Thursday, September 13, 2012

Home is where my heart is!

So I'm making a conscious choice to not even look at how long its been since I last blogged.  I know its been too long...

But in other breaking news we have returned to my heart's home.  Back to to the tropical north where we have been welcomed by glorious weather and sorely missed friends!  

Our new house feels "right"- its always hard to know for sure when you are choosing from a computer screen!  Some of the rooms were smaller then we realised and its meant a bit of a shuffle with the furniture but a week later we are completely unpacked and settling in nicely.  

And I am definitely feeling inspired by the singing in my heart and the onset of summer (Townsville doesn't exactly "do"spring!)  that combined with the arrival of my new sewing machine and a charm pack I added on impulse to a fabric order resulted in this beautiful dress for Little Miss E.


I can definitely see patchwork becoming a feature of her wardrobe this season and also making an appearance in the Or Elsie! line up too.  Speaking of which I am hoping to reveal a bit of a new direction in the coming weeks...  when I get it finalised I promise I will share it here :) 

In the meantime there is another one of these dresses on my cutting table and if the combination I am playing with works you will see it in the upcoming Sewing Sisterhood spring showcase.

Stay tuned - hopefully I won't be leaving it so long between posts this time!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lace lace and more lace!

Not a proper post as its almost feeding time at the zoo and I need to get dinner sorted but I just wanted to share my latest lacy creations... 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lacy Little Number {Custom Order}

Ok now that you've all picked yourselves up off the floor after the shock of my 2nd blog post in a week I want to show you something.....

I did post a in progress picture of this dress on Facebook last week but since then I have added the middle layer of lace trim as per the customer's request and while I was originally worried it might be too much I love how it has turned out and I am so happy that I was able to create something she loves.

I've had a few requests to make outfits for special occasions and to be honest it always scares the bejeeus out.  Its a whole other level of responsibility making something for a momentus occasion but I'll have to admit I am rather impressed with myself after making this naming day dress. 

Ok now that I've blown my own horn I'm off to try and figure out Twitter.... 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Winning Numbers (A Competition)

Ok we all know I suck at blogging.  But here I am again! 

And this time its because I want to give something away and because I just can't get my head around the whole facebook competition yes you can do this no you can't do that rules I'm taking the safe road and running it here on this poor neglected blog.

And doing so is probably going to confuse a few people as its a Puppy Dogs Tails competition.  So for those of you who've come for the comp and are wondering if you are in the right place you are!  I'm a bit manic and though separate labels for boys and girls was a good idea....

(And I'm going to randomly stick the PDT logo here so you can tell at a glance you could be in the right place)


Basically at the start of the month I had just moved safely past the 900 liker mark and so as a mini goal set myself the aim of hitting 1000 by the end of the month.  Then along came the TSL Singer giveaway which I managed to somehow sneak into as a sponsor at the last minute.  It started yesterday and while I was vaguely aware of that fact I hadn't really thought it through till about lunchtime when I saw I had jumped nearly 200 likes - well and truly cracking the 1000 mark.  In fact as I write this I am sitting at 1275.

How to enter:
So here's what I want you to do - tell me what you think that number will be at 8pm on May 31st (I can't see myself staying up till midnight to see where it is when the clock ticks over so 8 pm EST it is).   

The rules: 
One comment per person and you must comment before 8pm EST on May 24th 2012
Only one entry per number - so if the same number is predicated by more then one person only the first person to pick that number is allocated it/

The Prize:
If the exact number of likers as of 8pm EST on MAy 31st, 2012 is predicted that person will get a $100 credit which can be used for purchasing items from the Puppy Dogs Tails or Or Elsie range (or a combination from both).  It can be used for ready made stock or custom orders and also to pay postage. It does not have to be used all at once but can be held in credit for future purchases but must be used within 12 months or the balance will be forfeited.  

If the exact number of likers as of 8pm EST on MAy 31st, 2012 is not predicted then the person who choses the closest number will receive a $50 credit which can be used for purchasing items from the Puppy Dogs Tails or Or Elsie range (or a combination from both).  It can be used for ready made stock or custom orders and also to pay postage. It does not have to be used all at once but can be held in credit for future purchases but must be used within 12 months or the balance will be forfeited.  If there are two numbers equal distance from the winning number the winner will be drawn from a hat.  

Any questions please ask!  But more importantly - Good Luck!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hello? Is anyone out there...

Calling occupants of interplantary craft...

I've probably got the lyrics wrong but can anyone name this song?

Just popping in so I can say I've blogged again!

I have so much going on with Puppy Dogs Tails and Or Elsie!  and getting the momentum happening again here is something I want to do as part of that and tonight I'm in a bit of a silly mood, hence the song reference!

