Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Adelaide wrap up yo


These are a few snaps from my last trip to Adelaide. I can't remember if I talked about this or not.....I'm going to go with not. This was my very first solo drive over in my very new ute, Stevie Nicks. I am very proud to say we made it over in one piece and lil Stevie kept me safe, even in torrential rain. My husband had his doubts about me driving alone and rightly so seeing as I seem to turn into Rip Van Winkle as soon as we have pulled out of the driveway.... but I did it. Next time I think a pal to keep me company on the drive home would be best, that bit I was real tired and it felt a whole lot longer.


I got to hang out with my family which is always awesome. I always wish it is for longer. There is nothing like being home. The sights and smells are so familiar. Only thing that would make it better was if my sister was there too. And a dog. I think my parents should get a dog....


This magnificent lagoon is my nan and pa's pool. 


And this gorgeous creature is my very dear friend Lisa. Lis is such a champion. I miss her all the time. Lucky for me she is coming to visit next week!!! I can't wait.


And the Fringe was on while I was home so I totally lucked out! Adelaide fringe is incredible. 


But lets not forget why i was in town, to puff some glass damnit! And puff glass I did. Me and my trusty team of Dani and Jaan also with the additional sub of Georgie. I just love working with those guys. They are such skilled makers and they just make my entire session a dream to work. Not only are they my mates, they work ridiculously hard for me. And Dani lets me stay with her! I sure do love them a whole bunch. If only I could get them to move to Melbs....



I feel so torn at the moment. I love Adelaide and all it has for me. Family, friends, work, but I love Melbourne for all it's potential and opportunities. I feel like in Melbourne I am back to being a little fish in a big pond. It's tough out there when you run your own business. I just feel like I need a little break, some inspiration, a little silver lining to my cloud. Sometime I feel Melbs is just too cool for me and I get sick of the hype and the hunt for the next big thing. You know, the cool factor, I'm over that. I just want to be happy with what i make and have avenues for it to flourish. I'm a hard little worker bee and I enjoy working hard but I just need some ease to be injected into that work life, I can't have the struggle all the time.


This is taken from one of my very favourite places, Hillside Herbs, a giant succulent and herb farm. So beautiful and every species under the sun. 


And these are some new pieces I have been playing around with.

I'm not exactly sure why I keep this blog, I think it must be just for me? I know people read but I'm curious as to why no one really comments. Must be just for me. Good job me, your'e a good guy at stuff, chin up kid. (Thats what I would comment anyway..)





Monday, March 24, 2014

The epic T2 job

So fresh off the back of a big Adelaide trip I can finally show you what all the fuss was about. I had the pleasure of designing and making glass works for the new fit out of T2's flagship store on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy.

So I have been working at T2 on and off for, ooh, like, over three years now. I started out managing the  very first Adelaide store in Rundle St for a year then when we moved to Melbs I just snagged a spot as a casual at the Melb Central store. I have been a big fan of T2 way, way before I worked for them. Huge tea drinker and I can remember whenever we came over to Melbs I would ALWAYS stock up on tea at T2. T2 is so essentially Melbourne to me. I love the story behind them and I love that 18years ago two sisters started up a little tea shop on Brunswick Street that I'm sure they had no idea just what an iconic brand they would be creating.

T2 is more than just a brand, it's a culture. I think they are such an interesting company who really value their staff. They have such great vision and they are just expanding at a rapid speed. But what i really love about T2 is the caliber of women that work for them. T2 really is about strong, intelligent driven women and this is something that resonates really deeply with me. These ladies? They know whats what.

  So after three years of weaseling it seems i have finally weaseled my way into the brand myself. It's only now that it's really sinking in the opportunity that has been given to me. So Fitzy is the mothership. It's the very first store, it's Maryanne's baby. And after 18 years, Fitzy is getting a makeover. The pressure riding on this alone must have been incredible. How to retain her integrity but give her the spruce she needs? They wanted something special from me so I designed and made for them 17 "smell domes".

The smell domes are a take on the bell jar and scent bottles. What they do is display the tea on offer and trap the scents beautifully. The beauty is that the glass houses the scent so perfectly. It means that a customer doesn't have to stick their beak in the tea, they can just hold the glass up and take a whiff. How dainty! I'm so stoked! This could be my most successful design yet! Not only aesthetically pleasing but it does the job. Yeah boi! Self high five.








