Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Living the Dream..with a touch of nightmare ;-)

Oooo, I am excited!!! Our new shop (shop #2, not replacement shop!!) is painted, papered and carpeted. With only a little bit of messy stuff left to do, we started putting stands into position (important for getting the spatials sorted) and then I couldn't resist a bit of stocking up. Just a few button tubes, but it felt goood.
For a mere 42sqm, it's turning out to be a nice size, I think.
 Two very long lines of bunting in bright fabrics that unfortunately you can't hardly see in this photo. I make batches of 8 and 10 flag strings with close together, single layer pinked flags sewn to a pretty striped ribbon, and these will festoon the walls. But because these ones are seen from both sides, I laid the fabrics wrong sides together, pressed them which gives them a little more cling to one another, and cut through all layers with my trusty pinking rotary cutter. Then I worked with them that way. So, no bagging in, no vliesofix to bond them and they seem fine. A triumph of under engineering!
 Gutermann threads. Lots of them. I love the way the colours flow up and down the columns of a thread stand. Some of these threads will never sell, some will be replaced over and again.
 YARN!!!!!! Another happy thing. Here in NZ it is finally turning to autumn and it is nippy. People are drifting into our Marion St shop looking for yarn. All of our yarn must be made in NZ 'from sheep to shop," with no sneaking it off to China to have it spun and dyed as is so often the case. I'm working on getting in all of the ranges that qualify, the most expensive of which we are going to have to save up for. Possum, silk, merino...mmm...

 More gratuitous thread shots. Because I can! :)

 Some buttons. I've already doubled the count since I took this photo and it still looks meagre. But those little discs are the road to financial ruin, let me tell you! But they are as irresistible to this shop owner as they are to the customers, so I keep buying them in!
Ahem, and buttons are not the only thing I find irresistible! These fabrics just arrived, from Riley Blake's Geekly Chic range, they are such fun!
So, that account for where I've been most of the time recently, and it will go on for a bit longer too. Hopefully we can open on Friday - no eftpos because I forgot to sort it out sooner, but MrC has programmed the till and, well, we'll get there eventually! :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

All in all it's just A-nother Brick in The Wall...

 Am I showing my age with this blog title? Probably. Great song. However in this case, I am talking about the wall that makes my new, second shop exist - because it is a third or so of an originally bigger space.
 See the floor plan below, shops 1 and 2, top left corner? They used to be one shop. My shop is No. 1. Yay for being No. 1!!

This is a close up crop of our space. Note how deep and narrow my shop* is? 
I am totally OK with a long, narrow space. Lots of wall space is just what we need. However, in order to have enough variety to make this shop work, we also need floor space for displays and racks.
It was meant to be 3.5m wide. When I turned up on Friday to see it for the first time after the wall went up, it was 3.25m wide. This is quite a difference when it comes to wheelchairs and pushchairs, and that sense of not having to sidle sideways past things. Such claustrophobia does not appeal to customers, or to me!
And so, we had to make a call. Insist they move it, which it turns out would mean moving sprinklers and lights, or find a way to live with it. We chose the latter.
As a result, I have been buying old tea trolleys, ladders and other quirky display options that are nice and narrow. Nothing over 400mm!
Until we actually get to move in next week and start painting and putting up slat wall and shelving, we'll not know how it's going to work.
Confession? I don't know that I mind. Experience has taught me that you can only plan so much - there is little certainty in this world and in retail there is NONE. I am big on planning, but as there are so many uncontrollable factors - like where the wall gets built, when suppliers deliver and where (boxes that were ordered to go directly to the new shop have been piling up at the old one grrr) and how many reels we can fit on the shelves without them spilling over. I have no idea.
So, wish us luck!
PS I am very inspired by the Haberdashery in the Great British Sewing Bee and have already changed my colour scheme from white to that lovely neutral rice colour, among other...surprises :)

*I just love typing "my shop," can you tell? ;-)

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Very Inspiring Blog Award

People I just found out that the fabulous Natalie at A Frolic Through Time awarded me a Very Inspiring Blog Award. It is always such an honour to get an award, although I only ever claim an award once. This is my first VIBA, so here we are! The thought that my vapid droolings might inspire anyone to do anything other than to give up the internet in favour of, oh, living up a tree, is thrilling to me!
So, I am supposed to share seven rivetting things about myself, and nominate 15 other blogs that inspire me. Now I know that many of these bloggers could probably bathe in the awards they are given, if they were liquid, and so I won't be at all offended if they don't post about it or pass them on. This is my chance to acknowledge the bloggers and blogs that start and end my day with a smile. I harvested pix from their blogs, linked from the title thereof: all are wearing self-made outfits.

Also from the bloggers' meet-up. Thanks Nikki!
A Charm of Magpies - Joy hasn't been blogging long but her blog is delightful. It is such a thrill to finally have her join the blogosphere on the write side, and she has a lot to share. Joy inspires me in real life, and I love her writing style too so it is great to read online what I hear in person!

