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.


Jeana Marie said...


happy birthday to your big 7 yr old. very cute what he said too.

i may just have to get out my crochet hooks for you - i'm sure they are hiding under the bed, in my handbag and about the house somewhere... ;)


Lady P said...

what a lovely posting - the photos of your family, the beach and environs and your love of a simple, handmade life
glad to hear that you are getting out to the thrift stores
i adore shpping in them
treasures just waiting to be found

ashley said...

i completely agree about making a move to the beautiful green places around, i am in the midst of searching for a job next year and my man and i are trying to find a place that would allow us to play together more than apart.
i do too love the posts of elisabeths beautiful home, in fact i was looking at them just today!
i do hope you are having a lovely family filled week,
x ashley

india flint said...

hey sister
those seaside wanderings looked pretty good
had a few in Tassie a couple of weeks ago and thought of you