Sunday, January 31, 2010

Just before the bell....

We have two more fabulous participants in the monthly design challenge who have finished up there pieces, just before the bell....

Jennie over at Posie Patchwork has taken advantage of the turning' Japanese theme to create this wonderful gift for her daughters friend.

Meet Samurai.

This little wonder has been created using a fantastic mix of Japanese print fabrics, from top to toe.
I love the Koi on his belly and the clever use of the wave for his eye. Too cute...

Jasmine over at Natures whispers has lent her hand to some inspired felting for the challenge.
Working with a scrumptious piece of silk, she has Nuno felted this beautiful leaf design.
Nuno felting is a Japanese technique of laying down wool and silk together and driving the fibres of the wool through the silk until they bond and become one.

Just gorgeous.

Thanks for joining Ladies.

Don't forget, If you've been inspired to make something for this months theme, but feel you won't have it done before we move on to February's theme...fear one will fail by not meeting the end of month deadline....carry on crafting and send me your pics when done.

Feb will just mark the beginning of the new theme...not the ending of the old one.

I'll be back late tomorrow to present my work, inspired by this months challenge (bet you didn't notice I hadn't done it yet....bad hostess) and to randomly pick the new theme for Feb.

Catch yah then!

A new top for foxy.....

A wonderful chain of events led to piece number four in my ethical clothing challenge.

Firstly, the fabulously talented Mel a co-op member at work (Olive Grove) has decided to leave.

In making the decision to leave she also decided to have a big cleanup and get rid of......fabric. Something I could never do. But bless her cotton socks, cause there were some great pieces she was giving away.
These two fabrics, a brown and yellow floral and a brown check were in amongst the stash and surprising looked good side by side, so I took them home hoping there was enough to make a top.

I would never usually put two prints together... a check and a floral....another sign that I am turning into my mother!
But they seemed perfect together, and it was creating another addition to my non-black wardrobe so it was all good....

I used the pattern I have been working on for my last few attempts...again. I'm not sick of it yet, so it's all good. This time I extended the border contrast on the sleeve to go all the way around the neck too. Finishes it off nicer I think.

But....that's not all there is to the story.
After picking up the fabric and adding it to my stash, I spied a brand new foxy creation over at the Lino forest blog. It was in the exact same colors as the fabric I had newly attained and had so much character in his little face, that I had to have him.

So out came the fabric that was stored away for another day and I whipped up the top in time for Thursdays Northern craft bonanza catch up where I would rendezvous with the lovely Liz to pick up foxy, the Pièce de résistance to my newest ethical clothing pledge top.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's a wrap....

A wrap around obi belt that is......

Some more Japanese inspired craft for this months design challenge, this time from the lovely Isis over at Isis Made.

She has taken this gorgeous fabric found in her stash and whipped up a smashing little obi...

Just adore the fabric.

If you've been inspired to make something for this months theme, but feel you won't have it done by end of Jan...fear one will fail by not meeting the deadline....carry on crafting and send me your pics when done.

Feb will just mark the beginning of the new theme...not the ending of the old one.
Jay xx

Little lion man....

I'm sort of a silence girl when it comes to crafting. The sound of a button dropping, the machine whirring and my keys tap tapping on the keyboard is bliss....

But on the odd occasion that I need a tune to pass the day, Triple JJJ is the number on my dial.

They have just done the hottest 100 and announced Little lion man by Mumford and sons as the number 1. You can listen to it .......'here'

It's such a folksy song and takes me back to my younger days of drinking Guinness at the Dan O'Connell on a Sunday night with many friends and a great band playing an Irish jig.

Yay to songs that remind us of happy times.....

What are you lovin' listening to lately?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

5 pretty ladies.....all in a row.

The talented Felicity of Flicketty splits has made not one...not two...but five adorable geisha softies as part of the monthly design challenge.

Combining embroidery, buttons, divine fabrics and trimmings, she has excelled at making these little girls in kimonos look sooo cute.

Well done flick, I wants them all.....

If you've been inspired to make something for this months theme, but feel you won't have it done by end of Jan...fear one will fail by not meeting the deadline....

The idea is to be inspired and find a little piece of yourself in every genre we visit. So if other commitments keep you from finishing as soon as you would like, complete it any way...and we'll have a big end of year REAL LIFE photo exhibition to display all the works that have culminated over the year as a result of all the challenges set forth.

