This is a boring (well there is a story about theft!!) non vintage, non clothing, non brooch, non cocktail post!!! You have been warned.
Yup…all those expenses, sales and record keeping that are very essential to any business and I have been doing it manually. YUP…old school.
I spent the weekend recovering from some minor surgery and managed to convince myself to make the time – Monday to be specific, to sit and enter all those numbers into a spreadsheet and make it more presentable to my accountant.
On Monday I made the perfect coffee, sat at the table, opened my laptop and she turned on and then shut down. Hmmm.
I thought maybe it had gone into a deep sleep or maybe the battery was flat. Plugged her in and tried to fire her back up. Nuthin.
So I got IT (also known as my gorgeous Husband!!) on the phone and we tried a few more things and nothing was working (see my very glamorous pic) so I took it to a local authorised Mac fix it place. Sweet. Actually I was freaking out a bit, thankfully all my data was backed up but MY MAC!!!!! I use my Mac every day. EVERY. FREAKING. DAY.
The next day I get the message that the graphics chip looks like it’s shot and that they would contact Apple to check for a replacement.
Then today I get the call…the Mac fix it shop was ROBBED AND THE FUCKERS STOLE MY COMPUTER. SCUMBAG FUCKING THIEVES STOLE MY DEAD MAC (ahhhhhhhh hahahahahahahahahahha). They also stole a hell of a lot more from the store but THEY STOLE A FUCKING SICK/DYING/DEAD MAC and will need $900 to replace the graphics chip to get it up and running again.
Seriously…who robs a repair store and steals stuff that needs to be repaired? is there something I am not seeing here? Do I assume it’s a stupid meth head? Ex-employee stealing for parts? Random scumbags?
I laugh and I sigh. That was my computer. I loved it. I didn’t want to change it and it did the work I wanted it to do and to be honest I wasn’t ready to let it go but I suppose the universe did it’s thing and now it’s gone. I wait to hear back from the shop about insurance and replacements but…my mac 🙁
TL;DR mac died, took it to get fixed, mac dr was robbed, borrowing current mac, hoping for new mac asap.
Oh…some other exciting news…I WON A DRESS. Pics to come!!
An article was posted on the Australia Post website on Tuesday 9th March 2016 and yeah….
Ok, so maybe I should try that again.
Yes, I did know that this article was being written and yes I did get my Husband to get his photography equipment out and snap up some pics that could be used to accompany the article but with pretty much everything I see, do, experience I don’t get crazy excited until it’s happening. So when I got the email saying that the article had gone live and I clicked on it and there is was. I did squeal – well it was a kind of AAAAHHHHHHH OH MY GAWD.
So here it is in all it’s glory, this is my exciting news!! I hope you like it!
Ok, so I am still new to having a market stall and I am still all nervy about being there in front of people buying my brooches and talking directly to them about how they are made, but it’s something that I have to face head on and to be honest after putting Martinis & Slippers out there and contacting the event organisers and going through the motions of doing this stall at the Rat’s Tatts & PinUps event I was actually really looking forward to doing it.
We arrived relatively early and I had my Husband and kids as my special helpers and we quickly set up the marquee and table and my display and then it was time to add all my fabulous brooches oh and some earrings that I have just added to my range.
I also managed to buy a PayPal Here device so just in case someone wanted to buy & pay via credit card it wouldn’t be an issue (during my first market last year and lady that bought from me suggested that perhaps if I had had a credit card reading device she would have spent more!!).
Once we were set up it was then that my nerves started! Yeah..great…thanks!!
The stress that comes until you get that first sale…oh my faaaar out. I seriously started to have that stupidly annoying – actually it’s fucking annoying voice that goes…no one likes your brooches, what are you doing, why are you here. I shut that shit down quick smart and just focussed on having a good time, getting experience, the exposure and of course that first sale.
Once it happened the weight was off my shoulders and I could relax and actually start enjoying the day. Oh and did I mention that there were some cars!!!!
I’ll have one of you…
and one of you…
you can come home with me too.
You my dear are my dream car…1957 Chevy Bel Air (although I would have white wall tires).
If you know me you know that my love affair with 1957 Chevys started when I was just a little girl. I got my fix this past Sunday and I have no shame in telling you that I was squealing with delight EVERY time one of those babies passed me by. However…it wasn’t just the 57’s it was everything…all of them…almost every pre ’65 car had my drooling and my view from my ‘job’ was just spectacular. I seriously had that moment when I stopped and saw everything around me for what it was…THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD. I’m here…I am doing it. I have the best job in the world. I was working, selling my designs and ideas and working with my family around me while I got to watch some of the most beautiful cars in the world.
