Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Bag

Well it's done and already gifted to a friend for her birthday... the Book Bag.

I think there are some details still to be sorted but I do like it.

Typically, the bits I like best are not mine.... like Lucie's oilcloth which I used for the
lining. My hope is the plastic will save the linen and keep some structural integrity 
for the shape.

I'm also liking the new strap and buckles which I bought from Nicole's shop ages ago...
Honestly, it was the best handbag supplies store on the net but unfortunately
doesn't operate anymore :(  ...anyone know what happened there?

Actually, I should add that I took these photos before I'd finished sewing down the 
side panels for the strap... so that's why they look like they're lifting up. Hmmm. 
Anyway, that's it... the book bag. All feedback happily received :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Creative Space 2: new fabric

I've finished preparing a new fabric design. It's my familiar Atomic pattern with
embroidery and a few spot prints to make it a bit more fun.

Click on photos to see more clearly :)

I've already started trialing a new idea for a book bag with it. 
I thought the back of the bag might be better with a simple spot.

Also, loving how the spots are like glass rim stains on a table :)

Just keeping busy. How has your week been? 
More creative spaces here.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Creative Space: labels

It's been years since I first said I was going to get some labels done.
Yah! Guess who's actually ticked a box on that one?!

Suddenly everything looks so much more professional...

Very happy with the results although it isn't exactly a cheap exercise...
Still, I do think it's an investment well made. I ordered them from these guys.

More creative spaces here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Living Aquatically

Have I ever mentioned how much my little family LOVES the films of Wes Anderson?
We really REALLY love them... we know-most-of-the-scripts-off-by-heart love them.
We own the DVDs and watch them regularly love them... AND never tire of them love them.

It was the Mr's birthday yesterday. He's a regular Mr Fox. His favouritest of all favourite 
Wes Anderson movies, though, is The Life Aquatic

I've been sourcing his gifts all year... stalking eBay and Etsy and anywhere else where 
gems may pop up. He wasn't expecting it... and he was totally blown away thrilled :)

I found the Zissou beanie and t-shirt, a membership badge and letter from the Zissou 
Society (dictated but not read) and, best of all, limited edition Team Zissou trainers.
I even found for myself a Team Zissou Interns t-shirt which I haven't been able to wear 
until now because I didn't want to spoil the surprise. I can't show you the badge 
because he's  wearing it to work again today :)

Are you a Wes fan? Which is your favourite movie? Mine is The Royal Tenenbaums.
We're impatiently awaiting the Australian release of Moonlight Kingdom here too...
only 37 more sleeps!! :) 

I'd love to hear your Wes stories too... :) Have a great week!

Monday, July 23, 2012

For the masses

A big thank you to everyone for being so lovely about my last post. How amazing 
to have so much fabulous advice from friends... I feel very spoilt. Thank you :)

Something about public art now... which isn't too far a jump if you think about it.
I love how visual enrichment used to come as standard with buildings of old; the giving
of something so much more than the functional. The ceramic reliefs below were created 
by sculptor P.Lindsay Clark in 1926. Perhaps they began as iconic signposts, these 
fabulous sculptures on the Widegate Street building for the Nordheim Model Bakery 
in Spitalfields, East London. These days they provide not only a historical reference for
the area, but, in my opinion, a formative take on the notion of branding and logos... in a 
much more evocative and impressive way.

Whenever I come across pieces like this it's like a gift I think :)

I first came across these lovelies via this blog, but read up on them here.
Photographs by Robert Freidus.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stay at home

This is not a typical post for me. It's not that I try to hide the everyday from this blog, 
it's more that I generally roll with the punches and I quite honestly think most of my 
minutae is pretty boring stuff that no-one would be interested in anyway. At the 
moment, though, I seem to have lost my ability to roll ;) I'm in a funk. I'm struggling 
with that hairy subject of self worth and being a stay-at-home mum.

I've had a couple of things happen recently. First, a much-loved family member (who 
is affectionately known for calling a spade a spade) made a throw-away comment that 
out of all of us kids she'd honestly thought that I was the one who would have made 
something of their life. (The inference, of course, being that I hadn't). 

This was coupled with a few other occasions where I've been talking to interesting 
people about their lives and then been totally thrown by that scariest of all questions 
(for me) "So, Kylie, what do you do?"... 

Well, how do you answer that? Often, compared to the things they've just being talking 
about the only answer I feel capable of making is... "Nothing". Usually I hesitate and 
mumble a pathetic reply about crocheting and screen printing... and it really does 
sound so lame I try to change the subject as soon as I can.

