Sunday, July 25, 2010

Foot note

Well the weekend seems to have flown by.. I always find it hard to just 'sit down' on the weekends - all that running between chores and dashing to pick up a project. BUT, when i was having a 'sit down' i was looking at this:

Him fluffy white self is perched atop of a couple of rather unsightly foam matresses. Every time we store them away someone needs them for a sleepover. Then we realised that they were quite useful in the loungeroom as an ottoman. Aaaaahaaa! then i realised all i needed to do was cover them.
So voila - i whipped up a slip cover:
Again, using the 'let's work through the stash credo. I found some upholstery scraps and just pieced them together. The fact that i only had small pieces led me to do this patchwork effect. When i needed a slightly different shade i turned the fabric over and incorporated the reverse.. the red inspired a bit of embroidered detail..
Hopefully HIS fluff won't get embedded too much into this....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Reuse and recycle..

There were all these bits of furniture in Mr 12 year olds room. Including this massive wardrobe in the middle of the space. Originally it held all our linen. Then HE made a workshop on 2 shelves. It has been drilled into and painted on. It had to go..

we couldn't sell it - or use it anywhere else as it was, so they chopped it up:

And re-fit it in his room as an L'shaped bench around the room.. not quite a styled pic - more of a real life action shot this one, a work in progress:

So that was my holiday. Back to the day job tomorrow. Hope you enjoyed 'viewing' it. Sometimes i wonder why i blog and what to say.. then i figure lots of bloggers show you all sorts of stuff so i'll just share my creative life. What i do, what i see, on my own or as part of our family.. after all, i like to see what you do too!

Allocated places please..

So Thursday pm (of this huge one week holiday i've had) was noodles with friend plus Vicious threads class at the MCA. Artist Kate Scardifield led us through her favourites of the Biennale then up to the workshop room which had a perfect night view of the city from the roof top terrace. The class is in the evenings for 2.5 hours. It's $20 and includes drinks + nibbles OH! and a lesson AND materials! Wow - great for those of us that have limited time and can find a whole term a bit daunting.
So, on Thursday we learnt felting.

The emphasis was on experimenting, trying out various techniques.
In it's most simplest form we did this: we put down a towel. Then a piece of nylon curtain. Then teased out some wool fibre, lay horizontally, then vertically. Covered with nylon. Wet down with lux flakes soap + warm water. Rolled up a sushi mat, kept rolling to agitate.
I wanted to try mixing threads with the fibres...

Although i had to lay another layer of fibres over this to stop the threads just coming off..

this is the finished sample with another piece that i had layed 'eyes' into it - then i folded it and cut slits..
I also wanted to try prising holes into it as i went and 'burying' some muslin pieces..

I was surprised that i even managed a felt ball. The great thing is at that time of the evening my brain isn't really thinking - so i just went with the process and for a 2 hour workshop it was nice to play - and make some samples without getting huffy.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Holiday happiness..

So Thursday morning's allocated slot was also 'creative time' (see previous post for explanation). I had narrowed it down to 'embroidery'. I just didn't know where to begin. Sound familiar? I spread 3 bags worth of 'supplies' i have been 'collecting' across the table. Everyone else was out. I ignored the washing. I started with the idea of a canary. It evolved into this...

Not as much huffing and puffing. AND enjoyed journey and destination (see previous).
Then as i was slurping my soup Mr R rings "I'm out getting some laminating done, but have found a buffet at the second hand place. Do you think we should get it for the kitchen, you know, under the gallery there?"
"How much is it?" i ask.
"$55" he says.
"Let's give it a go for that price" i reply.
2 hours later it arrived..

Woo hoo! happiness indeed.

Holiday highs and lows

It's great when lovely little things arrive in the post box - even better when you're on holiday at home and you can wear them straight away! How gorgeous are these bearded men? Check out Jordan's quirky little items here. So i had various 'things' planned for my week off. I had vaguely divided my days into morning + afternoon/evening and allocated various things into the gaps. Have you done this?
What happens when your 'allocated' creative time turns into big frustration?? Do you go with it or abandon the journey? Tuesday morning was 'monoprints'. Major sighing. Please let me know if you know good techniques. We painted (roller + brush) acrylic onto plastic, while wet we drew with sticks, cotton buds, tooth picks, pencils .. then placed regular paper onto it smoothed it out, peeled it off. Huffing + puffing due to:
not being able to get a decent amount of detail, not being able to get a decent result, really.. here is all i got

Here is after i added more white lines in photoshop with the brush tool..

And, here is after i added a wee bit of colour + a scratchy brush.. it needs more work...

And here was somethings simple, but the image is not right at all. But the cotton bud was the only thing that seemed to produce consistent lines..

Now if i had that 'playtime' on a weekend i would have been very 'huffy' at the end of 3 hours not enjoying either journey OR destination.. BUT since i was on holiday i could move on and proceed to 'dinner out' which was next on my allocated timetable... Do you get huffy when your projects veer off track?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Inpspiration, be still..

So if you've read the last couple of blog posts there has been searching. Eventually, like me, you may end up on the sofa on in a movie theatre..

You may have seen Jane Campion's Bright Star, based on the story about English poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne. It is truly sumptuous to watch. And there's craft.

Fanny does a lot of stitching... aahhh. The costumes and photography allow the story to unfold pleasurably.
I couldn't make a dash for my paints/pencils but kept seeing these colours..

I'll have to do something with them next week to capture the depth + richness that the movie evoked..
Sadly i will not be able to stitch up a ruffle with the ease that Fanny did.

More searching (for inspiration) ..

Ok so you've walked round the block and also done the newsagents. You'd quite like to pop on a plane - but you promised to cook Sunday night roast for the family, complete with Yorkshire puddings.

However had you purchased these - "Amsterdam: made by hand" and "Paris: made by hand":

By stylist/photographer Pia-Jane Bijkerk you can float around 2 cities while the potatoes are roasting nicely. Her blog is inspiring too - but be warned you may go a shade of green as you view her life from an idylic houseboat in Amsterdam. But back to her books...

This is why I like them:
Space saving size. Heaps of pics of the shop interiors. Pictures of real stuff. Displays, close ups. Details. It's European, it's all handmade. She tells you what to expect at each place. She tells you where it is and the website. Because the words are to the point you can cover quite a few lane ways before its time to stir the gravy.
Oh and if you are trying to cut back on spending a little.. remember the book depository have FREE worldwide shipping.


Do you sometimes feel yourself restless and searching for something? Do you go for a walk, watch a movie, buy books or magazines?

The July/Aug issue of (Australian) Frankie magazine mentioned artist Dawn Tan who painted everything she ate over eight weeks. I love the detail, the interpretation.. and i guess there's that sense of peering into someone's life...

If you want to own some of Dawn's beautiful work for yourself - to inpsire your eating - or painting ..

Pop over to her shop and pick up her A-Z favourite things zine.. It's 26 pages of hand coloured loveliness.


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