Tuesday, 27 January 2015

nature walk

xmas 2014#barnacle #patternAn amazing Jabiru, fishing in the...camp 2015camp 2015xmas 2014camp 2015Embarrassing Magpie mothercamp 2015DSC_0010

It is taking me a while to find the time and headspace to get back to my little blog, though not for want of trying.

I have crafty plans for 2015 and holiday adventures to share, and our renovation pictures! Anyway, they are all to come once life is more sorted, but I thought I'd start by sharing some glimpses from my weeks away...

I'm always on the lookout for nature where it crosses my path, both old favourites and new undiscovered creatures. Its one of my favourite things.

The other day I was trying to get everyone to look over at the delightful resident troupe of tiny blue wrens as they danced across our campground.

In and out of the grasses and bushes they flitted, over and under the towels and tentpegs. They were so beautiful, and the light was so beautiful... I wish you'd seen it.

My son interrupted me quietly to say 'I don't think everyone is as interested in birds as you are Mum'.

Ha ha!

No I don't think they are, but quick, look over this way at my photos of the wildlife I encountered on my holidays anyway!

Not here is the bush turkey who ate through the mesh of our new! tent to get to a wrapped loaf of bread, nor the native mice who chewed through that same pristine mesh to get to the Coco Pops. Not here is the large but unidentified lizard who walked across my path or the Pacific Baza who perched on the fence at my Mum's place.

I did manage to capture a few beautiful things before my camera died though (aaagh, I'm hoping there's nothing too serious wrong with it). Phone and ipad pics for a while on here and instagram.

* blue button jellyfish - belongil beach
* barnacles - Brunswick Heads
* Jabiru - seen from the car near Yamba
* button grass - Corindi Beach
* Not a moorhen apparently, a Purple Swamphen - Crabbes Creek
* Big Black Beetle - Bangalow
* Sacred Kingfisher - Corindi Beach
* Love this, these are the resident Magpie family at the campground drinking and bathing in the salad bowl we left out for them. I like to think the baby is cringing with embarassment as his Mum dives in for a bath!
* Wind carved sandstone - Putty Beach
* Cuckoo-dove - Putty Beach

Did you encounter any new birds or creatures on your holidays, do tell, I'm interested in birds you know ;-)

Monday, 5 January 2015

2014

My creationMy creationMy creationMy creation

Its one of my annual New Year traditions round here to look back over the last year's creative efforts. Its so interesting to scroll back through my Flickr account and see what I've been up to.

I'm always surprised to see how much I've actually achieved over the past twelve months. It really helps combat that feeling that I'm not getting anywhere!!

In the case of 2015 the last quarter of the year was consumed with renovation which made getting anything done harder, though ironically at the same time I took on a market, some new designs and more workshop teaching including my Finders Keepers spot, and spent a week away looking after my Mum. Somehow it all worked out though! Whew.

Its very exciting for us that this year, when we return from holidays it will be to a bigger house, with more space to do our thing! And when I get back I won't be sharing my workspace with builders. Nice as they were, that was a bit exhausting. So double yay!

We still have lots of work to do to finish the renovation, but the builders and the structure they've made are just about complete. We are still walking around marvelling at the extra space and light, pinching ourselves really, and looking forward to time alone, to enjoy it, to make it our own again. I can't wait to get the garden back to its old self, or rather its new self, with level changes and different aspects. Its going to be fun.

Some of you will have been following along on instagram, but I can't wait to share some pics on the blog.

2015 will hopefully bring a wired in kiln of my own, and more time to play and experiment with clay. Looking over my mosaic I can see how much this new making consumed me this year. I had so much fun exploring the different possibilities for decoration, finding how my style translated to ceramics.

If anything it has reinspired my other making, I love the way my textiles and clay complement eachother. Both are so tactile and usable in my domestic world too. Love, love, love.

This was the year of cheese too! Sadly the domestic restrictions have put a damper on my cheesemaking, but I'm hoping the new year will see some more. It was a delicious pastime, easy and worthwhile. A new larger kitchen will make this easier.

In 2014 we were blessed with lots of new babies in the family and I made two baby quilts, one for Sid, one for Astrid and a baby wrap for Zoe. Little Frankie arrived too late in the year/renovation, but I haven't forgotten him!

My other great breakthrough this year was in clothes making, and pattern drafting. I haven't even blogged or photographed my last make, a Fancy Tiger Crafts Sailor top, but I did wear it to my Finders Keepers workshop, also unblogged. Hopefully I can catch you up on all that stuff in the New Year. I think I need to sit on a beach and think about what my goals and plans are for next year.

Thanks for reading this far, and for spending time with me in 2014, I wish you a Happy and Creative New Year. Here's to a creative 2015!

(To see what I made in other years here are the links: here's 20132012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008.)

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

pitchi

pitchi

Do you like seeing the creative process behind products, do you like knowing more about the makers and hearing their story first hand.

You know that I do, I was actually banging on about that in one of my last posts. I love it when a maker shares a process video or behind the scenes pics. I love to hear the genesis of an idea and seeing a product in action.

New Australian site Pitchi does just that by combining video with buying to give you a little more insight into lots of creative products. This site gives little businesses with great ideas a short video format listing to share their story.

I love video, I’ve outed myself before as a visual learner and my current addiction is to online courses via sites like Skillshare, Creativebug and my old friend Youtube.

So buying with video seems like a no brainer. Pitchi is like an addictive cross between Vine and Etsy.

I loved discovering new products browsing through the site and a couple, like these innovative shoe clips, this neat little key ring or this clever magnetic cord holder are bookmarked for present ideas this Christmas.

For process images these boot makers just blew me away:


And the story behind these rugs is fascinating.

But I think its the handmade, handcrafted videos that show the whole story and include some process that I find really fascinating. Like this pitchi about handcrafted sandstone lights:


I’m very tempted to make an epic tea towel video to post on the site, so stay tuned for that. But in the meantime if you are inspired and make one yourself, or pass the idea on to an entrepreuner or inventor you know send me the link!

This post in collaboration with Pitchi.