Friday, November 30, 2007

sparkles for opening night

brown and gold sequin cuff
Originally uploaded by djbebe
Well tonight is the opening of the Re-Creations exhibition and, as usual, I decided at the last minute that I absolutely must make something new to wear. I quickly discarded the idea of making a fabulous new blouse or dress - too risky. What if it turns out bad, leaving me with no time for plan B? So, I got out this box of fabric samples that I was given by Lyssy May who recklessly ignores my fabric diet - anyone doing a project that requires small rectangles of tweed or taffeta? I've got a few to spare... Anyway I found some gems in there and managed to make this cuff which I think is quite fabulous. Having something new to wear is like a secret talisman that will keep me safe through the nerves of crowds and meeting new people. Plus, it's brown, and it's got sequins! Two of my favourite things.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Eek! I've been tagged by Mel. I don't know about this tagging thing, it feels a bit like chain mail but ok just this once... Also I've been a bit slack on the craft front due to a sore back so this will have to do for a blog post.

The rules:
1. Link to your tagger (see above), and also post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself (random or weird) on your blog.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.

... so 7 facts about me:
1. I have an ever-expanding collection of fabrics, buttons, lace and ribbons - but mostly fabric.
2. I'm on a fabric diet.
3. It's not really working.
4. I was born on a cattle property.
5. I don't iron unless absolutely necessary.
6. I abide by the philosophy that any problem can be lessened by a cup of tea.
7. I love cheese. All kinds.

And I hereby tag the following (but I'll understand if you conscientiously object to blog-chain-mail):
1. Ali
2. Kim
3. Martine
4. Claire
5. Fi
6. Ellie
7. Hilde

PS If you're in Brisbane, don't forget to check out the Re-Creations Christmas Exhibition at Reverse Garbage. If you can make it to the opening on Friday night I'll be there - would love to meet you!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Christmas cards

We're having a pre-Christmas mini craft market at work - it was meant to be today but it seems I was the only one organised enough so it's now next week. So I got all seasonal and made some Christmas cards and gift tags. It's fun to play with gold thread and sparkly fabrics - and I thought the musical paper (last seen here) made good trees. It would have been perfect if the music was Christmasy but unless you can decipher the tune from that tiny fragment you'd never know it was just random olde tunes, right?

I also got carried away and made about a million furoshiki. I've been practising the various wrapping techniques, wrapping up empty boxes, wine bottles, boxes of tissues, wallets etc. If nobody buys them HandyMan will come home one day to find everything in the house festively wrapped up. Now which one of these contains the tv remote...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

antique polyester

Or, adventures with a soldering iron. I finally made something for Whiplash - the fibre and mixed-media inspired jewellery is right up my alley.

A while ago I got a book out of the library called Stitch, Dissolve, Distort in Machine Embroidery - interesting effects, but since it required the acquisition of a soldering iron, I put that one on the backburner for a while. HandyMan handles all the power tools and HandyMan stuff in our house, and if I need a nail hammered or a jar opened I go to him - hence I wasn't sure I should be allowed near a soldering iron. But since I've been making brooches with raw edges, I've found there are some fabrics that just fray too much, even with top stitching and gentle handling - these seem to be the super synthetic polyesters. Also, somewhere in the FJ restoring process, HandyMan bought a soldering iron.

So, on the weekend I was feeling reckless enough to get out said soldering iron and have a go at melting some synthetic fibers. It's a bit scary to handle something that hot - I was worried I'd accidentally drop it and set something on fire, so I made sure HandyMan was standing by. I got the hang of it after a while and was able to cut through nylon like a hot knife through butter. It's hard to be precise though - straight lines are easy but circles are difficult, since the fabric moved around a bit, and I found Christmas tree shapes impossible. As for fabrics, nylon works the best; polyester works too but rayon just burns without melting.

And I teamed the results of this experimenting with my new love, vinyl - and whipped up a couple of brooches this afternoon.

