Inspired by: Ado Mizumori

Posted Sunday 1 April 2012 and filed under: Good Finds,Inspired By

I keep forgetting to blog about all the cute stuff I’ve found in HK! One of the things I love doing is going to the book store and picking up a magazine by e-Mook. I have no idea what theses magazines are about as they are in Japanese, and they are sealed shut so you can’t flick through the pages, but they usually have a cute tote bag inside for free and unbelievably cute covers.

I’ve picked up a few issues previously (and therefore have some really cute tote/shopping bags!) and this is the latest one that caught my eye:

E-Mook on Ado Mizumori by One Red Robin

E-Mook on Ado Mizumori by One Red Robin

E-Mook on Ado Mizumori by One Red Robin

It’s a magazine on Japanese artist Ado Mizumori’s work. Ado is an actress, comedian and singer and had her own kids TV show in the 1970′s where she sang and painted (with both hands!). It’s hard to find a lot of information on her work on the internet (that is in English) but you’d have to say that her nostalgic illustrations must have been a huge influence in what has shaped ‘kawaii’ art.

These are some of the products that have featured her illustrations:

E-Mook on Ado Mizumori by One Red Robin

And Ado in her studio (don’t you love that she’s sitting on a toadstool-stool?!):

E-Mook on Ado Mizumori by One Red Robin

I understand that Ado is about 70 years old now and still exercising her creativity and doing what she loves – that’s inspiring!

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“Kindergardener” Exhibition at Times Square, Hong Kong

Posted Saturday 27 November 2010 and filed under: Inspired By,Just Sharing

I recently had the awesome opportunity to go on a sponsored trip to Hong Kong for the weekend and visit the “Kindergardener” exhibition by Hong Kong street artist, Michael Lau, at the Times Square mall in Causeway Bay.

It seems that malls in Hong Kong love to put on unique events during Christmas and many have hosted exhibitions by independent artists during this time of the year. I still have wonderful memories of my own little exhibition at the APM mall in Hong Kong two years ago – a definite highlight in the life of One Red Robin so far :-)

Michael Lau is an artist most known for his urban vinyl art and a force behind the designer toy movement. He opened his “Gardener” exhibition in 1999 in Hong Kong, which consisted of 101 12-inch action figures in a ‘Garden’ representing urban/street culture and individuality. The “Gardener” exhibition has made its way around the globe over the last 11 years.

Kindergardener” hopes to the bring the spirit of “Gardener” to a new generation. You’ll find a whimsical and humorous array of characters starting just outside of the Times Square mall in the piazza:

And more of the 12-inch characters (or ‘dolls’ as I like to call them :-)), Lau’s sketches and drawings, and his paintings on display inside the mall in the atrium:

I enjoyed this exhibition and really related to the artist’s desire to give each action figure/doll a unique character and personality, reflecting his own passions and lifestyle. There is actually a lot to see and the display outdoors is interactive and wonderfully colourful and festive – a good place for kids to see (some of the action figures inside, however, may not be so appropriate for the little ones!).

The exhibition will continue at the Times Square mall, Causeway Bay, until the 26th of December.

You can more photos from the exhibition (plus other touristy photos I took whilst in HK) on my flickr HERE. A quick but awesomely fun break in Hong Kong :-)

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Visiting the works of the European Masters @ the NGV

Posted Sunday 8 August 2010 and filed under: Inspired By,Just Sharing

I had a few kid-free hours this afternoon so I went to the city and spent them at the National Gallery of Victoria. I’ve been meaning to visit the NGV for ages and when I found out that they currently have a European Masters exhibition on, it didn’t take much convincing at all :-)

I remember sitting in the school library when I was around 7 years old, flicking through an Art book of some kind and stumbling upon Renoir’sLuncheon of the Boating Party“. I was instantly enthralled. I had never seen anything like it! Happy, warm, animated, colourful, intimate, fun. It was one of a number of things at that age that really inspired me to spend more time being creative – to draw more, to paint more, to imagine more.


{“Luncheon of the Boating Party” by Pierre Auguste Renoir}

So I can’t really express how much of a thrill it was to see Renoir’s work in person!!! It was certainly overwhelming. And amazing. To be able to see the actual brush strokes! Wow. It was also wonderful to see the work of Monet, Picasso, van Gogh and Degas up close. I could have marveled at some of those paintings for a long time if I had not been reminded that it was almost closing time!

I made my way up to the 2nd level to view some of the free exhibitions. The Lace in Fashion exhibition was so impressive – I can’t even wrap my head around how such intricate designs can be made by hand. Definitely worth a look. And I was equally floored by the European Collection (17th-18th Century) – the massive paintings were awe-inspiring and I discovered a few new favorites: portraits by Joshua Reynolds and mythical scenes by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Some of the paintings were just like photographs. So stunning. I exited the NGV with so much more respect for the artists than when I had entered.


