Saturday, October 30, 2010

Blogland is not so lonely afterall.....

When I started my blog I wondered if anyone apart from me or Martino would read it. Having read many blogs I know I am not alone in feeling this way. I read that at last count there are well over 125 million active blogs so having someone read and want to follow your blog is a little bit of an honour really, at least that is how I feel.  So you can imagine how excited I got when on my very second post I received some comments from people I didn't know!  People from different parts of the worldly webesphere stopping by this here craftyclaudes ....that was very cool.   One of these lovely blog buddies is Jennifer from my two butterflies.   A few things about Jennifer:

- Loves re  - recycle, re thrift, re purpose, refashion.
- Is a member of a farming co-op
- Recently spent time in Italy
- oh and we both started our blogs on the same date!

I really enjoy reading all her posts as they are a great mix of everyday life and her creative projects.  Here are some of her recent creations:

Thrift shop skirt gets a make over for a great new look!
Farm  co-op beetroot becomes yummy (and guilt free) cake!

My favourite re-fashion so far - a grey cardi gets a revamp inspired by Anthropologie

Autumn table runner made by Jen

Oh and also don't forget to check out Jennifer's Etsy shop.  She has some pretty revamped jewelry pieces and other handmade goodies.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Art and About- Sydney from A to Z

In an effort to uncover more of the art that is being produced everyday in our city, Martino and I are on a quest to visit galleries and art spaces in (and around) Sydney on a regular basis.   Last Sunday we kicked off our adventures with a visit to Brooklyn (no -not the one that requires a big plane ride) which is located on the picturesque Hawskebury River, about 1 hour north of Sydney.

Whilst there we visited  The Edge Art Space which had a group show titled "Berowra to Brooklyn" featuring local artists inspired by the surroundings of the majestic Hawkesbury.  It was beautiful to see the Australian bush, river life and the local flora feature in many of the artists works.

One of the artists who participated in the show wrote the following Artist's Statement which I really loved:

"If I'd known that I would enjoy painting so much, I would never have waited till my late fifties to buy brushes, canvas and oil paint and start the process of experimenting with said items"

A great lesson for us all.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Coffee or tea with your creations......

I recently read an article about the growing trend of coffee shops combining with yarn stores to create a place where both experienced and newbie crafters come together in the one place to hone their skills.   I for one LOVE this idea.  What a great way to create community and be able to interact with like minded people.  Also a good way to share skills and be able to swap ideas or even work on group projects with others.  With communal tables, cups of tea/coffee and yummy treats, what a wonderful way to spend a few hours (or your day off from the office) being in a place conducive to creating.

Here are some places around the globe doing it nicely:

Wool and the Gang - NYC
Cool kits to knit!

A party like no other!
Started by a Swiss and a New Zealander now based in NYC.  They specialize in selling funky knitting kits as well ready made pieces made from quality wool sourced from the Andean Highlands of Peru. Apart from a cool cool name, they also have fun events like knitting brunches!

For more info visit their site

Sweatshop - Paris

Wool chic comes to the the 10th arrondissement
More photos and details available via Cool Hunting

Here in Sydney we now have A Coffee and a Yarn located on the south side of King Street in Newtown.  I went to check it out earlier this year and although I was only there for a quick coffee, it looked like a great space and somewhere I would come back to, once I was ready to pick up the crochet or knitting needles.   Amy from Badskirt did a great review and also got to chat to the owner Ellie.  Here are some photos from Amy's blog.

I dream of one day owning a place like this, where not only knitters and sewing artists come together, but jewelry artists, softie creators, beaders, sculptors, paper cutters,  all creative types are welcome. A really fun place where we all come and share our crafts and learn new ones from each other.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Brooklyn wall art - May 2010

Feeling a little nostalgic I sat with a nice cuppa and went through the photos of a trip to New York City we took for my birthday earlier this year.    NYC is a long way away from Sydney.  It takes almost 22 hours to fly there.  These pics take me there in but a second.....oh how we love you NY!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Etsy Finds......For the home

Check out some of these beautiful designs made by some very talented Etsy folk.  Reminding us to show some love to the space we live in.....

Chenille and Mother of Pearl buttons cushion by Letter Perfect Designs

Fox on a bike? ofcourse!  A door mat by Dark Cycle Clothing
Boston Terriers print by Corella Design
When life hands you lemons tea towel by Dear Colleen

ps - oh and they all also ship to Australia!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Audrey Kawasaki - "Tangled" - Outre Gallery - Sydney

Mayakashi by Audrey Kawasaki

oil and graphite on wood panel 12"x12"

I first saw Audrey Kawasaki's art in one of Martino's Juxtapose magazines.  My first thought was if Martino ever gets a tattoo, it has to look like this'.......very weird as he doesnt have any tattoos and not really expressed any interest in having any either.    Audrey's art is beautiful and features her female (and some androgynous males) in very alluring, sometimes dark and sensual poses.  For me the faces, particularly the eyes are what makes her pieces.   Finally she will be having her first major solo exhibition in Australia and we are off to check it out.  Very much looking forward to it......maybe even stop by the tattoo place afterwards!

