Saturday, December 31, 2011


Time has flown by in the in the last few weeks of 2011, and I now sit here reflecting, has it been a good year? The answer is yes, and this is how I can tell:

My girls in January and my girls in December, happy. That is how a good year is measured.

Happy New Year! xx

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Craziness of Now.

We all have our busy weeks, you know the ones where you almost feel like you are holding your breath just to get through everything with out a hitch. I have had a few weeks like this in a row, and I still have several more to come.

It's hard at times like this not to wish time away, remembering how time is, afterall, so very precious, but I can honestly say that on this Sunday evening, I am truely looking forward to next Sunday evening, to have this crazy week ahead, behind me.

This week I will be wearing these hats, obviously hats that I wear often, but not often quite so simultaneously:

Business Owner
Best Friend
Matron Of Honour

This week I am scared that at some point I'm going to let someone down, that I'm not going to be able to do everything that is needed of me. I guess only time will tell.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Miss Three and a Half

My Dear Delilah,

You make my heart sing and you warm my world with sunshine. You make me smile with your sweet heart and love for you sister. You make me laugh with your awesome facial expressions and off key singing. You always oblige when I need a hug and you never fail to kiss your sister good night. Your drawing and writing is blowing my mind, I can't keep up with how fast you are learning. You amaze me everyday.....

You also frustrate me a bit. Please can you put your cranky pants out for a wash tomorrow and put some happy ones on?

Love Mum. xxxx

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Morning Finds

We are just fresh back from the carboot sale and I thought I'd share this week's finds:

My favourite of all the finds is the little oil painting "Autumn Flinders" (1981 really was a good vintage!)for the bargain rice of $1, the colours in it are just so vibrant! I've been on the hunt for chairs to go around our dining table in the studio (we only had one) so these were a must to come home with us for a whopping $8 the pair. The peach chenille blanket was an absolute must, and who could possibly pass up a brand new pair of Jag jeans with tags still on for a whole $10!

Love car booting!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Playing With The Verri Vintage Stash

Luke was out for the day today, a work function at the races. As the girls and I had already had a bit of a long week together, Delilah is having a big cranky growth spurt (like she needed one!) and Miss M is speedily heading toward the terrible twos (now I remember why we started calling Lilah "Captian Feralpants"!), I had decided early in the day that we needed some projects for the afternoon.

We've been doing ALOT of gardening lately, all three of us really enjoy it, the girls even have their own tiny gardening gloves and tools (and I am slowly getting to grips with my fears of slimy, crawly, creepy, stingy things), so our first task was to plant some basil.... well that took all of five minutes so we then cracked into the Verri Vintage stash and I showed the girls how to make fabric covered canvases. Following on from the pin cushion post, I am really loving a good short project at the moment, the sense of accomplishment is so satisfying..... so after making three:

Delilah decided we needed more, and I was very happy to oblige:

And beside the fun result of having produced some super cute artwork for our studio, we also had a completely pleasant and stress free afternoon:)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pin Cushion Therapy.

I am loving the Oopsidaisi Pin Cushion Swap......

I had been feeling a bit down lately and for some reason a tasty little 30min sewing project seems to achieve such a sense of accomplishment that I have found myself feeling better.... although slightly addicted to making pin cushions, perhaps not brilliant when I have sooooooo much market sewing to do!

If you'd like to make your own, lovely Bernie from Tea For Evie, posted a fantastic tutorial for one on her blog, you can read it here:) Happy Sewing!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I've been meaning to write a post for weeks.... since my 30th Birthday infact,but time ha just gotten away. So why is time disappearing so fast in the Verri household at the moment?

- First there was the City to Bay.... I ran it in a not too shabby time of 62mins 10secs

- Then there was my 30th....

But that deserves a post all of it's own.

- There has been the hen's night planning for my bestie who is getting married in Novmember.

- We went to see the Wiggles

- There has been baking,treasure hunting, and just plain old playing.

- And then there has been the sewing........

And now we have reached the time when we are already looking at the rest of the year.... as in every single one of our weekends for the rest of the year are booked with at least one thing, including being a bridesmaid and the divine Miss M's second birthday...... not to mention the fact that I have been accepted to all four markets I have applied for!! Little Monster's Market on the 30th of June (I might be a tad hungover, the hen's night is the night before ssssshhhhhhh!), Lollipop Markets on the 20th of November, The Mummy Tree Markets on the 4th of December and finally the Little Apple Twilight Markets on the 7th of December.

