Friday, April 30, 2010

April list update.

Phew! Another month down..  not too far off half way now, but still a way to go!

In April I intended 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, no way.
2. Sew myself at least one DRESS. - Done!
3. Knit myself a cardigan I love. - Have chosen the pattern.
4. Make Abraham a hoodie. - Done! Pictures coming soon.
5. Start sewing to sell again.  - Started this month!
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.   Done in April.
11. Start blogging again. 01/01
12. Get business cards. - Having them designed and getting quotes.
13. Buy 2 pairs of decent shoes. - No progress on this one.
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. - Done!
17. Sort out entire garage. - Done in April! With thanks to Abraham!
18. Finish yoyo quilt. - Chipping away at it.
19. Earn $1000 through sewing. - $194 down $806 to go. Not too bad for someone whohasn't been sewing til this week!
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. - Laptop on track to be paid off in June. Awesome!
24. Sew 10 garments for the kids. - 7 down (ottos crawling pants, ewok costume  and a hoodie for aesop, 3x pants for Otto and a vest for Aesop), 3 to go.
25. Knit Aesop a jumper. - Have knit the body, arms will be done post Craft2.0 in June.
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. 
30. Make most of the gifts we give (this year). - A bit of a continuous goal this one. But going really well.

No non-exercising wearing of pants this month.


Formspring Friday

(A picture of Otto, cause because!)

Have got any tips on helping babies to sleep better during the day. My one year girl thinks 25min naps once or sometime twice a day if I'm lucky, is the way she wants live, I tend to disagree. Hmm, we have only just really mastered this one now (at almost ten months) and I can't guarentee how long it will last.. but we have found Otto sleeps much, much better in a really dark room, with a radio playing lightly and snuggled up with his dummy and snuggy blanket (much to my horror!). We are lucky in the sense that we are still breastfeeding so, if Otto is cranky before he goes to bed, I can soothe him by giving him a feed. Am sure you have tried all of those things though : ( All I can really say is 'good luck' and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!

so you have 3 bloggers in your house - do you all share 1 computer? (we find this difficult in our house)
Three bloggers! Jeepers, we do too. Well, we actually own three computers (geeks much?) but the laptop gets the most use. We all do our blogging on it, and most other things. The other computer that is inetnet able is in my studio and I use that when this one is busy etc.

what are the first 5 websites in your "history" ? We have the history turned off! Works best for us that way.

whats one thing you would love to do at least once in your life, if money etc wasn't an issue (no limitations). by squidgyums
I want to go and see my friend Anu in Finland. Obvsiously there are other friends and family I would love to visit around the world, but I would love love love to see Helsinki and would delight so much in seeing Anu and meeting her wee family.

Desert Island - one food item, one drink item, one book, one CD, one movie. Name them!
Peanut butter, just juice, Mishka, 500 days of Summer.

How long do you spent on the internet in a day?
Too bloody long. But really, all up? maybe two to three hours. God that sounds awful! I'm trying to cut back.

If you could have a kid-free weekend what would you do?
I would pack Abraham and an mp3 playerful of good music into the car and we would go on a roadtrip! Somewhere with lots of thrifting stops along the way, a nice restaurant for dinner and a comfy bed at the other end.

Did you do well at school?
Not really. Not as well as I should have done. I was very distracted by the social aspects of high school and didn't put much effort into my studies at all. One thing I sort of wish I had done differently.

Who taught you to sew?
I took sewing in High school and was fairly dreadful at it. I taught myself how to sew 'properly' When I moved to Nelson aged 19.

Favourite TV show?
Go Girls! Also love Outrageous Fortune, Nurse Jackie, House and Bones.

Into everything!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Like mother (and father!), like son.

