Wednesday, December 18, 2013


The winner of the Hazed subscription is Kerrie! Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment.

We have been busy saying farewell to some very dear and familiar places over the last couple of weeks. Like our local playgroup that we've been attending almost every Wednesday for seven and a half years. It can't quite be possible that we've been going for so many years, it seems like it's all happened in a few short months rather than seven long years.

We are still caught up with end of year happenings for the next few days, including an early birthday celebration for a little one. But I'll be back next week for a Handmade Christmas wrap up!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hazed - Giveaway time!

Have you heard of Hazed magazine? No? Maybe you've heard of Hazel loves design? Well let me fill you in if you haven't been lucky enough to stumble across either.  Hazed magazine is dedicated to showcasing New Zealand Indie design (yes!) and has been an online only read for the past year. But now you can actually hold in your hands the latest issue of Hazed, yes it's now in print!

I loved flicking through the pages recognising a few familiar faces, Justine from Redflax and Sophie from The Sisterhood. My favourite read was about the man behind Fat Spatula. I've long admired his oh so clever products! Especially the Man Shawl, but I see he's just released a range of notebooks, with the one titled "things that are totes amazeballs" one my favourite.

The Hazel Loves Design website also has an online emporium, filled with lovely handmade gifts! As you know I'm big on promoting handmade especially locally handmade items, that's why I answered the call when Hazel was looking for blogging partners. You can read my interview here. (if I knew the photo of me was going to be so BIG, I would have sent a different one!)

So how can you get your hands on the latest issue of Hazed? You can buy it here!

Hazel has been so super generous to donate a subscription for one year to Hazed magazine to one lucky NZ Green Buttons blog reader! Open to NZ readers only.

Just leave a comment on this post to be in to win. I'll draw a winner on Wednesday the 18th of December.

Maybe you could tell my something handmade you've made or bought lately or been lucky enough to receive? You know how I love handmade!

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Lego Club Christmas gift! 
I really try to think "outside the square" for presents for little ones. I've given Lego club memberships for a few little people that we know for special birthdays over the last year or so. The Lego club is a one off payment and the child then gets an interactive magazine, stickers and sometimes a small Lego set several times a year till they are 11 or so (when the membership needs to be renewed annually). All for just under $20. The mum's have all said what a great idea it was and how their children have been enjoying getting something special in the mail every few months. At the time of the gift giving I wrote up a little card saying I'd signed them up and added a wee Lego minifigure. In each case I did speak with the mum before hand to make sure they weren't already signed up!

Have you seen this list? It's sixty gift alternatives to toys for children. I love it! I especially love the section on experiences. Often people with children struggle to fit admission charges into their budgets, a trip to the zoo can be really costly for a family these days. That's where Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles could chip in to buy a pass to the zoo, movie money or paying for swim lessons etc. Putting money towards experiences and creating lifelong memories must be better than toys that might not last until the next Christmas. I remember getting a Whitcoulls voucher (a local book store) when I was young, I loved being able to go in and choose a book that I really wanted for the first time ever.

Is there something you've gifted or been gifted that was "outside the square"? I'd love some more ideas!

Friday, December 13, 2013


Kids have fantastic memories, I don't know if it's because they haven't filled up their memories with experiences yet or just because as adults we stop remembering all the little stuff. What ever the reason my kids remind me of all sorts of things I hoped they had forgotten.

When children have fifth birthdays at preschool they usually give out small gifts to the other children, stickers, a sweet, balloons and pencils are popular. When my daughter left I made a bunch of little notebooks, stitched on my sewing machine and a pencil.

I had quite forgotten about this, but seems the kids had not.  I was recently reminded and told that I had to do the same for my son who is about to start his last week of preschool. A bit of a production line was started up again. The covers cut out on one particularly long car trip. The stitching done in stolen moments and before I knew it they were all done!

I've teamed them with some small pencils that I found on Trademe, I ended up buying a "gross" which is 144 pencils! SO there will probably be more of these popping up in the future. I really hope they like them, I think I might like one to keep in my bag!

Thursday, December 12, 2013


A close up might make you think I've been busy crocheting Christmas ornaments. I have in fact been crocheting a Kokeshi doll from a pattern that the talented Cait from CHD designed. You can find the pattern in her Etsy shop - Along with some other seriously cute crochet patterns!

I have a rather large (and ever expanding) collection of Kokeshi dolls, I'm always stuck by the differences in their styles and the decorations on their Kimonos. Cait's pattern gives you that flexibility too, you have a couple of options for decorating the top of the head and also free reign to decorate the body as you wish. 

I ran out of the black bamboo yarn I was using for the hair, so my doll has a "cropped" hairstyle! I also stuffed her body with coloured wool roving, I hate seeing white stuffing poking out from behind the stitches.

