Thursday, May 27, 2010

rainy day small house

A man at the end of the road got his house broken into and everything taken in the weekend. Undies, musical instruments, the works. Jed wanted to take him a chocolate berry muffin we baked and the last fresh feijoas off our trees 'to make him feel better'. So...we loaded up the trike and got all suited up for the rain and waited for a break in the deluge. Opening the door made it rain even harder.
Under the front door roof is sheltered and Jed discovered what the chain coming down from the guttering was for. "Ah, i know, it's to make waterfalls". It's a rustic downpipe. Much fun was had with the waterfall.

Then the raincoat went back on and while mama dashed back upstairs to squeeze in a little crafting Jed had a lovely time making salad dressing for the birds.

Which then got scraped into an old bucket he found and positioned under the drips from the chain downpipe and left 'as a experiment' to see how much rain fell.

By the time we got back from our journey a few hours, puddles, chats with neighbours, birdspotting, mud splatters and running races later...the bucket had overflowed and we were soaked to the skin, sparkle eyed and very happy.
I love how simple play takes shape and how, if you follow it's flow, it leads to magical places.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

re-life,upcycle, re-use - love those words

A merino jumper becomes...
...a pair of racing stripe merino leggings for a small one.

I love this upcycling milarky...those trousers took no time at all to make and are perfect for small gentleman pirates. One men's size merino top turned into one pair of leggings and one pair of lounge pants. I used every existing seam possible. 'Mmmm, soft, comfy and delicious' -Jed Isaac upon trying them on.

This cotton long sleeved t shirt has morphed into a ruffle top tunic dress and leggings for small people as yet unidentified. Excuse my cutting table clutter.

A sneak preview of the merino loungepants. This is the back, so small one knows which is the back when he's getting himself dressed. I appliqued snippets of a vintage print. I have an admission to make. I'm a bit terrible when i sew for me and Jed. Sometimes i come up with a polished french seamed heirloom, but most often i wing it, flying around with half drawn ideas, a pair of scissors and use whatever colour cotton comes closest to being a match instead of waiting like a domestic goddess would, until i could buy the perfect match. Ahem. But! The results are utterly cute, get many comments, are hardwearing and get the nod of approval from my most discerning two year old customer. (With just the very occasional got-it-wrong piece Jed may need therapy for when he views the family album in his teenage years)
It has to be said seat of the pants creations for my nearest and dearest are a far cry from the polished pieces of the work i sell. There, i said it. Quite possibly more therapy? Meh!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

making time

I like to leave the Sew Mama Sew giveaway blog post up until the end, easier for folks to find. I’m way too busy exploring new blogs anyway! Such a luxury in busy mama’ing days to spend time wandering online exploring new blogs and ideas. The giveaway is the perfect excuse. I hope you all found your own gifts in those three giveaway lists. Thanks Sew Mama Sew for hosting.

I asked commenters to say how they prioritize or juggle their lives to make time for crafting. I like the honest ones the best. It IS hard with wee ones to make the creative time for yourself.
I love the many comments about all those mama’s who craft alongside or with their children, many now watching them growing their own creative pursuits as they get older, having been inspired by the mama’s earlier on. Way to go mama’s.

For me, as mama of an almost three year old (going on 7), i can craft alongside jed as he ‘sews’ or ‘makes sump’ too. It’s not reliable. But most of the time we can get an hour or perhaps even stretch it to two hours a few times a week. Then i seize the moments during naptime and am found at my craft table after dark.

I found it almost impossible when he was tiny. I was in recovery from a birth i did not expect, with a babe that didn’t need nearly as much sleep as i did. For some some time, anything creative, apart from being mama, was put on a shelf. I admire other mama’s who craft on through having four children, herding ten goats while running a business and blogging, but ah, that wasn’t how i started out. I didn’t have community around me, or grandparents to step in to give that precious gift -sanity time.
I resonate now with the mama’s who said they were not the mother they wanted to be unless they had their time to craft, their creative time. This helps i think, with any guilt about taking time for yourself...our time to craft, sew, knit, make, create, feeds us in a way that has us be a happier, more balanced people.
After all, our children are learning from us. They are learning that the creative act is an important part of life. They learn, not from what we say, but how we say it and most of all, children learn from what we do.

