Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Advertising your business, group or event at Stash reHash

At Stash reHash we have a table set aside for information likely to be of interest to Stash reHash customers.  Last time all the brochures, flyers, business cards etc on this table were snaffled up and taken away.  As I go around town delivering Stash reHash posters and flyers (dangerous business - see below) I've been collecting more information for this table but I'd love to receive more.

So if you have any sort of shop or business, event, upcoming sale, discount vouchers, craft group, classes, exhibition, organisation or other that you think would be of interest to the sort of crafty people who come to a fabric market, then I'd love to hear from you to help advertise it.  Email me at and I'll be in touch next week to arrange how you can get your advertising material to me.

My day out yesterday delivering posters proved to be a lot of fun but also a wee bit dangerous.  Pictured above is the nearly finished quilt I made last night between doing the dinner dishes and watching Lost.  The front is fabric I bought at the always gloriously tempting Bolt of Cloth yesterday afternoon The back is fabric I bought at Stash reHash last time, sandwiched in the middle is one of my woollen blankets and the edges will soon be bound with ancient stash fabric.  All those times my not-so-subtle little cowgirl has left our computer screen displaying this page have finally had the desired effect.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Destashing - Our dream-home

In the past week I have destashed myself of my Realworldland job, my Interwebland job, my main PTA job and my voluntary job all in an effort to concentrate on the biggest destashing job on my To Do list: selling our house.  The trouble is, the more time I spend at home getting rid of stuff, tidying and cleaning, then the more I fall in love with it.

When we moved to Christchurch ten years ago, our children were aged 18 months and six weeks old.  Ken Oath! was either travelling overseas or working every waking moment in his exciting new job. I didn't know a single person here. Our rental house was in a great neighbourhood (St Albans) but certainly wasn't dream-home. (It had one room I always went into with my hand over my eyes because the curtains were so nasty and another we referred to as Antarctica.) I had only ever been to Christchurch once before; that was a decade earlier and I'd spent that entire visit trapped in a training room.

In short, I needed to get out, get exploring and get myself a life.  I bought a double buggy and went out on hunting expeditions.  First I hunted myself a collection of Rare Birds, i.e. the best collection of friends you could ever hope for. Then I hunted myself a collection of places I loved going to, including parks, opshops, libraries, galleries and walks. Finally I hunted myself a micro-mini short short-list of properties in the neighbourhood that I was potentially interested in should they ever come on the market.

A year later I was wheeling 60 blocks of butter worth of children home from my Plunket mothers' group, when I spotted one of my short-listed houses getting a For Sale sign installed. No time for muckingaround!  I rushed home and got straight on the blower.  That night, under the auspices of doing the grocery shopping, I met the agent and inspected this architect designed, modernist but modest, sun-soaked beauty.  Within 5 seconds of walking in the front door I told the agent she could can the sales pitch because I was already deeply in love;  I was home.

So then I had to go and fess up to Ken Oath! what I'd done.  After he'd recovered from the fact that I didn't actually have any chocolate for him, he too arranged to see the house.  I waited nervously, then when he got home I excitedly demanded "What do you think?  Shall we buy it?"  He said what he says best: " 'KIN' OATH!"  Soon afterwards the easiest property purchase ever was completed and ownership was transferred from the son of the recently deceased original owner to the happiest little family in StAlbansShirleyMairehau.

We have absolutely loved calling this house home.  Over the years I've ogled many other cool homes on Christchurch Modern but the reasons to stay put always outweighed the reasons to move.  While our address probably won't impress those peculiarly Christchurch people who go to posh parties and ask grey-haired grown-ups like me what school they went to, this home certainly has numerous other impressive features.

We stuffed it with our eclectic collection of mid-century furniture, retro fabrics, kitsch collectibles, thousands of books and some New Zealand art - otherwise known as miscellaneous-stuff-we-love. Even though I greatly admire sophisticated, contemporary interiors in magazines and on blogs, my own decorating style could only be described as like a magpie on speed.  Our interiors make Todd Oldham's look minimalist and will probably make some potential new owners' teeth hurt.  Just as both our children's names are in the "What not to name your baby" books, so I suspect that when our interior shots are loaded onto real-estate sites, they'll quickly make their way to various "How not to furnish your home" blogs to be sniggered at by people far cooler and more restrained than us.

Ah well.  I'm not scared of being sniggered at.  What I am scared of is living in a house so bland that I'd have to leave a trail of crumbs every time I went out so I could find my way home again.  I'm scared that someone who really wants to live in Italy will buy this house and do a nasty Italiente makeover on it.  I'm scared that the new owner will rip out our huge, tui-ready, native garden and replant it with roses and pansies.

