March 29, 2011

Monster Guardian, The Protector - Day 15

At Christmas we were visited by the Monster Guardian of Books.
His main message in life was to read... lots!! Disguised as a book he believes he can encourage those near him to read more often, and he loves being read too while being cuddled.

There are different types of Book Guardians...
The original is The Encourager - He resembles a pillow / PJ case and likes to hide PJs or treasures in his mouth. This disquise allows him to target the key times for reading... just before bed.

A new addition has arrived, The Protector of Scholarly Stuff. (POSS)He likes to wrap himself around a book in a bear hug, protecting the precious words and thoughts that it contains. (This one paticularly likes the A4 size books) He also has a secret weapon... stroking his fur increases feelings of calm in study situations.*

*Note - The  Protector makes users feel calmer by absorbing the individuals stress into his own being. This has the unfortunate side effect of making the Protector suffer from occaisionally meltdowns. (As you can see, this current Protector is close!)

March 28, 2011

Kiwi Stamp - Day 14

Always good to try a new skill.
I have seen some stamp making tutorials around (will try to refind and add to this post), and decided to give it a go.
I couldnt find my carving blades that I have "somewhere safe" (and are probably dusty and rusty from unuse anyway!), and so this became a bit of a hatchet job with a craft blade. I also just used an old eraser we have floating around the place.
I decided a Kiwi was a good first shape. Then I had to showcase it somehow, so have used the stamp to create a rainbow coloured koru.

For a rough job, it's not too bad. It at least makes me consider experimenting more with this in the future.

March 27, 2011

More Fantail Brooches - Day 13

Sunday was a day of Fantails. I needed to make some more brooches and caught myself finetuning some of the design.
My original brooches have a solid border, but I was curious to see how they would look if it was cut closer to the actual shape. I will need to mull this over before my next batch, as I think the closer one is better.

 Here in NZ this bird is actually called pīwakawaka. 
 (Bonus... click on the picture to go and hear some fantail sounds)

North Island fantail. Photo: copyright A Walmsley.
 Mythology lesson for the day....

In Māori mythology the fantail was responsible for the presence of death in the world. Maui, thinking he could eradicate death by successfully passing through the goddess of death, Hine-nui-te-po, tried to enter the goddess’s sleeping body through the pathway of birth. The fantail, warned by Maui to be quiet, began laughing and woke Hine-nuite- po, who was so angry that she promptly killed Maui.

March 26, 2011

Bella is Famous - Day 12

Today was a different type of creativity... I took a cute picture of our cat Bella, thinking I could use this in some fun way. Then I remembered Photofunia!!
I then got carried away playing with this.... So today is more of a "having fun with photos" day, then a hands on crafty one!

Felt butterfly brooch - Day 11

I made a red flower brooch for a friend and was inspired to try a butterfly.
Instead of stitching on the design with  various felt, embroidery or beads, I wanted to try to cut out the design with a craft knife. It has potential, but not sure when I'd use it next.

Mini rough guide of how its done...

Draw up a butterfly with a basic pattern that can be later cut out. 
You will want to keep the outside edge for stitching and just include some basic shapes inside that you can cut out.

Cut out the front and back butterfly shape. Draw the design on the back of the felt you are going to cut.
Using a craft knife, CAREFULLY cut out the inside shapes. The blade HAS to be sharp (trust me!). Sew a small brown or black body section onto the middle.

Once it is all cut, stitch the back and the front together. At this point, you might need to add some tiny holding stitches on parts that stick up. The felt allows you to do this without showing through the back if you aim for the middle.

Done! Now you can add a Brooch pin or attach it to a hairclip. Could also be used as an applique. MIne is missing the classic butterfly feelers, but I'm sure some could be added :)

Popkle extra...

He may be small, but he is looking rather cute up on the wall.
Daughter decided to make him into a cheerleader! I'm glad I opted for wire in this sculpture, as I like the interactive side.

March 25, 2011

Mounted Popkle Creature - day 10

Happy, happy, joy, joy!!
I was undecided about mounting the head from Day 9 or creating a body to go with it, but instead came up with a fabulous compromise..... Mounted half body!
The arms have a wired armature that allows some movement, and can be gently shaped. He looks a bit sad when his hands are clasped in front of him!
This Popkle is mounted on a 4x4" canvas. His nose is a tad wonky, but I'm going to call it "character" :)
Would love to hear any comments, suggestions or tales of your own recent "accidental wonders"
"Want a hug?"

March 23, 2011

Purple Popkle Creature head - Day 9

An uncompleted creature craft today, mainly because I'm torn about what to do!
I originally wanted to mount this on a small canvas as just a head, but now I have got to that point, I am considering a body instead.
This creature is a distant realtive to my Popkle, and still has the curly horns, but this one has a longer nose and is not as furry.   
So for the moment, I am lost between vision and completion....
"Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression.  ~Isaac Bashevis Singer"

March 22, 2011

New Characters - Day 8

Today was a typical Auckland day!
For those not from here, that means a day where it covers all 4 seasons at random intervals! Which always brings to mind the Crowded House song "4 seasons in one day".(Nz singers from a while ago)

Anyway... I found a small amount of time to sketch up some new characters...
OWLS - havent deciphered what is happening here yet, maybe he is sad, or drunk?
POPKLE - A strange new creature, with some curly horns and a love of woolen sweaters while doing yoga.
Sorry about bad photos!

March 21, 2011

Tuatara Needle Case - Day 7

Today was a practical choice!
Stitching small felt items leads to a mass of half threaded needles and pins. I went to do some work and then realised my needles were in disarray and my threads had somehow taken a life of their own and were weaving themselves a small web.
Decided to solve the needle problem today by making a needle holder. Its a simple rectangle x2 and an extra slightly smaller rectangle in the middle. In keeping with the theme, the front has a Tuatara sunning itself on a rock. Hopefully I wont lose so many needles now!

March 20, 2011

Acrobat Bunnies in Training - Day 6

A handful of extra bunnies for another set I'm making (like the Carrot Set). These were feeling a bit energetic, so they practiced for their balancing act.
These are becoming a theraputic craft, calming and fast rewarding with the cuteness factor.
Hand-sewn felt, with polyfill tummys, and is version 3 of my bunny pattern. they still rock back and forward slightly when you tap their nose or tail (I love accidental success!)

Bunny quote...
Here I go with the timid little woodland creature bit again. It's shameful, but...ehhh, it's a living. - Bugs Bunny

Monster Envy - Day 5

A one eyed, long haired, flying light-green people eater.....
(try to the tune of flying purple people eater) :)
A bit of monster madness to shake things up, plus my crochet hooks were getting a bit dusty!
Sums up some teenage monsters I have slouching around at the moment... though this one isnt as smelly and doesnt tend to use the floor as a main storage area... oh well.
Wondering what scientific classification he would be (to justify the Animalia ranking), will have to go find my scientific mind.
Monster quote (just because)
“You can't create a monster, then whine when it stomps on a few buildings” Lisa Simpson

(posted one day late)

March 19, 2011

Early Easter Jitters - Day 4

It's too early!!
Easter eggs are EVERYWHERE!!
Caramello Creme Eggs calling my name... Arrrggghhhh!
This is an ode to others like me called "On the Fence" My fingers needed a break from sewing so I decided to draw. Lately, I just do rough sketches for ideas and patterns and I havent tackled an actual arty piece in awhile. Thankfully for me, art is wonderfully subjective... this hides any lack of talent! The rabbit looks a tad odd, but his expression does seem to sum up my battle of chocolate vs veges. (if not clear, the strange shapes behind the bunny are lettuces and carrots)  :)