Thursday, 28 August, 2014

Get yourself sorted for Father’s Day

Dads are notoriously difficult to buy for, and many of us are often left scrambling at the last minute for something to make Dad’s day on Father’s Day.

So it’s a good thing Felt is here to save your bacon! With our Father’s Day Gift Guide, we’ve averted disaster and done the legwork for you, sorting out some great handmade goodies to spoil your dad with. We’re pretty proud of the selection we’ve put together and we think even the most difficult dads will be delighted with something (or several things!) from this collection of paternal pleasers.

We’ve organised the guide into our patented, scientific and extremely useful Felt categories (species?) of dads, to make things extra easy: designer dads, the head chef, the king of the castle and action man. We’ve also got an under $25 category for small but perfectly formed prezzies. You’re welcome.

Here are some top picks from our categories…

1. Designer Dad


This upcycled blanket iPad Mini cover from Plycandy is the perfect present for the trendy dad on the go (or perhaps the dad who’s a bit hard on his gadgets).

2. Head Chef


These gorgeous knife and utensil holders from BillDan will keep even the most demanding chef happy with their convenience and good looks.

3. King of the Castle


Ah, perfect relaxation. This lounger from CMC Design is the last word in comfort and style.

4. Action Man


Surf’s up! Whether your father can hang ten or simply owns a pair of jandals, these cool surfboard clocks from Wooden Kiwi, branded with Dad’s favourite beach, are just the thing for the surfer dad, past or present.

5. Gifts Under $25

Finally, we have a bunch of wee paternal treats and cards squirrelled away in this handy category, to suit any budget. The only hard part is choosing!

Make sure you check out the rest of our Father’s Day Gift Guide and get the good stuff for the dad(s) of your whanau in plenty of time – after all, 7 September really isn’t that far away!


Wednesday, 27 August, 2014

Fresh on Felt

Feels like spring is nearly here! We’re highlighting some lovely light and bright creations from our fresh new sellers this week, as well as treats for the youngsters – and young at heart.

designer decor and original art

missbear – bloomin’ gorgeous light shades and night lights
homestead – quality custom-embroidered cushions
tcp_designs – sassy hoop-art and design projects
adaydream – unique cross-stitched art on vintage paper

children’s clothing, accessories and toys

sewloulou – vintage inspired hair accessories, garlands and embroidered wall art
mindfulmama – sweet screen printed shirts for your little one
miribritain – children’s books made for small hands to enjoy
nzrock30 – bright and practical kids’ clothing


clothing, jewellery and accessories

silversci – science themed jewellery for extra cool people
sosparkly – lovely hand fused glass jewellery
blueblossom – handcrafted jewellery for all occasions with a floral theme
paperlilies – lovely lace dresses
loveithaveit – eye-catching, one-off jewellery pieces using upcycled materials
fran-germany – warm and comfortable stirrup legwarmers
fwg – beautiful bags for everyday and special occasions

gifts and goodies

mamoo-designs – cute paper-dress bunting garlands
haamiscraft – soy candles in a variety of upcycled containers



Monday, 25 August, 2014

Five ways to a great handmade Father’s Day

What would the dad(s) in your life do on their perfect day? We’ve come up with a crib-sheet of ideas to get you started planning your own handmade Father’s Day treats.

1. Breakfast in bed

It’s a great way to start the day and Dad’s going to love you for it.


2. Man shed time

Hanging out with his favourite assistant.


3. Maybe a brain teaser or two

…to pass the long afternoon.


4. And then, have a cold one!

The perfect thing after all that brain exercise.


5. …and some feet-up time

Gotta make sure there’s some time to relax after such a busy day, right? :-)


Wednesday, 20 August, 2014

We’ve had speed dating. Now? Speed crafting…

The Canterbury town of Woodend will be the place to be on 31 August for all makers who’d like to learn new skills, so mark it in your calendar, locals.

The Woodend Art and Craft Expo, supported by Creative Communities Waimakariri and Enterprise North Canterbury, offers a unique way to taste new crafts. For just $4 per class, or three classes for $10, you can experience a wide variety of crafts via “speedcraft”. In this quick-draw medley of classes, participants get to try out a craft for 30 minutes before moving on swiftly to try another. Who knows, you might just meet your perfect new pastime!

