Monday, August 31, 2009

New brooches

I realise I've been very quiet on the craft front lately, but I have been busily working away on several ideas and experimenting. My focus has been on developing the 3D felt brooches and playing with colour. This first one is a design that started with the colour combination. It's a birthday gift for my friend Sally, an artist who specialises in colourful abstractions. This watermelon colour is her favourite...

For this one, I wanted to see how I could incorporate fabric into the design. This, in turn, meant that I had to finish off the edges properly to minimise fraying, so the joins for the felt had to be more substantial as well. I hand-stitched all of these together and I think it has a marine, coral-like look to it...

From there, I became interested in the idea of the 3D felt pieces being like a patchwork and hand-stitched the joinery in this manner with embroidery thread. I think I went a bit overboard with the embroidery thread, doing little bits and pieces everywhere, but it was fun ;) I added the printed paper and white felt as a base to provide a plain foil to the heavily stitched front.

My daughter was playing with femo and I had an idea of making femo base plates for brooches, with holes for stitchery etc. We had fun making our shapes together but I think we need a lot more practice at developing sustainable structures! This one managed to hold its own and I decided to crochet a section onto it. It has sort-of worked but I'm still thinking about what it needs to be finished...

AND... last but not least, colour again! I was having a look at the lovely Tiel's work on her blog Tsk Tsk, and, feeling very inspired by her gorgeous triangle colour combinations, decided to have a go...

This 3D brooch actually has some very nice, unexpected variations to its form. I rather like it :)

So, what have you been experimenting with? If I don't already know you, leave a site address so I can visit your site for a peek :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Finds: a bedspread + a blog

I found this amazing 70s cotton bedspread on the street this week. Actually, I couldn't believe my luck and felt sure that someone was going to rouse on me the minute I picked it up ;) I mean, who would throw out such a treasure? Anyway, there were no shouts... no rousing... So, I've washed it and let it dry in the sun and I've had it draped over the sofa on my back deck, admiring it while cooking up plans of what I could do with it...

Then I discovered this gorgeous blog, Loz and Dinny... have you come across this treasure yet? Well, the lovely Gemma has a different kind of giveaway going on at the moment... She has been given a roll of retro trimming and she's decided to distribute pieces to anyone keen on joining her project. You make something, using her trimming and then she judges her favourite at the end of September...

So.... you know what I'm thinking, don't you? Gorgeous 70s fabric from bedspread + gorgeous retro trimming = 3 Sheets winning entry... (hopefully!) Pop over to Loz and Dinny if you'd like to make something with this lovely trim. Don't you just love Gemma's banner photo of those two lovely ladies in their frocks? :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Good things come in 3s!

Remember a week or so ago, I won this wonderful paper sculpture from the lovely Nicola at My Handmade Heart?

Well, yesterday, I discovered I'd won not only this gorgeous brooch from RE-Read...

... but also my very own beret to be crocheted in the colour of my choice by the fabulous Melanie at M*...! How lucky am I?!

I was thinking now might be a good time to rush out and get a lottery ticket... but you know, I think that'd be pushing my luck ;) I'm more than lucky right now, don't you think?

Thanks Melanie, thanks Re-Read, and thanks again to Nikki!


Oh dear, this is getting embarrassing! Look what I've just found in the letterbox! A Pay-It-Forward from Crafty Rie! Isn't it fabulous? Look at all this crochet and card goodness! At least, as a Pay-It-Forward you know that I have some bundles to make up and send out myself. Oh, and some other Yin-Yang is that our car just got broken into... Phew, isn't it funny how too many good things make you nervous and a bit of work-to-come or bad luck makes you feel so relieved? :)

Thank you Crafty Rie - I'm sorry if I sound ungrateful - I'm actually totally overwhelmed! Thanks for such a lovely bundle of goodies :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Inspiration: Radical Cross-Stitch

I've seen quite a lot of inspiring pieces coming out of Eastern Europe on the Net lately - a different way of thinking; a new approach to traditional arts which I find so exciting. This is the work of Severija Incirauskaite-Kriauneviciene, a Lithuanian textile artist, teacher and curator, who took part in the Strich & Faden - Heimat, Folk Art and Travesty art exhibition in Berlin, June 2009. The German expression "nach Strich und Faden" means to do something thoroughly, with great artistry and precision, but the term has also gained connotations of trickery or deceit in contemporary language. Severija Incirauskaite-Kriauneviciene's piece for the exhibition (detail above), Way of Roses, uses cross-stitch on car parts as a means of showing the beauty in the everyday and also to challenge the traditional artistic hierarchy of what can be considered 'high art'. You can find this and Severija Incirauskaite-Kriauneviciene's other work on her website here and there's a Flickr Set for the Strich & Faden exhibition here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Creative Space - Thinking + Sketching

My Creative Space is mostly internal this week. I've been thinking and planning things in my head. Sketching ideas and playing with shapes and shading.

I've also been finishing off a lot of projects you've seen before. Mostly, I'm on the dreaded production line with my Green Bags. I've decided to take things more slowly now. I want to develop ideas and try not to be so flighty... jumping from one thing to the next. So, you may not see me doing Creative Space every week from now on.

To see more Creative Spaces, visit Kirsty's here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Winners are grinners...

... and I'm certainly grinning here! :) The lovely Nicola at My Handmade Heart had a giveaway last week and guess who won one of her exquisite paper sculptures? Yep, grinning me! The only problem is where to place it? It looks good everywhere...

...maybe in the planter box? It has a fabulous public art look about it there!

