Saturday, November 12, 2011

"Let's just call it summer!"

Thus declared Miss Nine this afternoon. First BBQ of the season. Done.

Best thing I bought this week? An EGG SLICER. A must for the hard-boiled eggs atop my summer salads;-)


I had a blissful weekend, hosting my Mind Twin. We hit Petone for a wander and found SweetPea for a wee bite to eat. I grabbed half a dozen of their scrummy cupcakes for afternoon tea. I did share them;-) Delicious! We saw another cupcake place, The Cupcakery, is going to open too! So Petone is clearly now a cupcake lovers mecca.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sewing It

My parents have joined the e-reader revolution and bought themselves Kindles. This was a super easy, fun project. It just about took more time to select the fabrics than do the sewing.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sustaining It

Wendell Berry:

How can a sustainable local community (which is to say a sustainable local economy) function? I am going to suggest a set of rules that I think such a community would have to follow. I hasten to say that I do not understand these rules as predictions; I am not interested in foretelling the future. If these rules have any validity, it is because they apply now.

Supposing that the members of a local community wanted their community to cohere, to flourish, and to last, they would:

1. Always ask of any proposed change or innovation: What will this do to our community? How will this affect our common wealth.

2. Always include local nature – the land, the water, the air, the native creatures – within the membership of the community.

3. Always ask how local needs might be supplied from local sources, including the mutual help of neighbors.

4. Always supply local needs first (and only then think of exporting products – first to nearby cities, then to others).

5. Understand the ultimate unsoundness of the industrial doctrine of ‘labor saving’ if that implies poor work, unemployment, or any kind of pollution or contamination.

6. Develop properly scaled value-adding industries for local products to ensure that the community does not become merely a colony of national or global economy.

7. Develop small-scale industries and businesses to support the local farm and/or forest economy.

8. Strive to supply as much of the community’s own energy as possible.

9. Strive to increase earnings (in whatever form) within the community for as long as possible before they are paid out.

10. Make sure that money paid into the local economy circulates within the community and decrease expenditures outside the community.

11. Make the community able to invest in itself by maintaining its properties, keeping itself clean (without dirtying some other place), caring for its old people, and teaching its children.

12. See that the old and young take care of one another. The young must learn from the old, not necessarily, and not always in school. There must be no institutionalised childcare and no homes for the aged. The community knows and remembers itself by the association of old and young.

13. Account for costs now conventionally hidden or externalised. Whenever possible, these must be debited against monetary income.

14. Look into the possible uses of local currency, community-funded loan programs, systems of barter, and the like.

15. Always be aware of the economic value of neighborly acts. In our time, the costs of living are greatly increased by the loss of neighborhood, which leaves people to face their calamities alone.

16. A rural community should always be acquainted and interconnected with community-minded people in nearby towns and cities.

17. A sustainable rural economy will depend on urban consumers loyal to local products. Therefore, we are talking about an economy that will always be more cooperative than competitive.

(From a speech delivered by ‘mad’ farmer, author, and cultural critic Wendell Berry November 11, 1994 at the 23rd annual meeting of the Northern Plains Resource Council. Sourced here.)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Quilting It

I finished a very simple lap quilt for the young man of the house last week. Very simple but it still produced a satisfying sense of achievement - of a completed project and of using stash fabrics.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Wearing It

I'm working hard on improving my sewing from the slap-happy beginner I am. My main struggle is with getting the fit right. I finished this dress back in June - just when it got too cold to wear it. Next time I'll downsize the top even more and attempt a proper Small Bust Adjustment. It's a forgiving fit being a wrap dress.

I bought Pip's Sew La Tea Do purely on the basis of the wrap around skirt pattern. The fabric screamed Holly Hobbie to me. Just the thing I was right into last time I wore wrap around skirts! Yeah, t-shirt doesn't match - will sort that out before summer.

And the Tunic dress from Sew La Tea Do. Again, I started out making it in the wrong size, then realised that women of a certain age and figure can't really wear tunics without looking like they're wearing a paper bag. So a bit of hacking and sewing makes this more wearable. Just.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Winning It

I was blessed to win a giveaway SweetP had on her blog a while ago. I scored this fun Tri'Coterie self-striping sock yarn which I whipped up into a pair of plain toe-up socks for ME (despite begging from other residents). It's Maylin's Red Queen colourway and I love the FUN of the stripes. SweetP also sent a sweet project bag, cute owl stickers and sweeties! It was such a lovely parcel to receive. Mwah!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Making It

Sewing It: Schoolhouse Tunic - turned into a dress with front closures.

Knitting It: Leaflet Cardigan - great layering piece.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Quilting It

I read The Happiness Project recently, and Gretchen's Personal Commandment to Spend Out challenged me. So I opened the fabric stash and grabbed my Ginger Blossom that I've had for an embarrassing three years. Ugh. I hacked into it and whipped up this lap quilt (50" x 60") in one week. It's my second ever quilt, and the first one I've sandwiched, machine quilted and bound myself. I'm feeling very proud and satisfied seeing the kids using it every day on the couch.