Classes include:

Jewellery Making – Make your own wire wrapped jewellery
Gingerbread Men Icing – Decorate a gingerbread man
Natural Cosmetics – Make chemical-free bath salts
Fabulous Felt and Fabric Flowers – Create beautiful flowers
Woollen Guardian Angels – Make lovely guardian angels
Woodcraft – See wood turning and have a go
Sugarcraft – Create your own decorative icing cupcake
Inkart – Learn how to paint unique ink designs
Peg Dolls – Make your own wooden peg doll
Needle Felting – Try your hand at needle felting
Card Making – Create your own handmade cards
Pottery – Create items with clay and view a pottery wheel
…and much more, including a children’s activity corner.

The Woodend Art and Craft Expo will be at the Woodend Community Centre on School Road, from 10.30am to 4pm on Sunday 31 August. Tickets are on sale now
from The Grub Hub Cafe, Main North Road, Woodend. More information here.


Fresh on Felt

We’re loving the range of craftsmanship in this week’s line up of fresh new sellers – make sure you pay all our newest talented makers a visit!

designer decor and original art

rudieverhoef – stunning furniture made from chemical free, locally sourced timbers
aselizaslept – trendy felt cross garlands
hammerandtongs – funky cushion covers

children’s clothing, accessories and toys

needleandnail – gorgeous wooden toys and dolls
sosogissy – sweet hand sewn items for children up to five
rufusandmoo – cute children’s clothing and bits and pieces
vintagemadge – lovely hand knitted children’s clothing and tea cosies
mumaviv – practical and cute bandana style bibs
teepeekids – something different to your kid’s wardrobe


clothing, jewellery and accessories

pjwallace – gorgeous, lightweight and soft felted scarves
imaginings – elegant ceramic jewellery
mystiquedawn – custom-stamped gemstone and special occasion jewellery
fondle – lovely crochet accessories to wear or give
ndjdesign – classic pieces of affordable jewellery

gifts and goodies

bythebeach – colourful dreamcatchers, bracelets and kits
huntingbears – hand printed cards and embroidered jewellery with New Zealand birds
rainbowbarn – lovely soy-wax candles in recycled glasswear
blackrobinnz – natural skincare range, handmade in small batches


Tuesday, 19 August, 2014

Banish the plastic with a stylish tote or two

We all know that we need to ditch the plastic and take our canvas bags to the supermarket, but there’s no reason you have to tote your groceries in a boring supermarket-branded reusable bag either. We took a look at some of the many stylish shopping alternatives our clever makers have come up with…


Ah Paris. If you dream of faraway shopping places, well, we can’t get you there – but we can at least outfit you right, with these elegant totes for the Francophile.

And we couldn’t go past this gorgeous piece of whimsy by Superfabjess – you’ll float through your shopping!


Or how about one of these striking designs, if the natural world is more your style? We think these beautiful bags sporting birds and blossoms are just the thing for spring outings.

This one from Mark Catley Design gets our vote for sheer uplifting colour – who couldn’t feel cheerful stepping out with this?


Remember folks, banish the plastic and stay awesome out there.


Monday, 18 August, 2014

Featured seller: Aotearoa Gems

Self-taught makers and artists Logan de Ridder and Mirielle Maxwell of Aotearoa Gems were both born in Northland, and now call South Westland home. They have been working New Zealand gemstones for the past fifteen years and have a life-long passion for them.

Aotearoagems Petrified Wood Hei Toki

What do you make?
We handcraft jewellery from authentic New Zealand gemstones.

How did you get into your craft?
Logan and I have both picked up stones since we were kids. Fourteen years ago we moved to the South Island and continued our passion for fossicking. This led to a fascination with making something out of these treasures, so we started making jewellery for friends and family; soon we were being asked to create items for other people. We operated a gallery between 2005 and 2012, then along came babies so now we juggle toddlers with running our business from home using the internet and attending markets.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
Neither of us have formal qualifications, however Logan trained as a stone mason after leaving school, providing some valuable skills. We now enjoy the process of learning by doing.

Aoteroagems Aotea Stone Pikorua


Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
Industrial diamonds are our best friends, they have revolutionised carving. Now there is a tool for everything you can imagine so we are only limited by our imagination.

I (Mirielle) also really enjoy the binding part of the process; it’s my opportunity to add a different dimension and create a perfect and comfortable fit for the pieces we make, whilst maintaining my creativity.

What inspires you?
We draw all of our inspiration from our environment around us. We share our time living between the rugged West Coast beach and the Southern Alps, or in the sub-tropical Far North. Both places provide us a constant source of inspiration, and as a result our pieces recreate the organic form of the environment that surrounds us.

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
It may seem trite, but we don’t see it as work. It’s a passion, and a love. The fact that we get to share this with our clients is the icing on the cake.

Describe your workspace:
We work from home so it’s a mixture of hard work and chaotic fun as we have two young girls who love to help!

