The great fig battle of 2021 has begun

I had a head start on the birds this year. I’m on day three of picking ripe figs and the birds (Tauhou, or Silver Eyes) have only just worked out they are soft enough for their beaks to get into. … Read More

GrowMama Community Sew Project goes remote

Want to do some good? Put those sewing skills to good use? We’ve had Drop-in Community Sew Days planned and had to cancel twice because of this darn coronavirus and the lockdowns. So! I have a cunning plan. We’re going … Read More

Māori potato harvest

  My summer garden harvest was a bit truncated this year. Right at the peak of summer eating, next door’s sheep broke in and the eight of them had a lovely time eating my vegetables. I was slightly heartbroken. The … Read More

NZ COVID lockdown number 3 and the Folk Festival

  I think Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, has done it harder than the rest of the country with lockdowns. Last night three community cases were reported and a Level Three lockdown was announced yesterday evening and went into effect … Read More

COVID kittens

  Summer is kitten season and this year, rescues all over our city were inundated. Mostly, these days, any kittens are desexed before they go to their forever homes. There are some great desexing programmes being funded by some very … Read More

Shout out to the kids who will never be on that stage

A shout out to all the kids who will never be on stage accepting a prize. I celebrate those kids lucky enough to be born with the right brain and abilities and personality to fit into our educational system. And … Read More

Election Day in NZ 2020

Yesterday was election day here in New Zealand. Early voting has been open for awhile and we had a record turnout all up. I took the boy with me to vote. We had to make a special trip into town … Read More

Clematis flowers, our harbinger of Spring

We’re on the slow slog out of winter here in New Zealand. There are blossoms on fruit trees, the grass is growing faster and driving through the Waitakere Ranges, the canopy of the bush is lit up where the clematis … Read More

The ES Clyde jumpsuit aka the mother of all pockets

I took a break from sewing masks to sew up a muslin of the Elizabeth Suzann (ES) Clyde jumpsuit last week. Which I adore. I have long been a fan and was sad to hear that the business had closed … Read More

Winter wanders

We grabbed a rare moment between rain showers and headed out for a walk. Luckily Phoenix the dog is an understanding sort of a guy and doesn’t give me a hard time if he doesn’t get to go for a … Read More

Rad Reading: Mary, Glennon and Rebecca

Essays seem to be my thing at the moment. Writing them. Reading them. Thinking about them. I’m reading Glennon Doyle’s Untamed on kindle. I kinda speed-read/skipped through her Warrior books but this one, this one I am taking my sweet … Read More

Joining the lockdown sourdough club

Seems like everyone was making sourdough over lockdown. Egged on by a comment on my facebook page by my friend Jake, I joined the movement. It started with an illicit sourdough starter drop in my letterbox. My friend sent me … Read More

The legendary potato harvest of 2020

My work did a potato fundraiser this season and we ended up doing stints at one of my favourite city markets near the office to try and move the potatoes on. We were still left with 80 bags of potatoes. … Read More

The shark tooth

When I was about eight, I read a book where the main character found a shark tooth on the beach and it changed her life in wonderful ways. I have been looking for a sharks tooth at high tide marks … Read More

Colour jungle

I am drawn to colour in hard times. I caught this photo of a shirt I made on my quilt recently. All that colour and texture gave me pause to breathe in the beauty. More and more these slow days I am reminded … Read More

Introducing my new comfort food

I was given a signed copy of Nadia Lim’s Vegful cookbook as a Christmas gift from work. (I work for the NZ charity Garden to Table – getting kids into the garden and kitchen through our food education programme.) I … Read More

A teen-friendly Easter

An Easter in lockdown has taught me an important lesson about the creative life and gave rise to a great idea for an Easter hunt for teens. Our house used to be in constant creative flux with various projects. It’s … Read More

Duckling lockdown project

The boy is fostering eight just-hatched ducklings until they’re big enough to hold their own with next door’s flock. The mama abandoned them within hours of hatching and they wouldn’t have lasted a day out there on their own – … Read More

Lockdown links

You might say I was made for these times, we have a garden, make most food from scratch, we’re well set up since we homeschool and work is mostly remote, but we’re usually out a bunch and miss our friends. … Read More

Thinking out loud: Day one of NZ’s lockdown

I will start with the hard stuff and move on up from there. Those who are feeling grim can skip to the middle. Our response to COVID-19 is really shining a light on inequity and privilege for me. Showing up … Read More

