Monday, 20 January 2014

Hello??? Is there anybody out there???


Fear not, I'm not having a Pink Floyd singing moment. I thought it was time I touched base with our blog family and let you know that we are still here. 

You may have noticed that last year was pretty quiet on the social media front. We were out and about at markets and a few pop up appearances but that was about all. We had written our business plan (or our interpretation of one) and even started to act on it.  But alas. How does that saying go... The best laid plans?

Without giving you all the details, 2013 was shit.  The worst year for my family. Somehow, in the middle of it all, Ree and I still managed to attend to G&K. 

I am happy to report that 2014 is on the up and up. We have crossed out 2013 on our business plan and written in 2014. We are looking at new markets to add to our visits to the Made'n'thornbury market, new products and hopefully more. 

Stay tuned folks, who knows where 2014 is going but I can't wait to get there. 

Kate xxx

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Start your Christmas Shopping TODAY!!!

Christmas shopping from the comfort of your own home in your PJ's with your drink of choice, could it be any easier??

G&K xoxo

Saturday, 25 May 2013

We've popped up in Thornbury

Fancy a few one of a kind piece of handmade fabulous-ness? Head on down to 825 High st Thornbury and visit Open Door... A Pop Up Shop by TWNH. Gus&Kitty, Emalaide, Vintage Gala, madebytimpano and plenty of other talent local ladies have their awesome creations on display and up for sale. Gus&Kitty will be there in the flesh tomoz (27/5) from 10-3. Hope to see you all then. Xxx

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Snack time

What do Ree and I do when we aren't stitching away?? BAKE. We both love to bake. You can usually tell how we are feeling by what's in the oven or the page our recipe books are open at.

Our family, immediate and extended, has many and varied food allergies. It all started when my brother Mick was a toddler. He couldn't have dairy, eggs or 102 food colouring. So Ree took up the challenge to find allergy friendly recipes we would all eat, especially cakes. As a teenage I discovered that I have a wheat/gluten intolerance and as a young adult, a lactose intolerance. Two of my cousins are celiacs another member can't have certain nuts, fruits and veg. "Nightmare!!!" I hear you screaming at your computer screens. Not really. We are a family of cooks and eaters. We enjoy the challenge. Recipes are shared, experiments are conducted and you are usually spoilt for choice at family functions.  I find butter the hardest thing to replace. I did tell my dietitian that I would rather eat dirt than give away butter.

I love sharing a good recipe, especially one that is GF and dairy free. Unfortunately the following recipe isn't nut free but I will share some that are over the next few weeks.

When I first read this recipe, I thought these bicccies were not possible. I chatted to a friend as we walked around the lake and she assured me that they do work and taste delicious. I made them the other night and they are definitely hitting the bicccie tin rotation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Peanut Butter Biscuits
(from 4 ingredients Gluten Free Lactose free, Kim McCosker)
1cup crunch peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 180c. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients. Using a tablespoon, roll into balls then place on the baking trays. Slightly flatten with fork tines. Bake until a thin crust forms on the cookie, 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely on trays. Store in an airtight container.

I made the balls using teaspoon amounts of mixture and a little less cinnamon. You can adjust the cinnamon to your own liking. I also drizzled the cookies with dark chocolate for an extra little treat. I'm a sucker for peanut butter and chocolate.

Enjoy Kate & Ree xxx

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Our first outdoor market...

Well G&K fans, the time has come for these two ladies to venture out into the world, literally. Come on down and say hi and support a school community. Xx

Thursday, 3 January 2013

New Year beginnings...

Happy New Year G&K fans.  Ree and I hope that this finds you safe and well (and if in Oz, not melting).

The New Year is a time of new beginnings, new adventures and new opportunities.  As part of of goals for the coming year, Ree and I have decided to make the Internet and all that goes with it, one of our priorities for the year.  As you may have guessed, neither of us is 100% Internet savvy but we are willing to learn. So...

I've always enjoyed viewing my friends photos that they post on FB and other social Media sites as part of "Photo Challenges."  It got me thinking (dangerous I know),  "What if I took part in one and posted the photos on our FB and blog pages?"  Gets me in the habit of using both pages regularly and sharing the day to day of G&K.

This is the plan:
1. Find a Photo Challenge to be part of -DONE (I've joined the FatMumSlim Challenge
2. Let all the G&K peeps know- currently in the process of being DONE.
3. Take photos using the prompts every day and load to FB.
4. At the end of each week, load the photos to the blog.
Good plan. Now to do it.

Today- the view from here.

