Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Whatchya Doing?

I tried so hard to get an early night tonight but to no avail. The twinges in my body and the baby's movements are exacerbated when I try and lie down so I am left here sitting at my 'puter or wandering around in the middle of the night by myself while I watch my family slumber peacefully. I can sleep like that, from about 4am-midday. I did the hot bath and glass of wine thing to try and get relaxed but Knuckles and my body just won't co-operate.
My studio desk at night.
A whole lot of wool blankets, doileys and bits and pieces, all waiting for me to get sewing.
Tom0rrow my big mission is to get all these clothes for Knuckles washed in my yummy Eucalyptus Eco-Wash stuff. I better pack a bag for the hospital just in case someone puts in an early appearance. We are all getting excited. Last night ( post anti-natal class) hubby gave me a hug and told me "You are so brave." Haha, like I have a choice now! But actually I am feeling brave because that anti-natal class was so positive and we have two great kids now, so I know we are capable parents, and the pain of childbirth, well, that will happen but I think I have the breathing thing sorted and my focus too. And of course, there is always that wonderful thing called an epidural if I need it.I went shopping today and checked out the new Emporium in Porirua. Not too shabby, mostly just craft stuff but good to have an alternative to Spotlight. The prices are better too. And they sell mother-of-pearl buttons and cool threads. I spotted some small corks for making my own stamps later for printing and a few other bits and pieces but nothing too exciting. I got some pink embroidery thread (50cents) and some hooks so I can hang up the tea towels in our kitchen. Like I said, nothing to write home about. And some white gardening gloves for $3.60 a pack of five pairs for some new creations I am playing around with.
I also found a few odds and ends at the Salvation Army Family Store, a few baby things. Two sunhats (20 cents each), a lemon all-in-onesie bunnykins suit ($1) and two cotton sleeping bag thingies ($2.50 each). My most exciting find ... A giant tin of vintage buttons - all sorts, some covered in fabric, some glass, some old school plastic, all old! I think it's funny they assume someone will make necklaces from these. I love old stuff, I tried to use some new buttons on my creations and they just looked wrong. Mismatched, worn and odd buttons work best I reckon.
$10 the lot. Steep price for me, a bargain hunter but honestly this tin has so much in it, I would be an idiot not to get them.What is it about a button collection? I want to start sorting them out and playing with them, but the joy of a big messy tin full of buttons is to gorgeous to tamper with.So when I can sit comfortably enough for a period, I get sewing. Here is some stuff I am getting ready for a craft fair next week. If they don't sell, guess what all the whanau are getting for Xmas ...
Take a bunch of gloves ... some from the hardware store plus a couple of pairs from my hunting around secondhand shops. I love these baby blue ones, they are soft like chenille.
I don't know if I can give this one up. Marcus (6) gave him a life. His name is Jake Bear. He is an artist and goes to art school. He makes hard and soft things. He has a big heart for a little bear.

Some arms, legs and tails to be attached.

Torsos looking slightly macabre. My kids always think my stuff is slightly dark given their expressions and opinions when they chance upon scenes like this.

A bunny awaits a face, some embroidery and a story / name courtesy of my boys.

Slowly getting stuff gathered for a stall.

A tin full of pin cushions including some yo-yo ones I made using some of that quilt fabric my friend Liz gave me and some vintage buttons. They are so old school. And of course, my bottle cap cupcake pincushions. Boy, I hope I make some money. This baby still needs a few things.

I have enjoyed surfing around, checking out different websites. Here are some that I have enjoyed ... For an amazing tutorial on making cool crayons like these ...

Check out ... http://whimsy-girl.blogspot.com/2008/07/cool-chunky-crayons-tutorial.html. I think those crayons would be a neat gift to Marcus' teacher for her new entrants class as a thank you / Xmas pressie. I saw a muffin tin today at the op shop too. I think I will use mini muffin tins, get more bang for my buck. And guess what, I found a big box of crusty crayons not long ago either.
For more crafty ideas, check out http://craftsanity.com/ or http://blog.craftzine.com/. I love all those free tutorials.
Introducing Anna Torma's work ...

Rainy Day II, Tales - 2001

Playground I - 2002

I love to stitch (although I am still too impatient) and I think it was images of Anna Torma's work that helped me connect with the idea of mark making in this fashion. Anna Torma does amazing slow work, all hand done, inspired by her kids art.

Julie Arkell creates amazing mixed media creatures complete with knitted accessories. She papier maches, sews, sculpts and makes amazing story-type scenarios for each little creature. Having felt mocked and dismissed at art school somewhat for my love of craft and things that honour handmade, I feel a deep connection to ARTISTS like these ladies who meld both conceptual work and handcrafted creations to create meaningful and moving pieces. Their work moves me without even knowing the stories behind them, unlike some fine art pieces which although well-executed (sometimes) can also be incredibly cryptic and vague unless the artist 'undresses' their work in front of you. I think that is why I love crafting, it doesn't need to be pre-th0ught out but can be intuitive and still meaningful.

This next guy in a jar gives me a great idea. I have some of the kids creations just sitting on a shelf. I think I will create little speciman jars for them and get the kids to create stories to go with each one. Definitely love the jar guy. I love Anna Torma's and Julie Arkell's work. As textile artists, they are so inspiring. Go here to see more on both artists .... ttp://lovelytextiles.blogspot.com/. There's also an article on a knitter's wedding which looked fabulous, if I could do it again, I would definitely make it more in keeping with crafting and upcycling. And an article on Loop, an amazing wool shop that is so much more than a wool shop.

Finally http://www.soulemama.com/ has the most amazing creations. Check out her Flicker photo album. I want to be this industrious but first need to get my sewing a little stronger. Check out her kid's dress up corner. I want a corner like this for me. Next year, I am embarking on making my own wardrobe complete with clothes that I truly love and that can mix and match - all handmade.

I love her home. So much to see. I love her random cushions. At the Emporium today they were selling large cushion inserts for $10 each which gives me an idea for my own couches.

The current cushions are these frailish one's made from embroidered Indian silk remnants. With boys and handling they are not quite robust enough for pillow fights, hut building and sleeping on. I have been looking for a basic idea and like these made from, what else, vintage blankets. I am so doing this in my house. Might use old vintage flannel sheets for a softer pillow feel too, but just love these. Especially those buttoned up backsides of the cushions. And some blanket stitch. Next year I have decided to do tailoring at night school so I can learn to construct and finish things properly. I also want to do Photoshop and some photography classes for those all important 'action' shots and 'night' photos. Then if and when I return to art school, I will have a stronger skills base to work from. Of course, I am also keen to complete my counselling degree. I have my diploma and am qualified to work as a counsellor, but love the learning in this field. Plus being older now does mean I have a little more context and life experience to bring to the field. My ideal job would allow me to be creative, help others, travel and make money, as well as enhance my involvement with my family. I think crafting is the ideal vehicle for this.

3 comments:

Norma in NZ said...

Hi there, great to read about your personal crafting & sewing journal. All the best with the upcoming arrival of your little one.

twisted sister said...

3rd time lucky with my Best Wishes
thought about it
tried and failed
got it right?
All the very very best wishes for you and all your family
and my goodness are you creative

showyourworkings said...

Hey you! Your craft is looking great! We should catch up before sproglet arrives :)