that. Still tired and a bit cranky from sugar withdrawals but I am working towards the day I can knit myself a gorgeous jumper and wear it or sew an awesome top with some of the cool fabric I stumble on when I am looking for suppliers. Roigth! Back to work I go.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I dont want to sound horrible BUT .....

This is a reoccurring problem at the nunde household and I don't know if I am awful for saying out loud or am I saying what other people want to say but cant? My kids really give me the I$#@ when they have too much spare time and hang around home all day where I work...

I have been trying to make bags all week. I brought in my machine because of the heat so I am set up in the lounge and although the weather cooled down I just don't feel like returning to the shed. 2 days my daughter gets home from school at 12pm and one day she has off...... I love her more than sausages but I will go mental if I have to endure another day of her lounging around in my workspace watching the massive TV that costs more than my wages to run. I hate TV when I am working. I get too distracted. And of course with a teenager sitting in the same room I get distracted with the overwhelming urge to catch up on nagging, lecturing and general mothering that I feel she is missing out on because at night when I have finished work, she is at her boyfriends....... You with me so far. I am truly at "that age" arn't I? Intolerant, grouchy and possibly senile.

Anyhow. I have been desperately trying to sew bags for this Saturday. Grocery totes that I have called Slim nundes because they re thinner versions of my Fat nundes. Plus my number 1 son is returning home next week to do some serious lounging no doubt.......
I adore my kids and this is one of the downsides to working from home. I found them all far less distracting as toddlers and accomplished far more. I am now also in the process of moving my fabric out of my sons room...... a wise person (Elsie) did tell me that I might want to hold off on filling his room up because they do come back....
Just in case my awesome most brilliant kids do ever see this, I love you all more than a truck load of Tim Tams. Mummy is just blogging about you...oops sorry <3

And so that is yet another look into the world of working from home.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I couldnt have Youtubed it better myself! Totes are Hot

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Sweet Job

1 hour of training to make real coffee

The rest of the day kicking back drinking coffee.
Now it's back to reality. Preparing to sell stuff to make room. How many times do we hear ourselves saying that only to make room then fill it with more beads or fabric or yarn or whatever it is that takes your fancy? I know many of you do it too. We have NO CONTROL girls!!!!!!!
Have a great weekend whatever time zone you are in!
Cheers
Melanie

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Stacks

Ready to stock my store in November for Christmassy crafts

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Irish apple cake

Irish Apple Cake

A recipe sent to me from Elsie

I have copied the recipe and tips exactly as it was sent to me. Thanks Elsie!

IRISH APPLE CAKE.
Take three cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped into dice. (4 if they're small)
125 grams of butter or marg. also chopped into dice.
125 " sugar
225 " SR flour
1 egg, beaten.
About 250 mls of milk.Don't bother to rub in the butter, just mix the whole lot together with enough of the milk to make a sticky sort of dough and spread it into a cake tin about 28cms x 19cms and about 5cms deep. It'll be lumpy but that doesn't matter.
Sprinkle the top with sugar & cinnamon.
Bake at 180c for about 35 mins (maybe a little longer) until it's golden on top and springs back to the touch.
Test with a cake skewer if you like.A friend, to whom I gave the recipe, spreads the top with lemon icing.
I like it because I can chuck it together with my eyes shut in about 10 minutes and it always goes over well.
Great when unexpected visitors come and stay for tea.

Modified Version for the chubbies among us(thats me, definately not Elsie and her husband, not an ounce of fat on them, dont you just hate that some people can eat cake and never get fat.....)
Ingredients
3 - 4 apples peeled and cubed
60 grams butter cubed
60 grams sugar
1 egg
250 mls lite milk
Follow same directions as Elsie's above.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We have a sign and everything

So that makes us official right?


Barista
Part of Speech: n
Definition: a preparer / server in a coffee bar
I went for training today, however, after 4 hours of waiting for the trainer I am still only skilled in making instant coffee. He didnt show up...

Now I am going to walk up to my friend Joyce' s house and see if she wants to do lunch next Thursday and I will take her there.
Cheers!
Melanie

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Emergency Needle Threader

See these? I go through so many. May be I make them work too much by forcing fat thread through small needles, I don't know but I was really stuck one day and I know you clever chicks probably knew this already but for a moment there I felt like a genius when I discovered.......

