Simple pleasures

When you both work from home and whole weeks go by without either of you leaving the property, the concept of ‘entertainment’ can get pretty simple.
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At certain times of year we play ‘First person to spot a stick insect in the manuka bush’ (whereby you race each other to get your manuka-twig-imitating insect-spotting ‘eye’ in). Just sayin’, but I’m the one to beat at this one…

At the moment we’re playing ‘how many baby frogs can you see in the pond’. There’s a good five minutes fun to be had with this one.
frog, waterlily, lily, pond, young, infant, juvenile, green, new zealand, australian, zealand, lucy patterson, photo, blog
Or we just watch the chickens doing their usual madness. Or feed strange things we find in small plastic containers in the back of the fridge to Alice the pig. It’s amazing the pleasure one feels at watching another creature completely and utterly lost-in-the-moment enjoying their food.

Cheap thrills. I’m not knocking it though. Feeling like a delighted child is highly underrated.frog, waterlily, lily, pond, young, infant, juvenile, green, new zealand, australian, zealand, lucy patterson, photo, blog, reflection, sky, swimming
The other night I was standing out on the verandah just after sunset had faded to charcoal, bringing the sun-sweetened washing in from the line and breathing in the stillness of the valley, when I became aware of so many male owls (little native ruru / morepork) urgently trying to out-hoot each other. It suddenly struck me that they were doing the nocturnal version of the farmyard roosters’ every-dawn crowing competition but of course dusk was their morning. Ah, sweet testosterone! Made my chest unexpectedly hurt with happiness.

Posted in Nature, New Zealand, Our family and animals, Where we live | 1 Comment

The mighty two-wheeler: a celebration

In many parts of the world, the two-wheeler reigns supreme. It is the ultimate, everyman, all-purpose vehicle. And it makes absolute sense that it is: so much cheaper to buy and run than a car (plus smaller impact on the environment), easy to manoeuvrer through heavy traffic or narrow streets, can be parked just about anywhere (even in your lounge)…and can function as a taxi, delivery van, school bus, trailer-puller or family car. In fact, with a little creative modification and courageous loading, it seems that there’s not much the two-wheeler can’t do. As these photos I took on my travels in India, Vietnam and Cambodia show…

You can pile a lot on the back of a two-wheeler. This young guy in Jodhpur, Rajasthan is transporting striped turban fabrics, I think.
jodhpur, rajasthan, india, fabric, turban, tie dye, tie and dye, bandhani, bandhrej, red, Lucy Patterson, blog, photo, travel, motorbike, moped, bike, motorcycle, two-wheeler, photography
Obviously it’s important to tie things on well, though. This leaning tower of boxes is in Hanoi.
boxes, hanoi, old quarter, vietnam, Lucy Patterson, blog, photo, travel, motorbike, moped, bike, motorcycle, two-wheeler, photography
Need to transport a giant bonsai cherry-blossom tree for New Year in Hanoi? No problem! Whack that on the back of your bike too!
new year, tet, cherry blossom, cherry, tree, bonsai, hanoi, vietnam, old quarter, Lucy Patterson, blog, photo, travel, motorbike, moped, bike, motorcycle, two-wheeler, photography
Here are handmade brooms being delivered in Jaipur…
brooms, jharu, jaipur, india, rajasthan, handmade, brushes, Lucy Patterson, blog, photo, travel, motorbike, moped, bike, motorcycle, two-wheeler, photography
…and baskets in Hanoi.
hanoi, baskets, old quarter, Lucy Patterson, blog, photo, travel, motorbike, moped, bike, motorcycle, two-wheeler, photography
But what if the load you’re carrying just doesn’t fit on the back of your two-wheeler? Use the sides, of course! Just add some racks and voila! No vase is too big to be transported! (In Bat Trang ceramic village, near Hanoi).
vases, vase, urn, urns, bat trang, ceramic village, village ceramic, pottery, pottery village, hanoi, vietnam, blue and white, delivery Lucy Patterson, blog, photo, travel, motorbike, moped, bike, motorcycle, two-wheeler, photography
At the Bac Ha Sunday market in North Vietnam, edible greens are carried in giant baskets strapped to the sides of this two-wheeler.
motorbike, bike, baskets, Bac Ha, vietnam, flower hmong, hmong, transport, two-wheeler, lucy patterson, blog, photo, sunday, hill tribe
And in Bundi, Rajasthan, this motorbike is the local milk delivery vehicle, with beautiful brass containers attached on all sides. Here it was delivering milk to a sweet-maker’s stall, where piles of golden jalebi were being deep-fried.
milk, bike, motorbike, delivery, bundi, rajasthan, india, brass, pots, street, sweets, Lucy Patterson, blog, photo, travel, motorbike, moped, bike, motorcycle, two-wheeler, photography
But wait, you say. What if the back AND sides of your two-wheeler still aren’t cutting it? Then it’s time to get a trailer! No need for a tow-bar either (although I think the helmets are probably a good idea in this scenario!). Transporting lanterns in Hoi An, Vietnam.
hoi an, vietnam, lanterns, lantern, trailer, towing, delivery, Lucy Patterson, blog, photo, travel, motorbike, moped, bike, motorcycle, two-wheeler, photography
Let’s not forget the original function of the two-wheeler though: people carrying. I caught this photo out the window as we were driving through small-town Central Rajasthan. Doing the local school run, I guess!
seven, rajasthan, people, kids, india, school, how many people, maximum people, Lucy Patterson, blog, photo, travel, motorbike, moped, bike, motorcycle, two-wheeler, photography
Here a Flower Hmong family head home from Bac Ha market.
flower hmong, hmong, bac ha, hill tribe, market, sunday, vietnam, motorbike, bike, motorcycle, lucy patterson, blog, photo, travel
And finally, grocery-shopping in Phnom Penh’s central food market. The moral of the story? Never underestimate the capacity of a humble two-wheeler!
grocery, market, street, phnom penh, cambodia, vegetables, fruit, veg, Lucy Patterson, blog, photo, travel, motorbike, moped, bike, motorcycle, two-wheeler, photography
Happy driving and stay safe! : )

