Shula has somehow managed to encapsualte the absolute best parts of making things, sharing those things, and the wonderful interactions and random acts of love that ensue. Perfect. I don't think any of us could say it better.
"People think Crafters are mad. Potty, whimsical and nutty, at best. Cracked, spooky and best avoided at worst. Maybe they're right. I know it takes a certain level of obsessiveness to see a project through to completion, and a demented level of fervour to start such an ambitious project in the first place. Crafting takes time, lots of time. And so much patience. Neither of which there's much room in the world for anymore."
"Crafters craft because they must. They are driven by a blind desire to create Gorgeous Things. Things that take time and patience and love. Original thoughts that come direct to you, from the heart."
"Crafters try to bring a little of the Divine into the real world, every time they make something. As a gospel singer might describe it, they sing it down, during the hours and hours of meditative work involved in each piece."
Go and read the whole thing, it'll make your day.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Which came with these cute art cards for free!
And a little Sneak Peek at what comes next.....
I've run out of stuffing...so the bigger viewing will have to wait....
And now I have to give the Landlord a tour of the house, including the spot on the carpet where a log rolled out of the fire......uuurrrrgggghhh..... wish me luck! xxx
Thursday, June 28, 2007
1. w.i.p. little deer doll quilt, 2. Confettina, 3. washing the car, 4. Buttons #01, 5. Untitled, 6. Untitled, 7. Untitled, 8. Untitled, 9. Mosaic Monday, 10. teacups., 11. 63rd1.jpg, 12. biscuit face, 13. budgie pot., 14. red shoes/my bathroom floor, 15. me in my studio
Which ended up being this: Nong Number Two.......
Just in case you were wondering exactly how different to each other, and how not-made-from-a-pattern these little guys were planning to be!
This one is made from white linen, with felt, buttons, cotton and embroidery. It has a wonky pouch, which I thought about trying to diguise with a broochy kind of thing, but then I thought, whatthehell. Wonk is Good.
This one is 51 cm tall, stuffed with poly fill, and is joining the parade on it's way to the shop......
Feedback still urgently needed......xxxx
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I started this blog without really understanding where it would go. I'm a bit crafty, a bit fashion-y, a bit of this and a bit of that, and all I really knew was that I wanted to make stuff, and share that stuff with other people.
Problem is, at the moment I am at a bit of a crossroads with my making, and I'm not really sure where exactly I'm going, and what exactly I want to make.
Today, I decided that I don't really care, that I'll make whatever the hell I want, and if that's a stuffed toy today, and a tea cozy tomorrow, that's totally fine by me.
So, without further ado, I present to you, oh dear patient friends, Something What I Made.
It's called a Nong, and I've already made quite a few of them, but only really for friends and family before. This is the first of a lot that I want to make to sell.
First: a word on how I make things..... I am a haphazard woman, I rarely use patterns, and I like to make things up as I go. This way, no two Nongs will ever be the same. As there isn't a pattern, each one is created of it's own accord, step by step, until it's done. This particular one is made from a thick, nubbly woolly-tweedy fabric, some wool felt, bits of stitching, cotton legs, pouch and antennae, recycled and new materials, and lots of love. It's stuffed with poly filling.All told, he measures 57cm from top to bottom.
My toys are lo-fi, are meant to be a bit wonky, and are made with passion rather than breathtaking skill in mind. I'm not sure exactly if they are the kind of thing that people would want to buy, but I'm going to give it a crack anyway.
Feedback and advice would be absolutely appreciated, brutal honesty welcomed, and ego-popping embraced. Please let me know what you think.
If all goes well, and you don't all tell me what a hideous creation I am responsible for, I think I'll try to make at least one Nong a week, and once I have five or six, I'll start putting them up in the shop, along with some other bits and pieces I make along the way.
Phew! So there it is my friends, a first on this blog - A Little Bit of Finished. xxxx
And just as an aside, a few people commented on the neatness of the new studio, and how they wished they could be neat in thier homes and work spaces too. I just wanted to say, that the only reason my studio is neat right now is because it's new. Give me a week in there and there'll be fabric everywhere, bits of cotton flying, scissors and stuffing strewn over the floor.....
