Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 - what a year

It's nearly time to bid farewell to 2010. What an amazing year it has been for Flibbertigibbet, particularly being involved in Handmade Market and Shop Handmade.

I did four markets in the first three weeks of December and I'm looking forward to a bit of a break over Christmas. However, it won't be for long as I am already lining up markets for 2011. You'll find Flibbertigibbet at Old Bus Depot markets at some point in January (date/s to be confirmed), the next Handmade Market at the new venue of the Canberra Convention Centre on Saturday the 19th of February and at Mathilda's Market at the Hyatt Hotel on Sunday the 6th of March. I'll also be working on expanding Flibbertigibbet's online presence so stay tuned ...

Oh, and have you seen this? I was featured on the Shop Handmade Blog! You'll even see my Little Poppet wearing an Owl pinafore from Goosey Gander among the photos.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Counting down again

Oh my goodness, the big day is already less than a month away! No, not Christmas Day (though it too will be here in the blink of an eye) but the next best thing - the last Handmade Market for 2010 and the launch of the Handmade Living book. Have you pre-ordered your copy yet?

I dropped some more stock off to Shop Handmade today. Shop is looking very festive indeed and smells fantastic - I stood at the front display table and just breathed in deeply for a bit. I spotted several of my products being purchased, some hadn't even been unpacked before they were snaffled up - always a good sign! Old favourites have been replenished and my new range of Christmas hair accessories is now in store. There are some fun new designs in the magnet range too, with the prediction from Shop Girl Rachel being that the Parisian linen ones will be the first to go. No photos sadly, as I took everything to the shop. I do however have more fabric winging its way here, so there will be more new creations to come soon.

Mama Goose and I will be at Old Bus Depot Market this Sunday, from 10am until 4pm. I'm very excited to see on the Goosey Gander blog that some of the Goosey Gander all-time favourites will be available again this summer. Time to get to work on some matching hair accessories ...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tiptoe through the tulips

After living in Canberra for three years and intending for every one of those to visit Tulip Top Gardens, this year I finally did!

I've driven past Tulip Top Gardens more times than I care to remember. With both sets of Grandparents living in the greater Sydney area and now also having to make trips to various paediatric specialists for Miss Poppet, we frequently make the trip up and down the Federal and Hume Highways. I love it; we get to see the seasonal changes to the countryside and the Misses Flibbertigibbet are great little travellers - thank goodness!

So last week I took Miss Diva and Little Poppet along for a visit to Tulip Top. Miss Diva was not feeling 100% and as a result was, well, a bit of a diva. She spent most of the time whinging and/or sitting in Little Poppet's stroller. However, Little Poppet was in her element and had to be watched closely or she'd wander off for a bit of tree worshipping. I think she was a dryad in a previous life.

As you know I am a big fan of Floriade, and it is on such a grand scale that I was expecting to be underwhelmed by Tulip Top. I was wrong.

Pretty much the first thing we did was walk up to the viewing area on the hill above the gardens, as I knew Miss Diva was fast running out of energy. My photos failed to capture just how spectacular the view really was, but you can see just how close to the highway this hidden paradise is and also tell how much rain we've had lately - how green are those hills?

Then we made the journey back down the hill to explore the rest of the garden

Here's Miss Diva making a brief inspection before she retired
to the stroller for the duration

Little Poppet taking a closer look

Oops! I'm sorry Tulip Top people, I promise this was the only one!

There's a Little Poppet under the blossoms

The blossom trees are the perfect complement to the bulb plantings

Little tease! No, she didn't pick this one

It was such a lovely day that on the way home, I made a spur of the moment decision to turn right out of the Tulip Top driveway and head north along the Old Federal Highway until it met up with the 'new' Federal Highway. This stretch of road has always intrigued me and I would like to explore it some more one day. We had only gone about a kilometre when I spotted some Australian fauna walking beside the road.

Can you see him (or her!)?

Yes, an echidna. We didn't want to disturb it too much, so I
took this photo on zoom and then we left it in peace and
continued our journey home.

I'm definitely going to go to Tulip Top again next year, but around the end of September instead to see all the displays in their full glory.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A weekend away

The Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

The Flibbertigibbet family spent a relaxing weekend in the Blue Mountains a few weeks ago. Mr Flib and Grandpa bravely volunteered to look after Miss Diva and Little Poppet for the day so that my lovely mother in law (MIL) and I could spend the day at Daffodils at Rydal.

Rydal is a little town not far from Lithgow, and was named for the English village of Rydal where the poet William Wordsworth lived for many years. For two weekends in September Rydal hosts a daffodil festival to raise funds for local charities.

MIL and I, armed with a picnic lunch, a thermos and some warm jackets, set off enthusiastically on our adventure. I must admit I was rather giddy with excitement at the thought of an entire day out without the Misses Flibbertigibbet in attendance that didn't involve manning a market stall.

First stop was the Ribbons and Rainbows store in Blackheath. Ribbons and Rainbows doesn't have a website (the only information I can provide you with is a map here) but I can assure you it is well worth a visit if you find yourself in the Blue Mountains. The shop is in a delightful little weatherboard cottage and has great character. On our arrival we were greeted by an amazing quilt on display on the front verandah. I've really got a thing for Japanese fabrics at the moment so had to take a photo. One of the things I really liked about it was the fact that the background fabrics are actually positive/negative colourways of the same design - beige on navy and navy on beige. Very clever.

Loaded up with textile temptations, we set off for Rydal.

