Friday, May 31, 2013

Grateful for Roots

I've been thinking a bit about roots this week

In a storm last week a small tree was uprooted in our garden - literally it's roots could not take the strain of the wind and rain that beat against it.

I absolutely love this print - find it here

What grows a tiny seed into a mighty tree? Is it not the effectiveness of the roots? The roots seek out nourishment, they lock and tangle into the earth so that they can steady the tree against forces that come at them.

Thing is.... roots aren't pretty, they look scrappy, they spend their lives covered in dirt, they don't see the sun and they have to filter out all sorts of junk to make sure that the plant stays healthy.

I think it's a lot like that in real life. I can spend a lot of time on the foliage and even the tree trunk but neglect the roots because really no-one sees them anyway. The roots are the real me - the way I think, the invisible things I do, the times I chose the right (or wrong) even when no-one is looking. The roots are made by who I choose to tangle my life around, how I spend my moments and what I fill them with, how I really feel about myself, others, God.

The pressure is on to be a tree that looks beautiful, that produces beautiful flowers, that has tasty fruit and amazing leaves, that stands tall not twisted and bowed..... how easy it is to become a topiary expert and forget that in the storm it is the strong, unseen roots that sustain and not the beautiful fragrance and position in the garden.

I'm grateful for the roots in my life and I'm challenged to invest in the roots that will keep me strong in the winter and nourished in the summer. This winter I'm actively retreating and allowing the roots to get nourished and I'm actively seeking input, opening up the roots to scrutiny because even though that it's really hard I.want.strong.roots. I'm asking questions, I'm listening, I'm learning and I'm letting go of the pride that tells me I'm the only one who knows how to grow a tree with strong roots. I'm letting go of the fear that stops me letting people at the roots in case they are disappointed by my lack of substance.

I hope that I will grow - deeper, stronger, fuller and in time it will reflect in the tree.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Make My Week - Not Quite

I will be back with a wardrobe post soon I just need to sort out the photos....

This is my last Me Made May garment and I'm finishing with a fail :o) an almost but not quite

like the theory, like how it came together, thought I had adjusted the pattern well ....buuutttt...not quite

so I have abandoned this one with only the hem to go

It's a bit long in the body, the back is bulgy, it's funny in the side seams - and as it's fully lined there's more than just an extra couple of darts to fix it up

I guess 4/5 isn't the worst odds. I'm hoping to redeem it somehow but not now, not today, and probably not for a while.

so I'm joining in with Leonie because there will be better inspiration over there and because sometimes it's nice to know that we all miss the mark now and again.... I definitely do


love you more than a quick un-pick
 Show & Tell Thursday's

Monday, May 27, 2013

B.M.W.B - Blow Monsters

Another easy fun idea I pinned on my to do with the boys board.

Straws, some manky paint scraps watered down, stick on googly eyes ($2.50 from the warehouse) and a vivid.

I love how adding the eyes and smiles gives them such a lot of personality. So easy, so fun, guaranteed success. :o)

One of the things I love about winter is the drawing in that happens. The congregating near the fire to play lego, read stories, stitch, hang out..... the boys still need to burn energy during the day but I feel like there is more opportunity just to be together - have milos and read. I love it.

Do you have special family things that just happen in winter?

Thanks for being part of the journey x

Becoming the Mama I want to be is about taking time to enjoy the journey of parenting, to honour it's value and to hopefully inspire and encourage each other. 

Create Hope Inspire

Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be

Button code on the right if you want it

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Love them

Family celebrations for Flip's birthday

Friday, May 24, 2013

Being A Grown Up Is So Cool

I quite like being a 'grown-up', yes I really do.

Sometimes I think we as grown-ups, ahem!, bemoan how we miss the joys and freedoms of childhood. Certainly I want my boys to enjoy all of it and be little for just as long as they can - but being a grown up is fun too.

