Traditions – nine patch wall hanging

During my fabulous Mother’s latest visit we started and finished a project. Yes! This relates to the granny squares blanket which remains incomplete in my cupboard (skeleton closet of undone things).


In between me working three days a week (couldn’t get time off because of bigger trip coming up in May), children, beach trips and early nights, she and I embroidered nine-patches of neutral coloured fabric with the little things that happened on her trip here. It was for a wall hanging, so I knew we had to keep it quite small.

We chose, a sun chair and a rain umbrella, a fluffy (a children’s fluffy milk drink with marshmallow eyes), a bucket & spade, a beautiful sunset, a kite, playdoh heart moon star, a steam train, and dinosaur paint-stampers. I think the things we chose are very reflective of my Mum’s trip!  The kite flying was amazing and is my favourite square. Perfect blue day with little white clouds flying fast. I like that doing a craft with my Mother on her visits is becoming a tradition and the kite flying was notable in my childhood – she and my brother flying a kite.

We knew ahead of her trip we were going to do some sewing (my forte, rather than knitting, which is k-not) so my Mum brought with her some primary coloured embroidery threads. I had neutral fabrics, red and blue buttons and speedy sewing skills so we were set from day one to get started on a project that we could finish before my Mum went home.We split the squares each, and I machine-sewed it all together. Hand sewed the buttons and loops.


Because it’s a wall hanging I didn’t quilt it, just backed it with white cotton. As soon as I hung it above the bench on the porch, I just love it!


My Mum took it home, alas, so I’d have to make a new one, or be like the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and she gets it for one year and I’ll have it the next year! Perfectionists will note it’s dimensions are just short of a mathematical square, haha. Here we 4 are, on the bench that is in quite a few photos year on year too. But that’s another blog.


Girlify boys clothes for a new Baby Girl – All Black Tutu

When my little Kiwi boy was born, he was given an All Black onesie. Size-wise he only wore it for a few weeks between six weeks and two months before he grew out of it.

I stashed it in the ‘maybe we’ll keep it for maybe-baby number two’ of clothes, shoes & bibs.

When we discovered we were having a little girl, I decided to girlify the All Black onesie with a cutie tutu to make it all  All Black Swan. I made the tutu back in January.All-Black-Onesie

Tutorial wise, I just googled or pinterested. What I found was using a ribbon to tie around the baby waist, so the back is a bow, seemed to make more sense on a little six week old baby, than guessing elastic needs. The tulle is cut into strips (I used 2″ x 12″ strips), folded in half and then looped over the ribbon. It’s gorgeous! I can’t wait to share a photo with our little baby gal showing off her half-country’s colours! It’s too cold right now, this being a short-sleeved babygrow, but the minute Spring starts springing…!


DIY Baby Name Plaque

Yes, so the blogging hiatus due to carrying a 10lb baby in my puku, and chasing after a gorgeous two and a half year old, is nearly over! Back in March I posted 5 things I made for my first baby  that I shan’t make for the second and I thought I’d share the first thing I made for that lovely second baby (pre-birth, of course): a beautiful name plaque. 


Our gorgeous girl arrived on Tuesday 1 July, thirty-six minutes before midnight. She is Amy Indigo. And since she’s in a cot in our bedroom,  I wanted a little something that marks her corner of the room as hers.



As ever, I’m skinto mcclinto, so I reused the backside of a duff watercolour to paint pink and red and green bits and then cut them into flower, heart and leaf shapes. Ages ago, I bought some of those little square foamy sticky things – used for scrapbooking and greetings cards – when I saw some in The Warehouse Stationery – because I knew when I wanted them I’d never be able to find them in the store again!

I read about this technique, where if you want a font, you find it on your computer (internet or Word document), use greaseproof paper or tracing paper and copy it off the screen. Then like in the olden days, retrace on the backside of the greaseproof and then press through for a light pencil mark onto the page. That’s what I did, and it worked a treat! 

I just love it. I reused an old black photo frame. I meant to colour it pink but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet and by the time I do, Amy Indigo will be in her own room and I will have made a name bunting by then. 

The sweetpeas in the bookcase are from my first Mother’s Day with Marshmallow. My Mother brought them all the way from England and they’re still as beautiful as ever. 


I have a few more posts I prepared pre-baby, to share with you over the coming month, all to do with making things for baby girls now our Amy Indigo’s made her debut!

Granny Squares Knitted Blanket – in progress

My gorgeous Mother came to visit for nearly a month, so she and I have been busy knitting squares to sew together for a family blanket.

It will be one of those special, heirloom style things as it was family who knitted it and family who shall cosy underneath it.

My boy is keen on the rainbow song at the moment (red & yellow, and pink & green, purple and orange and blue) so that was how we chose the colours.

My Mum wanted to vary the boringness of knitting 22 x 30 squares, so she threw in some stripes.

Now she’s gone home and I’m sewing the squares together, I’ve decided to mix  it up – and sash the 4×4 squares with navy blue knitted lengths (10 stitches, by a million).  The blanket with just our squares is a little bit narrow – good for two kids, but not for us grown-ups.

But, I’m a very   v e r y   slow knitter, so if this blanket is finished before summer (it’s only just the first day of winter on Sunday!) it will be a minor miracle!

