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Showing posts from 2017

A Man Bag

Last year I made Eli a man bag (which is just a plan cross body bag) which he uses a lot when we travel. But all his electronics go in it and I did not do any padding at all. That has worried me and I have been thinking of an upgrade ever since. So this time I made a bag with a bit more pizzazz. But me being me, a bit gung ho, I just looked at Eli's old one and guessed.

As I was away when I was making it I could not refer back and I made it a bit too long. However there is batting in all layers and so much better for electronics. It is also lined with Diary of a wimpy kid fabric and has proper backpack webbing and clasps for all the closures and straps. I do now need to make another one as Jakob took this one. Fair play, as I had not made him a bag before and he was using an old swimming bag.

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Wherefore art thou quilt?

I finally finished a quilt and it disappeared. Only to be found on a certain young boys bed! He is Mr Snaffoo. Everytime I make something he wants it. Which is a fabulous recognition of the love and value he places on items people make.
Voila here it is in all the unmade bed glory. It seems that one of Eli's love languages is to do things for him. Make special food, make his bed (cause he hates doing it). He is also like me, a doer and maker of things, so he appreciates all effort. I started this quilt a couple of years ago, for the big king bed in the caravan. The quilt we had there was just a bit too small. All the quilts have been made using my ethos of recycling again. They are all PJ's from the Op Shop (Charity Shop). Things like "fill a bag for $5" or 50 cent racks. 
I have made a lot of PJ quilts for us and to give away, some for the charity - Hope Homes International - that I support. But also for nieces and nephews. They are warm, fluffly, wash well and don&…


Oh I love this. Last night I made Panforte with almonds, roasted hazelnuts and cashews. It is so so delicious.  I had never really understood the deal with Panforte. When I was recovering from my heart surgery my sister came to help for a week. While she was here Aaron and I took her to a new coffee shop in town - the Mediterranean Food Company in Rangiora . I had to walk lots to recover but time not distance wise. So we would do a short walk, stop for coffee and then a short walk back.
They often had Panforte and one day they had two, a spice one and a chocolate one. We bought one of each to try. Oh, we fell in love with the spiced version. So my sister came home, searched the net for recipes, then made some. It was just as fantastic. This is the first time I made it and I love it.

I have not put the recipe here as I don't know whose she used and I would want to attribute it. But just search the internet and you will find heaps. Annabel Langbein has a pretty good one that uses c…


When I was on my quilting retreat recently I wanted to try some new blocks. But then I don't want a lot of random blocks hanging around so I have decided that the best way to use them is turn them into cushions. The block is a Missouri Start Quilt Company block called Pecking Order. I watched this video to learn how to do it. This cushion I have given to the school library. They have a gorgeous library pit for reading and relaxing but it needs some jazzing up. So I have been giving them new cushions as I try new blocks. 
This cushion cover has a  grey based front with Kaffe Fassett material and the back is the below photo. Totally reversed with the bright material being the background.  My friend from England - Kris, sent me this material one time and I had not used it. I love it and am going to make more of both colourways. I have decided to send her this cushion cover as a thank you.

I have also been using the opportunity to practise some new quilting. I have been scouring pint…

Another charity quilt completed

I have just returned from my annual quilting retreat. So blessed to have been able to go as I had actually cancelled my space this year due. But in the end I only missed out on one night and day away. The first thing I did was bind and finish this quilt for Hope Homes International.
The picture was taken on the deck outside the sewing room. It was a good cold, windy winter day. Linking to these places and crazy mum quilts.

A big birthday

We had two birthdays in the same week. Mine was the big 50 with Eli being 12. Eli had an awesome day Kart racing with the boys.
Future racing drivers. Not sure about all the posing they did, but hey! For the big 50 celebration the family went back to Mt Cook and stayed at the Hermitage. Gorgeous destination and we raced ahead of a huge winter storm. Rained like crazy for one day and then snow and white out. Walking in white out conditions was fantastic. We managed a 5km walk without getting lost. Though the track markers (which are a metre tall) only had about 3 inches poking out of the ground.

 Then we stayed another day due to roads being closed all over the country. That day was spectacular. Sunny and stunning views.

The Twig and Tale tie back boots were used heaps in our hotel room and made us feel cosy as we looked out the window.

