Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Feelings of a new pre preppy mummy

Tomorrow I will be the first time mum of a prep. Yep my little man starts primary school, I simply just can not believe it. Up until today I would have considered myself a little nonchalant about it all.

Today however has been a whirl wind of making sure everything was OK, & perfect. School uniforms, lunch boxes, art smocks, library bags, sunscreen, packing the bag, unpacking the bag & it feels like the list goes on. Today was also the first day where I have felt anxious, nervous, excited, & felt sad that I wont be spending week days with him anymore. I don't want to feel sad as this is an amazing & exciting new chapter for not just him but me. New conversations, new activities, reading together, adding & subtracting together, maturity, new expectations & so many new achievements to come our way.

I am not sure how I will feel tomorrow. I am tipping quite emotional on the inside so his little face see's only my confidence & happiness. Thank goodness my hubby will be with me so I can hold his hand, & I will have Charlotte to cuddle & take my emotions out on her.

Tomorrow is so many hours away yet so near, actually I will be in that playground in exactly 12 hours.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Easter Inspiration

Christmas has been & gone & now easter is just around the corner. Could time be flying by any quicker?

I am still working on my 2014 Easter collection which will be released 1st February 2014. Like with every collection I do I always have inspirational images & colours that help me guide my creations along.

Here are the lovely images I have found for this years inspiration. I am just head over heels about the gorgeous soft colours. Softness in design & pretty colours seem to combine with Easter so well for me. I just think of soft cute bunnies, soft apple green grass for the eggs to be laying in, pastel & muted colours, ribbons, white egg cups & a hint of vintage design & styling is my interpretation of Easter.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy Australia Day!!

Today is January 26th which is Australia Day, it's the anniversary of the arrival of the first fleet of 11 convict ships from Great britain, and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by it's commander Captain Arthur Phillip in 1788, (information source).

It's an Australian celebration generally associated with a public holiday, spending it with friends & family & relaxing with a BBQ (as it's summer), & having a few celebratory drinks together.

Sometimes I think Australians completely consume the idea of the public holiday more than the meaning, including me at times, but I think thats goes with our relaxed culture. 

Every year when this day comes around I like to reflect on what an amazing country I live in & how lucky I feel in comparison to other nations. Some of the things I see on the news in other countries are just heart breaking.

Here are a couple of fabs reasons I love my country!

We all live freely and how we choose to. Everyone has the opportunity make their own decision, & carve their own path.

I love what a multi cultural society we live in. Don't get me wrong there are always some kind of hiccups between religions & personal beliefs. But Australia is so far free of war breaking due it where innocent people are threatened.

I adore the opportunity Australia gives every single one of us. We can chase our dreams & no one can hold us back.

4. I love how the good ol' Australian BBQ is such an integral party of my life.

It's completely OK to have a cheeky drink here in Oz on a daily basis. No we are not alcoholics haha!

What a wonderful land to bring up my children in.

Happy Australia day my friends.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

I finally bought a direct to garment printer

I have been waiting to release this news for what feels like weeks, which really only been a few days. I feel like I have been a kettle ready to let out steam.

For the last 12 months I have been wanting to buy direct to garment printer so much, but needed to grow my business I felt a little more. I also had doubt & worry about the money side of it as I would have to finance it which is a massive step for me. I stress a lot about having a lack of money, it's just one of those worries for me. The last 12 months I have literally work my batooty of in order to grab this dream. I did it!! 

Early this year I contacted a supplier & went down to his show room to check it all out. I had been researching & reading reviews about it as much as I could alone before I decided to enquire. I also had to make sure it printed all of my current products, because if it didn't do that, well whats the point? I had a page of notes & questions to ask, a bag full of products I currently make, as well as the future cotton I wanted to printed on. My dad came with me to have a sticky nose he says, but I think he wanted to make sure I was not going to be influence into anything I didn't want. Being protective never ends. But once he saw my bags of products & goodies & page of notes I think he felt at ease.

