Saturday, March 26, 2011

Buttons, baking and a bit of crochet

It's been a bit of a reuse/recycle kind of week for me. This gorgeous sparkly setting was actually stuck to the front of a lovely wee notebook my husband bought for me. It was far too nice to spend its life on a notebook so I carefully removed it and have attached a brooch fastener to the back. It looks amazing! I used to adore my Nana's collection of brooches when I was a little girl. She always wore one on her lovely handmade dresses and coats. I have some of her brooches in my jewellery box but I'm too scared to wear them in case I lose one. This one reminds me so much of her. It will look fab on my winter coat.

Going through my button jar last week, when I was finishing off my cushions, got me inspired to use up more of my vintage buttons. I have turned a few more of them into brooches which has got to be one of the cheapest and easiest ways of making jewellery. And you end up with something that nobody else has which is the best part! I love, love, love this button. It has a deco feel about it and it's quite big so makes a statement!

Here's the last one I made, three lovely old buttons glued together with a brooch clip on the back. I've also made some magnets doing the same thing with stacked buttons, you just glue a magnet to the back and you've got yourself a very cute and colourful way to display your small people's art on the fridge!

These ones are also in my button jar - they are gorgeous but huge! You can see them here against a regular sized button in the middle. Not quite sure what I'll use them for yet ... The pic doesn't really do them justice, they look different/brighter in real life but you get the idea.

There has still been time for crochet this week. I can't tear myself away from the orangey red/pink combination which I used in my cushion, so I'm going to have a go at using these lovely little granny squares in a scarf. I want to stitch them together in a similar way too but I'm not quite sure how that will work. Will keep you posted! Not a lot else to show you though as it's mostly been making more hats which you've already seen. Lots of requests for winter hats now that the temperature is slowly starting to drop here. And there are two new heads in our family this winter ... after waiting for such a long time to become an aunty - I now have a niece and a nephew! The cutest twins you've ever seen. We are off to visit them today - I can't wait to have a cuddle.

Miss 3 has been very crafty this week. We found these adorable tiny wee canvas and easel sets at a local bargain store. She sat for ages with the glue and the 'diamonds' happily creating her artwork. It's now proudly on display in her bedroom. I'm all for encouraging creativity in little people.

I had a hankering for apple pie yesterday so this little baby made the house smell delicious while it was baking. Mr 6 is now an apple pie convert! He had a big piece after dinner last night and was very positive in his food critic comments - very cute.

These muffins didn't last long! They were just too yummy to ignore, still warm from the oven. Here's the recipe if you want to whip up a batch ...

Hokey Pokey Choc Chip Muffins (Robyn Martin)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips
50g butter
¼ cup golden syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda

Lightly beat eggs and milk together. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl. Make a well in the centre of dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips. Melt butter and golden syrup together. Mix in baking soda. Add to dry ingredients with egg mixture. Mix quickly until just combined. Three-quarters fill greased muffin pans with mixture. Bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 12-15 minutes or until muffins spring back when lightly touched.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cushion Love!

It has taken far too long, but I have finally sewn the backs on to my gorgeous cushions!! I am so so so happy with the result. It really was worth waiting to find the perfect jersey to use as the backing - and I'll forever be grateful to my dear friend Ange for spotting the lovely merino jersey at our local op shop. $5 - great price, size XL - perfect size for chopping up!

It's just so nice to see them complete and not hanging around in my to-do pile. If I'm honest, the top cushion still has a few threads to darn in but I can do that at my leisure as know one else would know they were there!

Here's the back view. The waistband of the jersey made the perfect hem. A few rows of SC and a quick dig through my jar of vintage buttons and voila - a pretty back. I love the way this finishes it off so tidily.

Button love!

This one is my absolute favourite. There is something about this particular colour combo that really does it for me! I also really love that my laziness to join the squares in my usual way led to me playing around with different options before finally coming up with this one. Love, love, love it. I will definitely be using this joining stitch again. You can have a look on this previous post for instructions on how to do it.

