Monday, December 16, 2013

New Blog Announcement

Hellooooo!!!!! It has been a while! I am starting a new blog. You can find it at julesmadden.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Heck!

Yes, heck, I am so sorry for disappearing with no explanation! Life is very, very busy and my poor little blog tends to be at the bottom of my to-do list. So, I'm thinking, even though I have already taken an unannounced break from it, I am officially announcing a blogging break just to focus on the little things in life, like raising a kid, cooking food, caring for my dogs and my chooks and with what little time I have left over, for crafting, relaxing with Jim with a glass (or two) of wine, or heck, maybe even sleeping.

I often think about this blog, and my future in the art & craft world, so I will be back one day in some shape or form. Even if I wanted to I could not escape the art world. Sometimes I think it would be a much more calmer and sane world in a way, but I am forever connected to it whether I like it of not.

I thank each and every reader for following me on my little blogging journey over the last few years. It has made my lonely days tucked away in my studio not seem so isolating. To be able to feel a connection with a creative collective locally and globally has been something very special. I feel though that I am "out of the loop" at the moment because I rarely have time to follow up on what has been happening or discovering new artisans, so I kind of gave up trying because I am just so time poor at the moment. I only just found out what twitter is! (Can you believe it!?) Now I know how the old folks feel. Feeling bad because you cannot find time to craft and look after a kid at the same time!? Feel bad no longer! I am with you! I ADMIT IT!

I make things here and there but you need that extra motivation and time to actually blog about it!

So thank you all, and I hope to see you again very soon, big hugs xxx

Friday, September 25, 2009

Modern Retro Textiles

Danger, danger! High likelihood that I will be buying fabric and patterns from the online shop I am looking after for a couple of weeks! Heard of Modern Retro Textiles? I am taking over this online store for two weeks, so if you order anything during this time it's being packaged by my little hands and lovingly sent off to you!

Jim & I know the lady behind it (we live near her- her partner works with Jim), and I was pleased to find out that she sold fabrics and patterns that I love. It's not often you come across this type of coolness and quality merchandise out here in Gippsland, usually you'd have to venture further into town. Then she tells me she's going on holidays and would I like to take over the store for her? Um, yes thank you, I would love to pour over the fabrics and patterns. I feel like I have a mini fabric store in my very own house!

And what is making me feel like the world is a little smaller is that I have been blogging for a little while and feel I have come to acquire some "internet friends" including Kate from Never Enough Hours and Kristen Doran from Cheeky Beaks, and now I am selling their stuff from my house by internet-unrelated coincidence!

These are the products I have my eye on at the moment...

Such sweet Heather Ross unicorny fabric, ooahh..


Funky nappy cover pattern..


Kristen Doran stuff!


Gorgeous Colette pattern..


This skirt is way cute..


Japanese pattern books are always so calming to look through..


How awesome would this fabric look just as some simple cushions?


Oh, and this fabric is just beautiful. I really would like to make Stevie something with this. I am loving yellow shades at the moment (this is more like orange but it still fits in with the hue I am adoring of late)..


Lovely, lovely stuff. And cheap postage rates too for Aussies. I may not be able to sleep tonight because I will want to look at fabric & patterns instead. Joy.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Sewing & Knitting for Stevie

I have been meaning to post these new creations for a while now. The first creation is a dress from a pattern from Ottobre magazine. The first is a picture of the dress in the magazine, but I kind of had different ideas for it, inspired by some cute fabric I had already in my stash. I am a bit of a novice when it comes to sewing clothes, so I do admit that I had some help from my Mum. Thanks Mum! Knit fabrics are not the best fabrics to sew as a novice so it really does help when you can take your mistakes to your Mum and she fixes 'em up on her industrial sewing machines ;)


So here is the dress after I decided on the different fabric choices. I did want a different ribbing colour, but Spotlight in Narre Warren is sadly a let down when it comes to fabric variety. If I had one wish for my home town it would be for a great big stocked to the rafters Spotlight store...

So after it was sewn up, I picked out one of the trees in the fabric and hand painted it with fabric paints onto the front. Now we just have to wait for some warmer weather to show it off! (Cute toy made by one of my buddies.)


I also made a little pants with attached skirt from the same mag with some fabric that I would've loved to make myself a skirt from, but I did not have enough. Then took about one million, give or take, photos trying to get a good one to post here. Babies are not good camera models, they do not stay still! I got her in the end!




