Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lovely things from lovely people

Firstly, I need to confess I've been very slack at posting about some of the beautiful mail I've received over the last couple of months.

You might remember that FOREVER ago, I helped out at the Dear Fii incubator stall at the Brisbane Stitches and Craft show. Which was a fantastic experience. It was so wonderful to finally meet the warm and friendly Fi in person, and I was also lucky enough to be right next door to the wonderful Justine from MixTape Zine, who was also just as lovely in real life as she is on her blog :)

Well shortly after this, I received a lovely package in the mail from Fi, who gave me this incredibly gorgeous zip purse to say thanks for the help!

I tell you, Fi's workmanship is really second to none, and her attention to detail is just amazing. I love the embroidery on this pouch, which blends so seamlessly into the design that at first it seems like part of the fabric until you look closely.

No small wonder then that Fi's designs have been featured in the current issue of Better Homes and Gardens. So if you missed out on her fabulous button bracelet tutorial at the Stitches and Craft show, you can now get all the instructions from the mag!!! Congrats Fi, you really do deserve it :)

Second lovely item in the mail, is the pink love brooch shown in this pic below. It is a stunning Sophie Isabel Designs creation, and the reason I am only posting this now, is that I actually won this brooch shortly after Mother's Day, so I gave the brooch to Mum, and I was so excited about giving it to her that I forgot to take a photo.

So I keep meaning to remember to take my camera round to mum's place each time I go there. And of course I keep forgetting.....then the light bulb finally went on and I tracked down this photo of Sophie's blog. I'm sure you are probably already aware of the most gorgeous brooches Sophie makes (and she happily does custom orders too!!) but I can tell you now that they are even more gorgeous in real life. And most importantly, my mum loves it. Thank-you so much Sophie :)

Lastly, this little bundle of happiness arrived on my doorstep only last week, and was completely unexpected and out of the blue. When I saw the address on the back belonging to Cathy from Tinnie Girl, I was quite perplexed....had I been sleep-shopping on Etsy? (good god can you imagine???:O).

Then I opened the card, and this is what it said:

"Dear Bec, I was lucky enough to come across these vintage button samples and thought you would enjoy them also. Just sharing the love, Cathy XXX"

Talk about brightening up my day. Not only because the buttons (and the piece of fabric she also included were absolutely gorgeous, but just the generosity and thoughtfulness behind the action was so incredibly touching. Thank-you so much! XXX

So what to do after being the recipient of all this lovely blogger generosity? Why, to start planning a giveaway of my own, of course! At the moment, Jade and I are flat-knacker preparing for the BrisStyle Indie Designers Market that is on next Saturday (plug plug!!), but if you check back after that we just may be planning a little double Beckybean giveaway....will say no more for now. And hopefully that will bring my karma up to 'even steven', because receiving is wonderful, but only when it's balanced by the giving :)

Have a lovely weekend everyone,

PS. I think I will be on TV tonight. Was debating about whether to mention it or not, as I'm getting really scared I'm going to look or sound like a bit of a dork...but ah well. What's a bit of dorkiness between friends eh? If you're in QLD, it's The Great South East at 5.30pm, and there will be other BrisStylers featured too. I don't think it screens in other states though.

If listening to me rabbit on about myself is about as interesting as watching paint dry, then look away now...

Or perhaps this post would be better named "I am unworthy". Because for some bizarre reason I have been the lucky recipient of a few blog awards lately. Which is weird because I always feel a bit guilty that I go too long between posts, and then when I finally get around to posting, it's often late and I'm tired and I end up doing some big long self-indulgent waffle....ahem...yes, much like this one...

But hey, I guess some people like waffles. Boom boom!!!

So anyway, I am very honored to have been given a Lovely Blog Award from Kate of One Flew Over, Rebecca of Edward and Lilly, and Amy from Grey Grid Paper. And a Love Ya award for being exceedingly charming by Helen from Ruby 2 Go Go and Ali from Charlie and Grace. Each one of these ladies writes an amazingly wonderful blog (check them out and you'll instantly see why I feel unworthy!)

However I'm going to be a wuss about passing these awards on (plus a list of 60+ blogs might get a bit overwhelming) and just direct you to my blog roll. In fact, this has been a reminder to update it, as my blog wanderings seem to be far and wide at present. There's just so many interesting, talented, creative and articulate people out there blogging these days. Totally inspiring!!!

