Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Farewell 40!

This week has seen a little bit more time free in the evenings to get my crochet hook out and I have loved every minute of it!  My new blanket is coming along nicely and I am trying my best to make one square a night amongst all the other jobs that need doing.  This join-as-you-go lark is terrific!  Talk about instant gratification.  
I have decided to use 4 main colours to be the outside edges and they are shades of pink through purple.  These were the colours that first caught my eye when I opened my parcel of Stylecraft and they still make me smile now.  It was a pre-selected colour pack and not all the colours were my cup of tea but they will come in handy in the future I'm sure!  So now that I've decided to make this big enough for a queen sized bed cover, I'm definitely going to need to order some more wool.  I will start to repeat the colour order now so that I end up with a few repeats as there will be approximately 30 squares in total.  Yikes, that sounds a lot now that I've actually written it!
I often see pretty bunting on blogs I look at and I love how sweet it looks, but I never thought I could make it look good in my own home.  But yesterday I decided that I needed to get into the spirit of my birthday so I played with some scrapbooking paper and made these little cuties.  A small string of bunting to sit above the birthday cards that had started to arrive.  I love it so much - and I keep smiling to myself every time I look at it.
You might have notice the title of this post being "Farewell 40".  It is true, today I am officially 41- aaargh.  I'd only just got the hang of being 40!  Oh well, at least it meant a nice day to look forward to.  I was very spoilt and received some lovely pressies including some Cath Kidston goodies, a beautiful new top and a CD I have been bursting to get.  I also took my family to Martha's Pantry for high tea where my husband surprised me with lovely flowers.  I adore this wee cafe - I could go there every day.  Their collection of china, glassware and vintage teaspoons is truly fabulous.
Not to mention all the bit sized treats complete with birthday cupcake!

 Here's my wee Miss 4 inspecting the cake cabinet!
Happy birthday to me ...  what did I wish for?  Perhaps a few more minutes a day to work on my blanket?
A quick stop into Moore Wilsons to buy a gift for a dear friend and I got slightly sidetracked when I spotted these adorable cupcake cases.  I love babushka dolls - so these had to come home with me.  A cheap little treat which I can't wait to use.
And because my small folk think it's very important that anyone having a birthday has to have a birthday cake, we made a delicious chocolate cake.  I then cut a third of it off and mixed it with butter cream icing to make some cake pops.  They were then dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with girly coloured 100's and 1000's.  Even big girls need pretty little cakes sometimes!  Thank goodness calories don't count on your birthday.

I had to add these beach pics as they are full of lovely memories of a fun beach visit with Mr 7 yesterday while Miss 4 was at kindy.  The weather was very warm but the sky was moody. Mr 7 had so much fun leaning over the pier looking for fish, collecting driftwood to build a boat when we got home and watching the inter-island ferries going by.  It's been really great spending time alone with my wee man.  He's growing up so fast.

Well that's enough from me for now.  Have a fabulous week!  See you again soon.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ripple Picnic Blanket - Ta Da!

Yay - my ripple picnic blanket is all finished! I've been bursting to take it on our family fish and chip outing this week but the weather has just not been great. Warm and sunny - but unbelievably windy so not ideal. So when the sun came out today and the wind was minimal the small folk and I thought we should rush out and set up our pretend picnic in the back yard. I was allowed to use their flashest plastic tea set and we had to have flowers. Adorable.

It's a good size for the four of us to plonk down on when we're at the beach or at a picnic - 145cm x 125cm. It's going to look beyond cute folded up on the back seat of my wee car! I used acrylic to make this knowing full well that it was going to take a bit of a hammering with food spills and tomato sauce splodges. It can be thrown in the washing machine without too much fuss - hopefully.

Why not throw in another shot!

Oh look who turned up!! Good old Bella, always in amongst the photo session. My furry girl turned 13 this week so I now have a teenager in the house. This photo looks so strange because of the angle, Bella looks positively enormous!!! She is large, but not this large.

I am really keen to make another ripple in the future - it was such a relaxing pattern to work with. But in the meantime ...

Remember that Stylecraft yarn I treated myself to from the UK? It has been sitting, waiting to be used - so the other night I got it out and started my next project. Wow - I love working with this yarn! This is the first time I've worked on a join-as-you-go project and I'm loving it. More on this next time!

Did you see the lovely curry recipe over at Lucy's recently? I read it then had to dash to the supermarket immediately for one or two ingredients so I could make it for dinner. Delicious - I highly recommend it. I also made some gorgeous naan bread which was very hard to stop eating! I'm surprised any of it made it to the dinner table actually. Between me and the small folk having 'taste tests' - we got through quite a bit of it!!

