Friday, March 30, 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...pop on over to her beautiful blog to see her moment and be linked to hundreds of her readers moments...HERE.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

the scrap bag clock

 Notchka from The Wardrobe ran a Scrap Bag Swap recently and i received a lovely package of scraps from the wonderful woman behind Mushroom Lane. I have a bunch of projects in mind. But y'know, ideas are not my problem, it's prioritising the time to make them happen i struggle with. YOU do know. I know you do.
But this is one project that i whipped up lately. Late at night and fuelled by coffee. As most of my new creations are birthed!
A vintage fabric clock for the small ones to learn about numbers and time.
 The numbers come off the clock face and stick back on with velcro.
 So it's like a puzzle and a learning tool. Plus it just looks darn cool.
And the hands turn.

Happy with this one. The resident tester of new mama inventions has given his stamp of approval. I am looking forward to playing with a few different fabrics in the next few i make.

And HERE is a link to Roslyn from Sew Delicious' post on her Scrap Bag gifts she received from me.
Fun. Er, for fabric enthusiasts that is. Ahem!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

the autumn garden

 I love a garden that can keep producing food even with severe neglect. Go permaculture i say.
Beans for dinner...
... with fresh pesto. Plus some to pop into the freezer to cheer a winter night with the taste of summer.
 General Slinky. He is just ever so slightly batty and obsessed with ratting. He is the reason the rats haven't eaten 1) all the birds eggs in our general environ (luckily he has no interest in birds snackwise) and 2) all the beans or corn this year. We get alot of rats even though we're in a national park. I once saw seven climbing a tree then wandering along a powerline leading into my roof. That was BS. Before Slinky.

Jed Isaac. Young knight at large. Shoo'er of shield bugs, expert harvester of rainbow chard (with sword) and grower of astoundingly good sweetcorn.

The sun is shining people. That is news around here. We're off to soak it up.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

secondhand happy

 These are some recent second hand finds that i love.
 I find it interesting that i often find things in secondhand shops in the same theme/pattern or colour over a period of time. Definitely have some sort of purple strange patterny kind of a thing going on at the moment. All contemporary design vintage! Just in case you were concreting me into any sort of a box there.
 Happy with this bag. I usually make my own (gasps of surprise there i am sure!)...but this one sang out to me the minute i walked into the Salvation Army store. It was brand new with its tags. Has abundant pockets (you know, for acorns, coloured pens, feathers and rocks) and is made of some super strong waterproof scratchproof fabric. Yup. It has found it's true home.
 (and, okay, i had to admit to a little satisfaction when i searched the brand online and saw what they cost new. Just a little victory dance. Little little one)
The stripe/polka dot monki shirt from sweden was under $10 too. Love it. The go-to perk me up wear.
That purple thing again. The same day i found a pile of cool purple stripy theme European designer gear for Jed too. See? That theme thing again...anyone else find this?!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

GrowMama at The Bread and Butter Letter

 Popped into The Bread and Butter Letter store to drop off some GrowMama vintage headbands. It doesn't look like the same store. It's version 2.0...the original venue after a makeover. Loveliness! You can visit in real time or in your own time - their online store rocks too.
 Everything is beautifully presented.
 I like that Sarah and Rose keep their items priced so that i could afford to shop there.
 A peek at GrowMama vintage headbands nestled in their wee drawer. Bad hair day? Headband it!
Notice the Extracurricular magazines there? Every shop worth it's salt stocks it y'know!
This is the face of a small boy dragged along to drop off mama's stock. Sigh. Look familiar mama's? Sigh. (And furtive eye roll)

And, while we are on a vintage roll...
...have you been along to twosquirrels vintage blog? Love the NZ vintage style she has going, adorable no? and the two squirrels etsy store is the best online nz vintage i've seen yet.

Friday, March 23, 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.

Click HERE to be magically transported to the world of Amanda Soule...see her special moment of the week and scroll down to the comments to be linked to hundreds more from all over the world.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

cards to go

 A couple of years ago i picked up a few boxes of cardstock on sale. All different colours with envelopes and ready to be embellished and made into cards. Previously i had insisted on doing the whole card from scratch and preferably from cereal boxes or somesuch upcyclable card. I have to say i like the more finished look the cardstock gives our creations.
 There is a bit of a perpetual clean out going on around here it seems. Life in a small house being the reason.
In my ruthless sorting out the other day i came across an old book. A book as old as i am. It was inscribed 'To Anissa, my first friend, love Jessica'. (I think that'll be Jessica Setnick, last seen in Texas. Hi!)
 Clearly, i couldn't simply throw it away. It was mottled with age (am i really that old!?) and taped in many many places with yellowed pages that refused to be restrained by their covers. It was no longer a book, nor could it be salvaged.
So, I cut out what pictures i could and pasted them onto our cardstock. I like to have cards ready to go.
Jed was attached to the cover. Very attached. At some point my mother had covered it in industrial strength see-through plastic so today it makes a pretty robust folder for my Sew Fun workshop posters.
And one was delivered to Aunty Chelle for her birthday. Happy Birthday sisterone!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

