Friday, July 31, 2009


This is the first thing that I have made with the beautiful fabric trimmings from Umbrella Prints. It was really hard to cut it up, but I'm really pleased at how this little guy has turned out. I thought I'd have a go at the contest that Umbrella Prints are running, mainly so I will make the effort to use up all the trimmings otherwise they would languish in some drawer forever. He's got recycled denim for his muzzle and feet and due to the small amout of fabric I had to work with he's got a "racing stripe" of recycled denim. I used old felted wool jumpers for his tail and eye.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


We have had so many frosty mornings this year. With no snow falling here in Auckland a good frost is the closest we get to the white stuff. I love the delicate patterns the frost creates on the leaves and even better is the sunny day that follows a good frost.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I finished this large shopping bag recently, it's made completely from fused plastic that I patch worked together. I crocheted a trio of plarn (plastic yarn) flowers out of bread bags and sewed them on with some yellow buttons as centers. It seems really strong and joining all the squares together made it really quick to sew. I lost count at how many bags were recycled to make it, but I'm sure it comes with serious eco cred! I think it would be a great farmer's market bag as the plastic is so easy to wipe clean.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


My favourite family outing is going to feed the ducks at a local pond. It's the same pond I went to feed ducks as a child and it holds fond memories. Luckily for us it's in within short walking distance from our home and a great distance for a little one on a trike.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

ruffled skirt

Over the weekend I made this little skirt for miss E from this tutorial . This is a terrible photo that I quickly took in between terrible rain showers that we had over the weekend. I am looking to summer already and thinking about all the "summer" sewing I want to do. The pretty fabric is from a thrift store and there is plenty left to make something else with too.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I had a lucky find at the salvation army yesterday, this necklace. My mum had one when I was little, the seeds on hers were dyed quite a bright red and green. I was so fascinated as a child by the walnut shells and how they had been cut so thinly to reveal such interesting shape. Now I have my own and as mine is "Au natural" it will probably go with a few more outfits than mum's one.

Monday, July 20, 2009

oranges and lemons

I was given quite a few lemons so I decided to turn some into lemon curd or lemon honey as my family knows it. The photo above shows the first fruit on a tree I planted three years ago, miss E is filled with excitement as she is waiting for it to fully ripen before she can pick it.
lemon curd - makes 2 350ml jars
4 eggs
1 1/2 C white sugar
100g butter cut into small pieces
zest and juice of 2 lemons ( I used 3 as my lemons were on the smaller side)
Place eggs and sugar in a double boiler. Whisk up until well combined. Add the butter, lemon juice and grated zest. Stir over a low heat until thick, creamy and it sticks to the back of a wooden spoon. Cool for a few minutes then pour into jars. Store in the fridge for up to a fortnight.
It's delicious on toast, between crepes, over vanilla ice cream.

Friday, July 17, 2009

for the sweet

The birthday party invites seem to be coming thick and fast around here. I love to make a little something for the birthday girl/boy. I crocheted these little cupcakes out of cotton and a bamboo/cotton blend. The last ones I made I sewed lots of small seed beads over the top for "sprinkles" but these ones I was a bit pushed for time so I crocheted little flowers instead. The drawing case is an idea that I've had for a while. I've seen lots that just fold or roll up, but I wanted one for the child to sling over their shoulder or wear across their body and take where ever. This one has a pocket for a drawing pad with a fold over flap to keep everything in. I've got a few more birthdays to go so I think there will be more of these to follow perhaps with a few modifications, like an adjustable strap.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

umbrella prints

This small pack of Umbrella Prints trimmings arrived in my letterbox a little while ago. The fabric is hand screen printed onto organic hemp/cotton. It's almost too good to cut up and it took awhile to actually put scissors to fabric. I've cut up some of the blue and brown pieces into little squares for a patchwork giraffe but the remainder is untouched, for now. I love Umbrella Prints fabrics and doll kits, if my funds allowed it I would love to buy more of their stuff.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

jack be little

Not much is happening in the garden here at the moment, but we are enjoying eating what we planted earlier in the year. We grew these super cute little pumpkins for the first time this year, they have a cute name too - Jack be Little. I cooked them up and froze the pulp for use throughout the winter, we've enjoyed pumpkin pie and added it to quiche and even had it in cake. I will definitely be growing some more this year as they looked so cute and the kids love them and so easy to grow from seed, so they tick all the boxes. The only problem will be finding the space to squeeze them in.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Last year I sent a bundle of embroidered linen to Melissa from Tiny Happy. One particularly pretty piece I sent half to her and kept the other half for myself. She turned her half into some of her beautiful trademark baby shoes, mine was turned into another smock for miss E. I used a old maternity top of mine for the main part of the smock and the pretty linen makes a very generous pocket. The pocket hung open a bit too much so I added a snap at the top to keep it together. When I found this piece of linen I nearly didn't buy it, it was filthy and I could only just make out the embroidery I wasn't sure if it would clean up very well. I'm so glad I did though as now it's transformed into two great things and given a new lease on life, if only the original embroiderer knew.

