Friday, December 24, 2010

... and to all a good night!

Well it's almost 11:30pm and I'm finally heading to bed after a busy day. A few last minute preparations turned into a few more and well you know how it goes. One thing I really wanted to fit in today was baking some shortbread. You see I found these great biscuit moulds at a thrift store around mid October, at first I didn't know what I was looking at as they were lined up on the shelf with the handles pointing up. I went over thinking they looked interesting and I could hardly contain my excitement when I saw what they were! and that excitement grew when I saw they were $0.20c each!!!! I grabbed them as quickly as I could. I took them home, cleaned them and almost forgot about them, remembering I had them a few days ago I decided I must use them for this Christmas. I'm so pleased with the results, the top photo is of the shortbread before it was cooked and the bottom straight out of the oven and I imagine that I'll be using them every Christmas from now on till I can't bake shortbread anymore. The four designs are, a Christmas tree, a candy cane with ribbon, a rocking horse and a wild card of a Dinosaur!

I want to thank you for stopping by here this year and for all the lovely comments! I wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

that's a wrap

I've been busy this season sewing bags to use instead of paper wrapping paper. I've made a few different types some like this ( that I've given away already and didn't take any photos!) and some like the one above, just a simple unlined bag with some ribbon sewn into the seam. This fabric is a linen with a kind of metallic thread running through it, not too glitzy but enough to get a Christmas feel. Soule Mama wrote a little bit about the fabric bags she makes here with instructions if you want to make some. I really hope that the people I give them too will tuck them away and use them again next Christmas.

When miss E and I were at Spotlight recently she spotted a free pattern for some Christmas puddings, I've made up three to put under the tree for her, she loves to play kitchen's with pretend food whipping up all sorts of meals, I think these will be a hit! Especially as she picked the pattern out!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

humid & wet

My little rain dance a few weeks ago must have worked as we have had quite a bit of rain over the last week or so. I haven't minded too much, until we had about 3 days straight rain and the humidity hitting very high percentages. We were house bound for most of the weekend and the top photo shows what the kids and I were up to. The lounge was taken over by huts, the dinning table was taken into the lounge along with chairs and any other hut building material they could lay their hands on. Good clean mess that was only packed away when we needed to eat dinner.

I've been making fruit leathers in my dehydrator over the last few weeks. They are disappearing as soon as they are made really, a great way to use up some bird pecked berries and some apples a bit past their best. Only problem is the because of the humidity it is taking a VERY long time to dry them out. I'm hoping for some dryer days ahead for more fruit leather making.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


These are the little trees I crocheted for the Christmas ornament swap. I crocheted them from some light green cotton/bamboo blend yarn and I dipped into my vintage button stash to decorate them and stuffed them with natural carded wool. The bottom photo shows the ornaments that arrived in my letterbox. The doily/wool star is from Dione, the apron is from Norma ( it hasn't made it to the tree, miss E's doll is wearing it), the little felt tree is from Krissie, the strawberries are from Hannah and the little photo frame ornament is from Katie. If you are interested in seeing more ornaments from the swap there is a flickr group.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Today was miss E's preschool concert. The girls dress as angels and the boys as Shepherds. It was lovely and a bit sad as this will be her last Christmas at preschool. The children get ready at the preschool and the parents assemble in a church hall that is next to the preschool before the concert starts. While I was waiting a mum came up to me with a small bouquet of flowers, she said that miss E had asked her to bring them up "for my mum" - ain't she sweet?

Monday, December 13, 2010

breathe out

cards from Hydrangea Ranger
finger puppets (for some Christmas stockings) from Nuzilla

notebooks from tiny happy
necklace from ferrit
my stall!

