Sunday, April 18, 2010

A big blog post that's long overdue!

My gosh, it has been well over a month since my last blog post! There has been so many changes in my life recently that I literally haven't had the time to sit down and write a post. But things are finally starting to fall back into place and settle down so I am back on board and ready to get into the swing of things.

Some of you may already know, but I am now a full time employee again. After being self employed for 9 long months, I am now back into a 40 working week (not that I didn't work hard when I worked for myself!) I took on some temp work back in March that was supposed to be only for a month or 2, but they offered me a full time role in my first week and it was too good to turn down. That doesn't mean that any of my other ventures are being put to rest however — I just need to find some extra hours each day to squeeze them in. Funnily enough though, I have started becoming more productive and my time management has improved immensely. Who would have thought? Yay to working again!

So here is a brief overview of the last month for me. Shortly after Craft 2.0 it was my birthday :) I had some lovely celebratory drinks in Takapuna at the new Irish Pub.

One of my best friends, Hayley, and I on my 24th Birthday.

A few days later followed the first Auckland Craft Collective evening. It was on "Online Marketing" and was a huge success. We had 2 fabulous guest speakers — Esther from and Elliot from I learnt so much from this evening and am currently working on lots of changes for Skipapple as a result (new blog post on these soon!). You can check out the 10 Top Tips from the evening on our blog.

The lovely location of our Auckland Craft Collective evenings — Ponsonby Community Centre

The next week was Crafternoon Tea. It was a lovely day with lots of craft goodness (as always!). I was sat next to a fabulous new up and coming baby clothing label, Bubbarino. They have the most adorable childrens clothing.  

The gorgeous childrens clothing by Bubbarino

Then the following week I attended my first Kraftbomb. As I imagined (and as it has been every time I have gone along as a shopper) it was buzzing with people. I had a lovely time sitting next to the delightful Desiree of   Flossys Fancy (I hope I spelt that right!). I only had a half table of goodies for sale that day, but it was still great to be able to be there. I'm going to apply every 3 months, and *fingers crossed* will get to see what each season is like at Kraftbomb :) 

Also on the same day as Kraftbomb, two of my best friends from back home (Perth), Caitlyn and Liam, had a gorgeous baby girl, Hudson Olivia and I think that one of those dresses from Bubbarino (above) would look absolutely gorgeous on her.

Left: Mine and Desiree's tables at Kraftbomb. 
Right: My Antique Bronze Pendants

I had a rather relaxing long weekend, with nothing exciting to report! I caught up housework, paperwork and me time. It was so nice to be able to relax. I also managed to get the time to sew a little present for my best friends new little girl. You'll have to excuse the quality of the photos — I took them just before I wrapped it up and took it the post office :) I even did my first ever bit of embroidery with her name and date of birth. I was pretty chuffed with how it came out — not too shabby for a first attempt! The blanket is made from baby pink and white chenille, the back is lined with baby pink flannelette and I put some cute stain blanket binding around the edge to finish it.

A cuddly baby blanket for little Husdon Olivia :)

Devonport Craft Market and Crafternoon Tea were both fabulous for me this month. It was lovely to see some more punters at the Devonport market, it was noticeably busier there this month which is great. There was also lots of new seller which I love to see. Unfortunately forgot to take some photos though. I did get some time to have a browse around Crafternoon Tea however and made a few purchases & swaps and also got a few snaps of some fellow stallholders.

Some of the April Crafternoon Tea stallholders

Skipapple goodies for sale

Phew.... what a big overview of the last month! Of course, there was also the Auckland Craft Collective "Book-Keeping" evening last week which was another great success. You can check out the top tips for evening over at the blog.

Now I have lots of work to do on a couple of exciting things coming up (it's a secret for now... but you'll know soon enough!) so I had better get back to it.

Hope you have all had a fabulous weekend. 

Chat again soon x

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Craft 2.0 Goodness

Phew... what a jam-packed few days it's been. After weeks of anticipation and excitement, Jess (Bam Bam Creative) and I were up in the early hours of Friday morning — 4.30am wake ups aren't what I'd call fun — and were headed for the airport. We were greeted by an absolutely stunning Wellington day (which from previous visits, I wasn't sure existed!) and whilst it was a busy day, we still had a chance to enjoy the sunshine.

The lovely view of the Harbour

After a relaxing lunch in the sun and a visit to Madame Fancy Pants store on Cuba St, the ever lovely Sue Tyler (Of Supervery and Craft 2.0 fame) and her equally lovely Mum picked us up and took us out to the New Dowse to set  up. The New Dowse is such a perfect venue — I loved the crisp clean, open feel it had. Jess and I unpacked our strategically sorted suitcases that resembled a sort of Jigsaw Puzzle that all fit together perfectly, and began to set up our tables.

