Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Creative Space - Butterflies and Roses

Thank you to all of you who wished Eloise a speedy recovery from her tummy bug last week. She is a lot better this week (although there's an awful lot of talk about sore tummies when she doesn't want to do something!). Her kindy is having a Halloween dress up day today and being 4 and a girl, there was no way she was going dressed as something scarey. She is pretty obsessed with monarch butterflies at the moment so we came up with this costume last night for her.
 We bought the wings a while ago from our local toy shop. Aren't they beautiful? They are handpainted and definately the most worn thing in her dress up box. The black top is one of Maddy's printed t-shirts turned inside out with the label cut off and we borrowed some of her leggings too.
 The antennae (or Man-ten-aye as Eloise calls them) are made with pipe cleaners with buttons stitched at the ends. I didn't have any black pipe cleaners so I coloured white ones in with a black felt pen. Fold a long pipecleaner over double and twist it together to make it thicker and easier to stitch the buttons on (or just buy thick black pipe cleaners!) I twisted it on to a headband a few times to get it to stay in place and voila, one happy butterfly. She has butterfly face paint on this morning too but given how late we were when I finished it, there was no time for photographs. We had to run like crazy people to catch up with Maddy's walking school bus. Must have been quite a sight. Maddy running ahead with her huge backpack, Eloise dressed in full butterfly gear on her pink scooter and me huffing and puffing behind carrying my shoes, Eloise's shoes, her back pack and my sunglasses. Hmm. Not a pretty site! Must do something about that fitness!

 With the Christmas markets coming ever closer, I've been busy rebuilding my stocks. This week, I'm concentrating on my Tape Measure Rose brooches. The entire dining table has been taken over for brooch production purposes. Thank goodness for warm evenings so we can sit at the table outside to eat our meals!
If you haven't already, you really should pop over to Kirsty's blog and see what she has been up to and then sit back with a coffee and enjoy all the other wonderful Creative Spaces on display there.

ps I've got a giveaway on my Facebook page so pop over and join in if you fancy some Cotton Kiwi goodies.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

For the Boys

The boys are seriously outnumbered in our house. Our washing line is filled with a great deal of pink and Mr Cotton Kiwi insisted on a male kitten when we got Kipper to try and even things out a little. It comes as no surprise then, that I have to work extra hard to come up with ideas for t-shirts and toys for boys.

Luckily, I have two young nephews who are willing recepients of my t-shirts and friends with boys to try ideas out on.

This apron is for sale in the Felt Like Helping Out shop which is closing this weekend.
It contains loads of crafty goodies which have been donated to raise money for Canterbury
 to help them rebuild after the devastating earthquake and aftershocks.

It was such a thrill at the last market I went to, to have a repeat customer for one of my robot t-shirts. I found out that the t-shirt had been a young man's favourite, but he had grown out of it. I was really happy to make him one in a bigger size.
He had a big brother too, who wasn't particularly sure if an appliqued t-shirt would be his thing (who can blame an 8 year old for that?). I mentioned a skateboarder and he quickly changed his mind. The skateboarder isn't part of my regular line as they are really tricky to do, but I'm definately happy to do one offs.

Finally, here's another gorgeous young man wearing one of my neck tie t-shirts. This is the nephew of Aimee from Lilypad Designs. She very kindly sent me this photo of him wearing it. I love to see Cotton Kiwi t-shirts in action!

On a completely different note, I am very very close to reaching the 200 'liker' mark on my Facebook page. Once I reach 200, I will be announcing a giveaway so if you haven't already, pop along and join me to be in to win!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Creative Space - kittens and rice pudding

The smallest person in the house has been sick this week with a tummy bug.

One minute, Eloise was raiding my wardrobe and dressing up as a rock star.
and the next she was doubled over crying with a very sore and runny tummy.

Whenever the girls get sick like this, I make them rice pudding. My Nan and my Mother-in-Law both recommended it the first time they got sick and it works wonders to settle tummies (and clog them up a bit!). Plus it smells and tastes wonderful.

This is the recipe I use:

Rice Pudding
5 tablespoons short grain rice (you can use medium grain too, but don't use long grain rice)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups milk
a few drops of vanilla essence
1 teaspoon butter

Heat the oven to 150 degrees (140 fan forced). Pop all the ingredients into an oven proof bowl and give them a stir. Put it in the oven for 2 hours. You'll need to stir the pudding a few times during the first hour (I sent my timer to go off every 15 minutes in that first hour) and then you can leave it alone for the second hour. When it's done, the pudding will be creamy and sweet and the whole house will smell delicious.

Eloise had this three times yesterday and she went from being explosive to normal today. I'm not saying this is a perfect cure but it does help! Make extra because I promise you that the rest of the family will want some too.

I spent a lot of time cuddling Eloise on the couch yesterday and watching an a great deal of kids TV. To keep me sane (and cheer Eloise up) I knitted a kitten.

I saw a version of these kittens when I visited the Matakana market during the school holidays and Eloise fell in love with them. Eloise bought two with her money. The lady who was making them told me they were a steiner pattern and I found a great version of the pattern here yesterday.