Just remember.....Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Carry on crafting....
Jay xx

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Earring display...take two!

I revisited my new rack sooner than later and re-painted it black.

I was almost going to let the green stay but when I finished the second rack ...

a shorter version for Handmade Heaven that I painted black, I decided it looked much better.

Much more 'ME' and it shows off all the bright, bold colors fabulously. Yay!

Some other little cuties I finished for the shop yesterday too....

Monday, January 25, 2010

The cutest by far.....

The creatively crafty Sarah-jo over at ideyspidey sure gets the cuteness award for her contribution the this months 'turning Japanese' design challenge.

Modeled on little Iris is a fabulous kimono top she made in a gorgeous oriental print.

She has even made matching fabric covered ponytail holders, for her twiddles.....
Just adorable!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Check out my rack.....

Not that sort of rack! This sorta of rack......

I have been thinkin' and thinkin' and thinkin' of a better way to display my earrings, as I was never happy with the bowl arrangement I had.
It was a lovely wooden bowl with 6 compartments and I would color code them so that each section held one color. I tend to always work in bold color blocks, so that arrangement work well,to an extent............

You could see the few on top only, and people had to dig around to check the others out. Inevitably by the end of a market day they were all upside down with only my backing cards showing. So instead of spending my shift turning them right way round I figured there had to be a better way.

I noticed some people used pin boards or dangle two from a store bought earring display, but....I work in big quantities and tend to have 50 plus to choose from at each stall, so I'd end up having 50 little stands dominating my table. Not the look I was going for....

So after many months thrifting at local oppies and trash n' treasure markets hoping to find the perfect display solution, I gave up...

I gave up on the notion that I was going to find exactly what I needed already made up.

So off I went to Bunnings with my little sketch and basic measurements in hand, feeling very much like a tomboy in amongst all the blokey builders and craftsmen.

I wanted to fit 10 pairs on a shelf and have 6 shelves, so that the finished height was no bigger than 45cm. This was so it would fit perfectly on one of the shelves at the shop. (Olive Grove)

With that in mind, I grabbed some pine that was 60mm wide 240mm long. My idea was to have dowels as the legs that held it all up, so we grabbed 12.5mm dowel in 2 long lengths to be cut up.

I got the man in the cut shop to saw the wood for me as I only have a coping saw at home and why spend hours cutting little itty bits of wood in crooked lines, whilst risking finger loss.... when they can do it in 2 minutes flat. Too easy.

Back at grandpas we measured up hole placement and shelf alignment, sawed the dowel to even lengths (cause the Bunnings peeps could only cut the square wood) and borrowed a 12.5 mm drill bit.

Thanks for helping me nut out the finer details gramps, made assemblage a dream!

Next it was home with all the bitses for assembling.

First we drilled big holes.....

Threaded each shelf on....

checked on the visuals for spacing....

Nailed each pole in place.....

painted it....and put it in the shop!

I'm so happy with the end result.
It looks like there is so much more to choose from, and it takes up minimal surface area on the shelf. YAY!

I'm not 100% on the color. I wanted something quite neutral, but the washed out green is a bit girly...

I might revisit the finish at some stage, but for now it does the job.

To think, for all those months of shopping wasted when I could have just bit the bullet a lot sooner and made one. Oh I know what I'm doing I 'll make a shorter black one for my space in Handmade Heaven.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Philosophy of the fish.....

It's lovely to see the meaning behind some of the imagery people have embraced, when choosing their project for this months 'turning Japanese' design theme.

Manda over at 'A too short tale' has created a beautiful Koi fish design to adorn her handmade 2010 diary.

Even more beautiful is knowing the significance of the design.
Thanks to Manda's research....

'The Japanese associate koi (also known as carp) with perseverance in adversity and strength of purpose.
Because of its strength and determination to overcome obstacles, it stands for courage and the ability to attain high goals.'

Just gorgeous....

For another Dose of gorgeous, the lovely Fabiola of 'little cooties' has found inspiration in a piece of Japanese fabric she discovered in a fabric scrap pack bought recently.

She had almost given up hope that inspiration would come for this months theme.....
But lucky she didn't, cause this little needle book she made is so practical and perfectly cute.
Definitely my cup of tea.
Great job Fab!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

But I want that one.....

Why settle for the little hat.....

