Sadie Hawker is the talented designer and maker behind jewellery line, Shh by Sadie. Based in Wellington, her current work is based around bright, tropical colours. She took the time to tell me a bit more about her creative process and how Shh by Sadie came to be.
When did you first start making your jewellery?
I began making jewellery just under two years ago as a hobby I learned through blogging and craft swaps. It didn’t take me long to become addicted and shortly after I began selling through Etsy and local markets.
You have such an interesting name, where does it come from?
Shh by Sadie was actually my boyfriend’s idea, years before I ever made my first bracelet. Shh is a play on my initials “S H” and Sadie Hawker handmade. Back home in Wales I used to enjoy sewing felt brooches, and once a lady in a shop encouraged me to start selling them, so my boyfriend came up with a name, and I set up an Etsy shop. As it happened we moved to New Zealand very soon afterwards and so I didn’t actually use the Etsy shop until I began making jewellery here in Wellington.
Each collection has a different feel to the last, what inspires you and how do you decide your direction for each collection?
To date my inspiration is a combination of the materials I have hunted down from around the globe, and what new skills I’ve recently learnt, or want to learn. For example, the current collection centres around the Aztec bead looming I recently learned, agate slices I bought at a market in Hong Kong, wooden parrot beads I had custom made in India, and of course vintage chains, beads and charms my dad (very kindly!) collects for me in the UK.
The previous collection Treasure Huntress focused on these amazing crystal quartz pieces I very excitedly discovered in a bead shop in New York (I can’t remember how many family members I showed them to in excitement at Christmas last year!) and other golden trinkets ad treasures I’d collected along the way.
How has your work evolved from when you began creating?
I work full time in communications and so my bead work takes place in the evenings or weekends. When I first began Shh by Sadie I used to attend regular markets in Wellington, which I really enjoyed. It was great to hear feedback, gain insight into which pieces were popular – and of course meet customers personally (and do a spot of shopping at the same time!). Recently I haven’t had much time for markets but I’m hoping to attend a few this year.
Describe your studio space where you work:
My work space is in my home on Oriental Bay in Wellington. I make all the pieces at the kitchen table, or occasionally on an airplane (26 hour flights are perfect for bead looming, though you do lose the odd bead!). I have boxes and boxes of beads and chains but can’t help buying more. It does cause the odd complaint from my boyfriend!
Where do you see Shh By Sadie moving in the future? Are there any big plans on the horizon? Goals you might have?
This year I’m considering reducing the hours of my “day job” so that I can spend more time on some of the ideas that come to me late at night. So fingers crossed for that!
All photographs courtesy of Sadie Hawker, all rights reserved.
Last year was a weird one. At the start of the year I thought I was in a really great place, I had a job that fit well around my life and it paid the bills. It wasn’t very exciting, but after a truly horrible 2012 (trumped only by an even worse 2011…) it was ok for me to be in a job that was just a job. About midway through last year, where I worked had a massive restructure, people were laid off, branches were closed and I was plonked into a role that while was ok it wasn’t great, but hey, it was a job and I know I was lucky to have one. It was around this time as well that I decided enough was enough with my relationship, and gave that a farewell, so being in this ok job was, well, ok.
It was about September when I had gotten my head back into a better place post break up and work restructure, no longer was I satisfied with an ok job, instead, I wanted to be inspired again and love heading to work each day in a job I really enjoyed, that would take me places. I didn’t want just a job, I wanted to get back on track with my career. I discussed this with my current boss the potential to progress and some ideas I had (which went down like a lead balloon) so knowing there was zilch opportunity where I was, I started to look for something that would fit the bill.
Once I got back out there meeting with recruiters and potential new employers it was eye opening; I had skills people wanted, experience that was literally being cried out for and suddenly a whole new pool of opportunity was in front of me, very different to when I had looked in 2012, but I think that was a reflection on how I was feeling at the time. When it came time to choosing between a couple of offers I had on the table, I am so, so pleased that I went with the one I chose! I now work with a great team of people; they ask for my opinions, they want to draw from the skills that I have and actually get the things that I do and why I do them. I now work with like-minded people and can see opportunity in front of me to grow and develop, and where I am encouraged to do so — and it’s f%#ing awesome.
So, what am I doing now? I’m working for an agency called Fuse that specialises in activations, public relations and social media, they are part of OMD which is part of the global Omnicom Media Group. I am an Account Manager, working on the social media team for some of New Zealands biggest and most recognisable brands. And I couldn’t be happier!
I know it sounds like a total sop, and I don’t even care! Bring on 2014, this year is going to be amazing.
Image: Having breakfast with one of my colleagues (Steph from @BeautyLustNZ) on the roof top balcony at our office, such an amazing way to start the day!
These are arguably the best chocolate chip muffins I have ever made and possibly actually tasted in the known universe. Plus, they are super easy to make. Yes, yes, you can have it all.
I originally found this recipe here and have adapted below for my own tastes. Mainly I have cut down on the sugar, it was insane and they taste just the same. Also, these are dairy free!! Yay! Substitute the milk for soy and if you’re like me and buy the cheap chocolate chips, they are dairy free too, winning! You could swap out the flour for Gluten Free baking mix too. The secret to these is totally the way the eggs are whisked with the sugar, it makes them do something amazing.
