Friday, November 29, 2013

Random Friday Thought


Not sticky enough to stay put

and yet sticky enough to give you a free waxing when they fold in half?

What's with that???

love you more than a really comfy pair of underpants xxx

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Make My Week - Freaky After Dark

Okay so clearly I am on a bit of a pillowcase craze at the moment - so easy and so quick!

I gave these to The Atlas yesterday on our 14th anniversary. We went out for dinner last night and had a little laugh together. I said, well we had 7 years and then children now at the end of another 7 you are moving me overseas... what's going to be our big change at 21 years??

I made these with a group of lovely ladies who all assumed I was the 'talker' and The Atlas the 'dreamer'.

Me the talker?? Yeah okay I totally get what they meant. Strange thing is when the lights go out it all swaps over. I have the dreams and The Atlas talks in his sleep. (Truth be told we probably both do both but I wake up and listen to The Atlas and tell him about it the next day!).

joining in with the lovely ladies here
 Show & Tell Thursday's

love you more than an accidentally comical creation and a well ironed pillowcase xxx

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

We Recommend - Some Handmade and Giveaways

Every year our boys open a pair of matching summer PJs on Christmas Eve (at least they have for the last 2 years!). Usually I buy plain t-shirts and fancy them up and make the shorts for the bottom.

This year the t-shirts are from AS Colour. A lot of printing companies and small indie printers use their tees and hoodies to print on as well. We really like them because, unless it's arty/interesting The Atlas and I kind of resent being a walking billboard for a company.

I also really like the range of colours they have, frankly in our house white t-shirts don't stay that way for very long at all. I have 2 of their hoodies and The Atlas has at least 2 hoodies and several tees. They used to have a shop in Chch but now we buy online. If you'd prefer organic cotton they have those too. Be sure to check out their sale section too if you want some amazing bargains (seriously $2 nice coloured mens t-shirt anyone?)!

If you want to do something simple and sweet for a  'handmade' gift I recommend a cute plain, vibrant coloured tee or hoodie with a personalised design. You could use fabric paint or like me good old visoflix, some tracing and an iron. (I top stitch as well because these puppies will get a lot of washing machine and messy sleeping action).

These are their Christmas Eve jammies!

Also because AS Colour sent me some extra tees I have done 2 to give away.

Red balloons sailing - kids size 4

Light Pink Floral unicorn -  kids size 10

and because I did 2 fabric unicorns there is also a black and white butterfly unicorn which is all ready just to iron on to a garment, bag, other, of your pleasure.

To enter:
1. Pop over to AS Colour and tell me something you like (link opens in a separate window so you can find your way back!)
2. Link in a recommendation of your own
3. Tell me a Christmas tradition you have
4. Tell me which thing you would like to win.

Four chances :o) Separate comment for each please.

Winner drawn and announced next week. Thanks to AS Colour for the fab tees and hoodie.

Winners of pillowcases and edible pens were Naomi and Ash.

We Recommend for Christmas 
our posts about genuinely lovely things

Create Hope Inspire

Thanks for your recommendations. Button code on the right.

Love you more than a bright t-shirt on a cloudy day xxx

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Most Re-Written Post Ever

I keep writing and re-writing this post.

It's been called:

How Many Dresses Does 25kg Weigh?


Ch.. Ch...Changes

Um... I have something to tell you

and other such inspired titles.

See it's kind of tricky to tell people information that will surprise them and information you're not sure how they will react to...

In light of this.

We have news.

In about 6 weeks we will be leaving Christchurch and New Zealand and moving to Adelaide for 2 years. The Atlas has been offered the kind of job he would write for himself if he could and things have fallen into place in a way that causes Peace in amongst what is rather a lot to do and deal with.


Sorry if you are choking on your weetbix in surprise right now - this whole process has taken about 4 weeks from application to acceptance and I'm not sure how to let people know so I'm going for the 'rip that plaster off' approach. We're all pretty surprised here ourselves this was not on our radar.... lucky we're pretty relaxed about life huh?

