a little taste of the handmade goodness you will find on the site...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Little Lizzies COMPETITIONS!!!

Little Lizzies are running two great competitions from her blog page. Entries close on the 30th April & 10th May so be sure to pop on over to see the yummy prizes you could win! http://littlelizzies.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Meet the Maker - Crochet by Beth

Please tell us who you are & what you do?

Hi, i'm Beth. I am married with 2 daughters and moved to NZ from the UK in 2008. I crochet toys and clothing for babies and children.

How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
I started to crochet when I was expecting my eldest daughter (now nearly 7) and just spent time making blankets and clothes for my own children. Since moving to NZ I found myself making baby clothes because they took the least time to make and ended up with quite a collection. After a few craft fairs I decided to venture to the internet and also began to make toys which have proven very popular. I have never really done much in creative areas before I learned to crochet but have always had great comments about my work.

Is there a story behind the name of your shop?
The shop name speaks for itself really- straight to the point- Crochet by Beth.

How long have you been creating for?
I have been crocheting for about 7 years now but have only been making items to sell for the last 12 months.

Is your business a hobby, a profession or a happy marriage of both?
It has always been a hobby for me, something I like to do to relax but who knows where it will lead in the future as my business grows.

Describe your work setting.

I tend to work in the living room, on the sofa and in front of the TV. I like to work where I can still be part of the family.

Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
Yes I work alone. My family and friends are great for feedback although my children always say they are great. My eldest daughter is keen to learn but it is going to be a long slow progression. My work fits in quite well around my family life, I quite often work in the evenings once the children are in bed which leaves my days free. Some days I do more than others depending on activities and my frame of mind but at the moment it all just works.

Why do you do what you do? What inspires you? When do you get most excited?
I love to crochet and creating things that other people will get enjoyment from. I get inspiration from things I see. Some yarns scream out to me to be made into something in particular or I might find a pattern that inspires something new. I love getting feedback about my creations- especially when it is good.

Can you remember your first sale? What was it?
My first sale would be one of my Bunnies- was a great feeling to know that other people love my work as much as I do.

Have you ever been in business before?
Yes. I ran an online Lingerie store in the UK before immigrating to NZ. very different to Crochet.

At what point do you consider yourself successful?
I would say that I have achieved a life balance that works for me and my family which to me is a success- i'm ready for what the future throws at me.

Where do you do your best thinking?
There is no set situation that helps me think. Being in a happy and stimulating environment helps me weather that be playing with the children or having some quality time to myself.

What stops you from giving up when you are frustrated?
Knowing that the finished product will make someone happy, knowing how I will feel when I finish something and I love it.

If you had time to learn a new skill what would it be?
I would love to learn to sew- I love clothes and things that are different so it would be great to be able to make clothes for myself and my children.

When you are not involved in your craft/business- what can you usually be found doing
I love to go walking, I love spending time with my family and watching my children develop- they grow up so fast.

Do you have a favourite handmade purchase?
Not a purchase really but I still have a wooden truck that my Dad made for me when I was a baby- my children still play with it now as as they grow up I hope to have grandchildren that will also love it.

Do you buy on impulse or do you go out looking for something you need?
I usually by on impulse- it isn't very often that I NEED something. I have a weakness for gorgeous things.


1. What is the last thing that made you belly laugh? My girls are always making me laugh with some of the silly things they do.

2. What book is on your bedside table? I am about to start on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris
3. What was the last cd/ipod track etc that you listened to? Gin- Holy Smoke album which is in my car.
4. Where do you hide your secret stash of chocolate? I often have a bar stashed in my handbag.
5. Who controls the remote in your house? Depends on the day and time but usually me.

Receive 20% off all Crochet by Beth items until Sunday 2nd May!!!

enter the code maker04 on check-out to receive your discount


Don't forget to leave a message to Beth in the comments below.  I know she'd love to hear from you :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

SnuggleB Toys - SALE

To celebrate her daughter turning five and starting school, Debbie of Snuggleb toys has marked down her range of gorgeous soft toys!

All animals and doll are reduced from $29.50 to $25.00 and all toys that are $24.50 will be reduced to only $20!

Offer expires 28th April 2010 so get in now and grab yourself a bargan!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Quick Kiwi Fact

Kiwis have coarse, hair-like feathers and whiskers and most of them are grayish-brown in color.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Quick Kiwi Fact

Kiwi birds are the smallest among the flightless birds, like, emu, ostrich, cassowary, etc.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Meet the Maker - Miss Jade

 Please tell us who you are & what you do?
Hi, I'm Lisa - mum to daughter Jade with baby number 2 on the way. I design ribbon bows and hairclips.

Is there a story behind the name of your shop?

Yes, it's named after my little girl.