So yeah, its been challenging and lessons have been learnt....but ultimately I am happy with the end results and ridiculously excited at the possibilities that may come. 
Now to celebrate, here's a picture of me with a donkey. (His name is ok-dokey)









Thursday, February 13, 2014

WEBSITE LAUNCH!!!

Today is the day......The day for.......

MY WEBSITE LAUNCH!!

Can you believe it?! A techno weenie such as myself being a big wig on the interwizzle with her own site! HA!
A big, big thanks must go to my very talented husband who worked to tirelessly on this to make it the beautiful thing it is. Isn't he clever? 

So please head on over to, ahem:


(under lined and everything, must be legit.)

Anyone might think this is the year for going pro........


Monday, January 20, 2014

Taking Stock


I nabbed this from Pip at Meet me at Mikes who I think nabbed it from Kate at Foxs Lane.....! So thanks ladies I think its a fun thing to do for the start of the year, especially seeing as it feels like a slow start for me. I am trying though (that hideous heat wave really did set me back a few days, no air-con. Ew. So ew, like ew in the depths of hell ew. I had to cover the cat in a frozen towel ew, the heat fried my brain I couldnt even remember my pin, ew. Unless you hair a cool place to sleep at night there is NO reprieve from the heat. No sleep = crank factor through the roof.) I started exer-ma-cising again and I bought a nifty journal to keep by my bed to write down pesky thoughts and snippets of dreams. 
So huzzah for me. Doing stuff and the like.
Here we go:
Making : Cardboard models for a public art project thing i am applying for
Cooking : curly pasta with pancetta, broccoli, fetta and salt and pepper
Drinking : peppermint tea
Reading: the golden finch...again!
Wanting: a ute
Looking: at utes
Playing: brain training games on my phone
Deciding: this is the year ‘i go pro’
Wishing: for a glass commission to come my way
Enjoying: eating hot cross buns with mums home made raspberry jam
Waiting: impatiently for trains to take me home
Liking: hanging out with my husband for breakfast dates
Wondering: if i will ever make it to having long hair
Loving: my new studio space
Pondering: why it is that i am such a terrible baker
Considering: learning japanese
Watching: girls
Hoping: that this is my year for an aust co grant
Marvelling: at the bat highway
Needing: a new book to read
Smelling: my cat (he smells a bit dusty)
Wearing: scarves to disguise my horrible hair (grow damn you, grow!)
Following: ant trails in the kitchen
Noticing: my hands are like my mums
Knowing:
Thinking: i would like to read gone with the wind
Feeling: sore in the legs from my first run in awhile
Admiring: people who walk their own paths
Sorting: out all the junk on the fridge
Buying: a new journal to keep by the bed for pesky thoughts/ideas/junk
Getting: to know new friends better
Bookmarking: waffle recipes!
Disliking: not having enough time in the day
Opening: windows to let the breeze in
Giggling: at jokes we used to tell as kids
Feeling: hopeful
Happy New Year little birds, maybe this is the year we fly the nest?


Also, BIG news... I'm about to launch my website!!
Lookit I'm telling the truth!




EXCITING

Thursday, January 9, 2014

2013

Halo!
I did it. I survived retail xmas....just barely.

So now comes the 2013 wrap up that is well overdue. 2014 has been off to a slow start creatively/inspirationally, but lets hope thats not the case for the rest of the year.

Here we go;

1. Residency at Northlands glass in Scotland
Scotland was one of the most amazing and challenging things I have EVER done. It was my first real working residency. I got to meet some fantastic artists, travel to a place I had never been and really dive head first into a whole new range of works. I am so proud of all the work I made there and think there is great potential. I think an exhibition is in order this year for new works (but knowing the grand scheme of things, bookings and what not, this may be for 2015...)

2. Started up a new studio space
Lots of sweat and tears here people. I ripped up flooring with a crow bar (only to find that it could have been done with a fork lift...), learnt to build a stud wall, learnt valuable lessons in the world of paint and began to craft the peg board of my dreams. A shared studio space in a shared warehouse has been trying at times but I feel like the space is all worth it and I already love hanging out there. Taught me lots of lessons but at the end of the day I feel pretty proud that me and Andy now have a little space to work out of, and so "Sawtooth Studio" is born...

