What are you really buying?

"When you buy something from an artist, you're buying more than an object.  You're buying hundreds of hours of errors and experimentation.  You're buying years of frustration and moments of pure joy.  You're not buying just one thing;  you're buying a piece of a soul ...a small piece of someone else's life."



Artisan, Artist or Craftsperson - if you are not someone who makes things with their head and their heart and their hands, then you may not have ever given all this much thought.  

But for people who strive to create art or products or goods based on an original idea that sparks up in their mind, or a long-history of traditional skills and the gradual learning and refinement of historical skills, this will all ring so true.  

For creative types and creators, my feeling is that the receptiveness to your craft never turns off.  The more you do it, the more creative you become.  Of course - it's the practice of creativity.  The more you let your mind dream up ideas and think them through, then the more these ideas bubble up and you are itching to try them all.  Every day brings a flow of impressions, colours, lines, shapes, thoughts - a multitude of moments where inspiration strikes.   


But there's a reality to working as an artisan.  We have to decide which ideas are worthy of investing our time.  Which ones do we have a significant likelihood of actually pulling off in reality?  And are we operating in a zone of commercial-reality?  Will this product ever sell and can we make it for a realistic price?  Can we access the materials that we envisage?  And do we know how to use the materials?   Or do we have start a process of experimentation - for days or weeks or months?  That can be really costly when it doesn't work out!  

It's the inspiration that keeps you going at such times.  The inspiration and the vision in your head drives it all.   

As a hatmaker, for me that motivation is all about beauty and the Cinderella moment - the moment when someone tries on the hat that you have designed and created and they see that they are transformed.  I guess it's an advanced case of the Fairy Godmother Syndrome.

We all buy on price to some degree or another - we have to of course. In a world that churns out so many products that bring no beauty and precious little function, I'm keen to support the creators!  

So to those who can and do buy any product of original creation or hand-made effort - no matter what it is - I hope you recognise the full breadth of what you are really supporting.  And thank you from one of the creators! 



Sirocco Hats at Pittwater....

Images of my Sirocco hats in their various guises.....and photos I took at one of my favourite spots in Sydney - up the can only be beautiful Pittwater.

 With a smile,

It's all about me, me, me.....


I'm finding it hard to take blogging seriously & I can't help but think of a great T-shirt I once saw walking the streets....and it said "No one cares about your blog".  Brutal but funny and probably pretty accurate.   And yet, I was recently asked these questions in an interview by lovely Brittany May for her Fierce Females Blog, so welcome to Blog Post #3.  I am shamelessly ripping her off and....

It's all about me.........

1)   What is it that empowers you most?

It’s the inspiration of beautiful images, music and views. It’s people doing beautiful, giving things all over the world and the companionship of people across nations and cultures. We are all human; there are more similarities than differences and I find that quite inspirational.

2)   What is it that you love most about yourself?

That’s a tough question. I find it easier to talk about what I don’t like and what I would like to improve (my memory and spoken language skills). I think maybe what I like most about myself is that I like most people and generally find interesting and positive things in them.

3)   What makes you feel most beautiful?

I like the feeling of being strong and energetic and healthy which I get when I stick to a regular exercise routine. I was never a sporty child or teen and it was only in my mid 20’s that I really started to exercise. It took me a long time to realise that while I didn’t like doing the exercise, that I liked how it made me feel afterwards and on a day-to-day basis.

4)    Who is your biggest role model and why?

I don’t know that I have a role model. I don’t think I know anyone or have seen anyone who is doing and living the way I want to live (not that I’ve achieved nirvana yet, but I’m working towards it).

5)   Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?

All those women all over the world who live quiet lives, with no hope of escaping the drudgery and menial tasks that they need to do every day in order to support their families and in the hope of building a better future for their children.

6)   If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?

One of those Bond girls, but not the ones that die and not Moneypenny. One of those ones who gets the Bond – don’t care which one – they’re all worthy.

7)   What is your biggest life goal?

To establish and develop my own brand as a profitable and growing business. I would like to effectively marry the creative side of my personality and the need for business discipline and success, to be able to independently look after myself, those I care about and those who deserve a break.

8)   What is your biggest accomplishment?

Completing my MBA (Masters of Business Administration).

9)   What is your favourite quote?

If you will forgive me – it’s not a quick quote. I can’t think of a quick snappy quote – most of them sound like they are off the back of a bathroom calendar. So….it’s a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley called “Ozymandius” and it goes like this  (feel free to sing along).......

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.[4]

I love it, because it puts everything in perspective.

10)   If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?

Just go for it. Don’t be scared. Or if you are scared, just do it anyway. Get out of school, but know that you will need to continue your education and learning for your whole life, dump the small-minded careers advice you (kind of) got and go for it doing what you are good at and what you love. It is possible to make a living doing all sorts of fabulous jobs that don’t exist in your hometown. There is a huge world out there full of wonderful people who can help. Find your community by being positive and happy and let yourself enjoy thriving within it.

11)   What does feminism mean to you?

It doesn’t mean man-hating. It means freedom and not being blocked in your ambitions, achievements and sucking the marrow out of life. Sometimes I even find it hard to realise when I am being blocked by others, because cultural and societal limitations that are placed on and around woman are so long-standing and can be quite insidious and sometimes they can seem quite well-meaning.

It’s good to hear the opinions of others, the comedy of Caitlin Moran (British comedian) and nothing replaces the wise counsel of close girlfriends!

So to conclude - enough about me.  Let's talk about you.  What do you think of me?

1 December = Summer

Oh Summer - I've been waiting for you. 
I'm kind of excited about the arrival of summer and I'm told I really have to increase my blog posts (I know, I know), but I have trouble imagining what I should blog about and ramble on about.  I think I may have blogger's block.  I certainly am deeply suspicious of whether anyone else will read this.  Does anyone really care?  I feel like I'm talking to a tree.
But it's the 1st of December and the first day of summer, so if I must blog, then this auspicious date makes it rather impossible to talk about anything else...... other than what I am looking forward to most over December and January.  And if I am only talking to myself, then at least I know that I will enjoy the subject of my conversation.
And so my summer beach routine, I anticipate you.  You are tried and tested, perfected and honed and needless to say, you are deeply loved. 
You go something like this....
  • Swimming and swimming and swimming and swimming in the saltwater and surf
  • Being underwater and weightless
  • Bursting through the top of a wave just before it breaks
  • Getting really really hungry but not wanting to get out of the surf
  • Getting really cold because you've been in the surf way too long
  • Warming up in the sun - hat on, towel over your back, toes in the sand and letting the salt dry on your skin
  • Fish and chips and ice-cream
  • Rinse and repeat....


Of course, there is so much more that I love about summer, but that's another conversation with myself......


With a smile,