Friday, February 26, 2010

North Melbourne Market Day

On Sunday I'm trying out another market - the North Melbourne Market Day.  I've heard nothing but good reports about this one, so if you've nothing else to do pop by and say hello.  By the time I got around to applying this market was FULL.  Luckily (for me) someone has pulled out, so I have a little stall at this market.  I'll begin to clear some summer stock as new autumn/winter gear flies off my sewing machine onto the racks.

You know, I've spoken of my deficiencies before when it comes to some technologies.  Especially when it involves inserting pictures.  *sigh*

The North Melbourne Market
Lithuanian Club
44 Errol Street
North Melbourne
$2 entry

Look at that fabulously dressed child!

It's not often I get to see children wearing Squirt Baby gear, so when I do, or when I'm sent a photo of a little person wearing SB my heart flutters a little.  So thanks to Little Miss Emma for this gorgeous picture of her niece.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Stad Amsterdam

This week Melbourne has a special visitor - the Stad Amsterdam.  It is tracing the journey taken by the HMS Beagle some 178 years ago.  Melbourne was not actually on the original route, probably because it didn't exist at the time!  The Stad Amsterdam sailed into Port Philip Bay accompanied by the Young Endeavour (which we'd seen at Tathra and Merimbula in January during the Navy George Bass Marathon), One and All and Enterprize.  So we decided to pop down to Williamstown last night to see the tall ships.  The Young Endeavour was already on its way to Hobart, but we watched the Enterprize as she sailed in under full sail.  The other two ships were already docked - but amazing to see.  

Personally, I have no burning desire to cruise the seas (yep - lots of phobias coming to the surface!).  Even so, I find these vessels fascinating - their beauty, complexity and size (big and small) and the thought of the intrepid folk who have sailed in them.

This was as far as we could get - the front of the ship was in line with the end of the pier.  I would have loved to have seen this lady clearly!

The Stad Amsterdam - flag flying in the breeze.

This rigging makes threading an overlocker look easy!

Melbourne from Wiliamstown at dusk.  The sky was actually turning a shade of pink - here it just looks like smog!

The Stad Amsterdam with the One and All berthed behind.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In the garden

Knowing nothing about photography, I just take lots of pictures and hope that at least a couple will look half-way decent.  Today's picture probably breaks a few rules, but I liked the halo of light dancing around Marv's head.  A gorgeous day here in Melbourne - not too hot, not too cold.  Just right for an afternoon frolic in the garden.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Shameless Plug

It's a thrill be able to wear, eat or use something made by someone you know, or by someone you've just met.  Just last Saturday I had a lady admire my gorgeous Cottage Nerd skirt - she wanted one of her own to parade about in.  Apart from an extensive Squirt Baby wardrobe, my kids are dressed in the handmade wares of fellow marketeers.  Our large chopping board, bought in Cobargo last year is oft admired as we julienne the carrots.

But what if you have a friend who creates works that are, sadly, not wearable?  Not because they don't look that great, but because this friend is a writer.  My gorgeous friend Rosie visited this very blog just over a week ago in the "Won't You Be my Neighbour?" exchange.  Like so many of us, Rosie left paid employment to perform motherly duties, and while on leave morphed into  something else.  A Writer.  And now, she has just released her third book - ZOMG! The Northern Fangirls .  And since I can't wear it, I'm blogging about it!  Rosie is also running a giveaway at her blog.  Just click on the special button, leave a little comment and the lovely Rosie will put your name in her hat!

PS Because I'm technologically challenged right now, click here to go to Rosie's blog, Fangirl Sings the Blues

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mathilda's Market March 14

I'm off to Mathilda's Market again.  This has to be four of the most intense market hours ever!  Here's a gorgeous picture of Squirt Baby wares taken at Mathilda's last year by Jody Pederson and featured in Smaller (how many plugs can I fit into one sentence?!)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The drought has broken!

I've struggled lately.  The creative juices have not been flowing.

Yesterday was the first market for 2010 - the Sister's Market in Brunswick.  I couldn't even blog about it, such was my lack of motivation!  However, late last week I went on a scouting trip to a couple of my favourite fabric stores here in Brunswick and - YES - I'm back!  My mind is overflowing with ideas.  I know exactly what I want to be making next.  So, today is the day where I tick off lots of little outstanding-horribly-overdue items on my "to-do" list so tomorrow is clear to BEGIN.  Yay!

And since it is a beautiful day (although a trifle sticky) - some pictures of Im in one of the newest Squirt Baby dresses.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Black Saturday - one year on

Today in Melbourne it is a beautiful day.  The skies are blue, a gentle breeze wafts through the garden.  My husband and I have stopped to chat about a friend forever lost on Black Saturday.  We have compared the days and remembered what it was like for each of us.

