Sunday, January 31, 2010

tidy up time

I have spent the afternoon amidst a pile of fabric and notions in an attempt to tidy up my sewing room/studio... and I am not enjoying myself!

I have come to the following conclusions:

1. I have a seriously unhealthy fabric addiction...
2. I have a seriously unhealthy paper addiction...
3. I have a seriously unhealthy ribbon addiction...
4. I have far too many zips!
5. My room is far too small.

In the middle of sorting through my fabrics I got stuck. I currently have my fabrics loosely sorted into: stripes/spots/flowers/vintage/embroidered/sheets/japanese linens/kids prints/oil cloth/felt/linen/tulle etc... but then I was thinking maybe I should sort into colours...? I would love to know what others do. I have to say my creative space really weighs me down at the moment!

But atleast now I can see the floor! And my beautiful 5 year old just walked in and sid 'Wow Mummy, your room is soooooo tidy!'

It made me smile.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Birthday Giveaway

It's been a busy old week here: you know, doing all that 'stuff' you have to do before you start a new school...  enrolling, buying a new uniform, buying and covering books etc, plus my sister and her family moved into a lovely new house, so we spent a bit of time helping there. After the slow beach days we  have had it seemed like a very hectic week! I can't say I am ready for the mad school rush again next week after such a lovely long summer break....

On another note, it is my birthday today, so I thought why not celebrate with a wee giveaway... With Valentines Day fast approaching I thought I would have a bit of a pink theme. The giveaway includes: 1x Vintage bird gift card, 1x pink polka dot wrist keyring, 1x mixed pack of up-cycled envelopes, 1x pink polka dot heart card, 1x floral badge, 1x pack of 'french wallpaper' fridge magnets. 

Right, it's nice and simple. All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog. And, for a second entry, you can refer a friend - just make sure they leave your name as referral when commenting so I know it's from you :-). Also remember to leave your email address if you don't have a Blogger account so I can contact you. Entries close 5pm, Friday 5th February (NZ time).

Hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, January 25, 2010

for me - part 2

I made this simple quilt for myself last night - just a quick basic design, but I am pleased with the result. I can now hang it over the chair in my room and hide those dirty little finger marks!

The sun is shining today - hooray. Off to the beach!

See ya

Sunday, January 24, 2010

for me

I don't know about you, but I tend to spend so much time working on things for family and friends, or markets and shop updates, that I never really make anything for me!

I have a very long 'to do' list at the moment... full of things I'd like to make myself, or try out... or new items to make, but tonight I decided to ignore the list and make something for myself.

I'll show you how it turned out tomorrow :-)

On another note, the items I donated to Crafthope have been listed - you can take a look here and here. Their shop update says this: 1/20/10 - Over $20,000 raised and over 1000 items sold! Wow!

Night night x

Thursday, January 21, 2010


It is finally raining! We have had such a humid week. Bright hot mornings, then dark, cloudy, humid afternoons and sticky hot nights. But last night it finally rained. And as I type this it is pouring outside. Nice big, heavy raindrops. I have all my windows and doors open and the smell is intoxicating. I love hot summer rain when all the garden smells come wafting inside and the air is momentarily cooled.

It also means we've been able to get some 'inside' things done. I finally finished off the dolls, bunnies, and some little coin purses plus a few other bits - I have also updated my etsy shop with a few new bits.

We also finally dismantled Lucy's cot this morning and put up her 'Big Girls' bed! She was very excited... but then crawled into my big bed for her lunchtime nap...!

The cats however, have already found, and claimed it!

xx C

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Crafthope for Haiti

If you haven't already, please head over to Craft Hope for Haiti. These ladies are doing such an amazing job... working non-stop to get all the fabulous donations listed asap.

The Etsy shop will benefit Doctors Without Borders, with 100% of the proceeds going to them. The medical need in Haiti right now is acute. The Doctors Without Borders existing facilities are so badly damaged, they are no longer functional. So far Craft Hope for Haiti have raised around US$10,000. An incredible effort!

