Archive for August, 2010

getting creative

August 25, 2010

So for the past 6weeks I’ve been getting creative in Mel Sharpham’s Kensington studio. I’ve been taking one of her clay classes each Tuesday night, and I’m loving it.

Slip Casting two toned bowls

making ceramic bowls

Melaine is a local artisit and she has a business Eucalypt homewares. Her creations are so simple and elegant, yet a bit fun, they are clearly inspired by her life as an Australian. She has pieces in some galleries around Perth and you can find her stuff for sale at the Up-Markets.

Melanie Sharpham Bowls Plates

Mel's beautiful ceramics are stacked on shelves around the studio

Mel sets up a really relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere but shes also managed to cram so many projects into our 6weeks. We’ve made 4 slip cast bowls and 3 dishes and applied different techniques to each. We also made a handful of garden labels. Its been really interesting learning a new craft.

Last week I shot these photos of us working on slip casting and plate making.

Mel shaping a plate

Mel showing us how to shape the edge of our dishes

Unfired Bowls

Some tools, our bowls we've been making, mine has the light blue pattern

slip cast bowl and hand made plate

my bowl and plate from last week

I’ve really enjoyed expending some creative energy, I’ve found it so inspiring to get out on my own and do something artistic. This week all our projects go in the Kiln so fingers crossed there isn’t too much cracking and breaking and I have some beautiful finished creations to show you soon!

Mel unloading the Kiln

Mel unloading the Kiln

I snapped this and another of Mel as I was leaving for the night, she was taking out some children’s handprints cast in clay as well as some things for the next upmarket. I think you might be able to see some of these photos on Mel’s blog plus lots of other fun things she’s been up to!

New Japanese Pattern Dress

August 23, 2010

So I made a dress from this Japanese Pattern book:

Ondori Childrens Clothes Japanese Pattern Book

Ondori Childrens Clothes - Japanese Pattern Book

It was so quick and easy. It took a couple of hours and I really wasnt in any hurry. I got the fabric for $2 in the remnant bin at Spotlight and everything else came from my stash. Yep it cost me $2 for this whole dress! How stoked am I?

round yoked girls dress japanese pattern

round yoked gathered girls dress from the japapnese pattern book

Yeah, I know, because I was being cheap (and too impatient to go to the store to buy a purple one) the zip isn’t matching, but I dont think it looks too awful when its on. Ok, don’t look too close, or you’ll notice how badly finished off  the top of the zip is. Zip’s scare me. They really shouldn’t. Its not hard. I just get all nervous and over think them, that’s how I mess them up! I need to do them more and I’ll get better.

round yoked full gathered dress - japanese pattern

the actual dress as pictured in the book

As you can see the actual pattern makes a Very full dress. So I cut it down a bit because I didn’t want it to be so poufy. I’m glad I did, it used less fabric and still has great shape.

shirred gathered pocket round

shirred round pocket close-up

I also added a gathered pocket. I used the left over fabric from cutting out the neck-piece. Shirred the top with three lines of elastic thread. I then trimmed it with some vintage crochet edging that Mum handed down to me from her stash. I made two pockets but I’ve only added one at this point. What do you think? Add another?

I took these pictures of the munchkin wearing it before I put the pocket on. I was just trying it on her and she wouldn’t take it off. Apparently it makes a great dress for flying airplanes:

great for flying airplanes

great for flying airplanes

for going on garden adventures:

adventuring through the garden

adventuring through the garden

and for checking the mail:

checking for the post

checking for the post

I realised to get any sewing done these days I needed a quiet place to sew while the girls were sleeping. So I moved our dining table into our bedroom and set up shop. Fortunately our table is a gate-leg and folds down perfectly to fit in the corner. I’m wondering why I never did this before:

sewing space in our bedroom

carving out a sewing space in our bedroom

Oh yeah because it means we don’t have a dining room table! Dinner was in the lounge that night. I think it might be there a few other nights while I get some projects done I’ve been wanting to tackle for ages.

Happy Birthday Sam I am

August 18, 2010

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss is one of my daughters favourite books. On ABC breakfast radio this morning they announced that it is the 50th anniversary of it being released. So I told the girls that today is Sam I am’s birthday. To celebrate we had green eggs and ham for dinner.

Green Eggs and Ham Book Cover

Green Eggs and Ham

My daughter insisted we have ‘a big ham like that one mum, with a fork’ (pointing to the ham leg on the cover). So I sort of complied. Instead of buying sliced ham (as I would usually do) I bought it as a piece. I should do this more often, its the nicest way to have ham, I think that every christmas then forget to do it through out the year.

Green Eggs and Ham

Our Real Life Green Eggs and Ham

Although a little disappointed that the ham wasn’t green (sorry I’m not taking the food dye to the ham) the she was pretty stoked. Although my effort to make it nutritious by adding English spinach didn’t really fly. After announcing ‘I do like them, I do like green eggs and ham’ she proceeded to say ‘I will not eat leaves’.

green eggs and ham for dinner

green eggs and ham for dinner

However served on a toasted English muffin and topped it with Hollandaise sauce, even us grown-up wanted to eat these green eggs and ham. We do like leaves, ‘they are so good, so good you see’.

