Saturday 31 July 2010

I've got it covered...

If you have been visiting my blog for a while you may have seen that I've been working on having a old 1950/60s office chair I picked up in a junk shop recovered. At last it's back looking (and smelling) amazing.
A huge thanks to es design Wellington for a job very well done. I'm really impressed with their attention to detail. I love the way the trees keep growing up and over the chair and that they let me use a soft dove grey leather on the arms as I felt pink arms might be too much (because other than that it's very subtle:). The before picture is the brown chair on the grass, I don't think it ever would have thought it would end up bright pink. To be fair neither did I I'm really not a pink girl but I'm glad es talked me into it as it's just beautiful.

Thursday 29 July 2010


Well here it is my first charity project. Like most people I have been shocked and upset by the scale of the ‘Horizon Deepwater Oil Spill Disaster’ on the Gulf coast. I know it’s not the current hot topic that it was but there is still a huge amount of clearing up to do and to have any hope of putting things right we need to keep rising funds.
As soon as I heard about it I reacted in a very Graphic designer sort of way and drew a logo in a notebook. I just had a very clear image of the word ‘spoil’ with the oil part running down the page. It would have stayed in my notebook if a friend hadn’t seen it and pushed me to take the idea further. A reusable shopping bag just seems like the right place to home the design being a green item in it’s own right. It’s always hard to judge your own work and I realize this is quite down beat compared to my usual designs but I hope it captures how a lot of us feel about the disaster. As I look at the awful pictures of spreading oil and helpless wildlife fighting to survive I can’t believe we have done this to our already fragile ocean.
125 canvas long handle tote shopper bags have to hand screen-printed right here in New Zealand and that’s it, all I’m making so it’s a limited item. I’m giving 100% of my profits (around $5.50US - $10nz from every bag sold) to Oxfam’s Gulf Oil Spill Fund. I’ve also putting a high res file on Flickr (just follow this link) so if you want to use the design to rise money for the fund in anyway (making tees, badges, posters, anything you like) to rise money for Oxfam you can, all I ask is that you give all the profits that you make to the charity. I’m trusting that people will do the right thing, I figure it can rise more money this way than I can alone from my small part time business. If this goes well I’ll run a new charity project I along the same lines every six months. If this catches your imagination please blog, facebook or tweet it forward. Thank you Colleen x.

Wednesday 28 July 2010

things that came in the post...

I'm miles and miles behind with my blog, but instead of worrying I thought I would just share some of the really lovely items that have come in the post over the last two days. Nothing like lovely parcels to put a smile on your face (well my face anyway:)
The necklace I won in Maranons twitter competition. Isn't it pretty and look at the lovely lace wrapping, I feel very lucky to have won this little treasure. Personally and don't all kill me at once, I'm getting a bit sick of bunting but some how her graphic style and sharp lines give this more of an aztec then village fair feel.
My 'Pugs not Drugs' totes from Gemma Correll, what can I say the girl has skills. The bag is lovely and came with the sweetest button badge and business card and in record time. can't wait to take this bad boy shopping.
Thank goodness my new Moo minis turned up today. I ran out 2 weeks ago and have been hopelessly lost without them. I'm loving the 'skills to pay the bills' one it's so dam cocky.
My Dear Colleen label also turned up it's a little weird seeing my name stitched like I'm a fashion designer or something. Now I need to get the website moving along... eek I'm not at all sure when I'm going to fit that in. I also wanted to share the lovely Hong Kong stamps.
Last of all in my mail box this morning loads of lovely Foxes business cards and stickers so I can make my Foxes goodies look lovely and professional. Foxes is now up and running and looks wicked.

I'll be back tomorrow with a some what nerve-racking post about my first ever charity project. I'm so scared that I have butterflies, I really want this to work. I'll be selling a tote bag to rise money for the Gulf Oil Spill fund and for the first time the logo I have designed will be available on flickr to down load so if anyone else wants to use it to rise money for the fund they can. It’s a free for all and I’m just trusting that people will do the right thing, I figure it can rise more money that way than I can alone.

Thursday 22 July 2010

auckland art and craft fair...

Wow how did it come around so fast. It's not been an easy run up to this show but I'm very proud that somehow I've managed to get some new designs ready. It's going to be a long night I still have so much to do but by this time tomorrow I'll be in Auckland with my lovely helper Gilly and I'll be able to have a night off in the big smoke. I'm so pleased to be getting a hand with this show (if nothing else it means I can go shopping). Well without further ado here are some new Dear Colleen items being sold for the first time on Saturday. (They'll be in my online shops by Monday).
Put it in a letter, set of 26 postcards.
Dishes I'd rather be doing tea towel. Lemons also now in a tea towel and look lovely and sunny.
Skills to pay the bills tote bag. I also have a few more new items but you'll just have to come say hi to get one of those... Plus the lucky dip is packed and ready to go:)

Monday 19 July 2010


Last night I finally heard that my cousin died. He died of leukemia at the age of 43. We found out about it around four weeks ago so from news to loss it’s been very quick. I wanted to write a little piece about it to mark his passing. I didn't know him very well as he was 13 years older than me so we didn’t have a shared childhood but I do feel close to his mother, my auntie and it pains me greatly to think about her losing a child.

