fun with blackboard paint

Thanks if you supported Rob (last post) – his Pozible campaign is nearly there – he only needs $130ish to meet his goal! I’m so excited for him.

I bought some blackboard paint when we moved into this house but never got around to using it….then I re-found it when looking for something else in the laundry cupboard and thought I should finally DO IT.

I decided to paint a board on the door, rather than painting the whole door black. Here’s how it ended up:

bb_2 bb_1

Now I can write quotations on the wall to remind me to be a better person.





a spot o’ sewing

In the interests of clearing out a bit of ‘chi’ in THE CAVE OF FORGOTTEN CRAFT, I finished off two skirts I had half-made ages ago (like, years…)

One was a simple wrap skirt, but I used three different fabrics for the three panels (why stick to one??)…two thrifted bits and one piece of new fabric with darling little head-kerchiefed girls on it.

The other one was a simple A-line skirt made from cotton drill, and a beautiful Tui tea-towel my friend HELEN gave me. I thought it was far too nice to dry dishes with.

I embroidered the title of my favourite Dinah Hawken BOOK on it – ‘Oh there you are, tui!’. I can’t see a tui now without saying that line…and she’s so right, you usually hear a tui before you spot it.

But wait, there’s more! Last week I thrifted some wonderful 70s t-shirting for two sweet dollars. It was a real memory trigger – & 70s t-shirting is so very SOFT. There was no mucking around with this one – I wanted that fabric on me! I could see a summer top for wearing under cardigans. I sewed a singlet out of it, just by drawing around a singlet I wear a lot – super easy peasy!

It was good to finish off some abandoned projects and get back into the crafting groove, but mostly I remembered how I don’t much like sewing for myself. The finished items are never as good as I envisioned them and so I think these will be the last things I sew for myself for a while.

get away from her, you *****

Yay, September!

I’m happy to see September, because August has been mean to me.

In fact, in the weirdness that is my head – I imagine Sigourney Weaver coming in in a giant robot-suit and saying to AugustĀ THIS

Ha ha!

September = official spring (even though the daffodils have been springing up and lambs appearing for weeks now) and my birthday in a few weeks.

I’m turning 40. Woo! Bring it on!

My late thirties have been very challenging in many ways, so I’m excited to start a new decade. However illusory ‘clean slates’ are, why not embrace them?

I heard a quotation by a Christian monk yesterday:

‘Sometimes the cure for exhaustion is not rest but wholeheartedness.’

This resonated with me, as for the last couple of years I have felt soooo tired. Not just ‘need a good sleep’ tired, but bone-weary, lacking in inspiration, I’ve lost my usual curiousity and sense of play in my creativity….. I thought I just needed more rest so I have scaled back and back and back what I do (although life is still full to the brim – how does that work??)….it doesn’t seem to have helped. I recognise this as ‘burn out’. However, mothers with young children don’t really get to have burn out, in that children still need caring for, housework still needs doing, meals need cooking. There must be ‘burned out’ mothers all over the globe who just keep on going. What choice do we have?

Hearing that quotation yesterday was like a bell ringing out in my chest…..waaaaaah, yes, too much scattered attention….too much compromise….just too much….

Something has to change.

All the time I am seeing more clearly what the changes are that I need to make!

If this all sounds a bit melancholy, it isn’t. I’m feeling pretty good.

Funny how if you won’t listen to your intuition, your body will often pack up in some way to send you the message more strongly…

Last week I hurt my back, badly enough that I couldn’t stand up straight and had to take a day off work to go to the doctor and osteopath…and a full week later it is still very painful…


Okay! Okay! I get it.

Turns out I am not very good at not doing anything….even in pain and not much able to walk I went to work, made dinner, did the school-run…(on the other hand, nobody was telling me not to!)

Anyway, this was meant to just be a yay! I got through winter, almost intact!

Bring on the spring flowers, bring on paying attention, bring on my forties.

I’m ready.



made in april

I made a big mess on the living room floor for a week or so, putting together vintage paper packs out of my big stash for the Craft Country Shop in Featherston:

We have a crabapple tree so I made a pile of unappetizing-looking crabapple mush into this glowing jelly – how that dull mush can turn into that jewel-coloured jelly is a wonderful act of kitchen-alchemy…


…turns yummy:

And finally, I made this dining-chair cushion (shown here at half-way of being sewn up), which I would pronounce a fail, except my kids have declared they love it and I can’t throw it out. The unfortunate colour-choice, plus the bulbous nature of the stuffing means that the kids alternate between calling it ‘the salami’ and ‘the bowel’ – either way, they insist it stays, meaning I get to ‘enjoy’ my latest crafting fail.

When I saw this idea on flickr (of knitting a big long tube, stuffing it and stitching it into a spiral to make a dining chair cushion) my witty friend Emma McCleary said ‘just don’t knit it in brown’ (it took me a second to get what she meant) – looks like not knitting it in mottled bluey red meat tones would have also been a good idea.