Finished to give away

This afternoon I got to the Post Shop just before it was closing. The photo is quite dark but I love the purple boots I made for my Mother. The day I did the dyeing of wool blankets I then drove on to their place. My Mother chose the colour she wanted for boots, the inside lining is actually material she gave me years ago when she was clearing out her stash. So I thought it great to put that in. 
The cushion is going to our school library. I gave them three others that used the scraps like this, but had black with white dot background. The Librarian came to see me especially to say thanks and my son said the kids were fighting over them. So I washed and pressed this cover, got a inner from the Op Shop (Charity Shop). 
I have started my study and getting stressed about the load and what I have committed too. So to be able to do some craft to de stress and cushions are good little projects to get finished and feel that I have achieved.
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Poncho - Upcycled from woolen blanket

When I dyed all the woolen blankets I specifically did some for my niece. I had talked to her about whether she would wear a poncho or not. She said she would but not pink or purple. Preferably something dark. So I dyed four pieces in brown.
I was going to just turn the neck over so it had a pointed end to look like a kerchief. But lots of people are wearing funnel necks at the moment and so I used the trimmings to make a fully lined funnel neck. Dunedin is cold so she can use it almost like a hood too. All seams are stitched flat down but the bottom is just blanket stitched in dark brown wool.

I am loving wearing it!! It is snowing today, though keeps melting in between the snow showers. Serious cold and this makes you toasty warm.

Linking to these places and crazy mum quilts.

Boots, boots and more boots.

Here is my gorgeous line up of boot slippers. Made from woolen blankets, Dyed during a day at Stash Palace (an amazing place run by Jane Van Kuelen).  Left to right: Aaron's boots - the first pair I made on a sewing day with my sister, Eli's boots - the last pair made as he has slippers already, My boots - well this is the second I made for myself (Aaron's pair were made for me but were just too big), Jakob's boots - I love that they still have the edge of the blanket and the blanket label. 
Here we are all modelling our boots (cant get that teenager to model his). Eli as usual tries his magazine model look, Aaron hard at work, Me relaxing by the fire. I have to say it is a productive fire - warming my toes, sprouting the mung bean and lentils as well as rising the bread. I love that I managed to leave the blanket label on and the edging of the blanket. All these boots have leather soles as I got a bag of leather from the dump shop for $2 - stoked! The inside of Jakob …

Garden refresh.. Another area finished

Last year my son decided he wanted a vege garden. So one weekend we put in edging and compost and planted. He got to about week six and gave up interest. But once the broccoli finished I planted beans and tomatoes. A great crop as it is very sunny. However it is right by the basketball hoop and things just got squashed all the time.   So time to start again with something hardy. Completely cleared it out. Now it has a two different types of flaxes that will take the basketball hammering coming their way. Then there are two smaller trees, which when grown will be lovely flowering NZ Native - Kanuka. I also chose the Kanuka and flax as Aaron created a native garden further down this fence using the some of these plants. Hopefully it will all tie in together. Not that you will see it much as the woodpile in in between. The only plant I left in was the clump on the left as it is a gorgeous summer bulb from South Africa. I broke some off and planted it on the very far right of the bed, ju…

Finished - Lace weight merino scarf

Third time lucky. Having already unpicked it twice I finally finished this. I love love the colour. But am considering unpicking it again!! The pattern works the knitting is great but it curls at each side. If I did re knit it I would do five stitches of garter stitch each end. I have worn it since the day I finished it. I will press it again and give it some time. But ....

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Conquering the garden - another section completed.

This section of the garden goes down the East side of the house. So it gets morning sun but quite a bit of shade. As it is under the eaves it was really dry and the only thing growing were dahlias.

The great thing about conquering the garden for me is that it is free!! I knew when we moved that I would be wanting to do things so every time I cut something, I just stick it in the ground to see if it will grow. The photo on the left is one of 4 gooseberry plants just grown from pegging the branch to the ground. The plant on the right has a gorgeous root structure (you can see if you look hard) and is one of many many many rosemary plants.
The photos left to right show gooseberry's planted at the back and rosemary to hedge at the front. The middle photo is Ugni berry (in New Zealand people call it NZ cranberry) as a hedge to be. I have left the dahlias in the back to deal with the dry conditions and have moved a struggling miniature rose in at the left. It should do better there. I …