Friday, November 26, 2010

on a shelf near you....

Extracurricular's summer issue is out and waiting on a shelf near you. Believe me, you want one! It's the perfect crafty holiday read. Get your copy here.
This issue has a bonus holiday activity book.
Oh, and i have an article in this one. I got to interview four lovely crafty ladies about the perils and prizes of crafting and blogging. Big thanks to Gem of Hunter Gatherer for doing the illustration, couldn't have dreamed it better. I am told the article is a good read. A bad case of tall poppy syndrome aside, I am inclined to believe...
Apologies for the absence, Jed and i went on a wee mama and son roadtrip, but more about that soon. Until then, see you at Kraftbomb from 11-2pm at Grey Lynn community hall tomorrow.

Friday, November 19, 2010

letting the day take me

Some days half eaten vegetables hang out on the chopping board.
Some days all rice must be delivered to the cooking pot by miniature vintage pick up truck.
And we bake two cakes, one with marshmallows, marmalade and secret things, the other a boring adult chocolate.

Some days whole worlds appear in our living room/dining room/ kitchen/playroom (which are all one space in this tiny house) before we get dressed.

Some days the shop keeper celebrates his birthday. The mice are always invited and are taken very good care of. (This tea set was mine when i was a child). Playdough cakes and icecreams are served.

Some days it rains and some of us wear raincoats over bare skin and adventure up the stream all the way to the sacred place where the stream meets the sea. We see monsters there, stash the treasure we find in our 'new' boat and cliffs crash down around us as we laugh.
Some days my belly hurts from laughing, the dishes pile up and i feel a deep abiding peace settle into my bones.
Some days i let unfold to remind me that magic is never far away. I have a very good teacher. I am so grateful for all this.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

to market to market

As well as i manage trawling charity shops and sewing our own clothes, eating delicious from our garden/local where possible and as rich as i feel our simple life is...we still need money.
So! To cobble together an income from the heart, based largely from home so i can continue to be the mama i want to be. What i am thinking about: Writing more articles (watch out for my article in the soon-to-be released and very wonderful Extracurricular magazine), sewing up a storm and hitting more markets with my creations, figuring out etsy and using trademe and possibly dive back into giving workshops.
I need to learn better how to value my work and feel comfortable putting a price on my time and skills. Though I like to think i will always be open to trading and operate a negotiable sliding scale. (Afterall, this is the woman who worked her magic organising, campaigning, public speaking and workshop presenting for almost ten years mostly pro bono for international environmental or social projects she believed most fervently in. Er, yes, I lived out of a backpack alot of this time.) And, just quietly, somewhere in the last few years my self confidence has taken a dive. A fairly big one. Yes, me. Looking into that.

I have been at the Piha Labour Day markets and Kraftbomb in the last month and have launched the next round of market applications...who knew it was such a dog-eat-dog world out there in craftselling land? There is a colourful pile of new market/etsy store sewing in my to-do pile, i can't seem to stop cutting out or dreaming up new patterns. Wish me luck. Link to this blog, talk me up, send me your writing jobs, place your orders etc etc.

The latest baby quilts lovingly made from upcycled vintage sheets. Hardwearing, unique, easy to wash and dry like all GrowMama gear. And soft, oh, very soft.

Monday, November 8, 2010

about those pixie costumes

Here's a sneak preview. I love how putting it on puts a spring in Jed's step and an adventure on his mind.
I made four pixie/elven tunics and nine hats for J's dance class' end of year 'show' in our community hall. After i stopped berating myself for offering to make them when i have all this market sewing to do, i really enjoyed it. I have to admit that i did search for any storebought costumes that might've worked but there is precious little in the way of groovy dress ups out there for boys. Other than what i think are TV/movie or characters.

I had some basic ideas myself, dug into my fabric stash for the red fleece and fossicked around the local shops for the cotton jersey and bells then i headed for blogworld to see if there were any patterns on offer. There was. Hoorah for bloggers! That saved me a good chunk of time nutting it out.

I used the basic idea for the peter pan costume by Make it and Love it. I added the neckline details and the belt and changed it slightly to work for older boys. And the free elf hat pattern from I sewed a bell on the end. Really loving that hat.

It's been road tested for dancing comfort...

...and got the beaming smile of approval.

See, it'll do nicely for Peter Pan or Robin Hood as well as elves and pixies.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

summer sewing

I whipped up a bunch of 3/4 shorts for Jed. All super soft fabrics that had the stamp of approval from the fellow who refuses to wear anything he can't dance well in.
Light yoga pants made from an adults t shirt - good for dancing and keeping the mosquitoes away.

"pirate pants" - this seasons favourite

just no-one tell him that pirates don't wear their insignia in heart shapes on their bottoms yet okay?

pockets and vintage fabric scrap applique - another upcycled mens t shirt
my favourites i havent been able to pry off the wee fellow to photograph with out food or grass stains yet...kinda like plus fours...

And one for the mama. Thank you Claire Inwood, gentle maker of stunning handcrafted dolls for giving me this vintage fabric. Strangely unlike me but i love it. With leggings or bare legs. And pockets for me too. Don't know what i did without them now. I took my lead from Melissa from tiny happy. She makes the best skirts that lady.
I discovered today that if, for example, i need to jump in a stream to rescue a ball, this skirt dries very fast. Good to know, believe me!

Okay, i am determined to plow through four pixie costumes for a dance show and at least make a plan for market sewing before the night is out. Ai yi yi.

Friday, November 5, 2010

gecko visit

Look at what we found on our deck! We often see or hear skinks running for cover but i have never seen a gecko in all my bushroaming days. They used to be plentiful. Cats, rats and stoatlike critters have changed all that.

Scaling the deck walls to retrieve a ball that was stuck in a tree, i just about stepped on this gecko. We were very excited to see him, at home no less! From nose to tail it would have been about 30 cms long. It was so into basking the sun (there hadn’t been much of that around) it sat there impervious to us ogling it and only moved on when it started raining.

I sense a 7 days of blogging approaching. I have been a shocker keeping up with the blog as life gets summer busyness and emotional overload struck. (And bad at staying connected with far away friends, ahem). I have re-jigged my week so i have a structured time to blog now. Revelation! There is so much good stuff to share with you.