Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This is genius!

A friend sent me some photos by Adele Enersen... How cute and cool!

Aren't mums the best?

My creative space

little bits and pieces, mostly work in progress.
More book making:

Kids' pants made with upcycled men's pants waist:

Making dinosaurs out of toilet rolls for the dinophile of the house:

Head over to Kootoyoo for more creative spaces!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The urban hunter gatherer

A friend told me about this fig tree in Gisborne that has fruit rotting on the ground because no one picks them. I felt the obligation to remedy to this (plus I looove fig jam, even more when it's close to free and homemade)so a friend and I spent half an hour picking them, came home with over 3kg of them and made some yummy jam! The recipe I used is here. There was still lots of fruit left (forgot to take the ladder), so if I have time I'm going to go for seconds.

Another friend pointed me to an apricot tree in the same situation, so it is on my list for this week too.
Feijoas are just coming into season too, more trees to visit! They are one of my favorite fruit, can't wait to bite into my first one of the year!
For the past two years we've also been picking olives on trees around town and pickling them, so hopefully  we'll get to do it this year too (we're running out!), and I would also love to pick some for turing into oil.
Who said everything has to come from the supermarket? It's an interesting way to get to know our town, and I love knowing that I am living off fruit that would otherwise go to waste and is free.

Josh has also been hunting a couple times with some friends, and brought back a wild hare (pictured is the dinner we got out of it!) and a deer! luckily we bought a chest freezer a few months ago. On his other hunting trip him and his friend brought back a wild pig and a goat. we decided to try and cure the pig leg, and our tiny little fridge has got even tinier with the leg taking up half the space!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Book binding part 2

I've made more book, this time following another technique called "coptic binding". I'd wanted to know how to do it for a while, and was surprised at how easy it is! I made a few mistakes here and there but can't really see it, and it's going into my stash of emergency presents.

After making it I stumbled upon this post on Mayamade, so clever! And easy too. I set to making some for myself straight away. I have a stash of opened envelopes I keep for making notes, but they often get misplaced or lost, so sewing them into a little notebook is genius! And since I also keep a variety of cards that get sent to us, I used them for the covers.
Little recycled notebooks from MayaMade

Monday, March 14, 2011

mini art journal challenge: weeks 49

This week's challenge: "time flies!". At a super sonic pace at the moment I might add. Miro is already 6 weeks old, I can't believe it's gone so fast! I always thought it sucked a bit to be growing old but now that I've got kids I'm actually looking forward to it and watching them grow, and hopefully watch my grand kids too! (am I getting a bit ahead of myself here?). The koru (the unfurling frond of a fern) represents that idea of life cycle so well... I also added some numbers which represent my age at significant stages of my life (I'm not sure the last sentence is entirely clear!).

Friday, March 11, 2011

15mn pterodactyl wings (or any other flying animal)

What do you do when you have less than half an hour to make things with your oldest son (who is obsessed with dinosaurs)?
Wings to make him fly!

First grab some cardboard and draw the outline of each wing with your model lying flat on the ground. The base of the wing should be where the shoulder blade is. Cut it out, then use it to cut the second wing out.

Use some scrap fabric (I used an upcyced tee shirt) and cut two strips for where the hands are going to be holding onto the wing.

Then cut off two larger strips and sew where the shoulders are going to hold the wings.

Lastly, cut a strip of fabric that is about the width of the shoulders and sew it along the inside of each wing.

This is what the finished wings should look like. Ready for take off!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

my creative space

Not a huge amount of exciting stuff, but I finally got round to making a couple of pillow cases for our triangular pillows, the original ones were looking ready for a holiday (in the washing machine). I used whatever I had lying around in the workshop... can you tell?
Find the baby hidden in this picture!

I also made some little booklets inspired by that book making book I got from the library, they look great and took 20 minutes to make, I think these ones are called pamphlet books. I love easy projects! It's about the only things I can do at the moment ;0)

Head over to Kootoyoo for more creative spaces.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bits and bobs

I'm loving the instant books, I made another one for a friend who just had a baby...

Tahi's hoodie fits perfectly, now I just need to add some fun to it (I was going to try making a dinosaur stencil, but it might take a while...).

