Thursday, December 16, 2010

Best Wishes

Its time for me to sign off for the year and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thanks for all the comments over the past year and thanks also to the lovely people who visit me on my Sweet Mary stalls. Your continued support is most welcome.
Have a good one!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Makers Market Weekend

Looking out from the back of my stall at the beginning of the Fruit Bowl Craft Jam, aka the Makers Market last weekend. It was held in the open plaza space betwwen the Hawkes Bay Opera House and Opera Kitchen cafe. A great venue and a really enjoyable community event. The locals supported it well with a constant stream of people who enjoyed the wonderful array of quality hand made crafts, excellent coffee and food and entertaining buskers.

I managed to get a few photos of one or two stalls:

Jess and Jo organised the event and Jo even managed to set up her stall to display and sell her wares.

Iris from Secret Garden Crafts makes the most beautiful spun wool creatures and further down the line is Jessica of Furchin who is featured in the latest issue of Extra Curricular.
The most amazing wallpapers were displayed alongside Liz's carnival fan magnets.
After the two day event, the only thing that we could possibly eat for dinner was Pipi pizza and next to perfection it was. Anything in a box this pink just had to be good.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Makers Market

For those of you who can't make it to the Makers Market in Hastings this weekend I have listed a few Christmassy things on Felt today. Click here to have a look.
The Makers Market will run from 12 midday until 5pm, Saturday and Sunday, the 4th and 5th December. It is being held in the "outdoor" area of the Hawkes Bay Opera House in Hastings.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cherry Jam and ...

The cherries from Plum Cottage on Brookvale Road are very delicious and definitely our local favourites. I dropped in last week and bought a large bag of seconds for $10 which looked pretty perfect to me. There were too many for us to eat before they were not at their best so I decided to make Cherry Jam. Normally I would sit down and look through my recipe books but as I was a bit pressed for time I googled a recipe instead. Click here.

Its a messy job so cover up well if you decide to make some. I managed to get cherry juice all over some paper work that I thought was well out of range. An hour later I had two beautiful pots of cherry jam to pop away. One for me and one for a special friend.

Most of the past weekend was taken up with finishing the last of a big order for Redcurrent. Today I am back to making Sweet Mary goodies in preparation for my last stall for the year at the two day Makers Market this weekend at the Hawkes Bay Opera House. .
See top left, click on the link and the details will pop up!

Friday, November 19, 2010

This Evening

Its been a hot, hot day, too hot really to be sitting inside at my sewing machine. I stopped though, around six to have a cool shower then a glass of wine.
After dinner, we sat outside to have our coffee and to admire the roses I picked from the garden a few moments before.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Holly Trail Fete

A week ago I was all set up and waiting for the start of the Hospice Holly Trail Fete which was held at one of the beautiful gardens and homes open to ticket holders. The fete ran for the three days of the trail and was a great success as usual. There were about 30 stalls with a mixture of food, crafts and homewares. Not everything is home-made but its all of a high quality and a fun shopping experience for the mainly female shoppers!

I sold a few of these and lots of those (below).

One of my five Heart cushions sold so I have a few left for my next two Sweet Mary stalls. I am so pleased with my cushions that I will be very happy to keep them if they don't sell. Thats the nice thing about making stuff that you would love yourself.

I will be at the Hawkes Bay Design Market this Sunday. It starts at 9.30a.m. and is being held at Ormlie Lodge. See the link, top left of my blog.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pop-up Shop

I called by to buy some fruit from Catherine today and she handed me this beautifully illustrated leaflet with details of a Pop-up shop. Its on for ONE day only, this Saturday,double click the photo to make it bigger and find out more. I will be running a Sweet Mary stall at the Holly Trail so won't be able to make it - drat!

Friday, November 5, 2010

November already?

