Sunday, 31 July 2011

come fairies...

'Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame! '
William Butler Yeats

The sun has finally come out in Sydney, a beautiful weekend and all seems rosy again. The babes spent two hours after school last Friday under the Crepe Myrtle tree creating the most intricate fairy garden, fairy queen house, elves river (complete with water and bridge) and very clear directions (written on gum leaves of course) to the bird bath should they wish to bathe in this beautiful sunshine. Simplicity.

The next morning at 8.15am my very special friend gave birth to her beautiful new baby girl and I wondered if it may have been somehow related to the fairies that played in the girls fairyland that evening.

Welcome to the world little fairy - we are so looking forward to getting to know you.

[glass raindrops and zinc stars hanging above the fairy garden - heaven in earth]

Friday, 29 July 2011

craft kit

I don't often brag... but I can admit that the Babes have a fairly fantastic craft box. It's actually several boxes that contain the usual stickers, toilet rolls and pipe cleaners but then expands into offcuts of fabric, origami papers, framing board, timber veneer offcuts, lino, bubble wrap and more, an awesome collection of beads and buttons as well as paints, pastels, crayons, pens and glitter glue galore. When kids come to play they always head straight to the craft boxes - which suits me fine because I lack any skills in the sport departments.

So it seemed a fairly natural thing that for Babe2's special friend's birthday, we should put together a 'craft kit'. We loved sourcing the contents from discount stores and art supply stores. We put the collected bits into little ziplock bags, printed out ID stickers and then stamped them with a floral stamp. Packaged it all up and here's the result. So much joy to make and so much joy to give. In fact it was such a hit that we've spent the afternoon packaging things up again for a special 3 year old cousin's birthday on the weekend.

Friday, 22 July 2011

festive fruit by amy moss

Beautiful downloadable drink bottle labels from Amy Moss' Eat Drink Chic

As I sit here, freezing cold in the wettest July Sydney has had in 60 years (all plans to dig a hole for a pool on hold), I was longing for some sunshine... when I came across these gorgeous fruit drink bottles on Amy Moss' site Eat Drink Chic. Their vision filled me with 'virtual warmth'! In her usual, very generous way, she has included the labels as free downloads in case you want to bring a little sunshine into your day today. Thank you Amy... now back to the pouring rain.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

wall necklace

I saw, and promptly fell in love, with a great big bag of these timber beads. The larger ones are 25mm diameter and they had a 'please hold me' aura about them. So I threaded them up into this wall necklace (the larger beads being threaded into a length of about 4m or more). Now everyone who walks past tends to touch it so the 'please hold me' aura seems to be universal.

When mum came to visit she asked if it was inspired by her beads? She bought these Rosary beads at a street market in Mexico City about 30 years ago and they have always hung on a wall in their home. They too are about 25mm diameter timber and are about 3m long beads and of course they must have been my subliminal inspiration - though I didn't quite realise at the time - which lead me to thinking, again, about inspiration vs copies in my work and that that I observe online.

Having working in TV and Radio for most of my professional career, copyright and appropriate sourcing of material are topics close to my heart. If this is something you're interested in reading more about then you might like to check out these discussions:
- Design Sponge's great 3 part discussion on Online Etiquette and Ethics
- Decor8's real talk column DIY is not Duplicate It Yourself!
- and Bloesem's discussion Find the Differences...

Thursday, 14 July 2011

loving this font

I'm loving this font. Just did Babe2's birthday treat bags with it and they look super cute. Download the Ali Edwards Font here.

[Ali Edwards font download for personal use here
Tags from Tada Printables
Baker's Twine available from Cute Tape 
Paper bags from Paper Eskimo
Mini pegs from discount store]

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

rise and shine - a corner of home

I'm not much of a morning person. I love to sleep. This is a corner in the hall just outside my bedroom door. It's far enough from bed to know that when I read it I've already managed the 'rise' part and I find that just saying the little mantra can sometimes help with the 'shine' part. After all... 'rise and grump' doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

[Scrabble letters from David Met Nicole
Porcelain feathers from Have You Met Miss Jones]

Monday, 11 July 2011

... and so it begins

Our Development Application has finally been approved... ready set go! 

[Image courtesy of MorgueFile - a great source for royalty free images]

Thursday, 7 July 2011

grazed knees and climbing trees

Grazed Knees and Climbing Trees

I've have just finished some larger format etchings (500mm x 500mm) using drypoint technique - see above and below- where I've re-envigorated some earlier plates and put them together to tell a new story.

