Monday, September 28, 2009

Los Angeles and MOCA


Public sculptures, randomness and art at MOCA

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Birr Castle, Ireland


Breakfast at BM Castle.  BM bought this Evo Solo (click through - its cool!) on our trip to Belfast.  Its a teapot in a diving suit.  Seriously.  Actually it works really well and makes great tea plus keeps it warm for ages and you can bring it diving.  (Well, maybe not that last bit.)  In case you noticed, yes, the flowers are sitting in a tin can - strangely I really like it :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Murphy Sculpture Park, UCLA


Spot the odd one out! ;)  I really enjoyed my wander around this park in UCLA.  My favourite sculpture was the boxes in the water.  The sound was so soothing.  Speaking of which, I also heard a sonic boom as a spaceship re-entered orbit at the time!

Maynooth, Ireland


I seem to be attracted to Asian or Asian inspired art at the moment and when I stumbled across this journal when my old one is nearing the end of its blank pages, I snapped it up. Its waiting in the wings for its chance to have random thoughts splurged onto its pages. Almost a shame to start scrawling in it.  I'm still working on my crocheted blanket and am already planning the next one.  I think the colours in this would make a great starting point for one in the future - but for the next one I want a really clean palate of brights!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Flowers and pots

I tried taking a few more photos of this flower vase but none of them really captured it. I'm blaming the poor lighting but it was more likely to be my poor photography skills. I really should learn a bit more about photography but I can't see that happening any time soon. I got the flowers at the farmer's market this weekend and the vase seems to demand strange blooms! These are great, weird looking, yellow and green things.

Side Project

I've been trying to think of things to do to use up the spare wool I keep acquiring due to bad yarn choices for my blanket.  I bought the wool in the photo in LA when I visited recently and its the wrong width for the blanket.  Its also not in a colour that I particular like.  I'm crocheting it into a rectangle to make in to toys.  I made a few softie inspired things when I was back in Ireland and I'll post about them later but I thought I might start making a few bases for future presents and assemble them altogether.  I've been alternating in some very fluffy yarn to give the rectangle a bit more interest. 

Can you see the blue material in the background?  That's my PJ bottoms.  A friend of mine made them for me about a year ago and I LOVE them.  So so comfy!  Thanks M! ;)

Moving on UP in the World Sweet World

I went to see UP last night with BM.   Very very cute!  Go see the trailer if you don't believe me :)

 (image via
I loved the colours of the balloons and the house was super cute.  Actually I'd live in it in heartbeat!  It reminds me of the houses in Wellington.  I still think that a strong wind should be able to move one of the wooden houses in Wellington so a balloon powered house wasn't that much of a stretch for me. I'm convinced they've made them out of cardboard, No. 8 wire (a kiwi speciality) and some duct tape.  They're still fantastically cute though!  I want my next blanket (yup, still not finished the first one) to be these colours or at least something really bright.

I also stumbled onto a copy of world sweet world - a locally produced zine.  Its got some interesting stuff in there about building your own bicycle and information about a stitch and bitch in a local pub.  I might head along there next week as my sewing classes haven't started back up again and I'm going to have to start talking to someone about my sewing/crocheting/etc. The zine even has balloons on the cover!

The New Crewel

This gorgeous book has been on my wish list at amazon for at least a year since I saw a copy of it in a craft shop in Christchurch. It was a tad on the expensive side then and I needed to save my shillings and pence. So when I saw it in a bookshop when I was browsing for something to keep me sane on the long flight home, I had to buy it (right?). Of course, I still needed something else to read... :)

I can't wait to try a few of the designs which would look great on cushion covers and tote bags (or at least that's what I'm planning on using them for). Though it'll have to wait as summer is beginning to call and I planted tomatoes last weekend and installed a new compost bin. Below are some of my favourite designs but I'm saving my first proper read through for a cold, rainy day!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Windy days

When I got back from my trip, this fantastic photograph was waiting for me on my desk. I really love it. BM kindly bought it for me and as he returned a month and a bit before me, he carried it back too! I was worried about my luggage allowance until I realised its 46kg if you travel via the states!

I saw the photograph on our overnight trip to the island of Inis Bofin. The photo reminds me of windy Wellington (in a good way obviously!).  The island is off the coast of Ireland and has a really chilled, laid back, desolate beauty. The inhabitants can be maddeningly laid back too :)  The photo was in the hotel we stayed in and we went in search of a copy before we set sail the next day and the stars were with us. Its a bit of a mission to get to the island - even today and most of the supplies come in by the daily ferries, although there is a helicopter pad - but well worth the visit.

