Thursday, 2 February 2012

Sale on Project Bamarang

Project Bamarang is an Australian based site that searches for both established and new designers, and then offers a limited quantity of their goods to their members at great prices for a few days. Annnnndddd, the IdeaLiza puzzle coasters are on offer for one week (starting today at 10am)! There are only a limited number of each colour, so get in quickly. Joining Project Bamarang is free, and there are some fabulous designers being featured this week including Mulbury Gallery and Red Zebra Designs.

Here's what is on special offer from IdeaLiza:

And placemats :)

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Coptic book

Last year I took several bookbinding courses at Sydney Bookbinding. If you're interested in learning bookbinding and are in Sydney, I'd highly recommend these courses. They're so much fun! The introductory course is booked through Sydney Community College, and subsequent courses and one off workshops are booked through Amazing Paper. Amazing Paper is also a great place to get supplies for any kind of paper fun (I think R. is always a bit worried when I go there that I will come home with enough paper and other craft supplies to fill the entire volume of the flat).

Anyway, to the books, and making of the books. We've made six books in the courses so far, each of them introducing new techniques and styles. In this post I'm going to talk a little bit about the book I made using coptic binding. Coptic binding is one of the oldest forms of bookbinding, and was developed by early Christians in Egypt. It is used to bind multiple sections together using chain stitching at the spine, does not require any glue in the binding, and results in a book which can open 360 degrees. In the early coptic bindings layers of papyrus were used to form cover boards, and by the 4th century AD wooden boards were also commonly used as covers.

There is a simplicity to coptic binding which I find very elegant, and the fact that the book is very practical (hard covers, opens flat) adds to that elegance. I may well explore this design further in IdeaLiza using laser cut covers, and I've got several ideas in mind.

But, back to the book I've already made. In the pictures you can see the exposed spine, how the book opens flat, and my cover and spine design. Now, because I'm a bit of a geek, that cover design is also more than a little bit geeky. Basically, I'm playing with wave-particle duality by showing waves in different colours (wavelengths) made up of little particles (made using a hole punch). On both the front and back covers I have colours from the visible part of the spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple), and this theme is extended by having the same colours featured along the sections in the spine. Hopefully the overall effect is intriguing and visually appealing, while still being fun and geeky. What do you think?

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

New year, new resolutions, handmade surprises

Happy New Year!
This poor blog has really been neglected lately, and I'm hoping this year I will be a bit less negligent.
IdeaLiza has come a fair way since I first started last year, and I'm still completely stoked that people like my products enough to pay for them. I've learnt quite a bit over the last few months both in terms of skills, and about what I enjoy doing, what products are popular, and mundane things like how much certain things cost to make. I'm hoping to build on those experiences this year to further grow IdeaLiza. There are quite a few things I'm excited about which should be happening in the next few months, but before those things happen (and I tell you about them) I should get stuck into the more mundane things like reviewing all my pricing, and getting myself more organised (actually, organised at all) in terms of book keeping.
To kick off the year, I'm playing 'Pay it forward' over on my facebook page. The idea of this game is that the first 5 people to comment on my facebook status will receive a lovely handmade goodie made by me. In return, those 5 people do the same to another 5 people. A lovely handmade cascade... The goodies must be received by the end of 2012. And the gifts can be as small or as elaborate as you choose to make - be creative! So, if you'd like to receive a handmade gift from me, head on over to my page. 

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Friday Finds

Given that Christmas is sneaking up on us so quickly (simultaneous 'eek' and 'YAY') I thought I'd do a few posts on all the lovely handmade goodies out there. In this first post I'd like to show you some of the wonderfully geeky things I've found on MadeIt, the online Australian handmade market.
Geeky alien cards by MoonMum, with the alien bodies made from pages from an old junior science encylopedia.
Charles Darwin cup and saucer by Zinnia Pea with hand inked quotes from Darwin on the cup and saucer. 
Cufflinks from Red Zebra Designs with Russian Swiss ruby jewel  watch movements

LEGO cufflinks by Rainbow Lollies

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Finding Fibonacci

It's been a long time since blog posts, but I certainly haven't forgotten about IdeaLiza. I've got lots of things I'd like to blog about, but today I'm going to talk about my latest series 'Finding Fibonacci'. In this series I'm branching out from the laser cutting into screen printing. I've been printing onto gorgeous organic cotton bags from The Organic Mamas. These bags have so many great qualities: they're made from 100% organic cotton, are free from dyes and chemicals, and are super strong and durable. They're made in India and are SKAL certified.
My first series of screen prints is called 'Finding Fibonacci' and is based on natural objects (so far fruit and vegetables, but hopefully there will be flowers soon too) which feature spirals described by Fibonacci numbers.  I've also printed bags with the spiral pattern which is key to all of these objects, which is also the central feature of my logo. So, here they are...!

They're currently available from my Made ItBluecaravan, and Etsy stores.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Madeit picks

This week I get to be one of the picks editors for madeit. Here are some of the pieces that I chose:

Madeit is a site for buying and selling handmade goods by Australian designers, and has all sorts of cool things on there including stationary, jewellery, clothing, and homewares. For those of you starting to think about Christmas (eek!) there is lots of great stuff on this site!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Molecular Weave in Liminal Apparel T-off

Liminal Apparel is a NZ store which sells fair-trade, organic t-shirts and bags. At the moment they're running a great competition on facebook giving away 20 fair trade organic screen printed t-shirts. All the entries are now in and voting is open until 16th October. There are 18 entries, and some great ones in there. I entered the Molecular Weave piece, showing the structure of cellulose in the shape of a t-shirt. 

Cotton fibre is almost pure cellulose (about 91%). Cellulose is an organic compound with the chemical formula (C6H10O5)n and is an incredibly common compound, being found in the cell walls of green plants, and in algae. It is a straight chain polymer, and has a crystalline formation aided by intra- and inter-chain hydrogen bonding. This bonding holds the chains together and allows formation of microfibrils (fiber-like strands) with high tensile strength. These strands are very important in cell walls.
There are a few different crystalline structures of cellulose, with the different structures relating to different configurations of hydrogen bonding. Most natural cellulose is Cellulose I, and it occurs in two forms: Iα and Iβ. Cotton cellulose contains both these structures, but is primarily Iβ.
In this t-shirt design, the black dots are carbon, red is oxygen, and white is hydrogen. The dotted white lines show the hydrogen bonding in the Iβ configuration of cellulose. I like how the t-shirts in the competition are organic (in the sense of grown without the use of certain pesticides or fertilizers) and the cellulose molecule is an organic molecule (a molecule containing carbon). I also like that the crystalline structure of cellulose resembles the weave of a t-shirt, with the chains going in one direction, and hydrogen bonds linking the chains.