How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?

I started making clips and bows after buying some ribbon to line some store bought hairclips for Jade. After experimenting with designs friends and family started asking if I was selling them. I also paint modern NZ native landscapes (for sale on TradeMe under 'Urban Art').

How long have you been creating for?
Since January this year.

Is your business a hobby, a profession or a happy marriage of both?
Definitely a bit of both. I love to create beautiful things and it's exciting when other people also like them.

Describe your work setting.
Half of the dining room table!

Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
Yes, I work alone. Family and friends help with feedback. Ribbon is cut, heat sealed, hand-sewn and then attached to alligator clips. Designs vary depending on the types of ribbon and the look I'm trying to create. Achieving the work/life balance is about working out what's important and needs to be done.

Why do you do what you do? What inspires you? When do you get most excited?
I really enjoy making something that is a little different. It's exciting and rewarding when other people like your work so I guess that inspires me - that, and a penchant for gorgeous ribbons!

Can you remember your first sale? What was it?
Yes - it was for a ladybird and a flower clip.

Have you ever been in business before?
Yes, I sell my artwork on Trademe and also paint commissoned pieces.

At what point do you consider yourself successful?
When I can do what makes me happy.

Where do you do your best thinking?
When I'm out walking/talking with friends.

What stops you from giving up when you are frustrated?
Knowing that things will get better.

If you had time to learn a new skill what would it be?
Learn how to be a better cook.

When you are not involved in your craft/business- what can you usually be found doing
Spending time with family and friends.

Do you have a favourite handmade purchase?
Yes, it's beautiful soft Alimrose cat rattle that my baby loves.

Do you buy on impulse or do you go out looking for something you need?
I usually look for something I need but invariably end up buying on impulse if it's something I just have to have.

1.What is the last thing that made you belly laugh? When my friend put salt in my Milo by mistake.
2. What was the last cd/ipod track etc that you listened to? Alicia Keys - Try sleeping with a broken heart.
3. Where do you hide your secret stash of chocolate? At the supermarket.
4. What was your cheapest holiday? Trip to Sardinia from London.
5. When did you last write a letter? About 4 months ago.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Vintage-inspired Nappy Stacker

Yours, Naturally is not JUST about their devine range of all-natural baby balms & lotions.  I have just stumbled across their latest creations - a 'Charms of Yesteryear Nappy Stacker'. 

In true vintage fashion, this stacker is crisp & pretty, and decorated with pieces of recycled crochet items.
This will look good in any baby's room - boy or girl. Definitely an item you would want to keep even after they've outgrown it!

Such a handy item to have in your nursery: Apart from nappies, stack some of baby's bedding in there, or even toys. Great way to organize baby's space!

Makes a great gift for Mum's to be - will fit with almost any nursery!

Click here to view the nappy stacker.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Winter Warmers - Teddy bear beanies

It's starting to turn a little chilly in Auckland.  Time to start entertaining thoughts of rugging up for the cold winter ahead.  Our knitwear stores are readying their crochet hooks & knitting needles, gearing up for the custom orders to roll in.

My favourite beanies on Little Kiwis Nest at the moment are these adorable earflap hats made from 100% natural NZ wool.  Handmade in New Zealand by Marshmellow Magic

Lovely, warm & snuggly!

Get in quick to beat the winter rush!

Quick Kiwi Fact

So we thought we should inject a few random facts about kiwis - not the people, not the fruit, but the bird. Afterall, some google searchers may stumble across our site when wanting info on the feathery version!

Best start with an actual photo or two of the bird ...
FACT: The Kiwi's name doesnt come from its call, but from the Polynesian name for the Bristled- Thighed Curlew, the Kivi. This bird has the same way of feeding as the Kiwi, by poking it's long beak into soft ground.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Benefits of baby ring slings & pouches

So you've read the 'how' on wearing a ring sling or pouch but maybe some of you are wondering on the 'why'.

Michelle from Serenity Slings (one of the stores on Little Kiwis Nest) has a real passion for babywearing & is happy to share her thoughts...

Have your Hands Free
One of the great benefits of wearing your baby is having your hands free. Whether it is doing housework, shopping, cooking dinner, attending to other siblings needs, or going for a walk, it all can be achieved while still attending your babies needs of being cuddled up close to you.

Great for Breastfeeding
Slings are a great way to breastfeed discreetly while out and about. They also organize problem suckers as some babies breastfeed better when on the move, the movement helps organize there sucking. Ring Slings would be the best for discreet breastfeeding as you have a built in breastfeeding cover

Great for babies who suffer from colic
The gentle movement and pressing of baby tummy when wearing your baby will help breakdown the trapped gas and when being help upright in the tummy to tummy hold will promote digestion. Also the feeling of security will calm and sooth your little one.

