Sunday, December 30, 2007

Illustration Friday: Soar

I haven't had chance to post anything for Illustration Friday's weekly challenges for quite some time. But since I'm on my holiday i found myself back at the paint (for a little while anyway). This image I thought was pretty obvious - but i couldn't go past it. I like the feel (altho I don't know if it's my style???) but i think i should go back and fix his arm. It's difficult to 'soar' with short pudgy arms - but i think his forearm needs more fluff....

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Getting cosy.

So yes, it has been a quiet week or so blogging wise, all those things to do and prepare. Like being at the shops last night - rounding up the non-perishables. Great at first - heaps of car spaces, short queues. Then a glance at my watch 9.43pm - am I totally nuts?
Anyway, before that, I was stitching this little cute thing. I 'outsourced' yes, purchased a knitted cosy then added these beads and felt flowers. A good combo and a little quicker than me casting on. Another gift sorted.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Roll again, Santa

So before there was more rain in Sydney today there was present swapping. It's great to have met some new friends via this internet/craft/blogging community. Great for several reasons but for me after having gone through various courses, jobs, mothers group and the playground it's nice to meet people who share/understand what you are 'into'. Also handy to meet someone else who loves to organise or suggest. So her suggestion was to bring a present, number it, roll the dice - then tah-dah! present is given to person with that number. Excellent. Seated on rugs (umbrellas ready) in the park - the cafe across the road delivering our delights. Kinda weird when several cameras were drawn at once to capture what I assume is a potential blogging moment.. but then those are the very electronic threads that connect us...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Let the silly season begin

So its' started. My Christmas shopping. Shame the magic doesn't extend to an instant (optional expanding) storage facility also. Where did I put it? What did I get? Where's that list? The kids decorated the tree, I sat back and watched. The carols were going - it was great watching them 'own' it. Miss Redhead (age 9) also designed her Christmas cards - great when your mum provides photoshop and a wacom (drawing) tablet). The cats were transported into her scene above.
Today I had a rare moment of feeling like the afternoon was a holiday. I think it was the mid afternoon trip to the beach - catching a few waves on the inflatable wahu (seriously an awesome cheap thrill). Then the beach was closed due to a strong rip. So we got a movie and early fish and chips. I have to say an early dinner left 2 hours of reading in the late afternoon and freedom from that relentless crafting! aaaaah. But what about those almost finished brooches?...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sew your own, go on!

So I really must get away from this computer, BUT i had to tell you about this. On the recent Brisbane trip I picked up this cool little pack at the G.O.M.A shop. I was sold on the retro style fabric. Anyway a couple of days ago I finally got time to make my 'Miss Buttons'. Viola! I had to make a sister (the one on the left) at the same time ( a Christmas gift for a friend). Miss Buttons is the awesome 'why didn't I think of that idea' from Angela at Sew your own. She has sourced all the bits, made a great pattern and packaged it all up very nicely thank you. Her website also lets you join the Miss Buttons community by posting your creation in to the virtual album. Just a fab idea all round. Even the fact she is missing arms is still kind of ok.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

When all your Christmas's come at once

So while I was at work Master Redhead decided he didn't like the 'candy' on offer in the advent calendar - so took it all out to put in his friends Christmas cards. (Obviously embracing recycling). meanwhile Marmalade the cat thought it a fantastic present! Miss Redhead captured it all - a blogger in the making. Hhhhm, putting up the Christmas tree will be interesting this year.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Charlie goes walkies

Sorry - had to mention him again as he now has his own badge.

Charlie is a little felt dog with tape measure ears (so he knows how far he travels..!)
This is his first outing. I stitched the little guy one night and was then inspired by him to create the picture of his first walk.
I just got the Charlie badges made this week and listed this set on Etsy today.
The notecard picks up all the texture from the original artwork and would look great framed - attach the postcard + badge to the gift and voila! Meanwhile Charlie himself is available exclusively at Georgie Love.
HHmm - what was I working on next?

