Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I found such a wonderful picture book in the library yesterday, I thought I'd share it here. It's called 'Seasons' by the French comic book artist Blexbolex, and has been translated into English and published by the small NZ publishing company Gecko Press.

The book is beautiful on so many levels; the illustrations and use of text drew me to it at first, but there is so much more to it. The paper stock feels recycled, the screenprints have a soft, layered look to them, but my favourite part would have to be the words chosen to represent the cyclical nature of the seasons. Like in the real world, the changes between seasons are gradual, and this book tracks it over a few years. It not only shows physical changes, but also emotional associations with seasons and the passing of time. It transcends age, although I think I might have enjoyed it a bit more than the boys...

Whether your Christmas will be like these images above, or below, I hope you have a very restful break, full of wonderful blessings and filled with loved ones. Merry Christmas to you :)

PS: if you'd like to hear a bit more about this book, have a read over here; Melissa from Tiny Happy wrote about it a few months back. You can also see a promotional video with many images from the book here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

5 sleeps

Every year this time I wonder where the month has gone! Into making gifts for other people of course :) With all the markets now thankfully over, I can focus on my own family and friends' Christmas needs. I've still got a few things to sew up before Thursday night, but I thought I'd share with you my take on an Advent calendar I saw in the Your Home and Garden magazine a while back. They made a calendar with paper bags pegged to string and hung up on a wall, but I didn't like the logistics of that in our house, and just made do with the obvious. The bags are all pegged to the tree and the boys are amazingly good at remembering the date every day at afternoon tea time! I glued some numbers to the front and then put a couple of chocolates, candy canes or stickers into every bag. My kids are seriously going to suffer from lolly withdrawal symptoms in January!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Still going

This week I've been slowly working away at these little coin purse keyring pouches, and took a few photos today before sewing the sides together. This way you can get an idea of how the front and back fabrics look together. I've enlarged the pattern a bit to fit a cash card as well as coins, which was a great idea suggested by a clever customer the other day. These will be on my table on Sunday's Kraftbomb. This is always such a busy and exciting market, with people looking for last-minute gifts and stocking up on City's cupcakes before the holidays. Hope to see you there!

Colour therapy

There's a love fiesta on in my craft room. Before you get any ideas, it's only on fabric :) Gorgeous, hey. I've always loved these paper cuts (ok, any paper cuts really) and when I spotted this design on Spoonflower I just had to have it. It's part of a lovely collection by designer Samarra Khaja, or Sammy K, whose work is so fresh and colourful.
I've been thinking about getting my designs printed over on Spoonflower, but after reading of so many people's disappointment with the printed colours vs how it looks on screen, I followed some good advice and got a yard of RGB colours printed. This way I can choose my actual colours before I start the design on the computer. And here is part of that yard, slightly out of focus but still very, ahem, colourful.

I've noticed a few examples in the shops and online of printed Kraft paper, which has such a natural look and feel to it. Imagine my excitement when I discovered this wrapping paper in the Warehouse the other day. I was tempted to buy all the rolls in the shop, honestly; it's so charming and old-fashioned looking. I might just wrap everything in it this year: birthdays, baby showers, weddings, they all need some birds and baubles if you ask me.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The fair

I've got a few photos to show you of my table at Saturday's Fair. Look at the shiny marble floors and beautifully dressed table in long black skirt. Very fancy! My talented neighbours Karen and Fred from Luxford St and I shared the space at the far end of the hall. Thanks to everyone who came round to say hi and get some Ruby in the Dust goodies; I'm pleased to say I have one keyring pouch left and am busy working on 15 more for Kraftbomb this Sunday. So much for no more sewing before Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

To the fair

As you might already know, the Auckland Art and Craft Fair is on tomorrow. If you happen to stop by and I'm not coherent or looking like I might do with a lie-down under the table, please excuse me. It's because this week in my little sweatshop I've made about 20 of these pouches, 10 keyring pouches, 12 patchwork cards, two big linen tote bags, knitted a little bunny and packed 16 felt kits. Hopefully this is the last big sewing session before I start making my own Christmas presents...

Anyway, this pouch, complete with its own applique pocket, will be on my table tomorrow at the Aotea Centre. The Fair starts at 11 and runs until 4, which gives everyone enough time to do some Christmas shopping before heading out to a barbecue or in my case, our 11th wedding anniversary dinner! Come say hi if you're there :)

Monday, December 6, 2010


I'm very excited to tell you about my plans for June next year. Yes, it's very far away, I know. But I've already got my whole Queen's Birthday weekend planned: I'll be teaching! In what feels like a previous life from long long ago, I used to teach. As you might have noticed from all the tutorials on this blog, I've still got a bit of that in me. So when I was approached by a nice lady at Craft 2.0 in October about teaching a workshop at Handmade, I was very interested.

Handmade will be held in Wellington and is going to be a multi-stream event with workshops and master-classes in different streams, all teaching handmade skills. I'm going to teach two workshops: Take one pillowcase, which will take you through a few projects using upcycled pillowcases, and Making a cloth art doll, which will be a double-length workshop teaching you how to make one of my dolls. I will be joined by such crafty superstars as Melissa from Tiny Happy, Belinda from Blendy Knits and Heike from Minu, who will be teaching their respective skills of sewing, knitting and printmaking.
And as a bonus, it looks like my classes are starting later in the day, which gives me two mornings free for walking around (or maybe being blown around) Wellington! Great for a girl who just can't get enough of the place :)


I'm still using up small pieces of embroidery; today I made tiny coin purse keyrings for my table at the Auckland Art and Craft Fair this weekend. Better get back to it...

Friday, December 3, 2010


Last night was so much fun at the First Thursdays market! The crowd was very arty and the vibe was great with music and general K'Rd quirkiness. It really reminded me of the old Craftwerk market which was also held in St Kevin's Arcade and was where I cut my craft market teeth way back in '08. In fact, the market went so well last night that I'll be busy sewing deep into the night this week, getting ready for the Auckland Art and Craft Fair next Saturday. I was making some more pouches today, and had to snap these little cut-off ends. I love the way the folded fabric looks like origami duck beaks. Quack!