Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What a weekend!

My long awaited girly weekend with Kylie was everything I had looked forward to and more! It was absolutely brilliant to catch up with such a wonderful friend and I wish we could do it more often. But living at different ends of the island, having busy family lives and the high cost of travel makes it a fairly rare event. So we were determined to squeeze in as much as possible with the time we had! There was a lot of eating, a bit of drinking and even some crochet. We are both making ripple blankets which made for a lovely photo session. We also worked our way through our recent jewellery making purchases and had so much fun making more necklaces, rings and even some little girls hair clips. It was great to be able to cover the dining table in craft stuff and not have to tidy it away the whole weekend.

Here are a few more pics of the weekend, with a bit of a tiki-tour around our stunning south coast. The weather got better and better so we had to keep stopping at different cafes throughout the weekend (I told you there was a lot of eating!).

We started off at Maranui Cafe for breakfast and were lucky enough to get what I think is the best seat in the house - smack bang in the front window overlooking the rugged beach.

It was a classic windy Wellington morning - so this kite surfer was having a fab time out there.

After many hours visiting the local Knack craft market, the Underground craft market and wandering around the city shops, it was time for afternoon tea at Martha's Pantry. I adore this wee cafe. It's so nana-y and pretty. So scones and tea it was - delicious!

Then it was home to think about what to do for dinner ... and after spotting these gorgeous strawberries at the supermarket, we decided that chocolate dipped strawberries would make the perfect dinner! What a treat!!

Oh wow - I think this is one of my favourite food combos ever. Made even better by the addition of wine. Boy it's nice to be a grown up sometimes - when you can have chocolate for dinner! See the stunning vase in the background? Kylie surprised me with it and I absolutely love it. It is currently on my windowsill full of roses my lovely neighbour just bought over for me. Talk about spoilt!

Sunday morning and after a visit to the vege market it was time for ... you guessed it ... another cafe visit!! This time it was to Scorch-O-Rama in Scorching Bay. I hadn't visited this cafe for years when it used to be called Chocolate Fish. It was the perfect sunny day to be there. I love that you can sit across the road from the main cafe and enjoy the sunshine and be right beside the beach.

Now that's a view that's hard to beat while enjoying a cold drink isn't it. A perfect spot to stop at for an icecream with the kids over the Summer holidays I think. In the 'old days' before we had children, my husband and I used to drive our wee Fiat Bambinas in convoy around this coast, stopping here for lunch. I'm hoping we can do it again soon once they are both back on the road.

The quirky art beside the cafe is totally beachy and was obviously a real labour of love.

I really love this part of Wellington so just wanted to share a few more pics with you.

Check out the house on top of this hill. It looks as if it's being held up by a central support and nothing else!

Pretty isn't it? Well almost time to go now but before I do I had to pop this pic on to the end of my post. Our first crop of broad beans for the season! After what seemed like a very long Winter it's so nice to see new veges becoming ripe and ready to eat. These were made into a yummy rustic dish with bacon, slow cooked onions, rosemary and tomatoes. Alongside some homemade bread it is one of my fave meals.

And today I picked our very first raspberries - just the two - but it's a start! No photo as I ate them within seconds! Roll on Summer so there can be more raspberries, boysenberries and one other berry that will be a surprise as I've lost the tag and can't for the life of me remember what it is!!

I hope I haven't bored you too much. Thanks for making it through to the end.

Have a fabulous week. See you again soon!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Roll on Friday!!

I was so ridiculously excited earlier in the week when two parcels were delivered! I had treated myself to some new wool which I bought through Deramores in the UK. As far as I know it's a range you can't buy here in NZ and it was a brilliant deal. They made it even easier and had put all these colours together in one Stylecraft pack. I absolutely love it and can't wait to start a project with it. The only colour I'm a bit iffy about is the pale green (top left) - it's a bit insipid but I can see how it could be used as a transitional colour between the greens and blues. I adore the raspberry colour (2nd from right on the bottom) - it's truly delicious. We have lots of beautiful wool in this country but the thing I've been struggling with is being able to find more than 10 colours in any one range that I really love and want to put together. So I think from here on in I might just have to buy from the UK - it worked out to be slightly cheaper than I usually pay for a similar sized ball here, including the postage. Fabulous!!! Thank you to Mary who had posted about her purchase which I instantly fell in love with!

