Friday, November 27, 2009

Lucky Penny December!

So, so soon! I'm really looking forward to the next Lucky Penny- the last one for 2009 can you believe?! Catch you there!
Also on this weekend in wholesome organic Grey Lynn (aka. the neighbourhood) is the Grey Lynn Park Festival, which I am told has great markets, music and a relaxed atmosphere. 9am-6pm Saturday 28th November, Grey Lynn Park, Auckland.
And the November Kraftbomb is on for those needing a cupcake fix, kooky/pretty/crazy crafty things and a chance to do some Christmas shopping! Thats on Sunday 29th November 11am-2pm Grey Lynn Community Centre. Yay!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

a good excuse...

I have finally found a good excuse to use up my hoard of felt... a Christmas ornament swap! Yay! I signed up today and can't wait to get started. But be quick.. head over to Twenty Cent Mixture and sign up pronto as applications close on Friday 6th November.

Meanwhile... Lucky Penny was good last night- catch the full report here.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Lucky Penny November!

Wow, its very nearly November! And that means on the first Tuesday of the month its Lucky Penny Day! Lucky Penny is a monthly craft-friendly social event run by the lovely Heleen (Ruby in the Dust) and me! The next event is on the 3rd November, 7.30pm onwards at mezze Bar, Durham Lane in Auckland. There you go, just like the poster above.

catch you there!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Couldn't resist taking a snapshot of these cookies, fresh from the oven! Recipe found here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

horse parade two

I just love taking pictures of my niece's many, many horses. Sometimes they are in a perfect arrangement.
Also: Kraftbomb is on this weekend! Sunday 27th September in the Grey Lynn Community Centre- yay!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

traditional and monograms

So, I’ve hinted at this for a while, and just had to wait a little before I could blog about it. For a few months I have been chipping (ok. embroidering) away at a set of super-matchy-same-initials- monogrammed pillowslips for my sister and her husband as a luxe wedding gift...

Never having worked in a traditional manner before, I found it a bit of a challenge… you have to be careful when you work light-on-white (white-on-white was just a little too scary). The piece was worked with a design traced onto it with a water-based disappearing marker, then the outlines were backstitched on, then finished off with a whip-stitch, which really polished off the look! Part of the effort involved was keeping away bits of fluff and fibres which would get caught into the stitch-work. Particularly difficult when working in the presence of a very fluffy black cat…!

I was able to take a few pictures upon completion. I really love the crumpled up-look of the just-washed-pillowslips, particularly as they catch the morning light.

Once I had ironed them- starch spray is your best friend when working with good quality cotton. I folded them into a box, tied a bow, then added a gorgeous Rob Ryan card.

Monday, August 31, 2009

thank you

Just a little note... Thank you to all the people who have brought violet&may over the last year of craft-fairs (especially Kraftbomb). I'm going to take a little holiday from 'commercial crafting' (as I like to call it) for a while.

But don't fret! I will still be making things! At the moment I have a handful of projects on the go-go so I will try and try to post them as I finish them :)

Also, soon soon (tomorrow) is Lucky Penny Crafty Club! Please come along to Mezze bar (I will point out that we will be sitting at the couches at the back of the bar.

p.s. please approach knitting socks with extreme caution. More about that later.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

the design inspiration rant (please bear with me)

Ok, so this will be yet another post without pictures, but that is what tends to happen when you own an archaic computer, and don't have the 'take your camera everywhere philosophy'. But I'm not going to post about my own work this time round. I'm going to talk about some design inspiration, simply beause thats what I'm looking for. I'm in two minds about those 'inspiration blogs', you know by people who are A. Well connected "my friend is a designer..."; and B. Seem have good taste in everything. Sometimes after a while they just seem to be a bit same-y, especially if you go through stages of reading lots of them. You might not like me saying that... But in the end it can take a little more now to impress or inspire me thats all.

So today I took a bit a backtrack to to 2005 when I did a couple of weeks fashion student-y internship (thats right- internship usually means handsewing) at Akira in Sydney. Akira is this Japanese designer based in Sydney who has been in my favourite books since, I'm guessing (gasp!) the late '90's. Lots of textile work and quite a distinctive silhouette. I remember a cloud print fabric that was in shades of golden yellow and purple, and somehow that translated into my line-y clouds that tend to pop up everywhere. Going overseas for what was essentially a uni assignment was quite a good idea in my books- I got to know a different city, and meet some new people. I left with a good dose of inspiration, yet when I checked out the website for the first time in a long long while, I found that the same sense of inspiration is still there. My graduate range was very Japanese inspired, but not necessarily in a beautiful, fragile way. A sense of softness and fragility is what I'm wanting to pursue more in my creative work, like embroidery on fine fabric and muted colours. I like the craft world and its community-mindedness, but sometimes I just want to create something that is beautiful, not necessarily kooky and crafty. I understand that what is considered 'beautiful' is incredibly subjective and not worth arguing about. All I would like to do now is get back into that creative frame of mind again. And perhaps make some beautiful clothes.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

making up the rules

A couple of days ago, Heleen and I hosted the first Lucky Penny Crafty Club. It was great to be able to host a gathering of crafters (or so to speak). It is nice to make up the rules (ok there arent any rules, but I just like saying that).