2011 please slow down!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Studio

Luke has been on holidays for the last two weeks so that we could get our studio ready in time for my 30th Birthday (tomorrow). As of today it is officially done. We have turned it from this:

To This:

Just this week alone. I am officially knackered. I am now settled down with a beer, I'm going to leave the birthday cake making until tomorrow morning!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Rankeloffice

We are in the final stages of converting our big solid brick shed into a studio... the floor boards are down, the new glass doors and window are in, almost all the gyprock is up on the walls and ceiling.... pretty much just the painting is left to do.

And this is where our small problem lies.... Delilah (3.5 years) has commandeered one of the large wardrobes that will cover a wall, and filled it with all sorts of things.... hers and Mackenzies out door chairs, ted and baby doll can often be found insitu along with many of Luke's tools that sneakily go missing, infact both D and M go missing in there quite often too. When we asked her about it the other day she told us it's her rankeloffice....
I have no idea what this means, but I do suspect that once this room is finished we may have to consider a cubby house...... or on second thought maybe if I mention the words cubby house to luke he might be inclined to leave the cupboard empty, just so he can avoid any further building:)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

These Feet Were Made For Running

I've been running regularly as my exercise of choice since I was 13...... that's an almost 17 year love affair with sneakers and fresh air. I remember the first time I ran 2.5km in a row with out stopping and how proud of my self I was after... I even later wrote an english essay about it, I was in year 9.

My relationship with running hasn't always been healthy... I had times where I ran too much, and didn't eat enough. I did have one year in that time where I mixed the running up with a short relationship with the gym.... I went back to running, it was convinient and FREE!

When I became pregnant with Delilah, I stopped running, I was too scared to, so I had 8 months off... and then another 3 months because she was so big (9 pound, 9 ounce) the physio suggested it might not be a great idea to start again any sooner. When I became pregnant with Mackenzie I stopped again then too, I have no idea where the fear of running while pregnant came from, there is no basis for it, anyway, another 8 months off for me and as she was not quite so big (8 pound, 9 ounce) I started up running again when she was 6 weeks... that was actually quite enpowering.

It's pretty safe to say that my attitude to excercise had been pretty relaxed when the girls became part of my life, I often used the excuse of being a mum and not having enough time to excercise to cover up the fact that I just couldn't be bothered. I had forgotten how good it made me feel, when I did go running I'd kind of jog along half heartedly...... but then something funny happened, I walked the City to Bay with my big sister last year, I was quite unwell and had done no training, but none the less we managed it in quite a speedy walking time of 1 hour and 20 mins.... and that was my turning point.

Fast forward one year, and I have lost 10kg and am back running at least five times a week. I only miss out on Tuesdays and Fridays because I work. On the weekend for the last 6 months I have been doing a long run with my best friend, with City to Bay training in mind, two weeks ago we ran 14km, the longest distance I have ever run. On the other days of the week I mix it up with shorter distances, anywhere between 6 km and 3.5 km and I throw hill runs into the mix.

The most amazing result in all of this is how good I feel. Strong and in control, and best of all I have reclaimed precious thinking time, one of the reasons I have always loved running so much, the quiet time to ponder the many things that go on in my head. I can leave the house feeling stressed out and come home blissfully relaxed.

So next week, when I run in the City to Bay, for the first time in almost 10 years, I will be thinking about what a difference a year makes..... and how much of me I have reclaimed in that time:)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Grateful Sunday: Father's Day

Today I am most grateful for this man, my husband Luke (like my daughters he's difficult to take an unfuzzy photo of because he never keeps still):

And my precious babies:

I have blogged before about how grateful I am for my family, but over the last few days, I have thought more and more about how lucky I am to have them, as my heart goes out to a friend who has had to say goodbye to her angel baby.

Today, I am hugging my family just that little bit tighter. We have enjoyed a family breakfast, glorious sunshine and a fun couple of hours at our local swimming center. We do have a very charmed life.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How to Make Everything Better

Sometimes I feel sad.......

But then I lie down on the lounge room floor....., and all is right with the world again.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Car Booting

As you know, visiting the local Sunday morning car boot sales, is a Verri family staple. Considering that there is never a sleep in when you have kids aged 3 and 20 months, it's actually a great start to the day.... even on the really cold winter mornings, when you trudge around and don't uncover anything exciting.

This week it wasn't cold though, and there were plenty of fantastic finds begging to come home with us.

