Friday, November 28, 2008

And it's Happy Christmas Decoration to...


Yep, these are my christmas decorations, and this extra one is going to Sarah, one of the commenters from Monday's post. Happy Christmas Decoration to you Sarah, enjoy the peace, goodwill, and binary fun of a small christmassy robot for your tree. I only wish I had one for all of you.

Have a great weekend!

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ready to go!

Here they are, my sneaky secret christmas decorations all ready to be posted. They are being guarded by piglet, who Simon found amongst his box of letters and keepsakes the other day. I must have made him about 12 years ago I think. I am rather flattered that Simon kept him all this time.

I made the envelopes for my highly classified decorations from this 1965 puzzle book...

The pictures and puzzles have a rather surreal quality to them, don't you think?

Since this was printed in the 60s, I am secretly suspicious that the artists had been toying with mind-altering substances.
Lucky bastards.
Hey, and thanks for all your weekend synopses, I really liked learning about what you'd all been up to. On Friday I'll do a lucky-dip for the winner of the mystery christmas deco. Stay tuned! Same robot time, same robot channel.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 24, 2008


Hello there,
We have just had the most fantastic weekend away in one of my favourite places on Earth, Collingwood. At Collingwood there is the most awesome sandpit. See? It fits two children and two adults very comfortably.

Our children go wild at Collingwood. They are so excited to be there that they make faces like this.

And here is my shadow. But don't worry, I remembered to bring it home with me.

I also finished off my items for Twenty Cent's Deco Swap, but I can't show you those because then I'd spoil the surprise!

How was your weekend? If you leave a comment and tell me about it you might win a bonus Christmas Decoration, because I have one spare and I'm gonna give it to a blog-friend.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A happy ending for the 1969 Storyland Annual

Sometimes when I'm junk shopping I come across great old children's books that some naughty little wag has defaced in some way. The 1969 Storyland Annual was one such book, about half the pages had been scribbled on, and some sneaky little person had practised cutting with scissors by going snip-snip-snip along the bottom of each and every page.
Still, being the thrifty type with an appreciation for retro that I am, I couldn't resist the pictures and I bought it anyway. I am now very happy to show you the happy ending for that book.
1. Two cards

2. Some cute pictures that I used with some plain wrapping paper to wrap my sister's birthday present.

3. Two of the cute little carry bags like the ones Twenty Cent Mixture made, using the great tutorial here at Tiny Happy.

And one more happy ending to finish off with...My left-handed sister Margaret is living without an oven cloth or an oven mitt, and sometimes her left-handed baking ends up on the floor because the tea towel she used as an oven cloth was wet or wasn't folded properly or whatever.
So here's my left-handed kitchen set, off to her place to live a happy and fulfilled left-handed life.

Don't you just love happy endings? Sigh...I do. That's why I like junk shopping.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Playing book tag

How exciting, Claire from Ethel loves Fred tagged me yesterday to play book tag. This is how it works:

Go to the closest book to you, not necessarily the book you have just read, or your favourite, but the closest. Turn to page 56 and copy out the 5th line, followed by the next 2 to 5 lines.

Book closest to me: The curious incident of the dog in the night-time, by Mark Haddon. Line 5 onwards:

"But this is stupid because everyone has learning difficulties because learning to speak French or understanding Relativity is difficult, and also everyone has special needs, like Father who has to carry a little packed of artifical sweetening tablets around with him to put in his coffee to stop him getting fat, or Mrs Peters who wears a beige-coloured hearing aid, or Siobhan who has glasses so thick that they give you a headache if you borrow them, and none of these people are Special Needs, even if they have special needs."
And now I will tag some blogfriends to see what's in their book collections!
Jannelle from Heartfelt

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


My friends Siobhan and Nathan just had a lovely wee baby, who is called Rose. We went to see them on Sunday, and Siobhan gave me these beautiful roses and a card! Hey, hey what the-? Aren't we supposed to give her the presents? That's how sweet she is, she's thinking of nice things to do for her friends when she's just had a baby not even a week ago. I think new babies are just SO beautiful, all tiny and snuffly.

There's another Rose who is among my very favourite people, and that's my niece Annarose. We've always called her Rosie. She turned 20 last Saturday. How on earth did it happen that I have a grown-up niece already? Where did that 20 years go? I subjected her to a piece of craft for her birthday. I made this Lotta Jansdotter bag, made just a tad deeper than in the pattern, with denim and red topstitching on the outside, Our Lady of Guadalupe cotton on the inside, a red woollen pocket, and green woollen tartan handles. I was rather pleased with how it turned out, even if I do say so myself.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Paper dolls

The Sunday Market isn't a place I've blogged about before, but it's one of the best places in all Nelson to find stuff. It's kind of like a big communal garage sale. The reason it hasn't reached my blog is because Sunday morning is traditionally my sleep-in day. I have a free pass to stay in bed till 10 am, and usually I do. Lately though, the lure of the treasures has been too strong and I've forced myself out of bed to go and have a darn good rummage. This morning, with the help of my good friends Katie and Vicky, I got these fab paper dolls. I've always had a soft spot for the royals. I think they're cute.

