31 May 2009

This is home

My lovely Nan passed away yesterday... so many memories (including the way she could peel all the skin off an apple in one piece)... I can't wait to see her again someday.

Created for a place
I've never known

This is home
Now I'm finally
Where I belong
Where I belong
Yeah, this is home
I've been searching
For a place of my own
Now I've found it
Maybe this is home
Yeah, this is home

(Switchfoot, This is home)

29 May 2009

Feejee Mermaid

Have you ever heard of the Feejee Mermaid?

If you are normal, you probably wouldn't have... but if you are like me and married to a man obsessed with cryptozoology (see here to see what I mean), you would know all about it (and if you don't know what Cryptozoology means... see here).

Now that we have that all sorted out, The Feejee mermaid (or sometimes known as the Fiji Mermaid) was a strange creature that was 'apparently' discovered and claimed to be a real dead mermaid (you can read all about it here), when in fact it was a monkey body sewn to a fishes bottom half... eewwww! Some people were fooled because the taxidermy job was really good.
The whole reason for this post is the fact that I love it when our (my husband's and I) two passions collide... like crochet chess sets, and these cute little things I spotted the other day... softie Feejee Mermaids!
Surely he wouldn't mind one of these sitting on our bed? A good compromise?

28 May 2009

Shopping Trolley Graveyard

I was having a lovely stroll the other day with hubby and Miss 4... our local harbour is so beautiful!

I decided to take a few photo's of the boats, water, anchors - all those interesting and beautiful things that make great photos... and then I came across this sad sight!

Hubby commented something to the likes of: "ever wondered where shopping trolley's go when they die?"

I may just have discovered our local shopping trolley graveyard...

26 May 2009

Perfect Chess Set For Hubby

My husband has rekindled his love for chess... especially since our youngest son (Master 7) has joined the chess club at school (*insert snigger here*).

So of course, you can guess what he has been wanting to buy/make... a chess set (see here to read his side of the story).

As you can see on his blog, there is a wide range of very cool chess sets available... but I found the bestest chess set out there!

May I present the crochet chess set... of which I have offered to make, but for some strange reason he isn't at all interested in having one!

What do you think?

25 May 2009

Secret Squirrel Crochet Bag

To be frankly honest here, I have been quite self-conscious about my crocheting habit since I was laughed at recently (see here).

My crochet projects, hooks and wool have been hidden in plastic bags around the house (and car) for easy concealment if someone should suddenly arrive.

The problem with plastic bags is that cheeky and very pointy crochet hooks like to sneak through holes in the bottom, and fall out at the most inopportune of times. Plastic bags are also see through... well, mine are anyway.

I realised that I needed to make a secret squirrel crochet bag... something that looked very "un-Nana like" but was still versatile and hid all my Nana stuff at the same time... and that's when I spotted my favourite jumper sitting in my wardrobe!

I am sure you all have one of those favourite jumpers... the ones you love but never wear because they are either too old, don't suit you, misshapen or just plain ugly... mine was all of these.

So here it is - my recycled jumper has now become my 'Secret Squirrel Crochet Bag'... only you know the truth of what this woollen tote holds! Lined with red fabric it is perfect for keeping all my bits in... and I even made a crochet hook holder.

I think I will be on the lookout for more ugly jumpers...

23 May 2009

Crochet Beanie number 2

Just finished beanie number 2 (see here for number 1) for Miss 5.

Heaps of fun to make! I tried to coerce Miss 5 into a photo shoot with Miss 2, but I was instead the model.

Must go - Miss 2 has just been caught brushing the teeth of a man on TV with her tooth brush!

22 May 2009

There's ringing in my ears...

There has been a lot of tears this last week... and not much else (including crafting, reading or thinking straight).

These tears have included starting school tears and sobs, teeth falling out wails, illness grizzles, puppy stealing kid's food grumps and the regular battles that come with sibling rivalry.

I remember having major fights and battles with my brother growing up... and that was only with two of us (and that is also why I can do really really good dead arms)! My four are just as feisty as I was as a child, so you can imagine the battles that go on at our place... hence the ringing in my ears.

In a couple of weeks our coffee group for mums with pre-schoolers (run through our church) is having an awesome lady come to share about sibling rivalry and give us some tips... bring it on! Am I the only one who finds this a battle at times?

Until then, I'll keep searching for that mute button that I am sure God must have thought to put on each child... and I will also keep reading and re-reading this verse from Romans 5 verse 4 " And endurance develops strength of character...".

