Monday, June 28, 2010


It's cold, I'm cold and I have a cold. Stink.
I thought I was so smart taking my vitamin C religously everyday but it seems like one of those evil little viruses have got past my stoic immune system and I'm sick. I was fighting it off all weekend which meant we had a quiet one.

We had a visit from friends on Saturday. There was a very small person so we got the blocks out.

All four girls, from oldest down to youngest were totally engrossed in their game.
They built this fabulous town and drove cars through it. Even the baby joined in. Wonderful!

There was some crafting.
I got this birthday gift finished for one of Maddy's friends and I made myself a gorgeous top.
I will post a pic of my top when I don't resemble Rudolph. 
I have a to do list to finish this week as long as my arm but it's going to have to
wait while I ditch this cold. Bed and lemsip for me I think!

Hope you are keeping well.

Sarah x

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Creative Space

Madeleine's ballet cardigan is FINALLY finished.

And I have a new love which is going to be keeping me very busy this week!

Happy, happy, joy, joy!
Is it wrong to love a machine this much?

For more Creative Spaces, pop over to the crochet queen Kirsty's

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I am Mrs. Darlene Grace‏

I'm not really. That was just the subject header for one of those dodgy "we've got lots of money to send you from Nigeria, but we just need to borrow your bank details and your first born child for a little while before we give it to you" emails that I received in my inbox this morning. Honestly, where do they come up with these names? Is there some sort of random name generator out there that provides apparently trustworthy names for dodgy email scams? They are incredibly annoying, but I'm not going to let them beat me. From now on, all my sock monkeys will be receiving dodgy scam email names.

Meet Jean-Marc Chapuis on the left and Darlene Grace on the right.
George, in the middle, went to a lovely new home on Saturday.

Take that you annoying email scam people!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Note to self...

... dressing ones youngest (and already adorable) daughter in a homemade recycled sweater top that makes her look like a flower may SEEM like a great idea.

It does however, take quite a bit longer to do the shopping.

{Thank you to all the lovely people who stopped to admire Eloise's outfit this morning!}

Monday, June 21, 2010

Neck tie iPod case tutorial

I posted a link to a tutorial I did for Good Magazine a year or so ago for Sock Monkeys last week. Here's the other tute I did for the same issue. It's instructions for how to make an iPod case using a necktie. It's a great gift and of course you could use any fabric to make the outer. Have fun and let me know how you get on!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Crafternoon Tea

I have a stall at Crafternoon Tea tomorrow, Saturday 19th of June, from 10am-3pm at the Trinity Methodist Church - which is on the corner of Sandringham and New North Roads in Kingsland.

I've been a busy girl today making headbands

and book/library bags

and I made a start on some very cute bunting which may or may not get finished tonight.

I'll have all my usual goodies for sale including lots of Tape Measure Rose brooches and some new teacup teatowels.

Luisa has very kindly allowed me to bring along some craft books, patterns and magazines to sell too so those will be for sale next to my stall. They need to go, so I will be selling them for a fraction of what they cost me. If you fancy some new crafty reading material, come along and grab some (and please don't make me take them home again!)

Hope to see you tomorrow.
Sarah x

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Creative Space

My Creative Space is wet. Very. I had to rip up the carpet in my sewing room yesterday after discovering that the underlay had been acting as a sponge and soaking up the water that seeps into the rest of our basement during heavy rain. It's  a good thing. No really, it is. It's made me realise how much stuff I have down there and I have a big clearout planned. It's also made me take a little break. I've been in bed most of today fighting off a migraine and fingers crossed that the extra rest has knocked it on the head (BAD pun, sorry).

It's also forced me to indulge in a little knitting and hand sewing. I made myself an ice cream tape measure to keep in my knitting bag.For some reason, the kids keep wanting to play with it.

I can't imagine why. It's not remotely fun to pull on that cherry and then press the button to make it zing back in. The instructions are from Betz White's Warm Fuzzies (one of my favourite books).

I've also been making some mega cute hair-tie animals for my girls.
These are from "Cute Stuff" by Aranzi Aronzo which is my new second favourite craft book.

Have you heard of The Book Depository yet? I've been doing my craft book shopping from them recently (despite the fact that everytime I say their name outloud someone snickers and says "ooh, sounds painful". They have free shipping to anywhere in the world and I received my books within a week of ordering. All good as far as I'm concerned.

What's your Creative Space today? Pop along to Kootoyoo to drool over the awesomeness that is the other Creative Space players spaces.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kipper's got a brand new bed!

