Monday, April 30, 2012

no go disco

(mum the sun's in my eyes)

Well those nasty tummy bugs have hit us for the second time this month. Mr A first and then a few days later miss E, unfortunately she was unable to make it to the disco yesterday. It was a little heartbreaking seeing her so sick, but at the same time so desperate to go so she could wear her costume. I promised her that she can dress up in it once she's feeling better and I'll take her out for a fluffy. Luckily that seemed to brighten her mood somewhat.

So mr A and I went along to the disco without our sidekick. He wore a little shirt that I made for him using this pattern from etsy. Ages ago at a local thrift store, I bought a bag of patches for just a few dollars, I knew that sometime they would be useful, and it was great to actually use some! I made it a few sizes bigger, I like dress ups to last as long as possible. He was very happy with it and wore it to preschool this morning, complete with beret! (The beret belonged to my father).

I really enjoyed sewing this little shirt and I'm planning a few more for mr A for summer next year - maybe using up some more patches?

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I bought a skein of beautiful merino/silk blend yarn from Jessicah of Spinning a Yarn the other day. The oh so lovely Jess is a member of a fibre group that meets weekly in my town, but she's leaving the group to return to her home town to become a dairy farmer. I don't know what we are going to do without her and her lovely fibre! Jess bought along some of her fibre the other night and I chose a mustard kind of yellow one. It was a strange choice for me as normally I'd never choose such a colour. The very next day I went for a walk  in the Auckland botanical gardens (one of my most favourite places ever!) and it seemed that everywhere I looked I saw those same yellows. I've wound it into a ball and started a little project with it, I'll share the finished product just as soon as I've finished.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

we will remember them

Today is ANZAC day here in New Zealand. For the first time miss E was marching in our local ANZAC parade along with her pippin unit and all the other brownies and guides. Both my grandfathers served in the second world war and although they both made it home, they died while I was quite young and I've always felt sad that I was never able to know them when I was an adult. I think it's really important to teach our children about the sacrifice that my grandfather's generation made for us, it's hard for me to grasp what it must have been like, let alone my children.

Lest we forget.

Once a month our local R.S.A. (Returned services association) holds a kids disco, we often attend. They have a theme each month and this month's theme is "ANZAC" spirit. Normally we have something in the dress up box that fits the bill but not this time. Miss E had lots of grand ideas about what we could (I could) do and after a little brainstorming session she came up with the idea of a "Flanders's field" skirt. Luckily I had some red felt so I cut out a bunch of "poppies" and stitched them all over a skirt that I made especially. I've used up all my black buttons to make the center of the poppies. The disco is this Sunday so I'll get a photo of it in action!

Monday, April 23, 2012


It seems sometimes hard to get my kids to wrap up warm over Winter. It helps the cause somewhat if they have some things to wear that they love,with that in mind I made miss E this hooded cape over the Easter holidays. I found the pattern in the book - Little Crochet by Linda Permann, a really lovely crochet book with lots of modern baby/toddler patterns. A lot of the patterns can be made for older children too if you use a larger hook and chunkier yarn.

It seems that this girl of mine who I never ever dressed in pink as a baby, who loves playing in mud and climbing trees has developed a big desire to wear pink and purple - and nothing but pink and purple!So when I found this lovely soft wool on Trademe I knew I was on to a good thing. The cape is so cozy and if it wasn't pink I think I would have kept it for myself (can you tell I'm not a pink fan?). I'm hoping she'll get a lot of wear (and twirling) out of it over the coming cooler months and keep warm too.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I spotted these two baking tins at a local thrift store the other day. I very nearly left them there, they looked really rusty and dirty. I naively thought no amount of cleaning would improve them, you see I mistook all the dirt for rust as it turns out. I knew that Bonco tin ware is quite a hot collectible though, and I've never, ever seen trays with ferns on them!! So I just couldn't leave them there. Once I was home I thought I'd have a little go at cleaning them up. I've only cleaned one so far, the left one in case it wasn't clear! The photo doesn't really do the transformation justice! But after around half an hour of steel wool rubbing a nice tray emerged, with no rust and almost all the marks disappeared and it's quite shiny and new looking too!

I'm thinking (and I could be totally wrong) that they are possibly trays for cinnamon oysters? I hope so because that's a recipe that I've always wanted to try. What to you think knowledgeable blog readers? I won't be in a hurry to pass up baking tins at the thrift store again either, now I know they can clean up nicely with a bit of elbow grease.

The buns pictured are unrelated to the tins, lovely Dee posted the recipe today and I just happened to have some left over mashed potato and the kids and I whipped these up for our afternoon tea. Perfect activity for the school holidays and a rainy, cool afternoon. Do try them, they are easy and yum!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


A wee while ago, Lisa from Big little put out a call for pattern testers for her "Pirate Jacket" pattern. I was very keen as I've long admired her pirate jackets. Such amazing details and a cool design that I imagine any little boy or girl would love! My kids were very excited to see it come together and miss E is very keen for me to make one for her too (must get on to that!).

Lisa has just released the pattern in her Etsy shop. It's a very well thought out and designed pattern, with lots of variations, like a sew in map (for a smaller child) and a pull out one for an older one, a sew on treasure pouch or one that can button on. It's an easy to sew design too, I imagine even a beginner sewer would be able to follow the step by step instructions. I love that you don't need to rush out and buy lots of stuff to make it either, I used some old pants and a skirt with a stain to make the body of the jacket. I did however buy a small amount of felt for the buckle etc.

I love dress ups for kids especially ones that are a bit more special and less commercial than the ones that you can find in shops, and if you are somewhat sewing challenged and unable to sew one yourself, Lisa also sells custom made jackets too!

(oh by the way ( and in case you are wondering) Lisa hasn't asked me to write this, it wasn't part of being a pattern tester. I just really love her pattern and I had fun sewing it and would love to spread the word!)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I hope you all had a great Easter! The weather here was amazing for an Easter weekend, it nearly always rains lots, but this year - lovely!

I've got lots to share from my absence, I'll pop back tomorrow to share some of what's been a happening.