Saturday, December 24, 2011

and to all a good night!

The berries are ready, some edible gifts have been made and distributed. It's late and I've played Santa. Now to get a little bit of sleep before the wee ones awake with excitement.

Thank you for stopping by this year, I've so enjoyed reading all your comments and reading your blogs. I wish you and your families a very merry festive season! I hope it's a happy and safe one. xxx

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

night lights

We were lucky enough for the weather to clear last Friday night and we headed into the city to see Motat's Christmas night. It was amazing, and so much fun. We don't often go out at night so for the kids (and me for that matter) that was a real treat. They had so much fun having a tram ride and checking out all the activities at Motat, and I was in love with seeing it all lit up with fairy lights. We also checked out the lights on Franklin Road, for those not from Auckland it's an inner city street (mainly with Villa and Bungalow type houses) that goes all out decorating their houses with lights. It's amazing to see all the different things people come up with, and how magical it can seem when everyone gets involved. We arrived home with two sleeping babes that we bundled off to bed without them waking. Something I want to do every festive season!

It's not too late to catch the Motat Christmas light nights, the last ones are this Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th night - 8-11pm

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I bought Meg McElwee's book Growing up sew liberated a while ago and I've been trying to find some time to get sewing from it. The first project I tackled was the hooded play cape, a little something to pop under the tree for miss E. I was lucky to be given a lot of fabric earlier this year when a friend was going overseas. I used some of that for this cape, a lovely blue silk and a pretty patterned fabric. I'm pretty sure she'll love it and I can't wait to see her running around the garden in it! Lets hope the weather on Christmas morning is much better than today, it's raining and raining and it makes me stress a little about the big family Christmas planned for my little house! Rain, rain go away!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Just popping in to annouce the winners from my snowflake giveaway. The international winner is Mousy Brown! and the local winner is Hannah! Congratulations to you both and thanks to everyone who commented, it was lovely to read them all. Mr A drew the names out of a bowl (in case you are wondering) with a lot of miming from me as to what he was supposed to be doing.

Hannah can you please email me with your address please? Mousy Brown I'll pop yours in the post this week!

Thanks again everyone

Sunday, December 11, 2011

*big sigh* The Auckland art and craft fair is done and dusted and what a great day! It was so busy that I didn't get a chance to check out many of the other stalls. I want to say a huge" thank you!" to everyone who stopped by to say hello (and those who couldn't make it and wished me well) and support me and of course the organisers too. It was much busier than the December fair last year, and I was blown away with the sales too (yay!!!!). My suitcase of goods was much lighter when it came time to pack up.

I did manage a few quick purchases though, from some neighbouring stall holders. I picked up some lovely 4ply cotton from Happy go knitty and some beautiful poppy cards by Melissa of Tiny Happy. I got a coaster from my neighbour stall holder, Rock and roller coasters - Meatloaf's Bat out of Hell, a big favourite of, can you guess? My two year old Son! My last purchase was a tea cup bird feeder for our garden, by Helen Kerrigan. we filled it with some alpine strawberries for the local birds. I hope they enjoy them :)

It's nice that it's all over now and I can concentrate on making some Christmas gifts for family and friends and start to relax a bit and enjoy the season!

Don't forget about my giveaway! Thanks to everyone who has commented so far, I'll draw the winners sometime late tomorrow.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

let it snow

I've been making lots of these snowflakes, for the Christmas ornament swap, for presents and for the Auckland art and craft fair this weekend. They are crocheted and then stiffened with a fabric stiffener. I'm hoping that there will be a few left over to hang up here at home. I have however put a couple aside to offer as a giveaway to you dear blog readers! I'll draw one overseas winner and one NZ winner and send each a snowflake and perhaps a few other little treats too. Just leave a comment on this post and say what country you are from (and perhaps what your favourite holiday tradition is?) and I'll pop you in the draw. You don't have to have a blog to enter either. I'll draw the names on Monday, hopefully giving the overseas winner a chance to hang their snowflake before Christmas!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


After making the banana/nutella iceblocks it got me thinking of other banana combinations. I tried banana/apricot yoghurt/maple syrup (a tiny bit) combo with great success! Well my taste testers certainly didn't have any complaints! Yum!!!

I made some apricot and orange balls this week too. A nice sweet treat that you can keep in the freezer for months (if they last that long). Great for popping in a tin or nice jar as a Christmas present.

Apricot and Orange balls
250-300g of dried apricots chopped roughly
rind of 1 orange (peeled off with a vegetable peeler)
2 Tablespoons of orange juice
1/2 or 1/4 cup caster sugar
1 3/4 Cup coconut

In a food processor chop the orange rind and caster sugar. Add the apricots and orange juice and pulse till the apricots are nice and small.  Add 1 cup of coconut and pulse. With wet hands shape into little balls, and roll in the remaining coconut. I keep mine in the fridge or freezer until I'm ready to gift them (or eat them!!) YUM!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


It seems that the Christmas spirit is slow at arriving this year. I haven't sent a single Christmas card, I wasn't getting excited at the thought of putting up decorations or our tree. But it's slowly starting to gain momentum. We've had our local Santa Parade and it was so neat watching the kids enjoy it, mr A being that much older now (nearly 3) and totally excited by it all. He hardly stopped waving and clapping. So this week I'm going to make an effort to get into the fun of the season so I've started some Christmas sweet treat making to give as gifts for Pippins leaders and teachers etc. Hopefully I'll find some time to post some of the recipes too.

