Welcome to the Workshop

Welcome to the Workshop

Friday, May 27, 2011


Today, I heard of the death of a young mother from cancer.

And then I heard of the death of an infant.

I am immensely grateful for the good health of both myself and my husband, and my poppet. We are a tight little family unit, just the three of us. We do our darndest to just 'be' whenever we can. Here's what we've been doing lately....

Seize your loved ones and tell them how much you love them. Show them by giving them the most important gift you possess. Your time and undivided attention. Make a cake, read a book together or go play pooh sticks in a national park. Unplug yourself from modern convenience and get back to basics together. You're making memories!


Friday, May 20, 2011


I woke up this morning with the strongest urge to ring my dad. But I can't because he died of melanoma almost five years ago. That makes me sad, yes, but mostly I'm angry. I have a lot to share with him and am eternally frustrated that he's not on the other end of the phone.

For the bigger part of my life, my dad worked in the shed in our yard making model houses for architects. He found his way there after an exhaustive career with the education department. He was meticulous and inventive and took great pride in his work. We were proud of him too. On a hot day he would collapse into the pool regularly to cool off, and it must have been bitterly cold out there in the winter. I think he had a little bar heater for warmth. He worked day and night, and I doubt it was particularly remunerative but it was his thing. And he was good at it.

I remember hanging out with him in the shed, fiddling with his plastic samples and special knives and watching him work. I'm sure I just talked at him for hours but he always listened and paid attention. With three children, he had an amazing way of making each of us feel like the centre of his world.

When I left home, he would call me every evening to see how my day had gone. We would natter about nothing, often over a gin and tonic and my day would be complete.

I, too, work in a shed in the backyard. My own daughter comes out and talks 'at' me and I try to listen and be patient, like my dad was. She organizes my buttons and my ribbons, and is starting to make things of her own. I would like to think that I am inventive and I do take enormous pride in my work. When it's hot I have an airconditioner (no pool to collapse into) and I'm hoping the reverse cycle function will be effective over the coming months. Otherwise I'll be relying on uggboots and fingerless gloves.

My dad would love my shed, he would spend hours in it with me asking questions and poking about. We would natter over a gin and tonic.
But I guess we already are.
I miss you dad, but you're always there.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Birthday Giveaway!

I am happy to be writing that my little business is a year old today. It's been a whirlwind year and a massive learning curve. I have made some wonderful friends, learnt lots of new skills and people have actually paid real money for something I have made. I am very proud of my product range and am extremely grateful for the many fabulous customers I have had so far.

As the business grows, expect to see lots of new little poppet friends and some new product ranges as well. I'm taking a break from custom work to really focus on the direction I want the business to go. There will be some little friends available from time to time on my Etsy shop and I will let you know on Facebook when that happens.

Speaking of new products, this might be the time to introduce you to the Pocket Poppets.

These characters fit into the palm of your hand and feature all the attention to detail you have come to expect from me.

So, what do you think? Would you like some of your own? Well, simply leave a comment at the bottom of this post before Friday 20th 8pm (WST) and these Pocket Poppets could be yours. I have one set to give away and I'll even include international fans.

Tell me what you think. What characters would you like to see in the future? I love feedback!

Thanks for a great year. I'd better go hide the Pocket Poppets before my kid gets home from ballet, she can't keep her greasy paws off them!


PS If you leave a comment as 'anonymous' make sure you put your name and email contact for me!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hong Kong Disney!

The poppet and I recently visited Hong Kong to stay with my sister and her 4 girls. They very kindly took us to Disneyland and it was AWESOME!!! If you visit HK with kids under 12 you simply have to go. I was as much like a kid in a candy store as my 6 year old was. I think we spent the whole day gaping!
Look who we saw! They were even speaking Mandarin, or was it Cantonese...

Being HK, it was very clean and orderly, the cues were bearable (we had queue jumping tickets which were a real advantage) and being Disney, the food was typically American in style and very unhealthy (and not particularly vegetarian either, but you get that). Check out the size of poppet's 'cotton candy'! One size fits all apparently...

There were plenty of rides and Disney characters galore. An unexpected highlight was 'It's a Small World'. This ride reminded me of my love for Mary Blair's work. If you don't think you know it, follow the link and you will be taken straight back to those childhood hours spent with Little Golden Books. (I am so glad they've been re-released, we've amassed quite a few already.) I could look at those images all day long. I think we'll go back to HK just to re-visit this ride. The poppet wholeheartedly agrees.

This post could go on for a week, but I'll leave you with a couple of pics of the character parade at the end of the day. My kid and I were so hot and exhausted by this stage, but jumping up and down nevertheless when we saw Cinderella and Pooh and Tigger (though she still has issues with heffalumps and woozles - "beware, beware, be a very wary bear").

Belle even blew us a kiss as she went by. Well, we think it was for us...

It doesn't matter how old you are, if you grew up on Disney you just have to love this place. Thanks big sis for such a great day out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Why, hello there!

Hello and welcome to my first post. If you are familiar with my Facebook page, you will be accustomed to my drivel and may have popped over here for a little more. If not, you'll get used to me. Or you won't. Either way is just fine.
Where to start? My own poppet, age 6, has been desperate to learn to sew and I've been waiting for a good chunk of available time. It finally presented itself in the form of Mother's Day! (thanks to a good dose of 'man-flu', we were able to spend the entire day at home)
I had a little long stitch kit ready for her to try and we whiled away quite a few hours together on the deck, muchly enjoying the new Fleet Foxes album. Needless to say she really enjoyed it.

It was great to have a project she could manage without much help from me. It's about halfway to completion now, I will share some more pics when it's up on her wall.
As I sat beside her I finally started the crochet blanket I've felt like making for months. I love simple crochet for it's repetitive nature and the tiny amount of concentration it requires. As my business has grown, I've lost time to make things purely for the pleasure of making. Something I'm determined to change over the coming months.
I bought the wool here (look at the colours!)

and hassled my friend Victoria from Dover & Madden for a pattern. She suggest I visit Attic24 for her tutorial, which I did. And I've finished two whole rows! Expect many crochet updates over the coming months (hopefully it won't take me longer than that!) Here is a little snap of my blanket's humble beginnings.

It really was the loveliest day, sitting outside with my little family doing not too much in particular and feeling grateful for the opportunity to do so. I hope your day was lovely too, whether you are a Mother or not ;)
More later...


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