This another beginning...And yes, there will be others.
Once there was a 32 year old woman who started a blog almost one year ago. She still loved everything that life had to offer but she had turned a year older and somehow things were very different. She was, well... a little older. She felt a little older, and acted a little older, and looked at the world as being a little older. And whilst the world still glistened, there was a tinge of old gold, antique sadness to it - just a tinge but it was still there. And still, there is no ending to this story, but there is definitely a middle, and this must be it. That 32 year old woman thought: 'I've reached the middle, and whilst I have loved and lost and loved again, and moved and lived, and smelt and ate, and ran and walked and skipped and slept, I will take a deep breath and find new things and keep moving and know there is still more to come. My God, I am finally a woman'. 1 year ago:The beginning...
This is the beginning...
Once there was a 31 year old woman who truly loved so many scrummy things about life that she wanted to collect, photograph, keep, get, hold, see, experience, draw, paint and record EVERYTHING but didn't know where to start.
Then, on a Saturday afternoon in the early summer of 2008, as the 31 year old woman shared her favourite walk along an ocean path with another woman who loved scrummy things about life, it was decided that the time had come to finally collect, photograph, keep, get, hold, see, experience, draw, paint and record EVERYTHING that was scrummy for her.
There really is no ending to this story. Only a beginning and a middle...
Such a long long time between entries. It can't be helped really. I am in the middle of an honours thesis, teaching almost full time, moved again, house sitting, blah blah blah. There is honestly no time for any crafty fun times. But all is not lost...
This genious blogger's magazine 'Parasol Craft' is AWESOME.
Heaps of pages on delicious crafts and ideas - and the best thing is that it is a fully online magazine that costs only $2.50! I bought edition 1 and 2 and I am looking forward to the next. So, not only have I bought myself an awesome read, I am also helping the planet (no paper) and helping a fellow blogger's business. What a neat idea.
So, when I wonder who will be saving the world from nuclear testing, horrid dictators, violence and unrest, I just have to think about all the lovely peaceful crafty bloggers I have had the pleasure of running into in my search for crafty bliss.
I guarantee you that your life will be complete with this little recipe under your hat. This cake is the easiest, quickest and most delicious thing you could make. Not only that - it is super healthy without tasting like a doorstop. This recipe came from my friend Kirsten.
Whilst the cooking time is 50 minutes (fairly standard) it takes only about 10 minutes to prepare and mix. I have made it many times when pushed for time and needing to take a cake to someone's house.
Also, you can have many variations - I have placed sliced apple on top, made a sugar honey syrup to pour on it in the last 5 mins of cooking time, and I have made a really rich cream cheese icing for it - so decadent! The best icing for it I think though is a simple icing sugar and lemon mix. The lemon is always a hit. Ice the cake when cooled and sprinkle dessecated coconut on top - delicious.
What can I do to convince you all that this is the perfect recipe? I guess you will have to make it to find out...
CHAI SPICE CAKE:
1 - 2 carrots grated
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup vegetable or coconut oil (I use rice bran oil)
1 1/2 cups of self raising flour (can be wholemeal which I think tastes awesome)
1 tsp Chai Spice or cinnamon (I just use lovely real chai spice tea leaves)
Mix with a wooden spoon and cook in a lined and greased 20cm cake tin on 180 degrees. Check its progress every now and then using a skewer - if it comes out clean it is ready.
Ice when cooled.
Quotes before eating:
"I hate carrot" - flatmate
"Carrot cake is my least favourite" - boyfriend
Quotes after eating:
"I stole some more of your cake - I was going to ask but I did it anyway" - flatmate who hates carrot
"Is there any of that cake left?" - boyfriend who loved it
"I usually don't like carrot cake but this is delicious" - good friend. I don't think the piece I gave her to give to her boyfriend made it home!
Ok, I know you have seen little bunny napkin in the last post but I have added some pink ribbon to the sides and am now in the process of embroidering little pink flowers in the corners. I am becoming quite attached to these little napkins. Once finished I will have them as a set, tie a little raffia ribbon around them and give them to someone special in the post - perhaps my mum who loves anything cloth!
In the meantime, little Molly is coming along nicely. I will show you the pics when finished. I have been working on the bubbles the birds are breathing, as well as adding some ribbon like bunny above. In each corner is a little bird who also breaths bubbles.
I am really liking embroidery although I do wince when I call my efforts embroidery because my stitching is in no way formal - more of a mishmash!
I love how my own drawings can be translated really nicely into stitches. I find it a little easier than the crochet process too! Plus it is so meditative. I would suggest embroidery to anyone who wants to be crafty but has difficulty following patterns. Also it is cheap and so easily accessible. These napkins cost $2 - $4 and you could always make your own to save even more money. The embroidery thread and needles are next to nothing too. We are all suffering a little from not having as much money so this will make a lovely gift.
I would love to see what you all come up with in your embroidery!
Anyway, I decided to make my own version of the Ephemera Mobile. I believe that most of what I make and do is always inspired by someone else so I always try to give credit where credit is due. I hope if I inspire someone else they will do the same. So anyway I looked up the original author of the Ephemeral Mobile after I had made my own and I couldn't believe it but it is by my friend Marriane Horton of Applehead. I was so happy to see her published work - she is a true genius and inspires me in so many ways. See blog http://applehead.typepad.com/applehead/craft/.
