Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

It's well and truly that time of year.
Summer is here.
Santa is only 14 sleeps away.
The year is almost over.

In terms of the year that has been, we couldn't be more thrilled! What began as a few idle moments chit chat quickly swelled into overflowing sketch pads, late night market stall practice runs through to the current dream factory we hope one day to actually have in a factory - instead of the kitchen table/ shed/ spare bed. But Rome wasn't built in a day now was it?

We've spent the year trialling ideas and concepts, listening patiently to nay-sayers, smacking head-on into brick walls, receiving the most wonderful feedback from you all and ultimately coming to the decision that this is where we want to be. We feel so happy to have been able to bring our dreams to fruition and that so many of you feel the same way. And we are enormously thankful to you for your support!

To thank you and help with your Christmas shopping we are having a SALE for all our friends at our online Shop. This will run to the end of December.
But you may need to be quick because as you know, each piece is completely unique and a one off item.

We get asked lots of questions about why we do what we do. More often than we would like, we find ourselves converting people to buying from and supporting local, independent artisans - we'd much rather have hordes of people already doing that. So here's a snapshot of what's floating around in our headspace. These are the things that matter to us and perhaps it will gel with you too:

We don't mass produce. We offer timeless quality.
     You can easily head to a multi-national chain store and purchase items that are possibly similar to what we create. And you won't be alone. Thousands of others will have the exact same item sitting on their couch/ floor/ bed and you may even wonder if it looks better in their home. But you can consolidate your fears in the knowledge that you didn't have to pay much. And of course you can throw this slightly-ripped-at-the-seam one out and get something more "on trend" in a couple of weeks.

We have been practicing our craft for a long time and strive to be the most professional producers we can be.
     You go to work, you do a particular task and you get paid for your time. How much is an hour of your professional time worth? We may not have an artisans university crest hanging on our wall, but we simply can't get by if we only charge for materials. So although we call ourselves Daydreamers, please know that we are the best at it. Your money is paying for the best item, made in the best time by the best Daydreamers around.

We want to help you create memories.
     Just seeing Grandma's old blanket brings a smile to our face. She made it many moons ago. We used it to hold a teddy's picnic under the kitchen table when we were 5. Mum used it before us to snuggle up under with a handsome beau while out at a drive in movie. We hope to hand it on, along with its memories to our kids so they can make use of it and create their own memories with Grandma's blanket. We create pieces that will hopefully become your future heirlooms. Others will help to create future memories told over a cup of tea or late at night with snorts of laughter from the generations to come.

Our daydreaming creations are made with integrity, to the best of our ability, so that they will last many lifetimes and be just as loved in each as they are in the first.

In the new year we hope to be even more adventurous with our daydreams. We have a number of new pieces such as wall art and hangings and newly finished wooden items. We hope to bring some of these to the last of our markets this year (keep up with that on Facebook), but we will have them online for 2014.

To help with your Summer Season celebrations, here's a freebie download!
- Just right click and Save.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Enjoy your Summer & Dream On!

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Making Jam

A few weeks back we came across some deliciously sweet strawberries.
Well, with that box of super juicy awesomeness we knocked out a few jars of strawberry jam.

We don't have any secret recipes. We just followed this recipe and a few hints from all those wandering in and out of the kitchen as we went.
The first step was to chop up all our strawberries for the 1kg weigh-in. But blow us down, after gathering a box full of them, when it came to the weigh-in, we were short! It seems that it's simply impossible to chop up a strawberry and not taste one or two along the way...bit like peeling prawns. And with so many people stopping by to check out what was going on it's easy to see how one or two lead to 20 or 30.

After a quick wander through the paddock and pick of the bush lemon tree we were ready to go.
When we were younger we'd ride our horses most school holidays looking for something to entertain us. We'd generally pick a few lemons on the way and compete with our cousins over who could eat it without pulling a "cat's bum face" (yukky sour lemon face for those not with the lingo). First person to pull a face often ended up with the job of getting off to open/close all the gates for everybody else.
We pretty much followed the recipe (with a few minor reductions in measurements) from then on.