I'm excited because I've finally got a pants pattern happening that I am happy with (two pairs went in the bin and one in Master Q's wadrobe) I got a few pairs made up and posted some previews on FB and they seem to be getting a pretty good response - which is a nice change from having a few of friends "pity" like the pics I post.   (Thanks for the support though guys!)

And also some great comments from some people I admire on a dress I previewed on the Or Elsie! fb page (sorry to lazy to add the links and besides I know the few of you that will read this will also know where to find them!)

Anyway I still have my 10pm bedtime (there is a post about that back in October I think!) and its 5 mintues from now so I will leaving you, maybe or maybe not singing the song whoses lyrics I may or may not have gotten right at the beginning of this post! 


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Another random rambling...

Ok so I've accepted the inevitable - that I will be a sporadic blogger!  I will not beat myself up for not blogging regularly instead I will just pop up in your lives as the occasional sweet surprise!  The comments on my last post have reassured me that this is ok!  

And so here I am tonight posting again (I can hear you all cheering with excitement - kinda a bit like that ad "Becky's not drinking tonight" but with "Holly's blogging tonight" instead.

So why am I in front of this machine and not my sewing machine?  Believe it or not I've been in front of this one for most of the day.  Well no, not really we went to playgroup this morning and then I finally got Master Q's hoodie cut out this afternoon but other then that I've been on here getting things caught up,  sending emails and paying bills, trying to get my FB pages looking ok with the new timeline, you know all that fun stuff.

Now I'm still here and playing the numbers game, 

I'm trying out a few new things in my attempts to promote my products (or whore myself out as I fondly refer to the process),   One of which is an Etsy shop for Puppy Dogs Tails into which I've loaded my left over summer stock with the hope of selling it off somewhere where its moving into summer and not out of it.  The good (or bad depending on your viewpoint) thing about an Etsy shop is the shop stats option which allows you to see how many views your shop and listings have had,  needless to say I have now started relentlessly stalking that page (and adjusting the time frames to make the numbers look prettier lol) 

I also managed to get a few last minute items into a WAHM market night on the Crafty Mumma's  Facebook page and I am hoping that will help get a few more likers over to my pages - so now I am also stalking those numbers as well!  

I just went back and looked at where I was in October when I posted about said numbers and I've gained a few in the few months since.

As of tonight Puppy Dogs Tails is sitting at 844 (up from 648) and Or Elsie! has climbed to a staggering 233 from 96.  Not sure if I have any more 12 blog followers though....  And yes I know that its not the quantity that counts but the quality - better to have 100 fans who will buy what you are selling then 1000 who are only there to look.  

I'm also looking into other ways to get my name out there - I've spend a block of time emailing magazines with request to be added to their call out lists, I've finally bitten the bullet and admitted that I don't have the time it will take to do my website myself and have found someone to do them for me (more on these very soon as hopefully they will be up and running by the end of the month) I've worked out a clearer direction for PDT and intend to spend the next few weeks getting samples made and photographed and then once that's done I will more onto sorting out Or Elsie!

That's the plan anyway!

And now I'm off to stalk my numbers just one more time before bed x

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Me as a Blogger = Epic Fail!

Ok I can admit it!  I am totally failing dismally at this whole blogging thing!  I have the best intentions and so often when we are doing something (like the messy play session I ran at the kids' playgroup last week) I think "I should blog this" and usually even take the pics but then the post just never happens.

I am totally blaming The Vampire Diaries at the moment. Much as I know its aimed at teens I have to admit I am still hopelessly addicted.  And the problem with only really discovering it two seasons in means I have two seasons worth of episodes to watch! 

I am almost caught up though so hopefully I'll be back on board with posting more regularly again soon. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Neglected again!

this is why I haven't been blogging...  

I seriously think taking the photos and getting them uploaded takes longer then sewing the items.  

About to take some hand sewing and migrate to the couch to watch a DVD with Big N as he's also been a bit neglected lately (see above for why)

Hopefully I'll see all of you on Tuesday for the launch party but I'm not anticipating I'll be back here before then.  Hopefully I won't be here in tears on Wednesday


Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

See what I've been sewing...

Oh poor blog I have been neglecting you again and once again its in favour of my "other" machines - yes that's right I've been sewing!

Its just over a week to go now until the opening of the Or Elsie! virtual storefront, as of 8:30 pm next Tuesday night (NSW time) we will be open for business but of course for that to happen I actually need some stock.  

Luckily Big N will be home most of this week which should help increase my productivity.  

But for now here are some sneaky peeks of what will be avaliable from next Tuesday night (and hopefully sold out by Wednesday).

The reversible wrap dress

And I've finally got around to making more of these cute little outfits, one of which I gave away way back in October!

More to come....

