Wednesday, 17 July 2013

A Little Gallery

A couple of weeks ago, one of my favourite illustrators had a sale through their Etsy shop. 'Yey' I say. 'Oh, not you again!', says my bank account. Upon adding items to my checkout (sorry bank account), I realised this would be only my second purchase of goods through Etsy.
'Surely not', I hear you say. Sad but true, dear readers. 

Unfortunately, it appears I have become a 'virtual window shopper', which is quite a crime considering I am such an advocate of supporting small handmade craft businesses (being a budding one myself!) Don't worry, I slapped my own wrists and will endeavour to change my ways....again: apologies Bank of Bamboo.

It is also a minor miracle, or should I say travesty, that I have never purchased a piece of Lauren Carney's artwork before. I have been an admirer of Dizzy Little Dotty for a few years now, but have only recently got my hands on a physical copy of her quirky, mystical drawings.

I bought myself a set of these super-cute clothes line paper cut-outs to hang in my studio for inspiration. They are wonderfully motivating during bouts of creative block!

And I snatched up this beautiful digital print (left) of a piece that made me feel like I'd had it specially commissioned for Martin and I: entitled 'I didn't mean to hurt you'. I felt like laughing and crying simultaneously when I saw it. We quite often play fight (channelling our inner child has always been a big part of our connection!) and I - embarrassingly - often have a tendency of getting carried away. What do they say - you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs?? ....not entirely sure that particular phrase is relevant here but ANYWAY what I'm trying to say is it is something that is so quintessentially us, it feels quite special when an artist can capture that in their work. I think it also looks a little like us!

A lot of Lauren's work has a very human element to it, along with the obvious surreal and supernatural themes. She is a magician with a stylus pen when it comes to putting on paper those little imperfections and quirks that make us who we are - showing the human races' multi-faceted nature in a multitude of pen strokes. Thanks Lauren!

She is also an awesome gift-wrapper and even threw in a couple of extras, which was a lovely surprise!

Our gallery wall is coming along nicely, don't you think?

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Coin Purse Love

So, a few weeks ago Sara from The Hope Tree had a sale of her beautiful coin purses on Facebook. I am a bit of a sucker for these kind of things but usually forget when the sale starts or someone comments 'SOLD!' before I've even had chance to put fingers to keypad. 

But this time around, I was determined. I set my heart on this pretty 14cm brass framed purse, made with Echino linen (purchased from my work place, The Make Cafe, might I add)! So, when 7pm came around, I was ready! Isn't it just stunning?? Sara always manages to match the fabric and frame perfectly and uses a well contrasted lining fabric too. Another lovely addition to my handmade wardrobe, I think :)

Inspired by Sara's wonderful craft-woman-ship (yes, that is my new phrase!), I decided to have a go at making a coin purse for my friend Gabby's 21st birthday back in May. Here is what I came up with....

I drew up the pattern myself and since this is the first time I've sewn it up, I shall probably make a few changes next time around. I'd like the corners to be slightly more rounded! But not bad for a first attempt and Gabs loved it so everyone's happy :)

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The Giant's House

Way back in May, Martin and I enjoyed a long weekend in Akaroa, the French inspired harbour town in the nearby Banks Peninsula. Although we made a rookie error of leaving our digital camera at home, I managed to take a few snaps using my phone to record our time there.

It was actually quite nice to have left the camera behind, as it meant we were able to relax properly and not experience everything through a view-finder, which made a nice change.

But for me, it was very important to take some photos of one place we visited during our time there. 

The Giant's House is a bed and breakfast with a difference. Mosaic artist Josie Martin has transformed her home, business and gardens into a living work of art. Paintings and sculptures are scattered all around the grounds and everywhere you look is abundant with colour and reflected light.

It was quite an emotional visit for me as my Mum, an artist herself, is very interested in mosaics and had come across The Giant's House online, urging me to visit the next time we were in Akaroa. Walking around the beautifully landscaped gardens, I knew my Mum would be in her element and I felt a pain growing in my chest with each step I took as I longed to share this experience with her. 

So I made a video whilst I walked.....

I hope one day we'll be able to go for a stroll there together, Ma :)
To see all our photos from the house, have a look at our Flickr account.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Anything but Hibernating

It may be winter but Christchurch is anything but hibernating folks! This city is experiencing Spring all year round. Maybe not in terms of weather - although the last week has been beautiful - but certainly in terms of budding businesses planting seeds and bringing new life and colour to the rubbled landscape.

By now, we're used to things quietening down during the winter months and having to find ways to keep ourselves entertained. But, if you know where to look, there's still plenty going on in and around town.

On Friday night we headed over to Lyttelton to watch the fireworks as part of a Street Party for their festival of light. The streets were lined with food stalls and thronged with people in fancy dress, big cuddly blankets and an array of interesting head wear! Our ears with serenaded by the haunting voice and stomping tunes of Devlish Mary and The Holy Rollers. We had a little jig (more to keep warm than anything!) and grabbed a cup of warm mulled apple to defrost our insides.

Saturday morning was craft market day, as we headed over to CPIT for The Craft Collective's 'Dead of Winter Market'. I snatched up an awesome panda illustrated plate by Shit's About To Get Dainty to add to our art work wall, a couple of sweet silver stacking rings from Random Little Things and a bobbin-tastic head scarf from Little Heart. My shopping success was topped off by a cup of Minestrone soup and a couple of tunes from a talented young busker.

In the afternoon, we headed over the Port Hills to Governor's Bay to sample some cocoa goodness from She Chocolat, resolving to return soon to attend one of their chocolate creating courses!

As some Christchurch dwellers will know, The Tannery shopping emporium has recently under-gone serious renovations and re-opened its doors to the public again. Though still a work in progress with a lot of empty retail space waiting to be occupied, The Tannery is now home to an eclectic mix of gift shops, homewares, a surf shop, silversmithing workroom, tattoo studio, second-hand book shop, vintage clothing and a very classy wine bar. I can't wait to see it full  of shops and hope to take a class in silversmithing soon!