Before and After shot of my table

We headed back to our Hostel, enjoyed some dinner and watched a play that was showing in the Fringe Festival and headed back to our room to try and get some sleep to prepare ourselves for the next day. We were up early the next morning and were lucky enough to score a lift to Craft 2.0 with Heleen (Ruby in the Dust) and her sister.

It was a fabulous day, and although it was said to have been a slow day in Craft 2.0 standards it still had a constant flow of browsers and shoppers all day, which was nice. Lots of Skipapple goodies found their way to new homes and it was really good to meet some new crafters and to catch up with ones I have met previously. I would have liked some more time to get around and see other stalls, but there was no real opportunity to sneak away from my table.

Before we knew it we were packing up, heading to the airport and flying home again. Wellington gave us a lovely view as we departed, and for that last little bit of happiness and sunshine, I was very grateful!
Here is a lovely snap that Jess took of the view from the plane (she nabbed the window seat... so I've shotgun for the next trip down! hehe)

The amazing view as we departed Wellington. Great photography Jess :)

After arriving home, tired and exhausted from what felt like DAYS away (it was literally only about 36 hours) I had a cuppa and a brief Facebook check, before heading to bed for a nice long sleep. As much as I enjoyed my trip — with all the rushing around and busyness — it was good to be home!

I'm really looking forward to heading down for the next Craft 2.0 (fingers crossed I get in!) and I've already started researching flights and accommodation.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and that the Devonport Craft Market was fruitful today for all it's lovely store holders.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Okay... so it's been a while!

I know, I know... my online presence recently has been somewhat lacking. I have been so busy with all the markets in February and March to prepare for, that typing a blog post has been the last thing on my mind!
I have sat down 3 times in the last week to work on a new blog template, but every time I get half way through it, I decide it's not what I want so I scrap it and start again. My aim is to have a new one completed by the end of March. I figured it is better to set a more realistic deadline ;)

This weekend just gone I was at the Devonport Craft Market . It was a bit of a muggy day, with bouts of rain here and there, but all things considered I had a great day. It was lovely to see lots of new faces around the market and it will be fabulous to see those crafty people back again :) Next weekend I will be heading along to Crafternoon Tea and I am really looking forward to it. Check out the fabulous flyer that the ever clever Olivia made for it.

I am really hoping that things will settle down after the super exciting Craft 2.0 in March. I am getting so excited about it, but also a little bit stressed, wondering whether I have enough stock to take down? I have put in my order for some more supplies to make pendants, so the next few weeks are going to be busy, busy, busy!

I can't believe we are half way through February already. Please Mr 2010, slow down a little so I can enjoy each day a bit more :)


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Making and Markets...

As you may have noticed, I've been a little bit quiet on the blogging front recently. It's been because of a combination between being really busy and not having anything super exciting to blog about! But this week has been pretty exciting for me — I've been booking flights to Wellington for March and will be attending the amazing Craft 2.0 in Lower Hutt on the 6th March! I am really looking forward to meeting more crafty peeps. Plus, I'm not heading down there alone... Jess from Bam Bam Creative will be going too! Not to mention the lovely Heleen from Ruby in the Dust will be there aswell :)

So as you can imagine, I am now busy working out what I need to organise between now and then — don't want to arrive unprepared! I've got a couple of new items I plan to launch at Craft 2.0 so the next month is going to be a busy one.

In other non-Skipapple news I went to the movies the other night to see the pre-screening of "I'm Not Harry Jenson" which is officially being released in selected cinemas tonight around NZ. It was the second time I had watched it (it was also in the NZ Film Festival last year) and I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. If you get a chance I highly recommend seeing this fabulous Kiwi film. It was made a on very low budget and set in the Waitakere Ranges, but features an awesome cast with lots of twists and turns in the plot.
And if you've seen my facebook name recently (Harry Jenson) you may have heard about their awesome marketing campaign. Anyway... definitely head along and check it out soon (before it finishes at the cinemas).

Click on the poster above to see if it's playing near you

I'm busy packaging up beads and findings today, which I am popping on Trademe on sale so I'd better get back to it ;)


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Getting Sorted

The start of this year has been so busy that I haven't really had a proper chance to sit down and assess what my plans and goals are for this year. Of course I already have a general idea in my head about what they are — but I am a "list" person and feel much more organised and motivated once I have everything down on paper. Now I am not one for "New Years Resolutions" because let's be honest, who actually sticks to them? But I've decided that I am going to take some time out this week to get my metaphorical crap sorted and work out a plan of attack. So if I appear to go into hiding for a few days, don't panic... I'll just be hidden under the piles of stuff that I am sorting through in my office and bead storage room!