Etsy buy and show

Remember how much I love getting post - especially when it's for me? Well look what arrived this week! I had to pop out this afternoon to fill their heads with gorgeous little succulents.
I found the ceramic planters at the lovely Clayflowers shop: Plants on the Brain on Etsy. They are unique, hand-painted antique ceramic doll head planters. The planters are moulded from French, German, English and American antique dolls. Each pot comes with drain holes and is perfect for a small plant.
They are just exquisite don't you think?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Just a little trumpet

I just had to share my joy at having my owls mentioned on print + pattern. It's such a great blog - you really feel like you're cruising down the high street having a little design retail therapy.. and the high street can vary from London to Japan. It's definitely one to visit regularly... even just to see the collection of many owls.. more than mine, obviously.
oh but I have now got a few more in stock...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Show and tell

Me on Sunday morning: "yay! finally a day of creating. What should I do? Computer illo? NO, not good for rapidly increasing rsi on right hand. Sewing? Hhhm, maybe. Painting? no can't get to shed desk - too messy. Embroidery? Yeah - maybe later. So - worked on new designs that were digital. (more of those another blog). Did household chores. The final of Australian Idol loomed. Got out new AMAZING Japanese embroidery book (from Kinokuniya in Sydney). Used new embroidery pen. Worked out how new $3 hoop worked. Sat for 3 hours of extremely drawn out tv - stitched dog.
Summary: the Japanese are exceptionally stylish crafters! This book is so inspirational - Mr Redhead couldn't believe that I had a HOOP and was stitching. The designs are fantastic - I'm hoping one day to transform my own. I couldn't work out how to trace the book onto the fabric - so became a human photocopier - enlarging and copying their dog design.
Big tip: when using the 'assistant marker A' the violet end that reads ' disappears spontaneously..' read spontaneously as 3-5 minutes - thus enabling half a tail on previously mentioned dog.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Bag one now!

It's official BiddyBags are up and running and online now! It's such a wonderful community idea and a project that deserves to succeed.
Check them out - as they won't be in the shops.
See earlier post for more details if you've just clicked in.

Dog-gone it.

Here he is. It's Charlie! He appeared from my fingertips one night. I think he deserves to be taken for a walk right away. I made a few more more - but only a few - because guess what? they are really fiddly and extremely labour intensive! He has matching notecards - a pic of himself on one of his little journeys...

The lovely Sally has him exclusively over at Georgie Love.
It is the season to be jolly, after all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Trumpets blowing, well mine anyway.

I was trying to work out how to limit my computer time during the evenings and perhaps limit blogging or 'surfing' to a couple of nights a week. But then this happened ... I'm sooooo happy and have to have a few secret smiles... oh and tell you about it!
Firstly the lovely Sally at Georgie Love has been so supportive of Dudley that has been really encouraging. Her online shop is an ecclectic mix of loveliness and her enthusiasm adds to the shopping experience - a little voice to advise you with your purchases! Then, just as I was enjoying mixtapezine which is a zine about making time for the small things! it's pages are a collision of craft, eco-cool and pop culture kitsch! There I am. Yay!
Then just as I package up the last of my stocks to send off ... I see myself on the beautiful Indie art & design blog which features products made by independent Australian artists, designers & craftspeople. Then out of the blue a real live shop in Victoria: In the Woods asked for a little Dudley.
I love making things but sometimes you do wonder what is it all for - but having a few people notice you makes me feel like it's more than just my desk/s. So thanks everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Close knit community

Last week when I was in Brisbane I was lucky enough to meet an amazing person: Samantha, who is just on the verge of her own huge handcrafted wave.
Samantha is the humble brains behind a project entitled Biddy Bags. Which are these perfect sized, incredibly unique, handcrafted, must-own-one handbags.
Samantha selects the recycled/vintage fabric and the yarn and off it goes to the 'Biddy's' to create!

Samantha’s concept is ‘to utilise the skills of women through craft, for economic participation and social networking. A Biddy Bag is created with beautiful, handmade pieces of crochet, interwoven with fabric to create original and one-off handbags, each with an individual design and colour. Printed on the inside pocket of every bag is the story of its maker.’ “I would go to the markets and see tables full of handmade and crocheted creations which would have taken hours of time and effort to create, but they were being sold for next to nothing.'

So I just had to bring you this bit of news early as they are launching Biddy Bags this week on the 22nd of Nov at the Woody Point (Brisbane) crochet club. Which involves high tea and crochet with their patron Sarah Blasko (amazing singer/songwriter).

I’ll definitely have another post about Biddy Bags but how cool is my ‘Audrey’ pictured here. Nice to know that it’s an Audrey because Audrey made it – not some clever marketing ploy to make dollars for a big company – as part of the sale of each bag goes to the ‘retired’ women who created them. Perfect, yet charming.

Sausage dog or sushi?

Aah Sundays. Today was going to be my creative day after various days out and about and oh yes, working, today I was going to get out a project or two. But first had four kids after Saturday night sleepover - which went well - until Elvie (the big fluffy white cat) wee-ed all over one of the guest's bedding. Damn! was a word I didn't use. Then I finished off some Charlies ) find out more about that this week. Then I did a stock take of what I had. HHmm.
Add lunch for 6.
Dinner for 5.
Australian Idol final 2.
Escaping Marmie (the tortoiseshell cat).
A few hours later my projects didn't quite happen.

