Sunday, February 28, 2010


I have managed to have quite an industrious day so far. This morning I packed the kids off to the zoo with their Dad, then got all the housework done, went to the markets, had a 'birthday coffee' with my Mum, washed, dried, folded, put away a zillion loads of washing, and even managed a spot of sewing!

Here is a preview of some of my new passport covers. I will endeavor to get these in the shop too. Luggage tags and journal covers are next on my list. Next Sunday, 7th March is the Devonport Craft Market - my first market for 2010. I am not sure if I am ready yet! It has been nice going at snails pace over the summer, but will be great to catch up with some lovely crafty peeps again. If you are in the area, pop in and say hi: Devonport Community House, 32 Clarence Street from 10am - 3pm, Sunday 7th March.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


We have a couple of special birthdays coming up...!

This Sunday Nana, (my Mum) turns 70, and on Monday Bella turns 6... Having a birthdays 1 day apart like this can cause lots of confusion though, as Bella was born in a leap year (yes I was in labour on all day on February 29th with my legs firmly crossed!!). Depending on the year she can be the day after, or 2 days after Nana's birthday....

Anyway, digression aside, I loved this idea of portrait bookmarks that I saw in Amanda Blake Soules book Handmade Home. It is so simple, easy and a great gift for Nana's if you ask me!

Bella sat down last night and planned out what she was going to draw, then using pencil sketched out her drawing again (that is Nana and her cat Katie) on some white linen. She went through all my embroidery floss and chose what colours she wanted where (she even cellotaped little pieces on each item to make sure I understood what colours she wanted where - yes, she is that organised!) .  I am going to make a simple patched backing out of some pretty scraps and sew it all together - will show you when we are finished.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

TUTORIAL: Zip Purses

I made up a stack of zip purses and pencil cases the other day, so thought I might as well document my movements and make a little tutorial as I went - so here we go:

 Find my Zip Purse Tutorial after the jump.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Miss 5 (soon to be Miss 6) and I are currently reading our way through some old beloved Enid Blyton books.

Tonight we are halfway through Naughty Amelia Jane (1969 edition) which is dog eared and yellow paged, but Isabella just loves it - she can't get enough of it. Although times have changed, the kids certainly still enjoy using their imaginations with these gorgeous books.

My clever Mum has managed to find a copy of The Faraway Tree for Bella's birthday - I can't wait to read it to her. I can still remember the images I used to conjure up when reading about Moon-face, The Saucepan Man, Dame Washalot, and the Angry Pixie,  and what about all those fantastical lands; the Land of Birthdays, Land of Take-What-You-Want....

Monday, February 22, 2010

surprise package

Look what I was lucky enough to receive in the post today!

The gorgeous Emma from Freedom Creative sent me this amazing package as a thank you for the blog giveaway I ran recently. Thanks so much Emma - the brooch is divine (I put it on as soon as I opened the package) and Isabella has already tried to commandeer the hairbands!

You can buy your own from Emma's felt shop here.

Hope your Monday is going well.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

sunday sewing

I managed to finish off some custom orders today which felt great. This week has been silly busy with no 'me' time in the mix, so it was lovely to turn the radio up today and just sew!

I have also updated my shops here and here with some new coin purses, nani IRO pencil cases (pictured above) and crayon rolls.

Hope you had a great weekend too!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

summer days

We have the most enormous old Gum tree in our front yard. Yesterday was wildly windy, and the sound of the wind rusting through the gum leaves was amazing, and the smell intoxicating. The wind also managed to blow away all the sticky clouds that we have had for the past week or so. Auckland has been so humid so it was a welcome relief to be able to pull on a duvet last night.

Today we made the most of a beautiful summers day by heading over to Waiheke Island. We got the early ferry and spent the day at the beach, (after stopping at this gorgeous wee cafe for a lovely latte of course!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

island life

We spent last weekend with Play Centre at Camp Bentzon on Kawau Island.

It was amazing. Such a neat set up for kids (and adults). Lots of running around, swimming, kayaking, bush walking, tree climbing etc... I am still catching up on washing (we had to take everything - bedding, food, even blankets to hang for curtains) and sleep, but I highly recommend it! The kids also loved the adventure of going by boat. Although the little one fell asleep in my lap on the way home.

The girls Grandparents are here from Australia for a few days, so Lucy and I have just made another summer cake for afternoon tea. Yum!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

make and do

I have just spent the morning framing some prints (that have been sitting waiting all summer to be loved), and now just have to find a spot on the walls for them.

I have also finally sent this poster off to the framers - it has been in my studio for 2 years, rolled up, in the corner..., waiting! Can't wait to get it back!

