Located in the beautiful Derwent Valley, Tasmania

Sunday, December 23, 2012

my family Christmas spirit with bonsai and baking

My family has spent the last few days getting into the Christmas spirit.  Not only did we decorate a life sized tree last night, we also decorated one of mum's (aka bonsai queen's) bonsai trees! 

Look at the handmade little stockings hanging from the pot, are they not the sweetest? 

I am not sure if Santa can fit many goodies into this little stocking!

Under the tree are these miniature deer, grazing in the moss!

Santa's lost reindeer, perhaps?

We also did a little Christmas cooking for friends including these little miniature plum puddings.  These are inspired by a recipe of Nigella Lawson.  The custard is actually white chocolate and the berries and leaves are snake lollies cut up. 

 Ttraditional bite sized shortbread in the shape of stars cooling on a rack.
We don't normally make fruit mince tarts but thought they would be a nice addition to our cooking day this year.  We also made orange and macadamia nut biscotti, rum chocolate truffles and coconut ice.  We spent the whole day baking!  But what better way to talk and bond as a family?

We packaged our sweets into little clear bags and noodle boxes...

using stitched ribbon from our new store Flywheel, of course!  It is very useful having a stationery store to raid at Christmas, I must admit!

And our own letterpress gift tags, I love the message of this tag.  This is exactly what Christmas is all about (plus "eat, drink and be merry", also a good message).

Rachel hand stamped decorations onto the recycled boxes, which had been covered in brown paper.  Now the boxes are to be delivered just in time for Christmas! 

Until next time,

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Flywheel opens its doors! (and I don't want to close them...)

"Keep calm and carry on" was a motto I kept repeating inside my frantic head last Saturday as we finalised preparations to open our new store, Flywheel last Saturday.  But since that day I can't help but be so very happy with the response so far.  Not only have we have been busy in the store, we have had so many well wishes of support that it is truly overwhelming.
We have been open for only 3 days and each of those days I have loved so much, it really hasn't felt like work at all.  I didn't even want to close the doors at the end of day!  But after 6 weeks of renovations and set up, the home has been a little neglected and in need of some attention.
Until the official Flywheel blog is underway here are some pictures of our store and some of our products.  Above are Japanese paper tapes which have already been very popular (I couldn't resist a couple myself!).  

The letterpress studio has been in full swing, I have heard the sounds of the Adana at work throughout each day.  And until the Flywheel blog is officially underway, I will share a few images of our products such as these gorgeous little Christmas gift tags.  I particularly love that little children have been coming in and choosing a few of these tags for their gifts, very sweet.

These Christmas cards are cute, too.  We are so full of ideas and can't wait until the lead up until next Christmas to fulfill them!  We were restricted to just 10 days before Christmas this year...

A vintage globe and index drawers in the front window display.

19th century letterpress trays.

Flywheel will be open 5 days a week, closing Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We will be open both  Saturday and Sunday this coming weekend 22nd and 23rd December, closing Monday and reopening the Friday 28th December. 

Until next time,

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

introducing Flywheel, our new store opening this Sunday!

I can finally with absolute confidence reveal that we will be opening our new store, Flywheel this coming Sunday the 16th December.  I am sorry it has taken so long to give a date, there seemed to be so many unknowns with setting up a new store.  But in the last week our signage went up, the paintbrushes washed out and we are at last moving in!  I think the shop front has come up really well.  And you may not be able to read the description under our name, Flywheel, but it reads "vintage office, stationery and letterpress studio".   And I think that pretty much sums up our new store...

Just today Rachel has been printing our business cards, here is the lead type in the Adana letterpress chase.  

The lead type in the Adana impressing each card, one by one by a hand lever.

We also have two larger platen presses in the letterpress studio that arrived last week from mainland Australia and weigh nearly a tonne each! These will be our workhorses for the letterpress studio. Above is a Chandler and Price press that was made in 1923 in Ohio, Cleveland.


Cards laid out flat to dry on a blue workbench in the studio.  It makes it all seem so real, we have been living in a bit of a dream of late.

We are all very passionate about our store.  It will be filled with antique desks and filing cabinets, articulated desk lamps, French boxed stationery, chunky brass scissors, Viennese paper twine, our letterpress gift tags and cards and so much more.  And we plan to eventually cater for people seeking their own unique business cards, personalised and wedding stationery.

