theodora

theodora

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

It's Raining


I had plans for today & it did not include sprinkling with rain.
I loved the last 2 days of sunshine 
& much of that was in the car driving to & from Melbourne 
then around Melbourne 

Always interesting as I sometimes wander into places...to look at a packaging presentation..
to look at clothes that I love ..& enjoy the simple design lines & gorgeous fabric choices
&
promise to have one when I lose weight...

*****
Now ...as my 20th year in this design business moves closer
I did some thinking while I was idle in the city....as in I was not painting etc & I was also out of my surrounds...
Gives me a different clarity some times as I separate myself from my studio style life..
So watch the spaces....I favour doing the newsletter announcement first..
Newsletters & I go way back to maybe 18 years at least in the design phases of my world.
I have newsletter  friends who have travelled along the long journey with me 
So that is where I will begin...
I have some ideas...
But first
I need to get my parcels into the post...
and paint some cats & bunnies for an order...
&
I had better see what I still need to paint for the Christmas order Karen Martin is taking to some events very soon...
...
The buttons for the star deer & bendy trees are a slimmer version of what was a button story..
I do some redesign for packaging simplicity....
So cute though don't you think ...?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Those two cats !

These are the same cat buttons ...
painted in very different colours...
&
....................
both are $4.50 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Cat Buttons & specials

Cats are always pretty special...
Today I have been reloading the cats on the website & doing some for specials for a short time...
Maybe more on special by this evening....


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Updating the web site

Doing some renovations on the website...
Birds, flowers, bunny, bees & cats..thus far !

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Tags for the tree....?

Sunday was a long day where the trees & frames were concerned ...
I love working with tags...
*+++++++++++++++++++*
ah the sun shines now....
that means the day has begun.
I had an email from France & your heatwave ....
Oh that is so different than us at the moment...
but what is to come ???



Monday, August 22, 2016

I promise I will do some gardening soon !

I do promise to play with some flowers & stuff other than Christmas for a day or so LOL
After the tree decorate & change etc etc yesterday & I had quite a mess about me...
Tidy up I said....to no one except me !
Began with this frame & that is where it all ended
As this all worked a treat....& before long I was making stories ...
Love this idea.... and there possibly could have been more ... but it was tea time !
*****
This morning I went to meet up with a very special friend ....
She was at her Grand Mother's doing craft
She is not quite 2...
Sitting at her small table stamping !
Later she "painted" with brush & plain water, but she was looking up at the doll to see what was to be painted next...
I drew with crayons & we traced around each other's hands....
Then she had a little go at gluing some red hearts
&
In between she did some sticker art.
Absolutely gorgeous.
*****


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Tags


I was doing some drawing ...
with buttons handy..
distraction set in...
I tagged the holly, tweeny red bird & red boot 
&
the other one got a face lift
on the website....


Love the Cows & great story

I have just read this really lovely story & seen these beautiful cows.....lucky us we get some in public places..... 
It comes at a time the dairy industry is doing it incredibly hard.....
I am always proud my small wood cow designs go to Gannawarra Tourist centre & are made into brooches each has engraved Cohuna.
My grandparents were dairy farmers & somewhere in the DNA sits a little love of those cows & an appreciation that twice a day everyday the girls are milked....

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-20/john-kelly-brings-cows-home-to-sunshine/7765992?WT.ac=statenews_vic

Friday, August 19, 2016

Gathering of Hearts & Hands

www.theodoracleave.com


The GATHERING OF HEARTS & HANDS....
 A story.....
Before the days of online newsletters & limited programming for  websites
 Country Friends ( Wendy Brigg )
&
Woodcutter's Daughter ( Barb Smith )
began designing cloth dolls in Canberra.
We each wrote a newsletter....
&
Charged a fee of $15 to cover our costs of mailing out & services to put these together
These were a marketing tool to enable us in our MAIL ORDER businesses to reach our customer base .
As the industry grew in Australia, we felt a desire to give back to the customer base that had supported us for the years we got on our way....
We must have discussed this dream for a couple of years
when finally I said 
" How much will we lose if we run it & it is not covered in our business costs"
We did the costings & yes we could stand to lose x $....

So began the Gatherings...
Wendy came up with the Hearts & Hands as we all loved what we did with our hearts & we used our hands.
I liked the way Kindred Spirits when they came from USA & gave us several projects to chose one from & we could walk about..
I had previously had a frozen shoulder & that is why I came into designing after a long session of making for a market for 5 years.

We barred sewing machines because in many classes the noise & also it often set a pressure for everyone to keep up with the fastest person.

We wanted this to be relaxed & to develop a rhythm of connectedness & friendship.

We also had no saved seating.... if you had a couple of people or  a group coming there was no guarantee you sat with them  first in sat whereever they found a chair.
( we helped & made people feel comfortable & also that everyone joined in ..it was in the spirit of both our businesses & our newsletters} 

It was an after thought that we'd bring our samples & some patterns to sell as most people were from interstate & maybe they'd like to see the samples.

