Friday, May 25, 2007

We have moved

Please visit us at our new home:

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Blog move

Just a quick note to say I'm in the process of moving my blog from blogger to wordpress and my own domain - so things may go a little awry while I do weird things to the database at this end in the hope of actually importing my entire old blog to the new one.

I have just learned though that the images won't be coming along for the ride, so I have to import them all by hand. Hmm so things may go quiet here for a bit! Hopefully all will be smooth sailing : )

I'll post a link here when it's ready.

------- UPDATE -------

I have done it - with the latest version of WordPress it does the images for you (phew!) and the entire operation took about ten minutes. Yay! Ready soon....

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Seven things

I've been tagged by Carson !
And I tag Tanja...

"Each person tagged gives seven random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write on their blogs seven facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag one other and list their name on your blog. You have to leave the person you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and need to read your blog".

7 random things about me. + 1 because I got a bit carried away.

{ One }

I met my best friend Polly when we were seven. we've somehow been best friends ever since even though she moved to London when we were 14. I visited her in 1990 when I lived in Germany and moved there in 1998. Polly has just moved back to Auckland. Yay!

This photo was taken in Hyde Park, May 2003.

{ Two }

I met Kevin through an online dating agency! Whilst reading TimeOut London one day I noticed they had a new site, I joined, put Kevin in my shopping basket, he contacted me. We didn't do that whole email me a list of... kind of thing. Neither of us thought that was cool.

We met on May 31st 2004 at The Garden Gate in South End Green just by the Heath. He texted to say he'd be late. I phoned him asking what he wanted to drink. He fell in love then. I fell in love about five minutes after that.

This photo was taken at Madrid Airport August 2004.

{ Three }

If I had to choose only one food in the world ever to eat again it would be carrots. I love them in salad, spag bol, as they are, and sliced on toast. I think they are best sliced on toast. Second runner up would be rice and salad. Third runner up would be Donna Hay's orange and poppy-seed cake made with spelt flour.

{ Four }

Astrid is named after Astrid Lindgren who is the author of my favourite book, The Brother's Lionheart. It's been my favourite book since we were read it at school when I was about 10. I went to the Auckland Steiner School from age 7 to age 14. That's where Polly and I met.

{ Five }

When I was a kid my Dad was into the teachings of a guy named Da Free John. He wrote a lot of books about, well, life, and attaining enlightenment. When I was 11 we went off to his sanctuary in the states. It was called Mountain of Attention and it was about 4 hours from San Francisco in a bus. Well, it was just so much fun for me - hanging out with heaps of girls my age, doing yoga, wandering around the manicured gardens, picking flowers, meditating... there was a zoo there with a llama, secret wells and springs hidden amongst little temples here and there. A girl I made friends with, Cairo - she and I got kicked out of the school for kissing under the mistletoe out in the forest one day.

{ Six }

I lived in Germany for a year when I was 17 on an exchange. I lived in a tiny village called Angfurten, near Wiehl, near Gummersbach, near Köln. I still keep in touch with my host family and I still speak pretty fluent German. I have also lived in Belgium - in a tiny village on the German and Dutch borders - called Gemmenich. I was an au pair. That didn't last long - only 4 months. I lived in London from 1998 until 2006 with a year back in Auckland in between.

This photo is of the house I lived in in Germany.

{ Seven }

I went to University for about 4 months and studied completely the wrong things - ie international business. Needless to say that didn't last long. My first job was as a calligrapher. I was 18 and earning about $80 an hour writing names on invites, table placings and name badges for the New Zealand Investment Conference. My second job was as a receptionist at a sharebroking agency where I got one half of my sharebroking papers. They changed their minds about training me as a sharebroker so I quit and got a job as a graphic designer. The rest is history.

{ Eight }

My ambition was always to be an interior designer then that changed to shoe designer at about 19. I was enrolled to go to the college in Melbourne but it closed down a week before I started. So here I am as a web designer with ambitions to be a fabric / fashion / accessory / paper goods designer with a skincare range.

- - - -

Right - I have to go and get Astrid ready, so I'll finish this up and tag my peeps later !!

Have a fun Sunday...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Time travel. Zips.

Thanks everybody for helping me decide on the font for Little Orchard. The final logo design will be announced in the next few weeks!

Today's Vessel Wednesday photo is of the old milk and cream bottles I happily discovered on a bit of a nostalgia trip last Saturday. They're joined, on our kitchen table, by a Rosa Pomar print. Do you remember the old milk bottles? Wouldn't it be great if they brought them back!

