papernstitch - red seed studio

I'm on Papernstitch! So exciting to be having an exhibition over there. Check it out. I've got lots of new things in the shop - some lovelies for you, some for friends. Lots of things at the moment are one-offs or limited editions. Lots of pieces on sale as well - so go have a look-see.

I'll be having a few markets over the next two months, so you online shoppers have first choice. Jump in quick!

Ok. I'm off to set up some screen printing right now. Some new tea towels and.......
I'm trying to decide what colour to print with - what colours are you loving right now?

oh toasty toasty {inspiration}

Last week, Sam came home from town, with the mail*, and handed me the two new catalogues from Toast. I know I've mentioned these lovely lovely catalogues before. Check them out, please do. They send these for free.

The styling is so so me. I love every bit of it. The mood, the colours, the light. And oh those settings. One of the big things about living in this country of mine (Australia), is that we are so far away from places like Morocco, Spain, France, Italy.... 

Toast, being a UK company, can just flit off there for their photo shoots. Oh. Oh. Oh. Those locations. 

I really love the styling, and never realised before my Shannon Fricke workshop, that it was by Twig Hutchinson. Oh, have a look over at her site. Now. I'm waiting here for you to look.

Anyway. I'm loving looking through the Toast catalogues, both the house&home and the Early Spring fashion one. Simply lovely. And so so continually inspiring. I have the Christmas one on my bookshelf, and flip through it often - to gaze at the luscious deep velvet dresses and shoes and.....

* Now that we live in the 'country' we have a mail box in town, at the main post office. This means no daily mail box check, only whenever we go into town once or twice a week. Sometimes I miss that feeling of hearing the mail delivery (wo)man driving down the street and stopping at our mail box, and running outside to check. But, then the up-side is that there's the anticipation of waiting to open the mail box with our key and peer inside the box. Sometimes a parcel slip means we have to head into the post office and hand the slip over, stating our box number, and then waiting while the ladies go off to find our parcel. The anticipation of a parcel......
HA - I just thought..... Does anyone want to do a parcel swap with me. Something little, something special, something thoughtful, something crafty, or a magazine from your country/town...... something something something. Email me if you like this idea {} or leave a comment.

planning a new dress

We're heading off on our holiday in just a little time. {Sam + me, no kids, 4 glorious days of no kids. Did you hear that N.O. K.I.D.S!! And we're staying at a lush looking 4 star resort over the bay of Tauranga. Yah to the NZ-Aussie$ exchange rate}.
Going to my dear friends wedding. And a wedding is an excuse, no a need, really, for a new dress. Being a fabric + sewing + designing type of person I really have to make my own, don't I! No flitting off to buy some off-the-rack mass produced thing. Oh, no, not for me. 
As I'm running out of time before we leave (and also planning our house packing, and still have to make the wedding gift) I'm designing something simple to make, with no darts and minimal zip / button hole details. I'm hoping to sit down tonight and start a prototype (a muslin or toile), so perhaps I'll have something to show you soon(ish...). 

As we've got a new camera (oh it's lovely), I don't have any photos to show you of anything from our daily happenings. Still haven't worked out how to get the photos from the camera to my computer (think I might have to go via Sam's computer, which has more editing programs than me). So, I'm leaving you with a few images from wedding dress inspiration - things that are feeding ideas in my mind. It's a casual garden party wedding in Summer time NZ; so I'm aiming for something simple and pretty, enough twirl for dancing and walking through lush NZ fields and  visiting  a really very pretty.pretty.colourful.warm.bright.home. (and meet a blogger who I've loved reading).

I love the soft suppleness of this. The silk is just the most beautiful colour. Of course, I won't be using silk as I'm aiming to use what's in my fabric piles. (Some lovely herb-dyed organic cotton + vintage kimono pieces, perhaps).

This one is on a similar idea, but with more structure at the waist, which is what I need for my body. So the dress don't look, as my husband said, 'frumpy'.

And I can't believe how much I love love love this beauty. Even the colour (which would never work with my skin tone) is something I'd consider for another time.another dress. But I think it's the layer upon layer of tumbling frills.
*all images used with thanks from original sources.

Hopefully I'll be back soon with some photos of our holiday times.

oh my oh my

These pieces are so intricately.amazingly.beautifully.colourfully.upliftingly. wonderful. aren't they.

I've had the pdf on my desktop for so long. Love opening it and looking every so often. Oh, to wear and feel and see any of these pieces.

