Friday, February 17, 2012

Seller who Blogs :: twirling betty

Seller who Blogs :: twirling betty
Blog ::
Shop ::

Tell us a bit about yourself and what do you sell on madeit?
Former slave to long hours in a law firm, I am now much happier making things, being silly with my two little girls and seeing just how far I can push my beloved and long-suffering husband before he bans me from fabric stores forever. I thought that time might have come the night he had to climb over stacks of fabric to get into bed, but he is nothing if not supportive.  With all that fabric, I make my signature tie-back 1950s-style sun visors, fabric accessories, fabric cake decorations like mini bunting and calico banners, and even stationery.

How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I’ve been blogging for 2 and a half years or so and as twirling betty for around two of those. Initially, my sister and I started a blog together as a way to share things we had found and loved on the internet and photos of the kids and so on. As time went on though, and I kept dreaming up project after project, I just felt that there might be a wider audience my crafty projects might appeal to. Plus, I was just starting my business and all the stuff I read said a blog was one way to help build a brand. So, I do advertise my shops in my sidebar and do posts devoted to the release of new ranges or items but  that’s not what my blog is about. It’s about being a record of the other stuff I make and cook, putting together DIY tutorials for my readers and just about anything that takes my fancy really. I absolutely love blogging!

Do you have any advice for other sellers who are thinking of starting a blog?
Starting a simple blog is really easy. There are so many great free platforms out there like Wordpress and blogger that have great templates all set to go. However, if I had known how much time it would take to get my blog looking just the way I wanted it (which included having to teach myself the basics of html and CSS) I might have balked. So if you have a strong idea of how you want your blog to look, and you want to set it apart from other blogs, be prepared to invest some serious time. Or money to pay someone else to do it for you!

I think the other cardinal rules are: blog regularly (not often necessarily, just regularly), use your own voice, don’t be disingenuous ie, don’t treat your readers like idiots – they will spot an advertisement for your shop or whatever disguised as a post for something else a mile off and it will irritate them in a big, fat way, blog about things that genuinely take your fancy and finally, if you are comfortable with it, readers really respond to getting a glimpse into your personal life so don’t think no one will be interested in your life – they most likely will. Finally, be honest.

What are some of your favourite blogs and why?
A Dutch expat living in Kuala Lumpur, Irene has the most extraordinary taste and eye for design. Pretty much everything she posts just makes me sigh. In a good way.
  Another site chock full of beautiful finds, great DIYs and inspiration.  Refreshingly unfussy and un-tricky but totally compelling bits and pieces related to being a parent: advice, cool finds, quick and healthy recipes, fashion tips, photos capturing unguarded, natural  moments. I love this blog for its honesty, simplicity and relevance.
Ashley takes the kind of bright, light photos I aspire to. She lives in the US Midwest and blogs (beautifully) about everyday stuff in a really honest and endearing way and has lovely DIYs as well.  Hers is one of the few blogs on which I read EVERY SINGLE post. I always think of Dianne Gilleland as like one of the Godmother’s  of this current craft revival thingy. She devotes countless hours to the craft community and her posts are unfailingly well thought-out, tightly written and tap incisively into some of the larger issues that shape and resonate within the making blogosphere. Always food for thought if you’re interested in the bigger picture.
Love her blogging voice ie, the way she writes, her photos and the stuff she makes. Inspirational projects from everywhere.

When you aren't blogging or making what do you like to do?

I’m a total Italophile. We lived in Rome for three years and my eldest daughter was born there so I spend a lot of time making sure my Italian language skills stay up to scratch (not least because now that aforementioned eldest can spell, my husband and I have resorted to using Italian as our secret language – a good incentive for the child to learn!) and just generally mooning over all things Italian and waiting for the day we can live there for 6 months of every year. I also love food: cooking it, planning what to cook, poring over food magazines and feeding it to my friends and family. And science fiction novels. Total nerd.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

craftumi seller quick five :: Urban TreeHouse

craftumi seller quick five :: Urban TreeHouse

Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Vicki, I live in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne with my Hubby Tim, our 3 gorgeous kids, one dog, one cat and too many chickens.  As well as working part time at a local Daffodil farm I make an eclectic mix of products to sell at local markets. Many of my products are made from recycled and reclaimed fabrics. I love rummaging through op-shops and love nothing better than finding a special treasure and giving it a new lease on life.

