Sunday, August 30, 2009

Testosterone ...

I am currently living with five males: two adults, one adolescent, one cheeky seven year old and one baby. My brother-in-law has come to stay too.

The toilet smells like wee; there's always dishes; they eat all the time; the laundry is always overflowing; and they rumble and wrestle on MADE beds, couches, the floor; and I am becoming very good at making them pick up after themselves because it exhausts me just looking at it all. I don't like being bossy but I have to be, grrrr.

Of course the upside is lots of arms to cuddle a crying baby or pat his back when he's struggling to breathe; the kids have someone to throw a rugby ball too or go fishing; someone is always in the kitchen so I get a few cups of tea and lots of food; there's a real sense of life in this house, that people live here. It's not a dead museum. I hope to see more of our brothers son too, my nephew. My dad came visiting last weekend. I kid you not. I invited him to move in with us as well. lol. And he has a son as well. I think I am a man-magnet ... yeah right.

Its rather overwhelming living with so much maleness around me. I definitely need a bigger house if Dad comes to stay. I would have our whole family living with us if they wanted to. To look after and care for any whanau anytime for any reason is normal. We love having family around us.

I have four brothers, my husband is one of four brothers, his father had eight brothers. There were three boys born in my family in the last three years. It's a man-saturated world I live in.

Meanwhile a craft fair to get ready for in two months.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

little brother

My brother Sean and our family from Australia ...

I understand how my kids love their little brother. I could just fall into these big deep brown eyes and be lost forever. My sweet sweet baby.

This is my little brother. He is eight years my junior which when we are both in our thirties isn't that big a difference. He was my baby once. My mum was a single mother and I shared the responsibility of looking after my two little brothers when we were younger.

I really love them deeply and feel my heart expand when they are around. It's tough living in different countries. I have no desire to be a foreigner. I am tangata whenua, I belong here but I do miss my family often. We are standing at the north end of Titahi Bay.

And this is my lovely sister-in-law Marnie. I'm not kidding, she's really special. She's warm, loving, thoughtful, sensitive and kind. Can't you tell. She's really like that photo. I'm so glad my little brother married an amazing woman. This is my nephew Matthew who I met for the first time. He's too cute. The fairest little Maori kid I know.
Cheryl, Marnie's mum, Marnie and I went to Martha's Pantry, a new tea house at the top of Cuba Street for high tea. I had a Devonshire tea with scones, cream, jam and a pot of Earl Grey. We drank from fine china and Knuckles sat in a vintage high chair playing with the iconic wooden bumble bee toy and banging Cheryls gold bracelet.

Back in P-town things were rugged. The wind was blowing and the air had a bite to it. The ocean was churning its guts and the sky was bright blue. A great day for surfing and sightseeing.

I'm glad my family is here. We have Rich's youngest brother living with us at the moment too. Our hearts overfloweth.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A tree, a button, a thought ...

I need time alone these days. So I headed off on a jaunt by myself
to play with my new camera one sun shiney afternoon.
Treasure hunting

Is this what it means to be in hot water?

Time alone but always someone on my heart and in my prayers.

I really do find buttons so many that I filled a small bowl after this walk.

A lone tree washed ashore and partially buried.

My new camera and a touch of Photoshop.

I live in Titahi Bay, Porirua in New Zealand. My kainga. My home. My children will one day bring their kids back here and show them where they were raised. They will say 'This is where mum would bring us for hours, to play on these rocks and along these shores. Man, it is much smaller than I remember."

Making memories. It's what it's all about. Our spiritual connections with a place that make it significant and mean something. My new banner comes from a doctored shot of a tree washed up this weekend. I am enjoying my new 'eyes'. I'm off to have some cake and tea ... want to join me?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wintery day at the beach 2009

ahipara girl

i heart stones
beautiful smile

best friends
A new camera,
A wee jaunt to Plimmerton,
Some crochet on the beach with stones found there,
A rugby game,
A playfight with sand bombs,
A hunt for sea glass and smooth stones,
Itchy bites
And fish and chips for tea.
My family's big day out to the seaside.
I hope you are able to get outside and play too.
As a therapist and mother, I highly recommend it.

These are a few of my favourite things ...

