Saturday, December 24, 2011

Milestones and a Merry Christmas to you

Yesterday, I was working through my pre-Christmas to-do list. I had just sent my Christmas newsletter out to subscribers, and then moved on the the next item on my to-do list, the end of year blog post. There were a whole lot of marigolds growing in the front yard of a broken house that I had wanted to take a photo of for a while, and I thought it might be nice to use that for the post. The flowers had taken over entire front yard, on what used to be a concrete pad – you can't even see that now! I thought it was a nice symbol of how nice things can happen in the face of ruin. So I walked down to get the photo, then came back, uploaded them from the camera, found the image I wanted to use, and saved it to my blog images folder.

Then came the familiar wobble of an impending aftershock, so I got up and opened the door. It got worse, so I decided to go under the dining table, which involved getting past the chairs while everything was madly shaking, so ended up with a couple of bumps to my legs. As I live on the western edge of the eastern suburbs, the power always goes out here when there is a decent shake, so I wasn't able to make a start on the post, or do anything else on my 'work' to-do list. So I went outside to do some gardening, but after the second slightly larger jolt, decided it might be a good idea to just give up for the day!

So... this year that has already been quite interesting, just keeps on going. I remember looking back last year over a rather eventful year, having no idea how much more eventful this year would be. Who knows what next year will bring!

In that post I said I hoped to build my business into a sustainable source of income for myself. This hasn't been an easy task, but in the last two months I have managed to achieve that milestone. That is, bring in enough money to cover my costs, and pay myself my modest token salary. Now I hope to continue that and hopefully build on it in the new year. A big thank you to everyone that has supported my business this year, in any way, even if in a seemingly small way. It all counts, and I couldn't have done it without you, especially through such challenging times.

As this city has faced some major events this year, I have also had a few milestones myself. I recently turned 30, which isn't a major milestone in itself, but I do feel I have achieved quite a lot in those years. We have also recently purchased our first house, which we move into in January. This is really exciting, and even more of an achievement when one of you is self-employed – banks don't really like lending on little starting out incomes!

So over the break I will be busy sorting and packing everything up, as well as a trip to Nelson to visit my family, and a trip to Wellington for a wedding. I won't be closing my Felt shop per se, but there will be a delay on posting orders. Any orders placed between now and the end of next week will be posted on Friday 30th December, and any placed after that will be posted on the 9th January.

So wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and hoping my fellow Christchurch citizens don't get too shaken up over the holidays. See you all again next year!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

All I want for Christmas Market

This weekend will be my last Christchurch market (but not my last market, I still have three more of them lined up!) It is the All I want for Christmas market, held on Saturday from 10am - 4pm at the Shirley Intermediate school hall. It is organised by the lovely ladies from the Craft Collective who brought us the two markets at Goodbye Blue Monday last Christmas, and the Monster May Market earlier in the year.

I will have some owl candles with me – if they don't all sell on Felt in the meantime! I also have a special on tin candles at the moment if you but three of any one size. Three small tins for $40 (save $8), three medium tins for $50 (save $10) and three large tins for $60 (save $12). The essentials are three small for $45 (save $9), three medium for $55 (save $11) and three large for $65 (save $13). A great way to stock up for Christmas, or yourself. I am planning to phase out the small and large tins, to streamline my stocks a bit more, so this is a way to help clear them out. I will also have some other specials, so I have less stock to move in January. Though as I need to fit everything all onto one table (after getting quite used to my two tables with the outdoor sites!) I won't be able to put a lot out at any one time, and will rotate it throughout the day. Feel free to ask to see what I don't have on display.

The Women's refuge will also be there, and will have a drop of box for gifts for the children for Christmas. If you would like to bring something along to donate, please leave them unqrapped, and here a some ideas for items to give: new toys and books for children, model making kits, colouring in books, jigsaws, puzzles and games. There will alway be a raffle to raise money for the Women's refuge also.

