Monday, June 28, 2010

mini art journal challenge: week 13

This week's prompt: "What's on your mind".
I won't go into detail, but our Sunday kind of dictated this one... We headed up the coast to visit some friends' farm and drop off Josh's homemade trailer house he made with stuff he recycled from everywhere. Half way there the trailer lost its wheel, Josh fixed it, then 15mn later it lost it again. We ended up abandoning it in a corn field, driving up to meet our friends and spending the afternoon there (after a 3 hour trip that should only have been half that!) then driving back down to Gisborne, with a stop at a hot pool. We stopped at the corn field so that Josh could load the trailer part of the thing onto the roof to take it home and fix it, stopped at a local fish'n'chip shop for some improvised dinner. By the time we got home I was feeling so exhausted (even though Josh was the one who did all the physical work!) I just had one thing on my mind: sleep!
So I made the card in a semi conscious state, and it reminds me of our little adventure... but I do have some little secret on my mind I'm not ready to share, so I "hid" it in the card as well, hehehe, let's see if someone will guess.

The whole card is a collage made using magazine cut outs. I cut the moon out of a zebra, can you tell!

Check out Em's blog for all the challenges (along with photos of the cards she made), you could be tempted! I'm personally loving it, although it would have been nice to have other people doing it at the same time as well.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Headband giveaway: the winner

Congratulations to NorraSud by ROROISM! Please contact me to claim your prize:

On another note, I've been (very slowly) working on some new women's clothes, so stay tuned! You can see a preview here (I will slowly be adding photos as well as updating my shop).

Thursday, June 24, 2010

headband giveaway: last day to enter

A little reminder, if you wish to enter the draw to win this cute headband, today is the last day!
I will put a post up tomorrow with the winner's name.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Better, faster

I'm feeling a bit frustrated. Our internet is limited to 1G which I think we go over pretty quick, and past that point it slows down and whenever I try to browse some blogs it crashes. Therefore I am a bit limited in the amount of blogs I look at and the comments. So now I am dreaming of an unlimited access... because I want more!
Winter has definitely set in here, this morning it was 7ยบ, pre-fire. Brrrr... Makes me want to build our own house, a nice, WARM and cozy house. We have been dreaming about buying land a building an earthship, if you've never heard of it, go and check out the link. They may look a bit unconventional, some would mumble it's another tree hugger, hippie craze, but we believe they are the way of the future. In the same vein, strawbale houses make a lot of sense too. Save on power, medical bills, maybe even be off the grid and, of, best of all, self sufficient!

Also check out the website. I also found out there's also a New Zealand one!

Monday, June 21, 2010

mini art journal challenge: week 12

This week's prompt: "I believe".
So, being an optimistic (most of the time anyway!), I like to believe in a lot of things.
I remember when I was a kid, I wanted a cat so badly, for six months (maybe more) that is all I'd wish for. I'd even made one of those special wish bracelets and wore it so when it would wear out I could wish for a cat (it took ages, at some stage I was ready to give it a hand by filing it a bit). Well, it happened. We were traveling in Guadeloupe, in the French West indies, and in the street waiting for a bus, there was this cute friendly tortoise kitten . My brother and I started playing with it and patting it. The owner turned up and told us if we wanted to we could keep it. I was over the moon! We took it back to France, hidden in a bag on the plane (at the time it was an easy thing to do). Unfortunately it disappeared  a few months later, probably snatched by someone since it was so friendly and cute.
Yes, that's how much I like to believe.
My greatest belief though would have to be "the little things": thoughts, attention, goals... I don't like to be told when to tell someone I love them (like mother's day, valentine's days, father's day), the only one i stick to is birthdays, and even then, I'm useless at remembering them. For me, you show love whenever you feel like, and I tend to buy something as a present for someone if I see something that reminds me of them, not just a few weeks before xmas (which is great to avoid xmas rush). I chose to stay at home with my son because I believe what is important is our little routine everyday, my presence, a little walk on the beach, a little story when we wake up, a little kiss whenever I feel like it. And I have a strong belief that anyone can help shape a better planet, little by little. By watching what we buy, having a compost in the garden, recycling what we can (Fresh cream bottles with a few holes at the bottom make great bubbles in the bath water!), even just thinking about what we can do to reduce our impact. When I decided to start pioupioukids, I wanted to follow the same philosophy and produce as little waste as I can, be conscious about where I buy my supplies. So far I'm more than happy with what I've managed, even if I'll never make millions. But I am so much happier doing this than earning big bucks in the film industry. It is possible, it is worth doing a little something, it makes a difference.

