needle and nail – handcrafted perfection

I meet some wonderful people on my travels, and none more so than Dee and Jeremy Rolston and their five children Jada, Ty, Monte, Danny, and Sawyer. They live, work and homeschool on their lifestyle block in Whatawhata outside of Raglan. Their home is an incredibly comfortable space filled with children, craft making, handmade treasures, salvaged, and given furniture that makes their home feel truly unique. Dee’s design philosophy is “Your trash is my treasure – I see potential in everything!”

I got to visit earlier in the year and arrived in the late morning as the children where wrapping up their schoolwork around the kitchen table. I ended up being part of their work as the older two, Jada and Ty, asked me questions about what I did and took down the answers.  Little did I know it would become a magazine of their own that they produced and eventually sent through to the whole Homestyle team (photographer Evie Mackay who took these photos and Alice Lines our editor who came to visit when the photographs were being taken).

Dee and I “met” years ago and mostly communicated shyly over the internet (Instagram and the like) and that visit was actually our first face to face. Turns out we get along just fine in real life too…  Dee has an amazing Instagram feed – her personal one is very much her own journey in the world.  And a beautiful and simple world it is.  Her husband Jeremy and her children are very much at the heart of it, and her other passion is her handcrafts.  I hesitate to use the word handcrafts – she makes treasures with fabric.  To date she has sewn 3000 dolls and now Jeremy has now joined her in her handmade journey and is crafting amazing wooden toys (sewing machines, wooden rifles, post boxes and my personal favourite – the fishing rod that come complete with their own wooden fish).  Together they are Needle and Nail. They sell their wares online at but you can also find them at craft fairs all over the North Island, New Zealand.  If you ever get the chance, go say hello. They are as charming as you would imagine.

I was completely won over by the children, they were/are just delicious – before I left I asked them what their favourite things were about living where/how they do and these were their answers. The simpleness of them really stuck with me, and they don’t know it, but meeting them was part of my own journey toward homeschooling my children, which we are now doing. What a great way to start……

Jada: Playing on Winter Sun, my horse Dad made from a tree (one day I hope I will have my own horse)

Ty: Going eeling in the creek

Monte: riding my bike and climbing the olive tree after school work.

Danny: Making stuff in the workshop with dad

Sawyer: …he does especially love riding on the lawn mower..and pottering about in the workshop, gluing pieces of wood…and helping himself to fruit from the orchard…

To celebrate these lovely people – and their amazing work, I am giving away one beautiful doll and one fishing rod as one wonderful prize. Like, comment or share on Instagram, Facebook or comment below – do it as many times as you like for more entries, but please make sure you go like needleandnail first on FB or Instagram

You can go see them at the Auckland Fair at the Shed 10 on the waterfront in Auckland this weekend just in case you don’t win.  The winner will be drawn on monday 8th December at 8pm. The competition is now closed.

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Our Needle and Nail giveaway a doll and a fishing rod…

95 Comments on “needle and nail – handcrafted perfection

  1. Dee is one of my dearest friends and I feel amazingly blessed to have her in my life. Aren’t they the coolest family!! What an amazing giveaway btw.. Xxx

  2. Goodness I just love this family and what they do & create! Dee is just gorgeous inside & out, and you’re right, her children are delicious.
    That doll is just divine & the fishing rod is outstanding!! xx

  3. Oh I love this happy, handcrafted home! So inspiring for my own life and home. I’ve always wanted to home school my own children and this article just made me more convinced.

  4. I found Needle and Nail just about a month ago and love everything those two make! What a beautiful family and what amazing designs!!

  5. She’s beautiful! Would love one for my little girl. Lovely story x

  6. LOVE needle and nail – 2 very clever people. My son is getting a chainsaw for Christmas!

  7. I have always loves Dee’s dolls and have never been able to snag them. They do have a wonderful feed and have created a beautiful home and life for themselves.

  8. These are such dear little dollies. They give me a sme when they pop up in my IG feed

  9. Oh how gorgeous. I’ve been coveting Nail and Needle for a while now. This would be AMAZING for my daughter who has a birthday two days after Christmas!

  10. I’ve been admiring Needle and Nail on instagram for a while now, not just their beautiful products but their simple lifestyle, and now there’s more to admire in their gorgeous warm home! It’s lovely!

  11. Such gorgeous creations and I love that they were made by an inspired couple 🙂

  12. Yes please! My daughter would love both the doll and the fishing rod. Perfect for Christmas!

  13. Beautiful handmade gifts perfect for all kids to inspire their imagination. Would love these for our 3 yo boy and our daughter due to be born this month 🙂

  14. I have always admired the gorgeous dolls; as a sewer myself the perfection blows me away….. And this is from a photo! Then once they became a team the amazing-ness is shown by the hubby in his wood work too! I would love to see the perfect in person for my little chick… Who I might let play with them

  15. I man I am so desperate for these for my kiddos!! Have likes on FB & Instagram. Am stoked to have found your page via needle and nail too!!

