Monday, June 28, 2010

The Art and Design Projects: Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock was an American painter, mainly known for his work at the forefront of the abstract expressionist movement.  The technique that he is so well known for, involved fixing a canvas to the floor and then dripping, pouring and spattering paint on to the canvas.    By having the canvas on the floor he was able to move around it and 'paint' on it from all directions.

The painting that I know best is Pollock's Blue Poles - probably because the National Gallery of Australia bought it (amid much scandal as it was the highest price ever paid for a modern painting at the time).

This technique is just perfect for kids to have a lot of fun!  This is how we did it:

1. While Yashar was busy playing, my neice and I picked out the colours and mixed the paints.  It was great to have an older child (my neice is 12) for this part - we chose colours to reflect our mood on a cool and rainy Summer day.  We put the paints in small containers and bottles - so that it wouldn't be a huge mess if Yashar got carried away!  We added a little water to ours to make them more 'drippable' (although we probably added a little too much - you want it drippable without then running all over the place)

2. We also cut some thick paper (canvas would also be great) and put them on the floor on plenty of newspaper.

3.  Then the fun part!  We dropped and flicked and poured the paint on!  Yashar loved it!  And my neice took a more thoughtful approach - which I think Pollock would have approved of - he denied that his paintings were 'accidents' and said he usually had an idea of how he wanted his paintings to look.

4.  We left the paintings to dry overnight.   Yashar and I were so excited about how they turned out!

Pollock Krasner House and Study Centre -
The National Gallery of Australia

Jackson Pollock (MoMA Artist Series)

The movie Pollock (with Ed Harris as Jackson Pollock).  I found this movie so interesting - definitely not one for watching with young kids though!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Crafty Gatherings: The Redo

We are painting at the moment - and that, combined with a little set of draws and a cupboard that I have my eye on at our local second hand store, has had me obsessing about furniture 'make overs' and before and afters.  I want to get them to help with the slight (read out of control) storage problem in my studio. 

So this weeks crafty gathering is all about the redo. 

First up are two pretty cupboards  from a favourite of mine for thrifty finds and beautiful redos:  Dottie Angel

Then some recent favourites from the home of the 'Before and After':  Design*Sponge
The first is Melissa's 'dungeon room' makeover - Don't the white walls make such a difference! Can't wait for mine!

The second is Lauren's Nursery.  I like all the pale tones with just a couple of splashes of colour.  It looks like such a gorgeous little attic room - so airy and calm don't you think?

Oooh!  And guess what?  My French and Italian Countryside wallpaper for Studio Nommo was featured on Bloesem Kids!  Yay!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Brown Paper Packages

This week a site launched that I am so happy about!     It's a really special little online shop called Brown Paper Packages that is Australia based, but has little treasures from around the world.    I especially love that you can shop the website by country of origin - perfect if you're a Francophile or a Turkophile (??? ok, so I don't know if that's a word, but you know what I mean)

These are 'some of my favourite things'!

1. Red Stripe Tee Pee
2. London Map Print
3. Guitar Pillow
4. La Dolce Vita Banner

Hmm...and I do quite like the lovely prints she sells by a certain person called Verity :))

Yes, I love the site even more because it stocks a range of my prints!   Amanda contacted me quite a while back now and we have been emailing since (she is LOVELY!)  To make things extra special all of my prints in her shop come already matted and you can also select to have them framed - plus they ship from Australia - so definitely a great option for everyone in Australia!  I think it is so nice when you are giving a gift to have it already matted or framed don't you think?

So a huge congratulations to Amanda on the opening of Brown Paper Packages.  I hope you hop on over and have a look at all the goodness over there!

PS.  She wrote a lovely lovely post on her blog spotlighting me and my work - yay!  Click here if you would like to check it out.

