Friday, 28 November 2008

Favourite things Friday...

I love books... And one of my favourite places to go is to my local library to pick out craft books and recipe books ( I am absolutely LOVING Apples for Jam - may have to buy that one!)

These are just a few of my current reading pile.

I've just realised that I've been a little absent from the blog (think last post was this time last week...), I've been real busy making things for Christmas, things I can't really post, because I know my three sweet children look at my blog from time to time. I may be able to post a couple of teaser pic's in the next day or so.

Also, I have received 3 of the ornaments for the ornament swap I signed up for, which really means I need to get a wiggle on and send mine off! I will post pics of them soon too... Just busy spending time with family today, and thinking about advent ideas. I may do something that I did back in 2006 - an activity for every day of advent. :) That was hugely successful with the girls, and great for memory making which I'm a huge fan of.

I hope all the American's that read my blog had a fantastic thanksgiving yesterday. I experienced a bit of my own - we got together with an American friend (Hi Becca!) and had a Kiwi-American thanksgiving. We ate sweet potatoes, turkey, maori potatoes (think PURPLE potatoes here... they were delicious but strange), pavlova, pumpkin pie - it was a true mix-up of kiwi and american traditional foods. YUM!

Anyway, I hope you are all well, know that I am well too, just exceptionally busy! Miss you all!!!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Favourite things Friday...

You may remember a post I made about making a favourite things post regularly on a Friday. Well, here is the first regular fav friday post... Feel welcome to join in by posting your favourite things on your own blogs! You can let me know if you want to join in regularly and I'll put your blog in the side bar. Just email me here; :)

This is my wee cat - Clementine (I call her Clem...)

I have always been enarmoured with cat's. They are my favourite kind of pet, mainly because they can be so affectionate, loyal, and you always know when they're happy or annoyed (they either purr or shake their tail and hiss). So it's always easy to see what they're feeling - no enigma there. :)

Clementine came into our lives about 6 months ago. She is a very sweet natured cat and has fitted into our family well. She has become best friends with Eli, our male cat, but is not so friendly with Maisy, our other female cat. Oh well... She get's on well with our golden retriever, Lucky but probably wouldn't mind making a feast of our three chickens - LOL!

We've grown to love her! :)

Thursday, 20 November 2008

patched pentagram - kiwiana style

I have been having a little bit of fun making new homemade Christmas decorations - just trying to figure out which ones to use for the swap I joined. These balls made from 12 pentagrams sewed together. Very cool and fun to make. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be sending these ones out to anyone. This is only because I want to be able to post my 5 packages at the letter rate (think flatter, more two dimensional).

I'm still not sure about the chicken design, want to go a little easier on my brain... My current thinking is fabric stars with buttons as embellishments - might try to get my idea out of my head into being later on today. :)

If you would like I might post a tutorial on how to make these patched pentagram balls, just ask... :)

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

book tag

I read this on Miss Smith at home's blog, and immediately wanted to join in... I haven't been tagged, but I figure this is the internet and I can do what I like... hehehe! ;)

This is how it works:

Go to the closest book to you, not necessarily the book you have just read, or your favourite, but the closest. Turn to page 56 and copy out the 5th line, followed by the next 2 to 5 lines.

The closest book to me was, Jodi Picoult's book, Perfect Match;
"...This is his first sentence in nearly a week.
At the sound of his name, the dog lifts his shaggy head and pokes his nose into Nathaniel's belly. "Well, you asked for it!" I laugh. By the time Nathaniel has managed to push Mason away, his cheeks are flushed with pride. We have not learned much - the signs for want, and more and drink, and dog. But we have made a start."

I want to tag CurlyPops, Marion, Twenty Cent Mixture & Becca!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

in the interest of feeling happier...

MA NA MA NA (courtesy of pink cheeks studios)

I ran over my best friends boyfriend because the voices told me to.

Just a little bit of a laugh - I borrowed this from chocolate on my cranium's blog... She saw it on Kent and Katie, inc.

Make sure to leave a comment telling me what your sentence for the day is! :D

Pick the month you were born:
January-------I kicked
February------I loved
March--------I karate chopped
April----------I licked
May----------I jumped on
June----------I smelled
July-----------I did the Macarena with
August--------I had lunch with
September----I danced with
October-------I sang to
November-----I yelled at
December-----I ran over

Pick the day (number) you were born on:
1-------a birdbath
2----- --a monster
3-------a phone
4-------a fork
5-------a snowman
6-------a gangster
7---- ---m y mobile phone
8-------my dog
9-------my best friends' boyfriend
10-------my neighbor
11-------my science teacher
12-------a banana
13-------a fireman
14-------a stuffed animal
15-------a goat
16-------a pickle
17-------your mom
18-------a spoon
19------ - a smurf
20-------a baseball bat
21-------a ninja
22-------Chuck Norris
23-------a noodle
24-------a squirrel
25-------a football player
26-------my sister
27-------my brother
28-------an iPod
29-------a surfer
30-------a homeless guy
31-------a llama