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Moment {a converstaion overheard}

Little N appears to have suddenly realised that Master Q can say his name (which isn't a new thing, it was one of his first words)

The conversation went like this:

Little N: "you can say it.  Say Natie"

Master Q: "Natie"

Little N: "you are so clever,  I am so proud of you"

I can only hope they will still be as sweet to each other in 10 years time!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Model Child.

This morning I took photos of the shorts I had made recently for Puppy Dogs Tails so that I can get them loaded to the store over at Oz Handmade and can I say it was a much easier process then my previous attempts to stage a photo shoot.  I can put this down to one simple reason - "Daniel"

That is the name Little N has given to our new flexi kid (for some reason he likes the fact it rhymes with his own name).  Daniel is definitely a model child.  He happily let me change his clothes several times and then posed happily for shot after shot after shot.  No more getting an item adjusted perfectly only to have the model run off just as I am about to snap.  No more bribing with chocolate, ice-cream, a DVD, whatever it takes to get you to stand there for 30 seconds!

If the truth be told I got bored before he did and when Little N told me he "really liked the robots" on the last hoodie I had to photograph I asked him if he wanted it just to save me having to photograph it (he did so I didn't - a win win situation in my book!)

And I'm almost done editing the pictures ready to upload and for once I'm not putting items aside to rephotograph.  Of course I will still attempt to get a few action shots of the boys in their shorts but this is what you can expect to see

Much better then this 

Another great thing about Daniel - he has no problems wearing dresses if the need arises and quite willing showed off the dress I made for a friend's little girl out of a vintage Holly Hobbie sheet - a creation you can read about and see here on the Oz Handmade Blog

I am already planning what I want to make next just to dress him in it but for now I need to go and make cake as there is little boy turning two here tomorrow.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Counting my blessings!

Today my Facebook status read: 

First time in 3 years I haven't been pregnant on this date. And to think 3 years ago as we were losing that little girl we thought Natie would be an only child. Now he's not only got a brother but a sister as well. And everyday even when they are driving me crazy I give thanks for the joy that have bought into my life. Children really are a blessing xx

Three years ago I had more drama in my life then a character on Neighbours.  About the same I time I found out I was pregnant again Little N was diagnosed with a heart condition.  Just after his first birthday we took him to the Drs for conjunctivitis and the next things we knew we were seeing a cardiologist.  However according to one of the Doctors as far as heart problems go we had hit the jackpot - ours was only a minor complication in the grand scheme of things.  I remember thinking "it might be minor when you see heart problems on a daily basis but this is my child we are talking about".  Basically he had a coarctation of the aorta which meant part of the aorta was very narrow and would have to be removed.  

About the same time we were processing this we had our 12 week scan.  The baby wasn't cooperating and we had to come back a bit later on for another look and instead of hanging around for the results I opted to come back and pick them up later as I was heading out again to meet friends for coffee.  Well I never made it to coffee, instead for the second time in a short space of time I had the ground ripped out from beneath my feet - on reading the results I discovered the baby had a 50% chance of a chromosomal disorder.  A few days later we were in Brisbane waiting for a CSV - a more invasive procedure that would give us definite results.  However as soon as the technician started the scan it was obvious it wouldn't be necessary - the baby's heart had stopped beating of its own accord.

Testing revealed a chromosomal abnormality called Turners Syndrome - basically the baby was missing her other X chromosome.  That lead to a whole other barrage of testing of my chromosomal makeup but it would appear that it was just a stroke of bad luck.

Needless to say when I found out I was pregnant again a few months later I was a mess.  Waiting for that 12 weeks scan I was almost vomiting and not from morning sickness.  Even after the "low risk" result I couldn't relax.  Waiting for the amnio and then those result were both their own forms of torture and even finding out we had a genetically healthy little boy on the way didn't relieve all of the worry as there was still the possibility there would be a problem with his heart too.  This time however our misfortune took a different turn and Big N was deployed overseas when I was 7 months pregnant and it would be 5 months, and Master Q would be 3 months old, before we saw him again. 

Which is probably why I was pregnant again with Little Miss E before Master Q was 6 months old...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

I'm on my way...

... to getting fit, to getting organised, to getting things happening!


So far this year I have been on 3 walks (2 on the same day) and then yesterday I rode my bike to a friend's house to feed her dogs as she is away.  I also bought a component cable so we can hook the Wii back up.  Its been a while since we used it as our new TV only has 1 of the yellow,/red/white AVI options and as we only have the old school Austar it got the box  (I did hear a rumour we can now get MyStar in our area which means HDMI cables baby!)