When grandpa has a bigger one!

(grandpa lookin' fine in the t-shirt I got him for Christmas, screen printed by Roze at Olive Grove.)

Good things come in threes.......

Three more participants in the monthly design challenge have finished there work ready for show n' tell.

These beautiful sakura pendants were created by Celeste from Little waltz. They are made from Kimono fabrics frozen in resin, and then shaped as petals. She even has a little special going on her blog for these beauties, check it out here.

Next is a fabulous collage from the paper lovin' Beky at Pivotal Xpressions. Using Japanese papers and her favourite find, washi tape, she has pieced together such a fun collage with a great sense of depth and color. If you look at the negative space created in the folded papers on the border, you'll see it spells something.....very clever!
and lastly but not leastly, Kylie over at Tiges and Weince has turned her graphic design talents to making these too cute little Kokeshi Doll bookmarks. Just Divine.

Thanks for playing along crafty ladies. I promise I'll have mine done soon......

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The biggest by far.......

I'm excited to present the biggest piece to be entered so far for the 'monthly design challenge'
The gorgeous Mim has done a smashing job of completing this wall art hanging.
Measuring in at 3.5 x 2.5 mtrs it was no easy feat to applique'.

She has gloriously adorned cherry blossom flowers from new and vintage kimono fabrics, then gone over them with free machine embroidery.

Admittedly, this has been a work in progress for Mim, so please don't feel overwhelmed by the challenge thinking that you have to create such a masterpiece in only 4 weeks. Mim has been at this one for a while, but was inspired to finish it in time to be included in this months 'turning japanese' challenge.

There is so much work involved in her piece, pop on over to her blog 'Mim art life' to read more..

I'm definitely inspired by all the interpretations I've seen of this months challenge, thanks for joining in everyone, and don't forget you're all welcome to play so even if inspiration doesn't hit you till the eleventh's never to late!

Inspired art, up for grabs.....

A new challenge to present along with a giveaway....perfect!

Melanie has taken this months 'turning Japanese' theme and created a fabulous piece of art.
The Letter E is formed by the Japanese Kanji symbol for Earth and is turning on it's axis. "very simple, very zen"

Best of all.... Melanie is giving it away. Visit her blog here for your chance to win.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Something......I can do!

I can't be over in Haiti helping all those so desperately in need, but thanks to many generous crafty souls on Etsy....there is something I can do!

Whilst reading Betty Jo's blog I found out about the shop 'Hearts for Haiti' that has been set up on Etsy, taking donations from crafty peeps around the world. Proceeds from sales made will be donated to 'Doctors without borders'.

So even if you don't have anything you can donate, you sure can shop for handmade knowing that your $$ are going towards those in need.

I have already popped over for a look and purchased this fabbo felt necklace by Shagpile.I will be sure to visit some more, as items are uploaded regularly. What a great way to show your support.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Where did Curlypops put her glasses....

Curlypops and her clever ways with a sewing machine, have made easy work of this months design challenge by coming up with a handy dandy glasses case.Made using a fabulous Kokka Ume Japanese fabric called Komachi Blossom, she has come up roses.....or blossoms I should say with another great sewing achievement to add to the list.

Well done Cam.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Looks what new at the shop...

Like all fans of handmade , I too have greeted the new year with a sense of wanting new and exciting things to work on. I still love everything I do, no doubt about that, but..... you just become a little complacent if things remain...same old...same old.
So I spent last week on a new little range of beaded beauties to take in to 'Olive Grove'.

It's been so nice to have a little break away from my usual time takers and there is something about beading that is so meditative.

Standing back and looking at it I'm so glad I detoured a little. It's such a splash of color and fun. I luvs them!

All newly on display at 'Olive Grove' and available in Feb at Handmade Heaven (Qld)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Coffee n' craft.............

Tomorrow is the next coffee n' craft for Northside Makers

It's being held at C.E.R.E.S over in Brunswick so If you're in the neighborhood, feel free to join in.
It's a great opportunity to just sit, craft and drink coffee together.

Bring along any hand held project your working on.

Sunday 17th January,
CERES Environment Park
at the Cafe cnr Roberts and Stewart Streets, Brunswick East, Victoria
(Enter from Blyth street near Merri Creek)
1pm to 3pm

*The park is a great place for hubby and the kids to entertain themselves whilst mum sits and crafts, so feel free to bring the family too.

