Sunday, December 20, 2009

My Swap Parcel

I got my swap package the other day and I must say WOW what a wonderful package! Here are some photos of what was inside the HUGE parcel.

As you can see I got spoilt by Pammy Sue! The beautiful pineapple shawl in the background is just perfect to snuggle up with.

Here are some cute cowboy inspired Christmas ornaments, already hanging on our tree I must say!

And last but not least two wonderfully festive pot holders. I just love the sparklly yarn.

Thank you sooooo much Pammy Sue. It's been wonderful having you as a swap partner and learning all about you. I hope we can keep in touch over the years to come.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Another Cupcake post... why not?!

Ok made some more cupcakes recently and tried some different colours, recipe and icing designs. What do you think?

I really need to get on with things and stop fussing about the cupcakes... although eating them has been fun!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Daydream among the flowers

A few flower ideas I like for myself and the bridesmaids. I must say though I am being very indecisive when it comes to the flowers. Nothing has really captured my heart yet. The only thing I've been able to decide on is that I want lots of different flowers in my bouquet and feathers. I can't even decide on whether I want red or white flowers.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ring Bearer pillows and favours

Just thought I'd post a few photos of the ring bearer pillow I made and the favors we've decided on for the wedding. I did try several other things for the pillow like a crochet pillow and then I even tried a quilt block pillow from left over material from the bridesmaid dresses but both of these just failed so I went for the simple ribbon/bow pillow made from some lovely duchess satin which I scored for $1.00 a meter! it was on the clearance rack for $8.00 a meter and I just wanted 20cm so the woman said here have a meter for a dollar. The brooch you can see on it was some old costume jewelery I bought at a clearance sale years ago. I was going though my jewelery box looking for a ring and saw it and bob's your uncle it was the perfect finishing touch. The ribbon was left overs from decorating the unity candles and the stuffing was left overs from another craft adventure so all up I think this pillow cost me $5.00 not bad considering the ones in the magazines are around $30.00 to $50.00.

The favors will hopefully add some color to the tables and be a yummy treat for our guests. 2 chocolate hearts and the traditional 5 sugar almonds. I almost bought the ribbon from a fabric store for something like 80c a meter but then found the perfect stuff at the Reject shop $3.50 for 91 meters of curling ribbon and $2.00 for 45 meters of the red ribbon. Thank God I didn't pay the full price from the fabric store. I mean people are just going to untie it and throw it away.

If you want chocolate hearts don't go to candy stores they charge like 50c each. We have a local wholesaler and its like $22.00 per kilo and you get around 160 pieces and the chocolate quality is very good!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And the Cupcake drama continues

Ok I have a confession to make, making your own cupcake wedding cake is just a good excuse for trialing cup cake recipes. We have been at it again this time trying the most awesome berries and white chocolate mudcake cupcakes. The recipe worked wonders and the cakes were to die for BUT bad news was they were too hard after being put in the fridge and the cost got a bit much with all the chocolate and berries. But still an awesome recipe to make for other occassions that dont require 130 cupcakes.

We tried out the beautiful blue foil patties which I paid good money for and while the blue shine is divine the size of the cupcakes are HUGE and look rediculous. The red cherry-on-top look was also not so great for a wedding, more comical and suited to a birthday so we ditched that idea too.

Finally we got the look right with blue frosting and silver candy balls and cheap silver pattie pans. If only I'd known I would never have spent so much cash on the blue metalic ones. Oh well.
We kept this batch in the fridge for 2 days, overnight, like we would have to when it came to the wedding. We also made them using a simple vanilla recipe and added some berry mix so that they didnt set solid when kept refrigerated. Taste testing them on the second day I was suprised and relieved to find that they still tasted fresh and soft.

All we have to do now it figure out how to transport 130ish cupcakes to the reception centre without them melting in the car or getting squished. Any ideas?????????

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mini Me Cake Topper

I have been at it again, making stuff for our wedding. This time I've been making our cake toppers. We wanted these cute birds from Etsy but we can't afford the $150.00 although I do think they are worth it. So instead I'm making another set of little people like I made for my sister's wedding.

