Monday, September 27, 2010

Crochetie giveaway

I am supposed to be packing. We're off tomorrow, finally heading home again, and all I've been doing this morning is checking out other cool blogs. There is so much inspiration to be found!
One of my favorites is Grosgrain. Not only does she make gorgeous clothes (and giveaways!), but she is also great at linking to other creative blogs. Given the time, I could probably bounce from one blog to another endlessly.
I found some more great blogs today, including Crochetie. There is a great giveaway going on there, so make sure you drop by.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Some entertainment

Josh is often on Facebook. He calls it his social network. Why not. I have an account too but hardly check it out. I guess blogging suits me better. One nice thing about Facebook though is all the videos people share. There are some good ones. This is one of them. If you've seen "Rise" and loved it, then check this one out, it's incredible. I'm so amazed at what people can do with their bodies, it's just not fair!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

the challenges of being away

We always seem to forget something! I thought I was leaving prepared this time, we had two days to pack and plan, but we still don't manage to get our stuff together. Josh forgot the camera charger, and I forgot my cards for the mini art journal challenge. Not only that, I also overlooked the whole thing and didn't think of looking at what the next couple of challenges were. And this week's one is: " A photo that means something to you". Duh. Most of my photos are in Gizzy, with still more in France somewhere. So this card will have to wait til we get home, sometime next week.
In the meantime, here's a sneak peak at what I've been working on. Stay tuned, this might be next month's giveaway...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Op shop finds

One thing I love about being somewhere different, is that there are always new op shops to explore!
I'm an op shop freak, and for people like me, there's no better place than Petone, near Wellington. Four op shop stores with lots of great goodies. Here are just a couple of my finds so far.
Ok, so we don't have a girl... maybe this coming baby will be a girl, maybe not. I just couldn't resist buying this beautiful dress. I thought if we don't use it, it will be great as a present!

And this is a Helen Cherry dress. I love the fabric. The length might need some reviewing, nothing too hard to do!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A quiet sunday afternoon

While in Wellington. We went for a walk up Mount Kaukau, next to where Josh's mum lives. it's a nice steep walk we always enjoy when we're here. I felt so unfit this time though!
Tahi loves being outdoors, especially when he gets to be carried in the backpack. The weather was beautiful, sunny and not too windy. the view up the top is well worth the climb!

Then back at home we had a nice little lunch and Tahi and I went picking Cape gooseberries in the neighbour's garden for dessert. They are lovely to eat and they look amazing in their little leafy shell. Great packaging!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

mini art journal challenge: week 24

This week's prompt: "remember when...".
I was stuck for a few days. All the memorable memories I can think of are ones I've already journaled... And then i tried to think back to before I started journaling, or maybe things I wouldn't have thought worth journaling at the time.
My brother and I used to travel a lot when we were kids. Our dad worked and lived in Hong Kong and he would take some time off to go on holiday with us. So we ended up jet setting around the world, going to big sky stations, staying in flash hotels and dinning out every day.This may sound pretty cool but when you're 10 you just want to be a normal kid who goes camping with their family somewhere you can get to by driving for a couple of days max.
At holiday time, we became UMs, or Unaccompanied Minors. We were experts at traveling by plane. We knew most major airlines, which ones were more comfortable, what goodies you could get, what the food was like. Most importantly, we stuck together. My brother and I were on our own, we only had each other and that drew us closer. We had some good laughs, an extensive repertory of private jokes and we hardly ever fought!
So this week's card is dedicated to my dear brother and our traveling adventures. I made a UM flight pouch (by memory), in which I will slip my card. We are in Wellington this week and the next and I think I forgot to pack my stash of cards... So phase two of this card will have to wait til I get back. This will involve a bit of writing, maybe some drawing on the card.

The pouch was made with some thick white paper, and colored in with an orange pencil. I used a piece of wool make the handle.

Monday, September 13, 2010


A few months ago, olives trees were crawling under the weight of their fruit. We didn't get organized early enough to pick some for pressing (next year's goal!), but we did pick a lot for pickling: 17Kg! That's a lot of jars. They fill pretty much a whole cupboard. I can't imagine what would happen if there was an earthquake... our cupboards are old and far from quake proof!
After rinsing the olives, sorting them and putting them in brine, they are finally ready. Home pickled olives are the best. That probably goes for anything home pickled! Next time I'm going to try gherkins. I used to eat gherkins straight out of the jars in France, but here most of them are sweetened and they taste horrible.
maybe I should have a giveaway of a jar of olives!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Felt Aid

After Christchurch's earthquake a week ago, New Zealand's creative crafty community is joining up in an effort to help those hit get back on track.
Luckily no lives were taken, pretty extraordinary given the magnitude (7.1) and the death tolls from recent big earthquakes in other countries. There was some structural damage to buildings, but then again, pretty minimal. This event has left people shaken though and the rebuilding and strengthening will still come to a cost.  A little help is better than nothing, right?
I donated a pillow cover to the FeltAid shop, let's hope it makes a difference. A lot of amazing crafters have donated goods, it's worth popping over to have a look. Why not shop with a conscience, it feels so much nicer! If you're keen to help, check out their blog Felt like helping out, where you can also make a donation.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A giveaway... with a twist

I have wanted to make baby tights/ footed rompers out of tee shirts for a while. I've been making kids' pants out of them and they are super comfortable and fun to wear. So last night I got a couple of tee shirt from my KowTow stash and scissored along. They are made from the most beautiful organic fair trade cotton, the best for baby's legs!
Here's the result. I made two pairs, both are funky, colorful two toned pairs, one for a 3 month old, the other for a 6 month old. I like them so much I want to make more for my shop.

