I think that before we left for Norway, I was somewhat of a hoarder: a collector of old stuff, a re-claimer and saver of many little bits and pieces. This week I'm trying to sort through some of the boxes I packed up and stored in my parent's barn while we were away in Europe. It's turning out to be a big job. I had no idea that I saved so many little things- pairs of shoes I didn't realise I had, wee scraps of fabric, clothes the children had outgrown, postcards (even other peoples')... etc. It is quite fun going through everything, but I'm thinking that we're going to have find a really big house to live in. Or I'm going to have to reform my hoarding ways.
The comforts of home are many: the special smell of the earth after rain, mist lingering in the pine forest, the quiet and dark of the winter. It's somehow surprising that things feel just the same here- the chickens pecking around the garden, the radio on, the newspaper waiting at the end of the driveway each evening. There's so much growing, even though it's wintertime.
It's very comforting to be back in New Zealand- to be home again. We had a few long days travelling and it wasn't that enjoyable. Mostly because our luggage got lost somewhere near London (we have it back now), our first flight had to make a medical-related emergency landing in Newfoundland, and I happened to get some kind of bug on the first day, and had to hide at the back of the plane each time they brought around the meals. It's quite funny when I think about it now. But it wasn't at the time. The children were great though, and Tom was too. And now we're home, staying at my parent's farm for a bit, and enjoying seeing our friends and family again.
Thank you for all the well wishes for our travel! I'm looking forward to getting back into blogging and making things- just as soon as I locate my needles and thread.
Goodbye lovely northern place with long light nights and half a year of darkness. Goodbye pine and silverbirch forests, streets lined with wildflowers, neatly-kept houses painted white, brown, red or yellow. Goodbye peaceful little town with the ferry horn marking each afternoon and morning. And grumpy old ladies, hairdresser/solarium combos on each street corner, supermarkets with names like Joker and Kiwi, book group, sewing group, vinmonopolet, post office.
Tomorrow we'll be leaving Norway, first on a train, then on three flights. A long time in planes and airports. See you next week, little blog. xxxx
It's been a weekend of re-discovering. Rediscovering people we've met and gotten to know here. And how beautiful they all are and this place is. And then, small rediscoveries, like this little note Keira wrote me once. And the bleeding-heart-plant, which is still in flower. And the empty vanilla essence bottle sitting in the top cupboard ready for when children bring flowers into the house, plucked off with hardly any stem left. And that blue pottery plate to put biscuits on. Even rediscovering baking, which I've not made time for lately. I made these cookies- the recipe is from here but I saw them first here. I chopped up a big bar of milk chocolate to put in them, because I still haven't found where to buy chocolate chips here. I guess I never will, now. It's a really great recipe. You should give it a go sometime.
Here are some little envelopes I found while tidying up my desk yesterday, hidden away for future printing inspiration I suppose. They arrived with the vintage sewing supplies from Camilla last month, and I think they are all originally from Japan. The brown envelope (with perhaps, gingko leaves?) held these two little doilies, crocheted in cream thread by Camilla's grandmother. I love the way the pine needles are expressed- so simply with just a few lines.
The 'random number generator' gave me the number 2 for the giveaway yesterday. So I will send them to Sol. Check out her beautiful knitted shawls! Have a great weekend.
I found some unusual flowers in the garden- they're kind of like small dandelions but bright orange and slightly hairier. And then I remembered the new book of Norwegian wildflowers that Camilla gave me, by the well-known painter/illustrator Dagny Tande Lid and now i can identify them as 'rødsveve' from this plant family. It looks like they're a noxious weed in NZ and Australia but they're pretty, aren't they?
Also pictured above is a sprig of yarrow from the side of the road, which reminded me about some old gocco screens hiding under the bed, salvaged from past printing sessions. I decided to give the yarrow print one last inking, and made some new cards to give away with my last orders and such. I still have a set left- if you'd like them, just let me know in the comments section and I'll draw a name tomorrow. And then I think the nice ladies at the post office will be ready to say goodbye to me. For sure.
Thank you for your support and nice comments yesterday!
I finally did a bit of work yesterday, and am getting there with the sorting and organising. I decided to have a big sale in my etsy shop- so there's now 40% off everythingin there for a few days- i will close it for good on Saturday. I do hope to re-open once we're settled back into life in New Zealand- hopefully with a few changes and some new designs and ideas.
Thank you SO much for your support of my work over the last two years- both with this blog and the etsy shop. I can't tell you how much it means to me. It's been wonderful.
And in other news, this is what Keira has been working on today: her new design called 'The Flavour Factory'. It is a magical icecream machine that is operated by kids (with that blue handle on the back) and is free and has new flavours every day. Flavours like kiwifruit, apricot, orange, pineapple and chocolate. And it never, ever drives away before you can gather your neighbour-friends and some coins from your money jar, put on your shoes and run down the street to buy icecream. (Can you guess what happened to her yesterday?)
Inspired by my box of wool felt scraps, and my favourite embroidery book Swedish Embroidery, I've been staying up far too late stitching these lately. They're little brooches: two layers of wool felt with colourful embroidery, and measure about 2" across. They're really fun to make- but also somewhat addictive and each one seems to take me much longer than I expect it might. I think now, though, I'd better finally get on with some packing and sorting.
Although I should really have been doing more Important Things, I sewed this skirt on the weekend from some vintage cotton- it's sort of peachy-coloured and printed with cornflowers, bamboo, and various types of grasses. And there are so many wildflowers growing from the cracks in the pavement on our walk to school and at the park.
Here are some little gifts I made for a friend with a baby boy soon to be born. The reversible sunhat is made from grey linen and an olive green cotton print and I used isoinpapu's great picture tutorial. You can find it here. I really love this pattern, and plan on making many more little sunhats from it. And to make the felt balls, I raided my wool felt stash and used this pattern- except that i blanket-stitched the pieces together by hand. With some lightweight wool stuffing, it makes a nice natural baby toy. Wishing you a relaxing weekend!