word play

 What was the first word this wee boy learnt to spell? Funny. To a four year old boy.
I found these magnetic letters in a thrift shop years ago. They usuallly live on the fridge.
Writing and drawing in the sand is popular around here. Or a whiteboard...impermanence is the way forward it seems. It's led by the wee man but he gets so frustrated sometimes. Trying to model taking deep breaths and the importance of practice. Hard when your brain leaps ahead of itself and wants to write words like 'transform' and 'arachnid' but the physical limitations of being able to shape those letters and words is not quite there yet. I try and support wherever his learning takes him but also, sheesh, there is time you know? Being a kid is special times. Time enough to learn to write 'arachnid'.

Saturday, March 17, 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.

This moment is a weekly event instigated by Amanda Soule.
Pop on over to her blog to see her moment and be sure to read the comments...and be linked to many other magical moments worldwide.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sew Fun workshop

I have persuaded the lovely Angela Carter of Mermaid's Purse to run the Sew Fun Workshop with me.
All you people who have been asking and asking me to run a workshop it is!
And it is going to be fun. That is for sure.

Learn to sew in good walk away with something beautiful you make yourself...and empowered to make MORE. (Warning: Creating can be highly addictive, the workshop facilitators cannot be held responsible for any ensuing loss of sleep, or obsessive hoarding of fabric :-))

City, the loveliness otherwise known as the NZ Cupcake Queen is providing, yes! Her delicious cupcakes for morning tea. (Reason alone to come to the workshop if you ask me).

Saturday 19th May
Titirangi Community Centre

Buttons to share and workshop page here on the blog will come this weekend but i am so excited i wanted to give you a little heads up. Email me or leave a comment if you are interested in the workshop. Numbers are limited. We want to make sure everyone gets the attention they need. Cost is $75. Special price for this Sew Fun workshop's launch. Given its Ange and i giving the workshop, we're talking modern designs with a vintage twist, and quite possibly upcycled and vintage fabric involved. Just sayin!

There was a time in the US when i gave a range of workshops internationally (Plants as Medicine, Creating Healthy Culture, How to give a rocking good workshop, Living Holistically to name a few) and i truly loved that work. I am stoked to be plotting workshops in NZ finally. Yay!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

stumbling along

 I have just been stumbling along lately. Busily, and fairly happily, but it is one of those times in life when a bunch of the big decisions that need answering are all clamouring for my attention at once. House, learning journey's (i don't want to call it 'schooling'...i'd like the term to leave space for more choice than that implies), know...just life in all its beautiful complexity. I've been burning the dinner, forgetting stuff and just feeling tired lately. I am doing things to feed me. Sneaking them in where i can. A cup of tea on the deck, a foot bath, a walk down to the garden, a visit with a friend. I find myself sitting still just every now and then and just breathing deep, stilling my circling mind, and just breathing. Only a few minutes sometimes but it really helps. A little bit of mama-time in the day. A kind of natural meditation for busy people if you will. 
And i am eyeing up the sewing table. Those of you who have been around these here parts awhile know that sewing (especially done late at night) is considered a form of therapy right? Well, i stumbled across Liesl Gibson's new range of patterns for women. Lisette. For 50% off at Spotlight. (Discreet cartwheel in a quiet aisle ensued). This last one is my very favourite, but despite sending various folk in to search their local store, not a one in my size was found. But, i did get to give this one to a dear friend and that made me happy. Btw, Liesl is the woman behind the gorgeous childrens Oliver and S patterns. That is one talented lady.
 Now, a late night scramble through my fabric stash...this new acquisition of a vintage print perhaps? Hmm.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


 We have tried to keep plastic toys, actually plastic throughout the house, to a minimum. When Jed was a baby he was surrounded by mostly natural materials. His favourite kete contained seashells, smooth river stones, pine cones, driftwood, different textured fabrics and other such heady delights.
Sometimes though, there are things too special to ignore, just because they're made of plastic.
This is one. Klikko.
With the basic shapes of squares, triangles and hexagons plus two and three way connectors, so much is possible.
 A great way to build and learn about 3D...because of these nifty connectors the shapes can move...a hexagon...can fold inn half...
 ...turn into something three legged...
 and loosening one connector, can stack up.
 Hours of fun. (For mama as well as small people, ahem...who said it was all the kids anyway?!)
Then there are gears and handles for more engineering experiments. We built this boat, you can also build animals, space stations, ferris wheels, cranes...anything you can imagine, or find in the book or little DVD that comes with it. I found this set on trademe. Happy about it? Remember that little dance i do when excited (often, sadly, in charity shops)? Uh huh.