Cry Less
Research has shown that babies who are carries cry less on an average of 43% this is because your babies needs are met and they feel a sense of security .

Great for Traveling
Baby slings are a great traveling companion as they are lightweight and compact so easily stored in a suitcase or bag. No need to lug around a stroller when catching public transport and can be very handy when you have hours to wait in between boarding planes.

Great for Mental Development
When your baby is carried they spend more time in a happy quiet alert state which is the ideal state for learning. There senses are stimulated even carried and your baby/toddler gets to see the world from your view, you spend more time talking and interacting with your baby too which is a lot better than steering at a wall or ceiling when lying in a stroller.

Great for emotional and Physical development
Babies feel a sense of security and trust when being carried and will help them feel secure and confident throughout there childhood. When your baby is being held close to your body they feel your heartbeat, feel your breathing , hear your voice voice and feel your warmth . These are all familiar and help them get into rhythm more quickly. It is especially great for premature babies who respond to mummy’s touch.
You will find many more great benefits from baby wearing. Having a happy baby makes a happy family!
Convinced? Now for the fun part ... choosing your sling or pouch HERE ON LITTLE KIWIS NEST! And remember, these would make a FANTASTIC baby shower gift too :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Baby Pouch wearing instructions

We have covered how to wear your ring sling correctly (thanks to Serenity Slings information) so now we're on to pouches.

Pouch slings are a no fuss native style baby carrier. Many people prefer a Pouch Sling if they are not fussed on the tail of a Ring Sling. Because they are such a non bulky simple design they are easily folded up compact to fit in your handbag or glove box. They are a great traveling companion.

Serenity Pouch Slings are a NON adjustable sling and are made to fit the wearer, the size of your baby does not influence the size of the sling. You will be able to wear the same sling comfortably from BIRTH to TODDLER HOOD.

And here is how to wear the pouches comfortably ...

How to put on your pouch sling

  • Hold your sling in front of you with the opening of the sling facing up towards you. This is where your baby will sit.
  • pop it over your shoulder and place the curved seam where your baby will be. For most holds it should sit at your navel area. For the hip hold it will be placed on the side you will be carrying your baby in


  • Hold baby in your arms as shown
  • gently place baby into the sling bottom first.
  • gently lower the rest of baby into sling, though its not shown in pictures, its best to have baby's head closer to the outer rail so you can see baby and doesn't get lost in the sling.
  • please make sure that baby is not to curved up in the sling and that there chin is not pressed up against there chest.
  • Hold baby in front of you as shown in picture.
  • place baby against your shoulder and bring sling up and over baby, or you can lift baby and place into sling, whatever feels more comfortable for you.
  • pull the bottom rail under baby and place right to the back of the knees with his bottom sitting lower than the knees, this secures baby in the sling so no chances of slipping underneath.
  • Pull top rail up back to wards neck for support. Older babies like to have their arms out.
  • Young babies can have their legs in a frog like position where older babies have their legs out.
KANGAROO CARRY ( 5 months +)

  • hold baby in front of you like shown. fold there legs in the frog position.
  • gently pop baby into the pouch, making sure they are siting in the sling with fabric on both sides.
  • bring fabric up towards the front so baby is secured into the sling.
  • You MUST keep an eye on baby at all times while in this position, It is a good idea to keep a hand on the sling for support. Be extra cautious when bending over.
  • Only use with babies who have good head control.
THE HIP CARRY ( 5 months +)
  • Hold baby in front of you as shown in picture.
  • gently place baby into sling
  • place the bottom rail all the way to the back of the knees and have baby's bottom sitting lower than his knees.
  • bring the top rail up towards the neck for support.
  • Older babies can have their arms hanging out.
  • you can flip the shoulder as shown in picture .5 to pull the sling in closer for a more snug fit.

THE BACK CARRY ( 1 year +)

  • place baby into sling as shown in picture.
  • follow the instructions for the hip carry.
  • all you need to do now is shuffle baby towards your back, as shown in picture .3
  • make sure the bottom rail is sitting right to the back of baby's knees and fabric is high up towards the neck for support and security.
  • This carry is only for older babies. Other sling manufacturers suggest you can carry your baby in this carry but i do not recommend this carry for young ones.

Thanks again Michelle for letting Little Kiwis Nest publish your instruction guide. You can contact Michelle with any questions you may have through Little Kiwis Nest HERE.

