Friday, January 29, 2010


It's On.
The MissChief Maker Sale.

I've reduced our handmade clothing and accessories, and offering a special on our pre-loved summer clothing too.....Come out and have a look at the shop at. We have sizes from 0 to 8 years.

24 Beltana Road, Pialligo | ACT | Open Thurs - Sunday

This February Only. Or until stocks last..........

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chunky Knits for the Head

I have found the most devine crocheted and knitted hats and beanies for boys and girls - aged 1 to 6 for the shop this Autumn/Winter. They come in organic cotton yarns and merino wool. I can't contain my excitement - I've even had to order one for myself. I am a hat kind of chick. I love a good slouchy knitted stylish beanie. The best way to wear them is to add one of Prim & Pretty's beautiful felted mohair brooches to the brim. I have a nice range in the shop and a few online. They're pricy at $49, but you need to appreciate that they are mohair, knitted, felted, layered then a button covered and finished into this beautiful product. They are worth the investment. Otherwise consider them for a special girlfriend or mother that has a Winter birthday!

Back to those hats. A snap shot of 2 of the 6 styles that will be coming into MissChief Maker in April 2010. They will all be one-of-a-kind colourways for each style so you'll have to get in quick. I have some gorgeous handmade girls cord dresses and denim pinafores and boys locally hand knitted vests that will look fantastic with these special pieces. They won't be online so you'll have to make your way into the retail store in Pialligo....see you soon. x

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fresh take on stock-take from Canberra eco-friendly and fair trade retailer

If you went to the Boxing Day clearance sales this year, you probably noticed that the crowds who arrived early got the best of the bargains. When you’re shopping with kids (or a pregnant belly!), or you have to work during the day, it’s a bit hard to line up for the door-buster stocktake sales.

Another problem with the usual January clearance sales is that the focus is on moving Christmas and summer stock – cards and decorations, summer clothing, toys etc. Most baby shops don’t have a big January sale, because they haven’t had to stock up on car seats or nappies for a Christmas gift-buying rush. Which means that if you’re looking for a bargain on baby basics, it’s hard to find at this time of year.

Canberra’s eco-friendly and fair trade baby shop, Brindabella Baby, has found an innovative way to beat the stocktake sale crowds, and make their unique product range available to bargain shoppers everywhere. Brindabella Baby will hold a Facebook Garage Sale, with most stock at cost price or less! With a move to new, better premises in March, Brindabella Baby are making an early start on clearing out product lines that won't be moving to the new location.

Pictures and descriptions of items, with a bargain basement price, will be posted on the Brindabella Baby Facebook page from 8pm Eastern daylight savings time on Wednesday, 27 January 2010. All you have to do is post in the comments if you want the item. On Thursday morning, Paypal invoices will be emailed out, with postage costs based on how much can be stuffed into pre-paid Express Post satchels.

There will be hundreds of items, with entire product ranges being discontinued – clothes, accessories, gourmet treats, carriers, nappies and more. And the first to comment gets the item, so make sure you don’t miss out! Become a Facebook fan today, and get ready for never-to-be-repeated bargains!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Those buttons are making a comeback

I have a LOT of buttons. I've been collecting them for years. But somehow, even though I must have close to 10,000 I never seem to have the right ones for the job. I am always looking for more. I run an ad in the free classified in Canberra Times requesting any old grannies to give up their stash for me. For free! Bold. huh. It didn't give me to return I was hoping for but i got a few little jars and some haberdashery from the 70's!

I've been making button necklaces for some time. About 7 years. They come and go. They were big in Sydney a few years back when Longrain - the best Thai restaurant in Sydney - had a market just before Christmas. I sold over 30 necklaces in 6 hours! I also used to frequent Surry Hills and Kirrabilli markets with success.

Jen Leheny
makes cool button necklaces too. Maybe I could get my hands on her stash now that she's a fabulous photographer and all?!

So a few have made it into the shop over the past few months. I am re-inspired again (part of that new year's resolution to get crafting more and use up the stashed of stuff in my cupboards). Button necklace making is on the adgenda.

