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!


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!






Autumn Wreath


Last year,  I was  just as thrifty and imoverished as I am this year.  I didn’t have the moulah to buy a polystyrene wreath, I had no pool noodle to hand, but I really wanted a wreath. So I used a bit of genetically provided ingenuity (thanks Mum) on how could I make one with things I had at home.

I used:

1. A wooden hanger

2. Heavy cardboard

3. Old clothes – stretchy works best – cut into strips

4. Burlap – in strips

5. The original wreath – things to embellish – pine cones, berries, & pipe cleaners to attach the goodies.

5b. The new wreath – things to embellish – two colours of felt cut into heart shapes, complementary wool to attach the goodies.

Using  a wooden hanger, I attached a cardboard semi-circle to the bottom of it – making an approximate circle. I wraapped it in old clothes several layers thick to pad it up, and then wrapped it in red burlap.   Some red berries I’d bought for $1 and pine cones I’d found for free, voila, I had this beautifully misshapen, lumpy and very heavy wreath! It looked good to my eyes. Not professional or purchased, but home-made and homey. 


It’s held up really well.

I retired it for spring and summer – you can see the Valentines wreath I made recently with the red berries, but Autumn is tapping her golden fingers in this hemisphere and so I pulled it out of hiding last week.

I was inspired by this lady blogger’s – friend’s  – St Patrick’s Day wreath at their recent craft night.

I cut out dark red hearts and little grey hearts and used some pink yarn I had lying around to attach it. I love it!



Valentine’s Wreath

How fun that Valentine’s Day is nearly here again! Before that, of course, we are going to be celebrating Groundhog Day by watching Bill Murray at his finest. But that doesn’t need any crafting. So, skipping to Valentine’s Day. I made a wreath.

Valentines Wreath

Because I’m cheap, I used the the easy wreath I made for Christmas with an embroidery hoop you can read about that here, and gussied it up with berries from last year’s winter wreath, feathers from Marshmallow’s craft stash, felt-hearts from a project I still haven’t finished yet (filling a goldfish bowl with felt hearts, best not to ask) and I used red furry pipe-cleaners from the craft stash to tie the bits and pieces to the hoop.  For fullness, the Christmas embroidery hoop was wrapped with red crepe paper and a slither of ribbon to tie it to the wall.

It was very straight-forward to do, but does requires tweaking to make it just so. The tweaking takes the longest!

Valentines Wreath2

No matter what colours I see throughout the day – year – my life  – east, west, red is best! I love this. The red and white square quilt is one I made earlier and you can read about it here.

I’ve found lots of inspiration on the internet about Valentines gifts to make. Some involve chocolate, so I can’t be making them too soon, otherwise I’ll eat them in advance too, ha ha. Can’t wait and can’t wait to share the project with you!

Photo Wall

We moved into our house nearly two years ago, and the walls have  remained mostly blank.  In part that’s because we had a six week old baby and that first year, home decor was above and beyond the bare minimum that I was capable of thinking or doing.

About eight months ago I got started making a photo wall. I placed all the photos in frames, then laid them out on the floor. And like a never-ending game of chess, I couldn’t get the pieces to an end-game I liked! 

About four months ago, I bought a beautiful white circle frame. I couldn’t decide who to put in it, so I filled it with aqua and just used it as a generic piece of decor.

But yesterday, I woke up with all kinds of resolution and decision! I read this article  with cool photo wall layouts to inspire and copy. 

The article also talks about having the centre picture at the same height as your eyeline, and I think that helped me make a decision about photo placement.

I, as frugal-Freddy, cannot buy all new frames that are matching, so I made do with what I had. Maybe in the future I’ll line everything up, but in the meantime, I like this formation.  Maybe circles are my thing!

I decided which wall to put them on, I went to the store and bought the no-nail super-strength hooks, came home, whittled down the pictures in less than 45 minutes and bingo bango! I included a toddler hand and foot print and it just changes the complexion of the piece in a way that I like. More family, less art gallery.


Photo wall: done! It looks better in person than on these terrible photos. Apologies. It’s a poor excuse, but it’s summer in NZ, the light is full of vim and glare.

It’s so funny isn’t it, some things take so long and yet when you get on and do it… Anyway. The circle frame now holds a picture of my paternal Grandparents whom I was so fortunate to know and love well into my late twenties.

I love that everyone in our families is on this wall. Of course, it’s a work in progress, as we’ll have a little addition very early July, so we’ll be taking even more snaps of Marshmallow and his sibling-to-be!

Photo Wall2

The other funny thing is see the basket of sunhats next to the umbrella. Yes, that’s about right so far this summer!


Easy Christmas Mini-Wreath

I’ve been wanting to have little Christmas vignettes around the house, nothing too tinselly (much as I love tinsel!).

The mini-wreath is assemblage, more than crafting.

It is an embroidery hoop, wrapped in red crepe paper, with one of my favourite Christmas Tree decorations hung on the loop. A thread of ribbon, and it looks just gorgeous (to my eyes). I like that I get to show off a favourite decoration. I could easily have used any of my favourites (all of them), but this one just happens to go nicely with my lounge’s current aqua accesorising and red.

Easy Christmas Wreath

I was given a hardwood box of cutlery recently, and when I finally got around to throwing out the old and in with the new today, I thought I could use the hardwood box.

Here’s what I made with the cutlery box. I painted it white and then re-used (for the third time) the dollar stencil I bought last January with ‘Happy Holidays’ and put those cheeky little snowmen in there too.


The happy holiday stencil has been around as red and white from last year (one visible here in the second pic down as ‘Happy Ho’, ha ha) and black and orange from the Halloween before.

I’m a little teapot, short and stout

My toddler boy loves the teapot rhyme.

I’m a little teapot, short and stout

here’s my handle, here’s my spout

When I get all all steamed up hear me shout

Tip me up and pour me out.

I was browsing Pinterest for felted food, I came across this cute teapot tutorial. So I decided to make one for Marshmallow for his Christmas stocking.

My tips on the teapot:

1. To make the circular base, I found a glass that was just the right size (top-end) and made a template. But also, when I was attaching the base to the teapot, I used the glass as a stabiliser.

2. I sewed three panels together x 2, and then pinned the handle & spout into position. Rather than as the tutorial suggests, sewing the panels together 2 by 2.

3. I didn’t have any felt pieces I wanted to use,  so I used the palest baby blue fleece. I really like it. And, like felt, it doesn’t fray.  The fleece I had was leftover material from a baby blanket I made.

4. Hand sewing, this took less than two hours to do. My scissors are awful and blunt, so if you had the right equipment, even quicker I reckon.

I will be making two teacups to match. But I’ve yet to find a tutorial for that… Even if my cups turn out bad, I’ll share, I promise!

Mad Hatters Tea Party

As you can see, my teapot is shorter, stouter and less embroidered. Also, it’s really hard to take a decent photo of a pale blue fleecey teapot!

But this is for a little boy, who may have tea parties with our little sock monkey family (I still don’t know what I’m doing with all those mad little primates I made). Marsh loves the monkeys. They’re currently on my bedside table shelf and he comes in and says ‘sock!’ sock!’ and then grabs them all in a bear hug and walks around the house like a zoological Hansel, leaving monkey breadcrumbs!