Sunday, 28 January 2007

Crime Fighters

Just thought I would share some illustration work I have done. I was part of a group of people who labouriously animated this video for local Auckland rapper, Coco Solid. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, 26 January 2007

Next Project???

I found this pattern at 'Auckland's Biggest Garage Sale'. It was in fact the only thing I found in a warehouse sized garage sale, how disappointing! Originally I was going to use the pattern as wrapping paper but when I unearthed it from under piles of paper on my desk and had a good look at the glamorous ladies on the front, my mind sprouted with possibilities. I am quite taken with the dress/ robe in the middle. If I made it a good 4 inches longer and added a few inches on either side (no my waist is not 25 inches), this could be the great go-go dress of my dreams. My only worries are the zip and the fact that I have never sew any article of clothing for myself before. Why should that stop me though?

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

yo brother

Before today I never realised the brand name of my sewing machine is 'brother' that's got soul! If amendments are allowed (and they are) I would change the name ever so slightly to 'mother' or 'soul mother' because the machine was gifted to me by my mother-in-law, which was gifted to her by her mother and someday I will pass along to my daughter.
My mother-in-law gave this machine to me a few years ago at a time when sewing was very far from my mind. I was working full time as a child care teacher which left me too exhausted and used up to do anything creative. I had stopped drawing , writing in my journal, reading, seeking out new music, and in a lot of ways, stopped feeling like myself. It was a strange time for me.
But recently after weeks hunting around the multiple storage areas on my in-laws property, I resurrected the brother! Teaching myself how to sew has been a lesson in patience and persistence. Here are some things that I have been doing to help me through the beginners stages:
1) always plan on the project taking twice as long as it should
2) 'when is doubt, take it out'. Starting again takes longer but you'll never be happy if you leave the mistake, which leads me to number 3.....
3) keep seam rippers handy
4) have lots of cheap or recycled fabric around for experimenting
5) Sew with soul. For me this means enjoying the process -I drink coffee, listen to Joanna Newsom, wear my hair in braids, tap my feet, talk to the dog.
6) keep records of what I have made by making patterns, taking notes and photographing the results. This helps me go back over work and learn from mistakes.

How did you learn to sew and what helped you on your way?

Above is the bag I made yesterday and it took a jolly long time.


Monday, 22 January 2007


Journals are personal. They contains our thoughts, our stories, our doodles and drawings, so isn't it fitting that they be made by human hands and not machines? I made these journal covers last week out of fabric scraps and felt cut outs. I am planning on doing more, possibly a few black line drawings on white felt, so keep an eye out.

Thursday, 18 January 2007

Where I live

This is a 3-dimensional collage I made of the street we live on (our building is to the right of the yellow cafe:) and gave to my husband for his birthday back in August. I've made a few of these and I call them my dioramas. When constructing them I am always reminded of being in primary school making dioramas of Where the Red Fern Grows as part of our book reports. After being completely devastated by the story (beloved dogs die in this novel folks, it's not for the faint of heart), my diorama contained only a little grave site - a solemn and minimalistic tribute to a beautifully sad book. If I remember correctly, my lack of vibrancy got me bad marks because teachers, as a rule, like cheery things. The lesson in this? Let us NEVER underestimate beautiful sadness.

Green Elephant

When looking at craft japanese recently, I was inspired by the cuter than cute stuffed toys and decided to have a crack at making one myself. Originally I set out to make it for my one year old niece, Ella (also cuter than cute), but now I am not so sure my sewing is baby proof enough. I fear she will swiftly destroy it, or worse, choke on something! Or is this just my excuse to keep the little guy around? I didn't use a pattern so the construction was long, laborious, and littered with mistakes but I learned a lot so I am happy. The little guy is about 6 inches high, made of felt, and decorated with simple daisy embroidery on his feet.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007


It's interesting how language is fluid and alive and how culture changes the meaning of words over time, in some cases its downright hilarious. In many of the crafting magazines I found from the late 50's early 60's, advertisements repeatedly call fabrics or patterns gay. E.g. "the gayest crochet sweater set!" or "gay cross stitch for the playroom". This language trend comes to an abrupt halt in the mid sixties -go figure. The advertisementon the left, taken from My Home, 1958, is perhaps the best example and had me laughing with the level of maturity found in 13 year old boys. 'Whee! Gay as can be!'

Sunday, 14 January 2007

OP shop finds

Well we've been a bit quiet over the past few weeks but I now that I am back into a semi normal schedule, I will be more on top of blogging. Also, a warm hello to new readers! I have changed the setting on comments and now everyone can have her say. Previously only those with blogger or gmail accounts could comment, which was Blogger's auto setting. Thanks to Rhiannon for pointing this out. Also go check out the beautiful jumper she just made, it is utmost in style.

I thought I would share some of the stellar Op shop finds I nabbed while on holiday in Gisborne. These Stitchcraft magss from the late sixties are sporting the mod look (so hot right now) and are making me wish my knitting skills were up to task. Though I suspect a Twiggy like physique is necessary in pulling off the look; uber short, shapeless dresses are best left to the naturally thin or nutritionally challenged.