March 28, 2011

Quick update since I've been so slack!

Slippers made by Elizabeth Todd.

I have been a bit slack with my blogging lately.  I've been tied up with all sorts of odd ball creations.  I know that I'm schizo when it comes to crafts but I'm actually quilting again so my niece's quilt is getting finished.  I've been collecting fabrics for my next quilt project which is very exciting.  

Today, I thought I would tell you about a present that my sister sent me.  It was goodies for my knitting personality (a reference to my schizo state of mind these days).  Thanks, Cheryl, for the great gift! I can see socks, mittens, or maybe a pair of slippers? What can I make with two skeins of my favorite Koigu KPPPM?  That's a tube of lipstick called "Sexy mother Pucker." (Yes, I spelled it correctly and it's hard to actually type that!) And last but not least, a fabulous magazine called "A Needle Pulling Thread" because she knows how much I love my magazines! Do you see the iPhone cover and the fabulous knitted dishcloth? You're awesome!

Another thing I've been doing lately is scouring the site for furniture. I came accross this gorgeous table for my craft room.  It needs a little TLC but I love it!

March 22, 2011

Artist and friend

Landscape by Billie Mallet (ignore the shadow on the left side)
This post is of my English friend, Billie Mallet.  She left for Vancouver the other day today so I thought I would capture some of her paintings before she left.  She comes to NZ every year, escaping the winter months in Devon.

When asked what she enjoyed most about her trip this year, she said, "I enjoy the feeling of coming home and meeting up with friends who have become more than acquaintances. I've enjoyed discovering the landscape. The biggest thing as far as my work is concerned; I really think I need to paint from reality because there's a vibrancy and directness that comes when you paint from life rather than photos, as photographs make your choices for you."
It's always wonderful seeing Billie's inspiration from NZ landscape and people.  Billie started painting when she was young and went to West Surrey School of Art & Design in Farnham, before she was married.

You can see other images of Billie's paintings on her website here.

March 21, 2011

Inspiration from the internet


1)  I found these vintage bracelets made from silver spoons!  This is such a good idea for anyone who has their Grandma's flatware but never entertains.  Get out the silver and turn it into something useful! Or purchase one already made from this Etsy shop.

2) Embroidered vintage linen is another of my favorite things. I love this blog post from Struan Farm.

3) Have you ever bought anything from an etsy shop?  My first purchase was from a NZ designer.  Here is a beautiful embroidered bird on vintage linen.  Agnes Coy is one of my favorite shops!

3) I also found this simple embroidered design gift set. The blog is really beautiful and has quilting blocks of the month (BOM)  and cooking and other creative temptations!

March 13, 2011

Christchurch, NZ

I wanted to write something about Christchurch but I have only visited once. It was a short visit of two days in November 2010 right between the two earthquakes.  We walked around the city, in Hegley Park, and even in the cathedral.  It was a beautiful place with a lot of stories, statues, gold, and stained glass.  I'm so glad that we went when we did; it was such a beautiful place. I'm at a loss for what to say. The devastation in NZ's second largest city is enormous.  Reports tell us that thousands of people have left the city and even the country for good.  It seems that many still have no power or water in their homes and their jobs will be impossible to return to.  It's amazing that I went there when I did.  At the time, my husband and I were making the most of a week without the teenagers. We hadn't been to the South Island together and we especially wanted to go to Christchurch. I took some photos.  Enjoy!

March 12, 2011

Watercolour cheats

I went to a card making workshop last night and made these two treats!  The best part was discovering a new technique using blender pens and the Aqua Painter tool with ink.  It's so easy to get this effect from black Jet Black Staz-On ink and Stampin' Up's ink.  The stamp set for this box is Every Moment by Stampin' Up.