On a fabulous Sunday morning last week I took a trip to the local car boot sale, and boy did I find some goodies!!! Better than my local Vinnies or Salvos which like to charge extravagant prices for not great things. Ok, I know it is a charity, but please, some of it really is a bit of a stretch!
A couple of weeks ago my dear flatmate made a point of not letting me touch her Six Million Dollar Man collectors item thermos after I expressed interest in using it to take coffee to work. Imagine my surprise when I found one just like it for $5!!! A good joke would have been to pretend it was hers and drink from it in front of her but I was too exited and had to show her my find straight away.
And this lovely knitted bag? A great find at 50c!!!
This red bag was actually from a much better Vinnies not too far from me. It is a fake Balenciaga but so soft it feels like leather. $10.
This tin toy is quite large and I know they are a bit of a collectors item. I was happy to pay $15 - probably the most expensive item I bought that day but worth it. His hat spins when you turn the key. Bless.
This lovely chair which is in pretty good nick was only $2!!! I cannot believe it. So lovely that someone when to the trouble of covering it with beautiful red velvet. And the wicker basket next to it was $10. Perfect for my knitting and crochet supplies.
I had to teach the boys at school a unit on Aboriginal artmaking and my head teacher organised for the students to all glaze their own ceramic bowls in the style of Aboriginal art. Of course, I had to make my own as an example!
If I were to be marked on my efforts, I would have failed for lack of Aboriginal references, but secretly? I had my own agenda to make a fabulous birdy bowl
Yes, and all the students said my bowl was not Aboriginal but it does look lovely on my dressing table ;-)
I want to share in all the fun people are having with crocheting.
I have a problem though.
I am incapable of following black and white instructions in books - you know, the ones that have simple 'easy-to-follow' diagrams guiding exactly where to place the hands and how to start the stitch. I had this problem with knitting. Does anyone else have this problem?
I am a very visual person so I would have thought that following diagrams such as these, particularly with their headings 'easy-to-follow' would be easy. But no. I try and I try to no avail.
The solution? Video. Those simple, 3-minute explanations which run through exactly what you need to do in the form of a video.
Ok, so I admit, I do not 'get it' straight away. I often have to watch the video dozens of times until it clicks. But I do find it soooooo much easy than diagrams.
After numerous attempts a few weeks ago I learnt to 'cast on' my knitting. Today I finally worked out how to chain stitch crochet. These skills may seem easy to some but I never learnt anything like this from the older females in my life.
To help the naive like me I have attached here the two videos that have started me off. I hope they are of as help to you as they are to me. But then, maybe you don't need help and you can teach me instead!
Here is a link to the education kit I helped with. It has been awesome to work on this and it is good to see my writing out there. The exhibition was in Wollongong last Thursday night. It was a great night except for the $110 parking ticket I got.
Click on the link below and scroll down to the bottom of the page. This is where you can download a PDF of the document. You can also download and view the 4D works discussed in the resource - the works are fantastic.
My first ever proper knitting project. I started this scarf on Friday night and it is now Wednesday morning. Sadly I have run out of wool and will have to get some more tomorrow. 2 balls so far - probably one more needed for it to be finished. I have only about three holes in this scarf and it is so thick and wide that you can barely notice.
In the meantime I have begun to sew little silver balls along the bottom. Beads left over from my obsession with making earrings. As you can see from the pic my sewing skills are worse then my knitting skills but then, I have never been an exceptionally neat and tidy person and unfortunately my perfectionist tendencies do not translate into my art and craft.
Never one to shy away from immaturity I must admit I have been knitting with children's needles. These are little and cute and hold enough room for a chunky scarf easily. I am looking forward to wearing this scarf with my fushia paddington bear jacket and will post pics when done.
This one's for pearshaped - ha, someone finally got me to learn to cast on!!! I was not going to learn knitting for the poppet below - was gonna try and get around that one but the urge kept growing and growing and growing. As much as I like the look of this 70s book, I could not understand the simple instructions to cast on. Embarrassingly my flatmate could. I was determined so I googled.
My lovely friendPearshapedis doing the most wonderful project. She says:
"(I am) looking at story; community; memory and imagination. It compares participants’ responses, looking for similarities, differences and/or patterns. I'm interested in how objects, and our bodies are repositories for cultural and personal memory, and in how these "stories" are passed on inter-generationally in a non-verbal way".
My beautiful specimen is in the photos above and I feel so honoured that I am able to take part. The object is about 20 cm high and is handmade in wax. I fell in love with the shape of my object straight away as it reminds me of a Russian Matryoshka doll. I am lucky too because my friend says that only some of them smell and mine smells divine.
I am still working on her though and think I may have to return her soon so had better get onto it. I wanted to at first turn her into a Matryoshka but am lazy and thought of all the hard work. I have included text, because I love text in art and wanted to make it personal by including things about me and words I like such as leaves, love, light, atmosphere. My doll is very much a comment on nature - beautiful gold ribbon, yarn that Pearshaped supplied with the object and craft leaves from the art store.
I don't want to change her too much because she is wax and the wax is so important! I could say heaps more but check out Pearshaped's blog (click on above) and also Messyfishanother beautiful friend who is also taking part in the project. Messyfish had the foresight to photograph the stages of making but I didn't think to do this so will start from here.