Proudly Introducing: Scribe’s Arcade

Hello amazing people!

Are you ready for the replacement site for Jumping Tangents? go to Scribe’s Arcade – whoar!

Phwoar, thank you all so much for the messages of excitement and love we’ve received over the last few days. As we announced last week, we are on hiatus as we finish building our new website.

If you attempted to visit Jumping Tangents in the last few days, you found yourself redirected here and perhaps you got a little bit scared, slowly closed the computer and scurried into the corner. But fear not, little wolf! We have not abandoned you to the netherworlds of the internetal realm. Instead, we welcome you into our beautiful new nook:

Scribe's Arcade


We truly cannot wait to share with you everything magical that Scribe’s Arcade holds (if you’re thinking Harry Potter, extravagant beards, and a mountain of books you’re on the right path). Our new website will launch on July 2nd, 2012.

Most importantly, we want to keep sharing all of this amazingness with YOU. Therefore, it’s oh-so-important that you guys make sure you find our brand new Places on the Interwebs. It is through these that we’ll continue to keep you updated with our progress and we look to forward to hearing your feedback.

We are on the book of faces.

We have a new home for all future blogging

We are on twitter

We look forward to seeing you on the flipside!

Love JT x

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It’s time for us to ‘fess up, our beloved Jumping Tangents website is not all that it used to be. A cat lady has moved in downstairs (me, it was me), the carpet is fading a little bit, all our wonderful products are lurking in shadowy corners and, search-box-be-damned, they will NOT be easily found. Sigh. It is still very pretty, yes, and the goodies are there … somewhere … but the glory days of this particular wee website are firmly in the rear-view. ‘Tis sad, but shall we look forward, lovelies?

It is with HUGELY OVERBEARING, PANTS-WETTING-EXCITEMENT that we announce Jumping Tangents is working on a NEW WEBSITE. Truly! We have been working day and night for a few months now, and we are finally in the home stretch. Our new pocket-full-o’-sunshine on the internet will come with a shiny new name and web domain, as a creation of Jumping Tangents Ltd. We will be sure to provide you with the low down on all of this over the next few weeks but for now there are a few very important things you need to know.

  1. The Jumping Tangents website will no longer be available online beginning Monday, May 21st. This means that if you’ve been eyeing anything up, you have one week to order! Please also note a lot of the product on sale will no longer be available at reduced rates after this week so you better get in quick.
  2. We will be launching our new site on Monday, 2nd July (JOY! HAPPINESS!) During this time offline we will be refining and perfecting our new site so that it’s everything you have ever hoped for.
  3. If you would like to contact us during this period, please email us at or call us 0800586786.

And, oh lawd, we truly can’t wait to share with you everything we’ve been working on. We’ve taken on all your lovely feedback in the last few years and we think this new project will be the union of all of the amazing and all of the magic.

That’s all for now, we will be in touch next week to let you know more about our new creation on the internet!

Love Claire x

P.S. Does anyone know how to put on a construction hat? If I can just master this, everything will be OK.

Any minute now, I’ll get it.

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Good cups mean great times…

It’s Autumn!   Whoar!  There is a colour-fest going on outside our window with casual butterflies and thistle-fairies all floating around in a sky which is way beyond blue. Surely this is much to celebrate?

Yes! It is time to get out the good cups put on your favourite tea dress and scatter some of those gorgeous golden leaves around the table/floor/your place in general.

We especially love “Nanny’s” china tea cup at home which has flowers painted inside the base of the cup.  A pretty step up from finishing porridge in your bunnykins plate and one that you can enjoy whatever age you are.

(Confession:  Sometimes I still eat off a bunnykins plate.)

So if you threw a tea-party what would you bake for treats?  Would you bust out with a new recipe to impress?  Or would you draw on a generational favourite ?

Well, for our party – we are going to play, multi-task and share this magic trick with you.

First you will get to play with one big batch of biscuit dough – just like my Mummy did.  Just prepare a double quantity of your favourite or any shortcake biscuit recipe.  Then cut this into thirds,

Take the first portion of dough and cookie-cut your heart out.  Circles are fine but you might want to use your angel wing cookie cutters too and that’s perfectly fine because it is your tea party.  Bake the biscuits  for 10 – 12 mins, in a mod oven, cool and then ice them with soft pink icing and lashings of hundreds & thousands.  Voila!  Icing Biscuits!

