Monday, 31 May 2010

SOLA Power

It’s Queensland Week and to celebrate Brisbane City Council has taken the initiative to conduct Saviours of the Lost Arts (SOLA), a series of talks, demonstrations and hands-on sessions about arts, crafts and social enterprise.

Helen of Ruby2GoGo in her usual super efficient fashion was the main force behind BrisStyle’s participation in the event and several BrisStylers conducted workshops and talks over the period.

Today it was BrisStyle’s turn to strut their stuff at the Bleeding Heart Gallery.

We were very ably represented by Bec of BeckyBean ...

... and Trish of Trishalan Designs who did us proud selling BrisStyle to the masses and fielding questions from a most appreciative audience.

After the information session, Trish had some of the participants creating beautiful braids.  She is a wonderful teacher and you could feel the enthusiasm in the room.

It's uplifting to know that arts and craft, once considered an endangered species, is being kept alive and thriving by a vibrant and forward-thinking group of committed artisans.

Tomorrow the Lost Arts Craft Fair will take place at King George Square and it will be a perfect opportunity to meet some of our brilliant designers. So if you will be in Brisbane, please do yourself a favour and visit the fair – you won’t be disappointed.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Watch the Birdie

Sometimes I get the feeling that birds are taking over the world, or at least our back yard.  Take last Monday for instance. 

The gardener (AKA Mr Fudge) was mowing the lawn and over the racket of the mower I heard the most beautiful birdsong.  It was a cheeky butcher bird who fallen in madly love with the lawn mower and was joining in the chorus.

He poured his soul into his song.

I simply sat back and enjoyed the show.

Last week a regular caller to my window came a-visiting, showing off his latest tango step.

The next day the weather turned decidedly nasty - well, it's mid autumn and it had to happen sooner or later.  The wood pigeon had very wisely decided to give up his tanto efforts and brought along his good lady to help keep him warm.

The kookaburra who regularly shares the wall with them couldn't see the need for all that feather fluffing - I guess like humans some birds feel the cold more than others.  I fall into the wood pigeon section.

Now, this is all wonderful, but it's causing a problem.  How can I be expected to sew at my machine when all this is going on just outside my window? 

It's a little over a week to go for the BrisStyle Indie Designers Market and I really need to get cracking.
These three new dresses are ready for the market and I'm currently working on something new which I hope will prove eye-catching.  It's shaping up to being the biggest BrisStyle market to date, with over 70 vendors showing off their beautifully hand-crafted wares.  There will be something for everyone, from jewellery, fashion, soft toys, art works, children's clothing, accessories, handbags ... the list goes on.  You can see all the participants here

One returning BrisStyler who will be welcomed back with open arms is Sophie of Strat Designs.  I know I have several friends who will be getting to the market early on Saturday 5 June to pick up some of her delicious pieces.  There are so many talented BrisStylers and if you are planning to come to the market, the best strategy would be to get there early and bring your wallet - you will be overwhelmed with tempting choices.  I'll highlight some of other participants next week.

Ah, if only I can resist the charms of my beautiful feathered friends, I may finish the pile of market projects waiting to be completed.

I'm reminded of the saying of a wily old politician back in the Seventies who took on an arrogant political foe and lost: "Roosters today, feather dusters tomorrow." 

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Christchurch Shadows

The weather has been so unpredictable over the past week and as a consequence I have had to rely on some images from our recent trip to New Zealand for this week's Shadow Shot Sunday.

Please visit Hey Harriet for some wonderful shadow shots.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Media Tart

I am a little excited.  It's been extremely difficult keeping this bit of exciting news limited to my family and friends, but today Brisbane's newspaper the Courier Mail published an article featuring two of my dresses.

If you are wondering about some of the models in the main picture, apart from the professional model in the long gown, they are the dress designers wearing their own labels.  Thank goodness they didn't ask me to do that!

None of this would have occurred if it hadn't been for the kind recommendation on BrisStyler Bec of Becky Bean, so thank you so much Bec for your helping hand in this venture. 

These dresses will be on sale at our BrisStyle Indie Designers Market to be held on 5 June at St Augustines Hall and Grounds, Racecourse Road, Hamilton between 9.00am and 2.00pm.  Please come by and say hello.  It's the biggest market BrisStyle have launched and promises to be a huge success.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

One Perfect Day

When Brisbane turns on one of its beautiful May days, there's nowhere else on earth. We had one of those days yesterday when  Jems Quilt Sitters held their monthly gathering  at the home of one of the members, as our usual meeting hall was unavailable.

What a difference a year makes.  Last year when I attended the meeting I was cut off by floods and it took ages to get home.  You can see some pictures here.  However, not a cloud was on the horizon to mar our day yesterday.  We gathered outside, as it was too beautiful to waste indoors.

After a heart-starting cup of freshly brewed coffee and a slice of non-fattening cake (you have to think positive), it was time for show and tell.  Sadly, I can't let you see the challenge quilts which were brought out to be admired, as they are for our eyes only until our exhibition on 10-11 July.

However, these girls are truly prolific and there were many other quilts brought along for all to admire and/or critique.

