Tuesday 28 September 2010

all change...

Well it feels like I’ve spent the last few months in limbo. I was quite firmly forming a plan to travel home to England via lots of interesting places and stopping by lovely craft fairs as I travelled, when an offer landed on my desk that I couldn’t turn down – I haven’t been publicly talking about this yet because, well I’ve been waiting for things to sure up. I still can’t really say what the project is but I do need to remain in New Zealand to be part of it and for me to remain in New Zealand has been a bit of a mission.
Image below by - There's Water Here
Getting my twelve-month work visa was so simple that I naively thought extending it would be just as straight forward. I thought wrong, to extend my visa I’ve literally had to give blood as well as get poked, prodded, interviewed and x-rayed. It took around a month to do all the medicals and pull the relevant paper work together and then I had to wait a further five weeks before finding out the good news, I’m clear to stay for another eleven months. I’m not planning to stay for all of that time but as I’ve found out it’s not worth making plans, I’m sure there’s a John Lennon quote I should insert here.

Well I’m talking about change a few things are changing with my business as well; it’s about to double in size as I introduce Jen who’s joining me part time to handle the retail and wholesale side of things. Once I get her up and running this will be a huge help and relief. I’m also very excited about some changes that are happening right here on my blog. I have another helper starting with me next week who will be writing a guess post every Thursday. I'm putting in place a new agenda and structure and although it's not my aim to become the next Design Sponge* I am determined to make this an informative site and a site that's about more than just my work. If you want to find out about it all join me on Monday when I'll explain.

Tuesday 21 September 2010

christmas posting dates...

I know it's only September but as I'm based in New Zealand and send a lot of mail to the United States and Europe I wanted to get the postal dates listed early, the deadlines aren't as far away as you may think! I'm sure there will be a bit of wiggle room but the dates below are the final dates that NZ mail will guaranty delivery. Click here for a larger image...
It's not up in my shop yet but I will also be adding a gift wrapping and Christmas card service. So you can send a gift with a message directly to your loved ones. There will be a tiny charge but just to cover materials it's likely to end up as $2.50 (US), which isn't so bad for a hand written card and gift wrap. Well that's enough Christmas chatter for the time being, it's just that it's my first one as a seller and I want to get my bases covered:)

Tuesday 14 September 2010

felt good...

Just a little post to mention that some of the nice folks on felt have put together a little shop to rise funds for the Canterbury earthquake that hit the south island of New Zealand last week. I haven't been able to do much, I donated a couple of small items but that's nothing compared to the time and effort that the organizers have put in to getting it up and running.
Please take five minutes to have a quick look around the shop - how often do you get to donate and get a lovely items for your troubles. I believe the funds are going the New Zealand Red Cross.

Sunday 12 September 2010


Ok here's your chance to get your hands on a dishes tea towel all you have to do is give me a little help. I'm putting together a few new designs and I want to add a new Dishes tea towel to my line - this one I'm tentatively calling the mums or rom-com addition. So I'm thinking Colin Firth, Huge Grant... but who else should I add? Leave your suggestion below and I'll use the trusty old random number generator to pick a winner mid-day Wednesday NZ time.
***Competition now closed - thanks everyone for your help:) ***

now and then

I watched the eighties coming of age brat pack classic St Elmo's Fire yesterday. I've seen this film once before when I was fifteen and it made quite an impression on me. It was funny watching it again as a grown up with a whole different view of the world. I thought it would be fun to play a little game of now and then - or rather then and now.I guess the big difference is when I first saw it they seemed like role models, now they seem like spoilt kids, which of cause is the point. Then I thought the shy sweet 'Wendy' and the pretty party boy Billy should get marry and live happily ever after - now I can see that Billy not that respectful of women. I'm not at all sure why I couldn't spot that at the time.
The story threads about Kirby (Emilio Estevez) one of the leading male characters developing an obsession with a woman he met in college (Andie MacDewell). When I was fifteen I thought he was amazing, romantic and didn't understand why she didn't fall for him - now I think he's a stalker. Really what was wrong with my view of men at fifteen.
Then (about 1995) I thought the fashion was dated - now I think their bang on, boy the circle of fashion is a funny old thing. I found myself watching it yesterday in nearly the same outfit as Alec Newbury (Judd Nelson) minus the dressing-gown (as shown above).The one thing that really made an impression on me and I still pretty much feel the same about was the apartment of the main couple. I have never forgotten the amazing huge photo wall, like having a billboard in you living room I wanted one then and I would still love one now. I also like/liked the white walled open plan space. At the time it was my dream home and you know what it still pretty much is but maybe without quite so many glass bricks.

