Tuesday, September 30, 2008


It's school holidays. Harry and Sylvie and I are kicking around home this week, just the three of us, because Simon is up in Auckland. Do you know what? This is my first ever school holidays with Harry and Sylvie, and it's great. I love the leisurely start to the day, no rush to get dressed, make lunches, pack bags. I'm sure two weeks of it will be enough, but for now we're all loving it.

This beeeeautiful collage above is Harry's handiwork. Yesterday he requested three colours of paint and some paper so he could make butterflies. He was then a little frustrated that they were all on different pieces of paper so I suggested we cut them out and make a big picture of them. "That's a good idea" he said "And green is my favourite colour". So this morning we went to spotlight and chose a big sheet of green cardboard.

On the craft front, I went through my fabric stash last night and thought of so many cool projects that I couldn't sleep for thinking about them! Those are brave fighting words aren't they?? Now you'll be waiting for something great to emerge.

Oh yeah, and the party was fannntastic on Sunday. The day was sunny and clear and the children really loved the pinata. It was my first ever pinata but I think I will have one at every party from now on. It's strangely enthralling watching children beating the bejingers out of a big, papier mache toy.

Have a great Tuesday!
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Saturday, September 27, 2008


Yes, it's a pinata, and I made it myself for my little baby girl whose party should have been today. She's not a baby of course, she's nearly 3. This morning we decided we would have to postpone her party, because there is a rain front moving up the island and it looked like it was gonna be wet, but now it actually looks pretty lovely outside. Sigh...oh well. We will have a great party tomorrow morning instead.

Anyway, getting back to the pinata. It may surprise you to see that I've opted for a robot design. It's a carboard box with one layer of papier mache, and it's stuffed with carrot and celery sticks, and little messages about oral health and smart new toothbrushes.

Ha ha ha! No, I'm joking with you of course, it's full of fun things like cigarettes and alcohol.

Ha ha ha! I'm pulling your leg again. No, it's really full of devilled eggs.

Ha ha ha! Still I jest. No, it's actually full of the normal pinata things like little polystyrene gliders and pinky bars and freddo frogs and stickers and party blowers. Blat blat!

Happy birthday to you little Sylvie girl, we love you lots and lots and lots.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A repurposing magic trick

Okay, here we go. See this old calendar? (You have to imagine it because I forgot to take a "before" photo). Abracadabra, et voila! A set of smart new envelopes with beeeeautiful scenes on them, just right to hold Sylvie's party invitations.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Things I wish I'd made

Oh hello, there you are. I was just browsing at one of my favourite Japanese craft books. It was particularly delicious, because I should have been working so it was kind of like forbidden fruit. I love these toys, they are so darn quirky and clever.

Nuigurumi style: ISBN4-05-604179-2
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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Robots and NZ scenery

Good morning,
Is it just me, or does everyone know lots of people with birthdays at the end of September? To ready myself for the flood of birthdays coming up, I've been making cards with robots on them. (Oddly enough). I've also been looking for a way to use this old calendar full of beautiful NZ scenes, so that was cut up and repurposed as well. I really love making cards. I don't have the most technical execution skills in card making, but it's really fun putting odd things together and cracking myself up. I guess I am pretty easily amused.
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Blog friends

One of the very best things about a blog is all the blog friends. It's a constant wonder to me that people who don't know me like reading my blog, and I am so very flattered by all the attention. Today I came home to the most lovely surprise from one such blog friend. Christy, of PaulNewmanShirtDays had sent me this lovely stash o'buttons, which I love, love, love. It was so exciting to open a parcel all the the way from the US, and find it full of lovely haberdashery. Thanks so much Christy, that totally made my day. Like, totally. (That was me attempting an American vernacular as a token of my appreciation). The robots were also really excited to have some new buttons. I only had to turn my back for a moment and they were rolling in them, throwing them all over themselves, shouting "Hoopla hoopla!".

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Embroidery and the cultural cringe

I don't know if this happens in other small nations, but in New Zealand people occasionally suffer from "cultural cringe". This is what happens when you are so unaccustomed to seeing your own culture portrayed in whatever medium, that you...well...cringe.

Anyhoo, the other day when I was junk shopping, I came accross this lovely old table cloth. Instead of the usual "English" themes, like violets or daffodils or whatever, it had little New Zealand motifs stitched on it. Immediately I encountered a feeling that is the opposite of cultural cringe- "cultural pride", if you will.

There was this little kiwi...

A kereru (native wood pigeon)...

A kingfisher....

And kowhai flowers.

And now I feel like breaking into song


And for those who are interested, I got to 1000. Sheesh!
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Robots in soft focus

Mornin'. I've been having a lot of fun playing with the photo effects in picasa, so today I bring you....two new robots in soft focus. It's soft focus to show what good mates they are. There's been a bit of craft drought here lately actually, I just wasn't in the mood for sewing over the last week. Strangely enough, when I feel like that I am still quite partial to making control panels for robots, so I've been beading and stitching those instead.

