Sunday, November 28, 2010

Little projects...

Christmas decor. I am resisting dragging down the Christmas tree from the loft. I am collecting twigs. Meanwhile i wish that i could crochet some decorations.. sigh.. i have begun planning, well, thinking, about my own handmade approach to the festive hanging thing.

i found a hoop in my stash...

i began cutting and simply tying knots..


I really didn't know whether it was leaning towards something that may work , or may just fall short. I kept tying...

Shame it's only small - but i quite like it! Very Aussie and summery in it's tones. My tip is have some very fraying fabric and some light cotton mixed in. This one used 6-8 different fabrics. Keep pushing along the hoop so there are no gaps. Pull the ends backwards and forwards so they fall into the circle and out..Experiment with slightly different lengths. Fold the fabric over so you are cutting several shapes at once. Have some good tunes on nearby!

4 weeks to Christmas -eeeek!

We bought Elvie an early Christmas present (our hidden agenda was that we'd like our couches back, thank you very much mr sharp claws). But as you can see ...

He was quite content trying to squash into his thrifted $1 basket, thanks.
Meanwhile, my Christmas cards arrived back from the printer ... (i should tell you that meant $12AUD for 10 folded note cards and took 2 days !! WOW! all you do is sign up to Vistaprint and they email you daily deals..)
THEN i had to carve a stamp to create a theme..

The background to this design is me kneeling outside, trying to photograph this Kewpie doll on an upturned wooden box. The white background was some primer slapped on a piece of cardboard box. The mini bunting i made from japanese masking tape.. What you can't see, is me trying to hold onto the whole mini set every time the wind blew, or me waiting for the sun to come back out from behind the clouds..
Just in case you are under the illusion that creating is an effortless walk in the park..

Little projects...

As each weekend begins i imagine at least one day of painting or sewing.. but, alas it seems to only be a few hours these days in between chores and catching up with friends + family (notice i didn't combine the 2 in that sentence).. so i take what i can.. last Sunday i made this mobile phone pouch for my mother's birthday this weekend. I enjoyed using a some of the japanese fabric i purchased from the quilt fair in Brisbane but you can also find them here.

I started off trying to construct it like a little 'box' with seamed sides.. but in the end it seemed to work out fine. I finished it off with by inking up my alphabet stamps..

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More Sketchbook project..

Don't remind me that i haven't done much about this lately..
after i had experimented with some stitching the other week ( i had to make 2 cottages) .. that little piece also made it's way into the sketchbook project

I was looking for a subject for a mixed media postcard to send to England. It got me thinking about when i was a child and spent time visiting my grandparents in the English countryside. They had a tiny cottage, with whitewashed walls and a 'crunchy' stone driveway. My nan had gorgeous flower beds and we often left with a posy of pansies, hollyhocks + sweet peas.. Somewhere in my head i had the song..

How many gentle flowers grow

In an English country garden?
I'll tell you now of some I know
And those I'll miss I hope you'll pardon
Daffodils, heart's ease and phlox
Meadowsweet and lilly stalks
Gentain, lupine and tall hollihocks
Roses, foxgloves, snowdrops, forget-me-nots
In an English country garden.

Funny how things go 'in' to your head and then 'come out' in an entirely different form isn't it?

Alternate project..

Just about two years ago 4 of us came together to create an Altered book club (we picked up another along the way). As we altered the pages of our chosen books we met at various venues from croquet to karoke, from yum cha to yummy picnics.. we didn't really know each other before it started and it's been a great experience - forcing yourself to come up with something before the next meeting (usually very close to the day, if not the night before!).. My first book was a small children's picture book about a cow that can't sleep - i continued the sleep theme in my alteration and made a slip cover from an old pillowcase (pictured above).
We've decided to wrap it up.. here is my last entry.. in a book on Larkin the poet - the phrase that appealed to me mentioned 'sad steps ' and high windows.. this seemed fitting and something about tall ships dropping from sight.. (the dice are a carry over from the previous page alteration - part of the rules of the swap)..



yes, there are always chores to be done - but it is amazing what you can find time to do.. even in 30 minutes..
sometimes the shorter the better...

Out and about..

The other week i went to Magnolia Square in Sydney. This time i was actually wearing 2 hats, my day job (magazine art director's cap - currently co-ordinating the Chrsitmas gift guide) and my handmade Dudley cap..I had been sceptical as to expecting to see a whole room of nursery type items, but, i was pleasantly surprised. This fresh set up was by stylist Jason Grant.


With in minutes of arriving i was drawn into .. the drapey gorgeous, hand dyed world of .. Tickets for coco

just what you need to flounce around in this summer..
there was time to say hi to Feed the dog... who whilst creating "interior awesomeness" had produced a new range of incredibly funky lampshades..




So quirky + original - great work.. if you are Christmas shopping ... why not visit here for something to add to the wish list..
Then as i wandered down the aisles i found the perfect pet for my studio..

Hhhhm, i can't seem to find him on their website - but pop over here and i'm sure they can help.. plus there's lots of other cool items you may want to add to your Christmas cart...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

what have i been doing?

All well and good - now you've caught up to what's been happening round here. But, surely I've been doing?
Aah yes. Miss M has her end of year (the end of PRIMARY school) dance coming up.. She thought i would make the dress. Inwardly i tensed, knowing i hadn't completed anything like this before. Outwardly i smiled and agreed "yes, that's a great idea!". (I was touched she trusted me to do this..)
We selected the pattern..

