Tuesday, 24 February 2009

gee's bend quilts

How wonderful are these quilts, from the Gee's Bend Quilt exhibition. These beautiful quilts are works of art in themselves, they remind me of collages, or paintings, like something from Mondrian.
From the website:
"The Freedom Quilting Bee was a women’s quilting collective in Alberta, Alabama, near to Boykin or Gee's Bend. It was founded in 1966, out of the civil rights movement. Some of the women whose quilts are represented in the Quilts of Gee's Bend exhibit once made quilts for this economic collective. Others did not. Nevertheless, it is through this earlier collective that Gee's Bend came first to be known for its quilts, for the strength of its community and the resourcefulness and artistry of its quilters."
I love the simplicity of these and the reuse of fabrics. And the story behind them, their stories and social context. If you haven't seen the whole collection follow the link to see them all, so many fantastic designs.
I've been thinking about quilts a lot recently, I certainly don't need another project but I've always wanted to make one. A really simple small one! We'll see :-)

Friday, 20 February 2009

photo fun

I've been meaning to post about two of these photo manipulation sites for ages. Then today I saw another great one on Jena Coray's site Bone and Branch blog. The website http://tiltshiftmaker.com/ takes photos and gives them the TiltShift treatment which makes them look like miniature models. Very cute. Check out the Flickr group for more. This photo is from my trip to Vietnam.

I love this Japanese site too and I just realised for the first time that there is a page with the instructions in English here. It takes your photos and makes them look old. Like reproductions from a fifties schoolbook.

This last one is especially cool, considering that polaroid might be gone forever. The Poladroid application which is free to download takes your ordinary shots and poladroids them. Cute name. Cute pics. Check out the Flickr for this one too.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

vintage wallpaper

This German site 5qm has vintage and vintage inspired wallpaper for sale, lots of it. I love it, definitely worth a browse if you like pattern. Some of these are vintage and some new, see if you can guess.
I found this link on lovelydesign, while admiring Sharilyn's beautiful calico drawstring goody bags which she made for her daughter's birthday (below).
So simple and lovely, and there is a downloadable pdf pattern for them.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009


I've told you about Kiva before. I wanted to share Hilaria's story with you (what a beautiful smile!) which I came across on the site this afternoon and which really touched me (she lives in Peru).

Hilaria is a 28 year old woman, simple and hard-working, and mother of four children, Abraham is 14, Edwin is 8, Yudith is 3 and Jose is one year old. She lives in her own adobe home and wants to get ahead. In her small adobe room, Hilaria knits the most colorful handicrafts on the market. She sells them at the Laguna Temporal esplanade (Market where there are fairs in the city of Juliaca) where her customers make arrangements to be at every Sunday and look to buy her novel designs. During the 2 years in her business, the most difficult task for Hilaria has been carrying her work to her sales stall, since she lives far from there. She knows that this is not an impediment to her reaching her goals and someday having a crafts store.
She enjoys knitting very much and the more she knits the better she feels, also she can this way pay for the education of her small children, which she takes care of with much love. Hilaria has 4 loans with MFP and is very punctual with her payments because she does not want to give her community bank any problems, for she feels very happy with it and know it will help her get ahead. The 1500 soles which she is requesting will be used to buy more yarn and this way she will increase her merchandise and will be able to better supply her sales booth.

Translated from Spanish by Laura Bobbit, Kiva Volunteer

Now if I could only work out how to get some of her beautiful knitting...

