Friday, July 23, 2010

I was going to write a big long, self-indulgent, post about how I've been lately and how going to Auckland for a weekend has me feeling like a frumpy, boring person who really needs to put more effort into her style/housekeeping/everyday life. But you know what? I'm going to save you from hearing about all of that and just leave you with some photos from our travels and a promise that I will be back on the blogging track again soon.
(Thank you to everyone who sent me lovely messages, and even parcels, to cheer me up. I'm sure the Winter blahs will pass soon enough. Sure, and hoping.)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The mighty sallies book fair.

Every year, around this time, the Sallies has a three day book fair.
Last year I gave it a miss, mostly due to having spent entirely too much the year before, but this year I just couldn't drive past without stopping to poke around in the piles of pages.

For just ten dollars I came away wait a huge stack of books, for myself and for the rest of the family.
Some of the highlights were: a dictionary of slang (who knew there were 6 pages of f-word variations?!), a dictionary of modern addtions to english language, some vintage craft booklets, a stack of kiddies books (including a lovely old copy of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' for my niece of nephew who is still yet to arrive.), a family knitting book with the singlet pattern I've been searching for and the 'Everything is illuminated' novel. It is one of my all-time favourite movies so I was very stoked to find this. (The previous owner has scrawled on the inside of the cover 'I didn't get it, good luck!' which cracks me up.)

I also found these two books of paintings. One the artist Paul Gauguin and one of 18th century French paintings. I'm not usually a huge fan of fine art but, for some reason, I quite like books about it. How can one resist the beauty displayed in the old French paintings? These are some of my favourites:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Winter blahs.

The past two days have been very grey, snotty, pyjama-all-day sort of days.
Aesop has a hacking cough, I have a scratchy throat and poor wee Otto has gunky eyes, snotty nose and a constant, roaring temperature. We are a sad bunch.
Actually, I'm finding everything hard going at the moment. I seem to get to this point every Winter.
It's cold, it's too hard to get motivated, we're sick, we're tired, I eat too much comfort food, Aesop complains 'cause he is bored but it is too rainy to go out.. blah blah blah. 'The blahs'.
But I am working hard to over come them. I've signed out of my facebook page for two weeks (I am cheating and checking my profile when Abraham signs in, but won't get messages or read my feed etc. And, most importantly, I won't spend hours and hours playing addictive games!), and am attempting to get some crafting done. I am going to use Abraham's week off next week as a good chance to get some well-needed exercise, and will make sure to be knitting while I 'blob' in front of the telly, to ease the guilt. I have written a list of things to do with the kids for the rest of the holidays to prevent too much nagging, arguing and frustration.

I'm also trying to cherish the good moments that we have, like making the most of our snotty faces and having woolly moustaches, eating nummy food, finishing the body of the cardi I'm making for my new niece or nephew (come on out little one, we want to come visit!), listening to great music (loving Laura Marling, Joanna Newsom, Alela Diane and She and him today..) and receiving incredible parcels from my twinny-twin-twin.
What do you do to get over 'The blahs'?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A few months ago my friend Kate moved to Australia.
She had a garage sale.
I offered to watch her kids during the sale.
I should not have looked through the wares.
I did.
I was talked into buying a giant container of cake decorating supplies.
I took out a very small amount of things I wanted.
Now I have to get rid of the rest of it.
Keen to help? Everything has a $1 reserve and, frankly, I need  it to sell before I talk myself into actually keeping it all.. those tennis girls are pretty cute after all...
Saaaaave meeee.

(Yes, this is essentially a sales pitch. But, really, what's the point of having my own personal space on the internet if I can't attempt to hock off some plastic santas once in awhile? Regular blogging will commence shortly..)

Sunday, July 4, 2010


This time last weekend I was running around like a mad woman, preparing for Otto's wee birthday celebration.
We decided, with my parents away, and with it being a first birthday and Otto not really even knowing what was going on, we would just have a few family members over to eat and be merry.
I kept the food pretty simple too (and asked everyone to bring a little something to add to the spread). I whipped up a HUGE pot of curried pumpkin soup, served with bacon and coconut cream. So, so tasty and always a winner. I also made pesto and cheese pinwheel scones and, for the first time, these simple bread rolls. I usually have issues with yeasty baking, but these turned out a treat.
I made my usual chocolate cupcakes with chunks of Whittakers dark in them, and some light and fluffy lemony goodness in the the form of these.
By the end of the day I was full as a bull and our little men, who are both all about the food, deemed it a success. And that's the most important thing, huh?

Saturday, July 3, 2010


( Yes, the 'J' in the top picture is round the wrong way, only in the picture though, I swear!)

I love the idea of using every possible inch of the fabric that I buy. Obviously this is easier said than done, it's hard to find time and also often hard to find projects that use the really small pieces. But it's great fun trying!

