Tuesday, 31 July 2007

black bear

ok, let me start by saying i'm a bad blogger. a bad, bad blogger. no posts for almost a week... but in my defense: i've not been sitting still! i've worked on my skirt (it's almost done now, next lesson we'll finish it by putting in a blind zip) and i've started work on a softie from the aranzi aronzo book. last saturday my friend ann and her lovely son sal accompanied me to the albert cuyp market in sunny amsterdam to purchase some new fabrics. nowadays fabric shops are not that common in rotterdam any more, but along the sides of the albert cuyp market there are loads of them! i ended up buying some grey marl jersey and some black stretch velvet to experiment with. as a start i thought it might be nice to make a soft black bear, sort of like the dick bruna black bear. not sure if it's going to turn out good, but i've got high hopes. in spite of my 'unconventional' sewing methods. shortcut is my middle name. i'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, 25 July 2007


i have been looking for a little pouch to keep papers in since i've had my wonderful leather mammoet bag. the only problem with the mammoet bag is that it's huge and hasn't got a lot of separate spaces. then, a few months ago i saw a seller called etceteramedia on etsy, who makes pouches, cases and bags out of industrial felt. i decided to order the olive file filer and an olive ipod case, they were both so nice! after the first package went missing in the post the lovely kelly of etceteramedia was kind enough to send me another one and it arrived at the beginning of the week. i have to say it's even better than i expected, the quality is amazing and the olive colour gorgeous. while surfing i now found out that they have a website/webstore. and now i've seen that they make really nice handbags too. what's a girl to do?

fluff market

i came across something exciting this evening: there's going to be an arts and crafts fair called fluff market in den haag next month! there's still room for talented people, so if you have some cool products you'd like to sell and you're from the benelux, this is your chance. i for one haven't got anything to sell, but i'm sure going to be there to meet some cool crafters. so come check it out on saturday, august 11 in den haag!

Tuesday, 24 July 2007


ok, i'm not sure what it means, but it's the title of my new japanese craft book. it's an aranzi aronzo softies book with patterns for the aranzi aronzo figures and i can tell you it's mighty cute! of course there's not a word of english in it, but that can't spoil the fun... i bought it through the marketplace of amazon.co.jp, which has lower shipping charges than the books that you buy from amazon directly (¥1200 for the marketplace versus ¥3400 + ¥300 handling fee for amazon.co.jp). ok, to much talk about money, but this way the book only cost me ¥2000 (€12, £8, $16,50). Good score!

sew what?

i have to say that when i saw a link for the burdastyle website the name initially put me off. i suppose i associate the name burda with old fashioned and stuffy. you can argue if i'm right thinking that, but i was certainly wrong about burdastyle! this website is a treasure of patterns and sewing (machine) information. most of the patterns seem to be free and there are loads of how-to's for just about any sewing issue. there's something called sewpedia, with tons and tons of interesting sewing reference, and a forum. what can i say: go have a look, you'll not be disappointed!

Sunday, 22 July 2007

felt necklaces

danielle gori-montanelli is an artist who used to make metal jewellery, using a blowtorch, a handsaw and a hammer. after having two children she wanted to use safer materials and began experimenting. she wound up making felt jewellery for children and grown ups, from simple dot necklaces to complicated collars. they're not necessarily my cup of tea, but i do like how she uses felt in quite a new way. i saw this link on do something pretty, a very worthwhile read!