{“Lady Harrington” by Sir Joshua Reynolds}


{“The Banquet of Cleopatra” by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo}

It is a wonderful experience to see these works in person so I would definitely recommend going to the exhibitions if you get the chance. I’m hoping that one day I’ll get to see some of my other favourite pieces in person overseas :-) (Apologies for no photos of my own – I didn’t have access to a camera this weekend – looking forward to getting one of my very own soon!)

The European Masters: Stadel Museum 19th-20th Century continues at the NGV until 10th October.

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Inspired: Anna-Wili Highfield & Melanie Matthews

Posted Thursday 5 August 2010 and filed under: Good Finds,Inspired By,Just Sharing

You know when you’ve got a spare five minutes so you sit down and pick up from where you left off on one of your favourite blogs, and you click a link, which leads to another link, and then another link, and then another? And before you know it, almost half an hour has passed you by?

This is what happened when I stumbled upon the work of two very talented Aussie female artists. And I knew instantly that I had to share their work with you!

The first is Anna-Wili Highfield. Her “paper sculptures are created from archival cotton paper, that is painted, then torn and sewn together, to create the figure of an animal.


{image credits: All images above belong to Anna-Wili Highfield}

Aren’t they simply stunning?! I am particularly enchanted with that Barn Owl :-) She also creates copper pipe sculptures. Find more of her work here.

I am also smitten with the work of Melanie Matthews, who is a Melbourne-based freelance illustrator. How adorable is this postcard?!


{image credits: Melanie Matthews}

I understand that her website is still under construction but you can view a sample of her work here, and I also found a blog of her cartoon drawings here. I would certainly be lining up to buy any book that she illustrates :-)

Hope you enjoy these too!

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A Little Loveliness to Kick Off the Week

Posted Monday 12 July 2010 and filed under: Good Finds,Inspired By,Just Sharing

Despite the best of intentions, I didn’t touch the sewing machine at all this past weekend. It was a tiny bit due to the fact that I’ve made a mess of the softie I was working on and now have to do mucho unpicking (which I am putting off as much as possible), but mostly due to inspiration hitting in other areas of my life and enjoying the weekend with my girls.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a good finds post, so here’s a round up of a few lovely things I’ve come across lately (I think I’ve tweeted most of these things so apologies if you’ve seen this all from me before!):

>> The work of Pilgirm Lee. I’m sure you’ve heard of her already. But if you haven’t then you must head on over to her website right now. You will love it. I promise. I think she has one of the coolest names EVER, plus she is such a lovely person too :-) AND she’s running a month of free downloads to celebrate her birthday!


{image credit: Pilgrim Lee}

>> Pilgim pointed me in the direction of Modern Kiddo. A blog by two mamas who love and feature retro-inspired design for kids. Definitely a site to bookmark.

>> I am a sucker for objects with words so I adore all the things that WhizzMe put together for her etsy treasury “Words to Live By” (it’s also got me thinking about buying handstamped jewelry as gifts for upcoming birthdays – let me know if you have a recommendation!)

>> Sweeeeeet printable bookplates by Helen Dardik


{image credit: Helen Dardik}

>> Zakka wooden envelope template via Sweet Tidings (with tutorial on making cute envelopes on the Parasol Blog). I’ve got so many cool pages from magazines that I’ve ripped out and can recycle into envelopes! (it’s the simple joys . . .)


{image credit: Sweet Tidings}

>> Talk about recycling, Go and Send Jewelry turns old cutlery (like spoons and forks) into rings and bracelets! I love this idea!

Here are two TED talks I really enjoyed – I was inspired by them and maybe you’ll find some inspiration in them too :-)

>> An excellent talk about nurturing creativity (and the concept of ‘creative genius’) by Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert. She seems so grounded and humble. I love the fact that she likes to put time and energy into researching the history of ideas and concepts to help in forming her own opinions – you notice this in her books also.

>> And for all you runners, an interview with American Para-Olympian Aimee Mullins. It’s definitely stopped me from finding excuses not to go out running!

Wishing you all a happy week ahead. Don’t forget to stop and enjoy all the good stuff in your life :-)

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Likin’ their style . . .

Posted Monday 29 March 2010 and filed under: Good Finds,Inspired By,Just Sharing

I like looking to a few style* blogs mostly for inspiration in terms of my softies and dolls. I know that sounds weird, but I like thinking about how the textures, prints, shapes, colours, accessories, etc can be reflected in how my softies/dolls look or what they wear. Of course, I also get ideas for things I can make for the girls (a list that just keeps growing and never sems to get shorter!) and perhaps a few things for me too (I am trying to convince myself to wear more colour!).