3. Organised and got to TA for US glass artists Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen and Jasen Johnsen
This was a huuuuuge dealio. Bringing Karen and Jasen out was like a year in planning alone. It was an incredible experience and one that again I learnt lots of lessons.

4. Got interviewed by THE Design Files and made a whole bunch of brand new work for the open house in both Sydney and Melbs this year! Pretty god damned chuffed with this one! I don't think you could wipe the ridiculous grin off my face for days. Was such a great interview that I felt was totally true to me and how I work and it got SO many beautiful comments from design files readers, made me feel all fuzzy 'n stuff.
Oh, and did I mention I met my new bff, Clare Bowditch? No big deal......SQUEAL!!!!
The Design Files Open House was killer! I sent them approximately x85 units of work. Eighty fucking five!!! So incredible. I remember dropping off my crates of work thinking this is a lot of fucking work. I hope I havent miffed this up.... But I didnt! People went crackers for my new display domes. Absolutely bonkers. Loving them sick. So, so fantastic. Out of 85 only 13 came home. Say whaaaaa?

5. Had a little exhibition at Craft Vic with the help of weenie jnr.

6. Got some amazing shots taken

7. Oh, yeah, and was in another two group shows


So I guess I did some stuff.


(I am always surprised when i count the year back. I never feel like I have done much but then look at this photographic evidence!)



Seeya 2013. One could say we rubbed our fury little backs all over you?
Meow.






Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The best fun ever

We are right in the thick of it now, us retail monkeys. Thus begins the next level of retail hell; the late night trade. Everything gets a little more frantic past five'o clock, a little more desperate. But today, I don't want to focus on that (says she who begins her deep descent into the late night trade), today I am trying hard to remember what it is that I used to love so much about Christmas, and I reckon it all goes back to when I was a kid and I'm pretty sure Mum, you are the main key here, so you sure did good kid so why don't you treat yourself to a big punnet of raspberries? (My mum doesn't really drink ok? she prefers expensive raspberries, go figure..)

My memories of Christmas as a kid are off the hook! It's kind of hard to know where to begin!! Seing as my dads side is Polish we always used to go down to his house and then to my Babcia's to have Christmas with the traditional Polish xmas eve dinner. This in itself was pretty good for a kid, getting to have two christmases. My Mum would then come pick us up late and we would always spend the night at my Nan and Pa's on xmas eve to wake up there for the big day. On the way home I can remember always counting the number of trees we could see lit up. For some reason me and my sister always shared a room on xmas eve and sometimes when more of the family were crammed into nan and pa's, even a bed. We would be beside our little selves with excitement and really not sleep at all. To help us try and sleep we would usually play a game which we invented called "celebrity pet". Kind of like 20 questions but it had to be a famous animal. Think Napolean, The Real McCaw, Milo and Otis. (I know, we were weird little kids.)

We would be up AT THE CRACK OF DAWN. Maybe the earliest time on record was in the 4am bracket. Nan was an excellent one at facilitating this, even now she is the first one up trying to rouse surly older grandchildren. She would let us sneak up ("Go and see if he's been") and grab, you are going to love this, our "little" sack of presents (it was a pillow case!!) to open in bed with her and pa. We then would then creep up the stairs (all three of them) and make our way to to the main event; the tree.

"HE'S BEEN!!!!" We would shriek and see in all it's glory the amazing delectable loot that Father Christmas had left. My memory is pretty sketchy at the best of times, but I always remember just seeing like a sea of presents under the tree, dwarfing the little plastic christmas tree. It was awe inspiring. There were a lot of us I guess but to a little kid those presents just seemed to go on for miles and miles. It still remains one of the best things I have ever seen.

Pa would also go to elaborate ruses to keep the Father Christmas jig alive. One year he got his hands on some horse poop and left it round the pool. "Look what those damn reindeer have done to my garden!" By now everyone would be up and tearing into presents. The rest of the family would be on the way over and Christmas would be in full swing by now. This is also in the days when Christmas day was HOT. HOT! Who can remember that? I can remember one year there was an awesome progression of about six of us kids going absolutely beserk doing a progression of cannon balls one after the other for a good hour or so. (By the next day Pa's pool levels were considerably lower...)

