Wednesday, 28 November 2007

A little blue...

Feeling a bit blue (just a tad don't worry) can sometimes be so inspirational, no?

Beautifully shaped little succulent, vaguely reminiscent of an underwater-anemone...

Pretty sewing-tin, gift from Marg (sigh I miss you)

Tiny sunhat in sweet Japanese print with delicate waterblue and seaweed colors

I'm making sunhats for babies and toddlers again, which I'll sell at the upcoming Craftwerk-fair. As NZ's sun is starting to blaze into the summer our littlest people need protection. The hats are -my trade-mark I guess- fully reversible : feature-fabric on one side, soft denim (in sand, seaweed or nightblue) on the other. I try to make the hats in three sizes : tiny (for a newborn up to 6 months), baby (from six months to 1 year old) and toddy (between 1 and 2), but this is really only indicative because little ones have such different and unpredictable heads! Some (like my daughter Lieveke) have really small heads and fit a 'baby'-hat for a long time (Lieveke is now 20 months). Some kids (like Lieveke's best friend Rufus, aged 2) will need a large toddy size straight away even if they are only 8 months or so...
If you can't make it to the fair but are interested in such a sunhat for your tiny-baby-toddy, just give me a little Email, and I'll gladly make you one.

More sunhats, why else have you a cactus.

I've been neglecting our Etsy-store a bit, certainly not out of want, but just because I've had so many special orders from people here in Auckland and I've been sewing almost every night to finish the orders in time for every-one.
So, I will do a loooooooong awaited Etsy-update on next Monday 3/12/07, with the last of the tree-pinnies (such gorgeous fabric!), new quilted toddler bibs and I hope NEW toddler-dresses in fabulous new prints.

Now something else : Gabriel had some of his art published in the latest Landfall, New Zealand's renowned literary magazine. The photo-reportage -he made it in situ in Korea- depicts desolate city-scapes and streetwise lone objet-trouve's, evoking an almost heart-breaking brittle beauty... Somehow the solemn emptiness (or fulness) of these pictures suggests 'emo-scelettons' or 'soul-scaffolds'. Well, that's what I see anyway...

Gabriel has also been reworking one of his films. Aucklantis is a video-piece, shot witha hand held camera and with Gabe as sole actor-performer, musing 'Homericly' through his habitat Auckland and 'high-lighting' or 'up-lifting' the every day into the sublime... Aiiii that sounds so pompous but truly it is quite a simple and gripping film and VERY funny. We had a screening of it yesterday and the reactions were so warm! I made DVD-cases to sell the film in, together with a booklet with transcripts of his monologues (poems if you like) and they sold out!


-do you know 'Hable con Ella'? Pedro Almodovar's exquisite film? It must be one of my favorites. the way Almodovar rhymes the harshness of reality in loss and self-destruction (thanathos) with that other essence of life : passion (eros) and this through humor paired with themes like travesty and art - oh tragicomedy in the classical sense, it renders me quiet and thankful of... Of everything! I've the CD with the film-score playing right now. Here, please listen to Gaetano Veloso's sweet 'Paloma'.

-Domino sugar plant - @ 2 or 3 things I know

-And the above photo comes from a true jewel to add to our 'inspiration'-trove of blogs : '2 or 3 things I know' !!! I really admire everything this woman writes so well about (hmm blush. But really, all of it, she's just done a clever post on Antonioni too!). So beautiful, such interesting and erudite links and such sense of balance in the composition of image and text. Thank you, Lee!
-And just for smiles, this thing is plonked on top of the bombastic building that houses Palais the Tokyo at the back of place Trocadero in Paris : 'hotel Everland'. Great installation fun! I can just hear people thinking : 'but, is it real?' 'but, is that art?' 'but, how can we get there?' 'Can one make a reservation?'. Love it.

Till soon, for now X

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

into the sea

Luke took the digital camera to work today, so I can't yet show you pictures of our new home. I instead I take you to another place of intrigue: the sea.

can you tell that I have been inspired by our new ANEMONE look?

Here is the set together. want to make it yours? click this

I made these collage cards from the book Strange Animals and Plants of the Ocean from the TIME LIFE's Golden Tree of Knowledge Series. 1958.

I made a few other cards too but these are not going to be put together as a set.

Other than that, there is nothing like waking up in a new place and knowing that its fully yours.
It makes the mortgage, extra taxes/rates, insurance, and added responsibility, all worth it.

And I truly love the new apartment, It possesses everything that was great about our last place (the vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, stainless steel kitchen) only its better, bigger, and full of natural light. Maybe I should explain that the apartment we bought is in the same building we had been renting in for over a year. Perhaps I already mentioned this (?) but we literally moved just upstairs.

soon I will take you on a virtual tour of my favourite parts, I am most excited about my craft alcove studio and my urban garden.

till later!

