November 30, 2010

Cardmaking and Knitting with friends - two of my favorite things!

Mandy and Nicky

Felted Elf Slippers
Sunday was a great day!  I baked a summer berry cheesecake and lemon shortbread cookies and had my friends over for a crafty afternoon of cardmaking and knitting.  We had a great catch up and show and tell included these cute little elf slippers that Mandy made.  The cards are originals by Gemma. Aren't they gorgeous? I love them!

Original designs by Gemma!

November 25, 2010

Romantic, French, Akaroa

Akaroa in the background
I enjoyed the stroll along the strand, the coffee shops, the general store, and the art galleries.
It was a beautiful day in the village of Akaroa. This was our second night on the South Island and a pleasantly quiet place to refresh. I started knitting a sock for my dad. It grew throughout the trip north, and was a perfect fit by the time I arrived home in Auckland. 

November 21, 2010

Christchurch in Spring

I'm not sure where to begin so I'll let my photos do the talking. My husband and I just came back from a lovely week away.  6 days to be exact.  We flew to Christchurch and rented a Britz campervan to do the return trip to Auckland. Since we spent so much time travelling around the North Island over the six years that we've lived here, we decided that we would spend as much time in the South.  It was splendid to see Christchurch despite the closed roads and scaffolding from the recent earthquakes.  We went to Botanical Gardens, a few shops, and then drove to Akaroa for a night.  More about that tomorrow.

On another note, we came across a fabulous antique store that doubled as an interior design consultancy.  It was called Kit & Caboodle.  I found a gorgeous linen remnant for pillows on my couch. I like to change these often.

November 15, 2010

Designer Desserts and Decor

Christine and Karen
Hmmm... needs more decorations...
Susi holding "Christmas Lilies"
It was a fabulous night!  I got a few pictures before and after the event but I forgot to take pictures during the evening!  We had a lot of fun and met some old and new friends. Thanks to Sandee, we made Christmas gift tags and watched a box demonstration.  The desserts were delicious and one person wrote that the handsome young men and women waiting on her were wonderful (the two on the left are my boys).  I will unveil some of the pictures of the crafts as the pictures are sent to me. There was a huge feather wreath, chalk boards with french words, candles and fresh flowers.  It's almost summer here so the snowflakes and snowmen don't work the same for Christmas decorations but one interesting thing I discovered was that New Zealanders call the "Easter" Lily, a "Christmas" Lily.  We had over 80 women there. Five were working very hard in the hot kitchen, serving desserts!   Karen did a wonderful job as MC and did double duty on the Chocolate Fountain table where fruit, cake, marshmallows and chocolate were a plenty. The speakers each shared their recent experiences, two went overseas and one message about "hope" was truly encouraging. Thank you, Suzanne, Jess, and Lorraine for your stories and messages of Love, Hope and Peace.
Thank you to everyone for making such a fun and heartwarming evening. 
Karen decorated these letters.
Ben, Nick, Matthew, Hannah, Genna, Katrina
Before it began

November 11, 2010


I invited two friends over to do a trial run on a dessert for the Ladies' Designer Dessert & Decor evening.  Since none of us have ever tried this dessert before, we had to try different methods to stick or stack the profiteroles (choux pastry) to make a cone shape.  After googling "croquembouche" images, I was a little intimidated by the sheer grandeur of the dessert so I decided that a trial would help us avoid any pitfalls on the day.  Here is our first effort with 4 batches of profiteroles.  We learned that royal icing and whipping cream don't mix! A paper mache cone is not the best.  Spotlight had sold out of poly styrene cones so I had to improvise by ripping the wings off of an angel!  I think toothpicks is better than royal icing and Bakels chocolate truffle is the perfect drizzle.

November 10, 2010

Calico Christmas

Loved the upholtery!
Sunday was a blissful day with friends.  We headed to the show in Albany and went straight up to the cafe to get some coffee.  Funny enough, we encountered our first temptation at a table of quilts made by the ladies of the Auckland Quilt Guild.  After pouring over the beautiful quilts, all three of us bought one.  I had to fight for mine as an American tourist had it first but I knew that the moment she put it down, I was going to buy it. But she wouldn't put it down! It might have had something to do with my hovering? So she then decided to put it on hold for 15 minutes while she looked at the other quilts. So my friends needed to be dragged from the cafe on level 3 to go down to the real show! I checked back an hour or so later and the quilt was still on hold!  So I bought it.

Since Suzanne had never been to this quilt show, I knew she would be in for a treat. It was amazing walking around all the beautiful quilts and the vendors were oozing goodies and books and fabric.  It was candy in a candy store.  OK, lollies in a lollie shoppe (I do live down under). Here are some of my purchases.  
For a French Blue Quilt
I will have to post a photo of the quilt once I get it off my son.  I bought it for Nick who was very pleased especially with the back which had Coca-Cola bottles all over it. 

I discovered the perfect quilt for my next project. It's French Blues and white with some chocolate. This pattern was available as a kit which I might be tempted to buy from Patchwork Passion in Onehunga.   Here's a picture of the quilt that I plan to make with some of my own touches.

November 4, 2010


I've been Spring cleaning lately.  It's amazing what you find under the bed! And in closets... I've been finding more UFO's in more bags than you can imagine! One wonderful craft that I did back in Canada was rug hooking. Not latch hook but old fashioned folk art rug hooking from North America.  I am researching a little about the history of this artform. I remember that it was a necessary part of keeping the wind out of the house by hanging rugs on the log cabin walls.  The women cut small strips of woven wool scraps from clothing and blankets.  They ranged from 2mm to 1cm in width and were pulled through a burlap or linen cloth using a hook with a wooden handle.  Today, the wool is felted and dyed to create colourful rugs, hotmats, table runners, chair pads, and wall art. Take a look at this Canadian website from my favourite Vancouver Island studio, Sage House in Chemainus.  I have made a few of Colleen Wike's kits. She is a very talented woman and has a beautiful gallery.
I made the dove circular mat featured in her kits section. I'll post one of my UFO's tomorrow.