Craft Market

2014 Craft Markets:
28 September (Sunday), 10am - 2pm - Titirangi Village Market.

Monday, 15 September 2014

The Creative Blog Hop

I've been tagged by Evelin of Evelin T Designs for a fun creative blog hop interview. Evelin makes the cutest cards, she's also a very talented illustrator and writes beautiful calligraphy. I recently received a hand written letter from Evelin and truly admire her neat and beautiful hand written words.

Without further ado, here are the questions that were presented to me.

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1. What am I working on right now?
A couple of things in line, but mostly binding books. I've completed a series of Starburst journals that will be listed in my Etsy and Felt shop soon.

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I'm also doing a custom order for a customer. Making book covers with woodblock prints. It's still in the process and will take some time to complete it.

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The holiday season is approaching, it's time to fill up both my Etsy and Felt shop so that my lovely customers will be able to get some nice goodies as presents for their loved ones. It is also peak season for me for the next few months as I will be attending more craft markets. So it's binding and more binding in the studio. I also have some new ideas playing around in the head, and hoping to be able to make them soon. We shall see.

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2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?
My work is always evolving and I find ways to add a touch of my own, a signature of who I am if you may. Although I have stayed true to what I learned, it is still a trial and error and finding what works and what doesn't for me. I recently discovered woodblock printing and have been printing my own patterned fabric to make them into journal covers. Experimenting with dyes and inks and exploring into a whole new universe of fabric making fun times. I have so many ideas I want to do and play and get messy and wishing I can stretch the days longer.

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3. Why do I create what I do?
I just do what comes naturally, and that is the joy of creating and adding beauty to the world. The joy of trying something new, even when the whole making and creating didn't turn out as what I'd expected it to be, to me it is still a wonderful and fun process, nothing is wasted. And when what I create makes it to the world and being appreciated by people who bring them home, it brings a sense of deep fulfilment, that somehow I have filled a little piece of puzzle in their lives. That what I do brings joy to others, and that, makes me happy.

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As to why I make journals? You can have a little read in my Etsy About page and know me a wee bit intimately there.

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4. How does my creative process work?
I'm not quite sure how to answer this actually, is it talking about what happens in the brain when it gets fired up or more of the doing process? If it's talking about the brain part, I don't really understand how creative process (or mine) works - yet :) As an artist or crafter, what I do is to just show up everyday, and usually I have a to do list that I go about doing and when inspiration strikes, and believe me it can happen at anytime and anywhere, that spark would trigger another set of creative process and that's when the fun begins. So I really don't limit creative process to just sitting in my studio folding papers and binding books, because it also includes activities outside studio time and I do get some aha idea moments when watching the clouds, the trees and birds and even when I'm knee deep in the earth gardening.

There you have it. Some fun things about me and my creative journey.
I did not tag anyone for the interview, so if you feel you'd like to join in the fun, tag yourself and leave a comment below, I'd love to visit your blog and read all about your creative journey and I'll link you up in my next blog post.

Monday, 8 September 2014

More Batik Journals + Weekend Picnic

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I've completed two more batik journals, these are going to East West Gallery as I've sold the ones I made earlier. I will be sitting in at the gallery for two days early next month. Looking forward to spending some time in the gallery binding books.  

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I am also currently being featured in East West Organics/Gallery's blog. Very honoured to be part of this community of amazing artists.

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I spent a wonderful weekend at the beach with Christine. The weather was just fantastic.

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I named this photo - sun, sand and salad on a Sunday. That was just what it was! It was a great day out with Christine.

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Our toesies are happy under the warm sun.

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Watching the ship and sailboats floating by under the blue sky and fluffy white clouds.

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Nothing to do, no where to go, just enjoying the moment.

Now I'm refreshed and back in the studio to create more books. I'm applying to attend more markets this summer as it get closer to the holiday season. I'll let you know when and where I'll be when the time is near so you'll be able to come and say hi and also get some goodies for Christmas.

Hope you enjoy your week ahead.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Happy September

I finally completed my jacket in sewing class today. So happy and relieved. Well, it only took... like a year!! :-) I am pleased with the jacket, even though it has lots of wonkiness it's an accomplishment for me, feels good.  IMG_20140902_02197

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In the studio, a new batch of papers are being folded, making more journals.

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Replenishing the ones that were sold and creating more new designs.

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Outside the studio window, the roses (there are 2) continue to bloom... oh so very pretty! It feels like my heart is blooming alongside them. So much joy in seeing them bloom.

