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

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Creative Aertz has a new stockist!

Congratulations to Sonia of Creative Aertz on your new stockist.  All you Wellingtonians will be able to pop into Baby Vintage at 15c Steyne Ave, Plimmerton (Tues - Sat 10am-4pm) to view her funky beanie creations in person.

Baby Vintage is a great supporter of NZ made products with two of the other Little Kiwis Nest designers also in store.  You'll find a selection of Made it Baby onesies & a range of crocheted bunnies & toys by Crochet by Beth.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Making memories




When our first daughter was born my husband & I decided we would have professional photos taken each year to chart her growth. Like all good intentions I have slipped a bit but we have 3 out of 5 years worth!  Add another child in the mix & there's now double the reason to stick to our family photo shoot resolution!  Oh & before you start thinking along the lines of those hideous staged shots of years gone by, times have changed!  Our photographers have come with us to our favourite places (beach, park & even our own backyard) to capture our kids being kids in their own environment.

This year I'm planning on challenging Nykie from Mistral Photography to find my kids personalities in her camera lens.  Hope she doesn't regret taking me on!  The brief will go something along the lines of 'not too much grass or trees; love old run-down buildings; bright light; & definitely quirky'.  It will be a little while until I can share the success of our shoot (see, I have complete faith in her!) but I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Nykie recently photographed a mementos occasion for a young family.  The baptism of Joe & Anna is definitely something to cherish and I have no doubt these photos will take pride of place in their families home.

Nykie says "Even though I consider myself quite a traditional portrait photographer I do love to expand my style into other areas. Tess Garner who commissioned me to document her children's baptism asked that I produced photos in a more documentary style and I was only too happy to oblige! I enjoyed this project too because it was quite like shooting a mini wedding! ... and kids are always lovely to photograph. They forget I am even there and have no qualms about being themselves."

To view all of Nykie's photos please visit the Mistral Photography blog here.  Nykie is Auckland based & would love to talk to you about capturing your precious moments whether they be with or without kids.  I'm sure you won't regret it!


Monday, June 28, 2010

Promotions


Don't forget there are two 'Gift with Purchase' promos running on Little Kiwis Nest at the moment:

hjrd Design is offering a free set of 1-2-3 magnets with every purchase over $20.  Offer ends in two days time so hurry!!! Shop HERE!


Yours, naturally are offering a free 10ml nappy bag size of their top selling Baby Balm when you buy a 65ml Baby Butter.  Great opportunity to sample two of their fantastic products at a great price.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fairy Birthday Party

My beautiful first-born celebrated her 5th birthday today in true fairy style.  The house was awash with over 100 meters of pink tulle & alive with her beautiful friends dressed as fairies.

When I've recovered sufficiently I'll do a bit of a post on our other blog (http://madeitbaby.blogspot.com) with tips on how to host a fairy party.  In the meantime, have a browse through Little Kiwis Nest to sources some gorgeous creations for your special day.






Zharkita Cake Design designs the most gorgeous cakes.  Her fairy cake would delight any birthday girl!  Have a child with allergies?  Speak to Tania about allergy free recipes. 







Stuck for decorations?  Cuckoonest tea sets, felt cakes & mini cake slices are just adorable.  I have the pink set with colourful flowers & the girls are forever playing with them!


You can't go past a pettiskirt by PattiKat Designs for the birthday girl.  these skirts have serious wow factor! 
Speak to the very talented hrjd Design for your sweet invitations.  Oh so cute! 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Meet the Maker - Yours, naturally

Please tell us who you are & what you do?

We are the daughter (Franda) and mother (Fran) team making and selling the Yours, naturally Baby Care Products and accessories.


How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
Yours, naturally almost happened by accident. I (Franda) started making a baby balm for my (then) 2 month old son. I love natural and organic products, but just couldn't afford to buy them for him. They are all so expensive! So I thought I could make him one myself. I did some research, looked into some family recipes, and made a batch for our personal use.


