Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A quickie.

Otto seems to sleep quite sporadically at the moment.
Some days he will have two 1 1/2 hours sleeps, right on time, and other days he will push to stay awake all day, only giving in to a twenty minute sleep here and there.
I tend to spend his sleep time (such as now..) doing things that don't take much time, just in case he is going to have one of his mini-sleeps. I blog, I do dishes, I put washing out, I knit a few rows, etc. That way I sort of avoid the disappointment of having to stop doing something just as I was really getting into it. Not entirely logical but it's just how things work at the moment.
Yesterday I thought I would try something a bit different. I figured, if I was quick, I could cut out some shapes and sew them onto some of Otto's clothes in just twenty short minutes, so even if he woke quickly I would be done. I was right! And I felt very pleased with myself!
The wee jumpers were gifted to us by Lucy. They were knitted for Kyan by her MIL and are very cute indeed. The onesies were half price ($3!) at Farmers so, all in all, a super quick and very cheap wee wardrobe addition!

Thrifted Tuesday.

A day late, but I'm sure you will forgive me.
I popped in to the op shops, as I often do, on the way to get Aesop on Monday. In the first shop I found the African-style printed skirt and the bird glasses. I was well impressed and would have gone home a happy lady, but then.. the Sallies provided some pure second hand GOLD for me.
I have been dreaming of pinafore type dresses lately, thinking of ways I could make some uniform-esque frocks for the Winter, that I can chuck on over my tights and top to leave the house. Check out the colour! (Ignore the lack of ironing!) Check out the pockets! Check out the fact that it fits me peeeeerfectly. Oooh yeah. And if that wasn't enough- I also scored the cute little cardi and the gem of a trivet.
Sometimes the thirft gods are so good to me. I really must get round to cleaning out the shed so I can keep the good karma coming.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

List update- March

Okay, so I didn't end up doing many of the numbers I planned to. In fact this month was another slow one! Jeepers, I better pick up my game if I want to get anywhere near finishing this list.

In April I intend to do numbers:  4, 17, and 24.
Half of numbers: 6, 10, 15, 16
And carry on with 18, 23 and 30.

1. Fit into my favourite summer top. - Nope, still the boobs. Though I think I gained over Aesop's birthday week too. 
2. Sew myself at least one DRESS. - Done!
3. Knit myself a cardigan I love. - Have chosen the pattern.
4. Make Abraham a hoodie. - I hear there's a birthday in April...
5. Start sewing to sell again. - Might have changed my mind about this one.
6. List GIANT pile of thing on Trademe. - Everything still ready and waiting for me to start.
7. Print the majority of our photos. - Still waiting for a sale.
8. Plant a vege garden.Done in februrary Yay!
9. Go to the movies. - Done in March
10. Back up our photos on hardrive/ preserve fruit, make jam. - No. And no. But I might try and see if my friend will leet me raid her fig tree in April.
11. Start blogging again. 01/01
12. Get business cards. - Have had them designed. But not sure I'll need them if I don't start sewing!
13. Buy 2 pairs of decent shoes. - First pair ordered and they're too big. stinkoes!
14. Take Aesop to the zoo. - July is the month for this! Waiting on an Auckland-dwelling baby niece or nephew to arrive!
15. Send (at least) 2 parcels to Amy. - Have sent one in Jan and am amassing things for the second.
16. Finish at least 2 duathlon type events. - One down, one to go!
17. Sort out entire garage. - Have made a start, but nowhere near finishing!
18. Finish yoyo quilt. - Chipping away at it.
19. Earn $1000 through sewing. - $91 down $909 to go. Hahah. Also not going to really work if I don't start sewing.
20. Have a bbq/dinner with over 10 people. - Nope. This might need to be a Winter event.
21. See some live music. - Done Feb.
22. Save over $1000/ have an outdoor movie night - Have found a projector to use but haven't set a date.
23. pay off our laptop and buy a new camera. - Yet to pay off the laptop but did buy the camera 01/01
24. Sew 10 garments for the kids. - 4 down (ottos crawling pants, ewok costume  and a hoodie for aesop), 6 to go.
25. Knit Aesop a jumper. - Have decided on pattern and started to do gauge swatch.
26. Make the mix cd to end all mix cds. - Nope. But I have begun the list.
27. Cover the cushions on the window seat. - Nope. Our couch is dying so might need to rethink my fabric choices.
28. Get away for a night without the kids! - Will be the end of the year (read: end of breastfeeding) for this one.
29. Get mentioned in a magazine. - Nope. Looking very unlikely if I choose not to start sewing again!
30. Make most of the gifts we give (this year). - A bit of a continuous goal this one. But going really well.