Sample bags were some special designs we did & my contribution also came with a painting kit because I then was doing wood painting kits & had painters in my customer base.
We did some interesting things...in the bag & also stencilled  a box ...
so we began

Sending off our newsletters for the Gathering.
The first one we ran was over 2 days
of
85 people..
Who arrived beaming & some were a little nervous...
everyone painted under the excellent tuition of my 2 Sue friends
&
when people began to depart on the Sunday it was like saying goodbye to dear friends   ...who knew us through our newsletters...
So we were 2 designers working basically at our kitchen table in the late 1990's 
&
 we had a dream
look so many are still going to these Gatherings  run by quilt shops & other designers...
We I think were so lucky to feel that warm embrace of beginning something ...which at the time sewing groups were unheard of in Australia !

Star Deer & Bush trees

The Star deer & 2 bush trees have been added as a set to the website.

Along with white overlay versions of the Santa Jolly Santa  Decorations
He has the patched cutaway stars & tree & Heart on his coat....
& the 
Star Santa Decoration
which has a star cut out of it's coat & Merry Christmas etched on the hem of the coat.


PS... found some new fonts available & how exciting is all this...
I have bumbled my way back to facebook but I much prefer the blog as the pictures work nicely & do not blur & forget to show where the edits are,,,,& I can write..because it is what I prefer..

Which I will now do a separate blog on how the Gathering soirees whatever you call them began in Australia



Thursday, August 18, 2016

We look back & move forward

Marg & I have been discussing the first Christmas decoration patterns she designed using my wood painted decorations..
Going back some years now...
many of the designs I painted have now been retired..
But I love these designs on the tree...
It would be the adapting now with other of my wood designs and buttons 
&


In this year's releases Marg has done this really sweet bag which fits all the latest Christmas decorations I have done...
You know as I look at the bag...once you have the pattern there would be some degree of using my Christmas buttons on the bags as well.
reindeer, trees & stars...or just a santa button...?

 I love the white felt backgrounds 
Make these the advent calendars ????
How cute that would be 
 I love this tag which started out using the big deer button...
When this angel arrived Marg tried it on the tag pattern & 
it is so lovely...my favourite I think !
  I adore the bunting.....!!!  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Writer's Festival on Sunday


On Sunday morning I joined a huge crowd in the Capital Theatre in Bendigo to listen to Kerry O'Brien speak on the writings of the Keating book.
I  love to listen to interviews where they are aloowed to chat... the stories weave ...
we are as the audience engaged.
It was a wonderful hour in a packed out session.
It was the only author I decided to see this year...but many were also tempting..it looked like an excellent festival as it made the 5th year.
Now I must travel to Melbourne  if I do not hurry the day will be done 

Monday, August 15, 2016

SNOWMAN BUTTON STORY with a Difference

Finally made myself finish the notes for this button story.
I have had the samples done for some weeks...months.... mon dieu ???
Anyway here he is beaming with anticipation for Christmas decorating.
In this style of story comes the snowman template & notes on some technique ideas for making your story...with the snowman & 4 buttons. 
The Buttons I have chosen fit but a number of my other buttons will fit also....
It is a really great way to use up some of those buttons you look at in some box every so often..
So once you have the story it can have the other deer, different trees etc....I won't go on LOL
As you see here in the coloured postcard that comes with this story.
The snowman can be a stuffed decoration to hang on the tree....
appliqued in felt / fabric ... wow that is so many things to do like stockings & bags & table runners & of course framed etc etc.
I used a misting ink spray onto light fabric & then stitched around outline ..( that is the centre one )
or of course stitched
I have included it onto my website today & it sells for $15.00 plus postage ...

Now sun is up & I need to go for a nice walk in it !!



Friday, August 12, 2016

Nearly 20 years


Lying in bed earlier this morning ...
You know tossing up whether to be awake or asleep...
Thoughts start to roam about..so no sleep to return to..
In these fleeting moments came
This October it will be 20 years 
since I began in the design phase of my life !!!

I must think of a celebration for us all to enjoy
From the Woodcutter's Daughter... 
to Theodora Cleave...
Pull the covers back & it is still me....LOL   Ohhhh

I thought we'd just look at some of the more recent batches I painted...
At the moment I am working on  more Christmas painting...
But they are still on the camera in the other room & I am still a bit asleep.....too lazy to go find the camera ..
But I like the houses ,...
I like them ....
Oh it is Friday once again & I have some posting to get organised before I go to the foot person....








Monday, August 8, 2016

More of the wanderings in Lavendula

theodoracleave.com
I adore the trees with the yellow winter coat !

This goose was not just looking at the world from upside down position ...it was cleaning the top of it's head..interesting to watch 


 Who would not love a garden that looked like this ??
  Or this
 Blossoms !!!
 and Japonica

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Lavendula this morning

I took the camera & set off for a stroll around Lavendula this morning....it is one place that never disappoints.
Too early for lavender but jonquils are other bulbs were in full flower...the vege beds were  beginning to grow after winter....geese preening themselves standing on one leg & other antics...brilliant red rooster & hens shining in the sunlight.....couple of emu & a horse !
I just enjoywalking about the grounds & letting it seep into my soul.

Coming to drive out across the ford which was a little deeper than usual & running faster & the noise of a lovely babbling brook &  the bubbles to match....my car is small & light ...& I was hoping to get out as I had come in....I did because here I am.




 AND 
The white rabbit was out playing in my field yesterday with the 2 siblings in brown with white fluffy tales !!!
They were leaping about chasing each other.
A delight to watch