Saturday, 31 March 2012

I'm Watching You......

One thing I love to do whilst knitting is watch a movie or a series.  Sometimes I think if it wasn't for a great DVD I may have given up long ago!!.....A big parcel that arrived from this week.  Can't wait to get stuck into this lot over the next few weeks.

Vicki x

Dottie Hat Giveaway Winner....

We had 89 entrants for this giveaway..........And the winner is.....NUMBER 88. 

Congratulations to number 88, I am about to email you now.  You have 24 hours to contact me back.  If you don't contact me within 24 hours, there will be a redraw.  The winners name will be revealed once they have contacted me back, and the status will be updated here.

Update 11.16 am 31st March. The winner, Amber has contacted me so the contest is complete and there will not have to be a redraw

Thanks again to everyone that entered.  This will be the last giveaway of this type now.

Vicki x

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Baby Love.....

I don't know if I'm meant to share this yet....but Kelly David, who found my little hats a few years back has just had another little baby.....Little Baby Ryan.  She posted this on my FB wall, so I had to pass on the baby love.
Kelly is based in Alaska, US and as you can see a brilliant photographer amongst the many that happily photograph little dover & madden hats go a long way for beautiful little models.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

It's A Numbers Game....

Hi Everyone,

I've decided to remove the "Dover & Madden" followers from the side of my page....I didn't have a huge amount of followers anyway, but I know I have a huge amount of readers which is just fantastic for a little blog that just bobs along about all things me....behind the scenes I can see that you all come from far and wide and I love that.  It's a bit like Facebook....people just keep going on about the numbers and in my mind it's not a popularity poll.  I'm just glad people stop and read every now and again, that's what is important.

I do find this blogging lark really hard... at the moment I'm finding it difficult to come up with content every couple of days.....but now that I'm starting a new casual  job on Monday that fits in with my knitting world, in a different part of town out in the suburbs, it might be a bit more news worthy and I'll have a bit more free time!

Update on my Weight Watchers I head into week 3.  Weigh in last night and I lost 900 grams....just under 1 kilo, so my total loss in 2 weeks is 2.4kg....right on target.  I haven't denied myself anything...and I mean anything.  My diet is certainly healthier and I'm exercising more, and I'm less tired, so all of this is adding up to a good thing.

For those of you on Facebook....I'm doing a hat giveaway over on my FB page commencing tomorrow night (Sunday night in my parts).  As it's coming into the Southern Hemisphere Winter....I thought it would be nice to kick off the cold weather with a free hat to someone lucky.  The hat this time is a "Dottie" hat as pictured below....and it comes in 3 sizes ranging from 3M up to 24M, so stop by my d&m FB page....the link to my  page is on the side of this blog and details will be up tomorrow night.

Things might be a little quiet around here whilst I settle into some sort of routine next week, but rest assured I'll be thinking about some blog posts whilst I'm away.

Vicki x

Friday, 23 March 2012

Beyond Snapshots.....

I was very lucky to have the opportunity to supply Peta Mazey with some little dover & madden hats which she happily agreed to photograph for me. 

Peta and Rachel Devine, have now put out a book for people just like me who have a fancy camera and are still learning how to use it.  You'll find the book here and I'm sharing some of the lovely photos Peta took for me around 12 months ago.  Peta is based in Wellington, New Zealand.

Enjoy Vicki x

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Boots and Buttons.....

Two packages arrived today....a new navy blue pair of lace up ankle boots.....and lots of gorgeous covered button beauties.  Gosh how I love the internet!!

Vicki x

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Please Please Tell Me Now.....Is There Something I Should Know?

Do you ever go to a concert and find someone more entertaining than the headline act.  Well here he is.....and his dancing just got better as the night went on. 

And Duran Duran.....pretty hot!

Duran Duran, Rod Laver Arena, 19th March, Melbourne, Australia.



Sunday, 18 March 2012

Sunday Night Silly.....

