Saturday, 16 August 2014

unpacking boxes



Bit of a crazy morning. Racing about like a loon. Discovering my pocket managed to post a photo to instagram without me knowing (just of three colanders, it's OK) and as everyone liked it before I realised I decided to leave it up!
The last few weeks have been stressful and upsetting and a bit blah, I've been as flat as a tack, then all the parcels of new stock started arriving and I managed to get a couple of days solidly making Harvest Smocks. I'm exhausted but really too tired to have the strength to feel blah. I've a lot to do in the next week.




So this week we've had new Romanian enamel arrive (not all, we have more coming in early September), more of our lovely brass handled scissors, old padlocks and keys, great old soda bottles that I have had no chance to photograph, giant old Indian slotted spoons that are just stunning and then yesterday the Stanley thermos flasks arrived (I shouldn't use the term 'thermos' as it is a brand in itself but I've always known them as thermos...) and there is even a couple of 'old skool' American construction workers lunch boxes.... I love these!



I'm sure there are more things that I have forgotten....
The new Harvest Smocks made this week include a lovely lightweight watermelon pink 'hemstitched' linen top (sold out in store but the last two will be in next week), the mid weight red checked linen top in the photo (two), the lovely striped mid weight blue linen top (one left) and the black and white check we have had a little while ago is available in one regular length and one top (this is the last of this fabric... all gone). Oh and I almost forgot, tops in a lovely cotton check, white ground with a mid blue in a 2/2 plain hopsack type weave, perfect for Summer boating.
Ok.
I'd better get moving if I am to put the shop to rights before I open for the day.
Oh oh oh! I almost forgot, the tin plates stock has arrived too! New designs and restocked on the original designs we sold out of.
See, it's been a busy week!


Saturday, 9 August 2014

neglected



Hello all!
Been neglecting you, sorry about that. I raced out of the house last Saturday morning for appointments at the trade shows and had no time to write even the vaguest of posts. Today's will quite probably be rushed too as I am in a flat mood after a weirdly low level shitty week. Trying to leave the house to actually get to the studio at a decent hour just didn't happen, appointments and issues and stuff cropped  up everyday and the usual money issues that come to a head at this time every year have started. Painful and annoying.
On the up-side I'm waiting for the date to be set to remove the metal from my wrist break and whilst they are in there they are going to do a bit of work on the carpal tunnel.... yep, busiest time of the year and more surgery but I might just put this almost year long wrist debacle to rest and get some feeling back in my fingers. I've booked a holiday and probably can't afford to go back to the scene of the crime and stick two fingers up at the universe for making me go through the mind numbing crap of three broken wrists within five months and there consequences.
Also on the up-side is the new stock arriving in store, vintage storage boxes, fabulous old industrial waxed paper bags, Creamore Mill paper seedling pot makers, new scrubbing brushes and stainless funnels and the lids have finally arrived for the 'french' style dairy bottles.... what else? And I made a new batch of 'hot water bottle' wheatbags and the denim Harvest Smocks finally managed to get finished and I made some new Harvest Smock tops in a lovely strawberry gelato pink lightweight linen that is striped with a woven 'hemstitch' line through it. That's the one in the photo.
OK. Better get moving. I'm going to open a little earlier today (although on a Saturday no one seems to come in before 11) as I have to CLOSE EARLY today. It's Hana's first birthday and I have biscuits to deliver. I'll be closing about 3.45pm, sorry! We very rarely close early but first birthday's only come around once and I'd like to catch the last hour or so.
Lots of photos of new stock coming through over on instagram at the moment (@cottageindustrystore) if you are interested!




Saturday, 26 July 2014

goodbye satchel




Morning all! Sorry I missed posting last Saturday but I raced out of the house at 6am for the studio sale and this poor little blog was forgotten for another week. I am back now and in the shop, as usual, today.
Finders Keepers is on up at the Exhibition Buildings today and the Projection Festival is on during the evenings so Gertrude Street is all abuzz at the moment. We caught Jethro performing for his adoring fans last night, there was an incident with a small dog and he charmed a pack of ladies by running to the door when I arrived home (he heard the car out the back).
In shop news we've decided that after over 3 years of stocking Cambridge Satchels we are going to pop them on sale to make way for new stock. We were the biggest seller of satchels in Australia for quite some time and were always complimented on our sales and serve with them but now is the time to move on. If you buy one it is 25% off, buy two or more and get 35% off (pretty freaking good I say!). Of course no exchanges or refunds on sale stock. We can post. We have lots of colours and sizes but please don't go asking for a red 13" one, the examples are all out on the shelves.
OK. Gotta dash! New pennant stock is appearing this weekend. And other stuff!
I'm here until 5!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

time to rumble (in the jumble sale)!



And an icy good morning to you all!
The sun is shining out there but I am having trouble warming the shop up, if it is too bitter I might have the shop door closed today but we are open!
Poor little blog is probably the last to be informed (well not quite, the mailing list is next) that we are having a studio sale.... RUMBLE IN THE JUMBLE! We haven't had a studio sale in ages, there was meant to be one in September (broken wrist), November (broken wrist) and February (broken wrist) and things have finally got so bad=full in studio that I had to chose a date and just go with it. It means I have a week, actually less, to pull this together. The stuff that I am unearthing..... hopefully next Friday I will announce the list of the really special stuff that is going in to the sale, I'll be posting all week over on Instagram (@cottageindustrystore) photos of things that I discover. It's been like a crazed archeological dig in the studio and we haven't even cracked open the boxes of stock....
While I have been going mad up in the studio there has been new stock arriving at the Cottage, 2 out of three boxes of Lisa B socks have landed, third one hopefully will arrive on Monday. Lisa has sent over new northern Winter  2014/2015 styles that have only just come in from the sock mills! We have new rugby stripe and big dot women's socks, new men's and bubba's birdseye design and have restocked on the women's classic dot socks and have 17 colours available at the moment! Let me just say today would be the perfect day to kit your feet out in these beauties and I dyed 6 new colours in gloves at the start of the week so hands and feet will be snuggly warm. OK I still haven't quite got back to the beanie knitting yet....
Time to shoot. The shop counter looks like a bomb has hit it, the floor needs a good clean and I desperately need another bucket of tea.
I'll be here until 5.


