Friday, July 31, 2009

3 Quick Questions: Pesky Cat Designs

Anyone who knows me knows I love a good bag so when I stumbled across Pesky Cat Designs I fell in love. The images speak for themselves and Elisa's creative heritage and ambition is truly inspiring.

What inspired you to start creating?

My mom inspired me to create from a very early age. She studied art in Poland and her major was Textile Design. I was born and raised in NYC. My mom and I would paint together, sew and craft. When we traveled on vacations she would always bring a set of watercolors. She loved going to museums and would often take me along. I remember coming home from the MOMA one day determined to paint like Van Gogh. I pulled out one of her huge textbooks and proceeded to paint a reproduction of Van Gogh's Irises. In high school I painted images of rock stars on the back of friends' jean jackets!

My mom was quite a good seamstress and would sew a lot of my dresses and even clothes for my dolls. My dolls had one-of-a-kind dresses! I still remember the first skirt that I sewed for myself from a pattern with her help when I was 12 years old. It was an A-line skirt with a 23-inch waist. So I have been creating all my life and can not imagine living without creating.

If you could spend more time on one thing what would it be?

Creating! At the moment I work three days a week at an outside job. My dream is to work at Pesky Cat Designs full time. I would also love to have more time to paint.

What's next for Pesky Cat Designs?

I have toyed with the idea of designing clothes but I still have so much more I want to do with my handbags. The possibilities seem endless and the ideas are constantly flowing. I just wish I could sew fast enough to keep up with my imagination!

More Pesky Cat Designs
Pesky Cat Designs on Etsy where you can customise your own Pesky Cat Design
Pesky Cat Designs Blog

Thanks for your time Elisa!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My creative space...

Finishing off a few brooch orders;

a bundle of Winterwood felt and some fabric waiting to be made into plush cars and scented birds;

and some long and short-term planning on the side thanks to Sally and her inspiring BrisStyle business tips day on Saturday. It was so great to get my head out of the sand (aka sewing room) and spend half a day thinking about what the future may hold and whether or not I want to make the transition from telling myself this is all a hobby to saying it's a business...

For more creative spaces or to show off your own head over to Kirsty's.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Linen Quest: Duckcloth via Missy P

A little while ago Penny aka MissyP from so sew poppy kindly sent me some swatches of linen she purchased from Duckcloth, they were just lovely and all very different in colour and texture.

Penny kindly agreed to review them for The Linen Quest and she has done a fabulous job of it! For the full run down check out this post.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday Shopping List

The best thing about buying re-cycled/up-cycled products is your own personal justification that a little bit of indulgent retail therapy is helping the planet.

1. Basic Upcycled Long Purse / Wallet No.10 from Notty Pooch Design

2. Pretty in Pink (and blue and white) bag from Lamp & Motor
Lamp & Motor is a new Brisbane based etsy shop where you can indulge in very special one-off handbags created from gorgeous recycled and 'found' vintage and kitsch fabric. Take a closer look at the little fan detail on this bag – very cute.

3. Suave 70's Mini Notebook from Jellygnite

4. Love Is All Around Recycled Long Tshirt Dress from fink

And, I simply can't send you all off on a re-purposed shopping spree without mention of these two very special etsians:

Fabulous and brilliant solutions to re-purposing supermarket non-woven green bags over at Chicuff including cuffs, hair pins, rings and wallets.

And finally, the etsy sellers I have to show the most restraint around for fear of spending all grocery shopping money for the week, Bec and Jade have a new range of Pochettes in store and they're just too good. I need to turn off the computer now before my hand accidently slips on the mouse while it's hovering over add to cart. For a closer look pop over to Beckybean.

For more etsy treats or to show off your weekly faves check out Charlotte's place.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My creative space...

A little bit of stitching,

and a little bit of assembling for Nook then it's back on to plush cars and brooches.

For more creative spaces or to show off your own pop over to Kootoyoo.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Life's so peachy with YUM bags

Do you get the guilts every time you use a plastic zip lock bag?

Then Jess' YUM ec0-friendly bags are for you! Made with unbleached calico, they're the perfect size for holding snacks, pantry goods, make up, little toys, anything you might use a zip lock bag or container for. These mini green bags have a velcro closure that runs across the entire length of the opening so no matter how small, once closed nothing escapes. And they come with different applique designs like hearts, trucks and stars.

YUM bags are available from Jess' etsy shop a life so peachy where she also points us to this site extolling the virtues of calico – believe me, you will never look at calico the same after reading this!

This cute YUM bag now spends its days traipsing around in my bag, on my desk at work or next to the sewing machine full of nuts and seeds (and with all that to-ing and fro-ing not one has escaped yet!).

