my year of ethical fashion

BLOG_image_YOEF 3It has been a month since I took the Year of Ethical Fashion pledge and I have had some serious moments where I really thought that this would be something that I would not be able to do.

But alas, I feel more empowered to succeed than I thought I ever would.

A few of my fears and concerns are on my Year of Ethical Fashion page here – but essentially the reason that I have decided to do this is really just to give me a kick up the butt to finally learn how the sew but to also force me to stop and consider what and why I need things and whether these reasons are really justifiable?

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learning about branding

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My journey moved on from Braid Creative and a few months ago I discovered this other cute looking online course happening over at creativebug.

If making and creating appeal to you and you haven’t heard of creativebug then I highly recommend you immediately drop everything and check it out (but please come back and finish reading this).

When you subscribe to the site you are exposed to an unlimited library of video tutorials on everything – knitting to sewing to paper making to drawing to quilting to jewellery to floral arranging to lampshade making … you get the idea. The quality of the videos is superb and the instructors are leaders in their craft.

So when they offered this neat little five week dive into branding and creative business the temptation was too much.

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It was presented as a series of discussions that featured a live chat each week with one of the contributors (again an early morning rise for me as this was based in the US) as well as a course notes that reaffirmed concepts discussed and provided additional links and avenues for further discovery.

The contributors are complete experts in their chosen fields. They included Lisa Congdon (illustrator), Liesl and Todd Gibson (Oliver + S), Heather Ross (illustrator and textile designer), Melanie Falick (publishing director of STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books) and Christine Schmidt (Yellow Owl Workshop).

Their wealth of experience (good and bad) was shared with us all. They called it like it was, warned you of pitfalls and rejoiced in successes.

Todd and Liesl’s practical advice about how to approach creative business was super. As a creative you often forget the ‘working on your business’ side of things and how necessary that is to allow you to build, develop or evolve. I just wish (along with every other participant in the course I think) I had a ‘Todd’ working for me!

As always, Lisa Congdon was insightful and genuine. I have admired her work for many years because of the honest portrayal of her subject matter (oh and the ‘pink’). So to hear about her experiences as an illustrator in business was a special little insight that made me all warm and fuzzy inside.

For my business it has revitalised a sense of determination. I appreciate that set-backs happen and the attitude and approach used to deal with these determines your success. It highlighted to me the fact that I do want to publish something. And, most enlightening, if my passion is to create, make a healthy living from being creative, share my creativity and evolve as a creative then really there is no excuse not to (as long as I have a business plan to do it – hey Todd?). Enjoy!

*I was asked earlier this week if these posts about ‘learning’ are sponsored posts – these are not. I am simply sharing my experiences on this little journey of learning I have embarked on because they have all offered me something as a creative that may or may not appeal to you also.

Fun-filled local night out…

Last week my family (mum, dad, sis, her live-in lover, hubby and I) had a night out without the kiddies at Flix in the Stix. What a blast!

We met at the local pub for a quick drink where the night got off to a great start when mum won a seafood platter after which we ventured to the Bong Bong racecourse for the event. Never having been to an outdoor movie experience before I wasn’t 100% sure of what to expect. I don’t think I could have had more fun if I tried.

Bush poet, Murray Hartin, warmed the crowd up before an acoustic performance by James Reyne. After which the movies started. The award-winning movies are hand-picked and feature films produced here in Australia and abroad. All this was enjoyed while we sipped (or in some cases gulped) wine and enjoyed our picnic dinner.

Murray and James returned (yes, by mid-way through the evening these performers felt like our friends and we were on first name basis) before we enjoyed the second batch of short films.

By the end of the night my dad thought he could make a go of it as a bush poet, my hubby was wishing he had packed a jumper, mum was already planning to do it all again next year  and I had just wished we had booked the babysitter for longer.

Renovation-itis

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Over the past few years, hubby and I have renovated several properties. I think I realised how crazy we were when trying to feed a nine month old baby, whilst still wearing pj’s at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, in a makeshift cardboard kitchen, while builders, electricians, plumbers (and what felt like the whole neighborhood) traipsed through our house apparently ‘making my dreams come true’.

And as awful as that moment was, we have done it again with a toddler, eight week old baby and dog.

I honestly believe we suffer from renovationitis. A serious condition that strikes those when: – their life is very comfortable; their shower works; they can sleep in dust-free sheets; they can actually see their children/pets when they are on the floor; they don’t know the phone number of the local hardware store (off by heart); and terminology such as ‘joists’, ‘plaster’ and ‘undercoat’ aren’t spoken at regular intervals.

Once it strikes it’s as difficult as lice to get rid of. There is no foam you can purchase, rub into your scalp, wash and repeat to eliminate this condition. Once contracted, it is a vicious cycle or recurring episodes.

Suggested treatments include recycle the property section of the paper before the cover page is opened, learn a more productive/less messy activity (for example golf), keep photos of those awful renovation stages on the fridge to frequently remind you of the hopelessness felt.

I am sure we have not fed the beast (as we speak hubby is arranging an inspection of yet another property) so I am accepting our condition and attempting to make the most of it. How soon is too soon to teach the kiddies how to sand/paint/plaster/hammer?

geez some people are awesome

Ingredients for discoveryHaving admitted that I am new to this online creation thing, I am daily discovering the most awesome places/people/personalities/inspirations. The talent and creative minds some people own and operate is astounding.

Being a big believer in sharing the love, I thought I would whack together some of these most recent discoveries (and yes it probably seems like I have been living under a rock). These things have particularly appealed to me for creative, personal and courageous reasons. Enjoy!

http://pinterest.com/ can waste hours
http://www.poppytalk.blogspot.com/ a place to retreat to when need invigoration
http://www.bigwordsblog.com/ another mum peeved at similar things to me
http://seeingtheeveryday.com/ beautifully executed printed goodness
http://www.designcrushblog.com/ the funkiest practical things
http://tokketok.com/blog/ unexpected delights in everyday items
http://www.bookhouathome.blogspot.com/ I want I want I want everything
http://www.designmom.com/ well I am just infatuated with anything french
http://www.honeyandjam.com/ yum!
http://stuffbyrenee.com.au/ (shameless self-promotion)