Friday, 16 November 2007

Sunny nook and other treasures

A very generous grandma asked me to make skirts for all her 5 granddaughters. For the little ones I made some tweety skirts. For the older ones, aged 3 and 5, I made wide falling long bright flowered skirts with retro rims. I'll call them 'sunny nook' skirts, because they have that happy feel to them. I'd never made skirts for older girls before -everything is sort of made up as Lieveke grows- and it was challenging to develop a new pattern based on a few notes in a measurement chart! But I'm quite chuffed with the results...

for Indie

for Georgie

Lieveke and I have been doing some 'sticking' (fabric bits) and 'drawing' (pencil-marks) this morning.

We've also been dancing to some P J Harvey. Her music (yup I am a devotee, I just find her a great soul and such a true woman!) is very rythmical and Lieveke really likes that. This song 'under the ether' is so beautiful... I like to think it's about Kimberlee's grandmother who recently passed away. "... the woman beside me is holding my hand... you are my kindness..." and it's just lovely how Lieveke rocks her little bottom to the softness of the tune.

I glanced at a few outstanding blogs recently and would like to share some of the prettiness :

Ashley Rose Helvey - aaaah wonderful felted dress

Tummy-ache : showing oh dear Corinne Rietveld-rings

Ah_Yi : oooooh featuring more yum dresses by Mint designs

Seeing as we're doing a blog-face lift I'll save those special sites in a new treasure box under the heading 'inspiration' in the left hand column of our blog.

Enjoy the weekend and happy moving to you Kimberlee X

Thursday, 15 November 2007

because packing is ugly

I just had to make something that was (hopefully) not ugly. So I made some changes to the blog, like the new look?

okay back to the ugly.....

and these are just our books!

If I move everything from on top of my desk to under my desk, does that count as packing?

Our Japanese style bed is not living up to its minimalistic expectations.

Tomorrow is the big day! We can probably start moving in around noon after the real estate agent 'releases the keys' to us (doesn't that sound overly ceremonial? like the Olympic torch might go running past as trumpets sound... I swear this is what they call it here).

The people who had to move out of our (soon to be) place wanted to stay, so I felt a bit strange being part of their forced exodus. However, any feelings of guilt were washed away when I saw the mess they left in the communal rubbish room. Boxes and bags of rubbish were just stuffed in there, along with tons of junk that you can't/shouldn't just put in the trash, like a metal bed frames, broken chairs, bent fencing pieces, plastic bins etc. And the cleaning woman who works in our building is 65 and she'll be the one left with the mess. Nice one guys.

What ever happened to thinking of others?

alright, this is starting to sound a lot like complaining which means I should go do something else... like packing.


Wednesday, 14 November 2007


Well I am very happy to announce the winners of our wee giveaway....
I drew the names out of a hat so it was completely fair :)


I was so happy to be able to award both a long time blog friend and a very new one. I will be sending these cards out to you as soon as possible (I will email you to get details)

Thanks so much, this was fun for me. And it's true, it is better to give than receive.

Lately I have been trying to get so much done for our move (THIS FRIDAY) but really have just been starting things, then getting distracted by something more urgent so then I start something else until I get distracted by something more urgent.... this cycle repeats until I think, "I need a break, let's blog".

One thing I did managed to finish was these new cards. I am putting them together in two sets of four because I can't bear to split them up. They are collaged from a time life book on birds from the early 60s (i can't believe I had the gumption/audacity to cut it up) and a book on Nylon flowers (making them from old stockings then arranging them) from 1978.

I will put them in the shop, because I really want them to stay together (at our stall I only sell them separately)

Thanks again for all your comments, I just can't seem to say that enough. I still haven't figured out how to reply to a comment directly via email and I am not sure if that option is available in blogger. So the short if it is, I am sorry I can't email an individual response to your comments, I would like to. The long of it is, I am considering switching to another blog host, like wordpress or typepad, so that we are able to do so. This is just a little thing in the back of my mind right now, I have to move apartments first so virtual space shifting will have to wait for now. any thoughts, recommendations, etc?

okay better go pack or something


Monday, 12 November 2007

bag happy

made from sturdy dark denim

I have been sewing these bags like crazy lately and it has been such fun. Of the few patterns I have developed, this one is my very best, which is probably why I can't stop making them:) Lots of birthday's have cropped up recently, and I have been giving these away as gifts. The response has been good, which is probably another reason why I am still can't stop making them.
the lining, compliments of Helen:) thanks. Its some type of vintage linen or barkcloth material

possibilities for reversing

I am still heeing and hawing about whether or not to put them in our etsy shop. I have purple floral one left and enough fabric to make another denim one (both like in the pictures), so I will have to think about it some more.

*update: I did put them in the shop because why not give it a try, right? you can see more pictures here and here.

Nikki and I are doing a swap,(just look at the hoodie I am getting for my niece) I have reserved the denim bag for her (or would you rather have the purple one, its up to you!) and I will make some more for craftwerk. Anyway, feedback welcome... maybe it's just me who is chuffed with these bags? sometimes it's like that. :)

cotton barkcloth. I can't get enough of this fabric, and I mean that literally. I bought some in green and then went back to world fabric and it had gone. So Kate, you got the last of it for your bag :) luckily they had some purple left and I may have to go back and buy what's left.

