30 March 2014

Alphabet Art prints and giveaway

**UPDATE (trumpet sounds and other fanfare)**
Needle and Nest, Leonie and Smilie, your names have been drawn as the winners and that ain't no April Fool's joke. Congratulations guys, I will be in touch to find out your addresses soon. Now you have joined that exclusive club of people that never win anything except for really stink prizes that no-one else wants anyway. Thank you to everyone else for your lovely words of encouragement. It means a great deal (air kisses all round).

** Denotes Really Important Announcement

Would you like to see some prints that I have been working on? Simple idea, I know, but I have looked online and found nothing similar so this may well be an original concept. Bow down, bow down. Or, no-one has done it yet because it is a stink idea. You probably could make them yourselves or at least variations of them, but I really hope you won't because that would make me sad since I have decided to have a go at selling a small run of these in my Felt store. Yes, negative, mean girl voices in my head, take that.

Here is my A B C D E F JOY print, available in pink and teal. I think they would look really great hanging up in a nursery. The pink bird in the photo is pretending it hasn't noticed that it just got supplanted in the Coolest-Thing-in-the-Room stakes.
Yeah, that's right, you take those machine-embroidered stick legs and keep on walking.
As a young girl, I spent far too much time idolising other people and trying to emulate them. Entirely normal behaviour, but still a total waste of energy, emotion and hair product. My hope for my own children is for them to have the courage to follow their own path in this world. I could see this Be You print hanging in any room in the house.
This weekend was a bit of an exercise in experimenting with colour, resolution quality and having card stock resting nicely in the printer without spilling out onto the floor and getting dented. Some copies of the Be You print did not make the grade, so I was wondering if any of you, my loyal followers, would like one? Then, when I am famous and people are clamouring for my original art, you can lay claim to owning my first rejects. I have three of them to give away and will ship them anywhere in the world. Just leave me a comment. Winners will be announced in a couple of days, depending on the level of interest.

24 March 2014

Meanwhile, back in the craft cave...

Feeling inspired by all the floral headbands I keep seeing on social media, including these ones made by Kristin of Hello Fallow, I spent some time this weekend making a floral letter for Aimee. This wreath is quite large, about 30cm tall. I had the customwood, ribbon and paint already and picked up some artificial flowers on sale. So far, so cheap. The single most expensive item was the special "fabric glue", which rather suspiciously looks and smells like PVA.
I could have bought a pre-cut letter, but there weren't any large enough in the shops I visited so I returned home and cut out a letter from a thin sheet of customwood that my husband had stashed away - against a wall in our lounge. It's been sitting there for two years. Fair game then. You can tell I was impatient about getting started as I couldn't find the jigsaw, so I resorted to cutting out the letter by hand using a large GIB knife. It probably took longer to do that than the rest of the project combined and did not give a very smooth finish, but I just really wanted to satisfy my urge to create and finish something in a few hours. There are no photos of that part of the process as I needed both hands to cut and steady the massive sheet from playing a Rolf Harris number.

A bit of sanding, a layer of undercoat and I was ready for the exciting part. There is something quite enjoyable about flower arranging, getting the right balance of colour and form.
I had a few flowers left over at the end so will likely make more - once I find that pesky power tool.  This house is by no means big, so I can't understand how things just do a MH370 (too soon?). Sienna wants me to make her a letter, but not out of flowers, BALLOONS, people. Renee also wants one - made from lollies. I love how their choices reflect their personalities; Sienna is bright, cheerful and has a tendency to clown around. Renee is always thinking about her stomach - oh yeah, and she's sweet.

Joining in with Leonie and the other craftoholics over here.

14 March 2014

Hazed {The Kids' Edition}

Hazed magazine and the woman behind it, Hazel Schreiner, champions New Zealand independent designers and their creations. Initially only available as an e-magazine, it has since been launched in print and is available now in a cute, compact A5 format.
It was my pleasure to interview Chris from merino clothing label BabyBundles for the latest issue which focuses on children's wares. To be one of Hazed magazine's contributors and get involved behind-the-scenes in my own small way was a real joy. If you would like to read more about Chris and the many other entrepreneurs and creatives profiled in the Autumn edition of Hazed, copies are available through the Emporium at Hazel Loves Design, but you had better be quick as there are just a few left.

Have a lovely weekend, Moonies.

