Monday, 2 December 2013

Conversations with Creative Women - Volume Two

It's definitely well after the fact and it was remiss of me to not have my finger on the pulse promoting this while it was all happening in mid-November.

As I subscribe to the Creative Women's Circle newsletter I came across Tess McCabe's call-out for products or services to be donated for a raffle at the launch of her book Conversations with Creative Women - Volume Two - the profits of which would go to Seven Women (a charity focused on empowering marginalised women in Nepal through training and employment).

I contacted Tess and told her about my products and we decided on one of my tea towels, so I sent down my Firewheel design, as seen here in the 2nd row on the right:

Image courtesy Creative Women's Circle

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Nearly there...

All in a morning's work... these lovely rectangle cushions are on their way to their new home in Armidale.

I've been stocking my website shop and it's pretty close to being ready now - one day next week... that's how close!

Needless to say I'll be adding new items as I make them, for example, you can see the new colourway in this image for the 'wattle bird in the bottle brush' design :: Moss Green on Forest Green pure linen... I've made a bunch of these already, some are paired with the cotton velveteen (in a different colour) but I haven't had a chance to photograph them yet. So a busy few days ahead of me as I cut, sew, photograph and list and then finally launch the online shop! But don't forget, for small items that are perfect for gift-giving this Christmas, head on over to my Etsy shop which is stocked with lots of lovely eco-friendly, handmade goodness (and I'll be adding new items here as well in the coming weeks).

Enjoy your weekend :)

Monday, 21 October 2013

A subtle change, a new direction...

So, with the Etsy shop adequately stocked for now, it's time for me to turn my focus to my newly transitioned website. I got the site back from the developers at the end of last week after they made the changes to it due to the business name change and subsequently moved it to its new domain. I'll be stocking my website shop with current stock this coming week to get it open for trading and will keep adding stock as I make it, so it will be hot off the press in the lead up to Christmas! (I'll announce the shop opening soon as well as some exciting changes to the website).

After changing the business name I also decided to change direction ever so slightly which is why I resurrected my Etsy shop. This shop will now be the outlet for smaller products that I will sell retail only (no wholesale) and always limited-run items. These smaller items are in keeping with my business principles of minimising waste as I can use off-cuts to create them and they all turn out so dandy! The Wholesale / Trade will only be available via my own website shop with larger homeware items, such as cushions and lampshades, while gradually increasing the product range to incorporate more items that can be used in both residential and commercial applications.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Fabric storage baskets / buckets now in stock.

My lovely little fabric storage baskets / buckets are now in the shop! I've stocked my Etsy shop with plenty of different designs and colourways, including two recent colourways as seen above: 2nd from top is the 'flower of life' design, this time printed in Burnt Orange on Flax pure linen and above is the 'wattle bird in the bottle brush' design printed in Moss Green on Forest Green pure linen. The top image is the 'flower of life' design in Spring Green on Silver Ash. These little beauties are ideal for many uses... think bread basket on a lovely table setting; think craft supplies, like yarn; think inside your wardrobe for storing small things, or in a child's bedroom as well as the bathroom. Last year I used them to put lots of small gifts inside to give my friends for Christmas, they were a big hit and that way there is no wastage with packaging!

A great gift for under $45.00 (including GST and shipping costs).

Friday, 18 October 2013

Metallics in textile printing.

Image courtesy Spacecraft Melbourne Facebook page
Above 'Silver Foil Gum Leaves' by Spacecraft Australia - just beautiful!

I'm wondering if metallics is going to be the next big thing... will it be something we see more of in textiles / printing? The reason I'm questioning it is I also came across two other metallic prints recently. One by Laughing Bird - here on her Facebook page and the other by Laikonik - here on her Facebook page. Hmmm... let's see where this is heading.

I think if done correctly it can be quite fabulous.

Hand printed wine carriers now in the shop

The 'kangaroo paw' design (above) is just one of a number of designs available in the wine carriers / wine totes now stocked in the Pinch River Etsy shop - lovely hand printed products in assorted colourways on stone, latte and silver ash hemp / organic cotton basecloth.

A great gift for under $40.00 (including GST and postage prices). With lots of festivities coming our way it's a stylish way to take your wine to BYO restaurants and cafes or even to the Christmas lunch.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Hand printed pure linen tea towels now in store.

Grevillea tea towels by Pinch River
The Grevillea design (above) is just one of a number of designs now stocked in the Pinch River Etsy shop - delicious hand printed tea towels on white, oatmeal and natural pure linen!

A great gift for under $30.00 (including GST and postage!)... there's even some red and green prints if you're hosting a Christmas lunch and want to keep your decorating to the colour scheme.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

New product + Pinch River on Etsy.

Hello! I'm popping by with a little update as things are starting to come together now after the name change and Pinch River is gaining momentum after all my hard work over the past few weeks. Firstly, my new swing tags arrived this morning - yay! (top image). They are double-sided and printed on 100% FSC recycled card stock.

