Monday, August 3, 2015

Polka Dot Dress

Earlier this year my little niece was born in London.

Last week my Dad and his Partner went over to the Big Smoke to meet her and do some travelling for a few months.

With him, I sent along this little dress for her to wear this summer (the one they are currently in)(a teeny 3-6months size) and a picture Camilla drew.

After pondering Camilla said "Maybe she would like to visit NewZealand, it's very beautiful here." Ain't that the truth. Maybe soon ;)

This is my 7th Savannah Dress I've made in the last year! I don't even need to read the instructions now ;) It's such a great dress, if you're looking for a versatile pattern for beginners you can't go past this one!

Savannah Dresses that I have made
Buy the Savannah Dress pattern for yourself

At The Shops

[Just hanging out at the shops]

Dolls Carrier

Earlier this year I made a dolls carrier for a little friend who was turning two!

We were having a little morning tea for the Little Lady midweek and the idea struck me to make a dolls carrier, just like what her Mama uses for her little brother... the day before. BAH. Quick trip to Spotty for all the nuts and bolts (this is no "stash" project, in that it needed specific chords and clips).

Isn't it always the way that inspiration strikes at the 11th hour?

I used the Little Kiwis Closet Soft Structured Dolls Carrier pattern ($8) which I had actually won from the Mend and Make New blog a few years ago. It sat in my inbox, intending to use it for my own children but... you know.

Its a great pattern that is well worth getting if you are a confident beginner. The end product looks very professional and will be well worth your time and money.

I'm happy with the results, and as you can see, our sweet Friend is pretty happy too :)

My Sewing

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ako Māori

Tēnā koutou!

I te a Ako Māori au.

Greetings to all! In the past I was at Ako Māori.

I'd love to tell you about it, considering it's Te wiki o Te Reo (Te Reo (Māori language) week), now seems like a good time!

Graeme and I, and two of our good friends attended 8 weeks of night classes under the teachings of Regan Stokes our kaiako (teacher).

And. It was really really fantastic. A cannot possibly rate it any higher than what I do!

We have been wanting to do some more up skilling of our Reo for a while now. Graeme was well taught as a child in his language and culture but through his teenage and adult years lost a lot of it. And me, as pakeha, a New Zealander, and also a mum raising two sweet Māori girls, I wanted to know a lot more than what a did (basically numbers and colours and that was it), because I realised as the main teacher in our home, it was important for me to have this knowledge and understanding if I was to raise my own children with it. 

This Ako Māori course was informal (no exams etc), free, and was designed for beginners to immerse themselves in Māori language and culture.

Over the 8 weeks we learnt::
-proverbs, family structure, cultural values, Mana
-pronunciation (mine still needs a bit of work and practice!)

-greetings and farewells and casual phrases
-asking someone their name and where they are from
-basic pronouns / possessive articles (I, you, them)(me, yours, theirs)
-asking "how are you", with feelings based words also
-basic grammar and sentence structure
-asking "what is this"
-selection of naming words
-descriptive sentences
-asking "what are you doing"
-a selection of verbs / pronouns
-waiata (song) and karakia (chant / prayer)

So WHOA, so much was packed in to those 8 lessons, there is a whole lot more in our books that I haven't retained, but I keep going back to as my learning continues and I become more confident in what I already know.

What I loved about this course as that it was a mix of grammar and phrases. So for example, we didn't just learn that "Haere mai" means welcome, as you are usually taught. We learnt that "haere" is a word for going or getting, and "mai" is a word for "me". So put them together and it literally means (in English) "go toward me" or... "welcome" :) That "Haere" and "Mai" can now be put into use in "Haere ra" (go into the day / good bye), "Haere atu" (go away).

Its a very useful way of learning, and it means that I'm now able to figure out sentences that I've never seen before using the limited range of words I know the meaning for. 

Although for me in my stage of learning it is a lot easier to read Māori than it is to listen. When it is written down I can take the time to work out each word and the sentence structure, that is a little different to English, and figure out roughly what is being said. 

Throughout the course each night our Kaiako (teacher) would do a little korero (talk) on culture, values, and an understanding of life. It was absolutely fascinating, and I took a lot away from in for my own life, especially being a person of Mana, Utu (good and bad utu), and being connected to my own iwi, hapū and whānau. 

Te Reo is being used a whole lot more in our family now, we are all trying it out, making mistakes and learning together. Just this morning Camilla said "Thats a big Rākau!" And I replied to her "He rākau nui tera" which means A big tree over there. I gave myself a high five for that one. To which Milla replied "does nui mean big? I'll tell my friends at kindy that".

If you consider yourself a New Zealander or are interested in Te Reo Māori, check out a course near you, or have a look at the Ako Māori website for self study options. Its a great language to learn! 

Hei konei (see you here in the future!)
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