ivy designs' blog

2008-2010

Thanks to Everyone

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Contents
In the beginning... Ideas Photo Shoot Baby Shower That's Life! We are in the press Etsy shop opening Tula Pink - wow! www.madeit.com.au Etsy Treasury Our website is up and running! We love packaging... First big order done and dusted! Monday, August 11, 2008 Meet Ivy, the illustrated little girl Happy Anniversary! Recent Etsy Purchase... Hot off the press! Ivy's milestones...this week! My baby is turning ONE soon! Phew! Biggest order to date done Happy first birthday Ivy! New outfit - personal project Happy First Birthday Callum! Life is a balancing act 9 9 9 10 10 10 11 11 11 12 12 12 12 13 13 13 13 13 14 14 14 15 15 15

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Upcycled items for sale Goodies from London Eeeek... Ivy's first time at the beach Blast from the past Etsy Purchase - Letterpress holiday card Blog features New items in boutique Competition New online stockist Tea for one Friday, November 07, 2008 Russian Doll Revival Interview with Kara Smith - creator of delicious handbags! Beautiful Bunting Kristen Doran New Stockists Ivy Designs' printed fabric Tippie Toes Reminder Market Report Giveaway Lists To market to market... Ivy's adventures with food: strawberries Aussie Boutique Kids Blog

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Beautiful Photos by Rachel Richter Feeling the love And the winner is... Signing out for 2008! Happy 2009! Great day in Palm Beach Style Collective Ivy Designs Winter 09 Another sneak peek... Welcome Alexander! SALE Hot off the press Bushfires Shopping Peek-a-boo Want to turn your craft into a business? Handmade Stamp Ivy Handbags! Sample sale... A few one off designs for Mathilda's Market Open Room Thula Thula Molly Mouse Handmade Cards Productive day Now for something different... a recipe! Ivy's day out with daddy

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Market Report Style Collective Feature GIVEAWAY!!!!! WINTER '09 available next week We have a winner! Patience is a virtue Vintage Revamp Next Market Winter has arrived! Smallville Stepford Dreams Shop Window A dress for Zahra A finger in every pie Thrift Find Thank you Jen! Turning Japanese Lovin' My weekend Finders Keepers Market this weekend! This little piggy went to market fat.mum.slim GIVEAWAY Baby's Got Style: Designer Profile Blog Awards Ivy's New Room Kids Style File

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I won this! Ani and Trio bedding Babyology Review More Press: Bondville Favourite Photo Tag Australian Women Online Article Another successful thrift find Bye Bye Bruny A little update, yes I am still alive! yawn yawn and yawn again Sold! To the lovely newly married couple... Thank you Mr Postman Daytime TV Our 5 secs of fame on TV! Join our Facebook page! Sale time! A(nother) Chair Makeover... 3rd Wedding Anniversary We are having a sea change! We ♥ Shop 4 Kids Magazine... We also ♥ My Child Magazine Facebook Winners Somebody's turning 2! What's going on in the studio...Part 1 In the Studio Part 2. Meet...Olive's friend Pop! On the move

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Studio Bambini editorial Birthday girl Ivy's Birthday Shindig Summer has arrived! (even though it is raining outside) More photos of Summer range Baby's Got Style shoot Ivy's Room Tour Mathilda's Market Coco and Ginger

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In the beginning...
Friday, February 08, 2008
My sister Anna and I decided to join forces and start our own business in late 2007. Being new(ish) mums, we thought our own business would be the perfect way to earn a living, unleash our creative urges and most importantly, allow us to spend time with our babies. We have a passion for children's clothing and accessories, and will soon be creating a label of our own, Ivy Designs! Watch this space :) Posted by ivy designs at 08:17AM (+11:00)

Ideas
Saturday, May 03, 2008
In the past few months our ideas book has been filling up with lots of designs! There has been much cutting, sewing, sampling and testing going on...not to mention the sweat and tears (our own). The best designs will make it to our shop, hopefully by July. Luckily we have our own little models to test on, so customers know that the items will withstand the demands of real little people! We are excited to see how people take to our first range! In the meantime, Ivy (now 7 months) has cut two teeth! Ouch! Lots of dribble. Posted by ivy designs at 07:41AM (+10:00)

Photo Shoot
Monday, June 16, 2008
We had our first photo shoot last week. It was fun, tiring and a big learning curve! What do they say about working with children??? All in all, it was a good day. Lots of smiles and a few wee tears (nothing a feather duster couldn't fix - see pic) Our good friend Ron took the photos for us. You must see his gorgeous photos at http://www.beautifulwest.com.au/ Thanks Ron! Some behind the scenes shots below.

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Posted by ivy designs at 10:33PM (+10:00)

Baby Shower
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Today I attended a lovely baby shower for my beautiful friend, Danielle. The mother-to-be was gorgeous and glowing, a yummy mummy indeed :) Danielle and Carl are expecting a baby girl, bless. My gift included a book called Gallop by Rufus Butler Seder. I loved it the minute I saw it! The book uses technology called scanimation, where each page brings animals to life with images that literally moves. Scanimation is a six-phase animation process that combines the "persistence of vision" principle with a striped acetate overlay to give the illusion of movement. Even hubbie liked it! I also bought bub some Bonds clothing, great basics. The baby shower was good fun, we played a peg game and some quizzes. I received a cute little cookie cutter set as a favour. Posted by ivy designs at 10:33PM (+10:00)

That's Life! We are in the press
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
We are featured in this week's "That's Life" magazine. Our first time in the press! Thanks to the style queen, Bianca Chong, over at House of Red http://www.houseofred.com/

Posted by ivy designs at 04:13PM (+10:00)

Etsy shop opening
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
For those of you who have not heard of Etsy, you don't know what you are missing out on! In a nutshell, it is an online marketplace where people buy and sell handmade goods. There are some absolutely amazing things for sale, so many talented people out there. I have bought my fair share of things! Well, today we have put up our first couple of

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listings! Yay! Setting up a shop on etsy is quite a time consuming process for beginners, but we hope to have a lot of our items up soon. Please visit our shop at www.ivydesigns.etsy.com A big shout out to seller 'bearcengic' - thanks for doing a great job with the photos! While we are at it, thanks also to our good friend Justin for all the graphic design www.whiten2.com Posted by ivy designs at 11:24PM (+10:00)

