Friday, 28 March 2008

Little tree

purple pants and breezy top

A little outfit I've sewn for Lieveke. The long-sleeved top is not quite finished yet, but I wanted to show the funky fabric. The cord pants are rather winterish and on the large side but Lieveke will grow into them. Her legs have grown with 2cm in the last 2 months. My little tree.

Kokka trees

The little tree is having her second birthday this sunday. We're having a big party with a big cake with big candles (this is what she's asking for -especially the BIG candles). Gabriel and I are giving Lievie a big bed for her 'big girl'-day. She is all excited about it! A big bed asks for a revamp of her room : I'm doing stuff with the above tree-fabrics... Can't show, it's a surprise!


I swapped baby-dresses (pardon, 'big girl'-dresses) with Charlotte, so this sweet green linen dress is what Lieveke will wear on her party. Thanks heaps C!

The sun is a nice warm ball

That's what Lieveke said the other day. And really it is. Through the Tamarillo tree. For weeks Lievie's been staring at the 'tree-tomato's' to see if they were getting red. Yup. They are now and this is delicious : vanilla-icecream with tamarillo-heart, whipped cream and dark brown sugar. Hmmm.

knitting knitting knitting

Knitting last week (and this week, nearly there) : a cotton cross-over jerkin for Lieveke, as it happens in the same vibrant limey color as the party-dress.

I've been drooling over my two new Japanese sewing books - ahhh these books are just so good, i wanna sew every single thing in them! Look :

C-thru-dress from 'one piece sewing'

Flower gown from "more straight stitch dresses"

No, not a sewing book, just some pretty light dancing in our lounge

Have a lovely weekend! I know I will (party!). Gosh she's turning two. Already. -Lies

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

shopping, drawing, sewing: it's a good life.

I took an unplanned break from blogging, because I just had other things to do...
you know how it is. but I am glad to be back.

Apologies in advanced for the randomness of this post, its really more of a showcase of finished things.

Finished project #1: ETSY SHOPPING

Thanks to the illustration job I eluded to in my last post (which I did get 100% by the way :) I was able to buy a ticket to the USA for my cousin's wedding. But don't let me fool you, the job only paid for a bit of the ticket, the business is not that lucrative!

when I am going to the USA, I always take advantage of the lower shipping costs, so buying things off etsy makes a lot of sense right now. watch out!

bought from circles are foverever
I bought this dress for my adorable sister to wear in the wedding. She will look smashing, I hope she doesn't out do the bride. (oh yes and that photoshop free 30 day trial is still going strong with 15 days of fun left! what other creepy things can I come up with???? )

and from the nana pat project these mint condition, patent leather tuxedo shoes! from the 80s.
They are for me.

Finished project #2: illustration series

I made these using traditional methods (pencils, water colour, collage) then did a bit of editing and additional collage in photoshop.

please click to enlarge as they really aren't meant to be seen so tiny!
I am sending these as part of a general submission. they took a lot longer than I anticipated so I hope I get a good response.
thanks very much to luke who helped me with the editing, I can be a photoshop moron at times.

Finished project #3: sewing lots of stuff

Since Lies unvailed her face last week, I thought I would show myself too.

I designed and made this top for my friend back in minnesota. I normally don't attempt making clothes for friends because I am not that good at sewing but she happens to be a similar size to me. It makes me feel more confident when I can try it on and see if it's working out okay.

this is sort of a country/peasant blouse which I've been told looks very 'american' . but guess what, I am.

and a bag I made from some beautiful fabric I bought from Charlotte. Thanks very much C! ITs heading over the the USA, the spring flowers will be more appropriate there.

THat's all for my extended show and tell.


Monday, 17 March 2008

Happy (check).

I just finished my new skirt in supersoft babycord. I couldn't resist the shapely and whimsical print of the fabric. It became a rather challenging but fun project. I wanted to design my own skirt-pattern, so it took a lot of tweeking to get the desired features more or less right : broad waistband (check), slightly bubbly flow (hmm very slightly) and some big buttons (check). Happy (check).

