Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A flood of work

It has been a chaotic couple of weeks. Apart from the usual Christmas pressures to have orders out the door there has been the added drama of a burst water main near Ironside Studios last Friday night which resulted in major flooding through the studios. Lyssy May's escaped relatively unharmed, thanks mainly to those who were there lifting vunerable items out of harms way and my studio floor being higher on one side than the other. A massive thanks to Susan especially who helped raise the alarm and prepared me for the worst when I arrived on Saturday morning. Plus a postal strike isn't helping to calm the nerves but it is looking like everything is still on track for pre-Xmas delivery - phew!

Helping to get me through has been Anna Yau (pictured) who is a recent RMIT Advanced Diploma textile graduate and an absolutely brilliant help to one frazzled handbag designer. Anna is currently looking for Melbourne based work in any area relating to textiles, particularly screen printing or fabric design/construction. Email me if you'd like her details as I can highly recommend her!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Am here!

Lyssy May has not moved from the sewing machine for 2 weeks - Christmas orders and today's Market 3031 have been top billing on the list of priorities. Please forgive my lack of blog updates but I have been trifle weary at the end of the day to talk let alone type.

Today's market in Bellair St Kensington near the train station was fantastic despite a couple of sprinkles of rain - there was a lovely atmosphere under the trees and every time the train pulled in it delivered a new batch of browsers. A big thank you to the organisers and all the locals who were keen as jelly beans for handmade goodies!

Tomorrow I'll be at the City of Melbourne Christmas Market at the North Melbourne Meat Market, 5 Blackwood St from 11 am to 8 pm. Quite a few things I thought I had plenty of sold out today but I promise to still have some nice things on display plus there are heaps of amazing artists and designers with stalls so well worth the drop by.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

All in the family

There's always lots to be done at Lyssy May so I was very lucky to have a helping hand from my cousin's daughter, Olivia, seen here stamping carry bags for my market stalls. Olivia's love of art and craft knows no bounds and she was very thorough in sorting buttons, threading beads and tracing appliques needed for Christmas orders. She said she had a fun day helping and I had equally as much fun sharing some time with someone who loves creating things as much as I did at her age. Thanks Olivia!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Suits me to a Tea

Just added to, a range of 3 shoulder bags called Tea House which have been made from handblocked fabrics. These fabrics were crafted by a family of 9th generation Ajrakh Block-Printers in the desert region of Gujarat, India.

The traditions of using colours derived from nature (such as indigo, turmeric, madder root, iron & red mud) and hand-carved teak printing blocks are still practised today by this family. It is always special to work with materials that have their own story before being a part of Lyssy May's own narrative.

The fabric alone does not need any embellishment so I have added a fabric button (made from calico with feather stitching) to the strap. These buttons were fun to make- more will be coming on other designs soon!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Market 3031

Fingers crossed for a lovely day on 12th December - I'm looking forward to sitting under the lovely trees in Bellair St with a stall of Lyssy May goodies. I hope if you are in Melbourne you have a chance to pop by and say hello to the Kensington and Flemington crafters!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Time travels

Today I received a call on my mobile from a lovely lady who was on her way with fabric for me to make a bespoke bag for her and just wanted to check I was at the store. After some initial confusion I realised she was in Brisbane and on her way to where my old store was and it was quite amazing for me to think that it is well over a year now since I moved on (she was very happy to learn though that I am still in operation we will be creating the design 'long distance'!).

Speaking of time going fast - Monday is the cut off for international orders that I can guarantee will be there for Christmas if being sent directly from Lyssy May (edit: sorry deadline now passed). These 3 new drawstring bag designs below would dearly love to travel for the holiday season!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Map out a trip to Melody Nelson

A fresh batch of recycled street map wallets have headed off to gorgeous Melody Nelson in Brunswick but be quick as they are of local suburbs and they are a popular seller to Brunwickans (or Brunswegians!?).

If you have some street directories you are hoping to recycle please send them Lyssy May's way and not the wheelie bin's! I'd be happy to swap you a directory for your very own wallet made out of the page of your choice.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday 13th - lucky for some!

Handbag circle members keep an eye on your inbox today for a Friday the 13th special offer!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Everybody needs good neighbours....

No, not for Ramsay St! Ironside Studios (where Lyssy May is based) is expanding...if you are looking for studio space in Melbourne details are below:


The extensions at Ironside are nearing completion and there are still a few studios available!

They range in size from 18sqm to 40sqm and in price from $64 to $122 per week inc GST.
These prices include all expenses except internet access. High speed internet is available at a further $15 per month. Each studio is an individual lockable space with floor to ceiling white walls. The studios are suitable for a wide range of artistic practices, particularly those that require ground level access and a more industrial space.

