Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Manu

Well, my trusty printer threw a wobbly and refused to print on the 270gms watercolour paper that I so loved. Actually I am amazed that I got away with it for so long as I would have to run the dehumidifier for at least a day before printing to get it to go through the machine. On the bright side, it encouraged me to take the step of getting some works professionally printed and I am thrilled with the results.

Ruru 2011
They are prints based on original watercolour illustrations that I did. They are then printed using archival pigmented inks upon Hahnemuhle William Turner paper, which is 310gms in weight and designed specifically  for creating archivally sound digital reproductions.

Huia 2011

 Another wonderful thing about this paper is that it is matt and has a similar texture to watercolour paper. It also has a lovely velvety effect within the dark tones of the images, which reinforces the depth that I try to achieve in the layering up of different hues.

Piwakawaka 2011

I am also stoked not to have to be stressing about sourcing the crazy paper and battling with my printer anymore. The number of times it nearly got thrown through the window!

Should you be interested in checking out these new additions to the ellaQuaint aviary, further images are available for viewing on link to Felt.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Auckland Art and Craft Fair

Guess what is on this coming Saturday? Come and check out the fantasticness that is going to be the Auckland Art and Craft fair. There are going to be so many talented vendors there, to get a sneak peek into who will be attending, check out the interview on the Auckland Art and Craft Fair Blog

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It is December!

Come and be nosy and check out all of the new treats the we and other gorgeous stall holders have made. A perfect time to get a start on your Christmas shopping. Hope to see you there on Saturday :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Richmond Park

Here is a clip which I couldn't resist sharing. It was filmed in the park which my Auntie and Uncle live close to, and where the Spring Beasties would have originated from. Link to Richmond Park

I love naughty dogs.

Monday, November 14, 2011

This Saturday . . .

There will be so many gorgeous things to peruse, some for yourself or a head start on your Christmas shopping.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Spring Beasties

Well at times it does appear that spring has indeed sprung. My mum has just gotten back from a trip overseas where she spent some time catching up with my Uncle and Auntie who live in Surrey. Hearing about my Uncle's latest gardening escapes reminded me of my first encounter with foxes and other Beatrix Potteresque animals. This inspired my latest series of animal paintings / prints which are based on the idea of 'In my Uncle's garden'. It appears that 'free-range' gardening runs in the family, there is nothing quite like finding 'susprises' that self-seed in among the weeds. That is when they finally get cleared themselves.

My ummmm, 'vege-patch'
When I was nine, I was lucky to be taken on an amazing trip over to England and Europe by my mum. Part of the reason for this was to meet my Uncle and Auntie for the first time. We stayed with them in their gorgeous three storied terraced house, but I was astounded by the wildness of their back garden. The lawns were about knee height which was in stark contrast to my own experience of the gardens of my mum and grand parents. We asked about why the garden was so unkempt and was told that my Uncle was worried about squashing the toads that lived there. He also liked the fact that other animals felt free to live there and the frequent visitors from Richmond Park which was very near by. Those visitors included a fox with her wee cubs, I was woken one morning quite early to be told to peer out of the window. Sure enough there was the vixen with her offspring sneaking through under the fence, hunting for toads.

Nearly thirty years later the garden now boasts a whole lot of free-ranging trees. The latest resident within the suburban wilderness is now a badger. This was the starting point for this collection, they will be available for purchase soon.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Seasons Fleetings

card marquettes
At the moment we are trying to get sorted for Christmas . . . I know! It is a little scary to think that it is just around the corner. In preparation for the festive season, I have been creating some plans for cross-stitched Christmas cards.

a delightful accident

Basically I have been coming up with the templates and testing them using white silk embroidery thread. White on white is a fabulous way to test out something that has sculptural or textural elements as it shows the form more clearly. I had popped up one on the window sill to see what it looked like from a distance and was thrilled with the effect of light coming through the needle holes.

my working space is not normally this tidy!