When we were little we had an Amiga 500.
We used it, mostly, to play games like Mousetrap, Toki , Hole-in-one and Crazy Cars (best games ever) and to draw for hours in paint. The computer, as far as I was concerned, was a toy.
I found out about the internet when I was about 13. Someone explained email to me ( Woooah mind boggling!) and we used to sneak into chat rooms and laugh at sleazy old men. I found ICQ, figured out how to find websites, and eventually even made my own.. my world was filled with 'uh-ohs' and emails and I even started compiling my first folder of 'Things I like' (I'm a hoarder, ever online!) and I was hooked.
So it made logical sense for me to get into blogging, I'm always online anyway, might as well have something to show for it! But I never picked myself as someone who would start a blog for her kids.
There are few people who make blogs for everything in their lives, about their babies, their wedding, their crafts, a shop blog, a personal blog.. blog blog blog. I like to think I'm not one of those people, but now I'm starting to wonder.
Anywho, the point of this ramble? Aesop has a blog.
It was meant to be a bit of a holiday project for us, but has only really yesterday made a real start. He has chosen the font of the header, the pictures etc himself, and has dictated the words to Abraham, who has typed them out pretty much to the letter.
I'm really proud of Aesop and how well he has done so far (and he is very, very proud of himself and excited about it!), and I really hope that a few of you might 'follow' his blog and, perhaps, post a comment every now and then. It would absolutely make his day!

Monday, April 26, 2010

List # 10 (part one)- Preserve FAIL.

I tried to preserve fruit. I reallllly tried. Twice.
But you know what? The first time I ended up with two jars full of mostly syrup and the next time I, stupidly, followed a recipe and didn't do the sugar by taste. You guessed it, the apples were so sweet I couldn't even swallow the spoonful I attempted. And in true Rhiannon style I had already sealed three jars!
I was pretty upset at first, not only because of the wasted time and ingredients,  but mostly because I was really keen to be the sort of woman who could fill the cupboards with jars of fruit and vegies, and of jam and chutney. I love how those rows of preserves look and I love the idea of saving money and hoarding things away. I love the idea of doing things that my female ancestors would have done for their families.
But then I came to a conclusion that has set my mind at ease.
No one person can be good at everything.

I'm pretty good at baking, I can do a bit of sewing, a bit of knitting, I can cook a great meal, I can do crosswords, I can finish a duathlon (two in fact! Another tick off the list!). I can do many things, and some of them quite well, if I do say so myself.
So, if the trade off for being good at those things is failing miserably at preserving, and we have to eat all of our fruit fresh and in season, and buy our jam from the market (or even the supermarket shelf) for the rest of our lives, then I'm okay with that.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Craft 2.0 and another list!

(My first ever stall at Craftwerk.)

Well, dear friends, it is offical.. I am mad.
Kristin and I have decided to drive down to Wellington to Craft2.0 in June. We are going to pack up the car on the Fridday, drive 8 hours, do a craft fair all day Saturday and then drive back Sunday. Oh, did I mention we are taking Otto and Archer? Ah yes, 8+ hours travelling with two under-ones.
Oh, did I also mention that gives me approx 40 days to sew all the stock for my stall?!
But it is also pretty exciting. Once I look past the madness of sewing, the insane journey and the nerves that come with selling things in real life, I realise that we're going to Craft2.0! I'm going to catch up with dozens of lovelies that I haven't seen for years, meet new amazing people and have a total blast (a blast that will involve a overtired, grizzly boy at times, but a blast all the same.)

In order to help me get myself organised, I have decided to share another list with you. This is the list of crafting I need to complete before the 11th of June:

Non -Craft2.0:

* A hoodie for my Dad. (1)
* Baby shoes for my mum to give as a present. (1)
* two birthday presents for Abraham. (0)
* Finish the wedding present for Holly and Ben. (1)
* Baby clothes as a swap for business card design with Hazel. (4)
* A baby hoodie for friends who are due soon. (1)

(To get to my minimum stock level.)

* 30 flower brooches (11)
* 9 applique brooches (9)
* 2 quilt bags (2)
* 2 'ball' bags (2)
* 1 longsleeve hoodie (2)
* 3 sleeveless hoodies (2)
* 2 skirts (2)
* 3 tops (1)
* 2 regular bags (2)

And that doesn't include all of the other things I need to organise ready for the fair. Hmmm. 1.6 (1.05!) things a day. Over loading myself much? Will keep you posted, but for now I'm off to the supermarket to stock up on the RedBull, I sense some late nights coming up.

(Note to self: was 41 days from 29th April..)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thrifty thrift thrift.

A few of the thrifty finds in the past week or so.
A teeny tiny 50's dress (that is also sort of disintergrating), a mug for the hot drinks I don't drink, and MORE fabric. Just what I needed! Talk about an addiction...
Noone tell Abraham. Heh.

Sorry I've been a bit quiet thepast few days, will be back in the swing of things tomorrow!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Formspring Friday!

