Wednesday, 30 July 2008



Well it has been delightful reading all the comments about my last post, and I am truly honoured by enthusiastic reception the dolls received. It was especially fun reading from those first timers and checking out new (to me) blogs. thanks again Luke for making the game, (I am already thinking of new anemone games for him to build!)

For those of you who would still like to get in for the draw, you have until next week. Just check out the previous post and leave a comment.

Little Wabbits
*UPDATE wabbits are in the shop along with NEW PINNIES and GATHERED TOPS from lies

A craft BOMB has gone off in my place. I am getting ready for craftwerk, working towards a etsy update, making things for the te tuhi shop, and getting ready for a new auckland based craft fair that should be starting up soon.

I will release details about the new fair when I am more sure of whats happening. Lets just say its going to be GOOD.

Thus far I have made this pack of rabbits. These little guys are only 20x12 cm and $10 each. I may put some in our etsy. (*update: yes I did)

(wait that doesn't sound right, a pack of rabbits?.... let me educate myself with google. Here are come good animal colelctives: a murder of ravens, a seething of eels, a mob of emus, a company of foxes. But for rabbits take your pick:a burry, a colony, a cirlce, a trace of rabbits. Do these sound right to you? correct me please.) at any rate, I have a lot of wabbits now.

Including these big guys who are going to Te Tuhi.

and these bags (which still need to be ironed, hence the crop shots).

But with all this crafting and doll making output, it is surely time to give credit to my input. Sometimes its hard to track influences because they are everywhere, but the other day I was frolicking through google images when I found this!

Sweedish textile designer Malin Björklund really knocked my socks off with this hand painted wallpaper from her 2006 collection. There are many many great things on her website, so check it out here.

That beautiful wallpaper made me want to try my own version (above). Its definitely not as elegant or detailed as Malin Björklund's work but it was a worthwhile experiment. Something about hand painting simple patterns made me feel like a kid again, just moving and feeling with out judgement or analysis. Anyway my wallpaper served its purpose as the backdrop of the paperdolls game. maybe some of you spotted it?

okay this post has gotten away from me. ramble ramble.

hope you are all well


Monday, 28 July 2008

****GIVE AWAY! GIVE AWAY!*******

Well I have finally done it! my quest to make paper dolls is finished, and it has been a long but fun journey. It really started here with my grandmothers death, so this in a way honours her.

The paper dolls are illustrated by me and the collage clothes are based on Lies' designs and fabrics. I see this as a natural joining of illustration and craft in a way that makes me quite happy.

Each set contains one doll, three outfits, and a friend. You can cut them out and dress them up creating your own anemone fashion world.

I don't intend to sell these but I DO WANT TO GIVE THEM AWAY! so if you are interested, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT, including your name and which doll you like, and on Tuesday AUGUST 5 I will draw 5 names for a hat. And who knows what other goodies may find their way into your parcel!

but folks, that is not all! my husband and I have been labouring away (okay luke has been doing most of the labouring on this part) to bring you this game which simulates playing with paper dolls.
WANT TO PLAY PAPER DOLLS? of course you do!

You can choose from one of three characters, mix and match outfits, and select a friend before printing your creation. *click the yellow arrow to make the magic happen

I really hope you all enjoy this because I had such good time dreaming, brainstorming, and creating these dolls. And don't be shy, leave a comment! you must be in to win :)


Wednesday, 23 July 2008


Hi friends! It's been a wee while since I blogged... I've really no excuse, I've been having a too good a time!

First of, we're having a grand film-festival here in Auckie and Me and my Scatterbrain had to go and book FIVE movie-treats in a row, not realising that if I was out every night last week, I wouldn't have time left for anything else as nighttimes are usually my only windows of opportunity for sewing and blogging.
Well I did see incredible stuff! Please see if you can catch these in your cinema - rather than rating them for you, I'll just give you a highly personal little blurb on these truly outstanding films. Here we go:

  • Rubbings from a live man : this tremendous feature doco was made by our friend director Florian Habicht, about local cabaret extravaganza mister Warwick Broadhead. Colorful, uncompromised, human, deep, lucid. Splendid. We are very proud of Florian and his whole team. My friend dear friend Tess is in it and also Immogen from Craftwerk. A wonderful extraordinary work of art this film.

