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.
where are you from?
thinking about my own story and of those of the people around me, i consider that we are all a little bit from everywhere. thinking about the journeys of our ancestors, our parents, and of course those journeys of our own. one day when T and i will have minis, it will be important for them to know and understand that they inherit parts of our combined stories, and will have roots in many places.
this idea gave me the inspiration to make a few personalised ori-globes as gifts for a few “new-parent” friends and their minis.
a simplified version of this project from 2011, i used copies of maps and selected areas of sentimental significance which i knew of my friends’ lives. such areas included where mama’s family came from, where papa was born, where mama and papa met, holidayed, married went on their honey moon and so on.
i like to imagine that one day, my friends will be able to point out the special places on the ori-globe and tell stories to their kids.
if you want to try this, it’s definitely worth making up a little template. using scrap paper, fold a few modules, enough so that a single module is fully connected. mark on that fully connected module what is visible when fully connected. remove the additional modules, undo the folds and cut away the areas you marked as visible. you can lay this on top of whatever you want to use to see what will be visible on your ori-globe. you’ll save yourself folding however many modules to realise that your significant bit of map, letter, photo, pic or quote is concealed under the fold of another module!
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.
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.
distractions (a.k.a projects) keeping me occupied over the last few months.
light at my desk!
such a simply necessary thing, but took a good while to sort out. i did have a lamp but i wanted to add an in-line switch. during the attempt, the lamp blew up in T’s hand, but thankfully he was okay aside from some blackening on his fingertips. watch out for cross-wire action people! anyway, fixed the issue, ordered a cage pendant from Mulbury and spray painted it yellow to finish. spray painting is so satisfying. after this was done, i started to look around at other things around the house to spray!
which lead to this…
victim: BEKVÄM step stool.
attack: few coats of tea stain to make it look less stark, a taping of the feet and a few coats of vivid orange spray paint (again, such satisfaction!)
new life: home for my ghanaian elephant grass basket.
geo patterned serving tray.
somehow, i became obsessed with wanting to have a serving tray. anyone who’s been over to our place knows that our home is no where near big enough to require a tray to take things from the kitchen to some sort of entertaining area (it’s basically the same space!), but anyway, i really wanted a fun one. i found a plain bamboo one, bought a couple of posca pens and got colouring.
i know, i know. crochet is so 3 years ago. i’m soooo behind the trend… but having said that, i’m probably slightly in advance of it’s next revival! i found a great reference for learning crochet in a variety of stitches at New Stitch A Day . i was a crocheting machine. for 2 days. then i got over it. ha.
new geo picnic mat.
new project – freshly cut and awaiting assembly. soon!
(and yes, more triangles!)
the teapot. the hairpin. and the jar of vinegar.
so now that we have an awesome tripod lamp, we felt it deserved a better bedside table home than the less-than-pretty ‘roadside boutique’ find that we had been using until now. we searched for inspiration online and visited our regular second-hand places but nothing really interested us.
so, along came the i-word (we needed to stock up on some more choc-covered oat biscuits anyway). there we picked up some very basic box-like structures to work with and make our own…
we thought of painting and/or staining, but researching wood stain options online, i became really fearful of ending up with a really yellow or really orange country-home-style result. not to mention the thick smell of chemical in our balcony-less apartment. so i looked up natural-ish home-made stains. taking tips from a load of different sites, i found a cheap, fairly easy and reasonably quick solution.
1. a strong tea. i brewed a super-strong pot of tea, let it cool and applied it to the untreated pine wood. this added tannins to the wood surface (pine seems to have less tannins than other species)
2. an iron solution. i filled a jar full of vinegar, added a chunk of steel wool and other random rusted or rustable metal bits: i used a washer, a bobby pin, semi-rusted nail and a rusted paintbrush. left it overnight.
3. applied the iron solution. let it dry. the tannins reacted to the iron solution and darkened, leaving the wood with a nice grey finish. yay!
and then there was light.
another lamp project! whoooop!
it’s been a while now since we decided we needed a reading lamp in our room. we’ve had a few parts sitting around the living room for a while – like the red and white cloth cord and vintage edison style incandescent bulb from the empirical style ebay store.
what we needed was a some structure that we actually liked the look of. difficult to look for when you don’t know what that might be. but, inspired one day by the amazing well of ideas that is scraphacker, i got seaching on ebay and came across a beauty of a tripod… true antique, metal and what i would call a steal. immediate purchase!
a visit to bunnings for the plug and another online order of a vintage style lamp holder from fat shack vintage in melbourne and we had all the bits!
enfin… voila!! lumière!
so yes, i do realise that indulging in an incandescent bulb is pretty naughty, as they have low energy efficiency, but it’s just so…. pretty…
a bowler hat doesn’t really translate to a chapeau de pétanque.. that translation was just a stupid thought that occurred to me looking up the background of bowler hat. i should really know already, but i didn’t. turns out the bowler hat never had anything to do with a bowling… or bowls, bocce or pétanque… it’s named after the brothers that designed it. simple as that.
picked up this great old ladder from mitchell road and it wears my bowler hat, the lamp we made as our first foray into electricity and another origami ball of kraft brown paper and tracing film.