Hopefully MixTape zine (that crafty Melbourne mag) will publish a button necklace tutorial of my latest creation? The kids issue is coming up, look out for Issue 13. And starting collecting nanna's old buttons or send them to me if you don't want them. I'll love them!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Autumn/Winter 2010

Did somebody say Winter?! It's incredibly hard to be thinking about Winter when it's 39 degrees! Quite the contrary, i've really been nutting out the range for Autumn/Winter 2010 and enjoying every minute of it. I have focused on pulling together a collection from several suppliers, from Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia as well as our clever Canberra counterparts. The colourways are exciting and fresh for 2010 for the boys and soft but rich for the girls.

KnuffleKid, a favourite supplier of mine of really funky, vintage inspired, hand printed fabrics that are really different to the 'norm'. Some will love the style, and I am sure there will be some out there that won't. I love it. We took this photo of little Isabella looking oh so cute in the KnuffleKid 'prom skirt'. Layered vintage lace skirt, draped with a bold black and cream check. Fully reversible too. It is a fabulous addition to any wardrobe, very versatile, for summer or winter - team it with a pair of black footless tights or leggings in winter with a roll neck jumper or cardi. Summer, it needs a simple tank. The beautiful thing about this skirt is that it has press studs all around the inside so it is fully adjustable and grows with your girl. Isabella is 2, and a 6 year old bought one from the shop last week!

So a sneak peak at the KnuffleKid stock that will be coming into MissChief Maker in March. For the boys, it's fresh. Its bold. It's so cool. I'm not going to show everything - otherwise they'll be no suprises! I am really making a real effort to find some great boys stuff for all those customers that keep on asking "what about the boys?". I'll bring it - they'll just have to come and find it with me at MissChief Maker!

And for the girls, well that's easy.....I have a little misschief maker that looks so gorgeous in KnuffleKid. Look what I'll be dressing her in this winter

Three Little Trees from Queensland has come out with a cracking range for the boys this season. I'll be focusing on the coolest track suit, I don't mean the daggy bottle green fleecy lined type you buy from KMart for $9.95, but a trackie that you're little Chief would be proud to wear out. As well as some fantastic printed long sleeve tees. They're winter range is all still hush hush, so I won't tell yet!

BrusselSprouts is busy knitting and sewing this year. I missed out last year, there was no stock left when I got around to ordering so I've saved the good stuff for this year, and I've made it. Just. To order some devine handmade, handknitted, hand crocheted pieces from Victoria Crisp's label BrusselSprouts. One of my favourite pieces that I missed out on last year is back for 2010, the woolleen Jacket. I'm going to have it available in 2 colours and will be in store in March. Victoria has also created some amazing dresses this year which MissChief Maker customers are going to LOVE!

Here's to thinking about rugging up.....

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A craft zine

Mix.Tape zine - a craft zine about making time for the small stuff. Crafty stuff, clever people, creative outcomes. Created by two Melbourne mums. I thoroughly enjoyed reading their past issues online available at that I purchased the last three issues in hard copy for the shop. They are in store now. The pages feel devine. Matt finish. Recycled materials. Devine.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Stock into MissChief Maker

Oooohh....I am sooo excited. It's been a great week with some new suppliers to MissChief Maker as well as new stock from some of my favourites! Take a peek.....

Little Toot, a very new brand from Port Macquarie, found me recently and bought some absolute treasures into the shop on Saturday. I can't wait till she starts sewing for MissChief Maker! Some of my favourites were the 'peasant tops' that will be made up to a size 8, the 'bubble top' again in larger sizes too - and not forgetting the boys (phew! someone thinking of the boys) these light-weight denim shorts with printed hems with fantastic pocket detail. I'd almost want to have a boy just to put him in these shorts!

Poppit Designs, a local Canberra mum of 2 boys, a sculpture artist and of course creator of Poppit - is supplying MissChief Maker with canvas wall hanging sets made from Japanese fabrics.

Last but not least - the fabulous Jo Kent of The Owls are Hunting, has brought in a whole heap of new stock for MissChief Maker. I shake with excitement whenever Jo turns up at the shop! 7 little lamps reside at MissChief Maker...for now anyway

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Using that stash of fabric...

On a fabric scavenge late last year I found the most fabulous 70's queen bed sheet and pillow case set. It was in great condition and although the colourway is not the most favourable for the littlies but I could just visualise a great contrasting trim to spruce it up!

I kept this pillow case at it's full size so to satisfy the gap in the 6-8 year old size range in the shop. I trimmed the dress with one of the vintage fabrics from the Canberra Vintage Show and added a denim pocket which I cut out of an old pair of pre-baby unworn jeans of mine. It looked gorgeous on my blond, blue-eyed model! I've got a few more of these pillow cases in the stash so I'm 'planning' on creating a few more with different trims.

