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collection d’éphémère.

collection of fleeting.

fleeting moments. fleeting records of those fleeting moments.

when we are on the road, i swing like a pendulum between wanting to capture moments on camera to keep hold of; and then leaving the camera in my bag to experience those moments wholly to keep in memory only. on this last big trip though, we wanted by the end of the 4 months to have a good little collection of tangible moments of the journey. though we still sometimes forgot to pull out the fujifilm instax, we managed a good bundle of pics. because of the uncertain nature of instant film (there isn’t really any known lifespan of an instant photo), we wanted to keep them safe, but close to hand to revive fond memories of the trip.

inspired by accordion photo albums, i made this little pocket-sized number. going with a natural, minimal theme, i used brown kraft board, veg tan leather and balsa wood for the cover. since the balsa was so soft, i managed to sew the leather strip to the back cover to keep it in place. a collar stud and hole in the leather strip to keep the accordion folds closed… et voila… a super-easy mini-album.

InstaAlbum

de la confiserie.

from the candy store.

i wish i just visited the candy store.

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they make me think of willy wonka’s everlasting gobstoppers from charlie and the chocolate factory. i wondered if there was any translation in the french version… but didn’t manage to find any… ??

to welcome a mini-person to the world, i jumped at the opp to start another origami project. i don’t really get to do as much as i used to. well.. actually, i don’t allow myself to do as much as i used to. already there are more than a handful of origami pieces scattered around our small (and crammed) home. i just take advantage of any excuse to fold people with or for other people.

each of these balls are made with 12 square sheets of paper, folded into 1 module each – all the same sequence of folds. that means there are 60 folded sheets right there. yes, it’s repetitive, but it’s totally therapeutic and rewarding, once you finish enough modules to complete a ball… and then again when you finish slotting them all together. even T got involved (with my gentle nudge of encouragement).

Origami Mobile in the making.jpg

to save the nightmare of threading them on, i actually constructed the modules directly onto the cotton twine. then they were tied to a super simple x-frame from a square rod length of balsa wood, cut in half with jewellery headpins for the centre pivot and string loops. easy peasy.

i’m working on a step-by-step to fold a module – to be posted soon!

un bouquet.

not a bunch of flowers, but rather a bunch of yarn!

another tassel-making expedition for a birthday-gift necklace. i threaded the tassel heads through some metal bugle beads and i added some mini-crocheted baubles which came on a trim i had in the bag of tricks.

Multi tassel necklace.jpg

tip – especially if you’re making them with embroidery yarn, use a pin to separate the ends and then hold it over steam from a kettle to detangle, straighten and fluff-up. but avoid burning your fingers!

attaché.

attached. tied. bound.

all such words appropriate for a post on valentines gifting! ha!

to sit alongside a new wrist wrap which i macrame’d out of coated cotton cord and the large dark chocolate Haigh’s frog (yum), i thought to replace T’s grossly deteriorating rubber grips on his bike, with new leather ones.

valentines_wristwrap_leather_bike_grips

these would be the 3rd set i have made. the lessons i learnt from the previous sets were:

measure the width of leather needed to wrap around the handlebar, then less 0.5cm to accommodate for the thickness of the leather (especially if you’re measuring with a tape rather than the leather itself) and the stretch. a snug fit is better than a loose fit, or even just a fit (i’ve learnt this by losing grips by having them fly off mid-pedal. no grip happening there).

– leather to metal does not grip as well as one would think. this also contributed to the flying lost grip incident above. a fellow cyclist commented on how cool those previous grips looked when i was stopped at the traffic lights (obviously before i lost them). i mentioned how they weren’t as grippy as they should be and he suggested i use cut up inner-tube as an underlay. genius!

you need a sturdy lacing. even doubled leather sewing waxed cotton is not enough. i’ve gone for coated cotton cord, strong and actually looks good too.

so after working out the exact size of rectangle i needed for each grip, i ruled lines to ensure that my punched holes would line up. (tip: one of those plastic chopping boards is good to have under your leather when using a punch, resistant enough to make a clean hole while safe for the tool) make sure that your holes are a generous size for whichever lacing you are using, particularly if some fraying might occur on the ends (otherwise you can tape up the ends and trim after). after a good half hour of malleting (sorry downstairs neighbour!), i was ready to pre-lace. of course, you can lace them directly onto the handle bars, but for gifting, it needed to look a bit pretty so i threaded through the lace leaving a substantial amount of length at the ends to allow for loosening when the time came to put them on.