For mother's day Kevin baked a sponge cake (albeit with organic spelt flour and unrefined sugar) which I decorated in true 70s style - with raspberry jam, whipped cream, mandarins and kiwifruit. Lucky I don't decorate cakes too often then : ) My mum thought it was pretty great though!!

Following my "Tickled Pink" post a couple of weeks ago Laura very kindly offered to do a swap for the Lotta Jansdotter book which I have been not-so-secretly coveting! Yay! Every time I think I've decided what I'll make I find another exciting piece of fabric. Don't worry Laura, I think I have now decided... (she says, dreamily staring into her pink label bowl).

On Friday night as I drove past my favourite fabric shop, Salvage (deserving of its own post one day), I spotted something truly divine in the window! A quick phone call on Saturday morning secured it - although after our big day of sorting I nearly forgot to go and buy it - but I jumped in the car at twenty to five and raced over.

It's 3.5 metres worth so I think we'll get a few bags out of this baby!! (note my glasses on the fabric for size).

The rest of my week has been zips zips zips zips zips zips... I am seriously quite zipped out.

But! I can now sew zips. And I am now good at making pencil cases / glasses cases / makeup bags / tailors chalk cases... Yes! Here are some getting ready to be lined.

I really wanted there to be a way I didn't have to hand-sew in the lining. But I didn't find one, and it's actually very satisfying and beautiful to have hand-sewn lining. Fabrics are Cath (how did I end up with 4 metres of the brown one!!) with Liberty tana lawn lining.

Angie asked earlier about where I studied aromatherapy...

Angie - I studied in London with ITHMA at Regent's Park College. The reason I chose that particular course was because it was in Regent's Park (what a joy every weekend to be there) and because they have a class trip to Provence for the chemistry module. Our teacher was Gabriel Mojay who's quite well known in aromatherapy circles - his method uses oriental medicine as a platform for aromatherapy. Rather tricky to grasp - but once you've got it it makes so much sense. Here's us in France. Yes it rained the whole time!!

And it's raining the whole time here in Auckland too. Which is good. Because I ♥ the rain. Lots and lots and lots!

Have a fabbo week everybody : )

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Little Orchard

I am very much loving Vessel Wednesday. I love how it gives me a simple task each week to complete. I have been really happy with the photos I'm taking for it. Thanks to Carson for thinking up such a brilliant idea! Today's image is of a lilac porcelain bowl by Mud Australia. It is my absolute favourite item ever. In fact I've never actually used it - just carted it around from one side of the world to the other and back. As of today it's officially a fruit bowl for organic granny smiths. : )

Thank you all so much for visiting and saying hello! I hope I have been and visited everyone who's left messages here - but if I've missed anybody I'm terribly sorry - please give me a prod!!

My new little label I'm working on is called Little Orchard. It came about because people simply cannot say, let alone remember, Anknel and Burblets. (try looking away now and spelling out For those of you who are wondering, Anknel and Burblets are my childhood fairies. I've many stories to tell of all the fun and exciting things we made and got up to - but that's another post altogether.

So, which typeface do you like best for using in the logo ?

Little Orchard is the chosen name because we are turning our place into a little orchard - with heaps of fruit trees and a (small) meadow out the front! We're also putting in a big vege garden and I'm going to grow aromatic plants for culinary purposes and making my own essential oils and hydrosols. It's so exciting being able to do all of this now. I think having children is such a wonderful thing to do at this time in life.

For the shop I'm beavering away on designing some fabrics, sewing things and finishing my aromatherapy diploma so we can officially dispense the magical Anknel and Burblets potions. We'll have hairclips and girly things by Lotte Lello too. And of course some yummy butterfly prints. Yay I can't wait till it's all ready - I am just brimming with ideas and excitement!!

Kevin was off work ill today so he looked after Astrid while I finished sewing our His 'n' Hers shopping bags - pictured above. Now, is it strange that I just want to line everything?! I am totally doubling my workload but I am not sure I could manage to have an unlined bag anymore. Now I have my wonderful new sewing machine I could just sew all day!

I will leave you with a photo of our back lawn early this morning in beautiful Autumn light. Hope you all have a wonderful week : )

Monday, May 07, 2007

Tickled pink

My timetable went a bit skew wiff this week because I visited my mum on Friday so on Saturday I was going to continue craft day but instead spent most of it in hospital after falling out of the front door and dropping Astrid. Eeek. This is the same week we took her to a craft show where the music was so loud she screamed louder than the music. Cue one very fast exit!!