Now take portion two and roll out the dough.  Cut it into long, vertical strips sized to whatever dried fruit you wish to fill the dough with.  Be sure to leave enough dough to make a little parcel around the fruit with your dough.  Hmmmmm – I think I will use dates.  Voila!  Date Rolls. 

TIP: If your rolls come apart bind them with a piece of string and present them like an eeeny-weeny parcel on an appropriately gorgeous plate.

Finally take the remaining third of dough:  Cut it into circular shapes and bake 8 mins.  While these bake prepare a quick meringue mixture with a couple of egg whites and castor sugar.  When the biscuits are ready pop a small blob of your best raspberry jam onto them, followed by a generous teaspoon of meringue.  Return to oven for 3 – 5 minutes and Voila!  Hat Biscuits.

Now whip up a sponge sandwich and fill with seasonal berries.  Add candles even if it is not your birthday.

Very pretty!  Not expensive either  and you saved so much time that you could easily accompany your bikkies with some tiny cucumber sandwiches and your tea party food is ready.

All you need then is amazing cups, plates,  flowers, the best teapot (with tea in it, silly-billy) and your favourite bubbles.

Simple – yes?

Celebrate with your besties and have an excellent time.  Love Cathie xo

p.s. the preparation may be relatively simple but your tea dress?  That my dear, is your own affair and may be far from simple. 

“It seems to me that our three basic needs for food, and security and love, are so entwined that we cannot think of one without the other” – M F K Fisher

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Spark! Great Lives and Reciprocity

 One day I noticed a book on the coffee table at my daughter, Kimberley’s,  flat.  Kimberley had mentioned the work her Art Therapist flatmate, Abi, does and I thought it sounded pretty wonderful.  As I read the book  A Vital Practice  I was really impressed by the works of art, moved by the artists’ life stories and the value Spark brings to the artists and other people’s lives.

A Vital Practice

At Spark, the work is no indulgent art course taken on a whim or as a hobby.  Spark offers people of great diversity, many of whom live with major physical or social disabilities, a place to belong.  Spark is a specialised learning environment where its diverse students are understood, fulfilled and most importantly able to contribute to others’ well-being, as well as serving their own.

Artwork by Pearl Schomburg

Spark has now lost its government funding.  Consequently, Spark has recently set up Friends and Patrons of Spark.  What a great opportunity to belong to this exceptional community! Here people can contribute funding and in return draw from the inspiration and courage Spark Artists give to others by their life example and fantastic artworks.

Lizzy Collenette - Spark Studio Artist

You can also follow Spark on facebook and help share the love for this is indeed a Vvtal practice.  Love Cathie xo

“I am now an Artist.  I used to say I was nothing/no-one.  I can’t tell you how great it is to be something!”  Pearl Schomburg.

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LBH: Where did you go to, my Lovely?

So, where did Little Brown House go to?

Well, you see, the property that housed LBH sold so we needed to move out of the lil’ house.  And move we did, into a wonderful new design studio based in Wanaka.  We now concentrate all of our energy (and that is a lot of energy, peeps) into our online Jumping Tangents business and community.

We have an amazing creative space to do this from and our new design studio looks like this:

Jumping Tangents Design Studio

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow.  If we don’t grow we aren’t really living.”
– Anatole France

Arty Resource Books & Reception

… and it feels like this:

The Store was such a blast and we thank you who loved it as much as us.  It is likely that if you enjoyed sharing LBH with us then you are going to love sharing our next chapters too.  Keep an eye out for pop-ups,  events,  great promotions and more.

One of our friends wisely said that we are going “back to the future”. We find this wonderfully apt, as Jumping Tangents has been trading online since 2006.

"even artichokes have hearts"...Amelie

We have some truly marvelous news coming up in April and we are bursting with enthusiasm because we know this news will benefit you and your relationships! We can’t wait to share with you what we’ve been working on and we look forward to hearing your feedback, because there is no Jumping Tangents without you.

The Jumping Tangents business is simply evolving, and adventures are opening up, dear ones, not closing – not in the least!

