Thursday, January 29, 2009

new things and more envy...

I have added some more to my 'lil display in the love filled Blackstar cafe...which in case you are wondering is very child friendly(see my little loves below with aunty) It has a cute little area for kids to muck about in, with a big blackboard and some toys and stuff.

I will be making some more coasters soon, I had no idea they'd be so popular!
However,in the meantime I have been working on wallets and purses which are available. My favourite is the one right up front, I do so love blue and brown.

I will be in the shop on a coming Friday evening with more stuff...a night market, more details soon-plus any like minded crafters can put their hands up for some space too...
Plus I have applied for a place in a business babes mentoring program so (fingers and toes crossed) I might be able to step things up a notch with some help. It would be a boost, believe me.

And just to round things out a bit here's a couple more photos that I took when I visited from Jays place...

look at the colour, at the gorgeous type face, the shiny silver hinges. It is the front of an old gas oven. Even with my ridiculous un-store-ably large collection of vintage kitchenware I do now dream of having a retro oven. Yep, bloody hell, I am still jealous.

And, I am also really jealous of his friends handcrafted Christmas gift for him... no one has ever made me a funky Santa...
He has a pingpong ball head and little bottle cap hands and he is ACE. It goes without saying that they are the cutest boots in the world, too ,hmm? I am yet to meet the creator but I like her already.
He reminds me of this little fairy drawing Luka made which I adored so much I copied it onto some fabric and embroidered it...maybe it is the boots?

seeya xKate

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


My great aunt Barbara has passed away. She was over 100 years old and had a gentle decline in the last few months. Previous to those quiet moments she lived a long, love-filled active life.
Her funeral is today, I couldn't make it there, so I wanted to post up something for her.
She was always kind, graciously and enthusiastically hospitable whenever I visited her in her beautiful grand home in Ivanhoe.
Once I turned up at her house with my dad. I was wearing my first year art student 'uniform' big clunky black boots, short- short velvet mini-skirt from the camperwell flea markets, a bonds singlet and home cut short-short magenta pink hair...after serving us tea and cakes she rummaged through her things 'til she found an old full length gymnastics outfit which had belonged to my grandmother. She gave it to me with little fuss and lots of good humour. It was pale blue and came with a full length flared fine silk skirt and a satin one piece suit...she somehow saw through my punkish appearance and knew I would love it.
She was a star, her immediate family wrote in her funeral notice and indeed she was,
farewell, love.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Vintage lust

I have a bad case of house envy...and a severe bout of fabric lust. It was triggered by a lovely night out for dinner at a friends place. A friend who in addition to creating brilliant artworks himself, also has an absolutely amazing collection of retro home wares and fabrics.
Oh my, it was an etiquette struggle for me...I was torn between being, you know, normal and socialising, or racing around his flat gleefully recording every little beautiful object with my camera.
Ahem, it's pretty obvious what happened- thanks for your patient and gracious hospitality Jay!

I often daydream about going back in buy fabric, clothes and furniture. I am a slave to retro style. If I could get my hot lil' hands on some mint condition home wares or fabric I would be in a state of bliss. I can barely walk past a op shop in case I miss out on some rare treasure. The everyday fabric that was made en masse during the depression for instance is absolutely stylish and elegant, and the kind of thing that never turns up for sale. My mum gave me a 30 cm by 45 cm piece (made up into a library bag she had sewn), cut down from some curtains her mother had originally made using depression era fabric. It is so beautiful; grey blue stylised gum leaves and blossoms printed onto slightly off white cotton. I am saving it for something truly special.
Jays' very clever mum created this beautiful bedspread with some of their collected remnants. Vintage fabric has a history, a social story, and are much more charming and unique than anything you could buy new.

I am sewing up some oven mitts and pot holders with some beautiful pieces from my own stash of fabrics, and love mixing op shop pieces with felted family cast offs and seeing how they all come together. I get such a kick out of it and delight in re-using the smallest fragments of vintage fabric. You can buy vintage fabric online these days, but the joy of finding something amazing unexpectedly in a dusty op shop can never be's sort of like, hunting, but in the kookiest, kitschest way!

Anyway, happy Australia day, cheers,


Thursday, January 22, 2009

going to my head...

Yesterday my boys and I checked out the 'optimism' exhibition at GOMA and we loved it. I only wish I had more time with them because there is so much to see and do there.
Here are a couple snaps of our highlights.The picture above is so 80's isn't it? Remember the Wham film clip with the 'choose life' tshirts and ultraviolet lighting?
Luka used the glowing shapes to create the little yellow and pink sculpture to the left of him, and all the kids could add shapes to the wall display behind him.

