Sunday, 26 October 2014

So much thanks.

I just had to write tonight to say thank you so, so much to all of you who supported my work this weekend. These past few weeks, aside from market prep and the general chaos of managing a small business, a household, a puppy and two small children, I've also been negotiating with a company in India to import a 2000 meters of organic cotton - a massive deal for me and the biggest expense (by a long shot) that I've had to take on for Maze & Vale. I need the fabric to grow and achieve the things I want to but especially to be able to produce quilt kits based on my own patterns, something that I've hoped to do since I started printing fabric but have been held back by the expense and the lack of a consistent supply of the organic cotton I prefer to use.

So mid-last week, I got the official invoice for my fabric import and I realised that along with paying a 50% deposit on the order, I also have my lease payment happening this week and it all became very real, suddenly - that I'm actually running a business here... or at least trying to. And I spent a couple of tossey turney nights wondering how it was all going to balance out and whether such a big chunk of money for fabric was really the best idea right now and then...

THEN I updated the shop with all that I have been working on the past few weeks, I put it out into the world and hoped that it would be well received and in a few short hours you guys took all of my worries and doubts and stress away. While I spent the day with a lovely group, teaching them the fun of block printing and freeform patchwork, sat back and watched the calm joy of creating, you all came to my rescue. I will be paying the deposit on my fabric tomorrow and while I wrap up each of the epic number of orders that were placed this weekend, I will thank you again for allowing me to continue on with this journey. I sincerely couldn't do it without you. x



ps. the 3 for $20 panel sale is still on for one more day in case you are worried you've missed out! Use the discount code 3FOR20 at checkout until the end of the 27th.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

New Sample Packs, Dropcloth Artwork, Clothpot kits and panels!

That's right, folks - Sample Packs aplenty, new Dropcloth Artwork, new panels AND 3 for $20 panel deal all happening this Saturday! You'll be able to find it all at http://www.mazeandvale.com, I'll post a reminder Saturday morning as well :)

That's right, all sorts of newness hitting the Maze & Vale shop on Saturday morning! The update will take place at 9:00am AEST (Melbourne time) - if you are overseas and unsure of what time it is in Melbs, you can click here to find the current Melbourne time and then work out the time difference to where you are.

Sample Packs
Dropcloth Artwork
I saved half of the Sample Packs that I made last week for this shop update (the other half were snaffled up at Finders Keepers {which was a very fantastic weekend, by the way. Thanks heaps if you visited!}) and there are still plenty of great Dropcloth Artworks available from the latest batch of 50 - my bigger printing table means bigger dropcloth means bigger issue runs - yay!

Brand new DIY Clothpot Kits launching tonight at @finders_keepers market! If you're visiting, I'll be at stall E10, very close to the NEW extra entrance on the Nicholson Street side of the building.
I printed up a new Clothpot Kit with my Flight design in Dove Grey and Fragments in Pitcher Pink, a super cute reversible design that I could see working very well in a baby nursery or even just to brighten up an office, really.

Sashiko in Husk on organic cotton
Sashiko on charcoal linen
I'll also be launching my new design, Sashiko, printed in Charcoal on charcoal 100% linen and Husk on 100% organic cotton. This design is a representation of the ancient Japanese cloth mending technique and I'm really pleased at how it prints. I got a larger screen made of this one, and one for Fragments as well, so I will be able to offer yardage for both of these designs.

To sweeten the shop update even further, I'll be offering 3 for $20 fabric panels for three days only! A great chance to stock up for some holiday sewing, perhaps? Or just a little stash enhancement? ;)

Friday, 10 October 2014

Finder Keepers Melbourne


I'll be at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton next weekend for the fabulous Finders Keepers market!! I've been making heaps of new stock, including a massive pile of Sample Packs and a lovely new batch of Dropcloth Artwork. Hope you can make it by, the new Vintage and Farmer's Lane areas sound great! 

