Monday, May 23, 2011


It's been a busy few weeks around our house; Daniel turned 6, Joshua 4 and me... Let's just say I'm well and truly into the late-30's now :) I've also been getting ready for my workshops at Handmade, which is less than 2 weeks away now. I'm a bit nervous about teaching, as it's been about 5 years since I've stood in front of a class, but I expect it will be a lot of fun seeing how people interpret my ideas and designs. I'm so glad I have a willing guinea-pig (thanks Jo!) to teach on Friday...

With that in mind, I've been getting my doll-making packs organised. These packs will have everything you need to make two dolls, including instructions, a printed fat quarter (these look so great; received them today), stuffing, sewing thread, embroidery needle and cotton, knitting wool for hair, and a few more bits and pieces. Any left over after Handmade will be on my table at the Auckland Art and Craft Fair on the 11th of June and listed in my Felt and Etsy shops.

Part of the doll pack, ready to go:

80 dolls hanging on the line: Now I've just got to iron and cut out these fatties. Have a good week!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sick day

The boys and I had a great day yesterday: we baked, watched Junior Top Chef and embroidered! Daniel was off sick from school with a temperature. Joshua wagged kindy; or rather, Mamma did. And it bucketed down all day; perfect conditions for a quiet day spent at home. They got a bit bored in the afternoon, so I got them to draw something simple on a piece of fabric, stretched it over a hoop and threaded some needles. I just doubled the thread over and made a knot on the end so that they couldn't pull the thread out of the needle by accident. Just look at their creations; I'm so proud of their work...

Daniel's hearts, made for me. Guess who's the perfectionist :)

And this is Joshua's doll. Did I say something simple? You'll never get anything simple with Joshua...I just have to show the back; after reading this very funny little post about Andy Paulson's embroidery skillz:And this is what I managed to achieve. Pandora has a dress, lucky girl. Another outfit to follow tomorrow, when everybody will be back at their various stations: school, daycare and craft room.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Make your own doll

You might have heard about Handmade 2011, a symposium of crafts held on 4-6 June in Te Papa, Wellington. I'm very excited to be teaching two workshops, Make your own cloth doll (in the 'Gift it' category) and Take one pillowcase ('Remade').

Meet Pandora, one of the dolls I've designed for Handmade:

Please excuse the semi-nudity; I haven't decided on her outfit yet :) In my materials pack for the workshop I'll include a printed fat quarter with two doll patterns, some stuffing, cotton, embroidery thread, wool for the hair, full instructions and clothing patterns. The face, stockings, shoes and even a little tattoo are already printed and you only need to embroider the face details, sew and stuff the doll, create hair and an outfit. And of course you can make two dolls, one in class and one at home.

I'm really looking forward to sharing my tips and learning some new crafts. Plus of course going to Wellington with some crafty friends! Have a look through the programme; there are heaps of interesting classes and teachers.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I was so lucky at the op shop yesterday; walked away with a big box full of crockery for $5. Inside were these beauties, plus a few more nice things. Unfortunately none of them had saucers, but that's not a hard thing to find, hey. My favourite is the one in the front, called 'Eaden' by Rorstrand, made in Sweden. I wish I can find a whole set!

Monday, May 2, 2011


I've been busy this morning adding new listings to my Etsy shop: fat quarters, fat eights, and bundles of both (fat 1/4 bundles, fat 1/8 bundles, that is). I've also been playing around with the prices; you'll be pleased to see all my fabrics are much cheaper than before.

I feel a bit embarrassed about this, but I feel I need to explain... If you've ever sold your crafts, you'll understand how hard it is to set a price. Trying to wholesale your work and then come to a reasonable retail price is even more difficult, I think. That's exactly what I was hoping to do, but it turned out to be too expensive, especially when you compare my hand-screenprinted fabrics to the beautiful and much cheaper commercially-printed fabrics out there. I think it's a bit like comparing apples to pears, but that's still what I was trying to do :) Anyways, I've decided against taking that route, and I'm pleased to announce that I am your exclusive stockist of Ruby in the Dust fabrics. That means I can set my own prices, and everybody benefits!

If you've bought my fabric at full price in the past, I should have sent you a little sweetener by email already, but if I've forgotten you, please let me know. For the rest of you, I'd like to offer you free postage (within New Zealand) until Friday night, on all fabric orders in my Etsy shop. Just enter this code when you're in the checkout: MAY11FREESHIP. Please pass it on, because now I'm the only one selling these fabrics, I need as much help as I can get to promote them :)

Have a good week! And leave a comment if you'd like a little show-and-tell about the fabric swatch card in the picture; it's very simple to put together.