Wednesday, April 16, 2014

With love, from Nelson

Imagine having a best friend since before kids, before weddings and even before boyfriends. Imagine your husband having the same kind of friend.
Then imagine those best friends marrying each other, so that every time you hang out it is just totally great.
So imagine hanging out with these double-besties for 8 whole nights - sharing their home, loving on their kids, eating (a lot of) their food and soaking up their fellowship. Well, that was us last week. EIGHT NIGHTS!!
The last time we spent that long together was before we were married and we have come home so grateful for a precious friendship that is still strong and has spanned decades.

(Also grateful for grandparents who aren't afraid to take on 4 kiddos so that we could go. High fives!)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Glamping Staycation

there isn't any water left in our tank. 
we haven't had running water since saturday.
it's been a thing. 
i've pretended we've been on a 'glamping staycation' (i say 'glamping' because we still have power at least) 
we've been rinsing dishes camping style with water from the creek swamp. and hurling buckets of creek swamp water down the loos at various intervals during the day. (it ain't pretty). bathing has been......creative.

the demand for water is so massive in the area at the moment that hopefully, by tomorrow, we'll finally be able to exchange cash for h2o and i can shave my hairy legs and wash my manky hair. i expect the heavens will open and the angels will sing. 

(or, more likely, the heavens will open in heavy rain....bah...)

but seriously, what a privilege to have running water.

Monday, March 31, 2014

{Travel} King Country Luxe

We made a trip down to the heart of the King Country on Saturday. It was the day of the world-famous sheep muster and we'd been waiting for an excuse to head down there after reading "Black Boots and Buttonhooks" to the kids.
It was one of the best days out we've had. I love small town NZ anyway, but discovering that there were 3 op shops on our walk to the markets certainly made it a great start. 

There was a LOT of interesting things to do and see (and buy!). 
We were able to do some weaving with carded wool, then watch a dear old lady spinning wool. We had a ride on a legit steam train and the kids even rode on a wagon behind Clydesdale horses.
However, the main event - the running of the sheep - was disappointing though. For the first year ever they decided to run the sheep down in smaller groups (yawn). Hopefully they go back to the original way next year, but I'm picking it's another event that has been forced to go PC. 

AND...we found Mr. Funke's old school house at Paemako!

Good work, Te Kuiti, a highly recommended day out.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

On having more babies...

You realise that this here, right now, is the first time I have ever had a 2 year old and not been simultaneously glued to the couch nursing a newborn. According to our family lore, this should have been our 'newborn summer'. For awhile I was worried that the baby fever would never leave, and I was destined to have a new babe every other summer til the end of my child-bearing days.
With some relief the baby fever has left and knows better than to come knocking at my door again. (My pelvic floor is the most grateful)
But, ironically, here we are in our 'newborn summer', with another baby. Of sorts.

And so, I'd like you to meet our new business baby: Needle & Nail.
Not as cute as a newborn, but just as needy ;)

We're on Facebook and will be counting down on there to our opening in May with various giveaways, Q&As and product reveals. We are eager to document this journey as honestly as we can (highs, lows, lessons learned), so we may even start a blog for the non-FBers who are interested, too.

Thank you to everyone who has gathered along the sidelines cheering for us. You have no idea how much it bolsters our courage.
Thank you.

Spin This - Week 12

Have you noticed that pineapples are having their moment in the limelight? I'm not sure why pineapples are being made into ceramics (Like this one from Freedom Furniture), but my gut tells me it's related to those pink garden flamingos somehow...
Well, I noticed two pineapple shaped wooden bowls in the op shop the other day and I thought it was only fair they got to be a part of the limelight, too. Because, after all, who knows when humans will be adorning their homes with the humble pineapple again?
Yep, there they are. 
You've seen a million of these collecting op shop dust, right? Well, no more....a lick of paint and these common dusty bowls can hold their own along with the very best of the pineapple trendsetters.
It's all about seeing the potential.
Happy Monday!

(Other spins here)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Coming soon...

We've tossed the idea around for years. This idea of making for our living. 
It was the kind of thing we'd daydream about on especially intoxicating summer days.
But when the bills keep coming and you've got seven mouths to feed, it's hard to quit a wage and start something new.
Dreams and reality don't mix.

We have been at various stages of unemployment for the last two years. We've heard, something will come up on heavy repeat. People have been generous, and God has provided in astounding ways, but nothing has "come up" yet. No neon signs in the sky. No purpose, no plan, no goals.
Doing life like that is really rough on a guy. (And the wife of that guy!)

But it still wasn't rough enough for us to make the call. Something will come up, right?
To plan a creative business we needed time to prepare and that was never going to happen while JR was working 11 hours a day building. But to take the time, without an income, wasn't a practical option either.

And then JR injured his back and we spent those hideous months in and out of hospital, and hours in bed and rehabilitation. And guess what? We were given time! Daydreaming turned into business plans, and sketches turned into product lines!

So in a weird kind of combination of provision and withholding we find ourselves here, on the very threshold of making our dream our reality. JR has one more physical rehab course to complete and then we'll be open for business.

It is utterly terrifying, and utterly exciting.
Maybe it will work, maybe it won't. But taking baby steps, even in the blinding dark, sure beats having a crick in the neck waiting for a neon sign.

We're crazy about sharing this journey with you - thank you to everyone who has encouraged and prayed for and supported our little family over the years. 
We appreciate each one of you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Restyle - Merino Nature Baby pants

A few weeks ago, my sister had the sweeeetest baby girl. Such a darling dot!
Lucky me, I get to smooch and coo then go home and sleep through the night. Well, theoretically. Ahem, *Sawyer*.
Anyway, maybe you'd like to steal this restyle idea for a newborn baby (girl or boy) you know: I found these lovely grey 100% merino Nature Baby pants at the op shop and added the most perfect floral cuff around the legs (with a gentle elastic inside) and switched the cord for a floral one.
I think they look feminine without being overwhelming, and personally I prefer tighter cuffs to baggy openings around little ankles also.
I hope sweet Ruby enjoys them this winter.