Sunday, December 26, 2010

thank you

Dear All,
Thank you for laughing, crying and sharing with me here.
I value your presence very much and look forward to the adventures the new year will bring.
I have big plans my friends! See you on the other side.
Whether you be in winter or summer, enjoy.
And don't forget to look for the magic.
We are off on a roadtrip. To see family. Friends. Beautiful places and to squeeze in a few nights camping. Jed, Puppy and Catalina's (see above) first camping experience. Much excitement!
Much love to you and yours,
see you just after the new year kicks in, take good care...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

a solsticey giveaway sort of a post

We woke to sunshine on Solstice - which was very welcome. The longest day of the year and very fun with it. Much thanking of the sun, greeting of growing things and many hours in the water with friends. Along with some new gardening tools, I gave Jed a swan plant, one of the few foods of the monarch butterfly and there was much excitement as many butterflies laid their eggs right in front of our eyes. I think we may need to pick up a few more plants, we have caterpillars already! How special to witness the tranformation from butterfly to egg to caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly.

The Solstice fairies and pixies living under the tree woke to gifts too...

A magic wand. Made from a toothpick, paper, fairy dust/glitter, and rainbow embroidery thread.

Santa pixie wore his new Solstice cape with shining sun appliqued and embroidered on and a teeny tiny book, entitled 'Solstice tales' completed the trio of gifts. Magical wonderment.

And, let it be known, that the winner of the GrowMama Sew Mama Sew giveaway is Angela from the Catlins, Southland in NZ who said 'WOW, what a clever lady. I can knit but i can't sew and you are an inspiration. I love the funky vintage'. That cracked me up because i am in awe of those who knit because i often say that I can sew but i can't KNIT. It is true that those brave souls who have tried to teach me, have given up. Bless you for your honesty. You know who you are!

I like choosing my 15 favourite comments as it gives me a chance to read through all comments, respond to some, rather than using a random generator. I am afraid i may get lazy if i used one.

This is the smallest member of the household 'reading' the winning name.
The runner up was Sara in Akko and i will be sending her a little something in the New Year.
Congratulations folks! And a big thanks to everyone who commented. SO many of you. And so nice to 'meet' you too.
Er, i may have to revisit the issue of random number generators. I was chosen to win not one, but two giveaways! This has brought me much joy.
I won Marissa of Skooks' Playground's gorgeous clutch bag AND $100 aus to spend in Alyson Adeney's etsy shop Harry's Desk. Yay for me! ...and here you must picture a wild dance of joy, which won't be too hard for those of you that know me well :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

to solstice and beyond...

I am new to celebrating Winter Solstice and Christmas with any sort of enthusiasm. I had quashed that for years focussing instead on the over-consumerism and what i saw as lack of meaning in the holidays. But. I am a mama now. My dear cousin, the talented Pete Circuitt, made a movie, 'Yes, Virginia' about the existence of magic/santa , and on the return to live in NZ he gave a special viewing of the film to all the kids.
At the end of the animated film, Jed looked up at me with eyes of wonder and that was it, we were deep in Christmas.
And so, I am committed to finding meaning in this time as we begin to craft our family rituals and traditions. We are finding our way.
I brought home some Solstice fairies and pixies from Forest Folk, the shop at the Steiner School. Somehow we came to make them a house out of a cardboard box. Carpets of velvet 'moss' went in, an attic got created complete with trapdoor. A cardboard tube from baking paper became the chimney, dried oregano stalks the logs of wood on the 'fire'. A kawa kawa leaf is their table. Each day we make them something new for the Solstice fairies home. A ladder to get up to the attic. A broom made of an oregano twig and pine needles bound with embroidery thread.
The pixies love to climb in trees. Their mattress is stuffed with lavender leaves. They get wrapped up in their blankets every night and sleep snugged up together "like you and me mama". They drive a little red vintage tractor powered by tree love, and spend hours and hours with Jed during the day.

It is magic.
Will we wrap this up in the new year and bring it out again next year? I am not sure yet, but i love what is unfolding.
Money is tight but i love how we are smiled upon. A huge bag of wonderful decorations for $15 at the local op shop. Fresh fruit for the picking. Ideas and the skills to create gifts and a fabric stash to delve into. We will go through my market stock to choose gifts to donate to our City Mission. Jed and i will be baking up a storm next week, my evenings will be crafting ones.
A handmade, simple season, full of music, good food, laughter and resting fully in the moment.

