RSS

Category Archives: Craft

Nursery Rhymes


Well finally I have a little bit of a routine going with my now eight month old, and thought it was about time that I stop procrastinating and get back on the blogging horse…. While my searches for new ideas have predominantly been taken up with getting well and truly sucked into the world of how much you can possibly buy for a new born, or googling “sleep deprived”, “introducing solids” and “what nappy DOES NOT explode for heaven’s sake!” to name but a few, I have been trying to keep my hand in the interior world.  And what better excuse than a nursery! After all what easier client can you have than a new born baby…. who does not know high street from designer….. hopefully they will stay this way – well he has not complained yet anyway!

So here are a few pictures for the album of nursery design, although I am yet to work out how to keep an active baby from summersaulting on a change mat!  All answers on a postcard please!

image

Big ted and little ted…..

image

I love the scandinavian style and design and was so excited by this gift from my brother and dad.  It is called a bednest and is seriously the best bassinet. It attaches to your bed and the side drops down for easy access, which is perfect if you are a little sore…. worth every penny!

image

Some serious logistics had to go into this one, I had hubby well trained going into the rafters to attach these little beauties.

I did get very good at barking orders at my handy man (AKA hubby) in my beached whale state from my rocking chair below…. very comfortable!!

image

A little shrine to my English heritage in the corner with a little bit of Beatrix Potter and a Harrods bear.  Harrods make one for every year and my sister in law gave this as a present to Jamie.  It has the year embroidered on his foot and celebrates a character from Harrods past, for 2014 it was the original Harrod’s delivery man.

image

Yes…many an hour has been spent in this chair……

image

Meet Monkey and Barty Bear….. never to be parted from them at bed time….. very glad I have a couple of spares in the cupboard for when they have been sucked into oblivion and need a little session in the washing machine!

image

I have even take some inspiration from talents such as Tara Badcock (although I am by no means in her league!) and had a go at making a few embroideries…. the perfect past time to keep me from over indulging on online shopping sprees when I was too big to move more than a couple of inches from the couch! Yes Tara, I don’e think you need to worry!!!!

image

Well someone seems to like it…..

image

And well to finish… a little motto for over his bed, given as a christening gift… and well it is all I can hope for….

image

On with the colourful adventure…..xxxx

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Creatively Speaking – Barbara Keal

?????????????????????????????????????????????

I recently posted on felt designer Barbera Keal and her fantastical headwear… the envy of every child’s dressing up box. Barbara has kindly agreed to an interview to tell us a little about herself and her influences.  So sit back have a cuppa (and a slice of the chocolate cake below!)…Have a great weekend

How would you describe your work and style?

My work as a feltmaker mainly consists of tranformative animal headwear – hats. The hats feel very genuinely animal because they are made from animal hair (sheeps wool and alpaca fleece) in natural colours, I love this material and do all that I can to allow it to maintain its original qualities. There is a tension in the work between gritty realism and fairytale beauty.

???????????

What, where and/or who inspires you?

What inspires me is the desire to make work that can help a person feel more fully alive.  My local “Malling Hill”, part of the Sussex downs is where I most frequently experience that aliveness I want to share. Something about the hill’s plump gravity, the dumb meeting with a cow, the ecstatic rising song of the skylark gives me a sharp realisation of my place as one amongst the community of all creatures. It is also home to the sheep whose fleeces I used for my first feltmaking.

Barbara on Malling Hill

Which is your favorite personal project and why?


Oh, I don’t really have a favourite. Most of my years since graduating from art school have been spent making “live art”, within that context the making of the animal hats from simple to hugely elaborate has all been part of one rather ongoing project. If however I look specifically at my work as a feltmaker there are myriad works.The project which brought me to feltmaking was the making of a dress for myself from the fleeces of the sheep on Malling Hill. The skirts of the dress were huge, I used working horses to help me with the felting. In the end the dress was like a cave which could hold an audience of 10 people, to whom I sang wordless improvied songs through resonant clay vessels I had hand buit for the purpose. In another respect I was most deeply moved by making a felt shroud for my aunt, luscious soft white wool, a winter lanscape with a large white spirit dog running across it’s barren expanse.

Barbara and her Cave Dress

Barbara and her Cave Dress

What has been the most exciting point in your career to date and why?

