Sunday, February 28, 2010

Change of Season and the End of Birthday Month

This is the flash of red at the bottom of my garden. These blossoms herald the end of summer and the start of autumn and coincide with shortening days and chilly mornings. Today marks the last day of summer and the end of birthday month. When the boys were little we would take our annual holiday in March just to recover from the all the birthdays. I just love autumn and I find myself about this time each year scrutinizing the Japanese maple for signs of change. I'm lucky to live in one of the few places in Australia that has the seasons in all their glory. I know some of my antipodean friends are probably looking forward to spring after what has been a long cold winter, if the newspapers are to be believed. So what's your favourite season? Does it change the the focus of your work?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Drawing a Nice Pear... Give Away!

So this is what I've been doing this week... drawing pears. Actually I love pears and not just the taste of them. I'm even trying to incorporate the word pear into a business name because I think a pear on a business card would look lovely. Now, back to the reason I am drawing pears... well this has something to do with my University studies which start in earnest on Monday. I have not shared what it is I'm studying so I thought I would turn this into a little competition. I am going to give a $25 gift voucher from Hawthorne Threads or Kelani Fabric Obsession (your choice) to the person that does the following:
  1. Correctly guesses what I'm studying; and
  2. Leaves a comment with your guess and your voucher of choice
I will draw the winner on Sunday the 14th of March (White Day in Japan) and I will notify the winner by email.
The fine print... the winner is the first person randomly drawn that has the correct guess. Feel free to enter as many times as you like.. I just love comments. Feel free to tell your friends... I just love comments. Don't forget to leave your email so I can contact you if you are the winner. Good luck!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Colour Me Happy Wednesday :: Lavender

You'll be pleased to know that the Etsy colour search tools did not let me down this week, here's what I found:
TOP: Photoglassworks tree and bird glass pendant. I know it was the background that matched my colour but when this appeared I just couldn't let it go. Isn't it gorgeous?
MIDDLE: Sick on Sin's polar bear magnet. He's cute and he's a magnet and if could see my fridge you would know why this little guy caught my eye.
BOTTOM: I know I know, it's not lavender at all... well not in colour but these are lavender sachets filled with French lavender... can't you just smell it? I love this design from Bloomsong. I also love the smell of lavender - it's my number one headache cure. Do you love it? Or are you one of those people (like my darling husband) that just can't stand the smell of it?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Flickr three :: indigo

{images via flickr - click image to go to source page}

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dear Lynette, The Romance is Over

Our challenge this week is to write about falling out of love with a technique, fabric or pattern. For me the answer is easy... Thimbleberries. I used to adore the country stylings of Lynette Jensen's fabric and now I'm really not a fan at all. My first real foray into quilting was in Atlanta where I did a course at Little Quilts in Marietta and the kit I bought for our sampler was all Thimbleberries fabrics. I was hooked,  I joined a Thimbleberries fat quarter club and received 6 fat quarters a month. Then my interest in Thimbleberries started to wane but not before I had built up quite a stash. Now I'm not sure what to do with it . Any suggestions? I do admire Lynette Jensen, I think she's an amazing force in the quilting world but her work is just not my cup of tea anymore.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Give me the child until seven...

and I will give you the man. This Jesuit motto has been running through my head leading up to my Jolly Monkey's 7th birthday. Could it be that the person he will become has already been hardwired? Sometimes I find myself watching him and wondering what life has in store for him. This gives me a feeling that can only be described as heartache but not of the fearful kind. Here's what I know... he has a vast imagination with such detailed stories of events and characters that I can't believe they are not real. He has a spark that people are drawn to, which gives me comfort that he will survive socially but also fills me with trepidation. He has a strange sense of humour and he giggles uncontrollably when trying to tell a story he thinks funny - mostly he never makes it to the punchline. He loves words and reading and will pull single words out of something you've said to him just to know their meaning. Here's what I also know... he's the fussiest eater on the planet and I honestly believe every author of fussy eater cookbooks would be challenged by him. He has a quick temper especially when he feels an injustice has been served. Oh and did you notice he's missing a tooth? We think he may have swallowed it and just so the tooth fairy wouldn't forget him he made me take a picture of his missing tooth, print it and he put it on his door. He certainly knows how to plan ahead, especially when money is involved... I think the man will be just fine.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I have the worst case of procrastination today! What I'm supposed to be doing is writing an essay and I simply cannot start. I have done all the research, I have all my references but... does this ever happen to you? How do you deal with it? I have managed almost every avoidance tactic in my repertoire. I have not, however, resorted to moving the furniture because I did that last week to accommodate the piano. I have made muffins, installed Google chrome, had coffee and catch up with my 2 best girlfriends, browsed flickr for pictures of who knows what.  I know if I just start all will be good... OK (inhale and exhale) wish me luck!
{image by Ana Guerrero showing exactly what I would like to be doing right now}

