Monday, August 23, 2010

more crochet

I was quietly devastated when mr A broke one of my favourite thrifted saucers (luckily I had thrifted two of them). I put the pieces into a box for mosaics and that was that. Then when a mosaic project came along I felt a new idea coming to me (after making these). So instead of using the broken pieces for mosaics, I made a necklace. I crocheted a cord to go around my neck and sewed on a vintage mother of pearl button for the clasp. I'm really happy with how it turned out, now I'm looking at the box of broken china in a new light.

Friday, August 20, 2010

for colouring

I have a girl who loves to colour in. The problem is the lack of cool colouring in books in the shops, they all seem to have big huge pictures and miss E really likes to colour in teeny tiny pictures. Then I had a thought while cutting up some vintage books to make cards, why not some proper books? Well as it turns out proper books are great for colouring in! I had a vintage children's book with lots of line drawings and it's perfect. Now she can colour and learn at the same time.

It's quite a funny book too, I didn't know there were "Queer fish" I'm not sure if that is a term that is used today either.

Happy weekend to you!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010


We were filling in a little bit of time on a very rainy Saturday by browsing at our local Salvation Army Store. Miss E picked up this tiny little flower press and declared that she wanted it, followed quickly by "what is it?". I explained what it was for, so she decided it would be a good thing to have. She's not wrong, for a girl who likes to flop down "in the weeds" as she puts it, to pick flowers having a little flower press is a good thing. We found a few tiny flowers to pop in it and we are waiting patiently for the results, which I tell you can be a long time for a four year old. Hopefully we'll have some pressed flower images to share soon.

Friday, August 13, 2010

some help please

I need some help on a couple of matters. First of all, does anyone here in New Zealand know where to buy Aniseeds? and I don't mean star anise. I've tried my local health food shops and they put me on to a Mini mart in my town that I didn't know existed that has a huge range of exotic bulk food but alas no aniseeds. I'm happy to buy online from NZ too so let me know if you can help.

The second thing is this really cool bag that I thrifted, it smelly musty after lots of sunshine and days hanging outside on the line, in the rain and sunshine. I've soaked it in baking soda which normally works but I think because it's made of a water resistant kind of fabric the smell isn't coming out very easily. Any thoughts or suggestions? It's super cute, in the picture above it's at it's full length, it's got s zippered section so you can make it shorted.

So I'd love to hear any suggestions on these matters! Hope your Friday is going well.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I made this little ruffle scarf a few days ago. It's made from a thrifted skirt that I cut into long strips, then joined them all together. Then to create the ruffle I cut some thin elastic 2/3 of the total length. I pinned the elastic at either end and then stretched it and pinned in in the middle. While the elastic was stretched out I sewed it down the middle of the scarf with a zigzag stitch to create the ruffle. It seemed a bit thin once I was finished and a little longer than I anticipated so I folded it in half (wrong sides together) and stitched it together down the middle, perfect with it doubled over it adds another layer of ruffle. I like that it's nice and light weight, not too snug. Ideal for the warmer days of spring ahead or on cooler summer nights.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I was inspired by all the early spring blooms around on the weekend and made some little crepe paper string crochet flowers. I tied (with sewing cotton) them on to some bare fallen branches that I had (yes that is the sort of thing I have to hand, um yes, you never know when you might need a stick for something). You can read how I made the crepe paper string here if you want to make some. It was a basic little four petal flower with the ends bought to the middle to create the long stamens, but any little flower pattern would work. If I had some yellow crepe paper I might have made the stamens yellow for a bit of contrast.
I tried a new recipe on the weekend, rosemary and walnut biscuits and I'm warming to them. They turned out sweeter than I imagined as they were suggested to be served with cheese and I thought they would be more savory. But after a few I've decided that they go with a cuppa quite nicely.

Monday, August 9, 2010


-Signs of Spring already, who else has noticed all the blooms that seem to be opening out everywhere?

-Finding the perfect spot to hang a thrift store find, beautiful watercolour painting done by a school art teacher in 1955. Isn't it beautiful? I love it especially as I have a love for magnolia trees and don't have the room on our section for one so this is the next best thing.

-Trying to decide what to make with this fabric that was also a thrift store find, maybe a small picnic blanket or a dress for miss E.

Hope you had a great weekend.

