Sunday 30 May 2010


My Moo cards have landed and I'm very happy with them. It was like Christmas in the office on Friday when I opened the package. Putting a group of graphic designers around stationary is a little, no scratch that, a lot like broody women at a christening oohs and aahs flying left right and centre.
So here's a little peek of what you get in a Moo package. I ordered, regular business cards, mini statement cards and sticker books. I like the bright little statements cards best (above centre). My favourite added extra was the personalised luggage tag, it's now pinned up by my desk. I also loved the beautiful boxes the cards come in. The last surprise I found was the little cartoon below in the hing of the sticker book, I just love their attention to detail.The only small downside was that I uploaded my images from Etsy and because they are low-res files the quality of the images isn't quite what it could be. Next order I'll set up from artwork.

Monday 24 May 2010

new address

A big thank you to Jen at 'Seedling' for taking on Rebeccas' project and adding her own little words of wisdom (below).
It was really nice to have a quick brief to work on and I can't stop thinking what a lovely etsy shop this would make - each week a different maker adds an item that answers a set brief and then they set the theme for the next seller... a sort of etsy pass the parcel if you like. Just can't figure out if any one would do it or how to set up the money side.

* other pass it on blogs imba - THANK YOU. Any one else feel like making it a blog feature let me know and I'll add your link:)
* This beautiful post by stash reHash - well worth a read.

Sunday 23 May 2010

pass it on

I got an email this morning from Rebecca Marshall a student who follows me on facebook. She was just asking for five minutes to help her with a project. When I was studying I was forever trying to get people to help me with this sort of thing so I really understand what an uphill struggle it can be.

CAN YOU HELP? Here's the brief: The theme is "because we are all different and need different things"... and she needs participants to write anything they want, on anything they like (on the above theme). then scan or photograph it and email it to her by hum, sorry tuesday.

Here's what I did and it really has only take five minutes (well maybe fifteen). Contact me and I'll pass on her email. Thanks Colleen, a firm believer in social networking karma.

Ok I'm off to wash the pen off this mug before my boss gets in... oops.
Little update, my friend Gilly (the friend in my about blurb) just took this picture of the twits what a good answer to the brief, really proud she squeezed this in being a busy mother of two.

Saturday 22 May 2010

at home in homestyle

Dear colleens' first outing in press, well in print anyway. Thank you homestyle for included my 'Message in a bottle cards' in the latest issue.
New Zealanders can buy them on felt, in the lovely Workroom Clevedon and Swonderful in Wellington. Or come say hi (I could use seeing some friendly faces) when I make my offline selling debut at Craft2.0 and The Auckland Art and Craft Fair.
Talking about The Auckland Art and Craft Fair, I'm just crazy about the current featured seller Sensitive Boyfriend, I sort of love hate them... Love because they are so smart and funny... hate because they are too smart and funny:) I so wish I had thought of this psycho chopping board, I hope they add a 'Shining' axe to the line.

Friday 21 May 2010

stringing you along...

One step closer... I've strung this one together using embroidery thread but I need to find something stronger and easier to knot, any ideas? it's a great day for taking photos.

Thursday 20 May 2010

my ponoko order stinks...literally

I opened the packaging and it smelt like a rat had died and then been set on fire (with a laser).

Apart form the smell I have to say I'm really impressed, it's the first order I've placed with them and it's turned out better than I'd hoped. If you're a maker and you haven't heard of Ponoko go check out their site they'll help you make your ideas a reality.

I'm very lucky as I live in Wellington and they are just round the corner from my work so no waiting on post, it only took seven days from placing the order to picking it up. For such a super modern internet business the office was a bit of a shock... it looks a bit like a seventies smoking lounge (in a good way of course).
Anyway here's the finished article. I need to sand it, enamel the rain drops, string it and take some great photos so should be really to list in lets say about two weeks. I only have nine so I'm sort of hoping they don't sell too quickly... is that wrong?

Monday 17 May 2010

happy tuesday

Here I was thinking it was just another Tuesday but no I've had two pieces of good news today. Firstly I'm off to Auckland for the Art and Craft Fair, which I'm very very excited about. I think of myself as an indie designer so not all craft fairs are quite right for my work, which is more design than traditional craft... I wish I could knit but I can't, well I can sort of the problem comes when I have to drop a line, how do you knitters do that? Anyway this fair with it's trade show angle just seems like a good fit. I'm going to work my ass off to make sure my stand is really together.
The other wonderful piece of news is that I won a twitter competition for a necklace from Maranon aka Spinthread I've been lusting over her work since etsy showcased her as a featured seller. I was planning on writing a blog piece called all 'I want for my birthday... is this necklace'. Still true by the way if anyone who buys me gifts is reading this, I love every item on her site or is that just too cheeky. Anyway I'm off out to my first 'craft up' sadly I'll only be able to stay ten minute as I had a last minute work dinner invite and who's going to turn down a free meal... not me.

the wonderful swonderful

I finally took a few pictures in Swonderful the lovely fashion and art boutique shop in Wellington where you can find 'Dear Colleen' in person (well in paper). The shop is cool and pretty at the same time which is a hard mix to pull off but they really have it nailed. Sorry about the poor quality of the photos it was a dark day (weather wise not emotionally).
Above you can see some Papercup clothing made and designed by the team behind Swonderful. The beautiful paper rain drop window and my rosettes, notelets and prints feeling very at home.
Finally this is the graffiti/street art on the wall outside their shop. It's so comical I love it. If anyone knows the artists name then please let me know and I'll add a credit.