*images are from
Rittenhouse x Husmann / Tschaeni (top) {go to about page to find more downloadable catalogues}
Rebecca Wolkenstein (last two)

Also see Husmann Tschaeni blog. oh my. oh my.

printing blue ..... and still not sure of a name

Some screen printing today, in the printing shed. Skirts.  Like this one here. {thanks Kim, I actually really quite like this photo; not often that happens!!}

The backs of the skirts are beautiful soft black hemp + organic cotton. The fronts are a floaty white hemp + organic cotton - which I hand screen print. Each one is totally different, due to the way I print them. I couldn't even replicate any particular bits if I wanted. It's like a magic that evolves from the mix of ink on screen and pull of squeedgie.

Red / black or blue / black. Each had white relief marks on it; frayed, raw, edges, strands, string, twirls, swirls. And little bits of stories in the ink.

I love lifting the screen and looking at each bit. Picking out sections that I like best. Enjoying the mix and swirl and drifts of colour. Seeing the stark white underneath. The edge of the screen. The soft corners, where the ink didn't touch, or just softy whispered past.

Sylve helped me today. It was good to have someone else in the printing shed with me. Someone working out thoughts with. Talking with my sister is like thinking aloud, a ramble of conversation and ideas and advice and being able to say little bits that might not make sense until someone else turns a new light on them.

Mishi helped us too. Spooning the ink onto the screen. And washing the spoons afterwards. And getting so wonderfully grubby with water (and chocolate brownie combined with babycino at the cafe after).

I'm still trying to come up with the best name for these skirts. I have been calling them The Art Skirt, but not sure that's exactly right (except that doing each one is a one-by-one piece of art). 

I'll show you the finished skirts in a week or so. When they're back from the sewer, and I'm back from my holiday. {We leave for a week's holiday in Cairns on Tuesday. YAH}. And some of you will be able to see them in person at my upcoming big big big fun fun fun market (which I'm super anxious.scared.excited.anticipating.breathless.dreaming.planning about).

the collection {or high fashion & tomatoes in the compost}

I've made a simple little montage on our 
website, showing a preview of our new 

I'm working on a small collection to start, 
but am already designing new pieces that will probably 
become the start of an early Autumn range.

I do hope you like what you see. 

I have my fabric arriving next week,
and some other samples hopefully this week.

There will be lots of cutting, 
sewing and
happening over the next few weeks + months.

{I have started asking some friends
if they may like to help me with the sewing... we will see}.

Anyway - we have a new website being built, so until then this is all you'll see
(unless you see me in person around the place. 
I'll be here and here over the next week, 
and why wouldn't I be wearing / showing off my newest pieces).

Okay, I'm off to dig up the tomatoes that are growing out of the compost heap. We're finally planting a little garden space at Ari's school. It's only taken since the start of the school year (February!) to get this sorted. I got to school this morning, to the wonderful sight of two of the mums digging in the soil, and all the rest of the parents (some big burly dads included) standing and watching them. There was a spare shovel or two sitting idly around....

a sneak peek {kids view}

Here's a few images from the first fashion shoot ever for my first fashion collection ever. These are not the images from the photographer (my talented brother-in-law, Ben), but taken using my camera. Ash  and Ari took them. Sam was the photographer's assistant and I was the stylist / dress-pinner / kid wrangler. And my gorgeous rocker-chic, skater-girl, sweet smiling sister was the model.

 I'll hopefully have the full shoot to show you in a few days. I'm super excited about how it turned out. {does that mean I might be a real designer....}

* I do think these kids are both shaping up to be good little photographers. Perhaps they need to spend more time watching Ben, and seeing the results (hmmm..... guess I should print their photos onto paper, rather than just viewing on the computer screen).


It's much much overdue. Writing this here, and making it official and all. But, I'm finally doing it. Here's my challenge. To myself. Inspired by many more things that I can recall or say.

This, of course, all leads on from my Slow Project. Is part of it. In a way, a big part. 

Consumerism. Fast fashion. Throw-away fashion. Made-in-China cheap stuff.

I grew up in a fairly not-consumerist family and lifestyle. We wore hand-me-downs (I'm the third of four kids), and lots of second-hand, market finds. And also, lots of special handmade pieces. Some pieces my mum made for us, some pieces other people made for us. One year my parents came back from their India journey with some spectacular silk dresses that they'd had made especially for us  by a tailor (brilliant red, emerald green and brightest yellow). Oh, I do wish I still knew where those dress were. The fabric alone was just amazing; rich and sumptous.

Anyway, so to my challenge. Setting for myself. To make a real commitment. {In truth, I do not buy many clothes for myself or my children ever. I look after my clothes and keep them for many years. I buy quality clothes, that do last. But sometimes, just as often, I need a simple quick, cheap t-shirt or warm long sleeve top - and I head to the big box store, and come out with a few new shirts, and perhaps some new undies as well. But even these things I need to be more conscious of 'not doing', rather than 'occasionally doing'}.