The surreal times begin

I had been waiting until my new website went live before I dived back into this lovely bloggy place. But. The website has been on hold for ages and when I went to grab the link for the bread recipe … Read More

Making: linen top

This one is worn on repeat. It’s Sew Knit Love’s Sarah Dress pattern, the top version. I’ve made three dresses from this pattern now and have made some for friends. I may have to cave to pressure and start taking orders soon. … Read More

The best bread recipe

I am back, by popular demand, to give you the bread recipe I blogged about recently. There were a bunch of hollers on the GrowMama facebook page and a wee stack of messages asking for the recipe.   Every now … Read More

Kid’s anxiety about climate change booklist and getting arrested

I am a believer in direct action and using your voice for those who cannot speak or who have been silenced.  Way back in 1995, I co-organised The Direct Action Conference alongside COP1, the first United Nations Climate Change conference … Read More


I love this 5-grain bread. It’s delicious and fast to make. People are sometimes amazed when I bring freshly baked bread to share, but that’s kind of embarrassing because it’s so easy. It’s a no-knead wet mix that gets pops … Read More

Portraits and projects on the brew

Hi All! I just popped in to show off my portrait. I commissioned it from the super duper talented Kirsten Slade for my new website.… Read More

Making: a zero waste bag

I try and arrange my pattern pieces on the fabric so there is the least waste, and keep scraps for smaller projects or give them to people and projects that will. Despite my best efforts, the piles of scrap fabric … Read More

Periods. And The Good Fund.

Call me an early adopter but I’ve used a Mooncup for years. Like, lots of years. I used to teach workshops called the ‘Politics of Blood’, in which we discussed using different blood catching methods. Most of the attendees had … Read More

The Kowtow archive sale experience

Does anyone else suffer from social awkwardness or inappropriate blurting of irrelevant information?!  I went to meet a girlfriend at the Kowtow archive sale the other day and had completely the wrong idea about what I was in for. I … Read More

Calm in the storm

It’s been chilly but we head for the beach anyway.  To get the heart rate up, the dog out (and peeing on all the things), and to find the peace that waits on the beach. Something about being tiny in … Read More

end-of-season camping

We squeezed an end-of-season camping trip in. Just before the weather turned too.  The boy and I arrived in time to grab a good spot and had a night just the two of us before the rest of the homeschool/unschool … Read More

Making: with Liberty print jersey cotton

I picked up this colourful garden print at The Fabric Store’s last sale. I couldn’t make it in so bought it online and was so gutted when it arrived. It felt all stiff, like a polyester.  It softened up when … Read More

From a NZ in shock

Illustration credit to Ruby Alice Rose The bodies of those shot in their mosques by a white supremacist on Friday are still not back with their loved ones and the nation is reeling. The man who took 50 people’s lives with … Read More

Eco floss is here

A weird thing happened. My scheduled posts disappeared.  Not sure what that was about. I had other stuff going on and its taken me almost two weeks to realise the silence over here on the blog. Oops.  I’ve been a … Read More

Links round up: what’s hot, good or made me think

What I have been reading, buying, listening to and thinking about in Feb. Inspirational fangirling on Adrienne Brown David. Interviews on Hey is that me HERE, and  Design Sponge HERE.  Coveting: Shy Hero clothing (found courtesy of Frankie magazine) Six people sent … Read More

swapping social media for simple pleasures

The world can feel a bit much sometimes. We’ve trouble stirring in our little community, with someone anonymously campaigning against dogs (not quite sure how else to describe it) and rather than talking to owners, going straight to the authorities. … Read More

Making: a simple zero waste project

How to make bathroom wipes (Or, a craft project for non-crafty people) 1. Pick up some darker coloured flannel from the fabric store or upcycle old pajamas 2. Borrow some pinking shears (this stops the edges from fraying) 3. Decide what … Read More

a rainbow of vegetables

I’ve been working Saturdays which has meant missing the farmer’s market and our local fruit and vegetable dealership burnt down – everyone was okay, and they’re going to rebuild, yay!  I’ve been at a loss with where to buy our … Read More

Outfit post: sunshine yellow edition

It was the weirdest thing. I was on the lookout for some butter-soft grey linen to make a shirt exactly like this. We’d taken a friend who is unable to drive to the doctor and while waiting for his blood tests, … Read More

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