some things can’t wait

The end of the year is always a mad crazy busy time. Everyone trying to “wrap things up” in a frenzy, whether it’s year long to-do lists, last minute Christmas presents, or this year, some kind of worthwhile agreement on what we’re going to do about global climate change.

Well I’ve just made the executive decision to eliminate this pressure I’ve been feeling to get some hats up for sale in the Etsy shop before Christmas. Not gonna do it. Why? Because as much as it gives me great joy to see people rocking the carefully crafted, long lasting and one of a kind hats that I’ve made especially for you with the tenderest lovingest care, that can wait (having said that, I do have twenty new hats in the making, some just waiting to be lined, so if you need shade or warmth or style like, now, then get in touch like, now. Otherwise they will be up in the Etsy shop early January). “The season of giving” hardly has any room left on its bandwagon. Meanwhile, the garden can’t wait. My sewing station has been extended to support a small seedling nursery and we gotta get the mounds and compost ready to do some serious microbial magic while we go up north.

(Have you guys read Weeds, Guardians of Our Soil? To me it’s akin to the documentary Sharkwater. Time to take a closer look at the consequences of some of the myths we live with. Find out how Hollywood via Jaws is partially responsible for depleting plankton via sharks. Find out how weeds are often just plants we don’t know what to do with. Check out this awesome blog Wild Picnic: a gallery of edible and useful wild plants here in Wellington, NZ)

Most of all, I’ve been totally consumed with catching up on environmental policy and the goings-on at COP15. Despite the fact that I am indeed feeling the pressure of 4 heavy environment-related article deadlines before the end of the year, I’m also sharing the overwhelmingly real pressure that is being addressed in varying degrees all over the world right now: It Can’t Wait. And I can’t wait! No sleep till the end of the summit. And even then, maybe still no sleep. (I’ve also been trudging through the pack-rat-middens  and five-point-frameworks of Jared Diamond’s “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” (or Survive). Read an interesting essay about the book today. In addition to the myths mentioned above, find out how taboo wiped out the Greenland Norse and denial the Easter Islanders.)

and plus, this is the tempting view from my window!

So that’s what’s going on in the hat biz. Who would have thought. Have yourself a very merry Zzzmas! And don’t forget that the “season of giving” can last all year round.

ps. This site can now officially be accessed via moonshinewashingline.com

Participation in the Kyoto Protocol, as of June 2009, where dark green indicates the countries that have signed and ratified the treaty, grey is not yet decided and red is no intention to ratify.

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new hat design!

here’s the prototype in lightweight cotton and silk. what do you think?

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back in business

well hello!!!

It’s wonderful to be back, in the Southern Hemisphere, in Wellington, at the sewing machine, right at the brink of summer summer summer.

Many tales from the road, which you can read about at the Champ Tours the New World site, but for now it’s all about a room with a view over Lyall Bay from one window and an ever-changing garden full of artichoke hearts and tuis from the other.

Over the next few months we’ll be slowly settling down (FINALLY) to life in NZ. It’s so nice to be able to start long-term projects, to start to unpack, and…to have all my fabric together in one place!!! (on it’s way). While we look for a more permanent home, over the summer we will be helping transform the beautiful piece of land we are currently living on into an edible community garden. It’s a dream come true.

In the mail today I got my copy of the recently launched first issue of Extra Curricular, a lovely little publication “for creative folk.” What a great little book to have in hand, the perfect size, well-crafted, beautiful lay out, and best of all, full of  behind-the-stalls stories of all those clever crafty people whose work I’ve seen or heard of over the years. And! it features Moonshine Washingline, check it out! Click on either of the photos to get a closer look and find out where you can get a copy.

Meanwhile, it’s high time I got the sewing machine cranking to stock up the etsy shop and get ready for the Martinborough Fair!

Here’s a bo-peep at just a selection of some of the new silks, linens, buttons and threads I have in store for the next batch – which will include summer hats for adults, kids and babies, and woolen winter hats (for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere). So hang tight, and if you’d like to get in quick and make an order, let me know!

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introducing Champ and the other side of the story

Bonjour mes petites cheries,

Since I’m at least a full day of flying away from my sewing machine and supplies, and am not yet ready to report on craft-related news, I wanted to direct your attention to – Champ tours the New World – where I’ve just written a blowout update on what I am up to, where I’ve been, what’s been going on etc. It’s a blog I started when on a music tour of the U.S. last summer (a term that I feel like I am using haphazardly just because I can’t remember when it was last not summer (no complaints there)) in an ’85 Toyota van lovingly known as Champ. If you get into the story you will see that we took Champ to see a large part of the lower 48 states, right before his comfortable retirement in Oregon (not to say that he’s had his last adventure). But as will happen with rusty ex-cleaner’s cargo vans, Champ is always with us in our hearts everywhere we go and so, the story goes on. Check it out, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry.

