Monday, February 28, 2011

The [Social] Networking Event

How to connect with virtually every artist in the world!

The Creative Generator SEQ and Queensland Arts Council invite you to attend a free [Social] Networking Event to be held during February, March and April 2011 at various locations throughout South East Queensland. Artists from the Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley, Somerset, Logan, Ipswich and the Gold Coast are encouraged to attend.

The evenings will give artists from across all art forms an opportunity to network with other artists and arts organisations, and aims to promote future partnerships and collaborations.

The Creative Generator for South East Qld, Tim McGee, will also speak about how to market and sell work online and how to use the power of Social Networks like Twitter and Facebook to help you connect with virtually every artist and customer in the world.

All Events are free but registration is required so please click here to register

Artists and arts organisations are also invited to ‘share their wares’ so bring along a brochure, program or some ‘small’ example of your work. Light refreshments will be provided.

For a full list of event locations click here!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Shop Handmade: TrishAlan Designs

Our much anticipated 'Shop Handmade' feature posts are back for 2011!!! We can't wait to share a sneak peek behind the scenes of some of Brisbane's best handmade and indie stores.  This week we caught up with Trish Goodfield, the creative mind behind TrishAlan Designs.

The Shop

Where did the name TrishAlan Designs come from?
From my first name plus my husbands first name, Alan. Note who got first billing.

Tell us a little about your background and what path led you to open TrishAlan Designs?
I worked for 'Not-for-Profits' in both disability and aged care for 20+ years before we opened TrishAlan Designs.  The path was long and meandering.  Pre-Alan years I crafted and sold via consignment and markets.  Alan also has a creative streak so he was doing his own thing during this time.  Together we planned to start a craft business but had no idea what style, format, anything really; we just knew it would happen. While we were waiting we did all the boring stuff like paying off credit cards, the house etc so that we would be ready when the time came. Alan got fed up with his job first so he started selling his designs via regular markets while I continued working.  When we opened the shop I dropped back to part time and contract work.  This gave us time to consolidate our plans, products and finances.  With little prompting from Alan I came on board full-time in 2004.


Tell us what TrishAlan Designs is all about?
TrishAlan Designs creates hand dyed fabric and threads, needlework charts and kits, and Kumihimo supplies and accessories.  We also conduct craft classes, train craft teachers based on my book "How to Teach Art & Craft" and mentor business owners.  Alan and I also make one-off items made from recycled and repurposed timber and fabric.  When we started the business we made a commitment to ourselves that our point of difference to the other shops around us would be only selling what we make.  At times this has been a struggle, however, we are still committed to this approach.

Hand Dyed Threads

Hand Dyed Fabric

How does TrishAlan Designs support independent artists and crafters and/or the handmade community?
Over the last few years we have had an increasing number of creative people seeking us out for hints and tips on starting a craft business.  Initially we assisted free of charge, however, a large percentage of people failed to take action. Since we introduced a nominal fee for this service not only has the demand increased but individuals are taking action toward their goals.  Perhaps paying for the mentoring has increased their perceived value of the service.  I also actively promote indie artists and crafters via my weekly art/craft magazine column.  Interviewing other creatives is my favourite part of writing the column. I learn so much.

Classes at TrishAlan Designs

What does a typical day at work involve for you?
There is no such thing as a typical day.  The one thing that I try to do is focus on actions linked to achieving our goals. I don't believe in 'to do lists', they are just filled with tasks that rarely move you forward in a real sense. I list actions in my diary like other people make appointments.  It keeps me focused and every day is therefore different.  The mundane, repetitive and boring simply don't make it into my day.  It doesn't mean that I enjoy everything I need to do but it does mean that we are moving in the right direction.

How do you promote TrishAlan Designs?
In my diary I make an appointment to do at least 1 promotional activity per day.  This doesn't necessarily mean allocating a big chunk of time.  Answering these questions is my activity for today.  It might be emailing a press release or interviewing somebody for my column.  Little steps add up to big jumps when you add them together.  I have a blog, twitter and facebook page all of which are much focused on TrishAlan Designs and Trish Goodfield.  This could take heaps of time but they are all linked so one activity reaches all 3.  I also schedule posts etc. so I'm managing my time well.  I'm rarely at the computer when my little words of wisdom flash into your newsfeed.  My weekly art/craft column has promoted us more than I ever could have imagined.  Not only do I get at least half a page of free advertising every week but it has increased my personal profile and the business profile immeasurably. Promoting your business doesn’t need to be expensive there is lots you can do for low cost; think about how you dress when doing a market, the words you use to describe what you do to others, packaging, submitting project/items to magazines, entering competitions etc all come together to form a picture of you and your business. We haven’t always got it right but we just try again until something sticks.

