Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My creative space: Darwinia again :)

So I did knit another Darwinia dress again like I promised, this time in some lovely bendigo woolen mills cotton in a discontinued colour called Damask Rose I bought from a destash on ravelry. It was my first go knitting in cotton and I must say I'm hooked

It's going to a lovely wee dress that Tess will get lots of use in summer and layered in the cooler months. As you can see she is quite chuffed with it and loves her sunnies too.
Sorry November I didn't mean to neglect the wee blog again but I have been busy creating, more photos to come :)

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blogtober: Creative space

I finished another wee baby knit last night. This one was for a new wee girl next door. I used another wonderful pattern by Tikki called Darwinia which has two different bodice types and two different skirt variations. A pattern I have been meaning to knit for awhile and now I can't wait to knit it in a Tessa sized version in cotton. I'm just waiting on some special yarn to arrive so I can get into it, I'm trying to start thinking ahead for christmas. I can't believe it's only weeks away really.

I'm quite pleased with how this wee dress turned out, it certainly isn't a colour I would normally go for, but I'm definitely warming to it.

For more creative spaces look here.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blogtober: KCWC, Eden

Last week I finished Tessa's little vest, perfect for spring weather. I used the simple but well written called Eden's Adam by Tikki. A very popular pattern if you have a look on ravelry.

I used the last of the Family Roots, Wisteria that I bought from a Coop and contrasted it with Woolganics Krishna. I love this colour combination.

And lastly another big sister little sibling set of pants. These were made from my lovely Mum's fabric stash. My sister and I always loved this fabric and always had fights over, hehe.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Blogtober: KCWC, another Charlie Tunic

Well this rather rumpled looking top (she had just been for a 30min ride in the carseat) is my second Charlie Tunic. This time I used a heavier weight quilting cotton for the main and some gingham from my lovely MILs stash. I used a size 2 this time and didn't do french seams so it should last all summer. It was definitely out of my comfort zone for colours and clashing potential but I do think it kind of works. Again I added length and spiced it up with cute shirred gathered pockets from the Made website. Which are much easier to sew than they look. In fact I'm really becoming a convert to sewing with shirring elastic, great for quick projects.

We went to our local Spring show and this is Tessa having her very first ride on the Merry-Go-Round. You can't tell from the photo but she is rapt and having a great time.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Blogtober: KCWC, Creative Space

So the other day I finished my first attempt of sewing the Charlie Tunic from the MadebyRae Blog. It's great unisex pattern that goes from size 12months to 5years, great value for money.

I was quite pleased with how it turned out. I used some lovely blue chambray cotton for the contrast facings etc. For the main fabric I pulled a couple of pillowcases in a sweet floral print out of my vintage stash and I had quite a bit left over from the second pillowcase.

Although there are quite a few steps to the pattern, there are great photo instructions to help you along the way. I enjoyed this pattern so much I have already finished the second version.

This version was a size 12-18months with french seam as I had black thread on the overlocker. I really should have have changed it to white as this cute top won't fit the whole summer most likely. The only thing I really recommend changing when using this pattern would be to lengthen it by about 5cm or 2inchs. Otherwise I can't wait to sew my third version, maybe dress length with cap sleeves.
For more Creative Spaces visit here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Blogtober: KCWC, a few stripy things

Sorry to be a little late in posting for the Kids Clothing Week Challenge, but I have been participating and keeping up with an average of an hour of sewing per day. I have been on a roll, which is satisfying even if my photography is lacking, quite embarrassing not helped by the grey days and my simple point and click digital camera (gift genies if you are reading a lovely Digital SLR camera would be a wonderful christmas present, hehe).

Anyway this first finished project is a wee dress I refashioned from a skivvy using the Playdate Dress tutorial from the wonderful blog called Craftiness is not optional. I discovered this blog on the Kids clothing week challenge central Elsiemarley blog where you can get inspiration from lots of talented people from around the world.

Another refashion from a long sleeved top to cute and comfy PJ or lounge pants. I especially like the fold over waist band, great for the changing tummy sizes of toddlers.

