29 September 2010

Funky Fabrix!

This week I decided to try my hand at winning some auctions by Brisbane’s favourite fabric store, Funky Fabrix. I haven’t yet made it to the store in person, and there’s a very good reason for that — I’d spend WAY to much money! All of the fabrics up for auction were half metres — perfect to use as embellishments such as pockets or waistbands on skirts (or they could even make some small throw pillows). I ended up winning three of the pieces I was after — yay!

The first one is Woodland Delight designed by Paula Prass for Michael Miller Fabrics.

The second one is the very geometric Groove by Caleb Gray for Robert Kaufman Fabrics (I’m thinking of maybe using this as the front panel for a throw pillow with some plain red fabric on the back).

And the third one is an Amelia print by Timeless Treasures, featuring lots of cute flowers and birdies.

I got all three for under $25, plus postage — and I should have them before the weekend!

28 September 2010

More top pictures!

Well apparently my self-shot photos in the mirror aren't good enough, so Rebecca kindly took some more for me at work today. The stripes photograph a little psychedelically, but at least you get a better idea of what it looks like!

And I have great news too! Shilo has just added her new skirt photos to her blog. Get yourself over there right now and have a look.

27 September 2010

Round-neck top complete!

After work on Friday I headed off to Lincraft to buy some plain black fabric to make into a round-neck top from the same pattern I used for my last project. I got the black fabric, but I also got some cute navy and white stripes. So, on Saturday morning I cut out my pieces, and over the course of a few hours on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning my project came to fruition (in between essay writing, driving lessons and a hen's night!). I had a few issues with this one, mainly because I was not paying enough attention to what I was doing (I had to unpick all the facing, the zip and one of the sleeves, but only because of silly little mistakes that could have easily been avoided).

As I was home alone today for study purposes, I had to take my own photos again. Note the intense concentration on my face in the first one (not to mention my new hair!).

The white owl brooch is from the Little Shop of Handmade.

On Sunday afternoon, Shilo came over to work on her own sewing project - a skirt inspired by a dress she owns. Keep an eye on Yikes Machine, as I'm sure photos will be posted in the coming days. And pretty soon we'll be adjusting the pattern for me too - yay!

24 September 2010

Bikes + books = perfect!

I’m sure this has been featured on a few blogs this week, but I just HAVE to feature it again because I love it so much!

There’s not much to say, really. A bike rack that doubles as a bookshelf. Genius! As the owners of several bikes and many, many books, I think this would be right at home at our place…

Visit Knife and Saw for more info!

20 September 2010

Sewing project: Box-neck top!

Yesterday after I'd completed my essay-writing quota for the day, I decided to tackle the top I'd been wanting to make for a little while. I'd spent a bit of time trying to decipher the pattern, and I'd vaguely worked it all out - so I went for it. Here's a refresher of the pattern:

I will tell you right away that it took me WAY longer than two hours, but that's because I spent so long working out what the pattern all meant. I also spent a lot of time zig-zagging my edges and making sure it was finished off as nicely as I could manage. And, I must say, I am VERY pleased with this one!

I did another near-perfect zip too, which I am quite chuffed about!

My main hiccup was that I cut a little too close to the seam on the inside front corners of the neck, so a little bit of the facing peeked out. I quickly fixed that by adding buttons - a cute addition to a pretty plain top, so I didn't mind at all.

I now want to make the round-neck design in a few colours and accessorise them with buttons and pretty trinkets. At least with that version I won't have those corners to contend with. :)

Thanks to the lovely Rebecca for photographing me at work today!

18 September 2010

Favourite Things Project: Creative pursuits

This week's theme for the Being Tazim Favourite Things Project is creative pursuits. When I started this blog, its purpose was to to chronicle my creative hobby of home decorating...

Over time, I have other bloggers have inspired me to try my hand at some crafty pursuits as well...

And I like to take photos of my food when it looks good too (usually baked goods)...

Keep an eye on the Being Tazim website over the next few weeks, as I will be doing a little bit of guest blogging over there for the 2010 Home Decor Event!

Bathroom... finally!

Some of you may remember that a year ago John and I had our rusty, leaky metal bath replaced with a brand new one. At the time, we decided that we'd repaint the bathroom again, keeping some of the Desert Bake colour we'd used the first time, and painting the main wall Cherokee Smoke.

Here's a refresher of what we were dealing with when we moved in...

Here are the walls totally painted in Desert Bake (not quite to John's liking)...

And now, three years after moving in, this is what we have now!

As you can see, we've kept the original 1970s floor tiles and matched our colour scheme to them. This is partly because we can't really afford to pay someone to jackhammer up two-inch thick concrete, and because we actually quite like them!

There is still a little bit of work to be done. Some of the walls need a second coat of paint around the edges, and the ceiling still needs to be done. Eventually we might agree on a wall-mounted towel rack, and the shower head really needs to be raised (as the height of the new bath means it's a tad low for John). Still, I'm rather satisfied with the improvement compared to what we once had.

13 September 2010

Stretch sewing - win!

I've been at home today due to allergies - I woke with a headache, itchy throat and itchy eyes, so I had no choice but to take some pills that were likely to make me drowsy. But, that meant I had the chance to brave the knit top pattern that I accidentally bought! I decided to try view D, which is a loose-fitting singlet top with a tie at the back.

