Friday, August 31, 2012


Spring! It's nearly here! It feels like it's arrived today, the sun is shining and all I can think about is hanging out a full line of washing and it getting all nice in dry in the spring breeze, I'm a mum after all.

Happy weekend blog friends, I'm off to enjoy this long awaited sun!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

learning curve

What kind of "learner" are you? I'm the "don't ask anyone how, I might look like I don't know what I'm doing" kind. The kind that only sticks at things she picks up easily (that's why I don't knit) and the kind that figures things out for herself, with mixed results along the way.

Sometimes being that "kind" is a good thing. Being left handed I was unable to be taught to crochet by any family members (even though my Nana is left handed - she crochets with her right hand!!) I taught myself from books from the library using a mirror to reverse the diagrams (now there are fabulous books that have great left handed diagrams). It means not worrying about the rules of what you can or can't do in a craft, but getting stuck in and learning as you go. Often I think coming up with new ways and new techniques.

Sometimes that "I know what I'm doing, I don't need any help" thing isn't so great though. I spun some merino and bamboo and plied them together. That's the result in the top photo, the white looking yarn on the right. I was really happy with it, but thought maybe if I dyed it, it would look even better! Arrgh I was wrong! I didn't take into consideration how the two different fibres would actually need two different dye types(one for the protein fibres - wool and another for the cellulose - the bamboo). Disaster, I ended up with that "terrible, I can't look at it cause it hurts my eyes" yarn in the second photo. All that hard work wasted I thought as I crocheted it up, totally disgruntled and totally kicking myself that I didn't leave well enough alone. Then I thought, "why not dye it again?" What did I have to lose? So using a dye suitable for the bamboo that had remained undyed in the the first dying session, I tried again.

I chose a teal blue in the hope that it might blend into the green. Success! I have to say without a doubt that it's much easier on the eyes now. Although it's not the little green cardi that I had imagined it to be, I've learnt a valuable lesson! The pattern by the way is by my friend Lisa of Holland Designs. You can find her Etsy store (and her classic baby cardi pattern) here, filled with lots and lots of amazing crochet patterns.

an introduction

A very nice thing happened to me earlier this year and it's just occurred to me that I didn't share the good news here.

I was gifted, yes gifted! this Ashford traveller spinning wheel from the lovely Jessicah of Spinning a yarn. It was a truly generous gift . I've been having lots of fun learning to spin (with mixed success!) and it's so nice to have lovely yarn to crochet with. The kids have been very interested too, I almost always have a companion when I'm spinning. It's been a nice relaxing way to spend the winter evenings. Thanks again Jess!

Things have been quiet here for some time, I've found it hard to get back into blogging. Although quiet here, I've been busy. I've got a tutorial to share next week and some more things planned too - stay tuned!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


On the weekend we took a trip to the Howick Historic Village, it's somewhere I'd always wanted to visit. A few weeks ago I spotted half price tickets on a "1 day" type site and snapped them up. I really wanted to visit on an "open day" that they have once a month. It's where lots of volunteers dress up in period costume and go about typical activities around the village.

We all had an amazing time, it was much bigger than I expected and it took us quite awhile to get around all the houses, cottages and little huts. Most of the cottages are restored but there are a few showing the many layers of wallpaper that the owners over the years had chosen, surprisingly to me some of the wallpapers were very brightly coloured. I'm sure that one of the highlights (for the kids anyway) was the village sweet shop where we bought some old fashioned lollies, then they had a sausage cooked over coals at the village pub!

See those cool purple pants that miss E is wearing up there? They have hardly been off her body since they arrived! They are made by Rhiannon of Toast clothing and I can't say enough about how cool they are! You can find some similar in her Felt shop Croutons. Do go and have a look, she also makes awesome brooches and bags too!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Thanks for all the comments. The winner of the fat quarters is Julie! Julie can you email me your address please so I can get the fabric off to you!

I had an amazing time yesterday at Fabric-a-brac. It was really busy and I've come home with a lot less fabric than I went with, which was great. A stallholder next to me offered me one of her empty roller storage bins too (a big one!) I'm pretty sure you can never have too many of them to store crafting stuff in! Score. I was too busy to have a look around which meant that I only made one purchase from my neighbour, some green silk.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

destash + giveaway

Over the past few days I've been sorting, ironing and pricing (the hard part) a big part of my fabric stash for Fabric-a-brac this weekend - details here if you want to come along! I gave up on measuring each piece, so hopefully my bargain prices will make up for lack of dimensions. I'm almost at the bottom of the ironing pile thank goodness.

A wee oversight on my part has seen me miss my 3 years blog anniversary by a couple of months! So to make up for it I've got a wee giveaway. I've got seven fat quarters (the ones in the bottom photo) cut from my vintage sheeting collection to give to one lucky blog reader. Just leave a comment on this post - Sorry New Zealand blog readers only this time :) I'll draw random winner on Sunday.

Just a small note of thanks for all the lovely comments and support over the past three years it's been so nice getting to know so many of you over that time.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

mr tui

It's about this time of year that we start to see lots of Tui birds around our neighbourhood. We are lucky to have some large Kohwai trees that attract lots of them and some other bloss trees too. The top picture is of a tree on our walk to preschool. When miss E was three and we started walking to preschool, we'd stop below this tree each day and talk to "mr Tui", even once all the blossoms had gone and he wasn't there anymore (I didn't tell her that though), She'd say she'd had a good day to "mr Tui" on the walk home. All this time mr A was only little and didn't really notice all these conversations we were having, but that has changed. Now he's 3 too and the blossoms have appeared, and "mr Tui" has returned, as too have the conversations. We stop and listen to his beautiful bird call you can hear it here (make sure you click though to hear more calls, the other one is much better than the first) and say our "hello's".

Last week I was lucky enough to find a really big bag of embroidery iron on transfers from 1982, amongst all the flower transfers were lots of NZ birds and NZ flora ones! Tuis, Fantails, Kohwai and Pohutukawa too. There are some double ups so I think I'll take some along to sell with my fabric at Fabric-a-brac on the 18th.  I was also lucky to find this Tui cross stitch, beautifully stitched in 1993, when I bought it home miss E declared how lucky we were to have our own mr Tui to look at each day. I think we are lucky to have these birds in our neighbourhood to stop and listen to and of course have a conversation with too!

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Over the last week or so, we've had an inorganic collection here, do you have them where you live? It's a once a year "rubbish" collection where you put out all those things that can't fit in your weekly rubbish collection. Furniture, clothing, bric-a-brac etc. It's quite a sight! All those big piles of rubbish filling up front yards. It really amazes me what people think is rubbish, stuff that I feel should be donated to charity shops rather then end up in the dump.

This year like most others, we've found a few treasures amongst those big piles. We didn't do too much looking around, but just keeping an eye out on our normal walking to school/preschool routes. Mr A spotted  a stool and proudly carried it home, I spotted this piece of printed vintage linen. It was nice and clean and just a bit damp from all the rain, nothing a spin in the washing machine couldn't fix.

I like to think that all the "treasures" find new homes before the rubbish trucks turn up to take them to the dump. Have you had any luck finding roadside treasures?

Speaking of treasures, have you seen this lovely giveaway? 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

bit of sunshine

After what seems like days of rain, the sky cleared and the sun came out this afternoon, and it was a nice mood booster. Amongst all the sunshine I noticed a bit of a yellow theme today. Vintage braid from the thrift store, some wooden owls "Russian Doll style" and lastly I spotted these yellow polyanthus
that mr A chose last year from the plant store. They must have survived the winter and despite been battered by the rain, are brightening up this woefully sad looking winter garden of mine.