Saturday, June 29, 2013

stitching new houses

More stitching of the house variety.  I decided to make a change of address card to hand out to the few people, nearest and dearest, etc who might wish to know where we are going.  After an extensive search on pinterest and a collection of a few ideas from there, I found a plan of our new house, and decided to use that nice simple image as my picture, and I did a very simple stitching of it on an old linen doily.  Not sure what to do with the rest of it, but i'm sure something will come to me.  An address would probably help.
And then I was looking at Tiny Happys blog and she had made a sweet birthday card for her son with paintings of all the houses they had lived in since he was born, and I marvelled at the collective unconciousness of it all, if we can count two people as collective, which I am happy to do.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


My dearest beloved friend in Australia asked me to make an embroidery for her to put on the back of a coat.  I had done a t-shirt for her for her 40th birthday which she had put on the back of another jacket and she decided it was time for another one.  Given no design brief but for a photo of said jacket, I had a bit of trouble deciding where to go.  We have known each other for many years, and from age eleven and for a few years, we dressed similar like, but life dragged us in different directions, physically and style wise, so I had to just bite the bullet and go with whatever my brain came up with.  These things take on a life of their own after a while. Here are some pictures.
 This was designed around a paper-cut/ doily idea, some black fabric paint and stitching and some waves.  I like it but am undecided as to what she will think.
 It is a picture of my house and her house on different sides of the Tasman Sea.  She has recently started to learn to surf, so there is a picture of her with surf board amongst some waves, some clouds and some manuka flowers.

 My new addiction to pinterest was very helpful, although the inspiration search takes up more time than the actual doing.

Friday, June 21, 2013

painting shoes

We have just had older childs 14th birthday, so her little sister bought some white sneakers and decorated them.  And she also painted some for herself, below.

 I love the little clouds.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

$2 shop doll

a friend at work asked me to make some clothes for a little doll that she had bought at the $2 shop.  She was a little ceramic doll.  I made a little fur coat and a little red tunic dress, in this cute fabric with pandas on it.  On another note, we have bought a house and hope to move in about 3 weeks time.  I hate moving, but will be nice to have our own place, we have been renting for about six months and is getting a little cramped.
 I would love a coat like this, looks nice and warm, which today would be good.  It has got a mite chilly in NZ this week.
 I'm not sure what she thought about the outfits, but I hope she liked them.
I would also love a dress like this, at this scale of fabric design.  This came from a piece of fabric I bought at the op-shop in Hackney, London about 15 years ago.  It is so pretty that i find it impossible to do anything with it, but store it away.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

zombie dolls

I have just recieved some more fabric from Spoonflower in the post, always an exciting time for me to see how it looks in real life.  There was a zombie doll cut and sew pattern and a couple of side-show doll cut and sew patterns.  I have sewn up the zombie dolls and made them a little bag to live in when not being played with.  I sewed them by hand which was quite satisfactory.

I like them with their funny little arms and their fancy outfits and scars etc.
If you fancy making some yourself, pop over to Spoonflower and have a look, and try not to lose too many hours amongst the fabric.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

silphe sky dollie

My husband and oldest daughter went camping and rock climbing a couple of weekends ago, and me and the little one stayed at home and looked after the dog.  Her choice of activity was to make dolls, so she made one, and as I had been trying to get my doll pattern sorted out properly ( usually I am using a  pattern that I haven't quite finalised and bodging it up so it fits properly) I made one using some of my spoonflower test swatches of sky and trees and  such like.  So she is called Silphe like a sky nymph.
She's got green hair.
  and little lace up boots

  and a little tree/sky mirror dress.

My daughter made a really sweet little doll called Lilly, and she made her a hospital gown to wear (?)

every doll should have one.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

easter camping

WE have just a had a couple of nights camping with the kids and some friends.  Had a great time, the kids spent all the time on their bikes off somewhere, or swimming in the river, only to be seen at meal and bed times, and we grown-ups just chilled by the camp fire.  packing up in the rain was not much fun but apart from that it was pretty perfect.

 the dog was not sure about the whole thing, she slept in our tent, on us both nights.

Monday, February 25, 2013

more clouds

following on from yesterdays post about clouds sketching, I have been doodling using my original sketches as a resource.  trying to design some nice fabric, or maybe a print or a painting.

  I tried out some different ideas for background sky, 

 there were a few different shapes and ideas in this cloud from near Ashburton in South Canterbury.  WAsn't sure whether to incorporate them all or overlap/layer them or what.  I need to get over the idea that there is a right way and a wrong way, and in fact there are lots of ways and I have to try some and see how it turns out.  tricky stuff.  the next three sketches come from this one.


I think this one was from Blenheim.  Its got a bit Mehndi ish.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

cloud sketching

I have taken to sketching clouds when we go on long journeys.  I have wanted to draw clouds for a long time, but it always seems rather an indulgence to spend valuable time doing such a thing, therefore long car journeys are the perfect time.  Also as we drive over different terrain and at different times of the day the clouds change, in form and colour and size.  Sometimes near to home there are no clouds for quite a while and then slowly little fluffy clouds appear and then a few more and so on.  sometimes is it quite sad to look backwards and see the blue sky over home and look forward to where we are going, which is less blue and more fluffy.  And I have also started to notice that some of them form quite like the japanese stylised clouds, and I like this a lot.  I can draw my own japanese inspired clouds in little old NZ.

They are all very quick sketches as the terrain tends to be quite hilly or mountainous and consequently one minute the cloud is there in view and the next it is behind a mountain never to be seen again or it has changed by the time I see it again.  But I hope to improve with practice.  Bring on the next journey   I have had some struggling with using the initial sketches to make more patterny shapes.  lots more work to be done there, will post some of those tomorow.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

who said romance was dead

I got home from work today and my husband presented me with a bunch of flowers ( he is rather good at flowers) from the garden and a homemade valentines card.  We have been together 17 years now and this is the first time I remember getting anything for Valentines, even in those heady days when we first met.  So it was a lovely suprise.  He got nothing from me and my daughter has told me off and says I must make him something.?? I shall have to put on my thinking cap.

I can't even imagine where he got the idea or the technical know-how and materials to make this card.  The girls said he had a bit of trouble finding ten things that he loved about me and some family brain-storming was required, ha ha. I am only allowed to peel off a heart a day, I shall have to be patient.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

castle hill

While we were away from home over the holidays, my daughter wanted to visit Castle Hill, which is on the road between Christchurch and Greymouth, near to Arthurs Pass.  There is a very good pie shop on the way there in a small town named Sheffield.  The reason for this excursion was that she is a very keen rock climber and Castle Rock is a great bouldering area.  Also this is the part of the world where some of the Hobbit was  filmed and a Narnia battle scene.  Actually it was also very beautiful, and we will have to get back there when we have more time and make better use of it.  I wanted to draw and paint all those rocks.
 husband posing next to a large knob.

 the rain stained rocks were especially dramatic.
It was a bit rainy for rock climbing, and so we ate our sandwiches, daughter had a little climb, the dog had a toilet break and we had a great pie on the way back.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

river swim

Over the holidays we have tried out some rivers to swim in.  A local swimming hole a half hour drive away has rocks to jump off and ropes to swing on.  We haven't tried this one out for a while and it was such a beautiful spot we wondered why that was.  The dog wasn't keen, she didn't like the water and the river rocks were very hot.
 climbing up the rocks
 leaping free
The girls had fun, and I was terrified every time they leapt off the rocks.