Monday, 27 October 2014

Afterwards - and thanks

Having a well-earned beer after putting together a cape and 100 handmade flowers. The exhibition was amazing - there are some seriously talented people out there and I really hope those of you who participated keep at it (those of you who aren't pros already, that is). I almost felt embarrassed with my offering, which is much more functional than artistic. Indeed, I was surprised by the emphasis on art over functionality and a discussion ensued in our household as to why this is the case. Do people not make stuff any more? Have we divorced art from the functional and left art to elites? I have no idea.

The exhibition and an interview with Emma were on the news (here, at 23.50). The fabulous cape had its 0.5 seconds of fame (early in the item). A HUGE thank you to Emma for organising it all. Now that I see how much goes into it, If I do it again next year I'll offer to volunteer (I can hand out beer and orange juice as well as anyone).

I featured a number of other artists during the duration of the project and it was fabulous to see so many of them in the flesh. The website is good but there's nothing like seeing people's work up close. To everyone who finished, congratulations and maybe we'll see you next year (if there is a next year). And till then, au revoir.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Day 99: last but one

Well one plus the one I fatally wounded tonight by cutting accidentally.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Day 98: sewing them on

A process proving to be more painful and time-consuming than making the wretched things.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Day 96: Winkle

Running late tonight because we had to take this guy to the vet. Who couldn't find anything wrong but charged a bunch anyway.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Day 95: quince

Here's our beautiful quince tree in full spring blossom. Poor thing got transplanted during the drought a couple of years ago and sulked thereafter. But this year there's been some rain and it's looking much happier with the world. Quince jelly...mmmmmmmm.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Day 94: buttonholes

The day I have been dreading - buttonhole day. I had it all planned, though: I was going to do those funky keyhole buttonholes that I can now do with my fancy embroidery machine. 

Except...that the buttons required a 4cm buttonhole and the maximum size the machine is capable of is 28mm. So onto Plan B: do them on the straight sewer. Except...the buttonhole foot for this machine is even smaller.

So this necessitated a rethink and I ended up doing them on the old machine, without the buttonhole foot to guide the fabric. In a lame attempt to add some zing - any zing would do - I used some Goliath thread as a gimp thread to give the buttonhole a bit of a lift.
So it ended up being a hand-guided buttonhole while trying to work a double layer of heavy fabric and making sure the narrow buttonhole stitch went over the Goliath thread. Plus I have a history of stuffing up buttonholes. What could go wrong? Quite a lot but in this case it didn't. 

Now all that remains is sewing on another 95 flowers and hemming the whole shebang up so no one can see the mistakes!


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Day 93: the final countdown

Started stitching the flowers on. The blue ones to start with because there's fewer of them and I have some cool sparkley things I can use. The flowers are just anchored down with a few beads but with 100 flowers that's still quite a bit of additional weight (and the thing already weighs a bunch).

Friday, 10 October 2014

Day 92: flowers ahoy!

Here's the flowers pinned on. There's a couple of minor details like the buttons and buttonholes to do but after that it's chocs away! It looks better in real life than the photo, I'm happy to report.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Day 91: ready to start attaching those pesky flowers

The front panel has been hemmed and topstitched so now it all just needs a press and the flowers can get pinned and sewn on. It's not really the naff orange colour of the photo, by the way.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Day 90: peacherine

Flowers from our peacherine. This tree is by far the best of all our fruit trees - by the end of summer we're so sick of peacherines we let them rot on the ground. It pains me because, as my Mother's daughter, I hate to see food go to waste. Maybe ice-cream or a winter treat this year?

Monday, 6 October 2014

Day 88: other projects

Today i thought I'd look at a couple of other peoples' projects. First up Gina who is doing 100 faces. They're way clever and there's a mix of the serious and the quirky. Here's a fortune teller, or Baba Yaga. Or the lady that sells weird jewellery at the local market.

And for something less exotic, one of Maggie's drawings. This is a tui singing in the kowhai. We have tuis that sing in the big oak tree near us, and one with a gammie wing that eats the chook food. Sing your heart out, little tui!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Day 87: almost there

Cape mostly completed - collar stitched on and lining sewn in. Now just need to stitch 100 flowers on by hand between now and the exhibition, sew on the flaps, hem, and topstitch the front. No. Sweat. (I still have no idea if this will look OK or a complete mess.)

And just for a change of pace, here's another picture of Ruby, tucked up next to her Mum. All dogs love this. Here's a shout out for all the chained dogs in the world that don't get to tuck up next to anything even though they desperately want to.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Friday, 3 October 2014

Day 85: collar

Today's effort shows some slight forward progess on the cape - the collar is now pinned to the cape and facing. I have decided against trying to sew it on tonight because wine and difficult sewing are not compatible - in my experience. So I will leave evidence of having achieved something and bid you all goodnight.