Pick the color of shirt you are wearing:
White----because I'm cool like that
Black-----because that's how I roll.
Pink-----because I'm NOT crazy.
Red------because the voices told me to.
Blue-----because I'm sexy and I do what I want
Green----because I think I need some serious help.
Purple----because I'm AWESOME!
Gray-----because Big Bird said to and he's my leader.
Yellow---because someone offered me 1,000,000 dollars
Orange---because my family thinks I'm stupid anyway.
Brown----because I can.
Other-----because I'm a Ninja!
None------because I can't control myself!

My daughters sentences are;
Hope - I had lunch with my sister because the voices told me to
Aimee - I danced with my neighbour because I think I need some serious help
Briahna - I karate chopped a bird bath because the voices told me to

My hubby's;
I loved an iPod because I can (too funny!)

up & down...

The last few days have been both up & down. Sometimes I feel like things are okay and other times I just want to crawl under my quilt and never come out. I feel spiritually exhausted. It was such a shock to find out I carry the mutated BRCA1 gene. I seriously thought I wouldn't. I know that knowledge is power, and that now I am less likely to get cancer, in someways, because I will be more on to it in getting all the testing done, but... :(

I wish I could say that I've been more up than down, but I can't. I keep on thinking silly things about death. Like, what's going to happen to my craft stash when I'm gone... Like, I'm going anywhere! I am also thinking how I would so like to make some nice quilts for the girls before I go. Morbid, really... So, I guess this is the depression talking.

In an effort to make myself feel better I am going to post a picture of one of my favourite things...

Honey Bumbles Cereal - yum yum!
Gotta love my cheeky grin - photo taken by my daughter Aimee. :)

You can see the peg bag I made in the top left hand corner of the photo. If you're observant you'll have noticed that it's shorter than in the blog post I made about how to make them. I decided it was just a wee bit too long, and whilst I have A LOT of pegs, I just didn't have that many! It looks better now.

Okay, I feel a little better now... I must make a regular point of posting a few of my favourite things. Does anyone else want to join me? I think it goes well with Fridays... A Few of my Favourite things Friday's - :). Anyone can join in, you never know it might just cheer us all up...

I virtually grew up watching "the sound of music", I even have it on DVD... This is a different version sung by Pomplamoose. Pomplamoose means grapefruit in french... hmmm! LOL!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

working on my christmas decoration...

I agreed to be a part of the first NZ Christmas blogger ornament swap - that's a bit of a mouthful... And now I can show you my first idea. I wanted to go a little different, not so traditional. This is a wee chicken I came up with this afternoon. It's quite plain and could be "tarted" up. But I'm currently just looking at ideas...

a better day...

Yesterday was a bit of a blah day - I didn't get any craft done, or any house work either... :(

Today is better! I've made 6 pillowcase bags and some Christmas cards!!

6 pillowcase bag's
I decided to shake the pillowcase bag up a little, by using two different cases for each bag! That way the neater pillowcases make two bags instead of just one. :)

Fabric Christmas Cards
The Chrissy cards are made from a fabric remnant Lianne and I were lucky to get for $1 at Spotlight on Tuesday! Woohoo, my Christmas cards are not only super-cheap but they are super-cool too!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

tricot machine

This is an animated music video composed entirely of machine-knitted frames. The music is by the Montreal band Tricot Machine (which translates to ‘knitting machine’).

Les peaux de lièvres


Monday, 10 November 2008

the big project | quilt finished...

I am so happy and pleased with my quilt. It's not perfect, but it's so warm and snuggly!!! I just LOVE the colours too!

me in the snuggly quilt...
(I don't really dig the double chin there!)

on the line... (Just realised it needs an iron - oh well!)

in use today (Hopee is sick :( )

I am really stoked with this quilt, like, I can't stop talking about it! :) It's good because I got some bad news today, and I need something good in my life.

Today, I got the results back from a genetic test I had a couple of months ago! The news was not good, apparently I do have a mutated BRCA1 gene, like my mother and lots of my aunt's and great aunt's and my grandmother! My Grandma, and two aunt's have died from cancer after having the mutated gene.

I am trying to process the news, as I was expecting to hear good news (who want's to hear bad ?) I had been trying to remain positive, getting the test so that I could stop having to have regular testing. 6 monthly breast exams, yearly mammograms, yearly smear tests, MRI's, CA125 blood tests, they take their toll, you know... My options range from radical (prophylactic removal of ovaries and/or breasts) to staying on the regular testing route. Apparently, if you have your ovaries removed before 40, you reduce your risk of breast cancer by up to 50%. So that may be one avenue to look at for me. But, this is BIG and SCARY!