My remaining three markets after this are:
Kiwi Christmas Market: 5pm - 9pm, 14th December at Westland High School, Hokitika
A Christmas Cracker: 12:30pm - 5pm, 17th December at the Baptist Church back room, East Belt, Rangiora
Methven Farmers Market & Christmas Craft Market: 9:30am - 12pm, 18th December at the Heritage Centre, Methven.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tea Party – The Summer Edition

It's that time of the year again – time for the Rose in Thorns Tea Party! Like usual there will be baking, pretty teacups and candles available for purchase. A nice relaxing way to do some of your Christmas shopping.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that something new and exciting was happening, and I would tell you all what it was when it was all signed and sealed. We've bought a house! This is quite an achievement, as since I became self-employed and earn less money than I used to, our house buying plans did get thrown into a little disarray. We move in January, which gives me a bit more time to get organised and pack.

This means this will be the last Tea Party at my current address (I'm as yet undecided whether to continue them after we move). It also means I have some stock that I am quite keen to clear so I don't have to move it, so will have some good clearance specials.

It will be at my home in Rochmond, Christchurch from 3pm-5pm on Sunday the 4th December. You are welcome to bring a friend with you, and if RSVPs could be made by 5pm, that should give me enough time to get everything organised. You can RSVP on the Facebook event, and/or this link, if you need my address, I will email it to everyone who RSVP's via the link.

Friday, November 25, 2011

This weekend's events

This weekend I will be at the Christmas Encraftment Market at on Saturday 26th November, from 10am – 3pm at Christchurch Girls High School Gym, 10 Matai Street, Riccarton.

There will be lots of great craft stalls, including Black Swan Designs, Cloud Nine Creative, Mudbird, Green Jean, Honey and Spice, Freedom Creative, Natural Star, In my Backyard, The Busy Finch, My 2 Monsters, Sailor Spy, Relique, lots of yummy baking from the Sweetheart Bakery and many, many more great stalls.

I can't thing of a better place to start your Christmas shopping (or finish it if you're super organised!) I will have the new owls, along with some brand new Christmas candles – you'll have to come along if you want to be one of the first to check them out!

If you can't make it to Encraftment, or feel like squeezing lots of Christmassy goodness in one day, pop out to Rolleston for an Open Christmas House and Craft stalls. This is a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House, a charity that provides support and a place to stay for families of sick children that have to come to Christchurch from out of town to the Hospital. The company I used to work for is a supporter of the house. While there I did some of their design work, including their newsletter, so learned a lot about the great things they do.

I won't be there personally, as two events in one day is pushing things a little bit. The organiser of the event has arranged someone to look after my stall for me. I will be donating 20% of all sales to Ronald McDonald House. It's just $5 entry to this event, in support of a very worthy cause.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mandeville Craft Festival this weekend

I feel like I've been neglecting my blog a bit lately – sorry about that! I've been super busy with lots of markets, design work, and organising something new and exciting. Once it's all signed and sealed, I'll let you know what it is!

This weekend I will be at the Mandeville Craft Festival at Mandeville Sports Centre on Saturday 19th November from 11am – 4pm. It's just a short drive from Christchurch, and there will be an array of quality craft stalls, christmas gifts, live music and a gourmet food court. Experience the atmosphere and excitement of a country fete minutes from the city.

My painting group's annual exhibition opened yesterday, and will run until the 15th December at South Library, 66 Colombo Street. As always there is a great variety of paintings for sale, at very reasonable prices. A big thanks to Maree for finding us a venue this year, when such spaces are so difficult to find. I'm not organised enough to have photos of my paintings to add to this post sorry! I might add some later.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

This weeks markets

I may have mentioned earlier I had booked in quite a few markets this year. Well I went a bit crazy for this week, and have three days worth of markets planned!

The first, on Thursday, is the Geraldine Summer Fete. This will be the second year of this exclusive country fete. There will be a selection of New Zealands's finest home, garden and lifestyle products together with the area's quality local produce for a day of indulgence and elegance held at a spectacular South Canterbury property.

The fete is this Thursday November 3rd from 10am-4pm at Stover Farm on State Highway 72, Geraldine. Tickets are $10, which can be bought online, or at the gate on the day. With over 120 stalls – including gorgeous clothing from Tava and Talikins, tours of the iconic Stover Gardens and a Pimms and bite to eat on the Village green, this will be a great day out.

