Watercolour – another new hobby

Awhile ago I realised I needed something arty that I could pick up and put down in a moment. Something that worked with little ones and their unpredictable interruptions. Something that could look nice with quick washes, a book to help with colour mixing and maybe just maybe something that could end up being quite useful to make some sort of career out of as I get better at it. I decided that watercolour was the most logical choice and I have been having quite a lot of fun with it. The below is my first attempts at trying out different “styles” playing with colour and coming up with a nice end print for Little Man’s wall.

cars2 cars

Inspired: Angie Lewin

One whole year ago I thought I should blog about this amazing lady. Finally I am getting around to it! Angie Lewin, a British Printmaker/Artist business woman extraordinaire . I brought her book with my birthday money when wandering around my favorite bookshop “Minerva” in Wellington last year. I saw the cover and was drawn in. LOVE her work, I get it… It makes me want to make stuff.Angie Lewin book
Angie Lewin book
Angie Lewin book

To be honest I only recognized her work, I didn’t actually know who she was. But now I do! I have read the book cover to cover and spent much longer looking at all the pictures. It never stays on the bookshelf long before I take it down to flick through and feel inspired to draw, paint, design.

Here are some piccies of some things I have made pretty much directly inspired by her work.

A wardrobe door mural for Quinn’s room.
Quinn's wardobe

A baby mobile I drew then traced in illustrator – this has been printed and glued together several times as gifts for people having babies. Something fun for baby (the black and white picture) and the print is a bit more grown up for the big kids suddenly surrounding themselves with loads of baby stuff. Seems to go down pretty well with both!
baby mobile

Poor Quinn got the slightly more messy prototype (as will probably be my kids lot in life) I found the best one was one with proper thin nylon rope from a hardware store and small pom poms as the ‘beads’ great way to use up yarn, much quicker than these crocheted beads and the nylon thin rope looks much tidier. But you get the idea!

There are quite a few random sketches and things aswell, none really that interesting! But the point is I am getting my arty self moving.

You don’t need to book to be suitably inspired – just go to her website. Or buy all sorts by her and similar artists through this online shop.

Crochet Afghan and a Pretty Website

This weekend is going to be a fun one. Originally we wanted to go to the Mokihinui, take photos and explore what is scheduled to flooded and turned into a dam. But it is a bit of drive so instead we will venture out next weekend and plan to leave on the Friday night. This weekend is now turning out to be fun time making things and planning (not to mention writing in the blog!).
Crochet Granny Square Afghan
First I want to introduce you too the granny square afghan I have been crocheting on and off for at least a year. Its finished! I love it much more than I thought I would. At first I wanted something colourful and interesting, but now I enjoy how it blends into the lounge – like its always been there. Feeling understated and comforting. Not to mention how warm it is to snuggle under. The yarns were all sourced out of peoples stash, the main brown colour thanks to Jess and the greens and blacks a trademe find.
Today I found a lovely pretty inspiring website thanks to Kylie spotting something I would like on cellar.org. The link to this site called “upon a fold” – the blog is the coolest! I have been screen-shooting and feeling inspired to do some collage combo painting SOON.
Sewing Pj's!
I will leave you now with the first of the winter sewing. A peak at some pajama pants I made out of some stash re-hash fabric. Using an Amy Butler pattern from her book “In Stitches“.. I changed it up a little by adding an elastic band recycled from an old pair of torn pajama pants and a silky blue ribbon for a bit of luxury. The fabric is so soft and cuddly. Just perfect for the chilly winter nights.

Art on Sunday

I have finally been painting again.
artonsunday 2

In my spare evenings I plop down on the table and paint. I decided to paint on corrugated cardboard; because its free, because its not as hard on my paintbrushes as canvas is, because you get to paint on random sizes and because its on free stuff I don’t need to be precious about it. This is my finished one. I have another almost finished. Its quite fun painting on bumpy card.
artonsunday 1

I went to spend a lovely lunch time with Gretchen and her kiddies the other day, saw some of my prints on the wall. That was nice to see. Buy them here.
artonsunday 3

Hope you all had a lovely Sunday and have a great week ahead. Love the little hands in the above photo and the bits here and there.