Lunch was always (and still is) amazing. Ridiculously delicious. There is everthing under the sun, paper crowns, bad jokes and of course the famous ice cream cake. Again, one of nan's inventions. Three layers of different ice cream flavours all with a magic ice chocolate top. It changes every year but goes along the lines of peppermint with peppermint pieces, apricot, cherry ripe or violet crumble. So, so good. Everyone fights for this. But then as a little kid you are torn because you know if you get pudding there is likely to be money in  it and what little entrepeneur of a kid doesn't want cash? (you usually end up getting both and just fishing the coins out of the pudding. Somehow Pa always got the gold....interesting...)

So as you can imagine if you are up at 4am, hyped up on sugar and present overload, you are pretty cranky come two o clock. The day is so exciting you dont want to miss a bit, but trust me mum wants you to take a nap badly as your crank level is through the roof.

Christmas day really is the best ever. I know this from my excellent childhood. I only hope that I can create these if I have kids. Or maybe for my friends kids, save me from turning into the grinch. So today (last night I actually dreamt about work, just pick the god dammned tea already!!!) as I grimace my way through another ball breaker of a day, I'm going to cram another xmas pretzel in my mouth and remember the memories of being a kid in my family over the christmas time.

Well thats the plan. Lets see what really happens and who feels my wrath today.....

Friday, December 6, 2013

the end is nigh

Christmas.

It's right around the corner. If you have been listening to any kind of retailer they will have been telling you exactly how may days there are to go till the fat man hits the town, having us all on some kind of demented countdown till his arrival. There will be lines upon lines. There will be screaming fits thrown (and not necessarily by the toddlers). There will be god awful christmas carols pumped out across the airwaves. There will be bouts of insane shopping madness. There will be my sanity walking out the door. And if you are very lucky you may even get to see it happen.

It will start innocently enough. Start of an especially long ball breaking shift in retail, my spirits will be high and sugar induced but it won't take long for reality to come crashing in. There will be a line snaking around the store for gift wrap, a ridiculous division of who wants what gift wrapped and in what colour, someone WILL yell and abuse you. Tea WILL be spilt. Teenagers will swarm through the store much akin to locusts, eating you out of house and home all while reminding you of just how uncool you are. There will be the ass that enters the store at 2 minutes till close then demands giftwrap on 27 items. There will be the ultra rude woman who insists on being on the phone while you serve her. She will mouth "sorry!" to you but both you and I know that is utter bullshit and you aren't even a glitch on her radar. You are just the sales robot. Greet. Sell. Add on. Wrap. Repeat.

Soon it starts to get louder in there. There is no clear path to walk in the store, you are constantly crab walking your way through the store, or my personal favourite, 'ghosting' the customer as they walk at a snails pace as you have a handful of six full tea pots, trying to make it to the hungry locusts. Pretty soon that apron you are wearing starts to weigh you down, you feel the oppression of your sisters in sales before you, is it hot in here? (of course it is centre management are tight arses and the air con is off), you start to sweat. All of a sudden, before you know it, you are lowering yourself behind the counter, cramming your fist into your mouth in the silent scream, teapots are crashing down around you, the giftwrap has gone to hell, who knows where Aunty Glenda's gift is anymore, the ice machine has spontaneously combusted and the sirens are going off (of course no one heeds these piercing alarms going off but customers scream over the top of the wailing "does this come with an infuser?!"). Get out save yourselves, the christmas apocalypse is here.

So spare a thought for your brothers and sisters out there doing time in retail. Give em a break. Don't bust their balls. It's a pretty simple equation here, you be nice to them, they be nice to you. Don't be a christmas jerk. In the words of the great time travelling man himself, Rufus;

"Be excellent to each other".

It's that simple.



Oh and by the way, I wasn't always this jaded about christmas. Trust me, I want the wreaths, I want the sparkly ornaments, I want to gorge myself in gingebread and I want the scent of pine needles so far up my snout I'm breathing needles for weeks. I want all that I do, and there was a time when it was all that and more, but thats another story for another day.