Tula Pink - wow!
Monday, June 30, 2008
Yes, we are excited about Tula Pink's new line of fabric, Flutterby. The colours and patterns are just divine! The Flutterby series draws inspiration from nature, with butterflies, ladybugs and flowers. Pictured above is our 'Chelsea' dress available in red or blue, which comes with a matching hair clip. We've received lots of lovely comments about this unique dress. 'Bloom Tunic' available in pink or green ladybugs Skirt Set with butterflies and ladybugs, available in teal or pink. Posted by ivy designs at 02:20PM (+10:00)

www.madeit.com.au
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Made it is Australia's answer to Etsy (more on Etsy below). Ivy Designs have a few items for sale on this site. Our 'Amelia' top is proving to be a great seller. One of our lovely customers said "I recently purchased one of their geisha white singlets. I was thrilled with the quality and the little crochet details on the shoulders was superb quality. Beautifully packaged with a nice note inside and express posted to boot! thanks again Ivy Designs, I definately will be back!". Awwww...thanks... http://www.ivydesigns.madeit.com.au/

Posted by ivy designs at 09:28AM (+10:00)

Etsy Treasury
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I created my first Etsy Treasury! Anyone who knows about the Treasury knows how hard it is to get one of these spots! What is a Treasury? This is what they say... "The Treasury is a member-curated gallery of short-lived lists of 12 hand-picked items each (plus four alternates). It functions as a high-demand (and pretty!) promotional tool that many devoted Etsians fight to get. Members can feature their favorite items, items selected on a theme, or just however they like. The Treasury is not intended for selfpromotion, but instead to acknowledge and share the many cool things for sale on Etsy..." What was my theme? Babylove, surprise, surprise...

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Posted by ivy designs at 09:05PM (+10:00)

Our website is up and running!
Monday, August 04, 2008
new range of handmade hair candy Our website is up and running and ready to go! We still have our Etsy store, but there is now a wider range in our Online Boutique. There are lots of exciting new styles in the pipeline - dresses, tops, bloomers, jackets, trousers... so make sure you drop by again to check out what is new! We have a few large orders to get out in the next couple of weeks, so excuse us if we're not around much. We'll be buried under mountains of fabric and thread in the studio (also affectionately known as the 'sweatshop'!) patterns line the wall of the studio

Posted by ivy designs at 11:05PM (+10:00)

We love packaging...
Friday, August 08, 2008
We're very excited that all of our packaging/promotional bits and pieces have come together. Here's a sample of what customers will be receiving... Posted by ivy designs at 07:38PM (+10:00)

First big order done and dusted!
Friday, August 08, 2008
With the whole extended household struck down with the flu for the past week, we haven't been able to do as much work as usual. We did, however, manage to finish a big overseas order. Hoorah! It's heading to Singapore for a mother's group (lovely customer too!) Posted by ivy designs at 07:44PM (+10:00)

Monday, August 11, 2008
Ever since we were little, Anna and I have adored magazines (it's little wonder I ended up working in publishing). We used to spend all of our pocket money on glossies...and not much has changed! One of our favourite mags is Shop 4 Kids (Shop Till You Drop), so you can imagine how thrilled we are to have some of our products featured in this month's edition!!! Very exciting for a small label like ours. Items featured include a bracelet, hair candy and a Russian Doll singlet. Posted by ivy designs at 11:41AM (+10:00)

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Meet Ivy, the illustrated little girl
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
You may have noticed the new illustrations on our website and blog. The talented Megan Tucker created 'Ivy' for us. Such fun seeing a character come to life! Ivy also has a little male friend, but we don't know what to call him...suggestions anyone?? Posted by ivy designs at 12:24AM (+10:00)

Happy Anniversary!
Monday, August 18, 2008
Hubbie and I celebrated our wedding anniversary last week. I had a good excuse to splurge on a big bunch of cherry blossoms to mark the occassion, as they were the theme to our wedding two years ago. Incidently, Ivy's middle name (Mai) also means cherry blossom. Yes, I am a big fan of these beautiful flowers. I would love to travel to Japan one day, for the cherry blossoms...and the fabrics! Posted by ivy designs at 10:50PM (+10:00)

Recent Etsy Purchase...
Monday, September 08, 2008
I have bought a lot of things from Etsy (got to support indie sellers!) and here is the latest purchase... two hand screenprinted cushions from joom. These cushions are for my best friend and her new husband (two very creative people). They have a lovely sunroom filled with assorted cushions and I think these will make a delightful addition to the already creative setting. Posted by ivy designs at 04:32PM (+10:00)

Hot off the press!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Studio Bambini magazine is widely known as the children's fashion bible. Printed biannually, it is loaded with the latest children’s fashion, accessories and homewares.The photoshoots are always stunning! The spring/summer issue came out today and we couldn't wait to get our hands on it as usual, but this time we are actually featured inside! Check it out... :) Posted by ivy designs at 12:33PM (+10:00)

Ivy's milestones...this week!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Ivy has surprised us with lots of new things she has learnt. In the past week she has been able to pick up the phone (or remote control) and say "heyo", she also says "heyo" and waves, she has perfected her crawling technique (moves across the room in

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seconds!), plays peek-a-boo from behind the chair, kisses with "mwah"...and yesterday she showed us how she can eat with a spoon! It is truly amazing to watch your child grow and pick up new things. Life is full of wonderful surprises everyday! Posted by ivy designs at 01:09PM (+10:00)

My baby is turning ONE soon!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The year has just flown by! Normally I create custom invites using sites like vistaprint or similar, but with such limited time these days I went with pre-printed invites from Paper Eskimo. We have decided to do something a bit low key and casual for the celebration and will be having a picnic in Sydney's Centennial Park. Hope it's a nice day! Will have to think of some wet weather plans. Invites: Posted by ivy designs at 01:31PM (+10:00)

Phew! Biggest order to date done
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
It's taken us quite a number of weeks, but we finally finished our biggest order to date. It was definitely a challenge to produce so many items and work around our babies, but we're very happy with the results. We can't name any names yet, since the store hasn't launched just yet, but we are excited to announce that they will be one of our exclusive online stockists. We will keep you posted! All I can say is pheeeew (a big exhale!). Posted by ivy designs at 07:31PM (+10:00)

Happy first birthday Ivy!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
We celebrated Ivy's first birthday with a picnic by the pond, in Sydney's Centennial Park on the weekend. The weather was gorgeous, although it did reach 33 degrees at one stage and I was a bit flustered by all the activity! It's been a full on year - not only did I have a baby, I also moved house and started Ivy Designs! A holiday is beckoning. Any parent will tell you that the initial year of having a baby is not easy, but when you get that first smile, kiss or hug, all your struggles disappear (for that moment anyway!). Viewing the world through the eyes of a child is an amazing thing.

Patting a dog for the first time. Ivy's word for dog is "doh doh". A tired birthday girl I am no Martha Stewart when it comes to baking, but here are my birthday cupcakes! Chocolate with fresh cream, white chocolate flakes, fresh strawberries and of course, hundreds and thousands for effect!