... maybe on my bedside shelf? So gorgeous but very selfish of me...(geddit?). So, maybe on the sideboard? ...but that's not really the centre of the room...

I think I know the best place. Sorry for the washed out photo, but don't you think it looks wonderful here? Thank you Nicola for such a fabulous giveaway! To see all of Nicola's amazing paper sculptures and craft works you can visit her blog here and her Etsy store here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

More inspiration...

I've been so overwhelmed lately by the magnitude of inspiring talent out there... I could so easily just give over my blog and all my time to trying to document all of them. I could, but, then again, what to do with this finger-itchy feeling that makes me want to start experimenting myself?! Brie Ruais is my latest OMG-how-amazing-are-you-*girl-crush*... Even though I've been obsessively loving the crochet lately, my love for embroidery is still going strong. Ruais is a self-confessed hoarder and collector of ephemera and she often incorporates her finds into her work. And this is part of what I find so exciting - it's the mixed media aspect of weaving together disparate objects with a finely honed and delicate skill which just blows me away :) Her website is here and I found her via this lovely blog.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Stash: Fabric #6

Another Sunday, another stash! This is my very favourite Cloth fabric, "Wattle". I also have a couple of cushions in this pattern as well... just love it. You can find more Cloth fabric here. If you'd like to see other stashes, visit Tamara's here or check out the Flickr set here.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Creative gardening

Weekend thoughts turn to gardening... and there's quite a bit of innovation going on in this arena. I'm always looking for ways to bring plants into the house. I often find interiors stale without this living entity breathing life into the surroundings. So, first up is Green Pockets (above). Ceramic tiles made from recycled materials, these cleverly-designed pieces are the work of Maruja Fuentes and give the illusion that the plants are actually growing out of the walls. Found via here.

Another interior gardening innovation is the Sky Planter designed by Patrick Morris. This is quite an amazing concept... An internal reservoir system feeds water directly to the roots of the plant so nothing dips out of its seemingly upside down ceramic pot. Usually I have quite a strong aversion to hanging baskets but I think if you chose your plants wisely this could actually look quite gorgeous. I also like the way it gives the illusion of being a pendant lamp ;) See more at Imaginative Growth. Found via here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Find: Crystallographica

No doubt you've noticed a distinct preoccupation in what's catching my eye of late... I am so obsessed with architectural forms at the moment. What can I say? It's a disease. One I'm more than happy to indulge in though! :)
I came across the wonderful site of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp quite by accident and thus discovered the work of Irina Shaposnikova and her pieces for the 4th Year's final graduate show. I want to learn how to do this - I just love the construction of these pieces. They are a bit Martine Sitbon and a bit Balenciaga, don't you think? Hmm.. dreaming of being able to actually sew like this. Hope you enjoy these beautiful daydreams :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Creative Space - Wooden + Felt Brooches

Is it Thursday already? This week has gone by so quickly! My Creative Space this week is a bit of play / work in progress... I've been trying to figure out some way to make my printed felt shapes into brooches. They need something to make them a bit edgier, a bit more interesting. So, I've been playing with balsa wood. It's so easy to carve and (as I discovered!) you can even sew through it :) I am concerned that it's not exactly the strongest of materials... one sharp twist and it will crack... however, I'm going to experiment with coating them or maybe soaking them in something to give them a bit more structural integrity. If anyone has any ideas, that'd be great :)

You can see other spaces or play along with My Creative Space yourself by visiting Kirsty's site here.

p.s. I also put together a little surprise for a "G" person last night... do you know who you are?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

2nd Crochet Class

Well, it's official... I can now crochet a granny square! The world is mine :) ...well, at least I've secured my entrance criteria for the nursing home! ;) It was a lot easier than I thought. I'm going to have a look at some other methods too... I think the wonderful Meet Me at Mike's craft book has a different design for these things... In the meantime, a new yarn purchase below for your eyes to feast on. It's actually an incredibly smooth cotton... can't wait to start practising my grannies! It's a public holiday in Brisbane today - People's Day at the Royal Show. Have a lovely day :)


My bestie flies out this morning... she's moving to Chicago with her family for 5 years. This was us about 20 years ago - before children, before partners... just climbing trees and doing silly things. Bye Sar :(

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Print/Craft + Synchronicity

I think this is the first time I've ever posted about the same artist on both of my blogs, let alone on the same day...! Perhaps this gives you some indication of the extent of my delirium about this work ;) I love sewing and I love paper, so when someone comes along who actually sews paper, I get pretty excited. But groan not... This is a separate post and not a cut & paste job! Read about Evelin Kasikov's book project Printed Matter on my other blog, Scissors + Paper Rock! right here.

Now that that's all sorted, let me tell you about Evelin Kasikov's poster work, Gil Sans Light... Graphics-savvy readers out there will recognise this title as the name of a typeface and they've probably already identified the CMYK palette of Kasikov's threads as well... So, no surprises then that Kasikov's work is very much about craft within the context of graphic design. Cyan, Magenta and Yellow are of course the primary colours from which all others are created and we see this happening all the time in other areas of the visual arts - paints are mixed, light shows etc. I don't know about you, but this is the first time I've seen someone do this with embroidery thread and I think it's pretty cool! Kasikov has created the illusion of other colours, like the green in the "a" posters... By cross-stitching cyan and yellow on the page, the "a" begins to look green once the eye has enough distance from the paper to blend the colours. This is so exciting and I feel truly inspired to experiment myself with this amazing technique.

You can find more of Kasikov's work on her website here and on her Flickr photostream here. I found her via this lovely blog here.