Saturday, October 31, 2009


Life has those moments that you just can't help but recognise. Those moments where life is perfect. Sunshine, bunny rabbits, happy children, kites, grandparents, archery sets and cups of tea. The boys' Poppa was the first snoozy person to have Big Ears jump on his chest. All of a sudden Archie and Hugo were very keen on the whole napping process too. Speaking of naps, it's Saturday afternoon and I am going upstairs to read my book until I too dive beneath my pillow and float into the soft land of sleep.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Big Ears the Rabbit...

Let me introduce our new family member, Big Ears Carrot Lover Bruning, a baby Giant Flemish bunny rabbit who we have all fallen utterly and completely head over heels in love with. He arrived yesterday and survived his first night so right now I am feeling hopeful for his long-term chances.
Needless to say, Archie and Hugo are obsessed but, sadly, their mother is even more so. I have never had a pet rabbit before and I am amazed by how cool he is. Big Ears (Hugo is going through a Noddy phase) leaps up onto my lap and nibbles food from our hands. How did I go thirty three years without experiencing this kind of snuffled rabbit love.
On the creative side of life, I have started sewing a couple more pairs of pants for the boys. Now I have started it is hard to stop. It has been such a long time since I have had so much fun with the old sewing machine. Maybe it is the difference between doing something for the boys and sewing an item to sell... much less stress and no worries about speed and efficiency.
At the moment Hugo is carrying Big Ears telling him softly that he is a fluffy little lad.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Smart New Trousers for Hugo.

I'm still on my sewing kick at the moment and made up these pants from Heather Ross's 'Weekend Sewing' yesterday ( I added the cuff to jazz them up a bit). They stay up and he likes them so in my view, that makes them a success. The linen/cotton blend used for making the pants were taken from a duvet cover which I bought at a drastically reduced price. There is so much fabric in duvet covers and always such good quality too.
More photos to come of our new baby rabbit which we adopted today - we are still waiting for the boys to name him although Hugo is thinking Big Ears would be good as he is obsessed with Noddy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sewingy Stuff.

First of all, I need to explain my sporadic blogging. Our internet connection is terrible at the moment and it is possibly due to corroded wires which will hopefully be fixed by the end of the week. The lack of speed means that it takes forever to write up the blog and at the moment, it is even more difficult to go visiting all of my favourite blogs which is sheer torture. So please don't think my blogging obsession is waning... it's all still there wanting and waiting to come out.
As consolation I have been going through a sewing stage again with the sewing machine firmly placed on the kitchen table downstairs. Sometimes I find sewing to be such a headache but at the moment it's fun.
I'll just make this quick and sign off before our connection drops out but I have so much more to show you over the next few days so I will be back. Take care, xxooxxooxx.

Monday, October 26, 2009

We went visiting...

This weekend in New Zealand isn't just any weekend, it is the weekend of the long weekend variety - for labour day or something. The sky has been blue and has stretched seamlessly above us, the air softly butting against us with velvety warmth and the garden uplit into a golden, song-filled paradise. It has been a good weekend anyway.
Yesterday morning we went to my cousin's house for brunch. Have I ever told you about Jodie. It is all very legal, I promise you... but here it is... we are cousins as well as sisters'-in-law. The easy way to explain it is this, we are cousins who married two brothers. And the other way is this. Jodie (Australian) met Darren (Kiwi) in a Sydney pub and liked each other very much. Eventually they became boyfriend and girlfriend and then we met Darren. He immediately told me I was destined to marry his little brother and I didn't believe him. Then, Jodie and Darren were getting married and Jonno flew over from New Zealand for the wedding. We met each other, loved each other completely and to the surprise of everyone (it was moderately quick), we married each other. And for the past nine years we have adored each other to pieces.
Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary which I have to say, as much as I love birthdays, I am not a big anniversary person. But when I look back to the beginning, I think if anybody told me that on the cusp of a wedding anniversary (that would mean I was married) I would be having brunch in New Zealand with my cousin Jodie and our highly related children (they really, really, really can't marry between themselves), I don't think I would have believed them.
By the way, our super-genetically in common children look nothing like each other which to me is perhaps the most bizarre thing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Zen Roses.

