Dec 12, 2009

Market update.

Another gorgeous babydress with pants . And I'm definitely getting faster at sewing. Not as scared at making buttonholes anymore either.
This side is the best; so bright with contrasting colours!!! I left an opening for the elastic in the waist so Mums can adjust the tightness with just a knot in the elastic. My friends' good idea!
Boy , we made lots to sell!!! It was a lovely day and it was very busy. We made plenty of sales at our stall. It was good to introduce ourselves to interested people.
But we did not sell any little clothes , nor any of my friends own creations , although they were just beautiful. But it was her first time ever , and some things were simply worth more than was expected at a fair. N. felt a bit disappointed about it , but she was out there and got wonderful comments. And she did make money as well from our combined items.
This is my happy place!!! My old sewing machine , a husqvarna from 1973-ish. My muse overlooks everything. You can tell my hubbie has been busy too , with sanding the walls of the house. One of the things that needs regular maintenance over the years when you live in a wooden house in New Zealand.
Another close up shot of my felted beads. They look like lollies . I made bracelets from them combined with wooden beads. They all sold.
And so did these with the crocheted flowers , all in childrens' sizes.
Now for a laugh.
This is how you catch birds..... After the boss has thrown the old bread for the birds onto the lawn, you place yourself strategically and simply wait !

Nov 29, 2009


The humble daisy ... nothing wrong with daisies in your lawn . I am glad I have a gardener husband who doesn't mind them and leaves them to do their cheerful thing.
This is a lovely colour combination; campion and phlomis . The phlomis gets quite tall and I always feel the yellow flowers look like little bunches of bananas , hahaha.

Another gorgeous colour combination against our butter yellow walls . A Dublin Bay rose and Campanula.
Our carved stone frogs from Bali are getting quite green and furry . A type of moss has taken a real liking to them. I think it looks great , as if they are ancient. Or even a little alive.
Some more campanula , but a much smaller variety. The bees love it.
And I love these. My absolute favourite rose : Sexy Rexy. They have lots of perfect petals , lovely tight buds , and they never go floppy or overblown. And they are just the sweetest pink , not too harsh and not too insipid . They combine beautifully with lime greens and harder pinks, but also with sage or grey greens and purples and lavender. No scent however. For that I have to wait for the Double Delight rose to come out . That one smells of peaches.
And this rose bush always gets so many flowers , sometimes until late into autumn , 3 lots of flowering with pruning in between.
Isn't late spring just gorgeous....!!

Nov 20, 2009

Books , Beads and Babies' Best of all.

As I do every year , I went to the Hastings Lion's second hand Booksale. It was their 22nd sale and probably my 19th time in a row. The most books we have ever bought was 119 one time ; lots of kids' books that time. We used to just give the children a plastic bag and say; when that's full , come back to me. That was when children's books were 20 cents each. Now the kids books are $1. But the girls didn't feel like going this year.
Chris bought a bunch of records . Then went home.
I stayed much longer and bought a few reading books , a lovely home decorating book on shabby chique beach homes , a weaving book for a friend , some science magazines , an old alpine flower guide in old fashioned German writing , some sewing patterns and a dozen old fashioned children's annuals. I bought them for their covers. I have an idea......
Also made some felt beads this week for making bracelets. They will go well with some brightly coloured wooden beads I bought for a dollar a while ago. They feel nice and soft and look like velvet.
And my girlfriend N. and I have been pretty busy when we were able to. These are some of the things I sewed . A sweet baby dress with little pants , all made from 1970's sheets , and it is reversible. Even the pattern is retro ; from 1974.
So it's 2 dresses in one , and 3 pieces of fabric for each side so I could play with combinations of small pieces of fabric . This is one side and ...
...this is the other side. They are meant to fit a 2 year old. I hope they will sell at next weeks' Fair. This one still needs buttons and buttonholes.
This one is in pinks and blues and little rosebuds.
It all unbuttons and you can just flip it around , for when grandma arrives; toddler will be all tidy in a jiffy. I really just want to keep them , they are so cute.

Nov 10, 2009

Budding Artist in the family.

Last night we went to our eldest's high school to see the exhibition of the senior art students. Their art boards with their year's work had to be handed in , to be sent away for examination marking. And it was a good opportunity to show everyone involved what all the students had produced. Hours and hours of work , stress and doubts would have gone into these lovely boards. I am biased of course and thought my daughter's work to be one of the best!! Naturally....
True to form, she hadn't quite finished when we got there, and she was still fixing it to the board.
Luckily she got it done just before nearly everyone had gone, and with a big feeling of relief she put it up to be admired.
The overall feeling is light and she has a narrative . I believe it is about awakening to oneself.
It has influence from the Wizard of Oz and a Portugese artist called Vieira da Silva.
It has themes of eyes within eyes , and bodies entangled inside trees and cities, like mosaics.
I like this very much, an abstract city.
And I adore this , one of her last paintings. It is actually her sisters' face !
Well done girl, we hope you get a good mark!