I've also been tagged by the ever so lovely Steph from Bondville, with what might possibly be the longest tag-interview in the history of blogland!!! So I won't be at all offended if you would like to tune out now. Maybe just talk amongst yourselves or something. Otherwise, here's a little insight into some of the minutiae of my life:

Q. What's your favourite colour?
Red. Though it's not a colour I wear a whole lot, I love having little splashes of it around. I love our red tiles in the kitchen, and my latest fav red thing is our letterbox. Matt made it. All his own design and construction. He can be quite creative when he wants to be!

Q. What's your favourite clothing in your wardrobe?
My cotton summer dresses. They make me feel like I'm 7 years old.

Q. What's your dream job?
I'm livin' the dream baby! Actually, I really am. Although I never imagined my dream job would be to stay at home with the kids and run a hobby business that involves sewing!!! But it turns out it IS my dream job. I can't think of a single other thing I'd rather do every day. I love how even when the kids are having one of their feral moments and I give in to my inner fishwife (i.e. screeching at the kids), that they only have to say "sorry mum" and suddenly I'm on my knees hugging them and all is forgiven and we never think of it again. That NEVER happens in the corporate world :P

Q. What's the last thing you bought?
Er, petrol for the car. For me specifically, it was some gorgeous gift tags from the lovely Anastasia from Percival Road.

Q. What are you listening to right now?
Princess Natasha (kids cartoon) the washing machine humming, and a dog barking in the distance....If I had my ipod with me I'd be listening to Kate Miller Heidke.

Q. Whats your favourite ice cream?
Chocolate. And not the fancy type, like toblerone. Just plain chocolate.

Q. What's your favourite fruit?
A good juicy peach like the ones that used to grow on the tree in our front yard where I grew up. Very hard to find these days.

Q. What inspires you?
My kids' imagination, colour, stories, poems, zen, my veggie garden.

Q. Whats on the walls of your bedroom?
Lots of marks. It really needs painting....

Q. Who is your favourite artist?
Oh goodness. SO hard. I think Elsita is an amazing artist, and inspiring person. I love this little print of one of her drawings that we have at our front door.

I adore the customised art prints I bought from Amanda from Twinkle Star Art last year for the kids and their cousins.

I also think Tracy from Hey Harriet is an incredible artist, and I have quite a few of her little pieces now. This TTV photo I have of hers makes me giggle every time I look at it! For me good art is something that makes me smile every time I look at it, no matter how many times I've already seen it....

Q. Do you admire anyone's style?
Oooh, so so many people. Ranna from Only Shallow (so girly, so vintage, so quirky!!), Elly from Ellybeth on Flickr (oozes casual style and makes many of her own clothes), and oh, and I'm finding the Braid Wednesday group on Flickr really inspiring too . I've even been inspired to try out the Heidi Hair that was featured on the Meet Me At Mikes blog. Here's my very quick and rough attempt......

Q. Describe your personal style.
He he...mutton dressed as lamb :P

Q. What language would you like to learn?
Italian. I'd love to be able to say something more than "Dario non e sempre in ritardo..."

Q. What is your favourite quote (for now)?
Never trouble trouble 'till trouble troubles idea where it came from - I remember hearing it as a kid somewhere.

Q. What is your favourite magazine?
Peppermint Magazine - Fresh. Green. Fashion. Truly inspirational, and the only glossy (eco of course) I ever buy regularly.

But if we're talking 'zines', then I'd have to say MixTape - indie awesomeness at its best.

Q. If you had $100 what would you spend it on?
A lunch date with Matt. Or a hot stone massage - never had one before. Always wanted one...

Q. What is your current obsession?
Sweet and Salty popcorn. Seriously. Don't laugh until you've tried it.

Q. What are you wearing today?
Jeans, campers, singlet, t-shirt, long sleeve t-shirt, bomber jacket, crocheted beanie, scarflette, leather gloves. OK, I should put this in context and tell you I'm about to head out to the Rocklea Twilight market for some fruit & veggie shopping, and wood-fired pizza for dinner. The food will be great, the produce sensational, and the music live and atmospheric. But it'll be COLD!!!!!

Q. What's for dinner?
Oops, just answered this. Vegetarian wood fired pizza, and maybe a hot jam donut for dessert :)

Q. What would you eat for your last meal?
The best and freshest sushimi and sushi rolls I could get my hands on, with loads of wasabi. And an Asahi beer to go with it.

