explainin loooosy

WELCOME to the Forest Flaw.
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You can see by my blog that I have many interests, including sewing, drawing and writing about various crafty art related things.
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Monday, 12 September 2016

You can count on it

Everyone has a number.

  • Your number comes up (eventually).
  • you can be called on a number.
  • you do number ones (or twos - hopefully both)
  • you live at number something, something street.
  • There are a number of times I can talk about numbers before you begin to think I'm a numerologist or the Count.

If you recall a movie with Jim Carey in it, he found the number 23 was recurring in his life - it was a code - or something, I don't know I am not a memorologist - look it up.

I too have begun to have Noir-esque moments of number paranoia. My enigmatic number?
The number...two.

It could be that I like symmetry, it could be Numerophobia (real!)It could be that I watched too much Sesame Street as a child.
Image result for sesame street number 2

Scientifically it is me noticing the number more than I notice others, but scientifically that is a boring explanation and I'd rather think that it is hunting me until one day we have a final show down and then my number (2) will be up. Perhaps literally, depending on how I croak. 

Here is the number two waiting for me outside my house

In the insidious way that number two stalks me, I now have two dressmakers dummies. The excitement about this is ridiculous!I know it is all part of a number conspiracy that will end in my demise, but for now, I can make two dresses at once! In fact I can now make dresses ranging from size 6 - 20! Which is more than 2! take that number 2!

And now finally to my point which is that I will be taking proper orders for dresses just in time for spring and summer through the Arte Factum shop.
Proper, tailored, choose your material, suit your shape dresses! It means a proper photo shoot is in order, and getting a list together and not freaking out when I have more orders than time to make them (if all goes according to plan).

But plans, like all things, have a way of doing their own thing, so at least I know there's a number of things that can happen to derail it...as long as it's not ...TWO things!

 yay, dress candy

Saturday, 3 September 2016

retail space - The final front ear

Excuse me for popping back into your lives with a sporadic post - like an eighties flash back, an estranged aunt home from finding herself in India or a neighbour who only wants to talk about themselves over the fence while you try to escape to your car politely
But a new frontier has opened for the Forest Flaw which combines Space and time!
That's right, some serious science shiz going on! Discovery has opened a new boutique for local makers, which means I have a SPACE to sell my things at the place where I spend all my TIME. see what happened there? And scientists get all the glory, pssht.
Now, I think I have become rather pragmatic in my old age, becoming a whole new and improved me; not counting chickens, playing it cool before I do something stupid, even counting to ten before I open my big mouth.
But 'eeeeep' I just know this combination is going to work!

New me is scared that I am biting off more than I can chew, that I will wear myself down to a nub of post-human barely functioning due to lack of sleep. But OLD me is jumping around the kitchen making bow ties and whirling together dresses and cushions like Mary Poppins who has a host of helper birds flying in the window (N.B. reality is helper cat who chews all my material and helper dog who tries to eat helper cat). So I will continue to make, It's in my DNA, whether I will reach my dream of creating half of my time and working for the other is yet to be seen - for now, this is pretty close.

!ETYMOLOGY LESSON FROM LEFT FIELD! Today's word: Frontier. late Middle English: from Old French frontiere, based on Latin frons, front- ‘front’. So what i want to know is, where did the 'ier' come from? Is it possible that it is to listen in a new direction? to boldly hear where no man has heard before? to go where you may never be heard from again? I think this is all rather plausible. So I'm calling it retail space - the final front ear. makes cents to me.
Not space - dinosaurs!
Helper cat worn out from material chewing

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

A-dork-a-ble? or just a dork? you decide...

I had a dream last night that I was a comedian.

It felt like the most natural thing on earth, I actually remember thinking 'ah, this is what i'm meant to be doing'. I was ace. i had them eating out of the palm of my hand. I unfortunately can't remember anything I said, so there goes that latest foray into a new career.

