Tuesday, January 31, 2012

minding our beeswax

You might know by now that i like to keep a little stash of projects in the cupboard to pull out in times of rainy days -or just stay at home days.
This is one i'd been looking forward to.
The hot steamy weather was perfect for working with beeswax. The house was sweet with the smell of it and the wax easily workable with hot little hands.
These candles were so easy to make. So satisfying.
I like Jed to know he can pretty much make/grow anything. Our ancestors used to. Well, not so sure about i-pods etc these days, but i'm talking the necessities of life ya know?

It took very little input from me. I can sit back more and more these days.

Beautiful.Proud hands.

The candle making kit was from Dani - her work and catalogue can be found HERE.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

the corn that Jed grew

Most years i have a hard time supplying corn with enough water to grow well. Not this year, it's been a particularly soggy (and chilly) summer so far. This has it's advantages. The sweetcorn Jed planted has been a stonker of a crop. There really is nothing like sweetcorn freshly picked and eaten. So good. And Jed is very proud.

Other advantages to a less than brilliant summer: less concern about sunburn, less concern about watering, i haven't worn out any swimming gear yet, and weren't not gasping in the shade from 11am-3pm. Silver linings are good.

The year with all it's schedules, classes, work deadlines, apppointments and markets hasn't quite kicked into action yet aand i am loving the timelessness feel to the slow days unfolding in our own rhythyms.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

on my mind

i am so grateful to be based at home with my little man

it has been such the right decision

and from now? he is turning five this year and we are surrounded by talk of school, steiner kindy and well meaning folks asking why he is not in school already (he is big for his age)

sigh...i am going to go visit various schools so i know what i am talking about when we discuss education

my background is one of public schooling in a rough area - Jed's papa went to his local schools too - yet in all my 16 years away from NZ i was around homeschooling and unschooling, or steiner schooled kids. There is so much to consider, and it is such a personal decision...what feels right for your child, your family. So much seems down to a good teacher, someone who is called to that work, who sees your child for who they are and can bring the world alive for them regardless of what curriculum is set.

We already do a kind of homeschooling on the weekday mornings. This has simply evolved. It is needed. (This is the kid who wakes super early asking questions like 'what does ignominiously mean mama?'). There is no schedule, sometimes there are plans, it is always fun and always something Jed indicates interest in. I love where these learning journeys take us.

We learn so much better when we want to. I hope that love of learning and exploration stays alive for this small person whatever the route we take.

Monday, January 23, 2012

thrifty acquisitions

So, a more intense week than usual had some interesting results. Namely a bad case of entrenched irritability in the mama. An escape was called for. And enroute, of course, i found time for a little rummaging in our local op shops. Vintage fabric is sadly and incredibly hard to source in Auckland town at the moment but, some other loveliness turned up.

I have this artwork up above my work table. It's made of layers of soft paper, cut or ripped to make up the picture. Incredible. I've been wanting to try something like this with fabric. 50 cents and it's giving me so much pleasure. I'd love to know who made it and what the story is behind it. (Imagination going overtime on that one!)

A peek of the haul. Or some of it.

Simple things like drinking water out of a beautiful vintage glass make me happy. These beauties were $1 each.

I finally found some cereal bowls - and they happen to be a lovely Crown Lynn.

And, my last errand of the day was to pick up some bunting and baby shoes i was pulling from Lets Go Retro (they are still stocking GrowMama vintage headbands) - the retro and vintage store on West Auckland's Swanson Road. I asked Simonne if she had any thunderbirds gear in any of her stash in the back. She disappeared into the bathroom, there were a few thumps and a bit of dust flying and she emerged with an old Tracey Island for Jed. We spent a bit of the afternoon cleaning it up and oh goodness, each of his Thunderbirds rescue craft fit in their launch pads and sheds and oh goodness, the hours of joy that little fellow has with it.

Thank you Simonne...you have made one little boy very very happy - and this mama is getting alot done while international rescue is working hard.

Hoorah for beautiful people and acts of generosity.

I live like that and it is so nice to be on the receiving end. Sigh...happy happy sigh.

Oh, and. AND...the sun is shining. Yup!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Liebster Blog award

I am super duper happy to receive the liebster blog award from my fellow blogger, crafty lady and market stall holder: Annie B. You can follow along her crafty adventures through her blog: Annie B Handmade.