craft corner

the one thing that was lacking in my house was a little corner where i could set up my sewing machine and spread out my fabric. since last year my boyfriend has moved in with me and has taken over the dining room table as a desk. he works from home, so he needs the table a lot more than i do. fair enough. the only problem is that there aren't any rooms left, so it was a bit difficult to find the space to fit an extra table into. yesterday we decided to drive to ikea and see what they have on offer. going to ikea on a saturday is a bad idea, but i did find this desk called jonas. it's meant as a computer desk, but the slide out part is actually perfect as a sewing machine table, since it's slightly lower than a normal one. also i can slide the part in and put the machine under it when it's not in use, ideal! it was compact enough to fit into the other side of the dining room, so now it's officially a work room. i've already used it to work on my skirt for the sewing class i take and i couldn't be happier! of course it's not completely finished. i'll still need to put in some storage for fabrics and tools, but it'll all come together... the last picture is of a book sheila (my boyfriends mom) sent me to help me learn to knit. she's really good at all this craft stuff, so i'm sure i will learn a thing or two from her too. how cool is the book though? i think it's almost as old as i am!

Saturday, 21 July 2007

area ny

the thing that got me thinking about the fold bedding i wrote about was a link i saw for area, a new york company that make bedding and home accessories. like fold they've got a beautiful clean style and only use natural fibers. the company's founder being swedish might have something to do with that. very inspirational!

Friday, 20 July 2007

jouwes? mijnes!

i saw a link to mijnes on bloesem a while ago and now on print & pattern. they hand-make really cute pillows, bags and other baby accessories with high quality materials. i'm really happening so much seems to be going on in holland right now, with new crafty companies springing up all around. maybe in time there will be events here like renegade and groups like craft maffia. i for one can't wait!

beautiful bedding

the first time i saw the bedding on the fold website i knew i wanted to learn to sew. i was there to look at the wallter starburst wall application i wanted to buy, but i was really most impressed with the bedspreads they make. the company was started by max and linda, a couple who shared a creative calling and decided that business and pleasure could be mixed. the results prove they were right!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

felt beads

ok, some more felt then! bits and bobbins had a picture of the colourful felt jewellery on her blog, so i read up on the french artist who made it, virginie bois. apart from these pieces, she also makes other jewellery, but she also does installations and sculptures. i came across a really good tutorial to make felt beads at instructables a while ago, so this is your chance to do something fun and save some money!

fabulous felt

if you've been reading my older posts, you might have noticed i have this thing about felt. on the re:makeables blog i came across a post about josh jakus. i've seen his bags in shops before and was impressed with the original approach to the material. what kept me from buying one was that they just didn't strike me as very practical. open the zip a bit to far and everything comes falling out... that doesn't take away from the fact that the design is very cool!

Monday, 16 July 2007

miss buttons

one of the easiest ways to get started making dolls is to get a kit that has everything together. this little cutie is a good example of a fun project to get you started with. miss button was designed by the talented miss white (there are so many amazing australian ladies out there!) and on sewyourown you can buy the full kit or you can choose to buy just the pattern. the cool thing: when you've completed your miss buttons you can upload a picture of her to their website!

aranzi aronzo

in my quest for all things cute and craftable i keep coming back to japanese craft books. this time i found aranzi aronzo, a company that make products featuring cartoon characters. i just ordered a book with patterns to make their toys out of jersey fabric, but they also have some other craft materials like patches and printed fabric. cute overload!

Sunday, 15 July 2007

grandma's stash

sunday's the day i visit my grandmother and when i was telling her about my sewing course she told me she still has lots of old supplies she doesn't use anymore. i didn't really get into all of it, but i did come across a couple of cute things. i thought the buttons weren't that special, but i just love the packaging! i do really like the ribbon, especially the one with the ladybirds. i also love the metal buttons that you can use to make fabric covered buttons with. i can't wait to dive into the rest of the cupboard!

orla kiely

about 8 years ago i saw a gorgeous bag on a girl in london. i was to shy to ask here where she got it, so instead i just got a bit closer and saw it said 'orla' (the rest i couldn't make out) on the little label. when i got back home i did some research and found out it was a bag by the irish designer orla kiely. ever since her name has been popping up left, right and centre and she's been added to my list of design heroes. she's most famous for her stem print bags, but she does fashion, homewares, luggage and much more. tinsmiths sell a couple of orla's oilcloth fabrics, but stock is very limited.