I also used these accessories and tools:the colour spritzer to make it look a little bit vintage
old olive textured and Very Vanilla card stock
old olive grosgrain ribbon:  30cm
sticky strip
Aqua painter
1/16" Circle punch
Big Shot
Fancy Favor Bigz XL die

March 11, 2011

Castle Hill

I picked up a book from the library last week.  It was The Road to Castle Hill by Christine Fernyhough.  A really interesting read of High Station life in the Canterbury Alps of New Zealand.  She was a "townie" from Auckland and after experiencing life's ups and downs chose to change her direction and became a farmer.  It's a wonderful story that kept me riveted.  I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the triumphs of a woman who has given the better part of her life to philanthropy and community.

March 9, 2011

Harvest Season

I went for a walk in the garden to pick apples for an apple cake and noticed peaches all over the ground.  They are so delicious and perfect for eating and baking. Another thing I noticed was my husband outside chopping wood; I couldn't resist taking a photo since he so rarely has to do any of the chores around the property. It makes my heart sing when he picks up a tool!  I guess he was equally impressed that I was baking and making a nice roast dinner. Whatever tickles your fancy!

The chiffonier in the kitchen/dining room

March 5, 2011

The Big Day Out

Well, it's been a good day.  I picked up a new piece of furniture today from Hamilton.  It's a Victorian Chiffonier circa 1865.  I bought it to replace a wardrobe that I regrettably sold during the summer.  I had an empty place in my kitchen/dining area that just needed to be filled again.  I will photograph it in situ when I have some better light.  It doesn't match my house exactly, but it matches my style which evolves because I have acquired furniture that does not really reflect who I am. But as I opened my drawers and cupboards to fill the shelves and the drawer (with crystal knobs!), I realized that it was the perfect style choice for me. I filled it with my linens, silver, and china and placed my three best pieces of china on the top. Tell me what you think?  The rest of my big day out was spent at Nosh Food Market in Hamilton and Grandmother's Garden.  Both very good places to be on a rainy Saturday in March.

Never a dull moment

Sarah, Jonathan, Jacqui (her mom), James, and Ben
Last weekend we hosted a 21st Birthday party for Sarah Fuller.  It reminded me that it was 20 years ago that I had the world by a string. Where does the time go? I was unafraid and eager to see the world. I started my own business, traveled, and enjoyed life.  What's happened to that fearless joie de vivre?  I don't know? But, oh to be 21 again!  The party had a Hawaiian theme and most people dressed up.  We had great weather and wonderful food prepared by Jacqui.  It was a great party.  Happy Birthday Sarah!

Tahlia, Steven, and Danielle

John and Rick

March 2, 2011

Twitter and Facebook and Social Media

It's final. I'm on twitter! I've tweeted. I'm with it and I tweet. I couldn't hold out any longer. I blame it on my studies and curiosity and whatever else I can point to.  How do I feel, you ask?  I feel hip, cool, young, and in the know.

It was the classroom exercise where the teacher put a whole bunch of social media words on the white board (facebook, bebo, twitter, blog, rss, web 2.0, etc.) and said to make a line placing yourselves at one end of the room if you use these on a regular basis (daily, hourly) and at the other if you have no idea what I'm talking about. eh?

Image borrowed from
There were over half of us jumbled together in the middle of the room not standing in a line. Two young girls (by young I mean under 25) at one end of the room and all the over 60's at the other. I, being 41, stood in the jumbled group who were not admitting to using facebook regularly.  I actually blog more than I facebook which doesn't say a lot. So we all had a laugh and learned about using social media for advocacy work.  It was a lot of fun and I'm still young and hip no matter how much I knit, sew, quilt and create!  This photo of a card is what I might have made tonight had I not been signing up to twitter.

March 1, 2011


Hi there. I'm back at school this week. It's my 5th paper in my Grad Dip in NFP Management.  As I get out of the office and into the classroom, I'm able to knit in class where creativity is encouraged.  The classroom is in Hamilton at the Community Waikato building. I'm loving my classmates and the teacher is very creative!

Another good thing about moving out of my usual surroundings is the ability to snoop around the Hamilton shops, go for lunch at cafes, and stop in at Grandmother's Garden quilting store in Gordonton.  I'll be going there tomorrow so watch this space!