Sunday, October 28, 2012

Love Ikat

I seem to be seeing more and more Ikat home furnishing springing up in home wares stores in Sydney. I have been going to Indonesia for many years now and have loved Ikat traditional fabrics for a very long time and it is nice that it is getting the recoginition it deserves. More contemporary designs are being developed using traditional methods. I have my eye on some yellow cushions because as you know I am obsessed with yellow at the moment.

Some facts about Ikat.

The ikat is a traditional hand woven cloth from Indonesia. The word ikat, meaning to ‘tie’ or ‘bind’ in the Indonesian language, implies the process of weaving. Ikat-making includes several stages: spinning the thread, binding and dying the thread; stringing the loom and weaving the cloth. Typically cotton or silk hand-woven thread is used, coloured with natural dyes, such as a native Indonesian indigo plant, Indigofera sumatrana, a common source of blue-black tint and variety of other local dyes. The weaving is done on a back-strap or shaft loom to create intricate cloth designs. - Courtesy of the Australian Museum

Patterns can vary from country to country and can often be a symbol of status, wealth, power, and prestige. Many ikat fabric patterns we are seeing have one single color with a neutral beige or white background. This is because each strand is arranged into bundles, tied and dyed separately before being attached to the loom and woven into a pattern. My guess it is more cost effective to do things this way. I actually love the one or two colour options available. Bold and simple.  What do you like?

The options are endless on what you can do with this amazing fabric

Where can I buy it in Sydney????????
rugs -
clothing -
cushions -

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Give away time

As I will be moving soon I am going to have to clean out my sewing cupboards...

Here is a before shot

this is a shot of the bookshelf. This part of my sewing room is tidy as people see this at inspections.

and so in order for me to do a proper clean I am going to give some of my fabric away.

If you would like to win this beautiful fabric all you need to do is drop me a line and add my blog to your blog list or roll. The winner will be chosen by random... I'll put names in a hat and ask one of my children to draw the lucky winner. You have until Friday to enter.

5 fat quarter sets

1 yard of each

This is what is on offer today. If you miss out on this I will be posting more give aways over the coming days and weeks.

Good Luck :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

one of those special days

Today was a special day for no particular reason. This morning I cleaned the house for our inspection which was fine. I did inside while Stu did outside.

From here I met some friends for coffee and a chat at a local cafe. Then went to another friends house as I was homeless by this stage (inspection time).

By this stage it was time to take my little man home for a sleep. While he slept I caught up on some blogs and emails and did some work on my online store.

In no time 3.00pm came around and it was time to pick up Liv and take her to Jazz. She didn't want to go but a little ice-block treat did the trick and it was all smiles when we got there.

We got home by 5.00pm and Stu and the other two were home, Jack has speech and drama after school on a Thursday. It was time to put wood in the Pizza oven and make pizzas which we enjoyed outside with some mini Conetto's. I had made the pizza dough whilst chubs was asleep so it was al lready to go when I walked in the door.

Kids are all bathed, dinner done, Jack reading, Liv writing her news and chubs having his bottle.

Such a nothing day but a special day as I am with my family and doing the simple things which makes me happy.

some great recipes and the pizza dough basic recipe is unreal

must be "00" flour sifted
having fun in the sun in our backyard

end product

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Home sweet home

I am so please to be home and back with my family. I missed them so.

I had a successful trip and I loved every minute but I missed my kiddies so much. Good to be home and getting lot and lots of cuddles.

my precious three

Now that I am back it is all systems go. My stock should be arriving later this week or early next week. I will then need to photograph items and upload. I am awaiting confirmation of merchant details to link to site for online payments. Otherwise all looking good and on track. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Last day in Bali

So today is my last day here. I am soooo looking forward to seeing my family again. Not looking forward to the late night flight though. The flights home from Bali are a killer.

I have a few last minute things to do. I am off to pick up my last order from one of my suppliers and I received some strict instructions from Olivia for some last minute purchases.

1. Mr Bean DVD
2. Brave DVD
3. Pink sunglasses
4. A pack of rings or if I can't find a whole pack she would be happy with one.

I am also hoping to squeeze in a manicure and a pedicure. So cheap $7.00 for two.

Happy Monday

beads that will be for sale on my online store


Today we left early and asked our driver to take us to Ubud. I last went to Ubud 22 years ago and yesterday I wondered if it had changed and the answer is YES. I am generally ok with change but the changes to Ubud were a little too much for me. The main street leading up from the monkey forest was lined with boutiques and there were so many tourist buses that blocked the streets which made the streets super busy and unsightly. I was a little sad.

So we didn't stay long as I found it all a bit much so I asked our driver to take us through the rice paddy fields and this was lovely... more what I wanted to see and feel. The peacefulness and nature was just lovely. Our driver then took us to see Ketut Liyer. The famous medicine doctor for Eat Pray Love.

Ok so I loved this book so I thought yep I'll give it a go. Well I can't help but feel a little disappointed with the experience. He is a lovely friendly and funny man who told me good things.

He read my palm and told me:
1. I will live to 100
2. I am smart
3. I am impatient
4. I will have lots of money
5. I can work in any profession.
6. I have been married before (not sure who to... as far as I know I have only been married once)
7. I have three children (this is after he asked me how many children  I have)

So then he looked at my face and told me i have happy and lucky face. I have two creases between my brow which makes me lucky.

He told be to turn around and looked at my shoulders and said I am healthy.

Then looked at my knees and said I am lucky and had no arthritis (thank god as I am only 40)

and for this I paid $25...

When we got in the car mum and I discussed what we heard and well guess what... she was told the same things. Are genetics that strong??? The image below is of my mum having her palms read.

I feel juped bit it was an experience and something I can tick off my bucket list and glad I did it.

After Ubud our driver took us to a fantastic fabric store in Kuta Central. I bought some sample fabric from Italy and Japan. Really lovely cotton voile. Just what I love. Well priced and so beautiful. I bought enough just to make samples. If they prove to be popular I can order more and have a complete range made. I think people will like the fabric as it is so soft and natural and not to mention original. Everything a mum wants in clothing for their children.

And then to top off a great day I indulged myself in a 90min massage at Jenari Menari. If you are ever in Bali you must get a massage from this place. You pay a little more than the cheaper spas... but at least once you should experience a Jenari Menari massage. Your body will love you.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Making Clothes in Bali - so far so good

I received all my samples today from my manufacturer. They are great... better than great. There a few minor tweaks and one of the pieces I want to add some embroidery which I had to draw and send to her with cotton thread samples.

I am most excited about the board shorts though. My short design using fabric that I have designed so completely original. They look unreal and I hope they will be a good seller. I have a good feeling they will.

Today I did a bit of retail therapy. My mum and I walked the streets of Seminyak (4hrs). Always great clothes, bags, shoes and jewellery. I bought some lovely pieces and had to say not to many many more. A true test of will power.

Tomorrow we are heading to Ubud for the day. I last went to Ubud when I was 18... and well I am hitting the big 40 in March so that was some time ago. I wonder if it has changed a lot. My guess is it has like most of Bali. Still there is a magic here in Bali that I am drawn to. The people in this amazing country are so special and the food is also something to enjoy. Last night we went to the local night market and had fresh fish and prawns cooked on a charcoal grill by the side of the road. The meal cost $9.00 for one whole fish, 10 prawns, rice, vegetables and water x 2,  the karaoke was thrown in for free... it was so entertaining.

My time in Bali is proving so far to be very productive and educational... but boy oh boy am I missing my family. I don't find it easy being away from them.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bali Clothing - WOW

OK so I have been in Bali for 1 full day and I have done so much.

I have met with 3 manufacturers and have chosen who I am going to work with. She is dropping by in an hour to show me the microfiber fabric samples for the boys board short.

Tomorrow morning I am going to receive samples and sign off specs. Now this is exciting. I hope it all works the way I have it planned in my head.

Yesterday was 'full on' meetings, searching for fabric, the heat, not eating because I wanted to keep going (not a good idea as I ended up with a shocking headache). It was stressful and exhilarating at the same time. I was a little out of my comfort zone which was challenging at times but I think a challenge is good for the soul and in the end I got there and I feel  made a very good choice and now cant wait to see swatches and samples.

I am undergoing such a massive learning curve that sometimes I think can my little head fit all of this in. So if you hear of a lady's head exploding whilst going about her business that might be me.

some fabric I spotted along journey

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Design philosophy

As I am heading to Bali to source manufacturers to sew my first line tomorrow. You could say I am a little nervous about leaving my family and starting on a new venture.

I was browsing the internet when I came across this lovely blog of a lady living in Bali. My Simple Bali Life  I came across this very inspiring post which I wanted to re-post as it sums up all that I believe in and 
live by. 

