Showing posts from 2008

Joy to the world!

Merry Christmas Everyone!
We are taking time out to spend some lovely, quality, family time together. Paula and family have joined us here in Kiwi land and so has the lovely Jane and my brother Myles. We have had a magical time so far - gorged ourselves, played badminton on the beach, had sprint races and charades and indulged in too much chocolate - we are also planning to squeeze in some op shopping, crafting and a girls night - ahhh - gotta love the summer holidays!



We have a winner, we have a winner, oooh goody, we have a winner

Here she is:

congratulations, to Eerika who lives in Helsinki, Finland and makes Rag Pets. Thank you to everybody for playing !

Sew mama Sew giveaway

***** Win one of our prints - just in time for Christmas ********

We are linking up with the Sew mama Sew giveaway. It 's a great idea to have a list of blogs offerring a giveway - you get to see some great blogs and a chance to win a prize - what could be better in blogland i ask you! So, we are offering the winner (randomly chosen from our comments) any choice of the prints found in our Etsy shop (just have a look - decide what you like and put it in your comment - could not be simpler!) Its open to anyone, local and International and we will keep it open untill Sat. 6th december.
Thanks for playing!

Christmas a time of giving back

Sweet William is busy busy busy - we are making all our own Christmas gifts this year and it feels so liberating! We are determined NOT to go out and spend money on plastic junk for kids, friends and family that inevitably end up in the bin. We have thought about being more responsible in our gift giving this year. Why fill the pockets of the large conglomerate companies and land fill sites, when we can give hand made gifts, made with love and care? All the products we make are 100% handmade, using materials from thrift shops, second hand, pre loved, except for maybe the occasional new zip and paper for the printer. Let's also think about gifts that last a while - enough disposable living. The liberating part of it is knowing we wont be fighting for parking at the mall, fighting our way around the shops and fighting for the last object of desire on the shelf. No more fighting just home made peace! Make Lovely Not Waste! Gosh I think a need to go and find a flower after that speech…

to market to market

We had our first melbourne market, a small school market. We had awful weather - but it didn't rain...amazingly! Great fun was had by all and there are plans for many more markets in Melbourne, just a matter of finding the right one.

Etsy front page

Well we had a little dance around the living room for a couple of minutes when we discovered a "sweet william" item on the etsy front page. it was a sweeeeet moment - for sure - sadly it was an all to brief moment as the front page changes every hour and we must have caught the last five minutes! Anyway, still a proud moment - it was Paula's gorgeous spring blossom print that was featured.

Ornaments a making..

This little gem have been added to the etsy shop... she's based on the lovely illustration Paula did. I'v also joined a New Zealand ornament swap being hosted by Twenty cent mixture which im pretty excited about - a little parcel in the post is the best thing!

I wish I could bottle up and sell...

I wish I could bottle up and sell the great feeling I get when I have a good week - its so great you want to keep it for those times when the week is not so hot. However, I've had a sizzling week, starting with a lazy "labour day" BBQ - ones of those sit around, mellow out, sun on your back, listen to the bees kind of BBQ's. That was just the beginning.
Tuesday, I went to a prayer meeting with the lovely King's Church woman (trust me, there ain't nothing boring about that!)
Wednesday was super dooper cos Helen came back from Melbourne telling tales to make me green, and bearing a lovely, special, decorated cigar box bursting with all the things i love - buttons, trim, ribbon, paper bits, iron on transfers, an old shell road map - it was like Christmas - thank you Helen xxooxxoo

In between all this - I want to show off our Mommy's sitting pretty in the window of Juniper gallery in Newtown- (a really gorgeous little design and floral shop) - cos I can now tha…

If we op shopped together....

Well I remember there were times in our early years when sharing was quite hard to do (eg: bedrooms and barbies). I think if I went thrift/garage/op shopping with you we would have to revert back to our age old system of working out who got what: put everything in a pile, then take turns choosing the first three things we wanted, then the rest numbered and drawn out of a hat!
Here are a few of my latest bits of a recent scrounge: Lovely granny blanket (can't have too many of those), some fabric, apron and vintage habby. The really bad eighties patterns you seen in the corner are not there because i have a yen for a drop waist jacket or a lumberjack shirt- no, they have an eco use. I felt these patterns were in dire need of being put to rest once and for all, they are so bad one should put them out of their misery and so I do - by using the pattern paper to clean with!!! Love, Shells


There are so many things i would love to share with my sister, this blog and our little shop is what brings us together even though we are a few 1000 km's apart. We are both busy mum's with a thing for op shops and market - here are a few things i need to share: Op shop finds - old russian doll, vintage fabric, old leather case, orchid print calendar, lovely old silver tea spoons, granny baskets, nice hoard, hey? My new coffee mugs - I avoid buying things new but was quite pleased with my latest red inspired mug collection. My girl's wonderful creation - Lia and Rosie got hold of my jar of whimsies and had a go at doing some decorating of a wire tree, i thought it was quite good. These pictures are set against a back drop shot of my desk top - busy with drawings and over flowing with new thoughts and ideas...