To make the eggs green all I did was crack an egg into a small ceramic bowl. I then poured about a teaspoon of green food dye into the egg white and stirred just the white very gently in a circular motion. I let them sit like that for about 10minutes before sliding into the fry pan.

how to make green eggs and ham

how to: green eggs

(To make it gluten free just served mine on top of toasted gluten free turkish bread). We’ve read the book about three times today, but at the moment that’s an average day!

right now I’m loving…

August 16, 2010

…these beautiful measuring spoons

beautiful measuring soons from Anthropologie

beautiful measuring spoons from Anthropologie

I really really really want these measuring spoons from Anthropologie. They cost 16AUD which is a bit up there for some spoons but I’d totally pay it. If it wasn’t going to cost me 45AUD to get them here. $60 for some spoons??? Sadly they wont be looking beautiful in my kitchen any time soon.

right now I’m loving…

August 14, 2010

more flowers beside my bedside.

bright pink and orange roses

bright pink and orange what a combo

I have a thing for short stemmed bouquet arrangements. Particularly in these square glass vases.

rose posy pink and orange

sweet rose posy

just a reminder….

stop and smell the flowers

...don't forget to stop and smell the roses

you’ll be glad you did!

Wallpaper Samples

August 12, 2010

Its here! My samples are here. If you want to try and buy wallpaper in Perth you should totally do it this way!

yellow wallpaper samples

yellow wallpaper samples

I found it hard to find anywhere that supplied a really broad range of papers in Perth. So I found this website. Wallpaper direct is amazing. You can browse all kinds of papers then buy samples. You even get a couple for free, I got 7 samples all sent to me for about $10. Decent sized samples too, A4. Its a UK website but they ship to Australia. It has a HUGE range and its not overly expensive either. Here are the real life samples of the yellow wallpaper I blogged about earlier.

yellow wallpaper

I hung them up to help me try and choose

I was so glad I got samples. They really do look different in real life.

This yellow geometric pattern is great and it has this amazing texture, almost foamy. I like it but I dont think it would stay very clean, especially in a kitchen.

yellow wallpaper

yellow and white textured wallpaper

Can you see it?

In real life the colours sometimes look different. This peony wallpaper is a tad too orange-y for what I want, it too is different in real life. There is a visibly painted effect which is lovely.

yellow wallpaper

orangey yellow

I think I like this sapling one the best. Its the simplest of the papers and a little bit more modern than I would have expected to choose but its so cheerful and seems so fresh!

bright and cheerful wallpaper

bright and cheerful wallpaper - sapling

I threw in a couple of samples of some other papers that I thought might be nice for things for the girls.

wallpaper for girls

wallpaper for the girls

I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved this one. My eldest is already claiming it as ‘My pretty bird paper’, she wants to hold it all the time.

pretty bird wallpaper

pretty bird wallpaper

It looked nice on the site but now I’ve seen it in real life I love it and must have it. The next question is what to do with it? Oh it will come to me!

Actually hanging these samples up around the house has given me inspiration of how to hang wallpaper in an alternative way, somehow using the recesses of your doors…hmmmm, I feel an idea whirring.

spoonflower love – design your own fabric

August 3, 2010

I’m beside myself with excitement. I just found a site called Spoonflower. Its a website that allows you to design your own fabric. I KNOW!!!! Could I be more excited?! Now I love anything do-it-yourself, but this is beyond cool! So many many times I can never find what I want, well now I can! Anything, the possibilities are endless.

yellow flower print - by antoniamanda

Fortunately I know my way around a graphics program. It seems that even if you don’t they have tips and suggestions to help you create what you desire. Did I mention I was excited?

pretty flowers

They also have already designed fabrics by other people that you can buy, some are by artists and illustrators, others are just by crafters or hobbyists, some are just by regular people having a go. You can even load your own designs for sale if you like.

Beautiful Dahlia Print

I’ll admit its a little bit pricey. But no more expensive than heading down to your local quilting boutique store and buying some imported fabric. Its certainly cheaper than some of the hand-printed fabrics (lovely and all that they are) that have started emerging in the craft world. Plus its all yours, you designed it, no-one else will have that fabric if you dont want them too. Talk about exclusive!

I’ve not started anything yet, I’m itching too but I want to get the concept just right so I’ve purchased their sample pack (a sample of each of the fabrics you can choose to have your design printed on) and their colour calibration pack (a sample of the colours that print best with their equipment so you can match it to your screen). This will help make sure what I design is what I get. It only cost me USD2. Yep only 2 dollars. Once that arrives I’ll get started.

So I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

In the meantime here are a couple more designs that I like that area already there to buy:

cherry blossom birds by troismiettes

spring rings by mytinystar

seafoam and red by holli zollinger

love doves

Such a Pretty House

August 2, 2010

This house is so pretty I just had to share it. You can see all the photos over at one of my favourite sites Apartment Therapy.

Its actually their guest house but its just so cheerful and bright. I wish I was their friends so I could come and be their guest!

tiny tiny but oh so cheerful

even the crockery is cheerful

beautiful fabrics

pretty pretty fabrics

and look it's yellow - perfect!

ahhh I’m inspired to be all colourful now. The great thing about this house is that while its colourful its basically white. The colour comes from accessories, so it could totally be updated if you ever got tired of it all. Sigh. Beautiful.