Well actually, the cat bed isn't new at all. After all my talk last Thursday of making Kipper a bed, I found one in an op shop. It was like the op shop gods had read all your helpful comments and sent it too me. Amanda suggested something old and shabby (it's second hand so that box was ticked). It's too small for him, which Megan suggested so of course he loves it. And finally Gwen suggested something soft-toy like.  I found some gorgeous teddy bear fur fabric in the same op shop and draped it over the cat bed. I don't think he has moved since.

He reminds me of a little squirrel tucked up in it's nest.
Thanks for all your lovely comments!

p.s. if you are in the Auckland, North Shore, a fabric outlet store has temporarily opened up on Barry's Point Road in Takapuna called Nick's Sale Fabrics. It's close to the supermarket. I just got 8 metres of fabric including linen, denim and sweatshirting for $36 and they gave me a whole pile of ribbing for free. They have merino for $8m too. Well worth a visit if you need some more fabric (and we all know you can never have enough fabric.)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A personalised gift

I discovered this week that my oldest daughter has the negotiating power of a top lawyer.

Maddy received an invitation at the beginning of the week, for a Saturday birthday party. I asked her what she wanted me to make for her friend, but I failed to do what all the child rearing manuals say and manage her expectations.

She wanted me to make her friend a set of pyjamas AND a dog toy wearing matching pyjamas AND a bag to put it all in. It's not that I couldn't have done all that, but with limited time and not wanting to cause embarrasment to the parents of the child (by providing an over-generous gift), we eventually weedled the present down to a personalised book bag containing a head-band and a little paper pad.

{The back}

But not before she had done some incredible negotiating with me and had raided half my market stall stock. Next time, I will give her a choice of two options. We parents never stop learning the hard way do we?

{Albany Village playground}

Next time there's any arguing from her, I shall simply lock her in the princess tower we found today :o)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Brag Space

I reckon Facebook should be renamed Brag Space don't you? I know I'm guilty of bragging incessently on Facebook. About how beautiful and funny my children are and what a great country I live in. 

I think I do a fair bit of bragging on here too. I'm definately going to indulge in a little bragging now. I've just had one of my treasuries included in a fab Etsy Treasury AND I've learned how to do a screen capture (so I don't have to bother my lovely friend Cat to do it for me anymore). Here's the treasury:

Isn't it cool? That's my brooch down there on the left. You can go and have a closer look at it here but be quick because it only lasts a day or two.

One other reason I use Facebook is to garner sympathy. For instance, when something like this goes on in my living room.

Yes. That's right. It's a mountain bike. In pieces.  In the lounge. And look who is helping (well after yesterday's post, that didn't surprise you did it?).

I also like to pass on useful information. Helpful tips for good living that I pick up along the way. One gem that not many of you will know is that bootleg jeans, whilst flattering to the figure, are not good when trying to catch mice.

Image from here

You know what's coming don't you? The *#$%! Cat (insert favourite expletive of your choice), brought a live mouse into the house the other night. The last time he did that, we failed to get it off him and it disappeared under the TV unit and we didn't get rid of it for a couple of days. There was no way I was letting that happen again so I crawled under the dining room table where the mouse was being held captive by a very excited Kipper. The thing took the opportunity to bolt for its life, ran around the back of me and failed to reappear. It was only when I stood up that I felt the tiny claws making their way up my leg. It was passed my knee when I cornered it with my hands. The very helpful other half was giving me advice like "Just take it outside and shake your leg". There was no way I was letting it go up any further so I had to bite the bullet, stick my hands down my jeans and grab it. You should have seen me run out the door with that thing. I think I broke World records. Needless to say, I needed a very stiff drink and a shower after that.

Phew. Bet that's given you the heebie jeebies. If you need to make yourself feel better, pop over to visit these lovely ladies and enter their giveaways:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Creative Space

My Creative Space is making a bed for Kipper.
aka "the cat that likes to get in the way".

The measuring for the correct fit didn't go too well.

But I think we can safely say he's not too worried about fit.

or comfort.

Perhaps something in a more boyish colour?

and which doesn't involve socks and undies?

Must be near his favourite people

and definately inside.
What do you reckon? Do you think there is any point? I'm thinking of using a recycled sweater and fabric scraps for stuffing. Have any of you made a bed that your cat has loved? Do any of you know of fabulous cat bed tutorials out there? Please do let me know!
For more Creative Spaces, visit Kootoyoo.

