Thursday, November 10, 2011

the mystery of the missing mojo


I’ve been going a teensy crazy. Sitting in my cute studio, holding my man dolls which I love, and drinking tea. I ought to be tickled pink, except I'm not, really. It’s the case of the missing mojo. Again. I know I’ve talked about my mojo a lot, I whinge about it every now and then, and you really are very nice people to listen patiently. Please humour me (or go do something else. That’s ok, I don’t mind a bit, honestly.)

It’s just that my creative mojo is a finicky creature, I need to treat it gently, nurture it, and oh definitely listen to it. Or it up and goes, and I am left spending my time staring out the window/playing cards/reading a book on the couch/whinging about things to you, dear reader. Or perhaps it’s still there. Hiding in a corner with a slight petulant scowl saying NO.. in a little voice. And stamping it’s little feet. my mojo refuses to cooperate, and it becomes a struggle.

I’ve tried everything. I’ve rearranged and labeled everything in a satisfying way. I’ve bought a new lamp. I’ve brought tea and chocolate reinforcements. I even bought a little oven timer in an effort to work solidly for a block of time. I’ve thought of a gazillion reasons to want to sew; but I.don’ I make myself and force every.stitch. Which makes me feel rubbish. After all, I have my own studio, full of materials and a nice big table and light and time; how lucky am I?

Well it turns out my mojo doesn't like being told what to do. The thought of making another doll the same as the last ones just doesn't So it's gone on strike, and I went and got a job. However, the idea of drawing my mojo for this very post made me want to stride into the studio immediately. Excitement and new ideas, this is the foodstuff of the mojo. I want to make things I have never tried, have my own exhibition of soft sculptures with pointy detailed not-suitable-for-children bits, I want to make things until I am satisfied, not until they are good enough. I want to make things for the love of it, not the money.

SO I am working hard to finish off orders, and thinking hard and carefully about my next step, and how I will coax my mojo back.

Does this happen to you?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

my week in pictures- visiting Mealie


* visiting friends in a country town with delicious food and great company!
* gorgeous art studio and inspiring art everywhere, Mealie you rock.
* miniature! animals! and that buddha knows how to PARTY

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross, and which to burn."

David Russell

Sunday, November 6, 2011

plush you!

(all photos via Schmancy)

Plush You! is an annual exhibition of plush toys, curated by the ace Kristen Rask of Schmancy Toys in Seattle (You may also recognize the name from the book they brought out a few years back). I was super-excited to be part of this years show with my bearded men!

I've had a look on the interwebs (alas I did not fly to the US for the show. Woulda been nice.) at some of the artists, and good heavens.
This gal is my fav, methinks. Although it's very very hard to choose. You can see a bit about it here on Unanimous Craft, or you can read my interview with Kirsten on the Schmancy blog over here along with a whole lotta interviews from plush artists and links to their work.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

around these parts

I framed my favourite Copenhagen souvenier, set up a drawing space (complete with cat belly), carved my first pumpkin and loved these flowers.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

:: Quotation

" If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.

Rollo May

Monday, October 31, 2011

in my work bag

(water bottle. keys. apple. caramels. box of sultanas. assorted bobby pins. camera. book. sunglasses. mobile phone. travel pass. pens. notebook journal. postcard. ipod. chewing gum. purse. lip balm. compact mirror.)

Did you know, I started a new job? I guess not. I have not told you before now. Well I did. This is what is in my work bag. It is a big bag.

It is nice to wear stockings again, and daydream on the bus, and golly, aren't Fridays a bit special when it means two whole days at home? It is nice to have office morning teas and use post-it notes. It is even nice to argue gently with the photocopier. It is nice to complete other people's to-do lists, and leave it behind at the office when I go home each day. It is nice to have a steady income and pay things on time. It is nice to not be turning something I love into a monetary exercise, wrenching my soul through my nose at the same time. It is nice to have a bit of a break, and think.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

flea market finds

An unexpected garage sale in my neighbourhood, and I walk away with little wooden shelves, a vintage desktop fan and vintage tins (chocolate and sun goggles), old keys for my collection, australiana linen teatowels & a classic paperback.

(which, by the way, is the new word. Fast overtaking 'lovely', 'swell' and even 'ace'. Gosh.)

(see more flea market finds over here.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

new stockists! hooray!

537 King St,
Newtown, Sydney

A gorgeous mix of whimsical fairytale, hipster fashion and uber-trendy, with lots of handmade and uniqueness. The kind of store that makes you want to go and procreate, to justify buying half the stock. Yes.

Spacebar Gallery
Studio 021 (off Woobys Lne)
Salamanca Arts Centre
77 Salamanca Place
Hobart TAS 7000

a retail gallery in the thriving art community of Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart; with local and interstate designers of fashion, jewellery, accessories, home wares and visual art. Spacebar Gallery also showcases exhibitions, installations, events and fashion shows in it's beautiful historical building.

Im Wunderland
244 Hyde St
Bellingen NSW

A shop full of surprises, from swedish wool throws to rare books and local artisans goodies. There is a homebrew beer corner and antique linen from glory boxes and homemade home wares. Something for everyone, and in a swell place like Bellingen too.

These guys have stocked Pepper Stitches for a little while, but I've just gotten around to sharing their awesomeness with you! Hooray for awesomeness!

