Wednesday, December 22, 2010

these would make cute gift tags too...

tags + wrap

It's been a little quiet here on the blog again. Lots has happened in the past few weeks with me moving my studio out to mimmis and then after a lot of thought and looking at things from various angles moving it back home again. I loved working & chatting with Miriam and was getting my work done but was carting glass back and forth and still working from home anyway so decided to move it all back here. A selection of hot toffee studs will still be available at mimmis and I'll be visiting regularly.

With Christmas orders all in the post, this afternoon was a time to play. I've decided to wrap our gifts with the frankie pullout calenders that I've collected over the past year or so and thought that tags made from this calender which was still hanging around my studio would be cute. Now all they need is some pretty string...

Friday, December 17, 2010


This weekend there are more great markets on - perfect for finishing or starting your Christmas shopping.

Tonight (December 17th)
brisStyle twilight market - King George Square & Burnett Lane, Brisbane CBD 5pm - 9pm

Saturday 18th December
The Handmade Expo - Ipswich Turf Club, Brisbane Road Bundamba 8am - 2pm

The Bardon Market - 247b Simpsons Rd Bardon 9am - 1pm

I will be holding the fort at mimmis this afternoon and tomorrow - lots of goodies that would make lovely Christmas presents here too! Also open Sunday x

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas shopping...

My plans this weekend are to visit some garage sales & antique stores to find more gifts. If you still need to find some presents the Bardon Market has some lovely things and it's on today: the Bardon Market. Bardon.

some more markets this weekend:
'A Handmade Holiday' - 24 Vanda Street, Woolloongabba

'Boutique Markets' - Portside Wharf Hamilton, Brisbane

Friday, December 10, 2010

this time last year...

..Pochi and I were out in the yard working on Ryo's Christmas present. We were painting and putting P's footprints on a pair of shorts. The reason? A few years ago we had a 'homemade' Christmas and my chef brother hand painted food on clothing for each member of the family. Ryo loved his shorts with radishes painted down the side so much that he had almost worn them out so Pochi and I set about to create a new pair for him. He wears them all the time! I had fun and printed the below photo onto some lovely stock and made it into a swing tag.

I was actually looking through my files from last year for a Christmassy photo because I wanted to share some of the Christmas markets that are happening around the place but was distracted by these photos of pochi x

Forest Hill Christmas Festivities - Victoria Street Forest Hill (mimmis will be open)
'Boutique Markets Twilight Market' - Portside Wharf, Hamilton

'A Handmade Holiday' - 24 Vanda Street, Woolloongabba

'Boutique Markets' - Portside Wharf Hamilton, Brisbane

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

a page a day...

In this busy time its nice to escape to space belonging to other folk. I'm really enjoying reading a story a day from frankie magazine's 'spaces' picked up on a recent visit to nook

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

a little shopping.

cute edamame from Ryo

Ok, so shopping in Japan is just as fun as I remember it to be BUT so much more overwhelming than I recall. Amazing products every which way you look can make it a wee bit difficult to choose things and the fact that things are readily available and easy to find means that sense of 'i have to have it NOW' is somewhat lost as visual overload sets in. Still there were things I just had to have and things that I thought I bought but didn't and things I was thinking about on the plane trip home that I'd forgotten to buy!

I wanted also to go to some of the little shops I frequented often when living in Japan but sadly they had closed. It seems the financial crisis has affected our little town. The stationery shop I visited almost daily for 4 and a half years. closed. For the longest time I've been planning to stock up on my favourite pens and sketch books while seeing the friendly face of the man who owned that shop. I was still able to stock up on my favs from other shops so all was not lost!

can't wait to make some envelopes using this

washi tape in colours and patterns I haven't seen in Australia yet

origami paper to add to my stash

washi paper for my little girl cards

fun & useful

So I've stocked up on pens, notebooks, magazines, books, bits and bobs for hot toffee and also have some fun new things!

Monday, December 6, 2010

rainy days and treasure hunting.

This year my family are doing a second hand Christmas. Yes. All presents will be second hand. So over the last 12 months I've spent a fair amount of time in op shops, at garage sales and in antique stores which has been lots of fun. As we still have a few gifts to find, Ryo and I set out on a little rainy road trip to a few garage sales on the weekend and while we didn't find any gifts for others I did find a few treasures for our home and props for markets, trade fairs and product shots. The blanket is my favourite and after a good wash it will be used often.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


ceramic: little jane st garden labels bought from nook.felt: hand felted brooches from sandrine marsh.paper: journals from paper boat press

Yesterday I said I'd share goodies bought in Japan but still haven't taken photos of them so instead will share some of the gifts we took with us. Pretty aren't they!

