Tuesday, August 28, 2012

stocking up

These masks have been in hot demand with the kidlets.
I finally listed some in the GrowMama felt shop today.
Small things ticked off the list of things to do. It's a good feeling y'know?
Super heroes, super cats, caped crusaders...they are a mask for (almost) every occasion.
I do like making things to last.
And the famous GrowMama trousers the littlies can wear for more than one season...there are now a few pairs in the Felt store, along with some delectable summer shorts.

Spring is springing here in the Southern hemisphere y'all!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

a gift, a lend, a trade

 Simple things bring me joy.
 This vintage woollen patchwork quilt with its original backing...a gift from a friend.
I lent my Happy Birthday banner to help commemorate Kraftbomb market's fourth birthday today.
(Excited to offer these for sale and to hire very soon. Watch this space.)
I had taken a few months off to simplify life a little, heal a little, cosy up a little in these wet winter months. That was perfect but happy to be back on the market scene now. Good friends, sunshine, a hopping crafty scene and wildly diverse crew of folks coming through.
Plus there is nothing like a little crafting to get the juices moving.
And a trade. One of my vintage fabric tunic tops for one of Kirsten's new geometric handcrafted necklaces.
You can check out Kirsten's Cheek Pinchy felt shop HERE. It's all i can do to resist from ordering one of the Aztec prints in spring colours. Eek, the downside of markets...the temptation.

Giving, lending and trading. It's the future people. Down with money i say.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


 I have an excess of ideas and rain. Lest i get sunk in the whirl of all those ideas trying to fight their way into existence, and in an attempt to make the most of the sun in its rare appearances...we bailed.
We went to see dear friends. Hoorah for good friends, small and large.
They tempted us to Luscious cafe...which is extremely child friendly and also has good coffee (i do not proclaim this easily) and great food. A rare combination.
West Auckland's Te Atatu Peninsula has a great walk around it. We scooted. And sat, and talked, while the kids played, and splashed. In the sun. Another rare combination lately.
Big outbreath. There's some big ticket topics bandied about lately. One of these late nights, you'll get a stream of consciousness rant laid on you. You lucky people. But not now. I am feeling vulnerable and i imagine that won't be helped by going public y'know? Not this time anyway. Ahem. And good night!

But before i go...have you been to New York City? The first time i went i was super young and i was brave, but it scared the pants off me. In the years i lived in the US i couldnt get enough of the place (or my friends who lived there) ...i found it incredibly enlivening and inspiring. This website, Humans of New York encapsulates all that for me. Wow. Go see.

Friday, August 17, 2012

lessons in mud

 This is a wonderful book.
 It got us into identifying animal and bird tracks when we were at the beach or in the bush.
One day I lugged up a tray of earth from our garden and we made our own tracks.
We observed them in the earth and printed them on a piece of card. Yes, the rabbit too.
Next the boys turned scientist, i set them up with specimen jars, spoons and a magnifying glass each with the task of finding as many living things as they could. Hours of fun. Out came the bug identification books. And out came a conversation about microlife. They could not tell some things were moving, until they looked through the magnifying glasses and the gasps of amazement were awesome to behold.
 That night it rained. We made mud paint.
What five year old boy wouldn't love to paint in mud?!
I left him to it and thought i might come outside to the word 'poo' in large letters on the house but no, he'd carefully painted the numbers 1-11 and was working on number 12. What a cynical mama!
And to clean up? Out came the waterpistol. So much fun this learning lark.
Yup, we are homeschooling, it's official.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


 Birthday morning, after class...we played urban. Jed hit the streets on his new (to him) scooter.
 Such fun.
I have to admit...it was magic seeing the look on his face that morning when he unwrapped it. He had been wanting one for a long time. The admission? It was a selfish present too. When the little dude is too tired to walk around town while doing the inevitable errands? He WILL scoot. I had suspected as much. I don't have a bike rack on my old car so can't lug his two wheeler bike into town but i can pop this fold-up, lightweight, speedy scooter in my boot. Oh yeah...this is one crafty mama.
And another thing...why do folks laugh when i say i want one too?

