Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Just little socks

Hey hey. What have i been up to in between mama-mornings with my little toddler and work-afternoons at the gallery? There just doesn't seem much time left to create (and finish!) grand projects... My nights a quite cosy and short, I fall asleep around 10-ish, so tired... So what to do in the little craft-window from say, 8 pm to sleepy slumber? Well... I can knit one sweet sock for Lieveke in that tiny time!!! See, I'll show my nights delights to you on our little collection of crochet-blankies :

Lieveke was supposed to model the socks for pretty pictures, but she got carried away with the props. Here she 'rests' (the new thing, I guess they're trying to teach her that at day-care?) on her sheepy, she needs ALL the blankies of course!

Hmmm, 'resting' yes almost, so difficult to keep still and not have FUN!!!

We are moving house next week (yippideeyip!), soon I'll show you around

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

more new cards

new cards

I made 20 cards yesterday which had me feeling productive. THANK YOU SO MUCH to Helen and Melissa who each sent me collage packs full of great images and old bits of paper. I definitely used them in this batch which makes them all the more special to me.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Flashback Friday

I quite like this flashback Friday because it gives me a chance to display my collection of old photographs of my parents. I have been stealing pictures from the family photo drawer for as long as I can remember and I've only gotten away with it because nobody is interested enough to notice. (If you are reading this mom, I have ALL the good ones!) Like this one of my dad taken while he was playing college football.
I think I like this picture because it connects me with my American past. I sometimes joke that my dad's side of the family is so American that they have apple pie and coca cola coursing through their veins. They were star athletes and prom queens, clean, healthy, religious, and patriotic. Sometimes I imagine what it would have been like to live during my parent's era.... the civil rights movement, JFK, Vietnam protest, Watergate, the advent of television, the golden years of baseball, oh I could go on. It seems like such an interesting time in American history.
anyway, I'll dream on that for the moment and bid you farewell.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

so this week...

Today Yoshi had a puppy play date with a 3 month old jack russel named Anita. Isn't she cute?

they hardly held still enough for the pictures

this is cat. I made him yesterday out of what's left of my op shop cord. I really enjoyed making him but I wondering what the point is. I may try and sell at craftwerk (is it good enough though?) or they may just be toys for friends children. we'll see.

bunny's not quite done yet

After cat I made bunny. Luke says bunny looks a lot like a bear in the face. I will have to work on that. :) I may be making more of these because they were really fun and hardly use any fabric. The only thing is I destroyed a pillow to get the stuffing, and whoops it was Luke's favourite. "Look what Yoshi did to the pillow!" he said. (No I didn't let the dog take the blame) You can always buy more stuffing later, and I wanted to make cat and bunny NOW, or at least that was my reasoning.

tomorrow I am off to the op shops to get more supplies. I'll post if i am successful.

So dog dates and toy making , wow that makes me sound a little desperate or something. hah!


Friday, 17 August 2007

I need some colour

Today is rainy and cold so I thought I would bring myself some cheer. All hail the queen, tropical birds, and colourful dance wear. These are some collage pieces that I will later turn into cards or something. I get a lot of my images from old children's encyclopedias. All these are from a school reader called The Daily Mail which I believe is from the early 60s or late 50s. How can I cut up such lovely images? you ask. well, I believe I give them new life. It's a special kind of bravery to try and turn something that is already wonderful into something more wonderful. Many people do the same thing with vintage or retro fabrics. Yes sometimes it is scary to whip out those scissors and (gasp) make that first cut, but what's the alternative? Let it hide away on some shelf and gather dust?
just some doodles. I love highlighters and draw with them a lot, the only problem is the colours don't scan/print because the florescent is actually a chemical and it needs light to glow in that special neon way. The lesson here.. mother's do not let your children suck on these or their bodies will be full of glowing chemicals.

Oh anemone, I love you so. These are by Susan Williams Elli and are also from the Daily Mail, Lies, I put these up especially for you. The one below is my favourite.

