Wednesday, September 29, 2010

from Martino's studio.....

Here are some pics of what is going on over by his side of our shared art space....

fabric: linen
project: chair

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Softies for Mirabel - 4th annual Handmade Toys drive

From one of the awesome blogs I follow - Meet Me At Mikes. A call out has been placed to all crafters out in the community to support The Mirabel Foundation.

The Mirabel Foundation is a very special organization that helps children who have been left abandoned (or sadly, orphaned) due to drug addiction of their parent(s). They provide support to the children and also to their carers who are often the grandparents or the extended family.  You can read more about them here.

The idea is that you create a doll, toy, softies, plushie - anything that a child aged from 0-17 years would like to play with and call their own.  Once made, you send your creations to Meet Me At Mikes and they will kindly organize delivery to the kids!!  I love participating in things like this.  Its where I get to craft away and know that no matter what I create, it will be appreciated by a little person.  That is pretty cool don't you think?

Here are some creations from the past 3 years:

Photos courtesy of the Meet Me At Mikes Flickr group - see link below.
You can check out more pics of them here

If you are lucky enough to live in Melbourne (or visiting ) all the creations will be on display in the window of Meet Me At Mikes from 1 to 7 December for all to admire before they are sent to the foundation.

Here is a pic of a past year window display

So am very excited to start planning my softie creations. This calls for a fabric sourcing expedition - all for a fantastic cause!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Freshness from the net....September

When not creating, I spend probably more time than I really should on the net. Its my time where I get to indulge in a nice cuppa and also the various design and crafty blogs, websites and online stores I have book marked.   I am a big fan of the Internet.  I love that I can be sitting in our little apartment in Sydney and reading about a great new sustainable home being built in Northern Spain or view photos of the opening night of an art exhibition in Chelsea NYC.   Even more exciting is the fact that once you subscribe to a newsletter of your favourite site, the information comes to you instantly. A great way to keep up to date and inspired.  Art in its many forms is being created all around the world every minute of the day.  With the Internet it all comes to you, whilst you sip your favourite drink!

Here are a couple of interesting finds from my subscriptions:

From Fresh Home.  Artist Mike Stilkey  .  An American artist who with the use of pencils, paint, pens and lacquer creates these beautiful works of art on books.

From Apartment Therapy - a sweet chair before and after - and all for $20!!

A little felted gold fish from Asher Jasper's Etsy shop.


From Design* Sponge -  A market bag DIY makeover.  Take one ordinary looking shopping tote.  Add some fabric, buttons and other embellishments and tadaaaa - a funky, one of a kind bag a girl would be proud to show off!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Crafty scenes....

Its been a very busy few days finishing off my projects in preparation for Christmas markets.  Ive been playing around with some ideas for other softies that I want to make.  I finished off some dollies and also some more owls.  They have been my favourite ones so far.  Using fabric remnants, vintage fabric (found on a recent thrift store shopping expedition) lots of felt and even some upholstery fabric.   These little guys are turning out really nicely and even my old trusty work horse of a sewing machine is behaving itself and helping me along the way :-)

Here are a few pictures of what I have seen and been up to in the last few days.  Lots of fun, colour, fabric, wool and creative goodness.  Just how I like it!

Oh yeah - Martino finally organized his art desk yay!  incl the 3 little tins I made for his birthday :-)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Project 365 - Thinking about doing it again.....

Today I visited a local gallery during my lunch break to see the photo exhibition by Andrew Gunsberg (or Andrew G who hosted Australian Idol) who in 2009 took one photo everyday - all self portraits.   The exhibition showcased photos of Andrew in different countries (incl Spain, Israel, Australia, USA) and doing every day things like jogging or driving,  or even funny things like drying his underwear with a hair dryer after his luggage was lost! (been there....ha ha).   It was a really cool exhibition with lots of great photos worth checking out.  If you cannot get to the exhibition he has them available to view on Flickr.

In 2009 I took on a similar project to take one photo every day.  The idea was that by looking for something to photograph each day, I would become more aware of my surroundings and this would in turn help me to be a little more confident in my creativity and as a bonus expand my crafty talents.  So I pretty much took ownership of our trusty little camera and carried it everywhere, everyday with me.  Being a small digital camera this was not hard at all.   I was not too concerned with how well the photo was taken (some of my favourite shots are blurry or dark) instead I focused on the subject.  Looking for colour combinations, patterns and textures.  Apart from photographing people I also took lots of food, floral, insect, craft materials and sky shots.  I definitely learned more about the space I travel in every day and how amazing and colourful it really is. 

So this evening I sat with a nice cuppa and looked back on the photos from 2009.  What a treat it has been!  A wonderful  visual diary of what my eyes found creatively inspiring.  It also reminded me of how much I enjoyed the project, especially sharing it with lots of colleagues, family and friends.  Looking to do it again one day soon.  Here are a few of my favorite pictures:

Feb 10: After a rainy summer day, this little guy took the plunge and ventured outdoors
March 2 :  Signed up for a jewelry making class. This was my first completed project.  It took 2 attempts (and some tears) to get it to look like this.  I learned a lot about myself in that class. 
May 15:   Sunset over Erko
July 29:  A visit to my local nursery.  These little beauties caught my eye.
November 18:  Renovations of our apartment begin.  I picked this light fitting purely because every time I visited the light shop, I couldn't stop touching it.
December 22 - Going out for breakfast - one of our favorite things to do.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Martino!

It was lovely Martino's birthday yesterday.   As a sneaky surprise I decided to organize his art desk.   I made some pen tins using some cool wrapping paper he liked:

His art desk is a little messy at the moment but not for long ;-)

Here is the "before" picture of his art desk:

The "after" pic to follow soon.

