Saturday, April 30, 2011

today, i am ...

... loving the colours and changing light of autumn
... enjoying learning to take better photographs
... dreaming of far away places
... smelling the roses
... reading recipe books
... eating cheesecake (my favourite)
... one year older!

I am also supplying the gifts today - 20% off everything in my shop until midnight - use this code when you checkout: GIFTDAY. Happy shopping, and don't forget Mother's Day is next weekend!

Friday, April 29, 2011

my tea towels are well travelled

I love finding out where Yardage Design homewares and fabric end up. This black vintage tram roll menu tea towel now lives with Valerie in France ...

Valerie has a lovely blog, where you can also find some delicious filling ideas for croque monsieur (toasted sandwiches) - as pictured above (from Valerie's blog). Thanks for the lovely post, Valerie!

Have a lovely Friday!

P.S. I've been sharing some links to my new favourite blogs on the Yardage Design facebook page every evening - do drop in for a visit some time!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

my online wake up call + contingencies

Having an online business is wonderful - flexible, transportable, convenient ... the list goes on. But, have you ever wondered what would happen if something went a bit wrong? Yesterday, it happened to me. In the process of transferring from ADSL broadband to cable, my primary email address was deleted. It was the email address that I've had since I first got the internet at home, back in the dial-up days. It was the email address I used to establish ALL of my business systems and connections - my website, my blog, my shop, my facebook business page .... pretty much everything. Needless to say, I was a tad distraught.

Image from here

Fortunately, I've managed to keep a copy of all of the login details of all of the systems I use for my business (translation - scraps of paper in an envelope labelled "computer stuff"). It took a few hours, but I managed to change the primary email address for all of these to my new email address, so everything is working (or seems to be). Business as usual - hooray! However, it will still be a few days before my original email address is reinstated, so people trying to contact me, who have not heard back, please try me on this one: nicolejames1(at)bigpond(dot)com.

Once things were under control, it made me think about contingencies. What were mine? Do I have the skills to get myself out of an IT pickle? Who would I call for help? Today, I am organising my online information, logins, and contacts so that I have a hardcopy ready for such an event again. Fingers crossed it doesn't happen again, but better to be ready I say, and save a few tears!

Have a lovely day!

Post-script - order is restored, along with my old email address - hooray!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

this (long) weekend I ...

Visited family in the town I grew up in ...

The Old Post Office clock in Dubbo, NSW
Organised the "best ever" easter egg hunt ...

Yes ... there was a huge chocolate CRASH that afternoon! (totally worth it, though!)
Hand delivered some cushions for Mum and Dad's new house ...

{exclaim} cushions in cherry red and ocean blue
Admired Mum's stitchery fabric buckets ...

Ate lots of food, drank lots of wine ... the usual!

How was your weekend?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

hoppy days ...

Egg cup decorated by Mr 4 at kindy this week!
I hope you are enjoying Easter and all that it brings!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

a gift just for ... me!

One of the wonderful things about being a maker, is seeing the amazing skills and ideas of others. I regularly do my gift shopping online, visiting clever and crafty people who make beautiful things. It's not often I buy for myself, but I just couldn't resist this brooch ...

It's called "The secret of the olive grove" Brooch and is beautifully handmade from amber and silver by Christina Lowry Designs (Christina's blog is here and her shop is here). I am just so thrilled to own something so beautiful that will last forever. Thanks for wrapping it so beautifully for me too, Christina ...

Best wishes to everyone for a safe and happy Easter break.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

progress ...

My second quilt is progressing. Today, I am quilting the layers together with the help of a quilting bar. I've never used one of these before, but it's been a brilliant guide, and it's been sitting in my accessories box this whole time!

Hope your day is productive too!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

buzz box update

The Buzz Box (aka the electric car we are trialling)  is travelling well. As a result of lots of comments and emails about the car we are trialling, I thought I would give you an update. First of all, I should say that I am not being paid to do this trial or for my comments. The car is loaned to us for 3 months and we provide feedback to the State government, to give them information in order to decide if electric cars and their infrastructure should/could be rolled out in Victoria.

So, we've had the buzz box for a couple of weeks now. Mr 4 and I drive around in it most days. We tend to just travel locally as the range of the car still worries me. It seems to do about 80km on one charge. We've been recharging it every 3-4 days depending on how much we've been out and about (I don't like driving it with less than a quarter of a "tank"). We did the longest drive we've done today - about a 45km round trip. It still had about half a "tank" left, but I didn't use the air conditioner at all to conserve energy. My biggest concern is the situation where you have enough charge to get to and from where you're going, but none for a contingency like a long detour or traffic jam. The grand plan for electric cars is to have public charging stations all over the city, but for now, the only place I can charge it is at home, so we don't stray too far. I think for these cars to be viable, the range has to at least double, and be accompanied by a vast network of charging stations.

