Friday, 19 December 2014

Use It Or Loose It: Christmas

Today's post is about making mistletoe. Pictures of the work-in-progress throughout and the reason behind it I'll explain now. Ok, so since the move I've discovered that I have a lot of stuff. A lot. After arriving in Amsterdam 13 years ago with just one suitcase and a carry on, I now have a lotta crap. Crap I love, obviously, but don't really need. I tried to downsize before we left Amsterdam, but time was short and there were only so many cupboards, draws, shelves, attics, and boxes I could go through. I did manage to take a serious look at my wardrobe; a stack of clothes were shipped off to my little sister, a pile given away to some girlfriends, and the rest dropped off into the charity box. I was ruthless. Felt good.
Now I'm continuing the same hard line with the remainder of my stuff as I unpack boxes on the other side of the Atlantic and take a good hard look of what I have and what I need. Within reason. Let's not get too crazy. So, first things first. The other day I went through my stack of tear sheets. These are pages from magazines I've collected since moving to Europe. In my effort to at least not have a decade worth of whole magazines lying around, I decided just to rip out the pages I really wanted for reference. Good theory, right? Good, but in reality I never really looked at them and there were a good 400+ pages, which is actually a lot of paper and thus quite heavy. So, managed to go through it all and cull to about 20 sheets of really handy stuff, or a few pieces of beautiful references. I also found an interior article featuring a friend's Amsterdam apartment before they bought it. I'll pop that in the mail for them as a surprise. I've gone through all my novels, art, design, fashion, and coffee table books, and other random stuff, and currently have four boxes full to the brim ready for a tag sale next summer. Maybe after new baby Dash has outgrown some basics and I can purge some baby stuff too. See, I'm on a roll.
So, where does felt and Christmas stuff come in, you ask? Well, I have a lot of Christmas decorations – check out last years post on The Tree for a glimpse. That's one of my biggest and most loved collections. But, with this new ruthless mindset, I took a good hard look at the ornaments as I unpacked them and culled a good two shoe-boxes worth of decorations. Ones that don't really fit my retro vibe, or that I had duplicates of. Then I grabbed my pile of felt and decided to make something with the rest of the stuff I had; a Christmas wreath, and a switch of mistletoe. You've now seen the mistletoe spring to life though this post, and final result below. I'm quite happy with it. I used up a bunch of felt, including a beautiful piece of muted green that Ms Olivia send me a gift in once I couldn't bring myself to throw away (it's handy felt, after all) which was the perfect dark green for my foliage. And love having another crafty treasure to bring out each year. Next post #useitorlooseit challenge number 2 – the wreath.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Eggs Are Out

This week I planned to post some craft achievements from the weekend, but I didn't get very far yesterday. Oscar was unsettled and didn't go down for his afternoon easily, then we had what we believe was an allergic reaction to egg after dinner. Very distressing for mother and child. Poor little man. This is one of the hardest things I've had to face in motherhood so far; my boy's health conditions.

He's had really bad eczema from a very young age (2 months), and another skin issue scare, and now this allergy. All things that are tricky to know how to cure as they're so individual; eczema in particular, could be triggered by one of a million things. We've gone through dozens of different creams, from about half dozen countries. The best cream that works for us is Goldnerz intensive cream, in combination with their moisturising cream. Also with cortasone (0, 01mg), for when it's really bad to knock it on the head. but we try and use it as little as possible. This along with constant moisturising. A lot of babies grown out of it, but we were concerned with both the severity of Oscar's case and the extremely early onset of it that he wouldn't. But, he's been great the last few days.

Then last night the reaction to egg. And poor boy had a flare up that looked like mosquito bites on his body and usual eczema-targeted areas (wrists, arms, back and front of knees). So last night was spent trying to hold it together, and researching egg allergies. And shock-horror, there's a strong link with infantile eczema sufferers. Egg allergy is the most common food allergy – who knew?