Some of my friends wanted to try it as well, and they loved it so much that I started getting orders for more.... so I started selling them!


Since then it evolved into more products, and I also got my Mom (Fran) involved. We are now a registered company, and we supply to quite few online retailers, locally and overseas, and some retail shops.


Before I started Yours, naturally I've always been in creative type jobs. I have a Fine Arts degree, specializing in Painting, drawing and Ceramics, and also completed a Make Up Artist course. I also worked at the Body Shop for a few years as a manager and make up artist - where my interest in natural products intensified. My Mom (Fran) is a librarian, but has run a successful business before. I think I got my entrepreneurial skills from her!


Is there a story behind the name of your shop?
We wanted it to sound like the way you would end a letter: "yours, naturally" Just simple and clean.


How long have you been creating for?
I started making the baby balm in February 2009, and started selling them under the Yours, naturally label in April 2009.


Is your business a hobby, a profession or a happy marriage of both?
We are trying to make it into a fully fledged business! We would both LOVE to be making enough money with this to support our families!


Describe your work setting.
The Kitchen mostly!


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?
Usually team: Franda and Fran, although the whole family tends to get involved. From baby sitting duties (so we can get some work done!) to them helping out with some money when we need it!


Why do you do what you do? What inspires you? When do you get most excited?
We love the fact that we can supply a natural alternative that is AFFORDABLE! We love getting all those positive feedback from customers, and since we use all the products ourselves we know they work! I enjoy the creativity of the business. Not only do we get to make things, we do marketing, selling and promoting. It's stimulating and very rewarding!!

Have you ever been in business before?
Just selling my art, and doing some Make Up freelance. My Mom is the real business woman! As a child, I remember going to markets with her where she sold her art (Yes, she paints too!) and she owned and ran a shop for years back in South Africa, where we are from. I do have an extensive retail management background though.


At what point do you consider yourself successful?
I think we are doing pretty well now - but when we both can call this our only income, I will call us successful!


Where do you do your best thinking?
In bed when I'm supposed to be falling asleep... most annoying.


What stops you from giving up when you are frustrated?
I hate losing or admitting defeat. If you know me - you will know this. If I get challenged, or comments are made that someone doesn't think I can do it, I want to do it even more.


If you had time to learn a new skill what would it be?
Crochet and sewing!


When you are not involved in your craft/business- what can you usually be found doing
Playing with my 17 month old boy, Matthys, or just hanging out with my husband and family. We are all very family orientated!


Do you have a favourite handmade purchase?
Too many! At the moment it is a brooch by Ruby in the Dust - she made it with recycled embroidered fabric - I love it!


Do you buy on impulse or do you go out looking for something you need?
I go out for something I need - and end up buying that, and buying other things on impulse! My Mom is a real Libra - takes her AGES to make up her mind!


FAST FIVE ...
1. What is the last thing that made you belly laugh? Matthys - Spraying himself in the face with a water bottle.
2. Where do you hide your secret stash of chocolate? My husband hides it (not too well) in his drawer.
3. What statement do you hear yourself say to your kids that remind you of your upbringing? Look with your eyes, not your hands.
4. Who controls the remote in your house? ME!
5. What was your cheapest holiday? Mozambique


If you have any questions you would like to ask the ladies at Yours, naturally please leave a comment below!

Shop for your organic products by Yours, naturally HERE


*************************************************************************************
PROMO TIME!!!
Buy a 65ml baby butter, receive a 10ml nappy bag size baby balm free!
You won't get anything more moisturising for your baby's dry spots than our fragrance free, gentle Baby Butter!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tips on how to be a rugby-fan imposter!