I don’t know that I really have a career as such. Somehow that word implies a definite trajectory in a predecided direction. I came to feltmaking through the search for meaning and  aliveness that was, and still is my “art work”. Felt making and the animal “hats” in particular has taken me to some interesting places, places I never desired nor expected to visit. Shepperton Film studios, Kanye West’s London studio, Rockerfeller centre – New York, Paris, Somerset House or Nantes. All these places are extremely curious to see. I never made my work thinking of a career and even now regard the whole thing as a suprising journey. The most wonderful opportunity I have been offered was that of working together with my husband Richard to make a large installation for the gallery space in anthropologie’s Rockerfeller centre store, simply because it was so good to work together in such a sustained way on a large piece – A wall torn from our imaginations, made solid in wood, wool, slate and clay.

???????????????????????????????????

?????????????????????????????????????????????

????????????????????????????????????????????????????

?????????????????????????????????????????????

P1010064

If you could have your work displayed anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be displayed?

On the heads of every person in London! I grew up in that huge impersonal city and would love to see it inhabited by a million animals for one day in winter. (Not that my body could rise to the challenge of felting all those hats!)

??????????????????????????????????????????????

If someone were coming to visit your home town where would be the must stop place or places to visit (this could be a place, restaurant, cafe, etc).
Of course my Malling Hill! To meet the wild rugged sheep, look at the town from above and if they are lucky glimpse the sea on the horizon.

Describe your perfect day
A long, happy hill walk on a warm day – rain, cloud or sun. Singing, whistleing on the way and ending with a swim in the sea.

If you were to board Noah’s Ark and were told that you could take three things with you. What would they be? 
I must say I love the idea of being on Noahs Ark. Clay, felting needles and a guitar (i’d already be wearing my hat). I’m assuming I could get hold of some fleece on board!

Now as much as I love your work, I love cooking and am always eager to find out a new recipe… what is your favorite dish to cook??….Would I be able to ask for the recipe?..
Well, I doubt if I can offer a recipe you’ve never heard of but I can offer a mega cake challenge! Every year my eldest son Isaiah tells me what sort of birthday cake he would like – from an orangutan driving a dumper truck to alpaca’s grazing the Andes mountains. Here’s a recipe for chocolate and meringue Andes mountains with marzipan alpacas.

Choc cake:

10oz self raising flour

3oz cocoa powder

4oz brown sugar

4oz unbleached castor sugar

6oz butter

4 egg yolks

2 whole eggs

Rub butter into flour, brown sugar and cocoa, beat eggs and castor sugar add to butter and flour mix very well ( add a bit of milk if super stiff)

Heap the mix into centre of baking tin. Bake at 180.

Use the 4 egg whites to make a giant meringue to put on top. Here’s a recipe:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2445/ultimate-meringue

Once all has cooled whip ½ pint double cream the meringue goes on top of the choc cake.

For the puposes of brevity buy some marzipan and form it into alpacas of various sizes. Each alpaca can stand in a big drop of melted chocolate as it becomes nearly solid on the lower part of the mountain or in a dollop of cream at the top.

(BCD – This could take some time for me to create this one!!)

GOOD LUCK!

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Brittany Watson Jepsen – “Creative mess is better than tidy idleness”

100LC_flowerwedding2

When asked what she always bought home from her travels, the answer was an illustrated children’s book.  And where would she most like to travel… Vienna to dress up in full costume and take part in “The Sound of Music Singalong Tour”.  With answers like that it is easy to see where the whimsical comes in to Californian designer and blogger, Brittany Watson Jepson’s, creations. I also love her mums favourite quote…”a creative mess is better than tidy idleness”….. I must try that one when the dining room table looks like an explosion in a fabric factory.

brittany_watson_jepsen

Taking these words of wisdom literally, Brittany has spent childhood through to adulthood creating artwork and music, designing for Tiffany and Co, writing for Design Sponge and indeed her own blog “The house that Lars Built” to name but a few.

In amongst all of this Brittany has a way with paper which I just love, and I have fallen in love with the oversized paper flowers which are the perfect way to add a little whimsy and colour to a room.

paper-flowers-3

_H3S7480a

…Loving her display at a Danish Embassy function……. how good would this look for a wedding.

staircase

standard_staircase_13

These flower creations first came about after Brittany had one as her bouquet at her own wedding (See header photo).

And for those of you who love to make a “creative mess and leave behind your tidy idleness” (I can see I am going to get a lot of use out of this quote), then you should look no further that Brittany’s fun little DIY projects such as making a snow dome cake topper, or a Bouquet with a little difference… who says baubles are just for christmas!!!!

78a366e70d0c80230020db2cc3f27e88

Let me know what you think…. meanwhile on with the colourful journey…………

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Walter G – Sumptuous Tales of Textile Travellers

Header_Blog

Struck by the lack of colour in Australia and the western world, Sydney friends Lauren Bennett and Genevieve Fennel started Walter G in 2011.  Supplying a range of high end, handmade textiles and soft furnishings which are designed and made in India and Australia.

