Monday, January 23, 2012

Freestyle Vintage.

Hello there.

I have been given the gift of a week off to spend with Callum.

It has been a beautifully sunny week here, the cows have been in the meadow beside the washing line, and all has been right with the world.

Callum is getting better every day. It is very encouraging.

And I have had some time.

I chucked all my vintage fabrics all over the floor for a few days and made this little freestyle number up as I went.

I used another of "she who is proficient at separating eggs' " patterns from the early nineties. But they are timeless.

This big thistle next to the cow's meadow has just been calling to me for a while.

Worked beautifully as a backdrop for my little vintage dress photo shoot.

Luckily the cows had moved on by then.

I found an old cross stitch that had once been a nursery cushion, and it worked beautifully as part of the dress.

I was inspired here by the bags that the Dutch Sisters make.

The sunshine makes such a difference to how you feel.

And making something again.

And just playing with the fabrics and looking at them, and thinking up new ideas.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another Flock of Sparrows.

I always notice the sparrows.

Have I got the collective noun correct Blog Chics? Can you have a flock of sparrows?

Are sparrows even large enough to be referred to as a flock?

I have no problem with the implied reference to cool eighties pop groups either.

You can take that or leave it.

In fact, as I have found Frankie magazine, an eighties nurdy try hard reference is appropriately cool.

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I'm back in the hospital cafe scene Blog Chics. Communing with sparrows.

The Waikato sparrows have chutzpah!

They are aggressive, ask for what they want and are not afraid to just take it right off your table!

They are Gen Y sparrows these lot.

If sparrows were people they'd definitely read Frankie.

(this image from Lilac and Snow at

I discovered Frankie at the airport a few months ago. What a piece of serendipity that was!

It really "speaks to me". Now hows that for a really cynical use of pretentious self reference?

I'd be laughed out of town by the people at Frankie with that one!

It is such a cool magazine.

But not for the feint hearted if you are offended by a bit of bad language.

Don't give it to your Nana to read probably.

All the articles are interesting, some are quite thought provoking, most are incredibly funny.

But if you find the whole,"f*** yeah Granny square" thing
confronting, then probably don't go there.

But most of all I love the adds.

The whole vintage retro clever art kid design vibe makes me feel like a kid in a lolly shop.

(this image from

I have made clothes like this for myself, but somehow I've never quite plucked up the courage to wear them down the main street of Hawera.

When I read Frankie I just want to put them on and make more!

(this image from
Which leads me back to the reason why I'm back here communing with sparrows.

My boy had a brain bleed about 6 days ago.

His blood pressure must have gone through the roof (one of the complications of end stage renal failure and life on dialysis) and popped a fufu valve in the occipital region of his brain.

But we have yet again been so lucky. After a few stressful days immediately afterwards in the HDU in which he had some seizures and various CT scans and lots of medical intervention,

today we are back to observing that it is difficult to have a conversation about the zeitgeist of 2011 with your hairdresser, cos mostly they only discuss whats on the telly or where they went on their hols. And we're going home.

Back to Taranaki for rehab with the good physios and OTs at Hawera Hospital.

He has made a very rapid recovery. Not fluent yet on the guitar or the nintendo DS, but he can do it. He says it's like being dyslexic though, it's not coming out how he wants it to yet.

But he's lost that "possum in the headlights" look.

Still gets very tired.

Home for some TLC.

As for the whole hairdresser dilemma. Do you think that hairdressers have those conversations because they think that's what their customers want? Or do you think that they are so weary from the whole repetitiveness of it all that they just want to be on auto pilot?

It's an interesting question.

I bet some of them are just dying to launch into their theory for the Road Map to Piece in the Middle East.

I hope that this is the year they break free from convention and just do it!

Hopefully no hairdressers were offended in the reading of this blog post.

These are just the observations of a bored Mum trying to "internalise a complex situation in her head", engage my son in same, and reading too much Frankie magazine.

