Monday, December 17, 2007

Handmade 2.0

There is an interesting article about the DIY/indie craft movement on the NY Times web site titled Handmade 2.0 by Rob Walker. It is an interesting review of the movement, mainly focussing on Etsy, but also referencing other sites including Craftster and

I found it inspiring as I love reading about people being successful from their creative ventures, plus it gave me some ideas for the future when I hope to sell some of my creations online.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Andrea the Superhero

I'm sure I've blogged about Andrea of Superhero Designs before, but her site is so wonderful I just had to mention it again!

I think I enjoy it even more now that we are both new mums. Her writing on motherhood is so insightful and often so close to my own feelings and experiences that it is almost spooky. But it makes me feel good to know I'm not the only one going through changes, difficulties and joys getting used to being a mum.

Andrea is a very inspiring artist - she is so honest, thoughtful and fun. She shares wonderful stories of her life as a creative woman, wife, mother - all the joys, tears, triumphs and trials. Please check out Andrea's journal - I promise you that you will be thanking me!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


I am deeply affected by colour, especially the colours of the countryside I’m in. Moving to New Zealand was quite a shock for me as the colours are so different to Australia. Below are photos showing the stark differences between where I live now (bright greens and flowers) to where I lived in Australia for 5 years (dusty browns and washed out greens).

Such different colour palettes! But I love both of them - the richness of my new home...the stark harshness of my home country...just wonderful, inspiring, beautiful...

Following are some resources available on the Internet directly related to colour:


Pantone Fashion Report Spring 2008 - an analysis of the colours predominately used by designers at New York Fashion Week, September 5–12, 2007

Color Matters – lots of interesting stuff on colour theory. – a very cool site that lets you select and save colour schemes and tag colours with names that are meaningful to you. You can also view and rate other people’s colour schemes. has a very good overview of colour theory.

Colour wheel

Colour therapy, also known as chromotherapy, is often facilitated in the healing rooms of alternative health practitioners. It can be used to balance energy in the areas of our bodies that are lacking vibrance, be it physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental. Try Colour Therapy Healing or Color Therapy

The Power of Color -
One of the best tutorials on the web. Excellent design, easy to understand basic concepts (from The Poynter Institute)

Web Safe Colours for those designing web sites.

Some things to think about, and hopefully spark your creativity:
• How do you use colour in your art/craft
• How does the colour of the countryside around your home influence your work? How do you think that would change if you moved somewhere with a very different palette?
• What is your favourite colour to wear? Does this colour appear more in your work than other colours? Is this intentional or does it occur unconsciously?
• What is more important to you – colour, texture, light, technique?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Where Have I Been and Where am I Going?

I just wrote that title and now looking at it realise that it is a huge statement and beyond my abilities to answer at this moment!! But I'm going to stick with the title and just see what happens!

First - the easy one - where have I been? Everywhere man!!! I have spent the past 6 weeks circling the globe with my wonderful husband N and my gorgeous, resilient, adaptable 19 month old son D. We made our annual pilgrimage to the northern hemisphere for N's work and to visit family in Glasgow, plus we added on a few other countries along the way. The plan was to keep each travel leg to a manageable length to avoid the dramas we had with D last year (30hrs straight on planes with a sick, screaming baby was hell on earth). So we ended up with an itinerary that looked like this: starting in New Zealand, 1 week in Perth, 2 days in Hong Kong, 2 weeks in France, 1 week in Glasgow, 2 days in New York, 1 week in Chile, home... phew! It was wonderful, eye-opening, exhausting. And I'm so glad to be home!!!

Where am I going? God, I wish I knew!!! Going straight to insanity maybe? (do not pass Go, do not collect $200) I have all these ideas of what I want to do, but the reality is so far removed from what I dream about that I get so disheartened and then don't even start. I am so lucky - so blessed with love, good fortune and good health - but I still sometimes feel hollow and lost. I feel like I need to talk to someone who isn't family or a friend, who I can be completely open and honest with and not worry about hurting their feelings or having them worry about me. Someone who can talk straight to me. Maybe someone who can help me with my lack of motivation and will-power, who can support and advise me. I have even considered seeing a hypnotist to get me back on track, to reboot my brain and get it working properly again. Then maybe I could work out where I am going, and actually start moving towards that place.

Hmmm, enough downloading of thoughts for now...time for sleep. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Latest Projects #3

Busy, busy, busy! I've been busy working, being a mum, entertaining visiting family, and all the usual "life" stuff. In amongst all that I have managed to complete the following crafty projects.

Two amber glass and brass necklaces. The first is the planned one, the second was made from the leftovers.

A stack of ATCs ready for swapping on ATCards. I have been developing a style of portraits that I'm really enjoying doing. I wanted to work out a way to draw slightly quirky people with only a bare minimum of lines and colour. I'm happy with how this series is progressing. I'm also continuing to do more Picasso inspired portraits. I'm pleased and surprised at how these are evolving.