The second parcel was from a New Zealand craft website I came across last week in my hunt for some bezel setting earring findings. Lots of ooohing and aaahing and several dollars later, I had placed an order for the most gorgeous jewellery bits and pieces to make things for myself and for gifts. I can show you what I made for me but the gifts will have to be kept secret just for now!!! This pendant is 30mm in diameter and I am thrilled with it. It is fairly chunky metal in antique bronze and I tell you what, the hardest thing about making it was deciding what image to pop into it! I flicked through some scrapbooking paper I had and used this reddy/pinky tree. It looks fab and when I wore it for the first time yesterday I had loads of compliments. Now I can't wait to make more!!

Here's the side on piccie, showing the thickness of the frame and the glass dome. Seriously simple and under $10 to make the entire thing including the matching chain. Brilliant!

Here is the rest of the parcel ... more pendants big and small, earrings, rings and lots of hairclips ready to decorate with gorgeous ribbon. Miss 4 will love these and they will make fab pressies for her wee friends.

My Bambina Picnic Blanket is coming along nicely. I never thought I'd enjoy making this as much as I am. It's a lovely rhythmic pattern which is pretty simple. Although in saying that, I have had to undo several rows because I haven't concentrated and discover at the very end of the row that I don't have enough stitches left. You'd think I'd learn wouldn't you but no - I've done it at least 6 times so far!

My African flower woolly blanket is also growing. I have decided that as I complete every 10 flowers, I will stop and join them together. It just seems so much easier in my mind. Otherwise I look at a giant pile of them and feel a bit daunted. This one has a bit more time on its side as I won't be using it for almost a year - it will be ready for next winter.

You might have noticed that my blog post is titled "Roll on Friday". The reason for it is that I have my gorgeous friend Kylie coming to stay with me this weekend and she flies in on Friday!! We are both well overdue for a girly weekend and I truly can't wait. We have so much planned and we won't waste one minute of it. I'm sure I'll have lots of pics to share with you in my next post. Kylie also bought some jewellery bits and bobs so there will be lots of creative action around here over the two days. We'll definitely have our hooks out too!!

Until then, I hope you all have a fabulous week!

Take care,

Monday, November 14, 2011

A blast from the past!

We are well overdue for a good Spring clean so this weekend we decided to deal with the piles of boxes we have in our attic, before our ceiling collapsed under the pressure! Amongst all the junk were two boxes marked 'toys' - one from my childhood and one from my husband's. It was so lovely to open them up and discover a box full of memories. I can remember getting this Knit Magic from a relative for Christmas when I was about 7 or 8 years old. I adored it and whipped up many tubey scarves with it! I gave one to my teacher Miss Drew and she genuinely seemed to love it. In hindsight I realise she was probably just a really good actress!! I never managed to make the delightful slippers as seen on the box, maybe when Miss 4 is a bit older she can have a go at it! This was probably where my crafty obsession started.

And as for this hat, well it's interesting...

I took a quick pic of this and then hid it away again as my two would probably destroy it in seconds. I still can't quite believe that after 30+ years, this tiny plastic set is still intact. I had to pop my crochet hook in there to show you how dinky everything is. There are little books in the bookshelf that come out, the drawers open and the radiogram cabinet (not a CD player in sight!) opens too. I absolutely loved this when I was little.

And then I came to a fabulous retro bag that my nana had made for me and inside was my beloved Daisy Doll. I never wanted a Barbie, I thought Daisy was the bees knees. She's looking like she's had one wine too many in this pic but don't you love the flared pants and platform shoes. You can tell what era she is from that's for sure!

Mr 7 was beside himself when he spotted this box amongst his Dad's treasures.

He just about burst when he opened it up to find all these old cars.

