Friday, December 23, 2011

some gifts

 Some stitchy gifts for family members this christmas. We have managed to buy things only for the immediate family (the 5 of us), and we do this because we don't often buy new things for ourselves or our children, but we believe firmly in handmade or thrifted for gifts and so I have been stitching up a storm. The embroideries for my niece and nephew have been attached to canvas for bedroom art, while others have been turned into ornaments for next year. And a pair of cushions for struan's sister and partner. The other stitched gifts for my family members are already at their destinations  waiting for unwrapping tomorrow.

I wish everyone a merry christmas, some quiet moments in a busy day, and think again of Christchurch as new shocks  unsettle their lives again.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

sunday morning

The holes in my garden are getting filled in; I had enough energy to weed around my seedlings ( I managed to germinate some carrots and parsnips- my nemesis!); a parcel came for me in the mail despite the widespread flooding ( oops, maybe I enjoyed the rain too much!), from the mushroom lane giveaway a few weeks ago! A package of goodness and craft supplies, yay! Thanks Angela.

 Yesterday we harvested our apricots, split from all the rain, before they stared going moldy and turned them into stewed, preserved, apricots with cinnamon and cardamon, for the store cupboard, and enjoyed the redcurrants, fresh and unblemished. Thanks Gilly for your provisions, as I truly cannot claim any effort on my part has come into play here. The strawberries are being eaten before they are ripe, but the raspberries, we'll beat the birds to, I think.  I think the extra iron I'm taking now is helping my energy levels and my husband has school holidays, so the pressure is off somewhat. Looking forward to a more positive time, as I start the countdown to babe time ( a few months to go yet). Hope you all enjoy the solstice time and the leadup to chritsmas:)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

time for me

The childrens' aunty is down from Auckland and has taken the kids for the afternoon. Its raining. I'm listening to Ani diFranco and doing some stitching, some looking for inspiration online.

  rainy days are my favourite; I like the excuse to sit inside and be crafty. I can ignore the washing for a day or two. And today  the only interruption to my own ( positive for once) headspace, has been the phone.

Lots of handstitching in the christmas presents this year, a bit of stillness. Some blankets waiting to become cushion covers. A picture downloaded for free to brighten up my "studio", from belle and boo, (see side bar of blogs I'm reading).

The view out the window of my space, red poppies wilting under the weight of raindrops, apricots ripening (?) on the tree, mud from where men ( husband and his father) dug up my garden last weekend looking for soaker pipes and pits ( we found the connection, now  waiting for water to drain away... weather forecast is for rain all week.....) Its okay I'm just stitching away....

Monday, December 5, 2011

stitching for dec5th

wee wonderfulssew la tea do
This year I've made many embroidered pillowcases as gifts, inspired originally by pip linolne's sew la tea do. Now I apply that technique to other embroidery patterns and other fabrics. The patterns I use this time were: the two elf  freebie patterns from wee wonderfuls,  The heart pattern is form the book Embroidery companion by alicia paulson, that I got from our local library.

 We celebrate sinterklaas on december 5th, although in a very low key way yesterday. The kids sing dutch songs , we share a special meal together and they get presents.  Now they get to use their pillowcases until christmas,an extended advent/ christmas season, but definately not southern hemisphere based!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas in summer

In September we moved to our new house, a beautiful grand old lady ( for us) with original features largely intact and a wonderful garden, which is quickly becoming jungle-ish, as I struggle to juggle  illness ( kids have had whooping cough all winter and we are on our 5th bout with our son, bleeding noses, vomit and all), tiredness (mine), the garden, a growing belly ( baby no 4 is about 28 weeks along and growing fast!), christmas preparation and a husband whose job is manic at present. ( i love wild gardens anyway, i just hope the neighbours don't think we are slobs!)

 We were lucky to take over guardianship of this beautiful place from my lovely friend gilly, and hope to continue her work here. (I'll have to refer often to her old blog posts as I try and learn what I'm supposed to do and when!)

 We are also putting our own stamp on the place, taking out wallpaper and carpets and finding many characterful  surprises of the kind that makes us appreciate old homes ( like a concrete  patch in the middle of the lounge floor when the rest is gorgeous rimu floorboards!)

 But actually all I feel right now is numb and tired and I just want to sleep for days....

I can't quite bring myself to close my blog, so maybe I'll be around a bit more after all.

Summer for christmas, I am struggling for ideas. I am Waldorf inspired but can't find any info out there in www land for craft ideas, or stories or anything. friends of mine are swapping to just celebrating summer solstice but I have christian beliefs so can't give up christmas... any links would be appreciated!

