Thursday, June 28, 2012

Almost as good as sacs...!

My nanna taught me to knit with fat pink needles and bright red wool, but no-one ever taught me how to crochet.

There's crochet and there's crochet - whole articles are written on what NOT to crochet.

But knitting is not the craft of choice for anyone who's not looking for a way to fill in an awful lot of time. I used to knit when I operated a switchboard in a little nook, shut away from the rest of the world. I used to knit when I was waiting for my babies to arrive. I still knit in doctors' and dentists' waiting rooms. But overall knitting is way too slow. Too slow, too unforgiving.

So for a number of years I have been determined to learn to crochet. I want to make granny squares too! I want to do clever things with the yokes of cotton dresses! I want to make lovely wool flower embellishments and amigurumi like all the other clever crafters! I want to be retro and play with colour and get all free-form.

Finally I mastered the hook - a combination of Brown Owls, Pip Lincoln on-line tutorials, and how-to books got me over the line. I made my very first squares, my first cushion cover, my second cushion cover, and now ...*drum rolls* ... The Boho Bag!

My inspiration for the bag, 'un sac, du crochet, du Liberty, de la dentelle et quelques fleurs' was made by Cecile Balladino and came from here: eclectic gypsy land

It looks like this:

Sac beautiful!!

Cecile took her inspiration from Lucy Laine's 'Les Sacs Me Font Perdre La Boule!!' which is shown  here:


Also beautiful!

And now there's my own version:

If I take the rectangular cushion out it's much the same shape as Lucy's. And like her I've used some special vintage lace in homage if for no other reason.

Inside is some lovely Japanese print from the girls at Voodoo Rabbit.

So pleased with this, partly because I had to make it up as I went along, and pull it apart and try again here and there, so another tick against new skills learned, and a big tick also for perseverance. 

Thanks so much to Cecile and Lucy for their inspiration - go the on-line collaborative effort!!

Have great weeks!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Peeves and petulances

An interesting post from apartment therapy recently, design pet peeves   about the karate chop cushion, elicited an avalanche of gripes from readers covering everything from colour-coded book display to matchy-matchy furniture.

(Image: Bliss Studio)

Do you have pet design peeves?

I have loathed the keep-calm-and-carry-on trend since it first raised its dull and repetitious head several years ago...ok, I guess, if you are English AND living in England AND preferably lived through a war, but in Australia it just smacks (to me) of a total absence of original thought married to a lurking cultural cringe-i-ness.

Ditto union jack cushions and all things bull dog. Love that those folk on that island over there have a lot of fun with their own love of country - good for them, and they do it with a lovely touch of humour - but it's not something we can pick up and run with and why on earth would we want to?

In most respects though, on self-examination, I find I'm otherwise surprisingly non-judgmental and tolerant about interior design. Like anything in life, so long as it's not too contrived, it's legit in my book. Home is - it really is - where the heart is, and if there's affection afoot that's as design excellence as you can get.

When I was growing up, my Dad revealed a fetish for light fittings which he indulged via ceramic chandeliers (complete with little gilded cherubim) and ornate metal flower-and-leaf illuminations. As young teens we died of embarrassment over these non-early-seventies baroque-esque style statements that couldn't help but dominate otherwise ordinary family room and bed-rooms. Yet my sister and I have admitted to each other in recent years how strangely drawn we are to excessive light fittings ourselves now...

So people in glass houses, or houses resplendent with coloured glass lanterns and faux art deco frosted wall sconces, obviously have no right to throw stones of any hue.

Go the personal predilection  - if you can't feel free to have fun at home, where else could you possibly let your hair down and be self indulgent?

Just don't, please, k. c. & c. o.

If in doubt, remember: Australian = laconic...something worth celebrating.

Have a giggle!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Retro campers and kitschy kitchenesque

The little red caravan that could!

BrisStyle's craft caravan took the damp Brissy CBD by storm last Friday, with yarn-bombing, make-and-take, a Brown Owls meet-up, talks and demos all day, and BrisStylettes of all ages and shapes selling their hand-made goodness from cosy and colourful stalls. 

The caravan is a marvel - Helen, BrisStyle eventista extraordinaire, and beautiful Bel have done magic with their collection of retro lounges, beach brollies, and charming flamingoes!

Photo: Brisstyle Craft Caravan event has begun! Market stalls, demonstrations, yarn bombing - come on down to King George Square from 10 - 4pm to learn how to knit or crochet, make a timber vintage van brooch, or check out textile and fibre demos (there's even colouring in for the kids). And there's us!!! All stocked up with the brand spanking new issue 14. See you down there!

I was also really tickled to see my own UFO's put to such good use at last by the Owls in their craftactive activities!

And I had a great time sharing a tent with the talented Anita from Mum's Cupboard (as in, what's in Mum's cupboard) for wimcee's first market outing for 2012.

Anita's Dr Mid-nite and Charlie the Owl glass stud earrings from her etsy shop

I've gone kitchenesque for the time being, which has been fun, in an effort to build up my stocks again after the hiatus. Had such a lovely time making five new aprons to take to market only to sell four of them before opening time...very happy for them to find good homes so quickly, but it threw my theme for the day just a little.

some new retro style aprons available from:

All we need now is some old-fasioned Brisbane winter sunshine to smile on the market season in full swing. Here's to blue skies, with no early Westerlies!

great snap of the yarn-bombed BrisStyle flamingo from Little Chrissy at