Thursday, 19 January 2017

DIY Studio 3 - the last report

Doing well with the studio DIY but I guess I'm just not cut out for all this hard work! And my hammer skills are seriously out of practice. I could feel my arm seizing up as I hammered away and dreamed about having a Nail Gun. And I'm not even doing the whole job on the walls, just putting up enough ply panels so I can carry on with getting the shelving units in, getting organised, and moving the stash out of the bath!

So here are the plywood panels leaning up against their 'Forever Home'. I did get these pre-cut and delivered and the nice delivery guy helped put them in place ready to go. (Even though they were having a bad day and were 4 hours late!)

I decided to take Safety a little more seriously than usual and did not do the next stage in my jandals. Shoes are quite handy for climbing up and down the step ladder and kicking things in to place!

Here are the first two shelves in place. There are three more to go. Unfortunately they are not new ones but are spread throughout the house and are very, very full! So each one has had to be emptied, cleaned and then moved out to the studio. I have discovered lots of fabrics that I had forgotten about so that has been quite exciting. I am developing a filing system so all the fabrics will be stored by their intended design/style/use - a shelf for each one. Quite OCD (according to some rude people) but I don't do cleaning so I'm fine!

So where do you think the fabrics ended up while waiting to transition to their new home??? 

In the bath of course!!

I have just put together the kitset for this lovely thing. It will become home to all the threads, tools and other little things that seem to hang out in my sewing room. It will also be a good chance to get rid of some junk!

And one thing that won't be making it to the new studio is this Cover Stitch machine. I don't need it and rarely had the patience to use it anyway. 

So if you want to buy a hardly used machine that is comfortable with swear words let me know.

So tell me - are you a Konmari sort of declutterer or more of a Sarah Knight type? (Warning - Sarah is also very comfortable with swear words.)

No more pics of the studio now until I can do a Big Reveal and show the finished thing...

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

DIY Studio 2

This is what happens when you watch too many DIY upcycling programmes on TV!! When I first started doing the demo on all the man-shelving in my garage (studio-to-be) I quite liked the huge, old, solid, work bench that was at one end. It was the right height so I had an idea to convert it into a huge, old, solid, cutting table. 

Apart from being very dirty it was also attached quite robustly to the wall (why??!). I nearly gave up then but managed to get it off. Wow, it was so heavy and I had no idea how I was going to move it around. But luckily I have a Dad who loved garage sales so in my tool box was a set of wheels. So I charged up my trusty old drill, flipped the bench on its side (more like let it fall onto a pile of old carpet next to it), and attached the wheels. Magic!

I scraped down the top a little - just to remove lumps as it will have a new top. Then scrubbed the whole thing, I'm not keen on cleaning but I think this thing hadn't been cleaned since it was made and I'm okay with once every 50 years or so.

 Then it was looking a lot better ...

And I had an idea that it would look better if I polished it or something. "Something" turned out to be an expensive ($36!) can of Liming Wax that I had bought years ago for some unrealised project so I thought I would give it a go. It certainly got that "chalk paint" look to it. There was a can of plain furniture wax with the liming one so I decided to give it a coat of that too. By then I was absolutely knackered and will not need to join a gym until this project is over! 

And here she is back in the garage studio all shiny and clean. And she smells fabulous ... wonder what that wax is made of?!

Then I just had to give it a new (huge) MDF top and it is all ready for work!

As soon as I finish off the floor, walls, shelving ...

Sunday, 15 January 2017

DIY Studio

As Minnie + Ree has grown it has taken over too much of my house! We reached the final straw in December when I had to use the Emergency Storage Space (ESS) for the second time this year to store fabric deliveries. ESS is ... the bath!!

So I have embarked on a mission to convert my garage into a proper studio. This would have been a lot easier if it hadn't become the dumping ground for quite a few UFOs over the last few years. But here is my progress so far:

1. Take a good solid 1960s garage. Spend too many days demo-ing the man-shelving that has been built over the years across two sides of the garage and made from an eclectic collection of materials and about seven thousand nails and screws.
2. Buy a bargain second hand glass door and window unit on Trade Me and get it installed. 