In Spotlight, the flannelette was on offer (OMG!) at $5 a metre, so I got this fashion forward (!) navy blue & white chevron to back it.


Here’s a teaser picture of the glamorous Granny who knitted 80% of the coloured squares!  And in between now and 2015, there will be a ‘completed!’ blog post about it.

We did a few other things while she was here – a snowglobe, paper boats, uber paper aeroplanes, and I’ll share these out in this final month before my new baby arrives!

Festive table decor

Yes, much as I love pinecones and harvest themed table decor, after only a few short weeks I’m ready to go festive. It helps that my Mum is coming for a visit and so we squash all our festivities for the year into the trip and so it’s easy to feel a fiesta coming on!

Festive Table Decor3

I toyed with the idea of buying real plants – red geraniums – to go in the aqua pots I have (I use these turquoise ceramic pots to: hold the dishwash & brush, hold the table linen, and home a declining aloe vera plant) but I decided that I should make do with what I had. I tipped all the stuff out of the pots and filled them with various ‘reds’ from other projects. Repurpose!

I had some red paper roses and fading red feathers, some gorgeous plastic sweetpeas that my Mum gave to me for my first Mother’s Day (I know, cute isn’t it!) and some red berries that I use for everything.

Unfortunately, I’d stored the berries in our laundry-rumpus room and the spiders have been busy making whoopee on the fake foliage and laying their egg sacs! So I had to abandon them outside until the babies have hatched, and come up with an interim solution of pinecones, felthearts and red pipe cleaners.


For the flowers to stay in position, I  criss-crossed ‘sellotape’ across the vase in a 3×3 grid to keep the flowers in place. For the hearts in the pinecones, I skewered the hearts onto the pointy end of BBQ bamboo sticks. There’s a danger for the toddler to be interested… but so far, if it’s not a truck, it’s untouched!

Just need to make a secret ‘Welcome Nanny England!” sign in complementary colours and the vignette is complete!

Simple Needlebook

I was inspired to make a simple needlebook today – I’ve been needing one for a while, I keep my needles in a fancy Kauri wood toothpick holder but I’ve been thinking of upgrading.


Now I would have loved to do the apple or owl style that’s out there (and I will, the minute I have a spare dollar for some red and brown felt), but I was compelled to use what was in my Tardis Craft Cupboard.

So I raided my shoebox of fabric scraps, the bag of embroidery threads, the tub of ribbons. It’s not fancy, but it’s a simple needlebook with one purpose: needle storage.

While I was getting all the gear together, I made a fascinating, if slightly belated discovery… the bag of embroidery threads that I’ll be using from now until doomsday – a hand-me-down from a co-worker’s husband who found it somewhere else – contained some beige floss, wrapped around a paper tube.

I’ve never paid it any mind until today when I caught a glimpse of a red postal stamp. I took the thread off and discovered it was an envelope from Sydney Trades Hall sent to its recipients on 19 April 1945! I don’t know if that means all the thread is nearly 70 years old (holy moly!) or just the one on the envelope.


Back to the needlebook. Here’s what I had available, hot pink flannel, grey linen (from a  separate hand-me-down bag of fabric), some pink & orange cotton fabric that I loved when I bought it but only had two 3″ squares left, and some orange floss from the bag of oldies but goodies.


What I used:

  1. Pinking shears
  2. Two rectangles of fabric – one linen, one felty
  3. Smaller rectangles of felt for the ‘needle’ pages within
  4. Embroidery floss and regular cotton thread
  5. Applique paper

What I did:

I cut the rectangles out the same size for the outer and inner ‘needlebook’ cover.

Using estimates of where the hem would be, I folded the rectangle in half and sewed the embellishments on the ‘front’ first. I appliqued a heart and square. A running stitch around the square and a chain stitch on the heart.

Putting the big rectangles right sides facing, I sewed them together. I left a an opening so I could put the material the right way round. I used a running stitch to close the gap and around the edge of the whole book, because I liked the orange on the hot-pink.

A quick running stitch to attach the ‘needle’ pages to the book and it looks great in contrasting colour thread on the spine of the ‘book’.

Voila. A home for my two dozen needles!

Easter Rabbits

Some of you may remember my Sock Monkey Madness, well, in honour of my home-county’s Mad March Hare festival, I have started on the slippery slope to going Sock Bunny Bonkers…


I found this lady’s tutorial for the cutest lop-eared bunny rabbit. In my opinion, it’s the nicest sock rabbit out there online. Some of the others look cool – like those little monster creatures –  but not floppy-eared like this one.


My Marshmallow insisted, as I made it (occasionally, I craft in front of my cutie-pie while he plays with cars or blocks, as I think it’s nice for him to know what I like to do), that I should “Put eyes on,” and “Tickly!” as he rubbed its tail on his nose.  Ha ha. He was also pulling it, stretching its limbs to torturous capacity and the thread held!

Sock Rabbit 3

As for the Mad March (all year) Hare Festival in Cirencester, England, how cool is that! My Mum went on the weekend and got some snaps. As a family, I suspect we’re on Jimmy Stewart’s side with his pal Harvey!