  16. what a talented couple! Have been trying to get my hands on one of these dolls for sometime! Fingers crossed 😉

  17. I love needle and nail stuff!!! And I was do pleased to see my friend Christall Lowe’s (ex-maisy and grace) cushion on the bed in one of the photos of the house! So much to covet in those photos!!!

  18. An inspiring whaanau indeed! Thank you..& a spespectacular giveway to top it all off! Been trying to but one of these beautiful dolls for a while now – but you snooze, you loose!

  19. i adore this couple’s work. I would love to give these to my daughter for Christmas..

  20. I love love love love Dee and Hubby’s amazing work! I bought my son a doll for his first birthday and then couldn’t stop wanting one myself. So I bought myself a doll for my birthday 😀
    My needleandnail wishlist is sooo long 🙂

  21. These are simply stunning I love both of their work and how lovely their home is! Xx

  22. Absolutely inspirational creations. I love all of them and hopefully will be able to gift some to my son who is an avid hunter and fisherman at the tender age of three!

  23. I saw this doll in the ‘flesh’ last time we were visiting, so I know she is even more beautiful than pictures could possibly show. Thank you so much for the chance to win, and the lovely words about this incredible couple and family – such gifted and talented people.

  24. I love these dolls. So amazing. I can see it being a treasure for my daughter. And love all the wooden toys. Such amazing talent.

  25. These are gorgeous! They would make stunning gifts, I adore handcrafted toys.

  26. I love the family, their story and beautiful house and the doll is adorable.

  27. What a great article of an inspirational family. I love absolutely everyone of their products. Wishing them every success. A fabulous giveaway for a very luck recipient

  28. A great article on a lovely family. Their products are amazing – such a talented, creative couple.

  29. My kids would love these. It’s so cool finding toys handmade with so much love. Inspiring!

  30. Lovely story, so wonderful to see kiwi’s stepping out in faith and making beautiful handcrafted items. Why leave it for the rest of the world when there is so much talent and creativity right here.

  31. I would love either of these for my daughter but as she is lucky enough to have a doll I managed to buy before their popularity skyrocketed, my niece has a birthday coming up!

  32. Such a beautiful home this beautiful family have… lovely pictures and article 🙂

  33. Too adorable! Love the stuff these two beautiful people come up with. Such talent.

  34. Oh LOVE Dee’s Dolls and JR’s wooden creations – what a great team! Their house is beautiful too!

  35. Trying again today to comment! Absolutely love NeedleandNail and would be honored to win this amazing giveaway! Such an inspiring family and small business.

  36. Love love LOVE Dee and JR’s beautiful products, and the philosophy behind them x

  37. Eeek… what an amazing prize! My little girl and boy would love this! I’ve been a fan of Dee’s for years and follow on facebook and instagram. Absolutely loving their collaboration, what a clever couple. Just sharing on my facebook page (missmollycoddle) now 🙂

  38. We LOVE our Tiny Eyes Doll and I am hoping to score one this weekend for my baby boy. I would however LOVE this one for my own self…. she is just gorgeous and I am a HUGE fan of all of Dee’s amazing talent! Love these images, especially the one of Ty’s Bivvy – what a fabulous room!

  39. I’d love me a doll. I’m so happy that this family seems to be living the dream that they’ve wished for.

  40. What a cool story and beautiful family ethos. Not to mention beautiful, unique products!

  41. I already had Christmas and birthdays sorted… And then I came home from the market today with a rod and N&N sewing machine. Beautifully made. An extra rod would defineatly come in handy to avoid the sibling fights that are in our future.

  42. Love your work. Follow you on fb and instagram
    Wishing you all a fab holiday season in yiur amazing home

  43. I would love this doll for my girl and the fishing rod for my wee guy. I am a follower of Dee on FB and IG, and will share publicity there. I love their beautiful home, what a creative team.

  44. We already have a mail box but my daughter would love both these toys – so beautiful

  45. How charming:) I’ve just fallen upon this through a IG post from Littleco sharing local website businesses and how happy am I!
    What gorgeous wee dolls and woodwork! I need to check out their site:)
    Thank you

  46. Just returned from seeing some of their children in their church play. I took my daughter because Jada invited her 🙂 Was too cute

  47. Agreed Dee’s Instagram feed is amazeballs! Love watching needle & nail evolve too! 🙂

  48. I dream of owning one of these beautiful dolls for myself (ahem, my daughter I mean!). This is an amazing prize!

  49. DEElightful family and DEElightful creations! I would love to DEElight my children with these!

  50. Such a talented couple with a beautiful family and home. I can’t wait until my wee ones are old enough to play with their own Needle & Nail toys. Have dreamed of owning one of Dee’s dolls for a while now and this one looks just perfect!

  51. wow , your house is reminds me of mine ,love the kowhai flower cups. you’ve just inspired to do some redecvorating..

  52. Love love love these guys! I want to fill my house with needle and nail goodies 😀

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