Wishing you all a wonderful summer / advent season!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

busy times

Yes, hmm busy times.  Three kids with chickenpox ( not all at the same time though, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it!), Visits from grandparents, a whole lot of sock knitting: 5 pair for my niece and nephew and one for an uncle, 1 pair  for tobins birthday, and now something just a little bit different... tights for maaike's birthday in june.
( no photos, i had an unfortunate run in with  the camera  and deleted lots ofphotos!). And then, still with a bit of pox we drove to Dunedin and stayed for a few days with friends and then drove back ( that all took 6 days).
The children are a bit unsettled as a result an needing more of my time to structure activities etc AND  our computer is too slow ( still on dial up)!!!! Hence my absence. Hopefully I can be back with some sort of regularity soon, or maybe I might just close down for a while, and regroup ma familie.
How are you all? If you are interested in nutritiuon, here is a site recommended me in a wapf ( Weston a Price foundation) meeting recently.:   Challenging!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

craft love

So here we are, another group of people, mamas, grandmas, children... stitching away in solidarity with friends  and folk of lyttleton, recently devestated by the quake.  We stitched during our homeschooling gathering group. Adults stitched, children stitched, each heart is not only a work of art but also of love, for people we don't know,  for people we do. This project clicked for us, not only because some of us know some of the stitchers in Lyttleton, but because we are crafters and all of it made sense: the symbolism, the community, the physical act of each stitch; the next best thing to hugging everyone, which is pretty hard to do from a distance.
There is LOVE in them hearts!  Completed hearts and more supplies for making them are on their way to you folk. KIa Kaha Christchurch, Kia Kaha Lyttleton!

Monday, March 7, 2011

A touch of Autumn

Last Week, the kids and I went  for a walk here in the area, foraging for wild blackberries, and rosehips and collecting  things for our nature table.

When we got home and I made blackberry muffins and rosehip syrup the children trawled through my vintage linens and sorted out their treasures and arranged them all over the house. Very beautiful and autumnal.
 For the leaf shapes i used a wee folk art pattern from their list and  knitting/ felting patterns from living Crafts magazine for the acorns and oak leaves on our hanging wreath. 
 It feels good now that its cooler, and the light is different. I feel re-invigorated and have even spent some time in the vege garden, hoping my  seedlings grow enough before winter hits. ( We had 2 degrees here yesterday).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

butterfly buns and more sewing love

Some butterfly studying this week,  led to a butterfly day, with origami butterflies now decorating our  hanging table centre wreath, and butterfly buns for lunch ( along with plenty of drawing and reading and watching and observing.
 And another photo of my love: She needs a name! She feels like an old  maiden aunt or well- worked grandmotherly type, persistent, and just needs to be used and oiled every now and then.
  I've been hemming handkerchiefs, ready to be embroidered for Valentine's day tokens. The handkerchiefs are from old calico from a thrift shop, or another old  cotton tea towel, also thrifted.  The children will get one each too, with their names cross-stitched on. very vintage! I really like that I can hem the hankies like hundreds of other women have done before, then stitched the initials of family members with love. Very simple ( very cheap), but full of sentiment! 

 The cross-stitched alphabet comes from a new book for me: linen, wool, cotton, as does the idea to make hankies. My husband has allergy issues, so always carries one!And he/we can always use more, and its a nice way to be closer when he is at work. As you can tell we don't go in much for the commercial version of valentine's day, and normally don't do anything at all as our anniversary is the very next week!  I do think it's nice to try and remember to show him how much i love him as after  nearly 8 years  of marriage that stuff is often last on the list. Hope you have a  lovely day sharing your love for you families too!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

holiday love: sewing

Here she is! Well part of her, I've decided to let a man who knows what hes doing to give her a once over and put a new belt on, and i can't wait to use her!
You see, at the moment my sewing stuff is in the garage/shed, which is about 50 metres up the drive, which is great but not so great when i need to be with the kids ( I can't see or hear anything from up there!), so now I can sew down in the house ( well soon), without lugging sewing paraphernalia too and fro. Yay! 
 And so in the holidays while there's been someone else to supervise and stuff I've been up there, hiding and making these: A foxy quilt from the book sew la tea do, by meet me at mike's pip lincolne. I supersized it by making an extra fox head panel and didn't quilt it as such but  used an existing washable duvet inner inside and bound it together with the binding, more a continental bed spread or something I suppose.  I am in love with this book and have made her tunic dress three times for three very different looks too. While i was busy with the quilt I decided to make the pillowcases too and embroidered these creatures from her book too. In fact you'll find them on almost anything now because the kids liked them too and they can be found lurking on clothes and fabric waiting to be clothes... Tobin even knew that he wanted a "blue foxy please mama."


And a dump shop find: an embroidered lacy valance that fits our superkingsized bed for a few bucks, wow! (It has to be superking, how else would we fit 5inabed!?)

And a throw pillow for good measure, i got a bit quilting happy! It was my fist time!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


A spontaneous roadtrip to Christchurch, lunch in Lewis Pass, a walk on new Brighton Pier, watching the buskers in Cathedral square... a not - needed excuse for a last fling in the summer holidays and a chance to pick up an old singer treadle sewing machine. more pictures later, I'm giving her  some  love at the moment, oil and treadling....