Saturday, 14 February 2009

storque article

Back in January I hinted at an exciting project, well at last its here - a feature on Etsy celebrating the Tea Towel in all its glory!
Last year the lovely Elizabeth of Etsy shop Flying Rhymes starting organising a Storque article about all the creative designers taking the humble dishcloth into the 21st Century!
The hardest part about submitting our work was her requirement to photograph yourself, with said tea towels :-) A modest bunch I think we all struggled with that bit of the brief . But what a beautiful and creative group we turned out to be! Come and see, and get a peek at all the beautiful people and their beautiful towels! (Apologies for my pic, I was in a bit of a rush - I do smile occasionally!)

cressida campbell

A friend and I went up to the S.H.Ervin gallery on Observatory Hill on Thursday to see the Cressida Campbell show there. It is such an amazing position up there near the old Observatory with virtually a 360 degree view of the Bridge, the city and the harbour.
I was lucky enough to get the beautiful book of Cressida's work for Christmas and it was great to see such a large selection of the work up close.
She has a most unique method to produce her prints and woodblocks - first she carves a large plywood board and then paints watercolour between the engraved lines. Once she's layered it up enough she wets paint and paper and lays the paper over the board. She then presses a roller over the paper, peeling back the paper and rewetting it till she's happy with the print. She exhibits both print and painted woodblock.
She is a most amazing draughtswoman, some of her meticulous landscapes are metres long and incredibly detailed ! It was the smaller works that really attracted me.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Victorian Bushfire Appeal

This afternoon I donated some items to the new Etsy shop set up to raise funds for the Victorian Bushfire Appeal. What a lovely idea and they have raised a huge amount of money already. I was going to link to my items here but by the time I found them they had sold. Whew, that was quick :-) Thanks to all the Etsy shops donating product and to all the lovely buyers making this so successful.
One of my items was this blue on unbleached colourway tea towel that never made it to the shop first time round, I didn't print enough and sold them all before I could list them. I've had it reprinted and its now for sale with its popular red brother (sister?).

Modish giveaway

How exciting, the lovely Jena at Modish is hosting a giveaway for Valentine's Day including some Flower Press goodies - a White Filigree tea towel on unbleached linen, a Filigree Gocco print and two Ruby Slippers cards.
Also included are two pieces from Lexy Art, a talented Brisbane artists who makes the most amazing board mounted prints.
So what are you waiting for?! Go and leave a comment and be in the running for this bag of goodies on Valentine's Day :-)

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

school fete

I've been making lots of pots of cuttings the last few days, and sowing seed for the school fete we are having in April.
The weather has turned lovely and cool the last few days, and we've had some rain at last.
Here are a few of the pots, can you tell I love red foliage plants :-)
I'm on the gardening committee and we are having a stall to raise money for our school. Any great ideas of what else we can sell are very welcome, I figure it will be bulb time then (April) and we are thinking of having a large hamper of gardening bits to raffle.

Monday, 9 February 2009

the fires

Photo from here

Like all of us my heart is broken by the loss of life and homes and animals and landscape in the Victorian fires. My brother forwarded this link to someone's personal story of how you can go from no danger one minute to fighting for your life, even with all preparation. It's terrifying and goes some way to explain the huge death and damage toll from these infernoes.
The Red Cross have an appeal here if you want to contribute.

Friday, 6 February 2009

birthday fun

Its my darling niece's seventh birthday today and by happy coincidence I came across this tricky Disney page where you can personalise Disney Land footage. I've put my details in so you can see how it works but obviously in the one I set up for her it says her name and happy birthday. Last year she couldn't get enough of the Disney princesses and she's been to Euro Disney so I hope she loves it!

vintage pillowcase

A bit of thrifting. I love this green, is it chartreuse? There are a lot of really great greens around at the moment, olivey, yellowy mid greens.

I'm wondering if I should I keep it as a pillowcase? I love the idea of getting all mismatched vintage floral manchester and having them on my bed all together, like a field of flowers! On the other hand it would be nice also remade into something new, yes?

Monday, 2 February 2009


I just wanted to say that my thoughts go out to all of you in Melbourne and Adelaide surviving through this hideous heatwave. We had one day of 43 degrees here and I can only imagine what an extended run of them is like. Here in Sydney we've had really hot and humid weather for the past fortnight, I just looked at the Bureau site and it was 90% humidity about 3am the other night and still 24 degrees, no wonder it feels so hot.
I think our turn at the 4o degree temperatures is to come later in the week.
But to all of you surviving it in the east, I hope an ice cold breeze is headed your way!