Craft Hope for Haiti Shop Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time

Monday, January 18, 2010

some me time

Now we all know how special our kids are, and that we need to cherish the time spent with them as they grow so quickly etc etc etc, but who is not up for a little 'me time' occasionally!?

I now have some designated me time, as the girls spend Sundays at their Dad's..., and I have to say, it is lovely. I do, however, find myself madly writing lists during the week of all the things I want to get done. Then come Sunday I spend my day rushing here, there and everywhere trying to fit everything in... hopefully I will soon settle in to the routine and start having a bit of quiet time too.

Yesterday (among other things) I managed to finish off (well almost) some projects that I started last week. These dolls were made using some remnant Cath Kidston fabric, which I just LOVE. I just have to hand stitch the heads closed, and paint on their faces to finish them off.

Then come the end of the day when the girls arrive home, it is exciting to see them... even if they do come home grumpy, hungry and overtired :-)

Friday, January 15, 2010

summer cake

Since I seem to be doing a lot more baking than sewing, I thought I would share the most delicous (and simple) summer cake recipe with you.

Peach and Raspberry Tart 

125g softened butter
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups self raising flour, sifted
2 peaches, skin removed, halved and cut into thin wedges (or 1 tin of peaches in clear juice - drained)
150g punnet fresh raspberries (can also use frozen berries, unthawed)
2 tablespoons of icing sugar

Preheat oven to 160C. Line a 22cm round cake tin with a removable base with baking paper.

Place butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat until light and creamy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Fold in the flour and spoon the mixture into the tin. Top with the peaches and raspberries and sprinkle with the icing sugar.

Bake for 1 hour or until the tart is cooked when tested with a skewer. Remove from the tin, sprinkle again with icing sugar and serve warm cut in wedges. This is deliciously chewy in some bits, and gooey like custard in others - divine!

ps. I had only a few raspberries left in the punnet... so only added a small handful. I also used a 25cm tin (as I don't have a 22cm one!), so my cake was a little thinner, but every bit as lovely.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

on request...

Today I finally made a start...

I have a list of 'things' to make, orders that need to be filled etc, and I have been a little slow due to the seemingly endless summer holidays. The girls and I are slow to get going in the mornings, making the most of long weeks of no set routine, late nights and long summer days.

But that aside, I managed to find a few free hours today whilst Bella spent the day at a friends house, and Lucy had a long afternoon nap...

 I enjoyed finally cutting in to the Cath Kidston fabric scraps that a friend gave me (to turn into a few special things for her and her sweet baby 'Rose'). In the end I managed 2 full, uninterrupted hours preparing jobs that I can complete over the next few evenings...

...and it felt great!

Enjoy your night!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

simple. pretty.

Currently overflowing on my front steps... I love the burnt summer colours.

... and something unusually beautiful. Does anyone know the name of these purple flowers...? They are simply divine. They were included  in a flower bouquet I received last week and are the ones that survived!

Monday, January 11, 2010


As mentioned here I was the very lucky winner of the most divine blog giveaway last week.

Angela kindly sent me the most gorgeous package of goodies - some lovely cotton twine, italian cotton ribbons and a set of six cards, with poems and illustrations extract from the limited edition book The Insectionary... it all arrived today, beautifully packaged, and too beautiful I think to use (for now). Although I am already thinking of one of the cards would look lovely in a small frame in my studio! Thanks Angela!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

lazy sunday

We have enjoyed a very lazy morning (we were still in our pj's at 10.30am!), just a spot of baking, playing in the back yard etc.

We are just about to grab the buckets and sponges and clean the car before heading down the road for a swim at the beach... don't you just love lazy Sundays!

We made some lovely jam drops - recipe below if you want to make your own.

Jam Drops

130g softened butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg
2 tablespoons cornflour
3 tablespoons self-raising flour
1 cup plain flour
About 1/3 cup jam (I used raspberry)

Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add egg and beat until combined.

Combine the three flours and sift into creamed butter mix. Stir until all ingredients are combined, then wrap dough and place in fridge to rest for 30 minutes or so.