thanks to Melissa for the use of the photo of her beautiful shoes.

having a ball

After seeing lots of pictures of flower balls in magazines, I thought I'd give one a go. But as I'm more into growing food than flowers I thought a strawberry ball might be a better idea. Basically it's just two hanging baskets joined together with the hanging chains and some cable ties. You poke holes in the fibre liners for the plants to grow through and plant each basket separately before joining them together. The poor plants are looking a bit droopy after the shock of being transplanted, but come Christmas time I hope there will be a mass of berries - for us - not the birds. I used about 20 strawberry plants for the ball, all runners from my existing plants. With a few flowers already forming on the plants I'm already thinking of spring.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I've been making lots of these smocks lately. They seem to be the perfect cover up for preschool messes. They all feature pockets for all that important "stuff" that little ones love to find, feathers, conkers, pecans etc. But mostly the pockets seem to contain sand. The great thing is now that I've made about 5 of them they are a breeze to sew up so there will probably be 5 more to follow.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


When I saw this top on the petite purls website I really wished that I could knit. But I can't, well I haven't tried very hard to learn, I can however crochet so I thought I could do something similar in crochet. I came up with this top, I made one for miss E out of a cotton bamboo mix for the red and the black for the seeds and the mottled green yarn is 100% cotton. Made for summer it still looks good over a long sleeve top in winter time. With the left over yarn I've made another smaller one to fit a 2-3 year old that I'll list on Felt, it's the one in the middle and bottom photo above. Sewing all the "seeds" took way longer than I anticipated, probably as long as it took to crochet the whole top. But I'm really pleased with it and no longer feel the urge to learn to knit.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

melvin etc

Mevlin is the latest addition to my felt shop. He's very cute and has a super soft mane of possum, recycled fleted jumper for ears and tail and old jeans for feet . I was recently introduced to fused plastic, I love making things with this crinkly "fabric" I made these 2 little bags/pouches. The white one features a flower crocheted out of plastic bread bags. I think there will be many more bags to follow these as I use up all those plastic bags out there.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Searching for fallen conkers on a stunningly sunny winter's day. Luckily the top had big pockets to stuff them all in.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


We recently found a great source of free pecans, there are two large trees at preschool. So many had fallen all over the ground so Miss E & I gathered up quite a few of them up. The shelling takes a lot longer than I anticipated, but the results are well worth it, the nuts are much more tasty than the store bought ones. They are delicious on the top of cakes and our favourite way to use them up, other than gobble them up fresh, is in mini pecan pies. I found the recipe on the back of the Chelsea brown sugar packet, but it's here on the Chelsea website too. I've made this recipe quite a few times and I've found the filling quantity is enough for a couple of batches of the pastry, so I always double the pastry quantity. Which is a good thing as they disappear fast anyway. We put all the bits of shell into the compost, hopefully they break down well.

Friday, July 3, 2009

i was a ...

I was a ... leather jacket. A recycled vintage leather jacket is my second listing on felt. It was harder to sew than I anticipated, mainly the cutting of the pieces and having enough flat leather to make it work. I made it harder for myself by using a thrifted apron for the lining and again had problems with having not quite enough fabric to cut each piece of the pattern out in one
go. It has a lovely feel though, with the leather been worn in already, and the colour of leather is almost dairy milk brown.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

on the windowsill

On the windowsill sits Tamarillos and a small posy for Miss E from Granny. The Posy is in a new to me cute green mug, printed with Japan on the bottom. I love searching for hidden green ceramics in thrift shops and especially any Japanese ones. The Tamarillos are destined for a crumble for a cold night.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


This is my first attempt at making a quilt. I chose a super easy pattern that I saw in the little treasures magazine, they have the instructions online here. It was very quick to make, the instructions are for a cot sized quilt and I just added more rows both ways to make it big enough for a single bed. I used vintage sheeting and some vintage linen mixed with some new gingham. I bound the edges instead of leaving them ragged like the instructions said to give a neater and stronger finish. The batting I used was organic cotton, I was looking at some bamboo batting which was so soft but at double the price I decided the organic cotton was the go. I'm really pleased with the finish and I imagine I'll make some more of these as they are very quick to sew up.