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Colour Me Happy Wednesday :: Indigo

I just knew that a search for indigo would yield something inspired by Japan. I was happy to see that I was right. I should add that the old Etsy colour search once again let me down. It just couldn't understand my colour request and it returned some very strange results. Give it a go, does it do the same for you? My finds for this week are:
TOP: Alice in Paris print from an original painting. Called Hayley's Dream - Moon, Cat & Girl.
MIDDLE: Japanese Obi inspired cushion cover from dgs Home. This filled me with a whole world of nostalgia for my Japan days {hisashiburi - as they would say}. This also makes me think I should go in search of my yukata (summer kimono).
BOTTOM: I love this top from Horis Japan Blue. Using traditional shibori dyeing for something new. This form of dyeing orginated in Nagoya which is where I used to live and work. I'm sure I still have some of my own shibori attempts stashed away somewhere. I wonder where they could be?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Flickr three :: purple

Almost slipped past me this week {I'm a little late - shhh don't tell anyone}
{images via flickr - click image to go to source page}

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Setting the Mood

It's been a while since I have played with the Mijn Moodboard and it's still a fun time waster. It's also still in Dutch but it's not too difficult to work out how to create your own moody compositions. Added features now are the ability to upload your own pictures for your moodboard and to view the moodboards created by others. You need to registreren (register) with an e-mailadres (email address) and wachtwoord (password) and then you can play. I had an eye for pink and yellow with my last attempt - not colours I would usually pick, especially for interiors. What do you think?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Getting Creative

My task this week is to talk about when I first fell in love with creating. For me it started with my mother and her love of sewing. She is such a beautiful seamstress and over the years has made everything from quilts, to dolls clothes to overly complicated Issey Miyake shirts (for me). She started to teach me when I was young and I had the best outfitted Barbie on the block. Eventually I started making my own T-shirts and painted them for myself and friends. I was the girl who always had a sketch book and my creative bent diverged from my mother into ceramics, photography and drawing. When I went to art school I was convinced that drawing was going to be my major - that was up until I met the chain smoking lecturer that we nicknamed Spacey Holliday. She single-handedly turned me off drawing and I haven't sat and sketched for years. So design became my major and I built stages and furniture and now I've come back to sewing.
{Images via weheartit and turned into polaroids using my new favourite toy - Poladroid }

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Can You See Something Ticking?

Do you ever become aware of something e.g. a word, a colour or a concept and then you see and hear it everywhere you go? This is me and striped ticking at the moment. I am seeing it everywhere I look. Is it more prevalent than it used to be or am I just more aware of it? Being the person I am I thought I'd do a Google search for French Ticking and here's what I found. The eBay store - Antique Vintage European Textiles has the most breathtaking range of truly vintage French ticking... some of the yards are complete with holes and other flaws. I also love the rustic accessories in their product shots. The second I found is The Linen House - based in the UK they source fabric from northern France that is mostly ticking, checks and plains. The also deliver to Australia!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Colour Me Happy Wednesday :: Purple

This week not only did the old and new Etsy colour search engines disappoint I had to completely abandon them in favour of a keyword search. I found nothing that grabbed me with either colour pickers but look at what I did find with my 'purple' search:
TOP: Andie's Glass focal bead. The bead is beautiful but it's the photo that grabbed my eye.
MIDDLE: Beautiful Bridget's Girly Girl Swirly Swirl Ruffle Scarf. Now that would be perfect for our impending winter.
BOTTOM: TJRJewellery Amethyst Ring - I love simple silver rings and this one is just so understated.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Birthday Month Continues