Picture frame

I'm building a up a fair little collection of stuff for my craft room. I couldn't leave this picture frame in the shop and I'm hoping it won't clash (too badly anyway) with whatever green I end up with on the walls. As is ridiculously obvious from the 'picture' part of the frame I bought it in Next on my recent visit to Europe. The colour is even more vibrant and shiny in person.

Next  is one of the few shops I miss (mainly for jeans).  I also miss M&S... Badly... More than I would care to admit.  Underwear especially.  Though at this stage there are shops I like in New Zealand and would miss hugely in Ireland.  Ireland really doesn't have the same focus on crafts and it was WAY too hard to buy wool when I was there.  Just as well I get to visit I suppose!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Paper clips

My aunt gave me these great paper clips. They're from a medical company but I can't wait to use them on some cards. I'm seriously not wasting them on boring paperwork!

Oh and I finally sat down to change my settings to the correct date and time - I was publishing in Pacific Time until now... :D

Teatime for the foreseeable future

I also bought a few magazines of the house variety when I was stateside (that sounds terrible but it made me smile so its staying put!). Its a teatime, breakfasttime or bedtime treat for when I don't feel like reading something more substantial. I've just dipped into one so far over breakfast this morning (being very restrained and only looking at one and therefore feeling quite proud of myself as a result) - storage solutions. Not the most awe inspiring layouts but the cover shows semi-transparent shoe cubby holes I would LOVE! I have a collector mentality when it comes to shoes. Of course, my mother would just say get rid of the stuff and stop looking for ways to store it all! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

And the next installment

Guess who went to Spotlight? Not that I haven't declared my intentions! I am now the proud owner of three new balls of yarn. One of which bears a striking resemblance to the yarn I purchased in the US which was unfortunately in the wrong size for the blanket. Can you call it that? Size, I mean? Anyway, as I kept my old labels from my Irish yarn (I also have a deep seated need to call this wool but its acrylic!) I was able to figure out which type to buy based on the number of stitches expected for a 10cm by 10cm square. So far the new stuff is working out fine. I have one row done and only ten more in this colour to go. I was averaging about one ball a week on my trip when I wasn't actively travelling so hopefully I'm sorted for the next three weeks. :)

Green eights and things

I want to paint my craft room a minty green, but not just any minty green. Oh no! I want (and this will sound strange) a green that fits with the strong pastel shades of blue and pink that I associate with vintage kitchen ware. Sound straight forward? Not exactly an easy task when I've only seen the blue and pink options in real life that I think would look great with a green hue! Like here (where the bowl(?) colour seems a possibility) or here (nice jug!).

So I've been packratting like crazy. Images online... yarn... fabric and the number 8. Its like an episode of sesame street here. Its my first space to put my stamp on it. Unfortunately, first I have to check whether I can paint directly on the walls or if they need a replaster. I want a bright uplifting colour for a room that has to be an office, a craft space, somewhere for my sewing machine and a retreat. Now just for the colour...

The blanket is at home

With a title like that I feel it should be receiving guests! However, this blanket has been carried, crocheted and cuddled in on at least three continents, six countries and eight islands. That's New Zealand (on some reckoning its part of the Australian or Asian continents), Hong Kong (definitely Asia), Ireland, Germany and the UK (Europe) and America (American!) - add Inis Bofin and Lantau to the mix to make up the islands! It may yet still travel to Australia and the South Island in New Zealand. That's one well travelled crochet project. :)

I've run out of wool to continue for now as the last of the purply pink set I bought in Ireland doesn't seem to go and a ball I bought in LA is too thick to fit with the rest of the options. I'm hoping Spotlight will help me out later in the day. My fingers are getting itchy!


And I was doing so well, really I was... What is it about trips that make you think that you have to buy it... now... or else you'll never have it and that will be truly dreadful?!?

Well, I shopped and while I love most (if not all) of the stuff, its disappointing to realise I got sucked in. So I'm here in my craft room listening to Odessa and admiring my craft purchases. I visited Joann's and Micheal's in Los Angeles and managed to keep my purchases to something remotely sensible. Ribbon for cards and presents. Brads on special offer. Stickers for cards. Fat quarters for bunting (maybe) or just for the bright colours. And finally, beads for a long pearl multistrand necklace. Now to find the time to make!

Spring flowers

Flowers on my windowsill to bring the Spring inside. I'm back at my desk in New Zealand and my two month trip is finally over. Lots of traveling, lots of family, friends, tea, and chats and while I'll miss them all, its good to be in one spot for a while. :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tea Caddy

A tea caddy I made a while ago for my mother - coiled pot and lid.