Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bits and Pieces

First of all my wee girl Na'uli has been really unwell this week but she is such a little darling. She hardly makes a peep, just lies quietly on the couch and sucks her thumb. Hoping she'll be better real soon.
Next I was excited to find out today that I have inspired another of my sisters to start blogging. Both Jen and Allie have their blogs up and running. More lovely mums creating homely homes, raising their beautiful children and providing wonderful life experiences for them. You've really started something now Clare!
Over the last few weeks I have rediscovered the library. I'm not a big reader but having seen some interesting looking books-mostly of the crafty type -while browsing other people's blogs I've started jotting them down. Then I get onto the online library catalogue, put a hold on the books, receive an email when they're available and zip down the road to pick them up. I've been doing lots of browsing and drooling over the projects but being the procrastinator that I am I haven't actually made anything                                                   
  Handmade Home                            Meet Me at Mikes                                 
Sew Darn Cute                        Sew!                            
The Creative Family
    Sew what! Skirts                  Bend the Rules Sewing
Amanda Blake Soule's book 'The Creative Family' was a major favourite, in fact it's the sort of book that I'd be dipping into all the time so would be well worth purchasing. I just looked on Fishpond (for the first time) to see if I could find it....looks like I might be visiting that site again.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Visit from the Outside World

We've had some pretty terrible bugs about our house for the past three weeks. The last week in particular has seen the whole household knocked over with first a cold and cough kinda bug followed closely behind by a vomiting and...well you know what often happens at the same time as that so let's not go into too much detail. With the rain bucketing down solidly outside for 4 days now no windows have been open. We have had few trips beyond the front door and the house feels like it needs a jolly good decontamination of some kind! Anyway today we had a brief encounter with the outside world as Mum and Dad made a flying visit to deliver some goodies. They were too afraid to enter our 'house of horrors' so we had a quick meeting in the garage, where the fresh air could flow freely between us. We gratefully accepted our homemade soup and pizza and Sofia was delighted to receive a pretty little suitcase
 filled with a few interesting bits to keep her occupied
and a gorgeous book.
I'd highly recommend it-the story of Noah's Ark with lovely rhyme and embossed illustrations. And if this weather keeps up any longer we might just have to start our own ark.
I guess this is what you'd call cabin fever-the parents getting creative with Sofia's new play things.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pinwheel Scones

These are one of my favourite rainy day lunches just on their own or with some homemade soup.
First make a basic scone dough. I use the Edmonds Book recipe.
Roll out the dough into a rectangle about 20cm wide and 1 cm thick and spread with a tomato relish-homemade would be best but I use Pam's variety and it's pretty yummy. Thick tomato sauce would be ok too. Leave about 2cm bare along one long edge.
Next add a sprinkling of grated cheese
Then start rolling it up from the long edge. If it gets stuck to your work surface slide a knife along underneath as you roll.
When you get to your bare edge stop and brush it with a bit of water then continue rolling so it sticks together.
Using a sharp serrated knife slice your roll into rounds about 2cm thick.
 Place pinwheels on a greased or lined baking tray. 
Bake at 200 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.
Get creative with your toppings-pineapple and ham, custard and fruit, apple, cinnamon and brown sugar...let me know what you've tried before or what you'd like to try.

Round and Round I Go

In my recent hunt for sleeveless tunics and cardigans to knit for the girls I found some absolutely beautiful designs on Ravelry and Etsy and other people's blogs but didn't reslise until after I had printed several out and ordered one online that they were all made using circular needles. I've done a lot of knitting over the years but have never done anything on circulars. I sifted through Mum's needle collection and found she had quite a few but not only do they have to be the right diameter but they have to be certain lengths as well. I wanted to use wool that I already had so it took a while to find the needles that would suit a pattern and my wool. I decided on this pattern. (By the way this lady has a pretty cool blog with lovely patterns (some free and some for sale in her pattern shop). Then as I was about to cast on the pattern tells me to use The Old Norwegian Cast On Method...the what?? So I jumped on Google and found these instructions. It looked way too complicated but I worked it out in the end and apparently it gives a more elastic edge.
I found it quite odd using the circulars as I didn't know where I was heading with the pattern but once I got going it became a bit addictive because I wanted to see what would happen next and you just keep going round and round....and round...and round
It's still on the needles (or is that needle??) but might be finished in a couple of days so will post a photo then.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Fellow Procrastinator

