Working with local businesses: The Little Carousel

 — The Little Carousel  – Boutique event styling and hire – Christchurch —

 

The Little Carousel is a boutique event styling and hire business, which specialises in Children’s birthday parties,
Baby showers and Weddings. This year, they have also built an extension to their business called Little Slumber parties.
They are based in the lovely town of Christchurch, South Island.

Creative owner and stylist Jen, established her love for parties, and all the planning and styling that comes with it.
As a trained teacher, and mother of 3, there’s no doubt she’s had her fair share of organising parties and planning activities.

Little Carousel

 From hiring out table and chairs, to lighting, decor, and even a DONUT WALL! These guys do it all.
You can purchase a party box, with all the essential party basics, right down to hiring Jen to style the entire event for you.

The Little Carousel

Her eye for detail, ensures that your event runs smoothly and stress free.
If you wish to hire her styling talent, then she offers an amazing process, right from the start,
she sends out a mood board to you, and discusses your requirements, to ensure she knows exactly what you want.

Jen approached us to create some custom floral decor pieces for her, which we are were super thrilled about.
We designed and created a floral chandelier and floral curtain (or floral backdrop as some may call it).
These floral curtains can be used as a backdrop for a birthday, event, or photoshoot.

The Little Carousel Floral Chandelier  The Little Carousel  The Little Carousel

Little Slumbers

Over the last six months, they have been working on an extension to their fabulous event party business.
Little Slumbers, is the original slumber tent party boutique, in Christchurch.
They specialise in unique, magical Slumber tent parties, for children of all ages.

Starting from $130, there are slumber tent party packages you can choose from. 
Pacakges include: Unique, NZ made A-frame tents, sheets, mattresses and duvet inners, pillow cases (but not pillows, for hygienic reasons), bed trays, lanterns, eye masks, robes, decorations, and scatter cushions. The cost even includes the cost of delivery, set up and pack down as well, saving you all the stress and hassle from doing it yourself!

 The Little Carousel: Little Slumbers The Little Carousel: Little Slumbers The Little Carousel: Little Slumbers

GIVEAWAY


If you live in Christchurch, head on over to The Little Carousel, for your chance to win a ‘bestie slumber’.

But be quick, as the competition closes tomorrow Friday 7th July 8pm!!!
CLICK HERE TO ENTER!!!

The Little Carousel

The ONLY felt florist in New Zealand!

felt florist in new zealand

The ONLY felt florist in New Zealand!

That’s right, this is the only Felt Florist in New Zealand! It’s really all in the title, honestly.
As we are mid way through 2017, I am still the only florist in New Zealand, creating
gift bouquets, arrangements, weddings flowers and catering to
corporate clients and the film industry, with felt flowers.

Amongst all the other florists out there, whether it is fresh flowers, silk flowers, paper flowers,
foam or flax flowers, I am the only florist in New Zealand working with felt.
At this point in time, it makes our flowers truly and incredibly unique!


New Zealand florist

I’m not here to bag all the other types of florists out there. In fact, if you already follow me,
you will know I have a very good friend Sema, who is a Flax florist at Hapene by Artiflax.
I often purchase hapene from her, to use in my bouquets and arrangements,
as I do like to incorporate different media into my creations.

I am simply here to say that if none of the other types of fresh or fake flowers take you fancy,
I offer an alternative to other artificial flowers. Because let’s face it, just like food,
everyone has different taste buds!


Whenever I introduce myself, and my business, the most common question is
“How did you get into felt flowers?” 
Well, in all honesty, I don’t really remember.
It seems to have just…well, happened! I don’t even remember the exact date! 

And when it did, I must have phased out my old work (with felt) pretty quickly,
because I barely remember that either.  
All I know was that I loved making flowers.
There was a whole different creative side to it that intriguied me.

Getting requests to make a certain flower challenged me. And I loved that aspect to it!

If this is your first time visiting my website, why not check out my portfolio,
and get your wallet ready to purchase all of my beautiful flowers in the shop!

It has been a very exciting journey so far, and each new day brings new adventure. 
I can’t wait to show everyone what else I can create!
Thank you to everyone who has supported me so far.

As I continue to build my portfolio, I would love to know what other flowers
you would love to see me make.
Leave a comment below and
stay tuned on my Facebook and Instagram pages.
I may just make your flower in the near future! 

 

Felt: Isn’t that the stuff on Pool Tables?

felt

But isn’t Felt that stuff on Pool Tables?

