Sunday, 31 October 2010

Swinging Old Time

Last night I had the most fun I've had in ages with my sewing!!  I found this lovely blog idea from Comfort Stitching a few days ago and showed No.2.  She really needed, yes needed, a wall hanging of her own and loved it as much and I did.   So we went through the pink scraps and patch worked the background.  Every thing is stuck on using that fusible stuff and then stitched into place.

And last night I sat down to start the sewing.  Free motion quilting isn't something I've done before really.  Well I've done some roses but that was super easy.  But actually making a drawing with the sewing machine was something else.  It was recommended that I practice lots first.  Well it's just not me!  No I prefer to just rip into these things and hope it turns out OK.  I have to say it went perfectly.  I was quite shocked how easy it was, and oh soooo much fun. 

It was so different from the usual type of perfect sewing that I'm used to.  No lines ruled here.  Everything was just spur of the moment kinda stuff.  Yep even the frame, which actually turned out fairly squared some how.  And I'd say this fits pretty well into the Pleasant Home Sew Scraps Along Challenge I'm participating in.  Got to love using up scraps!

I think I'll have to make another mini quilt using my own design next time.  Hate doing the binding though.  Too fiddly and annoying.  But I don't like using others designs, it just doesn't feel honest even when I am given permission.  Mind you I didn't use the patterns provided so it's all my drawing I guess. 

Now moving on.  Last week my dearest friend Liz sent me a surprise package.  Don't you love those?  I had no idea what it could be.  You can imagine my excitement when I peeled back layers of tissue to discover five pretty doilies for my bed cover.  Gosh Liz you are such a little love!!  Thank you so very much, they are just perfect.  One of the best parts of this bed cover will be remembering where each doily was found or who it was gifted from.  I really can't wait to begin it.  But first I must find an old white table cloth to attach them to.  I'm thinking this will suit best.  Keeping with the old theme.

These two doilies are my favourites.  Liz assures my that they are hand worked.  But just look at the one on the right.  Imagine having the patience to do something so intricate?  Not for me I'm afraid.  I prefer instant satisfaction.  I do love the little stand out flowers on some of them.  Does the one on the left remind you of a snowflake too?  So sweet and pretty.

Well that's all from me today.  The sun is just coming out for the day so I'm guessing you'll find me in the veggie garden later on.  The weeds are just well, growing like weeds!  Funny that.  The veggies are doing very well too luckily.  Catch you all later!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Playhouse Prettiness

No.2 and I decided that the playhouse needed a little bit of jazzing up for the summer.  So we cut out triangles and made a bunting this afternoon.  She stitched them all together, which was trying at times, but she did a great job in the end.  Jolly bobbins running out are so frustrating are they not?!!  Mind you, stitches falling off the line are just as bad!! 

And in the last light of the day it was ready to hang.  Well temporarily anyway, held up with blutac.

We will have to beg Daddy to put some little hooks up tomorrow.  The flags are made from a tea towel and some canvas.  We know it will need throwing out at the end of summer, but that's OK.  Instant summer colour was what we needed. 

Now we think some brightly coloured Petunias will have to be purchased for the dinky little window boxes.  Don't know why I'm bothering really, as they usually die fairly quickly from lack of watering.  Well I just don't remember to water them all the way up there!  Too stuffed after the day to think about them to tell the truth.

Gosh by tea time I'm about done with the day!  Those of you with little people, do you also find that last hour just about impossible to get through?  That's when you need a lovely Mary Poppins I think.  Still I must admit, now that the playhouse is clean and tidy, they are spending most of their afternoons up there and leaving me in peace.  Although that may sound rather good, at the other end we remember all the undone homework and lunchboxes that have been forgotten about.  And that's when the loveliness all breaks down and panic begins. 

But I do think play is much more important than homework any day.  You're only young for such a short time and this time is to be enjoyed.  Now my time is about to end and the pickups to begin.  Kindy first then school.  Dear Papa has been on his first kindy trip today - hope he's survived!!  Talk later.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Daisy's Arrival

Well Daisy has finally made it across the ocean to be Amanda's bunny.  Lucky for her she had the company of another bunny, Stanley, who just happened to be travelling by package mail at the same time and believe it or not, going to the same address!!  What is the chance of that happening?

