Friday, October 30, 2009

A sweet little dress

This is the prize for my last giveaway with a baby theme, Chevgirl won it and she chose the pinafore dress. I adjusted an Amy Butler pattern from my Little stitches for littles one's book to an 18m size.

I made it with fabric left over from Tessa's Quilt which is still to be completed. The covered buttons turned out well for an afterthought from struggling to find just the right buttons. I found them at our local red cross op shop and covered them in the fabric from the skirt. (strange lighting made the dress different colours I think its closer to true colour in the top photo).

The cute bloomers turned rather well, I think I will have to make Tessa a set for summer.
Don't forget to enter my latest giveaway with wedding theme which ends soon!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Yay yarn!

My first attempt at crochet and it wasn't as difficult as I imagined. It is the beginning of a grannie square blanket (what a funny weird name).

I used some left over merino 4ply print yarn, which is quite cosy and lovely, that I used to make Tessa a baby blanket with lace edging when I was pregnant. I think this grannie square blanket will be great for using up little bits and pieces left over from other projects floating around my yarn stash.

On tuesday it was pouring with rain and we were in town getting the car serviced, so I had to stop in at the yarn shop to feed Tessa. So of course I had to buy some yarn especially when I found these on sale. A 8ply wool silk blend at $3.00 per ball in the perfect colour I had been looking for to finally knit something for myself. I purchased it thinking I would make the beautiful Backbone vest I found in a Knit1 magazine I got last year, but I think I'm not quite experienced enough to tackle this one yet. So I think I will knit something else probably a cardi with sleeves maybe even a hood as this gorgeous yarn is just so cheap. I looked on ravelry these are couple of possibles I found this one which looks great and this one or possibly even this one. But I still like the idea of one with cables so I cast on for something totally different some mary jane slippers a quick knit to get me motivated.

I also found this lovely 100% wool yarn there was only four balls left and at the same awesome low price of $3.00 per ball I just had to snap them up too. Not sure what to knit with them I think it look good in the yarn stash for now.

Some cute photos of Tessa playing in her toy basket she loves pulling everything out and examining each toy. It has been great for keeping her happy when she starts to get a bit irritable.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

More spring highlights

There is some gorgeous spring flowers in the garden at the moment. Here a few of my favourites.
The lovely soldier poppy or flanders poppy is another for it I think. It now self sows every autumn and flowers with brilliant red flowers in spring.

One of our favourite roses of which I am not sure of its name. We four plants in a raised bed next to the courtyard. They finally got pruned late this winter and are looking so much heathier this season.

And these lovely bulbs are in the same garden, I'm not sure what they are called. I think its Peruvian lily, if you have any ideas what it might be called please leave a comment.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

BLOGTOBER Giveaway!!! be in quick!!!

Well it's the last week of Blogtober and it has been great. I've read plenty of amazing blogs and entered heaps of giveaways, there was some awesome prizes wow! I haven't quite managed the post a day but I came very close.

Anyway to celebrate this last week of blogtober and all the lovely weddings and engagements of friends and family that keep popping up lately.

We are having a wedding themed craft giveaway!!

To enter make a comment with your favourite wedding memory and you get one entry.

Become a follower and get two entries.

Post about this giveaway on your blog (and let me know) and you get three entries.

The prize will be crafty goodness in the themes of:

Something borrowed ......
Something blue ......
Something old ......
Something new ........

Good Luck!!!

The giveaway will be drawn this time next week, 2nd november 10am New Zealand time.

Here's a photo from our wedding in may last year it was a lovely autumn wedding.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What's on my needles

I have been getting a bit of knitting done lately which is quite satisfying. I have to stop half way through something else and immediately cast on for this Owl Baby Vest, the very sweeet owl cables just stole my heart. I used a 50 50 wool cotton yarn, which has come up quite nicely and will be a lot cooler for Tessa as we are coming into summer here. It is sized as 9-12m and I added some length to it, which is something I now do for most baby pattern. I like vests for babies a lot as they are very useful and practical for crawling bubbas and so they don't get too hot.

Just need to finish the two armbands and do some embroidery to define a couple of the sweet owl cables. I also decided to carry the owl cables all the way around on the back as well because when Tessa is crawling it would be nice to still see the cabling.

I also finished this Stripe Kitty Cat it has turned out rather sweet and was a good chance to practice my rather lacking embroidery skills.