Okay peeps, I've made just over ONE HUNDRED Sample Packs this week, half will be available at Finders Keepers market next weekend and the other half (plus any leftovers) will be online on shortly after (time and date TBC), hopefully no one will miss out t
Sample Packs - check...
Putting together Block Printing on Fabric Kits this morning (great Christmas presents... Just sayin')
Block Printing on Fabric Kits - check...
I've started mounting some of the new Dropcloth Artworks, really excited about this batch!
Dropcloth Artwork - in the works

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Project journal: 07.10.14

Random capture from the studio today. I'm trying to print heaps and heaps of stock to carry me through The @finders_keepers market next month and beyond. Also helps to get this dropcloth nice and messy so I can make some new Dropcloth Artwork in the next

Oh my dear blog friends (if any of you are still out there...), I am so sorry for completely neglecting this space. It's purely been a case of having too much to share and not knowing where to start. Since opening the studio three months ago, I have been busier than ever and enjoying it even more, having the space to move freely and organise my work has made such a difference in productivity and mindset. I am loving it.

Workshops have been going super well and I had the first Screen Printing on Fabric workshop last month which was such a buzz, I love sharing this craft. I only have a few more workshops to teach before Christmas and then will be taking a break for the month of January (unless I get a group booking). There is ONE more spot available for Screen Printing this weekend and a couple of spaces left for Block Printing on Fabric and Freeform Patchwork at the end of the month.

Still working on the freeform patchwork, still not 100% sure what this will become but vague ideas are forming...

I haven't been doing much sewing lately, I did start in a(nother) Wiksten Tova dress right before The Craft Sessions (which was completely amazing by the way and completely more deserving of absolutely raving about rather than a brief mention in passing but time is tight, I'm trying to type this out while I direct my kids to get ready for school and childcare at 8am, it's kind of maddening) and have a little Maze & Vale scrap freeform patchwork on the go but neither are finished. I'm starting to make plans for next year, looking forward to having a bit of a breather in January, 2014 has been amazing but also kind of insane.

I've got a bit more news to share but will do so in separate posts over the next day or so - I can hear my kids arguing about what the weather will be like today so best go help them get dressed and get on with our day...


Sunday, 24 August 2014

Learn Screen Printing on Fabric at Home at the new studio!


I'm super pleased to announce that I've finally gathered all the materials I need to teach screen printing at the new studio and have put some dates up! It's a five hour course that will have you cutting paper and vinyl stencils and printing fabric, linen tea towels and tote bags with your own designs but will also give you all the information you need to keep printing at home, which is what I found most seriously lacking in the emulsion based screen printing course I did in my 20s. We'll discuss doing photo emulsion at home and what other ways there are to get your designs onto the screen. All in all, I hope it will be a super fun and inspiring day, jam packed with information. There are three dates before Christmas and then I'll be taking a little workshop break until February - spaces are already filling up quite quickly so get over to the shop and sign up if you'd like to join in!



My new Block Printing on Fabric Kits are also available in my shop now! They come with everything you need to jump right into creating your own stamps, including a rubber carving block suitable for 3-4 stamps and four custom mixed Maze & Vale colours (Mustard, Robin's Egg Blue, Perfect Red and Charcoal) (but the ink actually now comes in little vials, not the containers shown because those suckers there? They leak. Yep. Discovered that last week!). Unfortunately the kits are quite heavy and so are only available for shipping within Australia (and if you're local to Melbourne and want to pick up from the studio, just drop me a line and we'll organise it).

Other than getting all these together, I've been super busy preparing for The Craft Sessions, signing up for markets (I'll be at the next Finders Keepers in Melbourne and at the AQC Expo and the Craft & Quilt Fair next year - yay! and eek! So much printing and planning ahead of me), working on my first quilt kit and holding workshops, like the Block Printing and Freeform Patchwork sessions last weekend, always too much fun.


