Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmassy Stuff.

Image via the always wonderful Abby

Well, I don't have any great excuse for neglecting this poor old blog for so long. I mean, I do but none that I need to bore you all with. Lets just say that life has been life, bumpy and unexpected. There has been lots of things I've wanted to share with you but never the time to sit down and give it the time I would like.

Anyway, it's December. How even did that happen? I thought I better let you know the mailing dates for Christmas orders, if you're thinking of picking up a little something from either of our shops this year. I'm adding a whole bunch of new Watchful Eyes folks over the next couple of days, including our new Speculators series for all the sci-fi fans you might be buying for. Plus, I'm going to list a few one off jewellery pieces in our main store so that we can clear things out for the new collection that we're working on. There won't be anything over $25 in that range so hopefully there will be something for everyone! Please make sure you buy anything you might want in time for Christmas by the dates below. They are all in New Zealand time, by the way.

Christmas Mailing Dates
New Zealand - 18th December
Australia - 8th December
Rest of the world - 3rd December

I'll be back soon with something a little less shop-y, I promise. I hope you're all enjoying the start of December where you are. 


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bliss in a Teacup for Tiny Eyes: She's Here!

I am so excited to announce that the Bliss in a Teacup for Tiny Eyes doll is here and she is a beaut! I am completely thrilled at how she has turned out, it's even better than I imagined and the hand dyed fabric worked exactly as I'd hoped. You can see all the dolls over here on the Tiny Eyes Facebook page and be amazed by Dee's handiwork. Seriously, so so clever. I am blown away by the level of detail that both Dee has worked at, as well as the various designers who created little accessories to go with their dolls. I can't even imagine sewing the mini brooch or stuffed cat that Rhiannon and Emma made, glueing up mini records was about enough for my limited patience for fiddly things. It's hard to pick a favourite, but I have fallen pretty hard for Melissa's Kapa Haka girl.

The dolls are on display at Walton Street cafe in Te Awamutu today and tomorrow if you're in the area, or if not you can always follow along at Dee's Instagram feed - the displays are pretty great. If you'd like to get your hands on one of these beauties, they're going up for auction this Friday over here. Make sure you join the event to nab one!

Sunday, June 23, 2013


1. At the florists picking up a birthday bunch. 2. Ursula would be happy for Richard to work a nightshift forever if it meant someone was always in bed. 3. Peak Hour in Maraekakaho (har har). 4 & 5. When the lovely Morven from Antipodes saw on Instagram that I was taking part in a 10 day sugar cleanse, she offered to ship me a case of beautiful sparkling water. 6. Some custom bookmarks for favours and place settings at a fancy party (more on this to come!) 7. Babysitting. The sweetest. 8. New boots for winter, grey suede numbers that I have fallen in love with. 

A few recent iPhone snaps due to busyness and leaving my camera at a friends place for a couple of weeks. They're all taken with the VSCO Cam, an app I have been really loving using lately. The filters are really beautiful and the journal is full of inspiration and tutorials I'm super keen to try out. Happy Monday!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Winter Solstice

The weather here in New Zealand has left no doubts that we're deep in the middle of winter, as did how dark it was this morning when I drove to pick Richard up from his nightshift. For the non-local readers, half the country is covered in snow and the rest of us are battling insane winds or rain. Or both. I've moved my workstation to the dining table to be close to the fire and am planning an inside only weekend. Secretly a bit excited about it, to be honest.

Here's some bits + pieces to keep you warm and inspired over the weekend!

- Beet Bourguignon. I made this winter warmer a couple weeks ago with some garlic mashed potato and it was delicious! Next time I might add some mushroom ketchup or a bit of soy sauce to give it a bit more of a savoury flavour, but other than that it's perfect. Chargrilling the mushrooms before adding them to the stew is genius.

- When I saw a sneak peek on the Boots & Pine Facebook page of the Robber Spring/Summer lookbook I was so excited to see the finished product. What a dream team! It came out today and it did not disappoint. I love that they've used sets of real-life best friends, so many babes. Check it out here!

- Remember how I've been looking for the perfect knitted sweater? Well, Elizabeth at Primoeza creates the most beautiful knitted garments. I love following her Instagram, too. It's full of inspiring images and has a really calm, soothing vibe.