PS Here is another of DianeRuth's cartoons. This is dedicated to our cat Rocket who, although small, knows for certain that he is a lion. At least in the fourth dimension.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Day 84: out of gas

I did my flower this afternoon before I went out but now I'm back and it's late and I want to get the spare cat out of the cold and go to bed.

In the meantime, here's a picture from DianeRuth's project. This is "An evolving exercise in telling a story of a walk, through drawing." We quite like the sly dig of "Art lunch in the leafy suburbs":

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Day 83: cape progress and a casual jacket

The reason it is good practice to keep the right side of the fabric to the inside when cutting out is that if you don't get to sew the garment for, say, a couple of years, and in the meantime the cat sleeps on it and someone spills something on it that washes out with neither water nor nail polish, then it's all on the wrong side.

And how come, when you do something you give a shit about everything goes wrong, but when you make a top out of polar fleece someone gave you, it all goes smoothly except for the bit at the very end when you run out of bobbin thread? Truly it is a mystery.

I tried to photo the top but all I got was a red mess. So here is a nice embroidered dress from the Oscar de la Renta 2015 Spring collection instead.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Day 82: shout out to my Mum

I've been a bit busy today, and although I've done my flower I've not done anything else even mildly interesting. So this is a shout out for my Mum, who hasn't been well of late.

My mother has forgotten more about sewing, patterns, knitting and embroidery than most of us will ever know. I remember her sewing to make money for the family when I was a wee nipper. I was never interested until I was about 15 and asked her to make me a top and she said 'make it yourself'. So I did. it was a shirt with double contrast top-stitching. What was I thinking?? Since then there have been more disasters than successes, I'm sorry to say.

Mum used to sell stuff in a market that was where the downtown carpark now is. After that she opened a shop. This was just on the cusp of New Zealand's Great Economic Downturn (in my view there has only been one and we're still in it) and while the shop did OK for a while it gradually got more difficult and eventually it closed. These days there are almost no small independent clothes/shoes/knick-knack shops in the suburbs: big box stores with super cheap imports have squeezed most of them out. Us Kiwis do like our cheap shit.

Soon thereafter she started quilting, and that led to embroidery work and dying, and now she is moving on to beading. We both love beads and colours and patterns so I am encougaing her to make a beaded waistcoat. Maybe like this:

In the meantime, stuck away in a cupboard somewhere are Mum's grandmother's lace tatting set and whalebone needles that are, I am told, so worn the bone has worn through to the metal core.

Get well soon, Mum. We need to go for lunch with Miss Dana.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Day 80: 80% there!

Today I did the collar. It's a 2-piece collar and unless you sew a lot more collars and have had a lot more practice then me, they're always time-consuming. Especially when you have one of those days when everything needs to be picked apart at least once. The time factor is added to when the unpicking is through 5 layers of heavy wool fabric. Anyway, it's done and now we can get on with the next bit. Here it is in its glory. I was dubious but my Japanese  friend - whose Dad is a genuine proper tailor schooled in the old way only the Japanese know how - says it looks good so that's good enough for me.

Here's those tricky (time consuming) clips that make the collar sit properly. This process is assisted greatly by a pair of good scissors. Do NOT attempt this with a pair of paper scissors you got from the $2 Shop. (If you're in the market for a pair of good scissors Stitch 'n' Craft in Papatoetoe have what appear to be some re-branded Finney's at the moment. They're not cheap but you get what you pay for. And no, I'm not getting paid to say this.)

Today we found Carol's project (so many awesome projects, so little time!!). Carol''s project is to "draw one page of a storybook each day, using two sizes of black Sharpie pen." No planning, just draw. The result is a charming story about the unlikely adventures of Larry and Rufus which are not yet over. Here's a sliver of the story we like. In our neighbourhood if we walk the dogs we get bailed up by kids asking 'do they fight?'; 'are they a boy and a girl?'; 'will they have puppies?' and so forth. It's entertaining as long as you're not in a hurry.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Day 79: more repair work

Because it's more interesting than another flower.

These are just cheap dyed freshwater pearls I got for another project that flopped. I don't so much design as chuck bits together to see how it works out. Often badly, as it transpires. So while I was in the groove I thought I'd rethread the pearls onto a necklace on their own. The seed beads between the few pearls at the back are just to give a shade more length. When I went looking for a clasp I couldn't find one. So I got the heavy copper wire I salvaged from..where??...and have attempted to make my own. It's hard to find good findings, and many of them are made from metal clay so they're quite brittle.  My next 100 day project is to make ear wires, clasps and jump rings and learn how to solder the gaps up so they look tidy. In the meantime this looks OK. Not spectacular, but OK.