Craft 2.0

Wellington has a fantastic craft market: Craft 2.0 and i love gearing up for it. The house could fall down around me while im in the zone but its all good because I get a real buzz out the whole thing. I'm going with Carmen from Ring around the moon - she makes great hand bound books. if any of you are considering doing a market - no 1. tip - go with a friend - it makes it a lot of fun, less intimidating and you can have a coffee break! This time round my eight year old is coming with as she wants to see what mommy is up too at these things and she is going to be a great little help!

If you are in Wellington on Sat. come down to the New Dowse and check it all out.

Some bits for the stall:

Lovely purse collection and a good chai

Here is the first of a series of purses and pouches based on Paula's illustration design. For all those tea lovers / cup collectors out there. What's your leaf of choice? Mine is a lovely cup of Rooibos - redbush is the translation - a South African herbal tea full of all the good things but without the caffein.
I also love a good chai and I have a great recipe for homemade chai: In a saucepan, cover four tea bags with 800 ml boiling water. Allow to draw for five minutes, then remove the tea bags and discard. Add two 1cm pieces of peeled fresh ginger, two cinamon sticks broken in half, four bruised cardamon pods, four black peppercorns, four whole cloves, 1ml fennel seeds and 1ml allspice to the tea. Simmer over gentle heat on the stove for 10min. Strain and serve balck or with milk, or - the best condensed milk. For a stronger flavour, remove from heat and allow to stand for 30 min. before straining.

Why turning 38 is so lovely compared to turning 18!

I've taken all week to reflect on turning 38 (as one does)....
It occurred to me that it felt so different from when I was turning 18 and I think the fundamental difference is that i have a much better sense of who i am these days and what my purpose is.
back then it was so hard to know, i really could not see it at all - but now its easy and i have a very clear sense of my purpose.

What i know now that i did not know then is that- I possess some of God's inherent glory. That I was made to recognize his glory, honour his glory, declare his glory, praise his glory, reflect his glory and live for his glory.
And knowing this, embracing it, is why i am so much happier turning 38 than 18!

Trash Palace and lovely finds

If you are ever in Wellington, NZ - Trash Palace is the place to go for a good thrifty scrounge. Helen and I decided to go on a recce on Thursday and i found some nice little bits. The orange and floral containers were in the free bin outside. The tea cups are for my craft stall, the hoop is for some more screen printing (after the love bunny turned out so great), some ribbon, fabric and always some old patterns - cos the graphics always make me laugh. Oh, and some nice old books to add to the paper stash - grand total: $8. aaah the satisfaction........

Hoola hoop print on a (lovely) pencil case

I have been so keen to try a bit of screen-printing - but its one of those processes that seem quite intimidating and not that easy to master. Plus, you just happen to need a screen or two lying around and an image lasered on it! However, I picked up somewhere on the net (as one does) that a simple little embroidery hoop will do for small, unsophisticated prints. So being the stitchy girl that I am, of course I had a hoop or two. With a touch of "ModgePodge" to block out the image and some textile paint - the process was almost a cinch! I used the back of a ruler as a squeegee. The print is a bit rough and I actually kind of like it that way (old school).

collage cards

I have been having some fun with collage and have enjoyed making cards with the endless collection of paper scraps that i have, collected over years - old and new bits from all over. I would be interested to know what people think of them.

Anatomically correct

I am totally in love with any old books that are about the human body. The graphics are always amazing. I think its from a childhood nostalgia. I remember there was a World Book Encyclopedia that showed the human body on clear pages so you could peel back the layers.

I found this great book at the local charity shop and my 8 year old daughter loves it!

Dominion post seedlings - a lovely find

Doing the (yawn, yawn) shopping recently, my day was boosted with a lovely little find. These seedling's all wrapped up in the local paper - the Dominion Post.

Apparently, Sweet Williams represent friendship in the floral world, which I think is a lovely sentiment to have sprouting in my garden. It will go along side some Lavender which is said to represent "grace". I have decided to plant them in here; ( the Lavender is still baby size and can't be seen yet)

our lovely lady

I had a bit of time to take some shots of one of our cushions before she went to live with someone in Sydney - I was quite pleased with the way they turned out. We are are so proud of our lovely ladies and hope they are blessing the new homes they settle in.