Her sisters back home are missing her dreadfully.  Still they are comforted by the knowledge that Daisy is happy in her new home with a lovely new Mummy to look after her.

They had a group hug before she departed. 

And a few tears were shed.

But all is well because Daisy is happy and that's the main thing.  And maybe there just might be some more little bunnies around some day to play with.  There is still a little bit of fabric left.   And that's all it takes to make a little bunny.  Well that and a bit of time and stuffing too.

Well as it's such a cracker of a day here, I must get some more washing on the go.  I do love to hang clothes on the line in the sun.  Might tackle the dolls clothes as well.  Time for a Spring clean in the playhouse I think.  Hope you have some sun where you are too. 

Friday, 22 October 2010


We are just the worst at hanging things on walls.  That would be hubby and I.  So bad that we don't actually have a single photo on display.  Truly.  We have always been this way.  When we do get around to putting something on the wall we end up moving.  Oh gosh I hope this isn't a bad omen!  Especially so, as this Christmas I'm hoping to get the nicest bedroom in the world. 

But to prove that I am capable of doing this task on my own, here are the photos to prove it.  Did I tell you that we usually disagree on where the pictures are to go which is why we don't hang them?  That's what you get when he is tall and I am short.  Pictures are supposed to be hung at eye level right?  Who's eyes?

Well today they are at my eye level.

And every one of them is hung straight too.  I measured them myself.

See these wonderful papers I picked out yesterday?  Aren't they divine?  I thought they would make a pretty notice board of sorts for No.4.  Not sure how I'm going to do it yet but I'm thinking of checking out the local op shops for an old frame.  Painted up and teamed with these pretty prints, I'm sure it will look great.  But gosh do I wish these came in fabric!  I adore fabric most, but scrap booking papers come a close second.  There are so many wonderful ones around.  These are put out by October Afternoon in case you are interested, must have a look myself.

Here's another pic of them.  The best thing about them is that they are double sided too.  These are my favourite sides.  Thinking they would be fabulous patchwork fabrics.  LOVE the one second to the right.  So very sweet and pretty.

Now about the toilet paper saga.  I found the first roll lasted precisely 23 hours, shocking really.  The second roll has only just finished and lasted an amazing 32 hours!!  The second roll was squashed so it didn't roll very well.  Cost aside, I feel that I'd rather enjoy my toilet experience than have to deal with a flippy floppy toilet roll.  So I'm just going to grin and bear it when I change over yet another toilet roll.  Well that is until I get my own bathroom back, then it's squashed rolls for the girls!!  Ha ha!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

A Little Jamaica

I'm off out tonight.  Yes it is a rare event actually.  I'm going to my stitch evening with friends and I'll be taking along my pillow swap cover to work on.  How lovely it will be to catch up with everyone, I hope they all bring something to work on as I do like to see what others are making.

So today I whipped up a tray of rum balls to take with me.  Would you like a very quick, simple recipe that only uses one bowl?  Well follow No.4 and me then...

First you will need 100 grams of softened butter or margarine spread in our case.   Yes these can be dairy and gluten free if you like!  Cream the butter in a large bowl.

 Add 2 cups of icing sugar, or confectioners sugar if you speak that language.

3 Tablespoons of cocoa.  Why is there always a little ginger kitten in the photos whenever No.4 is helping?!!  At least he's had a bath this time.

Add 3/4 cups of coconut.  Are we feeling ever so slightly tropical yet?  Can you feel that warmth on your face?

1/2 cup of sultanas, raisins or mixed fruit.

And now we add the little bit of Jamaica!!  No it's too early to have a swig I'm afraid, well OK, if the kids really are driving you up the wall we'll allow it.  If this isn't your flavour add whatever you jolly well like, it doesn't matter at all.

Grab a little ballerina and let her mix away to her heart's content.  An apron might be a good idea.  Whoops too late!

I'm hoping my little one isn't sent home from kindy this afternoon intoxicated!! She insisted on licking the beater! I only let her have one but I'm sure she was sneaking licks from the bowl. Oh gosh, my breath might smell too! Imagine what they will be thinking?