And a cute big sister, little sibling matching pants. Again a refashion from a long sleeve top, a great way of getting more interesting fabrics than available in local fabric shops. I used another favourite waistband technique of mine, fold over elastic. So easy to use and cancels out the fiddly step of pushing elastic through a fabric casing. But make sure you stretch the elastic as you sew and use a stretch straight stitch if you have it or a zigzag stitch if you don't.
More sewing finished projects tomorrow, happy creating!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blogtober: Kids clothing week challenge

Well its time for the fall (spring here in the southern hemisphere) Kids clothing week challenge over at the lovely Elsie Marley Blog. Over a 300 have entered this time around.
The aim of the week is to spend an hour per day sewing for the kids in your life, by just doing that hour its amazing what you can get done. I'm sure handcrafting in general would be ok, ie knitting etc.
Well I have nearly managed the requirement but I must take some photos soon to post, although the grey days aren't ideal .
The above wee hat I knitted at the beginning of the year but have shared yet. Don't you just love the curls. The pattern is the popular Poppy hat pattern which is quite clever as it is created by short row shaping.
So have a look a what everyone has been creating for Kids clothing week challenge and I will be back soon with a post of some of my sewing creations.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Blogtober: Upcycled Hooded vest

A couple of months ago, Tessa needed a little something extra to keep her warm. This is what I came up with, an adapted version of Anna Maria Horners' 'Baby in the Hood Jacket' from her second book Handmade Beginnings. This book has lots of interesting projects and I definitely recommend it.

I removed the sleeves for easier toddler movement and omitted the elastic in the hood. I also used a much heavier fabric, recycled wool blankets for the outer and a flannel pillowcase for the lining. Because their wasn't anything suitable in the button stash I had to buy some new and before I could sew the last one on my helpful assistant lost it. Oh well I think it wouldn't have been done up that high anyway.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blogtober: Creative Space: the start of a handmade stash

Well this is the start of a much needed handmade stash of fitted nappies. As you may have guessed we will be welcoming a new sweet and cuddling addition to our family soon. A small explanation for the very quite blog of late. The big day will be sometime at the end of January. Tessa is very excited and asks continually when Bubby will be arriving and we say after Christmas when it's hot with big smiles.

I'm quite pleased with how these nappies turned out, quite simple really. I used a free pattern from the TNN or The nappy network, what a wealth of information this New Zealand website is.
Now to get a production line going, I wonder how many of these I should make? Any suggestions? Lots I would think :D

For more creative spaces check this out

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blogtober: Baby Boom

Well the start of our local wee baby boom has begun, with three girls born in as many weeks.
Very sweet and I have been busy knitting up a storm. The above top is an adaptation of the Dueling Wands pattern by the talented Kelly Brooker. I added puff sleeves and a sweet heart lace insert to girl it up.

A more unisex option is the above Young Einstein by Julie Stanfield, which experimented with and steeked. Cutting knitting is certainly not for the faint hearted, arghh but it was quite interesting and I enjoyed it. The sweet little stranded hat in Benji by Sheryl Greenfield, I loved learning two handed stranded knitting and knitted one for Tessa straight away. Very unlike me to the same pattern twice in a row.

And finally a more boyish colourway, I knitted a short sleeved Puerperium cardi by Kelly Brooker also. So practical for newborns and very cute.

Now to figure out what the next girly baby knit will be.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Blogtober: Hanging at the beach

A few weeks ago we decided to go down to beach, it was lovely. Tessa really enjoyed herself and I always love seeing the delight on her face as she squelches her fingers and toes in the sand. It always surprises me how much cooler the sea breeze makes us feel, which is refreshing in summer, not so much in late winter.

She really didn't want to go home, not that I can blame her. I'm planning for us to go to the beach more often this summer as she is at a wonderful age. Where she is more confident and curious about everything around her. Everyday I really want to burn the neat memories of her discovering everything around her into my mind. I really feel the need to record this, so I'm going to take a whole lot more photos as it already feels like her short wee life is racing by.

So my poor blog I have neglected you of late, I have decided to make it up to you and I have joined Blogtober. Which is the daily blog posting for the month of October, joined by lots of lovely bloggers from around the world. A great way to meet new people and discover new blogs.
If this sounds interesting join the fun at Tinniegirls blog and sign up.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


I was surprised to find the first blossom of the season the other day in the middle July. It's from our lonely surviving Almond tree of a group of nine we planted in winter 2008. Honestly I'm not normally such a bad tree murderer. But that was the summer I was very pregnant with Tess and carrying buckets of water up the hill in that condition in the heat really wasn't going to happen. Not to mention the fact that sheep were in the paddock before I realized that they thought the trees were very good scratching posts. I have learnt from that and if anymore fruit trees are to be planted in that paddock they need protection, when I dare try again, hehe.

