Wednesday, November 9

Bringing back medieval folklore: Sleepy Hollow

This story...

And this film adaptation have been keeping me a tad busy lately:

The changing tonal qualities throughout the film and the medieval costume are beautiful. And although I didn't love the first viewing (it was late after a long week at work... I think I fell asleep twice and it was all a little bit 90's Goth) I had no issues with enjoying the second screening. Johnny Depp's re-invention of Ichabod Crane is hilarious. The sharp tongue, the insane steampunk props and his caricatures ranging from 'squealing little girl' to 'gallant hero' were divine.

And the film style, swinging between romantic fairy tale and gothic nightmare... every frame is a little piece of art.

I just hope it loved it enough to produce 2,500 words on Ichabod Crane in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, September 28

Stop apologising already

Need a wake-up call? Or would you like to start your Wednesday morning off with a wonderfully, thought-provoking read? I urge you to absorb Hila's latest piece on 'being nice'.

And, make an effort today people, to be nice without feeling you have to be apologetic.


Friday, September 9

Reading English

The question of reading preferences has been circulating on some of my favourite blogs recently. My bedside table is spilling over with books-on-the-go, thanks to Uni starting up again.

Yes, there is a definite theme going on here. Can you guess? 'The One Day of the Year' is a play about one Australian family's experience (and differing opinions) of Anzac Day in the 50's, and 'Regeneration' is set in the Craiglockhart War Hospital during the First World War. I was a little concerned about having to read these two, given the topic of war generally evokes distressing imagery and focuses on the horrors of bodily trauma from brutal war experiences. And let's face it, I cannot seem to manage sitting through an episode of RPA without near-fainting. However, these are compelling and controversial reads, and I can't put them down.

And the others - well, any excuse to read Peter Carey is fine with me and I'll soon have the opportunity to read 'True History of the Kelly Gang', with the added benefit of analyzing it with my online-classmates.

And finally, we come to Shakespeare. Nervous, am I? Yes. Thou art. 

I'm also excited: this one is set in the classical Trojan War, albeit with two characters I had never heard of: Troilus and Cressida. That is until recently - I was watching a TV adaption of Austen's 'Mansfield Park' just last week, and (the sleazy and ill intentioned) Mr. Crawford was attempting to woo Fanny Price with a reading of none other than Troilus and Cressida, of whom he claimed were his favourite of all literary characters. And I will be interested to know why they are his favourites. 

Sychronicity? Yes, thine be true*. You can see that my bookmark shows how far I have progressed - I've just reached the end of the 'General Introduction'. And there is more than just one introduction. 

If you haven't picked it yet, the theme of the English unit I am studying is Love and War, and spans a massive time line. There is also a bunch of poetry from different periods, ranging from middle english Chaucer ('The Book of the Duchess' - I love the title alone) to more recent war poetry. And I believe we will be watching Sleepy Hollow (yay! film! Johnny Depp!) just to mix things up a bit. Although, I wonder how Ichabod Crane fits in with the rest of the material.

*for all those Shakespearean buffs who are cringing at my misuse of SP phrasing, sorry about that. Let's hope by the end of this study period I will know what I am talking about.

Wednesday, September 7

Typewriter stamps and lace edging

I am on the lookout for a vintage typewriter stamp, and although it's not quite old-world, this is the coolest little combo from Hero Arts. There is enough room on the paper above the typewriter to use the quote stamps, or to pen your own personalized words. Or you could use parts of a quote-stamps in different combinations, by coloring in a few words with inks... like 'old school' or 'my type'. Hmm... ideas.

Final stamping inspiration of the week is a combination of stamping and punching. I saw this project on a website, and I can't remember where now (Stampin' Up! perhaps?), and I can imagine all sorts of uses for this technique. The simplicity of a lace edge really appeals - these were stamped with a cursive script (or they could be pre-printed stock), then a lace punch was used, and lightly inked for a textured vintage finish. 

Tuesday, September 6

MIFF memories

I completely missed the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) this year, despite all intentions.

However, given there was a whole swag of films I had planned to see, I thought a visual list was called for. Here are the films that I had hoped to see - in no particular order of greatness:


Monday, September 5

Grace Kelly, Charlotte Smith and the Melbourne Writer's Festival

Here's a little something for the 2012 Calendar - the Bendigo Art Gallery is hosting Grace Kelly: Style Icon, fresh from the UK. I'd love to get a glimpse of these dresses up close - the fabrics, the construction, the accessories... particularly the costumes designed by Edith Head, worn by Grace in all of the Hitchcock films.

All the official bits can be found here.

What has this to do with the Melbourne Writer's Festival?

Of all places, this is where I heard about the Grace Kelly exhibition during the final event of the day, 'Dressed For Murder: Fashions from the world of Hitchcock'. It was an amazing presentation delivered by the entertaining Charlotte Smith, author of Dreaming of Dior, and more recently, Dreaming of Chanel.

Over 90 minutes, Charlotte shared her incredible story of an inheritance of thousands of vintage gowns, as models cautiously descended the steps of the BMW Edge venue to model selected pieces from Charlotte's Darnell Collection - a combination of classic Hollywood vintage couture and recently acquired designer accessories to match.

The outfits were amazing, and from my vantage point, the fabrics were sumptuous yet fragile. I was able to suspend my belief for long enough to imagine that we were in the presence of young women who had just stepped off the set of a classic Hollywood movie. A fabulous way to finish my time at the MWF.

