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12 October 2014

A Conversation with Fiona of Blue Fedora Ltd...

Creating unique, luxury embroidery greeting cards is Fiona of Blue Fedora's 'thing' with an aim to making the people that receive them feel that somebody really cares.  Here, we get a glimpse into her creative world...



Who is Fiona Claudius?
I have many interests which are quite diverse (now I am thinking about it) including art and craft, science and technology, photography, investing, drinking and eating out with friends.  I also like an adventure and travel when possible.  I feel very lucky having the opportunity to run a business around something that I love doing.   

What’s your “handmade groove ?”
Difficult to answer as there are so many things.  I love thinking of new designs and drawing inspiration from the world around me .  I enjoy being able to combine my former software skills with creating new embroidery designs for my cards, especially when the finished product makes people smile.

What’s on your bedside table right now? (hey, no tidying up or censoring)
A lamp
Kindle
Alarm Clock
Box of Tissues
I have lots more items in the drawers below, but I digress as you didn’t ask about those!

Who are your creative role models? What music, books, images, poetry spark your creative fire?
My mother and father are my biggest creative role models.  They ran a very successful drama club in London and were involved in all sorts of things creative;  from making period costumes to painting stage sets.  Print, pattern and interior design are the type of books that inspire me the most.  I love all sorts of music.  At the moment I’m listening to Nina Simone.

What could you talk late into the night about with like minded people?
Cards and crafty subjects would be very high on the list.  I also love discussing movies, economics and current affairs.

If you could go to three free workshops/creative events this year which ones would they be? What are they about?
I would love to attend an embroidery workshop.  I have never attended one and I know there are many more things I could learn from very talented people.  The same goes for photography and graphic design.

How do you balance your creative life with your family, life commitments?
I try to plan my work around set times so I can stop when most households normally get together i.e. dinner time.  I also have a very supportive partner who often helps me out which makes things easier.

What is your favourite creative screw-up?
My very first run on my embroidery machine;  I inadvertently sewed the back of the fabric to the front!

Kitchen table or studio?
I think most card makers start out taking over the kitchen table.  I am no exception.  But now I am lucky enough to have a space in the study where I can create and assemble my cards and I love it.  My production line has been known to creap into other rooms though, especially when I am cutting and glueing lots of cards.

Do you have a wish list? Can you tell us what’s on it?
Get to know more “crafty” people.  Attend those workshops I mentioned.






You can find Blue Fedora Ltd on line here...



05 October 2014

A Conversation with Stephanie of Stephaholic Cosmetics ...



Stephanie of Stephaholic Cosmetics makes vibrant, fun soaps and bath products with no parabens, artificial preservatives or glycols with delicious fragrances and colours.  Here, she shares a glimpse into her creative world....

Who is Stephaholic Cosmetics? 
Stephaholic Cosmetics is a small business that creates natural handmade soap, bath and body products. Hi, my name is Steph and I am determined to create things that are better for you without the harsh chemicals. I try to make sure that most if not all ingredients on my products are in plain English, so you know what you are buying.

What’s your “handmade groove?” 
I am a visual person, so the artist in me always loves colour and design. I try and make my products stand out and look different to others around me. I am also a really big fragrance lover. Things have to smell as pretty as they look!

What’s on your bedside table right now? (hey, no tidying up or censoring)
Oh boy, where do I start? I have my funky shoe lamp (two red stiletto heels with a bulb each attached to a pole), a few fiction books that I keep saying I will read and never getting time to, my glass bowl full of earings that I take off as I get into bed, my engagement ring box that I keep my ring in overnight while I sleep, my tablet for social networking before bed (and yes okay I play a few games to wind down), a box of tissues, and finally a healthy food guide magazine that I am subscribed to for inspiration.

Who are your creative role models? What music, books, images, poetry spark your creative fire?
There are many objects and people who inspire me, and I get most of my design ideas from food. The colour of something will spark an image in my head that gives me an idea of what to make next. The smell of something will trigger an idea. I love looking through food or baking magazines or books with those beautiful mouthwatering pictures.

What could you talk late into the night about with like minded people?
Travel. Where I have been, where I want to go, who I want to see and who I want to go with. I always use the “If you win lotto… what would you do with it?” question too. That gets everyone going!

If you could go to three free workshops/creative events this year which ones would they be? What are they about?
This is a hard question, because there aren’t many places in New Zealand other than on Youtube that help me in my line of work.
I guess if it could be anywhere in the world, I would love to go to all types of Cosmetic Classes, so I can keep learning more about the products used, their benefits and their properties. I would also love to go to a Baking Class for the piping techniques that I can use for my soap making. Finally a gardening class for herbs and other plants that are used in soap, bath & body products.

