Where the magic happens…

Hello, and welcome back… it’s been a while!

I’ll begin today’s lesson with a quick introduction to the new setup we have here.
We are now (renting of course) in a lovely big house in Yarraville as mentioned earlier, Dani has a room inside and I have converted the shed to a workshop.

newhouse_ shed
All this fog and cold makes for some nice Bill Henson-esque photos.

shed pano

Inside the shed panorama wide-angle beastie-boys-filmclip style photo.
My workspace still a bit wonky in places as I’m using plastic shipping pallets to create a false floor (to avoid any cold/flooding issues in the future) and I dont have enough to do the whole floor yet – so things are a bit ‘up and down’… I keep thinking about that Seinfeld episode where Kramer is talking about converting his house to “all levels Jerry…” except these levels are more annoying than stylish.

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Leather stack… starting to get a nice little selection now.

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This piece of GENIUS is from our old studio pal Jeremy Ley
He’s the kind of guy who makes you want to miss phone calls just so that he has to leave you a note.

The pics below are from Dani’s little sunroom / studio setup, which I think is as close as she can get to her old Carlow House studio for now.

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(promo posters from her lauch party at Alice Euphemia give her someone to talk to)

Anyhoot, I have settled in and revived a few old shoe projects that had been neglected for a while.
I’m planning and test-fitting some shoes for my little sister who is now a 2nd year apprentice hairdresser and needs good shoes… so I hope to rectify that by hooking her up with some comfort-central hand made ones.

I also finished the ‘deluxe’ desert boots that I started way back in March, and Dani has been rocking them on the streets of Melbourne over the last week.
I changed plans a little and decided to go for a randed edge instead of a stitch-down construction as the whole hand-stitched thing was testing my patience (I don’t know how you do it on every pair James!).

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These ones have lining etc too, so they’re essentially desert boot styled shoes, with the fit and construction of a derby/oxford.

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Leather soles + Topy = ready for the streets.

Next up will be a new pair of winter boots for Dani, based loosely (or quite closely depending on how lazy I get with my pattern making) on the ones in the photo that she has almost worn out.
A bit of pattern tweaking and some “reverse engineering” and I’ll be ready to go.

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I also bought what I could from Leffler in 70mm heels to match the lasts I have here, so they’ll be put to use on something more glamorous than boots and more boots in the coming weeks (perhaps like this blue masking tape + texta mockup)

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So, that’s it for today, thanks for reading and thanks to all of our friends who have popped in over the last few weeks to make our house VERY warmed indeed – considering we are yet to actually throw a houswarming party!
Special mention to DB for being a one-man dancefloor, humping my TV, trying to steal soccer merchandise from our local pub AND riding my bike home in the rain last night…  a stellar effort for a non-party night.

Listening to : The Vines (they all sound a bit same-ish, but in a good way, so pick any album)

Oh, and a super sized congratulations to out pals Nicky and Tom on the arrival of their baby boy Milo, nice work kids.

Extra Curricular Craft- The Tote and Patch Projects

Dani here.  Thought I’d show you all some side projects I’ve been working on.

Firstly, I work at Craft Victoria, a gallery and shop for good quality craft.  For those of you not in the know, its hard to explain ‘good’ craft almost doesn’t look hand made.  Its so well made that, yeah, you can ‘see’ its handmade, but its also well designed and overall a beautiful object.  Craft for me IS NOT just about the technique and skill involved to make it…without design and a good eye, craft can just look plain ol’ ugly.  We don’t do ugly craft at Craft Victoria.

So, Craft Victoria turned 40 this year.  To celebrate, two local artist/craft peeps, the lovely Dell Stewart and her man Adam Cruickshank designed a tote bag.

A comp was run for the best customised tote…this here, is my entry- and yay, I won runner up!  I never win stuff.  NEVER

Craft Queen Pene Durston won with her amazing entry.  Check them all out here.

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Secondly, Liz Wilson, asked some of the girls at CV to contribute to the Patchwork Project.  Liz has a cute blog that i check a couple of times a week (keep it up Liz).  Anyway, the idea is to give crafties a piece of fabric and ask them to create a patch using it.  The finished quilt gets raffled off and money is raised for different charities.

So, I say yes, sure, no worries.  I was genuinely excited.  Only, I don’t sew so well.  How hard can a patch be I ask myself?  Well, hard when no sewing machines can be used.  Ahh, I haven’t sewn anything by hand since year 9!  That’s half my life ago.

For weeks I avoided it.  What the hell am I going to do??  And finding out all the talented peeps on the bill, I freaked out.  Time was running out- I was not going to back out- that’s one thing my Dad drilled into me as a kid- don’t be a flake.

I power walked up to Tessuti Fabrics on my lunch break and grabbed what I could.  It would be impossible to walk away without a crap load of beautiful fabrics- they were sent from heaven I’m sure.  And…they have an online shop so everyone can experience the joy of Tessuti!

the fabricthe fabric

fabricsmy selection

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stichingmy hand sewing efforts

I will upload an image of the finished patch in the next few days…if all goes well.


Hey people, Dani and I have relocated to our new place and although it’s painfully overcrowded with boxes and a magazine collection from a TV special called something like  “The sad reality of people who never throw anything out”… we still have room to move and are already happy with our choice of location.

We’re living in Yarraville now, amongst a whole crew of other late-20s-nicely-dressed-with-kids-on-the-way-or-at-least-planned-to-be people. There’s good coffee to be had, second hand furniture and 2 book shops, goodbye Sundays with nothing to do!

Cornershop – good food, good drinks, warm heaters.
Photo: Eddie Jim

I will post up some shots of the new setup soon… until then, be excellent to each other.

Listening to : Damaged – Nails
* thanks to Tom for putting this on a mix tape in 1996 as a laugh, little did we know how “metal” my tastes would become. I listened to this album last night, whilst wearing a black beanie with “Kings Cross Sydney” on it, in my Toyota Camry, which is unfortunately one of the least brutal Metal cars around.