Monday, August 30, 2010

in and out of days...

I have been flying lately, flying at full speed in and out of days and weeks. Goggles at the ready, propeller whirling like mad, raising my hand for anything that's on offer, forcing this year to its end.

But I need the world to be still for a little while, for just a moment so I can catch my breath... I don't think I am ready for the last year of my thirties, not just yet.

Friday, August 27, 2010

three, two, one...

I think I have just about over booked myself, I have three craft markets, two online courses and one exhibition coming up... and all before Christmas.  But then I think to myself 'what would I rather be doing'... and the truth is, there is nothing I would rather be doing, well maybe apart from a little more travel (someone I work with is off to Italy and then Turkey tomorrow and I am rather jealous).

So many things to think about and organise... especially with the craft markets.  It can be a daunting task agonising over what to bring, how much stock to take and whether you have everything organised. 

So I have made a list of the things I will be taking to my next craft market...

Your products 
How much to bring along is a hard question... from experience, it is way better to take along too much then to have not enough.  So over do this part of the preparation, you can store your extra products under the table and bring them out as you need them.  If you don't sell out you have a head start on your next craft market.


I would make sure that everything is labeled and priced the night before
Table and chairs if they are not suppliedSignage or banner
Displays for your products ie: shelves, easels, baskets, mannequins, mirror for customers etc...
Table cloth or sheet to cover your table
Extra price tags
Bags, paper, bubble wrap, tissue, boxes for sold items

Vase and flowers

Business cards
Catalogue or flyers with information about yourself (people like to know this stuff)
A newsletter/mailing list on a clipboard for people to sign up to if they wish
Maybe a copy of your latest newsletter so they can see what they are signing up for

Notebook to record sales, take custom orders, etc...


Receipt book (some people might need one)
Cash box
Change (I usually take  $120 which is made up with  1 x $20... 4 x $10... 7 x $5... 5 x $2... 5 x $1)

Extra stuff
Needle and thread
Safety pins

Craft knife
Push pins

Ruler/tape measure
Baby wipes
Rubbish bag
Mobile phone
Extra paper

Inventory list with prices

For Yourself

Dress in layers
Comfy shoes
Pain relievers/small first aid kit

If you are able, wear your items
A friend to help out
A smile

I am lucky because my actual products don't take up more room then your average file box, but with the rest of the things on this list I usually pack them into a big plastic storage box with wheels.  And I try to pack all of this in the car the night before to give me a little more time in the morning to tell myself that it will all be ok.

Monday, August 23, 2010

my mum...

I have the best mum in the world and in space (when Hannah was younger she made my mum a card that said she was the best grandma in the world and in space, it has now become a regular term of endearment in our family) and for as long as I can remember my mum has spun and knitted... when I was obsessed with all things American in my mid teens she knitted me an American flag jumper, leg warmers in the 80's... etc, and  has knitted both of my children all the jerseys, slippers, scarfs, hats, and beanies etc... they could ever need.  Everyone in our family is always cosy for winter. 

 (Batman Ben wearing an alpaca beanie)

She has sourced all the fleece from around New Zealand and spins it herself on her Majacraft spinning wheel.   She knits at the speed of light and can whip up a pair of slippers in a night... just like that!  (sadly, this is a skill I did not inherit, a scarf is my limit... in time for the following winter).

This weekend she decided to open a Felt shop (New Zealand equivalent to Etsy).  She will start by selling her slippers in 4 different natural wool colours (size 6 months to 18 months) and 2 colours in super soft alpaca especially for new born to 6 months.   Both of my children have grown up wearing these slippers and they are the only ones that have stayed on their feet!

(Ben wearing some of his snugly slippers)

So if you have a little one in your life that needs some practical, snugly, hard wearing slippers take a look at my mum's shop on Felt... you will be pleased you did.

Friday, August 20, 2010

everyday things...

I just love these, they are my most favourite lead pencil to use... I love them.

Now there are several barrel sharpeners that I like to use but this one has a sharpener for lead, one for coloured pencil and another one for larger pencils... which I find useful for chalk pastel pencils as the smaller holes seem to crumble the pastel tip.... and it matches my most favourite pencil in the world.

I have never found a better eraser, I have used some that smudge the lead when I rub out a pencil mark on paint, but not this one... and because of the protective sleeve they stay clean.

 These are the coloured pencils I use to draw the faces on my girls and to do shading on their dresses and colouring up the edegs of my paintings.  Because the are water colour pencils it is a good option to add water if you need to.

There are so many things you can do with these crayons, very versatile... and so many great colours too. They really spread really well when you add water so you don't need to use too much.

There are far too many to list... I love them all.

