Tuesday, October 14, 2014

41/52

'a portrait of my children, once a week (almost) in 2014'



Plenty of back yard shenanigans as the weather warms up (a little catch up on the last two weeks).

As always linking in with Jodi

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

39/52

'a portrait of my children, once a week (sort of), in 2014'



Seren - getting into everything, especially the record collection, it is pretty tempting though isn't it

Bella - I feel so conscious of you wearing princess dresses but I know you love them and you clearly show me your own style and ideals with your fabulous outfit concoctions and your wild heart

As always linking up with Practising Simplicity

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Thursday adventure - exxopolis

We seem to be making a habit of heading off on an adventure of a Thursday. It's Miss Bella's first day off from kindy and since she starts prep next year I'm making an effort to do something a bit fun and exciting with these precious days. This usually involves a train trip somewhere - last week we did the train, bus and ferry, with a visit to BrisStyle HQ in between (but someone 'cough' didn't put batteries back in their camera oops!!). 

This week because it's school holidays we had a whole gang of us head off to South Bank. Our formula for fun looked something like this:

us (3) + nanna + cousins (2) + friends (5) + picnic morning tea + exxopolis + a swim + fish n chips + ice cream to top it all off 
= one raucous and enjoyable day out 

Here's a few snaps from inside exxopolis - a giant inflatable sculpture built from semi-transparent coloured plastic. The sun passing through the layers and colours gives the  effects and in the words of Miss B 'that was amazing'
















Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Quick and easy shoe customisation

Absolutely ages ago my lovely pal Carissa gave me some fabric pens and I've been waiting to find just the right pair of shoes to try them out on. The reason it's taken so long is because I don't shop at the cheap shops so I've had to wait until just the right pair turned up at one of my favourite op shops and they turned out to be brand new anyway!!

So if you fancy customising your own thrift shop find here's how:

You'll need -
one pair of light coloured canvas shoes
fabric pens (i used sharpie 'stained')
a pencil and eraser


ONE - lightly pencil your design onto the shoes - use your eraser if you need to refine your design


TWO - colour in your design. I would recommend you let each colour dry before adding the next as I found that the colours can bleed into each other when they are a bit wet.


THREE - pop on your newly customised shoes - see, told you it was easy


I'm pretty happy with these but wish I had waited for the yellow ink to dry before adding the black outline - I did end up going over the outlines of both moths after this pic so they are more even.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

37/52

'a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014'



a morning in the park enjoying these two lovelies

Thursday, September 11, 2014

36/52

'a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014'



Star babes and a messy room. 

Pop over to Practising Simplicity for lots of lovely photos and tidy rooms.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Adrift - endings

Remember way back in February I shared our experiments with natural dyeing and shibori. Well.... finally here's what it was all about:


Those big lengths of dyed silk were fashioned into a skin for a 3 x 3m aluminium cube resting on a pontoon in the middle of the Bremer River for the length of the Ipswich Festival.

The project was a collaboration between a group of local artists, the Men's Shed at Bundamba and the Moreton Region Scouts. It was commissioned by Ipswich Events Corp and funded by the Regional Arts Development Fund.

We had perfect weather for launch day and after a wee incident during transportation (read - the cube fell off the trailer, shattering the plastic joints between the tubing), emergency trips to the hardware and the speediest zip tying ever we just managed to get everything in on time for the tide (the Bremer gets very shallow up here at low tide)

During daylight hours the natural dyes blended with the colours of the river and surrounds and as the tide came in and out, it bobbed up and down and swung around on it's moorings - it became part of the landscape rather than apart from it.




By night the piece was transformed into a light installation. Shadowy trees and bats became visible as the solar powered led's cycled through a rainbow of colour. It gave the piece a whole new life.






The final piece of the collaboration was a downloadable soundtrack of original music by Christian Sargeant and Eva Fritz, along with traditional, historic and contemporary stories about the river read by local residents.

It was an exciting and challenging project to be involved in with some unexpected converts to the arts, new friendships and strengthened connections between the core creative group.

Here's hoping we get to do it again next year.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

35/52

'a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014'* 


watching these two grow together

*Apologies - I'll just admit that I am utterly crap at doing these things regularly. I'm trying to be better at it.

Joining in with Practising Simplicity

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

DIY Macrame chair back (or wall hanging)


I've been involved in some behind the scenes work for a local fibre festival which is coming up very soon (check out The Knot Fibre Festival for all the details) and I've become a little obsessed with covering chairs in fibre of all kinds and particularly with the ancient art of macrame (yes tongue is firmly in cheek here). I still have a couple of my Mum's fab macrame wall hangings and remember making a macrame owl with her when I was a kid (if only I could find it now).

I've been sharing some of my knotting adventures on Instagram and a few lovely ladies have expressed a desire to give it a go themselves. So.... I am going to have a bash at writing and photographing a few macrame tutorials showing a couple of different techniques whilst also decorating my new (old) dining chairs. Whilst my projects will be demonstrated on chairs they could also be used to make wall hangings - just replace the chair back with a piece of dowel or a stick. All my macrame bits have been found in op shops but you could also use cotton cord from the hardware or have a look on Etsy (there's nearly 10 000 listings under macrame cord YIKES!).

