The Friendly Witch: magical birthday parties

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the friendly witch the cup thief

Introducing another alter-ego of mine, The Friendly Witch!

Growing up I had fabulous birthday parties. There was one where I couldn’t stop crying (maybe aged 6?). The one with a barbie doll cake from the Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book.  My ninth birthday party at Number 10 Reception Centre (if you grew up in Launceston in the 90s you would know this place!) – complete with BettyBoop decorations, limbo and a revolting meringue cake. Heck, one year my parents even rented out a huge jumping castle and it was blown up and plonked in my parent’s backyard.

And while I can remember these memorable parties, I can’t remember what I was actually given for my birthday. Not that this matters, but it goes to show it’s the things that happen at your birthday that count and ultimately you remember remember as a child. Toys are easily broken and/or forgotten.

the friendly witch

The Friendly Witch: crafty birthday parties for children aged between 6-12 years old.

About two weeks ago I couldn’t sleep and instead was thinking of ways I could make money – without compromising who I am and what I want to do. My only “free” day is Sunday now- with Spice World, Merchant and Smallshop and Henk Berg on the weekends at the market. So what could I do to earn some more money while having fun and doing something productive?

Children’s birthday parties. Genius.

I’ve already done a few here and there, and adding crafts to the mix is a great way to get the children involved, focus their sugar highs and as guests create something meaningful to take home with them.

So I’ve made a website and I’m excited to debut as The Friendly Witch! Fingers crossed I’ll get some party bookings soon!

It’s Frocktober again!

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frocktober the cup thief

Happy first day of Frocktober!

For the entire month of October for the past two years I’ve wear a dress every day. Being a legging-loving woman living in Tasmania wearing a dress is the last thing I want to step out of the house in – but it’s for a good cause.

Frocktober is an initiative created by a bunch of friends from Geelong to raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation once a year.

What is ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer is the growth of malignant cells in one or both ovaries, and is often accompanied by the spread of malignant cells to surrounding organs in the abdominal cavity. Whilst a small number of cases appear to have an underlying genetic component, in most instances the causes of ovarian cancer are unknown.

Unfortunately, there is no early detection and most women are diagnosed in the later stages of cancer.

Ovarian cancer is an insidious disease, often known as a “silent-killer” as symptoms are vague and often strike without warning.

The Facts:

  • Every ten hours, one woman dies from ovarian cancer in Australia
  • Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death of all gynaecological cancers
  • Unlike other cancers, there is NO early detection test
  • Over 50% of the community incorrectly believe a pap smear diagnoses ovarian cancer
  • Ovarian cancer has a lower survival rate than both breast and cervical cancer
  • When detected and treated early 80-100% of women will survive beyond five years compared with only 20-30% when diagnosed at a late stage.

Scary stuff! So how can you help? I’ve set up a page here that you can pledge money to (even two dollars would be wonderful and is vital!) but if you want to go further, why not sign yourself up and wear dresses with me this October?

I’m also planning a Frocktober picnic at Prince’s Park, Battery Point on Sunday the 19th of October from 1pm. Everyone is welcome! If you’re in the area it would be fab if you could come. I’m going to be passing a hat around for donations.

Will I see you there in a full fancy frock?

 All information from the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation.

 
♀ ♀ ♀

In Debt: a blessing in disguise?

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debt the cup thief

About a week and a half ago (just before I put the post about BettyMag winding down and needing a clear out) I tried to increase my bank loan to pay my debts. I went into my bank’s branch in the CBD and was told by an annoying woman (chewing gum and completely unsympathetic to my situation in all body-language and tone) that they couldn’t help me because I wasn’t working.

I stumbled out and sat on the first sunny bench in the Elizabeth Street mall I could find and I could feel the tears start. It was humiliating but I just couldn’t hold it in. Here I was, completely capable, hardworking and motivated, crying because I was so overwhelmed.

I rang my sister who is always good at calming me down and she told me to start applying for anything and everything. I went to the public toilet and fixed my makeup. To cut the story short, on my way to the debtors I went in and out of shops asking if they had any work going and I was lucky enough to go into the right shop who just so happened to need someone one day a week. I secured a job. Faith restored.

In a week and a half since I’ve:

♥Worked two shifts in this beautiful spice shop- going home smelling of turmeric and cinnamon, nutmeg and curry

♥Worked a shift at Merchant, a new homewares shop in Hobart CBD which sells handpoured candles in beakers, terrariums and handmade soaps

♥ I’ve put together a bit of a website promoting myself doing children’s birthday parties under the guise of The Friendly Witch – partly for income but partly because I miss having children and their infectious energy and optimism in my life

♥ I’ve secured some childminding work for a few days in mid-October

Phew.

