Wednesday, 27 July 2011

How To: Draw with a piece of wool!

I've never been much of an illustrator (I remember my uni drawing teacher telling me I couldn't draw, but I'm not bitter...). Over the years I've worked out what styles I am good at and what materials work best for my abilities. I've always loved texture, layering and shadows. With this in mind I've always thought it would be cool to be able to make a drawing with a piece of wool (have it stay in that form) and then use it as a wall hanging or frame it in an open frame.

This week I finally got around to trying it and wanted to share the result with you. I made a gorgeous little tweet tweet (bird) for Malie's bedroom door. As you can see it's quite abstract, so don't worry if you don't think you can draw you can just do swirly shapes, or write a word if you like. 

What you'll need:
• Petroleum jelly
• Wallpaper glue (can also use craft glue, but wallpaper glue is good as it is non-toxic)
• Wool in your choice of colour
• Plastic gloves
• Plastic chopping board (I used an old Ikea one)
• Bowl or vessel in which to mix wallpaper glue
• Wooden spoon or stick to stir glue
(Small bowl pictured was used to measure half a pack of wallpaper glue)
Step 1:
Coat the chopping board in petroleum jelly. This will stop the glue from sticking to the board.
Step 2: 
Measure out a piece of wool depending on what you will 'draw' or what shape you will make. Be generous as it will look best if it is one continuous piece.
Step 3:
Mix the wallpaper glue as per instructions. You will need to stir briskly for a minute and then wait about half an hour, stirring occasionally, until it turns into a runny jelly-like consistency. 
Step 4: 
Immerse your piece of wool in the wallpaper glue. You want it to be covered completely. 

Step 5:
With your chopping board ready, pull the wool from the glue, running it through your fingers so as to get rid of any excess glue. Start 'drawing' with the wool on the chopping board. The wool will adhere only very slightly to the chopping board so you will be able to move it around with plenty of time to perfect your drawing or shapes. There's no need to be scared as you will have time to work with the wool (it's not like super glue - so you can have some fun with it!). You will need to make sure you have the wool overlapping in many places so that it creates a unified shape once you're finished.

Step 6:
Once you're happy with your illustration all you need to do is leave it to dry. Depending on temperature it should take 24-48 hours to dry. Then you simply peel it from the board and hang it where you like!

Please note: 
•If you are not confident of your free hand drawing abilities you can draw on the chopping board with a pencil or maker beforehand and then place the wool over your guidelines.
•The wool will become rigid, but it will still be fragile so you don't want to bend it or leave it for little fingers to play with!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Shameless self-promotion: Vote for my Kit design entry!

I've never been comfortable with self-promotion, so it's probably a little odd that I decided to enter a competition in which I have to run a campaign to get people to vote for my entry. So here begins my month of shameless self-promotion.

Unfortunately I'm not a Y-gen with a thousand FB friends so I fear I may be swimming against the tide. I'll use my blog, FB, twitter and pinterest to promote my entry (any suggestions on how to get broader reach would be much appreciated!) and hope people will like it enough to take the time to vote.

But I'll probably just end up being really, really annoying constantly repeating, "vote for me, vote for me, vote for me, vote for me...".

Pretty please.

Friday, 22 July 2011

The important things

My Important Things mobile is one of my favourite romantic creations. I love words, I love romance...and I love the subtle movement and shadow play that is created through using white paper on a white background. So you can imagine I was very happy when, again, the lovely girls at Herald Sun Home Magazine thought it good enough to feature (thank you!). They've also credited my Circle artwork (one of a tryptic which hangs above the bed). They sure know how to give a girl a good start to the weekend... Now, I'm off to have a coffee and read the rest of the paper!
Oh, and I will be adding a few of these Important Things mobiles to my etsy store very soon...

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Lentil, lemon and chilli love

I know lentils don't usually spring to mind when you think about love... but I promise you, this lentil, lemon and chilli recipe could change your mind. I have fallen deep in lentil, lemon and chilli love and want to share the feeling - so here's my this week's lemon-centred recipe. Let me know if you fall too...

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

How to: Finish this project?!

This project needs your help! I was playing around yesterday with this beautiful white vase I bought and my two wool colours. 
   The inspiration was meant to be the gorgeous crochet artwork of french artist AurĂ©lie Mathigot (bottom left). I suppose the big problem is that I can't actually crochet. Or knit. Well, I used to be able to knit (fashion-forward jumpers for barbie dolls in the 80s anyone?)...but I seem to have lost the knack...and haven't yet re-mastered the skill. Anyway, I digress...
   What I ended up with yesterday just isn't doing it for I thought I'd put it out there for any suggestions as to what might work... I'd love to hear what you think!
   Note: Image of AurĂ©lie Mathigot's work is by Eric Flogny from Marie Claire Maison, April 2010, via

Monday, 18 July 2011

In good company

I haven't quite been devoting the time I should to my etsy store and I haven't listed anything new for months... so I was pretty chuffed to be included in this beautiful treasury list.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

The week begins...

Thursday, 14 July 2011

I just can't get enough of lemons this winter!

An abstract thought, I admit, but I just can't get enough of lemons this winter. I've been using them in almost every dish I cook this winter - they are my new (not so secret now) ingredient! Over the next few weeks I thought I'd share with you a couple of my favourite recipes.