I'm in a little bit of project overload, so I've decided to list, just for the sake of listing:
  • Bridesmaid dress x1- my sister is getting married soon, and I'm a bridesmaid. For lack of anything suitable to wear, I've decided to make a dress. Simple and stylish is all that is needed.
  • Gift for aforementioned wedding- a gift that will have to be kept a secret at the moment. But when complete (and post wedding) I shall show you.
  • Borders on the blanket- my endless project, a luxe yet homespun looking (bed-size, not knee-size) patchy blanket; presently on hold as my wool supply has run out.
  • The new jewellery project- thankfully I can only work on this in class time. I'm making a hair-comb with a large turquoise stone set into it. Very mermaid-y.
  • The scarf from bad wool- a multicoloured scarf from a kind of yucky acrylic wool. Knitting for the sake of knitting...
  • Additional extras- a barely started painting, new things for craft fairs, and I've been wanting to make a matryoscka doll softie (but think I will leave that for Lucky Penny time)

...Is that all???

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

introducing... the Lucky Penny Crafty Club!

It has been a little long in the planning, lots of emails, phonecalls and checking out venues, but the Lucky Penny Crafty Club is here! The lovely Heleen from ruby in the dust and I have created a crafter's night held at the cozy Mezze Bar in Auckland Central. Feel free to bring you craft-of-the-moment into town to hang out with other like-minded crafty types. We are busy setting up a blog, which is a little work in progress-y at the moment, but hope to include updates on events and happenings in Auckland craft-land.
The first Lucky Penny will be held on the 4th August from 7.30pm, so I hope to see you there! All for coffee,cake and craft I say!

Monday, June 15, 2009


One day I spotted this parade of horses on my niece's table... I especially like the rebellious (or confused)horse facing the wrong way. I do have many things to post about, but not today. And I expect time to slip so far by that it is almost not worth posting about...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009


Do you? It would be a lovely thing to dream of…

This is a little smidgen of the embroidery I’m creating for my niece which is my current crafting obsession... I told you all that new thread would help!

Monday, March 23, 2009

simplicity and complexity

You can say that humble things are beautiful- especially when photographed well! Somehow my work is never quite like that- I can often get over indulgent and carried away with the design process… especially when making jewellery. I have been longing to show two very different pieces on this blog- a brooch that I made for my mother and a necklace which I had made for my sister.

Complex. I love art-deco. You may recall this piece from this drawing from an earlier post. I was trying to push myself with learning new skills which made for a challenging piece. I added lapis lazuli for a jolt of colour, and enamel for its glass-like effect.

Simple. With a deadline and a need for a break from complex pieces, I chose to make a simple necklace for my sister’s birthday. I took the time however, to consider how you can make a simple cut-out shape more intriguing. Lovely. I’m now re-using the shape (same-same but different) for a necklace for myself, which I will show you in time.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I love new embroidery thread. Yuh-huh. And until now I’ve never taken the opportunity to take photos as I collect them. There is something quite sumptuous about embroidery thread- I just love the colour. Hopefully this newness will add inspiration and variety to my embroidery…

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009


Still in 'catch up' mode, here are some pictures of a softie that I have been itching to show you since about December.  I normally don't make softies, you see.  But with my little niece's 4th birthday coming up (ok- been and gone now!) this was a perfect excuse to try something new... and as this little girl thinks that little piggies are very cute, Piggilina (as I called her) was born.  

I was trying the 'quirky' soft toy think, but somhow it ended up having an Auntie spin to it.  I especially like the bow on her tail!  This softie was a hit with Miss G :)  Who knows- I could make more softies in the future!

Friday, February 6, 2009

new year, new sewing

I think that there has been a bit of a delayed response with my blogging this year (so far).  It kind of goes like this.. do some craft/sewing/see something inspiring. Think about blogging about it.  Then watch the time slip by... 

So now I am seizing the moment, and finally blogging about something (if only about a week too late!)  I had been hoarding some luscious Liberty 'Mim' fabric for some time, and have finally turned it into something worthwhile: version 3.0 of the 'ever versatile top'- this time a ray of sunshine!  This time I had accessorised with some very cute little cross-stitch buttons from the lovely Heleen at Ruby In The Dust- which I had purchased at a craft fair earlier and just happened to be a perfect match colour-wise!