Friday, March 25, 2011

Things I Like Friday: Planes

Yep, today I have a great appreciation for planes. Actually I've had a great appreciation for planes for about two weeks now . . . .


Why you ask? Because in 3 months a plane will bring my man home. . . by home I mean home to me, as we both have various places we call 'home.' We're a long distance love couple due to various reasons and have been for some years now, but this has been our longest separation. By the time he arrives, we would have been on opposite sides of the world for a year and a half.

So today I am thankful for planes, thankful for technology in general and thinking in awe of all those couples who did exactly what we were doing before there were planes. . .or email. . .or skype. . . or long distance calling phone plans. 

That's all for now,

*Sarah*

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Musing and Finds: Bookish Inspiration in the Subway

Over the last few days I've been having a play around after being inspired by the plethora of 'subway art' that's taking over blogland lately. That and this diagram that recently appeared in The Guardian Newspaper. . . . as anyone who reads here regularly knows I have a thing for books, especially classics. .  and for some reason this visual of the most regularly hired library books really appealed to me. 

Image Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/mar/14/information-beautiful-books-read-100#zoomed-picture. Click to see full size. 

So with inspiration and this great tutorial I eventually came up with. . .  



Click for full size quality image. It reflects my personal taste - books that are for the most part beloved to me in some way, even though some of them I haven't even read! They've all had a profound impact on the way I think about life and everything in it. Next step. . . find a frame and get a print done so I can put it somewhere!! We'll see how long it takes me to get around to it hehe. 


Terms of Use: I'm happy for others to use this print for personal use, however please respect my work (however trivial). This 'Beloved Books' Subway Art design is not to be sold or used commercially in any respect, except for by myself. 


That's all for now,

*Sarah*



Friday, March 18, 2011

Some Small Stitches, My New Inspiration!

The other day I was just browsing some of my favourite stitching blogs and was struck by sudden inspiration. . . actually I'd describe it as a sudden need (do any of you get that sometimes? inspiration that makes you need to craft?) to do some small stitches using only one colour. So I put everything else aside, and did! It's been great. . . . I don't want to stop! Here's my first two small finishes

 'Petit Chat,' by Tralala Designs, Free Pattern available HERE (website in French)
Stitched on 14 count 'oatmeal' aida using DMC 4210


As you can see, I've also been playing with colour variation thread for the first time. I think I've been converted, but I am planning a few more smalls using just one plain colour. 

 'Spiralbre,' by La Forêt Des Croix Contées, Free Pattern available HERE (website in French)
Stitched on 14 count 'oatmeal' aida using DMC 4230

I've also been trying use free patterns, it makes the whole endeavour a bit more economical! (Cross stitch patterns can be so expensive!). I'd recommend this great database to anyone looking for good quality freebies.
As for the designers? I find myself swiftly falling for French cross stitch design at the moment . . . at the very least, navigating the websites is making me learn a few words that even my man doesn't know! He may be fluent, but like the average male engineer, doesn't use "point de croix" in everyday conversation. 

These are going to put away (once I've ironed them!) until the pile is built up a bit more, but I have a vision in my head for what's going to happen to them all. . . .

That's all for now,

*Sarah*

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Random Musings and Interesting Finds: Cross Stitch AMAZING

Why has no one ever done this before? It's amazing, incredible, leaves me speechless. I admit decorating my home is something I think about a lot. Unfortunately at the moment it's a bit pointless, as I live in a rented house that falls firmly under the class of "student accommodation." I don't mean it's not a nice place, but we're not allowed to do anything fun. . . according to our rental agreement we're not even allowed to use blu-tack to put things on the walls! 

But if I could decorate my own home (I'm sure I'll get to one day) this sort of feature wall would be oh oh so tempting. . .  



How can you not love it? It sounds gushy, but just looking at this thing makes me fall in love with it all over again! You can see more pictures and if you can read German, probably read a bit about it, on the beautiful blog of Eline Pellinkhof


That's all for now,

*Sarah*

Monday, March 14, 2011

Some Luxury Sewing

I finally remembered to get pre-earthquake photos off my camera, so can finally show you the sewing I was doing just a day or two before! This heavy eyemask and neck pillow were soooooo easy to make (less than an hour of sewing) and turned out sooo well. They were for a friends 21st but I'm thinking I might have to make a set for myself, especially considering the whole lot cost less than $5 NZ.


Inspiration came from here and the pattern for the neck pillow from here. The eyemask was my own pattern, basically two rectangles of fabric with a band of elastic sewn in to go around the back of the head. Both are just one layer of satin type fabric filled with plain long grain rice that I mixed with a few drops of lavender fragrant oil and let dry (remember to stir often so rice doesn't clump). 


A quick project that's pretty, functional and oh so comfortable. Even better, someone who wants to put in more effort and has perhaps better sewing skills than I would find this one easy to dress up. 

That's all for now,

*Sarah* 

This post is linked up to My Creative Space and ARoundTuit 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Creative Space: Meet Edwin

My latest creation. I've always pulled myself away from making toys before, as I have no readily available children to give them to and only so much space in my own life to pile full of knitted and sewn toys (as much as I'd like too). But I felt like something quick and fun and just. . . full of character I guess. So meet Edwin.