Another design challenge met.................

Crafty Sue over at Divajools has done an inspirational job of fulfilling the task at hand for this months design challenge.

Look at these beauties.

With 'turning Japanese' as this months theme, Sue hit the oppies and found this sad, faded eighties necklace, begging to be revived. She was mainly drawn to the little wicker beads and how well they would fit in with a cherry blossom inspired piece she had envisaged.

So home it came for a little magic touch. Sue re-colored the wicker to a vibrant cherry, and teamed it with some gorgeous beads and chain for.......... da-da-da-DA.......

This fantastic finished result!

Thanks so much Sue, for sharing' the steps in your design process too. It's great to see how it evolved from some faded and forgotten beads into the fabulous end result.

What a transformation!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Challenger number two...

The lovely Beccasauras has met the monthly design challenge with flying colors.

With 'turning Japanese' as the theme, Bec's taken a fabulous oriental fabric and whipped up this little number.

Matching lining and all...... Great taste lady.

I'm 50 % done on my piece for this's yours coming along!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Yet another.......

Another non black contribution to the ethical clothing pledge.

This time I reconstructed a beautiful purple cotton dress I had bought from Supre' and still never worn.
Again it had spaghetti straps.....I don't know why I do that to myself! it was only ever going to be worn over a wider strapped singlet. But then you get weather like we have had lately and you just can't stand the thought of having to wear two tops to get the desired look.

So off came the straps, and on went a coordinating purple cotton print (from the stash) for a thicker strap.
I placed the pattern on the original dresses neckline so I could maintain the gathered detail, and altered the upper back piece of my pattern, to have more of a scooped almost racer back effect.

I've used this pattern 3 times now and's not quite right. Just needs 1.5 cm added to the shoulder strap and it'll be perfect. So one more top from this pattern I think. Gotta get it right!

* Please excuse blurry photo's taken by holding camera up high and hoping i got myself in it.
web cam is on the blink.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The first challenger....

I bet little miss Betty Jo, was the first to put her hand up in class and answer all the questions...cause she sure has been the first to put her hands to work and create the cutest new brooches as part of this months design challenge....

Aren't they gorgeous, and very Betty Jo indeed.

Boy o' boy....I best get my thinking cap on!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Turning Japanese............

Some inspiration for the January design theme .......whatever form it may take!

Sterling Japanese maple tree pendant : By Wire girl
Robot thank you card by: Boto designs
Green origami flower ball by: Julzbooks
Japanese tattoo platform wedge by:Virtual exchanges
Red Bamboo mural decal by:Single stone studios
Kawaii sakura tee shirt by: Namu
Cherry branch plastic ring by: Tiger Lily designs
Sake cups by : Pottery by Jolene
Harajuku girls via: Japanese street fashion


I've also created a little button for the challengers. So if your taking part, your welcome to pop it on your blog too.

I'm not very technological with html codes etc, so just copy and paste it and link it back to this post:
so peeps know what your taking part in.
Jay xx

Monday, January 11, 2010

January's design theme...

It's time for the monthly design challenge to begin.
Thanks to random the lucky number chosen is number 2.

If we flick back a post or two the categories reveal that number two is........

Turning Japanese

1: Planes, trains and automobiles
2: Turning Japanese
3: Weird science
4: Birds of fancy
5: Music and dance
7:Wild west
8: Fantastic Flora
9: food, glorious food
10: Seeing circles
11: It's hip to be a square
12: Steam punk
13: Technological
14: European travels
15: The great vacation
16:I see red, I see red, I see red....(or whatever color we choose this month)
17: Space....the final frontier.
18: Circus
20:The animal kingdom
21:Our furry friends

The challenge is open to everyone and can be interpreted any way you see fit.

Inspiration may come in the form of bold geometric prints, feminine blossom designs, quirky 50's gadgetry and tin toys, calligraphy, shoes, tacky vintage cosmetic advertising, propaganda posters and more.

Take that inspiration and turn it into anything your heart desires.
Jewellery, clothes, quilts, sculpture, painting, pencil cases, toys, furniture, stationary or even a cupcake!
Your only limited by your own imagination.

Send me pics of your finished works, no matter how great or small, by the end of January and we'll have a bloggy exhibition of all the fantastic craft submitted.

I can't wait to see what wonderful things are created this month.