How did you find about craftumi?
I found out about Craftumi when I was on a few years ago, I decided it would be the perfect place to sell my abundance of patterns and also the extra bits and pieces I use to make my bags.

What do you sell on craftumi?
 My Craftumi shop Urban TreeHouse sells vintage and not so vintage dressmaking  patterns, bag making supplies that include magnetic snaps, wire formed slides and rectangle rings. Soon I will be listing some of my vintage fabric stash. I have just too much fabric for one person and her trusty sewing machine. Lots of the fabric is unused Sheridan Sheet fabric that I have because my Dad worked at the factory in the 70's, lots of offcuts made it home and luckily it was never thrown out because 'it might come in handy one day'.

What is your favourite craft activity?
I love sewing and picked up 'Lucy' a very old Juki sewing machine a few years ago and sewing with her is just the best! My Nana, 2 great Aunts and my mother were all very talented dressmakers, so you could say sewing was in my genes.  I like felting and I have a huge collection of  woolen jumpers that have been felted and are just waiting to be sewn into something new. I love the way sewing gives me a quick fix, I am too impatient for many crafts.

What would be your perfect day?
My perfect day would have a few more hours in it!!!! 
It would be filled with family, friends, good food, good wine, and plenty of productive crafting.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

madeit new seller :: bohemian girl

madeit new seller :: bohemian girl

How did you find about madeit? 
Once I was ready to sell my brooches online I did some research and seems to be the place to be.  I often see it mentioned in various articles in Frankie.

Explain your style
Colette meets Edith Piaf circa. 1925

What makes you happy? 
Spending all day painting and all night making birdie brooches.

What makes you sad? 
Unkindness and cruelty

What can't you live without?
My library of Art Deco and Art Nouveau books (and green smoothies :-)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

craftumi seller quick five :: iyana and jane

 craftumi seller quick five :: iyana and jane

Tell us a bit about yourself
My name's Laura, I'm 29 and a single mum to a super cute 11 year old daughter. My shop name is a combination of both our middle names. I live in a small country town and have always been into crafty creations. I studied millinery and fashion design for 3 years and worked casually in my mum's scrapbooking shop for nearly 8 years. She recently closed the doors and wanting to continue my crafty fix Iyana and Jane on craftumi came about.

How did you find about craftumi?
I've recently started selling a few handmade pieces on madeit under the Iyana and Jane name and saw Craftumi advertised on the site. I liked the fact that I can list anytime of the day or night. It's really handy. Especially when sometimes with me a day turns into a week!

What do you sell on craftumi?

I sell loads of crafty goodies! Stamps, beads, findings, flowers...the list goes on, but mainly anything to do with scrapbooking, cardmaking or beading.  I'm always adding things whenever I have time, so the range is forever growing. I'm hoping to get some more delightful products listed very soon...

What is your favourite craft activity?
I love anything crafty. I've always been into craft even from an early age and I am always fiddling with something. I love to sew, make jewellery, scrapbook or make cards. I would love to try making a quilt or a mosaic and I always have a long list of things to do or start. The world is just so inspirational! I'm forever jotting things down on a notepad. I think I have lists for my lists! At the moment I'm restoring a cute vintage cupboard and I'm really into baking and decorating cupcakes. I will give anything crafty a crack!

What would be your perfect day?

A perfect day for me would be sleeping in, coffee and pancakes with my little girl and a dvd day at home. I'd also be happy with a relaxing family bbq or a day at a winery with loads of awesome foods, wines, coffee, cake and catching up with friends.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

madeit new seller :: Two Goats

madeit new seller :: Two Goats

How did you find about madeit?
This year at an Australia day house warming party, we were catching up with old friends that we hadn't seen in ages. They are part of AlmondTreeDesigns and I mentioned my new venture, instantly they filled me in on how helpful a site like this could be for me. Gotta love friends!

