Monday, June 3, 2013

Attending: Handmade Conference 2013

Well - what a weekend.  

It's Queen Birthday weekend and I've been attending and speaking at the Handmade Conference in Wellington.  What a creative and inspirational bunch of people you are!


I was asked back for the second year to take a Masterclass on Interior Design with an strong focus on the Handmade side to designing.  I said yes immediately.  Any chance I can share my love of colour and design will always get my vote.

Last year I took a more general approach to Interior design with lots of theory on the handmade side.  This year I decided to change it up and dedicate half the talk to designing for your home and the other half demonstrating DIY projects you can make for your home - 12 no less!

My DIY doormats
I was really happy with the talk and it was made all the better by having such an enthusiastic audience.  I was blown away the large amount of you who came up to say hi (love that) and those who contacted me via email.  A memorable moment was a lady who came up to me at the Meet the Maker event and told me that I was not her style at all and that I designed with too much 'stuff' and colours were not her at all, BUT she managed to take one or two good points away.... PHEW!

The audience was filled with new faces but also had a few familiar ones which was lovely.  I got to meet Amanda Holland, who had lent me some amazing and colourful props for my 'virtual room'.  She is a bit of a design icon for me, she has been a long time advocate for colour and great design with her stunning shop - Small Acorns.  An institution for design brands Designers Guild, Orla Kiely, Rachel Castle and many more.  It was a little daunting having such a design doyenne seated in front of you! Thank you Amanda for lending me your goodies and for the fantastic feedback.

Rachel Castle products - all available at Small Acorns Store

Also in the crowd were some local Wellington designers - Meg McMillian from Teapea and Jane Denton from Jane Denton Textile  + Art Design.  It's always lovely to spend time and talk 'design' with these clever cookies.  I got to spend some extra time with Meg and I was very excited to hear about some new and exciting projects she will be involved in the near future.  

Speedy Meg in her beautiful store - Teapea.  Online also

One of Jane Denton's Artworks

Meg and I also managed to squeeze in a spot of shopping between lectures and we both fell in love with a faux tiger skin rug from Cosmic in Cube St Mall.  $65 bucks my friends!  Bargain.  I will take a photo of it in situ - I'm thinking Jungle Room of course.  They also had life size Tiger heads, which again was purchased and will be added to the existing collection.  More is more, remember.

I also got to be part of the Handmade Hurrah, which is when they make up a panel of 4 speakers to shoot the breeze in front of a Handmade attendees crowd.  I did it last year and it was super fun - this year was even better.  The speakers this year included my old panel partner Ruth Pretty (Rock-star Chef), as well as Rosemary McLeod (Literary legend) and Sally-Ann Moffat (Fashionista).  It was a good mixture of tips, humour and general chit-chat.  I loved that the audience got to interact with us too with multiple amounts of subject matter, which included Feature Walls, Leggings, Pussy Bows, Night school and eyebrows!  There was even an impromptu lesson in posing for a camera.  Oh yes - it was all going on!

This year I also got to attend a few of the Masterclasses and hear the other speaker impart a wealth of knowledge and experience.  Favourites included Tamsin Cooper (what a wee gem she is) and Rosemary McLeod.  Next year I hope to attend a few of the workshops as well - the number of classes you can take are mind-blowing and getting to meet and speak with some of the teachers was very inspirational.  

Jane Wrigglesworth - Multi talented editor, writer, gardener and crafter
Fiona Frew - Handmade Paper Flowers
Sarah Wirth - Art and textiles teacher, Screen Printer, Kimono maker
Lucy Arnold - Owner of Felt
Melissa Wastney - Writer of the Tiny Happy Blog and crafter
Mandi Lynn - Photographer
Heleen Webb - Crafter and owner of Ruby in the Dust

Marimekko Fabric - SIIRTOLAPUUTARHA

Also some references from my talk that people have been asking about:
Marimekko - Surrur Book
Marimekko Fabric online - Textile Arts
Beci Orphin - Find and Keep Book
Megan Morton - Things I love Book
Ilse Crawford - Home is where the heart is Book

If any one needs clarification on anything I spoke about please get in touch!  
alex@alexfultondesign.co.nz

Beci Orpin's Confetti Wall

I wanted to say a huge thank you to the busy bee's from the Avenues Event Team - what an amazing, well organised and extremely informative weekend.  I do hope I will be there next year to see it grow even more that it did this year.  See you all then...

17 comments:

  1. wow Alex it looks like an incredible weekend - much more inspiring than I thought - what an amazing line up of speakers

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    1. Yes Miriam - it is amazing and I was blown away with the clever teachers and classes. You shoul dthink about submitting a class for sure!

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  2. Sounds amazing alright! I must try and make it next year. I'm heading down to Wellington in a few months, and can't wait to be back in my old stomping ground, hitting all those great shops. x

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    1. Yes the shops were fab - I didn't get much free time to go and look to hard. It was a fantatsic weekend and see you next year (hopefully sooner - I need to get to HB!)

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  3. Sounds v cool. Going to have to check it out next year. Was going to say assuming you will be there but theyd be absolutely mad not to have you so youll def be there!!

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    1. Thansk Tanz! Yes I hope they will have me back - love it!

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  4. I'm sooo going to come see you at this next year Lexi! Was up in Auckland for Tori Smith's 40th this weekend. A few familiar faces to be seen there.... Janey W x

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    1. I bet! Yes come and see me. 'Bout time we had a good ol' catch up Janey x

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  5. Alex, I feel like such a groupy but I think your talk was freaking awesome. Quite a few things you said in the session struck a chord with me. I went home and added some pops of colour with accessories and need to find a weekend to paint a wall in our lounge red!! Thanks for giving me the push I needed. Loved the 12 items you demonstrated too. I sent you an email about the spraying and prep work needed for furniture items. BTW I am off to a workshop that Amanda is holding tomorrow night for more inspiration. I have a better idea of what my formula is too after your session.

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    1. Go you! My number one star pupil! Love it.

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  6. Nice to meet you too Alex! I am also so inspired after this weekend; am planning on dusting off the sewing machine tomorrow to make some things just for me :)

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    1. Lovely to meet you Heleen - next time I will try and get to your classes!!

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  7. I had never heard of this weekend until I started following you on FB + IG....eekk I sound like a groupie!! It was your lastest mag appearance where I found you + was nearly jumping out of my skin with excitment over your style + house!! Handmade sounds so inpsiring....I'm there next year already!! Now just a question... I have done a doormat like yours a while back with a chervon patteren. But I have one problem....its faded...gone!! I only used a spray can to do it with. Was that my down fall using just a spray? I would like my chervon mat back help plz??!!

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    1. Aww you are too sweet. I'm super happy that I made you feel that way! Top reaction!

      Ah yes the fading doormat! Yes mine have faded too so you can either re-apply the spray paint or use a paint. Foot traffic will always be the problem but you will get cheved again! Send me a photo - would love that.

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  8. I have a post of it on my blog.....(which I haven't updated for ages). You might have to go back a few dates to find it!! :)

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  9. Thanks Alex for a fab presentation - I am still buzzing two weeks later. Funny thing I'd just bought a 2 metre length of marimekko oilcoth in Melbourne to make some wall art and also some cheap embroidery hoops for wall art too - felt totally vindicated and excited! I love the energy you bring to your work and your advice to look at your house's personality. I think you give us all permission to be much more daring and to have fun. Go you!!!

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    1. WOW - fantatsic feedback Ceels! Go you back!! Love it.

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