Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Trees

I usually like my Christmas trees to be traditional, decorated with memories, old and new. I always start with a theme but by the end I have hung just about everything on it but the kitchen sink.

However, this tree on Ponsonby Road in Auckland took my fancy when visiting last weekend.
Shining brightly through the night with seriously addictive colour changes.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Fairies

I bought these two gorgeous girls from Bedside Manor in Havelock North village - beautifully handmade by the owner. Originally they were going to be gifts for small ones but I found I couldn't part with them so on my tree they hang, smiling at me every time I pass.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Bunting

A few years ago I wanted to make a red and white quilt for our bed. Over quite a few months it became quite an obsession to collect different fabrics - everywhere I looked I found red and white prettiness. Somehow that quilt never got made so today I decided to make Christmas bunting out of some of it.Delightfully time consuming but very easy and fun when you make it with a friend - thank you Donna for the lovely company, the delicious lunch and the beautiful Bonne Maman jars for my buttons - and thanks for those too!

The finished product, all 10 metres of it, to decorate the gazebo under which we will eat our Christmas meal, summer weather permitting.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Decorations

I have had a couple of phone calls from customers asking if I have any Sweet Mary Christmas decorations left. Unfortunately I don't but the Redcurrent shops in Havelock North and Wellington do. So, if you have the need, pop in there for a little seasonal shopping.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Perfect Day

Early morning set-up, last Sunday at the first and very successful Hawke's Bay Design Market organised by Julia and Paula. Held at Ormlie Lodge on what turned into a hot, hot Hawke's Bay day
Have to move down here because no matter how much I try the cursor will not let me click after the "y". Anyone know what the problem is?
Anyway, the temperature hit a high of 30 degrees celcius and it certainly felt very hot in my sunny bay window spot. The crowds poured in from the 10am opening which mean't the sales were excellent. The atmosphere was great and everyone seemed to be having a good time despite the heat. Lots of friends stopped by to say hello and some to shop. And the two lovely ladies below, fellow stall holders, made sure I had breaks for food, drink and a quick browse. Thank you all x
Photo: Charlotte and Caroline from Charlotte Rowlands Jewellery (gorgeous stuff) browsing my Sweet Mary stall.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hawke's Bay Design Market

Just to remind all you lucky Hawke's Bay dwellers that there is a great craft market being held tomorrow at Ormlie Lodge in Taradale. It is called the Hawke's Bay Design Market and runs from 10-3 on Sunday 29th. Ormlie Lodge is at 17 Omarunui Road, next to the Napier golf club.
I will be running a Sweet Mary stall inside - come and say hello.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Lavender Harvest

Oh heck! I wrote this blog a few hours ago, came back to look for comments ( there wern't any!!!) to find I had uploaded two photos of the same scene. I tried to delete the spare photo and deleted the whole post!
So,I will try to remember what I wrote:
For the last couple of weeks I have known that my lavender plants needed harvesting of their beautiful purple tipped fronds. I threw these fifteen plants into plastic buckets when we moved house last year at short notice.
They have been in these buckets ever since and despite this I get a pretty decent amount off them on a regular basis over the warmer months.

This is my haul from two thirds of the bucketed lavender. I will dry it in bunches to sell on my Sweet Mary stall next year. I may even get the rest of it cut tomorrow. It is a time consuming task but one I do enjoy. You can sort of drift off, listening to the radio and smelling the sweet smelling lavender.
I buy in the lavender rubbings that are used in some of my Sweet Mary products as I cannot realistically grow and harvest enough for my needs. It is spray free and comes from a boutique farm in the Wairarapa.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Assisi Garden

This Saturday I will be running a Sweet Mary stall at the Assisi Garden Summer Fair in the Wairarapa. Along with my normal lines I will be selling Christmas decos and gifts.
Click here for details.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Christmas Love & Home

The other evening, while cooking dinner, I looked up to see a most beautiful scene unfolding itself outside. Above the vegie boxs and the old tyres planted with tomatoes the sky was not only pretty shades of blue and pink but it kept changing so fast that by the time I had rushed to get my camera the best bits had been and gone. I still had to blog about it and just let you know what a beautiful part of the world I live in. My husband, Mr Picture This says the Hawke's Bay sky is the best.

Christmas is less than 7 weeks away and I love every moment of it. So, I started with a wee bit of festive shopping last week. A gentle build up to the great day. We are having some family to visit this Christmas so it will be extra special.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Haumoana Market Day

Thankyou to all the lovely people who stopped by my stall at Haumoana Market Day to chat and shop. I nearly sold out on a few items so will be busy between now and the next fair at Assisi Gardens near Masterton.
At the end of the day, with tired feet waiting to escape from shoes, the journey down the driveway to our home is always uplifting. Birds and rabbits scatter and we are always careful not to run anything over.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Christmas Decos

Christmas doves and hearts, handmade and filled with lavender on their way to the Redcurrent store in Wellington.
Sweet Mary will be at the Haumoana Market Day tomorrow and the weather forecast is good - sunny and warm.

