Sunday 27 December 2009

Weird Cat Behaviour #3


Making a bed out of anything you shouldn't be sleeping on. This is the tablecloth, which is quite a bit larger than our table. Lui never normally sleeps on these chairs, but as soon as they were draped with a clean white cloth he had to get up there and sit on it. Then he burrowed in, all the while pulling the cloth a little bit further off the table. See that stain on the carpet there? That's where the vase of flowers landed. Thanks Lui!

Saturday 26 December 2009

Days 12 and 13

Day 12 was my gift. I was busy over the winter months crocheting these starry snowflake ornaments. I used a vintage pattern, vintage thread from my stash and a 1.75 mm hook! The pattern is really easy (if a little fiddly) so I made tons for Christmas presents and for myself. I made them in four colours:





While everyone was opening my gift, I got to open the special #13 gift. It was from Penelope Harris, and just look at what she has created: a sweet little needle book.

It's made of the most beautiful soft woolly felt and has space for all the essential needles and pins.

And even room for a hank of threads (I'm always making little piles of offcut thread, so perhaps if I have a place to store them I'll actually use them up now?)

Thanks so much Penelope!

And that's it for the 12 Days of Christmas swap this year. Thanks to all who were involved, it was a wonderful event once again.

Days 10 and 11

On Day 10, Jeanette Janson made this beautiful necklace from an antique clock key. Another gorgeous piece of arty jewellery - I've been so lucky this year! Thanks Jeanette!

On Day 11 I received this whimsical little collaged canvas from Lisa Ryder. It's tiny - not much bigger than a matchbox! I love the gorgeous deep red and the quirky expression on the woman's face. Thanks Lisa!

Thursday 24 December 2009

Christmas Eve

We've just had a lovely dinner with family and there is more to come over the next few days! I've been busy in the kitchen baking, cooking and preparing and the time has finally come to enjoy it.

I still have some gorgeous gifts to show you from the 12 Days exchange - don't worry, I haven't forgotten. But now it's time for me to hang my stocking and head off to bed, a tired and happy girl (and I have pav for breakfast!)

Merry Christmas

Monday 21 December 2009

Day 9

Today is Day 9, and I received this beautiful art doll from Jennifer Conway. The top half of the doll is paper, and the skirt is a lovely linen fabric which has been stuffed and weighted so she stands on her own. Look at the lovely crochet lace her skirt is adorned with, and the beautiful jewel at her waist! I took her out this afternoon for a stroll among the marigolds.

If you go to Jennifer's blog, you can see the rest of her army of lacy women. They are all stunning, it must have been hard sending them all away. Thanks so much Jennifer!

Sunday 20 December 2009

Days 7 and 8

Day 7's gift is this gorgeous tile set from Maria Lamb. On one side is this beautiful painting, but if you flip the tiles, it is a noughts and crosses game. I love things that are pretty and practical as well - thanks so much Maria!

On Day 8 I received this neat knitted banner from Liz Smith. I'm happy because I wanted to make a festive triangle banner myself, but ran out of time, so this is just what I needed... I've put it on the mantelpiece for now, but will probably shift it to the kitchen/dining area for Christmas dinner.

Here's the rest of the mantelpiece. I did make the snowflake garland. You can never have too many garlands! The green Christmas tree in the centre is by the talented Cushla at Pilgram.

Days 4, 5 and 6

I've gotten behind in showing you the 12 Days of Christmas gifts! I'll have to make it up to you with a few bumper posts. (If you are impatient with me, go check out the 12 Days blog - it's always updated on time!)

Here is Day 4 from Tara Finlay. It's a sweet tiny art charm made of snippets of fabric and a piece of book text. Thank you Tara - it will be perfect to hang in my studio!

This is Day 5 from Lelainia Lloyd. A gorgeous fabric pouch and a cellphone charm - Lelainia pointed out that you could use it as a zipper pull too. I love how the pouch has a clip on it - it will be great for holding the small things that always get lost at the bottom of your handbag. Thanks Lelainia!

Day 6 from Misti Ko is this gorgeous set of prayer flags. You hang them up outside, and as they disintegrate in the weather they release the good thoughts they have been imbued with: hope, love, peace, joy and freedom. I think this is such a unique gift, also they look great fluttering in my cherry tree! Thanks Misti!

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Mixed Media Art Exhibition

I have some artwork in a show on this week. The show is called Mixed Media and features the work of several local artists. Here are a few shots from opening night:

It rained, and was very cold. Thank you Christchurch summer.

There are gift cards and garments at this show too.

Jon's stuff

My stuff

More of my stuff

I have some more photos, but probably won't get round to uploading them before the weekend, because... the woods are lovely, dark and deep, and I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep... you know how it goes.

In the meantime Christchurchians, please pop into the Cloisters Gallery at the Arts Centre, and view the show in person! It's only on till Friday.

Day 3

Look at this sweet ornament by Barbara Atwell! He is perched on a vintage wooden block. I just love him - he is the perfect companion to these guys from last year. Santa is always watching, you know...

Thanks so much for the whimsy Barbara!

