Friday, December 28, 2012

chop chop

Miss E and I now have summer hair cuts! We cut our hair to donate it to the Pantene's beautiful lengths campaign.We decided that cutting our hair for a good cause would be something little we could do for someone with cancer. A boy in miss E's class has leukaemia and she has been learning a little about cancer and the treatment people have to go through .Miss E's ponytail was 30cm and mine 23cm !

the cut wasn't much of a deal for miss E, but I don't particularly like my hair short - but it will grow again, right? Looking on the upside, it will dry so much quicker and I'll need less shampoo! - What am I worried about eh? Nothing compared to the person who receive a wig made from our hair.

Monday, December 24, 2012

and to all a good night!

last batch of peppermint bark

lovely handmade ornaments from swaps

toadstool from Lisa of big little - thanks Lisa!

a runaway Shepherd

Merry Christmas! Thanks for stopping by this year and for all the lovely comments. Wishing you and your family all the best for this festive season! May it be a happy and safe one!

( I've added comment moderation due to the HUGE amount of spam that's started, thought it might be easier than word verification)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

bah humbug!

It's been a busy week! All the posts I had planned haven't eventuated and I'm not feeling in Christmas spirit just yet. I've wrapped only a handful of presents, spurred on by the fact a dear friend called in to see us and I hadn't wrapped her presents! EEEK! (one of the presents was even for her birthday earlier in the month!). So I'm in a mad rush now to finish everything off and wrap it all. Not how I like to spend the lead up to Christmas - I'm terribly disorganised this year.

We travelled south this afternoon to the Waiuku Christmas display. It's been a few years since we have been and the kids just loved it! It was nice that they are at that age where after being told once "not to touch" - we didn't have to tell them again! I was looking at all the other parents with younger children as they chased them around, trying to keep them (mostly in vain) from touching everything - and I remembered it wasn't so long ago that was me. The display was truly magical and it was hard not to start to get into the spirit of things. So I'm off now to make my last batch of peppermint bark, wrap the last of the presents and finish off a couple of things - and enjoy it too! Hope all your last minute preparations are well under way!

Friday, December 14, 2012


Last Saturday night we visited the Howick Historical Village, it was their twilight Christmas market night. The atmosphere was lovely and the weather couldn't have been better. A beautifully warm soft sun, slowly sinking making all sorts of lovely shadows in the houses. All the cottages and houses were decorated for Christmas, parcels were stacked ready to be taken to the post office, stockings hung and tables set for special meals. It was a great way to spend an early summer's evening.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

quick ornament tutorial

When I was busy covering jam jar lids last week, trying to make my recycled jam jars look a bit more Christmas-like. I thought that the lids could easily be converted into ornaments. It could be a great way to save some special wrapping paper after Christmas is over, you could make some each year with the wrapping paper that you use, to look back on in years to come. So you will need .......

*Jam jar lids, or any jar lids really. You need two lids the same size for each ornament that you wish to make.
*Glue gun
*Mod podge and a paint brush - no Mod podge? Use a 50/50 mix of PVA and water
* Wrapping or scrapbooking paper
* Braid or ribbon (I used giant ric rac, cause that was all I had!)

Place the jam jar lid on the wrong side of the wrapping paper and draw a circle around it. Leaving around a 2 -3 cm allowance. Cut the circle out.

Paint some mod podge on the top of the lid and stick it onto the wrong side of the paper. Cut some slits all around the edge, you need to cut close into where the lid is glued down.

Paint some mod podge on all the slits, making sure the mod podge goes right to the edge. Fold over all the slits, covering the lid completely with the paper. Set aside and repeat with the other lid.

Once you have two lids completed. Put some hot glue around the edge of one and pop the other on, making a jam jar lid sandwich!

Then glue the ribbon or braid over the "seam", leaving a looped bit at the top.

Try not to put too much hot glue on at this stage - um like I did! It will ooze out the sides of the braid.

Hang it on your tree! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I was recently contacted by someone lovely at Bakers Delight, would I be interested in trying some of their Christmas goodies? Um, YES! Then I had a sudden change of mind, I mean, what if the cake they send is better than the Christmas cakes I make? I'd surely have to give it a bad review?

The cakes were delivered still warm! When I opened up the packaged I immediately loved how they looked. Baked in a cool brown paper with a gorgeous pattern on it. The top looked so inviting with cherries and flaked almonds! I have to be honest the cakes didn't last long in our house, although I do have a sneaky piece set aside to have with a coffee later. We loved the Christmas spicy taste and how moist they were (often I've found store bought cakes quite dry). I thought if I was time poor or not so inclined to do some baking (sounds like me at the moment!) I'd have no hesitation in buying one of these yummy cakes! They come in a couple of sizes, including single serves which would make a lovely wee gift! Look at the pics, don't they just make you want to have a slice? Shame you don't live closer I'd invite you over for a coffee and a share of the sneaky piece I've hidden away.

You can find a Bakers Delight store near you, have a look at this link. Were their cakes better than mine? Well all I can say is, possibly yes!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

weekending part 2 - Tiny happy love!