Well, yes, it is! However it is a different make up of felt that they use on pool tables!
Some can be made from natural fibers or synthetic fibers.

felt

I will list a few different types:
– Industrial
– Craft/Textile
– Stiffened
– Adhesive backed
– Wool
– Acrylic

Those are just naming the most common ones, and those that I am most aware about. Under those categories you can then go into subcategories such as wool blend felt, where the ratio of wool can again vary between brand and its mixed with another fibers of another material, e.g. 80% wool:20%viscose. On top of that again, you can also get various thicknesses!

The felt that I use for our flowers, is a wool blend. There is a particular feel and flexibility that I personally like about wool blend, which makes it easy to work with. I have trialed other types before such as acrylic felt (usually a cheaper option), which is made from synthetic fibers, but a lot of it was horrible and stiffer, with little flexibility. 

WOOL FELT

Wool Felt is a non-woven textile. There is no thread or weaving involved in production.
Originally it starts off as wool roving. Then by adding moisture, heat and agitation, the roving compacts
and mattes together tightly.This forms what is referred to as wool felt.

Wool felt blends (the stuff that I use), are also made using the same process described above,
but with a combination of wool fibers and those from another material.

POOL TABLE CLOTH

The texture of green cloth. High detailed photo closeup
Close up of worsted cloth.

The most common type of pool table felt is called woolen cloth. It is usually thick and heavy. It is made up of at least 60% wool, and has that familiar “felt” feel when you touch it. You will usually see this type of cloth on home pool tables, or the coin operated pool tables at bars etc.
The second most common type of pool table felt is worsted cloth, and is not even felt at all! It feels more like a woven suit, and when you look close enough,
you can see the weaves in the cloth. It generally doesn’t pill and you would most often see this type of cloth in professional pool rooms and tournament tables

I don’t want to go into detail about every other type of felt, but I did want to give those who may not have known,
a little insight into the range that is out there, and ensure you
that I don’t use the exact same stuff that you see on pool tables. Well not quite the same!

I do also have to mention that wool felt, is not to be confused with felted wool. Which is a whole different kettle of fish, that I’m definitely no expert in, but there are a few blogs out there that explain it a heck of a lot better than I ever could such as this one by American Felt & Craft.

Working with local businesses: Ink & Threads

— Working with local businesses: Ink & Threads —

I’ve had the privilege of working and collaborating with quite a number of other local businesses,
so I am going to start introducing you to them all. The first being Papamoa locals Ink & Threads. 


— Ink & Threads – Papamoa —

Ink & Threads specialise in creating custom designed pillowcases, tea towels, bags, cushions and more!
Their creations are printed on 100% cotton, using water based paint (perfect for little ones might I add!), and is printed direct to the garment. 

I don’t even remember how I found these guys. I think I recall seeing an ad of theirs on Facebook. (So ads do work guys!). I clicked through to their page and their website to discover something I had been looking for, for quite some time now! I had been searching for a local business who would print pillowcases and other items, but at a reasonable cost, and with very small minimum order quantities. I had struck gold! These guys did ALL the work. All I had to do was provide the design I wanted, and the colours. It gets even better…I could do this all online (using their online desginer), from the other side of the country! – I was living in Hamilton at the time. So as soon as I had sent through my design and quantities etc, all I had to do was pay for it, and within such a reasonable time the products would arrive on my doorstep! More often they arrived a lot sooner than expected! And thus our very own unique pillowcases and tea towels came about!

Allan & Niki have constantly provided wonderful customer service, and outstanding products. And if you need some help creating something, Niki is graphic designer and is more than willing to help you out.

— Q & A time with Niki! —

1. Who does most of the work at I&T (bit of a cheeky question)?
I’ll say ME, but my husband would disagree 🙂
2. What is your favourite product?
I love our customisable banners, they are a great alternative to the usual A4 prints.
3. When is your busiest time of year?
Definitely November/December for Xmas presents. Lots of Santa Sacks get printed!
4. Where is your happy place (outside of work)?
The beautiful Papamoa beach, 5 mins from home.
5. Why did you start your own business?
Freedom and flexibility, both in time but also creatively.
6. How did you choose the name ‘Ink & Threads’?
It’s from the raw materials we use to make our products – ink and cotton,
but also I like the fact that Threads also means clothing

— Find them here —

Facebook — Website — Instagram


— Our Creations —

The Price Debate

The Price Debate

Some days I get emails, Facebook messages, or comments asking how much something is.
I respond with a quote or price.
Some days I get another email, message or comment, asking to proceed with the order.
Some days I never hear back…

There is always an ongoing debate within the handmade, handcrafted industry.
The question behind it (more so from customers), is, “why are you so expensive”?
Or for some, their response is, “I can make it cheaper”, or “I can get a friend to make it cheaper”.

