A garden full of inspiration
As you may have noticed, we have a garden absolutely FULL of plants, both native and introduced.
I grew up in a very plant-focused family, and acquired a great deal of knowledge by osmosis, even thought actual gardening has never really been my scene (mainly because of allergies).
âOur visit to Portland a year ago, and my increasing interest in reducing my impact on the planet by living more sustainably, really re-fired my interest in growing my own food.
I started by drawing a lot of our thriving herb garden here:
CCS, part 3 - new projects
Quite some time ago now, we launched our first and second waves of colour-cut-and-sew cushion projects. They were very popular, but as we haven't brought out new versions with the new designs, their popularity has ebbed, as you would expect, so we are refreshing the range for this year's gift-giving season.
I decided to match up my most popular bird picture, my kereru, with one of my newest designs, kawakawa, for the first design.
We love laser-cutting at Copper Catkin
It's been something that has been hovering on the periphery for many years - since the birth of platforms like Ponoko, in fact - but has never been an option because of all the software retraining and style changes required. Not, that is, until our wedding, where we decided to incorporate some laser-cutting into our centrepieces and cake stand.
We also used laser-cutting to make the displays for our Steampowered Nuptials polymer clay sculptures.
A seed is sown
Back in December, I was asked if I spoke at quilting groups. I replied that I hadn't really thought about it, but... sure? And then I got home and fretted about what I would actually say at such an event! So I asked the Facebook, because that's what one does these days.
An American friend of mine has been struggling through some pretty tough times recently. She's dealing with serious family illness, and all the horrible internal politics that go with it. I've been watching developments helplessly from here in NZ, wishing there was something I could do - but there simply wasn't anything more than giving support through the internet.
Yes, bearded fashion-plate ladies.
So I have been watching a lot of Drag Race and Project Runway for company while I work, and whilst most of my designs have been fairly PG and 'normal', if quirky, every now and then, the full-on whimsical side has to get an airing. So, here are some 'fashion' poses with a beardy twist. I've been drawing this kind of elongated figure since I was a kid - it's fun!
As with my water lilies, this design was inspired by some amazing travel photos taken by my stepfather. I like to challenge myself to use new palettes, and these photos used beautiful shades of orange and green that I usually don't incorporate into my artwork.
Some time ago, I ordered some ring bezels on a whim because they looked like they were going to be an amazing metallic lime green... but when they arrived, they were more of a blue-green. I put them away to wait for the perfect project - and here it is!
What does Kōwhai mean?
"Kōwhai (Māori pronunciation: [kɔːɸai] or [kɔːfai]) are small woody legume trees within the genus Sophora that are native to New Zealand. There are eight species, with Sophora microphylla and S. tetraptera being the most recognised as large trees. Their natural habitat is beside streams and on the edges of forest, in lowland or mountain open areas. Kōwhai trees grow throughout the country and are a common feature in New Zealand gardens. Outside of New Zealand, kōwhai tend to be restricted to mild temperate maritime climates.
The blooms of the kōwhai are widely regarded as being New Zealand's national flower, although they have no official status as such.
The word kōwhai is also used in the Māori language for the colour yellow, because of the colour of the flowers."
Chocolate Lemon Slice
So in our family, Chocolate Lemon Slice is an absolute treasure. It's not exactly hard to make, but it's time-consuming - and it gets eaten so fast! So it's a special occasion treat.
When I saw that one of the October Spoonflower teatowel challenges was about family recipes, I was thrilled! While we were at the family bach in 2014, I considered making a teatowel using a drawing of the lemons on the tree and mum's handwritten recipe, but I never got further than a quick ideas board. This challenge was a great chance to revisit the design and make it work, as Tim Gunn would say!