Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Spring - at last

If you are averse to all things floral, kindly avert your gaze, because Spring is here and today we have been on our annual pilgrimage to David Jones.

This is our sixth Spring Flower visit since our return to Sydney and it never fails to lift the spirits after a long and relatively cold winter.

The David Jones' Piano Man is still there to welcome customers - he is an institution in Sydney and I think it will be the end of civilization when he finally retires.

There were guided tours for the garden enthusiasts...

... but we decided to take it all in at our own pace.

We were not the only happy snappers; it was at times like a hazard course trying to keep out of keen photographers' line of vision.

That gentleman looks familiar ...

Ah, it was absolutely wonderful.  Mind you, I'm not sure how many sales are made during the week of the flower display.  Probably it would be a good time for sales staff to take a timely break.

We took a stroll over to the Art Gallery of New South Wales to catch the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes.

While I really liked the Archibald winning entry, a portrait of Barry Humphries by Louise Hearman, it was the realist portrait, Deng, painted by Nick Stathopoulos which I found to be quite compelling.

I also loved this tiny self-portrait by young artist Natasha Walsh.

The Wynne Prize winner, Seven Sisters, is a collaborative by five sisters who live in the remote Aboriginal community of Amata in the far north west of South Australia.  Loved it.

All in all it was quite an eventful day.  Time to sip on a glass or two of wine.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Special Announcement - Sale Alert

Some may call it May madness, but I call it clearing space in my studio to make room for the many quilts in my future, not to mention the ones already lying around begging to be hung.

For several years I have had great joy in creating clothing for children, selling at markets as well as through my Etsy and MadeIt stores.  Throughout that time I have made some lovely friends, have had loyal customers from around the world and watched babies turn into beautiful children, all through my sewing machine.

Goodness, how my little models have grown

Happy snaps sent by customers - they always give me such a buzz.

This has to be my all-time favourite, sent to me by a delightful customer.  Her pet bunny has his own bedroom which is now decorated with a Hot Fudge bunny garland.  True story.

All this is leading up to the fact that I have reduced my children's clothing to HALF PRICE.  I have included everything I have currently in stock, even Christmas clothing (am I too early?).  They are only available in the sizes quoted and I'm afraid I will not be making custom orders.

So if you see something you like, even if it's out of season, I'd advise you to snap it up, because there will not be any more after they are sold.

Of course if you are in desperate need of garlands and bunting, I will be around for some time yet!

Thursday, 7 April 2016


Seasons change and so do life's circumstances.  It's advisable from time to time to sit back and consider what is really important - sometimes the answer comes as quite a surprise.

I created Hot Fudge back in 2008 and opened my Etsy shop shortly after.  At the time we were living in Brisbane and a group of local Etsy sellers, about 16 in all, got together over coffee and cake.  It was such a success that it was unanimously decided that we should form a local group of Etsy sellers and thus BrisStyle was born.

We took a few baby steps towards organising a market to test the waters, and the rest is history.  BrisStyle is now a household name in Brisbane and the Twilight Market at King George Square is the place to be.  I am so proud to have been there at that first gathering and to see how far it has advanced.

Meanwhile, my Etsy and Madeit stores expanded and along with my stall at the BrisStyle markets, I was quite contented with the way my little business was growing.  I never wanted the it to become so big that I would have had to employ outside help, so I deliberately kept it manageable.

In 2011, after nearly 21 years in Brisbane (plus a four year period in the early 1980s), we decided to return to our hometown, Sydney.  The time was right, as the bulk of our family and our old friends were there and we were not getting any younger.  It meant leaving behind our son and his family which was a terrible wrench and it did take some soul-searching.  We were also leaving behind those loyal Brisbane friends who had stood by us through particularly difficult times.

It's now going on five years since that move and we are happy and contented with our decision.  Our lives are full of family and old friends and we are constantly grateful to have reached this stage of our lives.

And now to that detour.  Over the past few months a little voice has been whispering to me, advising me to slow down and make some changes in my life. I had just turned some ridiculous age and I made a mental list of what was important to me and what I wanted to achieve in 2016.  It was a no-brainer - family always comes first, closely followed by friends. One branch of the family is going through a stressful time, while a dear friend in Tasmania is seriously ill, and this has led us to do some travelling over the past month.

There will be more trips ahead which means I cannot devote as much time as I would need to keep my children's clothing business up to speed.  That little voice was also telling me how much I missed the time I used to have quilting, so I have undertaken two quilting projects which should (ha ha!) be complete by the end of the year.

 As a result, I have decided to cease the clothing side of my business and concentrate on the things that need to be done on a personal level.  However, I am continuing Hot Fudge, making designer garlands and bunting.  They are popular seasonal items, particularly around Christmas and Easter, and with a nod to Matisse with his cutouts, I have to continue doing something creative.

I have removed all made-to-order items from my Etsy store and am in the process of adjusting my Madeit site.  All that I have left in the way of children's clothing is what I have in stock. Here's an opportunity to take a look and if you see something that you like and it is in the right size, please grab it, even if it is for next Christmas (eek!), because once they are gone, they are gone, I'm afraid.

Are you still there?  So sorry for the lengthy post, but it's not the sort of decision I make every day.

Thank you so much for your support over the years and don't forget, if you need garlands in your life, you know where I am.

Oh, and a big thank you to those wonderful photographers and their models, particularly Sara of Boutique Baby Photography and her two gorgeous little girls, Lyric and Kay. You are so talented and you brought my clothes to life.


Sunday, 17 January 2016

Sew Your Stash

Happy New Year, albeit a little late.

One of the websites I follow is Pattern Revolution which is devoted to all things sewing.  They commenced 2016 with a challenge to Sew Your Stash which involved sewing a garment using fabric from your stash and a pattern you had purchased but never used.  It was as if Lord Kitchener was pointing his finger right at me and I had to enlist.

I rummaged through my fabric stash and came across these two fabrics which I had been keeping aside for goodness knows what.  I bought them from a lovely fabric store owner who visited our quilting group some time last year.  There were two half metre pieces of the floral fabric and one half metre of the spots.  They were all she had brought with her in these designs, so I grabbed them quickly.  The overalls jumper pattern had been on my list of must-make items for a little while and somehow the two seemed to be made for each other.  It's fairly sturdy fabric, despite the delicateness of the design, so it was ideal for the project in hand.

This is my version of the overalls - I must admit I was pretty happy with the result. The pattern is packed full of detailed sewing, so it was not something that I could whip up in half an hour. Let's begin with the pockets.

It's hard to miss the one at the front.

There are also two handy ones at the back.

Not to mention the side pockets.

I love the back view.

All the seams are top stitched.

And it looks great with a blouse, tee or knit.

All in all I feel happy with the result and it was the perfect start to the new sewing year.  I made a size 4 and sadly my youngest grandchild is 6, but even if he was 4, I doubt he would be too keen to wear it.  So I'll put it up for sale and if it generates enough interest, I can source some more of the two fabrics and will make it to order.

Next on the list is a sweet dress for Valentine's Day, or any day really.  It's good to be sewing again.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Closed for Christmas and the New Year

Images: Boutique Baby Photography
Oh no - you're a little late.

Hot Fudge has closed for the Christmas/New Year break.

Oh my, I can see something I REALLY want!

I could just cry.

But all is not lost.

Hot Fudge will re-open mid-January 2016 and you can buy my dress for your own little princess.

So have a very happy Christmas and I'll see you in the New Year.