Sunday, September 27, 2009

where it all began

I just unearthed this wee treasure of a book from a dusty box. This is where it all began. Sitting alongside my mum as she sewed, like Jed as he works on his own 'sewing projects' while i attempt bits of sewing in calm moments.

I loved this book when i was a girl, i loved that it was my mum's when she was a girl and that there was something of the fairytale in the sumptuous pictures. I think i tried most projects in there. Many hours were spent nutting out my wild ideas so they'd transfer from a fertile imagination into fabric form. With varying results, but i learnt alot.

My nana was a seamstress and her mama before her, so we are many generations of sewers.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

T-shirt to pants

As promised, here are the yoga style pants i made for Jed from a $1 secondhand Tshirt.
Now, you have to take my word that they are made from a Tshirt, because my crazy camera was on the blink that day. Any doubters are welcome to email me and i'll post pictures of the very few scraps of fabric left over.
Next pair perhaps i'll post a tutorial with step by step pics.

Coming into summer, i wanted something comfortable, hardwearing and covering the knee (those knees take a knocking sometimes, best they are covered to cushion the doofs) and Jed is really into yoga at the moment. So, one night when i was meant to be making stuff for my upcoming market stall, i got a bit creative with a Tshirt that i loved but no matter how much i stretched, didn't fit. They are hipsters and flare out slightly and sit above ankle, groovyness personified that boy. I used a pair of Jed's pants as a rough template but basically went wild with the scissors and made it up as i went along. I didn't finish any seams (this Tshirt material doesn't fray),used the existing hem and the sleeves as the back pockets. They took no time at all. I think i'll be making more of these. Not the best pictures to show them off but with a dodgy camera and a busy model i consider myself lucky.

I love taking something that someone has thrown away and re-purposing it into something useful, beautiful, or strange in a groovy sort of a way. Makes me happy. Upcycling. One woman's rubbish is another woman's favourite dress etc etc. There's enough stuff in the world.

And i love that when anyone comment on liking his pants Jed says 'my mama made them for ME'.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

first stitches, synchronicity and soulemama

Jed’s first stitches.

He chose purple hessian and turquoise wool (that's my boy!) and was VERY excited about having his very own tapestry needle. It gets picked up and worked on every so often. I am undecided whether to frame it or make it into a cushion for Jed's little couch. I'll put it to the artist in question.

I was working the library at high speed the other day (precious moments by self were ticking away y’know) and right there, in my flightpath, on the floor all by itself in the middle of an aisle was this bookby Tina Davis: See and Sew: A sewing book for children. I had just finished Amanda Blake Soule’s ‘The Creative family’ book the night before and it was listed in the resource section. The synchronicity's working i tell you. Both are beautiful books. I was amazed at how many of the practices in Creative Family we do already. Kinda spooky.

Amanda Soule is Soulemama and if you haven’t checked out her it. HOW she does it all with four children i do not know. Perhaps they all sleep through the night and she has a supportive partner and grandparents living next door?!! Even so, she is a crafty mama heroine and the world is far the better for her work. Since i began this blog i love the links to other blogs that folks email. I had no idea there were so many mama's re-crafting the world out there. Thank you, thank you. That feeling of solidarity is treasured.

i love these slippers. One day, with the Labour Day market and my orders up to date....i may have to late night make some. I'll add them to the crafting list.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

the birthday house lives on

A sunny morning brought us out onto the deck with every paintbrush variant we could find.

The house now has art on it's walls (and floor).

The 'you are two!' birthday house is minus it's crepe paper number two and we've busted through the crepe paper roof because, well, it was time to expand and 'boo'ing' out the top was too good to resist.

One cardboard box, a bit of imagination, so much happiness.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

breathing deep

A late sunday afternoon at the beach, a wee tub of Kohu rd icecream to share, a sit and a wander in the sunshine, sea air, a bit of digging and letting the sea wash away fatigue and grumpiness. Perfect.
Day five into sleeping better Jed got very sick. Unbelievable is it not? Poor dude. Hardly EVER sick. Timing is impeccable. I am trying not to make it mean anything (like someone has put a curse on me that i may not sleep through the night for 18 years or somesuch -i'd settle for one chunk of sleep really i would) and remembering to tune into how the small person is doing and not marinate in my own grim head. Mostly i am graceful about these things. This Sunday afternoon, i was not. On next to no sleep (and isnt it hard to see your wee one struggle with pain and not being able to sleep) and giving up hope of that elusive 'time to myself', J and i bailed down to the beach. It was so good.
May your nights be restful.
A crafty aside: more about the small ones pants soon - they were a women's T shirt that i picked up from the opshop and whipped them up into yoga pants. Loving them.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


This giant tree fern frond is busy unfurling just outside our living space window. I can reach out and touch it. It symbolises what is going on for me right now. The koru, or fern frond spiral, represents many things in Aotearoa and features central in much Maori art. Life. Growth. Movement. Renewal. Hope for the future. It is the symbol of creation, of life unfolding and turning back on itself.

Jed has been waking up only once a night then going back to sleep until the very civilised hour of 6am. He is very proud. And me? I feel so different i can’t tell you. I don’t have to nap when J does to make it through the day. I have a bit of energy to see through my dreams and ideas (never in shortage). I can plan ahead further than one day at a time. And this is only three days into our new world of having-enough-sleep. Almost in tears thinking about it. Or whooping joy from mountaintops. PHEW.

(If this keeps up, i'm going to through a celebratory YAY for sleep party to honour the huge step this is for Jed. )

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

art everywhere

A simple trip to the mailbox can (and often does) involve nature communing, making art, or 'sitting and thinking in a patch of sun' (a favourite activity amongst our more boisterous play).

I was never a fan of camellia's. I have an aversion to pink which i am trying to get over. But, but but....there are some growing alongside our drive and this variety is so perfectly lotus-like and beautiful. And the scent is just delicious. Jed's word, not mine.

Nature art installation on the steps.

An artist at work.

A small celebratory aside: I slept my first 6 hour chunk of sleep last night since i was 6 months pregnant. I cannot tell you how fantastic i felt today. Clearheaded, energetic....sigh! May there be many more in my future.

Friday, September 4, 2009

full moon rising

A new tradition is born. We adventure forth to watch the sunset and the moon rise when she is full, usually on or near the beach. There is something magical and slightly and delightfully off-kilter about being outside on adventure with a wee one as it’s getting dark.

Watching the world shift and change into it’s night-time self.
Watching Jed’s face of wonder as the moon peaks over the hilltops then eases herself into the sky.
Experiencing places we know so well but in the moonlight. ‘It changes everything mama’.

Jed has been a bit scared of the dark at times and these special full moon adventures have been wonderfully healing for that fear.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

crafting like crazy

The Lets Go Retro order, in store now. On Swanson rd in West Auckland. Well worth a wander round. And not only because my gear in there!

On very little (cough interrupted) sleep, with much hanging at home and letting go of big town mission or adventure plans, much crafting has organically come into being.

Jed and i's first shared sewing/art project. (Two year old using sewing machine with not attempt when extremely tired!) So exciting to be starting on this crafting path together. A pencil case (corduroy with vintage trim) to celebrate his friend and neighbour's 5th birthday and beginning school. Jed was so proud. I bought fabric markers especially for this project - fun stuff.

Meet Catta. Short for Cattalina apparently. Jed rescued her out of the Salvation Army 10 cent bin and she's been part of the family every since. I made her a special bed and blanket, for when she's not sharing Jed's (or mine).