Explain your style
My personalised children's art comes in a few colour ranges, I carry the same colour ranges through all of the designs so mums and dads can mix and match various canvases. It's kind of a fun preppy modern style.

What makes you happy?
I'm happiest when I really knuckle down and get involved in a design. I like to try and cover everything, all of my canvas backings are edged with the Two Goats logo and I really have a ball trying to find names that match the canvases I design.

What makes you sad?
Not enough hours in the day! Lovely young family, new business, endurance training and a passionate gardener...sometimes it's hard to find the balance.

What can't you live without?
Exercise. I'm currently training to do my first half ironman this May. So at the moment "Swim. Bike. Run." is my mantra.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

madeit new seller :: Ivy and Lil

 madeit new seller :: Ivy and Lil

How did you find about madeit?
A friend (Velvey and Me) who is a maker and is listed on Madeit recommended the site to me after being at a craft market together.

Explain your style
My style is a little bit industrial, as my designs are inspired by road and works signs.  These bold images in bright, fun colours look great on natural, earthy linen fabrics.

What makes you happy?
Heading down to the studio in the morning with a cuppa in hand ready for a day of printing.  Pablo (the whippet) my studio assistant is usually about 2 steps behind me!

What makes you sad?
Never having enough time to bring to life all the ideas in my head!

What can't you live without?
The support and good humour of my husband, always on hand with a smile and something encouraging to say.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Seller who Blogs :: splishsplashdesigns

 Seller who Blogs :: splish splash designs
Blog ::
Shop ::

 Tell us a bit about yourself and what do you sell on madeit?
I’m a busy mum of 2 boys aged 4 & 2. I started sewing for a hobby when I was on maternity leave with my first son and was hooked. Soon, I was sewing things for my son, for my house and for friends until I had no one left to sew for! With a bit of a push from a crafty friend, I booked my first market in 2010 and started sewing in preparation for it. I enjoyed the market so much that I registered my business name and my business was born. I now attend markets and sell online on

I sell superhero capes, plastic bag storage bags, bunting, softies, library bags and hair accessories. I have plans of adding more things to my range throughout the year.

How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I have been blogging for just over 2 years. I started blogging to keep a record of my life, my craft and my boys. I enjoy taking part in swaps with other bloggers and try to do some little challenges for example I’m taking part in a photo a day challenge for January 2012.
I find it so interesting looking back over my blog to see what I was up to.

Do you have any advice for other sellers who are thinking of starting a blog?
Start writing about the things that are happening around you and the things you are making and soon you’ll have lots to say. Participating in challenges helps to break the ice with other bloggers and is a fun way to get into blogging.

What are some of your favourite blogs and why? - I find Chantelle’s blog entertaining, funny and inspirational. - Corrie’s blog is about family, craft and life.  I enjoy reading it every day and love the way she writes - all about Thrifty things. It always amazes me the things that Sophie finds in her travels - Jeanette is a wonderful Graphic Designer and her blog is so lovely

When you aren't blogging or making what do you like to do?
I play trivia once a week at the pub with one of my closest girlfriends. It’s our little weekly night out in the middle of the week and we both look forward to it each week. We’ve gone from coming last to being in the top few teams frequently. We must be getting smarter!

I also spend a lot of time with my children and watching them grow. They keep me entertained and they surprise me by all the wonderful things they say and do.

Monday, January 16, 2012

madeit new seller :: madebyally

madeit new seller ::  made by ally

How did you find about madeit?
Since I have started sewing, the people I make things for have gotten alot of comments on their handmade items and people have said I should sell them. I had never really thought about it and asked a friend who sews if she knew a good place to sell handmade items and she suggested, so I figured I'd give it a try

Explain your style
Bright! Happy! Fun! I try to let that reflect on the things I create.

What makes you happy?
I love bright colours, reading crafty blogs and shopping for fabric definitely makes me happy!

What makes you sad?
Rainy days and seeing other people sad.

