All posts by Maureen Unasa

Maureen Unasa is a contrarian Samoan woman unravelling life, love and culture through the art of Samoan weaving

How to weave community…

My two new favourite materials…

Weaving communities is easy with an amazing network of like minded  passionate people.

Connecting firstly with the Pacific Womens Weaving Circle in Melbourne suggesting WeAve Parramatta as an alternative to commuting to Melbourne every month which would have been nice but maybe not really a workable option.

Strong communities thrive on working together…..even across states.  Now thats great networking.

WeAve Parramatta of the Parramatta Art Studio organised and connected me with an amazing Master(ess) Samoan Weaver who also holds her own weaving workshops in her local area of Bankstown.  These amazing women form part of what I warmly regard as my “superwomen network”.

With my recent art project all done and dusted…there is no rest for the wicked and I am wickedly addicted.

So??….when someone in the community blows the Horn of Gondor and the beacons light up one by one, the network connects across the earth.  “Gods eyes crosses borders” and the members heed the call.

Making “Gods eyes” was the call, which was beautiful weaving around two sticks in a cross formation referred to as “matariki” in the Maori culture.  This weave project was predominantly made with wool which I lacked.  Other materials were used including elastic and my abundant favourite of curling ribbon.  My pleasant surprise was creating them with raffia because my number one was too slippery and just not working how I wanted.

Hence I now have two favourites….curling ribbon and raffia.  The battle began.  Raffia was clearly winning until I figured out how to manipulate ribbon to work for with this craft.  In the end as always…I WIN!

You can experiment for yourself and make some amazing wall art for yourself using my handy dandy visual “HOW TO” guide.

My version of a “HOW TO” diagram


  • 2 sticks (I used twigs that my daughters picked while walking to the shops)
  • wool, ribbon, raffia or whatever to wind around the twigs.


  1. Pay attention because these are really tricky and my nine year old niece made two with a blink of  “Gods eyes”.
  2. Tie the two sticks together so they don’t wiggle or roll
  3. Wind your chosen material around the centre to cover it (thats the pink criss crossy part in the middle) before following the simple “HOW TO” diagram.
  4. If you still don’t get it then visit WeAve Parramatta on Facebook for some step by step pictorial instructions.

Happy crafting and don’t forget to leave me some comments and pictures of how you go.

NOTE TO SELF: I need more raffia

COMPLETE VISION! Light and walking on air.

VISION is realising a concept

Unfinished business hovering and hanging around in the corner of every day life  is that woefully horrible feeling I get when something is INCOMPLETE.

Realising this concept has literally and physically removed that unfinished feeling.  Well obviously.

WOW!  It’s such an amazing light feeling of walking on air.  Not that this project was an unwanted part of my life just hanging around waiting to be addressed but it did consistently hover knowing that I still had work to do.

This complete feeling is priceless and I want MORE of it in so many areas of my life.  Why wouldn’t everyone want more. I guess we all choose for ourselves.

My experience during this art project has revealed on many occasions that freedom to enjoy each moment is directly related to not having anything hovering around in the background.

Literally a DISPLAY table

Having a plan and timeline based on FACTual calculations rather than assumptions greatly improved my experience of freedom.  I did not think once about weaving and the art project when I had done what I needed to.  A welcomed “freedom” that allowed me to enjoy my oldest daughters performance at not only her “Bring it ON” dance competition but her soccer games.  As well as being there for my other four children, husband, household and administrative duties.  Oh heck.  There is always something.  Life is FULL-Y SICK!

Seriously, it was not nice watching a movie at home and knowing I had to do some weaving afterwards AND I also had to do a little extra to stick to the plan.  I mean, YES! you do what you gotta do to make things work and get results.

BUT….there is an easy way and there is the hard way.  I was sometimes unwillingly  responsible for my choices.

Like choosing to hang with family and accepting that I would do extra to catch up.  I was choosing both.  I rarely miss an opportunity to have an invigorating catch up with my sisters.  I will always MAKE time for the support network that drives me forward.  I mean, I can always minus this important time from not allowing time for BS in my life…RIGHT?

2m by 1.5m gold curling ribbon fine mat with a metallic green curling ribbon band

Pushed, tested and stretched in all sorts of different ways and areas I assumed I had mastered. (Hysterical LOL)  You would think that at almost forty years old I would realise that doing a little bit each day keeps the doctor away.  Ok, I am also talking about my health as well.  Thats one area I …..lets leave that for another time.

But just quickly on that note.  I did start a nine week couch to five kilometer (c25k) running program at the early stages of this art project.  My momentum was rained out for two weeks entering week five. 🙁

You see, I set up these wild quarterly challenges that would push me to the extremes of my comfort zones.   FOUR CHALLENGES  for FOUR CAUSES.

  • Quarter one was shaving my head for the Worlds Greatest Shave. TICK.
  • Quarter two was getting fit and healthy.  (I had “lose weight” originally but that thinking won’t help).  I did stop smoking on Good Friday (again) after starting in mid January this year.  Work in progress.  Half a TICK.
  • Quarter three was running a half marathon hence the nine week c25k running program.  Well I’m gonna give myself a big fat TICK TICK TICK because I completed a weaving marathon.  Running is just a technicality.
  • Quarter four is really bold to raise a million dollars for a project I want to implement.  Double whammy BOLD!

YIP I am known to be EXTREME.

This quarter three (wink wink) marathon has definitely been a wild ride and infinitely rewarding.  The obvious result of this project is beyond my expectations.  My personal victories and growth can only reinforce the synaptic nerves of “I TOTALLY SO CAN!” in my brain to replace the automatic mechanics of past experiences repeating themselves.

Come on!  Why would I not want MORE of this.

Who would have thought?

Just a little bit of vision goes all the way with a big heart and an unrelenting soul.  I am so blessed and grateful.

I acknowledge the support of my husband and children especially your considerable sacrifice of our dining room table.

Sleeping on the job

I acknowledge the support of my “superwomen network” near and far, personal and cyber.  Tapping into your energy keeps me wired and tuned into the beat of my heart and the voice of my soul.

What’s next?…..More than likely it will be totally outrageously BOLD!