And some booties knitted! My first efforts of two-colour knitting, I forget what the technical-proper term for it is. Do not look too closely to see the holes and uneven tension. I think I did alright for my first attempt. Booties are nice and quick to make too which is a bonus. (See Stevie is wearing them too in her photo shoot!?)


It looks like I have been busy but these projects probably took me more than a month all together. And they were done weeks ago and I have not really made anything since. My studio is unheated but now that the warmer weather is coming I am looking forward to doing some more stuff out there at night.

Well, I shall be off, I have been in rush mode writing this post as I have a slight underlying anxiousness that Stevie will wake soon... she is having one of her extremely rare long naps! And I'm thinking, quick get this done, get this done, finish it before she wakes, quick, quick, quick! Nearly there, nearly there!!! She's still asleep!!! Amazing. See ya soon.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Crafty Time: Patchwork Coasters


Keeping within the sewing category that I have been dabbling in, I have been really drawn to patchwork lately, and thought making some coasters would fulfill this need quickly. (So I can quickly move onto the next project!) Totally inspired by the coasters that Malka from A Stitch in Dye makes, I thought I would try my own but in my own style and colours. (I love her stuff, she inspires me to one day make a big quilt of my own. She is also one of the talented contributors to the Quilts, Baby! book that I am also in.)

Making these coasters was a good way to use up some of my off cuts and scraps of material that I can't seem to be able to throw away. I keep anything that I think I may be able to use one day instead of sending to landfill... environmental, people!

Made a little too late though it seems, as a couple of days before they were finished I left a tea cup stain on one of our tables. Bugger. Anyway, here are the four of them:


Oh, and I received my Ottobre sewing mags! I have already made a dress from one of them, I will take a photo and post it here soon. I am so loving sewing lately. I am loving making personal crafty stuff with no pressure to keep my shop stocked. I do want to get back into that but I sometimes cave under pressure so think I will wait a little longer. I have so many ideas and motivation for the future though.

Next I want to make little pants and another cardie for the nugget, and I'm also thinking of knitting those booties I recently posted about. I'll be buggered if I can stick to my "one project at a time rule", what the hell was I thinking!?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Updating Our Kitchen Wall

What do you do when you live in a place with a really "country" style wall freeze, but it's not actually your house? You make a temporary removable cover up freeze for it, that's what!

You can see why I felt the need to cover it up in this pic:


I found some different designs in flocked paper and stuck them to some foam core board with spray adhesive. For a bit more sturdiness, on the back the paper was stuck down with PVA glue. I then bought some of those nifty removable 3M tabs to stick them over the old freeze. (Here's hoping they do what they promise and come off with no marks later on.)


I randomly cut the boards as I didn't want a uniform appearance. Before:


After:


Before:


After!:


And to finish off the look and fill in the big blank wall I hung up a selection of artworks and prints I have been hoarding. Some are framed postcards and cards, there's nothing wrong with framing them, they are cheap and look just as good. Clockwise from top left we have art tile by Robert Ryan , card by Boy Girl Party, print by Yellena, another Boy Girl Party card (top), random card from a friend, old art by me, mlhh print, another Yellena print, an op shop plate and little toy from a mate, Yellena print again, and card from Ashley G. These are all stuck in place using the 3M tabs too.


Much better! Don't you think?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

What's Old is New

I got given some vintage knitting patterns by Jim's Mum. There are some real little gems in there. I love looking through old patterns and rethinking them for today in new & different colours. Here are some of my favourite picks from the stash...

I think these little overalls could look good in different colours, they're pretty funky.


There's a pattern book with a lot of little cardies in it, some are quite plain (ie. without lots of frilly bits) and would knit up well with a bit of imagination. I think this little collared cardie is quite cute, I could see it in a brown colour for a girl or boy. How cute would it be over a funky little dress?


Once again, cute but the colours need updating.


And this little funky retro top is great how it is. I love the colours and everything!


I also got a book of little booties. Many of them remind me of the pair I bought for Stevie from an op shop that I get comments about all the time. These would be super cute in many different colour combos- but lets loose the ribbons.


It is to be expected however, that within a stack of vintage patterns we are going to find some patterns that are downright shockers! Some of these made me laugh out loud.

