Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We are off on holiday in a couple of hours! Yeah can't wait! All the presents are wrapped and we are almost packed. We are spending a couple of nights in a cabin for a short family holiday, and then are off to Gisborne to spend Christmas with my extended family, which I am very excited about, although I am sad that my sister and her family won't be there as she has just had a baby.

The Christmas ornament draw is done and dusted, and there have been some amazing creations shared. Here are some of them:

Pietta created these:

Leigh created these. Check out the gorgeous lace:

My friend Pip created these beaded angels:

And she took so much care with the wrapping! In fact lots of people did ( I am ashamed to say I wasn't one of them!)

My cousin Holly made these cute buntings:

And my friend Ang made these stars. They look even better in real life!

Monique made this cute heart, Cara the wool angel, and my friend Susan the doily ornament, which has a pretty bead in the centre you can't see very clearly.

My Mum made the heart on a square background and Sandra made the sweet red and white heart.

Mia and I also made these, fimo hearts (which I wasn't that impressed with - too shiny) and woven decorations.

So nice receiving little packages in the post! I hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas and New Years break. That you eat too much, spend time with loved ones and get a well deserved break. Thanks so much to all those who participated in the ornament swap and I will be holding onto your email addresses to see if you want to participate next year!

I am taking a break from blogging until mid-January. The last couple of weeks has been very hectic and I have no back-up projects, so I am taking a break to relax and hopefully to get some new years projects on the go!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Garden update

Shelling peas (They always seem to be doing this in novels based in the southern USA)

Eating the peas before they could get in the bowl (she loves eating these and I love that she loves to go into the garden and get a pile of pods to open and pick the peas from!)

Multi-coloured beetroot and baby carrots from the garden ready to get roasted.

Add some thyme (from the garden), balsalmic vinegar, brown sugar, olive oil, almonds, kumara and broccoli (not from the garden) and roast - yum!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pillowcase "twirling" skirt

With the countdown to Christmas on, I am trying to complete all my gift projects! When I asked my friend Susan what her daughter Skye (my god-daughter) needed, Susan said that she was really into "twirly" skirts. I found a good tutorial and a calculator on how long to cut each layer of the skirt which was really useful.

This is my second attempt, I didn't like the fabric combination of the first, but I really like this one which was made from fabric strips taken from 4 pillowcases. I intend on making Mia an identical one, but probably not until next summer.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lizzy Dress

Life has been quite hectic here, and finding time to blog let alone sew has been difficult! I finished this dress quite a while ago, but just got round to putting the buttons on. It is the same pattern as Mia's lollipop dress, minus the round pockets. The pattern is very easy to sew, and produces a really cute dress that is good for both summer, and over tights and a top in winter. If you haven't done much sewing then check out the ottobre website, its in the summer 2011 edition.

This one is for a friend's daughter's 2nd birthday. I really like the colour blocking of the teal and brown together, and Lizzy is such an olive little thing that I think she will look gorgeous in it!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


You know how your kids have cute words that they use and then you have to keep using them long beyond when they can say them properly because they are just so cute! Mia calls gingerbread men "Gingermans". She also calls containers "Tain-gers" and called icecrea "Ice-esh" when she was about 18 months so we still use that one.

We have been slowly working our way through the activity advent, completely out of order. So far we have collected stuff on the beach to make decorations, made orange pomanders (a bit of a disaster as I didn't realise that cloves are actually quite sharp for little fingers!), got Xmas books out from the library, made an Xmas cake (not on the list but still Christmasey!), wrapped up a present to put under the Xmas trees for kids in need, and today made Gingermans!

Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 c treacle

1 1/2 t ginger

1 t mixed spice

1 t cinnamon

2 t baking soda

125g butter

1 egg, beaten

3 1/2 c self raising flour

1. In a pot heat sugar, treacle and spices until they come to the boil, stirring occasionally.

2. Remove from the heat and add baking soda (make sure your kids watch this, it is pretty cool!)

3. Gently stir in butter until melted.

4. With a fork, stir in egg then gradually incorporate flour.

5. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until a soft dough.

6. Roll out to about 5mm and cut out your gingermans, or whatever shape you desire.

7. Bake at 165 C for 8 - 10 mins. They cook pretty quickly so watch them quite closely.

8. Decorate using icing and raisins or mini m and ms like we did!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Buba's new wardrobe

Yesterday Nathan took the girls away for the WHOLE DAY! My biggest break from them since Ellie was born I think. He went to his parents house and Chipmunks and I went to the gym and pottered around the house. The main thing I wanted to achieve was making dolls clothes for Mia's dolls. It is near impossible to find decent patterns, either on the internet or paper patterns. I wanted simple, easy to put on and off, modern clothes, not frou-frou dresses!

This is Buba:

Because of this I have been working on patterns to fit Mia's doll "Buba" for a while now. They are basically scaled down baby and toddler patterns, but I made mock ups of each pattern for the doll, and then adjusted them to fit better. Yesterday I used the final patterns to make Buba an entire wardrobe:

The patterns I made were a knit top that can be long or short sleeved, a trousers pattern that can be shortened to shorts, a dress pattern and a tights pattern that can be shortened. I had fun making them, but they are quite time consuming, even though you don't have to pay as much attention to finishes or details!

Here is Buba modelling her gears:

Yellow shorts with pink floral back pockets and green striped T-shirt with heart

Green striped T and tights that can be worn as PJs

With the dress over:

Long sleeved top, ladybird skirt and short tights with a heart on the bum:

This morning Mia and I wrapped them up and put them under the tree "To Buba and Dolly (the 2nd down the pecking order Doll!) From Mia. Lets hope they like them!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Garden update

Our garden is flourishing at the moment. This is what Mia and I collected this morning - beetroot, lettuce, broadbeans, peas, carrots and radishes. Mia ate almost all the carrots! I love the pea pods in stir fries so they rarely get left to actually grow peas, but Mia loved eating the peas out of them this morning so I will endeavour to leave them a bit longer! I am loving the garden at the moment!