A Piece A Week :: A Furniture Revamp & Ski Week for the Kids

Over the last week with the kids home I opted for some home projects that required minimal concentration in case I was interrupted by the kiddos! So I grabbed a couple of cans of spray paint, a scarf so I did not breathe the fumes (the kids said I looked like a gangster) and some sample tins of Benjamin Moore paint for the socks (legs) of the stool and tables and my projects were complete.
The Golden Stool for the phones at the entryway
A neon table with purple socks
My neon craft table with bowls of yarn
Ski week for the kids began with some beautiful weather with a hike at McClellan ranch where the kids enjoy looking after the farm animals in their 4H program.
Climbing at the ranch

Tuesday we visited the Team Lab exhibit in Menlo Park for an immersive art experience. As soon as we walked into the darkness the exhibits were breathtaking. Merging nature and digital art in an interactive experience bought a new respect and understanding. Check out the artsy website for more information about their upcoming shows.

Stand too close and the blooms will disappear
One of my favorite pieces a short film combining crows and calligraphic brush strokes


Butterflies and blooms


In a room full of flowers and scents where flowers bloomed on you


A room full of LEDs from floor to ceiling that interacted with your phone


A rocket colored by Missy enters the scene


Ash enjoys the Little People on him
At Mountain View City Hall had an exhibit of Feathers, Fur and Fins and here is Ash’s toucan illustration in pencil.



Sunday we had a family hike at Uvas Canyon County Park – what a Sunday ritual it was with mother nature. Because of the rains the waterfalls were flowing by the trails which made a very calming and refreshing wander through the woods.
Spring blossom peeking through


Climbing up a few tree roots


Hiking in the green


Snack time at the top of the falls


A Fallen Tree Root


A dragons eye


Up into the ferns


Upper Falls in action


A family of rocks caught in the stream


Tree rings of a cut redwood


Moss is coming to get you


From a seed life grows
Here are the kiddos at the same rock wall…
Sibling love 2016


Cute little muffins in 2010

A piece a week – A couple of totes, teacher gifts, silk scarves and some ceramics

This week was very fruitful considering with the extra holiday events that happened this week. The plan to get the teacher gifts ready in time every year in time never seems to happen!! So in between prepping for a show in San Francisco this weekend I helped the kids with completing the teachers xmas gifts!
Missy wanted to make a stuffed peacock as her teacher loves peacocks, so I left her in my sewing room with spare fabric and she came up with this peacock that I helped to appliqué on a pillow. I was so impressed the way the peacock was laid out on the carpet that it had to be created with design tweaks by my 6 year old as I was laying it out on the background. 
A beautiful purple peacock with its FabMo fabric tail – the purple is hand dyed, such a brilliant colour!
For my sons teacher he has been investigating her favorite animal so I could knit up an animal hat! I overheard on a field trip from our teacher that she collects animal hats. I found this cool looking doggie hat in a knitting book at the library called ‘Animal Hats‘. I have really enjoyed knitting this and I ended up making the eyes and nose out of felt and sewing them on. Hope she likes it! 
Puppy hat with felt detail
Now for a picture from my favorite BFF Siri and the incredible camera on that beautifully designed iPhone 6…
Here is Ms Bella 

I had to increase inventory for a holiday show at the Dogpatch Cafe and Gallery at San Francisco this weekend. So there was some fabric waiting in line to be made into totes and scarves. I had some lovely silk and velvet that was crying out to be made into something useful 🙂
Magnolia tote
Silk patch scarf

Silk patch scarf with paisley details

Such beautiful velvet

This velvet is stunning – a fancy lunch tote

Leaf tote made from linen

I have been taking ceramics class this year and I have thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of clay and creating directly with my hands – no need for my computer or a sewing machine to create. Work created directly through from your imagination to your hands transform clay into such an amazing art medium. I really have enjoyed making succulent pots, fruit bowls, ice cream bowls and now these leaves. I had an idea to make spoon rests from these so I am in the process of testing one out on my stovetop. The first one had yellow underglaze with melted glass beads in the center. After having a chat to my teacher about the glass beads I opted for different underglazes of color tones and rubbed back the glaze before a applying a super gloss – I was so happy with the result. The time this has taken me from the initial idea when the leaves started to fall at the end of October to now the end of December finally coming out of the kiln. One thing ceramics has taught me about art is that it is all about patience… What a beautiful lesson to learn!
Take one – a yellow underglaze with melted glass beads
Take two – a set of autumn leaves ready for some tea lights! 

A piece a Week – Kids off to Summer Camp, so time to get to work!