All spaces have lighting and power points, 24 hour access and use of the communal kitchen and sink area. Some studios have natural light. The studios are located in Kensington and are easy to get to on public transport, or by bike or vehicle.

Ironside currently houses a variety of artists and designers. These include several sculptors, industrial designers, textile and fashion designers, screen printers, set designers, lighting designers and animators.

Ironside would love to hear from any practicing artists and designers who may be interested in a studio space. If you would like further information, or to register your interest, please contact Laura at with a brief description/images of your practice and an indication of the kind of space you may be interested in. If you know of any others that may be interested please feel free to forward this email on to them.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Oh me, oh my little miss

There is definitely a high degree of satisfaction involved when I see a row of bags hanging ready to fly off to different parts of the country. Today I just had to capture the cheery handles of some little miss designs.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A little something Thea whisked up...

As you may have already guessed I am a big fan of the textile work of Thea (of Thea and Sami fame) and I am loving this new range! I can greatly identify with Thea's dilemma of working as a designer in your own small business which often leaves little time in the day to actually devote to designing so I am always excited to see her new designs. Her latest collections focus on organic homewares and are just beautiful. Yum!

Also if you are in Brisbane check out the details of the Thea and Sami open studio on November 14.

Friday, October 30, 2009

New Stockist: Bassara Flowers and Gifts

A range of Lyssy May designs have landed at Bassara Flowers and Gifts in Yeronga. Pop by to visit the lovely Mei Li and her staff!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sweet Peas

Today I stumbled across a lovely florist and garden nursery in North Balwyn (Cultivate) which had a fence overgrown with sweet peas. These flowers always remind me of my grandfather's garden in spring and the smell is always very nostalgic. I was thrilled to learn I could buy a bunch of them cut straight from the garden so they came straight home to my Cath Kidston jug. Heavenly.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fine fillies

Just added in time for Derby Day to giddy up!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rainbow connection

I recently attended a lunch where the guest speaker was kikki.K founder Kristina Karlsson. I was reminded of her obsession with stationery when I emptied a rainbow of coloured pencils onto my table to work on some new design sketches this morning. There is just something so yum about pencils and the promise of beautifully bound notebook. I totally knew where she was coming from and it was refreshing to hear how the success of her business continues to be driven by her personal passion for quality stationery design. I thought of how this also is how I feel about fabrics, ribbons, threads, buttons (and well, any old bit of habby really). When the 'business' side of business gets overwhelming sometimes it is nice to quietly return to why I am here in the first place - I know there are a few of you who feel the same! x

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Top Chique

During my recent Brisbane trip I had the pleasure of meeting Sandrine Marsh and seeing her beautiful collection of hats, brooches and shawls/tops which all feature a fabulous mix of textiles. Just last week the top and brooches I'd ordered arrived which was very exciting and I can't wait for the perfect occasion to show them off. Thanks Sandrine! You can view her products (such as the gorgeous shawl above or devine perfect-for-spring-racing hair piece below) at her etsy or madeit stores or indeed at one of the many markets she diligently supports around South East Qld.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Come on in!

Thanks to the lovely folks who dropped by last Saturday - it was definitely a reminder of my old shop days when I put my 'open for business' sign out on the street! There was lots of chatter about the Market 3031 happening in Kensington in December and Lyssy May hopes to be there!
I will again be on deck this Saturday and would love for you to stop by to see my little hidey hole and what I am up to at the sewing machine.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Open studio

I am looking foward to tomorrow! I have been clearing out my fabric tubs plus I have a few little odds and ends left from my shop days at bargain prices plus of course everyone is welcome to drop by just to talk handbags! I will be there from 10 til 2 - just ring the door bell and I am in studio 1 - first on the left. Hope to see a few locals there! x

Ironside Studios - 4 Chelmsford St, Kensington

Fabric remnants - fill a bag for $10!

