Monday, November 28, 2011

Holidays + pressies

My girls have finished school for the year and we are officially on holidays!
I won't be around this week but I do have a creative space item to leave here...

My youngest's class had a secret santa last week. They were allotted the name 
of a class member with whom they are not usually friends and had to do nice 
things for them. Then, on the last day of school, they had to give them a gift (no 
more than $5 in value) and reveal who they are. 

After thinking about what $5 buys these days, the Little One and I decided we 
could come up with something better from what we had at home... and so a pencil 
case was created for the price of a green zip, a gifted hand-screenprinted panel by 
Anna Bartlett at Shiny Happy Art of Christmas Angels and a panel of my very first 
attempt at screenprinting on a thrifted tablecloth.

Other stuff which we used that I already had were the Fabrico Fabric Markers 
bought ages ago from hereAnna doesn't do these particular panels anymore but 
she does have some other Christmas Angels here.

So, this is the result. 

I'm told she loved it :) See you in about a week's time!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Our Creative Spaces: Printing + Bagging

My creative space this week has been all about fulfilling promises. Some of 
these involve screen printing and this orange number somehow came out of it. 

I began by printing with fluorescent yellow... but this was all but invisible 
except in the sun. (And don't get me started on lining up a screen to print when the 
rest of the printed pattern has disappeared into the fabric!)

So, I overprinted with fluorescent pink... but it's kind of bland too. Another sun shot 
here... too proud to show it's real dowdy self.
I think the more I use the computer the more I see colour in my mind as this 
back-lit explosion of vivid brilliance... which is obviously not the case in real life ;)

Next, out came the trusty embroidery floss... my attempt to add texture and colour 
brilliance to lift the bland-ness. I do rather like it but it can't be meterage... too high 
maintenance. So, they are going to be bags.

And I've accidentally ticked another job in my to-do list for someone I said 
I'd make a bag for. The others may go in the shop or they may end up as 
xmas presents.

I've only made up the front and back panels so far but I am pleased with how 
they are shaping up.

Note: flash photography can sometimes imitate that back-lit screen look ;)

What's in your creative space this week? See more here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

First sale!

I've made my first sale on Etsy :) Very excited. 
This little brooch is posting it's way to Steffen.

Please have a peek at Steffen's store 3 Girls and a Goat
She has the most divine paper products.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sliced bread... (the best thing since)

I'm a tad giddy with excitement here. Can you see why?

I've just discovered these amazing cross-stitch kits for iPhone 4 covers.

They're from the ever-wonderful Purl Soho in New York.

You can read about the designs stitched in the first picture here.

And Purl Soho have them for sale here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Our Creative Spaces: Zen Brooches

Do you remember this brooch? Well, I decided to make some more. 

I hurt my foot and haven't been able to move around much. 

I had to do something, so I've been micro-crocheting and constructing some 
more Zen brooches. 

I like the idea of things being a one-off so they are all slightly different from each 
other and the original.

And they're in the shop.

Hope you've had a productive, injury-free week. Find more creative spaces here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Other Side

I've just discovered that a most amazing installation occurred in Paris just after 
we'd left. The Place Vendome played host to a ring of 4-metre high mirrored 
cubes bouncing light and reflecting scenes. The installation was created by 
Arnaud Lapierre for FIAC 2011.

Don't you think it has that funny surreal feeling to it that you get when travelling?
Maybe there's a bit of jet-lag in the mix but also that heady feeling of seeing new 
things and they all fracture and jumble in your mind as you try to take it all in and 
make sense of your new surroundings?

I love it :) Wish I could have seen it. Better than drugs I'd say ;)

Apparently, it's currently to be found at the Paul Ricard circuit in Castellet and
from there it'll be 'doing the rounds' to several art fairs around Europe. Hope you 
get to see it if you live over there... I'd love it if you could share some pics :)


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Our Creative Spaces: Sausage and greens

I've been making up some more crochet panels into cushions.

I think this one looks like a sausage dog :) He's in the shop.

And there are (finally) two finished green cushions – a custom order for a lovely friend.

What's in your creative space this week? See more here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


It would be my friend Eileen's 85th birthday today. She passed away in 
September, just days before I was supposed to meet up with her in London.

We became friends 12 years ago now. She was 'the old lady' who lived in 
the basement of our Victorian redbrick in South Hampstead, London. (We 
lived in the top floor flat.)

When my eldest started nursery I found myself at a loss. For two years she'd 
been with me constantly and I no longer knew who I was without her by my 
side. I wandered into the cafe across the road and there was Eileen. 
We talked about books and social justice issues, philosophy and art... In 
many ways she brought me back to myself.

Over the last 10 years or so we've met up every year when I've travelled over 
there for the trade fair. And throughout those years we have exchanged 
countless letters. Eileen hated computers and loved the written word. She would
send a fabulous array of clippings on subjects she knew I was interested in and
we'd have these amazing debates over issues via letter. 
She was a prolific writer of novels too. Every couple of months there'd be a
bulging A4 brown envelope in my letterbox with the latest installment from
her oeuvre. 

I still can't believe she's gone... and I miss her. It sets me to thinking about the 
special people who come into our lives... Older people who have so much to 
share with those willing to listen. I was fortunate enough to have four people like 
that in my life, and now they are all gone. 

Sorry, I'm getting a bit soppy here, aren't I? I could ramble on for ages but I guess 
I'll leave it there...

Do you have someone special like this in your life? 
Feel free to remember them in the comments :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Fortunate Event

My little one and I have just watched a DVD we haven't seen for ages. 
It's a real treat...

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickets. I loved these books 
and I really love this movie... have you seen it? 

The actors are fabulous (Jim Carey, Meryl Streep, Billy Connolly etc) but the 
children really do steal the show for me, particularly Emily Browning's 'Violet'.
Best of all, though, are the costumes...

If you haven't seen this movie, I totally recommend it. Here's a taster...

Perfect for a slow sick-on-the-sofa kind of day :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Our Creative Spaces: bubble and squeak week

I'm playing along with Our Creative Spaces this week - find more spaces here.

Actually, I've been quite sick with the flu this week, but I do have some bits and 
bobs to show you... I over-printed the fabric failure, with mixed results again.
Thinking I should leave it till I'm feeling well again ;)

There's been some experimenting with making the long narrow shape cushion 
with the crochet triangles....

I've also been toying with a new pixelated cushion in luscious dark shades....

Hope you've had a healthy and creative week? :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fabric Fail

I let myself be distracted by some screen printing over the weekend.

I decided to make my Atomic design less labour-intensive (I always block 
printed it before) and had a screen burned. 

I've been itching to try it out for ages. Unfortunately, I rushed the job.

Note to self: a bit of patience is worth it in the end ;) 

I'm now thinking a bit of over-embroidery upcycling might save the day :)