December 30, 2009

just dropping by...

Hi there : )

I hope your festivities have been wonderful! I just thought I'd drop by and say hi!... I've been thinking about this wee alphabetical friend a lot and thought I might just pop in every other day or so with some Facebook-like-status updates.. are you keen? Here's the first...

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Jo Pewhairangi ...thinks she might start collecting wooden spoons...

These lovelies are from Nic Webb, with thanks to Holly at Decor8 for the intro..

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December 11, 2009

I heart Christmas

I love Christmas, I love decorations, the planning, the cooking, the secrets!

This year, in particular, has made me ponder (more than once) about how our boys will experience Christmas. What it will mean to them in years to come, and what memories they will have. One thing we did decide was to decorate the house a 'bit more than usual', to try an evoke some festive spirit - and that in itself has been rather tricky...

You see, down here in the southern hemisphere we are in the beginnings of summer (well trying at least!), the days are long and our thoughts of what to do on Christmas Day extend as far as going to the beach. All this means that the snowy ornaments and flickery lights get kind of lost here - how do we decorate so it represents 'our' Christmas, while still maintaining the traditional 'magic' that the boys relate to?

Luckily, Living Etc has a wonderful Christmas Album, full to the brim of all sorts of ideas and inspiration. I've chosen a few of my faves to share.... if you are a bit 'stuck' like me, I suggest you head on over to the Living Etc site and immerse yourself in some festive glory : )

(images from Living Etc)

visit the Living Etc website

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I'm going to sign off for the year. My plan to keep writing daily isn't going so well, and I really do want to treasure this time with the boys as we head into the holidays.

I am yet to figure out when I'll be back - I'm guessing it will be early in the New Year, but I'll keep you posted : )

I just want to take a moment to thank you. Thank you so very much for being part of this alphabetical world. I so dearly love your company, your emails and comments. I wish you and yours a wonderful festive season, full of magic and fond memories.

From my home to yours, may the season be filled with
Peace, love and cheer!

Best wishes and the kindest regards,

Jo, Steve and the Boys

December 8, 2009

'tis the season...

Christmas at home...

Here is a tiny snippet of the decorating that has been happening here at home...

This vintage red-breasted fellow above was found in a thrift shop last week with three of his blue bird buddies... For the grand total of $4 (NZD), this has to be my Christmas 'Find of the Year' !

Hearts are very prominent on our tree - each handmade and full of love...

I was loving how the light was playing on the walls surrounding our tree - it looks so beautiful - and adds a bit of drama don't you think?

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How is your decorating going? If you are keen to share, I'd love to see!

have a wonderful day! xxoo

December 5, 2009

Zara Picken

I thought that it would be fitting to end this alphabet*eight with some illustration. This alphabet has been leaning particularly heavily towards illustration with a total of 18 posts about illustrators and print makers... can you see what's been on my mind?? : )

Zara Picken

I have been really enjoying works like Zara Picken's - works that have a vintage feel about them. A soft colour palette and gentle texture - on looking through Zara's portfolio I learnt that this is best described as "retro-tinted with textured blocks of colour"...combining both digital and handmade elements.

"I am influenced by mid-century modern design and have a passion for old paper-based ephemera. I also find inspiration in vast collections, large cities and obscure music.
...Projects begin with pencil drawings and are completed using Photoshop in a distinctive style. My work is ideas-led, approaching each brief with an open mind and focusing on conveying concepts and messages with a striking aesthetic."

I love how Zara manages to create so much movement within her pieces, the swept hair-do's, the flying fish, and the party atmosphere... have a look....

(images and quote by Zara Picken)

visit Zara's website
visit Zara's store
read Zara's blog

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And there we have alphabet*eight! Sorry there were so many glitches these last couple of weeks!

Next week, as we head into the festive season, we are going to do an advent type series. Each day will have one or two Christmas inspired images and special finds. I'm also going to share the artwork we have purchased for our nieces and nephews, and a few of the decorations and traditions we have here in our family.

Will you join me? I hope so!

Thank you so much for visiting me throughout this 8th alphabet. Your comments, emails and loyalty really do make this all worth while. I so very much appreciate you dropping by!

Have a wonderful weekend!

