Tuesday 31 July 2007

Show and Tell . . .

I have got so much to share today and loads of pics!

Anyway, first up is the shop, I have now emptied it, stashed it into our house as you are about to see and started organising for the new shop.

I have gone from this . . .


and this which is supposed to be our 'Grown Up' room . . .

and this, somewhere in there is the almost completed goodies I am doing for Natasha, my Cup Cake Swap goodies partner . . .

but there is light at the end of the tunnel because we are going to this mid August . . .

I can't wait . . . and neither can Babes who is find the overcrowding at home a little stressful!

Yesterday I went to buy some bubble wrap to finish packing the shop, got a bit carried away and came home with all of this . . .

Craft roses and flowers, a plastic tray to glitter on, heaps of craft ribbon, new water colour paints and best of all 3 sheets of Victorian styled die cut scraps. They were so cheap, only $3.99 each. I bought the only 3 left.
They are so gorgeous!

The other night while I was waiting for something to dry that I was working on for part of the Cup Cake Swap I am doing for my partner Natasha, I made some bookmarks . . .

and last but not least, my parcel from Natasha arrived for the Cupcake Swap. I am showing the most incredible will power by not opening it. You see I haven't finished Natasha's yet so I until I have it posted I am not going to let myself open hers!

But I have had a wee poke and prod at it . . .

Sunday 29 July 2007

Exciting News . . .

This weekend I am really busy packing up my shop. Its a major job as I have soooooooo much stuff. The actual shop is easy because its very tidy and organised . . . of course. The storeroom/craftroom is a different story, there is stuff everywhere, boxes of fabrics, lace and trims poking out from underneath things, paints and brushes, bits of cut up paper, piles of vintage clothing, benches full of vintage china, broken crockery for mosiacing, books and magazines and so on . . .

But I'm getting there and slowly bringing it home to store in our newly cleaned up and organised garage which was going to be a studio come showroom except that . . .

I have leased a NEW SHOP, I'm soooooo excited!!!

You see I have been struggling emotionally and mentally and feeling physically ill every time I had to think about closing my shop.

Last week I came across a shop for lease nearby. We went and had a look and its great. Much bigger, warmer (it has a ceiling), it has a toilet and . . . wait for it . . . hot and cold running water! You won't believe it but these are all things my current shop does not have! Such luxury! And its cheaper, much cheaper!

It also has a back door that leads into a private courtyard. So great because I will be able to paint furniture at work. We are going to develop the courtyard for summer and use it has part of the shop to sell outdoor furniture etc.

I can't wait!!!

I have to paint the shop first, my trademark pink of course, hang curtains, lay the carpet and then set up the stock which will have been stored at home.

Opening is 1st weekend in September and we are going to make a grand splash of it, champagne, pink of course!, nibbles, giveaways etc.

Between now and then I have a million things to do, so much stock I want to make and paint for the new shop, get my website up and running properly, finish my swaps, and oh my goodness I just signed up for another one Mica's Kitchen Swap, oh well a girl can never sign up for too many swaps!

And bring my Mum up from the South Island who is coming to live with us for a while (another story for another time!

I am sooooooooooo excited!

Thursday 26 July 2007

Pretty Things . . .

I have so much going on at the moment that my little head is a spinning!

Late last night I took some time out for myself, admittedly I was watching one of my fave reality TV programmes 'American Batchelor', I know its trashy but I get great pleasure from seeing how these women go ga ga over a complete stranger . . .

Anyway I started fiddling around with some paper and stuff and came up with one gift card and two tags. The bookmark swap was my first attempt at this type of craft so I am feeling pretty chuffed with how these turned out.

I love these little china ballet shoes, I got them at the market two Sundays ago and no way are they going into shop stock! They are mine!

Today I raced out and came home with a rolling glue pen, glitter and a silver art pen! I'm hooked!

This is a card, I am going to add it to the shop stock, I think its so soft and pretty.

And these are the tags. I used plain old playing cards, an idea I got from one of my many piles of magazines. These follow in the soft and pretty theme of the card. I feel this is just the beginning of a new addiction . . .

