Thursday, May 29, 2008

See ya!

Okay, I know you've seen some of these before, but this photo is the parting shot before they get sent off to the childcare centre in Dunedin. They are having a wee party here with a pumpkin from my Mum's garden. What was that? You love the fabric in the background? Oh thank you. I got it at the junk shop for 20 cents. Tra la la la la.

See ya later, I'm off to meet my newest nephew today and I won't be back till Sunday. I'll have ooooodles of craft to show you then from my sister's place.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Engines in the shed" A game devised by Miss Smith and Harry

Good morning.

For show and tell today I have our game, "Engines in the shed". You start by printing off a picture of a train shed that will appeal to your 4-year-old. You can find an image just by googling "deluxe engine shed wooden thomas". Then you laminate it and stick on some velcro dots as illustrated below:

Moving right you print off lots of pictures of trains, just little pictures, and you laminate those too. Then you stick a velcro dot on the back. These are going to be your "shopping list" of engines.

Now you print a larger image of each train and laminate that too. They go face down in a pile on the table. This is how you play: 1. Make your shopping list of engines in the shed. 2. Turn the big cards over in the middle of the table so you can't see what's on them. 3. Take turns choosing a card from the pile and say "Do I have this one in my shed?". If "yes" you get to keep it. If "no" it goes back on the pile, so it's kind of like a cross between happy families and the memory game.

We can play this game for hours and hours and hours.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Girl Robot #2

Okay so this time I'm trying something a little more subtle for my girl robot- using "girl" colours (sorry for the stereotype, but my wee Sylvie does truly love pink and so does every other little girl I've come across). I also used long brown stitches around the eyes to be a wee bit "eyelashy". Sylvie was immediately besotted with this robot, so I deem it a success.
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Monday, May 26, 2008

Cup of tea while I gloat?

Yes, I've been junk shopping again. This time I found this rather groovy little tray ($1 at The Hospice Shop) and these 4 dinky cups that all match ($0.50 each at The Lifeline Goodwill Store). Tra la la la la la! Little Sylvie, who is two, gasped when she saw them. "What CUTE cups!" she said, then "Can I have a hot chocolate?"

Hope y'all had a nice weekend. Have a good Monday, too!
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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Still life with oranges

Chatting to my friend Ann the other night, she said "wouldn't it be great if there was a recycled source of anything that you wanted". Well, I thought to myself, that would be great. But in the mean time, if all you need is a bag made from a tea towel, op-shopped denim and an orange gingham table cloth, then I am just the person to see. This bag has the measurements of the simple tote in the Lotta Jansdotter book, but has an extra pocket on the outside (the tea towel with oranges on it) and is lined (the orange gingham table cloth). Do you remember that last time I made a bag like this I made lots of mistakes and never swore once? Last night I only made one little mistake and I swore like a trooper. Ha!
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Saturday, May 24, 2008

It's a bunny

Yes, it's square, but it's a bunny. I didn't make this one up myself, I saw one somewhere on some lovely blog or flickr or something similar, but I can't remember where. I had drawn a little picture of it in my work book (that I use for actual paid work), which shows how much I was procrastinating that day. It wasn't on my 'to do' list at all, but I was rummaging through my fabric the other night and suddenly all these bits fell together screaming "make us into a bunny!"
So I did.
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Friday, May 23, 2008

...And this one has a heart

Well you wouldn't read about it! Actually, you will, because I'm just about to write about it. Yesterday after my blog post on my latest robots my sister Marg suggested that I make another one with a heart. Well how uncanny that I was working on one even as she wrote that. Here it is, all finished after another nice cosy night in front of the telly. Bip bip bip!

Have a great weekend everyone!
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Thursday, May 22, 2008

01, 10, 11

I was beginning to feel like I hadn't actually completed a craft project for aaaaaages. Last night I sat down with the robot box and realised that was because I had three robots in partial states of completion. A nice long night in front of the warm, caring, educational telly was just what I needed to finish them.

On the left is my first attempt at a girl robot. I'm not sure about it actually. It's kind of cool but I think I like my non-gender-specific ones better. I'll tell you something though, putting two circular dials side-by-side on the front of a girl robot is a big mistake. It suddenly makes it quite rude. Good for cracking yourself up, but that's about it.
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Kaituna Track

One of the advantages of walking in the bush with small children is that you go at a pace that allows you to notice all sorts of cool stuff. These...lichens?...fungi?...were growing from the trunk of a tree that was alongside the path on the Kaituna Track in Golden Bay, which we walked a wee way along last weekend. They were tiny actually, which you can't tell from the photo. You may have noticed I am rather fond of plant-life, but how could I not be? How amazingly weird and cool are these wee things, and yet I've never ever seen them before, even though I look at plants pretty often.

Even if you're not overly into plants, there are lots of great reasons to go to the Kaituna Track. There are workings of old gold diggings, which might appeal if you are historically minded, and there is also a fantastic cafe, The Naked Possum, which will appeal if you are greedy minded like me.
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Monday, May 19, 2008

Missed y'all!