GROWMAMA GIVEAWAY Muffin. I have your trousers and bib all ready to go. Contact me via the blog if you're reading...i can't access your email via your blog. Thanks everyone for entering. I went through and chose my twenty favourite comments and Jed chose the winner out of a hat. Fun!

Please excuse the shocking photo quality – peanut butter lens syndrome has struck the household again – i promise to remedy the situation before taking any more photos.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

the joy of giving

If you're new to GrowMama, welcome, welcome, come on in!
Make yourselves at home.

Sometimes, just for the heck of it or if I am feeling down, I make someone a gift. Anonymous or not. It is a joy to lighten up someone’s day by giving them something yummy. So bring on Sew Mama Sew's famous Giveaway. For those who haven’t had the pleasure: You get to browse and discover a gazumpthillion of cool blogs, have the chance to win beautiful handmade goods, and if you have a blog or a shop have the joy of giving a handmade gift or crafting supplies yourself. And finally, if you are a crafty sort, you get introduced to Sew Mama Sew’s blog , if you haven’t yet made acquaintance!

The GrowMama Giveaway package number one.

Here are my Giveaway offerings:

*Giveaway Package Number One: the GrowMama hardwearing corduroy trousers in size 2-3 and bib. See pic above.


* Giveaway package Number Two: the GrowMama crossover tunic top in size one and the button-over kitchen hand towel. See pics below.

I use high quality vintage fabrics, embellishments and buttons paired with new natural fibre fabrics. Each piece in unique and there is plenty of room for those cloth nappied butts.
To be in to win leave a comment. Tell me how you make time for crafting or prioritise your creative mama-time in the magical chaos that is the life of a mama.

Be sure to tell me which of the giveaways you prefer. I will choose my twenty favourite comments and then ask my son to draw the winner from a hat.
Giveaway closes May 2oth. This post will remain up until that date in the Northern Hemisphere.

The GrowMama giveaway package number two:

The little guy is eating again and slowly getting back to his normal speed so i have a backlog of goodness to share with you once we get to life and blogging as normal. Until then...let the SMS Giveaway fun begin!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

museum wanderings

First time at Auckland's museum and after much exploring, it seemed like Jed was looking for something. Finally he said,' Mama, why is everything dead here?'

And, ' what are those numbers for?'

On that kiwi: 'So, it looks alive, but it can't walk, or eat...and it doesn't breathe?'
The drawers of keeled over birds are particularly wierd even for the most seasoned museum goer.
We were relieved to find many live exhibits alongside the dead ones in the kids exploration zones. We waited twenty minutes in high suspension watching a green gecko finally hunt, catch and eat a fly. Pretty exciting. Though i think the fly had had better days.

Day 6 of sick wee man. Operating on amount of sleep previously unknown to mankind (not mamakind!).
Looking forward participating in Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day. Aching to get sewing again.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Mother’s day saw me up repeatedly in the night, with a burning hot then freezing cold wee fellow curled up into me. I was up at 5am. No support in sight and most definitely no Happy Mother’s Day sleep in, mama-time or breakfast in bed. You know what? I wouldn’t be anywhere else.

Mother’s Day and Father's Day are about the only conventional holidays i think worth celebrating in our consumerist culture. They are not religion based so can be embraced by all, their meaning is both clear and profound and the mama’s and papa’s of the world so need celebrating for the amazing work we do, every day, often invisibly. A few heartfelt words and a handcrafted gift...proof of the magic we get to witness up close and personal, and fuel for the hard yards ahead. Perhaps this calls for a blogland wide Mothers Day giveaway next year? Perhaps i can make it Jed and i's annual Mama Day tradition that we put an anonymous care package together for a mama who could do with a boost.

