I found a beautiful new cookbook at the library this week: Isa Does It, which features everyday vegan recipes. I'm not vegan but like the idea of eating less animal products, and this book is very inspiring to me. Isa Chandra Moskowitz, of Post Punk Kitchen fame, has been writing cookbooks since 2005. This one is really beautifully styled, written in a friendly and fun way and filled with recipes that suit us as a family so I need to order a household copy of this book.
Kiera and I made these Isa muesli bars together - she did the pouring and mixing while I rummaged around in the pantry for all the ingredients. The verdict: yummier than shop ones, and the best thing: no wrappers to worry about: just a bit of waxed paper within the kids' lunchboxes. I conveniently found the recipe here on the book's facebook page, in case you want to give it a whirl.
Two finished projects from this week: a project bag from some great woven cotton in a minty-green shade, and a drum lightshade, in mint and cream striped cotton. I had a lot of fun making the lightshade and it's now in Arlo's bedroom because that's where it was most needed. He helped choose the fabric ('something with stripes and not too bright please') - we ended up using a duvet cover with thin stripes that had seen better days.
And the actual shade was made with the help of a do-it-yourself kit given to me for Mother's Day, bought locally here.
Given that it was a Mother's Day gift I demanded that everyone help me make up the project - family fun...
I came across some beautiful old fabrics in a second-hand shop recently. They provided the inspiration I needed to spend some time at the sewing machine, putting their best parts to use. And updating my usually-neglected etsy shop.
I love turning unwanted things into new, useful things. And old fabrics feature the best colours, don't you think?
Here's a scarf to match the cloudy weather: hand-printed at both ends with Xs of various sizes.
I was going for a hand-drawn, random look (conveniently..) so I carved quite a large printing block with the shapes and stamped it on this grey cotton scarf ($1 at the op-shop- hooray!)
This particular op-shop trip was initiated by our resident teenager who, since living in Wellington, has been growing her passion for secondhand clothes and eclectic style. She has an amazing eye for colour, shape and pattern and unending patience for looking through old stuff with me... : )
Do you like colours and inks and papers and shapes? Yes? You need these books on your craft table.
A couple of weekends ago I met Anna, who runs Qwerky Home from here in Wellington. Q.H is a funky little shop that stocks homewares, craft supplies and stationery from all around the world... including products from the rather beautiful Yellow Owl Workshop of San Francisco.
Qwerky Home stocks the Y.O.W books as well as these fab carve-a-stamp blocks and kits (I know these will be of interest to the keen printers at my HANDMADE workshops earlier this month).
Yellow Owl Workshop has produced two colourful and inspiring books about d-i-y printing. Anna is kindly offering a giveaway here on my blog. The winner can choose from either:
Print Workshop: Hand-Printing Techniques + Truly Original Projects by Christine Schmidt: jam packed with practical skills and fun projects so you can play with printmaking at home. It contains info on custom stamp carving, stencilling, cyanotype printing, screen printing and image transfer techniques.
Little Prints. Stencils, Stamps, and Other Artful Projects to Make for Kids, by Christine Schmidt contains a wide variety of techniques—stencilling, printing, image transfer, and stamping—to create personalised toys, decorations, wall art, accessories, and keepsakes that kids will love and parents will cherish.
** You can also enter the code HANDMADE to get a 15% discount in Anna's shop until next Friday. **
You're welcome to enter the book giveaway, whether you live in NZ or another country.
A spot of knitting by the fire this week resulted in this green neck-warmer, or cowl, which I made for a friend's upcoming birthday. The (free) pattern is the drop-stitch cowl by SpiderWomanKnits, the simplest and loveliest little project I can think of to warm up a June evening. I used super-bulky yarn (100gms of this), 9mm circulars and this stretchy cast-off technique that was new to me but is very pleasing indeed. Now I have a couple more to knit, including one for our resident teenager (probably in black).
Is it time for a new craft book or some supplies to get you being creative in the evenings? I've helped arrange a great crafty giveaway, which you'll be able to find here on Friday : ) See you then...
Last week I was given a coupon to try out 'Printic', which is an smartphone app. Love your phone photos but long for real prints to pop in your wallet or stick into your journal? This is a great solution and blends old and new school technology in a pleasing way. Printic works on iPhone, Android and Windows phones.
Using the app, you can choose which photos on your camera (or in a dropbox account) you'd like to turn into little prints. Send off the form, and then, about a week later, your prints, (maybe just a bit larger than Polaroids) will arrive in your letterbox.
I used Printic to make prints of the kids and some other things (I didn't have many photos on my phone but was impatient to try it.) The little photos are great quality, and remind me of the old days- shots of everyday life to tape to the wall, stick on the fridge or send to friends. And that's what I did with them: tucked them inside letters to grandparents and friends.
(You can also order other stuff like books and calendars featuring your prints. The app is free to install, and the prints cost about a dollar each with free delivery to your letterbox.)