What is your favourite item in the shop at the moment?
That’s easy; it’s always the last thing I made. At the moment that is the Kumihimo Necklaces and Handfasting Braids.

Wedding Braid

What's in store for TrishAlan Designs in 2011 and beyond?
I’m currently working on my second book exploring the phenomenon of the Etsy Street Teams. The first one is focusing on BrisStyle and the craft artists who make up its membership base. Hopefully this will be the first of many as other Etsy Street Teams seek to be involved.

TrishAlan Designs
Old Petrie Town, Dayboro Road, Petrie
Telephone: 3285 1875
Open Wed-Fri 9am - 3pm
Sat & Sun 8am - 2pm

We hope you enjoyed this little sneak peek into the world of TrishAlan Designs. Thank-you Trish for taking the time to talk to us.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Let's Go Shopping

Missed the BrisStyle Indie Twilight Markets last night? Don't fret. We have you covered
with some irresistibly juicy red BrisStyle finds.

Do you want to play our new Saturday meme Let's Go Shopping?
Check out the instructions down below!

Pretty Sundress - Hot Fudge

Valentine's Red Love Paper Garland - 3 Girls and a Goat

Zombie Pocket Mirror - Hungry Designs

To take part in our weekly Let's Go Shopping meme, post your Etsy finds on your blog then pop back here and add the blog post link below. Don't forget to link back to this post so everyone can check out all the fabulous Etsy finds. Anyone can play along so come join in the fun!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

BrisStyle Indie Twilight Market

We've got so many fun and exciting events planned for this year including lots of fantastic BrisStyle indie Market's, both in King George Square and Hamilton!

We're kicking off 2011 tomorrow night at the BrisStyle Indie Twilight Market!

BrisStyle Indie Twilight Market

King George Square, Brisbane CBD

Friday 25 February, 5-9pm

Check out the website to see which stall-holders will be there on the night with their stunning array of quality handmade items including jewellery, handbags, childrens' items, artworks and much, much more.
A number of our marketeers will be donating proceeds from sales on the night to the Queensland Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal as part of BrisStyle's Handmade Ark. Keep an eye out for signs on marketeers' stalls on the night.
For a full list of our 2011 market dates click here.
See you there!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tutorial: What is scratchboard?

This week BrisStyle member and talented artist and illustrator Renee Treml takes us through the fascinating process of Scratchboard.

"The term scratchboard refers to the surface on which I work. A scratchboard (aka scraperboard or scratchpaper) is a surface which has been coated with a layer of white clay. This backing can be a hard board (masonite) or a thin paper. I use a scratchboard made by Ampersand — it is prepared on a masonite board, so it does not bend or crack and the layer of clay is thicker than on paper. Scratchboard can be purchased with just the smooth white clay surface or prepared with a layer of black ink."

To read more about the basic process of scratchboard and for an article on how to create beautiful illustrations on white clayboard check out Renee's website here.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Let's Go Shopping

The rain has finally cleared, and 2011 is starting to look HOT for BrisStyle market weather.  With markets in mind, here is a selection of awesome BrisStyle items to help carry your load of goodies home.

Want to play our new Saturday meme Let's Go Shopping? Check out the instructions down below!

Eco sunglasses pouch - Where's Becky Bean

French Market Basket - Retro Bird Designs

To take part in our weekly Let's Go Shopping meme, post your Etsy finds on your blog then pop back here and add the blog post link below. Don't forget to link back to this post so everyone can check out all the fabulous Etsy finds.  Anyone can play along so come join in the fun!

Friday, February 18, 2011

New BrisStyle Members

Please give a warm welcome to our latest BrisStyle members this week, 
and check out their fantastic stores online.

Michelle at Choppy K

Megan at Gone Dotti

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Etsy 101: Promoting your Etsy Store

Promotion! Promotion! Promotion!