Rydal is a gorgeous little (tiny!) town. The railway station is like something out of a story book, and a bit of 'googling' has revealed that accommodation is available in the Stationmaster's Residence. There's an old pub in town, complete with locals, and some beautiful old churches.
Unfortunately I didn't think to take any photos of Rydal, so you will have to go and look for yourself. Perhaps go to the Rydal Show in February 2011.

After a walking tour of the village (and I feel I should mention we were very glad of the jackets at this point) we headed to the gardens of Chapel House, and found two wicker chairs just waiting for us on the lawn. We enjoyed our picnic lunch while looking down over the town of Rydal and being entertained by the sounds of a small orchestra from elsewhere in the garden. The house and gardens here were stunning, and we also enjoyed viewing the artwork in the gallery. Apparently there is also a self contained cottage available to stay in, it's rather intriguingly called The Owlpen.

You could almost be forgiven for thinking you were in an English garden

until magnificent Eucalypts like this one give the game away.

I've got a soft spot for Blue Wrens. This cheeky fellow led me on a merry chase.

The red branches of the tree in the above photo had MIL and I quite fascinated

So we went for a closer inspection. Stunning!
I must find out what this tree is.

Then we moved on to Karingal, located on a quiet country lane:

A place of 'venerable trees', as my MIL poetically put it

And I think we saved the best for last. We arrived at Bark Ridge late in the day, and enjoyed one of the best cups of tea I have had in a long, long while. By the time we started doing the rounds of the garden, the sun was low in the sky and the daffodils seemed almost incandescent.

I love lichen covered fences ...

and trees.

Bark Ridge's plantings were far more casual than the plantings of the other gardens we visited, with the daffodils allowed to run riot and I loved it. The different varieties were mixed together and the effect was quite breathtaking.

Very 'Anne of Green Gables', don't you think?

I must go again next year.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The trials and tribulations of technology

I had grand plans for the first few weeks after Handmade Market, intending to launch several online stores. But my computer had other ideas and died a sudden death - probably from overuse!

Mr Flib has ordered a new one though, and it is indeed our first 'new' computer for home use so I'm very excited. Our previous PCs have been a motley crew of second hand purchases, PhD leftovers and much appreciated hand-me-downs.

In the meantime, the ancient laptop I am using is just not up to speed so all things shop related have had to be postponed for another week or so. I might get out and enjoy some of this sunshine instead!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tired but happy

And so another wonderful Handmade Market has been and gone. It was a gloriously sunny day for the most part (amazing after yesterday's grey weather!) with some gusty wind in the afternoon that had us chasing stock and required the marquee to be firmly pegged down.

My new range of earrings was very well received by the shopping public and I had so many compliments and enquiries about my necklace (made to wear to a wedding in Brisbane last weekend) that I will be adding that style to my range as well.

As usual, Mama Goose and I spent a good part of the afternoon discussing our next Handmade Market on the 4th of December. But in the immediate future, a bit of rest and relaxation is required. Forget about taking time to smell the roses though, it is time to smell the tulips at Floriade, I think.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Spring has sprung!

The days are getting longer, the daylight is changing, trees are blossoming everywhere and green and growing things are pushing their way through the soil - welcome Spring!

So, you know what that means, don't you? Next Saturday the 11th of September is the start of Floriade and Handmade in Bloom is also being held the same day. What a day!

It seemed like Spring took forever to arrive this year. And no wonder - apparently this was the coldest winter that Canberra has experienced in the last decade. So here are a few more photos I took at Floriade last year to remind you of the glory of Spring:

Floriade and Handmade market. No wonder I love Spring!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Last minute market

I had a stall at Old Bus Depot Market last Sunday. It was a last minute decision, but I've been spending up big on supplies lately and needed an injection of funds before the credit card bill arrives. So, 'to market, to market' it was.

And brrrr! It was cold! I've learnt to take my camera when heading out in the early morning in Canberra because there are often marvellous photo opportunites to be had - crystal clear blue skies with hot air balloons near Black Mountain reflected in a tranquil Lake Burley Griffin, for example. Last Sunday was not one of those days.

This was the general feel of last Sunday morning at approximately 7.45 am:

Not very inspiring. Things didn't improve on the way, either:

And ten points if you can guess which famous Canberra landmark is hiding in the fog in this photo below:

Just after I took that photo above, I heard on the radio that it was -3° C. See, I told you - Brrrrrrr!

Even though I was indoors, it was still mighty cold. Fortunately I was wearing my boots bought specifically for attending winter markets in Canberra. They are rated to something like minus 32°C. They aren't pretty but I love them.

This was my first Flibbertigibbet stall on my own (Mama Goose from Goosey Gander is so busy with custom orders at the moment that she has to save her stock for her space at Shop Handmade and the upcoming Handmade in Bloom market on September 11) so my one trestle table seemed a bit lonely (as was I!)

The above photo is dark, but I had to include it to show the little patch of sunlight that I stood in to defrost and tracked for as long as possible as it moved across my stall space.

This one shows my stall a little better:

Despite the chilly start, it turned out to be a beautiful day (as frosty mornings in Canberra usually do, thank goodness!) and was a great market day too. My new styles did very well, people just loved the googly eyed ladybirds (see my previous blog post) and I am busy making more. I'm also making lots of fabric flowers in new colours and patterns - they'll be just the thing to coordinate with Spring and Summer frocks.

I had a lot of fun and I hope to be back at Old Bus Depot Market very soon!