Thursday, July 29, 2010

my creative space

My crafty Wednesday friends spotted this gorgeous fella...cute recycling isn't it!

I want to find time to make things to just place about the streets, don't you?
I am working from one extreme to the other in crochet...
small brooches at home ready for tommorow night(Avid Market)...

And huge crochet with a size 10 hook and tripled 8 ply yarn. This is a motif for the yarn bombing project the close knit group and I are working on...such fun.

By the way that milk bottle behind the crochet is not off milk, but ginger beer.
Utterly disappointing sickly sweet and only slightly fizzy ginger beer at that.
I will ring my mum tonight and get her recipe and tips
(which I should have done in the first place!


P.S- When my son saw the pale yellow bottles of ginger beer stored for brewing,
he rushed to me and proudly declared,

'I know what you have got in them!'
'Really? Tell me...'
'Cats wee for your garden!'
...if I ever thought I might sometimes come across as a eco loon to my kids
there's my proof...I haven't laughed so hard in a while!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tricycle pop up shop

On Saturday Chrissy, Bec and I set up our first Tricycle pop up shop!
Michelle who runs the lovely shop 'nook' supported us and graciously let us use her sweet courtyard and garden out front of her store.

We placed our eco friendly crafted goodies amongst the plants, on our vintage beloved suitcases,
tiny antique cupboards and anywhere else we thought looked 'right.'
It was a lot of fun, thanks to all who visited!

my new nest brooches...

Chrissy's jewellery

Bec's Beautiful clothing

Hmm...if you are wishing you had come along, don't worry!
There's even more crafting goodness to be found...
Come along to Avid Reader bookstore, Boundary Street, West end, this Friday night.
Yep, it's the 'lovely thing makers' monthly craft market,
hope to see you there!
p.s- this month will be extra special as the band 'muddy tutu!' are playing!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

meet me monday-northey street markets&gardens

Meet me Monday-Northey Street!

Going off on a tangent today-not a single creative person featured but a whole creative community space instead.
Northey Street comunity farm was developed by volunteers initially, gathering together to use a vacant space for food gardening. It was an area which had been resumed by the council due to flooding and then left vacant and overgrown.
Things have really changed...the original volunteers worked on the space 'under the radar', being told not to build any permanent structures or they would be 'removed'...
now the space has become a vibrant, celebrated and (ironically) council endorsed place!!

The entire space is sheltered by majestic trees, a giant mango above the cafe, ancient figs around the markets, a forest of food producing natives.

The Sunday organic market produce is fresh and delicious, the stall holders are the farmers or volunteers who have grown the veggies and fruit, and they are always happy to share their growing and cooking tips.

The shady places to gather and fairtrade organic coffee and chai are great and the fundraiser sausage sizzle is a organic child pleasing breakfast my kids have enjoyed many times!!

There are unique products in market-fairtrade baskets, homemade lemonade, Juliette's (in shawl) stall of thoughtfully selected books...

and Wild sugars amazingly delicious raw food desserts...(my advice when buying these goodies is get in early, they always sell out!)

The market now also incorporates 'village life'; a whole new area of stalls featuring locally and ethically produced delights...
There is beautiful organic skin and hair care products, massage tents, weaving, hand sewn and knitted items, beeswax candles and other gorgeous treats.

Aside from visiting the markets the backbone of whole place, and where it all began, is the extensive permaculture garden and nursery. These are amazing places to visit anytime.

There are also courses and workshops at Northey street which are fun, relaxed and hands on, combining practice with theory.

The garden supplies fresh ingredients for all the meals served up in the kitchen for students, workers, volunteers, the local homeless,etc.

Something else to check out is the new education centre being constructed, it is raised to protect against the floods which are becoming more frequent and intense due to global warming.

The Toorbul and other traditional custodians of the lan
d are present and active participants at Northey Street...
helping shape the space for generations ahead and respecting the ones from before.

Visit Northey street Community garden, Northey street in Windsor-the organic and village life markets on Sundays, or the garden anytime you need some fresh air!
Find more info here


Friday, July 23, 2010

sunny day...

Latest bag with some crochet squares, just for fun!

I have been busy at work all week, with different workshops, craft meet ups and making new bags, so it's great today to be able to take some time out...I am spending time with my eldest son who is having the day off school. It is a day off for him because there is an event on at the school which would make him uncomfortable but I will have to let him have more of these days off here and there.