Friday, October 23, 2009

spring show

Last weekend we went to the Gisborne spring agricultural and pastoral show. It was a lovely day out for the family. DH entered some lambs into four different classes and had great results he got two seconds and a third. This was really special because it was his first time entering and first year managing the farm. There was plenty to see at the show, among the usual sideshows and rides I found these.

They are very cute jungle finger puppets. The detail is amazing, what was just as amazing was the huge bin fill of the with all sorts of types including cartoon characters such as the simpsons. Ther was some great craft areas with competitions for knitting to cake decoration to decorated sand plate. It was such a shame my camera batteries went flat so I didn't get any photos to share with you.

Here is a photo Tessa just because she is so sweet and cute. She has been getting very good on her tummy and rolling a lot.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

spring garden highlights

Some lovely snaps from around our garden. Amazing colour coming out at the moment, even with just the nz native plantings.

This is my favourite flowering manuka, it is called Leptospernum 'Crimson Glory', grows 1 -2m tall and flowers for a long time in spring with gorgeous double red flowers.

Another favourite is the Renga Renga lily or Arthropodium cirratum 'Matapouri Bay'. It grows around 60cm tall and is excellent for dry shade.

Quite a rare plant in shops now a days is the variegated Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium 'Variegata'. It grows to around 2.5m a lot smaller that the standard Karo. It's lovely white varigation is perfect for lifting a shady corner and it grows reasonably slow so can be planted easily in a small garden.

This is an area of garden that was totally cleared out and replanted two summers ago. It had too many roses planted in poor clay soil that looked quite old, it was in need of a restoration. The plants have established well and look quite good. The white mass of flowers are Hebe 'Wiri Mist' 50cm which is one of the better lasting hebes it keeps it shape well and is less inclined to go leggy. Behind the hebes is Muelenbeckia astonii another of my favourites, it is a very hardy divaricating plant which handles dry summers very well ( I while post a close up soon). To improve the clay soil I spread Gypsum and blood and bone around to help break up the soil and improve drainage. The blood and bone attracts worms which are essential to soil health.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More great Op-Shop finds

Some gorgeous wee summer dresses to add to Tessa's evergrowing collection. The one on the left is a very sweet handmade one possibly from a recycled sheet.

The dress on the right has very lovely embroidery of a train with circus animals with cute blue gingham.

In the suitcase are some handy glass jars to use in the sewing room maybe to store buttons. A really good find was the pie dish, I haven't seen them before in op-shop just what I had needed. And the start of my tea cup collection, I love the sweet striped blue one.
Sorry about the terrible lighting in the photos they just don't do it proper justice. It was just before a big thunderstorm came sweeping through, we could see the black clouds coming across the paddocks. DH saw horizontal lightening which is rather awesome wish we got photos of that.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sweet books

Well last week at the local Sally's I found an amazing haul of gorgeous childrens books. Some that remind me of the books my parents had growing and some that were from when I was growing up. I have been quietly developing quite a good sized collection since Tessa arrived and this was an excellent boost to her little library.

The Childrens Bedside Book has lovely colour illustrated classic fairy tales. As does the Childrens Annual which also has games and sweet peoms too. Such as the following:

My Poor Tree
What happened to you, my poor tree,
You look so cold and bare!
And scattered round are all the leaves
That once you use to wear!
"I'm ready for a long, long sleep,
Through winter's snow and rain.
But I'll wake up again spring
And wear green leaves again!"

Inika Allock

I loved Dr Suess and the Spot books as a child, but Paddington is extra special because it reminds me of Grandmother who used love his stories.

But this was my favourite find. 'If mice could Fly' a book we used to love as children, I especially love the brilliant illustrations portraying how the mice can get the best of the cats who are forever trying to catch them.

Finally finished

I have finally finished sewing Tessa sleep sak. She has been needing it for a while now, because developed the habit of wriggling out of her blankets. Not unusual for babies her age, but a little difficult to keep her warm. Hopefully it will also help with her new fun game of rolling over and getting her arm stuck in the side of the cot in the middle of the night, hehe.

I made it out of merino medium weight knit, which feels lovely and soft but is awful to sew, hence the marathon effort it has taken to sew. I used the trick I was taught for sewing zips in when I designed and sewed my wedding dress last year. First hand sew the seam shut with contrasting thread then hand sew zip in place (I think this is called basting). Then machine sew the zip in as usual , unpick hand sewn thread and viola, a well put in zip. But somehow with merino knit that moves all over the place I didn't quite manage it this time. Hehe hence the interesting photography, to make the shoddy sewing less obvious.

Now I will give full credit to the high prices charged for these online, totally worth the extra money.
Oh and a big thanks to everyone who entered the Blogtober Giveaway. There is another in the planning stages before the end of the month, so watch this space!

Friday, October 16, 2009

And Winner is !!!!!!!

Congradulations 'Chevgirl' aka Kate Eades you have won our Blogtober giveaway. Your prize will be in the post as soon I have your postage details. Email me at

Tessa had the honours of selecting the winner and she did a great job too.
Sorry I missed a couple of posts for blogtober we have had a little internet trouble I will try to keep up for the rest of blogtober.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Native Tee's

A quick craft fix I did the other day. My first go at applique. I had a few too many tshirts for Tessa so thought I would smarten them up and sell them on . I have used a New Zealand native plant quilt fabric which conveniently had separate designs with borders perfect to cut up.

This year's Blogtober has been great and I have been loving looking at a whole lot of new amazing craft blogs. Here are few of my favourites:

There are so many more creative interesting blogs still to discover. Great for looking at while having a cuppa.
Don't forget to enter our Blogtober Giveaway, only two more days Good Luck!

Monday, October 12, 2009

fresh air and eggs

Our chooks having been laying well this spring. They are young birds and came into lay mid march at about six months old and havn't really stopped producing since.

So when I couldn't find any eggs for a few days I noticed the black chook was missing and I looked around and found her sitting on a whole clutch of eggs (see below). She was doing such a good job of trying to hatch her babies but alas it was not to be as there is no rooster to do the deed. So seven lovely eggs were collected not all of them were hers as you can see with the different coloured eggs.

I managed a spot of gardening today and here is a shot of Tessa enjoying the fresh air, what a gorgeous cheeky smile (not that I'm biased or anything, hehe).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Half Year Birthday

Tessa sitting up all by herself for the first time, she has good timing because she did it on her half year birthday. You are a very sweet and special girl my beautiful daughter Tessa. May all your dreams come true. We had a few friends over to celebrate which was fun and Tessa loved all the different faces.

Here is the bag I made from Amy Butler's amazing craft book Little Stitches for Little Ones that I wrote about in the last post. It's called the Everything Bag I guess because of the obvious that it has so many pockets and is a great size to carry all the baby essentials.

It was made with a lovely light denim with grey, pink and white stripes. Which is very effective and one of my favourite colour combinations so cute for little girls too. The lining is a sweet little nursery themed print with rocking horses, rattles and teddy bears in a pale pink stripe. The pattern didn't call for bias binding along the top edge but I think it just finishes the bag quite nicely.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The best craft book ever

Well one of the best, I treated myself when I was pregnant. Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones is well laid out with good instructions. There are projects for every type of sewer from beginner to the more experienced. Gorgeous photography illustrates the twenty baby related projects.

As you can see I have great plans of trying most of the projects. I have made the everything bag with an amazing amount pockets just perfect for a nappy back ( photo to come later) and plan to complete many more with a few works in progress.

Here is some detail from the book. Also her fabrics are to die for and this book shows a great selection. I wish there was a better availablity of her fabric here in New Zealand.

Friday, October 9, 2009

stuff happening here

From Meet Me At Mikes! from the ever-blogging, ever-tweeting Pip. How does she have the time?

Making: many things including for Tessa a knitted owl vest, Merino star sleep sak, Quilt for her new room, hemp bibs and things to put on my soon to be new shop on
Cooking: Roasted vege couscous salad with feta cheese and balsamic vinegarette, handemade beef patties, gingerbread, and trying to make some babyfood that Tessa will like, so far the shop stuff is too popular
Drinking: healtheries lemon and ginger with an apple twist, also endless cups of bournvita
Reading: Just finished, in the middle of the night New Moon the sequel to Stephanie Meyer's Twilight. Just thinking about starting Queen of swords by Sara Donati the fifth in the Into the wilderness series which I have enjoyed immensely. Also lots of craft magazines especially World sweet world check put there blog
Wanting: A clean house and the time to get stuck into the vege garden
Looking: out the window at the garden that calls to me for attention but enjoying the spring flowers.
Playing: blowing raspberries on Tessa's tummy with lots of giggles
Wasting: Time on the internet when I need to get everything organised for the BBQ tonight.
Sewing: Summer clothes for myself and developing breastfeeding tops that are cooler to wear.
Wishing: For more hours in the day and motivation to use them wisely
Enjoying: Catching up with friends and family
Waiting: For the sun to come out
Liking: Blogtober so many new interesting blogs to follow!!!
Wondering: If Hubby might like a cuppa too
Loving: Being a mother, the best thing ever!!!
Hoping: to visit my grandfather next month to introduce him to his first great grandchild
Marvelling: At how Tessa has grown in her short six months of life
Needing: to get myself organised for christmas with my family
Smelling: the veges roasting for the above salad
Wearing: My favorite op shop wool cardi, print tee, comfy jeans and sloppy slippers (argh very fabulous, not)
Following: Lots of blogs
Noticing: the cat circling at my feet wanting to be fed
Knowing: I need to exercise more, a lot more
Thinking: How lucky we all are
Bookmarking: Many blogs to check out later
Opening: Lots cupboards trying to find my favourite cup
Giggling: at sweet Tessa as she screws her face up at pureed apples
Feeling: Content
Join in!

