Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Christmas Wreaths - an early post I know...

I am still not feeling particularly wordy yet (this is a very rare affliction) but I am feeling very makingy still. Here is an unfinished wreath for my Christmas workshops - the bird will be a different colour and hopefully there will be two of them with the bunting held between their beaks and maybe even Happy Christmas in a beautiful font spelt across the bunting.
I am really enjoying this project because as each piece comes together or another idea strikes, a story begins to emerge (of what though I am not yet sure).
I also keep taking photos of the various stages so I know where to peel it back to in case it all gets a bit too O.T.T.
This is my bunting making station - a piece of string secured by sticky tape and suspended between two chairs. I then cut folded over paper into triangles, gave them a dab with a glue stick and pinched them onto the string.
Poor little paper birds who have suffered from the cruel fate of debeaking.
And this is what I have to do before the boys come home from school. Contrary to their beliefs, not every crafty material or weapon is for them.
Oooh yes, my next door neighbour - dropped these books off this afternoon for me to have a look at - isn't that just the best kind of neighbour.
Have a good night or morning...
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Funny Little Bird.

Hello.... I'm back... And I have been busy. I've been making papier mache birds (or at least bird) and practicing Christmas wreath making for a workshop I will be holding with a friend. I love being busy with crafty things, it is so much easier to stay focused with than say, cleaning the house.
This is how the little bird began. To get the beak right, I tied some wire around its head, as well as tying some around its body so its legs can poke out easily.
A bit of paper.
24 hours of waiting patiently and then a bit of paint and fabric. Give it a go, it's really easy.
And here is another little peek of a wreath - not a very christmassy one though.
I am typing this at the end of the day with my feet snuggled under a blanket on the big blue couch. The d.v.d. player is warming up and we have an episode of 'Downton Abby' waiting to be watched. He he he.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tid Bits.

Hello, just a little note to say that I am still around but just going through a couple of weeks where my skin feels a little thinner than usual and a whole lot of work has to go into living a normal day.
I have however, been doing lots of sewing and knitting and crocheting so would you believe I have a back log of projects to show you...
Anyhoo, this was just a quick note and I will have more tomorrow.
Love Kate xxooxx.
p.s. the dress pattern comes from Burda - I'll have to look up the number - I'm not entirely convinced by it. It's made from corduroy and is quite bulky in the pleats which makes me look as though I am perhaps packing a bit more into my body than usual but it is very warm. I added the buttons to as the front wouldn't sit down as well as I would have liked.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I don't know if you have heard, but New Zealand is in the middle of an Antarctic blast, with unprecedented snowfalls even in Tauranga.
The skies are blue and the air is so fresh and clean that I have been doing all sorts of wholesome things like feeding chooks and rabbits, collecting eggs, hanging washing in front of the fire, bringing in arm loads of wood, picking little vases of Daphne and cooking smoked fish pies. The sorts of things I do on other days... but somehow seem more dramatic in this cold, beautiful weather.
When Archie woke this morning, he gathered as many blankets as he could find and snuggled up on the couch until his pie was cooked (that's what his little tummy requires to start the day - I think it's great).
By the way, this is one of my all time favourite Liberty prints.
Even the Japonica is flowering!!! It's just so wintry.
Now, you might be wondering what the boys are staring at, reaching out into the world wide web and discovering something new and life altering and awe inspiring. Two words... Crazy Frog. Grrrrrreeeaaaaat (please note, excessive sarcasm needs to be inserted into the 'great').
Off for a cozy night on the big blue couch with Jonno and a bit of 'Who do you Think you Are'.
lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Cup of Tea Morning.

As much as I love the outcome knitting Jane Brocket's cushion, I am going to crochet a back for it because I just don't have the time to knit a backside that will be hidden and take many hours.
Archie has been very busy with his plasticine and mini furniture (not doll's house furniture). I love how they have a pot plant on the table. It is so civilised.

These hands belong to my cousin Jodie who has very quickly become an accomplished knitter. I spent the whole morning at her house with another of our friends and we chatted and chatted and chatted, all the while with wool flying about the place.
This is a chair Jodie has reupholstered with some Ikea fabric...
As above.
Tonight has been a little tricky with a very tired, small boy. I think this might be a good representation of how I feel...
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A little hellooo...

