I have always had a bit of a penchant for dots. Dots of any kind. If ever I think I might be too “grown up” for them all I have to do is look at what Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons does and my passion reignites. A twist on the classic, a pocket somewhere unexpected, a seam showing, something that would usually be on the inside exposed. Subtle, different. So, with only a small piece of dotty fabric at my disposal, (and not true dots at that), all I could do was make myself a classic tote. Nothing particularly novel here. If you look closely the grain is going in the opposite direction at the top - the design here dictated by the limited amount of fabric.
I have always loved the Toile de Jouy. These monochrome prints of bucolic, mythological or exotic scenes have always captured my imagination. No doubt this is the effect they had on the French at the time they started being produced. It was the age of exploration and the wood block prints making their way from India at some stage were banned, leading to the development in 1760 of the famous factory in the town of Jouy by Christophe - Phillipe Oberkampf.
Enough with the history! Seeing I will be making my first appearance at a craft market this Saturday (Primrose Fair at Toorak College, Mt Eliza) I thought it would be good to have a series of totes for sale. Although they are all the same shape, they are still one- of-a-kind! There is not a one with the same print and the straps are of varying lengths.....
I love working with natural textiles. Gorgeous Elitis linens come in a multitude of muted shades that are perfect for creating that classic chequerboard look.
It does seem like it was many moons ago, but looking over my pics I remember what fun I had on my recent trip to Paris, hunting for haberdashery. The Abbesses area is great for textiles but I was hunting for trims and hardware. Rue de Saintonge in the Haut Marais has a handful of shops for maroquinerie, or leather work. I walked past these on many occasions, but naturally I made my largest purchases on the day of my departure. Gerard Diffusion is a small and dusty store near the apartment I was staying in in the Canal Saint Martin area. Not discouraged by Monsieur Gerard's gruff announcements that all items would require a ten piece minimum purchase, I blazed ahead in my best French, asked lots of questions, bought as much heavy metal as I thought I would be able to carry on my cheap flight to Milan the next day. By the time I left said Monsieur had transformed into a charming gentleman, keen to assist should I need to order any items from overseas. A big tick to Gerard Diffusion.
The time has come! I have decided to make my first foray into the hand made market scene! To that end I have been working on a collection of new leather patch totes that can take you to many places... There are many different colour variations - as usual, there are no repeats - all one-of-a-kind. Come see me at Primrose
will be held on October 4th
Don't leave home without a few little gifts when leaving on an overseas trip. You never know when that occasion will pop up where you will want to give something you have made yourself (because those things are priceless), or some local speciality. I made these mini clutch bags before my recent trip to Paris and the north of Italy. One side is leather and the other is a funky waffle weave that contains some silk.
I was delighted to meet a gorgeous actress in Paris to whom I gave the pink suede one. The bronze metallic leather one went to a dear friend in Venice.
I adore long walks along the beach. Although I am usually powering away, trying to burn some calories (it would be great to think that is of no consequence to me...) I do actually take note of my surroundings. They change every day and you could say, every minute. There is the movement of the clouds, the water, the birds, and there are also wafts of sea scents of all kinds. I always think to myself that if I were an artist, this is where I would get my inspiration. I find the walks invigorating and have never thought they actually inspire me in a literal sort of way until I was looking through these photos. What do you think?
With t-shirt sleeves for straps and old pants for part of the front, this is the first bag made by me that my husband claimed as his many years ago. Although my skills have developed and I now have a more amazing collection of fabrics, I am still fond of this one - it's simplicity, lack of pretension, and the colour combination of red, white and blue is still one of my faves.
The "Rain" bag features a shoulder strap as well as short handles for wearing versatility. Never mind the crocs (they weren't supposed to make the shoot).
Darling god daughter is making excellent progress with her "journey" (hate that word!) project. A little bit of unpicking had to be done on the gathered skirt to get it to the desired fullness but we got satisfaction in the end. Yay!
handiwork from my god-daughter. This time a very useful pincushion made out of Japanese summer yukata fabric. The firework design that wasn't able to be centred actually ended up looking like a shell. A perfect fit for my urchin shell collection.
I have recently spent some time with my darling god daughter - well, truth be told, she was never baptised, so I like to call myself the "fairy god mother". Sunny asked me to be her mentor for a middle school "journey" project she needs to work on over the course of the year. Let's just say she has made an amazing start. In the course of three days she has learnt to use both the regular and overlocker machines and has made two pairs of shorts. This sampler was later fashioned into an iPad cover. That's what I call amazing progress!
When I am not busy sewing down at our island retreat, I love spending time in my organic edible garden or in the kitchen.