Not sleeping…

Before Christmas and at the moment I’m going through times where I just cannot sleep.

I’m not stressed or restless, occasionally I’m awake from the heat but most of the time its just an inability to fall asleep.

It takes a lot out of a person when you can’t sleep – as sleep deprivation is akin to being drunk – but in saying that I seem to have more motivation in the early hours of the morning more so than I do during the day.

Sleep normally comes naturally to me and I am a good sleeper – head hits the pillow and I’m out and nothing will wake me for 8-9 hours. I like sleep, I like my bed and my pillow and I enjoy the haven I’ve created in my room yet I have these batches of time where sleep eludes me. I’ve tried all sorts of remedies and short of taking heavy duty sleeping pills which I am not comfortable doing I really have no answer.

But when I do have these periods of non-sleep I get stuff done.

I built the 55 Fox Fiasco site one night, was up till 3am tweaking widgets and adjusting the colour scheme, building pages and creating the bios for the team, writing text for all the info pages. I’ve added things since but the bones of the site was easy for the girls and I almost straight away. It felt good to achieve something so tangible in one go.

The biggest problem with not sleeping is that the next day I feel terrible and it does take some time for my sewing mojo to get back into the swing of things. But once I’m moving things happen. I also get more headaches and generally feel pretty crazy.

When I do sleep in these sorts of times I have very vivid dreams and this is where I get a lot of my inspiration from. The almost hallucinatory state I’m in creates a world of colour and pattern that runs through my mind and allows me to draw upon in in my waking hours for matching and designing.

So in a way I’m thankful that I can’t sleep right now. That I know that I will be awake for another 2 hours at least before I drift off… because I get something useful out of it that makes the struggle to nod off worthwhile.

I know that I am not a true insomniac and I would never claim to be one (I’ve lived with one, I know how awful it can be) but I do believe that we all suffer it to some degree. Everyone will have an off night every now and then, maybe a few nights in a row. I have around 5-6 weeks. I think its a cycle of some kind that my body goes through – like a snake sheds its skin. I don’t know why it happens, it doesn’t change anything for me other than I’m tired (more than normal) and I get more stuff done. So I grin and bear it and know there is an end to it.

Do you suffer from something similar? Does it affect your creative skills in any way?

Leave a comment below 🙂


Marni x 


Festive Sale and end of year happenings…

So it’s all over for another year…

Food and presents were great, a nice quiet day with family.

It’s Boxing Day now. Mum’s reading, Dad’s watching the cricket and I’m about to do some sewing.

Working on a few quilts that will be up for sale in the new year along with a few magazine pieces. I’m also getting a head start with the 55 Fox Fiasco projects. The girls and I are very excited about the launch.

If you head over to the STORE tab and do some shopping, when you get to the checkout make sure you enter FESTIVE2013 into the coupon code box to receive 25% off your purchases (excluding kits, patterns, sewing baskets and quilting hoops).

Make sure you don’t miss out on these bargains as I love to encourage you to create while you are on holidays – relaxation aids inspiration. 🙂

Any orders placed will be posted as soon as possible, as with all of the public holiday days dotted in amongst this time of year makes getting to the post office a little more tricky. So allow a few extra days delivery.

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas, are enjoying their Boxing Day and looking forward to the New Year.

Marni x


And so here we stand a mere week out from Christmas 2013.

I’m not quite sure I believe we got here as fast as we did – it really does seem like a blur. Especially since we had so many big things happen in the last 12 months –

– The shop front closing and the restructuring of the business

– Dad being home for more than a year!

– New directions with the 55 Fox Fiasco

– And all the other random good stuff that happened.

Also in that time I started a new job… I’m doing some freelance work for the College of Law which is the complete opposite of the work I do in the shop. I’m working on word documents, behind a computer all day, not behind a sewing machine. My brain is finding the balance a little hard to come to terms with but the work is important as it is legal information for up and coming law students.

Nothing will take me away from the shop permanently, I’m just doing this job to help them through their busy time as I have the necessary skills and the flexibility with my time.  🙂

So to catch you all up with what’s happened since I last posted a blog entry (eep! the 21st of October) here’s a quick montage of pics –

I think that about covers the majority of what happened.

I’m not closing over the holidays – so if you need anything please feel free to ring, email or place your order through the shopping cart. I’ll only be going to the post office on non-public holiday days so please allow a couple of extra days for your deliveries.


