Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tree huggers...

Not the 'save the trees from logging' kind of tree hugger, more the.... keep it warm and stylishly fabulous type tree hugger, made by Mum and the Ladies in the Manly craft group up north.

Inspired by Van Gogh's 'Starry Starry Night', is this fabulous piece of work that fits in perfectly with my tree challenge. T'was not there intention to make such amazing work for my wee challenge, just a timely creation really, that fits in with my theme.

This piece is part of the exhibition called Jumpers and Jazz. An exciting event where the streets are filled with jazz and the town center in Warwick Qld, has all it's tree's dressed up for 10 days from the 21st July onwards.

A previous years entry by the Federal Kids Zone After School Care.
Image via Jumpers and Jazz.

The festival ends on Sunday with 'picnic in the park' an event with craft markets, music, food and wine. I was lucky enough to be up there a few years back for the event and grabbed some great handmade goodies on a beautiful sun shining day.

A fun example of Yarn bombing at the festival.
Image via Jumpers and Jazz

Such a great idea for the crafty community to display there many talents.
Thanks for joining in Mum.
Jay xx

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tree challenge complete...

I got to the end of July and actually finished something.
Well I tend to finish lots of things, but when it's work related it sorta doesn't count. Work is a given, that has to be completed.

Everything else, I find far too easy to push to the side so I can focus on work...

Hence my need to have a monthly challenge that is aside from all that and just a bit of fun.
Sometimes it may end up being something I fine tune and make for the shop, but my aim is purely to explore, shape, color, texture, form and something new.

So, all that said and done, I have finished my tree offering for the 'July monthly design challenge'

They look so pretty, all in a bunch.

I had completed the bases yesterday and took two into the workshop today for some metal!

After a bit of cutting, gluing and overzealous hammering to squash my rivets in... I finished these two.

One with a silver trunk and one with a copper surround. Sadly I buggered the copper one. I was hammering my rivet in and the resin cracked. But in doing so I learnt that my best plan of attack would be to apply my metal to the base, then do my resin pour....Live and learn.

It was all a very organic process, so I didn't really have any plans to go by, just wingin' it.

Upon reflection I decided I liked the pine better to work with. I needed to apply my fabric or paper with sealer...wait 24 hours like I'm supposed to... cut and apply metal shapes, then resin pour to finish, oh and possibly use a resin that sets flat rather then the doming epoxy resin I have on hand.

So I may have attacked it all in a backward fashion, lacking patience and forethought, but....I got there in the end. I do sometimes think it's better to work things through in a practical hands on manner, rather then just thinking...and thinking...and thinking of how to begin.
I'm the queen of thinking too much and never getting around to it, so I'm trying to change that a bit and just jump in there. Gets results.....eventually. And the journey is more fun!

I do love the wood exposed as the tree trunk and the silver trunk too, so I might just play a little more, to create some wearable pieces.

Once you start experimenting, the options become endless.

Thanks for reading along and if you do end up with something treeish on your craft table, make sure to let me know so I can share it on here too.

Tomorrow, I have to show you the most awesome challenge piece that my mum came up with.
'Crafting disease' is definitely genetic.
Jay xx

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Progress...always a good thing!

I made some great progress on my tree challenge piece over the weekend.

Firstly, I decided on a shape and went shopping for some wood to use as a base.

I wasn't really sure what wood would work best, so I got a few to experiment with.

After some tracing and cutting...

and possibly a little wine on the side, I was ready to figure out step two.

How to dress my tree.

I knew i wanted to use scrap booking papers under resin, just not entirely sure how.
So I did up a few prototypes in different looks to figure it out.

I do love the ones with just the wood showing through as the trunk and the leaf part as paper. But I'm still going to follow through on my original sketch of using metal in there too.

So off I go to the workshop tomorrow to give two of them a metal makeover.
Fingers crossed.

Looks like I might even be finished by end of July.
Jay xx

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tree's on the mind...

As a new fan and possible addict of Pinterest, I have ...of course used it as a place to collect tree inspired images for the July monthly design challenge.

These are some of the beauties I have found.
Apple tree brooch: by Daniellieorama

Tree fabric: By Saffron Craig.

Birds in a tree via : Dazzlexhibitions

For more inspiration, check out the rest over here on my Pinterest tree page.

So far, I've been sketching ideas for a brooch.

Something with fabric and metal I think and thanks to the lovely Divajools aka Sue, I found a place to get some copper and brass to use in my peice too.

I Will be finalizing the design over the weekend and sitting down at the bench on Monday to get started.

Starting on July 26th and hoping to finish by July 31st....of course!
Hope you find time to join in too.
Jay xx

Monday, July 18, 2011

Resin bracelts..

Finally got around to doing some resin bracelets.

They turned out so well.

I decided to continue with tin packaging, like I use on my other resin pieces.

Gives it a more modern feel I think and of course I love the versatility of being able to reuse them for storage too.

Too cute.
Jay xx

Will be available at Olive Grove as of today and uploaded on my 'Finki range' page for more info.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

New jools..

