January 28, 2012

Carted vs Purchased

I'm just setting up my new store on Oz (insert gratuitous plug here) and just can't decide between items been removed from stock when they are actually purchased or just when they are added to the cart.

As a consumer I hate clicking through to checkout only to find my cart has been emptied by a quicker shopper.  But as a seller I would hate to miss a sale because someone carted something and later didn't by and prevented anyone else from buying it.

I've done a few micro polls about it (thanks Facebook!) and its seems its one of those things that people are one way or the other about.

I think I will be running with carted to start with - it seems the system will automatically return it to stock if its not actually paid for within 24 hours.  Not that I think its really going to be an issue for my store but I might look into a bit more anyway.  Now I'm interested to see how the "big names" do it.  I let you know what I if out but in the meantime which do you think works better?

Yours in confusion


January 24, 2012

Special Delivery {Mail from Oz}

ohh look what my postie just delivered...

                                                                                                         and all from the Oz Shop!

Its almost as good as Christmas morning when I get a package from the wonderful Gill!  No idea what I bought the Ric Rac for but I though my embellishment box needed some to be complete and I am sure I will find a use for it in the near future.
The magazine is Mollie Makes and if you are a crafty soul it will make your heart sing with joy - but I will be back to review it in more detail once I've had a good read through (which requires a pot of tea and sleeping children to maximise the pleasure of it all)

I will also be reviewing the pattern but it probably won't be until late next week when I get around to making it.  I'm thinking it would make a great present for a sweet trio of sisters who all share the same birthday next month to help decorate their playroom.  Stay tuned for more on that as well.

Yours in craftiness 


January 17, 2012

Pick a Pattern {The Wrap Dress}

Having basically spent the past 4 1/2 years breastfeeding my wardrobe options have been somewhat limited so finding a style that both looks good and allows easy and discrete access to the milk bar is always a momentous occasion. 

That's why I was so excited to discover The Wrap Dress by Favorite Things Patterns. {insert happy dance}

The tag line for this Canadian company is "patterns that fit" and it's an apt one. I found both the measurements in the size guide and the materials list to be spot on. 

Although the dress itself had several pieces it came together surprisingly quickly.  The instructions were clear and easy to follow and I think that with a bit of patience even a beginning sewer could achieve a wearable garment.  There is the option to make the dress with or without sleeves, I opted for sleeves mainly to help hide my bingo wings but I am thinking I will try a sleeveless version next as this is a dress I can see myself wearing over tights and a long sleeved shirt come winter. 

Overall I was very happy with the end result of my attempt. I decided to try something a little quirky and opted to finally use the Micheal Miller Gnomeville I had been hording for some time and this is what I ended up with

If there any patterns or styles you would like reviewed please let me know.  I am always happy to try something new.  

Yours in stitches,


January 12, 2012

What makes you smile?

I put the call out to the OZ Handmade stores and asked them to send me a photo of what makes them smile?

Here is what I got....

Natalie from Cheeky Jasmine sent me a photo of Bagnalls beach at sunset in Nelson Bay.
This makes Natalie smile, I have to agree that this photo made me smile.

Holly from Puppy Dogs Tails sent a photo of her little helpers after they had been baking. You have to agree cute kids and licking the bowl after baking make you smile.

Gill from Frillys Designs and OZ Handmade, says coffee makes her smile.
Gill is known for being a bit of a coffee snob and proud of it. Hmm the smell of coffee first thing in the morning.

Tell us what makes you smile!

January 10, 2012

A Vintage Dress

Well I did it.  I cut into my "vintage" stash - and what better place to start then at the top with my pièce de résistance - those wonderful Holly Hobbie sheets

After cutting came sewing...

And before I knew it I was ironing the finished item!

TADAH! Here is it (modelled by my new addition "Daniel" as named by Master 4 and the only reason I can  fathom for that choice of  names it is that it rhymes with his own name - Nathaniel)

On a side note I am also loving instagram (just in case you couldn't tell from the pictures)

Yours in sewing,


January 9, 2012

In the beginning

So I've finally got around to cutting into those sheets I mentioned in the last post. And with any luck by lunchtime tomorrow there will be a dress to show for my efforts. But until then here is a sneaky peek

Until tomorrow! Holly - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

January 6, 2012

Vintage, Upcycled, Recycled, Repurposed, Retro (Take 2)

Ok carrying on from yesterday here goes…   

There are a number of “buzz” words that have been floating around for a while in the handmade market place which on the surface always just seemed to be ploys to pass off second hand goods as fancier then they really are.