Sewing Green

Now I have to admit, I don't consider myself a very good sewer at all. I try. I definitely try. I just wish I knew what I was doing behind that machine! I know good sewing when I see it - like I know a good french champagne when I drink it - doesn't mean I can make it!

So I've gone the slightly more alternative angle of sewing - reading crafty books (which never used to be in my repatoire but is for 2010) of which I am sorcing lots of inspiration and ideas for MissChief Maker. I then try to find local women who make just as beautiful things to stock the shop. The book that just arrived in the mail from the US yesterday was Sewing Green by Betz White. I flip through the pages and look for the easiest things I can do - preferrably without having to go and buy anything new. So I updated some of my lounge pillows with some fabo Florence Broadhurst offcuts.

Sewing Green has also inspired me to think winter (see by the cover) so I am onto creating some girls' ponchos from beautiful old woollen blankets with designer fabric trims....yum. If I fail - I might be calling on one of you clever Aussie mums to help me out!

I also have been meaning to try felting. I've kind of achieved it accidentally by washing some jumpers last winter in hot water! I created this little girl's reversible scarf from a pink country road jumper last night - inspired by Sewing Green - one side a purple floral cotton print and the front side the pink jumper embellished with hand-dyed vintage doilies and buttons.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


As I was looking for a photo for my very clever supplier, TillyTom, who creates the gorgeous Gypsy & Tilda dresses for MissChief Maker, I found myself trowling through beautiful old photos of my little misschief maker. Sitting in the shop, I have a little giggle and a little cry to myself.

I've always sworn that one child is enough, aiming to get parenting one right without dirupting the balance too much (!!) but those photos just pulled on the heart strings. So delicate. So beautiful. A human life.

I loved being pregnant. Here at 39 weeks I thought I was ready to pop - but no, she stayed in for another 2 weeks after that! Does this all mean I'm clucky!!??

To Be A Creative Family...

I was lead to an Australia internet shop for books, Fishpond, on one of my many days of searching the net. The books were very cheap so I couldn't resist buying a few creative books to start the juices flowing for 2010. PayPal makes it so easy to spend money!

I bought Amanda Blake Soule's book The Creative Family and Handmade Home. It got me thinking about all the fun things I do with my little misschief maker, but how I could be a much better, more creative and patient mum with her too. That's why Sarah Napthali's Buddhism for Mothers is also on my bed stand! Not that I'm a buddhist but I am going to try to be a calmer mother this year - for me, my misschief maker and my husband.

Handmade Home lead me to thinking about beginning to use that stash of fabric that i'm 'saving'! So as the husband watches an uninteresting DVD I made a mess on the living room floor with my vintage fabrics and embroidery hoops! One fabric was a skirt bought from Brisbane Antique Centre, another an old 70's curtain found at Salvo's and the other bought from the Canberra Vintage Show. I needed something to hang down the bare hallway and rather than the fabric stuck in the cupboard - they'll be on show once I take them out of the shop. My husband of course wasn't very happy because they didn't 'match'!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dino Tail....too cute!

My girlfriend, Rach, who's a very creative yummy mummy not only on the sewing maching but in the kitchen and in the office too!

She started Mr Mudge in 2008 and i think her best product ever is the Dino Tail. Check out my little misschief maker looking so cute in the girl's version of the Dino Tail....

A limited number are now available in store and online at MissChief Maker

Thursday, January 7, 2010


It's 2010 and my new years resolution was to start a blog. I think I'm on track! This is to prove to myself I'm not the technophobe I think I am!

So welcome to the MyMissChief Maker blogspot. I'm the creator of MissChief Maker retail store in Canberra. I make things, but more importantly I like finding cute and different things handmade for kids. I take other children's clothes, I wash and iron and add bits here and there and re-sell them. I like to source locally if I can. It makes sense to me, for the local economy and for my child - I'm trying to make a concious effort to minimise our ecological footprint.....For Christmas I wrapped in recycled brown paper - what I should have done was wrap in materials & fabrics from my stash that could be just re-used. That's on my list for next year!

So I'm excited. I'm going to try and share the journey, the excitement I experience when new handmade stock arrives at MissChief Maker. I'll try to post some of the things I make and share the process too. I hope you enjoy the ride......