Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Chivalrous Doorstop

I got a very fitting and ideal gift for my birthday from my parents; a sewing machine! My dear fiancé has been using a weight to hold the door open lately so I thought, what a perfect opportunity to use me new tool and make a doorstop!

This is the first thing I’ve made using a sewing machine since 2010 when I made tote bags from old curtains for an assignment. It was so easy I just had to share it!

Here's how to make easy-peasy doorstops:

First cut out six fabric squares, two of each colour (measuring 6in x 6in). I used a cardboard template so I could cut as many as possible to make more.

Using two colours, pin the edges of 4 pieces together (right sides together). Using a 1.5 cm seam allowance sew each until you have a long strip of 4 pieces.  Now join the two ends in the same way and sew them together so you’re left with a topless/bottomless cube.

Gently turn your cube the right way out and poke the corners out with your fingers. Now fill your cube with dry rice, lentils and/or sand. I filled mine with all sorts I found in the pantry. Then hand-stich the hole closed.

Ensure you have the right sides of fabric facing inwards, pin another piece of fabric to the top and sew it closed. Take your time, making sure your corners don’t get all scrunched up. Repeat this for the bottom, but leave a gap/hole in the middle (5-7cm wide).

Hope you're proud ma!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

First Impressions

When we first landed in New Zealand, exactly 6 year ago (complete coincidence, I swear), we went for a little drive to explore our new country. We woke up super early as we wanted to see as much as possible so we managed to watch the sun rise on our small journey. We stopped on the side of the road to have a look at some old boats stuck on the side of a river, when I walked across the street to take these two pictures... the sun was rising to the right of me, ready to warm the day, and to the left it showed how cold it still actually was. I'm just amazed at how these two photographs, taken at the same place (you can even see the fence that runs through both pictures) look as if they could be at two different places in the world. I fell in love with New Zealand on this day. I was so new to this place, I couldn't even tell you where I took these pictures (North Island somewhere, probably the Waikato). Enjoy!

And somewhere a few hours later, was a farm, and I took this for some reason. Looking at it now, I love the contrasting textures from the fence/gate and the clouds. I must've taken it for that exact reason...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Wedding Bells

I'm proud and excited to say that I'm engaged to get married! And of course I'll be doing my own stationery for all the celebrations :) Here's my first product of wedding stationery; the engagement party invite. 

And here's a little something I made to ask my sister to be my Maid of Honour. I even got down on one knee and asked her with a pair of pearl earings! Aaaw...

Watch this space for more wedding stationary designs.

Dancing in the Rain

For my cousin's engagement party I made her a gift instead of buying (it's how I roll). I found this saying on Pinterest, hand-drew the type and watercoloured the raindrops. I loved doing the type, but I'm not overly fond of the raindrops; I couldn't change it the night before their engagement party though. They loved it so I guess I did alright!

BMA Works 2008-2010

Spring-cleaning my computer today had me find some works I created while studying for my Bachelor of Media Arts - Visual Arts. It's funny how you look back on works you made while still in the learning phase; it's almost a tad embarrassing! In all fairness, these works are from 2008-2010 and I was really proud of them! My favourite was, and still is, my owl screenprints... I had so much fun doing these. They're quite fiddley, but so worth it. I wish I could do screenprinting at home! -->

For this typography assignment, we had to choose a text on our phone and create a typography banner from it. I received this text from a good friend living in Australia. Because I live in New Zealand, I am always several hours ahead, seemingly "living in the future". Also seen on KeepDelete, Andrea Wilkinson's blog, Visual Mag and the Mediarts site showcasing a selection of the best first-project type assignments, printed on banners.
This is what I came up with --> 

This is a range of eco-friendly baby gear packaged in egg cartons I created for an assignment. This was to re-contextualise an existing packaging concept, and produce a new range of a new product. I still have these, and have decided to give one to a friend at her baby shower --> 

