Monday, July 16, 2012

It's so nice to be back!

Wow, it's been almost a month since I last had a chance to do a post and I've missed it.  So I warn you, this post will probably be long as I've got lots to catch up on.  The days have been absolutely flying by recently.  It has also been the school holidays here so my small folk have been keeping me rather busy.  Both children were sick over the holidays which wasn't much fun.  At least the weather was rubbish so it was ideal to be tucked up on the couch, watching DVDs and resting.  It did mean that I was able to get my hook out a few times during the day which was lovely.  I made a collection of tiny hearts for my wee girl and made them into a garland for her bedroom. 
She is very particular, just like her mother, and they had to be in a certain order.  I am going to have to make more of these as they are just so cheerful.  I can see garlands popping up all around the house (anything to add some colour to these gloomy winter days).
Then there was a bit more heart creating.  I had bought a battered old book of sheet music at the op shop a while back so I got it out while the kids happily played (not fighting for a change!).  With the help of some thick double-sided mounting tape, these layered hearts turned out really well.  Perfect to fill an empty spot on the wall.
 Side on you see the 3D effect.  And while I was taking a photo of these, Miss 5 made this one ...
Too cute!  I didn't realise she had even been watching me make my one.  I think she did a fab job!  She went on to make about 6 of them which are now on her bedroom wall.  Mr 7 was also busy making things - but his makes were Lego.  He is obsessed with Titanic and made a great selection of Titanics and icebergs!! I must get a photo of them.
I also finished my cat from Annaboo's CAL!  I'm so happy with him - I will definitely be making more now that I know it's not as hard as I thought it would be.  I overstuffed his poor head a bit, but hey, he's still cute.  
I also stayed up too late at night having a play on my sewing machine.  My fear of zips and buttonholes were holding me back from making cushions, so I decided to do a flap/envelope back instead and I love the result.
I had been collecting fabric for a while but then I spotted this fabulous length of fabric at Stitchbird.  One length made two cushions and I absolutely adore this bird print.  I had planned to use a plain backing but at the last moment changed it to the green and white spots and I love it!
 I was so pleased with the result, I couldn't wait to make a few more.
 Here's a pic of the back.  Nice and neat and not a zip in sight - yippee.
Here are the next two I made.  I was all set to make some square ones next until my brand new 22 day old sewing machine decided to sound like a helicopter landing in the living room and promptly died.  I know it wasn't a super flash machine and I did get it at a cheap price, it was still a decent machine at a fairly decent price before the sale.  Grrrrrrr.  And because it was outside of the 14 day period I wasn't able to get a replacement machine.  So it is currently away being repaired and I am missing it.  Fingers crossed it gets fixed soon or I will be turning into a super-grump.  I had also started altering all my jeans which I am eager to continue with.  All those jeans that have wider legs have started to be taken in so they are nice and lean.  I used to do this all the time as a teenager and can't believe I haven't done this sooner as an adult.  This way I end up with jeans that actually suit my figure and fit me perfectly.
Big news too - I have finished my giant blanket!  Here's a quick pick of it before I did the border - I had just laid it on the floor to look at it and of course Bella appeared and wouldn't budge.  I'm not going to show you until my next post as I am determined to have every end tied in before I take photos of it.  I know, I know, I said I would tie them in as I went but clearly I am a big fat liar!!  I got carried away and after the first 10 were made and tidied as I went, the next 26 squares were left.  I am absolutely kicking myself now as it's the bit I really dislike and now I have to sit for hours with a needle, sewing the pesky things.  In saying that though, I adore the blanket and can't wait to have it on my bed!!
I had a lovely letterbox treat last week, my book arrived from the UK.  I had read it from the library and had to have it.  So many ideas, so much colour - I love it.  I am a little addicted to Book Depository - it is soooooo much cheaper to buy books from the UK than it is to buy them here.
I love all the mismatched furniture, china and colourful bits and pieces throughout this book - definitely the look I want.
My biggest bargain last weekend was these pretty sneakers for less than $10.  I bought them at a children's shop as I have ridiculously small feet.  The lady in the shop asked me "how old is she" presuming they were for my daughter.  I replied that she was quite old, 41 in fact!!  Oh well, at least my feet feel young.  
My gorgeous friend Ange gave me this most amazing recipe recently and I have to share it with you.  Ginger crunch is a popular slice here in NZ and one I make often.  This recipe is for a fancier version which is beyond delicious.  It's easy and the outcome looks much more difficult and will guarantee to get lots of oooohs and aaaaahs.  If you're able to stop eating it, you're a stronger person than me!