One Quilt  Sitter, Muffin, is making an heirloom quilt for each of her four granddaughters using Liberty fabrics in each quilt.  So far she has completed two hexagon quilts ...

... and she is a fair way into completing a Dear Jane quilt for another of her fortunate granddaughters.  She decided to keep a journal as she worked on this quilt, so for each block she worked on, she jotted down world events, local happenings, random thoughts, a picture of the block being worked on and a snip of Liberty fabric used on that particular block.  What a gift this granddaughter will receive.  Not only will she possess a beautiful heirloom quilt, but she will have her grandmother's hand-written journey to treasure - a piece of history to hand down to future generations. 

Another talented Quilt Sitter is Fiona Wright.  Coming soon is her online fabric store, Fifi's Fabricology

Not for the timid, this store will stock wonderfully bright and colourful fabrics, so if you love all things bright, log on to her website to register and you will be informed as soon as the store is up and running.

We lucky few had a preview of her stock yesterday and I was nearly knocked sideways by the crush around the table.  Quilters are such polite, courteous women until they sniff new fabric within fifty paces. 

Seasoned campaigner that I am, I managed to snaffle these three fat quarters.

I absolutely love them and that bright lime piece in the middle may end up in one of my Hot Fudge dresses in time for the BrisStyle Indie Designers Market on 5 June.

Ah Brisbane - beautiful one day, perfect the next.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

New Zealand Shadows

It's been a couple of weeks since I've participated in Hey Harriet's Shadow Shot Sunday and I have had withdrawal symptoms.  We've been home a little over a week from our wonderful trip to Christchurch in New Zealand, where we shared six delightful days with our daughter and her family.  Our son-in-law was attending a conference, so it was decided since we live in different cities (Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne)  it would be a wonderful opportunity for us to catch up - all four grandparents, parents and three grandchildren. 

This cheerful and talented Maori group entertained us most days with their colourful singing, dancing and, of course, the traditional Haka.  They are my obvious choice for Shadow Shot Sunday.  It was quite cold and my motherly instinct made me want to rush out and smother them with some sensible warm clothing.

The two older grandchildren delighted in frolicking in the mid-autumn leaves and generally discovering all that Christchurch had to offer.
Our granddaughter was intrigued by the old fashioned cash register and equally by the lovely lady who allowed her to operate it.  She was doubly intrigued by the tattooed chin, but was very polite and didn't make any comment.

The New Zealand branch of the family.

Our Little Red Riding Hood pays respect to Christchurch's local heroes...

... while Mr Fudge III pays respect to Grandma's scone.  I must admit it's the first time I've ever had a scone baked in a flower pot - when our son back in Brisbane saw this image he reckoned that it had its own postcode.  Yes, it was steaming hot, fresh out of the oven and light as a feather and yes, I did share it with the little boy with the big blue eyes.  Had it been a fine day, you can only imagine the shadow it would have thrown!

Friday, 14 May 2010

Two dresses and a bird

I finally returned to the sewing machine and finished this knot dress yesterday.

The soft voile was a joy to work with and I love the cool summery colours.  I was about to photograph the dress when this pretty little lorikeet landed in the back yard:


I was amazed at how similar its beautiful feathers were to my dress - serendipity.

One of my dresses is featured in the Etsy Kids A to Z Shopping Guide. 

Take a look for all the best handmade stuff for babies, toddlers, & children.  Pretty Princess - EtsyKids A to Z Shopping Guide - Spring 2010 - All the best handmade stuff for babies, toddlers, & children!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Fairy Floss, Face Paint, Fairies and Fun

It had it all - you had to be there.  Where?  At the BrisStyle Indie Mother and Child Market last Saturday.  We two Fudges returned from a week in New Zealand on Thursday evening (more of that later in the week) which left me one day to complete some skirts and generally prepare for the market on Saturday.  Not ideal, but it's amazing what you can achieve when pushed.

If you haven't experienced May in Brisbane, then you really haven't lived.  Saturday was one of those crisp, sunny days, pure magic. 

This was BrisStyle's first venture into the mother and child end of the market and what a joy it was to be part of the fun.

We had our own fabulous Fairy Queen ...

balloons ...

face painting and fairy floss ...

... and lots of tempting goodies to buy.

 There were colouring-in contests, a sausage sizzle, and so much more to keep the children entertained and the parents happy.

My worst nightmare of fairy-floss fingers all over my clothing did not eventuate and even the face paint stayed on the faces of little (and big!) children where it belonged.

There's our Fairy weaving her magic on some entranced tots ... although Little Miss Red Stripes looks as though she needed some convincing!

And now back to the picture at the top of this post - the final word goes to this little charmer.  Her mother bought this Hot Fudge outfit for her and I am relieved that she loves it.  Isn't she just adorable?

If you missed this wonderful market, then pop this date in your diaries now - Saturday 5 June.  This time it will be the full BrisStyle Indie Designers' Market and it is shaping up to being our biggest and best yet.  Between 9 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to grab creations by some extremely talented designers.  Don't miss out.

For a complete report on the day, visit the BrisStyle official blog.