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Posted by ivy designs at 11:45AM (+10:00)

New outfit - personal project
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I made this outfit for my friend's two year old, her birthday is around the corner. The fabric is a lovely cotton lawn, really soft and floaty. It's perfect for the hot summer coming up! The pattern is based on the the "drawstring dresses" that we have in the shop, except this is a top with matching bloomers. I found this great tutorial for the fabric flower and just added more petals... fabric tutorial

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Happy First Birthday Callum!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
It was another hot weekend in Sydney...and another 1st first birthday to celebrate! Our close friends had a lovely party at their place for their son's special day. Great weather, good friends, superb food and a happy little boy - we couldn't have asked for more. The cake was amazing!

Posted by ivy designs at 10:05PM (+10:00)

Life is a balancing act
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I often get asked, "how do you manage to run a business and look after a baby?". Well, the answer is simple...it's a balancing act - on a tightrope! I will be the first to admit that I have had my fair share of mini meltdowns. It has been a real challenge to look after a baby, keep the household in order (housework, bills etc), start/run a business and get some sleep. So far, things are working but sometimes I do feel like I am about to fall off that tightrope. For me, the most important things are: Having a supportive partner; being as organised as possible (my to-do list is massive!); and prioritising. I always try to remember too, that babies grow up so fast and to cherish the time with them. Family comes first...sometimes the laundry can wait! I read a forum post today on Etsy, which was an excellent read for someone like myself - a working stay at home mum. I really am not alone! Etsy forum Posted by ivy designs at 12:18PM (+10:00)

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Upcycled items for sale
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
We have added two new items in our etsy store. They are both one off designs, upcycled from vintage linen. The dress is a size 1 to 3 and the skirt is a size 2. Posted by ivy designs at 10:59AM (+10:00)

Goodies from London
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
My sister in law, Amy, arrived from London armed with some Cath Kidston goodies! I love my new sewing box and needle book, so sweet! Ivy received a lovely apron in a gorgeous ballerina print. Thanks sis! Posted by ivy designs at 04:13PM (+11:00)

Eeeek...
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
You may have noticed that my blog now looks a little strange and plain...well, that is my fault for playing around with the settings. No matter what I did, I couldn't enable the comments and so silly me, I tried to do a few things with the html code. Instead, I totally wiped out everything that was designed for me :( Trying to contact the Blog Dr now (aka my web designer). Oops. Update: I managed to restore some things but my comments still do not work! The html code says comments blocked. If anyone can help please email me on info@ivydesigns.com.au! :) Posted by ivy designs at 09:29PM (+11:00)

Ivy's first time at the beach
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Whilst I was madly sewing at home, hubbie took Ivy to the beach for the first time. As you can see, she was a bit hesitant at first but slowly got used to the idea of the sand. Although it was a hot day in Sydney, the cold water freaked her out and she screamed for all of Bondi to hear! They walked along the coast, viewing the annual Sculpture By The Sea exhibition, some pics below. Posted by ivy designs at 11:50AM (+11:00)

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Blast from the past
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I had a nice little surprise the other day. Hubbie decided to tidy some of our things in storage at my mother's place and came across an old cross stitch I did in 1993, as a teenager. It was unloved and dusty. He cleaned it up, took it to the framers and presented it to me all wrapped up as a present! How sweet! I remember working tirelessly on this project, counting all those tiny crosses! I must have had so much time on my hands back then... Posted by ivy designs at 12:24PM (+11:00)

Etsy Purchase - Letterpress holiday card
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Letterpress stationary is so beautiful and a bit of a luxury for me. I love the handmade quality about it. I recently purchased these Christmas cards from Papered Together, they also have an Etsy Shop. So lovely, sigh...

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Blog features
Friday, October 31, 2008
A big cheerio and thank you to Sugarose for featuring us in her blog! Check it out and 'unearth' some great handmade finds from Australia. Another hello and belated thank you to Babystyle Watch for the fab review of our items a few months ago. We are still getting lots of traffic from this fantastic site. Be sure to go through their 'style book' for outfit ideas. Posted by ivy designs at 08:46PM (+11:00)

New items in boutique
Sunday, November 02, 2008
We will be adding some new items to our summer range in the next few weeks. Since we underestimated demand, our stock has dwindled and that's not good for anybody! So whilst we have been preparing for an upcoming market (more on that later) and working on Winter 09, we have managed to design a few extra pieces. Here are a few things in store now. Hearts and Buttons Top Linen pants Garden Maze 'Chelsea' Dress

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Zen Top Pocket Mirrors Posted by ivy designs at 11:10PM (+11:00)

Competition
Monday, November 03, 2008
The lovely girls at Girl Indie have a little Ivy Designs giveaway happening at the moment. It runs for a week and very easy to enter! The Girl Indie site hails from the US and "supports chick owned businesses". Its a fantastic site and well worth a look. Posted by ivy designs at 08:49AM (+11:00)

New online stockist
Monday, November 03, 2008
We are super excited that Rosie Pose are now stocking some of our items. Rosie Pose is a beautiful online children's boutique with lots of great labels. Christmas is just around the corner, so check out their site for unique gift ideas!

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Tea for one
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Ivy pretending to drink from her tea cup. How ladylike! Ivy is dressed in some new things in store. Posted by ivy designs at 05:12PM (+11:00)

Friday, November 07, 2008
Ivy Designs will be participating in the new Finders Keepers market this year! We are really excited about it! Formerly known as The Hope Street Markets, Finders Keepers will be held on the 5th and 6th December at the new Carriageworks, a stunning arts centre in Sydney's Inner West. The Finders Keepers is a bi-annual event that showcases the work of over 60 emerging designers and artists from Australia. The Spring/Summer markets is a collective of contemporary independent artists and designers. There will be something for everyone including clothing, homewares, accessories and art. There will also be free live music, with a cafe and bar open all day! We would love to meet you, so please pop in and say hi! Posted by ivy designs at 08:36AM (+11:00)

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Russian Doll Revival
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past year or so, you would have noticed a Russisan Doll revival! (also known as Matryoshkas, nesting dolls and babushkas). In the last few months we have sold a whole heap of our tops with the Russian Doll brooch. Well, my fixation with these cute characters have not abated and I finally purchased some fabric from the amazingly talented Kristen Doran. Kristen is a Sydney based textile and fashion designer. Kristen's creations are awe inspiring and her blog is a fascinating read for any fabric lover! Look out for an upcoming interview on this blog with Kristen soon. Shortly, I will present you with an interview I did with another successful (and super creative) business woman, Kara Smith! I have coveted her bags since I first laid eyes on them nearly two years ago. Posted by ivy designs at 10:52AM (+11:00)

