Sunday, June 28, 2009

Glued to the chair

Today i wanted to get some collage out of my system.. I whipped up some papers ( a quick way to get a unique result - actually not that quick, come to think of it - but effective). Worked out some shapes. Stuck the line drawing on the window, the coloured paper on top and traced over it. I found it more effective to cut the all the bits separately - then you can give the figure a bit of movement when you stick the body bits down.
I do like working in sets of 3.. these will be available as art prints..here's a sneak preview..

creative growth

Yesterday even though the weather didn't know what it was doing, i did. I wanted to check out Glebe market, hadn't been for a while... Hmmm. The usual suspects. Import, some handmade and second hand. You really do get the sense that people here really want a bargain.. And there was probably a few to be had.
I was interested in seeing the felt work of 'talk to the wind'...talk about duck to water... she has only been working with felt for about 6 months. That shawl did look warm + happy for a winters day.. pop over here if you couldn't make it to Glebe.
Further up the road i discovered this vertical wall planting system, the idea being that you can select from a choice of 6 different supports to create your own gallery of living art. Details in Australia here.
The evening was spent watching Coco Avant Chanel with Miss R in an old 1930's movie theatre, seated on chairs that looked like they could've been watching the ocean float past..
Miss R's question during the movie was "But when are they getting to the fashion???!" And yes, it was a bit like that.. But i enjoyed it.. I'm not sure if the sexual references were equivalent to me watching Grease when i was a girl or not? But it was great watching Coco hack up mens shirts and refashion them!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Obsessive...

This morning at 6.30 when the cat jumped on my head to wake me up, I thought robot stamps! I must get started... (Was it going to rain? AGAIN? washing in or OUT?) I dozed a bit longer. Mr R junior needed to draw a 80cm figure for the school penguin project .. Miss R had a big hole in her sneakers.. BUT oh yes! after sorting all that out.. nothing was going to stop me from carving that delicious white rubber into robot stamps!
If you use a 'sharpie' on the rubber, once you have your design sorted it's a great help for working out what to leave black. I just love the surprise factor in the process, draw it, carve it, stamp it! YAY.

sharing

Sometimes we are a 'host family' to Japanese students. Today one of our students left after her 6 week stay (in between university and her new job). I was touched at her leaving gift. She presented us with a special collage made up of many of her moments here.. every night she photographed her dinner - so she included various shots of pasta, pizza, roast dinner and casseroles.. But it was her observations and words that i also really appreciated.. we can't always go out of our way to do anything different or extra special - so we are just our usual selves.. one of the things she wrote was "you are all good at spending your spare time usefully and pleasantly. I realised the importance of handmade. It's wonderful to please someone by making something"
She then gave us all a little piece of individual handmade goodness. Miki was indeed a delight to have around.

But it just goes to show that you don't always have to worry about what else you should be doing, what else could you be doing for the environment .. and chastising yourself if you forget the recycle bags at the checkout.. etc.. sometimes just living mindfully and with purpose - even if it seems ridiculous can still be worthwhile for those around you...

Friday, June 19, 2009

being mum


So there i was. Faced with the next 4 days ahead. Mr R away, me taking time off work to 'be mum'. Lunches done, the twin 11 year olds dispatched to school. I have to walk past the mess above. The room is tiny, but they do amazing things with small space in Japan - so no point complaining. "i can't even get IN here!" I often tell Miss R. What is not completely evident in the above shot are the layers of 'muck & bullets' on the carpet level.
Bits of crushed pasta, pencil shavings, woven bits of thread, string, raffia, torn bits of crepe paper + tissue, off cuts of paper, wire, straw, cardboard... yes a lot of it DOES make lovely hay for the multitude of stables that exist on floor level BUT! so there went my first hour and a half trying to restore some sort of order.