Saturday 11 September 2010

night bus

I'm just home from a brief evening of babysitting the twits out in the berbs of Wellington, this meant I got the bus home. It's been a while since I've been on a night bus on a saturday evening and it was an interesting ride, which included a very drunk couple ringing the bell every minute then asking the driver if it was their stop, yet never saying what stop they wanted. A drunk man falling asleep on my shoulder. A drunk man with a stinking old tissues who wiped it carefully all journey on the hand rile - nice and a drunk (are you seeing the common theme here) lady with her skirt tucked in her knickers. I'm guessing it would have seemed a lot more fun if I had also been drunk but sadly I wasn't maybe next time I'll except the money for a taxi back.
I'm still young(ish), single and outgoing so you would think I would be dieing to be on the town but no not me I'm so glad to be home and ready to curl up in bed, which incidentally has the loveliest quilt, the only big thing I bought in the states. It's from Anthropologie and is so beautiful that I traveled miles out of my way to buy a bag to carry it to New Zealand in and half killed myself carting it all the way across San Fransisco. The picture above isn't the exact one but it's close and isn't that bed wonderful, I want.

Thursday 9 September 2010


I didn’t feel last Saturdays quake all the way up here in Wellington apparently we did have a little 4.1 rumble that woke a lot of people up but not me, it turns out that it takes more than a earthquake to rock my world. Of course the story would have been very different if I had been down in the south island where they were literally shaken awake by a huge 7.1, which truly must have put the ‘Christ’ in Christchurch.

It’s not the first time I’ve felt close to a disaster I had just returned from London a few days before the 7 July London Bombings in 2005 and felt worried sick for the people I knew who lived their. I wasn’t on twitter back then, and I think it’s fair to say that twitter has some what given events like this a real voice. I have felt privileged to hear the fears, experiences and yes jokes that have been shared by the folks I tweet with. Twitter has made conventional news seem sterile and slow in comparison. Above is my favorite image posted on Saturday morning (I’m really sorry but I can’t track the source).

Sitting on my to-do list for the pass two months has been to write about my visit to A Craft Affair, which is hosted by the lovely Lucy the mastermind behind Felt. Lucy, Felt and A Craft Affair are all located in Christchurch so are very much in my thoughts right now this makes it seem like a fitting time to get my belated account uploaded.

My brief visit for the fair was a mix of a holiday and work. I made the decision to travel long haul by ferry and train. It turns out this was a great choice. I wrapped up warm and stood outside on the viewing platform, no Internet and 12 hours straight with the wind in my hair, it was bliss (until I tried to get a brush through my hair the next day, no joke it must have taken me half an hour to get the knots out). You know everyone tells you New Zealand is breatakingly beautiful, well they’re right but I’ll let the photos above do the talking. I very kindly got given a bed for a couple of nights in a friends, sisters house, a family home that was strangely reminiscent of staying with my aunt. I love the good will of people who welcome you into their family unit especially ones filled with such vibrant and beautiful girls all gossiping, giggling and happy. The eldest son of the family – who I privately call Jesus because people keep telling me about his carpentry skills – will I’m sure be getting a great deal of building work after everything that has happen to Christchurch I guess that’s the upside to a situation like this.

I’m surprised to say I had a really lovely time at the craft fair. Because I had decided that it was more holiday than work I didn’t let myself get to stressed and actually spent some time visiting other peoples stands. Being my second go I felt a lot less like a rabbit in the headlights and it really helped that I was sharing my table with the lovely threadmark and her friend. Her hand stitching is incredible, neater than a machine and her prices are insanely low. I managed to swap her a print for a couple of these lovely birdie brooches (above). I also got my hands on a necklace by Black Swan and a little horse pin by Hobby Horses. I managed to drop the pin on the train journey back and got alerted to the fact when the conductor announced on the tannoy that someone had left their horse in the dinning cart, I got a lot of funny looks when I went to pick it up. I had some great banter with the conductors on that train ride, they were lovely good-humoured old chaps that made the journey a pleasure. The train was running very late and when I asked them what I would do about the connecting ferry one of them took my hand and say ‘it’s alright love we’ve got a bikini and some water-skis for this sort of problem’ thankfully for all concerned this was a joke and I made the boat, just.

Anyway my visit to Christchurch was far to brief and I hope to return before I leave the country. I’m amazed every time I see the photos that no one was killed under the rubble. I hope the aftershocks die down and life can return to some kind of normal soon. If I take one thing from living here in New Zealand on a huge fault line it's, Carpe diem and I think that's always a good thing to remember.

If you've made it to the end of this post well done… here are a couple of real life accounts you can read because you clearly love reading:) Rose form Rose in thorns and Maddie from lil' magoolie

Wednesday 8 September 2010

brick wall

I'm not sure if it's because we're coming to the end of winter here in New Zealand or if I'm still suffering from caffeine withdrawal but I seem to have lost my mojo a bit of late. I'm just a bit tired and feeling like I'm running on half my creative brain power, which all adds up to one thing – the designers equivalent of writers block. I've been here before and know that it'll come good in the end but it doesn't make it any less frustrating. Anyway the long and the short of it is that I'm going to pull my finger out, stop feeling sorry for myself and work my way through it because that's all I can do.
As always I'm finding the work of Dominic Wilcox very inspiring, just as I'm hitting a creative low he's challenged himself to do one design everyday for 30 days as part of the Anti Design Festival. He's latest piece the Diary Tape as shown above is amazing as is everything he does, really take a minute and check out his blog. Anyway I'm going to set myself a challenge to update my blog everyday for the next seven days, I have so many half written posts that I want to get off my todo list (as much as anything else).