Interview with Kara Smith - creator of delicious handbags!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Based in the beautiful Blue Mountains of NSW Australia, Kara Smith is a familiar face in the indie designer scene. Kara is not only known for her unique range of handbags, but also for her business success. Here she takes the time out to speak to Ivy Designs about her self titled accessories label. You have a background in Graphic Design. How did you make the leap to fabulous handbag designer? I have been a graphic designer (and still work as a designer www.design.karasmith.com.au) for 15 years. I was getting a little tired of always working for someone else but have had a fantastic career living all over Australia and designing in Sydney (home town), Darwin, Alice Springs and Brisbane. I have always had a love of vintage things and am a bit mad about 2nd hand shopping. My family has a long history with 2nd hand clothing, and it’s all we have had growing up. I had collected a lot of vintage fabrics but wasn’t sure what I’d ever do with them, as I wasn’t really the sewing type. I finally got a pattern to make a bag and started carrying the bag around. This got quite a few queries - “where did you get that bag?” So I started making them for others as gifts or minor sales, practising and getting the bags right.I started up a really bodgy little website and was amazed at the response it was getting. Then wholesale enquiries started coming in so I finally decided to take the plunge and get into it full-time.Graphic design to handbag design is actually not that big a leap. With my experience in packaging, I could easily create bag templates digitally and change things to suit what I like. All the website design, marketing and corporate id is created by me too (which can be expensive for any new business starting up). How does your typical day begin and end? I’m embarrassed to say as I am a workaholic! I start at about 6am, eating breakfast at the computer while I check emails. I like to respond to people quickly, ensuring orders and queries are fulfilled as people really appreciate this. Being an online business really

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means that you have to be available all the time, so the weekends are online as well (though I do have a life!). I usually finish up about 6-7pm, getting orders ready to send the next day, and finalising any of my paperwork. Being a one-man band is very timeconsuming! What kind of woman carries a Kara Smith handbag? I have been surprised at the array of women (and men buying gifts for partners) carrying my bags. The age varies but generally its 28-45 yr olds who really appreciate having something a little different to the main stream. These women come from all over Australia, not just the big cities – and also internationally, especially the US. Some women actually collect them – women who have an appreciation for unique fabrics and finishes. So much so, there are women with 10-20 of my clutches out there in their wardrobes! You recently won some great business awards. Any advice for newbies (like myself) to the world of small business? Some people say “you are lucky”. It’s not luck at all, it’s bloody hard work! I was just overwhelmed to win 2 business awards: New Business and Home-based Business in the Blue Mountains Business Awards. The competition was fierce, with very established shops and businesses up against me. I thought I wouldn’t stand a chance. But the judges thought my business showed the most promise in it’s substance, ideals and environmental stance. It’s corny to say it – but believe in yourself. Never stop working and never give up on your idea. Be protective of it as you will get a lot of advice to do something different. I find this advice is usually from people that are unhappy in their job so say ‘thanks’ politely and shelve it.You need to be involved in everything you can including your local business network, go to as many free seminars or workshops that your State runs for Small Business. Ask lots of questions, get an accountant, network with other designers and form great relationships so you can help eachother. It’s wonderful to be able to ring or email other designers when it’s all getting a bit tough – everyone is in the same boat and can boost your spirits quickly or lend an ear to a new idea. You use vintage fabrics and buttons. How important is sustainable design to you? Very important! If I didn’t commit to creating bags and scarves out of vintage and recycled fabrics, buttons and buckles, I would just be another bag brand. My bags are unique, they cannot be copied, and are for the woman who appreciates having something not massproduced. Even the interiors of my bags are recycled. There is so much waste out there and some of it is of exceptional quality. As I have grown up in the 2nd hand clothing industry (my Mother has sold 2nd hand clothes for over 25 years at Sydney markets) we see the incredible stuff people consider ready to dump. Just because a button is missing, a little bit of rust stain on a jacket, etc – it’s funny how people don’t know how to sew, darn or clean items. Our society is becoming incredibly disposable, and this is not sustainable for our future. What is your all time favourite bag from your range? It’s hard to say... It changes all the time! I like the bigger bags so for me the 10tote range or x-large is more my style. The 10totes have become a popular baby bag choice and that’s something I look forward to using with my first baby soon.It’s usually the fabrics that

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win me over – if it’s a 1950’s barkcloth, in any shape, it wins hands down! What’s in store for the future of Kara Smith? With our first baby due in early January 2009 my focus will be on my family for a while. I have two lovely local women in the Blue Mountains that help me sew, which I am so happy about as it puts money back into my local community. This will continue as I won’t be able to dedicate the time to sewing but will be able to create new designs.I also create unique scarves (sold out currently) – which will be out again in time for winter. These are just fabulous with a big overcoat and can change the look of any outfit. I’d say baby bags might grow as I learn what is required in one! I create 10totes for mothers with bubs now. My partner, Steven, wants me to create his very own ‘masculine’ baby bag too! Kara's website: http://www.karasmith.com.au/ Kara's blog: http://www.fabricgal.blogspot.com/ Posted by ivy designs at 11:52AM (+11:00)

Beautiful Bunting
Thursday, November 13, 2008
What does a girl do with a mountain of fabric scraps? She hands it over to her good friend Rose from Potter and Co. to work her magic. Then voila! The most beautiful bunting you have ever seen! We are using this as decoration for our upcoming market stall. Check out Rose's new Etsy Store 'The Purkey Turkey', where you will find stunning quilts, cushions, bunting and other gorgeous items for little ones. Posted by ivy designs at 07:18PM (+11:00)

Kristen Doran
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Clothing, textiles, accessories, stationary, toys, graphics... The hugely talented designer, Kristen Doran, has done it all! Based in Sydney Australia, Kristen is also the author of the book "Crafts to Inspire". Kristen's fabric prints are immensely popular and it isn't hard to see why...I for one, can't wait to get my hands on the "Drummer Boys". I wanted to find out more about Kristen, so I asked her a few questions... You studied Fashion and Graphic Design. After your studies, how did your career progress to where it is now? I worked for a Fashion manufacturer for 4 years doing storyboards and textile designs. Then I worked for a charity for 2 years as a graphic designer. Next... 2 kids. Then to keep myself in the creative mode I started making handbags for friends. This led me to designing fabrics for my handbags. Bloggers requested to purchase the fabrics and it snowballed from there. If you could turn back time and give yourself one piece of advice before starting your work in textile design and production, what would it be? Things always take longer than you think!! So add more time on the end. What are your inspirations when designing new prints and objects? My kids, my surroundings, things from my childhood. How do you balance a young family with running your own business? Just. School is great, my littlest started this year and that has given me the extra time I needed to squish everything into a day. School hols can be a little crazy. I try not to achieve so much then, just have more fun times with the kids. Can you explain the textile design and production process, how an idea in your head comes to life on a piece of fabric.

