Monday, June 27, 2011

Wrapped in love

I have been meaning to pop a pic of these blankets on for absolutely ages. My dear Nana made these lovely granny square blankets many, many years ago. I am 40 and I can remember them being around when I was very little. They have stood the test of time so well and I am really lucky to have them in my home now. Both of my small folk are unwell at the moment and as I type, they are both lying on the sofas, still in their pjs, and they each have one of these beautiful blankets over them. My Nana died before she got to meet my children, and I'm sure she would be so pleased to know that her lovely crochet is loved by yet another generation. In a previous post I had mentioned an article I had read which used the term 'wrapped in love' when it came to handmade gifts which were made with love. I think this is so true, especially when I look at my little poppets now all snuggly warm under their Great-Nana's blankets. It brings a tear to my eye. She was an amazing lady who was always making wonderful things. I have her to thank for my love of all things crafty.

So it was a fairly quiet weekend for all of us. Yesterday was wet and miserable so while the children watched The Princess Bride (such a lovely movie), I had a go at making a fabric rose. A friend had given me some gorgeous dark red velvet and as soon as I saw it, it reminded me of the rich red rose we have in our garden. So a velvet rose was what I made. I had an idea in my mind of what I wanted, so I grabbed my needle and had a go. I think it turned out well for a first attempt. I will make a few more now that I've worked out what to do. They will make lovely wee pressies.

It looks sweet on my new purple cardi. I'm going through a bit of a purple/red stage at the moment. The colour combo lifts my spirits. Just what is needed today when I'm a bit jaded!

A few other things managed to get achieved this week... I have made another scarf for a girlfriend and it looks fab. It's the same pattern I seem to make over and over as it gets lots of compliments, which often results in requests to make more for friends. I also bought some more wool (not that I really needed any!), but I thought it might get me more motivated to keep going with the hexagons - which it did! A gorgeous dark pink and a lovely purple. I whipped up several more hexagons over the week. So while we are housebound today, I will start to join them to see what they all look like. There are still millions to go before it is the right size though!

One good thing about being at home means more time to bake too! Good old chocolate chip cookies and mini gingerbread loaves. Delish! Time to have a nice big cup of tea.
Have a fabulous week!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Colourful things this week

Over the last week I have made time to sort through some of my craft bits and pieces which are currently tucked away in boxes throughout the house. I'm hoping that I can transform a corner of my spare room into a creative space with some fab shelving to put lots of colourful things on to get me inspired. So I started with something easy ... buttons. Lots of lovely buttons! I knew it was worth saving all those coffee jars - they are the perfect size to house this wee collection. The small folk have been having a great time playing with them too. One jar at a time mind you, it took long enough to sort them out the first time around - I don't want to do that again in a hurry!
Next up will be wool then fabric. Yikes - I think I might scare myself by how much of both things I have hidden away!

There have been quite a few more hexagons made, here are just a few of them as I was trying to see what they will look like joined. I was umming and aahing about whether to join them as I go - but decided against it as I like to play around with the colours once they are all complete. With my granny square blanket the whole family had their say about which square should go where - I think this will be the same! I'm still not entirely in love with these but I know the finished look will be fab. I did however spot an amazing granny square bed cover during the week (on Pixie's blog) which I think is out of the latest Mollie Makes magazine. Now I want to make one like that instead. For the first time in a long while I am experiencing project commitment issues. Time to make a decision. Aargh!

So to take my mind off crochet for a second, I turned to baking. Delicious vanilla cupcakes with very, very pink icing - yummo! I had found these cute cupcake papers while out shopping earlier that day and just had to make some as soon as I got home. They are circus themed and oh so adorable.

They made two small folk very happy when they got one for an afternoon tea treat.
And speaking of afternoon tea treats ...

I joined some fabulous girlfriends for a high tea treat on Saturday afternoon. A wonderful opportunity to dress up and get the heels out from the back of the wardrobe! We went to Hippopotamus restaurant which is part of the Museum Hotel here in Wellington. It was my first time there and it was truly gorgeous. The surroundings are colourful and playful and the food is amazing. All the waiting staff were French and the accents made the food sound even better when they talked us through the tiers of the cake stand.


The Museum Hotel is known as the art hotel and it blew me away. Every wall had something amazing on it and the darkened surroundings meant the art stood out even more. This chandelier was incredible. It's hard to see in the pic but all the strands are made of tiny glass beads/shapes. Gorgeous.

This was one of my favourite pieces - beautiful native New Zealand flora. Oh to be wealthy enough to own such gorgeous art.

I am off to visit my favourite op shop tomorrow in the hunt for treasures. So no second hand bargains to show you so far this week. However I did spot these lovely beads at a local shop a few days ago. They were only $2.50 - incredible and they look fab. The green is quite bright but didn't photograph so well. I love them! Now if I could find some red ones I would be over the moon!

I did have one naughty splurge this week. I have subscribed to Mollie Makes so that I can get a copy direct from the UK as there is no guarantee it will be stocked here in New Zealand. From what I have seen on other blogs recently - it is a fabulous mag and I absolutely can't wait to see it in real life! I just wish I'd been able to see the first two issues, oh well, I'm sure the future ones will be just as wonderful.

