Reusing, Recycling, Avoiding Waste

When I started minu, one of my aims was to be sustainable – in a economical and ecological sense. I always look at ways to improve the manufacture of my little toys. Since the wool stuffing did not turn out to be feasible, I turned to the common polyester stuffing. It is washable, keeps ‘in shape’, and is easy the get and use. However it is still quite expensive and not easy to recycle.

Reusing Fabric Scraps for Filling

Using your Leftovers

While cutting out parts for soft toys, a big heap of fabric scraps is left over. So rather than throwing these away (and adding to the mountains of waste), I cut the leftovers into really small pieces using a rotary cutter. These small pieces are mixed with the Polyfill and tada… Less new material, waste is recycled, money is saved!

The mixture has other advantages as well. The filling is stiffer, stays in better shape. A little weight is added as well so that the Bouses are even more cuddly and durable.

Mechanical Wind Up Bird

Found on youtube today:

I love this beautifully made mechanical wind up bird. It is German-made from the 1950s! It turns its head, flaps its wings, and moves it tail up and down.

MailMeArt Submission 2010

Yesterday night I finally started my MailMeArt submission. I still have to cut it to size, varnish, add stamps and air mail sticker and then it is ready to be sent to the UK.

Remember, The deadline for sending mail art 31st January 2010 (service date stamp – postmark).

Mail Me Art 2010

Miette is taking a nap to prepare herself for the long journey around the world. She is dreaming of being save with Father Bear. She feels protected warm and cosy.

Continue reading “MailMeArt Submission 2010”

New Minu Moo Minicards

My new minu Moo Minicards arrived today! I love the new boxes.

New Moo Minicards

For those of you not familiar with moo: Moo Minicards are a excellent alternative to standard business cards. The whole transaction is done online via and The cards come in 100 cards per pack and you can choose as many images for the front as you like, as well as adding text and logo to the back.

For us crafter in New Zealand: Use the, even though the prices are in British Pounds, the shipping costs from the US ( are ridiculous. Sign up for the moo newsletter, they sent out free shipping vouchers on a regular basis!

New Moo Minicards

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!

Merry christmas to you all. Inspired by the latest issue of World Sweet Word this is my list of  things to do this xmas ‘sustainable’ and at (almost) no cost…

  • video skype with family in Germany
  • catching up with the big pile of unanswered email from friends and family
  • seeing friends for xmas dinner
  • having a nice walk on the beach
  • giving the garden a bit of love
  • reading a book (The amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michale Chabon)
  • actually finding the time to listen what others have to say
  • listening to music (e.g. free WSW Summer mixed tape)
  • pondering xmases of the past, present and future
  • decelerating…

Enjoy the Summer break!

Thorndon Fair, December 6 2008

I had a very nice day at the Thorndon Fair on Sunday! Many thanks for all of you who came by! Lucky for the stall holders – and visitors – the rain just started when we packed up.

Thorndon Fair, Wellington Dec 6

Challenged by only one meter stall length, I decided to display my goodies vertically, using a table easel, a picture frame, a chalk board and a mdf board – all pre-used or from the second hand shop ^_^ . My prints are secured to the boards with black rubber bands so that the wind can’t blow them away! The rubber bands are very nice to display the stuffed prints, wooden boards and price tags as well, so I might use this set up for other stalls as well. Everything was secured to the table with strings and was withstanding the typical Wellingtonian wind gusts.

The only set back is that I had to stand around in front or on the side of the stall – or hide behind it – which was a bit odd…

How To: Drypoint on Perspex (Plexi-glass)

There a million different approaches to drypoint printmaking. This post describes one approach. There are different schools and different characters. Rumour has it that you can’t print with water based colours and a book press. Actually I can ^_^…

This post was first published on The Lighthouse Kepper’s Cat (my general musings) on January 15th, 2009.