.......Fishing line!

It just hasn't broken yet and if I lose it I get more from Mister nundes supply (un fished with of course) and if it does break I tie it in a knot and there is still tonnes left.

The beads are not really there to make it look beautiful, but to make it visible for us chicks who wear multifocals but keep forgetting to put them on. I'm never buying a wire needle threader again. Future emergencies averted. I have so much embroidery to do. Mainly colonial knots. Lots and lots of knots!
Cheers
Melanie

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Nothing Much Monday

I used to brag to people about how I never water my garden and it always looks so green and lush and then mother nature decided to smack me upside the face with humble pie and sunburn everything. So I looked at this today, thinking I could do something to make it look healthy, shrugged my shoulders and went inside to make a mess elsewhere.

So in a fit of boredom after the house was clean( Id be cleaning since 6am) I decided to pile more junk on my coffee table. Pretty soon you wont even see the TV.

This project is a simple one, sort, package, sell. I wonder if its still there next week. Don't be coming round for coffee any time soon OK, or to watch TV.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Awards for me?

The very lovely and artistic Ooty gave me these awards. I am honoured and very happy that I have made such lovely friends far and wide.



So to pass the love around I am passing on a "Your blog is fabulous" award to

5 Orange Potatoes

Homemade Rainbows

The Birds and The Beads

Lucy Bowler

Miss Muggins

Baino's Banter

Ching Ya's

because each are different, unique and enjoyable to read. Thank you guys!

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hi everyone

Today was the debut of The Homesteads Cafe being open for trade.

It fell on the same date of the Casey Kids Carnival.

The rain made The Homestead a refuge for many rain soaked patrons and the coffee machine worked overtime. We got pro coffee makers in today because we haven't had training yet and the machine was put in at the last minute as is usual when you have deadlines.

If only I took my brolly today.

Very few pictures for fear of my camera getting rained on and it was so busy inside.

The event was called by about 11am due to the weather which was extremely sad for the stall holders and entertainers who worked so hard.

Anyhow enough about that. When I get some of my stuff in there I will let you know and then there will be show and tell and you can go "Oooooh and Ahhhhh" and flatter me senseless....... ......bit much you think? OK fine, Ill settle for a compliment on my coffee making skills:)

And last but not least, I am spinning top Queen baby! Hi to all the Woodies *wave*

Cheers

Melanie

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Yesterday

...It Rained

...I jumped on a trained and headed to the royal showgrounds for the Stitches and Craft show


I took pictures with my Nokia95. It was too rainy to take my Nikon and I had to struggle to make myself leave it behind.


And best of all I met some fellow bloggers who had stands at the show in the bloggers section.
I met Tinniegirl and Ric Rac. They were awesome and didn't mind having a chat with me when I approached them like an excited fan. I was like, "oh hi, you're on my blog roll" like such a dork .

Afterwards Kevin Rudd paid for the family to go to the Hogsbreath Cafe to spend a lot of money on something that tasted like I cooked it. (Actually, it was far less impressive than my cooking)
The chicken nuggets for master nunde were cheap frozen "not much chicken content" like the no name ones from grocery stores and the mushroom sauce on my very expensive steak was out of a can. Mister nundes steak was covered in a sauce straight from a bottle and presented as if a gourmet chef created the sauce and with the price tag. He felt sick later of course. There are much posher restaurants you can go to and get a better feed for $150 but we were lured in by the commercial and we don't go out EVER so we figured Kevin Rudd wouldn't mind if we splashed some cash.
In Summary
The rain was ace
The craft show was good
Meeting some bloggers was specially ace
Melbourne was awesome as usual
The Hogsbreath Cafe was a waste of Kevin Rudds money and tasted like crap.
I'm off to the Homestead today. Have a fantastic Friday!

