Thursday, 31 May 2007

random fashion collage to INSPIRE

(^^this woman with the hand warmer
is my ultimate favourite!) click to enlarge

Last night was craftwerk which charmed me as usual for I love to see all the beautiful people that support craft. Lies and I have much fun chatting to each other and our faithful customers.
More than anything else, I was much inspired by an 11 year old boy who arrived to buy zines and browse the handmade goods. He seemed to have only coins to spend so I know the zine he bought was chosen with great care (the zine maker should be honoured by such a purchase).

But what really inspired me was his sense of style... he made such bold choices for such a young lad-a funky over sized 80s knitted jumper that he had thrifted, and skinny jeans to match his very skinny pre adolescent self. Anyway he reminded me of my favourite fashion blog that features photographs of street fashion in Helsinki Finland. So here are some of my favourite looks. Hope it inspires you too!

the woman in the lower right corner wearing the party dress is a close second
click to enlarege


Here is proof that men can be crafters too. The above vinyl stickers were created by two chaps on the vinyl cutter at Elam art school. They call themselves BYE BYE BANG BANG (no web page to link yet, but I'll share as soon as then get on the world wide web) and they also have a selection of pins... but I assure you its all very tough stuff. very manly ... guns, skulls, jet planes etc. We actually did a trade which I think is the finest way to come by crafts... 3 cards for a pack of vinyl stickers and a pin. My sewing machine is now looking very 'street' and that horse is dancing across my fridge. Random bird stuck in there just because.... gift from Lies :)

I do a little twirl

here is a skirt I made last Tuesday afternoon when I was feeling particularly inspired. I got the fabric in Indonesia a few years back and I decided to go with a short pleated skirt because I thought is would make the fabric more playful instead its propensity to look hippy/world (which is just not my bag). This is the first skirt I have ever made and I didn't use a pattern. I am still a little hesitant when I am wearing it because I fear it screams 'hey, I made this myself' and not in a good way. I did get some sideways looks from people at school which didn't help my confidence -though design students are so different from fine arts students I have noticed :)

okay I hope to show you a few more things this week but we'll see. I need to be working on my illustration piece for exhibition, and I am watching baby sweet Lieveke today. yipeee! that child and I are fast friends :)


Tuesday, 29 May 2007


Hey everyone.... Its that time again! So soon? Wasn't craftwerk JUST A FEW WEEKS AGO? Yesmm but this is a mini one to celebrate the closing of the FUNKY RAZORS show which exhibited some crafter's work as art. It is in a different venue.... can you read that above? no? okay here it goes:
6-8:30 PM Wednesday May 30th at St. Paul st. Gallery, AUT. FREEEEEE! per usual :)

And will Anemone be there? Of course! with their full range? errrr ummm ... welll... almost. Its only been a few weeks since the last one so we are doing our best. Lies is sewing up a storm today trying to get as much done as she can, which I think is remarkable. Did you know that as of last week she is managing a gallery, being a mother, and getting ready for craftwerk? Super-woman, I tell you.

okay must run to life drawing class!
ps I did NOT do the illustration above.. though I think it is so sweet :)

Thursday, 24 May 2007

the way i see things

Today I am sharing with you some pages from my sketch book. Our latest brief has been a real treat. We are supposed to keep a visual diary and record the area we live in... I have been trying to see and record things that people tend not to notice, specifically things on the ground. I have taken rubbings, photocopies, reliefs etc of rubbish, dead leaves, manhole covers, fire hydrants , footprints, etc look closely and you just might spot something you've left behind.

I've also done some Naive style drawings on top of some photocopies Its been fun to approach this project openly and playfully and have a chance to experiment more with different media. Can you tell that I have been having fun?

Unsuspecting people at the Library.... I keep a low profile and then my 'victims' are none the wiser. They've been DRAWN!

highlighter pen, you are my friend! I like drawing with materials that are not 'high art' because it seems to be more interesting to use something that has a different intention... in this case office supplies :)
This tree had been manicured over the years and many of it's lower branches had been cut down so that it fit into the public space. The result are all scares over the base of the trunk that look very much like eyes. Do you sense something watching you?

nature in a not so natural spot

That's all for today.