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

July Giveaway + Sample Pack date


Oh yes, my friends, THREE Sample Packs to be won this month! I think I actually missed last month (or maybe the month before?) so I thought I'd better go big this time. There is one Sample Pack to giveaway here on the blog, one on Instagram and one winner will be chosen from my newsletter list. All you need to do to enter this one is leave a comment on this post, maybe tell me what your favourite colour is, one that I print or one that you'd like me to print. To enter the newsletter Sample Pack giveaway, just type your email address into my newsletter signup form over to the right there, hit 'Subscribe' and you're in! (If you've already signed up, you're already entered.) And for Instagram, head over to the giveaway post and tag a friend who you think might be interested. Easy peasy, three chances to win!

The giveaways are all open to anyone worldwide and include shipping, entries close midnight, July 31st, 2014 and winners will be randomly drawn on August 1st, 2014, Sample Packs may not be exactly as shown but will be a similar collection of colours/prints/basecloths.

And if you not the lucky winner (there can only be three after all...) you'll be happy to know that I'll have a new batch of Sample Packs in the shop on Friday, August 15th at 10am, AEST (Melbourne time). I should have the new Block Printing on Fabric Kits available then as well, just in time for my next Block Printing on Fabric workshop at the studio on August 16th - still about three places left in that one if you'd like to join us!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Craft Sessions registration closing soon

foldover tote

Registration for this year's The Craft Sessions is closing soon (early August, I believe) and I've started gearing up for my workshops. I'll be teaching two new ones this year, a half day workshop on Block Printing with Repeats and a full day workshop to create a foldover tote with leather handle as shown above but customised to your needs with a few pocket options. I'm really looking forward to teaching this workshop in particular, it will be nice to send the participants home with a completed project and hopefully a few new skills as well.

And I'm SO looking forward to this weekend in general. Last year was completely amazing, wonderful, cosy, delicious and all things good, really and this year I'm even going to bring some KNITTING so I can hang with the cool kids* (or at least have something to do with my hands while I hang by the camp fire). I hope you can join me! 


*in case anyone is missing my humour, there are no 'cool kids' at The Craft Sessions (or rather, we were ALL cool kids - cool, crafty, super cool kids), everyone is amazingly warm and welcoming and open and on the same page. It's awesome.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Ta da!! Introducing the Maze & Vale Textile and Print Making Studio...

The studio early this morning :)
Working in this lovely space today. A bit chilly but so happy :)

It's been a typical reno project with mishaps and about turns and new solutions and way more money spent than initaly budgeted for but... the studio is done and I LOVE IT. My husband is an absolute superstar who put in countless hours on top of his full time job to patch, plaster, paint and floor the place with not one little complaint, totally supportive and completely awesome (pretty cute, too) - he's a gem and I couldn't have done this, really ANY of this, without him. (Big thanks, buddy. xx) There are still a few tweaks to be made to the space and I'm still getting used to having my workspace split up (my work room at home will become a sewing/quilting room as the new studio isn't really big enough for both) but all in all, it is EXCELLENT and I am very happy :)

I had my first day of workshops last Saturday to a full house and had a fantastic group of ladies (and one very skilled 12 year old) taking part. I think everyone had an excellent time and I personally couldn't have asked for a better start to this new phase of my venture.

The next day of Block Printing on Fabric and Freeform Patchwork is on August 16th and there are only a couple of spots left (you can even sign up for the whole day for a special price and use your block printed fabric for the patchwork as many did this past weekend). But fear not, I have another day of the same on September 20th that is still pretty open and will be putting dates for the rest of the year up soon, along with some other workshop (yes, screen printing). A little note too, if you're part of a group (min 8) who would like to organise your own day of workshops at my studio (or yours), please email me at leslie@mazeandvale.com for my special group rate!

Scenes from the Block Printing workshop
Block Printing on Fabric Workshop
Block Printing on Fabric Workshop
Just starting Freeform Patchwork, lovely him of sewing machines
More beautiful patchwork by Josephine of @flownthecoup using pieces she stamped in the morning workshop
Freeform Patchwork Workshop


Sunday, 6 July 2014

Craft & Quilt Fair round up (a week later...)