I want to share this work of Alf Lohr's with you. He's currently having a show at the Gallery where I work, and I just dig his thing. His media are watercolors - in such wonderful brightness on very thick paper. Alf's paintings - all are untitled- muze about the deceptive simplicity of creation where marks/colors (rather than signs or figures) are emotive guides towards deeper things. Attractive. Human.

The following are screenprinted cards made by my friend Lulu. The cards are free because promotional for her shop, and I grabbed a whole bunch - I'm so drawn to their simplicity and crispness. Often good design is just that I guess. I admire that Lulu put in such an effort in screenprinting (rather then just ink-jetting) her ads, she's a thoughtful one.

I've been going to some newly discovered blogspots for inspiration :

-from the Netherlands Studio Intussen, really original design

-from Canada Fortysixth at grace, serene!

-from the US Monmartre's sketchbook, beautiful things

-and from the US again Lisa Congdon, soooo wonderful.

Here's last week's knitting : some lacey socks for myself, made with merino/angora yarn in a dark lavender shade. Ha! Lace (check) and adult socks (check), I'm rather proud I did it - and they fit. It's around 25 degrees C at the moment, quite hot and very very sunny, have to keep them for a chillier time.

To be knitted with in the near future : a super soft skein of merino/alpaca (yes!) yarn - I think a shawl is wanting to be made...

How cool, this feature in Frankie-magazine : Threadden is a Melbournian 'sewing lounge ' and independent clothing store with local designer and vintage clothing. Here you can just shop for some stunning clothes (the dress on the woman in the feature is so beautiful) or drop in and hire a sewing machine to do your thing -and use some other equipment like overlockers, cutting tables, pressing-gear... Such a good idea!

See you soon, thanks for stopping by

Thursday, 13 March 2008

finding your inspiration

In my last post I mentioned a little something I had in the works with illustration, and now it looks like it may actually happen so I am no longer afraid to talk about it.

I am 90% positive that I am doing an illustration for nz wedding magazine, and possibly will be their regular illustrator for an etiquette column. This is pretty big for me, my first foot in the door!

Here is a sneak peak of what I am working on for them... I can't show you the whole thing because I am not finished and I don't think I should 'release' it before it is published.

Lately I have been heavily relying on my vintage book collection for inspiration. I am quite fortunate to have many treasures from the 40s 50s 60s and 70s. my current favourite is little dutch children... but actually I just found unique book this week that is starting to take first place. more on that in a minute.

I also love magazines, and this one above is UTMOST in every way (sometimes yoshi shares it with me). All the best ones are imported and cost $30 upwards, sigh, so I only have a precious few.

the fruits of my recent labour: (well its getting there anyway but again this is only a sneak peak and not the complete or finished drawing).... I am working on a series as part of a submission to Learning Media, the government contracted company that produces the iconic "school journal."
Yes I am combining fabric and illustration, (finally). I am thinking of doing some sewing machine drawing on this as well. CRAFT and Illustration, UNITE!

Now, about that book I was talking about earlier...
its called ONE ON ONE: exercising together.
or: what happens when two models get together to write a book in 1984

Here they are (aren't they precious?) lovers of puppies, reading, each other, but above all PHYSICAL FITNESS.

and this is what happens when I discover the book 24 years later THE VERY SAME WEEK we download a trail version on photoshop...... (sometimes the stars just align like that)


I was just being ironic to begin with but I actually like this collage. I may do more.

