Monday, July 25, 2011

Introducing... Imaginart

People are always telling me ‘there’s not enough for boys’ when it comes to shopping handmade. And so, with the big Collaborate for a Cause charity auction just a few days away, Little Toot Creations and Imaginart have teamed up to create this great ‘boisterous bedroom’ themed auction item.

I’m very excited about this collaboration – firstly because Lisa is the very talented lady behind my own Little Toot artwork – but also because this auction will mark a whole new direction for my little business.

I’ve worked super hard these past few months to develop a range of boys’ and girls’ sleepwear that is 100% Australian made AND Australian Standards compliant. I don’t know of a single other handmade business in Australia which can make that claim.

Our auction item consists of a pair of Little Toot Creations PJs (made to the winner’s chosen size) and "Pillow Fight", a 7x9" print illustrated by Lisa especially for Collaborate.

Many of you may not know Lisa’s work, and so I’ve asked her to share with us a little about her business…

Tell us about your business, what do you do?

Imaginart has been evolving over the last four years. This has involved lots of painting and illustrating as well as the odd bit of Graphic Design.

What inspires your art?

Mostly my children, how could they not? I also find myself longing for a simplistic and happy world and love to recreate this. I’m just a big kid really!

And what about the process of creating an artwork? How do you go about it?

My creative mind works best at night, when the kids are tucked up in bed! I’m currently doing a lot of illustrations. Sometimes I have a plan and idea ready to go, especially if it is a commissioned work. Other times it just evolves. I can spend hours sketching and reworking before I have a finished illustration that I am satisfied with. Then I digitally colour my images. Being a bit of a perfectionist this gives me a great deal of flexibility and control which I love.

What do you enjoy most about working from home?

I’m still working out the delicate balance that is working at home. In saying that, I love it! What I appreciate the most is spending precious time with my two little girls. I am quite happy to skip the daily commute too.

And where to from here? What’s your goal for Imaginart?

I have a lot of dreams and plans. I have particularly been enjoying doing the odd fabric design and have also been working on some children’s book ideas. I look forward to seeing where this adventure takes me next!

Where can people purchase your work?

Thank you Lisa!

Make sure you log-on to Facebook this weekend to check out the auction (you can bid on either of my two Collaborate items – see my earlier post for details on my partnership with Little Lou Lou).

x Bec

Friday, July 22, 2011

Collaborate for a Cause

Next weekend, Little Toot Creations and Little Lou Lou Handmade will be taking part in a fantastic fundraising initiative called Collaborate for a Cause.

The aim of Collaborate for a Cause is to promote friendship, understanding and fun in the handmade community, while raising money for those less fortunate.

Lisa and I have teamed up in support of KIDS Foundation in Australia, which is a not for profit health promotion charity dedicated to childhood injury prevention and injury recovery (Kids in Dangerous Situations).

I found KIDS Foundation through their Port Melbourne to Port Macquarie cycle event, which is one of their major fundraising events each year.

Luckily, no one in my family or circle of friends has gone through the unimaginable trauma of serious childhood injury, however it’s nice to know that this fantastic support network exists if ever we should need it.

About KIDS Foundation

On an average day in Australia about 5000 children are injured in serious accidents. Accidents are also the leading cause of childhood death.

For eighteen years KIDS Foundation injury recovery programs have provided services and facilities to support children, families and carers adjusting to life-changing injuries, with a particular emphasis on survivors of severe burn trauma.

The foundation runs an annual burns survivors’ camp that provides burn survivors and their families a place to talk, feel emotionally comfortable and supported, whilst enjoying time away from the ongoing treatment associated with recovery. Camp TANGO is run for teenagers.

KIDS Foundation relies on the support of corporate and community sponsors to also provide young people and their families with specialist equipment, such as bicycles adapted to a child’s ability, and laptops to assist where hand-writing is difficult.

KIDS Foundation also works extensively in the field of injury prevention.

Their safety education programs are being introduced into pre-school, primary and secondary schools across Australia and with adequate funding they hope to have their program taken up by every school in Australia.

You can learn more about KIDS Foundation’s great programs at

Lisa and I will be auctioning this size 0-1 Strawberries and Cream dress matched with a pair of 6-12 ruffle bloomies.

To bid in the auction simply visit and like the Collaborate for a Cause page on Facebook and be ready to bid next weekend!


x Bec

Monday, July 18, 2011

Down on the farm

I love the farm. The place where my husband grew up. It was his father's home too, and his grandfather's, and his great-grandfather's before that.
'The farm' is a property of about 600 acres located an hour's drive north of Goulburn in the NSW Southern Tablelands (see
here). This time of year the mercury bottoms out about zero and doesn't climb above 6 most days (and that's being generous). Of course my favourite place to be while the men are out working is on the tiled hearth, right in front of the wood fireplace.
As you could imagine, the farm is a place steeped in history.
There's Clinton's Mum and Dad's place (a quaint little fibro that's modest but comfortable), his Nanna's old house (built in the early 1900s) and a plethora of old sheds and outbuildings that each have a story in their own right.
They run sheep, mostly, and grow potatoes.

On the farm, it's about as handmade and homegrown as you can get. I've learnt a lot from watching, working with, and listening to my in-laws. It was Margaret who inspired me to buy a Fowler's preserving kit to bottle fruit and vegetables while they were abundant and in season.
She's shared with me her recipes for tomato sauce, relish and chutney - not to mention that famous chocolate slice. Her kitchen is small, but it runs like a well-oiled machine - churning out jams, scones and Christmas dinners for 15+ without a hiccup or a complaint. It's not uncommon to find a roast leg of lamb cooling in the meat safe, out in the walk-in pantry.
This latest visit to the farm was to help out with the annual task of lamb marking - the process of innoculating, ear branding and tail docking the young lambs. It's not a fun job - it's dirty, hard work - but the kids love getting up close to the animals and having a chance to help out their grandparents. This year we were joined by some friends of ours from Port Macquarie, who relished the opportunity to get in there and have a go, and learn something new.

We also took the opportunity while the weather was mild to make a batch of lamb sausages. I skipped that job - choosing instead a lovely visit with my dear friend Anita from Winnie&Clem - but returned to find about 40kg of delicious, all-natural sausages hanging in the meat room.

And of course, I must not forget to mention the chickens. Oh, how I wish I could keep some chickens! The girls just love traipsing down to the chookyard with their old tin can filled with grain to feed (and with Nanna's help occasionally hypnotise) the chooks. And for me there's nothing better than those soft little hands cupping a warm, freshly-laid egg.

Yep. I love the farm.

x Bec