Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kootoyoo creative space contribution - my birdy nursery

My creative space: this week I've finally finished a nine month-long project - my baby's room. It wouldn't have taken so long if I just hadn't launched my new business, but you know how it goes...the final piece was an owl softie for her bed. I tried to imitate the owls in her wall decor, using the last of the left over scraps from the other projects I'd made. In fact most of the room is a homage to left over scraps: I'm so lucky that my sister-in-law Keri runs the gorgeous Holly Chic baby manchester company and lets me have her cut offs.

The room started with Keri's Joel Dewberry "Espresso" cot bedding range and change table station, and took on the birdy theme with the owl Wall Decor sticker and the three framed "Moon Mum" embroidered art collages that Holly Chic also stocks.

I then used the fabric scraps from the Espresso range as well as some of Holly Chic's Sunburst, Full Moon Slate, Full Moon Pink and Lotus ranges scraps to create my own art: the LOREN fabric-covered name letters, the Russian doll and paper doily canvas art, the chair's patchwork cushion, and finally the owl softie.

My Dad repainted the armoire, which originally belonged to Mum when she was growing up, and my hubby repainted the tox box, which belonged to his younger brother.

I also made use of the front of the old cupboard door, using it for wall space to hang one of my 'Flora Blues' lily pinboards, and used the door handle as a hook for her cute shoe chain (I think from Baby First).

I'm so thrilled it's finished. Now I can move on to re-doing my four and a half year old's room: she needs a slightly more grown up space and wants a cerise and green theme. Part of the project: finding an old school desk on trademe that we can paint up for when she starts school next year.....

lily pad designs joins facebook!

I've finally got my act together and made a lily pad designs fan page on Facebook. Twelve hours later and I already have 30 fans...but it still looks a little sad! Please visit and hit 'like' for some support! Thankssss xoxoxo

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You won't catch my baby Mr Flu Bug!

Yesterday my lily pad really proved its weight in gold. After seeing on the TV news in the weekend that the hospitals are overflowing with flu patients, I got nervous looking at the shopping trolleys at the supermarket. I am not one for worrying too much about this normally (my children seem to always have food on their faces, especially in photo situations!) But suddenly the trolleys all seemed like creepy crawly germ homes - not helped by the fact that the first four trolleys I pulled out each had a used tissue left inside them. I mean seriously, who does that? From one mum to another - please don't, it's gross!

So anyway I whiped out my trusty lily pad to line the seat with, and relaxed. All I had to do once I got to the car was use my pocket hand steriliser and I could assume my nine month old was in the clear from this rampant bug on the North Shore. I hope! Plus it was lovely to get so many nice comments from people going around the supermarket...I hadn't intentionally colour matched her top to the lily pad but it looked like it! I had to take a picture on my phone to show her Daddy..what a big girl she looks sitting up. Check out how much she has grown since my last 'shopping' photo when she was still in the plastic baby seat - I think she's around 6 months in this one.

PS: in the weekend I finally put my lily products on Felt - now you can buy from me direct, as well as from my retailers :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Yesterday's Art & Craft Fair - What an event!

Congratulations to Jessica and Kylie from the Auckland Craft Collective, their first Auckland Art and Craft Fair was a huge success, packed full of shoppers all day.

Presenting my Topography shirts on half a table was a challenge, but after a bit of shuffling I was ready to go, and it was so exciting to be part of such a big event.

The stream of people was so constant that I didn't really get to shop so I am working my way through the online stores of all the vendors (listed on the Fair blog) to make an after-Fair purchase to remember it by.

It was a great experience to be a vendor amongst such quality crafters, I was very lucky to have a half-table next to Anna from Riverbed. Her pretty brooches and bags co-ordinated with my shirts so well that people often thought it was all one stall! Thank you Anna for being a great table-mate.

My other neighbour was Belinda from Blendy Knits - she is so clever that she has just had a book published of her sock patterns! It was so interesting to see all the different kinds of people interested in starting or re-starting their knitting. Next to her was Heleen from Ruby in The Dust with her pretty pretty bags and dolls.

Thank you to everyone that came and supported the event, and to my family and friends who helped me with what was such a big day for Topography - especially Aimee for all her great ideas and my husband for keeping me calm. And of course the grandparents for babysitting...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Auckland Art & Craft Fair - Tomorrow!

Here's a sneak peek at some new shirts I have made for the Art and Craft Fair, which is at the Auckland Art Gallery tomorrow, 11am-3pm (Free admission & $4 parking at Victoria St Carpark).

I just realised Mr Frog could be a mascot for On Top of a Lily Pad! He is made from some amazing batik fabric that I have almost run out of, so is officially a limited edition. The blue shirt is a new version of my teacups, which I think are so dainty but look great worn with something heavier like jeans.

I am so excited to see what everyone else has on offer tomorrow, I have been reading all their artist profiles on the Fair blog (and wondering who I will be sharing my table with!)

