Goods for sale? Check.

Business Cards? Check.

A big smile and a nervous tummy? Check.

With only three sleeps to go until the Virgin Market Stall, things are heating up in the Pepperberry & Co. Shivershop. Little Tango the Bichon Frise can barely make his way through the office over the piles of fabric, completed projects, and scraps; occasionally, he even finds lengths of thread and interfacing attached to his ears, tail and nose.

We're in full preparation mode!

A question that has come up now that the market is looming is that of how to set up my stall. There are many suggestions to be found online, such as using colour, having banners, and ensuring some objects are at eye level. I've also brainstormed a list of things that I love when shopping at craft markets:

- Being able to pick up a business card for future reference;
- Not having a busy table with too much to look at;
- Being able to see a clear 'theme'- ie. knowing immediately what the stall produces;
- Not having a pushy salesperson; and
- Seeing a friendly and interested face behind the stall.

Whilst brainstorming, I was thinking about how great it would be to be able to ask a group of crafty experts what it was that they love seeing at market stalls... and where better to find a group of crafty experts than amongst my readers?! So...

What is it that you are attracted to at markets?

Is it colour, style, or a certain type of vibe?

Do you like to walk into a stall and browse, or would you rather peruse a single table?

Do you like to see and know prices of things, or is having to ask for the price a nice icebreaker?

And what is it about a stall that has you actually purchase something?

With the crafty experts that you are, I'm sure we'll be able to come up with a Pepperberry & Co. stall that is simply perfect!

P.S. Thank you so much to all of the wonderful readers who offered solutions to my sewing dilemma. It turned out that the major problem was having an old needle- now that that's changed, I'm sewing like a nut! Due to your encouragement, I've also picked up my sewing machine's manual- and hey, who knew that my machine could do so many exciting things?! You gals rock!



Here at Pepperberry & Co. Headquarters, we are experiencing a problem.

It appears that every time we sew, one of the following two things happens:

1. The top thread breaks. Ultra infuriating.
2. A stitch is missed because the bobbin thread is not grabbed. Infinitely annoying.

We have attempted the following resolutions:

1. Seriously upgrading the quality of the thread, from cheap-brand polyblend to expensive-brand cotton. The problems got worse.
2. Adjusting the tension of the sewing machine. This made no difference.

We are appealing for public assistance in this matter. Should you have any details that could help with the investigation, please contact us using the form below. All tips leading to a solving of the dilemma will receive ridiculously grateful emails.

Due to her role as the manager of the Shivershop, Coco was unfortunately unavailable to pick the three people who won gifts as a part of Pay It Forward. Instead, I was blindfolded, handed a list of people who had left comments and a red pen, and told to draw three circles on the list. This was the result:

So, congratulations to:

- The gorgeous Harley Dee of Koala Fuzz;
- The lovely Kit of Diva Quilts;

And, by proximity to The Dotty One, who should never have been on the list due to the fact that Pay It Forward came from her...

- The wonderful Emmy from Number Seventy Five!

Congratulations, ladies! Make sure you email me your addresses and I'll pop your gifts in the post.

If you promise not to tell a soul, I might just show you a sneak peek of one of the delightful items making an appearance at this Saturday's Market Stall...

Ok, are you ready?

Presenting... Lined Snap Purses!

Now, they may only look like simple (if stunning!) little wallets, but they are in fact some of the complex pieces of sewing genius that you shall ever see. Or do I just feel that way because I'm a total beginner? :-)

Because you're such good secret-keepers, I'll also show you my very first Pepperberry & Co. iron-on labels:

Aren't they simply charming? I'm excited!

My office resembles a factory. Well, it would if the factory belonged to a mad scientist with a severe addiction to expensive fabrics and a market coming up in seven days.

There is fabric spread everywhere. Little 'Pepperberry & Co.' labels line my desk and scraps and threads cover the floor. There are pins all over the place and a little black box sits proudly in the corner, slowly filling up with things I've made to sell at the market.

There is a running joke at my house for me to get back to my 'sweatshop' whenever I spend too long away from my sewing machine. I suppose I could call it sweatshop, but it's so chilly here in Melbourne that I've dubbed it a Shivershop instead!

This is not just any Shivershop, mind you. It's a jittery one. Why's that, you may ask? Well, I made a fatal error this morning.


Let me introduce my error by clarifying that I rarely, if ever, drink any caffeinated beverages. This morning seemed like a good time to start, though, and why do anything by halves? So, I had a cup of coffee.

