Saturday, July 31, 2010

prints charming ... indeed!

I have just come back from a book signing by the very talented ladies (Cath and Kirsten) of Prints Charming. They did a great screenprinting demo right in the bookshop and had the audience enthralled with their fantastic organic design approach and lovely examples of their work ...

It's always lovely to chat with creative people - thanks for a great afternoon, ladies! If you're in Ballarat tomorrow, you can see Cath and Kirsten at Ballarat Patchwork from 10.30am followed by a stitching/embroidery class - well worth the visit.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

a great year ...

This time last year, I started blogging. Not just reading and commenting anonymously, but actually writing words and seeing what came back. It's been a great year in all kinds of ways, and I am so glad that I've been able to record it in words and pictures, and share it with people who are interested. Thankyou Pam (my blogging buddy) and thank you.

While I was putting a "patchwork" of my favourite photo's from the last year together, I found my first blog header - it made me smile! Do you still have your very first blog header?

Today, I'm celebrating this little milestone by having a sale in my shop - find out all of the details here. Have a lovely day, and look forward to "chatting" with you for another year! Nic

SALE today!

 WHEN - today only - Thursday 29 July 2010, between 12am AEST and 11:59pm AEST

WHAT - 20% off the price of everything in my online shop

HOW - enter the discount code YARDAGE at the checkout to receive 20% off your order

WHO - everyone - we ship internationally


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

one day SALE tomorrow

Everything you need to know ...

WHEN - Thursday 29 July 2010, between 12am AEST and 11:59pm AEST

WHAT - 20% off the price of everything in my online shop

HOW - enter the discount code YARDAGE at the checkout to receive 20% off your order

WHO - everyone - we ship internationally

It's the perfect opportunity to treat friends, family or yourself to handprinted fabrics and homewares. Free postage withing Australia. Enjoy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

this week is going to be fun!

To celebrate one year of blogging this Thursday (how time has flown!), I am celebrating by putting together a special post of my adventures in blogland, and ... I am having a sale in my online shop ...

Newsletter subscribers will get all of the details first (so if you haven't subscribed, you can do so in the sidebar on the right of this post), and it will also be posted right here on this blog. Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Mr Yardage arrived home last night after two weeks overseas for business - boy, were Little Mister and I glad to see him! He also came home with some lovely gifts for both of us. Here's my loot ...

The best little suitcase with fabric from Liberty of London inside!

A union jack scarf from by Liberty of London - it's HUGE, so this is just a bit showing the fabrics.

Some lovely bright table linen from a handmade shop in Madrid ...

... and a thimble from Norway!

I was super impressed with his selections, and am feeling rather spoilt right now! Loot or no loot, it is lovely to have him home - it's just not the same when we're all apart. I hope you're enjoying a lovely Sunday too.
P.S. Posie is home from Europe too and has a lovely post all about her holiday here - truly worth a read.

Friday, July 23, 2010

this morning ...

I'm printing black tram roll tea towels and fiddling with the camera on the tripod again (not great results on an overcast day, but getting the hang of it) ...

I just love lifting the screen and seeing a perfect print - it makes my day every time!
In other news, you can now buy Yardage Design homewares at State of Green which is an amazing online store specialising in designer lifestyle products that are sensitive to the environment. You can also read a short interview with me on the State of Green blog here.
Hope you're having a good Frydee!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

thing-a-ma-jig making + using

My creative space this week has involved making and using this ...

I love large, sturdy, gussetted shoulder bags (with long straps) to carry my groceries etc, but they were impossible to print nicely without a thing-a-ma-jig - a raised printing platform that I adpated from something similar I saw here. A bit of measuring, some mdf, a few bits of timber I had in the shed, some screws and leftover felt, and I was in business. It doesn't look very pretty, but it works beautifully so that now I can easily, and consistently, print these new bags ...

Artichoke Market Bags (made from hemp/cotton fabric) now in the shop

Many more creative spaces at Kootoyoo (and, incase you've ever wondered (like me), find out what the name Kootoyoo really means in a great interview with the creative queen herself here!)

Monday, July 19, 2010

etsy treasure

My vintage tram roll menu tea towel made it on to two Etsy treasuries over the weekend. One was all about typography ...
I was in good company, with Spin Spin and Greenolive as neighbours ... go aussie designers! You can view this Etsy treasury here. The second one was just tea towels ...
You can view this Etsy treasury here. I guess that's the thing with Etsy - you just never know when someone might come across what you've made ... kind of like an enormous global craft lottery! Anyway, it made my day. Have a great Monday!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

vintage turquoise tile

Found at Camberwell Market this morning ...