This one is darn cute too though. The two of them together look lovely. Almost too nice to lie against. They certainly won't be allowed to be used in cushion throwing games by my small folk that's for sure!

I still have a lot of the same wool leftover so have started making winter hats now that we are slowly leaving our summer months. Miss 3 asked if I could make one in the same colour as her red one for her little friend Beth (you can find the pattern here). The flower is my first attempt out of a recent book purchase and I love it. One of my friends spotted this hat today and asked for a grown-up version for herself. The colour is so warm and toasty looking - I think I will need to make one for me too!

I made these cute little caramel tarts to take to a girly afternoon tea today. So glad I kept a few here, just what I need now with a nice cuppa.
Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Feeling The Love

You know your week is starting well when your 6 year old son brings you a cornflake shaped like a love heart! He had his little hand behind his back and brought it over to me saying "Mummy I've got something you will love". Heart-meltingly adorable!!!! He knows I love collecting heart shaped rocks whenever we walk along the beach, so he thought I'd like a heart shaped cornflake to add to my collection! Gorgeous wee man.

There was certainly a lot of love in Wellington yesterday in support of our recent earthquake tragedy in Christchurch. We have a fabulous cricket ground called the Basin Reserve which is near my home. It is in the funniest spot, right in the middle of what is basically a giant roundabout so cars are constantly driving around it. Over the last week a group of cricket superstars put their heads together and organised a truly amazing 20/20 game of cricket between Wellington and Canterbury with all proceeds going to the Christchurch quake appeal. It was the first time we had taken our children to 'the Basin' and we all had a ball. The afternoon started with a bit of excitement ... we caught a taxi as it was just a bit too far for little legs to walk (and parking is a nightmare) and our lovely taxi driver decided he'd drop us off in the main entrance which is usually only for important folk. And important folk indeed were using it - as soon as we got out of our taxi we looked behind us and there was our Prime Minister getting out of his car!! That's my lovely wee Mr 6 in the cap at the bottom left of the pic and John Key our PM behind him (with bag over shoulder). Now I don't think there can be many countries where you can rock on up to a cricket game and get that close to your country's leader!! Very, very exciting.
It really was a perfect Wellington day. Gorgeous clear blue skies, lots of sunshine, a 10,000+ sellout crowd and over $350,000 raised for our Christchurch folk. The atmosphere was truly amazing - I was a very proud Wellingtonian and Kiwi.

Here's our Prime Minister facing his first ball from Shane Warne, the Australian fast bowler. The banter between them was hilarious.

Ooops I fibbed - there was a cloud in the sky!
I still haven't had a chance to get those backs on my cushions so fingers crossed I can get them done this week ready to post soon. I keep getting sidetracked with the other 3 projects on the go. I really need to get them finished - it's driving me nuts.
Have a fab week.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Garden Centre Inspiration!

It has been a stunning Wellington day today - beautiful blue skies with just a light breeze. It's so sad to think that we are on the official downhill run into Winter now - aargh. The evenings are getting darker earlier and the temperature is starting to drop. So I was determined to get outside and make the most of today. Miss 3 and I caught up with friends at our favourite garden centre cafe today - sitting outside in the sunshine having a yummy date scone and a cuppa. Wandering through the centre on the way to the playground I spotted some more gorgeous gerberas (my fave flower) and they got me totally inspired to use some more of my stash of wool to whip up another cushion cover which will go nicely with my other cushion that is still not 100% finished.

I know I should really be finishing one before I start another but there is a good reason why I haven't. I have been looking and looking for a suitable jersey/jumper to use as the backing fabric as mentioned in an earlier post. And bingo, today I found it! A fabulous bright orangey/red merino size XL for $5 at an opshop. It looks brand new and will provide me with enough fabric to back both cushions - yippee! So after a good wash, it is now on the washing line awaiting its transformation into cushion covers. So hopefully it will only be a few more days before I can show you!

