Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Bells of Aotearoa

The Bells of Aotearoa     by Greg Wilson begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     copyrightend_of_the_skype_highlighting
In memory of the Miners of the West Coast who never came home.

Written in 2010 after the Pike River mine explosion that claimed the lives of twenty nine miners the attitude of the West Coast people leaves an indelible impression. They demonstrate a healthy acceptance of life, risk and loss that was once common in this great little country of ours. Not for them the closing down of all risk to cower in fear endlessly gnashing teeth over what they have lost.  Instead they show an honest appraisal and expression of their loss with a determination to overcome their grief and live on in the fullness of their experiences together as a community. A rugged and daunting natural environment the West Coast has no patience for unrealistic sentiments born of an urban existence far removed from the land that sustains it. Coasters, I salute you.

Paparoa shrouded grey, lies muted ‘neath the pall
the bells, they toll for miners gone, breakers roll and roll
softly dripping tears of sacred mists speak their peace
unto the gloom, come back they say, on a cloudless day and listen
to the unmuted bells of Aotearoa play
for we shall stand and we shall sing
we shall break in joy upon the shore
those who feast upon our grief shall in hunger turn away
as upon the courage of our miners gone
we build tomorrow today, so stand at dawn
in silence upon the river, ‘tween the mountains and the sea
and hear the bells, the unmuted bells of Aotearoa play.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Excited by a new knitting technique

I find it wonderful the many ways arty people come up with new ideas and techniques to create and make art.  Ardrtiafil is a Italian company that makes beautiful yarn and has apparently come up with this technique for knitting with your arms. I find this facinating as a whole wrap or scarf can be completed in an evening with the use of Ardrtiafil's chunky yarn. Here your arms act like knitting needles and you cast on and knit from one arm to another.This video shows you how

It is really quite interesting to watch. The only thing is I cannot get that yarn here in New Zealand and am wondering if any other yarns might do the same thing as well...

More info can be found on Ardrtiafil's web site.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Well its Thanksgiving and it seems a time that the world stops to ponder on its blessings and give thanks- pity we only confine that to one day. I came across a book sometime ago that featured on Oprah  called Simple Abundance . It is a wonderful book for anyone who wants to live life in a more deliberate and meaningful way. There are so many ideas to choose from. One I like in particular was the keeping of a Gratitude Journal. Each day at the close of the day, you were encouraged to sit and write five things you could be grateful for . Often I would find in an ordinary day there was a lot more than five to write in. Each day I am blessed by friends who visit and drop in a word or two, my animals who love unconditionally and a world that is teeming with life in all its fullness. A little disabled lamb that I am caring for is learning to hobble and walk in his own fashion , the roses are overcoming their black spot and blooming , my little hen is devotedly sitting on her nest of eggs with great patience and there is always a kiss in the early hours of the morning from my love. I hope today finds you starting your practice of daily gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving everyone......from our home to yours.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Eeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!! its monsters...!!!

You know how it happens? you notice your tastes changes with time...well I think I have truly entered my whimsical ghoulie phase...cos I have been in the mood to create monsters...goblins....trolls and ghoulies of all sorts...I must say it is fun! especially when I tend to use no pattern and simply dig into my sacks ( yes sacks) of fabrics to find a piece just right to create a little face. I make the faces from directly sewing by hand or machine onto fabric. There is sometimes some applique used to created mouths and noses...the best part is thinking what kind of character this creature will have.....spoilt? or shy?  who knows.....I love the free expression of creating without needling to conform to a set way to do it.....making cloth dolls was a little too precise for me especially getting the facial features right...With my ghoulies there is no need as eyes and mouths can be uneven or distorted and that makes it all the better....Here is my latest creation!!!

Hello again

Its been ages since we last wrote on this blog and I have wanted to restart it again. Thank you to everyone who messaged  us to ask about it. We decided that we would revive it rather than go through the hassle to redo a new blog -plus we did not want to lose our lovely followers...So here we are again..and we will write more and share what is happening in our world and lives again.

We now have been selling our handcrafted things around the world and are delighted to see our creations find homes in France and Hawaii and so many parts of the USA. Here is the link to our Etsy store where you can take a look at what we create...It is always changing as we try to incorporate new ideas and designs.

At the moments its all GO!!! and we are creating dolls. monsters, goddesses and the like for the Holiday season.....come visit us and take a look. We are currently offering free shipping to anywhere for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The color of the Wind

 We have recently moved. The decision to move was not ours, but providence, as always favours the brave and bravely we acted. This is the story of the emotional and spiritual journey of one of us.

The Color of the Wind                                 

A Long-tailed Cuckoo calls in the stillness of the night. Its cry amplifies the hushed silence. The soft moist clouds of Ngaroma hang breathless. This is my oasis. 
This place, these people have nurtured me, given me strength. As I struggled to stay afloat in the maelstrom of divorce, homelessness and unemployment that enveloped me I washed up in this pleasant place. Like a seed cast recklessly to the elements, blown and swirled, trampled and swept away by the torrents of life I came to rest on fertile soil.

 I have grown anew. Fresh shoots reaching rapidly toward the light of a new season. The seeds’ time had come in a land of plentiful growth nestled in the maternal swells of volcanic hills. Drenched with loving rain, caressed with filtered sunshine and a steady breeze that ruffles the hair. Ngaroma. Peopled with the produce of its climate, self–reliant, generous folk who accept community as friends.  I have “become”, in a very real sense while dwelling here.  Yes, become. A strange term and one that is difficult to pass from one to another without losing its meaning. Yet that is what has happened, I have “become”.

 It is time to leave this oasis. Not by my choice, but by the reckoning of the wisdom of life.
 And I sit here on the floor at 3am, less than a month after learning my job and my house were part of the economic crisis so talked about yet seemingly so distant. The furniture is packed, and I am unable to sleep as I sit on the verge of moving to a new life and a new phase of becoming.

Seedlings raised in a green house cannot realize their potential and bear fruit until they are taken abruptly from shelter and transplanted into a harsher environment. It is a difficult transition yet it is what sets the plant free to bear fruit. This is my transplantation, my uprooting from shaded soils and planting out in full sun, Marlborough’s sun.
Marlborough, a land of hills the color of the wind, its grass rippling like an orgasm across the taut skin of a lover under warm blue skies. A land of preserved history, yet vibrantly alive today. A place to grow.

 With a trailer load of bleating, crowing and barking we drive through the night along the backbone of our island and sail the strait arriving at dawn to a new world.
It is the world of my dreams, dreamt since I was fourteen years old; Mountains and Merinos, the realm of the high country shepherd.
 Truly it has been an uncertain often meandering path, this fulfillment of my dreams, and many are the charred stones of sacrifice and indecision along the way. I could mourn the lost, but those stones are the very building blocks of my current house of love and joy. In the same way the rocky steadfastness of the mountains supply stones for the shaping of the land, so the material of my life is rooted in the rock of something much larger.
I cannot see it, nor perceive it with clarity, but I sense it growing and becoming more powerful as I yield to my dreams.
Walking in the river bed near my new home I stoop and pick up a dark blood red stone. Soaked in the suns warmth its surface is silken to the touch yet the stone is extremely hard, a gift from the very heart of the mountains. Holding it in my hand I become aware of a knowledge that exists beyond the boundaries of the senses, outside of circumstance and location, it is the knowledge of the homecoming of my soul. A place of contentment where all that is lost now has its place.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hi Followers

Our apologies for the long silence.
This is just a short note to say we have moved and are finally online again from a different part of the country.
I will get to writing a more complete story for you all to read in a day or two.

Thanks for your interest in our very normal lives.

Greg and Tammy