Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Well it's that time of year again, and for me this holiday season has crept up pretty fast!

Here at Maxies it's been an interesting year, full of challenges and highlights. We celebrated our first ever sale in January, and have had regular sales since ... either from our Etsy shop, at markets, or to friends. As I reflect back over our first year as a small business I'm pretty happy with the results. And - it can only get better!

So from me to you, thank you for your support, encouragement, advice, and sales! The journey of getting to know you all has been a lot of fun.

For this season I pray that your Christmas is full of love, laughter, peace and blessings. And most of all; success in 2012. Have fun :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Introducing ... The Canvas Heart

I have to say that I love this shop! What's so special (apart from the unique, gorgeous products) is the story behind The Canvas Heart.

Several years ago Crystal and her husband served in Ethiopia and lived in a turquoise mud home in a small village. Upon returning to the United States, Crystal decided to use her knowledge of the language and culture to make custom art and adoption gifts in Amharic. How comforting for a child that has been adopted from Ethiopia ... to find something from their own language available in their new home!

Below are some of the amazing artwork available -

Also available in The Canvas Heart Etsy shop are translation services (for those that would like Amharic translated into English); photo's from Ethiopia, Egypt and Turkey; and beautiful artwork in English.

You can also read more about The Canvas Heart and Crystal's life in Ethiopia on her blog - The Canvas Heart ... so why not head on over and say "hi"!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Market Day

I've been busy the past few weeks preparing for my first ever craft market as a seller. The market was organised by our church for those crafters in the church to showcase their creations.

At first I wasn't sure if our stall would be very interesting ... after we are going into summer here in Auckland so there isn't much need of scarves, mittens and beanies. So for me it was a bit of a challenge to create something that would attract people to my stall in this warmer weather.

So I decided to make some headbands. And to be honest, they went down rather well with those who stopped by my stall. One lady actually went home to get money to buy a particular headband for her daughter to wear at a performance that evening! Here are some samples, and you can find more on my Facebook Page.

And people are surprising ... I also sold some beanies and ear-warmers.

Now the challenge is on again as we have another market day the second week of December. So, if you can think of anything that I could knit between now and then, feel free to leave a comment ... I'd really appreciate any thoughts!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Cards

Each time a customer's order is sent out, I like to include a little handwritten note. Since my supply of cards was running out, I emailed Jocelyn of New Creationz to see if she would be interested in making some for me that were NZ themed (since most of our customers are not local). "No problem" was Jocelyn's response, and yesterday the cards arrived in the mail.

Aren't they great? And these are only a few ... I ordered 12 in total, and each one is a beautiful photograph of scenery from our fabulous country.

You can find the New Creationz shop on Etsy, and it's full of Jocelyn's wonderful creations ... fine art, photography, pendants, packaging boxes, magnets, stationery, coasters and tons more. She also has a November Special on right now, so it's a great time to checkout her shop.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pink Sale

It's time for another Sale! So, everything Pink in our Etsy shop has been reduced by 20%.

Sale ends November 1st, so don't miss out and don't forget to tell all your friends!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Universal Craft Blog

Have you heard about the Universal Craft Blog yet?

It's a new craft blog directory and strives to be the biggest list of crafty bloggers out there. I've just added Maxies Knitwear to the growing list, and you'll find lots of other craft blogs to look at.

Have fun browsing!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Giveaway Win

Don't you just love walking to your letterbox and finding a package with your name on it? That happened to me today ... I received this wonderful Giveaway Prize from Creativity Unmasked.

Inside where these gorgeous products:
  • A funky multi-coloured evil-eye glass beaded bracelet from SariBlue.
  • A handcrafted olive-green shell and black agate necklace from Moags and Smeet.
  • A set of floral art photography notecards from Laura Sheppard Photography, along with a CD to help you improve your own photography.
  • A sample of green tea toner and fabulous full-sized rice bran soap from okoii Natural Skin Care.
Don't they look gorgeous? A huge THANK YOU to Creativity Unmasked, SariBlue, Moags and Smeet, Laura Sheppard Photography and Okoii. Your products are amazing!

If you'd like to see more from these wonderful artists, please Click on the links above. Also don't forget to visit Creativity Unmasked. It's a site that exists to showcase and support creativity in all forms, and includes features, tutorials and of course ... fabulous giveaways!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bold and Beautiful

I've always loved the colour Red .... its bright, bold and such a beautiful colour. And for some reason whenever I think of knitting cable, I think of either Red or Grey as the colour to knit. So of course, the first cable fingerless mittens I knitted are ....

yes, Red! This pair are knitted in 100% pure wool, and are incredibly warm. Head on over to our Etsy shop to see other photos.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Our Trip

We've been home now for 3 weeks, and finally I can do a blog post. I thought you might like to read a little about our trip ....

