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Why I’m excited about Craft Central tomorrow

Ok, I’m always excited about markets, not least because they make me knuckle down and spend time doing what I really love: sewing.

But this market is extra special, because for the first time ever you’ll be able to buy products from fabrics that I’ve designed myself. This is a big deal, and has been not one, but two years in the works. It was October two years ago that I sat down and wrote myself a business plan that included created my own fabrics. I started by learning to screen print, but quickly realised that I’m a bit of a messy bunny, and that wasn’t really going to be the way for me to go.

So instead I’ve been focusing on building my skills using illustration software. I had a bit of an idea about what fabrics I would launch this spring, but then in early July I sat down to eat my lunch and my muse turned up.


My muse
My muse

This fellow sat watching me the whole time I was eating, and then kindly posed for a photo.

The image I drew from that photo became the base for the first of the fabrics in my first range. The other fabrics feature a tui and a kaka, both from photos taken by my husband (you can check out his landscape photography at

Tomorrow at Craft Central is the launch date for products made from those fabrics. I’m starting with wallets, visual diaries and lampshades.

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So, tomorrow is Craft Central. 10 am – 3 pm at The St James Theatre on Courtenay Place, Wellington.

Who’s coming to see me?

It's on tomorrow folks!
It’s on tomorrow folks!
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Riding the Rimutaka Cycle Trail – Day one

A couple of years ago to took up cycling (again) as a form of rehabilitation. When I started my year of productive non-employment in mid-2011, one of the things I wanted to do was get myself back into shape. The means of doing this that I’d chosen was the Couch to 5 km programme from Cool Running. 4 weeks into that however, and I discovered that my ankle injury from late 2010 wasn’t going to let me do it. Months of physio, sports medicine, injections and other interventions later, it was clear that I needed to keep my ankle moving, and cycling seemed to help rather than aggravate it. By the start of last year I’d seen one of my friends increasing posts on the cycling she was doing, and felt pretty inspired by it.  By that point, I’d already achieved my initial goal of cycling into Wellington (20km) a few times.

My bicycle
This is my bike. It is pretty, and it is comfortable.

I started to look for some challenges to keep me going (cycling there and back wasn’t providing enough of its own incentive). I decided to sign up for the GrapeRide, but I was realistic about what I could achieve in 3 months, and went for the 42km option.  At that point I also decided that by the end of the year, I’d be capable of cycling 100km in a day.  Now, as we know, I didn’t quite make the GrapeRide, but it certainly gave me motivation to keep going on my bigger goal – and I still plan to sign up for the 101km version this year. I also decided somewhere along the way that I was going to earn my new bike – putting a dollar into the budget for every kilometre I cycled. I can’t quite remember when I made that decision, but I tracked 1022 km of cycling in 2013 (I suspect there may have been a few unrecorded trips), so that’s my budget.

Now: did I do it? Did I cycle 100km in a day in 2013. Well, yes and no. Continue reading Riding the Rimutaka Cycle Trail – Day one