Nov 9, 2009

Lilacs and Littlies

When I came back from the felter's convergence , with of course more thrifted fabrics for my Stash , I walked into my studio and it suddenly hit me..... I had reached maximum capacity!!
"Girl" , I told myself ," you have got to stop... Or seriously start doing something with it."
So I reconsidered what my girlfriend N. had suggested a short while ago ; that we start something together. So I got back to her with a plan : that we keep our own special skills for ourselves but that we get together in making and selling things from all those salvaged fabrics. Our first sales will be at the Rudolph Steiner Fair end of November. So we are now both starting to make a beginning hole in The Stash. We have a plan about quantities (probably too ambitious) and what kind of style and even a bit of a green philosophy about it.
It is quite exciting to have a goal , it doesn't seem so overwhelming now.
We also came up with a name for the joined work ; "Stitching Sisters".
Who knows where this will go.....?!
The first radishes I have ever grown! They are just so red! They were just about popping out of the ground ,so it's very easy to see if they are ready. You can just feel how fat they are at the top and pull gently if they feel right! Can't buy these at the supermarket...
Like the green tablecloth? Destined to be cut up into something cute , maybe some children's gardening pants.
And this is how I learned to eat radishes , from my Father-in-law , dipped in a little sugar. Crunchy with a little bite , these radishes are mild in heat. It makes a yummy snack , and I don't feel guilty about the sugar ; after all, we dip strawberries in chocolate....
The lilacs are in bloom. My love got this tree when it was a sapling and we didn't know what colour it would turn out to be. I was hoping for a lovely ,well , lilac colour , because I find white flowers often a bit bland. We were quite excited when this reddish purple came out. It smells divine!!! Can't stop myself ,each time I walk past , to take a sniff.
And the banksia rose looking at it's best . A froth of little yellow roses with garlands overhanging on our porch. Spring looks a little like a garden party at our house.
I found an old faded tablecloth quite a while ago.
It has children's pictures on it by Lucie Mabel Attwell , a very popular artist in her time. Although some of the pictures are extremely faded , I recognized them straight away , since I have a nice collection of vintage illustrated children's books .
I am now in the process of re-drawing the outlines with a light blue fabric pen. I studied the pictures in her old book , to see how she did the lines and the faces etc. My plan is to make some nostalgic bunting out of it , fit for a children's room. Unfortunately the fabric isn't strong enough for daily wear anymore , so lined as bunting just to look at and enjoy , seems the best way for re-purposing this tablecloth.
I wonder which children had their supper served on this?
I can only do it on a sunny day , so that I can see the faint outlines on the fabric. The solid colours have stayed on better . Here you can see 2 children on mother goose . A bit of a surprise , I couldn't see what was there at first. I think it will go well with soft faded polka dots or florals.

Nov 1, 2009

5 days of Fibre and Textile Indulgence.

I have had a crazy busy month. Yes a month!! But I must update about the Felters Convergence. It was fantastic..... so many new ideas , so many new people , so much learning , so much food.... Seriously : I feel like I have had Mother's Day for 5 days!!!
This is a close-up of the banner I donated to raise funds for the start of the next Felter's Convergence in Australia in 2011. I feel the silk on the surface helps to make it look like weather patterns on the earth.
This is the whole banner , I borrowed one of the latest Greenpeace Quotes , and I lined it with a fabric which had green words all over it about recycling and caring for the earth.
These are some of the other felted banners , about a quarter of them. They were all sold for $15, you just had to be in quick to choose the one you liked best. Mine went in the first half an hour , that felt good! I waited till the last day. I figured some wouldn't be liked as much, but I just wanted to donate , and I didn't care which one I ended up with. Well I got the black one with the blue and green butterfly machine embroidered on it. (you can see it in the middle near the top.) It is really pretty and must have taken ages!
A few of us concentrating on the lesson and writing notes , all while wearing our own funky hats. It was hat-day!! We also had a neck and a hip decorating day , not to mention an outrageous attire day. Lots of smiles at breakfast!!!
This was our stall for the bazaar afternoon , I just had my Bushbabies and flower brooches , and sold most of them!! Well that paid for my Masterton opshopping and wool and silk purchases! Members of the public could come to the bazaar and buy from us. In the evening most of us went on to 2 buses to the Wearable Art Awards in Wellington. A 2 hour drive there and back again. The show was magnificent and fantastically imaginative. The Top Twins were comperes , and had the audience in stitches at the same time with some of their comical characters. I managed to get their autographs after the show , which was a big buzz, since I have been a fan for at least 20 years. We didn't get back to Masterton until around midnight , some of us feeling a bit queezy , but excited none the less.
Then there was the fashion show of our own , with more than 60 garments. It was wonderful to see everyone's creations. Many photos were taken of each other , and we all ooh-ed and aah-ed. It was a marvelous way of encouraging and empowering one another.
Here I am in someones fantastically simple , yet flattering coat , reversible and fluid wool and silk. Since I am not shy I wore other peoples' garments and strutted my stuff , several times. This makes you miss out on seeing some of the clothes , but at the same time you get to see things close-up and touch them. Friends have already provided me with a disc of photos of all the garments , so I am happy...!
And yes, I loved this hat. You can wear it with the protrusions backwards too.
A little spider like , just right for Halloween!

