Sunday, March 25, 2012

Power tools, glue, paint and soil and a girl's night out in Toyland.

Ouch, my hands hurt.  I've been up to my wrists in paint and glue and soil and sawdust for 3 happy days and even managed to do some housework.  My fingers are dehydrated from being immersed in chemical cocktails of paint and turpentine, poked into garden beds and pots, splintered, cut, sandpapered, and sawdusted. 

They feel like dehydrated chicken claws.  Now was NOT the time for my several tubes of ultra-soaking hand creams to have run out.

I found this little item yesterday.  It was sad, sad, sad but I replaced the legs with a set I picked up from the Denmark Tip Shop a couple of weeks ago.  I made the weird pointy things and some very ugly varnish touchups go away. Thanks to Gilly Stephenson's Dark Wood Scratch Remover, it's now looking smoooth.  I need some sort of teeny tiny knob for the door but I'm sure it will show up. 

I introduced my new friend to the other tools, and they seem happy to co-exist.  As drills go, this is a Drill.  I can make new, bigger things. It's orange.  My other new but slightly older friend is a multi-tool, it sands, cuts, slices.  It too is pretty cool.

I found these little girls on my rambles last week, they're really lovely.  When I arranged them on an old Scrabble board for photographs, I thought they looked a bit like a Toyland jailhouse lineup, perhaps after a big night out.  They certainly look as though they had a good time.  The clothes are hand-sewn  and  sweet vintage fabric.  The hair can be reglued and I love that the ones on the left and right have eyes that open and close in that very intense 'my eyes are open now' way.  

I'm watching Stephen Fry's Planet Word while I write this.  I love Stephen Fry, he's truly wonderful on every level.  The program is brilliant,  but I keep having flashbacks to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

I have to remind myself that the voiceover is not going to mention Slartibartfast and the fjords. 

My new word du jour is omnishambles, by the way.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Resipiscence, watery steampunk and black Japan.

Another relentlessly sunny weekend, and no end in sight.

I gave the Picker Sisters chance #2 on Thursday night.  I'm glad to say that there was waaaay less giggling and screaming and general silliness.  The farmers they visited seemed to have caught on that they don't get out much, and caught up to the fact that they come from another planet and are really very annoying.  Less bimbos, please and more time with the genius who actually does the work.  Really, girls, don't talk, it doesn't make you look any smarter.  And BTW - the 73 Harley table was just plain ugly.

For sentiment's sake I then watched Mad Max - last time I saw it I was at the drive-in and about 17.  It's smaller and meaner than I remembered but some of the themes were well ahead of the time, if a tad clumsy.  Now I'm watching Waterworld (Mad Max, no cars).

Yes, I believe I am addicted to trash tv.

I spent the weekend trying to finish off some things which have been hanging around too long, including mounting and framing some drawings and prints, and working on my bedhead and foot (cosmetic changes), a seventies table (continuing the Mad Max era theme)  and various other bits and pieces.

If I ever use the term 'black Japan' in a sentence with 'this would look good in', shoot me.  It has the consistency of treacle, and takes 20 coats, each more painful than the last.  It's on my hands, under my fingernails, and it sure does stick there.  The bed looks good, though.  But I swear, never again.

So here are some of the drawings I've been working on, some new girls, fish, and random thoughts.  For the first weekend in a while, more went out than came in - but it's not a trend that's likely to continue for long.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Back from the brink....

Phew - my laptop has only just been restored to health after a little spack attack, and I was offline for 2 weeks.    I felt so alone (not really!) and I got heaps done because I wasn't wasting so much time looking at randomly interesting things.  As a result, of course, there's jewellery festooned over everything, and half completed projects everywhere else.  So now I need to sort it all out, finish and stash it for the Mother's Day market in early May.  

Strangely (for me) I backed up and saved all the artwork a couple of days before - lucky, really, although as it happens I didn't lose anything in the end. 

I also managed to frame a heap of fish drawings and prints, now leaning gratuitously against walls and giving the place an arty look (as long as you don't want to walk anywhere).  There will be new Alices soon, and I'm hoping to have some brand new merchandise too! Watch this space.

A friend and work colleague came back from Melbourne raving about the fabric and patterns from a little shop she found -  I found it on the interweb and thought it is worth sharing, for all those who remember that clothing can be made by hand.  It's called Tessuti, and this is the link to the online shop.  They also have a blog, for inspiration and ideas.  It's the next best thing to being there. One of my vintage dressmakers' models has gone to live with her to help her to bring those patterns to life.

I made some floral shorts for the Girl last week.  She was helping by making cups of tea and making sure I didn't wander off.  One of her little mates called, seeking companionship, to be told that she was making shorts.  The mate called back at five minute intervals to ask if we'd finished yet - finally she came over but the thrill of home fashion creation just couldn't beat the excitement of playing games on the ubiquitous iphone or equivalent. Although she did seem impressed by the finished product, and felt there was enough fabric for her to have some shorts too.
I adapted a pattern from the early nineties, and the Girl was most impressed with the suitcase of patterns held in reserve - just going to show that things go around and come back into style. (It seems like yesterday.)  It's nice to see some decent fabric shops re-appearing, I'm kind of tired of the random rolls of seconds and the warehouse approach, its nice to see new designs while they're still new. 

I'm currently thinking about steampunk inspired 
cuffs and scarves - as soon as I work out which suitcases hold the reserves of vintage lace, fabric, and trims. But first, I should pack some of that jewellery.....and maybe do some housework.