Thank you to everyone who visited during the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway. It is closed now but i still hold the glow of 'meeting' new bloggers and crafters from my wanders through the lists of giveaways. I have chosen my 15 favourite comments and will ask the smallest in the household to choose the winner from the hat in the morning (hopefully not before 6am). Good luck!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

the great vintage pink giveaway

It's Giveaway Day time! Big thanks for SewMamaSew for organising Giveaway Day. It is always a joy to be a part of.
Welcome to GrowMama to those who have not visited before.

Here it is: the great vintage pink giveaway.

- Swing tunic top with cross-over back. Size one. (9 months to 18 months) Can be worn as a top with shirt underneath or in summer by itself as a sort of dress.

- and something for the mama: a shopping bag made from a vintage pillowcase. Worn over the shoulder, it has an inside pocket with velcro closure for your wallet, keys and phone.

-handmade card featuring pink/yellow floral vintage fabric.

GrowMama gear is lovingly handmade using high quality re-purposed and vintage new fabrics. It's all designed by me to be hardwearing, easy care, comfortable and fun. Each piece is unique.

The shopping bag made from a vintage pillowcase, unfolded, and the vintage fabric card. See more about them here.

See gorgeous wee Ava Bean model her tunic top here.

Leave a comment to be in the running to win. I choose my favourite fifteen comments and they go into a hat. The smallest one in the household chooses the winner. There just might be a runner-up prize this year too.
Entries are open until December 17th -ish. (Give or take 12 hour time difference to the US). I am happy to ship internationally. I look forward to hearing from you! Feel free to have a wander through the GrowMama blog and enjoy Giveaway Day. If you haven't been involved before, click on over to the SewMamaSew blog (link on the right) and get browsing.
For those of you in the Auckland area i'll be at Crafternoon Tea market in Kingsland on Saturday from 10-3pm.
Right...the big question this afternoon is: Swim or Sew? I should be sewing's a darn hot day and the beach is five minutes away....hmmm!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

quietly crafting away...

Some of us have been nude in the garden. Actually, some mama's have a hard time keeping clothes on some folks around here.

Last week, the morning after oral surgery, brain still addled from the drugs, i began a craft project. With piles of market sewing to do, had i been in my right mind, i would not have begun. But! From here, having stayed up later than was wise to finish them, i am glad i did.

I got to delve into my stash of scraps, rummage and surface with a theme of 'vaguely green' pieces. I used a deep green cotton as the backing. I give you:

...Christmas/Solstice tree bunting. I stumbled across this tutorial from Sadie and Lance, HERE. Which, in true anissa fashion, i flicked through at high speed and made my own merry way from there. I made a gap to thread my trees on rather than sewing across the peaks. Slightly more fiddly but i like the result.

A sneak preview for a very dear friend, Madge. It took three years for your pounamu (greenstone) carving to show itself, another three weeks for me to make its dwelling place, i can only trust that it arrives when you most need it.

It's SewMamaSew Giveaway day next week folks...i'll be participating again. It's always a blast, see you then.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

simple joy

. We are practitioners of simple joy. If we are open to it, the day takes us and we get swept up in pockets of magic. Things still get done, it's just that the lines between work and play blur.

Soaking last years beans. We put aside enough as seed for this years crop. Jed spent perhaps an hour scooping them out and playing, then fascinated at how big they got as they soaked up the water. This went on all day .... then we ate 'em. Yum.

I love living in a world where discarded walnut shells become boats. Some to carry things we're worried about, some to carry flowers, some to carry mice (theoretical mice) and as resting places for dragonflies.

Shady, the wonder dog who redeemed all of large dogs in the eyes of Jed. He is Sheena and Craig and new bubba Billy's companion. Jed and i did a road trip to the Coromandel to stay with them and meet the delicious Billy. Sadly, all pictures of Billy turned out blurry. Personally i think his special glow was unphotographable.

Sheena and Billy took us to Thames' 'Bright Smile' community gardens . Jed is still telling people about it. He met this new friend there.
If you live nearby, or are passing by, pop in and say hi, it's one of the special places.
Here's the link to Good Magazine's community gardens listings. Find one near you and jump in.