Anyway getting back to the recipe, roll the mixture into balls and throw them into small bowls of coconut, chocolate sprinkles or cocoa to coat them.  Or all three like we did.  The small one was rather keen to take the chocolate sprinkles bowl funnily enough.  Pop them in the fridge to set and serve them in a dinky little dish.  Sorry no photos of this stage yet.  Too little time and not enough patience either.

This recipe is fabulous to make at Christmas time.  Make a couple of batches, pop a pile into a cellophane bag, tie with festive ribbon and voila... you have a sweet little gift for a friend.  Great for a teachers gift too.  Just don't eat too many of them yourself!!!

Monday, 18 October 2010

An English March Hare

Goodness me, my last posting was on the 8th!!  What have I been doing that has kept me away you may wonder?  Well nothing actually.  I've just been doing the after holiday unpacking and settling back into routine thing.  Does anyone else take two weeks to unpack their bags? 

I guess I've been feeling a little unmotivated as well.  But I have started another swap gift.  This time it's the pillow swap and I have begun.  Red, blue and pink are the selected colours from my partner.  Perfect!

Now Amanda from Amanda Makes and I had a little bunny swap.  Well so far she's done the swapping bit and I've done the receiving.  But I can say that her parcel is finally in the mail!  Sorry for the wee delay Amanda. 

Just look at the wonderful parcel that arrived last week.  Aren't I lucky?  Like pretty much any blogger friend she included a few little extras.  Aren't bloggy friends the best?

Just look at my new March Hare.  Isn't she the cutest little rabbit?  Her name is Louby Lou.  I love the beads and ribbon work on her collar.  Such sweet little details.  And see how high she can leap!!  Wow I can see I'm going to need to keep a close eye on her.

I love the lion fabric too.  It's always nice to have a new fabric to use.

And lookie lookie...  CK stickers and all mine!!!  How exciting.  I'll be too scared to use them so I'll treasure them for quite a while I'm sure.  Don't expect to see any on my mail any time soon.

And isn't the card beautiful?  Most of my blogging friends send a postcard like this with their parcels.  I wonder if I can get stylish cards like this in NZ?  I really don't think I've seen any before.  It's such a lovely type of card. 

Thank you so very much for my lovely parcel Amanda!  I really do love my new rabbit.  Shall I give you an itsy bitsy clue about your bunny?  Yeah?  Her name is Daisy.  And that's all I'll be saying.

Now as a little extra, can I please ask you all a very personal question?  Are we rather frivolous with toilet paper or is there another family out there who goes through a whole roll of toilet paper in a day.  Every day.  No matter what.  Even when three little people are at school five of the days.  Seriously and I always seem to be the one who has to replenish it.  Don't you hate that?!  And in case you are wondering, I buy the cheap stuff in a pack of 24.  It seems rather a lot to me. 

Friday, 8 October 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

Christmas!!!  she says, singing like an old bat.  Am I the only one who gets a little bit excited when she realises Christmas is just a couple of months away?  The first week of October is now over so that must make it... about ten weeks away!!!  How exciting is that???  Oh gosh, I hope I haven't freaked anyone out!

Now that the warm weather has arrived in little old NZ, I have been spending the odd hour outside sorting the garden out.  My goodness it's got away on me.  I thought it was about time I watered the Christmas tree and got it into shape for the festive season.

The nursery was paid a visit this morning and these glorious red and white Petunias made their way into our boot.

And how could I go past these red delights?  I do love a pretty dahlia.  There are so many buds on this plant, so hopefully it will flower right into Christmas.  So our front door area is looking like a Christmas bomb has hit it.

And Mr Red Gingham's Pohutukawa is doing very nicely and completely covered in red blooms.  This one is a very early flowerer.  Usually they flower in the summer and put on a lovely show for Christmas. 

Aren't the flowers so dainty with their little golden tips?  They do make a mess a couple of days afted being picked unfortunately.  Little bits of dried redness all over the place.

And I seem to have left this decoration out all year.  How could I put away such a lovely heart? 

My Red Gingham banner garland has made itself at home in our family room.  I think it looks very pretty up there.  Maybe we'll have a spotty and ginghamy Christmas this year?  Although we have had those two themes separately in previous years.