I come from a racing car-loving, cricket-playing Qld family where rugby really didn't get a look in.  Hubby was more of an AFL freak & I made sure sport-watching TV time was limited only to that one sport for fear of going mad.  Having said that, who am I to turn away the chance to represent my hubbies company at the All Blacks vs Wales game in Dunedin?  I'm telling you, it had nothing to do with the lure of a child-free weekend in a gorgeous city, all expenses paid (wink, wink).

Now this rugby representing thingy was the whole shebang.  Pre match dinner, coach to & from the stadium, hob-nobbing with head honchos of sponsoring companies & ex players alike & then a post match function.  We're talking hours of pretending that you give a damn about the sport! 

So it got me thinking that someone out there may be as ignorant as I am about the sport & may benefit of learning from my mistakes, or near mistakes!

Tip 1 - Research the game.  Now I'm not talking read up on all the player stats etc but just do the basics like find out who they're playing & what colour that team are dressed in.  This was my mistake number one.  I turned up to the NZ vs Wales game in a bright red dress... Wales is red.  How to stand out in a crowd of serious All Black supporters!

Tip 2 - Learn the lingo. I must admit I failed at this one too.  It's not a 'goal'.  It's a 'try' (I think).  You could probably learn a few other terms to slip into conversation but I'm actually going by my lifes lesson of 'If you say "hola" to a Spaniard you're going to look like a nong when he rattles off in spanish and you can't understand'. 

Tip 3 - Respect the tall old men.  They may look like some doddery old grandpa who somehow snuck through security but 9 times out of 10 it's likely that they're some ex All Black great.

Tip 4 - Take your iphone.  This kinda runs on from the above tip.  When you're shown to your seat & you haven't the foggiest of the names on either side of you, do a quick google search!  Or do a facebook call for help - although my friends were hopeless at coming to my rescue! Colin Mead & Richie Guy are quite 'up there' in the rugby world & it would've helped to know that they were revered players in their time!

Tip 5 - Take your ipod.  Now this only came to me during the game when I glanced around at people in the crowd (not 'audience') & noticed ipods.  I'm assuming they're listening to the game but oh how i could have enjoyed listening to my fave music.  Note to self though... you'd probably want to try to avoid singing out loud or jiggling in your seat.

Tip 6 - Keep your arms down. If you're in a hob-nobbing section, the chances are you probably can't get away with doing the mexican wave with the rest of the stadium.  I was dismayed that I couldn't join in the almighty wave of raising of arms & throwing of drink bottles that is the mexican wave :(  The old bloke beside me looked a little disgusted with the whole thing.

Tip 7 - Know when to clap. Here's where the old guys next to you come in handy.  Watch them ... when they clap, you clap.  When they stand, you stand.  If you're feeling game you may sneak in a few "oooohhhhs" & "aaaaahhhs" etc.

Tip 8 - Remember, teams swap sides at half time.  Enough said.

And last but not least,  make sure you pack the right clothes (no jeans) & shoes.  Ten minutes before we were to leave I realised I had packed two odd high-heel boots (one brown & one black but both for the right foot).  Off to the game I went with my nice Wales-red dress, black tights & black sequined high-tops (ie kinda like the original Converse but covered with sparkles)!

And the highlight of my night... I got to chat to the CEO of telecom.  Yes, that's a little left field but I'm loving his TV ad at the moment (you can see it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwhXRxGlOcQ)!!!  That guy can act better than many Shortland Street actors ;)

Twas a great night all in all.  Totally bearable & I'd definitely do it again!

Would love to hear your impostor faux pas if you have any too :)

-S-

ps Below are a few black & white handcrafted creations that you can deck your kids out in at the next All Black game!


lylly-fysh http://www.littlekiwisnest.co.nz/product.php?VP=821
Beinzstalk - http://www.littlekiwisnest.co.nz/product.php?VP=1665
creative aertz http://www.littlekiwisnest.co.nz/product.php?VP=1119
pattikat - http://www.littlekiwisnest.co.nz/product.php?VP=1228#pict
billy & ella - http://www.littlekiwisnest.co.nz/product.php?VP=1671
imba - http://www.littlekiwisnest.co.nz/product.php?VP=1191#pict
made it baby - http://www.littlekiwisnest.co.nz/product.php?VP=151

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Meet the Maker - hjrd Design

Please tell us who you are & what you do?