Promotion is the key to getting your Etsy shop known and making it a household name. There are plenty of 'Quit Your Day Job' interviews and 'Featured Seller' posts on the Etsy blog that profile established Etsy sellers who share their journey to success.  Below is a list of great promotional ideas for your Etsy store taken from some of these great 'Quit Your Day Job' and 'Featured Seller' articles:
  • Use social networking outlets such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Start a blog.
  • Write a monthly newsletter to send out to your fans/followers.
  • List new items in your Etsy store regularly and renew items so that they stay at the top of search lists.
  • If you make jewellery, clothing or accessories, WEAR THEM yourself! It's free advertising and it will often end up prompting a conversation about your shop.
  • Attend markets and craft shows.
  • Pay for a small advertising space on a like minded crafty site.
Happy selling crafty peeps!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Re-Stash Craft Appeal @ The Handmade Expo!

The lovely ladies behind The Handmade Expo have had their kind hearted thinking caps on and have organised the 'Re-Stash Craft Appeal' to help all those who were affected by the devasting floods in Queensland.

The idea behind the appeal is to collect donated art and craft supplies which will then be distributed to crafty peeps who lost their 'stashes' in the flood.

 Image courtesy of The Handmade Expo

How can you help I hear you ask?

Well, all you need to do is pop along to 'The Handmade Expo' market this weekend, Saturday 19th February (Ipswich Turf Club, Brisbane Road, Bundamba), with all of your crafty donations. There will be 'bins' on site to leave your goodies in. These 'bins' will then be made available for flood victims to rummage through in the week following the market at Handmade Heaven and Mimmi's.

 Image courtesy of The Handmade Expo

What a great way to offer your support to all those crafty peeps affected by the devastating floods! Brighten someone's creative space and pop along to The Handmade Expo with your donations this weekend!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Let's Go Shopping

No one likes shopping centres on a Saturday. Parking the car, pushing the trolley, going through checkouts - URGH!

BrisStyle are here to help you out with a new blogging meme, would you like to play along? Check out our list of items we think are pretty awesome and then read the instructions below to show off your own retail therapy must-haves.

To take part in Let's Go Shopping post your Etsy finds on your blog then pop back here and add the blog post link below. Don't forget to link back to this post so everyone can check out all the fabulous Etsy finds. Anyone can play along so come join in the fun!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Information Session: Social Media for the Creative Small Business

Each year BrisStyle endeavours to deliver information sessions to our members to ensure they get the most out of their small business or hobby. We are really excited to announce that our much anticipated information sessions will be open to non-members for the very first time in 2011.

Below are the details of our first information session.....we'd love to see you there!

BrisStyle Information Session
Social Media for the Creative Small Business

It's hard to ignore the popularity of social media in today's competitive marketplace.  With so many social media outlets available, it can be hard to know where to begin and how to make it work for your small business.  If you would like to know how to get started with social media and how to make it work for you, then this information session will answer all of your questions.  Presented by top blogger and social networker, Jess, from Epheriell Designs you will be sure to come away with lots of tips and tricks to kick start your success with writing a winning blog and creating stimulating and innovative social networks on twitter and facebook.

Date: April 9, 2011
Time: 10am - 12noon
Place: Queensland College of Art, 226 Grey Street, South Brisbane - Webb Centre Boardroom
Price: Free to BrisStyle members. $10 for non-members.
Bring: Please feel free to bring along a plate to share for morning tea and a notebook and pen! Tea and coffee provided.

RSVP: By emailing by March 7th 2011. Non-member payments due by 21st March.


For more information or to RSVP, please email

Saturday, February 5, 2011

BrisStyle's Handmade Ark extends a helping hand to North Queensland

Here at BrisStyle HQ we were devastated to learn of the heartbreaking damage caused by Cyclone Yasi in North Queensland this week. Our hearts go out to those affected.

Fortunately funds raised for the Premier's Flood Appeal (now the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal) including the $3646.15 raised so far by our beautiful BrisStylettes through our very own "Handmade Ark Appeal" will be going towards helping victims of Cyclone Yasi get back on their feet. 

Donating to the Handmade Ark Appeal is simple! All you need to do is make a purchase from any of the BrisStyle etsy stores listed below that have 'BrisStyle Handmade Ark Appeal' listed in their item listings or etsy tags.

To make it SUPER EASY

you can just go directly to Etsy HERE and see all of those participating and start shopping.

The participating stores will continue to be updated and we will keep a running tally of funds raised here on our blog.

Please extend your generosity via our "Handmade Ark" and know that in some way you have made a difference to both flood and cyclone affected communities in Queensland as well as our members.