But I thought these ones should become a giveaway! There is a twist to this one though. I've never done this before, but I'd like to "use" the winners and get some feedback on these pants, since they are a new design. So in exchange for a pair, the winners would have to fill in a short questionnaire and take some photos for me. How does that sound? Am I being too presumptuous?

If people would like to go along with it, here are the various ways you can enter:

- Follow this blog
- Link to this blog
- Facebook or twitter

Each one of these options is worth one entry! And don't forget to leave a comment to let me know how you've entered, with email address too! I would also like to know how old your baby is, or if you're expecting one.
Entries close on the 10th 24th of October.

And if the pictures have woken up the crafty spirit in you, there's a great tutorial on Made by Rae.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My creative space

not much happening today on the sewing front, lots of projects but no "me" time this morning. We did have a crafty breakfast though!
Tahi found this book at the library called "who will sing my Puff-a-bye", the story of a little dragon who doesn't want his mum to work and leave him with a dragon carer. It's very cute, and in the story his mum makes yummy "lava pancakes". Of course Tahi was very keen to have some too, so we made some lovely gluten free pancake mix (all I have left as far as flours go!) and put some honey and a dash of lemon on top. They taste great, just like the "normal" ones. And we had lava pancakes for breakfast! Tahi wanted a special one in the shape of a star too...
More creative spaces over at Kootoyoo!

Monday, September 6, 2010

mini art journal challenge: week 23

This week's prompt: "Right now". It just happened that last sunday was father's day (in New Zealand anyway, I always get confused since various countries have various dates). So I thought I'd make my card based on this theme and honor Tahi's awesome dad and their close relationship. We moved to small city Gisborne partly because Josh wanted to have time to spend with his boy. And it had been great in this regard, for both of them. Tahi is so lucky to have a dad that can take him swimming, play with him and take him for a run on the beach. They read stories at night and recently Josh has even been able to put him to sleep (a big step for us!). Tahi loves his dad and when he goes he'll often say "Tahi wants his dad" (in french). It is so cute and always gives me a warm feeling inside when I see them together.

This card is very simple! I glued a photo taken about a year ago of Tahi and Josh kissing on the front porch at some friends' house (with my Mamiya, the film was then cross processed, giving it that etheral contrasted greenish look). I wanted to add more, but it felt like the picture worked on its own, so I just wrote "this magic moment" on a step at the bottom with a felt tip pen.

Here are some pictures of the finished hoodie and 3/4 pants I was making last week for a custom order. I think they're just too cute!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

One window closer

To being done with making patchwork woolen curtains! And winter's not over yet, I've probably still got a month or two to get the last one done. I really admire people who do quilting for a living or as a hobby. How much patience you need to see a project through! I'm a fan of pretty much instant results, which is why I'm a useless knitter too (and I haven't figured out a good way to knit while reading a book yet).
So anyway, we put the third set of curtains up yesterday, here's what they look like although it's hard getting a good picture.

And here's a picture of what's in front of me most morning before it's all squeezed into my glass. our oranges are the perfect ripeness at the moment and the juice is one thing that makes me get up in the morning (Tahi being the other thing).
The mini card of the week is coming in the next post, I haven't quite finished it yet... I think...

Friday, September 3, 2010

While you sleep...

Soak something! Some foods are not cooked so much because they take time, like beans and bread. Having been a vegetarian for about a decade I knew of the importance of pulses in a diet. But it takes so much planning: most of them (apart from lentils) need to soak for at least an hour, then cook for at least as long. In some countries though they are a staple and can be eaten at pretty much every meal. India has dhal, Cuba and Mexico have red bean on rice or with wraps.
When I was young I pictured beans as being boring to eat, although we always loved eating tortillas! Why do beans have such a bad press? Over the years I have "discovered" a number of ways to have beans that are just delicious: persian lentil broth with fried onion and lime, a good dhal, refried beans and the classic baked beans (with a variation here) are just a few. You can also make some great dips, like hummus.
We don't often keep cans, which is an easy way to have beans handy, we buy the dried pulses in bulk (we are lucky to be part of an organic coop). So I have to plan in advance when I'm going to cook with pulses because the grains need to soak first. Soaking them at night is a great option, in the morning or whenever I need them I just sieve them and put them in a pot. So here's what I made yesterday with some black beans I'd soaked overnight: black bean brownies (here's a variation of the recipe I used). And today we're having nachos with black beans and a canellini dip.

When I make sourdough bread, I do the same and let the starter proof overnight so it is ready to use the next morning when I get up.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My creative space

Thursday morning Josh takes Tahi to swimming. It is the only time I get to myself, alone in the house. I have at least 45mn, usually longer if I get Josh to do some shopping as well (hehehe).
Today then, I've been sewing white dots on red fabric for a custom order (more photos when it's ready!) and making a belly band (with some beautiful organic cotton) for moi since I'm already struggling to button up my pants!
Head over to Kootoyoo for more creative goodness!