Lyssy May is ready for visitors!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Spring Open Studio Sessions

I am spring cleaning and springing into action with some open studio dates just announced! If you are local feel free to drop by on a Saturday in October (10, 17 and 24) between 10 and 2 as I'd love to show you what Lyssy May has been up to. Plus I am clearing out some bits and pieces so if you are a crafter/sewer there may just be a little gem or 2 for you.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kensington gem: Elevenses

I do love a day when a little highlight can make you smile and feel a bit special. One such moment was when I visited Elevenses recently for a cup of their yum organic english breakfast tea and a cinnamon donut on the way to the studio. My cup came complete with my very own complimentary handmade fabric cup holder. Perfect for saving my hands from the piping hot tea and for brightening up my day!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Partying on

I am now back in Melbourne having avoided being 'dusted in' by 24 hours. My last few days in Brisbane were just lovely - one highlight being the Racecourse Road Street Party and catching up with Shannon of My Girl (see here for her wrap up). It was great to see all the beautiful things created by Shannon and the other BrisStyle crafters and designers. I was particularly smitten with the fabulous creations of Sandrine (histoire de soiehi) and couldn't resist placing an order as a treat for myself!
The day before I'd continued my gift shopping odyssey and managed a trip to Paddington to see my newest stockist there - Four Hearts in Latrobe Terrace (opp Spoon). You must pop in to see Debbie if you are over that way - she has in stock some chopstick designs as well as some peacock print designs plus the popular little miss designs.

I am now back to the sewing machine and catching up with what's been happening in my absence. Thanks to all my beautiful Brisbane friends for the chance to relax and have a chat and to Brisbane itself for putting on its reliable glorious sunshine - fortunately I arrived back to a lovely spring afternoon yesterday so the transition back to Melb weather wasn't too shocking!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tourist in your own town

Whilst I wish I was at this afternoon's Ironside Open Day I can't complain about being back in Brisbane for the week and lounging on a deck in the sun whilst I write this.

I have enjoyed doing the things that I never did when living here like lying on the grass at Southbank for a couple of hours (pure luxury to be doing nothing!). It's been great to catch up with Nicole from Hot Toffee, Thea from Thea and Sami (who spoilt me with a gift of one of her wonderful new loads of fishes teatowel designs - stay tuned for her revamped website too) and to check out what's been happening in the retail scene like the new look Woolloongabba precint and the lovely nook in Westend. I've also been doing lots of coffees in my old 'hood of Bulimba where I dropped in to see the always cute House and Doll and long standing favourite gift shop, Coming Up Roses.

There is still a couple more brunches to squeeze in with friends before I return with my suitcase weighed down with a few too many holiday treats!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ironside open studio this Sunday

This Sunday afternoon (20/9) the doors of Ironside Studios (where I am based) will be open for everyone to have a chance to come and meet the various artists and designers and check out what they are working on. Unfortunately I will be away this weekend so Lyssy May's studio won't be open for business this time but I encourage you to come and check it out! 4 Chelmsford St, Kensington (short walk from the train station).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What a crafty Rie is she!

A couple of weeks ago I received a lovely suprise parcel from Crafty Rie as part of her pay it forward commitment which I was lucky enough to sign up to! Such a special collection of beautifully crocheted flowers, stunning jewellery, a lovely handmade card and a yummy chocolate (not pictured as devoured straight away) were all generously passed on from this talented crafter. I promise to honour my commitment and continue to pay it forward in a posting very soon when I restore some order and progress to my daily happenings.

Thanks so much Rie!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Deck Chair Collection

New to for spring/summer - the deck chair collection. Featuring bespoke buttons of tangled yarns created exclusively for the range, the designs can give a preppy edge to street wear or a classic cool look for the racing carnival season. Check them all out here!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


As mentioned before, my transportation needs rely on a mix of public transport and the fabulous flexicars. Locals are often sympathetic that I have to deal with the Melbourne transport system but I have to admit that I am a massive fan of the tram and even find the trains pretty good on balance (but I rarely take them on at peak hour!). I love the flexibility that the trams offer and they make it a lot easier if you live in the inner city to cope without wheels and help reduce a little of my carbon footprint (although nothing beats my favourite mode of transport - the City Cat!).

Having to always be in posession of a tram ticket I have added another cardholder design as part of the metro range which features the handmade map button. Get on board!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Springing into action

Hello! I'm here - I've just been doing lovely Melbourne things like shopping, eating and keeping warm (with a little sewing thrown in).

Shopping: Victoria Mason jewellery. I picked up a cute pair of Nice biscuit earrings at one of my favourite haunts, Little Salon.
Eating: Like puddings? My friend Amanda and I discovered the BEST sticky date pudding at Kojo Brown, Richmond. We actually hyped it to the point where Nicky insisted we stop by there on the way home from a night out for her to pass her own judgement. Here the girls are after midnight (note that its never too late for a cup of tea!).

Sewing: Well, not just sewing but also having fun working on a new range of brooches. Here's a sneak peak at the 'Pattern Girls'. These ones pictured can be found exclusively at Punch Gallery, Balmain.
Back soon - promise!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bright as a Peacock

They are here for spring! The beautiful peacock print created by Thea & Sami and exclusive to Lyssy May is now available in a new range with lots of colour. See the collection at