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!

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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.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I finally finished off my crochet yolk top, it was an improvised design and I'm quite pleased with it. The fabric part at the bottom is from a linen skirt that I got from my local Salvation Army store and I used some organic cotton for the crochet yolk. It's the same front and back making it perfect to grab on a busy morning!

After seeing an advertisement in Frankie magazine for "Crochet Modern Vintage" crochet pattern book I really wanted it, I picked it up at my local yarn store. It's got 15 patterns and I'm totally smitten with the brown poncho, I think I'll have to save hard to make it though, the pattern uses 16 balls! I really like the necklaces and I whipped up the owl one when I really should have been crafting for my up (and fast approaching) markets.

Did you see this picture on Stella's blog? It's my little man and I'm super happy with the amazing job she's done. I'm looking forward to getting the original in my hands and finding a nice frame for it. Gosh she's so clever!