Sunday, July 31, 2011

Where does your craftiness come from?

I'm curious, you other crafty people out there, whether you had a crafty influence in your life from a parent or grandparent, or other important person in your life?

My mother is a machinist, and growing up she would make all our clothes and costumes, bedding, cushions, etc. She also knits, crochets and embroiders, so all around her house (and ours) and in our drawers, are all manner of special things she has made over the years. In recent years she has added quilting to her repotoire, so all our beds are adorned with gorgeous handmade quilts.

She has always had a craft room, and as well as being allowed to play in her room as a child, I remember many hours spent visiting fabric shops and staring up in awe at endless canisters of buttons. Mum used to spend forever pouring over the pattern books, which we found SO boring, so we would hide amongst all the bolts of fabric, and drape ourselves with the prettiest fabrics.

The sewing gene has pretty much passed me by, but I do wonder if my creativity and love of paper and designs, patterns and colours has come from my many hours spent watching Mum be creative.

Once as a kid, I guess I was about 7 or 8, I complained to Dad of not feeling well and he thought I was just trying to get the day off school and shipped me off. A trip to the doctors later that day revealed tonsilitis, and such was dads guilt that he bought me home a blue stationery set with seagulls on it to say sorry for not believing me. I loved it because it was BLUE and had BIRDS on it. Up until then most of my experience with paper was of the plain white, ruled variety. From there I started writing letters to my Nanna and I got a few penpals as well, and my love of stationery blossomed.

Some days I used to go with Dad to his office on the weekends. He would unlock the door to the stationery room for me, and I would lose myself for the entire day sifting through the pads and reams of paper, boxes of pens and paper-clips and erasers. He would go away on business trips to Wellington, and bring us back lollies from the plane, and he would always choose me something from the bookshop at the airport, a writing pad or a pen or some other trinket.

Therefore, I now feel that it is my job as a parent to let my kids indulge in crafts as well and hopefully grow a love for creativity of their own. My girls are only small, so for now I prefer to leave the messy painting and stuff for kindy. But I do have a few jars of buttons on my shelf, which they joyfully spread out on the floor and arrange into piles and patterns. They love to sit down with me with their own special pens and do drawings and make cards for people. We have scrapbooks that we work on together, and their Nanna buys them things like pipe-cleaners and pompoms and coloured ice-cream sticks to add to their craft collection.

As I mentioned in my last post, my oldest daughter turned 4 this week, and she and one of her little friends (who had his birthday the same day) had a joint birthday party yesterday with a Neverland theme. My girls went as Tinkerbell fairies and Mum made their costumes, even down to the t-shirts and the garlands for their hair. My contribution was the birthday cake, which I must say was very yummy and a big hit. Aren't we clever??!




(this one would not wear her garland! Or her shoes, but that is another story)







Amongst her presents she received at the party were a make-your-own-doll kit, a make-your-own-picture-frame kit, a make-your-own beading kit and an activity backpack. I see that my friends have all got the same idea as me, and we shall have much fun making stuff together!

So, do you have a similar story to tell, of growing up with crafts? Please leave a comment and let me know!

Also, I am working on Fathers Day cards at the moment, there are only 5 weeks to go, so don't forget to show your dad you love him, and head on over to Tiny Kiwi on Facebook to check out the gift card album.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Finding Time to 'Make'!

Between my three children (the eldest of whom turns four tomorrow. Four!) and the mess and dirty washing they create, their need to be fed several times a day, the ongoing entertainment, as well as catering to their every whim, you can imagine that I don't get a lot of time for crafting. Even as I type this, there is a gorgeous wee 8-month old treasure gurlging at my feet and tugging at the ends of my dressing gown (yes, thats right, 10:13am and I am still in my pj's - its very cold, okay!!) and I can hear the chaotic sounds of a 2 and 3 year old jumping on their beds and pulling toys out of the toyboxes and throwing them around their bedroom with reckless abandon.

However, when the silence descends at about 7pm each night, after the dirty dishes have been put away, when the toys have been put in their rightful places (AGAIN) and the familiar opening notes of Shortland Street begin, thats when its time for me to surround myself with papers, cutters, inks and punches. Most nights I make cards, but when I have an order for a tee or onesie, I get out the fabric, sewing machine, iron and buttons. I'm knitting at the moment too. There are only a few hours each night in which to create, and I usually find myself staying up far too late, in order to make the pleasure of 'making' last just a little bit longer. Or, perhaps just to finish the job I'm working on and keep another customer happy.

This month I had my first table at a craft market, and though it wasn't the overwhelming success I had hoped it would be, it has given me lots of new ideas and inspiration. Next month will be epic. I'm brimming with ideas, but finding the time to bring these ideas to fruition is proving a challenge. But watch this space, I have plenty of ideas for cool 'stuff' coming your way soon.

Monster Birthday Invitations; These are the front side, the back will have the party details, and they measure about 5x7" (slightly bigger than a standard gift card):




My decorated Onesie's and Tee's. These garments are all proudly New Zealand made and are made to order (tailor made with your choice of design, colour and size).





Tiny Kiwi at the Titirangi Mums Craft Market in July. We will be at the next market on August 13th as well.



But for now, I need to go and get dressed! 8 and a bit hours to go until I can craft!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Going well!

Things are off to a great start! Thanks to a great following on my Facebook page (Tiny Kiwi) I have got quite a few custom orders rolling in, as well as orders from the stock that I have for sale. I'm busy trying to grow the stockpile at the moment, am managing to make a few cards each night after my kids have gone to bed. On the days that they don't have naps, bedtime is nice and early so I can get a bit more done!

TradeMe is proving pricey and fruitless, so most business is being done on Facebook at the moment, but I'm hoping to expand into a local Craft Market in the near future.

Meantimes, here are some new photos to share:
















All of these cards are for sale now. Happy shopping!