Thursday, 31 May 2012

Thrifting Once More

I set off to the Great Op Shop again after work the other day, hoping to find the odd necklace or bracelet that I could deconstruct and reinvent. But, as usual, whenever I go to a thrift shop with an objective in mind, I am always led astray by things that have other plans for me (I say they have plans for me as I don't really feel in control of where inspiration takes me most of the time!)

On this particular occasion, I came away with a $10 set of bright yellow Salter scales, several handy offcuts, a bag full of zips, a dress pattern that only contains the pieces for belt and collar and a cute/scary tea towel that I have no idea what to do with. And no jewellery parts. Well done me.

Crafty Winter Foraging

It's official. Winter has arrived down under. But I'm not complaining. Looking out of the window, I am greeted this morning by blue skies and a determined sunshine. Don't get me wrong, it's not warm, by any stretch of the imagination. But at least it's bright. And I must admit, I do quite like clear frosty weather. It's refreshing; it keeps the head clear.

As another mark that winter is upon us, the Winter Encraftment Market was hosted last weekend. Other than the regular Sunday market at Riccarton race-course which has a few handmade stalls dotted around, this was the first craft market I've attended since being here and I was pretty excited due to the huge range of talent I'd found through Felt and Facebook. I bought a lovely array of clay beads and charms from madebyme and hope to attend one of their jewellery classes this month to turn my purchases into something pretty.

I was also giddy upon seeing slyfox had a stall and rushed over to admire all the woodland inspired goodies on display. Mr Bear took pity on me upon seeing my distress having discovered these adorable fox studs and consented to the purchase (which was greeted with squealing delight). I'v worn them once so far but feel they are too precious to wear all the time!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Pillowcase Competition

Last weekend, I was persuaded to enter a competition to design and make a pillowcase for a chance to win a Toyota Quilting machine. I've never entered a crafty competition before and thought I might give it a try to see if I got anywhere with one of my creations.

I designed this case of a girl sleeping, dreaming of all things down under, with an embroidered tag on the back that reads: Dream Big. Dream NZ. This design was inspired by all the months I spent back home when the first and last thing I'd think about when my head hit the pillow would be New Zealand and all the things that were waiting for us in our new life. 

I wish I could have written about the idea behind this design on my entry as it really means something to me and I wanted to share this with others through my work. My dreams were big...and now they are my reality.

Bottletop Lamps

Since we arrived in New Zealand, I have been collecting bottle tops from all the beers we've been drinking (quite a few!) as I've always thought it would be cool to cover a lamp base with them and a pretty sweet project to comemorate our time here. Our housemates have been great, saving theirs too and setting them aside for me to discover in the morning on my walk through the shared living area. I wanted it to be a project Mr Bear and I could do together as there aren't many crafts around that he would deem 'manly' enough. So we spent last Saturday shopping for suitable lamps, tile grout ect before returning home to spend a few hours creating our O.A.K designs. This is Martin's. He was much neater and more meticulous than me.I just wanted to get as many bottle tops on as possible and didn't focus on colour co-ordinating as much. I'm more of a chaotic crafter I think!

They need sealing with something; I might even just give them a lick of paint. But we're already using them in our room, they look awesome!

Windmills Tote Bag

I have recently enrolled upon an e-course hosted by the brilliant Elsie Larson over at A Beautiful Mess. A lot of the blogs I follow post DIY Fashion tutorials helping you to re-vamp your wardrobe and create styles you love from the high-street at a fraction of the cost. I've always enjoyed doing this myself, especially through my love of vintage clothing but not of the unflattering hem lines and scratchy material that comes with it. As a teenager, I would often take a pair of scissors to a long 70's style dress given to me by my grandmother or hack the sleeves off men's tshirts to make little tank tops. So I have a lot of my own ideas but still feel in need of inspiration from time to time. 

When I came across the DIY Dress-up E-course on Elsie's blog, I thought it might be fun and interesting to have a go at my first online course. I've loved studying for my Interior Design diploma through distance learning so I know that working in my own time and submitting assignments online really suited me.

This tote bag was the second project on the course. I've never made a bag and was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was. I'm not such a massive fan of tote bags but love this Windmill fabric I bought from work and thought it would look great jazzed up with a bright red cotton lining and a matching Russian Doll bag-charm. The charm is still a work in progress so I will post some more pics when it's finished!

Teardrop and Heath

The best thing about working in a fabric shop is being surrounded my beautiful prints and colours all day and dreaming of the endless creations I could make. One of my favourite designers that we stock is the American brand Alexander Henry. Every time new fabrics arrive in store, the ones I single out as my favourites are always Alexander Henry. Two of these such fabrics I decided would become my first project on my sewing machine. I made these cushion covers, complete with tiny orange button backs and have to say I'm very pleased wiyh my work! I havn't sewn a button-hole since I was 16 and, after some trial and error, things went pretty smoothly. The only problem is, it is so quick to make a cushion cover and there are so many fabrics to choose from, I might end up running out of places to put cushions!

Machine Sisters

I'm not the kind of girl who likes lavish gifts, bunches of flowers and boxes of chocolates; I have always thought words speak louder than actions. Maybe that comes from being in a relationship with the strong silent type! 

But, when my beloved Mr Bear offered to buy me an antique Singer sewing machine and table, I felt weak at the knees! It needs a bit of TLC and a new chain to work the pedal, but to me it's the most beautiful thing in the world. That same week, while I was at work, the knight in shining armour struck again and won an auction for a brand new Brother sewing machine. My mind will not rest now, there are so many ideas buzzing around my fuzzy head! The possibilities are endless and the obstacles few.

A Month of Creativity

It's a little bit shocking to me thast this is my first post of the month! It's been a busy, unpredictable and eventful one. I've been working a lot, getting to know my new work mates and customers better and learning lots about fabrics and designers worldwide.I love autumn here. The other day the clouds were so big and fluffy they looked just like cotton wool. 

I have been buzzing with ideas and inspiration the past few weeks and barely have time to start one project before I'm dreaming of the next. I've even had to write myself a list of all the things I will be making so I can keep track of it all!