Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Made on Marion Classes now ready to book!

At last we have a class schedule, taking us through until the end of June. It will be on the website as soon as Emily, Goddess of Things Websitey, can make it happen. In the meantime, do email me: classes (at) mademarioncraft (dot)co (dot) nz for a copy and if you want to join the email list.
Classes include an entire School of Vintage Sewing under the tutelage of our fabulous Dreamstress, Leimomi, vintage hair and makeup with Claire of The Vanity Case, the Embroidenator is teaching 3-D flower making, we even have basket weaving with the talented Pam Ritchie.
And then, there's me. Tea cosies, aprons, Absolute Beginners Sewing, Hat making - you of all people will not be surprised I have chosen these things!
Ideas for classes very welcome.
Also for locals, Open studio is Wednesday night after work until 9pm. Bring a project and settle in. If you or anyone you know has a baby and would love to get out and meet other crafters where you can take Bubs, Wednesday morning is your time.
Must fly, those reels of cotton won't count themselves!
UPDATE: The schedule is now on the website (Thanks Em!!)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Shop, before its makeover

I have to be honest and say that I love this shop just as it is. While it is more like a hardware store in its utilitarian style, for serious craftpersons, it IS their hardware store. They don't want to be distracted by the siren call of some new activity, they just want the tool/product/whatsit that they want, end of.
Here are some photos:
 Looking from near the front to the back. Note the hardwood floors... *swoon*
 Looking from back to the front. Brick walls, more swooning.
Our classroom, currently a stockroom, which a friend described as having a New York Loft Vibe. Cor!!!
Like many shops, it is deep not wide, but with windows on several sides, the electric light is nicely supplemented by plenty of daylight. It's going to be fun!
Today MrC and I helped out with the massive job of stocktaking. At least two more days of counting - polystyrene eggs, brass tubes, hanks of embroidery cotton and tapestry wool, corks, beads (bags of, not individual!) and sooooo on. A great way to get to know the stock :) Which is thinning out nicely, I might add. More later!

Sofa lovin'

This weekend, MrC and I escaped to our favourite weekend getaway, Martinborough. Not just because we are lushes who love nothing more than go to wineries, taste the wines, buy the wines and bring them home and drink them, nonono. That's just PART of the attraction!
The weather is great. The cafes are great. And it has quirky shops, which given how tiny the town is, I'm amazed that I keep discovering. My latest find is Graham and Sons, Upholsterers.
Not only is the Son who served us a bit of a hottie, he is also a master craftsman, and a man, I feel, of great Taste in Furniture.
I present in support of this theory Exhibit A:
A typical bergere suite, as found in Grandparents' front rooms all over this green and pleasant land. Including my mother's, which the one above is NOT, I might add. This was a random on trademe, and excellent buying at $150 for the whole suite.
The trouble with these lovely and compact and elegant suites is that the cane in the arms and back busts, and once it has gone, there's no fixing it. But our Son of Graham had an idea:
 Remove cane bits and upholster instead, of course!
 Not a fan of 1960's mahogany, he also distressed the frame. I love it!
A truly smart piece of furniture that honours its provenance. I'm not totally sold on the neutral ikat fabric but I love the idea, and it is an upholstery project not beyond a smart person with a few clues.
Now wouldn't the olive cut velour horror in the first photo come up a treat with this kind of overhaul!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

On cameras and Pants/Trouser blocks

Seems to be a rash of camera failures in blogland. Mine keeps doing a dying swan, and even with new and v expensive battery, it's not holding a charge. So, I have several posts waiting for photos and not happening.
In the meantime, I am very excited by StephC's new pants block service.
Pants means trousers, of course! Getting trousers to fit properly is a challenge for many sewists, and finding ready mades that fit is next to impossible for many.
Steph has a gift for understanding pattern drafting and being able to communicate the distinctions of it that has me in awe. If you struggle with trousers, pants, breeks, strides, slacks or whatever you call them, I suggest you check out her service, over on 3 hours past.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I'm (still) Versatile!

It's a bit cheeky accepting the same award twice, but it's been a while, in fact two years almost to the day! Thank you so much StephC from 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World, which incidentally I think is one of the best blog names ever. Says everything there is to say about living in a country far away from one's own.
So, the recipient is expected to tell seven things about herself, and I am going to take advantage of this to tell you seven things about my new business, as I did the 'me' thing last time, and I do get bored with myself quite quickly!
1. The name Made Marion was The Embroidenator's idea. I wanted a name with Marion in it because the business is on Marion St, and was toying with Marion Makes, but that is SO hard to say! Mum rang me at work, said "Made Marion" and hung up. It worked! She is so clever!
2. We are open seven days. This is important to me as Sunday is the day I run out of things and Sunday is the day when only a couple of shops are open, and not my first choices either. So I figure it must be the same for others.
3. Made Marion opens on my birthday, and our grand opening is on Friday 13th. I am all for reclaiming inauspicious dates. When your birthday is on April Fool's Day, you appreciate such ironies.
4. I am teaching various sewing related craft classes including tea cosies and aprons (Surprise!! hehehe) but not dressmaking. I don't know why I can do what I can do so I can't teach it. I am in awe of StephC for her ability to articulate what she does, and have learnt a lot from her.
5. Among our class offerings, we have vintage hair and makeup styling workshops. Yahoo! Not entirely craft related but so seriously cool, I don't mind at all! Thank you to Claire from The Vanity Case!
6. The shop is going to have orange couches to sit and knit or embroider upon. I looked at the waterfall of colours and the orange whispered to me the best.
7. We hire cake tins. The scalloped ones have not been hired out for some time, and the current owners suggested removing them from the range. But with such a blossoming fashion for scallops, I can see the shape coming back into vogue. What do you think?
Two VERY different uses of scalloped cakes. That's what I call versatile! ;-)

