Archive for January, 2011

January 31, 2011

The Stash-Busting Challenge

Hello! Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend.

I managed to spend a couple of quiet hours tidying up the Design Crafty Studio yesterday – which was very satisfying and a bit of an eye-opener. It seems I have been hoarding away far too much stuff for ‘future projects’. Hmm, how did that happen??


 After feeling quite guilty about the sheer amount of stuff tucked away around the room, then getting quite excited about all the things I’d like to make, and finally a bit panicky about how to make time to get around to everything,  I sat down with a nice cuppa and came up with the following plan….

And here it is…..

For the rest of this year I pledge to…..

1.  …substantially reduce my stash of fabrics, buttons, notions, yarn, paper etc, etc. I will actually get on with realising some of those projects in my head and think of some new ones too.

2.  ….not to add to the stash – I will keep away from Spotlight, online supply stores, the yarn store and the haberdasher so as not buy new craft materials (apart from the odd absolute necessary things like sewing thread, zips and interfacing – which I will first try to get at op-shops or by doing swaps. These totally necessary items will be used straight away for a planned project and will not lounge around for ages unused in baskets, boxes and bags.)

3. ……enjoy learning some new skills, revisiting old ones, broadening my crafty horizons and sharing my stash-busting endeavours on this page of the blog.

So there it is in black and white. I trust you to hold me to it.  Thank you: I feel so much better now!

January 27, 2011

Pink Patchwork Kiss Lock Purse

Cut into a bit more of my pink cheater fabric again and learnt to make something new this week.

I followed brilliant PDF instructions and purchased the kiss lock purse frame from this lovely etsy seller.

This little one is making its way to a lovely relative on the other side of the world. She quite likes pink too!

Have a happy day.

January 25, 2011

Print Design Course Starting Again Soon

Have now set the course dates for the next

Design Crafty

‘Learn to Design your Own fabric’

short course.

Monday 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th Feb.

Each session is between 9.15am-12.15. Central Nelson, NZ

Email me if you’d like to join us – two spaces left!


Ps. I’m trying to get enough people together to run the same course on Wednesdays in Feb/March too so if that suits better, yell now.

January 21, 2011

Design Crafty Student Show ‘n’ Tell

Thank you for all your inquiries about the Print Design Course. I though I would share with you a little bit more about it.

In the first session we identify what each person wants to learn and what our inspiration is. We also work out how each person might like to use the fabric design. Lucky for us, Spoonflower print on so many beautiful fabric qualities, that we can start of dreaming of making a canvas bag, a silk scarf, a jersey dress for a little one, a cotton lawn top, skirts, purses, cushions…anything! Some students don’t sew, but just want to learn about the design process and have a piece of fabric they have designed.

We lay everything out that we bring to the first session and make a temporary inspiration board – to focus our ideas and to direct us in developing designs.

Then we explore how seamless repeats are created – just by drawing simple doodles, scanning them into the computer  – sometimes the repeats are made on the computer using my textile design software, other times we print out multiple copies of a drawing and stick them down on paper in a particular order. We also learn how to start making flowing, seamless repeats.

Next look at a some simple colour theory and learn to develop a colour palette from the inspiration board, working out main colours and accent colours and how they interact together. 

Then it’s time to get on with designing fabric. This bit is usually where we have to trial a few ideas before settling on a strong design to develop further. Artwork is scanned into the computer and then cleaned up, re-scaled,  put into repeat and colours are applied.

When designs are finalised, samples are ordered from Spoonflower. Any tweaks and further changes are made and then we can all say ‘yep, I designed that fabric!’

Here are examples of some of the work produced by students on the print course recently. Each with our own particular style and each one achieving a wonderful, personal textile design (or three!) in just four half day sessions plus a few exciting weeks waiting for the mail.


Clever SW made this skirt from her own fabric design yesterday and emailed me the photo – Yay! it looks so  great!


Thank you to MJ, PP, SW, MW, EB & RK for your kind permission to show your lovely work.

January 18, 2011

Small Sewing Project

The garden is getting a good shower today, so we are staying in. I’m very excited and a bit nervous to be cutting into my fabric and getting the sewing machine out.

I decided to make myself something small to go  into this beautiful new pink ‘kete’ – a birthday gift from my family – made by an amazing local flax weaver (will get her contact details). 

So its going to be a pink cellphone case using a lovely pattern by  Michelle at Keika Lou. I’ve used one of her patterns before and they are really good – she also has very helpful tips and tutorials on her blog if I get stuck.

Hope you have a creative happy day.

ps…(added later on after many distractions, cups of tea, a trip to the haberdashery shop, making lunch, checking on the kids etc).… I made two cell phone pouches in the end – one for me and one for a friend who has a birthday soon. It was fairly straight forward and I found some very lovely padded iron-on interfacing which really makes them feel so nice and gived them a bit of body. I’m not really very good at sewing straight lines or curves but never mind, I’m rather pleased anyway….

Design Crafty Keyka Lou Cell phone cases


January 16, 2011

Blue Evening Sky

 One of our neighbours keeps homing pigeons.  They come out everyday, circle around to excercise and are a wonder to watch.

Why don’t they just fly away? I guess they  must really feel at home here.

I do too.

It’s taken quite a few years of slightly nomadic living to realise that we can make anywhere our home as long as we feel settled in our hearts.

Hope you’ve had a very happy weekend and that Monday brings you something wonderful.

January 14, 2011

Want to Design your own Printed textiles this year?

Well you can!

If you’ve in or around Nelson, NZ – and you are free for a few mornings in February/March come along on the design course. I’m just planning the dates for this year, so email me soon if you are interested.

If you are not around these parts but want to get creative anyway, I can offer a design service to you instead. This is how it works: you email me a scan of some of your artwork/design idea plus suggestions for favourite colours and I send back  a  cleaned up and repeated design file (TIFF, JPEG,PGN)  so you can do what you wish with it – including ordering fabric from Spoonflower, printing it on paper, transfer paper etc from home or taking it down to your local photocopy shop to print for you. The possibilities are very exciting. For the next month the custom design service for 1 design costs NZ$50 (US$38.60). Contact me if you want to have a go! 

In the meantime you can see one previous student’s beautiful results here.

 Ka kite.

January 13, 2011


The lovely Melissa from tiny happy is the winner of the Design Crafty Christmas birthday giveaway post!

I’m really looking forward to working with M to develop a repeating textile design based on her beautiful artwork.

Have a lovely day everyone.

January 5, 2011


Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to seeing this year unfold. I hope you are too.

I usually have some New years resolutions in mind round about now – affirmative ones that I can actually stick to and gain something positive from. Last year’s went quite well, but this year I am going to be a bit carefree and try something else.

So I’ve been having a think, a little evaluation, a bit of mulling over what I’d like to enjoy,achieve, learn and do this year. Then headed over to wordle  for  little play. I am a very visual person; I’m not terribly good with words – but this was fun and the result is going to inspire me as we start the year again.