Our main purpose in going to China was to visit the children we support (see About Us), and help out where we could. So our first 10 days were filled with joining in on pre-school classes, cleaning, playing, cuddles, walks with babies etc. As always it was a lot of fun and really refreshing. Some of the older children speak a little english, which provided opportunities for simple (and sometimes hilarious) conversations.

The destination for our final week in China was Shanghai, a place we have never visited before. It really was our 'down time', so we did a lot of touristy things ... shopping, visiting a few sights, more shopping. Its a lovely city; big, fast and friendly.

One place we visited was Zhujiajiao a delightful canal town within an hour's ride from Shanghai. It's a historic town with Ming and Qing dynasty alleys, bridges and old-town architecture.

Isn't it quaint? Can you see the guy fishing in the last pic? You can find all sorts of unusual river-fished delicacies on the menu here, but neither my husband or I were game enough to try any.

As much as it was a wonderful trip, it's great to be home again. And I'm looking forward to settling back into a normal routine ... which of course includes knitting and creating gorgeous accessories for you all! Have a fabulous week!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Coffee Sleeves

Are you a coffee addict? I'm not but my husband is! Our tastes are totally different ... his being strong coffee such as double shot short black, mine being a nice creamy, frothy latte.

So occasionally during the working day I head to the cafe for a takeout latte, to bring back to the office. My co-workers were in hysterics one day when I arrived with my little latte and somehow managed to throw it all over the desk before I'd had my first sip! I wasn't happy. Part of the problem was in my haste to put the hot cup down, I misjudged the desktop and it slipped out of my hands.

Recently I've started using coffee cozies (or sleeves) when purchasing my latte. It makes carrying the coffee so much easier ... no more burnt hands and a cozy provides more grip to stop slippage. Below are some of my cozy creations:

This last cozy has been teamed up with a little gift bag .... imagine filling the bag with a small amount of yummy, aromatic coffee beans! Together they would make a lovely gift.

All of the above can be found in my Etsy shop, and feel free to convo me if there is one you'd like in a different colour.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Handknit Womens Merino Fingerless Mittens

I fell in love with this yarn as soon as I saw it in the shop! My favourite colour combination ... blue and brown.

These beautiful fingerless mittens have been knitted with 100% merino wool. Soft, warm and lovely to wear, they will fit any womens size hands.

Perfect to keep your fingers warm while your hands are busy, and great for autumn or winter.

These are ready to be shipped, and come complete with Care Instructions. Head on over and take a look here!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Yummy Yarn

There was a Yarn sale at our local craft store yesterday, and although my stash is quite large at the moment I couldn't help myself .... luckily for me, there were lots of other wool-lovers searching in the same small space I was. Even so, I managed to fill the little shopping basket with a lovely variety of wool.

My husband was quite shocked when I returned to the car and proudly announced I'd managed to stay $20 under my allocated budget for the day. His suggestion was that I go back for more ... but all I wanted was to return home and start knitting. In fact, I've already started ....

So keep an eye out in our shops in about a week or so, as I'm sure there will be some new creations for you to check out!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Christmas in July Sale

We are having a Christmas in July sale over the month of July in both our Zibbet and Etsy shops.

All items reduced by 20%, and the sale ends on July 31st.

Head on over for a visit ... and don't forget to visit other CIJ shops too. You may just pickup the perfect bargain!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Simple Hat

These are my favourite hats to create. Created on a circular knitting loom, they are incredibly easy to make and take no time at all.

This one was made for a friend of mine, who recently lost all her hair due to illness:

She loves the hat - it keeps her head and ears warm, but with the loose weave doesn't find it too bulky and hot. I love the colours!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Discovered: Feltgood

Recently I've discovered some wonderful New Zealand crafters, and thought it would be fun over the next few posts to share some of them with you. So today I'd like to introduce you to Jessica of Feltgood.
Please tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Jessica Molony and I am the one responsible for 'Feltgood'! Feltgood is a new craft venture - specialising in quirky wheat bags and any other handmade goodies that take my fancy.

After I finished my schooling, I did what most people do and headed off to uni and completed a BCom in Marketing/Management. Although I enjoyed my uni experience I needed a creative outlet so enrolled in a Diploma of Interior Design and Decor at the Design & Arts College in Christchurch - which in August I will be completing!

