Friday, December 21, 2012

The true spirit of Christmas - the two amazing things that happened to me today.

Today, two amazing things happened to me.  But first I should explain why I have been ignoring you all out in the blogging world.   No I have not run away to a desert island.  A bunch of my friends and myself have set up a pop up market in Napier.  We have filled the shop with 20+ lovely craft stalls and are having a ball chatting to customers and selling lots and lots of handmade goodies.  Anyway getting back to my story about the kindness of strangers.  First of all I had a lady that bought a lot of items from my stall, then came back in to ask if she could buy one star, they were selling at $10 for 3 stars.  I said that she could have the star for free as it is Christmas.  So she then told my why she wanted just one star.  She had lost her niece who was called Star of the Ocean, what a wonderful name, and wanted the one star as a memory of her.  I felt so glad that that she had my star.  I hope she does not mind me sharing as I was really touched by her story.

Story number two started when Jo and I were serving a customer.  The customer was talking about how noisy the bagpipes were that were playing up the street.  I said how homesick it made me for Edinburgh when I heard the bagpipes playing.  A while later the lady came back again and presented me with a packet of shortbread biscuits to cheer me up when I felt homesick.  How wonderful is that, what a lovely person.  I am so happy that Christmas spirit is alive and well even in these materialistic days.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Phew - that was a busy three days at the Cranford Hospice Holly Trail Fete.  I am absolutely puggled out.  What a great time I have had out in the Hawkes Bay sunshine, eating mince pies and strawberries and chatting to all the Holly Trail Ladies.  My little stall was decimated by the end of the weekend.  I better get stuck into some more sewing now for Crosshills Garden Fete next weekend.  Don't you just love the build up to Christmas.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thank goodness for a beautiful Hawkes Bay day........

 Thank goodness for a beautiful Hawkes Bay sunny day.  I have chased Peter and our visitors, my Mum and Dad, out into the garden - while I took over the kitchen.  It is chaos in our house, sewing everywhere - printing inks filling the kitchen. 
 The reason for all the mess and chaos is I am trying to get stock ready for my stall at the Hospice Holly Trail next week.  This year the fete that goes with the Holly Trail is to be held at Birdwood Gallery out on Middle Road, Havelock North and will be open not just to those lucky people with tickets but also to the general public. 
But it does not stop there, on the Friday night I will be outside Hawthorne's Coffee Shop at the Craft and Design Markets night market.  I could not resist joining in with the fun, it really looks like it will be a great night - all the usual stalls, plus the wood fired pizza van, wine tasting and hopefully a lovely balmy Hawkes Bay evening.  Looking forward to seeing you all there.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Peter's been busy again...........

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind here in the Coulter household, we have had lots of family visiting.  Peter has still found time to escape to the garage and get busy with some Christmas ideas.  A little forest of black and white Christmas trees, all made from recycled wood.  The black ones are painted with blackboard paint so you can add your own decorations if you want.  What I want is to keep them all, unfortunately for me and fortunately for you they will all be for sale on my stall down at the Craft and Design market in Havelock North this Saturday.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

You never know what Peter will get up to in the garage next ..........

 To make sure my iPad covers are the right size for an iPad, Peter made me a cardboard shape the same size as a real iPad.
 A couple of days ago he disappeared out to the garage and would not let me see what he was doing.  It made me laugh my head off when he showed me.  He has made me a total iPad replica out of cardboard. 
 No more old lump of cardboard for my iPad covers.  I will just have to charge it up - he said and disappearing off out to the garage again.  Back he came a little while later you can see the results below. One day if I sell enough iPad covers I will be able to have a real version, but until then I love my cardboard one.  :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A little project for me

 Sometimes its nice to do a little project just for me.  I have been having a lot of bad luck with handbags recently.  Straps breaking and items disappearing into the lining and just not finding a bag that I like.  Then I came across the vintage fabric above and loved it.  I was going to make a skirt, and I still might, then I had a brain wave.  Handbag, the fabric is perfect.  After a few minutes of thought and a quick design taken from a very old very much loved bag I had the pattern sorted.  Once I had done one I could not resist doing another and I love them both.  I just need to remember not to wear the skirt and the bag at the same time or I will look like a right numpty.  Then I thought I might make some more bags for my shop.  What do you think?

