Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Last year our neighbour passed away, and sadly, noone in his family had room for his old worktable. Granted, it was super-heavy and covered in decades-worth of paint, oil, resin and who-knows-what, but I was delighted when George's son asked if we would like it. Yes please!
I'd been working on a too-large and ultra-wobbly trestle table, and this table was the solution: it was the right size, height, and was super-sturdy, too. I got the belt sander out, and promptly broke about ten belts taking all the muck back to bare timber. It was worth it.
A rub-down with some teak oil re-hydrated the dessicated pine while enhancing the years and years of work-marks, which I love.
The wobbly trestle has been banished to the storage room, and this little table is now proudly occupying a just-the-right-sized corner of my workroom.

So, today it's the last day of the year. I LOVE this day. To me it feels full of creative anticipation and possibility, and I like to spend it cleaning up and clearing out my workroom. I like to know that when I awaken tomorrow I'll go somewhere to watch the sun rise (because, for this early riser, staying up until midnight to see in the new year is just a jolly inconvenience!) and then come home to a tidy workroom to welcome the new year and whatever it may hold.

In anticipation, this morning I took everything off my pinboard and cleared the Christmas detritus off George's worktable. My first task in this newly-vacant space was to transfer all my 'stuff' from this year's diary to the next.
Now, I feel ready for tomorrow, and looking forward to making my own work-marks on this table in the coming year. A very Happy New Year to you!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hot cakes, Bah Humbug and other Kuberstore news.

Over the past few weeks I've been experiencing a phenomenon that I thought I'd never see again - my Etsy shop has been on fire. Figuratively. I've been filling a glut of orders that has seen me buying not one but three new rolls of packing tape, and I'm expecting another delivery of shipping boxes today. I haven't seen anything like it since those heady pre-GFC days in 2008 when I was sitting at work watching those thrilling 'Etsy Transactions' emails coming in and panicking because I didn't know how I would fill them all in a timely manner! This time my main concern is running out of the particular plaster I use - I bought the last three available kilo jars from Barnes two weeks ago, and the next shipment isn't arriving until January. Eeek! (I think I'll make it. Just!)
I do know what started the rush - one of my items was chosen as a feature image on Etsy's 'Home and Living' browse sections page, heading up the classification 'ornaments'. I've been making my little cast pine cones for a while and never (before this year) thought to list them as a set of hanging decorations - silly me, as it turns out, because this year they'll be adorning Christmas trees in Switzerland, Finland, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, all over America (including my first order from Hawaii!) and within Australia, too.
I've mentioned before that I love Christmas... I love trees and decorations and wrapping presents and making cards - and it just gives me so, SO much joy to think of these little pine cones arriving at their destinations, being unwrapped and included in someone else's festivities. I feel humbled and grateful and delighted and excited every time one of those 'Etsy Transactions' emails arrives - a buzz that has never, ever gotten old! These 'hot cakes' moments are rare, and thus treasured.

New in my Etsy store this Christmas are my 'Bah Humbug' plaster coal decorations, which have also been selling quite well at the markets - people seize upon them as a Secret Santa gift for someone who is, perhaps, less than enthused about the festive season. Referencing that story about naughty children receiving coal rather than gifts in their Christmas stocking, these painted hanging ornaments are cast in a mould made from a stone I've had since I was little. I kept it because it had two little sun-shaped fossils on one side, and the fossils came out excellently in the cast result. Hooray for Pinkysil!
Market news... I've been enjoying doing the markets lately. At the breezy Green Heart Fair at Carindale a roving photographer took what could be the nicest pic anyone's ever taken of me and my stall - generally I turn out looking a bit uncomfortable and gumby-esque. Here I am:
The BrisStyle Bazaar in the Whale Mall at the Queensland Museum was a busy day - and a great spot for a market as it nabs lots of passing trade and is protected and coolish. Plus the lights under the huge whales cast the most incredible electric blue and yellow shadows!
You might see on the left of the photo above that my new painted cast plaster necklaces have made their market debut. Followers of Kuberstore on Instagram have had a blow-by-blow account of their development, and I'm pretty excited about how they've turned out... stay tuned for a blog post about them soon.

I'm currently using up the last of my plaster to make a few final pine cones... my last market for the year is this coming Saturday at Brisbane City Hall - this special (and final!) BrisStyle pre-Christmas market has the extended opening hours of 9am until 4pm, and I'll be there. Perhaps you will be too?