Friday, March 9, 2012


You know you're committed when the artwork starts rolling in!

This postcard art has a story behind it that just shows how close our blogging community is. Being without any actual photos of the shop or its new insides, I decided to go for a pair of scissors, because they get used in lots of crafts activities.
I googled Mundial Scissors and the very first image that popped up looked very promising:
Now being an honest soul, I went to check out its source and guess what!! It was from Oobop's blog! She very kindly let me use it. Janene I hope you approve of our graphics (it being your area of expertise!).

Monday, March 5, 2012

Made Marion - How it came about

Dear readers, I am awake at 4am because my head is so full of thoughts and ideas, sleep is not an option! So, being a mend and make do kind of girl, I'm using the time wisely!
My destiny began some time near the end of last year when I found out Goldings Handcrafts was for sale. Had a moment of wistful thinking, then got on with my day. The idea however hung about and it was something discussed among local crafters from time to time as well. Still, nothing really kindled.
Then when working on Lonely Heart between Boxing Day and New Year, I needed five zips, so thought I'd check if Goldings was open instead of dragging out to Snotties (erk). It was, and I walked in.
Now in spite of being an avid crafter who lived a few blocks away, I hadn't been into the shop since we moved back to Wellington in 2008. This mostly because MrC did such errands for me during the working day! So, HE knew it really well. So this day, I walked in and it was like something inside me went AHA! I saw the potential, and got talking to Les, and one hour and five zips later, I was at home saying to MrC, "How do you feel about us buying Goldings?" I am sure the neighbours heard the, "Here we go again!" I got in response (I am a woman of many ideas, and MrC, poor man, has had his ears worn down from listening to them all!)
But the idea wouldn't leave me alone and so I called Les to arrange for a coffee and a chat, and talked for an hour. Les and Dianne are amazing people who have run this business for 43 years, and yet they were delighted to hear new ideas for the shop.
Anyway, in the two months since I walked into the shop that day, we have chipped away at the show stoppers, got our ideas onto paper, and finally there came the moment when it was crunch time. Nothing was really stopping me any more except myself. Was I willing to put aside a successful if not entirely satisfying career and the income that went with it for an uncertain and possibly impecunious future? Turns out I was. And my wonderful, darling husband is just as keen as I am - when he is not asleep or working 14 hour days on the Arts Festival that is!
And so here I am, awake at 4am, (ok now it's 5am), but not from stress and misery, from excitement. I am so moved by the incredible support I am getting - both moral and practical, and I owe it all to a great extent to you guys, the blogging community, which has opened my eyes to what is most important to me.
As I get the various online presences organised, I'll pop links to them in the side bar of this blog. Our facebook page is looking a little meagre, but it will grow and new things will appear and eventually so will a whole new website. :)
Watch this space, people! xoxo

Friday, March 2, 2012

My Play Date with Destiny

Guess how I spent my Saturday? No word of a lie dear readers, I spent it playing with my destiny.
You see, I can now reveal my BIG NEWS!! The news that had me scrubbing the bathroom floor, resigning my day job and spending my Saturday on a play date.
MrC and I are taking over a business. It is a ....drumroll.....CRAFT & SEWING SUPPLIES SHOP!!!! I shall pause now while the natural envy you are experiencing settles down......................can I keep going now? Good (teehee!!!)
Today I went and helped Les the current owner as he was by himself and had SO MUCH FUN!! Cake decorating supplies for a fantasy 21st cake, ribbon and flowers for a bridal favour, spiral steel boning for a corset remake, wool and needles to knit a snood, and so many more. Wonderful people who came out in a STORM to get their creative needs met, so many folk happy to hear that the shop wasn't closing when Les and Dianne retire but carrying on. It was exhilarating. For me to get this taste of my future, and to hand over paper bag after paper bag of possibilities.
So, Dear Readers, Goldings Handcrafts in Marion St, Wellington is closing on 23 March and on 1 April, Made Marion will open for business. Two classrooms - one enclosed and one open to the shop with studio space, a couch or two to sit and knit or handsew, tea, coffee and laughter, and every fabulous item known to womankind for sale too. Seven days a week.
It's my destiny. We dated, we fell in love. :)