I actually think that studios that look like they have been pulled from the pages of a magazine are a bit weird.....some people are naturally neat ( I am NOT one of them), but creating is a messy business, and I love a good space that shows exactly what it's for.....like This One.A creative, colourful, organised but still a little crazy. Perfect. Even though a nicely folded fabric stash is a lot of fun, it's more important that you actually MAKE something out of it, isn't it?
Anyway, that's all for today.....please tell me what you think......xx
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
My computer is still in the shop, they haven't managed to find the problem, and are going to charge me through the nose for the fact that there is nothing wrong with the bloody thing, so I haven't been in to pick it up yet. In the meantime, I have dragged the old laptop out of it's retirement, happily playing music in the bedroom, to a more rigorous life as bloggers' assistant, and it's taken me this long to get all the software and bookmarks and such updated.
Anyhoo..... you would think that a week off with a newly repaired sewing machine would result in lots of things to show and tell, but I stupidly decided to do this instead.....
Namely, pulling everything out of the spare bedroom, and deciding that it will be the spectacular new home to all my sewing gear, now that it is winter, and the tiny little room off the front verandah is just not cutting it as a studio for me.....
Now, lots of furniture moving later, it's looking a little like this:
There's a distinct lack of colour in there, but I'm working on the more decorative features now......
But by far the most exiting thing is this:
This is part of my fabric stash before the renovation.....
And after following a Brilliant Tutorial, my fabrics look like this:
So so so so so much better........ I always wondered how Other.
People managed to keep thier fabrics is such good order....but now the secret's out! Not only is this an incredibly anal and satisfying thing to do when you're procrastinating, it does have some other bonus points as well..... When your fabric is folded this way, I swear, it takes up about a third of the space it did before. Those shelves were full to the brim, bursting out all over the place with higgeldy piggeldy piles of fabric....... Not Good.
The other thing is how such a process reaquaints you with your stash. There are fabrics in there I had totally forgotten about. And a whole pile of others I decided I didn't like anymore, so I'll probably send them back to the op shop from whence they came.... and while you're mediatively folding your fabric, you also subconsciously decide what you're going to make out of it.
Anyway, so that's what I've been doing. No, I haven't made a single fucking thing yet. But I'm organised at least. That's something, right?
Before I go, I must send out a thankyou to my sister, who sent me this in the mail while I was offline....
Another little pile of vintage brilliance, with a tote bag pattern to go with it.
She's the only person in my real world who actually reads my blog, for some reason I'm really shy about it, and I get embarrased when I talk about it. Most people know I'm up to something, but I don't share the details. It's weird, I know, but there you have it. So thanks Leonie, for knowing me well enough to not laugh at my weirdness, and sharing my love of making the best of what you can find.......xxxxx
I'll be back in full force over the next week - once I've put everything back where it's supposed to be......
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Thankyou, thankyou thankyou.
My computer is still in the shop getting fixed, so no photos or anything even remotely interesting yet, but I should have her back on Monday, so It'll be business as usual then....
Until then, lovely readers....!
Sunday, June 17, 2007
But I'll be back as soon as I can, hopefully with some completed projects after a few days away from the computer!
See You Soon!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
This lot came in the mail today, from Z & S Fabrics....mmmmmmmm I don't really need to tell you how much I love new fabric, do I?
There's a bunch of half yards of Denyse Schmidt's new Katie Jump Rope Collection, plus a few sale fabrics........ I SWEAR this has to be the last fabric I buy before I get the sewing machine fixed. I took her in to be serviced today, so hopefully our Betty will be back up and running in less than a week.
Lucky for me, this wasn't the only present I got in the mail today!
I was lucky enough to be the 300th customer at Three Dog Party's Etsy shop, and I scored a whole bunch of stuff other than the Air Mail cards I ordered!
I LOVE their cards, especially these.....
And these ones crack me up....
After opening all the exciting post, I spent about a thousand hours in the Laundromat, followed by a little bit of Op Shopping......the score?
This Old Royal teaset, a set of six.....
In these colours.....
It must have been a teacup day, because I dashed out to Ikea for some picture frames, and came home with this instead....
Now I'll have plenty to contribute to Cup of The Day!
All in all, a satisfying day.........
The Hand Warmers are coming along swimmingly....no pattern as usual, just making it up as I go along! They'll end up looking a bit mental, but then I'm a little mental, so I suppose that makes sense!