Oaty Ginger Slice

3/4 cups sugar
1 Tbspn chopped crystallised ginger (or substitute with 1 tspn ground ginger - works perfectly)
7 Tbspn golden syrup
250g butter
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced or chopped almonds
3/4 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
4 tspns ground ginger
2 cups icing sugar
3Tbspn chopped pistachios

Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.  Line a slice tray.  Combine sugar, crystallised ginger, 2 Tbspn golden syrup and 150g butter over a low heat.  Stir until melted then add oats, almonds, flour and coconut.  Mix well then firmly press into slice tray.  Bake for 20 minutes then cool.

For the topping, put remaining butter, golden syrup, ground ginger and icing sugar in a pan over a low heat and stir until smooth.  Pour over base and sprinkle with pistachios.  Allow to set then cut into slices.


Have a fabulous week - see you again soon.


  1. lovely creations Leah-would love to make a heart garland like yours one day!

  2. What a lovely cheerful post with so much lovely news to catch up on! Just what I need with all the gloomy wintery weather we have in the UK at the moment - yes it is supposed to be summer here! I have a similar fear of sewing but for years my excuse has been that I have had no space to put out my sewing machine ... we moved last year and have lots more space, now my excuse is that I don't have a table for it - a very rubbish excuse!! I really should get over it! xx

  3. I love the sound of the ginger slice and I too am addicted to The Book Depository! Thank you for sharing your beautiful creations.

  4. oh! wow Leah so much done and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your update of all what you've been doing. Very sorry to hear about your sewing machine thats a real pain...I suppose its under guarantee and repair will not cost you anything. I mean no machine can last just 22 days even if it is a bargain buy. Gorgeous heart bunting and the colour combination is lovely. I very much like your dimensional heart wall mount and just out of musical scores....impressive!!!

    Keep well

    Amanda :-)

  5. Hi Leah!

    Lovely post filled with all kinds of wonderful things!

    Take care
    Monica (Ansota)

  6. Hi Leah! Good to see you back - you've certainly been busy! I love your hearts and your cat and your blanket and... and.... Am going to try your recipe next week as my family are addicted to ginger! Thanks for sharing. xxx

  7. Welcome back! :)
    Glad you found time for blogging again! You have done so so so many things! What a busy time, right? Love everything in this post, especially the granny blanket! It's adorable! I'm also working on mine but, you know, so many distractions!
    Hope you have a greate week ahead!
    Best, LS

  8. Hey there, Leah. It's good to see you post again. That ginger slice sounds delicious. Might have to give it a go, but need to get some pistachios first. I love your pillows - good for you going with the flap rather than a zipper. If I knew how to sew, that's what I would do, too. Sometimes when I buy pillowcovers with zippers, they break when stuffing the pillow in. Very aggravating. Hope your machine is fixed pronto. Your blanket looks beautiful, just from the bit you've shown. I hate weaving ends. Blah! And probably don't do it as well as most. I think I cut my tails too short and usually knot things off thinking that will better, though I know it's not the thing to do. I want to make the monkey's that Annaboo posted. So cute! Hope the kiddos are fine now. I love looking through Homespun Style -- bought it months ago when we were in Dubai. You have a great week. Tammy

  9. There you are!!! And what a lot of work you've done. There's no better combo than a cat and a blanket :-)

  10. Goodness what a lot to take in, you have been busy,, where to start...the cushions *'ohhh the cushions* are just so glorious,, wonderful fabrics, now i can see these for sale along side your tea cosies in that lovely shop ,, i think they would fly of the shelves,,x also you and I must of been tuned in together when you got your 'homespun style' as i received mine at the same time from the same book company as you did.....its a lovely book isn't it,, so much colour and inspiration....
    ...As are the crocheted hearts,, they are just perfect and i can see really long strings of these hanging all round your many lovely makes Leah,,lots of lovely sunny colours and happy images....
    Take care luvvy, i shall be looking forward to seeing the finished blanket in the next post.
    Pixie xx

  11. Wow, you have been busy. I ordered the 200 crochet squares book from Book Depository... just had to have it after seeing your copy. Can't wait for a lesson--I could trade you for sewing in loose end, which I'm quite happy doing! The music book hearts are gorgeous.

