Monday, November 25, 2013

Tea Party

The Rose in Thorns tea party is back, just in time for some Christmas shopping. If you want to shop in a relaxed environment and enjoy tea and cupcakes served on fine china with good company, then come along! It will be held on the 1st December at 3pm - 5pm at my home in Northcote. If you would like to come, just register here and you will be sent address details a few days before the event. You can also rsvp to the facebook event if you wish.

Our full range of candles will be available, so you can take a look over them at your leisure. I will have some candles lit so you can see them in action, and there will be some great specials on clearance items.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Manderley Home and Garden Festival

Next weekend you'll find me at the Manderley Home and Garden Festival. It's an event I always enjoy attending, due the the lovely setting and atmosphere. There will be a great selection of food stalls, live music and dancing and the homestead will have three rooms open to the public.

There will also be a large selection of stalls hand-picked for their quality and originality, so it is a great event to start your Christmas shopping in a relaxing environment. It's on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th November from 10am - 4pm each day at 3875 Christchurch/Akaroa Highway, Little River. Admission is $15, with children under 12 free.

Friday, September 13, 2013


So my blogger dashboard tells me this is my 150th post – hopefully it lives up to that milestone!

As the saying goes, the only constant is change. My life has changed quite a lot over the last few years, and the last few months have been no exception. My wee man is growing and learning at a rapid rate, and it's definitely a fun journey to be part of. While on leave I seemed to keep stumbling upon lots of different artists, which inspired me to get back into drawing again. I haven't made a start on that yet, but I hope to find some time soon. I used to draw people quite a lot when I was a teenager, with a strong lean towards the heart throbs of the time. (I'm guessing that Dear Colleen must have gone through a similar phase herself, with her ever expanding collection of dishes tea towels!) I even managed to put a couple of drawings of Brad Pitt into my Schoot Cert art portfolio. I'm still not sure how I managed to get that past my art teacher! Since then I have mostly focussed on painting, as I thought it was a natural progression, but I would quite like to try drawing again. Here are some of the drawings I did way back then, including the School Cert specimens. Points for anyone who can identify any of the three featured at the bottom!

My workspace also keeps evolving. Last year I posted some pictures of what it looked like after I'd finished setting it up. Since then, it's been entirely redecorated, and I kept posting teasers saying I was going to put some new pictures up. Here are some I took in early May – it's changed again since then, but I still have some more plans for it, so new pictures are going to have to wait!

The room was repainted after earthquake repairs, and I had decided some form of 'duck egg blue' would be nice, and found the perfect shade. So I also painted the cabinet to match, as it needed some updating, and also it's own repairs after being knocked over from the fishtank. The busy 1970's carpet also had to go, so we found a wool carpet in a nice neutral brown, and then we had to get new curtains, as the pink ones didn't go so well!

The room changed again not long after that, to make way for the spare bed which had been in what became the baby's room. It has now gone in favour of a sofa bed, which means I no longer require the couch, which is my pride and joy. I'm not quite sure I can bear to part with it just yet, so it's future remains unknown at this stage.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sharing the love

A few weeks before the wee man was born, this lovely packages of goodies turned up on my doorstep. They were from The Sisterhood, to show us love from afar as we headed into this new season of life.  It was a very kind gesture, and I must say I did feel loved, it really made my day. Somehow, they'd even managed to figure out what my favourite chocolates were too!

Things are going really well with the wee man after a few difficulties to begin with. He's growing really well, and is a sweet wee boy.

In this last week, when the headlines seemed to revolve around babies, I learned that a crafty friend of mine was in a very stressful situation with her premature baby girl Lily. She had been born unexpectedly in Shanghai while they were in transit on their way back from Europe. She was born at 27 weeks gestation, which in itself would be incredibly stressful. So to have this happen in a foreign country, with a different language and different culture, while away from your usual support networks would make everything much, much more difficult.

They would like to bring her back to New Zealand, but as their travel insurance won't cover this, they need to raise the $250,000 need to bring her back in an air ambulance. If you would like to help out, you can donate some money via their givealittle page, and keep up to date with the fundraising efforts on their facebook page.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A new arrival

Josh and I welcomed little Hamish into the world at 10:51am on the 4th June, weighing 3.98kgs. Now we're settling in at home, and learning about this whole new exciting chapter of life!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Maternity leave sale

Very soon I will be finishing up work while I await the arrival of the new baby, so in the meantime, I thought I would have a sale to help clear some stock, and free up some space in the office, which is about to become the spare room as well!

So, until Tuesday evening, everything in the online shop is at least 20% off. There are also some great deals on seconds, and clearance items, including discontinued candles and fragrances.

The discontinued fragrances are chocolate, coffee and rainforest. These are still available in tealights, and various bargain box packs, with owls (coffee and chocolate) or teardrops (rainforest). There is also one great value pack with a chocolate owl, large tin and box of tealights. Stocks are limited in these products, so once they're gone, they're gone!

Sadly, I will be discontinuing the popular teardrop candles, as they are not particularly cost effective to make. I will still be able to make them to order though. The bright side is that they are included in some of the clearance packs, so if you've had your eye on them for a while, now is a great time to snap them up.

They are available in one set of five with all fragrances, with a white acrylic plate, individually, and in various gift packs.

There are also some great value seconds bargain boxes, with candles that have minor chips or dents, or other surfance damage, but still smell great and burn well. These include a set of three different sized frangipani teardrops, and a large owl with tealights, along with some owl, tin and teardrop combos.

Last but not least, there are some gift pack with candle plates, including soy pillars with china plates, tealights with saucers or slates, and ice candles with saucers.

I finally finished organising the office a couple of weeks back, and took some photos which I will post up later this week!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

World famous in Christchurch

Click here to read the article
It's not often you get a full page feature in the local newspaper, so I was quite excited this morning to go and buy a copy of the Press so I could see how it looked. A big thank you to Katy who helps keep up the profile of the local crafting community by writing articles for the Zest section of the Press.

The photo is of my stall at the Christmas Encraftment last year – thanks Emma for taking the pics!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Be in to win a gorgeous soy candle prize pack

After much anticipation, we have recently launched our new soy glass jar candles. One of the main benefits of using glass is that you can see the light from the flame all the way to the bottom of the candle. They also look pretty too!

Glass bowls are often used as wedding centrepieces, but we think you should be able to enjoy them in your home any time you like as well! They are currently available in the following fragrances: rose, vanilla, frangipani, mandarin & mimosa, white tea, jasmine & honeysuckle and red raspberry.

The little votive glasses were just crying out for some colour, so we now have a rainbow of fragrances available in these sweet little candles. These are also available in the same fragrances as the bowls (listed above).

We have also launched a delectable new fragrance, red raspberry. Just try and resist it, it smells good enough to eat! It is currently available in the soy glass bowl, glass votive and tealight candles, along with a one off recycled glass jar candle. We also have some lovely crystal glasses that can be made to order in your favourite scent, perhaps for a wedding, or whatever you like!

To celebrate the launch of these new candles, we are giving away this gorgeous prize pack. It includes a soy glass bowl candle, a soy glass votive candle and a box of five soy floating candles in your choice of available fragrances. To enter, all you need to do is choose your favourite Rose in Thorns candle from our website and Felt shop, then fill in your details in this form and you're in the draw. It's that easy! Entries close at 8pm on Wednesday the 8th May 2013.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Creative Collections

After a delay due to earthquake strengthening work, Art & Company's annual exhibition for 2012 is currently on at the South Library, 66 Colombo Street. It runs until the 9th May, and contains a variety of paintings from beginners through to more experienced artists.

This is my sixth time exhibiting with this group, and I'm always impressed with how well it comes together. Maree always does a great job organising it!

It is well worth a look if you are based in Christchurch, and paintings can be purchased through the Red cafe onsite.

The following are my paintings in the exhibtion:
 Pecking order
 Standing tall
Uighur Beauty

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Why it's been a bit quiet around here lately

Clearly my goal to post more often this year has fallen by the wayside! I've been busy organising my office and spare room, as mentioned in my last post (still no new photos yet – soon!). There are two reasons for this – it was long overdue, and the spare room is being requisitioned for a new purpose – a baby's room. Yes, I'm having a baby in June, so I'm having a bit of a tidy up and destash so that I can squeeze everything from the spare room into the office.

It's actually quite satisfying getting rid of things you no longer require, and since I've been downsizing lately, it's become more necessary. Over the years I've accumulated more and more things, and the last flat we lived in had a lot of space to store it. When we bought our house just over a year ago, it was slightly smaller with less storage, so things became a bit more crammed, and the sorting had to commence. Now that I have to downsize by another room, it's become more urgent!

I don't like throwing things into landfill if I can help it, so the second half of the problem becomes what to do with all the things I don't need any more. Fortunately trademe is a good place to find new homes for obscure things, though I'm yet to make my fortune doing that. Charity shops are always another good option, and if you have time for a quick browse when you're dropping things off you can often find something you need to buy, and share the love even more. Once I've put up the last lot of new curtains, the old ones will be going to the Curtain bank, a charity that resizes old curtains for families in cold houses.

I've also got some surplus candles which are taking up valuable space and need new homes as well. I'm trying to streamline my product offering a bit more, to make setting up at markets a bit more efficient. This means I won't be making any more of some older candles. If you'd like to take a look at what's on offer, I have a section on the website for discontinued candles, which includes discontinued fragrances, the small and large tins, and ice candles. So if you are a fan of the rainforest, chocolate or coffee fragrances, then snap them up now so you don't miss out.

I'm also having a sale on selected products which can be found in the sale section. There are also a few bumped and knocked candles in the seconds section. Last but not least, because it's almost the end of the financial year, and stocktaking is boring, I have another incentive for you to stock up on candles. Any purchases $20 and over before the end of March receive free shipping withing New Zealand. This will be automatically applied on the website, and if buying on Felt, just enter the code FREESHIP at checkout.

I'm getting to the end of the sorting now, and can nearly fit everything in the wardrobe in the office. Trust me when I say this is quite an achievement! So hopefully I'll have some new photos to put up in the next few weeks.

It would be nice to make a few baby things before the baby comes as well, so once I've finished all this organising, I might even have some time for this!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Year

I always like the break over Christmas and New Year as a great opportunity to reflect, and think about what I'd like to do and things I'd like to change in the coming year. One thing was to blog more regularly, but I clearly need to do more work on that one!

I've been self-employed for almost three years now, so I've been thinking about where I'd hoped to be by now, and where I'm at. It has been hard work, and a lot more difficult than I expected. I didn't achieve the growth I had hoped for last year, which means my financial position is only slightly better than a year ago, and still quite far off my goal of earning a living.

This of course raises the question of whether or not it's sensible to continue. The prevailing wisdom is that it takes three years for a business to find it's feet. There has been a lot of trial and error, and the associated costs of this, along with the general costs of setting up a business. I've learned which products work better, so know which direction to concentrate my efforts.

I have a lot of the skills required to run a business, but feel I'm missing something, that spark that brings everything together and makes it sing. I like running my own business, and the freedom it brings, so would like to find that missing piece, and to make it work properly.

To this end, I have a few plans this year. I would like to be more organised, and have been going through everything having a good sort out, and trying to catch up on boring paperwork and filing that seems to get forgotten. I would also like to put some more time into marketing. This is one area that I always seem to leave to last, which means it often gets forgotten, but is an important part of a business. I have subscribed to an online course by Designing and MBA called Marketing for Makers which I hope to complete soon. So once I get my time management sorted, things will be all go!

I had hoped by now the office would be all tidy and I could put up some new photos of it. It has been redecorated over the last year, and I'd been wanting to finish tidying so I could take some after shots to post up. That hasn't happened yet... soon, I promise, but I did find last years photo post, which I posted exactly a year ago. It's quite nice to look back and see how much it has changed!