I have been wanting a vintage globe for ages, so this one was a great find for $10.

The vintage sewing basket is filled with lots of goodies and is now comfortably resting amoung my growing collection.

The art deco drinks trolley was a must have for $30.... loved that Delilah insisted that it must go in her room as her new bedside table (complete with globe atop.... that's her's too apparently).... I don't know how she's going to react when we move it out into the outdoor room we are renovating.....

One of the things I love most about our treasure troving is Delilah's enthusiasm for it. Every weekend she asks if we are going to the carboot sale, and is sad if we can't. Lately we have been giving her a little money to spend while we are there... this week she decided she was on the look out for a computer.... she found one.

I wonder if our children will contiue to love bargain hunting as they get older, or will be repelled by it and need everything to be new and shiny.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Heartfelt Bouquet.

It hasn't been the easiest few weeks here in the Verri household, the girls and I have been sick with this long lingering virus, and because my girls are prone to ear infections both of the girls have had flare ups.... flare ups which have come with (and understandably so) very bad moods, particularly from Delilah.

As I said, I've been sick and run down too, and with the market on the weekend just generally tired. So needless to say the three of us have gotten on each others nerves a bit this week... as you do.

Last night I was a bit exhausted and over it all, it had been one of those days where as a mum you feel a bit battered and bruised from being constantly yelled at, and my patience had worn thin on more than one occassion, and then as I was getting into bed I noticed this:

Delilah had picked them from our yard earlier in the day (yes we need to do some gardening!) and after bringing them inside and putting them in some water I did notice at some stage that they had gone missing from the kitchen table, but I didn't think anymore of it.... she'd put them on my bedside table for me..... I cried. How lucky am I? Despite being a cranky pants, I am loved.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Market Recovery

Never done a market? Ever wondered what it's like for a stall holder? Here's a little run down of my day yesterday.....

Up at 6am to shower and try and get myself looking half decent to greet customers. My gorgeous husband packed the car for me while I slammed down a coffee and some raisin toast knowing it was likely that thould be the only chance I had to eat all day.

We bundled the still pj clad girls into Luke's car just after 7am and he drove them to my parents while I headed on to AAMI stadium in the pouring rain.

I pulled up at the venue just after 7.30, the rain having miraculously stopped though I still clung to my umbrella and began the process of the stair climb laiden with as much as I could carry.... thankfully I only had to do this twice because Luke showed up shortly after and continued the back and forth while I began the set up.

I am the kind of person who never bothers to pracise the market set up because I know I'd just waste hours rearranging to get the perfect "look" and then find that on the day I changed my mind and did something completely different..... so needless to say the set up is not a fast process for me.

During this time I got to have a chat with the lovely Jodie from Zahley Rose which is always a pleasure and I also met the gorgeous ladies behind Pink Poppet and Shizam Designs it's always wonderful meeting other stall holders, most people really are very friendly.... we are all in the same boat afterall.

9.30 and the coffee man finally arrives so Luke went and got me the biggest one he could... and then hugged me good luck and left to pick up the girls and take them home. This is when the nerves really start to kick in....

10am the doors open and this time the customers trickled in slowly as it was such a large space and my stall was right in the middle.... this was quite nice as other times it has been a full on assault (in the nicest possible way) and it can just add to the surreal atmosphere of it all.

By now the coffee had really kicked in and I had gotten all jittery...... and this is when it started to get busy...... busy that did not let up for the duration of the market...... The women behind the Lollipop Markets really do, do the most amazing job, the market is filled with people from start to finish, a testament to the fantastic advertising, and all round brilliant market that it is.

Any friend who came to visit was dispatched to buy me more coffee, and occassionally installed in my position so I could take a flying bathroom break, I even managed to buy cupcakes to refuel on at one stage..... I talked and talked and sold and sold.... I often think I must come across as a crazy bag of nuts, I am always so fuelled by caffine and adrenilline that I talk a mile a minute, plus I am really quite shy and my fall back when I am nervous is to make jokes at my own expense.... so I tend to laugh hysterically at myself too. Yes, I am that weirdo.

3pm.... the odd customer is still wondering the isles, so when Luke reappeared (having dropped the girls off with his parents this time) we hung out for a bit longer and then started the pack up process...... By this time I am so knackered that I tend to forget to say good bye to those around me and just leave.... realising much later how rude I must seem.

