30 December 2010

Crafty Learning

Hi Everyone, hope you are enjoying your Christmas/New Year break – a great time to recharge your creative batteries and reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re going to :).

Learning a new technique or a whole new crafty medium can be like opening the curtains to a fantastic eye-opening view full of possibilities and promise – whether it be a ‘making day’ spent with a friend playing with ideas and different mediums, a community education night class, a weekend workshop, or even a retreat.

Next month, I am looking forward to attending one such event…. the ‘Summer Silver Retreat’ in Haumoana, Hawkes Bay. Two renowned New Zealand Jewellery Artists – Charmayne Dobbs and NZHMs’ own Ingrid Schloemer are offering a weekend dedicated to Jewellery Making with Silver and I can’t wait to expand my jewellery technique skill set.
I’m very excited to be given the opportunity to learn traditional Silversmithing and expand on a day class I attended earlier this year using Precious Metal Clay. The possibilities I imagine with these new ideas/techniques have me bouncing in my chair with anticipation!

Time for you to share - what are your creative plans/wishes for the coming year?

If you are interested in attending the Summer Silver Retreat too there may be a couple of spaces left… 15/16 January, $275 includes tuition, use of tools, firing service, material: 10g silver plate + wire (value $15), 2x 7g “Art Clay” Silver+ 2 cubic zirkonias (value $60), BBQ dinner on Saturday night, drinks and nibbles throughout the weekend. Accommodation not included but can be arranged close by or camp on the ground! Enquiries and bookings: 027-4909919, charmaynedobbs at slingshot.co.nz or Ingrid (Silverworks) 022-0116645, arcadia.nz at mac.com , or check out this link to Silverschool.
Post by Mel ( Wildflower Designs )

21 December 2010

Season Greetings to One and All

The year is winding down, the sun is turning on its heat
Most of us have Christmas trees in our lounges
What a year it has been.
We have been without exception driven individuals.
We are committed, passionate, and motivated to create, to express through our art our unique way of seeing.
This has not been without encountering obstacles, defeats and disappointments 
But we all kept working on our art
We are all disciplined 
I have seen this in the quality of our creations
The quality of our New Zealand Handmade friends crafts
It takes courage to begin this artistic journey 
We are all well on our way
I hope you have enjoyed being apart of the New Zealand Handmade journey
From all the team at New Zealand Handmade we wish you a very Merry Christmas

Marie from  Softearth's World

20 December 2010

On My Wish List ...

 hipstamatic app - koboto glitter
When I was a child I had a fierce imagination, I would screw my face up tight and cross my fingers and wish hard for faeries to appear, magic to happen and life to be the most amazing story. I had a wish tree where I would hang my wishes and wait for them to come true. (and sometimes they did, especially around Christmas time!) For this Christmas, my wish tree has hanging on it ...
  • space to create my business plan for 2011
  • find a studio to work from
  • finish writing/designing two workshops
  • the release from suffering for all those suffering
  • to learn to dance the tango
  • travel to Bhutan with the buddhist monk I sponsor
  • get on a bike and do some of the amazing tracks in NZ
  • read the stack of books piled around the house, including "Creative Habits" by Twyla Tharp
Whats on your wish list for 2011? Carol

16 December 2010

A Conversation with Jo Pearson

Retro, re-purposed, recycled and passionate is how I would describe Jo and her handmade craft. One of the driving forces behind the successful Hawkes Bay Craft Jam she lives and breathes art and craft. Mind you, I am sure she may be breathing in rest and relaxation after the amazing job she and business partner Jess did birthing this new event into the Hawkes Bay. Jo says she has the best of all worlds, because she teaches art at the local high school and gets to create handmade pieces in the spaces between. I enjoyed meeting with a woman whose love for what she does transfuses each handmade piece. Her appropriation of retro/old iconic New Zealand themes and their transformation into modern day heirlooms are pieces worth collecting. Lets meet Jo ...  Carol 

