Friday, December 21, 2012

Thank you to everyone who has visited my blog this year.
I really appreciate it.

 I wish you all holiday happiness and bright days ahead.

I'm going to take a wee blog break and I'll see you again in mid-January.

Monday, December 17, 2012

bears and blankies

These cotton baby blankies were inspired by these flannel receiving blankets at Purl Bee and motivated by two pre-Xmas baby showers - first one tomorrow. I modified the pattern to just 1sc, 1 ch all round and I used a #10 cotton with a 1.5mm hook. I'm quite pleased with the simple look but SewChic has several patterns available for some nice fancier edgings. The bears are made from gloves like this one.

Time now to focus on Christmas. How are your preparations going?

Reading Are you my mother? by Alison Bechdel + Eating strawberries fresh from the garden

Monday, December 10, 2012

new things

Here are some new pieces for my Crown Lynn collection. I bought the cups and saucers from Aunty Mavis. I think they are 1980s and probably from the 'Avondale' range but I'm not certain. The egg cups - I've been collecting for a while, buying the odd one here and there.

The dog is not Crown Lynn and even though it looks a lot like a Staffordshire poodle I'm sure it's a fake. It does have "made in England" stamped on the base but, more interestingly, it also has a red and gold sticker that says "Selected at Eunice Chick Gift Shoppe, 31 Wellesley St., Akld." All I've been able to find out is that the shop was demolished along with other buildings in 1963 to make way for the new library. The dog itself is pretty weird with a strange almost human face and a sad (or is it aloof?) expression. But I think it's wonderful. I should give him/her a name. What do you think?

Also purchased at the Auckland Art and Craft Fair on Saturday - did you go? - were two sets of "Summer flower papercut" cards by Melissa from tiny happy and the latest copy of extra curricular. Extra curricular has some of Melissa's water colours in it and a tutorial by Joanna Davies on how to make a terrarium. Terrariums would make great Chrissie presents, I reckon.

Monday, December 3, 2012

rhubarb and strawberries


The rhubarb and strawberries "appeared" on my kitchen bench yesterday - harvested by my husband from his garden. I'd wanted to try rhubarb and strawberries together so this was obviously the time to do it. And, weirdly, I'd been reading about rhubarb and ginger crumble over at tiny happy. So I made a crumble with them using this recipe from the BBC Good Food website. It was delicious! I substituted lemon zest for orange and left out the pine nuts because we didn't have any. And we ate ours with Greek yoghurt. So good.

The flowers are peonies. Sadly, it's not cold enough to grow them here in Auckland so these are not from my garden. They must be one of my favourite flowers. They remind me of those over-the-top still life paintings of vases crammed with flowers and set against dark backgrounds like these ones.

Reading All made up by Janice Galloway + Listening to Claimed by the sea by French for rabbits + Watching Homeland season 2

Monday, November 26, 2012



This week I visited Gibbs Farm, went to yoga class, enjoyed having house guests, cooked fish pie and sold a bed. But I have no sewing or knitting to share with you, I'm sorry. Maybe next week I'll have something finished.
Enjoy your week.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Here's another baby blanket like this one one I made earlier in the year. Again I used the Purl Bee pattern and the Filatura di crosa 'Zara' wool. This one took me a bit longer to knit because I got to half way and I decided I didn't like my colour choices/combinations. So I undid the whole thing, bought some more of the colours I did like - pale grey, blue and charcoal - and started again. I'm pleased I changed my mind about the colours but now it's going into summer and I'm not sure that a woolly blanket is an appropriate gift for a summer baby. What do you think?

Monday, November 19, 2012


A couple of photos taken at the Auckland Carnivorous Plant Society spring show. It's always worth a visit. There are usually plenty of really bizarre plants, enthusiastic growers and plants for sale. Next show is in March.

Also I changed my blog header. I did it using PicMonkey and this easy-to-follow tutorial. If you look under 'blogging tips' on Sew many ways you'll find lots of help - should you too need it for your blog.

Monday, November 12, 2012

welcome baby

I've been making baby gifts. I'll be giving the rabbit and this t-shirt to a friend whose baby is due in early December.

Both the rabbit and the bear are made from gloves and are from Miyako Kanamori's book. Should you like to make one for a child in your life, the instructions for the rabbit and a dog are available on the Martha Stewart website.