Hope he likes the surprise!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Felt project # 1 - Bright bright birdies.....

This little birdie grew from a small drawing I once did when on the phone.  I guess you could call it a doodle.   A few months ago after playing around with some bright colored felt and wondering what my next creation could be I decided to go with the little birds.   I designed a basic pattern and got to work cutting and sewing - what I love best! ...... I will turn these little birdies into some hanging decorations. I really enjoyed making these as they allow me to incorporate lots of my favorite things,  bright felt colors, seed beads, embroidery thread and some ribbon.

I am now working on a whole bunch of them - as many as I can sew by an October deadline that has been set.   These birdies make me smile.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

so tired....but oh soooo happy!

A big day today as we delivered all the banana/choc chip cakes and rocky roads to all the generous people who participated in our Pakistan Flood appeal.   Our goal was to raise AUD1000 and we blitzed and almost doubled that amount!!   We are so happy, humbled, amazed, joyful  - I could go on!   So off to bed with a big smile and a joyous heart.   A day I wont ever forget....  :o)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Melbourne magic in a weekend......

Have lots going on at the moment including:

- Pakistan Fundraiser Stage 2 - The banana bread bake day at L's.
- Sewing little felt birdies
- Finishing off felt dolls

- Spring cleaning our little apartment (a very    s    l   o   w    and not very exciting process)

In the meantime, here is some of what our eyes saw during an awesome weekend in Melbourne a few weeks back - filled with great friends, good food and creative goodness.....

Monday, September 6, 2010

Pakistan Fundraiser - rocky road treats........

The Pakistan Floods have really broken my heart.  Seeing daily footage of people who have lost their loved ones and also their homes due to the monsoonal rains has been so sad.  I could never imagine such devastation. The look of sheer terror in the eyes of the people (especially the little kids)  is something I still cannot get out of my mind.  So when my lovely friend L asked for some help in raising funds for the people of Pakistan I jumped at the chance to do my bit to help.  Together we hatched a plan to have a bake-off and make some sweet treats that we would sell for AUD5.  We set ourselves a target of AUD1000  which we knew would be something we could achieve with lots of effort.  We also chose Medicins Sans Frontiers as our charity.  For the treats it was decided it could only be something sweet and scrumptious.  L makes some super yummy choc/banana cakes (she is famous for them!) so that was a no brainer really. I thought I would make some funky rocky road.   So an email was sent around to our circle of friends, work colleagues and many others tempting them with our goodies - all for a great cause.  Now the orders have come in and its time to start making the choc treats ready for delivery at the end of this week.    We are soooooo excited as we know we have made over our target of AUD1000.....our final tally to be announced soon!    This has been a very humbling experience, one that we hope to do as often as we can supporting different causes and charities.   Happy days.....

Saturday, September 4, 2010

one little elephant.....

photo by Sowri - (available on Flickr via creative commons)

When we left Chile to begin our new life in Australia (30 years ago last month)  I remember holding onto a special little gift given to me by my Year 1 school buddies. It was a little elephant soft toy.  I remember he was grey with big ears, black  glassy eyes and he felt very soft . When I close my eyes, I can still feel the sweet comfort he provided to my 6 year old self during what was then a 20+ hour flight.   I remember having to leave my granny and aunts and uncles at the airport and wondering why they were all crying.  After all, we were only going on holidays (or so I thought).  The idea of packing up the few belongings you have and heading to a land that was foreign must have been so hard for my parents, especially with two little kiddies in tow.  They did it as they knew this country offered many more opportunities for work and education than a unstable post-military coup Chile could provide.

So 30 years later here I am in a country I am so very proud to call home.  Mighty grateful for all the opportunities that it has afforded our family and wanting to express it all in my creations.   So in celebration of this big year I am creating a little elephant friend which will combine my love of fabric, beads, bright colours and my recent obsession with all things India.  For inspiration I checked out some pictures on Flickr and loved these two.

and create!

photo by Eliza Raschke (available on Flickr via creative commons)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Project #3 - Wall art

This project came along after we purchased our apartment.   Having a small space we knew that we would have to be very selective on what we had in our space.  So we decided everything had to be pretty things we loved to look at and as much as possible handmade.  So here is the result!

giving old frames a second chance.....

I collected many old (and sometimes broken) frames from household clean up days, second hand shops and some cool big broken bits of frame from here for just $1!    A little bit of glue/nails and some white paint helped to bring them all back to life.  We have used them to display pictures, post cards, recycled birthday cards, photos, original works of art by Martino and some Etsy purchases.    Dad also helped us by making some wall shelves to help display the frames.   They are similar to these you can find at Ikea.

Project 2 - Wall Art


old picture frames (preferably wooden)
spray paint
newspaper or plastic to cover your work area
pieces of cardboard boxes

Step 1
 Remove the glass and all backing so you end up with the basic frame

Step 2
Spray a couple of coats of your chosen colour - allowing to dry between each coat as per the instructions on the spray can.  This needs to be done in a well ventilated area and take care to cover anything you don't want spray paint on, as particularly on a windy day, you can end up with colour in places you did not expect (i found this out the hard way - sorry to my old favourite pair of converse sneakers)

frames in all shapes and states of repair!
after glue/nails and white paint - enjoying some dry off time....

Step 3
The best part - frame your fave pictures, stationery, photos, stickers, fabric, collectibles  etc.   You can either leave the glass on the frames (i prefer without) and use old bits of cardboard for the back to hold your chosen pics in place.  I used some old shoe boxes which i cut into fit the back of the pictures and taped them down with masking/sticky tape.

This was such a fun and easy project.  Give it a go and don't forget if you ever want to show off what you made - email me your pic!