I'm back!

I was given my birthday present early and the bags weren't even unpacked and I was sitting in front of my new machine.  This is my first creation - an up-cycled wrap pinafore made from a vintage linen tablecloth.  


I'm on a sewing strike

Not much sewing happening round here.  We'll be away for a while and will be back after the Easter weekend.  I'm SO excited to pick up my birthday present because now that I know that I'm getting it, I can't bring myself to sew, because all of a sudden I really need it to sew anything.  

Isn't she a beauty?


Selling on Facebook

It seems as though selling handmade wares on Facebook has become a really good move for many crafty entrepreneurs, and the way that sellers get exposure is for friends and their friends and friends of their friends' friends to 'like' the page.  An excellent way of getting that exposure is to offer a giveaway to the first 100 'likers'.  Cate from Twig & Blossom is currently running one of these giveaways, so head on over and spread the 'likes' and stand a chance of winning a gorgeous basket!

Another page worth liking is eS-Se Design by Jana who lives in my NZ Hometown, Whakatane!



Ben is flying off to Samoa for a month and I am going to do very little housework and lots of sewing.   

This is his list for the trip. I love how straightforward he keeps things.  

I've never had my house, the remote control and my children all to myself for a whole month.  He'll have to leave a list of all the things he does around here (it's quite a lot).  How do you refuel our lawnmower? How do you categorise the recycling?  

I am quite excited about turning some of my fabric into skirts so I can open my Felt shop.  I'll finish off this pink tutu for my pink partner there at the back.  She loves checking if that cord is in (and out).


Baby Wipes Recipe & Wendyl's New Book

My friend Kim has given me her recipe for home-made baby wipes.  I have used a home-made recipe before, but when I used these wipes I wondered why I slacked off to commercial wipes.  I've just stumbled over this article, featuring the wipes that I use, so I'll be using Kim's wonderful mix from now.  

VIVA paper towel roll (cut in half through the middle)
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cup boiled water
1 tablespoon baby shampoo
1 tablespoon baby oil/calendula or almond oil or olive oil
few drops tea tree oil (antibacterial)

Put paper towels into a lidded container and pour the ingredients over the top carefully. Let it sit for five minutes then remove the inner cardboard tube! By the way - it must be viva paper towels as all the other brands never work, they just fall apart.

I get all of my chemical-free recipes from Wendyl Nissen's site, and she has a new book available called Mother's Little Helper.   Wendyl is offering free freight till 8 March 3pm!

From Wendyl Nissen's website:

"Wendyl Nissen’s latest book on chemical-free living analyses many commonly used products used on and around our babies and comes up with many natural and old-fashioned alternatives to use instead".



A very exciting weekend

Thanks to the weather, we had friends visit us for the weekend.  Debs and Jason were passing through but decided to stay in Napier due to a very severe weather warning. Debs is an AMAZING WOMAN.  She is so entrepreneurial and inspirational, clever, a risk-taker, a do-er, a go-getter, and many many other wonderful things.  She and I had SUCH fun around the dining room table eating sewing, making patterns, brain-storming, racing off to buy fabric, cutting, pinning, creating, chatting, eating, laughing, sewing, eating, planning.  We were in our element, the men watched sport and the kids were around.  

So Debs is the creator and seller of these portable high chairs, that come in completely fresh, whimsical and funky prints.  She's the type of woman that would probably wonder why everyone doesn't design and make something great to sell on the handmade market.  It comes so naturally to her and at this morning's market I got training from the best.

So all the brain-storming, planning, cutting, pinning, sewing and eating was the purpose of designing a skirt that I am going to sew and sell.  

This is the beautiful Deb modelling the first skirt and I am currently wearing the second skirt.  It took less than an hour to sew up.  Now to find some time to whip these babies up...


Printing Block Ready for Nap Time

I bought a pack of foam shapes from the Warehouse, with an adhesive back, so I simply peeled and placed these onto a perspex sheet.  Now I'm waiting for a little girl to have her nap time so I can start playing!  The print will obviously be in one colour, which is a bit of a shame as I like this mix...