Here is a photo of my mini me. I like the end product but she is a bit broken. Her head is lose and luckly there is a toothpick holding it on. She's also been glued back together having fallen and broken in two from the waist. You can see the crack around her middle if you look at her from the back but since that won't really be visible I'm not going to worry about it. All I need to do now is to make her a REALLY long veil which I'll make out of touli. Best part about her is that she has little red shoes like I'll be wearing!!!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Top of the Cake

Just a bit more progress on the cupcake stand this weekend. Just need to figure out how to incorporate some red into the cake. Red flowers on top?, red flowers scattered in between cupcake or glazed cherries on top of every large cupcake. (only top layer will have mini cupcakes)

Also bought the maid of honour's dress but need to return it as I noticed this morning that there were some pulled threads in the skirt. Will post a photo of that when I swap it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pringle Containers and Wrapping Ribbon?

It seems we have solved the wedding cupcake stand issue and we've done so with empty Pringle containers, a bit of plaster, liquid nails and silver wrapping ribbon. Who would have thought? At the moment we are waiting for the liquid nail glue to dry so hopefully that will dry and set hard.
If all works out this 5 layered stand would have cost us around $60.00 Aus dollars. I just love the silvery goodness.

So far this is the best example of cupcakes I have found on the net with the colour scheme I am going for. We have bought both blue and silver metallic cupcake patties but we are not sure which ones we will use. Chocolate mud cake is looking like a winner for the cupcakes but something with Bailies also sounds good.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

First of the Bridesmaid Dresses

I have spent most of my last two weekends attempting to make one of the bridesmaid dresses. The pattern is from Vogue and you can see it in the previous post. I must say it was a bit of a challenge. I've never made anything with lining AND interfacing. I'm also usually hopeless with darts as well but this time I marked them properly and based them before sewing.

The dress is made out of navy sateen. As you can see it will be accessorized with red shoes and red earrings as well as a bouquet of red flowers. I now have just one more of these to make and then another one in a different pattern for my maid of honour.

Yes I am busy busy busy!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Something Weddingy

I've just come to terms with the fact that our wedding is just 6 months away. Yes the locatio, photographer and celebrant are booked, and the dress bought but other than that nothing has been done about it since March. I have thought about it on and off on occasions but a lot of the things are still up-in-the-air. We have lots of ideas regarding different aspects of the wedding like the song for the first dance, the kind of cupcakes for the cake but we have no idea what we WANT and this seems to be one of our, or at least definantely MY biggest problem. As I look through the internet for inspiration I just seem to come across irritation... more ideas, more options!

My sister has been helpful while I've been away. She found some fab red satin pumps for the bridesmaides at reduced prices. There was NOway I was going to dish out 150$ for each bridesmaid but at $49.95 bingo! right on budget.

We have made a somewhat decision to put our (mum's and mine) sewing skills to the test and sew the bridesmaid dresses. This is the pattern we have bought...

Monday, August 31, 2009

The rainbow cardie is finally FINISHED! Just thought I'd let you all know I didn't let the darn thing get the better of me. I worked and worked on it and finally finished it off with some nice red buttons. I am so over making baby cardigans after this one. I think it will be a long time before I make another one. I am looking into making socks next. Anyone have any ideas as to where to get a crochet sock pattern?

There are also some yummy yarny things that I purchased the otherday. Lovely sock yarn, yummy crochet cotton size 10 in lovely navy, grey, cream and green. It's the same stuff I made the maroon doilies in so I know it will work well. I just can't wait to use the stuff!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The BossHoss Rock Berlin!

Last weekend Axel and I went to see the awesome 9 piece German cowboy band called The BossHoss who sound and act like they've come right out for Nashville but are actually from Berlin. They started off by doing country versions of famous pop and rock songs, some including Britney Spears, Toxic and The White Stripes, Seven Nation Army. They now have their own songs too which are pretty awesome. At the concert they had a 'suprise' for the audience, a 20ish piece brass and string section that added the most awesome tones and edge to their songs. If I could work out YouTube I'd love to post some video that I took on the night. Here are some photos from the night.

The BossHoss, oh how great they are in their hats and boots!

The original 2 man setup, Boss and Hoss, oh how sexy that Hoss is! I have a crush on him and I don't care that Axel knows hehehehehe.

The fans wearing all the essential gear!