Love Cathie, les et al Jumping Tangents Team XO

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Where are you, future-thingy?

As has already been established, I have not yet figured out what the future is or where I can find it (Google maps, you fail me). I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to trap it but thus far it has evaded me and I’m forced to conclude that maybe the future doesn’t want to be found. Well, at least not by me.

My Bible

Given my liking for (obsession with) list-making, my mother elected to buy me the My Future Listography as a Christmas present. Well, she says it’s to do with my penchant for planning but sometimes I do wonder if she’d like me to move out of the basement (surely not, right?) It turns out that this book is all kinds of AWESOME and I felt the need to share its awesomeness with you. Let us soak in it together.

List the Beaches You Dream of Seeing

1. Hvar, Croatia. Apparently there are the most amazing parties at this wee island in the Adriatic Sea! Add to that a beautiful beach and sunshine … well, I can’t think of many places I would rather be.

Hvar, Croatia

2. Goa, India. The smallest state in India, Goa is world famous for its magnificent beaches. Given my penchant for Indian food and partying (see, mum? Totes have my priorities sorted) I feel like Goa and I would get along really well.

Sunset in Goa, India

3. Maldives. You know, I’m not even fussy about where in the Maldives I go. Every island looks absolutely beautiful and I might have to lie down on the floor until my need to be there passes.


4. Bora Bora Beach, Tahiti. I have heard stories about Tahiti; very, very good stories. I would like a coconut, a bikini and a book and I would like them on Bora Bora Beach.

Bora Bora Beach, Tahiti

5. Koh Samui, Thailand. I have actually already been here, but I dream and dream of returning. Take me there now, please!

Koh Samui, Thailand

List your dream jobs:

1. Marine Biologist. I watched this totally awesome documentary on deep sea creatures recently and now I would like to devote my life to campaigning for clownfish welfare. No clownfish will be left behind.

At least 1 in 5 clownfish will experience some form of discrimination in their lifetime

2. Team Mascot for the Canucks. I want to be this happy every day for the rest of my life.

Canucks Mascot

3. Jerry Springer. Except without his Jerry Springer-ish-ness. I would endeavour to revolutionise daytime television, elevating it to a democratic forum for celebrating difference.

Would you watch my show?

List what your perfect home would entail:

1. Books. Then more books. That’s pretty much my only requirement, honestly.


2. Treehouse. If I’m going to settle down, I want to take it quite seriously. This seems like my only option so far.

Claire's House

This is just the beginning of the lists I have made in My Future Listography. This journal is the perfect combination of serious and fun. I was able to think about things in a very lighthearted manner and without the pressure of GET-A-JOB-NOW-PLAYTIME-OVER. However, upon reflecting back through all that I had written, I gained a lot of clarity about what I might like to do with my next 60-or-so-years (fingers crossed). It reminded me to think about what kind of person I want to be, not just what kind of job I should have.

Thus, I begin my plans to become a marine biologist in a tree in Thailand. Huzzah!

Love Claire x

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Is It More or Less?

This question is a key one as we head into 2012. A new year can highlight abundance for some and lack for others.

When we realise we cannot control everything that happens to us but we can control our response to these events, we take a shift in consciousness. It is a powerful, personal choice and may just represent true freedom.

Perhaps you are already aware of the story of renowned photographer Sebastiao Salgado. His magnificent photography spans many countries and thirty years coverage of events that have shaped our present day.  If you have a moment, we thoroughly recommend taking a moment to watch this documentary:

Salgado’s popular book, Workers, is a moving compilation of photographs and stories of the thousands of people who work in manual labour throughout our world. As I understood it, this documentary observes that Western society has an almost 100% focus on service as an end result, with little, if any, awareness about the producers of goods. Refreshingly, this rational observation, for me at least, was infused with a sense of wonder and awe. This lead me to ponder whether it is more than likely we miss a certain amount of pleasure and fulfillment from being unaware how something (e.g. a sugar cube) is produced.

Some of the workers interviewed during the documentary are working in the sugar cane industry. One woman took enormous pleasure and pride in threshing the cane and was concerned that the end product from machine harvesting would never carry the love and care she invested in her work. It is likely since this interview was conducted that she, like thousands of others, has lost her job to mechanisation and I begin to comprehend the increasing urbanisation of humanity.For all its faults, Western society is becoming increasingly aware that the cheapest end consumer price often comes at huge expense to the primary producer: their livelihood.