Next target - that Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric in the same three year old post and some Michael Millar retro cowboy stuff I've also had sitting for far too long!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Baking It

For the birds: Bird Seed Treats - to hang in our wintery trees.

For the monkeys: Honeycomb Popcorn Clusters - no, I don't style my food like Donna Hay before taking a pic. These were made with our allotment grown miniature black popping corn.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wearing It

Winter Wardrobe Wednesday

Cardy: House of G
Knit for Tattoos T-shirt: Natalie Dee
Yoga Pants: Bamboo Body (bought yonks ago at Organic Baby in Petone)
Manky Slippers complete with toe air-holes: Egmont Tanneries
Accessories: Mister Six
Blurry Photo: Hubby not wearing his glasses

We're reading one of our favourite books - the illustrations of Seasons give me the warm fuzzies.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Learning It

Pirates learn French.

Pirate Cowgirls learn maths. Relaxed on the couch. Cuz you can do that at home.

Boys learn fine motor skills. Good for the handwriting.

I was able to flick through Rip the Page while visiting a Soul Sister in Auckland recently, after seeing it around the home-learning blogosphere. Looks worth a crack for ALL of us to try some creative writing this year. It's good for the Mum to keep Learning It too!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Twitching It

It's that time of year again! The Annual Garden Bird Survey! Join me for an hour this week, sitting and counting the birds in my garden. We get a wee bit cheatie and lure them in with lard and seed treats.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fridaying It

It's been a funny old week. I had a minor op which will hopefully sort out, once and for all, an annoying problem. I'm feeling very grateful that we've been able to maintain a level of insurance that meant I could have this done when I needed it done, not when the public health system thought I needed it done.

Some needed distractions:

Making It...a Stripe Study Shawl which won't be stripey since I'm using a variegated yarn throughout. I couldn't resist it when I visited The Little Craft Store in Auckland recently.

Reading It...Inside Stories. It wasn't going to cut it waiting at 21st on our library's reserve list. Thankfully, my mother-in-law had gifted me a Parsons book voucher earlier in the year so I could get my grubby little housewifely mitts on this. (Despite being in love with my Kindle I haven't given up my true love of a real book in the hands, especially NZ ones!)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Growing It

Family circumstances this year have left me feeling a little frustrated with where our gardening is at. I've had my garlic and tree onions ready to be planted for a couple of months now, and even prepped the beds properly. I was hoping to get a bit of a jump on cooling soil temperatures. Now, it's Winter Solstice already and the garlic are still sitting there unlikely to be planted any time soon. As much as the Solstice is about a return to light and longer (colder!) days, for me it will also be about letting go and rolling with what life throws at us.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Making It

I feel I need a little positive encouragement in some of our lifestyle choices at the moment so bought myself Making It. I enjoy reading Kelly & Erik's blog - because they sound so, um, normal, and their efforts look like things we can actually do here and now. Sure enough...Project 1: Olive Oil Lamps. I had the licorice tin, the wick (doesn't everyone have wick just laying around?) and of course, the olive oil. Voila! The kids are thrilled with it. We're all looking forward to going slowly through the book and ticking a few more things off...some we're already doing, some very achievable.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

And again...

Recurring theme...

I'm not so into the hipster, smart, modern looking e-reader accessories so whipped up this "granny chic" Kindle Cozy. Instead of (sensibly) using stash fabric and going all matchy matchy with my Laptop Cozy I was hooked on using some home decor weight linen. Unfortunately it's ended up a bit more granny than chic but was lovely to sew with and has given me a nice, thick, safe result.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

And again...

Recurring theme...

Love, love, LOVE English paper piecing. This will be a lap quilt for the couch. They're 2" hexagons so it's not too daunting for me. Some of the repro' fabrics were gifted to me by one of my Soul Sisters so it's a very special, mindful project for me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

And again...

Recurring theme...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Winter Wardrobe Wednesday

I've been a little horrified at how quickly Winter Wardrobe Wednesday comes around each week on other people's blogs!

Much needed new haircut: James at Wildelocks on Cuba.

Cardy: House of G.

Dress: Thrifted. 50 cents! Go Levin!

Pants: Moa - my new winter wardrobe staple.

Shoes: Simple leather High Tops

Sunday, May 15, 2011

More Autumn Knits

I have finished a variety of knitted objects while I've been somewhat inactive. Yes, that unusually shaped jersey IS for a dog - my sister's daschund, Lottie. Crazy, I've gone crazy. Knitting for a dog. Golly.

Baby knitting to use up stash yarn. This wee cardy is a lovely new pattern from Kelly. I've cast on another one already.

More socks for ME. These are modeled by my big girl who is trying to tell me that she fits my socks and shoes. Not quite yet!
More stashing busting - a felted tote.
I knitted Master Six this vest which fits his nearly 12 year old sister better - oops.
Plenty more knitting planned for the winter months ahead.