Thursday, May 21, 2015

It's pyjama season

I use the pyjama pattern from Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing book. It was one of those books I read about in blogland, borrowed from the library and couldn't bear to part with. I bought it, and I am so glad I did.

I have been upcycling vintage flannel sheets to make pyjama's for the last few years. Some of those prints are just too good! I came across some unused vintage super soft brushed cotton flannel recently and am absurdly pleased at the thought of brand new pyjamas. It is the season. We've had the wood delivered and Jed has had the fire going. There is something so cosy about lounging about in pyjamas.

The other newly acquired piece of vintage fabric is this wool blend floral. I know, right? What's with all this floral in shades of ashy pink you may ask? Not my gig usually. But you gotta bust out of your usual every now and then.

Link to Heather Ross and her wonderful books HERE.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


We talked about martial arts for years before we visited classes and found one Jed felt comfortable with. And came to love.

He's only been doing karate for awhile but he practices all the time. At home his training is strong and focussed. In the dojo he is often tired as training is in the evening. Not his best time. By the time it starts he has been up for 12 hours and often with broken sleep.
When his Sempai announced a tournament I encouraged him. It took a lot for him to enter. He was up at 4.45am the day of the tournament. It's been a hard time in our family lately and Jed, being of the more sensitive variety of folk, has been having a hard time too.
I felt so stink that I was teaching a Plant Medicine workshop on the other side of town on the day of the tournament and wouldn't be there for the whole thing to support him. But his dad took him. His bravery often amazes me.

He was the only kid who didn't win anything. The only kid in the whole dojo. I could see it in his face that he had noticed. It's not that he expected to win anything but being the only one who didn't? That face crumpled. After prizegiving he came and flopped into my lap and told me how he was feeling. Even an adult in his place would have felt the same. I reflected back what he shared with me. I explained that he had only entered one event so there were less chances, I talked about how proud I was of the progress he had made. (I couldn't even have imagined him in that class a year ago.) I talked of how we do things for our own satisfaction, our own love of learning and striving for our best. I spoke of how we can't let other people's judging decide our worth. 

Within minutes he had moved through it and joined in the games. He had a lot of fun. He may not have won anything but he learnt something very important and I couldn't be prouder. Resilience, such a good quality to cultivate.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

hold onto your hat busy

I miss you!
With things being hard and busy my end I haven't been here nearly as much as I have wanted to.
I have had my hands full here at home lately.

I've had a bunch going on. Foremost on my mind is last weekend's big Homeschooling Conference I was involved in organising. It was super duper great and I feel proud to have been a small part of bringing everyone together. One of the main speaker's words have been with me all week: Larne Edmeades and his wife are/have homeschooled all four of their kids. And he is the Principal of one of our cities 'top' schools. Interesting stuff!

I taught a workshop on Nature as Teacher - using the natural world to inspire our homeschooling. And moderated the Main Panel. I love that work. It's been awhile and it was that much harder to put myself out there as a presenter when really I would have been quite happy staying curled up in bed with a hot water bottle and a cup of tea. That's my tendency when things are hard. Reaching out to good friends would probably be a better option sometimes. Working on that. I did drag myself out and met some fabulous people and hopefully did an okay job on the rest.

The conference being over has freed me up some. I'm landing in my new job - that's always a transition no matter how good the match huh? Especially for someone like me, I like to do a good job, no winging it over here.

Jed lit the fire today. We had a home day. It was raining and just a little on the chilly side and having the fire going was just perfect. Jed lit it, brought the wood in and tended the fire himself. And with the autumn days edging toward winter I am harvesting the last of the chili peppers and breaking out the limes. Just need a little freshness and warmth, inside and out.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

somebody likes meditation

By the time I get time to do yoga and meditate, I have fed everyone, we've run wild down at the beach and Phoenix is ready for a nap. Nothing like a warm lap for a snooze. This is about the only time I am still enough for this to work!

As soon as the meditation cushion is out, Phoenix is ready. So funny.

It's been a busy fun time with work and unexpected family coming up from Queenstown. Yay for cousins! In all the fun (in a small house) my time to do yoga, tarot and sit quietly fell off the menu. Four days on and I really feel it. I am a much better person for taking some time for some self care. Back on the wagon with me! Plus, who can resist such gorgeous company? 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

the hemlock tee

 I like simple patterns that I can tweak and use in many different ways. I have been on the lookout for a good jersey T shirt pattern and have found it in Grainline's Hemlock Tee. Not only is it everything I had been looking for, it is FREE. Yup. You heard me right. Thank you Jen! You can meet Jen of Grainline Studio and download a fabulous Hemlock Tee pattern of your very own HERE
Short version of the review is: I love it! Long version below:
(Warning: Sewing geekery follows...)

The Hemlock tee is super easy to sew. It's a good beginner pattern for you folks who are terrified of sewing jersey knits! I didn't even use an overlocker, and psst, nor did I finish any seams. Jersey doesn't fray and I certainly don't mind...I like to leave jersey seams free. If I finish them it can add more bulk or scratchiness to the garment. And before you purists comment all outraged...I am still wearing garments I made like this years ago, they do last!

I am not sure what fabric this one is. I got it for fifty cents at an opshop. It's a warm silvery grey and so soft it feels like I am wearing a cloud. Possibly silk blend jersey? Whatever it is, I love it. I widened the sleeves on this one. The fabric has such a nice drape, I wanted to make the most of any movement in the garment. It gets a lot of comments.

The dynamic duo photobombing my shoot. (Just be glad the puppy was shut inside, sheesh that pup can move fast!)

This one is in a thin cotton jersey. You can't tell in the photo but the overall colour is a gentle brown but there are threads of blues and greens in there. I had the tension wrong for the twin needle hem but the hems wiggliness is calming with washing. 

Hemlock tees are a super success for me. I have one on the go in a woven fabric as an experiment. I found THIS blog post about the making of a woven tee after I was three quarters the way through mine, and have a bunch of unpicking to do around the neckline. Definitely use a bias binding neckline. Good thing I don't love that fabric, I am not sure it will survive the unpicking. I do like a good experiment and hey, it's been a good long while since I had any significant unpicking to do. x