My booth at the Craft & Quilt Fair last week
All set up at the Exhibition Centre in South Wharf for the Craft & Quilt Fair last week

I had an absolutely fantastic time at the Craft & Quilt Fair last week, so many lovely people with so many nice words about my work, I feel totally validated that this path I am running on is the right one (and I'm loving it). Thank you so much if you were one of those lovely people, it truly was a pleasure meeting you! (and yes, as the top photo shows, I met Shelley Craft! She was lovely, too.)

I've updated the shop with some new prints that I debuted at the fair plus the Clothpot kits and some new DIY oobee kits:

Photographing the Clothpots for the shop listing, hope to get the kits online tonight, along with a bunch of new panels, the DIY oobee soft toy kits and yes, a few Sample Packs

I have a TON of reprinting to do and loads of basecloth arriving at my doorstep tomorrow (and the next day. and possibly the next day) along with some other goodies I have ordered for the studio ( plus a few art book type treats for myself, I deserve them). The studio is coming along excellently after a setback with the floor and is all set to be ready and waiting for my first sold out day of workshops this Saturday - yay! I've set up August and September dates for Block Printing on Fabric and Freeform Patchwork and will have dates for Screen Printing at Home and Quilting Basics in the next few weeks. It's all just so good, folks, so very good :)

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Craft & Quilt Fair + new studio, new workshops, new, new, new!


I'm not even going to mention the fact that I haven't written here for weeks (months) on end (except that I did just mention it), I'm just going to say that I've been working my little buns off getting plenty of pretty stock ready for the Craft & Quilt Fair next week here in Melbourne.

Introducing Maze & Vale Clothpots! I'll be launching DIY kits for these handy little fabric buckets in four different, reversible designs at the Craft & Quilt Fair at the end of the month, online shortly after :)
Putting together Clothpot kits to launch at the Craft & Quilt Fair at the end if the month, another slowly but surely.

I'll be launching a new kit to make these lovely, reversible fabric buckets, perfect for dressing up a plant pot or storing any manner of goodies (would make a perfect yarn holder for you knitters). There are four different kits available with two different prints in each, all handprinted on a sturdy hemp/organic cotton. I completely love these and hope you guys do too.

The state of my printing table: piles and piles of fabric as far as the eye can see!
This is a 50 litre container almost completely full of Sample Packs and specially priced handprinted fabric panel bundles!

I will also have a ton of Sample Packs and specially priced, fabric panel bundles plus oobee soft toy kits, dropcloth artwork, advent panels and plenty of fabric panels to peruse. There are a lot of other excellent makers attending the fair for the first time this year, including RicRac,  The Crafty Squirrel, L'ucello, Melly & Me, Treehouse Textiles, Emma Jean Jansen and Sew Well Maide so it's well worth a visit.

Slowly but surely.

My other massive news that has been keeping out entire household quite busy is that I took over the lease on a little shopfront in West Footscray at the beginning of the month which will become my new printing and workshop studio! I have been searching for a space for such a long time and, although ideally this space could be slightly larger, it's so close to my home and fairly reasonably priced (for a commercial lease, which I've discovered are horrendously expensive and now as I drive around town, I ponder how all these little businesses are even keeping their doors open) that I had to jump on it. I love the fact that it's a shopfront as I have extra incentive to make it all pretty and apparently a cafe is opening up next door so really, that's just about perfect in my books.

Flyers to hand out at the Craft & Quilt Fair - my first workshop sign ups are open now! Learn Block Printing on Fabric and /or Freeform Patchwork in my new studio on July 12th, link in profile

My husband has been working ridiculous hours over there, painting and now pulling up all the cracked vinyl tiles. Once the fair is over, I'll be spending the following two weeks setting it all up just how I want it (sooooooooo exciting) before my first set of workshops on July 12th. Yep, that's right, I opened sign ups last week for Block Printing on Fabric in the morning and Freeform Patchwork in the afternoon or a special price for attending the whole day and the workshops are already half full, which makes me so smiley inside. I have plans for many more workshops, including lots of screen printing ones, up my sleeve so keep an eye on my Facebook page or in the Workshops section in my shop for more details (as I'm not super reliable with posting here, obviously).

