Saturday, June 29, 2013

Testing and reading

I've just had some technical issues, so some people might have received a few silly emails with desperate links to Bloglovin.  This one works, so if you'd like to follow me over there when Google Reader has gone to the virtual afterlife, click on the following link:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I'm linking to Bloglovin, but to be honest I haven't really tried it.  I've been using Feedly for a while, but am having a hard time figuring out how to use the page properly, so now I'm testing the water with this annoyingly-named reader. Will see how it goes, but my first impression is that B'lovin has very short links to posts and you have to open a new browser to read them, compared to full posts on Feedly.  I like reading or scanning the whole thing in one go, so prefer Feedly for that. I'll link here to my page on the latter when I can figure out how.  Have a nice weekend, by the way!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

At work

I've been spending most days in my studio, where I am surrounded by all my fabric and things, but not my computer, which explains my sporadic blog updates.  I'm having a great time thinking of new ideas and rediscovering materials that I can use in my projects; a creative growth spurt, so to speak.  

Ballantynes, Christchurch

In my internet trawl late last night I came across this: Facebook evidence that my kits are indeed now for sale at Ballantynes in Christchurch. In early May I sent them three big boxes full but it feels so long ago that I've had to pinch myself to make sure it's really true. I hope people down there will brave the cold to visit the shop and get a little project to do in front of the fire.

I've never been to Ballantynes, but I know it is one of New Zealand's grand old department stores, like Smith and Caughey's in Auckland and Kirkcaldie and Stains in Wellington. I feel so honoured to be in there; I can't even begin to tell you how much.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hot off the press: Mollie Makes

On Sunday morning I had a quick look at the Mollie Makes website, to see if there might be an online preview of the contents of the new July issue (#28).  And there it was, my 'Home' sampler on a page in this beautiful magazine. You can imagine how I felt... This is only a screen shot; I am waiting patiently until it hits the shelves here in NZ (which might be ages) so I can frame that page and one day take it to my grave :)
If you have found me through the magazine and would like to look at my products, you can see them in my Supadupa or Etsy shops.  The first has prices in US$ while Etsy lists prices in your local currency, which might suit you more if you are perhaps from the UK. And if you are perhaps here from the UK, please sit down and make yourself at home while I get you a virtual cup of tea :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Handmade 2013: The Lowdown

I've been back home a few days now but I'm still buzzing from teaching at Handmade. This was my third year, and favourite so far: I taught five 2h-workshops, attended a masterclass with Rosemary McLeod and a workshop with Melissa Wastney, managed to catch up with a few friends and make a few new ones.  A great weekend in my books.

A highlight for me was my Vintage Embroidery Zip Pouch class. I had full classes both days and was a bit apprehensive about teaching so many people at once.  I needn't have worried; my students were all superstars and almost everyone finished their pouch in class. My favourite moments were when somebody who thought they were a bit behind or less experienced than the rest, realised they could manage and did.  I honestly love that feeling that I've helped someone do something new. I wish I had photos to show you, but it was busy and I didn't have my camera, but they were beautiful, those pouches! Looked just like this one:

I was really glad to have some juniors and their mums in my Hoop Wall Art embroidery class, plus of course adults of all ages.  The girls were around 8 to 9 and managed beautifully; I was very impressed with their skills.  Something I never considered before about embroidery was how a left-handed person would approach it, but with the help of a few left-handed ladies in my class, we worked it out. Pretty much exactly the opposite way I do it, so I had a little brain gym in the afternoon sessions! Here are some gorgeous photos taken by one of my talented students, Laura.

It was so nice to spend a couple of hours stitching, and most people were well on their way with the hoop by the time we finished. I had a lovely small class to finish my Saturday teaching, Applique and Print a T-shirt.  We had a great time working with freezer paper and fabric paint, and embellishing it with embroidery and appliqué. Fun!

What I love about Handmade is that it feels like a national conference for all us crafters. Every year, we get to hang out and inspire each other with our ideas and creations and every year there is a bigger pool of experts and people keen to take on a more creative life. I left feeling desperate to start a(nother) new project, maybe a bag with heaps of zips or a skirt for winter or a dress-up cape for my boys. So far we've managed making a few stamps, inspired by Melissa's stamp carving class.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Oops: Embroidery Bird Kit at Handmade 2013

I have so much to write about this past weekend's Handmade, but before I do, I have a public announcement.  If you bought any Bird Kits in my workshop or the Handmade shop, please email me so I can send you the missing teal thread. Human error crept in and I only realised this in my workshop on Sunday afternoon. My sincere apologies! Thankfully this only affects the packs sold this weekend, so about 20 I guess.  I hope I hear from everyone; please pass this on if you know someone who might be affected...