  • Le silence de Lorna : with this my compatriots brothers d'Ardenne have made their third hyper-realist drama feature. Ugly things are not hidden in Belgium at it's wettest. But then humans err, everywhere. Perhaps that's why this edgy film got a Palme'd'Or for best screenplay. The leading actress is out of this world, so strong!
  • Le voyage du ballon rouge : if once as a kid you saw the 1957 'Ballon rouge' (as I did many times) you wouldn't wanna miss out on the sequel (and first of a new trilogy) 'Voyage'. Add to that a soft spot for Juliette Binoche (guilty) and you 'll love this one to bits. Yes I did. It was almost as if I smelled Paris (tu me manques!) and la Binoche was masterly -with bleached hair ah!- at 'puppeteering' the worries in the life of a parent...

  • Alexandra : incredible masterpiece, true to the tradition of Tolstoy and Tarkowski. Who else but Russian marvel Sokurov can set the Odyssey in a small closed in space (war in its most masculin form : a dusty Russian army-camp somewhere in neverland) and roam with lyrical melancholy (the wanderings and love of a pacifist grandmother for her soldier grandson). I like the way Sokurov explains nothing. Follow your heart.
  • Buddha collapsed with shame : I'm an ardent fan of the Iranian director's clan Makhmalbaf (father, daughters Samira and now Hannah). They manage to show life as it simply is in worlds of which we often have misconstrued (media-fed) notions. Hannah shows us the dreams and woes of a little girl, trying to go to school, in the ruins of the Taliban-distroyed- great- Buddha's of Bamiyan, Afganistan.

But hold on, I was also treated to a lovely big envelope in my mailbox. Out came two fantastic artworks by our Australian blog-budette Victoria! How swell! Thanks for your generous gifts V. They look even better in the real, wow. And the humor of them is so refreshing! Victoria did a work on kangaroos in her veggie-garden recently, which I thought was completely out of this world. Not only because of the unusual and hilarious choice of topic (although it must have been a disaster apparently), but to an urbanised little Belgian like me -it IS unreal!

And then, there was that other Treat, with a capital T. My friend Loulou lent me her Overlocker. How. Massive. Except that I was able to overlock for about 2 minutes and then I mucked it all up by re-threading the marvelous machine in a thousand wrong ways. I think only Nobel-prize scientists are able to hack the dark secrets of The Overlocker. I have been re-threading for 2 nights in a row now. But I'm not giving up. Yet. I. Must. And will. Overlock.

'we shall overcome' (hummed with a pathetic lustfulness)

And so I decided to revert to well known territory. I made these two pinnies on my plain but darlingly cooperative sewing-machine. This Friday in the Etsy, the 'happy chick' pinnies.

That's all!
See you soon X

Thursday, 17 July 2008

making my own sunshine

Today I am looking at this picture and drinking orange juice in attempt to sunny things up. Yes, its gray and raining again. But it IS winter, so I don't know why I expect otherwise.

Lies took this picture about a year ago and I thought I would repost it since probably most of you weren't reading back then. (those were our armature days, and of course we are professionals now, wink ;) Little Lieveke has the sunniest wardrobe in all the land and it makes for very good mid winter viewing. Every time I see Lieve I get a dose of colour therapy.

Speaking of colour therapy; BAM!
This anemone clothes and fabric collage is part of a secret project I am working on at the moment. I had good fun putting this together and it also served as colour therapy. The unveiling of the secret project is scheduled for next week. so if you like knowing secrets, and are into a good give away now and then, STAY TUNED.

My cuddly wabbit prototype has developed a little bit further. He now has straight legs for better shape and added height and also sports a slightly smaller face patch. I can't quite remember but I think Victoria from Dear Megan gave me the ear fabric. Cheers tori!