In the last week or so it has been soup weather, really it's soup season so have a go they really are quite easy. For the above luscious tomato soup I used the recipe from Tiny Happy which she posted this week and served it with some yummy feta spread on a toasted roll. A very simple but a effective recipe which makes it easy to whip up quickly for an easy lunch.

And this soup I made on a whim just adding different seasoning as I went. I started with most of a pumpkin cut up into small pieces for faster cooking, chicken stock and onions, then I added cumin, thyme, and curry powder to taste (which sweetens it up quite nicely). When the pumpkin was soft I whizzed the soup to a smooth constancy with the stick whizz. And added some frozen spinach, and let this heat though and finally added some sour cream just before serving. You could use yogurt or cream instead, a friend suggested lemon juice which would also give it a lovely zing.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Blue mountains etc

Some gorgeous shots of the Blue Mountains, we were lucky enough to have a stunning, clear day when we visited on our wee holiday to Australia. We went to visit family and surprised my lovely SIL for her 30th birthday. She just thought my MIL was coming to visit for ten days but it was her hubby's brilliant idea that Tessa, Ian and I come too and surprise her. And boy was she surprised it was so fun and we had a lovely time.

The famous three sisters, rock formation.

We went to this really great wildlife 45mins south of Wollongong. Where you could buy bags of animal food and feed quite a range of the animals, from goats and emus to kangaroos and alpacas.

Tessa was fascinated, and really enjoyed the kangaroos which were tame enough to get up close and personal. Here she is with her Uncle and Aunty feeding this friendly and hungry kangaroo.

We also stayed two nights in Sydney at Darling Harbour and did the tourist things like go on the ferry to manly beach and have their famous fish n chips. We went to the opera house and had a look, it really is quite stunning architecture. I really enjoyed the restaurants we had Italian the first night and Spanish the second night for the birthday dinner, the Tapas were very popular.
Were very lucky to get home as the very disruptive ash cloud arrived as we were about to fly home.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pizza making, Tessa style

On Sunday Tessa and I made Daddy his favourite, pizza mmm. Something great to make when your food supplies are getting low, although I would preferred a few more veges, hehe.

Tessa had a great time, sampling at every stage. She followed instructions well and didn't want to miss out on any step.

Here is the yummy finished product, mmm tasty.

The slightly out of order pics, but you get the idea. I think her favourite part was the rolling, something she like to do a lot, whether it's rolling on the floor or rolling toys along.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Autumn Gold

Well I was looking a few photos on my camera and I thought I would brighten a dreary day and post a few from autumn in the garden. The above is a shot of the nz native hibiscus (the proper name eludes me at the moment). It's quite a subtle pale yellow bloom which only last for a day and the plant is frost tender, but it seems to keep going in our garden every season as it self sows really nicely.

Above is a sweet little nasturtium which you will probably recognize the shape. But this once is a love red orange cultivar which I bought in a mixed punnet a few years ago. Like the hibiscus above it's managed to survive in my garden as it's also a great self seeder.

I just love her gorgeous semi golden curly locks, don't you.

And Tansy above is a great companion plant for stone fruit trees. I have it planted around an early heritage peach called 'Orion' which fruits in early December, which is a lovely start to summer.

And finally this gorgeous golden miniature sunflower is such good value for an annual as is keeps blooming for a long time. Helped along by the sweet Tessa and her deadheading (bringing mummy pretty flowers). Hope you have a lovely weekend filled with a little golden happiness.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


To celebrate mother's day, my sweet wee girl!!

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Some more test knitting

I think this year is fast becoming the year of the test knit. These are my sixth and seven finished test knits for the year so far and I have another two tests on the needles. I guess I work much better with a deadline. And I love the little thrill of being one of the first few to knit a new pattern.

The sweet twirly skirt above is my test of the Tropical Fish Skirt from the very prolific and talented pattern designers Elena Nodel. It was a great stash buster knit, I used some lovely Cleckheaton country paintbox variegated purples and a plum for the trim.

The above and below pics show the test of the Sweet As ... pattern by Amber Bertram. I knit this a month or so ago in size 3, it had a unusual and new to me construction, top-down set in sleeves. This was a gift knit for a different little girl to the gorgeous model in the photos.