Monday, October 31, 2011

Getting Sorted

I have to confess that for a control freak like myself, the topic of organisation is heavenly.

If you follow me on twitter, then you'd also know that I'm quite addicted to any reality tv shows that feature hoarding/organisation.... think Hoarders on Biography Channel, Clean House on Style Network, and Clean Sweep on Discovery Home and Health.

Unfortunately I was also born with the hoarding gene (it's on both sides of my family). I find it extremely difficult to throw anything away that might be useful one day.

It was definitely time for an intervention!

On Saturday, I was lucky enough to spend the day at a hotel in the city at the 6 Steps Workshop.

The workshop featured three fantastic, passionate Professional Organisers who presented a range of topics around de-cluttering, organisation, and simpifying your life.

Lissanne Oliver from SORTED!
Chantale Bordonaro from Simplicity Source 
Joshua Zerkel from Custom Living Solutions 

The sessions were:

  • Cut Clutter Forever
  • Manage Paperwork Without Pain
  • Moving or Downsizing - Think Outside the Box
  • Need Storage? - Reclaim Your Space
  • Master Your Paperless World
  • Skyrocket Your Productivity With Online Tools

I can seriously say that I've started making changes already which are going to make my life sooooo much easier - most importantly for me I think it will improve the following dramatically

  • No more forgetting things (lack of oxygen to the brain has seriously affected my memory skills)
  • No more double handling of things (means less energy expended)
  • No more searching for things in the craft stash (time saver)
  • No more re-buying things I already have just because I can't find them (money saver)

Some of my favourite tips from the day that are really easy to implement.

  • Stop things coming into your house that you don't need
  • Insist on consumable gifts (chocolate is always welcome if you're giving me a gift)
  • Filing Cabinets are nursing homes for paper
  • Think about retrieval, not storage. If you store it, can you find and access it when you need it?
  • Done is better than perfection (great tip for those of us who read lots of perfectly pretty blogs)
  • Label Label Label (I currently suck at this one)
  • Think Rightsize, not Downsize.

I'm such a technodork - I also finally learned what 'in the cloud' actually means!

All of the online / tech solutions were really interesting. These are the two that I'm using now.

The best one for my needs is going to be EVERNOTE

You can create all sorts of lists and notebooks.
I've taken photos of the business cards I've collected and made a business card notebook in Evernote, so that the actual cards can be thrown away (its ingenious).
I've also made a grocery list, and as I remember what I need, I just add to the list in my iPhone. It can also be synced with my PC and Laptop.

We also learned about DROPBOX

I originally found out about Dropbox from Michelle at Frankie & Swiss. I use it to share my fabric design files so that she can just access each one when I send through a printing order. It's fantastic.

Another thing that I really liked was that it was re-iterated that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to anything. It's important to do a little research and find the solution that fits the needs of the problem that you have. The storage and organisation solutions that I need to take control of my craft/space and back up supplies, are going to be different to what I need in the office to take care of personal and business paperwork.

The trick to everything that I've learned being implemented is to take action within the first 3 days (that means make a start... not a finish).

So today I toodled off to Officeworks and bought some supplies, and then came home and started organising.

My sewing patterns are now all stored in pretty magazine holders. I can't see the mess of all the different sizes / packaging types (apart from a few largish envelopes that are peaking over) 

This was another great tip - all of the stacks of paperwork and receipts that come in via my front door end up in piles on the kitchen bench. I'm now going to categorise them (and separate the personal receipts from the business receipts) as they come in, so that I stop losing things.

I have a little cupboard with packaging supplies for my online orders. It's a bit messy, and it was hard to find which business card / swing tag / postcard I needed each time (depending on what I'd sold)

I bought some business card and postcard holders, so that I can now see the fronts of each type of card and easily retrieve them when I need them for my packages.

I have to also confess that I bought myself a new box of labels at Officeworks and when I moved all the cards around, I found the box of labels that I already had!

My next job is to tackle this cupboard. The plastic containers house all of my bag / pouch making supplies - from flex frames, to magnetic snaps, o-rings, d-ring, slide adjusters etc... you name it, I hoard it (and yes I do have an entire basket of zips....and screenprinting ink - don't ask).

The good news is that I do at least have them containerised. The bad news is that I can't find what I need because there are no labels!

I have a discount code that I can share with everyone for Lissanne's webstore - you can get 10% off all products and services until Nov 7th by using the code 6STEPS.

In the meantime.... I'll get back to my organising.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Place and Yours

I'm playing along with My Place and Yours this week...

I've showed where I sleep before, so instead I'm showing my newly transformed spare room. It's still a plain white box, but the bunk beds are gone and now I have two nice new singles and a trundle bed.

It's all ready to go for when I get that phonecall that I'm waiting for....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sorted.... from my archives

A long long time ago (ok, well not really that long ago), I bought a little book.