So here are a few that I really liked this past week:

1. Looking back on archives from Elsita’s The Hidden Seed blog. There are so many outfits to heart, like these – plus Elsita is someone who is truly beautiful both inside and out :-) More here.


{image credits: The Hidden Seed}

2. From the Mori Girl blog found via Jamfancy. A Mori-Girl: “belongs to a Japanese subculture. ‘Mori’ means forest in Japanese, and mori girls look like fairytale forest wanderers in their loose dresses, vintage prints and quaint accessories. Mori girls choose to live their lives on their own terms, stopping to appreciate the little things that others overlook amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life“.

Again, I like so many outfits/designers/shops featured by this blog but here is a particular favourite from Japanese magazine, Fudge (top) and a few pieces from the Sally Scott collection (bottom). More here.


{image credits: Mori Girl Blog}

I also like the this statement that the blog’s author made: “It is also quite true that mori girl style tries to downplay sexuality . . . Mori girls, while peace-loving, are ardent about expressing their individuality, albeit in discreet ways. Their penchant for unique clothing, creative hobbies and rejection of mainstream attitudes to life are a quiet protest against the status quo“.

3. I’ve mentioned Sew Weekly before (Mena is attempting to sew one dress a week using vintage patterns). I adore this classic circa 1950s dress she made for the holiday season:


{image credit: Sew Weekly}

I am also so impressed and inspired by the way she has used one Simplicity pattern and turned it into 5 fabulous dresses for her daughter. More here.

4. And finally, a new-to-me blog called Fashion Nation from Singapore. I’ve just started reading their blog and they recently posted some pics from an emerging designer/label, Chalk. I’m really liking Chalk’s Glad Rag Doll collection . . . .


{image credits: Fashion Nation}

Super cute, right? More here.

And of course, in terms of sewing my own clothes, I enjoy looking at what is going on over at Burdastyle, the Colette Patterns blog (I really hope to make one her patterns soon!), and what garments Nikkishell, Angry Chicken, All Buttoned Up and Bug and Pop are making/modifying – amongst many others.

How about you? Where are you sourcing your ‘style‘ inspiration from at the moment?

[*As an aside: I've got a couple of what some would call 'fashion' blogs in my blog reader. I don't like the term 'fashion', which to me always means what a small percentage of the population deems popular and trendy at the time. And you know what? Usually only a small percentage of the population can actually wear what is apparently 'fashionable' anyway!

Plus, I have found some self-proclaimed 'fashion' blogs who exclusively speak of popular and ridiculously-overpriced brands/labels (as if they are THE only clothes to be seen in) to be something starting with 'b' and ending in 'itchy' both online and offline. So I steer clear of those - who wants to support that kind of superficial nonsense?

I prefer the term 'style', which is more personal and genuine and lasting. Everyone has it and we express it in our own unique ways. Simply: to each their own. So I'd rather call them 'style' blogs :-)]

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I ♥ the work of Keisuke Serizawa

Posted Friday 19 March 2010 and filed under: Good Finds,Inspired By,Shows: My Solo Shows

You know that feeling when you are reading blogs and then you follow a link, to another link and then you land on something so fabulous and you think, “Now why have a I never seen this before?!

This is what happened when I followed a link on Cicada Daydream’s blog to a link to the Japan Society and came upon the work of the late Japanese textile designer (and painter, illustrator) Keisuke Serizawa (1895-1984). I immediately fell in love with his work, attracted by the rich palette of colours (using natural dyes), but also the folk art motifs and bold graphics and – because I am no expert in Art or Design – it simply made me happy to look upon his work!

Some examples:


Pattern Imitating Glaze Dripping Down the Side of a Jar, 1961. Credit.


Flowers, 1940. Credit.


Mandala of the Four Season, 1971. Credit.


Seabream, 1964. Credit.


Two panels of Views of Okinawan, 1948. Credit.


Japanese Symbols, 1960s. Credit.

Keisuke Serizawa was designated as a “Living National Treasure” for his katazome stencil dyeing technique in 1956 by the Emperor of Japan. He became a leading artist of the ‘Mingei‘ art movement, which in Japanese generally means folk art. His work can be found on kimonos, paper prints, wall scrolls, folding screens, curtains, fans and calendars.

I understand that some of his work has been reproduced into calendars and I found an example of the 2008 calendar via Apartment Therapy:


Credit.

. . . but I have also found out that the 2010 Keisuke Serizawa calendar is sold out!!! Bummer. Soaking in the beauty of his work via the internet will have to do for now I guess :-)

Hope these samples of his work brought a smile to your face too. Wishing you all a reinvigorating weekend!!