A few of the many artist blogs I have enjoyed- Evie Kemp's fashion commentaries, Lily's Make Believe and the sweet doll adventures of A Little Vintage. See you there!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My creative space - Kootoyoo game contribution

This is my first ever creative space and I'm a bit nervous to be in the company of such great crafters. But I feel like I've been such a busy bee working on little projects and it's nice to share the buzzy feeling :)

This past week I've been working on a swop with my creative friend Amanda. I've made her an 'interchangeable needle purse' for her knitting gear. I didn't know about these new types of needles until she showed me - they look fantastic! (I also have been told there are two very loyal camps of followers for knitting so apologies if this isn't your fave approach...)

It has a special covered folded pocket in the middle with special places for each needle type and size, and two zip purses on each side, one for your markers etc, and one for the needle cable. It's padded to keep it all safe and contained.

My gift in return from her was a gorgeous knobbly-knit grey beanie/hat to wear out in the cold mornings on the way to kindy. I always make my girls wear hats, so I wanted to set an example. Based on this blue pattern pictured, I think she did an awesome job - I'm really jealous that I don't know how to knit (yet). Think interchangeable needles are on my Xmas list!

Thanks for all contributing to this game - I love logging each Thursday morning to be inspired.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sneak peak at fabric trends, 2010-2011!

There's only two months to go 'til we get our hands on the latest designer craft fabric collections from the US and Europe, and I for one can't wait to see and play with them.

The previews look divine, but as every textile lover knows, there's nothing like receiving metres and metres of to-die-for-fabric in the post. My mind is already boggling with ideas.

Sept/October is a busy time, with the US Spring/Summer collections of our favourite craft and home decor designers like Amy Butler, Joel Dewberry, Robert Kauffman and Heather Bailey becoming available at the same time as the third designer textile show Printsource, the bi-annual interiors trade show High Point and the new colour trends reports from colour forecasters like Pantone. Last week I attended a staff information evening at my new retailer Bay Bee Cino, and as part of the talk about my lily pad products, gave the staff a two second summary of a) what the press releases for High Point and Pantone are predicting and b) what the 'coming soon' section of my US fabric supplier is showing.

Here's the jiist of the trends:

1. The love affair with nature and natural elements is set to continue - more oatmeals, browns, greens, taupe, soft pinks, greys and stone, with a focus on patterns and images of nature like florals, botanticals, seeds, water bubbles, insects, animals, birds, pebbles.

2. But the coming year will progress to include colours that boldly clash and contrast with nature or intensify natural colours - particularly purple, orange and vivid blues. In fact Pantone says 'turquoise' is the colour of the year for 2010! Purples and navy feature strongly in the 'coming soon' fabric collections.

3. In parallel with the 'getting back to nature' trend is one of harking back to traditional prints - so we'll see more vintage; tapestry; damask; baroque; and a new take on Moroccan; Indian; and far eastern traditional prints. Black, white and red are still around to add drama. It's not so much about luxe: but more about finding comfort in stable cultures and times, and their creativity.

4. We'll see a new interest in typography - letter writing - again looking at the old arts and tradition (and perhaps feeding off the rise in blogging!!!).


Translating this into children's textile trends, we seem to be looking at lots of purple, navy, soft pinks, taupes and greens coming through; lots more animals and birds (more owls in particular); word and alphabet fabrics; spots, stripes and military; and timeless treasures themes - fairy tales, ballerinas, castles, toy soldiers, babushka dolls.

These trends are exciting news for us here at OTLP. Firstly, I'm excited about navy making a comeback. It was only a few months ago that my wholesale fabric suppliers couldn't find hide nor hair of a navy print for my lily pads. I really needed one to go with all the navy prams and strollers out there. I finally found my French Filigree pattern, but now it looks like I'll have plenty to choose from. Greta will also be excited because we both think navy looks gorgeous on little girls, especially on personalised t-shirts (see her post below).

Secondly, it's exciting to see the focus on typography - good news for fashionable Topography! Obviously the fashion editor at Woman's Day is onto this one!
Thirdly, looks like I can have some fun with my pinboards, which are natural 'timeless treasure' hording places. I'm thinking something to do with military or naval for boys and I absolutely MUST have some of the Rapunzel fabric that's pictured above. I'm thinking of using a whole lot of yellow old fashioned zig-zag corded ribbon...plaiting it into a long rope like Rapunzel's hair...and winding it around the board with pegs and rubber bands... glorious.

And while I'm excited...don't forget to enter my giveaway this month - see the post below.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Topography featured in Woman's Day

Topography was a Fashion Editor's choice in Woman's Day this week and I only just found out! (p. 42, July 19 issue).

'Sweet Tees For Newborns'
These sweet customised Topography tees are the perfect gift for any new baby. Choose your own letter or favourite motif for a quality cotton tee with a personal touch. From $25, order online at

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Online mums & crafters - Win an Aeron chair for your home office!

Our friends at are giving away a huge prize - a classic Aeron chair, one of the most comfortable (and famous!) chairs in the world.

I'm sure there are some Work-at-home, Stay-at-home and Craft-at-home mums who could do with more support when they actually get a chance to sit down...

All the details are at, and you get an extra entry for posting a picture of your current chair that isn't so comfortable - some of them are hilariously bad!