Q. What do you think of the person who tagged you? Friendly, warm, humourous, sincere, ethical and enthusiastic.

Q. If you could have a house paid for and furnished anywhere in the world what/where would it be?
A huge property somewhere in the northern New South Wales hinterland, with multiple modest little eco-cottages on it, and one big communal pavillion with a huge table so that our extended family could all live nice and close and in walking (or riding) distance from each other, without actually living on top of each other, and the pavillion would be where we could have our family dinner parties. There would also be a big communal veggie garden, and an orchard, and a big mountain-biking track in the native bushland reserve (that would be part of the property). This would be for Matt and Kym's benefit of course....Oh and Jade and I would have a big separate sewing studio too, and we'd need a super big shed/workshop....and everything would be solar powered and ecologically sound. Ahhhhh.....ok, time to stop dreaming now. Sorry. Got a bit carried away there....

Q. Do you collect something? Buttons, fabric, books, crockery that takes my fancy....

Q. What is your pet peeve?
Being cold. Being cold just makes me cranky. Being cold can just go away and stand in the corner and have a good think about itself. It can came back out when it has warmed up a bit.

Q. What's the most important rule for life?
If you have lots of regrets then you're spending too much time in the past. If you have lots of worries, then you're spending too much time in the future. Staying in the here and now is the best way to happiness. Easier said than done though of course. Oh, and drink lots of tea. That's a pretty good rule too :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Timber and TVs and Trains, Oh My!!!

I grew up on the edge of a forest by the Murray River in remote country Victoria, back in the days when it was perfectly acceptable to wander around with a chainsaw, hack up any dead trees lying around, and take them home for firewood. I know!!!!! ANYWAY, where I'm going with this, is that my Dad is the kind of guy who hangs on to stuff. And some of that stuff was some redgum off-cuts (that came from that forest) that he'd had lying around for the last 20 years. And this is what those scraps have become. Ok, there's some cedar ones in there too, but I'm not sure where he got those scraps from...

I can't even begin to tell you how clever my dad is at making stuff (although once we were looking in an auto store and I saw a racing steering wheel made of steel and timber, which I mentioned was very cool. Dad picked it up, turned it over, then put it back on the shelf. The next time I saw him, about a week later, he had made a replica steering wheel. Which I must say, looked very cool on my 1974 mini cooper). For more stories about my generous and clever dad and more pics of the buttons used on our bags, check out Jade's post here.

As well as using these buttons on our new bags, Jade and I are also going to sell them at the BrisStyle market coming up in July. I know we're just a bit biased, but I really do think they are very beautiful...

A big thank-you should also be given to Alan from Trishalan Designs, for providing great wooden button inspiration (you can see one of Alan's buttons used on this coffee bag here, and his are also made from timber off-cuts) and for some online handmade timber button love and inspiration you can also visit The Button Bower, who also sell gorgeous hardwood buttons made from Tasmanian timer off-cuts (some of these are quite amazing!). Viva the handmade button revolution!!

Ok, moving on now to the TV part of the post title. In fact, this is just a really lame way to segue into my Watcha Wearing Wednesday pics, which I think is a record for me in tardiness - this time...THREE days late. In fairness, I did actually take these pics on Wednesday - just couldn't actually manage to keep my butt in front of the computer long enough to get the blog post done. Ah well, better late than never. Right?

Anyway, this gorgeous little retro TV brooch (sorry about the bad photo) is by the lovely Helen from Ruby 2 Go Go, and it goes perfectly with my seventies knit top refashion. I found it in an op shop ages ago, and it fit well, except that it was a bit midriffy. Not very seemly for a 30 something year old, so I chopped it a bit shorter and added some nice thick black knit fabric (I also found this remnant in an op shop).

It's a bit weird, I know. But for some reason I just really like it. And it's comfy. And that's important, ya know!

Lastly, the train thing is just something I thought was so sweet I had to share. Lee, Kate and I made play dough the other day, and the kids went nuts playing with it, making birthday cakes, sausages etc. Ok, it was actually Kate who made the pretend food. Lee, in keeping with the obsession which permeates all aspects of his life, made this.

A Thomas train. If you look closely, it even has a smiley face on it. And top marks for creative use of props :)

And now it's time for a hot milo and a snuggle with Matt in front of the telly. It's getting really chilly here, and we've had a big night. Our kids went to their first ever disco (organised by Lee's kindy). They had so much fun. I painted so many faces. We are all hoarse from talking over the top of loud music. I remember the days when this was caused by clubbing. Now it's caused by listening to 'Hot Potato' and squealing kids. And I won't have a hangover tomorrow :)