This week when Flip turned 7 we filled his door with balloons to collapse in on him when he got up in the morning. I spent the whole time we were putting it together saying to The Atlas - 'this is so fun. Can you imagine how much the boys would love to be able to do this sort of thing?'. and of course they could with adult help and organisation..... but that's the point I'm trying to make

when you are a grown up:

you can plan surprises for other people with no help

you can use fancy ingredients to bake for people, or even just to bake for yourself

you can put a treat in the trolley at the supermarket without having to ask permission and beg and plead, all the while trying not to sound whiny

you can eat a biscuit for breakfast (yeah cos I would never do that....)

you can read WAY past your bedtime and feel tired all the next day without being told off

or you can spend a whole year reading magazines because it's all your over tired brain can handle and no-one harasses you to read 'real' books (or worse gives you an assignment to do on a book you can't stand)

you can call in sick without having to convince your parents you really are sick (and I'm not suggesting sickies here - just pointing out you get to judge your own sickness level)

you can give people presents for no reason

you can wear whatever you please (clearly within the bounds of decency and you really ought not to wear shorts so short your butt cheeks hang out the bottom - just sayin)

you can wear ridiculous jewellery to work and not worry about getting it confiscated or setting fire to it on the bunsen burner (unless of course you are a mechanic, scientist or other such career)

you can paint your nails and no-one is going to tell you to take it off

you can wear a black bra under a white shirt (not that I do, but I could)

you can pick your own underwear and not worry about it showing through your PE shirt

you can even go commando without having to worry people will notice when you hang upside down on the bars (not that I do, of course!!)

you can take photos of whatever you like and take heaps and heaps without having someone tell you to be careful the whole time

you can make a 'playdate' (or whatever grown ups call them) without having to ask a parent and you can stay home without being forced to play with that girl who always says mean things

you can suck your straw and make loud noises in a cafe and no one tells you off

you can run a bubble bath and read a magazine and if you drop it in you can shrug and move on

and your kids don't tell you off if you forget to close the toilet door - in fact they kind of appreciate having to make less effort to break in and tell you something important like they just stuck something to their armpit and it won't come off and you have to help right now! (or is that just us?)


today your challenge is to do something that only grown ups can do, just because you can, and to intentionally enjoy it. Please tell me what you are going to do - 'kay?

Today I'm stoked to be a grown up, because being a grown up has its very good points

Got anything to add to my list?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Make My Week - Garment 4 and 4a New Look 6000 and a Cardi Make-Over

So I've just completed this little number.
I was given this fabric ageeeessss ago and I love it - enough that I've been a bit scared to use it - ever happen to you?

Anyway this is another version of New Look 6000 but this time I've included the pleated detail at the side - which you can barely see.

The photos are 'action shots' :o) and yes you can see my slip poking out the bottom - sorry about that!

I'm so pleased to have used these super cute buttons I've been saving for a special project. They are on the sleeve cuff. Don't you love how it looks a bit like a paper boat?

Also some more details of the cardi makeover -inspired by and crocheted flowers supplied by Louana (here is the original post that inspired me).

I'm thrilled with it and I know I'll get a heap of wear from it.

Joining in with all sorts of clever at show and tell.

 Show & Tell Thursday's

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wardrobe Wednesday - Me Made May 15th - 21st 2013

You'll see this week I've embraced my inner teenager and pulled stupid poses in the photos (although I did refrain from poking my tongue out - those photos are entirely un-redeemable!)

May 15th - Skirt -  handmade in 2002 (yes indeed!), top - op-shopped, tights - gift, shoes - op-shopped

May 16th - Dress - handmade from a Vogue reproduction pattern, belt - op-shopped, plastic train necklace - me made, tights - had for many years, shoes - 25cents off trade me, underskirt - me made

May 17th - Friday was supposed to be 'hat day' for MMM - hat pierre cardin bought from an op-shop (not actually sure I can pull this off???), necklace - me made, top - me made, made up pattern, jeans - hand me down, boot bought in Debenhams in 2005

May 18th
 for watching my children play football in the rain! Coat - handmade from a furnishing remnant, jeans - hand me down, shoes - op-shopped, merino top underneath. Yes that is a miniature tractor in the background - had it not been raining I may have draped myself over it for the photo shoot!

May 19th - This dress also worn in week one, beads - gift, tights - gift, shoes - op-shopped.

May 20th - Dress me made - also worn here, necklace - me made, crocheted fingerless mittens - bought here, tights - Farmers, shoes - bought in 1999, sunnies - dotti, cardi - glassons

and don't you love the back of my made-over cardi?? This amazing woman inspired me and then crocheted me all these wonderful flowers. I like the strands so much I sewed them on too :o)

May 21st - really not loving this outfit.... yeah but here it is anyway. Dress handmade - made up the pattern as I went along, cardi-op-shopped, tights - gift, shoes - op shopped.

There is still a week and a half and 2 more handmade garments to complete..... I'm feeling a little crazy each day even though I still have lots of great things to pick from. I need to actually think about outfits the night before or even days in advance - do normal people do that?

Each day I think about if I am biking the boys to school and what I can wear based on that and what else I have to do.....I started cutting out a quilt last night to distract myself from the 2 buttons I need to sew on to finish a garment - so.not.a.finisher!!

Linking in with Wardrobe Wednesday (click the button on the right) and the MMM flickr group.

breathe in, breathe out......

love you more than a personal stylist xxx

really you want to see more of my Me Made May Outfits??? That's weeks one and two.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tasty Tuesday - Fruit Ninja Cake

So I had a birthday cake to make for a very special 7 year old.

He wanted a fruit ninja cake and so I thought I'd have some fun with the new icing gels

A watermelon cake with pink insides and chocolate chips to look like watermelon seeds.

Then 2 types of green to design the watermelon outer.

Cut and split the cake fruit ninja style and make some juice splatters, sprinkle in some mini fruits.

I was quite pleased with the result and so was the birthday boys which is after all the point of these activities (especially when you are left with a rather overcooked cake to eat for the next... forever!)

Joining in with Ange for fun with food.

Monday, May 20, 2013

what's with sponge?

Aside from the fact you can dye your sponge all sorts of colours to make a pretty looking cake....

sponge is a completely disappointing kind of cake

it's like ready salted chips

and the colour beige

what credentials does it bring to the table?

light and fluffy? (read: nothing to it - those calories are real but really are you getting any flavour)

perfect with cream and strawberries - what was wrong with the cream and strawberries that they needed an accompaniment that was like eating something you use to wash your car?

sponge is really like me on a touch team - I add nothing to the game, I bring no skill and when I do actually (miraculously) manage to touch someone it's a slap on the face (true story) and disallowed. The only reason you'd want me on your team is for my side kick The Atlas who is all the things I'm not and will run from the other end of the field to get the touch I missed.... 

I've tried sponge

I don't like it 

you cannot convince me it's any more than a boring beige in the line up of moist, dense, sticky and other wonderful invitations

sponge - my dance card is full - just stay there and blend in with the flowery wallpaper.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

B.M.W.B - Today You are 7

Today you are 7 - how quickly you have become 7, how small you still are. We are so delighted by you. So entertained by your way of viewing the world and the things that fascinate you.

You tell the randomest jokes. You take a joke you know and then make up your own completely unrelated punchline and think it's even funnier.

You are so much more confident at football this year - you don't just hang back in defence you get in and have a go. We love that we can see your confidence growing.

You still love to make people happy. You have such a generous heart. Another mama said to me the other day that her son said you are the most compassionate in the class and you'll always volunteer to go for the less fun game if someone needs to. What an amazing heart you have.

You play so beautifully with your little brother. You laugh together so much and I pray it will always be so.

You are interested in things and how they work. You ask great questions and often you ask the same question over and over until I have exhausted all my knowledge. I hope you will always have such a thirst for knowledge and truth.

I'm pleased you still love snuggles. You want me to tell you stories of when you were small, describe the things I love about you, and tell you what a great hugger you are.

I have loved these 7 years together, and if these years are indeed an indication of the man you will become it will be a joy to us to launch you into a world that will be so blessed to have such a beautiful and compassionate man with a clever and interested mind. We love you little man - every night we talk together and say we can't believe what a wonderful thing it has been to be given you.

Happy 7th birthday.

Becoming the Mama I want to be is about taking time to enjoy the journey of parenting, to honour it's value and to hopefully inspire and encourage each other.

Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be

Create Hope Inspire

(In terms of B.M.W.B - I think we can never celebrate the gift of our little ones too much. We all -still- thirst to be valued and honoured and appreciated. Let's do that every chance we get.)

Thanks for linking in :o) - button code on the right if you want to use it


Seriously - week 20?

A boy with his birthday cake - 7 tomorrow

a little brother having fun at the party

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Books, Culture, Giveaway

I'm proud to be a New Zealander. I know we haven't got it all right here but we do have a voice and it is a unique voice that comes from a unique culture.

At high school I studied Maori and I did History and the only real history of NZ I got in all those 5 years was The Treaty of Waitangi. The Treaty is an incredible important document for us as a country but there is more to us. Maybe things have changed but I think a lot of the heroes and defining times of our (relatively) young country are woefully untaught. There are names I know (of both Maori and Pakeha) but there are few stories I am actually familiar with (and I'm not counting recent sporting exploits, I'm talking about the stories of the suffragettes, the leaders, the nation shapers... the Whina Coopers and Kate Sheppards). The stories of my history and my culture that I could actually share with confidence are limited to basic facts and not complete re-tellings. I know many Maori legends, I know a reasonable amount about The Treaty and Sir Edmund Hillary....and then it's just snatched facts and tidbits.

