Sunday, March 18, 2018

Upcycled blanket and buttons

Well I am really pleased with this. It's come out better than I planned. I used an old blanket from an Op Shop sold as a dog blanket and my husband's Nana's buttons. Total cost $12
On the bed with my hospital quilt. The grey goes fantastically together. 
Finished ready to go on the bed.
 This is the before shot.
Painting and waxing. Using Annie Sloan chalk paint in half Paris Grey and half Antique white
I obtained a MDF cover sheet for $2 from Mitre 10 Mega in Rangiora. There was enough good wood to cut out the size I needed. Put wood glue all over it.
I had a mattress topper previous bought at the Salvation Army Op Shop for $5 sitting waiting patiently as I planned a long time ago what I was going to do. It takes a while to get all the bits you need especially when I don't want to pay any kind of money for it. Glue on all the bumps around the edges.
Once both pieces had the glue getting tacky then it was time to put it all together.

Enter my Nana Schulz button box. Choosing buttons to feature on the headboard. Covered the headboard in the (now rather smart) blanket. This is the first time I have done taping etc but I wanted this to last and do it properly.
Putting the buttons on was a dog of a job. I have a 15cm doll needle and I used that with an anchoring button on the back of each of these. The hole through the MDF had to be small though, goodness this took longer than anything else.

The whole project was done over about 2 months as I have just not been able to get motivated, stay on top of my tiredness etc. I am so thrilled with it though and am enjoying the change it makes.
Linking to these places. and crazy mum quilts.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The fog is lifting

I finally did some sewing that I want to do. I'm trying to motivate myself to do a little something that is just for me, even if it is 30 minutes everyday. So far I've failed. But this morning I made these. Slowly I'm doing a new quilt for our bed. Not sure that Aaron will like it, but I'm enthused. 
This morning we are heading out again to pick Aaron up from somewhere in the boondocks. I made some Russian Fudge to take to the walkers as they were hankering after it last time they were home. It's been great having some time with him as he walks the Te Araroa Trail. But by the time I do my rather full on and stressful over full time job, shuffle kids, keep some kind of control on the house and pick him up etc. There is no time left and I'm shattered.
Aaron is tramping in country like this for three months. I've been not coping particularly well, but about 9 days ago things started to turn and I woke up feeling OK for the first time in ages. I've been battling with my full on job, dealing with an ongoing and significant health blow, working through the death of a much loved nephew in January and solo parenting. When you look in writing I think that it is no wonder I feel like I do. But the lid is lifting, I'm starting to feel better in myself. All those things are still there but I can feel myself mentally coping again. 
To be honest I'm really jealous of Aaron, not walking three months! but because my mountain tops have been ruled out once more and potentially for the rest of my life. I mourn for what I cannot do physically anymore. Not just because of the physical piece but that is where I used to calm down, regroup and remove myself from the bustle of life. Sometimes reality sucks as in my mind I can still do that. So enjoyed doing some craft and appreciating time out this morning before heading out to pick up Aaron again.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


We've had a glut of zucchini's (courgette) in the garden as everyone does at this time of the year. So I made chocolate cupcakes, with 3 zucchini finely grated into them. I had talked about doing that and Jakob said that he would never ever eat zucchini cupcakes and he would know if he was eating some. Well he was the only person that did not pick up on it! Amazing what some icing and a few lollies does. I still chuckle. He wont know unless he reads the blog. The recipe was not very healthy though, it was very much like a normal recipe but with added veges. I would have thought that it would have been less sugar or eggs or butter. But no. Anyway, it was a bit of a one off.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Quilt - 13 years in the making

Jakob had his 15th birthday and I finished the binding on this quilt at 10pm the night before. I can trace through my blog 10years of this in the making but it goes back further. When Jakob was two he wanted a star quilt. The nine stars in the centre were made but they didn't fit into the rest of the quilt. It has gone slowly from there as I have been constantly stuck with what to do and how to progress. Running out of matching material for borders etc etc. 

I have been watching a lot of Angela over at "The Midnight Quilter" on Youtube. She also has done a series called the daytime quilter where she takes you through learning to quilt - not the patchwork but the sandwiching. So I have practiced on this quilt. Tried a few different motif's and some have worked well but others I need to improve on! 

In the meantime Morris continues to photo bomb everything when I sew and he is currently trying to sit under the desk which means he lands on the sewing machine pedal quite often. That created some interesting scenarios.

As you can see Aaron came home. It was weird having him home only to leave again.

Linking to these places and crazy mum quilts.

