Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Creative Space

This week is a sort of culmination for me. For almost a year I have been thinking about moving my craft from simply a hobby to a business. A couple of things to know about me before I continue:

I am a perfectionist
I am not a huge risk taker
I don't consider myself an extrovert

As you can imagine these characteristics can pose obstacles to the idea of actually selling your craft. I initially struggled with the quality of my craft. I would look at items I had made and while I felt fine about gifting them to people, selling them? Were they/are they good enough? I wasn't so sure.

Then there was the whole how do you actually sell you craft. What is involved? What does it require? I am generally not comfortable just doing something. I like to research, to learn as much as I can before I act; to plan.

Finally, selling your craft requires you to put yourself out there, to say to people, "hey, look at me" and to make yourself, well, vulnerable as your craft reflects you and who you are. I have always been more of a behind the scenes kind of person. Putting yourself out there means you have to hear what people think about you, that you have to submit yourself to scrutiny from others.

So it's taken me a year. A year to feel comfortable with the quality of my craft, what it says about me and to think through every little detail that goes with selling your craft a million times (did I mention I am also a bit anal retentive?). To try and make sure I have dotted my i's and crossed my t's. And now on Monday, August 1st I will "open" my shop on Madeit. Now, I know based on my research that opening a shop is not all peaches and cream, but I am hoping the same characteristics that resulted in my taking a year to finally take the step will also help me maintain my faith in myself and this venture.

So in case your shop is called Wombat's Picnic: a little piece of handmade Australia - and when I say Australia, I mean literally. While not a native, for over twenty years I have been enthralled with the many things that are unique to Australia (perhaps this comes with not being born and growing up here, but coming to live here later in life) and so my shop will feature handcrafted items of all kinds that celebrate all things Australian - its flora, its fauna, its cultural icons. I expect items to vary as I love to use vintage items including fabric and paper that I find at op shops.

So that's my creative space, dotting my i's and crossing my t's. Hope lots of creative things are happening in your space this week. For more creative spaces you can visit here. Cyndy Pin It

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Needing a Little Sunshine

I don't know about where you are, but it has been a rainy and overcast kind of morning here. As part of my ongoing obsession with felt food I started working on some fairy bread last night. It's so bright and colourful especially on a day like today. Thought I would share it - maybe it will bring a little sunshine into your day too. Cyndy Pin It

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Creative Space

With the children back at school, I have finally finished all the thank you gifts (including packaging them up nicely) for the parents who helped plan our school fundraiser (a Trivia Night and Auction) at the end of last month.

I shared an in process version of the thank you gifts here, but now I have added the days of the week to the pegs. I did this by printing the days of the week on colored vellum paper which I glued on top of the patterned paper I had already placed on each peg. For the magnets on the back I used the magnet tape you can buy at any craft store or even $2 shop. The one I bought was wider than my pegs, so I simply cut it in half. Each peg can hold about 8 sheets of paper. I originally planned to make each set all one paper/color, but when I finished them I decided it was cuter and more versatile to mix up the sets so that each was made up of different papers/colors.

We are having a meeting tomorrow where we will debrief the event so it will be the perfect time to express my thanks to everyone:) I hope they like them and know they are appreciated!

For more creative spaces this week you can visit here. Cyndy Pin It

Monday, July 18, 2011

And they are back!

Yes, that's right, the school holidays are officially over! Don't know how we did it, but somehow we made it to school on time this morning - despite everyone still going to bed later than usual last night. When my son first started school I wasn't sure about two weeks of school holidays between each term, as it was different than what I had experienced growing up in the US, but after four years I think it works. Both of the older kids were excited to be going back; to see their friends and teachers, to share what they had done on the holiday, and as my oldest daughter said, "to not be bored anymore":)

The children did a variety of things over the school holiday: they visited their cousins, went to the movies, went to Scienceworks, went to the Hottie Cover Challenge exhibition at Open Drawer (only one more week left to see it!) and did a lot of crafts and cooking. While we always seem to start off with a bang by the end, I will admit we get a little lazy and just stay at home. Yesterday the girls played school (guess they really wanted to go back) and my son made Anzac cookies. It was a nice day at home.