You know what I am going to do today? I'm gonna count to 1000. Harry has been asking me to all week and I've been saying "later..." But today I really am going to do it. I hope he gets sick of it before I get there.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Love and the recycling centre

As you know, the recycling centre and a few other junk shops in Nelson are some of my favourite places. Here's my latest show and tell: First, this cute basket, and the felt inside it. Embryonic robots, of course, or maybe some kind of japanesey craft thing. You can never have too much felt, it's just so darn useful. The fabric underneath is a grrreat retro table cloth, which I thought I might repurpose into a hat.

Next, this pile of letters and numbers that Harry might like to play with. Simon already had a wee play with them the other day and left this message on my computer chair:

You see why we had to get married? We have EXACTLY the same sense of humour.

Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fate and the recycling centre

Hi! So anyway, guess where I went yesterday. The recycling centre, that's where, and not just one but two freaky deaky coincidences happened. First, I had been saying for ages to my friend Helen "don't even show me all the fabric you're throwing out, because I will want some and I already have too much to store neatly". Who should I see in the carpark? Helen, and all her fabric. So I rifled through it and brought home a whole lot of great stuff to not store neatly. Then I bought a few wee things and popped around to my friend Katies house to pick up Harry, who had gone there to play after school. I was going through the list of stuff I bought, and guess what? One of the items was something that she'd thrown out there only 2 days ago! Freaky deaky! I'll show you my new treasures in another post, and leave you in the meantime with this incredibly cute picture of a hippo chatting to a bunny at the "Forest Hotel".

Have a great day!
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Monday, September 8, 2008


Look what Christy from PaulNewmanShirtDays gave me! I'm all coy and blushing and whispering "oh it's just a little something I do in my spare time" while I look at my shoes. You should all pop over and have a wee squiz at Christy's blog because it's funny and honest and interesting and makes you think about things you might never have thought about before. So anyway I'm supposed to nominate seven other blogs that I like a whole lot but I just can't choose, and I'm quite shy even in blogworld, so instead I'm gonna say a big warm fluffy thank you to all the clever and interesting people who write blogs for us all to read. It's one of my favourite passtimes.

I'm still blushing and looking at my shoes.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

It's father's day

When we first had Harry, we made a decision that we would "do" father's day and mother's day, even though we hadn't really done it ourselves when we were children. Both Simon's parents and mine had viewed father's day and mother's day as a cynical scheme by card manufacturers to get people to spend more money. That might be true, but it seemed like it would be a fun thing to do anyway. We decided that we wouldn't do gifts, but instead would have a bonus sleep in, a homemade card, and a cooked breakfast (complete with a menu, which also had to be homemade).

Harry and Sylvie worked at making a card together, which was very cute. I made one too.

And we made a menu with a 1970's buffet favourite- devils on horseback- as one of the options. I was a little dissappointed that Simon didn't go for that one.

And Harry wrote a song, which he sung to Simon when he woke up from his bonus sleep in. It went like this:

"Happy happy happy happy father's day,
with food for you, for you,
and food for you, for you.
Happy happy happy happy father's day
to Youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu"

I hope you had a nice father's day, whatever you might think of those sneaky card manufacturers' motives.
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Friday, September 5, 2008

A tractor and some hay

Ah! Hello! (Swooooon...) That woozy swoon just then was my typographical representation of the strangely recreational dizzy moments I've been having over the last 3 days. It's because I have an ear infection and it's made my balance all squiffy. I think it also affected the blog area of my brain because every time I sat down to post I couldn't think of a gosh darn thing to say. And I haven't done any sewing this week so I didn't have a show and tell item to blather on about, either. Anyhoo, I thought I'd leave you all with a picture of this tractor and some hay, because I just flipping love these 5-minute artworks that emerge after Harry has a drawing session.
Have a great weekend!
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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Didn't I tell ya?

Didn't I tell you how cute my new glasses would look with chocolate mousse in them? Didn't I? Mmmm? In the end I didn't make either of the recipes I listed earlier, but instead went for this dairy-free one because I am taking these to my craft night out tonight, where a couple of my fellow crafties don't do dairy. By the way, I was tickled that there was so much interest in the chocolate mousse post, it confirmed what I always suspected; crafty types are also *hearty* eaters.
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Monday, September 1, 2008

A pinch, a punch, a beautiful thing, and two nice things.

Good morning, and a pinch and a punch for the first of the month!
We are back from our weekend away, where we had some perfect weather and some not perfect weather but all in all a wonderful time. One highlight was this beautiful bracket fungus growing on the trunk of a beech tree.

And I got over my megasulk on Friday and finished these two texture cushions for the childcare centre in Dunedin. I am rather pleased with these, because they're all my favourite colours.

Next job: More robots.
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