I will be handing over the Flywheel updates to my sisters who will start a blog dedicated to their journey in letterpress and with the store.  But I will try to sneak a few of my own tit-bits about Flywheel on this blog!  I am sure the Drill Hall Emporium won't mind...

Until next time,

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

favourite pinterest pins from bonsaiqueen

orginally pinned by
Since my post a few weeks ago about Pinterest, I think everyone working at The Drill Hall Emporium now has their own Pinterest board!  My addiction problem become a shared problem, really.  My mother in particular is hooked, I thought I would share some of the images that she has repinned from other Pinterest members.  You can find all of her favourite images here.  You may even like to follow her boards.  After less than a week of dedicated pinning she has only just realised that her boards are visible to everyone, she thought she was creating boards of images she likes just for herself.  How cute! 

originally pinned by
Mum has a board titled "too cute" pinned with images such as this.  Why is it that animals can teach us so much about the important things in life?  Such as loving each other despite our differences?  

 originally pinned by

Another board contains images of miniature gardens.  Check out this little stone dwelling with a turret.  Isn't it the sweetest?

image from here
If you are thinking of starting your own Pinterest board or if you already have one, I would love the link in my comments and I will check it out! 

Our new shop renovations are going along well, I hope to be able to give you an opening date by next week...
Until next time,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

new in store...amazing copper bowl, ex Hobart jam factory!

This copper bowl is definitely the largest piece of copper we have had in the store, in nearly 20 years of dealing!  We had to literally turn it on its side to get in through our front door.  I knew we would have trouble finding a spot for it in the store, and sure enough it caused major shuffling of other pieces.  It is presently on the long French farmhouse table, but it is even too wide for this.  

I believe the bowl to date to the late 19th century and it is reputedly from the Hobart IXL jam factory situated on Hobart's wharf.

Image from here

According to Wikipedia the IXL was first established by Henry Jones in 1891, initially named H.Jones & Company.  The IXL brand "I excel in everything I do" was Henry Jones's personal motto. If this bowl is indeed from his jam factory, he definitely excelled in commissioning the most amazing commercial sized copper bowl!  If any one can confirm that this bowl is indeed from the IXL jam factory, we would really appreciate hearing from you.

You may recall in a previous post my rave about a French copper patisserie bowl from our latest buying trip?  I bragged about its size, and how we have not had a bowl as big before.  Well, here is that said bowl within our newest jam factory bowl! A little lost perhaps?

I now wonder about the future for this piece, it would be truly wonderful if it could be put to its original purpose of making jam.  We may just need to find a bigger spoon!

Alternatively, I can't help but imagine it as a unique feature in a garden.  Can anyone else see this?

Until next time,

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

our new shop transformation...update

We have been working on the transformation of our new property for the past 2 and a half weeks and I think it is starting to look really great.  Whilst the bones of the shop were already good, particularly the facade and the front room with its timber floors and exposed brick walls, it lacked a little love and attention.  It has sure had it's fair share of this over the last few weeks!  Above is the front of the store, the timber has been given a polish to protect it from further weather damage.  It also gave a better depth of colour. 

The paper covering the windows is for privacy while we work inside.  After all, we are wearing our super daggy painting gear!  We argue who has to go to the hardware store for supplies as we really should not be seen in public in our renovating garb. 

The pictures on the paper have been hand stamped and give a little hint about the type of shop we will be opening.  I am not sure if you can make out the images, if not you will have to keep guessing.  Sorry.  

In the front room (my favourite place to be) the plaster partially covering the brick walls has been totally removed, the industrial light fittings are up and the floor has been given some love, also creating a nice depth of colour.  You can see that it is still drying in the above image. We plan to hand wax it over the next few days for added protection.

This is an image at the back of the store, it looks a bit like a construction site at the moment, but you must believe me when I say how much better it looks now the massive ugly aluminium window is history and now replaced with these timber barn style doors!  Aluminium is of course easier to maintain but I am a timber girl and would prefer to repaint every few years if need be.  

The doors from the exterior, they need a bit of attention but will look great with a fresh coat of paint.  I can't help but imagine them opened up in the warmer months to a nice courtyard out the back.  I am not sure if I will want to go home after a day in this store!

This early 20th century pine window has also replaced yet another big ugly aluminium framed window.  Relief.

We hope to be open by mid December, all going well with the makeover.  I will keep you posted if and when we have a date.  Watch this space.

Thank you everyone for your interest in our new venture, we are so very excited and appreciate all positive comments!

Until next time,