Friday, July 29, 2011

It's Your Destiny

I don't know what is better, this guy or the jacket he is wearing. I like to think it is made from vinyl and came from 1983. It would be the op shop find of the decade.

We have him available on Etsy and he will also be at Rose Street this weekend. On Sunday the weather looks like it is going to be a nice 18 degrees in Melbourne, probably the same temperature as Glasgow. So head outside and pretend you're on vacay in Europe celebrating your destiny with the yellow jacket guy.

Friday, July 22, 2011

24 lazy eyes

This is the design for one of our new tea towels available on Etsy. When I started to think about how we would turn this design into a tea towel I wasn't sure if I should have the boy or the girl from the original cards on the tea towel. I then had a think about it and realised having a lot of people winking would be much more fun. I wanted a nice mix of boys and girls, some cool, some dorky, some pretty and some a bit plain. I spent an afternoon drawing all the people and felt a bit drained afterwards. I didn't use anything as a reference so coming up with fresh ideas for each person, particularly hairstyles got a bit difficult near the end and I emptied the mental archives I have from years spent people watching. I think one of my favourites is the bearded person at the bottom and the woman third down on the right.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What are you doing on the weekend?

This weekend is a big weekend for things on in Melbourne, so if you've been couped up inside your warm house drinking cask wine and watching Sons of Anarchy then maybe it is time to put on the winter warmies and check out what Melbourne has to offer. Outside isn't too bad when you have a gazillion layers on.

We will be at Melbourne Design Market on Sunday looking car park chic and selling cards. Come along and say hello, or wave as you travel by in the sea of people.

The first Camberwell Art Show is also on this weekend at Camberwell Girls Grammar Junior School. They have a whole bunch of talented artists including David Bromley, Lisa Madigan and Michael Jenkins. They also have a gift shop with about 13 different designers, including us.

They have a Friday night launch (call 9813 1166 for tickets) with drinks and food and it runs on Saturday and Sunday as well. Maybe you could get up early, go to Camby Market, then onto the artshow?
If you need somewhere to go for lunch in Camberwell we went to Collective Expresso just across from Camberwell Station on Monday with Kirsteene. The food was lovely and apparently the coffee is good as well.

Also Design Made Trade is on this weekend with a whole bunch of talent showing off their work, so no excuse to sit at home when there is so much on!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Five Years

A few weeks ago I went along to an Etsy meet up with Matt, one of the founders of Etsy. After seeing a few familiar faces from when I first started on Etsy I realised that it had been five years since I started my shop. Before Able and Game I had a label called Anna Laura and I like to think of it as the training wheels for Able and Game. It's nice to look back on the five years and think of all the things that have changed, we have shifted twice and Gareth and I have both left our jobs to work full time on the business. I'm excited about the next five years and seeing which direction we go with the business.

Here are a few images from last five years:

The very first stall I had at Rose Street in January 2007. It was a bit of a mess, I shared the stall with my sister and I think I thought doing a market was hard going and maybe not for me. Just over a year later I was doing it every weekend and realised the errors of my way.

This is one of my felt lady badges used to make and I often see a resemblance between the images on the cards and their little stitched faces. Although I've not seen this for more than a year I still remember her name was Danica.

These were some of the cards I sold at Rose Street in 2008 and I like to think of them as the seeds that got Able and Game started. Just after selling these for Mother's Day I decided I wanted to start a card business and that Gareth and I would do it together. He came up with the 'Thanks for the lift" copy so I knew he would be a good fit. Plus he has skills with computers.

Gareth used to help me with the modelling of my bags. This was from when we lived in Upwey and had a big lush garden and I was teaching full time.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Things we love - The Astor

Growing up in Melbourne it seems that the one rule for share houses was you must have The Astor poster stuck up on the back of your toilet door. I think the first time I saw a poster I was probably 21, Lambrusco-d up and thinking is this a list of films I have to see by the time I'm 30 because I've got LOADS of time before that happens.

Gareth and I went the other night and here are the following reasons why we love The Astor:

- They have a cat that lives at the cinema. He was sitting on a sofa when we were there so I got to sit and have a pat.

- You can see two films for $15

- They show films that were made when my parents were under 10 that are in colour. We used to tease my parents whenever they spoke about their childhood by saying "wasn't everything black and white back then?"