I imagine that if I WAS going to go into comedy, I would like to reflect on the things that we do (well that I do) that make us human. Which had me laying in bed this morning (with a nasty, horrible cold) thinking of the stories that make me human. And now I am concerned that maybe i'm just a bit 'too' human to be a comedian and no-one would laugh.

Here is one such story that flooded back to my memory, thought I'd share:

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon when I arrived home from work. The kind of day where you haven't felt warm for the last three months but - oop, there's the sun! so better put on a flowy skirt and a pair of thongs and head out into it before it disappears forever.

In fact, dog decides she is going for a walk before I do and insists that we leave the house before she rips up the remote control and shoves it's microchippy body under my bedcovers as a subtle warning.

The sun is shining as we walk down past the first block. People are waving at me and smiling - it's amazing what the sun can do for people's moods, we all feel good. There's a collective smugness in the air; the dog is trotting along next to me all is well in the world. Might as well slow right down as we pass the bowls club and watch. The ladies and men are all laughs, the bowls are clinking, people are having small cheers. Ahh, glad we came out into the world.
The dog stops for a big sniff around the roses, ah well, I'm not in a hurry, sniff away doggie.

Then, I feel a breeze. The clouds are starting to come over already.
And I feel a breeze.
On my arms.
On my face.
On my arse.
Yes, on my arse.
I have put my most flowy skirt on.
I have tucked my most flowy skirt firmly into my underwear.
I have waved at the neighbourhood in some kind of exhibitionist - ass flashing - shit what undies am I wearing - fool of a human being.
Stupid dog didn't even tell me.

Ok, two ways to go here. 1. run home in tears. 2. fish out skirt from underwear, chuckle and continue walk, checking every two minutes on back of skirt.

AMAZINGLY i took option two. So now everyone's seen my ass. It's been pretty much rape deterrent I think. I've never felt safer walking the dog since.

You've heard of adorkable, I'm just a dork.

Anyway, foray into comedy satisfied, Here's a couple of things I've been working on. I love the way the keys came out on this vintage dress, and might make myself one for spring - and NOT tuck it into my underwear.

Victorian riding jacket will be complete with Asian silk lining and frog closures

Friday, 24 July 2015

String theory gives you purpose

I know I have written about this before, but being creative really is my savior. Without it, I become a shell, a husk if you will, with no ambition and grumpy. BOY do I get grumpy when I don't have a project. OOh mama. Grumpy.

But more than that, it's a way to connect to my life purpose. 

Its hard to connect the dots to why we do things (and why things happen to us) in our life, especially if you have existential angst to a stupid degree like I do. And to this end I have spent much of my life trying to find a so called 'purpose'.
At high school we are supposed to know what we are meant to do; fireman, banker, lollipop person. But come on, I've spent my whole life not knowing, and finally, FINALLY decided that that is ok. I forgive myself for not becoming a corporate leader. I forgive myself for not making a million dollars...or even thousands...tens? I forgive myself for not owning my own home or only just purchasing a new car, ironing undies or bleaching my tea towels or whatever good adults do. It wasn't in my mandate, not my purpose in life.

Any of you creative types might just relate to this:

I spent my teens working and quitting jobs because it wasn't what I was 'supposed' to be doing.
I spent my twenties studying and searching my interests in an effort to head in the right direction.
I spent my thirties working, playing, drinking and studying and sometimes up a tree (but that's another story) because I thought there was no purpose or meaning.
And now, approaching my forties, I've finally realised that my purpose is to somehow create and be fruitful and work to support my fruitful creativeness. 

But what about money? I hear you ask. Well, It's never been a big thing on my radar. I know that I need it, but it's what keeps us creative types driven - keeps us hungry - sometimes quite literally. This has been the struggle. I've been too busy creating stuff. Useful stuff and useless stuff of all kinds.

