20 July 2009

The Black Swan blog has a new home!

It's been a few months in the making, but finally it's time to announce the arrival of my fancy new Black Swan Designs website!
So fancy in fact, that this blog is now redundant due to the new site being integrated with its very own blog... smarty pants eh!
So head on over to blackswandesigns.co.nz and check it out... : D

14 July 2009

Quite possibly the best belated Birthday present ever...

It may have been a couple of weeks late, but it was well worth the wait... I'm now the proud owner of a gorgeous new travel case for my ukulele!
Handmade by the lovely and talented Lucy
, (including 6 hours worth of hand embroidery on the intricate pattern that matches with the inside lining!) ...just beautiful!
Thanks Lucy and Mark xx

Bird's the word...

Hooray, another Etsy treasury feature! Again with fellow crafters inmybackyard and BamBamCreative

13 July 2009

Etsy treasury feature...

It's always a nice surprise to find that one of your creations has been picked for an Etsy treasury, and even better when the creator lets you know so you can snaffle a look before it vanishes off into the depths of the internet!
This one also features the lovely work of fellow crafty friends inmybackyard and BamBamCreative

05 July 2009

Slip yo...

The black swan has recently picked up another addiction, to sit alongside coffee, ping pong and playing the ukulele... crocheting flowers!

Lucy from felt.co.nz is organising slip, a crochet project as part of the Winter Garden that will be installed in the Square for the Christchurch Arts Festival, running from 23 July – 9 August, to which I'm donating the fruits (or flowers as the case may be) of my labour.

After initally feeling a little retarded with a crochet hook I've now got flowers down to a fine art, and have made 30 flowers to date! They are easy to pick up, and a fun way to spend a night infront on the fire. For all those crocheters and knitters out there, and keen learners, head on over to the slip blog for more details... crochetchristchurch.blogspot.com

11 June 2009

Crafty goodness

Well, another Craft 2.0 is done and dusted... it was an amazing day down at Our City last Saturday, with the forecast snow nowhere in sight. As predicted, the keen punters were queued up well before 11am for the free goodie bags for a whole block down the road, and the people kept streaming through all day! A big thanks goes out to everyone who came along on the day, and to my helper Amy for making it possible for me to flit about all day talking to people and taking photos... roll on the next Craft 2.0 in Wellington, July 25th!

So, without further adue, here's a little Craft 2.0 montage from the day...

Mmmm... cupcakes...

The lovely Deidre from Shaky Isles truly upped the anti with her beautifully merchandised display... (top left)

My display on the left... thanks to Lucy and Briar for helping with my new table runner.

31 May 2009

Craft 2.0 Sat June 6th!

Well, it's almost here... the second Craft 2.0 in Christchurch, Sat June 6th, 11am–3pm at Our City Otautahi on Worcester Blvd. There'll be free goodies bags for the first 50 adults and 50 kids through the door (which I helped stuff today with many exciting goodies), which had people lining up out the door and over the bridge last year, so get in quick!

I've also been working on a few new designs of my pendants necklaces...

My stall will be upstairs in the gorgeous old debating chamber on the day. Hope to see you all there!

27 May 2009

Well crafted Zest article...

Look what turned up in the Zest section of the Press today, as part of the Craft 2.0 marketing campaign...

That's my wee fern photo brooch on the left, and I've even been quoted! Thanks heaps to Katy and Lucy for the extra pre-Craft 2.0 promotion! It should be a good day...

26 May 2009

The pretties flew!

Wow, the Fly My Pretties gig at the Theatre Royal last Friday night was just spectacular! With a narrated story and accompanying illustrations interlaced with music for the first half, and footage from the National Archives to accompay the second, it wasn't a surprise that the crowd were on their feet on several occasions! To top the evening off there were tasty Fly My Pretties cocktails (42below, L&P and mint, mmm...) and gorgeous teatowels!

Being the good patron that I am, I didn't sneak in my camera in... although I kinda wished I had!
To my consolation, there are at least some great pics from the gig up on Fly My Pretties facebook page...

15 May 2009

A crafty Saturday in Lyttelton...