More importantly, I have decided to resurrect my Etsy shop (with a name change to Pinch River as well). I have updated it all and will be stocking it with lovely little products for the lead up to the holidays. The products are great for gifts and stocking-fillers and the first batch of eco-friendly goodies to be stocked in the shop is a new product for you - the pouch (above). As you can see they are great for your iPod, for make-up and other little treasures. There's plenty of designs available so head on over and check them out for yourself.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

In progress...

Finally some newsworthy movements at Pinch River!

I know it has been a tad quiet over here for the past little while, since changing the business name I retreated behind-the-scenes again to chip away at all the things on the to-do list. Two of the biggest hold-ups have been the new product labels and the website.

The product labels because I put my feelers out there again (since the first time I did this for stilelemente) - as the business I was using before had the labels printed off-shore and I wanted to reduce carbon miles and have them printed in Australia. As is always the case, research and subsequent enquiries take time but I was pleasantly surprised to find the same quality label through other businesses is about 50% cheaper than what I was getting before! Remarkable...

Once I decided on a business to go with there was more to and fro with artwork, approval and then production time... but yesterday my new Pinch River labels arrived in the post!

As you can see under the labels there are some zippers and fabrics... because I have also been in production mode! Not wanting to wait around for the labels, I started cutting and sewing to get the products to a certain stage that then all I have to do is finish them off once the labels arrived.

There is still quite a bit of sewing to do over the next week or so... then photographing and by that time the website will be finished and I can stock the shop and be up and running with lots of lovely stock.

The business name change has brought with it many sub-projects, mostly because I feel it's a fresh start and these myriad projects are what I'm focusing my time and attention on until the end of this year... so stay tuned because I'll be back to share more once production has progressed and once the site is up and running because that is also a sub-project that evolved... as I mentioned previously once the site was down, due to having to transition to its new domain, I took the opportunity to have some other important changes made.

Exciting times ahead!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Bird watching...

I've been busy over on my gardening blog today - I'd been absent from there too for a while but today I caught up with 6 posts! 4 of which were sharing images I've been capturing lately of our beautiful bird life... which may well feature in my designs in the near future.

You can see the bird posts here, here, here and here and I've uploaded them all to my flickr photostream, creating a new set for birds as I plan on adding to it. There are two birdwatching walks coming up, one in a couple of weeks and one mid-October. I have my sights set on doing the one in October and am sure it will be thoroughly enjoyable.

I've shared my design process here on a number of occasions, showing how an image I've taken was the inspiration behind a design and I'll continue to do this, when I set aside time to design again.

The Robin Red Breast images are the crème de la crème for me because they're such good shots of them from a detail point of view, i.e. for drawing them... though I will incorporate a more natural backdrop for them in a design than the man-made structure they call home.

Aren't they just delightful... and those colours!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Pinch River Lampshades

Quite some time ago I started dabbling with the idea of adding lampshades to my product range... I actually thought I was going to make these myself... and took a one-on-one class with a lady in Newcastle (when I was still living up the coast) who had been in the industry for well over 40 years. I then had some frames custom made and had a go at making some myself.

Having finally focused my attention back to the lampshade quest earlier this year I decided it was silly to think I could make these and set about having some professionally made. Ta da... and here they are! (Truth be told, they have actually been sitting in my studio for a while as I have been wanting to also offer them as lamps, with bases... but the base quest is still in progress and then the business name change came along and I just kept putting off sharing them but finally got impatient and decided I didn't want to wait anymore :)

I love, love, love my lampshades and am sure you will too...

Wattle Bird in the Bottle Brush (C2) - large oval drum lampshade
Wattle Bird in the Bottle Brush (C2) - medium tapered oval lampshade
Wattle Bird in the Bottle Brush (C1) - large oval drum lampshade
Wattle Bird in the Bottle Brush (C2) - small drum lampshade
Flower of Life (C1) - small drum lampshade (pair)
Honeycomb (C1) - large oval drum lampshade
Honeycomb (C1) - medium tapered drum lampshade
Corduroy Pathway (C1) - medium rectangle lampshade
Kangaroo Paw (C2) - medium rectangle lampshade
Kangaroo Paw (C1) - medium rectangle lampshade

The initial selection of lampshades, for table lamps, will be for sale via my website shop once it is all up and running but in the meantime I have sold a few so not all will be available but I will be having more made up soon. If you are interested in any of these and don't want to wait for the website to be up and running then feel free to contact me for pricing.

I wanted to offer contemporary shapes, that may also be slightly different to the standard, to mix things up a bit (another reason I want to also offer bases to suit). I will also be offering drum shapes and ceiling shades, however, if you have a specific shape in mind I can have them custom made so please don't hesitate to contact me to discuss the details.

It's been a long time coming (I can't believe how long... that's what happens when life gets in the way)... but I'm so happy to have found the talented and lovely people who make them for me and so happy with the finished product! More images over here.

