Winter in Christchurch

Friday, June 28, 2019

I'm not a huge fan of winter. I feel the cold easily and like to be warm and cosy inside, so it's probably a good thing I have an indoor job! There is no doubt that winter has arrived here in Christchurch. It started with a bang right on the 1st June and we've had plenty of frosty mornings since then. This morning was one of those days, but the frost appears to have melted by the time I got into town to take some photos. It was still very chilly though. Fortunately I have amassed a growing collection of winter coats, so at least it's a good excuse to give them an outing.

One thing you can count on to brighten up a cold Christchurch winter is Encraftment. If you're looking for something to do to take your mind off the cold – or perhaps to stock up on some nice cosy winter gear, then you're in luck! Winter Encraftment is just over a week away. They have made a couple of changes this year, they've moved back in to town, and it's over two days. One thing that hasn't changed is the high calibre and variety of stalls – you will not be disappointed.

I'll be there with my new watercolour kereru decals and I'm hoping to finish another new design to bring too. Hope to see you there!

Falling out of love

Friday, June 21, 2019

This week I'm going to tell you about falling out of love. Yes, that's right, there is something I don't love like I used to. When I started designing decals for StickyTiki I made some geometric designs. Dots, triangles, rectangle chalkboards. They were fun at the time, but they are just flat shapes of solid colour. There is no subtle variation of tone like in watercolour, no waiting for the unexpected to happen, and I knew pretty much exactly how the finished designs would look like when I started.

Drawing vector shapes in illustrator and then choosing colours from swatch books just doesn't have the same appeal anymore. Instead I can get out my paints, choose the colours and then mix them together to get just the right one. Then I can experiment which different brush strokes to get the right look. The process is just not the same when creating geometric vector shapes, and so we must part and go our separate ways.

In the meantime, we do still have some of the geometric shapes of dots and triangles left, and some black chalkboards. These have been reduced to clear, so I can make more room for handpainted wall decals!

How I fell in love with creating

Friday, June 14, 2019

The headline is actually a trick question – I have always loved creating! I don't remember a time before that, because I was too young to remember anything. As a child I enjoyed making things. Empty weet-bix boxes were an endless source of inspiration, I made many creations of that cardboard, it was the perfect weight to create with. As time went by they started to print on the inside of the box which I wasn't too impressed with.

My mother is very crafty, and when I was a child I learned how to knit, sew, spin and weave. She also taught me how to crochet, but I didn't pick that up so easily. As an adult I had to ask her to teach me again! My school's annual field day was the highlight of the year. When the schedule came out, I would go through it seeing what categories there were, and deciding what to make for each one. My classmates' enthusiasm for handcrafts didn't quite match mine, so it wasn't uncommon for me to be the sole entrant in a category! I also had a (very) little side hustle going on while I was at school, which you can read about here.

My prize haul from one year's field day. The two embroideries were made at school.
As I got older I focussed more on art, and studied it throughout high school. Due to attending a small country school I had to do 6th and 7th form art by correspondence which I wasn't well suited to. A month after finishing a painting you would get the feedback from your teacher in Wellington. You can't replace having a teacher behind you as you're working, giving you feedback you can implement straight away.

Half of my fifth form art folio – the year I did have an onsite teacher to guide me.
Upon leaving school I studied graphic design and spent a few years working in the art department of a screen printing company. Around that time I decided to start making candles again, a hobby I'd started in high school. I made quite a few and wondered what I was going to do with them, so set up a  stall at Craft World. This was cut short when I left to go to London for a year.

Mt first efforts at putting my candles out in the world.
After my return from London, I wanted to get in touch with my creative side again, so joined a local painting class. I learned lots of watercolour techniques during this time, and participated in several group exhibitions. I was also quite keen to get back into some craft again, so rekindled my candle business, took up knitting again and properly learned to crochet. Conveniently there was a resurgence in craft, it was a lot cooler than it had been in my youth. I went to some local markets, joined Felt and made some new friends!

'Mists of Maruia'
The painting on the left of Lyttelton Harbour is mine
Five years ago when my son was a baby I wasn't sure what direction to go in next, and then along came StickyTiki! The first job I'd had at the screen printing company had some digital printing machines which I used to operate. One of them could print and cut, and was an earlier (and much lower quality) model of the one we use to print StickyTiki decals. I'd always quite fancied it, so couldn't turn down the chance to own a much better one! I was also thinking it would be a good chance use and grow my art skills.


I had to dig quite deep into the archives for some of the photos to illustrate this post. My aunt gave me a camera when I was 8, which means I have a good photographic record of my childhood. It was a film camera with a little cartridge you put in that had the film in it. It was pretty foolproof!

Where do you put your decals?

Friday, June 7, 2019

There are lots of different ways to use our decals! Obviously they go well on painted walls, but there are lots of other places you can put them. I'm hoping to take more photos of the decals in different places, to give you an idea about how they'll work for you. Some places I'm thinking of photographing our decals on are the door of the fridge, on a laptop and maybe even the car.

So tell me where you put yours! If you don't have one yet, where where are you planning to put it? Just comment below, or even better send me a photo of your decal in it's special place! I love seeing where our decals end up. If you want to share it on social media, use the hashtag #mystickytiki so we can check out how good they are looking!

If you're looking for inspiration, here are some ideas for different places to put your decals.

by mlekoshi