BUT here's what Miss Redhead whipped up while I was counting out cards 'n' stuff.
He has interchangeable hats. This is his Japanese wig complete with Californian Rolls.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Robots. Why not?

Once again, have I told you how I love getting mail? Yes, well these arrived from the printers today. Yipeee indeed. I did the paintings for last years Great Escape Festival in Sydney. They were part of a retro series. I had them professionally scanned - then I added a wee bit digitally. But the printing is awesome - you can see all the original texture and everything. I think they'd look great framed too!
Much more affordable. Anyway I just listed them in my Etsy shop.

The bonus is the one with the cool brooch - is it just me that thinks he is irresistible?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

the trip

So Miss Redhead and I had a couple of days in Brisbane - with a side trip to Byron. Brisbane has always had a bit of a 'daggy' side to it compared to the trendy and stylish Sydney and Melbourne. But times are a changin'. It was great using the river to get into Southbank which is home to the museums, galleries and cafes. Note the bright blue skies in all these shots.

Unfortunately the highlight of the visit to GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art) was the shop. Mainly due to the fact that they are madly preparing for their Warhol exhibition - opening next month - which will be massive! So minimal art on walls. Definitely check your diary.

So it was my first trip to Byron Bay - the beach even though wet, did look amazing - so clean and right there!
The shops were a little more serious and structured than I had imagined, I did find it hard to find cool stuff.
One little gem of interest was Lalo Treasures - made by a resin jeweller in Israel, bright colours but an unexpected find. The other colourful pic here is from the Flying Goolie studio who do garden sculpture using metal, I would've liked to have seen more but it seems that the idea of a separate Industrial Estate turning into an arts complex hadn't really taken off.
I think I did always carry my camera before the whole blogging thing - but it for me it really adds to the trip - as often I'm moving fairly quickly .. so it's great to have the visual memories and really enjoy it later too!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

So where have I been?

I just had a lovely few days off visiting my sister in Brisbane. Naturally I have more to tell you, however I've just been packaging up some orders and must sleep. That whole border crossing time zone thing can confuse you...
Anyway - check this out. We came across an exhibition of sculpture artist Terry Summers. How cool! Using waste cardboard Terry's work had a whimsical side but was also quite captivating. Not to mention questions like "How?"
It's currently showing at the Tony Gould Gallery at QPAC South Bank. What a treasure find that was. Just not the shiny kind.

this sculpture pictured was probably 1.6m

Sunday, November 4, 2007

What was I thinking?

Yes, there were other things I think I could have done today. But getting out the '0' brush and painting these 3 seemed to be what I was compelled to do. I wanted to explore something - but ended up thinking the curly head ones were a waste of time and prefer the black one. Before you comment on the dodgy painting - here is a pic that gives them scale.

I dunno.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Jingle bells - yeah right..

Most asked question in my house: "Is there any post?" Today there was! yipee.
Now I can list my bit for the festive season.. a set of 5 postcards with 5 button badge gift tags. Inspired by old children's book illustrations I painted and stamped and cut and designed this image. They are professionally printed on gloss card and the texture of the paint is visible.
Any thoughts from the crowd - or you two over there?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

woo hoo, twit woo!

YaY! I'm excited to finally list my first 'professionally printed' cards.
I've put together a mini pack. Not sure of the response I'll get from out there. But I like them.
Now in my Etsy and Madeit shops.

Altered book, part one

The dreaded day had dawned ... what? oh.. um.. I mean excitedly the day for the 'altered book' swap arrived. So the idea is you source a second hand book, alter the cover, create a sign in area - set up the rules - if any, then 'alter' a spread of the book. You can do anything or respond to the subject itself. So I've had this book for a while and it had begun to disappear under lots of other stuff on my desk. As you may have experienced it can be tricky deciding just what project to work on in one's limited time. Anyway - we had to swap them today. Yesterday I was going to bow out of the project. Can't think of anything, can't do it, no, no, no. THEN hey! sleep, dreams, bit of a theme started to emerge. The original title is "Daisy can't sleep", Daisy being a cow. Now here's the freaky part - after producing the above yesterday afternoon - I discovered the other main character in the book is called: DUDLEY! true. cue the scarey music.
Anyway - I was passed the talent Shelbyville's altered book. WOW. Here's what she has put together - altho it didn't come with tweezers or a 0000 brush. (it's 50mm x 35mm). Hmm.

