Friday, June 29, 2007

top five friday... Kingsland, Auckland

This weekTop Five Friday has gone local- so probably more applicable if you know Auckland! Ok, Top Five Friday has been on holiday for a while. I'm not really sure why, but I think I wasn't that happy with what I was posting.
This week I'm going to give you the run-down on Top Five Friday- Kingsland Auckland (which I suspect might be trickier than I think). Its hard to look at your neighbourhood objectively, when it is usually just a sight that you pass everyday. Most locations are on the Kingsland village part of New North Road.

5. Native Agent. This store has a Zambesi-esque approach to New Zealand design (particularly Maori influenced work)- like a non-tacky Kiwiana (is there such a thing). I am enamoured with the old NZ penny earrings and some of the cushions to be found there. Find them online here.

4. Atomic Coffee Roasters. Good coffee is to be found here- which can't be a bad thing!

3. Little India. Comfort food takeaways of the highest order- good fort he winter months..

2. Mixt. Fantastic selection retro furniture, ceramics, lighting and art. You could very easily kit out your living room here if retro furniture is your thing. Find them online here.

1. My Flat. Surely the best place of all. Where else can I hang out with my 3 flatmates, 3 goldfish and my crafts???

Now Kingsland could do with a goooood craft shop!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

warding off the craft guilts

With much of a flourish I can now cross That Top off my list! This morning I decided (especially after writing about it in my last post) that I would definately finish That Top. After locking myself in my room for an hour and a half (soundtrack: The White Stripes- Peel Sessions CD, and White Blood Cells) I emerged with a completed garment. Now I can no longer complain about finishing the top... but I'm sure that there will be a sneaky project slip in and push everything else down the list! :)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

the craft guilts

Do you ever get the craft guilts? You know, when you have not one, but several unfinished craft projects hanging around your home saying "Hey, you haven't finished me! Don't you abandon me for a shiny new project". I most certainlty have. I think its a little compounded by the fact that I have a list on the sidebar of this blog reminding me of what I have not yet finished. And I have that 'crazy new idea' problem (OK so perhaps crazy new ideas arent really a problem at all- usually they are a good thing) that shunts the 'not-so-urgent' projects down the list.

Here are the top offenders:

1. Scalloped neckline top. Yes, all I have to do is stitch the facing, and belt loops on. Is it really that hard?? No- then why havent I finished it yet?? I think it has almost become my weekly joke when leaving work on Friday "I'm going to finish that top this week- no, seriously, I will!"

2. Painting with lines and trees. I think this is more a matter of being inspired to paint. I worked on it for quite a while, but lately, paintings not happening. I even have a space in the living room all set out for it, but of course I won't display the painting til its finished.

3. Embroidery for my niece. Now this is a bit of an exception to the rule of craft guilts. I abandoned working on this when I took up knitting, but I actually think that I am procrastinating on purpose, just so that I can prolong the process a little more. I have already been carrying this embroidery around for a good four years- so I guess a few extra months won't hurt. I am one and a bit motifs away from finishing this piece (note the unfinished dog that looks like it is standing on the red bird's head), and I think it will be a bit sad when I finish, so at the moment, I am happy to give it a rest over the winter months.

And the irony is that I probably could have finished that top instead of posting about it!

Monday, June 18, 2007

A is for Anna; A is for Auntie (two)

Now that I have a chain to wear it on, I can show you the pendant that I have spent a decent amount of time creating. Of course, given my current camera issues the photo isn't that wonderful, but trust me- it looks far better in real life (note to self: start saving for a better camera now!). It took me a good six classes worth of cutting, filing, sanding, soldering and whacking it with a hammer to create. It really makes you appreciate the amount of work that goes into artisan jewellery- and with jewellery, the smaller the scale, the more difficult it is to create a piece. Next I'm beginning the jewellery vs. clothing project, with a bangle which I will coil and drape fabric around- this will be great for melding the style of jewllery with the garments. I'm thinking of creating a few pieces like this, chunky and drapey jewellery that will compliment the style of clothes that I will somehow end up creating. I'm also thinking of working with pearls- if I can set them into silver that is- I am not keen on strands of pearls- so so very Chanel.
In the weekend I made my version of this cake. Delicious! Even my five year old niece was impressed by the lemon curd. I havent done any decent baking for a while -about a year- since I somehow took (to varied results) to baking from boxes. Now I think Ihave converted back to real cooking again- so much more satisfying!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Flickr... updated at last!

Well, after a lot of procrastination I gave finally uploaded some more photos onto Flickr and joined some crafty groups (What? Crafts? How did you guess??!!). I think I procrastinated because Flickr + at home dial up connection= some kind of small scale disaster...

Anywho, Im a gonna go and read while my wisdom tooth plays up a little this evening (Procrastination also on the dental side of things... I must remember with this one though: the more I procrastinate, the worse it will get).

Sunday, June 10, 2007

the knitting addiction

Today is one of those cold rainy rainy Sundays where you have very little motivation to go outside your house ( I must have a very low resistance to cabin fever). I am even making up excuses to try and avoid going to the supermarket. This is however very good for my new crafty addiction- knitting. Rain and knitting seem to go together quite well.

I have now finished my luminous sunshine mustard yellow scarf- the picture does not do it justice I'm afraid. I still have to motivate myself to wash it though (very difficult to do when you want to wear it straightaway). It took me a good seven weeks of knitting to complete it, and by the time I had decided to finish it on Friday, I had realised that I was well and truly over knitting that scarf! I was inspired by a print design that I found on Print and Pattern to mix up the colours on the tassels- this stops it from looking too flat.

I am not yet over knitting completely, and have begun a larger project to keep me occupied over the winter months: an oversized throw rug. This is from a very quick and easy pattern that I found in one of my Mum's Australian Women's Weekly's, which had a great 'learn to knit' section. I have managed to complete one square already, and am starting to understand the satisfaction that granny square crochet people must get when they work on a project like that- short and sweet, but progress none the less. I aim to get this rug roughly the size of a single bed rug, even though the pattern is saying to knit 9 squares, which I don't think is big enough to drape over the end of your bed. I am using an earthier, more homespun colour palette, with a mix of browns and soft greys offset with cream. I am limited by the range of wool colours that my local craft shop has, but am happy that they stock such a sumptuously soft felted wool such as the one that I am using. The wool is sold in hanks, so you have the fun job of winding the hank of wool ino a ball before you knit- a soothing process in itself. I like how organic a hand wound ball of wool looks.

While I was visiting the craft shop I spotted a sign advertising beginners quilting classes, I decided to sign up. I have recently wanted to learn how to quilt, and to be able to create a quilted bedspread. I think it starts off on a American Country Craft style quilt, which isn't really my style at all, but I'm sure you can learn alot of skills from a slighlty more complicated piece before moving onto your own style.

Last but not least for this post is my new favourite top- I brought a new woollen jersey knit top (to ward off winter chill and wardrobe angst) which I then decorated with a selection of buttons- it makes me smile everytime I wear it.