Last Saturday we spent the morning in Flaxmere Gardens enjoying the “Art in the Garden“(facebook page) exhibition. I only took my point n shoot due to having Quinn about, I did regret it! The gardens were so beautiful and the exhibits left me feeling inspired. Kylie and I are now quite sure we need to convert some evenings over “art nights” where we attempt to be more creative. I have put together a wee flickr slide show of all the shots, because there are so many! Look out for the “Tea Party” that was our friends exhibit. As I was taking my photos I heard quite a lot of dialogue on how people at first took it as a “chaos of tea pots” then slowly realized there was a lot more going on, tea pots having a tea party…
Well life’s been far from quiet as of late. I have started working again! As a contractor for Board of Design. Setting them up so that they can offer web design and development as a service. It works perfectly for me right now. It allows me to “leave the office” (well for the most part) and be mum at home in a very flexible setup. Ensuring my little man is never far from home for very long, thanks to an awesome day care, grandad and my partner (the daddy) taking some time off work to be with him too. It’s really not a huge amount of work. But it has been just enough. Which is all I am thinking about for now! I have a few very cool projects in the works. Will post up here when they are done.
But for the mean time….. I have not stopped taking pictures! Here are a few from a wee trip one weekend we all headed into town for free Tram rides…as a result this mum got some free time to play with her camera in The Christchurch Botanic Gardens. What me take photos of plants? That’s new!
Recently finished a tweed jacket for my adorable 2 year old. I cannot find FIVE buttons that I like. So we have been managing just fine with the two I took off an old jacket. Buttons are pretty expensive these days, so we muddle through with what I have from a stash I brought second hand and pilfering off garments we don’t wear anymore! Its not like we can’t afford them, but I have been poor in the past and I cannot seem to shake my cheap skate ways.
Pattern: Out of Town Jacket from the book Sewing for Boys: 24 Projects to Create a Handmade Wardrobe
Size: 2 Years.
Fabric: A thrifted tweed for the outside and soft check fabric for the lining (hoping the actual fibre content is wool and cotton respectively). Used a thick cotton flannel in the middle.
Review: Easy instructions for my sewing level to follow. Pattern needed no adjustments, may have done a bit more top stitching and edge finishing than specified. This is my second project from this book. Enjoying it thus far, really like how the patterns are pretty basic styling so you can put your own stamp on items by changing out the fabrics.
Mummy review: I get SO MANY comments on this jacket. Its the classic clothing you put on to get smiles and make an impression! Also good for those days where the wee one may all of a sudden throw a wobbly – people seem to be more forgiving when they look cute. Also really handy as a windproof layer that’s not a rain jacket. The three layers of fabric just gives it that warmer edge.
On doing it again I would make the ends of the sleeves fatter and less tapered. I really use it as a layer on top of sweaters etc and the narrow sleeves make slipping it on and off a bit more work than it needs to be.
I live at home, in the ‘burbs, bringing up my wee 2 year old boy. Rarely do we go into town. If we do, its Hagley park, big enough to never need to venture beyond, or the hospital (for many reasons it has been way to often in the last few years). So when we do go to town to look around, each time I feel like I am some tourist in a creative, destroyed wasteland. Not in my home town visiting a local cafe. New sparkly buildings contrast with the remains of old skeletons and rotting remains of what were once the most beautiful. Dying prematurely. Miserable aren’t I?
There are many thoughts and emotions running through me as we walk around, such anger for it all leaving. So suddenly. With such sadness in its wake… And relief at the new pretty ones popping up. Curiosity, the artworks that are appearing everywhere fascinating me, drawing me in. Graffiti is king in Christchurch right now (thankfully its not just tagging). I watch and wait for things to improve as we slowly, building by building, claw our way back to having a city again.
This is to our left,
And this is to our right,
She’s pretty intense so don’t switch off because she scares you! Libby Weaver has a really important message. If you can only take on a small amount on she can help. I have drastically reduced how much sugar I commonly eat, or caffeine I drink in the last 6 or so months. I decided to do this after I brought her cookbook and read her introduction. I usually just grab it for ideas and jump off points as it has good guidelines to follow in terms of what not to eat when your eating potatoes or rice ect and what foods will help you get what you need from your food. I also try and get in more nutrient dense food throughout the day. With smoothies and healthier snacks. Not just the sugar and flour options that seems to be the easiest to make and find. I feel SO MUCH better than what I did and I now keep to a nice enough weight to keep me from feeling rotten about myself. Without the huge amounts of exercise (which I need to do more of!). I love her “rushing women’s syndrome” message too. I guess what I am trying to say is that I hear how people are struggling with sugar addiction, or going on chocolate binges – I have been there and it never felt good. This little change in attitude and constant desire to try other sorts of food has been an enormous help. I have not gone totally health mad overnight, just a little bit here and there and its working and I’m not stopping. There are little “off the path” sugar binges but then I get straight back to eating how I was and those sugar binges are becoming less and less attractive. In fact now if I am given a yummy baked goods, I give it to Kylie to take to work and be shared among many after I have one piece with a cuppa and REALLY enjoy just that, instead of scoffing it all back for a “pick me up” throughout the day. I feel like I have a way to go though. I really want to have less wheat (not no wheat, just less) and try to figure out how to make good food that toddlers/kids like and adults.. that is easy and quick to make (with a toddler interrupting constantly)! I will probably write more about all of this in future because I have come across quite a few good recipe websites and blogs, books and even made up my own recipes along the way. I would love to share them more!
The garden has done pretty well this year. To make me quite happy the tomatoes went a bit “bananas”. I have never to date managed to grow so many. I can tell you what I did, but as most gardeners can tell you, I was also lucky; avoiding ravenous insects and disease. But the slightly mad thing was me, designing and drawing individual labels for each batch of preserves. I am still a designer at heart and the latest design trend is “hand lettering”. I have always rather admired this and decided to hand draw, scan and print out our preserve labels this year. Not just one “blank” label, but specific labels for each thing. Yup mad. I did three. Then made a blank one. I did have a few self imposed”rules”. It must be hand drawn (no re-touching just sizing and pencil lines maybe allowed). Below are the results, pretty “newbie” looking I think, but I am still pleased, if I had let myself tidy them up (or trace them and make look professional) they would have never have made it on the bottles.
First I would sketch out a super quick idea, then measure the label in my workbook to twice the size. Then pencil out the final, colour in with black ink pen. Scan, size down by 50%, digitally rub out errant pencil lines I forgot to rub out then repeat them across a A4 size file and print them out, cut them up and attach to the jar/bottle!
Every time someone asked me if I had tried needle felting, or indeed any type of felting, I would feign dis-interest or answer honestly; “I have too many crazy hobbies as it is to add anymore to the mix” Well that was then and this is now. I now have a child who plays with things and well, woolen felted people and animals are so much nicer than their plastic counter parts. They have more texture and personality. Without further ado here is attempt number one:
I used this tutorial initially. Changed it up a little. Followed some videos from this lady and then kinda made the rest up. Its not what I want totally but its a start. His legs are not bendy and he cannot stand up by himself. I also used mostly wool I had lying around (brought the skin colour) and I was gifted the foam pad and needle.
I have decided needle felting is awesome and I have designed the man’s lady friend in my workbook (it will of course be an “improved version”). I have brought the colours for her hair and outfit and am ready to stab myself by mistake over and over again for my craft. I had no idea how satisfying it would be to watch it all mat up and compress to make a shape YOU specified (even when bleeding!). Oh the possibilities…
All you need to do is look on Pinterest for some amazing work. Do not take my attempt as an example of even a inkling of what is possible with my new found hobby! I have of course started my own board
Oh and does my child like it? He smiles and says “man” when he sees it then when it does not fit in his siku digger he puts it “way” in his toy box. But if he likes it or not its irrelevant for version 1.
Quinn and I met Kylie in Hagley park on friday, it was a lovely sunny spring afternoon and I brought homemade scones and quince jelly (feeling very domestic these days.. except when it comes to cleaning). After Kylie dashed back to work Quinn and I went walking – I had heard rumour of a photographic exhibit and I have been getting some pretty bad culture and art withdrawals these days so I took the first chance I could get to go and find it.
I still avoid town to be honest. The desolation and memories of how it all was, get me down, but as time goes by it stings much less and is becoming more and more “thats just the way it is” with no emotion attached. Thank goodness for the park that has not changed a jot, except in growth of course!
We found the exhibition, it was very child friendly with big black boxes in the center, of a ‘u” shape made out of container rooms with large images hung inside. I got to have a good look and Quinn got to wander around the outside area, pointing out all sorts of things to complete strangers.
What I really liked was the art around the newly opened square. The fences had all been decorated by Sara Hughs and Chris Heaphy with plastic cubes that slotted into the mesh, creating patterns and effects with light. It looked like a cross stitched/pixelated tapestry, all in cheerful bright tones, a contrast to the empty lots and still half collapsed cathedral whose fate is still being fought over in the courts. Nice to see something lovely to make a person smile!
Then there is the temporary shopping area where the old shopping area used to be, new topiary animals and plantings were out and looking luscious, beautiful with a dash of fun.
Thats my report on town! We had to speed back to the car at that point as Quinn with the endless energy also has a bottomless pit for a stomach and needed MORE food.
Yeah, so true. Kylie was telling me pretty much the same thing the other day.