I drive home in what really can only be described as a drunken state.... I really need to learn not to drive myself to these things because I honestly feel quite impared on the drive home..... My beautiful husband then ran me a bath... and thankfully dinner was already cooked. Any noise at this point is absolutely shattering and the energy radiating from my girls is quite exhausting..... but being a mum, I hold it together until their bed time and Then put my feet up with a glass of wine and basically crash.

So that's the day..... the crazy manic day..... but guess what, I LOVE every minute of it, the euphoric feeling a sucessful day can give you is so very hard to describe, in fact I just don't think I can.... the recovery takes days after a BIG market day, but the experience of it is just amazing, so many lovely people to meet and talk to.... putting faces to names you know from on line, chatting to customers like they are old friends..... absolutely fantastic, I hope to do it again and again.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Closet Baker

I have always adored baking, it began in high school, in truth stemming from an eating disorder (hey, I like to be honest)I'd bake anything and everything, but usually wouldn't eat it. Bread was one of my favourite things to make, but as I gradually shook off the food demons it progressed to all things sweet.

I don't proclaim to be the greatest cook in the world.... but I will say I'm not bad, and my forte is definitely the sweet stuff. So today I thought I'd share a few of my baking do's and don'ts.

- Do follow a recipe, quanties are very important in baking, a slight err can cause a disaster.
- Do sift your flour, it's tempting not too, but it seriously does make your bake goods lighter and fluffier.
- Don't substitute butter for margarine, it's just silly.
- Do use a mix master, they just make life so much easier. I LOVE my pink kenwood, one of my best birthday presents ever from my two besties.... though unfortunately at the time I was vomity with morning sickness and I couldn't open the box until Delilah was born..... but that's another story all together.

- Do use Donna Hay recipes, she is the baking queen.
- Don't take cooking times to literally, all ovens are different, I find that when your kitchen is filled with the aroma of what ever you are baking you are usually pretty close to the end.
- Don't wait until your knife comes out clean as a "is it cooked yet?" test, you want your knife to come out with a little cakey goodness stuck to it, your cake will be sooooo moist.

- Don't leave your cake on the bench to cool and then take pity on your enourmous labradoodle and let him in out of the rain, he will share the cake with his smaller lab/kelpie cross brother as soon as your back is turned (I didn't get a photo of this , I was too cross at the time.
- Do decorate liberally, it just makes it even yummier.

- Do eat and enjoy your baked goods, if you make it yourself it can only be good for you right?

- Do plenty of excercise, it means that every now and then you can have several pieces of cake in one day.

That's all I have in my head right now, but I'd love to hear your baking tips!

Sam x

Monday, August 1, 2011

Embelishing Controversy

After the last market I set up shop at I came across an interesting Facebook post the following day from a market goer expressing their disappointment at there being so many appliqued T's at what they felt was supposed to be a handmade only market. It created a firestorm of responses, mostly from those who were pro appliqued tops and a few who agreed that there was no place for them in the handmade market, and there was some outrage at the prices charged for what was descibed as "a little bit of fabric stitched on to a top".

Needless to say this all got me thinking, and being the self doubter that I am for a while there I wondered if I should stop making my embelished T's..... but then I realised they are one of the things I get the most joy from making.

Embelishing a T-shirt is not a short process for me, each can take more than an hour of careful fabric choice, appliquing and stiching followed by matching hand dyed (by me!)crochet, vintage buttons and lace, fabric ruffles, ribbons and charms carefully to each appliqued image and then painstakingly sewing them on, usually by hand. The result being a one of a kind T-shirt (I very rarely repeat a design). But it is a labour of love, the results always make me smile.

I am happy to say that I choose to use tops from Target to work with because they are a great style, have a fantastic colour range, and most importantly the quality is outstanding, and if a customer asks I will always tell them this, though I have now decided not to remove the labels as I really do have nothing to hide.

I write all of this not just to champion my own work, but to express support to all those, and yes there are many, that like me, embelish items of clothing bought elsewhere and not made by hand. I have never seen another business claim an appliqued top to be "handmade", rather "hand-embelished", which is an honest

You can buy an appliqued or embelished top just about anywhere, indeed Cotton On Kids is a big favourite in this house for such things, but I have also bought this style of top from other lovely Work At Home Mum's many at time, because at the end of the day, who doesn't love a quality, limited or one-of-a-kind product?

I would love to hear the thoughts of others on this topic:) xx

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Grateful Sunday: 19 Months of You.

