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Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I really wanted to make some gifts from the kitchen this year and I actually got around to doing it.


Here is my first batch of relish from Dads recipe, which is pretty famous among our family. It tastes just like his so I'm pretty impressed with my first attempt. Such a great little gift and so full of my heart. 


I've been thinking about traditions at Christmas and how I don't really have any. When I was young my parents used to host a champagne breakfast from about 7:30am! People would pop in and out all day, eating food that had been marinated for days in preparation. 


I don't have the space for that, so I think I'm going to make a batch of relish every year. I also did my first ham last year and I'm the ham lady again this year, so that can be tradition #2.








These are my first attempt at ginger bread gift boxes. I've decorated them with white chocolate piping and lollies and filled them with chocies. They took a long time to make so I don't think they will make the tradition list.


What are your family traditions at Christmas?


Merry Christmas everyone. I have had an amazing year with Faint Impressions and thank you all for your support. I'm very much looking forward to sharing my new bags & workshops with you in the new year.


Ho Ho Ho!



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Revamping An Old Clutch

Well I'm allowing myself a little wind down time, now that the markets have finished for the year. Hence I missed blogging all last week.




So I'm taking it easy this week and playing around with this old clutch I bought in New York. Seeing how it was made and the shape of the pattern. Can you believe it's got cardboard in it for shape! Cardboard!




I've also run out of the interfacing I like to use and can't find anymore anywhere. Which means I can't make any bags.


Hope you're having a good week. Are you baking any Christmas goodies? I'm trying to make ginger bread gift boxes for the first time. I'll show you the outcome on Friday.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hello Out There


Hello out there my blog friends. Where in the world are you? What do you do? Do you like peanut butter on apple slices? Do you sleep with the fan on even when it's cold because you like the breeze on your face? Do you throw a tantrum like a 2 year old when your boyfriend asks you to drink cough medicine? What are you giving your mum for Christmas?
These are just a few things that I'd love to know about you.


I feel like we've been going out for about a year now and I know nothing about you. So please leave a comment below and tell me a little or a lot about yourself. 


Yes, that means you too, the person who says "she's talking to everyone else, not me"


Is it greedy of me to want my own little creative community? I think not.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Handmade Christmas Decorations

Well what a busy week it was last week, hence no blog post, sorry. Lots of cutting cutting cutting and sewing sewing sewing and I got to do another photo shoot, except this time I was the photographer, not the assistant, woo hoo! More on that later.


Baubles in the making


I wanted a little Christmas cheer for my market stall and something that wasn't going to take too much time to make. I figured baubles wrapped in fabric were Christmassy and also Faint Impressiony....what do you think? Oh and I added a few feathers for loveliness.


Looks cute huh?


People were asking me if they were for sale!! The good old $2 shop is your friend people, where nothing is ever $2 anymore.




So if you fancy making some, head to the $2 shop, buy some foam balls, ribbon and a bag of feathers. Get some of your fabric left overs and cut them in to strips, stick a pin in one end of the fabric and just start wrapping it around the ball. When you get to the end, stick another pin in it. Just keep going until you're happy with the look and then pin some ribbon to it, no glue required. Tie some string around the end of the feathers and then make a loop to hang it.


Find a stick on the side of the road, paint it white and walla! You have your own fabric bauble Christmas twig tree.

Friday, November 26, 2010

New Bags Ready For The Weekend Market


I've been sewing like a mad lady this week to get these pretty ladies finished for the markets this weekend.


The first two are made from Amy Butlers new collection Soul Blossoms, which was released just last week. I've been waiting for it to come out for about 3 months now. I was really struggling for inspiration as I haven't been able to find any new fabric I love love loved...never fear, inspiration is here.


I was hoping it would be out when I was in the states a couple of weeks ago, but alas it came out the week after I got back....poo.


So if you like one of these pretties, pop down to Paddington Markets tomorrow and check them out. Be sure to say hi too.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas Gift Ideas

Why not get creative this Christmas and make your friends and family a gift.

A handmade gift is so personal and shows that you put a lot of time, effort and love into their prezzie.

Here is a link to a load of free bag patterns for you to get your crafty mojo on.

Oh and this is what my new bag pattern turned out like that I was working on the other week. I'm not in love with it so it won't be going on sale at the markets.




BUT....I am in love with this new bag which I made last week and will be working on some more this week for Saturdays market at Paddington.

Mmmmm Leather strap. Not the best photo as I was in a rush


What do you think?