And don't forget you can find gorgeous, limited-edition baby pouches & ring slings on Little Kiwis Nest too :) http://littlekiwisnest.co.nz

Monday, April 12, 2010

5 ways to wear your Ring Sling

Need a little help in finding the most comfortable way to carry your baby or toddler in your ring sling? Michelle from Serenity slings is more than happy to share her expertise :)

The Cradle Carry ( birth +)

  • gently lower baby into the sling, you need to make sure that he is in between the layers of fabric
  • pull up the fabric to support the neck and head
  • bring the fabric right down past baby's bottom, you want the fabric to sit at least at the back of the legs, Newborn baby's can have there whole legs inside the sling
  • you can find a position that is suitable and comfortable for you and baby
  • please make sure that you can visibly see baby and that the chin is not pressed up against the chest.
  • IF you have a small baby and feel that he/she is getting lost in the fabric you can place a blanket underneath to prop baby up.

Tummy to Tummy (birth +)

  • Place baby gently in the sling
  • bring fabric up to baby's neck for support
  • make sure the fabric is to the back of baby's knees with his bottom lower than his knees for security.
  • make any minor adjustments
  • tighten the sling and now you have successfully put baby in the tummy to tummy position.

The Kangaroo Carry (5+ months)

  • firstly have the sling adjusted very loose to give you plenty of room to put baby in easily
  • hold baby in front of you with his legs in a frogged like position
  • while holding baby securely with your arm bring the sling fabric up from under baby and place baby into the pouch of the sling.
  • Make sure baby is placed in between the 2 layers of fabric.
  • bring the fabric up as high as you can in the front to support your baby.
  • now tighten and adjust for a snug fit.
  • It is best to keep a hand on the front of baby for security, keep an eye on baby at all times in this position and take extra caution when bending over.

The Hip Hold (5 months +)

  • Hold baby in front of you
  • gently place baby into sling and place him on your hip as you would normally do
  • make sure fabric is supporting baby's back and that the fabric is at the back of baby's knees with there bottom lower than the knees for security and comfort.
  • adjust the sling nice and snug and you have baby in the hip hold.

The Back Carry (1 year plus)

  • The back carry is pretty much the hip hold but you slide baby to the back, It is a must that you make sure that the fabric is right up to the back of the knees with the bottom lower than the knees, this will ensure your baby will not start to slip out.
  • make sure you have a good snug fit .

Next we will bring you Serenity Slings instructions on how to wear a baby pouch. Stay tuned !

There are SOOOOO many benefits for using slings - hands free, colic-friendly, handy for travelling - & they make a fantastic baby shower gift. Be sure to visit Serenity Slings store HERE at Little Kiwis Nest.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ring Sling Instructions

Michelle from Serenity Slings was kind enough to let us publish her instructions on how best to wear your ring sling.

Serenity Slings aim to bring babies & parents closer & have been doing so in their own way since since 2007. Michelle is based in Porirua, which is about 20 minutes north of Wellington City (New Zealand). All her slings are handcrafted by herself &, in our opinion, all are unique & stylish!


  • Grab each end of your sling in each hand.

  • thread the tail of the sling through set of rings

  • now take time to spread ( gather) your fabric evenly, this makes it a lot easier to adjust.

  • Now thread the sling through 1 of the rings like you would do with a belt.

  • Now you have formed a pouch.

  • decide what side you want to wear your baby and pop the sling over the opposite shoulder like a sash.

  • Now you have your sling on, its best to adjust your sling but leave enough room to pop baby in, this makes the adjusting a bit easier when baby is inside. the rail closest to your hip will adjust the underneath of the sling, the rail closest to the outside will adjust the top of the sling.

  • Now you can pick up your baby to put into sling.

Tomorrow we'll share 5 different ways you can carry your child, from birth throught to 1yrs+ . In the meantime, be sure to visit Serenity Slings store on Little Kiwis Nest if you are interested in buying a ring sling.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Travelling with Kids

I know we've written quite a few posts on this subject but we love supporting NZ businesses & I have just found this one.

Newbawn Limited is the brain child of Maria steele - Registered Nurse, Safe2go Technician and Adult Educator.

A love of the outdoors and the inclusion of an adorable baby in the mix, inspired the creation of NewBawn.

Primarily a Baby Education company, we aim to inform & support new and expecting parents & grandparents with solutions to their Baby Road Travel requirements.

Maria and her partner Robert, live in Auckland, New Zealand with their daughter, Siena.
Maria is currently working to publish her first book entitled 'Hit the road - there are no baby secrets'.

Pop on over to check out NewBawn's website - http://newbawn.co.nz/

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Give an Easter Gift that Lasts!

Yes, the majority of us Looooooove chocolate treats at easter but these handmade easter finds are a great alternative!
Snuggleb Toys Cuddle Rabbit is always up for a cuddle!

Made it Baby have a sweet cross t-shirt to convey the real meaning of Christmas. Only two left!

Crochet by Beth's Biscuit Bunny would delight anyone with its unique personality & cuddle qualities!

What do you think of our website?