Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nesting ...

I am reading so much these days ... here are a few of the many books I can be found swimming in, literally. I'd love to write more... for lifestyle magazines or something but my reading list grows. I once had over 50 books out from the local library. Ludicrous but true, and yes, I do actually read them.
I bought some fabric inks so will have a go at printing my own fabrics using lots of the ideas in this great tutorial book. I love the baby shoes and want to make some using Pacific Island prints and mother of pearl buttons. Adorable! Maybe even some matching beanies and bibs too. Ooooo ... an appliqued t-shirts.
The "Summer Crafts" book has great ideas for the kids plus a tote I wanna have a go and make. I can't really sew so have to doddle my way through. "The Constance Howard Book Of Stitches" is one of my fave's. I think I have got it out at least half a dozen times this year. Minerva stock it and I keep meaning to buy me one of my own but it's pricey and the local library has it (when I give it back) - by the way, all these books can be found in our local library here in Porirua.
I love this style of book. I can read these and peruse the eye-candy of all these homes that upcycle and use vintage goods to create the most delicious spaces.
Which is how I got the energy to tackle a long-overdue project of our own here at home...
I love making stuff which often means I am distracted. So housework and organising other things doesn't have a high priority. Of course, dear husband is happy to chip away at the daily things like dishes and laundry whilst I rest and grow a baby. (Of course I do stuff too but he is pretty precious!)
Today we achieved a lot. We cleaned out and tidied up the garage, studio room and all the piles of my art and craft supplies that litter our home. All that's left is for me to sort and sift through my things. The 'before' pictures don't quite do it justice, but the study was literally covered in projects and the detritus that goes with each one. The cane baby bassinet was filled with fabric and thread and tapa cloth. And there was NO clear floor space. I am so proud of the clear floor space and have moved all my projects from around the house back into the studio. Am now struggling with the idea of three kids in their one room but I feel the need to have this space for myself. O Lord, I need a miracle - a big ridiculous house of my own with a bedroom for each of the boys, and a shared big communal space where I can art out, hubby can do music and work, and the boys entertain all their mates, plus huge indoor/outdoor entertainment space for big whanau gatherings.
Literally no room to move, the desk is buried and the baby has no place to rest it's head (Just like another famous baby once, born at Xmas time in a manger somewhere in the middle East).
I can see the floor and the top of my desk now!
I love my vintage tins from Trash Palace for about 50c each. Great for tidying away all the odds and sods from my sewing. Used my nifty label maker to sort our embroidery cottons, tivaevae threads, silk threads etc.
Felts in red container, some beads in the blue shoe box, pins and bits for pincushions in plastic box and cogs/treasures in the wooden carpenter box ($1 at Trash).
A wee corner gets a rethink with some felted balls, a cool heart stone and a wee pile of driftwood tied with a piece of hemp string and some seed pods. I love these mini installations of our treasure walks from our trips around NZ. The scallop shells are from Mission Bay, Auckland, Eastern Beach and also Mt Maunganui.
I have this idea next year to dedicate a year to making things and selling them. Being home gives me the perfect excuse to indulge myself and make some moolah as well. Plus I want to start a crafty girls group too. A few exist in this region but I want a local one that meets regular, so I thought 'why not start one'?!
I make something everyday. Today I found some beautiful dried leaves that friend Cleo brought back from her trip to Gisborne last year. I threaded them into a lei. I love their colour and they are too beautiful to put away. They now hang from my studio window.
I finally got around to cleaning out my plastic bag of munted embroidery threads, winding them onto little plastic spools and putting them in this tin. Totally inspired by Melissa at Tiny Happy ( and her little box of threads too.
New Zealand has so many talented women who are creating and making a living while raising their families. Filling their lives and homes with beautiful and meaningful things is really a happening thing here these days. It is reminiscent of when I was a child and my grandmother crafted everything in our home - all our furnishings, clothes, foods, toys, and games. And my grandfather was a cabinet maker so he built all our furniture. These days we are not so much motivated by necessity but rather a desire to simplify, reduce waste and create things which are not just purposeful but also lovingly made.
Here are some blogs I loved cruising through this week ... there are so many but these are local girls, so big ups to Wellington region crafters, go us! Check out their recommendations to other crafty NZ bloggers as well but warning, this blog-hopping gets addictive and before you know it, it's 3am in the morning.
My journal is filling up again. My third one this year. I love this one. I covered it with wool blankets and a beautiful handstitched doiley I found in an op-shop then crocheted a border with an orange silk thread. I further embellished it with a feather stitch in different threads, and it ties up with a olive green ribbon secured with pink buttons. Colourful for me personally but again, a nod to my feminine side which is sorely outnumbered by the boys in this house. Funny it took me to have three sons and a husband to bring out the 'girl' in me.
Sometimes I doodle my design ideas...
Scrawl in illustrations that have inspired me from elsewhere, even a leaf from the garden ...
Other times its words, lots of them, just spilling my thoughts out. I do try and keep my journal upbeat even during hard times. As authentically as I can because it is my book for me alone, however I find that if I write horrible stuff, I just want to rip it out later, so I do try and spin a positive angle wherever I can.
I encourage the kids to design their own toys and here are some of Marcus creations, we made one a couple of weeks back together. I love them doodling in my book. I love Marcus's frog, ducky and super bug shark. How about a fluffy pirate or an old grandma? He wrote a story about his 'little' dad in his story book at school and I still love teasing my husband about that one. When I asked Marcus what he meant by 'little' he just answered tactfully 'that's just how I wrote it Mum because that's how the story goes' ... hmmm.
I also visited with the Mana Embroidery Guild last Wednesday and look forward to my return visit this Wednesday morning, as they meet weekly for a stitch-in.
Tomorrow is the local Feltmakers gathering at the Gear Homestead, so I am looking forward to my visit there too as I have used all my white merino wool up and need some more. (Thank you for the warm welcome ladies). Then Thursday the textile girls get together and craft etc, so will be investigating some more. I enjoy attending groups from time to time, and now that art school is no longer a fixture, am determind to find other travellers that are happy to have me skipping down their path when I need some crafty community and to share the excitement of crafting with other craftivists.


Anonymous said...

Awww, thanks for the mention and the birthday wishes, been thinking about you :) Hxx

ecologicalartist said...


Just wanted to thank you for looking at the blog, and leaving me India Flint's information. Her book looks amazing, I am going to be ordering it. Hope to hear from you again soon.