Friday, October 31, 2008

Mr Red Robot, and Gary

I bet you thought I'd finally got sick of robots, you did, didn'tcha? Well I haven't, and here are two little new friends to prove it. Mr Red the Robot is off to Wellington to live with Louise, and Gary the Green Robot is another one that I am adding to my etsy shop (when I get around to setting it up). How are you all by the way? I've had a mad mad mad week and I haven't been cruising the blogosphere with the same vigour as I normally do. I hope you are all having a hay-ride of a good time out there.

By the way, wanna join in with some handmade Christmassy fun? Have a look at Ms Mixture's great idea here.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Restraint at the recycling centre

Today we are going to touch on something hitherto unmentioned on my blog: Restraint while junk shopping. Yes, I DO sometimes exercise restraint (but don't double-check my story with Simon because he's unlikely to back me up here).

Actually, I have two stories of restraint. First, week-before-last I had a spare hour to kill before picking up Sylvie. As is my usual custom, I dithered between sewing or going junk shopping. But then, out of the blue, it occurred to me that I could sort out some stuff to TAKE to the junk shop, and without further ado I filled 7 supermarket bags full of old clothes and toys. Then I threw several manky sheets in the bin, just for good measure!
My second story of restraint concerns my FAB day on Saturday. I saw lots and lots of great stuff, but this little collection below is just about everything I bought. Some little golden books, a great retro tray, a cookbook, and a red plastic retro lamp. I LOVE this lamp, and I have another one EXACTLY the same at home already, so now we are matchy matchy lovey-dovey good-feng-shui in our bedside lamp status.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 27, 2008

Green with envy

You might be green with envy when you hear about my primo weekend. Saturday morning, barely dressed, the phone rang and it was my good friend Phoebe, with an exciting mission for the day- taking the Morris Minor on a tour of the Moteuka junk shops. Didn't I tell you you'd be green with envy? I bet you are! I love morris minors!

Look at the cute wee speedo.

And the very styley steering wheel...

And we did some great shopping which I will show you later but for now would you like to see another treat of the day? This deeelicious cheesecake that we had at Monterey House, a cafe that truly is in the back and beyond of the middle of nowhere. I recommend it highly.

And that, my blogfriends, was a perfect day. Thanks Phoebe!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mary Anna and Me

Regular readers of my blog will be familiar with MaryNanna, who often leaves comments on my posts. She is my sister and my friend, and also my most long-standing and faithful blog follower, reading my blog everyday since I started it. This morning I was VERY excited to see the kick-off of her very own blog, Mary Nanna Sews. Go on over and have a wee look! I think you'll like it.

(Mary Anna and me, Long Beach, Dunedin, approximately 1980. She's the one in the red jersey and I am the messy-haired trouser-wearing little one in the background)
Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thomas's party

So there we were, innocently reading the Thomas the Tank Engine book, "Thomas's party". Now look closely at this picture and tell me, does this look like the type of party that should be in a children's book? I mean, what IS the man in the orange pants up to? Why is the driver smiling so naughtily? And where does the feather duster fit in all this?! I ask you! In a children's book for goodness sakes!

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Well they won't print themselves!

Shhhh! I'm listening to something! I think I can hear...yes...I can...I can hear the sound of someone slacking around at work. Is it me? I think it might be. Well if YOU are in the mood to waste some work time and monopolise the printer for your own personal needs, may I recommend visiting The Small Object or Design Freebies (especially the "stationery" section) to download some cute free printables for yourself? The small object has these great labels shown above and many other things that are just *too cute*. After all, you can never have too many labels, tags, thumb wrestling belts (?!), now can you?
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Table linen to bedroom project- complete!

I have to admit, the tablecloths-into-pillowcases project is one of the sillier craft projects I've dreamed up in a while, but I am so so happy with how it turned out. I love the feel and the look of old tablecloths, the special pieces of embroidery, the frayed edges that make me think they were someone's favourite. For this project, I cut the pieces of embroidery out and sewed them onto some soft blue cotton for the front of each pillowcase. The back is another table cloth with a blue check design. Both of these tablecloths were from the Ranfurly Catholic Women's League junk shop, so they will forever remind me of our holiday there. I love how they match, but kind of don't match, with different parts of the tablecloths on each one.

Hope you're having a great weekend! Love from Miss Smith
Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 17, 2008

This dog is smocked

Getta load of this dog, he's completely smocked. I think he is rather hilarious and if I could be bothered, I'd make him, just for a laugh. But I can't be bothered because I have lots of other exciting projects on the go, including my table-linen goes bedroom project, my boring covers for cushions project, and my red robot project (stay tuned).

Today I read the most poetic and sublime description of a junk-shopping experience over on Christy's blog. I feel a little shame-faced as I recall my last junk-shopping experience, which was to walk right past the shop because I saw that the woman I call the "Button Nazi" was on the counter. She always measures the fabric scraps I buy by the metre and then charges me a ridiculously high price for them. Yes I KNOW its for charity, but puh-lease! By the metre for fabric scraps? No, Button Nazi, I will not be ripped off!