Thank you so much to Grateful 4 Crochet for giving me this award. It was so lovely to receive this and has made my day! If you haven't seen this lovely blog already, you should definitely take a look. I really love the way we find our way to different blogs - always fun and more than a little addictive.
Have a fabulous week!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Stripey and Spotty Goodness!

Wow this last week has absolutely flown by! I don't feel as if I've achieved very much this week, but when I started to pop the photos on this post there were lots of lovely little things that have made me smile along the way. I made two more jar covers to join one I made a few weeks ago. I wanted to have all three sitting together for maximum cheerfulness! These lovely camellias appeared in my garden over the weekend so I had to grab these three before the wind gets to them. They are just so pretty.

I really love the rainbow gorgeousness of these little covers. Such a super simple thing to make and a brilliant way to use up little bits and pieces of wool.

And now for some spots ...

I am absolutely in love with this fabulous vintage style spotty shirt/blouse that I found at my local op shop last week for the bargain price of $6! It looks so so nice with my rolled up jeans and big sunglasses. It's just a shame that I need to cover it up with a cardi until summer gets here again.

About an hour before I bought the shirt, I had popped in to another store and found these lovely mugs. Talk about red and white spot overload! I had previously bought these mugs in pink and blue but they have just done them in red so I had to grab them. Loving the spots!

And back to the stripes ... I just realised that even my kitchen efforts today fitted into the stripey or spotty scheme of this post. Mmmm coconut ice! It's for a bake sale at Mr 6's school but I think I may need to make another batch as I have 'taste tested' more than I really needed to - ooops!

And because he is stripey too, I have to pop a progress shot of my sock monkey on too. I am only a padded nose/mouth and eyes away from being finished. Cute huh.

I was just about to end the post when I remembered that Miss 4 and I (and some lovely friends) went out for morning tea during the last week to Martha's Pantry here in Wellington. It is such a sweet little cafe and I love going there for a cup of tea and a scone. Miss 4 had a heart shaped shortbread cookie full of pink icing and the cutest fluffy which came in a tiny flowery tea cup - adorable.
Some of the lovely tea cup trios they have. All the teapots come with a knitted tea cosy too which I love. So much more exciting than a plain old silver tea pot that usually gets plonked down in front of me at other cafes.
Loads of sunhats on the wall for customers to use in the outdoor area. Pretty embroidered table cloths and lovely fresh flowers on the tables. I want to live here!!!

The counter is amazing - a huge big solid wooden bench which looks like it may have come from a haberdashery counter in a previous life. Gorgeous cakes and savouries and all the lovely cake stands up the top waiting to be used for high tea. All the ladies who work there wear gorgeous vintage looking aprons too - which seems so right in the surroundings.
Well that has been my week. I hope you've all had a fab week too and that this coming week is just as brilliant.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Lovely Long Weekend

Yesterday was a public holiday to celebrate the Queen's Birthday so we had an extra long weekend which was fabulous. My husband took our small folk to Castlepoint for the night so I had 24 hours to fill, which I did with my gorgeous friend Ange. We managed to squeeze in an awful lot in one day too! In between shops and the local craft market, we had lunch at Nikau which is one of my most favourite spots in Wellington. The menu never disappoints and their kedgeree is so famous they now have a tea towel with the recipe on it!

Ah, the kedgeree! I am so utterly predictable, I always, always order it! It is absolutely gorgeous.

This fabulous Nikau Palm sculpture stands outside the restaurant - isn't it just amazing.

Earlier in the day I was having my morning cuppa when I came across this article in the paper. It was called "Wrapped in love" and it was about knitting and also crochet - and the fact that when you give someone a gift that you have created, it is always made and given with love. The final paragraph is about a blanket the author made for her small son and it says "I finished it just as the first cold southerlies of autumn came to town, and now when I tuck my little boy in at night, I pull this blanket up around his chin. I might leave the room then, but my love stays wrapped around him". Isn't that just so lovely! I think anyone who has ever made something like this will feel exactly the same way.There was a little bit of time left to crochet, so I made another gorgeous wee hat for a birthday gift for another little 4 year old friend. Then I made a start on some hexagons ... but I'm not sure they look good enough to make a few hundred of them! Maybe it's just the fact that I have never used white yarn before? It certainly is a very different look for me. I will carry on with a few more and join them up before I decide what to do. I really, really want to make a bed cover so hopefully I can get into the groove a bit more with them.This made me giggle so I had to grab a quick pic ... while I was at the petrol station this scooter pulled in and parked. When the rider got off, I spotted his wee dog sitting inside a fabric shopping bag which was connected somehow to the scooter. The dog was totally happy in his little bag too! The owner told me he wants to get him some goggles which was hilarious. Very cute. And speaking of giggles ... during the week I received a parcel and in it was this very, um, fetching royal wedding souvenir tea towel! I had won it in a magazine subscription draw - what a hoot. I'm sure William and Kate won't mind if I use them to cover my pikelets while I'm cooking. And last but by no means least, thank you so much to Saritha for giving me this lovely award! You have made my day. If you haven't visited her blog, you really should. It is full of lovely, bright, cheerful crochet goodness.
Have a fabulous week all!