Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Picture this ...

BrisStyle organised a photographic tips session on Saturday morning conducted by Melanie of Kimono Reincarnate.  Mel has a background in photo journalism and she is a natural teacher.  I was there with my trusty little notebook and a cup of very strong coffee.

It was a most enlightening morning as we discovered all the tricks of the trade to help enhance the images in our Etsy shops. 

Places were limited for Saturday's session, but Mel has very generously posted some information on her blog, so there's not need to feel neglected.

Thank you Mel.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Here's to Pinky Benson

Way back in 1964 there was a movie called What a Way to Go starring Shirley MacLaine (ask your grandparents - they'll remember it).  It was a black comedy with an all-star cast.  My favourite character in the movie was Pinky Benson played by Gene Kelly.

The plot is too long, so you'll have to take my word that he married Shirley MacLaine, rose from a nobody to a matinee idol, and had a fetish for pink.  He came to an untimely end - trampled to death by a mob of rabid fans.  Very funny.  Well, it was back in 1964.

BrisStyle also has a fetish for pink and early next month the BrisStyle Indie Mother and Child Market hits town in spectacular fashion on Saturday 9 October.  Racecourse Road at Hamilton will become a sea of pinkness, with pink balloons, yarn bombed trees and a myriad of festivities to support the Mater Hospital's "chicks in pink" charity to raise awareness for breast cancer.

Here are a few of the stall holders who will be there to delight you:

I've completed a couple of cute little tunic dresses which will be on sale at the market.  Don't forget that all purchasers of Hot Fudge goodies will receive some of my Hot Fudge Choc Fudge - how could you resist?

So here's to Pinky Benson.  Pity he will miss our market - he would have been in his element.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Food for Thought

It's only two and a half weeks to the BrisStyle Mother and Child Market and once again panic sets in.  So much fabric - so little time. 

Apart from my usual clothing and accessories, I will have my world famous Hot Fudge Choc Fudge all packaged up to give away with every sale.  Grown men have wept, so don't miss out!  If I can raise the sugar levels of every child at the market, then my work will be done.

There will be so much to experience at the market - lots of dancing and singing, fabulous music , face painting, colouring-in contests, sausage sizzle, and much, much more. 

We are supporting the Mater Hospital's charity Chicks in Pink and their team will be on site to help raise awareness for breast cancer.  The whole site will be a sea of pink, with pink balloons, yarn bombed trees and many other surprises.

Did I mention the pink fairy?

She will be there handing out balloons, waving her magic wand and generally enchanting the little children.  See you at St Augustine's Grounds and Hall, Racecourse, Hamilton between 9.00am and 2.00pm.

Speaking of food, my brother sent me this item by columnist Richard Glover of the Sydney Morning Herald.  The newspaper's foodie bible, The Good Food Guide is just out and here is Richard's contribution. 

The Good Food Guide is out and so is this column’s alternative guide, the So-So Food Guide, a compendium of the places at which most of us eat. Perhaps you have supped at some of the places featured this year.

The Royal Arms Hotel Chicken Kiev: If you want to know the secret of this operation, you need look no further than the chest freezer centrally located in the breezeway between the men’s lavvy and the hotel laundry. In here, you will find all manner of produce, suspended in a frost-induced slumber, awaiting the awakening touch of the hotel’s microwave. A barman shouts heartily through the open door of the kitchen — ‘‘three chicken kievs, please’’ — and, with that, Gina extinguishes her cigarette and springs into action, padding out into the breezeway, deftly swinging open the lid and peering into the stygian gloom. Disaster stalks every professional chef and Gina is no different. There’s always a chance that, in the dark, her hand will settle on a frozen chicken parmigiana or even an ice-encrusted salt and pepper squid. But not this time. Three kievs are located, stripped of their plastic coating, placed into the microwave, and emerge just minutes later, a curlicue of steam rising elegantly from each. Served with a schooner of icy cold ale, the meal is as perfect as can be reasonably expected at the Royal Arms.

The Central Bowling Club All-You-Can-Eat Buffet: Many three-hat restaurants declare themselves fans of sustainability but few pursue that goal with the ardour of the Central Bowling Club. One large piece of bargain steak can be a roast dinner on Monday, the makings for mongolian beef on Tuesday and — in a startling indication of the chef’s transformative skills — the basis for a sichuan chicken by Wednesday. Feel free to leave some of the chicken on your plate: by the time you return tomorrow it will somehow be part of the apricot crumble.

The Work Canteen: The Slow Food movement is all the rage and food certainly couldn’t get any slower than this. With only three people on staff — including Terry, who has never really been the same since the operation — there’s bound to be a deeply restorative wait for food. Luckily, entertainment is provided while you wait, with a lively banter of blame and recrimination as the staff shout abuse at one another, screeching, ‘‘Who’s got the pepper grinder,’’ and yelling, ‘‘I told you we needed more paper bags.’’ At $6.50 a sandwich, the prices may seem steep for a subsidised canteen but not when you factor in the free show.

That Italian Place: Every night is pasta night at That Italian Place. Chef Sam has been headhunted from his previous establishment, a plumbing supply business in Tempe. He recommends the spaghetti bolognese (for those who like regional flavours), and the spaghetti marinara (for those with a strong constitution).

Bon appetit!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Giraffes and Birds

After a couple of days away from the sewing machine, I took a brave, deep breath and cut into some of my delicious new fabric.

I fell in love with these cute giraffes and decided to make a pair or shortalls.  I won't even mention the slight disagreement my index finger had with a sewing machine needle.

They're suitable for a boy or girl ...

... and the leg cuffs can be buttoned up or down.  They will be available for sale in my Etsy shop and at the BrisStyle Mother and Child Market on 9 October.