OK,  too much idle chitchat and not enough action.  I should really be scared of still being sat here in my PJs in four weeks time, still hemming these jolly curtains (that I should have hemmed five years ago) when people arrive for my first open home.  Back to work for me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Destashing - 17 Vintage Metal Sewing Machines

No, it's not me destashing this time.  This stunning collection of vintage sewing machines is currently for sale on Trademe.  These are being sold by Jenafer from the Local Vanguard blog who does a sterling job promoting local events, businesses and miscellaneous interesting things.  The least we can do is help spread the word for her.

Imagine these in a crusty old museum (my favourite sort - the modern, shiny, all-singing, all-dancing museums make me feel like I'm an eight year old boy who hasn't taken his Ritalin.  Give me a wooden cabinet with treasure-filled shallow drawers any day). Imagine these being cared for and used by a retro craft group. Oh, imagine these displayed in a glass-fronted plywood cubby-hole cabinet on the back wall of a cool shop complete with their description tags.   

Time to stop imagining and start spreading the word; these beauties deserve a loving new owner.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Destashing - The seriously big scary fabric shears

Some things are easy to destash.  Some, for various reasons, are a wee bit trickier.

My fabric and sewing supplies sorting was trucking along nicely the other day when I opened a box I hadn't opened for years but hadn't quite managed to part with.  Some items went into the Stash reHash pile, some went into the opshop pile, some went into the rubbish pile and some went into the rather too large Too Hard pile.  Something I put into the Too Hard pile were the two pairs of scissors above. 

One pair I had bought as part of the equipment requirements for the fashion and textiles course I did over 20 (!!!) years ago.  Being a little-goody-two-shoes I dutifully had my name engraved on them as instructed. Then found I was too much of a weakling to use these 13 inch long monsters on a regular basis and reverted to my small, zippy Solingens.  I won the second pair.  The award details plus my name is engraved on them.  I never used those shears either because they were incredibly sharp and, well, I'm a bit of a dreamer and I was convinced that if I daydreamed while using those they'd have my fingers off.  Basically I'm a weak, scaredy, sook. So both sets of shears were left to go stiff and rusty in the bottom of a cardboard box with only some "bargain" elastic (loses its ping if you say boo to it - now in the rubbish pile) for company.

Silly I know, but the reason I found destashing these shears too hard is because my name is on them.  I didn't want to be to someone else like Edith Brand is to me.  I felt I needed to hand these on personally.

Too much thinking + not enough action = cup of coffee required.  Naturally while having my coffee I wandered over to Blogland for a spot of muckingaround.  First I hopped over to visit Thoroughly Modern Miss Millie but got distracted by her list of Christchurch's crafty bloggers:  some are my friends, some I have met, but some were new to me.  I am quite nosy so I went and had a snoop.

And what do I find but a woman in Christchurch who loves and cares for her scissor collection and dreams of owning some enormous shears!  The tidyness of the situation was just too much for me.  By dinnertime that night my old shears had left their one careless lady owner and were safely in the hands of their lovely new careful lady owner!  I hope you enjoy them GretchenSometimes muckingaround in Blogland really is the best course of action.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I opshop therefore I am

I am an opshopper.  I do also like vintage and retro shops where some clever cookie has stuffed their shop full of cracker items, but my favourite shopping experiences are still down-and-dirty, proper, unedited, opportunity/charity/thrift shops.

Non-opshoppers probably wonder why.  Well, I love the thrill of the hunt.  I love never knowing what mad item will tempt me today.  I love the fact that I can go for weeks finding nothing then have an almighty haul all in one day and still have enough cash left for an ice-cream on the way home.  I love spotting a glimmer of potential in some tired old thing then remaking, remodelling, sanding, painting or just plain fixing it to turn it into something I love.  I love the odd conversations overheard in opshops. I love the cheerful optimism of the term "opportunity shop".

Now that I am de-stashing everything in an attempt to stuff all our worldly goods into a shipping container, I have gone cold turkey on opshopping.  And wouldn't you know it, but after years of wishing and hoping that such a thing would happen, a fantastic opshop opens mere hopping distance from my house.  Naturally I've fallen off the wagon big-time, but it is worth it and even the conversation is top quality!  Pictured above is my new favourite haunt.  It is on Warrington Street in St Albans, just by the intersection with Barbadoes St. Loads of haberdashery, doilies, embroidered tablecloths and retro clothing and there was also some really cool retro fabric but, um, I bought it!  For a gift, honest.  Plus there is a dairy next door for your reward ice-cream.