I don't know about the different colour schemes some people do these days.  Could you do pink or blue really?  I'm sure it's not big in the UK with the traditional Christmas such a reality.  But over here in the Summer it's tempting.  Why is the wintry Christmas such a big thing for us in the heat anyway?  We just can't stay away from it.  We love the idea of having a cold Christmas Day.  Heck, the shops spray fake snow on the windows!!  How ridiculous is that?

I often mention doing a different theme but it just doesn't excite the family.  Perhaps we could do red with hot pink?  It would combine both seasons.  I think a little fabric shopping is needed for inspiration.  I need some stuffing for my bunnies anyway.  Plenty of time really, aye?

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

A Wedding in Brisbane

Well we are now back home after our little trip away over the ditch to Aussie.  I can actually say that we enjoyed our time away.  I would even go as far as say that it was an enjoyable holiday.  Usually our little people find the whole holiday thing a little much to cope with, but clearly things are changing.  The plane rides went smoothly, those individual TV screens are fantastic!  The food a little less so.

Brisbane itself was such a fabulous place to visit.  This is South Bank which has a man-made beach complex.  This particular part is a water park brimming with kids the first time we visited.  There are so many different water features.

The flying fish (I liken it to) was just beautiful to watch.  Streams of water suddenly breaking and then streaming again.  We could have watched for hours.

Now I have no idea what is in the next photo as blogger is being a little secretive!  But I can only imagine it is more water.  Ahh yes now I can view it on the preview and I can see it's a photo of the man-made beach.  Isn't it beautiful?  Unfortunately the weather was rubbish the whole time so the girls didn't get to swim in it.  The last two days it even rained.  Not good.

We spent one day doing the public transport thing.  We bought day passes which enabled us to go on as many boats, buses and trains as we fancied.  After travelling up the river for quite a way, we disembarked and came across this amazing playground.  Just look at the trees.  They are the weirdest ones I've ever seen but perfect for kids to climb.

Very near where we stayed, which was just up from the cricket ground The Gabba, we enjoy a wonderful view of the city from a lookout point.  Having the river running through really makes this city something special. 

I was very impressed with the mosaic tiled areas in the airport departure area.  Just look at how many little pieces have been used.

The whole point in going to Brisbane was to attend my little brother's wedding.  And what a lovely wedding it was too.  Our big girls were flower girls and they looked absolutely beautiful.  They thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  Remember this quilt I made?  Well it was a wedding present for my brother and his new wife.  I couldn't tell you that earlier as I know he checks up on me here!

Here is the label my fab little machine whipped up for me.  I stitched it onto a doily.  The quilt is really called Wedding Roses which is quite appropriate really given the backing fabric, the roses quilted on and the fact that the bride carried roses on the big day.

So now that our holiday is over I can concentrate on other things.  These things do tend to take over our lives in the planning stages don't they?  I did a spot of weeding yesterday.  Things got a little out of control back there!  Hubby is back to renovating our bathroom.  Yes we are still in the lounge!!  We really don't mind at all.  Imagine how much fun it will be to finally move back in, sometime in Dec/Jan?  I'm thinking deep red mosaic tiles above our vanity in our duck egg blue bathroom.  Does that sound fab???  Come on, I need some votes here!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

A Little Doily Love

I love to keep my doilies for my future bed cover project in a nice pile.  That way I can peek at them and play with them whenever I want.

These are my newest ones...

Isn't this fine lacy one so pretty?  I love the little flowers around the edge.

This one is equally beautiful.  The edging is so pretty and the embroidery exquisite.  It's bigger than most of my mats and must have looked wonderful on a dresser once.

And I just couldn't leave this pretty blue one behind.  I LOVE the colour.  It's not very flat but after a wash and a press I'm hoping it will sort itself out. 

I hadn't bought any in this particular antique store before and I paid more than usual.  But they are rather lovely and still worth the extra few dollars.  I don't have enough doilies for the bed cover just yet.  I still need to find a suitable backing fabric to sew them to.  I'm thinking an old tablecloth in white cotton or linen.  It's a nice project to have on the go.  This is the best part to me.