Friday, December 30, 2011

Moroccan Beading & Henna Party

I recently facilitated a Morrocan Beading Bar for a pre wedding Henna Party. The Henna Party is a Middle Eastern custom where the bride and groom to be, are blessed through prayer and song, and is a beautiful ceremony including Henna Tattoos for all the guests and the bridal families.

My Beading Bar was a huge hit with all the guests including the adults young and old, male and female, and the few kids who were there. I supplied a beautiful range of crystal, silver, pearl, stone, bronze beads which meant that the bracelets and anklets that everyone made looked so good!

I restored an old printers tray I had lying under my studio table to hold all the beads. I also sourced some wooden and silver bowls at some local vintage markets to hold assorted beads. I made a tree from wire and paper mâché to display all the sample bracelets that I'd made. And I painted some terracotta dishes for the guests to use as their bead trays.

Some of the guests were surprised to find that they were able to make something so pretty with a few beads and a bit of patience.

All in all, a big hit.

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from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christening with a Difference

I've never been asked to work at a Christening before... but there's always a first, and this was it.

A very classy event, with a stylist, a beautiful venue, a band, catering and me!

I had a young crowd to please so we did some wet/dry pastel painting on canvas, beading, colouring in (on a custom designed personalised placemat by me especially for the event), photo frame and treasure box making. The brief was to keep things as 'clean' as possible, and I'm happy to say that the white starched table cloths had more stains from the tomato sauce and chips than they did from the art making!

It was a challenge doing the art at the lunch table, and I also had to set up a display on the lunch table to fit in with the room decor, but the event went beautifully and we managed to keep the kids happy and busy between 11am and 4pm! So the client was thrilled and so were the kids.

89 Kids on a Rainy Day

I was booked to facilitate and design some activities at a large party at Nielsen Park Kiosk recently, with many families invited. The kids had lunch and then had the option of coming to my 'art studio' which I'd set up in a gorgeous hall or going to the beach for a swim. Problem was, the rain started. So all the kids came in to the studio at once! My well thought out plan went into meltdown and it was all hands on deck for the first 15 minutes of chaos! After that, it settled down and the event went really well. Luckily, there was a microphone, so I was able to be heard above the mayhem, and explain to the kids how the afternoon would pan out! There were 89 kids from ages 4-17. I had 3 activities organised including tie dying singlets - for all of them, painting and decorating a shadow box for the 4-6 yr olds, and making a "family boat" canvas for the 6+ kids. The brief was to create things with an earthy Hamptons Design feel... so I used lots of neutral colours, driftwood, metals, twine, and natural elements including shells, and starfish. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that the kids have a ball - and they did.

This is the Family Boat Canvas - the kids painted a background, and a wooden word, then made a boat using tin, driftwood, wire, metal mesh, and various tools. You can't see so well in the picture, but the family name was embossed onto the tin sail using metal punches. It looked really good I must say!.

My studio display corner!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cable Reel Table

A couple of weeks ago I picked up these cable reels from an old building site and thought they'd make great coffee tables. We have an oddly shaped room which has been waiting for a coffee table for months but I just haven't found anything suitable in the stores.

We went to the hardware store and bought ourselves an orbital sander - now my favorite tool! It's amazing what this little thing does and I can't wait for more council pickups to get my hands on some more old furniture that I can now sand and restore or repurpose!

We needed quite a lot of tools for the job.

Sanding all over the reel was easy with this orbital sander by Ozito - $30 from the hardware store.

We measured 70mm from the outside edge of the reel and drilled 25mm holes through the top with a spade bit.

We pushed 25mm dowel through the holes and then notched out another hole in the bottom of the reel for the dowel to fit into straight and tight.

The finished table is really cool - still may get some castors, but for now we love it!

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Houses Of History

I have been participating in an online swap where everyone makes a page for the other members of the swap group, in the theme chosen by each person for their own personal book (if that makes sense). It's been an interesting experience, and each page needs to be researched so that the theme is executed well. I've learned all about Art Deco, Marie Antoinette, 1950's apothecary methods, Florence Nightingale...etc.

all the participants specified the colours and themes for each page in their House book.
We had to incorporate 'moving parts' on each page too, so that the pages were interactive. I've done this by adding miniature books (on art deco), scrolls that open (marie antoinette), a box of matches and candle (on lady of the lamp), a coin slot (capt.cook), opening doors and pram (on Narnia and Phineas Fogg), and a removable prescription on my apothecary page.
The backs of the pages are also decorated, but I won't post the photos here....

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Aloha Hawaii

I had a wonderful party with 25 lovely little ladies and we made hawaiian hair accessories! Using shells, flowers, beads, wire, the girls had an afternoon of creative fun.

We also made a surprise gift for the birthday girl - a shadowbox from Kaisercraft which I had prepared prior to the party - just needed the photos to be added in at the last minute. All the girls chose a word to describe their friend, and decorated a butterfly, which I stuck into the shadowbox. A couple of shells and flowers finished of this cute memento.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Beautiful Event

I was priveleged to facilitate an extremely beautiful private event - about 40 children attended as well as a large crowd of adults, and the client chose beading and scrapbooking for the activities. The theme was farm/horseriding/gingham/sophisticated country/shabby chic.... and I was able to incorporate all of these elements into the personalised scrapbook by scanning the fabrics that the event designer used, and including these images in the designs I made for the scrapbook.

I also had a beading bar set up using very beautiful silver and bronze beads, crystal beads, and cotton cord to make stunning bracelets. Prior to the event, I had handmade all the crystal charms using all sorts of findings - so that the kids could easily use them on their bracelets.

Party Time

I had a VERY lively group of girls at this birthday party! All 20+ made gorgeous decorative name tags using papers, fabrics, ribbons, flowers, beads, cords, and metal embellishments. Working through the project step by step together with the girls meant that their finished items looked really well made and well put together. The children get to choose all the colours and bits and pieces, and I enjoy watching them working out their individual style as they work through the project with me. As you can see, they all finished up looking very pleased with themselves!

Monday, June 27, 2011


Here are a couple of recent Artist trading cards I've made for some swap groups.

Zetti Style:

Seven Deadly Sins - my allocated one was Wrath:

Bird Cage: (a favourite) made a cage out if wire for this one.

1950's domestic goddess:

Self portrait!

Queen of....

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Turning 5 in style!

I did a party for a lucky little 5 year old girl... made a beautiful album on site for her - and tailor made the crafting activity to be age appropriate! The album was fairly complete before the event - apart from the photos, message cards and a few embellishments. We also offered beading on the day. In the pics are my wonderful helpers Sarit and Mimi (my daughter!).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hit with the beading bug...

I bought some beads a while ago in Paris (April 2010), which have been waiting to be made into something... so while we were having a bit of time off over xmas/new year, I took my bead basket away with me, and this is the result. I'm thrilled, and want to do a lot more beading! I made all the links and connectors with brass wire, and used chain to finish it off, so only the front section is beaded.

I bought the brass beads and findings at Matiere Premier in Rue Sevigne Paris - which is a beautiful shop - I just love the filigree flowers. As for the gemstones - I think I got them in 2009 in Shanghai - but I can't actually remember as I've had them lying around for a while.