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Here is an excerpt from the trailer:

“Started as a digital scrap book of our adventures and misadventures on the Jacob Perkins & The Nobody tour of the u.s.of.A., a tribute to people, places and a magical ‘85 toyota cargo van that really did “RUN LIKE A CHAMPEON” as promised (and sometimes didn’t run, but was always a champion), this blog continues on across oceans and between hemispheres, exploring the serendipitous road to finding what we never knew we were looking for, insisting on the possibility of an intentional international community, and sharing our process through the hardships and rewards of a Do It Yourself life dedicated to music, art, stories, family, friends, food, and this ever-elusive ever-present everywhere place called Home.”

ps. My etsy shop is currently in “Vacation Mode” even though I’m not really on vacation. Will be back on in November. Meanwhile, many of my hats have gone to a lovely little shop in Portland, Oregon, more on that soon…! xoh

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a la campagne

A quick and urgent update to let you know that I am in France at the moment, working on a stop motion animated music video for Jacob Perkins & The Nobody at this amazing place known as the Performing Arts Forum. It is in a giant ex-nunnery/convent school with 2 wings, 4 floors, 50 or so rooms, 3 pianos (1 grand!) and peacocks in the courtyards upon gardens upon woods, in a very tiny village northeast of Paris (2 bakeries and 1 florist). Here’s a bird’s eye view of the building!

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Just arrived after epic month long bike ride from Denmark, which I promise to write a more informative post on soon! Will be back in NZ in October and back to the sewing machine in full force! Can’t wait! But for now, stay tuned and I will post music video updates and maybe even soon reveal some work from my other job as a writer. Till then amigos.

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Kraftbomb!

hey kids

just got the good word about Kraftbomb next weekend (Sunday April 26th) in Auckland. It’s ON! I’ll be there with hats, undies and hopefully more.

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Even made more hats for the occasion…

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In the meantime, getting ready to leave Welly and head on up and out NEXT WEEK! This mostly means getting together gifts, trying to finish reading my library books in time, and making myself the warmest merino super-practical one-stop-top to take as my only long sleeved item on the bike trip (it just started getting into + degrees celcius in Finland!). Used scraps to make Jake a warm dome cozy. Oh warm fuzziness.

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And…check it out, the trusty steed that’s gonna take me from Denmark to France. 3 gears. Back pedal brakes. The Works. I think it even has a bell.

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And if that’s not impressive enough for you, check out Jake’s matching herrecykler! his was custom made for the pro cyclist Kaj Flemming Anderson apparently, another tall dude.

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So off we go! Will be back in NZ in October and sewing up a storm for Spring! If you want to keep track of what we’re doing on our travels, check out Champ Tours the New World. YEAHHH!!

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UPDATE! and new wooly hats

Dear readers (if there are any of you left(holler)),

I think it’s time I do some splaining about why I’m such an inconsistent craft-blogger…well my friends, the fact that my sewing has been an on-the-go sort of endeavour for the past two years is the main reason. Whenever I can secure a sewing station for a few weeks then I turn myself into a veritable factory. So if I’ve ever housesat for you or been a long time guest, this would explain the stray threads and needles you’ve found in my tracks. Nothing satisfies me more then when I’ve set myself up with a great place to sew, preferably by some windows looking out on somewhere magical, and I like to think that special features from each place are woven into the things that I make when I’m there. This is my current nook, I was so smitten with it that I forgot to take a shot of the outrageously beautiful view of the whole damn harbour to my right. I just made a whole slew of hats here in the past week, made with salty Wellington winds, hardy native greenery, choppy ocean waters and bits and pieces of that amazing NZ light.

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I’m leaving at the end of the month for the European continent to cycle from Denmark to France and then live in an ex-nunnery for a couple of months to make a stop motion film with my hubby. (see here for more on that). Have hardly even transitioned into that mode, except for a few books on cycle routes from the library and a “brush up your french in 30 days” audio course. Have just been enjoying being here now. I’ve also been up to my ears in writing deadlines (you can see some of my more recent articles here) so I haven’t had much time to get crafty. Plus I got a little burnt out after cramming in some last-minute projects just before the Cross St. Carnival in Auckland. A little crazy when you’re staying in a tiny sleepout in your friends’ backyard and are trying to sew paint make all at once.

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In between deadlines and after finding the most irresistable source of wool and hardy cotton fabrics, last week I decided that it was time to get cracking. My grandma’s sewing machine, which has been in storage for the past two years and got a little beaten around on the train down from Auckland, is still THE BEST. It’s a dream to work on. And plus I have such a great space. And music. And lot’s of Chai tea. So I made a lot of hats (scroll down for photos), and more to come! For kids too!

trees with wooly socks on cuba st

trees with wooly socks on cuba st

The following hats are all up for sale here, but keep in mind that purchases must be made before April 26, 2009 because I’m hitting the road then and won’t be stationary again until October. Enjoy! And if you click on any one of the hats below you will be taken to my etsy site where you can get a closer look at each one, see the lining, find out which ones are made with wool etc.

dawnbreakslikeabullthroughthehalldiamondsonthesolesofhershoeseachpeachpearplumoctopusgardenintheshadetheemperoroficecreamsittinginatincanalltheleavesarebrownandtheskyisgreyrollingintherushesdownbytheriversideimg_2532ellismithbearmountainpicnicsummershadeofmoonylightnevergonnaleavelemongroveavenuetwicearoundwentthegallantship

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