Well it's been a lock in here at dover & madden headquarters.....The Formula 1 Grand Prix has been on at Albert Park just a hop, skip and a jump away from me.....Oh the noise, it's a 4 day event, bit bothersome to us locals, streets are blocked off, trams are replaced by buses, because the people going to the Grand Prix are more important than transporting the normal folk about their normal day to day business....but it is only once a year, and it's done and dusted.

The only thing I love about the Grand Prix is the Qantas Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet flyover....this year for some reason the jet went in a different direction, it normally goes straight over the top of my apartment block, shakes us to the core, and some years it's been flying that low that you can actually see the pilot....I did take some footage this year.  Something silly for Sunday can tell I got a little stir crazy being inside the whole know you hit a new low when you're taking footage of planes!! Train Plane spotting let's say!!

Have a good week all


Saturday, 17 March 2012

Wool In All Its Beauty......

Something I forgot from this week....I got a huge amount of work done.....4 hats, 3 flowers, and 1 crochet blanket.  The chunky blue blanket was already completed....All gone to their new homes to keep little ones warm this Winter.

Nothing better than a big scrumptious pile of woollen goodies in all their beauty, colour and versatility.

Vicki x

The Week That Was.....

Gosh where do I start....a lot has happened in the past week, all good I must add.  Some of you may remember this post around 6 months ago.

I had just come out of a job that ended with me being forced to turned out ok, I hated working there, the only good thing about the place was some of the people I worked with, and still see and have contact with now from time to time....and the payout I received.

It wasn't a great time to be looking for work 6 or so months ago...and it's even worse now.  The state of Victoria where I live is officially in recession....some of the large corporations especially the banking sector are dumping staff at a rate of knots, but I was lucky to find a job in customer service (not my area of expertise) in Australia's largest department store, not my ideal job but it did pay the bills.

Around a month ago a job came up at a Market Research company...the exact same job I did in my job I was let go from....these jobs never come up.  Then the worst thing happened my computer blew up taking my resume and all my work documentation with it....I didn't have the energy to try and think my way back through my last 20 years of employment to make up a resume just to apply for this job....thus it wasn't meant to be....I was a bit disappointed, but I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason.

Now a month on, I sat outside last week with a colleague at my customer service job, we both started around the same time.  Both of us single women in our 40's, both of us have held down responsible job and we were moaning about our current work situation, both of us working way below our capabilities and our earning capacity....I said to my colleague that's it, I'm doing something about this.....and I have, a week on I have a brand new job back in Market Research and I start next Monday week.  The power of positive thinking.

I feel pretty chuffed that I've turned things around in a week.  I'm not doing the management role that I did in my previous MR job,  this is a supervising role that fits in perfectly with dover & madden...I work from 3pm in the afternoon till 9pm at night, I will be working around 30 hours a week, and more if and when needed.

I'll miss out on all the commuter traffic going to work, I have my mornings free to knit and do some long overdue exercise.  I can take that pilates class in the morning now....and when the call came through on Thursday about the job, you couldn't wipe the smile off my face.

So in hindsight I don't think the other job was for me....I think this was the job that was waiting for me.  If there is a down side to this new job, it's the location.  It is situated in the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere Chadstone Shopping Centre ...for people like me who love shopping this creates big big problem....budget wise...but it might just be a good problem to have!

And just an update on the Weight Watchers weigh in....first way in last night....1.5kg down, in the old scale that is a 3lb's and 3 ounces.  Happy with the result, didn't feel I'd deprived myself of anything, did enough exercise.....I did go looking for a pair of trousers last night and after seeing myself in change room mirrors, I did realise I have a way to go, I did look a bit lumpy and bumpy, and I certainly have Michelle Obama arm envy, but I'll get there.  I'm working on small scale at the moment, so my aim is for another 4.5 kilos in the next 6 weeks....I'll keep you posted.

And one other thing....for those that leave comments, please be assured that they are all read and much appreciated.