Crochet & emus

"You're going to learn to crochet - like in Alice in Wonderland, with the emus?"
"No, it's croquet. A ball, stick and mini goal post".
So that was a little bit of our Sunday, myself and Miss Redhead (or red legs). The Sydney Croquet Club were having an open day so we took our plate of food and dropped in. Basically I'm not you're sporting type. Balls, teams etc not really my thing. However, during the first 2 minutes of the explanation - the word "aggression" was used in terms of hitting the ball. Which dispels the myth of people dressed in white delicately tapping balls across the lawn. So I quite enjoyed it. The strategies worked - like 'whack the other teams ball out the way'. All the members were very generous with their time and patience although not quite sure why several of us had cameras to play croquet. At least we didn't bring wool.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Art and about

Sorry it's been a bit empty all week, but well I guess that's what going back to work does for you. I have been working on my first 'altered book 'project this afternoon - but will post that tomorrow night after the swap...
So last night I did make it to ART sydney which is open until 5pm Sunday 28th October.
Well it was smaller than last year and sad to say a lot of the upcoming artists and affordable works on paper seem to have almost disappeared. Here's one of the few refreshing artists i found:

These are 3 works by Jane Fontane who is represented by United Galleries
Jane Fontane is a recent COFA graduate who majored in print making. Her multi colour screen prints are inspired from the innocence of child hood and the carry over effects it has on the adult mind. She won the end of year Print making award at COFA in 2006. Then from there I headed to the "off the wall" which was a gallery space for emerging artists - entry was via a submission to a panel. Here's one of my faves:

Beanies in Beijing by Penny Burnett.
It's always worthwhile seeing what's out there - but I have to say I do enjoy the art at Etsy - works on paper without the hobknobbing.
Pop back tomorrow ... see you then.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Went bush

The last few days we've been away - camping. The middle shot was the taken after dinner the first night - what a view. I booked a 'powered site' thinking obviously that we'd have something to plug in - however that didn't really get thought through - so we just ended up with a gorgeous view and sounds of the waves. But next time - we might just sneak in the toaster, electric kettle and a light... I restrained from packing any craft materials and managed quite well doing nothing except: reading, sleeping, swimming, eating, lying, a few goes on the water slide and a few rounds of 'secret code'. Back to work tomorrow, sigh.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A quick note

So yesterday - a scorcher in Sydney: 36 degrees. I pysched myself into an early morning start. Dropped the junior drummer and clarinet player at band practice 7.40am. Headed to the beach had a bit of a walk - then braced myself for the first ocean pool swim for the season! Let's just say I wasn't sure if my heart was still working for a lap, it was so cold... But it did feel good by the time I was having the coffee looking out at the ocean. Something to remember when I'm back at my desk next week.
Then I came back and made this journal cover for a friends birthday. Decided I could cut up one of my favourite Japanese fabrics ... for a minute there it was looking a bit 'overly country' - but I think it looked ok in the end. Has handy pocket at the back ... what do you think? Mr Dudley said I should've backed it so it was stiff?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

week one: new things

Hoooo likes owls? der! So in case you were wondering, the rest of week one was spent taking the kids to see movies: "The Seeker" - a bit predictable and too tidy for me, but great for the nine year olds - bit too scary and confusing for the under eights. "Underdog" - very cute, good humor - lots of fun. Bit of swimming, haircuts and jigsaw puzzles. Then I made these brooches and the owl in the middle is a fridge magnet. I've been trying to justify 'collecting' - you know when you buy bits but are not really sure exactly what you are going to do with them? Well it totally works - because then when you have an idea you actually have the bits! These are now in my Etsy shop, but also decided to give made it a go - and thought I'd just concentrate on owls here.

Also caught up on movies for me: "The Science of Sleep" - it was so wonderful - one character who kind of just constantly switches from dreams and reality - and his neighbor who makes amazing stuff. Like when they discuss a boat she has made and how she can put a forest in it. I tell you it's worth watching for the felt objects.
Also saw "Paris, Je t'aime" which is an amusing set of separate stories about people, love and Paris. Aaaaaaah.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Holiday: day three

Last week Mr R looked after the kids - this week it's my turn. First we drew up the chart to plan our week - this also involved plotting the weather, play dates, movies, the car being serviced and therefore bus timetables. An information gathering exercise for Mr R junior - who shortly after retreated to his custom designed cupboard to do more of his 'mens'. (1/35 scale army models). While Miss R made us pancakes, tackling the big FLIP as she went. Then there was a bit of chalk (but we are not without vices so being normal nine year olds their 'quiet time' was a bit of Club Penguin and playstation - just so you get the total picture).
While I (in between facilitating various activities) stitched away and Dudley the softie appeared just in time to hear who was in the bottom three (Australian Idol). Surely Marty should be released...
I must say I quite like how Dudley turned out - my initial thought was to sell them in my shop - but who has that amount of time?! so will need to develop 'Dudley - the basic model'.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Holiday: day one