Becoming Organised - Charge Station

One of my favourite spaces in my house is this one.  It is SO organised and all things concerning batteries, chargers, cords, and gadgets are in one place.  Do you know how much time and energy has been saved by bringing all these together?  NO MORE SEARCHING!!  We attached a power board to the back of the drawer and fortunately there was a power point behind the chest of drawers. 


Becoming Organised

Being organised doesn't come naturally to me; it just doesn't fit my sanguine temperament, but I do love being organised, because this means less housework and more me-time.  
I've cleaned our local library out of books to help me along my way...

I'm sweeping through the house, room by room, and one of the spaces that is sorted is the books.  We don't have a bookshelf at the moment, so the books are in storage and the 'use regularly' books are now shelved in a box.  I think this is a great idea and I will be doing this with the children's books with a circulation system, so when the baby-girl-child reads, there will be less books sprawled across the floor.  

I'm also whipping up an over-supply of draw-string bags because this is another great way to store or carry odds and ends.
This was Emma's bassinet sheet and it's now a laundry bag for when we go away.  I'm very excited about this because I really dislike scrunched up dirty clothes thrown back into the suitcase next to the clean clothes.

A linen tree print which is great for carrying cheese and bacon scones for this afternoon's picnic...

Another small bag for something small (like garlic)... 
(a great way to use stamping experiments)

This was another stamping experiment just because I love dots.  The photo is misleading but this bag is as small as the palm of my hand and holds the nail care set...

We're off for a picnic to catch the last of the Art Deco happenings.


Art Deco in The City of Napier

We have been out and about, enjoying the Art Deco scenes, except we were in twenty-first century clothes and had coffee and cake at Starbucks.  The rest of Napier looked like they were in the Thirties.  Next year I'll be organised enough for Art Deco week. (I said this last year).   

I was so amazed at the precision of these planes...  I think I need to make some stamps and stamp this scene and my placement will probably not be as precise.

and these were some of the faces watching the fly-over...


Pretty Mucky

This babygirlchild and I have made an agreemnt, I will dress her in 'pretty' and she will get mucky.  I would love to pass these clothes on to others, but I'm wondering if that will ever happen.  

We're waiting for these to ripen,

and tomorrow is the deadline for the bridesmaids dress! 


Heart Garland

I've been inspired by quite a few love posts lately, and I've also felt like sending something to a friend (who has been through too much this past year).  I hear that her husband is doing something quite romantic on Valentine's evening, so I thought I'd seal the deal and send them a garland.

The pack of origami paper from the 1,2,3 shop was the perfect range of colour...

Then I cut, sewed and rolled....

There are a million-and-one options for the leftover cutouts!


Mini Clipboard last minute birthday present

I had one day's notice for a birthday present.  Well I did know about it, but it was always "next week".  

Then yesterday, Amy announced "tomorrow's my birthday!"  

Amy loves little cute things, so under the short-time-frame-circumstances, I opted for half bought/half handmade and dashed out to the shops and came home with a key-chain pen.  I covered a cork coaster with pretty paper and mod-podged it.  I found some note paper and rounded the corners and fastened the stack of paper to the clipboard with a mini fold-back clip.  

She was over the moon with her mini clipboard!


All done!


Giveaway Winner!

While I was collating the two lists of entries for the giveaway, from here and Facebook, I was chatting to my friend Jenny on Facebook (is that place taking over?...Spellchecker even makes you capitalise it).

I asked her to pick a number and she picked 6. 

Congratulations, Raewyn!

3D Butterfly Wall Decor "PinkIcing Set


Beautiful Butterflies GIVEAWAY

“What the caterpillar called the end of the world, the Master calls the BUTTERFLY (Richard Bach)”

Butterfly 3d Cupcake Toppers - "Stella" Set3D Butterfly Gift Cards "Elegance" Set3D Butterfly Wall Decor "Mocha" Set3D Butterfly Wall Decor "Elegance" Set

These beautiful butterfly creations are made by my friend, Chantal.  Chantal has an online shop on Felt, New Zealand's handmade shop.  Chantal's butterflies literally fly out of her shop! She has had her shop for four months and has sold just under 150 sets of butterflies! Chantal has a very faithful love for God and I believe that He has blessed her in abundance with her business.  She initially started her butterflies as a means to an end, one great thing to achieve another great thing.  One day, when she has achieved her next great thing, I will tell you about it.  As a mother of little ones, I cannot wait for her to be finished, as she will be able to help us along our way on this parenting journey.