My Creative Space

This fabric reminds me of when I was a little girl in the early 80s, like something I would have had a summer dress made out of by my mum. She got it for me in a sale the other day and I have been eyeing it up all week, but don't have a project for it yet.

There are a million things I should be doing today around the house and errands to run, but for now I shall ponder a bit longer over a cup of tea (my inside space is far to messy to post today so this is my wider, outdoor version!)

For more creative spaces (updated on Thursdays), check out this excellent blog kootoyoo 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Finally! Lily is (a)live - win a giveaway

Finally, I'm live. As in wired, on the internet, with my brand spanking new website for lily pad designs. My lovely hubby has put in hours of work at night and weekends building my website, with me hanging over his shoulder giving instructions. A VERY patient man. I'm really proud of it and think it gives a little bit of background to my lily love affair and explains what it is I'm actually on about when I blog here. Which, I've nutted out, is: contemporary parenting ideas made with 100% designer cotton. For parents who like things that make their day easier; cleaner; tidier; brighter; funkier; more comfortable; and just f.u.n. But not plain, old fun. Bold, individual, modern f.u.n!

To celebrate I've decided to do a launch giveaway. Up for grabs is either a Pink Full Moon lily pinboard (med size) or a By The Sea lily pinboard (med size). All you have to do to enter is join our mailing list (or follow us with your Google account) anytime before July 31st. If you already follow us then you are already entered in the competition. Check out my website's lily pinboard page to find out why they are GREAT for your sanity. As well as being 'live' art. As in, in the real world.

NZ's Most Popular Baby Names - Help please!

Have you ever seen the lists of New Zealand's most popular baby names and been surprised?

When I make sample alphabet shirts I always think of babies I know to choose which letter to use. Not only does it mean I have a gift ready for a friend's baby, but it also helps me choose fabrics, thinking about what that baby's parents would like.

Working on shirts for the Art and Craft Fair, I am wondering if I should take a more scientific approach, increasing my chances of someone wanting a particular letter on the day. So I have been looking at the most popular baby names in New Zealand, which the Department of Internal Affairs have helpfully compiled here.

Looking at the Top 10 name lists for 2009, there are three 'J' boy names (#1 Jack, #3 James, #4 Joshua) and three 'E' girl names (#5 Ella, #6 Emily, #9 Emma). I knew Oliver was popular for boys (#2 last year) but had forgotten about Olivia (#3 for girls). Sophie is a favourite name of mine and a clear #1 for girls, but I was surprised Ruby (#2), Isabella (#4) and Lily (#8) are so high up the list.

Do you know any babies with names starting with 'Q', 'U', 'V', 'W' or 'Y'?

I love 'Z' names and am lucky enough to know a Zavier and a Zoe   :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Grown-up Project (sort of)

One of my favourite fabric combinations is a delicate floral on navy blue, I think the dark background really makes the print stand out. I love this on little girls so when I bought a navy hoodie on sale for myself I thought I would try it on a larger scale...

Inspired by a print on one of my daughter's tops, I made heart and petal templates, and cut lots of hearts and petals in two different prints, then tried different arrangements on the hoodie.

After sewing them on I was quite pleased with the result, I just hope it looks ok for a grown-up and I am not dressed as a giant 3 year old!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Topography new product - Bag Tags

I love making little things and have a new product even smaller than baby t-shirts - luggage tags!

In the spirit of the shirts, they are personalised with a letter and can be custom made with any fabric or design (I think the next batch will have kiwis for little travellers...).

The reverse side has a plastic pocket so you can keep contact details handy, or even a photo if you are using the tag for decoration. An easy way to label schoolbags, luggage, sportsbags or nappy bags. I am using bright and busy patterns so you can see your bag on the carousel... or pick out your child's bag from all the rest! My mum is a kindy teacher and she thinks they are great because the teachers like the child's name to be on the outside of the bag.

They can also hang from a door handle and I think they would make an extra-special gift tag as part of a present. And of course they are not just for little people - I'm still deciding which of my favourite fabrics to do mine in...

Three designs are available now with free shipping on my website, or contact me for a custom order in other fabrics.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Crafty old Devonport

We had a lovely day at the Devonport Craft Market on Sunday - a nice bright venue with friendly sellers and shoppers.

You can see we are getting quite a collection of products and we heard lots of great comments about them, but I think the Devonport crowd was most taken with our aprons. We have so many gorgeous fabrics for these now (and are making them for all of our own children too!)

Thanks to the Sarahs for organising a great market, the market blog even has a photo of our play food that we are accessorising with the aprons.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Knitted heaven!

At the Devonport market there were plenty of things that caught my eye. But something I haven't stopped thinking about was Kute Kiwi's knitted chain necklaces. When I went to check her blog today I saw she's giving some away - or a bow necklace. Check it out here. I'm in love with the grey one...

I've decided knitting is my new interest. I tried when I was young to learn from my Nana, but I kept dropping stitches, and she said it 'was because I was left handed and doing it cack-handed'. Isn't it funny how the older generation say that. Do you think it's true that it's harder for lefties? Wonder if Kute Kiwi is?

Anyway, thought I'd teach myself when I can soon. My friend Amanda told me about - check it out for funky, free patterns.

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