In other news, I had my artist interview over on the Auckland Art and Craft fair blog over the weekend, you can have a peek here. Only a few days to go now!!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011


I seem to be in denial that the Auckland Art and Craft fair is just (and ONLY one) week away. I've got most things done, just a few bits here and there, but I know sometimes it's the little things that take the longest.

This week however I've been making a start on some Christmas gifts, I tried a new crochet pattern. The Diamond slouch beanie by Holland designs (a lovely local and talented crochet designer), a present for a friend in a cold northern hemisphere location(my Ravelry notes here). I've also started (and actually finished since taking this progress pic) a wee embroidery based on this pin. I've blurred the initials to protect the identity of the recipient just in case they might be having a sneak peak!

Happy weekend friends! I'm going to have to drag out all the Christmas decorations this weekend and try and get into the festive spirit, it's taking a little while to kick in this year.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

life changed?

Life changed? Well I'm not sure but it certainly is a yum recipe. It started with this pin, you can find the recipe instructions here, although it is really just two ingredients mixed together. 6 Bananas and 1 cup of Nutella, in a blender and popped into the freezer. Now I must explain that when I pinned it I thought it would be something that I would try in the future sometime (seemed a bit decadent and indulgent), but a couple of things happened. First we got a several large bunches of bananas delivered in our fruit/vege box and then Nutella was on a super special so it just seemed the right time to try it. All I can say is YUM!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Strawberries - podding peas - cornflowers - bliss!

sharing is caring

Did you see my post on my tea cup candles? Well when I bought my wick holders I bought a pack of 50, it was the smallest amount I could find, but I was really wondering would I ever make 50 candles??? Well I think not, I've made 10 with my 1kg of soy wax. I even made a couple in some pretty etched wine glasses that I thrifted, after seeing some in a magazine. So instead of leaving all these wick holders in the garage for many years, I'm going to offer some to you dear blog readers.

I've got 3 packs of 10 holders that I'm happy to post to anyone in New Zealand so you too could have a go at making some candles.The first three people to leave a comment below saying they would like some get them! Just email me your delivery details too and I'll pop them in the post for you!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I'm having a little sale in my Etsy shop. I'm not planning on making any more ceramic and crochet necklaces in the future, a bit too fiddly and I'm excited about moving on to new things. So if you've had your eye on one, now is the time to buy.


I LOVE this fabric by Melissa from Tiny Happy, I think she might have some in her Etsy store if you happen to need some! I imagine a beautiful fifties style dress made with this fabric with a big red belt, but for now my little fat quarter has stretched to this set (with a little bit left over too). The set is a drawstring bag, a covered notebook and a set of hair ties. The hair ties were made with some of those buttons that you cover with fabric and a small length of elastic. I made them for miss E for Christmas, she seems to like things to match and form a set, so I'm hoping this fits the bill!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

tea time

For me Christmas means handmade presents as much as I can, when I can. This year for some friends and family I'm making some candle tea cups. It's not a new idea, I'm sure most (if not all of you) have seen them either at markets or online. The great part is that it's quite easy to make them and not too expensive either. I've been looking out for lonely teacups at the thrift stores all year and slowly gathered a collection, I had a strict budget of no more than $2 a cup which saw most cups being left behind, seems the thrift stores think lonely cups are worth a lot more than me! I got most of my supplies from here and a few from Trademe. I used soy wax.

I melted the wax in an old tin can on the lid of my crock pot while I had some chickpeas soaking. But of course you can pop the can in a saucepan of water and melt it that way! They were very quick to make and I think they look great (even if I do say so myself). I'm hoping that they will be gratefully received! Is it just me or is Christmas creeping up ever so fast?

Friday, November 18, 2011


I love to use old children's books in my crafting, ones where the spines have been broken, ones where there is some "original" art work inside, ones that seem a little unloved. The problem with these books is they have often come out of "hiding" before they hit the shelves at the local thrift stores and they smell, well, like they've been hiding! At first I used to stick the whole book outside on a sunny day, often for many, many days till the musty smell had gone. Now I have a new system. I remove any pages that I think I'd use and pop the rest in the recycling bin. I punch a hole in the top corner of each page and pop a metal "snap it" ring through and pop them on the clothes line. That way they can flap about nicely in the breeze and freshen up, and I'm not worried about local cats sitting on them. It seems to work quite well and I can snap the rings onto a coat hanger and hang the whole lot up! Easy. 