I see you baby…bugger off out of my shot taxi.
It’s like staring at the cool kids arriving to school.
Yeah…I need this car too.
This was my view…if I faced forward I saw this car and if I turned around I got to see the parade of the most gorgeous cars on the planet. Really hard day at work for me…sob sob. It’s ok…I’ll deal.
This precious beast was parked near me just before we finished up. I believe it won a trophy. The rear passenger windows were totally blacked out. Illegal but cool…..Swooooooooon.
BEST JOB EVER.
Then I had to come home and tidy up – reality!
I was aching all over, my feet were so bloody sore (I really struggle with the idea of sitting down when people are passing my stall – I just, I yeah…so I stand and then complain later..ha!
So I sold some brooches, I would have liked to have sold more but it’s still early days with my little business and I suppose the more people who know my brand, see my brand and see my brooches the more people will hopefully want to wear it too!
My very own handmade Christmas Tree skirt – I drafted the pattern, cut & sewed on a Sunday arvo.
I know…everyone is all urrrrrggggghhhhh about Christmas but if you know me you know that I totally LOVE Christmas time. There is a period of about two weeks which feels like it’s the party to celebrate the end of a full & busy year. It’s the twinkly lights (ooh how I love the fairy lights) and decorations, most people are on holidays and it’s warm (hey..it’s Australia!!!) and and and.
Our tree when it was alive and producing valuable oxygen and before we cut it down so we could stick tinsel on it.
Everyone can bitch all they like but I really enjoy sitting down with friends and family at this time and having a drink and nice food to eat. I love decorating the tree and the excitement from my kids when Finnegan the Elf returns to our house (link to all his previous antics over the years…esp handy to all those people who want their elf to get a few ideas!!).
The kids version of what a tree looks like when it’s decorated..cough
(insert my O.C.D. right here – yes the tree has been fixed since this pic was taken)
This year has been bittersweet for me, The good stuff…I turned 40 and started my very own business which I am enjoying so much. It’s so exciting packing the orders and posting them, an amazing sense of achievement for me. I also have a stockist and Martinis and Slippers are now listed on Vintage Pip’s website (more to come in other blog post on that!!).
The shitty stuff…My beloved cat Indy died in June. My beautiful 9 year old Burmese boy was my first ‘grown up’ pet and we got him before the kids and after our first year living in our newly purchased home. I still find myself crying because he isn’t around for cuddles and for a long time going to bed a night was a challenge without my little mouse to hug.
I referred to him as my ‘new fur’ in this pic. We hugged like this all the time…silly moushy.
Because some cats like to roll around the jumpaline!
It’s all those little rituals that I miss – his annoying & constant meowing after I would finish a shower – all because he wanted to put his cat funk all over me again. Him licking/bathing himself at 3am right near my face and waking me up and I would have to yell STOP IT INDY and then he would stop for 5 seconds and then continue cleaning himself…sigh. Breakfast v1, v2, v3 and then him sleeping on my side of the bed for the whole day.
This is how we would snuggle at night.
We plan on getting a new pet but not for a few more months, it’s a slow process that we aren’t rushing into. We know what pet we want next and I really can’t wait until that time comes.
Onwards and upwards!
I also had my very first market stall. I was shitting myself the whole day…it was waaaaaay outside of my comfort zone and I knew I could do it but…akhgakljfhsdlfgjhsadfkhsdfjshadd.
Cheeky trial run at home!
I did a trial run the weekend before and everything looked pretty good and setting up was quick and then I learnt that I can also be an awesome mute!! ha ha…I had my friend Fleur, who suggested I do the market in the first place with me the whole time and she was just bloody brilliant. I was certainly a lot more confident & comfortable with her around to help.
Here is my table BEFORE shot.
The AFTER shot…all set up!
My goal for the market was to: 1. learn the ropes – how to do a market stall etc.
2. Sell 5 brooches.
I did it!!!
I am happy to say that I sold double that and in a 3 hour period at a school twilight market with not many retro, vintage, rockabilly people there I was very happy with that result. I plan on doing another market but not until early next year and probably at a classic car show…because I like looking at classic cars!!!
Look, it’s all real and it’s me and it’s a logo and it’s MINE!!
This is part of what I have been so excited about. There really is more to it than just my brand new shiny logo, but up there is the first little bit of hurrah from me. I have so much more to share but not just yet. The first part of this journey of mine is to show off my awesome new logo that was created for me by Castle Design – Sarah Rosberg was just awesome to deal with and I gave her a whole heap of ideas about me & my brand and here is what was created by her team.