The man who sold me the machine was wonderful. He showed me how it worked from inside to out. What it couldn't do & what it was capable. Here it is.

He printed a sample of my work on to a t-shirt for me, I was very impressed. Please note it was a daggy white large adult tee so looks a bit odd. But it was all about quality & hand feel.

I found myself at one stage day dreaming a bit, as he was telling me about it as my mind was literally racing. The ideas & so much inspiration was churning around inside, I have to admit I felt a little nauseous. I snapped out of it though & asked him to repeat himself hehe!

My excitement s a bit out of control at the moment. I have so many thoughts & opportunities to finally create new products I have always wanted. As my current products are really purely decorative, it is brilliant beyond belief that everything now will be completely machine washable. I am also wanting to tap into many DIY areas & projects. Being able to sell my panels for kits will be a great idea for those who sew well. Last but not least, I am seriously think of some clothing being added to my Tiges and Weince brand.

I am not sure exactly when I get the machine I am assuming later next week & then I will need some training. So I am assuming the first week of Feb I will be able to get some photos of how it looks & so forth & share them. Oh do you think I need to name this machine LOL? Any suggestions?

I'm excited!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fitness Funk

You know how much I love my fitness?
Well I just seem to be in a crappy fitness funk!!
I just can't get it together. I am not wanting to go on with excuses, as they are not going to solve this hiccup, but I can not seem to get it together. I had a couple of days unwell earlier this month, & then the 5 day heat wave took a lot out of everyone, not just me. I ran a couple of days ago & my knee was hurting. Not the normal knee pain I endured for years before my operation, but my muscles surrounding the area hurt. I am not very flexible & I think the constant running is taking it's toll as muscles can shorten & tighten. I need to work on it desperately. Those nasty negative voices are popping into my head telling me I shouldn't be running, what if you hurt your knee & can't move at all? I have been there before & I am paranoid. So to work on this I did an at home yogalates DVD 2 days ago which was brilliant as it made me stretch & hold poses I am not used to. I felt fantastic. I loved it. However yesterday I ached everywhere, a good ache I guess as it stretched & I used different muscles. My neck was so sore from holding my own bodyweight in those poses, as I was shaking a little when holding them. I think I would have been a scream to watch had anybody been with me.

Anyway today I am feeling better & was going to run on my treadmill which is in my room, not that I am feeling like it it. But there is a body in there that has blonde curls, Mmmmmm a visit at 4am this morning. I don't have the heart to wake her but it's bothering me she is taking my treadmill time away. Grrrr I don't seem to be winning.

I am pretty sure once the kids are back at school & we are all back in a routine I will bounce back, but I don't want to lose my endurance I have built up & am just wondering why my lack of inspiration is hanging around? I need to snap out of this quickly, I hate these blah feelings.

Has anyone else been in a bit of a fitness funk & how did you inspire every inch of you body to bounce back.

Tell me.

Monday, January 20, 2014

New Valentines Prints

I have been working on my hand lettering skills, & feeling quite satisfied with the results. It's been taking a lot of practise behind the scenes, & there is still so much to learn.

Valentines, wedding, anniversaries are great celebrations for this type of work.

Here are two new ones I created last night.

Both are available in my shop now.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The obsession I never knew I had

I had no idea how much I would have loved gardening, if you asked me a few years ago I would have liked the 'idea' of it, & that would be about it.  I have created gardens before with my hubby without a huge amount of success. I put it down to as I was lacking a green thumb! Also the garden was like a chore at one stage.

Something has changed within me the last 2 years, I LOVE being out there & I am always looking at new things I can plant, & tying to read & learn as much as I can. God bless Better Homes and Garden!! I believe the change is because I am home every day, I really want a gorgeous outdoor living space as I spend a lot of time out there with the kids. Also now the kids are getting that bit older so I can spend time pottering around outside. I have recently just painted 8 terracotta pots that sit around my pool. Absolute back breaking work, but so worth it.

