31 August 2010

fine feathered friends

I have always adored birds. One of my earlier memories is of taking a duck to bed with me (what was I thinking?), and I often hung out with our chooks. We have a family friend who was sometimes called upon to feed them whenever we went away on holiday. She was terrified of all things feathered, so when it came time to feed them she would turn up in her car, wind down the window a mere crack, propel the food out the window and then peel off down the driveway leaving a shower of stones. I'm not sure if we could have called on anyone else to do this job...?

My favourite chook (most of ours were poultry farm rescues) was Camelia (mum named our first six after flowering plants (Camelia, Daphne, etc). She was a lovely white chicken who I often spent time with (though I'm not so sure now if she shared my enthusiasm), and she had a lovely red comb. I remember this in particular, as when she started getting old her comb lost its lustre. Did you know it is actually very relaxing lying on the grass amongst a few chickens? They'd scratch about a bit all the while clucking softly, and then eventually come and sit close by. We'd just 'be' together.

I realise none of the above pictures are of chickens, but I've just read this gorgeous book and it brought back lovely birdy memories.

And here are a few birds, for your listening pleasure - Woof Woof the talking tui, a very sweet video memorial for Mushie the Magpie, Star Wars cockatiels, and...a bird with an unusual trick.

29 August 2010


"I'm four!" Lucy has been saying this all week to anyone who will listen (strangers on the street, the cafe barista, the courier driver at our door). She's so darn proud of herself. It's not like anyone can turn four, right?

And are we totally devoted or just downright irresponsible to dedicate this version of Happy Birthday to Lucy?


22 August 2010

new haircut, new dress

Her hair was getting a bit straggly, knotting literally overnight into huge whorls (I liken her hair to velcro). Luckily I am a hairdresser (not) - after 20 minutes of bobbing up and down and brushing it a thousand times to uncover more long pieces to snip Lucy is now fresh and ready for Spring.

I made her this cotton jersey sleeveless dress too, to go with the new hair. She won't take it off, nor layer it. We tried countless cardigans (it's not exactly warm here yet) but no sooner than one was on and looking good she'd whip it off. The detail on the front is Liberty cotton prints, with rolled-hem edges (nice finish but more time consuming than overlocking). She is happy, so I am happy. I know I should have been making Summer things for the shop before now but I really couldn't get myself motivated to with the low temperatures. How business-minded am I! Obviously a bit too laid back.

20 August 2010

me, my top and I

Hi there! I'm writing to you from a very rainy and brisk Auckland. I drafted this new top earlier from another of my patterns and made it up today. I much prefer my knit tops loose fitting, probably because I am slight. It's sewn in a linen jersey, which is rather divine. And with a few ever-so-slight adjustments it'll be right. I seem to be wearing something in this style every day this Winter, with the shoes being either my khaki desert boots, cobalt Bensimons or (as of late) Simple boots (a bit like these but hi-top and with dusty pink accents).

They're the first pair of Simple shoes I've owned, and they are ridiculously comfy to the point I sometimes need to look down to make sure I'm not wearing slippers out in public! I'm now very keen to explore them more... I think generally speaking I dress pretty androgynously, again maybe because of my frame? Though that's not to say I don't love a really pretty dress too, I am just more inclined to put on something like this.

18 August 2010

late night sewing

I stayed up far too late last night mucking about with wool and trims for a cardi for Audrey. If you don't have kids (and perhaps a job) then staying up until midnight is probably fine, but not when you have one child calling from their cot and the other plucking at your hair prior to 6am. It feels like a hangover without the memory of a party.

I keep thinking Berenstain Bears when I see this on Audrey (Mama Bear wears a lot of scallop-edge collared dresses). I put it on the little dumpling this morning and she immediately ran down to our dress mirror to check herself out. She does this most times I dress her now, with a really big smile (much like the expresson in the photo below). She always looks so pleased with herself.

It's certainly a cosy cardi and very soft, but it's also a bit something. I think the nappy lump adds to the outfit (not to mention the jumble of layers).

spring cleaning

...in the shop!

breton top

french strutters

bloomer shorts

one of each only!

17 August 2010

dark starter denim

...for those who have a fear of grass stains, for those who think pale blue is too girlish, for those who simply prefer dark blue - these are for you! There's a different stitch at the hem (not girly daisies), though a simple straight twin stitch might look even better.

14 August 2010

tricky subjects

How do you broach death with a young child? In April my grandmother died, and so did my cockatiels (yes. Hobson.) which presented me with several opportunities to discuss this time of life with Lucy - because she was wondering and asking. I never fancied the idea of telling a child that so and so has 'just gone to sleep''. One way to put the fear of sleeping into a child's head. So I have been telling her that yes nana died, and yes we miss her, and we look at photos often. I noticed a photo at my grandmother's funeral of Lucy running after the funeral car and her cousin holding her back. And just the other day Lucy brought up Hobson again and started to get teary and saying she missed him.

The other day we returned to our house to find this dear little waxeye stone cold in the hallway. Blasted cat. Lucy plucked the little bird from my hand and proceeded to 'fly' it. (She did this with Hobson too, for quite some time.) I've always liked the idea of an adjustment/transition period (we're talking pets here) rather than promptly removing and burying it, which brings to mind an embarrassing/alarming situation in my flatting years when I was a twenty-something. A budgie of mine had died and I thought it could just 'rest' for a while in an empty tissue box which I wadded with tissues from a new box (for comfort's sake). A while later my flatmate's friend came over and during the course of her visit she needed a tissue, and before I had a chance to react she whipped one out of the old box and the dead budgie flew out! I don't recall if she ever visited again.

So back to the waxeye, when it came time to tell Lucy it needed to be put in the freezer (now too dark to bury it) she got a bit upset. In case you were wondering, she was fine with me taking these pictures, even asking through the tears after I took the last photo 'can I see me crying?''.

breton shirt

size M
ready to ship

10 August 2010

Denim 101

Starter Denim for very small people, new in the shop!

8 August 2010


Adorable baby shoes, handmade in Poland.

6 August 2010


I think I missed the boat, size-wise, making Audrey this vintage sailor jumpsuit - it's a tad too grabby but still wearable for now. From time to time I pick up old sewing patterns but rarely actually use them (I'm not that keen/good at following other's instructions), but I'm so glad I took a look at this one. Flip, the styles back then were rocking. In general clothes like this just aren't made anymore. It's tiny skirts for tiny girls, dreadful sayings on tees (or worse, the nonsensical phrases), the more bling the better, and the list goes on.

Each to their own I say, but seeing a perhaps 6 month old at Audrey's Wriggle and Rhyme session the other day wearing rigid denim and a two inch wide belt pushed me well past my limit. I mean, how is a child supposed to function in that? I don't want to get all Giselle here ('ban the bottle' (admittedly a pleasant idea though)) but it'd be quite nice if conventional denim jeans were forbidden in sizes under 2.

I am all set to make a version of this in wool, just hope it works out as nice as it seems in my head. It'd be a perfect Winter outfit.

P.S. The red cup Audrey is carrying contains her raisins for the car outing (quite possibly her most favourite food)

P.P.S. Lucy dressed herself today

from little things

...big things grow. Ahh Paul Kelly.

In a melodic way I just wanted to say that (finally) I am starting to offer larger child's sizes in the shop, currently up to size/age 7. As Lucy gets older and bigger it's but a natural progression.

The breton top above is size 7 - possibly the only way one can tell that is that the miniature hanger is really not cutting the mustard.

This month the pricing will remain the same for all sizes but this may change in the future.