Friday, December 3, 2010

cute design..

kawaii is a word that is used a lot in Japan and no wonder with cute design in ordinary everyday objects including take-away coffee cups. I loved these simple line drawings so much that I saved that label and tucked it away in my suitcase. When we lived in Japan I did the same thing only it was sketch books, envelopes and little boxes that treasures were tucked safely into. Soon (when I get the chance to photograph them) I will share some of the goodies bought on our recent trip.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

fine and sunny..

What a great name for a shop and look at those herbs in olive tins - what a fresh window display! This new shop in Mildura is run by sisters Annie and Shell who say 'Mildura is actually a VERY fine & sunny place & we have lots of clear blue sky days..... sounds great hey!'

After meeting the girls I'm convinced the name also reflects their personalities as they are both lovely, sunny, happy souls. Congratulations on the shop Annie and Shell xx

fine & sunny
Shop 7
141 Eighth Street

Trading hours: Mon to Fri 9.30-5, Sat 9-3

Monday, November 15, 2010

printers trays and creative displays...

Look at this clever display by Sue Bailey who loves printer’s trays – her grandfather bought one for her when she was little and she had her collection of treasured whimsy ornaments in there for years.

Sue recently opened her lovely shop in Richmond Victoria called 'Lily and the Weasel'. A lovely old shop front and stained glass features are just a couple of the appealing characteristics which Sue has mentioned. I'm so excited that hot toffee is now available here and can't wait to visit when next in Melbourne.

If you are in Melbourne why not take a peek inside:

Lily and the Weasel
173 Swan Street

Opening Hours
Tuesday - Friday 11am -6pm
Saturday: 10am - 5pm
Sunday: 11am - 4pm

*beautiful photo courtesy of Sue Bailey

Thursday, November 11, 2010

mimmis opens today...

This empty space is now home to mimmis run by Miriam from bubba chenille and is filled with furniture and lovely goodies many of which are handmade. Want to see what the shop looks like now it's occupied? Well you can as it officially opens today at 9am so why not come for a drive to Forest Hill! mimmis is across the road from Caffe Sorella and Cafe 4342 .

My exciting news is that I have been busily moving my studio into mimmis over the past 2 days. I now have a light filled studio out of home - I better get moving and get to work!

33 B Victoria Street
Forest Hill QLD

opening hours:
Tues - Sat: 9am - 4pm
Sunday: 9am - 1pm

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

home sweet home.

On Monday we returned from two weeks in Japan visiting Ryo's family and our friends. These photos were taken on our last day at Oedo Antique Market - what a treasure trove that was!

Things have already been busy since our return with some exciting changes concerning hot toffee....will reveal more shortly x

Monday, October 18, 2010

sweet packaging...

How sweet is this packaging? I absolutely adore this kind of attention to detail and it's one of the very reasons I often choose to buy handmade when selecting gifts for special people. I can't show you what is inside but can give you a's something made by this talented lady..

Thursday, October 14, 2010

pretty pastels..

these little drops of prettiness have made me smile today.

What has made you smile today?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

rainbows and clouds...

Rainbow: a lovely surprise to see that Jessica Van Den from Epheriell mentioned hot toffee and a few other brisStyle members in a guest post over here. Thanks Jessica x

Jessica not only has her own handmade jewellery business making sweet earrings like the clouds above, she has also written a couple of e-books focusing on craft businesses and is in the process of creating *bespoke* - a handmade/craft/vintage/design zine. On top of all this Jessica runs bazaar - an online market place for handmade loveliness!

Head over to the blog for a recent interview with the author of design blog Calico & Co and lots of other inspiration.

Photo by Jessica Van Den

Thursday, September 30, 2010

little jane st.

Yesterday I visited Alarna Zinn's new store LITTLE JANE ST. in Fortitude Valley. It is gorgeous as is everything in it. If you haven't already visited, please do. It's open 7 days a week! Visit the website and blog for more details.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Windsor Deli: Zucchini Slice

Spring is definitely on the way here in Melbourne and it is trying so hard to bust out of the Winter dreg!

