Saturday, 30 January 2010

Polka Dots are In!

Went over to Ballarat for a meeting at our new café yesterday. The building is full of lovely old fittings like these fireplaces. I am looking forward to lightning a wood fire on chilly and dark Ballarat mornings to welcome people. When I arrived back in Daylesford there had been a delivery of bathers from My Sister Pat and - yippee - we now have the red polka dot designs back in stock. And blue polka dot and pink polka dot too. The dots always sell out straight away so if you would like to grab one (there's only two of each) head into Daylesford today. They'll be available online from tonight or tomorrow. There's also a pretty 50s roses print, as you can see. The real roses in the vase came from my garden, which is blooming at the moment. The vase was an op shop find from our holiday in Queenscliff.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Favourite Reads

Just thought I would show you a few of our favourite zines from the Lark shop. I am a magazine junkie and I'm always on the lookout for new reads that are pretty and absorbing. Please let me know if you make a zine we might like, or if you have a favourite you'd like to tell us about!

World Sweet World - aah! The current issue has a very useful article about taking your craft to trade fairs and markets.

Thaw - made in regional Victoria, this quarterly mag is about fashion, music, craft and love. Great photography too!

Extra Curricular is brand new and it's all about doing something creative in your spare time, we love it!

mixtape is about to go to issue 12 can you believe, this made in Melbourne mag is still totally the best crafty zine around, yay!

Peppermint - beautiful, eco friendly mag, and super-nice people behind it.

These are just a few of our favourites. Justine from mixtape pointed out to me that they are all run by guy-girl couples, how sweet is that? I am really in awe of people who produce magazines, it it obviously a real labour of love. I reckon we have some of the best zines right here in Australia and New Zealand, don't you?

I spy in the garden...

I am enjoying working from home today. My office overlooks the back garden and it is very tempting to spend all my time out there instead of working, especially on such a lovely day!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

New Bathers

Some lovely new prints from My Sister Pat arrived, and I've popped them in our web shop here. I've just seen a sneak preview of some of the lovely 50s fabrics that are coming through, yum, so excited!! Love that they are all handmade here in Victoria, and they are super-flattering whatever your shape, too!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

More Exciting News

For the last few months we have been busily beavering away behind the scenes to create a new website for Lark and it finally went live this week. Yay!

It was a little sad to see our old website go 'off air' as Paul and I made it ourselves when we very first started Lark and it has served us well, although it had become a bit clunky of late. When we heard last Spring that Adobe were 'no longer supporting' the program we used, we knew it was time to make the break. Goodbye, old friend!

We decided to find someone much more experienced than us to create a new Lark website, and by an amazing stroke of luck we came across Lyndsay and Ben at White Pixels. You probably already know Made by White, Lyndsay's gorgeous range of accessories, I am a big fan and was thrilled to find that she also runs a web design business with Ben, her incredibly super-tech problem-solving partner! Turns out they have designed the websites for quite a few of my favourite small creative businesses. I asked around and Lyndsay and Ben are known to be super-nice and great to work with, so I knew the Lark website would be in safe hands. Phew!

So, fast-forward a few months and it is now all a reality, our website has been given a cute makeover, and also it is seriously efficient, with lots of whizzy features like real-time inventory, wish list, stock notification, gift certificates, online ordering for our stockists, and an incredible search engine. Ok, those things may sound pretty basic to you, but to me they are awesome and I can't stop playing on the new site, hee hee!

Did you know we also have a Lark newsletter now? If you go onto the new website you can sign up and be the first to hear about our new products, sales and events. It's a very pretty and cute newsletter, you should definitely sign up to it.

Oh, one of the other major things about the new Lark site is that it is so much easier for me to add new products, so I have started adding lots of goodies that were previously only available in the our Daylesford shop and over the next few weeks I'll be adding heaps more, so please check regularly. I'd love to know what you think, and if you have any feedback or ideas about Lark's new online home please let me know. xx

Happy Australia Day

I hope you are having a nice Australia Day, even if you're not in Australia, but just maybe an Australian living somewhere else.

It's been perfect weather here today and I've been enjoying a quiet day at home. Paul had to go into work (there's never a day off when you run a small business), so I invited over a lovely local friend who is also a small business widow. We had a picnic outside and chatted for hours while our kids played. I made some Lamington cupcakes, to be patriotic!