What better way to spend a balmy Chistchurch afternoon than with a trip to Lyttelton... a well made soy flat white, gourmet veggie sandwich and a side of locally made craft.
My primary purpose was to pop in and visit my new stockist Pocket. Carolyn has a lovely wee store, tucked away down an alleyway off London Street. It's great to look around and recognise the wares of so many local makers on display. I'm really starting to the get the feeling that craft is the new black...

Apparently my brooches have been a real hit with the males, which I find curious...

Another lovely shop worth visiting is Portico, at 48 London Street, which will be stocking my Cherry Blossom design brooches sometime in the near future. Maree from Portico, also gave me a great tip-off to a little old abandoned house up on the hill, as we got talking about photography. She has an image on display at the moment in COCA... so many talented people about!

13 May 2009

48hrs of furious film making!

The black swan had a very busy weekend, involved in a team for the 48hr film competition. This is the second time that I've taken part, and
as I anticipated it was a blast!
For those that haven't heard of 48hrs before, you are given a genre (by random selection), character (name and trait), prop and a line of dialogue and then you have 48hrs to make a short film between 1 and 7mins long... so you have to brainstorm, write, shoot, edit, and of course find all the relavant people and props to help make it happen!
We had revenge as our genre, Alex Puddle who was an exaggerator, a rock and the line "it doesn't fit".
The photo below was my best prop contribution... a shot taken of the family in our story, which I gave a little bit of a tweak in Photoshop, and was then filmed in later footage.
It's an amazing way to spend a weekend, working with other creative types under ridiculously tight deadlines, and you come out the other side feeling like you've made instant friends for life. I highly recommend it to everyone!

Check out more info about 48hrs at 48hours.co.nz

Review from our heat screening:

30 April 2009

Upcycled teaspoons

After debuting these at the Wellington Easter Craft 2.0, I've finally gotten around to listing them on felt.
They're currently available in 4 designs; coffee beans, kiwifruit, "stirrer" and "wanna spoon?" (a little hint of humour from the black swan, just for a change from making pretty things..)

Former unloved souvenir
s turned cute kitchen accessories!

14 April 2009

Craft 2.0 Wellington

Phew.. after weeks of working towards Craft 2.0 it's all done and dusted, and alas I now have the post madness head cold to prove it. It was an awesome day up in Welly at the New Dowse, there were heaps of people streaming through the doors all day, and everyone was so lovely and friendly. Congrats to Sue for organising another amazing event, I'm now looking forward to the next fair in Christchurch in June!

Thanks to Dave (dreamer on felt) for the photos of my stall, I didn't have time on the day to take any of my own, or for that matter any room in my case for the camera!

06 April 2009

Business time..

I finally remembered to take my camera along to the last Crafty Business meeting, on April 6th, and here is the result.. a crafty wee pano!
We meet on the 1st Monday of every month at Churchills on Colombo Street, Sydenham. For more info head over to the Crafty Business blog. There's the great company of like minded people, cheaps drinks, a roaring fire, and just enough time to get home to watch Flight of the Conchords.. what more could you want on a Monday eve!

13 March 2009

Shiney new business cards!

My new black swan business cards arrived back from print this week.. yay! (spot the graphic designer..) It's funny how after designing for clients you're always itching to do something for yourself, but when it comes down to it self-promotional work can be just as much hard work if not more! (And it doesn't particularly help being a perfectionist..)

The cards are printed on a matt laminate paper stock, which is very tactile and feels lovely to touch. I had my last batch of cards printed on this, and quietly observed people unconsciously running their fingers over the card's smooth finish while we were chatting!

Also pictured, another one of my new photo brooches that will be debuting at Craft 2.0 in Wellington, April 11th.

10 March 2009

Black Swan in World Sweet World!

Nothing beats the little buzz of unexpectedly seeing your creations out and about, which was what happened when I spotted the latest issue of World Sweet World magazine in Whitcolls; "Hey, there's my little birdie!"
One of my new photo brooches is also featured in the felt double spread ad, 1st page in.. thanks Lucy!

04 March 2009

New goodies for Craft 2.0!

Here's a little sneak peak of some of the new designs I'm busy working on at the moment, in preparation for Craft 2.0 in Welly..