NSW and the Golden Haze

Sitting in my craft room today writing up magazine project notes and I look out the window to a hazy golden glow that the world has had for the past few days. With Summer not even truly here we’ve already had the worse bush fires in a decade and seemingly the worst is yet to come.

The flames surround us in every direction – North, South and West – with smoke hanging in a thick, choking pall over the city, being blown in every direction by winds that no-one wants.

I know people living in each of the key fire locations. I’ve had friends evacuate, leaving behind everything they own bar a few irreplaceable items. I hear stories and I’m keeping a close eye on things via social media. I’m now helping in the only way I really can – by sewing.

I’ve been in touch with WIRES to see what they need in terms of animal carer support – nappies, slings and pouches for injured animals. If you would like to help make pouches click on these links for instructions –  macropod pouches making possum pouches.

The rescue operations are now well under way and the teams urgently need new, flat (not fitted), 100% cotton sheets. If you can help with this please email once you have sheets ready to send.

Other ways to help –

1. BlanketLovez are collecting quilt tops, finished quilts, wadding and monetary donations to make quilts for families who’ve lost everything. See the link for more details.

2. Pillowcases for Oncology Kids are collecting pillowcases. Follow the link for more information. Pillowcase Instructions.

3. A MESSAGE FROM WILDLIFE ARC: Wildlife ARC are doing a search and rescue tonight. Members will be looking for injured animals from the bushfires. If anyone would like to join the hunt, they will meet at the Shell Service Station at Doylo at 6pm on the 21st October. “We are also putting out food and water for the animals,” a spokeswoman said. “We are asking that if people come can they bring any sort of plastic containers, ice cream containers etc please.”

4. Truly Scrumptious is collecting for a crafty lady who lost her home based business.

5. Pet Barn is collecting donations when your purchase goods for your pets.

There are many people out and about helping in whatever ways they can. If you can do something, even just a little, it all helps.  🙂


Three months till Christmas…

So over the past couple of weeks besides unpacking and working out the new system at FF HQ I’ve also been working on something for next year.

Two of my friends and I have start The Fifty-Five Fox Fiasco. It’s a collaboration project for 2014 with foxes being the main theme. We haven’t released all the details yet but if you would like to stay in the loop please follow us on our Facebook page.

The girls and I were inspired by a random conversation we had and a mutual love for all things crafty. It will be an exciting 12 months and I can’t wait to get started.

In other news my christmas cockatoo project is on the front cover of the newest issue of Patchwork & Stitching magazine.

PWS 14-9 button

I also had the fortune to be involved in the Fashion Week Central Coast. I submitted one of my quilts for their gala night auction. The quilt sold on the night and some of the funds from its sale will go to the RSPCA – my chosen charity. 🙂

Measures 187cm x 200cm

  Measures 187cm x 200cm

I’m having a small sale over on my Facebook page. All the fabrics in the album are only $10 per metre. Heaps of bargains to be had and the sale will end on Tuesday the 1st of October.

I’m heading to Sydney tomorrow to catch up with friends and then I plan one sewing for the rest of the weekend and Monday when I’m home looking after Dad. I am making pillowcases for Patchwork & Stitching magazines Pillowcase for Oncology drive. I have a big batch of really awesome Dr Seuss fabrics that were donated to the magazine and Melinda (assistant editor) sent out these fabrics for us to whip up pillowcases.

I’m also playing around with some more magazine commissions and a few personal projects – pics to come.

With so little time before the silly season I’m working hard now so that I can have time off this year. We cancelled Christmas last year because none of us really felt like it seeing as we’d just gotten Dad home and things were still settling down. I think Mum wants to do something special this year so I’m making sure that we have at least a few days together, relaxing and enjoying life.

Enjoy your weekend!

Marni x


Last week at the shop front…

So this week is the last week with the doors open at the bricks and mortar version of Frankenstein’s Fabrics.

Unsure of what this week will bring as there is still so much happening outside of the packing, cleaning and moving.

We are open this week from Tuesday to Friday 9am -4pm and then on Saturday we will be at the Handmade Craft Market from 9:30am – 2:30pm.

Make sure you get in and grab some bargains as the sale will finish up at midnight on the 31st, with stock at the market on sale as well.

Some snippets of what’s available….

So now that I have my new video camera I’ve been planning what I will be doing for the first couple of tutorials.

