30 August 2011

Mail art from Saylor Made

Look!  This is the amazing mail art package I recently received from Saylor Made - isn't it all kinds of wonderful?  I really love the way all the bits hang together so nicely, and I especially like the gorgeous floaty fleeting watercolours.

She included: a 'bonjour note card (with a lovely note!); two gorgeous water colour prints; a magazine clipping of some wintery red berries in a hand drawn frame ('for the birds'); a print of some of her favourite stamps (love this, great idea that I just might pinch...); an etching of a maple leaf from her nature collection; googly eyes; my initials in fuzzy felt; and last but most definitely not least - a 'blarg' print, which I can very much relate too.  All encased in a handmade envelope of perfection:

I am itching to show you my reply, but I'll hold off until I know my package has been received.  To be continued...

27 August 2011

Seoul Sky

The rain has finally stopped in Seoul and we are currently experiencing what one might call 'Summer'.  It's been perfect sitting-on-the-balcony-with-a-glass-of-wine-before-dinner weather.  But there's still hot and cold air battling it out and isolated thunder storms do pop up here and there.  All of which means we have been experiencing some pretty spectacular skies in Seoul of late.  I took these photos a few days ago, when there was a rain storm in the distance just around dusk. Beautiful yes?  

ps. I saw on Instagram the other day someone calling these 'Jesus clouds', referencing images like this I guess.  Jesus clouds!  I quite like that.  And speaking of Instagram, did you see my post of the Seoul sunset the other night?  It was quite magical.

26 August 2011

Death by Doxie: The Elfi Has Her Own Couch Edition

There is a couch in my office/study/craft stash/library/games room/disgrace.  It's a couch I bought many years ago in another life time - I was living in Balmain, Sydney and I so clearly remember finding the couch at a Freedom clearance centre.  It had a tiny little mark on it so was on sale for some absurdly cheap price, the only catch being that I had to get it home myself.  I can't remember how I got it home, I have a feeling I may have tried to carry it the 20 minute walk back to my little house. Or I may have tried to squish it in my Holden Astra.  Either way, it clearly was a traumatic process as I have now blocked it from my memory.

Anyway, no one sits on this couch unless the step sons are here and they're playing Wii (because the husband and I never play Wii without them here.  Of course not.  We wouldn't even know what Mario Kart was if we tripped over it.  Cough.).  And Ferdi is too short legged and physically challenged and, well, stupid to figure out how to get up there.  So Elfi is queen of this couch (up there she's sharing it with a little soft doxie friend, beautifully made by Kate Durkin).  
Wake up Elfi!

24 August 2011

What I wore...

Well, I've finally succumbed to complete and utter narcissism - presenting my first (and possibly, though hopefully not, last) 'what I wore' post!  I've been toying with doing some of these after seeing them here and there over the past 12 months, and especially after seeing them on lots of blogs that aren't 'fashion' blogs.  But then I was kind of put off after asking the husband to take some pics of a favourite outfit one day - his reply? 'that's a bit weird, don't you think?'.

But then I read this great post by Jess from Epheriell Designs about fashion as play which really struck a cord.  Yes, dressing up should be fun!  As a kid I was a tom boy and a bit of a geek - the nerdy outsider with good dose of 'alternative' thrown in.  I had trouble putting together an outfit that I was happy with, putting together something that told the world a little bit about me.  So it's been a pleasant surprise that as I've got older I've started having fun playing dress ups.  And hence, you get to put up with the most narcissistic of blog posts.  Indulge me, please?

I bought this dress from Mango years ago.  I didn't love it at the time but it has gone on to become a firm Summer favourite, the kind of frock that you know you'll miss when it finally does fall apart.  I like how the fabric has aged to, with the background dark blue getting a lovely washed out look which makes the colours jump out even more.  Plus ruching.  And pockets.  Love.  The shoes are my current favourites - wooden platforms from the 70s.  The wooden sole is curved up at the front so you kind of rock back and forth with each step you take!
Dress: Mango
Belt: Zara
Cardigan: Hong Kong street market
Dachshund: Jonathan Adler!

ps. Notice I don't say on what occasion I wore the outfit?  That's because if I dressed for occasions in my actual life I'd be blogging pictures of me in my pyjamas or my week old track pants saying 'what I wore whilst tweeting' or 'what I wore whilst buying the dog food'.  I realised I while ago that I'd have no fun (and spend my life in jeans and a t-shirt) if I always dressed appropriately for the 'occasions' in my life.

ps. Ignore my tan lines, okay?  Thanks...

22 August 2011

Creative Collective Snail Mail Swap

What seems like a lifetime ago I took part in the Creative Collective Snail Mail Swap and I'm so glad I did because I got some really wonderful goodies!  A bit late but here's a little peak at the packages that made their way to Seoul.