So here are some photos of my ever growing, always developing garden space.
By the way I love flowers.

Garden bed #1. 
Recently I planted large garden bed that behind the pool thanks to a very high retaining wall. I adore cottage gardens, as I love flowers, but my house is not victorian or period style so it would look odd I felt. It's very new & kind of modern outside. Instead I am trying to create a 'modern cottage' style, if there is such a thing as one? Lots of flowers planted as blobs of colour. I am hoping eventually as they grow the spaces between each plan are reduces & it's just a whole colour explosion.

I am also a little fond of garden friends. Above is my owl which was supposed to scare those crappy Indian Minor birds, but is useless. My favourite green hat garden gnome. A funky French gnome holding a baguette & the Eiffel tower. I also have a couple of garden fairies for the kids. No garden can be complete without it's fairies.

I also adore my white hanging baskets which are full of gorgeous colours. I love these but at times forget they are there, & I have lost count the amount of times I have hit my head on the darn things!
I just couldn't resist the coloured lanterns. They are solar powered ones I got from Bunnings, & are divine at night, the kids love them. They give off a little party ambience hehehe.
There is my adorable Charlie Bear, he loves to sit by me when I m out there, & also loves to eat the fresh soil as you can see here, around his nose. Yuk!

I am looking forward to getting out there again soon, it's great being in the fresh air & lots of healthy vitamin D. 
If anyone has any knowledge or super garden secrets, let me know I am all ears.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Surface design inspiration

With the summer scorching towards 40'C here in Melbourne, it's been hard to stay cool & keep focused. I am getting out some orders in a very leisurely fashion, it's just too hot to rush. I am also deep in finding inspiration & anything beautiful to reignite the creative juices.

Have a look at these divine patterns to creative some creative sparks.

Sources 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

I am feeling quite drawn to abstract almost a tribal feel. It's a little different for me thats for sure, but it's great to think outside the typical design box.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

last day to purchase my lovers range at a discount of 15% off

Good morning I hope you're having a beautiful & relaxing Sunday morning.

I just wanted to quickly remind everyone today is the last day to purchase my lovers range at a discount of 15% off normal retail price. I originally said 5pm tonight, but will extend it until first thing Monday morning.

Have a great day.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Painting Pots

One thing I love about January it's quiet & I get to finish those tasks I need to to get done around the house. One of those was painting my very boring terracotta pots, eight of them!
I bought them this way always with the intention of painting them.

It took a long time to decide what colour I wanted. As they were to be placed around the pool, I wanted them to coordinate well. My paving is a dark charcoal, & the pool is turquoise, so I went with those two colours.

So the pots looked balanced colour wise I went with the trusty rule of 1/3 one colour 2/3's the other. I am not really sure who made this rule up, but I know it works. Once the the tape was on I started with the turquoise. Charlotte dropped in many a times to help but I had to eventually do it without her, as slops of paint were going on the paving, which kinds stressed me out!

Once I got the grey painted on I was so relieved, as it became quite back breaking work. I didn't have a table strong enough to to put them on so I could paint at a respectable height, so I was bent over quite a bit. However it was so worth it once hubby popped them on the trolley & wheeled them down for me. We took a trip to my favourite nursery Rivers I bought some delicious Geraniums. I was advised they were green, bright, tough, & hard to kill. Perfect!! So in they went & I am so super happy with the end result.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

January Essentials

Product references 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

January is a great time of year, it's the holiday season, it's relaxing & the best part it's summer. 
Days of swimming, sipping cold drinks & feeling cool. During January I look for natural cool cottons & linens, & neutral colours. I think these gorgeous gift essentials sum these feelings & colours up perfectly.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My lovers range

It's been a quick start to year, putting together a small collection for Valentines day.
It was a perfect way to start my year, the range was not too demanding size wise, & eased me back into working. It's been great having a break but time to get back to my 'normal life'.

