slowly slowly

I’m having one of those slowly slowly days. Lots to do, as always, but the minutes just seem to be swallowed up with distractions. One of the biggest distractions has been some time plodding away on the internet, looking at emails, blogs, and social media. I always feel guilty letting a day fall into the grasp of these things, but considering a fair amount of my inspiration comes from reading and viewing online, maybe I shouldn’t. Doing this also had me thinking about inspiration. Here are a few things on my mind right now:

Wishing - I could/would read more. I find it hard to find time for books, but so love the days when I allow myself those moments to get swallowed up into a story. I am currently loving I Am Malalabut would like to be finished so I can move onto my next planned read The LuminariesThere really doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day!

Confession -  Reading makes me feel like a better person.

my bedside - reading I Am Malala

my bedside table – favourite things

Loving -  Moments when I just stop everything and take some time to read the blogs I follow on Bloglovin’. Have you joined this site? It’s a great way to organise your blog inspiration into one spot. I find it so easy to use, you can access it from anywhere, and all that you are interested in viewing is right there waiting for you rather than filling up your email inbox which invariably (for me anyway) gets deleted. This is a really nice way to lose a bit of time – I find alternative approaches so inspiring. If you would like to add my blog to your feed there is a button to the right you can click.

Confession -  Reading blogs by others makes me wish I did more with my time. Here are a few I have read recently that made me stop for a pause.

Soulemama – reading (or rather, listening) It seems that I am not the only one with time issues when it comes to reading

Her Library Adventures - Thirty Goals – Play with Watercolours My mother is a superb painter, I wish I could squeeze a little painting in too. I love the idea of watercolours.

Design Sponge – Best of the Web 5 Possibly a place of guilty pleasures, but oh what a place! Plus I want those Donna Wilson bean bags

Meet Me At Mikes - Inspiration Information: My (online) Course About Creativity This is such a cool concept, I love the idea of following inspiration challenges and getting this creative juices flowing. I’ll have to put this in my wish list box!

 

Otaki Beach - on my mind, and my new Desktop picture

Otaki Beach – on my mind, and my new Desktop picture

Listening – Currently really loving  the new Beck album Morning Phase it’s so beautiful and soulful, and as one friend described it, melancholic (but in a good way). I have also been listening to Bruce Springsteen’s The River – oldie but a goodie, and very soulful too. One thing I have been getting into of late when in my workroom is Podcasts – it’s a great way to get lost into your work, and can be really interesting. I especially love Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4 which has me laughing so much animals leave the room, The Edge Code which is about running a creative business from a woman’s perspective, and Wilosophy from Australian comedian Wil Anderson as he sits with friends discussing their philosophy and approach to life now they are all in their 40′s (the Pinky Beecroft one was particularly fabulous)

Confession - I should be listening to Podcasts to expand my life, but truth be told I love a good laugh.

So, there you have my days thoughts and meanderings. Maybe I have achieved something after all.

Joanna x

Tablet Slip-Covers

What a busy week last week was! Nothing better than a hectic time with ‘success’ and ‘motivation’ attached to it. The Pop-Up Department Store was a triumph with just the right mix of fabulous location, delightful items to purchase, and delicious display. Next came a fortuitous two requests for Tablet Covers, which prompted the first new design for little minx in, well, quite a long time. These have been on the must try this list for quite some time, and I am so pleased I have finally moved forward with them and made some. Starting with the 10′ iPad/Tablet size I made seven for the weekend, and have already sold two with 3 custom orders for include a Kindle, a 7′ Tablet, and a Laptop. I would call that a success considering the first one was completed only 5 days ago! This is very exciting for me, there really is no better feeling than messing about with a new design – and for it to sell so well straight away is just wonderful. I am currently working on my new website, so I will let you know very soon when it is up and running and ready to be viewed. And that’s another thing I am feeling very excited about, so rather lovely all around.

I have been thinking a lot of late about what I do with myself day to day – questioning the work to live philosophy that I feel rather pressed under. This is the way things are, I get that, mouths to feed and bills to pay BUT.. just imagine if it weren’t like that. It’s been really buzzing around in my head – how can I make that change to live to work? Naturally thinking about this means that everywhere I look there are quotes, phrases, and articles about changing what you do and living a life that suits you better. You know the kind of thing – here’s the truth: your situation is never permanent. It’s what you make it. Life isn’t solid, it’s fluid. It changes. They’re dime-a-dozen, but sometimes when you’re looking they are right there in front of you flashing like a neon sign. As it works out there are a few things flying around that may be able to help me make a change, nothing I can talk about right now, but it sure is great to feel excited, scared, and a little bit heady about possibilities. If I am open to things flying at me from the left, this means it could happen, right? I watched this fantastic TED speech by Kelly McGonigal about stress, your approach to challenges, and chasing meaning here  - about sums it up really. Perhaps it’s time for another one of those leap moments – placards aside let’s see what happens x

