Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Kiwiana Stamps

I've been meaning to post about these new A-Z of New Zealand stamps since they were released about 6 weeks ago. Each stamp has a picture of something "kiwiana" that starts with that letter. Hopefully the image is big enough for you to read. If not, I think you should be able to click on it to see a larger version. My current favourites are F for fantail, E for Edmonds and G for Goodnight Kiwi. Very cool. I bought the whole sheet and I'm planning to pop it in a frame to hang in the hallway.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Matching Set

Made for baby Maia Rose, born 10 days ago. She was very obliging with newborn cuddles yesterday.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Random Friday

A few things I’ve been meaning to tell you about:

* Fabric Barn on High Street in Lower Hutt is having a 50% off sale off all of their fabrics and most of their patterns. Sale ends next Wednesday. I stocked up on a whole lot of flannel to use for interfacing – half price is $3 per metre. Woot!

* The next Juniper Lucky Dip craft night is on October 22nd and will be the last one for the year. Apparently the theme is Christmas. Sign up now if you haven’t already. Should be a fun night.

* The lovely and clever Helen at Stripy Sock Studio has started a clothing swap group on flickr for kiwi girls who want to update their wardrobes without spending a lot but don’t want to buy new from chain stores or deal with the hassle of online auctions. Fab eco-friendly idea I reckon! Its since expanded to include sewing patterns and fabric for those of us who like to DIY our wardrobes.

* Oh no - the end of Snifters, Tangy Fruits and Sparkles is nigh. What will be in the Twenty Cent Mixtures of the future?

Have a good weekend everyone. On Monday I should be able to post a few pictures of my progress on stock for Craft2.0.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Pink Overload

Apologies for the unplanned blog break. I went to Rotorua for the weekend to catch up with family and go to my sister-in-law's baby shower. Her baby girl will be the first grandchild in my family and everyone is very excited. She received a whole lot of wonderful pink things at the shower, so the present I made her fitted right in:

Bibs and matching reversible baby shoes (see my new label on the bibs? I'm quite proud of it)

Reversible baby shoes

I may be a bit quiet on the crafting front for a few weeks. I've just found out that I have a stall at the next Craft2.0 on October 11th, so most of my spare time will be spent making things for the stall. This will be my first stall and I'm a bit nervous about making sure I have enough stock. I will pop in from time to time to update you on progress.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008


We have three big olive trees in our backyard, but we usually leave the fruit to the birds (Wax-Eyes especially seem to love gorging themselves on olives). But earlier this year I saw some instructions for preserving your own olives in the NZ Gardener magazine and decided to give it a go.

The steps themselves are pretty simple, but the process is time-consuming. Before you even bottle the olives you have to remove some of their bitterness. The easiest way to do this is to soak them in water for a reasonable length of time, changing the water often. Of course if you like crisp, bitter olives, you can bottle them in brine pretty much straight away.

I picked olives off two of our trees (large black fruit on one tree and smaller green/brown fruit on another tree) and soaked them for about 40 days in clean buckets in our laundry sink. I changed the water often, but it certainly wasn't every day. At the weekend I finally got around to reclaiming the sink and bottling the olives in brine. They now have to pickle for another three months before we can eat them. I'll update you once we try them.

I've had a couple of friends ask me why I would go to so much trouble when I could just pop to the shops and buy a jar of olives for $5. I'm hoping the proof is in the tasting...

Friday, 5 September 2008

New labels and some more knitting

Ooh, look what arrived in the mail yesterday - my new labels from Fancyweaver. They were quite reasonably priced and only took three weeks from the time I placed my order to arrive. After reading about these labels here and here, I knew to ask for extra space on either side of the text so I can easily sew them into seams. I did consider using a different name for my Etsy shop, but nothing I came up with really appealed, and I guess it's easier to just use my blog name. Looking forward to sewing these onto some new things this weekend.

And in knitting news, I've finished another couple of projects:

A shrug for me. The first thing I've knitted for myself that isn't a hat, scarf or gloves! I used this pattern, though I only used it as a guide for the shape. I read on Ravelry that a lot of people found that it came out too small, so I chose thicker wool (10ply), larger needles (8.5mm) and actually made a swatch (gasp!) to figure out my gauge and how many stitches to cast on. Since it's knitted in one piece from the top down it was easy to try it on part-way through to check the fit.

A baby beret. Modelled by Pooh Bear in the absence of a suitable model. This is a Sublime pattern from a new book I picked up on E-bay. Made from 8ply Naturally NZ Merino et Soie. We have a couple of friends who are due to have babies in the next few weeks, so I may give this to one of them if they have a girl.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Furry friends

While we were in Melbourne, we visited a wildlife park on the Mornington Penninsula south of Melbourne city. I've seen native Australian animals lots of times before, but I'm always fascinated by how unique they are. I especially like wombats with their cute waddle-ly walk. The park we went to wasn't particularly large, but it had quite a few animals, including some babies, and you were able to hand-feed the kangaroos and wallabies.

Here are a few photos from our visit:

Baby Koala - not great lighting sorry, but he was so cute. And his fur was really soft.

Me getting mobbed by kangaroos - they're after the bag of kangarooo food in my hand. By this stage everyone else had finished their food and I was the only one with any left.

Kangaroos relaxing

Sleepy wombat

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Home again

Matroyshka dolls in park near Meet Me At Mikes, Fitzroy, Melbourne

We are back from our brief trip to Melbourne. The reason for the trip was to visit Alex's brother and his fiancee. They are getting married in Melbourne in November and Alex is the best man so there were a few pre-wedding things to sort out that were easier to do in person. I tagged along because I hadn't been to Melbourne for a couple of years and I wanted to check out some of the crafty places I'd been reading about.

While the boys were sorting out suit hire, I fed my fabric addiction by visiting Amitie and Patchwork on Central Park. The next day I managed to make it to the suburb of Fitzroy and checked out the funky shops and cafes. There is a definite craft vibe in Melbourne and a lot of it seems to be centred in Fitzroy. It reminded me of a much bigger, craftier Cuba Street.

Inside Patchwork on Central Park

New Fabrics from Patchwork on Central Park

New Fabrics from Amitie

Magazine inspiration

On Sunday we went out to a wildlife sanctuary and saw a baby koala and a baby wombat. We also hand-fed kangaroos and wallabies. Photos to come tomorrow.