These roses were a great reminder to me yesterday when the house (as mentioned previously) had opened a hell-mouth portal and had demonically charged mess spurting forth from every corner. The roses sat there, still roses despite the mess, still fragrant, beautiful and calm.
Right now the boys are having the special treat of watching 'Masterchef'. Archie is so excited because one of the girls is having a big cook-off involving a complicated dessert, "I'll get lots of tips for you Mum". 'Sponge Bob' and 'Masterchef' are definately the top shows in our house... who would have thunk it.
Lots and lots of sewing went on today in a slightly tidier house. Photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crocheted Horses and a Good Film.

I spoke to my Mum on the phone yesterday and she said that I had to update my blog. She said that she kept checking and there was nothing more and she needed more... so here I am - an obedient daughter.
First of all though, sorry about the quality of the photos, the light as been pretty appalling for the last few days. However, with a bit of sunshine today, I will get the camera out and capture a bit of colour.
This is a little pony I made for one of Hugo's friends. She was having a barnyard party so we thought she might need a horse. It actually turned out to be a great challenge but because I put the head on slightly to one side, it turned out to be an extremely melancholy horse. That is the thing with something handmade though, they do come into the world with their own emotions. A bit of therapy and a handful of love and maybe then it will just look relaxed and sleepy.
Speaking of relaxed (and not particularly sleepy), I went to the movies with a friend last night and saw the most wonderful film, '500 Days of Summer'. It was the best romantic comedy I have seen for such a long time - funny, thought-provoking and edible. We drove home afterward discussing it the whole way which is a rare phenomenon in my book. So now I am feeling a little as though I have had a holiday with that lingering happy warmth.
Once again, the house is beginning to cave into me and I am sure that I picked up a bit of gas-gangrene from the stairs. I think that means it is time to get the pick-axe out and start hacking through the layers. I might even find Jonno and the boys if I tunnel far enough. I hope you are all having a great week and go and see the movie if you can. You won't regret it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Spring Roses!!!

My roses are opening their first fat buds to the steamy Spring warmth. I picked a yellow rose today and drank the dew from it. If you make a weired sucking noise, the perfume comes with it and your mouth is filled with rose water. Something I do a lot of at this time of year.
I felt that I needed to include more photos of the jug cover and doily that my friend Belinda made for me. Made from extremely fine cotton, I don't know how she hasn't turned into a crone with hunched shoulders and bulgy eyes. Belinda, you are utterly amazing and I am so lucky to have you for my friend.
Hugo is in the garden at the moment playing with our big,black extremely friendly dog Willow. Jonno heard him say "Sit, stay still Willow, sit. Oh, thank you". Jonno then assumes that Willow put her paw up because the next thing Hugo said was "Pleased to meet you". Good to have a friend when your big brother is slightly out of action with a sore tummy.
Thanks to my cousin (the yellow necklace maker) I have been introduced to sago. Like offal, it was a food I never ate growing up because Mum was left with a pathological dislike of it due to bad experiences at school. So for me, it is the most exotic kind of nursery food ever. Right now I have some in the slow cooker and the house is alive with the smells of cinnamon and vanilla. Better give it a stir and lick the spoon. Have a lovely Friday night.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Crocheted limbs and book groups...

I am hoping the little collection of body parts will slowly creep their way toward each other over the next couple of days and form themselves into something special for one of Hugo's friend's birthday. All of the limbs seem a little strangely shaped but surely that is a good thing... it will be interesting to say the least... or the most.
And a little peep of the print I ended up with the other day - very simple shapes but I overlaid it with some tracing paper that I printed on in a different colour and that gave it a little more depth. I am addicted to the process though and can't wait to start on my next one. Can you see the little bit of cross-stitch sewed onto the bottom right hand corner. It is actually a name so I had to block it out for the sake of birthday top-secretness.
Off to book group soon and I am raring to go. We read 'Tulip Fever' by someoneorother and it was a cracking read, my favourite so far. Hopefully the unveiling of next month's book will have something just as good... I have to admit that we do get the occasional book that is as exciting as a pebble race. Life is just too short for bad books, especially when the world is teeming with wonderful ones bursting forth from writers' hands every minute. Pop, I just heard one then, pop, pop, pop - look three more. Anyhoo, I had better go and pack my book into the crochet bag. Night-night.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Waiting for Summer...