The award goes to lovely blogs with less than 200 followers, the rules are:
1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks for the award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people in the blogsphere - other bloggers.
5. And, best of all – have fun and spread the Karma.

What a cool sort of an award...sort of the people's choice, grassroots, egalitarian styles. I've been digging around trying to learn who kicked it off and have failed, but the trail is an awesome ride!
Now, not being a techie minded sort of a gal, i am unsure how to tell if a blog has 200 followers or not so forgive me if i nominate you and you are a mega follower sort!

My picks for the Leibster Blog Award. In no particular order:

- the golden adventures of...
- Lady i swear by all flowers
- Vanette
- life in our busy household
- toast and life

(and would it be outta line to nominate another five? Hmm perhaps i will stick to the rules this one time.)

I hope i can leave comments for everyone...i have big plans for this here blogspace but am experiencing muuy technical troubles. If it takes me awhile, apologies in advance.

A topical aside: Thoughts go to the Occupy Auckland folks who are being evicted today. I am glad John Minto is down there.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by Amanda Soule...click HERE to see her moment and scroll down to her comments to be linked to many other moments across this magnificent world.

Friday, January 20, 2012

mama in garden. by jed

Every now and then Jed picks up my camera (it's usually around) and takes a few pictures. Mostly unbeknownst to me. I like the peeks into his perspective his photos offer.

Much of the morning was spent wrestling the garden into some form of tame. The small one was busy harvesting and ogling the beautiful colours of his produce.

Summer has been a lucrative affair here in the North Island of New Zealand. My definition of a nice day weather wise has changed dramatically. Not raining and fairly warm is 'nice' for example.

I am glad the sun is shining in time to sweeten up the sweetcorn and plums and for my strawberry picking tomorrow. It's gonna be jam time. Hope you are warm whichever hemisphere you're in. xx

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

a tired day

All plans and scripts went out the window. It was a tired day. We made playdough, we baked, we ate, we headed down for a swim, mama worked a little, we mooched, we checked out the Nationals surf championships...we mooched some more. Just. tired. and oh so serious.

We managed to fit in a little 'driving' of the surf lifesaver's buggy - the big favourite.

Sand between the toes.

And even the sun came out.

If you're a mama you might know those days? When you're not sure if it's the late night, the unsettled sleep, they're coming down with some lergy or fighting it off, or just plain having an off balance day (or in simplicity parenting speak - a soul fever).

Today's solution: letting go of any big plans and following the small one's lead, rest, connection, water, gentle play, good nourishing food, lots of loving and a bit of think of what may have thrown the small one off balance. Hmm.

Oh, and cupcakes!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

out on the town

Look what i had in my hot little hands!
Tickets to Fleet Foxes. I would'nt have bought them myself, so thank you Ra.
A rare night out. It was strange to be in the central city walking the streets on a Saturday night with all the noise, uber-young folks whooping it up (did i ever dress that scantily?! Actually, don't answer that) and side stepping the odd vomit on the sidewalk. Good. You know, in an inner-city sort of a way.
A far cry from the moreporks, clear nightskies and fresh air of home.

I love these guys...they shuffle onto stage in shadow looking like a bunch of shifty lumberjacks and proceed to sing like angels together. Incredible. And instrumentally SUCH a big sound.
I like their 'no flash' approach...it's all about the music, the connection between each other and the audience and pushing a few edges. The word 'integrity' comes to mind.

HERE's my favourite youtube clip of the Fleet Foxes. in Paris. Acoustic. And mighty fine.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


i LOVE to dance. And sadly, many people close to me in this current chapter of my life (oh, there have been many)...mostly don't know this about me.

Jed knows this. We cut loose this small boy and i. Oh yes.

One of the things scrawled large and loud in my 'Vision 2012 - Ideas Log' book ...is to dance more. 5 Rythyms? Saturday nights in some murky steamy night club? (prob not) ...more spontaneous cutting loose sessions wherever i happen to be? Hmmm, oh yes!

So, in this spirit i am sending you over to the Vanette blog to experience the song that is anthem of this coming year to me. Florence and the Machine, i do adore thee. Hop along over to see the divine 'Spectrum'...HERE. We are shining, indeed.

Monday, January 9, 2012

cotton eye candy

My cottons went from this...