I also managed to invest in some good winter clothes today, a pair of yummy wooly leggings from Kookai in a charcoal grey, and I black hoodie from a teeny-bopper chainstore that I'm ashamed to mention....but I tell you, I'm much warmer (and far lees grumpy) today!
Thanks so much for all the advice on places to shop and ways to keep warm, I'll definately be shopping for a hat soon, and if I can track myself down some yummy cashmere yarn, my chilly bones will be very grateful!
The Lovely Rhiannon was kind enough to provide me with a list of her favourite online shops, so I thought I would share the love....
For lush, lush, jewel toned ceramics,
For the cutest skirts you'll ever see....
For the most amazing, hand made books,
For weird and wonderful printed t-shirts:
Lovely, lovely, lovely clothes....(someone please buy me this as a present!)
Wonderful, kitsch, tapestry bags....
Phew! That PayPal balance won't be safe for too much longer!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Todays find du jour : Vintage Linens....
A very cute apple red with coloured dots, a funny tea towel with weird little figures that can only be described as Chinese Babushkas, plus a cream linen with lovely smudgy black dots all over it..... but my absolute favourite is this vintage tea towel.....
It's old cream linen, with the above printed in the top corner, with the "Rules of The Inn" spelled out for those who may need reminding.....
The Rules are as follows:
1. The Inn shall open and close promptly at the diverse times determined by the Proprietor.
2. Neither Dram nor Draught shall be served, nor the fire poked, other than by the Proprietor or his credited servants.
3. Barmaids, while in the employ of the Proprietor, are held to be under his protection. Patrons may not indulge in Familiarity, Goosing, Thumbing, Smoothing or Stroking, except by leave.
4. Only Coins of The Realm may be tendered for the purchase of liquor. Cheques or Notes of Hand will not be accepted from those below the rank of Royal Duke.
5. No Lady shall enter the parlour less she has been known by the Proprietor.
6. The Blue Ruin is not served before ten o'clock.
7. Food may not be brought into the Inn unless shared with the Proprietor.
8. The following penalties may be invoked for swearing: an Oath 1d; a Curse 3d; a Blasphemy 6d; it being for none but the Proprietor to Categorize.
9. Acts of Balancing the Glasses of the House are Expressly Forbidden, after last time.
10. There may be no dicing, whether the Die be Fair or Loaded.
11. Disputes at cards shall be submitted to the judgement of the Proprietor, who shall earn for his adjudication the Pot of The Moment.
12. None but the tobacco sold by the House shall be smoked.
13. No spiritous liquors shall be served for consumption by dogs, except before Fights.
14. Seamen and Travellers are invited to be Moderate in the telling of Tall Stories, lest the Credulity of the Company be strained, and the Queen's Peace threatened.
Hilarious. I'm going to frame this one and take it into the bar where I work.....it's quite scary how relevant some of this is! And I think it's brilliant that the customers are unable to 'Goose' or 'Thumb' me unless the "Proprietor" gives her leave!!!!
Sorry about the random posting.... things are a little random around here too...but there'll be lots of thrifty goodness tomorrow....promise!
Saturday, June 9, 2007
I am cold. All The Time. And no amount of long-john wearing, knitted scarving, granny blanketed sitting in front of the fire will cure me. I get so cold sometimes that I want to cry. Seriously. Apart from drinking thousands of cups of tea a day, my next plan of attack is this:
I got a package from Superbuzzy yesterday, in more detail below, and I've already got the wool on the needles, for some hand warmers. No pattern, as usual, and I know I should knit them in the round, but I can't find the bloody double pointy ended needle thingies, so squares will have to do. And really, squares are what I knit best!
I know you can't really see much knitting in the pic, but once my hands thaw out enough to manage the needles, I'll rip into it and post more photos soon.
Anyhoo, on the the postman.
I love Superbuzzy, I really do. They are one of the main shops that recieve most of my PayPal balance. I am rather distressed at the sudden doubling in International postage rates, though, so I'll have to shop in larger lots now to justify the cost, which really just means more fabric! Woo Hoo!
So the latest package is this:
Ooooohhh....la la la.....
I fell IN LOVE with this Graphic Flowers print, which was the impetus for the order....