Fine. That’s cool. If you can get a friend to do it, go right ahead!
Just know that you are selling your friend short if you do.

You are devaluing their time, and talent if you do.

Let’s take one individual felt flower, on a paper wire stem.

To start with I need felt fabric and the paper wire.
I also need scissors and a glue gun.
But before all that I need a car WITH petrol in it, that has a rego, and WOF too!
Just to go and get the fabric!

Now I’m home with all the items I need, I have to start the clock.
I cut out each individual petal by hand. None of this lay out the patterns, or scan and cut machine business.
(No offense to all my friends and family in business who work this way, I still admire your work greatly!!!)

Call me old fashioned, but that is how I choose to do it. That is how my items become BESPOKE!
Custom made. Unique. Individual. No two petals are the same! EVER!

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To cut out one entire flower worth of petals, can take anywhere between 5 minutes to an hour,
depending on the detail of the flower.
Some flowers get extra detail added, e.g. with special fabric paint,
and let me tell you, that stuff ain’t cheap!

I should add that painting extra details also adds more time on the clock.

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Now that the petals are all cut, I then have to assemble the flower carefully onto the paper wire stem.
More often than not, I burn my hands from using the hot glue gun.
But that is the because I am being vigilant with how the flower is shaped.
You don’t have much time to work with, when you are working with hot glue!
Oh and don’t forget, using a hot glue guns needs electricity!

After all that, we have created a flower.
A FLOWER!   ONE!  TAHI!
Just one.

So if you want a whole bouquet, the majority of that process has to be repeated.
Numerous times!

If you are wanting a mixed bouquet of flowers, then as mentioned earlier, the time it takes to make them can vary.

So next time you question the cost of something that is handmade, or hand crafted, consider what I have just said.

Car maintenance, house/electricity, desks, equipment, materials, labour.
On top of that, include things like accounting, advertising, insurance, postage, packaging, labels, cards
. The list goes on…..
Hopefully after all that, the maker actually makes a profit! A lot DON’T!
Every single cent of someones quote or price, includes more than just the obvious materials.

THAT is why something handmade, or hand crafted, is so ‘expensive’.

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Hello 2016

Wow! So apparently it is year twenty sixteen?! And did you know or remember that 2016 is a LEAP YEAR???

I was blessed to see the new year in with my family. And by that I mean, I was in bed by 10:30pm and asleep by 11:00pm.  HA! HA! There was no way my children would stay up that late, and besides, they are too young to know anyway. My oldest only knows one month of the year, which is January. The other day (back in December), I started teaching him that his birthday was in January. He proceeded to ask me if we could go to January, thinking it was a place. Ha! Ha! Ha!

I didn’t really set any new year resolutions as such. However, I did find an image which I posted to my Instagram page – and I think it pretty much sums up my plan for the year. (Yes I did find it on Pinterest).

 fierce

This year does bring a slight change to Oh Em Gee. We will be focusing a lot more on our flowers, and less on the buntings and garlands etc. I am still a one woman show and with only 1 child in daycare and the other at home full time, I have limited time to make and create. I will take on very limited custom orders for garlands and other items, but part of the change will see us heading in a new direction over 2016, and my priority will be focusing on this change. I have a new vision for my Forever Flowers, but there is a lot of work involved, so we will see where the road takes us.

Obviously from this blog entry, you will now know that I have added a ‘blog’ to our website. For me personally, the blog will be a way to express myself a little more, (more than I do on Facebook & Instagram), get a bit more in depth on certain topics or products, and just a fun, new place to write, share stuff and truly be myself. But consider this a warning! You may start to discover the kooky side of me, along the way.

I won’t be a die hard blogger either! This is my first ever blog, so I am only planning 1 a month (with maybe a few extras in between, if I find time).

Thank you for continuing to follow and support Oh Em Gee, and thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest. I am on Twitter too, but to be honest, I just link the same content from Instagram to Twitter. So many accounts, not enough time in the day. My bad!

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