Friday, February 2, 2018


Now I know that I don't need to start yet another project! In actual fact I have a couple of things on the go that have very specific and close deadlines. But hey...I just could not resist. I had the material. The two five inch rolls I bought last year at my quilting retreat from Bronwyn who runs a quilting service.
I was really inspired by a vlog I watch...The Midnight Quilt Show... I love Angela and the fact that she is seriously into the quilting and shows patterns and how to's for that, I find inspiring. I watched this tutorial here and love quilts that are put together with speed.  
I started at 9pm and finished the first set by 9.40pm so just cracked on and completed a second lot. I think that this will be the quilt to do when I just want a wee sew in the evening to feel I have done something. I suggest you watch the video as it is very clever piecing. I had used the basic pattern before for the quilt currently on my bed. But making it into a tube is such a great idea.

Linking to these places and Crazy Mum Quilts.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Trying new thing

While Aaron is walking the Te Araroa Trail the boys and I are cooking our evening meal together each night. We're also trying different recipes. We all love some of the recipes that Chelsea Winter has in her cookbooks. On her website there are some free recipes and we tried the Coconut poached Thai chicken salad.

The scent from the chicken poaching was amazing! Chelsea says to throw away the poaching liquid but it would make an amazing base for a noodle soup or coconut cream curry. Wow I was so impressed.

We all loved this meal. It made enough for us to have leftovers for my lunch at work... even better.

Monday, January 29, 2018

A bit of clearing and recycling

 I have first world problems in my garden. Blackbirds and Thrush's...grrrr. They get into the undergrowth, scruffle around and flick all the bark and dirt onto drives and paths. Drives me nuts.
 I've been meaning to fix it for ages. So I spent a hot Saturday and part of Sunday cleaning up and putting in some serious edging. I thought it was going to be a 30 minute job, but it took 3 hours.
A bit of trimming of trees and bushes as well as wedding and moving some things were required.
Finally all cleaned. This is only part of the drive but it was all the wood that I had. 
Aaron has been making new garden edging and paths, using railway sleepers. He had pulled the old (though reasonably substantial) edging out a few months ago. It was sitting just waiting for me to use it. I'm thrilled with the result of both projects.
Sunday afternoon I had my reward. A gorgeous afternoon at the river with my boys, my sister and brother in law and their kids, not to forget Auntie Colleen. Great swimming hole and gorgeous BBQ dinner together.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Block Swap

I'm currently doing a block swap with an 800 member facebook group called Kiwiquilters. I'm doing it because the requirements are super easy - about an hour a month. I am responsible for the first block for group 2. I chose a pattern that had good online instructions for everyone and I like the effect.
I decided to do a couple of blocks too. There are 14 in the group and no matter how you do the math that doesn't make a set of even rows. The person whose month it is chooses the block, a colour scheme and posts it. You make one block. So many other swaps you need to do a block for every person every month and I just can't cope with that kind of commitment. 
But I think a block a month will keep me interested in the sewing machine and I'll enjoy being challenged by other peoples colour and block choices. I have kept all the cut off corners which were sewn at the time. I just can't throw out anything. 

Linking to these places and Crazy Mum Quilts.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Trim and keep it light

Those are the two things that Aaron was told to do when packing for the Te Araroa Trail. So we took that to mean everything and the second to last day we trimmed him all over.

Last night photos, He even took the beard off.
He says no cutting anything until he's finished in 3 months time, hell look like Morris by then!!!

As soon as Aaron was gone we got the cutters on Morris too. With this incredibly hot summer he was just a bit unhappy. A pile of hair later. The before shots on the left and the afters on the right.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Favourite recipe

You can tell a favourite recipe by the stains on the paper!! Lemon honey - delicious. The lemons this year are juicy, plentiful and huge. I'm thinking of making lemon meringue pie ice cream - ie Lemon honey, meringue pieces mixed into an ice cream base. MMMmmmm.

I'm playing around with my blog look again. The view I changed to I find very difficult to edit and lots of space between lines etc. So back to a more original view. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Up-cycled blanket into boots

In the last week we had family to stay, which is lovely, but the circumstances were heart rending. Our gorgeous cousin had passed away doing what he loved. Another cousin Kerryn and her family stayed with us for some of the time. They came from Brisbane to the coldest wettest week we had had all summer. You can imagine that it was a shock to have 17 degree C days when you have come from days in their 40's. Poor Kerryn's feet were cold. She was using a wheat pack on them. So I whipped out the left over woollen blankets I dyed, got her to select her colour. Found some left over minky material for the inside, some bits of leather for the soles and did some sewing from one of my favourite Twig and Tale patterns.
I was really pleased with being able to keep the stitched edge of the blanket as the top of the boot but made a bit of an error when doing the soles. I put the inside suede of the leather on the outside. That was a bit to do with brain fade over this time. I offered to unpick but Kerryn thought the suede would slip less than the smooth leather, so we left it as is.
Linking to these pages and Twig and Tale, whose pattern this is.  

Upcycled blanket and buttons

Well I am really pleased with this. It's come out better than I planned. I used an old blanket from an Op Shop sold as a dog blanket a...