Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A week of things to make me smile!

I apologise in advance if this post is a bit lengthy! I only do one post a week and this week, it's been pretty full on so I have lots of things to write about. This morning, I popped into town to meet a girlfriend at Moore Wilson's (a fabulous wholesale store which regularly tempts me with all its gorgeous kitchen bits and pieces). This amazing ice display has just been created outside the store as part of "Wellington on a Plate", which is a month of food based events. Isn't it fantastic? Fresh produce sealed in huge blocks of ice. Thankfully we are having fairly chilly temperatures here, so hopefully this wonderful piece will last for a while!

We treated our family to one of the events, which was a gourmet food/steam train excursion. It was brilliant!! I was so excited to go on a steam train - there is something so charming about them, the noise of the engines, the whistle and toots, the gentle rock of the carriages ... We had the most wonderful day - plenty of lovely foodie treats and gorgeous countryside to chug through. The journey was from Otaki to Feilding and back. Here are a few pics from both inside and outside the train. When we got off the train, it was continuing on its journey and we were lucky enough to find ourselves right beside it along the main road. Mr 6 and Miss 4 had a total blast - as did the grown ups!! I just wish I had taken my vintage crochet bag with me, then I could have sat there like an old nana with my hooks!

Not a lot of progress on my blanket this week as have had lots of hat orders to complete. I was having a wee play the other night, trying to work out what, if anything, I could pop onto the boys hats. The girls hats look gorgeous with flowers but the newborn boys hats looked a little plain. I ended up creating this cute wee bear and he looks adorable. I've even managed to decipher my pattern scribbles if you fancy making one. I used a 4.5mm hook and double knit for this particular one and he measures approx 4cm across his face (not including ears). Any size hook will do. And it only uses up a tiny bit of wool so great for little leftover pieces you have. This is using US stitch terms.

For the face:
Rd 1: Ch3 then join to first chain with sl st.
Rd2: Ch2, 10hdc into ring. The ring will be small so you may need to jiggle it a bit to find the centre.

Rd3: Ch2, 1hdc into same stitch, then 2hdc into every stitch. Join with sl st to top of first Ch2. Do not fasten off just yet.

Now for the ears:
Sl st into next stitch. Into the same stitch Ch1, hdc, 3dc, hdc, sl st. Fasten off.

Working towards the left now, skip 4 stitches. Insert hook into 5th stitch and draw yarn through.

Ch1, hdc, 3dc, hdc, sl st into same stitch. Fasten off. Tidy ends and now you can make his wee face.

Using contrast thread stitch eyes ...

... nose and mouth. And there you go - a cute wee bear face. Just what my little hat needed!!

We had an after school play date with some friends so Miss 4 asked if we could make cupcakes. Violet icing was especially requested and boy they looked nice. We had some fondant hearts in the pantry that we made a while ago so Miss 4 carefully popped one on each cupcake. They didn't last long once all the friends arrived!! I was quick enough to get a pic before they got eaten - they looked lovely sitting on my dear Nana's cake stand. In the past I have kept all my china treasures in a cabinet and rarely used them. But since the terrible earthquakes that ravaged Christchurch in February, I have read many stories about people losing their entire china collections and that everyone should use their special pieces on a daily basis and enjoy them. One lady had said that it was better to use something special and break it yourself than have it broken by a force of nature. So I am taking her advice!!

I recently spotted this cowl pic in a magazine and have now added it to my to-make list! I'd better get a wriggle on though or summer will be here and I'll have to wait 6 months before I can use it. It's similar to something I've already made, but different enough to make me want to give it a go!! Another thing added to my to-make list is a tiny tea cosy to go over a gorgeous little red teapot I have just picked up for a bargain - just the thing to use when I'm by myself with a quiet cuppa.

My dear friend Ange has just been away for the week and when we caught up yesterday, she gave me this gorgeous Russian doll that she found on her travels! I love, love, love it! The doll is now sitting on my kitchen shelf and she looks fabulous - such bright, cheerful colours. How lucky am I? And talking about Russian dolls ...

When I was at Moore Wilson's this morning I spotted this little gem. It's an egg poacher!! And for less than $10 I had to have it. Apparently you pop your egg in the bottom half, sit the top half lightly on top and microwave for one minute. Utterly fabulous and oh so cute!!!

