September 27, 2009

Let there be more light!

Last week I made a 'light tent', in preparation for the winter days when there won't be as much daylight to take decent photos of my 'sewing projects'.
First I had to find a sturdy cardboard box.
Then came some careful measuring .....
Some tricky cutting out .....
Finally I covered the inside of the box frame with white card and the holes on the outside with some polycotton sheeting, taped down with cellotape. 
The final step was to find a suitable light to place over the top so as to eliminate any shadows.
I am still in the process of finding the best way to position the light and I could possibly do with another one, so I can have one on each side. I found that the light from the energy saving bulb worked best, as it gives a white glow rather than yellow.
The tent (or box) definitely eliminates most of the shadowing but with an extra light source it should be even better. I shall try it out with coloured card too, as I prefer a soft blue background, especially for the felt animals, the white card looks a bit grey.
This week I am working on my laundry room, having ordered some fabric online from Etsy, I am very excited to get measuring and snipping once it arrives in the mail box :)
At the moment I just have a bare canvas, Craig repainted the bench as it was a teensy bit worn from being outside all summer. The blue accessories have been moved elsewhere and it is ready for a make over .....

Hazel x

September 19, 2009

Getting Crafty :)

I'm not sure exactly why, maybe it's because the daylight hours are shorter and I can't spend as much time outside but I have gotten itchy creative fingers again. With Jemma off at Uni and the house looking neat and tidy after my housekeeping had become a little 'casual' while working outside my home for a year. Anyway who wants to be pedantic about the housework when the sun is shining? The Canadian summers are far too short to spend indoors cleaning all the time!
I do enjoy creating things, but it seems to come over me in waves. Back when the girls were small I experimented with textile paints sewing and painting hats, waistcoats, pillows and nursery pictures which I sold at a local market in South Africa. The sunny climate and white walls of the modern homes went well with the very bright colours I liked to paint with.After a few years teaching primary school children, where any art work seemed to involve glue, paper, glitter and fuzzy pipe cleaners! I lost my enthusiasm for painting and sewing in my spare time. I dabbled ever so briefly in painting in New Zealand, once again using really vivid colours.
Here in Canada starting an online Etsy shop rekindled my love of sewing and from the little cotton birds and bags in the very beginning I found that it was the tiny hand sewn felt animals that seemed to be most popular. My shop has been put on hold for a year while I worked in retail, getting out meeting people and being part of a team made for a nice change. Sorting through all my craft and fabric supplies this weekend, now that everything has been relocated to a new room, I came across some forgotten stock and have been thinking of new ways to improve my designs and think about different outlets to market some of these forgotten items.
They really are quite a contrast to my previous work, much softer colours and pretty fabrics which are more in keeping with my current home decor style and more suited to a shabby chic Victorian home with a touch of Scandinavia :) 
Little cotton hanging birds and doorstops.
One of my 'to do list' jobs over the next few days is to make a 'light tent' I have found an online tutorial which I shall follow and let you know how it turns out (good or bad). The need for a light tent is so I can take more professional photographs of the small items I make. With the lack of natural light in the winter months it is often a challenge to take good photos for listing purposes and I am hoping that the home made light tent will enable me to improve my winter photos.
Hazel x

September 02, 2009

Last days of summer

With the sun still beating down on us as a new school term began today, it's sad to think that summer will soon be over, but it has been such fun. Waving goodbye to Amber this morning as the familiar yellow school bus pulled away from the front of our house I felt a small lump in my throat. (just cos I'm a soppy mummy!)
On Sunday Jemma moves into her tiny dorm room at University two hours away, it will be a day of mixed emotions as she leaves the nest to become independent, studying and working part time. She has now met all the other Cultural advisors she will be working with, so feels comfortable and is quite excited at the prospect of starting a new chapter in her life.
We have tried to make the most of the last few days of the school holidays, which always seem to speed up towards the end as we cram as much as possible into the last week or two.
Nothing fancy, just simple memories like the day we had an impulsive lunchtime picnic in the field at a local elementary school. Watching my grown up girls laughing on the climbing frame and sliding down a children's slide, was something I didn't think I would ever see them do again, it was so funny :D
We did a bit more blueberry and blackberry picking, had some 'Paris tea' at the Telegraph Tea Room.Coffee at Starbucks in Halifax, trips to the mall, and watched a few chick flicks snuggled up on the sofa :)
The next few weeks I will be immersing myself in household jobs that have been put on hold and getting back to my sewing room, which has been neglected for far too long! Watch this space for new animals in the making :) With the big change around, swapping the study and craft room over it will be refreshing to start up again in a new space.
Hazel x