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!)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Tunic and Bloomers - My First Pattern Draft

A few weeks ago I sat down and drafted my very first sewing pattern! 

I've never sewed anything from scratch before, I have -always- had a pattern and written instructions to go by, but as my best friends baby shower was approaching I knew that I wanted my gift to be something special that only I could give. Nappies and onsie's just weren't going to cut it this time.

I trawled my friends Pinterest boards and secretly re-pinned so many ideas of things she likes with the hopes of mashing some ideas together to create the perfect outfit. My friend is super styley and is going for a grey / beige / some dusky pink colour palette in her life right now and I wanted my outfit to fit in with that.

The pictures above were my main inspirations from the things that she had been pinning to her baby boards. 

I learnt so much in the process of making my own pattern. I spent hours on google learning about sizings, seams, gradings, sleeve insets, hem shapes, button closures... you name it!

It was such a great experience to be able to learn some new skills, and had definitely helped me in the construction and understanding of patterns since then.
Here are the final garments that I made for some special little ladies coming Earth side soon. Yes! Two of them, for twinsies! CUUUTE.

For the bloomers I used this free bloomer pattern from See Kate Sew

Tops were measured, created and sewed from scratch by me! 

The tops have bias binding all around the inside seams which was a first for me. Its SUCH a great technique, I'll definitely be doing it again. The backs are finished off with a little elastic loop button closure.

I cant wait to see these little twinnies in them this summer! AND. I'm excited to make some more creations from scratch! Yay!

(urgh, I wish I had taken the time to snap some better photos, but alas, I was down to the wire in getting these finished!)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sophie Slim Blogs on EziBuy

In 2014-2015 I worked as a blogger for the EziBuy website. EziBuy is an online, catalogue and retail fashion and homewares brand. 

Here are the blogs that I wrote for them during this time! 

You can click on each picture to be taken to the original post on the EziBuy Blog website. 

Palet Climbing Frame

For Katies second birthday this year I asked my Dad if he could build them some sort of climbing frame for our back yard. I love having out side things that our kids can play with, especially when we have big play dates and all the kids come! 

Dad built this climbing frame out of spare palets from my husbands work and rope and brackets and put it together while he was over for her birthday lunch!

Camilla and Katie love to climb all over it and jump off the top! It's actually quite big, much bigger than I imagined pallets would be, and its perfect for my growing girls. (Although I did have to sign a disclaimer that I wouldn't blame Grandad Jimmy for any broken bones!)

Thanks so much Grandad! The girls love it! 

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