Feltgood is my own personal 'project' and it has been a great thing to work on while getting through these Christchurch aftershocks. My partner and I lost our flat in February's shakes, so we have both moved in with my parents - so crafting has been a great and relaxing hobby.

What/who inspires you in your creative process?
I find most of my inspiration from design and interior magazines (Urbis, Inside Out, Frankie, Houses) and of course - the internet (flickr, pininterest, tumblr)! I have recently started a part-time job in a local fabric store, so have spent hours trailing the internet for new fabrics - I find it is not hard to be inspired and find something to create when you have beautiful fabrics.

What is your favourite thing to make / sell?
At this stage - it would have to be wheat bags! I have also recently been experimenting with fabric design for college, so looking at designing and making cushions, tea towels and some upholstery.

What is your favourite item currently in your shop?
At this stage, it would have to be 'Ruby the Rabbit' - the perfect sized wheat bag! With more fabrics arriving - my rabbits have been reproducing, so keep an eye on my store - for more wheat bags.

What are your hobbies outside of crafting?
Coming towards the end of my course - any time not spent crafting is mainly being spent on coursework. At the moment I am working towards my portfolio and exhibition boards, so I do enjoy working on plans, renders and finding new and inspiring products!

When I am not crafting or working, I enjoy heading out with friends, music and putting myself out there in new situations.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Coming towards the end of the course, and with nothing tying us down in Christchurch - my partner and I are currently looking at where to spread our wings to.
I love Melbourne, so will not be surprised if we end up there.... but I would love to head to Denmark, Norway and Sweden - anywhere with strong Scandinavian design influences!

Feltgood's Links:

Jessica has also mentioned that Feltgood will be at a Winter Encraftment Market at Village Maria College Hall in Christchurch from 10am to 3pm, on Saturday 2nd July. So if you are in the area, head on over and say hi; I know she'd love to meet you!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What's my Favourite Colour?

I know BLUE is my favourite colour, but really! Look what I noticed today:

LOL ... same style but different shades of blue ... how cute is that?!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ear Warmers

Just completed: Ear Warmers / Head Scarves ... all ready for the southern hemisphere winter!

This first one is knitted in a wool /alpaca blend, and has a pretty patterned band through the middle. The wool is flecked with various colours throughout.

The second was knitted in a wool / mohair mix, and is completed with a decorative button. Soft and colourful with a touch of 50's glam!

These are available now in our Etsy store, and don't forget we can custom make if you'd prefer a different colour.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Blanket Brooch

I recently entered a Giveway on the New Zealand Handmade blog site, and won this gorgeous blanket brooch. It arrived in the post a couple of days ago, and I wanted to show you have cute it is:

The brooch was created by an amazing New Zealand artist by the name of Marian Smale. You can find her work on Facebook ... so click on her name above to head on over and pay her a visit.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Just Completed

Today has been a productive day here at Maxies Knitwear! Max herself has spent most of the day sleeping on the couch and I've been busy finishing off a few projects, while my husband decided to try his hand at making pumpkin soup .... and it was delicious. I think he should spend more time in the kitchen!
It's late afternoon here now and I'm losing good light for photography. But I am so excited to share my day's work with you, so I've quickly taken some photo's.

Unisex Scarf - my husband decided he liked this scarf as soon as I started knitting it. It's a lovely soft mixture of acrylic and cotton, and is chunky. Personally I love it too!

I've also been playing around with knitted bags, and have created these two drawstring bags:

I couldn't resist adding the decorative buttons. Once I've played around with better photos, all of the above will be available in both my shops.

In the meantime any comments would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Discovered: Kasha Runner Krafts

I'm a huge fan of handmade cards, and recently I came across this gorgeous shop on Etsy - Kasha Runner Krafts. I quickly fell in love with the lovely designs, and wanted to share a little about Kathy and her designs with you.

  • Please tell us a little about yourself
    About me: optimistic. coffee lover, cookie baker. architect, explorer. ice cream enthusiast. sunshine spreader. solution designer. triathlete wanna-be. 'krafter'. Child of God trying hard to be a Proverbs 31 wife! I live in Kansas City, Missouri, USA with my husband, Jason, 1 chocolate lab named Blue & 2 cats. (Booger & Snot - yea - don't ask).