What can't you live without?
Family, friends and my sewing machine!!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

craftumi seller quick five :: purple-uni

craftumi quick five :: purple-uni

Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m a 36 year old married Mum of two kids aged 9 and 11.  When I was young my Mum had a craft shop and as an adult I’ve only ever worked in shops that sold craft supplies!!  After my second child was born, I found it very difficult to actually make my own craft items, my daughter always wanted to sit on my lap when I was sewing!!  So I guess it wasn’t too big a surprise when I found myself getting my crafty fix by selling supplies!  It was something that just sort of happened...and I’ve been selling craft supplies ever since.  I love following the trends and seeing all the new items that come out.

How did you find about craftumi?
I had run my own website for many years but what I sold was quite specific.  I really wanted to be able to sell other products and keep working from home but didn’t want to deal with setting up a new site.  So, I was looking into other ways of selling online.  In my research I stumbled over craftumi and haven’t looked back.

What do you sell on craftumi?
I opened my shop earlier this year.  My shop name came from my friends adorable daughter.  Every time they drive past my house she says....’that’s Jacs ouse’!!  I thought that was just too cute, so Jac’s House it was!!  I sell quite a range of things, my favourite are the wooden picture cabochons.  They are just gorgeous!!  I also sell hair accessories, beads, findings and many other little bit and bobs!  I try and add new products regularly as I tend to sell whatever I am currently tinkering with myself!!

What is your favourite craft activity?
I genuinely don’t have a favourite.  I enjoy so many different crafts!! ...sewing, knitting, papercrafts, beading, ceramics, candle making, woodwork.  I just enjoy making things and having fun with new idea’s.  I often don’t finish my larger creations as its really the creative process and tinkering around that I enjoy!  For that reason I tend to stick to small projects and researching new stock!!

What would be your perfect day?
Wow, the options...  I’m not sure, there are so many different things I would try and squeeze in!  I love junk shopping and seeing what treasures i can I guess my perfect day would be to stumble over the best stocked (and cheapest, it has to be a bargain!) junk shop!!  I love old books, fabrics and vintage art or craft supplies!

Monday, January 9, 2012

madeit new seller :: ethelanddot

madeit new seller :: ethel and dot

How did you find out about madeit?
I regularly look at a number of blogs as I love to see what other people are making both for themselves and in their businesses and for inspiration with my own sewing.  I also love looking at blogs to keep up with what fabric ranges are currently being designed.  It was through this blog surfing that I first heard about Madeit.

Explain your style.
I love fabric that is fresh, modern and full of beautiful colours.  At the moment, I am particularly enjoying using fabric covered buttons to create simple small items that are practical-  whether it be magnets, hair accessories, wall art or bibs.  In addition to this, I love the challenge of how to best show off the colours, patterns and pictures on the fabric for such small items.

What makes you happy?
I would most definitely have to say my little girl who is 10 months old.  She brings such joy to my husband and I.  I often catch myself during the day just watching and smiling as she explores the world, tries to figure out the whole walking thing, looks inquisitively through books and rolls around on the floor laughing- the list could go on.  It is just amazing to watch her grow and develop, so much has happened and it has only been 10 months!

What makes you sad?
I am hopeless when it comes to watching sad movies.  I even cry when it is a sort of happy moment but still sad- like in Toy Story 3 (I won't give away what happens, but those of you who have seen it will know what I mean), boy did I cry!

What can't you live without?
My Husband and daughter would have to be at the top of my list.  Having said that, I also could not live without my family as I am very close to my Mum and twin sister. With my sister it is like having a permanent best friend.  Oh, and I had better not forget my dog, Stanley.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Xmas Post :: Calico Lane - The Christmas Pudding

Guest Blogger - Calico Lane


The Christmas Pudding is kind of a big deal in my family. It is carried, reverently and aflame with brandy flame into the dining room after our huge Christmas lunch, ready to be smothered in custard, complimented and devoured.

Over the past four years or so, the preparation of The Pudding has become my job. I take it very seriously and use the same recipe that my mum has used since she was married; from The Australian Women’s Weekly in 1974. I have a photocopy of the recipe that was ripped out of the magazine, well stained and dog-eared from over thirty years of Christmas cooking.

