Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Life on the Island

I found this blog a while back through Deb Batten, Life on the Island is the blog of lampwork artist Paula who makes wonderful glass beads. Some are exquisite pretty colours and others are the most amazing little critters. Her dogs are wonderful and they always make me smile. She held a giveaway a few weeks ago and I was lucky enough to win, my prize is an amazing pair of one of a kind earrings and they arrived in wintery Auckland last week.

The green pair are mine, I was so excited when I opened them up and found the most amazing shimmery green glass. It is lovely and has patterns that go right through, you can follow them to the centre and back out again, amazing. I am off to a show on Friday with a girlfriend so I may just premiere them then.

Marie-Madeline Studio Giveaway

Check out this beautiful quilt that's being given away by Marie-Madeline Studio. It's fabulous and it's up for grabs so go take a look.

What fantastic colours, great for cheering you up on a cold New Zealand winter morning.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bookmarks and bead parties

I have spent the last couple of evenings finishing off the bookmarks for my friend. Although I don't ever duplicate an item (unless it's requested for a bridal party or something similar) I did use the same layout for the bookmarks. I used different colours and styles of beads and I was please with the variety it led to. I asked Neil what he thought when I had finished and he said he really liked the glass ones but the flower ones looked a bit childlike, perfect I said they are for under 10's to which he replied that's OK then otherwise they wouldn't really be any good!! Like he's suddenly an expert on bookmarks and beads, typical eh?

A friend of mine has a daughter turning 10 next month and she has asked me to organise a beading party for her. I have been working on a design for a necklace and bracelet that will appeal to ten 7 to 10 year olds which is also relatively straightforward to make. The problem is I want them to be able to have some input into what they make but most of them have never done any beading before so I have to keep it really simple and also within the budget given. I think I will make two or three necklace designs and the same for the bracelets and then have a selection of beads in different shapes and colours, that way I can guide the design but they can still have the jewellery that suits them. If anyone has any ideas of how I can better do this please let me know, all suggestions are welcome.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Creative People

I have a good friend, Nickie, who can do the most amazing things with photos and paper. She used to run classes from home but decided earlier this year that she wanted to get back into the workforce as her youngest child is now at school. Evie used to go to her after school classes and has made some amazing things, even though she is only 6 and was 5 for all of the year she did classes. Nickie is brilliant with the kids and Evie learnt so much, the classes weren't just about quick sticking they learnt lots of skills including design layout and what products to best use for sticking different mediums, this along side the normal skills of cutting, sticking, painting etc. This picture shows some of the brilliant things she created through the year. She also made christmas decorations, a suncatcher and mosaiced riverstones amongst other things I cannot recall.

When the classes finished Evie was very upset but Nickie now runs kids holiday classes at Scrapbook Studio where she works. The concept of the class is simple, Nickie creates a design and then the children are open to interpret it in their own way, they are supervised and offered guidance but the finished product is very much up to them, their only contsraints being the products they have available and their imagination. This past school holiday Evie attended one and made this fabulous mixed media canvas which is currently being showcased on my bookcase.

Hard to believe it was made a 6 year old isn't it? Evie also recently expressed an interest in knitting and sewing and can generally be found carrying her bag of paper, pens, glue etc. around with her. I hope she continues along this creative path as she gets older and I hope she continues to have wonderful people like Nickie around to show her the way.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

This week

has been just fantastic. I have had a great time celebrating my birthday and managed to stretch it out for 6 days, not bad even if I say so myself. Monday was family day, the food was fantastic and the cheesecake delicious. My friend Nickie came over with lovely gifts for me, there was chocolate too but I ate it before I got round to taking pictures!

Tuesday Neil surprised me with tickets to Cirque du Soleil, Dralion. It was just the most amazing show. I loved everything about it, well actually I had a little moan about one of the costumes but everything else was brilliant. It was made even more fantastic as I didn't know what we were doing and Neil arranged everything.

The rest of the week was more normal, work, kids, cooking etc. but last night we had some friends over for a few drinks. Well it lasted well into the wee small hours and ended up with us doing a search for a missing person, I won't name names but it was a funny end to a great evening.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

Yep, my fortieth birthday and apparently I am supposed to be sad and depressed because I am no longer youthful. Well I hope I'm not disappointing anyone but I feel OK. No depression, no mid life crisis I'm doing just fine thank you very much.

I would like to thank everyone who sent cards, called, emailed, left messages on FB and Twitter and told me in person to have a great day. It's great to now that even from the other side of the world friends who I haven't seen for years still remember and take the time to call.

I had some lovely presents, a gorgeous watch, yummy handmade chocolates, clothes, a book and some gift vouchers plus more to come. No big plans for tonight, family time and a chocolate orange cheesecake which the kids and I made earlier. Then tomorrow Neil has a suprise planned of which I am completely in the dark, it's very exciting. All I know is I have to be ready at 6 and wear something nice!!

Anyway my food will be here shortly, the kids have been at the movies giving me a much appreciated 2 hours of peace and quiet and they should be coming back with takeaway from the local Italian restaurant.

Then it's onto that cheesecake.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Not so yummy sewing

Yesterday started so well, by 10 o'clock I had made four bookmarks, tidied the house, done some laundry and made a train track for the kids. Then I got out my camera and light box and prceeded to take photographs of the new jewellery I have made. Alas my breeze of a day was not to continue.

A couple of weeks ago on a trip to Spotlight Neil saw some ripstop fabric and decided (on the spot) to buy some to make bibs for Evie's football team, which he coaches. I did a bit of a double take, I may even have made a slight mocking scoff and asked him if he was sure and did he know how to do it. He did than typical man thing, shrugged his shoulders and said 'how hard can it be?'. Famous last words me thinks! Yesterday he decided he was going to make them which is where the not so yummy sewing comes in. It turns out he had not a clue, not even an inkling. Didn't know you had to make a simple pattern let alone how to make one, didn't know how to cut the fabric, how to pin or tack and he certainly had no idea how to use a sewing machine.

So I spent a good part of yesterday cutting, pinning and sewing. Now I have a number of sewing projects planned that I would rather have been doing but once again they got put to one side so I could do something I had no interest in. Be a mom anyone? It's a job full of tasks you don't want to do for people who think you can do anything! Which of course you can but really they do take advantage of that don't they?

Well six bibs are now almost finished, just need to do the tabs at the side and then maybe I can get back to my own projects. What are the chances aye?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I have a friend who is Hindu and each year they have a celebration which I believe it is called Raska Bahndan which celebrates the relationship of brothers and sisters. My friend celebrates by giving all the sisters and younger cousins a gift from her husband and son. Last year she asked me to make eighteen bracelets, we worked on a design and I made 18 different bracelets for the occasion. They were a great success apparently and this year she asked me to come up with another idea. I suggested bookmarks and she agreed. Some of the girls are young, four to seven so for them I have decided to make flower bookmarks and instead of using glass I found these cute acrylic beads which I thought would be a safer option for little girls. The first four I made this morning.

So four down, fourteen to go! I may use the same design as I have above with with different colours and styles of beads, I'll let you know how I get on.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

This last week has been filled with sadness for me for various reasons so I have no words to share. Instead I am giving you pictures of places and things that make me smile or have happy memories. I hope you like them.