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Dolls & Dresses

As soon as I saw pictures of Rhiannon's latest batch of Croutons dresses incorporating vintage embroidery, I had visions of sweet girls with dolls in matching dresses. I'm so grateful Rhiannon gave me the opportunity to express my vision and I couldn't be happier with how they've turned out. What a dreamy pairing, amiright? Here are the purchasing details: Dolls will be listed on the Rhiannon's Toast Clothing Facebook page at 7:00pm NZDT, on Thursday 17 March. First to comment sold will get ...

March 14, 2016

Rhythm

2015 was our second Christmas season, and to be honest we didn't think we could really be any busier than we had been the year before. But somehow, we received so much support through orders and markets that JR was literally working double shifts for about 2 and a half months leading up to Christmas. Now, on a screen, 'double shifts' is just two little words that are read quickly, but in reality it meant JR began work - from his little workshop on the other side of our garage - around 8am and w...

March 9, 2016

2016

Hello! And Happy New Year! Things got a little (a LOT) crazy at the end of last year so we have been enjoying the summer and a beautiful, long E X H A L E. On Christmas Day JR surprised us all with a two and a half week road trip around the South Island he'd been planning during his late nights out in the workshop. I love a good road trip, and combined with the chance to see my sister, it was pretty much the best gift ever (until the reality dawned on me that we'd be driving, to the bottom of t...

February 5, 2016

Go, play!

On the weekend we had to cut a tree down on our property. The abundance of sticks and logs really sparked our kids' imaginations and they made a fort and set up an 'American Indian campsite'. All day long I would hear shrieks of surprise and delight from the kids as JR snuck out of his workshop and ambushed them. It's small moments like this which reaffirm to us that our choice to forgo a regular wage in favour of working from home really has been right one for our family. We're SUPER DUPER g...

October 7, 2015

D E T A I L S | 2015 Winter Collab

Phew, they're done! I knew 2015 was going to be a great collab, but the 6 winter collab dolls have turned out even better than I'd hoped. Their matching outfits make them look so AMAZING. Here is everything you need to know about how to see and purchase the collab dolls: There are 6 collab dolls - each comes with its own matching outfit in a child's size (ranging from NB-4yrs). The dolls will be exhibited at the General Collective Market, 20 Cawley St, Ellerslie, Auckland on the 1st August...

July 9, 2015

TUTORIAL | Arrow Quiver

STEP 1 || Cut two contrasting pieces of fabric 22cm x 35cm and a 22cm piece of trim (if desired)....

June 25, 2015

Tiny Eyes 2015 Winter Collab

I am SO excited about this year's collab! Would you check out this line up?! Inspired by our new baby bundle arriving soon, I hunted down some amazing New Zealanders and Australians hand making gorgeous items for babies and kids for this year's collab. I'll introduce each partner further over the next few weeks but please check them out in the mean time (click on names below to see more): Mushama & Me - NZ Fillies and Foal - AUS Hello Stranger - NZ Typically Red - AUS Make Me Pop - NZ OMA...

June 2, 2015

J O U R N E Y | One year later!

One year ago, the timing finally felt right, so we took the plunge, waited to see how far we got and vowed to be grateful for every day we had no matter how many or few. And here we are with 365 days under our belt already! There have certainly been lean times but there have also been amazing opportunities that have come our way as a result of hitting "open shop" on Etsy one year ago. Highlights have included: The kids seeing their dad more often! Me seeing my guy more often! Being able...

May 5, 2015

2015 Tiny Eyes Winter Collab

It's that time of the year again where I join creative forces and make, exhibit and sell half a dozen dolls based on the designs of others, with a portion of proceeds going to charity. This will be my third ( and possibly final?) Winter Collab project, and I'm SUPER excited about getting started. Because I am about to enter my 3rd trimester, and am rather preoccupied with preparing to have a very small person around again, I thought it would be fitting to collaborate with 6 NZ/AUS businesses w...

April 27, 2015

For Making's Sake

Over the weekend it was dark and rainy - I decided it was the perfect weather to hunker down and do some selfish sewing. I indulgently made two dolls just for the sake of it. I think creating for yourself it should be a regular business practice for all creatives....

April 21, 2015

J O U R N E Y | To market, to market

So one really cool part of this whole handmade business venture has been the opportunity to be on the other side of the table at markets. Here are a few things we've enjoyed and learnt after our first summer season of markets: Being on the other side of the table at a market means having to get up really early on the weekend. It also means a LOT of shuffling and juggling of children. Sometimes it means getting all five kids up with you at 5:30 and taking them to the markets with you. If ...

April 13, 2015

On being a covergirl and a cheerleader

This is definitely one of those *pinch me* moments! In the past I have bought Mollie Makes magazines because my crafting heroes were featured inside, and now here I am. ..on the cover! Well, not me exactly, but something I made right here in our little home in Whatawhata, New Zealand. So very surreal... Inside Issue 52 you will find templates and a step-by-step tutorial on how to make one of my doll-face cushions. Hurrah!...