We live a couple of suburbs out from Melbourne's CBD - perfectly safe from bushfires, but not untouched. We are city folk, but we are not insensitive to our rural cousins.  In fact, all of my extended family, and many friends live in rural Victoria. A number of them found their lives and properties seriously under threat, most escaped unscathed, but for the psychological scars.

For a moving personal account I point you in the direction of Emma's blog.  

And to Roz - you are not forgotten.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Market Mania

Do you remember (come on, I only told you yesterday!) that today is:

and I am excited that Rosie (Fangirl Sings the Blues) is writing for us.  It's a bit of a cross-over - writer visits blog (supposedly about Squirt Baby but, more often than not, all about me) and sewing lady tries to string words together to be posted onto a writer's blog (talk about stepping out of one's comfort zone!).

So here is Rosie (drumroll/round of applause/cheering) - 


Markets can be unsettling places.  
This might sound surprising to some of the readers at Squirt Baby, but for the reluctant shopper, the idea of fighting crowds for personal space only to find there is nowhere to move, can be enough to cause market mania.
It’s not the concept of aisles or the small stalls selling beautiful items.  It’s not the quality of the product nor the major appeal of buying something local and homemade.  It’s the possibility of chaos, the limited amount of personal space, the spotting of something you’d like to look at, only to realize you can’t actually change direction to reach the object of your desire.
I suffered market mania, until late 2009 when I was asked to accompany Fiona and Squirt Baby stock to Mathilda’s Market in Melbourne.
Being on the other side of market proceedings (behind the stall table and taking the cash) has changed the way I think about the set up.  Instead of coasting down the middle line of each ‘wing’ of the market, it became obvious that the serious market visitor should comb the left-hand side of each lane, turn on completion, then trawl the same aisle but focus on the right-side stalls.
Now, to experienced market stall-holders or procurers, this may seem extremely basic.  However, when you are afflicted with market mania, nothing is that straightforward and the route you wander can be aimless.  
No more.  
It also seems important that there be a method to your browsing — an assertiveness to the art?  Prodding your personal space rights with the tip of an umbrella or the front wheel of a stroller is now high on my market agenda!
Mathilda’s also taught me the importance of eye contact.  No longer will I straggle along, hands comforting children or eyes distracted by a possible pocket in the crowd into which I could meld.  If I want to look carefully at a quality item, with the hope of a purchase, I will approach the stall and interact with the marketeer.  How scary can this be?
It seems that some market visitors might be hesitant to establish eye and vocal contact with the marketeer due to some preconceived ‘fear’ that this will force them to purchase something.  I used to think this too.  By working at the Squirt Baby counter, I found this to be a market mania myth.  Most people are there to look, admire, form opinions, find something special and/or move on.  There is NO special handshake/legally-binding contract that suggests ‘if you are pleasant and forthright with the stall holder at a market, you MUST buy’.
The morning o’ marketing also taught me something else — something far more important than buying, selling and networking.  It was that a market is a centre of celebration for a life lived creatively.  There are people out there following a dream, for want of a better (less clichéd) description.  They are making ‘stuff’, they are backing themselves and their product to be presented in a favourable light no matter how they fare financially on any given day.  
Let’s face it!  Making a sale is a huge buzz and — just quietly — Fiona and I exchanged high fives on a couple of occasions when the Mathilda crowd purchased something ‘Squirt Baby’.  But more than that, the hum of satisfaction continued when a market visitor browsed the stock, sighed with delight and said ‘your fabric is so beautiful’, or ‘these are gorgeous.’
And even if the ‘gorgeous’ piece wasn’t sold, this is the type of feedback that can make the creative life so worthwhile.  
Who would want to work in an office?

Okay - if you still have time, pop over to Rosie's where you can read my post on her blog!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

And now for something completely different

Okay - school and kinder have resumed and I should be right back into sewing.  Somehow I'm experiencing a malaise when it comes to spending time with my sewing machine.  And any excuse will do!  Last night I went off to see "The Drowsy Chaperone" with my Mum.  I got to see Oscar-winning Geoffrey Rush weave his magic on stage - he really is quite good!

Anyhow, today's excuse is this:

My delightful friend Rosie (the writer, of Fangirl Sings the Blues fame) has this friend Amy (of The Never True Tales fame) who has initiated Won’t You Be My Neighbor?  (Yes, Amy is American, so she doesn't know how to spell "neighbour"!)  In Amy's own words, it is all about getting to know other voices in the blogosphere.  The idea is that, on a Friday, you have a guest post on your blog while you post on theirs.  Sounds simple, doesn't it?  I guess it would be if you were a writer with plenty to blog about.  Then Rosie started talking "word limits" and I said well I just blog on until I've said my piece!  

Anyhow, this is the year to expand one's repertoire and try new things.  So tomorrow Rosie will be posting a very special entry here at Squirt Baby and I will be posting something over at her place (just off to do a major edit now - perhaps if I just cut out every second word I'll meet the word count).  Can't wait!!