Why is he Edwin? I really don't know, it just felt like his name. Much in the same way it just felt right to prop him up for his photoshoot using Jane Eyre. My man is insisting he should be called Bruce, since his colour and flat face with large ears, due to my inexperience with toy stuffing make him look a bit like an Australian koala. But this bear just isn't a bruce. . . he's more of the scholarly type and I have an almost unresistable urge to make him a pair of spectacles. He'll at least have a waistcoat by the time I'm finished with him. 

The pattern came from this lovely book, which I happened to spot at the library and now by a twist of fate, own a copy of (I was buying class textbooks from the UK and needed to find something around the 3 pound mark to qualify for free shipping to NZ without breaking the budget). 


I think I'll be using more patterns from this book in future, but for now my need to make toys has been satisfied hehehe. 

You can find more creative spaces over at Kootoyoo. 


That's all for now,

*Sarah*

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Random Musings & Interesting Finds: $30 mugs and Amazing Art

Welcome to my new semi-regular section of random musing and interestings finds. . . . which is basically a fancy way of saying I'm going to talk about whatever I feel like :P 

Today I'm going to share what I would totally buy if as a not-particularly-well-off student I could justify spending $30 on a coffee mug. . . although even if I wasn't a student, I still don't think I'd want to spend $30 on a coffee mug! But one can dream!


Isn't it just awesome? I love classic novels and Penguin books are just the classic classic novel cover hehe. I also love these ones. . . I think mostly because they're books that I love, though that may be a bit self explanatory





Speaking of books, I recently discovered the work of Brian Dettmer . . . . his work with old books just makes me go wow. He doesn't edit the books at all, just carves away parts of pages. Truly amazing! 


You can find out more about him and see more of his work here and here.


What book would you want on your coffee mug? And do you know of any other amazing artists with amazing materials? 


That's all for now,

*Sarah*
 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Things I Like Friday on a Monday: Christchurch

Yes, yes, I know it's a Monday, but sometimes these things just have to fall where they fall hehe. A lot of the talk since the earthquake has been about people leaving Christchurch, the city I currently call home, many for good. I admit, it's even gone through my mind more than once and may still happen depending on the future of my university courses. But I love Christchurch and decided to study here for a reason, so I thought I'd share some of my favourite places in the city with myself and you :) Some of these I have been led to believe are no longer standing, but the essence of Christchurch will still remain. 


The Canterbury Museum at night. . .  I love this place and over the last few years, due to the nature of my study, have spent plentiful time there. I love the building itself. . . who couldn't love that stonework and the inscription above its doors of Job 26:14; "Lo, these [are] parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him?" A cheeky throwback by the museums founder, von Haast, to Christchurch's Anglican founders who wouldn't let him put a darwinist quote above the doorway. Despite having a similar faith myself to those Anglican founders I can still appreciate his sense of humour and just choose to answer his question with "more than you would think." The museum contains over 2 million artifacts, from the typical Kiwi, such as the Paua house, to the completely unexpected, such as its collection of Benin Bronzes


The Dux de Lux, restaurant, bar and microbrewery. Commonly known as "The Dux," I have many good memories here. It's location means it's often the bar of choice when out with friends for the evening to see a stage show or other similar events! On the complete other end of the scale, I've had a drink there with the American Ambassador and entourage. Although I'm not much of a beer person, their brews come highly recommended and I personally love the Ginger Tom (in small doses). 


The Arts Centre market has been a regular occurence during weekends for quite literally as long as I can remember. . I can admit I like it less for the shopping stalls and more for the food. .  the hustling and bustling food alley contains everything from crepes to chinese. Where else can one get 3 deep fried Thai vegetable balls in a paper bag seeping sweet chilli sauce for $2? The Arts Centre itself is also close to my heart. .  . its rabbit warren of corridors always throws up hidden treasures for me and the Court Theatre knows how to put on a great show. I'm hoping it's back up on it's feet in time for "Five women wearing the same dress."



Hands Ashfords is the crafting store of my dreams really. Although I more regularly shop at chain store Spotlight, due to being a student on a budget, I regularly visit this place just to drool. It was a two block walk from my old flat and I stopped in many a time on my regular walking-for-exercise circut. . . in fact it was a motivating factor in my walking-for-exercise at all :P 


There's much more I could mention really but I think this will do for now. I sincerely hope and pray that Christchurch can get back on its feet. And that all of you out there, where ever you may be, have spots in your own towns and cities that are dear to your heart. 


That's all for now,


*Sarah*

Photos were sourced in a hurry from Google Images, I take no credit. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Back on Track with some Hopeful Knitting

As I'm sure all my readers can well imagine, it's been a bit of an up and down week. I had some photos taken of recent projects ready to show off but they're still on my camera in my flat in Christchurch. For the moment I'm at home - constant aftershocks are a bit tough on the nerves!! But knitting is a good nerve calmer, so I started something new a few nights ago. . .


Can you tell what it's going to be?? I felt like doing something small and my wool supplies are limited (I stole this from my mums wool scrap box), but also something hopeful and fun in the days after the quake.

Another plus is that the pattern required increasing . . . I've tried it once before on a knitting project that is still being held secret for the moment, but had to give in and let my mum do it in the end as I just couldn't wrap my head around it. This time I watched a video on youtube about 6 times in slow motion and eventually got it! 


I just love looking at the neat little slanted line and thinking I increased there! hehe. With increasing ticked off I can now say truly that I have mastered basic knitting. I can knit, purl, increase, decrease, cast on, cast off and change colours or balls of wool with confidence. Next step? I'd love to try a cable knit. . . 

That's all for now,
*Sarah*