- The Hairpin has been really hitting out of the park lately (did you read the post on eating very specific feelings? So funny.) and these two posts were particularly good. Six Fairytales for the Modern Woman: These themes, numbers 1 & 2 in particular, came up a lot when I was teaching at high school. Lots of girls were amazed that I didn't have kids or that I had kept my last name or that I didn't think getting married was the most important life goal to have. What I tried to share with them, and what I love about this post, is that there is a range of different things you can do with your life. That being a decent, well-rounded and fulfilled person is what is important and that there are many, many ways of that happening without a prince. Secondly, an Interview with a Person Who's Mom Came Out of the Closet: The interviews are one of my favourite things on The Hairpin. I really enjoy the casual, conversational style that really emphasises the humanity of the interviewee and subject - and in this case the normalcy.

- 30 Days of Desserts. Need I say more? Also, lots of these are either sugar, dairy or gluten free, or a combination of all three so there is something for everyone. Bon appetit!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Living Doll

I'm running a little behind on my doll plans for the Tiny Eyes Winter Collaboration, mostly due to indecision and trying to edit down some of the many different ideas I've got mulling about. Even though I've been saying this same thing for a couple of days now, tonight I plan to sit down and do a final drawing out of my doll. I've got some fabric that needs dyeing and then it will be all bundled off to Dee - I can't wait to see her work her magic!

Once I moved past the theme of 'clothes I want' I decided to write down the things that motivate Richard and I as we design for Bliss in a Teacup, and how we want our work to be perceived. I found myself leaning towards natural materials, fibres and textiles. To tradition and handcraft that speaks of warmth and comfort. All with a modern simplicity. Of course there's a little hippiness, and a little witchy women in there, too. I've collected some of my favourite pieces of inspiration here to show you. Pop over to my board to see more!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

South Island No.2 | Malborough Sounds

As soon as we got into the sounds there was an air of calm. Everything was still and the sun broke out. We stayed out on deck and I wondered about the people who lived or holidayed in the little bach's dotted along the hillsides and islands. The sea is a deep jade here. Te Wai Pounamu looked glorious that day.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


We're well and truly into winter here and with temperatures dropping I've been on the hunt for the perfect woollen sweater. I've got a project on the needles (a big, squishy loop scarf in beautiful marled merino/alpaca) and am indulging in as much soup as I can (soup is my favourite, this is not a difficult task). My mile-a-minute brain is wont to get overwhelmed by ideas and plans at the best of times, but during winter when there's so much yarn about I can potentially spend more time looking at knitting patterns than actually working on them. This winter I've tried to narrow it down to my first pair of socks (which will be made in a lovely pale grey Knitsch yarn I picked up at Holland Road), a Petawawa Cable Toque from Goodnight, Day and a larger garment that I'm still deciding on. I have visions of a slouchy jumper or a loose and slightly cropped number to wear over dresses. Here's a bit of inspiration I've been pulling together over on Pinterest to keep you cozy. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

South Island No.1 | Cook Strait

One thing I was really sure of when we were planning our South Island trip was that we should go by car. I quite like driving, I like being able to stop in at a places that look interesting and because of the New Zealand landscape a huge part of the enjoyment of travelling here is what you see from the road, going from place to place. Also, going by car means we take the ferry to get to the island, which is one of my favourite things to do. Unfortunately this time around both Richard and I were feeling a little fragile until we made it out of the straight, but that just meant sitting out on deck and taking in the beauty, layers of blue and salt spray. It was a pretty grey, slightly stormy day, which made for the most incredible moody colours. I love the sun but boy do I love a misty landscape.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Bliss in a Teacup for Tiny Eyes.

I'm really excited to let you guys in on a fun collaboration I'm taking part in this winter with doll making smarty pants Dee from Tiny Eyes. I've been a fan of Dee's dolls for awhile now, especially the custom ones she made of Emma and Tom as part of a Valentines giveaway she did this year. Emma's pink stole kills me, as does her sweet hairdo.