-The olde world charm makes you feel like the star of a noir film, even if you're in your trackies.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The first rule of birthdays: there are no rules

You know that feeling you get on your birthday when you think should I do this? Then you realise it's your birthday and you can do whatever the jolly heck you want to do. Technically when it comes to birthdays there are no rules, you can walk around doing what you please and making others do what you please, but if there was to be a set of birthday rules then crying, cake and crooning should be at the top of the list. The card is up on Etsy ready to give to someone who is going to make you do all their birthday bidding for you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I'm sitting down

Sometimes when you think about someone's birthday you get so excited because you just know they are going to put on something special. A nice dinner at a restaurant you're too scared to go to unless you're with someone who knows the drill, a party where the host understands the importance of lighting, or just a good old cake-o-thon. We have our new card listed on Etsy and we will be at Revolver Market this Thursday night and Rose Street this weekend.

Speaking of parties, this weekend I'm heading back to Gippsland for my cousins 21st and I have to admit I'm pretty excited. There will be:

  • Costumes, I'm dressing as a man.

  • Ample booze in my Dad's never ending esky of fun.
        Standard Beer: VB tinnies
        Fancy Beer: Crown Lager

  • A dance floor big enough to get at least 1 sibling and 2 cousins doing the robot to Mustang Sally.

  • Decorations that would make Jamie Durie wish he was hosting a TV Challenge show called "Cricket Club Halls: Make 'em Fancy".

Friday, July 8, 2011


Cards with cats on them would have to be my favourite cards and so it isn't too much of a surprise when they creep onto our cards. I think we have around 6 cat cards now and this new birthday card is already a firm favourite. We have it available on Etsy and it will also be at Rose Street Market this weekend.

Speaking of cat cards, when I got back from Brisbane Gareth gave me a cute cat card from Gemma Correl that he purchased at Dorothy and Evelyn to say he missed me. Too cute!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sorry, But I'm In Europe

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I beg your pardon, I never promised you a herb garden

Gareth and I shifted a few months ago and one of the things that really worried me about the move was shifting my herb garden. In fact I used to lie awake at night feeling sad at the thought of them dying because they didn't get enough sunlight on the new balcony. Well after three months, one of those months being winter, I am pleased to say my little baby herbies are doing okay. Sure the basil died but everyone's basil dies in winter, that wasn't my fault - it's in its DNA.

Our last house had a big front and back yard which needed mowing every month or so and a lovely guy called Bruce would come and tend to it. I would always get excited when he came as it gave me a chance to show off my herbs and talk shop with him and learn some herbie tricks. I love talking to anyone about growing herbs and when I was up in Sydney at Life Instyle Kate from Elly Oak and I got chatting and discovered we both upload photos of our herb garden to Facebook like proud parents. In the picture above you can see my Sage, Chervil, Mint, Coriander, Chives and Rosemary. I also have Vietnamese Mint (my new favourite, the stuff grows like it's being paid!), Parsley (curly and flat) Marjoram, Thyme and Oregano. I have a few spare pots for some new herbs, so if you have any suggestions for ones to add please let me know.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Brisbane Finders Keepers

I've just arrived back in Melbourne after a pretty fun four days in Brisbane for Finders Keepers. It is the second time we have been up to Brisbane for Finders Keepers in winter and the thought of warm weather really did have me excited. Even though I was at the event on my own it was really stress free having learnt a few what-not-to-do lessons from previous interstate markets.

I had lovely neighbours next to me, Jarren from Temono, Jen from Jen Hall Designs and Belle from Brkich and as a bit of a coincidence it turns out Belle and I went to the same small high school and had the same art teacher. What are the chances?

It was great chatting to the customers and arrived home late last night and Gareth and I sat and spoke about all the people we had seen and spoken to at the market stalls over the weekend. I think the lady who told me she loves the blog made my day (so if you're reading this - thank you!). I was also happy to see a positive reaction to the Queensland Rail cards and the Goodna card ended up selling out on Sunday even though I made sure I had loads of stock on hand.

Below are some photos of the stall including the new tea towels.

I thought I'd put this extra cute photo in, I was passing by Nook on Browning Street West End and little Pedro the shop cat was out and said hello by doing this tricky yoga move in the sun. He was so happy and smirry* so I did what all cat obsessed people without an actual cat of their own do and took some photos.

*this is a word I use to describe when a cat gets all affectionate and cute. I looked it up thinking it was a real word and realised it wasn't.