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I think about designs for a LONG time before I touch the computer. I might do some sketching then scan those in. Then next is a lot of playing around (usually very late at night) until I'm happy with it. The file goes to the printer, the fabrics are ordered and colours chosen. You have made everything from softies, to notebooks, to clothing…are there any other things you’d like to create with your textiles and prints? I would love do some larger scale designs for interiors. I'm very inspired by Cloth and Surface Art and their success here in Australia. And more clothing. It's a little ego boost when the Mum's at school ask 'where did you get that skirt?' and I can say I designed it. Sounds like I'm bragging, but someones got to! What other designers do you most admire? See above. Also Lotta Jansdotter, Lara Cameron and Shannon Lamden. What’s your favourite song or album at the moment? I'm really loving Joss Stone - mind body & soul. It's a real pick me up when I'm stressing about life not going along so smoothly. Kristen's Blog http://cheekybeaks.blogspot.com/ Kristen's Website http://kristendorandesign.blogspot.com/ Posted by ivy designs at 08:25PM (+11:00)

New Stockists
Saturday, November 22, 2008
We are delighted to introduce to you our new stockists: Firstly, Handle With Care Boutique at 7 Robinia Place Jerrabomberra, NSW Tel: 0406379986. They also have a website www.handle-with-care.com.au but you will find most of their gorgeous stock is in store. Secondly, the brand new Ollie and Ooshi at 1/110 Norton Street, Leichhardt, NSW Tel: (02) 9564 3783. Thirdly, www.styledbaby.com.au who also recently opened. Posted by ivy designs at 04:32PM (+11:00)

Ivy Designs' printed fabric
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I am part of a lovely online forum group that discusses everything related to sewing - we talk about personal projects, new fabrics, needlework, patterns etc... this is where I found out about Spoonflower, a fantastic online business that allows you to transform your artwork into fabric. So I gave it a go and had so much fun in the process! Below are the results...we will have a few of these tops for sale at the upcoming markets. Posted by ivy designs at 12:50PM (+11:00)

Tippie Toes
Friday, November 28, 2008
If you love shopping for unique and one of a kind childrenswear, you must visit the newly opened online boutique Tippie Toes. Leonie has done a wonderful job picking out vintage inspired pieces for boys and girls, from around the globe. We are thrilled to be a part of

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the Tippie Toes collection - you will find a big range of our items here, some of which have sold out on our own store! So check out the site and be sure to come back as new things will be added regularly. Well done Tippie Toes, your shop is beautifully designed! Posted by ivy designs at 11:23PM (+11:00)

Reminder
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Just a reminder that we will be at The Finder Keepers markets this Friday (tomorrow) and Saturday! There will be lots of new summer stock, at special market prices - including clothes, hair candy, soft toys, pocket mirrors, badges... Also, we have just received delivery of some handbags that we know you will love! Get these samples while they last...a few will be reserved for our online boutique. Most of our items are for little girls, but there are some boys things and even some things for big girls! We will be back to post about the markets asap. Have a great weekend all. PS. We are at stand C24 Posted by ivy designs at 12:27PM (+11:00)

Market Report
Sunday, December 07, 2008
My sister Anna (right) and I (left) We are still on a high from our first experience selling at the markets! The Finders Keepers exceeded our expectations in so many ways. Firstly, the location was excellent, so much space! The Carriageworks (a former railway carriage and blacksmith workshop) is industrial and modern at the same time, an inspiring piece of architecture in itself. Secondly, the amount of people in attendance was staggering. When the doors opened on the Friday night, there was a huge flood of people and it didn't seem to end. In fact, it got busier and noisier as the night progressed. With the band playing and bubbly flowing, the vibe was amazing! We had shoppers coming at us left right and centre. Saturday was a longer trading day and also very busy. We moved a lot of stock. I was quite flustered for most of the time (and boy, was it HOT inside that building!). Anna, my very pregnant sister, did an amazing job getting through the long days. What blew us away the most was our wonderful customers and fellow stallholders. We met so many lovely customers and inspiring artisans. Everyone was exceptionally supportive and encouraging! The Ivy Designs' stall was definitely a combined effort. Our father made some of the props, my best friend helped with the set up and selling, her husband took the photos, our husbands looked after the babies and we had a whole bunch of family and friends come as support crew (mostly shopping and drinking really!). All in all, it was well worth the effort. Not sure if we can get the same kind of help at every market we do, but this was a good start. Some more photos below... Ps. Thanks for popping in with goodies Kristen! Your dolls were a hit! photography: whiten2 Posted by ivy designs at 07:59PM (+11:00)

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Giveaway
Monday, December 08, 2008
Dear blog readers, since its nearly Christmas and we are closing shop soon (just for a few weeks), I thought a giveaway was in order! Our first one too! One lucky reader will receive a pack containing 2 x soft toys, 1 x pocket mirror, 3 x assorted hair candy and 4 x assorted fabric badges, valued at $85! All you have to do is finish the sentence below (leave your answer in the comments). Entries close Friday 19th December and the winner will be chosen randomly. Please leave a valid email address so I can contact you. I will also announce the winner on the following Monday. Dear Santa, This Christmas, please bring... (My answer is: Peace on earth.. and a new Tiffany charm for my bracelet!) Posted by ivy designs at 01:46PM (+11:00)

Lists
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I am definitely a lists person. I have a "to do" list on my computer desktop that gets looked at and things get crossed off every day. When I want things done around the house, I give my husband a list (with numbers in order of priority) - this works wonders! So here is a list, just for fun. It from Katiecrackernuts blog. You'll be surprised at how much you have (or haven't done!). The idea is to cut and paste the list and bold the things you have done. 1. Started your own blog. 2. Slept under the stars. 3. Played in a band. 4. Visited TheGreat Barrier Reef. 5. Stood under the stars in the outback, the real outback – think Uluru. 6. Given more than you can afford to charity. 7. Been to the Gold Coast’stheme parks– any one, you take your pick. 8. Climbed a mountain. 9. Held a praying mantis. 10. Sung a solo. 11. Bungee jumped, jumped out of plane, been paragliding or hang-gliding, hot air ballooning – you get the idea, you’ve been hundreds of metres about earth in a seemingly flimsy contraption. 12. VisitedMelbourne. 13. Watched a lightning storm at sea. 14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. 15. Had a child. Raised a child. Worked with children. 16. Had food poisoning. 17. Been to the Snowy Mountains. (I’d say climbed Uluru, but the Aboriginal custodians would prefer you didn’t.) 18. Grown your own vegetables. 19. Visited the Brett Whitely studio in Surry Hills, Sydney. 20. Slept on an overnight train or bus.