Perhaps I should just stick to I'm Elmo And I know It on YouTube!

Ciao Blog Chics.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Another Year Over, a New One Just Begun.

Well here we are right at the beginning of a brand spanking shiny new year.

Do you do New Years resolutions Blog Chics?

I never have.

When I had little children I was just plain too busy for such frivolities, and one day just ran into the next and you turned around and it was Christmas again.

I've also learned a thing or two about motivation over the years.

And it doesn't come upon you just because it's the beginning of another year!

It has to come from somewhere very deep within you;

almost a primeval instinct rather than a rational process.

So when it comes upon you, that is the time to resolve things.

And that can happen at any time of the year, and certainly not every year.

I have only experienced that kind of motivation a few times in my life.

Probably just as well, because it requires a lot of focus.

So instead I come up with a little mental list of things I would like to achieve.

Just for my own gratification you understand.

None of them are life and death, and in fact they probably seem a little facile.

It's the stuff I want to do because it makes me happy.

I have decided to make a collection of duck/pheasant/any kind of flying poultry on plates.

It was inspired by a naive duck painting of the Granny's that I've had for years.

It's one of my precious things.

It gets moved about the house often.

I have it in the kitchen now.

And I suddenly twigged that I have a Meakin duck plate on the wall, and wouldn't it just be so serendipitous to come upon another.

And there an idea was born.

So far I've found this lovely old and battered pheasant one to go with the Meakin one on my "duck wall".

The Granny suggested I might like three flying china ducks like Hilda Ogden's "murial."

But I don't know Granny - that might be killing the golden goose don't you think?

So I've moved the duck painting and put the small couch into the kitchen

and the chairs into the lounge instead.

And swapped the quilts and cushions around to achieve the desirable level of "squishy".

Soon we will start on the "Granny studio apartment".

Just waiting for the builder.

We are so planned up!

We know every detail of every detail in our heads.

Just need a few men out from town to make them into real

(like the velveteen rabbit - or the Christmas Goat for that matter!)

And I've re-arranged the bears on the window sill.
And enjoyed the Mister being home and watching "the world cup of pool" for a few minutes in between cricket matches.

And watched the garden grow and grow with the constant rain we've had.

And loved the pink hydrangeas that we have here.

And yearned for a sky blue one like in my old garden.
They say you should never go back.

The new people have ripped out the lovely cottage plants and planted yukkas inside the buxus.

What's that about?

I try not to think about it,

I have the lovely photos of how it was.

And I'm going to start making things again.

When the Granny has moved into the new headquarters I'm going to put a sewing table back into the spare room and have my sewing things all ready to go again.

I want to make pretty little dresses from vintage fabrics again.

Just because it makes me happy.

Which hopefully makes it a happy New year all round!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sugar and Spice.

What are little girls made of?

Like everybody else, they are made of the sum of their life experiences.

On the 1st of January 2012, "She who is proficient at separating eggs" will turn twenty one.

I remember the day of her birth like it was yesterday.

Today I feel an funny sense of displacement because I am unable to reconcile the little girl

with the person who I now rely on as a friend and confidante,

organiser of events, and compassionate advocate and companion to those she cares about.

In many ways she was born into the shadow of her older brother, and has remained there ever since by choice.

Right from the very beginnings of a child's "knowing", she has been his most understanding advocate and supporter.

Compassionate, fearless and unrelenting in her role as protector and facilitator of many things.

I also know her as drama Queen and apprentice racing car driver, now well and truly graduated

to her own (shared with Dad) 1973 Toyota corolla - purple of course.

And agreeable participant in all my eccentricities (tea parties).

She is also the Easter Bunny and Mother Christmas on every possible occasion.

And doer of crosswords with her Granny!

Woe betide you Granny if you get caught cheating on those word puzzles!

We are so lucky to be three generation of Magpie Chics able to play such an integral part in each other's lives.

Happy 21st Birthday my Beatie.

Today you get to be the favourite!!!!

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