But as I have discovered there is more to it then that.

Lets start with upcycling which I assumed was always just another term for recycling – whereas recycling is taking something you would usually dispose of as waste and finding another use for it upcycling takes the process one step further and actually improves on the quality or value of the item.  

{So if I take an old sheet and make it into a dress then I have upcycled the sheet (well done me!)} 

Another popular term is “vintage”  - things that were once old are now new again but how old does something have to be to considered as a vintage item?  The simplest criteria I found for this was on Etsy – where to have something listed as vintage it needs to be more then 20 years old.  So that technically means anything from 1992 or before.  (Wonder if anyone wants to by a “vintage” Sandgate High school uniform circa 1992?)  

{So if my old sheet is more then 20 years old then the dress  I have made is also a vintage item} 
The term “retro” differs from vintage in that while something in the style of an earlier time it could have been made yesterday.  

{So if my dress is a 1950s inspired house coat then  it would also be considered “retro” (I’m on fire here!)}
While I’m on this topic I also have a confession to make – I have a bit of a collection of vintage fabrics, mainly upcycled from old bed linens.  And I am loathe to use them as I know that once I have then unlike the majority of my contemporary stash I can’t just order more.  I love to sift through them and dream of the things I could make but its not very often I actually cut into them.  

In pride of place of this collection is a Holly Hobbie sheet set that was gifted to me from a friend of mine after I spotted one of the sheets peaking out from under a bed in her children's' room.  However I will be cutting into this week to make dress for the daughter of the same friend.  I am hoping it will cure me of my reluctance to actually create anything with my “vintage” stash as some of the fabrics are just delightful and need freeing from the drawer in which they currently reside.  

Stay tuned for a progress report (and all going well some pictures…)

January 4, 2012

Vintage, Upcycled, Recycled, Repurposed, Retro...

Oh my!  I just got lost in cyberspace.  Trying to sort out the terms Vintage, Upcycled, Recycled, Repurposed, Retro...

Stay tuned a post on this will be coming....

January 2, 2012

Handmade, Homemade, Handcrafted

If you've every clicked on the About Us tab on the Oz Handmade website you will know that we are a
"a collection of creative people who have followed their passion and started to make some money from selling their high quality handmade items"
However there seems to be some debate as to what constitutes "handmade" and bringing up the topic always seems to open a huge can of worms!

From the dictionary:
HANDMADE (adjective) Made by hand, not by machine

That seems pretty straightforward but the confusion / debate /  mud slinging comes into play when you consider what portion of an item must be made by hand for it to be considered handmade.  For example - embellishing a t-shirt might be done by hand but the shirt itself is not handmade, the fabric I use to sew is machine woven and I sew with my machine yet I sell these items under the handmade banner.  

Perhaps what has happened is that the term hand-crafted has now become interchangeable with handmade

HANDCRAFTED (adjective) made by hand with craftsmanship

And just to confuse things even more what about HOMEMADE (made at home rather then in a store or a factory)
When I was first learning to sew I made my niece a dress and her father made the comment that it "looked handmade", he didn't mean it as a compliment and to me the quality of that dress and the ones I now make perfectly illustrate the difference between handmade and homemade.  

In a nutshell what I think is:

HANDMADE no longer literally refers to items made entirely by hand.  Instead they are items that are CRAFTED with skill (and often love) and it is that skill that separates them from HOMEMADE.

But what I really want to know is what do you think?

January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

And welcome to a new year at Oz Handmade.  

Over the past few months the winds of change have been blowing through the Oz arena and will continue to swirl around as we move in to the 12th year of the 21st century.   

I don’t know about you but for me the holiday season brings with it a general lethargy, I lose my motivation, my sew-jo and a great deal of my usual get up and go.  I’m not sure if it’s the warmer weather, the extra feasting that accompanies the seemingly endless round-about of holiday parties or it’s really just all in my head, but I do know that the upside is that the New Year brings a renewed vigour, an enthusiasm for tasks that only the week before just seemed too hard to even contemplate and the feeling that anything is possible.  Now if only I could bottle it for later in the year…

For the next few weeks I will be channelling my New Year’s can-do energy into planning for this blog.  I am thinking multi-media, I am thinking book reviews (craft of course), I am thinking of topics of conversation and I am also asking you – what do you want?  I can quite happily waffle away for hours on any given topic – after all I have the whole internet at my disposal while I type – but I want to be waffling on topics YOU want to read.  So hit me with them…

Until next time!