Who is {your name}?
Jo "Phylis Perfect" Pearson

What’s your “handmade groove ?”
Re-purposed treasures and layers of texture and colour, media neutral - could be objects, paper, fabric or whatever


What’s on your bedside table right now? (hey, no tidying up or  censoring)
Nurofen and a glass of water

Who are your creative role models? What music, books, images,  poetry spark your creative fire?
Nana Perfect  who pinned teatowels on the wall and smelled like ripe fruit. Nana Vera  Esmae who knitted my school jerseys, sewed my school uniforms and watched  the neighbours through the ventians.I choose most books by their cover, preferring not to judge them by what's on the inside.  Libraries confuse me. I like picture books.

What could you talk late into the night about with like minded people?
Devils on horse back

If you could go to three free workshops/creative events this year which ones would they be? What are they about?
I would like to relearn how to draft patterns.
Cake decorating would be fun
And something run by Rosemary McLeod

How do you balance your creative life with your family, life commitments?

What is your favourite creative screw-up?
Cooking is generally a creative screw up for me, which is ironic as, for a living, I teach children how to cook.

Kitchen table or studio?
Studio - you obviously haven't seen the size of my kitchen table. And thanks for asking as I've just turned my master bedroom into a studio and moved myself into the box room out the back - no heating, single light bulb, mattress on the floor, small barred window - you get the picture.

Do you have a wish list? Can you tell us what’s on  it?
I wish Fruit Bowl Craft Jam is a huge success in the Opera House Plaza on 4 and 5 Dec.
And I wish my mother had named me something other than Jo-anne, but it's grown on me.
I wish my lawn would mow itself, it's also growing on me!
And I wish I had a nice big studio in town so I could move back into my bedroom!

You can find Jo at her blog

14 December 2010

easing back into art...

(photo taken with new iphone)

I have just started making art again after a two and a half month break... I can't tell you how good it feels to get my hands messy again.  I usually have to ease into this process, do something I know, something that comes easy, then the ideas start to flow...

How do you get back into your craft after a long break?

12 December 2010

Christmas Ornament Swap

I had the best fun making my Christmas Ornament. I found a fab tutorial and followed it - creating what I think - and so does my 18 year old daughter - is a very cool ornament. I have now been told to " Make a heap more for our tree Mum!" I can't say more though until I know it has arrived safely. However pictured above is the gorgeous wreath I received from my swap buddy Chavah. I feel very lucky!

Anyway I hope you all had as much fun as I did.

I have set up a flickr group so that you can load the pics into it. Thanks to everyone whop has let me have pics for this post as well. I know there are a few ornaments that are still winging their way to new homes. Please be patient. Apparently the overseas mail has come to almost a halt in the UK and the US is not a lot better.

I decided to only post pics here of received gifts so as not to spoil the surprise for anyone.

Don't forget to load up the flickr album so we can see more of the lovely creations!

Hope you all enjoyed the swap
Merry Christmas


09 December 2010

A Conversation with Brenda from Natural Star ...

Oh, such deliciousness wrapped in beautiful colours and merino. I am converted to thinking that having a baby dressed in such love would be all I could ask for Christmas. Have you managed to find anything for the littlies in your life yet? Start here, I guarantee you will find something to make your heart sing with so many pretty things all in a row ... and the creative woman behind it all? Lets meet her, is Brenda ... Carol

Who is  {Natural Star}?  
Natural Star consists of me (Brenda) and a team of  dedicated knitters from around New Zealand to help out when needed for  wholesale orders.  I design and handknit classical, timeless, vintage  inspired merino handknits.  Sizing ranges from newborn to  children.

What’s your  “handmade groove ?”  
Merino wool, whether it be pure or organic.  I  cannot figure out if I am obsessed by it or addicted to it.  I love to  create for the little special people.  I also love to dabble in lots of  other crafts when I have the time.

What’s  on your bedside table right now? (hey, no tidying up or censoring)
Book -  Eyes of the Tailless Animals (Prison Memoirs of a North Korean Woman).  A  few bits and pieces of craft supplies that have arrived in the post  recently.