April 8, 2015

Dolls, dolls, dolls

With the realisation that doll-making time is limited, I am working harder than I usually would on trying to make as many dolls as I possibly can to meet some of the demand before baby #6 arrives. These six are coming up to Auckland with us to the General Collective Market Day this Saturday. This is the first time I restricted myself to a limited colour palette and even drew up a quick sketch of what each doll would wear. It made the cutting out process so much quicker because I wasn't distrac...

March 24, 2015

J O U R N E Y | Behind the scenes

As predicted, sales have slowed right down since Christmas, but that has been fine by us. Pre-Christmas was crazy - in a way we could have never predicted or hoped for - so we have welcomed the last couple of slower months. It has given us time to enjoy the summer, work on new product designs and get used to the idea that there will be a new baby in our family again soon. Part of that adjustment has meant selling our 7-seater car and buying an 8-seater. So far we have sold our 7-seater but haven...

March 12, 2015

New Dolls!

My grand plans of spending all January stock-piling dolls were rudely ambushed by morning sickness, so I'm running a bit behind schedule but better late than never, right? To kick off the year, I have made 4 limited edition, Valentines inspired dolls and have listed them on Trade Me (a New Zealand auction site) - you can find them here. The auction closes on Valentines Day. I hope you love them - and thanks for your patience! ...

February 10, 2015

Sibling Love Letters on V-Day

Our wedding anniversary is the day before Valentines Day so it doesn't get much attention in our home (which is really perfectly fine by me!) but this year we thought we would introduce a new, simple tradition of writing love notes to each other, and then posting them in our mailboxes on Love Day morn. Something that is really important in our family is building strong sibling relationships, so for this activity we wrote our kids' names down on a piece of paper and had each kid draw out a name. ...

February 9, 2015

On having a flexible business plan

Sometimes the best component of your strategic planning or your business plan is flexibilty. Because sometimes you find out you're about to have your 6th baby right when you were sure you were done with baby-havings. Obviously this changes a lot for us this year but we are excited for the added dose of amazing this will bring to our family and business. Much love, all 8 of us ...

February 5, 2015

Happy New Year!

Welcome back! Our tag line for this year is "go, play!" It's something I often say to my own kids if they seem aimless (or are being too noisy inside!), and generally they do go off and play at something. But I've come to realise that, if going and playing isn't practiced, it isn't easy to do. Children who have gotten into the habit of being entertained, quickly forget how to simply just 'go, play!'. And that's our biggest motivation for Needle & Nail this year - to see kids going and pl...

January 26, 2015

Auckland Fair Info

We are at the Auckland Fair at the Auckland waterfront this Sunday! Somehow we managed to get sandwiched right between two very stylish brands - Pamelinhia and the Bread and Butter Letter ladies. AND right next to us is a rest area, a fun photo booth and a gorgeous floral wall! Talk about the sweet spot! As well as JR's stunning wooden products, this is the doll-stock I'll be bringing......

December 3, 2014

Lately...

...we are rushed off our feet with orders. (Thank you for choosing to buy your Christmas gifts from us!!) ...our days are spent with every spare minute working on building stock - for markets and online sales. ...there have been a lot of late nights. Very late nights. ...we've been eating lots of snacks and watching The Block NZ during the late nights. ...countless hours and bubble wrap have been used for packaging orders. ...I have used 3km of white cotton thread! ...we ran out of stock on...

November 21, 2014

J O U R N E Y | 6 months

It's been 6 months since we opened our Needle & Nail store on Etsy!It has been such a fun ride so far. We've been able to cross so many things off our 'dreams' list that we could never have even hoped for....

November 5, 2014

The Mini Mailbox - not just a pretty face

I'm sure you've all heard of (and experienced!) sibling rivalry, but what about the opposite?Is sibling harmony even possible? And if so, how do you nurture it between your children? As well as being a gorgeous accessory to any room, we designed the mailboxes to primarily be just that, a tool to develop regular and open communication between us and our children and to intentionally nurture sibling harmonyBickering comes easily to siblings, but&nb...

October 14, 2014

School's Out!

Homeschooling takes up a large chunk of our day, so when the school holidays roll around I'm the first to admit they are as much as a holiday for me as for the kids. This week our dining table, where most of our homeschooling happens, has been taken over as my sewing HQ. Workbooks and pencil cases have been switched out for fabrics and a sewing machine.I've taken full advantage of having extra time and a few less kids this week, I haven't felt this productive for a ...

October 3, 2014

HIS | HERS - Work bench

We're working hard to build up stock for (hopefully) a busy Christmas season and JR's bravely making 40 sewing machines in one go. Previously he has only made 10 at a time. The latest progress update is that he is sick of the sight of them. Haha, oh dear......

September 26, 2014

Now Trending: Toy Rifles

Toy rifles have a bad rep, it's true. Officially they aren't a politically correct toy. But despite their apparent malevolence they are consistently our best seller.And here are some reasons why we think you should consider joining the trend:Each Rolston Rifle comes with a 'licence' that can be personalised for your child. Decide together as a family on some rules and use it to teach appropriate firearms use.Rifles cannot be played with indoors so you know what this means - t...

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