My Photo
70 Darby Street, Cooks Hill NSW 2300, Australia
Tuesdays - Fridays 11:00-5:00
Saturdays 10:00-3:00 Sundays 11:00-3:00
Mondays closed to sew/print/make
P:02 4929 4350

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More than I can chew?

So - we've wisely decided that November/December is an ideal time of year (as Small Business Owners) to do up our house. With exciting plans & hopes for the early New Year we really cannot postpone it any longer. And seriously, when is a good time for doing these things anyway?
Luckily we've some very organised & dedicated consigners who are filling our shelves with delightful handmade goodies so the shop isn't suffering from our distractions/split focus.
The photo above is of some of the lovely Whiskers Lane wares we've very recently become proud stockists of. They're so popular that we requested a second delivery just four days after putting in her first!
Blogging may become even more sporadic over the next couple of weeks due to how incredibly (and satisfyingly) busy our little shop is and 'spare time' has been conscripted to painting!
PS Thanks to everyone for their kind words of sympathy regarding Sissy's passing, they really helped. We're still very sad but she was a very lovely friend so I imagine it'll take a while to stop welling up at silly moments.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our beautiful dog Sister

Sissy 1996 - 27th November 2010
This is a photo of our beloved dog Sister or Sissy as we called her unless she was in trouble.
She was a stroppy, moody and assertive old woman who may or may not have have had psychic powers. She liked cheese & chocolate which we know are both bad for dogs & so never gave her in excess. She once managed to get a 60cm tall elegant bunny off of the chair in our bedroom & devour it's ears before we found her & stopped her. She always managed to get what she wanted. She suffered the stripey vest in this photo for only two cold days before I found myself helping her out of it despite thinking she looked gorgeous in it - hypnotised perhaps?
Every morning when I had a bath she sat outside the door "guarding" me & she slept on the end of the bed every night - taking up much more room than her petite size warranted.
She had arthritis & quite bad teeth in the end but was very happy with her lot in life as she had two willing & obedient human slaves called Nici & Sean.
We loved her a lot and are currently rattling about in our suddenly huge empty house wondering at her sudden & permanent absence.
Hope this explains why we've been a tad distracted this week guys.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Diana Mini F+ mmmmmmmmmmmmm


Sprocket Rocket!

We only ordered TWO of these because I'm a fool.
You'll need to be quick as a flash to get your hands on one as I cannot order more 'til after Xmas!
They're scrumptious.
I want one!
But that'd only leave you ONE!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So dandy! So spiffy!

Issue#4 of Extra Curricular has arrived from across the ditch!
It is adorable.
Hugworthy even.
Despite having a gorgeous 8 page Summer Activity Book attached it is still just $15AUD.
You can buy it from our little shop right now or, if you live out of Newy & want it posted to you just hop online & buy it from Susy at mebbe.
You won't regret this purchase at all!
It's a delight to be able to sell these - you can tell they were created with love.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Oh my goodness!!!
They've arrived!!!
Even more scrumptious than anticipated!!
I have forced myself to tell you that they're here BEFORE I start flicking through one or that'll be me gone for the afternoon!!!
Lots of exclamation marks!!!
Hee hee hee.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The cat is out of the bag!

I can finally reveal to you the details of some of the new LOMO goodies coming our way!
Diana Mini F+ Clones $175

The Diana Mini hails from the famous medium-format Diana F+ family. This family continues to grow and we would like to introduce to you to the latest Diana Mini F+ clones. The Diana Mini En Rose and Diana Mini Petite Noir.

The Diana Mini En Rose is extra-sweet and charming in its rosy pink colour, this little plastic camera takes lovely 35mm pictures, and allows you to shoot in two formats – square or half-frames. A single roll of film (36 shots) gives you 72 shots if you’re using the half-frame option!

The Diana Mini Petite Noir, clad in a classy black outfit, this black beauty is a total stunner! The Diana Mini Noir emits a classic, mysterious vibe with its sleek look while giving you convenient 35mm half-frames and squares.

The Diana Mini En Rose and Petite Noir carries all the same features and options as the classic Diana Mini F+ version including the Diana Flash Black with color gel filters. Slip one into the flash and beam some colored light into your pictures!

Due to its extra-small size, the Diana Mini is not compatible with full-size Diana F+ lens and back accessories, but offers full compatibility with the Diana Flash!

Available in: Petite Noire (black), En Rose (pink)

Film Type: 35mm


• Pocket-sized and ultra-compact

• Uses convenient 35mm film and standard development

• Allows you to shoot 72 rectangular half-frames or 36 square pictures on one 35mm roll!

• Multiple exposure, long exposure capabilities

• Tripod thread and cable release thread

Package Includes:

• Diana Mini Camera

• Diana Flash+

• Colored gel flash filters

• Diana Mini 'Shoot Forever' book

• Instruction Manual

• Lens cap & neckstrap

Holga 35mm $110

Right here we have a slightly miniaturized version of the original medium format Holga. Like its older sibling, it’s got an all-plastic lens, two shutter settings, and two aperture settings. Its advance and shutter are uncoupled- meaning that you can shoot unlimited multiple exposures on the same frame. Its images are dripping with color, contrast, a slight softness, and a whole lotta soul. For that classic Holga look, with the ease of 35mm film development, this guy can’t be beat.