Then, after a day to replenish my stocks and have a well deserved break, I will be heading to the Manderley Home and Garden Festival. Set in a beautiful valley on Banks Peninsula, near Little River, the gardens and grounds of Manderley are the perfect location to showcase 140 stalls selected for the quality and originality. Many food outlets will provide tasty gourmet food complimented with the best of wine and beer. Live music, dancers and many more entertainers will provide something for everyone.

The festival will be held wet or fine, from 10am-4pm on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th November at 3875 Christchurch/Akaroa Highway, Little River (opposite Lake Forsyth rest area). Admission is $10, children under 12 free. You will also find Relique Jewellery and Mudbird there as well. I'm looking forward to a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Evening by candlelight

Some powercuts are better than others. The ones that occur immediately after an earthquake aren't much fun, and tend to escalate the tension already caused by the pesky ground shaking. The best kind are ones that happen for other reasons, while I am testing candles. Everything dims to lovely mood lighting.

When we had one a couple of weeks ago, it was shortly after I had blown the candles out when they had finished their test burn for the day. So I had to scramble around in the dark to find the matches and light them again. Then I proceded to plug in the vodem to the laptop to find out why the power had gone out.

It went out again on Friday (yet again, another shake free powercut), while I was testing some new candles. So this time I decided to take a more relaxed approach, and shun all technology more sophisticated than a torch. There is something very soothing about candlelight, and it is much better appreciated without any electric lights on.

As I sat there writing out this blog post – with a pen, on a piece of paper – I realised how all too often I forget to appreciate the simple things in life. Then an hour after it went out, it came back on as suddenly it went out, and everything whirred back into life. The whole experience was a great reminder that sometimes, technology just isn't that important, and powercuts aren't always a bad thing.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Spring Flings and a winner!

Firstly, I would like to announce the winner of my soy melt prize pack – Marie of Crafty Rie fame! Congratulations Marie, your prize is winging it's way to you right now.

This weekend I have a stall at the inaugural Ellesmere Spring Fling. Situated in the beautiful Broadfield Gardens near Hornby, this will be a garden party with a country fete feel. There will be demonstrations, arts, crafts, entertainment and champagne picnics and other food available.

There will also be art by Sarah Deans, sculpture by Allan O'Loughlin and garden tours along with wine and beverages, a jazz band, a string quartet and a touch of Shakespearian theatre all in a lovely sheltered garden.

This event is a fundraiser for Lincoln Community Care. Buy your ticket now for $25 from Paperplus Merivale and Hornby, various Ray White real estate offices, Lincoln New World and Linclon Community Care. There will be no gate sales on the day, so you will need to buy your ticket in advance. Eftpos cash-out facilites are being planned, but it's always a good idea to come prepared with some cash.

It will be open from 10am – 4pm on Sunday 16th October at Broadfields Garden, 250 Selwyn Road, Prebbleton. I have been working a way on a gorgeous new product, and hope to have some ready to bring along on Sunday.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Oil burner and soy melt gift pack giveaway

Since I released the soy melts, I have been asked several times if I sell the burners as well. I have since sourced some lovely white porcelain oil burners which are now available for purchase. They are available on Felt with either a gift box of melts and tealights, or with a box of melts.

To celebrate Spring, and the addition of oil burners to my soy melt range, I am giving away a gift set to one lucky newsletter subscriber. The prize pack includes a porcelain oil burner with a gift box of 10 soy melts (or 12 space invader soy melts) and three soy tealights.

If you're already a subscriber, just follow the instructions in the newsletter I sent out on Tuesday. If you aren't already a subscriber, you can sign up here. Not only will you be entered in the draw, but you will also receive monthly updates with information about new products, upcoming events and exclusive offers. To be in to win, you just need to sign up before the 30th September. Entries are limited to one per person, and the winner will be drawn on the 1st of October. Don't forget to tell your friends who might be interested in receiving my newsletter and winning this great prize to sign up as well!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Whirlwind trip to Auckland

Last weekend was an action packed trip to Auckland. I managed to fit in visiting some potential stockists, catch up with family and friends, had a lovely day at the Devonport Craft Market, and catch the very last show of the Circ de Soleil – which was awesome. I think I'm only just recovering now!