21 February 2009

Lyttelton Street Party

I've been making the most of all the events that are on about Christchurch at the moment, and this weekends destination was the Lyttelton Street Party. London Street was packed with people enjoying the entertainment, food stalls and sunshine, but my favourite spot was the Sound Garden, set amongst the roses a little way up the hill by the old Lyttelton jail. It was a lovely spot to relax in the sun whilst enjoying a vodka iced tea..

17 February 2009

Shaky Isles featured in Etsy article

e lovely Deidre from Shaky Isles recruited my photographic services earlier in the year for an Etsy Storque article on tea towels she was taking part in, and I've been patiently waiting for it to go up online so I can blog the final composite image we sent in.
I was a little hesitant before the shoot, as Deidre had warned me that she ends up looking like former Prime Minister Helen Clark in most of her photos, so I was very pleased with the final image in which she looks just lovely! (and nothing like the PM).
Deidre makes gorgeous screen printed, pure linen tea towels – my favourite is the pohutakawa print we used for the portrait frame –
and also has a lovely range of upcycled textile products.

Check out the Etsy Storque Tea Towel article
Visit Shaky Isles' felt shop

15 February 2009

Chinese Lantern Festival

After missing the Lantern Festival the last 2 years in a row, (and kicking myself after seeing all the amazing photos my photographer friends took), I well and truly made up for it this year, visiting Victoria Square both nights of the festival, and now have a lovely collection of photos for the black swan archives!

A little Lantern Festival montage..

And of course I had to take at least one pano..

While I was hoping to see fire breathers, the puppeteers (9 of them in total) put on an amazing show!

03 February 2009

Summer roadie – the final installment!

Wow, it's February already and not only have petrol prices jumped up 30 cents odd since, but I still haven't finished uploading my holiday pics! It all seems like the distant past now alas, but I have picked up a new obsession (it's not quite that bad, not yet anyhow..) for collecting teaspoons which all started with the one little spoon below that I picked up at Langfords Store in Bainham, just out of Takaka (love at first bite). I fear it won't be long before I'm purchasing some sort of rack to house them in..

Full moon rising at Collingwood, and on the right a couple of shots taken on the last day of the trip at Lake Rotoiti, including the obligatory black swan shot.. very obliging creatures.

24 January 2009

Summer roadie Pt III

The pics just keep coming..

Grove scenic reserve just out of Takaka on the left, and on the right some more macro fun.

Coffee overlooking Farewell Spit, and a David Attenborough style macro shot of a nasty looking wasp I spotted while walking back from the spit, which was dragging away it's latest victim. A bit gross, but kind of fascinating at the same time.

21 January 2009

Summer roadie – Part II

Phew! It's been a busy week back at work, with no easing in gently as I'd imagined, so I'm a little behind on posting some more holiday snaps. So, without further adue..

Hawkes Lookout on Takaka hill.

A few more old abandoned houses.

Stained glass details from the Christ Church Cathedral in Nelson.

18 January 2009

Nelson & Golden Bay Summer roadie - Part 1

Whilst it would appear that I've been hard at work this week, the reality is that I was off on a photographic road trip around the gorgeous Nelson/Golden Bay area. The weather was beautiful and I've returned with a whopping 897 photos from 4 days worth of shooting! There were so many fantastic places in such a relatively small area, which reminded me a lot of the Catlins down south, and there were several little gems that really made the trip.. coffee on a pirate ship in Tata Beach (I'm a self confessed pirate fan from way back), Laingdons General Store in Bainham, and sipping a 'fizzy frog' fejoa cider at the Mussel Inn to name a few. The prospect of condensing the whole trip down into one blog post seems like a fairly daunting task, so there will be a few more posts to follow..

Coffee on the Espresso pirate ship at Tata Beach.. yarrr!

Golden tan, golden shoes and golden sand on Totaranui Beach.

One of the many abandoned houses in the region, this one was found in Appleby.

14 January 2009

New photo brooches

I've been looking forward to having a play with some new photographic brooches, as my resolution for 2009 is to make better use of my ever growing stock library. The problem of course ends up being how to narrow it down to a handful of images, but I figured that a black swan makes for a good starting point..

I've also made a few using scans of my Nan's Hollywood portrait collection..