Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I just ordered a pair of p
urple Dorothy shoes from The Horse, an Australian maker of organic, foot-conscious shoes. They don't ship to Singapore, so I've had them sent to my parents place in Australia where they await me when I arrive in a few weeks for Christmas. I like both their philosophy and their aesthetic. Many of our shoes don't really care for our feet or our environment. Here's what they say about themselves:

tHe Horse was born out of the praxis-gap of health care & the retail industry.

Disillusioned with blood, syringes & HD appliances, both Scott Hawkes & Gabrielle Glennie founded a friendship upon an ethical & organic vision of highest quality Italian leather for the fashioned gentleman, the discerning lady & the recalcitrant young.

Developing themselves as commited farriers, Gabrielle & Scott began shoeing the public with a prescription leather applied topically to the foot, an innovation taken from scott's research in health care.

However, after careful assessment and both feeling more could be done, Gabrielle complimented Scott’s original model with her own creative eclectic collective; thus producing tHe Horse: organic upholstery for the foot.

Based upon the idea of 'each feet personality',
tHe Horse wears & grooves in smiles & tears as your feet live,
birthing individual character.

I can't wait to see my shoes too, I think I may never take them off!

Card Making

Tracing paper Christmas Trees made by the mr. which I love (both the mr. and the trees!)

Sneak peek at this year's Christmas cards in progress

Its a tradition with me to make my own Christmas cards. I can't possibly buy gifts for everyone (and ensure that its not another white elephant gift thats not used), so I like to give cards. I find handmade ones more special and more personal. Each card is different due to being handmade and I make only a few of each type (as I prefer things to be unique). I like the slightly imperfect quality of the handmade, what the Japanese would call 'wabi sabi'. There is a beauty in that is held because of the flaws, not in-spite of them. I made some of the cards on handmade paper as well, so there really is a sense of making with the cards. In the paper, in the print, the artists hands are visible. Its not like the mass-produced card, where the precision of the machine cut and the sharpness of the printing are evident. The mass-produced is about speed, about minimum effort, a results-oriented product, precision and economics. The handmade is almost counter-cultural (in fact, it is counter-cultural). It makes little sense to spend hours making cards when you can buy them in under a minute. But I find a connection here with slowness. Here are slow cards for a season which should be marked with slowness. Slowness of spending time with family, of lingering over the dinner-table chatting, of making space for reconnection with the spirit.

Reduce Reuse Recycle

I just started a new project which is going to be a skirt made out of two recycled bags. I'm still halfway through unpicking all the seams and sorting them into their respective parts. I've been inspired by all the paper-bag style belted/gathered skirts that I've been seeing online. Its very fortunate that I have two bags as one wouldn't be enough to make a knee-length skirt with a gathered waist. Its also a good use of what were two rather unattractive bags which would otherwise be languishing in a cupboard somewhere. I'm going to use the inner liner as the outside and the outer for the inside as the outside has stitch marks. Plus the inner is lighter and will be 'floofier' (no, that's not really a word, I know) when I wear it. So wait and see. The white dress is in hibernation as I'm not entirely happy with the gathering I've done and I need to unpick some and add some darts and stuff and I've not been in the mood for this patient task.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lighting Show

Our lamp is the orange one, top left.

After a few late nights and an early morning, the mr. and I finished our lamp for the Unidentified Lighting Object submission. It turned out really well and a kind friend brought our lamp when it was auctioned off for charity. We hope someday to make some more for other friends and family. It makes a great childrens night-light with its warm glow and the multi-layer stories. You can watch the video of the interviews with the designers here. The photos above were taken by whiteunit who also took portraits of all the designers. The event was organised by a collective called When Lights Work. Their site has more images including this nice large one where you can see our lamp in more detail.

Mushroom Hunting

Recently this little birdy went shroom-hunting in the night. This picture was captured with only the glow of the streetlamp and a primitive digital camera but it turned out great. I tried to capture this from mouse-eye view and the ever popular rabbit-eye-view. If the angle looks like I was lying on the ground, its because I was!

mouse-eye view of the mushroom

rabbit eye view of the mushroom

Mushrooms make me happy too. I think its because of a childhood filled with stories of fairies and wonderlands where buildings were mushrooms...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Craft Goodies!