3d Butterfly Wall Decor "GoldenRed" Set3d Butterfly Wall Decor "GoldenRed" Set3d Butterfly Wall Decor "GoldenRed" Set3d Butterfly Wall Decor "GoldenRed" Set

Chantal has kindly offered to give away one of her beautiful sets of butterflies.  

To enter the giveaway, please do the following:
  • visit Chantal's shop and choose your loveliest set.  
  • If you have a social networking page, please 'like' or 'tweet' her page.
  • leave a comment telling me what set you would like to receive.
I will then use an online number generator to choose the winner and I will get contact details from you.

3D Butterfly Wall Decor "Stella" Set3D Butterfly Wall Decor "Stella" Set3D Butterfly Wall Decor "Stella" Set3D Butterfly Wall Decor "Stella" Set

To leave a comment click on the title of this post and scroll down to the bottom.  If you are an 'Anonymous', please leave a name.  Thanks!

Keeping it clean, naturally

A while ago I came across Wendyl the Green Goddess' book.  My original intention was to make products at home to keep the cost of detergents down, but now I'm more charmed with the gentle, non-toxic smell of the products.  My favourite is the General Spray Cleaner.  Once my store-bought product had finished I removed the labels and made my own.  

  • Fill the bottle with water
  • Add 1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • A few drops of Sunlight liquid soap
  • 10 drops of tea-tree oil, or any essential oil

Make up another bottle of the same potion but add a tablespoon of olive oil to clean wooden surfaces.  Shake before each use.

Another great mixture is the carpet cleaner.
  • Mix a solution of 50/50 water/vinegar
  • Add a couple drops of Sunlight liquid soap
  • When you see a mark on your carpet, spray, leave a bit and then rub.

There are more recipes on Wendyl's site with links to suppliers of specialised ingredients.


Little Lined Purse Tutorial

This little purse is for a very lovely little lady who turned five today.  She is very elegant and sophisticated and her mum has taught her girls to love pretty things.  I thought I would photograph the process because I think it's a great gift for anyone of any age, and all you need is fabric scraps and a zip!

I cut two outer pieces and two lining pieces of fabric 7" wide, 6" high and chose some ribbon and lace.  I measured my pieces based on the 15cm dress zip that I had.

Two inches down draw a line and then place your ribbon
on that line to measure the next line.
Draw a line 1/4" in from each line
Place the lace on the inner lines and pin
Stitch down
Centre the ribbon between the two strips of lace and stitch right on the edges

Sandwich the zip between the outer fabric and lining with right sides
facing and right side of zip facing right side of outer fabric, and stitch.
Flip over so wrong sides face and stitch with a long stitch.
Do the same to the other side of the zip
Make sure the zip is open and lay the right sides of the lining together
and right sides of outer fabric together.  MAKE SURE that your ribbons
meet perfectly, with right sides facing and stitch all around, leaving a
 small opening in the lining fabric. Here you have the option to
 box the corners
Turn the outer fabric through the zip opening and through the hole
in the lining and put the lining back into the bag,
and use a ladder stitch to close up the hole.
Add a charm or ribbon to the zip if you want.
Happy Birthday Rhubarb, Rubles, Ruby Rubes.

I have also been playing around with some stamping.  Something for a ten year old birthday in a week's time.
Quite into the stamping, I am.

So this is the last day of January.  It was good; I enjoyed it, but I'm look forward to February.  Our calendar seems to be jampacked with goodness, Rod Stewart, a girl's night out, Waitangi weekend with Whakatane friends, Napier's Art Deco Week, a SA vs NZ cricket game, a four-year old starting morning kindy, and the beginning of a year of study.  A lot going on in the next 29 days.