Did you know- junk shopping after school holidays is always particularly lucrative, as people have had clean-outs. Top tip.

Have a great weekend everyone!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Junk shoppin in the Maniototo

I promised I would show some of my treasures from the Catholic Women's League junk shop in Ranfurly, so here they are. First, some boots that are so country I just wanna go cattle ropin' or hay throwin'. I also got some fabric scraps and other miscellanea, but I was so very happy to also find some retro tablecloths. I have a real soft spot for these, and I have a particular project in mind for using them. You just wait! Just wait and see! It's gonna be smockin fantastic.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Back to craftin

What with holidays and so on, it's been ages since I sat down and made a *craft item*. Last night, since I was so excited to be back in my own little house with my own little sewing machine, I made this bag for my friend Ann. It's loosely based on the Lotta Jansdottir All Day Tote, but it's about twice as deep, because Ann has an awful lot to fit into her all day activities. The fabric is a mixture of new denim, junk-shopped upholstery fabric, and some spotty patchwork fabric for the lining.
Have a great Sunday!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The middle of somewhere

After an epic journey beginning at the middle of somewhere in Maniototo, we are now back in the middle of somewhere else, sunny Nelson. We loved being on holiday, but it's always great to come home.
The children are obsessed with the idea of the middle of nowhere. From time to time as we were driving they asked, "Is this middle of nowhere?"
This is the back of the Rock and Pillar Range, the middle-of-somewhere where my sister's place is. This was taken from the Kissing Gate Cafe in Middlemarch, where you can get fantastic South Island food, and a nice hot cuppatea.

And this is the Maniototo, only it's normally gold, not green. To me, the Maniototo is a golden basin with a big, big, big sky.

Next post: The fantastic haul from the Catholic Women's League thrift shop in the bustling metropolis of Ranfurly.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The holiday list of my favourite things

So anyway, Harry, Sylvie and I are holiday this week, in the peaceful, quiet, hardworking Maniototo district. My sister lives on a farm here and it's one of my very favourite places. Inside my head I am humming "My favourite things" from "The Sound of Music", that's how darn wholesome it is.

If I was writing my own lyrics to "My favourite things", it would have to include all the items on this list: mountains with snow on them, looking at the sea, homemade bread, homemade butter (it tastes of udder- at least, I imagine what that farmy type taste is), robots, reading books, sleep-ins, avocados, late nights, things in the post, manchester, haberdashery, stationery, kindness of strangers, parcels, postcards, letters, old-fashioned stamps, china, glass, cutlery, old story books, knitted and crocheted things, home sewing. Oh, and really hilarious pictures in childrens books that look rude, even though they didn't mean to. I have a real cracker to show you when I get back home to my scanner.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

From one holiday town to another

When you look at Nelson, you wonder why you'd bother going anywhere different for your holidays. Isn't it pretty?

Luckily New Zealand is full of equally beautiful places, so if you live somewhere really beautiful you still have holiday options. Today we are off to the picturesque Maniototo to stay with my sister on the farm for a week. Everyone is very excited.

In fact, it's been a day full of excitement on all fronts. It's Simon's birthday and there was a frenzy of unwrapping presents first thing this morning. Also, Sylvie got to unwrap her last two presents from her birthday. Get a load of the fantastic knitted food!

Sigh...I SO love craft. It makes me laugh.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Get smocked

Recently I found myself strangely interested in smocking. I think it was after seeing a great tote bag with just a wee bit of smocking on the front. Even as smocking was playing on my mind, I found a book about it at the Founders Book Fair.

Now I'm not 100% sure, but I think "smock" might be a swear word in a parallel universe. It certainly has a cuss-word ring to it. Shall we try it out, just to make sure?

"Go smock yourself, mother-smocker! Smock off! Get smocked! If I hear that one more smockin' time, I think I'll explode! Smock it!"

Yep. It's definitely a swear word somewhere. Here's a photo of some old smocker.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

1st October 2005, it was a happy day.

It's Sylvie's actual birthday today, so this morning there were pikelets for breakfast and two presents to open. First, a green robot, as requested. Second, some delicious wooden fruit with velcro dots and a knife so you can cut them up. Cute! I love wooden food. So good for one's figure.
Little does she know there are other presents waiting in the wings. Simon gets home on tomorrow, so we'll have more birthday treats then and we can all join in. There is a big box of duplo from two of the Aunties, and the other Auntie has sent some knitted food. I can't WAIT to show you all that, once Sylvie as opened it. Grandma is supplying a big box of beautiful new crayons, and there is a cheque from Grandad Bruce. Lucky Sylvie! And lucky us for being her family.
Posted by Picasa