Liz kindly requested a demo of French Knots and as I will be doing some of those on the project that I’m working on tomorrow I thought it was perfect timing. I will add in a few other stitches that also feature in the same project. In the video I will also talk about ways to make stitching easier on yourself – products I use and sell that aid in embroidery.

The second video will be on appliqué. The methods I use and how I approach it. Appliqué is a wonderful technique that can be used on pretty much anything you can imagine.

I’ve recently purchased some funky sewing baskets –



Small baskets are $23 and the medium baskets are $27, plus postage.

I must admit I am addicted, like most craftspeople, to storage…. between my fabric and stationary addictions storage is right up there. Top 5. Wayyyyy up there.

I have boxes and bags, stackable containers, tubs on wheels, cupboards with little drawers and jars with lids that go ‘thonk’. You know the ones I mean…. Storage is something that I think calls to us, that makes us feel like we are achieving some glorious organisational utopia.

Being organised and creative don’t often go hand-in-hand. Due to the ‘creative process’ keeping things tidy and streamlined can be a struggle. I for one like to work in a neat workspace, so I tidy as I go, or do one project, tidy and move onto the next one.

If anyone has any storage tips feel free to leave a comment below. 🙂

Anyways, I’m off to bed shortly (after I get in a little more sewing), so I hope to see you all in store this week or online to celebrate the last four days in the shop.

Thank you all for your support and kind words along the way with this massive change.

Marni x


A third of the way…

I really cannot believe we are already 9 days into the second half of the year. It always seems to me that everyone does this mad scramble about now (I blame tax time and school holidays), running around like headless chickens when really we all have plenty of time. The same amount of time. For the same things. That we’ve all done before.

So why on earth do we panic every year like this process is brand new and we’re terrified of it?

My theory on this is that its because it all has to do with money.

The one thing that we all want/need/have/lust after/hate/love. Money as they say makes the world go around but I do believe we would be better off without it. Go back to the old barter system, or exchange goods for services rendered. Makes more sense in my mind anyway.

But unfortunately the greedy and the powerful would not have the world that way and because they are greedy and powerful they seemingly have more control and say so.

This blog post this morning was meant to a happier one but money was definitely on my mind this morning as I too am trying to work out when I can set aside a few hours this week to get my tax done. Luckily I have the most awesome of accountants and I let him do all the hard work – I just need to make sure I send him files all in order. 🙂

So to end this blog post on a happier note here’s a peek at what I’ve been up to this last week and what I’m working on this week.


Surrounded by Sparklies

Okay, okay… I know I’ve been reaaaallllly quiet the past 2 weeks.

My bad. 🙁

I’ve actually been very busy and have had very little time to sit and write a decent post for you all.

I managed to claim some time back tonight as I’ve gotten some of the work out of the way. I have tomorrow off (gasp!) and everything is ready for the Handmade Craft Market on Sunday.

So, I’ve made a cup of tea, popped my slippers on and put my lap quilt over my knees and am sitting here typing this riveting post for you. 🙂

Catch up of what’s been happening…

The 5th and 6th of May was the Wyong Quilt Show – Janette runs an excellent show, running around organising EVERYTHING including jam and scones for brekky for the stallholders each morning. We had a fabulous 2 days at the show. On one side Hans was demonstrating the Nolting and selling haberdashery and other goodies and on the other side was Down Under Quilts magazine. Deb was there selling back issues and sewing a very pretty quilt for a special little girl. There was a definite thrum of activity in that room at the show – we had demos and machines going, lots of chatter and excitement.

The following weekend (12th and 13th) I was at Hornsby Westfield for the Handmade Craft Market’s pop up market. I had a fun couple of days in the centre – I spent quite a bit of time doing quick demos of the Flip la K templates and madly stitching blocks for a display for Darling Harbour. Which at that stage was 4 weeks away…..

And so to this week – it has been cold and a bit quiet in the shop but you’ve all kept me busy with mail orders (no-one wants to go outside to shop hey? :))


This week I have been busy with the sparkly goodness that is beading.

Next week we go into design for our August issue and I have been editing projects, counting beads, measuring and writing. I love doing a beading mag as it is completely different to my shop stuff. I get to sit down and plan the mag from cover to cover, adjusting things as needed, write articles about things that I find interesting, educational or important, learning more about my contributors and seeing what new and exciting products are available. It all works at a slower pace than the shop and is my mental time away from fabric….as much as I <3 fabric.

