Wednesday, May 6, 2015

somebody likes meditation

By the time I get time to do yoga and meditate, I have fed everyone, we've run wild down at the beach and Phoenix is ready for a nap. Nothing like a warm lap for a snooze. This is about the only time I am still enough for this to work!

As soon as the meditation cushion is out, Phoenix is ready. So funny.

It's been a busy fun time with work and unexpected family coming up from Queenstown. Yay for cousins! In all the fun (in a small house) my time to do yoga, tarot and sit quietly fell off the menu. Four days on and I really feel it. I am a much better person for taking some time for some self care. Back on the wagon with me! Plus, who can resist such gorgeous company? 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

the hemlock tee

 I like simple patterns that I can tweak and use in many different ways. I have been on the lookout for a good jersey T shirt pattern and have found it in Grainline's Hemlock Tee. Not only is it everything I had been looking for, it is FREE. Yup. You heard me right. Thank you Jen! You can meet Jen of Grainline Studio and download a fabulous Hemlock Tee pattern of your very own HERE
Short version of the review is: I love it! Long version below:
(Warning: Sewing geekery follows...)

The Hemlock tee is super easy to sew. It's a good beginner pattern for you folks who are terrified of sewing jersey knits! I didn't even use an overlocker, and psst, nor did I finish any seams. Jersey doesn't fray and I certainly don't mind...I like to leave jersey seams free. If I finish them it can add more bulk or scratchiness to the garment. And before you purists comment all outraged...I am still wearing garments I made like this years ago, they do last!

I am not sure what fabric this one is. I got it for fifty cents at an opshop. It's a warm silvery grey and so soft it feels like I am wearing a cloud. Possibly silk blend jersey? Whatever it is, I love it. I widened the sleeves on this one. The fabric has such a nice drape, I wanted to make the most of any movement in the garment. It gets a lot of comments.

The dynamic duo photobombing my shoot. (Just be glad the puppy was shut inside, sheesh that pup can move fast!)

This one is in a thin cotton jersey. You can't tell in the photo but the overall colour is a gentle brown but there are threads of blues and greens in there. I had the tension wrong for the twin needle hem but the hems wiggliness is calming with washing. 

Hemlock tees are a super success for me. I have one on the go in a woven fabric as an experiment. I found THIS blog post about the making of a woven tee after I was three quarters the way through mine, and have a bunch of unpicking to do around the neckline. Definitely use a bias binding neckline. Good thing I don't love that fabric, I am not sure it will survive the unpicking. I do like a good experiment and hey, it's been a good long while since I had any significant unpicking to do. x

Friday, April 24, 2015


It was the hardest of mornings. We still made it to our archery club open day and I am so glad we did. We learned so much and got to shoot for a few hours, up a mountain, with dear friends under a blue sky. And while there were not many smiles, the rough morning ebbed away and we felt a whole lot darn better for it. The boy and I walked adventured up to the top of the mountain after the archery session and came down from there connected and feeling stronger somehow. 
Both of us are keen for more archery. It was very cool to see everyone so strong in their bodies and focussed and striving to improve. Some of us clearly have natural aptitude, that Jed guy was the first to get a bulls eye. Plus, I learned the hard way where my arm guard is meant to go and got the most impressive bruise. I have been impressing intrepid small children with it all week. 

We've been reading and listening to the Rangers Apprentice series. The main character is a skilled archer. And watching Lars Andersen on youtube. Very cool. Prepare yourself for some seriously inspiring archery and historical research then click HERE.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Learning Together

One of the things I have been working on is the AHE (Auckland Home Educators) Conference coming up on the 9th of May. We've named it 'Learning Together'.

It promises to be quite the day, with main speakers Stephanie Walmsley, a long time homeschooler and homeschooling advocate and Larne Edmeades, who is the principal of ACG Parnell College. His four children are, or have been, homeschooled.  I know right?! Many people are very curious to hear his story. We have a wonderful array of workshops, a marketplace, info centre and beautiful food available for morning tea (which you get with your registration) and yummy lunch (which is super affordable).
I am facilitating the main panel and giving a workshop called, 'Nature as Teacher - using the natural world in our learning journeys'. I can't wait. I love this work.

The best thing? Working with some fabulous women who I hadn't met before they telephoned me out of the blue and bringing people together. It's been a such a pleasure. We have some fabulous people giving workshops and events like this are so important. We get a sense of being part of something much bigger than our own homeschooling households and groups, we get to meet new people, share ideas, gather new inspiration and return with renewed spirits to our daily lives as a result.

If you are homeschooling, or thinking about it pop on over to the AHE website HERE and take a look at the programme. It's all good, affordable too. Plus, if money is getting in the way of coming along, contact us about scholarships. Register now, spaces are limited and you don't want to miss out. I'll be there all day, come say hi!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

matchbox rockets

Matchbox rockets are big in our world at the moment. Who knew you could have so much fun with foil and matches?! Simple to make and super fun, we've had these rockets go for 15 metres!

The wonderful Adrian showed the kids how to make them at one of our homeschooling groups a few weeks ago. They all trooped off to the park next door to launch them and one or two went, but we didn't have a consistently good result. I realised that the foil we use here in NZ is a thinner one than in the USA. so we've added the step of wrapping a layer of foil tape around the whole rocket, being careful to fold over at the top and seal well. THEN add the fins. This will all make sense when you watch the video I promise.

NZ'ers...the foil tape is found in the paint aisles of hardware stores here. (That simple sentence could save you half an hour searching for it - You're welcome!)

HERE is the tutorial from the King of Random. We have bookmarked his site to see what other adventurous stuff he's up to on there. In the immortal words of the seven year old, 'danger and fun quite often seem to go together'. (Ange and G...I thought of your lot would love these! )