Sunday, October 23, 2016

A 15 minute refashion

From this teatowel
To this cute apron

I love retro caravan stuff, even though our good old caravan is not retro it has a lot of retro bits in it. Anyway, last January my mother gave me a couple of caravan themed tea towels when she visited us whilst camping. I love love them but they are far too good to use to dry dishes.

In my current state of recovery I want to do craft but it needs to be quick. I spied the tea towels sitting on my sewing desk in my "to do" pile. (Well the visible "to do" pile, I actually have a "to do" cupboard!!!). Iron back the corners and stitch them down. Stitch on some grossgrain pink ribbon around the neck and some white for the ties. Ta Da... all done.

But now I think it is too nice for the caravan, so I have hung it in the pantry to use at home and dream of camping.

Linking to these places and crazy mum quilts.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A one hour craft project

heart shape pot holder
Well it was meant to be a one hour project but it took me three days! These are heart shaped pot holders for a birthday present for a very dear friend who is turning 70. One of her favourite flowers is pansy. In my current recovery state only a little bit could be done every day. And even then I once forgot to mirror the heart shape so had to make another side.
I used the template from "A spoonful  of Sugar" blog. I did not read the instructions or the how to as I had decided to do the top piece using the quilt as you go technique.

finished product, bit of a struggle getting the lighting right.

The underneath I used some wool, then heat reflective fabric left over from making an ironing board, then batting and then lining. I do not want her hands to get burnt. Tip of the day - make sure the heat reflecting fabric faces towards the outside of the finished pot holder.

Linking to these places and crazy mum quilts

Monday, October 17, 2016

How to make your own plant rooting hormone

While my sister was here with me on one of our walks she picked a pile of young willow branches from the river. We brought them home and put them into half a bucket of water. It is just under the bark that all the goodness lies. This is where they get asprin from and is also a great starter for any cuttings. I always used to buy rooting hormone from the garden centre until I found out that willow is essentially the same thing (just not dried and in a container).

So once the willow has steeped for a while I put a pile of cuttings into the water of the ugni berry. This has two common names Chilean guava and NZ Canberry. It is not a cranberry but is the closest thing we can grow and the flavour both fresh and after a light stewing is stunning. Anyway the ugni berry cuttings are all planted up to do their thing as I want to use it to hedge the raspberries. So with the leftover water I soaked the punnets that I am planting my cucumber and courgette (zuchini) seeds into. Lots of people are spending money at the moment on seaweed liquid as a plant starter - but hey just pick some willow and get the same result!

My first outing since surgery was for Aaron's birthday. Date night (earliest date night ever - 5pm as I fade after 7pm)

We went to the Polo bar and restaurant. It was great. 

Jakob has been the best company for me during recovery. He has accompanied me on all my walks. Being spring the blossom trees (cherry) are amazing and planted in groups of three all around our suburb. Jakob just kept stopping to look at them as the petals were drifting down like confetti. I thought that wedding couples should be stopping for photos.

Friday, October 14, 2016

A bag for travelling

When I was at my craft retreat Jane was making the most amazing posh, exotic bag for her to stow her dirty laundry when she travels. What a great idea, I am always trying to stash my dirty things on one side of the bag and then try to remember when unpacking. So I set to and made one myself. It is large - good for 4+ days away. I just used things I had with me at the time. Some sewing fabric, left over bits of batting, a zip that was in the bottom of a box. Stipple quilted all over. Thrilled to bits.

My sister was doing high tea for her older son who lives away from home, so the Eli and I gate crashed that. It was super yummy. She has been a star, cleaning my house while I have been recuperating, it takes a load of my mind.

Eli got inspired and came home and made some delicious chocolate chippie cookies. Using all the bits of chocolate left around at the ends of packets. Yum.

Linking to these places and crazy mum quilts

Monday, October 10, 2016

Warning I am not a fun aunty!

This is what my sister told my boys about day one, when she came to look after me for a week. One thing that has been awesome about having an operation is the time I have had with my sister. She lives a 5-6 hour drive away so we don't meet up much. When Aaron had to go back to work, she flew up to be with me. There have been so many amazing people who have helped with so many things, that I cannot name them.
 But I dispute the lack of fun in this Aunty!!
I am not a fun mum as the only computer or xbox game I play is minecraft (and I have gone off that too). But my sister plays first person shooters - the boys were ecstatic, I went to bed!!!! 
The three sisters, husband and load of books from the booksale. Gosh we
are looking similar as we get older!
Both my sisters are great readers and we had an awesome time at the Rotary annual booksale. They bought new series of books for both the boys to read this school holidays.
And that is not to mention the amazing Op Shopper extraordinaire that she is. Op Shops and Dump shops beware.
icky curtains
new blinds installed
Last but not least she (and her awesome partner) have fantastic DIY skills. They took down old icky calico curtains and installed the new blinds. The last room in the house to have the curtains done. Now the whole house is sorted.

Yay for fun and amazing Aunties.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

A bit of crochet - a modern take on an old classic

Another item of mindless craft that has been fantastic to do while recuperating is to finish my crochet squares and turn them into a blanket. It has kept my legs warm, as I have had a bit of time getting my temperature back to equilibrium post surgery, as well as getting rid of all my bits of wool in the cupboard. I am trying to craft from my stash rather than obtain more!! For years I knitted Kaffe Fasset pattern jerseys etc and these are all the leftover bits. My boys don't like the "scratchy" home knitting and Aaron has way too many. We have also really migrated to using the finer Merino.


This started as trying to be smart and complicated. Some large squares with a lot of smaller interlinking squares. But it just did not work as I envisaged. So I went simple. This project has been my TV watching project for a couple of year. Great to finish it but now what will I do in front of TV? 
Linking my finish to these places and Crazy Mum Quilts

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

My favourite kind of finish. Upcycled craft

The first finish of my recovery and convalescence. I love the designs by Jane Van Kuelen from Stash Palace, just because she uses everything, thinks outside the square and upcycles so much stuff, it is inspiring. When we were away on our annual crafting retreat Jane gave us the starter pack with the dyed wool blankets marked out with the pattern and a sample of her stitch ideas. There was an apple or pear to choose from. As you can see I chose the pear!!

I knew I would need heaps of sit down projects to complete. So I go this on the go and also used that as inspiration to start a shoulder bag. Again using Jane's dyed wool blankets and some off cuts of velvet that she dyes. It is so sumptuous. Of course there will be the requirement to add a lot of bling and other bits!

What I have found a bit unexpected in recovery though. Is that it is hard to get inspired and actually do the work. Quite a lot of mindlessness and inactivity happens in the day as concentration goes. Where I had thought I would get heaps of craft etc done as I had time up my sleeve, but a lot of that ends up in bed or watching TV. Slowly we are getting out of that.

I have tried to photograph better. The craft / computer room has a bit of a makeover thanks to my brother in law and sister. They pulled the old curtains down and installed the blinds I ordered ( and my measurements were accurate!!!), So I used the thermal lining on a chair to show off the article better. I am pleased with the result.
Linking to these places  and Crazy Mum Quilts, when I have the omph to do so.

A gorgeous break in Rarotonga

Woo hoo, A holiday with no kids for 11 days. Bliss, relaxing and warm! BTW it was an early 20th wedding anniversary present to ourselves....