That’s what Mama Tekura Tereora says of her husband, Reverend Tereora Tereora.
“He looks after the grandchildren, does the washing, cooks and cleans, so I can make my tivaivai”, she says with a smile, standing next to one of her amazing visual displays.
Tereora, is exhibiting four of her stunning collection at the national museum’s tivaivai exhibition, running until September 23.
Two of her creations were made to celebrate Tereora and her husband’s 60th birthdays next year, as well as their 30th wedding anniversary.
Local lawyer Iaveta Short had joked with her at the opening of the exhibition that she would now have to sew two more, as these have been shown to the public. He made the joke knowing the many painstaking hours that go into making one tivaivai.
One of her patchwork style tivaivai on display was made by her mother Makikino in the 1960s, on Mangaia. Her mother had inspired her young daughter to learn to stitch from age 6. Mama Makikino always took pride in work, which she displayed in their tri-monthly village “house inspections”, regularly winning for the best beautifully presented home and garden.
The last tivaivai Tereora has on display is a combination of a modern style tivaivai using her mother’s “leftovers” she says.
Tereora left Mangaia for New Zealand in 1974, and later began making her own tivaivai for the first time while engaged to Tereora and living in Auckland.
She sent the tivaivai back home to her mother to display for one of her house inspections.
Tereora says her mother was “a good teacher and a bad teacher”, remembering her correcting the border on her first tivaivai manu.
She says today she prefers to use embroidery for her creations, as they are a lot easier than crocheted tivaivai.
And the textile art has certainly enriched her life and the lives of those she has met.
Tereora and Revered Tereora married in 1983, and the couple soon after returned to Rarotonga for him to study at the CICC Takamoa Theological College.
After her husband was ordained, the couple served at CICC Ekalesia in Otara, Mitiaro, Mauke, Nikao, and more recently in Ngatangia.
Throughout her years of CICC service Tereora continued with her textile art, which she has previously displayed in 2011 at Nikao Oire Tivaivai exhibition, and in 2013 at the Tivaivai Taorei workshop with the Ngatangia community.
The couple have complemented each other with their individual talents in the community. In fact, you could say their marriage has also become a beautiful patchwork of experiences, just like her beautiful tivaivai marking their 30th anniversary next year.