Sunday, September 4

Dad's Day cardmaking

This was an interesting one - I tested a few new techniques here, such as running cardstock under the sewing machine - *gasp*  

And it was great fun - deliberately sewing crooked lines, cutting corners, and basically doing all of the things a good seamstress should not. I need an excuse to do it again.

I also tested out some of my new punches - circles, flowers and the teeny-tiny tag at the top that says 'happy father's day'. Then I ripped some bits, curled some bits, and inked the living daylights out of everything. I'm in love with the deep red used for the stamping, courtesy of aged mahogany Distress Ink.

And who says making man-cards is no fun? 
He loved it, by the way. Mission accomplished.

Friday, September 2

Good things come in small Tim Holtz configuration boxes

If my creative brain wasn't already overstimulated, these would tip it over the edge. I can imagine making some wonderful, and very personalised gifts out of these ingenious configuration boxes.

Sunday, August 14

My first ATC

Let's be honest here - I had no idea what I was doing with this one. No actual plan, and - Oh! the pressure of making an ATC for the very first time... so I grabbed a handful of favourite bits and pieces and went for it.

The film strip is powerfully bendy, so has forced an interesting curve to my ATC, which I hope will straighten out over time. It's currently wedged under some very heavy books.

For this little piece I wanted some Tim Holtz grunge and a few words of enlightenment. It's mid-morning and the fog still hasn't lifted outside, but in the light, the sage colored brad and the sheen from the filmstrip add a little bit of punch to it.

I think I like making these, very much.

Wednesday, August 10

Goodies in the post (love you big)

Thank you Kate from love you big - my winning parcel just arrived.

Who doesn't love finding parcels full of mystery on their doorstep? And with the cutest vintage wrapping in the world, I knew the insides would be a lot of fun.... and oh, they were.

The tea cup ribbon caught my attention instantly.

Inside was a whole bunch of wonder, including these little guys... (I love the little brown critter on the left):

A little packet of spotted notepaper and stickers:

Loving the notebooks and the smiggle pens. Is there an age limit on smiggle? I hope not.

Kate - did you read my last post before you sent these little stamps? How did you know?!

 And so much more...

I'm typing away here, and glancing over at the colorful pile of cuteness, wondering what to use first. So again, thank you. It is so nice to have a win once in a while. You have made my day.

Monday, August 8

Stampin' Up!

Time to start showing my wares, so to speak.

I never intended TFT to be a craft blog, because crafting is just one of many (many) interests. However, there has been a dominance of misadventure in the craft room lately and if I start to give away everything I make, at least I shall have a visual reminder of them.

Thus we arrive at my new favourite funtime: stamping.

To suggest that I am in love with stamping would be an understatement. Which is why I take myself down to the local Community Centre every Thursday night for the Stampin' Up! sessions, where I get to play with their slightly intimidating die-cut and embossing machines, and construct cards, mini-gift boxes and tealight candle-holders, very much like these:

Embossed textures is one of my favorite things - and who would've thought I'd want so badly to buy a crimper? (You can see the crimping on the pink piece, behind the 'CREATE' card - it gives an appearance similar to corrugated iron... I am having future project ideas already).

My first - ever - attempt at embossing (above) with VersaMark and white embossing powder. There is a whole selection of colors to emboss with, and you get to play with a mini-heat gun... kind of like a baby hairdryer.

This is my fave project so far - it's using a die-cut for a teeny-tiny milk carton, which has been remodeled into a gift box, and sweet imagery stamped on the individual panels. Inking the edges gives it a little extra something.

Keep Calm, Cupcake

Sound advice from afar (thanks Nancy). This arrived last week, along with a miniature 'Keep Calm and Carry On' book and a gorgeous easel card. Now, when I am having a craft crisis - I'll know what to do.

Tuesday, August 2

Something crafty at the Fair

Bell and I went a little craftin' crazy at the Fair on Friday. Not only did we see some amazing demonstrations, we also got our hands dirty (and the sleeves of our shirts) in a couple of workshops.

The highlight for me was seeing the work of the incredibly talented creator / owner / designer  of DarkRoom Door, Rachel Greig. If I could get my hands on the whole DD collection of stamps, I would be a very happy girl.

And of course, Distress Ink has completely changed my life. And ATC's... where do I start? They seem to be the perfect combination of art: paper, stamps, fabric, and words - all rolled into one.

Thursday, July 14

In awe

I am in awe of every inch of this book: beginning with the front cover, the wax-paper flyleaf, through to every word, image and texture on the pages. I squealed like a child when it arrived on my desk yesterday and have been longing to set-up camp on the couch with no interruptions, and simply follow Pia's dreams of wandering the earth...

This is also on it's way. I hesitated with this one, yet I am intrigued by the concept of living as one, whilst living among many. Where some people fear their own company, or simply the feeling of oneness, I relish it. I love my own family, yet I crave my own space, essential to allow myself to think and feel and breathe at a different pace. When you can separate the feeling of oneness from a feeling of isolation, it becomes wonderful. I wonder if my opinions will change after I read this?

Sunday, May 29

This looks like fun - learn how to bind journals with the Wish Journal Workshop, courtesy of The Journal Girl Shoppe. And it's completely online (my kind of convenience). You can hear a lovely song in the intro video: Absolutely Nothing by Lilly Allen. Ooh, and she also has a zine called Page by Page.