I started these magnets (from this tutorial, check out her other tutes too.. so great!) as a birthday present for Otto. He loves to chew on the plastic ones but they are quite small and I worry about him crawling around with one in his mouth. But then one day rolled into the other and they weren't ready in time for either his party OR his actual birthday, but you know what? I don't think he minds too much, he was happy just to pull them off the fridge and give them a good chew, not worrying which day it was.

Coincidentally, Clare was asking yesterday for ideas of things to make using scraps of fabric so I thought I'd make a wee list of things I like to make with mine, and also a few things I have on the 'to do' list.

I cut then majority of my small scraps into 1 1/2" strips, to use for string quilt blocks. I use the blocks to make bags and also quilt tops (well, technically I have only made 2 quilts and 6 bags, but still...). I love the way the colours work together and how the diamonds form.
I have also made a fair few metres of bunting with some of the larger scraps, about 300 yoyos for a nearly-finished (sort of) yoyo quilt, a dozen or so fabric xmas balls, and things like camera cases.
That said, I do have two 100 litre containers full of offcuts awaiting a purpose. These are just a few of the things I would love to attempt with them:
* Fabric envelopes  I found this tutorial just this week, I think these would make great gifts.
* Counting bean bags Cute! Always good to have presents for boys up ones sleeve.
* Fabric book Would be easy to customise for the child etc, and also good for boys.
* Baby shoes- 'nuff said.
* Very, very cute finger puppets.

You should also check out the Scrap-happy group on Flickr, full of wonderful ideas. Happy scrapping!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

List update for June.

About time I updated this! Still slowly plodding my way through but feeling confident about completeing most things!

1. Fit into my favourite summer top. - Maybe Summer for this one. Being done with breastfeeding will help though.
2. Sew myself at least one DRESS. - Done!
3. Knit myself a cardigan I love. - Not feeling confident about this one. Just seems like such a huge long project.
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. - Have starting the photographing.
7. Print the majority of our photos. - have printed about 1/6th of them.. getting there!
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. - Made my own in June!
13. Buy 2 pairs of decent shoes. - No progress on this one.
14. Take Aesop to the zoo. - Next weekend! Yippeee!
15. Send (at least) 2 parcels to Amy. - done.
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. - $140 to go!
20. Have a bbq/dinner with over 10 people. - This one is in the planning stages.
21. See some live music. - Done Feb.
22. Save over $1000/ have an outdoor movie night - Will be for my birthday in Sept.
23. pay off our laptop and buy a new camera. -
24. Sew 10 garments for the kids.
25. Knit Aesop a jumper. - Have knit the body, arms still to go.
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. - Still waiting to buy a new couch so we can decide what colours they will need to be.
28. Get away for a night without the kids! - Now that breastfeeding is over and done with this is looking like it might happen sooner thatn I thought! Will let you know.
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.

The no-pants mission is going slightly less awesome, have worn my jeans out of the house 3 times since my last list update. Whoops. Once it was pouring with rain, once when we went to the hotpools at night time and it was just easier, and once when it was freezing and somehow every pair of tights I owned was in the wash. Sometimes you just can't beat the 'easiness' of pants, especially in Winter.

One.. already?

Otto Shnotto, my little baby, turned one yesterday. I can hardly believe that a whole year has gone by already. Is it just me or does time seem to pass faster every year? I would love to go back to the days when a school term seemed to take a lifetime and last Christmas seems so far past that you can hardly remember what you were given.
So yes, lil' Diddly is now officially a toddler. No more squishy, puffy little face, no more snuggly midnight feeds (no feeds at all, in fact.. who knew I would miss breastfeeding so much this time round?), no more being content just being plonked in the exersaucer or bouncer.
These days Otto is into everything. He needs food and water as soon as he sees them and he is sure to get his urgency across by way of frantic yelling and pointing. He waves good-bye, he dances when he sees a record, he claps his hands when something is good, and he shakes his head as he attempts to do something he knows he will get in trouble for. He yells 'disss dissss' and 'daaat daaat' to accompany the frantic pointing and will squeal and say 'didggge! didggge!' when he sees Porridge the cat.
He's a funny wee man and charming too. He is constantly being told how cute and handsome he is, and delights in flirting with nearly everyone he meets. He also absolutely loves to chase the kids at school. They call him 'Slobby monster' (because of the dribble, not because he wears trackpants and watches t.v all day..) and sun away squealing while we run after them.
Basically, Otto is awesome.
Dearest wee squidgy one, happy birthday! I look forward to spending another year trying to keep you from eating the cats biscuits, sharing my every mouthful with you,  being on the receiving end of your very dribbly kisses and popping out from behind things to hear your cheeky little giggle.
I love you!