Wednesday, 27 May, 2015

Fresh on Felt

wegotsunshine

sageapothecary

pochette

 
Funky works on paper, luscious skincare and beautiful textile treasures headline Fresh on Felt this week, with lots more creations to browse…

designer decor and original art

westlandwood – stylish reclaimed timber furniture and decor items
plumtreelane – appealing, modern reclaimed rimu tea light holders
urban_signature – vinyl urban wall tattoos and prints – something different!
wegotsunshine – vivid digital prints with gold vinyl lettering on quality poster paper
d-funkd – unique, funky lamps made from vintage cameras
groovy – lovely cushions using upcycled fabrics and embellishments

children’s clothing, accessories and toys

pixiepetal – gorgeous clothes for kids from vintage fabric, colourful dreamcatchers
tinytrendsnz – trendy accessories for babies and kids
jenesis – practical clothing for toddlers and fashionable decor items for the home
rubybun – unique and beautiful children’s clothing made from vintage linen

 

pixiepetal

inkbomb

rubybun

clothing, jewellery and accessories

missmaude – beautiful accessories and haberdashery
pochette – lovely hand sewn pouches and purses – no sewing machines involved!
knittedkiwi – cosy knitted merino beanies

gifts and goodies

inkbomb – funky blank cards and digital art prints
sageapothecary – quality skincare using the highest quality, natural ingredients
whisperer – clever bags for organising toys and reducing waste
journeycand – hand-poured, fragranced soy candles in lovely jars

 
westlandwood

Tuesday, 26 May, 2015

Silly hats

Because everybody needs a bit more fun in their lives sometimes! What better means of supplying some essential silliness than with one of our happy-making hats?

honeycakes

milliemop

treeoflife

For a huge range of handmade headgear (silly, serious or snuggly) check out our hats pages for babies, children and adults and find you perfect hat match!

monkanoid

Monday, 25 May, 2015

Featured seller: Empire Eco Designs

People who know Pip Pottage of Empire Eco Designs would probably describe her as a pursuer of happiness, as Pip tries to live each moment with a little joy and contemplation. Pip and her husband moved to Canada a month after getting married (20 years ago now) and had their children there, before making the decision to abandon the cold winters and bring up their boys back home, in sunshine and bare feet. Since moving back all their parents and siblings have returned to Nelson too: “We have lots of babysitters and family to hang out with, and I get to sew lots!”

EmpireEcoDesigns  mini bucket in yellow designed by Pip

Empire Eco Designs happy buckets

What do you make?
I make growing range of handy homewares and throws/blankets, mostly made with organic cotton. It’s been described as an almost Scandinavian style, but I also love bright and surprising pops of colour, like my new fluoro lunch bags.

How did you get into your craft?
When my son was born eight years ago, the baby world was a wash of pastel blue, pink, yellow and green with naff little motifs, and I just wouldn’t have it in my house. So I made my own, then for my friends, then people started buying my blankets! Things really changed when we moved back to New Zealand. I was shocked by the lack of organic/sustainable homewares and baby goods available, so started importing organic fabrics and expanded my range to include things you just can’t by with eco friendly options here.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
A few years ago I started taking arts courses at NMIT in Nelson. I always seem to be studying something but these are by far the best courses I’ve ever taken. They were initially just for fun, but now I design fabric thanks to the skills I’ve learnt.

Empire-Eco-Designs-Organic-baby-blankets

Empire Eco Designs Lunch Bag

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
One of my favourite things to do is bring my fabrics up into my dining room, which sits on the second floor almost above the trees. It’s flooded with sunlight and is so lovely in the afternoon when no one else is around. I turn on National Radio or an NPR podcast, get my friend’s electric fabric cutter (that I’ve had on extended loan) and cut a huge amount of fabric at once. There’s something about the piles of soft cotton and the colours all cut neatly together that brings me joy and satisfaction.

What inspires you?
All the other amazing creative people out there, doing their thing and pouring their heart into what they do, then putting it on display for everyone to see.