Saturday, 5 July 2014

giving jip



So yes, the smockage continues.
I seem to have quite a bit of smock suitable fabric stashed in the studio which might explain why I keep inundating you with 'smockbomb' photos. Also they keep selling so of course I keep making them!
This last week has been a bit exhausting with lots of things happening and long days at the sewing machine. Yesterday I had the nerve conductivity tests (checking for carpal tunnel problems etc) on my right wrist, electric shocks to the nerves which is either tickle-y or excruciating but mostly funny when you see your hand twitching about. As usual I had the doctor and scientist taking the tests a tad flummoxed. Apparently there is something wrong with the nerve but they can't pinpoint exactly where, there is a chance it is related to the when the taxi hit me in the shoulder during the Great Bike Accident. Most of all I just really want my surgeon to remove the wire in my wrist that is giving me jip. It is 10 months since the first break at Cradle Mountain and I am a bored with it all.




I've been looking around the shop and thinking it is looking a bit bare. We've had a run on blankets, gloves and socks (yes, it has been a bit nippy) but there is more stock coming including new designs in the Lisa B socks range which is pretty exciting! I think we might be the first store anywhere to get the new styles and as we were Lisa's very first stockist in Australia and love her socks I can't what until the boxes arrive. I need to get a few dyepots on tomorrow and get some more of our glove stock happening too. And last of all, and finally, our lovely Heico cockatoo lights are back in stock.
I had the weirdest conversation yesterday with someone about the fact we don't have a designated website and inferring I should buy larger amounts of stock. It got Elise and I talking about how much we prefer to actually have a conversation with a customer about the product they are buying, whether it is face to face, on the phone, via email or chatting on instagram and how important that dialogue is especially when the product is handmade. I don't believe online shopping is all it is cracked up to be and I also think it is having a huge effect on people when they are out shopping, it appears they are almost developing a fear of being chatted to by a sales assistant.

OK I am off now to do my Saturday duty. It is CosPlay Day up at the Exhibition Buildings with Oz Comic-Con happening so it should be an amusing afternoon on Gertrude Street with the youngsters all dressed up! I'll be here until 5pm as usual....



Saturday, 28 June 2014

upsy, downsy, umming and ahhing


Morning all!
It has been one of those weeks, a bit upsy, a bit downsy and definitely all over the place. This morning seems to be carrying on the week's theme but I hope by 11 I have all my chores done, Jethro has settled down (a case of feline crazies) and I can take a deep breath.
I'm excited our new plates have arrived, made from tin printed with designs from the Queen's and the Wallace collection, they make me laugh and are the most ridiculous picnic plates ever! I'm not a fan of melamine and these appeal to my enamel love. I'm planning a new wall display installation tomorrow and I have the peg board and wood in the back of the car ready to go.
I managed to get some patchwork Harvest Smocks done (pop over to Insta or Facebook for the photos as I don't have time to upload them here today sorry) and have also done the sample for a new one in boiled black wool crepe, very Melbourne!
Last news of the day is that I have decided to pop these two pouff├ęs on sale as I am planning a new batch and these have been sitting for a while. They have been much admired and ummed and ahhed over but have been adopted yet... so 25% off! Down from $600 to $450, definitely no lay-bys or holds on these and yes we can ship them.
OK, better dash! I'm in the shop until 5.



Saturday, 21 June 2014

mizzle



I was dreading this week, it was mapped out in post-it notes around the edge of my computer screen (which might explain why I was avoiding doing anything on the computer...) but now it is Saturday and I get to at least have a half day off or just a bit of a sleep-in tomorrow. I barely got a day and a bit in the studio but managed some sewing up of lovely vintage floral linen cushions and started work on a pile of tea towel cushions too.
I did lose a day being swept up country to visit an old friend's lovely house, eat lunch and then race back. It was nice to be in the passenger seat for once, I got to see things from the left side of the road. We grizzled and moaned and sorted out problems and had a grand day of it. It was cold but sunny and we missed the fog that set in the next day and blanketed Central Victoria. It wer' right grand!
Anyway. Back to the grind and it is Saturday, shortest day of the year and although it was lovely earlier this morning I think the mizzle and grey is settling in... which I don't mind! In shop news, the shipment of small bonsai scissors and little snippy thread scissors has arrived, there they are next to the big 10" tailor's shears, cute as. I need to get knitting some more beanies. I also need to have a play with the front window display and give the shop a good doing over. Looks like I will be forgetting that sleep-in in the morning...
I'm still arsing about trying to choose a date for the studio sale, seems I am not good at committing. probably because it goes hand in hand with a huge studio clean. I know I am just procrastinating in the standing-in-the-middle-of-the-room-and-screaming-'argh' way. I need to move everything to the left 8 metres and then start sorting back into the cleared space. This is not going to be fun. In the past I have tried to snaffle an empty studio in our building so I could move it all in there, have the sale, sort out the left overs and divide what would stay and what would go, I just always seem to get the timing wrong and miss out on booking the room when I need it.
OK. Better get a move on. I'm in the shop until 5pm, there are lovely snuggly things to buy, you might need a wool jumper and some angora gloves if you are off to a Solstice Bonfire tonight.