A his and hers set perhaps? So stylish!


All I can say here is... noice.


Shenanigans in the library... hmmmm...


Ok, forget the daggy ones... Now I need to just imagine I actually have the time to sit down and knit all of the cute projects...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Now I Have the Sewing Bug

Yes I do. Leslie has inspired me to sew. She has a bubba just a little older than Stevie and she is so damn prolific and crafty. She sews some really cute stuff, and she passed the bug onto me. So Stevie needed a new cardie, so I thought I'd try to make her one. I got an old cardie of hers and took a pattern off of it and cut up an old vest and used some other bits of material in my stash to make it. The red binding is also recycled fabric.


I tried to quickly take some shots before the little nugget drooled all over it, but alas, that drool comes out pretty fast. Here's what the vest looked like before I cut it up:


I also made her a beanie, albeit a bit big, but at least it will be good for next winter. Softie from Never Enough Hours.


Close up of beanie. I crocheted the flower and the hat bit is obviously knitted.


I am still longing to sew more stuff and also from Leslie's website I found out about Ottobre and have consequently ordered two copies of the mag! I cannot wait for them to arrive and have been eagerly checking the letterbox in anticipation.

And here's a random shot of my sewing companion. Good boy, Bendy.


In farm life news, we have some intruder chooks. We are chook sitting for Jim's boss. Some of them are quite tame and we can pick them up. I like having more chooks, there are something like 9 of them out there now, but you wouldn't know it. We are only collecting an average of one egg a day. Step up your game, chookies!


See you next time x

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mini Art Quilt Finished


Yay for finished projects! I finished the mini art quilt I have been working on. I've taken some close shots so you can see some of the detail. I wanted to make the girl a scarf, and was originally going to knit a miniature one, but ended up making one from needlelace instead, which is a method of weaving a needle and thread inside a cotton wrapped wire shape. It's an old school technique for a modern piece.


There's something just so soothing about looking at stitching...


One more close up...


I'm happy it's finished. Next I'm finishing off a cushion cover that's been half finished for ages.


I'm slowly working through my collection of art projects here in my studio (which isn't really a studio, more like stuff spread over a couple of rooms at the moment) and deciding what to finish, what to sell and what to keep or store. I'd like to be all orgainsed when our house gets built and I finally have a real studio for all of my stuff. The house plans are coming along! I cannot wait to decorate my own house!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hi, remember me?

I'm not sure I even do- I have morphed into a baby-food making, nappy changing, baby entertaining machine. I'm quite good at it all now I reckon, because that is all I do. And being comfortable with that for the time being is making me happier, so some things have to give. Like blogging. Oh golly gosh I repeat myself a lot.

News and stuff:

- We snuck off to sunny Palm Cove (North of Cairns in sunny Queensland) for a week. Yay! It was very warm and lovely to not have to cook for a week. Stevie was a great traveler and she loves to swim and meet lots of new people. Smiles all around for everyone. Cheeky bub.

- Cluckers is looking very much all better. She has grown her feathers back and we are mighty pleased with this.

- Stevie is just about to crawl. She is terribly, terribly inquisitive, and I think once she gets going I will be following her around non stop pulling dangerous things out of her paws.

- Jim has gotten all crazy and obsessed about aquaponics. It's like hydropnics but with a fish tank to feed the plants. He is making a small practice one with a goldfish tank in our sunroom. I think it's all quite funny and a little cute. We bought some fish today for it.

- We are starting the ball rolling in getting OUR HOUSE BUILT! Very exciting and I have been on the lookout for different and unique things that I can get within oz. I have my heart set on hand painted tiles at the moment.

Now, some art!!!


Do you like my recent moleskine drawing/painting/collage? I feel like even though I haven't been drawing or painting for ages, that my style has been evolving internally anyway, and I got really excited when I started to draw again with all the possibilities and new directions I could take with my art. It's strange how it has changed (or it feels like it has) without me actually literally working on the evolution. Maybe it's because I have changed so much in the last 8 months from becoming a mother. I'm looking forward to getting back into it but I have also made an internal shift recently where I am ok with this break from my art and relaxing into my mothering role without resentment. I am taking time to "smell the roses" (or baby I should say), and not stressing myself out with personal expectations. Sweet!

I hope you have enjoyed my little update, it's been nice to check in :)