Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Creative Space

Something very strange seems to have happened to my camera, creating this other-wordly glow in some of my photos.  I've resisted replacing this camera, having finally warmed to it, but it's getting a bit crotchety in its old age: I have to recharge the battery every other day, sometimes it decides to randomly turn itself off, and now this.  I feel overwhelmed by the plenitude of choices for a replacement.  I need something decent, but simple and economical.  Any suggestions?

Anyway, I've begun working on these super-sturdy eco-totes, made from a wonderfully thick 100% cotton canvas, and perfect for carrying a load of library books or for vegetables, flowers and a baguette from the farmer's market.

Both sides of the bags are printed with slightly different prints.  I'm excited to list these, but think I may need to sort out what's going on with my camera first.  Or else include a disclaimer: "Contrary to appearance, bag does not actually glow."


Happy to be joining in with Kirsty from Kootoyoo this week!  Find many more creatives and their spaces here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 thinking ahead.

Okay, I know that some people begin their holiday planning in June, but for me late September is way way ahead of my usual schedule (I've always derived a certain frenetic pleasure in buying gifts mainly in the few days just before Christmas.)  At any rate, my goals for this holiday season are:
1. To make most of my gifts.
2. Those which I don't make will be handmade by others.
3. And those which aren't "gifts" in the tangible sense will be donations to charities.

Certainly making gifts requires a bit of planning and time.  Perhaps it's time to put holiday frenzy aside and embrace a bit of grace and organization.  Time then, also to begin to look for items in category two.
I've been trolling the depths of Felt, finding heaps of desirables -- so many, that the pressure is certainly off should I get too busy to make as many gifts as I'd like. This showcase is a combination of things I'd like to get others and a wishlist for myself (ahem, significant other - feel free to take note!)


Monday, September 27, 2010

At My House: The Little Things


I remember reading an article once about how the measure of "happiness" in one's life is far more a product of little everyday enjoyments than of big momentous ones like getting married, going on holiday, graduating, etc. I'm glad that it doesn't take much to make me happy -- the little stuff is more than enough. I look forward to things like my morning toast, a hot shower, listening to a good podcast, or time spent reading in bed in the evening. Especially now that I'm home with my two little ones, I rely on day-to-day pleasures to keep me sane and stimulated. Here are a few of the things that made me happy this week....

 Some new reading material....

The toy library....

 Making salt-dough beads....

 A perfect day in Picton spent with visiting family.  Cousins played, grown-ups talked,
and starfish, crabs, snails, and tiny fish were found under rocks on the beach as the tide went out....
 Flea market finds: wooden truck,  a beautiful piece of Nelson pottery, new
Lambert merino leggings (they are the absolute best thing to sleep in.  I have one well-loved pair.
It will be good to have two) and strawberry seedlings.  Total, $12.00....

Birthday-gift train set from Ikea.  Endless combinations, endless hours of play....

These incredibly beautiful alphabet cards with illustrations by Charley Harper.
One side has letter flashcards and the other creates two stunning floor puzzles.
I bought them originally for Aya's birthday, and then held on to them for thinking that
Solomon would enjoy them more.  Finally, I thought "Nah, I love them too much to see them
chewed on or lost."  So they're mine, all mine.  (But as you can see, I share sometimes....)

By the way, if you have the time, do follow the link to see more of Charley Harper's incredible wildlife illustrations.  I'd never heard of him before I found the flashcards, but they are so so beautiful.

Hope you have had a week filled with little happinesses too.

ps  This is my first week participating with At My House...  Visit a few other homes here, on Buttons By Lou Lou. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Creative Space

This week, I've been working away on a custom order for some bigger (bigger being size 4) kids t-shirts.  The custom order, from a persistent and very friendly buyer was the inspiration for the big box of organic kids clothing I imported from the United States last week.  Sadly, I've been unable to source quality organic blanks in sizes larger than 18 months from New Zealand (if anyone reading this has ideas about that, I would love to hear them!)  The clothing I ordered is wonderful -- great colors and designs.  But....when taking into account exchange rates, shipping, import fees, and 12.5% (soon to be 15%) GST, well -- it seems as though I should keep searching for good alternatives closer to home.

Anyway, the custom order was for a Poppies print, a Hen print and a Fantail -- all except the Fantail are still in progress.  If I'm doing multiple layers of inks or detailing post-print, the prints can take a few days while I wait for each layer to dry.....The Grass shirt I've done at the top isn't part of the order, but I'm really loving the simplicity and the lushness of the greens against the natural white background.

About a week and a half in, I'm still (mostly) coffee-free.  I've had a cup once or twice (ok, twice) when going out to a cafe with friends, but otherwise it's been green tea for me.  Aren't I feeling virtuous!  Actually, I'm mostly just feeling good.  A bit calmer, a bit more hydrated, and counter intuitively a bit less tired.  My husband used up the beans we had in the house, so they haven't been a temptation.  Also, I've been making green tea with leaves in the press, so I've been able to retain some of that ritualistic feel I love so much.  I believe everything is fine in moderation; it's all about balance, right?

Kirsty from Kootoyoo is away this week,  but I'm sure lots of other bloggers will be keeping up the creative spirit on their own sites this Thursday all the same.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Yellow and Blue: New Stock, Sneak Peak

Paintings by Solomon and me, together: "Long Tail" and "Bowl of Lemons (With Legs)"

 I have a real thing for this color combination right now -- I can't seem to get enough.  Marigold and Aqua.  Mustard and Indigo.  Navy and Saffron.  All.  Lucky for me, I just received a shipment of brand new stock!  Love love loving this new background to work with.  The clothing is fair trade/organic, and just beautiful.  I'm so excited to be widening my range.  Soon, I think I'll be able to offer bigger kids' sizes in addition to baby-wear.  Here's a preview:

Just getting a few more pieces ready, and then they'll go up in my shop.  More (and more colors) to come!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Creative Space

If the previous post is any indication, I've developed a major sweet-tooth lately.  I like to think of pumpkin cake topped with sour cream or lemon curd (eaten straight off the finger, naturally) as "energy dense."  And energy is something I'm craving at the moment, seeing as I've recently gone off coffee.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I have an ongoing (and probably very boring) love/hate relationship with my morning/late morning/afternoon cup.  I'm still breastfeeding, so I've gone the distance to figure out just how much is ok (3 cups give or take -- only 1% of the caffeine gets into breastmilk) and I pretty much max it out daily.  I love the lift, the taste, and the ritual; I hate the crash and the irritability.

I always have an underlying uneasiness that this last remaining vice really is just that -- a vice.  I hate being dependent and I always feel better and as though I'm nurturing myself more when I take a break.  I knew the time had come when I wondered to myself (truly) whether the coffee companies were conspiring against me and secretly decaffeinating my coffee in an effort to make me drink more.  Then, I happened to read this post from Small Notebook on Sunday night and it tipped the scales.  So from Monday on, I've been coffee-free.  Meh.  But it's getting better. 

Anyway, I've been struggling to stay up past 8:30 much less get out to the studio for late evenings of work this week.  Fortunately, I've been blessed with some well-timed naps and have been able to sort out a few new design ideas during the days....

From above: "Leaves of Grass" organic baby blanket, "8 Blue Robins" organic baby blanket, "Birds on Wire" organic sleep gown, and again, "Leaves of Grass."  Most are available in my shop.

Check out many more creatives and their spaces here on Kootoyoo.  Always a pleasure.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010