This afternoon Max & I took a break from the house and went out for a walk. I haven’t resumed any of my post hospitalisation fitness activities as yet, and so far the only exercise I have done is short walks at parks. The last few days however it has rained and rained, and it was time to release poor Max from being housebound. Temperatures have been doing bone-chilling drops, reminding us that winter is not far away even if we do get the occasional warm and sunny day, and there seems to be a permanent dark and misty look to the hills of the Peninsula. It was nice to get out amongst some green again.
A wee design that has been knocking on the little minx door for some time – the Clementine Bag. Larger than the Tote Bag, the lower part is colourful and patterned while the upper is black linen, as are the straps. The top part is shaped in a curved dip and the straps, which come out from where the two contrasting parts join, are sewn onto the black linen along the top and the bottom. The bottom edges curve gently giving a soft shape to the bag. One for me, and one for a friend – mine is a Vintage Japanese print by Hiroshi Awatsuji, and hers is a stunning Vintage 1960s Barkcloth with black pompom detail. What do you think?
Over the past week or so I have been quietly working away at a long overdue restock of The Cuckoos Nest Ethical Boutique, and they have patiently awaited it. I am blessed in that the bags sell really rather well there, so today I headed along the main street with an arm heavy with Totes, attracting some very quizzical looks from people. You can visit them if you live in Dunedin upstairs at 324 George St, or online here.
Today has been the most perfect Mother’s Day. I awoke to two huge hugs, and two gorgeous handmade cards, and since it is Mothers Day our Sunday activity was to be decided by me. As the weather has suddenly turned almost spring like, I chose the beach. The kids sometimes whine when they realise we are off to the beach, can you believe that? They will look back with gratitude on a childhood that had them out in nature so often they actually complained about it. Well, at least I hope they do. We packed a picnic, got out the Vintage beach umbrella, loaded the car with the dog and the boogie boards just in case it was possibly swimmable (it was), and headed over the hill. We spent more than four hours there before it was time to haul ourselves back into the car. The kids complained when I told them it was time to go home – isn’t it always the way.
I was thinking about some of the outdoorsy things we used to do as a child. I have particularly treasured memories of sitting by a river on large river rocks, towelling hat on my head, orange floral bikini on, a streak of blue zinc across my nose, and a box of Iced Animals in my hand. I wonder if I would complain when Mum told me we were going to the river? I hope not. Mum is currently holidaying in the UK – which makes me think of our trip there in the 1970s. Knowing how trying at times motivating children into doing things is, I have an incredible amount of admiration for my mother – imagine travelling for months with a 6 year old! That can’t have been easy – and yet all I have are the most amazing memories from this time, and an ever increasing wanderlust. Thanks Mum, I hope I didn’t make things too hard for you at the time, I can swear to you that the experience was well worth it x
Of late when I look through my rings I have found all the silver ones have become rather tarnished and murky looking. Not too sure how to clean them up and get them back into a wearable state, I searched the internet figuring there must be some form of gentle, natural clean that didn’t require harsh chemicals or a specialised product. As is so often the answer, I found this amazing method using tinfoil, baking soda, and boiling water. 10 minutes later and my rings are a lovely hummy silver again. It got me to thinking about all those simple cleaning cures that often only require baking soda or white vinegar – methods our grandmothers would have used to great success, and certainly at a much reduced cost. A few of the simplified approaches for cleaning we use in our house are;
* For disinfecting bench tops we have a spray bottle of white vinegar with about 10% water. It’s about 10% of the cost of a disinfectant spray.
* In the dishwasher we use white vinegar as rinse aid. This costs about 5% of the price of actual rinse-aid, and does just as good a job without the concern of leaving behind chemical traces
* When giving the dishwasher a clean we use baking soda instead of washing powder.
* We clean our windows with a methylated Spirit mix with 10% water. You only need to clean the windows once, there’s no streakiness, and again it costs about 1/4 of the cost of window cleaner.
* (this is one of my favourite hints) If you have a Firebox style fire you can clean the black gunk off the glass by wetting some screwed up newspaper, dipping it in the (cold) fire ashes, and cleaning with this. Having tried every type of window cleaning method on ours I can’t believe how well this works, and with very little physical effort.
I have come to the conclusion that baking soda and white vinegar are wonder tools around the home, and we only use them for a tiny amount of their potential uses. Do you have a favourite household tip using simple methods?
This week I made a list of what I was going to do each day. It’s been very successful so far, focusing my attention on what I am trying to achieve, and helping me to avoid feeling swamped with the many things I need to catch up with. Todays task was to finally get around to making Welcome To The World gifts for the scrummy babies my lovely friends keep having. To give you an idea as to how far behind I am on my list, two of these babies are already 4 months old! Talk about colour therapy – the one time I allow new fabrics into my Work Room is when I make Bunting, it feels like playing with candy, all the bright colours and gorgeous prints. Some robot bunting for baby Oscar, and a few for my shop too.
Today heralded the return to the Saturday morning ritual – the early morning rush to the soccer field. We go with layers of clothes, scarves, woolly hats, and gloves, and sometimes that is still not enough. This morning however the sun was shining and it was warm, although the dewy frost laying across the grass would beg to differ. A lovely start to the weekend, and so affecting to watch the passion with which this group of able young lads tackle their task.
As Mothers Day is only a week away here in New Zealand I am having a Sale in my Felt shop starting from now till the end of Sunday. 20% off all items – just use the code 4Mum. Happy shopping x
The School Holidays are in their final days, & today has been particularly quiet which has been just lovely. Reuben has had a friend over to play, and I have been doing a few little jobs for the start of the new term – baking some biscuits and making a new Reading Pouch for Mia’s homework. I have to admit that I have felt very unsettled in the past few months – not just due to my sudden hospitalisation, but something that started earlier and runs a little deeper, a sense of restlessness, almost of boredom, with the way things are. It feels like time for a change. You may have noticed that my blog posts have been fairly intermittent, and there have not been as many. This is another area where I feel things have become static – what do I have to say? It has felt a little like I am doing the same thing over and over, I feel a need for a new focus, a shake up. One thing I find myself craving is colour, so I am starting there – what do you think of the new theme? What do you do when you feel that life needs a shake up?
It’s been so much fun cutting into all those gorgeous bright and wonderful new Vintage fabrics – and I am really thrilled with the result. Here is a selection of the newest items available from Matchbox Studios, upstairs at 166 Cuba Street, Wellington. Lots of lovely bright Coin Purses and Zip Wallets, and of course a few dreamy Cloud Cushions!
Today is Anzac Day, the rain has stopped, the clouds have parted, and the sun has shone. With a day spent together we went for an afternoon walk down to Back Beach. Everything is so very damp from days and days of rain, and the tide is the highest I have ever seen it in 6 years of living in Port Chalmers, reaching to the bottom of some of the Boat Sheds even. This is the first time since my health scare that I have done that walk – so lovely to be out by the ocean again.