Friday, April 29, 2011

A seamstress's nightmare

This is what I found the other day on some bit of clothing... Eeeeek! a clothes moth! (that's what their eggs look like)

And I also found a few too many holes in one of my favourite merino cardis... which is now waiting on the pile of clothes to be upcycled.
So I rushed to the sewing room (where I've had some lavender hanging for ages) and set to make some little lavender sachets. I had meant to make some ages ago but it just kept slipping down in my list of "to do" projects. Until a few days ago.

I grabbed a vintage linen tea towel lying around waiting to be used, chopped it into little rectangles (I folded it in half and kept cutting through the folds until I got a good sachet size, no waste!). I found plenty of tutorials on the net, including an assembly line type one here, a cute one with an applique here and a very neat one with painted sachets here. If you google it, you'll be spoilt for choice.

Because I was in a hurry, as I often am these days, I just had a quick look at the photos and started gorilla sewing (sewing without planning, very bad). They actually turned out great, I love the look of them. I ended up with quite a few, hopefully I won't need them all so a few of them will end up in my stash of last minute presents bag. if anything, next time I might take the time to include a little loop so I can hang them if need be...
Most of them actually ended up filled with dried mint, just because I have more of it available in the garden, and which apparently is a good moth repellent too.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


We made "soap-cils"! That's right, pencils made of soap. They are very easy and cheap to make, and you (or your kids) can use them to draw in the bath or on paper (the bath being the most fun option).

Sausage anyone? Totally natural
Notice the fringe... someone thought it would be fun to chop some hair today.

All you need is soap flakes or a bar of soap and some food colouring. We couldn't find soap flakes, so we grated a bout a third of a bar of soap, added some liquid food colouring and mixed it all together, squeezing it very tight to make a sausage shape. Then we let it dry for an hour and Tahi tested them in the bath! (sorry for the very bad photos, it was night time outside and our bathroom light obviously isn't designed for taking photos.
What is he drawing?

A dinosaur of course!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Urban bouquet 2

Rawiri st bouquet

Make your own: moon calendar

I saw this moon calendar at some friend's a few months back. They use it for gardening (and judging by their crop this summer, it must work somehow!), but it can also be used for anything from fishing to getting a hair cut. Anyway, this particular one doesn't have as much detail as you would get from a moon calendar, but it is great because it's perpetual.

I took a photo of it so I could reproduce it at home.
I found a circular wheel with two dials that was originally meant to help people work out their mortgage repayments, which means I didn't have to start from scratch (thank you National Bank!).

I (re)used a piece of craft paper, and traced around the outside of the wheel. Then comes the hard part. The outside wheel has 28 increments with the 1 to 28 days in a month (days 29, 30 and 31 are shared with days 1, 2 and 3). So I worked out the spacing that I needed between each day with this formula: c=2πR, where c= circumference and 2R= diameter. When you divide c by 28, you get the width for each day.

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I traced the lines, making sure the length was the same for each one and corresponded to the distance between the big and small circles. Then I cut around it and glued both circles on my mortgage repayment calculator. Finally I wrote on the smaller circle.

It looks great on our black board!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Urban bouquets

Tahi is really enjoying picking flowers at the moment. Whenever we go for a walk, he asks me to pick the lovely flowers we find on our way which he then carefully stores in the many pockets of my bag (photo to come). When we get home we put them in a vase, great way to embellish our house!
The De Lautour rd bouquet 
The Dickson st bouquet

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pimping my hanger

It all started when I read this post, then I went and read this one.
I thought to myself i didn't have time to fool around with twisted wire, but then I got an idea... and I just had to make one. So there you go, a decorated coat hanger, not really useful for hanging things on anymore so it'll just have to find a place to hang out in the house. After checking other people's coat hangers, it seems my "creation" kind of defies the purpose, "hors sujet" like we say in french. Couldn't help it!

Monday, April 18, 2011

circle skirt

My friend sent me these photos of her daughter wearing the circle skirt using Dana's tutorial. She loves it and she looks great! I wish I was still a girl... Might have to make one for myself now!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My creative space

With two little kids to look after and a lover away, not much time for amazing creations!
Before he left Josh added some creation to our space though, now we have a bathroom separate from the kitchen (i.e. can't spy on the kids while cooking dinner).

The kitchen/ bathroom area. did I hear someone say "privacy"?

the beams holding the wall to the right were rotten... aaaah, nothing like a do up!

Stage 3: the kitchen, with shelves. yes, the shelves are a new addition.

The bathroom, with GIB plaster boards on the wall. Almost looks like a real one!

And I have been playing around with photos, trying to be artistic. Really wish I had a good camera! And more on where the photos were taken soon...

Head over to Kootoyoo for more creative goodness.

The missing dinosaur

Here's the other toilet paper roll dinosaur, munching on some leaves...

And here's what I'm loving at the moment: mmmm, feijoas...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

mini art journal challenge: weeks 50, 51 and 52!

Yeeeeesss!!! I made it, I got through this challenge!
It feels really nice to have stuck to making a card a week (well at least in theory, some weeks were more productive than others!), and at the same time I'm glad it's over. What do I take from this whole year of "art for art's sake"? Well, I'd like to keep making some kind of art, just for my selfish self. Now that I've achieved this goal, I'd like to set another of setting aside an hour a week for doing the same but different: painting, collage, making, sewing... Let's see what comes out of that!

Week 50: "The greatest gift". I took me a while to come up with something, shows that all these material gifts get forgotten pretty quick! Living far from family and friends, for me the greatest gift is having a loved one close by. My mum came over from France to stay with us for 2 months a couple of months back, to help me with the transition of going from one to two children. What a great help she was and how nice to have her to ourselves for two whole months. Tahi was in heaven, he loved all the attention and they bonded so well, it was beautiful to watch. She's very attached to her home sweet home, has her habits and  most of all likes tidiness. Needless to say she wasn't in her element at our house, and probably felt homesick more than once. She never said anything, but knowing this made me appreciate her stay even more. A great gift.

Week 51: "Made me think of you". Okay, this one had me stuck for weeks. I almost didn't finish the challenge because of this card. You'd think I come across dozens of things that remind me of people everyday, being so far away and all. Couldn't think of anything. My mind would go blank like I was back at school sitting a test. Anyway, in the end, I decided that the madeleine of Proust was more my style. My grandma used to make this beautiful chocolate mousse that made my mouth water at the thought of it. She passed away a while ago now, but I still remember the taste of her mousse. Unfortunately I lost the recipe and I've never tasted one that was quite the same. the recipe on the card is the one I currently use that makes a beautifully rich chocolate mousse.

Week 52: "Art". My last card! I had great fun making it, that's what art is about!