Also available, the Holga 35mm Black Corner! The latest addition to the Holga pantheon is the mysterious Holga 35mm Black Corner. The secret is in its unique masking effect, offering you shadowy vignette tunnels at the edges of your photos – thus the ‘Black Corner’ moniker.

Film type: 35mm

• Size: 11.5 x 7.5 x 6.5cm
• Weight: 6oz (170g)
• Format: all 35mm film (color negative, slide, b&w)
• Lens: Plastic 47mm, f/8
• Focus: manual zone focus with four distance settings
• Approximate 35mm format equivalent focal length: 38mm
• Aperture settings: f/8, f/11
• Shutter speeds: 1/125, "B"
• Flash: standard hotshoe
• Uncoupled advance & shutter release for multiple exposures
• Standard tripod & standard cable release threads
• Standard 35mm processing

Due in store any day now!
SO EXCITED, cannot express it in actual words.

Monday, November 15, 2010

"We Won't Run"

When I am out in the workroom, in our back yard, sewing away in my own little world...I usually listen to Sarah Blasko.
Sometimes the neighbours get to listen to me sing along.
Hey I get to listen to their baby crying on one side & motorbike revving on the other.
Fair's fair.

I love a good singalong (when I'm alone that is!)
Have you ever caught me singing in the shop?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Be afraid!

I know it's a First World Problem. I realise there are much, much worse things going on in this country, let alone this world.
I just thought I'd make that clear from the outset.
That being said, I grew up in Cooks Hill then lived there for my early twenties. Our shop is in Cooks Hill.
We hope to live there again soon.
Well we did. Now we're not so sure.
The Laman Street Fig Trees have been there for a very very long time. Doing no harm & creating the most beautiful Street in Newcastle. They border Civic Park (which used to be a beautiful park) and are outside the Newcastle Library & Newcastle Regional Art Gallery.
The evil Newcastle City Council have decided for reasons until recently known only to their corrupt selves to CHOP THEM DOWN (in fact they've apparently made a deal to replace them with a single row of the SAME TREES to create an ANZAC memorial. Have they not heard of MAKE DO AND MEND?? Use what you have already you dolts.)
They say the trees have suddenly become dangerous.
There has been several storms & gale force winds in Newcastle since they started blocking off Laman Street irregularly & blanketing it in warning signs & ugly partitions.
Not a single branch has fallen.
Anyway check out how they've tried to impose UGLINESS on our beloved Avenue of natural beauty. I took these photos yesterday after work as this is happening a block from Blackbird Corner.

Was this graphic designer laughing when he designed the above & below images?

This is man made ugliness.
This is beauty.
Unfortunately, despite the very best efforts of some good people better than me, the next images of Laman Street I share may be of sheer horror & disgust.
If you are a voter in the next Council Elections remember which Councillors tried to save them (Nuatali Nelmes, Sharon Claydon, Mike Jackson and Tim Crakanthorp) and the rest that didn't.
I apologise for harping on but when people do corrupt or meanspirited things it needs to be recorded.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Closer I am to fine

I don't care if you find this daggy.
I don't care if you think it shows my age.
I love this song.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Small packages......

Oh me oh my!!!
Guess what arrived early!!
Before I even had a chance to tell you they were coming!!
These are so divine. I have plugged one into my Mac Book & also tried it on my Nokia phone to test it out & was immediately rewarded with smooth sounds!
These are THE PERFECT gift idea for hard to buy for hubbies & brother-in-laws!!
In store now! On the Lomo shelf if you're looking for them!
It is being such a lovely day so far!
Started the day with a really enjoyable visit from my Niece Annabelle Daysi (and her parents obviously! She's only one and a half!) And the morning has continued to be delightful with lots of lovely Customers popping in to buy themselves little handmade gifts & clothes. I think they - like me - are yet to tackle the Xmas List!
Anyways I think a Speakrbox or two will be on my Xmas Gift List!
I want one for me!!!!

In the PINK?

Saturday 13th November 5:30pm - 11:30pm
Gateshead Indoor Sportsworld
26 Oakdale Rd Gateshead NSW

Tickets are still available in store right now!
They're also available online, through NUSA or at the door!
It is their LAST HOME GAME for the YEAR!
What are you waiting for?
Chop! Chop!

Ho Ho Ho?

zine also 'zine (zn) n. 1. An inexpensively produced, self-published, underground publication
Dealing in the world of zines and independent press, Bird in the Hand is an Australian creative business that ships right around the world, most days of the week from the website The online store is a labour of love, presented to you by zinemaker, festival coordinator, and great friend of the Blackbirds - Susy Pow.

Every few days new zines, magazines and books pop up on the site eagerly awaiting your purchase so they can be packaged up in real-life envelopes and physically mailed to your hungry letterboxes worldwide. Occasionally Susy even offers discounts and little surprises in the packages, many of which are leaked on Bird in the Hand’s twitter page @zineshop.

