Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I kraftbombed, finally

The last Sunday of every month brings Aucklanders Kraftbomb. If in town, stop by the Grey Lynn Community Centre and check it out. You'll be glad. It's a craft market with a spicey twist. Full of crafty goodness to buy, ogle, sneakily fondle or eat.
Certainly worth the drive through driving rain from the West coast. I'll see you there, it just may prove to be addictive. Nice wee scene.

I met the lovely Ellie, the woman behind NZ's magazine for the creative set, Extracurricular. If you are a retail bod, you must contact her about stocking the magazine immediately. It is essential reading and will up your kudos in the neighbourhood.

These are some of Ellie's prints. Deliciousness. She has a print that begs to be given to mama's and papa's of newborn babes. "These are the days of miracle and wonder". I'm just sayin'. Find them in her shop here.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Heleen from Ruby in the Dust. I have been selling her work alongside my own at Lets Go Retro for awhile but i hadn't seen her purses and just loved them. And, if I weren't making my own gifts these days i would be reaching for her journals made from old Golden books every time. Upcycling, i love it.
There is such talent about and it was great to meet some of the people behind the work.
Part of the joy of going to craft markets, or any creative/art event really, is the inspiration. I walk away buzzing with energy and ideas.

Next Kraftbomb Sunday 26th September. Who knows, maybe they'll even let me sell there one of these fine days!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


This small person likes mixing. Wants to know what happens when crackers get soaked in water, what mixing vinegar and sugar will taste like...there are often experiments and 'soups' left in pots.
The other day Jed asked if it was okay if he used ingredients from the baking drawer. He was clear about what he needed and lined them all up on the bench. Busy with something else, i helped him pour quantities of each into small bowls, ready to go. He chose his mixing bowl and preferred wooden spoon and got to work. By the time i got back to him, he'd been raiding the fridge for 'extra goodness' and wanted to bake it. It looked like surprisingly like cake batter so i suggested we add a beaten egg, and we poured it into a cake tin.

This is what came out! Jed's face when he saw how it had risen and looked 'just like a real cake' was loveliness.
Much ceremony was made of morning tea and dang, if that cake wasn't the best i have tasted for a long time! Moist, light, delicious dance of flavours....really exceptional. All who were honoured enough to taste it agreed. On further questioning the magic ingredients were revealed to be white chocolate chips, berries, grannie's homemade marmalade, yogurt and vanilla essence. I'm all for trying that one again.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

vintage spring

Freesias will always be the herald of spring to me. The smell takes me back to whole days of freeplay outdoors in my garden as a child. Flowers hand picked by us give me great simple joy.

The op shop/ thrift shop gods and goddesses have been smiling on us lately. This mouli came home. It has slicing, grating, mincing and pureeing functions. All work beautifully. For $7.

Jed unearthed a vintage pile of books. Shops are topical around here and this wee character Pookie is wonderful fun. I found out that it's worth $100 or more. The look on jed's face when you read it to him is worth a lot more i reckon.

Just loving the pictures. Pixie hats are popular with both Mama and Jed.

And this wee gem:
Enid Gilchrist's Pinnies and Things. A magazine jam packed with things to make, complete with patterns. Some i deem to be hideous, some beg to be made and some strangely resemble things i have designed myself...what that says about my design aesthetic i am not sure!
The craft table is running hot.
My journal filling with revelation.
The garden stirring from it's winter rest.
The lawn sodden from all this rain (ugh).
I spotted a paddock full of lambs, all skippy.
The birds are dancing. "Mama, why is that bird wiggling it's bum in front of the other bird?"
The ideas are coming thick and fast.
Busy sorting, cleaning, clearing out the old and making room for the new.
The local womenfolk were out late and tail feathers were a shakin'.
Finding it hard to sit and meditate, all jumpy and want to do, do, do.
And those beautiful freesia's are on the dining table...
Must be.

Friday, August 20, 2010

natural dye

A fresh batch of playdough. Still steaming hot.

The pink is fairy styles: we used berry tea bags with hibiscus for the this colour. Gold glitter adds to the magic. It smells divine which could prove problematic if you have a playdough eater on your hands.
The yellow is from white onion skins and tumeric.
Jed made batches for his friends too. Made with love, that boy is getting handier in the kitchen by the day.

We raided the dining table centrepiece and Jed's nature table to see what prints could be made.

