Yes, still alive. Have not updated this sadly neglected blog due to being extremely busy and the usual Lupus induced crap.
Having made the decision to participate in the Craft and Quilt Fair two months ago, it's all full steam ahead, with auditioning books, looking at which products to push and designing the projects to display said products. Also, trying to figure out what we can do to attract traffic to our 'stall', given that we can't exactly be dying fabric on the spot.
I have also been very busy throwing dye onto fabric to help Moni, my partner in business crime complete her quilt in time for the deadline for the exhibition. Just about every colour needed to be dyed a few times, and I had to (for the first time) produce colour to match, without any recipes to guide me... Between the two of us, I think we've just about destroyed the grout in the laundry... hee.
But, the truly liberating part of this was that I got to throw the leftovers at any 100% cotton I could lay my hands on. I don't think I have ever had quite so much fun! I can see now how artists just get in the 'zone' and never want to come out! OTOH, it also meant an emergency dash to Spotlight to get some more said 100% cotton, as I am too miserly to throw dye away. How do I hate that store? Let me count the ways.... I guess though, like flies around a cow pat, they serve a purpose.
Here are some shots of the laundry action:
Those are the leftovers from round one. (There were three others)
I love my old microwave - how to batch in the freezing Canberra winter...
The collateral damage... "Whoops.".......
This does come off by the way. It just looks like a Vulcan and Andorian Massacre for a little while.
Here is just some (not all) of the leftover dye as finished product:
There's about twenty metres at least in that little lot. Not bad for leftovers, and more than that, I committed the cardinal sin of dyeing, I
left the dyes (not activated of course) in their bottles for way past the usual hour or two. Some were over 10 DAYS OLD. And guess what, they still worked - tho not quite as bright as I would have liked. But, given that most of these fabrics are only going to be bag linings, or the middle of chenille quilts, I'm not that fussed.
In order to maximise our impact at this years craft fair, Moni and I went to the Sydney Quilt and Craft Fair at Darling Harbour. Just to suss out what 'works' and what doesn't, best use of space, best crowd drawing activities etc. In many ways I was profoundly disappointed.
Particularly in the so called "Bead Show". Man, did that suck. I was expecting a lot of really good focal beads, bulk findings, Swarovskis galore, sterling silver beads and wire etc, etc. What was there was a really tired looking (mostly empty) exhibition tacked onto the back of the general area. There were some very good small concerns selling beautiful lampwork beads etc, but most of the 'well known shops' just dragged out all the crap that hadn't been selling online.
Much to my chagrin, I could have got a wider variety at a much more competitive price at the dread Spotlight. And the people were totally disinterested and worse yet (well, just like the dread Spotlight) knew nothing about the craft. ARRRGGGGHHHHH! I got a few Swarovskis and a few findings, as I had forgotten to pack head pins in my overnight bag, and that was about it. I went away feeling very sad and very let down.
The rest of the Fair was the same old, same old. I am sincerely hoping that it's just me, but I get the feeling that Expertise Events are losing the plot a bit. As are some of the exhibitors who do the rounds of the shows. Please, if you're going to have a microphone, turn it off when you're talking to customers about mundane, non-product related matters. Manners please! It was more annoying than listening to someone's loud mobile phone conversation.....
In one of those "double edged sword" moments, I can see that dyeing fabric has become more popular. I was ecstatic to see this on the one hand, as more people discovering the joy of this activity, the better place the world will be.
But, on the other hand, the dye selling market is getting a helluva lot more competitive, sadly, with those who speak with seeming "authority", or those with knowledge but not the passion... I shall say no more, as I have no wish to bag the opposition in any way shape or form. I just hope they all return the favour when they discover me at the Canberra Fair...
Tomorrow, I drag out my beloved sewing machine which has been languishing under the Darlinge's computer desk for over six bloody months!!!! Will she still speak to me? I am having a practice run on raw edge applique on this:
The real quilt (for the Fair) will be a mosaic using the full twelve step jewel tone colour wheel. It'll be about 1.2 by 1.2 metres.
I have also officially fallen in love with Steam a Seam2. Where the bloody hell has this stuff been all of my quilting life!!!!!!! This stuff is bloody magic. All the years of having to reheat vlisofix to try and prise it up to correct design errors... when dang me, I could have been using this stuff. Sigh. Never mind, I have got sufficient stores to see me through the Fair from the beautiful Barb at Joggles (crafty lifeline to those non-Americans in need).
American Crafters, you have no idea of how much you are blessed by the wealth of craft, beading, quilting and sewing (and magazine) resources at your fingertips.......
I have a new goal actually. I am going to have enough money by July 2008, to attend two weeks of dyeing classes at PROChem in the US.
So, I'd better get back to the planning and plotting for the show.
I also need to work out how to best market the new line of made in the USA mercerised cotton - Thank you to the folks at the best fabric house in the USA - Testfabrics! YOU ROCK!!!!!!:
The kids had an absolute ball with the boxes, just like every child I have ever known (and cat for that matter):
Bizarre , yes?
I love my babies. May they never, ever loose this ability to make fun from just about anything that comes their way. Long live silliness!
The Panadeine Forte and Naprosyn is starting to wear out, so I'm off for another dose and a good lie down (modern version of a "Bex and a good lie down" - wow, now I'm showing my age...)