Stay tuned...
Kate xxx

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Fisrt time round the market block

After 3 frantic weeks at Global Headquarters, Ree and I sat back and gazed upon our creation, all be it pack in boxes and garment bags. At 7 o'clock last Friday night, there was nothing more we could do.  The garments were pressed, the threads were snipped, display had been finalised and we were ready to make Gus & Kitty's first public appearance.

Needless to say, sleep was sparatic on Friday night as I dreamt of what might be, good and bad. I knew there was nothing more that we could do but being me, I was sure I could tweak one more thing, check the market box for the sixteenth million time or just sit and keep vigil over our precious stock like a mother hen.


Saturday morning arrived, dark and cold.  Nervously, I got myself ready. Messages from fellow first time stall holders arrived, venting our early morning nerves and pumping each other full of encouragement. I was hoping against hope the my weet bix would stay in my stomach. There was no time for a calming cup of tea. Adrenalin kicked as I drove to collect, Ree, my partner in crime.  8 o'clock on a Saturday morning in the middle of winter, is a lonely time of the day, not many people about.  As I drove past familiar houses I could imagine kids watching cartoons in pj's, party goes arriving home to the calling comfort of their warm beds and the early morning cups of tea and coffee being had over newspapers. Part of me longer to be one of them but the other part of me was far too excited and anxious to greet the public and let G&K loose on the world.

Hugs and squeals of nerves and excitement filled the venue as we all began to roll up, being greeted by the ever comforting face of our seasoned market leader, Dee.  Trestles were set up, chairs tucked underneath and our positions revealed. We were comforted to find familiar faces of Make Craft Your Business Alumni, around us. To our left was Miss Lizzie and her beautiful Made By Timapno Homewears, directly opposite, Kate of Emalaide and her amazing softies and crocheted blankies and hats, as well as dress. Slowly but surely our stalls came to life.  We desperately wanted to oooh and ahhh over each others creations but there was no time. As we hung bunting and poured hair clips into dished, the Helper of all Helpers, the awesome Samantha arrived, full of energy and good ideas.

Before we knew it, it was show time!  Ree and I huddled together with Sam as we awaited the first customers.  Ree nervously pointed out the people coming through the door and let out one of her trade mark squeaks.  I felt like a swan, calm on the outside and paddling for dear life on the inside.  Once the first few customer floated by and smiled, some stopping for a look, I felt much better.  All those years or retail and customer service training came flooding back and I was in a familiar head space.  People commented on fabric choices, how pretty things looked and then there was the first sale.  We quietly congratulated ourselves and got back to it.

Throughout the day, family and friends came to wish us luck and even make a purchase.  Having familiar faces in the crowd was so comforting.  I was especially happy to see two familiar faces in particular, my two boys.  My poor husband has been hearing about this market and stock for months and has nodded and smiled and commented like a champion.  And the real life Gus, I'm sure has wondered where his Mum has been at times.  But seeing him with his "Gummy" in our little shop, making a rock start appearance, made my day.

Before we knew it, it was 2 o'clock and time to pack up. It was sad to dismantle our little shop but it was designed that way.  A debriefing late lunch was well deserved and essential.  We were all of the same opinions and feelings, with a few extra insights from our fellow diners.

All in all it was a great day.  Much was learnt and gained from our first time around the block.  As teachers we were well organised, as visual creatures our stall looked just as we had planned and although we didn't sell out (a long shot I know) we sold more than we expected and gained a few customer orders as well.  The public (those whom we didn't know and those whom we did) liked a product with a few of the customers coming back more than once to look.  Even if they didn't buy something it was very interesting to observe what it was that they were looking at, touching and asking about.  Even a few customers gave some suggestions about products and add ons that we could investigate.

None of this could have even been possible without lots of help, especially on the day.  Sam is an absolute super star.  Her retail knowledge, customer service and merchandising skills were priceless, not to mention her calming and reassuring presence.  We also need to thank our master builders, my brother Mick and my Dad, our babysitters Nannie Frances, my sisters in law, Erin and Sarah and brother in law Brighty, the ever patient and supportive Husband, Andrew, and our friends who are an endless source of encouragement and support.

There is one last person to thank, Ree.  Many people cannot imagine working with their mothers. Others have told us of the jealously when they see how well we get along and work together.  I'm not sure that I could have started a business with another person.  I am lucky that we know each other well enough to know how the other works, when the other needs time out or when they need that extra gentle push. 

So there you have it.  Our first time around the block.  May there be many more.

Lots of Love
Kate xx