Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing day reflections

Huge sigh of relief - Christmas day is over.  It was brilliant but big as always - too much of everything - emotions, food, alcohol, pressies....  Boxing Day is always welcome for being so low key.  Husband and I alone at home - A prone a lot of the time watching the cricket, me doing what I seem to like doing most of all for relaxation - sewing away.  Made a shoulder bag to take to NZ and a nice spotty top.  Managed also a walk and a swim and a sort of house tidy up.  Lots of ham fillups.  Still thinking of that wonderful salad Claire made up for us yesterday - spinach leaves, pecan nuts, raspberries and persian feta.  Was yum yum.  Bruce's hovering, whizzing, flashing, alien spaceship gizmos the big hit of Xmas - must track some down for James and Zach for the NZ trip.   Bye for now... take care.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

House titivation

Phew - now all the millymaking sewing and markets are over for the year I am concentrating on getting the house ready for our Christmas guests. We realised we've made do without an outside light near the front door for over a year now but better not have the rellies struggling around in the dark trying to find their way to our front door this Christmas. I've ordered a groovy new outdoor light today from an online store selling lighting of every description. Don't you just love online shopping - too easy.

That reminds me - I really must create a website next year for our millymaker products.  Put that on the new year's resolution list... watch this space.

Monday, December 14, 2009

All over red rover

Whahooooo! The market was a great success on Sunday.  A slow start but then it went crazy for a few hours, before a steady stream of shoppers throughout the afternoon.  Sue and I were very pleasantly surprised by how much we made. 

Thanks once again to the lovely girls who run the market - Rebecca, Holly and Heather. Having eftpos available at the market was a great addition.  It was interesting being upstairs in the masonic temple - a bit musty with some strange little dressing rooms with hanging robes in them (what on earth really goes on in these places!!) - but otherwise a great space to share with some very nice people on the other stalls and all our fabulous customers. Thank you to Sue, Shauna, Noella and Helen  - my fellow millymakers, and to all the nice people from my work who came along and supported me.

I am going to give all away my few remaining bags to friends and charity and start the slate clean in 2010 - new ideas, new endeavours. For the moment I feel quite exhausted and all 'sewed out'.  I think it's time to give the Husky a break and to get outside to play in the vegie garden, to go bushwalking, kayaking, swimming too I hope.  Best wishes for a merry Christmas if I don't get to post another blog before then. Chin Chin.

Sue before the shoppers arrived

Sunday, December 6, 2009

One week until the Xmas market

Planned to sew up a storm this weekend but really too much happening.  Chelsea's 6th birthday, Christmas shopping, family visits, and general life-decluttering-pre-Christmas mission... Ah well, what will be will be - we have lots of stock already and it's all about having fun being creative really.  Here's a sample of some shiny packaged goods waiting to be unleashed at the hobart market next Sunday 13 December at the Masonic Lodge, Hobart.  Might see you there?

We will be selling tote bags (each a one-off), the millydilly pouch bags (great inexpensive gift idea for dog walkers, party goers and new mums), Shauna's beautiful lino cut, individually hand-painted cards (each one a work of art in themselves - they look amazing framed) and Noella's quirky jewellery and 'intriguing sleeves'.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Five months in the life of our oak tree

Yes we love our oak tree.  It's one of the reasons we bought our house.  Last summer when it was very very dry we noticed all the leaves were curling and turning crispy brown and we thought for a while that the tree might perish.  I watered it solidly for weeks and it came good.  It has been great to see it do it's thing again this spring - obviously without any damage from the drought.  We think our oak tree is between 40 and 50 years old.

16 November  2009

25 October 2009

10 October 2009

20 September 2009

4 June 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I feel heroic

We managed it!  Husband and I finally constructed our Freedom slide bookshelving arrangement on the weekend.  Only took us about three hours and not a cross word between us. We have sworn, however, that if we ever buy anything in a flatpack again we'll pay the store to assemble it for us.  So here it is - ta dah.  Now I need to buy some lovely woven baskets to fill in some of the cubicles.  Funny how one retail purchase always necessitates another...

