Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Stitching Just for Fun

I must admit I'm not missing the production slog of stitching in preparation for craft markets. However the itch to stitch still needs to be scratched, so I've been making a few things for gifts lately.

I must get a pic of the state the last bag I made for my sis-in-law ended up in. She loved it, and used it til it was very VERY well worn. So I made her another one, using beloved cloth fabric from my sacred stash. She loved it.

Every bag needs a place to hang your keys. I HATE rummaging.

The denim came from my partner's dad's old jeans. He overheard me saying I like making stuff from recycled denim and on the next visit brought a big bag full of awesome denim for me. Thanks Tony!

Man I SO love this fabric. Cloth rocks. 

I've also been making a few dresses for xmas gifts. This one was for my little friend Zoey in Canada who has delicious Jamacian colouring. I hope it fits her.  And I hope she doesn't look at this blog because it is still no doubt in transit! Well given she is only 5 she probably wont, but her Mum might!? Hi Donna! xo

Plus a little brooch for extra fun.

These are xmas gifts too. I probably shouldn't be blogging just yet! But I think I'm safe. I won't say who they are for...just in case!

I love this pattern. No buttons or zippers...just a tie at the shoulder. I should reference the Butterick pattern. I will, as soon as I find it!

My first ever fabric flowers. 

Same pattern, a bit bigger for her older sister. 
I know, I know. Daisies again. They're just such a fun shape. I never tire of them. 

Ciao for now xo

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Vietnam Adventure

I thought I'd share a few pics of our recent adventure to Vietnam. I totally fell in love with it. It was simply wonderful. The food, the people, the was nothing short of awesome.

These boots were made for walking! 
Going to Vietnam was our first international adventure together. My man was an awesome travel buddy :) 

The textures were omnipresent and gorgeous. 

How cool is this? Sewing machines for sale on the street!

I saw exquisite flora that I'd never seen before.

Cafe 96 in Hoi An...a great little cafe with sensational food. 

Lovely lanterns everywhere.

I'll post the rest on facebook. I only took 630 pics in 17 days. Not bad eh?
Thank you Vietnam, I miss you. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Announcement: Gocco Ink is Waterproof...

...just in case you were wondering. I did promise after my last post I'd tell you if gocco ink is waterproof. Turns out it is! And I did the experiment the DAY after my last post, and here is the report two months later. Pretty standard stuff from yours truly. In my defense, I did promise to keep you posted, I just didn't declare a time frame. I wouldn't dare! So technically, I am holding up my end of the bargain.

Funnily enough I wasn't crazy how the prints looked once water-coloured. But it was a good way to clock up some brush miles, as my art guru teacher (the fabulous Merilyn Rice) would say.

I did finish the butterfly pastel painting I posted about a while back. I used an ultra soft and gorgeously vibrant Schmincke pastel for the white dots, which has to be the loveliest of pastels to do finishing touches with. Oh for the love of Schmincke.

And just for fun: 

I've noticed that I seem to place hand crafted softies in pairs. I think they are happier keeping each other company :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Watercolour meets Juicy Roo

OK so it had to happen, right? Creatively speaking, you can only temporarily escape what comes to you naturally, right? I've spent the last twelve months exploring a creative realm that, at times, felt very unnatural! Drawing realistic faces with charcoal...tonal studies..playing with only makes sense that I would discover a medium that made me want to revert to my natural quirky sticky style of illustration.

But that is what happened. My life seems to be currently revolving around this formula:

watercolour + ink + juicy roo = fun

Colouring with watercolour is way more fun that adding colour in photoshop, which is what I've been doing for the last 10 years or so! The little girl and her dog in this pic reminds me of one of the early Juicy Roo greeting cards that read "you can never spend too much time with your dog".

I'm thinking of digging out some of those old designs and revamping them with my Gocco printer, (just the black outline of the drawing) and colouring using watercolour. But first, I am going to do an experiment with a quote from my very talented friend Christina.  I've been meaning to do this for, like, well...18 months or so.  Shocking. But I'm nearly there! Here is the print design in b+w:

I have a beautiful old quirky scale that belonged to my grandmother, and I've been instructing myself to draw it for the purpose of this print idea for many many, way too many months. It felt like every day I'd realise I STILL HAD NOT DRAWN IT, and then I'd be CRANKY because every day was another day that I hadn't started on this print idea. Here is one piece of evidence of the many notes I wrote to myself with instructions to pull my finger out and draw the scale:

Does anyone else give themselves written notes, slightly snarky, to force one to spring into action? Or is that just me *blush*
Anyway the good news is I'm ready for Gocco action. Hooray! I'm not even sure if the ink is waterproof for watercolouring purposes. But I'm sure I'll find out! And as I always say, I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pastel Drawings

It is almost one year since I pulled back from craft shows, and started going to a weekly art class. As usual, I am terrible at posting my progress. So I thought I would share a few drawings. It is amazing how quickly Wednesdays come around, and for every class I need to come up with a project to work on. I have been pushing myself to do some more traditional drawings, because the whole reason I started the class in the first place was to get away from my natural style and try something different creatively.

I was really happy with how these pears came out. I guess I couldn't escape my style completely, given I chose fuchsia for the background!

After drawing the fairy wren last year, I discovered that I love drawing Australian birds. I wasn't over the moon with my first attempt at the lorikeet, but I do love working with vibrant colour. Might have another crack at this one day.

 I did fall in love with this little clown fish however. I found a photo (below) from Getty Images and you'll notice there was a bit of creative license with the colour....that would be Juicy Roo doing her thing again.