Supplies:
1 wooden chair, dowel or stick (if you are using a stick you will need somewhere to hang it while you work)
10 lengths of 5mm thick macrame cord cut to 160cm lengths
5 large wooden beads
scissors

This project is worked in alternating square knots and you will also use a larks head to start and a rolling hitch to finish. So lets get started.....

1. the larks head
Possibly the easiest macrame technique ever and the one you will use most often when starting a project.
Fold your cord in half.
Put the loop end behind the chair from above.
Put ends through the loop and pull tight.
Repeat for the remaining nine cords.




2. Square knots
A square knot is worked with a group of four cords. You knot with the two outer cords over the middle two filler cords.



STEP 1 - put the left-hand knotting cord (1) over the two filler cords (2 & 3) and the right-hand knotting cord (4) over the leg of the left-hand knotting cord making the shape of a 4.


STEP 2 - bring the right-hand knotting cord (4) under the filler cords (2 & 3) and up through the loop made by the left-hand knotting cord (1) - pull up the two knotting cords

STEP 3 - put the right-hand knotting cord (4) over the top of the filler cords (2 & 3) and the left-hand knotting cord (1) over the leg of the right-hand knotting cord (4) to make a backward 4.



STEP 4 - bring the left-hand knotting cord (1) under the filler cords (2 & 3) and up through the loop made by the right-hand knotting cord (4) - pull up the two knotting cords and you've made one square knot HURRAH!!
STEP 5 - work four more square knots across the cords on the chair back so you have five square knots as your top line.

3. Alternating square knots


This technique looks most effective if you work your next row about five cm below the first - use a couple of finger widths as your ruler.

To make alternating square knots - drop the first two cords (1 & 2) and work your first square knot using the last two cords from knot one above (3 & 4) and the first two cords from knot two above (5 & 6). Continue across the row - you will work four square knots in total - dropping two cords at the end. 



The third row is worked the same as the first - five cm below the second row. Then if you fancy add some beads - threading them onto the filler cords, then tie another square knot under each bead.

Then work two more alternating rows - you will have six rows in total and finish with five square knots.

4. finishing off - half hitches (kinda)
Take the longest cord you have left beneath the square knot, bring it in front of the three remaining cords and make a loop, pass the end around the filler cords and through the loop, tighten and repeat.

Finish off under each square knot and if you're so inclined trim the ends so they are even. I've also pinned each of mine to the underneath of the chair to give it a really clean finish (and stop the wee boy from grabbing hold of it and hanging off it).


5. put your feet up
Make a cuppa and sit down on your newly macrame bedazzled chair or admire your fab new wall hanging.


Happy knotting
x Bec

P.S. I hope that made sense, if not please don't hesitate to ask me any questions.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Fashion Revolution Heroes - Jane Milburn

This week (Thursday to be exact) marked one year since the Rana Plaza disaster and the start of a Fashion Revolution. It was Jane who first alerted me to this incredible global movement so I thought what better way to mark the day than with a tour of Jane's Brisbane studio.

Just over a month ago my lovely friend Carissa and I took a little drive to Brisbane town to visit the studio of Upcycling advocate Jane Milburn. This year Jane is on a mission to educate and encourage home sewers to take a look in their own wardrobes and consider rethinking and reworking their existing garments rather than buying new.

Jane modelling her signature 'jumper skirt' made from her own oversized hand knitted jumper
As Jane puts it:  "Constantly seeking new clothes can be time-consuming, expensive and overwhelming. The alternative is to become more inventive and refashion, repurpose, and recreate existing pieces in your wardrobe."

signature piece the 'history skirt' made from thrifted silk dresses and skirts
Jane's studio is a treasure trove of texture and colour. Boxes and wardrobes overflow with thrifted garments, shelves are filled with bottles and tins of buttons, buckles and ribbon, and the racks of UPcycled clothing are steadily growing as Jane creates a garment a day from her considerable stash of op-shopped goodies.




Jane considers this her vocation for 2014 and over on her blog 'Sew it Again' she is chronicling her daily UPcycling adventures along with simple instructions for those wishing to have a go themselves. I love her no nonsense approach to it all:  'to do this, cut confidently'

Jane also shares personal stories behind her mission, imparts distressing information about our current clothing consumption and its social and environmental impacts, as well as linking in with the work of upcyclers and fashion forward thinkers around the world. It's a rabbit warren of conscientious creativity. 

UPcycle 63 and 52 - both constructed from woolen jumpers 
camouflage for stain
nothing is wasted - Jane uses the sleeve off cuts to create matching neckware
If you've ever wondered why we should be UPcycling or you've wanted to have a go but you've not been sure where to start then Jane's blog is a fantastic resource for you to explore. I hope you pop on over and have a look and get started or inspired on your own creative reuse adventure. 


Bec