Fabric update

I had my last batch of fabrics printed up under the stilelemente label a couple of months back. I did share them on the blog after I listed them in my Blue Caravan store for sale but I have now put the store in holiday mode as I move everything over to Pinch River (and may not set up shop there again but will instead be using my own e-commerce solution on my website). I usually link to my Flickr Photostream when I share new fabrics and products here but I forgot to do that last time... so you can see more of the fabric shots here.

I won't be selling any current fabric as yardage because it all has stilelemente on the selvedge (but if you really want some then contact me). I'm going to re-work some of the designs (e.g. the Wattle Bird in the Bottle Brush) but not sure if I'll be printing all of them again as there will be some new designs once I have everything else up and running... but printing will be probably not happen until later in the year or even early next year as I still have the other two big projects in the pipeline that I should be starting soon and will absorb me for quite some time... BUT I will be making plenty of products from the current fabrics very soon for the Christmas trade which is rapidly approaching... so you'll have to grab some before they run out for good :) I'll let you know when they are ready.

Thursday, 15 August 2013


Another busy day here getting Pinch River up and running...

Today's project was transferring all my issuu catalogues over from stilelemente to Pinch River. In the months since first publishing the catalogues (under the stilelemente banner) I received 144 reads, 1629 impressions and 6 downloads. I'm pretty happy with those stats but just sad you are not allowed to change the url which meant having to leave all that behind and start afresh...

There will be more catalogues in the near future but first I have to make a batch of products with the new fabrics... though still lots to do before I get to have fun making.

The website will be going offline soon, I've asked the developers to do this at their earliest convenience... so I will let you all know when it is back online after the move over to its new domain.

Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Plans and preparations - project 1

The other day I posted about 3 self-initiated projects that I'm working on and I'm here to share project 1... to share some very exciting news!

I'm changing my business name and branding!

It's something that has been on my mind for quite some time and after a recent conversation with a business professional it kind of cemented the need to do this... and there is no time like the present.

In all honesty I have a huge knot in my stomach right now because it is all in a bit of a mess while I transition and I guess I'm not the sort of person who likes loose ends... but I know it will take some time to work through each necessary avenue and transition it all from stilelemente to Pinch River.

The primary reason for the change is I wanted a name that better reflects the essence of Australia that I am capturing in my designs. It simply didn't make sense to me to have a German name for an Australian label... even though I loved what stilelemente stood for - elements of style, it just didn't truly express what I wanted. In my experience with stilelemente I also found that people found it quite hard to pronounce correctly and more so it was a mouthful to spell out over the phone!

Why Pinch River?

The Pinch River is a perennial river of the Snowy River catchment and is located in the Snowy Mountains region of New South Wales, Australia. Having lived in the Snowy Mountains for a few years when I first left home, I enjoyed spending time exploring the local area, including the Pinch River. The area is one of absolute natural and unspoilt beauty, the essence of Australia that inspires the designs... it is one place that I have experienced first-hand that really enchanted me... much like my beloved Audley along with a handful of others places.

Australia is so many things, it is our red centre, it is our pristine beaches, our coral reefs, our bushland, our hinterland, our snowy mountains... The Pinch River is just one small part of the beauty that is Australia but remaining virtually untouched it truly represents the landscape, flora and fauna that is the main design inspiration for my label.

As many things about the business will stay the same I have been changing names and url's where possible rather than starting from scratch. I have built up a small but lovely following which I hope to grow and I didn't want to lose that. The one thing that impressed me about Facebook is that they allow a one-off page and url change if you have less than 200 likers... so I have already transitioned the Facebook page without losing any of the lovely likers! I have also transitioned Pinterest so I don't lose any of my lovely pins and will update product info once the website has transitioned. Unfortunately you cannot change url's for flickr but I have changed my screen name and will set about the laborious task of updating the info for the relevant images once I've sorted the bigger stuff out... it is just too much of a job to start over on flickr and I love everything I have created there so it is what it is. 

Needless to say there is SO much involved behind-the-scenes, the bank account (which can also be changed by the way, rather than starting over), MYOB (which can also be changed), the insurance (I'm waiting to hear back), business stationery, product labels... the list goes on and it will all take some time to fine tune and get right so please be patient and when I am back online I will be super organised! This will be the last post from the stilelemente blog... you can find the Pinch River blog here, it is just an empty shell at the moment but it is one of the projects I'll be working on first to get it all set up and avoid too much down-time.

The website is probably the one thing that will be down the longest... I have to migrate it over to its new domain as well as make some other minor changes and finally get the online shop along with the wholesale and trade log-in area up and running. I will be closing all other online shops, i.e. Madeit and Bluecaravan (and I may not go down this path again when I'm up and running but will see what happens when the time comes).

I'm going to leave you with some images from the beautiful Pinch River... taken many, many years ago on a picnic with friends. Unfortunately they are the only photos I have and nice as they are I would have liked to have more of just the landscape and river, sans people but back then my photography was more about people than nature... and they are pre-digital, so are scanned from photos, hence the image quality but nonetheless they give an idea of how beautiful it is: