Wednesday, August 28, 2013

winter hibernation....

   new couch in its original, itchy, dusty state
  Oh I am slack... no writing all winter, I've hardly even taken any photos... I have excuses (always), four kids, a show and thrice weekly rehearsals, an increase in extra-curricular activities for the kids; choir, art classes, sewing classes, football,  cubs, homeschool activities, new besties for my nearly nine year old. And me...? My folks have shifted down here from the big smoke (Auckland),  and I keep knitting
in pieces
  slowly, a few rows here and there.. in between craziness, when the baby sleeps ( hardly ever),  on this , my new couch!

all done!
 Wow that was last school holidays! I took the covers off and used them as patterns for my patched and cheap collection of granny chic fabrics, took off all the dust, vacuumed it all over then disassembled it.
Reassembling took some strength and sore fingers as I wished for proper tools and not just a wool needle and some heavy thread. I love the finished result!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

north island tripping

 last week during the school holidays we were lucky enough to be able to visit my sister and her family in taranaki, staying at a gorgeous, really kiwi bach( crib) at a west coast black sand surf beach ( where wild cattle roam the dunes...) with my parents who were rocked to sleep in the house bus by the winds that came up every evening. It was a perfect winter stormy west coast holiday, the perfect setting for a thriller type movie or book, inspiration for some  edgy fashion label...
  We anzac paraded ( my brother in law  taking part), op-shopped, visited  museums and learned more about the local history. Joska made friends with their beautiful dog and now tries to make our cat "fetch". We visited the beautiful Hollard Gardens with their fabulous playground.

  we didn't see the mountain.
  I came home inspired; winter -cleaned my house, made new bench seat covers and patched up a door.
  and uncovered the windows previously hidden by brick cladding and rearranged my sewing space to make the most  of the light. I made a new "corner". What do you think?

Friday, April 19, 2013

a quick catch-up and a five year old!

   Easter in the sun... but the summer is now really over and this weekend the drought has broken for real!
  We've been busy, doing textile classes, cubs,  drama club, playgroup ( for homeschoolers), easter and birthdays. I between the kids have learnt stilt walking, Joska is running, climbing and dancing, and Tobin turned 5!
  We celebrated his birthday in the local park with campfire cooking, and old-fashioned games like three-legged , and sack races. A very relaxed but fun birthday and the rain held back that day.

  Today we are off on a plane to visit my sister and her family for a week. Yay!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

mud monsters

...some late-afternoon mud-monsters invaded our house...
...and told the baby he could have a dip too...  

.."okay friends, just let me kick the ball around first..."


Late summer ( i did think It could be really autumn now, but then we had three days of 28 degrees c again, so late summer it still is, although we are optimistically decorating with the few autumn leaves we can find...), play, sewing, home-making for the winter to come. Wood pile is in the shed, tomatoes are souped and canned, peaches stewed and frozen and sauced, blackberries frozen. Autumn are you ready?
 My cupboards are full of tallow, rendered by me; the used -to -be lifetime vegetarian!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

playgroup camp

 Homeschool/playgroup camp to Pakawau ...
 some much needed relaxation and space....

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

joska turns one!

 our baby turns one early morning wake up from excited siblings ( one didn't sleep all night in anticipation of a tooth fairy visit)...
 paleo birthday cake for breakfast....
 everyone had made something for him...maaike a pillowcase, anoushka some pants and tobin some more pants... the girls are doing a textiles class and are getting more independent with the machines and techniques... so proud!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

late summer homeschooling

 I love the freedom to make a quick walk, evolve into a slow amble, and a paddle and then make plans to do it again tomorrow.
 I love having lessons on the sandspit, surrounded by sea birds and waders and godwits before they take flight again.

 I love listening to the pace of the children, and not push my own agendas too much.

 I love learning to take care of my own body and that of my family ...

 I love the cooler mornings and evenings, but the still warm water: it makes it easier for me to get out and do "walks" etc, now that the sun isn't quite so burning. I feel like a solar bank, storing up the sun's energy before the cold comes.

  I love the slowly changing light, and leaves on the trees.