Dee has asked a collection of talented New Zealand designers to design a their own Tiny Eyes doll based around their brand and aesthetic, that she'll then create and you'll be able to purchase in her store this August. I am so honoured to be included in this great round up of creative people and looking forward to the challenge of working on something that is really different for me. I'll admit that I am a bit nervous and slightly overwhelmed by the choice of potential fabrics and accessories, but it's good to work outside your comfort zone so I'm up for the challenge. So far, I've mostly just thought of lots and lots of outfits that I'd like to have (and tried my best not to make it a doll that dresses completely in black...) so now I'm trying to think more of what kinds of colours, materials, textures, patterns and pieces reflect what we as Bliss in a Teacup love and build it around that. I can't wait to see what everyone else does, especially as we all have such different aesthetics!

I'll post inspiration and updates here on the blog for you to follow along, and you should definitely check out the other designers (Rhiannon, Melissa, Emma, Gillian, Erinna & Anya) and their processes on their blogs and websites. I'll be back here with some sketches soon!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Kinfolk Gathering: Freshen Up.

Home is the nicest word there is. 

- Laura Ingalls Wilder

I'm really excited for the next Kinfolk gathering, all about home preparation and freshening. We'll be making natural cleaning products, lavender sachets, hand scrubs and combining scents to keep your home smelling beautiful. As we head in to winter I love to use candles to create a warm and relaxing atmosphere in my home, so I'm hoping to incorporate them into the gathering, too. 

Tickets go on sale today, and space is limited so get in quick if you're keen to come! This event is going to be held in Featherston (at the very cute looking and sounding Kiwi Hall) so all the more easy for those of you in Wellington and the wider area to attend. If you don't drive, the train can get you there and back pretty easily and you could always brunch before hand and then stroll over. For those of you a little further afar, the Wairarapa makes an excellent day trip. We're partnering with Six Barrel Soda Co and either sipping on their soda while you work or taking away a little sample bottle is just another of many reasons to come and join us. All the details are below, I hope to see you there!

Location - Kiwi Hall, Birdwood St, Featherston
Date - Sunday, 26th May
Time - 1:30pm - 4:30pm
Tickets available here

Photos above by Michael Graydon

Sunday, May 12, 2013


image via gather shop

On Saturday Christine and I went off to Gather, a beautiful design store here in the bay that focuses on textiles and natural materials (read, lots and lots of beautiful yarn to swoon over), to attend a crochet class that was my birthday present from Christine. It is such an inspiring space, so many colours, shapes and fibres and spending an afternoon learning a new skill amongst it was super refreshing. Like many of us I'm sure, I can easily get stuck into a bit of a rut and so doing something totally different with new people felt really good. 

I've tried to pick up crochet before and failed pretty miserably. I could never get the tension right, it always felt awkward in my hands and the stitches looked weird. Well, for the 10 minutes that it would last before I gave up on it in frustration. Having four hours to sit and take my time, concentrate and focus on one thing might normally sound like a bit of a nightmare to me. My mind is always going a mile a minute and my ideas for new things can come so rapidly that Richard now just smiles and lets me explain them knowing that I'll probably have thought of something new the next day. I saw this as a flaw in myself for a long time but now I'm ok with the fact that lots of different things make me happy. In saying that, persistance and focus is a pretty good balance and definitely helpful in ensuring that the more important of those ideas of mine actually come into being. Imagine my surprise when those four hours turned out to be incredibly relaxing and satisfying. 

I just happened to have read a bit about persevering lately, one a pretty intense article from a concert pianist about letting what you love be all consuming and another a coffee cup chat from another Becka that felt like a warm hug of good advice. I like that I wasn't getting yelled at about bootstraps, but rather encouraged to keep trying. It seems to me that lack of perseverance is often very little about laziness and more about feeling completely overwhelmed and terrified of getting things wrong. Funny that I am so aware of this as a teacher, the need to foster an environment where students feel safe enough to take risks, keep trying and be ok with failing but that advice is much easier given than taken on board. 

Here's the links for you to check out for yourself, if you like!

- This one isn't on perseverance per se, but can definitely help with it. I'm really enjoying Meighan's new social media blog and this post all about productivity apps from Ashley Neese was really useful. I love that the focus is both on productivity and wellbeing, the latter being something I'm guilty of forgetting about. Also, can Ashley please cook me everything forever, please and thank you. 
- Music is always a requirement for my productivity and motivation, and Jena always kills it with her mixes. Check out her latest, A Roll In The Meadow for your work week soundtrack! 