So with that in mind I have been getting some really cheap Zucchinis at the moment and it was time for Zucchini Gluten Free Slice!

(If you want to make this slice you can do it with plain flour instead of the gluten free variety!)


the Windsor Deli posts are kindly shared with us by Katrina Higham of Windsor Deli in Victoria.

Visit the blog to get the details of this recipe.

visit the deli:
33 Hornby St, Windsor Victoria
{open 7 days 7.30am - 5.30 pm}

*photo by Katrina

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

jetta's nest...

These hand cut brooches were made by Samantha over at jetta's nest. I love the contrast between the rawness of the wood and the delicate doily patterns which are hand drawn. These are part of the Junkie Couture exhibition currently on show at Reverse Garbage. To see more of Samantha's work head to her shops on etsy and blue caravan. The pencil brooch is on my wish list!

Monday, September 20, 2010

new stockist: the style emporium

what a gorgeous shop..

dedicated area for ribbon - sweet!

We are excited to say that the style emporium now stocks some hot toffee goodies including our new bird necklaces, magnets and gift cards.

Owner Kerist opened the shop in 2004 to fulfill Canberra's lack of independent stores and the store has evolved to represent a simple aesthetic of quality products. She said it's been an exciting learning experience for both herself and her staff as they share with their customers the value of choosing quality products with purpose and story. Wherever possible the style emporium stocks handmade, fair trade, sustainable, australian made or all of the above and have a great trading relationship with their suppliers, many of whom are enthusiastic small (or micro) business' such as themselves.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

coconutty shuku shuku

Just popping in to say 'if you haven't already then please try the coconutty shuku shuku recipe in the Sept/Oct issue of frankie magazine & sweet treats cookbook'
I made some this afternoon and while my end result looked a bit different to the frankie pic these were so yummy... little parcels of YUM! To make mine gluten free all I did was substitute the flour and icing sugar with gluten free alternatives.

ours were gone within 10 minutes!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

corky saint clair.

A selection of hot toffee studs are now available at corky saint clair in degraves street subway Melbourne. I met owner Chris at the recent life in style where he was also exhibiting. The little bird above is one of his designs. Isn't it sweet!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

birds and pop-up shop #3 at nook.

Today I will be making more of these bird necklaces but not before heading in to the pop-up shop at nook from 10am - 2pm. If you've not been to nook before then today is the day as there will be even more crafty goodness then usual!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Windsor Deli: Almond and Apricot Slice

My mum has coughed for most of her life. Coughed because of anything and everything.....coughed when waking up; coughed after drinking wine; coughed when cooking; coughing, coughing, coughing.....and noone knew (doctors) what was wrong. And when I became a chef and started learning about intollerances and allergies Mum and I thought it might be from gluten. After tests and more tests, Mum was told she was gluten intollerant. Surprise, surprise

You have heard this story before right?

So I have altered the Bakewell Slice to gluten you can't taste the difference....and if you don't do gluten free just substitute the gf flour for plain flour.


the Windsor Deli posts are kindly shared with us by Katrina Higham of Windsor Deli in Victoria.

Visit the blog to get the details of this recipe. We'd love to hear (or see some photos) your experiences if you make it!

visit the deli:
33 Hornby St, Windsor Victoria
{open 7 days 7.30am - 5.30 pm}

*photo by Katrina

rest area one.

with all the work that's going on around here I've been very careful to ensure I have proper breaks, after all one of the perks of working for your self is supposed to be freedom right? {Excuse the blankets and pillows, there have been a few nights of sleeping by the fire.}

I would love to show you rest area two. but I really need to get to work so will save that for next time. Here's to a productive day!

work station three.

The dining room is now the packing room. This is where I lay out my orders, give them their final clean and pack them. simple. then they are out the door and begin the journey to their new homes.

work station two.

Photo taken from the kitchen. Work station two is situated right as we walk in the front door and is where the bird & star garlands and necklaces are threaded and packed. The plan is to complete all work which needs to be done here today and surprise Ryo by having the table packed up and the room returned to normal by the time he gets home tonight. Wish me luck with that one! The good thing about work station two is that I can see the television (which lost it's colour and has only displayed black and white for a good 12 months now) from there and have enjoyed quite a few mid-day movies over the past couple of weeks as I work.