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.

GrannySquares

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!

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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.

FestiveTableDecor2

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!

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…

SockRabbit2

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.

SockRabbit1

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!

MadMarchHare

 

 

 

 

Autumn Subway Art – free printable

I saw some lovely subway art posters on Pinterest – but since Southern Hemisphere autumns are ever so slightly different to Northern Hemisphere autumns I thought I should make one myself.

I thought about our Autumn, what we do.

AutumnSubwayPoster-white

Just realised that I missed off ‘bomby knockers’, aka Magnolia Tree cones – Marshmallow thought they were maracas last week on one of our meadow walks.

I saw our first Crane Fly today but got to say, ‘Daddy-Long-Legs’ looks better in type.

Driving home from work at 1am, there are wispy ghosts across the road from the river-mists.  The dawn chill is truly Antarctic. Sometimes the bonfire smell is from the traditional Maori cooking ‘hangi’ but at this time of year, it’s the farmers, post-harvest.Autumn-In-Situ

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So, as a thank you for the bounty of being alive in these halcyon days, I thought I’d share this printable with you.  It’s available for free to download and print as a .pdf file – A4 size – at Google Drive by clicking here.  Enjoy!

Here’s a black version I made, but it isn’t on google drive. If you’d like it, let me know and I’ll do the same.

AutumnSubwayPoster-black

 

Happy Harvest-time!

 

 

Easy Autumn Table centrepiece

Over summer, I’ve had a sad, crisping basil plant on my dining table. Don’t get me wrong, fresh basil on my pizza or on my marinading olives, Mamma Mia! But not a beautiful sight…

But now it’s my favourite time of the year, I thought I’d gussy up the dining table, remind me of the splendour of the golden season.

It’s funny how being cheap nets amazing results: by using resources that are available in the house, or outside for free.

Even better, my boy and I got to go collecting (swamp) oak leaves today for the finishing touches. We went to a fairy beach (an estuary beach) at low tide. The mud was peppered with little stones — or so I thought — apparently they are periwinkles and considered a delicacy by the Maori, we met a fella out there with two buckets and a white Tintin dog.  So watch out, we’ll be harvesting some of these little sea snails soon enough and I’ll tell you all about it!

Back to my gorgeous, golden harvest table centrepiece.

Autumn Table

It’s an assemblage really. I used the Happy Holidays tray I used for my Christmas vignette. A scrap of orange material from my craft cupboard to line the tray – although once the pinecones, oranges, apples & oak leaves are on the tray, the fabric makes negligible difference. 

I only had apples & oranges in my fruitbowl (bananas don’t go!) and I like the organic nature of the look, precisely because I sourced what I found naturally in my home, if that makes sense.

Autumn Table

Pumpkins are available in NZ, but not the big orange ones (at the supermarket, probably at a farmers market) and also I can’t bear the thought of buying something that will decay without being eaten: we do that often enough with just regular food we bring into the house! The candle was a gift from a work colleague – one of those fancy ones that smells all the way through. Unbelievably, the flavour of that candle is sweetpea. I know! Serendipity!