And lastly Axel and I sitting out the long wait for the concert to start. Arrived at 4pm they didn't start until about 8ish. But it was all soooo worth the wait!!!!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Watery Women

This is a quick sketch of a bride and her moon cresent bear, inspired by one of the stories in 'Women who run with the Wolves', a book I mentioned in another post. In the story the woman's husband returns from war and is distant and angry. She goes to the local witch doctor for help and he tells her to get a hair from the chest of the moon cresent bear. In my drawing I see the moon cresent bear as a symbol for women's anger, agression and we sometimes become a bride to it. But just like a husband it can support us and help us grow if we know how to live with it.

Here is another version of the woman inside a woman image. I worked this one on quality water paper and really concentrated on layering washes of colour to achieve some depth.

I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend. I know I am just layzing around dabbling in a bit or crochet and painting.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Working on Owl Woman

Please excuse the bad photography. The picture is much lighter than this in the white areas. I am working more losely with the watercolours at the moment, really enjoying working over sketches and layering washes.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Wise Owl

Latest watercolour of a woman in an owl mask. I think I would like to turn this into an oil painting with a langscape background. The eyes I love best, their haunting quality.

Here is the later sketch with landscape added. I will work on this image further and look at some older 15th centry paintings for inspiration. Here are some that I am looking at at the moment for ideas.

Leonardo Da Vinci, Ginevra

Hans Memling, Portrait of a Man

Leonardo Da Vinci, Mona Lisa

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Emotional Ties and Psychic Growth

This image of a woman/infant growing within an woman came about from an image I had when thinking about how much I miss my mother and how much I wish I could just curl up in her arms. The image and idea developed from that feeling into something that is not only about missing my mother but also about missing my conection to mother earth and nature in general. The woman inside could also be a new idea or project that is evolving and growing inside the woman's psyche. The hair is deliberately drawn to look like flowing water as well as hair. In some stories hair represents power. Water is symbolic of emotions. The women's hair is tangled to form a kind of umbilical cord. They nourish each other.
I have reworked the original image using photoshop making it look like a wood cut or lino cut, something I might like to turn it into in the future. Red is for blood, growth, blue is for watery emotions. It's a silvery blue so it also connects it to the moon, and the moon godesses knowing and power.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Works

This figure is wearing the Seal skin, soul skin mentioned in the book 'Women who run with the Wolves'. She also has a cresent moon for a third eye and wolf ears. The cresent moon, symbol for goddesses like Diana and Artemis. We have their powers within us.

A new piece that I'm working on. Something I'm always being asked to do. I guess women are often asked to 'lower their voices down' Made from a sketch colour added and manipulated in photoshop. The cheeks are red because I am always embarrassed when asked to quieten down.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Back To Art, simple as that?

It's been a long time since I've kept an art journal and actually worked on developing an idea artistically. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with making art, love using it as a form of expression and for dealing with emotional issues but hate the selfishness and what I see as the uselessness of it (My art sits in the attic collecting dust) I also get caught up in thoughts like, is it any good? it's not important art, or the stuff that I do make that I think is important isnt seen by anyone so whats the point!? There are a million other questions and problems with my relationship with art and in particular my art. I'm not a big fan of the art world either, I think I've written about that before.

Having said that I'm just starting to realise that it doesn't have to be for anyone else. It doesn't have to hang in a gallery. I don't have to be working towards being a 'professional' artist, just being an 'artist' 'artmaker' is fine. This argument works for more personal works but sometimes I want to make art about bigger issues, personal but also related to something bigger, then being just an artmaker or artists for my own sake doesnt work, then I need to work towards being a professional artist and getting my stuff out there because it has to reach those who it is trying to speak to. And so I go again chasing my tail!

At the moment I'm just focusing on more personal ideas and so avoiding the issue above. All other ideas that are not of the personal sort are being filtered out until I can sort out the top dilema.

Here is some work that is in my visual diary at the moment. It's been inspired by a book called Women who Run with the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I see so much of myself in what she writes. I think I will need to read the book a few times to get all the information and advice out of it. So many of the problems facing women that she talks about relate to myself. The work is not only inspired by the ideas in the book, making art again in general has been inspired by this book. I recommed it to any woman of any age! It is like a bible for women.

