April Update

We officially moved in this month! WooHoo! 5 years in the planning and we are finally in our new house! And we had our first visitors even. Fiona & Mark come over from the UK (which is what actually prompted the move, we’d originally planned to be well and truly settled into the house by April, delays delays delaus). So, although the builders are still working around us while they finish a few things, we have made our selves at home. Untitled Pip in his new room Untitled Craig’s new office space UntitledOur first family dinner Untitled I has rainbows 🙂 Untitled View from the village working bee Untitled Although not house related, Pip is back at horse riding lessons and going strong. Untitled Our first official WWOOFers!

With Craig’s help and guidance, Letti and Fiona built us a wood storage shed, just in time for winter:

March Update

August 6th 2014: I’m going to be cheeky and add some backdated posts. There has been a lot going on around her, now I have the time to I think back on the last few months.

March highlights

We had a painting party! A bunch of our friends and colleagues (and some of their friends and housemates) all gathered over one weekend to help us paint our house. A bucket load of them we shipped in from the windy city (Wellington, for those not in the know).

Not only did we get the undercoat and two top coats on all the walls and ceilings of the entire house, but we had the most amazing painting effort go into Pip’s room.

These are some of our wonderful painting peeps:

Painting Partners

Pip’s room:

Mitzi & Silvia

Mitzi & Silvia

Pip inspects the results

Pip inspects the results

Ants, Silvia and Nanz hard at work (poor Silva, got so excited that she was invited on the last day to paint the fun room after painting white white and more white, so what did they give her to paint... white clouds!)

Ants, Silvia and Nanz hard at work (poor Silva, got so excited that she was invited on the last day to paint the fun room after painting white white and more white, so what did they give her to paint… white clouds!)

House update

IMG_1561Lounge room – gib is up

IMG_1563 Looking up the stairwell – installing gib

IMG_1564Looking into the kitchen from the dinning space (& that’s Croydon, our master builder)

IMG_1565The cubby space under the stairs

IMG_1566Those are the stairs, one set on the ground on it’s side, the other in place

IMG_1567Another peek up the stairwell

IMG_1568Drain layers installing the grey water system

IMG_1569They dug a huge moat around the the whole house

IMG_1570 It was a little worrying to see them dig up so much of flat yard and pile the dirt up

IMG_1571More pipage

IMG_1578Cola 🙂

IMG_1595Stairs! Oh beautiful stairs.


IMG_1598Picking out the curtainage 🙂

Week in the Life – Day 06

The cat is curled up on my left, child sideways so he can stay in contact with both his parents, and daddy squished to the far right – all of them soundly sleeping as I lay in the rising light of the morning reading about flash fiction and scanning Facebook in bed. This is our start to the weekend.
In a few hours the boys will be off to an Atamai working bee and then the plan is to do more work on my little studio. This feels like the first weekend we’ve had in months. The promise of sunshine is the key.

When the boys finally wake, we have nursery rhymes in bed, mummy sticks to the classics, William creates stories of his own combination and daddy filks classics (generally involving moose).

Break in the working bee while Bob brings across the sheep to new grazing ground.


Morning sunshine with coffee and croissant in what will be our kitchen.




Snippets of time to read


William’s off to play with friends across the way while Craig works diligently on my studio:


It’s the little things that can bring us joy and make us smile:


Evening in bed playing with photos thus far for the project:

Day 06 screen grab

Week in the life – Day 05

William was a little unconvinced about returning to school after a week away, but as soon as we got inside and he saw the other kids about to start their morning activity he was off and into it.

Catching Stars


We headed home via the house site, bit of a treat to go up in the scissor lift whilst talking to my big sister and admiring the view.


Kilt shadows


The working morning begins


And more meetings


We returned to the house site at the end of the afternoon to be greeted with the last part of the main house frame – our lounge room. All the bones are complete. I just remembered a conversation from yesterday with William how I mentioned the frame was the houses bonesand he took it further with the windows would be the eyes, the door the mouth and when the wrap it with the paper, that will be the muscles and the wood on the outside will be the skin.



I’m so in love with this house.


A wonderful end to the day with salmon, mashed potatoes, salad and a glass of wine (for Craig at least)


That was our Friday.

Week in the Life – Day 04

Today is the big day, our house frame is going up!

There was no delay allowed this morning. Craig had us all out of bed and out the door to be on site by 8am! No time for breakfast even, he swung past the bakery and picked up plain croissants and coffee to be eaten in the car (I think he’s excited).


Yesterday the builders put together a part of the second story frame and gathered all the other jigsaw pieces ready for the arrival of the crane.


Craig got his hard hat and safety car, he was going to be a part of this build no matter what!


I observed all from the safety and comfort of the car (croissants, cuddles and a mocha to keep me happy).


At every stage of the build I took photos and updated my facebook page to keep our friends and family in the loop. My dad was pretty thrilled to be able to have a skype video chat and see some of the work as it progressed.


Safety chats and machine organisations came first:


But within minutes the first wall was being lifted into place:


William was in and out of the car most of the morning, interested in some stages but mostly off in his own creative world:


“There’s a house with a wall, with a wall, with a wall…”



Second story being lifted as once piece into place:



At one point today the crane driver noticed that William and the builders children (who had come to watch with raising with their mum) were struggling with the little digger. He took the time to grab some oil and get the machine into working order once more. My favorite people are those who take the time to help out kids, listen to their needs and not just disregard them.