Helen Riley-Duddin, based in Dunedin and am best known for my range of magnetic wallscapes which I design and produce. This is just a fraction of my working life though, I'm also a design lecturer, graphic & communication designer, and of course, Mum (of one) and wife - and have become quite a proficient juggler of all these things!

How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
I started producing the magnetic wallscapes just 7 months ago when our daughter was 8 months old. I've always worked, studied and lived 'creativity' - but since Jemima's arrival and my shift from teaching design full-time a new source of inspiration emerged. It was from our transition from young working professionals to new parents whose living space was now shared with the delightful chaos of a growing child that sparked the concept of the wallscapes as something halfway between art and play.

I studied in Design and Marketing and have Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Commerce degrees - while I was studying I pursued all sorts of freelance and part time design projects. I currently teach part time on the Communication Design and Interior Design degree programmes at Otago Polytechnic. Jumping back years before that I would sell jewellery I made in my lunchtimes at High School and would hold stalls to sell painted lightbulbs and du-kit brooches at local markets whenever I could!

Is there a story behind the name of your shop?
hjrdDesign = the design work of Helen Jeanne Riley-Duddin.

I have to admit I didn't put a lot of thought into the name as at the time I was just intrigued to see what the world thought of my wallscapes -- now though I'm preparing a new name and branding!

How long have you been creating for?
I've been creating the wallscapes for 7 months. But creating started for me at a very early age! I still remember the buzz from winning a colouring competition, and the $1.50 prize for a photo entry at the local AMP show. I used to spend a lot of time painting, when I was younger I would design and create a new annual calender for my grandparents every year, I made clocks, jewellery, painted lightbulbs, loved photography and everyone's birthday or special occasion was celebrated with a handmade card.

Is your business a hobby, a profession or a happy marriage of both?
Until recently I justified it as a hobby, but my work has been so well received and it takes so much time that things are getting official...

Describe your work setting.
I'm lucky enough to have a separate studio amongst the garden in our backyard. When we bought our house it was a very ramshackle sleeput, its still pretty ramshackle but it's my space for creative chaos. It's great to have a separate place away from the house that I can 'go to work' to and 'come home' when I'm done each day despite 'working from home'.

Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? hjrdDesign is primarily run by me, but my husband is a significant contributor in the finances, photography and general strategising.

Through work I'm part of a huge team of talented designers who help to keep me current and challenged, and some of my close friends are great advisors.

What is your process? My process begins with conceptualising new wallscape designs, and a lot of time is spent sourcing the perfect materials to upcycle (chosen for their tactile and aesthetic qualities), once I produce them I photograph every set and package it with a custom label showing arrangement suggestions.

How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?A life - what's that!? For the last 6 months or so I've been working day and night (to the early hours) whether it be designing wallscapes, producing them, marketing them, photography, photo-editing, networking, adding listings, teaching, marking, meeting, or designing other projects I'm currently employed for... So the search for finding time for 'having a life' is very much a current theme!




Why do you do what you do? What inspires you? When do you get most excited?
I've found real inspiration in a nostalgia for youthful experiences and imagination through watching Jemima grow and learn. I have to credit the concepts of the wallscapes to her undoubtedly. I do it because I love it, I've always loved designing and making, and it's wonderful to create things that she and us can enjoy together. The buzz of someone purchasing your work is the ultimate excitement that sparked me first when I was younger selling at markets.

Can you remember your first sale? What was it?
I think the first thing I ever sold was probably a toffee apple I made to sell alongside my painted lightbulbs and du-kit jewellery when I was about 13. The first magnetic wallscape I sold was on Trademe alongside bibs I was making at the time - I think it was a set of lovebirds made with fabric offcuts from my wedding dress! The designs have been refined since then, and I learnt a lot from my early Trademe customers who really encouraged me, several are now close supporters on Facebook.