Also super sorry if I didn't get to tell you personally. Until yesterday we haven't been able to tell anyone and I just couldn't manage to call you all. I hope you know my friends how much I love you.

So if you've been talking to me about next year and I've been a bit noncommittal I hope you'll understand.

Love you more than a gently broken piece of news xxxx

by the way please tell me some stuff I'll love about living in Australia......

Monday, November 25, 2013

B.M.W.B - Before Dawn

I don't think I've ever been a morning person. Not since I've been about 10 anyway. I find the mornings tricky - I am unpleasant and monosyllabic to say the least.

butterfly by Bounce

I get up to run with my friends only because they are there, and I promised I would. So when The Atlas went to Wellington to watch the All Whites play last week I had 4 mornings of flying solo. This is not to be taken lightly because usually The Atlas does all the up, breakfast, change and I wander in at the last.

So instead of being dragged from bed when the boys woke (usually they wake between 6 and 6.30) I set my alarm every day for 5.45am and rose before them. This way I got to shower and find my peace rather than chasing that for the morning as they raced on ahead.

It made a massive difference.

On Friday Bounce and I did puzzles together for about 20 minutes before we needed to leave for school. All jobs done, bags packed, lunches made - just time to relax together in the morning.

It wasn't easy but it was worth it. Something changes when you find peace before you face people and even though I really, really don't like getting up early my boys are worth a before dawn alarm.

Becoming the Mama I want to be is about taking time to enjoy the journey of parenting, to honour it's value and to hopefully inspire and encourage each other. 

Create Hope Inspire

Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be

Button code on the right if you want it

Love you more than an uninterrupted sleep-in xxx

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sweet Things

Grateful today for sweet people

who drop over unexpected gifts

and that feeling of discovering a treat when you arrive home!

also grateful for pink and yellow and gingham

joining in here

Love you more than a vibrant colour combination xxx

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Make My Week - Finally

I started this top forever-ago square after square of cutting

then I finished it a while ago

about 2 months ago I stitched the words on

a month ago I sewed the top to the bottom (another sheet) with an old wool blanket in between.

and finally I have sewed on the binding which I hand stitched done in front of  a couple of midsomer murders!

The text comes from a Bible verse I find both challenging and inspiring. I have a long way to go on these but I would consider my life a success if I could live them, really live them.

Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.
(emphasis added by me)

For other creative lovelies pop over here:

 Show & Tell Thursday's
Love you more than an enormous project out of the sewing room for good xxx

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

We Recommend - for the super thrifty

The year we got married we were pretty broke at Christmas time. We'd both just finished studying,I wasn't  starting work for another 6 weeks and The Atlas had only be working for 2 weeks before we got married. This was about 3 weeks before Christmas. The only finances we had to our name were student loans.

So the Christmas presents for family members were frames from The Warehouse and photos from our wedding.....

the other night I remembered that and I thought I'd like to share some ideas for people who'd like to give something but really have to watch every cent. I know that for present givers and lovers (me) your desire to give isn't always supported by your bank account.

So here are my super-duper cheap ideas. Less than $5 a pop.

Wallet photos - for parents and grandparents. I got this set of 8 passport sized photos printed for 35cents at Warehouse Stationery - and because I paid cash it was 30 cents. That's a new photo for Dad's wallet, one for Mum's wallet and 2 sets of grandparents. Slip them inside a heartfelt card and they'll mean a lot to the recipient.

Posting Game - take one empty coffee, milo or quick tin. Make some little discs from plastic containers or cardboard. Cut a hole in the lid of the tin and you have a super sweet posting game for a little person who will play it for hours and won't have any idea that it cost you nothing. You could draw pictures or use the photos above and coverseal them onto the disks if you wanted to put in more effort. Photos super cheap and durasel/coverseal is about $2 a roll. Use an empty cereal box. I know my boys would have loved posting photos of their relations and photos of things from around the house.

Dated Voucher - I love the idea of making people vouchers but I think people don't cash them in, so why not write a babysitting voucher for a busy friend and date it with a Friday night for some time during the year? Write the date on your calendar and ring them the week before to remind them to plan a night out.