And yes, of course, we still have the sweet Pepper puppy adding to the fun and craziness:
Miss Pepper, 16 weeks and cute as ever.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Project journal: 15.04.14

It's slow times around here on the project front, I'm afraid. I feel like this year, work-wise, just hasn't even officially started. Despite having an extra day and a half a week to work, I think there have only been one or two weeks that I've been able to actually use all that time for work stuff. I either desperately need groceries or to do some kind of errand or there's some school activity that I want to check out (swimming, assembly, Easter parade, etc). So anyways, this trend will continue for the next few weeks as we just added THIS sweet face to our family:


Meet Pepper, our new dachshund moodle (Maltese/poodle) cross puppy. Pepper who is the sweetest little pea of a doggie but can't bear to be left alone for very long and must be within sight of me all the live long day (and a few times each night). So I've been getting not too much sleep and although today is one of my only work days during these school holidays, I'm camped out on the couch listening to the Feist and Ben Gibbard station on Pandora and getting some internet stuff done (including this miraculous and overdue blog post!) while puppers sleeps on her blanket beside me. I don't trust her amidst the chaos of my sewing room and I'm missing getting in there to do printing and sewing (even though my BRAND NEW and EXPENSIVE sewing machine had to be sent back to Janome for some super annoying sensor error so I'll have to use my old machine if I do manage to snag some time). I'm working on training Pepper to be alone for a little bit of time here and there so hopefully it won't be too long before I can get some good chunks of work time back in on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

In the meantime I'm working on a couple of new designs and making plans for the Craft & Quilt Fair which is only 10 short weeks away (sounds like a long time until you realise that is only 20 official working days for me... 20 official working days that I'll also be taking care of a puppy...). I'm scheming all sorts of new fabric goodies and waiting for some time to actually produce them!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Project journal: 05.04.14

Um, where did March go? Two weeks of everyday swimming at school for the five year old, a couple of Saturdays teaching, four weeks of my porcelain course and a head cold/flu for the past two weeks made the month completely fly. Luckily I did take a few photos so I can catch up with my project record:

Custom single quilt
Custom single quilt

I finished the custom single sized quilt I was working on and have since received beautiful photos of a gorgeous one year old girl snuggled up with it in it's new home - the best reward for creating, I think. OH! I was just about to talk about the quilting and I realised I haven't even shared the news here that I bought the new sewing machine that I was coveting!!

Is there anything more exciting than a new sewing machine???
I got a Janome Horizon 8900QCP and it is soooooooooo lovely. I can't believe the difference when quilting, it's really so much easier. And it comes with fun new stitches like this wave stitch used on my latest quilt, the picture below shows it really well.

Custom single quilt

So that was a bit of fun for my busy March days. I also made some custom oobees who went off to their new homes and had way too much fun creating porcelain vessels and beads in the workshop I was taking with Abby Seymour (about half of the goodies I created shown here):

These three custom cuties are almost ready to go too, I'll finish them off and wrap them up tonight. Big day at the post office tomorrow :)
A few of my finished pieces from the porcelain workshop I have been taking

And I did a whole lot of teaching with a great Freeform Patchwork workshop at Handmaker's Factory:
Freeform Patchwork workshop at Handmaker's Factory

A full day of Stamp Carving and Freeform Patchwork at the super amazing Treehouse Textiles (they have the most fantastic studio space, I highly recommend experiencing it!):
Stamp Carving and Freeform Patchwork at Treehouse Textiles

And I just did a great day of Stamp Carving and Freeform Patchwork with some wonderful members of the Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild, who produced some amazing work and were great, great fun! For some crazy reason I did not take a single photo of the Freeform Patchwork creations (I'm blaming coming down from my head cold meds) but you can find some taken by other members at their Flick site:
Stamp Carving workshop with the Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild

Whew, okay, I think thats me all caught up on projects. I'm just starting a couple of new things right now, will share them this week, along with some fun news of the puppy variety. Yes, I said puppy :)

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