First up, from the always amazing 74 Lime Lane a gorgeous collection of prints and other papery goodness.  I'd actually spied Kellie's post about her snail pail packages, and had left a comment saying I really hoped I was one of her swap partners, turns out I was!  So yes, I was pretty excited to pick this envelope out of the mail box.

And then there was this package of perfection from the mysterious Nancy.  A gorgeous hand written note, the best little notebook ever, cute envelope decorations, plus polka-dots - I adore every bit of it!  

Being part of this swap and soaking in the wonder of Saylor Made's Mail Art Monday posts has made me greedy for more!  There is so much thought and care taken with all of these wonderful packages, and I am absolutely brimming with ideas for more snail mail goodness, so please - if you are keen to start a mail art 'conversation' do get in touch.

ps. This month the Creative Collective project is all about photography - are you joining in?  I am rapidly running out of time but I do have a little something to contribute, if I can pull it together by the end of the month that is...

ps. I'd also like to say a great big heartfelt thanks for all your kind and thoughtful words over the past few weeks.  I've truly appreciated each and every one of them.  It really makes all this blogging and tweeting and on-line connecting mean so much more, so thank you.

19 August 2011


My wonderful Grandma did pass away last week.  But instead of dwelling on the sadness and the loss that we feel right now, I want to tell you about some happy things.

First up, I'm happy that I was able to make it to Melbourne to visit her in hospital and to be part of her farewell.  I'm happy that I got to see all of my cousins, albeit all too briefly.

I'm happy that my Grandma lived till a ripe old age; that she lived an incredible life full of love and strength and learning and adventure (oh the stories she could tell!).  And I'm happy that she got to share in the lives of all her grand kids and her countless great grand kids.  She was a part of our happy times and our successes, and she supported us through our less than shiny moments.  I'm happy that we've been lucky enough to have had her presence in our lives.

I'm happy that she was able to pass on her love of family, her stubbornness, her open-heartedness, her not-taking-life/yourself-too-seriously-ness, her lifelong-learning-ness, to a second and third and fourth generation - that's pretty cool huh?  

Grandma - you will be sorely missed, but you will not be forgotten. x

11 August 2011

Death by Doxie: The Outtake Edition

In last week's Death by Doxie the ever handsome Elfi helped me launch my latest giveaway (which is running all this month - have you entered yet?  You can do so here).  It was her first 'real' photo shoot, with props and expectations and all that.  She did not come through with flying colours, but these photos crack me up (plus I really like the lighting and the persepctive).  So, here is Elfi trying to run away, steadfastly refusing to look at the camera, and generally hating every second of it...

06 August 2011

Good Things...

From Zim and Zou, possibly my most favourite thing ever.  Typography + paper craft + embroidery. It's called 'Weave', it's a font, it's beautiful.  Go love it some more here.

Have you discovered kickstarter yet?  It's an amazing site where you can pledge to support a whole bunch of arty, crafty, creative projects.  In return, if the project you've pledged to support is successful in reaching it's funding goal, you'll be rewarded for your support in a whole range of fun and creative ways (the rewards are designed by the people behind each project - so they may include anything from a hug, to something tangible like a print or tickets to an event, to something like a one on one Skype session to discuss your shared passion for typography).  

I first heard about kickstarter through Dannielle, who was promoting this great project by Jessica Swift.  It is such a lovely way to get involved in the creative community, to directly help people whose ideas you like.  They do have a section for 'small projects' (less than $1000), but even on the bigger projects you can become a backer for as little as $1!  Or maybe you have a project that needs funding?  

From Kurt Riedi and Steffi Gloor, a rather charming way to view the weather forecast (found via Mrs Eliot Books).  Here in Seoul the weather has been swinging between deadly monsoonal rain and stifling sticky heat, but at least now the forecast can look pretty.

Simply amazing critters by Melbourne artist Troy Emery (I can't remember how I got on to these, if it was because of you please let me know).  In his sculptures, Troy explores craft and natural history and creates all kinds of awesome.  Would love to see one of these sculptures in the real world some time.
And last but most definitely not least, my Grandma is a good thing and then some.  Here she is with my sister and I (note the co-ordinating parkas!) on 'Australia's Favourite Steam Train' (I quote) Puffing Billy.  

My Grandma is quite a remarkable person.  She's always been around to look after the gaggle of grand kids and great grand kids; she's been the tough glue that's held our big messy sprawling extended family together.  Strong, caring, confident, quick to laugh.  Stubborn as a mule at times (no, I didn't inherit that, why do you ask?) and unlikely to say no to a glass of bubbles (no, I didn't inherit that either. *cough*).  