Monday, September 10, 2012

At the Deep End

 This weekend I had a stall at the Central Hawkes Bay festival, down at Pukeora Estate.  Our first four day fair. 
 I had a fantastic time chatting to customers and catching up with other stall holders. But can you guess where my stall was situated.
Yes, I really was at the deep end of a swimming pool.  The floor was still wet when we set up as the  pool was only drained two days previously.   An interesting stall site to have.  Next year I need to think through my stall backdrop as it looks a little like a washing line!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


 Spring has reached Hawkes Bay a little earlier than the official 1st September date this year.  The rain has finally stopped falling for a few days and the sun has been shining.  Its great to be able to get outside to take some product pictures and enjoy the sunshine.  To celebrate I will be out in the sunshine at Havelock North Spring Fair, this event is run by Havelock North High and Intermediate Schools.  Check out their website for details, there will be heaps going on, something for everybody especially Dads.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Life is never dull

 This week I have been making cushions, lots and lots of cushions.  Kiwi flag cushions, Union Jack flag cushions and wordy cushions.  When I am working I make a lot of mess, there is usually thread and offcuts everywhere.  I happened to leave a lump of cushion stuffing on a shelf, turned round to pick it up and somehow it had grown a beak and eyes.  Hmm I wonder who that was, Peter.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wiararapa Road Trip Pictures

Coulter and Coulter, well actually it was Coulter and Lancaster this time, has been out in the real world again on a road trip down to the beautiful Wiararapa.  My friend Keriann offered to help out with my market stall in exchange for a trip to all the op and junk shops on the way.  Peter was quite happy to be excused from coming with us and stayed at home to watch movies with our youngest.  Above is the view from the coffee kiosk in Waipukurau where we made our first stop.
 I rented the above pretty cottage for the night before the market.  Often when booking accommodation over the internet, it turns out to be not quite what you expected.  This time the house was more than I expected.  A very pretty little cottage, filled with beautiful furniture and set in a well manicured small garden. Inside the house was spotless.  So if you ever need a home from home in Grey Town, I can recommend Roses on West.
 The craft market was held in the Town Hall, Masterton.  My stall was on the stage, it couldn't have been a better spot, the lighting was fantastic.  All in all a great weekend, can't wait for the next trip.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Preparation for a Roadtrip

 This weekend I am heading down to Masterton to the New Rags Market.  In anticipation of selling lots of goodies I have been making lots and lots of tote bags for customers to take home their purchases in.  I try to make sure Coulter and Coulter customers, including online customers, get a free tote bag with every sale.

My friend Keriann from Little Vintage, is coming with me to help out on the stall.  Or in other words - a girls road trip to visit as many Op Shops as we can find. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

This weeks projects - Pillowcases

 This week I have been working on pillowcases, lots and lots of pillowcases.  Some with butterflies and others with roses.  I have also completed a custom order for a duvet cover to match a pair of pillowcases.  I think I need a bigger table for printing and sewing up duvet covers, I had to really focus trying to get it done on the kitchen table.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Meet Dot

 A few blog posts ago I gave you a little glimpse into the world of Coulter and Coulter and showed you the process we go through to print our fabrics.  I entirely forgot to mention the other part of our business. 
 All our lovely hand printed fabrics are transformed in to beautiful items using Dot my trusty sewing machine.  I would be lost with out her.  I do have a study to sew in, but seem to end up on the kitchen table most of the time.  The light is so much better in there, at least that's what I tell Peter.  The reality is that there is so much fabric and chaos surrounding me when I am sewing that I need a very large table to contain it all.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Can I ask a favour please

Coulter and Coulter's online presence for the last year has been via this Blog, with shops on Felt and Etsy.  But now we feel the time is right to have our own on line shop.  I would really appreciate it if you would drop by and take a look at our own website, for me.  I would love to here your feedback, what do you think?  Does it all look homely and cosy?  Is it easy to find what you are looking for?  Don't worry we won't be leaving our blog behind, we will still be posting here  at least once a week.  

