Sunday, April 25, 2010

Introducing Sarah Bird of Cotton Kiwi and Devonport Craft Market Co-ordinator

Its taken me a while to get to this Meet the Seller but it is well worth the wait!

Read below to find out all about the brains behind the Devonport Craft Market and the brand Cotton Kiwi.

Introducing Sarah Bird

How did you come up with your stall name?
It was one of those 3am moments of inspiration. My stall was originally called TOTO (which means 'child' in Swahili) but I wanted something that was more catchy and reflected a little bit more on what I made. I googled the name and was amazed to find noone else was using it and relaunched as Cotton Kiwi last October.

How long have you been crafting?
Since I was little. My Mum is very creative. I grew up travelling the world with my parents and we often couldn't buy nice clothes where we lived. Mum would make all of our clothes and all of hers so I learned how to sew and knit by watching her.

What is your craft?
Sewing mainly with some knitting and the occasional bout of painting.  I started off making childrens' applique t-shirts, bibs, aprons and soft toys (particularly sock monkeys and babysafe toys) but then branched out to include a few bits and pieces for adults. My most popular item is probably the Tape Measure Rose Brooches I make. I also make tea-towels appliqued with tea cups and cupcake and coffee cup pincushions which are made using felted sweaters.

How did you start creating?
As with many crafters out there, my Mum had me crafting from an early age. I was constantly getting in trouble for cutting great big holes out of the centre of expensive pieces of fabric to make a dolls outfit or messing up her embroidery threads and patterns. She was very supportive though and taught me a great deal (still does!). I was given my Nan's old sewing machine when I left home but rarely had the time to use it when I was living in London. Since having children, I've been inspired to make things for them and comments and requests from friends and families started the whole ball rolling. I've been actively crafting for about 2 years now and make time to learn as much as I can. There is so much information to be found online from fellow crafters and bloggers, it's really easy to pick up new skills.

What inspires you?
My children, my Mum, other bloggers, pictures, books and photographs from 1950s- 70s (I'm a big fan of retro and vintage items), old sewing patterns and seeing what other people are making all over the world online.

What is your favourite book?
I love sewing books by Emma Hardy. Her instructions are so easy to follow and are always beautifully photographed.
I have so many other favourite books but recently read The Time Travellers Wife and loved it. I seem to spend most of my time these days reading Milly Molly Mandy and Cat in the Hat stories!           

What is your favourite food?
I do love sushi but most food is a hit with me if it eaten with friends or family and a few glasses of wine.

Favourite inspiration site; blog or online shop?
 I have so many but these are favourites:
ETSY (American based handmade website)
FELT (NZ handmade website)

And these bloggers are favourite places to visit for inspiration:
The Crafty Crow (this is aimed at kids but I still love to visit!)

At home:

The blogs of many of the Devonport Craft Market sellers are very inspiring too. You can find them in the side bar of the blog.

Aside from the Devonport Craft Market, Where can people buy Cotton-Kiwi?
Online at my FELT store or my ETSY store and I usually sell at Crafternoon Tea Market in Kingsland as well as the Devonport Craft Market. I also get a lot of orders from people just emailing me so feel free to do that on

Sarah has a giveaway over on her blog this week to celebrate a year of being online. Why not pop over to the Cotton Kiwi blog and enter to win some lovely goodies?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

May Market Poster - Its our 1st Birthday

Isn't it exciting. A whole year since the wonderful Sarah Bird launched the 'new' Devonport Craft Market.
Come along and see a market choc full of crafters, some new and some who have been there since the beginning.

Thanks to Cat Taylor for creating this months poster. Don't you think it is lovely!

A list of all of the sellers who will be in attendance for the next Market can be found on  the right hand side of the blog.

If you would like to subscribe to the Monthly newsletter then please fill in the subscription form on the top right of the blog.

Sellers - Check out the downloadables section for posters, flyers and web posters.

Can't wait to see you all on the 2nd May!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Applications open for May Market

It was a great market yesterday with a great vibe. Thanks to everyone who came to visit - we hope you come back to visit us again soon!

Thanks to all our lovely sellers too! Applications for the May market are now open - see "Sellers Information" page on the blog for the details and the links to the application forms.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Meet the Seller - Lisa from Estella Rose

Lisa's label Estella Rose is new to the Market scene - but a welcome addition! Her bags are lovely - something for everyone. Learn a little bit about Lisa and her creations below.

 How long have you been making and where did your shop name come from?
I have always been a sewer but have been selling my bags for only 3 months. Estella Rose is my youngest Daughters name, it was also my husbands grandmothers name.