Workers is available from Jumping Tangents now!

Love Cathie x

Are we condemned to be largely spectators? Can we affect the course of events? Can we claim compassion fatigue when we show no sign of consumption fatigue? – Sebastiao Salgado

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Coast is an engaging novel by David Carnegie Young, set in Marton, New Zealand, a central North Island town in the Rangitikei District.  It is a story told through the lives of three men, Hector and his sons, Doug and Alan, who explore their identities over three generations as fathers and sons within New Zealand.

Old Country - St Cyrus, Scotland

Hector’s life demonstrates the ambivalence felt by many early Scottish settlers in New Zealand.  The prospect of a new and more promising future in New Zealand conflicts with Hector’s emotional bonds and memories of the old country.  This ambivalence is often overshadowed by the urgent demands of a volatile landscape in the Koitiata Estuary and surrounds where Hector settles. As a returned serviceman, Hector struggles to cope with everyday life and is plagued by his experiences in the Great War.

Koitiata Beach

Doug is a child of the depression who rises to the challenge of not becoming embittered by his supposedly stolen youth.  At other times he is daunted by people flaunting their wealth. With the arrival of WWII, Doug serves in Guadalcanal and experiences war as his father had before him. Although haunted by nightmares of the atrocities he witnessed, Doug does not become weighed down as heavily as Hector. He takes a more pragmatic approach and is able to separate his traumatic memories of the War from the rest of his life.

Parihaka - the Art of Passive Resistance

Alan’s story weaves New Zealand and European culture together as he examines historic events like Parihaka and recalls being told about the Tangiwai disaster and its aftermath.  Alan fathers a son of his own with a local Maori woman, Rita.  This relationship underscores the differences between Maori and Pakeha in the 1950s.  As the story unfolds we see Alan and Rita deal with a tragedy that challenges their very beings.

Henri Matisse – My Room at Beau Pivage

In Coast, David Carnegie Young has used language appropriate to each generation and you may appreciate colloquialisms you haven’t heard in a while, such as “go to buggery” and “the flax bushes were tall as a man”.  

The best part of reading Coast, for me, was that I felt as if I had a visit from my own father as I read it.  In the compassionate hand of Young, we see that circumstances and over-culture can often curtail the best intentions and expressions of love: humanity gets in the way.

Conversation was a ragged little rug on a highly waxed floor, around which we lurched as if – in a child’s game – to stray off its edges would plunge us into a chasm. (251)

Coast examines what constitutes a sense of belonging and questions our apparent need to find it in our relationships and within the land.  It sounds trite to say, but Coast made me laugh and cry, and most of all I understand a lot more about earlier generations of New Zealanders.  I feel there is much to be said for this type of family understanding and honour.

You don’t have to be a New Zealander to appreciate Coast, or even a father or son. Any wonderfully incomplete human will gain much from reading this book – not the least of which a sense of belonging to humanity rather than any particular place, family or person.

Love Cathie xo

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Valentine’s Day Ideas and Thoughts

This Valentine’s Day, I would like to declare my love to my boyfrand. His name is Rupert and he hangs out in my bed all day, lounging about waiting for me to come home and cuddle him. He has deep, soulful eyes and he’s the best listener in the world. Sometimes, when I get stressed out I might bite his ear or put my finger in his bellybutton. On the 14th, I’ve made big plans for us to stay in and watch a movie and I’ve promised that if I spill my ice cream on him while we’re in bed, I will put him in the washing machine.

Now, you might not have a soft toy zebra for a boyfrand (we should all be so lucky), but you know what I’m talking about when I say finding a good Valentine’s Day gift is hard, right? I mean, how do we even take Valentine’s Day? I still haven’t decided if I want to celebrate the meaningfulness of my relationship by candlelight, stab the mass-conglomerate-marketing-commercialised-man in his heart by avoiding it altogether, OR make light of the whole thing with a cute a quirky gift that isn’t going to force me to eat cabbage and cereal for the next month. Ultimately, I want to let my boyfrand know I think he’s pretty cute (OK, totes cute) so this year I’m going for the latter. Luckily for me and ma boyfrand, Jumping Tangents has some brilliant gift ideas:

Love Monkey Hot Water Bottle, $24.99

I thought about getting ma boyfrand this love monkey hot water bottle, but do zebras like monkeys? Will he get competitive? I don’t know if Rupert devotes a lot of thought to this issue but I don’t want to upset him (especially as he’s already been through the wash once this week).