 

Posted in Cambodia, Collections, Hill Tribes, India, Markets, Shopping, Travel, Vietnam | 1 Comment

Crafting with Hill Tribe fabrics

I love crafting with these vintage Hill Tribe embroideries and bright cotton prints that I brought back from Vietnam.
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The colours and patterns are so delicious.
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I’ve made plump, rectangular cushions and small zip purses…
hill tribe, vietnam, embroidery, vintage, fabrics, red, pink, flowers, ethnic, tribal, hmong, minority, sapa, cross stitch, lucy patterson, blog, hands-on cushions, purses
And satisfyingly heavy floor cushions stuffed with fabric scraps, which I blogged about here a while back.
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Even the tiniest leftover scraps of these vintage embroideries are delightful to me, and it pains me to throw them away, even when they’re just too small to work with anymore.
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You can see I felt like I had to do something to celebrate the scraps before saying goodbye to them…! (The socks I’m wearing are hand-knitted ones I bought in Himachal Pradesh, North India nearly 20 years ago. I’ve worn them every winter since and they’re still going strong. I guess that’s the difference between quality handmade-to-last, and cheap mass-produced clothing…)
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It’s interesting how similar the colours and use of geometric shapes are between the Indian socks and the Hill Tribe embroidery.

Posted in Craft projects, Feet photos, Hill Tribes, My work space, Vietnam, Vintage | 3 Comments

Beach art on the Kapiti Coast

My man and I recently went on a five day road trip down to Wellington (approximately 1500km / 930 miles return). I was selling at Wellington’s Craft2.0 market and we’d arranged it so I could make some new wholesale contacts for my range of craft kits while we were out and about. We also enjoyed a visit with a close friend from school who I haven’t seen for a few years, and had some wonderful moments taking in the beauty of New Zealand’s landscape. It was a very busy, productive and happy trip!

On the evening after the craft market, as we started to head back north towards Auckland, we stopped off at the Kapiti Coast to get some fresh air and a bit of a nature fix.
driftwood, beach, flotsam, jetsam, new zealand, art, collecting, beach combing, lucy patterson, blog, photos, kapiti, kapiti coast, paekakariki
The beach at Paekakariki has mounds of driftwood in all shapes and sizes. We had so much fun finding unusual shaped pieces that were crying out to be made into pictures. Like the head of this snake!
driftwood, seaweed, beach, flotsam, jetsam, new zealand, art, collecting, beach combing, lucy patterson, blog, photos, kapiti, kapiti coast, paekakariki, snake
I loved the colour of these pink seaweeds and the way the big piece looks like a scrap of dyed and bleached fabric.
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Writing our names on the sand…
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Obviously missing our dogs!
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Looking out to Kapiti Island as the sun was setting…. Food for the soul after a good day’s work!
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Posted in Artwork / Illustration / Design, Nature, New Zealand | 2 Comments

Travelling feet: street stalls in India

Here’s a collection of feet photos from when I was in India earlier this year travelling through Rajasthan with my sister. So much happens in India at street level – you can get your teeth pulled out, your shoes mended and cleaned…and of course you can buy just about anything.