One more thing, I have been working on a book cover and it looks as though my submission has been chosen. This is a rather big deal for me to have a published book cover so I am quite happy. The illustration itself is pretty straight forward because that's what they wanted, so its not anything that special, but a book cover! oh me oh my!


Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Japanese spirit

What have I been up to lately? Aha! After 2 years and a bit I am back to WORK! Ooohlahah indeed! And it is a nice work too : I work as a gallery assistant for Flemish people (my exotic kind) here in Auckland. They have quite a lovely collection of mostly litho-prints (from their own press) and a wonderful project where children can choose an artwork for a very soft price! Wunderbar! Oh golly it has been so busy though cause not only am i having to stretch da work muscles, I'm also having to organise day care for the little daughter. Oooooof that is a toughy and I really underestimated it. And wow bloody expensive! Auch auch. Luckily Kimberlee (who else darlings) helps me out on mondays and thursdays. I think Lieveke really loves Kimberlee and it gives me such a good vibe to know that she is well when I`m off!
But what else have i been doing? Have watched some late night all time favorite Japanese DVD`s like Hanabi (hey we drive the same car as in the movie -spooky), The Sea is watching (gorgeous gorgeous costumes and real magical soap star stuff) and Ran (even more stunning decor and clothes, deep passionate drama, this picture is holy). So the Japanese spirit is in me now and inspires me to make things, look :
I made a couple of crayon drawings, loosely based on the breathtaking kimono-designs

I knitted this cross-over-your-heart jerkin-kimono for Lieveke, with mother of pearl buttons. I found this awesome black merino/angora yarn on sale, and Lievie needed something warm for it`s getting chilly now.

I discovered these little coral hangers, one for Kimberlee, one for me, sort of in the Anemone-sphere no? And I just love the deep bright red. And the whimsical beautiful shapes.

And I found this cute apron in an oppy - pretty fabric I thought

This saturday I`m getting together with Kimberlee (yup yup) and Emily (knitting master-supreme) for a little crafting-baking-chatting-girl-thing. Yippeeee. x

Saturday, 19 May 2007

`T was good good good

Yes the party was grand. Good good friends for coming and enjoying. My warm friends. Generous ones!
Here are the flowers that made it all a bit more festive :

We had Jake (lyrics and guitar) and Luke (piano) performing together, Steve (lyrics, guitar) with Gabriel (base) and James (percussion) -thank yu Stevie yes dreams are the best - and Ben doing a grand Ben thing with a Casio.
And here are some of the guests (Kimberlee with stripes and pretty plats!) and a bit of guitar:

I was wearing this (home made skirt home made skirt) :

Lieveke and I got all excited just an hour before every-one arrived :

Ahhhh little red hummingbirds, thanks for the good time, many-a-kiss x


I can see that you are a focused person

some cards and an envelope I made last night.

Yesterday I was puzzled by this interaction:

scene: I was briskly walking downtown with my sunglasses on and my ipod playing when suddenly a women steps in front of me so she is facing me and blocking my path. I was very startled and had to stop abruptly to avoiding smacking into her, then I notice she is saying something to me. I take out my earphones and say...

me: what?

woman: nice sunglasses. Can I have them?

me: staring blankly in disbelief

woman: just kidding. they're cool though. Are you Swedish?

me: No, I'm American (thinking: WHAT THE HECK!!!! I notice she is wearing some very baggy clothes, long skirt, colourful scarfs, dreads, and what's that she is holding?....)

woman: oh, an American with a Kiwi accent

me: kind of, sometimes .... (flustered looking for around for a get away)

woman: I can see you are a very important woman and you are probably very busy but I travel around selling books on meditation (holds up ugly book).

me: oh

woman: what do you do for a living?

me: ahhhh...( trying to think of a short answer to a complicated question) I am an illustrator

woman: oh that's very cool, you get to be creative and make money. Is that your work there, can I see something??

me: (thinking: crap I am holding a sketch book), ahhh
I start to open it up

woman: before I have even shown her anything , oh that's so so beautiful! You seem like a very focused person, I can tell you must do some meditation.

me: well I pray

woman : oh then this would be really great for you (holds up ugly book again)

me: Ah I have a lot of books already and I don't need a book on meditation

woman: oh okay ... would you like to make a donation towards world peace (smiles brightly)

me: no thanks (then I dash away)

Now I just hate that sort of thing. Don't get me wrong, if someone randomly approaches me to chat, bring it. I like meeting people and having new interactions. And even if you want to try to sell me something, that is fine. I'll probably say no. But it's not okay to corner me, beat around the bush with random chit chat then attempt to casually slip in the sleazy hard sell.

And really, ....pushing books on meditation? is nothing sacred anymore? and donations towards 'world peace'? yeah right, what organization are you with again???

I expect more from hippies.

And if you want to hear more stories like this... I have half a dozen.

oh yeah, I've been making book marks


Thursday, 17 May 2007

lets talk about it

A book mark I made today

Lately in blog land there has been a trend of posting things about yourself.... I answered these questions from Special K's blog and thought I would post them here

How the heck are you?
HUNGRY!!! its 430pm, can I make it til dinner? unlikely

Where are you most likely to be on a Friday night? it changes too much though at home with dvd is always great

What is your must have guilty pleasure? flipping through glossy gossip mags in the store and never buying them

What’s on the CD player: i think you mean ipod, right?

What’s on your bedside table? we don't have one... we have a futon on the floor arrangement because my husband loves multi functional spaces... we put our bed away each day (Tokyo style) and turn that area into a work space. so no bedside table

What was your first job? Denny's diner... I didn't last long

Four words that describe you talkative, energetic, very hungry

How did you spend your last birthday? I didn't technically have a my last birthday... I was flying back from the USA and the time change caused me to miss the 23rd of OCt.

I wouldn’t mind being stuck in a lift with? my sister... we'd make up crazy games

My last meal was: pb on toast

My mum always told me: 'you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar'... and 'I love you'

Where will you be in ten year’s time? I don't know where I will be, probably here in NZ, I hope to be a mom I’ve always wanted to: speak another language, live in another country (achieved!)get married (done), have kids, live simply (always working on this), have a dog (achieved, thanks yoshi) work in a creative field, talk less listen more! there is more but I'll stop.

Good questions Kimberley(special k) anyone else care to play?

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

apologies, parties, and art

To start off with: an apology
Dear blog, I am sorry that I haven't had much time for you lately. I have been so busy and Lies has been really busy too. I know you understand that we spend time with you when we can, and forgive us for times that we can't. But I have good news for you.... I am not so busy right now!. I am done with the shop order and my illustration work is manageable, so I anticipate good times ahead!

And to those of you who are interested in the personal stuff... Lies has been contracting for a lawyer (she used to be one in Belgium, shock!) and has been very busy translating documents into French. In fact, she hasn't even had time to post pictures from her fabulous HAPPY BIRTHDAY PARTY... and my camera battery was flat so I can't share pictures.

This is basically what went down...
*Amazing beautiful buffet of organic,vegetarian foods (i can still taste the homemade pesto) and good wine
*creative decorations designed by Lies.... hanging flowers and yarn
* Good conversation and chances to chat with interesting friends of Lies' that I had never met before
* baby city... tons of wee ones crawling around
* Live music played by friends
* a quirky and hilarious 'performance/song' done with a 80's casiotone keyboard... by an artist friend ... lyrics about Lies and Gabe, and Lieveke
* and my favourite part: Lies looking really happy all night:)

An outdoor piece of graffiti sculpture at Funky Razors

Also on Saturday, Luke and I went to an art opening at Te Tuhi... which is a gallery south of central Auckland. Since it is a bit difficult to get there, the gallery charters a bus that transports people from the central city to the gallery, all for free thankyouverymuch:0 and the bus ride is vibrant! There is a DJ mixing with old cassette tapes (80s styles) and people singing and dancing in the aisles. whoot!
Someone getting a traditional Samoan Tattoo live in the gallery