Get your YUM on here!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

3 Quick Questions with Sweet William

My favourite thing about Sweet William is the way their illustrations and designs translate so beautifully across different mediums, from prints to gift tags to softies. Paula, one of three sisters behind Sweet William kindly took the time to answer 3 Quick Questions.

What inspired you to start creating?

Sweet William is made up of sisters Shelley in New Zealand, Paula in Melbourne plus sister in law Jeanine. Despite the distance and pressures of everyday life (there are 9 kids between us) we thought it would be good to connect through our creative passions – so we started Sweet William.

If you could spend more time on one thing what would it be?

Gosh do you mean in life in general or on our craft business? Anyway the answer for me (Paula) would be drawing, for both I think.

What's next for Sweet William?

Things have been going so well so we are thinking about getting some help with manufacturing, we would always keep it fair trade and support local artisans, maybe a seamstress to help out with some of the sewing and a big grown up print run with an eco friendly printer... wow wee, we are very excited!

Check out more Sweet William here:

Sweet William blog
Sweet William on etsy
Sweet William on madeit
Sweet William on flickr

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sunday with the Owls

Sandra's little family of softies

I always feel so re-energised after my monthly Brown Owls fix, there's nothing like sitting around a big table with crafty peeps who are as excited about sewing, knitting and crocheting as I am.

How cute is that little family of softies, they were created by Sandra and inspired by a pattern from the Softies book. I love the cute little embroidered faces, her stitches are so tiny and perfect.

There's a full run down of our morning over here.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday Shopping List

I do love magazines, I love reading them and I love working for one but I don't love the impact they have on the environment. That's why I'm loving these ingenious ways of re-using them.

1. Recycled Magazine Coasters from The Crafty Tortoise

2. Subscription Pillow - The Vogue Yoga Florence Pillow - made to order from Avril Loreti

3. sweet tooth - set of 10 tiny envelopes with cards (business card sized) from The Envelope, Please

4. New Yorker Notebook - March 2007 from five feet tall I love the name of this shop, hmmm... that may be because I'm 5 feet tall :)

For more fabulous etsy finds from Saturday Shopping List Divas or to play along head over to Charlotte's.

Now onto the real-time shopping!! Brisbanites get your diaries out and pen (not pencil) this one in immediately. The Finders Keepers Market is coming to Brisbane and it's going to be fabulous! It will be at the Old Museum next to the RNA Showgrounds from 31 October - 1 November. So excited about this one, it has a huge following in Sydney and Brisbane is destined to be just as good.

Friday, July 17, 2009

3 Quick Questions with Sascalia

3 Quick Questions is a new series of brief interviews with crafters, bloggers, retailers and designers whose work or vision I admire. Why only 3? Because I like quick-to-read blog posts and I like it when images speak for themselves.

Kicking off the first in the series is Sascalia, a mixed media self-taught artist who grew up in rural France and is currently living in the U.K. I love the whimsical scenes created by Sascalia and her incredible colour palette and attention to detail.

What inspired you to start creating?

I have always loved anything creative and had a passion for art and a love for colour. Now that my children are all at school I have the time to run my online business and to create from my home studio. Nature is what inspires me the most!

If you could spend more time on one thing what would it be?

I would love to have more time to just paint and experiment with new techniques but sometimes just running my etsy shop and life itself can get in the way.

What's next for Sascalia?

Hopefully just to keep on growing and learning!

For more Sascalia check out these links:
Sascalia on etsy
Sascalia's blog

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My creative space...

It's all about filling orders this week. I'm loving my time on the couch embroidering Dream Girls and Boys to be made into Port-a-Plushes.

More little critters for brooches. Hopefully some will make it to the shop soon or if you can't wait you can pre-order a few of the designs here.

And the beginnings of a production line of kitties, bunnies and puppies.

For more creative spaces or to share your own head over to Kirsty's.

And pop back later this week for the first interview in the new 3 Quick Questions series of posts featuring some fabulous and inspiring crafters, designers, retailers and bloggers.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Linen Quest: a comparison

The Linen Quest is finally back! A little while ago I promised to provide a better comparison of colour so here's a little peek into my notebook. The white background should give a better comparison.

Ok, so working down each page:

1. This swatch is from a remnant I picked up a few years ago from Ewan Gardams which has since closed down and I was never able to find the same linen there again so I haven't reviewed it and not sure how helpful a review of it would be anyway. However, if I find something similar then I will.

2. Thea & Sami reviewed here.

3. Duckcloth - review from a fellow blogger coming soon! If you're in Australia and you want the superbuzzy linen (medium weight) I would suggest getting this one instead. It's the same colour and weight.

