Thursday, November 28, 2013

Our Cat Scan

 Ranna the cat has appointed herself as the quality controller for Coulter and Coulter.  All furniture is cat scanned to ensure its up to standards.  When I am printing she perches on the stool and watches very closely.  When I am sewing her perch moves to the window sill in order to make sure I am doing it correctly.  Then in the evenings she spends a lot of time wandering over the keyboard of my laptop, trying to post inspirational cat messages on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Still Water

The hall table - a repository for the cars keys, the mail, the phone, notes to your partner even. Like a filter it collects all of the debris of modern life as we pass to and fro, in and out of the house.

But there is more. As the first thing we see on leaving or arriving home it is a comfort - a place to shrug off the outside world before moving on to relax.

There is art here as well. As you or your visitors enter,  the hall table subtly signals who you really are. Whether the message is " sit up straight" or " kick off your shoes and chill" what really matters is that it is you who decides. And of course, after a day spent working for the man, what better therapy can there be than to be reminded, welcomed even to who you really are.

Yes, the humble hall table - still water indeed.

The table in the pic is in the shop just now. Made from reclaimed pallet wood it is $140.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Modern dining

I have a confession to make. Rarely do we eat at our dining table nowadays. No instead we collapse in front of the telly to eat, watching "Friends" perhaps or even ( oh the shame . . . ) "Bath Crashers".
Mind you in our defense our dining table is quite often covered in freshly printed fabric or tables with maps on top waiting to dry. And judging by the number of orphaned dining tables I see in op-shops, perhaps we are not the only ones.
Times change. And in my hands so do dining tables. They often have a beautiful silhouette and with a bit of tidying, some alteration and the addition of a retro fabric top a beautiful hall table or desk results.
Todays motto - reuse, recycle, re-imagine !

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Playing with my new toys

 I have recently bought a couple of beautiful new printing tools.  The first a vintage French printing block and the second a little French printing roller.
 The printing roller was originally used for marking out embroidery patterns.  But I think it will make fantastic edgings for my pillowcases.  Below is my trial prints  I love the pattern with the little rose buds on best I think.
 The big print block was fun to use too, but my arm is aching with the weight of it.  I added in the little orange flowers, one of the blocks Peter made for me.  Love the idea of having a vintage print and the new print together.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


If light could be dark. If a bulb could put out black light, then the colour of that light would be indigo.

Blacker than black, indigo is the colour of the shadows. Those morning shadows that world emerges from so softly, so quietly.

For indigo does not speak. It is an absence of everything even sound.

It just is . . . as we should be.

(The photo is an indigo stained cabinet top. )

Friday, July 5, 2013


Inspiration. What is it ? Where does it come from ?

Well in my case it is often just  a glimmer of an idea, more a feeling really, set off by an object or sometimes just a shape. Like this desk - Nicola picked up a lovely rimu headboard and laid flat the shape just said "desk". But not just any desk. Add a drawer and  and some legs and a desk with more than a hint of the "Jetsons" or the "Thunderbirds" is revealed.

It all just came together in a lively simplicity. Plain oiled and waxed rimu, widely angled legs and slightly curved top giving life to the piece.

Lovely. You can see it for yourself if you like, I'll have it at the Havelock North Craft and Design Market tomorrow. I believe there may be chocolate cake too if you are early :-)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fossicking Road Trip Time

The stack of furniture waiting to be recreated in the garage was getting to an unknown low level, I could actually see the way through to Peters work bench.  Time for Peter and I to set of on a fossicking road trip.  So one foggy morning this week off we went.
 First stop our favourite road trip cafe for a late breakfast in the warm.  I am sure you can guess which cafe it was.
Peter and the dog seemed to be competing for the seat closest to the fire.  I think the dog won.  

Peter had cheese and herb omelettes and as usual I went for the very healthy option of pancakes with berries and maple syrup with yogurt!  I so love the colour combination and feel very inspired by that combination of off white with highlights of dark, dark red and vintage blue.
If you only knew how many photos I have with Peter's grinning face appearing in them, I could almost start a whole blog for them.  I was concentrating so hard on the food did not notice him at all.
Another colour inspiration shot.
As it was its a good job we did stop for a late breakfast as the shop we wanted to visit was just opening up as we arrived.
Here you go have a closer look inside, its full of fantastic bits and pieces from all eras.  There was a sofa I would seriously like.

I think if you know Hawkes Bay you will recognise where we were headed.
 I think I must be influenced by cold winter colours, I seem to be really focusing on whites, grey greens and blues, with hints of red to warm things up.
 I can't wait to get printing and trying to combine these colours in my work.
The aim of the trip was not really to find photo inspiration.  But to find furniture inspiration.
In fact we found some great inspirational bits and pieces, I can't wait to see what appears out of the Reclectica workshop.

Peter seems to be very happy with his new pair of drawers.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Its time to come on down and keep warm

What a busy week getting organised for the Mid Winter Warm Up Craft market, in Napier on Friday evening and Saturday day time.  We have a great line up of stalls some new, some old and some all time favs.  Of course Reclectica and Coulter & Coulter will be there.   So much to do so little time. As they say in the creative crafting world, sleep is overrated.  Hope to see you there, I will be the one with matchsticks holding up her eyelids.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A little birdie

Look what I spotted yesterday at the Craft and Design Market.  This little nest hidden up in among the vines.    I wonder if the eggs and chicks were there right through the summer markets.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lucky Havelock North

Havelock North is filled to the brim with creative goodness this weekend.   The Craft and Design market is on outside Hawthorns Coffee shop on Napier Rd.  A great place to relax, have a coffee and check out all the cool stalls.  But that is not all ....... the other craft market is also on in the centre of the village and just to top it off there is an Art display on up at Kierunga gardens.  So if you are not off to Handmade in Wellington this weekend, why not pop over to Havelock North.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Learning Experience

 Last weekend the Coulter & Coulter market stand made its first venture into large Home and Garden show world.  It had in the past been my gut instinct that it was not the right venue for us, unfortunately I was proved right. But its good to try new things out and meet new people.  I also loved all the people that came around the corner and exclaimed "This is more like it, this is what we wanted to see".  Here are the few of the things that I have learnt from our little adventure.

  1. Location, location, location.  Obvious really and something we were aware of already, but it was good to have this reinforced.  The craft section was tucked well out of the way and by the time the public reached us they were almost viewed out and just looked at us with a slightly bemused look. 
  2. Trust my gut instinct, it is nearly always right.
  3. Large shows are a great venue for promoting events, we gave away so many hand outs for the Made It Here Mid Winter market and had some great conversations about it with the passers by.
  4. Another thing that I should know by now,  display my prices.  People don't always ask and if they do sometimes my Scottish accent can make $15 sound like $50.
At the end of the day it was an experience made fun by the crafters either side of me and the lovely people who liked our work so much they took it home with them.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A quick peep into Coco & Co

Today I packed up a bunch of my old cd's and a lot of cushions ready for hand stitching and headed of to Coco and Co to look after the shop for the day.  I thought you might like a little peak inside at some of the loveliness. 
 There is our Coulter & Coulter stand of course, restocked after a busy month.
 Some lovely soaps from Soo's Garden displayed in a container Peter made for Soo out of reclaimed wood.

 A bench full of lovely Coco and Co cushions.
 I love these little baby pirate shoes from Lil Red.  So cute.

Coco and Co is packed with interesting stuff, well worth a visit next time you are in Hastings.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Inspiration - Cool Colours, Cool Places and Cool Things

 Love the combination of colours on the image above.  Simple cool and elegant, at least I think so.  

 The coolest place has to be the Roxy Cinema, Miramar.  The most beautiful cinema I have ever been too.  Nowhere else comes anywhere close.  We only found it by accident when walking past looking for op shops.  If you are ever going past, just drop in have lunch, drink some wine and of course see a movie.
In my opinion never mind the 3d printers and drone helicopters and digital scanning at Makertorium this weekend.  My vote for coolest project has to go to the above textile dying.  Slowly over the day the dye dripped down through the fabric and embroidery to make a willow pattern.  More photos from Makertorium soon, I promise.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Autumn Inspiration

 Autumn in Hawkes Bay is one of my favourite times of year for inspiration.
  Inside or out there is always something beautiful to inspire me.
 Whether its the fantastic colours of Autumn......................
 The shapes and forms of raindrops on the last of the roses of the year ...........................
 Or the textures of seed heads and little suprises that should not be there.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Back to Basics - Messing about with Shapes

 At the end of this month Peter and I will be involved in Makertorium, at Te Papa.  We are going to spend a whole day demo-ing what we do.  This has set me to thinking -  for the last six months or so I have been busy chasing my tail I think.  Too much focus on the sewing part and not on the printing bit.  The bit that I enjoy the most, where my creativity can really flow.    I have been so focused on end product and not on why I decided to start printing in the first place.
 So today after I finished printing orders, I had a bit of a play about with new techniques.  Ways I can produce prints with out Peter's carved blocks.  He is far to busy making furniture now (apparently) to carve anything for me and I want to keep all my fingers so no carving for me. These are not my finished fabrics, these are my note book, sketch pad, mess it up type thing.  I have been trying out using a gelli printing plate.  It is a lot of fun and produced some great results.  not sure yet how I will pull it all together but the ideas are percolating.
Almost forgot I have some great ideas for getting people involved in printing on the day with a minimum of mess, I hope.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Tiny new addition.

What do you think of the tiny new addition to the Reclectica range?  The cutest little suitcase table with a multitude of storage uses.  Each individual piece from the Reclectica range has so much character perhaps they should all have their own names.                 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Raw Materials

 Since all but one item of the Reclectica range has been sold, its time to get started again on new stock.
 The garage is full of the raw materials, from pallets to sad old bits of furniture ready to be given a new lease of life.  As long as the basic bones are good they can be renewed.  And for those that are just too far gone, its always possible to strip them down to be combined with other bits to create a whole new beautiful item.
 So far only one item has emerged finished from the garage.  A lovely cute little stool, finished with a vintage 50's fabric in dove grey, cool jade and hot magenta which is available for sale on Felt.  Check back soon to see what will emerge next.