... like the Sound of Music, one of my favourite all time movies here are a few of my many loved objects, either thrifted, gifted or repurposed and handcrafted by me.

My growing little collection of Crown Lynn pottery. My grandmother worked at this factory and we grew up eating off their china. I love this moody stuff. The colours and patterns. I found the plate in a free stuff bin outside an op shop and the cup was $1.

A little gift from friend Cleo, a fantail hand embroidered on a vintage doiley with Maori greeting 'Kia Ora' found at a large barn warehouse of secondhand goods. An ideal gift for me.

My collection of oven cloths / pot mits grows. The light blue and red circle on was found at Trash Palace and was free, the white one, quilted one and green one in top corner were all a dollar each at op shops. The three bright ones were gifts from friend Betty Ann.
Details of Betty Ann's cleverness. I love the crafting community here made up of generous and kindhearted women. I feel very blessed indeed.
I found a bag of handmade dolls clothes at Trash Palace for $5 which I purchased just for these. Odd I know, but I love green, I love handmade, I love wool and I love knitted clothes. The rest went to the home of a wee girl. Cute vintage buttons on this one. They hang in my bedroom by my wardrobe. lol.
A handcrafted pottery horse. Something about blue and green pottery and glass really appeals to me. Add to that flaws and it fits in my hand, this horse is a favourite object. I love small beautiful objects. Cost $1, a gift from my mum, found at Trash Palace. Priceless.

And finally a craft market to prepare for in a couple of months. I was gifted a ripped vintage crochet bedspread. I love gifts like this. Seems a waste to use things others can use but this was a bit beyond repair. So I carefully removed the circle motifs and after a quick crochet lesson from Cleo, whipped up these little beauties. I have seen others around the net too and always admired them. I have a love for stones and the stones on our beach are perfect for crafting with. I made some a while back with both felted and crochet wool for an early exhibition this year. I gift mine mostly when an exhibition is finished.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pot holders are essential, like breathing ...

This I hope will be mine by the end of the weekend, fingers and toes crossed!

So many wonderful things to be made on Ravelry. If you like knitting, crochet or anything yarn related you need to join this wonderful website.

I like these little knits because they are quick. How adorable are these knitted bibs with the embroidery on them and the burp cloths are bumpy and will extend my knitting ability a little me thinks. I only have ten thousand other projects on the go currently as well.

Ravelry: Baby Genius Burp Cloth by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne
Ravelry: Baby Bib O' Love by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne

Knuckles will look gorgeous sporting these along with his new moss green knitted pants from Aunty Betty Ann and his funky ethnic cut down wool dungarees from Aunty Cleo. He's also sporting a new hat from Cleo made from dyed wools.

I need to learn to crochet so I can make some wondrous pot holders to hang in my kitchen, purely to be looked at of course and admired. I want circle-y ones, square ones. All handknitted or crocheted of course. I found one today at Trash Palace and they gave it to me for free along with a rusty tin with a lady on it. I love tins. I love handmade. I love Trash Palace. I love pot holders and I love FREE!

Not bad for day one of my pot holder hunting. And a little bird has posted a picture on Facebook of a green pot holder apparently made for me today! So that's two today. OMG. How happy am I?

I am feeling so bleh these days, not sleeping well will do that, that and hormones. It's the same thing I think. I am not synchronised. During the day I am on autopilot with my duties to my family, then at night, I emerge. Rachelle the maker, creator, thinker and moodler, imaginative and creative. I try to merge the two but bad habits I guess of years of insomniac behaviour catch up on me when coupled with a new baby.

I am so thankful for these rays of sunshine that are my dear friends, my ability to live on a small income and the wonder of being a creative person. These are the small sanity-saving devices I have. Those and my new pot holders of course. ;)

Everyone should have a few pot holders for no other reason than just because. What a wonderful collection I shall have on my wall (see last post for visuals)!

Monday, August 3, 2009

simple living ...

Collecting windfall gum leaves at the McMillan homestead up north last weekend.

I did my flax dye pots with friend Cleo a few weeks back. I got my blanket dress just about finished and my kimono top and the baby dresses and my bits and pieces in there. And I been stitching all over them, and adding then taking away, then adding. Editing the surplus til all that's left is eye-pleasing. Knitting up a storm with the neverending story scarf and the baby pants I started a while back.

