Sunday, 13 April 2014

Easter Bunnies

Soft bunnies for Easter. Made from fabric offcuts and repurposed bits and pieces. The pink stained old flower is my favourite! Their little faces are hand embroidered and they have little bells tied around their necks and little tails at the back. They'll be available at Bayside Emporium this week. 

Chocolate Nests for Easter

I was up at around 4:30 yesterday morning making these chocolates for easter. The white chocolate eggs are moulded in two halves and then "glued" together with melted chocolate. Their nests are made from melted dark chocolate mixed with Chang's noodles and then set in little bowls lined with cling wrap. The nests with the brown eggs are dark chocolate mixed with shredded coconut. I ran out of milk chocolate for making eggs, and just used some commercial eggs to fill the coconut nests. 
The white chocolate has a very low melting point and left a bit of a smudge on the cello as I bagged them up. I'm hoping no one will touch them in the shop! lol Wanting them to look perfect!
To match the lovely earth tones of the chocolate, I tea-stained some cardboard and dried it with a hairdryer and an iron before putting it through the printer to print the labels, and then gave them a torn edge, them rather than cutting, and finished them with a little piece of lace ribbon.
Thanks to my amazing ex-mother-in-law Jackie for showing me how make chocolate nests years ago. xo

Repurposed T-Shirt Headbands

For a while I've wanted to try making yarn out of old t-shirts and maybe crocheting a rag rug or something. Then my partner tossed out a bunch of t-shirts and I was inspired by the lovely combination of coastal colours, and after a bit of experimenting, made these headbands by finger knitting! I love the cottony weight and texture, and the little bit of raggy-ness.

Making t-shirts into yarn is quick and easy, and there is a good tutorial here. My t-shirts had quite large designs on the front, and the tutorial suggested not using that part of the t-shirt, but I thought that was a bit wasteful and used it anyway. The colours worked in well and the fabric tends to curl toward the design anyhow so it is not very apparent in the yarn.

I did try crochet but my big 4mm hook wasn't big enough, so I tried finger knitting and loved the easy no-tools method and quick results. There is a good tutorial here.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Printed Cards and Book Buntings

I found some beautifully illustrated children's books, full of sweet bunnies, deer, birds, flowers and pretty things in bright colours, and have given them a new life as paper buntings. They're about 2.5 metres long with 8 flags on each, and would look gorgeous in any child's bedroom or playroom. When I have some wall space available at the Emporium, I'll string one up so they're easier to see. They are $20 each bunting. I forgot to mention that these are strung on nylon kite cord I found at the beach :-).

The new printed cards are available at the Emporium, but not in the Arts Centre as yet.
They come blank inside, in a cello bag with an envelope, and are $3 each.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Bunnies and Butterflies

Last week I was invited to have my products in the Shoalhaven Arts Centre in Berry Street Nowra, so I packed up a selection of things and hopefully by now they are on display, for sale in the gallery shop. I included some bunny paper cutout cards, some small grass nests with little blue salt-dough eggs, and a flock of stuffed birds with wire legs, and I'm hoping they'll feature these in the Easter newsletter :-).
Some new things I made for the Emporium this week are Butterfly Ribbons, ripped from a much loved old pair of cotton pyjamas, they are very soft blue fine cotton fabric with raw edges, and hand-stamped with sepia butterflies in archival ink. I love that the intensity of the butterflies varies and the edges of the ribbon gently fray. The lengths are 80 cm each, so just a nice amount to tie a small gift wrapped in brown paper perhaps? I also packaged up some tiny, tiny pastel pom poms as craft supplies for making easter bunnies.

I've been sewing a few more Paper Butterfly Mobiles and hanging them on my curtain rail as I go, but this morning's sunrise gave everything a pink glow and they looked extra pretty!

Some more bunny cards for the Emporium, cut from maps and vintage sheet music and spotty scrapbooking paper. And I did some teapots too, cut from pretty wrapping papers, and a few more sheet music birds. I've also ordered some printed cards from new watercolours, on the suggestion of the ladies from the Arts Centre... so I'm excited to see how they'll turn out. The printed cards just need folding, matching with envelopes, and cello bagging, so are a lot less labour-intensive than these hand-made ones.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

End of Summer

I have a dream of building a giant stick nest from the fallen branches of spotted gums, lined with cushions, so I can climb inside and peek over the edge like a baby bird. I made this one by binding sticks together with twine. It's been living on our front porch for too long and can now gently fall apart on the tree stump out the front.

Some words painted on stones in white ink. It sticks pretty hard the white ink, even scrubbing under water only fades it, once it's dry. I finish these with a layer of varnish as well, so they should last. I love decorative lettering, painting these took me back to when I was a kid trying to imitate the fancy lettering in books. I was never happy because it would always turn out wonky-looking, but now I love that naivety! I referenced calligraphy versals and illuminated lettering, both make my heart sing - so much decoration and detail in the written word. Also looking at some images of Celtic leatherwork reminded me how much I love Celtic interlace - a project for another day.