I have been reading a few blogs about wonderful Mother's days, or the sage words of appreciation for universal mama-kind and they're nice, but today i choose to share what is real for me and many others. I know i am not alone in my no mama' day sleep-in or not hearing precious heartfelt words about the wonderful job i do as mama. My thoughts go to you Mama’s, you know who you are. Honestly? I am constantly in awe of mamakind. I know of no other people that deserve dreams come to reality. Here’s to yours!

An aside: would you look at that shoe size? My boots are on the left, Jed's new pirate boots on the right. The woman in the shop thought he was starting school. Jed said 'Nooooo, i am only two'. She just about fell over. Would you believe that i am pretty small (in stature, most certainly not in spirit)?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Synchronicity and signs

From 'our' orchard.
Cool tractor and the kind family that runs the orchard (and has done for three generations) is more than happy for J to have a 'drive'. Happiness.

The last few days i have dreamed up a project that will help me use all my oddball skills, burning passions and help integrate the sometimes wildly divergent (and sometimes simply wild) chapters of my beautifully crowded life so far.

This morning i woke racked with self-doubt. I put out a call to the universe if you will, for a sign that i was on the right path i guess. It just tumbled out of my mouth at 5.30am, i had no idea it was lurking.

‘The universe’ was quiet for most of the day and then spoke through two unexpected places. This evening i was talking to my aunt – i was multi- tasking, up to my elbows in golden delicious apple peel, glancing at one of my nana's recipes, expecting the usual familial catch up. I was blown away to hear that she, my much loved nana and greataunt used to come out west to the very same orchard that Jed and i love so much, to pick the very same varieties we love. Of all the orchards this was ‘their’ orchard, just as it is ‘ours’. They’d make a day of it, stock up, haul it all back home to deepest south Auckland and spend the rest of the day chopping, peeling, boiling and preserving. No wonder i feel at home there. I loved my nana very much, i learnt to bake and preserve at her apron strings and knowing she walked those same paths, picking from these very same trees is an enormous gift to me. case i hadn’t got the message...a bottle of dessert wine landed on the table as a gift. Now i am not a wine snob or even an aficionado by any means, but i do love to buy local and have a relationship with the food i eat and wine i drink. Closer inspection revealed it to be a bottle of Banyuls Grand Cru. From the very same local vineyard that i used to buy from when i lived in St Laurent de Cerdans, France just up the mountain from the vineyard valley. Not only that, but i left in 2001, before that year’s vintage and i was sad to miss it as it was rumoured to be a good year. Not knowing any of this, the bottle this friend gave is a 2001 Banyuls Grand Cru.

Call me an oddball but i am heading out to find a mountaintop to shout, ‘Okay universe, despite my challenges, i am doing okay, i get it!’


'um, how about some sleep?'

Monday, May 3, 2010

the march against mining

We know this wee fellow and Jed was rather taken by his placard. He made me read out what 'the words spell out' many times and each time he would just crack up laughing.

This morning i showed Jed all the pics and TV 3 video footage from the amazing 50,000 strong (that's amazing for NZ) march that was held on Saturday to protest the national (think republican but with nz flavour) government's new scheme open up huge tracts of core conservation land and the people's parklands for mining.

It looked like an amazing day. I knew it was going to be a goodie (nothing like getting out there on the streets) and was gutted to miss it. It was fun pointing out to Jed all the people i knew in the media coverage though. Once upon a time it might well have been me with the megaphone.
I told him in terms i thought he could sort of comprehend what mining was and what the impact would be on the wildlife and people and we talked about what we could do to tell the government NO. All in a fairly lighthearted way - not to depress a two and three quarter year old. I told Jed i'd be writing a submission tonight (embarrassingly i hadn't done mine yet, despite encouraging many others to, ahem). Out of the blue, after dinner Jed suddenly said....

"Could you tell all the mining guys to not mine, because i love my land".

That kid blows my mind on a regular basis.

Join me in making a submission.