Here's a sneaky peek at the granny square cushion so far - it's just leaning against the inner to show you. Love, love, love these colours together. It's weird because I've never ever been a pink girl! Definitely a red girl and even an orange girl - but am warming to pink ...

I do love a nice granny!

A bit of a wonky pic but you get the idea!
Friday is my next chance to get my sewing machine out and I can't wait! I'm terrible at starting new projects before the others are finished - so it will be wonderful to have both of these cushions done. I think it's just as well that I now have two of them - so my small folk won't have to fight over them - they can have one each to laze against.
Have a lovely week!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I love playing around with these mosaics - so here's just a quick little burst of colour to brighten up the day with some pics from the last week or so. It's a beautiful Wellington day today - sunny with just a little breeze to get the washing dried faster. And yet again, I have been busy with my hook making woolly hats. I always seem to pick the warmest days to work on winter projects! The two latest ones are on the bottom row, the red one is for Miss 3 with a matching one in cream for me. These were so very quick to make. The pattern can be adapted for all sizes which is fab - you can find it at McKinley's Closet. The amazing dahlia on the bottom right is from my father-in-law's wonderful garden. I think it is the most perfect flower I have ever seen.

The lovely old bowl in the middle row is a recent op shop find for $1.00! It is now our apple bowl and looks beautiful on the bench. The spotty and stripey mugs were purchased this week, they were so gorgeously cheerful I had to have them. Not to mention that they were hugely discount. I do love a good sale! I'm sure my tea tastes better in a cute mug too.

I am so looking forward to Friday when I can sew the back onto my cushion. I also have the small task of tidying up all those threads at the back. My least favourite part of crochet - but the resulting off cuts are adorable. And like many other folk, I have kept every single trimmed thread - my children call it the rainbow bag!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What a week

It has been a really sad week folllowing the devastating earthquake that hit Christchurch just last week. On Tuesday all of New Zealand observed a two minute silence which was impossible to do without crying. I can't begin to imagine what my fellow NZers are going through in Christchurch. I live in Wellington, which is known for its seismic activity. We actually had a 4.5 quake here on Tuesday night and I was terrified having seen the destruction this force of nature can cause. My 100 year old house still shook and creaked enough to have me leap out of bed, ready to scoop children out of bed if necessary. Luckily our quake was brief and small in comparison. I think any earthquake we experience now will frighten people more than ever before.

So it was a real spirit lifter to log on and find that Gill at Gillyflower had awarded a stylish blogger award. Thank you so very much - I am hugely honoured. You have made my day!

I have been told that there are 3 parts to accepting this award. The first being that you thank the person who awarded you, and acknowledge their blog. The second thing is to tell 8 things about myself and the third thing is to pass this lovely award on to 8 other blogs that I love.

So here are 8 little things about me ...
  1. I am left handed but have been taught to crochet and knit right handed so my brain gets easily confused!

  2. My two favourite movies are Love Actually and Moonstruck - cheesy but great!

  3. I own a tiny, very old Fiat 500 and 'she' was recently featured in Next magazine here in NZ.

  4. I never leave the house without my lippie on.

  5. I love the smell of freshly mown lawn.

  6. In my 'old' life I worked in an advertising agency. My job was based around television advertising which meant I had to watch a lot of TV for research purposes! That was my excuse anyway.

  7. I absolutely adore red nail polish. Occasionally I'll change it to dark brown but red is by far my fave. And I am never without it!

  8. My favourite treat is strawberries followed very, very closely by chocolate covered licorice bullets! Neither of which last very long in my house.

As for choosing 8 blogs to pass this award onto - well that's a really difficult task! There are so many wonderful blogs out there that I come across on a daily basis. I have chosen the following blogs as they all inspire me with their creativity, colour and make me smile whenever I visit. I am fairly new to blog land so forgive me if you have already been subject to this award. Please accept it again with my best wishes.


PS: My cushion is nearly complete - hope to finish it tomorrow! I can't wait.