Then all creative stops were pulled and a mountain of a project emerged. Reminder to mama: provide the requested craft gear and then step back! Or do my own thing alongside.
These are good rainy winter days. How are yours?

Monday, August 16, 2010


I just procrastinated and it was great.

Ignoring the wish list of things to do in front of me (oh yes indeedy, i am a list person) i took a quick peek at Facebook. And remembered why i like it. I lived sixteen years away from NZ, in more than than ten countries. Many of those years in intentional community, engaged in eco/social justice work and meeting many amazing people giving talks and my series of workshops. Facebook is one way for me to stay in touch with the tribe of people i call friends, some very dear to me. Miles melt away when a beautiful spirit you haven’t seen for a few years pops up unexpectedly for a chat. A big hello to Sangeetha, Rajeev and little Isha in Chennai!

Amid all the rain, there was sunshine today. I feel the first tweaks of spring in the air, even though i know we are still in winter, it has turned...the sunsets are getting later, the daffodils and jonquils are flowering , my heart is full of hope, the old brain aflutter with new ideas and i have more energy. Which is good, as i have many blog posts here waiting to make it onto the screen.

A reminder to myself. I often wonder if anyone stumbles across my wee messages on the beach. They are meant for myself and the incoming tide but i am willing to share...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

a small peek into a big day

The small one is now three.
He was very clear about what he wanted his birthday to look like. Who he wanted there ("not a crowd but my special people and a goat"), what he wanted to do ("games, mama you manage that part"), and what kind of cake he wanted ("a butterfly...and can there be chocolate and berries in there?").

Every birthday we have a tradition that when Jed comes down stairs, his corner is tranformed into something special. First year it was a fairy grotto, second year it was the house, this year it was a shop. I stumbled across it on trademe, a second hand gem if ever there was one. Jed has been setting up shops for months...a vintage fabric shop (whose his mama?!), an orchard shop, a second hand shop and was just stoked to find this one to be his very own. It came with German vintage cash register, scales that work, oldfashioned telephone and a stash of the old cornets or twists that sweets or nuts used to get handed out in. Sheesh, lucky kid!

He is a very conscientious shopkeeper. If i am missing anything from the pantry i know precisely where to look too. (An unexpected bonus!) I like that there has to be fresh spring flowers in his shop.

I couldn't figure out how to get a goat to his party so the day after we ventured to a local farm he loves. Hours were spent cuddling rabbits and he was the only one wanting to ride in the rain. He rode and rode and rode until the guy tempted him back inside for more rabbit action. And not just the wee kiddy ponies, oh no...the biggest dude on the ranch had to be saddled up. I love that.

There's been a fair bit of crafting happening - Jed's been really into dressing up lately so i whipped up this cape for his birthday. He chose the fabric himself. Magical.

Has it really been three years since my life was so deliciously transformed and turned on it's head?! What an incredible journey.

Friday, August 6, 2010

beauty that moves

Some words i need to keep in mind arrived in the post this week. In artform, courtesy of Heather from the blog, Beauty that Moves. Heather's is one of a handful of blogs i follow. Back in April she gave away several of these stunning prints and i was one of the winners. I felt so blessed. Things were starting to shift for me back then and winning seemed like one of those big neon signs Life sends sometimes to cheer you on and say, YES! More! Keep going, you're doing great.

But then it didn't arrive and didn't arrive. Hmmm. Months of not arriving. My heart drooped, but i hoped someone who appreciate it, no, needed it, had somehow received it.

A few days ago, when i least expected it, there it was. From the USA to my wee village by the wild west coast sea. Ahhh.

I fear my camera does not do it justice. I am looking out for the right frame for it. Its home is above my craft/writing table in my room. Perfect. Thank you.

Those of you who have not seen the world through Heather's eyes are in for a treat. Go see.

On this path no effort is wasted.

Monday, August 2, 2010

winter birds

Take some twitchy fingers....
Add two chunky crusts of bread, some peanut butter, a knife, apples, some birdseed....

...and a tree full of hungry birds. Eight different kinds. We watched, rapt from the kitchen window as the 'bird party' unfolded. Very exciting and the small person who had created the birds party menu all by himself looked very proud and happy. Good medicine for challenging times for him.

One small boy, discovering his own wings.

"Uh oh", he said. "Here comes some furry trouble".

I have been blogging less that i would like. Not for lack of inspiration or material let me assure you! I think i am back now...shall we say every few days? See you then.