Plus for those of you still in full opshopping mode, look what else I have found!  The Op Art Fashion Awards are "an exciting new concept for designers who must use creativity and innovation to create fashion with materials sourced from an Op Shop, a $2 shop and/or an emporium. The entire creation must not cost more than $200."  $200!  Such riches! I could outfit my family for a year on that! Well ok, I exaggerate. Not if we want to win an award.  Ok, ok, not even if we want to be seen in public.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

GST procrastination - no time and no need

If you read this blog regularly you'll have noticed that there was no GST procrastination this month.  There was simply no time for my usual muckingaround.  We were like a super-efficient GST tag-team, then when it was done we ticked another dozen equally annoying things off our hallway-long, leaving-on-a-jetplane to-do list.

Plus I now have no need for fantasising about a new life in a mental dreamhome in an odd location.  I now know where my new life will be and I figure I'll just sort out the mental dreamhome when I get there.  I'll also need to sort out new schools, a brave new GP, unpack our worldly goods and replace the ones I rashly decided were too huckery to ship all the way there.  Once all that is ticked off, I'll get on with the real business of my new life in my new hometown.

Whenever I mention where we are moving to, people respond with "Oh, you'll love it. The beaches! The water sports!". I say "Ummm. Keep going..." Because as anyone who knows me knows, I like my beaches on postcards or viewed from the great indoors, and the mere thought of water sports (OK, any sport) makes me come out in a rash. Given that I have never been within a few thousand kilometres of my new hometown, a bit of research is in order to put my mind at rest that the things I love will also be on offer there. 

Firstly I consult a book from my waist-high pile of books selected for de-stashing: This is Australia by Miroslav Sasek.  All I discover is that I still love this series of books to bits and so put them back on the bookshelves.

So a quick trundle around Interwebland is required.  There I discover that a) given the climate, I can safely sell my huge stash of woollen fabrics and blankets at Stash reHash, b) sadly these days the blokes there don't dress as fancily as the Dad in Mr Sasek's illustration, c) I'll need to tune into the local real estate as the few houses I fancy there are described as bowlable redevelopment opportunities, and d) yes there are fabric shops, libraries, art galleries, markets and op-shops.  There is even an op-shop apparently desperate for staff...

Phew! Mandurah, Western Australia, here I come.  Well, after I've de-stashed myself of my fabrics, jobs, pets, worldly goods and current dreamhome that is.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The computer says no, darn it!

This post is to the lady who keeps emailing me in ever more grumpy tones re having a stall at Stash reHash, but has obviously never received any of my numerous replies.  I've replied to you from all my various email accounts and from several computers.  I'm no expert, but I suspect something is bung with your email account.

So please lady, turn your caps lock off, make a cup of tea, stop emailing me and resign yourself to the fact that you won't be having a stall at Stash reHash as they are all sold.  Please phone whoever you use to darn holes in your computer and ask them to make-do-and-mend it. Your messages are rude and a bit stalky and are rattling my cage.  Stash reHash is like the sign outside the Wunderbar in Lyttelton, ie Nice People Only!

I love the badges pictured above with their gently sweary/make-do-and-mend look.  They are made by the very clever Running With Scissors from Auckland.  See more of her fancy goods at her blog here, or on Toggle and at various craft markets.  For those of us further south, just email R.W. Scissors here.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Do not iron

My favourite textile care label is "Do not iron".  It is the one care label I take very seriously.  But I always feel this label should have a qualifier, for example:
Do not iron; do something fun.
Do not iron; do something worthwhile.
Do not iron as it is a complete waste of your precious time.
Do not iron as it may be injurious to your mental health.

I am no Domestic Goddess but I find ironing the most trying of all household chores. While not usually one for violence, if anyone ever gave me an iron as a gift I'd probably find myself in a position where I'd need to deploy the legal defence of provocation. The only way I can bear to iron is while drinking wine and listening to loud, sweary music.

A recent houseguest had a very sad accident with my should-have-been-binned-a-decade-ago iron.  Before I remembered to warn him about this domestic White Dwarf he'd already melted an iron-shaped hole in his brand new shirt. He had to attend his business meetings sporting the I'm-currently-living-in-my-car look. 

After a week sporting the same look I've given in and bought a new iron. Any excuse for my weekly dose of wine and sweary music.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Stalls all sold

Yet again the just-let-women-tell-women/lie-back-and-let-the-interweb-do-its-magic/don't-try-to-curate-the-universe approach has come through with the goods.  All stalls at April's Stash reHash fabric market are now sold. 

What a fabulously eclectic bunch we are!  Stall-holders range in age from women in their twenties to women in their eighties.  Things we all have in common is our love of fabrics and handicrafts and a seeming inability to say NO when we see a wonderful fabricy thing.  Stall-holders have been tempting me silly with their descriptions of their wares.  All agree it is going to be a great day.  More details about individual stall-holders and their wares to follow soon.

Pictured aboved is some stunning donated vinyl fabric based on a Florence B. design.  I'm thinking saddlebags for my bicycle....  no, No, NO, I'm thinking de-stashing....