(p.s. no cats or people were harmed in the making of this blog post)

Pumpkin and Ginger

No, we haven't got new pets (although they would be GREAT names for two orange kittens).
I'm talking about the real pumpkin and ginger. The stuff that warms you up when you walk out the door and realise that it's minus-brrrrr out there and you really should have put another sweater on this morning. 

I really should have been cleaning out kitchen cupboards today,

but when I opened the cupboards, I discovered exactly the ingredients I needed to make some of Cathie's gorgeous gingerbread biscuits. If you haven't visited her M.E. (Melbourne Epicure) blog yet, you really should. She is the most amazing cook and photographer (and really quite lovely too). Pay her a visit, you won't regret it.

The cleaning had to wait.
How could I not reach for my pinny and start baking?
(I am after all, one of the worlds best procrastinators when it comes to cleaning jobs. Just ask my Mum)

The girls were very pleased to get flower biscuits for afternoon tea.
 I think I'll make these again for E's birthday party.

The oven was nice and hot after the biscuit baking and I had a pumpkin and amazingly, some cream, in the fridge so I decided to have a go at Hanna of  Craftykin's pumpkin pie too. 

Turns out the Mr is really quite fond of pumpkin pie.

One of his favourites apparently. Amazing the stuff you find out after several years of cooking for them isn't it? Needless to say, I've added Hanna's recipe to my own recipe book to repeat again whenever I feel like spoiling him.

And whilst we are on the subject of pumpkins and ginger, I have another recipe for you. This is one of mine and is just what you need for a scrummy, warming, weekend lunch or dinner.

Spicy Pumpkin and Ginger Soup
1 large pumpkin
1 large onion, chopped
olive oil
knob of butter
2tsp Thai green curry paste
about 4cm ginger, peeled & finely chopped.
1 tsp dried cumin
1tsp dried coriander
chicken or vegetable stock powder (I use Vegeta gourmet stock)
1 cup water
1 tin coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

  • Chop up the pumpkin into segments and roast in the oven with the skin on for about 20-30mins. Allow to cool then remove the skin from the pumpkin and mash it in a bowl.

  • Put a splash of oil in a large pan and add the butter. Once it has melted, add your onion and fry until translucent. Add the garlic and curry paste and fry for about a minute until fragrant.

  • Add the cooked pumpkin, ginger, cumin, coriander and stock and stir to combine.

  • Bring to a simmer. Cook for about 15 mins.

  • Add the coconut milk and stir to combine. I usually use my whizzer to puree the soup and make it less chunky at this point. You could seive it or pop it in a food processor if you don't have one of those hand held whizzy things (but if you don't have one, you really need one. They are fantastic devices!) 

  • Simmer for a further 3 or 4 minutes and serve.
I'm off to stick another sweater on and see if there is any of that pumpkin pie left.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Op Shop Junkie

My name is Sarah and I am an Op Shop Junkie.

I can't help myself. If I walk past an op shop, I have to go in it.

If I go in it, I have to buy something.

I often make bad choices, justifying them by telling myself I am saving myself
money by buying second hand and that I can turn it into something really cool.

In reality, if I just saved the money I spent on buying things that I plan on turning into other things, but never have the time for, I could probably buy a new thing that I didn't have to turn into anything.

It makes me happy though. Like making stuff makes me happy.

 It's my new 'going dancing until 2am'.
What's your addiction?

p.s. I bought all this stuff today. I don't think I made any bad choices with this lot but it may take me some time to turn some of it into something else!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Stall

To say the weather was revolting today is a major understatement.

It rained buckets and blew a gale so I really wasn't expecting to see many
people through  the door at the market today.

Amazingly, we had many more customers than I expected.
I had a lovely catch up with friends and some lovely compliments from customers and my
stock load was definately a little lighter going home.

Take that Mr Weather. You tried to ruin our fun but we had a good time anyway!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sneaky Peak

The Devonport Craft Market is on tomorrow Today!, 10am-2pm at the
Devonport Community House, 32 Clarence Street.

Here's a sneaky peak of a few of the goodies I'll have for sale.

Why not come down and pay us a visit. My stall is the second on the left in the main hall.

Don't my girls look cute in the flower filled fairy skirts?
I made the hot air balloon tees for them yesterday.

Some hairbands for little girls.

Lots of Tape Measure Rose Brooches

And some very cute bunnies.

Hope to see you then!


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