Tuesday, 21 July 2015

DIY: Tepee

I've often wondered what goes in to actually making a tepee and the other week I quite unexpectedly had to find out.  My one that was ready to install in a baby's shop window, needed a bit of freshening up so I soaked it and lo and behold all the colours bled= lesson learned never soak a tepee! Awesome what a last minute freak out can teach you.... Luckily for me I have an amazingly talented seamstress mother-in-law, that was able to whip one up so i thought I would share with you the basics of how to make your own but be aware that this is the basic watered down version of what happened.

You need:
4x metres of fabric (lightweight cotton or canvas works the best)
5x tepee polls or broom sticks from Bunnings
2x press studs
sewing machine and thread!

Our original tepee was from An Angel At My Table so we used those poles to base the pattern on. 

First off was to select the fabric- I wanted a fairly lightweight cotton so that it would breathe and drape nicely, whatever you choose make sure it's easy to clean and durable. After trying to track down a particular print and failing (time was not on my side but next time I make one I would head straight to Spoonflower they have such a great selection of fabric I use it all the time)

 I settled on a fairly plain chevron blue and white print. 

Then it was up to my superstar mother in law to mock up a quick pattern for it that would slide over the poles.... hmmm not as easy as it sounds! Lucky she was a seamstress and is amazing at arithmetic too= winning!

This is the basic layout:

The door  was custom made (mother in laws secret!) you can always measure one of your panels in half and then cut 3/4 to the top.
The trickiest part was sewing the insert for the poles you have to make sure you have enough space for the poles to comfortably sit in but not too loose- the diameter for our poles was 1.7mm so we left a good 1.9mm to be sure.

Then we cut the fabric to measure, sewed the segments together and then ironed it and fit it over

The addition of the curtain bits to pull back was last minute and I just added a piece of fabric with a press stud to hold back the entry

I then just added a mask to the top and hung over a banner I had from .Little O and Co to make it a bit softer. The best bit was laying out a nice crocheted blanket for the rug and getting together a few softies for a tea party.

Happy tepee making guys!! xx

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Paper Creations from Roxyoxy

We are so lucky to be inundated with an amazing spectrum of artists in Australia, There's people out there creating pieces that inspire the imagination while letting our kids explore the endless possibility of what you can make with your own two hands.

I recently discussed how one gets her ideas off the ground with a lovely artist Jac from Roxyoxy Creations; who creates 3D collages and other paperlicious artworks for children around the world. I always find it interesting how us mums are able to juggle it all, Jac is always supporting us designers and spreading her joy and positivity around the community.

How did you begin your business?

Let's start at the beginning; I have always been interested in drawing and my mum reminds me I would sit for hours as a youngster just colouring in and as a teenager every book, art folio or diary was always creatively decorated and doodled. Despite my love for being creative I was also passionate about exercise and the link between food for sports performance. As a really sporty girl my curiosity to learn about the science of food won over. Off I went to do my science degree, then my Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics followed by my Sports Nutrition Qualifications. From here I had a short stint in the hospital setting but went on to run 5 successful Sports Nutrition Practises and lectured and TAFE and to the Army. I loved my work but had always felt something was not quite complete. It wasn't until my first son was born that i soon realised what was missing in my life… CREATIVITY.
During the time I had off work being a MUM- (my kids are now 11 and 12) i just adored hanging out with my kids making and creating all day. I felt like the 10 years of creativity had been repressed and was slowly leaking out with each day. I loved playing around with paper and seeing what I could make. It wasn’t till a girlfriend popped in and saw what paper art I was creating with the kids that she asked if i could make something for her kids rooms. Hesitantly I agreed, but just loved the feeling of creating artwork that could be hung and enjoyed by her kids everyday. My girlfriend was over joyed with my creations and couldn't help but spread the word about my work. This lead to word of mouth referrals, which then lead to weekend markets, which then lead to an online store. 

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Inspiration is everywhere. I am really passionate about encouraging kids to be creative away from technology so you will see in my work good old fashioned play adventure and love and hearts. I also live in the most beautiful coastal town called Mount Martha which inspires my love for the beach, surf and relaxed living. My other inspiration is my childhood obsession with Holly Hobbie and Sarah Kay swap cards which are evident in my Vintage range. I adore the whimsical and story telling nature of these illustrations.

How do you juggle family life with managing your own business?

Anyone who runs a business and family know its always a juggling act, but family is my world and always comes first. I have the most supportive husband and two very creative kids who just rock my world everyday. I love being a wife and a mum and I've really make sure my time with them is about quality. My “Me" time is getting up early and running most mornings and walking my beloved puppy coco at night. I have always been active so my exercise is so important every day and gives me time to think and come up with new designs and ideas.
I try and work in the studio 9-3 every day with social media early morning, lunchtime and at night once kids are sorted. For those that follow my instagram page you'll see that I'm passionate about sharing not only my projects I'm working on but others paper art and anything creative really.

How long does it typically take to create one of your artworks?

Every piece of artwork is different. I firstly draw my design, then every single individual piece is made into a cardboard template which is very time consuming but essential.  Next the colour palette and paper is chosen which is always fun as i have a studio FULL of paper. My templates are used to trace around and then the hours of cutting begin. I hand cut most of my work with fine scissors or scalpel which is the time consuming part of the artwork. One of my pieces just creating the butterflies can take 2-3 days.  Once all the pieces of the puzzle are created its time for foam tape mounting to give my artwork the 3D look. This is also very fiddly and time consuming but oh so worth it. After the 3D element is finished a bit of bling is added in the form of pearls or rhinestones and beautiful ribbon applied.  Finally the completed artwork is framed in a white timber frame. So it's labour intensive but I just adore it. 

Follow Jac's journey at her Facebook page or her website http://roxyoxycreations.bigcartel.com