little minx Tablet Slip-Covers - orange paisley

little minx Tablet Slip-Covers

little minx Tablet Slip-Covers

Pop-Up Department Store

This evening was the VIP opening night for the Dunedin Online Pop-Up Department Store and what a fantastic night it was! I got into this gorgeous space this afternoon to do some last minute pricing of my items, and to take a few pics before the crowds arrived, and for this I am grateful because tonight there certainly were crowds! A wonderful selection of fabulous Dunedin made, crafted, and designed items were on sale, so much so that it was very hard to cull the pictures for this blog post (and there are stll 8!)

I would like to extend a huge thank you to Emily Cooper of Silk Body for being such a positive, inspiring, and creative driving force behind the whole event. Without her passion for all things Dunedin wonerful events like this would not happen. The shop is open tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday from 10-6, so pop on down if you are local and check out some of the wonderful products being created right here in lovely Dunedin. At 25 Moray Place, right in between the Rialto and The Asian. Support local!

Pop-Up Department Store 1 - little minx, Tinker, and Dear Colleen

Pop-Up Department Store 2 - Most Wanted Vintage

Pop-Up Department Store 3 - The Naked Scotsman Chutneys & Dressings

Pop-Up Department Store 4 - Before The Rain Design & Silk Body

Pop-Up Department Store 5 - little minx Zip Walets surrounded by Dear Colleen Rosettes & Tinker Pin Cushions

Pop-Up Department Store 6 - Dunedinmusic.com display in the window

Pop-Up Department Store - gorgeous Architectural store

Pop-Up Department Store - the VIP Opening crowds

in the studio

..actually I call it The Work Room, but that doesn’t ring nearly as good title-wise, and I will have to admit that I don’t have quite enough confidence about my creating to call it The Studio (wish I did!).  Anyway, a marvellous day spent making & creating today, all in preparation for the Dunedin Online  Pop-Up Department Store this Friday & Saturday. I have made a few new Totes from some favourite fabrics, a new Cloud Cushion from some Scottish inspired tartan, and am currently fiddling with a pattern for padded covers for 10″ Tablets.

This is by far one of my favourite happy places, and I have spent far too little time in here over the past (let’s face it) year. Slowly I have been rearranging the room as it has become very full over time, and needed a hearty clean out. It was time for a re-design. It’s getting there, and I look forward to blogging a ‘reveal’ on the finished space. Today I found myself sewing, singing along to the iPod, yanking at piles of treasured fabrics, drinking tea, and completely loving the details of my surroundings. So here, a few of those details as they struck me today.

the geraniums I picked on my run the other morning, starting to lose their petals

the geraniums I picked on my run the other morning, starting to lose their petals

some of my absolute favourites, along with some vintage vinyl. I love plotting like this.

some of my absolute favourites, along with some vintage vinyl. I love plotting like this.

the "needs often" station - needles, scissors, rotary cutters, sewing feet, bobbins, little minx tags, sewing chalk etc etc

the “needs often” station – needles, scissors, rotary cutters, sewing feet, bobbins, little minx tags, sewing chalk etc etc

a Tote Bag in progress - and a days worth of cotton trimming

a Tote Bag in progress – and a days worth of cotton trimming

 

quiet

Waking up this morning we found the harbour filled with a thick sea fog. A beautiful sight, it creates the most amazing sense of peace and quiet. Warm, subtle shades of grays and whites, and that sense that it is cloaking a surprise, ready to lift and reveal. Certainly a lovely start to the day.

We are at the end of our first week of screen free, and couldn’t be happier with the way things have gone. Where I would have thought the kids would complain and harrass us for their game machines or TV time, there has been barely any of this, and we have had a wonderful week of creating, playing, and discussing. This morning was a great example – the peace in the harbour being reflected in the lounge as the kids sat at a table they had filled with drawing equipment and books, creating worlds and writing poems. Reuben has finished two books this week already, and Mia has written and illustrated a poem for both her Mum & Dad. And the best part of this? The energy levels in the house have become calm and relaxed. Fighting has dropped to a minimum, and kids yelling at each other has virtually disappeared. We are rather liking this sense of quiet x

quiet 1

quiet 2

vintage decoration

As mentioned in a previous post there have been a few requests of late, and the second custom order I have had recently has been for some Bunting for the very stylish Tannia Lee. Tannia is the owner/creator of Most Wanted Vintage, a fashion blogger & street-style enthusiast, and is responsible for the creation and running of a fabulous local Vintage market – The Vintage Roundup. It doesn’t get much more fun than creating for someone who is as passionate about our mid-century past as me!

