Wednesday, January 30, 2013


 Remember these? Well we decided to try another (tried and tested this time!) dying technique over the holidays. Miss E loved tying rubber bands all over her shirt, I helped mr A and we concertina folded his one securing with rubber bands. I mixed up the dyes, I used ones from this lovely local online shop!(A little goes a long way) The kids did all the stirring and the great thing about this sort of dying is - there is no right or wrong way. A perfect activity for kids to get involved in. They were really pleased with the results and have been wearing them proudly!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

right now

Right now: I'm enjoying very little from our garden (I can't keep up with the watering and I didn't put much in this year)
: Spending nearly every afternoon in the school pool (we are lucky to buy a key for the summer)
: Spending nearly every morning at the local skate park, nice and early before it heats up too much (pleasantly surprised by how the older, much older kids make space and watch out for all the little ones)
: Finishing off lots of projects - when I'm not completely zapped of energy in this heat!
: Getting ready to ease back into routine with miss E starting back at school tomorrow.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Way back in August I started making over this little set of cane chairs. They belonged to me many years ago and recently I discovered them in the garage (well way back in August I discovered them!). I gave them a new coat of paint and that's as far as I got. Miss E has been asking if I'd finished them off lots, and with more frequency too. So today with a few precious child-free hours I did. I used some  granny square fabric that I had printed by Spoonflower last year for the cushions. It didn't take too long, as soon as she was back home she took to playing with them. Seems all the Sylvanian families are suffering in this summer heat too - they are all naked! Another unfinished project completed! Just to get one thing completed is a major accomplishment at the moment. This heat is just so energy zapping!

Saturday, January 12, 2013


I've wanted to make a doll for a long time, but not wanting to step on any toes in the doll making/blogging world has meant it's taken me a long time to get around to it. Then I saw a pattern in an issue of Mollie Makes and I thought if I was using a pattern no one could get offended right?

It also means that I get around to using up some thrifty finds. The broken necklace, used here for her tiara, has been kicking around in my sewing bits and bobs for quite a while. I bought it with the idea of using it as a tiara on a doll and it fitted around her head perfectly. The embroidered facial features are also thrifted, a little kit that you iron on. The hair is cut from a large piece of thrifted handmade felt, it's lovely and thick and with lots left over I can sew some slippers for winter. Her body is cut from some embroidered linen scraps from my notebooks. She's stuffed with wool and she's got sparkly shoes with sequin edging! I crocheted her dress from cotton from my stash and used up some beads too. I had wanted to finish her off for miss E for Christmas, but it didn't happen. But as it turned out it was a good thing as she helped design the dress. So I'm pleased that there are a few more stashed items used up!

As for other doll making bloggers check these two out! There are lots more too. Have you got a favourite doll maker? I'd love to hear about more.

Dee - Find her beautiful blog here
Jennie - Makes amazing dolls using vintage fabrics 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

five bucks

I've got quite a few clothes make overs I've got to complete this year (otherwise they are getting donated back to the thrift store!) and this was one that I started before all my "market crafting" I did before Christmas. It's one of a handful of tops that I bought for $5 each, all needing a couple of smallish changes.

The top was a cross between a top and a short dress. It fitted quite well, but the sleeves were too short and too tight,  but with plenty of length to play with  for some new sleeves. I unpicked the sleeves and cut bigger, longer ones. I cut the arm holes larger and set in the sleeves. It had a pocket in the side seam that was in a funny place once the length was shorter, so I took that out and hemmed the bottom. I wasn't so taken with the original colours, and with a wash the purple had bled into the cream parts, urgh. So I over dyed it blue, the original colours weren't really me to begin with. I'm pretty pleased with the transformation! Nice long loose sleeves to hide those fly away arms and of course keep the sun off them too. I've got a few more transformations to go before I reach the bottom of my basket, I hope I don't loose momentum!

Saturday, January 5, 2013


This year is going to be the year of finishing off projects. I have a really bad problem of having crafting eyes bigger than my crafting time. It leads me to bringing all sorts of "projects" home where they languish in the garage or in a cupboard or somewhere out of sight. Waiting, waiting - WAITING for me to get around to putting my "vision" for them into action.

This stool is a good example (with bad photos - sorry) I found this sturdy wooden stool on the roadside in the inorganic rubbish collection, a good three years ago. I loved it's curved seat and other than it's paint job was in excellent condition. I thought I could cover it, rather than with paint, with maps. I had seen an amazing desk covered in maps and loved the idea. Luckily for me my sister rescued some maps from being thrown away at a university, big ones, all New Zealand towns. So I had the maps, the stool, the mod podge - what was I waiting for?? Well I don't know, probably time, seen as I had everything I needed to finish it.

So I've got quite a few projects I'd love to complete this year and if I don't I'm prepared to let them go to the roadside in the the inorganic for someone else to have a "vision" with them.

As for other resolutions I don't have many, lose weight (including the weight I was going to lose at this time last year! - hmm seems like a double resolution there!), do more crafts with the kids, come up with some new dinner recipes.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Did you pick any bargains up in the post holiday sales? Well those holiday sales are not really something I rush to, to be honest I can't imagine anything worse! Looking for car parks, queueing up with kids and the general squeeze of people, argh. It's not me. We have however ventured out on some short trips and the only thing I've picked up was some rolls of wrapping paper from the Warehouse, I thought they were half price, but once at the check out I found they were only $0.47c each! Definitely a bargain. I also chose some that could be used for birthdays too - they don't really have that "Christmas" look. I also have a soft spot for presents wrapped in brown paper with folksy printing.

The only other "sales" I've been to is visiting thrift stores in different towns as we've been visiting people. Only problem is, most of them have been closed over the holiday season. I did have some luck today though. A double sized woollen blanket in a lovely aqua for $2, some better than most crochet doilys. The doilys are really finely crocheted in deigns that you don't see often. I also picked up some lovely linens (not all pictured) this all set me back well less than $10. Much better than popping to any mall sales!