Friday, November 19, 2010

From A Little Bit Trash To A Lot Of Treasure

For a little while now I've been thinking about how I can increase the environmentally friendliness of my production process. As much as I love vintage fabric, making a whole range of bags out of them is not something I wish to do. I thought instead that I could maybe re-use the frames of old bags and make them into new ones.


I've been looking in all the Vinnies shops but have had no luck. In New York I checked out a flea market and came across an interesting couple selling all kinds of different things. 


Flea market man

I found this old lady (the bag not the man) in amongst a bunch of old bags. She doesn't look too bad in the photo but close up she has wrinkles, just like me and three grey hairs which she discovered this week!



I told the lady I was only going to pull it apart for the frame, so she gave me a good discount. 
I wish I was there the following Saturday as the lady said she had heaps of bags at home that she couldn't sell but the frames were still good :-(.


So, here is the before shot and you shall all bare witness to her transformation back into society. Will I give her "the girl next door" look or will I pimp her ride? Stay tuned for the end result and the survey on how many years younger she looks whilst placed in a perspex box in the middle of the street. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Fabrics For Some New Bags

Yes, I said new bags!

As hard as it was to find the good fabric shops in New York, I did manage to pick myself up this little bundle of goodies.


This fabric will hopefully be the new beginnings of some new bags. I say hopefully, as many times before have I purchased little goodies like this and not used them for what I intended.


As you can see I have totally done away with my previous strategy of having a colour scheme, it's just too limiting for me.

I'm testing out a new pattern this week and will hopefully have a sample made in time for Paddington Markets on Saturday. I'll show you what I get done before then.

So....What do you think of these new fabrics? Favourites please?







Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Where To Shop For Fabric And Wool In New York City

New York New York, what a huge city and so much to see.

We shouted with the very passionate locals at the ice hockey at Madison Square Garden; drank daiquiris in a mug with flashing lights at the basketball and walked walked walked the blocks of NYC.

How pretty is this bottle? It's just green tea on the shelf for about $2 bucks
I'm going to use it as a vase

I was quite surprised at the limited number of fabric shops in NYC. I googled everything and could only find a few. I really wanted to buy some supplies like bag handles and clasps but couldn't find a store that stocked them. So, for those of you yet to come to NYC, I will share the fountain of knowledge with you on where to go, so that you don't have to research like I did. In doing so I can write it off as a business trip then can't I?


The biggest fabric store I visited was B & J Fabrics. They have EVERYTHING, walls and walls and walls of it. Fashion fabrics, craft fabrics and all that shiny sequin stuff too. You will need at least 3 hours here. Go with a project in mind or you will be overwhelmed. They will send you samples too if you want.
I couldn't get a photo as I ran out of time; I was the last to leave the store :-).

They don't list everything on their website as there is just waaaaaaaaay too much. You have to see to believe. I found a bolt of Anna Maria Horner sketch book fabric for $15.95 yard!!! Most of the craft fabrics were $12.95 yard. That's it! plus a little bit of USA tax of course.


The Brooklyn General Store was very cute. If you're a knitter (Fran) then you will have died and gone to heaven here. Not a huge range of fabrics and quite a walk from the station but nonetheless a pretty shop to visit. They had some amazing leather bag straps that I've never seen, but they were $68 a pop; sadly I had to leave them behind.

The General Store, Brooklyn

For the wool lovers, The General Store, Brooklyn

How cool is my new wide angle lens, I can get everything in the shot!

Purl Soho, Soho, Sorry, I only had my iphone here

Me at Purl Soho

Purl Soho had a larger range of fabric and also a huge range of colourful wools. They also stock some good books. I bought Amy Butlers new book for $30! It's $50 in Australia.

Me in Central Park

Apart from B&J Fabrics, The City Quilter had the largest range of fabrics. Nothing I hadn't seen before but cheaper of course.


How awesome is this. I stumbled across this clothing store and they had old singer sewing machines from floor to ceiling throughout the entire shop! They were everywhere! I don't even know how they would have got so many.


And just for your viewing pleasure, here is a photo of some undies you can buy at Macy's to enhance your BUTT! I don't know about you, but I'm always trying to decrease by butt, not make it stick out like this.

I'm off to enjoy the pork ribs and amazing music of Memphis. I'm visiting Elvis tomorrow. x

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Brushing Up On Your HTML With Professor Google



HTML, who cares what it stands for, all you need to know is that it's what makes your blog look the way it does...kinda.

