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.



  1. What a lovely busy post! It's so interesting to read about everyday things happening on the other side of the world! You must be so proud to have your cosies displayed in a shop window, and nobody would blame you at all if you nudged someone looking in the window to tell them they were your own work!!!
    Angie x

  2. Excellant post Leah! Really enjoyed it.
    We are returning from the UK to live in the Hutt to look after my elderly Mum. I will look out for your creations in Petone shops - I love Petone.
    Oh and thanks for the bread recipe - I will give it a go.

  3. What a great catch up post! You certainly have been busy gardening and crafting. Well done on the tea cosies! We are just coming into spring here so looking at your plants makes me want summer to come along quickly! Take care. Chel

  4. What a fantastic catch-up post! It was like sitting down with you, with a cup of tea, for a good old chat! :-)

  5. Welcome back honey, so lovely seeing your colourful post. What a wonderful excuse to have, summer sun for lack of computer time. I hope for some of that for us this year. Loving the updates and Miss 5 is certainly showing some of Mums talent. T xxx

  6. So lovely to read your new post. My son lives in Wellington and I like the idea that he may walk past that certain shop and see your colourful teacozies not knowing i've seen them too on this side of the planet. He did say that Christmas was hot and he and his girlfriend made the most of the weather. I miss Wellington, we are due a visit soon, and reading your posts and seeing your photos of places makes me look forward to being there soon. One place on my list to sit by again which we loved before was Scorching Bay.

  7. What a lovely, long visit this one was! Goodness, you've been so busy, making beautiful things. Your girl's stripey pillow is absolutely gorgeous! Well done, Miss 6. :)

  8. A really beautiful post! So full of wonderful craftyness. I love little Miss' cushion and her pom pom garland. And congratulations on your sales in Petone!

  9. It's so lovely to see you are doing your blog again hon! Isnt this summer just dreamy - although I am a bit freaked out now that we are running out of water and the draught is getting nasty. Tell your wee girl that she is such a clever bunny - her bird cushion is fabulous! Becks xxx

  10. Wow, you've been busy. Good for you on making the most of your summer out of doors. It was fun to read about all the interesting activities that have been occupying you and the family's time.

  11. Winter brrrr! Yip, I too currently reside in the Southern Hemisphere and autumn is starting to show face. Oh dear I hate winter but it will make for a lot of hookytime at least.

  12. Gosh! What an update!! It's so difficult with a family of young kids to stay regular at blogging, I flit in and out, some weeks I post 3 times then I may got 5 weeks without! Infact we wouldn't be doing our 'mummy' job properly if we posted all the time! But it's still nice to be part of that international community, however sporadic, I love catching up with tales from fellow crafty mums around the world and you are so right about the amount of inspiration out there ... talking of which ... I'm absolutely LOVING the red and pink grannys - can't wait to see how that turns out ...

  13. Oh my goodness you have been so busy! Loving those bright little granny squares, and it must be very satisfying to see your makes for sale.
    Hope the good weather has continued for you - send some over to the Uk please?! Now April and its still so cold!
    Gill xx

  14. Hi Leah
    Just saw you've been "over to mine" (or someone has via yours!), and hope all is well with you and yours.Hope your lack of posting is cos you are too busy enjoying life!
    Take care Leah, look forward to a new post soon when you have time.
    love Gill xx

  15. I just wanted to tell you how much I love your blog. I just spent 4 hours and 15 minutes reading all of your posts starting with 2009 to the present date. You are inspriring! I am writing this comment to you from Black Diamond, Washington State in the US. I will be following your blog from now on. I am an avid crocheter and your bright and cheerful crocheted items are food for my soul. Thank you!


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  17. Hey there dearyo, hows things, are you ok, miss you lots and our little catch ups, i hope all is well over there on the other side of the planet, my step son is over your way at the moment scanning sheep with a colleague, and i know how cold it must be there right now. I know he took a suitcase full of thermal socks with him, anyway hope all is ok, hugs to you lovey.
    Pixie xxx

  18. ola tudo bem!!!
    Gostei do blog..
    abraço Leila.

  19. Hi Leah - hope you are all OK after the earthquake. I have just read about it on Google. Lily. xxx


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