Sunday, December 20, 2009

Handmade Swap - Buttons by Lou Lou

I have recieved the most gorgeous hair accessories from Lou at Buttons by Lou Lou. The array of products that Lou has available for purchase is astounding.  I am thrilled with my selection that I chose and I am 100% positive that my 5 year old daughter will be equally thrilled on christmas morning.

Not only am I thrilled with the selection that Lou creates, but also the craftmanship.  They are perfectly handcrafted using very high quality fabrics and the fabric designs are gorgeous.  A lot of prints that I have not seen before.

As well as the hair accessories for little and big girls, Lou also stocks sewing buttons, jewellery, office and homeware products all using her beautiful fabrics.


The pics that I have chosen are some of my choices for Emma (the photos are from Lou's Etsy site).

Monday, November 30, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

I have received a Kreativ Blogger Award from the wonderfully talented Natasha aka as Piper + Lily.  I feel completely honoured to have received this, considering the company I am in.  Thank you Natasha!

This is now the award works:
1.  Copy the picture and post it on your blog.
2.  Thank the person that gave it to you and link to their blog.
3.  Write 7 things about yourself that we don't know.
4.  Choose 7 other bloggers to pass the award to.
5.  Link to those 7 other bloggers.
6.  Notify your 7 bloggers.

Ok, 7 things that you may not know about me!

1.  I have an identical twin sister.

2.  I will be 40 this year!  Not much of the year left either :)

3.  In a previous life I was a chef for about 13 years, give or take the odd break.  After that I worked for Group Special education (GSE) in early intervention before deciding to be a SAHM, now I am a WAHM :)

4.  As a teenager I was heavily into sport, my weekends used to be filled with running, hockey, netball and basketball.  Now I find it really hard to get motivated to go to the gym!

5.  I spent 3 good years living on the Chatham Islands.

6.  I have three chickens living in my backyard, who provide us with an abundance of eggs, Sandy who is named after  Graham Sinclairs wife (fishing guru to my son - but as I informed him that the chickens were girls, he decided that Graham's wife Sandy was a more appropriate choice), Miley and Hannah (I have a five year old daughter that has discovered the world of Hannah Montana).

7.  My favourite takeaways are Indian :)  Thankfully they are my husbands and kids favourite takeaway as well.

Now, for my 7 bloggers that I would like to pass this award on to are in no particular order!

Mee a Bee - Jacqui is a super talented lady, making designer messenger bags among other things for kids.  Her work is of the highest quality and the fabrics that she uses are gorgeous.  A Mee a Bee bag is a must for every child.  Her blog makes for pretty good reading as well!

How Tweet it is to be a Chick - Christine has the most adorable and well made accessories with both all the little girls and the bigger girls.  I have some for Emma and they are stunning!

Imba - Catherine from Imba design is another sewing superstar.  Her designs and fabrics are gorgeous.  I am always wishing that Emma was still a baby so that I could dress her in Imba designs clothing.  Her bibs are a must have baby fashion accessory!

Made it Baby - Amy and Suzan are the faces behind Made it Baby, another two very talented ladies behind the sewing machine.  I love their style and the fabric choices that they use.

Sticky Tiki - Kim and her partner design the most amazing Wall Decals printed on fabric.

Little Lizzies - Not only is Amanda from Little Lizzies super talented behind the sewing machine, she also knows how to using a set of knitting needles.  I love her designs.  Amanda uses recycled and vintage fabrics as much as possible.

Sew Katiepie - Kate is the creator of the lovely Sew Katiepie range.   Kate's range features the most gorgeous Kimono style wrap cardis and hoodies made in NZ merino!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Queenstown Road Trip

I am now just getting back into the swing of things after having a wonderful weekend away with just my husbands company.  Emma went for her first sleepover at Grandma and grandads...and better still....she enjoyed it so much that she can not wait to do it again!  Dylan went to his Nannies and had a great time, although he brought the tummy bug back into our house! (Not so good).

We chose to go to Queenstown even though it was just an overnight stay, it was more about the drive and spending time with each other, plus for me - NO COOKING.  (Dylan is on a restricted diet which means everything is pre-thought and life pretty much revolves around meal times - will it seems that way).