I also downloaded a fitness app - MyFitnessPal - on to my iPhone and iPad (hoping the "cloud" will sync them so that I can just use which ever device is handiest (aka not been commandeered by a child) as one of the first pre-preseason tasks for the 12WBT is a food diary.  And here I have a confession to make, every other time I have attempted to do one of these I end up lieing.  I "forget" to write the sweets and treats down, and sometimes thats a lot of forgetting!  Why I don't know, its like ignoring the piece of cake I ate means it won't make a reappearence on my thighs!  Again I am putting this out there in the hope that public accountability will make it happen. 

As part of getting organised I am also decluttering - the lovely Shan from Missy Melly is doing a "40 bags in 40 days" challenge and she has motivated me to really do a cull of the kids clothes.  We bought some wire basket drawers for the boys' wardrobe and I have been sorting through as I put it away.  I just need to make labels now so they (and Big N) know what goes in each drawer.  I am also thinking I will clean out the hall cupboard once I am done on the clothes....


I am also attempting to get things moving business wise.  I am getting stock made (8 pairs of shorts for Puppy Dogs Tails to finish this morning),  working on my photos and evaluating how to best get my name out there.  Big N bought my a flexi-kid yesterday (did I mention how much I love my husband) to hopefully make the photo taking process easier

he also solved my problem of how to photograph the swim nappies so they didn't just look like a crumpled bit of fabric with his suggestion of using a skirt hanger (yes he really is a keeper this bloke of mine!)

I also played around with the shots of Master Q modelling one

That "photo shoot" was a fun experience, I also had Little Miss E in a smaller size as I wanted to be able to show the difference but there was no way she wanted to cooperate and I didn't get a single usable shot of her highness (if only she was old enough to bribe with chocolate).  Little N also insisted on been in the pictures and I did manage to convince him to wear his new PDTs but overall it was a very time consuming process with little end result (hence the flexi kid).

Hopefully he arrives early next week and fingers crossed I will have some great pics to share when he does.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Yes! Yes! Yes!

A friend of mine posted this to her wall earlier today and it struck a chord with me and I knew that I wanted to steal it for my blog (don't worry I did ask first! )
This is one of the things I have been trying to encapsulate in my year map but until I saw this I just couldn't find the words,  That is why I am scheduling family time, not only in regards to activities during the day but also in my sewing time.  Little N had spied some fabric months ago that he wanted made into shorts and I finally got around to making them the other night.  His response in the morning when he put them on - "thanks mum, these are so cool I am never taking them off"  luckily he tends to over exaggerate such things and I have managed to wash them!

But it made me realise I really need to prioritise such things.  Generally I only sew for my own kids when I am testing something out and I rarely sew for myself (I have shirt I began making for myself months ago sitting here just waiting for the last sleeve and buttonholes) So I am adding another goal - to make something for one of us each week.  This week will be another pair of shorts for Little N - he had again got the fabric all picked out and I figure that very soon he won't be wanting to wear anything Mum had made! 

Next week I'm hoping to finish my shirt and also make myself a dress.  After that maybe a pin cushion or two, or any of a zillion other things I just couldn't seem to make time for last year.

But its past pumpkin hour hour here now so for now its off to bed that this Cinderella is heading.  

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mapping the year...

Well I've had a very productive day - on my way to getting myself organised, did some sewing and even went for two walks (about 6 1/2 ks in total)  

This is screenshot of something I was working on today...

Obviously its still a work in progress and not very pretty to look at but its what I call my "year map"  I list what I want to achieve in the year ahead and break it down in to more manageable action statements.  From here I do monthly plans and then weekly.  Its been a loooong time since I did this but I am hoping this is going to help kick my butt into gear.

I also did some sewing, tidied my work space and now its time for "date night" (well some DVDs with Big N anyway!)

Stay tuned for more exciting adventures of my totally organised life :P


Sunday, January 1, 2012

I'm back...


Its certainly been a while since I've been on here - 43 days to be exact.  

But I am in the process of replanning my life - I have decided 2012 is the year for me.  I am going to force myself out of the holding pattern my life has become and stop making excuse and start making things happen.  

I'm not usually a New Years' Resolution kinda girl.  But this year I am making a few, get organaised, get fit and get balance.

I know that if I can do the first two the third will follow and I know that there are lots of little things I need to do the actually acheive the overall biger picture of those statement. 

I am starting with getting organised - I am going to spend the next few days working out my business goals for the year, then I am going to break those down into monthly / weekly / daily tasks.  I am also going to start timetabling my days in the hope that I will stop wasting so much time.  

I am also taking the plunge and signing up for the next round of the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation program.  I am hoping the $200 fee will be a big motivating factor (I keep thinking of all the fabric Icould buy with that money) 

I have 4 days before Big N returns to the grindstone so I intend to use that time to get myself sorted.  

Wish my luck and hopefully I will be organised enough to have time to update you as I go 

PS Happy New Year!