Background: Relief and intaglio printmaking

Traditional printmaking techniques like drypoint or etching enables an artist or print maker to print a certain amount of prints (edition) from a handmade plate. The plates are inked and the ink is transfered from either the surface (relief printmaking e.g. woodcut or linocut) or the incised lines (intaglio printmaking e.g. etching or drypoint) onto paper using a printing press.

In drypoint printmaking an image is incised into a plate with a hard-pointed “needle”. Traditionally the plate was copper, but today plexi-glass is commonly used.

#8 Ink Setup

Advantages of using Perspex or Plexiglas

  • The Material is cheaper than copper or zinc plates.
  • The plates are easily cut into the right size.
  • You can see your sketch through the plate.
  • You can see the inked areas through the plate.

Three Steps

Intaglio printmaking processes follows three steps.

  • #1 ‘Transferring’ the artwork onto the plate
  • #2 Inking and wiping
  • #3 Printing the artwork onto paper

Materials needed

For step#1 Transferring…

  • Your Sketch 🙂
  • 2mm clear Perspex or Plexiglas
  • Ruler and cutting knife
  • Sandpaper or a file
  • Marker (fine line)
  • Etching needle

Continue reading “How To: Drypoint on Perspex (Plexi-glass)”

Woven Tales Exhibition Now Open

After five very exciting – and frantic weeks – we finally made it!
Woven Tales of Ink, Silver and Silk is now open to the public.

Woven Tales, minu wall 01

I will be at the Thistle Hall Gallery today Wednesday November 19 from 10:00am to 2:30pm and on Sunday Novemeber 22 from 10:00am to 7:00pm. Come over and say Hello!

More images are on Flickr. 

Special December Xmas Craft 2.0


Minu will be part of the Special Xmas Craft 2.0.
Forget the ho-hum of Christmas shopping and spend an evening at a craft show like no other.
Put a little holiday cheer in your life as you browse through the best handmade gifts and indie wares,
from handbags and clothing to jewelery and essential holiday accessories to home decor and cards.
Part of Late Lounge featuring Spartacus R.

When: Thursday December 3rd from 6pm until 9pm
Where: TheNewDowse, 45 Laings Road, Lower Hutt
Admission: Free!

Woven Tales of Ink, Silver and Silk


Minu joins 3 other Wellington artist for a group exhibition at Thistle Hall Gallery, Wellington, Upper Cuba, 17 – 22 November 2009!

You are warmly invited to attend the opening on Tuesday 17th November 5:30 pm

Drinks and nibbles provided.

Opening hours
Tuesday to Sunday
10.00 am – 7:00 pm

Venture into a tale of fantasy;
Where mysteries unfold,
Illusions take hold,
Explore hidden meanings, trapped beauty,
In the depths of Escape…

Otherworldly illustration, illusionary photography, fairytale fashion and whimsical jewellery meet in a dynamic exhibition. Escapism, fantasy and an inclination towards teleportation coexist in Woven tales of Ink, Silver and Silk – an exciting showcase of new work by four Wellington-based artists: Minu, Mairi, Sarah Dalley, Sophie Lewis-Smith.

Bous, Plush in 4 Colours


The first plush from the awoke series is available online in 4 colours.
Bous is waiting for you to come with him to the Night Forest were you will meet strange creatures.

Bous are handmade from Polar fleece, the machine stitched faces are 100% wool felt, and the inside of the ears is a fluffy cotton.

Bouse are made in small series using different colours and are numbered.

Height: around 25.5 cm (10 inch)
Fabric: Polar fleece, wool felt, cotton
Filling: Polyfill

* shipping to Australia and New Zealand
** shipping world wide

Spring Craft2.0, Saturday October 24, 2009!


Craft2.0 is Wellington’s hottest and most fun fair devoted to all things arty and crafty. Minu joins the best in Wellington’s craft scene Saturday October 24, 2009, from 10:00am until 3:00pm, at TheNewDowse, 45 Laings, Road Lower Hutt.
Admission is free, doors open at 10:00am!

Do not forget to sign up for the e-newsletter, to receive you 20% voucher.

Hope to see you there!