ELECTRA: intelligent, organised, practical, creative & strong; mum, wife and person.

WANTS TO VISIT: Germany, Portugal, Spain, & France, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, USA, Andorra, Bulgaria, Thailand, Phillipines and Venezuela for starters.

29 May 2015


After more than 2 years keeping an eye on the market it seems ever-increasingly remote that we will be travelling around New Zealand in our own mobile home (despite writing the e-book below!).  We did look at rentals but didn't find one that was seat-belted and slept seven let alone capable of sustaining a freedom-camping lifestyle.

The next idea was home-stays (holiday homes) which we still might be able to do, but after letting our options sit and reflecting on our situation the long-term goal of travelling to Germany/Europe came back into focus again.


Over the last few years we've saved at least a third of what we've been told to budget for a year-long adventure.  It's enough to get us to Germany for 3 months and back again - that's all.  Obviously we still want to see other countries after going all that way so we are selling anything we can on Trademe, have launched our e-book and a GiveALittle campaign to bring our dreams to life.

The more we raise the longer we can travel and the more experiences we can share together as a family while we are away.  Here's what we are thinking about the different scenarios.


Both Trademe and Gumroad (where our e-book is hosted) take a commission on sales, whereas Give a Little doesn't charge any fees for fund-raising.  You've got to love them for that!  What we'd like to do with Give a Little is run a Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) fund-raiser.  You know how much we love RAOKs - they were our entire focus every week last year!  For your donation you can claim a RAOK for someone else get a little something in return.



One other way to support us if you need to buy contact lenses, glasses, books, natural health products or anything from Cafepress is to click the link from our website, so we might receive a reward for referring you to places we use ourselves.  


WILL THESE FUND-RAISING IDEAS WORK?  Perhaps.  Maybe.  We sure hope so.






23 May 2015

Finally it's finished and we've launched our e-book package.  Yay, yippee!



  • A5 landscape format
  • 61 pages
  • 14 chapters
  • Over 350 questions/prompts
  • 2 dozen+ illustrations
  • 4 exercises to sort out your personal needs and wants


Plus the following bonuses:

  • Comparison overview worksheet (2 A4 pages)
  • Extended comparison worksheet (5 A4 pages)
  • Vendor contact facsimile form (A4)
  • Mind map (A4)
  • Needs vs wants (2 A4 pages)
  • Prioritising grid (2 A4 pages)


From now until the end of June we are offering the e-book package at a 20% discount via this link.


Only $19.96




If you know someone looking to buy a mobile home please share this post with them.  

19 April 2015

Gallipoli rose - cistus salviifolius


ANZAC day is a little more special for our family this year.


It's the 100th anniversary of our New Zealand soldiers landing on the Gallipoli penninsula - where a couple of our forebears were killed in action among others that served and returned home.

One, will be actively commemorated with the honour of being asked to lay a wreath in a dawn ceremony in New Zealand; and the memorials of both will be visited in Turkey.  [Close family were offered a very late ballot to attend the dawn and ANZAC services - a once in a lifetime opportunity they are taking albeit in primitive and challenging conditions].

So as we rally our troops (the children that is) to get up before the sun rises on Saturday, we stand with family up and down the country and around the world to honour the men and women who gave their lives for our freedom; and to find a short moment of solitude to be grateful for the present and future we have together.


I have the opportunity to assemble the wreath being laid here in Aotearoa and thought others might be interested in the Gallipoli roses that I made for it (above).



  • White felt
  • Scrap of yellow felt
  • Pin with yellow head
  • Yellow embroidery floss (I used 6-stranded)
  • Needle
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Disappearing fabric marker
  • Template

The felt I used was somewhat stiffer than the soft acrylic you can usually buy - more like cardboard.  Either ought to be fine but I liked the idea of it holding it's shape.

Download the template for the petals, trace and cut 5 pieces from the white.  Cut one circle for the centre back also from the white.  Cut one piece from the yellow felt for the stamen area at the front.



Cut a length of floss and strip it (separate the strands from each other and then put them back together again - you could probably skip this step but it's habit for me so I do it regardless).  Use all 6 strands together and sew from the front to back and return leaving about a 6 mm tail on both ends before you cut it.  You don't fasten the floss at this point so be careful not to pull them out accidentally.  Continue until the centre of the yellow felt looks as if it has enough 'stamens'.  Push the pin in from the front through the centre of the yellow felt.

Take the circle of white felt and lay it in the middle of your work area.  I marked the centre with a pencil to help laying the petals in the right place.  Dab a little hot glue on each petal point and apply to the circle in a clockwise direction, overlapping by a few mm.  The 5th petal will be over both the 4th and 1st and that's okay.



Push the pin with the yellow felt through the petal pieces and when you've got it in the right place apply a dab of hot glue to fix (bearing in mind you want a point of the yellow felt to be centred in each of the petals.  This fixes the floss stamens at the same time.



Pin directly into a foam wreath or cut off the pin stem and sew a small safety pin to the back to wear this week.  

I plan to use the pin to twist around the rosemary and olive wreath I will make on Tuesday.

[Download the template for a rose to wear as well.]





NZ Government website for the 100th commemoration of ANZAC day - find a service to attend.

Auckland Museum online record of all who fought - Cenotaph - find your ancestors and add their stories.