Tealight Delight - Buy a cheap pack of tealight candles and split them up. Wrap each in washi tape. Wrapped nicely this is a gift that looks beautiful for little effort and cost.

Treasure Hunt - Write all the clues for a treasure hunt and put them in a sealed envelope. Write on the front you can give me 1 (or 2) days notice and this envelope and I will set up a treasure hunt for you with a prize at the end. Pop aside 2 (or however many kids you have) mini chocolate bars or chup-a-chups or whatever cheap treat and pull them out when the kids come to you. All the creative work is already done you just need to hide the already-written clues and prizes and they get to anticipate the fun.

Super Simple Jewelry - I made this necklace for less than $5 and I love it (so do most of the little people I come in contact with). If you live in Chch Warren Agencies is where I got all the bits. The necklace was $1.80 and the plastic train was 20 cents I think. The whale might have been 40cents.

Wheatie Bags - if you have a fabric stash you really can make these for very cheap too. Some good tutorials around the interwebs if you want one.

Do you have any ideas for those days when the love is there but the money isn't??

We Recommend for Christmas 
our posts about genuinely lovely things

Create Hope Inspire

Thanks for your recommendations. Button code on the right.

What are your go-to ideas for those days when the love is there but the money isn't??

Love you more than finding $5 unexpectedly in my wallet xxxx

Giveaways will be draw later today. Still time! Click on the button above to see the posts.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

They Used to Read

Anyone remember that poem from Roald Dahl? All about the joy of books and reading from Charlie and the Chocolate factory.

Heads up on a couple of new books heading to shelves near you soon.

100 People by Masayuki Sebe - this is the kind of book you should keep in your handbag mother-ship hold-all. Every page has a hundred different somebodies and a set of special somebodies at the top to spot on that particular page.

Can you imagine how this might transform a long car ride or a doctors waiting room??

Our favourite pages are:

Also Dunger by Jow Cowley. Joy is a NZ author! Hooray. This is a young teen fiction told chapter to chapter in first person by a brother and sister conned (in a way only parents can mange) into a summer helping their argumentative grandparents work on their bach in the sounds with no power or cell phone coverage.

What appears to be the worst trip ever for 11 and 13 year-old brother sister William and Melissa becomes a defining trip for them and for their family.

This is a very readable book that is well written and paints a picture many teens and preteens will identify with. It captures a very special part of NZ life and has some fabulous moments.

My favourite? When William tells his grandfather that he and grandma fight too much and maybe they are incompatible and the grandfather replies "you mean I'm the income and she's the pattible?"

I like it when NZ books are comfortable in their own skin. I think this book could be read by any teenager but it's definitely a kiwi setting. This book would be enjoyable and appropriate reading for any 10-14 year old.

I so love having new books on the shelves. Both these books are published by Gecko and both would make a great gift for Christmas.

Love you more than decent insect repellent and a campsite with coverage xxx

Thanks to Gecko for these lovely books

Monday, November 18, 2013

B.M.W.B - Reverse Psychology

Sometimes I think the best thing is to create desire without forcing activity.

On Saturday I was writing some cards and Flip saw I was using his school fundraising cards so then he decided he'd like to write one and then Bounce wanted to write a letter too. I showed them the pre-paid envelopes -flash! and explained how they worked.

If I had have told them they had to write a letter or card and we were all doing it I don't know that they would have been so keen but when I modeled it and let them use my things it was a totally different thing.

Sometimes it's all in the presentation don't you think?

Becoming the Mama I want to be is about taking time to enjoy the journey of parenting, to honour it's value and to hopefully inspire and encourage each other. 

Create Hope Inspire

Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be

Button code on the right if you want it

Love you more than correct postage xxxx

Sunday, November 17, 2013


2 little boys at Willowbank

with their ma n pop


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Make My Week - Quilt??

It would appear that studying makes me extremely interested in crafting. On Saturday I whipped up this 'quilt' (which it isn't really because it has no middle layer and it isn't quilted - but who's judging?) as well as a set of matching cushion covers for the boys Christmas presents.... and some things for my advent swap partner.