Anyway I will share a few photos of some of my work that is happening at the moment.

This is a watercolour that is of a friend of mine, Bell. It's not meant to be a likeness of her but it has her red hair, and I was thinking of her when making it. I will pass on my book or buy one for her when I return home. I drew the wolf part as a mask with visible stitches because I think we have to work to make our connection with the wolf woman within us. So we stitch, we cut, we mold we do what we have to with our minds and hands to make ourselfs in the wolf woman's likeness. Here I just played around with a drawing I made using Adobe photoshop, getting back to my old art days where I did a fair bit of image manipulation type art.

I want to make this work again, and to not forget or cut off my 'art making' life. I will need support though and I feel finding it will be just as important as making art.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bad Blogger and Crochet Disaster

Yes I have been a bad blogger. It's been over a month since I last posted and I feel a little guilty about having neglected the blog. I am proud to announce though that I have been a good girl and have kept For The Love of Crochet Along, another blog I manage with a great bunch of crocheting chicks, up to date.

It's not that I haven't been doing anything crafty it's just uninspiring photos of my stuff and a lack of patience to sit and write. Above is a snippit of a doily I made a few weeks ago. I made another one (same pattern) last week too with the intention of making a set of three for under my sugar, coffe, tea pots. I've also been crocheting a baby jacket but the whole thing went to poo when I realised the neck wasn't wide enough for the body. Have to start the WHOLE thing again. It was almost finished when I realised. (Mind you I had already undone half of it when the arms were not the right size) I have a pattern now to work from, no more making it up myself!

Here are some photos of the disaster!

I tried to cut a bit of the top to make a larger neck opening but of course you cannot undo crochet from the opposite way that it's been worked... found that out the hard way.

It was looking cute, there was a bit more blue on the end and then a red edging all around. The sleeves also had a few read stripes on them. I will try again at a later point with the pattern found.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Little Crochet Heart Doily

I have been working on a little doily for a few weeks now, on and off between reading and crocheting the cardigans. I was thinking of using the doily to make a ring bearers cushion for our wedding but I am still undecided, I think I might make it through cross stitiching a pillow. Anyhoo, this is the first time I´ve attempted to crochet using cotton rather than yarn, and it is the smallest hook I´ve ever used too (1.25). I must say it is tricky. Getting the tension right takes practice and I don´t know how many times I´ve undone rows. I am getting better though, thank goodness and I am happy with the results so far.

The pattern is a free pattern I found online, Crochet Memories, Free crochet-a-long Hearts doily pattern. The pattern is pretty good just had trouble in one spot, still don´t know what its trying to tell me but I made up I didn´t understand myself and it seems to be still working. There are three different rounds of it, this is just the first two so I´ll keep you photographically posted as I finish the last two parts.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hexagon Granny Square Cardigan

I was looking online for another baby cardigan pattern. I´m not really interested in ones that require me to sew arms and back and fronts on, I like the more work from the top down kind of patterns because I find I can understand them better. Googling away I came upon this niffty pattern which is made up of two large hexagon grannys. I was quite baffled when I first saw the pattern, couldn´t really work out how the grannies formed the arms but after watching a youtube tutorial it all became quite clear. This pattern is from Bev and can be found here.

I wasn´t too keen on the holes from the granny square pattern so I decided to make mine from solid hexagrannies. I later found this on the net, a solid hexagranny cardigan. It´s good to see others coming up with similar ideas!

This solid hexagranny jacket is by Cozy´s Corner, and the pattern can be found here.

These last two photos are of my attempt to make a solid hexagranny jacket. So far its been really easy and I can see how it will become a jacket but I worry about the proportions. I think the sleeves will be too wide. I think in order to make the jacket long enough or wide enough the are holes have to be the size more suited for an 18 month old or 12 months old with the body measurements for a 3-6 month old. We shall see how we go.

The floppy hexagon granny and how it transforms into one side of a cardigan!

Here is now a photo of the finished product. I did alter the pattern a bit and put a few rows down the back to make it wider without making the sleeves wider. This was a bit of a bother and disformed it a little until I crocheted the edging. I put 4 rows of edging and no collar to make up for the adjusted back. Anyhow it all worked out in the end and I am pleased. Also a very quick project just 4 or 5 hours worth of work!