Which has got me thinking; surely I'm not the only person who has stumbled around this long not knowing which direction to take? All my friends are amazing qualified people with incredible jobs and security, but I can't be the only one who flip flops all around the nation trying on different roles and falling back to 'being creative'.
Where are all the other flippy floppers? I know you're out there, probably had to sell your computer to eat, I get it.

So, back to the school days thread, if 'being creative' was a job prospect, would I have though twice about it? It would have been like this:

Looking for an exciting, life long career that will fulfill you spiritually but not financially?
Hours are flexible, food is optional, opportunities are ... negotiable.
Long hours of manic coffee drinking, followed by long hours of couch surfing  idea incubating.
Years of perfecting your skills punctuated by bad jobs, periods of doubt, depression, ennui and coveting your neighbour's ass because you can't afford your own.
Cannot mind about clothing being covered in paint, or other permanent mediums.
Must be good at defending career choice to family, friends and bank managers.
Noodle eating a must, holidays not included. Ever.
n.b. personal experience may differ from position shown

So, what's the answer? I would have done it anyway but maybe I would have been able to forgive myself sooner. Wouldn't this all be a lot easier if we had Harry Potter's sorting hat?
Or something more like the task tortoise, the job giraffe, purpose porpoise...?

But then I found this picture, and now I finally know the real meaning of string theory...
And basically the meaning of life. Which is obviously cats. Always cats.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Labels and deer, Sundays and Beer

Sometimes you feel like you are living a double life.

When you are devoting time and emotion equally to two separate things at once - it can - and trust me - WILL - come crashing down on your head sooner or later.

As you have all seen, I've been creating and crafting clothing for my new line of goodies called the forest flaw-drobe. This has taken up approximately 50%of both doing and daydreaming time.
The other 50% has been working 5 or six days at my job in a science and technology centre that has been racing against the clock to gain funding, raise awareness, perform double tasks for the school holidays - lest we all take a redundancy and the whole place closes down.

Now you may have all read that I have a condition that makes me tired, grumpy, sore, crippled and did I mention tired? So When I close my eyes and try to sleep, I am sewing dresses for bunsen burners, creating skirts for scientists and generaly spinning plates in all directions. When I wake, I open my cripply fingers and brush my teeth and head off to work to do it all over again. It's been full on. It's been good and it's been bad. It's still not over except that I have a small window of breathing space for a week. Ahh.

Now, that's all good while I am still going, keeping pace, forging ahead. But Sunday marked the 'celebration' of becoming an independent entity at work, which meant there were drinks laid on. I crafted my two worlds together and sewed up a frock for the occasion. I worked flat out and skipped lunch. I was ready - and I mean READY to blow off some steam. After all, I didn't have to work the next day.
Now the thing about drinking on a Sunday is that - well, you're probably going to do it on your own. Most people are prudent in that they must drive - go to work the following day - realise they will have to work with these people again. The list goes on. Clever people.

Needless to say. I got messy. My dress got messy. I was sick (serves me right) and now I must hang my head down low when I return to the workplace.
My husband however has enjoyed telling all the world about my adventure - the plumber got to hear all about it, and the waitress at dinner last night. So at least it wasn't all for nothing.

Anyway - I have a conclusion to make and that is 'pace yourself'. In everything. Set your sights on one thing at a time. Don't burn out and crash your life into the metaphoric wall through falling asleep at the wheel (or sewing machine). So that's what I will be doing. Lesson temporarily learnt.
I am going to keep focus on my dressmaking orders, cut back work to three days and keep a steady course.
No more burnouts for me - I'm quite good at embarrassing myself without alcohol thank you very much.

Also, don't drink kids. Just don't.

My mess dress. Can't get enough of deer. Can get enough of beer.
 And my new labels arrived yesterday! loving them :)

Monday, 29 June 2015

Embarrassment in the embroidery aisle

I love shopping for fabrics. I have tried to buy them online, but I can't feel, see or smell them so they're just not real enough to me.

So I'm the crazy person walking around the local haberdashery with armfulls of fabric rolls, fingers blue from lack of circulation, eyebrows furrowed in concentration and zippers and cotton trailing behind me.