I'm also currently studying wood-cut relief printing with the Roslyn Kean (who's thoroughly amazing) and might have some examples to show soon. It's very different process, all hand printed without a printing press and water based inks - so no chemicals. Loving it very much.

Sunshine and Shadows

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

white porcelain - a corner of home

My lovely sister-in-law Jules just gave me these beautiful eggcups and teacups from Keith Brymer Jones. She bought them on a trip to Melbourne but you can find them online. I have already had many delicious cups of tea in one of the love cups, but the eggcups and spare teacup are just too beautiful for the cupboard... so they have joined the echidna's (see below) on our mantlepiece. Beautiful.

echidna friends - a corner of home

Babe1 made these little echidna friends out of air drying clay, matchsticks and toothpicks. They live in a corner of the mantlepiece amongst my collection of white porcelain. They always make me smile.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

felt pebbles - a corner of home

These beautiful pebbles have just arrived from Delica and have found a new home sitting snug and warm in their beautiful Mud Australia bowl by the fire... however the Babes have also rather taken to them so they've also spent a fair amount of time being laid out in pebble paths down the hall... apparently it's a better place for the fairies to find them. 

Saturday, 2 July 2011

history of a house


This one was pre-kids. We'd lived there about 5 years then took about 1 year to renovate it.
HIGHS: Doing most of the work ourselves we learnt alot and saved a fortune.
LOWS: Doing most of the work ourselves meant that whilst LovelyOne was working on the site most of the time, I was working long corporate hours and tiling at midnight! We lost a year of social life partly because we were always building and partly because we were broke, saving pennies and sharing my generous parents house.
HINDSIGHT: A great project and Babe1 was born at that house, it has wonderful memories and we still miss that home alot. .. or maybe we miss being 20 something?


This was a different story. Babe1 was one year old and Babe2 was on the way (part of the incentive to move). We put our lives into storage and moved to about 4 different addresses to house-sit and save money on rent whilst the build was happening. LovelyOne was working day and night jobs and I was home being mum so almost the whole build was outsourced.
LOWS: Life situation meant not being able to do much ourselves and costs escalated quickly. At first I was heavily pregnant with toddler - then later had a newborn and toddler - for the daily site visits. Whenever I looked away Babe1 fell through holes in the floor, played in sawdust and mud or was up to her elbows in tins of house paint.
HIGHS: Not having to do the hard slog and having a professional finish.
HINDSIGHT: A few years on it had all proved too expensive and we decided to sell and move to a 2 bedroom cottage in the suburbs to recoup a bit. We miss the space and even though we were so, so lucky to live in such a big, beautiful renovation we seem to not miss the house as much... or maybe we don't really miss the blur of two babes under 2!


...and so we found home. The first couple of years were about the garden. Audrey arrived in the first few months and we discovered all the fencing needed replacing. LovelyOne removed a rotting chook shed and dilapidated duck compound, dug out a field of Ginger-lily and Lantana and we discovered old Camellia's, Roses and Rosea's along the way. I weeded and weeded and planted and planted then we built a network of decks (performance stages for dance concerts by the Babes), a vegie patch, treehouse and makeshift basketball court. Then it was on to planning the new renovation and since then it's been about refinements, waiting, Council fees, expensive flood studies, waiting, more Council fees and more flood studies and more waiting. We continue to love and enjoy our little slice of heaven and continue to wait .... and Audrey turned 4 last weekend.

Friday, 1 July 2011

welcome to the princess fun

Happy weekend and may it be filled with flowers, fun, prince's, princesses, kings and queens.

fabric covered notebooks

I have just made these fabric covered notebooks for my mum for her birthday. Inspired by Carly Schwerdt's Moopy Notebook Cover in Meet Me at Mike's book, I made up a very simple pattern. The front cover is a patchwork pattern and can be any layout you like (the overall size is below).
Mine were made to fit A5 notebooks so the dimensions are something like this....

1. Make the patchwork cover and then cut to overall size (37.5cm x 25cm)
2. Cut the back and sides (they can all be different fabrics)
3. Use iron-on interfacing on the back piece
4. Lay out the pieces in this order > Back piece (right side up) > side pieces (right side up) > front piece (right side down)
5. Sew together using 1.5cm seam allowance leaving a 5cm gap between start of stitching line and the end of the stitching line to turn inside out
6. Turn inside out and iron flat
7. Embroider or decorate as you like and slip over an A5 notebook. Happy Birthday mum.