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Customer Registration Temporarily Suspended

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Due to an exceptionally high level of spammers signing into the website (lets face it smocking is a niche market so 40+ new customers in one day is a bit far fetched) I have closed off the registration page.

This is just a temporary measure until I compete my exams as I am unable to manage the level of spammers signing on while studying. Every 5-10 minutes I have emails popping up letting me know someone else has signed on for an account with us. This is proving rather distracting and frustrating.

I will be as time permits deleting any suspicious accounts which mostly will be any generic or alphanumeric email addresses. All current customers will be fine as I know who you are and can verify your account. Sorry about this but its just got out of hand.

Shipping induced headaches.

Posted on by 2smock / Posted in eBay, Etsy, General News, Policy Changes | Leave a comment

Now the astute shoppers out there may have realised that the shipping rates between various international locations and across our various shop fronts (2smock, eBay and Etsy) don’t always add up. In the interests of openness and transparency I wish to be upfront about why this has occurred and how it affects your purchasing and interactions with 2smock across the various platforms.

The main reason for the variations is due to the limitations of the different shops online.

Something is in the air

Posted on by 2smock / Posted in Etsy, General News | Leave a comment

Well I am now totally perplexed and confused. I am most certainly missing something here perhaps simple because Halloween is not a big event down here in Australia. I have had three requests recently asking if our dresses fit an adult and I regret to say that the largest size dress we have won’t fit an adult, even a particularly petite one.

So this has got me rather fascinated, has there been a movie recently or something else that makes our Classic Yoke Girls Dress the perfect Halloween Costume? If you have any idea I would love to know your theories as this is rather out of the blue to me.

As for your little ones of course they can wear our dresses. There are a few examples of smocked dresses using Halloween inspired picture smocking across the front online to inspire you.

Photo credit: DeusXFlorida (6,057,836 views) – thanks guys! / Foter / CC BY

Somethings never change….

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A part of me can’t quite believe that my own daughter is now wearing the same dresses my mother made for me. As my little one has recently had a growth spurt I thought it was time to pull out the next batch of my favourite childhood dresses. She is now fitting into 2smock 5-6yr dresses though she is still wearing the 3-4yr old dresses as well, she shot up rather than out and with a little adjusting of the hem we’ve been able to keep a lot of her wardrobe for now.

I just couldn’t resist trying to recapture some old photos of myself at the same age as my daughter wearing the same dress. Of a whole series of photos which was the one my girl wanted to copy? Grumpy mummy of course. I can only imagine this photo was the last of the day as I was anything but impressed.

As you can imagine finding the photo of her mummy wearing the actual dress in her hands has added an air of mystery to it and it has been worn several times this week. At this rate it won’t make it to my granddaughters but I sure am going to try. I have however concluded that either my mother was a wizard at stain removal or my little girl is far more adventurous than I at that age. We’ve already tried jumping up and down in muddy puddles (thank you pepper pig), climbing up a tree and skidding along the grass after her brother. I don’t know if I’m shocked or impressed at her antics, either way I just love getting to know her better and better as time goes on.

Photo Shoot Fun

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So I realised I needed a few photos of the dresses that I have on sale for our shop banner and I’ve had great fun with my kids taking some new shots. Little Miss was a true star and even managed to stay still long enough to grab a few pictures and Little Mr kept her laughing and giggling right when she was ready to have a mini meltdown. Right at the end I decided to make sure I got some photos of both kids and I just love this mid tackle shot that just sums these two up so well.

Etsy Shop Now Up and Selling!

Posted on by 2smock / Posted in Etsy, General News | Leave a comment

Hello my ever patient customers, I am delighted to inform you all that I have uploaded a range of our more popular Classic (Square) Yoke Girls ready to smock and wear dresses to our Etsy shop. As you can see I have a few more graphical tweaks to make to our shop however you can now purchase directly though Etsy for those who are more comfortable with their shopping system. The prices are the same and you get the same great shipping rates.

Even if you aren’t ready to start your next smocking project please follow us to keep in touch as we add new items to the shop. Remember our website will hold ALL the 2smock products that we have to offer Etsy and eBay will only ever hold a part of the full range. Check out our Etsy Shop Now!

Back on track, relaunch any day now!

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Well just when I am sure you all think I’ve fallen off the face of the planet I am happy to report that its full steam ahead in the land of ready to smock and wear garments. I have been juggling motherhood and product photography and have just uploaded the last of the Classic Yoke Basic Range dresses to the website and at a huge relaunch discount rate.

It has been rather fun learning about the photography side of things and I am now far more appreciative of the complexities of good photography. My humble efforts only go as far as making sure you can see what our products are like as clearly and as honestly as I can.

Next step is adding in the new Fabric Swatches so you can compare and see how each fabric stands in relation to the others we have on hand. And then a few minor tweaks before I upload our most popular dresses onto Etsy.

So stay tuned we are so close to being back in business and I am sure you will all be pleased with our relaunch specials.

The best laid plans……

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Perduta [Lost]
ecatoncheires / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

We all know the saying “the best laid plans of mice and men” well we should include the plans of mothers to that list as well I think. A few weeks back I dropped my Husband off at work for a short 5 week deployment and was looking forward to the kids starting a new year of Preschool, Early Intervention and Daycare. I eagerly set up space to work and photograph the dresses. I set up my desk and found a temporary home for the stock and all was looking rather good.

And then the best laid plans started to fall away. Meetings to set up my sons Individualised Education Program took centre stage. The necessary but harsh listing in black and white of every strength and weakness of your most precious child. The not entirely unexpected but still derailing formal request to have your other child assessed as those involved in the care of your Special Needs Child are now seeing one too many traits in common. 2 years and 3 months after the life changing diagnosis of one child and you are once more forced down the path of assessments, forms and unrelenting evaluation of everything your child and you have done since the very beginning. I do not know what her testing will reveal or even if it is possible to ever truly know. What I do know is that I am still blessed to have these two amazing little spirits in my life.

So I once more find a way to make this work. After a very long day managing some rather amusing yet telling ASD behaviours I finally have my kids in bed. I am working on the floor of the hallway because tonight this was just the only way to keep the monsters away yet actually get something done. It is because of those two now sleeping angels that I will find a way through this. Plans can be reworked, goals shifted and dreams adjusted, I just need to keep remembering what is important and what brings me joy.

And Jill came tumbling after.

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Coming Along
MTSOfan / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Last Friday evening as I left my parents house where Mum, the kids and I had a valentines dinner my Mother had a rather unfortunate accident.

While carrying my son to the car she misjudged her step and fell down a small slope right onto a wooden raised garden bed. True to form she managed to avoid any damage to her Grandson who only had a few bumps and bruises – she however did not fare so well. With a broken left wrist, shattered right shoulder and I believe fractured right elbow she has certainly seen better days.

So her studies are on hold and the slow process of recovery begins. The worst part of being unable to work or move? Apparently that even with all this down time she can’t do any smoking as she only had 3 fingers. Here’s hoping she gets better soon.

All 2smock products checked and ready to send!

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Kids Helping Mummy

Well it took 3 days of hard work but it’s finally done. Our entire stock of 2smock ready to smock and wear garments have been checked, repackaged if needed and counted – we are almost ready to get this show on the road.

I especially loved the help I received from my two kids and the cat. In all honesty I can see how the rows upon rows of neatly stacked dresses and nightwear that suddenly took over our lounge were just begging to become a giant maze or a secret fort. I snapped this shot as they had just knocked over yet another pile of dresses in order to play whatever game was on the go at the time – they were playing so beautifully together that I didn’t mind too much. When you find your ASD child fully engaged in social play with others you’d pretty much forgive anything.

The only sad part was when my daughter worked out that Mummy meant to sell these to other people. I was suddenly faced with one very distraught little girl sobbing over the fact that Mummy was giving away “all my pretty dresses”. It took going through all her smocked dresses in her cupboard and a promise to smock up a new one to calm her down again.

At least I know she actually likes her dresses.

Never work with children (even your own)

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Brigit Before Haircut

We’ve all heard the saying “never work with animals or children” well I’ve just found that this even applies to your own kids. Last evening I tried a sample photo shoot with my little girl to see 1. if she was ok in front of a camera and 2. how my set up would be for getting clear and detailed images for the shop.

Well it was wonderful, she looked so cute and I went to bed thinking “yes this could really work”. The next morning as I was cooking breakfast my two little monkeys decided to give themselves haircuts. My baby girl had cut her hair down to the roots all over one side of her head – all those baby curls gone. Well after a talking too and firm reminder about the household rules there was only one way to get the hair to look halfway decent and growing back properly. My kids now both sport #2 buzz cuts and are lovingly referred to by their uncle as “The Marines”.

At the end of the day she is my baby girl and she is adorable no matter what (well to me anyway). Sometimes in motherhood you have to take a step back and remember that how you react/respond can often do more damage than the situation itself. I simply couldn’t let her think that if she didn’t look the way I wanted that she wasn’t enough. So many girls learn that lesson far to early in life and I am sure not going to let her learn it from me of all people. So the photo’s will still be taken, because they need to be redone. Our model will just be sporting a daring new look that is completely in contrast with the beautiful smocked dresses being worn. Or is there such a thing as punk smocking?

Relaunch in sight.

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Winning the Carmack Prize
jurvetson / Foter.com / CC BY

So close to being ready to launch the revamped 2smock shop. Photos to retake, text to upload, decisions to make – all very exciting.

Must say I’m loving the improvements of technology right now. Back in 2005 when we started this I never thought I would be able to update my site and connect with customers in the middle of playing rocket ships. I’m currently typing this in my lounge that’s been lovingly restyled as a rocket ship complete with command centre.

To think I’ve been able to hard code security measures (thanks to brute force attacks on WordPress sites globally), talk to you AND repair the faulty wiring on our rocket before the UFO arrived.

Feeling very positive about motherhood and business actually working together finally. No more either or.

Boxes, boxes and more boxes.

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So many boxes of beautiful ready 2 smock and wear dresses, nighties and other items have found their new home in my recently cleared and organised garage (my Husband is a real keeper).

I’m finding all the beautiful sample dresses, my childhood dresses (yes I still have them and my daughter does wear them now) and ready to ship kits.

So much love and care went into these garments and once smocked each is a unique treasure. I’m just have to get a gallery up to share some of the work done by my Grandmother, Mother and even myself as it’s just too lovely to stay unshared.

New path, same journey.

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Fall Picture
Indy Kethdy / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Every now and then life seems to just line up and paths that had appeared blocked or forgotten open up once more.

After the passing of my Grandmother (where my Mother and I took on an active careers role) I had thought that a wedding and new family would be the bright shiny future we’d all hoped for. Little did I know what was in store. Two Hyperemesis Gravardium and Pelvic Girdle Pain Pregnancies was just the tip of the iceberg. Add to that multiple surgeries on my firstborn, failure to thrive and then an Autism Diagnosis. My shiny future sure got given a lovely patina and yes we were well and truly derailed for a while. All energy was focused on just getting through the day and helping two little beings survive.

I am delighted to say I now love my not so shiny future. My life and my family are unique and we, out of necessity, have to do things our own way. What was a scary idea is a fun and liberating reality. And as time has progressed I’ve watched my babies grow.

Imagine my surprise when paths I had thought blocked and long forgotten started reappearing. In an effort to finally sort out my office I began going through all the 2smock paperwork. All the wonderful emails and hand written letters from customers. Showing of their works of art, offering advice on the products they wanted to see made and sharing their own stories. I was just about in tears, I missed doing something I loved.

Shortly after this I found out my parents were moving and all our stock needed to be rehoused. Over a cup of tea it all fell into place. My children can now (thankfully) play independently for a while. They are also enrolled in an amazing preschool who have helped them thrive and grow. I have a little more time, I have the products and I love the business. I’m now seeing a lot of green lights.

So I am going to take a chance, all the obstacles that had put everything on hold are lifting. The path is clearing and many lessons have been learnt along the way. It’s still the same journey but the way ahead is different. I look forward to seeing what happens next.

Find out more about Hyperemesis Gravardium

Find out more about Pelvic Girdle Pain

Find out more about Autism (it’s not all bad I promise)