Oh and I'm off to see Duran Duran on Monday I'm really showing my age...and here is an image to prove it....gosh look at me...and that 90's haircut!!

I met DD the first time around 1991, here is a pic of me and Nick can also just Simon Le Bon's head in the back ground as well.

We were talking about age, he drew me a picture which I still have and funnily enough he did guess my age to be right!!

The second time was around 2003 and DD were supporting Robbie Williams here in Australia.  A friend of my sister was doing the PR for them and looking after them whilst here in Aus....we had a great night chatting with them in the bar of their hotel here in Melbourne....John Taylor was in fine form, very entertaining I remember, we were all having too much fun to take any photos and my memories of that night are all in my head, happy times!  Anyway I've really deviated from my original post, and this has gone on way tooooo long. So....

Enjoy your weekend everyone.

and post script....I've been named on two blogs this week....check them out.  Ché and Fidel and Denise Burridge Photography .  I knew the post with Denise was coming up as she made me answer some questions....just a little bit more about me and D&M.

vicki x

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

What's In A Name?

I often wonder how people come up with names for their businesses.....I can clearly see a lot of them are using their children's names, but it was a hard slog for me coming up with something.

For ages I just used my name and was calling myself VictoriaOC, but it never really seemed right and for some time I just mulled around with names, asking friends what they thought and then my mind would go blank and I'd forget about it for a while.

When I decided I was going to take my work a bit more seriously and register it from a hobby to a business, I knew I had to come up with a name.....both my Nans became the inspiration, but trying to work their names into a business wasn't happening.....Phyllis Stanford and Doreen O'Connell, as you can see, not much to work with name wise but 2 incredibly brilliant women that shaped my childhood considerably.

Then one day sitting it came to me.......

The streets where they lived.  It was perfect.  Something that didn't have the word "knits" in it ....and a dedication to both my Nans who taught me how to knit....I'm sure they would be both very pleased.

Both my Nans lived quite close to each other so each school holiday I would spend the first week with Nana Stanford and then she would drive me around to Nana O's where I would spend the second week....loved every minute of it....and this is where I was taught to knit, sew, bake and drink lots of cups of tea!!

I loved each Nan for different reasons....In my mind Nana O was the better knitter, she got me started, I still remember the bright green Patons Crepe DK that I started on.  It was a scarf for my Dad, full of holes and really just a bit of nothing but it was a start.  She also taught me how to read a pattern and eventually we progressed to baby booties, and I think I was around 7 or 8 when all this started.

Nana O didn't really teach me how to sew, I believe that was one of my Dad's sisters Anne....I clearly remember her teaching me how to sew Barbie clothes on the kitchen table at Dover Street.....White flannelette with purple cotton, lovely!!

Things I remember about Nana O and Dover Street.

Ham sandwiches with lots of butter, cups of tea with  3 sugars, cakes from Pattersons Cakes in Chapel Street, lots of tram travel as Nana didn't drive, Wheel of Fortune with Ernie Sigley,  Barney the Cocker Spaniel who loved to come inside and would only leave when given a Monte Carlo biscuit. I also love that her children, or my aunts and uncles were always coming and going and dropping by, the house always seemed to be busy.

Well Nana Stanford was full of the joys of life.  She sewed a lot, and made a lot of our clothes and clothes for herself, she was always beautifully dressed.  That's her on the right with her daughter in law Narelle in the middle and my Mum on the left....80's of course!

She was poles apart from Nana O...things I remember about her.  Always had raw sugar and Diploma skim milk in the house, yoga in a leopard skin velour tracksuit before it was cool, she loved the football, had the most magnificent roses in her garden, had the most amazing jewellery collection, cooked great date loaf and had the best vege garden in the street....and when I made a pottery vase of Queen Elizabeth at school, she was so proud of it that she had Pa cement it to the middle of the bird bath in the front garden....every time we pulled up out the front in the car....I always beamed.