I have some exciting news also but thats going to have to wait until my next post as its time for this gal to retire for the evening.

Friday 20 July 2007

Family Stuff

Sunday night just gone The Princess and I did a mercy dash to Nelson where my Mum lives as she phoned really distraught, my stepfather had been taken to hospital in an ambulance as he had been blacking out. They no longer live together (a very long story) and it has been a truely dreadful year for our family and Mum in particular. I managed to get a plane flight within two hours, quickly threw some clothes and stuff in suitcases and off we went.

We are back in Auckland now after spending the week with Mum and helping her pack up some of her house, she has sold it and moving to Auckland to be with us. My stepfather also moving to Auckland but to a different part has a broken arm from one of the blackouts and is under going tests to find the cause.

I did manage a bit of thrifting while I was there but very slim pickings this time. I was there at Christmas and came home with a car load of gorgeous treasures. All I found this time was 4 rolls of vintage wallpaper and a vintage photo album, no photos!

My Mum's computer is on a antiquated dial up system and sooooooooooooo slow, it drove me crazy so blogging was almost impossible. I have had a lovely evening tonight catching up on what everyone has been doing.
Now that I am home I need to get on with my swaps . . . I have Natasha for the Cupcake Swap, how lucky am I! And also Jerusalem for the Art Doll Hat swap, lucky me again! I have found some other swaps I am keen to take part in but at this stage don't dare!
Tomorrow I am off to a Garage Sale at our local church first thing, I think you American girls call it a Yard Sale. Sunday I have a regular 7am date with Melanie who works for me sometimes. We go to a local flea market. I went last Sunday and came home with the most wonderful things to put on Trade Me and also in the shop.

Its really nice to be home and sleep in my own bed tonight with my very own husband!

Friday 13 July 2007

Swaps and Shops

Ok Amy, no peeking now, this is all about your bookmarks so you have to go read someone else's blog until you receive them in the mail!

I finally got the bookmarks and the hole punch to meet at the same location and within minutes they were finished, photographed, wrapped and photographed again!

I know they look a bit big for bookmarks don't they? Because I was feeling so bad for being such a slack swap partner while I was out thrifting I found 3 little books that I thought might suit Amy and the bookmarks I had made for her.

Bookmark number one has a Kiwiana theme. I typed out a condensed version of the wooden Buzzy Bee story and fixed that to a card, laminated it and then attached a laminated cut out of a Buzzy Bee. I found a cute book dated 1967 "Birthdays and Family Celebrations" to go with this bookmark.

Bookmark 2 has a retro feel to it, Amy being a retro girl and all. This one is made of barkcloth and gold rick a rac and a religious verse as Amy is a Christian. And a nice little book of garden verses to go with it.

Last one is vintage fashion theme with a sheet music background and green rick a rac. I found a fashion pattern pack to go with this.

I used beads on the first lot of bookmarks I made and they had a nasty mishap in the laminator, they came out kind of melted (funny that!) and rearranged the laminate sheet so it was pleated in a very odd fashion. That was after they got stuck and I had to yank the sheet out of the laminator!

Second swap down, this swapping business is soooooooo much fun! Can't wait to get my partners for the next two I have signed up for!

Now the shop . . . this weekend is the big garage clean up weekend, really looking forward to it - kind of . . . but feeling very inspired after viewing Karla's studio photo's over and over again, really helped give me some vision for what I am going to create in there. Thanks Karla.

You wouldn't believe this, the shop is soooo busy at the moment, doing really good sales each day and my Trade Me sales are ripping along also . . . But I can't reverse the decision so I have to make the best of the new plan.

I have been telling my customers I am moving and handing out brochures inviting them to vsit the new showroom/shop and while they are visting have a cup of tea or coffee, some home baking and on Friday evenings wine!

So hopefully . . . the upside is I will be warm, the shop is freezing cold. I will have a kind of clean house again and I will be able to paint the furniture I have sitting around waiting to be prettied up for sale. Couldn't do that at the shop, the workroom was too small and had no ventilation.

I'm sure it will work out for the best and if not I will go and do it again somewhere else but this time with more money behind me!