I'm not sure if I should've posted it here, but I'm also not sure how I am going to tell people. How do I tell my kid's that I may have passed this gene mutation down to them? They will ask how the test went. What the results are. Some of my friend's and family read my blog, so this may be how they find out. I'm sorry I didn't warn you all first. I haven't told anyone yet, appart from Jonathan, he came with me to the appointment with the genetic counsellor. Thank God for that!

I still think that it's better to know, than not to know. I wish the news had been better. A couple of my cousins have had the test and they don't carry the mutated gene. The chances of getting it are like flipping a coin (heads or tails?). Basically, scientifically, we all carry two of any one gene (it's why they call them pairs!). You get one from your mother and the other one from your father. My mother carry's one mutated BRCA1 gene and one okay one (one from her mother - mutated, and one from her father - not), and that is the same for me. My mother carries the mutated gene, my father does not. But I could've gotten my mothers okay BRCA1 gene and that would leave me without the cancer risk and also would leave my 3 girls without the genetic lottery too! :(

So, I'm glad I have the quilt to snuggle in, I need to do a little snuggling and to be a little kinder to myself at the moment. What a year 2008 has been for me! I don't ever want another one like it!!!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

the big project | quilt #2

Well, the quilt is now nearly finished. I've just washed it, and it's in the dryer as we speak! :)

I will update you all with a picture once it's dried!!!

Instead of binding the edges, I decided to cheat and made a frayed edge. So we will have to see if that worked, and if I like it!

Saturday, 8 November 2008

a new collection of aprons!

and other cool items...

After voting this morning and taking Mr SewFunky to work (aargh he has to work today and tomorrow - all weekend!), I decided to stop by my favourite bargain warehouse - Mr Bo Jumbles. What a haul we got! New (to us anyway) clothes, tablecloths, fabric, aprons and a really cute little puppet!

Here are the aprons, modeled by the lovely Hope (& Bree);

And a tablecloth (I LOVE the colours!)

Fabric (that brown thing had been marked for embroidery - a cushion cover?)

And an embroidered cloth ( the teacup is actually a little pocket! - very CUTE!)

And a cute little handmade dress that I'm going to make into a bag! Yes, it's wool and embroidered...

And a very AWESOME doggie puppet, Harry!

And on a completely different note, look at what Mr SewFunky found while he was meant to be working!

yes, I've voted...

Yep, it's time to vote in New Zealand today! :) I enjoy exercising my right to vote, because it's not something that exists for everyone. Also, I feel that if I am to ever complain about who get's in, I'd better jolly well get out there and make a decision and vote!

I won't go into who I voted for, because this is not really a political platform. But I just wanted to say that if you're a kiwi get out there and vote today - you've got a couple more hours to go!

Friday, 7 November 2008

the big project | quilt

I've started a new project, a flannelette quilt. My good friend Becca has one that I've cuddled up to before, and so I felt I really needed one. Alas, I have a limited bank account and couldn't afford to go out and purchase all the materials. So this is a quilt done on the cheap. I found some really awesome flanelette offcuts at Mr Bo Jumbles the other day, found an old sheet and began the work in ernest! It's taking shape now, but here are a couple of sneak peeks...

It's been keeping me fairly busy, and I haven't had much time to read blogs or surf the internet. Which is probably a good thing.

I am so looking forward to it being finished, so I can cuddle into it while watching DVD's with the hubby!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

my little winner!

My daughter Aimee came third in her cross country race today! Way to GO, Aimee!!!! :)


in a really good way, by the kindness of others. Little Miss Flossy of Another Day in Paradise surprised me with a wonderful package! Look what she sent, I'd entered her giveaway for the book "49 sensational skirts". I didn't win, but a few days later Miss Flossy left me a comment on my blog asking for my address, that she had something nice to send to me. Well, lookie, lookie!!!

All the wonderful goodies! The pillowcase in the top right hand corner is the exact same pattern that my parents had when I was small - what a neat coincidence. :)

And SURPRISE, look at what she included!:

Thanks so much Little Miss Flossy! You certainly added some sparkle to my day!!!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

new peg bag | refashioned

So, I've been needing something to hold my pegs for a while. Having a family of 5, means that there is LOTS of washing and therefore lots of pegs! So what to do...

As soon as I spyed this jersey at Mr Bo. Jumbles I knew it was perfect. It was already a little felted, and I just threw it into a hot wash and dried it in the drier once to make just that little bit more felted!

All I needed to do was;

1. Cut off the arms. You don't need them for this project, but you could use them for something else (a softie, perhaps?)