 3. Also get builder to turn old leaky door into a window frame and have it glazed by your fabulous friends who just happen to own a glass business. Luckily there is already lots of lighting in there and now lots of natural light too!

4. Finally get around to installing underfloor insulation in your house and get the garage walls done at the same time. I can't believe how excited I got about that insulation. It made the space feel so unshedlike. And yes that is a proper word, well kind of.
5. Then start painting the concrete floor but don't finish cos you have to pack the car, put on proper clothes and go to a market!

Can't wait til it's finished.


Sunday, 1 January 2017

Summer in the Coromandel

Yay! It's summer time and the living is ... maybe not so easy until I've packed my car and driven to Coromandel.  

Can't wait to get there. And I'm staying right here on the beach!!!

This year Minnie + Ree will be at our two favourite market days. They are:

  • 9am - 3pm
    Tuesday 3 January 2017

    Kennedy Park, Pauanui


  • 9am - 3pm
    Wednesday 4 January 2017

    Central Reserve, Cooks Beach

I will have my new linen range with me. I think I will be wearing the favourite yellow, or maybe a new red one.
Ettie linen dress in Red
Ettie linen dress in Yellow

See you there?

Friday, 19 August 2016

Tokyo 2

One day I stopped for a while and just spent time photographing people walking by. I REALLY like the casual street style and do note the shoes!!

Thursday, 18 August 2016


I only had 2-3 days in Tokyo and the jetlag kicked in so I was surviving (?) on about 3 hours sleep a night. 

Still you can't keep a Fabric Hunter down and I got out and about. Sometimes a little too out and about since I did get lost a time or two. But that's all part of the fun, right??

The most difficult part of wondering around was finding landmarks to remember the way back. There are too many high rise buildings to be able to see the ones that you may have carefully spotted before leaving your hotel...

And there weren't many shop or building signs in English so that didn't work for navigation either. 

And I don't have a sense of direction at all!

So I discovered some lovely quiet residential streets amongst all the huge buildings ...

And the Fashion College which I'd seen on the map earlier and that told me I wasn't where I thought I was!

But I did find Okadaya and spent hours going floor to floor. 6 floors of buttons, beads, accessories, trims, tapes, needles, dyes, etc. And then 5 floors of fabrics. Exhausting!

This place was huuuuuge too!

Luckily I have Koru membership and can have a free extra checked-in bag coming home. I could have bought much more than I did.

And this is the toilet control panel. So tough now that I'm home and don't have the heated toilet seat anymore!! 

Bai bai

Friday, 12 August 2016

My essentials for Paris - with pictures this time!

Sorry if you tried to read my last post which had the missing photos. My computer problems seem to be fixed??? Turns out that I was just too kind to this little HP notebook. After it got a bad case of Black Screen I threw it into my suitcase, flew it across the world to Tokyo, and all that freezing cold and being chucked around by airport staff has brought it back to life. Yay! So no more sissy traveling in the handbag for this machine, it's going to get tough love!!

So here's my Paris essentials list with the photos and maybe a few more ...

1. Get some good walking shoes. Handy to have a bit of a platform going on to keep you above yicky street things, especially stinky puddles from all those men who pee on the streets!
These are by Fly London.

2. A metro pass.

3. A handy book on fabric and other 'craft' shops in Paris. 

4. An even handier friend who knows Paris like the back of her hand, can find all the best coffee places, and let's you be lazy and not even try to speak French.

5. A book that sets out most of those great coffee and food places. We discovered this on our last day at Le Peloton which is a great coffee shop and it had most of our other favourites. 

6. Gin for evening drinks on the balcony after a hard day slogging around Paris in 30 degree heat.

7. And maybe some champagne to celebrate good friends and cats who drink out of bottles...