Archives for category: Inspiration

I want to do a little plug for a beautiful New Zealand magazine, extra curricular (for creative folk).

It is all about our country’s artists and makers and illustrators and creative-types, but in an accessible way. It is a very welcoming magazine. They are all people making art in their spare time. It is absolutely sweet and lovely in terms of the design, the photography and the content. After reading it, I wanted to drop everything in my daily life and get making things.

Please do support it if you are interesting in NZ art/craft/illustration/handmade…recently another NZ magazine World Sweet World announced it was to stop after just a handful of issues. This is only issue two of extra curricular, but I wish for it many more issues. I can see it becoming NZ’s version of the equally lovely Frankie.

You can buy it here. It has a blog here, and a facebook page here.

I’ve been looking at the garden for the last six months, thinking how I should’ve really pulled some weeds so I could plant some more veges. I promised myself that I wouldn’t make my self feel guilty about things like that in such a busy year but I was a little sad that I wouldn’t be picking fresh veges from my plot.

Today I grabbed a few handfuls of chickweed out of the vege patch to feed the chooks and noticed as I got up close: lettuce, celery, carrots and in another corner broad beans!

These little seedlings are making their way despite the weeds, on their own accord; plants that had self-seeded from the previous crops. I just need to do some minimal weeding and they’ll take off. The prognosis wasn’t as bad as I had imagined.

When I first started my MA this year I was worried – would I be able to keep up with the workload, would I get writer’s block, would I remember anything, would my brain still work, would all the bright young things leave me in their dust?

I’m sure all mothers experience a similar mix of these anxieties when they return to work after a period of time away with children.

What I discovered was I had 8 years worth of ideas that had been germinating in the dark recesses of my brain, which only needed the slightest stimulation to take off (and that motherhood gives you an amazing stamina!)

I’m slowly starting to realize that it’s okay to let your land / mind lay fallow for a while, in fact, it may even be beneficial – not stripping all the nutrients from extensively working your plot.

I’m sure I won’t be able to (and don’t want to) wait another 8 years before the next intensive work effort but I will be less anxious about the wait, happier to see it as part of the process in the future and able to trust that a few self-sown seeds will make their own way to the light.


“I suppose I ought to tell a story, but I don’t know anymore,” said the old man.
“You can make one up, I know,” said the boy. “Mother says that you can turn anything you look at into a story, and everything even that you touch.”
“Ah, but that kind of tale and story is worth nothing. The real ones come of themselves. They knock at the forehead and say ‘Here we are!'”
“Won’t there be a knock soon?” said the boy. And his mother laughed, while she put elder flowers in the teapot and poured boiling water over them. “Please tell me a story.”
“Yes – if a story comes of itself. But tales and stories are very grand – they only come when it pleases them.”

-from Elder Tree Mother by Hans Christian Andersen

I’ve seen a couple of books lately that have really inspired me

My friend Carmen lent this to me to have a look at, she got it from Amazon. It is amazing.

I got this one out from my library but you can also get it from Amazon or of course even better would be a local independent bookseller aye? This one is an on-going project, they also have a blog. I love being voyeuristic.