History never repeats...


Last year, when COVID-19 was starting to dominate our lives, there was a lot of talk about unprecedented change, and how terrible 2020 was becoming. It caused me to reflect on earlier times, which had a similar theme for me. Ten years earlier, (well 11 now, it's been a year!) in 2010 I went through several changes, so that period in time became my reference point.



At the beginning of February 2010 I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. This itself was quite a big change. It was good in that it explained and resolved a lot of the health issues I'd been experiencing, but having to drastically change your diet for the rest of your life is quite a big step! Over time I got used to it, and now it is perfectly normal to me.


Little did I know, that was just the beginning! Two weeks later I was made redundant. This was a little more unexpected. The company I had worked for had faced issues, but I thought we'd moved on from that. It turns out I was quite wrong, and all of a sudden I'd lost my income. Right at the tail-end of a global recession. So that was also a little stressful! After having some time to take it all in, and realising there was a lot of competition for the jobs I was qualified for, I decided it might be a good time to take a leap of faith into the world of self-employment.



Around six months after I made this decision, we had a major earthquake, which shook up the city and us. Obviously this wasn't great for local business confidence, and not the best time to have a fledgling new business. By the end of that year, I thought I'd had the 'three bad things'. The next year had got to be better, right? 

Wrong! The following year saw a much more devastating earthquake, in which 185 people lost their lives. By now, change was starting to be become the norm, and the term 'new normal' was starting to enter the lexicon.



As the pandemic progressed last year, I considered myself fortunate. The part-time job I had looked pretty safe. My husband's job in the construction industry did too, and the people of New Zealand were doing a great job of supporting local, so my business was looking good. I kept thinking to myself, 'this is bad, but not as bad as 2010, I haven't lost my job'. So I'm sure you can guess what happened next...


In October, I was told the organisation I was working for was restructuring, and by December, my position had been made redundant. On the upside, things were a little different this time. It was a part-time income, not a full-time one, and the newer aspect of business, which I had purchased in the years we spend in the 'new normal' is a lot more established. I had the benefit of my new studio, so I have a dedicated space to work in. Again, I will make the most of the extra time I have for my business, by continuing to grow it.



I have learned a few things from running a business for this length of time. One of those is where my limitations are. Like a lot of creatives, planning and time management are not my forte, but are important skills to have in order to grow a business. So this year I am working with a coach to hone my skills in this area. As I go through this process, I've realised that I was even worse than I thought, so I have some work to do. Wish me luck (or is it my coach who needs the luck?)



I have also learned that normal doesn't really exist. The last year gave me a new understanding of what resilience means. It is the art of realising that 'this too shall pass'. That if things seem bad right now, they will improve, and you will come out the other side. You just have to put one foot after the other and keep going. It's not always easy, and sometimes you need to take a break. If you just focus on the next step, you will get there in the end.

With the extra time I now have, I am planning to produce more new designs this year, starting with expanding my range of watercolour birds. Maybe I'll even launch a new product I've been teasing you about for way too long. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. It's one step at a time into our new 'new normal', and you never know what is around the corner.

IMPORTANT: Faulty product notice


It has recently come to my attention that a mistake was made last year, and my supplier sent me a roll of material with a stronger adhesive than the material I use to make decals with. This product is still removable, but is designed for walls with more textured surfaces where the standard one doesn’t stick as well.


I pride myself on the consistent quality of my removable Sticky Tiki Decals and am disappointed to have discovered this issue. I have now put processes in place to minimise the chance of this happening again, including testing a sample of each new roll to check the adhesive is correct. I have also withdrawn the affected products from sale, and will replace them with new decals printed on material with the correct adhesive.


AFFECTED PRODUCT LINES

Here is a list of all the affected product lines made since 27th September 2019. Please note that only some of these decals will have been made with the stronger adhesive. (Some weren’t made with the incorrect adhesive until more recently, so products sold during this time but made earlier are unaffected.)