And then I had another one.

Needless to say, I'm now a jittery jumping jutter bug. I'm blinking rapidly, breaking threads with my bear hands, sewing at high speed and tap dancing under the table- all at the same time!

Oh, dear. May the world be safe from my twitching eyeballs.

I have so much news to share with you that I think I might pop with excitement!

On a whim, I signed up for my very first market stall yesterday afternoon, at the Made 'N Thornbury market. The only catch is that it's in eight days- on Saturday the 2nd of May! I'm very nervous about the whole thing, but extremely excited too. I've been thinking about doing this for a while, and such a short time frame is bound to get my bum into gear. My office has turned into a mad, sweaty factory, and I'm producing business cards, notebook covers, fabric labels, passport covers, travel tissue holders, bags and more!

10% OFF!

I want to meet all my lovely readers! As a cheeky way of blackmailing you all to come to the market, I'm offering 10% off my products to everyone who visits me and says 'Roger ate my Rabbit'. Beware that I might hug you out of pure excitement!

Here are the details so that you can come and play- make sure to tell your friends:

Sharon and I have been drooling over a gorgeous piece of land in Hurstbridge for the past few weeks, and our offer's just been accepted! It's 20 acres of pure bushland, with a gorgeous dam, endangered plants, an array of wildlife and views across the valleys. Better yet, it's in a 'green wedge' council, so the whole area is passionate about the environment, and our street is part of an artists' colony! We will be moving there in December to build our dream home: 100% off-the-grid, self-sustainable and eco-efficient. And of course, I shall have my very own crafting cottage! You'll all have to come and visit.

I have officially signed up for my very first craft swap over at Snailblazer! As a virgin swapper, I'm both bursting with ideas and really hoping my recipients will love what they get. If anyone has any tips on how to make a swap extra special, or stories of the gorgeous things they've received in the past, I'd love to hear about them!

P.S. Do you like the Swap button? I made it!

Over at the gorgeous Dotty One blog, I signed up for a heartwarming crafty idea called Pay It Forward. In a nutshell, the first three people who commented on Dotty's Post are receiving a special gift from her, and now it's my turn to spoil my readers!

Because of your crazy time-zone differences and work hours, though, I've decided not to simply select the first three people to leave a comment. Instead, everyone who comments will go into a draw to win a handmade gift from me. The three winners will be picked on Monday, the 27th of April in another unique way! The winners will then need to post about the Pay It Forward exchange on their blog so that it can keep going.

The lovely Patti over at It's A Wonderful featured me on her blog. Thank you thank you thank you! I can't tell you how much it means to me.

Was that ever a lot of excitement. I'm off to my factory now- there's so much work to be done that my brain is hurting!

Welcome Pepperberrians!

You'll be pleased to know that following the love that I received from my global readers, I have recovered from my Craflu. Further, I've heard rumours that some of you who are also suffering from Craflu are now motivated enough to go eat some chocolate and do some craft. Yay!

Today is the perfect day to get re-motivated and start crafting. Why? Well, today is Earth Day, a day to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. And what better way to celebrate than by discovering new, exciting craft projects with a strong green twist?

So, I give you Pepperberry's Top Nine Green Craft Projects!

1. Create gorgeous pincushions using plastic bottle tops with Craftstylish:

2. Turn those used gift cards into unique jewellery with Knitphomaniac:

3. Recycle toilet rolls into extension cord holders at Apartment Therapy:

4. Learn how ridiculously easy it is to fuse plastic bags to make a tote at Curbly:

5. Try one of four projects that turn a sweater into a masterpiece at Ready made Mag:

6. Upcycle your old T-Shirts into chic headbands at Craftstylish:

7. Turn a tin drinking can into a beautiful trinket box at Atomic Shrimp:

8. Combine your gorgeous fabrics with used eye glass lenses to make one-of-a-kind badges with A Patchwork World:

9. And finally, take that nasty junk mail and give it a new life as a gift bag with Junk Mail Gems:

What exciting things are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?

Well, after all the excitement of yesterday, I'm having a bit of a downer day today. I have endless crafty and business ideas dancing in my head, but just can't seem to get motivated enough to do them. I've tried sewing, I've tried designing, and I've tried making jewellery, but nothing seems to stick. I've also got dozens of the loveliest emails coming through from across the globe, yet still I wallow.

