Sunday, 31 May 2009


Yesterday's post got me thinking about the number of curtains I have actually made, so whilst in the shower this morning I totted them up. Which set me thinking on the number of times we've moved and the houses we've lived in. Here's the answers!

No of curtains made: 44 pairs

No of houses I've lived in: 29 (plus a 1963 split screen VW Kombi - now that was cool!)

No of times I've moved: 40 (I've moved out of and into some houses several times - but that's another story!)

No of times we've bought and sold houses: 12

No of times we've moved since children: 13 (Maia is 4y 9m and Cassia is 2y 8m!) so I felt some empathy towards Gabes when she posted this

No of boxes I've packed: too numerous to count

No of items broken whilst moving: 5 - that must be something of a miracle

No of hours spent packing/unpacking/setting up house/contacting utility companies etc: ENDLESS

So you would kind of think that we'd be over the whole house/moving thing. Well long haul travel has unsettled me somewhat and I saw an awesome building in the local paper this week. It was in Dannevirke and seeing as we've never been to Dannevirke I thought it was worth the drive, and as we were driving there I thought it was worth having a look at!

You can see it here if you like - isn't it fabulous!!!

I then spent last night trawling the internet for other buildings like it - and there's one almost exactly the same in Stratford, click here, the pretty cool Waitomo Times building in Te Kuiti and this awesome building from a bygone era in Temuka. The bad thing is that Craig's as bad as I am so neither of us reins the other in - in fact we kind of egg each other on!!!

On more normal matters I've a couple of thank yous. First to Little Miss Flossy for pointing me to this page, recipes for feijoas (and don't you just love the name of the blog Thinking About Food - I find I'm doing that all the time at the moment!). We were going to bake the cake yesterday and then I realised that I didn't have the sour cream but my family certainly enjoyed the apple and feijoa crumble I made for them on Friday night. Also thanks to Kylie, who I came across last night by following the Sew Mama Sew giveaway(which I found out about from reading Craftykin - this blog reading/following/seeing where you end sure is addictive!), who pointed me here to see just what you can do with selvedges. Awesome but I think the dress may be a step too far for me!

Saturday, 30 May 2009

The saga that is curtain making ...

I have made many curtains in my life: small ones and large ones; floral ones and stripy ones; ones I am very happy with and ones I'm not so happy with, but none have vexed me as much as the pair I'm making at the moment!

The material looks innocuous enough. In fact I was very pleased to find it because it was on special at $6/metre. It's lovely good quality, thick material. And therein lies the problem - it wasn't really curtain material but I thought I would use it as such! There have been several casualties. First off two needles.

This is unheard of for me. In fact I'm somewhat ignorant about needles and their various functions. I learnt to sew from my mother and she doesn't believe in changing needles very often. In fact she only ever used to change them when one broke, hence why she never liked altering jeans because inevitably the heavy denim would break one of her needles! Now I guess I just thought that they were very expensive but they're not! One lady's since told me that one needle lasts for 10 hours of sewing and then last week another lady said she uses a new needle for every project!! So the silver lining to my broken needles was that I actually then used the right needle for the material and how much easier the sewing was. Note to self - always use the right needle for the right project! The next casualty? My finger!

A pin hook went straight into my finger joint - now I know it doesn't look much but it really hurt! The last casualty has been my head!!! I've not enjoyed making these curtains at all. They have already taken me a week and I've still only finished one!!!

Here's the proof! Tying up the curtains to set the pleats is a great use for the selvedges, however I've always wondered what else I can do with it when I cut it off. Do any of you crafty people have any ideas?

OK I know there's only one up there but I guess it was worth it when I see them up.

Friday, 29 May 2009

I can now knit ...

Now I know the photos aren't the best quality but I am soooo proud of these items I just had to share them with you. I did some knitting whilst I was in the UK so here goes!

A scarf - now I know that this must be one of the easiest, actually the easiest, thing to make but I love it. My mum had been given one ball of wool from a friend and I knitted it on lovely big chunky wooden needles. It took me two evenings and I've worn it so much. I can't believe how great it is to actually make something for yourself and wear it!

I then thought I needed a challenge so knitted a dishcloth!