I spent most of the day the other week giving myself a mini degree in HTML from Professor Google. She knows just about anything; in fact I would go as far as saying she knows everything. It may not always be correct but she always has a go at helping you out.

I found THIS website that gives you a crash course in HTML basics. It's worth the read to try and understand what the
etc's mean and how you can edit them to change the look of your blog or online shop (if you have one).

The things I usually want to change on my blog/online shop are colours, spacing, page backgrounds and adding in things like links, a search box, social media buttons, questionnaire's, email sign up sheets etc.

I really have no idea what I'm doing and I have absolutely no IT training, I just experiment by adding in the HTML or gadgets and remembering where I have put them so I can go back and delete it if it doesn't do what I want. This, like I said, can take a long time if you let it.

I often refer to this website when I want to add something; usually what you want to do is listed somewhere here. It also has the codes for all the colours, so you can change your template around.

It would take me a whole lot of wafting on to explain how to play around with your HTML and I don't really know what I'm on about. So what I will do is list the things I really wanted to add to my blog/online shop at some point and give you a link to someone who actually does know what they're talking about.

Now... my blog is hosted by blogger.com, so I can only tell you where things are on the blogger platform. I'm sure with a little searching you'll be able to find them on your blog too.


Blog


Add a background image
Add Feedburner
Add a picture to your banner
Change the background colour of your header
The codes for colours on your blog, scroll to the bottom of the page
Aligning the text in your header, so moving it left, right etc to where you want it
Add a chat box to your blog
Add a search box to your blog
Animate your banner, make the heading change
More tips on understanding HTML
How to make mini photos/links to older posts come up under your latest post


If you want to add a facebook "like" button or a facebook button to link to your facebook page, just search on facebook.com, they have all the instructions there for you.


Online Shop
Add a link that goes to your blog. I don't have anymore free "pages" for my online shop, so I can't put my blog as a page. Instead I made a link which will take people to my blog.


So, there are a few links to some basic things you can add to your blog to personalise it.


Have fun playing around with it and just remember to save a copy of your HTML code before you start.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Viva Las Vegas


MGM Grand lunch buffet sweets. Getting ready for Halloween


Bellagio dinner buffet, check out the size of the crabs legs!


The Bellagio Conservatory, absolutely amazing. It takes 3000 hours to change it to the next season.




Grand Canyon West Rim


Just an average day on the strip


Mel & Cam on The Vegas Strip


The ceiling at the amazing Venetian Casino


Gondola ride INSIDE the Venetian, yes... I said inside

Next stop, NEW YORK!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Los Angeles


Well the flight to LA was good with V Australia, it certainly didn't feel like 13 hours. We were awake for more than 30 hours though before going to bed. I held out for as long as I could, which was 6:30pm USA time.


LA is a huge city and really spread out. We decided that the jump on jump off bus would be the best way to see everything. LA is pretty tough without a car, so this was the next best option.


We went down Sunset Blvd, Santa Monica Blvd, Melrose Ave, not at all what you think it should look like, saw Beverly Hills, exactly what you think it should look like with the palm tree lined streets and gorgeous houses, Hollywood and the Downtown area. Stopped off at Santa Monica Pier and had lunch at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and strolled along the walk of fame and saw all the stars names in the footpath.


Our accommodation at the bed and breakfast is just perfect and the owners are so lovely. I definitely recommend this place to anyone.

Off to Vegas on Tuesday at 7:30am to win all of my trip costs back :-)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Up Up & Away...To The USA

Two more sleeps until I'm leeeeeeeeeeaving on a jet plaaaaaaaaaaaaane!!!!


I missed Tuesdays blog post as who knew organising an overseas trip could take up sooooo much of your time. Honestly, it feels like a full-time job right now. Once I pick up some USD and a travel money card tomorrow, I'll feel as though I've finally got things in order.


My big sissy is coming with Cam and I and it's her first trip overseas. I'm very excited that I can share it with her and that I have someone to shop with of course.


So here is a taste of my itinerary.




New York Knicks


Halloween in NYC


Ice Hockey

But one of the most exciting things is that I'm going to attend an Etsy Craft Lab Craft Night!!!

I KNOW! How awesome is that. The other exciting thing is that you too can join me, without spending a dime. You can watch the Etsy Craft Nights on the web. All the details are on the link, so check it out and come hang with me and the yankees on the 1st November 4pm-8pm.


I will do my best to blog a little over the next three weeks and share my USA adventures with you all. If nothing else I will post some photos until I get back to fill you in on all the details.

I hope you miss me :-)
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