This is the juiciest white pen I have ever used... I use it for dabbing the sparkle dot in my girls eyes, adding spots to hats and dresses and any other little details.

These are so much fun to use with the applicator tool, adding colour to my girls faces, it is like I am their make up artist.  The light blue colour in the middle is my most favourite colour in this set.

Filbert brushes

You can paint anything with these brushes, they have slightly rounded edges which make them good for blending.  You can get these at any art supplies shop.

My most favourite scissors... the little pair of scissors I use to cut out faces and other small bits and pieces and the large pair I use to cut out... big stuff.

This is my favourite varnish... I have tried many different ones and this seems to really enhance whats underneath.

I have just started using this and I am really liking what it does over the paint... it gives an encaustic look.

I have several of these that are permanent residence on my kitchen table, couldn't live without them.

Well that is pretty much the tools I use everyday... what do you use everyday?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

how do I get there from here...

(a little bit of extra help from a wee propeller)

I have been thinking about where I want to go from here... do I want to carry on the way I am going and see what happens...  Or do I want more?  and if I want more, which I think I might, what more do I want and how do I get there from here?

Now this reminds me of a time once when I was stopped by a couple of tourists wanting to know how to get to another street from where we were... I said to them shaking my head in a very serious voice "Well you can't actually get there from here".  They both had startled looks on their faces... I told them "I was just kidding" and gave them directions to where they wanted to go.

It was after this that I realised that technically I can actually go anywhere from here.  I just have to decide where it is that I want to go... and then make a plan, map out a route, pack a few essentials, maybe ask for a few directions (but not from Katherine Quinn), step over  barriers, smash down those brick walls and pick up a few people along the way... 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

scaring David...

This has been making Ben very happy lately... thinking of ways to scare my brother (David).  Especially just before bed.  He says he's going to dream of new ideas to scare him while he sleeps... then in the morning I hear all about these new plans on the way to school.   
(Do you see his little Treasure Protector beside his bed? Marie)

It all started one day when I told him a story of how I scared David in the swimming pool when we were kids.  Ben thought it was hysterical and ever since has been making plans for the next time he sees my poor brother.

You will have to excuse the bad light quality, it was bed time.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

75mm diameter...

I haven't done a piece of work especially for myself for a while now...  So the other day I bought three cute, round frames and thought over the weekend I would take a bit of time out to draw, paint, collage something for them. 

It was fun working in this small round format, quick and easy to fill the space... so now I am thinking I might have to go back and get some more of these frames.  I will redo the eyes though, they look a little odd.

And when I get sick of these little paintings I can take them out and try something new.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Artist 2 Artist...

I was asked to by Danielle Donaldson from Scrap Artist to be the August inspiration for their Artist 2 Artist project.   Here is what they said about me... wow!

 What a special Artist-to-Artist we have for you! I think it’s our most inspired ever! Katherine Quinn of Sleep and her Sisters is our Muse this month and what an incredible artist she is! Katherine’s gorgeous paintings of women, clad in rich patterns with expressive faces have such inspirational sayings as "Keep them in your Heart". These women sure did tug at our heart strings! Add in the beautiful and richly painted textured backdrops and you will see what all the fuss is about! Katherine has inspired us this month to get in touch with our own inner-artistes and I think we’ve create something truly special for you! You can check it all out in our August Artist 2 Artist shop!

Below are just a few of the amazing pages and elements these very creative people have come up with.  It is so interesting and wonderful to see how other people have interpreted what I do into their own style and imagery.  I am just loving the background papers... they are just so me!

Christine Honsinger
Paula Kesselring

Laurie Ann
Nancie Rowe Janitz

 Wish bliss studio

And here are a couple of the gorgeous projects that have been created with these wonderful products.  I have actually bought a few of these papers myself so look out for some new work created with paper inspired by Katherine Quinn.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

number 21 out of 30...

 (the bottle of wine with my label and the catalogue)
(above is Kelly Rae's block print and a giveaway I won from Beth)

 Well... I went to the wine box art auction with Ben on Friday night, it was a first for both of us.  I must say I have never had a more embarrassing or exciting night in quite a while.   My wine box was number 21 out of 30, so we had a bit of a wait for mine to come up.

When it was my turn the auctioneer not only called my name out but she said she wanted me to come up the front (I was hiding down the back) I was furiously shaking my head, NO NO NO ... but then Ben started dragging me up with a tight hold of my fingers.  I was mortified!  When we got there she asked if I wanted to say a few words about the creation of my wine box, I said 'AHHH NO'... then she asked Ben and he started answering her questions about me. As soon as he finished we scurried away and the auction started... so embarrassing!!!

I cannot quite believe it but my wine box went for $790!!!  a little bit exciting...