Easter highs and lows

Hello!  I hope everyone had a lovely Easter break and enjoyed the glorious sunshine - how beautiful was it for the long weekend!  It seems a very long time since I last did a blog post - I've had a few ups-and-downs over the last few weeks with work and things, which has left me feeling a bit fed up with everything. Humph.

Firstly, I've been having problems getting paid for a lot of freelance work I've undertaken, and I always resent having to chase payment.  It really ruins a working relationship, and as a freelancer you have to trust that people will honour payment as you are always doing the work up-front.  Any suggestions for how to overcome this??.... I'm sure it's a common problem for freelancers - its a fine line of trusting people / companies whilst also ensuring you aren't left out of pocket and will receive payment.

Secondly, I've been working hard towards getting my own range of melamine plates produced (you might remember I posted a while ago about the samples and different designs I'd been working on).  I selected 10 designs to launch a new range, and ordered multiples of each design to be shipped to me from the UK where they are being produced.  I was really excited when I received my first shipment of goods a few weeks ago - but this quickly turned to disappointment when I realised one of the designs had a fault.  Of course I assumed the fault would be rectified straight away given it was a production issue, and I had paid in full for the goods to be produced and shipped half way round the world.  Sadly this doesn't appear to be the case, and is resulting in e-mails not being returned and long periods without communication.  Its such a frustrating situation, and makes you question the relationship and trust you have worked hard to build up.

On a brighter note I've been badly neglecting my Me Old China Etsy shop due to feelance work and developing the melamine plate range - but I finally got round to listing some new designs at last!  I have lots more designs that have been cut from plates, but I still need to get round to sanding these and transforming them into the pendants.             

These two designs are part of a collection made from this very cute English retro plate called 'South Pacific' - they would have been perfect for the summer if I'd got round to listing them in time!

These two rather funky designs are also from an old English retro plate with a pattern name 'Tyrol'.  They are a little more 1970's in feel - and very bold with the red and yellow florals on the black background! 
And this shows the plate after it has been cut with the pendant shapes.  More designs available over at Etsy!
And I also had my 'Knife & Fork' cut-out plate featured over at Kaboodle as part of an Etsy round-up of designs for Earth day.  Thanks Etsy and Kaboodle - this helped to cheer me up!


I was super thrilled to see two of my projects featured on the fabulous Re-Nest blog over the last couple of weeks!  Re-nest is part of the equally excellent Apartment Therapy site, but it focuses more on green design and all things eco and recycled.   There's some great ideas and projects featured, as well as interesting homes, gardens and product design. 

My garden planting in teapots and various kitchen paraphernalia was featured in the repurposed planters round-up, and more recently my Me Old China cut-out wall plates were also featured in their own segment!  (Although the only person who has commented so far doesn't seem to keen on the wall plates as you can't use them as plates anymore!)

I was actually out and about in the garden this weekend, making the most of the beautiful autumn sunshine and giving the garden a bit of a clean up.  With all the rain we had over summer my little garden went crazy, with everything growing madly..... sadly including the weeds.  Vines have now been pruned and cut back, leaves swept up, snails disposed and weeds pulled.  The marigolds planted in the teapots for summer had all died, so these have now been replaced with various succulents so they'll still look pretty over winter!  

You can see the posts here:  repurposed planters & wall plates.  A big thank-you to re-nest for including my little projects, I'm very chuffed indeed :)

Studio spring (or rather autumn) clean!

 Tidy, clean and organised - I have desk space again!

Some of my ceramic tableware designs and new melamine designs

 I'd forgotten there was a pattern on my desk it's been buried in artwork for so long
 Some of my endless reference folders with magazine tears and swatches of inspiration material - finally organised into categories!

 As usual the Jolly cat is never far away.... here she is sitting in my letter tray hoping it's nearly tea-time!

Over the last couple of weeks I've been giving the studio a bit of a spring clean and tidying things up.  I'm not a really messy person (I can't cope working in mess and chaos!) but with freelance projects and other things on the go, paper just piles up, things don't get put away, artwork get buried and gradually a cluttered feeling takes hold.  So, I decided it was time to clear things up a little and get organised again.  I currently don't recognise the studio its looking so tidy - and I have space again.  Yay!  I know it won't last long, but for now I feel like I'm working in a new space and it will get me through the next six months until it needs doing again.

I've also been organising my inspirtion folders into categories - finally!  I have heaps of folders full of inspiration material - from contemporary floral to retro and childrens reference.  I'm forever scouring magazines for source material and tearing out swatches of paper, and for a long time these were all jumbled up into folders.  I've gradually been going through all this material that I've been collating over years - and they are now all in specific reference folders.  Sooo much easier for finding images, I don't know why it took me so long to do it!!       

Me Old China in Inside Out!

Inside Out magazine - May-June 2011
 Illustrated 'Vintage Tableware' side plate
'Polly Put the Kettle On' cut-out wall plate

I was really excited to get the latest copy of Inside Out magazine over the weekend - and see two of my plates featured!

One of my Me Old China 'Polly Put the Kettle On' cut-out wall plates was featured, along with one of my Lucy King Design illustrated 'Vintage Tableware' plates, both used as props in an article about cutlery.  It's great to see your own work featured in such an inspiring and design orientated magazine, so I'm sending a big thank you to Inside Out for including my designs in the lovely styled shots!

Long weekend in Noosa

 Ahhh, feeling very relaxed and revived after a lovely long weekend in Noosa.  The sun was out, the sea was warm and just a perfect place to chill out for a few days.   

We went for a 'stroll' around the National Park - which ended up being a 9km walk (!) although I did see my first koala in the wild which was exciting.  We also took kayaks out along the river for a few hours, so I felt less guilty for sleeping away the afternoon after that!   

The funniest thing was seeing some cushions I designed for Target a couple of years ago in the apartment we stayed in!!

Etsy - Earth Day

I was pretty excited to see my Me Old China repurposed and recycled cut-out 'Dinner' plate and 'Knife & Fork' plate featured on Etsy's April Shopping Guide today! 

The plates were part of the 'earth day' round-up on the shopping guide which was e-mailed out to all subscribers.  Its always a pleasure to see my work featured by other people and I'm very grateful to be included amongst so many other fabulous products.  Thanks Etsy!!

You can see these plates and more of my designs at the Me Old China shop over at Etsy :)