Like all the old girls in the family, Mum had a stash of recycled glass jars ready for just this occasion. Her recommendation is to only keep the pretty ones or those that are just perfect for a particular purpose otherwise you'll be over run with jars.
What she didn't have was a funnel. Lucky for us any stray drips were quickly swiped clean by stray fingers passing by.
Just as the recipe noted, this was a rather runny jam although our funky measurements could've had something to do with that. But the executive decision was made that anyone not keen on runny jam could use it as a gourmet dessert topping.
We've tried both options - jam and icecream topping - and don't mind saying that it was sweet as for both.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Old School Kisses

What do you think when an old school movie from the 40's, 50's or 60's comes on? Cringe?
We've always loved them...well not all of us.
The gorgeous costumes, hair, accessories, sets, music, dancing and script. Love it, the innocence of them. Of course a critical eye would notice the racist and misogynistic themes, but perhaps we're just superficial.
Either way one part of them that always captures us is the kiss. There is always at least one Kiss Moment. You know the ones - those long, lingering looks, close enough to touch yet oh so restrained, the lean in, soft or demanding but always full of 'oh thank god!'.


They got us thinking about the quotes that go with movie kisses: 
“No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.”
Gone With the Wind (1939) – Rhett Butler (Clark Gable)
“It's a treat to be kissed, even goodbye.”
Spawn of the North (1938) – Nicky Duval (Dorothy Lamour)
“Wanna dance or would you rather just suck face?”
On Golden Pond (1981) – Norman Thayer (Henry Fonda)

These ones in particular will probably end up making an appearance on our art wall sometime or other. Could even create His and Hers bedroom art...

Monday, 16 September 2013

Sweet As Strawberries

Today we went on a wander and ended up visiting some family friends who own and run a strawberry farm.

There were subtle hints right from the get-go that things were not as they should be. Weeds were growing amongst the vines. Super large, juicy strawbs were thick and fast along every row. All the picker's trollies were parked up.
These things may not sound like much but at a time when strawberry farms should be in full swing sending truckloads of strawberry punnets off to market, it really means that something is not right. And it soon became apparent why. These farmers are being offered 40cents - yes that's $0.40 - a punnet for their strawberries. Are you serious?! How can you make a living off 40cents a punnet?
And the answer is you can't.
It costs much more than 40cents a punnet to grow, harvest and package... and therefore they have decided not to. All their wonderfully sweet, juicy strawberries are being left to rot.

We were given a box and told to pick as many as we wanted, so quickly got to work. When we checked over our shoulder to see how the two-foot tall family member was going we realised just how luscious these little beauties were. With juice running down her chin and two of the largest strawberries we've laid eyes on gently being squished between her little fingers, we also realised that she wasn't going to be any help with filling the box up. In less than 3minutes we had gathered over 2 kilos and barely made a dent in the glut of strawberries before us.

After providing the little hands with a few roadies we jumped back in the car and headed home to show off our hunter-gathering skills to the rest of the family and relay the message about how hard our local strawberry farmers are doing it.

I guess what we're trying to tell you with this is that the agricultural industry as a whole is doing it tough. We all know that a lot of this has to do with unsustainably low food prices being peddled by large food chains. When you go to work, you expect to be paid a decent wage for your days work. So do farmers, it's just that we are the ones paying their wage. We can't help every farmer, but we can support one or two in our local area by buying locally, especially at market stands were we can at least ensure the fair price we pay is going straight to that farmer.

So go on, start your weekly shop off by helping to reduce the glut of strawberries and grab a punnet from your local farmer tomorrow. When they look this good you really can't go wrong.

