Practical therapy

I am certain that a sewing machine would relieve as much human suffering as a hundred lunatic asylums, and possibly a good deal more.” — Margaret Atwood

Posted to the Ragtag Daily Prompt | wind

When the packaging’s part of the present

Finished! Toy sack that doubles as gift-wrapping for the mokopuna‘s* Christmas gift.

I am trying to reduce the amount of packaging waste I generate, and while I can’t do anything about the plastic and cardboard encasing the little one’s train set, I figured I could at least deliver it in something useful.

‘Cos seriously, what boy doesn’t collect stuff?

*mokopuna (often shortened to moko) is the Maori word for a young grandchild, niece, nephew — or in our case, first cousin twice removed.

Isn’t moko so much nicer.

Working in colour

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Getting ready. Image: Su Leslie 2018

All the spring-cleaning and re-organising of my stuff that’s been going on has revealed the true extent of my fabric stash, and I am determined to start using it.

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Green certainly seems to be my colour. Image: Su Leslie 2018

These shades of blue and green seem to form the palette of my life, and I think look really good on my newly painted work table.

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New work table, new enthusiasm. Image: Su Leslie 2018

Sanded, sealed, splashed and sealed again; our old table repurposed. The surface is smooth enough for working with fabric, and waterproof so I can use it for painting too.

It’s amazing how having a fun, colourful workspace improves my enthusiasm for a project.

Of course the painting helps. I bought it about 30 years ago from a friend who in turn bought it in an art school graduate show. I love the colours, and the landscape is Auckland’s west coast, probably either Piha or Te Henga beach.

Posted to Ragtag Daily Prompt | colour

The Changing Seasons: July 2018

Early morning light behind the Tor at Waiake Beach, Auckland. Su Leslie 2018 Morning. The Tor, Waiake Beach, Auckland, NZ. Su Leslie, 2018

July is proving to be a very inward-looking month. From my photos, it would seem that pretty much all I’ve done is sew, eat and walk on beaches and in gardens.

The sewing started in June, with the “Art Matters” tote I made (supposedly just to hold paints and brushes). It got such a positive reaction from people I seriously considered the economics of making some commercially (not viable). But since I had a stash of fabric and image-transfer paper, I made a few more for friends, and then thought I could do more for going plastic-free if I had a bunch of other totes. The library bag followed, and then some simple calico bags that scrunch up small enough to carry around, and after that a holdall for all the stuff (notebook, pens, glasses, iPad, phone, etc) I carry from office to living room so I can work in either. My journal is filling up with more ideas and designs and I think I am officially obsessed.

I’ve already shared so many food photos this month, I’ll leave you with this shot and the question: what did I make with these ingredients?

img_2870 “mystery box challenge” (ok, I’m watching MasterChef Australia on TV). Su Leslie 2018

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.

If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to this post, I can update it with links to all of yours.

UPDATE

Be sure to check out how these other bloggers have experienced July

Max at Cardinal Guzman: Version #1 and Version #2

Deb at The Widow Badass Blog

Marilyn at Serendipity, Seeking intelligent life on Earth

Joanne at My Life Lived Full

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Sarah at Art Expedition

Ladyleemanila

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Klara

Mick at Mick’s Cogs

Ruth at Ruth’s Arc

Jude at Under a Cornish Sky

Yvette at Priorhouse Blog

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

Tote-ally chuffed (yep, pun intended)

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Weekend craft project; my new tote bag. Su Leslie 2018

I’m doing the happy dance today. My feeling-a-bit-meh-stay-in-and-sew project from the weekend has turned out way better than expected.

Sewing is one of the many things I do with considerably more enthusiasm than skill. But for all that I often hate the results of my labours, I do really enjoy the processes.

The tote was meant to be a simple solution to my twin problems of having a) lots of art and craft materials, and b) no dedicated space in which to use them.

A couple of weeks ago I realized that my stuff was  dispersed through pretty much every room in the house. A huge tidy-up followed (you know the one that includes thoughts like “so, that’s where the screen-printing ink ended up” and “hm, don’t remember buying 10 metres of white satin ribbon”).

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The art bag. Su Leslie 2018

My tote isn’t quite that ambitious. It is designed to hold an A4 watercolour pad, paints, pencils, brushes and assorted painting doo-dahs and I’m happy to report that it does this rather splendidly.

BUT … it’s also much nicer than I anticipated and it seems a bit sad to keep it at home, lurking in a closet or corner.

SO … I’ll probably test-drive it as a new handbag. And I guess I’ll just have to make myself another art bag.

 

Regular Random: five minutes with some upholstery materials

Shot of armchair seat with cover removed, and assorted materials to re-upholster. Hessian, platform cloth, cover fabric, needles, scissors and tape measure. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Getting started. The seat of my $5 project chair — ready to be re-up-holstered. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Last week the Big T and I deconstructed our $5 charity shop armchair, removing the old upholstery and stripping layers of yellowing varnish off the wood frame.

Yesterday, I began the process of re-staining and varnishing the wood; and collected the upholstery materials together. I plan to start with practice on the chair seat. It detaches, and because the whole wooden frame will be fabric-covered, it doesn’t need to be varnished.

Wish me luck!

Five Minutes of Random (the #RegularRandom challenge) is hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist. Her latest post captures beauty in decay through a delicate pink peony. The images are stunning, so do pop over and take a look.

If you’d like to join in:

  • choose a subject or a scene
  • spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
  • try to see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post
  • have fun!