The anti-pants plan is going okay. Did wear pants under a long tunic-y  top/dress the other day, not sure but that might count as my first slip-up? tsk tsk.

The wedding.

On Saturday, dressed in my new dress, I was privileged enough to attend a very beautiful wedding.
It was held up near lake Okataina, close to Rotorua. The ceremony took place in the prettiest little clearing in the bush, accessed by a ramble along a pathway lined with blackberries and natives shrub.
The sun shone, the birds chirped and we were witness to the marriage of two very lovely people.
The vows were sincere and beautifully written, the reading went without a hitch and the attention to detail was spectacular- bunting in the gazebo (I forgot to get a picture!), a hundred or so tiny mismatched vintage sherry glasses for a round of mead wine, flower petals up the 'aisle', vintage linen table cloths buckets of green and white foliage and flowers, and a delectable carrot cake.
And that's just the ceremony. The reception was held in a marquee - decked out with white table clothes, vintage glass bottles holding hand-picked flowers, tealight candles, fern fronds and even a glass chandelier. Stunning.
The the speeches were the prefect mix of funny and sentimental, food was great, the music was incredibly dance-worthy (good work Abraham!) and the company was even better.
I love family weddings!
Oh, but did I mention the dress?! It was absolutely breathtaking. Holly is gorgeous anyway, but she looked so, so beautiful walking down the aisle it brought a tear to my eye. Such a vision.

Holly and Ben are not 'internet-y' people like us so I can't show you to a flickr page or anything for more photos, and I will keep my fingers crossed that Holly is okay with me showing you the one photo. But surely I couldn't keep such a beautiful day all to myself?

(Let us not mention the stress of getting ready, the fact we had to leave early with a screaming baby and Aesop whinging through the entire service, okay? These are things best forgotten...)

Monday, March 29, 2010

List #2- A dress!

So, when last week arrived and I realised I was 5 days out from an important wedding and both beautiful dress-less and money-less the solution seemed obvious. Not easy, or even particularly sane, but obvious. Amongst the rest of my tasks for the week, I would need to sew myself a dress.

I decided I should stick to something simple, and something I knew would work and would suit me without alterations. I knew that the fabric would have to be what made it a wedding-attending dress as opposed to a round-the-house dress, but that I wouldn't be able to buy any. Then I remembered I had picked up this curtain fabric a year or so ago and figured that a 'statement' dress was in order!

I have more than half a dozen dresses in this style (see here and here and here and here and here for a few examples!), you could pretty much say it's my staple. I have found them over the years in all different colours, patterns and sizes. They're just so perfect for just chucking on in Summer with my jandals, and in Winter with leggings and a merino top. 
So when I found one early this month in the Sallies, in the right size but a hideous pattern, I snapped it up (and then chopped it up). I had planned (and still do plan..) to make myself another half dozen dresses from the pattern, but certainly not in such a rush as this one!

So I present you with my first dress of the year. Perhaps I will get through this list afterall.

(More on the wedding later in the week..)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Formspring Friday.

(Totally unrelated again, I struggle with picture-less posts.)

My questions for this week:

Do you still make bonnets? Your bonnets rocked.

Thanks! Not often, I was very kindly allowed to make a few from the pattern (not mine) for craft fairs and local sales but not online. I'm planning on making myself a new, padded one for chilly mornings this winter though : )

what's your favourite thing to bake?
Fresh fig tart! oh, and choc chunk cookies, though I end up eating much more of the dough than the actual cookies.

if you were an animal, what would you be?

Right now I feel like I'd be a sloth. But Aesop says I would be a morepork (a type of owl) because I stay up so late or a dragon because I growl him so much. hahah

if you could meet any person, alive or dead, who would it be?

