26 December 2008

first christmas tradition

I've made it my tradition that each neice and nephew that expands my family receives a home made quilt for their first Christmas. So this is my latest one; given yesterday--Jasmine's first Christmas.

Knowing that she was a girl meant I could make it more girly this time. But I'm not a huge fan of really typically girly things so I decided on a girly insect theme. I designed the picture on the front and proceeded to get material to fit my theme. I choose yellow as my main colour, hence the yellow border and large yellow flower. (It's actually yellow check.) Once the background was all worked out I more specifically designed the insects and found scrap material to form them.
I drew them first on baking paper so I could get an appropriate size and see how they'd work before transfering them to material. Then I cut their parts and stuck them on with "heat and bond" gluey paper stuff. Then, time-consumingly, sewed around them to give them nice, neat, secure edges. Attatching the front with the border to the back was difficult as I'd done my maths wrong (surprise, surprise) and they ended up being different sizes. It was quite fiddly to get it to work and a few of the corners got unpicked and resewn. Yet I finally succeeded and secured the two material layers and the wadding layer with a simple straight stitch that follows the border. I am quite happy with it. I think it turned out quite well and I really like the comic-like caterpillar, ladybug and dragonfly. I think their rather cute. And Jasmine "opened" her present dressed in her appropriate new yellow ladybug outfit.

The quilt showing it's back panel and my most useful sewing machine.

27 November 2008

Christmas in the making

A couple of years ago I decided to make all my presents for Christmas instead of buying things. These are two that I made. For my neice I made her a fancy princess bed canopy. I built a stand that has a folding joint in the middle so it can be packed away and moved around more easily. That also meant they could use it in rentals coz they didn't have to attach it to the ceiling. I used pink, purple and pale pink satin to make a circus tent top and sewed on plastic crystal stars. I painted a fancy wooden knob I bought from a hardware store for the very top. I bought some bamboo stakes that I heated, bent and tied to make a semicircle for a nice rounded front.
I think the main hanging part was made from an old curtain I bought at an opshop and I decorated it with pink flower sequins. And the background, which covers the stand, is a cotton princess print material I used as my theme.
For my nephew I wrote a story called "CLUNK: Fixer of Broken Things" about a robot who thought he wasn't good at anything. Of course, through the book he discovers that he's good at fixing broken things. The pictures are pretty roughly illustrated as I was running out of time before Christmas. I've come to learn that most projects I undertake take longer than expected.
I then made him a costume to wear so he could dress up as Clunk, the main character. He was a little bit hesitant to put it on at first. In fact, his younger brother had to try it on before he got enough courage together to put the box over his head. But once he did that he really liked it. I'm making some presents this year too. Well, actually one is a birthday present but I won't post them until they've been given.

21 November 2008

water for the capsicum

When I was in the USA last year, I took a class in watercolour painting just for fun. This was a project I did from a live capsicum (or bell peppers as they are called over there). Watercolour is tricky to use. It has a little more wildness than acrylic paint--not so easy to control. There's definitely technique to it. My attempt isn't too bad. It's fun to try something different. This class was my first experience with real watercolour painting. That is, other than the cheap tray of hard circles of watercolour paint I played around with when I was a kid. Have to try it again some day.

12 November 2008

SuhRa's scarf

I also like to crochet. I crocheted this from the wool I had for my friend, SuhRa, last year. It's just basic triple stitch. I made it short with a hole toward one end so you poke the opposite end through it to "tie" it around your neck. I also crocheted a couple of flowers, as you can see, to decorate it.

30 October 2008

hand sewn shoulder bag

This was a cheap bag that kept me creatively busy for a couple of weeks. I made this last year while I was in the USA. I bought the material from the scraps pile at a local craft store, designed it and got to work. Everything is handsewn, not by choice, but by necessity. The people I lived with didn't have a sewing machine. Most of it is back-stictched for strength; some parts twice. I put the circles on to give it a bit of fun colour purposefully staggering the stripes. I really like the black material, actually more of a charcoal with black stitching. I like the plain but not boring factor of that material.

I put a flap on the inside with two pockets both sides (so the one on the backside can hide the secret stuff), a loop to hang my sunnies on the left end and a mobile phone pocket on the other end. I also sewed in an oversized press stud at the top to enable me to clasp it shut if I want. It's quite a sturdy bag and I enjoy using it.

29 October 2008

wire hat

This is me! I thrive when I'm creating. I feel a-buzz with life when ideas are flowing or my creating is coming together. Over my years I have created many things of all sorts. This blog is to share my creations and other attempts with anyone who is interested in creative ideas.

The hat in the picture above is one I made for a 21st party that you had to wear a hat to. I made the basic shape from thick wire and then randomly intertwined it with smaller wire. I decorated it with black sequined string around the brim (smaller than the size I wanted--due to cost) and pink metallic string weaved around the bulk of the hat. I also spotted the brim, beyond the black sequin-string, with pink flower sequins and finished it off with a couple of stalks of sliver and black balls that stick out toward the front on one side. Whilst it does nothing for sun protection, it is quite interesting and the weight of the wire keeps it sitting happily on my head without much struggle. It's now about six and a half years old but I still like it.