*update, he's now in the shop

In the Studio:
I was quickly running out of desk space so what to do? I attempted to hang more stuff on the walls but just try and get a nail into stuccoed concrete, I triple dog dare you. Because in my experience, all you get is tiny nail head impressions in your wall and a host of bent nails on the ground. also nothing sticks to concrete stucco.

SO I used two existing nails (that must have been put in with a drill or a steal armed super hero) to string this washing line, a charming solution I think. If only I hadn't immediately filled the newly created desk.

I thought I would share this little drawing I made at the beginning of the year. Its hanging on my studio wall to remind me to work harder and meet my potential. or something like that. (The photo quality is a bit lacking but I hope you can still get the idea.)

Oh I almost forgot some very exciting news!
there is to be another craftwerk!
August 14th 6-9 pm in St. Kevins Arcade

but shhh, don't get too excited or you might frighten it away.


Monday, 14 July 2008

when childrens books are devastating

We had a lovely weekend visiting Luke's family in the quiet countryside of Dairy Flat. Luke comes from a pretty large family (he is one of 6 kids, his mother is one of 6 kids, and 3 step kids) so their house is always full of activity. Sometimes it reminds me of an airport because people are constantly taking off or coming in for a landing.

On Friday night this was especially true because some of the family (16 of us) gathered to bid farewell to Luke's younger brother Dan, who is off to Canada for a year. There was a big dinner cooked by Luke's mum who doesn't even bat an eye until the guest list starts creeping into the mid twenties. still I did my part by contributing, you guessed it, pumpkin pies. (what can I say, I love me some pie).

One of the good things about getting out of Auckland and embarking into the sparsely populated sector, is the wonderful undiscovered 'op shops' you would never find in the city. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the dialect, 'op shop' is short for opportunity shop and is basically a very cheap thrift store. Finding these places is a mission because they are often hard to come by and close before I am ready to be in out public. This time I found most of my wares in a pocket-sized building hidden behind a church. Its only open 6 hours a week and closes at noon (noon!) on saturdays.

I scavenged these great children's books from the 70s. They were still in pretty good shape for being 30 years old and cost only 50 cents each, which is a bargain for this area. (I know all you more rural NZers are snickering at my 'cheap' price, but they are a $1 each in the city!)

Also some very pretty ribbons that I have already used on a wabbit.

"are you a dressmaker?" asked the sweet op shop lady. I nearly blushed as I stumbled over myself to corrected her. "oh me? no way... um I sew a little but a dressmaker? no I am not that good" Well she wasn't asking for my skill level, she just wanted to sell me this thingy. which I call the wheel of torture. (okay maybe just the wheel of discomfort because the spikes aren't that sharp). I don't really know what it does or how to use it. Any tips? I have gathered it has something to do with pattern tracing.

And inside the golden book: Bless. I should start a series of these because they pretty much melt my heart. Mothers, do not give away the books your children have carefully written their names in because it is precious. Unless you don't care about that kind of thing, in which case, give them to me.

I couldn't resist the Jesus book because of all the colour and pattern in the robes. Such good design and layout, and for a relatively realistic look, this illustrator still manages to put in a lot of style and charisma. It almost makes up for the fact that Jesus is looking pretty Swedish. Since he was Jewish, the whole blonde thing isn't very convincing.

anyway, I must warn you that this next section is not for the faint of heart.

watch as the tale of little turtle unfolds. This is his sweet little turtle life on the pond. Until wait, what's that off in the distance?

Hmmm I wonder what those guys are up to?

Good Lord no!

Run for you life guys!!!!!

At this point I had to shut the book because I was getting too worked up and having Watership Down flash backs. I was also embarrassing my 12 year old sister in law who happened to be in tiny op shop with me while I was gasping my way through Little Turtle. (And probably getting a little dramatic. )

This kind of thing would have really upset me as a kid. How do you parents handle telling your kids about life's cruel realities?

Good thing I had this sweet nursry rhyme book to zen out to afterward. (just look at the colourful fairies and everything will the okay). I'll have to pretend this story isn't based on the beheading of Mary Queen of Scotts.