I took most of these photos myself but when Luke saw the one's I took of myself holding the bag, which included the mirror and a digital camera in the shot, he said "no. no. no. Let me help you" that's what happens when your husband is a designer :) He took a bunch of great photos but I couldn't fit them all in. above are just a few. I shall put the rest on my flickr. (yes I have one of those accounts too)

Just a reminder that the give away is still on (see last post) and I draw the names tomorrow. I would hate for interested people to miss out.

Happy Monday,

Friday, 9 November 2007


The Morepork or Ruru: the little bush owl is one of New Zealand's best know birds. In the suburban gardens and in the depths of the forest this night hunter is equally at home. It's food consists mainly of rats, mice, moths, and other insects. It nests in hollow trees. -from Native Birds by Charles Masefield 1948

White Heron: one of the rares of the New Zealand birds, the White Heron, haunts the quietude of some sheltered lake or lagoon. It is among the strictly protected of our feathered denizen and has always been regarded by the Maori people with superstitious feelings. It is as graceful in flight as on the ground. -from Native Birds by Charles Masefield 1948

The Fantail: One of the daintiest of our New Zealand birds, the fantail may be found in shrubberies and gardens as well as throughout the forests of the country. It's unusual call is a sweet-toned chirping, occasionally changing to cheerful song as, with tail spread, it flits from branch to branch in search of tiny insects. -from Native Birds by Charles Masefield 1948

we really like having a blog
we like that people read our blog
we really like the people that read out blog
we appreciate your comments
we appreciate your support of our shop

Its high time for a GIVE AWAY

I made some cards this week from some of my illustrations of native NZ birds, (of course these are my interpretations and I have embellished quite a bit :) Each pack includes 2 cards of each bird (six total) and comes with envelopes. The cards are blank inside.

Those who are interested, just leave a comment. I will draw two winners on this Tuesday night, the 13th of Nov (NZ time). If the winners also want to get something from the shop, we'll ship that to you for free (but let us know so we can take the charges off for you:) .

Thanks very much to everyone who left a comment about my last post, I appreciate your support a lot and that is also one of the reasons I wanted to do a give away.

The funeral is tomorrow and my entire family will be there. Since I am the only grandchild who can't make it, my parents called me today from my grandpa's house where all my relatives had gathered for 'supper'. I was able to talk to my dad, who practiced his eulogy and read the order of service to me, and I talked to my grandfather a little bit, my mom, my sister, and one of my cousins. This made me feel better but also more sad about not being there.

thanks again for all your care.


PS I know this only a small give away but we will do a bigger one next month for our blogiversary, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

paper dolls

This weekend I got the unexpected news from the states. My mom rang to say my grandmother had suddenly slipped into an unresponsive, coma-like state and wasn't expected to live past the weekend. Just a a few hours after that call, she passed away.

My grandma suffered from Alzheimer's so losing her was a gradual process. Last time I visited her, she didn't know who I was and was often frightened and confused. But I don't want to think about her illness now, because as my dad said, "she had 80 great years, and five not so great years".

My grandmother was excellent at drawing and is credited to be root of all artistic talent in my family. As a child I was in awe of her abilities. She had a talent for rendering, and though I didn't know that word at the time, I loved to watch her turn a blank sheet of paper into something that looked so real. She used to sit down at the kitchen table with me and create the most fabulous 1950's style paper dolls and I would colour them and cut them out. Secretly I wasn't that interested in having paper dolls, I just wanted to watch her draw.

This cutie sweet fifties girl is something my grandma would have drawn for me during one of our paper doll sessions. -in memory of my Grandmother and the times we spent together.

There are many more childhood memories. She helped me with my reading, cooked me eggs (I was and still am an egg fiend), arranged games for us grandkids with prizes for the winners, helped create 'make-believe' scenarios for us to act out, and kept her children's toy's from the 1950's for us to play with. She also made me a porcelain doll with hair and eyes to match my own, I still have this doll and plan to pass it down in my own family.

She was a pretty special grandma and it's hard for me to say goodbye all the way from NZ. The rest of my family is gathering in Wisconsin for her funeral but I can't make it out there.

What I've been doing instead: going to the beach and eating muffins (thanks em), talking with friends, chilling at home with Luke, crafting, eating eggs, and drawing. These things help.


Friday, 2 November 2007

Tree pinnies

I made new pinafores for M, a very good (thank-u-again!) client of our Etsy shop. I enjoyed working with this utterly beautiful Japanese tree fabric and finding the right other fabrics to combine with it. Lieveke gives the dresses such a lively dash of joy...

I'll (soon-ish) add a few more little dresses in these fabrics to the shop, because they're so lovely. I've put one aside for my littlest niece in Belgium, as a Christmas present. I'm now going to put my sewing machine away for a short while,to spend some time with my little family.
Have a wonderful weekend.