Monday, January 26, 2015

renegade summer sewing

It's been sooooo HOT here in the New Zealand summer. Several degrees warmer than our usual summer high's. Not exactly good sewing weather. Especially since my sewing lab is upstairs in our little house. Heat rises and the afternoon can be stifling up there. I had a few projects cut out and they'd been languishing in my sewing basket. Then I realised that term time will be here before I am ready for it and with it, all the driving Jed to meetings, classes and adventure that go with it. Sooo....I have been nabbing renegade sewing moments in the cool of the morning. This shirt is take two of this pattern. Its Simplicity 1366. I looked and looked online and in thrift shops for a good t-shirt like pattern I could use as a basic template and spotted this one on a blog. I pounced on the pattern on etsy about five seconds later. THEN realised the sizing was all wrong for me. Ah well. A bit of tweaking to make the neckline smaller and I am super happy with it.

I love it. Cool and classy. It's one of those pieces of clothing. I had 4 comments on it the first morning I wore it. Funny thing is, folks all thought it was super expensive (none of them know me or read the GrowMama blog clearly!) but the silk fabric cost me a few dollars at Sew Love Tea Do.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

On my bedside table

How is this for a stellar bedtime reading lineup?!
I read like lightning. At school I used to get quizzed for reading comprehension on a regular basis as they could never believe I could be done reading already. I was. (And for the record, yes, being questioned got old fast.)
Jed and I will have 75 books out on average between us at any given time. The printed word reigns supreme around here. I am a writer, what can I say. I inhale words and breathe them out. 

I laughed and cringed all the way through Tina Fey's Bossypants. Though I did wonder how folks who hadn't lived in the US would do with it. There are many laughs that would fall flat without the cultural references connecting in one's brain. But she's a good read. 

Malala. Oh, Malala. This would especially be great for young folks to read. Or anyone who has ever felt angry and powerless. She writes frankly and beautifully and isn't afraid to put her hand up to having the usual teenage problems either. On top of the obviously stand out one of being targeted and shot. A surprisingly refreshing read. We are blessed to have that one walking among us.

I am a quarter way through Amanda Palmer's The Art of Asking and I am in love. That woman. She is awesome in all her magnificent love for the world and unique human messiness. We all have our messy places, Amanda has just opened her arms to hers. She knows all about the power in being vulnerable. She talks about performing in ways that I have spoken about it. I used to street perform too, it fed me and my heart for a year. I loved being out on the street, I was fascinated with our commonalities as humans and the fleeting meeting of eyes that spoke of so much. Everyone has to walk the street. City streets are the melting pot that happens in no other place. I'd look around the circle of people as we were performing and there'd be kids, suits, homeless folk, twinsets, studenty types, a mohawk next to tweed bow tie was the greatest spread of demographic I'd seen. It felt special, no, important, to be bringing people together. It is important, overlooked work. 
I found myself having a strange and persistent thought: Amanda Palmer is probably the closest to myself/my life I have read/seen in a public figure (I think she'd hate that term, sorry Amanda)...spookily so. There are many places where we vastly differ of course, yet I feel strangely relieved. Like Amanda Palmer living her dream so loudly gives me permission to keep on riding my fiercely independent quirky one. Validated somehow. Aren't we humans just fascinating critters?! 
In case you missed her Ted X talk, it's on the 'must see' list. Hop on over HERE
Amanda blogs over HERE

Friday, January 23, 2015

Leonie's 2015 workbook

I freaking love these things. I used to do my visioning work for the year to come on bits of paper, or in an exercise book. But you know, it's important work, this dreaming up the year and it feels good to have a workbook that kinda guides the whole process. 

I have bought the pdf version of Leonie Dawson's Life and Biz workbooks for the last two years. I reviewed my 2014 books last month and holy moly I nailed it! Putting your dreams out there and reviewing the vision during the year is powerful stuff. I bought the 2015 pdf version too, but imagine my joy when I got an email on Christmas Eve from Leonie headquarters saying they'd love to send me a 2015 hard copy. YES PLEASE! If it is possible to screech on email, I did. Luckily we were on a road trip so I couldn't haunt the letter box waiting for it. 

Look! Complete with chocolate, tea, wall chart calendar, signed card. This woman knows her stuff. My name on that envelope even looks spookily like I wrote it myself.

I have been grabbing my moments to work in it. On the table while small but nonetheless terrifying ninja's battle around me, on a picnic blanket by the waterhole while children kerplunk rocks nearby, on the beanbag in the shade of a super hot summer day while small people use me as part of an obstacle course. This is what being a creative mama means. You identify and create the moments you need and then ride 'em hard. It's an art.

Just for the record, I am an affiliate. Technically. Unfortunately, I spent three hours yesterday trying to solve the dilemma of putting an affiliate button on the side bar there. Something I have done many times. And I hereby declare that I GIVE UP. Usually I stumble my way through various forums and stubbornly work it out. Didn't work for me this time round. But I am stumped on this one. Leonie and co don't have any tech support on offer so I am screwed on that front. Tech stuff is not my thing. On the wishlist for 2015 is to find a tech support person for GrowMama and associated projects because not being good at that stuff is damping my buzz and I have things to do this year. But I digress.

I may come back to it in a day or so. Then again, I am on holiday mode, and I might just go to the beach instead. Sorry Leonie!
So, if you are keen (and I thoroughly recommend them) click on over to Leonie's website HERE and pick yourself up a copy. 

Happy Planning!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

kids work

Jed solved a dilemma for us this week. He's figured out that the space under the deck of the sleepout is sheltered from the rain and dew and makes a jolly fine place to hang our garden tools. Revolutionary!

First step in allowing kids to contribute to work around the house and garden? Get out of their way!
Let them explore and figure stuff out. If they need help, they'll ask. Our job is to be back stop.
Be nearby, supportive, busy doing our own work and responsive when asked.

I am writing this down not to be preachy but as a reminder to myself. Wonderful things happen when I provide the materials or tools and then step back. Same thing can often happen with inside craft projects or science experiments...I set out a bunch of gear on the table and wander off. Magic ensues. Magic that I don't guide or coerce. Things I never would have dreamed up. I like that!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

chamomile harvest

It's a modest, ongoing chamomile harvest but a most satisfying one. Homegrown and dried chamomile used to make tea is such a different experience when compared to shop bought. My favourite is fresh chamomile and peppermint straight from the garden into the tea pot. So good. Good herbal medicine to have on hand for the kids too.

This one plant is just loving the new garden and it's been in flower for months. Picking increases the harvest/flowering time. Just looking at it makes me happy.