Sunday 31 October 2010


For my eleventh birthday Mum and Dad gave me my very own stereo. I was without a doubt totally stoked to have this boom box. I already had a number of very cool records like Thru the Roof ’83, Throbbin ’84 and Hits Huge ’85 (remember those!) and I had earlier discovered Mum and Dad’s record collection and so was into making mixtapes of songs from the various records I liked. Being able to play music in my room with the door shut though was very very cool.

Part of my early discoveries in the quite diverse record collection of my parents was an album called ‘Kaya’ by Bob Marley & the Wailers. What a discovery! I’m not sure which parent was responsible for that particular purchase – but I was thoroughly hooked!

Fast forward a number of years and that easy skanking reggae LOVE was truly embedded. My 21st birthday brought a special 4 disc book set called Songs of Freedom which spanned Bob’s entire musical history. To this day it has been played and loved and played some more. Many an afternoon has been spent sewing and singing my heart out with Bob. 

What a man! Gotta love that reggae groove!

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Red Hair

The story goes that I was born with a bright red spike of hair all over my head. My Nanny Kuia nick-named me Mor-kina (Kina meaning sea urchin in Māori) and thought that perhaps I was a patupaiarehe.

In Māori tradition patupaiarehe are fairy-like creatures of the forests and mountain tops. Although they have some human attributes they are regarded not as people but as supernatural beings. They were seldom seen, and an air of mystery and secrecy still surrounds them.

Apparently redheads were common in New Zealand when Captain Cook visited their shores, as were people with blue-green eyes. It seems that it is a common practice to classify all people who were in New Zealand when Captain Cook visited as “Māori” and to assume that all were of Polynesian ancestry. Yet, there is ample evidence that far from being branches of one people, there were many varied lines of peoples who sailed to and from these shores in antiquity. Perhaps this is where the red hair comes from….

As I grew older – my hair colour changed and eventually became mousey brown – or as I would say fairly non-descript. When I was old enough to colour my hair – tones of ginger red came back and have loitered around for a good 20 years or so. For the majority of my 20’s I also had a fuchsia pink/magenta stripe that ran down one side – you certainly could not have missed me in a crowd!

Now when I see or meet people with the real deal – I am truly besotted. Real red-heads are rare – perhaps that is why I am so fascinated.

Monday 18 October 2010


Last night my husband Sam gave me a bunch of flowers just ‘because’. He is like that - quite the romantic really and I sure am not complaining – in fact I feel completely blessed to have found such a man to share my path.

I got some prior warning from our daughter Kitty who had just been picked up from her Ballet class by Sam.

“Where’s Daddy”? I said to her when she had appeared in from the car and he was nowhere to be seen 10 mins later…. “I saw flowers in the car Mum” she said.

Eventually in he came soaking wet from the rain with this gorgeous arrangement that he had gathered from our garden and worked in with a lovely bunch of my favourite Ranunculus.

I just LOVE them. Thank you Sam xoxoxo

Tuesday 12 October 2010


Sewn to Scale Quilt by Morgan Wills

Recycling or ‘upcycling’ you might say – where one man’s trash becomes my treasure, keeps me very, very busy.

My creative inspirations primarily come from the woollen jumpers and vintage household fabrics that I find in my travels. But what really gets me going – is the colours of these materials. I just love working in monochromatic shades of one colour – or mixing it up with tones of a colour across various hues.

Recently my focus has been somewhat preoccupied with making a quilt. As I look around me – there are certain things that I begin to see in repetition. Sometimes it will be things like Babushka dolls – which seem to be everywhere and on everything and at other times it will be a certain pattern repeat or colour.

The fish scale pattern for months seemed to be jumping out at me – wherever I went. I had and have become somewhat obsessed with it and its manifestations across all number of things, such as placemats and table runners, fabric, scarves and toys.
Green Pockets by Maruja Fuentes

One gorgeous example of the fish scale pattern that I came across - were these little pocket planters – called ‘Green Pockets’. They are interlocking wall tiles’ resembling little porcelain sinks – which you can plant herbs or flowers in. 

Made from recycled materials they were designed by a Puerto Rican designer - Maruja Fuentes and were presented at the Milan Furniture Fair in 2009. I just LOVE them.

I was so inspired by the fish scale pattern - that I decided to use it as a basis to make a quilt.

The result of my efforts is called ‘Sewn to Scale’ and is an observation of the natural world - exploring the repetition of pattern and the harmony of colour often overlooked in our daily life; yet ever present in nature. Made entirely of recycled materials (woollen blanket, jumpers and a vintage sheet which lines the back of each scale) – the result actually reminds me of a Maori cloak in that when I wrap it around myself – it has the same weight and the scales shimmy and flap as do the feathers on the Korowai Maori Cloak.
Detail of Sewn to Scale by Morgan Wills

Detail of Sewn to Scale by Morgan Wills
It was a labour of love – and many nights I was up past midnight – sewing scales. 142 individual scales in total.

When I stand back and look at it now – I can’t quite believe I made it. It’s amazing isn’t it where our creative inspirations come from and how they manifest.

Now back to my recycling……