Have been in production of the  millydilly bag. These are little pouch type bags which you tie up and wear around your waist or hips  - perfect for walking the dog, going out dancing, travelling etc.  They look great worn over both pants or skirts.  It's less than three week to our market stall on 13 December at the Masonic Lodge, Hobart. See for more info.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hullo again - still here

Whoops - I have been too busy to update this blog. It's that crazy time of year again  - social life getting busier, Christmas shopping to do, neglected house work and repairs to catch up on and of course the jungle of the garden needing taming after all the recent rain and jack-and-the-beanstalk growth. 

Outside our newly constructed (thank you Bruce) no-dig-raised-vegie-bed has needed lots of 'filling up' with layers of animal manures, newspapers, garden clippings, straw, compost etc. Inside the flat pack containing our new bookshelf from Freedom still sitting in the sunroom six weeks after buying it. Guilt guilt guilt - every time I trip over it but no time or energy to tackle that one yet. Opportunities to sew have been hard to squeeze into my weekends even though all I really want to do is play endlessly with my new sewing machine and overlocker!  Boo working nine to five, boo housework...

On Saturday evening caught up with Noella (birthday girl) and her market stall at the Hobart Fringe Festival.  She was selling some of my purses, a couple of bags and a new design I was trialling for a small dilly milly bag which ties around the waist.  Whoo hoo - all bags sold and lots of the purses too.  Planning on staring production of the milly dilly next weekend.

Yesterday Sue and I visited the first Christmas designers market at the Masonic Temple in Hobart to get a taste for what it is going to be like for our market stall in December.  Gosh was it busy - hard to even get near a stall.  Great to see but the pressure is on now to make more things. In the afternoon I did manage to whip up one bag in the afternoon using some lovely material bought in Burnt Street, Seaforth on a recent trip to Sydney.

Piling in the new vegie garden layers

Showing off our lovely oak tree again - green leaves are darkening every day
(PS Don't let this serene scene deceive you. This is the presentable area of the garden - the other side is where the jungle is taking over)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Useful stuff

Hi ho - back from Sydney and straight into a 2-day Social Media workshop with social networking guru Laurel Papworth.  Phew.  Mind overload but lots of great new ideas for both making and promoting.

It was fun in Sydney at Anna's Open Home although we didn't quite get the numbers we were expecting.  Being a shimmery hot Sydney Sunday I think a lot of the people we invited were at the beach. I don't blame them!!  We had fun though.  I loved Anna's Silk Diva range and Shauna's new range of cards. Go Anna and Shauna!

I've decided that after 10 months of millymaking it might be nice to share some of the things I've learnt along the way.  So I've added some useful info to this blog - lists of the online fabric shops I buy from (all great - no complaints), other sites where I've ordered business cards and clothing labels or used to create promo material, plus sites where I go to get inspiration from, sites where you can sell handmade items and blogs and sites I like.  Hope you find something useful here.

The photo above is of a recent sculpture created by my sister Shauna.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Millymaker bags off to Sydney next weekend

Busy times. Melbourne last weekend, home this weekend (managed the one bag on right) and off to Sydney next weekend. Taking some millymaker bags with me to sell at Anna Pryor's open home Sunday 1 November.

Anna will be selling her Silk Diva range of exotic clothes plus my sister Shauna's beautiful lino cut cards and handmade jewellery. Also other maker's wares too I believe. So if you are in Sydney next week come along 12 noon - 4 pm, 19 King Street Newport. Anna has a lovely home and I've been to one of her open home occasions before. Very relaxed and lots of girly fun.

Sue has been busy making lots of new fabulous millymaker bags. She's overtaking me in production! I've been so seduced by my new sewing machine I've been making some clothes for myself rather than bags.

Last weekend Alan, Claire and I went to the Shirt and Skirt Designer Market at Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne. Really enjoyed it - great atmosphere, jazz playing, groovy cafes and some lovely things on sale. Liked the emphasis on clothes. The designer markets in Hobart have tended to be more about accessories, jewellery and kid's clothes.

My lovely brother Bruce and my nephew Jac came around today. Bruce and Alan constructed a raised vegie garden bed out of sleepers - slogging on in the rain, me fretting about wet electric power tools...all finished now though and looks great.

