May 16, 2013
Hi lovely readers…
I kinda got swallowed up by my work for a while. So I haven’t had heaps of time for creative pursuits, but here is something….
I scored this awesome top from a friend of mine. It was a bit short and the sleeves were eeenormous, but the fabric was so vibrant. So I took it in and frankesteined an extension to the bottom.
Thanks F! I love it!
April 18, 2013
Explaining marriage equality to a 6 and 5 year old is hard. But so worth doing.
This morning I explained the decision made in the Aotearoa New Zealand Parliament and how important it was.
I named our same-gender partnered friends and explained how they now have the same choices with regard to marriage that Dad and I have.
And my daughter said: ‘Yay! So I can marry a girl when I grow up!’
And my heart melted just a little bit.
Think about that. It doesn’t matter what sexuality my daughter will identify with when she grows up. What matters is that she is going to grow up in a nation where her sexuality won’t matter.*
Her landscape will forever incorporate this. Marriage equality is now assumed by her in a way that hasn’t existed for men who love men and for women who love women.
Thank you Aotearoa. Thank you to the people who lobbied, who organised, who campaigned and who fought to see this day
* at least with regard to marriage.
April 11, 2013
Tomorrow I will be out on the streets collecting funds for a well-deserving agency that provides front-line services for people who are perhaps in their darkest hours.
Wellington Rape Crisis is an inspiring wee agency, with a mighty heart. They provide free counseling and support to woman and their support people, who have experienced rape and sexual abuse. They work hard to create a welcoming and safe environment for all women-identified survivors.
This work is hard work.
Some days I speak with the staff there and they are fiercely angry because of what their clients have experienced.
Some days they are filled with tragic stories and brimming over in tears.
Some days they are literally roaring with activist energy, marching on the streets, speaking to crowds of people and taking political action.
But every day, every single day, they come to work, they take a deep breath and they open their doors and lives to people and their heart-wrenching stories.
On days when I feel like my job is hard and I’m whining at work about my workload, I remember these women and how everyday their work is, quite literally, saving lives.
And all of this, on a shoestring.
Like so many essential social services, Wellington Rape Crisis operates on a very small and very lean budget. Trust me, I’ve seen their books. There is no fat to trim, there is no budget line that has ‘some room’ in it.
They make every single dollar go further than I thought possible. Nothing is wasted. Wherever possible, volunteers supplement paid work and donated time and goods make a big difference.
You would think that an agency that is literally saving lives, healing hearts and keeps people safe, sane and, incidentally, able to continue in (paid and unpaid) work would be fully government funded. That as a society, we have decided these vital services are indispensable and therefore funded sustainably.
But they aren’t. Barely a third of their annual budget comes from the government. Now I could go on about how that just is not cool, not ok, not one bit, but that’s a different post for a different day.
The short story is that we need to all be part of the solution to this.
Here is how you can help: (not in order of priority)
1. If you can, please donate. It makes a difference, honestly.
Firstly and perhaps most obviously, it helps pay for stuff. Important stuff, like staff time, rent, insurance, comfy couches for clients to sit on, pencils, anything the agency damn well needs.
Your money might pay directly for counseling time, but it might also pay for decent computers for staff because that’s the kind of thing that people need to do this job.
Yes, it pays for stuff, but it also demonstrates in a really tangible way that you appreciate these women like I do.
2. Collect some money. If you can’t donate money, you could ask other people to donate their money. Do this by volunteering at the next annual appeal. You could ask around, in your office, your neighborhood, on facebook, wherever you socialise and encounter people and ask them to donate.
Collect on behalf of the agency. You could donate twenty bucks or you could ask twenty people to donate twenty bucks. Or both, or ask 20 people to ask twenty people to donate twenty bucks…. you get the picture. Tell them about the agency, the amazing work they do. Convince them that the work is important.
3. Raise some money. Run an auction, bake some cupcakes, make art, grow your beard (honestly, that really did happen), sell something, host a party (they’re fun!).
Do something that in exchange people will give you money for. Give that money to Rape Crisis.
(Ok, I know that point 3 and 2 are really just slightly different versions of point 1, but go with me here)
4. Raise awareness. Tell people about the agency, how awesome they are, the work they do. Remind those around you that agencies like this exist, because the crimes of rape and sexual abuse exist.
This isn’t the only agency out there in Wellington. Sadly there is more demand than one agency can copy with. Most areas have a crisis agency like this. Support them. Wherever in the world you live and you are, find your local group of might hearts and support them.
5. Raise some hell. Challenge rape culture wherever you see it or hear it. As a community we need to STOP turning a blind eye and STOP accepting behaviour and speech that normalises and condones rape, assault and abuse.