I’ll be honest and say at first I was a bit…eeeek…that’s my face!!! However my Husband said “DO IT” (ok, he said more than that, but this post is supposed to be short and if I wrote down all the discussions…!). However after heaps of thinking about it I just went..YUP!! That’s what I need and now I love it.
Anyway…stay tuned, there is soooooo much more to come from me and my cheeky logo. If only it wasn’t 10.30pm on a Monday night I would celebrate with a cocktail.
I had to put it in again…because it’s my blog and it’s my logo and why the hell not!!!!
Here are 73 Elf on the Shelf ideas that we have used with our elf over the past 3 years. We got & named our elf Finnegan The Elf in 2011 and he has been a source of much fun & laughs from my kids each day during December since.
Finnegan The Elf arriving in 2011.
Sliding down a ribbon to the Christmas tree is fun!
I will admit it is tricky thinking of new Elf on the Shelf ideas to surprise the kids and the pressure each night to do something bothers me slightly, there have been nights when I am absolutely buggered (buggered = Aussie slang for tired!) and have jumped into bed only to realise I need to do something with Finnegan The Elf.
Finnegan The Elf has turned the milk green
Two years ago I bought a note book and started planning what Finnegan The Elf would do each night but sometimes the idea doesn’t work as well as I thought it would and I have to come up with something else on the spot.
Finnegan The Elf meeting with Blaine the Surfer Dude.
This year we are expecting Finnegan The Elf to return to our house on December 1st and the kids know this means CHOCOLATE. He also gives the kids a book each during December which is a Christmas themed book – I know they get presents on Christmas Day but I love that my kids read and if I could give them new books every day I would.
Riding the rocking horse, pretending it’s a reindeer.
So here are the pictures of all the antics that Finnegan The Elf got up to during previous years that I am sharing for anyone who needs any Elf on the Shelf ideas. I have a Facebook page for Finnegan The Elf that you can follow to see what he gets up to over December this year and if you have any ideas of things I can do…please let me know!!
Finnegan The Elf with a message for Oliver.
A small gift of lollies.
Hmm Finnegan The Elf…busted in the act.
Holding the toilet paper in his hand. Reading to the other toys.
Rice bubble angel.
Drawing pictures under the Christmas Tree.
Having a quick shower.
Hanging out with Thomas & Friends.
Fishing into a bowl of blue jelly.
A bad note from Santa after Oliver misbehaved.
Just hanging around.
It’s way too warm in Melbourne, Australia for an Elf from the North Pole.
Captured by the Smurfs.
Oh no…how is Finnegan The Elf going to get out of this?
Surrounded by Smurfs.
There is even a King Smurf.
4 More sleeps.
When planking was all the rage…Finnegan The Elf planked on the Christmas Tree.
A true work of art!
It’s Christmas Eve.
Just hanging around to watch the fun on Christmas Day 2011 (Finnegan The Elf chooses to stay one extra day).
Christmas 2012 we saw Finnegan The Elf arrive after a huge storm hit Melbourne the previous day. We were worried about how he would get here but fortunately he arrived safely, although he was a bit stuck and needed help getting out.
Finnegan The Elf arrived via a balloon but with all the high winds he got stuck in the tree out the front.
This was a subtle reminder to get cracking on the Christmas decorating.
Finnegan The Elf met with Snow White for coffee.
Marshmallows in cups – to look like the real thing.
Who is that sneaking around in the background?
Finnegan The Elf was invited to a house party.
A dolls house party!
Oliver found them the next morning.
Roasting marshmallows by the fireplace on a cold ‘Summer’ night
(we get freaky cold weather in Melbourne, Australia even though it’s Summer).
Finnegan The Elf gave the kids Christmas books.
Finnegan The Elf went on a picnic with the other toys by the Christmas Tree.
Having a picnic.
Hanging out in a hammock.
Easiest job in the world.
This is the life!
A bit of a weightlifting competition with Blaine The Surfer Dude.
He isn’t as strong as Finnegan The Elf.
Snow White cheering for Finnegan The Elf.
Snow White watching Finnegan The Elf..hmmm!
Finnegan The Elf had a night out on the town – He went to an Argentinean restaurant.
He had wine…
He had empanadas… Steak & salad…
More red wine…
Then it was time for cocktails…this was a gingerbread cocktail.
And more cocktails…
And a very rough start to the day…the kids found him like this.
Finnegan The Elf hanging from the Christmas lights with a note…
A special note for Oliver, giving him permission to hold Finnegan The Elf.
More books for the kids.
Finnegan The Elf had a visit from a friend but with all this heat he just didn’t last all that long.
Oh Finnegan The Elf was sooo upset.
The kids found him outside riding a bike.