This butterfly is missing her white spots...I haven't finished her either. I really do find it SO hard to get to my art in between classes. Which is one of the reasons why I continue to go to the class - it forces me to sit down and focus on drawing for 2 hours - something that NEVER happens in my week.

And then there was watercolour.

I had no idea paintbrushes could be so precise! This really was an instant love affair, way bigger and more intense than my crush on pastels!  The Rules for Cooking Perfect Pasta. My very first ever attempt at watercolour. Merilyn (my fabulous art teacher) laughed when I said I only had four colours. When I was finished I declared I could have got away with only two colours!

I made this little pouch for my watercolour brushes. Water colour is crazy amounts of fun, and seems to suit my scribbles perfectly. 

It is almost as though I have come full circle, and am rediscovering my style yet again, with a different medium. How cool is THAT?!  I'm working on a fun streetscape that I will share as soon as it is finished. XO

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Making Dresses for Little Girls

Trying to find a winter dress for a girl who loves yellow was not easy. I searched the shops high and low and simply couldn't find anything remotely enticing. So I decided to get stitchy instead. Here is a pic of the dress I made for my little friend Charlotte who just turned 9. I wanted to make a dress that she could wear in winter over tights and a long sleeve tee. So I modified this pattern and lined it, nothing worse than your dress sticking to your tights, major personal peeve! I was really happy with how it turned out, and I'd like to make a few more for some of the other gorgeous little girls in my life who are long overdue for a treat from Juicy Roo.

The yellow fabric is actually from Ikea! They were scraps left over from a rather crazy skirt I made for myself last Christmas. And the green corduroy was also sitting around, waiting to be turned into something loveable.

Stitching such a small garment turned out to be deceptively fiddly. Shorter seams, but not as much room to move. I think I'll try a different technique for the next one to make lining it easier. And I'll share how I do it, I promise.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Millthorpe Market

Earlier this month I had my first ever visit to the Millthorpe Markets. It was a great day out and VERY busy for a tiny place like Millthorpe. I am contemplating being a stall holder later this year, given it is only 40km from home and I have a fair stash of excess stock to clear. Big call, knowing me lately...

Anyway my score of the day was this fantastic find, sculpted from an old corrugated iron fence. How fabulous is he? At $40 I couldn't resist. I wondered if this was a flippant purchase but after two laps of the markets I just had to go back and pick up my pooch. I can't even put a link here for the metal artist, it was his friend selling them for him and it was a very low key commercial affair: not a business card in sight! Anyway. I worried someone might nab my new canine friend from my front yard. But, one month later, so good!

Also: around the same time, I finally took the plunge and bought a new "point n shoot" camera. My trusty Canon PowerShot S30 (a whopping 3.2 megapixels!) had served me SO well for almost a decade, but it was finally showing its old age (no doubt after being dropped a few times and thrown off the roof of my house). So I bought the current equivalent: the Canon PowerShot S100. And oooh lah laaaaaah what a divine little camera it is. I love it. And I've been pointing and shooting a lot ever since.


I SO have to do something about that tired painted concrete at the back of my house. Big job though. We'll see. Adios, for now. XO

Monday, February 27, 2012

Printing and Stitching!

Yep, 2nd blog post in as many months, nothing unusal here folks. But this doesn't mean I haven't been having fun in the Juicy Zone. I finished the first of a 2-skirt-commission for my great buddy Amanda (although I like to call her "Eumundi" because it sounds a bit like Amanda, and thats a good enough reason for a nickname here in Aus)...I'm hopeless at taking photos of completed garments. So I opt for the pic that shows the personalized message attached to the final product and the interfaced bits in fun fabric that no one else sees, but when you are putting on the garment, you see it and it makes you smile!
Hope it fits her. Skirt #2 is under construction. More about that one soon.

And I made this VERY easy lined pouched, my first ever experience with French seams, I found the tutorial here. I needed a home for my new set of pastel pencils that I take to my art class each week. It turned out cute and very practical. I love a quick sewing project. That's why I've never made a quilt. I'm getting quilting urges though. They have been percolating for a while now. Anyway. Pouches! Here it is:

Speaking of art class, I decided to dabble in some printmaking after many many months of merely thinking about it.  I've been gearing up to do some silk screening for what seems like FOREVER and I'm pretty sure the fact I have nothing to show for this desire apart from a giant pad full of scribbles is because a) I can't decide with any certainty what to print and probably more debilitatingly b) I'm dreading the troubleshooting I will have to tackle when I start experimenting with emulsion and my lightbox. So when I was in our local art shop and spotted a piece of LINO...I thought "awesome!" no muss, no fuss, just a piece of lino with some ink and carving tools. Get busy, girlfriend. So I did. I literally scribbed a rough design on a bit of paper and FORCED myself not to obsess over whether or not the design was I went to art class and printed half a dozen or so of these:
Yes there are things I'd do differently design-wise...but maaaaaaaaan printing is FUN! The only reason I stopped is because I ran out of paper. I remember doing a lino print (the one and only!) in high school (we're talking 20 odd years ago, sheesh!). I dont remember what I drew, but I recall the lino being hard and brittle and not very easy to cut. My how things have changed. The lino was super soft and cutting was very manageable in comparison. These days the inks are water soluble too, so the prints dried quite quickly and the clean up afterwards was a breeze. I'm hooked. I'm working on another design, finally fiddling with some creative words that my talented friend Christina sent so many moons ago. I'll keep you posted. I promise! xo