Building sites have some fantastic things to play with:



Here comes the roof trusses:

We took lunch with the SantaBarbara’s before heading back down to our site and finding all the trusses neatly lined up.


The framing for the roof was lifted into place as well, savings a great deal of time and making things much safer for the builders who now don’t have to spend hours up in scaffolding with fiddly tools and bits of wood.


We did have a minor accident today, William misjudged how long his legs were and how high the trailer was and ended up in tears. He was so beside himself that he ended up vomiting all over himself which just added insult to injury really. Poor wee mite.

By early afternoon William and I were done and headed back home for a great deal of resting in front of the tv. Craig stayed on site with the builders till the frame was complete.


We ended the evening with chinese takeaway.

Favorite Moments:

Watching this house frame go up after so many years of waiting was the highlight of my year, and yes, I cried.

William to Craig when he came over to chat – “Daddy, get back there and build!”

William listening in on adults talking about him – “I’m not precious!”

Week in the Life – Day 02

Things are looking better for this weeks weather:

* Watching farmer Bob bring down the sheep from the top paddock with the help of his dog Tess.

* We rescued a bird from the fireplace before getting it going. William was very concerned about the bird and delighted when it finally flew free out the window – much too busy to take photos, pity. I had to smile later as Craig attempted to start the fire (after cleaning out all the soot the bird freed from the chimney)and William kept going on about Daddy meltingegg sand how he wished he wouldn’t do it – turns out Craig was using egg cartons to light the fire.


* That at least my new diagnosis may have a little relief attached to them, but they are still mostly untreatable and don’t change a great deal for me really.


* For glorious sunrises seen through cracks in the curtain at 6am

* Phone calls (on the drink bottle lid phone) from Ranger Juney calling Super Hedgehog and Cover Boy to action

* Good manners from my 4 year old, like “excuse me please Mummy”, “your welcome” and “may I please be excused from the table”

* Brownies and strawberry cheesecake for morning tea after doctors visits.


* Spontanious songs

* “I’m not William today, I’m hedgehog boy”

* “I never imagined I would ever own something like that.” Craig returning to our house, currently being assembled on site.

* The boys constructing a cereal ox space craft before bed

Favorite Moment:

* Watchng William and Little One play with a ring from the milk bottle over breakfast.

* Listening to William’s concern for the poor bird and joint family effort to get it first out of the fireplace where it had wedged itself and then away from a startled cat suddenly awoken by a crash on the window above his head and finally convincing it to fly outside to freedom.

* Lying in bed feeling exhausted with a small child, himself with a raging fever, singing nursery rhymes together and laughing through the worst.

The jigsaw puzzle that is our house frame:



We have a slab

The weather fined up in time to poor the slab on Friday. The weekend shall be spent keeping the slab wet so that it dries slowly and hopefully avoids any cracking.
There is approximately a 3 week curing period before the final cutting and polishing of the slab is done and then the frame goes up. The current plan is to erect the roof frame on sight during the slab curing stage, and then hoist it into place once the frame goes up.


Is something happening?

It’s been a long time between posts around here. Mostly it’s because it feels like nothing much is really happening for us. I’ve been more unwell then in the past year or so, or at least it feels that way. The looms have been seriously under-utilised, cheese making has been non existent and even knitting has been slow plodding. And yet, things have happened. I have woven a series of beautiful, colourful placemats, I just haven’t cut them apart, sewed them up or wet finished them. I’ve almost finished my first ever attempt at fair isle knitting, a vest that just needs me to finish off one sleeve  edge and I’ve learnt the art of Kumihimo braiding, which is a lovely relaxing activity for making braids.

In recent weeks I’ve also started developing a passion for knitting machines, here is my new electronic Brother machine, a KH-930:

Knitting machine KH930I’m still figuring it all out and will start, today, doing a sort of beginners course from Diananatters. It’s really hard to fight that urge to instantly create a really real item right off. Playing around with a friends machines that I also have on hand, I have managed to produce a couple of beanies and a few infinity scarfs and I must content myself with these items for now and put my desire for a giant shawl with intricate lace patterns aside until I really understand the machine and the processes.

Now for the newer, and most exciting news of all, the thing we have been in limbo about for so long… that’s right, we have building consent! Yes, you may dance and cheer and celebrate with pent up excitement. It has really felt like this was never going to happen, what with various back and forths with council and contractors on certain aspects and then key people going on holidays during the process, delay delay, delay. But finally it is happening and we are set to start everything next week. Now by  everything I mean mess around with the site to poor the slab and setup the frame blah blah blah, but the truth is that we had managed to council to sign off on the traditional timber frame aspect of the build a few weeks ago and so the folks at Timberworks are actually about 2/3rds of the way through building it which is awesome.

By the end of this year, Atamai Village will have I think 8 houses finished. It will be sooo nice to be on THAT side of the hill this time next year. I’m so looking forward to being off the farm and really settling into our property and our life. We seem to put everything on hold living here, plodding along waiting for our ‘real life’ to start. It’s been hard to really do a great deal of work on the property while living on the opposite side of the hill, trying to fit that around my good days, Craig’s work and weekends of overtime and the needs of a four year old. All to be made a great deal easier once we are living on site.

Basically this was just a quick post to remind myself that this blog actually exists and I have things to write about if and when I can just find the time.