Have you ever been in business before?
No, not officially! This is very exciting!

At what point do you consider yourself successful?
When every magnetic surface in New Zealand and beyond is graced with something from my magnetic wallscape range!

In the shorter term I look forward to hiring a team of fresh talented designers to help produce my ideas!


Where do you do your best thinking?
In that almost-surreal time just before I drift off to sleep - generally around 2am.

What stops you from giving up when you are frustrated?
A new order or enquiry on my range, lovely feedback from customers and positive publicity all keep me going through the challenges, and of course each time I see little Jemima and her friends enjoying interacting with their wallscapes.

If you had time to learn a new skill what would it be?
The font-geek in me wants to answer with typography design, but the craftsperson in me would love to find the time to learn crochet from my mum as she learned from her mum.

When you are not involved in your craft/business- what can you usually be found doing
Hmm this is a very rare occurance! I look after Jemima fulltime, so if I'm not teaching, or designing on other jobs I like to spend those precious free moments entertaining her with family and friends, at the gardens feeding the ducks, local cafes or happy day trips to coastal Kakanui to my parents' organic market garden.

Do you have a favourite handmade purchase?
I adore my Nikau necklace from Blackswan designs, and have worn it most days since Christmas when my husband gave it to me!

Do you buy on impulse or do you go out looking for something you need?
I'm guilty of both, especially the former!

FAST FIVE ...
1. What is the last thing that made you belly laugh? Seven Days last night! It's a never-fail weekly belly laugh

2. What book is on your bedside table? Perfume by Patrick Suskind

3. What was the last cd/ipod track etc that you listened to? The Woolshed Sessions, have to admit I played the album 3 times over in the studio today!

4. Where do you hide your secret stash of chocolate? It never lasts long enough to stash so there is no such place!
5.What statement do you hear yourself say to your kids that remind you of your upbringing? "Home again home again jiggety jig" (sung tunefully) when arriving home after being out.

LITTLE KIWIS NEST EXCLUSIVE OFFER!


 

Last Chance for 'Miss Jade' Hair Accessories

There's only a couple of days left to snap up some of Miss Jades delightful hair accessories.  Lisa (the designer/creator behind Miss Jade) is a very talented artist & has decided to focus her time on her artwork. We'll be sad to see her go!!!

Miss Jade designs incorporate contemporary colours and textures with classic style. Each item is lovingly hand sewn by myself and will add a ‘final flourish’ to any outfit.

Shop HERE for Miss Jade hair accessories.







Friday, June 11, 2010

Weekend Sales!

As we start relaxing into the weekend I thought I'd give you 3 excuses to go shopping on Little Kiwis Nest.

1- Today is the last day to take advantage of the beinzstalk Gift with Purchase offer. Click HERE for details  

2. Crochet by Beth is having a weekend 10% off sale until midnight Sunday. Click HERE to view her delightful bunnies & clothing.  By the way, be sure to take note at just how big these bunnies are - some are enormous!

3. Ok, so this one isn't quite an online experience but if you are up to a market trawl in the morning & you're somewhere in the vicinity of Ashburton be sure to say hi to Somerton will be at the Ashburton Racecourse indoor markets tomorrow (Ashburton Racecourse 10am-4pm). Melanie will have a bunch of new products not yet listed on Little Kiwis Nest.  Be the first to get a peek!

But if you can't meet her there, why not meet her HERE instead!



Whatever your plans this weekend, have a safe, relaxing & thoroughly enjoyable time :)
 
Little Kiwis Nest

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Let the sun shine in !

Like most parents during the wet season I whisk my kids outdoors at the slightest promise of sunshine.  Today was one of those iffy days where it's sunny over my house but storm clouds threaten from afar.  But we braved it & headed a half hours drive away to my favourite beach on the outskirts of Auckland.