I found a couple of books by Joan Walsh Anglund, they have the sweetest illustrations! When I did a quick search on Joan, I found this link with some printable paper dolls that look very sweet. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

merry berry

I've been pretty slack in the garden this year, few seeds have been sowed and few crops planted. One area that I have put some effort into is our berry patch. Over Winter a row of trees along a fence up and died on me and I was left with a narrow strip to do something with. I planted out my Boysenberry that last year I had wrapped around a tripod. My lovely husband put up some wires for me to train it along. Underneath I planted out lots of Strawberry plants that were getting a bit squashed in their other spot. I mulched the lot with pine needles from a park close to our house. The strawberries are going crazy! We are getting quite a big bowl every second day at the moment. I pick them and leave them on the kitchen bench for the little ones to help themselves, the leftovers I freeze with the hope of making some strawberry jam as Christmas presents and our family favourite -strawberry and apple crumble!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


We had a fabulous weekend Pippins* trip to Paeroa where miss E was able to take part in all sorts of "Pioneering" type activities, she made a candle, wooden button, little boat, a Quill, made some butter, pikelets on an outdoor fire. She got a chance to dress up in period costume too and a ride on a paddle boat. It was lots of fun and the weather was perfect. When asked what her favourite activity was, "washing the clothes" was the reply! (that's her with her head down (and cap on) scrubbing away).

*Pippins is for girls aged 5 and 6 as part of the Girl Guides - A fabulous organisation!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I had fun at my market last Friday. Sales were a bit on the slow side, but it was busy all night which was good, and the time flew by. It's not too long now till the Auckland Art and Craft Fair (keep an eye on the blog  over the coming weeks, they've just started the Artist interviews and the first one is already up) and I'm working on a few new pieces for that, hopefully I'll have some to share over the next few days.

On Saturday a local church was having their gala day, from past experiences I knew that it's a great place to pick up some bargains. I had some inside knowledge past on to me earlier in the week that they had lots of good donations this time, which made me sure that I had to fit a visit in. Well, I wasn't quite prepared for all the goodness I was going to find! I found some really amazing vintage card games, miss E loves the "Panda's party" a jigsaw card game and my favorite is the "Happy Families" - games $0.20c each!!!!!!! I found a Moorcroft trinket box with a magnolia flower on it, bargain $1!!!! Big bag of vintage books for upcycling, some cute wooden egg cups, a stool to recover and the list goes on! It would have been much more if I didn't have the kids with me, and we hadn't walked down without the pram! Once I got home I felt that I had unearthed some real treasures and couldn't quite believe my luck. It certainly makes up for slow sales at the market!

Friday, November 11, 2011


I've been busy with a new medium lately. It's a fabric stiffener that is waterproof and non toxic. I'd seen it at my local fabric store many times but the samples that they had were just not my thing and I hadn't thought more about how I could apply it to things I wanted to make. Then I thought - what about making my crochet hard? Since then I've been, well hooked! I've made a bunch of granny square pendants and some snowflakes for the markets I've got coming up and some other super secret projects too.

For anyone interested - today is free shipping day for Spoonflower in the Asia/Pacific region. So if you have ever thought about having a go and printing some fabric - now is your chance to have a go without the added expense of shipping. I got some of miss E's art worked printed to turn into Christmas presents, I was very pleased with the quality of it and how easy the site was to use. You can read that post here.

I got my binding sorted (thanks for all the kind comments). I wasn't entirely happy with the outcome, but they aren't such a total mess now. So I'm happy to move on now.

I've got my first market tonight, wish me luck, I'm a wee bit nervous!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


So today I was going to show you some pics of some spiral bound notebooks that I've been making as Christmas gifts. I made them from some floral art vintage books, card I had and blank white paper. They looked great with the binding clips on before I took them to the binding shop. Mr A and I took a walk into town today to pick them up and then stopped in at the park. I was distracted with the school pickup/homework/dinner making/ bath-bedtime routine and just now had a chance to sit down and look at the finished result. Grrrr, they are totally stuffed! and that I feel is quite a polite expression for what that binding shop has done. Holes are not complete and lots of the pages are swinging free. Extra holes that binding stops and just doesn't go through and I'm feeling really sad about it all. Not only because all these vintage pages have been ruined, but because now I have to go back to the shop and have a bit of a rant. If I was my single no kids self, I'd just forget about it, move on, make some more and find a new binding shop. But I'm not so I feel I need to get my money back or some how get them to fix it. Grrrrrrrrr!

The pic has nothing to do with this post, but shows some cute little cups that I picked up at my local Salvation Army store. The kids love them and have little races and present them as prizes. My poppies are in flower (the few plants that survived the snail attacks!) and we've been enjoying picking them to pop in vases around the house.

Back to the binding shop I go - wish me luck - I need it!

Monday, November 7, 2011


I've been so busy working on things for the markets that I've got coming up (and dare I say it Christmas) that I've been forgetting to pop in here and show you what I've been working on. I love all things Scandinavian, and I was inspired to make these crochet pendants. I must say they look much better in real life and yes my embroidery still looks very "rustic" in real life too! I'm planning to make some bigger ones to hang on our Christmas tree this year, hopefully my embroidery looks ok on a bigger scale!

Hope you had a good weekend ! I've got a few more new projects to share this week so see you tomorrow.