Saturday, March 30, 2013



Nobody said anything about rabbits…

Thursday, March 21, 2013

booth panic

This morning I got the email about my booth in Portland. I’ll be number 928 if you are popping by. I read about curtains and poles and lights and carpet and giant structures and rules and regulations and I ate some chocolate and had a very quiet ladylike  panic.

This morning I had ‘booth panic’ , what colour carpet do I want ? I have no idea ! (Does anyone really choose purple?) Googling booth images is not a good idea, its all Amy Butler and giant Moda elephants. No-one seems to take photos of the teeny booths.


To stem the panic I checked out the floor plan and googled my neighbours (they both seem very nice). See Jodie, its real people with tiny booths as much as it is fake gardens and custom built scenery.

I will be visiting Ikea (and Wal-Mart which I am kind of excited about) in Portland and creating a booth from whatever catches my eye.

I am out of my comfort zone here people. In the past when I have had to create a booth, I have carefully mapped out the dimensions and had a complete set-up weeks in advance. I tweaked and swapped and changed and drove everyone around me absolutely mad. I also had a ute full of furniture and accessories, rather than a suitcase full of toys and a few pairs of undies.fletch

And yes, of course it will be fine and yes I have a vague red and white theme in my head, but just this morning it is suddenly very real and I figured if we were having a cuppa this morning I’d be asking you.

Should I take the frock along? (see sidebar) I mean I don’t actually have a pattern for it or anything but its a great conversation starter. 

What about bunting (you know I am not a huge fan of bunting), it looks festive but surely we are over it.

How about pom-poms. I bought a pom pom maker with the idea of creating a kind of garland, but the pom pom I made was ugly. I want to make teeny ones, but then that seems like a lot of work for not much impact.

How do I display all these toys at kind of eye-level without it looking like a dogs breakfast?

Pole scrunchies ? To cover the front poles? plain or striped?

curtains? tablecloths? signs?

I’d pass you another biscuit and refill your cup and look at expectantly………..well ?

Monday, March 18, 2013

On Mondays and gangs

I am still pyjama clad after my attempt at a sleep-in was thwarted by a cat , sitting on my back and meowing at the back of my head.
I have had some toast and at least three cups of tea and a bit of a think.
I know that I periodically bang-on about all the feel-good stuff that we get from the crafty community and I may tend to the evangelical at times, but seriously….. If you had shared the weekend I just had, you’d be feeling a bit knackered pumped as well.
Urban Stitches was the absolute bomb diggity of crafty weekends. Look, I know I am paid to be there and swan about (the swanning lasts about three minutes, as swan is not my natural state.) but there really isn’t one minute there that feels like work. Its kind of like a crazy school reunion except you’ve never met these people before.
Of course there is a lot of “I know you on bookface” or “I read your blog” or “ I am catswhiskas47  on instagram”, that kind of partial internet-knowing that seems so normal to me now, I don’t even blink.urban2
As I kept saying to people on the weekend, there is that shared love of making that almost guarantees a great conversation with anyone in the room (and lots of people come to this event on their own). There is laughter of the “OMG I can’t believe she just said that” variety and a clenching of the lady muscles that is as good for the pelvic floor as it is for the soul.
I met some truly wonderful, batty, generous, warm hearted women on the weekend and turned a few ‘internet friends’ into ‘real-life friends’.
I think it is so much fun because you know that to some degree every other person in the room ‘gets it’.
There is no need to explain or rationalise why you would spend months hand quilting a quilt to give it away, or why you enjoy making toys at the age of 43. Its like we are all part of the same gang (minus the leathers and chains for the most part)
Yes, there was food and pina coladas and handbags made of aluminium foil. There may have been a giraffe suit in amongst the interpretive dance and doodle talk .There were closed door discussions over pizza and a pig was seen in the foyer. We learnt things we didn’t even know that we didn’t know and some of us have now seen things that will never be unseen.
Best of all ,  I was not responsible for all of the above
(and I get to do it all again in Sydney next weekend)
Thanks for a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

I digress

I was popping in today feeling a bit whingey and grumpy. I was going to show you a whole slew of finished things (that samples list is down to ONE item). I was also going to show you all the half-started, half-arsed projects and ask for your help to decide what I should be working on because I seem to be in the throes of E.I.T.T.T.S and unable to focus on anything. I was also going to tell you that I will be at Urban Stitches in Melbourne this weekend and next weekend in Sydney (it is all but sold out, but you might be able to get a Sunday ticket to Sydney if you want to join the fun). I am soooo looking forward to spending two weekends with crafty folks. I’ll be instagramming the life out of it so you can follow along as well (jodiericrac).
urban button
Instead of sharing my grumpiness,  I am going to tell you I made an e-book. No it’s not about success or wealth creation, or the seven secret foods you must never eat or you’ll turn into a fatty. I made an E-book of the little bus stop story. It is not fancy at all – It has no sound or anything. In fact it is just the e-version of the the same thing you can read over  there on the stories tab for free on the blog.
But it was something I have been thinking about for ages, and I just wanted to see if I could and I can’t help thinking this might be a whole new wheelbarrow of fun if I can find a techie person to play along and we could do little toy books with actual sound (sexy Irish accent preferred).
I downloaded it for my Ipad and it worked and I was totally up for myself for at least ten minutes. If you would like to buy it for 99c apparently you can. After Blurb take a few cents I will receive 79c…so if 6 people buy it I can get a coffee and if only about 48,000 people buy it , I could take a whole year off work. Or I could pay someone to make things all beautiful and interactive and whatever else eBooks are capable of.
I think this is the link , it took me about 20 mins to find it again after I had finished the blessed thing or it should link if you click on the picture.
The real life version is going to stay here , so don’t feel pressured, this is more for my own crazy fun than any attempt at securing a retirement fund.
(My secrets to making millions eBook will be out next week and will obviously be a bestseller)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Teaching and whingeing

I haven’t organised a bucket load of teaching for the first part of this year as I am working hard behind the blog scenes , making samples for Portland, thinking about a booth for Portland, organising paperwork for Portland and generally obsessing over Portland.