As well as festive colours, I think I will have to continue to produce some in white too. I will have a collection ready for both Crafternoon Tea on the 15th October and The Devonport Craft Market on the 16th October.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spring is in the Air

Nice! Our wee dear made it into a spring selection on Felt Spring is in the Air. Do check out the other lovely treasures that people are listing :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ma Beasties

I wanted to produce another little group of animals based on more of a Wintry theme. The idea of Arctic Beasties came about, then I came across 'Ma', which is white in te reo. Ma also has so many other subtle meanings that could be played with, especially in the context of peoples' relationship to animals.

Because so many people have enjoyed the Autumnal Beasties, I had intended to produce a range of prints based from these watercolours. Do you think I could get a reproduction I was happy with? No way, these works are just too subtle, and no matter what I do with the adjustments, I couldn't get a print where the outcome was satisfactory.

Here is a peek at the Arctic Wolf.

I am so stoked with how the layers subtly worked up the soft tones and textures.

Last but not least, an Arctic Hare. I love how wild and crazy they look with their big ears and soft, little faces.

Well they may not be able to be reproduced successfully, but the person who takes these guys home in their original archival water-colour form will be wrapped to have such unique beasties.

Greeting Cards


Ooooo it has been a wee while since I posted on here, I must get better at maintaining this blog. I just completed some more hand-made artCards today so I thought I would share some of my favourites. 

This one was meant to be more gender neutral, but according to my flatmate (who ought to know) if it has embroidery on it, it is girly.

OK more embroidery here too . . .

This one is too sweet, I love the contrast of the colours within the embroidered speech bubble. This one was meant to be more feminine.

Lots of lovely different papers have been reused within this tui card. Some vintage wallpaper and handmade paper I bought back from India a few years ago.

I love the idea of being able to have a character say what you want it too. Who knows what this rabbit will eventually end up saying.

They are available for purchase on Felt 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mr and Mrs Z Huia

Mr and Mrs Z Huia 2011
This work was so neat to paint, I had gorgeous vintage photographs to work from for the human elements of the paintings. It was sad however working from images of stuffed birds for the huia.

I so love checking out old photographs, the expressions, what people wore and the attention to detailing in the workmanship.

I did this work in response to hearing that the last known breeding pair of huia, who were meant to make it to an offshore Island in the hope of saving the species, ended up in some English gent's managerie back in the Mother Land. Victorian's and their collections! The 'Z' in the title of the work refers to 'Zachariah' which was taken from the title of a very bleak book I read when in my teens.

If you are interested in seeing more images you can find this work on Felt

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Flourishing Manu

For the market I produced some lovely little illustrations that were based on the aesthetic of old engravings. For fun I had them perching on a vintage copperplate flourish based on some images I had on old letraset. I love playing with language and the way you can add meaning through devices like puns etc;

Piwakawaka and tui are both species that have adapted and are still prevalent throughout the country. Here you can find out how to participate in the landcare survey recording the diversity of the bird-life in your area Birdwatching in your Backyard with Forest and Bird This is definately a worthwhile activity to participate in . . . like they say in the article, a good excuse to get outside.

Seeing as pihipihi / silvereyes were documented as being the most prevalent native species last year, I am definately going to have to do an illustration of one of those cuties to add to the little linen whanau.

Currently you can see the little works on the front page of Felt

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fun Fair

A shot of the stall . . . so tempted to replace my head with that of a birds
Life has finally balanced out after the mad momentum that we got into getting work ready for the Auckland Art and Craft Fair. It was so much fun meeting people and seeing the plethora of creative ideas that other aritsans have. Very inspiring to be amongst so many talented folks. Here you can see some Photos from the Fair and check out the gorgeous goods that were available for purchase

I didn't manage to wander around and take any of my own as it was soooo busy. I can't wait until the one around Christmas.

A big thank you to my mum Sue for being such a super-dooper help xx

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Put a Bow on It . . .

Not too much longer until the Auckland Fair. We have been busy trying to realize a whole load of fresh ideas but whether we get them all sorted remains to be seen. However, it is fun trying . . . Here is a little design for a wee gift card that I have had swirling around in my head for a while. It makes sense to me to combine a gift card and a decorative bow. This series is printed on 100% recycled stock which makes it ethically frivolous! If there is such a thing . . .

