Sunday, 31 August 2008

Etsy purchases

I've made some lovely purchases on Etsy recently - it just seems to get better and better!

My favourite is these lovely alphabet art prints for my son's room from letterfest in the UK.

And this other lovely print from littlestflower here in Australia

I also couldn't resist these sweet passport covers for my upcoming trip, from revontulitikku in Finland!

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Seaside holiday needed!

70-Colour-Seaside-2, originally uploaded by i have a phantom cat.

Whew, been so busy lately, and I have the big work trip coming up next week, I am going to be mucho in need of a holiday when I get back. I think the earliest we'll be able to get away is December but it's not that far away.

Since we moved to Australia we've never really travelled outside the major cities, but this year I'm thinking of a family holiday somewhere a bit tropical and hot. I'm thinking blue sea, lazy days, a fab kids club that will keep two boys entertained, spa treatments for me, great food and wine for Mr Lark ... but still with some sights and shops nearby for when we get bored with doing nothing. Nothing too active and not too much bush and wildlife stuff, I live in the country and see enough of that on a daily basis! I'm thinking Queensand but I don't know where to start looking.

If anyone has any tips or ideas for a family holiday in the sunshine, I'd be REALLY grateful, please leave me a comment or email to allison @ Cheers!

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Lark and me were featured on the lovely Aussie website today!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Free t-shirts! I love free stuff!

I love to shop. My favourite shop since about 1989 has been Remo General Store in Sydney. They used to have a gorgeous big shop that you could spend all day in, and now they have an equally great website.

Remo sells stuff that is hard to describe - just great, beautifully-made things for yourself or for gifts. They also print their own t-shirts with a range of over 150 cool designs. These t-shirts are the best quality I have ever found - Mr Lark still wears one I bought him in 1992!

Remo Guiffre, the owner, is one of my business heroes, and I was so thrilled last year when he started to sell my Knitted Baby Toys and Keep Calm things through the store - lots of the brands Remo stocks are from small design companies, and every product has an interesting story behind it.

Anyway, Remo is inviting new customers who visit the online store from my blog to select a free t-shirt in any design from their entire range. There's no catch, you don't have to buy anything (you just pay for shipping). There are tees for women and men in long and short sleeves. Singlets too. They even have the t-shirts in kid's sizes or you could buy one for Father's Day (yes, it's Aussie father's day on 7 September!). And the offer also applies to overseas readers.

To choose your t-shirt click here or see the banner at the top-right of my blog. I'd love to hear which t-shirt you choose. Yay for Remo, free stuff is the best!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

New things in my webshop # 3: Clothkits

1978 Lyndhurst, originally uploaded by knautia.

Back in the day (1970s and 1980s) Clothkits were THE thing that middle-class crafty British mums made for their kids.

clothkits winter 1974-5, originally uploaded by maximum.mouse.

Started by Anne Kennedy in 1968 and run from her kitchen table, Clothkits was one of the original 'mumpreneur' craft businesses, which went on to be hugely successful. Anne's idea was simple: design great, groovy clothes and accessories for kids, print the pattern onto good-quality fabric (cotton or corduroy) in multi-sizes, and send them out by mail order with little packs of notions, so that mums with even the most basic sewing skills could make their children's wardrobes with pride.

I remember Clothkits and I was so excited when another mum, Kay Mawer, bought the old Clothkits business last year and relaunched it. Kay is awesome, she has created a fab new range of Clothkits for modern kids, but with a nod to the heritage of this iconic brand. I am so excited to be launching Clothkits in Australia on the Lark website!!!

Here are some of the fab kits I have in my first shipment - yes, these are kits, you have to make them, but they come all bound up in cute packages with thread, buttons, woven labels and (in some cases) Liberty print fabrics for lining. I promise they are so simple to make, but they also make a great gift if you don't like to sew.

And (deep breath)... I have saved the best till last. As well as raiding the Clothkits archives, Kay is working with contemporary designers and illustrators on some of the kits. And she has commissioned none other than the wonderful Mr Rob Ryan to create a grown-up skirt kit. I love this so much and can't wait to make one - it's called the 'Hold Me' skirt and comes in white sateen with the beautiful Rob Ryan screenprint. Some people have even framed them.