Wednesday 11 July 2007

Bookmark Swap

My bookmarks arrived from my swap partner Amy. Amy generously made me not two but four bookmarks. She must have known I always have several books on the go and use the oddest of things for bookmarks!

My favourite is this one because of course its got roses on it and I love the bluey/lavender background. Also the sweet words on it such as "Roses", "Scented", "Petals", "Gardens" and "All the Pretty Flowers".

Number 2 bookmark is retro looking with a crochet theme and this one says "A woman's hopes are woven of sunbeams" - George Eliot. Is that not so beautiful?

Number 3 is sparklely beads in the background and a sweet child on one corner with a brush and artwork on another corner. This one says "What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity". I love that also.

Number 4 has a very serene floral background and I love the vintage lady in the corner. This one says "Welcome to my world".

Thank you so much Amy, I love them all.

Now you may ask how I got on with Amy's bookmarks. A little series of disasters (like my life at the moment!). I had a little accident and . . . melted them . . . you could call it crafting gone wrong.

So I started again and unfortunately at the moment they travel daily between home and the shop with me because I can't find . . . the hole punch to finish them . . . pathetic!

Poor Amy, having such a slack swap partner. I will make it up to you Amy I promise, just as soon as I find the hole punch! I hope its not in the garage . . .

Tuesday 10 July 2007

The Rose Room Shop

I thought I would write about my shop because I have had to make the sad and heartbreakingly painful decision to close it. I love it so much, it was my dream come true. It has the most beautiful atmosphere (possibly the pinkness) and smells divine, I burn rose oil everyday and use rose room spray. I always have music playing in the background. Since I have been there I have met the nicest people who say the most lovely things about the shop but its just not financially viable. This is what happens when you start a business on a shoe string and when times are quiet like winter you have nothing to fall back on.

But I have a plan (I always have a plan). We have a double garage which has never seen a car because it is filled to the brim with 'projects'. In the next two weeks I am going to sort and clean it out and turn it into a 'studio' where I can sew, paint furniture and craft away to provide stock for the internet business side of The Rose Room which I had always intended on developing.

Babes (husband) is so supportive and understanding of my current heartbreak but really encouraging of the new turn The Rose Room is taking and keeps telling my I haven't really closed the shop I am just redirecting and refocusing . . .

So here are some photos of my lovely shop and of what is to become my studio (don't laugh!) . . .

all of this has to be transfered to home to fit into this . . .
Now thats scary!

Sunday 8 July 2007

I've Got Mail . . .

I got home from work on Friday night, pouring with rain, quickly poked my hand in the mail box and felt this matchbox shaped parcel AND my Romantic Homes magazine which I get sent "all the way from America", actually I think that is a song . . .

I must have known because I had bought myself a bottle of champagne as Babes was away so I set up the desk with my glass, my mag and my parcel ready to savour the moment . . .

One hour later I have slugged back the champagne, thrown wholesome food at the girls (chicken nuggets and fries) and still have not opened my parcel sent all the way from Canada because the phone would not stop ringing!

Finally, girls settled with educational entertainment (Spiderman DVD which my 4 year old loves), phone stopped ringing, another glass of champagne poured, the camera at the ready, my heart racing and I opened the parcel . . .

Karen from Canada had made the most beautiful parcel up for me, my matchbox was wrapped in a snowy white vintage hanky and tied with pink and white ribbons. The white ribbons have little butterflies attached which is so uncanny as Stella and I are both mad about butterfly things.

My matchbox is covered in the most delicate pink silk and edged with lace and a rose with a pearl centre.

Inside the box is; a roll of vintage lace tied with ribbon, two of Karen's crocheted flowers - divine! a piece of sparklely jewellery and a little gold key tied onto a ribbon and a layer of vintage lace. I lifted up the layer of lace and underneath it were more treasures . . . its like Karen knows me really well because she covered lots of my loves; a little gold tea pot (I drink galleons of tea), a glass bunch of grapes and leaves (covers my champagne addiction of which I would love to drink galleons of!), a clear diamond with a rose inside, a string of sparklely diamantes and a string of little pink beads. How she got it all to fit I don't know because I can't!

Oh and a lovely note on gorgeous vintage notelet paper!