He had a complicated life, a life I thought of often. He had schizophrenia and in a small way this made me feel like we shared some common ground, not that I suffer from mental illness but I do agree that the Creative mind ‘mimic schizophrenia’ (a few things in this BBC article really sum up how my own mind works). My cousin was a creative in his own right. A talented musician who could never get to the point where his music was recorded, he actually had some pretty good opportunities along the way but it’s hard to get your act together when your head is literally full of demons. I don’t think I’ll ever more honestly say that, now he can finally rest in peace. I am so sorry that I’m too far away to make it home for his funeral and of course I’m sending my love to my family.

I think he might of liked this Jeff Buckley track, I hope I’ve chosen well. Colleen xxx

Sunday 18 July 2010

frankly my dear (colleen)...

Frankie has to be the best Magazine name of all time, it's so easy to come up with puns for, a huge plus in my books as I fill my day trying to think of work play. I'm so far behind with my blog it hurts. I keep moving it to the bottom of my to do list, so I thought I would post a quickly just to get back on the horse and all that.
Well here it is my Frankie feature... feature is maybe too grand a word but whatever it should be called it's a huge honor to be in such a stella mag. My heart really did skip a beat when I finally got my hands on a copy. I was also greatly pleased to see Bree Dentice of Chasing Rabbit getting a well earned write up - We're maybe just maybe sharing a stand on Saturday at the Auckland Art and Craft Fair (would someone please tell me how that's come around so quickly).
Frankie didn't exactly research me well, they imply I'm a more established seller than I am - new line - I've be going 5 months this is my only line and I can't help thinking the typo was graphic design karma... no prizes for knowing spelling is not my strong suit (I'm not moaning honest I'm flattered they think I'm an old hand and the typo made me smile). Well I was down in Christchurch (more about that next post) I also got a mini mention on sfgirlbybay I love this blog so it was a great surprise to come home to. Now I just have two remaining dream place to be featured to complete my wish list, I sort of hope these wait a while as things are moving so fast at the moment and I would just like a minute to enjoy my business as it is.

Thursday 8 July 2010

going away and giving away

First up I'm in Christchurch this weekend for A Craft Fair. What with getting a little write up in Frankie and a few blog features it's been a busy old time (I still have a day job remember but don't we all). I'm not moaning in fact I'm very happy I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've not have the time to build up to this show in the way I would have liked, luckily I did so much work for Craft2.0 that I'm covered. There are still one or two extras to look forward too. For starters I'm trying out some new medium sized prints at low introductory prices and I have 3 'storm in a tea cup mobiles' strung at long last. Because I'm taking a few days down south tomorrow is my last post and packaging day until Tuesday. This is only a one days delay so I'm not shutting up shop. My shop will be shut for a little while next month when I do my brand and stock relaunch, but I'll keep you updated about that here.
On to give aways, well I've have a lucky spell winning 3 prizes in the last month so I highly recommend entering online comps. I won a necklace from one of my favourite etsy artists spinthread, which in fact has never shown up:( I'm still living in hope. This fab bag (above) and white bow necklace from the amazing victoria n bird fellow foxes seller and all round nice girl. Finally a lovely pink bib for the twits to fight over from imba (there's a boys bib up for grabs on her blog now).
This brings me on to another chance to win some of my items. I get asked to do give aways on other peoples blogs a few times a week and have alway declined but when Connie contacted me through etsy I thought I would give it a shot. Connies blog is called Sogni e Sorrisi and as a seller I thought she seem like a good fit. Her blog looks good, she asked very nicely and didn't want money (I'm alway a bit shocked when I get asked to pay to be featured) but mostly I was blown away with her use of social networking to spread the word she really does a great job of putting work out there. You can enter the give away here until 14 July (it's a sailor themed give away the prizes are shown above). As a side note I would highly recommend this blog to other seller.

Thursday 1 July 2010

lots of lovely pictures

For the next little while my blog is going to be a little more image led. I’m slowly putting together plans for my photo shoot, which is beyond exciting. Expect a big post in a week or so sharing some of my ideas.

Well I finally got my Amy Blackwell print all the way from England. Anyone who talks to me on twitter will know that I’ve rather fallen for this shop. I so love Mr. Fox and he’s going to have a home above my desk.

From Mr Fox to the ongoing build up to the launch of Foxes. Well the cat of should I say fox is out the bag, so above is the first collection of Dear Colleen items available from the shop, along with my new ‘ooh la la’ rosette. I didn’t really plan them as a set but once I put them together I felt pretty pleased by how well they matched. here's to happy accidents.

I’m going to be selling with some very talented folks. Including 1. Bam Bam Creative, I’ve blogged about this necklace before and I am going to buy it some day soon. 2. Evie Kemp designer of very cool fabric and home wear. 3. Katy Did maker of awesome cards.

Fellow Wellington artists 4. Sarah McNeil and 5.Devon Smith, (I feel like a Kylie Minogue to their PJ Harvey, basically a lot less cool) and finally 6. The truly dark and brilliant Bree Dentice of chasing rabbit. As well as many many more which you can check out on Foxes blog.