I'm joining Dottie Angel's challenge ::

And also So Zo's Self-Stitched September ::
'I, Ellie, sign up as a participant of Self-Stitched-September. I endeavour to wear only handmade and refashioned items of clothing every day for the duration of September 2010'. {Excluding underwear, tights and jumpers until further notice...}

Other inspirations include ::
Cal Patch, who says "I am working toward wearing mostly clothing made by myself, or other handmakers". And who's book - Design It Yourself Clothes - is a fantastic starting point for anyone who wants to rewardrobe themselves by themselves. 
Amy Karol, of Angry Chicken, who makes so much of her (and her daughter's) clothing. And totally rocks at the styling. And the tutes. {I have her first book, but it's gone missing at one of my friend's places..... I'm trying to justify ordering her second one, as it seems super cute and cool. Talk me into it!}.
Natalie Chanin, of Alabama Chanin amazingness. Love all her handstitched goodness {on my list to hand stitch a piece of clothing for myself during this yearly challenge}. {Also have her first book, and need justification to be talked into the second one!}.

There'll be much more talk about this, I have lots to say and show. I'm really excited to officially declare my intentions to you all ::

During the next six - twelve months, I aim to wear + buy only handcrafted (by myself or other artisans), second-hand or ethical + organically made clothing and shoes.
{I will still continue to wear my current wardrobe of clothing}.
Please follow my adventure, perhaps you may like to join in.

lolly dollies

I realised that I haven't yet shown you the finished costume making from a few weeks ago.

I did feel like a crazy sort of tramped up Alice in Wonderland all night. It was marvelous. I was made up (by the resident make-up girl, thanks Bonnie) with the longest fake eyelashes. Oh.Fun! They did feel a little strange, took a bit getting used to. But were so lovely to see on everyone else (and make great shadow shots!). 

Of course, I forgot my camera on the night. Ari took a few before my hair + makeup were done (and high-sunlight squinting factor - ie terrible photos of me......). And the girls took the others on the night (in low light and bathroom / glamourous dressing room mirrors).

*We called ourselves the Lolly Dollies, as we handed out packets of lollies as prizes.
We are having a Mad Hatter's Tea Party for Ari's birthday. I have my costume done and done, now!

lolly dolly {creative space}

I'm part of the entertainment, tonight, at a massive scrapbooking event.
The costumes are crazy and fun and like a little girls birthday party - but on high speed or something! 

I'm adding the finishing touches to my costume (it was given the seal of approval, last night, by the organiser).

A beautiful underskirt / petticoat borrowed from Sylv. It's so lush to wear so much tulle - oh, I do think I was meant to be born in a different era. {Mind you, I'm not sure I would have coped with the corsets or restrained feminist ideas}. A red + white striped silk dress, which I'm pulling up in ruffley bits so it shows off the most demure amount of tulle.

This morning I'm making fabric floral rosette bits to put onto the pinned up ruffles. I'll be wearing some in my hair, and around my neck as well. {This blue flowery hair piece was made by the always beautiful Nannette. I bought it from her last year at the Stitches + Craft Show - where I wish I'd bought one of her amazing cushions.....}

And my pink wedding shoes - so much fun to wear. But thankfully also quite comfortable. 

I'm thinking pink or purple tights underneath. Just for fun. Of course. 

Tonight is all about fun. 600 Scrapbookers. And a gang of Lolly Dolly entertaining girls all dressed up in craziness!

Lots more creative spaces at Kootoyoo


I'm working (much too slowly....) on my first fashion collection. I was hoping to have something to show by now; but life has not gone that way. Oh well.. much other stuff has happened. Let's aim for some sneak peek glimpses in a few weeks {still working on setting up new studio space, so I won't rush myself}.

Anyway - my collection features quite a lot of ruffles and frills and things. It seems I'm very fascinated with them. 

Not sure if the fact that they are all over Anthropologie (and I suppose, some other fashion places...) is a good thing or a bad thing. Perhaps by the time I have my collection ready to show ruffles will be too overdone. Perhaps my pieces will be something different anyway - and it won't matter in the slightest. {Here's hoping the latter is the truth}.

Anyway, here's a few pieces from the newest Anthropologie collection. I'm very much liking this jacket and gunmetal shirt. And the berry coloured blouse is very sultry.
{August 2010}

These few pieces are from Veronika Maine (as always favourite, and inspiring - love her cuts, designs, colours, shapes, patterns).
{top:: Summer '09 bottom: Winter '09}

* There's more to look at here - ruffle, frill, pleat.