Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Yikes - how can it be March already?

I cannot believe it's March already!  Summer has officially ended although you'd never believe that judging by the beautiful days we are still having.  Long may it continue!!  So my unplanned blog break was due to being outdoors and making the most of a stunning summer.  On one hand I've missed blogging but on the other hand it's been really lovely to leave the computer tucked away out of sight.  I have however been having lots of sneaky peeks at Pinterest on my phone as I am finding it so very inspirational.  Now I just need a bit more time to actually sit down and make some of the things I've pinned!!

A word of warning - this blog post will be all over the place because my mind is so full, I am going to just go ahead and blurt it all out!  I will start with Christmas ...

Christmas Day was utterly amazing - in fact it was the hottest Christmas since 1934 - how fantastic is that.  We hosted Christmas at our house this year and if it wasn't for an oscillating fan strategically placed near my kitchen door - I think I would have passed out over the turkey.  It did make for a very long night with overly tired small folk not being able to sleep in the humidity (something we in windy Wellington are not very used to!!).  So the whole holiday break was just perfect.  Lots of beach visits, lots of playing in the paddling pool on the deck and lots of scooter and bike rides.  
There have been a few chances for crafting amongst all the hot weather.  First of all I had to have a jolly good tidy up in my crafty space as it was looking like an absolutely shambles.  I couldn't get motivated as a cluttered desk means my head feels cluttered too.   Look at the state of it in the picture below!  Yikes.  One good thing about having a tidy up is the fact that you find things you'd forgotten about.  These lovely wee pink and orangey/red squares were made so long ago and had been packed away.  It was brilliant to find them as now they are going to be stitched together and made into a little blanket.  Miss 5 has suggested it will be just the right size for her doll's bed.
There were piles of half made projects all over the place.  Not only was I making my bits and pieces - but there were a whole other lot of pieces being whipped up for our school fair, so double the mess really.  Our school fair is on this coming Sunday so it will be amazing to see all of the gorgeous craft projects us mums have made, all together in one place.  I must remember to take some piccies of it all once we set up the stall.  We have been getting together every Wednesday for months and making all sorts of goodies - cushions, gift tags, hair clips, bags, covered pegs, bunting, garlands - and so much more.  I'm really looking forward to it.
This week saw us having fun at home with fluffy pom poms.  I had made a garland with big pom poms to drape over a boring blackboard in our kitchen.  Miss 5 spotted it immediately after school and wanted to make one for her bedroom too.  I love that she is crafty - it's nice to sit and chat while we make stuff.  Here she is with her mini pom pom garland in progress. 
The mini pom poms were so darn cute I had to make one too.  It looked sweet draped around some of the kids' art from when they were smaller.
Loads and loads of tea cosies have been made in the last few months too.  Some of them have ended up at a shop in Petone!  How exciting.  The lovely owner has also taken a few of my other makes - baby hats, mini paper bunting and hair clips.  I was so proud to see the cosies in the shop window!!   I had the overwhelming urge to yell "I made these" to anyone in the near vicinity!!
There have also been quite a few fabulous op shop bargains found recently.  This stunning tablecloth was only $6 at a market in Paekakariki last weekend.  We escaped the city for a night at the beach and we timed our arrival by fluke to sneak into the local market just before it finished for the day.  I couldn't believe my luck to find this beauty.  
I also bought this gorgeous old chair on Trade Me for $10.  It was in a dire state and needed missing chunks to be filled, rough bits sanded and knocks and dings dealt to.  I then mixed up a few different test pots and happily sat outside in the sun painting it.  What I should have done was take my sunglasses off to check the colour - it turned out a lot more pink than initially planned but I love it now.  I really love the shape of these chairs and will keep my eye out to try and find a few more to pop around the dining table when we have extras for dinner.
I should have popped this picture up a bit higher in the post when I was talking about Christmas.  Not only did we have stunning weather on the actual day but the first of my Christmas lilies actually chose Christmas Day to flower!  How utterly perfect.
It has been a busy season in the garden - and it's not a past time I love but I really enjoy the results.  My husband fought a very hard battle to remove a huge hedge of agapanthus - a nightmare of a job.  But it was well worth it as we now have a brand new vege plot which is currently full of lettuce, spinach, rocket and sweetcorn.  These wee beauties above are feijoas and they should be ready in April/May.  We have only ever had one single fruit in three years but this year we have quite a few of these little stunners growing happily on the tree.  Fingers crossed they don't get blown off in a howling southerly!!
I have turned into a crazy woman and am on a murderous rampage.  Our poor broccoli and cabbage plants have been all but destroyed by horrid caterpillars.  I now spend each day searching every leaf for the little rotters then squashing them while swearing under my breath.  I have got the children involved now and they always have a quick look for any critters while they are outside playing.  I'm not usually a violent person but these caterpillars have made me furious.  I have no hesitation in squishing them and I have also been seen to be chasing the white butterflies around the garden with my jandal in hand ready to swat them!

Our strawberry patch has been taken over by giant stick creatures which freak me out completely so I've been too scared to stick my hand in and pick any fruit.  My neighbour has had to come and remove the creatures for me.  And I have to get the children to pick the strawberries.  What a big chicken I am.
Another project I am bursting to try sometime soon is this.  While I was shopping for other people for Christmas I spotted this pretty button covering set and had to get one for myself too.  The fabric is so pretty!  I have a cardi in mind that is going to get a button makeover soon.
 There has been lots of baking ...
 I tried out my homemade cookie stamp and a lovely heart stamp - the kids loved it!
And Miss 5 was given this cake pop set for Christmas and once I had made the cake bits for her - she made these herself.  Delicious!
But by far this has been the most successful baking experience recently.  I spotted this no-knead bread recipe on good old Pinterest.  It is the most simple bread recipe I have ever made and the result is amazing.  A gorgeous chewy crusty - hot from the oven with a naughty amount of butter - yum.  My tummy is rumbling just at the thought of it.  Here is the link if you want to try it - all you need is time not effort!  You won't regret it, I promise.
Crikey I really am jumping all over the place as I remember things we have been up to.  I promised Miss 5 that I would show some pics of her making a very special cushion.  We bought some cheap remnant fabrics and she chose the stripe for a cushion.  She wanted to sew a bird on to it so that is just what she did, very patiently.
I love it!  She is so proud of herself and her beautiful cushion now lives on her bed.  
We took the kids to an open day at our local port as Mr 8 is absolutely obsessed with ships of all kinds.  He was blown away to get a chance to sit in the police boat.  I was so proud to hear him asking the policemen such sensible questions and I was also chuffed that he totally understood the map on the screen in front of him.   He is still in love with all things Titanic related and finished building a model with his dad over the last few weeks.  We now have to buy a shelf to put up in his room so this precious model can stay safely above the carnage of a boys bedroom!!
It's that time of year again for the most stunning dahlias to bloom in my in-laws' garden.  I take photos of this particular one every year - it is just perfect in every way. 

Phew - well that's all from me.  I won't be leaving it so long again as it is really hard to remember what I've been up to.  Clearly my memory is suffering now that I've turned a year older!!

Have a fabulous week - see you again soon.