Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More bags

I haven't had much time for any sewing lately, but I had a custom order to do (the pink and orange bag) and so if you do one bag, you may as well do two..  Here are the results...I'm happy to say a previous Alice in Wonderland bag I made will soon have a new home in Newcastle.. can't wait to go there tomorrow!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Asia Challenge with Pod Collective

Well lately I've been a tad busy.... so when i heard about the latest Pod Collective challenge I decided I don't have enough time to create an artwork, so my artistic challenge for March comes to you in the form of a tart!

A bit of background on the tart....I found a recipe on Taste.com.au and I modified it.  I will type up my version and add to here, as soon as I can get around to it.  Anyway, in the recipe you whisk eggs, sugar and cream together and put in lime juice and lime rind, which you later put through a sieve.  So for my version I put in 3 crumpled fresh kaffir lime leaves, 2 stalks of bruised lemongrass (the lower third) and a heaped tsp of freshly grated ginger.  Also, instead of 1 cup of cream I used 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup coconut cream, and then added some toasted shredded coconut on top.  This was served with Red Papaya on bamboo skewers which had been sprinkled with lime juice ( I have dozens of limes on my tree!).  

To set the scene I brought in a few of my asian things, they all have a bit of a story.  

A CD "Taiwan 100 year favourites"  a classical music CD I bought on my last night in Taiwan and which was not what I was expecting!

The table runner is a piece of ikat weaving from West Timor.  Click here to see a website which explains the process of ikat weaving, this one is also in Nusa Tenggara ( the region of the islands east of Bali) During the time I lived in the N.T. I went to West Timor about 4 times between 1996 and 1999 and was lucky to meet a very interesting lady known as the Queen of Baun, Ibu Koroh in the village of Baun, West Timor.  She is a renowned weaver of the ikat style and speaks English very well.  She lives in an amazing house built by a Dutch arhitect and I went to see her each time I visited Kupang.  She loves cooking and baking cakes but couldn't get all the ingredients to get the cakes she wanted so asked me to bring her over some packet cake mixes next time I came over.  (there used to be flights from Darwin to Kupang a few times a week, it was only an hour and a half flight).  So the next time I went there I took a bundle of cake mixes and took them to her house.  She wasn't home so I left them with a friend and went back to Kupang.  The next day I returned to the hotel after an outing and she was waiting for me in the foyer.  She brought this beautiful ikat weaving for me to thank me for the cake mixes.  Needless to say I was extremely embarrassed, there is certainly no comparison, but the polite thing to do of course is to accept the gift.  This weaving has a lot of memories attached to it from my visits to the Queen of Baun and to West Timor.  There are no longer any direct flights there and I can't imagine I'll ever get there again, but I'm glad I had the opportunity to do so at the time.

 Here is a link to the website that shows weavings using Ibu Koroh's technique with some information about her.
An example of an ikat weaving from West Timor
The Taiwanese teaset is gorgeous and was given to me by a group of student I taught in Taiwan in 2001.  Going to teahouses is a big part of Taiwanese culture and I really enjoyed doing this with friends I met in Tsaotun.  This group of students were the 'advanced' level class and I also taught their children during the day at the school I worked at.  What a nice bunch of people they were, always taking me out for dinner and on weekend day trips.  
Here is a photo of me with them.  

So, after all that, here are the pictures
Served on a banana leaf with a big dollop of double cream!

Part of my Taiwanese Tea set
I forgot to mention my Thai cutlery - unremarkably I bought this at Bangkok airport, sorry, should have made up an exotic tale about it
 Shannon and Ali enjoying have their pie and eating it too...
The table, set up in our Pod Collective shop

I'm looking forward to coming back from hols and seeing the results of the other girls' challenge. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New bag for my netbook!

I made this bag for my new netbook with Echino Migratory Birds fabric in Natural.  It's covered in PVC and has some nice soft padding......

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The last of the satchel bags

These are the last of this style of satchel bag that I have - I'll be getting some more of the heavy duty ones soon and also another new style. 

Echino Tote Bag

Tote bag made with Japanese Echingo fabric 'Migratory Birds'.  the outside is covered in  PVC and the matching coin purse has PVC on one side and is a dark denim on the other, lined in purple fabric the same as the bag.
approx 30cm wide and 28cm high with a 10cm wide base.

Monday, March 8, 2010


A couple of toys I finished off today, a giant soft block for babies to toddlers, easy to throw and catch.  6 colourful squares of polka dot, designer and Japanese fabrics, each square is approx 19cm square.  The owl softie is made using a panel from Australian designer 'Saffron Craig'.  

Saturday, March 6, 2010

More bags

I've certainly been making a lot of bags lately, and am planning on a couple more this week (if I get all my uni work done first!)
This set is a custom order girl's tote bag and matching coin purse.  

A custom order 'Bambi' bag


3 different black and white patterned fabrics for this one, another custom order

Go Skippy!

I love old golden books and a freind (Lainie) brought this and some others into the shop for me to look at, I love these pages...
Aw...how cute

You get him Skippy!

I love the looks on their faces!

Video posted below

I just watched this video as part of my teaching studies and I really think any artist or creative person will really relate to what Sir Ken Robinson is saying. It goes for 20 minutes but I think it is amazing (and funny )and well worth watching. He talks about how we should put so much more value into developing and supporting creativity in our children and ourselves, have a look and let me know what you think!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


This collage was made for a Pod Collective creative challenge 'something red'.  The canvas is covered in hemp paper and the tree branch is cut from Classique paper.  The flowers are cut from Japanese fabrics and leather for the stamens.  I loved making this and I'm planning a really big one all in earthy tones for my newly painting living area...


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