The show its self is called Funky Razors and "it draws on the idea of funk to survey cultural production outside of the art gallery—be it design in its many guises; music in its many forms; fashion, publishing, craft or the polarising mark that is graffiti." (quote from their website)

And note that along with what you see in these pictures, there was video work, a selection of crafts from Craftwerk stall holders including Lies' bibs (I CAN'T BELIEVE I FORGOT TO TAKE A PICTURE OF THIS!!!!) and some poetry readings done by 'at risk' teens from the alternative education program. They were 'using art to as a form of self expression and as a tool for healing' and I thought it was a great example of community involvement on Te Tuhi's part.

a musical performance piece. I loved it for the colour:)

Over all, I appreciated the recognition these forms of 'outsider art' received at Te Tuhi. The show was colourful, energetic and fun... and it felt inclusive. Our friend Stephen is the new curator there so I know we will be going along to many future openings... and now I know I will be looking forward to it! (sometimes I dread art openings but shhhhh don't tell ... many of my friends are artist and curators so keep it secret)

okay speaking of, I am actually off to another opening.... Window... and my husband is one of the curators, so yeah, I go to all of them :)


Thursday, 10 May 2007

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Red-n-yellow hummmm

See what little creatures fluttered yesterday on to my yellow party-invite : red hummmmmmmingbirds! I`m having my birthday party on saturday yippee! Gabriel says the card reflects my inside and outside hee hee, red passionate tender heart, yellow for crazy and all that!

I feel like red and yellow some more soooo here is
-my bounty from Craftwerk (funky spunky seventies pouches from Kate of Fossage -great to know you girlneighbour!- and a yellow felted bag from -oh no help I just don`t know your name nice girl but you make the cutest animals and your mum is an awesome knitting force!-)

-flowers folwers fowlers fowelrs fowerls fowersl

-antique scarfs : cashmere and silken gifts from my mama

-oh boy, an oldie, having hazy fun in a crazy bar in Berlin , eh is that 4 years ago now? Shhhhhh.

See ya sisters (and crafty bro`s, if y`out there shout man shout!)

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Craftwerk is TONIGHT

Hana has new pictures of her hats up. its in YOUR best interest to check them out here :)

Well just a quick note to say its CRAFTWERK again and we are mighty excited. Lies has had a ball making baby kimonos and the joy she found making them is evident in the result. I am really impressed with them. And I am very glad to have her back from overseas. She keeps me inspired.

here are a few cards I will be selling. I might put up a sign that says "MOTHER'S DAY CARDS!" which is a bit of a gimmick but oh well :)

Holy pod!!!!!

I have been crocheting like a mad woman trying to finish these. That's 22 and counting. I have four left. No, I am not planning on selling all these at craftwerk tonight (0ne can dream though). But have to reserve 15 for a shop order which is due tomorrow, eek! My poor aching fingers. after this I am officially podded out for a while.

see you tonight!!!

Wednesday, 2 May 2007


Black and orange bliss.

Thank you for your kind welcomings. It feels gooooood to be back with you.
I`m listening to Beth Gibbons' CD 'Out of season'. A remarkable musical sensation this work, the eerieness of Gibbons' voice and random low fi-side-noises in the songs give me shivers of delight. The first song begins with 'God knows how I adore life...'. Mais oui!
While we were away my little Lieveke had her first birthday, but we had a little pre-party with the family here. Words fall short to describe my sentiments but this sweet and intimate photo captures a glance of the true bliss within her that we celebrated:

Every one knows I`m a warm color-freak. But if I was forced to choose only two colors (no, not just one, imposs!) I would go for black (i was a teenager in the 80`s guys and yes New Wave stuck to me) and orange (oh happy day). Here are some images that please my eager eyes, one of an attractively woven card from Gabriel that now adorns my leather pattern folder and one of a neo-dada-manneke ('little man'), an image given to me by my gifted Belgian friend Daniel:

And here is some more crafty stuff, a couple of funky chunky big bags and my latest baby-kimono-jacket (lots of B&O bien sur). All that is available at CRAFTWERK my pretties, tomorrow from 6 to 9 pm in St Kevin`s arcade in Auckland, come come and enjoy!

I blow you a black and orange kiss