Saturday, October 31, 2009

Out East

I travelled to East Auckland yesterday, and spent most of the day in various op shops getting some more embroidery and books. My trip was carefully planned, with the help of this map put together by my friend Deb. My first stop was in Howick, at the Uxbridge Arts Centre where I went to see my felt birds in the shop. It's a lovely little store attached to the Arts Centre and cafe where they stock some quality jewellery, crafts and art. It looks like a very active centre, with exhibitions and classes in printmaking, felting, jewellery design and many other artforms. I took some photos, but they didn't come out great, but here are my bird kits:
And some very well-designed and -made softies called Callumari Monstas.
After Uxbridge, I hit the op shops, and it turned out to be quite worth-while. Except for Otahuhu. Can't think of much to say about Otahuhu.
Now I have to get ready for tomorrow's Devonport Craft Market; see you there!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Treasure





I made it onto two Etsy Treasuries this week, thanks to my talented friends Cat and Sarah. That's about the most exciting thing that's ever happened for me on Etsy, apart from that single sale I made a year ago... but that's another story.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Buttons and roses


I made these lovely little buttons today for a custom order; now I'm wondering if I should keep them for myself!

Today was so beautiful, we spent most of it in the garden. Of course I couldn't resist taking more photos; here is my favourite rose in our garden. No idea of the name, but it has a very old-fashioned fragrance and the petals are huge and very loosely attached; they fall off when you touch it. It's probably an heirloom variety, maybe even 120 years old, like our house!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cutting


We had a very lazy Labour Day today; Craig managed to do some real work, but I just relaxed and did a paper cut. I did a freehand drawing of a bluebird and decided to try and cut it out, and I'm quite pleased with the result. I think this might end up on Christmas cards later this month...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Facebook...

I've always had a funny relationship with Facebook; on and off, probably too lazy to update everything, and too busy with this blog. But now I've decided to create a fan page, which you are welcome to join or not :). It's a good place to advertise markets and new products so that this blog doesn't become too business-like. That's the plan, anyway.

Ok, I'm off to do some more sewing for tomorrow's Kraftbomb. I'm so excited to go, it feels like this month has been terribly long and I need some crafty energy. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Quality

After a week of both unsettled weather (Auckland) and business confidence (me), we had a beautiful day today. The sun was out, the washing could finally dry and I had a chance to stop and photograph the flowers. These are all growing in our garden, which is looking perfectly spring-like, thanks to the previous owner's love of cottage gardens.

Daniel had a fever this morning, so the boys and I spent a very relaxing day at home. Joshua and I baked some banana loaf, pictured here with some of the 2 litres of lemonade I made over the weekend. (That's Daniel's straying hand, by the way.) I got a wine box full of lemons and limes from Craig's mum on Saturday and promptly made some more cordial for... SPOILER ALERT LESLEY... Christmas presents. Both the loaf and the lemonade are delicious, and made from recipes found in the South African cooking bible, Kook en Geniet.



Banana loaf
125ml (1/2 cup) butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 - 6 bananas (I always freeze those half-eaten bananas the kids bring home from kindy; I just cut the ends off).

Cream butter and sugar, add vanilla and eggs and mix well.
Sift dry ingredients and mash bananas; add both these to mixture. Mix well.
Bake in medium loaf tin at 180 C for about an hour.
Let it cool; slice and spread with butter.

Lemonade cordial
Juice lemons/limes. Strain and pour into large saucepan. Add 6 cups of sugar to every 4 cups of juice, heat slowly until the sugar has dissolved. Don't let it boil. Strain again (I find limes have a very fine pulp) and pour into sterilised bottles. This should keep for months in the pantry.
It's very strong, so you only need a finger high in a glass, filling the rest with your choice of water or gin :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's business time

I really hope you sang the title of today's post (although it's not Wednesday, so maybe it won't work for you). Looks like I'm getting some of my sense of humour back; thank goodness for that.

I've been thinking, and making sums, and came to the realisation that I've got a long way to go before what I do can be called a business. I'm learning a lot these days, especially about pricing. Wholesale is a totally different ball game compared to craft markets, and I wish that I read this great book before I stuck my head in the bees' nest earlier this year. Other lessons: I need more sleep than I get. I am too impulsive. But also, thankfully, this: I really love what I do, so I'm going to learn how to do it properly. Bring on the Auckland Craft Collective next year, if it's not too late for me!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Old gold

It's just been booksbooksbooks this week; got some more bound, got some more Golden Books off TradeMe today, got an order for an exciting new stockist... Will share more when it's all official.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Royalty



Since Halloween is around the corner and a special cousin is turning 3 soon, I've been making a few crowns for next Kraftbomb. There will also be some tails to release the inner wild thing in your kids (mine don't really need the tails for that).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday again

Can you believe I spent about 5 hours today making these little pouches? And no, I didn't embroider them in that time, only chose the fabric, cut it out, spray glued the padding to the outer fabric, pinned and sewed in zips, tags and seams and turned them right side out. That's all. I so need a little sweat shop in my basement...


By the way, Lucky Penny was great last night. Read all about it here. If you don't know what I'm on about, come and meet us next month for a drink and meet a few creative types.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lolly scramble


Earlier this week I made some new brooches and mirrors, and I've had a chance to take some photos today. These brooches are so beautiful and colourful, they remind me of a bowl full of lollies. Just in case you're unfamiliar with my products, these are made using vintage embroidery and applique.

In the past year, I've experimented with both mounting them on cards and inside little plastic bags, but now I've decided to try something new. Because they're so tactile, I'm going to display them as is on my table, and customers can get a badge card if they want to give it as a gift. Here's the good bit: they're treated with Scotchgard, so should stay nice and clean. Thanks so much Bronwyn for the idea; I can't believe I've never thought of it before! If you've bought a brooch off me in the past and would like a little spray of said product, just come by my stall at Kraftbomb or Devonport close to the end of the market, and I can do it there and then. See you in Devonport tomorrow :)