For those that know us well, will know that we are car enthusiasts, mainly of the vintage variety (we have two, one that is for sale and a newly acquired toy to do up).  For this trip we were able to borrow my father in law's convertible.  (About as cosy as it gets!) 

We spent all saturday driving and eating our way to Queenstown.  We stopped off at some fantastic cafes on the way, one in Fairlie which is new.  But my fav one was The Tin Goose in Cromwell.  Weather going down was a bit dismal, we only managed to have the hood down for about 15mins.  The return trip on Sunday faired better weather wise and we had the hood down most of the time.  There is just something magical about feeling the breeze and sun on your face when travelling in an open car.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Stockist and a Pattern Giveaway!

I am thrilled to announce that 4 of the Natural Star patterns are available online at Patterns Only. Their order arrived the other day and they have them up on the site already.  Prices are in AUD.  The patterns they have in stock are the Rolled brim beanie with flower, babies first headband, babies first blanket and the winter booties.

You can also visit their Blog and enter their giveaway for one of the above Natural Star patterns.  The hardest part will be deciding which one!  The winner will be drawn on the 20th October 2009.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Product Photographs

I love my new product photographs by Chantelle Bliss from Forever Bliss Photography who is Sydney's leading black and white fine art portrait studio.  The award winning Chantelle is amazing behind the lens of a camera, capturing the very essence of every photo.  Here is a few of the stunning product photographs that Chantelle recently sent me.

Chantelle is highly sort after and I would definitely recommend her to all those wanting beautiful memories of those gorgeous newborn and family photographs. 

Friday, September 25, 2009

The latest pattern release


I have finally got around to having this pattern test knitted after having sold so many pairs of these adorable winter booties over the last 18 months or so.  Life gets so busy, and I get so many ideas that most times I seem to jump from one project to the next, without actually completing the first project.  In most instances it is with my patterns.  But due to customer pressure (I have many customers asking when such and such pattern is going to be ready - so this school holidays I am devoting any spare time I have to tidying up my patterns so that they can be passed onto the test knitters. 

You can purchase this pattern on Etsy, my website, Felt

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My baby is no longer my baby - she's 5!

Emma turned five last weekend (has to be the fastest 5 years I have experienced) it does not seem that long ago that I was holding her in my arms for the first time! 

The above pic is Emma on her new toy.  She tells me that the bike, her baby bag from Jacqui at Mee a Bee and a complete set of Beatrix Potter Audio Storybooks (from Grandma and Grandad) are the best things that she has ever gotten and that she wants to turn 5 everyday!  I will post a pic of her with her new baby bag when I can get her to stand still enough to take a good photo (Jacqui's work deserves good photos!).

We had the typical birthday party befitting a 5 year old girl, fancy dress (there was a fairy coming to visit - who was worth her weight in gold as she entertained 9 little fairy girls, a fireman and a pirate).

 Cupcakes were on the menu!

As was face painting!

But this is my favourite pic - Dylan and Emma ready for school on her first day at school! She later that day lost her first tooth also!  A big week for Emma.  She loves school and is so proud of her uniform.

I feel so blessed to have such two wonderful kids! :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Emma's Cookies....the finished product

As promised here is the finished product.  There were a heap more of them but the preschool teachers got spoilt for afternoon tea.  Emma went to preschool armed with a container of biscuits for her teachers.
She did really well, Dad enjoyed them and while he dropped Emma off at preschool for the afternoon, I got stuck with the clean up, typical!!

Hmmm these would be good for supper tonight, but sadly for me (not Emma or her Dad) these are not gluten free.

The start of a wonderful Friday morning

It's Friday morning...we woke to a good frost (promptly turned the heatpump on)!  Within a few short hours the sun was shining beautifully.  Emma and I walked Dylan to school, I love how walking always makes me feel better!

Once home, Emma said to me...."what can we do together mummy!"  A little secret, Emma and my favourite pastime is baking/cooking (I used to be a chef in a previous life before Emma came along).  So, out came the childrens cookbooks, which Emma poured over for ages, total concentration :)  The choice ( I had to narrow it down) was to make cookie dough.

Below is the pic of the first stage of cookie making.  We have plain, pink and chocolate dough made.  It is now in the fridge firming up.  Will follow up with another post of Emma's Cookies!

Daddy is coming home for lunch today, so he is in for a special treat! 

