Friday, August 28, 2009

The birds are here

I'm so happy to announce that my latest product is ready to go! I've been thinking about it for the last year, and set myself the goal of having it finished for this Kraftbomb. It's been a very busy couple of weeks of illustrating, stamping, printing and sourcing materials as I was getting it all ready. What, you may wonder...

It's a make-your-own craft kit, beautifully packaged in little paper bags and a takeaway box, with my own non-graphic designer design skills. I like to think of it as handmade, but not homemade, if you get what I mean. These birds would look so cute on your Christmas tree...

I'm also going to add a 'refill' listing tomorrow (on Etsy), so you can make more birds without buying the whole box again. Hope all this marketing isn't too much; it's really just me showing off something I'm very happy with :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I've been labeled

After a year-and-a-bit of sewing many seams together in the name of Ruby in the Dust, I've finally got myself some labels, yes! They were from Fancyweaver, and were priced pretty well. If you want your own, you should order soon as their prices are going up in October, as far as I know. They're woven and have a no-fray edge. I read about them here, and the advice about leaving a 15mm at either end of the type was good; it leaves a bit of space for sewing into seams.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Under the sea

Just had to share our favourite YouTube clip with you. Watch it on full screen; I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Found it via Loobylu.

Kuroshio Sea - 2nd largest aquarium tank in the world - (song is Please don't go by Barcelona) from Jon Rawlinson on Vimeo.

Friday, August 21, 2009


As I've said before, I'm sometimes a bit behind the 8-ball. That goes for only finding out yesterday my journals are featured in the Aug/Sept copy of Good magazine. Thanks Miss Ellie for the heads up :) I'm just getting some more bound for Kraftbomb next Sunday. It's Kraftbomb's first birthday this month, by the way. What a year it's been for craft in Auckland...
I've been a bit quiet here in blogville for the last couple of weeks; been very busy with a really exciting project which I'll reveal sometime next week. Have a great weekend :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bags for the boys (or child satchel tutorial)

Daniel reminded me today that I promised to make him a little bag to carry his favourite softie in, so I made him and Joshua their own little satchels. It was so quick and easy, here's how if you want to try making one for your little ones. Hope you can follow without photos. If you want to do an applique on the bag, have a look at my tutorial here, or just make it up as you go :)

Draw your pattern on a piece of paper (about 20cm square, you can shape it a bit so it's wider at the top). Cut out 2 pieces for the outside and 2 in a contrasting fabric for the lining. Pin the outside pieces together (right sides together) and sew around the bag, leaving the top unstitched (let's call this piece A). Do the same for the lining (B). Turn A right side out and press. Leave B inside out.

Measure your child for the length of strap (I used 80cm) and cut this from strapping or make a fabric strap. Pin the strap to A, with raw ends at the top, close to the seams. Be careful not to twist the strap :)
Now pin B to A (as they are, right sides together). Make sure you match up the side seams. Now stitch them together at the top, leaving a small gap for turning (about 8cm). Pull the bag through the gap, press the top edge and pin together the gap. Top stitch close to the edge so that you can close the gap and make it look nice at the same time.
If this is a bit cryptic for you, follow the Scribd link below to my new and improved tutorial, which will also show you how to make a little girl's handbag. It's got lots of photos and should make it easier if you're new to sewing.
Child's Handbag and Satchel Tutorial
Onto other news: the Devonport Craft Market blog has featured me in their first 'Meet the Seller' post, so if you haven't met me yet, now's your chance! I'd of course also love to meet you in person and sell you all my stuff at the real market :)

Friday, August 14, 2009


I felt so tired today, like I've been overdoing it a bit. I think I probably have been trying to cram in way too much and going to bed too late, so I'm really looking forward to going away with some girlfriends tomorrow. Somewhere near Te Aroha, is all I know. Hot pools, some shopping along the way, catch-ups and hot chocolate. Just what I need.

Also looking forward to some good movies coming soon; The Lovely Bones and Where the Wild Things Are (check out the new trailer here).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I spent the best part of this morning (and Sunday's takings!) at the emporium and a few op shops. Look what I picked up second-hand:
There's a few books, embroidery, handmade lace and a very cute little apron that held coasters in the front. That apron fits Helga perfectly! Serendipitous? Or bad reference to barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen? You decide. Daniel and I also discovered today that Helga's hair makes a perfect mo for a four-year old, hehe. She's still a work in progress, by the way...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Heads or tails

I've spent the last few days preparing for a kindy market, making crowns and tails like crazy. I went a bit overboard with those tails, so will probably have some left over for Kraftbomb, Devonport Market and maybe Toggle as well. So come get your tails at the Chelsea Kindy Fair tomorrow, 10 to 1.30, Onetaunga Rd Birkenhead. Here's Joshua the model:

And here is a little look at Helga, the still naked, pregnant doll. She's the first doll I've ever made using somebody else's pattern, but I really couldn't resist changing it to suit me. The original doll is super-skinny, but this one has a nice round belly. And a nose, haha. Usually my dolls have very flat, moon faces. I'm still working on the outfit, so come back sometime in the week if you'd like to see what she ends up looking like.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


The waxeyes are here! And the tuis, a pair of rosellas and baby blackbirds or something similar. Massive bumblebees too. All here for the delicious nectar of the cherry blossoms. I counted about 8 little waxeyes in one tree this afternoon. This photo was taken in the first morning light.
And here is an idea I've had for a while, but never had the time or the knowhow for. I thought I'd just try it; adapted an existing pattern and voila: a pregnant doll. Not me, mind you; the doll. Worked on the face tonight, will show you how she's going in the next few days.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Just for me

I made myself a new bag yesterday; not that I need any more bags lying and hanging around the house! I've always wanted to make a cane-handled bag but never knew how, until this book showed me. It was so easy and should have taken me about half an hour to cut and sew (but didn't, because I didn't read the instructions properly!!).

I wanted to give a quick explanation of how to make your own bag, but it's a bit too complicated to explain without visual cues, so it will have to be a tutorial for another day. Let me know if you're interested :) Here's the inside of the bag; it's the colour I like to refer to as The Right Red. The exact shade of red I love wearing and working with.

The outside fabric is amazing, don't you think? I discovered it in a very unlikely place, my local emporium. It's vintage Fothergay fabric; it was an unused piece that was just the right size to cut two large panels from, and I still have heaps left for smaller pouches and things. Here's a better photo of the bag in good daylight.
I think it's quite obvious that I'm completely smitten with my latest project...

Monday, August 3, 2009

A market and a dress

It was the Devonport Craft Market yesterday, and I took my camera along for a change. Here's a couple of photos of my table. Note the lovely little stand Craig built for my mirrors.

It was pretty quiet, which gave me a chance to catch up with some fellow marketeers. Look at the beautiful colours on Jamie from Porcelain Rove's table.
Helene from Mira Designs hand-dyes and -knits these perfect little cotton beanies.
When I got home, I worked on my now completed dress, out of Sewing Talk. Thankfully it's a pretty foolproof design, considering the instructions are written in a language I have no knowledge of... I found it pretty easy to make, but if you ever try making this dress, I'd recommend you use much wider bias binding than in the pattern (look at how wide your elastic is, then double that for the width of completed bias binding strips).
I'm really looking forward to tomorrow night; hope to see you there!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Late night dolls

I spent a few hours last night painting, cutting and glueing and this is what I have to show for it. 20 peg dolls and a big mess :)