Lovers' Massage, $29.50

Next up, I thought what about a lovers’ massage book? The only problem here is that Rupert doesn’t have fingers as such and I don’t know how dexterous hooves can be …

Love Listography, $40.99

Rupert doesn’t speak much so I wondered if this Love Listography would be the perfect way to boost our intellectual connection, but I have suspicions that Rupert doesn’t really have any thoughts. One time, I accidentally sat on his head but it doesn’t seem to have affected his demeanour at all. Perhaps he doesn’t store his brain there.

Lovers' Card Case, $72.00

So, this is a more suitable gift for Rupert. The lovers’ card case is beautiful and practical – a rare combination. Rupert doesn’t have any cards, but maybe he could put this in his pocket? Well, if he wore pants he could put it in his pocket. Perhaps I should also buy him pants. But, well, we all know pants are the Devil. Maybe the lovers’ roller ball is a better idea.

The Lover's Path, $69.90

Sometimes ma boyfrand and I go on walks, so The Lover’s Path should be perfect for him! He can read it in bed all day, and then tell me about it when I get home. Just like that, I think I’ve found Rupert the perfect gift.

If you’re still trying to find something for your boyfrand, why not check out our For Your Lover category? Better yet, you can call us (0800 586 786) or email ( any time.

Love Claire x


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make yours a creative space

we live in many spaces. for some, it’s their home environment that they spend the most time in; for others their work environment; and for yet others, there’s no need for a label because their happy space is simply one in which they happen to spend time in because they can freely express themselves within certain boundaries there.

chances are you classify all of the above (and more) as your spaces.

sometimes the word ‘creative’ gets bandied about with more flourish and gusto than it perhaps needs or merits — it’s kind of become one of those empty it-words like ‘genre’ that no one really thinks about the meaning of when they use it. ‘ohhhh that’s so creative!’  you might hear, or,  ‘i’m not creative, but my friend, you know Hazel? oh she is just sooooo creative.’ which, if you’re anything like us, will make you feel like this song.

truth is though that life itself is a creative wonder — nature has it in spades and you yourself are part of nature so it really is impossible for you to not be creative.

if you really appreciate a certain colour, design influence or even something as simple as that old, weathered picture frame out in the back shed — bring it on into your space!  don’t worry whether or not it’s the current trend. just put your stamp on it and if you are worried about creating clutter just enjoy being eclectic and not enslaved to the mainstream (or the man!).

in light of the above, i’m really happy to tell you about my latest book passion/obsession, design sponge at home.

the first half of this four-hundred-page tome is devoted to inspirational photographs of creative spaces from all around the globe, including yours truly, aotearoa. the second half is a wonderful journey into creative projects with the best ‘how to’ section i’ve seen in a long time.

but if you a fancy constructing a daybed that looks like this:

you could talk to tim the toolman at placemakers wanaka but, unfortunately for you, he happens to be my hubbie so you’ll have to fight me for the building pallets.

design sponge at home has been described as a defining voice of design today which has remained true to its optimistic origins.

so what do you think good design is? if you reckon it’s about empowerment, self expression and sheer pluck than prepare to fall in love with design sponge at home!

author Grace began design sponge as a humble blog which now attracts upwards of 75,000 readers per day. some have even gone so far as to say that she has instigated a revolution in freer design practice.

in her own words Grace gives this reason for publishing a book and not staying only online:

as much as we appreciate the speed and immediacy of the Web there’s something about having a tangible guide that you can dog-ear and bookmark — that you just can’t replicate online.

but that’s enough for now! also, i’ve got to go because i need to go and paint orlando’s striped floor.

love Cathie xo

p.s. please tell us what design projects you embark upon and we can continue the synergy of sharing free design.

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