  • Fantail in Kowhai small dot
  • Kakapo small dot
  • Kea small dot
  • Kereru small dot
  • Tui small dot
  • Sumner small dot 
  • Akaroa Harbour small dot
  • Daly's Wharf small dot
  • Lumo large dot
  • Tui large dot
  • Fantail in Harakeke tiny dot
  • Fantail in Kowhai tiny dot
  • Kakapo tiny dot
  • Kea tiny dot
  • Kereru tiny dot
  • Morepork tiny dot
  • Tui tiny dot
  • Akaroa Harbour tiny dot
  • Pohutukawa tree – extra large
  • Retro intense dots – wall mural
  • Dusky Pink dots – wall mural
  • Mustard Yellow dots – wall mural
  • Red Rocket – medium
  • Kereru & Ribbon
  • Paua Stars – medium
  • Nikau – medium
  • Chalkboard New Zealand – medium

  • Paua New Zealand – medium
  • Counting Numbers – medium

  • Bunny – medium

  • Pukeko – tiny
  • Bunny – tiny
  • Pohutukawa Christmas Tree – large
  • Alphabetica – mini mural

  • Pooky Pukeko – large
  • Nikau – large
  • Pukeko – small
  • Paua Stars – small
  • Bunny (brown) – small
  • Chalkboard dot – tiny
  • Dusky Pink Skinny height chart



I have contacted all the customers who have purchased affected products via my website, Felt or Etsy stores. If you have purchased one of these products from another store, or at a market, please email me with the name of the store and date you purchased the product, and I can check for you if it is one that has been affected.


Please get in touch if you have any questions or concerns about any of the listed decals you have purchased or been given. Below are some tips to help mitigate the stronger adhesive.


TO REMOVE DECALS

If you need to remove the decals, you may like to apply heat with a hairdryer for several minutes to soften the adhesive before removing them. Please note this is a short term solution. If you need to remove them again at a later time, you will need to heat them again.


HOW TO REDUCE ADHESION LEVELS

I have tested some different ways of reducing the stickiness of these decals, to make them easier to reuse. The following method is simple, and reasonably effective, but please be careful as it may reduce the adhesive too much, and render them either useless, or not very reusable.


You will need: 

  • One clean tea towel with a flat weave
  • A flat, hard surface such as a kitchen bench

  1. Lay the tea towel out flat on the hard, flat surface
  2. Apply the decal firmly to the tea towel, and then peel it off
  3. Test level of stickiness
  4. Repeat until the adhesive has reduced to the desired level 


I recommend testing each time to make sure you haven’t gone too far, as there is no going back once this has happened. (I have reached 10 times in testing and it still sticks fine.)


If you have any questions or concerns about this please don’t hesitate to get in touch

How to apply and remove decals on your car


Sometimes it's nice to stand out from the crowd. Car stickers are a great way to do this. You can inject some personality into your ride, and make it easier to spot your car in the carpark! Our reusable decals have a UV coating which makes them durable enough to put on your car. They can withstand the sun, rain, and some gentle cleaning.

You do need to take a little more care of them to ensure they last a long time and keep looking good. Follow these steps to get the most out of your reusable decals:


How to apply car stickers

1) To begin with, throughly clean the surface on the car where you are going to apply your car stickers. Depending on how much time you have, and how thorough you like to be, you could wash your whole car!

2) Once it is clean, use a soft, lint free cloth to dry the area and remove any residual dirt that may have been lingering.

3) Carefully apply the car sticker to the surface of the car. You can remove and reapply if necessary to make sure your arrangement works. Make sure to stick with the paintwork and don't stick to windows, as you don't want to lose any visibility, or fall foul of any laws.

4) Pro tip: Firmly press down all of the edges of the car stickers to make sure no dust can sneak in.

Stand back and admire your work!



If it's time for a change, or you upgrade your car, you can remove the car stickers and reapply them to your new car. To avoid transferring any dust or dirt, follow these steps to remove them from your car:

How to remove and reapply car stickers

1) Carefully clean the car sticker and surrounding paintwork with a soft cloth and soapy water.

2) Use a soft, lint free cloth to dry the decal and surrounding paintwork. Let it dry completely.

3) Carefully peel off the car sticker.

4) Follow the steps above on how to apply your car sticker, then stand back and admire your work!

Here are some examples how much difference smoothing the edges makes. This set had been well smoothed down, and no dust had got under the edges. After removing the car stickers, you can just see a faint outline of the dirt with is easily washed away.


If you're a bit less careful, like I was with the second set of car stickers, you can see that in the areas where the edges weren't firmly stuck down, the dirt has settled in there. This will stay stuck on the back of the decals. Although this will wash off the car totally fine, it won't wash off the sticker. These were still fine to re-apply to the new car, but probably won't last as many years.


Te Wiki o te Reo Māori – Maori language week



This week is Te Wiki o te Reo Māori – Maori language week. Like a lot of people my age, I learned the basics of maori language at school. Some of what I learned has stuck with me, including what I consider to be the most important part, how to pronounce the vowels. This means when I come across an unfamiliar word I can have a go at pronouncing it correctly. It also means I can make an effort at pronouncing common words correctly.