PPS - I'm trying out a new commenting system - I hope it works!  I guess if there are no comments I will know it's not :)


Monday, June 21, 2010

Making Mondays: Made with love

This Monday I wanted to show the beautiful beautiful blankets that my mother in law, Sevim made.  They are made with love in more ways the one!  Sevim's name actually has it's base in love - with Sevmek meaning 'to love' and sevimli meaning lovable.   My father in law's name (which was Yashar, and was whom we named our son after)  also has a wonderful meaning - meaning life, being alive.  Love and life, what a combination... fate that they found each other don't you think?!

Recently, when I was admiring some of the beautiful things that Sevim was making, I suggested that she should make some blankets for my shop.  And these are the result!  They are so beautiful, I had such fun photographing them.  And of course, as soon as I saw them I put in an order for us! - She's busy making that at the moment! 

Sevim's work always amazes me.  She also does a lot of oya - the fine needlework that is found here in Turkey.  I have left all the photos quite big so you can see the detail of how beautiful they are!

So, I'm off to put these in the shop now...and I have to say I'm a little jealous of the lucky people that will buy them!   That blue, cream and red one just grabs me every time!

Ooh - and I noticed that purple and green based one fits right in with the 'colour me pretty' post over at decor8 today  - the top two photos below are from that post.


Ooh, and next week I'll be doing another in art and design projects series with Yashar - can't wait!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Crafty Gatherings

A crafty gathering where all the best things to make hang out and sit around looking cool. 

I love this cushion made using the Kiss Tapestry Kit from Cox and Cox!  I really have to do this one!

Awesome roller blind hack from Brett Bara for Design Sponge.

This bear is such a cutie!  I made one for Yashar when he was born and it turned out so sweet!  But then got lost on a trip out one day :(  So I really want ot make another one.  It's the mamma bear pattern by Carly Schwerdt in the book Softies.

This soup bowl pot plant is such a great idea! - from Janis Nicolay for Poppytalk.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Making Mondays: The Art and Design Projects - Charles Harper

Ok, finally the project that I keep mentioning and that has been running around in my head for a while now!

There are so many amazing artists and designers out there, many of whom I actually hadn't heard of until after high school!  (and, I sheepishly say, probably many that I don't know about...yet).   I thought it would be fun to base the Making Mondays projects with Yashar around different artists and designers.  An early introduction to a world of possibilities out there - to the many different ways these talented people worked and created.

The plan it for these to be every fortnight...and if you have a suggestion for an artist or designer you would like to see featured, let me know in the comments - I'm sure we will be able to come up with a project about them!

These are not meant to be reproductions of their works - the projects are all about inspiration and fun for kids! - ok...and for me.

The first project is based around the work of the talented and inspiring illustrator and artist Charles Harper.

Charles Harper worked in a modernist style that was bold and colourful, using simplified shapes to capture the essence of animals and nature.  He said:
When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don’t see the feathers in the wings, I just count the wings. I see exciting shapes, color combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behavior and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures.

So this week, we created little artworks using cut paper.  Charles Harper mostly painted, but I thought cut paper would be a great way to focus on the flat colour and simplified shapes that are so integral to his work. 

For inspiration I recommend looking at and especially through this slide show of recently discovered originals done for the Ford Times. 

This project can be as simple or complicated as you like.  Yashar is only 2 and a half so I kept things simple - I cut the paper pieces out while he was sleeping.  These are trees for an autumn forest.

This artwork above was inspired by the amazing work 'Autumn Train' found here.  And then we also did a nice green forest one to show Spring/Summer.

This bird below was inspired by the work 'Whiskey Jack' which can be found here.

We stuck the pieces on some spare watercolour paper we had using glue sticks.

We made the bird (above) one with lots of guidance together and then he had free range on the little forest!  As we stuck the pieces down we talked about what the pieces looked like - a tail, a beak, a tree and about the forest we were making.

Then later I drew in a few details with a grey stabilo pen and put it in the simple frame we had on hand.

For older children though, it would be fantastic to get them involved in the whole process - you could collect some items from nature or some nature photographs together - fish, trees, plants, birds and together pick out the essential shapes in them, then cut them out of paper and stick them on a nice thick piece of paper.  They could then add the little extra details using pen themselves.  I bet we would all be amazed by the creative artworks they come up with!

