Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Inspiration for Creative Women

The Creative Women's Circle was established in Melbourne in late 2004 to bring together women working in creative industries and establishing small businesses, in order to share information, inspiration and ideas. I was lucky enough to hold that first meeting of like minded and talented women in my home. Since then the group has enjoyed hearing the experiences of many Melbourne based creative women.
Graphic Designer Tess McCabe is now holding the reins of this baby, and she has organised the first gathering for 2009 to be held this Saturday in Melbourne, the details are as follows:

10am - 12pm
Saturday 4th April
Guildford Lane Gallery, Melbourne City

The speaker is Lucy Feagins, who is a props buyer and set dresser in the film industry (sounds like loads of fun!) and writes a popular blog called The Design Files. Lucy will be discussing how creative people can promote themselves online.

Seating is limited so please RSVP if you would like to attend to tess(at)tessmccabe.com.au

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lets go shopping!

My talented friend Emma, of Emerge creations, has opened an online "shoppe" where you can purchase some of her fine wares. Emma is a designer/maker who is trained as a shoemaker (impressive, I know) and makes wonderful accessories using, amongst other things, her fine skills in crochet and leather making.

I always have to admire Emma's eye for colour and her attention to fine detail, obviously acquired through all that skill applied to shoemaking. The result of all this skill and being so pedantic is beautifully made products, that also happen to be street cred cool. Have I talked her up enough??

Take a look at Emma's shoppe here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Play dough memories

I recall spending hours making "spaghetti hair" from my Mum's garlic press and a ball of home made playdough. And putting special requests in for colours whenever our nagging for a new ball of dough was acted upon!

Yesterday I made darling son a new batch, I keep trying to mix the colours but not having much success. This time I tried for purple, but it didn't look very appealing. So threw in a bit more blue and actually got this rather nice dusky blue colour.......

For some reason he is not particularly fond of the texture so he's reluctant to do much except try eating it....and emptying out the bucket of playdough toys onto the floor.

Anyway for your (or your kids) pleasure here is my Mum's recipe for homemade playdough:

1/2 cup salt
1 cup plain flour
2 tbs cream of tartar
Mix dry ingredients in a saucepan. Then add:
1 cup water
1 tbs oil
food colouring in your desired colour
Stir over medium heat until the right consistency (takes about 3-5minutes). Don't worry about the lumps, just keep stirring (a bit of hard work but great for the biceps).
Store in an airtight container.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Upcycling.......the new Trash vs Treasure

I can remember donating stuff for our primary school's "Trash and Treasure" market. Is that term still used today or am I showing my age?

One new term that I also love is "UPCYCLING". It refers to the use of discarded materials reinvented into new stuff that's much more appealing than landfill. Well, that's my interpretation anyway.

This Etsy seller Upcycledjewelry has taken bits from computer circuit boards, cut, ground and polished them and created cool stuff like these earrings. This morning I checked his (Hi Jacob!) shop and he has added earrings made from XRAYS.....that's even more amazing!

Bring on more of these clever people making use of all the trash in this world, I say.

Less trash = more treasure.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A little inspiration

On Saturday I had what I consider to be a very self indulgent 3 hours at Craft Victoria, participating in a workshop conducted by talented jeweller Melinda Young. Melinda has just held an exhibition of her work in Gallery 3 at Craft Victoria, entitled "Take a ball of thread". Using a roll of pink cotton thread and objects found only in her studio - nothing purchased - she has created jewellery pieces using techniques such as ropemaking, knotting, tassel making and many more......she shared a few of these with us and then it was up to the group to get making.

So these are my creations, two little brooches, created from yellow sewing thread (the kind you use on the sewing machine). It's amazing how common thread can be transformed into something I consider so precious and delicate, and what will be a delight to wear. I'm very inspired now to incorporate some of the ropemaking techniques into my work. I've already had the hubby set up a hook on my desktop, and have been busy experimenting.

I am amazed by how refreshing it is has been for me as a maker to see things from a different perspective and gain some new inspiration. I can't wait to get started on the many things that are popping into my brain! Stay tuned.
See some other creations by the workshop attendees here on Craft Victoria's CLOG.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New creations

I've just finished sewing up this lot....a colourful selection of my felt and leather Shinzo and Shinzo 2 necklaces. If you fancy one of this lot send me an email - info(at)mainichidesign.com - because they will be sent off to retailers or loaded onto my Etsy shop in the coming week.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Loving these....instalment 2

Instalment two in the "Loving" series! Continuing on from part one.......
4. Baking sweet things. Without wanting to boast.....I recently acquired new kitchen cabinets, so we could finally install the new kitchen appliances that have been sitting in boxes for about two years. Now I'm loving cooking sweet stuff in my new 90cm wide (!!) oven.....heaven compared to the old one that always seemed to be too hot.

5. Tracing family history. I've been doing this on and off for about (showing my age here) 16 years. This time I'm actually getting somewhere and managing to dig up some interesting facts!

Oh and you may notice I've added a little "Gallery of Styles" to my blog page. Yes you can click on that and view the many beauties in the Mainichi jewellery range.