Sometimes it can feel awkward pronouncing words you've always said one way a different way. If we all make an effort at pronouncing maori words correctly, then it will eventually become the norm. The theme this year is 'Kia Kaha te Reo Māori' or 'let's make the maori language strong'.

If you'd like to extend your vocabulary, or learn the meaning of words you're not quite sure about, then check out this list of 100 Māori words every New Zealander should know. Visit here for more ideas.



If you'd like to add some te reo to your space, whether it be your home, workspace or somewhere else, take a look at our range of maori word decals.

8 ways to arrange circle wall decals



If you're looking for inspiration on how to style your circle wall decal dots, you've come to the right place! I've collated a collection of all the different ways I've arranged the dots to give you some ideas. I'd love to see what you do with yours.

1. Hearts

Use the circle wall decals to make just the outline of a heart shape, or fill it in for some solid colour. This works well with our dusky pink dots.


2. Stars

Start with the larger wall decal dots on the outside or the inside, depending on your preference. If you're wanting the easiest option, start with the dots on the inside, then fill in the gaps with the smaller dots. Keep it monotone with the jungle green dots, or mix it up with turkish delight dots.



3. Bubbles

Circle wall decals lend themselves well to bubble patterns. Keep them uniform with individual bubble patterns or group them together for a large bubble pattern. Seen here in dusky pink medium dots.



4. Circles

Another option is to keep the circle theme going and use your circle wall decals to make a larger circle, or even a spiral pattern.




5. Arrow or triangle

Is it an arrow, or is it a triangle? You decide! Mix up your geometric shapes and make a directional arrow or a triangle with your circle wall decal dots. Create this look with our mustard yellow wall mural dots.


6. Abstract

Let you imagination take over and go for an abstract design. Here we've got a wavy line and a tree, which works well with the jungle green wall mural dots.



7. Create a scene

Use something you've already got, like this cute wooden train from Woodn't they love it, and add a feature to complete the scene like this smoke billowing out.


8. Random spots

Last, but by no means least is the random placement of your circle wall decals. This is probably the easiest option, but I have found it's a lot harder to make them look random than I would have expected! Create this look with our mustard yellow medium dots.


Celebrating diversity


After the mosque attacks in March, it became painfully clear how important it is to be inclusive. It made me think about how most of my acquaintances look similar to me. This is not on purpose, I must add! I have some great friends from completely different backgrounds to me. Which makes me think I should get out and meet more people from different walks of life, because there is a good chance there are some more great friends out there, just waiting to be met.


In the immediate aftermath I made a concerted effort to smile at people from minority groups, as I wanted them to feel welcome here in their own country. I also keep reminding myself that this extends to everyone. Someone might be from a different socioeconomic group to you, or dress or express themselves in a different way. Just because this isn't something you would do is not a reason to judge people. It's so easy to create a snap judgement in your mind, so I try to replace anything that sneaks in with 'Isn't it great that they are...' to reframe that judgement into something positive.


Unfortunately these kinds of attacks keep occurring, as there is a group of people who think everyone should be just like them, and doesn't want to celebrate diversity at all. I find it really sad how narrow-minded these people are. In order to counter that, and capture the sentiment that sprung up after the March attacks, I created a series of decals designed to promote inclusion and diversity. I also wanted to help out the Muslim community who were so devastatingly affected by the attack, so I am donating 50% of proceeds of the sales to the The Christchurch Foundation's 'Our People, Our City' fund. I included each of the phrases in arabic, maori and english to show unity.


It's a bit like global warming. One person's actions are gong to change the world by themselves, but collectively we can make big changes. We just need lots of people doing lots of little things. I'd love to hear what you do to be more inclusive of others!

My favourite piece of equipment


It's hard to pick a favourite piece of equipment. In the past I have featured my computer, as it's fairly integral to getting things done. But today I would like to feature my camera. Without it, I would just have products. You would need to be in store or at a market to see the decals. Even then you would have to imagine what they might look like on the wall. This would be easier for some than others – the dots are fairly self-explanatory – but what about the castle girls by Katherine Quinn? It is much easier to envisage what it will look like in your space if you can see a photograph of it assembled, than just by looking at the sheet with all the pieces.


Once you combine the camera and the power of the internet, then the real magic happens. You don't need to be in a shop or at a market to see our wall decals, you can view then anywhere in the world. Through our website you can view all our products, and through social media you can get a glimpse of what I've been up to behind the scenes, and you can check out what I'm up to at a local market.



I think all of that is pretty magic. Cameras have came a very long way in the (almost) 30 years since I was given my very first camera!
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