4. Sckafs - review coming soon!

5. Tessuti (white) - review coming soon!

6. Quilt Fabric Delights reviewed here.

7. Tessuti (fawn) - review coming soon!

8. Superbuzzy reviewed here.

9. Kelani reviewed here.

10. Duckcloth hemp - review coming soon! I'll also be reviewing the Duckcloth organic cottons.

If there is a linen listed here that you are desperate to hear more about leave a comment and I'll review it first.

Have you purchased linen recently? Would you like to be a guest blogger for The Linen Quest? Leave me a comment with your details or contact me directly via the email contact in my sidebar to take part!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Handmade Dream

Wouldn't it be a handmade dream come true to walk down Brisbane's busy and very commercial Queen Street Mall and find a gorgeous shop full of the most divine handmade bags like this one?

With a little help from the handmade community the dream may come true for Mel from Taybian Design. Mel has a strong chance to win free rent for 6 months in Broadway on the Mall as part of Queen Street Mall's Follow the Fashion competition. To win, she needs your vote! Click on this link to give Taybian a big 5 stars, plus you could win yourself some great prizes!

And don't forget to spread the word!

Saturday Shopping List

A little bit of linen, a little bit of embroidery and a whole lotta lovely.

1. Le Bonheur - Treasure Box Purse from Florspace

2. Pommes Wallet from pikapeeks

3. The little red house from Petite Maison

4. French Country Toile embroidered teatowels from The Tattered Towel

For more fabulous etsy finds or to play along pop over to Charlotte's.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Homemade: The Handmade Help Recipe Book

If you haven't already ordered your copy of Homemade: The Handmade Help Recipe Book I encourage you to pop over here and grab one. A tasty $8 for the pdf or $15 for a paperback copy with 100% of proceeds going to the Salvation Army.

Here's a little more info from the Homemade site:

In February 2009 Victoria was victim to the worst bushfires on record, which wiped out entire communities, caused 173 deaths and left thousands without homes or shelter.

The Handmade Help Recipe Book evolved as part of by a group of crafters and artists who wanted to contribute to the recovery effort.

The result is a truly international cookbook, packed with treasured recipes and family favourites, donated by people across the globe who wanted to help including well-known chefs such as Margaret Fulton, Allan Campion and Michele Curtis.

Order your copy here!

My creative space...

I really should be sorting out bits and pieces from Saturday's market... but those darn little critters keep calling my name.

Stay tuned for some new content coming soon to this little space plus if you're still looking for the perfect linen, or any eco/organic fabric, I'll be back onto the linen quest very soon!

For more creative spaces head over to Kirsty's.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Brooches for the ethical consumer

New brooches made from re-purposed upholstery fabric are in the shop now!

BrisStyle Indie Designers Market

Photo courtesy Amanda

The BrisStyle market was a huge success, the size of the crowd was phenomenal and the media exposure in the lead up was fabulous. I'm busily updating the shop and recovering from a post-market head cold.

New brooches and cars are coming soon! In the meantime please don't hesitate to drop me an email or leave me a comment if you would like to order one.

A huge thank you to the entire BrisStyle team who are incredibly supportive, so generous of their time and who without I would never have thought of having a market stall.

Big thanks to my acest friend B who provided superb car service and kept the table replenished and a huge thank you to the big love for keeping me fed for the last few months, putting up with an endless flow of thread stuck in the carpet, being my daily stand up comedian and for being the most supportive, loving, amazing person in the world.

Thanks to all the Brown Owls, BrisStylettes and other online peeps who popped by to say hi. It was so great to meet so many people face to face.

For better BrisStyle market stories than this one pop over to the BrisStyle blog and have a look through the blog list in the side bar.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My creative space ...

This week I've been busy making and pegging teeny critters to my new brooch board for the market.

The board is super easy to make. Simply use a canvas covered in linen or your favourite fabric (use a hot glue gun to attach the linen to the back edges of the canvas). Then measure where you want your string to hang and attach the string ends to the back edges with a staple gun. If you don't have a staple gun just use nails or thumb tacks and tie the string on. You could also put a piece of core flute (aka foamcor) between the front of the canvas and the fabric if you wanted to make a pin board version, or a sheet of magnet to make a magnet board.

You can see more photos of the brooch board over on my flickr.

I have loads of back up brooches for the market too. These ones are made using re-purposed upholstery fabric samples so each brooch is completely unique. Expect to see some of these in my shop next week.

And finally, I managed to pull off the car plushies just in time (well, after another four wheels are done). I'm also working on another two purple cars for the shop.

Pop back in the next week for a run down of the BrisStyle Indie Designers Market and to be the first to get your hands on my new shop stock!

For more creative spaces head over to Kirsty's.