Saturday, 21 November 2009

secret pottery loveliness

Quickly. Shhhhh! Let me show you this beautiful bowl. Crafted by a new potter who is very blog shy so I dare not mention her name. Let's just call her M.I've been sneaking around the house this morning photographing this lovely work because I really believe it should be shared.The glaze is a delicate and subtle green. Like that gentle green you often see in Chinese pottery. The bowl is wonderfully thin and shaped so beautifully that it's a joy to hold in your hands.And I ate that nectarine as soon as the photo shoot was over. My first of the season - so sweet and juicy. I have a feeling I'm going to be in so much trouble for showing these pics to you. But in my defence, isn't the bowl just lovely? And wasn't I right in sharing it with you? But shhhhh! Don't answer too loudly, ok?

Friday, 13 November 2009

take a stroll

spring onion flowerAllow me to take you on a little tour of what's happening in my back garden. The spring onions flowered. And then we ate them all up.
succulentThe succulents are looking quite handsome. Some have flowered. Some are looking very busy and stripey.succulentsucculentOthers are looking very pretty. Almost edible.
succulentSome are lovely and green. They make me feel cool on a hot day. succulentsucculentAnd ones like these have a lot going on in their homes.Some are looking very soft and gentle.succulentAnd others all perky and bright. succulent

Saturday, 7 November 2009

zen and minimalism

I've been having fun designing this new giclee print. I just love the whole feeling of ikebana. Shop fronts in Japan have the most gob-smackingly gorgeous ikebana arrangements in their front windows. It makes me want to run away in horror from the front of some Australian shops because they just have no idea. Not all of course. But some seem to have never encountered the principles of shape, line and form or the symmetry and balance of ikebana. Or the concept of minimalism.

I suppose those of us in Melbourne could head off to Ikebana Melbourne for some lessons to help rectify this sad state of affairs.

This photo by markfountain52 on flickr taken on the streets of Kyoto is the kind of thing that makes me swoon.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

project b

This time I've made a summer top based on the same pattern as the dress. It's project b in the book. Once you've made the dress (project c) the top's quite easy. It has elastic gathering in the neck and sleeves but also loosely at the waist. I decided to line the top with some very thin cotton lining and it feels great against my skin. The top pic, while it does make me look pregnant (I'm not), gives you a better idea of the fabric than any other photo I've taken. And the top pic is closer to the real colour than the 2nd one. In reality it's a lovely tea green. It's to-die-for I swear although it's hard to see that in these photos I know.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

little red dress

Four hours later and the dress from Sewing Talk is finished. Sorry about the funny reflection shot but I don't have a full length mirror and was the only one home when I took these photos. So that's me standing outside our bi-fold doors catching the reflection so that you can see the overall shape of the dress [and my cat's tail at the bottom]. I like the '60's feel of the silhouette.

Some detail around the neck and arms in this pic. The pattern was pretty straight forward but the trickiest bit was making the bias strips that line the neck and arm holes. I'd never done that before. The directions were pretty easy to follow in the pattern pictures even for a beginner like me. The red in these pics looks far brighter than it is unfortunately.

I'm not a big person so this pic shows you how loose the style is. If I was to make it again I wouldn't choose the largest size (I chose Japanese size 13 based on their body measurements with a waist of 70 cm) because it feels a bit too baggy on me.

I also read here that you should allow extra for seams on patterns from Japanese books but I forgot to and it worked out ok with this style. I did however add 5cm extra to the length because I'm 166cm tall and I know most Japanese women are around 160cm. Oh and something I didn't realise until I started is that you need to trace the pattern onto some other paper and then cut that out and attach it to your fabric. Because they try to economise on space they overlap patterns from different parts of the book so you can't cut them out directly as they are.

Thanks felt cafe for this link which has translations for some of the Japanese terms used in the patterns. I was able to read most of them but you really don't need to know how to read Japanese to sew with these books.