… and my Mum. (I know, cheesy, right?) My Mum is always on my mind when I work with fabric. She is a constant source of knowledge and inspiration for me, and my go-to person when my machine is not doing what I want. She was a professional seamstress for most of my childhood, so has some serious skills. But when I was young I watched her come home night after night with blistered, cracked and swollen hands. It turned out the thermal drapery fabric she was sewing, day after day, was toxic. It was causing this debilitating condition. Imagine that everything you touch hurts you. I just couldn’t even imagine having that fabric in my life now, let alone having to touch it and sew it. They still make that stuff, you know!

My husband is also a constant source of inspiration and motivation. Together we decided for me to quit my “career” to focus on “pursuing the art of doing what you love.” I now work part time for another awesome craftsperson (Ash Hilton Jewellery), and create my goodies part time too. We have a simple life and like anyone it’s not always easy, but it’s full of goodness. So, if I’m lucky to sit down for five minutes each day and contemplate how good it all is, I cherish it.

Pip and family

Empire Eco Designs fabric at the ready

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
More than anything, I believe the products we purchase shouldn’t have a massive impact on our environment: mine, yours or the people who are involved in the process of growing the cotton, or making the fabric. There needs to be more alternatives for everyone, so that we can choose. Sometimes that ideal is not reality, even now. But I make a conscious choice to use high quality organic or sustainably sourced materials wherever possible, so both you and I aren’t wrapped in a chemical cocktail that will make your hair curl!

Describe your workspace:
My workspace is very pragmatic and a bit cramped, but gets beautiful winter sunshine. Essentials are my corkboard full of inspiration that I glimpse at as I daydream and sew, a podcast blasting, iron hot and at the ready, and piles of work in progress. I spend a lot of time going up and down stairs to sit at my dining room table to catch all the sun. It’s chaotic but it’s all mine and I love it! I’m secretly waiting for the day when my hubby walks in the door with the plans and budget for my very own outdoor workroom…

Empire Eco Designs Workspace AKA Mission Control

Five words that describe your mind:
Colourful, optimistic, planning (my mum calls it scheming), curious, evolving.

What are you currently listening to?
Whitehorse, a group from Toronto, Canada. My cousin sent it to me years ago, but I just love it.

What are you reading now?
I’ve just started reading Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna but also have NZ Life and Leisure Small Spaces and Uppercase Magazine from Canada on the go…

A favourite quote:
I’m really bad with remembering exact details of quotes, but it goes something like this: “I am one person, and so are you, but what if I changed, then you were inspired to change and others around us changed, together we could change the world.”

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
I love any feedback, because it gives you the warm fuzzies and helps you learn something. My I think my fav is this one from a repeat customer who so patiently waited while more fabric arrived from overseas… It still gives me butterflies… “OMG!!!! Duvet looks absolutely amazing! Im so over the moon with how it looks, your work is outstanding. Thanks soooooo much! xxx”

Do you have any pets?
We have a super speedy, very sappy dog named Tiggy, and five chickens.

If you were a crafty superhero, what would your name and superpower be?
Speedy mistake undo-er… need I say more?

What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Just pick something, make five of them in different colours, take some nice clean photos, get a Felt account and go do it. Don’t be put off by things not being perfect, you can always change as you go along. It’s so much fun!

Empire Eco Designs baby bibs

Empire Eco Designs organic baby blanket

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
It was a gorgeous leather handbag from The Hope Tree in Christchurch. They were next to me at the Monster March Market and this gorgeous bag taunted me all day! I admire anyone who can work with leather and this bag is a lovely dark teal colour, one of my favourite colours at the moment.

What’s in store for 2015?
This year I’m really trying to live more consciously: working smarter, avoiding long hours and sewing in the weekends, and spending more time with my family and my friends, playing and having fun outdoors. But at the same time, I’m heading to the Auckland Fair in June, my first North Island market, I’m so thrilled to be going. AND I’m working on designing more of my own fabrics, I’d love to start printing my own
fabrics soon.

To see more of Pip’s practical, attractive and eco-conscious Empire Eco Designs visit her Felt shop.