Friday, August 6, 2010

passing the test

When I read over at Tiny Happy about this recipe I realised that it was about time that I tried it. A couple of friends had mentioned it to me and I had looked at my local library for the book (and not found it) but had never found the time, or the container to make it in.

Now in order for me to keep using this recipe it needed to pass a few tests, it couldn't just be good for making a loaf it needed to be versatile and luckily it seems to have passed the test! In the few short days since I've started making it, it has taken many forms. Rolled thin and coated with garlic, butter, olive oil and flaky sea salt for garlic pizza bread, used as a pizza base, made some smallish rolls and a couple of loaves. OK all that wasn't made from one batch but a few over a number of days.

So yep the recipe is a winner and so handy to have at hand in the fridge to whip up some bread for a weekend lunch, which is what I plan to do this weekend. I'd love to hear what is on your weekend menu in whatever season you are living in.

Happy weekend to you.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I've always loved stationary and when I was a child I was more excited about starting the new school year and getting new books than Christmas. Nothing has changed really, I love a new notebook or journal fresh and crisp and my love of stationary doesn't stop there. I love envelopes and writing paper and cards too! So when Stella (who has a lovely blog) was offering a chance to try out one of her new items I jumped at the chance. I mean seriously look at the tiny telephone and typewriter! too cute. So today I've been writing away catching up with some correspondence, putting one in with some fabric I'm sending to a friend. Do check out the Frank and Dean shop, they have some lovely stationary, it's all stunning. I've got my eye on a personalised portrait, just trying to choose the right photo.
The weather was terrible for most of the day, perfect for a spot of baking, I made some lemon muffins from a recipe in the latest Taste magazine. It was actually a recipe for mini loaves, I just used my muffin pans and shortened the cooking time. Yum perfect on a rainy day.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I thought it was about time to write about what has been happening in my winter garden, short answer, not much. Apart from the broccoli it's all a bit disappointing, of the 6 cabbages I planted only one looks like it will reach a decent size the others have all been eaten by caterpillars and the like. The artichoke pictured above soon after that picture was taken seemed to just rot away from the base down and so too did all the others on the plant. The Brussels sprouts are the size of my thumb nail and don't really look like they are getting any bigger. So it's a good thing that all the broccoli is doing well, in fact there is only one head left! We have been having it mostly in a frittata simple and delicious and egg seems to be a great way to hide some veges that don't seem to get eaten other wise. This winter was my first time trying to grow some winter vegetables and it hasn't really put me off having another go next year. But I do admit to be looking forward to the summer growing season as I seem to have more luck in the summer time. What's growing in your garden now?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

tutorial of sorts

As I was wrapping this present the other week for a new baby I grabbed some crochet paper ribbon that I had made many years earlier and I thought I'd share how I made it. Well not the crochet part - but just the twisted ribbon. To be honest it's not really a tutorial rather a couple of steps!
First cut some crepe paper from a roll, you want to create a really long piece to twist up so cut across the short side. As to the width to cut it depends what you want to do, if you want to crochet with it start with cutting a piece that it around 1cm wide.

Twist one end and place it into the end of an electric or cordless drill. Now if you have a friend or helper close by they can hold the other end. But what I do is attach a piece of sellotape to the other end and tape it to a stable object like your bench top.

Then while the paper strip is pulled straight and taught turn on the drill. Slowly it will start to twist, sometimes it can take a while to start to twist,you can help this along by gently turning the paper by hand to help get it going. Don't pull too tight while the drill is going as the paper can break, it is paper after all.
That is all that there is to it. You don't have to limit yourself to just cutting straight strips, experiment with cutting into your strips to make fringed paper strings or triangles to create a mini bunting effect. Or once you have made enough you can get crocheting or knitting with them.

Monday, August 2, 2010


It was a funny sort of weekend and we spent most of it tucked up at home. I spent a little time doing some reading and crochet and the rest of the time trying to get over some winter bugs passed on to me by some little members of the family. I found this basket at the local Salvation Army a few weeks ago, hard to see in the photo but it's one of those great curved 70's baskets. It's perfect for a crochet project and a few books/magazines.

I regularly spot vintage crochet books at the secondhand book sales I go to. I often buy them only to be slightly disappointed not to find something inside I want to crochet. This one is different! It seems full of patterns that I love and will crochet, now to find some extra hours in the day to make some.