Friday, 25 May 2012

FSO - Made by Hand

The topic this week is Made by Hand.  I'd been thinking (in an idle fashion because this topic just did not grip me) about where I might find something hand made before I read the hints we are provided with each week.  Too late, I'd already gone down the dress maker path.  Wearable art always catch my eye.  My grand-daughters enter the Wearable Arts contest at their school each year but I can't imagine them putting in the time necessary to construct this, which is made from bread bag clips.  The bottom featured the bread bags themselves and the necklace was made of little pieces of toasted bread. 

This was produced by a student in Diploma in Fashion Design at NorthTec.

Back home at my place the constructions are a bit more simple.  But give a child an old box and some cellotope, pencils and paper, sit her in front of the heater on a cold day when she feels a bit off colour and those little hands will construct something.

Last Christmas the grand-daughters were allowed to decorate the cup cakes.That might sound like a strange Christmas Day activity but they loved it.  And it's never too early for them to learn that many hands make light work. 

My daughter keeps her hands busy producing this:

I've posted this before - a tiny hand made bead - but every time I look at it I marvel at the patience involved.

After Māori arrived in New Zealand, around 1250, they discovered the useful properties of flax. The nectar from its flowers made a sweet drink. The roots could be crushed to make poultices for skin infections, and to produce a juice with disinfectant and laxative properties. The gum from the base of the leaves eased pain and healed wounds, especially burns. The leaves themselves could be used as bandages and to secure broken bones.

Maori women learned to obtain the strong fibre from the leaves by scraping the green flesh away with a sharp shell. This fibre was pounded until soft, then washed and sometimes dyed. Twisted, plaited and woven, it was used to create a wide range of items, such as fishing nets and traps, footwear, ropes and, when woven with feathers, clothing.

Then, as now, only the outer leaves - the grandparents - were harvested to avoid weakening the plant.  So there are still plenty of flax plants around to allow following generations to use the plant in various ways.

I'm looking forward to checking out the rest of the FSO team here.  Pop over and have a look - or why not join us?


  1. Wow, your family is very creative. Who would have thought of making a dress out of clips? The box is adorable; the cupcakes look delicious; and is that home-made tomato sauce in the jars? :)

  2. Bread Bag Clips! That's amazing. You have to be creative to come up with an idea like that.
    I'm going to do the cardboard boxes the next time my grandsons are here. I love the idea of a little stage setting inside of a box. Wonderful!
    All the photos are creative and pretty.
    Nice post.

  3. I love that bouquet, so unique! In Asia , you can easily find handicrafts made from weaved dried leaf, almost all houses have at least one.
    The students are very creative in using the bread clips to make that dress!

  4. An awesome collection for the prompt. I like the little reindeer cupcake - too cute.

  5. A great group of finds this week. I can't help but wondering how wearable that wearable art really is! But it is unique.

  6. I had to laugh at you not being gripped by this topic. I suggested it and at the moment that I did I had some grand idea. then I forgot all about it and in the past week went around nearly in a panic because I SAW NOTHING of interest. I don't think I will post today. Lol. you did really well with this non-gripping topic. love the bread ties cloths. wonderful in fact.

  7. A varied group of hand mades, I will never look at the humble bread clip in the same way again...the work in the bead is exquisite and a very detailed shot.

  8. This post is so interesting Pauline. It's amazing to see the beautiful things that are made from flax. Thanks for sharing your insights with us.

  9. Wow, great photos. I just love that bead!!! So creative. Most of us would have no idea about how to use these natural resources.

  10. Pauline, this is an awesome post. You certainly found some unique items. That wearable art with made with the bread bag clips is very unique and quite a lovely design. I absolutely love your grand-daughter's construction. she has a very creative streak and a good imagination. The granddaughters did a wonderful job decorating the cupcakes. They look deliscious. Great post for this week.

  11. Terrific!! I'd pick the room made from boxes or the flax flowers but I suspect that Bagman is going to insist on the breadclip bodice. He's slathering butter on toast as I write.

  12. You and your granddaughters seem to be involved in creative hand-made projects all the time! Interesting to also see the Maori craft and learn how they use flax.

  13. I just love the cup cakes but how on earth did anyone ever come up with that idea for the bodice never mind actually make it.


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