What is it that you make?
My main thing is bags made from beautiful fabrics that I buy from America, I want to use fabrics that you don’t see in New Zealand so ‘Im constantly looking on the internet for websites I can buy unusual and different product from. I also sew purses and fabric brooches. I love to collect buttons and interesting bits from second-hand shops so I use these on my bags and brooches as well. I have an obsession with fabric and have a large stash of fabrics and buttons that I have always wanted to make something from.

What gives you inspiration?
 I thought its always hard to find the perfect bag so I could make my own and once I started to buy fabrics I realised what I could actually create and it started from there. Usually I see a fabric design and I get inspired from there. Also customers give me a lot of inspiration because they are always telling me what they want in a bag, a bag is so personal and so I try to make them all different to hopefully suit all tastes.

Your favourite read?
I mostly read kids books these days! I have 2 girls. Each peach pear plum is a cool book. The last book I remember reading for myself was Slave by Mende Nazer

and your favourite guilty pleasure (the food kind!!)
I have a real sweet tooth so I would have to say chocolate but I do love pastries.  

Online inspiration? is where I get a lot of my fabric, it is a huge site and I can usually spend hours looking through the fabrics. I also love Flickr, there is so much amazing stuff and I always look on there for inspiration if I’m having an uncreative moment. 

Aside from the Devonport Craft Market, where can people buy your bags and other products?
I sell on Felt and I also do custom order bags, people can email me on estellarose.products[at]gmail[dot]com.

Meet the Seller - Jo from Infusions

Jo has been a Devonport Craft Market regular since the Market opened in May last year. A native of the Mother Land, Jo and her family have been living in NZ for the last 18mths. Her Kiln made the trek with her across the Ocean. She tells us a little about why glass infusion has her hooked.  

How long have you been working with glass?
About 5 years. I'm a glass fuser. It involves using a kiln to heat glass to a very high temperature, melting layers together - and never being quite sure what the end product will look like. I work with art glass, but have an increasing interest in recycling bottles and other scrap glass into useable objects. I never mass produce as this would bore me rigid, and stifles creativity.

Tell us about the name Infusions.
The name 'Infusions' describes what I do perfectly. I'm merging different coloured and textured glasses together, sometimes with metal, to create a new complete object. Also, glass fusing is a real melding of both technical and artistic disciplines.

How did you start creating?
After having each of my two children, I had an overwhelming urge to try something new (and my husband encouraged me as I was driving him mad). After my first daughter, I went and hiked around China to raise money for a fostering charity, and after my second I went off to Brighton to work with a glass artist. From the first time I opened a kiln to reveal what was inside I was hooked. I've always loved the element of surprise.

What inspires you?
Everything. Colours, the sea, my children, flowers, the sky, but most of all my mood. If I'm not feeling creative, I don't fuse.

 Tell us about your favourite book?
 Hmm, a tough question as I read lots. Scar Tissue by Anthony Keidis (the lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) is the most amazing account of a battle with addiction. Very raw and honest. I tend to favour books that demonstrate the power of a human to win through.

And food - tell us what food you can't live without?
Oh, I love food. Italian, Mexican, chocolate, mashed potato, Sunday roast, marmite (the British one), eggs, sushi, good cake, fresh bread, summer fruits - you get the picture. I really love food. I really couldn't pick one.

Aside from the Devonport Craft Market, where else can people buy your art? From my Felt store or come to my house, where you can have a look whilst I make you a cup of tea :)

Meet the Seller - Julie from Baby Love Merino

A regular to the market scene and to Devonport Craft Market is Julie from Baby Love Merino. The sylish merino offerings make any parent squishy! Summer or winter you will find something for your kids from Julie's offerings.

What do you make and how long have you been making!
I have been sewing for 25 years. I sew beautiful Merino (and some cotton) baby, toddler and pre-school clothing. I had a beautiful little boy who needed a snuggly wrap...and then he grew and needed snuggly tees, and then more fashionable and contemporary clothing. Then I had another gorgeous boy, so I had to indulge my inner pink somewhere that wasn't on my own children!

What gives you inspiration and how does that translate into your designs?
The world around me - sometimes it is international cultures, sometimes it is architecture, sometimes it is the beauty of the NZ bush and sea. I'm never inspired by what is currently happening in kids fashion as I think it makes them too old too fast. I want my kids to be kids and look like kids - not teenagers or adults.

Favourite reads and favourite foods?
Too many! I loved a Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth, but also Wild Swans. Recently I couldn't put down Mitch Ablom's new book. Runny poached eggs on some sort of rustic toast....eggs benedict - yum!

Favourite online inspiration?
I love to look at all the gorgeous things people are making around the world in
And because I am into photography right now, I am very inspired by the work of my Baby Love photographer at

When you are not at the Devonport Craft Market - where can fans buy Baby Love Merino?
On our website or at Titirangi Market on the last Sunday of each month or Mary's Market, Freemans Bay.