So that's how dover & madden came about, the business and the name.  Phyliss and Doreen both died too early in their lives, but I'm sure they would be pretty proud knowing that they both still play a part in my life today.

Enjoy Vicki x

Monday, 12 March 2012

Pink and Green Should Always Be Seen.....

A little photo that popped into my inbox today from Denise Burridge Photography. 

There are a few more on the way, and I'm dying to see what she does with the little guys hats once she gets those.

Thanks Denise.

Ava Bonnet in 2 shades of green, with additional pink flower coming to my Etsy store soon.

Vicki x

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Shopping For The Soul

I've been a bit naughty....I've done a bit too much online shopping this week!!  I had to source some yarn from the US that isn't available in Australia.  This yarn is for a project for a friend.  I had to use the services of 

I don't know if anyone else uses this service, but it's linked to Paypal and the US company purchases the items for you on your behalf, ship them to their warehouse in Portland Oregon, and once everything you've ordered is there, you're contacted and they ship all of your items together in one package, once you've paid for it of course.  I have used this service before and I only use it when the US company doesn't ship to Australia. 

So as I had to get this yarn I thought I'd throw in a few J Crew sneaky purchases as well as a bit of an incentive for when I get a few kilos off.

Navy and White Cotton jumper.

and Wreath Green Silk Blouse.

The last couple of years I've been drawn to navy blue for some reason...and I love love love this green and tend to be drawn to it all of the time now....again it works well with black, navy and grey.  And as far as that yarn goes......Knit Picks Chroma in Prism, Superhero and Mixed names.

I can't say I've ever made anything with variegated yarn before so I'm looking forward to using it once it arrives. 

Well thank goodness next week is pay day as the piggy bank is looking a little bare!!

Vicki x

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Weight. Now There is More!!

If you've been hanging around here for a little while, you may remember this post.  It was back in mid January.....Things started ok, then February came along and so did a kilo or two extra.  I just seemed to lose my way.

I'm normally a relatively healthy eater, but a massive addiction to sugar just wouldn't go away.  I don't know where it came from or why, but a day didn't pass without chocolate, biscuits, a cake of some description....these goodies are ok as a treat, but not something that should be an everyday occurrence in my opinion.

The results of all of this have been some more extra that has broken out in spots, that even SKII had problems dealing with (this stuff usually has my skin glowing...but even this face cream gave up!!) overwhelming tiredness, and unexplained aches and pains and a return of sciatica, that I know is weight related.

A serious call to action was required as I really feel heading into my 45th year, if I don't get all of this under control now, I never will.  I don't like feeling like this, and I hate looking like this.  I'm really not making the best of what I have.  I know I've looked a million times better than I do now.  I've lost interest in going out, other than with my close friends....I have a wardrobe of beautiful clothes but I'm living my life in a stretchy skirt and an up-sized pair of trousers that I had to purchase because none of my others fit.... a few tops that don't require buttoning up over my boobs, that have also gone up a size and half!  And now half the time I don't even bother with makeup anymore because I figure what is the point.

The penny has now dropped, I caught sight of myself in a window the other day and didn't recognise the person staring back at me, then I read Tammi's blog at Little Poppa.  It was then that I knew that I had to make a serious effort before any serious health problems kicked Dad died around 6 years ago from a heart attack, his sister also had a heart attack, she luckily survived, so I want to try and avoid that myself.  I also knew this time I needed a bit of help.  As much as I like to think I can work these things out myself,  this time I've enlisted the help of Weight Watchers.  I know these sort of programs aren't for everyone, and I have gone to WW in the past with moderate success, but the thought of sitting in those meetings with others, discussing low fat Philly cream cheese and how many points in a Ryvita just drove me away in the end.

