Friday, August 28, 2015

these two, oh my

It's like Phoenix has always been here. It has only been months, but the little guy is totally part of the family. Paradoxically he's suddenly chilled out a bit but has started wilfully breaking the rules, like if I have my office door closed and no-one else is around, he'll jump up on the couch, or rifle through stuff on my bedside table. I find odd things tucked into his bed or hidden under the bed. The doggy equivalent of teenage years. Hmmm.

Yesterday we couldn't find him anywhere. Turns out he was in the bathroom playing with a bug. Having a blast. Kids aye?! Entertainment is cheap for him, if he's bored he'll head to the woodbox and gnaw up a bit of kindling or tussle with an evil pinecone. Or the other day I found him throwing a sewing pin around and catching it. Gulp. It was an impressive display of fine motor skills but a narrow escape from an unplanned trip to the vet. Slight danger of getting splinters after he's done making kindling but so far so good. 
He LOVES the beach, which is lucky, because we're down there most days. The funniest thing is to watch him with the rabbit. He's all excited, then the rabbit chases him and Phoenix legs it yelping with his tail between his legs. Payback for stealing the repeated theft of the rabbit's kale and carrots. 
We often stop what we're doing for a cuddle or a play. He makes us laugh so much with his antics .... it's so good having him around. I think he's pretty much done growing. He's a cool little dog. We did good. He's a keeper!

(For those who have asked: He's half mini-schnauzer and half maltese. With some random doggy breed possibly thrown in along with the Maltese, the owners couldn't remember what. He is often mistaken for a border terrier. We had wanted to adopt a rescue dog, but as we aren't completely fenced, none would adopt out to us. So, his dad did the dirty and dug under the fence. It was a one off accidental litter. His mama was only 11 months old and had eight puppies. EIGHT! One was trouble enough!)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

mandalas and flowers

It's been a big week with some grumpiness in the house, a migraine, a new baby in the world (Jed has a new cousin, whoop!), big talks with friends going through hard times and luckily, lots of sunshine. 

Some things are just good for the soul. We've been doing a few of those. Walking on the beach, sitting in patches of sun, laughing a lot. We've never been into colouring in. In the smaller person's words, 'What's the point? I'd rather do my own designs'. But Jed got this amazing mandala colouring book for his birthday and we're loving creating mandalas in the evenings. Jed's one in the centre there is finished now and it's my favourite. There is something so peaceful about sitting together working with colour and form. 

Jed came back from an early morning bike ride with these beautiful flowers for me. He arranged them specially. They bring a smile to my face every time I see them on the table. So sunny!
There will be cold days to come but all of a sudden it feels like we're on the upswing to Spring. All that bright yellow is so welcome.

PS: I haven't forgotten about posting more content and resources from the nature as Teacher workshop. I will, I will! There are more workshops in Auckland to announce shortly too. Stay tuned. (And feel free to nag me by email more) xx

Monday, August 24, 2015

Birthdays - how we roll

It was an early start. FAR too exciting to stay in bed past 6 am. Gulp! Most days I refuse to get out of bed until someone brings me a coffee. Birthdays are a different story. You only turn eight once after all. We open presents in bed and of course, they had to be tried out immediately. Jed is now the proud owner of a dremel power tool. Only to be used in the presence of a grown up (and yes, with safety glasses ON, unlike in the picture above, ahem) and with safety speech duly given. Hard to say who is more excited about the dremel. I am allowed to borrow it you see. (Yes!)  

Jed chooses what he wants to do for his birthday. We set the budget and we work within that to make it happen. He plans the whole thing. All food rules etc get thrown out for the day. Yup, fun! 
I am newly amazed every year at his choices. They are good ones. 
He loves a good party so big plans usually hatch in the months leading up to his birthday. This year was no exception. It was a Japanese theme (think ninja's, samurai, kimonos, sushi and martial arts) and we hired out the local bowling club in case it rained. (We have a tiny house) Jed went a little overboard with inviting people and two days before the party we sat down and did a count. The kid had 23 kids sitting at the feasting table this year!

 It was awesome. A few games Jed comes up with himself but mainly just being together. 
 Good food, good company, good times. Everyone pitches in to help clean up and it was all just easy. The secret is in the preparation I reckon. Jed and I spend the week getting ready then I can just enjoy the day. That kid is turning into a pretty darn fine organiser like his mama. They are good life skills. This year we decorated the cake together. That took the heat off me a bit. He'd asked for a samurai temple cake. Ai yi yi! Thank goodness for lego. 

For days afterward Jed kept saying, 'Oh I wish I could time travel back to the beginning of my party'.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Book Exchange - a review by Mama and Jed

                          Photo's by Jed. Age 8.

The little guy and I went to check out the newest establishment in our local town centre, Glen Eden. The Book Exchange. They call themselves Book and Caffeine Dealers.
I do love my books and my coffee. That area has been a bit sad on the coffee front so I was thrilled to hear a cafe was opening. We are happy to report that the Book Exchange make a very fine coffee and a most delicious hot chocolate. The younger of us got a Book Exchange voucher for their birthday so there was extra excitement in the visit. 
Jed took all the photos for this review and I am going to let them speak for themselves. I was fully prepared to take another round of shots but the kid nailed it. He's got a good eye that one. And, the resident goldfish's name? Thor. Yup. I like that place.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

spring culottes

Culottes. I have a vintage pair of navy polka dot culottes that I love. Although I had been calling them wide leg pants, technically they are culottes.

I came across Itch to Stitch's Emily culottes pattern. I had not sewn any of Kennis' patterns before so had no idea of sizing or what I was in for.  The styling of her work is really not my thing, (I much prefer these kinda looks on this pinterest board HERE) but I thought I could adjust the pattern in a way that worked for me. The shorter pair were my muslin. That's 50 whole cents of linen scrap from the charity shop right there! I lengthened the pattern for the second pair. I took a few inches off each pair along the outside seams to give them a slimmer line. I LOVE the linen in the longer pair. The fabric has such a nice drape, feels dreamy on and is dense enough to not be see-through. 
I did the sew-along over at Sew Maris for a little inspiration. Invisible zipper...shudder! I am now a fan, thanks to Maris. I learned a nifty trick too. Finishing the edge of waist interfacing with bias binding. So tidy and comfortable. 

I've come over all 70's in my sewing endeavours...the last garment I made was a jumpsuit. These have been fun to sew but it remains to be seen if they get much wear. Dresses and denim cut offs are usually my summer go-to's. I'll find out when the warmer weather rolls around this end of the earth. Next on my sewing pile is Tessuti's Ruby Top/Dress.