Monday, August 13, 2012

where i walk

Where i walked. 
You will note there are no smaller footprints, or stick gouges, or ball imprints...just a woman's footprints charging on down the beach. Thinking, thinking. Admiring the wildness, thinking some more. Letting the sun seep into tired limbs and mind. Letting the seaspray and wind wash me clean. Walking, thinking.
 Where i sat.
 Where i gazed.
 Who i met up with later. For another good dose of 'sitting and thinking' (quite the catch phrase in our house) and...
a healthy dollop of silliness. And a swim would you believe? Him, not me!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

handmade birthdays

 Birthdays. The boy dreams it up what he wants and I try to make it happen.
 Crafting together makes the run-up to his birthday fun and i think, him being involved in the making adds a sense of pride and of giving to his friends and family. We're pretty oldschool. It is simple stuff, with the emphasis on being with loved ones and wallowing in that love. I haven't compared notes with friends but i think it saves us money too.
 As part of the infamous treasure hunt that has become birthday lore Jed wanted to give his friends some special treasure. 'To say thank you for being a good friend', he said. Mama spent an evening transforming some vintage fabric from the stash and a classy linen tablecloth into 'treasure bags' for his party people.
Inside he added a handkerchief he cut out himself, stickers and a wee notebook and pencil.
 The day before the party, he reminded me he wanted a pinata. Oh. Hmmm. Yes. I had forgotten. No matter...some upcycled cardboard and duct tape gave us the bones of a rocket...a bit of paper mache and paint later and we were good to go. Phew!
 We found  new sugar cookie recipe and used a very strong brew of Twinings strawberry and mango tea to colour the icing. Unusually for me i had planned to buy in sushi from our favourite sushi place but there weren't open that early...so handmade it was.
And i got off lightly on the cake this year. A heart shaped Chocolate fudge cake with mint icing was requested but when he saw the cakes fresh out of the oven, decided round was best. Needless to say, i was happy with this turn of events. Remind me to share this recipe with you one day, it has become our party standard, a truly delicious cake.
On the actual birthday morning we have a tradition of Jed waking up to a corner of the house transformed...this year it was an elaborate but simple construction of cardboard boxes. A space craft.That moonlights as the Bat cave, a science lab, cave and/or club house. Complete with a long entrance tunnel, trapdoor, skylights, portal windows and mini bunny entrance. It's still up!
Good good times. Memories to dripfeed a lifetime.

Do you have any birthday traditions?
I'd love to hear your stories...

Friday, August 10, 2012

eco dyeing and fabric-a-brac

I will get to that backlog of blogpost goodness, really i will. And wrap up the birthday just past, really i will...a few of you have been asking. I am a bit slow these days. Revving up though...just you wait!

A few public service announcements:
1) For those Auckland residents at a loose end this Sunday...the lovely Heidi Monks is running an eco Plant Dyeing workshop at MacAndrew Hall in Titirangi. Thats West Auckland. 12-5.
Contact Heidi for more info: Landspirit@xtra.co.nz
(It looks like MacAndrew Hall will be the new home of Sew Fun retreats and workshops so pop along and get a sneak peek.)

2)Fabric-a-brac Auckland.
Yes, for those textile fanatics enthusiasts out there, Fabric-a Brac has come to Auckland.
Those you want to de-stash might want to have a stall. Those looking for fabric deliciousness...definitely need to go along.
Proceeds go to support Mercy Hospice.
9-12.30 at Freemans Bay Community Centre.

Might see you there! Do say hi, i love to bump into folks from blog land for reals. x

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

it began with a bunny

 He's had the briefest of mentions but I haven't introduced you properly. This is the newest member of the household. Ostensibly a birthday present, by the time Jed's actual birthday rolled around, it felt like Chestnut the rabbit had always been with us.
 Fond of grass, a cuddle, a race around the deck and ridiculously cute when cleaning himself, Chestnut has always (touch wood) taken care of his toileting needs on newspaper laid out on the deck when he is out and about. He'll stop whatever he's doing inside, go outside to his pile of newspaper, take care of business then come back in and continue whatever he was doing. Smart bunny. This toilet trained aspect of the wee boy makes him an extra appealing pet in my book. He has his palace on the deck, free range of the deck when we are around, often the lower level of our wee house, and a holiday home on the lawn. Life is not bad.
 For a little guy who doesn't have any brothers or sisters, Chestnut is a gem. These two spend many hours together. Best birthday present ever.
Jed, his cousin and Chester, they sat there in the winter sun for about an hour...they were adventuring off on their magic wagon to faraway lands...all the while loving up that bunny. Little boy and little bunny heaven.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

candle me up

I had great plans to make a supply of candles. Now i am off the hook. The talented Aunty Hanna has been frequenting the Queenstown markets with her lovely eco candle wares and we got to bring a selection home with us. Lucky!
Some are soy, some beeswax. This one is in an upcycled wine bottle with a wooden wick. Love the idea of upcycling wine bottles like this.
 Melts for the oil burner...haven't tried these yet, but looking forward to it, they smell amazing.
My favourite, the beeswax lantern.

I have a huge lineup of posts i want to share with you. Been distracted by a small boys fifth (%?!) birthdays and trips away and well, a life well lived i s'pose. But still, i'll be back here more often.
Looking forward to it too.