I finally took some photos of Miro's other sleeping cocoon, a warmer version made with an upcycled woolen top and lined with organic cotton.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The busy season

Summer is a busy time in the garden and the kitchen for us. I went through a jam making phase: strawberry, plum and rhubarb. Then I decided to try and pickle gherkins! We didn't actually grow them, maybe next year... our local green grocer sells them in buckets of 5kg, so I got one of those and tried out three different recipes... verdict in 6 weeks!

We've also just harvested our pumpkins... 24 of them! Hopefully this year they won't rot like last year. We probably ate about a dozen pumpkins in 2 months so they wouldn't go to waste!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

mini art journal challenge: weeks 48

This week's challenge: "Ideas". Well, I don't know about you, but I feel like my head's always full of ideas... it's just finding the time to to bring them to life that's hard! My inspiration can come for very random places, which is why I chose to remind myself to keep my brain busy! Read books, observe my surroundings, live in the moment and cast a candid eye over everything!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Board shorts

I saw some very cool board shorts a mum had made for her son on the Celebrate the boy Flickr group, and I thought they'd look perfect on Tahi (him being a beach boy and all). I do have a decent collection of men's shirts in my stash of fabrics, and it didn't take ling to find one that would do the job. I love upcycled men's shirts, there are so many possibilities. The result is pretty satisfying, oh he looks so cute!

We went for a play to the beach the day Tahi wore his board shorts, so for once I got some really nice shots of my handmade stuff... should do that more often!

Tahi and his friend Mia spent a good half hour jumping from a log, it was so funny, I wish I was that small again and everything seems huge!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A book on books

I've been wanting to learn how to make books for ages, but like many of my "wants", never get round to it. I saw a book at the library the other day that reminded me of this interest of mine, so next time I went in I got a few out. I really liked one of them in particular, aptly titles "How to make books" (that's pretty straight to the point isn't it?). It looks cool (yes, it is important!), has funky illustrations and simple explanations with step by step instructions. It also has photos of some artists' books (great for inspiration). There are several techniques explained, ranging from super simple to more elaborate.

I made my first "book" in 5 seconds with a page taken from a kids' book that has seen better days (or been too loved?). I'm excited with the result!

Now I can't wait to have some spare time (spare what???) to try other techniques.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I don't get much time to sew these days, although I'm incredibly lucky to have my mum staying with us (she's been here since mid January and is leaving at the end of the week). This means I've been able to spend some time with Miro and every now and again I've also managed to sneak into my workshop and make stuff. I made some pants for Miro, and ironed some felt letters on the back of one of the pair that spell out "Miro".

And I made three circle skirts, using this super easy tutorial at Dana Made It, one for a friend's daughter's birthday, two for my cousin's two daughters.

I'd also made a dress from an upcycled tee shirt for another friend's daughter's birthday but was in such a rush that I forgot to take a photo...

Lastly I made a pair of board shorts using an upcycled men's shirt. I've been wanting to make a pair for Tahi so this pair was my trial one.

Next I'd like to make some pants and a hoodie for Tahi... winter's just around the corner!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

mini art journal challenge: weeks 46 and 47

Week 46: "rejuvenation". I feel like I definitely need some of that! Traveling is a great way to relax and see things from a different angle for me, and since Tahi was born I feel we haven't done that enough. apart from the occasional trip to Wellington for Josh's work, we haven't been out of Gisborne much. We spent two days and one night up the coast at some friend's farm, and we all loved it. So I'll be looking forward to some more of that!

Week 47: "Your happy place". I kind of already journaled about that on week 40's card, so I deviated from the theme a bit and the "happy place" idea became my "place to escape". Even though there is no physical place, books have always been a great escape for me. I love reading a good book and feeling like I am there, part of the story and living it. I used to lock myself in the toilet for hours when I was younger, and every now and again I tend to linger in there with a book or magazine in hand. Tahi seems to show the same interest in books, and both Josh and I are glad he does. He can remember phrases from a book after having read it a couple of times, and often I can hear him repeat whole phrases while playing with his toys. It's so cute!