Isn't strange how these things suddenly happen when the highlighter and pens are waiting?

This is the first quilt I've made where I have bought all the fabrics intentionally for the project. It started with the fish which are made of flannelette. If they had have been cotton it would have been a dress instead but I'm not sure even I could feel comfortable in a summer dress made of flannelette. :o)

Then I added in the orange corduroy for extra texture. On the back is one of those minky type fabrics so the whole thing is a textural delight. I can't wait to snuggle up on the couch under this on a cold winters night - in about 8 months!!!

What makes you get urgently crafty? It's not like I don't have other proper Christmas projects to do but I just had to do this one and because it was so thoughtless to throw together it suited my brain space (or lack thereof!) rather well.

Pop over and see what the wonderful Leonie and other crafters have been up to:

 Show & Tell Thursday's

Love you more than a flannelette sheet in winter xxx

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

We Recommend - Personal, Postable, Perfect (& another giveaway)

So I've been on a bit of a pillowcase fix this year when it comes to making gifts... but I know not everyone is a maker and frankly some days I just want to selfish sew so I'm not always a maker either!

But I do love beautiful pillow cases and special messages. So here's what The Atlas will be getting under the tree ... shhhh!

Oh, that's right he gets my blog via email so... surprise babe!!

I love this because we really are 'better together' at least I know I am better together with him. He's probably quite cool all by himself but I always like people to meet me with him and I do talk about him quite a lot and ... well anyway.

These awesome pillowcases are made by the wonderful NZ design duo elephant and bird. Who are a boy girl team screen printing all sorts of loveliness in NZ. I guess he's the elephant and she's the bird? Ahem - let's not speculate. I rather like their blog too - it's thoughtful and thought provoking.

These pillow cases come in a gorgeous linen pouch with an elephant and bird stamp and strike me as the perfect sort of gift for hard to buy for partners and overseas types who you need to be posting to soon and don't want anything too big or bulky. They post all their products overseas too and with the lovely pouch you could bypass all the frustration and get them sent direct to your recipient. That's my kind of shopping!

The pillow cases are a nice heavy but smooth fabric too so I can't imagine they will go bobbly and mess up your hair :o)

And they use eco-friendly practices too which makes this hippy happy.

Here's their felt intro:
At elephant+bird all our products come from our own unique designs and illustrations. We screen print onto organic cotton garments for men, women and children and home wares as well as graphic prints and other small bach creations.

I'm also thinking these would make really awesome wedding presents. I tend to resist the gift register like a gift-horse resists opening their mouth. I know it's nice to get someone what they want but, towels??? Yawn.

These are perfect. I will buy these and they will be thankful for my wonderful taste, their lovely NZ product and the fact that everyone will be jealous (which they definitely won't be about towels - unless they get caught short and have to run through your house wrapped in a bathmat - which could happen I guess).

So, are you jealous of The Atlas' awesome Christmas present and wonderful wife? Well you can win a set of your own - that's pillowcases - clearly I do not come in a set and I am not for sale or a prize (although I don't mind when The Atlas calls me a trophy wife! ha ha).

How to win? - a comment for each please:
1. Head over to E+B felt page and let me know what you love most.
2. Like them on FB
3. Link in a recommendation post of your own
4. Tell me something funny that has happened in your bedroom (G for general not R18!)
         - one night I woke up and found The Atlas under the bed taking all the junk out from underneath it and marching it across the room to put it on a shelf. I asked him what he was doing and he told me he was moving things to higher ground. He had no recollection of it in the morning but he had been dreaming about floods. See he is so awesome - he's even responsible in his sleep! :o)

Thanks to the lovely Elephant and Bird team for a beautiful place to lay my head at night.(or should that be The Atlas to lay his head??)
Winner drawn on 20th of November and notified by email. Still time to enter the edible ink pens draw from last week too. Lucky, lucky readers!

We Recommend for Christmas 
our posts about genuinely lovely things

Create Hope Inspire
If you'd like the code you can find it on the right.

Love you more than a sweet dream xxx