Sep 17, 2009

Spring pastels and Creation myths.

I found an unfinished tapestry of little spring birds for $2. All the boring bits had already been done. The cottons were still there , except white , but I'll have that somewhere in my yarn stash. I might use it for the front of a sweet handbag , at some later date. Cute and Sugary colours.
I have been doing an evening school course this year , and am on my third course already , in water painting and chalk pastels. These are some of my latest pastel drawings . The theme of this course is Creation myths. The teachers reads us a myth from around the world and then we interpret it on paper , however you like. This is from the Maori legend of how Earthmother and Skyfather were separated by one of their children pushing them away , and letting in a spark of light.
The teacher often brings something to inspire a colour exercise , and this is my interpretation of a camellia flower , which bloom here in the wintertime. I am pleased with how I did all these tiny petals in the middle. I love playing with pastels , you get to use your fingers to rub in the colours and you can go over the top again to saturate or to blend with other colours . It's deliciously mucky !!
Here we were told the Celtic creation myth . The part I liked the best is when the Goddess Brighid spread her silver mantle onto the chaos of destroyed monsters and primeval soup on the earth . It's edges spread with white flames across the surface , which turned into a silver mist healing the earth. And making it fertile land.
I am trying to get better at drawing human shapes , but I seem to be better at flowers. So they are just a general shape. Main thing is I am having fun doing it.
This is the beginning of a banner in felt. In one& 1/2 weeks time I'll be going to the southern hemisphere felters convergence in Masterton. It goes for 5 days and there will be about 170 other felters from mainly New Zealand and Australia , and an invited guest artist from the UK. People will be donating skills and knowledge every day and you can choose (which will be really difficult..!) from about 4 different demos and lectures 4 times a day , plus slide shows , our own fashion show , themed days , a bazaar afternoon. And to top it off , we'll be going to the Wearable Art Show in Wellington.
I will have to take lots of things , like pen and paper , camera , show-and-tell , a banner for selling to raise funds for the next time (see beginnings above ), oh and a pair of binoculars for the show. It will be nice to see old felting friends again , and to meet new ones.
Most years I go to a felter's retreat , to meet with about 45 others from around NZ, and make felt together. It usually goes for 3 days and is great for new ideas and methods and new contacts. A lot of fun is had. I go home refreshed and inspired.
As you can imagine I am getting quite exited!!

Sep 11, 2009

Comforting and familiar.

OH look at them...
You wouldn't think that usually there is this constant battle for supremacy going on. Fox the big red will chase fat De-ja-vous , when the black boy gets too uppity. De-ja-vous will take it out on little grey Dana , Fox's sister cat. And Fox will also box her around the ears , although usually he tolerates her. But , when the fire is roaring , and tummies are full , all those rules of war are forgotten , and much snoring is achieved.
A gorgeous sunset above our street , rather spectacular ! Little bonuses like this in your day make me feel very grateful to be alive. We do have an amazing amount of sky above us , and sometimes we look down too much and just don't notice the ordinary.
A few weeks ago at school where I work as a teacher-aide , we were talking about our earth in relation to the sun and how seasons come about. The children were very excited about the fact that we are , right now, traveling at astounding speed through space. Positively zooming!!
Right now....!
I think a lot of people forget , including me , that we are traveling through this vast universe , with countless other stars and planets , and countless other galaxies.
But we look down too much in our own little individual worlds and lives . And forget to see the big picture. Probably because we can't actually see it all the time , and because it does make us, as earth dwellers , feel rather tiny and insignificant....
And that can be a very overwhelming and uncomfortable thought.
I guess I have been very impressed with the latest hubble-telescope pictures in the news the last few days.
Yes , my first link!!! Click on the coloured word and you will go to the hubble news site.
I feel so techno-savvy right now.......

Something comfortable now. It is Spring here. My Father's lovely wife picked some flowers for me from Mum's garden , gorgeously scented freesias. She then gave me this vase from the cupboard to take them home in. This vase has Mum written all over it , for me. She used it a great deal , during my child hood . It's very 70's , and has Gouda printed on the bottom.
I thanked her very much for the vase , because it actually means a lot to me.