Naturally, it doesn't help when they laugh (thinking I'm joking) and, strangely, it's even 
worse when they quickly hide their surprise and assume a trying-to-look interested 
expression. You can almost see their minds flailing about for a follow-up question. I 
don't blame them for these responses... I mean, it is pretty lame juxtaposed with what 
we've been talking about minutes before. As I said, I try to put them out of their misery 
by quickly changing the subject. What hurts is my ego... I can feel the downgrading 
in status as a tangible thing.

The thing is I'm not an uneducated person. I have 3 degrees and can intelligently hold 
my own in conversations about most topics. I've made some bad career decisions
 along the way but then I can't regret anything I've done because all of these decisions 
have led me to where I am now and I wouldn't change that. I feel so lucky that I've been 
able to be here for my kids and so very fortunate that I can afford to indulge in my passion 
for making. 

In moments of frustration I will rant and rave at my family that I don't have a life and that 
all I do is facilitate theirs. On one level, this is true, but it's not really truthful. I love my life
and see it as a very privileged one for the reasons stated above.

There are times when I long to exercise my brain more and fantasize about doing 
something 'worthwhile'. I've been talking about getting my Masters in Art History for a 
decade now... or doing that Textile Design degree at RMIT and would the family really 
mind if I disappeared off to Melbourne for 3 years? ;) But yes, I totally understand that 
all of this would only be a public legitimisation of the reading and practical work that 
I'm doing for my personal enjoyment... that it would be not about me, but about proving
 something to others.

So, I don't do it because it would be for all the wrong reasons and this 
cycle of feeling unworthy perpetuates itself. 

At the beginning of this year I felt so positive about this new start I've made with Paravent.
After having my shop name taken from me, I decided I would rebrand and register my new
name, work to create a definite presence so it can't happen again. Through this I began
to feel a wonderful sense of purpose and identity... actually, it's all about having an 
identity, isn't it, once you stay at home to look after children?

I think the problem is I fall into the trap of looking from the outside in, instead of the other
way around. We have to work really hard to maintain a sense of self when we don't have
the identity of a career to define us. Knowing who you are and what you want to achieve
can be a blurry concept, all fuzzy around the edges, when you don't have a structure 
within which to orient yourself. 

A friend has suggested to me that it's all about confidence and 'talking yourself up' in
 conversation... but that's just not me. I'd feel like a fake and a self-important loser.
Maybe I just need to not care what others think of me (and yeah, that'll be easy!).

So, how do you do it? How do you ground yourself and stay centered? How
do you react when people ask what you do? Another big one... what do your
children say when asked what you do? Mine tell people I'm an artist... and I'm
still unsure whether that's because they see me that way or whether it's a less
embarrassing option to admit to... (don't forget, I've got teenage girls!).

Okay, sorry for the long rant. If you've made it this far - thank you :)
And if you have the time, I'd love to know how you deal with these issues.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Creative Space: Neon Top

Remember this fabric I screenprinted in my Atomic flower design? 
Well, I found some neon jersey and held them up together. My eldest daughter 
said she'd love a top in those fabrics so I started making... and this is the result.



hanging in the sunlight

sunlight close-up

I'm really loving the neon at the moment.
I didn't use a pattern. I just made it up as I went along and tweeked here and there.
It looks gorgeous on her. She says she loves it and I can't wait to see her wear it out...
We don't force these things on a teenager though, do we ;)

More creative spaces here.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Gadget Girl :)

Okay, I know I said no more purchases, and truth be told, I did actually buy 
this a couple of months ago. It was originally intended for the xmas parcel of my 
Big Girl (*shh* don't tell!) however... I have recently got excited about Instagram... 
yes, it gets us all in the end! ;) So, first thing: I have an Instagram account now... 
Find me here.

Second thing, the gadget... Have you seen one of these before? It's probably 
going to be wildly impractical and purely fad-ish but I'm having fun :)

HOLGA Special Lens + Filter Turret
You clip it on to the back of your phone and there's a nifty little wheel at the 
back which you turn to have the different filters in front of your camera eye.

There are dual, triple or quadruple image lens to choose from... umm, not sure 
when these would come in handy, but fun yes?

And there's a host of colour filters... a blue filter with a clear hole...

a red filter to reduce absorption of blue + green lights and a green filter to 
enhance greens in photographing plants etc...

a 60mm Macro Lens for close-ups (now, this will be handy!)...

and pure novelty value with this red filter that has a heart-shaped clear centre... 
I think the light levels may have affected this because it's not looking quite as 
distinct as I'd wish but so cute!

I imagine you can find these in loads of places, but I found mine here.
Let me know if you have an Instagram account in the comments :) 

UPDATE: I forgot to say...! Please feel free to share any tips you might
have about how it all works - I sooooo need them ;) Thanks!