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

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

Sneak preview – Pattern review: Coastline top

All you non-crafty sewy types might want to scroll on by this one! Sarah from SewKnitLove posted a request for pattern reviewers for their new Coastline top on facebook and was swamped in hours. I was lucky enough to be among the … Read More

Making – a denim fen

I had some lightweight denim cotton from my birthday splurge at The Fabric Store that was just begging to be a shirt. I have a thing for denim. I had the long sleeve shirt cut out but completely forgot about … Read More

tardigrades and moss

It started with an article in a magazine I picked up at the library. It was about tardigrades, micro-critters who live in lichen or moss worldwide. They are cute, at 1 mm fully grown they are visible under a microscope … Read More

an advanced version

It took us a few days to build this one. The satisfaction was huge when we’d finished. It was the first build using the motor. That was exciting. There was great fanfare as we switched the motor on. And super … 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

Here’s a project

Here’s a project! I love it when you see a project online and all the materials are to hand. We had a hex bug already. We’ve used the little dude for all sorts of projects. Quite funny to place under … 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

growing bacteria

We just did this cool experiment at home. Our homeschooling crew is so awesome. I posted an experiment on the GrowMama facebook page. Friends saw it and ordered bulk large petrie dishes from a lab and put a call out on … Read More

my 70’s sewing jag

So, I mentioned about my 70’s sewing jag. You’ve seen the culottes. Here’s the jumpsuit! It’s the Sallie pattern from indie designer, Heather Lou, under her label Closet Case Patterns. You can check it out HERE. It has pockets! I … 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

birthday prep

I love how much care this kid puts into his birthday plans. It’s all about bringing his people together and sharing good food this year. Oh, and the dressing up and games. I’m looking forward to it. Japanese theme! Think … Read More

Making: a woven hemlock tee

There has been a bit to think about in the last week. As usual when the proverbial hits the fan, I hit the sewing machine. It’s a productive sort of a therapeutic approach. I found this double gauze on sale … Read More

It’s pyjama season

I use the pyjama pattern from Heather Ross’ Weekend Sewing book. It was one of those books I read about in blogland, borrowed from the library and couldn’t bear to part with. I bought it, and I am so glad … Read More

the hemlock tee

 I like simple patterns that I can tweak and use in many different ways. I have been on the lookout for a good jersey T shirt pattern and have found it in Grainline’s Hemlock Tee. Not only is it everything … 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

rainbow moko

The little guy surprised me with this beautiful rainbow moko. I love all the colour and shape and movement. Especially how one area flows into another. Which reminds me of a random thing. We were playing Junior Monopoly and talking … 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

kids work

Jed solved a dilemma for us this week. He’s figured out that the space under the deck of the sleepout is sheltered from the rain and dew and makes a jolly fine place to hang our garden tools. Revolutionary! First … 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

not being graceful and therapeutic sewing

Goodness. What a week. What a month. Or quite possibly, year.  I haven’t been managing to juggle all that is life very gracefully lately. At all. I have been running around trying to make things on time, always feeling like … Read More

building bridges

We studied bridges the other day. We looked at the different structures of bridges, what shapes give the best stability, bridges around the world and through history. Then I set Jed a challenge. He likes a challenge. He needed to … 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

Pillowcase bag workshop at Sew Love Tea Do!

My blog post on the pillowcase bag I designed years ago went super duper viral on Pinterest. It’s STILL out there doing the rounds, that and the tutorial are my all time best viewed posts. I get asked all the … Read More

making. feverishly

There has been need of some sewing therapy lately. With attending Fabric-a-brac and the Vintage Textile Fair in the last few weeks, there has been a healthy dollop of inspiration. And a few beautiful additions to my fabric stash. I … Read More

A good mess.

The house was a mess today. A good mess. You know, piles of paper bits on the floor, coloured pencils and projects all over the dining table, lego free building session in evidence across my bedroom floor, empty wooden snack … 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

felting with bubble wrap

At our homeshcooling group recently, one of the mama’s taught us how to felt. We do a bunch of crafty stuff at home and usually Jed likes to be outdoors with friends at these gatherings but he surprised me this … Read More

beans in winter

We had saved these bean seeds from a heritage variety Jed grew a few years ago. Finding them in a drawer, he asked whether they would still grow. After a bit of research into viability of bean seeds after 2 … 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

The eggheads. A tutorial.

Meet the eggheads. We made these two in anticipation of the Gardening for Kids article I wrote that just came out in the NZ Herald’s Element Magazine. They weren’t looking their best in time for the photo shoot but they … Read More

tiny snails and the secret life of leaves

These two little reprobates hitched a ride home with us in a bunch of dandelions for Chester the rabbit. Touch wood, so far, we haven’t had much in the way of snails. I think the slugs must have crowded them … Read More

Microlife in firewood

It was one of those natural learning moments when a discovery turns into hours of exploration and study. All that firewood we stacked? And those critters we found in between the wood and the bark? The ‘Art Digger Beetles’? Turns … Read More

firewood time

Axeman Jack delivered our firewood last week. And, yes, that is truly our firewood guy’s name. He also has very sparkly blue eyes, is super nice, has wild white hair and is missing quite a few fingers. Jed was convinced … Read More

beginnings of a crafty winter

Making stuff is one of the foundations to my happiness. Or my contentedness. I can get by on making good food and good deep conversation or organising for awhile, but really, I need projects. Of the crafting variety. Designing something, … Read More