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Monday, 31 May 2010

New Printed Natural Linen

I am loving the European natural linens that we are now printing on. Newly listed in our on-line store is our Hydrangea print. Hand-printed on natural flax linen, the fabric is also available as a plain coordinate here.

If you are looking for elegant tableware without having to sew, I have also listed beautiful new table runners in this print. Not only is this fabric gorgeous but it has been prewashed and preshrunk by the manufacturer so is definitely safe to wash.

The table runner and fabric is also available in a dark red print.

The navy colourway is printed on the Petersburg European linen, offered as a coordinating plain linen here.

We will be printing our Cottage Garden design on the same linens this week. Do you have a busy week ahead? We are sourcing and trying out new local manufacturers this week; not particularly my idea of fun but necessary for the seamless production of our growing range homewares. Luckily I have delegated this task to new business partner Voyt.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Flea Market Finds - Very Retro

I love reading Sophie's Library Adventures, particularly on Sundays when she and others reveal their Flea Market Finds. As a vintage collector from way back, I have wanted to participate for a while so today I am organized enough to do so.

One of the my most treasured finds is this screen-printed hanging found at a local Vinnie's shop a
little while ago for a pittance. I'm not sure what the plant is but I love the artist's lines, colours and texture of the hessian (or burlap).

The design is signed Rodriquez. Upon further research, I discovered that this is an Australian
second generation family business that is still designing and screen-printing tea-towels, particularly for the tourist market.

Do you remember the
IKEA buffet that I gave away earlier this week? It has now been replaced with this vintage teak sideboard found at the Woolloongabba Antiques Centre. While not exactly at flea market prices, I am more than happy with it as I had been looking for a while and it is in excellent condition. It is now storing all my table linens and family photo albums.

This ceramic little fella was found at a thrift store while I was living in Ontario, Canada for a couple of dollars. His eyes are ridiculously large but I love him. He is in fact a money box. Check out more thrifty finds here.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Friday Follower - Debbie

Friday Follower is back!

This week, we have a treat for quilters and for those who want to screen-print at home as Debbie Fowkes does a little of both.

Some of you may remember Debbie for her adorable cars that she screen-printed in one of our previous classes here. That design has evolved into the quilting blocks used in this adorable quilt.

Debbie has found a niche in the market for children's quilting blocks, particularly for boys. This is screen-printed using a simple stencilling technique.
But that's not all as Debbie also dabbles in fabric dyeing. With the technique she uses, the results are always one-of-a-kind creations. Let's find out more about Debbie.

1. What is "Jump Creations"?
Jump Creations is a result of a passion for quilting that started about 5 years ago and a lack of boy-related material.

2. It's a great idea to screen-print quilting blocks. What inspired you to do them?

Because I have a back problem but loved appliqué, I thought there had to be an easy way to skip the appliqué or reduce it and move on to the embellishing which I consider the fun part. After doing your class I knew I had the answer.

3. What dyeing methods do you use for your fabrics?
I have designed my own method and use salt to get the beautiful variations in color. You never know what you are going to end up with. Other fabric is brushed and then dye flicked on it. I have a range of "implements" that I have been collecting to try in the near future. Sometimes the material you thought was a big mistake takes on a whole new look when you cut it and then you can pretend that it was meant to be that way! I love experimenting looking for new ways to get a unique pattern on material.

4. Are your designs available for purchase?
Yes, my designs are for sale. The quilting blocks are 8" square. I can be contacted either by email: dfowkes[at]powerup[dot]com[dot]au or call 0407 88 0405.

5. Your craft isn't your full-time occupation so what is your day job? I work as a Book Keeper/Office Manager in a Truck Smash Repair business.

6. Is there anything interesting about you that isn't common knowledge? I was sewing before I went to school (remember the old treadle sewing machine) my mother is a good sewer & my grandmother a seamstress so between the three of us we have had a go at almost everything. While my grandmother is no longer alive it has been wonderful having that expanse of experience to pick their brains over the years of different ways to try and do things. Two very special women in my life.

