Wednesday, September 28, 2011

China treats and my giveaway reminder!

I have been very spoilt this week. A lovely friend of ours has given me a huge selection of beautiful china that belonged to his nana. She was moving house and could no longer keep it with her. So instead of the local charity shop getting it, he gave the whole lot to me! I am hugely, hugely grateful and every piece will be cherished. My most favourite piece is this lovely green bowl. It's almost too pretty to use as it would be a shame to cover up the gorgeous flowers!

This wee set is absolutely adorable too even if my photography doesn't quite show it due to the reflection. I think this will definitely be used for special family dinners - it's just gorgeous.

And perfect for the Spring weather we are having, look at this beautiful serving dish. Do you see what I mean about being spoilt!! I am absolutely in love with all of these pieces.

At the moment I have some of them on my vintage tea trolley and they look beautiful, but I think with small folk running around it will be safer to pop them away in my old china cabinet where they can be admired, safely, from behind glass until I need to use them!! Miss 4 has requested the wee pink and gold tea cup on the right to be her special one when we have our 'scones and tea' lunches. It's the perfect little size for her too.

Progress is definitely being made on my blanket, but I didn't get it finished in time for this post. I had a few hat orders to get out so that's my excuse! The navy one on the top is tiny for a wee bub born quite early. The lighter blue one is for when he gets a bit bigger. I love the colours in the second one - they were chosen by a four year old friend of Miss 4 - as the hats are for his brand new tiny cousin. I think he chose really well - a great colour combo.

I had a fabulous time at the op shop yesterday. You know sometimes you walk in and you've just timed it perfectly for some terrific finds. I had to buy this old cook book from 1972. Sorry did I say old? It's only a year younger than me - so I will rephrase and say it's a fabulous fairly young cook book instead!! The images are definitely retro and I'm looking forward to trying out the recipes. I was also able to pick up 5 sets of circular knitting needles for a mere $2 each - brand new and in lovely vintage packaging. Someone has had them tucked away safely in their knitting bag all these years! Now I'm no knitter so I've bought them for a friend. I will hold on to one pair just in case I ever get good enough to use them!

Earlier this week I was so excited to find a parcel in my letterbox. It was from Pixie and inside was the most gorgeous wee 'slightly wonky bird' (Pixie's words not mine as there is nothing slightly wonky about him!!) that I won on her giveaway recently. He is now happily keeping me company in my little craft corner. Thank you so much Pixie - I adore him!!

And speaking of giveaways .....

I will be drawing a winner for this wee gift on Friday (NZ time) so if you haven't already left a comment on this post from last week, please do so I can add your name to the draw! It's open to all followers current and new and I will post anywhere in the world. There are also two extra little pressies for 2nd and 3rd names drawn so scroll down to my previous post and get commenting!!!

Have a fabulous week.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Blanket update .... and a wee giveaway!

It has been fabulous to be feeling motivated again and I am so excited that progress has really been made on my giant granny blanket. I am just adding the smaller squares around the edge now and will then do a simple border in white, with a wee picot edge I think. I'm absolutely loving it and hope to finish it while we are still having some cooler weather so we can get to use it before Summer! It is 41 rounds from memory and just a great size for snuggling under while watching TV. As much as I have loved making this blanket, I have however made a promise to myself that this will be the last blanket I make where I leave all the tying-in until the end. It is my very least favourite thing about crochet as I always seem to make a bit of a mess with my end tying! So from here on in, all ends will be tied in as I go. Famous last words ...??? Well I will do my best anyway! Hopefully I'll have it finished ready for my post next week. Rugby World Cup fever is still rampant here. We had Mr 6's school production last night which was a show about the World Cup. They did a fabulous job and even had some pictures in the paper this morning so they were all totally chuffed. We made All Blacks gingerbread men at the weekend. Miss 4 and Mr 6 requested that they be decorated as Dan Carter and Richie McCaw - their team favourites. These wee cookies are a family fave and we've been having so much fun decorating them in different ways. Recently we made some with a cast on one leg as a pressie for a little friend who had her leg in plaster. As the recipe makes soooooo many, we bag them up and do the rounds of school friends who love them too. Mr 6 went to a birthday party at the weekend at our local trout fishing centre. It was such a fabulous party idea. He was bursting with pride to have caught the biggest fish of the day - a whopping 1.22kg. Most of the fish in the lake are about 400grams like the other one here, so you can imagine his face when he caught this one! We had the most delicious dinner that night thanks to our wee guy.

