28 May 2009

Cottage Renovations 101

So this week the craft is on the back burner. Well, the kinda craft that floats my boat anyway. This week I've downed tools, screen printing stylie, and picked up the cordless drill, industrial vacuum cleaner and crow bar and have been get down and dirty with the tradies. Oh yes, the old girl is having a bit of a makeover... New roof, new bathroom, new kitchen... Hell, she's even getting a new dunny.

You know, when you first buy an old house, there's a sort of romance about it... you know, you have these delusions of grandeur about how much fun its going to be, you use phrases like 'a labour of love', that sort of thing. Let me tell you about my first two days of renovations:

1) Within 30 minutes of ripping the first lot of iron off, we discovered: several dead birds, a dead possum, five huntsman spiders, an old gumboot that was probably home to the said huntsman family, a kitty litter tray, telephone wires that seem to go nowhere, enough hay and birds nests to make about five bales, and three inches of dust. Thats only in 2 rooms, there's another 5 to go.

2) We need to wear respiratory masks, you know the kind with the two filters near the mouth that seem to be the fashion of guerillas and terrorists worldwide. Apparently bird shit and hay in monstrous proportions is the new asbestos.
3) After cleaning out that first room, there was enough old shingles, various carcasses, hay and nests to make one killer of a bonfire. Its the warmest I've been since owning this house.

4) I've discovered the benefits of work trousers. There's the neoprene knees that make kneeling on the those rafters just a bit easier, there's pockets for all my tools (not that I own that many, but I borrowed so I still looked cool), and they make my arse look pretty good.

5) I've started to use terms like 'cladding', 'phillips head' and 'fits like a bum in a bucket' with alarming ease. Tradie lingo is catching.

6) I've become reaquainted with LA FM, and the quality hits they keep churning out. Madonna, Kylie, Oasis what have you. They're all there, and being played.
and 7) I was seriously tempted to pack an esky and thermos for my lunch, but then I thought that was just a bit ridiculous considering I still have an operational kitchen.

Stay tuned for bathroom adventures starting next week!

22 May 2009

Holidays Are Officially Wicked

So ladies (and if there are any boys out there who have the slightest interest in my blog, then kudos),

I am on holidays... yeah for six weeks even and its great. I've been zipping all over the countryside, had a week in Melbs catching up with the crew, doing a little shopping, checking out the handmade revolution there, and then had another week in Perth visiting my little sister and her man. Saw lots of inspiring things: landscapes, flora and fauna, went snorkelling and swimming on Rottnest Island... Boab trees are so photogenic! I am keen as beans to screenprint their sexy sexy shapes.

Then came back this week, had a moment of weakness and joined the gym. What was I thinking? I am so unfit, but what the hell... I either embrace my hoochy mama arse or I hop on the treadmill along with the other gym bunnies. But on a more exciting note, the coven craft collective (and offspring) got together for yet another fabulous day of craft experimentation. We have successfully burnt and screen printed our first original design on beautiful linen, here at the Hagley studios (well my house, but it sounds more profesh if you call it a studio). You'll have to thank Ms Gemma for the arty photography...

03 May 2009

Niche Market

Quick little post... pottered around Niche market this weekend... Brilliant... Oh my god its impossible to name favourites, the quality is well up there, but for me there were some standouts... Loz and Dinny - Gemma, those dresses are looking better and better woman, redbamboo - delectable, almost good enough to eat soaps and candles, my jasmine soy candle already a'burning, and Maya from hideyo - modular kusudama origami that was simply incredible... oh and mrs smith... you are officially an artist I'd say!

Oh sweet Jesus it was inspiring. Its amazing seeing creative people doing their thing and being passionate about it. I've got a pretty cushy nursing job, pretty secure you know, unlikely to be ever unemployed, but I really admire those artists and designers who go 'you know what? i'm going to have a crack at it'... I secretly want to be like them! Viva la handmade!

01 May 2009

Lino A Go Go

Oh cheers Gemma, for rekindling my love for lino cuts... Ever since we carved it up at coven night (soon to be Brown Owls, but more on that later), I've been caressing my lino cutting tools with a little too much enthusiasm to be considered appropriate. But whatever, the wrapping paper is starting to come to life. Keeping it simple for the mo, just the old favourite, brown paper with a white print. But these experiments are looking quite effective really. I like the simplicity.

In other news, the commercial giants Vista Print delivered to me a little box of cards complete with my lovely logo designed by the ever talented Kieran Bradley, graphic designer extraordinaire... its come out a shade more violet than I would have liked, damn monitor colours, but still they look delightful and will add a shade of profesh to my handmade stuff.

So now, I'm going to beaver away at some stuff, and wander around Niche Market this weekend... Be inspired by other lovely handmakers... Wicked, this craft posse is top shit...