Friday, December 19, 2014

handcrafted gift tags


No gift tags and it's gift wrapping time? Or you just choose to make your own on principle? I am so there.
I used a handcrafted label from Izzy and Jean as a template for the size and shape of these and dug out some evergreen stamps I got off trade me (NZ's equivalent of ebay) last year. Subtly holiday flavour without being too rah rah about it. 


Classy. Fast. Cheap! And they go well with the brown or gold paper and red raffia wrapping that is predominant in my house this year. We use brown wrapping paper for a myriad of things...wrapping, pattern making, book making, parcelling up food, making paper bags...you get the idea. It's good stuff to have around.


And the other side? It turns out Barley Sugar boxes (left over from Halloween) have the coolest textured cardboard on the other un-printed side. Why buy it when you can make it? It's a good question.
We made other gift tags by glueing a piece of ribbon on the end of the tag, or glueing on a bit of holiday themed fabric, or just stamping out the letters 'Merry Days to you' or some such. Jolly pleasant way to spend half an hour with the kid/s. Brings a bit more meaning to the gift giving for them and the receiver of the gift. 

These ones are destined to go around our jars of homemade peppermint bark. Remember that stuff? Over HERE. You won't regret it, there's a link to the recipe on the Orangette blog. So. Good!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

In Viva Magazine


It's been a full time. We had the house full of guests, I have had a ridiculous amount of work on, it's 'that' time of year and Jed was very sick for seven days. You know, the kind of sick when you have to let everything else go to be able to support the little dude. Not much sleep and lots of darkened rooms and screen time because that's the only thing that distracts the sick guy. I feel like I am just coming out of a hole. And I am currently on more medication than I thought possible with a nasty tooth infection from a crown gone wrong. I am trying to get it sorted before we leave on our roadtrip. Ugh. Woe is me. Really. Awful. But!



But... there was a fun ray of light...I was in yesterday's issue of the NZ Herald's Viva Magazine. Their byline is 'the voice for all that is new and stylish'. And there I was alongside Amber D, Lorde's makeup artist, and Christine Sharma, Ruby's Director. I salute Viva for being proactive in having me in the piece as a different voice to their usual. Very cool.
I have done my share of media interviews but realise how much more comfortable I am being the one asking the questions and on the other side of the camera. This was a good reminder of what's its like for the folks I interview. 
Big thanks to Fiona for asking me to take part and to her and Babiche for being so kind.



 Fiona had seen my work in the Organic Explorer book and had come over to the blog and got in touch from there. It's a good reminder that we never know what these things will lead to. 

I had some time before my ride back out of the city so wandered with my camera. Fun. 



It's a different world in the City from where I usually spend my days, but I find it inspiring to get in amongst it.



Auckland is not anything like any of my favourite cities - Barcelona, Berlin, Prague, NYC and London, but it has it's own charm. 



Viva asked for my 5 summer essentials:

1) Beauty product: jar of Natural Abundance coconut oil. 

2) $3 vintage straw hat. 
3) Handmade polkadot shirt. 
4) Organic Explorer book.
And something I never leave home without: 

5) Mason jars of rainwater from home. That one caused a raised eyebrow or two! Seriously, town water just tastes el crapola to me after our gorgeous rainwater. 
Sadly, the Mason jar of rainwater didn't make the final edit.

You can read the piece HERE.

I am pleased with how it turned out. Seems a good way to finish up the year. 
Thanks Viva!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Finds of the Month


A new monthly feature here on GrowMama, where I share a few finds of the month. 

So! The Finds of the Month rundown for December....

Clothing find of the month: Handmade Indian shift dress. $12. Despite the distinct lack of summery weather so far, I have managed to wear this 'new' dress to a few diverse functions in the past few weeks. I found it in a brief stint in a newly discovered op shop with a very tired young boy in tow. I knew I only had minutes. No time to try it on so I grabbed it and had my fingers crossed. It fitted! Like it was made for me. It's a handmade cotton shift dress with pockets and rivet detail around the neck. It had a bunch of over-the-top kinda odd enormous beads stitched in random places and I spent a few hours while listening to Russell Brand's the Trews and TED talks unpicking the lot of them. That print and the rivets is quite enough embellishment for me thanks. I love that about buying secondhand. At $12, I could afford the gamble.

New favourite op shop: the Hospice store on Don Buck Rd in West Auckland. 

Favourite recipe: Vegan vegetable dumplings from Gwyneth Paltrow's, It's all Good cookbook. These are SO good. She has a great gluten free recipe for the dumplings in the book. We make the dumplings from scratch here. And, er, may add organic free range chicken to the mix. Ahem. There is a lovely tutorial over HERE

Favourite TED talk: Sir Ken Robinson's How Schools Kill Creativity. Over HERE. Now, I had heard about this one for ages but embarrassingly hadn't seen it - I was pleasantly surprised, he has an important message and is a total crack up to watch/listen to. Good combination. Sort of a tweedy older academic version of Russell Brand. Well, maybe not...but just as worthwhile listening to.

Newly discovered website: Elephant Journal. A cool online magazine.

Favourite food: BLUEBERRIES! 'Tis the season. Finally. And 2 punnets for $5. It may not be summery weather yet, but I have blueberries, all is well. 

Book of the Month: I am still harping on about the new Organic Explorer print book. We're off on a roadie this summer and I am looking forward to exploring more with the help of NZ's premier eco-tourism guidebook. And $10 including postage is just crazy talk! HERE

Most read blog of the moment: The Free People blog. A little bit of everything and perfect styling for the festival/summer/beach vibe. 

And a tip off from Katherine: Designer Wardrobe. A few folks on facebook have been lamenting the lack of good classic designer wear on trademe lately. My guess is that it's listed on the Designer wardrobe site. HERE. You're welcome!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

fern anomaly


 I like words. I make my living as a wordsmith mostly these days and it gives me absurd pleasure to use words like 'anomaly'. Takes all sorts aye?!

Jed was perplexed and thrilled to find this doubleheaded fern on our land. Crazy huh? And, no, the tip hadn't been cut or eaten, it just grew this way. A little wierdness out there in Nature. We like a little wierdness. Has anyone seen the like before?


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Do Good Jobs ethical gift list


The pohutakawa's are in flower! It's always a magnificent sight along New Zealand's coastline. The native herald of the holiday season. And in our garden. The tui's, geckoes, bees and other littler native nectar drinkers are having a lovely time in there.

In other news, quite a few of you have emailed asking about a gift list. I just wrote one for the Do Good Jobs blog. I write monthly for them. I'll direct you over there.  If you haven't been over there yet...do! My blog post Eleven top tips is HERE.

To quote the DGJ site: Do Good Jobs is about connecting great people, to do good. We connect passionate, talented people (aka do-gooders) with work vacancies in New Zealand and the Pacific that aim to do good and create social and environmental change.These listings include paid employment, voluntary roles and internships. 

It is well, really really GOOD!