My mother in law gave me these blossoms the other day and I think they should be the standard for judging all other flowers. They are utmost.
Helen was saying sometimes she craves the urban life, and I can understand what it is like to crave the opposite of what you have. Even though I love the city, these blossoms make me long for fresh air, green grass, and quiet. All the pictures you rural women post of your gardens, sunsets, and quiet pastoral landscapes, well, its clear you've got something special.
We are lucky to have Luke's parents to visit. They live on a lifestyle block with the usual country charms and its only 40 mins drive from here. This Sunday we are heading there to celebrate Luke's birthday. It will be his 26th this year which is distinct because the first time I got to know Luke was at his 16th birthday party (right before he moved back to NZ). So that's TEN YEARS that we have known each other. Flip.

okay one last thing, anybody have a good, simple recipe for cheesecake? I want to make one for Luke's birthday (it's his fav) but don't have a trusted family recipe and I think I need one. Just thought I'd ask. Thanks:)


Tuesday, 14 August 2007

cowgirl days: flashback

my earlier days of riding that's me on the horse (note I am doing quite a poor job, hand in the air and feet out of stir-ups) and my tiny sister on the pony.

Carling was always so small and with a 6 year age gap between us, I was always a sister/mom to her which I am she did NOT always appreciate. though I am sure she didn't mind me leading her around on tiny tim.

This photo of our horse was when we were purchasing her from her former owners. That's my mom in the white coat, and the owner in the pink gum boots. Carling is looking rather overwhelmed by her pink snowsuit, but a little thing like her would surely freeze to death without it.

So here pictures are as promised. I can't find one of me riding our horses but these are some from our friends farm where we went riding. I miss those days more than I can express. Having to sell our horses was devastating to me but I am thankful for the time we had.

There are some bloggers doing Flashback Fridays, I got this idea from Leah at paper string cloth because I so much enjoy seeing pictures of people from childhood. Perhaps Lies would like to post a few from the good ol' days?

Not sure if I explained why I have not been crafting, in addition to focusing on my illustration portfolio, Luke and I are renaming/reforming his company to include me as an illustrator and administrative assistant. Thus I have been busy learning about tax deductions, spread sheets, record keeping and the like for my secretary duties. Also working on company identity stuff, e.i. new name, website etc.

I hope to get back into it soon. Leah's cathedral quilt has REALLY inspired me. she will be posting a tutorial soon :)

ALSO INVITATION TO DE-LURK! now that I have posted pictures from my childhood and thus exposed myself, I invite you to do the same. Are there those who read this blog and never comment? I am am so interested in hearing from you. drop us a comment. go on.

have a good week!

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Sunday mini play

Did I show you these sixties-mini-dresses I made for little toddler girls from 8 months to 1,5 years? They are double-sided (aha! a nice change from the usual reversable trick!). The front side was made in a geometric pattern fabric and has a pocket in a complementary flower or fruit fabric. The back was made in that respective complementary fabric and has colorful buttons. I had great fun making them and applied some new (ehm I'm not a very advanced) techniques a friend of mine reccomended : for clean neck- and armlines use fine cotton interfacing, for strong button-holes encase fusing-tape.

Here is, as always, Lieveke showing the dress for you.

If she finds a tiny bit of time, that is, because she has important buisiness to attend to!
-preserving wildlife

-organising diplomatic tea-ententes

-reading up on filosophy and art (Brian Wildsmith's gorgeous Puzzles, used to be papa Gabriel's, now Lieveke's favorite)

-and of course, reassuring the odd lost and frail parent-adult...

Enjoy the upcoming week X -L

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Saturday chatty

Artwork by Arwyn

WE had a knitting circle meet up today minus the knitting so I am not sure if it counts technically, but whatever. This time we met a local cafe because every body's house was unsuitable for the day. For example...

Emily, the master knitter, has just been given the boot (her landlord want to move back in, the nerve) so they are in the midst of moving and she leaves for Canada tomorrow for a family wedding. Needless to say, we could not meet at her place. I will morn the passing of that GREAT apartment. It was a warehouse conversion so it had loft style ceilings, hard wood floors, open plan, floor to ceiling windows, sky lights..... Oh sorry, am I drooling? let me wipe that up.

Emily in the kitchen of her amazing apartment... did I post this before?

Lies is living with her in laws temporarily and they are searching for an affordable apartment in the middle of the city that is suitable for a baby. (it will happen, have faith!) Her in-laws had company so we could not meet there. And Mayana lives out in Te Atatu which is simply too far. And we have all this extra furniture monopolising our already limited space. CAFE TO THE RESCUE! Good food (that we didn't have to make) and great times catching up.

Mayana is due next month! and as you can see, they couldn't be happier. Arwyn will make a fabulous older sister

I must say that I am very thankful for my friends here. Many people I know are going through rough times and we need people around to get us through. It feels good to look after each other. I know talking always helps me feel better, a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved, right? Thanks for all the conversation my knitty friends.