While in a way things get easier for me (only one child at home most of the day instead of three) they also get busier as we get stuck back into swimming, ballet, sport etc...Hmm, only 10 more weeks until the next school holidays! Cyndy Pin It

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Creative Space

This really isn't about my creative space this week, it's about my oldest daughter's (age 7). This is the second week of the school holidays here in Victoria. Pretty much every day her first question is "what can I make?" So far this week she has made a canvas picture, felt sushi, a button hair clip, an artist palette brooch and a decorated T-shirt. Yes, she exhausts me:)

Hope you are getting lots done in your creative space this week. You can see more creative spaces here. Cyndy

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Volunteering Makes Your Heart Grow Stronger

 (image taken by me featuring the hottie cover created by Julianne Negri)

For 20 years I worked professionally in the field of volunteer management in the United States. I helped non profit organizations figure out how to use the time and talents of volunteers. I loved what I did:)

Four years ago I underwent a major life change. I left my career, moved to Australia, had my third child and became a stay at home mom. I also learned in a new way what my professional career had been about as I threw myself whole heartedly into being the thing I had helped others to recruit and manage - a volunteer.

As a professional I used to hear organizations lament about the difficulties of finding volunteers. Now that I am  on the other side I do understand these challenges in a different way, but I am convinced more than ever that people can give, if we expand our thinking about what one can do to "volunteer."

A great example is the Hottie Challenge. The aim of the challenge was to make a hottie cover. These hottie covers are now being exhibited in the gallery space at Open Drawer Art Textiles and Learning Centre from Friday July 1 to Sunday July 24, 2011 to raise money for the Margaret Pratt Foundation. The Margaret Pratt Foundation Heart Lung Transplant Trust is a registered charity whose aim is to encourage, develop and maintain Australia’s world class expertise in the field of organ transplantation by supporting research that addresses the problems faced by children and adults after heart and lung transplant. The aim of the research must be to improve the outcomes for heart and lung transplant recipients.

Over 100 people created a hottie cover. These people may not have looked at themselves as volunteers, but that is what they are; they gave of their time and talent to help the Margaert Pratt Foundation.

You can help too. Until July 24th you can visit the exhibit at the Open Drawer. You can buy one of the hottie covers (each is being sold for $50). You can also vote for your favorite hottie with any amount of good old fashioned Australian currency. All monies raised will be donated to the Foundation.

We visited this last Sunday. My two oldest had fun picking out their favorites to vote for and we even bought one!

If you can't help this cause, I hope you will think about what you can do where you live. Remember, volunteering makes your heart grow stronger:) Cyndy

PS If you can't visit you don't have to miss out on seeing many of the lovely hotties, you can visit them in the Flickr Group. You can see mine here.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Op Shop Find

On Saturday my youngest and I went to the op shop after picking up some cat food. It was a last minute decision to stop, but I must have felt the vibe because I found these sweet little fabric coasters featuring hand sewn lily of the valleys. I have a few other items with lily of the valleys on them in my bedroom - I find the combination of white and green so refreshing and just looking at them reminds me of their wonderful scent!

I also managed to pick up some doilies, a bag of children's books, and a Madeline video (for the youngest, of course:). The price tag for the whole lot - only $6! How can you not love that?! Cyndy Pin It

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Creative Space

OK, so my picture is not about creating today - just some gratuitous cuteness I thought I would share:) It's school holidays for us, so everything is a bit out of whack this week - one day we even stayed in our pj's ALL day! I have squeezed in a little time on the peg magnets from last week finishing five of eight sets - I might have to share a pic of them in the next day or two:)

The above picture is the newest member of our family - Ginger. She is cat number two for us. I didn't plan on getting her (and yes, it was me not the children who wanted to get her), but I saw her at the vets and it was love at first sight. She's been with us for about 8 weeks. In case you are wondering, she is called Ginger because she has a ginger paw. I won a food basket at the school Trivia Night/Auction two weeks ago and finally emptied it the other day. I guess Ginger thought it would make a cosy bed for her. The result was too cute, hence the pic!

Hope you are enjoying your school holidays or getting time to create in your space. For more creative spaces you can visit here. Cyndy Pin It

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July

Independence. Freedom. Democracy. Over 230 years ago the United States of America became a country. We made cupcakes in our house to celebrate (technically it is a birthday:). Hope you are having a wonderful 4th of July wherever you are. Cyndy Pin It
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