No, it wasn't really my responsibilty, but then again i am the mother.
Elvie, slept through the whole thing.
So then i went to my studio (the shed) to get some fabric - then back to my desk and this is what i saw:

BUT! i know where everything is - well which pile to begin with. So is that what it is to be creative? Or is it just being lazy? Nuh, to be creative me thinks you have to have a stash, be surrounded by inspiration.. so when you are working on something you don't know what you might come up with.. and sometimes that 'bit of stuff' just there can make a difference and be the answer...
what are you? organised creative or 'creative' creative? Chaotic is a touch strong, don't you think?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Snug as a bug in a shrug


Not such a good shot.. but just back from a days work in the city ... so here is the shrug! And i have to say it was pleasantly cosy during a winters day in Sydney. It's basically just a big wide scarf. I made it up as i went along (having seen the idea on a friend). I cast on enough stitches to measure about 45cm - i then knitted it up to about a metre, testing the wrap quality as i neared the end. I only used plain + purl stitches (that's all i know). I was aiming at 5 rows of plain then one row of purl - something like that. BUT then i got into watching the series of Madmen - and completely lost count.. so then i switched to the organic approach..
I used an 8 ply mohair (3 balls) which changes from blue to brown - all on its own! The key thing is the TWIST! Just twist it then sew the two ends together... voila!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Oh Blogger!

So, after you've worked through the weekend list, sorted the washing, made dinner and perhaps ignored the kids just a little (altho 11 year olds i find, only want to know if they HAVE to do anything and what's to eat - other than that, they can occupy themselves. Once you limit computer, email + tv time).
Anyway! then it occurs to me I'm getting really behind in this whole blog maintaining thing. Trying to write what i'm passionate about, trying to be inspirational, informative and NOT just ramble on. Uh Oh.
So i go looking for help. I find it here. It's a great how-to guide. Available at Craftypod, which is a wonderful resource for projects and podcasts.
The guide aims to help you work out what you want from your blog and how to keep it going.. So now that i've read it i must begin making notes.. then....working through my notes.. AND hopefully you'll appreciate an improvement in the near future.

A zine for your collection...

I did manage to take some snaps of this! It was a sell-out recently at the Sydney zine fair. Small, but incredibly cute each page features a design hand cut from rubber stamp and beautifully coloured. Now available at talk to the sun, or at Glebe market June 20 + 27. If you'd like to see more of Riyo's work then pop over to Talk to the wind.
Almost a year ago I bought some supplies from Talk to the Wind, an Etsy seller in Japan, who it turned out was coming to Sydney for a year... she ended up living around the corner from me.. and we've since become friends.. Amazing to think - it used to take years to find people that enjoyed what you do!

Out and about

Hello! welcome back. So do you have that thing on Friday night where you get sooooo excited of the possibility of the weekend? You start thinking of the order in which you will do things. You decide what project you want to work on first. (For me.. altering a piece of clothing, finishing the knitted shrug, a new rubber stamp, some new business cards, some photos for the blog..) THEN you have breakfast, check the email, put the washing on, tell the kids to make their beds etc.. THEN decide to leave the house! THEN try to fit the list into the afternoon - the pictures becoming difficult as the winter sun disappears..
That has been the last few weekends.. yesterday i went to check out North Sydney Market. Disappointing i have to say. I was surprised at the very few handmade stalls - perhaps they were somewhere else?
I was also really annoyed at a stall selling what looked like imported felted accessories, the price was so low that it completely undermines anyone handcrafting pieces locally.
So then miss r and I shared a plate of Dutch mini pancakes which improved my mood...

Monday, June 1, 2009

it's mega, it's ... mixtapezine!


So here, so right now. The awesome latest issue of Mixtapezine..! YAY.. It's the second issue of the new professionally printed version. It's very portable. The cover art is courtesy of Lisa Solomon. It is full of writings by a talented bunch of artists and indie crafters. Here's why you might enjoy issue 9:
for the how-to guide on crafting your life to sell at markets, or to read how 2 refashionistas spent 20 bucks reinventing a thrifted outfit, or to read my interview with Melbourne designer Lara Cameron.
OH! did i forget to mention I'm a contributor - so am slightly biased? But hey, what's not to like - there's so many people to read abut in this issue and not a celebrity or shock horror story insight!
check it out here..

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