Crunchy Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1t baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup of caster sugar
1/3 cup of oil
1/3 cup of milk
1/2 cup of chocolate chips
Raw sugar for sprinkling on the top
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºc (about 150ºc in a fan forced oven) and get your muffin tray ready, line with 8 cases (recipe calls for 6 but it totally makes 8).
- Sift together your flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
- In another bowl, measure out your sugar and add the egg. Whisk with an electric beater until it becomes pale (referred to as the ‘ribbon stage’ when you lift out your beaters). Add the oil and milk, mixing well to combine.
- Scrape your mixture into the bowl with the flour and mix gently until just combined, add the chocolate chips carefully. Your batter will be quite thick.
- Fill your muffin liners so they are above the tops, in a dome shape. Don’t panic, it’ll be sweet. Sprinkle the tops with your raw sugar (dooooo it).
- Pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes until they are golden on top and a knife comes out clean when you stab them. Leave them to cool in the pan for 10 mins to keep them moist, then pop on a cooling rack.
Please, try not to burn your mouth when you are eating these bad boys fresh, ok? Store them in an airtight container and the next day when you tuck into one, nuke it in the microwave for 15 seconds to fool yourself into thinking they are fresh out of the oven….
Matchbox Boutique is such a happy find! They are a gallery/shop/studio based in Wellington, New Zealand. They stock a varied range of goodies from local and international makers in their online store and I love that they support artists with the gallery space as well! I spent some time (alright, lots of time, there is so much great stuff!) browsing all the eye-candy and have chosen just a few of my favourites…
1. Macrame Plant hanger $65 2. Fox Salt & Pepper Shakers $36 3. Lama Del Rey A4 print $49 4. Little Bear print $48 5. Cat-Woman Socks $12 6. Temporary Tattoos (3 pack) $14 7. Four Eyes Street Style book $84 8. Sleepy Head Pillow Case $35 9. Amethyst Dipped Crystal Necklace $48 10. Love & Arrows Wooden Wall Flag $46
They are based at 166 Cuba Street in Wellington, or you can shop online here.
This is a sponsored post, for more information on sponsoring Foxes Blog, see my About page.
With some impending career changes this year in 2014 (more on that next week!) I needed to purchase a new bag for work. As most of you know, finding the right bag can be almost impossible.
I was searching for months until I found just the right one! There was some tough criteria; it had to be big enough for my lunch box, close properly, be black (of course), have enough pockets inside so things don’t get lost but not too many that you are searching through all the pockets to find your ringing phone. It had to be leather and be able to be a cross body bag as I’ll be getting the bus and will need my hands free. It needed to fit my sunglasses and glasses cases and it also had to be a reasonable price. Something, which my tastes don’t usually allow (damn it) but I love a good buy and I would not rest until my quest was completed!
Here are some of the shortlisted gems I found…
1. Kardashian Kollection studded bag with tassels (on sale to $49.95, I’m tempted) 2. Twiggy Bag from B-Low the Belt, love the fringe on this one! 3. 3.1 Phillip Lim bag in Ink because we can all dream, right? 4. Leather Bag from COS, it’s sold out but there is plenty of other eye candy here 5. Gig Hincy bag from Marc by Marc Jacobs sweet baby Jesus I want this so badly 6. Kamala leather bag by Isabella Anselmi (this was actually the bag that I ended up buying!) 7. Durango Tote from Anthropologie 8. Naomi Purse from Necessary Clothing
What kind of criteria do you have when looking for a new everyday bag?
Happy weekend good folks, something a little different for you this post.
Hooray! We’re working through our new house and I’m getting to show you a little more. As you know from our lounge, our new home is very small (45 square metres which is about 484 square feet!!) and decorating it has been such a fun challenge. I’m a veteran renter and I like to think I’ve picked up a few skills over the years.
The best part about our house is that it was a total blank canvas; the walls are white, the floors are wood and we have great, big windows with plenty of natural light. Having a small house definitely keeps you tidy; shoes go away into bedrooms, bags are hung in the hallway and shelves/hooks inside cupboard doors are a total god-send.
Here’s what I have done with the kitchen…
Plants (inedible ones) in kitchens are great, but they often take up a lot of flat space that could be used for other things. I love my Boskke hanging planters! Window sills are reserved for herbs (such as my coriander) and a selection of tiny succulents.
The dining table and butchers block helps increase bench space when serving food and cooking. The often shelving keeps things light and airy and creates an interesting display while being practical. I love my butchers block, it’s so useful for hanging shopping bags and tucking things out-of-the-way, creating extra storage. I bought it from K-Mart about 6 years ago for $80. Bargain.
Invest in a stylish and practical dish rack, you have to look at it each day! You would be amazed at how much I can stack on this. I bought mine from Simple Human a few years ago and while it was expensive, I am so thankful each time I use it.
