Making: striped chambray Sarah dress

I had this dress cut out and waiting for sewing attention for at least a month.  You can see the original review post for the SewKnitlove Sarah dress pattern HERE.  I wanted to see what the dress would be like with … Read More

Making: a cloud dress

Gotta love a dress with clouds on it. I’ve been wearing it layered up on these cold winter days with jeans and a cardi. I realised that my winter wardrobe is pretty much all dark colours. A stark contrast to the … Read More

summer tote

I was hanging out with the amazing Alia Bland of Little Bee the other day.  I told her about the happy shirt I made as part of my plan to wrestle 2018 into being a great year, and she told … Read More


I love our library services. We had just moved into our new home so were a bit out of the loop about any holiday goings on. Friends told us about a frankentoys session they’d been to at our local library. … Read More

summer sewing therapy

In the midst of the busy I have been seeking the calm of creative work. Those of you who been popping in here at GrowMama awhile know that I sometimes sew as a kind of therapy. I think we all … Read More

A gift for you: A Christmas mandala

There are rhythms to our year. In the run up to Solstice and Christmas, like most holidays, we make things. We make peppermint bark, special cookies, cards and gifts to give.  We make for many reasons. It helps bring meaning … Read More

a summer sewing jag

I got some early summer sewing in this year. Thanks to the need for therapeutic sewing kicking in and the unexpected trip to Fiji I got on a roll. I think my bag for Fiji was 75% handmade garments. I … Read More

woodworking fijian style

Jed is into his woodworking. His toolboxes are legendary. For awhile he would disappear into a neighbours workshop and the two of them would research and design different swords. When they started hanging out I had visions of him bringing home … Read More

for the love of lego

Lego is a big part of most days here. These past two terms we’ve been part of a homeschooling science lending library that allows us to have different educational sets for a term. Some of us are high novelty and … Read More

spring culottes

Culottes. I have a vintage pair of navy polka dot culottes that I love. Although I had been calling them wide leg pants, technically they are culottes. I came across Itch to Stitch’s Emily culottes pattern. I had not sewn any … Read More

mini clothes peg shooters

 The King of Random delivers again. Hours of fun to be had making these. It does take awhile to whittle the wooden clothes peg but it is worth it. Especially if you get to fire a flaming match. Sheesh! What’s … Read More

new medium

Jed was mid swing on a beeswax candle making jag when he ran out of wick. The very next morning we went to Forest Folk, the little store in the Titirangi Steiner school carpark for supplies. We came home with … Read More

matchbox rockets

Matchbox rockets are big in our world at the moment. Who knew you could have so much fun with foil and matches?! Simple to make and super fun, we’ve had these rockets go for 15 metres! The wonderful Adrian showed … Read More

Peppermint sewing school shorts

Yep, these photos were taken when the sun was too high and bright and you know what? That’s okay. I can live with it. It was the only way they were going to get done. It has been a mad … Read More

handcrafted gift tags

No gift tags and it’s gift wrapping time? Or you just choose to make your own on principle? I am so there. I used a handcrafted label from Izzy and Jean as a template for the size and shape of … Read More


Now I have an independent seven year old, I have a lot of time on my hands. Well, at homechooling groups and classes at least. I find it really hard to sit and just chat. My thumbs weren’t created with … Read More


It’s amazing how much fun you can have decorating with just $10 spent at the two dollar shop and a dive into the fabric stash and craft box! We came home with a bag of cobwebs, a pile of black … Read More

nature mandalas

On our way back from tending the vegetable garden we meandered our way back to the house collecting leaves and flowers. We had watched a few YouTube clips of the Dalai Lama and other monks creating sand mandala’s that morning … Read More

Cicada boy/s

 A friend had a Bugs and Blooms themed Spring party in the weekend. Jed and I had fun coming up with some costume ideas. Jed decided to go as a cicada. It’s definitely not cicada season here yet so we … Read More