I have a small number of these kits in my shop, as well as the children's kits pictured above (my faves = Smiley Lion Overalls and Happy bees Pinny!). They come with full instructions. Make time!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Coming up for air

Phew, it's been a busy couple of weeks here at Lark HQ and our crazy household! The Life in Style trade fair was exhausting but a lot of fun. I was really pleased with how our stand looked this year, and sales were fantastic and slightly alarmingly overwhelming at the same time (I guess that's a nice position to be in, better to be worrying about too many sales than too few!).

The new Meet me at Mikes range was really well-received, buyers went nuts over the vintage pendants and storybook wallets, and everyone loved Pip's display. There was much coo-ing over her vintage toy Holly Hobbie sewing machine.

Everything else was a big hit too - our new ranges from Dumpling Dynasty and Lisa Jones, my vintage knitted toys and of course the new craft kits from Sew Your Own, which have been much-anticipated.

Mr Mikes and Mr Lark did a great job of installing the stand on the first day and Pip, Angela and I manned the stand for five long days. We were glad to get back home at the end of it all, even though it means the real work of filling stacks of orders is now just beginning!

The Tiny and Small market in Melbourne, which is a new offshoot of Magnolia Square, was held last week so we rushed headlong into that, although I have to admit that I only attended one day and good ol' Angela did the other two days. This photo was taken by Katrina, who has just opened a fab new online store called Belsize Square selling gorgeous patchwork fabric, notions and hand-made goods. Do take a look!

Now amongst all this I am preparing for an upcoming trade show in London - our first one! Yikes! Angela is coming along to help me out, and to make it fun we've planned lots of shopping and sightseeing and catching up with crafty blog friends in the UK! We are especially thrilled that our little Lark stand is going to be right opposite Belle & Boo's stand at the fair, wowee, what a lovely view we will have!

If anyone out there has any tips for great shops, markets or sights in London please let me know, we don't want to miss anything! Although I am British I haven't actually spent much time in London so I'm pretty clueless.

I have also been very busy on the home front this fortnight. My son had his fifth birthday - we are lucky to live near a very cute hotel with its own private art deco cinema in the basement, and we held the party there. 14 kids watched the movie 'Cats and Dogs' and stuffed themselves with popcorn while we grown-ups were served champagne and mezze on the back row. It was so civilised, I will definitely be making this a regular spot for birthday parties!

Mr Jim the new puppy arrived in our home at last, and he is adorable. He is a big ball of chilled-out fluffy, dog-smelling goodness. The boys love him and so do we, although he has one big fault which is that he wants to eat EVERYTHING. Several plastic dinosaurs, fluffy toys and important bits of paper have been reduced to shreds and we have to watch his every move. He even managed to chew through the cardboard of a newly-delivered box of my knitted rattles and pull out a strawberry to chew and slobber on! I have renamed him... Jimmy Chew! He'd better not touch my shoes. Jim is gorgeous, though, a big softie!

It has been freezing cold here and even snowed last Sunday, enough for a snowball fight! It has been too cold to go outside and we are all quite ready for Spring now. Next week we are having the back garden landscaped, it is horrid at the moment and not much use for anything, but soon it will be a combined play space and veggie garden, in time for the warmer weather. Can't wait!

Saturday, 9 August 2008

I'm sorry, but how cute are these toadstool doorstops from Knick Knacks and Ric Rac? And would you believe it, they are made from yoghurt pots! Find the tutorial here.

Friday, 8 August 2008


I am sorry not to have been blogging for a week or two, I have missed it! But I have been super-busy with a trade fair and Christmas orders and my little boy's birthday and our new puppy and stuff, but I am still here! Another rainy day in Daylesford!

I am hoping to post some pictures of the trade fair soon, the thingy that I use to transfer photos onto my Mac has died, but watch this space, it was super-nice actually...

I am so happy - Lark's webshop is featured on my favourite Melbourne blog Michi Girl today - thanks Michi!