Here we are again! I had so, so many fun questions this week! Pretty please keep 'em coming, I am having a ball answering them all.
So, without further ado:

Do you have a "parenting philosophy"?
I'm really not sure.

We are fairly strict parents, I think. We really enforce manners and good behaviour at all times. We try not to yell too much (I fail a bit at this, Abraham is great at it.) and we do not hit our kids. Instead we use behaviour charts, a naughty seat and removal of prviliges/toys. All of which have worked well for Aesop.

We endeavour to encourage our children to be confident, honest and true to themselves but also considerate of others.

I'm not sure that is a philosophy as such, but it pretty much sums up our parenting!

for the non 'knitties' amongst us - what is blocking?!! (as in professor vest blog of 13/4)

Blocking is basically stretching the knitting out, when it is wet, into the shape it is meant to be. It helps to get the right shape but can also help when things are knit a little short, or narrow etc. There is a great explaination here:

Favourite junk food/takeaways?

Mmmm I absolutely love a good, mild, curry. We get 'chicken madras', a garlic naan and a huge helping of onion bhaji. Heavenly.
But I must also confess to being quite partial to a BK chicken with bacon. Oh yes, there's a reason I'm not thin.

Your boys have such cool names, so if you had a girl baby what would you call her?

Olive Poppy Larsen : ) Olive after Abrahams Nana and Poppy because I like it. (Despite the Olive Oyl/Popeye thing... in fact, maybe even more because of that! (And thanks!)

night owl or early bird?

Hah, neither really. I work best during working hours!

Where is your favourite nz holiday destination?

I haven't been on many NZ holidays to be honest! But if I were to give advice to someone coming to NZ I would tell them that both Nelson and Waiheke Island were must-visits.

Do you mind the fact that so many fellow bloggers have adopted your Formspring Friday idea? (hehe)

I adopted it from someone else too! I would love to take credit but, alas, I think it's a fairly common bloggy thing to do.

Fav song to sing in the shower?

I am terribly embarassed to admit that, at the moment, I have been singing a lot of Miley Cyrus in the shower. Oh the shame.

Who do you write your blog to? Like do you have a reader in mind when you write your posts? Do you think, hhmmm, mum will read this and so on? Or is it all just for you?

I mostly write to an imaginary person. Someone who I imagine to be reading my site, but not specific people I know who read it. Does that make sense? I guess I try to write a blog that I would like to read. That said, I do censor myself on occasion due to knowing that certain people will read it.

Any plans for more babies??

We are still hmm-ing and haa-ing over that one. We would like one more but lately Aesop has been really ,really hard work and somedays I really feel like I don't know how I would cope. We also worry a little about money, but in an ideal world: yes.

When you take photos of yourself do you use the cameras self timer or did someone else take the shot for you?

I use the self timer, always. I tend to only like photos of myself if I have taken them myself! Weird.

Do you consider yourself to be a good dancer?

I'm a terrible dancer! I have nil rhythm and just sort of step and jig around the place. haha.

How many tattoos do you have? Where and what are they of?

I only have the two roses on my chest. But I hope to get a doily tattoo on my 30th birthday, possibly on my forearm.

Whats your favourite vegetable and fruit?

Can I do top threes? I love me some guavas, feijoas and figs. They would have to be my top three fruits. Vegies? Potato, Kumara (New Zealand sweet potato) and courgette. Mmm-mm.

Sea or lake?

Neither much. I'm not big on swimming, partially down to not being keen on sharing too much skin. But in terms of scenery I would say the ocean.. the utter emormity of it is quite stunning.

What's your favourite season and why?

I like most all the seasons, other than Summer. I think Autumn might be my absolute fave though.. cold but not too freezing, all my favourite fruits are in season and the leaves falling and weather turning is beautiful.

Why 'toast' and life?

'Toast Clothing' is my (currently on maternity leave. hah!) clothing label. And since this blog was meant to be about my return to sewing, as well as my life, Toast and life seemed fitting!

Do your boys drive you mad sometimes?

SO funny you should ask that today. I have just finished yelling at Aesop : ( I am not an 'earth mother' type AT ALL. We are on school holidays at the moment and I am counting down the hours until my very-lovely-but-incredibly-moody-and-attitude-filled 5 year old is back to school.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Baking day!

Inspired by Kristin, when Otto went down for his afternoon sleep yesterday Aesop and I donned our aprons and set about a bake-a-thon. Well, actually, we only made three things. But still! That's a heck of a lot more than we usually manage to achieve in an hour. (And we didn't even get too annoyed with each other.. a miracle!)
The crackers were made using the recipe on StripySockStudio. We added rocksalt and a bit of paprika, and cut them out in the shape of hearts. I'm a little concerned that Abraham and Aesop might be too shame-o to eat them in front of anyone but they sure are cute!
The ginger nuts (which for us, maybe due to the impatience to use the tray for the crackers, are much more like ginger kisses! ) are from Clare at Green Valley Crafts.
We also made, but somehow forgot to photograph, our good ole standby cookies from the 'How it all Vegan' book. This time they had choc chips and chunks of apricot. Mmmm-mm.
The only problem with having a house full of baking is that now I also want a belly full of baking. Best get knitting, keep my hands busy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Preparing for the cold!

Two crafty projects in preparation for a cold Winter ahead.
Firstly, the 'Professor vest' has finally been blocked (not very well, it looks a bit wonky.. I promise, it's not!) and buttoned. I love this wool, so soft! And the buttons are made from coconut shell. The wriggly one hasn't tried it on yet but it looks a much better size than my first, acidic, vest.

The second is a sleep sack. We never had many problems with Aesop kicking blankets off, but Otto is such a wriggler that a sleeping bag is going to be essential in the colder months.
We found one at an op shop recently but with our grubby (and spilly) boy, we needed more than one! Eventually I'll whip up a few more but, for now, I'm pretty happy with this one.
Oh, and a few people asked last time whether I have a special foot for my machine to do cursive applique stuff. The answer to that one is 'no'. I just use the regular ole foot, and for writing I do it freehand ( for pictures I have a bit of a different method..). I've been doing it for years so, hopefully, practise is paying off!

I have so many projects on the go at the moment. Why oh why do is it such a struggle to get things finished before the next thing pops up? I'm so behind! I'm determined to watch less TV for the next few weeks and have more to show for myself... if only that wasn't easier said than done!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A room for toys.

When I was little all my toys were kept in the closet of the spare room. It was great, it meant that it wasn't hugely important if my friend and I desperately needed to leave our Barbie game out over night ( luckily, because it took us so long to deal out all the clothes and bits and pieces and decide who was going to have the first turn with the Ken. Hah), or if the Lego city we built needed to be finished later. Looking back now, it also was very clever on my parents part, it meant we hardly ever had the toys out in the lounge, and we generally would just spend hours and hours tucked away in the downstairs bedroom.
One of the perks of putting our boys into one bedroom is that they now have a toy room. (They don't even have to share it with a spare bed! Jealous!). It is a lot smaller than the room that we had, and will require a bit more effort to keep it tidy, but hopefully it will provide hours of play, especially when Otto is a bit bigger and the boys can really play together.

Also, on a side note: My twinny-twin (my sister from another mother?) and the sweet Clare from Green Valley Crafts are hoping to put together a Stitch'n'Bitch esque group in Nelson and are wondering if anyone would be keen to go along. They are both love-love-lovely and I wish so much that I could go along. If you're keen, be brave and get in touch with Clare or pop me an email!
As for us Eastern-bay-of-plenty ladies, if you're coming, I'll see you on Sunday! Can't wait!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Florals and cardigans.

I am LOVING this ,slightly cooler, Autumn weather.
Being someone who isn't that fond of showing off too much skin, the nippier weather really agrees with my wardrobe choices. I'm really enjoying adding an extra layer and am looking forward to wrapping up even further. I  love to wear my Summer skirts and light dresses layered with merino tops and thick opaque tights and boots in Winter . There's something that just feels so much more feminine about having everything covered up.

You know what else I'm loving clotheswise at the moment?
- Wearing skirts up on my waist, with my tops tucked in. I've never been brave enough to try this one out before, but I'm really enjoying it.
- Belts over cardis. I guess I've worried that bringing things in at my waist would make my two-babies-blobby-tummy stand out more but I think it's worth the risk.
- Not doing my hair everyday. There's something kind of cute about messy hair every now and then.
- The idea of hooded dresses over tights. I wonder if I could whip one up. I saw a great one on a young girl in the weekend, 'twas stripy and just above the knee. Not super dooper flattering but looked very styley and very comfy too!