 I love the way our garden is feeding us and enabling us to squirrel away food for the cooler months, we are harvesting peaches grapes, nashis and apples, and prune plums, the veges are slightly more pathetic, but we have beans, greens , pumkpkins and tomatoes we share with the stink bugs.

 I love feeling inspired by the gathered garden art I can spy in people's seaside gardens as we amble.
What do you love?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

house of two halves

We've been working on he outside,just what w can afford, so lots of our own blood sweat and tears, a bit of help from Struan's father and a tiny bit for a builder-man to do. The brick work is just cladding and underneath we discovered weatherboards, mostly in good nick, just some splits from where they nailed in the supports for the cladding and a few rotten boards. We are working on the bits, the kids have started off for us, trying to be helpful they said, ha!  
 These pictures are a "during" moment, obviously "before" is the brick cladding, and "after" will be due for 'reveal "  soon.
And the jungle I call my "kitchen garden".  Anyone got ideas for vegetable(stink) bugs? Someone said water stress, and true its been hot and i've been distracted with house stuff, but I don't think they'll go away now just because i'm watering more?

Friday, January 18, 2013


 We've been doing some more work around the place; taking out the carpet and painting the hallway and sealing the floor etc, ( not to  mention the work happening outside ; we've taken off some of the fake brick cladding to restore the weatherboards... that will take a while...). I did most of the work inside but I've been taking the kids to  the local park to get out of Struan's way while he works outside. In the park we've been: playing pooh sticks, Building fairyhouses, a tiny
bit of knitting and swinging, and picnicking. what have you been up to?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

garlic pickle

Here's a recipe for garlic pickle that I made recently to use up last years garlic as I recently harvested this years. But before that I want to say WHEW my kids all came home this morning. For their first nights away from home we sure picked the wrong one! The area Anoushka was in was subjected to heavy rain and massive electrical storm that lasted for ages and we didn't sleep as our area was battered by extreme winds and heavy rain, while hoping that they were all alright in their tin hut. It snowed a wee bit higher than they were too, so they were all cold! Right, now to garlic pickle:

 1 cup peeled garlic cloves
1/4 cup lemon juice
2Tbsp coriander seeds
2Tbsp fenugreek seeds
1Tbsp cumin seeds
3Tbsp chilli powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 cup mustard oil

dry roast and grind the seeds. heat oil in a pan and saute  for a while. add ground seeds to oil and garlic and fr for a bit longer. Add other ingredients and cook until it thickens slightly the bottle in sterilised jars.

 I tripled the recipe and didn't put as much chilli in as  the recipe says because the kids like it less spicy. A word of warning though, it took me three hours to  peel the garlic!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

and a happy new year.... on December 6 there was a storm and we got struck by lightening and lost our phone line and then our internet connection.... it took three weeks of to and fro-ing to be reconnected and here I am! It was quite nice to have a christmas completely cut off from any kind of 'keeping up with the Joneses' and just quiet crafts and friends etc
 Its also nice to be reinspired by blogland and  able to be in touch with family overseas.

Our kids aer growing up, well some of them anyway... All this time the older three have shared a queen bed ( after moving out of ours), but with the heat  this summer  and their growing length its been keeping them awake... They aren't quite ready for own rooms but we came up with these instead!
 We modeled them on  plans available here
 But ended up changing almost everything except the direction they are facing!

We got three old wooden bed bases and heads and foot boards and mattresses for 70 dollars and bolts etc cost about 50. We cut the beds down a bit so A wasn't sleeping in the stars too much, and they are anchored into the studs and on the floor and eah other. They love them! They also now have shelves courtesy of googling 'pallets!'

NOt bad for some technically challenged parents!

A is up the mountain at Flora Hut tonight with her grandparents on her first ever sleepover/overnight tramp and Tobin is staying with his nannie for the first time ever too! See what I mean by growing up!? Maaike unfortunately had a  fever yesterday so is having a nice day with us instead ( poor girl). I have more to show but that will have to wait for uanother day.

I have just found India Flint and am completely inspired!