I like how the edges look like old photographs. You can get that effect on paper with lemon juice and candles - or on synthetic fabric with a soldering iron. Just watch out for the fumes!

Go stop by the OCT/NOV whiplash thread to check out the other fabulous and unique entries!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

teapot coaster

teapot coaster
Originally uploaded by djbebe
I was sick of looking at the teapot rings on my desk at work - and I've just got my own office for the first time ever so I'm still in that honeymoon phase where I don't want to mess it up. You know, like when you tidy up your craft room and for a while you're really conscientious with putting things away?

For something made purely out of scraps of recent projects it turned out rather cohesively, I thought. Made using foundation piecing method onto a piece of sturdy flanellette, then backed using the envelope method and machine quilted with pink thread - because that's what was on the machine at the time. I was on a roll - no time for changing threads!

adventures in vinyl

wasp bag and matching wristlet
Originally uploaded by djbebe
I got so many things crossed off my todo list this weekend that I didn't even have time to blog them. I got this wristlet made - loosely based on a Denyse Schmidt pattern - and possibly the beginning of a love affair between me and vinyl. So easy to sew with, once you have a teflon foot, and no need to worry about finishing edges. More experimentation required - but I can see brooches, cuffs, hair thingies, napkin rings - the possibilities are endless!

I also finished off a batch of cuffs - they've been waiting patiently for press-studs for oh a couple of months... Then I filed some stuff in our new filing cabinet - hopefully it will magically make all the piles of papers in our kitchen and everywhere else disappear. I'm still in denial re tax time, however.

Don't tell anyone, but I also vacuumed the house. Don't worry, I'm over it now.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

tiger tongues

tiger birthday cake
Originally uploaded by djbebe
This photo is a bit old - sorry blog, for cheating - but the thing that I've spent all day working on and just finished (yay!) has to stay secret until Kim has her baby. (Not long now!) So instead, you can all admire the totally awesome cake that HandyMan and I made for my nephew Henry's second birthday. I somewhat foolishly volunteered for the cake making duties since the mother and grandmothers were all sick or too busy. I seem to recall I was also sick and too busy but the alternative was my mother slapping up some cake mix and sticking some smarties on top. Henry might not have cared that much but I did - so armed with the Women's Weekly Birthday Cake book, some pinking shears and a whole lot of butter, we whipped this cake up in record time. Squashed marshmallows for eyes, licorice stripes and the tongue is made from an orange sugar jube, cut in half so the shiny side is showing - and irresistable to a 2 year old. I attempted to get Henry to admire and appreciate the artistic skill involved in making such an awesome looking tiger - yeah, it's a tiger, whatever - but he just kept reaching for that shiny tongue. And there's only a certain amount of time where it's socially acceptable to keep a small child away from his own birthday cake.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Originally uploaded by djbebe
I made a long todo list at the start of the weekend, and as per usual I did lots of things but didn't get many crossed off the list. But that's ok because in my world, the list is just to remind you that you once meant or wanted to do something, as opposed to my good friend Kim who makes lists so she doesn't get distracted by other stuff - my list is so that when I come back from being distracted, I remember where I was.

Plus, since this is my first weekend home in 2 months, I decided I could do whatever I wanted for the whole weekend.

So from my list, I finished an order for brooches, made covers for my mp3 player and started on some new shirts for me. Ali, I aim to finish them tonight!

Not from my list, I baked 3 kinds of cookies, planted tomatoes, beans, basil and cucumbers, made ginger and lime granita, started some bean sprouts, arranged some flowers, and made a big mess in my craft room. I also hemmed a dress, sewed the buttons back on some shorts and rearranged the entire kitchen. The plates are so much easier to get to - I can't believe it's taken me a year to figure that out!

And then, see, the remainder of the things on the list just get carried over to the next list - that is if I still desire to do the thing. If not, too bad, thing, you had your chance.

And now, I can cross 'blog post' off the list. Yay.