Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Holidays

In case i don't see you before - have a wonderful Christmas ...
with much peace, love and happiness.
I've enjoyed sharing my creative comings + goings with you all...
thanks for popping in..
Happy holidays folks - my papier mache calls...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thanks for the memories...

Tomorrow is the last day of school. The last day of primary for our two.
Miss R's teacher asked her for a parting drawing... after dinner i grabbed a few items from the kitchen to assemble a wee still life...
without going too close to the wire... (just about to say goodnight).. she completed this:

I'd say Mr T is a lucky man .... nice work Miss R - I guess that's why the school awarded you the Creative Arts award for 2010 at speech day last week... shame i was shaking too much to take a decent photo...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More little projects..

How is your planning for Christmas coming along?
Just when i think i have escaped the shops i find that someone (not me) needs to go there, for just a small something.. so my creative time becomes less... last week also saw speech day, orientation for high school AND the year 6 dance/gathering...
It's the time spent creating, that calms me during this chaotic time.. I did manage to squeeze in 3 'little projects' for Christmas gifts...
first i made these little mini keyring softies..

When i visited my nephews in Brisbane the other month we all went for sushi - which they loved.. mr 6 years old, when we picked him up from school asked if we 'could still have shu-shi' for dinner.. so i thought i'd have a go at making shu-shi dudes.. not sure what the boys will think...

my other little sewing project was a scarf.. hemming some lovely soft muslin + stitching on some circles from that gorgeous Japanese fabric found at the craft show earlier..
..soft and wafting like a puffy cloud...

Have you had chance to find any creative peace?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

they call me twiggy

We've had wind, we've had rain. I've been collecting twigs as they land on the lawn.
Yesterday i sprayed them silver.. My mother gave me some 'stick lights', nice.
I tied them with string. Put them in a pot. Scrunched up some crepe paper for the base, taped on gold tissue paper around the pot. Purchased a selection of wooden ornaments at 30% off.. Found silver + green ribbon in my stash for bows.. also a handy pack of felt leaves onto which i added string.. VOILA!
The boy of the house (he of 12.5 years) said on arriving home after staying at a friends place overnight: "oh, didn't we put up the tree this year? uh, is THAT it? (slight pause) FAIL!'
Then he had a shower and suggested we start again..

'tis the season...

Another... little project...

This week will see the year 6 dance. We like to think of it as a dance or 'gathering', not as a formal for 11 to 12 year olds. There will be outfits, dresses, hair, skinny jeans, hats, some excitement, some worries AND some decorations. The power of the committee is an amazing thing.. all that getting together and delegating, the sharing of tasks.. it's amazing what can be achieved.
My contribution was to photograph the whole year - this has then been transferred to a cake, put together an invite (shown above) which others then rolled + named.. THEN a bag of sparkley things were delivered to our house .. the instruction was to make 3 centrepieces which didn't look like kindy projects..

this is how they look...

The committee had kindly purchased 3 moss bricks (the ones you use for flower arranging) I asked Mr R to 'whip up' the planter boxes.. he cut up the four sides from foam core + hot glue gunned them together.. he then sprayed them silver + gold glitter (not really detectable here).. we then used wire cutters to trim the sparkley things (formal title: pick onion) , so they are not too cumbersome.. then i just wove some tinsel around the base of the sticks to cover the foam block.
Tied a bow - and not too shabby i think!

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!

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 ...


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