Here's to perseverance, taking risks and feeling good about it. 


Friday, May 10, 2013

Celebrate! A giveaway - closed.

The lucky winner is Kate Robinson. Congratulations! Email me your address and bookmark preferences and I'll have them in the post to you quick smart. 

It was actually my birthday yesterday, but while it's still my birthday in the northern hemisphere I thought I could quickly sneak this post in to let you in on this little celebratory giveaway we're running over the weekend. I really wanted a quiet birthday this year, after a busy few weeks travelling about the idea of quiet dinners, sleeping in and secretly having an entire day to myself to catch up on work was pretty appealing. As well as my own, it seems that I know a number of people celebrating birthdays this week and with Mother's Day coming up it got me thinking about the traditions we make for ourselves in order to celebrate those we love. Early on in our relationship, when our communication was mostly via email, Richard and I got into a routine of swapping ee cummings poems. Now that we don't have to rely on email, which I naturally far prefer, the poetry has gone by the way side a little. It does make an appearance for birthdays and special occasions every now and then, and this birthday Richard was able to surprise me with one I was unfamiliar with (arrogantly I was sure I had at least heard of them all). We definitely have our favourites, excerpts that pop up more often than others, but it was exciting discovering something new. Especially as it felt so timely for us.

You are tired,

(I think)

Of the always puzzle of living and doing;

And so am I.

Come with me, then,

And we’ll leave it far and far away—

(Only you and I, understand!)

You have played,

(I think)

And broke the toys you were fondest of,

And are a little tired now;

Tired of things that break, and—

Just tired. So am I.

But I come with a dream in my eyes tonight,

And knock with a rose at the hopeless gate of your heart—

Open to me!

For I will show you the places Nobody knows,

And, if you like,

The perfect places of Sleep.

Ah, come with me!

I’ll blow you that wonderful bubble, the moon,

That floats forever and a day;

I’ll sing you the jacinth song

Of the probable stars;

I will attempt the unstartled steppes of dream,

Until I find the Only Flower,

Which shall keep (I think) your little heart

While the moon comes out of the sea.

So! The giveaway. Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page telling me about a celebration tradition of yours to go in the draw to win our beautiful geminate earrings and a pair of bookmarks of your choice for yourself or someone you love. Share it on Facebook or on Twitter with the hashtag #blisscelebrates for a couple extra entries! The competition will close at midnight on Sunday 12th May. I'll make it northern hemisphere time, since I'm a little late, so you southerners have until Monday to be in to win.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Te Waipounamu

Last Wednesday we returned home from our almost 3 week trip around the South Island with our visiting Canadian family, a bit tired and laden with treats (cheese, fudge, rose petal mint tea, cider and the like) from the various farmers markets and artisans visited along the way. Someone commented on one of my Instagram photos that New Zealand is a landscape miracle, which really is true. I'm so glad we decided to do it as a road trip and driving through the alps or passing by seal colonies on the Kaikoura coast with snowy mountains to the right of us will be pretty enduring memories. We are lucky people in this little island country of ours.

I've taken approximately a million photos, so I'll take my time posting them on here along with a heads up on some of the favourite places we visited. For now, I'm so happy to be back in my own bed and getting back into a bit of a routine. There's also our Kinfolk Flower Potluck coming up this Friday so be  sure to get your tickets if you haven't already!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Southward Bound

Last Friday we started on our three week journey around the South Island with our Canadian whanau, via a couple of nights in my favourite - Wellington. We were only in the capital for a short while so I made sure to stuff myself full of veggie po' boys, curly fries and and a shake at Sweet Mothers Kitchen while making many plans of what we'll do when we get to return.

We then hopped a ferry across the Cook Straight to the South Island, which is just one of the most incredibly beautiful journey's I can think of doing. Such a proud kiwi. I took about a billion photos along the way, but here are a few Instagram snaps for now. Watching the water change colour as we went through the choppy open waters into the stillness of the sounds was mesmerising. After a quick lunch by the water on the other side, we drove down the coast with snow capped mountains on the otherside. Seriously, it doesn't get much better. That bottom right photo is the seal colony we stopped to watch along the way and if you looked really closely you can see the babies playing in the tide pool. As we drove off Richard sighed, 'I love nature!' So nerdy and so true. Take a look over here for a quick little video and injection of cuteness if you like!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The break.

