Wednesday, 30 April 2014


Fall deep into the Scandinavian countryside with this rich collection, where meadows meet the sea. Sweet floral and bold geometrics collide to tell the story of Nordika.

We found a heap of projects to inspire you to get creating with this beautiful range from Art Gallery, by designer Jeni Baker

 The beautiful meadow flowers on this bright teal fabric is so pretty & modern! 

This panel is perfect for a quick dress, measuring 112cm from top to bottom - it is perfect for a quick project. 

For the modern tween the black, grey & white Artic Light print is gorgeous! Also perfect for lampshades. 

Find all these prints on our website as well as half meter & fat quarter bundles. 

Friday, 25 April 2014

The Art of Pressing Flowers

The Art of Pressing Flowers

(& other crafts my mother taught me)

Recently my mother and I have been tackling the foreboding wasteland that is her craft room. Once many years ago my childhood bedroom, now a mountain of (I am sure there was a floor somewhere) clutter.

Today as she worked her way through more boxes, bins and bags, and I poked my head in hoping to spy some lost treasures to glean for my own towering collection of crafty supplies. We uncovered the last remnants of her pressed flower collection.

Pressed Flowers: Lasting reminders of many hours spent together

Crafts my mum taught me

My mum wasn't really into conventional crafts, she sewed on occasion in times of desperation, she never crocheted, her knitting pile was much higher on the started but not finished side and her card making mostly consisted of recycling old cards as often as possible.

To be fair, she grew up in a village in the mountains of Papua New Guinea, so the closest craft store was at least a 4 mile hike, several river crossings, a small single prop aeroplane flight and several month boat ride away. So she learnt to make do, and appreciate the beauty of what was around her, and she thoughtfully passed this onto our family.

When it came to corn husk dolls, acorn people, turtles made from sea shells, anything involving sticks, flowers or pinecones she was in her element.

Pressed flower arranging, all the rage in the 90's

Lessons learnt from pressing flowers

Though my passion for sewing was obviously not passed down to me by my mum, the heart of crafting, thrifting and seeing beauty in the simple things was, and it's one of her greatest legacies.

Do you know how long it takes to press flowers?

It starts with hours of slow methodical work.. then months to see your results.

The process of pressing flowers

  1. Wander your garden (or your neighbours) spotting flowers. - Seeing the potential in everyday things
  2. Carefully pick the flowers, and carry them back home.  - Handle that which is fragile with love and care.
  3. Remove the lumpy bits you don't want to keep. - Evaluating and discarding that which is not worth keeping.
  4. Lay out the flowers, so that none are touching, on some tissue paper, sandwiched in a heavy book. - Some things take time and pressure to reach their potential
  5. Store away somewhere safe and wait a few months. - Patience is always a virtue
  6. Remember that a few months ago you pressed some flowers and find them! - Don't give up on or forget about that which is stored away, waiting for it's moment to shine.
  7. Admire your pressed flowers, though they might not be as vibrant and soft as the ones you started with. - True beauty is not just in youth, or lost over time.
  8. Create something new and beautiful with your flowers. - Creating new from something old

Pressing rose petals
My mother, my sister and I spent countless hours in this way, sharing stories, tears, laughter and creativity. So maybe the result was something most people wouldn't hang on their wall. (at least not since the year 2000) But the true value is in the making, and the time spent together and the lessons learnt.

Seeing potential. Valuing beauty. Patiently hoping. Creating with love

As the countdown to Mother's Day begins, I am grateful for the crafts that my mother taught me, and the time she took to do so.

Helena Dinnissen

Sunday, 13 April 2014

School Holiday Programme

One more week until school holiday's start!  With this current weather it is best to have a few outings planned to keep them occupied and we have lots of creative fun things to keep them busy. We have also added 2nd listings to some our more popular workshops so make sure to check in case you think you missed out already.