See Audrey's work at the Outré Gallery(Shop 7, 285a Crown Street, Surry Hills) from October 29 until November 15.....

For more details see here

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Project #4 - Chair for the bedroom - More chair love

Salvos find
I bought this chair a few months ago from the Salvation Army.   It cost $11.   After changing my mind one hundred times over what fabric to use, I decided to stick with my original idea and used this beautiful Ikea fabric I had stashed away from 2008.

IKEA - Ann-Cathrine Sigrid Stahlberg 2008

After some cleaning with soapy water, I decided that I would not be painting this chair.  I liked the beech colour and apart from a few scuff marks (which I managed to get out with a toothbrush and some warm soapy water) the chair was in great condition.

The tools come out......

So began the task of pulling it all apart.   Starting with the fabric covered piping that went around the chair to hide the staples.

 Taking off the cream coloured fabric was easy as it was very old and had some worn out sections. That revealed this tan/green striped fabric which was also ripped

Chair after some cleaning
Finally I was left with this layer of sponge which apart from a tiny section on the corner of the chair, was also in good shape.  So I decided to stop here and gave the sponge a good vacuum.

Using the old cover as a template, I traced out the shape leaving a 2.5cm (1 inch) allowance.  I also used my brand new pinking shears.  These come in very handy when cutting fabric.  If you don't have an over locker, these are the next best thing as they help stop the fabric from fraying too much.

Once cut, I lay the fabric back on the chair and used some tape to hold it in place. Then began the fun part, the staple gun work (my favourite).

This part is what needs lots of patience as you need to secure the fabric by placing a staple in the middle of each side of the chair first.  Once that is done, take it one section at a time and tightly pull the fabric and staple as you go.   I like to stop every couple of staples and make sure that the fabric has not moved and there are no creases.  I then covered the staples with the piping I made earlier.  This was the hardest part of the chair makeover.  I used this very easy tutorial which helped immensely!

So here is the finished product:


 Very pleased with how it turned out and of course now I have even more chair love than before.....if that is even possible!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Freshness from the net - October

Here are some of the funky finds from the big ole webernet.....very awesome stuff!

Book Page Fabric by Brenna

paper never looked so sweet!

Take some beautiful  old book pages, some silicone and the rest is up to you.
The how to can be found here.

Wall Decal by David Bray 

Feathers and high likey!

Floral Tray table by Ashley
The full how to can be found here

and just cause I heart Brooklyn...

a pic of the plate to gate event recently held by Brooklyn Grange

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Repurpose project - Embroidery thread tin and Sewing Machine cover

Keeping my crafty eyes out for old tins and jars lately. I am organizing my craft space so they come in very handy.  Today at work, this very big chocolate tin caught my eye.

Sadly, there were no chocolates left for me to sample however I claimed the tin and bought it home.

Gathering my supplies - fabric, scissors, spray adhesive - i made this

 Perfect little storage for my embroidery threads which were starting to get all tangled and messy.

I then decided to make a cover for my sewing machine out of this very long table runner from Crate & Barrel which we bought 6 years ago and was no longer being used.  A few measurements and some sewing later --- a new cover for the machine!

A very productive crafty evening with two less pieces of landfill makes me very happy :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Jamie does Greek Salad...very very well!

We recently finished watching the "Jamie Does...." series which was screened here in Sydney on Ten.  Every week Jamie took us along on his culinary journey around Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy and other beautiful and food exciting places.  We enjoyed the series so much that we bought the book.   Our first recipe to try was the Greek Salad, here it is:

We served it with a cannelini bean mash and some crusty bread.  Delicioso!!   I have had many Greek salads before, as they are refreshing and punchy and interesting.  However, this one used Dill and Mint as the herbs (usually I use Oregano)  I think that is what made it.  Very fresh.

You can get the recipe free from Jamie's site

Give it a go.....your taste buds will thank you ;-)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Paper garlands - A simple project....

Well....I have finished all my projects for market. Thirty two pieces. All done - phew!  A big achievement for both Maves and I.  So this weekend we will have fun photographing them and thinking about what markets we will sell our wares at this Christmas season. Yay to us!   Upon finishing all the little pieces I decided to continue on my crafty crusade and got out my paper stash.  After focusing on fabric, felt, beads and thread for a few months, it was nice to go through all my pretty papers and try out my brand new paper punch.

I started making lots of these:

Then when I had a bunch of them ready I ran them through the sewing machine.  

In between each shape, I would leave a little thread to give them some room to just hang out

and voila!!  A paper garland :-)

This was by far the quickest project I have ever made.  Plus now that I have tried it, I am thinking Christmas decorations and filling the apartment with pretty garlands.  Just don't tell Martino.  He might think its a little too girlie.   But I loved how these turned out and now that spring is here and our apartment is filled with light and beautiful breeze, these little guys will flutter away and add a festive feel to our place.