SMBoutique (Donating all the proceeds from entire store)

Beckybean (Donating all the proceeds from entire store)

3 GIRLS + a goat (Donating all the proceeds from entire store)

edward & lilly (Donating all the proceeds from entire store)

WarmSigh (Donating 50% of all the proceeds from entire store)

made by Maisie (Donating all the proceeds from entire store)

catamation ( Donating 50% of all the proceeds from entire store )

Wimcee (Donating 50% of all the proceeds from entire store)

Forever Inspired by Liv (Donating 25% of all the proceeds from entire store)

Marjon Scheffer (Donating 20% of all the proceeds from entire store)

2Much2Handle (Donating 20% of all the proceeds from entire store)

Ruby 2 Go Go (Donating 20% of all the proceeds from entire store)

ruby red studios (Donating 20% of all the proceeds from entire store)

Small Town Carousel (Donating 20% of all the proceeds from entire store)

angelene (Donating 20% of all the proceeds from entire store)

Shelley Berelli ( Donating 15% of all the proceeds from entire store )

pass the parcel (Donating 15% of all the proceeds from entire store)

Noogal ( Donating 10% of all the proceeds from entire store )

rachel darling girl

A Creature Strange

Little Chrissy

Mrs Smiley's Lockets

Designs of the Heart


Mon Petit Poppet

Red Revival

Kimono Reincarnate

Bamboo Belle

Lady Aux and Menfolk

Bon Tons

Dash Robin

Cute as Buttons

Good Boy Cracky

Kitty Boo Boo

Little Mary Moo

Wildlight Studios

Sweet Simplicitee

Curiouser & Curiouser


Jettas Nest

Oz Wildlife Studio

Wicked Child Designs


Kitty Hugo

Create & Be Happy

Rock N Wrap

My Nostaglic Feeling

Love, Marriage, Baby Carriage Gifts

Treeparty Design

Hungry Designs

Retro Bird

Denim Days

Hot Fudge

Nan's Garden

Boorah Designs

moose & bird


paper tree design


collecting feathers

Paluma Print

*** STOP PRESS ***

The Handmade Ark Appeal will be a BIG feature at the next BrisStyle Indie Twilight Market

Friday 25 February
King George Square, Brisbane CBD

So come along and show your support for our talented BrisStylers who will be raising funds for the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal on the night!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Going Green with Red tree designs!

This week, the BrisStyle team caught up with Margeaux, the eco lovin' lady behind Red tree designs.
This is what she had to say about her sustainable and ethical clothing and accessories label.

How would you describe your work?
I design and make 'Red tree designs' shoulder bags and women's and children's clothing from vintage and pre-loved fabrics.  I would say the style of my clothing and bags is classic, simple and practical in natural or earthy colours.

How did your Etsy shop come into being?
I have always designed and made my own clothes and bags and secretly dreamed of one day selling my wares, so while on maternity leave, I grabbed the opportunity.  After selling from a market stall for a while, my friend suggested I sell on Etsy and now I'm obsessed. I love it - I can create and sell from home, without having to leave 'the mountain' and my two little boys.

Who or What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from the gorgeous pre-loved fabric that I find.  There's nothing better than finding the most perfect second-hand piece of fabric (say a curtain, upholstery remnant or vintage sheet) in a beautiful soft or earthy colour and great texture and turning it into a lovely dress or bag to be used and loved again.....very rewarding.

Do you 'reduce, reuse, recycle' as part of your creative process? If yes, how is your art/craft eco-friendly?
Absolutely. I try to make Red tree designs as eco-friendly as I can. I only use second-hand or vintage fabric, zips, buttons, leather belts, wooden curtain rings etc.  My tags, business cards, and packaging are all made from recycled paper. I even use cereal boxes (turned inside out) to make my post packs - which I then walk to the post office!

Can you describe your studio/work area?
My sewing room is a loft at the top of my wooden house, looking out into the bush in Mt Nebo. I love being up there sewing, looking out into the trees and listening to the sound of birds and my sleeping babies (and a noisy sewing machine!).

What is your favourite thing in the shop at the moment?
At the moment I really like my up-cycled shoulder bags which are made from upholstery remnants, curtains etc. They're so slouchy, practical and stylish in such beautiful colours.  Every time I finish one I think 'if this doesn't sell quickly, I'll keep it for myself'.

Do you have any other places that people can view/purchase your work?
Red tree designs can also be found at Made It and ethikl.

What an inspirational 'designer' and 'maker'! Thank-you for letting us take a peek into your world Margeaux.