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Magnificent colours, and the sweet smell just makes me smile.

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And lets not forget Kiki, happy to be out in the warmer days too. Spring is here.

May you have a spectacular September!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

New journals + gardening is lots of work!

August has been fun with making book covers with woodblock stamps and paint. Truly satisfying to making my own covers. Now I'm thinking of making my own stamps! IMG_20140813_02006
Paris, France... How I wish to visit one day!

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Butterflies prints.

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Leaves journal, another hand stamped using woodblock.
They are all in my Etsy store now.

Next, garden update.
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Yes, another pile of abandoned rubbish and garden waste. This is situated opposite of my now happy garden corner. This photo was taken last month, and oh how weeds grow in a month! It took me a few weekends to clear the pile and I found the most astonishing junks in there!

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I've transferred bucket loads of earth to another "hidden" corner of the property for now, which I will have to clear again some time soon. Doing my best to level the place up before any gardening can be done. So. Much. Work!

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I attended a composting workshop and got a voucher to buy a compost bin for a discount. Now all organic kitchen scraps goes into the bin, then to my garden. Less waste goes to landfill, mother earth happy, garden happy too :-)

My next market is this Sunday! Looking forward to it! See you there!
31 August (Sunday), 10am - 2pm - Titirangi Village Market.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Thanksgiving Jornal + Garden Update

I finally completed the custom order journal. I had a few hiccups but manage to resolve with some re-stitching and re-binding.   IMG_20140818_02079
A Thanksgiving journal or Gratitude journal. I love the idea that my customer has for this little book. She has a tradition whereby every year on Thanksgiving day, her family will list down in a Thanksgiving journal all the things that they are grateful for. Isn't that the best?! I love it!!

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It was a joy making this journal and knowing how it will be used and cherished in years to come. This gives me the pleasure of doing what I love - making journals.

A little update on the garden. I've planted some flowers, herbs and vegetables in random. There are some strawberries and herbs which are closest to the deck so I can reach them easily. Flowers in between and some veggies in the middle and I made a foot path using bricks. That way I can water them easily and not get my boots all too dirty.
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That's in the morning where I decided what goes where, next I mixed the earth with some compost and manure before placing them in their new home.

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By evening all is done. My first attempt in gardening here so I only have a few vegetables - kale, cabbage and broccoli. I still have room for more, maybe I'll get some more seedlings from the local market this weekend.

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Meanwhile, right outside my studio window, the first rose is blooming! So exciting to see this! It's beautiful! I find myself looking forward to checking on it every morning.

Spring is just around the corner.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Bookmaking II

I spent Sunday at yet another bookmaking class. The workshop was run by talented bookmaker Liz of Book Art Studios. Apart from learning new technique to stitching a book, there was a lot of freedom in creating where boxes of old scrap papers, books, magazines, stamps, paint, sewing machine, coffee and tea (for staining the pages), and even a typewriter were there for us to play with. It was a total creative chaos and it was fantastic! I had so much fun that I didn't get the chance to take many photos, which was a good thing. Here are the books created by the enthusiastic bookmakers that day!
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Such amazing books! Everyone was so talented and creative and I was blown away by the beautiful work that everyone did! And of course I went home quite giddy and inspired!

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My book is the one on the left, with the bird and the word "soar". It is an unfinished work and I am still working on it, until I "feel" it is done. The best part is I can continue gluing, ripping, painting whatever I want. That's a great way to making a book! Creatively and intuitively.  

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Back in my own studio, I finished a woodblock hand stamped journal using a heart stamp. Love how it turned out. It really is satisfying to be making my own fabric prints, feels organic and natural. It is now listed in my Etsy store.

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I am making another custom journal with an autumn theme right now. It takes quite some time to stitch this little one but I am enjoying it. Hope to finish it soon.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Bookmaking

I had the most enjoyable Sunday learning about books and bookmaking. It was run by Association of Book Crafts New Zealand which I am now a member of. The workshop was held at Motat's bindery. These are the tools professional bookbinders use to make books.
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A beautifully made book! (Please excuse the not so clear photo)

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Roger facilitate the whole class and Mary showed us some of her work.

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Mary's books. Aren't they just gorgeous! I came home inspired by all the learning and have in fact have some ideas for my bookmaking too. I'm glad I attended the class.  

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Back in the studio, I'm in the process of making some woodblock printed journals. August will be about getting messy with some printing work :-)

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I may not be a bookmaker with all the gadgets and machines but I am happy making books with my simple tools for anyone who enjoys writing in them.