My new 'Lovers Collection' is perfect for Valentine's Day, Weddings & Anniversaries. A gorgeous little keepsake to remember that special date in your life. They are approximately 30x30cm & in perfect colours of grey, white & red.

back of cushions

You will find the whole collection in my brand new Celebrations section of my shop. A whole area that is dedicated to celebrating special events in your life from Christenings to Weddings. It's still in it's infinite stages, but there with more designs coming.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Things I am doing this new year ....

With all of the chatter about new year resolutions, I am here to admit I don't do the damn things. I have tried & failed, so the last couple of years I just haven't bothered with them.

This year is a blank slate so I can decide to do it my way!!
Instead of new year resolutions, I want to focus on things that went really well in 2013 in my life, & how I can improve them.  I also want to try & go back to basics a bit & get back to my roots, that being my LOVE for drawing & design & why the hell I started with my business.
The last couple of years I feel like I have not stop pushing & pushing to make it grow & work. It got hard & a little robotic at times.

I have always read happiness & enjoyment manifest success, so in 2014 I am going to let the universe play a little part in my journey

Happiness & Gratitude.

I am a relatively happy person, I can get a little stressed & high strung at times (due to my perfectionism), & I am very grateful for my happy little life. But I would like to be a little happier, & not worry about the little things so much. When those low little grey thoughts creep into my mind, I want to change my mood, I really want to make an effort to shift them. Move them on. Kick them away. Say see you later. This may involve me going outside for a moment & breath some fresh air, get some sun on my face, look in my garden, cuddle my kids or walk puppy.

Turn a negative into a positive.

This relates to all aspects of life. We all have crappy days & all have even crappier little events take place. So when something goes wrong, I really want to see the positive side, you know see the glass more half full than empty. Even laugh about it.

Look for beauty.

Have you ever really sat down & looked around you? There is a lot of beauty from colours, to pattern to touch. This will also help with my inspiration. I admit to not doing it enough, it's time to sit a bit & take a look around.

Check in with my goals.

I get slack here, I have to admit this, I write them down & forget about them. But this year I have completed the amazing 2014 biz workbook by Leonie Dawson, which has been one of the best personal exercises I have ever done. Its not your typical business book, it is so much more. It's almost a declaration of your soul, thoughts, dreams, hopes, loves, hates & everything in between. I have written my dreams from loves to financial goals, in such a beautiful & soft way. It's creative & wonderful & so highly recommended. I have committed to myself to check in monthly & quarterly, & by not doing it will only let myself down. I feel so serious & committed to this process this year as I know it will help me grow & stay on track. Can't wait!!

Improve my running & fitness.

I worked very hard the last few months getting back into running, its be a hard journey, but so god damn rewarding. This year I aim to keep this maintained & even extend. I am aiming to run 8km this May at the annual Susan Mother's Day fun run. I feel scared & pray my knees hold up. To maintain this I have to improve my flexibility. My new goal this year is to limber up. Stretch, stretch & stretch. I am going to incorporate some yoga & Pilates to help. It's going to hurt, but I will so happy to be able to touch my toes without pain.

Be more caring & gentle with myself.

Basically stop pushing myself to my limits. No more burning the candle at both ends. My diet is fine I don't have an issue there, but I need to listen to me a little more. If I am tired go to sleep. It's pretty simple actually, a well slept me, is a happy me.

More Art

Retuning to what I love. I love to draw & create. Love. Love. Love. It makes me so happy. In 2013 I drew so much but it was under a lot of pressure. I was doing art classes plus churning out new designs for my business. Sometimes the pressure gave me a little stage fright, & I just couldn't get what I wanted out. This year I am dedicating a small amount of time several times a week to just draw. Just me, my sketch pad, pencil & eraser. It will be a doodling dream.

Get back to my roots.