2. Sew up arm holes.

3. Sew up the bottom.

4. Insert a coathanger, and TAH DAH!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

2 dishcloths sold! :D

Remember these cloths from yesterday... Well, I just sold them for $4 each. YAHOO! Having a little dance here!

Some things going on for me:

I'm a little annoyed that someone has completely stolen one of my blog posts and dishcloth patterns and has posted it on her blog as if it's her own. :( I don't think that's right! If anyone wants to link back to my blog, that's cool. But COPYING the entire post and labeling the photograph that I took as her own. NOT COOL!

I'm really enjoying listening to Lenka's song "the show". Thanks for recommending it CurlyPops. I remember first hearing it in the movie Juno. Great movie!

I had heaps of fun last night at craft group. We had a "newbie" (Hi Carol-Ann!) attend last night and started work on Lianne's Eye Spy quilt. It's looking great. I was on a little bit of a downer, and so spent the evening knitting and chatting, but not really feeling my normal self. I can't wait to begin my very own Prairie Paisley Quilt. Soon...


Monday, 3 November 2008

striped diagonal cloth

Sometimes I get a little bored knitting the typical "granny's diagonal dishcloth" and I also have a lot of half balls of cotton yarn to use. I decided to see what a striped diagonal cloth would look like.

This is an ordinary pattern using self striping yarn

I knitted a cloth up with magicline self striping yarn. It looks good. :)

Granny cloth with 2 different yarns...

I then knitted a diagonal cloth with 2 different yarns. One magicline self striping yarn and one plain DK cotton yarn. To keep the square shape and the uniformity of the pattern I used the below pattern:

Row 1: Knit both colours together
Row 2: Knit with just magicline
Row 3: Knit with just magicline
Row 4: Knit both colours together
Row 5: Knit with just plain cotton yarn
Row 6: Knit with just plain cotton yarn

Use these 6 rows and repeat until the cloth is finished.

I used this pattern which is widely available on the internet:

Granny Dishcloth
CO 3 sts
Increase Row: K1, yo (in the opposite direction – this prevents a hole when knit), Knit to the end of the row.
Repeat the Increase row until reaching a total of 43 sts. Knit 1 row even.
Decrease Row: K1, K2tog, Knit to the end of the row.
Repeat the Decrease row until reaching a total of 3 sts. BO all sts.

You can find a printable version of this pattern here: Free Dishcloth Patterns from

straw flowers

After a wee bit of searching, I found my little flower loom hiding in an obvious place, with all my knitting looms. I was obviously in an organised mood when I last used it! not normal for me!

Yesterday's post had two people asking about my plans for using the speed straw that I picked up during one of my opshop expeditions. See below:
Blogger CurlyPops said...

Fantastic finds...I'm intrigued by the speed straw and I would love to see the flowers you can make with it.

November 2, 2008 10:52 AM

Blogger A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

What a productive op shop visit!! I love all of jodie picoults books. I have some straw that belonged to my grandmother but have been unsure what to do with it. WOuld love to see what you make with yours.

November 2, 2008 12:08 PM

I couldn't let them down now, could I?

So here it is, the first finished straw flower...

These are fun to make, and if you ever see one of these little looms in your opshop travels, I suggest you buy it! :) I picked mine up for $1 in February. I last made flowers out of cotton yarn, but the looms are made for speed straw. I'm thinking they'd make great brooches, something just that little bit different!


Sunday, 2 November 2008

latest op shop finds...

Here are some of my latest finds...

2 metres of blue fabric, some thread

cool pillowcase (made with trichem fabric paint?) needs an iron

10 pillowcases (50c each!)

Speed Straw (for making retro flowers with my flower loom)
Tatting books and shuttles (another thing I want to learn!)

Embroidery book

Some reading material...

I was really pleased to find the pillowcases yesterday. I went to the only opshop open on Saturday afternoon's (Papakura Anglican Oppy) on a case search. I wanted to make more of those neat pillowcase bags. I couldn't find any in the linen area and was about to give up all hope, when I spied a full container of them by the counter! What luck! There was heaps to choose from and all at 50c a case!! I now feel less jealous of Curlypops pillowcase finds. :)

The books were a little present to myself, I need a little relaxation (think time-out), and these books should provide a little respite. I am really enjoying Jodi Picoult's book, Perfect Match, but then I always enjoy reading her books!

It's really hard to believe it's November already! Christmas is just around the corner and I've only just begun to think about what to get for everybody. So the next couple of days I intend to start planning and organising it all. I plan on making as much as possible from my sewing room stash. :)

I hope you are all having a great weekend, I am, the girls are in their bedrooms doing the great big tidy, and I'm getting to have some Mum time on the computer - what fun! :)
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