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Little Colourful Gems Across the Blogosphere

Posted Tuesday 2 March 2010 and filed under: Good Finds,Inspired By,Just Sharing

Fawns are still in progress but getting closer to completion. I’ll be re-opening my etsy shoppe this Sunday and the fawns will be available for purchase then. Next week: A batch of grumpy owls on tree stumps :-)

I’m slowly working through all the blogs in my Reader (although current unread items still stands at 1000+!) and so far I have come across some real gems that I thought I’d share here:

>> A beautiful pattern by Yasmine entitled “Little Princesses”. I think this would look gorgeous as a little girl’s dress, on cushions, or used to upholster one of those kid-sized armchairs:


{image credit: A Print A Day}

>> Stunning handmade and hand-painted art dolls based on Alice in Wonderland by Cart Before the Horse (via Plush You)


{image credit: Cart Before the Horse}

>> “Garden Nest” is definitely my favorurite Amy Sol painting to date. She also provides in-progress photos, which make me just as happy as seeing the finished piece!


{image credit: Amy Sol}

>> Poketo’s new range of Paper-cut Wallets – especially this one by Jayme McGowan:


{image credit: Poketo}

>> The colourful work by Simon Wild, particularly this mixed media piece “The Sounds That Brilliant Things Make”


{image credit: Simon Wild}

>> Speaking of brilliant, I am continually floored (and once I pick myself off the floor – inspired) by the softie characters created by Jodie of Ric-Rac. It’s very hard to believe she suffers from EITTTS at all! :-)


{image credit: Ric-Rac}

>> The re-styled Shakira dress on Burdastyle. Love the colour! (But pretty sure I couldn’t pull that off myself – might opt for a darker palette and tiny bit longer too . . . that is, once I get over this fear of actually making my own clothes!)


{image credit: Burdastyle}

>> I also LOVE this Colette dress (Ceylon) that Teegs made. Doesn’t she look gorgeous! I’ve got that Colette pattern on my Must-Make List.


{image credit: Teegs}

Is it only Tuesday?! It’s already been a crazy week. I can’t wait to go for a run tonight in much cooler temps. Hello Autumn my dear friend, how wonderful of you to drop by again!!

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Sometimes inspiration comes from small plaster magnets

Posted Tuesday 23 February 2010 and filed under: Craft: Other Projects,Inspired By,Just Sharing

I know this little pile of fabric doesn’t look like much at the moment:

But it will soon be magically transformed into some fawns :-)

It’s funny that in Sunday’s post I was struggling with inspiration and just getting on with it, and tonight I find myself raring to go.

The spark? I recalled that on the weekend the girls and I made up some plaster magnets. My eldest, who recently turned 6, received one of those cute make-it-yourself kits for her birthday. They had been asking me all week, “When are we gonna make these? When? When? . . . When?!” and we finally broke open the box on Sunday afternoon.

Lots of newspapers strung about, lots of accidentally painted hands (and faces . . . and floorboards, whoops!), lots of mess, and lots of fun. After a few hours, we had some new fridge magnets and two girls who were very happy with what they had made.

The following photos were taken by my 3-year-old (quite the little photographer I will admit!):

And so I was reminded how wonderful and exciting it is to get stuck into something new. I’ve been working on completing half-done projects lately and it was getting stale. Time to work on some softies from scratch again; let’s start from the very beginning (and as Julie Andrews would agree, a very good place to start :-)). So new fawns – from scratch – are on the way. And perhaps next week, a completely new softie design, or two :-)

I adore these girls . . .

. . .  the two little souls who keep me afloat at a time when it would be easier to be consumed by the waves.

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Dolly Dolly Yeah

My creative space today: kitchen bench -

Hot cup o’ coffee. Breaking up reviews of documentation (that I have had to take home from the office) with staring at the pages of Dolly Dolly 16.

My goodness – how have I never heard of this magazine before??? Jamfancy mentioned it when making her gorgeous doll here so I looked it up on the net and ordered a copy just to see. And wow – so much dolly goodness! It’s all in Japanese so I have no clue what the articles are about but there are lots of swoon-worthy dolls:

And this issue has a tutorial on making really cute (and very real-looking) miniature treats like cakes and macaroons. There are also patterns for dolls and dolls clothes including a pattern for making the doll on the right – sweet!

So whilst I’m reading this mag I’m getting lots of good ideas about clothing for future dolls and quickly sketching a few out for refinement later on.

Some Peg Bears for the show have been completed (left-to-right: Nagma, Nakasi, Nha Nac, Nederpop and Nisiotika):

You’ll find individual pics over on my Flickr.

I’ve almost completed some cushions using my custom fabric . . .

. . . and I’m all fired up to get started on a few more button-jointed dolls like Constance on the weekend – completely inspired by Dolly Dolly :-)

More Creative Spaces here!

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