Hawke's Bay A&P Show

A selection of great photos that my husband took at the A&P (Agriculture and Produce) Show last week. It is held every year over 3 days in late October and has an interesting mixture of tacky sideshows, livestock competitions, food stalls, some hand crafts, a smelly but fascinating poultry show, lots and lots of tractors and farmers with deeply tanned faces. I couldn't find the wood choppers this year - I can sit for a long time and watch them chopping.
The best bits for me are the animals...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lavender Hearts by the Boxful

Twenty new lavender hearts on their way to Redcurrent in Wellington - bye bye hearts x

Friday, October 9, 2009

I Do Love a Bit of Red

Last week I spent a few days in Auckland. My brother kindly drove me around most of the first day so that I could achieve maximum shop visits around this busy city. These fabulously painted entrance gates to the wharves caught my eye.
Lots of other stuff caught my eye too but I forgot to takes photos !
I do love a bit of red.

I also love to fossick so naturally I came home with fabric, ribbons and buttons.
These vintage buttons were a treasured gift from the gorgeous Kate.

Once back in the Bay, I enjoyed walking around the garden enjoying the peace and picking spring flowers to put in the house.

This week I have been working on ideas for Sweet Mary Christmas decorations.

Stepping out the back door yesterday evening to look at the silvery sky and check out the lilac tree peeping over the top of the sleepout.

This is my favourite tree in the garden - a copper beech. On a regular basis I like to gaze at it to see what colour it is at that moment as it changes depending on the surrounding light.
As I drew the curtains this morning I commented to my husband how beautiful the tree looked this morning. He just smiled and said I always say that. When I returned from my shower he had taken this lovely photo for me. Thankyou honey x

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bird Boxes

I bought this truly vintage style bird box from Perry Davies at the Porangahau Fair last Sunday.
Perry makes these very individual boxes from "found" pieces of wood, coat hooks, letter box numbers, bits of old tin... anything really. Of course its for me to admire and for the birds to go elsewhere - whats wrong with a nice tall tree!
Perry lives in Onga Onga (Hawkes Bay) and you can contact him by email:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Now and Then

Now and Then (see left) in McHardy Street, Havelock North had a sale last week and just look at the gorgeous goodies that I found there. Juliet told me that the cushion fabric came from her husbands grandmother which pleased me a lot - I like stories like that.
So, three perfectly vintage cushions that I will treasure and a bargain bag of beautiful fabrics.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

One Peony and a Bag of Roses

The one and only peony that bloomed in our spring garden and what a beauty it is.
I couldn't find a really pretty flowery bag for the summer and couldn't afford the ones online at Cath Kidston so I made my own using some of my precious CK stash. For some reason I decided to use a pattern - the instructions just about drove me mad. I kept reading each point and then re-reading and still thought it didn't make sense. Anyway, after a day of determination (and a lot of cursing) I finally finished the bag and I am delighted with it - roll on sunny days.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Spring Blossoms

I was writing an email this morning and mentioned the gorgeous view outside my window so decided to put that view up on my blog for everyone to enjoy. There can hardly be a better sight to behold than the early days of spring and the promise of the warm days to come. This tree has the most wonderful shape, spreading out out from the ground from at least a dozen branches and is covered in soft white blooms that open from pale pink buds.
I leaned out the window to get this photo and to let you see the under planting but just missed getting the fluffy baby in the shot who was very busy following a black bird. Just following, thats all.

Recently I fiddled around with these squares of Cath Kidston fabric, vintage lace and red cotton thread. Putting all together with the idea of making a cushion cover - the idea being that it would be my twist on the popular Union Jack cushions on a lot of the English blogs.

I love it! So, this one is for me and I will work on a few more for my Sweet Mary stalls in November. I will use the same squares but in a different format so that I don't have to put a $100 price tag on them! Hopefully they will make good Christmas presents.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sweet Mary @ Pukeora

A bit of late night sewing the week before running my Sweet Mary stall at the Pukeora Estate. It was a four day event with a very pretty but slightly tiring drive to and fro each day.

When packing up I always wonder if I will have enough and what item will be the "favourite" this time. These red check tea towels decorated with vintage cream lace and appliqued fabric hearts turned out to be the winner.

Its an unusual venue - stall holders set up in a series of rooms and corridors. It was a first time for me and I was a late booking so there wasn't much choice. So, although I enjoyed myself I think my spot was a bit out of the way and some people had trouble finding me. If I go back next year I would have to be somewhere more prominent. But I did meet some lovely people and as always I came home with a list of "good ideas".
Pukeora Estate sits on top of a hill so the views of the valley below are truly amazing.
I will be at the Porangahau Spring Fair on september 27th - see top left of my blog.