Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Blog #52 - The Little Kit Company

Monday,  27 February 2017

Almost at the end of February.  Where, oh where, have the last two months gone?
As mentioned in my last blog, I acquired ‘The Little Kit Company’
from my friend, Liz, at the beginning of last year.
For 20 years Liz created the needlework charts from hand-drawn ones
by Maree Garstang of Masterton and stitched models,
wrote instructions for the designs and packaged these designs and instructions
with fabric, threads and needle and sold the little kits throughout New Zealand
at craft shows, to craft retailers, to museums and to city information centres.
Also as mentioned in my last blog,
all designs feature NZ birds, scenes and icons
and all are ONLY available as kits
and are to be made as either bookmarks or framed pieces.
All designs are now on my website  -  www.barberryrow.com/barberryrow.html

Three designs
Aotearoa Kiwi
Pohutukawa & Kowhai
I’ve also created a dedicated Facebook page for them  -  www.facebook.com/littlekitcompany
and I would appreciate it if you would “LIKE” it. 
And too, I’ve opened an Etsy shop  -  www.etsy.com/shop/thelittlekitco
although only the bookmarks are listed in it as yet.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Etsy - it is a site where crafts people who design,
make, and/or manufacture their own items can sell their products.
Each shop has a shopping cart and there are several payment choices.
I have to confess that prices in my shop are a little more expensive - only slightly -
as the website host charges a percentage fee.
Below is a list of some kits currently available from ‘The Little Kit Company’
SCENES:         All Scenes:   $ 19.50  each
 Art Deco Napier          Auckland           Christchurch            Dockside CafĂ©          Dunedin
Farming Down Under          High Country Hut          Lake Taupo          Lake Tekapo
Lake Whakatipu          Map of NZ          Marine Parade Napier
Mount Cook          Pioneer Cottage          Pohutukawa Tree           Taranaki Farmland          Wellington
BOOKMARKS:          All Bookmarks:   $ 17.50  each
B is for Bee          Black Cat          Bullrush & Fern           Dusky Dolphins          Fruit of the Vine
Houhere  (Lacebark)          Kia Ora           Kiwi          Kokako          Manuka
Mount Cook Lily          NZ Kiwis          Pohutukawa & Kowahi          Red Billed Gull                 Sheep
Sheep Dog           Takahe           Tuatara          Yellow Eyed Penguin
 Traditional   -   Carving   :  Kiwi   :   Poi   :  Tiki
MISCELLANEOUS:    These designs  :    $ 19.50  each
Aotearoa            Aotearoa Kiwi           Native Flowers          Wild Flowers
To view other designs  -  check these out on the website or Facebook
The most popular design is :  Bookmark  -  Red Poppy.   $ 22.50  

I have added a couple of pages to the kit.
One page relates the history of the creation of ANZAC day
and Canadian medical officer, Colonel John McCrea’s
poem about the poppies he saw in Flanders’ Fields, France in WWI
and the second page relates how the red poppy was first created
as a symbol of remembrance by American teacher,
Miss Moina Belle Michael.

Also included with the design, fabric, threads, needle, instructions and poppy information
is an artificial red poppy.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this design is donated
to the NZ Returned and Services' Association. 

Unfortunately the computer charting programme that Liz was using in her computer
was not compatible with my system and so I’ve not been able to ‘download’
the charts and instructions into my computer.
Consequently I am having to “redo” them - one by one. To date completed ten - lots more to do!
 As for “kitting” the designs - each design has a “recipe” sheet -
that is, a list of all the contents to be in a particular kit.
I have a special board that has thread lengths marked on it for measuring of the threads.
When I cut threads for a kit, I actually cut 25 sets at one time so that I always have stocks on hand.
So too, with the pieces of fabric for the scene designs and the banding fabric for the bookmarks.
I cut several at one time so that there is always stocks ready cut on hand. 

Cutting of all the thread lengths and the fabric pieces takes quite a lot of time,
and then there is -
1. the printing and folding of the design chart & instructions
2. the adherence of the design photo to the inner packaging
3. the folding of the inner packaging
4. the assembly of all the kit items
5. placing all assembled items into the inner packaging
6. and finally, everything being put into the outer plastic or cello bag packaging.