And altered bottlecap charms for a swap on ATCards. These contain all sorts of found objects sealed with epoxy resin. These were fun to make and I can't wait to get back my swaps. I plan to make a charm necklace from them.

A sterling silver, blue lace agate and chalcedony charm bracelet I hope to sell.

I also reorganised my craft supplies cupboard. Previously, everything was stored in plastic tubs, and of course anytime I wanted something it was always in the bottom tub. It was driving me nuts! So I spent a bit of money buying some stackable drawers and now I can easily get to whatever I want. I am soooo loving this! I'm still using some plastic tubs, but they are Ok as they are on shelves and easy to access.

So, relatively productive. Some weeks I feel like all I've achieved is about a dozen loads of washing and lots of running around after my son. But then I sit down and put it all together and it don't look half bad!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Create Weekly #2

Perhaps I should title this "Create Fortnightly"! I've been busy creating, socialising, getting ready for visitors, and doing a jewellery course - so lots to share:

A handbag I made from a vintage scarf. I've been buying scarves from op shops for ages as I had an idea for a handbag and I finally got around to making one. I'm really pleased with the result - a few kinks to iron out, but a great looking bag I think!

An Ugly Plushie! I'm so pleased with this guy. He's made from polar fleece, felt, ribbon and buttons and was so quick and easy to make. My 21 month old nephew is coming to visit next week and I wanted to make him a toy, then I saw this pattern in the book "Plush-o-rama" by Linda Kopp and I knew he'd love it. (He looks a funny shape as I haven't sewn up the opening left in the side for stuffing!)

I did a half day course on Art Clay Silver which was just wonderful. We made a ring, leaf pendant and I had some clay left over so I made some earrings. It's the first time in ages I have taken some quality time for myself and done something I love, plus I got to meet a group of lovely, friendly, like-minded people. I walked out of the course feeling full of possibilities and inspiration - what a wonderful feeling....

I am starting to get a lovely collection of ATCs from my swaps on and I wanted to display them so that I could enjoy them. So I just bought an A3 size photo frame and some large photo corners from the bargain shop and put this together in about half an hour. It's perfect as I can easily change the display and the cards don't have to be marked in any way to display them.

And of course... lots more ATCs! I have been furiously trading this past week - I've sent out so many cards and I'm now waiting on 20 returns. I actually look forward to getting the mail everyday in anticipation of new artwork arriving.

So, all in all, a very productive couple of weeks! I have family coming to visit for the next 2 weeks so I don't expect to get much time to create, so I may not post again until the end of the month. See you soon!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Created this week #1

I am very proud of myself this week as I have achieved alot! It's amazing how now that I'm a mum, some days can go by and I feel like I've achieved nothing.. because I'm a stay-at-home-mum I have a sense of obligation that I should be creating something/generating an output/contributing in some way... But this is just silly talk because I am achieving huge amounts - we have a happy, healthy, fun little boy. Anyway.. I want to share with you what I have done this week (of course besides vacuum, dust, wash, shop, clean, cook, run errands, attend swimming lessons, etc, etc, etc!!)

Tomato Relish

We eat tomato relish like there is no tomorrow and I am sick of paying $6 for a tiny jar, so I have started making my own. I just love this shot - the juicy, succulent tomatoes all ready to be transformed into jars and jars of yumminess!

Picasso Inspired Portrait ATCs

Now, if you don't know what an Artist Trading Card (ATC) is it's high time you found out - visit for all the info. Beware though...they are highly addictive and could quite possibly take over your life. I am showing great will power at the moment and only taking part in one swap at a time. Here are my practice and final cards for the "Picasso Inpsired Portrait" swap.

Chibi ATCs

Yep..more ATCs, this time the theme is "chibi" which is a Japanese term for "super deformed". They are cartoon like characters that I think are super cute! Do a Google search for more info.

Butterfly ATC

This one is for an ongoing swap I have with my Mum - hope she likes it!


Some works in progress.. a rose quartz necklace and a pearl bracelet.

What do you think?? Not a bad effort for one week!!

Friday, February 02, 2007

New Format

While I blow away the dust and sweep up the cobwebs here in Inspire Create world, please let me apologise for the lack of posts. This motherhood job is a very time-consuming one. I truly believe I spent the first 6 months after little D was born in a state of shock - the move to a new country, new baby, no sleep, and having no family or friends close by all resulted in me feeling shut-down and exhausted.

But, thankfully, that is passing and each day gets better. I am finally starting to get more than 2 hours sleep at a time, D is more fun each day, and I am starting to make friends in our new community.

Inspire Create has been on my mind for a while now - potential posts, news to share, etc - and I finally feel ready to move back in! I've been thinking about how to improve Inspire Create and have decided that I will try and post once a week. I will focus on a topic each week, and share my thoughts, links to inspiring web sites and sometimes pose a challenge/question that I hope you will respond to. But as with everything in life, we will see how that goes - I'm sure there will be tweaking along the way.

Also, to try and keep myself motivated I hope to post a summary of what I have been creating each week.

And well, just because I can - here is a recent photo of D.