Don't Wait to Create - Shirley Mooney is a good friend - she is also an amazing teacher and a prolific and experimental fibre artist. She often challenges me to try new techniques, and if I am really lucky and she can find time in her diary, she sometimes teaches at Made on Marion, where her classes are always full. In this pic she is demonstrating Japanese Meshwork. You don't get posed photos of Shirls, just action ones like this!
check skirt standing
Oobop! - Janene's blog is a treasure trove of inspiring ideas. One very concrete example is the shirt making binge - her make of Butterick 5007 for Mr Oobop inspired me to have a go for MrC too. I love her style and her down to earth approach to life.

The Japanese Pattern Challenge - Mainelydad is a very disciplined blogger who only posts his makes. I find his adventures in tailoring really interesting and they serve to inspire my own. Of course, I discovered this blog by reading his comments on one of my all time favourite blogs:

Male Pattern Boldness - What can I say? Peter has us all wrapped around his little finger. I look forward to his posts, which are a mishmash of his life, his makes, his musings about either and both, and of course, Cathy!

Miette Cardigan Didyoumakethat
Did You Make That - Pshaw, Karen is a rockstar among sewing bloggers. And a total sweetie. I love to read about her makes, her life, and her puppy Ella.

Denim thurlow trousers
 Scruffy Badger Time - From her zany photos to her ebullient approach to life, Scruffy Badger causes happiness in me. A delight.
1780s pet-en-l'aire and pleated petticoat
The Dreamstress - Leimomi Oakes is The Dreamstress. As well as being a dear friend and the resident sewing instructor at my shop, she writes a fascinating blog. Well worth a visit if you're not already a fan!

Hummingbird Blue Top with Hummingbird Orange Skirt
 3 Hours Past - Steph C is an American residing in Brisbane. Talk about inspiring! Steph's ideas and experiments in fit and cut are, well, cutting edge to say the least. Her new indie pattern range, Cake, is amazing. Simple, gorgeous garments designed for busy women. But what really takes the Cake is her innovative approach to drafting and fitting. If you aren't already a fan or follower, do check her out.

All of these extraordinary people inspire me in different ways.

7 things about me:
  1.  It's my tenth wedding anniversary this year. Ten years married and twelve years in total with the most amazing man, whom I love more every day. He is also snoring quietly beside me on the couch as I type, wearing a shirt I made him. So cute.
  2. I am a HUGE Midsummer Murder fan. We have all of the series on DVD and watch them over and again. I love Lewis almost as much. Although surely if it were true noone would go to Oxford University as they would only have a 90% chance of not getting murdered before graduation!
  3. I fall in love with items of clothing and wear them until they fall apart, and then wish I had bought or made several at the same time. This summer I actually wore holes in a dress!
  4. My fave shoes are a pair of red Ecco slip-ons that I have worn nearly every day for five years and are now bin-worthy. Yet I cannot part with them!
  5. In the past two days, I have wired example buttons onto the lids of over 100 button tubes, and made 12 strings of bunting. Oddly, I enjoyed both.
  6. I really don't have a lot of time for technology. Yes, if something proves its worth to me, I'll go mad for it. Otherwise, not so much. My iRon will always matter more to me than any ipod or iphone!
  7. My very first holiday job was working for my parent's company (I was 13). I had to match all the invoices to the statements, staple them all together and file them. This task I get to do in my own business and it always makes me smile that some things never change :)
And that's that! :) Thank you to all of my readers and fellow bloggers, I think we all inspire one another to some extent or other.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Shortest ever post - why I am so quiet

Hello all. No I have not succumbed to a lurgy or joined the foreign legion (although I could get into that pressing lines into the backs of their shirts thing)
The simple reality is - stocktake over Easter followed by opening A SECOND SHOP.
In the matter of stocktake - a HUGE thank you to my many darling local friends who turned up to count the heck out of stuff for us on Good Friday. Joy, Madame O, Sarah, Shell, Tommy, Eileen - so many, you guys totally rock.

As for the matter of THE SECOND SHOP, WELL! It's been as exciting as opening the first, without that awful feeling of having just ruined my life that my inner critic brought to the first proceedings. My inner critic is now sitting on the couch knitting, with cat's arse lips saying, "Well, young lady, you always do what you want, I wash my hands of you" HALLELUJAH!
My second shop, to be called Made Marion (not Made on Marion) is in the other end of the city. Our shop is in the arty, alternative quarter, whereas the new one is in the business and government district. This also means that there are many many many women who knit, sew and do needlework, and a few guys too no doubt. Currently a few brave souls march up our way at lunchtime, but we were getting begged regularly to open a second shop. The previous owners had a shop down there too, and so we know it works.
And it opens on 15 April. Currently the space doesn't actually exist, which is ...exciting? A wall is yet to go up, carpet to go down, paint to be painted and plastering to be plastered and of course not in  that order.
Soo, come 15 April, Made Marion will be at your service (should you live in Wellington!) at Shop 1, Level 2, Capital on the Quay, 260 Lambton Quay, Wellington.
Hmm, not that short a post really. I am looking forward to getting on with my black and white border fabric, my winter makes for the Sewlution Jar, and working on my lectures for HandMade in June.
More on that, later! :)