In other news, things have been progressing really well with the Auckland Craft Collective and I am getting more and more excited about the pending launch in March. Jess and I have been working tirelessly on securing some fabulous Guest Speakers, designing and making our website, booking a venue and designing our flyers and brochures ready for print. You may have noticed that our blog and twitter page have both had a make over to align with our new branding. The website is all on target to go live this evening, so come Monday morning we'll be online and you'll be able to check it out and subscribe to our mailiing list.

Yesterday was Crafternoon Tea — the first craft market for 2010. It was the first time I had attended the market at it's wonderful location in Kingsland, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I met some lovely new people and got a chance to have a good chat to many crafters. It's a lovely hall and Luisa and Trent have set it up really well. I'm really looking forward to the next one. It was a little on the quiet side, but I still had a pretty successful day all things considered! I took a couple of snaps when I first set up, but got sidetracked for the rest of the market and forgot to take some more. I think Jess remembered too, so I'll link to them when she puts them up :)

It's been such a beautiful, warm weekend — I think I might head out into the garden for a couple of hours to read a book and soak up some Vitamin D.

Chat again soon x

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's Tea time again...

That's right... Crafternoon Tea is on this Saturday! And of course, I will be there along with many other talented crafty peeps.

It is back at it's fabulous regular location — the Holy Trinity Church in Kingsland from 10am til 3pm.

I'll have some more bags available aswell as my collection of pendants, card wallets, coffee cup sleeves, belts and more.

Hope to see you there xx

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Time Flies

I cannot believe that we are nearing the middle of January already — where has all this time gone? I guess I should firstly wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, as I just realised it has been almost a month since I last blogged!It feels so strange (and perhaps a little difficult too) getting back into the swing of things after a lovely break over the festive season, but I am very excited about what this year will bring.

The end of 2009 was a quiet one for me, with Love Handmade market being the last crafty event for me for the year. Unfortunately it was not very fruitful, but as always, it was lovely to chat to fellow crafters.

L to R: My Table, the lovely Bronwyn from R.W.Scissors 
and the ever sweet Jess from Bam Bam Creative.

Christmas was very low key for me — I only managed to take 3 photos the entire couple of days surrounding Christmas! Although it was a quiet one, it was very enjoyable and it was nice to be able to relax. Over New Years I went away camping with a big group of friends for a few days out at Murawai. It was a fab few days and I managed to soak up lots of Vitamin D (possibly a little too much on the first day!).

Left: The view from our campsite.
Right: A pretty 2010 dusk sky.
(Photography by one of my best friends... the talented Miss Baines!)

So far 2010 has been busy with lots of planning being done for Skipapple and lots of work and planning being done on the Auckland Craft Collective. Jess and I decided the old look of Auckland Craft just wasn't quite fitting, so we have had a revamp ready for the New Year.We re-did our logo and have just about finished the website. All we need to do is put in some finishing touches, and it will be online and live this week! I've also surprised myself this weekend and gotten pretty savvy with Blogger by creating a new blog template for the Auckland Craft blog so that it ties in nicely with the new website. Of course it's not up just yet, but will be up at the same time as our new website.

As for the plans for Skipapple... you'll just have to wait and see! I'm designing a pattern for a new product at the moment, and am deciding on another style of bag to make. I've also got a couple of other accessories lined up to add to the label, but I plan on trying to only work on one thing at a time this year (we'll see how that goes!)


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Felt Christmas Gift Guide - Issue 3

This is likely to be the last one of my Christmas Gift Guides, but I don't see why I can't continue these Gift Guides next year. It is a great excuse for me to browse through the Felt website and drool over all the goodies I want!

So here it is folks, my last Christmas Gift Guide for the year :)


I couldn't decide on just 6 this time... so popped in a few extras for a last little burst of Christmas Spirit :)

Happy Shopping x

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sawing, sanding and a broken camera

Okay, so although the title suggest my broken camera was something to do with my own doing, that is not the case at all ;) Last week was a crazily busy week preparing for the Crafternoon Tea market (as I am sure it was for many people) and thinking that I had all the time in the world to prepare, I decided one of my first projects would be a couple more displays for my pendants. My first was another smaller version of my earlier created display and the other was the snazzy creation pictured below. Such a cheap but rather effective display (if I don't say so myself). I wanted to add more depth to my market display and make it more visually interesting so I decided to create a display for the pendants without them being on individual cards.