Room for two!

Remember I mentioned we were thinking of moving the boys into one room? Well, it happened this weekend!
Who knew two boys could have so much stuff? Guess they take after their mother!
I really wanted to have the toy room sorted to share photos of that at the same time, but alas, time didn't allow for me to finish sorting it all out.
So far so good though, I'm really happy with how the bedroom looks. I'm especially happy with our little reading corner (the cushions will be covered eventually..) where I envision hours of lying around with the boys, reading to both of them and Aesop reading to his little brother!

(I'm not going to jinx myself by talking about how the sleeping is going.. that will have to wait a wee bit. )

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Formspring Friday

A day late, and not many questions this week. I'm really enjoying answering questions so, pretty please ask away if you ever want to know anything (the box on the right!).

What is your favorite book? :)
I don't really get much time for reading these days so I can't really think of a favourite book, sorry. Terrible, huh?

what do you love most about NZ?
I'm not sure what I love MOST, to be honest. But I can tell you that I love that our 'huge big serious' news stories are things like politicians using tax payer money to take their wives on holiday, instead of who is going to attack us next etc. I love our kiwi twang (fush n chips!), I love how rough and ready we are, I love the scenery and I love love that we live in a country/town where we can, if we choose, walk around safely (even at night) and accidently leave our things outside and still have them in the morning. Basically, I heart New Zealand.

what is/are your addiction/s?!
Op shopping! internet! eating! Nothing too horrendously damaging, but all very time consuming!

Are you religious at all?
No. Not at all. I do collect religious icons, but that is purely for the aesthetic value.

what do you think is your favourite thing of everything you've ever made? by squidgyums
I'm very fond of my new dress but I have a feeling my yoyo quilt will be absolute fav.. when I finally finish it!

cliche I know, but if you were a crayon, which colour would you be? by squidgyums
I used to think I'd be one of those crayons with all of the different colours. But these days I think maybe I'd be a mustardy yellow.

knitting or sewing... which do you enjoy more?
Sewing is more of an instant gratification but there's just something so satisfying about knitting away at something and making an entire garment from a single strand of wool! I would have to say knitting at the moment, but I always have at least one project, of each type, on the go at all times.

Have you travelled the world? by speckledegg
No, not really. I have been overseas, visiting relations in the UK and Wales with my parents when I was younger, and then a year long exchange in the Netherlands as a teenager, but otherwise, no. And to be honest I don't have any desire to, so far.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter crafty round-up.

After a super grouchy morning on Sunday (we all have days like that, right?) Abraham took Otto on a big long walk (where he filmed this) and  I locked myself in the studio from some serious sewing.
I finally got round to cutting up a few of the jumpers I have been picking up from the dollar rack and the op shop and, heavily inspired by the Craftykin pants tutorial and the MADE vest tutorial (which I didn't actually read, but I was very inspired by the pictures.), I whipped up two pairs of pants for Otto and a vest for the noisy one.
I also cut up a sweatshirt and made a wee pair of trackpants. I was stoked with how they turned out, I love the fabric on the knees. All of the pants are a tad big for Otto at the moment but, at the rate he is growing, they won't be for long!

I also managed a bit of knitting. I whipped up another 'professor vest', this time in a smaller size (and a slightly blander colour!) for Otto to wear now. It is awaiting a wash/block, buttons and perhaps an applique. I had hoped to do that yesterday but we were dealt a pretty gloomy, wet day.. we even had thunder and lightening! Not a great day for washing.
The second item will be a jumper for Aesop. I'm using re-purposed oatmeal coloured wool and it is, at the moment, full of kinks. It makes for a pretty ugly UFO but I'm confident it will all even out with some steam ironing and a good wash. I just need to get over my fear of double points so that I can do the sleeves!

I was pretty pleased with my little pile of crafted goodies. Should  keep my crafty urges satisfied for a week or so.. goodness knows I won't be doing much crafting with both the boys home for the holidays.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I opened up my flickr this morn to find a bit of a theme among my contacts' photos. Yellow!
And in particular, yellow dresses.
I drooled.
I think my next fabric purchase might need to be some gloriously yellow fabric. Something a little on the thicker, and warmer, side. (Are you listening thrift gods?)
There's nothing like a burst of yellowy sunshine to brighten up a dull Winters day.