Images: Simplicity New Look

Aside from the fact that it took WAY longer than the two hours it said on the pack (largely because I had no idea what I was doing), it turned out quite well. The only major unpicking I had to do was the hem, funnily enough (because the tension looked a bit screwy). It's not particularly attractive on the inside as I didn't really finish off the edges in the same way as was directed in the pattern (I kind of made it up a little bit as I went along), and it is a little big (even though it's the smallest size), but it worked!

John's not home until late tonight, so I tried my hand at taking some photos myself. Apologies in advance for the poor quality, but hopefully you'll get the idea! I'll do some close-ups later on when I can be bothered...

12 September 2010

More great stuff from Thea & Sami

Remember the photo shoot I did a couple of months back for Thea & Sami and their amazing new linen bags made in collaboration with Lyssy May? If not, here's a couple of pics to refresh your memory...

Images: Thea Samios, Thea & Sami

Well, I was excited to see this week that Thea has added more images from our shoot to her site, this time for her Le Soir organic clutch purse. I can attest that this purse is simply gorgeous (as is the linen bag)!
Image: Thea Samios, Thea & Sami

What's more, my image is now splashed over the homepage of the Thea & Sami website - making me feel ever so special indeed. I dearly love Thea's products, and I'm incredibly happy to be associated with such a wonderful local talent. Next month I'll be joining Thea for one of her very special and rather exclusive screenprinting workshops, and I can't wait! I'd better start thinking of some designs to print...

10 September 2010


I'm sure many of you have already seen the new Frontliners blog by Natalie Walton (of Daily Imprint) and Kata Varga. The site 'documents how people live at home when one turns into two or more', and focuses on how families share their space to create a home that suits everyone.

I'm really loving the photos of the home that Kelly Searls of Pony Rider fame shares with her family. Here's a sneak peek from Frontliners...

Images: Kata Varga, Fronliners

Make sure you pop on over to the Frontliners site and check out all the other great homes!

08 September 2010

Replicas vs the 'real thing'

Anita from Fun & VJs has started a dicsussion over at her blog about replica furniture versus licensed designs. Without repeating everything that Anita has said (as I want you to visit her blog to read the full discussion!), apparently there has been a little bit of vigilante action taking place within the community against replicas.

Real Living also recently featured the Authentic Design website on their Twitter, so I've been thinking about this issue quite a bit. As someone who works in the arts (and in the area of artists' copyright, for that matter), am I a hypocrite for having some replicas in my home? As it turns out, the answer is no, and for the following reasons which I explained in the Fun & VJs discussion:

I have a number of replica pieces in my home, a well as original pieces. I buy the replicas because I can't afford the real thing in most cases! I also actually work in the area of copyright (predominantly art work copyright), so can see the other side of the coin as well.

It differs from country to country, and I must admit I am not 100 per cent familiar with the laws for different kinds of copyright, but as I understand it design patents (including for furniture) expire after 20 years or so. This means that after 20 years of the original patent being submitted for a furniture design, it is legally up for grabs for reproduction (regardless of whether an artist is living or dead). On the other hand, copyright in things such as art works and literary works does not expire until the creator has been dead for 70 years. Even so, for both copyrighted material or patented material, I believe that the moral rights of the creator must still be upheld.

I think in many cases the areas of patents and copyright is becoming confused/blurred, which is why there is this 'backlash' occurring. But, at the end of the day, so long as the furniture patent has expired replicas are perfectly legitimate.

One particular design vigilante page I saw recently (I can't remember the exact site off the top of my head) lumped furniture replicas in with graphic design and other art work ripoffs - this is quite misleading, as both are covered by different parts of the law.
Further to my above 'essay', I just did a little more digging to try and explain the difference between copyright and patents in terms of what they protect. Copyright protects non-functional items (such as art works, text, music etc.), whilst patents protect physical, functional items (such as furniture, medications etc.). It's the same arrangement that is used in the health sector - we're often offered 'generic' medications, which are made available once the 20-year patent on the original medication has expired.

Therefore, the intellectual property of a poster design, for example, can not be compared to a piece of furniture, as they are not considered by intellectual property law worldwide as the same thing. So, unless a replica is made of a piece of furniture where the artist still holds an existing patent because it was created less than 20 years ago, it is considered to be perfectly ethical, at least in a legal sense.

Of course, the above does not mean that I condone copyright infringement in any way, shape or form. I don't even download music without paying for it - that's how much of a purist I am. But the fact is that furniture replicas, provided that the 20-year patent has expired, are perfectly legitimate. There is no 'theft' taking place because there is no intellectual property to steal. You'll notice that most retailers of replica furniture acknowledge the original designer of a product, thus ensuring that their moral rights have been upheld.

When we bought the replica pieces in our home, my husband and I were simply looking for a dining set that looked retro. We really didn't know much about furniture designers, we just knew what kind of thing we liked to look at and sit on. Consequently, we ended up with a replica Saarinen Tulip table and Panton chairs.

Since then, I've learnt an awful lot about furniture design from other bloggers and interior decorators, and now have a much higher appreciation and understanding than I had before. Like it or not, but this was a direct result of my purchase of replica furniture. (For the record, we also have a replica Barcelona chair in the bedroom - a design originating in the 1930s for which the patent has well and truly expired.) I've also now acquired some small 'licensed' designs for our home as well, so I most certainly would not only ever purchase replicas. It's all a matter of what individuals can afford for their own spaces, and their own personal preferences.

I (and Anita) would love to hear what you think - but please be nice and constructive!