As Missus D was leaving she bestowed upon me a bounty of beads, wire and fastenings for making jewelery. This I plan to do soon, I think the little pink bows would make a very nice Christmas present for a few little girls I know (I just need to find some time!). There are a lot of beads though that wont go very far though, as I'm going to make them into some nice things for me!

Missus D was also kind enough to gift me one of her brooches, which is rather cute. I think its Japanese fabric and I really like the button in the centre. It goes nicely with lots of things (hint, hint!), you may want to check out her shop to get your own or maybe one for a friend? :) Its nearly Christmas...

My friend Mein was busy at MAAD (Market of Artists And Designers) recently with her letter press which I got to try on this vintage sketchbook.

I love the quality of the letter press print, the depth of the press really adds another dimension to the image.

A cacophony of greys


I think I brought this because it reminds me of a dress I wore as a very small child

The full Malacca bounty: beads, thread, clasps & cotton

I also forgot to post my Malacca Trip booty. We crafty colleagues chanced upon a couple of craft shops in Malacca and very nearly didn't make it back to the bus! There were many fabric shops, a beads and general crafting shop and a fabulous stationery shop all in the same street near to the Majestic Hotel which is a gorgeous place (and they serve nice cake, and have a really good dayspa!!). I managed to find three different shades of grey crochet thread (of course!), some beads (also grey!), antique brass coloured clasps and some cute cotton fabric.

Now, I just need to find a scrap of time somewhere...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Finished Skirt

The crocheted waistline and button closure

The rolled hem and simple texture

The finished skirt

View of the texture and hem

I finished this skirt a while ago (I've worn it twice already), but forgot to post it up. Its a simple fitted A-line skirt with a rolled hem and a crocheted waist with buttons. The knit pattern adds just a little texture to the skirt for interest, but otherwise, its a very plain and simple skirt. I'm really happy with how it turned out and my experiment in fitting worked out well.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why I don't post every day, or every week for that matter...

Photocopy art

Blue Eggshell I found on my way to my office

My work is often very busy, but is also a source of inspiration. Though most days don't leave me time to sit down, let alone make things, I'm still constantly thinking of new ideas and finding new possibilities in that which surrounds me. Having 5 minutes after doing some photocopying, I considered the possibility of the photocopier in front of me. After experimenting over a few sheets, I found I was able to create multiple mirror images, stretch text and make things disappear. The potential for this machine of the office, is exciting. Then there was the eggshell I found on my way from the carpark to my office. The colour is so beautiful, so bright and so lovely. The colour alone is inspiration enough to want to get to making things. Which brings me to the busyness. Below was my yesterday for contemplation:

6:40 wake up, prise eyes open, get ready for work
7:56 leave for work
8:30 arrive at work, pick up eggshell
8:35 photograph eggshell while waiting for computer to start up
8:40-8:50 check emails
8:50 Roll call for critique, arrange furniture, take attendance again (88 students, takes a while)
9-11:20 Critique
11:20-11:35 answer students questions
11:35-11:45 run upstairs to eat lunch, answer questions about crochet from my collegue
1150 - Roll call for critique again, take attendance again
12- 2:10 Critique
2:10-2:20 check emails again, photograph students work for web
2:20 Roll call for critique again! talk to students
2:30 - 4:20 Critique
4:20-4:50 answer students questions
4:50 - 6:15 reply to all those emails, imput attendance data into system
6:20 finally leave work, only to be stuck in a traffic jam
7:15 arrive home, wash up, chuck bag inside, greet husband
7:25 leave for dinner appointment (luckily just around the corner)
7:30 - 10:15 dinner at friends place
10:20 head home, get ready for sleep
10:30 fall asleep pretty much instantaneously!

wake up, repeat.

(for those of you who don't know, critique is what we have in design school in place of exams - students have time to present their work to a panel of lecturers and guests from practice who examine the student's designs and the students have to explain their work)