Weight Watchers Australia now have set up shop in selected department stores across the country.  I am paying a slight premium to have a one on one meeting each week with a consultant to discuss MY eating issues and not have to listen to others.  I don't have to suffer the indignity of a possible weight gain in front of others, and the new program seems to be more aimed at healthier options and choices rather than the fact that the old program had the same points value for a biscuit and a banana....and I know what most people would prefer and it ain't the banana!!

My first day on this program was yesterday....I'm using a diary to record my food intake, I've also paid 13 visits in advance so I'm committed to this 100%.  I will be sharing my results here each week after my weigh in just because I think it's another way for me to keep it honest and real, and maybe there are others that are happy to join in, or share their stories. 

This is not all about the food either, it's also about the exercise and they go hand in hand in my opinion.  I've started to park my car about 25 minutes away from my work place....I then walk the remaining distance into work and back, so that's around 45 to 50 minutes of walking a day, normally carrying a bag of groceries.

I'm going back to Pilates....great for building long lean muscle and also I need to strengthen my core to help sort out the sciatica.  I started Pilates around 6 years ago and was going twice a week back then, it made an amazing difference to my shape and funnily enough my height due to the fact that your posture changes.....I haven't been in around 2 years so it's going to be a very sore couple of weeks whilst my muscles go into some sort of shock before settling back down.

Here is my first page of my diary....I did fill it out slightly wrong (note to self, read the fill in instruction first) but it certainly worked writing out what I ate, knowing how much more I could eat, and then funnily enough realising I was completely satisfied at the end of the day and didn't feel like I needed to go hunting for a snack after dinner last night.

I'm not going to reveal my weight, I might do that at the end of the journey, but I will reveal my height. I'm quite tall at 175cm or 5ft I do tend to carry more weight and being tall it's more evenly spread is probably the way I'd say it.

Well I've been eating my breakfast whilst typing this blog.....1 slice of grainy toast with organic peanut butter and a banana smoothie, hopefully that should keep me going till lunchtime....I'm off to do some knitting before heading out for a walk. 

Enjoy your day

vicki x

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Cautious With Colour?

Colour is such a subjective you play it safe so people will purchase your little hats, or do you go out there with colour so your little one stands out, hopefully for all the right reasons. 

These little Lumiere hats which are inspired by a 1970's pattern took colour inspiration also from the 1970's.....teal and wheat green, and plum pink and mustard.....too much?  Need to see how the little ones look once the photos come back from the photographers.

What are your thoughts on colour on babies, toddlers and kids?

Vicki x

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Status Quo....

Meaning....Status quo, a commonly used form of the original Latin "statu quo" – literally "the state in which" – is a Latin term meaning the current or existing state of affairs.

So here is where I stand with dover & madden knits....I'm already getting requests for hats, and as much as I hate to keep harping on about it there will be no custom orders this Winter.  There are hat knitters out there that will knit hats to your style and colour choice, dover & madden is no longer that type of business.

I was so very busy last Winter, and I anticipate I will be again....fingers crossed.  I did  learn a lot from last year, so I'm trying to make things a bit easier for me firstly and secondly so everyone doesn't have to wait for a hat if they choose to buy one.

The orders that I am currently finishing are purchases that customers have made from my Etsy store....These were listings that gave customers the option to purchase certain d&m hats in their choice of colours back in late January.  Some customers took this option and I'm currently working through those orders and should have these finished by mid next week.....these customers have been very patient. 

In between I have also been knitting hats for photographers.  The reason why this happens is that people like to see how a hat looks and therefore I have to knit a selection of hats for all of the wonderful photographers that happily photograph my work for me. Sometimes I believe it is their work that sells my hats....the photos and the sweet little bubs that model are always so damn cute.  There are a few more hats to go out by next week to photographers as well....the little Lola hat is the last to go.

There will be no more blankets whilst hat season is on so I'll be finishing the blankets that I have on the go quite slowly....more than likely in between hats....square by square!!

