Monday, November 30, 2009

tis the season!

Christmas is sneaking up very fast and I want to spread some Christmas cheer so I've gathered together a few little decorations for one lucky reader. The little tree fairy is by fibre artist Helmi Thompson, she has a website here . I have bought many of her little fairies over the years to send to friends at Christmas time, I also put some of her pohutukawa fairies on my tree each year for little ones to find. The wooden star is Rimu a native timber from New Zealand and I've also included one of my crocheted sterling silver stars, I still have some available for sale here. There might be a few other little surprises included too. I'll close the entries on Friday the 4th of December hopefully in time to make it to the winner before Christmas.

So just place a comment and you are in to win. I'll draw the name out of a hat old fashion style on Friday evening.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

time out

I'm about to ignore my very loooooooooooooooong to-do list in favour of sitting down with a cuppa and reading this little mag that has just arrived in my letterbox. It's "extra curricular" a limited edition of 500 (all hand numbered on the back, mine one is #64/500), printed on 100% recycled paper using vegetable based inks. A quick flick though makes me think I won't be able to put it down till I've read it all. I see a few names I know including Melissa from Tiny Happy and a few new names too. I have a little advert for my felt shop in there too. A cuppa awaits.....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

sunday sorbet

We have been enjoying this sorbet recipe for quite a few weeks now and I thought it was time to share. I often read recipes for sorbets and other frozen delights and I get to the part where you have to take it out and stir it and that's when I lose interest. That is where this recipe is different, no stirring, yay. So here it is. enjoy

Lemon Sorbet

250g sugar
250ml water
500ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 egg whites

Put the sugar and water in a saucepan over a low temperature and stir until the sugar is dissolved, bring to a gentle simmer and then put aside to cool.
Once cool add the lemon juice (I've made it with less lemon juice and it was still great, just a bit sweeter, it takes a lot of squeezed lemons to get 500ml so it's great for those with a big lemon tree)
Pour mixture into a container with a lid and place in the freezer overnight or for at least 8 hours.
Take out of freezer and put the frozen mixture into a food processor with the egg whites. It should be lighter in colour and increase slightly in volume.
Place back in the freezer for at least 4 hours.

Perfect on a hot day, lets hope there are more of those to come

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Felt has just put out some gift guides and my little donuts above feature in their 50 fabulous stockings and stocking fillers. There are some great items featured in this list and for sale on Felt, well worth a look especially if like me you are trying for a handmade Christmas this year.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


It wasn't at the top of my very long "to do" list, but I really wanted to get it out of the way. Miss E has to be dressed as an angel for her end of year preschool concert. I had some white calico and luckily I have a great costume book in the Australian Women's Weekly series of books. The pattern is actually one for a medieval dress but I just loved the sleeves much more than the other more simple tunic (the sleeves don't photograph well with out a little one wearing it, but they do look oh so cute on). Once it was finished it looked too plain so a quick search through my stash of vintage linens and I found some lace and a doily. The pattern is just perfect for an active little one as it's shorter at the front and longer at the back so hopefully there will be nothing to trip on.

Now that I've finished this I feel like making a medieval version too for the dress up box and maybe a spare in case a friend wants to dress up too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

some history

We live on a small town section, it's about 400sqm total, including the long drive as we are behind another house. The house in front is a bungalow built in the early 1900's, our house was built around 10 years ago to put things in perspective. I am always digging up little bits and pieces in the garden that belonged to people who lived here many years ago, mostly broken crockery and glass bottles but I have found a little porcelain doll's foot and arm. Many homes in the early 1900's had a bottle pit, or a little rubbish pit in their back gardens and remnants of that is what I dig up I suppose. I always get a bit excited as I see a little bit of something poking out and I'm nearly always disappointed when I find it's broken. Miss E and I are trying to to dig up a stump of a palm tree that we have cut down to make way for a tyre sandpit, Miss E dug up the lovely and perfect little glass bottle stopper and I dug up, you guessed it, the broken one! She was so excited and has shown everyone her "treasure" I've been saving all the little bits of crockery that I've dug up, I'm hoping to return them to the garden in the form of a garden paver.