Time to check in with why I started my business. Because I love to draw & I also love to inspire. I have a lot of friends & family come to me with ideas & plans & thoughts about things happening in their world. There is always a general consensus, they always tell me I inspire them, help them with ideas & suggestions they have never thought of. these conversations range from colour, to food, to fitness, to the garden & everything in between. I love bouncing ideas with people & brainstorming. With that reminder I am looking forward to infusing my daily life, business & personal with inspiration, which I hope can inspire others.

So there is where I want to go this year, & I look forward to the journey ahead.

Whats your 2014 plans?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year & a little 2013 reflection.


There has been a bit of a gap from my last blog post......I made a decision mid way through December to have a forced break from blogging. It really bothered me to be honest, but  I was so busy with Christmas orders, busier than I had ever been, my priority was to get everyone of those created & posted. Even my social media interaction took a dive. On the plus side I can not begin to tell you how grateful I was, my hard work during the year was an an incredible pay off.

I too have had a big year. It all began when I sold my party plan business in May 2013. Such a scary decision to do so, as I truly believed in it's potential. But I sold it with confidence in the end to someone who has greater skills than I have in management. I knew it was in good hands, & it certainly has proven so, as it has doubled in size since leaving me. Fantastic.

This left me to concentrate solely on my art, & devote my time to learn. I decided to give myself six months to learn as much as I could, so I can take my business to a new level, & with some new direction in mind. It was almost like it was time to nourish me, I had never ever done that before. I also completed two very intense art courses with Lila Rogers which were so eye opening, hard, a little intimidating, & incredible all rolled together. You can read about my journey here, & there will be loads of links about signing up if you're keen. Be prepared it's not all roses. That was one of the hardest journeys of my life, yet so incredibly rewarding. It has given me some much need art direction, & insight to a tight industry.

I also started running again & completed my very first fun 5km run on December 8th (my birthday), the Susan classic. That achievement was one of my happiest days of my year. I never thought I would do it, especially as I had double knee surgery just over 12 months ago. After achieving this, I just knew that there are more personal goals to come, something I will be writing a lot more about. Truly, it was exhilarating.

Another big surprise during December was how busy my gorgeous kids lives became. I am starting to believe they have a better social life than me!!

Hudson finished kinder this year, I just can't believe it. School next year OMG how did that happen?
He is also really involved in Taekwondo, & loves his Milo Cricket.
For Taekwondo there were gradings to learn & take, which he passed! Then the awards & Xmas party.
Also his important 4 year old kinder graduation & yearly Christmas concert.
Lastly his weekly summer Milo Cricket sessions which he absolutely LOVES!!
Weekly swimming, how could I forget that, but I look at that as a life lesson & compulsory.
Ohh how could I forget his preparations were also underway for his entry into Primary School. Weekly orientation sessions, & parents nights.
So much going on,

Charlotte's passion is dance, & this was a roller coaster ride I never expected. She had been doing it for about a year & a half already, but this June I put her in a proper dance school. Finally I could relieve my duties of mummy & me ballet!! It was a learning curve for me, & something that has made my daughter grow in confidence. On top of her weekly class of jazz ballet, tap & a bit of singing, towards the end of the year I had costumes to bead, a lesson on stage make up, professional studio shots, studio rehearsals, then actual venue rehearsals, & finally the big night, also an awards day. She took it all in with love & enjoyment, & I can't wait to see how she grows with it next year.
She also has her weekly swimming.
But next year starts 3year old kinder. My baby is on her way to becoming a big girl, I simply can not believe it.

Looking back it was an exciting & busy 2013, no regrets, a few extra lessons learnt on time management, & how important it is to look after my own body. 
I have a really great feeling about 2014. What I have learnt during the year I am so anxious & excited about applying to my business. It's going to be so much fun! I am in the middle of planning my business year so I know the path I am taking & so I can forecast & mange what I want to achieve.

I am so excited!!

Happy New Year again, & I hope your goals & path make it an incredible beginning to 2014.