The large heart does have a mistake in it but I really enjoyed following a pattern and knitting this. It was lovely knitting with my mum who helped me when I realised I'd made mistakes and showed me how to correct them.

And finally a shot of Maia this morning. She got herself ready for Kindy and proceeded to announce "I'm cool aren't I?"!!!!!

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Outside at last!

The rain stopped, the temperature increased, the sun came out and so did we!

The girls soaking up the sun! Have a peek in the carport and there's a blue floral sheet hanging out to dry. My $2 bargain today - destined to be a little girl's dress and some bag lining I think! We reused some beer crates from the tip as planter boxes for some little pohutukawas. I need to find some sacking to cover up the rather nasty black plastic which is lining them!

From our garden today. Unfortunately I don't like feijoas but Craig and the girls do so they are ploughing through them. Having said I don't like them the feijoa muffins I made last week were quite edible (in fact so edible I had 3!). The lemon tree is only small but is full of fruit at all different stages of ripening. I still get a huge kick out of being able to go into my garden and pick a lemon - there's not an abundance of lemon trees in the middle of England! So what to do with all the lemons? If anyone has a good lemon curd recipe then I would love to know - I think that would be a winner in this house. Many thanks.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Our Trip Part 2 - The Girls

How do you get two girls, two suitcases, two handluggage bags and a picnic from the domestic terminal to the international terminal at Auckland airport? We walked like this! To be honest this was what I was most worried about - all the bags and two little girls but we managed admirably!

A quiet moment on the plane. I realised I took way too much hand luggage - I think I had things for every eventuality and then some. Maia and Cassia are now of the age that TV amuses them for a long time and Cassia's best coping mechanism for long haul flights? To fall asleep for most of it!

Two very startled girls during the treasure hunt I did on Easter Sunday. Maia loves them - the kind where you put picture/word clues around the house/garden and they lead you to the next one. It was the first time that Cassia joined in and she loved it too. And at the end of the treasure hunt? A chocolate bunny. I have to admit that I have never bought the girls an easter egg yet and a small chocolate bunny seemed to thrill them just as much.

We visited a few National Trust properties near my parents and this photo shows Cassia in the hedge. And I mean she was really was in the middle of a huge hedge having found a little entrance to push through further down the path!

What do little girls get up to with their older cousins?

Two little flower fairies in a beautiful blooming magnolia tree.

I think my two daughters may have a future packing down in the front row! Hit them hard and low!

Good tackle!

Cassia about to play in the garden before breakfast in her pyjamas - isn't that what holidays are all about?!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Out Trip Part 1 - Nature

We left a very mild autumn and arrived in a fully fledged spring! The snowdrops were well and truly over, the daffodils were almost past there best and the tulips were already standing proud.

I love the beautiful forget-me-nots and the girls seemed to aswell because they were in every posy they picked!

There were a fair few of these around already too!

Luckily I managed to catch Maia before she blew them all away into the garden - her Grandad wouldn't have been too pleased!

These little seedlings were popping up through the gravel on the drive under the large pine trees. They were absolutely beautiful - the outer curved leaves almost like a fortress around what will become the plant. The dew was still inside the structure but you can't really see it now the photos have been resized!

A glorious sunrise - one (maybe the only) advantage of having jetlag is being up before every else and savouring the day as it starts - totally unsullied by what is to come and full of promise.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Will it ever come back......?!!!!

This was the sky on the day we left. What has happened to it whilst we've been away? Are we ever going to see it again?

We returned to NZ 2 weeks ago and have settled back in nicely. The girls readjusted quicker than I but then they are remarkably resilient creatures! The trip was good - the girls were amazing. On both legs of the journey they didn't whinge, grizzle or cry once. Whoops that's a lie -Maia did when we dotted down at Auckland from Palmerston North and I elbowed her in the temple whilst putting on my rucksack but I'd say that was understandable!

We've gots lots of photos to share and news to tell but I thought I'd do a quick post first to get back into it. It's funny how quickly you get out of posting or even reading blogs so I've a lot of catching up to do. Looking forward to reading all the recent posts of those blogs I follow and maybe having the time to dip into some others. Here's hoping I can get some blogging mojo happening! x