And while my clothes remain unsold on ebay, to be honest I’m really proud of myself and excited for how soon I can pay off my debt. If I hadn’t been under stress my shyness and social anxiety could have taken over and finding a job would have been harder, perhaps even impossible. I needed the wake up call. Either way, I’m in a good place to pay off my debts and get back to focusing on my bigger goals. Life hey? Sometimes it serves you up delicious surprises in the form of motivating public cries.

 

the cup thief debt

Merchant! Come visit weekdays in the afternoon

 

Photography of both me and my new workplace Merchant, both by Phil Kitt Photography, check out his website here (he’s a fabulous local photographer!).

My favourite Tasmanian Etsy picks for Spring!

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Tasmanian crafters, makers and artisans on Etsy!

Lately I’ve been on the hunt dreaming up beautiful things to sell in my (hopefully – eventually – in my dreams) bricks and mortar shop! Which inevitably leads me to Etsy and Pinterest! I thought I’d collate my favourite Tasmanian Etsy finds each new season. Introducing the chosen ones for Spring!

 

etsy tasmania the cup thief

1: Be Brave wool sign by Hung Up On Agnes

2: Tasmanian myrtle Necklace by Under the Shade of a Bonsai Tree

3. Hand poured soy wax candle by The Neon Tribe

 

etsy tasmanian the cup thief

4. Huon Pine crescent moon necklace by Tasmanian Timber Jewls

5. 1940s inspired vintage clutch by Miss Tree Creations

6. Bluebirds of Happiness- PDF pattern to make your own by The Paper Shed

etsy tasmania the cup thief

7.  Wooden strawberry earrings by June Design Co.

8. Where Will We Go – Hand Drawn Flying Swallows card by Billie Hardy

9.  Recycled leopard print capelet by Lady Frou Frou

 

Phew. What amazing things have you found on Etsy lately?

Do you like to shop locally when you buy on Etsy?

An interview with Animalia

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animalia the cup thief
animalia the cup thief

Jill Krasnicki of dark electro act Animalia was kind enough to let me interview her about her album Mouth Full of Teeth.

You’re originally from Tasmania, what was your experience growing up in Hobart?

I loved growing up in Hobart. Being surrounded by trees and ocean had a positive impact on my brain. The small city and the closeness of everything made life easy and I had adventures as a child that just aren’t possible for people growing up in big cities.
But I always knew I wouldn’t stay in Hobart.

There was a restlessness that I can recall kicking in when I became a teenager and then, when my music life began, I knew Hobart would be too small for me to do what I wanted to do.

I started playing in a band as a bassist with my then-boyfriend and we both had a desire to leave Hobart, so at the start of 2006 (I was 21), we moved to Melbourne to have a crack at the “big city”.
We lived there for two years until we decided to move to Ireland. He really wanted to go and I was pretty much up for anything, so I went too.
The relationship fell a part in Galway, Ireland, in 2008, but I continued to play in the band. At the end of that year, we moved to Toronto – not for any particular reason, just mostly because we weren’t ready to go back to Australia – I played with the band for a couple more months but everything had turned sour and eventually things came to an end.

When I stopped playing in the band, I had to come to terms with also losing everything I had worked on for the past 4-5 years. As the guitarist and singer, my ex kept everything, as the bass player, I got nothing and had to start all over again. Ultimately it was good, but at the time it really sucked.

Animalia the cup thief

Animalia by Jenny Bundock

When did you decide to become a musician? What instruments do you play?

All through my life, leading up the being 15, I thought I would be a visual artist. Everything was pointing in that direction. I loved music, though, and used to watch episodes of Rage my Dad would tape. One day I was watching a Green Day special and there was one little bass lick at the start of a song and I thought “Hmm, maybe I’ll learn how to play bass!” And down, down, down the rabbit hole I went!
I learned the bass in school and joined bands. I sometimes did backing vocals but I wasn’t very confident. I remained primarily a bassist until I got to Toronto. Then I was forced to start branching out.

I had always wanted to be a singer, so I started writing songs where I played chords on the bass – high on the neck, so it was really melodic – and sang along. But the style was restricting, so I grudgingly went to acoustic guitar.

I performed like that for a while and experimented with electronic music on the side. From toying with electronic music, I learnt basic chords on the piano.When I get drunk I also think I can play drums but that’s just the booze talking.

Which came first – your pseudonym Animalia or your veganism?

Veganism. I went vegetarian in 2003. For the following years I moved into veganism but didn’t go “hard-core” vegan till the start of 2009. (Toronto brought about a lot of good changes!)
“Animalia” definitely comes from my vegan-y morals and the way I see the world. To me, the word should always serve as a reminder: we are all animals. There is no separation. We don’t want to be hurt, other animals don’t want to be hurt. As Victoria’s Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary slogan says “If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others… why wouldn’t we?”