One thing I long for as a single parent is to be able to spend one on one time with my kids so I am signing off now to go soak up the glorious sun with my beloved boy...hope to see some locals at the pop up shop tomorrow,


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

my creative space

The 'close knit' crochet workshops with the African women's group are going so well, we spent this weeks session making crochet flowers for a very special idea we came up with together... September just feels ages away because I am so excited about showing off the women's beautiful work at the Out of Africa event!

It does me good to go out and meet up at groups or informally with friends, because my home has been like a bag making assembly line lately.

These are my latest 2
...I think the one in front looks kind of 70s and as it was made from an old pair of flares maybe that's appropriate.

I feel almost guilty about sharing the picture of the other one though...
because I made it for especially for myself.
When I first laid eyes on these 2 pieces of fabric I felt a really strong need to do something special with them. One is a old flannelette printed with cute pink birds, used as a lining, and the other a ultramarine blue and floral corduroy.

There was not much of either of them, they were cheap as chips from a local op shop and they reminded me of the special handmade velvet and cord dresses which my mums friends made me. I am so glad there was just enough to make a bag...

Happy crafting...and creative space blogging here
thanks Kirsty,

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Apron curtains

I never wear aprons, but linger over vintage hand made ones in op shops, I love imagining the woman who made each one selecting the fabrics, maybe using her own remnants, adding her own special touches, tulip shaped pockets or a fancy row of stitching-all the time taken with embellishing these most everyday and domestic of garments.
Two vintage aprons I bought on a whim, then folded away in a box for years are finally seeing

the light of day, as curtains.

I strung them up by their side ties...and gosh, I love them so.

Monday, July 19, 2010

meet me monday

Mini interviews with creative folk.
This Monday meet Rebecca Lewis of Little Brown Dog, kindly sharing some of her stories and inspirations. Rebecca creates beautifully finished clothing and home wares- her designs and fabric choices are adorable, every stitch and seam is always exquisitely made.

'I love to sew, mostly one offs or short runs. I learned with my mum and great nanna Bella, who was a tailoress at Freedmans in the Valley...another great nanna was a seamstress and my dads' mum was also a sewer so I guess it runs in the family!

I use vintage or gorgeous Japanese patterns or occasionally draft my own.
I rework old clothes and make home wares and soft toys. Once I have figured something out, I move onto the next challenge.

My wedding dress is the favourite thing I've ever made,
it was so important to me as part of our DIY wedding day to make make myself
a very personalised, eco friendly dress.
I made it from the most beautiful hemp-silk materials
bought from a friend who was importing eco friendly fabrics.

It's because of my wedding dress Little Brown Dog came about...I was terrified of mucking up the dress and procrastinated by playing around with an op shopped E.T doona cover.
I made a skirt and fishermans pants from it which got a great reception and encouraged me to keep making clothes from thrifted material.
There's so much incredible fabric out there, it's just about seeing the potential.

Using discarded material like sheets, doona covers, blankets and curtains
provides me with a challenge-
to make something beautiful from materials often considered to have no value.

I have been gifted lots of fabric from friends cleaning their cupboards (lucky me) but mostly my materials are sourced from op shops.
Ipswich has fantastic op shops-I'm divulging my stash collecting secrets faves are 'the hospice shop' on Brisbane St and 'keeping up appearances' on Glebe Rd...both are chock full of goodness hidden in little nooks and crannies. Half the fun is in finding it.

I have my fingers crossed more people will turn to reducing, reusing and Up cycling. There are clever people doing amazing things with found objects and junk.

I love the work of Don Pezzano(of Urbandon) who uses gifts from the ground, creepy dolls eyes, watch parts, washers, vintage buttons, meccano
and other bits and pieces to construct incredible wearable are.

I also greatly admire the phenomenal recycling efforts of my lovely friend Lesa,
who transforms mountains of office paper into beautiful art works.

We need to stop playing into the consumer trends which drive global manufacturing empires and are at the root of so many social and environmental issues.
Shopping for locally grown and locally made is the first step in right direction. There are great farmers markets popping up where you can meet and talk with the people growing what you're eating. There's also fantastic veg box schemes which source only local produce and deliver fresh fruit and veg to your door. Check out food connect if you live in SE QLD. And don't forget the craft markets, an opportunity to meet the talented people behind the design and production, a chance to buy local and original.'