My little man turns 5 today but we celebrated with a party last Saturday. Here he is ready for his party and posing in his birthday t-shirt (I'm not sure about this 'smile'). The birthday t-shirts are now a tradition and they have definitely evolved over the last 5 years. They used to be made with printable iron-on transfers with a naff design hastily created in Illustrator. Then I started to make applique t-shirts and this year they have the same number of stars as their age; I love stars and odd numbers so this worked for me and they don't seem to mind. The green alien was his choice and I'm just glad that it wasn't blue this year.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Flickr three :: fuchsia

{images via flickr - click image to go to source page}

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Lately I've been pondering my attraction to things that are flawed. I have a diamond in a ring with a giant flaw that I feel like I have to justify to any jeweller that ever looks at it. I like dog-eared books, odd numbers and the idea behind rug makers purposefully tying one knot in a different direction to ensure the rug is not perfect. I received an email this week from one of my favourite stores and here was the opening sentence...

We have discussed wabi-sabi before. It bears repetition. This poetic Japanese theory says everything is transitory and in a state of flux, and there is unique beauty in what we are often told to regard as imperfection. Simplicity, maturity and irregularity are to be celebrated.

So next time you're over analysing a creation you think is not quite perfect, look closer... it may just be beautiful.
{image by Andii. on Flickr}

Thursday, February 4, 2010

How Do You Store Your Fabric?

My fabric has been stuffed in a Cathcart Allied moving box since we came from Atlanta so this has been a quandary of  mine for quite a few months now.  I'm appealing to you for your help - how should I store my fabric? I am not only aiming this question at my fellow fabric obsessed, all good advice on my dilemma will be most welcome. I really like this solution from Holly's Street but sadly I no longer have The Container Store down the road and they don't deliver to Australia. I have exhausted every combination of canvas and storage and container in Google Australia with no luck... but if I ever need a shipping container I know where to go!

I also think this idea from Retro Mama is so cool especially the multicoloured colanders! I confess I tried this once (without the colanders) but this failed on two counts. Firstly, I cannot fold my individual pieces to look so uniform and secondly I didn't use them all really quickly so they started to gather dust! Has anyone tried this? Is there a method to folding?

The last picture from Jenny B Allsorts is a picture of her studio.. oh those colours! I really like having my fabric visible, as inspiration strikes when you least expect it. Wouldn't it be nice to work in a space like this? What to do? Can you help?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Colour Me Happy Wednesday :: Fuchsia

Once again I thought this would be an easy task this week as fuchsia is such a bold garish colour that I assumed it would prevail in my colour search. Once again I almost gave up on the old search tool but that was until I found the top picture...
TOP - Jellybeans - A Spring of Love Print. This is so adorable and I have a good friend who loves hearts and trees - how perfect this would be for her.
MIDDLE - Terrific Tags Studio - photographic print. I can never go past a peony.
BOTTOM - Maddy and Me - Petit Lime Felted Bowl. Felt again... I'm quite obsessed with it at the moment. I just love the shocking green with the pink and it's small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.

Monday, February 1, 2010

And So Begins Birthday Month

My darling husband, aka the cyclist, turns 42 today. He's quite excited by this as up until last week he thought he was already 42 so he feels like he has won back a whole year. Just one of the many reasons I love him - if the details are not important then he doesn't pay attention. I mean really, what is an age anyway? I admit I don't devote much of my blog world to the cyclist - I kind of like to keep him to myself. He's an extraordinary person who can be frustratingly grumpy and overwhelmingly thoughtful. Without exaggeration he's so smart that I often struggle to keep up with the way his brain works. He has a quick wit and watching him with the boys is one of my favourite pastimes. Best of all, he puts up with me and after 22 years of knowing him and 11 years married to him he's still the person I most want to spend my time with.
Happy Birthday sweetie - if you're stuck for a new bike colour how about this one?