Friday, March 9, 2012

a renegade 'moment'

So, this is part 'this moment' - see above - a small boy with adventure backpack, wooden sword in hand, headtorch on...hurling himself through the sand dunes at sunset.

Yuss. One to remember.'s where the 'moment' morphs into renegade rambles...(friday's 'this moment's are meant to be no words allowed...shhh, don't tell Amanda...see her 'this moment' post HERE and scroll down to be linked to hundreds of others)
I just about fell off my stool when i saw the date of my last blog post. I had a whole weeks of goodness lined up here for you and somehow it all sneaked by. Sigh. (Note to self: structure in blog time in the day)

I love this wee space in blog land. It's been years now. Years! I love hearing from you all about your high and lows, your offerings of wisdom and sharing your story...either in comments or by email. Mostly by email, i get you're a private sort of a crew.
I'm doing battle with the dilemma of making more money from home so i can continue to be the kind of mama i want to be. I'm looking to write more articles, get those online shops heaving, work that market, how to live life juicy and full -and i am running workshops again this year. Yehaa! It's all work from the heart, speaking out about creating a more sustainable future, about sharing life skills and stepping up.
Folks keep suggesting i put more energy into the blog, host giveaways and take sponsors and use it to link together all that i offer the world these days. I have been reticent. I make big bloggy plans but then haven't quite manifested the time to make it all happen. I want to. I do. And then i realised the delay is i am battling with my relationship with money. My self worth i guess. Blucch. Coming out of that 'life with baby/small child mindset' to that of working mama. Balance. I need to be mindful of how i juggle these pieces of my life. Also on my mind, and important to me is integrity. This here blog is from the heart and i want it to continue to be that way. I'm not sure the sponsorship route is for me, for this space but if i'll be folks i support and want to promote.

I'm going to step into uncharted lands here in the next few months, i have plans - a few series, a wee blog facial, some linky goodness, community building, giveaways, and i'll try (TRY) more frequent posting...oh, good stuff...very good stuff. Such fun to dream up and hear others excited about it all too. The technical aspects of it all is terrifying me it has to be said. All the more exciting you say? Why yes!

(Oh sheesh, now i have committed myself haven't i? Gulp!)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

perfect timing

 I was super blessed to win a giveaway offered by the Enchanted chameleon. I got to choose which kind of bunting i wanted. Her doily bunting now graces my home beautifully. It was perfect timing...the parcel arriving right when i most needed it. You know...kinda down. I have a few special pieces of crafty art in my bedroom-studio and i love the reminders of the incredible mama's who created them. Somehow i don't feel quite so alone as a 'based at home mama' when i see them. You can check out Suzanne's blog, The Enchanted Chameleon, HERE. Her blog is one of the few i pop along to regularly, i love her honesty and her wee man is a similar age to my wee man.

Way back in December i offered a GrowMama giveaway on the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Week...the youngest member of the household drew the winner from my ten favourite comments from the magic hat. And then...the package sat there waiting a response from the comment i'd left the lucky winner. Then the crazy season happened, travelling happened and i finally finally posted the parcel. I was feeling a leetle bit, er, sheepish about how late it had gone out. we're talkin' months after the SewMamaSew folks said. Eek right?
Turns out it couldn't have arrived at a better moment. You can read Lucy of Secondhand Dinosaur's blog post about her parcel arriving HERE.
A good lesson in how these things have a way of working out, no?!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


 The lovely Annie B came over to my stall at Kraftbomb the other day with her arms full. A pile of beautiful crafty books and some fabric she'd picked up in an op shop for the wee man. That was it, i was lost in 'The Children's Year' by Stephanie Cooper, Christine Fynes-Clinton and Marye Rowling for the rest of the market. She has made everything in it as her kidlets grew up and now has passed it on to me and it just feels so darn special. I have gazed longingly at it in Forest Folk store (at our local Steiner school) but always put it in the 'one day when i have some money' basket. Thank you dear Annie. It has found a good home here.
 Just the cover of this one is enough to inspire.
 The next day i came home to a delicious package of retro and vintage fabric scraps through Notchka's  Scrap Bag Swap. It's meant to be anonymous i think but i was so glad that the lovely lady over at Mushroom Lane popped one of her card's in. I am all about the community aspect of blogging and i love meeting new folks through these things. And besides, it made me feel a little less cheeky when i popped a GrowMama card in with my Scrap Bag parcel i sent out this week!
And she popped a wee surprise in with all that retro goodness: one of her bars of soap. Yum. You can read about her soap HERE and it's available in her Felt store HERE.
Lucky me huh?!