Thank you.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Branching Out

Coulter and Coulter are branching out a little bit.  You can now buy some of our lovely stuff in Coco and Co, Heretaunga St, Hastings.  So if you are passing by pop in, they have lots and lots of other nice things just waiting for you to take them home.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

My Grannie's Bone China Tea Service

This is my granny, my Mum's Mum.  I think this photograph was taken at Christmas 1989, a year before she died.  About this time she gave me her beautiful bone china tea set.  It is a wonderful art deco design and I love it.  The makers are a firm called J H Cope and Sons.  Usually it lives up on this dark shelf.
Previously I have not had any occasions to use Grannie's china, it just seemed too delicate.  There is no way I would let any of the boys in this house near it.  But now I have the perfect excuse to get it down and layout the dining table.   All to take pictures of the tablecloths and napkins I have been making recently.  Nothing sets off the pictures better.  I wonder what Granny would think of it all.  I am sure she would approve of the fact that her china is being used and photographs of it are being viewed all over the world.  She lived in an age before the internet.  Its amazing to think that within such a few years it has become such a large part of our everyday life.  She would have loved it all, especially Facebook, she would have had a field day.

Monday, July 2, 2012

In the best traditions of British Comedy

Oh dear, printing was going so well today.... until the cat obviously thought I was not paying her enough attention and leaped up onto the bench where I was mixing inks.  She landed with one foot in the red and one foot in the blue, then ran off all over the house with me chasing her screaming, "No".  The kids just stood around killing themselves laughing watching the show.  Thankfully there was only one small casualty, a little blue footprint right on the edge of some organic cotton that had been laid out to dry.   The rest of the footprints were easily cleaned, thankfully we have wooden floors in our house.  Though I do suspect I will be finding footprints in strange places for quite a few weeks.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Yesterday's Craft and Design Market was so cold  I was tempted to wrap up in one of my cosy blankets.   I think next time I might be tempted to move out from under cover and into the sunlight.  I am sure it will be much, much warmer.  Roll on spring time.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A custom project in progress

 This weekend I have been working on a custom project.  It can be stressful doing a custom print,  one little slip up and its back to square one.  Especially when working with a vintage item, its not as easy to pick up another blanket.  For every four blue and white checked blankets I acquire, only one of them will be suitable for printing as a whole blanket.  This time the printing stage has gone well, fingers crossed the ink curing stage goes well too.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Finished Print

Here it is the finished print, all the way from a doodle to an amazing block and a beautiful print.  I am really please with the results.  I have printed on an organic cotton duck, quite a heavy weight.  I would like suggestions as to what I could use it for, what do you think?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bad Habit or Good Habit

 I have to put my hands up to a small habit of mine, that some people find niggling. Yes, I am a doodler.  I doodle when I am on the phone, waiting in queues, well really just anywhere at all.  I used to get in trouble at school for doodling.  For me its a way of concentrating, if I am doodling I am listening.  If I am not doodling my brain will have wandered off somewhere else.  The doodle above was done in a meeting at work.  I asked Peter if he would make a wooden printing block for me, and two weeks later here it is.
 Below is the first test print before the final tidy up.  Its just how I imagined it would be, can't wait to try printing with it tomorrow.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A brief look beind the scenes

I thought you might like to see what we get up to behind the scenes.
Peter carving a new block
Piles of organic fabric waiting to be printed

Some well used blocks ready to be used again

The mess I make when mixing my printing colours

Nicola printing

Printing butterflies on a vintage blanket
Printing hanging up to dry, the house is usually full of drying fabrics on printing days.
I have left out me standing ironing, fixing the prints, for hours and hours, I am sure you all know what that looks like.