Five words that describe your mind:
Busy, creative, ordered chaotic fun.

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
“Ahhh WOW Mirielle!!!!!! I was so, so excited and elated when I took her out of the box! Absolutely exquisite, and far more lovelier than imagined even from the photos. I am so, so happy. All my heartfelt gratitude to both you and Logan for such wonderful artistry and for the really gorgeous stone. I love her, and all that you have infused her with!! Love and more.”

This is what we really enjoy about creating our jewellery, it provides us with a real connection to our clients and have made many beautiful friends from all around the world.

What are you currently listening to?
Of Monsters and Men, Pharrell Williams, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Kora, Shapeshifter.

Recommend an album:
Anything from The Black Seeds or Fat Freddy’s Drop always gets our tick.

Your favourite childhood book?
Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen.

What are you reading now?
Air Con: The Seriously Inconvenient Truth About Global Warming by Ian Wishart.

A favourite quote:
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
Albert Einstein

Do you have any pets?
They come in pairs around here – two cats, two dogs and two kids (can I include them?) plus the wild kea that pop by, and the magnificent wild stag that graces our presence from time to time.

If you were a crafty superhero, what would your name and superpower be?
Logan would be Captain Caveman with x-ray vision, and I’d be Mighty Macramé Woman (kind of a spider woman but with braided plaits), hehe.

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
I bought the girls each a really funky, warm, well-made knitted hat from the Nelson Markets. I loved the individuality and workmanship of each of them – and the fact that my money was going to a lovely old lady, and not a huge corporation, was the best.

Logan said “A pie”. Yes, he’s a male, but in his defence it was handmade!

aotearoa gems baby bracelet

You can see more of Mirielle and Logan’s beautiful work in their Felt shop here.

Mirielle and Logan have kindly offered one of these gorgeous wee pounamu baby bracelets (pictured above) to one lucky Felt blog prizewinner. If you’d like to be in the prize draw, just leave a comment below telling us what inspires you about Aotearoa Gems’ story and products. The draw will be made on Friday 29 August and is open to New Zealand residents only.

Saturday, 16 August, 2014

Fabric-a-brac is back in Auckland

Auckland makers, crafters and stashers, start saving your pennies for your next fabric stash augmentation! The next Fabric-a-brac in Auckland will be at Freemans Bay Community Hall, 52 Hepburn Street, on Saturday 23 August from 9am to 12.30pm.

Fabric-a-brac wants fabric out of the closet and in your hot little hands. Pick up fabulous vintage, modern and just plain unusual fabric at bargain prices and help someone else clear their sewing cupboard.

In keeping with the spirit of Fabric-a-brac, Fabric-a-brac Auckland raises money for Mercy Hospice.

Fabric-a-Brac 2009

Friday, 15 August, 2014

First flowering

The days are starting to lengthen and the first of the blossoms are making an appearance – almonds, magnolias, flowering cherries. Suddenly, despite the wild weathery mood swings, spring doesn’t seem that far away after all…






Our makers have found so many beautiful ways to celebrate the turn of the seasons and bring the blooms of spring inside. Take a look at their springtime creations!


Wednesday, 13 August, 2014

Fresh on Felt

We reckon we’ve got the fixings for a fabulous handmade dinner party, showcased by our fresh sellers this week – with lots more goodies for all the home and family as well.

designer decor and original art

sarahjwilson – exquisite hand-woven scarves, cushions and interior textiles
lululonglegs – eye-catching abstract acrylic paintings
cuore – gorgeous wool felt garlands
jillbutler – elegant screen printed coasters
floorartz – hand-made artistic inlayed rugs for floors or walls

children’s clothing, accessories and toys

catfight – wonderful warm beanies for little ones
eggandspoon – practical and robust unisex children’s wear
homemstories – cute little elf mobiles made from felt and beads
cozycherubs – quirky, cosy crochet hats for wee ones
babynme – sweet crocheted and knitted accessories and clothing for babies
zoeandisrael – fabulous teepees for kids
poppy-jane – colourful clothing and textile decor items for children
lbhstudio – lovely handcrafted baby shawls and other goodies


clothing, jewellery and accessories

bluedahlia – beautiful felt flower corsages
ekaterinae – unique boutique beaded jewellery and accessories
tcwshop – gorgeous upcycled gifts and jewellery

gifts and goodies

acorn – natural soy candles in gorgeous glasswear
thehomeopath – handmade homeopathic remedies in attractive kits
knittykat – smart hand bound leather journals
soapboutique – luxurious natural soaps