But I am teaching a new Print & Sew class at Millrose Cottage in Ballan on April 9th. This class is designed for beginners but if you don’t mind spending a day with kids, you would be welcome to join us.

Each participant will create their own design and screen using Mr Gocco and we will then print our own fabric and turn it into a basic bag.



I will show you how to clean your screen so you can take it home and use it again as a mini screen printing screen.

I am really excited about this class.We are all going to do multiple prints of our design so we can share and I have a few designs already printed for people to take home as well. If you want to join in please ring Millrose and grab a requirements list. I need to order in screens and inks and bits and bobs, so we need to be organised for this one.


I’ll be teaching a much less need-to-be-organised Rag Rug class on Saturday 13th April at Ballarat Patchwork.ragrugblue2

This class is a quickie – You can book in for 10am, 12 noon or 2pm. We were almost booked out all day last time and some people made huge progress in a short time. Just ring Ballarat Patchwork to book in for that one. I am looking forward to adding a few more rounds to my rug while I am there.

I know people whinging about the weather is really dull, but I would just like my extreme displeasure to be noted and passed on to the highest authorities. As the mercury rises, so to does my propensity for narky, crabby snitchy behaviour. Consider yourself warned world.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesday Rotate (Mary’s shop)

Greetings and welcome to another instalment of Tuesday Rotate.

Today I am going to tell you about my friend Mary’s shop in Gisborne- Patch ‘n’ Quilt.  I met Mary years ago on my very first trip to sewjourn, when my friend Annie convinced Mary to stock my patterns. Now I get to catch up with Mary every time I go to sewjourn.

mary1 - Copy

My visit to Mary is always a bit of a sewjourn joke, as my arrival may  be delayed somewhat when I pop in to Mary's.  (Ok Mary and I once spent three hours chatting over the counter …but only once and we have never lived it down !). I love hanging out in Mary’s shop, everyone gets a cheery hello when they enter and as much help as they need. The customers all strike up conversations and offer suggestions, it really is fun. There is always lots of laughter coming from the back room where the classes are held…..


     There is a huge range of really diverse fabrics, lots of bright and lots of more traditional fabrics. Mary also stocks both acrylic and wool felt, buttons, masses of hardware and gadgets, threads, doo-dads, gizmos and whatchamacallits.


On this trip I got some great little clip thingo’s that I had been searching all over the internet for, a little top-up of delicious wool felts as I had run out of black, some fabrics for a new bag, cotton – a little bit of everything.mary2

I did ask Mary if it was Ok to take all the photos and I told her about Tuesday Rotate and told her it was a little bit about sharing the love and a little bit about me being sick of talking about me all the time.


So, in her usual gorgeous Mary style (the woman is insanely generous) she gave me a fat 1/4 pack for one of you guys.


So tell me, folks, what makes a good shop experience for you? Are you a leave-me-alone kind of shopper or a chatty shopper. What brings you back to a shop or what scares you off?

I’ll randomly pick a winner and send them this great set of fat 1/4’s courtesy of Mary.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A whirling dervish

I have been sewing like a whirling dervish. Ever since I got accepted into the Spring Quilt market I have been busy sewing samples to take with me. I thought it might all be a bit dull and boring to share, but then again I guess not everyone has been hanging out here since that ark ran aground so maybe not.

C001 Kinder girls cover photo


Did you know that the Kinder girls was my very pattern? In fact, it was the kinder dolls that made me open an Etsy shop and start on this whole crazy adventure. The Kinder girls are still one of my most popular patterns.


I usually make them with doctors flannel but these guys are made with linen and I think they look pretty awesome. I did most of this sewing last weekend at sewjourn and just added their faces this week.


There is a bit of handsewing in this pattern, the head and arms are handsewn on. A veeery long time ago (like over 21yrs) when I was pregnant with Jemma, I made her two rag dolls. Once she was big enough to play with them, their arms ripped of, but not only did they rip off , they ripped right across the bodies. I thought at that time if I ever made more dolls I would hand sew the arms on so they could come off without wrecking the whole doll. (I never thought in a million years I would end up designing sewing patterns.)

I can’t imagine how many variations on these dolls I have made over the last few years. If you have a look in my Flickr thingo, you’ll see a few of them. One of my favourites was the little cowboy.


My all time favourite accessories has to be the coat and although I usually gravitate towards red, this little girl below in her gorgeous Liberty frock, needed an olive green coat.


Have you ever made a kinder girl or kinder boy? You can add them to the Flickr pool thingo if you like or send me a photo and I’ll add it for you.

Each of these little people have been given a kiss on the nose and packed gently into the tub labelled “Portland”.

(It has air holes, don’t worry)

Friday, March 1, 2013

what’s the fuss

Ever hopeful, I went off and had my passport photos taken this morning.

The neutral expression stuff proved quite difficult because I kept smiling at the woman behind the camera.

I do feel though, that she captured just a little of my personality in this shot.



Would you let this woman into your country?