...to this.

This snazzy cotton reel holder was my gift from the little fellow. I had been meaning to bang a bunch of nails into a slice of wood (er, that terminology indicates my woodworking experience) in order to tame my unruly basket of cottons for oh, years.

I guess he got tired of hearing me talk about it.

However it came about, i am much pleased.

No more rummaging about getting all in a tangle for me!

Funny, in this de-cluttering lark (yup, i am still going), it's the simple changes that are so life changing. I'm kinda de-cluttering my internal head space as i go. That's life changing too.

More about that another time.

Now, er, the embroidery threads...hmmm.

When they get back from holiday, Woodwise on felt.co.nz has a lovely range of simple rectangular cotton reel holders that fit neatly into drawers...HERE.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} A Friday ritual. A single photo -no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment i want to pause, savour and remember.

Inspired by Amanda Soule - Click HERE to see her precious moment and the hundreds (thousands?!) of others her readers link to in the comments.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Landing. Thats what i call the process of coming home after being away.
Thats what we're doing at the moment. Landing: a process of re-discovering home.
It involves:
1) eating wild greens straight from the garden. It's been so cloudy and generally unsummery that i still have a good crop of chickweed under the sweetcorn. Yum. And nutritionally a super food. Extra yum. 2) Liberating the vege and herb gardens from caterpillars and weeds. Think, green jungle with strawberries like rubies inside. More yum.

3) de-cluttering. I know, it's like the new year's buzzword. Feels good though. Especially for a opshopping queen like myself. living in teeny house. Yep. De-cluttering and re-organising. Getting sidetracked with delicious memories as i go. Happy sigh. Goodness mine has been a full life.

4) the remembering of favourite activities. experiments. mixing. Here he was combining different things in water to see how they changed and how fast and whether stirring it helped any. (It does). Salt. Paint powder. Flour. Hundreds and thousands. Soap flakes. sugar. glitter. Oil. Makes a fascinating sort of sparkly jelly-like swamp in the end. Most satisfying.

5) more remembering of favourite things to do: dressing up. meet jed the spaceman. I just love the helmet he came up with, nicely accessorised with the ski goggles, er, i mean space goggles.

For those feeling up for it landing also involved: 6) swimming and cavorting in waves, 7) eating outside in the SUN (yeah people, it shone, it shone!), 8) re-connecting with friends, 9) a long walk along the beach and 10) scribbling madly in a new notebook grandly labelled 'Vision 2012 - Ideas Log'. (Okay, this last one was just me). I LOVE this time of year. Despite 2012's inauspicious beginning's, everything is possible. What are y'all dreaming up?

Also, also, also...check out Kate from Foxs Lane's top ten tips for settling back home HERE. I just 'found' Kate's blog last night and i am rather smitten. (Don't ask how i got there, it was late at night and i can't for the life of me remember. Grateful for gettin' there though. Go see.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

holiday. hijacked

So, the car was all packed up with the camping gear and adventure was on our minds. Then the little guy fell hard with a sickness. Christmas night through the next three days was a bit of a blur of high fevers, ice water bottles, thermometers..i am sure those of you mama's out there know the deal. Then there was the rain. Alot of it. For days and days.
I am just grateful we weren't in our tent with a sick guy in the torrential rain.
What we did do, was stay put, in Jed's second favourite place in the world. His godfather and family's lifestyle farm and horse HQ in the Taranaki.

Free range chickens, pet sheep, horses, baby rabbits, dog, birds, paddocks and bush... all that space to run and just well, occupy as only small folks can. Heaven for the small one. With all the animals to care for it's not often these folks get away so it was a good feeling to house sit for a few days too.

And of course, the chickens lay their eggs in all manner of places which means alot of fun for small people to find them every day.

There was alot of quiet (he is a gentle one with animals, such a blessing) stalking of the friendlier chickens .....
...rewarded with som happy chicken cuddles.

And now, Home. Not having had the rest or break i had wanted, or needed. Finding my peace with that and happy to be here. Hullo, hello! It's good to be back at the GrowMama frontlines again. Watching my homeboy unfurl into his homespace...'i love my home mama' and landing by de-cluttering, filling a few GrowMama orders while my nights are spent visioning the year to come.

My mind is awhir with the new years plans hatching...watch out world.