Cupcake Decorating 1       Tuesday 22nd April, 10:30- 11:30am or 2:00- 3:00           $20                                
A fun cupcake decorating workshop to make a butterfly, heart, flower and owl cupcake! All materials included as well as a box to take your creations home in! Age 6+

Cupcake Decorating   2             Wednesday 23rd April, 10:30 -11:30 am                           $20

A fun cupcake decorating workshop to make a shark, frog, apple and spider cupcake! All materials included as well as a box to take your creations home in! Age 6+

Button Canvas Tree              Thursday 24th April, 10:30 – 11:30am   and 12:00 - 13:00                          $15
Create a colourful button canvas art for your bedroom in this fun arty workshop Age 6-12

Mice & Monster Matchbox Houses    Monday 28th April, 9:30- 10:30am                        $15  
Create little felt mouse or monster in your own choice of colour and then decorate up a matchbox for him/her to live! Age 7-12  


Peg Dolls and Houses     Monday 28th April, 11:00- 12:00pm or 2:00- 3:00                  $15  

Create a little Peg Doll Family in this fun workshop as well as a house to keep them in.
Age 5-12
Kids Sewing School       Tuesday 29th April-Thursday 1st May   10:00- 12:00pm            $175  
A fantastically fun 3 day workshop for any child who loves to create! Come along and learn to sew things you will love. Over the course  we will create 3-4 projects from the book, We Love To Sew, which you get to keep! All materials included for making the projects during the class including: Zipper Pouch, Name Bunting and a Skirt! Ages 8+

Kids Learn to Quilt       Tuesday 29th April-Thursday 1st May   12:30- 2:00pm                 $85  
Does your child dream of making a beautiful quilt that will last a lifetime? Make it happen with our Learn to Quilt workshop! This workshop runs over 3 days for an hour and a half each session. They will learn to cut and piece, layer and quilt and bind their gorgeous quilt!       Ages 8+ Suitable for both boys & girls! Last holidays we had 2 boys join us and they made amazing quilts!

Kids Make A Bag          Wednesday 30th April-Thursday 1st May   2:30- 3:30pm              $45  
If your child has some sewing experience this is a really fun workshop for them to do! They will make a cute bag in this workshop which runs over 2 days. All materials are included as well as sewing machines. Ages 8+

                                                                    Book Here Now
Fabric Printing                     Friday 2nd May, 9:30 – 10:30am                                     $15

Come and join us for a fun and easy project, designing and creating your our Custom Printed Fabric! Get as creative as you like and design your own fabric! Ages 5-12 Suitable for boys & girls

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Great Garden Makes

Hot Wheels Garden Track!

What I love about this project is that you can make it as big or small as you like and it can fit in almost any garden! We are constantly looking for more ways to get our kids outside and here is a great idea! 

From NZ Better Homes & Gardens

Fairy Garden

Tilly has created such fun fairy garden, that I would love to try out! Find an old or special mug or pot and you have yourself a mini wonderland! 

Tilly's Farm Blog - Kaiwaka New Zealand

Bird Feeder

Have a look at this easy tutorial to make your own bird feeder as well as a recipe to make your own bird feed!  
NZ Green Buttons

If all else fails and it is just too miserable to go outside, why not collect some leaves to make into a picture? See what you can create from the different shapes! 
Check out our Pinterest Board for lots of ideas!
Make Pinterest Board

Monday, 7 April 2014

New Cafe & Competition Winner

Well as some of you may have been watching, we decided to re -invent our craft store to a size that could replicate (more about this later!) which opened way for a great collaboration with Van Dams - The Dutch Cafe & Store. 

Van Dam's cafe has been in Christchurch for over 15 years, however I have to say being in there does remind me of being in cafe in the Netherlands many years ago! 


It is not the same as our old cafe, but we are happy to be working together and this will allow us so many new opportunities!  Plus they have cheese! 

and black licorice 

and even Kees's bike up on the roof! (Nice satchel!) 

and those of you who have been on our lampshade workshop will recognize these works of art! 

So we look forward to having coffee again and lots of new exciting adventures! 

The winner of our Crochet prize is Gill Weavers! She made this gorgeous granny square mat using our new Zpagetti Yarn which is made from recycled tshirts and a 12mm hook - so it is super speedy! Gill receives the latest copy of Simply Crochet & a ball of Inca yarn! Thanks to everyone who shared the images on Facebook, check them out, it was hard to choose a winner!