The Victorian cartoonist, poet and artist Luenig painted this delightful mural along the wall, featuring his so-sweet ducks and curly men, Jack thought it was gorgeous.(Not as gorgeous as his smile though!)

I loved wandering through the fluffy white forest, it was very hard to keep my hands off it, it all looked so soft and inviting. Jack and Luka were discussing whether it might have been made of Polar bear fur, but happilly no, its all fake
(p.s-note my new 'Tibetan nun hairdo'-now, if only I thought like one ;o)

Speaking of fake and hair-dos, here's my newest look....

elegant, no? I have to say after spending 3 days unravelling and re-rolling this lots into SO many balls of wool it was literally going to my head, and getting to me!
Lastly, here's a little scene that really did warm my new camera box and the yarn from my dads jumper. My new camera has made its way into quite a few homes already, quite a few great, interesting places- this past week has been anything but dull!
There will be more to post soon, but 'til then, take care,

Sunday, January 11, 2009

being present

I have done barely any crafting whatsoever since returning home. Apart from making Lukas' pikachu birthday cake-for which I received many compliments...aha, see, fine arts degrees ARE useful;O) He LOVED it, indeed, so did all the little boys who hilariously made dramatic pikachu death cries as we cut the cake.
His party was a hoot,I loved watching these little boys run up to each other and throw their arms around each other, such open affection in their 6 and 7 year old hearts. People do judge children very harshly(little "sh*ts is how I have tiresomely, regularly heard kids being described) but as I see it they have a real appreciation of being and having true loving friends, they don't expect anyone to be anything other than what they are... and they are cute to boot.

I am in the process of washing and felting 3 old woollen jumpers, gifts from my parents wardrobes. One has been known in our family as "big green" and is the jumper my minds eye always fixes on my dad.
It is over sized, stretched, cabled, hand spun, hand dyed and hand knitted and either my aunty or mum made it for him, at least 30 years ago. He wore it camping, bird watching, gardening and it is really touching for me to have been given it. Of course as he said, "I haven't worn it in years"...I think, it is telling though that he kept it. So, instead of felting it I am going to unravel it and re-use the beautiful soft sage green wool to crochet something special.
My mum also parted happilly with a bright red (accidentally partially felted) jumper which she wore over the years too. Picture this; knee high ugg boots over grey tracky dacks and a cherry red jumper-true comfort clothing.
I can't think of a more appropriate re used fabric to make oven mitts out of than a hand knitted mum-worn snuggly jumper...surely a little bit of her and my dads sweetness will find their way into what I create? Hope so!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Ha, ha universe. I wrote a chirpy little post about things all looking up and brightly this year and the very next day I got slugged with a tummy bug. Sigh. I know. So things may or may not go well this year, this I can accept. I have no idea where life will take me but I plan to be cool with it, no matter.
I am yet to go into Blackstar and see what has sold in my time away...but there is a gig on, free from 7.30 to 10 this Friday night(9th Jan) and I plan to go. Tis' Peter B and the Homeless souls, and although I have never heard of them its free entry, there's the best iced coffee, so it's gonna be good.
I am being inspired, prodded, encouraged lately to dream and hope and share joy
Happy new year to all, hope your dreams and mine come to fruition...
p.s this dear sweet dreamer is turning 7 this week!Hoppy brithday Luka!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

2000 kilometres

is a long way to go for a wedding and some Christmas pudd...but I did it and I am back and I am happy to be not driving anywhere!!

The wedding was lovely,C&D cried buckets of happy tears and it clearly was a day of much romantic love and feeling and thought for them...and it was great to catch up with old friends in the beautiful Dandenong Mountains. And best of all the kids-heart stoppers the lot of them, they looked so cute they sort of stole the show!

Along the way home I saw...sunflowers growing along the roadside, like funky yellow smiles against the green cropped fields, grasses dry and bleached blonde- stunning against the blue-purple mountains, trees scattered apart by fierce storms, hand painted nailed to tree signs- "christ is near"(apparently you can find christ in Narrabri or at least near there) and lots of other delightful or funny things.

I had lots of lovely experiences; climbed-walked through the Warrumbungles, ate way too many chips, paddled in rivers wide and brown, swam in natural springs, saw the most beautiful antique fashion collection, wandered through a perfumed chinese garden, drank many a cup of free tea served up by generous old ladies and men at driver reviver stops, etc.

I am home again, alone after constant company for weeks and my thoughts feel light as a feather. I am off to a good start, 2009 feels might fine and I have much to look forward to.