Tuesday, September 29, 2009

new guy

I've been quietly working on a few new animal designs to add the menagerie of other animals I make regularly. This little guy has been on my mind for a while, I had been trying to make him completely out of squares like the other animals but it just wasn't working. Then voila! I decided his body didn't have to be squares at all. It also means he's a lot quicker to complete than the others. With no parts that can come off he would make a great friend for all ages. I've got a few more in the pipeline but with the school holidays giving me very little time sewing time it will be a few weeks before they are finished. This little guy will be listed in my felt shop when I get a chance. (He's a snail by the way, my husband couldn't tell.....)

Monday, September 28, 2009

wigwam revisited

The first day of the holidays has bought rain, rain and more rain. So I got out the wigwam that I made for Miss E's first birthday (She's now 3 and a half), it's made from vintage sheeting and felt. It's had lots of use over the past few years and it lived in our small lounge for a very long time, I was so surprised how much bigger our lounge seemed once it was put away. Kids love to hide away and when there is no chance to get outside it's like another world to hide away in. It's big enough for quite a few little ones and a mum or dad too.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

a giveaway

As an extension to birthday celebrations we made our way to the titirangi markets this morning. It's my favourite place to buy handmade, you get a chance to buy directly from the makers and I love that. I didn't take my camera with me so I can't show you all the stalls bursting with beautiful handmade things, or the excitement from my little one at the "bubble wand" stall. So instead of photos I'm offering this little ceramic tiki to a lucky reader. Just leave a comment and let me know your favourite place to buy handmade. I'll draw a name by random this time next week (Sunday NZ time). I must say that the best part of the day was crossing a few names off the Christmas list, in September!

and the winner is.... the power of me. Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

twenty something no more

I can no longer say I'm "twenty something", it's a bit of a sad feeling. However a happy feeling is a house filled with flowers, a few new sewing books to gain inspiration from, not having to cook dinner and possibly the best rendition of Happy birthday sung by Miss E to her mama on her 30th. So here's to many more, only if each one is celebrated like I did today.

Monday, September 21, 2009

beach blanket to go

When I first received my copy of Handmade Home I knew that this beach blanket would be on my to do list. I have quite a collection of vintage sheets, many of them are new and never been used. So when I starting getting them out to make this blanket I thought it would be easy to choose the sheets I was going to cut up to make the pattern as it appears in the book. Well it wasn't as easy as I thought, I was having real trouble working out which sheeting would work well together and would work with the thrifted candlewick bedspread that I had for the base. Then I came across the single sheet that I ended up using, the colours worked really well with the bedspread, but nothing else in my stash worked. So I decided not to use the pattern at all and worked with what I had instead, including recycling the fringe on two sides. I added rock pockets on each edge after seeing someone doing the same over on Flikr. It's a big hit with the kids and it got it's first outing on the weekend when we went to feed the ducks. I had to include a shot with feet as it is a project from Soulemama after all.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I finally got around to fixing all the pine needle mulch around my strawberry plants, those black birds, I tell you they are causing all sorts of trouble in the garden at the moment. Scratching out my new spring seedlings and pulling out bark and mulch left, right and centre.
I was once told by a gardening friend that crushed egg shells placed around plants would stop snails and slugs from devouring the tender seedlings. Of course I started straight away saving my egg shells and placing them around seedlings. Sometime after I read with dismay in the NZ Gardener magazine that Ruud the bug man said it isn't true and that it doesn't stop slugs and snails. I decided that it didn't matter, we had got into a routine of saving the shells and my little garden helper has spent much time crushing them for me and gently spreading them around the little plants. So maybe it won't stop the snails, but it does give my little one a chance to be involved in the garden and she has a lot of fun doing it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

winter gardens

Just a few shots from the Auckland Winter Gardens, it's such a magical place for little ones to explore. Perhaps a little bit too tempting for a little one who loves flowers and enjoys the freedom of picking them in granny's garden.......

Thursday, September 10, 2009

some yellow

A need for more room in the freezer saw these frozen yellow guavas turned into today jam. My neighbours have a large old guava tree that mostly hangs over my fence and drops mountains of fruit down on to my washing line. In past years I have hated the autumn drop of this fruit, I seemed to be constantly picking up the fruit so it didn't form a big fermenting pile. Then this year I changed my attack, I popped the fruit in the freezer as it dropped. I collected many, many kilos of the guavas, giving many away to friends who also wanted to make jam. The last 3 kilos I made into jam today and now I have a big gap in my freezer.

I finished this The Day in the Park tote in the weekend, I used "sun burst" denim that doesn't really show in the photo but it has yellow threads running through it. I added a vintage doily from my stash and a thrifted yellow button too.

The spring issue of World Sweet World is out in store and online, have you got yours yet? I started a little embroidery of a kowhai flower for a felt brooch from this tutorial from Melissa of tiny happy.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

on a trip

I went on my first preschool trip yesterday. We went to Butterfly Creek , the weather was fantastic and we had so much fun. Miss E was very lucky to have a butterfly land on her hat (there were so many jealous others, desperately wanting a butterfly to land on them). There were all manner of farm animals there too, and Miss E was totally fascinated by a goat being milked. It's so nice to see the wonder and fascination on the little ones faces as they see all these things for the first time. Now all the excitement is over and I won't be hearing every morning, "is it butterfly creek today?"

Monday, September 7, 2009

to the park

We went on a quick trip to the park across the road this weekend to collect pine needles and pine cones. Really all I wanted was the pine needles but with little helping hands more interested in pine cones we ended up with a bucket of those too. I mulch all my strawberry plants with pine needles instead of pea straw, it keeps the moisture in the ground, keeps the berries off the dirt and it has the added bonus of the pine needles being acid rich which the berries love. I recently read too that zucchinis also love to be mulched with pine needles as they are acid lovers too. This post should really include a photo of my beautifully mulched strawberry plants, but alas as soon as I mulched them a pesky blackbird scratched a lot of them out in search of bugs, so quite disheartened I have left the mess of pine needles to be cleared up another day.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

button up

My local Hospice thrift store was having a store wide half price sale. A large jar of buttons has had my interest there for some time, but at $10 and considering the extensive button collection already at home I couldn't really justify such a purchase. But at $5 that's a different story, so......hidden amongst the more ordinary buttons I found a few special gems, some handmade ceramic buttons and quite a collection of vintage glass. The rest of the buttons I am donating to the Moriah Holocaust Button Collection. A school of 28 students are trying to collect 1.5 million buttons, one buttons for each child who died in the Holocaust. At the last count they have 634,750 buttons! The information about the project and an address for you to send buttons to is on their blog, you can find it here here . So have a spring clean and look through your button jar and see if you too could help this little cause.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

for little feet

After a quick flick through Handmade Home from Soulemama I knew this would be the first project I would make. I had everything on hand, some old towels, a bit faded but still with a lot of life left in them and some vintage sheeting in colours that matched the towels. I love how this bath mat is really light, it will make it much easier to dry than the thick ones that I have been using, they need a really strong breeze on a really sunny day before they will dry out. This one will dry in a snap. Purple is a favourite colour of miss E so it's perfect to dry her little feet on after a bath. I cut up two towels to make it and there is enough left over to make another matching one.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

welcome spring

It's officially the first day of spring today, what says spring more than blossom and new baby animals? I hope the sun is shining where you are.