  12. Wow, so much to love here!!
    What a great idea the hearts was-I love it, and may have to try it too.
    Loved seeing everything form Annaboos crochet along, and really wished I joined in!!
    Yours is gorgeous!!

  13. My goodness, you've been busy! I hope your machine is fixed soon--editing my own pants is something I've wanted to take on but am too chicken. The cushions, the hearts, the kitty, the gorgeous granny blanket, all so lovely. :)

  14. Such a fun, full post Leah! I love the colors in your granny blanket. Have fun with those ends : ) I always make envelope closures on my pillows too, beats a fussy zipper. That Homespun book is my fav.
    Enjoy your week, hope you get your machine back soon... and you were on such a roll too!

  15. I love the blanket! Can't wait to see the rest of it!

  16. Hi Leah - glad you are back. I am amazed books are cheaper here than NZ. We always think they are expensive when compared to US. When I went to India the books were incredibly cheap and so was the packing back to UK (but obviously its a little far to go for a weekend read!!). I also am scared of button holes and zips and would also like to add 'bias binding' to the list. For my first attempt at sewing I bought the simplest pattern for little summer dresses for my nieces only to find they had bias binding to be done around the arms - eek. I love the fabric in the cushions. Its really pretty. xxx

  17. Those cushions are just gorgeous, and the green with white dots for the back match perfectly in my opinion.... and that kitty cat is just so squeezably delicious - both the crochet one and Bella of course!

  18. Oh man there's so much to love in this post, really, I'm a wreck, the blankets amazing, love the cat even with his fat head, the, & I'm so jealous of those pretty sneakers!!!!
    What a busy crafter you have been :)
    Have a great week
    Lots of love Karen x

  19. What a fun filled post! The garland is sweet! What a great idea to decorate your daughter's room w/it. I love how your son is into Titanic! I can't wait to see your Granny Blanket reveal. I want to Pin It for Color Inspiration. You look amazing for 41; heck, you look like you're in your late twenties!

  20. So glad to see you posting again, Leah! Missed you! LOVE the pillows you made. I am with you. Zippers are too much for me. I stick to velcro, buttons or simple folds. Hope your machine is back to you soon. Has to be torture to be without it. You are always putting it to such good use.

    Treasure your small feet! I am rather jealous as it always seems the cutest shoes come in the smaller sizes. Very nice sneakers!

    Bella sounds like my Lucy. As soon as I lay something new out for a picture, there she ensconces herself immediately!

  21. I have enjoyed it so much reading your post! I love your new blanket! I can´t wait to see more of it! I spend most of my days with sewing in ends too. Horrible! Your pillows are so beautiful, I love the fabric! I hope you will get your sewing machine back very soon!
    Your sneakers are great, I would buy them too! :)
    I wish you and your family a wonderful new week! xxxBarbina

  22. I finally got round to logging into blog world again and needless to say I am thrilled you posted the recipe for your super yummy ginger crunch (or Ange's!). It was lovely catching up and seeing all your beautiful creations in person - you are so talented hon. Your home looks simply gorgeous! Have a great week hon - especially Tuesday ;-) Becks xxx

  23. Wow, so many nice things! I love your new cushions, the fabrics are just up my street! The hearts are lovely and so is your new big blanket....your cat is so like can't put something out to photograph without them being right there!

    The recipe looks yummy, definitely a tryer!

    Sorry about your machine, hope it's fixed soon, I'm surprised your not covered seeing as it went so soon...ah, well, at least it's being fixed now!

    Have a great week!

  24. I love the 3D heart you've made with music sheets, is so nice! What a clever idea! And thank you for sharing the recipe, I'm always happy to find somthing yummy to try!

  25. Hello luv, it has been ages since I have been on here to read your blogs! As always I LOVE your love of colour. The music sheet hearts are stunning. T xxx

  26. Hi Leah,

    Just finished my first tea cosy! Waow I really love it. Thanks for sharing...I'm sure this will make a big hit here among my friends in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Love your site/Blog.



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