 Below is a pic of my ‘LKC’ cupboard -

Shelf one & two -  boxes containing small cones of threads :  18 - 20 cones per box
Shelf three - box of small cones, box containing separate thread packages for all bookmarks,  
       box containing separate thread packages for all scenes & misc designs, packaging bags
Shelf four  -  cream printed packaging, extra rolls of banding fabric
Shelf five  -  black printed packaging,  box of photos for all bookmark designs,
      box of photos for all scene & miscellaneous designs, trays contain cut fabrics, needles, glue
      templates for folding instruction & chart sheets, etc
Shelves six, seven & eight  -  large cones of threads  :  5 deep
Shelf nine & ten  -  more large thread cones, spare boxed threads,
      excess small & large thread cones & pre-folded ‘Red Poppy’ information sheets.
I hope you have gained a little insight into the process of creating a kit.
That’s all for this time.
Bye for now.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Blog #51 - Art Deco Weekend

Saturday,  18 February 2017

I am sure you will know that Napier has the reputation as being one of the ART DECO cities
 of the world due to the city being destroyed by an earthquake in 1931
and therefore being rebuilt in the building style of the time - Art Deco. 
Over several days in the month of February, the uniqueness of this is celebrated with 1930's
styled events -  balls, outdoor picnics in the park, vintage and classic car parades,
flyovers of old planes, a trolley derby, walks, talks & tours, dances, etc.
and everyone (locals and visitors) dress in the clothes of that era.
It is quite a feast for the eyes to see men, women and children of all ages
dressed in the style of the period.
Visitors from all over New Zealand and from all over the world
come year after year to participate.
One of the celebrities is Merrill J. Fernando,
founder & Chairman of Dilmah Tea
and often his family will accompany him.
Here are a few pics of this awesome weekend.

Yesterday I spent the most wonderful time
with an amazing needlewoman from Auckland - Judith Anne.
I met Judith Anne at the Embroiderers' Guild Conference
that was held in Auckland in July last year.
She had come to the Hawkes Bay to take part in the Art Deco celebrations.
She brought the most beautiful gifts with her for myself and Keith -
a little zippered felt bag with a raised hydrangea flower decoration
created with different coloured pieces of felt on the front of it,
a gorgeous bouquet of flowers in my favourite colours
and an assortment of fudge pieces for Keith.
I will definitely be taking the pretty purse with me on all my future trips overseas!
Each special season in a year (e.g. Christmas, Easter, etc.) Judith Anne
decorates her home with the appropriate items,
floral arrangements using flowers from her garden
and needlework pieces that she has stitched.
She then opens her home for visitors to enjoy.  Just wonderful!
With Art Deco in mind - did you know that 'The Little Kit Company' has two designs
in their range of needlework designs to celebrate the uniqueness of this area.
The are:  Art Deco Napier  &  Marine Parade Napier
Each design is packaged with fabric  (Brittney - white)
DMC Stranded Cotton threads
Needle,  Chart  &  Instructions
Each kit:  $19.50
Design Title:  Art Deco Napier
Design Title:  Marine Parade Napier
And did you know that at the beginning of last year I acquired
'The Little Kit Company'?
This business was owned by my lovely friend, Liz.
When visiting the previous Christmas
she announced that she was to be having
a special birthday in a few months time
and that she thought I needed to take over her business.
Well - that is what happened.
There are over sixty designs in the range -
all designs featuring NZ birds, scenes and icons
and all are ONLY available as kits.
The company logo
The logo above looks as though it has a grey background, but in fact, it is a delicate cream.
Some designs are packed inside the cream - others inside the black.
Only a few of the designs are available from Spotlight stores throughout New Zealand.
These designs are always packaged inside the black and white packaging.
The Bookmark designs are -
Dusky Dolphins  :  Kiwi  :  Pohutukawa & Kowhai  :  Sheep  :  Takahe
Scene designs are -
Auckland  :  Christchurch  :  Dunedin  :  Lake Tekapo  :  Map of NZ  :
Pohutukawa Tree  :  Wellington
Miscellaneous designs are -
Aotearoa  :  Aotearoa Kiwi  :  Native Flowers  :  Wild Flowers
Note:  To purchase the kits from Spotlight stores
is more expensive than ordering from Heirlooms.
A kit packaged for the Waiouru Army Museum is pictured below -
More details in my next blog.
Bye for now.