At the Devonport Craft market I got to catch up with Elizabeth from Zippity Doodah and Sarah from Songbird Designs. I also met lots of new people, including Glen from Glennie Knits, Leanne from Feel at Home, Helene from Happy go Knitty, Diane from Nala Boo, Renee from The Little White Box and Kylie who makes mosaics from broken china. If I hadn't started to feel guilty about neglecting my stall I would have introduced myself to more of the local crafters.

I'd like to do a shout-out to Sarah McLeod to say thank you for her awesome hospitality, and also for so kindly offering to take some of my candles to sell on my behalf at future markets in Devonport. Thank you also to the shoppers that came and said hi. It's always lovely to put a face to a name.

This weekend I'll be a bit closer to home, at the Spring Encraftment Market tomorrow at Villa Maria College Hall, from 10am – 3pm. See you there!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The art of candle making

As my business continues to grow, I am making decisions about how I want to proceed. So, after a lot of thought, I have decided to register for GST on the 1st September. Unfortunately this means I will have to add it onto my prices. So I thought I would give you, my loyal followers some advance warning (sorry this post was meant to go up yesterday morning!) You have until the end of Wednesday to purchase goodies without the added GST in my Felt shop.

I have decided to absorb the cost on some items for various reasons, and so the following items will not be increasing in price – Soy melts, Scented soy tins (excl essentials), Soy tealights and Heart tealights.

As anyone makes things to sell will know, it's always a tough balance to figure out what price to set. I read an interesting blog post last week shared by Lylly-Fysh entitled 'Why handmade is so expensive'. It's a great insight into the work that goes into handmade, so I thought I would share an overview of my processes, inspired by that post.

Stage 1: The design/prototype phase

This begins with an idea, and depending on it's complexity, may need to be drawn and designed first, or it may be based on a conventional method or mould. I'll use the teardrop as an example. I make the moulds for this candle by hand, and it has taken me many batches to perfect the design and reinforcing of the mould to get it just right. Then I need to make prototype batches to test out which wick works the best, and whether or not the candle will actually work. This has been a steep learning curve. In earlier days I have rushed this process in order to get a product out, and then not been happy with how it burned down. As you can imagine, the testing can be quite time consuming when you have to burn down each candle to see how it goes, and which one lasts the longest, and burns the nicest.

Stage 2: The production phase

Step 1: Melting the wax and preparing the moulds
This involves measuring out the correct qty of wax for the number of candles I plan to make, and melting it in a double boiler on a stovetop. While this is happening I prepare the moulds, and put the wick in them, as well as measure out the fragrance and dye.

Step 2: Pouring
Once the wax has reached the right temperature, I mix in the dye and fragrance, and pour it into the moulds, taking care not to overfill them, and hoping they are sealed up properly and won't leak. Depending on the type of candle being made, I have to repeat this up to two more times.

Step 3: Un-moulding
Usually I wait until the following day to take the candles out of the moulds, as this gives them enough time to set properly. Once I have taken them out of the mould (they are poured upside down) I melt the base of the candle to flatten it off.

Step 4: Finishing
This entails tidying up the finished candle, and adding the labels and any embellishments, such as the paper bands on the tins.

Interestingly, the finishing aspect takes longer that I think, and I always end up under-estimating how long it will take. However I take pride in getting this right, as I think the finishing touches are part what sets my products apart from others.

Most of the cost of making my candles is the actual time. Especially for the recycled candles, as I have to filter the wax first, which is quite time consuming in itself, and I don't actually factor this into the cost of my candles.

I will try very hard to make sure this is the last price increase this year – hopefully I've got it right this time!

Monday, August 29, 2011

On tour to Auckland

This weekend I am heading to Auckland, and will be mixing business and pleasure. On Friday I will be visiting shops who might be interested in stocking my candles, so if you know of any great little shops in your area that might be a good fit, do let me know.

On Sunday I will be at the Devonport Craft Market which I am very much looking forward to. If you live in Auckland, and have been admiring my products online, this will be the perfect opportunity to come and see them for real. It also means you can smell all the gorgeous different scents I have to offer, which is something you can't do online! I am also looking forward to meeting the other stallholders, and admiring their wares as well.

I will also be going to see Saltimbanco while I'm up. I have always wanted to see a Circ de Soleil performance, so I was careful to time my trip up with this years event. I'm very much looking forward to it!

If you come along to the Devonport Craft Market, do come and say hi! If you make a purchase of $20 or more, and mention you read my blog, I will give you a free tealight candle of your choice. Also don't forget to bring along your old candles to be recycled for a 10% discount off your purchase. Bring along an empty Rose in Thorns candle tin for a 20% discount.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A selection of upcoming events for interested sellers to apply for

I have just come back from a weekend selling at the Methven Craft Fair. The upgraded memorial hall is a great space for events like this, and there were lots of great stalls there. I had a successfuul weekend, and even managed to get home before the forecast heavy snow hit.

I get a few requests for my 'list' of upcoming events to apply for. Also, in my capacity as Felt support person, I get occasional emails from event organisers looking for stallholders. Here is a list of upcoming events, mostly in the Canterbury region that may still have spaces available.

Celebrate Summer party, Sumner – 4th September 2011
This will be a one day festival to celebrate the strength of our community, to commemorate the anniverary of last years earthquake and to raise funds for the Sumner redevelopment. For info on how to apply, click here.

Royal Melbourne Show – 26th - 30th September and 3rd - 4th October 2011
The 2011 Royal Melbourne Show Art, Craft and Cookery Pavilion will hold a makers market with targets those artisans and crafters who hand make contemporary or retro-style works and would like to offer them for sale. Stalls start at $75 per day. Email me for a copy of the application form, but get in quick as applications close on the 20th August. (Click the 'view profile' link on the right for my contact details.)

Centrewood Spring Fete – 15th October
Contact Jo Sutherland on 03 689 6035 for an application form, and check out their website for more information.

Ellesmere Spring Fling – 16th October 2011
This Fete will be held at Broadfield gardens, and is a fundraiser for Lincoln Community Care. For info on how to apply, click here.

Mandeville Craft Festival – 19th November 2011
The organisers of the inaugural Mandeville Craft Festival are now inviting registrations of interest. Head over to their website for more info, and to apply.

Some other upcoming events that may still have space available, and could be worth checking out, are:

Geraldine Summer Fete – 3rd November 2011
Manderley Home and Garden Festival – 5th - 6th November
Geraldine Arts and Plants Festival – 10th - 13th November

If you know of other events that other crafty sellers might be interested in, post a link or the details in the comments below. You can also check out the Felt Forum for details on upcoming events.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Methven Craft Fair

This weekend I will be at the Methven Craft Fair, on at the Methven Heritage Centre, 160 Main Street, Methven. It is a weekend affair, running from 10am - 5pm on Saturday, and 9am - 4pm on Sunday.

There will be a huge range of art, craft and giftware from all over Canterbury, with over 45 stalls. There will also be a selection of food available, including all day mini high teas. This event is a fundraiser for the Methven Playcentre. It will be a great weekend for shopping!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Winter Wonderland

A couple of weeks ago, we had a lot of snow, that transformed everything into a winter wonderland. It was beautiful!

The next day, I decided it was the perfect time for an outdoor photo shoot with some of my candles – fire and ice!

An ice candle in it's natural habitat.

Floating candles nestled in the snow.

To continue the snow theme, a selection of my candles are now stocked in Vesta Design in Queenstown. What a great way to relax after a hard day on the slopes!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Escape from the City

Due to forecast low temperatures and adverse weather conditions, this event has now been cancelled.

This Sunday I will be attending Escape the City, a gala event that offers the opportunity for Christchurch residents to unwind in the beautiful Canterbury high country. Glenfalloch Station, at the head of the Rakaia river will open it's gates to the public from 11am – 3pm on the 24 July.

There will be entertainment, a farmers and artisan market and art exhibtion, a musterers luch, and plenty of opportunties to explore the rugged high country. When you arrive you will be warmly welcomed with a hot chocolate and some mulled wine. The weather forecast for the area is looking better than for the Canterbury plains, and there has been lots of snow on the mountains making the area very picturesque.

Ticket can be purchased for $15 per car from Traiteurs in Merivale, or Mercato at Fitzgerald Ave. otherwise you can pay $20 at the gate. Driving directions can be found here. Proceeds from the event will go to the Canterbury earthqauke recovery fund.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Big Chip in for Christchurch

We've had a pretty eventful year in Christchurch, so some folks have come up with the idea for The Big Chip in for Christchurch, on Friday 15th July. The basic idea is that everyone does something for someone in Christchurch. It could be ringing a Christchurch based friend to say hello, placing an order with a Christchurch based business, or getting all your workmates to wear red and black as a show of support.

One really easy way to help even if you're out of town is to buy something online from a Christchurch based business. A lot of stores that have had either lost their premises, or have suffered a downturn in foot traffic have opened up online stores. One in particular is one of my stockists in Sumner, Flock. They have recently launched a website with an online store, so you can shop in your slippers! If you are local, and feel like a trip out to Sumner, you can go check out the wares yourself at shop 2, 43 Nayland Street.

Up until the February quake, three friends of mine ran businesses from this building in Bedford Row, which has since been red-stickered (I just happened to be standing outside it at the time, watching it begin to disintegrate). Felt, Black Swan Designs, Board of Design and The Wardrobe which were all based there, are now operating from home. Nin from The Wardrobe has had to start her business almost from scratch again. You can help her out by buying one of the gorgeous hats, purses or accessories from her shop.

For some other great Christchurch shopping, here is a selection of shops on Felt to check out:
relique – a funky range of vintage and contemporary styled jewellery
mudbirdnz – unique handmade ceramic pieces
threadmark – felt birds
freedom – jewellery, accessories and homewares
blackswan – jewellery, accessories and totebags
feltgood – cute wheatbags

For two great Red Cross fundraising initiatives, check out cloudnine and natalie-anne.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Soy melt invasion!

A few weeks ago I finally launched a range of much awaited soy melts. If you haven't used them before, they are a small block of scented soy wax which you pop into your oil burner. The wax melts to release the scent and fragrance the room. When you're finished, just let the wax set in the top of the burner. If you want to change the fragrance, just pop the burner into the freezer for ten minutes or so, and the wax should come out easily.

I was testing them out in the week after the June 13 aftershocks, whilst I was also trying to dry out the carpet with the dehumidifier running 24/7, after the fishtank smashed and spilled water all over the floor. As anyone whose lived with wet carpet will know, it doesn't smell real good! The fragrance dispersed from the soy melts was enough to satisfactorily mask the wet carpet smell. Of course I can't guarantee they will disguise every smell, but they do a great job of improving the pleasantness of a room.

I have a variety of scents and shapes, which I are available in two different sizes, and two different package options. There are space invader shaped melts, and a variety of other shapes as well. You can purchase them from Felt in either a box of 8 (shapes) or 10 (space invaders), or a gift box with three unscented soy tealights, with a burntime of 8 hours each, and 10 (shapes) or 12 (space invader) melts. I haven't finished testing the length of time they last, but I would think about 20-30 hours. Once the scent has dispersed from them, you can return the wax to me to recycle, and receive my 10% recycling discount on your next purchase.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lucky last teardrops

My clearout of mini-teardop candles is almost at an end. If you want to take advantage of the half price clearance offer, you will need to get in soon. I only have small quantities of the Rose, Orange and Frangipani fragrances left now. The Rainforest fragrance is the only one available in sufficient quantities for the set of five. I will have the remaining stock with me on Saturday at the Winter Encraftment market. If you can't make it along there, I have all the mini-teardrops available listed on Felt.

They are being replaced with small teardrops, which are available now. I have improved upon the mini-teardrops – the small size is 20% larger, and they last about three times longer, and the wick is a more suitable size. These are still available at the introductory price of $10 each. This has almost come to an end, and I will be raising the price of them on Monday to $14 each, to reflect the true cost of creating them. I will also be increasing the prices of the Valentines Hearts, Floating candles and Hand-dipped tapers at this time as well. I been revising my wholesale pricing to make sure it is sustainable, which means I need to raise the retail price as well to keep them in line. You have got until the end of Sunday the 3rd July to take advantage of my current prices – either at the Winter Encraftment Market, or on Felt.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Winter Encraftment market

The next market I have coming up is the Winter Encraftment Market on July 2nd at Villa Maria College Hall, from 10am-3pm.

This is a new market, and with over 50 creative stalls, there will be something for everyone. Bags, gifts, crafty items, toys, games, kids decor, vintage and modern jewellery, clothing, crafting supplies, homewares, garden art, children's clothing and accessories as well as amazing food, coffee and hot chocolate.

You will find goodies from Locket, Mudbird NZ, Feltgood, Green Jean, Cloudnine, Relique, The Wardrobe and many more. Forget the malls, come beat the chill of winter and the shaky ground with some retail therapy at Encraftment!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Yesterday was quite a topsy turvy day for me. I spent the morning in hospital under sedation, and the afternoon fuelled by adrenaline, after the world came crashing down again. Fortunately I was home from the hospital before the first aftershock struck. In fact I was just sitting down to relax to recuperate from a second gastroscopy (this one was to check the gluten free diet is working, and the results came back as normal, which means it is – yay!) We'd just cleaned up the mess, checked in on facebook and sat down again when the second one hit.

Just like February, the fish tank fell over and smashed again, throwing the fish on the floor again and spilling water all over the carpet again. The poor fish must be quite traumatised by now. Fortunately they both survived, as they were only on floor for a minute or so this time. We also got another liquefaction volcano in the backyard. Still no where near as bad as a lot of other people further east have it though.

All this shaking tests the resolve just a little. I'm sure we've all become much more resilient since September, but each time it gets a little harder to hold it together and stay focussed on the bigger picture.

For me, the bigger picture involves growing my business to a sustainable level that provides a proper income for me. Starting a business is never easy, but to start one in a year punctuated by earthquakes certainly doesn't help make it any easier. The majority of the retailers I supply in Christchurch have been affected, along with other local companies I work with. I don't want to sound too melodramatic though, as some businesses have lost everything, and I haven't lost a thing.

However, this makes me more determined than ever to make my business succeed. As long as I am self-employed, I am keeping a job open for someone else who needs it more. In the longer term, my business may grow to employ other people, and help grow the Christchurch economy when it so badly needs it.

I have a list of things as long as my arm of things to do, which I have been slowly ticking off. There are two important things I need to do to help with the forward momentum, and I feel if I write them here, it might give me more accountability to get them done! Firstly, I need to finish my website, which is at least half done. Secondly, I need to find some more retailers interested in stocking my candles. I have a few in mind I plan to approach, but if you know of any shops in your area that might suit, or you have a shop yourself and would be interested in stocking them, then let me know.

I do plan to still have my Tea Party on Sunday. It may begin with an earthquake briefing, but other than that I'm determined not to let tectonic plates get in my way! If you'd like the distraction of shopping, high tea, and great company, then come along, and feel free to bring a friend. You can RSVP here by 5pm tomorrow, and receive all the details by email on Thursday, and check in on the facebook event here.

Last night I kept thinking of that parody song 'I'm on a boat', and thinking that's what it was like with the house swaying so often. Which reminds me of how if someone is feeling seasick, you always tell them to watch the horizon. Which I what I intend to keep doing.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

And the winner is...

Drum roll... Rosie from Honey and Spice! You have won a tall ice candle, and a small essentials tin. I will email you with the details.

Thank you all for your comments and feedback, it's always nice to hear which products people like. Also, just this afternoon I have reached another milestone, of 30 sales in my Felt store!

If you'll be in Christchurch next weekend and feel like some high tea and shopping, you might like to come along to my Tea Party. You can RSVP here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tea Party – The Winter Edition

It's that time of year again, the Rose in Thorns Tea Party is back! It will be a great blend of tea, fine china, baking and shopping. There will be a full range of my candles available to purchase, some great deals on sale stock, and demonstrations of some of the different candles.

It will be held on the 19th of June from 3pm – 5pm at my home in Richmond, Christchurch. You will need to RSVP by Wednesday the 15th June here, and will receive address details the following day. You can also RSVP on the facebook event I have created. You can RSVP on both, I will check to make sure I don't count anyone twice! Also, feel free to bring a friend along with you – just mention that when RSVPing so I have the correct numbers. I don't want to run short of teacups and baking!

You can bring along any old candles for recycling for a 10% discount of your purchase. Also, don't forget my giveaway is still open, you've got till tomorrow to enter.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Giveaway time!

A big thank you to everyone that helped me to pass the 200 'liker' mark on Facebook. When I wrote my 100th blog post, I said that I would celebrate by doing a giveaway when I reached the Facebok milestone. So, without further ado...

The prize consists of a tall ice candle, a round acrylic plate and a small soy essentials tin candle. The winner can choose between the white and blue/purple ice candle shown, and one of the following essentail oil fragrances: Cinnamon, Patchouli, Geranium, Rose, Lavender, Manuka and Ylang Ylang.

To enter, all you need to do it take a look at my Felt shop, then comment on this post with what your favourite item from my shop is. Easy! Entries will close on Thursday 9th June 2011 at 7pm, with the winner chosen at random from the comments. Good luck!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Handmade 2011

Handmade 2011 is on this weekend at Te Papa in Wellington. It is a two-day symposium celebrating all things handmade, with workshops, masterclasses, lectures and tours. Felt is a supporting partner of the event, which means I am lucky enough to be attending as part of Team Felt. I am very much looking forward to this, and have spent ages trying to decide which workshops to attend. If you're in Wellington, and don't have your weekend booked out yet, I'd highly recommend checking out the Handmade 2011 programme to see what workshops you might like to attend.

If you have any burning Felt questions, or just want to say hi, it would be great to meet any blog readers who are also attending. It might not be really obvious who I am, as the company that prints Felt's t-shirts is in the redzone, so we haven't been able to get any new ones made up. However I will wear my Felt badge, to make identification slightly easier for you.

The Monster May Market on Saturday was a great success. Juliet and Abbie from the Craft Collective did a great job organising it yet again, with a fabulous selection of stallholders and a great turnout. I look forward to the next one!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Monster May Market this Saturday

This Saturday brings a shopping event like no other to eastern Christchurch. Since the earthquake in February, both malls on this side of town have been closed, along with the shops in the central city red zone. This has left a rather large gap to fill, so the girls from The Craft Collective, who brought us a Craft Christmas market last year, decided to create an event to fill this shopping void.

There will be a great selection of craft stalls, as you have come to expect. Along side these, there will also be a selection of High Street shops and cafes to really enhance the shopping experience. It sounds like a great day out to me, so why not come and join us this Saturday 28 May from 10:30am till 3pm at North Linwood School.

Don't forget to bring along any old candles or candle stubs for me to recycle, and I will exchange them for a 10% discount off your next purchase.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weekend by the sea

We went to Kaikoura for the weekend, and it was lovely to have a break away. We went to the seal colony and watched the adult seals basking in the sun. We also went to the waterfall where the seal pups hang out at this time of year. They were like a bunch of children playing about in the water, it was great to watch!

The museum was interesting, I found some old wooden type from the old Kaikoura Star printing press. There was also the old town jail there, completed with a padded cell.

This week I'm busy trying to get myself organised for the Monster May Market on Saturday – it's going to be great. Also I hope to get my newsletter out this week, so if you'd like to receive it, but haven't signed up yet, you can do so in the sidebar.