I finished sewing up my circular cushion on the weekend,
And began on my next, this time taken from Jane Brocket's new book.
I am loving the colours and the pattern is wonderful to knit up but it does seem to eat up a lot more knitting than my first cushion. I do love it, but I think the first pattern probably suits me more.
This weekend we went away to the beach again and I packed up my travelling craft basket, making sure to pack as many embroidery threads as I could fit. I have to admit that this little packet lay abandoned as I ploughed my way through knitting instead.
It's good to be back home again. I feel as though I have a lot of catching up to do before becoming human again so please excuse me for such a small post.
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Wahoo for Friday!!!

I made this little crochet creature last year inspired by Julie Arkell's beautiful work. I am sure I saw it winking at me this morning.
Wahoo, it's Friday again and the boys and I are going to head up to Jonno's parents' beach house for the weekend. I can't wait to head down to the beach with a book and some knitting and watch the boys as they dig and discover caves.
Last time we went, I had been sick in the lead up and didn't manage to precook anything. This time I am heading up with a couple of meals and some biscuits which makes such a difference to the pace I am wanting for the next few days. I love not having to cook when we are away...
I have almost finished my circular cushion. I now just have to crochet a couple of buttons to cover the central hole. This project has been such a pleasure I think I will have to knit another one to match (in completely mismatching colours).
This is the last bunch of roses from my garden from the season as all of the bushes are now almost pruned. A pruned bed of rose bushes is such a satisfying thing to look at. I always imagine they feel so free and good to have a hair cut.
I am looking forward to playing around with this jar of pencils. You can find the most wonderful stamping idea here.
I am also going to take away my mini cross stitch projects this weekend too.
And here is a little drawing by Hugo to carry you into the weekend. A stripy snake on a sunny day with love heart clouds in the sky. Hugo made me smile yesterday morning when he said to Archie, "I'm allowed to bring lace and knitting (to school). I actually am". He apparently gave his class a terrific demonstration of how to knit and taught them the Steiner poem:
"In through the front door,
Once around the back.
Peeks through the window
And up jumps Jack".
Have a wonderful weekend,
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.
p.s. I am addicted to a new talking book at the moment by Carolyn Jessup called 'Escape' and documents her life in a polygamist marriage under the radical offshoot of the Mormon Church F.L.D.S. I have so much admiration for her and she tells her story with such an engaging voice it is hard to stop listening and answer the phone. It makes me pretty happy with the life I find myself in, I'll tell you now.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Gluten Free Chocolate Cake!!! Also good for gluten people too...

This is our family favourite....

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake (also a good recipe for gluten flour)
150 grams softened butter
1 cup of sugar
3 eggs (only 2 if you are making a cake with gluten flour)
2 cups grated carrot (or 2 ripe bananas mashed)
2/3 cup cocoa powder (dark)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup gluten free self raising flour
1/2 cup of milk

Preheat oven to 180c (or moderate oven). Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat in. Next add the grated carrot or banana mash. Mix in dry ingredients thoroughly and then add milk.
Scrape into a greased and lined cake tin and bake for approximately 45 - 50 minutes.
Ice with your family's favourite chocolate icing. Usually I use butter, boiling water, icing sugar and cocoa powder but last time I swapped the butter for light cream cheese and the icing was extraordinary (and much lower in fat... not that it mattered).
Have fun.
Love Kate xxooxx.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Today at Home.

Today was a day of many projects. Sewing cushion inserts.
Occasionally admiring the light whenever it chose to peep through clouds.
Beginning to sort through Hugo's room.
Not this bit though, I like how these are the things he keeps next to his bed.
Loving these roses.
Planning a teeny-tiny cross stitch.
Making a cake
( I will post the recipe tomorrow - it is the best gluten-free chocolate cake ever).
And spending some time with Bert.
Today was a very good day.
Days like this should happen more.
And the best thing is, I decided to have a good day and voila, it happened.
Lots of love, Kate xxooxxooxx.


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