I found these two great patterned ceramics, the left one is a little English pot with a plastic cork like lid, the other a German jug, missing a lid. They are on display on my windowsill making me feel like spring is really here and summer just around the corner.

Friday, November 13, 2009

from the garden

I love this time of year, everything seems so green and new and alive. I'm loving taking a short walk to the garden each morning to grab some raspberries to add to miss E's preschool lunchbox. They can't get any fresher than that and more delicious than store bought. There have been brief sightings of ripe strawberries, as they disappear into a certain mouth. Rather miss E eating them than the birds.

"mummy I want to wear a skirt today" it's not something I hear often (my little girl is very much at home in pants and the sandpit) so I thought this was a great opportunity to make some little skirts. So far it's just the one above made from some super soft floral cotton from my vintage swap partner Adrie (thanks again Adrie, it's lovely) and a vintage doily sewn on. Apparently pants still need to be worn underneath skirts but it doesn't matter how she wears it. Luckily for me skirts like that are very quick and easy so I'm sure I can fit a bit more skirt making in over the weekend.

Happy weekend to you.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

silver stars

I did a little update at my felt and Etsy shops. I added these sterling silver stars that I mentioned here. Hopefully I'll find time to do a few more updates in the coming weeks.


On Saturday we took a trip to the Glenbrook Vintage Railway, they were having their annual Thomas the tank engine day. They add Thomas faces to all their trains and other machines. It was so fun, I loved seeing all the little "big" Thomas fans decked out in all their Thomas gear, hats, T-shirts and a sea of Thomas backpacks! and all the little ones so excited to see Thomas and all his friends. We rode on the trains, waving to all the animals we passed on the way and really enjoyed ourselves. I spotted the little teddy on the platform strapped to the vintage suitcases, he's made from a stocking. the railway is run mostly by volunteers and we were very impressed by how well the day was run and how many people were there.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

friday finds - a day late

A little raspberry stealing monster came to visit on friday, eating any raspberries that were pink, or even only slightly pink! Rather the little monster than blackbirds.

This week I managed to get a few pair of summer pants sewn for miss E, some vintage sheets and some old clothes were used. Do you think it's too "von Trapp" to have your daughter running about in pants made of vintage sheets? She loves them so it shouldn't matter really I suppose. A friend of a friend was moving house and getting rid of a lot of old clothes. I was asked if I was interested in having a look before they were given to charity. Most were from the early 90's and rather out of date, however they were mostly long dresses and skirts with mountains of fabric just perfect for sewing for little ones with. I've made four pairs of pants so far which should be a good amount for getting dirty in at preschool. I feel quite good recycling fabric in this way, I read such horrible statistics about growing cotton and all the chemicals involved to get the clothes to the stores in the first place, so if we can make these textiles last longer (and buy less in the process) it's got to be good.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

kokeshi love

I have a small collection of Japanese wooden Kokeshi dolls, so when I saw this pattern from a local crochet designer, Lisa from Holland Designs I had to make some for miss E. So far I've only made the one above but I plan to make a few more to pop in her christmas stocking. Lisa also designs lovely baby shoes and slippers too, I've found her patterns are really easy to follow.

Monday, November 2, 2009

saying no

I am very good at saying "no thanks" to plastic bags here there and everywhere. But one place where I don't say no is where I buy my fruit and vegetables and I thought it was about time for that to change. I've seen a lot of different produce bags on the Internet and I was lucky to be given Sewing Green by Betz White as a birthday present and that has a produce bag pattern, but none were really what I was looking for. I wanted something very light weight (who wants to add extra weight to the cost of their fruit and vege?) and see through so my checkout operator could easily identify it's contents .I found a length of pretty net curtain fabric in my stash and that seemed perfect. I used a plastic bag from the fruit shop to make mine the same size and I added a length of ribbon folded in half in the seam near the top to act as a tie. I'd love to say I bought the above apples and oranges in these bags, but I forgot to put the bags in the car! They will definitely get a work out next time though. I made a few extra for a present for my mum for christmas ( she doesn't read this blog so I should be safe) because she likes to say no to plastic bags too.