They are so quick and simple to knit and would make a great project for a child learning to knit (and they'd be fab stocking fillers too). Maddy and Eloise have requested a litter of kittens each so now I know what to do with all those odd balls of wool lying around!

Eloise is a lot better today thank goodness so I might have a moment to catch up on some orders and send them out.

For some fab Creative Spaces, pop over to Kootoyoo

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Some more photos...

Some more photos from my Sew Inspired practice session on Sunday. These gorgeous things were made by my wonderful friend Michelle who has a little bit of sewing experience. The nighty on the left is made from a vintage table cloth. Don't you love how she has used the edging pattern for maximum effect?

 The one on the right is made from some gorgeous cotton fabric given to me by Jenny of A Little Vintage. I have a feeling it was a sheet in a past life. Michelle's daughters are going to look gorgeous at bedtime this summer!
And here are Michelle's stunning tea towels. I love that apple. Recognise the fabric?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


On Sunday, I roped four lovely friends into being guinea pigs for the day. I wanted to do a practice run for my Sew Inspired course and they obligingly said they'd be happy to help. Their skills ranged from beginner to experienced and I was blown away by what they came up with. I took along a huge box of scraps and trims, both vintage and modern. We talked about technique and design, I guided them with ideas and these are just a few things that they made.

Aren't they awesome? The top bag and tea towel were made by Aimee of Lilypad Designs and the bottom bag and tea towel were made by my youngest daughter's Godmother and our great friend, Mel, who believe it or not has hardly any sewing experience. I'll show you photos of what the other two friends made if and when I can get my hands on them.

If you are interested in registering for my Sew Inspired course, it runs from 17th - 21st January and you can pop along to the Corban Estate website and download an enrolement form. It's that easy! If sewing isn't your thing, pop along to the website anyway. There are some awesome Summer School courses ranging from Bronze Casting to self-portraiture.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Creative Space

After my parents left to go back home to Australia on Monday,  I was in some desperate need of cheering up. Given how much eating I've done whilst they've been here (and how much weight I've been piling on recently!), chocolate wasn't really an option. Filling the couch with smiley creatures is definately an option and always cheers me up.

These guys will be on my stall at this Saturday's Crafternoon Tea.

I missed last week's Creative Space as I was on holiday with my family but this is what I would have shown you if I'd been here. I spotted the Olearia that Kate knitted a while back had to have a go myself. My oldest daughter, Maddy, loves blue and hates sleeves so it seemed like the perfect pattern.

The wool is Patons Jet.
I found these stunning Italian floral buttons in our local wool shop (Wild and Wooly, Devonport) and knew Maddy would love them.

Can you guess why she's not modelling it for the photos? Yup. She hates it. I cannot get her to put it on even for a photograph. ARGGH! Luckily, I have a younger daughter who will grow into it (and there's always the chance that Maddy will change her mind. Keep your fingers crossed!)

For more Creative Spaces, pop over to Kootoyoo.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


It's cold and wet out there but this made me giggle.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On Sale

I've just put my shop on sale. Lots of bargains so pop along if you get the chance.

And I'll be at Crafternoon Tea this Saturday 16th October if you happen to be out and about in sunny Kingsland! It's their first birthday and the last ever Crafternoon Tea so well worth a visit.

Monday, October 11, 2010

So exciting!!

I just got this poster emailed to me. I really can't wait to teach this course. All the info is up on the website but if you have any questions for me, feel free to ask!


My neice Caitlyn has been visiting us from Australia over the school holidays.

At thirteen, she seems so grown up compared to my girls. She is so much fun and takes the most wonderful photographs. I love seeing her perspective and getting a glimpse into the relationship between the cousins.

Some of her photos are highly staged.

 And others are just about the moment.

My parents and Caitlyn just left for the airport to go home. We'll miss them so much but it's been fantastic having them here for the holidays. Now I just have to figure out a way to cheer up Maddy and Eloise!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Sorry to disappear like that. Very rude of me. I snuck off with the family to the beach.

My beautiful neice, Caitlyn and my wonderful parents are here for a visit from Brisbane.
It's not often we get sunshine in the school holidays so we grabbed the chance and went up to Matakana for a few days.

I didn't forget about you... honest.

And I did miss you all.

But it really was very nice to spend the time poking at stuff rock pools...

We went horse riding and air kissed gorgeous donkeys
 and we did a lot of playing on things that make you feel puffed and a little bit ill.

I couldn't even get reception on my cellphone unless we went up a big hill.
I'm back though and it's lovely to see you all. How have you been this week?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Teddy says come to the market

This is Teddy. He is a psychic puppy.

Just in case you aren't getting what he's telling you, he's saying "Come to the Devonport Craft Market tomorrow, Sunday 3rd October, 10am-3pm. Visit Sarah's stall. She has lots of lovely things. And she even has Eftpos so you don't have to worry about carrying cash. Unless she can't work out how to use the Eftpos machine in which case, she may be in a lot of trouble."

So listen to Teddy (except the bit about not being able to work the Eftpos machine. OF COURSE I'll be able to work it. I mean, how hard can it be? (wish me luck!)


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