Maybe a case of the post-birthday and holiday blues, but oh, I am missing the freedom and warmth of Summer. Spring is a lovely place to be and as much as I love her for her bountiful blossom, she can be cruel and without a thought, will snatch the sun away for days at a time.
Mind you, life is warm in the house. Jonno just took the baked potatoes out of the oven, placed them onto our orange melamine plates and smothered them with yellow butter. Little green peas are rolling around the edges and the sausages are ready. Food is always the answer.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Printing by Hand"

After a year of ogling Lena Corwin's "Printing by Hand", I finally lashed out and bought it. Hurray for that as it has turned out to be one of the best crafting books I have ever come across with great ideas and fantastic instructions and beautifully photographed.
So, with boys off at their places of education, I commandeered the kitchen table and set down to work with a sheet of thin foam, my fiskers shape cutter, double sided sticky tape and block printing inks. I can't show the final result as it is a present for someone and their name is included but I was very pleased and managed to build up a few layers of colour.
I can't remember the last time a day was devoted to playing with a new craft. I am not sure how it happened but for the first time, I have become enmeshed by the whole domesticity versus creativity trap. Maybe my standards for the house have lifted but it just seems harder and harder to find whole slabs of time to just play with. Organisation is the key I am sure but my hands just seem too buttery to hold it.
Jonno is off to the movies tonight with his brother so I am going to snuggle alone on the big blue couch and do some serious birthday crocheting (not my for my birthday, I have accepted that the festival is over). Night night.
p.s. Thank you so much for your birthday wishes, I loved them, loved them, loved them.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My Birthday!!!

A little peep of a birthday present from Aunty Mum.
The birthday girl blowing out her candles triumphantly.
And modelling a new necklace from my cousin.
I hope you are all having a wonderful day on my birthday and that the crackle of it is reaching out to you around the world. Thank you for all of the birthday wishes and thank you for all of the phone calls - and what a thrill to be speaking to you young Miss Rosie Gude. Many more celebrations are on their way so I had better get ready (you never know when a surprise party might burst out of the cupboard, that is why I wore clothes all day... you know, apart from keeping warm). More tomorrow. Love Kate thebirthdaygirl xxooxxooxx.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Stripey Crochet Balls...

This is what I got up to during rainy mornings on our little holiday.

Just a little entry tonight, I am so sorry about the erratic blogging. Our Internet has been a bit tricksy but is hopefully on track again. Well, I am a bit tuckered out from lots of cooking... "What kind?" do I hear you ask... just cake and desserts... "What for" do I hear you whisper with antsy anticipation... just my Birthday tomorrow. Wahoo - A whole year has been spent waiting for this date and here it is, galloping toward me through the night to greet me in the morning with magic and crackle. I'll post again tomorrow with shining birthdayness. Happy mybirthdayeve to you all. xxooxxooxx

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Holidays and Fabric.

A rainy morning in the camper van called for a bit of embroidery.

Proof that creativity boosts your serotonin (and makes you a little wacky).

Fabric buys from Spotlight.
Well, here we are back from holidays. Well rested, well fed and yet strangely, still wanting more. We somehow managed to hit the rainiest, coldest snap of the holidays but because we were in the camper van, we were as snug as sardines in a can. Plenty of mineral hot water pools as we were over Rotorua way and endless jokes between the boys about the sulphery smell. What more could a family need. In fact, I have to say it was the most wonderful holiday and the boys were great company and they slept well. We have had so many holidays turned grim from terrible nights without sleep so this was an amazing experience.
I quickly ducked into Spotlight and picked up a little bit of fabric. I can't even begin to tell you the fevered state of my brain when I saw the car fabric for $4(NZ) per metre. It is so hard to find boy patterns that are sweet rather than militia based. It took a while to find the cotton yarn but finally I discovered it hiding under a table with every ball on sale for between $2-$3. It felt like one of those gorging dreams.
Anyhoo, I had better go and tackle the huge mound of washing. Thank goodness we are having our first day of sunshine after three weeks of rain.


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