Maraetai beach has white sand (albeit a little crunchy with crushed shells), a gorgeous wharf, beautiful green rolling hills & delightful little cafe to top it off. 

Speaking of sunshine, I trawled through all the handmade creations on Little Kiwis Nest to find a bunch that were sunny & yellow & made me smile.  Here's my pick ...

Clockwise from top left:
Black reversible dress by imba (this one just sold but there are plenty of other gorgeous creations by imba!)
Bee beanie by Creative Aertz
Hootie Hoot Hot painting by Kazartz ($20)
Sunshine pinafore by Somerton
Gift box with amber teething necklace, maraca, face cloths & organic Baby Balm by Yours, naturally
Candy stripe butterfly clip by Miss Jade
Buggles soft toy by SnuggleB Toys
Sweet Sunflower wall hanging by KARRIC
Board short & tee set by made it baby

Monday, June 7, 2010

Please post this blog & share the love!

There are so many worthy causes to support but this one in particular really touched me.  It may be the fact that as a parent my heart breaks when I hear of sick children; & it definitely has something to do with wanting to support local families in need; & then there's the fact that I'm grateful that I'm in a position to help others at the moment.
read the full article here

Grab the tissues (if you are like me) & read on ... In 2007 Myka & Jon (pictured above)  lost their first born son Tyler at only 3 months old from a serious heart condition. Now with one healthy daughter their youngest son has been diagnosed with the same condition. At only 6 months old he's already undergone two open heart surgeries only for the surgeon's to tell them there isn't much more they can do. This family has been through so much in the past few years and are now facing this all over again....their greatest wish is for Jon to be able to spend more time at home with them as a family but with a mortgage and all that goes with a young family he needs to stay in full time work.

So... We (& I mean hundreds of normal people like you & me) are trying to help make this families wish come true so Jon can at least cut a few working weeks short.


There are loads of things you can do to help.  You may find this one the most fun ...

Amazing competition running on bebops.co.nz

http://www.bebops.co.nz/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=29951

pictured: just one of the many prize packs available

There are so many cool prizes for people with kids of all ages. All you have to do is add how many entries you want into the shopping cart and either choose the paypal account for a credit card payment or the other Copeland account for an online bank transfer. All tickets are $5 and if you win you get to choose which prize you want either for yourself or for someone you know with kids.

The aim of this compeition is to sell 1,000 tickets before it's drawn on 30th June. There are some awesome prizes for every 100th ticket sold, by last Friday 200 tickets had already been sold so the 300th ticket prize will soon be given away....don't miss out!

Two of the Little Kiwis Nest designers have donated product for this raffle.  Thanks to SnuggleB Toys  & Made it Baby.

If that is not your style, there is a simple Society Accout set up for any size donation you can make to help them out. There is a huge support network wanting to do all they can for this amazing family so please join us.

Account details are:
COPELAND FAMILY
12-3136-0281407-00

For international friends deposits can be made via International Money Transfer:
Swift Code: ASBBNZ2A
Sort Code: 123136
Account Number: 12 3136 0281407 00
Account Name: Copeland Family

Thank you so much for your help!  Even if all you can do is spread the word about this competition - your support is appreciated.

You can also send the family a message on facebook here - http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=114342831930474

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Free Gift with Purchase - Beinzstalk!

Don't forget Beinzstalk is offering a fantastic gift with purchase deal until June 11, 2010. Simply purchase $60 in her store & receive a funky (& extremely warm) beanie of your choice for FREE. Enter the words 'free beanie' upon check out to receive your gift.



Here's my pick for a boys shopping spree.  Co-ordinating v-neck vest, cord pants & beanie for the car lovers.  And this poncho is fabulous for not only pool visits (heated, of course) but for home too.
Go shopping with Beinzstalk HERE!

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