This little book was the subject of my second ever blog post on Wednesday January 16th 2008.

Today I'm off to spend the day at a 6 Steps Workshop with the books author and organising guru Lisanne Oliver, and two other organisational experts. I'm completely fascinated by the topic so I'm quite excited about the day ahead.

Here's hoping it might also keep my hoarding tendencies at bay!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Make Hey Lastnight....

Lovely photo borrowed from Magdalena's blog - The Craft Revival (mine were all blurry)

I've been keeping busy busy busy this week, so I kept my planned date with the crafty girls, and went along to the launch of Pip's new book Make Hey lastnight.

Vic drove to my place and bought me some flowers.... awww what a sweetie, and then we hotfooted it over to St Kilda. I'm pretty sure that I kept my peak hour swearing to a minimum and we made it in plenty of time. Phew!

It was a lovely friendly relaxed chatty event. Just the type of thing I like. I now have another signed book to add to the collection. Yah!

With the beautiful weather, we headed to the park for a little dusk picnic......'twas the perfect end to the evening!

A Dragster Theme

There seems to be an unintentional theme happening this week.

This one was a request from my mum. She needed a birthday pressie for a friends daughter who is a tween. I have absolutely no clue what tweens actually like, so I hope this fits the bill.

While making it earlier this week, I had one of those really strange experiences where I just couldn't remember how to make an adjustable strap. Then once I'd worked that out again, I managed to sew the straps onto the bag outer the wrong way up. Weird.

Anyway, I like how it turned out (after all that unpicking).... it's not too girly I hope?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Creative Space

A little sneaky peek of something that is waiting in the wings.... if you get my drift.

The home of my creative space

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Custom Dragster

A few weeks ago, Elise emailed me about a custom purse order. She and her sister had seen my Dragster design on an iPhone / Gadget Pouch at Little Shop Of in Carnegie, which they loved, but they were looking for a purse to hold change and ATM cards.

So, I ordered a custom piece of fabric, and a nice new gleaming purse frame, and used Nikki's  150mm Purse Frame Pattern to make a custom Dragster purse.

I made an addition of some nice sturdy card pockets on the insides.

I really love how this one turned out!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Hottie Challenge - Fundraising Tally


Goodness gracious me, I must profusely apologise for not blogging about this much sooner (thanks for the reminder Vireya)!!

Thanks to all the organisation and support from the lovely Prue and Robyn at Open Drawer Gallery, their customers, and all the Hotties in blogland, I have the final fundraising tally from the Hottie Challenge.


That is an amazingly unbelievably fantastic amount raised for the Margaret Pratt Foundation whose aim is to encourage, develop and maintain Australia’s world class expertise in the field of organ transplantation by supporting research that addresses the problems faced by children and adults after heart and lung transplant.

From the bottom of my heart (and lungs) - Thankyou.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Spring Makeover

There has obviously been zero craft action at my place since last Thursday.

My back is sore (and now that we've counted the holes in my back, it looks like ten attempts at the epidural), and my sewing mojo is lost.

I'm still not quite sure what to do next. Do I re-open my online shops? Do I wait and see?

I will be re-stocking my bricks and mortar stockists this week, and finishing off any custom orders before I make a decision.

I did at least spend the weekend doing something useful - with the help of Mr S on Saturday, and Mr X on Sunday, I now have a brand spanking new craft space.

I've ditched all of the old mismatched furniture, and replaced it with two new white shiny sewing tables and three storage bookshelves/cupboards.

There's still lots of tidying to be done, but at least it's completely functional as it is!

For those playing at home - the desks are Micke and the bookshelves/cupboards are Billy with doors - all from Ikea.

The best thing is that I didn't step foot anywhere near Ikea - I used Big Swedish Store Run. They went shopping and picked it all up from Ikea, and delivered it to my door.

Now I'm hoping that I might find my mojo lurking in that lovely new space.... off to search!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Things that make me smile...

When I see someone making something completely gorgeous using fabric that I've designed.

Handpainted doll by Jennie at A Little Vintage using my Go Granny and Owlie Oracle...

This one is perfect for Blogtoberfest.

Juliet from Tartan Kiwi won my Reindeer Row fabric during last years Blogtoberfest finale, and she's made a little zippered pouch as a pressie for her nephew.

Soooooo cute! I have a teensy bit of this fabric left and it's making me want to get it out and make christmas pressies.

I haven't had a chance to organise my own Blogtoberfest giveaway just yet, so keep your eyes peeled for it this coming week. In the meantime, please check out the Blogtoberfest Giveaway page and good luck!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Forgive me Dear Blogtoberfesters, for I have missed a day.....

....but I promise you that I have a really plausible excuse!

I haven't quite managed to get my head around the events of the last 36 hours yet, so I'd thought I'd show off my gorgeous new handmade top.

It's a fab Flying Ducks slouch tee by Deb from Dear Someone.  She's part of the lovely collective of makers from Olive Grove Studios.

