needle and nail – handcrafted perfection
I meet some wonderful people on my travels, and none more so than Dee and Jeremy Rolston and their five children Jada, Ty, Monte, Danny, and Sawyer. They live, work and homeschool on their lifestyle block in Whatawhata outside of Raglan. Their home is an incredibly comfortable space filled with children, craft making, handmade treasures, salvaged, and given furniture that makes their home feel truly unique. Dee’s design philosophy is “Your trash is my treasure – I see potential in everything!”
I got to visit earlier in the year and arrived in the late morning as the children where wrapping up their schoolwork around the kitchen table. I ended up being part of their work as the older two, Jada and Ty, asked me questions about what I did and took down the answers. Little did I know it would become a magazine of their own that they produced and eventually sent through to the whole Homestyle team (photographer Evie Mackay who took these photos and Alice Lines our editor who came to visit when the photographs were being taken).
Dee and I “met” years ago and mostly communicated shyly over the internet (Instagram and the like) and that visit was actually our first face to face. Turns out we get along just fine in real life too… Dee has an amazing Instagram feed – her personal one is very much her own journey in the world. And a beautiful and simple world it is. Her husband Jeremy and her children are very much at the heart of it, and her other passion is her handcrafts. I hesitate to use the word handcrafts – she makes treasures with fabric. To date she has sewn 3000 dolls and now Jeremy has now joined her in her handmade journey and is crafting amazing wooden toys (sewing machines, wooden rifles, post boxes and my personal favourite – the fishing rod that come complete with their own wooden fish). Together they are Needle and Nail. They sell their wares online at needleandnail.com but you can also find them at craft fairs all over the North Island, New Zealand. If you ever get the chance, go say hello. They are as charming as you would imagine.
I was completely won over by the children, they were/are just delicious – before I left I asked them what their favourite things were about living where/how they do and these were their answers. The simpleness of them really stuck with me, and they don’t know it, but meeting them was part of my own journey toward homeschooling my children, which we are now doing. What a great way to start……
Jada: Playing on Winter Sun, my horse Dad made from a tree (one day I hope I will have my own horse)
Ty: Going eeling in the creek
Monte: riding my bike and climbing the olive tree after school work.
Danny: Making stuff in the workshop with dad
Sawyer: …he does especially love riding on the lawn mower..and pottering about in the workshop, gluing pieces of wood…and helping himself to fruit from the orchard…
To celebrate these lovely people – and their amazing work, I am giving away one beautiful doll and one fishing rod as one wonderful prize. Like, comment or share on Instagram, Facebook or comment below – do it as many times as you like for more entries, but please make sure you go like needleandnail first on FB or Instagram
You can go see them at the Auckland Fair at the Shed 10 on the waterfront in Auckland this weekend just in case you don’t win. The winner will be drawn on monday 8th December at 8pm. The competition is now closed.