See you Monday xxoo

December 4, 2009

Steph Baxter + Nora Aoyagi

Ummm, yep...yesterday didn't quite happen despite the best intentions! But we're here, and hopefully time will allow me to get this alphabet finished - fingers crossed!

Let's go!

Steph Baxter

I have been spending loads of time looking for artwork for my nieces and nephews... this search has lead me on all sorts of journeys - through the works of all my favourites, all the people I've written about, and then trying to find artworks that best 'suit' the recipient.

I have found pieces for all seven of these special people, but I can't help wondering whether these posters below by Steph Baxter would of been a good fit... Inspirational slogans are always welcoming and motivating, and I can imagine that when I was a kid, I would of pondered and questioned my actions a whole lot more if I had had this first poster (pictured below) gracing my bedroom walls...

This art gifting is going to become a tradition, and be something we do every year, so I guess one of the lucky seven could have some inspirational words on their walls next Christmas! - enjoy!

(images by Steph Baxter)

visit Steph's website

Nora Aoyagi

Nora Aoyagi

describes her work as being both beautiful and strange. She draws on elements of Folk Law and Fairy Tales to create a collection inspired by traditional children's book illustration...

"Her images often possess a duality in which unlikely elements are present at one time, like when the unassuming girl emerges from the fearsome wolf with knife in-hand; or when the bear claws at his chest, revealing a stripe of shining gold beneath his thick black fur. Within this narrative, both the strange and beautiful dwell. "

I really like the 'Hello Stranger' image (pictured 5th below), but I can't help wondering if Red is going to get herself into a bit of bother! Take a peek:

(images and quote from Nora Aoyagi)

visit Nora's
read Nora's
visit Nora's

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Ready for Z? it's coming!!


Wood and Wool Stool

Hi there!

It's been a couple of days I know! Things have been hectic! I havent stopped thinking about this wee alphabet though and have been wanting to find the time to finish it off in a manner in which it deserves... finally, I have a moment to share these last four letters of alphabet*eight... let's go!

Wood and Wool Stool

This is another great discovery by the lovely Deborah over at Kickcan and Conkers. I followed Deborah's advise and visited Ingrid Jansen's Wood and Wool Stool website and blog - and oh me, oh my, Ingrid is one clever gal!

I have always loved crochet, we used to stock gorgeous crochet by Anne Claire Petit in our store - love! The day I find a perfect vintage granny square blanket I will march it directly to the end of one of my boys beds!

Ingrid's vibrant colour choices and her effortless combination of traditional crochet with rustic wood, bring together to a collection that is both welcoming and beautiful - you should check it out...

(images from Wood and Wool Stool)

visit Ingrid's website
visit Ingrid's store
read Ingrid's blog

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So, given that is is already Friday and we still have 3 letters to go, I'll get them out next all in one go - are you ready?? come back soon to check out X, Y and Z!

December 1, 2009

Voideville + Katie Vernon


It is a very grey, wet day here today. It is beginning to feel like spring will never settle in...I have to keep reminding myself that good things come with rain - oh how green the grass will be when the sun finally comes! - and then there's the puddles, I really must get the boys out and enjoying them while they are here... and let's not forget to mention the drains of rapidly running water that are perfect for leaf boat racing...yes, good things...

Are you ready for some other goodness? A bit dryer and brighter than our day?? I think so!


Kebrina Lott's Voideville store is hardly void. In fact it is full of her original works that have come to life through a series of masterful manipulations -

"originating with an idea, sketch, ink, and then digitally altered to complete the metamorphosis."

I really enjoy this first image below titled "Things you hear"...

(images and quote from Voideville)

visit Kabrina's store

Katie Vernon

These floral illustrations by Katie Vernon add some 'spring hope' to our day - Katie's simplistic drawings are emblazoned with bursts of flowers, adding softness and colour to her final composition. The big white space surrounding each image adds nicely to the softness don't you think?

The little hedgehog pictured 3rd below is adorable. He looks like he's all dressed up, wearing his special party-bouquet outfit : ) Do you have a fave?

(images from Katie Vernon)

visit Katie's website

visit Katie's store

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I hope your day goes wonderfully!

see you tomorrow! xxoo