Just in case you have any left overs and are at a loss as to what to do with them, here's a few suggestions from our favourites list.
Strawberry Sorbet with Lemon
Grapefruit & Strawberry Greyhound Poptail 
Strawberry Bruschetta Grilled Cheese
Strawberry-Sour Cream Icecream

Monday, 2 September 2013

The Spring Clean has been Hijacked

Spring is upon us! And you know what that means...Spring Cleaning. Woo!
No, not woo.
We love neat and tidy, but there's a real difference between proper clean and basic neat and tidy, just ask our Mother. She's been cleaning walls, ceilings, on top of and underneath furniture, dusting washing and scrubbing from top to bottom at this time for years. With just a touch of mad-woman about her and lashings of your-life-won't-be-worth-living-if-you-dirty-that being thrown at us, we learnt early on that it was best to vacate the premises. 
But now of course we have our own premises and much as we would prefer just to vacate and call Mum in, there comes a time that we all have to grow up and clean the toilet ourselves (feel free to take this as a hint Husband).
Sometimes though, the thought of tackling this job forces us to have another cuppa, just to contemplate where exactly to begin. And one cuppa leads to stalking friends on Facebook and then of course you may as well have a wee look on Pinterest, I mean you've gone to all the trouble of turning the computer on so you may as well make it worthwhile...
Don't pretend you haven't done it too. One glance at Pinterest and somehow you've lost 3 hours and developed an almost junkie-like need to keep looking.
Well this is where our pre-plan for Spring Cleaning the project room lead us:
Well at least we've got an idea of what we'd like our area to turn into.
Enough procrastination, hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go...dada da da da **whistling**.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A Crochet Sun

If you follow our Facebook Page then you've probably already seen the Beach House Floor Rug we have been working on. It was ordered by a lovely family who live in a most enviable location right on the beach at the Sunshine Coast.
They were keen for something bright and beachy to wipe off those sandy feet after a wander along the shore. So we jumped right into it... 

"Blimey that's bright" was the response we got from our Grandmother. And it was the kicker we were looking for. Nothing in our minds says BEACH more than a bright orange sun with the cool waves in the background.

We used a bright orange starched cotton material, unlike our super soft polyester rugs this one is more firm underfoot. Perfect for rubbing sandy feet on. And as you can see, a big rug needs a big crochet hook - Big Bertha! She's a 20mm style and loves being manhandled.

After some 200 odd meters of material plus the added intensity of Big Bertha you can imagine how much we've learnt about carpal tunnel recently too. But it was worth it. Thrown on the deck overlooking the rock pools and waves beyond, this rug really hit the mark.

We couldn't be more happy with the result. We could've kicked back there with a cocktail in hand, sand between our toes and sun on our cheeks for hours.

Aside from laying out floor rugs and lapping up the view we did a bit of rock pooling with the kids too. But that's another story. Suffice to say that if you can get to the beach as the weather starts warming up we don't think you'll be disappointed.

And if you think you need a Sun Pattern Floor Rug at your place head over to our Etsy Shop - MaggieAndBoyd - but be quick as we only have one left. It is made of the same starched cotton material, 80cm wide and selling for $100 with free shipping.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

A Random Day of Chaos

We have some visitors coming this weekend and of course they should be staying in the spare room, with bed made, lovely linen, fluffy towels and clean floor.

Unfortunately neither the floor nor bed are visible at the moment.

You know that stockpile of daydreams that just sits quietly in the cupboard waiting patiently for you to come and pick one to work on?.. Well we had a spurt of over-enthusiasm this week and greedily selected more than just one to work with.

So now we'll be setting up a tent in the backyard for our guests...if you're reading this, sorry dudes.

Does everybody have the same random days of chaos (yeah ok, or week) just launch itself upon them? Where no matter how many lists, what kind of pre-planning, or how organised you normally are, you still can't work out how the shampoo got in the fridge and the milk in the shower?

No doubt after a calming glass of chardy, we'll get ourselves sorted out here. But in the mean time I think it's best to focus on a select few. The first of which is a tissue paper wall mobile - that's its current stage on the end of the bed - pink and orange to celebrate the up coming warmer weather of Spring.

We hope that if you happen across one of these random days of chaos at your place, you can take comfort in the fact that you're not alone. Grab a glass of your favourite, kick back and dream on like we do.