Sunday, February 28, 2010


Thank you so much for all of your encouraging comments and suggestions about the tea towel. At the moment I'm *quietly* very happy with how this tea towel has turned out... "quietly" because it feels so strange that such a small addition can make me go from 'binner' to 'keeper' ;) My friend Sally came over - she's an amazing artist and her impeccable eye can zero in on the precise problem with any piece like a heat-guided missile! I get ribbed a lot around here for starting sentences with "my friend Sally"... it usually heralds a chorus of parotting voices as if they've heard it a million times... Well, what can I say - she's pretty good :)

Anyway Ms Sal said that the yellow had faded into the background and all it needed was a touch of the darker grey in the centre of the yellow to bring it forward into the piece without being too heavy. I didn't want to take any more chances with screenprinting so I got out some embroidery floss and started stitching. At first, I intended to do a stem stitch circle as seen in Kirsty's tutorial and then I just found myself adding little sticky-outy bits echoing the screenprinted florettes in the design. Funny, isn't it, that such a small thing can make such a difference?

Thanks again for all the help. I think it was The Shopping Sherpa who said something very similar too :)

Edwardian patterning

I just saw a lovely image over at Lobster and Swan of a vintage crepe chiffon top - it reminded me of the Edwardian underskirt I found at the op shop several years ago now and I got to thinking about the other pieces I have of this ilk. I love Edwardian styling - the heavily worked long skirts and layers of chiffon underskirts. The top two are pieces I bought in London many years ago. I'm afraid I can't remember the name of the shop but it was on Golbourne Road near Portobello and the designer makes them up from Edwardian patterns. It was love at first sight with absolutely no mind to the practicalities of these heavily worked creations in the hot Australian climate ;) There has been the odd occasion when I have got to wear them and friends have borrowed them for special events as well... They do take up a lot of space but I could never throw them out. This is why I can't do a wardrobe overhaul - I may only wear ten percent of it all but the majority is vintage finds or special pieces that I treasure. Tell me I'm not the only one... do you have a mini-museum in your wardrobe? A shrine of the adored un-worn (or in the case of my 1950s minute-waist dress collection, the un-wearable) ??

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Creative Space - Fools Rush In

I'm playing along with Kirsty's Creative Space meme today. To see some more or play along yourself, visit Kootoyoo.

So, this week I thought I'd let you know what has happened to my tea towel... well, basically I've totally fluffed it.

You'd think after all these years I'd remember a few basics about screenprinting and even about standard principles of colour... but apparently not. Yep, I mixed a colour and just plonked it on without doing a colour check. Yep, it was way too dark and threw the whole composition. And yep, I then tried to fix it by screenprinting over it in another layer without checking that colour and now it's too heavy (colour) and too thick (consistency) and overall just too dominant for the whole design... This one is definitely not going to the Pool Room ;)

Anyway, I am a big fan of trial and error and it's been a good exercise reminding me of a few things. This piece won't go to waste - I'll find some use for bits and pieces in a collage or something...

Back to the drawing board for me. Isn't it funny though how, taken in isolation, the 'bad' bits can actually be the most interesting bits? I'm really loving the dark shadow under the grey :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

It's a visual thing

It seems I just need to jump in and do it rather than wait for my brain to actually make a decision... and do you know I rather like working this way. I've printed up one of the tea towels with a block I carved a few months ago. Then I taped it up to the window and tried out all these different combinations of other screens I'd cut out... and I think I've finally found a design I'm happy with :)

... and this was all done during recovery mode from our very first teenager birthday pool party! They had a great time and I'm pleased to say I really like my daughter's friends :)

Friday, February 19, 2010


I've been madly trying to think of a design for my tea towel swap. After weeks of staring at a blank page I finally decided to take the advice of a very wise woman and 'design for the bin'. So, here are my bin liners ;) None of them are quite 'right' so I'm still doodling on. Maybe I will use them one day for something, but mostly they are random patterns that I've pushed onto the page just to get myself moving...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Creative Space - Finished Floss Fairy

As promised, it's a short one this week - an actual finished product (so rare around these parts!) Thanks so much for all the fabulous suggestions of what I could do with Ms Floss Fairy. In the end my goddaughter decided the issue for me... she lost a tooth and I thought, she needs a tooth fairy cushion with a little pocket for her tooth... so here it is. Not having made a cushion before it is a bit wonky, but then I think perfection is highly overrated ;)

Have a lovely day and many thanks to Kirsty for hosting My Creative Space! See more 'spacers' over at Kootoyoo.

p.s. You can buy the Angel screen prints from Anna here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Inspiration: Sandra Juto

There are so many ways in which this very talented lady is inspiring but this one deserves immediate recognition and audible gasps of appreciation I think... crocheted vintage fabric!... so yum :)

Visit Sandra's blog here to see more of her sublime brilliance.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pillowcase Dressing

I did some sewing today! I know, I can't believe it either :) I do admit I'm a bit rusty with the old technique, but I was astonished at how utterly happy it made me feel to be at my sewing machine again.