And now for my wee giveaway ... I've mentioned before that I originally started this blog as a bit of a diary for myself, not really thinking that it would be of interest to anyone else. So I am so thrilled to bits to have reached 150 followers!! Your comments absolutely make my day and it's been wonderful to visit your blogs and discover like-minded folk all across the world. So as a token of my gratitude, I'd like to giveaway some things that I love and that are very specific to my part of the world.

The pendant features a Pohutukawa tree which is one of my most favourite things about New Zealand. It is often referred to as the NZ Christmas tree as it flowers over our summer. And if it flowers early it is believed we will have a long and beautiful summer. I have also popped in a Peanut Slab - again one of my favourite things!! This is a dangerously delicious chocolate bar and I adore them. My Mum used to post them to me when I lived in the UK because I missed them so much! Here's a closer look at the pendant.I have also got two more little pressies of a Peanut Slab tucked inside a small flax kete (Maori woven flax bag) so will draw additional names for these too!

So if you are a follower, either current or new (welcome!), please leave me a comment on this post by next Friday 30 September and I will draw a lucky winner.

Now before I go, I'd like to say a big thank you to Barbara for passing on a versatile blogger award to me. Thank you so much - it made my day!

I hope you're all having a fabulous week. See you again soon.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A winning week.

My gorgeous wee Miss 4 came home from kindy earlier in the week bursting with pride that she had made this all by herself! I think it's absolutely adorable and a pretty good first effort don't you think? She cracks me up though as she refers to anything crafty as 'knitting'. Anytime I have my crochet hooks out, she wants to help with my 'knitting'. And so it was with her kindy sewing - she corrected me and told me it was again 'knitting'!! Who am I to argue with the mind of a four year old?

I had some lovely news this week - I was the lucky winner of Pixie's 'slightly wonky if not a bit odd Dickie bird' giveaway!! Thank you so very much Pixie - your lovely wee bird will be right at home here amongst my other slightly wonky and odd things!

I haven't achieved very much in the way of crochet this week, but now that I'm starting to feel a bit better I will get back into the swing of things! My granny blanket is progressing slowly but surely. Each week I look at it and think I'm done but somehow I then change my mind and convince myself to do just another few rounds! So each week I take a picture, but because I'm using the same rotation of colours, it looks exactly like the previous week so I don't bother popping a pic on my post. I will wait until it's complete which shouldn't be too far away hopefully. So to keep me inspired and motivated to move on to the next project, I treated myself to some gorgeous wool this morning. I am planning on making a bed cover using an African flower motif and I am bursting to get it started. This Ashford Tekapo wool is a delight to work with - I've used it quite a bit before. I really have to finish the granny blanket first or it will linger in my basket forever. I am definitely not the most patient person in the world so this will drive me crazy!!! The African flower blanket is to replace the hexagon one I started. I will have another go at it in the future but I just couldn't get excited about it at the time.

I had a fabulous op shop find on Saturday which has completed my little mix and match set. I started with this fabulous teapot (which had no lid for some reason). It belonged to my Nana and I had always loved it. About a year after my lovely Nana died I managed to find a lid for sale on Trade Me which was the perfect partner to my teapot. Then I found the cup in an op shop about two years ago which I used quite happily on its own. But a quick pop in to my local op shop at the weekend completed my wee set. Sitting alone on the shelf for all of $1 was the saucer I needed! Well worth the wait!!!

We had the most crazy hail storm yesterday - completely out of the blue. With it was spectacular thunder and lightning, according to the newspaper we had 581 lightning strikes! The hail was so dense that our property was absolutely white in some parts - more so than when we had the freak snow storm last month! Here is a shot of our front garden/garage - it was so beautiful but so flippin' slippery. It happened about half an hour before school pick up so you can imagine the fun we had walking home. When we got home, all Mr 6 wanted to do was eat it - so instead of being the spoil sport I usually am - I said go for it. Just eat the white stuff on the top. If you get to the brown bits - stop! You really don't need to eat dirt for dinner. He then decided to collect it in bowls and try and sell it to passers-by! Strangely enough he had no takers.

