Thursday, 31 July 2008

One of my current obsessions is Matryoshka Dolls (or Russian Stacking Dolls). They've been a quiet favourite since Liam bought me some panda stacking dolls from a charity shop last year, and I think it was probably the sight of hundreds of brightly painted ones in Stockholm in January which really cemented their popularity with me. I love that they stand side by side in order, I think it appeals to the same part of me which arranges her bookshelf into alphabetical order and sorts her buttons by colour into jars. I also love that they can be bought as a souvenir from a country, although regrettably I didn't buy any from Stockholm despite it being the painted woodcraft capital of the world. I'm a HUGE fan of tacky souvenirs...pens, keyrings, lighters, and the all important SNOWGLOBE.

Any way, back to Matroyoshka Dolls. They're such a cute image as well as a decoartion, I like that they're so rounded and can be all different characters, some of them are really creepy with pinched lips and big eyelashes. Plus patterns and colours used for some are really beautiful. It seems that they're a popular choice with etsyians too and my love for them has been fuelled by some adorable finds online. I have yet to buy any of these but they're nice to look at. And decorate my blog with....

I've just spent about half an hour looking at them all! I wont post more pictures, but if you like russian dolls go and search for them on etsy....especially if you like cute printed paperware or fabric. I am in love with so many Japanese fabrics at the moment, is one of my favourite places to browse and drool over it. They even have several fabrics with russian doll themed prints...

I love it!!

Other favourite ways to spend time on the world wide web at the minute include looking at photos of creative people's apartments. I've got a book which I left at my mum's house which looks inside Paris apartments (I think that it's called Paris Apartments!) and I love looking through it. Most of them have pet cats too =) Design*Sponge have a whole section on previews of people's apartments (and they're all SO pretty) >>

I like looking at little details and feeling inspired. I'm definetely going to make myself some really simple cute artwork to frame when I get a house I can make my home.

In the "real" (non internet world) my biggest news is that I've started volunteering at a playgroup in a refugee and asylum seeker centre. The centre is where new arrivals to the country stay for 2 to 3 weeks while they are found somewhere to stay and given a series of medical and legal checks. The government feed them but offer no thing for them to do, so some voluntary organisations have got together to open up a playroom for the kids. Tuesday was my first shift and I was SO SCARED. I'm not a natural with children by any means, so I knew it was going to be hard for me to act naturally and have some fun. But it went alright. I made a little friend which was nice, and I didn't drop any little toddlers. I'm doing two shifts next week so I'm sure I'll be super nanny in no time. It's nice to do something good as I feel that since arriving in Leeds as a student all those years ago I haven't really been involved in any real "community". But now I am. Hurrah. Plus while between jobs it makes me feel useful for something other than making badges!

Think I'll post some of the leftovers from indietracks onto my etsy this afternoon so keep checking =)

Monday, 28 July 2008

I'm on a steaming train and I'm driving into your heart... Well badge selling-wise it was such a HUGE success. I sold about 75 badges, which almost cleared me out. And more importantly people were just so so nice and sweet about them. I really did have such a great time just standing behind my wares and seeing peoples reactions. I can't imagine a nicer feeling. I feel like my hard work has been appreciated. I get SO much pleasure from people admiring my little creations, and when I see people WEARING them....ohhhhh it's just lovely. There were too many perfect moments for me to tell any heart warming anecdotes about badge appreciation. I might be doing something for an independent record label in London who have Shrag and Rose Melberg on them, which is superrrrrrr exciting =)

Music and fun-wise the weekend was a roaring success too. I was most excited about Ballboy and they more than lived up to my high expectations. I loved that everyone was so twee and typically indiepop that they wilted in the sunshine, it was so geeky. I only managed to see one act on a train, a guy (sorry I can't remember the name...the shame) from Wimpy Milkshake, but that was fun. I somehow kept being in the wrong place at the wrong time for Darren Hayman despite him doing 3 sets throughout the weekend including little acoustic things, but did manager to sit at the back of his acoustic set in a tent thankfully. In fact Darren Hayman was arriving at the campsite just as we were on the first afternoon, so he was kind of the theme of the weekend...Darren Hayman sightings accomanied by excitement. I enjoyed the outdoor stage for The Deidries and The Smittens, hopefully it'll be the "main stage" next year. Well only if it's sunny. I'm not even going to complain about all the times for everything changing constantly because that's no-ones fault and added to the "who's it going to beeee" excitement. If I'd missed Ballboy then I'd be complaining. Oh and Comet gain didn't play. I was pretty gutted about that.

I think I was tucked up in my sleeping bag by 12.30 every night despite intentions to party til dawn, what a geeeeeeek, sunshine and daytime drinking proved lethal. I talked to more people than last year (thanks to the stall) and I can't get over how lovely and friendly and sweet every single person there was. I loved it. Why can't the real world be more like an indiepop steam train station? I almost feel silly for being nervous about the whole thing because when I first arrived everyone was so helpful in sorting me out a space on the merch table and checking that I was okay. I regret not seeing more bands but to be honest, and probably totally self obsessed, I can't imagine getting more pleasure from that than from standing with my badges and playing shop keeper. I hasten to emphasise that I did feel like I was playing shopkeeper...I loved it. I want to go backkkkkkkkk.

I guess it means that the pressure is on to keep up the hard work and keep sewing so that my etsy looks good...especially as I'm hoping that some of my flyers given out over the weekend lead to internet sales. Here's my etsy.....

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Saturday, 12 July 2008

the run up to indietracks

I've been trying like crazy to get enough badges made for a decent looking stall at indietracks. I'm SO excited! I've made a couple of larger badges which I think it'd be fair to sell for a fiver rather than the usual four pounds. And I want to bake up some cupcakes to make the stall look all the more appealing. I wish I had the time and energy to make some more adventurous items. I really want to have some aprons to sell but don't trust myself to spend enough time on all the important finishing touches to make them look good enough.

I've recently joined etsy and after an initial super busy 24hours (I sold TWO badges almost immedietely) It's been very quiet. Mostly because I've not listed anything since the first items. I did get lovely feedback though and even a request for a radiohead minotaur from a girl who bought an owl. It's so flattering to hear that people like them. And I can't get over the amazing feeling of knowing that someone I don't even know is out there wearing something which I made from scratch.

My etsy is at

I'll post photos soon x