Sunday, April 29, 2007


This little sketch appeared in my diary about a week ago. It kind of grew from a basic t-shirt sketch- which is why the arms are probably so much out of proportion- normally the arms on my fashion sketches are quite a lot longer... What I really like though is the sugesstion of a face, and the hair together with the bulk of a poloneck top. Nice for a change.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

a new chapter

I haven't disappeared! Things have been quite busy and there has been a bit of chopping and changing in my life- from little things like training myself to get up even earlier in the morning for work (I am by no means a morning person), to an upcoming change of flatmates (and the expense of kitting out the flat all over again).

My crafting hasn't stopped- I am making good progress on my embroidery, and am fussing over the little details- these are, after all, what really makes an embroidery.

I have fixed up the sun, which in it's previous bespectacled state looked kind of lame- I was intent on balancing out the fact that the moon had a face, and so, therefore the sun had to have one too. However the sun ended up looking annoyingly albino like. So I decided to unpick the face and stitch tiny circle over the surface, and add some gold thread detail, which has done the trick, and I am so much more happy with it.

I then added some small creatures- a bumblebee with a staggeringly large pot of honey, and a little spider in a silvery web. I am yet to add a couple of little grey mice climbing up the "Miouw" to the side.

And best of all, I now have a winning suggestion (courtesy of my sister) for the hole in the embroidery- a jumping Jack Russell pup- Miss E's favourite dog. You can't have enough puppies around this little girl!

I am taking a break from my embroidery for a while. It has been eclipsed by my mustard yellow winter scarf that I started last Sunday, which is proving to be an addictive item to knit. (the photo has not done the colour any justice at all- it is far far brighter!!!) I haven't knitted anything since I was little- and even then it was always a half-hearted attempt. I managed to teach myself moss stitch- I really like its nubbly texture, and it works a treat in mustard yellow- there is something vaguely 70's about it (I don't know if thats a good thing or a bad thing...) What I like about knitting (at the expense of sounding really pretentious) is that it is an organic process as you are creating the fabric itself. You skip this step when you sew garments, so it is lovely to see a garment (even a simple scarf) literally grow. I am at that odd stage where I am trying to figure out how many balls of wool I will need for this scarf- so I will be checking my scarf length vs. the amount of wool left. Pedantic, yes.

Last night I started a silversmithing course at the Peter Minturn Jewellery School, and am starting to create a simple silver ring. Next week we are moving on to a more interesting pendant assignment, so I will be planning my design soon- it will be great to be able to wear your own jewellery. I am so far finding the course to be challenging- its as if I am learning to sew all over again... Will keep you posted on this one!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

empty wallet...

Oooooh today I finally paid off this fantastic dress by New Zealand designer Cybele. Very exciting... -I first saw this dress last year during New Zealand Fashion Week- I really like the bold and clever graphics. I think it would look great over skinny jeans and a merino long sleeved t-shirt :)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I must be inspired...

I must have been inspired by all this arty-crafty stuff that I have been doing lately (yes, it is addictive), that when I was in Napier I went on a retro-craft shopping binge....

First up was a trip to Raku, a Japanese gift shop for some kimono fabric. I love Japanese design, both modern and traditional (my graduate collection was inspired by the world of Murasaki Shikibu, a Heian era Japanese author), so this was a treat. I have intentions using this for the fantasy quilt (despite the fact that the light fabric is silk) so I was looking for reasonably patterned fabrics on a smaller scale. I received these fabric beauiflly wrapped up and complete with a paper crane- I am very fond of paper cranes and have some hanging around the house.

Onwards and upwards I went to the Art Deco Centre (or whatever they call it now) where they have a mad range of antiques and vintage clothing. I picked up an embroidered doily with a cute little house on it- I'm not actually sure of what I will do with it but its cute!

I also brought an unfinished embroidery with an Asian -inspired seaside scene. I really like the simplicity of the piece and especially the shape of the tree. I think, in time I might finish the embroidery (in my own funny way), but for now I'm just happy to look at it (and possibly subject it to Napisan...).

The prize purchase was a couple of 1950's dress patterns. I love old patterns, and the quirkier the drawing, the better (I also picked up a couple of 70's numbers from an op-shop). I think these two are really cool- the one on the left has a lovely little jacket with tricky little diamond gussets in the underarm (try sewing them!!), and the other has "La Nouvelle Vaugue" in a kitschy font- the pictures totally sold it!

There were more than a few other things (including mustard yellow wool and knitting needles for that scraft I have been meaning to knit...) that I brought, but that would make this post a bit tedious, so I will leave it at that!

PS. Thank you to my lovely readers who have added me to their blogroll :)

Monday, April 9, 2007

lazy days

I have been staying with my parents over the past few days. Going 'back home' is always so lovely. Napier is such a relaxing little seaside town- I often don't appreciate it fully until I get there and realise that it is much much more relaxing than Auckland is!!!

I have been busy working on my embroidery- now all that remains is an odd triangle shape which I am struggling to figure out what to put in it..! But however I can easily busy myself with putting in all the peripheral bits and pieces (mice, a spider, a toadstool somewhere) that have been pushed aside to make way for more important things (like what to put in the middle of the embroidery).

You may wonder why I have been inspired to make a piece like this for my niece (apart from being a time-rich but cash poor student at the time I started it). When I was about 5 one of my sisters (I have 4 sisters and 1 brother- and I am the baby) was in Scotland on her O.E and I think she may have been nannying or working in a craft shop, where she made me this pencil case. It has been worn to death- note the hole and the ink stains (!) - but is still very much treasured. So now I am reciprocating that gesture for her little daughters.

My embroidery, and the well worn and well loved inspiration for it all!