More space has been gained by creating a hanging pot rack (DIY here) above the oven. Accessories I have bought in either wood/bamboo or white, keeping colours simple means everything look as though it belongs and doesn’t make it feel small or cramped. You can bring in bright colours with tea towels and rugs to make it feel more vibrant.
I love art in the kitchen! Misery original indian ink sketch purchased from Sideroom Gallery in 2008, Sarah McNeil prints and an Auckland bus-blind block mount.
MY TOP TIPS FOR SMALL KITCHENLIVING
- Keep colours simple and clean, neutrals make a space feel larger.
- Everything has a place and everything in it’s place.
- Hang cork notice-boards and hooks for totes inside your pantry door, this keeps clutter out of the way and frees up shelf space.
- If essential items are unavoidably on display (washing baskets, cleaning products, crockery) choose items that match your colour scheme and you won’t mind looking at.
- Try and keep surface area clean and clear, you’ll be less inclined to get frustrated and yell that you’re feeling suffocated in your own home.
- If you have a microwave but don’t use it often, tuck it out of the way on a shelf or in a cupboard. I put mine above my laundry area, reclaiming the bench space it would have taken up.
1. Planters for the kitchen window sill 2. ‘In The Winter It Is Impossible To Survive Without a Fire’ print by Sarah McNeil 3. Boskke hanging planter (exact match!) 4. Super Duper tea towel from Flora Waycott 5. Plastic-Bag Holder from Ragdoll Illustrations (exact match!) 6. Replica Eames bucket chair from Nood 7. Every kitchen plant needs some dinosaur friends 8. Kitchen Trolley from Freedom Furniture 9. Dishrack from Simple Human 10. Albion Mat from Freedom Furniture (exact rug!) 11. Lace Heart ceramic fridge magnets from Borrowed Earth 12. Bamboo chopping board from Briscoes 13. Bambus glass canister from Freedom Furniture (close match!)
Karla Jane is a talented tattoo artist based at The Genuine Hustle Tattoo Shop in Takapuna, Auckland where she works with her partner, Corey; she also runs Kraftbomb in Grey Lynn where she sells plushies and animal topped savings jars. She is also my super rad friend and the only person I trust enough to tattoo me.
When did you begin working as a tattoo artist and why?
I started tattooing in 2003. I had been a body piercer for roughly 6 years before that, so I was already part of “the industry” however I have been an artist since I can remember, it’s all I’ve ever known or cared about really. It was a very natural progression for me to start tattooing. I knew as soon as I started piercing that I wanted to tattoo but it was not something I took lightly at all.
What inspires you with your work?
Hmmmmm… good question….. my style and influence are constantly changing. I get inspiration from other tattoo artists but also nature, the universe. I do a lot of sacred geometry and dot-work which I find really organic and primal. It’s like something that is ingrained into our genetic coding or something, it just feels right, so I do it.
I get asked occasionally what I am currently using and what my favourite products are, so I thought I would do a little ‘snap shot’ of some of my favourite things right now. Almost all of these things I use every day, or close to it! I don’t wrinkle my nose at cheaper products; if they do what they say they do or give you the result that you want, who cares how little it cost! I think that’s just a clever use of your hard earned pennies. Of course, it’s nice to have a treat and a little splurge occasionally…
- Wella Luxe Oil: I’ve had this for 8 months now and use it each and every time I wash my hair! It lasts forever and leaves it soft and smells delicious.
- MAC prep & prime: I’m sure there are cheaper products that do the same thing, this was a gift and an essential when creating a full make up look.
- LILY by Stella McCartney: one of my new everyday scents, along with my Chanel Mademoiselle, they sit together nicely if I accidentally mix them!
- Wild Rose hand cream from The Body Shop: I love how this smells and leaves my hands so soft, I have multiple tubes of this stuff.
- MIKI nail polish: this stuff is great, I really rate it. Goes on well, lasts for ages and is 2 for $5 at department stores. Stock up.
- Perfume Atomiser: a great way to carry around my favourite perfume without having to buy travel sized bottles
- Revlon Matte blush in Rose: my perfect, everyday blush shade
- Maybelline Eye Studio gel liner in Blackest Black
- Smashbox Halo Highlighter in Pearl: life changing product in a tube.
- Proactiv Blemish Control Stick: My secret weapon!
- MAC Matt Lipstick on Please Me: my everyday favourite
- Revlon Colourburst Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie: such a great colour!
- Smashbox Megatint in Cerise: lasts forever on my lips and doesn’t dry out
Do you have any tips on great products that don’t cost the earth?
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
I actually read this while I was away in Fiji (yes, yes, that was October) and it was such a good read. Set in 1960′s small town, America in the deep south around the time of the Civil Rights Movement. It’s set around the life of a girl, Lily who grew up on a poor farm and lost her Mother as a toddler in an accident, her Father isn’t exactly the maternal type and she runs away with the black housekeeper to see if she can find out more about her Mother; all she has to go by is a label from a honey jar, picturing the Black Madonna.
There are many themes in this book, but the main story is based around mother/daughter relationships. I really enjoyed it and liked the way it was written, definitely an easy read for when you feel like something a little different.