Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Well Hello lovely Readers :)

Hello there !

Nice to see you all again, Jo and I have had a very busy year so far, nice busy though, not "Oh My Giddy Aunt when will this palaver stop" busy, you know what I mean :)

So I shall briefly fill you in on what we have been up to.

Most recently Jo and I enjoyed our annual "mummy break" in Mannum with the madcap girls at F.Q. IX. We both sewed an entire quilt - binding and all in less than 2 days!! We used a lovely simple modern pattern from the moda bake shop and with just one charm square pack and 1.5m of sashing and about 3 hours the top was completed. We were so excited to have so much finished so quickly and even more excited the next day to finish all the quilting and the binding as well. We did all the the things we never get to do in peace at home, read trashy mags, watched chick flicks walked at least 10km each day ...
Enough of the chit chat though, thought you might like to "see" what we have been up to...

Jo's finished quilt
 My finished quilt
 The little hand towel I made today
 The cute quilt Jo made for someone's special teacher ... all done and basted, just the quilting and binding to go
 The little quilt  I pieced together for my lovely friend about to have her first baby...
 The beautiful hand pieced hand quilting Jo is currently working on...
 The first ever schnibble I have made and am now hand quilting...
 The two beautiful 4ply scarves Jo and I started on retreat
 The gorgeous crochet rug Jo has been working on...
 The pretty scarf Jo finished...
 The most recent finished hand pieced, hand quilted quilt Jo made...
A close up of the intricate and beautifully finished quilting on the quilt above...

So better than a whole bunch of words I thought you would all enjoy a pictorial view of what we have been up to, 
Hope you are all having a lovely crafty time and squeezing as many happy sewing/crochet hours as you


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Annual Holiday - tick :)

Hello Readers!

Well it seems quite a while since we blogged on here so I am sorry to all our readers for the slack effort.

There is quite a bit of news for all of you to catch up on but I will start by just saying hello and welcome back. 

Jo and I have just been on our annual sewing escape and had an awesome time, including racking up 50km of walking in 5 days!!

As I said a lot to fill you in on but I am actually sneaking in a quick "Hello" from work so till I have more time "see you soon"!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Porridge is my nemesis!

Does anyone else find porridge annoying and difficult to make??
Today I resolved that I won't make it again for at least 6 months. Aside from the fact that the weather is warming up here and it won't be the right cereal for breaky for a while , I am convinced all its nasty spilling over in the microwave ads a new grey hair to my head every time .
So for the sake of a healthy mind I am giving it up, not sure my GP will approve ( he likes me to eat as much cholesterol absorbing fibre as I can bear) but hopefully by next winter I can work out how to make it more neatly and appreciate it more.

Now off to get on with the day so I can sew sew sew all afternoon :)


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

School Holiday Sewing drought!

How are all of you going with the school holidays?

I always find my sewing suffers over the holidays, outings and adventures and sleep-ins always eke away whatever small time I might have set aside to sew. Not that I am complaining, just saying that the family are more important in many ways and sometimes they need my time a little more than my beloved janome... Never mind, next week the little ones go back to school and I will once again enjoy the the sound of my lovely sewing machine and the cups of uninterrupted tea with Jo as we prepare our goodies for the Callington show, yes we are setting up our first market stall!

I can't wait to see how our lovely handmade goods are recieved!

I hope you are all enjoying the school holidays!


Monday, 20 August 2012

What Price?

Hello again, hope you are managing to keep warm in this chilly weather...well, it is chilly in the Adelaide Hills at the moment! And let's not start on the rain. Never mind, we will be desperate for it in six months time...
Ok, a little bit further along the path that I started on in my last blog, An Authentic Life. I very briefly touched on the price of things, or their value. This also relates to pricing your items to sell, if that is the direction your making takes you in.
Now, if you do want to sell you items, how do you charge a reasonable amount? You had to design the item, source the materials to make it, plus all the extras that go into producing it (threads/glue/buttons etc). You need to develop the item, so that it is of high quality and suitable for its purpose. You then have to actually make the item. Bearing all this in mind, a rule of thumb I have come across is that you should charge about 2.5 times the amount that the materials cost you. Now, all us crafters know that the price of materials can be quite high! So it can be quite uncomfortable when someone implies your are overcharging for your item! It's true that people could buy a cheap mass-produced item for a lot less than you are charging. But your item is unique and special. So, be proud of what you made! Don't undercharge. And let people know the care that went into that one-off item.
If you are charging a reasonable price for your work, you are also supporting other crafters to charge reasonable prices for their work.
Ok, off the soapbox now! I hope this has given you a little to think about, and maybe even make you look more kindly on the prices people are charging at markets or on Etsy.
Keep warm
Jo xx

Sunday, 5 August 2012

An authentic life

I have been thinking about the things that matter to me recently. Not just my family, friends, health, home, pets etc, but also lifestyle and values, which are topics we don't always get round to thinking about in our busy lives. This really came to mind last week when I had a visit from my lovely old friend Sid. Sid grows superb chemical-free potatoes on his farm, he delivers them to my door, along with a chat and a dad joke, and all for just over $1/kilo!
We were chatting about life, as we like to do. He is a positive, outgoing person who is great fun to be around, talking about growing food, raising chickens, and knowing where your food comes from. The ethics of supporting our Aussie farmers, paying a fair price for things, and knowing what goes into our food are becoming increasingly important to me, and I hope, to you too. As we have been told often enough, you are what you eat, and it's better to be healthy and wholesome!
So how does this relate to The Raspberry Wren? Making things, to keep, sell, or give as a gift, is part of this philosophy. A homemade gift means so much. You know what went into it, including the carefully-selected fabrics, the thought, care and time. It also represents pride in your work, you abilities, and that is an important thing to have. If we do what we can, to the best of our ability, we have done enough. Both Kylie and I are proud of our makes, and hope they bring pleasure to the recipients. They have certainly brought us pleasure in the making!
So whatever you do, make sure you do it with pride and enjoyment. It will show in the finished result!
Have fun
Jo xx

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Little Things

Kylie & I have been having a great time this week with our sewing. My "baby" has just started kindy, so we now have one day a week to devote to our sewing, and of course, cups of tea and talking! It has been so much fun, and it's also amazing how much we have got done.
I am now making a line of corduroy winter skirts for little girls. My daughter loves hers, and I have sold some to dear friends of ours, for their lovely little girls. I have made a few for Belli Bliss too, but they are very limited edition!
Kylie & I have had a ball making macarons out of felt! They are good enough to eat (well, almost), and the very simple pattern came from the Mollie Makes magazine, or you could look on their website. It is a small, portable project that anyone could do. Have a look on our Facebook page to see a picture (Just until Kylie puts it on here too!)
I have also started a friendship bracelet. Yes, just like the ones you probably made at school, and it's all coming back to me. It is fun and easy also. So maybe, if you don't have time for a big project, you could seek out a little thing to hand-make, and complete. The sense of achievement is out of all proportion to the amount of work you put in!
Keep warm
Jo xx