Making Christmas hearts to deliver to Redcurrent in Havelock North. The heavy cotton fabric used for the front is printed with colourful holly leaves and berries. Bright green ribbon, red spot fabric and a Merry Christmas label complete the look. Nearly forgot to mention - they are filled, as always, with New Zealand grown lavender. These hearts will only be available in Redcurrent, Havelock North and not on my Sweet Mary stalls.

At the end of my working day, I wandered around the garden and took a few photos. My husband had picked broad beans from the garden and was podding them at the garden table. We had them later for dinner as part of a pasta dish with red peppers, bacon and mushrooms.
I find these thrown together meals can often be the most delicious ones ( occasionally not!).

Not a great photo to show the bronze to salmon pink colours of these Westerland roses. I love the rich green parsley and red geraniums underneath. This is the view I have from the kitchen window and it is a very pretty one. The wooden satay sticks dotted through the border are a great discouragement to our cats using it as their toilet!

This is my baby, Annie checking out the smells on my skirt while doing a bit of wrapping fluffy body around legs. Multi tasking.
Back to the sewing machine to finish off a few more things for my stall at the Holly Trail next week.
See top left for a link.

Friday, October 15, 2010

October Event

For the last few days I have been making cushions and so pleased am I with the result that I want to keep them all but instead they will be for sale at the October Event.
This event has now been and gone - thank you to everyone who came along, shopped and chatted.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Flower and Light

Bit busy sewing at the moment, leading up to my run of craft fairs in November. I did find time however to make two small flowery cushions to sit behind the truly beautiful ones that my mother embroidered many years ago. I have had them hidden away for years due to young children and mucky hands but now is the time for them to sit proudly on the settee.

This week I am making many, many, Sweet Mary 'Sleep Hearts' for my stall. Lavender filled hearts to pop under your pillowslip or leave on top to decorate the pillow.
For a long time I have wanted a chandelier and here it is. A bargain price and a small one included for our bedroom too - not up yet though. I have a crystal bowl sitting underneath this one and it looks so pretty when the sun catches and casts Pollyanna prisms.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bread and Jam

Over the last few years I have read bits and pieces on blogs about "no-knead bread". The idea of not having to knead the bread is strangely attractive to me. Unusual I know, as most people love the kneading bit and feel they can meditate while doing so. Today, I finally baked the loaf pictured above. I started it yesterday, checking occasionally to see what interesting things were happening. It only has 1/4 teaspoon of yeast so its a slow riser. Its mean't to cook for 30 minutes but it looked so brown at 25 minutes that I took it out early. Its delicious but probably should have had the slightly extra time as it is very moist. If you try this recipe you may need to play around with the timings a bit. The men in my life have declared it a winner though so I will be cooking it again, quite soon. Click here for the recipe but also read Jane Brocket's post on the same bread - find it in her Archives section, August 2010. Scroll down to August 21st and do read more of her blog as its beautifully photographed and written with lots of interesting links.

It was especially good with Bev's French Street Plum Jam. My friend Bev lives in French Street and makes the most delicious jam - type unknown. She gave me 3 jars!!!

In betwwen watching and smiling at my bread, I made a Sweet Mary peg bag for Jane who gave me a pile of Laura Ashley fabric off-cuts. I know this is her favourite pattern so think this will be a good thank you present.
Over the last few days I have been working on this baby quilt for a friend's 3rd grandchild.
Just two more bindings to do and its finished and in plenty of time because baby is not due for a few more weeks.

Monday, September 13, 2010

In the weekend...

I went to Auckland this last weekend to see my friend Kate. We had a few things planned which involved Kate driving me around alot so I thought she should be the recipient of a Sweet Mary cushion. It turned out really well and there are more to be made but each cushion in this range will be a one off Sweet Mary handmade. I will be selling them on my stall at the fairs listed.

We went to the Auckland Vintage Textile Fair and after a few hours of determined looking and hot flushes we came away with bags of treasures. I found a gorgeous old quilt for $20 !!! and other vintage pieces of fabric, none of which I want to part with. We also missed out on other beauties because we just couldn't make up our minds quickly enough.