Thursday 13 May 2010


here's a sneak peek of what's been keeping me busy. I've been working very hard on a new Dear Colleen line which I'm tentatively calling 'Wall Charms' but I guess you could say their mobiles for grown ups. This one's 'Storm in a Tea Cup' and it's being laser cut at Ponoko at the moment. I'm really pleased with the visuals for all the new designs, fingers crossed the finished articles look even better.

By the way today I've been going three months. The third months been the trickiest so far but hopefully I've put in place a lots of measures to make sure number four goes a lot more smoothy.

Tuesday 11 May 2010

introducing the vegan tiger

Having just posted a heavy some may say boring (shame on you:) blog I thought I would share a little crazy courtesy of New Zealand. At the moment you can mostly find me looking for second hand odds and ends to display my work in for photo shoots and craft fairs. Well today I spotted this fellow, I think he’s a tiger and I’ve concluded that he’s a hippie, vegan, grass smoking tiger as he’s wearing flip-flops and eating his greens.

I bought him, as the glass box he came in will be perfect for show casing my rosettes. I have to say after spending the day with the tiger I’ve rather fallen for him. Anyone have any ideas what I should name him? Was the tiger in the 'Life of Pi' call Richard?

And final just one more piece of crazy… New Zealand winter... Jumper, scarf and sun glasses. It’s to weird for my English brain to handle.

Never talk politics… oops

I can’t say I have a full understanding of politics’ or the British political system. That said I strongly believe in the right to vote and the importance to use that right in a reasoned and educated manner.
Over the past couple of years I don’t know how many times I’ve heard peers kicking off about Gordon Brown and the fact he wasn’t democratically chosen… there is some grain of truth in this but it’s fundamentally flawed. To put this argument forward demonstrates a huge misunderstanding of the British election process, unlike North America in Briton we do not vote specifically for the Prime Minister. The fact that this creates such confusion across the board makes me think the referendum on ‘how our vote gets counted’ has to be a good thing.
It's no secret that I like Gordon Brown (his resonation speech made me cry) and after my trip through the States where I saw first hand the troubling poverty, which has increased dramatically since the economic crash my respect, for him, has grown. I can also see that Briton has boomed and is now bust under a Labour government. But if we’re honest it would have happen who ever was in power and considering it was the Conservative party that privatised our banks in the first place I can’t see how it would have been any better with them in charge.

Personally I feel a deep sense of foreboding, as the Conservatives in recent years have not been supporters of the Arts. I suffered greatly at school as I was forced to study triple science and technology because John Major, the Conservative PM at the time, felt we needed more engineers. Like you can force people to be talented in certain skills. It also seemed very short sighted to over look some of the greatest exports Briton has; music, fashion, design, television. Of course just because this happened fifteen years ago doesn’t mean it will happen again, but it makes me nervous, especially as I plan to return home with a creative business.

Who ever is in change Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Labour or Monster Raving Loony Party, I still feel very lucky to come from a country where I have the freedom to write my views publicly without fear. However much we like to moan Briton isn’t that bad yet. And to those who say it’s not important to use your vote, it’s your right to have freedom of speech, freedom to vote that make it so crucial. We must never take this freedom for granted. Look what nearly happened in France in 2002, please here’s a link go read about it, it’s scary. I also get a warm sense of pride that less than 2 minutes into the Conservative and Liberal Democrats announcing their alignment the British public had already naming them the Con dem party. I think that’s what we call ‘the British sense of humour’ governments change but that never will.

Saturday 8 May 2010

thirt times the charm

Bum I’ve just wasted hours trying to update my blog. I wrote a long piece but my mac crashed twice and lost the document both times so here’s a short version… I’ve moved to the centre of Wellington, which is great because it’s only quarter of an hours walk to everything I need and even less to my work. Above is the view from my balcony – yes a balcony I’ve always always wanted one. The only down side (apart from living in the earth quake zone) is that I now get woken in the middle of the night by pissed students singing ‘we are the champions’ I do not concur, they are most defiantly not the champions.

I wanted to also show my breakfast as it was so good and it's Sunday the only day I really make a meal of it :) Simply Paris the cafĂ© round the corner really does live up to it’s name this pistachio and chocolate swirl tastes better than it looks…

But the main reason I wanted to post was to share some images of these suitcases I bought on trade me (NewZealands answer to ebay). I’m now the proud owner of twenty or would be if Gilly hadn’t taken a few off my hands. A lot are off to the charity shop but these four are staying with me. I have always loved old boxes, trunks and suitcases but I’ve bought these with a plan in mind. I’m very happy to be sorting out display ideas for my first outing at a craft fair as a seller. I’ll be part of Wellingtons Craft 2.0. I’m designing my stand on the idea of a travelling sales man… not quite sure how it’s going to work yet but I’m hoping it’s going to be fabulous.