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21. Had a pillow fight. 22. Been backpacking. 23. Taken a mental health day. 24. Been buried in sand with just your head and toes sticking out. 25. Held a possum, kangaroo or koala – or any other native Australian animal. 26. Gone skinny dipping. 27. Been in a fun run. 28. Been on the Blue Mountaincable way. 29. Seen a total eclipse. 30. Watched a sunrise or sunset. 31. Played, or watched, summer cricket. 32. Sailed, kayaked or canoed our beautiful waterways. 33. Seen theDaintree. 34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors. 35. Visited an Aboriginal settlement or mission. 36. Learned a new language. 37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied. 38. Toured the Sydney Opera House. 39. Tried rock climbing (indoor or outdoor), abseiling or just simple bushwalking (as pictured). 40. Visit Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art. 41. Been to the Tamworth Country Music Festival. 42. Sunbaked atBondi. 43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant. 44. Visited Broome. 45. Walked on a beach by moonlight. 46. Been transported in an ambulance. 47. Had your portrait painted. 48. Gone fishing. 49. Seen Tasmania’s old growth forests. 50. Been to the top of Q1, on the Gold Coast. 51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling. 52. Kissed in the rain. 53. Played in the mud. 54. Gone to a drive-in theatre. 55. Been in a movie. 56. Driven the Great Ocean Road. 57. Started a business. 58. Taken a martial arts class. 59. Visited Norfolk Island. 60. Served at a soup kitchen. 61. Sold Girl Guide biscuits. 62. Gone whale watching. 63. Got flowers for no reason. 64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma. 65. Gone jet boating. 66. VisitedPort Arthur. 67. Bounced a cheque. 68. Flown in a helicopter. 69. Saved a favourite childhood toy. 70. Visited the Australian War Memorial. 71. Eaten Caviar.

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72. Pieced a quilt. 73. Stood inFederation Square. 74. Been on the Murray River. 75. Been fired from a job. 76. Travelled, orclimbed, over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 77. Broken a bone. 78. Been on a speeding motorcycle. 79. Seen theThree Sistersat Echo Point, Katoomba. 80. Published a book. 81. VisitedSt Mary’s Cathedral, in Sydney. 82. Bought a brand new car. 83. Been to Hermannsburg. 84. Had your picture in the newspaper. 85. Read the entire Bible. 86. VisitedParliament House. 87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating. 88. Had chickenpox. 89. Saved someone’s life. 90. Sat on a jury. 91. Met someone famous. 92. Joined a book club. 93. Lost a loved one. 94. Saved a pet. 95. Been to the site of the Eureka Stockade. 96. Swum inThe Whitsundays. 97. Been involved in a lawsuit. 98. Owned a mobile phone. 99. Been stung by a bee. 100. Read an entire book in one day. Posted by ivy designs at 11:09PM (+11:00)

To market to market...
Friday, December 12, 2008
Some of our items will be for sale at the Old Bus Depot markets in Canberra this Sunday (14th Dec). We won't be there physically but look out for the ladies from the Handle With Care Boutique. Posted by ivy designs at 08:29AM (+11:00)

Ivy's adventures with food: strawberries
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Posted by ivy designs at 10:24PM (+11:00)

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Aussie Boutique Kids Blog
Monday, December 15, 2008
Thanks Aussie Boutique Kids for including us in your "Top Five" dresses. We're happy to be amongst some lovely little numbers you have chosen! Kathryn does a wonderful job promoting Australian handmade items for kids, check it out. Posted by ivy designs at 11:11PM (+11:00)

Beautiful Photos by Rachel Richter
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Crochet Watermelon Hair Candy Bloom Tunic I have always swooned over Rachel's work. I had seen her photos in magazines and on websites. Her name popped up often when people talked about beautiful portrait photos. Can you imagine how thrilled I was when I noticed her name in our "sold" items? I even had to check with her that she was the Rachel Richter! So I sent her the items purchased and now they are on her blog, photographed on her gorgeous daughter above! We're so excited! Thanks Rachel!! Here are a few of our favourites from her portfolio... Posted by ivy designs at 07:32PM (+11:00)

Feeling the love
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I received this email today from a dear friend. I'm not normally the type to pass emails on but thought this was too cute not to share! Slow down for three minutes to read this. It is so worth it. Touching words from the mouths of babes. What does 'Love' mean? A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, 'What does 'love' mean?' The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too.. That's love.' Rebecca- age 8 'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.' Billy - age 4 'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.' Karl - age 5 'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.' Chrissie - age 6 'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.' Terri - age 4 'Love is when my mummy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.' Danny - age 7

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'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mummy and Daddy are like that They look gross when they kiss' Emily - age 8 'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.' Bobby - age 7 (Wow!) 'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,' Nikka age 6 (we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet) 'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.' Noelle - age 7 'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.' Tommy - age 6 'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.' Cindy - age 8 'My mummy loves me more than anybody You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.' Clare - age 6 'Love is when Mummy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.' Elaine-age 5 'Love is when Mummy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.' Chris - age 7 'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day' Mary Ann age 4 'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.' Lauren - age 4 'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' (what an image) Karen - age 7 'Love is when Mummy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.' Mark age 6 'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.' Jessica - age 8 And the final one -- Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbour, the little boy said, 'Nothing, I just helped him cry'
When there is nothing left, that is when you find out that love is all you need. Posted by ivy designs at 12:13PM (+11:00)

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And the winner is...
Friday, December 19, 2008
Number 12, which is Jemma! Congratulations! Your little pack of goodies from our little giveaway competition will be sent to you asap. Please contact us with your postal details! Thanks for entering everyone. Merry Christmas! Posted by ivy designs at 04:57PM (+11:00)

Signing out for 2008!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Christmas Tree at The Rocks, Sydney Hi All, Just a quick post to let you know I am signing out for 2008...a heartfelt thank you to our customers and suppliers for all your support this year. Thanks everyone for reading this blog and your lovely comments. It's been so much fun! My sister and I have had a wonderful time seeing Ivy Designs grow and we can't wait to unveil our Winter 09 range in the new year! We wish everyone a peaceful and relaxing Christmas and a brilliant New Year. Lots of love Ivy Designs xoxox

Posted by ivy designs at 10:31AM (+11:00)

Happy 2009!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Hello and happy New Year! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and found the time to relax. We spent the week with another family in Nelson Bay, on the NSW north coast. It was a beautiful location and we had a great time. The weather was hot!! Now things are slowly getting back to normal...hubby at work, Ivy in daycare (twice a week) and me, back to putting the finishing touches on our Winter range and also catching up on some orders. When it comes to eating, Ivy has decided to become Little Miss Independent. Problem is, she makes the BIGGEST mess and I am forever moping up. Ivy has now developed the habit of completing her meal by tipping the bowl of unfinished food on her head - I kid you not, this happens at almost every sitting. Ivy has about three baths a day because of this odd behaviour! Everything gets dirty, including the high chair and the floor. So on a hot day last week, I sat her in the courtyard and she happily ate her meal. After she tipped the bowl on her head, what did I do? I took the hose out and sprayed the high chair - with Ivy in it! She loved it and ended up playing with the hose by herself...