Background is a picture taken from a magazine (water drops), letters cut out from a picture of a poster, the colorful flower is taken from Tahi's wall decoration!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I can see you!

After a few months of not getting it right, I finally managed to track my blog on google analytics. So now I can see who visits me and when. It's not essential but it's nice to see what traffic I get. I wish it also told me what people like/dislike about it!
Tahi got bitten just under his eye a couple of days ago, he looked like he'd been badly beaten up. Last week the same thing happened on his left ear, we freaked out thinking it was a really bad ear infection (on Queen's birthday!). He looked like a prop with a very red cauliflower ear.
The local mosquitoes (or whatever it is that bit him) must be feeding on something new...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Why I love old school cameras

I've been thinking about getting a good quality digital camera for a few months. This would be the first time I would ever own one. For some reason, I've always been reluctant to take the step. I like my old school cameras. I've had quite a few over the years too. I recently sold my Mamiya RB67, since I hardly used it because it is quite heavy and bulky, my Bronica ETRSI broke down (and I'm wondering if I should get a new camera body), which leaves me my  Holga, great for arty photos but not so much for portraits.
When I used to work, I earned good money so buying and processing film wasn't an issue. Nowadays, I only take photos when it counts. It can be frustrating, especially when they don't turn out that great, but when you get a good one, it's magic.
Here are a few photos from a roll I'd almost lost (It was in the Mamiya when I sold it!) and another I shot a few months ago. The lost roll was a slide film, which we get cross processed. It gives them this slightly ethereal look, surreal colors and edgy contrast. Will I ever achieve this with a digital?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My creative space

Every Thursday I add my blog to Kootoyoo and check out what other bloggers are up to...

Finished a custom order:

Made a rain poncho for Tahi:

And starting to reorganize/redraw my patterns! Hopefully I can soon put some online, along with tutorials...

Mini art journal challenge: week 11

This week's prompt: "your initial(s)"
I wasn't immensely inspired by this one, as the result probably shows. I've never considered my name or initials to be a huge part of who I am or my creative expression. i didn't feel like it carried enough meaning to be laid out. And then again. As I watched them getting pasted on my card, I felt a certain familiarity, like maybe they were a part of me after all. I've seen those initials all my like, and I immediately associate them with my name. Maybe they are a part of me after all.

The card's background is a piece of decorative paper bought from an art supplies place a few years back, the initials were pasted with some white tink (I think that's what it's called in english) and then contoured with some silver outliner for glass colour.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The blogger is back

Josh was away for work in Wellington, and as he usually takes the computer with him I was blog deprived!

I have been wanting to blog about my secret project for a while... Here it is: earrings!
There is a story behind them: my best friend got married last Saturday in Germany. I wasn't able to attend (New Zealand is a far far away place). It made me very sad, and I wanted to make her something special.
I found a cool book at the library called Stitched Jewels. I made the "leaf" earrings, which were really simple, although it would have been nice to have more pictures of the different stages. I couldn't find one of the supplies (the "acrylic fortifier", used to stiffen the fabric. Pretty crucial) so I improvised and used paint varnish. Worked.
I was pretty happy with the result, sent the parcel five days before the wedding days and it still got there in time! (high five NzPost)

The best thing is that the tutorial was for making two pairs of earrings, one for my best friend and one for myself. I'd told myself I'd dress up and look pretty the day of the wedding, and I'd wear the earrings as well. That way it made me feel I was there in thought.

for some reason I also ended up with an extra pair of earrings, so I've decided to make it a giveaway for a lucky reader. The ways you can enter:

1) By linking (to your blog, facebook, myspace, twitter,..)
2) By leaving a comment
3) By following this blog

Make sure you leave a comment to let me know which way you've entered!
Entries close on the 15th of July.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mini art journal challenge: week 10