It was a great day on Saturday at the Auckland Art and Craft fair, and now I feel like I can breathe out again. It was a frantic few weeks leading up to the fair, lots of late nights intertwined with other commitments and finding my way back to coffee drinking after a long hiatus. I had a good time and it was great to finally meet Melissa from tiny happy . I made a few purchases too, to cross off a few names on my Christmas list.
Now all the crafting for the fair is over I have to get going on some projects for the children, like one of these for mr A, and a farm version of this for miss E. Somehow I think they both might end up as birthday presents though, I might be over the late nights.

Friday, December 10, 2010

to market, to market.....

Wish me luck I'm off to the Auckland Art and Craft fair tomorrow, it's on from 11am - 4pm at the Aotea Centre. It's my first craft fair and I'm really nervous. Hopefully I've made enough stock and got the pricing right (the hardest thing!) and I don't leave anything at home. If you are going please stop by and say hello, it would be nice to meet you.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

from the kitchen

Apart from cramming in some last minute crafting for the weekend I've been busy in the kitchen. Jam from our strawberries, the freezer was getting too full of berries, not a bad thing except when you have a tiny freezer like ours. So now I have a pantry full of little jars of jam that is disappearing quite quickly I seem to find lots of people to give it to. The production line of tiny Christmas cakes is chugging along too.

I took in three zip purses filled with body products to my local library for the Salvation Army Christmas appeal. I am planning on doing the same next year, hopefully I'll be able to give a few more next time. We also dropped off some toys, some new and some near new that my children haven't really played with at all.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

and the winner is........

Congratulations Jacqui! I'll be in touch shortly. My little helper was very excited to draw the winner from her hat.

Friday, December 3, 2010

tis the season

I have a little Christmas giveaway to send to one lucky reader. I small sack of magic reindeer food that I talked about here, a little wooden star made out of Rimu timber, some of my favourite chocolate and perhaps a little surprise too.

All you need to do is leave a comment in this post and I'll draw a winner on Monday. Maybe you could tell me about a special Christmas tradition you have, but don't feel you have to!

Happy weekend.

I've decided to keep this giveaway open for a few more days. I'll draw a winner on Wednesday - I'm loving hearing all these traditions! What great traditions to have.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

all weather

We are full swing into Christmas decorating here, and I'm really starting to feel the Christmas spirit. I crocheted these little "all weather" stars to decorate the trees in our garden. I call them all weather because they are crocheted from plastic shopping bags. First to be decorated is our little fig tree, hopefully as I make more we can decorate more of our little trees.

Pop by tomorrow, I'm going to do a wee Christmas giveaway.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

hot, dry, tired

The summer has arrived, well I think it arrived a few weeks ago really. It's hot, the garden is dry and I'm tired. The garden is exploding with growth and it's nice to be able to go out and pick some lettuce and miss E has been sneaking any peas that she can find! I can't seem to keep up with the watering of the garden, it's so dry and everything is thirsty and I seem to have too much to do rather than spend the time in the garden. But I know I can't not water it or everything it will die! I don't really want to wish for rain, because I do so love how this warm weather keeps the kid entertained in the garden, it would be great for the garden. It would also be great for people in the north too, they are already on water restrictions and there is talk of a drought. So please can we have a "little" bit of rain. Might be time for a rain dance.

white on red

I made a few of these felt tags over the weekend, similar to these. I made them square and used a thrifted doily. I was thinking how you could put a photo in the gap instead of a message, either a photo of who the gift is from, or the recipient! Very quick and easy and also helping me cut down the pile of thirfted goodness I have.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Each year I like to donate some things to the Salvation Army Christmas appeal. They have a large box in our local library where people can donate food, toys and other things for people in need of some Christmas cheer. Each year they get lots of things for small children, but often the older children aren't in the minds of those who are donating. Bearing this in mind, this year I hope to donate some gifts to cater to this "tween" age group. I'm sewing up some little lined zip purses and putting some cosmetics and maybe a few chocolates inside. If you are like me and accumulate a number of beauty products through the year, from gifts with purchase, free samples and other gifts, maybe you would consider doing the same? If you find you do have some products that you don't need I'd love to include them in my purses, you can email me if you are interested in helping out. No good deed should go unrewarded so anyone who sends me something to include, I will return the favour and send them a little something.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Miss E and her dad planted some sunflower seeds a little over a week ago, they have popped up but are still a long way off flowering. Quite disappointing to an impatient four year old. So, while we wait for some beautiful yellow flowers to appear in the garden, we can look at this crochet sunflower instead. I made it from a thrifted yellow singlet cut up into strips. I really like to crochet with fabric, anything works up in no time at all!