Also, as Lies said, we really appreciate all the comments lately. It is amazing to me when I check my google analytics account and see people are reading from all around the world.... some from Scandinavia, the UK, many from the US, and even a few from south america! of course New zealand and Aussie too. I wish there was a way to give you all a friendly kiss on the cheek, but technology is a bit limiting.

but here is an open invitation to anyone who has been reading for a while but has never said hello (some people would call you 'lurkers', but I hate that term), go on. leave us a comment. I am burning with curiosity to 'meet' you. :)

okay all for now,

Monday, 10 March 2008

Indian summer

We are slowly heading towards autumn here in NZ. Often the days of March are beautifuly sunny though and the light has a gorgeous golden haze. I love March, I did in Belgium (the first warm springy days with crispy clear blue skies) and I do here in Auckland (Feijoa fruit, tamarillo and figs are ripening,yum).

A parcel with new textiles arriving makes me bask some more. Big dots with Cheetah's, and the wavey geo-patterned fabric matches the colors, as if by magic, what a sweet coincidence. I quite like turquoise with chocolate and aubergine with chartreuse at the moment. So deep and rich.

We had one or two wetter and slightly chilly days in between, and that made me feel like knitting again. This week's project was a little beret for Lieveke : Easy Peasy and Fasty Fasty (only a few hours of a rainy day). I found this supersoft and bouncy yarn : a mix of angora and merino.

And because I was feeling autumnal (I think that's what it was) I had to make this gathered top in autumn leaves (fabric from C!) for Lieveke with red knee-pants (yes I made those too!). I like the light dancing with a lock of my daughter's hair here.

The daughter is almost two and really so delightful... She's been doing some amazing (well duh I'm so objective) lateral thinking, such as "mama work at Muka (the gallery), Lieveke work at daycare, papa work at work (ha)" and 'where is papa lieveke?' Answer "He toiling" (meaning he's on the loo!). She says these things so naturally, without a blink, sigh... I'll just stop now - just being a slightly overexcited mum (wow I guess sometimes I still can't believe it! LUCKY ME!)

I'd like to say thank you so for your comments every-one, we don't always have the time to reply to your nice feedback but it is very very appreciated! We are getting to know some new special blogsouls here :

The ruth spoon (hey Blackie in Tasmania, your 'wit woo' sounded uber-cool)

The anti fashion league (Rhonda from right around the Auckie corner, you are one of a creative wunder kind)

Fine little day (you made my little day - I so so admire your beautiful Swedish blog!!!)

Oh, and isn't this a cutey (from these guys). L is only one point...
BUT what a point eh.

Enjoy the week!

Friday, 7 March 2008

lemon mergingue pie and other obsessions

When ever I decide I want to try something new, I get very committed and feel the urge to complete the project yesterday. maybe this the same for a lot of crafter out there?

this set of emails between Nikki I am now posting for your entertainment. I think they say a lot about obsessive project behavior, and the funny email/comments relationships that are formed through the blog community. anyway.....

it all started with this photo of a pie nikki made a few weeks ago and my spontaneous thought yesterday 'I want to make that, RIGHT NOW!!!!' I decided to email her for the recipe....

me to Nikki
hey there,
I was going to poach the recipe off your blog but hark, no recipe!

which one did you use? can I have it? I have SO many lemons or I think they are lemons.... some sort of mystery fruit (this happens when you buy the natural organic stuff) but they could be oranges. either way I am keen to make a citrus pie. YOUR pie looks amazing. I don't know what you were on about, trashing such a yummy looking pie, but I was drooling.

maybe I will post a picture if it turns out a) really good or b) really bad. nobody is interested in seeing mediocre pies!

wow, I am more excited about this pie than a normal healthy person should be.... a hint of desperate house wife is sneaking in, I can just feel it.


Nikki responds:
haha! you make me laugh Kimberlee.
I'll email the recipe when I get home - it's such a good one.