Emma is off to school in three weeks, so I find that I am treasuring this time alone with her more than I normally would (plus the fact that she is older and more pliable lol - instead of being bossy with no logic or reasoning!)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kids Fashion Review

Another site that I sell my products on Little Kiwi's Nest has also been featured in a review by the awesome team at Kids Fashion Review. Check out the awesome write up that they got.

Well done Amy and Suzan, the site is looking fantastic. There is also new shops joining up as well, making the range of products all that more diverse.

The Latest Review

Awhile ago I was lucky enough to have a few of my handknits featured in an online emag about the benefits and features of merino, put out by Babybites. One of the models mums loved them and a few went home with her. This review is from this mum and the team at Babybites.

Thank you to the mum, her models and Jodi at Babybites.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Treasury makes FP!

My Navy merino beanie has had it's fair share of exposure in the last week, firstly on the Australian Etsy Blog. Then Nic from VintagePrincipessa included it in her latest treasury, which this morning made the Front Page on Etsy.

I was lucky enough to get two go's on the front page as the treasury that followed sold a few listings bumping my beanie into that FP also, double the exposure!

So, thank you Nic for the treasury, the exposure and an exciting weekend.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


A new shopping experience that is about to hit the world! Trifle is an online retail store made up of handpicked high end, well established designers, niche companies, handmade artists and one or two start up companies.
You can read up more on Trifle and the designers at Trifle Notebook.

Here at Natural Star we are really excited to be a part of trifle amongst such fantastic and inspiring designers.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Little Kiwi's Nest

Little Kiwi's Nest was created by two stay at home mums (Amy and Suzan) who saw the need for a professional way to sell unique handmade items from home. It showcases the most adorable handcrafted items, focusing on babies through to five year olds. With independant designers producing beautiful, original items ready to send direct from their 'nest' to yours.

Even though this site has only been launched over a week ago it is already attracting attention and sales. There is a good cross selection of products for the under 5's and new shops will be coming soon. The site is easy to navigate! (Always a bonus!).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Australian Etsy Blog

I have received a surprise convo via Etsy letting me know that I am one of 6 New Zealanders featured on the above blog. (Pays to check the emails before going to bed as it has ended a really good day perfectly!) Thanks Nic from VintagePrincipessa. You may want to drop by her Etsy shop and view her collection of beautiful and unique vintage wedding gowns and princess prom dresses. They are breathtaking!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Eco Mums and Bubs - New Retail Stockist

I am thrilled to be supplying Eco Mums and Bubs in Australia with my Bamboo range of Baby Handknits. They have in stock newborn matching beanies and booties for the adorable little boys in your life and matching beanies, headbands and mary jane booties all with flowers for the gorgeous little girls in your life. They have an online web presence here with a retail shop opening soon. You can also read about their news and updates on their blog. They are well known for the brand Cheeky Butts Modern Cloth Nappies.

I am also busy getting another wholesale order ready to ship to them at present. More colours and sets in different sizes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Patterns coming soon!

With the success of releasing three patterns onto the market I am in the process of getting another 8 patterns test knitted. They will be available to purchase in my shop on Etsy over the next month.

ALSO, behind the scenes (where possible) are 10 new designs waiting to go from drawing to reality. All drawings and notes are completed and on paper. It is great to get them out of my head finally instead of clogging up the brain and not being able to focus on anything else! I will post on here when they are ready for release. My husband is so tolerant of me and my obsession.

PLUS, I have purchased some wonderful patterns both handknitted and crocheted off designers on Etsy with permission to sell these in my shop. You will see these new products plus some vintage handknits periodically appearing at Natural Star. These will be my light relief from orders, patterns and designing. Those nights where you just want to sit down and knit without thinking!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cakes, cupcakes, biscuits and more cupcakes!

I recently had the good fortune to meet Katherine (through her buying my Beanie with Flower Pattern that is for sale on Etsy). She is a fellow New Zealander who puts my cake decorating skills to shame (and I was a chef up until my son started school). Katherine claims to be an amateur at cake decorating...but, in my opinion I think that she should go professional and sell them!!! Her cakes are decorated far better than some of the professionals that I have used in the past.

Another reason that I think she should sell them is that then I could put in an order for the Hello Kitty cake for Emma's 5th birthday in September, she has fallen in love with it and wants one just like it for your birthday cake. (NO pressure Katherine ! lol) I shall just resort to leaving birthday cake decorating books laying around the house in the hope that she changes her mind to something that gives me step by step instructions.