The thing is, is that it is dead easy to make. But don’t tell anyone. It’s nice to impress people with a rich, fruity, moist pudding, and let them gush over what a wonderful job you have done.

Firstly, gather up all your dry ingredients. Yep, there’s carrot in it. Just trust me. It will be ok.

Also, did you know it’s much easier to cut prunes up with kitchen scissors than a knife? Awesome kitchen tip of the day.

Sift your flour and spices together, then add those to the fruit and stuff.

Gather your wet ingredients. Melt the butter and add it to the rest of the liquids. It’s best to let the butter cool a little first so you don’t end up scrambling your eggs.

Then dump the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix. You’ll need some muscles for this bit. You can be ruthless with the mixture – you can’t overmix this! It’s considered good luck for everyone in the house to have a mix of the pudding. Hubby does this under much duress.

Once mixed (by everyone) you can pour the mixture into greased pudding basins. This mixture makes either one big and one little pudding, or two medium puddings (or one super large pudding!)

Now the tricky part (i.e. where I wish I had four hands). If you’re using a regular pudding basin, you need to tightly cover the basin so that the pudding steams and cooks. Cut a circle of baking paper and a circle of foil quite a bit bigger than the top of the basin. We always fold a little pleat in ours to allow for steam, but I’m pretty sure you could get away with not doing that!

Put the two circles together, and with the baking paper on the inside (yes, I did it wrong) fold the edges over the edge of the basin. Take a long length of kitchen string and tie a loop in it like a noose. Lasoo the basin and pull the loop tight, securing the edges of the foil. Tie securely and then tie the string at the other side of the basin forming a loop with which to lift the pudding in and out of the water.

If you have a pudding steamer with a lid, easy! Pop the lid on and lock it.

Place your pudding on an upturned saucer in the bottom of a big pot and fill the pot with boiling water so that the water comes about two thirds up the side of the basin. Replace the lid of the pot and boil gently. A big pudding takes 4-5 hours and a small one about 3 hours. Keep an eye on the water and refill it if it starts to get a bit low.

These puddings will keep for a very long time! To help preserve them and make them even yummier, poke some holes in the pudding with a skewer and pour some brandy over the top every now and then. I’ve kept puddings for years – they really do improve with time.

When you are ready to serve, boil the pudding in the basin for another hour or so to warm it through. Turn it out of the basin onto a serving plate. Pour over brandy and light at your own risk! Have the custard and cream ready and fill yourself with pure Christmas joy!

And remember, not a word about how easy it was to make!

Christmas Pudding recipe {adapted from a recipe in The Australian Womens Weekly 1974}

375g seeded raisins, chopped
375g sultanas
250g currants
185g prunes, chopped
90g slivered almonds
grated rind of one lemon
one large carrot, grated
250g soft white breadcrumbs
1 cup sugar
1 cup plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon mixed spice
4 eggs
¾ cup milk
½ cup brandy
½ cup stout
250g butter, melted

1. Grease pudding basins. Mix together the raisins, sultanas, currants, prunes, lemon rind, almonds, grated carrot, breadcrumbs and sugar.

2. Sift the flour with the salt, nutmeg and mixed spice and add to the dry ingredients. Lightly beat the eggs and add the milk, brandy, stout and melted butter.

3. Fill the prepared basin(s), leaving a space of about 1cm at the top. Cut a round of baking paper and foil and place of the top of the basin. Tie securely with string, leaving a large loop with which to lift the basin in and out of the boiling water.

4. Place an upturned saucer in the bottom of a large saucepan half filled with boiling water. Carefully place the pudding basin in the pan, making sure the water comes two-thirds up the sides of the basin. Replace the lid on the pan and gently boil for 4-5 hours for a large pudding and 3 hours for a small. As the water boils away replace it with more boiling water. The day the pudding is to be served, boil it for a further 1-2 hours.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Xmas Post :: little ray - Biscuits Jar Gifts

Guest Blogger - little ray


I recently was part of a Christmas market, The Sugar and Spice Children’s Market in Woodend, Victoria where the organisers gave a biscuit mix in a jar to all of the stallholders as a present. I thought this was such a wonderful idea that I decided to make a few myself and give them as Christmas presents.