On Sunday morning I awoke to a very sore ankle and a flood of emails proclaiming new flickr contacts and blog comments. Hmmm. Something was afoot.... and that something was Yvonne !!

Ha ha ha ha ha!!! I just grinned and grinned for ages. How funny that my blog makes her want to do a little dance I chuckled away to myself. I'll have to let her into the secret of my happiness - and that's the ability to squeak (not hum) the song, "stop in the name of love" (and do all the moves at the same time) whilst outside admiring vintage hankies on the washing line. With your boyfriend listening.

Anyway, I thought, high time for a little blog update. There's bag-making a-going-on but here's a quick little tour of my day:

Oscar just generally being cute and happy whilst settling in. Rufus is being a bit of a big meanie still. But we love Oscar.

Some knitting. I've been doing this since last September. One day it will be a blanket for Astrid . It's taking so long I will probably have to make a single bed spread. My guess is it'll be done in three years. So far I've done 60 squares.

Current work in progress. Shopping bags for Kevin. These will be unbleached calico with applique bonsai prints on the front. I got the teatowel from a thrift shop. It looks like an old 70s one with three beautiful bonsai arrangements. Hopefully finished tomorrow night !!

Freshly arrived post + new pincushion. Yep, some yummy japanese craft books with dresses for little girls. Mmm full of lovely Liberty prints. Very glad I spent a lot of time at Liberty while I lived in London.

Currently reading - see above. I just love the library. Books are so much more expensive here, so I get everything I could possibly imagine out from the library and if something is a keeper I'll order it. ( The Practical Knitting book was $1 at the fleamarket. ) Out of this lot I would buy Cath Kidston's in print, stitch and the Florence Broadhurst one. But I won't because I want the Lotta Jansdotter one instead. Which they don't have at the library yet!!!

These flax baskets were a bargain at $10 each from Onehunga, and they fit all my fabrics in (except the huge cupboard full in the laundry) which is much better than squashing them into a big Liberty bag where they'd lived for too long. They're great and have totally improved my life!!

Today's timetable item: aromatherapy day. Yes! One day soon I will get my diploma! I am writing up all my case studies and then finishing assignments, so I'll be a few more Mondays yet... it was soo tempting to just make today craft day again, but that would mean I would never get my diploma. I just love the timetable for helping me be so disciplined about my tasks.

Oh yes, so the point of this post was that my timetable went out a bit on Friday - ah how could I possibly miss craft day.... so off I go back to my bag sewing and a nice cup of chai.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Time out

Have had a bit of time out from flickr and my blog as I've just spent way too much time on 'the fun stuff' and not been earning my keep. So I've written up a timetable and got my teeth into some bits of client work.

I'm still beavering away on my new brand for my shop. In fact I have quite a few brands which will all fit in neatly under the main shop umbrella. Yes the butterflies are all part of the master plan, which has been hatching since 1999 - so it will be well thought out to say the least.

Also in the studio there have been ads designed, new websites being built for clients and aromatherapy case studies and assignments getting finished off so I can get my diploma.

I've started seeing clients for custom skincare and dispensing medicated preparations which is what I really love. I must confess I'm not especially interested in massage at all (although I do enjoy it at the time). Mind you I did only study aromatherapy so I could make products so that's all worked out then.

Friday is craft day which is the day I look forward to most. I made some cushions two weeks ago and gave them away before I photographed them. Last Friday I made a start on the bugaboo bag which took quite some time to complete. It was definitely the most ambitious sewing project I've undertaken. This is all now possible thanks to my new sewing machine of course. My lovely retro sewing machine might look cool but it was super annoying when the bobbin jammed up every two minutes.

Some fabric hoarding has also been taking place. The best news is that on a walk around the neighbourhood I found an old fashioned and cheap little fabric shop quite close by. Next time I go back I'm getting the bright yellow corduroy.

Kevin and I set to painting the interior at last. We managed one coat in the kitchen and the second part of the hallway. Anyway it's a major improvement.

I must say life with a timetable is great. Even it I don't achieve everything on it it does provide me with a framework for the week and I am getting so much more done instead of sitting around wondering what I have time to do or what I should be doing. Speaking of which, today is client work day.