So the first day of holidays was about 35 degrees. But Miss Redhead and I went to check out the Hope Street Spring market in Surry Hills. What was there was good - but perhaps the next one before Christmas will be a little bigger - as it was over a bit quick. Pictured here is me (sometime later having a stop, survive, revive, coffee), my favorite made by white items (they had a stall at Hope St) and have an online store. The wind-up owl was a much appreciated freebie from the People Like Us collective, who rightly believe in the t-shirt as an art form.
The day ended with a night out with Mr Redhead and the latest Bourne movie, wouldn't you like to say to the kids: c'mon! we need to get mobile - round up the vehicles!'

In the mail box...

So better than the inbox is the mailbox. I always loved receiving 'post' as a child, and these days are no different. So the idea of 'the swap' in this crafting community is fantastic. I must admit I was nervous,
what to include?
how much?
what kinda stuff?
would it be good enough - equal!?
everyone is sooooo talented so
what do you make that they can't do themselves???
That's the big question.. so this is what I sent off:

And this is just some of what the lovely and very generous Tiel from tsk tsk sent me, which I absolutely love.

In the inbox...

How cool are these guys? While wrestling with the 'handmade is good' philosophy, sometimes there's also just cute stuff! These are Emotibuds - they clip onto your earphone buds. So you can be the cranky commuter trying to block out the surrounding inane convo's of people who think you want to hear every detail of their lives. They're available via Robio in Melbourne - who also have an online store.
But hey! I'm now on holidays so cranky commuter no more.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Vintage-ish find

So I realize that this sequence of events is out of order, but after lunch (see below) we popped into one of the old second hand shops (on King Street, Newtown), and I picked up this little satchel bag for $5. It's about 30cm across and doesn't even smell. It also has useful pockets inside and seems quite handy. However - how can I funk it up a bit???? any ideas??? So far all i got is keyring-type dangly things. Or I do have some scrap leather I was thinking I could cut out a bird or something?
If you leave any comments I'll be entirely grateful, please.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunny Sunday

Guess who was found lurking in the yard? Plenty of hiding material. Didn't realise I needed to do so much sweeping. Probably got disillusioned after the broom fell in two pieces last time. Did a little painting this morning and was in utopia until - reality called me to the kitchen to eat. (why is it that weekend lunches can really get in the way? i want to know more ideas for a quick fix... ) then I had to do all the boring chores and sunny Sunday was sucked away. Not before I dug out an ol' Jamie Oliver recipe where you put a chicken breast, garlic, thyme, mushroom, bit of butter and a few splashes of wine into a foil parcel and bake for 25mins at 220c. Pictures next time. Sometimes I'm a robot, other times I can enjoy eating...
oh well back to the week.

Robot softie

The idea for this guy was hanging round in my head last week. He's a present for a friend whose baby is turning one.
It's important to get acquainted with robots early I think. I was trying to keep it simple but feel I went a bit overboard on the stitching. I can feel a mini one hanging round next. Having named a lot of robot's (paintings) in my time - I'm a bit stuck for a name - any suggestions?

Wouldn't it be great if you had a health dial that could give you a read out of any areas you were lacking. I spent Thursday night and Friday dizzy and completely zapped. If only my 'dial' could tell me what i needed... it would save sooo much self diagnosis angst.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A day of discovery indeed

So working as I do on a magazine I find myself often 'flicking' through many a glossy page in the name of inspiration and research.The name davidmetnicole constantly pops up in the stockist or shopping pages, well - finally I made it there (all of 15mins from my desk, I know). Their presentation of assorted items from lights, snow globes,printers blocks, scrabble tiles, leather pouches, plywood letters is amazing. But be warned - try to pick a quiet moment - as unless you have pipe cleaner legs -you will be squashed. A great place to buy gifts and see proof of: the more you have of something - the better it looks!

My little purchase here - was beautifully wrapped - and reminded me of one of the reasons I enjoyed shopping so much in Japan - it's the total experience.

I love cyberspace, no really!

Just as I was thinking about how I haven't blogged lately and how I'm torn between wanting to just work on my new stuff and tell you about things - I discovered Threadless. WOW. Well actually a work colleague looked across the partition and said "you'd be onto this wouldn't you?" Don't you love it when people know you in a useful way?

Here's one I loved.
So beware - you can buy cool stuff AND submit your own! Lucky the weekend is around the corner.

7.00 - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever


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