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and photos Rebecca.
You can find Little Brown Dog at the little market in west end, Tricycle events, nook or contact Rebecca about ordering custom made eco friendly/upcycled clothing via her blog here

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

my creative space...

This weeks been fantastically busy and creatively diverse too...I don't know where to start!

I gave my first workshop for a project called 'Close Knit' which is a Brisbane Festival yarn bombing and community involvement project of amazing find out how to get involved head here...
I am working alongside a wonderful group of women, from Brisbane's African community and we are creating some special BIG pieces.
Another 5 workshops to go, I can hardly wait.

Been making some simple stews;
Nothing fancy; a big handful of cherry tomatoes, a can of lentils mixed in a small saucepan with some slow fried onion, garlic, and diced carrot...I added a dollop of butter at the end-yum!

Onion skin stew anyone? Actually, this is another pot...with left over onion skin + locally gathered gum tree bark, steeping and boiling.... naturally dye some second hand wool.
I put the yarn in without putting it into skeins...the liquid soaked right through, carrying the pigment right through.
Why do instructions always include making up skeins for dyeing rather than dyeing balls?

It turned out this gorgeous caramel colour.

I have also pulled out my sewing machine again after I scored some more vintage fabrics.
I am making up new handbags, earmarked for Bleeding Heart gallery store.

I haven't done much sewing lately, I like it but compared to my yarn work it's so complex!
I make my handbags double sided, with a different print on each side, so they can be turned either way out...
I need to take a lot of care when stitching the binding, because it holds it together and has to look pretty both sides...check out this lovely piece of fabric though...

I had to show it in a bit more detail, love the colour of the flower, the stylised leaf and the gentle dot patterns.

I will be making and bringing more bags along to the Tricycle Pop Up shop too...

Tricycle is the combined brainchild of Bec, Chrissy and I,
celebrating/sharing our love of all things upcycled and crafty...
above is Becs' beautiful poster...she is so talented!!
For more creative spaces head to kootoyoo
ciao Kate

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Meet me Monday.

Meet me Monday-
mini interviews with creative folk!

This gorgeous lamp graces my home, its one of my favourite things and comes from lamp maker, musician and blog writer Michael Swifte..

'I am an obsessed op-shopper always looking for something new to do with the things I find.

When I discovered lamps could be made with more heat sensitive materials due to the new energy efficient CFL bulbs, I began to make use of old glass, metal and plastic ceiling shades, teak bowls, melamine pieces, drawer knobs, napkin rings, polypropylene sheets, side tables and just about anything else...

I enjoy using the familiar and attractive colours, textures and shapes of items from the 60s,70s and 80s. I am interested in using items of a durable nature-one left from part of a set or surface damaged, and so not of interest to 2nd hand dealers.
A particular favourite place is the Lifeline supa store at Woolloongabba.

I try to make lamps match the decor of the modern home. I feel this mixes mod, deco, Victorian and minimal European styling.

My favourite creation is a lamp called 'F Box" I constructed it from a rectangular teak bowl with a stylised F hole cut into it, backed with a polypropylene diffuser, which was bought by a violinist friend.'

Aside from lamp making and op shopping, Swifte writes other blogs on varied topics ;one for his borrowed citreon car(pictured above),
many music ones and one with the attention grabbing title of
which caught the eye of someone Michael very much admires..

'I've been asked to write an essay for a book to be called the Future we deserve.
The book is the brainchild of Vinay Gupta who invented the Hexayurt (cheap and light weight house design used for Haiti earth quake survivors)
Vinay is curating the submissions and likes my blog, particularly the title The age of warlords cook book. This blog is about the future of food and violence, looking at the experiences of people during various wars to shed light on the lessons we may need to learn in the future...Vinay Gupta challenges green groups to create cultural contingency plans for a possible bleak future.'

I admire Michaels beautiful and transformative use of found objects.
His lamps will soon be available in a new shop opening in West end, I will update as it happens.
In the meantime you can contact him and check out his lamps here...
cheers Kate

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and photographs Michael.

Friday, July 9, 2010

good wishes

I really enjoy being able to send out good wishes and thanks...
this is a no topic big gratitude ramble...
there are many lovely competitions being hosted by fellow bloggers,
it's a warm interconnected circle of offerings-bloggers are very generous.

I received some beautiful crystal and crochet gifts from Alice this week, so sweet.

These school holidays I have adored being with my patient boys, we have had space and time enough to be creative...

and silly

people who take time to read my blather, thank you too!