We all need to STAND UP for one another.
Join a campaign, educate yourself, get involved.
Do something, you choose what will you do, but
April 3, 2013
I hope this letter finds you well.
How are you? I know, it’s been ages since you’ve heard from me. I mean really heard from me. Facebook can only do so much. It’s great for providing a fleeting glimpse of our lives, but it can’t hold a candle to those long chats we used to have.
They were over coffee from your pot, over wine, over coffee (Starbucks, those diners and Memphis Belle), over beer at the bar, over tea at my table. Refill after refill. Cups hot, then cold. Then hot again.
I miss that bench we used to sit on, that table we used to rest our elbows on, the rides on our bike, that walk in the dark, past the houses with their lights on, the fruit trees (I would walk you home, then you would walk me home, and again around), the views we used to drink in, the time we would soak up. Those road trips we used to take.
Oh. The road trips. With the music. The loud music, every word known to us. You were (still are?) on first name basis with them all. Fiona, Tracey, Tori, Ani. Remember that concert? That band? That time we played our guitars in front of our friends?
You were so brave, you were kind, you cheered me up, laughed with me, god, we laughed so hard. Sometimes we were sad together, we sat in silence and we sat in tears.
I’m sorry I haven’t seen you in so long. That I didn’t come to your wedding, your 30th birthday, your wedding, your wedding…
That I didn’t visit you and your newborn, hold your hand when you became single, help clean your house when you moved, celebrate your new job with you and attend your father’s funeral. I wish I could’ve. I wish I had. But you know. It was too far, too expensive, to late….
I’ve left it so long. Perhaps too long.
But I believe it’s never too late. Never really too late.
Just to tell you that I do remember.
April 2, 2013
I made this top today. The fabric is from the recent Spotlight end-of-bolt sale. It’s a jersey fabric and I’ve been waiting for the right pattern to materialise.
When I saw this one, I knew I had found it.
It’s a pretty simple pattern, but I took my time and tried it on once pinned just to be extra sure that I liked the fit.
I must be getting more mature or something! As I’m getting better at sewing I am getting less slap/dash (or maybe it’s the other way around?)
The result? Me likey…
March 31, 2013
So I made the girls dresses. I wanted them to have the same material, but I ended up making Kadie’s too small.
Good thing I know a couple of younger girls who might like it, so I’ll give it away.
Anabelle liked her new dress, essentially the same as her previous one. She just loves that blue fabric! Tomorrow, I’ll think of a way to add a little embellishment to the chest area… Three dresses in two days is enough to put me off the sewing machine for the night.
Here she is with her best grumpy face.
So I had to think of something else for Kadie.
I reused the fabric from the pillowcase dresses I made ages ago, which have largely remained unworn. Then I added a wee flower using the ribbon from the pillowcase dresses and it’s done. Kadie loves it.
Here she is eating a tomato with such gusto.
This was a cheap project. I had to buy the yellow fabric and the two yellow zips, but I had a coupon so I only paid a couple of bucks. Everything else I already had.
That blue flower fabric was an awesome score from an op shop and has well and truly done it’s dash.
This was also the first time I’ve ever sewn a zip! It wasn’t as scary as I thought, although I’ve got no idea how technically correct they are. Not that it matters if they work.
Visit the original tutorial here for the pattern and instructions.
March 29, 2013
I was inspired by this post, but I’ve modified it. Instead of making the jeans completely in to a skirt, I’ve left them closed.
Instead of ruffles, I just used a full length adult skirt. Mainly because I
was too lazy didn’t have the heart to cut it up more.
Next time, I’ll use fabric that matches the detail on the shorts more and cut the fabrics with pinking shears.
All in all not a bad way to repurpose old clothes in ten minutes flat.
March 25, 2013
Inspired by this find on Pinterest, I used an old picture frame to create this lovely thing.
I searched for an image I really liked and hand-drew it on a big piece of cardboard. Turns out the image was much too complicated and I simplified it heaps when I piped on the black.
I spay painted the frame gold and will probably just hang it up in the hallway where we have the whitest walls.
Next time I would probably do a reverse image so I wouldn’t have to tidy up so much. (By tidy, I mean, draw black sharpie over the black where necessary.)
March 22, 2013
You never know what it will be.
A song, a memory.
That throws you back. To people far away, nights long ago.
In this case it was a photo. A reunion of sorts. Someone from Europe, two from the States.
And I’m stuck on an island, an ocean of salt away.
March 22, 2013
This experiment turned out alright. Next time I will make it bigger I reckon.
I’ve also realised that when you purchase fabric it is wise to get a coordinating fabric as well. Lest you dig around in your stash for ages deciding what might coordinate. I think I got lucky though.
Original tutorial here.