So, how did it come about? Well, I have a much-loved duvet cover from Orla Kiely and matching pillow cases that I decided were way too over-powering all together... It is the most gorgeous design and I found myself musing on what a cute frock it would make. Then I came over all thrifty and decided I could make a complete frock from just one of them and still have the other up my sleeve, so to speak ;) Well, here is the finished frock and I actually like it.

The Mr said 'Are we going to the beach?'... the Little One said 'That's a house dress right?'... but thankfully, my big girl said 'Cool'... so, I'm going with 'cool' :))

Apologies for the appalling photo... did you know you have to dust mirrors?!

This is what I think...

We don't really 'do' Valentines Day here but I fell in love with this Rob Ryan papercut. I'm going to find the perfect frame, hang it and we'll have that Valentines feeling every day :) Hope you have a wonderful day with your loved ones! Found on Etsy.

(Shocking photos I'm sorry!)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Creative Space - Hookin'

I've been meaning to post about the crocheting I did on the holidays... it doesn't look like much, but then that's because I'm not showing the ten or so rejects ;) I printed off the hexagon pattern from Lucy's wonderful blog, Attic 24, after getting the heads-up from Christina.

Since we've been back I've been steadily adding to them... including having a go at the fancy-pants* method of joining hexs as-you-go (see detail below).... lots of mistakes, of course, but getting there :)

The other crochet project this week was inspired by a very talented blogger... Renilde creates these fabulous flat cushions and I decided the outdoor chairs here need some of these super groovers... So, I started hooking. I'm using a flat-circle pattern from Attic 24 (I really love Lucy's patterns, obviously!). ANYWAY... work in progress is below.

They're a bit wobbly at the moment because the white yarn is a slightly different thread size... I'm hoping they will press flat or that when I make them into cushions I can stretch them flat... or something ;) I used a Serendipity Tweed from Tangled Yarns and it has a nice fleck to it. They've advised me to soak and tack it.

Sorry... long one from me this week! I promise next week I'll be briefer. There's a lot of other Creative Spaces to check out over at Kirsty's. Visit Kootoyoo to find them.

* fancy-pants: technical crochet term, originating from this lovely source.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Inspiration: Christie Gianni

I'm totally in love with the work of Christie Gianni at the moment. She produces limited edition fine art intaglio prints from her studio in Steamboat Springs, Colarado. You can visit her Etsy shop here or her website here to see more of her work.

Found here.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Now, this really made me smile when I came upon it the other day... Peg art! What is it about the humble peg? And why, actually, do we even think this ingenious device is so humble? I don't think anyone could dismiss them quite so readily once they saw Martin Huberman's amazing installation, Tender.

Working for an Argentinean design and architecture office, Normal™ studio, one of Huberman's design objectives is to explore what is thought of as 'normal' and playing with accepted social parameters to find everyday beauty. Huberman's idea for the Tender project uses repetition to create a composition that transforms the original object. Apparently, every installation has been markedly different because the composition reacts with the different rooms in its own way... ceiling heights, space, light levels all work to transform the work. I like that - I like the organic nature it suggests to our little functional friend :)

You can find out more at Normal™ studio.
I found Tender here.

photographs © Ignacio Col√≥

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Creative Space - Still Stitching

She's coming along quite well I think, my little floss angel for Anna... Starting to wonder how to utilize her now... on a handbag or a t-shirt...? Any ideas?

Many thanks to Kirsty for hosting My Creative Space... visit Kootoyoo to see more.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Inspiration: Eunsuk Hur

I've been thinking a lot about fabrics lately and have come across some amazing innovations. The following pieces are the work of South Korean designer, Eunsuk Hur. Laser cutting, acid printing and etching fabric are her methods of choice and it astounds me how these pieces can look so ethereal and sturdy at the same time.

Now living in London, Hur graduated last year from the prestigious Saint Martins School for Art and Design. These days she can be found developing her commission-only business in the areas of fashion and interior design. View more of her work on her website here.