This is the face Mackenzie makes when you pull out the camera at the moment "cheese!". Yesterday was her 19 month birthday, and it's all continuing to blow by in a whirlwind.

I'm loving the little person that she has become, she is just so fiesty, I call her my "little firecracker" and am reminded why several times a day. She climbs onto everything and if she doesn't want to do something she will stamp her foot and say no. She understands absolutely everything and will follow very complicated instructions.... "Mackenzie can you go to the bedroom and get your shoes please?".... M toddles off and comes back with shoes, she's awesome like that. She tells knock knock jokes:

M: "Knock Knock"
Me: "who's there?"
M: "Lilah"
Me: "Lilah who?"
M: "Lilah and goggies (doggies)" *laughs*

She adores her sister and refuses to go to bed with out giving Delilah a kiss goodnight, often sparking me to say to Luke "And that's why we had them 20 months apart", the love between the two of them just makes our hearts sing. She loves Babycinos and will point at the coffee machine at random moments in the day and ask me "Cino?". She loves to stand at the bench and help me cook, and also enjoys tidying up (yay!).

Miss M is an absolute delight.

I am so very grateful for my 19 months of the Divine Miss M.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Who is Brave? Who Will Shave? My Big Sister Will...

This is my big sister Tatum:

She is awesome and she is very brave......

She's going to shave her head on Daffodil Day to raise money for the Cancer Council, you can read all about her reasons for doing this here

I am not quite so brave (but she does have three years on me so probably I will be that brave in three years time too lol!) but I do want to help her raise as much money as she can, I'd like to see her smash her $2500 fundraising goal. So what am I going to do?

Verri Charmed Is going to run a small Charity Auction from Sunday the 14th of August until Thursday 18th of August to help raise funds. I will personally be auctioning off two custom Verri Charmed Tutus and Green Dandelion (run by my three sisters) will also be contributing. I would like to encourage anyone else who may read this to think about donatating to this very worthy cause, you can donate directly here.

I am so very proud to say this brave woman is my big sister.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sewing Corner

About 6 months ago I convinced Luke I needed to upgrade from operating off the kitchen table to my very own sewing corner. Now we do not have a very large house, it is comprised of three bedrooms (the tiny third one is actually used as a toy room and our girls share), a small lounge and an eat in kitchen, so squeezing in my own corner was a very big deal.

Soooooooo.... we trapsed to Ikea, bought me the tiniest desk ever and a billy bookcase and ta da (!) I now share a sewing nook with our vast DVD collection:

On my tiny table "Farrah" the very 70's sewing machine sits happily with my inspiration board. Courage is my "One Little Word" for 2011 and I like to have it there to remind me at all times.

Nestled amongst the DVD's I even have my own shelf for some of my various stashes:

One day we will renovate and I will upgrade to a much larger corner, and I may even manage to house all of my sewing parephenalia in one place... but for now, I love my tiny nook.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Grateful Sunday

It's been a big week. So much has happened, and as usual I find myself suprised by how quickly the days pass. The only dampener on this week was that poor little Mackenzie came down with croup on Wednesday night..... but still there has been so much to be grateful for:

-The gorgeous friend who comes over and just hangs out and plays with my girls, with no need for entertainment from me.

- Coffee with sprinkles

-A plaster free arm..... so much better for playing:)

- New smaller (!) jeans

- A furry visitor

- Party dress shopping..... and party dress finding.

- The husband who reads vintage golden books to his girls

-Treasure hunting

What are you grateful for this week? xx

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Five Weeks Later.....

Well time certainly does fly, even when you are not having fun. This afternoon I took Delilah to have her plaster removed. Here she is, sans cast, enjoying a post plaster removal, well deserved babycino:

And now my task is to not be a massively paranoid mummy........ Goodluck!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Grateful Sunday

Sunday's, along with a lovely group of supportive women, have become my new day for reflecting on what I am grateful for this week. Any given day I can easily list multiple things of which I am grateful for, however, truth be told, I don't always spend the time to stop and think about what makes me so very lucky.

I am always grateful for my gorgeous husband and two beautiful girls, and I feel so fortunate that we get to live in such a beautiful piece of the world. A place I have grown up, and will always call home.

And today, specifically, I am grateful for dragging myself out of bed bright and early to trudge around the Marion oval in the freezing cold checking out what the car boot sale had to offer this week..... otherwise I would have missed this:

A divine vintage Holly Hobbie Style sewing box. It was mine for $5 *sighs happily*.