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My very latest drawing, Mānuka, had its very first outing at Eat, Drink & Be Crafty 2017 yesterday. This drawing was inspired by my interest in Rongoā Māori (Traditional Māori healing), and will be the first in that series. 
​I drew the Mānuka from two samples snipped from one of our own trees, and used it as an exercise to time myself for future commissions – this was about 7 hours’ work, all up.
It’s really thrilling when people recognise the plant from my drawings – I was so pleased that several friends and customers knew exactly what they were seeing, even when the flowers weren’t to scale.
If you’re keen to buy my Mānuka designs, you can get them on Spoonflower as soon as I can approve my samples:
Or on RedBubble (plenty of products available in each design):
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​5 Seconds of Summer

Or ‘what I did in my holidays’

​It’s hardly been the summeriest of summers in Wellington, NZ, but we have still managed to be very productive, here at Copper Catkin HQ.
This last fortnight, George and I have spent every spare minute working on new designs, several batches of new jewellery, putting together a new stock management system, building new displays for the new Miss Match range, designing and printing new ‘matchbook’ packaging, designing and ordering our fancy new gazebo from Hercules Gazebos, uploading new products to our Etsy store, gradually making around 200 of our Spoonflower designs available to buy directly through Spoonflower, creating new designs for RedBubble, and coming up with lots of new product lines (watch this space) to incorporate even more of our creative ideas.
​​The hardest part, actually, has been choosing which of our many ideas to pursue first. What’s the opposite of a writer’s block? A writer’s flood? An overwhelm? Anyway, that’s what’s been happening in my brain over the last month. I still have a reserve of about 20 designs waiting to be given the time to emerge, and there’s so much other stuff I want to make, too… It’s wonderful 🙂
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Miss Match Display Units

​Hung up on you

Problem statement:
As a customer, I want to be able to pick things up and look at them without having to ask or open the packet – but I also want them to have cute packaging, that will protect them and make a nice gift. I want to be able to grab and go without waiting for packaging.

As the owner, I don’t want to spend hours untangling loose earrings; I want the majority of my stock to be packaged and ready to hang. I want packaging that won’t look foxed too quickly, and won’t be damaged if there’s a little drizzle.
We will offer three level of access to earrings!
Loose – we hang the earrings out where they can be handled and fondled easily.
Miss Match Matchbooks – no barrier between the customer and the earrings, but they can quickly be folded up and popped in a bag for purchase.
Packaged – we hang earrings (and pendants) on cards in cellophane packaging, so they are protected from the elements, and customers can just grab and go.
Initially, I wanted to incorporate LED peg fairy lights into my design – but as the pegs dwarf the matchbooks, we decided to use them to hang fat quarters as ‘bunting’ from the gazebo. Another unexpected side effect of the large pegs was that they squash the earring hooks and make the earrings sit weirdly – but my clever husband came up with an ingenious solution – a second line, complete with mini-pegs, behind the main line. So the matchbook hangs over the main line, and is held in place by the tiny peg behind it 🙂
And here’s a bit of a photo essay on how we made them.

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Miss Match

One of these things is not like the other one

One of my personal quirks has always been which things should be matchy-matchy (cutlery and other homewares – I hate when my knife and fork are from different sets), and which things should be more eclectic. There are still rules, though; I need a unifying theme – for example, when I wear mismatched shoes, they both have to be sneakers, and the socks need to be from the same set (so that the thickness and fit isn’t weirdly different).
Part of the joy of the hand-making process is all the little imperfections that result from human intervention. I have deliberately embraced the fact that the images in my earrings will never be perfectly aligned, and now I’m taking it to a new, conscious level with the ‘Miss Match’ by Copper Catkin series. 
Designing the logo was quite a process, but I always had a strong idea for the final product – a matchbook that could flip open. I liked the idea of a matchbook from the very start – as well as the pun, it’s a different way of selling earrings. I haven’t seen anything like it, and combined with our new display units, it made the packaging much more accessible for people to pick up than our previous earring display, which was popular, but a little intimidating. People need help to unhook earrings from it, and that takes away some of their agency – no one likes to ask for help to look at things while they’re still browsing. It works really well in combination with our new earring displays, though – we also have Greg, the original display unit, where people can unhook ready-packaged earrings and pendants, which completes the set. 
I mocked up the matchbooks as I saw them, and with the help of Cat from Byte Design, I sent them out to get printed (very reasonably) at Wakefields Digital
I spent several hours folding the packaging and punching earring holes, then hanging my brand new earrings, and adding them to my new stocklist.
Look how great they looked on the new displays! <3
And here are some fan photos from a happy customer: