Wednesday, March 31, 2010

featured item, yeah!

How nice to get a message from someone who has featured one of my items on their blog! You can check it out on The Experts Agree .
Especially along with so many other beautiful baby items!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Camping week end

We went camping for the first time this summer. Never too late I guess, good prep for next year!
There is a thing called freedom camping here on the east coast of New Zealand, I'm not sure whether it exists in many other places. Over a set period during the warm summer months, some beaches fill up with "long term" campers. They basically set camp for a week or two (or more) during the holiday after getting a permit from council. The permit is pretty cheap, but you have to have your own chemical toilet. Other than that, no obligation but to leave the place as you found it. There are no other facilities either, so you have to take everything you will need with you: shower, water, food. It 's great way to have a holiday away from it all and live a pretty basic lifestyle for a short while (although I have spotted a few TV aerial sticking out of some of the more modern camper-vans this summer).
You'd be surprised at how packed those freedom camping spots can get over the holidays!
We chose to go to one of those spots, a beautiful beach called Loisel's, just half an hour from Gisborne. At this time of the year most holidayers have left, so we pretty much had the whole beach to ourselves. As soon as we parked, Tahi jumped out of the car into the sand and only jumped back in when it was time to leave.
We met up with a bunch of our friends which made the week end even nicer. Our camp was pretty eclectic and a good sample of camping styles: from the simple yet efficient tent, to the caravan ( including one redesigned by our talented friend Katy Wallace ), the home made camping trailer/DJ space (made from reclaimed material by my evenly talented partner Josh) and even a big camper-van (no TV aerial).

The surf was good, it felt nice to be in the water and away for the city, no mater how small it is. Being surrounded by friends and little else was all we asked for.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

how to tie yoga pants

One great thing about markets is customer feedback. One thing I hadn't thought of is that some people are not familiar with yoga/thai fisherman's pants hence had no idea how to wear it. It took me back to the first time I tried a pair on in Thailand and was faced with the same problem. How easily we forget or overlook those things.
The photo shoot was a great opportunity to take specific snapshots showing how to proceed:

Fold 1:
- Put the pants on, tie at the back.

- Pull the fabric at the waist forward.

- With one hand hold the seam and pull, while you fold the extra fabric inside, then overlap it (Like when you put on a wrap around skirt).

- Hold the fold with one hand while you grab the string with the other. Once you've got both pieces of string tie a knot at the front, then fold down the fabric above the string.

Fold 2:
Essentially the same, but you fold the fabric symmetrically on each side. I like this fold because each side looks the same, just like "normal" pants. It is a bit trickier at first. An easy way to o it is to pull the extra fabric forward, then place each index between your skin and the fabric closer to the centre, and the thumb outside further to the side. Your hands are a bit twisted. Pull back the fabric by giving you hand an outward circular motion (so your hand is untwisted).

Hold the fold with one hand and grab the ties with other.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Photo shoot

I've spent the last few days taking pictures of all the stock left over from the markets. I had to model the adult clothing, so Josh helped me out and put his eye behind the lens. We shot everything on our front porch, the sun was setting and Tahi was running around. I didn't realize I'd made so many yoga pants! There were a few funny moments, like the one where Tahi imitated my "model-like" poses... very cute.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

beautiful artwork and giveaway!

I was checking out a cool website called DoesMommyLoveIt? and saw some gorgeous collage artwork by fellow etsian artist Maple Shade Kids . .. Best of all, everything in this shop is eco friendly and DoesMommyLoveIt? is having a giveaway, so check both websites out and make sure you don't miss out!

The one in the picture is my favorite.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Post markets

Back home, we had a great time at Womad and Tahi did really well on the drive too. We stopped halfway at our friends' farm. They have 3 kids, 4 chooks, 5 dogs and lots of sheep and cattle, so there's always something going on. Tahi gets to play with lots of different toys and we get to catch up around a lovely dinner and a few glasses of wine (and bottles of beer for the gents).
Womad was a good festival, with great musicians from all over the world playing at the Brooklands park in  New Plymouth, right in the middle of town. Pretty cool. The place was buzzing with people of all ages, walking from one stage to another, having a nibble in the food area, browsing the Arts and Crafts stalls and having a great time. My two favorite bands were Babylon circus , an awesome french band (you should have seen how they got the crowds moving... and New Zealand crowds are hard to move!) and Nortec , a very cool mexican electro band.
Our stall was in a quieter area called the "sustainable area", where they had a stage called "Taste the world" (various artists performing a cooking show, great place to be!), Gyuto monks performing meditation, making a Mandala and cooking, and some stalls selling sustainable goods or charities like "Save the children". The whole thing was a bit out of the way, in the Kunming gardens, so it was a lot quieter and a lot of festival goers probably never even ventured there. Not so good when you're trying to sell goods, but great when you've got kids roaming around!
Business wise, I didn't sell as much as I was expecting, probably 1/4 of my stock, and since the first 2 days were cold and rainy, the yoga pants didn't do as well as at Splore. But I made enough to cover for our expenses and make a bit of extra. I also got lots of great feedback, so in all I think it was definitely worth it.

Waiting for me back home was a great little magazine called World Sweet World , in which my first tutorial was published: how to make a wallet with fused plastic. I was pretty excited to see it printed! Unfortunately, this was the last issue , but they are keeping the blog running, so I'm looking forward to suggesting more crafty ideas. Along with posting some here as well of course.

I have just finished a custom order: a cute mid season dress for a 3 year old lucky girl. I made 2 and am pretty happy with both!

On my bottomless list of to-do things, another couple of custom orders, reviewing my patterns, taking pictures of all the new stock to put it on Etsy and Felt, organizing a local craft market, making art for art's sake, looking after Tahi and of course making more stuff! I have just received some beautiful merino fabric and some organic fabrics too, which I'm looking forward to turning into some cute kids' clothes!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Slice of life

Tahi has been obsessed with skateboarding since we went to the local skatecomp last december. Since that, we found some really cool videos of longboarders on youtube by Original skateboard . 

He loves watching them. The music is pretty cool and the footage looks good. He got given a finger board for his birthday and his has turned out to be the best present so far. I also found a cheap second hand kids' board on trademe, so he's all set to go!

I have been really busy sewing, 3 days to go and we're off to Womad . I'm looking forward to relaxing a bit, getting some rest and enjoying the good music.
In between that and minding Tahi, I've also found time to take care of the garden. Not much planting since there's not much free space left, but a lot of our crops are fruiting at the moment, so we're enjoying fresh tomatoes, courgette, cucumber, radish, rocket, lettuce leaves and basil. 

Oh, and we've picked 8 pumpkins from a plant that has been growing all summer. Biggest one is over 6kg!

Quignon is getting bigger every week, he is such a cool puppy, we all love him, especially Tahi who jsut won't leave him alone. I guess it's just a phase and he'll grow out of it...

Tahi had his first major injury a few days ago. He fell against our bed, chin first on a hard wooden edge. Ouch! It split his chin open pretty deep. We took him to emergency and they glued it back together. He didn't say a thing, stayed calm and patiently waited for the doctor to have finished. We were so impressed.