My 'twin' Amy. We have text nearly every day for a year and a half (or longer?) and spoken on the phone but never met!

What is your favorite food? :)

Fresh ciabatta buns with margarine, ham-off-the-bone and just a little salt and pepper. Mmmm hamwiches.

if you were in an orchestra, what instrument would you play?
I have less rhythm than a brick so as I am now no orchestra would go near me. but in another life? The trombone!

if you could go back to any age you've been before, but with the knowledge you have now, which would you choose and why?
I would love to redo high school, and focus on school work instead of who was kissing who and who wasn't talking to who. And know that frankly, nasty people are usually either jealous, insecure or just not worth thinking about!

If you were a music genre, which one would you be?

I'd be one of those indie bands with a girl and a guy singer. Or an out-of tune barbershop quartet. Does that count?

What is your favourite blog at the moment?
I'm loving craftykin ( but also loving seeing snippets of my friend Rachels life in her new blog ( ). They are both so very talented and super inspiring.

if you had a daughter, what would you call her?
Olive Poppy Larsen. Although, as a few people have pointed out, that sounds a lot like olive oyl and popeye, and olive and poppy are both plants. I don't mind.. Olive is Abraham's nanas name and I think it would be perfect.

Do you like living in Whakatane?
It has its moments. Has taken awhile to find our 'place' and settle into a group of friends etc, but the town itself is beautiful and we plan to be here for a long time!

What's your favourite toast topping?
by Showyourworking
Margarine, natural peanut butter (ours is made in nelson), anatoths rasp jam and a sprinkle of rock salt!

Awesome. Anything you want to know, or if you just want to make me smile a little bit, the question box is on the right and I'll post all my answers for the week each Friday!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Also, I have added a formspring box to the sidebar. I had no idea, until a few weeks ago, what the heck that meant but basically it means people can (anonymously) ask you annnnnything their heart desires and you can, well.. answer their questions.
Not sure why people would want to ask me questions but it struck me as a bit of fun, so scroll down and ask away!
What will the internet think of next?

A green day..

Yesterday was a green sort of a day. The weather might have been closer to grey, and my week as a whole might be closer to a horrendously busy 80's neon pattern, but yesterday was definitely green.
My lovely sis-in-law Holly and her man are getting married this weekend  and it's all go around here ( I hate to think how things are at her place!) to get things ready for the wedding and to get jobs done in order to be able to head away for the weekend.

My 'job' was to make the bunting. It seems to be becoming my 'thing', after I made it for Aesop's second birthday it has featured in most family events since.
I was asked to make at least 20 metres of green and white ( the wedding colours) bunting to decorate the marquee. I think at last count there were about 130+ little double sided flags and I, thankfully, only have about two metres of binding left to sew and I'll be done.  Remind me next time not to leave it til the last week, okay? Oh, and also pretty please remind me that I should plan my outfit ahead of time too. That floral snippet up there is the dress I started on Tuesday when I decided I didn't like anything in my closet. Oh dear.

Something else that has not helped our busy week are Otto's ears.  I mentioned briefly that he had ear infections in both ears over the birthday party week.. well now those infections have turned into glue ear. The poor wee guy is just not having much luck at the moment. And in turn, we're not having the greatest time sleeping.

So I'm keeping my fingers crossed, and  I hope you will too, that the little ears calm down for the wedding weekend and also that I manage to finish my must-be-mad-to-be-making dress in time! I can just picture it now, all the family photos of me in some other raggedy old dress, holding a screaming, snotty baby. Oh dear!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Free shipping!

For the next week, in my Etsy shop, I am offering FREE SHIPPING (shouting cause that's exciting..) to all addresses in New Zealand and Australia. I'm feeling generous, so now is the perfect time to snaffle up something you might have our eye on.
Simply put the sale through as normal and if you are paying by Paypal I will refund the shipping cost and if you are paying by internet deposit (in NZ) I will email you my bank details and simply skip the postage.

Easy peasy lemon squeasy.

(Okay... advertising over. We will continue with our regular scheduled broadcast shortly...)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Stitch and erm, chat. #1!