Check out some of the other fabulous artisans via the Auckland Fair Blog

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sweden's Birds

Thanks to Wooster for this gorgeous collage of some of the images that were put up around the streets in Sweden.

Personally I think it is about making a statement about the lack of birdlife in urban spaces. Here in New Zealand we have issues with that ourselves, especially the lack of food bearing trees and green corridors for our native species. It would be fabulous if people would consider planting endemic plants that provide edible berries or nectar, our manu would benefit greatly from this and they would make our gardens even more enjoyable.

Follow the link to our favourite collective for the video footage by Jonas Nordborg. Wooster Collective

Sunday, May 22, 2011

better get your move on . . .

19 days and counting until the Auckland Art and Craft Fair! It is all very exciting, we have so many ideas for works to try and get completed for the date. Check out the link here to see what other fabulous sellers will be having their work there as well as seeing our interview :) Auckland Fair

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Piwakawaka Wikitoriana

Piwakawaka Wikitoriana

This is a little work that I completed before the Auckland Artisan Market in Parnell. Again it continues on exploring ideas based on connecting our manu native birds with Victorian society.

Here is the old photograph which I based Piwakawaka (fantail) on, the expression on the lady's face is quite confident and twinkly, just how I see the wee birds themselves.

Piwakawaka traditionally are viewed as being an omen of death, if one flies into your house, it is believed to signify that someone is going to die. When Maui was trying to defeat Hine-nui-te-po, the sleeping Goddess of Death, Piwakawaka was so amused by Maui's technique attempting this, laughing so loudly that Hine-nui-te-po woke up and then killed Maui. This is where this sweet wee bird developed it's terrible reputation from.

Detail of
Piwakawaka Wikitoriana
 When dealing with notions of extinction and conservation, using Piwakawaka symbolically is very appropriate.

Further images and information are available here; ellaQuaint on Felt

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Latest Pieces

Well we have been head down tail up getting new work together for the Parnell Mother's Day Market on Sat 7th May.

Oops, taking over the flat . . .
Over the years I have collected a huge range of old fabrics, table linen, inherited sewing trimmings and other pretty stuff I have just hoarded. We thought we could up-cycle these gorgeous snippets of fabric and create a range of works that are more affordable that the original paintings that Ella produces.

This bear was sourced from a vintage etching.

 Lovely old drawn thread-work provides an effective base for this elegant horse.

This wee bear has green ideas.

Also we included some images from a book I discovered in my mum's things. 'Alice though the Looking Glass' . It features the original illustrations by Sir John Tenniel. I love the inscription on the inside of it

Here is one of the works that got created in response to the delightful drawings.

If you are at a loose end on Saturday, come and check out the ellaQuaint stall. We will have cards, printed and original one-offs, illustrated prints, unique up-cycled canvas works (like above) and last but definately not least, some of Ella's fabulous manu paintings. Follow the link for more details

Mother's Day Market

Monday, April 25, 2011

Blue Birds' Moon

Well I have completed a wee series of collages in photoshop based on blue, birds and moons. I think that they are tomtits, not bluebirds and they are not nocturnal . . . but hey.

There are so many amazing resources online that you can add to your own. I had just as much fun creating these images as I do with more lo-tech collage techniques, normally I dislike using the computer too much.

Vintage patterns have been brought into all of them, in some cases ever so subtly, which work wonderfully with the retro imagery. I think these will become a card pack as they lend themselves nicely to that format and are cute and chirpy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Finally I got it together to put up some of the artCards that I have made for sale on Felt. They are time-consuming to make, but so much fun. Being a chronic hoarder, you know the ol' 'it can be re-used' adage, these little art works are a fitting end for some of the treasures that I have collected over the years.

daisy rabbit
Old magazines, vintage lace fragments, recycled calendars, handmade paper, inherited silk embroidery thread are just some of the ingredients that go into this range. They are all original designs and lovingly hand-made.

butterfly kisses
The silhouettes of the animals are hand-cut too, using stencils that I have made myself. The way that the light casts shadows upon the ground of the beasties is very effective.

golden birds

The cards will be available shortly for purchase via ellaQuaint on Felt