The only criteria I have for passing this on is that you must wear an apron while baking. Preferably a 1950s housewife one. AND I would like pics. *muhahaha*

I reply:
oh my gosh I couldn't wait. (I made the LMP using some random recipe online)
but the recipe I used TOTALLY sucked, so can I please still have yours?. I taste tested the curd and it was awful because the recipe called for NO sugar for the curd... are they nuts?!?!? thankfully I found another recipe and quickly added loads of sugar (how much is 125 grams anyway?!?!)
also I completely stuffed up the whole meringue part, I had to go to this website
to learn about proteins and elasticity. food science 101. anyway, we got there in the end!!!

so here is a picture of the pie cooling.

and here is a picture of my kitchen, I'd like to title it 'where'd the bench go?'

NIKKI says:
Holy crap that is awesome! A) on the pie front. MUCH better looking than my mutilated beast and B) on the bench front. hahaha It totally looks like how I bake! Mind you, 90% of the carnage at my place is the kid. You have no such excuse. heeeeehehehehe

Also hilarious that you had to have a research pause. Thank god for the internet huh? How did people bake without it?!?
Anyway, glad to hear you didn't make my mistake and try and get the pie out while still hot. Though I see you have a fancy pie dish, so yours definitely isn't going to end up like mine!!
Here is the recipe for next time. (Oh yeah, and yours - no sugar?!? wtf?!? what else do they put in?!)

hi again,
sometimes I am like a giant child because guess what I have eaten for the past three meals? yes, Lemon Meringue Pie and only LMP,
though after lunch today, I did eat a peach but it was purely out of guilt.

it started out innocently enough with this though... " oh why force myself to eat dinner when all I want is dessert? whats wrong with just skipping straight to dessert?" so I did. and then I only had one piece.

but then breakfast rolled around and I was still so tired thanks to our neighbor and her late night entertaining, that my decision making skills were nill. I didn't even think about it, I just grabbed the pie from the fridge and ate a few fork fulls. no plate necessary. Luke looked up from his healthy whole grain breakfast cereal and didn't say a word. bless him.

then lunch happened and it was sort of like, why kid yourself? so I just ate another piece.

though this has got to stop!!! a girl cannot live off eggs whites, sugar, lemon curd, and white flour alone if she wants to live past 35 and (someday) bear children. so its fruit city for the rest of the day!

your recipe looks far superior to mine. and I am going to try that one soon, but maybe I should wait a while, no? at least until LMP releases its deadly addictive grip from my ever weakening self control.
the pie cut

and also a melty gooey mess, we didn't really wait until it was totally cooled. we're only human.

and finally, only 18 hours later....oh the shame. it's almost gone.

THUS ENDS THE LMP SAGA, for now anyway:)

well that is all from me for a while. I have something brewing on the illustration front so I will be busy with that. I will reveal more later when I am comfortable but as of now its not a certain thing so I don't want to jinx it.

a good weekend to all!


Sunday, 2 March 2008

Dress ups

I had these pretty trees remember,

Hmmm scrumptious

And I found the perfect pattern in this wonderful Japanese sewing book,

Robe blanche

Robe rouge

So zzzzzzz (onomatopoeic for 'sewing machine') :

Robe forestiere -shall we say?

Yup shortened hem. 't Was all the fabric I had

On the subject of dresses, we TOUJOURS have RIEN to wear n'est-pas, so here are -from France where girls are most definitely girls- some snazzy young Parisian blogmuzes to help along with elementary choices for ze wardrobe (don't be discouraged by the French, just feast your eyes!) :

La gazette de Zess : such a sweetie...

Jeunedemoiselle : candy candy

The cherry blossom girl : we're all mad about her oui oui oui

Punky b's fashion diary : Robe jaune (1/3/08)

Le monde de Tokyobanhbao : Japan in France, such fun!

I'll leave you with some very very inspiring photo's (from a found W Magazine. september 2007 issue). I adore the abundance of colours a graphic depth in the fabrics or cuts, the sweetness of the photography (those wonderfull hazy-airy spaces), the childlike girlposes...

Yves Saint Laurent dress

Chloe dress on French toast shirt

Comme des Gracons dress with Diesel skirt

Oh that skirt!

Enjoy the upcoming week les copines!
-X Lies