13 March 2014

What's on my hook - and on my mind

Bit cold at the minute. And we all know what that means. Time to break out the crochet hook. I gave away a peek of the start of my latest project a month or two ago on Instagram, and it has stalled because the weather had been too nice to not feel anything but extreme guilt about sitting in one place for too long. I hope that by posting here, it will keep me accountable and I'll get back into working on it.
I picked up the project again this week, and last night I found myself simply willing it to be finished. I love making crochet blankets so much, and I really liked the colour palette of baby pink, candyfloss pink, red and charcoal but I can't help but feel that I have made a mistake with adding the variegated yarn. Perhaps a solid colour in light grey would work better? It takes me close to 45 minutes to make each triangle, so you can understand why I want to get the colours right.
Random fact: I have never worked with variegated yarn before. It is possible that I came perilously close to inappropriate levels of yarn-lover fondling of the balls of wool in the shop contemplating what it would look like when crocheted. I loved the way it looked on the foundation chain, not loving it so much now I've done so many rows of single crochet stitches. Hopefully this is just a blip and I'll feel bouncy about it again by the weekend so I can devote some more time to it. Or not. In which case, you will most likely find me staring catatonically in the yarn aisle at Spotlight.

In other crafterly news, my 4 year old thinks I am awesome because I literally just this minute made her a paper plane to take to bed. I don't know whether to feel flattered by her praise or concerned that she ever doubted my capabilities.

12 March 2014

Postcard from {Wellington}: Boomrock

Last weekend, we were lucky enough to spend some time in what I would consider to be one of Wellington's most exclusive entertainment venues. I had been here twice before, once for my friend's wedding and later, for our own wedding almost 10 years ago and the memories of the view and the location were just as I remembered them. Boomrock is just 20 minutes' drive west from one of Wellington's northern suburbs and yet it feels another world away.

Nestled into sheer cliffs on private farmland overlooking the Tasman Sea, the lodge has views towards the South Island and further up the coastline, on a clear day, Mount Taranaki is visible. It's such a beautiful location, and with the sea and sky constantly changing colours, I could never tire of that view.

I had given up on the idea of taking a casual excursion to show our children where their parents got married until an opportunity came up through my husband's line of work and permission was given for him to bring his family. Yayzles!

The lodge was being set up for a wedding later that day, so we were so quite lucky to be allowed there. Despite its exclusivity and the fact some of us turned up in holey clothes, at no time were we made to feel unwelcome but even so, the girls were under instructions to behave otherwise they'd get left in the car. The manager was obviously well-used to young children and had them involved in a golf ball hunt so they were kept occupied. With a carrot dangled of 15c per ball found, the girls were on a mission to see how many they could find dotted around the cliffs.
I am already looking forward to seeing our friends tying the knot here early next year and sampling some more of the finest hospitality and ambience I have ever experienced. I might even get to try some golf or claybird shooting or some of the other extreme activities the venue offers that I missed out on at our wedding because I was too busy looking pretty and stuff.
And in case you were wondering, we found 29 golf balls, 14 shotgun casings and one chocolate  bar wrapper.

04 March 2014

Jumbo floor cushion

Roll up, roll up, come and see the Biggest Cushion in the Woooorrld. Creatively speaking, it's been a bit quiet around here. I do have a couple of crochet projects on the go and this sewing one has been sitting on a shelf for months waiting for me to finish it. I have to admit I got to a stage where I thought it all looked a bit too hard and wasn't exactly sure how to finish it so there it sat until last week when I saw this floor pillow on Sarah Jane's blog. That was all the motivation I needed right there.
I have always liked the idea of having an oversized circular cushion that could be pulled out as extra seating for indoor and outdoor use.  A few months ago, I spied some really cool fabric with large neon spots and bought up some meterage. I also needed to calculate how much piping I would need. It was here that my 48% 5th Form Maths exam mark scaled up to 52% came into play.  Initially I was going to make some charcoal piping which probably would have been a better choice, but at the time of purchase, I decided to unleash the crazy colour lady that is trapped within me and made some teal piping instead. Living dangerously, guys. I have to say that making piping is F-U-N people, not at all scary or difficult as some might think. Remember, I only started sewing in earnest a couple of years ago, so when I say that anyone can do it, it is most definitely true.
The hardest part was working out how to attach the bottom circle to the gusset. You see, I discovered rather disastrously that on a project of this scale it is very important to have circles EXACTLY the same size. Any variation in circle size results in a gusset that does not fit no matter how much easement you give it. Another challenge was working out how to attach the zip to the cover. I knew I wanted it on the bottom out of sight. This was the part that made me leave this project sitting on the shelf for three months. I made the mistake of sewing in the piping on the bottom circle when I should have attached the zip first and then add the piping before sewing the whole thing to the gusset. Oh, how I just LOVE unpicking seams. It's so fun. Fun, guys.

I'd like to be able to show you a photo of the cushion with something other than an 8 year old girl stuffed inside it, but I haven't decided what that filling should be yet. I just know that with a cushion of this size, whatever I decide it's going to be horrendously expensey, and I don't really want to think about it. Plus it means a trip out in this snowy weather that we're having right now and I'm a big girl's blouse.

Linking in with the linky love with Leonie.