Have a safe and happy weekend!

My hearts go out to all the families who lost dear loved ones in the Pike River mining tragedy, and to all New Zealanders what a very sad time, for them and our country.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

tag it

I want to give some home made (home grown) strawberry jam this year for Christmas. I don't want to gift wrap the whole jar so I came up with these little tags. I crocheted granny square machine stitched to two circles of white felt. One side has a hole cut out and paper inserted to write a little message on. Why didn't I stitch all the way around? Well if you take the ribbon off the top you can pop a new piece of paper in for next year! Hopefully the recipients will reuse them.
If you wanted to make something similar but can't crochet, check out thrift stores for crochet doilies, they would look great stitched on to red felt or even a forest green. I might get out my doilies and make some more. I think they would look great on a Christmas tree, maybe with a photo instead of a written message.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

tick, tick

Pack up and post all the ornaments for the Christmas ornament swap - tick (that isn't what I made for the swap, but another ornament, I'll post what I made once everyone gets their parcels)

Too tired to do any proper baking so I tried this recipe instead - Tins filled - Tick (by the way it's super yum and the tin won't be full for long)

Monday, November 22, 2010

tick #1

Drop off a box of crafted goodies to my local Art Gallery for their Small Packages exhibition - tick

for notes

I've been doing a lot of crafting lately in preparation for the Auckland Art and Craft Fair in December ( it's sneaking up way too fast). I was working on these notebooks last week. I've been delving into my collection of embroidered linens to make these covers, they fit a standard 3B1 notebook so the notebook cover can be reused on a new one once the old one has been filled. I must find the time to make one for myself as I love how the cover creates a little pocket for little notes or receipts, something that is always floating around in my bag. I was pleased to come up with an idea for using the linen as my collection is getting rather large, it seems I can't pass up them when I see them in the thrift store,when reasonably priced that is.

Friday, November 19, 2010


The strawberries are coming thick and fast here in our garden. They won't win any prizes for size but they are tasty. It's been a race between us and the birds with the birds winning I think. I've started picking them before they are fully ripe and letting them ripen up on the windowsill. The kids haven't been too interested in them at this stage so I have been squirreling them away in the freezer to make jam before Christmas, so far I have one full ice cream container and I'm making a start on a second one. Any large ones that the birds have pecked have the pecked part cut off and the rest added to the freezer. It's certainly a part time job going out each day, and picking the ripe ones and removing the pecked ones so they don't rot on the plants.
What I am really excited about however is my boysenberry plant, after 3 years of producing very few berries is absolutely laden! Probably me moving it to a better sunnier position has a lot to do with that. The berries are only tiny and green at the moment, but it won't be long till they are large and juicy. The bonus part is that I moved it close to the kitchen window and for many weeks now we have enjoyed watching all the bees come and go pollinating the flowers, those bees are certainly very busy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

for miss E

There has been alot of waiting around here, waiting, waiting for her turn to have a stone. She's seen them gifted to friends, packaged up to be sent away and always asking " Is that one for me?"
I was given a huge box of crochet cotton recently (yay!) and in amongst all the plain colours was this rainbow variegated ball. Not really my thing, but perfect for a little girl who has been patiently waiting. I worked on it while she was asleep as to keep it a surprise. She was very pleased and took it to preschool for show and tell. Look at the sneakers will you, apparently that is the only way to wear them, with the tongues hanging out!