Saturday, 31 October 2009

the challenge

This is my sewing project for the weekend. I'm using a pattern from the Japanese sewing book Sewing Talk by Machiko Kayaki. I think I've found the perfect fabric for it too. This red seer-sucker Japanese patterned fabric (pic 2). It feels a bit like paper to touch and has so much texture to it. The problem is the fabric is so beautiful I'm quite fearful of cutting into it and making a start. I've never used a Japanese pattern book before so this will be interesting. Hopefully I'll be reporting back with pics of the finished frock in a few days. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

ken noguchi

Coil Vessel
Ken Noguchi

My love of Japanese ceramics is endless so imagine how my heart skipped a beat when I saw this work by Ken Noguchi from Ishikawa, Japan even though it's not made from clay. He uses traditional Japanese lacquer to get that gorgeous black colour and apart from lacquer his materials include hemp, paper and string. No wonder he won first prize in the 2009 Nakaoka Craft Competition. Simple, understated beauty. We all need more of this in our lives.

Friday, 23 October 2009

cycles; cycling

Spring sunshine means going for long bike rides and ending up in pretty parks like this one. Letting the sunshine in and getting excited about the warm weather on our doorstep. Pausing and reflecting, and taking a break from some things, re-energising for others. Being grateful for what is, not anxious about what could be. Spring is for cleaning, refreshing. It's for all the newness in life. And being ready and open for endless possibilities.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

art deco beauty to go

Why is it that beautiful old buildings need to make way for more department stores and we call that progress?
I've just heard (via Ink & Spindle) about the impending demolition of the gorgeous art deco building, Lonsdale House in Melbourne. It needs to go because apparently the world needs another Myer department store. Can you believe this?

When friends and family visit they always tell me how much they love the way Melbourne preserves it's architectural history unlike other big cities like Sydney, which has been only too keen to tear down it's history and replace it with shiny new (read lacking in character) buildings. This demolition would be tragic in terms of preserving Melbourne's unique heritage.

There's an online petition where you can register your opposition to this crazy decision. And Melbourne walking tours which include this art deco beauty while it still stands.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

hanabi shirt in chocolate brown

I know it must seem like all I ever do lately is print hanabi in different ways on different fabrics. One of my work colleagues even suggested I could keep going and make a whole range of clothes with hanabi. But that would be kind of wacky. In my defense I will say that I printed this one a while ago when it was called particles but today I sewed it into this shirt.
I'm calling this one hanabi shirt in chocolate brown. Now for all you super nifty sewers out there I have to let you know something - I made this without a pattern! Yep, that's right, I free-wheeled it and just cut the fabric out around a shirt I've had for years and really like. It was definitely scary to do this. I kept thinking, oh man you are going to mess this up. And I will say it's not perfect. BUT it does have lining inside it! I've never put lining in anything before so that was kind of interesting. I bought this super soft light-weight natural coloured cotton lining because I wanted the shirt to feel really soft against my skin. It took ages for me to work out how to do it so that it looked as nice on the inside (well almost) as it does on the outside (I'm talking stitching here) but I got there eventually. And I made friends with my iron. I had no idea how useful an iron can be with sewing.
This pic is just to prove my story about the lining. Just in case you thought I was fibbing or something.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

hanabi print in grey

This time I printed hanabi in grey on a new black light-weight denim skirt I made yesterday. I decided to print the motif down the centre of the skirt and I think it works. I had a few issues with printing yesterday but I'm pretty sure I've sorted it out now. These things are all trial and error :)

I made the skirt a bit loose to allow for the 4% shrinkage when it's heat set. Fingers crossed it will fit more snuggly once that's done.

Friday, 2 October 2009

let the great world spin

I'm really loving this book. For many reasons really. One being that it's a collection of stories set in and about New York in 1974 and I'm still swooning from my visit there last year. And the 70's were a really interesting decade for that city. Another being that Irish born Colum McCann is a brilliant story teller who deserves to be praised at any chance. One more reason to love this book is because it's a collection of short stories, a form I find really portable and accessible when I'm busy and can't keep my head in a traditional novel.

If you'd like to read a review, here's one from the Guardian.

And if you'd like to watch a 6 min video with the author take a look here. It's very inspiring.