I shall call my new disease Craflu- the Crafter's Flu.

I am sure I am not the only one to suffer from this infection, and so it is with this in mind that I ask- what to do when you suffer from Craflu to keep your spirits high?

My goodness me!

I pottered off to bed yesterday evening rather excitedly, as I had 14 Stalkers and 12 comments on my Giveaway post. I woke up refreshed and relaxed, and then... this morning happened.

Now, I would usually describe my morning using punctuation, but I just didn't feel all those commas and semi-colons would do my morning justice. So, take a deep breath and join me for three minutes of madness:

The phone rang and I had to call the conveyancer to get their fax number to give to the real estate agent who needs to fax them asap as someone else is interested in the land that Sharon and I want and while I was talking to him someone knocked on the door which meant Tango my Bichon Frise kicked into protector mode and started barking really loudly while I was telling the telemarketer at the door to go away then when I got back into my office to give the real estate man the fax number Coco the kitten jumped up on my lap and knocked a steaming bowl of soup onto my computer and sewing machine with her tail and while I was cleaning that up my blogger dashboard loaded and I had a heart attack because I had FORTY EIGHT stalkers and an inbox full of comments.

As you can imagine, I got off the phone feeling rather flabbergasted.

A short rendezvous with a cup of tea and a breathing exercise later, I was ready to deal with this amazing news. I have forty-eight stalkers! Better yet, I have been lucky enough to personally chat with most of them by email and check out their wonderful blogs. Now, it was time to pick a winner for the Giveaway- and what better way of doing that than by asking Coco, who came up with the original giveaway idea, to do it for me?

Now, Coco loves 'Mice'. Not real ones, mind you- just small bits of paper that are scrunched up and thrown to her. So, I printed out my Stalker List, sent a copy to my local Police station in case any of them turn into behind-the-bushes-with-some-binoculars types, cut the list up and scrunched each Stalker's name to look like a 'mouse'.

Coco quickly found her new Mouse Zoo...

And Monsieur wanted to join in the fun.

Coco kicked him out of the way and selected her special Mouse, then rolled it onto the floor to have a wrestle.

I managed to extract it from her freakishly sharp claws and unwrap it to find the winner...

Who is the phenomenal Nikki from You Sew Girl!

If you have not yet discovered Nikki, now is the time. I was fortunate enough to be showered with her talents at the Stitches and Craft Show, where she taught me how to do the scariest thing a sewer can learn: insert a zip. I'm so glad I get to spoil her with a Pepperberry and Co. gift!

Thank you so much to all of you for entering this Giveaway by becoming a Follower. It means the world to me that there are so many stupendously talented crafters out there who are wanting to read my little blog! I'll have to have another Giveaway soon so that I can continue to spoil you all.

The more I explore the world of blogs, the more I learn about nifty little features. Yesterday, I discovered the 'Follow This Blog' feature, which is kind of like a stalker's best friend: it lets me know the moment new posts are up on my favourite blogs. I had a blast adding many sensational blogs and sites to my list, which you can view here.

After I became an Official Stalker of 20 other blogs, I wanted to know if anyone was stalking me... and they weren't! What's a girl without her own Official Craft Stalkers, I asked myself? Not a true blogger, that's what!

I sat my staff down to work on our plan, officially dubbed Mission Stalker-Getter. Monsieur the ginger cat was not so interested in stalkers- he tells me that as he is such a good looking French man, his stalkers come to him naturally. Tango the Bichon was far more interested in chewing on his bone than in helping me out, and Manhattan the Malamute was busy wrestling with a freshly-planted tree. It was Coco the cat who came through with the best idea: having a giveaway!

So, here's the deal:

Everyone who becomes a Stalker of Pepperberry & Co. by signing up as a 'Follower' shall go in the draw to win one personalised Notebook Cover made by me. You will have the pleasure of choosing the colours that inspire you and having the personalised cover delivered right to your door. If you're lucky, I'll even ask Coco if she can sit on the cover whilst I'm making it and donate some of her fur!

So, don't dilly-dally: the winner will be chosen at random on Sunday, April the 19th. I look forward to being Officially Craft Stalked by you!

Ok, so I know this is a crafty blog with a slight sewing lean, but I figured that crafters still have to eat- and I have the perfect yummy recipe to share!