My super lovely stall neighbour was Melissa from Tiny happy. We had a great time chatting over the day, I asked her probably a million excited questions about her new book! It was really nice to get so much time to catch up with her, we've been blogging friends for many years now and I've met up with her on a couple of other occasions at the Auckland art and craft fair. But those meetings have been brief, we haven't had a good chance to chat (and share a few laughs). I was lucky enough to purchase a few things from her table of lovely things. A long eared bunny to send to a baby in a far off land, a beautiful embroidered pencil case ( I think I'm keeping that one!) some of her beautiful paper cut flower cards and for miss E some little viola hair clips! I can't think of a better neighbouring stall holder to have at a market - Thanks Melissa!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

weekending part 1

It was a really busy day on Saturday at the Auckland art and craft fair! I had an outside table this time so I was so relieved to wake up and find the sun shining (even though it was all under cover- no one would want to come out on a rainy day). The day went by so fast and I didn't get a look around all the other stalls which was probably good on my pocket! Next time though I'm going to enlist a helper so I can get around and have a look at what everyone else was up to.This year I had the best table neighbour ever and I'll write about that tomorrow!

Friday, December 7, 2012

last minute

I had grand plans for this week, crafting-wise. But my plans were dashed with a sick little girl. I've managed to find a few small pockets of time to get some crafting done for this weekend's Auckland Art and Craft fair. I made some postcards from vintage sheeting and linen card stock. A flat card with sheeting on one side and stitching to make sure it stays in place. I used some sheeting that I had in my stash for a while. Perfect for sending a wee message in the post - snail mail needs to make a comeback!

Now I'm off to pack up all my crafty stuff and hopefully an early night! It's a long day tomorrow!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


There is a fair bit of gifting going on here at the moment. A last minute decision that this would be the last week of pippins sent me in a little panic, as I thought I had another week up my sleeve. I have wanted to try some peppermint bark ever since I saw it on the Soule Mama blog here way back in 2009. The recipe that she used was from here. I used Whittaker's chocolate (white and the darkest bitter one that you can get) a large block of each, which meant that the "dark" chocolate layer was double what the recipe stated. All my taste testers agree that it's YUM!

I mod podged some Christmas paper over the lids of some jam jars and finished them off with some red twine. Hopefully the pippin leaders - Fern and Granny Smith agree that peppermint bark is YUM too!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I had a little clean up in my studio space bedroom on the weekend. Over the past few hectic weeks of crafting and busy weekends my room has been becoming more and more messy. It had got to the point that I couldn't get in and out of bed without stepping on something and that was driving me crazy. Most of the mess was little bits of fabric, bits of embroidered linen left over from making notebook covers. Too good to pop in the bin and too small to do much with. While sorting I remembered a bookmark that I had pinned, you can find it here. Once I did a little digging to find out about the original source I found it was actually a hair band! You can find it and other beautiful things by the same maker- Love Maude  here. I think I'm going to put one on my Christmas list! Maybe this one?

Anyway I was inspired by those beautiful headbands to actually make some bookmarks with all those little embroidered linen scraps. I'm hoping to give some to book loving friends this Christmas. I've got a little carried away making them, so quick and easy. I hope I find enough friends to give them to. While cleaning up I also found some little patches that I made last year, fabric with crocheted edges. So I made some of them into book marks too. The are as easy to make as they look, I added a small circle of "milk bottle" plastic on the inside to keep them nice and sturdy.

Monday, December 3, 2012


I took part in a local handmade market on the weekend, at (and spilling out of) our local art gallery. It was a great day and I did much better than I expected, a great way to ease into next weekend at the Auckland Art and Craft Fair! I was under a tree at the front of the gallery, where an artist was inviting market goers to "write a wish" to be added to the tree.

 Akiko Diegel had made all the tags from left over woollen blanket pieces from her installation.  It was so nice to see all the wishes flapping around in the breeze, and the tree was pretty full by the end of the day. Some people seemed to take a long time to think about their wish, while others (mostly the little ones) seemed to know straight away. I didn't really read any of them, it seemed a bit intrusive, however there was one that was right above me that took my eye - " I wish for a playstation". The are going to be removed from the tree and displayed in the window of the gallery - I must pop down and take a pic.

Friday, November 30, 2012


Can you keep a secret? I hope so. I found this cool vintage Sylvanian Families log cabin at my local Salvation Army store. It's just perfect for miss E for Christmas - don't tell her!. Sylvanian families obsessed would be putting it mildly. There has been lots of ticks and circles in the Sylvanian catalogue. A house has been on the list from the start, but boy the price of those things and I'm a bit unsure if they would hold up in my household strength-wise. But when I saw this I knew it was just what I was looking for. Sturdy, wooden, priced right and perfectly vintage. The only problem was it was a little dusty!

I know not everyone would consider buying second hand for Christmas presents something that they would do. I don't see a problem with teaching my children not to expect everything new, learning about recycling (caring for our environment right?) and also looking after/valuing their things so they could be passed on to someone else. Would you buy second hand for presents?