I think this one will be right at home on the shelf with the other wooden Kokeshi!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I often add to our Christmas decorations at this time of year, avoiding all the chain stores I head the the local op shops or thrift stores. Last year I was so lucky to pick up a number of vintage glass baubles. This year I spotted these wee candle holders, made in Germany. They have a ceramic top and a red wooden base.

I love their Scandinavian style, but once home I realised that we didn't have any candles to fit. After a rummage in the cupboard I found some cake candles, not a perfect fit, but good enough to get the effect.

I think candle light can really set a scene, don't you agree?

Do you add to your decoration collection each year?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

it's a wrap!

photo credit: Meg from Growing up.

The lovely Meg from the blog Growing up has just shared this wonderful tutorial for making some reusable fabric wrapping. Isn't it a great idea? I always feel a great wave of "ugh" when I see the "sea' of wrapping paper on Christmas morning, all those trees!

I'm making a bunch of these this year for sure! Thanks Meg!

Monday, December 9, 2013

no sun

After a November that topped the temperature charts (the hottest November in Auckland since 1959), we've been met by a bit of a rainy December thus far. It's meant that I haven't taken photos of all the things I've been up to. But it gives me a chance to share some things that I have forgotten to share.

I made this Owl mug hug for teacher that was leaving preschool. It was super soft, I want one too.

I finally gave up on searching for pine needles to mulch my strawberries, instead I bought some straw. I also painted some rocks red to pop around the plants to deter the birds. I haven't lost any berries to birds so maybe they are working? But I do often find a teeny tiny slugs curled up on a strawberry munching away. So how do I deter teeny tiny slugs?

Speaking of berries, I've been busy picking boysenberries and raspberries. The raspberries disappear very quickly, popped into mouths and lunchboxes. The boysenberries are going into the freezer and into crumbles!

So it turns out it's mostly a berry post! Here's hoping I get a bit of sun soon and I can share a few more Christmas projects.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


I do 99% of my grocery shopping online, it helps me stick to a budget and I tend to avoid all those impulse buys that sneakily add lots of dollars to my bill. It does have a downside however, I tend not to learn about new products when they hit the shelves or new companies. So when I was contacted recently to see if I'd like to try some Donovans chocolates I had to do a little online search to find out a bit about the company and the chocolates too before I said yes.

I found that they are a New Zealand, family owned company, handcrafting chocolates since 1991. Great right? Made locally means that they employ local people, big tick from me.

The chocolates look handcrafted too, almost so handcrafted that you could pop them in a jar and pretend you handcrafted them? OK I don't think I could quite pull that off, but they do look lovely for a quick and easy gift.

In the top photo I took the one pound box of Peppermint delight, which Donovans have specially released for Christmas, and turned it inside out and glued it back together. Tied with some red string and a wee Christmas decoration and you have a lovely gift!

Did I mention they are quite delicious too? Try and support local businesses this Christmas, I am!

*thanks to Donovans for supplying the chocolate - all words and opinions are my own, but you knew that already right?

Inko dye - part 1

In a previous life I worked in the photographic industry, in one of the largest professional photographic labs here in New Zealand. So it's no surprise that I have a bit of a fascination with photographic processes, it's a bit like magic really!

I loved the idea of doing some "sun prints" ever since I heard about the Cyanotype process, around twenty years ago when I was at school, it's taken me a while to get around to doing it. I'd been put off by the chemical process a bit. Then I discovered Inko dye by Lumi which gives you the ability to print on fabric and wood with the power of the sun, with out all that fiddling around. 

You coat your fabric with the dye in a darkened room, it doesn't have to be completely dark, just away from direct sunlight. Then lay a "resist" on the top (the options are pretty endless there!) in this case I've used a plastic lace table runner (what use as a resist will get coated with the dye, so don't use a heirloom piece of lace that your granny made!) . Then pop it out in the sun. It changes very quickly right before your eyes! Magic I tell you. I left it out for around 20 minutes to give the dye a chance to fully develop, it was a really bright day.

You can see above some "soft" areas in the printed design, that is where the plastic lace wasn't sitting flat. This was my first print! But I didn't quite wash all the dye out and when I hung it out to dry it developed a bit more and went a lighter blue, but I'm still really pleased with my first attempt.

Inko dye is really concentrated so I also had a go at doing a diluted print too (that's it above). I did a wee bit of hand stitching to outline some parts of the design.

I turned my second attempt into two zip purses, one as a Christmas gift for a friend. I'm popping in a few crochet hooks and some hand spun yarn.

The same print, the top one is the reverse side of the printed fabric

The people at Lumi have just released six new colours of Inko dye! (it previously came in just three colours). I've been collecting up a few different things that I want to print with I've got lots of experimenting ahead. My first attempts were on a natural linen, I'm keen to try out the dye on some bright white cotton. Watch this space!

I'm planning a post too on the mistakes I've made, things not to do things I've learned! Just in case you want to try it out too.