Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rachel's house.


One of my dearest friends, Rachel, recently moved a little closer to home.
She is living out in the sticks, in a house that was very close to being just a pile of sticks itself.
At its last valuation the house was valued at nil (!?) and it hasn't been inhabited for about 15 years. There were/are plants growing through the floor boards, holes in the walls and rats in the walls.
It is so, so beautiful.
We went out to visit yesterday afternoon and I was blown away by how envious I felt. I mean, really, I love my little warm house to pieces but she lives out in the middle of nowhere in this huge house filled to the brim with amazing arty treasures, and she an do whatever she likes with it! No landlords concerned about pin marks, no stress about children pulling the wallpaper off their walls (ta, Aesop!) and free rule of the garden too. It makes me pine for my own home.
But that wasn't the only reason I left feeling a slightly greener shade of pink. Rachie is a jeweller and an artisan in the true sense. She is finishing up her studies with a masters in making objects (you can read about it here because I definitely can't explain it! ha) and while she spends a lot of time writing as part of her course, she spends the rest of her time growing things, fixing her house, knitting, spinning, crocheting.. basically Rachel is seems to have more hours in her day than I, and more talent to fill them.
Granted having two fewer children than me (and one less husband) would free up a few hours and being without the internet at home and television would free up a few more... but unfortunately those are things (aside from the tv) that I just wouldn't be without.
Isn't it always the same? The grass is always greener in someone elses paddock. I have a sneaking suspicion Rachel would trade it all for a nice husband and a few littlies running around. I guess I just need to work on being happier where I'm at! Although I do think I'll steal a few decor ideas..

(more pictures on Rachies house in my flickr stream..)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

List #8- Plant a vege garden.

I planted my vege garden this week. Well, technically I planted two gardens. does that mean I can cross number 8 off twice?
With thanks to my friend Lee for building me a raised bed, and my friends Kelly and Josh for the soil, I finally have what will, hopefully, be a successful wee patch of vege-growing goodness. I have doused the soil in blood and bone, scattered handfuls of fertiliser and dug in litres and litres of organic compost. I even have chicken wire covers for both places to keep the stinky cats out while the plants establish! Green fingered super gardener ahoy!
I thought I would start of simple and I have planted broc, cauli and lettuce. I also have marigolds planted around them to keep the bugs away and have borage and what might be a pumpkin plant thanks to Aunty Christine. (Oh, and a rhubarb plant from Rachie!). I'm most excited to see what else I can find to grow.

Now to plan some serious handstitching so I have an excuse to sit and watch the back episodes of nz gardener!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ewok.. or not.

Progress is being made on Ottos costume for the starwars party but, judging by yesterdays 'fitting session', I'm thinking it might need mittens (or super glue!) if we are to have any luck keeping the darned thing on him.
At least I know I'll have more luck with Aesops costume!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

# 21- See some live music.

There is not often much going on in Whakatane. No bands really tend to come and play here, the 'club' scene consists of  about 6 pubs/bars that always feel like they are either full of old people, barely-eighteen year olds or very rough and ready people. The one 'street feastival' we did have has been cancelled for the past two years due to lack of funding and this year it is running but has only two weeks advertising and we're busy that night anyway.
Needless to say, every year when 'Jazz in the park' comes round half of Whakatane jumps at the chance to sit, watch some live music and drink a few beverages. It's very child-friendly and picnic-friendly and both times I have been the music has been excellent.
This year Tauranga band Kokomo played. They were a very cruisy sounding jazz band with funky covers and a few originals and great instruments such as the washboard. The lead guys voice sounded just like Van Morrison when he was talking, and pretty good when he was singing too.
We didn't get to stay too long, the kids needed dinner (we weren't organised enough to take a picnic after a long day in Rotorua, but thanks to Donna and Lee who shared their nibbles with us!) and bed. But we did manage a few dances and have plans next year to make more of a night of it!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Doll face.

