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The Balancing Act, Staying Sane and Happy

People often comment to me “I don’t know how you do it all”.

Sometimes I wonder that myself.

A lot of the time, the balls I’m trying to juggle get dropped, and that’s not always a good thing.

So what is it “All”. Let’s list them.

I’m a mum (3 kids, and 3 fur kids-human kids are 16, 10 and just turned 2).
I have a husband (who is like a 4th kid a lot of the time).
I have my business.
I work 3 days a week in a shoe store (danger, danger lol).
I am studying (part time, online) my Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Digital Experience and Interactive Design through Curtin University.

Now if life is smooth sailing, I can usually manage the juggle quite well, it’s a balancing act, but I can manage. However, throw me a curve ball and it all goes to hell in a handbasket.

Take recently for example. It’s been a couple of huge months.

This study block I have 2 units instead of my usual 1. We had a death in the family. I had extra shifts at work thanks to staff being out sick and it being the Carnival of Flowers. Then hubby and I both got sick (just colds, nothing major). Then throw in a sick toddler, and well all the balls came crashing down and the stress levels went through the roof. During all this time I had some pretty big assignments due. Oh and Izzy and I had a market that we had 2 weeks to prep for. Then there was the release that happened just a few days ago (make sure you check it out here.)

Somehow, I’ve managed to get all my assignments in on time. We survived the market. The release got done in time (although I didn’t market it as much as I usually do which has led to an almost non-existent release, but that’s ok).

There’s been moments of stress, frustration and tears but we made it through.

Here’s to hopefully a slightly less insane month again.

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My Creative Process; The Big Secret

I often get asked about my creative process and how I choose my fabrics. The big huge secret is that there is no process. Shock Horror. How can there be no process?

CHOOSING THE FABRICS

Initially when I’m choosing fabrics I go with what I’m attracted to and what I like; OR it is fabric left over from ordering it in for a custom order.

When it comes to then turning the fabric into stock, well then it gets a little bit trickier. Sometimes I’ll get a bit of fabric and it screams to be made into a certain style. These ones are easy.

Other times I find that while I love a fabric I just can’t decide what it should be made into it. I have some fabrics that have been sitting in my stash for years just waiting for the inspiration to strike.

Then there is the fabrics that are insanely popular and to be honest I get sick of creating with them so I hide them away and take them off of being available. I find if I don’t particularly like a fabric or if I’m sick of creating with it then I get bored and procrastinate and get side-tracked way too easily.

The other side of the creative process then is to match up the linings which for the most part is easy. The harder part is matching up contrasts if required. Do we go leather, vinyl, cork, glitter vinyl? What colour do we go? Do we go with a colour that tones in or do we go with a contrast colour? This stage of the process can often take longer than choosing the fabric and pattern can. With wallets do we stick with all fabric or do we do fabric and leather/vinyl/cork/glitter vinyl? This last one though is often determined by how much fabric is left.

WHAT COMES NEXT

Once the patterns, main fabric, lining fabric and contrast fabrics are chosen I get stuck into making the magic happen. I cut, interface, sew, photograph and then show you all what masterpiece has been created. If you follow me on Facebook you will also often be lucky enough to get some sneak peeks of what I’m working on. Otherwise head to the shop at 7pm on the 14th of each month to see what’s new.

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Where it all began- The Fabu Couture Story

One of the questions I am often asked is “Where did it all begin?”. I grew up with a very crafty mum. As a dancer she was often tasked with sewing my costumes (thanks Mum). She also did a lot of cross stitch.

Way back when I was about 10 years old she taught me how to cross stitch. For years that is all I did. I loved it. I still do, although I don’t get to do it as much now as I did back then. That was where my love of crafting started.

In Highschool I did Home Economics as a subject. One of the units in it was textiles and sewing. Would you believe me if I told you I HATED the sewing component. I made a backpack and it fell apart within a matter of days. I swore and vowed then that I would NEVER touch a sewing machine again.

Fast forward a few years after the birth of my eldest. Mum and I attended a craft group on a regular basis. Here we learnt about stitching cards, I quickly got a bit hooked on it. During this time mum also learnt to quilt. I stuck with cross stitch for the most part.

Then one day after seeing mum’s quilts I asked if she thought I could ever make a quilt and if she would teach me. Well that quilt sat half finished for about 12 years lol.

Life took me over. Hubby and I bought a massage clinic and we had another kid. As part of the massage clinic we bought in and sold heat packs and we could not keep up with the demand, so we had the bright idea of getting a sewing machine and making them. Mum to the rescue again with a very basic machine and teaching me how to do it. So much for never touching a sewing machine again hey.

After my middle child was born I started fairybutterflycardsandcrafts as a way to sell all those handstitched cards I had accumulated over the years.

From there I started to make some softies and I loved seeing their little personalities emerge.

Then I found a pattern called the Necessary Clutch Wallet through a sewing group on Facebook. I just had to try it. Well attempt 1 ended in the bin and took me about 3 days to make, BUT I was hooked. I loved it.

From there I discovered all these wonderful bag and wallet patterns and well its led us to here today.

During the Covid lockdown of 2020, I switched my focus to making cloth nappies (thanks to birth of my youngest child) and while I enjoy making them and seeing all the cute prints adorning baby butts, the handbags and wallets is where my passion truly lies.