As I've mentioned we've been in drought here for what seems like ages. I love the sun but living out of the city where it gets pretty dusty and how dry the hills are is so apparent, I have been so ready for it to break. Over the past couple of weeks it has tricked me a few times, I've pulled the quilt on and off the bed and even this morning I put on some wool leggings to meet the chill in the air but then had to change after getting completely hot and bothered. Finally though, not long after, the rain came.
I often work sitting outside on the deck with this crabapple tree in view, so it has been a bit of a gauge of seasonal change starting from before any fruit or green shoots had appeared just before spring last year. It smelt incredible when I was taking those rainy photos, the ripeness of the fruit effectively baking in the sun. While I'm not a bit wearer of red, I can't seem to get enough of the burnt orangey tones of those tiny sour apples. 

We're off to Wellington tomorrow to start the southern leg of our New Zealand family tour. I have the feeling I'll be getting the colder weather I've been craving down there. I can't wait for mountains and lakes!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Flower Potluck: A New Zealand Kinfolk Gathering

Those of you familiar with Kinfolk Magazine will likely be familiar with the dinners they have been holding throughout the US and now further abroad. The Kinfolk manifesto celebrates small gatherings, the sharing of food and a balanced, intentional lifestyle. This year they have moved into once monthly gatherings based around a theme or the learning of a new skill such as baking, making home cleaning products, beekeeping and outdoor cooking. I have loved the magazine since it started and always wished to attend one of their dinners so I am so excited to let you know that Richard and I will be representing Kinfolk here in New Zealand!

Our first gathering will be a Flower Potluck at my dad's vineyard here in Hawkes Bay on May 3rd, where we will eat delicious platters of local cheeses, breads, preserves and dukkah as well as take part in a wine tasting. Autumnal flowers will be on hand but we also ask that the guests bring blooms and foliage of their own to share, just like a traditional potluck dinner, and we will learn to make bouquets together. If you'd like to come along, you can find more information and purchase your tickets here. Spaces are limited to 20 so please buy your tickets soon if you would like to come.

While this and possibly a couple of the other gatherings will take place in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand is full of clever people that I would love to both share a meal with and show off so the plan is to spread the events around the country to ensure as many people can attend as possible.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Richard's parents and sister arrived in New Zealand last week for a six week kiwi holiday so we've been tripping around the island for the last wee while, showing off all the parts we love the most.

It has been so nice to be a tourist in my own country, and especially so with our Canadian family who we have really missed being closer to. It's been a week of beautiful beaches, huge ice creams, cute farm animals, cafe'scafe's & more cafe's. Easily some of my best New Zealand experiences! Matakana on the way to Tawharanui was one of favourite stops and I so badly would have loved this little op shop to be open. How sweet is that sign!

Bits & Pieces
- I love this double band chained ring, that colour is so good.
- How great is this 1945 Vogue cover!
- It's been so dry here and coming home to my aloe looking a little rough, so I should probably brush up  my plant knowledge with this beautifully photographed succulent parenting guide from The Treehouse.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ruby In The Dust

Ever since I saw that photo on the right by Kate Miss a couple of weeks ago, I have been humming 'Cowgirl In The Sand' by Neil Young & Crazy Horse. I was so excited to see the rest of her Joshua Tree photos (they're stunning) and secretly hoping something like that shot would make it into her spring collection look book.

The new collection (released earlier this week and available now in her shop) is perhaps my favourite of hers yet. I love the strength the pieces have, and that it is a strength in not despite their simplicity. I'm really hoping to be able to save up for one of the pendants so fingers crossed the don't all sell out straight away. The look book is pretty great also, I can't get enough of that natural light.

So, for some Friday music I'm going to leave you with Neil and some sweet lead guitar. We actually went and saw him play with Crazy Horse in Auckland tonight and it was incredible. My ears are still ringing and my mind still whirling. Such an amazing performance by some cute rock 'n roll dads.

Have a great weekend, friends. I'm off to drop my computer back to school tomorrow so if you get the chance to pop over to our fundraiser so that I can replace it pretty soon, that would be hugely appreciated!