I’ve also been busy with a bit of freelance writing – click here to read the online article. The other article will be out in print later on.

We are now 24 days away from set-up for Darling Harbour. I can tell you I am a tad FREAKED out that I’m not ready with my display stuff and that I have 4 quilts to cut, sew, quilt and bind before then… but I’m cool, it’ll get done.

{cue hysterical laughter}

If anyone would like a custom made quilt – please come and see me after the 25th of June – I will be back to normal by then and have some time to give your quilt the attention it deserves. 🙂

New classes will be listed at the end of June – these will be for the second half of the year and include night classes.

This coming week after the market this Sunday I’ll be finishing off a couple of projects for the magazines – I was asked to participate in Australian Patchwork & Quilting‘s birthday challenge. Some gorgeous fabric and I’m going out on a massive limb with my project but I hope you all love it. The other project is for APQ as well but it’s using their new range of fabrics. Not my usual cup of tea but my quilt is a bit modern using this more traditional colours… you’ll see 😉

I’m catching up with the girls next week for our most favourite of foods – YUM CHA!!


Then I’ll be sewing madly for a week until my sister and I go to Quarantine Station for a ghost tour… my sister bought me tickets for my birthday 🙂

and then…

{drum rollllllllllll}



So – I’m off to make some jewellery tonight.

I’ll try to post a bit more regularly but … no promises 🙂








I cannot believe how fast this year is flying by. We are past the 6 month mark for the shop, we’re into market and show season and the weather is turning particularly chilly.


The shop is no longer open on Saturdays. There is a sign on the door at the shop, I’ve changed the details, here and on Facebook and I’ve made several status updates announcing as such.

We are at the Wyong Quilt Show this weekend – come along and say hi.

In the latest copy of Patchwork & Stitching Magazine my Punk Princess quilt is published. I have 5 kits left of it for sale and will have them with me tomorrow at the show. $85 for the fabrics just to make the quilt top and the binding or $120 if you want backing as well. You’ll also need 2m of Vliesofix which is sold separately.


I’m also about to release the pattern for In Flight. It will be available as a pattern, will be taught as a class from the end of June and also comes as a tailored kit.

The tailored kits are where I work with you to create a kit to your liking, we liaise via email with photos and colour swatches to create a unique quilt for you. I can only do a limited number of these as they take more time to compile so if you are interested please send me an email

There’s lots of other things happening over the next few weeks. I’ll have to keep you updated after the weekend.


Hope you all have a great weekend!

Marni 🙂


A lot of people ask me where I get my inspiration from.

Most of the time something will just pop into my head as if sucked out of the ether. Sometimes I have to work for it, and sometimes I will spot something that will trigger off a thought and the inspiration surfaces somewhere along the way.

This afternoon as dad and I were driving home from the shop (in the most circuitous manner) I spotted a cluster of trees. Now even though it was lovely and sunny and clear blue skies, these trees felt a bit spooky. I think mainly because they had leaves higher up and so the more exposed gnarly trunks were spooky because of their lack of foliage.

So I whipped out my poor battered camera (which lives eternally in my handbag) and snapped a couple of shots.


I’ve been looking for a good set of spooky trees for an art quilt for a while. I think that these guys could be what I want but I will have to test them out with my sketches and see if they fit.

Over the last few days I have been slowly going through the things in my craft room at home. It has been a real eye opener to all the things I had  forgotten. Its good though because there are lots of UFOs that I can finish and put up for sale. I have also discovered many of my beading projects from the last few years – I will get them all sorted and loaded onto my jewellery FB page. Some of these will be for sale too if any one is interested. I’ll reveal the page details when I have it all sorted. 🙂 Plenty of things suitable for gifts and perfect timing as Mother’s Day isn’t far off.

A customer brought her quilt in today for me to quilt. So I am busy with another on the machine at the moment. I like seeing what people are making. That’s inspiring in its way too. I especially love other people’s take on colours and patterns. I’ll put some photos up soon of these customer quilts. I’ll make a new page in the tabs for them.

Oh… just some housekeeping – we will be closed for the Easter long weekend. And Anzac Day as well.

It’s funny but I’ve been really looking forward to winter this year. I have ordered some hand-dyed yarn to knit myself a scarf. The lovely Belinda at Fairythread is doing a custom dye on some cotton for me in my favourite halloween colours. I’m still in the process of making my vintage halloween lap quilt for this chilly season.

I’m off now to do some more writing for my beading magazine.