To start with is my Celery soup with garlic, chilli and lemon. Mum used to make celery soup often while we were growing up (and Gram used to make it for her too). I'd always stuck to the plain celery, garlic and onion version...until this year, when I decided to be completely reckless and throw in some chilli and some lemon... and the difference is amazing! I've served this to quite a few friends and they can't believe how good it tastes. Just writing about it makes me hungry - think I'll go and make my weekly batch now. 

Monday, 11 July 2011

Black really is the new black

I wouldn't normally post indulgent photos of myself like this here, but a funny thing just happened: I got stopped by a fashion photographer who said, 'Excuse me, but i just have 
to tell you you're incredibly well-dressed.' And that was it (ie. he didn't ask for my number 
or to photograph me or any other lurid things that come to mind). I said, "Thank you." and 
we both went back to our browsing of the David Jones' toy department. 

What I love about black is that you can layer and mix and match different textures. 
It streamlines you (and helps hide bits you don't want seen). You can wear the same thing often and people don't realise it's the same outfit (of course you wash it in between wears), and it's also easy to keep clean which is especially great when you have a messy 
two-year old! 

My Winter 2011 uniform: New Republic cropped leather jacket (2010, on sale); 
Moda Imagine chuncky knit cardigan (2009); Country Road skinnies (from early 2010 
when hardwear and stitching was all-black); RMK Cashel boots from 2010...and Marc 
by Marc Jacobs bag (bought this year in NYC for half what it goes for here, no way I'd pay Aussie prices!).

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Procrastination or inspiration?

Although there are more productive things I could be doing at the moment, I'll call this post inspiration. 
   I haven't done big search on etsy for a while. This morning, dreaming about pendant lights (did I mention there are more important things I could be doing?), I started searching and came across some beautiful pieces I just had to share.
  The top image is a stunning glass bubble pendant light by Brooklyn studio PelleLove it (not not sure though if the voltage difference here in Australia would render it unusable here?). 
Also by studio Pelle are the wooden candles holders, love the texture and soft curves.
   Papercuts by Joe is another etsy store I have long-admired and this branches artwork is exactly the sort of things I'd love in my bedroom - simple and calming. 
   Lastly, not from etsy but still on my radar this morning are these Rocking Votives from pigeon toe ceramics (below). Kind of perfect for a spoonful of colour don't you think?
   Now, I should get back to some real work.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Networking has never been one of my strong points, so it was with trepidation that I ventured down to Zinc at Fed Square last night to hear Janet Matton, Vice President, Operations, IBM and Larke Riemer, National Head of Women’s Markets, Westpac Banking Corporation speak.
   The title of the night was Success Stories from the Top. It was incredibly inspiring hearing how, from humble beginnings, both these women have climbed to the top of their industries. 
   Janet, the first in her family to complete university, stumbled into IT, thought she'd join IBM for two years and then move on. Her plan didn't quite go to plan, as, "32 years on I'm still there". Janet is passionate about seeing more women in senior management, and angry that it's not happening faster. She believes quotas are a way to force the change and I have to say, after hearing her speak, I do not disagree. 
   In contrast, Larke Reimer's history is colourful. Coming from Far North Queensland,  Larke left school at 16, married at 17 and by 18 had a daughter ((Nicky who owns the newly opened Union Dining Room in Richmond). Running pubs until she was 32 gave her sleeves-up-on-the-ground business experience, until she became bored. With two young daughters Larke knew she wanted to broaden her horizons and explore what the world had to offer outside of pubs. So she took a job with Westpac and while she didn't know much about financial products, she could sell, and her career flourished. With a self-confessed two year attention span Larke has worked throughout the business and says her current role is her "dream job". Hearing her speak with such confidence, energy and humour was infectious. She's the kind of woman who makes you feel anything is possible with hard work.
   So perhaps I didn't network as much as could have – but I did leave with confidence, hope and the lesson that it's never too late to push yourself.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

How to: Felted Billy Buttons from dans-le-townhouse

I've had the idea of making Billy Buttons from felt for ages. I actually bought some yellow felted balls when I started this blog for that exact purpose, but then I realised they weren't quite the right colour and so they became the easy peasy felted ball garland and then Malie's necklace hereThe idea's still been ticking away in my brain but I hadn't quite gotten round to it... but thankfully someone had! 
Tanya from dans-le-townhouse has done an absolutely amazing tutorial on this exact project and the result, as you can see above, is amazing. Tanya has very kindly let me post about her tutorial here - but for the full How to you'll have to visit her blog. 
Be warned though, you might stay a while as she has many great projects, including this gorgeous felted necklace below.
Thank you Tanya!

Monday, 4 July 2011

A perfect morning

Something's been missing in my morning routine for quite a while now. I know the real coffee lovers out there will gasp in horror... but starting my day this morning, for the first time in six months, with my Nespresso short black was nothing short of perfect. 
Now my brain's working well enough I'm off to work on a very special How To for you tomorrow from the gorgeous Tanya from

Friday, 1 July 2011

A beautiful winter's day in Melbourne

It's a little indulgent showing photos of my front courtyard again but yesterday was the most stunning winter's day. Unfortunately I was home sick, so what I got to enjoy of the day, was enjoyed from a seat on our front porch. I was overwhelmed with the beauty of our blooming camelia and the serenity of the space (we did the courtyard ourselves this past summer) and just thought I had to share it with you...