Floating in an ice bath (packing foam in the bath with the bath water coloured blue with food colouring).
The kids found a note…
and some arrows…
leading around the garden.
They eventually found Finnegan The Elf out the front with some treats.
Finnegan The Elf made breakfast.
Blaine the Surfer Dude invited Finnegan The Elf to a card game…
These are Finnegan The Elf’s cards.
OHH…someone is cheating…BLAINE THE SURFER DUDE IS CHEATING!!!
What’s this…the Surfer dude villian…what is he up to?
He has tied Snow White to the tracks…but where is Finnegan The Elf?
Oh No…he is tied upside down, hanging from the fairy lights.
But where there are fairy lights there are also FAIRIES!!
Finnegan The Elf was able to get free…
Will Finnegan The Elf free Snow White before the Polar Express arrives?
YESSS!!! and Snow White is very grateful to Finnegan The Elf for saving her life from the speeding train.
A bit of time away camping together is what they did next.
(Battery operated fairy lights with red cellophane and then surrounded by small twigs.)
The kids found Finnegan The Elf in front of the computer the next day.
After pinning his pictures to Pinterest , he updated his Facebook page…if you want to follow Finnegan The Elf click HERE
Making sure his pictures of his camping date with Snow White were uploaded…
Then it was time to skype with the Boss…Santa Claus
So much work, so little time but Finnegan The Elf left a small treat for the kids – little chocolates.
What’s this…sneaky Finnegan The Elf with my lippy.
And it’s was my nose that got ‘Rudolph’d’
A recipe for Magic Reindeer Food.
This is my Christmas planning book – all the things Finnegan The Elf gets up to, cocktails, Christmas menu planning, recipes and it’s even been scribbled on by one of the kids!
Finnegan The Elf arrived via a post bag on December 1st 2013. The door bell rang and we opened the door and the kids picked up the package.
An Elf that arrives with gifts is a very welcome Elf. Finnegan The Elf arrived with a letter & some goodies for us.
Finnegan The Elf with a letter from Santa.
The Santa letter up close.
Finnegan The Elf just hanging out on the tree with a few of the other toys.
Finnegan The Elf tried to make breakfast for the kids. With macaroni, lentils, milo & a biscuit stuck in the middle.
Finnegan needs to work on his food styling…actually the whole recipe looks awful!!
Lime cordial for breakfast…ahhh?!?!
It’s a date…with Snow White.
Watching a Christmas favourite at the drive-ins.
Oh no, Finnegan The Elf made lunch for Oliver to take to Kinder.
Oliver really wasn’t impressed with this packed lunch.
Arielle was not happy with Finnegan The Elf. His attempt at making breakfast previously resulted in a very sad child. This is the apology letter.
What is Finnegan The Elf giggling about?
The kids undies all over the tree.
Finnegan The Elf has hidden some gifts for the kids around the house. Wonder what they could be?
BOOKS! You can never have too many books!
Both kids were really excited with their new books.
Finnegan The Elf has mucked around with the milk again!
Finnegan The Elf has set up a little Santa & his Reindeer display.
Swinging on a swing, that is hanging from the tinsel & fairy lights.
Another one of the Elf on the Shelf ideas that are floating around Pinterest.
Clever Elf on the Shelf – they can bake gingerbread houses too!
Finnegan The Elf was very busy getting the gingerbread house ready for the kids to start sticking lollies on to.
Finnegan The Elf was toilet training and yeah….perhaps he is a little dehydrated with such green coloured wee.
All the toys at a Christmas concert watching Santa sing ‘Jingle Bell Rock’.
We found Finnegan The Elf outside on a rug, waiting with a note & a little paper bag.
The note from Finnegan The Elf.
The kids planting the seeds before bedtime.
Sure enough, the very next morning our seeds had grown into candy canes.
Oh no…our poor Finnegan The Elf came down with a cold. He spent the day in bed.
Finnegan The Elf with notes for the kids.
A beautiful note from Finnegan The Elf to Oliver on his last day of Kinder.
It’s hard work being an Elf on the Shelf.
Finnegan The Elf taking it easy during the busiest time of the year for an Elf on the Shelf.
A reminder from Finnegan The Elf.
Finnegan The Elf is caught climbing up the Christmas lights.
Oh my…we had heaps of fun this night…perhaps the video would explain better.
Finnegan The Elf spending a bit of time with Snow White up where it’s much cooler.
This is where we are starting to run low on ideas. The kids still thought it was funny.