I love the colour and design of this tile - I'm loving art nouveau design at the moment. I think I might glue some felt to the bottom of this and use it as a trivet. More market finds from everyone else here.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

folded + stacked

Can you tell it's been a week of getting things sorted out here at Yardage Design HQ ... lots of printing, folding, packaging - generally restocking after a very busy couple of months. There are some new things on the horizon to make way for, and something for all of you as my one year blogiversary nears. In the mean time ...

... Make your own Bunting Flags craft panels now fully stocked and back in the shop.

Friday, July 16, 2010

my new best friend ...

...arrived in the mail today ... his name is Bunyip!

As you can see, Bunyip is a pretty buff footballer - a star midfielder for the Wonka Woos! He's already trying to put a team together with his new handmade mates ...

(from left to right - Archie from Beck; Dino from Alison; and, Red Monster and Bots from Jodie

Bunyip was made by the very talented Jess. Thankyou Jess - I love him!


Stitching with green this morning onto a green/blue denim - still experimenting with my entry...

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

new crafty + handmade store in Kensington : Onabee

A lovely new store stocking handmade things, haberdashery, yarn and fabrics has just (last week) opened in Kensington, Melbourne. I met the store owner, Fiona (pictured below), at the Stitches and Craft Show - it is so lovely to see her enjoying her very own store - packed with really nice things and lots of vintage bits and pieces. Onabee also stocks Yardage Design fabric packs and bunting panels.

Onabee is located at 200 Bellair Street, Kensington - opposite the Kensington railway station.
Incase you needed another excuse to visit Kensington, Ink and Spindle are located just a couple of blocks away and are having an open studio this Saturday (10am - 1pm). Sounds like the perfect excuse to take a trip to lovely Kenso - check out the Ink & Spindle studio, do a spot of shopping (Onabee opening hours here) and then have lunch at one of the delicious cafes!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

updated ... yardage fabric packs

Yardage Fabric Packs have been updated. Three pieces of 35cm x 35cm fabric (one of each design), in cream (Pack I) or natural (Pack II) base cloths. Each pack is $20 (free postage in Australia), and available online here. Perfect for little projects!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Almost gone ...

The last few of the limited edition blue vintage tram roll menu tea towels were delivered to Little Shop of Handmade on Friday - that is the only place you can get one of these 100% hemp beauties! Drop in and visit Bec at her gorgeous store in Carnegie, or shop online here.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

blueberry-lemon buttermilk cake

I made this cake this afternoon ...

I got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen, but as I didn't have any fresh berries, I substituted a can of blueberries. I also didn't have any buttermilk, but the recipe includes how to make your own with milk and lemon juice or vinegar. It was very, very light and fluffy and delish! Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Farewell weekend ...

what i know about business (so far) ... part 2 ... paperwork

Thanks for the great response to the first post in this business series. Part two is all about paperwork and other related formal “thingo’s” (thanks, Jodie). First of all, just so we’re all clear - please check with someone fully qualified before you make any major decisions, and, my business is based in Victoria, Australia, so most of the links are appropriate for this state/country. Use some of the key words to google similar websites and services where you are.

There are a few decisions and forms needed to turn your hobby into a business. This is what I did ...

Decide on a business structure – most opt for being a sole trader (I did - it's simple and I can still employ people down the track if I want to), but there are more to choose from here.

Register a business name – decide on a name, then check here to see if it’s already taken here. Once you have a name, register it here. It’s such a great moment when you get your Certificate of Registration of Business Name - it’s all yours! TIP - you might also want to check website domain names before you register to see if your business name idea is available - not essential, but handy for marketing later on if everything is the same.

Get an Australian Business Number (ABN) – from here. This is how everyone (the government, other businesses, customers) know that you are a business.

Get some business insurance – you need public liability and product liability as a minimum, but it’s worthwhile insuring any capital items (e.g. sewing machine) and stock (e.g. fabric) for theft and fire (and other “defined events” ... flooding is a good one to have!). If you're working from home, don’t assume that your home and contents insurance policy will cover everything - call and check. Also, ring around and get a few quotes – they do vary a bit in price and comprehensiveness.