Who are your creative role models? What music, books, images, poetry spark your creative  fire? 
I love vintage patterns (knitting or sewing) - I collect  them.  My children - expecially Emma, she is very creative with her ideas  and a wonderful critic.  Colours play a huge part in my ideas, I  see clothes or images and start to visualise what would look great  created with certain colours in them.

What could you talk late into the  night about with like minded people? 
Knitting and most handcrafts.   I also have a son with ASD. so I am pretty passionate about that and in  educating people about the disorder.  I figure that the more people know,  the more they understand the condition.  Parenting.

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 further my crochet  skills.  A business accounting workshop.  This year I am hoping to  find and join a local knitting group.

How do  you balance your creative life with your family, life commitments?  
With  a lot of time management for the business.  I work outside the home from  9am-3pm weekdays and try to keep weekends to family time only.  Most of  the business computer work is done in the afternoon when I get home.   Luckily I can watch TV and knit at the same time.  The designing is  usually something I do during school holidays.

What is your favourite creative  screw-up?  
My screw-ups are usually unpicked and turned into something  else.

Kitchen table or studio? 
My wonderful husband turned the room attached to the  garage into an office, studio come storage space which I share with him and his recording gear.  I am sure this is so that I don't overtake the  lounge and all storage spaces in the house. I mainly knit while  watching TV on my comfy sofa, all other bits are mostly done at the dining room table.

Do you have a wish list? Can you tell us whats on it? 
I would love to have a really good matching, colour co-ordinated storage system with everything clearly labelled for my office!  A trip to Italy. To do a photography course on how to use my camera properly. 

Click Natural Star to be transported to the website ... happy browsing

08 December 2010

Fruit Bowl Craft Jam.. The Pictures

Here are some pics featuring New Zealand Handmaders from the fabulous Fruit Bowl Craft Jam held 4-5 December at the Hawkes Bay Opera House ...amazing event, great fun :)....

View to the right

Sleep and Her Sisters (Katherine)

view to the left

Silverworks (Ingrid)

Sticky Tiki (Kim)

Erin Carver

Kazzalblue (Joy)

Soft Earth Art (Marie)

Wildflower Designs (Mel)

05 December 2010

Shades of New Zealand, in Blue and Green

As Marie shared in her post last week, many of the members and friends of New Zealand Handmade have online shops at Etsy. I was inspired to put together an Etsy Treasury (a user curated collection of items for sale on Etsy) featuring some of our work. Click the picture to visit the treasury and to get a better look at the individual pieces.

Kya of Clutch Creations

01 December 2010

Fruit Bowl Craft Jam

Oh my goodness I am so excited about this weekend's Fruit Bowl Craft Jam which is to be held at the Hawkes Bay Opera House (in the plaza) 12-5pm each day. Just check out what Jess and Jo (the wonderful organisers) have as the vision for FBCJ....

"Original handcrafted designs that express character, a different opinion, a new skew; crafts that bring style and exceptional quality; micro-enterprise, in the felt.co.nz and etsy-loop, inspired and inspirational.

We want to bring together talented artists, designers, stylists, craftspeople all at one central destination. This event will connect the makers of beautiful things to the people who appreciate them, hunger for them, get a thrill from left-of-centre, are nourished by nana-craft juxtaposed against the cutting-edge.Local and visiting makers selling their own stuff. Sharing the stories behind the items. Selling their work - because crafters who can make a shilling from their work will be inspired to keep trudging along the road of creativity, and that makes for a better world, doesn’t it?"

Here's just a sample of what you're in for people...

Come along, do your Christmas Shopping, buy a treat for yourself and say hi to NZHM members .. Sleep & Her Sisters (Katherine) , Erin Carver, Wildflower Designs (Mel), Kazzalblue (Joy), Jo Pearson, Soft Earth Art (Marie), Sticky Tiki (Kim) and Silverworks (Ingrid). Lucy from Felt will also be in attendance.
See you there!