You can see all of my stockists here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

visited and visiting

:: visited my niece in hospital having her adenoids and tonsils removed. ouch.
:: a possum and her baby have taken to visiting the studio every day to sleep in the windowsill
:: my sister is housesitting and puppies-sitting, and I've been visiting her to help out with the feeding/training/toiletting/walking parts
:: visited my sisters place and her husband and kidlets, so nice.
:: visited by a lovely lass interviewing me for an online article. She brought chocolate!
:: visited some old friends whoI haven't seen for a long, long time. This is their new baby, who farts a lot but is very sweet.
:: Gigersquee has somewhat moved next door, but still deigns to visit us on occasion
:: My housemate is moving out, but I hope she will visit us often!

Lots of this lately, and it is awfully nice to have company when you're feeling a bit glum, isn't it? I'm just not sure where my eternal (and you-might-call-it naive) sense of optimism has gone. But I am optimistic that it will return!

Thanks for your lovely words of support and encouragement. Plans are in the works, and I will share soon. Until then, hope your week is ace!

Pepper x

Monday, September 12, 2011

writing a long list of my failures

by threadful on etsy

I'm feeling a bit frustrated and overwhelmed and a-bit-too-close-to-chucking-the-whole-thing-in. I just read that writing a long list of my failures will apparently boost my self-confidence, because I'll fail at that too.

Gee that is cheering, isn't it?

Friday, September 9, 2011


He is a lumberjack! and a merman! with a beard!

new bearded men and chickens

Bearded viking doll, bearded super hero doll, bearded merman doll and cuddle chickens in my etsy, madeit and bluecaravan shops (along with custom bearded folk man dolls). And yes, as fun to make as they look!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Automatic Tea Making Apparatus

Did you know these existed? I almost fell off my chair. The ‘Teasmade’, combines an alarm clock and electric kettle which automatically boils water and adds it to a teapot at a specified time.

Invented in the early 1890's, went electric in the 1930's, popular in the 1960's & 70's, and I've found several articles claiming a comeback (this one in '97 and this one in '09). For years they've been regulated to retro novelty items, but they are also making new ones in a vintage style. Some of the old ones have photo frames in them, or bedside lamps.

My web-wandering led me to this guy who talks about the teamade and how it helps him to be more creative. He says to buy one.

He does.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


The loveley swissmiss has turned her hand to temporary tattoos. Awesome temporary tattoos designed by ermerging artists and designers. Not just for kidlets, I've already bought the 'focus on happy', and am eyeing off more.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

'frenemy' or 'in which I rant and rage a bit about a word in a colouring book'

So I was flipping through my nieces colouring book a few days ago, a Barbie Thumbelina thing with a usual girlified story- there were fairies (all girls of course, with impressively short dresses) and a little girl with a mobile phone and make up (don't they all?), and they teach her to be nice (as all girls should be) and how friends should behave (by showing first what they shouldn't be like. Sarcastic and bitchy. You know, so they can imitate them later) and save the fairy habitat (save the environment; but not by being less of a consumer, of course) but not before the girl gives a fairy a makeover (because being a magical creature doesn't mean you're pretty enough) and some part of the story involves her talking on the phone to her 'frenemy'.

Mind you I gathered all of the above info from few words and pictures in a colouring book, I've never seen the movie so correct me if I'm wrong. As I understand, it all comes good in the end and the spoilt little girl understands true friendship etc, etc.

Most of it I could brush aside (with slightly gritted teeth and only a tiny rant) but what made me stop was a picture of the main character on the phone, with the caption "Makena talks on the phone to her frenemy'. Now I don't know if this is vital to the plot of Thumbelina. I don't know if the conversation was vitally important, or if they became friends in the end. What I do know, is that I am not comfortable with the word 'frenemy' entering into the lexicon of 5yr old girls. No.

For those unfamiliar with the word, which has (oh joy) a draft entry in the online Oxford English Dictionary;
Frenemy; one who pretends to be a friend but who is actually an enemy. Other sources include definitions of rivalry and competition.

So. Yes. Where can we start with all the things that are wrong with this? Shall we begin with how it is difficult enough as children learning about friendship and how make and keep friends, without introducing a concept like 'Oh, btw, your friend can also be your ENEMY.' And that this is not only acceptable, there is a word for it.

Or maybe we could illustrate how over the years the culmative effect of society and media and the beauty ideal has made females more and more competitive and judgemental in the way only women can, which makes us turn on each other (even in a friendly way ie. "oh that woman can eat cupcakes and never put on any weight. Don't you just hate her?"); and perhaps we ought to be working on changing that instead of introducing another word to support and encourage this kind of two-sided bitchy competitiveness?

Or I could make the argument that I have seen firsthand ( I worked with school-aged children for years and watched them play and interact every day) how children pick this stuff up. And why shouldn't they? They are learning about the world and their place in it, and everything is a potential clue. They emulate, they want to fit in, they take what social roles they have been given (for girls- relationships are very important). Having a word like 'frenemy' will encourage more young girls to fit that description, when they could be learning how to overcome differences, understand each other and be honest about their feelings. I could also point out that it is teaching children that it is normal to have and endure toxic friendships.

I have no vendetta against pink or fairies, and would have bought that colouring book too (my niece does love it so), but I am mindful of what is being served with it. Even if the invention of such a word was necessary, to include it in a children’s book is, to me, damn negligent. I just hope that we can recognise such madness and have honest conversations with children and let them know that this is not normal. Your friends should be loving, supportive and, well, friendly. You may not get along with some people, and that's ok too. But your friend should never be your enemy.

It makes me cranky.

Monday, September 5, 2011

new bearded men in progress, merman, viking and hero

Working on versions of the bearded folk man. Why not a bearded super hero? (he looks a bit funny without eyebrows on yet) Mermen are too awesome to be forgotten (and with tattoos)

And Vikings? Well.

Anyone else need a beard?