Today a noisy miner joined the crested pigeon in attacking my window.  At least he had the decency to wait until a civilised hour - the crazy pigeon started at 6.00am.
Does this make me a chick magnet? 

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Kamikaze Pigeon

I have a crested pigeon loving couple (sometimes a little too loving) who like to sit on the wall outside my window as I work.  They keep me company through all seasons and all weather.

Up until this Spring they have behaved as I imagine crested pigeons should behave, but something has changed.  The usually sensible and responsible male has maybe found an illegal crop of seeds to chew on, because he spends ALL DAY crashing into my window.  I mean ALL DAY.

Mr Fudge and I are quite concerned, as we fear he may harm himself or knock every feather off his body.  At first we assumed that he was attacking his reflection in the window, but he launches himself at it no matter if it's sunny or overcast, and to be honest, the window is in serious need of cleaning, so I doubt there's much reflection at the best of times.

Perhaps Mrs Pigeon has taken to him with the Silly Stick.  Whatever it is, he sure is seeing stars by the end of the day.

Or perhaps he's caught sight of my new fabric lying seductively close to the window and wants to impress Mrs P with a new Hot Fudge outfit.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

... Perfect the Next

True to its word, Brisbane turned on the most beautiful Spring morning on Saturday.  The birds were singing, the sun was shining and the crowds came out for a day of fun at the BrisStyle Indie Designers' Market.

There was music ...

wood-fired pizzas...

... and lots of lovely people out to enjoy the early Spring weather.

Inside the hall we set up our stalls full of tempting goodies.

My next-door neighbour was Catherine of Made by Maisie.

Opposite me was Holly of Pannikin with her delightful badges, cards, etc.

The crowds obviously liked what they saw.

Outside the sun kept shining and the people kept coming.

These gorgeous bracelets by Sophie of Strat Designs were good enough to eat.
The canopy of Sophie's stall threw this dainty shadow of the Poinciana tree overhead.  What a beautiful day it was.
However, another day, another story.  Sunday the rains came and we battled the elements to get the Hot Fudge clothing into the exhibition hall at Schoolhouse Quilters.
The wild weather was soon forgotten once we stepped inside historic Brookfield Hall.  The quilts were absolutely stunning.

This masterpiece by Glenys Cheng took four years to complete and the hand quilting was breathtaking.
It was time to visit the refreshments room to sit quietly and contemplate the beautiful works of art before us.

Then a visit to the sales room to get started on some early Christmas shopping.
What a weekend.  It was, of course, Father's Day on Sunday, so we had a late celebration before promptly falling asleep in front of the television.

Ah Brisbane.  Beautiful one day, perfect the next, then a lot of rain.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Beautiful One Day ...

Well, this morning certainly is beautiful, so the old Brisbane tourism promotion line of "Ah Brisbane - beautiful one day, perfect the next" is what we are all praying for at BrisStyle.

The first three days of Spring have been stunning and if we could extend that into one more day, we would be overjoyed.  With nearly 60 stalls full of tempting Spring goodness from Brisbane's top indie designers, plus music, wood-fired pizzas, fresh coffee and cakes, St Augustine's at Hamilton is the place to be tomorrow.  There will be a good mix of your favourite stall holders, along with several new and exciting designers.  You can see them here.

I am extra excited (but humbled), as Kid Independent showed some of my clothing on their Fresh Baked Friday feature today. 

I put the finishing touches to the last of the shirred sun dresses yesterday, so all is in readiness for the big day out tomorrow.  And don't forget to visit the Schoolhouse Quilters' Exhibition over the weekend (details here).

Ah Brisbane ... where else would you want to be?

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Spring Madness

Ahhh ... I'm looking out the window at the most perfect Spring morning imaginable. Goodbye Winter.  September is shaping up to be the busiest month of the year, starting with this weekend which features two events.

On Saturday 4 September it's the eagerly awaited BrisStyle Indie Designers Market at St Augustine's church grounds and hall, Racecourse Road, Hamilton, where I'll have some new Spring outfits on sale.  The hours are from 9.00am until 2.00pm, so mark it in your diaries.

There are knot dresses and romper suits.

This little dress is perfect for Spring days.  Imagine your dismay if you buy the Princess an ice cream cone and she spills it all down the front.  Head for the nearest tree, do the reverse trick and ...

... all problems solved.

There will be lots of dresses for the warmer weather (warm ... mmmm ...).  I'll be inside the hall at St Augustine's so please stop by and say hello.  Oh, and there will be tempting wood-fired pizzas and fresh coffee to keep up your energy levels, and scrumptious goodies from Enticing Icing.

On Sunday I'll be at the Schoolhouse Quilters' Biennial Exhibition at historic Brookfield Hall, Brookfield.  It's on all weekend from 10.00am to 5.00pm and the entry fee is $5 (children free).  I have seen some of the quilts which will be on show and they are stunning.  I'll be selling my goodies in the sales room on Sunday, so if you can't make the BrisStyle Market on Saturday, do come out to beautiful Brookfield and take in the exhibition - you won't be disappointed.

Meanwhile, Sydneysiders can have their own feast of the arts.  Our first-born Fudge (AKA Maz Dixon) is holding an exhibition from 21 to 26 September at Mary Place Gallery, Paddington. 

Not content with that, she is also taking part in the Sydney Fringe Festival  in the Electric Encounters exhibition at the Plump Gallery from 10 to 20 September.  What a gal.

But the talent doesn't stop there.  The second-born Fudge is part of the Mothers' Soccer Team taking on the Under 11s at our granddaughter's school presentation day on Saturday.  She's never played the game before, so it should prove interesting.  One can only pray that someone videos it.

Welcome to Spring.