She's now 90 and lying unconscious in a hospital bed, hopefully at peace.  She is in all of our hearts and our minds.  And even though she's 'had a good innings' as they say, all our hearts are breaking a little right now.  I'm flying out to Melbourne tomorrow, possibly to say goodbye.  If things are a bit quiet here over the next week, you'll now why.

05 August 2011

Death by Doxie: The Giveaway Edition

What's that Elfi (you handsome hound you!)?  You've got something to tell us?

It's a giveaway you say?  Not of you I hope?  I'd never give you away!

But yes, you are right Elfi - it is a giveaway!  I said awhile back that I would host one once I had over 100 followers on my blog, and I do!  Hooray!  The thing with this giveaway, which is a little unusual, is that I can't tell you what you'll win because the prize is a mystery.  And the reason the prize is a mystery is because it depends on who wins it!  You see, I want to tailor the prize to you, lucky winner. 

What I can tell you is that it will include at least one foreign language craft book; some ace stationery handmade by me especially for you; plus a piece of Korean awesome-ness yet to be determined (and probably more, I do like sending things in the mail).

'How do I enter?' I hear you ask!  Easy, just leave a comment below making sure that you include some sort of linky thing so that I have some way of getting in touch with you (Twitter, blog, email, etc).

In your comment you must tell me:
1. What your favourite craft is, what craft you would love to learn, OR what craft you love to look at to fuel your creative ideas?
2. Your favourite colour/combination of colours?
3. Your favourite kind of thing to read about/look at on Good Things* (travel? craft? doxies? recipes? good things?)?

Your prize will be crafted around these three answers!

Extra entries if you spread the word (tweet, facebook, blog) - just make sure you let me know you've done it so I give you the credit you deserve.  Entries close on August 31 at midnight (Seoul time). The winner will be chosen at random, some time shortly after that (I'll once again be using random.org's third party draw service).

Well, you may be handsome but you are certainly one reluctant model.  You could at least try and look a little excited...

04 August 2011

Collections: Foreign Language Craft Books

Remember an eon ago when I shared my collection of magnets?  And I said I would gradually share all my other collections with you?  Yes, well, I don't think I meant quite this gradually...

But onwards and upwards hey?  Here is collection number two - foreign language craft books.  Or more accurately Asian language craft books.  

Living in Hong Kong I'd practically trip over cute, quirky craft books at every turn (mainly Japanese, but increasingly Chinese too).  I'd pop in to my local book store and there'd be dozens of little tomes featuring ace things to do with buttons or ribbon or left over take away boxes.  Worse still, every 7-Eleven in Hong Kong (and there is one on every second corner, actually there is one on every corner) would have at least a few crafty gems on their magazine shelves.  And now here in Korea I'm confronted by an even bigger selection of local and Japanese crafty goodness.

And it doesn't even matter that you can't read the language.  Most of these books have rather detailed step by step instructions with diagrams, patterns and photos, so provided you've got a tiny bit of crafting nous you can muddle through just fine.  

As they tend to be picture heavy I mainly use them as inspiration, rather than the source of whole projects.  It might be the combination of materials used, a particular design element, a print or a pattern.  I especially like the paper craft ones (you can see more about one of my favourites - Paper x Paper - here), and I have recently discovered the beautiful and endlessly inspiring Japanese embroidery guides (Fumiko Nakayama's Color Embroidery is particularly wonderful!).

Those last three featured are: a fantastic Korean book on paper cutting which comes complete with a ton of ideas on how to use them and a CD of patterns; a book called 'Animal Mascots Made of Wool' which features the 'heartwarming whale'; and a ridiculously cute Japanese book on felt softies. If you want more information on any of the books you see just get in touch and I'll pass on the ISBN.

ps. I do have an ulterior motive for sharing this collection with you.  Without giving too much away it may have something to do with the words 'give' and 'away'... All will be revealed tomorrow!

ps. Also if you live in a place with great craft books in a language-other-than-English and want to do a swap please get in touch!

03 August 2011

Little Treasures

Did you see yesterday's post about my visit to Hongdae and the Free Market?  Weren't those little pincushions irresistible?  Clearly I thought they were, because I bought one home with me!  So adorable!  I love finding little treasures like this - small things that are lovingly made, useful and not too expensive.  They inject a little bit of happiness into your every day life, don't you think?  

I also stumbled across this little box of wonder in one of the many Hongdae stationery shops.  It's full of stickers featuring Scandinavian matchbox designs.  There is just too much ace-ness in here for me to soak in!  Look at those patterns, those colours!  (Also, please note bubblegum manicure also procured in Hongdae.)

And lastly, the cutest pencils ever!

Have you uncovered any little treasures lately?