I am absolutely loving the show Radar's Patch on
TV One at 7pm Sundays. This guy is such a goof but at the same time hilariously funny and so very real. It's also quite amazing to see how he is gradually turning his suburban backyard 'green' by growing his own produce in a sustainable way using organic and recycled materials. I really loved the first segment of last week's episode as Radar talked, as only he can, about procrastination. Aaaahh a fellow procrastinator! There's some ads at the start that I don't know how to avoid but please don't let them put you off. Skip past them as I reckon it's well worth watching.
Click here on these words...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Button Beginnings

Up until recently I have only had a very tiny collection of fairly ordinary buttons. However the hoarder in me is coming out as I have found myself searching trademe and a few other places lately for some interesting buttons to bulk up my collection. Now that my collection has grown and being the sorter and organiser that I am I thought it was time to put some order into my buttons. I decided to sort them by colour. This is what Mum has done with her extensive stash of buttons and it seems to work quite well when searching for something to suit a particular garment. So having sorted them into their various hues I realised I didn't really have anything to store them in. Off to Save Mart, then St Vincent de Paul, then the Sallies in search of a few tins. I was quite pleased with my finds...
a darling little Winter dress for Na'uli                                                 and some cones of wool

           and yes I did get the tins that I set out to look for
And then of course I had to kind of match the button colour to the tin colour...

I wonder what other interesting and creative ways other people have come up with for organising and storing their buttons? I would love to hear about yours.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Play Cloths and Pinafores

I was lucky enough to have my Mum come and stay overnight at the start of this week as we waited for my Poppa to have his heart operation. While Mum was visiting - in between reading stories to the girls, changing nappies, making muffins, getting my washing up-to-date (including handwashing the woollies) - she got me going on a bit of sewing. I started with the really simple...hemming the edges on some beautiful coloured soft voile fabric squares.
These have become play cloths for the girls and already Sofia has made some lovely creative games with them (mainly centered around her doll Polly and the ever-present pram) as these photos show...

I can see a lot of imaginative play coming from these simple play cloths.
Next I mended a pair of my (live-in) nephew's work pants. It took two attempts but they came up looking not too bad (excuse the dirt-they got worn before I took the photo)...
He was happy. In fact he said "they look like they've been sewn by angels"!! haha Love the humour but I guess that's a compliment so I'll take it. Thanks.
We then moved on to something a little more challenging. We pinned out the pattern for a pinafore for Sofia and cut the pieces...
As Mum was about to head off to the hospital we had a quick run through of the steps for sewing the garment and I jotted them down in my trusty notebook...
Late that afternoon I had a few spare moments as Na'uli had her nap so I got the sewing underway. I certainly found it easier with my own instructions than I think I would have following the pattern. The pinafore is at the almost finished stage ...
...and it's been on hold as my girls have been a bit 'needy' as the first Winter coughs and runny noses are upon us. So when I have top-stitched and done a bit of decoration on the pocket I shall try to get a picture posted.
Amongst all of this Sofia was itching to get her hands into something crafty so Mama set her up with her first bit of hand stitching. She was using some bright coloured wool on hessian and was ever so pleased with herself...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mothers and Daughters

On this Mother's Day I feel truly blessed to have two wonderful daughters and a loving husband. When asked what I would like for mother's day I told my husband "a sleep in". So he was up at 6.45 this morning with the girls and I managed a little lie in until almost 9 which I was pleased with! I politely declined the offer of breakfast in bed as I knew the little rascals would join me and I'm pretty sure it would have turned into 'mess in bed'. I have just been looking back at some photos of my girls and marveling at how they've grown and changed since first entering our lives.
Sofia has grown from this... this...

And Na'uli has grown from this...
to this...

And here's me and my Mum...
me with Na'uli and Mum with her youngest grandchild Tessa...
and here's Na'uli practising some steps with her Mama

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Malo e lelei and Talofa

Each Wednesday morning Sofia attends a Tongan preschool. Today they had a trip to visit a Samoan preschool. The children from both preschools did some beautiful singing and dancing. Here's a few photos of Sofia and Na'uli exploring the new environment.