I found a great recipe on which could be altered slightly for a Christmassy feel. Looking on the internet there are many versions that could be adopted or you could use your favourite tried and tested biscuit recipe.

It’s a very easy, quick idea for a present or alternatively you could use the recipe to make some biscuits for yourself!

I bought some glass jars at Spotlight (thought I’m sure you’d be able to find similar ones at many other places). They need to be approximately 1 litre in size to fit all of the ingredients.

The ingredients are -
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 1/2 cup rolled oats
• 1/2 cup Christmas themed red and green M&M’s (or other similar chocolates)
• 1/2 cup chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1 1/4 cups plain flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup rice bubbles (or similar)

With the jar layer the ingredients in as follows –
• White sugar
• Rolled Oats
• M&Ms
• Chocolate Chips
• Brown Sugar
• Plain flour, Baking Powder, Salt
• Rice Bubbles

insert image

Pack each layer down so that they will all fit in the jar. The jar I chose to use already had a nice lid but if you wanted to make it more festive you could cut a round of Christmas themed fabric or paper and tie it over the lid.

Place a label on the jar (or tied to the lid) with the following instructions –

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Place baking paper on a tray. Empty the entire contents of the jar into a medium bowl. Add 1 large egg and 1/2 cup of margarine melted; mix well. Form dough into balls and bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Xmas Post :: a {she} state of mind - Gingerbread Love Gifts

Guest Blogger - a {she} state of mind


Every Christmas my girls, Tahlia and Ellie get their baking grove on to make and decorate a batch (or two) of gingerbread to give to their cousins on Christmas Day. I think the part they like best is selecting the lollies they use to decorate the gingerbread

There are many Gingerbread recipes out there but we use this recipe from one of the girls’ cookbooks each year. The recipe is easy to follow and it makes Gingerbread that is nice and soft (just the way I like it).

This recipe makes approx 25 medium size cookies or 15 large gingerbread peeps

115g butter
1 tsp baking soda
4 tablespoons golden syrup
2tsp ground ginger
175g soft brown sugar
1 beaten egg
340g plain flour

Preheat oven to 190c and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Put the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan on a very low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until all ingredients have melted.

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir in all of the wet ingredients. Mix together and then knead it into a ball. Wrap in cling wrap and pop it into the fridge for 1/2hr.

Sprinkle your bench and rolling pin with flour and roll the dough until it is approx 1/2cm thick.

Use your biscuit cutters to cut out some shapes and put them onto the baking tray.

Bake the biscuits for 10 to 15 minutes until they are golden brown (keep an eye on them). Pop them on a wire rack to cool.

To decorate the biscuits you will need:

Lollies, lots and lots of lollies. This year we are using fruit sticks, mini marshmallows, M&Ms, mini M&Ms and some liquorice allsorts (sliced thinly). When the biscuits are cold, make up an icing mixture to use as the “glue” to hold the lollies to the biscuits by mixing 1 cup icing sugar mixture, 1 tsp butter and a splash of boiling water. Keep adding water until a nice consistency is achieved (you may need to add another splash during the decorating process as the mixture hardens).

We use toothpicks to spread the icing onto the biscuits but of course you can use a piping bag too. Now in years gone by I was known to hover and make sure they were doing it “just right”....of course just because my eyes think it’s just right doesn’t mean their eyes do. So because this is their gift to their cousins I sit back and enjoy an hour of quiet time while they get to create their little masterpieces.

After the icing has set the girls pop some gingerbread into a bag for each cousin and add a little Christmas touch. This year we are using clear plastic bags tied with ribbon and decorated with some holy (from Woolworths) and some little jingle bells (available from spotlight). The girls stamped this sweet image onto some white card and added a handwritten message to the back.

And ta down, eight more bags to go!

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