And here's two pairs of earrings repaired. The black ones, one of the black beads fell off and I thought it had been lost forever. Not so. The dog found it. Suffice to say I found it thereafter by accident and it has since been thoroughly cleaned. The other pair has just been made up. The beads are Czech and I've teamed them with a red/brown Gutermann bead. They've come up OK - again, not great but they'll pass in dreary old Auckland.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Day 78: repair jobs

Having done the daily flower (sort of like the daily growl but livelier) I had a bit of spare time so I thought I'd do some necklace repairs for something different.

The first is a clam-shell necklace. The clams are quite fragile, and this one's predecessor had a flaw that meant it broke not long after it was made. Fortunately I found another shell which is a bit thicker and hopefully more robust. The repair entailed winding a couple of bits of heavy-ish copper wire into loops and putting it all together. I suppose I could have used jump rings but I am always surprised by how useless they are. Do you see Harry Winston using copper-plated jump rings to put his expensive baubles together? I think not.

The next was a minor repair on a necklace I made in a bead shop in some small Canadian town in BC. The shop in question had some cool stuff (and I wish I'd bought more of it). When I asked how come, the woman who owned the shop said "oh my husband is from Africa." Because Africa's a country, right? Anyway, this is some trade beads along with some fake copper beads (probably metal clay) and some handmade pottery beads.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Day 77: our dog

I'm bored with flowers and haven't made any progress on the cape so here's a photo of my dog instead.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Day 76: another batch

Cut out, rinsed, and drying by the fire.

Tonight we came across Hally's 100 Things. They're cute little critters (they're not really very creepy) and one of them looks like Hunter S Thompson (which works for us). The picture shown is the Grim Reaper asking for a hug. Too cute!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Day 75: plum blossoms

Today the first plum blossoms of spring peeked out into the southerly that's been blasting us for the last couple of days. Welcome, and here's hoping you don't get blown away!

(PS I didn't take this photo - sad to say it's way too good for me.)

Monday, 22 September 2014

Day 74: and more and more

All I've done today is play around with the hue and contrast of the photo in photoshop. A 5 year old could do it. Actually a 5 year old could probably do it better.

Today I will show a drawing from Lucy's project. This is Lucy's second go at the 100 days project, and she describes herself as a part-time closet animal artist. We like anything with animals but we especially like this little guy who's apparently called Lionel. Lionel looks like he is questioning the artist's intentions but is hopeful for good news.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Day 73: the week's work

This extraordinarily bad photo (even by my standards) shows two pairs of black trousers and a bunch of flowers.  Not only can a girl not have too many accessories, she almost certainly can't have too many pairs of black trousers.

That's all for now.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Day 72: tricky trouser pocket nailed

Not a work of art but done with most of the wibbles having been pressed out (a good steam iron is a dressmaker's best friend. Well, nearly.) And yes, today's flower was also done.

Today's diversion is something fron Patsy. I'm guessing Patsy is my age, give or take. It does seem that as we get older and perhaps get over some hurdles we may not have anticipated when we were younger, we do reflect more on the past; in this case the sayings of a parent. I have selected the drawing below because as someone who works in the social sector, I often think that the world would be a kinder place if people could think about walking a mile in someone else's shoes. Perhaps for those with a religious bent, the relevant phrase is there but for the grace of God go I.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Day 71: a real flower

Of COURSE I did today's flower. But here's a photo of my confused magnolia (var. Vulcan)  instead. It's a baby tree and it got messed around by the drought and the warm early winter but now it's decided to flower, long after all the other magnolias in the neighbourhood have flowered. 

Enjoy your weekend: I'm off to put my foot up.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Day 70: tricky trouser pocket

Flower completed, I thought I'd start a pair of trousers. I've stopped here because I'm about to make a huge stuff-up because I haven't properly thought through how to do the pocket. Now there's a big hole where there shouldn't be. Oops. Will have another go tomorrow.

That's all for today because time has crept up and it's later than I thought.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Day 69: an older, better cape

From 1934 a Rose Descat cape and outfit drawn by Willuamez, this is an outfit worthy of the name. (PS I did the daily flower, too.)

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Day 68: next steps

The collar and facings. I've registered for the exhibition so the pressure is ON. Oh yeah, and I did today's flower earlier on, too.

Also, we stumbled on this from janine's Flights of Fancy. This reminds me of our house - lots of birds in the trees and lots of green around.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Day 67: oops - and a spare cat

It was always a matter of when not if. Yes, that's right, catching another layer of fabric underneath and sewing two layers. See photo. It won't make any difference, it's just that one flower will be two layers of fabric not one. If you want to go over the whole cape to find it, well you're welcome. 

Also featured tonight is a spare cat we have at our place. We have no idea where he came from but he isn't going anywhere in a hurry. He seems to like stalking the chooks but gets a fright when they squawk and take off. 

Lastly, and for something completely different, here's one of Vicky's paisley patterns. Paisley holds a special place in the hearts of those of us who have a bit of a thing for Liberty cottons, and Vicky has deconstructed the paisley print in a colourful and imaginative way. We love bright colours and we especially like them  here.