Marigold malas (garlands) near the Red Fort in Old Delhi
flowers, malas, mala, flower mala, flower malas, garlands, marigolds, marigold garlands, delhi, old delhi, india, indian, rajasthan, rajasthani, street, market, bazaar, feet, lucy patterson, blog, photo

Woodblocks in Pushkar
wood blocks, woodblocks, block prints, pushkar, india, indian, rajasthan, rajasthani, street, market, bazaar, feet, lucy patterson, blog, photo

A roadside dentist in Bundi (specialising in extractions)
dentist, street dentist, dentures, extractions, tools, bundi, india, indian, rajasthan, rajasthani, street, market, bazaar, feet, lucy patterson, blog, photo

Vintage tins in Udaipur
vintage tins, tins, udaipur, hindu, laxmi, goddess, poster, india, indian, rajasthan, rajasthani, street, market, bazaar, feet, lucy patterson, blog, photo

A cobbler’s tools in Bundi
Shoe mender, cobbler, shoe, mender, stall, bundi, india, indian, rajasthan, rajasthani, street, market, bazaar, feet, lucy patterson, blog, photo

Rolls of vintage Gujarati skirt borders in New Delhi
vintage, embroidery, gujarat, gujarati, delhi, new delhi, india, indian, rajasthan, rajasthani, street, market, bazaar, feet, lucy patterson, blog, photo

Scissors and knives in Jodhpur
scissors, knives, jodhpur, clock tower, stall, india, indian, rajasthan, rajasthani, street, market, bazaar, feet, lucy patterson, blog, photo

Peacock feather fans in Jaipur
peacock feathers, fans, whisks, jaipur, india, indian, rajasthan, rajasthani, street, market, bazaar, feet, lucy patterson, blog, photo

Vintage Gujarati embroidery purses in New Delhi
gujarati, fabric, vintage, embroidery, purses, tribal, ethnic, new delhi, delhi, india, indian, rajasthan, rajasthani, street, market, bazaar, feet, lucy patterson, blog, photo

Terracotta pots in Bundi
clay pots, pots, terracotta pots, bundi, oil lamps, water pots, india, indian, rajasthan, rajasthani, street, market, bazaar, feet, lucy patterson, blog, photo

Glass bangles in Jodhpur
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Posted in Collections, Feet photos, India, Markets, Shopping, Travel | 2 Comments

Craft market madness!

I didn’t mean to be away so long! I’m in the midst of Christmas craft market-preparation madness. On the right hand sidebar you can see a list of the markets I’ll be at (there are a couple more that I’m just waiting to confirm). I think in total, over the next 8 weeks, I’m going to be at 18 markets! If you’re in the Auckland area, it would be lovely to see you at one of them. Do drop by and say hi! Tomorrow (Saturday, 20 October) I’m at Crafternoon Tea Craft Market in Kingsland.
lucy patterson, stall, craft market, market, devonport, stand, auckland, zealand, new zealand
I’ve completely changed my market stall setup with some wonderful, painted wooden display boxes that my man built for me. They fold up so I can transport some of my stock in them, and then open to create a hanging rack for my craft kits and lots of extra shelf space.
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Above are my new kimono felt Puzzle Ball kits (now available online!)
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My new Sock Horse and Friends sock toy kits for making delightful horses, donkeys and zebras out of socks (socks included in the kits!).
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My Kimono Paper Craft kits, with 56 different vintage kimono prints to cut up and craft with.
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A bowl of my mini matryoshkas.
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…and postcards and sets of Paper Fan Inspiration Cards in their little kimono fabric purses.
lucy patterson, eftpos, lakshmi, laxmi, paper bags, stamped, stickers, craft stall, craft market,
From the back of my new display I now also have a very handy hidden shelf for all my point of sale stuff like paper bags and stickers, my mobile Eftpos machine (it’s great being able to take cards now!), and my money tin which is an old incense tin with the Hindu goddess Lakshmi on it. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, prosperity (both material and spiritual), fortune, and the embodiment of beauty. I like having her around my stall!

Happy weekend! x

Posted in Kimono Paper Craft, Markets, My Shop, My work space | 1 Comment

Spring flowers and feet

Cherry blossom in pale and dark pink; fallen petals, daisies and forget-me-nots; gumboots in wet grass; and old sneakers on the way back from the market, pausing to enjoy this Spring moment.
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cherry blossom, blue sky, cherry, blossom, sky, blue, pink, lucy patterson, spring, flowers, tree, japanese, japan, gumboots, boots, wellingtons, wellington boots

pink, blossom, cherry, spring, lucy patterson, tree, japan, japanese, flowers, flowering, photos, photo
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forget me not, feet, flowers, blossom, boots, gumboots, wellingtons, lucy patterson

Posted in Feet photos, Gardening, Nature, Seasons, Spring, Where we live | 1 Comment

Plum Cat says mraaow!

