Sunday, May 30, 2010

baby pots

The amazingly talented Lisa (weaver extraordinare) created this and thankfully I was able to buy it. Love, love, love it!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

thrift shopping

Cups and saucers for my office (for visitors what drop by on occasion - I have a kitchen near my office but it never seems to have enough cups when I have a meeting so I've remedied the situation).  I also bought this cute pelican, with the intention of spray painting him but I don't know if I can bring myself to do it!

I've been thinking a lot recently about the things I buy.  I was watching an old Dr Who episode and a remark the Doctor made to Donna in one of the scenes really hit home.  They were freeing the Ood and Donna said something about not supporting slavery and how people must have known, and the Dr replied something about who makes your clothes.

I really love clothes and enjoy having nice things like many people, but for the first time in my life I really have the money to be able to make sensible decisions about who gets my money.  Unfortunately consciences are mostly only for those with the money to exercise them. I'm at a place in my life now that I'm pretty comfortable and can afford things like CDs on a whim - completely different from my student days of 'treating' (and I really mean that) myself to a new pair of socks when I was feeling down.

I've never been great at thrift clothes shopping. I would like to think that my size is hard to cater for in thrift shops but that might be just an excuse.  I spent a lot of time over the last few years making my own clothes and now most of my skirts, PJs and a few of my dresses are a la crafty mermaid.  I crochet my own dishcloths and try to recycle any old clothes via the charity shops if they are presentable or into new items if they are not.  A lot of the time I try hard not to waste anything that has come into the house (I'm not great at this - I shouldn't be buying magazines in the first place but when I do, I either try to reuse bits or cycle them through my friends!)

But the main problem is for things I'm not good at making.  I still need to work at being able to fit something to my body and haven't really altered patterns.  I also need to figure out button holes and more complicated things like knit fabrics and trousers and tops.  I have made a little progress here and bought a few recommended books from amazon.

But that still doesn't address the question of what should I buy when I haven't got the time or ability to make it myself.  While at first glance, it seems that I should just buy locally made clothes.  There are three main problems with this. First, locally made clothes like Andrea Moore are teeth grindingly expensive and I can only really justify buying them in the sale (if then!) to be able to afford them (I'm not that well off). Second, I want to buy clothes that look good on me - I don't know enough about altering clothes to be able to buy something that with minor changes would look great - so that limits me in to what is available off the rack.  Third, I don't want to remove an important revenue stream from ethically made clothes in other countries.  China is a key clothing manufacturer and I see very little wrong with supporting workers in factories where they are paid an appropriate and liveable wage.  But how do I tell what companies support sensible and ethical practises?

Any and all suggestions welcome (seriously) - have you thought about this yourself?  

Trip purchases

It seems so long ago now - but the earrings and tea were from my trip up the east coast to Ruatoria. The candle was from a lavender farm in the Wairapapa, which unfortunately was a disappointment - not much lavender to see (or smell more importantly!)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

sticker presents

I have the bestest family - my wonderful auntie M sent these just to say 'hello' :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

layered cards

I'm really enjoying moving out of my comfort zone making more textured and layered cards.  I think these work quite well.  Some of which use paper from magazine ads (the background paper in the top card) and others are from pages I colour printed from the internet for other projects, as well as bits I purchased.  I normally don't put a lot of text on my cards but I think these work well.  I bought a booklet of friendship stickers to make a scrapbook for a friend's wedding but then didn't have enough time to make it :(
So here's the spoils!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Oh this photo is a tad on the old side - oophs.  But I've made a plant purchase!  I'm not the proud owner of a Hebe.  We're thinking of selling BM's house and when its being viewed this will be nearer the door - but for the moment, it has to be out from the roof to get watered!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

some more cards

Oh my backlog of posts is taking quite the time to get through. Which is just as well really as I'm a bit short of time at the moment.  I really like how the card above turned out - but unfortunately I don't have envelopes for these square cards.  I think I bought them in a going out of stock sale at a large stationers in Ireland.  The second card uses funky foam (or whatever its called) to give the card a bit of a 3D feel.  I'm not sure that it turned out as bright and happy as I was hoping for.

Oh, using up 'good' stickers again - I must be making some headway into my stash of card making stuff (now, just to convince myself that I don't need anything to replace it!).

And finally, another image from the catalogue embellished with some bling!

Friday, May 14, 2010

catalogue cards

These cards are a bit of a departure for me.  Though I really, really like them.  I used a Kikki.K catalogue and I think some images from a magazine instead of just throwing them out - and accessorised with a sticker or two. :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Easter surprizes

We were broken into ages ago and my laptop (and various other bits) were stolen. Thankfully, all this arrived on the day so there was a pretty, pretty silver lining!

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010


On our trip to Ruatoria, we gave a lift to a traditional weaver.  Her stuff was amazing (I'll show you what I bought in another post!). She's been experimenting with contemporary colours and traditional techniques to make new shapes and her stall was mobbed for the day!

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Sunday, May 9, 2010


The local community hall in Ruatoria had the most amazing carvings and weaving.  I was told that each woven panel has a particular meaning and can be used to represent different iwi.  I feel cheated somehow that my village hall at home was a far more modest affair!

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Visiting a Marae (part 2)

We had wonderful food on the marae.  One of our hosts added flowers and mint as well as lemon to the water jugs - beautiful colours and a hint of a great flavour.  And what food choices!  I had crayfish for the first time!

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Visiting a Marae (part 1)

I recently visited Ruatoria on the East Coast of New Zealand's North Island for work.  Well, I say work - but that might be stretching it! I stayed in a local Marae.  Myself and my workmate were very kindly hosted by Ngati Porou.  The locals and the other guests at the marae were all gearing up for the East Coast Traditional Food Festival so I was able to see the creation of a hangi.  That's a whole lotta meat!

I was also lucky enough to get a Rewena bread making lesson (unfortunately I didn't manage to get my head around it and I'll have to stick with Jamie Oliver until I figure out what I'm doing - I really learn by reading - eek!).

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