These helpful tips come from  AIGA. What do you think and live by?

1: Be authentic. The most powerful asset you have is your individuality, what makes you unique. It’s time   to stop listening to others on what you should do.  
2: Work harder than anyone else and you will always benefit from the effort.  
3: Get off the computer and connect with real people and culture. Life is visceral.  
4: Constantly improve your craft. Make things with your hands. Innovation in thinking is not enough.  
5: Travel as much as you can. It is a humbling and inspiring experience to learn just how much you 
don’t know.  
6: Being original is still king, especially in this tech-driven, group-grope world.  
7: Try not to work for stupid people or you’ll soon become one of them. 
8: Instinct and intuition are all-powerful. Learn to trust them.  
9: The Golden Rule actually works. Do good.  
10: If all else fails, No. 2 is the greatest competitive advantage of any career.

Bali sunset -

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday afternoon with my new camera

Yes you read the title correctly. I finally took the plunge. I have wanted one if these babies for a while now and today bought the Canon 60D after many weeks maybe even months of research.

This is a photographic journal of a typical sunday around our house. Slow cooked lamb in the wood fired oven (pictured), walk and scooter ride along Coogee beach eating ice creams and playing in our beautiful backyard. (it is going to be hard to leave this house).

I have a lot of practice to do and need to read the manual. Something that I am not known to do or enjoy. I am super excited and am now going to look like a tourist with a camera around my neck everywhere we go.

a typical sunday afternoon

Friday, October 12, 2012

Spec Sheets

So this is where I am up to.

I have all the paper patterns graded and supplied. I needed paper patterns as I am not sure yet which manufacturer I am going with therefore not sure what CAD system they are using. So once I build a relationship with someone I can just use CAD for grading in future, cheaper and quicker.

So spec sheets I am slowly working my way through it. It has to be done by Tuesday so not so slowly I guess.

This weekend is busy with birthday parties, nippers, theatre shows, Sydney FC soccer match and not to mention open house. None of which are for my husband or myself. All for the kids. Isn't that the way it goes most weekends. So with a busy weekend I will be squeezing getting ready around them.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I'm in love with yellow

Doesn't yellow make you feel happy?

Check these out from Temple and Webster.
I would like the hammock for my new yard.  Just need a tree.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What I love about design

As you know I am a graphic designer and run a small design agency in Surry Hills Fresco Creative. I love all that design has to offer which is why I am branching out to design children's clothes and eventually fabric.

I am also excited about starting the process in designing our new home.

This is what I like so far and added to my pinterest board. Want to create a beach house as we will be 200m from the beach. Yippee.

beautiful bedroom

love the wooden beams

let the light in copyright Jake Rajs

Monday, October 8, 2012

Kids Clothes Online - Sneak Peak

I am heading off to Bali next week to manufacture my very first line of clothing. I am so excited. I really don't want to get on another plane (flights to Europe turn me off flying for at least 6 months)  but there is only one way of me getting myself to Bali and back in record time.

I had my second batch of samples delivered to me on Friday and they are great. Only a few minor changes to be made which my pattern maker is doing as we speak.

Size pips have been ordered.

Still need to book accommodation. I am pretty relaxed about this as I am not fussed on where I stay as long as it is central to the garment making factories all is good. Usually I am very particular on my accommodation choices as I am travelling with 3 kids or travelling sans kids and want some serious luxury to relax and unwind with hubby. But this time none of the above come into the equation.

We got back from Byron yesterday after a full day in the car. The kids were great. We only had to stop once for lunch and then we were back on the road. The older two slept for about 1 hr and Angus my ever ready battery 2yr old fell asleep as soon as we hit our home suburb. He lasted the whole 10hrs. It turned out great as we just bundled him up  and put him straight to bed and didn't hear form him again until 7am this morning.

So these pics were taken on my iphone in a very rushed manner so not the best shots... Missy Moo will be my model when I take the proper shots.

drop waist dress - cotton voile and jersey top 

shirred layerd dress 
kaftan top

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Lovely breakfast in the country

This morning we went to breakfast at Lilianas Cafe.  Is is my friends birthday. Lilianas is about 5mins walk down Friday Hut rd. It opened in March this year and is doing very well according to the owners. It is in the old Possum Creek primary school which closed down in the 50's I think. So if you are ever up this way I think it is worth a visit.

Liliana's beautiful baked bread. Fresh each morning