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All About The Magpie's Nest

I started my journey to becoming an artist in the UK where I was born. I lived most of my adult life on the Essex Suffolk border finally living in the Dedham Vale known for its association with the artist John Constable. I had the privilege to attended watercolour classes at Flatford Mill Field Centre where I developed a love for land and waterscapes.

My husband John and I arrived in New Zealand, in 2006, with the dream to sit on the beach and paint. Like most of things it didn’t quite go to plan. We soon got engrossed in working at senior level jobs in Wellington.

In 2009 we reminded ourselves why we had come to New Zealand. To get out of the rat race so we set up our own company Home Harvest, an organic gardening and products business. This enabled me to combine my love of organic gardening and draw on my creative side by developing children’s and adults gardening kits and natural body care products selling at local markets. Sadly closing in 2014 after our major house fire.

My love of textiles and natural materials has led me to work with NZ wools. Initially being introduced to wet felting whilst running an art group at Newlands Community Centre. Wet felting is wonderful creating beautiful designs, vessels, scarves and hats. However, you really need a permanent set up, therefore it’s not very portable. I started playing around with needle felting.


I found needle felting was very relaxing and great way to relieve stress. I started taking a basket of wool, needles and a pad to work so I could spend my lunch break felting. I really enjoy sharing my experiences of working with wool as a result I ran classes in Wellington Library for children and adults.

Initially under my workshop studio, The Magpie’s Nest, I create teddies, bunnies, Norfs (cross between gnome and dwarfs) and toadstools. However, I was drawn back to artwork and started creating painting with wools, silks, and embellishments to create beautiful 3D pictures. Mini works of art in the form of cards, ‘more than just a card’, make a lovely gift that can be framed.


My amazing pictures are created through painting techniques with wool building up layers to give the pictures depth and texture. The beauty of them is that they are unique. No two pictures are ever the same.

Now retired and settled in Featherston I have been selling my artwork through local craft markets. Whilst at the markets I have been asked about lessons, which has encouraged me to get my studio sorted.  As my work has become known locally, I have attracted several commissions.

John and I have just opened our heritage home Hodder House, 23 Wakefield St, as a bed and breakfast with The Magpie’s Nest workshop studio in what used to be a grain store. We are still working on converting the loft into a spacious studio. In February I hope, if all the work is finished, to start running workshops on needle felting from my new studio.

The classes will be for small groups to enable me to give 1 – 1 attention. Classes will be at beginners and improvers level. Depending on the demand I will have a series of evening classes and a few day classes. We will be offering a package with the classes and b&b.

Keep an eye on my Facebook page The Magpies Nest @therese.quinlivan

or contact me at:

T: 021 02 365 989 

E: theresequinlivan@gmail.com

W: www.themagpiesnest.co.nz

I: The Magpies Nest and tqartworks