I'll go in with a set idea of exactly what I need, but it's not long before I've spotted something that just screams out and is in a colour or weight I just can't use for my current project. Doesn't matter, gotta have it.
Sometimes I chuckle to myself when I find something that just 'tickles me pink.' (where the hell did that saying come from anyway?) Like this one, that I didn't have a plan for - just gotta gotta

So, I'll put it up for selection for my skirts, and a light summer dress. It's going to be a popular one and maybe I should have bought MUCH more of it. Maybe I should have hidden the roll. Damn, wish I had have thought of that sooner.

Anyway, can't take husband to the haberdashery with me. Even though his carrying capacity is greater than mine and leaves my arms free to flail about with glee and rifle through all the bottom rolls that you can't see at a glance. It's because I take too long, and I'm erratic, and probably because I'm pretty embarrassing laughing at and sniffing the material. Come to think of it, I don't blame him. Anyway, its better when I can take my time, dive into the remnant box and emerge victorious. It's the most exercise I get - some people have the gym, I lift yarn and pump cotton. I run the button aisles and box my way to the cutting counter, And let me tell you, my opponents are not easy to beat. Why so many sour faced old biddies buying material? Don't you know this is as close to releasing endorphins you'll get this week? Enjoy! flick through patterns with glee! Buy that electric blue rayon just because you want to! Knit your way to nirvana!

Perhaps it's just me then. Oh, and I looked up Tickled pink. It was apparently originally tickled to death, so I am happy to be tickled pink rather than black and blue - or dead.

Anywayv - obligatory link to my store here
It's not overly full at the moment, but have lots more to put up over the coming weeks.

today's gleeful purchases (all smell lovely by the way!)

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Like sands through the hourglass...

Woah, where does the time go?
I just had a brief look at this blog and realised that it had been far too long since I did a hastily thrown together post. Not that I'm into hiding behind excuses, but this really is because of a few MAJOR things:

1. My very elderly cat up and died on me.

2. My not very elderly dog up and died on me with no warning.

3. I got made redundant from my day job (but ironically now have more work until I go)

So here's to life! making the excuses for me. But now is the time to drag myself out of the hole and get back up to date. If you think I stopped sewing because of my sadness you would be WRONG! I have sewn more than ever on an effort to pretend things are normal. However my concentration levels did not quite meet standards. So,

Things are normal: sew my dress to the tablecloth
Things are normal: sew a zipper on - carefully - back to front
Things are normal: make more cushion covers than I have cushions for
Things are normal: break two needles in succession, cry a little

you get the idea.
Anyway, been working on the clothing range and have a few nice designs that I have successfully made templates and patterns for. These include:

*Ruffle skirt (currently my favourite)
*Box pleat skirt
*light poplin elastic waist dress with round collar (cute in any colour!)
*tailored peter pan collar dress with zippered back
*Eastern style slab dress with cute bow and button

Obviously I make all kinds of crazy things for myself to wear, but these are the patterns that I am happy with enough to make for others.
Its too late to take pictures of everything in my cave, I mean dimly lit house, so I will update this post when I can model them then sort them into saleable items. I should have done this ages ago, but you know - life.

So check back! or I'll repost and you will have to read this all over again.
Things are normal: repost same blog, DOH!

Monday, 25 May 2015


Ok, not much activity from me on here recently, but I have been sewing and gathering materials and trying to sort all the ideas.

Recently I had a conversation with a local boutique about the clothes that I make and there is a tentative agreement that I will do a line to sell in there about springtime. EXCITING!

Mostly of late, I have just been doing adjustments and twerks (not twerking) of clothing for people, replacing zips, transforming dress sizings, that sort of thing, which is fine, but my passion lies in taking on a challenge that is far beyond me in terms of skill and time and means and trying my hardest to make it work. Stupid passion I know. Especially when a one hour job turns into a two day job until I work it out.

Anyway - whether I sell all my goodies in this beautiful and quirky boutique, or just get ready for a spring market - I have been having a sew-strava-ganza. Bags, headbands, skirts and dresses. Even door snakes. If there;s material infront of me, I'll sew it into something. So beware, tablecloths and unworn items - I'm coming for you next!

Apologies for the quick and terrible quality, but I have much to sew don't you know - off to source more material for today I create  - tomorrow I - - probably create some more! like some kind of terrible superhero.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

I kajiggered me thing-a-me-bob and now i'm disappointed

I love the term 'Misc'.

It covers so many things and for a lazy person like myself, i am grateful for these words in particular:

* stuff
* things
* thing-a-me-bobs
* kajiggers, and of course
* miscellaneous

Ok, some of those may not be real, but they are real to me and that's all that counts.

I use the term 'misc' today to be able to lump a broad range of things together in a big catch up pile.
Firstly, there's been the usual work thing-a-me-bobs, where I have been kajiggering exhibits. here:

these are the mushrooms I've been wanting to finish for ages. I want to cover the entire floor area here with fake grass. But one thing at a time...The dots will actually have led lights in them and will look pretty spectacular.

These pics are of the 'frozen shadows' exhibit which is brilliant. there is magic i mean science paper inside and a bright light which flashes at you, scaring you into weird swearing shapes, then your image is burned on to the wall for all to witness your humiliation.

I maaay have borrowed some inspiration for this one...got that song in your head yet?

Then top it off with a girl and a balloon, and a sign

Now, i find i am disappointed as this post did come together with a theme and is less misc than I promised. Next time it will be far less cohesive, full of stuff and thing-a-me-bobs and pinwhistles.
All these things can be found at the superfantastic Discovery centre, Bendigo

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Post Ho Ho. The days of our Ho. The Ho days.

I am starting a new Christmas tradition.

Instead of looking forward to the 'day', I am going to look forward to the day after. When it's over. When its dead and done.

What is more relaxing than knowing that Christmas is another 364 days away?
It is at least 350 days until you need to shop.
It is another 360 days until you need to buy the food.
It is another 363 days until you need to panic.

If you are not on board with me, let me lay it out in terms you will understand:

It is another year until you need to get a cluster headache from shopping with ALL THOSE OTHER PEOPLE!
Where do they come from? The North Pole? Are they sent to the supermarkets by major corporations to create mass ham panic? Call me a conspiracy nut, but I definitely think so.

For the next ten days, you can feast on that glazed ham you fought for, stuffing, strange chocolates you've never seen before. If you're lucky, you scored those weird biscuits no one else liked. You can unwrap and gorge on boxes of sweet things you got from people who didn't know what to get you/ didn't know you were coming / don't like you very much. There's way too much custard in the fridge- it has to be eaten before it goes off! The food list is pretty much endless here.

I don't know about you, but during the lead up to 'that day', it is not peace on earth and goodwill to all men. It is Parties at all of my neighbours houses - sometimes at the same time. Uncle 'Harry' decides to air out his goods in public, Cousin 'Sarah' drinks too much and crashes through the kennel. I've heard all their dirty business, so thank you - now I know how to successfully blackmail you all. Merry 'that day' to me.
In comparison, the aftermath is pretty sweet. everyone is hungover for three days - I can sit in my backyard and do cartwheels in the quiet if I so wish. Peace on Earth and all that.

yup. there's a lot to be said for feeling smug. I got everything done in time (a record half hour present shop), I got the food bought and prepared, I survived all the dinners and family and uncomfortable situations. Heck yeah, I'm gonna feel smug for a few days if you don't mind.

So all that's left for this period of awesomeness that is post Christmas - is the name. The Hoening. The Santamath. I don't care what it's called. I'm just gonna sit back and enjoy it all.

Oh, and here's some pictures i couldn't leak before 'the day' Just the pet ones.

Enjoy your Post Ho Days ")