Sunday, September 21, 2008

A welcome distraction

Boy, after my last post I really jinxed myself. I felt great for 3 days. And like I said - I was 'popping' with energy and enthusiasm. And then suddenly it wasn't me that was popping, it was just my ear. I've been laid out flat with a horrendous ear infection for the last week. My first one ever, and boy are they horrible - the worst pain ever, the dizziness, the nausea, and the walking into walls because balance is totally shot. Blah - who invented that one!!!

Anyway, I'm still deaf but starting to pick up, and I have been tagged by the lovely Flossy-P for the 'on my walls' meme. This couldn't have come at a better time, as I have nothing at all crafty to show or to talk about, and I'm pretty sure there's only so much whining about feeling crappy that people will put up with reading.

So I will do some show and tell instead, and I won't feel like I have totally neglected my blog.

Firstly, above is my favourite piece of wall decoration, and my only original piece of art; Inner Peace by Alesha Cox, who is an artist that lives on the Sunshine Coast. I'd had my eye on her paintings for a while, and watched her delivering some of her pieces to a gallery once - she seemed like such a nice person, which made her work appeal to me even more. So when the opportunity to buy one of her pieces arose, I jumped at it. This is in our lounge/dining area, and I like that it always reminds me to stop and breathe when I'm having a day that's a bit of a shocker.

Framed print of The Ride by Elsa Mora (Elsita). This hangs in our entrance at the bottom of the stairs, and puts a smile on my face each time I enter the house.

Green Birds On Flowers - a limited edition gocco print by Bernadette Sipkes (Sugarloop), a printmaker and illustrator from NZ. This hangs on the wall leading into our kitchen, and I love how it looks with all the natural light falling onto it, and our fire engine red kitchen tiles in the background set it off so nicely (I couldn't manage to get them into the shot, sorry!)

This original batik painting, stapled to a wooden frame, was bought by Matt before I met him, while he was traveling through Indonesia. Matt has always loved it, and I was never much of a fan, but it has grown on me over the years, and I now find the spooky faces familiar and comforting.

These are actually paintings I did when I was pregnant with Lee. I wanted to decorate his nursery, but we couldn't afford to buy anything at the time. So I decided to have a crack at some simple paintings myself. They now live in the kids playroom, but will probably be outgrown soon. Now you can see why I sew, rather than paint :P

And what would a family home be without kid art and photos.

We have some beautiful professional photos of the kids, but I'm afraid I'm not going to show them in any detail here - for one thing, I think we are always much more enamored of our own photos than other people are, and also it's just a bit too personal for me. But I will proudly show off my kids' bedroom, which for me is a little work of art in itself, complete with colour, their own artworks, and many many treasures.

Train Collage by Lee. He told me what pieces he wanted - I cut them out for him and he put the whole thing together. We then framed it in an old frame I bought in an Op Shop for $1.

Rainbow Painting, Christmas Tree Collage, and Rocket Mobile by Lee, and Wiggly Picture by Kate. I love these, they are so happy!

Stained Glass Windows by Lee and Kate. After seeing something similar on Playschool we decided to have a crack at making some windows ourselves. Admittedly they look a bit crap when you're standing outside looking in, but they look lovely from inside the kids' bedroom, and they love looking out from them.

Bling Bling Mountain Bike Collage by Lee
- a Father's Day present for Matt last year. This one has pride of place in Matt's little office.

And now I get to tag some people, and I'm going to choose three very creative gals who always amaze me with their own works of art. So I'd be very interested to have a sticky at what they have on their walls, if they have the time and inclination to play :)

The Tiny Little Girl

Twinkle Star Art

Hey Harriet

Play if you'd like to. Or don't. Whatever makes you happy. No pressure :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Back to the land of the living

Well it really feels like Spring has arrived. Not because of the glorious weather, the buzzing of bees, or the birds that now wake us up at 5am each morning (which my husband hates, and I quite like). But after two weeks of horrid sickness, I now feel well and renewed, and bursting with Springtime energy. I want to clean and make and play and bake and I want to do it all NOW!!!!