Hosing down the high chair - and the baby! (beans on the floor)

Posted by ivy designs at 10:30PM (+11:00)

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Great day in Palm Beach
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
What a wonderful playground for the kids! Yabbies

I kept the holiday vibe going for just a bit longer today by taking Ivy to Palm Beach, to visit a friend and her kids. I also thought Ivy deserved a day out after a bout of roseola, poor love. We had a great day! I really enjoyed catching up with my girlfriend and Ivy loved playing in the sand. We even caught some yabbies! Ivy also tried some new foods - beetroot, feta and meatballs. The latter was the clear winner! I would love more relaxing days like this. Posted by ivy designs at 08:59PM (+11:00)

Style Collective
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Thank you Style Collective for featuring us on your fab new site! It's beautifully designed and full of useful info for stylish living.

Posted by ivy designs at 12:52PM (+11:00)

Ivy Designs Winter 09
Monday, January 19, 2009
This is a sneak peek at our winter dresses. Winter 09 also includes trousers, skirts, tops and a jacket. Here is a sneak peek at some of the dress designs from our Winter 09 collection, available in March. The Winter collection has been kept small, comprising of approximately 15 pieces plus matching accessories and bibs. Our dresses are transeasonal, so they can be layered in winter and worn alone in warmer weather. We have chosen some beautiful prints (including designs by Amy Butler and Valorie Wells) and teamed them up with cosy pinwale cord. Valorie Well's 'Urban Flannel' range is not your ordinary flannel, it is quilters quality and therefore extra soft, vibrant and will not pill like cheap flannel. We are pleased to let you know that we now outsource most of the cutting and sewing to local suppliers, who already work with some top brands in Australia. So, it's re-assuring to know that the quality of our products will remain high and we're supporting the Australian industry. My sister and I are still very hands on though, making all the hair accessories, applique work, pre production samples and putting the finishing touches on everything! We are also intending to keep production small and in

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limited quantities, for the time being anyway. Posted by ivy designs at 01:09PM (+11:00)

Another sneak peek...
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Our winter range will be available in March/April 09. Posted by ivy designs at 12:19AM (+11:00)

Welcome Alexander!
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Just a quick post to say welcome to the world Alexander! My sister, Anna, had her second baby on the weekend. Weighing in at 3.8kgs and 54cm long! He is beautiful! Posted by ivy designs at 11:10PM (+11:00)

SALE
Saturday, February 07, 2009
To make room for our winter stock (coming in March), we have a little sale on at the moment. Happy shopping! Ivy Designs' Boutique Posted by ivy designs at 07:01PM (+11:00)

Hot off the press
Monday, February 09, 2009
Shop 4 Kids magazine - Autumn/Winter 09 edition Mathilda's Market ad Rosie Pose ad Ivy Designs' 'Owl Pinny' dress As usual I couldn't wait to get my hands on Shop 4 Kids magazine - I just love it! I was so excited to see one of our winter dresses featured - the 'Owl Pinny'. Special thanks Rosie Pose for including us in your ad, what a lovely surprise! And Mathilda's Market - your ad looks fab! Be sure to check out Mathilda's Market (in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane) if you are after unique and handmade children's products. We will be at the Sydney market on March 22nd. There will be lots of great things on offer, from talented fellow stallholders such as Linocreative, Printspace, Ani & Trio and Spinning Pretty. I particularly love the 'One Fine Day' fashion shoot in Shop 4 Kids. Very romantic! Also the 'Easy as ABC' spread- so many beautiful babies in adorable outfits! Now I just have to find an hour or three to read the magazine, from cover to cover. Posted by ivy designs at 01:00PM (+11:00)

Bushfires
Monday, February 09, 2009
On a much sadder and serious note...wherever you are in the world, you would have heard about the tragedy that has struck Australia. Victoria has experienced the worst bushfires in the country's history with numerous homes and lives lost. My heart goes out

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to everyone affected, the pain and devastation is unfathomable. I personally have contributed monetary funds to assist the victims and will also be sending goods on behalf of Ivy Designs to help as many children as possible. I urge you to do the same. For donations please visit http://www.redcross.org.au Also see the following links for other ways you can help: http://pipstafford.blogspot.com/2009/02/bushfires.html http://meetmeatmikes.blogspot.com Posted by ivy designs at 02:41PM (+11:00)

Shopping
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Flicking through the pages of Shop 4 Kids, there are soooo many things that caught my eye...the mag is truly jam packed with stuff. For starters, I have put in an order for the Spellbound Tutu by Lollydandy. It is an amazing piece of art and Ivy will have so much fun wearing it! I will also be getting my hands on some adorable mushrooms by Crafsty (I love supporting Etsy sellers). It was also nice to see two of my favourite retailers in the mag - My Messy Room and Baby's Got Style. I am totally envious of baby Allegra's wardrobe! Posted by ivy designs at 10:00PM (+11:00)

Peek-a-boo
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Rachel Richter, photographer extraordinaire, has taken the most gorgeous photos of our Winter '09 collection! This is just a sneak peek and all will be revealed next month when the range is available to purchase. As a result of our feature in Shop 4 Kids, we have already had calls from eager customers enquiring about the Owl Pinny above. Even though we are getting help these days, our clothing production still takes a fair amount time - especially all the handcrafted touches. We have a very busy couple of months coming up! PS. Aren't these red ballet slippers the cutest shoes ever?? They are from Cheeky Little Soles. Infact, all of the shoes in our Winter '09 shoot are from CLS. Ivy has been wearing them since she was a few months old and they are great now that she is learning to walk. Posted by ivy designs at 12:23AM (+11:00)

Want to turn your craft into a business?
Friday, February 20, 2009
I often get asked for advice on all sorts of things related to starting up a craft/sewing/clothing business. I find this ironic, since I am a fledgling myself! I try to help in any way I can, however, the advice I give comes from personal experience (it's certainly not expert advice) and what I have gleaned from my peers. The generosity of other business owners has been astounding! I am so grateful to all those that have been

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more than willing to impart their knowledge - I truly believe in what goes around comes around, and this has proven true. So, for those crafters and budding fashion entrepreneurs out there, here's my two cents worth...go and get yourself these two books!... This book by Meg Mateo Ilasco is a great help to artists and crafters who want to turn their passion into a fully fledged business. Everything is covered from deciding on a business name to marketing to selling and all the legalities involved with a business. The in-depth interviews with names such as Denyse Schmidt and Jill Bliss provide inspiration and practical advice. Furthermore, this book is cute to boot! A real pleasure to read!