19 May 2009

Grandad and Grandson

My Dad and his grandson (my nephew) caught some nice waves last Sunday.

Their fellow surfer friend just happens to be a photographer for our local newspaper... hence the awesome pics (thanks slopgroveller)!

18 May 2009

Recent makings

I did think I would have more free time with 3 out of 4 kids at school now... but alas, there still seems to be the same amount of washing, dishes, meals and housework to do... as well as the Whippet puppy dramas, some of which include puppy chewing on kids toys, puppy attacking crochet projects, puppy chasing cat whenever she can and puppy learning to escape through fences! Arrggghhhhh. Miss 2 has also got a thing for putting puppy in a headlock when I'm not looking. Help!

Here are a few of my recent makings - pretty much all softies made to order (see here for more).

And today I spotted this very cool granny square ring that Kootoyoo has made... I can totally see my hubby starting a new fashion craze with it (just kidding)! I do think I'll have a go at making one though.

17 May 2009

Rock Cakes

I came across this recipe (of Alison Holst's) for Rock Cakes the other day, and I just had to give them a go. I remember my Great Grandmother often having rock cakes in her biscuit tin... mmmmmm. Definitely one of those old fashioned recipes! Does anyone else remember eating these as a child?

You could make interesting variations with these little biscuits by adding extra ingredients like chocolate chunks instead of the dried fruit.

125g butter
½ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 egg
¾ cup (95g) self-raising flour
1 cup (130g) plain flour
1 cup currants, sultanas, or mixed fruit.

Turn the oven on to 180°C, or to 170°C if using a fan oven.

Soften but do not melt the butter. Add the sugar and vanilla, whisk or food process to combine, then add the egg and a tablespoon of the measured flour, and whisk or food process until light coloured. Add the remaining flours, and mix just enough to combine. Add the dried fruit and stir or process very briefly.
Using two spoons, form into mounds on a non-stick sprayed or baking paper-lined oven tray, leaving a little space for spreading.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden at the edges, and firm in the middle.

Cool on a rack, then store in an airtight container.

For more delicious recipes visit here.

15 May 2009

Favourite Things Friday

Here are a few of the things I am loving at the moment...

People with great face painting skills...

Seeing your child intrigued by a scary looking mannequin in the library - and her laughing at it!

Cool wool... even if it's only acrylic

Matching wrapping paper and cards (especially when there are lovely words and pressies inside them!)

Holding a new born baby in your arms, and also knowing you can give it back to it's mum when it cries.

Fellow bloggers who write posts you can totally relate to... and also make you laugh while doing it! See here.

What things are you loving this week?

14 May 2009

Meet me at Mike's!

Look at what I'm reading at the moment... Meet me at Mike's, 26 crafty projects and things to make.

A very cool book, the sort I would love to own for myself one day - in fact, there's a giveaway here on Pip Lincolne's blog at the moment (she's the clever lady that put the book together). And I must say - if you are someone who is not at all into books like this, feel free to enter and gift the book to me if you win ;)

This book has heaps of great crafty ideas and projects, from softies to coasters and even the basics on how to crochet and knit... and make your own lamingtons! I love the colourful images in the book and retro items in the photos.

As I spouted on to hubby (in the car ride home from our library) about all the neat projects in the book, he commented that he was as interested in the book as I was in his computer modification magazines... the nerve!

Do you own this book? What do you think? I absolutely ♥ it!

12 May 2009

The drug smuggling monkey

Today I found a package in the mail addressed to me! A very special friend Anya, from Banban Designs (and Art by Anya) had sent me a lovely and very thoughtful Mother's Day surprise!

Inside was one of her amazing monkey creations (in my favourite colours and paisley pattern), the coolest Russian Doll brooch (see here for the info on who makes them) and a very amazing cushion cover made by Anya (I am still drooling over my package Anya!). It made my day - she is so clever!

The weird part though is that my package was covered in a clear plastic wrapper with special red NZ post tape covering it. A little sticker was attached to my parcel stating that it had been damaged in the mail and the reason for the damage was 'other'.

As I unwrapped my parcel I could see that someone had carefully slit my package open, then my wrapped gift and then I discovered that one of the eyes of my monkey was missing!!! Hmmm... sounds like the NZ post thought my friend was smuggling me drugs in her softie! Haha.

I did see a documentary recently where a coat with lots of buttons was seen as suspicious by NZ authorities and surely enough, they opened the buttons to find compacted drugs hiding in each one.

I was a little bit annoyed - but also so excited by my parcel that I got over it soon enough.

I think my monkey will need either a new eye or a patch? What do you think?

