Thursday, April 28, 2016

"I will always write back"

I will always write back by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda first landed in my hands last year. As I started reading I was transfixed by the story that unfolded in it's pages. It's a story of two pen pals, Caitlin an all American teenager and Martin a top of his class student in Zimbabwe. The lives that they lived couldn't be more different, yet they develop a bond over their letters that changes both their lives forever.

I don't want to give too much of the story away, but it's a tale of stark contrasts. The carefree life of Caitlin is in contrast to Martin's life that is a constant struggle. After reading it I thought it would be the perfect book to read aloud to my children (7 &10). I'm always looking for ways to open their eyes to how others live, not to take for granted what they have. They hung on every word, listening to the life that Martin lead they couldn't quite believe how different it was to their own. They were engrossed in the story and the lives of Caitlin and Martin, by the end of the book they felt like friends. I did edit a few passages as Caitlin mentions a few teenage topics that weren't quite the messages I wanted to give to my children, like hopping into a car with a stranger and lying to her mum! I don't think these few passages detract from the overall heartwarming story or the true life outcome of these amazing people - just a warning if you plan on reading aloud to your children.

It's a story that needs to be told and held up as example of if everyone helped someone just a little bit, how amazing the world could be! Little good deeds are often easy to dish out and make a big difference! It's certainly made my family look at little ways that we can help others. It's a fabulous read!

Sunday, April 24, 2016


A year ago we were preparing for Centenary commemorations of the Gallipoli landings. I crocheted what seemed to be a ton of poppies to give to friends who wanted something a bit more than the bought ones. I took a wee project bag of them with me all over the place, stealing a few moments here and there. It's possibly the only way to complete anything these days! Also pretty satisfying to see how those stolen moments add up.

My son was also invited to an Army themed party on Anzac day. I had some "jungle green" pants in my "upcycling" collection of clothes and I scaled them down using a pattern from Melissa Wastney's Book - Sweet and Simple Handmade. I cut the pattern pieces out making good use of existing details, like pockets etc. The pattern is so easy they were whipped up the day before in an hour or so.

Lest we forget.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


I have a problem with bringing things home that I think are a quick and easy fix or restyle and then they sit forlorn waiting for their turn to be transformed. I have been trying hard to either make those fixes/restyles or let them go. This little project actually was quite quick and easy once I put my mind to it, like always leaving me wondering why I hadn't done it sooner!

I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it would well as a mosaic paver. I just so happened to have some white tiles (rescued from a local inorganic collection) and a large concrete paver. Keeping it simple, with a 9 year old helper we just marked off a grid pattern and filled the squares with broken white tile,easy! We spray painted some little stones to use as counters and a steamer was a happy thrifted find for a few cents to keep the stones in without keeping in the rain!

It was a great meeting place in the garden over Summer with a few fierce battles taking place. If mosaic isn't your thing, perhaps this one might be more your style?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

2015, 52 and 2016

I want to put my hand up and say that I struggled my way through 2015, and without going into detail, I'm really pleased it's behind me! Hello 2016, yes I do realise that we are almost a quarter of the way through!

Things I haven't finished often weigh heavy on my mind and it's been bugging me that I stopped blogging my "52 things I've made". I did actually make 52 things last year, actually the number was much greater! But I struggled to get back into this space to blog about it. I'm hoping to share some making highlights over the coming weeks and just get back into blogging in general, for no other reason than to record the little things I've made and the things we've done. After looking way back deep into the archives I've discovered things I'd long forgotten and realised that it's something I really want to continue doing.

My garden is undergoing a wee make over of sorts, I've been busy pulling out box hedging and other "high maintenance" plants, going for a more simple plan with as many edibles as I can squeeze in. We've had the best fig season I can remember and I've squirreled many blackberries away for Winter apple and blackberry pies which are a family favourite!

So join me as I endeavor to return to this space more often, I've missed you!