Now, as you may know from my introduction-to-me post, I have Polish family roots. What this means is that I cook and eat great food, and a lot of it at that. Some of it is just so divine that it must be shared with the big wide world- like this Polish Cucumber Salad (known as Miseria in Poland).

This is a very simple recipe, and it takes no more than 10 minutes to make. It feeds four as a side, although in my house we could eat a bowl each! I would love to know how you go making it, so make sure to post a comment if you give it a go.

1 large Continental Cucumber
1/2 cup of Cream (I used Vegan non-dairy creamer, a mind-blowingly delicious alternative available at Jewish Supermarkets)
1/4 cup of White Vinegar
3 tbsp of Brown Sugar
Salt and Pepper

1. Peel and Slice the Cucumber, then lay it out on a chopping board and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.

2. Put the cream, vinegar, sugar and a dash of salt and pepper into a cup and whip lightly with a fork.

3.Place the cucumbers in a serving bowl and mix the cream combination through.

4. Enjoy and try to share!

Are you ready for the most exciting news that I have heard since learning that other people actually read my blog and leave comments?

I’m featured on someone else’s blog! Now, I know that for many of you, this is a regular occurrence; for me, however, this is the news to light up my Easter weekend as it’s my first time!

The gorgeous Cathy, aka Miss Marzie and one half of the über-talented duo of Audrey and Maude, recently received a little gift from me. It was a special ‘Thank You’ gift to celebrate the fact that she was the one who taught,
inspired and gave me the confidence to sew freely at the Melbourne Stitches and Craft Show. I’d found a gorgeous little pattern for a journal cover on Bloom and Blossom, and thought it would be the perfect thing to send her as she’s always got a notebook with her.

Her ridiculously talented son has taken this beautiful photo of my creation:

And it’
s now on the front page of her blog! I’m so proud :-)

I also created other covers for three special ladies I wanted to thank: a selvege-inspired piece for Jodie, the Queen of Selvege, over at Ric Rac; an earthy brown one featuring Ink& Spindle’s luscious Birch in Brown for a good friend; and a vibrant red one using Ink & Spindle’s beautiful Birch in Deep Red for my dear friend Flippa, who’s all the way in England.

I had a blast sewing them, although I did face some difficulties as this is all so new to me. However, being able to hold the final product was so rewarding that the hiccups have since slipped from my mind. You should really go and check out the tutorial- it’s really well explained and so easy to follow!

See you all tomorrow! I hope you’re having a relaxing Easter.


Well, my friends, what a fortnight it has been! Sharon and I have rescued a baby Joey, nearly bought 20 acres of land, caught up with people we haven’t seen in far too long, and of course, I’ve been crafting away. I’ve created gorgeous, vintage-inspired handmade paper; sewn my first set of notepad covers; started on my first soft toy project; designed a pattern for a passport cover; and stumbled through creating a thread-catcher. I’m exhausted just thinking about it!

But why, you ask, have I not been keeping my gorgeous readers up-to-date with these adventures? Well... I have a little secret. I’ll tell you, but you have to promise not to tell anyone else...


I’m addicted to the internet. Absolutely addicted. In a don’t-get-my-hit-and-I-start-trembling, would-choose-it-as-one-of-my-three-things-to-take-to-a-desert-island kind of way. I’m so addicted that if you made me choose between the internet and a plate of white chocolate mud cake laced with roasted macadamias and topped with freshly picked raspberries, I would choose the internet... although my stomach says that it’s a close call!

What does this addiction have to do with my disappearance from the land of blog, however? Well, a few weeks’ ago, I may have got a touch excited when downloading all the awe-inspiring goodies over at the Digifree Scrapbooking Freebie page... and I exceeded my entire month’s worth of internet capacity in a two-day period.

Oh. My. God.

This has meant that for the last two weeks and three days and seven hours and twenty-three minutes, I have been unable to go online- but who’s counting?
I am, damnit! I’ve been sitting in my dark little hole like a rabbit, squirreling away at my projects and being unable to connect with all my wonderful crafty friends out there in blogland. I haven’t been able to hunt down crafty ideas, look up solutions to crafty problems, read my favourite crafty blogs, or post about my crafty progress- and it’s killed me!

So now I’m back, and I’m here with a vengeance. There is sooo much to catch you up on that the next week of blog posts is going to make your head spin. There will be tutorials and craft failures and lessons learnt, as well as links to inspiring finds and tales from the crazy, animal-filled world of Pepperberry & Co.

Put your seatbelts on and get ready for the ride!