Wednesday, December 9, 2009

this years tree

Its made from driftwood we collected at Pines Beach. We made it by drilling holes in the center of the driftwood pieces and slotting them over a metal rod. The rod has to be fairly rigid so it wont waver and we used a bigger piece of chunkier driftwood, a washer and a nut to secure it to as a base/stand. 
It helps to consider how wide you want your base and at which height you want to taper it to a point. Then its really just a matter of collecting enough different lengths and some extras to stack your pyramid. I think the curved pieces look nice pointing upwards and that way they also hold the decorations better. I'm planning on ceremoniously burning it on the fire on New Years Eve!

A couple of years ago my Mum started a new tradition in our family of going to Ballies and buying the kids and I a new decoration each. It's my december highlight.
...there was that one year tho when I felt utterly justified in calling management to notify them that their Santa was a reticent sleeze bag with no imagination and had been making eyes at all the mummies! Yes, I got Santa Fired!
Oh and last years tree... 

Harakeke flax stalks spray painted white.
...think I might be stretching it a bit to come up with a new one every year. Any ideas?

Friday, December 4, 2009

xmas exhibition

Down at Under The Red Veranda there's some mamaG homemade adorning the walls. 

The kids were placated with gingernuts and the mister was called in from work nearing zero hour for a timely outing. There were too many late nights to mention. 

Thank you loving supportive family. 

Running until the end of the month. The stocking were such a pleasure to make I struggled to let them go. Oh and glad tidings and all that jazz.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

vintage sunhats

Grandma had these sheets that were then given to my dad and used as drop sheets!  Thankfully there is only a few dribbles of white paint on one. I snaffled them and turned them into kiddies sunhats. They have been selling well. Actually my friend Jess used to use similar sheets to make beautiful journal covers which I won one year as a secret santa gift way back when we were in a craft group together. The model was not happy to be playing Holly Hobby.

On another day tho, miss twinkle was happy to be playing beach babe.

favourite things

From now on there will be regular postings showcasing the various 'favourite things' that I have in my life. They will be things that I cherish daily and feel I couldn't possibly live without in order to qualify. Suffice to say, they will be accolades of relatively superficial things, things I could live without in theory, but in reality would flatly refuse any suggestion to do so, as their pleasures and joys are too great to go without.
First up for this week we have.. this will be a contentious one.. some of you will shriek and cringe... be warned.. but there is cuteness...

Insane amounts of this particular peanut butter. Not just any will do. It has to be Pikos's own special blend of organic peanuts (no other ingredients) roasted with their skins on to a chunky consistency. And it has to be smeared on in an almost half inch thick spread. With butter.
Twice daily at least. Toast, cruskets, crackers, in the groove of celery. The whole family is hooked. This jar lasts us a month and costs as shown $14.20. We used to get a dollar refund on the jars but without expressing anger and getting political that doesn't happen any more... But we still luuurvveeeee it. A lot. Actually given a bigger budget I would have almond, and cashew butters too. I think this kind of nutty protein is vital somehow for my constitution. Dont get me started on Tahini.

Miso soup. 
Salty. Refreshing. Uplifting. Better than another coffee or if its too early to drink.
Pretty bowls optional but recommended.
Supermarket bought individual packets or the tubs of Amano miso from Piko are the ones I use. Granted I don't know enough about miso to claim to be a connoisseur but I have tried the various Amano varieties, both red and white and they all hit the spot.
The kids are getting their heads around it slowly. The seaweed still spooks them out and its a hot drink that doesnt go down as well cold.

Lastly (they wont always be food related)...

Dark and strong doesn't last long.
Eat at room temperature. Be stealthy and hide it in your nicker draw if you must.
Richfields is one of my favourites. The squares are easy to snap with fingers, and its silky on the tongue. Whittakers is a bit too dry for me. Green and Blacks a close second.
And then there's serious boutique varieties. Mr bought me a set of darks from different cocoa plantations, which made for subtle detectable differences, gorged slowly with great awareness. That was truly ambrosia.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Today I spent a wonderful hour or so pottering around in the garden. Actually it was technically more like fluffing around. But it was a gorgeous day and I wanted to soak up the colours and bask in what is usually overlooked as being hard work done and dusted. It struck me that a lot of what stands out in our garden has been resurrected and tarted up in some way. I like the surprises that an economical eye finds in something formerly rejected and forlorn.
Above is an old watering can re-licked in bright red, op shopped wire hanging baskets, vintage horticultural society black pots, and our old hot water cylinder.
below are the two deck chairs scored on two different occasions on the side of the road. 
An old metal chest home to our many pairs of outdoor shoes, jandles, gumboots etc keeping them dry and out of direct sunlight. And a wine barrel direct from the winemaker!
An old wagon wheel for definition 'acquired' by someone else. 

Another side of the road score, some old Avery scales... just for decoration and a wooden spool/wire reel as a table for a cuppa.

clever man idea.

The old wood basket that had unwoven itself now covered in concrete and sculpted into a planter.

the other half of the cylinder.

New Shoes!

All those hours of home haircuts sure did add up. 
And upon feeling my heart a calling towards a certain
Shoezies I swooned and fell for these impeccably cobbled sling backs clogs.
In mahogany leather with the cutest subtle turn-upward toes (a little asian inspired perhaps)
but with the dutch brass tacks and clogs feel happening as well.
I titillated myself prancing around the house in them with lipstick on. OH yeah.
I displayed them centre stage for all to see when I wasn't wearing them and when I was I couldn't keep my eyes off them.
My new best friends. These shoes. Hard earned. I cant sew them, But boy I can love them!

Friday, September 25, 2009

With The Kids

Fabric memory game using the cardboard from a cruskets box
with squares of fabric slipped between the two layers, one with a circle cutout.
Plenty of PVA. Plenty of fun. Plenty more of these ahead of us I think.
And some fabric effergies, dolls, voodoo. For the big Misters Birthday.
So when he's at work he has us all there with him in 3d form and if i've been naughty he can stick a pin in my bottom! Simple collage cut and paste from photos, magazines, material and hand drawn and printed onto ink jet fabric paper thru an ordinary home printer. Inspiration found here.

Rainy Day

Today we woke to droplets of rain rolling down our windows.
Mushrooms abound from our own bucket growing someplace dark and warm.
One boy loves his raw, freshly twisted from its spores.

Homemade muesli made different every time depending on what is at hand.
Reminding me of the muesli my mother in law made for her father. And how after he died she gave what he had left in his home to us. It was generously packed with brazil nuts, cashews, molasses and cranberries. She dotted on him all the time in these small ways and that batch of muesli was the best version I ever had. 
And home haircuts. I lure them with lollies. They suck them too fast. I end up eating more hair than they do lolly. They've had the same old scarecrow style since they were six months and surely too young to be needing haircuts in the first instance.
They looked as if they had been fertilized from their tops, or like fluffy eagle chicks or those pantyhose faces sprouting grass. I usually end up chasing them around the house during the next day or two making subtle corrections where their patience allows. Its a kind of how-to-pretend-you-live-on-the-prairie-even-tho-you-don't- sufficiency that has had me cutting their collective heads about 32 times at an equivalent salon cost of $15 per cut (conservative) with an approximate salon saving total of around $480. That's makes me feel really good ...because I want new shoes.

mamaG Winter 09 (a retrospective round up)

Full of Beans Beanie ...a winter staple with my very own jumping Bean babies
The Srumpers Scarf ...dont get caught in the midst of a sneaky harvest without one!
Merino Fruit Picking Dress ...don't forget your basket and a ladder!
Corduroy Donkey Pants ...originally crafted for donkey riding at the Governors Bay fete. Hard wearing and soften with age just like the donkey!

Seed Box

We needed something a little bit creative and prettier to store our growing collection of seeds in. So we rustled this up, collage style with lots of  modge podge glue smeared over the top. We file the seeds in their packets (if they are bought) or old envelopes if they are gathered by hand.
The cut outs are mostly from old gardening mags we had kept for just this kind of thing. 

We've also been busy getting our seedings started off inside all manner of recyclables. specifically toilet rolls, milk cartons and takeaway coffee cups, not to mention ice block sticks used for identification. The coffee cups look really smart en masse. The repetition  brings me joy. The upside of cafes that wont pour into reusable takeaway cups. 

Speaking of which Starbucks (i know) have really cool ones that you can insert your own template into. I used a sweet picture that Noah drew for mine. 

Friday, September 18, 2009

Big Up's...

Go to these three special stores run by their passionate proprietors and I promise you will come away with wide eyes and a happy heart. Brimming with delicious goodies and divine presents for those in need of a treat, they all support the work of local craftspeople including ah hem.. mamaG!  lets play our part and show our support to help keep their beautiful businesses up and running. It would be a sad old scene without them.

Dusk is situated down poplar lane just off High St in Christchurch city central and Portico and Pocket are a leisurely stroll apart along London St in our favourite little town of Lyttleton. Get on up and get on down.