Her blog 4 Goodness Cake started for a very different reason other than to showcase her master pieces, you can read about it in her profile. What an amazing friend and person Katherine is, and I am still envious of her cake decorating skills!
Pictures are from Katherine's Blog and were used with permission.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Organic Baby

Another wonderful online presence for all things baby and organic. Organic Baby web directory and complete guide to natural parenting. A huge amount of information on one website! They have a New Zealand Website and a USA Website, just click on the country and you will find information relevant to the country of your choice.

You can also join their organic baby club for amazing benefits like a fabulous organic joining gift and monthly discounts.

They have a webstore with great baby products including Natural Star Merino Baby Handknits. You will also find their retail store Organic Baby (Green Living) at 115 Jackson Street Petone, Wellington, where they stock an amazing range of baby items.

There you will find the Beanies with flowers, booties and headbands. And, I am about to put another order of headbands in the post to them.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Babybites Emag

Natural Star beanies and booties have been featured in an online emag. Babybites is an online
website "little tastes of the yummiest buys for bubs". Their website is full for the most gorgeous products for baby, lots of great information. A must see.
Their winter 09 emag has done a wonderful and comprehensive feature on the benefits of merino.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The first edition of the website is up! I say first edition as this one does not have a shopping cart on it, due to the website having to go live quickly. The full website complete with it's own shopping cart and all the added extra's is being worked on, but as most will know it is time consuming.

The fact that winter is closing in in New Zealand means I have even less time to work on the website. Orders are coming in fast and I have also picked up two more wholesale accounts in the past month. One here in New Zealand and the other in Australia.

The reason for the website being done in speedy time is that a lot of my products are being featured in an emag merino feature which goes live on the 1st of June. (I will post a link when it is live).

Time for this Blog to get some attention

The last couple of months have been pretty hectic to say the least, but in a good way.
The Natural Star business is going ahead in leaps and bounds and exceeding all expectations.
I will blog more on this over the next coming weeks.

We have three major birthdays in the family coming up this year. My son will have his 10th birthday soon, then we have our daughter's 5th birthday and starting school and near the end of the year MY 40TH!

I am looking forward to the next six months of busy times. What I want to know is where did the first 5 months of the year go!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Wow!!! has it really been over two months since my last post!!

I guess so! I put it down to that time of the year, christmas, holidays and general laziness on my part :)

We had a month long family holiday - away from home and away from family!!! (Apart from just the four of us). We visited so many farms, butterfly houses - my kids are so townie, the pic below is one of their highlights - they loved feeding the lambs, and also helped to hand milk a cow!

This year brings many changes to my life...I volunteer and run (with 3 other wonderful ladies) a community cafe, I have done this for the last 4 years and have decided that this year it will need to be one of the things that I drop, for various reasons really, one being that the business is moving so quickly and I really want to capitalise on that now and to do that I need time!!! The other, my son, as most of you know has high functioning autism, plus a generalised anxiety disorder (my household is never quiet, chaos rules!) We have done occupational therapy for the last two years, he is on a gluten, dairy, artifical sugar, msg all free diet. Thank goodness I know how to bake! This year we have a new therapist working within the family (a bit like the nanny programs - but she solely works with my son and teaches us the resources and skills to deal with things that crop up).

Like most on the Autistic Spectrum, he has trouble with expressing emotions, feelings and gets incredibly frustrated and the therapist will be helping him to work through and deal with these as they come up. Another area that she will be focusing on is social skills, trying to form a bond with his sister, and less of the concrete thinking (a little flexibility in the household would be like a miracle at the moment). For this to work successfully, it involves more of my time in the household working alongside my son supporting him and teaching him skills where needed with the resources given to us. Plus enjoying this time together.

I am so proud of him, he has come so far and conquered so many hurdles! It is a joy and a blessing watching him grow in this journey of ours, and as a family we are strengthened in our love and support of each other.

Wow! making up with a long post this time. :)

I managed to get a few new products off the needles over the christmas break, and have listed them in my shop on Etsy. Below is a sneak preview

I have lots planned for the blog this year, I loved doing the giveaway and plan to do a few more, plus share some great sites and links with you.