Being the mother of two boys I'm pretty clueless about what is 'cool' for a four year old girl. I realised this when we were invited by our new friend Lucy to her daughter Islas birthday this weekend.
So, I figured I would make a doll. Girls of all ages like dolls, right? Right? Either way.. I embarked on a bit of a doll making journey.
I'm not a softie maker. My brain doesn't seem to work in 3d, or something. I made a camel for Otto and that's about the extent of my toy making experience. Needless to say, this could have gone either way!
I'm pretty happy with how she turned out. The wee skirt I made from a doily is a tad wonky, and her hairline is too. Oh, and she has a pet goose (because Aesop told me my swan didn't look like a swan). But all in all she looks very doll-like and I had a great time making her. Am tempted to make one for some other wee ones I know, and I'm thinking now that perhaps Islas new friend might need a few more outfits.. and a quilt!

Wip erm, Thursday.

Alot of works in progress this week.
It's been a funny old week so far, I feel like I've achieved precisely nothing! But that's not entirely true, it's more that I just don't have many finished products to show for myself.
I have a nearly finished doll for a certain someones birthday this weekend, a huge stack of triangles cut out for another certain someones wedding bunting and a few steps made towards Aesop's birthday plans.
Oh, and then there's a slightly chubbier baby (who can now pull himself to standing in his cot!), an ever-so-slightly smaller belly, tidier kitchen cupboards, a few scrummy dinners, a dozen loads a washing and a couple of great scores from the op shop. Not too shabby after all.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Week wears.

We had a good weekend. I'm still in lax mode, but will be back in blogging mode tomorrow!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Date night some more.

Yesterday Abraham and I had another glorious, childfree date-night.
We lay on a blanket at the harbour, ate home made lentil burgers (recipe here, but it was dry so I added 2 eggs.) and chocolate zucchini cake, watched the clouds and enjoyed the quiet-ness that is time without the kidlets. It's incredible how you forget what silence sounds like.
We arrived home to two sleeping children (both of which slept through until 6:30! First time ever!) and funny shows on tv.
I have a sneaking suspicion this is going to be a fantastic weekend. I hope yours is too.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Scrapping it out.

I have a fair amount of fabric. Anyone who has been to my house will tell you that.
I keep my fabric sorted into knit/woven, sizes and then colours. Pieces that are knit go in one corner and woven goes on the other side of the room. Wovens are sorted into pieces that are big enough to use for more than one hood lining (they go on the shelf), pieces that will only do one lining (into one 60l container) and then pieces not big enough to line even one (they go into another 60l container).
Where am I going with this? Well.. as you can tell, the sorting of my fabric is all done around hoods. And the pieces of fabric too small for that very rarely get used, or even looked at! I have decided that that really needs to change.
Solution? Quilty bags! I made these three bags this week and have plans to make a few more. I used my basic bag pattern, added some batting for structure and voila! They use up all those lovely little scraps that are far too awesome to throw out but yet have no real purpose in life. They look pretty dandy too, if I do say so myself.
I have plans for other scrap-using-upping projects too, but for now I'll try and take some better photos of the bag and, depending on what kind of feedback they get, they'll either be listed in my Felt or my Etsy this weekend.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

S is for...

Slurpy spaghetti.
Scores from the Sallies. (and here and here)

And some (scrappy) sewing.. finally!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

First trip to the beach!

Due to a public holiday yesterday ( thanks Auckland, for lending us your anniversary!), we had an extra 'day off' this weekend. Since Saturday and Sunday were both blustery and wet, we ended up needing a third day just to get some time out of the house!
We had a cuppa with the lovely Bonnie and Chris in the morning and then headed to the beach with my Mum and Dad and the kids in the arvo.
I'm not a big fan of the beach (crabs!sharks!jellyfish!heat!sand!), but I didn't want to rain on the parade of a 'family beach afternoon'. So I, in my entirely inappropriate-for-paddling outfit, took Otto for his very first paddle in one of the little waterways while the boys and Nana launched themselves at the dumpy post-storm waves. Otto seemed to enjoy eating the sand much more than playing with it but appeared to enjoy his first little venture into the world of beach-going. Once we were all sufficiently sand-covered, wet bottomed and towel-wrapped, we did the only one can possibly do after a trip to the beach... went out for ice cream! Even I enjoy that part!