Sunday, June 29, 2008

Thank you!

Thank you, thank you to the lovely person (knitter not sewer;-)) who brightened my day with this gorgeous gift of fat quarters and chocolate. The beautiful delicate NZ botanical print is really calling to me. We love Trade Aid chocky around here too.

On the thrifting front, we discovered this lecturn (?) at Newtown Sallies on Saturday. It spins around. Perfect for reading large books to the family at the table. Now I'll finally be able to knit and read at the same time!
Also perfect for my fatter cookbooks. Our current family bible (small "b") is resting on it now.
On the yummy front, I couldn't resist this bottle of Shott Lemon Ginger & Honey syrup at Juniper. It's made locally and was perfect for the awful winter weather over the weekend.
On the knitting front, a simple topknot beanie, in Cleckheaton Country Silk 8ply, for a babe in Napier. It was a nice easy knit while Man From Shed and I watched a superb Indian movie last night (Mr & Mrs Iyer).
Now, can someone tell me while I couldn't find semolina in any local supermarket today? I was hoping to make halva to take to the Girl's Brigade "Friends of Asia" night this evening. Cupcakes it will have to be...not exactly Asian.

Friday, June 27, 2008

First Home-made Doll

I felt very Ma Ingalls sewing up this calico doll for my niece's 2nd birthday this week (apart from the electronic sewing machine part). She's a Basic Doll from Claire Garland's Toys to Sew book. I had all the bits and pieces in the stash apart from decent thick felt for her face and just the right pink fluffy wool for her luscious "do". (You must check out Garland's Dream Toys knitting book. There is a cowboy and horse in there with A3's name on it!)

Normally, she doesn't like to pose in her undies but these are modest enough for a family show. Now, I want some blue polka dots ones for me!

Her wardrobe does need another top but all that fiddly sewing had done my head in by last night.

Wanna know the dumb part of this whole exercise? I felt so completely inadequate with my hand-made-with-love offering that I went out and BOUGHT a whole 'nother "proper" present to include with it. What is WITH that?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Out of town thriftin'

I got in some thrifting while away this weekend. Unfortunately, funds didn't allow as much as I would have liked. I have two must-visit places. One is a funny wee second hand/antique store in a very small town on the journey. I'm sure she puts her prices up when she sees me walk in the door with a gleam in my eye. I got these three children's aprons that I'll use as part of a kid's craft swap I'm doing with a group of friends. (Um, iron and I are not on friendly terms that often.)

My other treasure trove is a fantastic vintage linens shop in my home town. It is an apron-lover's dream and I've picked up a few funky vintage knitting patterns there in the past. Restraint was the order of the day so I just scored these cool wooden handles I'll use for a sewn or knitted bag in the future. The Rag-Bag Toys book caught my eye. The whole concept of a rag bag seems a useful one to me. We can learn a lot from past generations about RE-USE!

I gasped in fascinated horror as I turned to the page for the "Darkie Version" of the stocking doll.

If I had an old hat, I could make a "Cheerful Darkie" too. Really. Dude.

With the current revival in crafting, I think we can afford to leave some of the attached attitudes behind, eh? (That's not to say I'm not going to try to make one of these cuties.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


This is a bit all over the place;-)

My Sew Liberated patterns arrived in the mail yesterday. Really fast service! I loved her Reading Pillow pattern so am looking forward to finding some precious sewing time and making these too! Meg's blog is very inspirational with its Montessori emphasis, and seeing the life she is creating for her family.

Had me a bit of S.E.X (Stash Enhancement eXpedition) with some Noro Kureyon. Actually, it wasn't an expedition as this arrived in my mailbox this morning. Too, too easy.

I'd been eyeing up the recipe book Apples for Jam for a while and knew it was meant to be when Whitcoulls had it on sale a few weeks ago. I bought it purely for looks but the recipes are actually things my family will make and eat. It has become the designated recipe book for Sunday night dinners that Hubby & M8 make together.