There’s loads of different titles and genres at no stone is left unturned. If you’re into craft then Susy suggests Mixtape zine. Crazy about sketches? The Newcastle Annual is your ticket. Keen to take to the track in roller derby? We just received the US book Down and Derby as well as the UK zine Rollerama. And if you’re a comics nut, then there’s plenty for you! Susy sells lots of the independent magazines that we sell, so if you cannot get into Blackbird but still want to support the little guys - order them online through !

And as a special incentive for our lovely blog readers:

Head over to armed with the discount code 'hohoho' for 10% off until 24 Dec 2010!



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"excuse me please"

Railway bridge through the train window.
Hail clouds brewing over lush field.
Decisions, decisions....
Railway crossing.

We caught a train to Dungog yesterday to visit Jen.
We happened to choose the Monday that The Nanna Army also decided to do so. I have never seen so many Nannas in one spot & smelt so many different perfumes in such a confined space before.
And the noise! It was like being a battery hen. Non stop chatter all the way to the 'gog.
Then peace, fresh air & relaxation at Jen's.
Of course, when we returned to the Train Station, those very same Nannas were alighting their Coach and pouring on to the Platform.
Sean's theory was that they had coached to Chilchester Dam & back whilst we'd been relaxing.
Mind boggling.
With a few "excuse me" "excuse me" "excuse me please"(s) we managed to overtake them on the platform & get decent seats home.
This time the window was not covered by ugly scratched in "tags" so I could take some snaps for you.
My camera batteries ran out again so I had to use my mobile phone.
I think, considering, they came out OK.
Feeling reinvigorated now, popping in to change the window displays in the shop this morning, then home to sew.
I cannot believe that it is November 9th already.
This year has been intense and very fast.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

One perfect day....Young & Baroque Market

I'm delighted to say that I got to go to this (the second) Young and Baroque Market at ARThive. Sean went there first thing this morning and bought me a "Give up the Ghost" Spooky plush toy and told about all of the lovely stalls. After a very lovely day in store with lots of really lovely visitors (hi Grace! hi Ellen!) we decided that we'd pop up together after closing time!
Firstly I had to indulge in two more ghosts and a "Bad News Bear" by the lovely Jess. I so think you should visit her blog! She's a very clever, creative & gorgeous young lass!
(Hope she doesn't mind my saying so!)
Then I perused a stall by the owner/creator of the very awe inspiring Emma Soup vintage boutique and gallery which is on Hunter Street. I didn't have my camera so no photos of her lovely wares/stall I'm afraid. If they're representative of the wares in her lovely new store, I strongly suggest that you pop along & peruse at your earliest opportunity!
I hope to get in there one of these days!
It's very easy to find, so you have no excuses.
Next was a stall full of temptation - brooches! Anyone that knows me knows they're my weak spot. I showed self restraint & only bought the one. I really think you should bookmark the above Howdy Stranger page as very soon there will be a Howdy Stranger online store and I reckon it's going to be pretty spectacular as these women have very very very good taste indeed.
(I'm not saying that because they're Customers of Blackbird either. Check out the blog & you'll see what I mean.)
This is our new cat. I'm allergic to most cats but this one seems to be of the allergen free variety thankfully. It was made by our dear friends Rose & Sarah (who also organised this Market) and, despite Sarah trying to talk me out of buying it, I really like it.
Like a lot. It's unique just like them.
There was even a lovely display for Kiehls with free samples of their rather luxurious goodies, and, knowing how lush their products are, I had to pop one of those in my bag too.
They were kindly contributed by the very talented photographer Shana from - you remember she gave me those gorgeous faery tale photos recently.
What a lovely afternoon we had.
Will definitely be attending the next Young and Baroque Markets!
These may not be until February 2011 due to the many commitments of all of the creative & talented people involved.
Well worth the wait.
In the meantime there are a million great exhibitions coming up at ARThive.
Pink Narcissus - a solo exhibition by Rose Turner starts December 3rd & I'm certain it will be a must see.
I do believe that I shall leave the house to go see it!
I rarely leave the house unless it is to go the shop so that is saying something! hee hee it's true!
PS Congrats to Siobhan Lowthe who has won the Lucky Door Prize that we supplied! Hope you love it!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Spring has sprung!

Oooooh the rainy weather suits Sean down to the ground!
He has spent this morning finishing creating a lovely new badge set for his Anorak label.
It will be in stock tomorrow!
(He's also been screenprinting-but he's always screenprinting so that's nothing to Blog about! Hee Hee.)
Isn't is divine!
And isn't the poem he chose to quote on the back of it romantic!?
I've gone all mushy.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sydney Morning Herald today!

Ra Ra Ra!
We love Darby Street!!
A few of our favourite shops and, of course, our shop got a pretty nice write up in the Style section of the Sydney Morning Herald today!
So excitement!!
The photo of our shop makes it look enormous!
Which is opposite to reality!
Sean walked up Darby Street in the rain to buy a copy so we could scan it in & show you.
And yes Dad, I know you are impressed!
(He reads my blog frequently.)
PS. Isn't it exciting!