And here's the oak tree photographed today (during a sunny patch) looking lush in its luminous lime green phase.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bag lady happiness

Oh what joy, ridiculous joy - saw a woman in the street in Hobart today with a millymaker bag casually slung over her shoulder! Nudged husband and pointed this out to him. Made me not feel so bad spending so much money yet again in Spotlight. Here's some of my bags made in recent weeks - getting stock together for the December 13 Christmas market. I am really pleased with this lot so far. Also Sue's sewing efforts last week. Go Sue!
And as promised - oak tree progresss this week. Photo taken yesterday 10 October. No longer looking so 'newbie' in the leaf department. Now a solid adolescent covering. Yesterday the sun shone nearly all day - a rare thing in Hobart recently.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Some good reads and the 100-day flu

Boring boring - the flu again. Sixth time this year. The doctor tells me that this is not unusual in Hobart this flu season. They are calling it the 100-day flu. The only upside is the amount of reading I have been doing. Finished two good books this week. 'My Driver' by Maggie Gee - set in Uganda, quirky and humorous, very believable characters, lots of twists and turns, bit of adventure and romance. Loved it. Also 'The Pages', Murray Bail's new novel about the life of a modern day philosopher who wrote his findings in the shed of his family's country property outback NSW. Not quite what I was expecting and very obtuse but enjoyed it nonetheless. Off to bed now for more reading and body repairing zzzzzzzzzs. Hope to do some sewing tomorrow.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Not enough time weekend

Ha - I just realised as I typed that heading - that yes this is indeed true - we have lost an hour this weekend from the onset on daylight savings. So yes, the weekend was not long enough. Only managed to make one bag - very frustrating as I have oodles of gorgeous fabrics now. The flowery bag turned out well however so I am pleased with this one.

Late yesterday we drove down through the Huon to the Far South Wilderness Lodge at Dover where we were staying overnight with Sue and her merry mix of international students. Rolling hills bathed in late afternoon sun, orchards in blossom, quaint old farmhouses with daffodils, tulips, and rich red rhodos resplendent... It was a lovely drive and a great night away. The three beautiful Chinese girls are all from one-child families. How precious are they to their parents and so far away from home. Jose from Guatemala told Alan he is not looking forward to going home this Christmas as his family lives are all in danger during the current political turmoil. We reflected driving home this morning how lucky we are to live in Tasmania.

I have decided to document the life of our oak tree, which just this week has its early fuzz of green leaves. A little late this year as usually by Bruce's birthday on 29 September the leaves are more advanced. More pics will follow as the oak tree does its 'thing' over the next few weeks.

Here's my new favourite recipe, a no fail yummy and moist banana and raisin loaf - has no sugar or butter but you wouldn't know it...

3 1/2 cups almond meal
3 eggs beaten
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 or 2 mashed bananas
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp cinnamon

  • Mix almond meal, baking salt and salt in food processor
  • In separate bowl beat eggs, add yogurt, mashed banana and honey and mix
  • Add all to food processor and add raisins and cinnamon
  • Pour into loaf tin (lined with baking paper)
  • Cook in 150 degree oven for about one hour.
I made two of these this weekend!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A perfect weekend for sewing

Listening to the Grand Final and sewing - a great way to spend a Sat arvo. Husband away being blokey watching the game with friends so the house to myself - lovely lovely.

Last night was a wild wild night - incredible non-stop wind and door slamming throughout the house. It was kind of a relief when morning came although the weather has been nasty all day too. Have made another bag - the psychedelic material one - and am really pleased with this. I think I will make this my 'bag recipe' for a while. Black twill top and handles and interesting fabric below. Would have kept on sewing all day but have run out of a few essentials - iron-on fabric stiffener and thread etc. See you soon Spotlight...

Also made a zipped purse for glasses - using some of the material I screen printed last weekend. Shauna has been fabric shopping for me in Sydney so I am excited about this and have some other fabric arriving this week too from Kelani Fabric Obsession.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Let's get physical!

Nothing like the approach of a trip to Sydney to make a girl want to make an effort to get the body into some sort of shape (or is it too late?). Yesterday morning Sue and I had our first dragon boat row on the Derwent - eleven women in a long narrow skiff with a man standing up at the back of the boat with a long oar steering us. Quite a workout. I was hopeless at first - way out of rhythm and mostly only managing to do one stroke to the women in front of me's two - but managed to get the hang of it and didn't make too much of a disgrace of myself. Felt quite exhausted afterwards and could have even had an arvo nap.