So, I was thrilled to receive 'Remember that November'. A beautiful book about a very, very beautiful and tragic event in our own history. The book is available in both English and Maori, and is a finalist in the NZ Post Children's Book Awards. This book shifts our focus on the 5th of November at the houses of parliament (England) to a place called Parihaka in Taranaki.

Because I wanted to do a different kind of review I've read the book for you. (Just in English my Maori is pretty rusty). I am thrilled to have a copy of the Maori version to giveaway to a reader. Just leave a comment and I'll draw a winner. Special thanks to my brother in law for putting the pictures and audio together and adding in a little extra musical magic. It takes a few seconds to start:

As New Zealanders I think it's wonderful for us to be producing beautiful books that we can feel proud of. Books that are purely for entertainment and books that tell the stories of our history. I think we owe it to ourselves and our story tellers to read New Zealand books, to buy NZ books and to have them in our shelves - proud of the talent that grows here in our amazing country. I leave you with my favourite quote from the book.

Be  you steadfast in all that is peaceful - Te Whiti
Me mau tonu ki te maungarongo - Te Whiti

To have a look at what the judges thought and the other finalists go here.

Remember that November - by Jennifer Beck and Lindy Fisher translated into Maori by Kawata Teepa

Make My Week - The Caped Crusader

Not sure exactly what I am crusading for though.....


This is cape is my third me-made garment for this month - I am aiming for one per week.

It's a pattern I inherited from someone else's cast offs. It's Simplicity 7438

The fabric and lining, thread and hook are all from my stash so also a tick for my goal to make 12 things entirely from stash this year. The fabric was given me by this lovely lady and the inspiration to make it into a cape from my 'clothing inspiration consultant', my sister. (She always seems to have just the right idea for a fabric I am stuck on.)

Capes are hard to photograph but fun to wear - although it has made me realise the lack of single colour garments I own - I am so drawn to colour and pattern.

Would you wear a cape? A friend recently made her daughter a blue hooded velvet cape for her birthday - I think that sounds so wonderful - I'd quite like one too.

Joining in with Show N Tell
 Show & Tell Thursday's

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wardrobe Wednesday and Me Made May 8th-14th 2013

Yeah so as you can see this week taking a photo every day has led to a lot  little less effort..... apologies for the faces that look a little like 7.30am (because they are 7.30am and this is pretty much how I look, minus the lipstick - that's especially for you - at 7.30am)

May 8th -
Me Made Coat from hand-dyed woolen blankets and appliqued and needle felted to add detail. The rest of the outfit was yawnsville xx and the front photo looked like a large green barge was sailing your way so you'll just have to be happy with the rear-end view xx

May 9th - Me Made dress New Look 6000 pattern , beads op-shopped, boots - Camper bought in Milan when we were young, mortgage and child-free

May 10th - Me Made Dress - made from 1950s car fabric, cardi recent purchase from Temt, belt - Dotti, ring a gift from The Atlas, tights Glassons, shoes/booties from Cotton On

May 11th - Me Made dress New Look 6805 made from beautiful Japanese Linen, Echino, Cardi Temt, Shoes bought for a job interview in 1999, Lemon fishnets - hand me down, Cross necklace bought for me when I was very, very small by my grandmother.

May 12th - Me Made Cape (more about that tomorrow), Dress by NZ designer Sailor Spy, Stockings hand me down, Shoes 25cents off trademe in a bundle. Cheese factor all my own!

May 13th - Me Made dress Simplicity Pattern, Belt - hand me down, shoes as above, bracelet charm bracelet that features a charm to represent every country we visited on our OE. This photo was so awful I had to apply these effects in order to make my face look slightly less like some gym obsessed, sun-bed over doer.... yeah I know 'Silk purse, sows ear....'

May 14th - Me Made Denim Skirt, tights hand me down, t-shirt op-shopped, shoes bought in Barcelona in 2005

other thrilling me made observations - I really need to make some more trousers and tops for cycling days and days when I am not feeling the dress love.

also, if I got rid of everything my family has handed down to me for my wardrobe I'd have a lot less clothes.

other lovely dressers at Wardrobe Wednesday (click the button on the right)

other lovely makers at the Me Made May flickr group