Stuff I love about the car - it's pretty zippy and keeps up with traffic no problem. It is an absolute breeze to park because it is so small, and because the wheels are located on each corner of the car (the turning circle is amazing!). I love the high seating position, and it's super easy if you have to lift kids into car seats. The boot is small, but has enough room for the groceries. Extra items fit pretty well in the back seat. The footwells are deep too which is handy.

Stuff I don't love about the car - no curtain airbags. The Victorian Government (through the TAC) is doing a big advertising campaign about curtain airbags, so it surprises me that they didn't demand them to be fitted to these vehicles. Lack of interior lighting at night. The cabin is in total darkness, so you have no idea if you are in park or drive without putting the overhead light on - very irritating.

All in all, I'm still enjoying driving it. Mr 4 thinks it's "the coolest" and is happy to drive around in a special car. He makes me laugh when we get in to go somewhere by asking if we have "enough power to make it"? Let me know if you have any questions or things you want to know. I'll do another update in a month or so. Thanks again for your interest.

Back to crafty posts tomorrow!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

my new favourite sewing tool ...

My new favourite sewing tool is batting seam tape that I found at the Australasian Quilt Convention yesterday. It's the answer to perfectly joining up bits of batting, instead of buying new whole pieces (or trying to sew them together like I have done in the past - it doesn't work).

Just cut straight edges on two pieces of batting and place them side by side as close as possible. Cut a piece of batting seam tape to length and then iron it across the join. A perfectly stable, flat join. Love!

Being a relative newbie to quilting, I'm sure most of you knew about this product, but for me it was a super find - no more piles of odd ends of batting - they can all be used. This business was where I bought it at the convention yesterday, but it may be available at other places.

Have a lovely Sunday.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Getting ready for a dinner party tonight ... massively behind schedule, but I always get there in the end! Here's an "arty" shot of one of the placemats I printed for tonight - black mini tram roll menu on natural linen placemat (from Freedom Furniture).

Have a Great Thursday!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

printing + shooting

I'm printing for myself today - a rare treat. I'm printing some placemats for a dinner party tomorrow night. At the same time, I'm shooting pics with my new macro lens ...

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

inspiration :: minerals

Taken at the Melbourne Museum yesterday afternoon ...

Looks a bit like the Yardage Design logo?

 Have a great day!

Monday, April 11, 2011

showbag GIVEAWAY winner ...

Thanks so much to all who entered my little giveaway. Your kind comments were appreciated!

A winner was randomly chosen (insert computery music here), and that person is Eight from Three. If this is you, please email me so I can get your details. Thanks all! Hope you're having a good week so far!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

and now for something completely different ... electric cars

Yep, not really craft related, but related to my interest in sustainability. I've been driving around in an all electric car - we volunteered to trial it for the Victorian government. It has no engine. It's teeny, tiny. It makes no sound. It is day 5 of a three month trial. It is known as the "Buzz Box" at our place ...

To put you in the picture, here is some background ... Mr Yardage is a car enthusiast (translation - he loves cars ... we own 4 ... I know). Earlier in the year I saw an ad calling for volunteers to trial electric cars. We applied and were one of 60 families across the state who were accepted.

My professional background is environmental management, so it is with pleasure that our family participates in this trial. Having driven hybrid cars for a few years now, I am pleased to see all electric vehicles coming to the fore.

After 4 days, here are my thoughts ... it's quicker than I was expecting and it is great not to have the "lag" you often get in hybrid cars when the car switches from electric to petrol; I like the higher driving position; the charge lasts about 80km which means you have to really think about how far you are going; I love chatting to people about the car - people are very interested, which is great. Anyway, it's early days, but so far so good. For more information about the trial including how you can be involved later in the year, go here. Wave if you see me buzzing around the inner east of Melbourne!

Normal programming will resume tomorrow, including the announcement of the winner of my giveaway (there is still time to enter!)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

new stockist ... the eco nook, hobart

Tasmanians can now buy Yardage Design homewares from a lovely, brand new shop called The Eco Nook in North Hobart. Rebekah opened her shop just this week (how exciting is that!), and it looks divine ...

Image via The Eco Nook
Image via The Eco Nook
Image via The Eco Nook
Best wishes Rebekah, and thanks so much for your support!

Friday, April 8, 2011

sticky business

In the post yesterday from Moo ... Yardage Design stickers! Expect to see these on orders from the shop over the coming weeks. I'm a big Moo fan - I get my business cards, postcards and (now) stickers from them.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

quilt number two

I've started my second quilt ...

I'm using Yardage Design Agapanthus in purple, and as this one will be a gift, this is a just a sneaky peek of progress so far. I am currently sewing all of the pieces I cut yesterday together. I'm also still playing with my new DSLR ....

For more creative spaces, join in with the gang over at Kootoyoo!

P.S. Don't forget to enter my showbag giveaway - you won't want to miss this one!