Shall we dress them up? Okay, let's go! A green dress and a baby for you Di, and Charles, I think you will look very dapper in a suit...

And the children needn't think they're gonna get to play with them because they're mine all mine!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 14, 2008

A second delicious craft swap

Yesterday I met up with the sweet and talented Mariana for my second-ever craft swap. I gave her a robot, and she gave me these sweet little shorts for Sylvie. I felt incredibly spoiled, because she had brought several pairs for us to choose from. It was like being in a shop full of beautiful things with a gift voucher! This craft-swapping is great! It's so exciting getting something that someone else has made. Sylvie immediately wanted to wear her new shorts and took off her trousers, right there in the cafe, so she could put her new threads on straight away. Now how's that for an enthusiastic response!

Thanks Mariana, I loved craft-swapping with you!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tormenting the children

I've just been tormenting my children with healthy food. I just made these muesli bars using the sugar-free recipe from Nicola Galloway, who I saw speaking last night. Now I love cake and sweet things as much as the next person (as much as my children, actually, which is a lot), but I have to say that these muesli bars are true sweety oaty chocolate chippy goodness with love in every bite. Unlike my last creative effort (ahem) they can be enjoyed by right- and left-handers alike. Thank goodness for cooking. It's so satisfying.
Bon appetit tout le monde. Lots of oaty apricotty sultanary love from Miss Smith.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pride before a fall

I always laugh to myself when I'm making a pattern out of the Lotta Jansdottir book. It's just that the directions are, well, so very detailed. E.g. "Using your scissors, cut carefully around the pattern pieces" (Oh good, I won't bother using my can opener then Lotta...)
Anyway, as I sewed these kitchen accessories I chuckled haughtily, congratulating myself on what a clever sewer I was. I cut out the oven glove from a great piece of retro cotton, made a matching oven cloth, lined the oven glove with a nice contrasting fabric, made the bias tape, and finished it off with tidy hand stitching.
And then I realised I had made it left-handed.

Lotta, in your next book, please give more detailed directions. E.g. "check that you are cutting out your oven glove to be right handed, if you are right handed."

Thank you.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's only politics, Helen

I should have known the election wasn't going to go the way I wanted when I found this little doll, who looks freakily like Helen Clark, waving goodbye to me in the junk shop. She even had her knitted red dress and red undies on, which I'm sure the real Helen Clark would have worn on election night. "Don't worry Helen" I said as I paid my $2, "you can come and live with us and we will still love you". And I meant it too, even though I actually voted Green and not Labour. Personally, even though I liked her and I thought she was a good prime minister I am quite glad that she will have a few years in parliament without the relentless pressure of being the prime minister. You go Helen, have your weekends off and enjoy yourself for once. Why not take up craftin'? I think you'll like it.

There now, you didn't know a craft blog could be so political, now did you?
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 7, 2008

No photo this time. But it's still about craft.

A few weeks ago, maybe it was even a couple of months ago, my friend Kelvin sent me the link to his brother's website. His brother Murray is a photographer, who among other things, has captured some wonderful images of New Zealand Christmas scenes. Kelvin also noted that there was an audio visual about his father, who died of motor neurone disease.

Tonight I finally watched that audio visual, and I am so glad I did. I loved seeing images of this person, who I never met and who I only know as his genes that I see expressed in his son, living his life as a lighthouse keeper. Being the crafty and kitcheny type that I am, I noticed the jam on the bench top and the ric-rac trim on the wheelchair accessories. To me, these things spoke of someone making things by hand, things that added to the life of this person. Like one of my other favourite blogs, I thought this audio visual was so brave and so generous in sharing human vulnerability and love, and a wonderful sense of family. I also laughed quite a lot because these photos were taken more than 15 years ago, and Kelvin still wears that same bush shirt but with a lot more darning in it. See Kelvin? You are crafty and you don't even know it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Babybot.

I would be failing in my auntly duties if I didn't give my new nephew a robot, so I've been working on this little chap over the last few days. He is high-contrast-black-and-white, since that's what babies apparently like, and he's got some little jinglies inside him that go "rattle rattle rattle" when you shake him. He's got no buttons or other haberdashery, just felt decorations, so he can't hurt a little baby by accident, and he's got a wee loop so that he can dangle from a baby-gym. As you can see, he enjoys lounging around in the sun on a chenille blanket if he gets the chance, although I suspect he might be kept busy with changing nappies and whatnot.
Happy Wednesday to you!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tiny and perfect

Okay, what's tiny, and perfect, and comes in the cutest paper bag made from a sweet retro children's book, with a card sporting a great old Morris 1100 on it? Can you guess?

Twenty Cent Mixture's primo baby accessories, that's what! I am so very delighted with my first ever craft swap. These little treasures are for my newest nephew, who may even be arriving as I type this. It's all very exciting.
Thanks Louise, I love them!
Posted by Picasa