Thursday, October 29, 2009

for treasures

I made these many weeks ago, I didn't want to post about them till they were tested out at the beach. They are treasure bags a project from my favourite book Handmade Home by Amanda Soule. They worked a treat for me and my little shell collector who is actually more of a rock collector. I made mine from a thrifted curtain and I crocheted some shells with nylon fishing line into shell "flowers" and sewed them on front. For the little one I found a set of 4 Kina napkins at a thrift store for 50c and I used one for the front, binding and handles, it seemed an suitable print for a beach bag. I used insect netting from Mitre 10 for the body of the bags, from memory it was around $4 per metre and was enough to make around 3 bags. These will get a good work out this summer, hopefully not too many rocks though! we might have to start a rock garden.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


We had a few days away from home last weekend. We had an unsuccessful early morning trip to the beach in search of Tuatuas ( a NZ shellfish) we got the tides slightly wrong and the water was much to cold to venture out deep enough to get them. The beach blanket got a good work out over the weekend, and we caught a few whitebait which were turned into fritters (with the help of a bit more from the freezer).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

make your own

I've been making my own washing powder for clothes lately. It's a very simple recipe, 1 bar of sunlight soap grated, mixed with 1 kg of washing soda crystals. You only need to use 1 tablespoon of the mixture in the washing machine and it seems to do a great job. Sunlight soap is so good at removing all sorts of stains that end up on children's clothes so it's no wonder it works a charm in the washing machine.

I used Greenwoods Washing Soda Crystals, made in New Zealand, 100% Biodegradable. You can find them in the laundry isle at the supermarket.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

kusudama flowers

I stumbled upon this tutorial for these lovely Kusudama origami flowers a few months ago. I made quite a few of them from pages from an old childrens' encylopedia and then didn't really have any ideas of how I was going to display them. I was looking at some wooden chopsticks from some sushi and I thought that's just what those flowers need. So I glued a chopstick down the middle of each flower, now they can be easily displayed in a vase and the intricate pattern can be admired. I thought about using wire to attatch them on some fallen branches too and I tried gluing some together to make a flower ball, although it seems quite right for origami flowers to be on chopsticks and of course it's great way to use up all those chopsticks too.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

time poor

I feel like I'm working on a lot of projects and not really getting anything finished. I'm trying to cram making in around my busy life of raising two preschoolers. Some days it's easy, other days it's a no go. I'm finding all sorts of opportunities to fit a little bit in, even on short car trips ( where I'm a passenger) I fit a little bit of crochet in. I'm making some Christmas decorations out of sterling silver wire, some little stars to adorn presents and of course the tree. I'm hoping to make a few extra to put in my etsy and felt shops in time for Christmas.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

calf club

We went to a local school calf club day yesterday. It's normally the main fundraiser of the year for the country schools that have them so I feel like I'm helping when I go along to join in the fun. It's especially fun when you've got a little one with you as there is heaps to see and do. There were all the usual farm animals that the children were showing off in the hopes of getting a ribbon. It's the first time I've seen a costume section for the animals! This little pony was my favourite, there looked like lots of work had been put into all the costumes, I was glad I wasn't a judge. The weather was great and we enjoyed a barbecued sausage for lunch.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

vintage swap

I recently took part in a vintage swap that Heather from Shivaya Naturals organised. The top photo is what I sent to my swap partner Adrie and the bottom photo is what I received from Adrie yesterday. It was fun getting a few things together to send and even more fun having a surprise package to open. I was lucky to get some great fabric and I'm already planning in my head what I'll sew with it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I got my favourite dress out of the closet a few weeks ago, popped it on and started to panic. It's looking old, I wear it ALOT, over jeans, over tight shorts, over my swimsuit......the list goes on, so really it's no surprise that it's looking "worn". I thought maybe I could copy the pattern without pulling the dress apart, and this is the first attempt. It's not bad, but it's not the same. I think probably with a change of fabric it would hang more like the original. The fabric I bought a while ago now at only $2 a metre it's ideal to test out patterns with, and not too terrible to wear if the pattern happens turns out terrific. So the panic over the dress is easing now and I turn my attention to my favourite shoes that are looking a bit tired.......

Monday, October 12, 2009


It feels funny writing about these at the beginning of the week, in the morning. These delicious cookies are more about being tired late at night and suddenly realising that I need to take a plate somewhere for morning tea (a plate is a NZ term for taking a plate of baked goods to a gathering, it doesn't actually mean bring a "plate" as many an embarrassed newcomer to NZ discovers)

These are called forgotten Cookies and you can find the recipe here, basically you just beat up the mixture pop it into the oven and then turn the oven of leaving them in the oven overnight. It's the perfect recipe for a tired cook who doesn't want to stay up till the time goes off, or have to ice something once it's cool. It's also so great because they taste so good. The recipe calls for Almonds, but I have used pecans in the past of left the nuts out all together if there aren't any in the pantry.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Sun shining through the neighbour's fig tree giving hanging out the washing a great view, a progress shot of the strawberry ball, happy face pikelets, yum for all ages

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


These holidays seem to be all about rain, so many indoor activities have been completed over the last week and a bit. I decided a few days ago it was time to do some papier mache, it's something that I love to do, but haven't in such a long time. It's such a great feeling to have your fingers all covered in freshly made, still warm flour paste rolling all over the smooth newsprint. I was inspired by a project in handmade home my favourite book right now, to make paper bowls. Quickly I discovered that Miss E wasn't going to be interested in making a bowl, I stopped myself when I felt I was going to direct her making (which was hard for the perfectionist in me) and just let the creating take place. My bowl is the smooth one in the foreground (looking much like something from the book), hers in the background, a nest of sorts, so she tells me. Much fun was had and to me that's the most important part really, and the proud explanation to her dad when he got home.

Monday, October 5, 2009

my mikasa

I love green ceramics, japanese ones especially. So when I saw these cups and saucers at a thrift store I had to have them. Lucky for me they were a song, 8 saucers and 7 cups for $5. The design is Mikasa Duplex by Ben Seibel in green 2559. A quick search online reveals that many others like this design and they come in a range of delicious colours. I'm a bit sad I'm one cup short of a set of 8, but I seldom have 8 over for a cuppa so it shouldn't matter that much really, maybe I could start thinking that I have one extra saucer.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


wishing the weather was better so I could take these feet and blanket to the beach........

wishing, this was my front lawn, it looks so magical with it's carpet of flowers.........

wishing, I had more time to work on this quilt for Mr A .......... & wishing you a happy weekend.
p.s. there is still time to leave a comment for the tiki giveaway, I'm drawing it tomorrow.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I have a secret, well it's no secret to my husband. I'm addicted to compost, well to be more accurate I suppose it's the act of composting that I'm addicted to. I am known to sneak any tea bags that have made their way (by accident of course) into the waste disposal unit into the compost bin instead. Every trip to the beach involves a bucket in case I spot any seaweed to add. I have been known to ask for fallen leaves from friends and family to add to my mix. I cringe when I see other people putting their vegetable scraps just into the bin (gasp), I'm almost tempted to say I'll take them home (Now I'm sure they would be the ones gasping then). I often involve miss E in my addiction too, taking her with me to the park to collect leaves when the balance in the bin requires them.

So now you know my secret, please tell me I'm not alone