Above is my dear friend Sarah playing word games in the black sand at Piha. This photo was taken just a few weeks ago when she and her new husband were staying with us as part of their 'around the south pacific' honeymoon. This week Sarah lost her father to cancer. She has definitely been in my thoughts and prayers this week, I can't imagine the loss she is experiencing right now.

Well I must get going. Luke's parents are shouting (kiwi slang for buying/treating) the whole family tickets to Bob Dylan tonight. Very generous considering Luke is from a family of 8. Some of the younger ones are surprisingly disinterested (COME ON ITS BOB!!) so there will only be 7 of us going . They don't know what they're missing


Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Minnesota: where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average

Its just another week here. Random updates on the personal... we all like to get personal right? Maybe you've heard about the 8 lane bridge that collapsed in Minnesota? It was big news last week and a huge shock to many that a supposedly stable bridge in the US could fail like that. Maybe I have never mentioned before that Minnesota happens to be my little corner of the world. It's where I was raised so when I first heard the reports, I felt ill. I cannot count on two hands all the friends and family I have in Minneapolis. My brother, my aunts, my uncles, my cousins, my friends. Well first I will say that everyone I know is okay. Thank you. But just. My aunt Claire and my young cousin William were on that bridge 4 mins before it fell. 4 minutes. My big brother cycled to the area that evening and took these pictures. Flip.

There is this joke about the culture there, "you know when you are in Minnesota when someone offers to help you in a store, but they don't work there." (I do this all the time ['oh there's a great sale rack of dresses in the back']. It scares kiwis) Generally Minnesotans are very polite, extremely friendly, and keen to help. Right now that is part of the reason the death toll of the bridge collapse is so low. Immediately pedestrians ran to the scene and helped victims before official rescue workers arrived with some even going into the wreckage or water to pull people out. After rescuers arrived, they helped run stretchers to ambulance until they had enough trained workers on the scene.
Did I mention Minnesotans are also tough? In this case, many people just walked to the very near by hospital if their injuries weren't too serious (wouldn't want to bother the ambulances). I kid you not.

This is a work in progress.... for a friends album cover. More on that later.

John Wayne and Chief Joseph adorn my walls. Note: reigns are in Johns mouth so his hands are free to 'shoot 'em up'

Did I ever tell you I was a bit of a cowgirl? Not many of many people here know that about me because I guess it just never comes up in conversation. Plus there are not many chances in the city to jump on horse and show them how you can ride (western style of course). Perhaps I should dig up some photos.

in my new (vintage?) dress from recycle boutique. I was drawn to unusual the neckline

My Russian boxes, I guess I am collecting them. And the very inspiring works of Henry Darger.


You've never met any celebrities.

You've seen all the biggest bands ten years after they were popular.

You know several people who have hit a deer.

Your school classes were canceled because of cold.

Your school classes were canceled because of heat.

You see a car running in the parking lot at the store with no one in it no matter what time of the year.

You end your sentences with an unnecessary preposition. Example: "Where's my coat at?" or "If you go to town I wanna go with."

You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

The local paper covers national and international headlines on one page but requires 6 pages for sports.

You find -20 degrees F "a little chilly".

You know all 4 seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Construction.

You know if another Minnesotan is from southern, middle or northern Minnesota as soon as they open their mouth.

your town has an equal number of bars and churches

you have ever had an entire telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number.

you praise the parents of the state's top basketball player for pulling him off of the team until his grades improve.

your dog dies, your spouse leaves you, you lose your job, and your car breaks down, all on the same day, and the first thought that comes to your mind is, "It could be worse".

you have ever refused to buy something because it's too "spendy."

someone in a store offers you assistance, and they don't work there.

you have ever apologized to a telemarketer.

you beam with pride when some King or Hollywood super star comes to the Mayo Clinic to save their lives.

you have ever thought Michelangelo's statue of David was "indecent."

If you install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked

If you carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend knows how to use them,

If you're proud that your state makes the national news 96 nights each year because International Falls is the coldest spot in the nation.

So those things I find funny because they are true of myself or Minnesotans I know.

okay over and out,

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

oh i've been meaning to say

fiona at table calendar always makes the cutest things. and right now you can win this great zip purse, so go check it out.

also lovely blogs has all the links to the NZ blog world. They recently featured us so thank you!!!

and through lovely blogs I have found many interesting links including these guys.... how charming are these kids, and savvy! they have their own blog.

so if you have a moment to check these guys out, you may enjoy yourself.