Thanks Debbie. It's always interesting to know what people do after the screen-printing classes. You can visit Debbie's new blog here.

Check our website for upcoming screen-printing classes.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Peacock Party

We all love the peacocks!

I've draped the printed linen over my sofa and I really like it. I want to cover our dining chairs with this fabric and we are currently making other seat covers for a lovely customer. It's the first time that I've sold fabric before even listing it on the website but it's now available for all of you. The design has been named Peacock Party.

You can see the cushion we made for Julie at Olive and Joy here and Kathryn over at Maggie & Sparrow has sewn a piece into her gorgeous patchwork scarf.

I couldn't resist printing a pretty version and chose a lilac as a sophisticated pink for the hemp/organic cotton. Some lilac peacocks on white linen flew down to Melinda Love today. She makes the loveliest lamps so I have ordered a pair for our bedroom.

Burnt orange is for those who prefer a retro decor. I would like to print one more colour and will be playing around with some teals.

Please note that the prices of the hemp/organic cotton prints will be rising over the next week to be the same as the Peacock Party so get in quick to save.

I would like to apologise that I have removed some of the organic fabrics since I found out today they have been discontinued. We will be using what we have for our own very Limited-Edition product range.
We are also discontinuing the organic jerseys once current stocks are sold out.
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Wednesday, 26 May 2010

New Design Store

As promised, I can now tell you about Brisbane's newest design store because as of today, it is now officially open for business. Artisan m(art)'s second shop is located at South Bank at 166b Grey Street and will be open 7 days a week. The original store will remain with the gallery in Fortitude Valley.

There was plenty of buzz at the opening last night. As one has come to expect from the m(art) store, the standard of designer wares is high. Retail manager Denise McQueen is always scouting for new talent both locally and Australia-wide. You may contact her if you would like to submit an seller's application.

The eclectic range in store more than compensates for its small space. Displayed products will be rotated every 2 weeks so you will be sure to always find something special. There is no shortage of beautiful hand-made jewellery.

Plus ceramics, homewares, (Thea & Sami) textiles, etc.

I have been coveting these Emeshmode knitted laptop bags for a while now. So now you have another reason to visit South Bank.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Free Furniture

One of the advantages of being an empty nester is that we have more storage space than ever before. As such, I am determined to be organised in my new home and really have no excuse not to be. To make room for furniture pieces that fit our new decor, I have to get rid of the old.

I am waiting for the delivery of a teak sideboard so need to dispose of this IKEA glass cabinet. The dimensions are 110 cm (W) x 82.5 cm (H). Except for the top shelf, the others are adjustable. The doors are glass with frosting from the top shelf downwards. The cabinet is in very good condition except for one stain caused by a red candle that was sitting on it. This is not a burn mark. As it is on the top interior shelf, it could easily be covered with shelf lining.

If you could use this cabinet, I will be happy to give it away as long as you are able to arrange pick up. We are located on Old Cleveland Road in Belmont, between Carindale and Chandler. Please contact me if you are interested.

We are off to the studio to print now. Are you doing anything exciting today? I am attending the opening of a new design store in Brisbane this evening. They will be stocking some Thea & Sami products so I look forward to checking it out and sharing more details with you soon.

Thank you to the people who responded to this. The cabinet is going to a new home tomorrow.

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Monday, 24 May 2010

Busy Bees

I FINALLY have internet in my new home. Yay! We have other things that need fixing around here but who cares? I can start blogging again and visiting you all.

I had a lovely time at Sew-It-Together in Melbourne and as you can see, there was some serious crafting taking place. Don't ask what I did all day. I knitted, unravelled, knitted, unravelled and then knitted just a little more. I hadn't knitted in 4 years and I just couldn't get into the rhythm of it. I hope my daughter isn't reading this as she will be waiting for a while before she gets her knitted beanie with ear-flaps. Elessa, be grateful for the blender I bought you!

I was fortunate to have the vivacious Juddie of Flightless
Boyds sitting at my table. She was making a toy rabbit as she is also a member of The Toy Society. They leave toys in random places around the world for a lucky recipient to find. How much fun would it be to find one of those?