I cut it and the fabric out. I began.
So, the question i have is: "if the pattern comes in a size 4 or 6, what happens if your subject is a size 5?"

I took my time, i pressed each seam. It was going well, except when she tried it on.. too big here.. so i adjusted, too small there.. in the end, when i got to putting the zip in i stopped. To make it wearable i need to design a 'v' panel with the zip set in.
Surprisingly i ddin't scream. Strangely i put it down to if i'd been in a sewing class it was practice.
The fabric was $24 so not a huge loss - and perhaps i will fix it later..?? I even felt ok with 'failing' my mission
then i took out my machine and stitched this..


Aaaaah, much happier with the small things in life..

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Who have i seen?

I ventured out to the ABCD (Artists + Bloggers + Crafters + Designers ) meetup, what a great idea! And i didn't come away empty handed either.. here's some of the delights in my goodie bag..

For more information pop over and see Steph here. or Lisa here i'm looking forward to February as it's a bit like a speed meet up .. 10 minutes to make the connection between the face, name tag and blog.. so that leaves 3/4 of the group for next time..

What have i seen?

Sculpture by the sea - Bondi 2010
I have always wanted to visit Sculpture by the Sea.. this is its 14th year and there are more than 100 sculptures along the coastline.
Determined to get a park and avoid the crowds we arrived before 7am. The light was striking.. (altho most of the time sooo bright i couldn't actually see what i was shooting, but they turned out ok... here are some of my favourites..

Entering the exit, Braddon Snape

Bronzed Aussie series (life jackets), Nick Stranks.

The Adaptable Migrant, Suzie Bleach & Andy Townsend. The view from the other side...

Crossroad, Stephen Marr

Dreams of ordinary people, Peter Tilley

A French litter, Geoff Harvey

Leaf - vessel, Virginia King

At the table: are we sitting comfortably? Sally Kiddall

It was a bit like suddenly arriving at a photographers convention - it's on for another week, get there if you can.

Also in the post box...



A swap!
Have you ever done one?
Applehead and i did.. I'm feeling pretty lucky..

we had decided on a 'handmade book' and a mixed media postcard.. a few surprises seem to make it into the envelope too which is always welcome.. how beautiful is Marianne's 'Trees i have known' handmade book?

a concertina book featuring 8 hand drawn trees, the one above reads: "Every once in a while, he would open one sleepy eye and check to see if i was still there". Aaaaaahhhh.
I do love sharing with creative friends, don't you?

What's been in my post box?



Inspired by this book, i bought these from an Etsy seller. Entitled 'The Work Basket' these publications from 1948 and 1947 have on the cover: "Ideas for the Bazaar, the Home, Gifts and Sparetime. Money-makers - with many inexpensive, easily made Articles that find a ready sale.'
How delightful! Crochet does feature heavily, (a skill i have not yet acquired) but I just love the idea of these.
Plus the ads are great too.. like this one..

Straight from war time parachutes to home usage ... i can't think of a parallel for today, can you?

Brisbane part 2..

Do you have your favourite spots you like to check on, when visiting another place?
In Brisbane mine is Bulimba. I was delighted to see the new "Jetty" which has appeared at the end of Oxford St, since i was last there. It has that sunny Queensland feel with a spoonful of relaxation mixed in. My first morning there was the perfect start to my long weekend..
At the other end of Oxford street (which is a mix of quirky shops + cafes).. is Coming up Roses (technically in Balmoral, but 5 minutes from Bulimba). I always like to pop in here...

An 'Aladdin's Cave' is an over used phrase.. but THIS place is. We could analyse the shallow consumerism of it all. OR we could just enjoy the discoveries to be had. The 'ooooh! isn't that lovely?'. Because they have a great mix of items from all over the world. You could find the perfect gift to delight someone, or treat yourself, WITHOUT the soulless experience of a mall.

Another little soulful find was 'Nook' in West End (a short walk from Southbank)...


I guess if you wanted to walk into a little piece of Etsy, it would look a bit like this..



Back to Southbank.. an er.. well the Craft Fair was on, so..

I've decided that in addition to ones' stash, it is important to 'secure' interesting and gorgeous fabric when one can.. so as opportunity knocked, i answered the call.

Funny how some colour palettes really 'speak' to you, and others just don't, isn't it?
A bus to Fortitude Valley and we found Little Jane St. (look for Winn St and a cool cafe to find this one)

only in its early stages (6 weeks) this tiny find shows promise..

It was a short visit - but rested, relaxed and recharged i headed home inspired ...

Where have I been? part 1.

.. where indeed? time is surely running away with me..
a couple of weeks ago i flew north to visit my sister in Brisbane.. it was lovely catching the jet cat down the river to the city..


also a great excuse to visit..

Having watched Valentino: The Last Emperor, a documentary about Valentino's life i was excited to see his work face to face.. On at the Gallery of Modern Art for one more week.. the exhibition was amazing, if a little overwhelming. I wasn't quite sure why the garments were not displayed chronologically? A 1960's piece next to something from 2006 did seem odd to me. But it was a great opportunity to get up close to exquisite workmanship.. executed by the team that he has working for him.. Naturally i couldn't avoid wondering if i could actually wear something that seemed so fragile..
Southbank, where the gallery is located is one of my favourite places to hang out in Brisbane.. lunch at the gallery was an inexpensive way to stop, revive + survive!

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