Tell us about your latest album- Mouth Full of Teeth- and how it sits with your other music- you were playing acoustic music- what made you go ‘darker’?

Mouth Full of Teeth was being set up to be a mix of acoustic and electronic, but leading up to the recording session, I dropped the acoustic stuff and re-wrote most of the album in a couple of weeks. I never saw myself as a guitarist; I just kept going because I was unsure of how to perform the electronic stuff. I just had to bite the bullet, so I did! And now I couldn’t be happier with the decision.
The electronic music, the darkness it expresses, is the music I’ve always wanted to make. It took me a few years to finally get there, but it was worth the wait.

You’ve been compared to Bjork – what a compliment! Who influences your music?

Yeah, there’s definitely a Bjork influence in my music. It’s nice when people make the connection because she’s such a rad artist, but it also makes me strive to work harder at finding my own style more. I discovered Bjork when I was 15 – I bought “Vespertine” and it totally changed the way I saw music. Then when I was living in Ireland, I discovered Kate Bush’s album, Hounds of Love, and again I was like, “woah! This is what music can be?!”

These days though, I try to stay away from listening to too much music, otherwise my writing gets warped too easily by what I’ve exposed myself to.

Any future plans in the works?  You’re coming to Australia in 2015- any Tasmanian dates?

Yeah, I definitely want to get to Australia for some shows and there will definitely be Tassie dates included when I do. It’s hard to know exactly what 2015 will bring. I’m writing a new album now and have some label interest for it, so who knows. Hopefully bigger tours, more festivals, that sort of thing!

To hear Animalia’s music visit her website here.

Photos used are from Animalia’s facebook page and shot by Jenny Bundock.

 

Hobart cafes that offer discounts for reusable cups

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the cup thief reusable keepcup

Every minute over one million disposable cups are discarded to landfill.

Using a reusable cup for your take away coffee is just one small way you can lessen your impact on our earth.

According to their website, using a KeepCup  (an Australian designed and made brand of reusable cups) compared to a disposable paper cup (including coffee) sees a:

  • 36-47% reduction in global warming carbon emissions,
  • 64-85% reduction in water use, and
  • 91-92% reduction in landfill waste annually.

 

reuseable cups keepcups the cup thief

{an ongoing list}

Some cafes offer discounts for the use of KeepCups and other reusable cups as it saves them money (usually anywhere from 10 cents to 30 cents per disposable cup). After emails and facebook messages were sent to around thirty of Hobart’s most popular cafes only several wrote back and said they offered some sort of discount.

Whether it’s a discount of 10 cents or 30 cents, it’s nice to know that using KeepCups and other reusable cups is appreciated and encouraged by these cafes.

 
Afterword Café In Fullers Bookshop – Liverpool Street

Not only does this café offer a 30 cent discount, but they also sell keep cups in three different sizes. And they give a free coffee with each one sold!

Books + scrum food and coffee + KeepCups for sale = 5 stars.

Pollen Tea Rom – Battery Point

As well as freakin delicious baked eggs, Pollen Tea Room offer a discount on take away coffee for using a KeepCup or other reusable cup.  On a somewhat related note, they also sell a bespoke collection of local ceramic artist Lindsey Wherret’s cups and saucers. Oh my!

The Duchess – Sandy Bay
The Picnic Basket – Taroona

I must admit I’m yet to try the The Duchess Café and The Picnic Basket. How have I not tried these? Putting them on my list. I’ve only heard good things for both!

Ginger Brown – South Hobart

Just thinking about Ginger Brown’s menu makes my mouth water… One of my favourite places to eat and drink.

Yellow Bernard - Liverpool Street

While YB don’t offer a discount, they do sell KeepCups and offer a complimentary coffee with the purchase. Get your CBD coffee fix here! Yum.

reuseable cups keepcup the cup thief

Is your favourite café on this list? If not, why don’t you ask them?

For more information about KeepCups and their benefits you can visit their website here. All images from KeepCup.com.

Goodbye Betty! Goodbye BettyMag!

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Issue 3 BettyMag

Issue three, my favourite

This post isn’t going to be easy to write and I couldn’t sleep all night trying to figure out how to say it. Put bluntly, I can’t physically afford to go ahead with the fifth, and final issue of BettyMag. More so, it’s not viable. Over the past two years I’ve spent $8000 of my wages on printing from local printers, and I can say that there is about three hundred magazines sitting in my garage in boxes. I’ve tried to do the best I could without spamming everyone, but at the end of the day you can only sell what people are willing to buy.