My other lovely neighbour was Mary-Jane who flew all the way from New Zealand for a well-deserved break. She has 3 little girls and another baby on the way so I was happy that she won the mini-quilt sewing pack on the day.

And it was super-exciting to personally say hello to the people whose blogs I follow such as the elusive Tania of Myrtle and Eunice fame.

Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the Sew-It-Together dinner as I had a terrible headache that evening. However, the next day I had a fantastic brunch at
Chimmys at Richmond with Elessa and met up with Alyssa of Lyssy May for lunch and shopping for the rest of my day. Alyssa and I are collaborating on a beautiful range of hand-printed hand-bags that will be revealed at Life Instyle in August. The samples were so perfect that I got quite teary when I saw them. It was the motivation that I needed to keep moving forward right now.

Sheridan did an amazing job of organizing this event and is planning to do it again next year in Sydney. I highly recommend going if you can. There was a lot of positive energy in the room. Thanks Sheridan!

I will be
updating my website this week so stay tuned.
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Thursday, 13 May 2010

No Wire Hangers!

I wasn't meaning to sound like Joan Crawford but I'm so glad that my husband is no longer working in the corporate world as I hate those wire coat hangers that always come back from the dry cleaners, don't you?

However, as one who cringes at the thought of waste, the ugly wire coat hanger was my inspiration for our new linen coat hanger covers. Do you like?

These covers are very easy to make so I made up 60 craft packs today to take with me to Melbourne for the Sew It Together meetup on Saturday. The packs include the pattern, sewing instructions and different fabrics made up of mainly discontinued hand-printed pieces (not those shown). This was a great opportunity for me to declutter so it's good for everybody.

I am flying out tomorrow morning at 6.00 am so I will have to find some winter woolies to take with me as I have been warned that the weather is cold! We have been quite spoilt in sunny Brisbane with all the warm weather lately.

I apologise that I am unable to bring you Friday Follower again tomorrow but once my internet is connected (we have now applied for a wireless service), things will be back to normal.

Have a Great Weekend and I look forward to seeing some of you in Melbourne!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

I Need a Break!

As an self-confessed internet addict, I always knew that the withdrawal symptons of not having internet access on-call would be brutal. I can honestly say that I feel like my hands have been cut off. The drama with Telstra Bigpond continues. Basically, I have been promised a service that is not available in my area but they have promised me a solution today (promises, promises).

We have been busy though. What I hadn't yet told you is that my husband has quit his job as a commerical real-estate agent to work with me full-time at Thea & Sami. I really do need his help! He has a strong sales background and will be the project manager for the building of our new screen-printing studio.

The thing that makes me happiest right now is that he is the BEST screen-printer. No more tears over bad and inconsistent fabric printing. When we print together, it is fabric perfection! I will be looking for another fabric printer in the future but will really be looking for someone with fabric-printing experience as I find training very time-consuming.

We have been printing more peacocks on the natural flax as seen here and also in burnt orange on the hemp/organic cotton. Very retro, don't you think?

Unfortunately, I am unable to update the website with new fabrics until my internet problems are resolved but if you are interested in any of these, please contact me directly.

And I am pleased to say that I am taking a break this weekend and flying down to Melbourne for the Sew It Together meet-up. Can't wait to meet all the other bloggers!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Posie Patchwork

I am going to focus on happy things first so I am excited to show you the kaleidoscope of Thea & Sami printed hemp/organic cotton fabrics that were sent to Posie Patchwork in Canberra last week. To find out where these fabrics will be available, read Posy's blog here.

Thank you to all who have booked our next screen-printing class for June 5th. At the time of me writing this, there is only one place left. Book on-line to avoid disappointment. If you are unable to book, the place is probably gone.

I still don't have internet at home and there have been many tears of frustrations. The problem has been diagnosed as being a faulty phone line which Telstra has promised to resolve by tomorrow evening. I am back in the library right now. Please continue to be patient and I look forward to sharing more news and visiting your blogs again very soon. I miss you all.
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