I wore this on Thursday and received lots of comments - most people were reminded of Flying Ducks on older relatives walls back in the 70's. Gotta love a bit of nostalgia!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tutorial - How to Make Go Granny Mini Bunting

Jess from Epheriall Designs contacted me a few weeks ago, and asked me if I could write a little crafty tutorial for her gorgeous blog.

How could I possibly say no?

I was sitting at the kitchen bench with little squares of Go Granny and little squares of felt, inspired by Jennie's girls..... when I lined them up in a row and immediately pictured them as bunting!

This tutorial is quick and easy and lots of fun - even the kiddies can make the 'non sew' version just using fabric glue.

You can find Go Granny Fabric right here and you can download the PDF version of the Mini Bunting Tutorial right here.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sometimes all you need is....

Milkshakes and cupcakes...

.... and sunshine and balloons...

....a new friend to chat to....

...and love!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The forgotten ones...

In all of the excitement of the Gleaners Inc Grand Opening, I'd totally forgotten to show off some very special Sunnies/Specs pouches.

Some of my very favourite vintage tablecloths and vintage fabrics were sacrificed for a very good cause.

Here's a lovely pic of them in their new position at the shop (check out the gorgeous vintage cutlery drawer).

Just in case you hadn't heard, Gleaners Inc is Open For Business (2 Ballarat St, Brunswick) - make sure to check it out!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Getting Cushy - Part 3

I've had so much fun making cushions lately, that I decided to make some very special Go Granny Cushion Covers for the shop.

I also have lots and lots of new things coming to the shop very soon.

I'm trying as hard as I can to get everything finished, so that everyone can start their Christmas shopping early...... just in case I get the call.

But this is the beginning - go forth and shop to your hearts delight!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blogtoberfest 16 Self Portrait Day

In the absence of any proper photos of myself (always the photographer, never the photographee), for todays Blogtoberfest Self Portrait day, I present to you, a random selection of blurry photos taken on my mobile phone.

The straight hair shot (middle bottom) is evidence that I'd just been to the hairdresser for a haircut. I would normally never ever bother even plugging a hair straightener into a powerpoint, let alone taking the time to straighten my hair with it!

Strangely enough, it seems that I only attempt a self portrait on my phone when I happen to be wearing my Dorothy shoes (strange but true). I'm sure they must have magical powers. It's looking like my wardrobe has a particular colour theme too.... bizzare.

Anyhoo, that's enough pondering for a Sunday, why not play along at Tinniegirl!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Whoooooooah we're halfway there... Blogtoberfest 15

I've had this little floral plate sitting on my bench for a couple of weeks now....

Tinniegirl spotted it for me on an op-shopping jaunt a few weeks ago.

What's the thing that I love most (well, apart from that gorgeous floral design)? The fact that it fits an entire packet of Tim Tams perfectly.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tutorial - How to Make a Pouch for your Electronic Gadget

I'm super excited that this tutorial is on Whip Up today - a huge thankyou to Kathreen for inviting me to contribute to the Guest Blogger Series!

My sister recently bought me an eReader so I desperately need to Whip Up an eReader Pouch, using one of the original testing samples (in a larger scale) of my Go Granny fabric.

The tutorial explains how to measure your very own eGadget to make a pouch that fits perfectly.

If you'd like to make your very own, using my Go Granny fabric (tip: all those lines make it really easy to sew in a straight line), then pop over here to the shop.

Oh, and if you do make something lovely using Go Granny, then please upload your photos to Flickr and join the Go Granny group!

Download the PDF Tutorial - How to Make a Pouch for your Electronic Gadget

My Creative Space

Another one of Nikki's A-Line Skirts is in the works at the moment. This time for a friend.

The pattern is all cut out and ready to go, but there's no time for sewing 'til the weekend.

I'll have to just stare at it longingly til then.....sigh

More Creative Spaces

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Weekend Activities...

Are you looking for something to do this weekend?

If you're in the North, then head on down to the Made'n'Thornbury market for some of Cathie's extremely yummy goodies!

If you're out East (?.... I was never any good at geography sorry), then check out Buttonfest 2011

So many crafty things to do.... never enough time!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

You've gotta be in it to win it!

My mum came to visit for Mr B's birthday yesterday, and she bought me along a little something...

I've had very good intentions of entering the craft section of the Royal Melbourne Show for the last couple of years, only I just never ever got around to it..... but this sounds right up my alley.

It's the Warrion Flower Show - there are lots of categories for all sorts of things like cut flowers, home grown produce, jams and relishes, sauces, cakes, scones, slices, even eggs!

But look... there's also a craft section!

These categories are not really up my alley....

But, if I have time, I'd love to enter a cloth dolly, or a softie, and I'm definitely going to enter Article of Craftwork Not Specified. Surely I can make something that's not specified?

When was the last time that you entered something into your local show?