My little helper has been up to all sorts of mischief. She started the day by finding the tupperware filled with icing sugar, and by the time we found her, the kitchen was white and she was bouncing off the walls... I was too stressed (think school run) to get a photo - but in hindsight I should have!

No time to sew today - but i have plans for some lovely little nani IRO coin purses this evening...

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

baby girl - quilt tutorial

A few of my friends are expecting new babies over the next couple of months (isn't it funny how there is always a cluster!). Actually, one is being induced today..., so I decided to make another 'quick' quilt as a gift, and whilst I was at it, I wrote up a little tutorial - so here you go:

Quick 'No Bind' Quilt Tutorial 
Finished size approx. 102cm x 78cm (40" x 30.5")

5 fabrics cut into 5 swatches each 22cm x 17cm (8.5" x 6.5")
1m Backing fabric 112cm (w) (44")
1m Cotton Batting 112cm (w) (I used Warm white 100% cotton batting as I had a light coloured backing fabric)
Thread in matching colour
Rotary cutter
Cutting mat
Template (I cut a template 22x17cm out of hard cardboard)
Sewing machine
Straight pins

1/4" seam allowance (unless otherwise stated)


1. Using your template, cut 5 swatches from each of your 5 fabrics. You should have 25 swatches in total measuring 22cm (h) x 17cm (w). NB. If you want to use up some fat quarters, you can cut 4 good swatches and then piece the 5th swatch together! (great solution if you don't mind the imperfections).

2. Lay your swatches out so that each swatch is represented once only in each row/column. NB. You may want to pin the swatches of each row together so you don't get the order confused when sewing.

3. Starting at the top left, stitch your pieces together to create a horizontal strip. Continue with each row until you have 5 complete strips.

 4. Turn over and iron each strip with the seams to the LEFT.

5. Align the seams, pin, then stitch first row to second. Continue until all rows have been stitched together. Once you have finished, turn over and iron all the seams DOWN.

6. Find a nice large, flat surface. Lay out and smooth down your cotton batting.  On top of that, lay out and smooth down your backing fabric RIGHT SIDE UP. On top of that, lay out and smooth down the quilt topper that you have just stitched, RIGHT SIDE DOWN.

 7. Begin in the centre, and pin all 3 layers together.  I pinned at every second seam throughout the middle, and every seam around the outside (see diagram below).
Starting at the 'pink' dot, stitch your way around the edge of the quilt to the 'blue' dot. Trim the excess batting/backing fabric so your seams are flush with quilt top.

8. Turn quilt inside out through the window you left, use a chop stick or something thin and blunt to poke the corners out, then iron flat. You can pin, or stitch the opening closed.


 9.  Lay your quilt out, and, starting in the middle, pin all 3 layers together again (this time pinning at every seam).

10. Using a 1/8th" seam allowance, top stitch around the entire perimeter of the quilt, then, starting in the middle, top stitch to the RIGHT of each VERTICAL seam, and to the BOTTOM of each HORIZONTAL seam. There is a lot of 'bulk' to handle, so I tend to roll the quilt in order to keep it flat whilst stitching.

11. Your finished! Admire your handiwork :-)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Birthday Giveaway Winner

Well the first week of school is over and it is Friday already. Thanks for all your lovely birthday comments - the winner of my little birthday giveaway is 'Emma' from Freedom Creative! Congrats Emma! Send me thorugh your address by email and I can pop these goodies in the post to you.

I hope you all enjoy your Waitangi Day - even if it does happen to be a Saturday!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

vintage love

I've just finished off a few new coin purses - haven't quite got as far as listing them all yet , but this one is up in my shop.

This gorgeous vintage fabric was an old pot holder... so old that when I unpicked the seams the wadding inside just floated out - it was powder! After a good soak and wash it has come up really well. I just love the mis-registration on the old fabrics, and the simplicity of this pattern really appeals to me.... I toyed with keeping it for myself, but I really don't need another coin purse...

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


One of my coin purses was featured in this cute 'Elephino' treasury today - you can check it out here.

I have managed to escape the movie theatre this holidays, but on asking my beautiful 5 year old what she would like to do for her last day before heading back to school, she told me she'd like to see 'Alvin and the Chipmunks'.... so that is what we are doing!

Monday, February 01, 2010

sewing time

Over the past couple of weeks I have had lots of lovely custom requests. I always enjoy custom orders, and love repeat customers. I have been pretty lazy at keeping my online shops updated lately, so please feel free to contact me directly if there is anything you are after that you can't see here or here.

I managed to get a bit of sewing time in today to finish off some orders. Here are some of the things that have gone, or are going off to new homes this week... (I actually made a couple each of the elephant purses, so they are also listed in my shop here).