Finnegan The Elf always asks Santa if he can spend Christmas Day with us. This time he had a very important job to do. At the end of Christmas Day before Arielle went to bed, she gave Finnegan The Elf her dummy “to give to the new babies”. Finnegan The Elf was going to give Arielle’s dummy to Santa so he could give it to the new babies and she had to pass it over to him. We were really proud of her handing over what was essentially her comfort blanket to Finnegan The Elf.
Finnegan The Elf left on December 25 2013 and now we eagerly await his arrival on December 1 2014. The kids are so excited and are counting down the sleeps until he arrives. I just hope he can top some of the past tricks he has done.
My Son’s school had a Twilight Market on last Friday night. A letter went out to all the parents asking for baked goods to be donated for the Home Produce Stall. I decided to make Macarons, you know because they are just so damn easy to make!!! Pffft. I started baking the shells the day before the market & finished them later that same evening.
I like to try and match up the shells prior to piping the ganache so they are similar in size.
Ok, I have made them before and they do take a bit of time to make but I love Macarons & sometimes they work brilliantly and sometimes I have a whole mother load of macarons that I can eat because they just didn’t work. I have tried making the packaged versions. Once they worked and were awesome, although not enough of them. The second packaged batch I made was a different brand and absolute failure…I threw a tantrum. I bought the pack again and tried again and they failed again. No more packet mixes for me, they are full of shite that I would never put in my macarons anyway.
So I took a risk and decided to try a new recipe. They worked really well and tasted delicious, of course I had to sample a few – just to be sure!!
I made up 45 in total (I think there were more but they weren’t pretty so ended up as ‘testers’!.) and put 5 to a cellophane bag with a cute ribbon & ingredients list. All 8 bags sold and I may…ok…I bought a bag of my own macarons and I am pleased to say they were the very last bag of my macarons! HIT!! yay!!
When everyone else is bitching about the decorations in the shops, I am secretly squealing on the inside.
When the stores start putting up their Christmas decorations & Christmas trees in their stores I am like a little child full of excitement.
When the stores are playing Christmas music over and over…I am singing along (or I take my headphones and play my own playlist of Christmas music).
Naturally I have amassed a heap of Christmas decorations – yes I have lights on the outside of our home. Yes I play Christmas music & yes…I bake.
I bake a gingerbread house every year, I bake fruit cake, I bake christmas cookies (choc chip & cranberry!!), I roast turkey, & bake a ham. I do it and I love doing it. Although this year I am not doing the full spread – that’s another post.
So this is a pic of my collection of Christmas baking/cook books. Heaps upon heaps of magazines all dated December & a collection from over the past 10 yrs if not more. I think I did do a cull about 8yrs ago but kept much loved recipes and condensed them into a binder.
Every year I read them all. I flick through them and get tons of inspiration from them and try new things and put on about 5kgs.
I love Christmas! and I don’t care if everyone hates on it.
Alex aka ‘Miss Candy Cane’. <<<see that….that’s my pinup girl name as mentioned at the end of this post…of course my pinup name is Christmas themed!!!
My recently turned 6 year old son just lost his first tooth. Can I tell you that I was soooo excited about this…more than he was.
Ok…he was excited but for me it was a whole other level of excitement. My son who I held through sleepless nights, who had the very normal very pooey nappies due to those very teeth that are starting to fall out, the same child who had the bright red cheeks and nappy rash because of those teeth is making a huge transition from ‘baby’ to boy.
I know…he is already a little boy but those teeth represent so much more. I can tell you I struggled for at least the first 19 months of my Son’s life with a child that never or hardly slept. And obviously the later parts of that time was because of the pain caused by those teeth breaking through the gum line.
It’s all good now. In fact it’s fantastic and on Saturday night we eagerly awaited the very first visit from The Tooth Fairy.
We have a fairy door that is a very special secret door that allows instant access into our house and it’s even been used by Finnegan The Elf our ‘elf on the shelf’ that visits us during December.
I did a bit of a search on Pinterest to see if there are any creative tooth fairy ideas for kids – The Tooth Fairy wanted to leave some sort of a note but not something that I had to help write . So I found this receipt template & I downloaded it on behalf of The Tooth Fairy and let The Tooth Fairy add in the rest. First teeth are worth quite a lot these days…$10.00. Yup!!! $10.00!!! I also understand that subsequent teeth aren’t as valuable!
The envelope was placed under the Oliver’s pillow by the Tooth Fairy and the kids tell me that there was fairy dust on the floor beneath the fairy door leading all the way to Oliver’s room!
He was so excited the next morning and ran into our room to show us the “ticket” and how much money he received. I’m really glad that I can create that little bit of magic in my Son’s life, he is growing up & it’s happening way too fast for my liking but I love the idea that I am creating some happy memories for him and that someday he might do the same if he chooses to have any children.