24 July 2017

Mustard Granny Square Blanket




I am so excited to have finally finished my Mustard Granny Square blanket - or more fondly named, my Mustard Granny.  This is my 11th crochet blanket!  Pretty crazy huh?

This blanket has taken me a while due to busyness of life and also half way through the project my local yarn store ran out of my mustard yarn!  I was horrified, my husband was so happy (he really doesn't like mustard) but thankfully a few weeks later they restocked the beautiful mustard colour and I was away again.

I joined the squares as I went which made the project a lot more enjoyable being able to change from making squares to joining them when things felt a bit mundane.

People often ask me how I join my granny squares.  This is the method I use thanks to Pip Lincolne from Meet Me at Mikes.  She has instructions and a video here and it's the easiest and best looking type of join in my opinion.  Thanks so much Pip!




I decided to make it more of a snuggle/throw size rather than a full bed blanket size and I love it!  I was so excited when I had finished the blanket that I asked my amazing husband to take a few classic funny photos of me holding the blanket (I usually have a cheesy photo of me holding my creation for my blog posts) but much to my horror (and gradual amusement) he was actually taking a video. Check it out here, saucey poses and all.

I love it and can't wait to either use it as a bed throw when we renovate our master bedroom, or a reading blanket in our lounge.




I'm not sure what crochet project I'm going to work on next, but one of my girls already has a million ones lined up for me in the mean time.


To check out my other finished crochet blankets, click on the photos below...







    

    


For more crafty makings, go here 


22 July 2017

A Week of R&R



We have just arrived home from one of the most relaxing weeks ever.  It's been a rather intense and busy year, especially the last few months, and we just desperately needed some time away together as a family to rest, relax and recoup.

Growing up, I have such warm memories of family camping trips up to Cape Reinga (Tapotupotu) and also in later years staying at a classic kiwi bach at Pataua.  I am so thankful to my Dad & Mum for those fabulous memories of exploring beaches, the ocean, eating seafood and of course a whole lot of surfing.  Once we became parents ourselves, with 4 children camping seemed a bit overwhelming, and a super tight budget meant the bach experience was out of our reach. I often felt rather sad that I could never give our children some of the experiences that I grew up having.



All that changed in recent years with my amazing Uncle & Aunt's beach house.  This place is set in a local beach in our area and is surrounded by so many places to explore.  They have generously allowed our family to stay there numerous times and the memories made have been so precious.



This last week had one goal - relax.  It took us a day or two to unwind (the flu and a head cold for Symon & I didn't help), but by the end of our week we were all declaring it the most restful week away ever.  We read, did puzzles, explored local beaches and walks, played board games, watched DVD's and most importantly spent time with each other.

The views were amazing...





The people we hung out with were the best...





We explored...









And made new friends...




I found some old posts from previous trips to the beach house and loved seeing how much the kids have grown since (here, here, here and here).

It was hard to leave, but good to get back to reality (and WiFi 😂).  I have come away so thankful for this beautiful area that we live in (Whangarei is the best!) and so thankful for generous family.



p.s. Boo had the best week as well...







04 July 2017

Dining Room Renovation



It's taken a while, but we've finally completed our dining room reno, and I'm so excited to share some of the photos with you!!

Our dining room is the heart of our home.  This room is the first room many people enter into when they come into our home (not many people use our front door!) and the room where most of the family sits to eat, play, socialise and read.  Off this room is our kitchen, master bedroom and toilet/bathroom, hallway to the rest of the house as well as one of our lounges... so with that in mind, this place can get rather busy!

This room is one of the very original rooms of our old bungalow.  When we first looked at this house to buy it, this room was listed as a third lounge, and used as a thoroughfare room into the kitchen area and other rooms (see photo from previous owner's house listing below).  



We immediately started using the space as a dining room with a large, old 8 seater wooden table we found on Trademe!  Even with our reno complete, we've decided to keep this old table in it's 'old' state, as we want life to happen in this space, without people fussing over marking or scratching the table.  Maybe one day we will restore it, but for now we love it just as it is, marks and all.

Although the walls in this space were dark wood and this room hardly had any natural light, we knew once the kitchen wall had been pulled down, and the walls lightened, that this space would be beautiful.  We thought long and hard over the decision to paint these beautiful wooden walls, especially knowing that the owners before the last ones had worked hard to bring back the wood to it's original state - but we decided in the end that we just had to go with our hearts and lighten up the space by painting it, and now that it's finished, we love it!!  It joins our new kitchen area and makes the two spaces which once felt quite separate finally feel like one big space.

A few before and afters (I apologise in advance for all the photos - with 4 angles in this room I wanted to include each view):

Before...



After...




We absolutely love our wooden and brick fireplace surround.  The fireplace is a wetback, connected to our hot water cylinder in the cupboard to the left.



Other angles of the room:

Before...




After...





I just love my Beswick ducks!  These used to hang on my Great Grandma's wall and I remember exactly where they were.  My Nana lovingly gifted them to me last Christmas (thank you so much June Nan!).



More angles:

Before...




After...




 Before...


After... 




I just love this view of the room below, as you can see how the 2 rooms which were once separate (and quite dark) are now light, open and finally one space.

 Before...



After...



 Before...



After...




One of my very special items in this room is my sewing table.  My amazing dad had an old Singer sewing machine base that he restored and then topped with a piece of our Puriri tree wood (from our previous house).  I love this piece - it's antique-ness, it's usability and it's creator (thanks Dad!!!).
 
 


Other favourite items in this room are this awesome hanging concrete light above my sewing table, my scandi Karlsson clock, and our little shelf for all of those electronic things (wifi, phone etc.) that can be so annoying!  Symon was super clever and hid the wires for these in the wall.


A massive thank you to my amazing husband who did a lot of the work on this room - so many people may never realise the long hours spent straightening door frames and doors after our house was repiled, the rebuilding of our hot water cupboard doors that no one will ever notice and the many hours spent gapping the tongue & groove walls.  I know - and I'm so thankful babe!!

Here's to many years of memories and fun times being had in this space!  



Room Details:

Walls = Dulux Half Haast with Okarito ceiling and trims.
Accessories = Hanging concrete wall light and bracket from Mitre 10,  White & wooden ceiling light from Lighting Direct,  Karlsson clock from Intec Interiors,  Wall map, Retro signs and White Deer Head from Typo, 8 seater wooden table from Trademe, White Metal Chairs, Concrete door stop, Grass Rabbit and black metal tray from Kmart, Woodbox from Bed Bath & Beyond, Origami ornaments from The Warehouse, Green Stallion ornament from Liz V (thanks Liz!!), Beswick ducks from my Nana/Nandi.


To see more/all of our renovations, click here.

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