In my fourth week of summer vacation with the kiddos it was time for their first summer camp together at Deer Hollow Farm! The kids had a blast with the animals at the farm and really enjoyed milking the cow and painting themselves with Ohlone paint. Lucky kids and it was time for lucky mum!! I had a whole four days of working and catching up on my projects. It was a absolute bliss to have so much time to work away. The weeks on vacation I had no time to do anything as we were traveling and when the kids are home it is best to keep them occupied with friends and having fun going places.

It was time to for me to go through the amazing stash of fabrics I scored at the last FabMo special distribution event and I had bought a fair amount as it was $10 a bag of fabric – perfect for my projects! So I gathered up my pile of work to be done – finishing off a pillow commission project, altering some vintage clothes and adding my new projects and it was a week of creative abandon. Having such precious time I had to plan each day to achieve what I wanted by the end of the week – getting all my excess pieces of UFO’s out of the way made way for new projects for the Textile Art Boutique in a few months time.

I found an interesting tutorial to jazz up pot plants with a fabric pot plant holder and then a friend of mine bought too many pillow inserts so I bought them off her and made some new pillows for my couch and as an added quick craft project the embroidery frame in the background was found at the last FabMo distribution – my sister gave me the amazing fabric from Japan which is perfect for the lounge/kids space.

The last project I worked on was using strips to make a fabric so I took that quilting idea and made a tote bag from some of the fabric that I found in my stash – I was very happy with the result and it was so much fun to experiment!

Missy with the pillows

Some new pillows on the couch and the fabric embroidery frame wall hanging

Jazzed up pot plant

Strips of fabric tote bag

My experimental bag with strips of fabric – so happy!

A piece a Week – A Crochet UFO Pouf AKA Footstool

This week I managed to make the inside pillow for the crochet pouf I had been working on for a while. This project has taken a few weeks to do the crocheting part but the pillow was made up this week so I am using this project as my Piece this week. There is a fair bit of weaving to do on the top as well so this really is not fully complete (sigh…) Though it will pass as a project that is – done, I have a birthday party to prep for this week!

This pouf was inspired by a footstool from the CB2 catalogue – it was knitted in massive yarn which looked great and was over $100. So when I realized I had a fair amount of yarn in my stash (surprise, surprise!!) I thought it would be perfect for such a project. This was the pattern I followed to get the general idea for the pouf and then took it from there with the yarn ends I had.

I am really enjoying the weaving part of things as the yarn is yarn I had from when I made a cardigan for my little one when he was a wee one and by the time I completed it, he had grown!! It is an acrylic wool blend and so durable which is perfect for this project.

What I found amusing most of all was when I was working on it one day and someone asked if I was making a hat and I said no it is a pouf – they just looked at me blankly and walked away. Maybe you have to be from an European origin to understand that a pouf is something that you rest your feet on in the lounge room. I really enjoyed this project and it will be fun to have a few thrown around the floor just to sit on.

The stuffing for the pillow is made from an old crib duvet and some old clothes that were not good enough for Goodwill, it all fits well with my upcycling theme for this year. So grab your bulky yarn scraps and big crochet hook and crochet in the round using the pattern above and before you know it a great little footstool or large pillow is there for the floor.

The UFO Pouf which is now loved by the kiddos  
The B side of the UFO Pouf
Top of the UFO Pouf 

25 days of posts #16 my new plant pets

I have a collection of Marimo moss balls for added deco in the house. I am planning to put these fellas into separate jars with their own rocks. From what I have read on the internets they can survive in a jar with water changes every 2 weeks. We put one in with my sons teeny betta fish tank & it looks good next to the plastic plant. Apparently it helps with algae in the tank. Here they are in their temporary holding bowl. It all takes time to work even on the smallest project!

Marimo moss balls with some red crystals

It is time for a holiday sale!

a new apron for holiday cooking?

It’s that time of the year again – shopping for gifts for your family and friends. From now until the 30th November (a 10 day sale) I will be offering 20% off everything in the store. Yay so click on nerdwallet link on this page or my etsy page and enter this code HOLIDAZE2012.

Side projects

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish! 

A friend recently loaned me her sewing machine to play with for a while and I rediscovered my love for instant gratification sewing projects. Unlike knitting which takes a lot of time, sewing is a craft I have been doing on and off for a long time so is easy for me to work on! Coming this spring (right nowish) is the launch of my home wares collection using up cycled fabrics from interior designer samples. Still working along in my free time so it is a process… The inspiration for home decor came with the desire to decorate my couch with cushions – so here is one and there will be more!