Thursday, 27 December 2007

the bag that spoke

Now that Christmas is over (phew!) I can share the story of a bag that became a gift. It all started when we clamp-dyed some wool at TAFE using eucalyptus leaves.

"How beautiful," I thought. "I'm sure I could do something with this technique." So I went looking for some wool fabric to use but none was to be found. Not to be deterred, I decided to try it on a cotton bag instead.

But of course the cotton didn't take the dye quite so well and the bark I had used as a clamp spread some of its colour, so I ended up with a bag that just looked dirty.

Again I refused to be discouraged, and instead saw it as an opportunity to try out some new stitches from the Mountmellick embroidery book that has been sitting unused on my shelf for close to a year.

Finally the design was starting to take form, but it wasn't until I came across this Japanese fabric - perfect for the lining - that I knew that the bag would be completed and used.

And here it is!

Sunday, 23 December 2007

fabric shopping in Japan

Apologies (mainly to myself) for the lapse in blogs as I have been in JAPAN!!! for the last two weeks.
Before I left I checked the web for details of where to find the best fabric stores so now I shall do my part and add what I have learnt:
Yuzawaya seems to be the largest crafts chain store. You can find their locations on the website and their buildings have a red knitting sheep on the outside. I went to the MinamiSenzu store but actually wasn't that impressed by their fabric selection. But I do suspect that it may have been one of their smaller branches.
In Tokyo, Nippori (on the JR Yamanote line) is the place to go. From the station, signs will point you to the "Textile Town", a street where almost every store sells fabrics, each with a "Textile Town" flag flying out the front. The best of them is Tomato, with so many sections and floors that I didn't get time to explore them all. The minimum cut for most of their fabrics is 1 metre and they only take cash.
In Kyoto, Nomura Tailor has two small stores jam-packed with ultra-cute quilting squares for just Y105 each. I went to the store closest to Kawaramachi subway station. From the intersection of route 24 and Shijo-dori, walk westwards on the north side of the street until you reach the second covered walkway. Turn in. Soon after you walk past the first intersection with another covered walkway you will find Nomura Tailor on the left.

Quilted fabrics from Tomato and Nomura Tailor.

Plastic-coated fabrics from Tomato and Nomura Tailor.

Cotton fabrics from Nomura Tailor and Yuzawaya.

Cotton fabrics from Nomura Tailor.

Small cotton squares from Nomura Tailor.

Friday, 30 November 2007

preparing for 2008

I re-enrolled at TAFE yesterday - I shall be attempting Design and Tapestry next semester. It was surprisingly quick, thanks to my unplanned late arrival, but still took much longer than it should have. I had to line up SEVEN times, each time to see someone who would say hello, look at my forms and make one small change, then say goodbye and shuffle me off to the next queue. Madness.
My mum has asked for an Olive calendar for Christmas and today's photoshoot was for October (Halloween) so I finally have some good shots of the pumpkin outfit I made before Olive was born. The hat was slightly modified from this book and the dress was my own design.
Don't fret! I do make things that are for grown-ups too, and will hopefully have a new bag and pencil case ready to show you within the week. I got a little distracted making a cloth girl inspired by the oh-so charming paper dolls of ana ventura and miaki. I'll show you when she's done!

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

apple poos

I have a baby who doesn't sleep. Or rather, a baby who would prefer not to sleep and only does so when being transported or safely snuggled up to me. So while other mums are able to craft while their little ones sleep, I have just been crafting in my head. Oh so many creations swimming around up there.
This week, however, I have discovered that Olive will sleep in as late as 11am if her dad is there beside her. Plenty of crafting time for me and a good excuse for her dad to sleep in. Which means that I have this to show you - a waterproof(ish) playmat for nappy off time. It was christened with carrot and pumpkn poos just moments after the photo was taken and I am happy to report that the leakage was successfully contained by the thermal lined curtain layer and it washed and dried with ease, ready for tomorrow's escapades. It was also my first real attempt at a decorative homemade binding and I must say, I can see why some people get addicted.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

a beginning

Oh no! I am overcome with new blogger's shyness. But I am determined to use this as a means to expand my playtimes in the craft room to something a little more. So I will start not with something that I have made but rather that I whipped up: two tea cosies inherited from my great aunties (Connie and Pearl - I love old lady names) with the handle and spout holes whip-stitched together to make hats for my gorgeous girl, Olive.