The brief was to make as much as Bunting as possible, on a fixed budget, and as bright & vintage as possible. To keep costs down Tannia provided me with some of her own gorgeous fabrics, including some stunning pieces from her wedding dress in a beautiful deep shamrock green & hot pink. I decided to use these colours as the base theme for the Bunting, and chose a complimentary bright pink bias. I think these will look rather stunning dressing The Vintage Roundup tomorrow – if you’re local to Dunedin pop on by for some gorgeous retro finds. For more information you can visit the wesbsite here, or the Facebook page for it here.

custom bunting for The Vintage Roundup

custom bunting for The Vintage Roundup - detail - the middle piece is from Tannia Lees wedding dress

custom buntings for The Vintage Roundup

 

 

customised

I’ve had a couple of orders of late for items that I make regularly, but for a slightly altered version. I finished a Tote Bag the other day for a previous customer who’s original Tote is starting to look a little worn after 3 years hard wear. She requested a smaller version, with rounded corners, and a larger internal pocket split into two pockets. It’s been a while since I have been properly in my work room creating, and it’s been great to finally get back in there and start making again. I had almost forgotten how exciting it is to see a flat piece of fabric transformed into something new, let’s just hope the customer likes it! What do you think? I’m rather liking the sweet fabric she picked.

customised 1

customised 2

trial & error

We are giving something a wee trial in our home – we have set a month of screen free for the kids. It’s not that they live watching tv, or playing video games, or playing around with computers, it’s just that life sometimes seems to get so busy that often the easy option of quiet time is answered with yes, you can put the tv on or just 20 minutes of games. It’s time for us all to take the chance to change the old reliance on the ease of electronics, re-connect, and focus more on simpler, quieter activities. Simon and I spoke about it, and I drew up a plan to discuss with the kids – starting with the few simple rules about the do’s and don’ts. To break the shock of this new regime I also made up a list of things you could do with your time – things like jump on the trampoline, walk the dog, draw a picture, create a world, or play a board game.

I wasn’t going to mention this idea on the blog until we had been firmly practicing it for a while, but something rather amazing happened this morning that made my heart just leap. When I woke up the house was so quiet I thought no one was up, but when I got to the lounge I found Reuben sunk deeply into the couch cushions with his nose in a book, and Mia at the table creating and drawing her version of Snakes & Ladders for us to play later. The entire scene was so lovely and so peaceful, I was really touched. This is day one – I’ll let you know how the month goes

trial and error

 

365 Grateful (February 2014)

Here are a few moments from the past month in my version of #365Gratfeful – mid February through to mid March. Thanks to a wee spot of travel they are looking a little more exciting than usual. If you are on Instagram you can follow my progress by searching @littleminxess.

365Grateful - new favourite café

coffee with a new friend & favourite new café – bliss

365Grateful - Photography Course

so grateful & excited to be doing a photography course at The Otago Polytechnic – great tutor, a lovely & warm bunch of students, and my mind is left buzzing with possibilities

365Grateful - afternoon nap

so much to do but it’s been an insanely busy start to this year with not much time to stop. So, this is my current view. I’m going to have a nanna nap

365Grateful - beautiful country

so so grateful to live in such a beautiful country

365Grateful - Otaki Beach

Otaki Beach

365Grateful - Happy 100th Grandad

so grateful to have had this wonderful man as such a big part of my life – Happy 100th Birthday Grandad x

what a day!

The past few mornings I have been taking Max out for a run – well, it’s a bit of a mix of walking and running, but we come home panting and happy. The weather has been truly stunning, to the point where this morning I wished I had my camera with me, so beautiful was the sky and the ocean. I took a few snaps when I got home – I hope you’re not bored of seeing this view, it always amazes me how many times I look up and see something I have never seen before, even after 7 years here.

The rest of this glorious day has been spent racing around organising a few last minute things before I take the kids to Wellington for a trip to attend their Great-Grandfathers 100th birthday celebration – so the blog will be a little quiet for a week, and then (knowing me) flooded with pics from the past week. If you are on Instagram you can follow me there (@littleminxess). And speaking of anniversary’s – today is my 5th year at WordPress.com – gosh that’s a long time! Thanks for being here with me x

beautiful day 1

beautiful day 2