Woolies of the week

Woolies of the week...

Three cute little knitted finds from the local op-shops/thrift shops. A sweet little lace pattern cardi, I think I might dye it to cover a few stains if I can't remove them. Any ideas on how to remove stains in knitted garments would be appreciated. I love the red and grey stripe raglan jersey what a nice colour combination. The multi coloured wool jersey is quite cute, I am not sure how much I like this type wool colouring though I think its growing on me.

My recent goodies from the local red cross shop, what an interesting find. A gorgeous cross stitch nearly completed and all the thread to finish it. I like the old bits of card that thread has been wrapped around.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

wriggling and jiggling

This is how I found Tessa the other morning when I went to get her out of bed, she was squealing talking to her teddy. She has really got quite good at shuffling she hardly ever stays under blankies now. So have finally had to make her a sleep sack to keep her warmer. I have used merino knit fabric and have nearly finished, I just have to put the zips I picked up today.

This is Tessa and Daddy discovering what the rattle will do and feel like when you bang it. Very sweet watching them together concentrating on the important things.

And finally here is Tessa taking her jolly jumper for a spin, she hasn't quite figured out the jumping but has sort ballet spin happening

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Blogtober Giveaway

To celebrate Blogtober and our gorgeous Tessa turning six months old we are going to have a giveaway.

So its going to be a baby themed giveaway. I haven't decided exactly what yet but are a few ideas.
- Hemp/cotton bibs
- knitted toys
- patchwork cotton rattle ball
- Pinafore dress with vintage fabrics
- Cute little merino pants
- Ellie the elephant

Leave a comment with what you might like and you get one entry but if you become a follower you get three entrys.
This give away ends on the 16th October.
Good Luck!!!!

Spring Bonus

I love spring especially in the garden. There is many lovely things about spring the blossoms the new life all around. You can feel everything waking up and warming up.

This one of first irises of the season, very pretty. I love the spring bulbs they give a lot of colour and beauty without much effort.

Even more of bonus is our first home grown asparagus. This was lovely and fresh for dinner and worth the two year wait after planting the crowns. It will be exciting when my other aspargus (of which some are purple) that I grew from seed start producing next year. This the best my vege garden has to offer at the moment sadly I can't wait to get into it soon.

Monday, October 5, 2009

quilt for a new room

I decided to make a quilt for Tessa to celebrate her moving into her own room. I had hoped to be finished when she turned six months old this weekend. I think I just finish it in time, possibly.

These are the fabrics I chose, I quite like the combination of pinks, grays and blues. But I think the flat denim blue may be a bit too dark it will hopefully turn out fine when its finished

The quilt blocks are now all pieced together and I am a lot happier with the colour combinations. I think it will look quite sweet when it's finished. I have some special ideas for the backing piece, you have to wait and see.

This is a vest I knitted for Tessa in the 6 month size of the Oz Vest pattern from Lousia Harding's Book Natural Knits for Babies and Moms. It was an easy knit and I enjoyed learning a couple of new techniques, picking up stitches and knitting in the round with DPNs. But think the sizing is a little strange as this vest will easily fit her next winter when she is one, which is ok i will admit to adding length but only because the proportion or it needed it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Just a quick post to share my latest creation, Ellie the elephant. I made her out of recycled wool blankets I have been collecting from the op-shops around town. One of the little babies from our friday catch up was moving away and I thought a handemade gift would be a perfect little memento of our weekly get togethers which I have been enjoying so much. It will be sad to see them go, we will miss you guys.
Watch this space, there will be more little friends for Ellie soon.