Advertising and getting the word out has been hard. Last year, a reporter rang me from The Mercury wanting to do an interview about BettyMag. She had to go but called me back about half an hour later to tell me that she wasn’t allowed to go ahead with the interview because it was a conflict of interest and I’m effectively competition. Why is an independent feminist magazine showcasing local women’s achievements become a threat to a city’s daily newspaper?

BettyMag has served it’s purpose for me and I’m extremely proud of the project. It’s given me an appreciation for the people in my community, an outlet of distraction and a creative focus.

Why am I writing all of this?

Because I need to sell the remaining copies of the magazines. I need to sell them for cathartic reasons, for financial reasons and for space reasons. I’m going to be selling them at a loss, but I need them gone.

ALL copies are reduced to seven dollars in my etsy store.

I have absolutely no doubt the future of magazines for women in Australia is in good hands! With Aphra going to print, Brainwash, Archer, Womankind and now Accidental Discharge we’re spoilt for choice.

A big heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who helped support me over the past three years creating Betty and putting up with me during the process. Thank you to all the contributors, supporters and my friends and family.

I’m going to be taking the facebook page for Betty down in the coming weeks and getting in touch with everyone who has so far contributed to Issue 5 to work something out. I just needed to get this off my chest in one big go. Thank you.x

Feeling overwhelmed

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The cup thief feeling overwhelmed
Sunshine calming at Richmond

What do you do when you’re feeling overwhelmed?

Usually I set out what I want to say before I write a post. But today is different. I’ve been in a bit of a ‘funk’ for the past two weeks now, and I just can’t seem to shift it. Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that there are tears constantly just behind your eyes, all ready to go? Or that there is an incredible tension in your body that is going to snap like a rubber-band anytime (no matter how many times you try and dance away the feelings to Taylor Swift?)

I’ve been trying to get out more and exercise. Taking long walks with Pepper by the beach everyday and crafting to make myself feel better. These activities usually centre me and bring me back to the moment. I had such a beautiful day on Monday celebrating mine and Rich’s six month anniversary, we explored Richmond and just spent quality time together. But in-between amazing days is a mix of self-loathing, anxiousness and just a general feeling of being overwhelmed. Lots of bed days. Lots of leggings-as-pants days and lots of easy-mac days.

Do you ever feel like this? What do you do to combat it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Laura x

 

Lovely Links: September

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Lena Dunham, Retta

Oh my – so much awesomeness in one pic! Lena Dunham and Retta <3

 

Lovely Links: On my radar lately

“It’s interesting how we often can’t see the ways in which we are being strong – like, you can’t be aware of what you’re doing that’s tough and brave at the time that you’re doing it, because if you knew that it was brave, then you’d be scared.” Lena Dunham

↑I want to print this quote out and stick it on my wall!

→I’ve started reading The Rehearsal by NZ writer Eleanor Catton. As the youngest winner ever of the Man Booker prize she has set up a ‘reading grant’. How cool is that!?

Part 1 and Part 2 of setting up a feminist zine fair! I think it’s time for another zine making night..

→Lusting after the Kate Kosek x Gorman range- check out the kk bizzy bizzy jumpsuit!

→I’ve started planning my shadow box DIY- and made a pinterest board here with inspiration for it.

→Having a hard time believing my eyes with these amazing bags!

→Feeling okay and inspired to wear crop tops and midriff showing tops after reading this post.

What’s been on your radar lately? I would love to know!

Laura x

 

Spring has sprung

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 the cup thief spring

Spring in full bloom

Yesterday was such a glorious day, the sun was shining so bright when I took Pepper for a walk that my eyes started watering!

I had a really lovely weekend, it really does feel like Spring has begun in Hobart. On Saturday I had my second shift at Henk Berg leather stall at Salamanca. I’m really enjoying working there – I’ve got my eye on a few of their amazing bags already.  After my shift Shaa came round for some crafting at my place. It was great catching up and creating together. She sewed her journal and I made little figurines out of clay (still need to paint them).

On Sunday I took pep for a walk and then made some money selling clothes at Re-Loved Market in Battery Point. It was heaps of fun – I sold quite a few items that had been sitting in my wardrobe that I hadn’t worn for ages. I also bought some great stuff!

After the market finished I picked Rich up and we went to Nutgrove beach in Sandy Bay for a walk. Climbing trees and playing in the sun made me feel very sensual and loved. After the beach Rich and I grabbed a beer at the Winston and then went home and cooked tuna bake for dins. I had the best day! It’s the little things.

My self- confidence has skyrocketed since I’ve been with Richard. Just being around him makes me feel fabulous. I can feel that next few months are going to be ridiculously good.

♥♥♥

Spring the cup thief spring the cup thief

How cute are my docs? They’re brand new so I’ve got a lot of ‘wearing in’ to do until they’re super comfortable but I LOVE THEM.

How was your weekend? What did you get up to?

♥♥♥