For more:

In my research I came across these gorgeous books:
Charley Harper ABCs
Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life

Friday, June 11, 2010

A sure sign of Summer

Well, after a return of winter here to Istanbul, with rain that turned the streets into rivers, and trips outside for this ...., Summer has officially arrived.

A sure sign of which is us out on the balcony at around 8pm chopping up watermelon.

Somebody was pretty excited about it!

Have a great weekend!  I'll be back on Monday and will finally have the special Making Mondays project to share with you then!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Custom Birth Announcements and Giveaway Winner!

Recently I was contacted about creating some custom birth announcements and these are photos of them just as I was wrapping them up in fabric to send on their journey.  They were for the most lovely client and I enjoyed creating them with her so much.  Really, it's ridiculous, I was sitting there with this big grin on my face while I was making them. 

They were to announce the birth of little Laurel Grey (I think that is such a beautiful name!)   I printed them using my archival printer on gorgeous thick textured acid free paper (the same paper that I print my art prints on)- so that they would make a special keepsake for all the people helping to welcome her in to the world!


Thank you all so much for entering the giveaway, for your lovely lovely comments and for helping me to spread the word!  I appreciate it so much!

I picked the winner today using a random number generator.  It gave me the number 63:

The 63rd entry was elifada!  She commented...

Yay! I will be contacting you shortly!
PS- some people people put all their entries in one comment, so I went through and was sure to count each entry individually (I counted the extra entries in the order they were posted in the comments section)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

An early crafty gathering.

OK, things are a little mixed up here at the blog this week.  I have something special planned for 'Making Mondays' that I haven't quite gotten around to finishing off yet, so I will post about that a little later in the week.

And the GIVEAWAY will be finishing tomorrow.  A huge thank you to everyone that has entered so far!  An extra special thank you to everyone who has blogged, twittered, emailed and basically got the word out for me.  You guys rock!  I will leave the entries open until the last moment that it's Tuesday any where in the world and I will post the winner as soon as possible after that (I will be contacting them individually too).

So today I will be sharing with you an early Crafty Gathering - the new weekly gathering I'm having here where only the best things to make hang out!

Powerline Mini Quilt by Meg Spaeth from the new book Whip Up Mini Quilts
by Kathreen Ricketson (creator of

Wooden Slot Animal from Made By Joel

Gorgeous Nursery with Lanterns & Pendant Light from Ashley Ann - Under the Sycamore (found via poppytalk)

Also you can now view a small selection of my work on BeeArt - my Turkish agent's website!  I can't even believe I'm saying that - hehehe!  This is a huge and exciting step for me (remember when I posted about it here?)  Now, I'm just waiting for the work to roll in ;)  There are some fantastic illustrators' work on the site so check it out if you are interested!


Friday, June 4, 2010


Wow!  Firstly I want to say thank you for all the entries in the GIVEAWAY(!) and all your lovely comments!  And if you haven't entered yet it's not too late!  To check it out click here or just scroll down a couple of posts. 

Now I wanted to share with you a few photos from a little trip to Agva (pronounced Aa-va) that we went on while my Mum was here.  It was beautiful!  The drive there was through lovely green thick forest.  We stopped here for a roadside snack - gozleme - which is delicious!

 Agva is relatively free of the mass development that you find in many other holiday destinations here.  Instead Agva was all small hotels along the river front and, according to the owner of the hotel we stayed at, it is strictly controlled by the Jandarma to make sure the hotels are not polluting the area.   It's the type of place where you could go and just hang out in a hammock and read books and drink wine all you didn't have a 2 year old with you. :)    We did manage to fit plenty of relaxing and some wine in though!

We went for a little ride in a boat along the river while we were there.  It was fun to spot gorgeous places like this and the one in the photograph at the start of this post.

And we made it down to the beach, which although wasn't as clean as some other areas of Agva, did have some beautiful wild flowers growing at its edges. 

Have a great weekend!