Monday 30 November 2009

Knitting Frenzy Part I

I have doing ALOT of knitting lately -- highly recommended in times of stress! This bag is the first result. The deer is a traditional Swedish motif that I found in a book, the little people holding hands are from my mum's old German sewing magazines. I had a short sleeved sweater with these motifs on them when I was a kid (in lemon and lime: it was the 70's) and I have loved them ever since. I've used lots of beautiful Australian and New Zealand wool and wool blend yarns which are soft but sturdy and highly recommended to work with. The bag is lined in beautiful vintage cotton which I found at The Chapel Street Bazaar. It's modelled here by my beautiful sister-in-law Esme in my father's garden (soon to be featured on Vasili's, by the way).
It is available in my etsy shop. The bag, that is.

Thursday 26 November 2009

A tiny part of my vintage scarf collection

Details of some of my favourite vintage scarves, above. Apologies as usual for my mediocre photographic skills. My criterion for a collectible scarf is largely subconscious: if it grabs my eye and doesn't look too much like something I already have (e.g. Italian tourist scarves) then I grab it! As it happens, looking at this little bunch I can see some common themes emerging: a certain level of kitsch, maps and travel themes, bright colours and a simple illustrative quality. The final one is my favourite: a relatively large Jacqumar London scarf commemorating the QEII, which according to last August's The World of Interiors may well be worth a couple of pretty pennies. Or it would be if I hadn't blu-tacked it to the hallway wall one summer and stained its corners permanently. I love it too much to part with it anyway.

This post is part of an ongoing game over at the lovely Meet Me at Mike's, which anyone is welcome to take part in. This week's theme of collections was dreamt up by Kate at Fox's Lane.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Working 9 - 5: Painted Eggs

Above: I designed these A G E S ago and couldn't wait to show them here, and now that they have arrived in stores for the Christmas toy rush, I can. They are small handpainted wooden eggs that make a lovely sound when you shake them. Below: the artwork which was sent to China for the manufacturers to interpret in three dimensions. I think that they did a good job. (There was a fourth design -- a flower -- which was deemed boring by the higher powers and cancelled.)

Thursday 19 November 2009

Lessons in Australiana!

An important lesson about Australia for foreign readers of this blog (hello dear cousins!). Here, kangaroos deliver our strawberries...
Butterflies guard our homes (this one is quite close to mine actually)...

Pineapples help us to see...

...and our ubiquitous tomato sauce comes via a koala.

The last three images are from Barry Humphries' Treasury of Australian Kitsch, Melbourne, 1980 (though most of the images in the book seem at least ten years older). This book is out of print as far as my brief internet investigation has gleaned. Why, oh why?!

Sunday 15 November 2009

Hans and Huey

Above: Gustav and Franz now have a rather poetic little brother called Hans, who bravely asks "Do you believe in love?" inspired by the 1982 song lyric by Huey Lewis and the News. Click here to watch the video -- I know you want to.
January 7 addition: my little band of brothers are visiting a beautiful blog called Enhabiten, based in New Hampshire. They are very pleased with themselves!

Thursday 12 November 2009

My Secret Weapon!

I am taking part in a game started by Pip Lincolne over at Meet Me at Mike's. This week, players have been asked by My Bricole to share their special creative weapon. Mine has to be my beloved copy* of Auguste Racinet's The Costume History, first published in the 1870's. A seemingly endless, enormous treasure trove of people, costumes and cultures that I open at random pages regularly and always find something that intrigues me. There's nothing to beat the colour, pattern, detail, interaction between the figures, oddity and variety of human glory that it documents with Victorian zeal. And when I feel that I have been too saturated by this dip into history, I go for something cooler, like Vitamin D. But when I want to go back to the endless glories of human culture, I go back via (Un)FASHION by Tibor and Maira Kalman. Brilliant!

* Until recently I had been borrowing the E N O R M O U S copy of Racinet held by the City Library in Melbourne. Do NOT attempt this unless you have a wheelbarrow. I found my (smaller) copy at The Brunswick Street Bookstore, and it was pretty well priced as Taschen is celebrating an anniversary this year.

Gustav the Little Wooden Man

Above: presenting Gustav, brother of the previously posted Franz. My obsession with the strangely proportioned little German doll continues. In addition to that obsession, Gustav gets to have another manifestation of one of my great loves: Scandinavian/Spode inspired blue and white decoration. He is quite a profound little fellow, containing in his body both a blue citrus fruit tree and and entire landscape. Perhaps I am becoming the hippie I have always threatened (my mother) that I would become. Om!!!!

Movember is in full swing!

So Movember is in full swing! By the second week you can really start sorting the men from the boys, from bum fluff shadows to the full plush handlebars. However, I myself will always prefer cheap wine and a three day growth.
...Yep, even Barnsey was once a young spunk.

Saturday 7 November 2009

Franz the Little Wooden Man

Above: meet Franz, the Little Wooden Man. He is based on an early 19th century cloth doll which I found in a book a long time ago. I have always been charmed and intrigued by his strange proportions and I thought that I would have to use them as inpiration for something one day: whether it be a drawing, object or even an ongoing character. Franz is the first fruit of that exploration, and I don't think that he'll be the last. I have put him up for sale in my etsy shop and I feel a little sad as I am quite fond of him. But hopefully he will have all sorts of brothers one day who will visit me, if only briefly. And I kind of like the idea of him going to live somewhere exotic. In the meantime I badly need to improve my photography skills...