So, today we have a trial Nanny, or rather Manny, arriving very soon for when Oscar wakes up from his morning nap. A nice musician from Barcelona who's hopefully going to pack some Catalan into our little boy's head. And give me a break and time to to errands at the same time. Whilst he's with Oscar I will attempt to make some headway with my craft projects. I'm on a time crunch, as they're for Chrissy; little bit of mistletoe (above, sneak peek work-in-progress) to hang up and a Christmas wreath. This is all part of the bigger Project Use It or Loose It (more on that to come). Aiming to have them finished by the time Edu arrives home from his business trip to Seoul. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Louis Mallart

It's been a while since I shared some nice type. French designer Louis Mallart has these fun animated letters he's working on as part of an exploratory experimental project. Check out more of his work here

Monday, 8 December 2014

Ben Skinner

Here we go. Some fab art today by Ben Skinner. His series Same Same uses acrylic tinted hydrocal plaster. Love it.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Kiriki's Critters

Another standout stall at the Renegade Craft Fair was Kiriki's D.Y.I. embroidered doll kits by Michelle Galletta. Each doll is about 5" tall on completion and features beautiful folk art designs made up through the stitching detail. They come in three skill levels and would make great little Christmas gifts for crafting over the winter months. They were all gorgeous but my top four faves were the bear, fox, monkey, and sloth. At the fair there was also a killer squirrel and racoon, but they've not yet made it her site, but they're on her Etsy webshop. Check out Michelle's Instagram feed for great pics of her embroidery and travel. Talented lady, really looking forward to seeing her new creations.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Sue Jean Ko

The most vibrant stall at the Renegade Craft Fair had to be that of Sue Jean Ko. Her fluorescent hand-silkscreened cards and prints stood out a mile. I just adore them! Fresh, bold, and fun, I wanted them all. Limited myself to a few cards and a print for my niece for Chrissy.
Originally from South Korea, Sue Jean Ko's loves silkscreening and has been living in New York since summer 2011.  She has just debuted her line at the National Stationery Show last May after graduating with a BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, 2014. You can buy Sue Jean Ko's beautiful prints via her Etsy store.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Airstream Shine

This week Tiny Showcase have released their third print by Leah Giberson. I have the previous two she's released and so couldn't help but continue the series. This latest offering is called Airstream Shine. An edition of 100 prints with a small border for framing, the print measures 17" wide by 13.75" tall. The archival artwork has been printed on a heavy 290gsm natural white print making paper made from 90% bamboo fibres and 10% cotton. Signed by the artist. USD $40.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Spoon x Chogre

For kids attire I thought the prints from Japanese due Spoon x Chogre were the most interesting and unique by far on offer at the Renegade Craft Fair. Beautiful illustrations, lots of detail and quirk. Just adore the cloud print dress above. If my little bun in the oven, Dash, is a girl I'll have to get her this. If we have a boy I'll take the leggings. They have leggings, dresses, tops, and bibs all available on their Etsy shop.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Matchbox Studio

A few weeks ago I happened to see on my Instagram feed that the Renegade Craft Fair was on in New York that weekend. I'd been to it a while ago when it was just starting out in Brooklyn, so happily braved a chilly day and heading out with the family in tow. Unexpectedly, when we got to the new indoor venue we had to line up first before we could get in; such is the size of the event these days. But the line moved quickly and soon we were in to peruse the 200-plus stalls. Inside was also a surprise with it's big Martha Stewart and car sponsorships, but good on them. Over the next few posts I'll share some of my favourite crafters from the fair. 
First up, Matchbox Studio from Portland with their graphic bold geometric jewels. Perfect for moi and nice and kid-friendly-indestructible. Such are my criteria for adding glamour to my outfits these days. They have lovely necklaces, earrings, and bangles. 

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Under The Knife In Mineola

Well, six weeks into our new life and a lot's happened. Last Wednesday I had my surgery to remove a cyst, as it turned out, on my fallopian tube. Tube also had to go so now I'm one tube down. The cyst was huge and 'basketball' sized. Yup. Pretty nuts and hard to believe. But I have gone from looking 6 months pregnant to just a bit fat 'n' podgy now; the more normal 4 months preggo look. The surgeon was great, all went really well. Only issue was that I couldn't have the surgery in Manhattan, instead we had to trek out to Mineola, Long Island to the Winthrop University Hospital. I have to stay the staff were fantastic – every single one of them. Super friendly and attentive, and caring. Aside from the surgery all going to plan, we had an ultrasound of Mini Pou #2 – Dash, as we call him/her – both before and after the surgery and s/he's doing fine. Must have a lot more room now! A big relief. No more fear of making one false move with a ticking time bomb in your tummy; having the cyst rupture or contort, both of which would have been excruciating and emergency surgery. Bullet dodged. Should be recovered in a week or so. But for now it's just resting, recovering, relaxing, enjoying the pregnancy more, and then looking forward to properly living our new life in the city. Not really the romantic weekend away Edu and I had in mind for our first trip away in the US, but I for one did wake up in our hotel room the day after surgery on Thanks Giving day very thankful indeed.