Saturday, December 11, 2010

Time for Christmas?

Presents have been wrapped and parcelled.
Boys have been thoroughly Christmassed.
And reached the other side.
Photo session over? I think so... don't you love that look, "No Mum, I'm really done".
And little circles added to jug covers.

So for us, all that is left is to tidy the house for our very kind house-sitters, throw the neatly folded piles of clothes into the suitcase and drive Auckland so we can catch our plane to Australia. The boys are so excited and have had quite a hard time settling down. Jonno is outside catching up on a couple of last minute jobs and I am taking a moment out to say a little goodbye and happy Christmas (although I am sure I can keep posting from Mum's house).
Speak to you in a few days and keep sane during the build up to the big day...
Lots of love, Kate xxooxxooxx.
p.s. I have only just realised a fault in my crochet ball tutorial that has just been correct (Round 13). I hope it hasn't caused too many problems. This pattern was used in making my crocheted ball wreath.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A School Visit.

I am sure this photo was taken last week but no, when I consult the date, I am horrified to see it was well over four years ago!!!
This is actually the reality, an almost five year old boy who went on his first school visit yesterday. I know he is very ready (although really, he would prefer to stay at home and potter around doing his ever increasing list of jobs) as the questions he asks I can no longer answer... always a good sign to me. He was so excited my heart felt like it could burst. And he came home filled with magic and wanting to keep his school t-shirt on even when he went to bed (and then this morning too).

While Hugo was off getting an afternoon's education, I tackled the photo wall again. A project I began furiously one rainy winter's day when Hugo was a baby. It must have been on the cusp of him crawling as I can remember immediately after the first batch of photos went up, I never had the chance to go near it again. So to me it seemed to have a symmetry tackling it on my big (secretly my baby still) boy's first school visit.
He was absolutely shattered when he came home but kept his quirky sense of humour. This is how I found him when I tucked him in.
Just a little shot to show the wedding flowers gathering momentum.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxxooxx.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tissue Paper and Tulle Flower Tutorial.

Well, here it is - a tutorial on how to make a tissue paper flower (with tulle). Good luck and please feel free to ask any questions in the comments section if anything is unclear.
First of all, assemble your stuff - tissue paper (2 colours if desired), tulle, string and scissors.
Cut two rectangles of each colour and two rectangles of tulle. The flower I have made used 38cm x 25.5cm sheets but it doesn't really matter, just so long as the pieces are all rectangular and of the same size.
Lay the six sheets on top of each other. If you are using colours, I tend to put the darker sheets on the bottom, lighter ones in the middle and tulle on top however, living in the creative world we do, don't let me stifle you. Line up their edges and begin to fold them back and forth in a concertina. My folds were about three centimetres wide but once again, don't let me rain on your parade.
Once the folding is complete, bend it in half like a fan and tie it tightly (so that it gathers) in the middle with string
Snip the ends with scissors to make a petal shape.
Fan out one side into a half circle.
Then, delicately begin separating the layers, taking care not to ruin the pleats or tear the tissue paper (when this happens, don't cry... I sort of just shove it back in and hope no one notices).
Continue separating and
Lifting and zshoozshing (an extremely technical term that may or may not have or have originated in 23BC China... or maybe just two minutes ago).
Unfurl the other side and continue in the same way, separating, lifting and zshoozshing.
Finally, use your hands to gently scrunch (I am now just thinking what... use your hands as opposed to your mouth... as though you need advice to prevent you from making your tissue paper soggy and unusable) and zshoozsh to manipulate it into a pleasingly floral shape (but once again, don't let my need for a chaotic symmetry suppress your inner urges - if you want it to sprout in one particular direction, don't let me tell you it is not regular enough).
And then you are done!!!

Now you can go crazy with any colour you like. The above two have eight layers of tissue rather than six... there are all sorts of crazy ways you can go so get folding and have fun.
p.s. Can you tell that I have been at home with two little boys today, none of us very well. Maybe I have been just a little too excited communicating to the outside world, but you know, some days are long and the good bits have to be savoured (the writing and taking photos bit... not the explaining why you can only have antibiotics when it is prescribed to you and it is not favouritism that Archie (bronchitis) gets to have pink liquid and the other one (sore throat) gets to have none. It really doesn't smell very nice anyway.
Lots of love, Kate xxooxxooxx.
p.s. Click here to purchase a copy of my new children's book. With craft projects and crochet patterns included!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Trees and Wings.

I am so excited to put my wreath up. I worked on it for so many months here and there between projects last year and it is now so lovely to think it will always be a part of our Christmas.
And Hugo's angel that he made when he was three (now he is almost five and going on a school visit this week!!!).
In between decorating the tree we had some friends call in. Half way through our cups of tea they discovered that their daughter needed angel wings for a concert in the afternoon. I love having tissue paper and tulle resting on the kitchen table ready for action.
Hugo commented just then that we should keep the tree up all year round "'cause it looks really beautiful".
Lots and lots of tissue paper flowers (I am working on a tutorial to post tomorrow right now). The tree is also going to be used as a centrepiece for the garden wedding in January so I am going to leave the flowers and crystal droplets and remove the more Christmassy stuff after the 25th.
A Hugo cluster of decorations.

Mess can be the best carpet.
The tulle flowers catching some afternoon light.
We are so excited to be heading into the Christmas season (apart from all of the rushing around and late nights). Only one more week until we go to Australia for the big family catch up. In the mean time, it is packing, readying the house for house sitters and making flowers when I can.
Lots of love, Kate xxooxxooxx.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wedding Preps.

Gigantic confetti!!!
(These flowers are actually Christmas decorations...)
I know the wedding (not mine, my friend Stef's) is not until January and I should really begin packing for the Christmas trip to Australia and tidying for house sitters... but wedding preparations are so much more fun. Especially when beautiful vintagey coloured tissue paper and tulle are involved.
Have a lovely weekend,
Love Kate, xxooxxooxx.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Snippets of Bitsets.

When ever I knit a stripy jumper I always watch the pattern forming on the wrong side and think, why am I not knitting ticking instead? I will have to knit a cushion like this soon I think.
I know it is wrong to eat your own children but look at them. Hugo just ran in asking for "The strummy thing" - my ukulele... I had to restrain myself from squeezing him to bits.
The roses have just recieved a very light prune and dead heading to prepare them for Stef's wedding in January. After taking bunches and bunches of roses every time I have visited anybody in the universe for the last couple of months I now feel a little naked. Coriander is my answer.
And finally, the conclusion of another end of year present for a wonderful, wonderful teacher who let slip a while ago that she used to ride a scooter.
Lots of love, Kate xxooxxooxx.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Oh Deer.

I am so sorry it has been so long since I last posted... and not for the lack of trying. For some reason every time I decided to pop on to the computer our usually very reliable Internet connection would drop out. Hmmmm, maybe the cyber world was telling me to do a bit more in my other life.
So yes, it has been lots of crocheting and getting ready for Christmas and battling hay fever and looking after little boys with temperatures and showing Archie's class how to make butter. The butter and the crochet were definitely the highlights - nothing like seeing a whole group of kids light up with the magic of watching cream crumble down and become reborn into a ball of glossy, yellow butter. Hugo and I made scones for them to eat afterwards (he is starting next year so he may as well start making a good impression now...).
I am working on a few patterns at the moment, the reindeer pictured at the top being one of them - I am still trying however to make him look a little less as though he has oven mitts attached to his head. Apparently it is very embarrassing for a reindeer's head to be used to take turkey out of the oven.
I had better say good bye there as I do so like to pick my boys up at their educationally sanctioned time of hand over.
Lots of love, Kate xxooxxooxx.


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