11 May 2009

First Day of School

Today Miss 5 started school.

Lately she has become quite clingy, so I was a bit apprehensive as to how it would go today.

We had our traditional "first day of school" photo's, which have in the past always included a crazy one like the one above. Things were looking good...

"I don't think I need you to come with me" Miss 5 said at the breakfast table. Wow - really looking good.

But once we arrived the nerves set in and little Miss 5 shed a few tears. I am amazed at how different each of my children have been when they start school!

Finally though the moment came (an hour and a half later) when I was told that I could go now. Yay!

At home time we were greeted by a very happy and confident little girl who couldn't stop talking about the teachers and things she did during the day.

Lets hope tomorrow will go well too!

My own first day of school was a disaster... I was a blubbering mess for a few days! Do you remember yours?

10 May 2009

This is what Mother's Day is all about...

Mother's Day is: being woken early on a freezing Sunday morning by your 9 year old son who is carrying a tray... and on that tray is an ever so thoughtful card, a cold glass of milk, and a piece of cold floppy toast. How thoughtful...

And then being greeted by this at your bedside...

Obviously Master 9 forgot to put the spread away where little hands couldn't reach.

Happy Mother's Day!

09 May 2009

Miss 4 turns 5!

Miss 4 is now Miss 5!

It's been a bit of an emotional week with leaving Playcentre and getting ready for school.

We celebrated her birthday today with a few of her friends and family at my parents place. My Mum did an amazing job with her cake - thanks Mum!

I have never before had one of my children burst into tears when it came to blowing out the candles - I think all the attention got to her. My mum reminded me that I was exactly the same... I hated attention and fuss (I am still that way now!).

Looking back to when I was young, there are many photo's of me clinging to my mums leg looking very upset... I am amazed at how similar my little darling is!

So Daddy and Mummy got to blow out the birthday candles today - I had a bit of a flashback to the cake ceremony at our wedding (not that we had candles on our cake!).

All in all we had a great day!

Happy birthday to our little princess.

08 May 2009

Creations in the chaos

It's been pretty busy at our place lately... chaotic may be a better word to describe life in our house at the moment.

Surprisingly though, a few things have been created in the last couple of weeks, although I really don't know how!

And hubby is still egging me on to try some Yarnbombing in our city... which reminds me, you have to check his latest post out here regarding crocheting!

07 May 2009

Weirdly cool

One of my sons decided to create a paper version of our family the other day.

Hubby thinks they are just plain creepy looking, but I think they are quite arty and stylish... what do you think?

And yes, the two ones lying down are the cat and the dog (the dog and me have a love/hate relationship at the moment!).

05 May 2009


Until this morning, I was totally unaware of a new form of graffiti called "Yarnbombing" hitting the world. They are calling it "rebellion wrapped in a cozy!"

Check out the clip below!

04 May 2009

Crochet Beanie

Look what I've made... my first proper crochet creation (apart from the 10 granny squares that I don't know what to do with!).

I was planning on making this beanie for Miss 4-soon-to-be-5 but alas, I only have one crochet hook and obviously it is a bit too small... to Miss 2's advantage!

I used a boys skull cap pattern (see here) and found these cute little crochet flowers to pretty it up here.

I think there will be more beanies to come... bring on winter!

Please note: I didn't bother to get my model to chage her outfit to match the hat, so excuse the clashing colours.

01 May 2009

Favourite Things Friday

Here are some of the things I am loving at the moment...

Guys that like to crochet and knit

May I introduce to you, Andrew Burton. This guy is a crocheting and knitting machine with some pretty cool beanies and stuff on his website (see here).

I did have a bit of a laugh at his couch cover and cushion... but hey, nice to find a guy who isn't ashamed to be himself ;)

Reminded me of a post I did ages ago here.

Peppermints in a tin

There's something about peppermints in a tin... and I discovered some 'Wild Bean' ones last week.... mmmmmm.

Granny squares

Yes, I am still loving crocheting granny squares. I think I have enough to make a scarf. But don't worry, I won't be making myself a granny square dress like the one below... although then again it could look rather stylish with the right shoes...

Funny blogs

I just love those blogs that make you smile... and that are random and interesting. Here are a few of my favs...

Betty's Blogazine... especially her Things I Love Thursday (they bring back so many memories)

B is for Burton... I am married to to guy who writes it (which would make me slightly biased), but I do crack up at his random thoughts and posts... they make my day.

Art by Anya... she is crafty and clever and very funny (and a great friend).

What things are you loving at the moment????

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