Turban-Story4

“Upon returning from one of their many adventures, they looked down at their bags, overflowing with sumptuous textiles, and looked at each other and agreed that it was a little greedy of them to keep such treasures all to themselves.  They decided they must find a way to share them with the rest of the world.” – We are very glad you did!!

I love that you are introduced to the special artisans who are part of this creative process, whilst they may be based in India they are certainly part of the team that is Walter G. You get a little bit of history on each of the team. For example  you can meet Kantha the block printer who is boss (according to her hubby)!

Kantha

Meet Kantha

“Walter G endeavours to alter the common Western perception of these textiles as being ‘foreign’ and out-dated, to ‘inspired’ and of rich heritage, ensuring the survival of traditional textile techniques in the modern world.”

Here is a little sample of their offerings…. and if you have time you may want to check out their blog which is full of colourful inspiration with pictures of Indian streets, life, and fabric trimmings… if anything it brings a little colourful cheer into your day.

Jaipur Cushion

Jaipur Cushion

mirrored dowry

mirrored dowry

Squiggles Canvas

Squiggles Canvas

Buti Canvas

Buti Canvas

Harem Silk

Harem Silk

Dark Original Lady Lamp

Dark Original Lady Lamp

Plum Harlequin Geni Lamp

Plum Harlequin Geni Lamp

Dark Original Turban Shade

Dark Original Turban Shade

Cubed ottoman

Cubed ottoman

On with the colourful adventure………

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Art, Colour, Craft, Fabric, India, Interior Design, Travel

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

All Taped Up – Mmiinn Design Studio

 Mmiinn-X-Tape

Why is it that whenever you give a child a present or toy, they are far more interested in the packaging?  Well maybe they are onto something!!

Through her brand Mmiinn, Korean “object designer” Joeng-Min Lee focuses her design philosophy on reinterpreting the uses of objects found in our everyday lives.  One of her simple but fun ideas are these tapes which give the illusion that your box is even more secure with hinges, cable, belts and bolts…..

x-tape
fancy-tape-lg

Mmiinn-X-Tape1

x-tape-3

On with the colourful adventure……….

 
6 Comments

Posted by on February 5, 2013 in Art, Craft

 

Tags: , , , ,

Getting Creative With a Little Quercus Style

You may recall one of my Friday interviews late last year was with the lovely Adam Jones from Sydney Wallpaper company Quercus & Co.  Well Adam, as a thank you kindly sent me a very generous sample of his beautiful “Tapestry” wallpaper (above)….. which has been elegantly waiting in the corner of my room for me to get creative and display it.

“Tapestry” – really gorgeous wallpaper – Thank you Adam

Now, when it comes to choosing colours and furniture for other peoples homes I am pretty decisive, but when it comes to my own it is like a builder, it never gets done. This is usually because I see so many things I want them all and then end up getting nothing. One such search was for something to place above the head of my bed…..and well Mr Jones’ wallpaper turned out to be just perfect.  Armed with three fantastic frame give to me by Santa ( my father) here is the outcome of my first creative project for 2013.

The “Before” awaiting the perfect something to hang on the wall.

Colour testing…i.e procrastinating about cutting up the paper! Well I only get one go!!

Measuring up -i.e. more procrastinating!!

One done, two to go need to take a rest on the arm chair….

Procrastinating with Instagram while measure up the other two!!! (Well Rome was not built in a day!)

Two down one to go…..

Mission complete just need hubby and a hammer…..

The finished article…. thank you so much Adam……loving them! My very own one off tapestry feature!

Mean while on with the colourful adventure………..

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Happy Birthday

you_re_one_year_old_handmade_1-year-old_shabby_chic_birthday_card_08c01544

Well today “Out of the Birdcage” turns one, it was exactly a year ago that I started to embark on the blogosphere and, thinking I would probably be talking to myself, I am really honoured to have picked up a few followers on the way, and have been given the opportunity to meet and chat with some truly talented people.

To celebrate I thought I would share the cake (courtesy of Donna Hays ideas book) I made for my nephew who turned one at the end of last year and my wonderful dad who is one year off of 70 (although don’t tell him I told you that). Not a calorie in sight! Obviously there is a huge link here to a colour consultant, although that said this is what a couple of the places look like when I turn up to advise them on the best colour for the bathroom!!

photo-21

Thank you…. and here’s to seeing what the next 12 months brings….. meanwhile on with the colourful adventure…..

 
12 Comments

Posted by on January 15, 2013 in Cookery, Craft, Recipes

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,