Decide if you’re going to resister for Goods and Services Tax (GST). If your business makes less than $75,000 per financial year, you are not required to register – that’s most of us! However, the benefit of registering, even if you don’t make that much, is that you can claim back the GST on purchases for your business. It might be worth it for you if you buy a lot of supplies for your business (e.g. fabric) - the downside is that you need add GST to your prices, and do a quarterly Business Activity Statement (BAS) to claim back the GST (not actually that hard, and pretty handy for keeping track of finances). Everything you ever wanted to know about the GST (and more) here.

Access resources - there are lots of places that you can get help with the paperwork/formal side of things. The Victorian Government has a great service and website called Business Victoria. You can access free advisors (e.g. an accountant, lawyer, book keeper, mentor) and find a whole lot of other resources. I used their advisor service to find an accountant – the first meeting was free, and it was really all I needed to make sure I had everything in order – it was excellent and easy. Also check with your local council – they sometimes have great programs for small business. Don't forget your local library - many are really up to date with reference books, and other good sources of information and inspiration - all for free.

Have some fun - now that you have all of that sorted, you can get down to the real business of doing what you do - making stuff! Think about getting some business cards - I printed my own at the start, but there are lots of online businesses that specialise in this (I use moo). Also, why not start a blog and record your journey - it's free, fun and very helpful.

Get an online shop - once you've been making things for a while, you might want to think about selling online. There are a number of online marketplaces that are useful to start with as they allow you (for very minimal cost) to get some feedback on your products and hopefully make some sales - Etsy (global - based in the US); Made It (Australian); and Oz Handmade (Australian) to name a few. Or, you could open your own little online store using  a dedicated shopping cart (I use Big Cartel, but there are many more to choose from).

I hope this has been useful, and hasn’t bored you to tears! Good luck to those of you out there thinking about giving small business a go.

P.S. I've had several requests about books - if you keep scrolling down my sidebar, you will come across my booklist - including the ones I mentioned in the last business post. Happy reading!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I'm procrastinating ...

But it's not a total waste - I want to use machine stittching to create a pattern on a cushion cover (for this), so I'm just having a play (when I should be cleaning up)! Hope your Saturday is a good one!

Friday, July 9, 2010

two weeks left ...

... to enter something in the Royal Melbourne Show. Remember - you don't need to submit the entry in two weeks time (Friday 23 July), just the form and small fee saying that you will submit something to the Show in September.

More details in this post, or at the Show website (where you can also download the application form).C'mon bloggers!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

hello ... this is me ...

Just incase you've ever wondered ...

Today, I've been printing ARTichoke tea towels for a wholesale order ....

The person who placed the order also wanted some photo's of me for publicity, so I dusted off the tripod and took a few. I don't really like having my photo taken, which is probably why my favourite of all of them was this mistake arty shot ...

So there you go ... that's me! Hope you're having a good day!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

i love books ...

Here are a few of my latest acquisitions ...

The Prints Charming book is, well ... charming. The book feels really fresh, which is nice after a lot of the sewing books out at the moment seem a bit the same. I really love the "Boys Room" section - boys are so often overlooked. The fabrics are lovely and there are some really unique projects to make in the book ...

Print & Pattern is a collection of lovely designers and snippets of their work. All beautifully selected and presented by this blogger - a great book of inspiration, and it includes some local talent like Lara Cameron (go Lara!) ...

I really love the simplicity and beauty of French textiles, so this book was a "must have" for me. There are lots of lovely projects and the photo's and styling are truly gorgeous ...

All of these books are available from bookstores. Have you picked up a favourite book lately?
Have a great Tuesday!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

yum ... cheesecake swirl chocolate brownies ....

Inspiration - Corrie at retromummy - thanks!
Recipe - This months Donna Hay magazine (Isse 51 - June/July) - page 146
Result - Yumm! Corrie recommends leaving it overnight before eating ... half will have to do!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

my creative space ....

My creative space involved something new this week - a bit of jewellery making with little fabric scraps of Swizzle ...

I was flitting around blogland, visiting some people who had left comments and I stumbled across this little kit from Miss Milla's.

These types of kits are tradionally used with paper, but I really wanted to try fabric, and I think it worked really well! There are a few stages and some glue drying time involved, but it was such a nice way to spend a couple of hours on a gloomy afternoon. I could have made dozens! Lucky for me, and for you, Kirsten from Miss Milla's is offering free postage until 31 July - just enter the promo code NJFREESHIP at the checkout - thanks Kirsten, your note and offer were such a lovely surprise.

More creativity at this lovely place - noticing a lot of good stuff over there!