Yesterday was the very first of our, hopefully, monthly crafty afternoons.
Ever since I moved to Whakatane I've wanted to start some sort of crafty group, perhaps in an attempt to replace the lovely one I had in Nelson, but mostly because you just can't beat a few hours with some seriously talented and crafty ladies for inspiration.
I had a lovely time eating chelsea buns (apricot and choc, from the Edmonds cook book..) and white choc and rasp friands ( that clever Lucy), drinking asti and orange juice, gooing over wee baby Archer and, of course, a bit of stitching.
Lucy was working on a very, very tricky looking pinecone bag, Rozi on an amazing vintage dress, Philly on a pretty floral top (her very first handmade item of clothing!), Kristin on a knitted hoodie for the gorgeous one (who was, unfortunately, not so stoked that Kristin decided to make the trip over to meet us. We were though!) and I was knitting away at a cowl which I'll show you in a few days. All in all very productive!

Can't wait for next month, and if you are in the area (or want to make the trip) let me know.. the more the merrier!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


(Totally unrelated photo.. just cause..)

Our new routine, with a school boy in the house , has thrown me a bit.
I'm so used to waking when Abraham leaves, dawdling around getting the boys ready, bit of internetting, and then heading to preschool at ten ( and even then I was often late!).
These days my alarm goes at half six and if I get up any later we struggle to get out the door at half eight! Lunch needs to be a lot more organised ( noone to heat up leftovers, or cook 2-min noodles for him!) and I have book bags and all sorts of other things to think about. Guess it will just take another week or so.

Speaking of adjustments, we have another big one coming up.
No, not more babies..
The boys will be moving into the same room in just over a week.
Last year we had the most ridiculously huge power bills and while they would be slightly less this year, now that Otto is now longer teensy tiny, I'm still not liking the thought of paying to heat more than one bedroom.  Abraham and I can go without but the boys need a heater, and we don't have another nearly $1100 for power!!

I googled hints and tips on having young 'uns sharing a room, and mostly came up with just suggestions on how to decorate a shared room. Hmm... don't think we'll have that problem!
So if any of you have any ideas that might help our transition into a shared room, they would be greatly appreciated. Otto will be 9 months, and Aesop is, of course, a mighty 5-yr-old. Aesop sleeps through the night, not even waking to his brother screaming in the next room etc (paper thin walls in our old whare). And Otto, on a normal night, will go down well and sleep through until about 3am, going back to sleep until about 6:30. Sounds to me like it will work, but any help would be great!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

List #16 (part one!) - Duathlon

The photos speak for themselves, really. Sweat, lycra and me.. running!
One down, one to go!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Darth Aesop's party on the death star . MEGA post.

Aesop decided, a year ago, that for his fifth birthday he would have a Star wars party.
From the moment his first episode of Star wars began, he was hooked. The weapons! The battles! And the baddies! Oh! The baddies were sooo cool. (Aesop, a little worryingly, always likes the villains more than the heroes.)
He loved every single one of the movies (except one of them was a bit boring because there was too much 'pashing it up', apparently.) and for a few months EVERYTHING revolved around Star wars. He got Star wars Lego and light sabers and every make-believe game involved battle scenes and droids and all that other good stuff.
So, when his birthday finally seemed to be nearing we confirmed the theme and began the mission for the ultimate 5-yr-old Star wars/ dark side party! This meant a fair amount of time on the net, looking up craft tutorials, costume ideas, pictures, and things to buy on Trademe.

In the end we decided to keep main bits fairly simple: three games, provide only the cake/s and a small amount of food and have everyone bring a plate, decorate only with balloons, flags and streamers and keep the (good quality) take home gifts to a minimum (who needs another bag full of junk in their house?).

The games were a death star pinata, pin the light saber on the storm trooper (which I have no photos of due to me being the one guiding the kids. Bummer! It was awesome though, Abraham made both games and did an amazing job.) and a huge balloon light saber battle. The balloon sabers were a great idea because, as I thought, some of the kids who had brought light sabers as part of their costumes were already whacking everything and everyone in site. These made for much less damage to people and things! None of the games had 'prizes' as such and the kids did not seem to mind at all.