I love this picture of Miss 4 in her very pretty Spring time dress and gumboots!!

It was the perfect afternoon to come home, light the fire, get cosy and do some baking. I kinda made up this recipe and it actually worked out. Anything with chocolate icing has to be good really. The kids loved them.

And just because everyone is Rugby World Cup mad here at the moment, we iced some biscuits with what is meant to be the Silver Fern and Rugby Balls. Again, the kids thought they were fabulous so that's all that matters! As a grown up - black icing doesn't seem so appealing.

I am still in catch up mode with visiting all my favourite blogs but am slowly getting back into my routine. Can't wait to see what everyone has been up to. I hope you're all having a wonderful week. Take care and see you again soon.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

My week!

I think I need another week in Fiji ... I'm quite certain that is what I need. But alas, I'm home and to top it off I've not been feeling great. I was sick while we were away but it got worse on our return. Nasty chest problems - yuk. The small folk and my husband made me stay home and rest while they visited his parents on the weekend. So it seemed the perfect time to sit down and watch some terribly trashy TV while I made a gorgeous cowl. I had fallen in love with this wool last week and knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. A few hours later it was finished - super easy. And it's just the most perfect thing to keep a troubled chest warm and toasty. I have worn it everyday this week and have had lots of lovely comments.

Here is the wool/yarn - it's made in the UK and it's really lovely to work with. Super soft and snuggly and not the least bit itchy as it's a wool/acrylic mix.

And here is the cowl...

I absolutely adore the colour mix of this wool. Pink/purple/pale green/pale blue/grey - beautiful.

I couldn't sleep this morning and was up far too early so I decided to make a little headband for Miss 4. Her kindy was having a 'black' day today to celebrate the Rugby World Cup starting here tomorrow and to show their support for our All Blacks team. We had managed to put together a black outfit for her to wear (a real mission when she really only likes pink and red at the moment) so she was super excited this morning when she got up to find a new headband to go with the outfit. I am guessing their day will be spent getting face painted and practising the haka! My two can do a great rendition of the Ka Mate haka. For you lovely overseas folk who might not have a clue what I'm talking about, the haka is the challenge the All Blacks perform before a rugby test match. If you'd like see a haka, have a look here for one example. Now I'm not a huge rugby fan (sorry Dad!) but there is something about the haka that really gets to me and makes me proud to be a Kiwi.

A few weeks ago I was the lucky winner of a giveaway over at LeeAnn's Lovables. I was so excited to get home this morning and find a parcel waiting for me. I am so, so happy... this book is just stunning and I can't wait to start making some of these designs. There are some fabulous wee rectangular designs which look great so I shall start with them. There were also three beautiful hooks in the parcel - which will be put to very good use! Thank you so much LeeAnn - you've made my day!

Now I've been trying to get some decent pics of my op shop clothing finds but I am rubbish at getting good shots without everything looking wrinkly and horrible even though I've spent ages ironing (did I mention how much I hate ironing?). So I have crossed that off my list and will in future either have to just describe what I've bought, or show a close up pic of the fabric or something like that. Better still, I could learn how to photograph things properly I guess?

I did however manage to get a semi decent pic of a skirt I treated myself to this week. This one is a new skirt, not one of my op shop bargains. I did get it on sale though which is fabulous! It has quite a retro feel about it and I think it reminds me of an apron someone in my family had when I was a child - do you know what I mean?

Better still, it is printed with a hand-dyed/painted look about it with lots of little blobs of colour here and there to shadow images. So it will be perfect for me when I inevitably spill something on it - you'll never notice the difference!!! Brilliant.

Now for an op shop treasure. I thought someone must have made a mistake with the price tag on this one. $9 for this pretty piece! I have lots of lovely old bowls but I've never found one with a matching lid so I was totally thrilled to spot it. I can't wait to use this on the dinner table soon.

I had to pop this pic on too. My darling girl Bella, who is my constant crochet companion. Except for this particular day when the sun decided to come out. She spent the entire day following the patches of sunlight around the room and plonking herself down wherever the sun was. Ah - the life of a very spoilt cat.

I hope you're all having a fab week so far. Take care - see you again soon.