I had some left over board from my first display so decided to put it to good use. I purchased some wood for the legs, a couple of hinges and then a stack of self tapping eyelet thingamajigs (yes, that's their technical name) and got to work. I actually cut this board using a stanley knife as although it takes longer, I find it gives a much cleaner cut than using a saw. Plus it means a LOT less sanding once you've cut it. My main aim when creating displays (apart from them displaying the product well of course) is to make them easily portable which is why I put the legs on hinges and the crossbar bits with hooks so they can unhook and fold flat. I am really happy with how it turned out, and it not only saved me a lot of room on my table, it looked pretty effective too. AND it only cost me about $9 in materials. It was wins all round really ;)

My snazzy new pendant display

So as you can tell, no cameras were harmed in the making of this display. However my camera did leave us last week, on the day that I planned to photograph all my completed pendants, and a day before the Crafternoon Tea — typical. I was more angry than sad about it dying, as I wasn't overly attached to my 18 month old Fujifilm (NEVER buy a Fujifilm, they are rubbish!). It was only a cheapy at the time so I shouldn't really be surprised that it just stopped working one day, but still... it was rather inconvenient! On the bright side however, I managed to use my FlyBuys points to score myself a really snazzy compact Olympus in a sexy Pearl White colour. She's such a little gem and I'm looking forward to using her!

Anyway, Crafternoon Tea on Saturday was a fabulous market and I really loved the Mt Eden Normal Primary School hall. It had a lovely vibe to it and felt very welcoming. Although it was a fairly quiet day I think Luisa and Trent did a fabulous job advertising it as best they could — Kudos! I had a wonderful day chatting with my fellow crafty peeps such as the lovely Jess and Bronwyn and to top it all off it was a successful market for me. I am really looking forward to the next one in January, back at it's regular Kingsland location.

My table with my new displays at Crafternoon Tea

I've cut 3 more bags ready to sew for this weekends Love Handmade market, and I have cut out 6 *new product alert* 'Obi style Belts' which I will be launching this Saturday — exciting stuff! I'm also getting ready to snap (with my sexy new camera) all of my pendants and start uploading them to my Felt shop over the next week.

Chat soon x

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Loving the Sunshine

How awesome is this weather? I am completely loving it. Summer just puts me in an extra good mood and helps motivate me to get things done. And that is exactly what I have been doing this week — getting lots done! (Warning: The Chrissy Decorations that I made for my ornament swap are in this post... so don't scroll down too far if you don't want to see them!)

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to get along and see the Dalai Lama talk in Auckland. Whilst he isn't a public speaker as such, he is an amazingly insightful and down to earth guy. His philosophies are truely wonderful, yet are so simple. I left the talk feeling very enlightened and positive, so it was a lovely start to the weekend.

The wonderful Dalai Lama

You may have seen my blog last week about my little melt down I had, when my 160 pendants that I had coated with my new brand of lacquer failed to set, leaving me with 160 unusable pendants. I was worried that they wouldn't be able to be saved BUT yippeee... they have :) I was frantically researching alternative products to use to make the pendants completely waterproof rather than just splashproof. I came up with a couple of options and reluctantly decided to give resin a go. I am very pleased with the result and although they are still drying, I am confident that they will all be completely set and sealed by Friday (just in time for Crafternoon Tea on Saturday!) I had heard some really scary stories about resin like the toxic fumes, making sure the mix was accurate and thoroughly mixed and also about the bubbles it is prone to getting. Thankfully aside from being a bit of a messy exercise to begin with, I eventually got the hang of it and spent quite a few  hours carefully coating my pendants. I'm very excited that they are now waterproof too :)

I was very excited to receive another Christmas decoration in the post yesterday. It was a lovely beaded snowflake (I think!) with a sweet little angel hanging below made by Helene of Mira Design. It's going to look great on my Chrissy Tree.

Thanks Helene - it's lovely :)

As I mentioned at the top of this post, I finally managed to get my decorations finished today and in the post. They took me ages, as they are all hand sewn, but I am pretty chuffed with how they turned out. I used a variety of materials to make them — fabric, ribbon, buttons and freshwater coin pearl. I made a couple of extras for a gift and for my own tree. Here they are...

Little Handmade Tree Angels

Another busy night tonight as I am cutting out fabric ready for assembly tomorrow. Want to make sure I have my new products ready for Crafternoon Tea this weekend. Very excited about it — it's going to be a blast. Looking forward to seeing all my crafty buddies and selling lots of goodies to Christmas punters :)

Enjoy your evening x