I'm back in my jewellery making phase after spending probably a wee bit too long at the machines.
I tend to do 2 months sewing, 2 months accessories and jewels, then back and forth, back and forth...with the occasional deviation thrown in of making stools, stationary or drawing.
Seems to be a system that works well, so that I can keep on top of things and keep the store stocked with new and exciting stuff year round.

So to jump back in to my jewellery phase I have done a batch of resin rings and pendants.

These ones were made by embedding images from recycled gift wrap,
old books and scrap booking papers.

For the most part I like to use my own graphic designs under resin, but couldn't resist adding a small range that included some of the cool images I've been collecting.

Hoping to get back on the bench once school holidays is finished to whip up some sterling silver designs. Possibly something towards my 'tree challenge'.

I'd love to include brass or copper.
Does any one know where I could buy it in sheet form?
Wish me luck,
Jay xx

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Polly want a cracker..

Nope, Polly wants to be a part of your new project.
Knitting project that is!

Befuddled... let me explain.

I was perusing the lovely array of colors in the wool isle down at my local Lincraft and came across something called 'Polly'. Tis a new ball of fiber made of polyester.
'Interesting' ...thought I.

The color range was awesome and price fair, so I put in a call to trusted fiber expert ... MUM, to see what this new stuff was.

Being the yarn guru, she had already heard of it and given it a whirl burl on the machine. Machine says no...unfortunately, to loosely woven to play nicely with the knitting machine. I couldn't resist the urge to buy pretty colors though so got some for a try on the old crochet stick.
The red is vibrant and the green is not like any other green I've seen there, so I grabbed those and a few purples, pinks and blues to try.

It does seem to look and feel thinner when made up. But that little gauge thingy on the side says it should knit up a 10 cm piece on same size needles, with the same amount of stitches as the 8ply 'Superwash', which is 100% wool.

My latest completed scarf alongside the new pink and navy squares in 'Polly'.

I have used a white in the 'Superwash' wool alongside a navy and pink 'Polly' and you can tell the difference that's for sure. But it's not highly unpleasant and I'm no snob when it comes to Yarn.

Wool, acrylic, silk or Cotton. They each have there own appeal and for me the appeal of 'Polly' is the awesome color range.

Whats you favorite product to knit or crochet with?
Jay xx

I've finished some new gloves and resin jools, just click on my 'Finki range' tab, up top for a sticky beak and don't forget to keep you're thinking caps on tree's for this months challenge. I've almost made up my mind what I'll make.
Jewellery or skirt, that's my dilemma.
Catch yah soon.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Gotta love granny squares..

...and they way they unfold.

I never can predict the out come when I throw a few fun colors together. But so far so good.

This time I did them as scarves instead of cushions...

Twice as many squares required so they take twice as long to make, but they be so pretty that I shall forgive them for taking hours on the couch to produce.
Sometimes I just gotta do something cause its fun, a deviation from my usual craft.
...and it gives me reason to lose myself in the wool isle at spotty.

Ahhh all them pretty colors...

Jay xx

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Monthly design challenge...

Boy it's been ages...

Ages since I put a design challenge out for all to play.
To be honest, life took over for a bit there and didn't seem to allow me much play time.
I have learnt though, that all work and no play ... is no fun.

So I am bringing back the monthly design challenge.

This time though...the rules are a little different.

Well, everything will stay the same, except for the method used to choose topics. No more names in a hat or random org selection. Nah, this time I'll be choosing the themes.
Just exploring stuff one subject at a time and if you wanna play too, you can.

Of course this is not limited to those who sew, knit or make jewellery.
Any one...any crafty hearted soul is welcome to join in.

If the months theme inspires you, then make anything you like, interpreted or inspired any which way you choose. You can send me pics or links to your blog post when you're done and I'll share them with everyone here.

The aim of the game for me, is to explore one subject at a time and hopefully get to the end of the year having done more then zero. Make sense...probably not.
What I mean is, sometimes my head is so full of ideas, that I don't know where to start. So I spend too much time in la la land thinking of all these cool things to do and never do any of them.

My aim is to do them all, one by one.
The only way to go really.

Being specific about the topic as a starting point, then giving myself a time frame to let ideas flourish and come to fruition.

Ideas, thoughts and wonderful plans are there to be explored, shared and appreciated by all.

So come on, join in and share with me the crafty things you come up with each month when given the time to take a topic and create to your hearts content.

To get started, I choose for the month of July 2011....

A Tree.

Small or big, green or brown, plentiful in season or baron and bare, it's bark, its leaf, it's silhouette.
The smell you think of or the color palette it presents, solitary or as a forest.
You choose how it's represented, you choose how it inspires you.

I'm thinking applique or silver shapes. Not sure really, but at least I have a starting point for some creative fun, once more.

Come play too.
Jay xx

P.S see the original post here and get your blog button too so others know you're playing along.

More winter woollies...

Some new vests...


and skirts for the shop.

Keeping me busy..
But expanding my wardrobe and keeping me warm too, so it's all good.

Need more info, Just check my products page.
Jay xx