Friday, August 27, 2010

make my week #34

my lil sister generously gifted these gorgeous (but worn out) leather boots to me so i could repurpose the leather...*squeal*

conveniently I needed to make her a birthday present also and so, she got a little bit of her boots back :)

the leather is insanely soft and beautiful to work with.
in love!
i learnt to book bind from this etsy-seller (who was wwoofing in nz) last year.
she has some great stuff for sale.
and a pretty picture to finish the week:

remember the owl from week 15?
the cute card from a sweet hippie in tasmania.
and that's my savings box from my childhood. it's heavy as and chock-full (of obsolete 1c and 2c pieces no doubt). as far as i know, you were supposed to take it to the bank to have it opened. i'm stumped on which bank is the modern equivalent, or if banks even use keys these digi-days, so it looks like it's staying locked for now!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


it's been a rough couple of weeks with winter bugs.
a whole lot of diggin deep and (insane) lack of sleep.
a very busy husband and no mum to ring in to do my vacuming and laundry (my parent's decided to visit my sister in australia for the month didn't they? sheesh, great timing. i'm sure the runny noses and coughs will magically disappear the day before they get back!)
it's been a whole lot of hard yakka to get these kids better without resorting to antibiotics (medical equivalent of fast food...handy short term but not so good in the long run).
i'm so stoked to say that We Did It!! scoff and roll your eyes at my raw garlic and poultices and herbs but we pulled that little babe through some potentially major chest issues and intense croup. and now, the next time he gets it, he's gonna nail it even faster. yus!

i only appreciate winter because it makes spring all the more beautiful and summer all the more enjoyable. it is the same with health. your kids may drive you stir-crazy with their activeness and noise and questions and singing and superman-being but when your child is laying hot and barely responsive on the couch, you are truly grateful when they are running around annoying their siblings again!

and so, we're slowly emerging from the winter. grateful that it's almost over but very aware there are still a lot of the darker, rainy days ahead.
(yes, we have a chick! one from twelve!! oh dear, no jokes about hard boiled eggs please...)

wardrobe wednesday

if you were at Auckland International Airport on Monday afternoon and saw someone wearing this: was me!!

cardi:: my mum's from her teen years. it's the coolest green and just will not wear out!
brown floral tunic:: $10 cotton on
jeans:: jeanswest..only 1 year old and knees have already gone ...:(
boots:: ugliest and oldest boots in all of nz but there's always a million more urgent things to spend the moolah on before a new pair of winter boots - and they only cost $20 and haven't worn out yet so it would be wasteful to turf them i suppose.
(i've also been wearing a whole of Very Sick Baby this week but he techincally doesn't live in my wardrobe so not sure if he counts?)

Sunday, August 22, 2010


that i have a daughter.
for a brief interlude in the rain
that we live in a peaceful country

for winter - because it makes me appreciate the spring.

(for sickness - because it makes me appreciate good health)

for this guy (really. lots.)

that the most traumatic thing my children have experienced is jammed fingers.

that my children are warm and well fed

that none of my children have any food allergies so many others i know.

for this special 'Thank you Mummy' meal

(and, while we may get sniggers, that we are able to pray aloud in public without fear of torture or death)


Saturday, August 21, 2010

make my week 32 & 33

week 32 i made these lil twinigans with darker flesh coloured fabric:
i likey.

and then, week 33 i made this lass:

there is a back story to this doll...
from here:

the cover article on Anya Brighouse's (fashion writer) home. you have No Idea how excited i was to see her 13 year old daughter's bedroom:

actually, excitement, relief and hope all at once! why? umm, she has a handmade crocheted blanket on her bed! and nz art on her wall! still don't get it? here: there's no Hannah Justin Bieber Twilight duvets!!
(it's taken me 30 years to get to where she is at 13. *applause*)
the doll may just have to be named 'Maddie' - a mascot for all tweenagers/teenagers who are managing to avoid the marketing machine. whoop!

(if you're a real sleuth you'd recognise that these dolls were also inspired by miss maddie)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

customised confidence

i was looking for a picture frame last week and stumbled across this painting. now, if i didn't know that i had physically put those oil paints onto that piece of paper when i was 19 years old, i would not believe i'd be able to produce a painting like that. not that it's anything amazing, it just seems way beyond my ability right now.
i marvelled at my confidence with the paint and the colours and the brush and wistfully wondered where my confidence has gone. and then i thought more about myself at 19. i didn't have confidence...i just had time. (what did i do with all that time??). and now i only have 5 minute opportunities at any given time, i know for absolutely certain i'd never be able to paint like that at the moment.

it was with this exact crisis of confidence, that i cautiously listed a "customisable portrait paintingette" on Felt (it was one of those take-a-deep-breath, close-your-eyes and hit-"OK"-quickly-before-you-change-your-mind moments)

and then someone responded. gulp.
they wanted a double portrait. gulpgulp.
for an engagement gift. piggybackgulps.
as they say, 'fake it til ya make it' i did. with faux confidence (and loads of excitement i must admit!) i set out on my First Ever Paid Portrait Commission.

about an hour into it, i realised who cares about confidence when you get to have this much fun? :)

the couple i was to portray had gotten engaged on the peter pan ride at Disney world in Tokyo (the boat flying in the sky) and the girl loves minnie mouse (the ears and polka dots) and the bloke is a Korean (the banner says 'I love you' in Korean)
I really enjoyed painting it because of all the fun details, but then there's that horrifying thought, as you put it in the mailbox, of what if they absolutely hate it??

turns out, the sister who commissioned it LOVES it and sent me the sweetest email to say so. piggybackphews!
(still doesn't mean i'm ready to dust off the oil paints and do a real portrait though).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

wardrobe wednesday

if you knocked on my door right now, this is what i'd be wearing.
cardi:: op shop Max 100% nz merino wrap top that i had my mum change into a cardi. (unlike Clare i loathe things wrapping around my middle since having my 4th child!)
dress:: kmart hand-me-down from my sis. i LOVE it.
jeans:: spray can (jk...glassons and WayTooSmall post 4th bebe)
shoes:: parallel import Chuck Taylors from No.1 Shoes
i did have a belt on as well but i took it off to carry the babe in the sling and was too lazy to put it back on for the pic ;)
(check out what the other mamas are wearing and be inspired to dress up too)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Brilliant Idea (rainy day edition)

another Brilliant Idea! (i've had a couple)
boys inside on a rainy day?

masking tape + vivid = your new best friends :)

the beauty of this instant floor mat is that you can leave it out all week and just vacuum over top of it...wheee~

and, as is tradition on rainy days, a lamb was born....and rejected :(
so, being the neighbourly people we are, we opened our hearts (and wood shelter) to another little (girl!) lamb.

our neighbour carried her over in the dark last night all hungry and new.
she is gorgeous* and with a whole lot of pep.

which now makes our animal inventory:
4000+ honey bees
9 hens
1 rooster
1 kitten
2 lambs
1 hogget**....
....who seems to have claimed the sand pit as his favourite place to sleep

*i was raised to know think that Romney sheep are the most "good-looking" sheep. the brainwashing worked. i still totally think they are the best looking, don't you?
**a hogget is not a pig, it is last year's lamb :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

lunch date

it ain't much to look at,
but it has quite the little shin-dig in your mouth.
(in fact, i took this to a pot luck lunch once and all the older, more-experienced ladies recoiled when i brought it in and set it on the table....but by the end of the meal i had three requests for the recipe! so there! :) )
Alison Holst's Brown Rice Salad
1 cup brown rice (good quality, not Budget brand...tried that)
2 spring onions, (or celery...for green colour!)
4 Tbsp soy sauce (REAL soy sauce, no msg/621 fakies)
1/2 red pepper cut up (not essential, just for colour)
1/2 small onion finely chopped
1/2 cup roasted peanuts (I prefer roasted pine nuts...if I have them.)
1/2 cup each of roasted seeds - sunflower, pumpkin, linseed..etcraisins
Cook rice, add soy sauce and onions, soak 2 hours or overnight.
Add remaining ingredients.
Shake dressing ingredients together in jar and pour over the rice.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon rind
1 clove crushed garlic
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp honey

seriously so yummy. and wholesome. and nutritious.
i've been making it at the start of the week to eat for my lunch every day because I have a terrible habit of churning out food onto plates for the kids and not really eating anything myself (which sounds like a great diet plan, but it isn't because i end up picking at baking all afternoon cos i'm hungry)

let me know if you try it!

Three-Way Giveaway

who's ready for summer?
i sure am. i get to this stage of the year and my vitamin *DEE *stores are on 'e' for 'elvis'. to help the light shine brighter at the end of this wintery, rainy tunnel i'm giving this beach bag away:

join the Three-Way Giveaway here to be in the chance to win this along with a couple of other goodies.
i'm stunned to think there are 150 people who've liked the Tiny Eyes facebook page. this is one new year's resolution that has definitely surprised me with the outcome!

we're still bunked down bravely trying to stave off winter bugs.
oh, and will save Make my Week til next week because the things i've done this week have been gifts (which haven't been received yet) :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

it's (another) boy!

Meet "Smokey"
full name: Seven Different Kinds of Smoke
(from here and because he is the spottiest lamb we've ever seen)

aliases: Smokey Pokey, Smokey Bacon

currently on 4 feeds a day.
sleeps well at night (with the hens in the coop).
no signs of colic or reflux.

(shhh! his secret code name is: Destiny Freezer..../gasp!)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

fabric, frankie and fringes

last week some dear older ladies invited me to come to their weekly craft morning and show my dolls. i may have mentioned that i prefer to use vintage fabrics (and i may have even begged, hands clasped, "please don't throw your old fabrics out!!")
and so, some have been "thrown" my way:

a few of my faves:

oh, and william wallace may have successfully beat off the lurgies before they even had a chance (yuss!) but when the babe isn't doing anything that requires being apart from my hip, this fierce lurgie-fighting warrior needs to get out.
and so, i went to get my first Frankie mag

turns out, all that glitters isn't gold.
the glittery glimpses while browsing off the shelf a couple of weeks ago were very sparkly but generally, this one is a lil too worldly for me i think! (call me old-fashioned but i think the writing should be as pretty as the pictures. cuss-words aren't pretty. )
oh, World Sweet World you are missed.

but! glittery bits were very lovely!
actually, really lovely.

**yes, i have a fringe - no haters please, i already know i am the world's worst hair stylist. gahhh. total fail on the twenty10 resolutions to be friends with my hair! (still)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

waging war

the winter lurgies have finally reached our pad. we're 50% down so far - they're after my blood too but i'm holding them off with clove after clove of raw garlic! (i go all William Wallace-esque against winter lurgies!) - so lots of laying low and free kids' DVDs from the library for us.
(...and lots of garlic-flavoured milk for the bebe!!)

a bit of winter sun makes the getting-better so much more enjoyable too.
(almost every time i see these 4 heads together in close proximity i think about where their heads came from, and how they all came to be a part of this world. freaks me out that there's now 4 of them!
i'm sure i'm the only one who thinks such things about my children's heads!)