Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Carols and Changing Plans.

 Well, Christmas for me has changed a little. Hugo has been sick from a nasty virus since Friday and last night came out with a rash. Our wonderful doctor is not quite sure what it is (nothing serious) but would like us to stay away from society until the end of the weekend which means our plans for tomorrow have changed quite radically. We were having 14 people for lunch but my much loved sister-in-law has said she can have everybody at the last minute. Wahoo and phew. Jonno and Archie will go up for lunch and Hugo and I will snuggle at home together. At first I was quietly devastated for us both (I know it's a small thing but still… I come from a big family, Christmas should be busy and LOUD) but now that I can see how excited Hugo is, I am happy again. He is not a big meat eater and has requested waffles for lunch. I can do that!
He had a moment of perkiness this afternoon and decided that he would like to wrap presents while I was doing a bit of festive cooking. Jonno came home from milking the cows at just the right time and they set to work together. We had the Three Tenors singing carols in the background and the next thing we knew, Hugo was warbling along. Jonno couldn't help but join in. 

 It's such a serious task, to sing and wrap presents at the same time.
 Look at Hugo's joy! Pretty amazing to see after so many days of unending temperatures….

 Little boy hands.
Dairy farmer hands.
Lots and lots of love and a very happy Christmas Eve to you all,
Kate xxooxx.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Books this Year.

 Here are the books that I picked up from the library today. A few to get me through the Christmas season! I thought that I would do a quick run over some of the books that I really enjoyed this year….
 And here they are:
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (hilarious and poignant)
Wool (the whole trilogy, Wool, Shift and Dust) by Hugh Howey (riveting)
The Signature of all Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (sublime)
Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood (the final of her trilogy(isn) which I loved).
The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells
Sea Creatures
Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield
Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox (I am gutted that dreamquake is out of the library)
Wake by Elizabeth Knox (gory but sooooo good)
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny (possibly one of my all time favourite authors)
The new Bridget Jones book - I liked it.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (I couldn't stop reading it, whether I liked it is another thing)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor (how dare she take 18 months between books)
Karen White (books by)
Carol Goodman (books by)
Wendy Webb (books by)
The House at the End of Hope Street ( I always like a bit of magical realism)
The Raven Boys series by Maggie Somethingorothermaybe-stiefvardt
Crochet at Play by Kat Goldin
There are so many other books that I have read and loved this year but these are the ones I remember for the moment. If any more spring to mind I will let you know.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Our Happy, Messy Christmas Tree.

 So this is what our Christmas tree looks like close up. Haphazardly decorated as I mentioned yesterday, but cheerful all the same. Lots of crochet, paper lanterns, pompoms and fake flowers. And it smells sooo good.
By night…

Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas in New Zealand.

 I love looking at all of the blogs from the northern hemisphere at this time of year. Seeing the snow and fires lit. However, I wouldn't trade our summertime Christmas (well actually I would if someone gave me a plane ticket for a holiday) because it really does have its own magic.
 I steer away from traditional Christmas colours. To me summer is all about vibrancy so my Christmas is usually full of pink, yellow, turquoise, orange, navy and red. The brighter, the better. This year I can't get my crochet ball wreath to stick to the wall (???? A true first world problem, the sticky hooks keep falling off - maybe it's too humid) so I am using it as a centrepiece with flowers stuck in the middle. It really seems to be enjoying its new challenge this year - in fact it's quite hard to stop it from going on about it….
 I'm also taking inspiration from the cook book, 'Notes from a Swedish Kitchen' by Margareta Schildt Landgren. I made Kladdkaka (chocolate sticky cake) last night - oh my giddy aunt, it was insanely good, like a light chocolate brownie with a really wonderful flavour. It lent itself really well to being gluten-freeanised as well - always a bonus.
 It's also berry season. We are all so full of antioxidants and vitamin c at the moment that we seem to be zinging about the walls - although that doesn't really explain why Hugo is at this moment, languishing on the big blue couch with a temperature. He seems to come down with a virus on the first day of the holidays poor little man. School is a big commitment for a 7 year old and he does put his all into it.
 And this is our kitchen/dining room. Sunlight lifts the spirits so much doesn't it. Our Christmas tree is so haphazardly decorated that it looks kind of wonderful but most definitely needs to be admired from a distance. Do you like my new silver shoes - I bought them from the children's section (kids have big feet these days) from a very inexpensive shop - best buy ever.

I hope you liked a peek into summer down under. The irony is of course that we are becoming quite antsy for rain, so as beautiful as it all is - we really, really need some fat and dark clouds blotting out the sun! It's just sooooooo lovely though!
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.
p.s. I would love to see what you are doing Christmas wise at the moment. Please leave your link in the comments section and I will pop by!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Studio Sale.

 I have approximately 4 minutes to get this post up before collecting the kids from the school bus. So I will be quick. Last week we had our annual studio sale. It went well. Here are a few little peeks from it. You are ace.

Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.
Phew, the kids will think that I still love them.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Decorations… part 1.

 It really is the season you know, not just to be jolly, but really, really busy.  After arriving back in Australia I have been rushed off my feet with work which is something I don't always get to write… I held my annual Christmas studio sale which had a lot of build up to but I was also working on a couple of other things. Magazine stuff which I wrote about last post and then (ta-dah) David & Charles publishing in England are working on a craft book and wondered if I would like to contribute some patterns - wahoo. I have three that are coming out in the book and I will tell you more as soon as I am allowed.
 As a result of all this, I have only just put up advent(y) stuff today for the boys. Paperbag/washi tape houses. Inside are all sorts of chocolatey things and I can't wait for them to come home from school and camp to see them. We haven't decorated the tree yet as Archie has been away for the week and I promised him we would wait even though we bought it on Wednesday. Can you imagine the torture. An undecorated tree!!!!!

 To control my tree festooning impulses, I made a washi tape version on the sliding door using sale stars for bling.

It's quite hard to photograph being back lit but you get the gist of it.
I can't wait to hear all about camp, but almost as much… I can't wait to start decorating the tree. At least the house smells nice and piney in the meantime.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Something Fancy for the Boys.

 With my studio sale coming up on Thursday (email me if you would like more details and are in the area), I like to have something a little fancy for the boys… Headdresses seem to fit the bill.

 There is one headdress for a girl sitting to the side. I couldn't resist.
Now all I need to do is attach velvet ribbons and then they are done. By the way, after breaking my 4th needle on the machine, I decided hot glue was definitely the way to go…
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Butterflies and Tiny Worlds.

 It is all Christmas present making or studio sale readying over here at the moment. And I have a huge pile of washing beginning to grow at the same time. It talks to me you know, or at least lets out the odd groan here and there. Maybe there are small children trapped in it. All I know is that I am a little frightened of going near it.

I have actually got some very exciting news. Next month I am having a pattern featured in Simply Crochet U.K. I will hopefully be able to show you a sneak peak of my project soon. I think you might like it.
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.


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