Monday 14 December 2009

Day 2

On Day 2 I received this gorgeous metal pendant from Kathy Strittmater. Kathy makes the most amazing jewellery, I am lucky enough to own several of her fabulous pieces now. I love the textured copper background on this piece. Thank you so much Kathy - I certainly am inspired...

Sunday 13 December 2009

Day 1

The first gift to be opened in the 12 Days of Christmas exchange comes from Amy Huff. Amy made this gorgeous soldered pendant featuring a lovely vintage photo- the buttons of her dress are embellished with glitter. In the background you can see the box it came in, which was also embellished with a moo card of the same image - nice touch! Thanks Amy for this sparkling beauty!

Thursday 10 December 2009

Christmas ornaments

Align CenterAs well as the 12 Days of Christmas swap, this year I participated again in the Kiwi Christmas Ornament swap organised by Louise at Twenty Cent Mixture. These are some of the ornaments I made.

Do you want to guess what they're made from?

Would you believe me if I said toothpicks and paper clay?

It's true. I still have one more to make for myself - I want to use it as a tree topper. So I might take photos for a tutorial. In the meantime, take a look at this:

Cute, no? I received this from Cushla at Pilgram. She's posted a pattern here so you can make one too.

Wednesday 9 December 2009

Weird Cat Behavioiur #2

Sleeping on surfaces much too small for you. Especially when you have a lovely warm cat bed and it's on the chair right next to the stool you are sliding off, but you just refuse to sit on it out of principle.

Saturday 5 December 2009


I had to make some bookmarks for an order recently, so I thought I'd crank up the production line and make a few extras. Once I'm in the right frame of mind it's just as easy to make 12 as it is to make 6. If you're curious about the process, read on...

First I stamp my images. I had rubber stamps made of all my original hand drawings, just because it makes the process that little bit faster. Especially when it comes to drawing hearts... you'd think that would be easy but I like my hearts to be just right - symmetrical but not too perfect. I used to spend much longer going over a heart than I did drawing a bird or a house.

Then I choose my papers... this is the fun bit! A patterned paper for the front and a matching or contrasting card for the border. After I've chosen them I trim them to bookmark size (the least fun bit.)

Then I get out my paints and happily splash colour everywhere. I usually do several layers for good depth and shading.

After that the elements are collaged into place and embellishments are added.

Then it's time to rummage through the fibres box. I pick out four or five in a complementary colour scheme, making sure there is a mix of satiny + fluffy + fuzzy + delicate in each bunch.

Then I spread them all out and admire them.

I've uploaded a few to my Felt shop. Do stop by and have a look - Felt has taken off a lot in the past few months. There is also a very good gift guide on the front page.

Thursday 26 November 2009

Ripple on

This is one of many current projects... a ripple blanket. The pattern is from Lucy at Attic24 and it's really rather fabulously easy to do. The stitches are basically repeats of 4 which makes it a good one for sitting in front of the telly, or when you're sitting at the computer waiting for the painfully slow internet to load.
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Sadly I've had to put this blankie aside to work on other, mostly Christmas-related projects. I've also been tackling the weedy garden. Yates Woody Weedkiller is said to work on convulvulus, if you mix it up in a jar and paint it on the leaves. You can also get a little plastic bag, put some solution in the bag, put some cut stems (preferably root) into the bag, and it will hopefully suck all the weedkiller into its roots and kill the whole thing. That is what I'm hoping for, organics be damned if it gets rid of this pest!

I'm getting a reasonable harvest these days - like this rhubarb and these sugar snap peas. The sugar snaps are going mad - I get a good double handful like this every 2-3 days. The dwarf massey peas are going well too (at least the ones in the container are - the ones in the garden were planted next to leeks which they didn't seem to like, and were very stunted in growth). I have green tomatoes on 5 plants in the glasshouse. At least in there they are protected from the cold northeasterlies which have been a constant part of spring this year. Broad beans are still going strong too (shame I'm sick of eating them.)

As for harvest duds - all the apples fell off as flowerbuds. One tree had one tiny fruit remaining, but after a while I noticed that it was brown and cracked. I think they were probably hit by one of the many late frosts we had. My pumpkins were slow to germinate and I had a low strike rate - I haven't grown them from seed before so I'm not sure if that's normal. The plants aren't doing much outside, again probably due to the cold winds and low temperatures.

Stay tuned, I have some more creative projects coming up to share, plus Lui has been acting weird (mind you, weird is normal for him) so there will be another Weird Cat Behaviour post coming up.

Sunday 22 November 2009

Twelve Twelves

This year I'm again participating in the 12 Days of Chistmas swap. It's the fourth year the swap has been running so I managed to be a little bit more organised this year and started making my gifts in August! Then I put them aside for a while until suddenly the mailing deadline was upon me and they still had to be wrapped and photographed. A frantic weekend was spent doing that and I mailed them out. Now I'm just sitting back as the other gifts come in.

My gift will be opened on Day 12... that's Christmas Eve! So you will have to wait till then to find out what's inside. Until then, check out the 12 Days blog. From December 1st Lelainia will be posting photos of each wrapped gift, and from December 13th she'll be posting each gift as it's unwrapped. You can also find links to the participants' blogs and websites. You can also see photos of the previous years' gifties at my Flickr set.


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