The Studio, some art and Birthday update

Yup I am now 29. I think i MIGHT be growing up. I had a lovely day, of gardening, eating and shopping! It was quite the “scorcher” so a mountain bike was off the cards (climbing the hills on a bike is not that fun when its REALLY REALLY hot). Kylie was back so I had my guy back, which was my biggest wish, despite my mood being still slightly melancholy due to a funeral in the week before, my flatmates and boy made it exactly what I needed.

NOW I hinted at something else I was working on a couple of posts back, it was pretty much a wee composition of frames and a gauche painting.
Mr Rooster and Ms Chicken protected from the rain
The new composition on wall...
Detail - Little embroidery/crochet
Plus the addition of a sofa bed to the wee office. My little work space is still a work in progress (like my life) but here are the shots, i didn’t do much tidying before the shots, I prefer realistic shots, because studios are WORK rooms… how can they be kept immaculate? Really?
My Desk

The desk I found on trademe for $7, I have sanded and finished the top, but the rest will have to wait. (yup the curtains need some attention.. next!)

Studio couch
The recent “spare-bed-come-couch-for-people-to-sit-on-and-keep-me-company” addition. Covered in a sheet until I can get a throw made or found. Otherwise the cats will cover it in fur….

Baby Aloe recently transplanted
I “borrowed” the plate off my flatmate… pretty huh?

Now for something more sober, our neighbours across the ditch are still fighting firestorms destroying homes and whole towns. Places I drove through not that long ago are now gone. The fires seem to be diminishing, now politics and blame games will be coming to the fore. Put simply people have lost their familes, their homes and in some case their livelihoods. Times like this, if one can, we need to offer some help. Let the politcians fight out the “whys”.

Inspired : James Jean

Sometimes a trip away is just what I need to get started again, motivated and even confident enough to do something. So my list making has become a little mad lately and the ideas are so abundant that yesterday I became overwhelmed, today I am much better.

Haaz Spring Print

While I have been conduction my reasearch towards these ideas, somehow, somewhere I cannot remember (terrible) I found this guy again; James Jean. I have seen his work before but i forgot about it and now I am seeing it just when I need it, when i have decided its time to pick up the pencil and paint again…

My creepy little secret

I have a funny little secret that most people think is a little strange. When i was 13-16 around when i had my first job, i had little to spend it on, except to buy / collect what i wanted, which was Porcelain dolls. They were the cheaper types, mass produced ones that would not be worth so much now (Hillview lane). Infact I still have them all, I like the costumes and little faces, with shiny eyes… This apparently is whats creepy, at the time it never occurred to me that it was.

Why did i collect dolls? Well, i think, it was because my mum made them, she would buy the unpainted faces and make bodies and costumes for them. Now for a little girl with creative tendencies, this was SO COOL, she used to crochet the tiniest things out of string…  That’s why i never saw them as creepy, more fascinating and pretty.

That’s my story is here is why I am telling it, I just found this amazing talented artist, Marina Bychkova. (thanks to craftzine) Her dolls are stunning, the costumes gorgeous! I just love the creepy and the slightly dark fantasy flavour, (her dolls have a bit of this I think?) It really does make me want to start going nuts on the web looking at dolls people make…

Lotus - Bound to be Beautiful - by Marina Bychkova

Here are some more links to her work:


Floral Themed Inspiration

Today I started trawling the net for inspiration and ideas for my latest website design. Quite by chance i happened across some fun lingerie, amazing artwork by a New Zealand lady, designer rugs and then I jumped into Trademe for something else to add to the yummy-ness. Here’s my little collage of goodies.


From the top left: A rug by Catherine Martin, Painting by Amazing NZ artist Haley King from flox designs (completely adoring these right now) Some cute asss knickers from Coco Ribbon (they have something called a “panty postman“) Two Handpainted Calrltonware platters off Trade Me and finally an adorable tapestry of a cute cat done in some lovely colours (its cuteness might be its simularities to my darling cat you never know….)