As far as mittens go....there will be mittens available but only to go with hats.  The listing will state if there is matching mittens available and you will need to advise me by notes to seller when checking out of my Etsy store if you require them.  You will need to consider that the mittens will need to be knitted, even if the hat is ready to ship....This will more than likely hold up your hat order for a week.  The way this will work is if you want the matching mittens you will be sent a Paypal invoice for a request for mitten payment....there will be no postage on mittens with hats.  Not all hats will have mittens available it is purely based on yarn availability as I may only have enough yarn left for hats. There will be no stand alone listings for mittens this year.

As stated I have different styles of hats to knit and I'll be working my way through them over Winter....I'll do a boy listing and a girl listing and a neutral gender style of each hat in each size available then move onto another style....and if you see it and you like it then buy it, because it won't be repeated.

Please be mindful that I also work a part time job.  As much as I would love to be home knitting every day, unfortunately it won't pay me a full time wage....I believe I've said this before....most hats take around 4 hours to knit, so reality is I can only get around 10 hats knitted in a week, so my time to knit is limited....there are still other things that need to be done...washing, cleaning, cooking, shopping and family.

I think I've answered  most of the queries and questions I've been sent in the last week or so.  Please also remember I'm only human I can only do so much, and I don't want it to become a chore....I love to knit and I want it to stay that way.....I had a few rude people who carried on last Winter when they couldn't get what they wanted when they wanted it....and it's amazing what people will say when they're sitting behind a computer screen where they can remain anonymous.

And lastly new hats should really start to filter through around the end  of this month, and then that is all I'll be doing hats and more hats....each hat won't be listed till all the sizes are knitted....keep an eye on FB for what's coming up.

Hope this clears a few things up and as I always say....what's not to like about knitting!!

If you have a question just pop it in the comments and I'll answer...if you would like to send it to me via email.

Lola bonnet, image courtesy of Denise Burridge Photography.

Vicki x

Some Days Are Diamonds....

Today was just one of those good days.....

On my walk to and from work, I got all the green pedestrian walk iPod shuffled out my favourite tunes......Duran Duran, David Gray, Sarah McLachlan, Patty Griffin, Keane and a few others.  I got a late lunch at work, noticed that the leaves are really beginning to turn orange and saw a rainbow in the sky.

Hope you have or had a good day to.

vicki x

Sunday, 4 March 2012

In The Pink

You may notice that my blog is now pink.  No reason other than when I had my logo created for my business....I picked out three colours to have it created in.  Pink, Turqouise and Lime Green....I'm not that keen on the seemed like a good idea at the time, but turned out a little pale.  Anyway as my Facebook page is using the blue logo at the're all stuck with the pink for a while.  Hope you like it.


I Do Love To Be Beside The Seaside....

I high tailed it out of town on Friday night, and drove the 80 minutes down to the coast where my Mum lives.....she lives in Jan Juc....just over the hill from Torquay at the foot of the Great Ocean Road.

It's always nice to get out of Melbourne....lots of space at my Mums, it's so very quiet, home cooked meal....Roast Chicken on Saturday night, and all my washing done....and I always like to hang my washing on the in an apartment that doesn't happen for fear of having your Egyptian Cotton Sheets and your designer jeans stolen!!

Anyway Mum and I had a bit of a clean out of some cupboards....and I have scored well.  A dinner set that is a 1970's winner....It is English, not worth any money....we checked on google, but it's all mine.  Some cups, saucers and cake plates....I'm working on the teak sugar bowl and the bright orange salt and pepper shakers....maybe next time.

And finally a coffee down the beach this morning....before heading home after lunch.  Gosh the weekends fly by and back to work tomorrow.....

And I did do some work.....

Vicki x

Friday, 2 March 2012

Surprise Surprise

How lovely to have a dover & madden crochet flower, included in My Child Magazine.  Check this out.  The link to my Etsy store is here  or use the link at the side of my blog and little knitted hats are also filtering through as well.

The Autumn Issue cover

Thanks My Child Magazine

vicki x