Pip has generously offered a prize for one lucky Felt blog reader: one of her new fluoro lunch bags (valued at $40), pictured below. These fun and practical lunch bags are perfect for school, work or a picnic, or even on the dining table filled with bread rolls. When you’re done, just throw it in the wash! The new Fluoro range is made from 100% cotton canvas outer and 100% organic hemp canvas lining.

To win this great prize, leave a comment telling us what you like about Pip’s story and her creations. The draw will be made on Friday 5 June and is open to New Zealand residents only.

SONY DSC

Friday, 22 May, 2015

Getting the gear there

Got an active weekend planned? Make sure your sports or activity gear gets there in style and safety with a good quality gear bag. We have some great ones to choose from, recycled from interesting origins…

These colourful roll bags from Karkt are perfect for sports, the gym, work or weekender bags. They’re tough, durable, and weather proof – they had to be, because in their previous incarnations they kept goods safe as truck curtains!

karkt

karkt reverse

More great gear bags with recycled pedigrees can be found in the Felt shop of Gould Marine. Available in a variety of styles from big strong gear bags to durable totes, they’re constructed from very stylish-looking upcycled aramid sail cloth.

gouldmarine tote

gouldmarine sail bag

We’ve got bags galore for every purpose here on Felt, be it toting the team’s gear or taking your frisbee out to the park in it’s own recycled hessian frisbee sack. Discover your perfect holdall or find that ideal satchel in our bags and purses pages today!

fullywoolly

Thursday, 21 May, 2015

Five ways to treat your skin right this winter

Hands up who suffers from chapped hands and lips when the weather turns nasty? I sure do, but I’ve found some great balms to ease the ache and heal winter skin damage:

1. Irritable skin balm from Aporah

This gentle balm is packed with good healing herbs such as calendula and comfrey and rich oils and tallow for your skin. Not only does it soothe chapped hands wonderfully, it’s also fantastic for itchiness, rashes, redness, bruising, eczema and even itchy bites. (I can also report it’s a god-send for cold and flu-irritated noses…)

aporah

2. Gentle unscented calendula soap from BE Natural

This super-soothing soap with a triple-dose of calendula is great for gently washing irritated skin. Full of natural anti-inflammatory goodies and lovely moisturising oils, it’s also suitable for your baby’s bath.

justbe

3. Chocolate mint lip balm from Honey and Spice

Protect your lips from wintery blasts and treat yourself to chocolate at the same time! Honey and Spice’s lip balm is also available in other yummy flavours, and it comes in a tube so it’s great for a lip-protecting top-up when you’re out and about.

honeynspice

4. Bacon balm by Fat Spatula

Fancy a more savoury flavour to your lippy? Try bacon! Why? Because… bacon! Fat Spatula’s Bacon Balm is made from a blend of organic coconut oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, vitamin E oil, manuka honey and bacon fat. Andy of Fat Spatula assures us that only NZ Pigcare Accredited bacon is used – and then promptly eaten as it is delicious.

fat-spatula

5. Lavender hand salve from Alba Rosa

This wonderfully scented, wax-based soother is excellent for dry, rough or chapped hands and knuckles, and also works well on dry knees, elbows and heels. A little bit goes a long way so it’s great value.

albarosa

Your skin is the largest organ of your body, so make sure it gets the love and care it needs this winter. Check out our health and beauty pages for a mountain of luscious winter skincare treats!

ambassador

Wednesday, 20 May, 2015

Fresh on Felt

woodendiamon

gwenhendry

artsidestudio

 
From treasure baskets to chicken hats, and everything in between! Fresh on Felt has a fantastic smörgåsbord of new goodies to peruse this week, so settle in and start sampling.

designer decor and original art

woodendiamon – elegant wooden ornaments and homewares
rehome – unique and attractive repurposed furniture pieces
2craftytarts – detailed paper and mixed media art and accessories

children’s clothing, accessories and toys

gwenhendry – prints with attitude and pizzaz for kids’ rooms
picklepants – sweet and bright bibs and baby gear
ecmapparel – funky kids’ clothing with a motorcycling theme
lizzyknits – lovely knits for wee ones
abitsy – warm and practical littlies’ fleece leggings
capturdearth – treasure baskets of fun and stimulating objects for babies to explore
madeforbabe – beautiful knitted babywear for winter
bedheadnz – fresh and fun cot sheet sets

 

ecmapparel

chaingang

joshp

clothing, jewellery and accessories

chaingang – warm and chunky knitted accessories and decor items
milliemop – fabulously quirky woollen chicken hats
mwljewellery – lovely customisable jewellery
shjewellery – “shrunken heads” earrings for fans and free spirits

gifts and goodies

artsidestudio – stylish hand bound journals and sketchbooks
festivenz – gorgeous bunting for weddings and celebrations
foxandivy – luscious hand poured soy candles
rozzy72 – appealing illustrated pillow cases, fundraising for a school trip
joshp – amazing tiny hand cut paper art

 
milliemop

rozzy72

Monday, 18 May, 2015

Keep the kids cosy this winter

With temperatures all over the country up and down like a jack-in-a-box lately, it pays to make sure the whole family is prepared for any weather conditions. We have some great cool weather clothing here on Felt for keeping the kids warm and dry this winter – just have a look at this lovely selection!

piccalilli

nesting

Our childrenswear pages are bursting with snuggly winter outerwear for your little ones, so grab a warming cuppa and find some fabulous items for your family today.

lildelights

Friday, 15 May, 2015

Open the door on a tiny world…

Winged creatures, hobbits, fairies, pixies and pirates ahoy! We’ve got super cute tiny doors for the wee folk here on Felt.

janetteb

ingrainednz

nutmegfae

Wednesday, 13 May, 2015

The joy of a warm bath in winter

I can always tell when I’m just starting to feel a bit cold on a winter’s evening, because I find myself suddenly thinking what a good idea a lovely warm bath would be. There’s no better way to up one’s core temperature and wind down for a warm and restful night’s sleep than a good soak, don’t you think?

And it’s always nice to make a bath extra luxurious with all the right accessories. Of course Felt is bursting with delicious handcrafted bath and beauty products perfect for the purpose. The only difficulty is choosing which luxurious goodies to use tonight!

nellsknits

blackrobinnz

piazzaverde

Oh, I find much simple pleasure when I’ve had a tiring day,
In the bath, In the bath!

Where the noise of gently sponging seems to blend with my top A,
In the bath, In the bath!

To the skirl of pipes vibrating in the boiler room below,
I sing a pot pourri of all the songs I used to know,
And the water thunders in and gurgles down the overflow,
In the bath, In the bath!

Oh, the tingling of the scrubbing brush, the flannel’s soft caress,
To wield a lordly loofah is a joy I can’t express,
How truly it is spoken one is next to godliness,
In the bath, In the bath!*

Treat yourself, or someone in need of pampering, and find your bath-time happiness in the huge range of bathing goodies on our health and beauty pages.

*Marvellous bath-time lyrics by the incomparable Flanders and Swann. :-)

scenthut

Fresh on Felt

bizarro

mynamosaics

thebachbook

 
Gorgeous glass, stylish decor and accessories and even tin can ukeleles (!) feature in this week’s line-up of fresh new sellers.

designer decor and original art

minddesign – stylish wall prints and much more
mynamosaics – beautiful mosaic art and bijoux
pollyonk – unique and affordable paper decor creations
heartofjoy – appealing decorative wooden hearts, percentage of sales to charity
cuppawhisky – independent design for stylish Kiwi homes

children’s clothing, accessories and toys

hiljem – sweet knitting patterns for wee ones’ sweaters
hairprincess – curly ribbon “ponytail” hairties in gorgeous colours

 

louloubug

30glassart

penshop

clothing, jewellery and accessories

louloubug – handmade accessories for you and your home
pebblesandco – warm and stylish winter weight harem pants
30glassart – striking dichroic glass art and jewellery

gifts and goodies

bizarro – fabulous tin-can ukeleles
thebachbook – Kiwi-themed visitor books and notebooks
apilgrim – quality Kiwiana textile placemats
penshop – elegant rimu pens and kitchen utensils

 
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