Hope you all had a restful weekend too.

I've added a few more Kiwi blogs into our list. For your enjoyment: scent of water, show your workings, and so tread softly.


Thursday, 10 July 2008

updates and updates

we are trying to be more regular about this, but here it is, as promised, new stuff in the SHOP.

which is good because rumour has it there will not be another craftwerk for a wee while as the organisers are trying to sort out funding and issues with K'road business association. I only know this because I pester them periodically. And I promise to keep you local lovelies updated as best as I can. You hear it here first friends.


Wednesday, 9 July 2008

an urban walk, I'll lead.

(my street: the St James building)

Lies is right, it has been ghastly here recently. The beautiful thunderstorms she spoke of must have passed right by my apartment because I all got was a wet, gray, cold week, and I don't know if I have already mentioned this before but our houses (in NZ) do not have heating. Yes folks, be shocked. When it's cold out there, its cold in here too.

But Glory Be, the sun broke through this week and we've been experiencing the most crisp blue skies and sunny days. I took my camera on my morning walk today, in celebration of the weather (and partially too because I needed proof, yes documentation to look upon when the weather turns to custard again).

With out meaning to, I returned home with a collection of trees.

The deep shadows of winter are still with us, but the clock tower on the Auckland Art Gallery has managed to find some rays. Yes this is still my street, I am so lucky!

elliot street

St Mathews Cathedral is on the way too ... did you know I have a destination?

Yoshi was watching these gulls very intently while trying to obey my order "leave it". We are still working on that command because my dog loves to chase (and kill ... yes, its true... R.I.P. chickens on the family farm).

in some places Autumn is still hanging on.

Anybody know what kind of tree this is? we did not have these in Minnesota, that is for sure. But I wish we did, something about them reminds me of Dr. Suess.

okay, not a tree but this sign gets me everytime. I love that its so simple and not advertising any product but instead a category of drink. There is probably a story behind this, does anybody know it? I think some kid just climbed up there and spraypainted, but it has been up for months now.
our destination! Victoria park is the only off lead dog park in the entire centre city so we come here a lot. I love imagining when these trees were first planted all in row; the person planting most likely never got to see the beautiful results. but thankyouthankyou, for I can see them.

bark of the tree looking like a water colour painting.

The skate park looking like a public sculpture. Is art not everywhere?

if only this guy hadn't ruined my shot.

Neon rectangles guide the way home. I hope you enjoyed my urban walk. Auckland has an abnormal amount of green space in comparision to most city centres which is smart. Nothing can replace a tree.

Back in the STUDIO:
a new wabbit creation, a much bigger and more cuddly version. The eyes are my new favourite thing, especially since they are internally fastened and thus very secure and safe.
You can see more of this guy (if you want to) on our etsy.

Also some new collages. Tomorrow we are going to have another little etsy update as I think Lies is putting in some pants and I will put in these new works.

history is scary
size A5
(who spies the terrified little boy?)

watch out wabbit
size A5

Das ist alles.
I hope everyone is well, and that all you s. hemisphere dwellers are staying warm.


Monday, 7 July 2008

It's beastly, really

It is the heart of NZ winter - very very WET and WINDY with thunderstorms, though I quite like that kind of spectacle - we live in the bottom of an old riverbed, and we hear the roaring thunder reverberating powerfully over the valley, beautiful! And I think we're at the coldest of the season, I'm wearing 4 layers... So outside is grey and glum. We need a bit of color!

Woho it seems a good many additions to my fabric stash are rather beastly!



Zebra stripes ( I love these : old Kimono print would you believe)

And friends, hold on to your surfin'-seats, you won't believe, I've made a BOY garment!!! I used to think that sewing boy stuff was boring... Now many mums were cross with me... And really all I needed were some animals. So here you go, for toddler BOYS from 2 to 3 years old : ELE-PANTS! You can get some, in the Etsy, this thursday - in brown, orange or beige fine corduroy with some orange, green or natural elephant-accents.

How's your winter/summer?
Have a spiffing week!