Our cat Plum is very talkative. He has something to say about almost everything! He’ll tell you off if he doesn’t like what you’re doing, he’ll thank you for opening the door (because it’s much more civilised than going through his cat door), he makes big announcements any time he enters a room, and he’s great at all kinds of greetings.
Plum, cat, lucy patterson, black, animated, talking
I made this simple animation of Plum from a couple of photos I took of him when we were out doing some gardening on the weekend. It’s so Plum! It’s like: Mraaow! What? Mraaow! What?

Plum (his baby name was Plumkin), is half Siamese (he’s got that deep, gravelly Siamese voice), and half big-black-wild-tom-cat. He’s a delightful mixture of sophistication plus street cred! We love him. He sleeps with us every night. He’s a truly original character, and a great friend.

Posted in Our family and animals, Where we live | 1 Comment

Home textures: bedroom

Here are some pictures of the textures and details of our bedroom.
Hill Tribe, Hill Tribes, bedspread, bedspreads, Moroccan cushions, moroccan, cushions, rugs, carpets, indian, rajasthan, rajasthani, embroidery, vintage, mirror work, bedding, bed, pillows, red, pink, berber
White, 100% cotton bedding from Ikea (I wish they had Ikea in New Zealand!). Two Hill Tribe bedspreads from North Vietnam to give us extra warmth. Two vintage carpet cushions bought in Morocco. Floral fabric bought in Rajasthan and later made into a cushion, and a page-sized piece of vintage mirror-work embroidery (also from Rajasthan), that I added green pompoms to at a later date.

lantern, chinese, san francisco, ganesh, hand of fatima, lucy patterson My friend, Amy, got me this Chinese lantern in San Francisco. I hung it up with neon ribbons. The photo of a statue of Ganesh, covered in red powder, was taken by my brother. I bought the brass Hand of Fatima in Morocco, and the vintage postcard came from my grandparents.

hill tribe, hill tribes, thailand, hmong, bag, purse, embroidery, vintage, scarf, scarves, yellow, gold, neon, red
I bought the vintage Hill Tribe bag at the front (one of my most favourite travel purchases ever!) in Chatuchak market in Bangkok. The scarves are ones I’ve picked up here and there, in sales, or what have you.

yukata, dressing gowns, gowns, indigo, japanese, blue, white, fish, lucy patterson
Our collection of Japanese yukata dressing gowns. Some are getting quite sun-faded and patched now, but I still use them almost everyday. I always take one if I stay away from home for a night or several, for modesty, home comfort or even as an extra pillow covering.

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One of the vintage rugs I bought in Morocco. I love the bold geometry, neon colours, and the way the background red is so uneven.

Posted in Hill Tribes, Morocco, Shopping, Travel, Vietnam, Vintage, Where we live | 2 Comments

New additions to our flock

We’ve had one of our hens, Frex, sitting on 10 multi-coloured eggs for the past three weeks and yesterday nine of them hatched into the cutest mixed-bag of chicks! I have to keep going out every half-hour to have another look at them… Aren’t they just adorable!
chicks, hen, chicken, broody, araucana, orpington, bantam, lucy patterson, hatched, hatch, nest, free range
The eggs came from one of our two flocks (known as the ‘Gate Chooks’ because they live hear our front gate). The Gate Chooks’ rooster is a very handsome Lavender Araucana-Black Orpington cross called Cuckoo, and his six hens are also araucana-crosses of various descriptions. Most of these hens lay blue and green eggs, but there are a couple of peachy-fawn egg-layers too. We’re very curious to see how the genes sort themselves out in the chicks.

Frex is such a great mummy hen. Fiercely protective of her chicks, she’s in a constant state of puffed-up-ness so all her chicks can snuggle underneath her (she’s actually a very petite little bantam hen), and she purrs to them in the most endearing way.
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There are three black chicks (with very cute yellow under-bottoms); one charcoal; one all-over pale yellow; one gold with a dot on its head; one gold with polka dots all over its head; one all-over stripy; and one boofer fat headed one that has a bold mohawk stripe down its head and back, and at one point yesterday was dangling off ‘his’ mother’s ear by his beak! We’re hoping they’re all girls because we don’t need anymore roosters, but I have a funny feeling out this Boofer Mohawk guy…

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Posted in Chickens, Nature, Our family and animals, Where we live | 2 Comments