I feel like I'm pop pop popping, just like these poppies I bought from the markets on the weekend (I love the way they 'pop' out of their hairy pods, and a gorgeous colourful crepe-like flower unfurls....I also love guessing what colour each flower will be before it 'pops' out. Hey is this why they're called 'POPpies'???)

Anyway, so I've been getting in amongst it, firstly with the cleaning, which I am sadly behind in after weeks of just doing the bare minimum. Then on the weekend I had a huge urge to sew something different. Something not for the shop, not for a gift for someone else, not something for the kids, but something for me. And I didn't want to make something I've already made before. I felt like a challenge.

So I went for another mash-up.

Basically, I took a gorgeous piece of $2.00 Op Shop fabric (stiff white seersucker with blue polka dots) and mashed up two patterns to create a dress. I was hoping for something a bit 'Alice in Wonderlandy' with a 50s edge.

I am pretty happy with it actually.

The two patterns I used were Simplicity 4589 (view A) and Simplicity 3835 (view A - the long dress) and they mashed up pretty easily.

I also made a belt from a vintage buckle I had, and wallah! So next time I'm invited to an Alice in Wonderland tea party, I'm good to go.

Maybe Melanie will provide the crockery!!!

I've also had a couple of nice surprises which brightened up my days during my lapse into lurgydom.

I won a wonderful book on how to make wallets from Cass from Snailblazer.

I especially like the ankle wallet. My son would love this - can't wait to give it a try!!!

And I was very generously given a Brillante Weblog award from Shells (Pixie Kisses).

Thanks so much Shells, you write a lovely blog, and I hope you don't mind if I shirk my obligation and simply pass this award onto anyone who is nice enough to be leaving a comment on this blog. I always check out the blogs of people who comment (you should see my heaving bloglines) and I am constantly inspired and humbled by the creativity and insightfulness of craft bloggers. It is what pushes me to be more creative, more grateful, and to find as much happiness as possible in the little things. Thank-you :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

It's not a wedgie dahrling, it's art!

I've had a long couple of days. Two kids down with fevers and a very work-stressed husband. I tried to grab a few minutes for myself when I attempted to do the photos of some new bags for my Etsy shop. I'd had the bags made for days, but just couldn't find time to photograph them.

I finally did it, and that night I got ready to upload them. And realised that all the photos of me holding the bags look like I'm trying to pull a wedgie out of my bum. Noice.

I looked at them. I sighed. And I thought "oh bugger it" and uploaded them anyway.

And then I found my sense of humour and decided to make the wedgie shots the main display photos. And I also made them my featured items. Because that's about where I am right now - what the hell, here look at me picking a wedgie. I just don't care anymore.

For the record, I actually have my hand in my back pocket.

For some reason, I thought it might look hip!

Apparently not...

Ok, so just to make sure you don't all go to bed tonight and have wedgie nightmares, here's a sweet chaser.

I made this last Sunday morning, just an hour before we had to go to a birthday party for a four year old. All reclaimed fabrics except for the giant ric rac - super quick and easy, and quite satisfying.

The brooch was a little something I'd prepared earlier (as in about 6 months ago) and seemed to add a little festivity to the number. Kate thought it was great - a twirly pink and purple polka-dotty party skirt. What more could a two year old want? Actually, what she did want - and insist upon - was pants to wear under the skirt. We finally agreed on some footless tights. Maybe she was worried about wedgies.......

Edited to add - I just realised I am wearing my "Isn't Life Great" t-shirt in all these photos. Somehow that seems fitting...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Vintage Man seeks Vintage Woman

I think my favourite ring has been putting out dating ads in the Classified section of the Craftosphere Monthly. And luckily for him, his call was answered at the last BrisStyle Meet-up, where he met this lovely lady.

It was love at first sight.

They were destined to be together.

And they lived happily ever after.....

Epilogue: Little did 'Vintage Woman' know it was all an arranged marriage, and although money did not actually change hands, there was, let us say, and 'exchange of goods' for her lovely mean...head...

Thank-you Helen (Ruby 2 Go Go) for this lovely gift, and I am glad you enjoyed your own little parcel of goodies :)