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Casey Kids Carnival

Date of Event: Saturday, 14 March 2009 Add this to my calendar

Venue:Old Cheese Factory34 Homestead Road, Berwick 3806 (Melways Ref 131 A2)
Time:10:00am - 4:00pm
Cost:The Casey Kids Carnival is a FREE event celebrating children and young people.
Contact:City of Casey 9705 5200For more information visit www.casey.vic.gov.au/caseykidscarnival
With lots of FREE rides, activities and entertainment to enjoy, this great community event is a time for families to get together and have some fun.
This year's line-up is expected to be the best ever with more stallholders, entertainment, activities to participate in, and a second stage featuring amazing performances from community groups

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Trash talk on kids school lunch packaging

I am putting together a comprehensive report(?) on the waste created from kids school lunches and whilst it is common knowledge about the garbage we send to schools in the form of packaging or non recyclable containers,
it is the garbage free lunches I am interested in.
What are you using that is low impact on our resources and doesn't hang around for 1000 years once we are done with it ie: those cutesy bags with Velcro and silver refrigerated lining made by various companies. They re only "green" for as long as you use them and I seem to see new ones at the start of every year in kids school bags. So add up the cost to the environment after little Jonny is sick of his Cars lunch bag with the cool drink holder and wants to move on to batman. Yeah, they look lovely as landfill for a few 100 years, right?
Hey I use one too for master nunde so I am GUILTY but want to change.
What do you do that is a "real" green choice.?
Email me or comment with your views or knowledge that you want to pass on. Whether I agree or not, what you have to say is important to me.
Cheers everyone.
Have a great week and enjoy the cooler weather fellow Victorians.

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Froofy Friday

Look at the mess I am making to make something that is probably only 3cm x 3cm.

Sorry, you cant come around for a coffee this week. There is no where for you to sit.



Once I get it in my head to make a froofy item or anything really I get blinders on and get right into it. Are you the same? I don't mean about froofy stuff because I know not every one likes froo froo. But do you get an idea in your head and trash a room in your house or your work area until its completion?

Oh and look at me recycling packaging from the homestead. Polystyrene sheets are perfect for painting small items on that can be propped with a tooth pick. Thanks to the clever people who suggested this to me. Clever clever girls!

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ninja Plant Snatching

2 palmy type plants have been thrown over the back of some ones fence because they are nearly dead but I see they still have healthy centre shoot. Both 3 foot tall. What a jerk, did he think with his house backing along a busy bike track no one would notice, especially when his healthy ones of the same variety are still poking over the fence...


My mission
To take to Garbage bags with me tonight and stuff them in the bag and run home unseen ninja style....2.2 Klms
Stay tuned
UPDATE
Mission Accomplished!
Um, what are they???

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Seriously fun



I rode my bike to get some where for the first time.
Awesome!

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Tow Trucks and Push bikes

Waiting for the tow truck

The week unfolded as I expected. A second hand transmission will cost $3000.00
My car has only done 42000 Klms and there is a lesson in this. If I had have driven 150 000 klms with in the 5 yr warranty the transmission service at 90k would have shown a faulty transmission and I would have been covered under warranty.

KIA are cheap. Do your research before you buy one. I'm not going to sit and bag a car you might already own because that is mean but for people about to buy one, Google KIA known faults, problems etc, Google anything on KIA and you will see what I found out too late.

So until I come up with the money I have to think of other options. Walking? Well that's what got me into this mess in the first place. If I had have driven everywhere I would be getting a free tranny right now....
I could hitch a ride with Joyce. She drives an electric scooter as many 84 year olds do so I could park my arse on the back of it and we could mono all the way to Fountain Gate.
Or I have 3 dogs now so a sled is an option. If I hang a bag of chicken wing tips from a stick in front I know my dog Pig will be motivated enough to transport the weight of the entire family to the fish and chip shop and back..


Or... I could get off my big backside and do something about it instead of choosing the stress coma I have been in and self medicating myself with 5 kilos of cadbury Creme Brule.

The bike is where the car used to be. I had a practice run on it after I washed it and sprayed it with Raid then washed it again. I am a bit nervy because my feet don't touch the ground when I sit on the seat and I cant lower it any more.
So if you see me riding along on my pushbike honey....... don't honk or laugh or jeer at the little bit a lot overweight lady who looks like she is about to inhale a bike through her backside,because just remember....I can karate chop bees.

Catch ya later guys
Have a fab day and Ill be back soon with some real nunde stuff like actual nunde work or nunde creations ...

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