Here's my card, I never thought I'd finish! This week's prompt: "Note to yourself".
As you can (hopefully!) read on my card, I chose to remind myself to "be happy". Easy I hear some say, I thought so too... until I had a baby, stopped working, felt sleep deprived from too many early mornings after late nights sewing sessions, lived on one (sometimes none) income. The list could go on. It's boring. Being unhappy and grumpy is so unattractive. And yet I feel that in the last 2 1/2 years I have let myself down too many times. Of course life is hard. What makes it even harder is to not have the same comfortable lifestyle I used to have and feel frustrated about it. I forget too often that 1- It was my choice, 2- There are so many things I love about my "new" life, 3- deep down inside I am happy where I am, I just need to learn to deal with those daily frustrations a bit better (like cleaning up after a 2 and 1/2 and a 34 year old!).

The background is a piece of japanese craft paper, painted over with white. The writing is sewn on black beads: took me at least an hour and not that easy to read (Josh thought it read "Le Harry") so I don't think I'll try that again. Lastly I sewed on a piece of lace from a sleeping gown I had upcycled. in all this card has a vintage weird look to it...

Tahi and I are making a puppet show out of a cardboard box (photos to come soon), and I did some sketches of how "we" were going to paint it.

And I've also finished one dress for a friend's custom order, I'm super happy with how it turned out. I used my friend's partner's shirt (he is VERY tall, so his shirts have lots of fabric. Awesome) and upcycled it into a sleeveless hooded dress, and even reused the buttons at the back.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Our new bathtub

Yes, and guess who's living in it?
Tiger Worms!
My friend Lisa, who was also the initiator for my sourdough craze, dropped off the bathtub and its residents yesterday and I am not ashamed to say it made my day.
I had been thinking about it for a while, and have been scanning the Eastland Trader (our local weekly trade and exchange ) for months looking for a free bathtub. unfortunately someone was always faster than me (probably queued in front of the dairy to buy it right on opening time). Lisa and her partner Roger had been looking for one too and scored two (and there were 3 more in the lady's backyard! You never have enough bathtubs...). Ours had previously been used as an outdoor bath/spa, which sounded very tempting. Next bathtub.
So the worms are nice and cozy in their new home, I am hoping I won't kill them straight away and that they will live happy, have lots of baby worms and do lots of poos. And hopefully the dog won't be tempted to stick his nose in there.
I am gradually getting the garden ready for winter, planted a whole lot of garlic on Tuesday, cleared some of the summer crops (some are still going, like our amazing courgette pants) and applied compost to the areas where broccoli, cabbage, swedes and onions are going to go. This is so much fun, watching things grow and getting to eat them, it's so satisfying.
Today's market went well, we were in a sunny spot all day, lots of people strolled through and we even got to try some Zumba ( I was wearing stockings which now have holes under the feet).

Friday, June 4, 2010

A goodnight post

It's 11.41pm and I've got a market tomorrow, so I should really be off to bed soon, but before that I felt like posting a couple of photos a loving dad sent me of the dress he bought for his lovely finnish elf.
They look great and I am always stoked when customers send me photos of their kids wearing my clothes!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My creative space

I'm quickly writing this post before Tahi wakes up and our day starts and I only have time to breathe. Thursday is one of our "busy" days (like Monday and Wednesday), where we go to swimming lessons in the morning then stay out and either go to the kiddy gym or go op-shopping (Tahi loves it!). Most of our belongings is either handmade or from op shops, so often he will say "get bread at op shop" if he's hungry or declare that any item he is holding in his hand is "op shop" (and he is often right).
What have I been up to, doesn't feel like much but still haven't got round to updating my shop...
A new upcycled sleeping bag vest:

Two of our 4 windows now have woolen blanket curtains:

A couple of girlfriends came on tuesday to do some screen printing, I mass printed this little owl, that I am going to be sewing on the little pouches that come with every item I sell:

And finally my secret project... a gift for my best friend who is getting married on the 12th in Germany. I won't be able to attend and it makes me really sad, I am going to send this to her (hopefully it'll get there before the wedding) to be there in spirit and craft: