Friday, April 30, 2010

One flew over.......

I'm starting to feel a like I'm living in a cuckoo's nest this week. There's been a lot of Lino Cuckoo Clock crafting at Betty Jo headquarters of late along with the obligatory juggling of far too many balls!
But right now I have a hankering to check out some alternative designs and materials that have been utilized by fellow cuckoo clock creators.
Andrea Williamson who hails from the Shetland Islands designs and makes colourful knitted accesories and interior pieces.
Andrea finds something appealing about the colourful motifs and little house shape of cuckoo clocks and wanted to combine the softness and texture of a knitted textile with the hard mechanical structure of a traditional cuckoo clock.

This clock is based on the game "Whats the Time Mr. Wolf" with knife, fork and wolf pendulums.
Andrea says " I like it when objects can reflect a story or have the potential to become part of a new one."
Check out her website for other gorgeous knitted wearables and homewares.

Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa ,in a collaboration between Japanese department store Isetan developed a cuckoo clock using timber removed from over-planted forests.
The living exhibition consisted of 50 customized interpretations of the clock, by 50 artists and designers from Japan. 5% of all sales were donated to forest preservation.

The show was part of the designtide program at Tokyo design week 2009.

I can really see something like this happening here. If any department stores are reading and would like to sponser a similar project, just give me a call!
Love this image from Lorbus. A nice twist on the cuckoo idea!

Don't forget to enter the Autumn Chill Giveaway : lovely chill busting accessories from the ladies at Body Parts.Winners drawn on Monday night 3rd May!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Autumn Chill GIVEAWAY!!

I recently posted a feature on the Melbourne accessories label Body Parts.
Well now the fabulous Gaye and Melanie, the talented craftswomen behind this label ,have generously provided some wonderful Chilly Autumn products for another Find, Make Do Giveaway!
Just leave a comment telling us which product you would like to win (although we can't guarantee it will be the one you get, but we will try hard).
First up are two pairs of children's Tubeway Armies.Made from up-cycled jumpers with cute flower and buckle detailing . Just the right size for smallish/medium bodies to keep their hands warm on the way to school or at the park walking the dog!
Next we have two pairs of amazing Textile Allsorts hand printed tights in burnt orange roses and burgundy paisley.In extra tall so they will be comfy and snug. (no wonky crotches on these babies!) I own a pair of Melanie's tights and they are fantastic quality.

And finally we have a cute Woolly Pocket Purse by Gaye Abandon.A totally one-off coin purse made from an up- cycled, thickly felted, wool jumper.
So go on , enter this great giveaway and win yourself or your kids a warm and very Autumny prize!

Friday, April 23, 2010


MüCKE is a local clothing and accessories label established in 2006 by Ellie Mücke.
What makes MüCKE designs so appealing is that all the clothing and adornments are made from recycled garments such as men's shirts ,trousers, jumpers and t-shirts.
These pre-loved clothes are rescued and transformed into new, innovative and edgy garments. Ellie often has to tell her customers that her materials once had another life. “It is actually what I strive for - I want them to buy it for design, not just because it is recycled.”

Ellie's strong focus on sustainability and the maintaining of ethical production methods represents her holistic approach to the fashion business .
MüCKE's mission is simple "Inspire creativity and positive action in people, have a beneficial ecological impact and keep the integrity of design by engaging holistically in the process."

A while ago , while clearing out our wardrobes for a garage sale, I invited Ellie to come round and get first dibs on the huge pile of my partners shirts. It was cool to spot them transformed into MüCKE's signature shirt dresses, hanging on racks ready to be snapped up by eco savvy fashionistas! And lucky me was the recipient of one of my partners old western shirts given a crafty new twist.
I love this three-sleeve top made from recycled cotton/elastane tops. The pants are made from recycled men's woolen trousers.
Ladies vest made from a recycled pair of men's pants.

The T-lace is made from recycled T-shirt scraps.T-lace's are individually hand cut and knotted and arranged. They come with a small illustrated list of ways to wear them. But you can always come up with your own unique way to wear it- twist it, knot it, wrap it, drape it- they're STRETCHY! Look for these on EtsyOther MüCKE stockists include Milly Sleeping, Pussycat Black, Craft Victoria and InspirASIA.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Anodised and Energised.

I love me a bit of anodised metal. I have a few sets of canisters, an ice bucket or two,teapots, soda syphons and an ever evolving selection of anodised picnic cups that I diligently keep out of the dishwasher.
Dishwasher = Death to anodised goodies.
For my last birthday I received a red anodised 50's TV lamp. Definitely a thing of beauty!
Yesterday I saw the amazing installation titled Re-Entry by Donna Marcus in the Federation Square Atrium.
Thanks to Lucy from the Design Files for the heads up on this!

Dozens of recycled anodised kitchenware items like saucepan lids, colanders and ice buckets connected into spacey, alien craft type sculpture.It runs till the 29th of May.
I first saw Donna Marcus' work at the Dianne Tanzer Gallery in Fitzroy in 2001.I was absolutely taken with her fantastic use of those three corner saucepan lids. Ever since that first show I always think of her when I see them in op shops.
Same with teapots......
and planters!
As we can't realistically all have a Donna Marcus original in our homes, I figured the next best thing is to own some anodised metal jewellery.

Lisa Kearns aka Kearnsie, makes rings, bracelets and ear hoops from anodised knitting needles. Find them at Moose, Craft Victoria,and Little Shop of Handmade.

Or these rainbow hued sliced up needle creations by Sassafrass Creations would be fun to wear.

Now I want to go and balance all my anodised stuff in a sculptural formation ala Donna Marcus......thanks for indulging me!
Anodised Kitchen Formation

Friday, April 16, 2010

You say Doyley, I say Doily

However you spell it, doilies have risen through the crafty ranks, shaken off their fuddy duddy image and are now the height of Granny Chic. I, amongst numerous other crafty individuals, have embraced the doily. My usage requires scissors and chopping and adhering.
These creative people fashion items from the whole doily, utilising it's lacy, web like beauty.

Caitlin Holcomb from "Nice" makes eerily beautiful light shades created with vintage and found handmade doilies.I like the combination of patterns and textures. Imagine how many Nana's it took to crotchet all this doily goodness.
Here's Caitlin's worktable. Serious doily envy here! I've heard the shades have been available to buy right here in Melbourne at Douglas and Hope.
The Queen of Nana crafting, Tif Fussel from Dottie Angel, is also a huge fan of doilies. All her work incorporates some lacy loveliness of some kind. These moulded doily dishes are delicately pretty, but take note, they are all purely decorative .

Here Tif responds to customer inquiries at her etsy store "what could this little dish be used for?" and I say, that is a very good question. I have pondered this very thought myself and come up with "not a lot".For this sweet 'doily whatnot' is a decorative little soul, looking for a spot to rest and look 'pretty'. do not ask it to carry apples, remote controls or other such things for it will surely 'cave'..... But ask of it, to look 'splendidly granny chic like' and it will surely do the job..."

Here's a doily creation on a larger scale . A magnolia tree out side Pen Durston's shop "Cottage Industry" was adorned with hand stitched recycled doilies in 2008. Pics from here too.

Around this time there must have been a noticeable lack of doilies available at Northern suburbs op shops! It was a truly beautiful addition to the Gertrude St.streetcape.

Finally, I wanted to share this beautiful work by Shane Walter, a Brussels-born, London-based artist.
His installation titled "Aunty Peggy has Departed" was on show in Aldwych Tube Station in London.The cobweb like doilies are crotcheted with mercerised cotton and hang in disused phone booths, not unlike the fancy work of exotic spiders.
According to Shane "Doilies are like dreamcatchers, each knot holding a thought, a memory. The sum of these make up the history of a place.The piece was dedicated to Peggy, and her lifelong enthusiasm for crochet work and needlecraft."
Hooray for the Peggy's of this world!