Watching Pina - dvd celebrating the life and extraordinary work of choreographer Pina Bausch + Viewing Art in the dark + Eating lunch at Cable Bay vineyard, Waiheke

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Some photos from the Auckland cactus and succulent show held over the weekend. It was well worth going to. Lots of amazing and unusual plants.

Also you might like the amazing and inspiring artwork of textile designer, Lourdes Sanchez - my latest 'discovery' thanks to Uppercase.

Have a great week.

Reading Spitalfields life by the Gentle Author + Watching (even though I think I might be over it) Downton Abbey, season 3 + Working out how to use my new camera

Monday, October 29, 2012

nature baby


Here's a wee baby gift I made on Sunday morning. I personalised a lovely organic cotton t-shirt with a little embroidery. I was trying for something cute but gender-neutral. I really enjoyed this freer style of embroidery especially after the few cross stitch things I've done recently.
The t-shirt is from Nature Baby. I can hardly ever walk past the store without popping in.

Monday, October 22, 2012

hearts and flowers

If you live in Auckland you'll get the chance to add to your plant collection at the cactus and succulent show. On again in November from Friday 2nd till Sunday 4th. Maybe I'll see you there?

Have a great week.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

his and hers ...

little cross stitched tags for the lockers in our bathroom - one for him, one for me. Crimson thread on pale grey linen. The font is my own but inspired by many especially Marjorie Massey and her wonderful book, Made in France : Cross-stitch samplers.

You too can celebrate togetherness with these fabulous pillowcases from Curious Doodles.

Listening Stop making sense by Talking Heads + Reading Sharp by David Fitzpatrick + Watching Ruby Sparks + Homeland on DVD + The wire (season 3) + Eating gluten-free goodness at Kokako

Monday, October 8, 2012

one after another

Two more monkeys for the Great Sock Monkey Challenge. Columbine has kindly donated socks to the challenge and I'm pretty sure there are still some left. If you'd like to get some to make monkeys, join the challenge on Facebook, send a message saying you'd like some socks and you'll be sent some. Easy :)
have a happy week.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

oi oi oi

I've been on a wee holiday in Sydney where I visited one of my favourite bookshops, Kinokuniya in George Street. Kinokuniya first opened in Japan in 1927 and has over 80 stores worldwide. The Sydney store opened in 1996. I'm going to 'like' it on FaceBook - because I do! It's a wonderful bookstore with a huge selection, a great atmosphere and helpful, knowledgeable, friendly staff. But, even better, there is a large Japanese section with the biggest range of Japanese craft books you will ever see. I limited myself to just one purchase - an embroidery book called Heart warming life series #375. It's also available here from Stitchbird and online from Kinokuniya.

The photos are from the book and I especially like the first two designed by Mika Hirasa. It's like she's taken her needle and thread and simply drawn on the cloth. But everything in the book is cute and, even though it's written in Japanese, it's well illustrated so it's fairly easy to follow along and work out. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

And so ...

Here we are ... more monkeys. One is for my six-year-old grand-nephew who suffers from HUS (hemolytic-uremic syndrome), a chronic kidney disease. He lives in the UK but would like to be part of the Great Sock Monkey Challenge so I made a monkey especially for him. The second monkey is for his little brother. And to keep the other monkey company, of course. The striped monkey is French. And the spotty one used to be a pirate. Arrrgh.

I also made some more lavender bags - a birthday present for my niece.

Reading Die trying by Lee Child (Jack Reacher #2) + Listening Collapsing Cities' Strangers again + Watching Moonrise Kingdom + Viewing Home AKL - an exhibition of contemporary Pacific art at the Auckland Art Gallery

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Photos taken on a morning walk around my neighbourhood.

Have a lovely week.

Monday, September 10, 2012

round things

It's been a busy week. I've been on jury service which was interesting and a bit surreal.

I found time though to bake these delicious macaroons. I'm afraid I can't share the recipe with you but it was a lot like this one.

And inspired by Renilde de Peuter's mobiles and this tutorial at Henry happened I made myself a simple necklace using wooden beads. I threaded them onto hemp cord although I think ribbon would look nice too.

How's your week been?