How do you balance your creative life with your family, life commitments?
I have started working from home at my ‘bill paying job’, which has shaved about 2 hours off my day. I only work Monday-Thursday at this job, and with shaving off 2 hours a day now that I work at home, it means more ‘me time’ and business time.
I don’t have a family yet, but my fiancĂ© and I make sure we spend time together whenever we are both home at the same time.
I spend Friday on my business. I make sure that Friday’s are mixed working and ‘me time’ days. For example; I put on a facemask in the morning and while it dries I read my emails, comments, posts. I then jump in the shower. While I eat breakfast I write a list of everything I want to get done that day whether it be work related or not. I also make sure I schedule in time-frames for the things I need to get done. That way I don’t skip lunch.

What is your favourite creative screw-up?
One batch of soap just didn’t work out. So instead of throwing it away I re-batched it. I then got creative and used a hand blender to blend up the mess and coloured it and scented it a bit more. I then threw it into the loaf moulds and thought, “If it doesn’t work out, at least I tried and didn’t give up!” It actually turned out to be one of the best accidents that I have. I won’t tell you what it was, but you would have never guessed it was a horrible mistake in the first place!

Kitchen table or studio?
I chuckled to myself when I read this question. I actually am very greedy and use both. I have a dedicated Soap Room for soaping, but every now and then I need a new place to work… which everything then goes out to the kitchen table. My partner is always hilariously frustrated at this. I say hilariously, because we’ve never really sat at the table to eat, so it’s not really in the way at all!

Do you have a wish list? Can you tell us what’s on it?
Yes. I only have two really big things on there, as the little things don’t matter to me so much. The first is to have this business as my main full time business. The second is to be able to travel around the world. My favourite quote at this stage in life is, 'I want just enough [in life] so that I feel I can do anything, but not so much that I feel like doing nothing.' - Anon





You can find Stephaholic Cosmetics online here ...

http://www.stephaholic.co.nz
https://www.facebook.com/stephaholiccosmetics


30 July 2014

Member Showcase - Oscar&George

If you haven't seen Oscar&George's gorgeous Merino Monsters you've been missing out!   Based on Katherine's children's pre-school drawings - they are beautiful handcrafted cuties.

And carrying on with the drawing theme, Katherine is herself an illustrator and artist, happy to take on custom orders.

Here are just a few of our favourite Oscar&George goodies....








Oscar&George can be found on-line here:


http://www.oscarandgeorge.co.nz
https://www.facebook.com/OscarandGeorge

23 July 2014

Got a Creative Blog Post to Share - do it here! ...

Hello lovely crafty bloggers (and blog readers :-)).

We look forward to seeing your wonderful blog post links from wherever you live in the world!

We would love to hear about your recent  creative happenings and musings - link up your blog post below to share with our readers.   And please feel free to share our hop with your own readers too - let's share the handmade love!

Open for submissions from 23 July through to 10am 31 July - but readable always. You can view past Blog Hops here.




21 July 2014

Member Showcase - Adventures of Alex O and Co

Making beautiful things from recycled blankets and wool felt is Alex of Adventures of Alex O & Co's thing!

From Hottie Covers to Cushions, Ipad Covers to Purses, Alex's products are stunning AND functional and feature delicious colour combinations and fun appliques.

Here are just a few of our favourites....








Adventures of Alex O and Co can be found on-line here:


http://felt.co.nz/shop/alexoandco
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Adventures-of-Alex-O-Co
http://adventuresofalexoandco.blogspot.com

02 July 2014

Got a Creative Blog Post to Share? Do it here! ...

Hello lovely crafty bloggers (and blog readers :-)).

We look forward to seeing your wonderful blog post links from wherever you live in the world!

We would love to hear about your recent  creative happenings and musings - link up your blog post below to share with our readers.   And please feel free to share our hop with your own readers too - let's share the handmade love!

Open for submissions from 2 July through to 10am 9 July - but readable always. You can view past Blog Hops here.



11 June 2014

Share and Read Creative Blog Posts Here!...

Hello lovely crafty bloggers (and blog readers :-)).

We look forward to seeing your wonderful blog post links from wherever you live in the world!

We would love to hear about your recent  creative happenings and musings - link up your blog post below to share with our readers.   And please feel free to share our hop with your own readers too - let's share the handmade love!

Open for submissions from 11 June through to 10am 19 June - but readable always. You can view past Blog Hops here.