Needless to say we have already decided that we will be going next year.

We also feasted on some of the delicious goodies available at La Cigale Farmers Market in Parnell. So much, its hard to choose but we forced ourselves.

Thirty-six hours in the big smoke and I was ready to toddle onto the plane with my very full bags (and stomach!). Nice to be home again after all that excitement.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Spring into September

All set up and ready to go at the beginning of my four day stint at the CHB Festival last week. Its always a fantastically social event at this first of the spring fairs to be held in Hawkes Bay.
I had a really good spot this year in the Ruataniwha room but unfortunately this excellent spot did not equal excellent sales which means I probably won't attend this fair again as a stall holder. Of course, this means I can go as a visitor and have fun all day. In terms of exposure though its probably a good thing and I got to chat to lots of great people and swap ideas.

My super talented husband took these wonderful photos of the views from the venue.
We are lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Please click on Catherine's name to read her post about the beautiful double parma violets in her garden. I read it and wanted some in my garden too. So, a quick trip over to her "filled with pretty things" house and gorgeous garden and I came away with a boxful to plant in my own.
And plant them I have.

Monday, August 30, 2010

CHB The Festival

Its a rainy day here in Hawkes Bay and the perfect day to finish the last of my sewing in preparation for running my Sweet Mary stall at the Central Hawkes Bay Festival this weekend. I will be at the Pukeora Estate, on top of the hill just south of Waipukurau, 2-5 Sept., 10-4 daily.

I will have all my usuals: lavender hearts, peg bags, notice boards, wheat bags, dried and bunched lavender. Newish products are ribbon or lace hearts and decorative bunting.
This year I also have small bags of pretty haberdashery scraps for children.

Hope to see you there - I should be in the Ruataniwha Room.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fresh Vintage

This pretty little house alongside the railway line in Napier is home to the studio and store called Fresh Vintage. There are two main rooms to look and wonder at. Lots of vintage "stuff" including gorgeous cushions, table cloths, renovated furniture, clothes etc.

The owners have renovated this cute cottage in a truly vintage style. My favourite bit is this fabulous piece of vintage art showcasing old plates, some whole and some broken and used as the surrounding mosaic.

I came away with this treasure which is in pretty good condition for a vintage piece. Usually the flowers are a bit broken but these ones are perfect. It reminds me that spring is in the air which is probably the reason I bought it.
Fresh Vintage is at 49 Carnell Street (cnr Carnell St and Georges Drive), Napier.
Not sure of opening times so call before : 06-835 6660

Monday, August 9, 2010


One heavily laden Meyer lemon tree.

One large bowl of sweet smelling lemons.

One very delicious Lemon Loaf - recipe thanks to Nigella Lawson.

Three jars of Lemon Confit, favourite recipe from Greg and Lucy Malouf's Moorish or click here for recipe and ideas for use.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


In case anyone is missing my Sweet Mary stalls, which don't run over the cooler months, click on here to see my listings on Felt - Design and Craft Online.

Window Magic

Found this gorgeous vintage window at the Blue Moon sale. Its very heavy which impresses me for some reason. Each little pane is mirrored and when you open the door there is chicken wire behind. Maybe it was the front of a food safe in another life. Bit by bit our new home is starting to look like a cottage which is just what I want and of course, so does my other half!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sweet Mary Vintage Style

A completed Sweet Mary order soon to be on its way to a special customer in Sydney.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Darling Buds of Morocco

My sister sent me these Moroccan 'buds' from Marrakech. Double click on the photo to see just how beautiful they are. Each cluster is made up of lots of tiny buds wound from fine cotton thread. I have no idea whether they are hand or machine made but they are so tiny that it would surely be too hard to make them by hand. I am busy thinking of how I will incorporate them into my Sweet Mary handmades this spring.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

All grown up

Our baby turned 21 this week. Now we will all have to act like grown-ups!