now i need to make a set for me!

diy_leather_bike_grips

les sauvages.

the wild.

the wedding marathon continues into 2014, along with all the other ‘complementary’ activities… including the hen’s night. while i approach all hen’s events with great fear and trepidation, the night turned out to be pretty fun and i had an excuse to make something fun to wear for the theme of ‘wild ones’.

i was after a jungle-ish/tropical look but found all inspiring tropical foliage too large to wear on my head. and more than that, where was i going to find it short of buying a bouquet only to dismantle or waking up at zero a.m. to head to the flower market? unsure of what i would find, i searched high and low for what Syd had to offer in the way of articial flowers and foliage but found nothing that would work… that is until i got to the dollar store just around the corner from my house (of course). i found all i needed right there… a whole garland of mini monstera (!!!?), a wire comb headband and wire.

tropical_monstera_wild_headpiece

i trimmed the leaves off the main garland keeping a few cm’s of stem to work with. starting at one end, i lined up a stem horizontally with the headband’s main and started winding wire around both to secure in place. to conceal the headband and create a fuller look, i maintained a lot of overlap with each new added leaf stem. once i got to the centre, i started working from the other end in the opposite direction to meet in the middle.

when i finished, i was happy with it until i realised that from a distance, i looked like:
a) i was wearing a green toupée
b) i had walked into a thick jungle, gotten lost/stranded and finally came out again with random leaves stuck in my hair… although i guess this would have been more true to the ‘wild’ theme. bit too much.

i was rescued from the real trapped-in-the-jungle look with some artificial orchid stems from ikea. complete!

talisman.

same in all languages, it seems.

my first introduction to the concept of a talisman, was actually through a song, by air – the french band. one of my favourites by them. that album, moon safari was like a soundtrack to my late-teen daydreams of visiting France. all beside the point of this post, but a very luscious song in any case.

the subject of this post is actually tassels. as is sometimes the case, there is no difference between the word in english and its french translation. no fun.

so i plugged ‘tassel’ into wiki and i learnt some curious facts:
– once upon a time (and possibly still??), the crafting of tassels (amongst other things, like pompoms, fringes and cord) was (is?) a true artform in France. such people are called passementiers, and had to put in 7 years of apprenticeship before being able to call themselves a master!
– in the middle east, tassels were worn by children atop hoods and caps as talismans, to protect from evil.

and at the end of all that, i chose to title this post talisman. which, again, is the same in english as it is french. ha.

let me be clear in saying, there are no magical powers happening here. just plain old – but fun – tassels.

some time ago, i made some longer bugle-like beads of fimo but didn’t really know what to do with them. the other week i decided to make a few tassels out of embroidery thread i had lying around to hang off the ends of the beads. i was pretty happy, so i made a few more to gift to friends.

tassel_necklace

making them is SUPER easy.

tassel_process

(forgive the crappy photo quality – it isn’t easy making with one hand and photographing with the other!!)

and now finally, HAPPY WEEKEND!!!

sur l’herbe, sous un arbre.

on the grass, under a tree.

the other week, i hinted at another project on the go with this, a pile of pre-cut fabric awaiting the availability of a sewing machine (mine is currently on loan!). during a post-christmas visit to see my folks, i hid away for an hour or two to embrace the luxury of my ma’s ever-ready-and-set-up industrial sewing machine.

so the project: a new picnic mat!

our existing picnic mat was a cheapie, but served us well for a good 3 years. generically tartaned, i’m afraid that it suffered too many a spilled beer and stray ember to live on (this last camping trip contributed greatly to its demise). a launder would have guaranteed disintegration. so i shopped around, but didn’t find anything perfect enough to warrant the mysteriously high prices.

the solution is obviously triangles.

in my stash, i had saved a bundle of coated linen which was perfect for the underside (saving from a seat in damp grass!) and at the post-christmas sales, i managed to score bargains on basic cotton homespun in a good combo of colours for a patchwork top side.

picnic_mat

it took a big hour of prep, spread out on the floor in anti-yogic postures – with calculations of measurements and a freestyle approach to cutting panels. the sewing took something like an hour and a half, contending with a bit of repetition with the triangles and the consequences of said “freestyle approach to cutting panels” >> mismatching measurements. all in all, it turned out ok and i’m actually pretty chuffed with it. i added some d rings and made a strap so it can be rolled and carried to an ideal picnic destination – somewhere on the grass, under a tree.

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