Vintage boogers

I turned some (not even half) of my Oma's handkercheifs into bunting. A very pretty, ladylike one and a funny, little bit weird one made up of children's hankies.
I remember my grandmother used to give me a box of hankies for christmas when I was little. I'm hoping this bunting gets more use.

I did wash them!


My family has been sorting through my Oma and Opa's things, giving bits and pieces away, clearing out the house. I asked for any vintage linen and received 2 huge bags full, one of which was crammed with handkerchiefs. A catch-all collection of mens and ladies and children's hankies. Some new, some handmade, some very well used. A strange collection to inherit. Handkerchiefs are hardly used at all now. But I have some projects in mind for them...

#FMSHBM zine!

Flowers My Sons Have Brought Me is a documentation of the little offerings my young sons bring to me on a near daily basis. A tiny warm fistful of daisies - “Mama!”. It never fails to twist my heart strings.

These commonplace gifts are given freely and in such abundance it is hard to treasure each one. Nor do they last long. Tiny flowers picked with such short stems, all I can do is float them in a teacup. So as a way of preserving their simple beauty, I started instagraming them with the hashtag #flowersmysonhasbroughtme. But instagram is almost as fleeting as the flowers themselves. A few likes and after a few hours, the photo is buried deep in the stream…. as good as gone.

I was frustrated by the disposable nature of our digital age, I wanted something to hold on to. My old 90s polaroid camera got brushed off and it was exciting to hear the click and whirr and the shrill whine of the flash. But I was shocked by the lack of control, the randomness. The polaroids felt so rough and raw. Each shot takes an hour to develop, so far removed from the instant fix of instagram. 

But through the fog, the images slowly developed and some how it felt like looking into the future. One day my children will see these photos, while the instagrams will have faded forever into the digital cosmos.

So here are the polaroids and instagrams, the flowers and the love. All mixed up so completely I couldn’t ever separate them.

Here are the flowers my sons have brought me.

24 page zine.
Hand bound.
Available now at Beard&Braid!

North Head

North Head on a cool grey morning. Lots of room to breathe and run about. Up here you become so much more aware of how this city is intertwined with the sea.


 I'm currently working on a zine titled Flowers My Sons Have Brought Me that I'll be selling them at Auckland Zinefest in just under two weeks. Toby and I are going to have a stall, plus he'll be doing the Sketch gang thing too.

It'll be our first time selling at Zinefest. It's great to have a deadline to work towards- this zine has been in the works for a year or two. But the boys just keeping bringing me more flowers, it's hard to know when to stop.

I had a lot of fun doing some polaroid shots for this series. There's some more photos and some writing about them here.

Objects my cat has brought me

Bird is learning to hunt and has been bringing us presents. Half-dead cicadas, dry leaves and the odd sock. If only she'd catch the mouse I saw in the kitchen the other night...

This is Bird when we first got her, about 8 weeks old. She's so much bigger now.

Package of fun

I just received the coolest package all the way from Amsterdam, from my old jewellery tutor Susanne. Opening the package I caught the scent of smoke and metal, and inside was an assortment of special Susi craziness: beads and wool and gold and silver, bottle caps and ribbons, mysterious plastic pieces, rings and earrings and chain. An inspiring mish mash of fun that made me feel so homesick for Amsterdam, and for Susi's studio and most of all, for Susi.

Bird & the bird

So- here's the story of Bird and the bird.

Every day, this mangy blackbird found it’s way into our kitchen, where it would eat the crumbs under Iggy's high chair, do a poo, and leave. At first it was once a day, but after a while we were cleaning bird poo off the kitchen floor three times day. The same bird. A bit rude really.

So we decided to get a cat. There were other reasons too (like the fact Toby really wanted one!) After bringing home our new family member, our three year old Max threw out a barrage of name suggestions, and among them was one that was a perfect distillation of our kitten's new life mission: Bird.

We don’t see that old bird so much anymore. It’s still poking around the yard, it hasn't shown it's face since Bird arrived. And Bird is totally at home now with us, she follows the boys everywhere.

These unique little gocco prints commemorate our old enemy and our new friend. One is by Toby, one is by me, and they come as a set, in a numbered and signed limited edition of 10.

They are available in our shop.

Fancy as

Alana from FANCY! (a beautifully curated blog of New Zealand design) was kind enough to feature Beard&Braid (Toby and I) in the first of her new series Us Two- where she asks creative couples to share their lives and work. Go and have a nosey here.

And yes, that's our lounge. So tidy! The artwork is (from top left to right in a clockwise direction):
Iron and Wine screen printed tour poster by The Heads of State
Grrr macht der Bar by Phillip Janta
Untitled by Barney Hobson
Arrow by Ignasi Tudela
Vintage horse print
Paulie by Sonya Nagels (me!)
Rose tint my world by me again
Mountain I by Kate Woods
Mountain II by Kate Woods
Ronaldinho - from the Stars in their pants series by Rick Chant
Banana skeleton by Toby Morris

You never regret a swim

I went for a magical swim on Sunday. I have no photos from it, but I collected these cat's eye shells from the beach as a reminder: you never regret a swim.


Two of the best things about going away with friends: watching our kids become friends too, and all of us sitting down to each meal.

If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart. -Cesar Chavez

(The last photo was taken by Katie. Sadly Toby was on a mad midnight mission home from a  wedding so is missing from this shot.)

Pataua at dawn

We've just come back from an amazing weekend away with friends. A big, beautiful, old house up on a hill, overlooking the coast. Nine adults, eight kids. Late nights talking over wine and early mornings with weetbix and cups of tea.

These photos were taken at dawn this morning. Hence the tired eyes and bed hair. But it was so  beautiful.

Silk and wood

A commissioned necklace using silks, leather cord, wooden beads and copper findings. All hand sewn, which I enjoy doing. I'm thinking about starting a bigger hand sewing project this winter- I love the look of sashiko embroidery. Such repetitive simple patterns looks rather meditative.

A new dressing gown

I found this vintage dressing gown pattern at the bottom of my pattern stash. Just perfect for a summery dressing gown. I bought some light floral cotton and it came together so quickly. Such an easy project and I wear it everyday. I am trying to be more thoughtful with my sewing projects- making useful things for everyday, rather than for special occasions, which I never wear again.

I found this interview with Gaye Naismith about slow sewing interesting, I'd love to take one of her classes.

The night before christmas

 Iggy is just getting into books. Max is totally into Santa. Oma is just into her grandsons.

Stamps and hoarding

I have been meaning to try stamp carving since forever. I was inspired by Melissa's posts, she's been doing it for years. Next I'd like to try doing some hand-stamped fabric.

But that might be a while away. Right now I am trying to finish projects, and have a gentle New Year's resolution not to start any more projects until I get a few old ones out of the way. I'm tempted to read this book, but my inner hoarder is a bit scared of such a ruthless approach.