Our resident fantail continues to delight us all with his aerobatic antics right outside our windows.
We get up early to head away to my hometown for the weekend. The girls are bursting with excitement as we are going to the local production of The Sound of Music. The house is alive with the sound of The Lonely Goatherd and Do-Re-Mi.
I'm just deciding what knitting project to pack and desperately hoping my parent's new puppy isn't attracted to wool. So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu. Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Being Bothered

I've decided that I've entered the era of being bothered. If I had been bothered to sew up the hole in the toe of A3's felted slippers he wouldn't have eventually been able to fit his whole hand through it. (Yeah, a stitch in time does save nine.) I had to be bothered to go to Spotlight on the way to an appointment to grab some half priced wool for new slippers for A3 & I. I had to be bothered to stop at Moore Wilsons on my way home for my wild meat. (OK...I could have gone meat-free this week but I likes me some venison & goat!) There is a lot more being bothered to accomplish a lot of errands in one car-trip. There is a lot more being bothered to make our own bread and other food from scratch to save money, eat better and avoid a car trip out for those things. There is a lot more being bothered to hand make things for my family and gifts for other people instead of taking the cheap, easy, last-minute option.

How are you being bothered?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Not a good combo

Take one exciting final of the Lost series (yeah, I'm still a sucker for this). Add one Hourglass Sweater sleeve that requires two simple increases every few rows. Result = only one increase in each row and a bit of next morning frogging (rolls eyes). Thankfully it wasn't too bad and this sleeve is going remarkably fast on my Addi Turbos;-)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Worth a read

Make a large cup of your poison (Fairtrade home-roasted coffee for me) and read this brilliant article by Sharon Astyk of Casaubon's Book. If you're like me, with many little voices not in your head but near your head, then it'll take a couple of sessions to get through but her thoughts on where and HOW we will live in a post-Peak Oil world are well worth getting to grips with.

Money Earner and I are only just getting our head around the fact that we will more likely be "urban homesteaders" than country dwellers as we had previously thought.

One quote that tickled my fancy: "Suburbia is so tied up with children and family life that I feel like I should say something about that. The suburban model of childhood will simply have to come to an end. Many more children will probably be homeschooled, many more children will probably be put to work sooner helping out at home, and the child-centered model will probably disintegrate, replaced by a family-centered model in which children are expected to pitch in, listen and are not treated always like visiting heads of state to be deferred to and offered the best. " (Italics mine.)

Your thoughts?

Monday, June 9, 2008

See, some sewing!

I'm so pleased with myself. In less than a week I've actually managed to do two of my planned projects with my cheap stash.

Some VERY Wide Leg Lounge Pants for me (from Amy Butler's In Stitches). I accidentally made a size too big but it just makes them extra comfy;-) Notice Hubby had to include his real love in the left of the photo.

I love M8's Simple Drawstring Backpack (from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing). She's going to use it to keep some of her art supplies in...ready for action! I6 almost has one too, once I get a bit of sewing time to finish it off.

It's given me an urge to crack on with more sewing but unfortunately Spotlight didn't have any Mummy Sewing Time on sale.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Daphne Cape Take Two

I love to see knitting I've done being used and loved. The Daphne Cape I did last year is into a second winter of use by Miss Y1.

Fabric Stash

How could I resist $1/metre fabric at Spotlight this week? In this pile resides two Little House on the Prairie dresses, two pairs of mama lounge pants, an art supply bag, a summer shirt, an apron for a young lady's upcoming birthday, another apron or two for us, and spare fabric for craft projects on a whim. And I'm not discounting returning to pour over the pile once more!

Come back in six months and we'll see how many projects have come to fruition;-)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Pluttification Tables

Astrid Lindgren gets our home-learning mindset;-)

"But don't you realise that you have to go to school?" said the policeman.
"Why do I have to go to school?"
"To learn things, of course."
"What sort of things?" asked Pippi.
"All kinds of things," said the officer. "Lots of useful things, like the multiplication tables, for instance."
"I've been fine for nine years without any pluttification tables," said Pippi. "And I'm sure I can manage in the future, too."
"Yes, but think how sad it will be for you to be so ignorant. What about when you grow up and someone happens to ask you what the capital of Portugal is and you can't answer?"
"Of course I can answer," said Pippi. "I'll just answer like this: if you're so desperately anxious to know what the capital of Portugal is, then by all means write a letter to Portugal and ask them!"
"But don't you think you'd feel silly that you couldn't answer the question yourself?"
"That's possible. Occasionally I might lie awake at night and wonder over and over: what on earth is the capital of Portugal? But you can't expect that things will always be fun, " said Pippi, as she went into a handstand and stayed there for a moment. "Besides, I've been to Lisbon with my pappa, " she went on as she stood upside down, because that didn't stop her from talking.

We are thoroughly enjoying this beautiful edition of Pippi Longstocking, gorgeously illustrated by Lauren Child.