Note to self - do not use brand new pastry brush to butter the frying pan! What a blonde. I wrecked the last brush doing the exact same thing. How did I forget that!! I'm thinking silicone is required in my next brush.

I couldn't pass up a sale at my local wool shop yesterday and treated myself to some lovely bright new wool. The tomato red colour hasn't been available for ages so I was so excited to see it again. I love using this colour in anything stripey - it goes to well with the pinks. And I had a $10 voucher to use so this little lot only cost $16 - that's less than $1.50 for pure wool - fabulous.

And when I was walking out of the shop I spotted these little sweeties. My oven glove had mysteriously disappeared so it was a good excuse to buy something pretty. Flowers and spots - what's not to like?

It is still the school holidays here until early February so we have been discovering lots of new playgrounds around town. I think hands down this has to be the most stunning view I've ever seen from a playground. It's our new favourite hangout and it's not too far from home. I can't believe we've never been here before - it's amazing.

There was an extra long slide which Miss 4 was a bit scared of but she managed it and then there was no stopping her. Mr 7 loved it because while he was playing, he could also see all the planes coming in over the harbour on their way to the airport nearby.

Now I have to apologise, I was meant to thank Barbina and Aurora Blythe for their lovely awards. But with all the Christmas/New Year things going on I completely left it off my last post. Thank you ladies - I was absolutely chuffed!!

Have a fabulous week - see you again soon.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Phew - Nearly There!!

Wow, I can't believe it's almost mid-January already! I hope the New Year is treating you all well. It has been so busy here, I've had hardly any time to sit down at the computer so I was determined to do it today. I'm looking forward to visiting all my fave blogs really soon for some new year inspiration. My ripple picnic blanket is almost done - yippee! I think another two colours and we'll call it a day. My small folk are bursting to take it on its inaugural picnic outing. So I'm thinking that the next sunny evening we have, we'll pack up my tiny Fiat, grab some fish and chips and slowly tootle to the top of our local 'mountain' for dinner. Dinner with a view over Wellington city - gorgeous!

Oh and of course no photo session would be complete without Bella! I don't know how she does it but she always miraculously appears as soon as I put my crochet on the floor. Don't you love the attitude in this pic!!

As much as I don't particularly like the colours I had left in this wool, it has been a really lovely easy pattern to work on. It does make me laugh though - this project was started with the intention of using up all these colours and clearing out one wool basket . So why is it that I'm nearly finished and the wool doesn't look like it's diminished much at all. Darn it.

The sun came out this morning so I whizzed the small folk off to a central city playground. I've never been there before and it was gorgeous. Our own little Central Park! Unfortunately the rain that was forecast for later tonight decided to come way too soon and we all got totally drenched. I'm kind of glad really because it meant we got to visit a nearby cafe instead which was just lovely.

I think the staff thought I was mad, wandering around taking photos of their chairs! How could I not take pictures, they were soooooo pretty.

Mmmmm flowers or stripes ...... where to sit?

I loved the decorative dangly curtain thingamee. What a brilliant way to use up lots of trinkets. Miss 4 would love this in her room.

Even the lampshades were fabulous. These ones were in the ladies loo!

This was my fave - there were a few of them above the front door. I couldn't take my eyes off them.

I know this isn't nearly as groovy as the ones at the cafe but I'm loving them. I re-covered our dining chairs last week using some very summery, beachy fabric and they look fabulous. A very welcome splash of colour - every bit helps.

The holiday break gave us a chance to have a bit of a change around at home. Out with some old furniture and in with some new 'old' furniture. I bought this gorgeous old oak tea trolley ages ago for only $20 and it has been hidden away in our spare room for too long. It is now in the lounge and I adore it. I love that this really old piece now houses some lovely nana-y flowers in an old jar (and sitting on a doily!!!), while underneath is a more modern gadget. Loving it.

We were also really lucky to find this amazing old, solid Rimu hutch dresser. It is in amazing condition and will be well loved in its new home. We used to have something like this in our last home but it was built in, so we couldn't bring it with us. This cabinet was an absolute nightmare to get into our front door (we managed to smash through the porch floorboards in the process - eeek) but once it was in, it was as if it was made for our room. So this week it has been so much fun sorting through all our op shop treasures and trinkets to start popping on the shelves. I find myself staring at it in the evening - I'm so thrilled that we found it.

I found a recipe recently for this fantastic quiche. This was a total hit at a family picnic last week. The most perfect thing to make when you want to use up any manner of things in your fridge. And any recipe that is made in one bowl and takes 5 minutes has got to be good doesn't it? Even my husband loved it and he's not really into eggy things. Just looking at it now is making me hungry!! Oooh, maybe we need one for dinner ...

Have a fab week everyone. See you again soon.