Africa time

Those from Africa (like ourselves) or those who have visited Africa, will know these two things - a) Africans have their own time that is very different to the rest of the worlds.
b) Africans have a great craft style - quirky and often done on the street corner to sell to the passing tourist.
This clock is made from a tuna can and some recycled metal - genius! I feel like I've been on Africa time at the moment as far as crafting goes - but I'm sure I'll get to it Now-Now!

etsy seller's meeting in melbourne

I went along to an etsy seller's meeting in Melbourne this past Sunday. It was great fun. I met loads of lovely ladies and we had great fun showing off all our lovely wears. I took along some prints and cards to 'show and tell'. Shelley has our softies in New Zealand, so I couldn't take any along but i did manage to put together a 'mood board' of what we sell at Sweet William and I was quite pleased with the way it came out.

op shopping

Shelley inspired me to go out and have a little scratch around my local op/thrift shops, one is never disappointed! My finds were: 2 meters of beautiful, vintage, flocked fabric, a little gold tray, two pretty glasses, another stunning tea cup to add to my collection, a pile of old Australian stamps, a 1952 encyclopedia and some pretty writing paper with birds on - all of this was under $25, ahhh the satisfaction.

Find of the Week

My sister and I will tell you that nothing beats a good rummage through an op shop or at the flea market. I have to admit Paula is the queen - but i can hold my own sometimes and Im still proud of the plaster Virgin and child icon I recently found for her on a trip to Melbourne. Since this is a blog about the things we enjoy, i thought it would be fun to post our "finds'' on a regular basis.
My find of the week was a beut. A set of drawers made of Remu wood. Lovley honey colour and lots and lots of little compartments and flat map drawers. Salvaged from an old science lab. Bargain at $5 a piece. I got two and the old scale in the photo and the old chalk board. This will soon turn into my drawer full of wonders. If you have an old vintage cabinet full of things - I'd love to know - What's in YOUR drawers?

A little spotlight

Ooh - its always fun to do interviews. It makes one feel special I tell you. Thank you Jo from thedesignalphabet - she has a gorgeous blog that i will add to our blog roll “tout suit” as not only are we featured in it - but she is from just down the drag - and I love to support local. She is a guest writer for Decor8 soon - and i think there might be a giveaway of note! Well done Jo.

customized birth announcement

This is an illustration i have recently done for friends and family who have had babies. I thought we could offer it up as a customized print on Etsy. So if you know of a friend or family memember who has had a little one recently and would like to send them something personal, then have a look at our

embroidery pattern

here we go a lovely sweet line drawing to embroider, have a go!

embroidery patterns

I love to embroider and I'm always looking for little patterns. The challenge is coming up with a contemporary way to use the embroidery.
I used my sisters tree design to make this embroidered canvas.

Have a look at my flickr site if your into embroidery too. I thought it would be fun to include some of Paula's line drawings that could be used as an embroidery pattern. If you find one you like please let us know how you used it (and be respectful of the fact that it's an origional design) - we would love to see the result.
***** softie below sold *******

Motherhood - blue swallow

I have had such a busy time at the moment (doing some full time teaching) that there has been no time to restock some Madonna's. However, the fabric stash was calling me, the fingers started to itch and before I knew it - i'm like the crafting Mummble from Happy Feet, i just couldn't help it.
So here is another lovely mama - she bears a blue swallow - a lino print I created for a swatch swap and have now also used on this sweet lady. She is in the shop and about to be joined by a second.

give away winner

Well done to Nancy Mccarroll who has won the peach spring print for herself. Thanks to all who left a comment on our blog and thanks for all the lovely words of support.

All our softies cleared out at craft market

We had huge succes over the weekend at the craft2.0 market in Wellington. Our lovely madonna and child cushions flew out the doors and the table was empty by lunchtime! If only there was time to make more lovely things. Selling our items is always a good feeling but now we need to get on with making lots more! Our etsy shop is looking a little bare but hopefully will be full of lovely, sweet things again soon.

Etsy Sale Giveaway!

It's our first Etsy sale and to celebrate we are doing a GIVEAWAY! Post a comment and your fav. print from our Etsy shop on our blog by the 31 July and we will draw a name to win the print!

our first etsy sale- how exciting!

Well, i am glad to report we have made our first sale on etsy, funnily enough it is from a buyer in Australia! Here is our lovely doll, who is now off to a new home, where i am sure she will be loved, bye bye Orange Blossom, all the best.

we are on etsy - aren't they lovely!

We are so proud of our little pieces of art, here are three of them together

things we have already sold:

It just feels nice to have a record of items sold, so that we have a record and if anyone sees something they like we can remake!1) mini paperpack - all sorts of new and vintage paper goodies. 2) print of tea cup illustration - high quality inkjet on bright white matt card.

our first baby

Here she is, our very first madonna and child softie which we sold on it is good that we have the photo's of our items, it feels quite hard to let them go sometimes! We,(Shelley Gardner NZ and Paula Mills Aus) are really excited about how everything is progressing with our little endevour. It has been great working together even though we are far apart, PTL for Skype! Paula is responsible for illustration and design, Shelley does all the making/sewing and doing, we both come up with all sorts of ideas by being constantly inspired by people and things around us. So here's to our first little madonna baby doll, we are sure she has found a lovely home!