I missed y'all, did you have a nice weekend? We have just had a great weekend over in Collingwood. We had the most beeeeeeautiful weather. As promised, much coffee (and wine) drinking was done, and newspapers and magazines were read (although probably not start-to-finish).
I don't know how many times we've been over to Golden Bay, probably approximately a zillion, but in all that time we'd never got around to going to the Rockville Museum, which is full of old tractors and machinery and other country-style relics. On the wall there is the most amazing mural, painted by the children of the Rockville, Collingwood, and Maungarakau schools in 1982. I took several thousand million photos cos it was SO great. Here are three of them:

Have a great Monday everyone.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

A long weekend

Yeee hahhhh! A long weekend away. We are going to Golden Bay for a day or two.
I plan to drink lots of cups of coffee.

Simon is also planning on drinking coffee, and might even read the paper start-to-finish.

The kids can just clown around.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

My to-do list

My to-do list keeps getting longer because I keep buying fabric even though, if I'm to be completely honest, I don't really need any more.

This post seems a little dull and utilitarian, but then again the bears are a hard act to follow...
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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The real Miss Smith emerges

With all the talk of knitting, crochet, craft and baking, you may have been tricked into thinking that I am a sweet sort of a person. In fact I have a very, very rude sense of humour, and today I have something incredibly rude to show you to prove it. Make of it what you will, but it sure looks to me like these bears are more than just friends.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Say bye-bye to the hats

I remember promising that I would show craft disasters, so here are two for you to snicker at. These crochet hats are just a bit funny when on. They don't quite fit right, I think because my joining method accidentally introduced a new stitch into every row. Instead of being hat shaped they are cone shaped. I am relieved to inform you that I do not have a cone-shaped head. Thus I am rather sulkily unravelling them to make them into something much cuter. Maybe a couple of these, just to get my crochet-confidence back?
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Monday, May 12, 2008

I gotta get some freezer paper

Yeah, I gotta get me some of that freezer paper, because look at the cool stuff you can make with it! This bag was made by my friend "KS". That's abbreviated for reasons of modesty, you understand, because she is shy about showing off her talents on my blog. Anyhoo, she made this bag to give to her Mum on Mothers' Day. I so love it, the flower pattern is just so cool. Freezer paper is available on Trademe from time to time and I've also found some on some patch-work type websites. many new craft activities to try...
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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers' Day

Happy Mother's Day to everyone who has a mother, and everyone who is a mother! Here are some things I love about my own Mum. She is like a bear. She's fierce and protective but also warm and snuggly. She taught us how to sew and knit and cook, and we were always allowed to do things that other children weren't allowed to do, like make a mess and light fires in the sandpit. We made things with real nails and sharp objects. She made us special dinners on our birthdays and baked cakes with decorations, and set jelly into orange halves for our birthday parties. She kept a massive garden that had lots of great spaces to hide-and-seek-in. Now she is a Grandma to 12 (or 13 in October) grandchildren, and she does that very well too! Thank you Mum for all that you are and all that you do!
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Saturday, May 10, 2008

No one is safe

Nope, no one is safe from my craft activities, not even Harry's friend Willem whose party we went to today. Harry thought this bag that I made for Willem might be good for holding cars. Sylvie thought it would be good for holding pasta (?!). To me, it just screams "library books" or "swimming gear". Incidentally, if you are planning a party for 4 year olds, I can tell you that the game where children hurl water bombs at an adult was the hit of day. Even the other parents joined in.
Happy Saturday, where ever you are!
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Friday, May 9, 2008

Make a wish

I bet you didn't know that you can make a wish when you see a car transporter, now did you? If it's in a little golden book then it must be true.

I wish...I wish...I wish...for a night in front of the telly watching Project Runway and for a weekend that's just Too Much Fun. What do you wish for?
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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Special guest stars

Today, blogfriends, we have two special guest stars, both named Linda. The first is none other than Linda Carter, the stunning brunette I model myself on in every way. Here she is, isn't she STUNNING??!!!

The other Linda is my friend and fellow crafter. She is the culinary genius behind My Pie, and can answer many of life's questions as shown here. She is a fannnnnnntastic knitter, I am total awe of her many talents actually. Here is something she is knitting at the moment (from this website, incidently). Can you make out the seam here? It wouldn't surprise me if you can't even see it. Note how the diamonds match perfectly. Amazing.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

International no diet day

I can't believe I missed international no diet day on May 6th. In celebration of such a positive and forward-thinking day, I am posting this picture of chocolate melted into cream. It is the hot chocolate that I bought at the Cafe de Flore in Paris about 5 years ago. It was just so perfect I had to take a photo. The cup and saucer were both hot. It came with iced water, and more cream and chocolate in the little jug (with a wee protector that stopped you burning your hand on the hot handle). It was incredibly delicious and I will remember it even when I am an old woman. With any luck by then I will have forgotten any stupid diets I've been on. Happy, chubby, lovely, curvy, Wednesday!
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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Why I like junk shopping so much

You know how you have some days that are rather unspecial? Today started out like that. I spent the morning doing my normal day-job stuff, then took the car to the panel beaters (don't ask), then went to the bank. All very ordinary. Just before hopping back into the dented car, I popped into the op shop to have a wee squiz. Well, there it was, this little hand-turned blackwood bowl. I so love it. It whispered "I will be so happy at your place" and I knew it was right. I paid my $1 and left feeling so light hearted. The day just got better after that. Harry, Sylvie and I played outside in the sandpit for hours and then I came in to the most amazingly lovely email from my friend Julia. Thanks Julia, I love that you love the things I made!
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