Once chilled, roll heaped teaspoons of mixture into balls and place on lined baking trays. Make a deep indentation in the centre of each ball using the end of a spoon (dipped in flour between each indentation). Fill each indentation with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam, but be careful not to overfill the holes or the jam will overflow during baking!

Bake for about 20 minutes at 170C, until biscuits are pale golden. Halfway through baking, swap the trays around so the biscuits bake evenly (if you have a fan forced oven you don't need to do this).

The jam is really hot when these come out of the oven, so I recommend waiting until they are cool before enjoying with your morning coffee.


Friday, January 08, 2010

Too sweet...

Look what arrived in the post today...

... the most gorgeous 2010 calendar with 12 stunning illustrations by Paula Mills of Sweet William!

This already has pride of place on my wall above the computer screen. The illustrations are simply divine.

I can't decide on my favourite..., but just love the fact that I will be staring at this beautiful summery shot of the red polka dot shoes in June (just as life is getting cold in New Zealand).


I also love the intricate detail of this tea cup for September...

... and the simplicity of these beautiful flowers for May... hmm, well, I just love them all.

If you are still in the market for a 2010 calendar I suggest you snap one up before they all disappear - they are only selling a limited edition of 100.

Oaty Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today was a 'sorting out' day - yes, I still have unpacked boxes!! Not too many, just the hard ones... you know, those ones that you pack last and then unpack last - the junk drawer stuff (you know you have one!) and the little bits that you find as you are packing up your house that don't belong anywhere in particular, but that you just can't get rid off....

In order to break the monotiny of finding new homes for the 'bits' we made some yummy cookies. They're sort of a cross between an Anzac and a Chocolate Chip. Too good to stop at one though... you have been warned!

Oaty Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream together:
150grams butter
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup

Mix together with creamed mixture:
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dark energy chocolate chopped roughly into chips

Roll into balls, flatten and bake in at 180C for around 10 minutes, or until golden.

Enjoy straight from the oven while the chocolate is still warm and runny with a steaming cup of coffee!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Summer's morning

The post has just arrived with a lovely package for me - (have I told you before how much I love my postman?)... some more lovely avenue fabric from Summersville - love love love!

I managed to snap this shot of Bella with Cinnamon, our fat Burmese cat (aka Fat Cat) and her 4 missing teeth (yes, 4 already and not even 6 years old yet!!). As you can see, our lawns need mowing, better get out and do them before it gets too hot! The sun is shining strong already. How I love summer!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Lucky me!

Wow, my day started with a great surprise - an email from the lovely Angela Liguori of Edzioni to tell me I had won her blog giveaway! Angela emailed me this morning with the good news, can't wait to see the package contents in the flesh! Exciting!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Rainy morning

We woke to the rain this morning, so the girls and I decided to make a couple of Black Apple dolls... I have only just snapped a pic now (and it is dark) so excuse the bad light... but we did have fun making them! Just don't look too closely as they are 'a little' rough... 2 year old + 5 year old 'helpers' :-)

The girls had so much fun choosing what dresses and stockings they wanted... unfortunately I only had enough yellow felt to make one 'blond' doll, so I wasn't too popular there! I guess we will be off to get more yellow felt tomorrow!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Birthday wishes...

The girls and I have just come in from a morning in the garden. The girls depleting the nations water supplies with the hose, water slide, and splinker... and me trying to detangle our over grown jungle of a garden in order to get some veges planted!

It is hot, very hot! We are welcoming the cool shade of the house over the middle hours of the day. Lucy is napping, but once she wakes we will head for a refreshing swim at the beach.

Now I finally managed to dust of the sewing machine last night in order to make up some custom orders and some fun birthday presents.

A mini 'ballerina' gel pen roll to go with a writing set for Isabella's friend who is turning 5 next week.

And a 'helicopter' felt pen roll for a little boy, also turning 5.

It was so nice to hear the gentle hum of the sewing machine again, it feels like forever, although it is probably only a month!

I hope you are all enjoying this glorious summer weather!

Friday, January 01, 2010


Another year has passed, and what a year it was. I can honestly say I am looking forward to a much less eventful year in 2010!

I wish you all a happy, safe and peaceful 2010.