'Fashion for Profit' by Frances Harder, is for those with a particular interest in starting a clothing business. It reminds me of my old uni textbooks - although I do find it much more interesting! It covers in detail the all important aspect of COSTING! I for one, know how easy it is to let your creativity lead you astray! It is one thing to make something as a hobby, and a completely different story when making it a product that will sell in many units - and sustain a living (or atleast cover your costs in the first couple of years!). It is a pretty dry book, but great for those looking for a straight-forward read about the fashion business. I have found it a very useful tool. Well, I hope this has helped in some way :) Posted by ivy designs at 10:49AM (+11:00)

Handmade Stamp
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
handcarved stamp Another Etsy purchase to show you - I bought a custom made rubber stamp from The Mayberry Sparrow. It's so adorable, I just love the handmade look about it. Corrabelle used one of the Ivy Designs' illustrations and handcarved the stamp. I am going to be stamping everything in sight! These stamps would make a lovely customised gift for someone. Posted by ivy designs at 01:16PM (+11:00)

Ivy Handbags! Sample sale...
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Just for a bit of fun, we designed some handbags and had samples made for us. We kept a few for ourselves and the rest are here for sale. The bags are made with genuine leather and cute cotton prints imported from Japan. They can be used on the shoulder, as a sling across the body or even as a clutch - suitable for girls of all ages! Each bag comes with a cotton dustbag printed with our logo and original illustration of Ivy. Like all of our products, they are made in a sweatshop-free environment. Once they're gone, that's it! We're not sure when we will get the chance to design more bags, but it was a fun project! Posted by ivy designs at 03:01PM (+11:00)

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A few one off designs for Mathilda's Market
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
We have a stall at the fabulous Mathilda's Market on 22nd March in Sydney. I'm really looking forward to it! We will have all of our summer stock on sale and might even have some Winter pieces available (hopefully!!). These are some one-off tops we made especially for the markets. Posted by ivy designs at 09:17PM (+11:00)

Open Room
Friday, March 06, 2009
A fellow blogger requested to do an "open house" tour at my place. I think she had the impression that my home was somehow worthy of a show and tell. I had to decline. I would love to, but sadly, it's nothing to write about, plus it's a mess! With some of the production of our winter range happening in my lounge room at the moment and hardly any time for housework, the last thing I want to do is to put my place on display! What I will do though, is show you pics of Ivy's room, which is normally the neatest room in the house. When I get around to tidying her wardrobe, I might even be brave enough to show you that...just don't ask to see mine! In a few weeks, I will hopefully have a new studio so I am excited about that (pending council approval). I love love love the open house tours on the Bloesem Kids site. Some of my favourite labels are featured, including Smallville and Misha Lulu. Gorgeous prints from Belle and Boo

'Albert' sitting on a mini version of the panton chair handmade decoration on the door Mobile - items are changed around every so often this is a handmade stuffed toy from Hazy Jane Some prints I purchased during my travels in Europe. Wooden shelf from India. I painted it white (originally black). Embroidered lamp from Ikea. Kate Spade money box, Vera Wang candle holder, wooden mushroom carvings from Mushroom Delight (etsy) Pipi Longstocking suitcases on top of drawers (I made the lining for the drawers). This is an older photo, taken when Ivy was so much smaller!

Posted by ivy designs at 02:29PM (+11:00)

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Thula Thula
Monday, March 09, 2009
Daisy Maid Top This is a beautiful blouse I purchased for my daughter from Australian boutique label Thula Thula. It is absolutely divine. Naomi is the exceptionally talented designer behind this up and coming label. The workmanship is pure quality and it isn't hard to see that she has a background in fashion design and production. Thula Thula will be at Mathilda's Market in Melbourne this weekend, so make sure you pop in. Also, you can check out what's happening on the Thula Thula blog. Posted by ivy designs at 06:46PM (+11:00)

Molly Mouse
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I recently gave away some fabric scraps to a few forum friends. I didn't want the scraps to go to waste. Little did I know that some of my scraps would be returned to me, transformed into a gorgeous creature! I had the honour of naming her Molly Mouse. Isn't Molly the most stylish mouse you have ever seen? Check out the bling bling! Jaclyn from "Honeybunch Designs" will be at Mathilda's Market in QLD on Sunday 22nd March, with some of her adorable softies for sale. Posted by ivy designs at 08:26PM (+11:00)

Handmade Cards
Monday, March 16, 2009
Being a crafty creative type, I often find it hard to keep myself focused and motivated doing the same thing over and over again. For example, I am working on some bibs at the moment. They are for an order due next week and so I thought I would make them myself instead of getting them done with the rest of our winter production (which should be available in stores in a couple of weeks). In total, there are 40 bibs to make but I simply can not sit there and make the whole lot in one go. My mind keeps wandering and I think about other things I can create. So what have I been itching to make? Cards! They were fun to put together and like a breath of fresh air! They will be for sale at Mathilda's this coming weekend ... now back to the bibs... Posted by ivy designs at 11:48AM (+11:00)

Productive day
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I love being able to work from home and spend time with Ivy, even though it's not easy getting any work done! I usually have to sneak in a bit of work during nap time. Most of my work is done after hours (which is why I am still up at midnight most nights!). When Ivy is around, my eyes are constantly darting between the job at hand and the mischevious toddler. So I am surprised I got a bit done today. Bibs nearly finished (just need to do topstitching and attach the snaps) and I even made a few cot comforters. The comforters turned out really well with the beautiful quilter's flannel from our winter range, wonderfully soft and light. I am so envious of some of the gorgeous quilts my blogging

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friends have made. Check this one out by Amy over at Bad Skirt Posted by ivy designs at 03:28PM (+11:00)

Now for something different... a recipe!
Friday, March 20, 2009
One of my favourite past times is cooking. Infact, I was even a manager for a catering company at one stage (that's another story!). I'm no good at sweet dishes, but savoury dishes go down well. My husband declared that one of the reasons he married me was for my cooking skills! I am not sure if this is a good thing anymore, since I haven't had the time to cook as much lately!!!Anyway, I won back favour with this dish last night. It's a simple Vietnamese recipe (with a few of my own modifications) - great for warm balmy nights! It's tangy, fresh and healthy. Best served with a nice cold dry white wine (although I had mine with a glass of red)...

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Vietnamese rice noodle salad with steamed fish Dressing: 1/2 cup water 4 tablespoons granulated sugar 3 tablespoons rice vinegar 2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice 2 tablespoons fish sauce 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger Chopped fresh chillies 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon hoi sin sauce Salad: 1 packet (500g) rice vermicelli noodles 600g fish fillets (I used snapper) 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3 tablespoons brown sugar Cooking oil 2 cups thinly sliced iceberg lettuce 1 cup matchstick-cut cucumber 1 cup matchstick-cut carrot 1 cup bean sprouts 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint 1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts (unsalted) Lime or lemon wedges (optional) Dressing: Combine all dressing ingredients in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or just until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; cool. Noodles: Boil vermicelli in a large pot. Cook until tender – approx 5 mins. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain. Caramelised Onion mixture: Fry onions in cooki

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