Birthday week…the pinata

 Phew! We are on the other side of the birthday week. It was a big one. Of course. I am super glad I took the week off work. It was great to just have all that time with Jed. I … Read More

playing with print blocks

Remember these printing blocks I bought from Provenance at the market the other weekend? We’ve been putting them to good use! Fabric paint and pens is a staple on the crafting shelf here but we hadn’t done any fabric printing. … Read More

sand art

A few days before we left for a camping holiday, Jed and I saw a famous sand artist at work at our home beach. We just happened upon him working. I had just shared some photos of the guy’s work … Read More

Wikki Stix

We first came across Wikki Stix in Jed’s Small Poppies class. They were a huge hit with everybody, children and grown ups alike. I hadn’t come across them before. I tried to find some but they weren’t available in New … Read More

some simple sewing

At the last Sew Fun retreat I, er, talked rather a lot. I haven’t been well for some time and was so relieved to be feeling better. I had been certain that this time I was going to prepare ahead … Read More

The GrowMama superhero cape towel

Dressing up is big around here.  We live near a beach and one day last year, after a swim, the little guy fastened his towel around his neck like a super hero cape.  Hmmm, thought mama…and promptly got busy late … Read More

mountain rescue happy

We have the best time, my boy and i, coming up with good presents for his people.  Jed’s cousin Arlo just turned 4. He lives in the mountains in New Zealand’s South Island and is really, really into rescue. So…we got … Read More

an art installation: family

When i was busy doing outfit styling on our deck the other day, Jed was busy doing his own thing. This is his art installation. He called it ‘family’. He worked on it more during the afternoon. I love how he built whole … Read More

leaves and sticks

 New leaf….  Old leaf…  …and a project. A new friend put me onto a great book: Playful Learning: develop your child’s sense of joy and wonder. Written by Maria Bruehl, it has the subtitle: Simple activities to promote reading, writing, … Read More

an owl in the making

I love it when the day gets hijacked by something that wasn’t in the plan. Like this owl for example. We were learning about owls this particular week. Jed drew an awesome one then had the idea to make an … Read More


We did the letter Hh. Which led to a lovely weeklong exploration of the word Home. What it means to us, how others in the world live, what homes have looked like in the past. One of my previous homes … Read More

GrowMama gone viral

A post i wrote about a simple upcycling design idea two years ago has gone viral. I sit here, all rugged up, drinking tea and fielding emails from folks new to GrowMama. If you are one of those new folks, … Read More

shirt rescue

 In dire need of long sleeved shirts now that winter is upon us, i picked this one out of the $1 bin at a secondhand bin. I like the cut and the fabric, but it had graphics on it I didn’t … Read More

sewing makes everything better (almost)

So, Mother’s Day weekend…i couldn’t leave the premises so…what to do, but unearth the fabric stash and get sewing?! I shelved all manner of projects to sew a few things for myself. These two jersey fabrics came from the thrift … Read More

stitching therapy – oh yeah!

I finished the Alabama Chanin skirt i started at the Sew Fun retreat awhile ago. All handstitched folks. When i was travelling i didn’t have a sewing machine in my backpack (imagine, no unlimited sewing machine access for 16+ years…shudder!) … Read More

minding our beeswax

You might know by now that i like to keep a little stash of projects in the cupboard to pull out in times of rainy days -or just stay at home days.This is one i’d been looking forward to. The … Read More

7 days of blogging 7/7 – introducing terence

So, in any one day, i am mama to many. Today it was a builder, a pirate, a mama bird on her eggs, a knight, an All black (NZ is deep in Rugby world cup fever),and Terence the sparrowman. I’m … Read More


I had Jed in stitches when he came to the table to this on his plate. (First he looked at me to see if i was serious…food is a serious matter around here) I’d been deep in creative land…writing in … Read More

rainy day survival in small house

This was rainy day number three. Huts got made. Baking warmed the house and the soul. There were expeditions into rainy garden and windswept beach. The craft box made an appearance. Burrows get made (in mama’s bed), naps were taken … Read More

a bunting jag

I love making bunting flags for people. They are a heirloom piece, likely to be handed down through the generations. This set was made on commission for the lovely Tia. I consulted with her mama to make the perfect set … Read More

craftiness at the easter show

I spotted some crafty folks doing a spot of simple wool felting at Auckland’s Easter Show. It is one of those things i have wanted to try and hadn’t gotten around to yet. We have been doing alot of crafting … Read More

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