Karen my new Cyber friend, thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and generousity and for making my first swap so special, I love my matchbox so very much.

That night I went to bed very happy, sated with warm fuzzy blogging thoughts and champagne and my August issue of Romantic Homes.

Wednesday 4 July 2007

More about Addictions!

See I told you I had an addictive nature, I found another swap to sign up for, this time the Art Doll Hat swap hosted by Malady over at Crafting by Candlelight. It looks like so much fun, I love this blogging and swapping business . . . So inspirational! And this one is just the tip of the ice berg so to speak . . . I have found a few more to sign up for!

Today was another quiet day at the shop so I created this cone thingy for Suzy my 18 year old Korean homestay daughter who moved on to new adventures today. Found the idea on a few of your blogs and then in a scrapbooking magazine I bought recently. Suzy is a real pink girl who loves sparkles and frills so I tried my hand at a bit of mixed media. Its a mixture of card, scrapbook paper, the vintage lace from yesterday, craft roses and rhinestones, glitter, lampshade trim, beaded ribbon etc. The cat with wings is Coco who Suzy adored and would carry around all day like a baby. I was really pleased with my first result if I do say so myself! A bit rough and ready because I was pushed for time. I filled it with some pink goodies from the shop.

Tonight I sat at the top of the stairs (again) and watched Cold Case while the Princess went to sleep. It wasn't so bad as I was sewing lace to a vintage cardigan I am restyling. Will show you that another day!

Babes, that's what the Princess and I call Steve my husband. Very tongue in cheek from me and totally genuine from Stella. Anyway Babes was downstairs watching the final of Lost.

We were sad in our home today because Suzy left, I of course cried and also because our fabulous New Zealand yachting team lost the America's Cup to Alinghi the Swiss team. It was soooooo close. Next time Team NZ, next time.

Tuesday 3 July 2007

Another Addiction

First things first, this is a continuation of my last blog really, where I just happened to mention that I have an addiction! Actually I have many addictions, I have heard some people are just that way, easily addicted, I know I am one of them and it really it does not take that much for me to become addicted or obsessed with something . . .

Today I went to the Doctor because I have had an evil sinus infection for over 2 weeks, and no I was not going to get more drugs to feed an addiction it was more what happened on the way there and back. So bad is this particular addiction that I will sacrifice many things for it, for example, I ended up being late to the Doctor because I just, just could not resist the trip into the 2nd hand store on the way, which by the way yielded nothing in the way of treasures.

And then after the Doctor on the way to get my prescription (for the non addictive drugs) I had to do a wee detour as in major swerve to a Sallie Army store just in case they had the find of the century, which of course they didn't. But I did get a few wee treasure to feed this particular addiction so that was all good . . . 2 books to cut up; Shabby the Sheep Dog and a David Austin Roses, 6 blue damask napkins, 4 rose bud x stitch napkins, little x stitch bag, 6 Belgium Tapestry doilies, a dressing table set mounted on card and best of all, pink vintage lace on its original card which I was more enthralled with than the lace itself! So all in all an addiction well fed!

The second part of this posting is about my Princess. I am sitting at the top of my landing waiting for my Princess to go to sleep. I love my Princess more than life itself (she was hard to come by), I love her so much, but for four years each night at 7.30pm, the dreaded bedtime she drives me crazy (more crazy than normal). She is such a good girl, every night we go to bed, have stories, prayers, kisses and hugs and then if we are lucky she is asleep by 9.30pm at the earliest. She doesn’t get out of bed but she doesn’t go to sleep either. This would not be so bad except we have a 2 story house and she refuses to stay upstairs on her own. Most nights I turn into a deranged mad woman pacing the landing, muttering and promising all sorts of vile and dreadful threats until finally she gives in and sleeps. By that time I am so stressed and shattered I collapse into bed in a heap! Sometimes I even go to sleep before she does!

I need Super Nanny, I have watched the TV programmes, read the books etc etc and can't break her habit, everything seems to focus on them getting out of bed which she doesn’t do . . . urrrgh, does anyone out there have something new I can try???

Yours in deprived craft and big people time, Rachaelx