Supplemented by this Hard Boiled Egg print in red....mmmmmmm...
And just to top it off, some Make Make yarn in Charcoal, which is gorgeous and soft, I think 80% wool and 20% mohair, lightly variegated, lovely! Though I thought it was coming in 50g balls, and they arrived as 25g (tiny little things!) but I still love it.....hence the hand warmers!
But from now on I'll have to order a bit more than this to justify the $25 it costs me for postage.....what happened to flat rate envelopes?
This brings me to something I want to ask advice about.
Whenever I sell something on Ebay, and I get paid via PayPal, rather than bank deposit, I use the money to fund my internet purchases. Right now, this is usually Ebay and Etsy purchases, as well as Superbuzzy. But I'd love to know if anyone has any other favourite online shops that post internationally, that accept PayPal? Anything really, from clothes to accessories to vintage to fabric, whatever. I am in the VERY unusual position of having a bit of a balance to spend, and nothing to spend it on! Ha!
Well, that's it for me, it's Saturday after all, and the newspaper crossword is calling my name.....
Have a great weekend!
Sometimes I think it's nice to see who you're "talking" to. Posting photos of yourself on the internet is something that is fraught with insecurities, for me, not so much about how I will look, but more about whether I am comfortable with having no control whatsoever over who may see it. But, having shared many other things about my life here, I think it should be fitting to share the face that goes with all the thoughts......so, hello! It's lovely to meet you!
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Thrifted Tuesday came up with the goods in a spectacular way today, yielding mountains of fabric.....
Though not usually a floral kind of girl....this one....
Oh, and this one....
And this one is right up my alley........
Do you ever find that your Op Shopping ventures seem to focus on one kind of thing? After the Good Shoe Day the other day, seems today was Fabric Day. There are other times when all I will find is crockery, or dresses, or handbags.....seems they come in flocks, these little covetable stashes of things.....
Well, I have a hankering for some tea and a piece of toast......see you tomorrow!
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Twice a year at the pub where I work, we have a secondhand book sale. The father of one of the women I work for spends 6 months trawling garage sales and op shops and stashes all the books away for the sale, selling them on for usually just a dollar or so each.
The haul this time?
*Jean Paul Satre - Words
*Richard Dawkins - The Blind Watchmaker
*Alice Walker - The Color Purple
* Victor Bocris - Warhol (biography)
*Jane Austen- Persuasion
*The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl
*Edgar Allan Poe's Collected Works
*Zadie Smith-The Autograph Man
*The British Commonwealth and Empire (for my English partner!)
*The Beatles - In Thier Own Words
So we can safely say that I am set for reading for a little while.....
After the sale, back into the Saturday routine, the weekend paper, a pot of tea, and some homemade (not by me though, I'm afraid) fig and walnut jam on toast....
You can see more photos of bloggers' breakfasts over at Breakfast Sunday.....
In other news, I thought I'd post some better photos of my Two skein scarf thingy.....it's looking a little careworn, mainly because I've hardly taken it off since I made it, but so far I've taken three orders for new ones, so I might make a few more if anyone would be interested in buying one? (probably Aussie readers, considering it's just coming up to warm weather again in the States)
Basically, it's two layers of thick knit in stocking stitch, sewn together and set off by two vintage buttons. It's worn like a cowl, and it's two layers keeps your neck nice and toasty, but is quickly removable for once you get inside in front of the fire......
It's the kind of thing that would be a peice of cake for a knitter to whip up, but if wooly stuff isn't your forte, drop us a line and I'll whip one up for you!
One more thing before I go.....you may remember ages ago I posted about my Renovation Project..... well, here are some work in progress pictures....
It's had a coat of white semi gloss, and is looking much cleaner....
And the door now has glass you can actually see through......
Now I just have to sand it AGAIN and do ANOTHER coat of paint, and it might just be ready to put in the hallway.....uuurrrrgghhhhhh......
Well, enough for today, I've got a newspaper to read!
Oh, and if anyone is wondering if I'm actually going to sew anything any time soon....Betty (my lovely sewing machine) is doing some drastically weird things right now, so I've decided to take her to hospital before I put her through any more torture. Granted, as old as she is, I'm sure she deserves some love and care...so after Hans has worked his magic on her, I'll be back in full force....promise...!