I made a chocolate mud cake, covered in grey butter icing (well, technically margarine.. I bake dairy free.) and drew details on it with black glitter icing, to resemble the death star. And made vanilla cupcakes with the same grey icing and bought cupcakes rings online. The rings were brilliant, they acted as a decoration and then became a take home toy for the kids. Other than the one kid, who insisted only girls wear rings, they were very well received!

I also made Darth Vader dolls for the kids to take home, using this tutorial by the ever-talented Mypapercrane. They were a bit fiddly but so, so worth it. I loved sending the kids off with something handmade and all, except the same little boy who insisted the dolls were also only for girls, the kids loved them.

Our costumes were the most fun part.
Abraham made his own, and it was incredible. He went as his own made up character, part human, part robot. He donned a robe, half a mask and an awesome glove wrapped in cords and lights.
Otto was, of course, an ewok. Unfortunately I don't have the proper pictures of his full costume yet, they are on Mum's camera. But he slept for half of the party and he did not leave his costume on for long, he has an ear infection in either ear and was not in the mood to be wrapped up in half a teddy bear!
Aesop's costume was based around the amazing mask we were given. All I had to do was find him some black jeans, a black t-shirt and make him a cape, and he was set.
My costumes was also fairly simple. I was given a piece of satin that someone had sewn into a rectangle with a neck hole, and I purchased a wig online. Then I made a belt, using an obi style belt I had as the base, and glued some tin foil covered card on the front. Oh, and a gun from the $2 shop completed it!

Abraham's Dad needs a mention here too. He definitely wins for most amazing costume. The boys were both terrified and amazed when he arrived. It took Aesop a few minutes to even figure out who it was! Such an incredible effort.
Also, Lucy turned up with not only the soundtrack for the day, but these gob-smackingly awesome Chewbacca cookies. They win in the food stakes, for sure. Her and adorable little Isla made such a great addition to the party, so happy they came. Yay for real life bloggy friends!

I can't believe how much effort everyone put it, thank you to everyone who came! And everyone who gave advice via the net, too. 'Twas a great time had by all!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

List #9- Go to the movies

I don't go to the movies very often. To be precise, I've been three times in the last five years.
I just can't justify spending that much money to be cramped into a small dark room, eating million dollar popcorn when I could wait a month or two and watch the same movie in the comfort of my own home, eating whatever I darn well feel like eating.
The three I have been to are:  'Little Miss Sunshine' (which I LOVED) with my Mum, 'Monsters Vs. Aliens' with some of the family and then, yesterday, as a birthday treat for Aesop we went to see 'Astro Boy'.
The movie was fairly average, it had a few funny moments and it was all-in-all pretty feel good. Nothing spectacular. I definitely don't need to see it again.
But, I left feeling like it  was well worth the small fortune we forked out, to spend an hour and a half with two of my favourite boys, in the dark, eating junkfood. A true treat.

Good bye 'work', hello school!

Aesop celebrated his last day of 'work' (what we've always had to call preschool) with 50+ mini cupcakes for his class, a dress rehearsal of his costume for the party, and a long day of playing and 'good-bye' saying.
It was very surreal to say 'see ya later' to all the the amazing teachers, and kids, that we've seen at least a few times a week for the last three years. I am so used to driving to preschool that it's going to take a lot of remembering to keep driving straight, toward school, and not make the turn off to preschool each morning.

But he took it all very well. There were no tears shed, and he made it all look very organic, like the timing was perfect. He promised the teachers he would pop back for a visit sometime, to show off his uniform, and away he went.

He was much the same when it came to saying good-bye to me this morning. His very first day of school, all dressed up in his new gears, sitting on the mat with the other little 'big' kids, legs crossed and arms folded. I told him I was leaving, before his brother packed it in, and I expected at least a hint of 'Nooo, please stay, just a little longer..'. I was presented with a cheek to kiss, Otto got a kiss and he turned back round, re folded his legs and that was that.

I knew he was ready for school, I've said it for the last year or so. But judging by the tears that fell as I walked out to the car.. perhaps I am less ready than I thought?