Thursday, January 31, 2013

Valentines Love, A New Bookmark and A Funny Little Video.

We've been a bit busy this week working on a couple design projects and both Richard and I starting new jobs. I'm still waiting on that wealthy patron who'll enable me to work at home all day, hanging out with Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Or, Mulder and Scully as the case may be.

Anyway, I wanted to do a little Valentines celebration but wanted it to feel like us. Valentines isn't as big of a deal here in New Zealand as it is in North America and I feel a bit strange about a lot of what the commercial holiday represents. But, while you may not need a specific day to tell someone you love them it's still nice to be nice. You know? Besides, I'd had the idea for our new Wink bookmark brewing and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to release it. It's double sided and hopefully something a bit fun and cute for someone you love or for yourself to wink at a someone special.

It's available in both our new shop and in our Etsy shop which is still open for now. Even better is that you can get 25% off all orders using the code 'LOVE13' and will receive free Wink bookmark with all jewellery orders between now and February 14th!

Here's a funny little video I made to show off the new bookmark. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Design Team (or, I couldn't think of a non-cheesy title for this post).

1. Volume 3, p.36 2. William Morris 3. Mobile (I found this via Pinterest with a link to Voila Gallery, sadly it looks like it's sold).

For those of you who have had a look at our new shop you might have noticed that we have a new logo also. We're planning on building a website in the next month or so, and wanted to really think about branding and how we wanted to portray ourselves in the design sense. While it is pretty weird looking back at past blog headers and business cards, I've never been unhappy with previous logos looks. At the same time they've often been a bit slapped together or made in isolation and we wanted to be a bit more thoughtful this time around. This is not to say that I won't still make and order totally new business cards on a whim, I am a slightly impulsive dreamer after all.

Neither Richard or I are trained in design (apart from a jaded year of art school each) but we both have a pretty strong sense of what we like and are self taught in Photoshop and Illustrator so we thought we'd give it a go at doing it ourselves. Plus we're pretty broke after our move, so. 

We decided to both collect images that we like and threw them all together to see if we could find links between them. Colour, pattern, fonts (this is still a little up in the air), etc. Also, I tried really hard to not be a control freak about it all because of course Richard has a really great design sense and tempers my penchant for too much dusty pink and gold. I really loved the process of bringing all these varied ideas together, it took a bit for me to be confident about my choices though and led to long talks about why didn't we know that we could have studied art and taken on board what we liked while ignoring the annoying critical theory lecturer. Or, how great is the internet that we get to do this and build a business for ourselves without having to sit through the entire critical theory course! 

Our idea was to design something that we could use and manipulate lots of different ways (to suit my indecisive nature), but would still be timeless. We wanted to be able to combine something that felt organic but still had clean lines. Evie was kind enough to act as a sounding board for us - we're pretty lucky to have such a creative group of friends (thanks again, internet!) and it reaffirmed how much I thrive on working with others.  I'm really happy with the result and of course I've already tried playing around with it, using bits of it here and there, changing colours, mixing colours and adding backgrounds. I can't wait to work on the rest of our site now! 

We've used it to make new packaging for our bookmarks, something we've been meaning to do for ages but never could never totally decide on how to do it. Or find the materials for that matter, it seems that New Zealand is a bit of a wasteland for packaging supplies. Bookmarks now come individually packaged in a cello sleeve with lovely textured card for the packaging. I love that the rays give a bit of a midcentury but a lot of witchy, third-eye type feel. Speaking of bookmarks, we're giving some away over on our Facebook page if you'd like to tell us your current or favourite summer/winter read! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Love Transforms

We're over at Poppytalk Handmade again this month for their Love Transforms market (I've just updated our table with the new Raumati pieces!) and I always love finding new designers and artists when we get to hang out there. Jan always puts together a great selection of things, so I thought I'd do a little round up of my favourite pieces*. I'm on the lookout for a new couple of candles and that one sounds pretty hippy and amazing smelling. Perfect!

1. Focus Synergy Blend Candle by Aromacandles - $16 2. Personalised Cosmetic Bag by alissa jacobs - $40 3. While I still think that Emma is the queen of the witty pencil, I did think this Classic Rap Pencil Set by One Up Design were pretty funny. You Be Illin' is my fav. 4. Matte Stephens - Selected Works - $45. I love Matte Stephens' work, so a signed art book would be great. 5. The prettiest Party Crown of them all by Madeline Trait - $10 6. Tiny Cat earrings by Datter Industries - $54. Oh, who am I kidding? I'll take one of each of her jewellery pieces!

*sorry about the tiny writing, i had my file set to the wrong size and didn't realise until i uploaded it. it was too late to bear doing it again!

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Just a quick note to let you know our new shop is open, filled with lovely new pieces from the new collection. We're so happy with it and feel like it's a pretty good start to the new year, even if it is a slightly crazy time to be asking people to buy things. Ha!

If you head over, you'll be able to see our look book which I'll talk a little more about later. For now, hopefully you all find something you like in our little ode to summer.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Raumati: A summer jewellery collection

Hine Raumati - the summer maid

It feels like we've been working on this collection forever, it's been quite the labour of love. So, I'm really excited to let you lovely readers know that we'll be releasing Raumati, our summer jewellery collection, tomorrow! We've been inspired by sea glass, sun and ocean weathered stones, bewitching summer nights and hazy horizons. There was a point when we were shooting the look book where the ripples on the ocean were sparkling, the light was all hazy and the shells were sun bleached and bone dry (and the skin on my feet felt like it was about to burn right off, the black pebbles and sand was so hot. Standing in the water for the rest of the shoot was the best idea we had all day, this is not so glamourous as it sounds. trust.) and I felt so proud of us that we'd captured exactly what we set out to. Our model, Emily, is a family friend and at first I was worried she might be a bit young but I am so happy with how well she did. She was a little nervous, too but seriously - that baby Laura Dern/Jodie Foster face and those freckles. What a stunner!

As you can see I got a little over excited about multiple locations, but I had this idea to capture all these different facets of summer. I'm working on the look book now, editing the rest of the million photos I took and trying to make everything a little more cohesive. I'm really excited to show you the rest of our collection tomorrow and hope you'll like it as much as we do. We worked hard on creating designs that are all part of one story. In the past we've just kind of made pieces up as we went or produced one off pieces, but for Raumati we wanted there to be some kind of thread running through them all. In light of this, we've decided to release it as a limited edition collection with only five of each piece being available. Also, we're moving our jewellery over into a new shop that we will use now for our main store with Etsy moving more towards being a secondary or sale type store over the next few weeks. I'm not usually one to embrace change to be honest (in my head I love it, in reality less so.) but this fresh start feels so good.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

On grieving and apricots.

I've been watching this apricot tree since we first moved in. It had only just started blossoming then, taking a little while to get itself going. We all said it probably wasn't going to be a good year. As Spring moved toward Summer, fruit started appearing. They were small, hard and a greenish yellow that looked less than appealing. We waited for them to ripen but they fell to the ground instead, much to the delight of our adopted lamb. It wasn't looking like a good year for apricots.

Around New Years Eve, I was lying in bed and could hear the birds outside my window going nuts. I hadn't looked at the apricot tree for awhile so I spun myself around on the bed to be facing the wrong way up (and the right way up for optimal tree watching) and saw that not only was the tree full of birds, but also juicy looking golden fruit. The birds were having the most raucous feast on the now ripe fruit, there were tui and blackbirds, fantails and mynahs, and of course a few sparrows, all flitting in and out of the leaves gorging themselves on apricots. I watched for awhile before grabbing my camera but sadly they didn't want to stick around for photos. Still, the orange and green next to the dark, dark branches in these photos are so beautiful and fresh looking that I've been staring at them almost as much as the tree I've come to love now that the fruit is gone. 

For all my crunchy tendencies, I'm not one to really anthropomorphize nature despite respecting it. But, for whatever reason the apricot tree waited until 2012 was on it's way out before deciding to burst with fruit. I guess it wasn't a great year for apricots, but once we decided to leave it to the birds I'm sure they'd disagree. 

It seems like 2012 has been one that many people were glad to see the back of. Waiting for the New Year felt like waiting for time to literally reset itself. I know that there's nothing magic in the start of a new year but there was something in me telling me that if we could just get past December, just get to the end, things might start to be alright. We could lock 2012 away and triumph in the fact that we were still here. It was like, this is when you'll be able to breathe again, you'll be able to say 'It's ok. We made it.'. Just one more day, keep holding on and see this ride 'till it's end. You can do it.

Grief is such a strange beast. One that I was confident that I understood but now know that I have no idea. It's all about waves and all about surprise. It sneaks up on you at the most mundane times and you just have to ride it out. I'm sure it's different for everyone, but I needed that perhaps mythical end point that enabled me to take a breath again. Unexpectedly, things have gotten harder since taking that breath but in a weird way that makes me feel better. I feel like things might start to be processed now, that exhaling has pulled back the curtain a crack that was hiding Tynesha from me and now that I'm breathing again it will do so a little more each day. Even though it hurts like nothing else, feeling it and breathing is so much better than holding my breath and waiting.

I've made some resolutions for this year, that I'll share maybe a bit later. I spent New Years Eve in bed with a stomach bug (figures), but I was watching The Wire and took some time with Richard to reflect on the year past and plan for the one ahead. I became a fully registered teacher last year, and worked really hard to do so. More than that, teaching at Papakura and working with some amazing colleagues was the challenge and inspiration that has shown me the teacher I can be, and who I want to be. We spent the year with our dear friends. Living with some of them, picnicking, going to the art gallery, laughing and crying with others. They were so much of our support in our move home and made the trek themselves to be with us when T went. 

Most of all, I was lucky enough to spend some of the sweetest of days with Miss Tynesha Rose. What an incredible gift. I miss that girl, so very much, and I miss her and I together. Things won't ever be the same, but that doesn't mean they won't be alright. If you could talk to the birds in the apricot tree, they'll tell you the same thing. Things don't always go according to plan, and it hurts and you might get angry and cry or feel like you've missed out and have lost something. Life carries on though, someone will pick up where you left off and a new normal will show itself. Maybe it's the birds turn for delicious fruit this time around. You might not like it, but your new normal will start to appear. And, it will be ok. We will be ok.