As someone who has migrated five times (yes, five!) between Australia and Europe I sometimes feel a bit caught between cultures. I frequently find myself thinking how nice it would be if I could just move Australia a bit closer, close enough to pop over to Europe for the weekend, then I could have the best of both worlds, visiting my mum and best friend, stocking up on goodies at decent supermarkets (grrr), catching up on good TV then coming home to the warm weather and our busy but very easygoing life here. For today I am happy to be in Australia, it's been a great place for our family, giving us the opportunity to live in a pretty place and grow a business that we love, which we could never have afforded to do in the UK. And it's sunny outside and the lamington cupcakes are good! xx

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Sunday dinner

Eggplant and fresh mozzarella risotto from the Silver Spoon book (bible). Yum. Home made sweet pepper bread with mashed broad beans, rocket and parmesan. How much do I love Sundays, when we actually have time to cook?? Sadly none of this was from our veggie garden, we are waiting for some beaut tomatoes to ripen up a bit more. We have some nice snow peas though.

With the Little People

It's Sunday, it's almost the end of the school holidays, all avenues of entertainment have been exhausted. Time to pull out some of the old Fisher Price Little People toys. Hours of fun carefully setting the scene and making up stories. I have yet to find a new toy (not involving a screen or slime) that can engage kids as much as these do.

(Sophie, if you're reading this, I'm looking forward to our playdate!)

Friday, 22 January 2010

A Day on Earth

Yes, an ordinary day on Earth. Writing this while stirring spaghetti sauce. Worked today, and took the kids to the dentist (no fillings, dentist happy, phew, we are pretty poor parents in some respects but Paul and I are totally strict about cleaning teeth and limiting lollies because we hate dentists and both suffered with our teeth through our twenties). Had two customers ring up to ask where their order has got to and both times Australia Post say they have been delivered and signed for (?). Trying to get back to losing weight after Christmas gluttony. Ho hum.

But the real reason this post is called 'a day on earth' is because that's where I've been today...

A Day on Earth, David Bromley's workshop at Shed 4, East Street, Daylesford.

I have known about this place for ages but always resisted going as it's a bit pricey (to say the least) and I knew I'd fall in love with loads of unobtainable things (which I did), but it's nevertheless a very cool place and I thought you would enjoy these photos. My friend and I spent ages coo-ing over the sheer amazingness of this place and I think you will too, it's well worth a visit if you come to Daylesford.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Exciting News

I have been so busy with holidays, kids and getting back to work after Christmas, that I haven't had a chance to share some exciting news... we are about to open a café.

It's something Paul and I have always wanted to do, but we've been waiting for the right time and the right place. Then quite by chance one day a friend told us about us a pretty building in Ballarat (our nearby town) that was up for lease for the first time and we fell in love with it. To our surprise, we won the lease even though a whole bunch of people with more experience than us applied for it too. We have spent the last two months getting all kinds of permits and permissions, meeting with officials and lawyers and agents, but it now looks like it is going ahead full steam and our little crafty café may even be open as early as March (!).

It's going to be the prettiest café and tearoom, with a Lark shop inside it too. I am literally bursting with ideas for it. We are going to be collaborating with some really fantastic and passionate people, who I'll tell you more about soon. And our various clever and talented Ballarat friends have offered help with lots of stuff, so I just know it's going to be a great thing, although I am anxious about finding the time to make it all happen.

I'll be posting developments here as they unfold - no doubt lots of frustration and stress, as nothing good ever comes without an awful lot of hard work, does it? In fact I am off right now to re-draw some signage plans and write some emails, when I would like to be collapsing in front of the TV after a long day of work and parenting. But it will all be worth it, I think. Maybe you have some great ideas for things we could include in our café and shop? I'd love to hear them! x

Keep tuned as I have more exciting news to announce in the next few days...

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Couldn't resist it!

Please stop sending me links to cute foxy stuff! Only joking - thanks Ashley, this retro fox cushion is just TOO cute to resist posting about xxx


I made lots of these little pocket mirrors today for a customer who has chosen them as her wedding favours. I think that's a lovely idea, I'm guessing it will be a very cute wedding!

Fox love continues

See Liz's post today, yay!

And I love this limited edition boy's Ferris Fox tee from Mister Mista. We have them in our shop, they are designed by a very clever local family.

More foxes

Michelle sent me a link to this ace Fox Plush by Sara Carr.

And in our own shop I found Fox cards by two of my favourite designers, Darling Clementine and Solitaire.

Also found out that Rohan predicted the rise of the Fox against the Owl last year, so there is definitely something in this!

I Love Lyndsay's Fox Brooch too!