After seeing Jessica Hische at Semi-Permanent, Auckland, I was totally inspired by her style and it kinda rubbed off onto one of my packaging design assignments. Here are some illustrations I made for Pams fruit salad, chocolate fudge cake and homogenised milk -->

This was a challenging assignment; we had to design a new 5 Vela note (a new currency used throughout the pacific ocean islands). When you actually look at notes, they're quite boring in design, yet very very complex. However, I learnt a whole heap about Illustrator completing this assignment and was quite happy with the overall design -->

This is an annual report I designed and self bound for Environment Waikato for an assignment. This was a collaborative project with a third year photography student who took photographs according to a brief set by myself. Doing perfect binding yourself is hard work and takes time. I thought the result was fantastic and it still holds together to this day --> 

This is an eco-concious, creative arts magazine I designed and produced as a proposal for an assignment. This magazine was meant as an inspiration source for students which featured artist reviews, events and a chance for students to have their work featured, which is exactly what I did, I had a fellow student's illustration featured on the cover. Looking back, I really should have featured my own work -->

This project was to comprehend the relationship between typography and communication, and investigate the role of typography as a visual vocabulary. It was also to attain an understanding of the interrelationships between typography and other design elements; as well as a process which advances the structured and reflective refinement of a visual situation. We were given news articles to design for; I had Safe sexting? No such thing, teens warned and chose to emphasize the quote, "don't think about the consequences" -->

I was a tad obsessed with Tim Burton movies, short films and poems in 2010 so I produced these Tim Burton inspired screen printed singlets (plus swing tags, labels, postcards, logo)  for an assignment to explore a range of requirements for fashion production. Any excuse to screenprint again -->

I picked up an extra paper during my third year and chose to do photography. I wish I had chosen this from first year; I enjoyed this so much! My car suffered its first and only scratch from driving into an alleyway, but the photographs I captured were just so exciting and even more so when you watch it slowly develop in that darkroom -->

Well that was a lovely walk down Memory Lane. And just to finish off, here's an awesome award I was honored to receive for awesomeness. Well, for design excellence, but it made me feel pretty awesome. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cookie Time

I got my bake on this Christmas and made some Christmas tree and star cookies. They didn't turn out too bad considering I used a zip-loc bag for decorating. I think I need to add a piping bag to my baking box of goodies though. I also found this awesome poem from Dr. Seuss (I LOVE Dr. Seuss!) and made little cards to go in the gift bags with the cookies. They tasted pretty good too, so here's the recipe:

Pepparkakor (Swedish Gingerbread Cookies)

Ingredients (makes 40-50 cookies):
150g butter (chopped)
150g packed brown sugar
2/3 cup golden syrup
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp baking soda
1 gg
3 1/2 cups plain flour

1. Preheat oven to 170C.
2. Melt butter and combine in a medium saucepan with brown sugar, golden syrup and spices.
3. Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl, add baking soda and stir.
4. Beat egg and add to mixture, followed by flour, one cup at a time. Blend thoroughly.
5. On a floured board, roll out the mixture, approximately 4mm in thickness.
6. Use cookie cutters to create Christmas shapes.
7. Bake on a baking paper lined tray for 8-10 minutes.
8. Cool and decorate as desired.

Once baked and ready to share, embrace Swedish tradition and place a Pepparkaka in the palm of your hand, tapping it to crack it before eating. 
Swedish custom says if the Pepparkaka breaks into three pieces, you can make a special wish!

For Christmas 2011 I did a lot of baking. I was working full-time so I had a bit more time and money to spend. These are not for the faint hearted, I must say; it took me hours and hours to bake hundreds of cookies, only to still decorate them and assemble the trees. They did look fabulous though!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Be the good

I'm a little obsessed with typography and watercolours so I thought I'd have a go at doing one for someone special. I found this saying on Pinterest and thought it was perfect for my fiance; with all the horrible things going on in the world and the stuff we see on the news, he struggles sometimes to believe the world is a good place. So hopefully when he reads this everyday and focusses on being the good, and he realises that there's a lot of other people like him, slowly but surely, he'll believe there is good in the world.