    Together, Jason & I own and operate our little business, Wisdom 4 Life Coaching, where we help people be good stewards of their resources. We design solutions for our clients through financial, career, life and small business coaching. It is our belief that once people get their finances under control, they can have clarity to achieve what God is calling them to do.

    Kasha Runner Krafts is my etsy shop. It was born out of the desire to have a creative outlet. My family & friends only have so many, well only one birthday a year and I needed more "kraft" than that. Kasha is polish for Kathy and Runner is... well I Run (or try to - smile). Paper is my medium of choice, but I have been known to make fleece blankets, burp cloths, cakes, pottery, drawings, gift baskets and the list goes on....

      • Who/what inspires you in your creative process? I am not sure. It just comes - cliche I know. Sometimes it is the paper, or a theme or a season or a holiday. Sometimes it is the customer who gives you the "criteria". Sometimes it is something visual that caught your eye. Sometimes its nice to just start and see where it goes!

        • What is your favourite think to make / sell? My favorite thing??? That which isn't yet created! *smile* I really do like working on custom items for people. They give me the ideas and then I get to translate their ideas into unique pieces created just for them. I also really like making cards. Handmade cards are all but forgotten and everyone loves to get them in the mail. Besides, I get to feel success every time I complete one - since it is a short project!

        • What's your personal favourite item (that's currently in your shop)? Personally I like the Valentines Day banner (I know, the day has past) but it was a fun project. Because of it, I just created a custom 'congratulations' banner for a customer who liked that one but was throwing a bridal shower for a friend.

        • What are your hobbies outside of crafting? Let's see... I am an avid 'couponer' and enjoy saving BIG at the store as well as teaching others how to save money through using coupons. ( I am a runner/triathlete in training - I have an upcoming half marathon in June and a triathlon in the fall. I am an artist and enjoy doing street painting (chalk drawings) at the annual festivals here in KC. That should keep me busy enough - smile.

          • If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? I would go everywhere! From safari in Africa to a cruise through the Greek Isles. From running on the Great Wall to learning to tango in Buenas Aries. The best form of learning comes from experience! The best learning also comes from helping others! So I would love to go on outreach trips to help others, build a community building or church, reach people after a devastation or just laugh and have fun with "forgotten kids".

          • I know you'll love the gorgeous creations at Kasha Runner Krafts, so head on over and visit Kathy's shop on Etsy ... and if you get a chance, leave her a message saying 'hello'!

          Thursday, March 31, 2011

          5 Day Winter Sale ...

          Winter sale - 25% off selected Scarves in my Zibbet shop.

          This sale is for 5 days only, starting April 1st & ending April 5th. Don't miss out the fun, and don't forget to let all your friends know!

          Monday, March 28, 2011

          Latest Creations ...

          It's been a little bit cooler here in Auckland over the past week or so; in fact it rained most of this weekend. Which isn't really surprising since we are now truly into autumn and the warmer days of summer are disappearing. But a wet, cooler weekend, is perfect for a knitter like me! It enabled me to complete some projects that have been sitting in the 'almost ready' bin. These are creations that I've knitted but not quite completed ... until now.

          For those of you heading into winter, this chunky knit cowl is perfect for warmth. The cowl can be worn in different ways, as it comes with a separate cord that can be tied on into any position. Alternatively, the cowl can be worn without the cord. Click on the photo to see the different ways as shown in my Etsy shop.

          The scarf above I've created for those of you heading out of winter. It was made purely for fun and is a one of a kind creation. There are 3 parts to the scarf: 2 i-cords knitted in wool, that surround 1 fingerknitted acrylic ribbon yarn. Yes that's correct; I finger-knitted the ribbon yarn.

          The 3 cords are held together by a woollen pompom at each end, and a knot strategically placed on either side of the scarf. Again, this scarf can be worn however you like ... tied together as in the photo, slung over your shoulder, or wrapped around your neck. Click on the photo to see variations in my Zibbet shop.

          And in case you are wondering, these new creations are available in both my Etsy & Zibbet shops.

          Monday, March 21, 2011

          Favourites: Baby Gear

          This week I'd like to share with you some of my favourite knitted Baby Gear Below are some beautifully created knit items for babies that can be found on Zibbet ....

          To start are these adorable Hats made by Grandmother's House:

          Next we have a beautiful dress knitted by BroodBaby:

          And the essential for every baby - a blanket!  This one has been beautifully made by Bambino Knits:

          What beautiful gifts these would make for any new mum!  Click on the link above to head on over  and see what other gorgeous creations you'll find by these amazing artists.  Have fun browsing :-)