Sunday, 31 August 2008

Jolly good to be handy

When I was a child I received a fantastic book for my birthday, titled The American Girls Handy Book written by Lina & Adelia Beard. It was an old fashioned book published by Tuttle and I have the third edition (printed 1973). The book is filled with wonderful 'olden day' crafts organised into the seasons. While the book is very much orientated toward American culture there is still much to be taken and appreciated for the Australian girl.

See below an example of the lovely illustrations that fill the pages of this book.

This is a response to Pip's Meet Me At Mikes blog entry which details a similar craft book.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Green Bean Baby

Today I wish to share my appreciation for an Illustrator with incredible talent. Her name is Ellia and is otherwise known as Green Bean Baby whom hails from Milwaukee, USA. Ellia's illustrative speciality is with paper cuts (not to be confused with the kind that require bandages and Dettol).

I first came across Ellia's gorgeous artwork through Flickr about two years ago, and since then she continues to be one of my most favorite artists. Having a bad day? Never mind, just take a peak at Ellia's work and it is sure to lift your dire mood.

For me to describe what I like about Ellia's work would be the same as explaining what I liked about Birthday and Christmas when I was a child. Her work is bright, colourful, whimsical, magical, innocent and all sweetness. It is a visual feast in a candy shop. It is the packaging for what could be the most beautiful doll in the world.

Ellia has launched her artwork in a number of directions. Her art pieces can be found on cards, stationery, notebooks and even magnets. There seems to be no limit to Ellia's imagination and there is certainly more to come from this talented lady.

To catch more of Ellia's work online simply visit these links:
Green Bean Baby previewing her art at Flickr
Green Bean Baby selling her art at Etsy
Green Bean Baby blogging her thoughts at Typepad

Thank you to Ellia for allowing me to share her artwork.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Having My Say

Following is a message I left on the For Better Or For Worse website on Elly's Coffee Talk blog.

I was born in 1979, but FBOFW didn't enter my life until I was an older child and was finally able to read comics in the newspaper. And as a teenager I came back to the story when the paper was more regularly available in the home. And now as an adult I have been getting my daily injection of FBOFW knowing that it is available on the web.
I was kind of the age group of the first two Patterson kids so I kind of feel like I grew up with them, thanks to the real time development of the story. First I associated with the children and in the last few years I have come to associate more with the adults. And in future I will be relying even more on the stories (both past and present) as I will be having my first child in five months time.
Thank you Lynn for your unwitting involvement in my life... There are no other words to express how much I have enjoyed FBOFW over the years. It will be sad when FBOFW finishes, but never a regret - we will always carry the Pattersons (and friends) in our hearts.

For Better Or For Even Better

I would like to talk about a wonderful comic strip which I have been following on and off since I was a child. It is titled For Better Or For Worse and created by the genuinely clever and tender artist - Lynn Johnston. This comic strip has been running since 1979 and part of its magic is that it grows with you - it has a story that develops in real time.

Below is an example of Lynn's comic strip work as it appears on her website.

I first encountered the For Better Or For Worse comic strip in newspapers and now I can have my daily grind of it 
online. I just cannot seem to finish my day without reading the latest strip - a testament to Lynn's ability.

Check out For Better Or For Worse online and you will see other great features in addition to the comic strip. Such as a presentation titled The Making of a Comic Strip explaining the process of making a comic strip. This is a quite a useful reference for anyone interested in becoming a comic strip artist.

Three cheers for Lynn Johnston for sharing both her comic strip For Better Or For Worse as well as her time and background knowledge of a story that so many love to read.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Paper Doll, After A Fashion

I originally prepared these clothing design drawings for a paper doll that I had been working on. However I did not complete the project due to a technical hitch - I didn't check that the figure would match the shape of the clothes to be over-layed (Oops!). Never mind though, the drawings still look nice. And I'll know not to repeat that mistake again.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Sunday Morning Thoughts

Perhaps if I make a list of the things I should and want to do today, I may have an actual chance of achieving these things. So here goes something:
  1. Clothes washing - normal clothes and the new old baby things.
  2. Clean up the kitchen (OMG!).
  3. Dust down the new old baby furnishings.
  4. Eat croissants.
  5. Work on Bonnie Bunny pattern.
  6. Go through house in search of things I can throw out - to make more space.
  7. Prepare a new lino print perhaps.
  8. Have I forgotten something?

Friday, 8 August 2008

Just like a blog-rolling stone

Yesterday I had some nice news regarding my blog. One of my favorite blogs Meet Me At Mikes (which also happens to be an actual shop) setup a blogroll page for all those crafty, artistic bloggers both closely and loosely associated with Meet Me At Mikes. I am feeling quite chuffed that my blog has been added to that blogroll. (Thank you Pip!)

Monday, 4 August 2008

Bonnie Bunny

I have begun rough work on a new plush doll idea. My concept is a sitting teddy-bunny, which M-Boo has named Bonnie. So her full title will be Bonnie Bunny.

Here is an early concept sketch -
And this is the fabric I intend to use when sewing up the final Bonnie Bunny -

Think Pink

I cannot explain why, but I feel a pink theme craze coming on. I have some pink ideas that I would like to work on. For example I may create a pink lino print and I do have pink/black fabric I just might use for a doll making session next weekend.

Sunday Morning Croissants

There was a time in my childhood when my Dad would prepare a special Sunday breakfast each week. It would consist of a glass of orange juice, plus a large croissant with cheese and bacon filler. It was a super delicious treat to start the day with and would give you lots of energy for the day.

Recently I introduced this delicious Sunday breakfast treat to my husband, and happily M-Boo is hooked.

Following is a recipe for this yummy breakfast treat.

Croissant with bacon and cheese filler

  • Large croissant (1 per person)
  • Tasty cheese (thin or thickly sliced)
  • Rashers of bacon (3 or 4 per croissant, or less if you prefer)
  1. Preheat oven at 180 degrees celcius.
  2. Heat up frying pan and on a medium high flame cook the bacon for three minutes on each side (we want it crispy).
  3. Turn off the stove, remove bacon from frying pan and drain excess liquid fat off bacon on to a paper towel.
  4. Slice open the croissants, slice the cheese and cut up the bacon into slightly smaller sizes.
  5. Lay out in the baking tray the sliced croissants, and on the bottom half of each cover with slices of cheese and bacon.
  6. Place the baking tray in the oven and and bake the croissants for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the baking tray, place the croissant top halves on top of the bottom half and filler and your breakfast is now ready to be eaten. Enjoy!

Friday, 1 August 2008

Catalina Estrada meets My Little Pony

It is positively a dream pairing between the artist Catalina Estrada and the ever cute My Little Pony model. Hasbro commissioned 25 artists to each produce a creative look for the My Little Pony. The following pictures are a result of Catalina's gorgeous efforts. Girl, you totally rock!

I remember... For my seventh birthday (Wow! That was like 22 years ago!) I was presented with a My Little Pony named Sparkler. She was a year three model (1984-85); she was a blue unicorn with purple and pink hair, and had characteristic sapphires on her rump (as seen below).

I have had a soft spot for horses, even now after all these years. In fact more recently, while grocery shopping - I had no self control - I bought a My Little Pony named Toola Roola (as pictured below). 

I am so pleased that after all these years that some Hasbro toys are making a come back. Now we just need to see Jem & the Holograms back in production.

Dream into Action

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could draw a design on the computer, like for a dress or shoe. And then to have a special three dimensional printer which can process and print your design into reality. A dream into action! Sigh… if only.