And then he got to the Lego box - oh wow talk about excited. I'm guessing that after school today I'm going to be helping build a rocket to go with the moonscape base.

I have been making progress with my ripple blanket and also the African flower blanket. But I am also trying to squeeze in a few more tea cosies for presents. While the small folk were having an early dinner yesterday I sat with them and made this little cutie. It's a tiny little teapot so it only took a wee while to make this cosy. I had to giggle, Miss 4 asked me if I was making a poncho for the teapot! She's kind of right really - it does pops right over the teapot's head!

So a Teapot Poncho it is!!

How gorgeous is this little skirt I found at the op shop for Miss 4? It's very full and so very girly.

And it's reversible! She whips it off and flips it over all day depending on her mood.

Well that's enough from me. I'm off to have a cuppa and a ridiculously delicious red velvet cupcake with a crazy amount of icing on it - mmm mmm. It's not a cake you hear much about in NZ but I was keen to try it out after hearing about this flavour on lots of US tv shows. Oh wow - amazing!!!

Have a lovely week everyone. I'm hoping to catch up on visiting your lovely blogs this week after a week of not feeling too flash. See you again soon.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

A little sidetracked!

I got a little sidetracked this week and needed a wee break from my African flower blanket. The blanket is coming along nicely, but sometimes it's nice just to whip something up and get an instant reward. So the other night I sat and had a play around and came up with this. It's a little cutie!

I love the colours and different stitches. Nothing fancy but I really like it.

The little picot edge around the top finishes it off nicely. I just wish I could have taken a better pic of it!

So it was morning tea with delicious ginger crunch in the garden today! It was a classic windy Wellington day but our little back garden was lovely and sheltered and was the perfect warm, sunny spot for a quiet cuppa.

I think I've mentioned before that I own an old, but very sweet little car. It's a 1969 Fiat 500 which is also called a Fiat Bambina in New Zealand. It has been off the road for a while but after a bit of TLC recently, it is now on the road again and making us all smile with its lovely little engine sound and cheerful appearance. You really can't help but smile when you drive it, everything about it makes me happy. I bought this little car before I had children and it cost me the princely sum of $500 which was an absolute bargain. Over the years I have recovered the seats, re-coloured the interior panels and now I have the huge decision as to what colour the interior and exterior should be painted once the panel work is finished. I'd love to hear any suggestions!! Miss 4 wants it to be pink, surprise, surprise!

So anyway - another little project got started this week and this one is for my little car. I have been seeing lots of beautiful ripple blankets on blogs lately so thought I'd better have a go. This blanket is going to be kept on the back seat of my Bambina and will be perfect for either sitting on for Summer picnics or for wrapping around our legs on Winter drives as my car doesn't have much of a heater!!!

I'm using acrylic for this blanket as it needs to be fairly hard-wearing and be able to be thrown in the washing machine without too much worry.

It's going to be pretty big, enough for the 4 of us to laze on. I'm hoping it will use up a lot of the wool that I have in my stash (in NZ, we tend to refer to any yarn as wool even if it is acrylic - sorry for the confusion!!). I wasn't totally in love with these colours as I bought them a long time ago, but the more I look at them and imagine them in my car, they will be just perfect.

We have a fabulous craft event every few months here in Wellington which is called Craft 2.0. I went last weekend and saw so many inspiring bits and pieces - I think that's probably why I felt the urge to start a few new projects!! I treated myself to these pretty earrings. I absolutely love the wee label - it's so cute. There was also a lady selling grown up toffee apples which just couldn't be passed by. I apologise for the lack of photo - but between my dear friend Ange and me, the apple was sliced and devoured so darn quickly, there was no time to get the camera out! Who could resist a tart granny smith apple covered in melted jersey caramels, then covered in sprinkles. We convinced ourselves that it was healthy because it was mostly fruit!!!

Well that's me for another week! I am looking forward to some sunny weather over the next few days so I can spend some time in the garden which desperately needs weeding and replanting. Meanwhile I will make the most of these lovely blooms from the local vege market. This shade of pink is just gorgeous - I wish I could grow these!

Have a fabulous week everyone!!