I have perused op shops thrifting old textiles and Crown Lyn plates for the mismatched set I eventually want to own, as well as handmade pottery cups and dishes. I am inspired by retro homes which are popping up all over the place. I really want my own place to makeover how I want. Go visit 'design*sponge' and view some lovely retro pads there. I am in love with vintage crochet pot holders so if you see any out there, please think of me. In fact any colourful crochet is most desirous. I am so glad I started collecting peggy square blankets last year as their popularity is making them scarce as hens teeth and expensive.

Go Handmade. I want a home full of handmade furniture. My grandad made furniture, I wish I could have some of his stuff. I know where to find some but it now belongs to someone who bought my grandmothers home lock, stock and barrel. Argh! I was too young then when her home was sold, the whole home is my dream home. It was a little bach, off the beaten track and no town supply, it had gardens and a big shed and yard for kids to play. It had feijoa trees. It was perfect for cats and dogs. A grape and passionfruit vine, Que sara sara.

I have been on the receiving end and that just lifts my spirits. A jute bag covered in doileys and vintage buttons from my mum. Handknitted pants for Knuckles from Aunty Betty Ann. A Crown Lyn jug for me from Betty Ann. A dyed and knitted hat for Knuckles from Cleo. Some doileys and embroidered cloth from Alena. This crafting community is just the best. I really love being part of a generous community, it feels so good. I gave a knitted cap to a friends babe plus some of my fave knits that Knuckles had outgrown, baking, thrifted finds. A lot of the knitted flannels have been sent out now from the batch I made at Xmas with my two mums. I'm sure there's more but I think you get the idea.

Faye and Dixon, our whanau in Paraparaumu

We went and visited friends on their lifestyle block and I didn't want to leave. NO neighbours, NO noise, just lots of green space and that lovely calm that is country life. Sheesh I am so over the city, I just want to go bush with my babies and grow my own food and bake and have chickens and fruit trees and a swing under a feijoa tree. Here it's a vicious cycle, it costs more so u have to earn more so u have to spend more time away from family at work. Insane because we love being together as a family and hanging out with our kids. I miss Rich at work during the day, and the kids being away at school. Our favourite thing is hanging out together. Roll on homeschooling and our own country dream one day. A house in Kaitaia starts around $120,000. Here there's nothing under $250,000 and that's the bottom end of the market alright. Either no sun or no access or a riotous neighbourhood.

This lovely kid turned SEVEN although on his birthday he reckoned he was half six, half seven, lol. I love kids logic. He is my bubble this kid, so out there, friendly and well, bubbly. He chatters away, loves social situations, people, playing, telling jokes (the same ones over and over), storytelling, hanging out. He told his teacher his favourite second thing is knitting. His first love is drawing. We adore him.

And here we are doing what we love to do together best, walking the coast. A trip up north was complete when we stopped at Paekakariki to scour the beach for treasures.
We found pumice, driftwood and lots of seeds. See ...
Someone got caught by the waves rushing up behind him.
Playing with our new camera is fun.I could live in a settlement like this.
An old coast road, kiwi baches, giant hills, winding roads, stark skies, ocean beach ... its just awesome. Doesn't Pingau Road sound like an amazing address. Pingau is a special grass used for fine weaving for making flax kete.
This view reminded me of a painting my mother did.

Some neat blogs and sites you may like to visit:
Textile artist, Anu Tuominen has the loveliest textiles including what look like crochet pot holders.
Elisabeth has a beautiful home full of lovelies and I spy a wall of crochet holders here too. lol. I got it bad. I love all the pictures on her website. I think her home is full of simple lovelies plus there are lots of other jumping off places to go visit similar sites. I think SIMPLE is the theme running around in my head screaming to be let out. I love simple, rustic, clean, uncomplicated living. It resonates somewhere in this urban girls inner workings. I will be revisiting this site for more mental sabbaticals. It's very more-ish. Hahaha.
And speaking of handmade, these recycled drawer furnishings (I've featured others before) just seem the niftiest idea. Now if I could only find someone who could make me the outer, I know where I could scavange the drawers from. For more like these furnishings including the beautiful cups below, go here to paper n stitch.