I am blaming being pooped for my 'sewing injury' that afternoon. While sewing a scarf I managed to sit heavily on my pin cushion which I'd left on the chair in front of my sewing machine. At least six long darning needles impaled themselves into my bottom. OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH! Had to extract them one at time. No sympathy from husband who was preoccupied with his own misery - the 'man flu'.

Despite the sore bottom, shoulders and arms Sue and I continued the fitness theme this morning by pushing ourselves on our Sunday morning walk - uphill moaning and groaning o Boronia Reserve but felt quite pleased with ourselves back at Sue's with our cups of tea.

Came home and did a bit of screen printing - a row of birds which I plan to use as part of a bag front. Worked out okay but the wind whipped up just after I pegged the printed pieces of material up on a rope in front of the oak tree and some of the material bits flapped wet ink around. Ah well.

Above top is a photo of a corner of the garden which is looking rather nice now that the rhodos are out and below the 'love tree' with its new 'e'.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Squeegee fun

Very excited - my new screen and squeegee arrived in the mail from Shauna today. Plan to do some screen printing this weekend - nice simple abstract shapes on cream fabric. Also have some sewing planned - will try out some scarves using the lovely Japanese fabric I bought a few weeks back from Jan at Kingston Beach and the silky plain fabric from Spotlight. And then there is the garden bed to dig out...

I went to the Hobart Flower Show in my lunch hour and felt positively youthful compared to all the old doddery folk there. Bought a sparaxis glandiflora so will plant this too.

Gosh it is going to be a busy weekend!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Market merriment and strawberry jam

I really enjoyed the Hobart market yesterday. It's such a great market - lots of friendly people, all sorts of lovely and inspiring handmade products, nice music, and general good vibes. Thank you to everyone who stopped by the millymaker stall and a special thanks to Julia and her Mum - my best bag customers!

Thanks too to the very creative Noella, Shauna, Sue and Jodie for adding to the
millymaker mix, to my darling husband for helping me set up and running errands during the day, to my brother Bruce for making the wooden display stand for my bags and to Noah for adding busking talent to the market.

I am excited already about my next market and just hope I get a spot in one of the upcoming
pre-Christmas events. Watch this space...

And now on to important jammy matters - In the endless pursuit of finding friendly foods for my dodgy digestive system I have been making a rather nice, almost cakey pumpernickel bread using almond meal and having this with a very delicious strawberry jelly/jam. The jelly tastes so wondrous it's hard to believe it is sugar free. Here's the recipe:

Strawberry jelly/jam
Makes about 2 cups

375 g (2 and a half cups) fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
(I used two punnets)
250 ml (1 cup) water

2 tbs fresh lemon juice

150 g (1/2 cup) honey

1 tbs gelatin (I used one sachet)

100 ml warm water

Place the strawberries, water, lemon juice and honey in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through a sieve, gently squeezing out as much juice as possible. Dissolve the gelatin in 100 ml of water and stir into hot juice. Pour into glass jar/s, tighten lid and refrigerate overnight to set.

This is so yummy - it's hard to resist eating it by the spoonful rather than just spreading it on your toast!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Come and visit me at the Hobart Designers Market this Father's Day

I am really looking forward to the market on Sunday. I have my lovely sister Shauna's cards and jewellery to add to my bags and purses, rings from Noella, groovy oven gloves by Sue and coat hangers by Jodie. An eclectic millymaker mix!

You can find out more about the market at:

The photograph above is of two of Shauna's beautiful hand-painted, hand-printed lino cut cards. They are little works of art in themselves and worth framing. While Shauna was staying with me over the last few days she also started a blogsite where you can see more of her cards and jewellery and hopefully she'll add some of her art soon too.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Only a week until my next market stall

Have quite a bit of stock now - bags and purses. Looking forward to showing Shauna and hearing her suggestions for new sewing ventures when she arrives in Hobart tomorrow. What fun we are going to have this weekend. Hope the weather improves. Our roof leaked yesterday, late afternoon, with drips coming in all over the place...husband up on roof in dark in pouring rain clearing gutters as I gaily drove off for bookclub (not really good wifey move!)

Here's a pic of Rhubarb looking his usual non-plussed self, despite being cosied up to my luverly new cushion cover.

And here's some pics of recent tote bags and purses: