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Fabric of the Week – Ti Kouka me Harakeke

Harakeke (NZ Flax) on the path to the Petrified Forest in the Catlins

As much as I curse them as they try to slap my face as I’m cycling along the waterfront on my way to Wellington, I think that harakeke in bloom are a thing of great beauty.  In fact, I might even be a little bit obsessed with drawing them – if you ever come across a page of my doodles, you will almost certainly find a few of them.

I also love the statuesque forms of cabbage trees (ti kouka) striding across the landscape. Even in utero I had an obvious affinity with them – my mother’s waters broke while she was at an art gallery looking at a painting of a cabbage tree!

So, when I did a introduction to screen printing class last year at Wellington Makerspace, and needed an image at short notice, it’s little surprise that this is what I came up with.

Ti kouka me harakeke
Oops, I only have a tiny camera phone picture of it!

One of my current business objectives is around starting to create my own fabric designs. Now, this is definitely a bit of a stretch goal for me, for although once upon a time I was going to be a primary school teacher specialising in art education, somehow over the last 20 years I’ve drawn less and less.  I guess this is going to force me to draw more!  I also have a bit of upskilling to do in terms of my digital image manipulation, so I can begin designing fabrics for digital printing as well. But in the meantime, I’m looking forward to rekindling my teenage love of printmaking.

All this brings me to the first fabric of the week for 2014 – my own design, Ti Kouka me Harakeke, screen printed onto calico or upcycled heavy white drill, in chocolate brown or dark green.  Products you can have made from this are:

  1.  Simple calico tote, Height: 40cm, Width: 35 cm – $25
  2. Market bag, white cotton drill, reinforced flat bottom, Height: 35 cm Width: 33 cm Depth: 10cm – $40
  3. Small piped cushion, calico, with vintage button closure on back, Height: 35 cm, Width: 35 cm – $60
  4. Lampshade, calico, design printed multiple times around circumference, Diameter: 30cm, Height: 27 – $90

Here’s what it looks like made up as a cushion.

A handmade cushion featuring my Ti Kouka me Harakeke print
Ti kouka me harakeke (Cabbage tree and flax)


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You light up my life…

Just a quick post to show you what I’ve been working on over the last few days.

A selection of lampshades
New! Lampshades!


When my mother was visiting in May we took a class in Lampshade making together at Made Marion. Since then I’ve been perfecting my technique, and I am now offering lampshade for sale.  The selection above will be heading in to my shop, Made It later this week (but if you want one of them, get in contact with me soon – the pink foxes is definitely a one off, and I have limited qualities of the other fabrics).

The great news with these is that I’ve confirmed the lampshade making supplies I’m using are NZ made too – and yes, I am building them from scratch, so I can also offer a custom-made service to your dimensions.

I’ve set up a gallery with more detailed shots of each of the lampshades, in case you want a closer look.


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Winter is for snuggling down

Super quick post tonight – Just to let you know that I’ll be at the knack market at Berhampore this weekend. Well, I’ll at the knack evening market tomorrow, and you’ll be able to find my work there at the winter knack market on Saturday too.  I myself will be at Made It, and Melina will be looking after my stall and hers at the knack.

I’ve been working on a few new things to take with me, including these hottie covers, who are totally snuggle-worthy!

Hot water bottle covers
Snuggle up!

And now I’m off to bed. Night all!

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The early bird may catch the worm…

But some things are just better if you wait a bit.  For example, I bought a bunch of bananas a fortnight ago.  I only like them when they are still tinged with green, but I plum forgot to eat them.  So I just made myself a yummy choco-banana milkshake, because overripe bananas make excellent thickshakes, and you don’t even have to add any sugar. 

I launched a new product late last year, fabric covered diaries.  They did really well, and there are lots of people out there that have a wonderful 2011 diary by The Sewphist keeping them happy in their organised ways.  But I’m sure that there are also a significant number of people out there who are just like me, and about now they’re realising that they really need a new diary for this year if they’re going to succeed in that New Year’s resolution that this is the year that they’re going to get organised…

Late-starters rejoice, because my first featured product of the year is 2011 diaries.  I’ve just listed several on my felt shop, at special late-starter pricing.  

mini diary assortment
Mini Diaries featuring NZ flora, now just $10 each at
A5 Sampler pack
A5 Diaries by The Sewphist, many featuring NZ flora or native birds. Now just $20 each at

Because the late owl surely catches the bargain.  That’s my view of it, anyway!