Only one op shop treasure to show you this week - this lovely little pale green jar. For $2.50 it makes a fab little vase. I did also get a wonderful winter jacket/coat for $7.00 brand new - how ridiculous is that! Will try and get a pic to show you next week.

And just a silly wee thing to end with, but something that totally made me smile ... my new socks, 1 pair stripey, 1 pair spotty. Talk about happy looking feet!!

Wow I have gone on a bit, so I will end now. I hope you all have a fabulous week.

Take care,


  1. What a great store! I'm such a bad shopper I try and avoid unless it involves Crafty markets. I liked the lady's advice about your crockery, my Mother said the same when we got married and I was a bit precious about my new Denby! She just laughed and said "use it, smash your way through and get a new set" - I'm still using the same set 18 years on!
    See you here next week!
    Sandra x

  2. Lots of good stuff!Thanks for the teddy pattern. It's always easy to find things for girls but more of a challenge for boys.

  3. Love your blog.
    Love your train photographs so much.
    Your big steam train was so much better then our little train we went on last week.
    Thanks for all your lovely comments too.
    I am so bad at the moment commenting on blogs, as little ones are of for summer!
    becca x

  4. You should totally combine those two pairs of socks; one stripey on one foot, one dotted on the other :D

  5. You know, i have to agree with 'winkieflash', definatly need to wear one stripey and one spotty..they have got to be my most favourite item of clothing, socks ,i know that sounds a bit sad but i do love socks especially the over the knee sort but then i am a massive fan of chunky tights too......anyway, i think i have overdone the whole woolie sock thing sooooo wonderful post Leah what a busy filled week you've had, always feels good to off filled a whole week with lots of things and love love love the wee bear, how cute, can you make me one, no only joking , i must have a go at doing something like that myself for Oscar, (grandchild number two) he likes bears, but then who doesn't like bears.....lovely post Leah, love and hugs Pixie x

  6. Oooo I love posts like these- lots of treasures to 'oooo' and 'aaaah' over!
    LOVE that bear crochet tutorial - he is so cute- you're right, it's easy to make girlie crochet, but things for boys can be a bit harder. This is genius.
    Also love the Russian Dolls- I have a couple at home and the kids adore them!
    Very gorgeous jar and those socks are just so much fun!
    A fab read, thanks!

  7. Looks like its been quite the happy week for you! =) Enjoyed the crocheted bear face. So cute!

  8. Gorgeous!! I love your new header too. So many good things to comment on, I think I'll just say I love everything xxxx Oh and I miss Moore Wilsons - I want to go there and get my shopping.

  9. Ohh lots of lovely stuff, cutie lil bear & could you pop a cupcake in the post :D they look YUM!!
    Btw i have had to move blogs, been having a lot of tec probs at 4lilgirls, left a link to the new one on my last post, hope you'll pop by
    LOL Karen

  10. Love those socks and thankyou for sharing how to make that cute little bear face,Im going to give that a go straightaway.xxxxjulie

  11. love your finds, especially the egg poacher!
    when I finally get myself to learn how to crochet I need to come back for that little cute bear tutorial.

  12. That little bear is extra cute. I just put a link from my german site to here:
    Best from Berlin, Jessica

  13. Love yr teddy bear applique. Can't wait to try it. Just adorable - like someone else mentioned - not too many things for boys. Tks again.

  14. Hello Leah I just found your blog through Tammys blog

    I really like what you are making and I share your longing for more color in your life and slowly seeing your makings grow in your home. Very well put in your introduction :)

    Your new follower,

  15. I love your bear thanks for the pattern. You are very talented!!

  16. Yes, thanks for a lovely cheery blog! I'm new here came for the link to the bear pattern. My friend has made bear bunting for a nursery with this!
    LOVE the socks, I have similar ones and am glad someone else but me blogs about their new socks- smiling.

  17. I would like to know how I can get the pattern for the yellow crochet sommer Hat you put on the blog "schoenenstricken" von Jessica. Thank you for your informations

  18. Hi, I love the teddy bear face. I'm in the US, can you convert this for me? I'm new at this and the bear looks funny.
    Thanks, Emily

  19. I'm crocheting a blanket for my granddaughter and this easy bear face will look sweet on it. I'm going to crochet a few. Thank you so much

  20. Why didn't anyone tell me about this site??? I LOVE this teddy bear applique...its perfect for a project I'm working on :)


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