Friday, February 28, 2014

It's Almost Lent

Maybe you're seeing chocolate rabbits in your supermarket already.... maybe you're wanting to make Easter a bit more significant this year?

Maybe you're wanting inspiration?

These are 2 things I'm doing this year

1. Signing this petition to chocolate companies who need to know even at Easter I'm still not happy about children being forced into labour and sometimes trafficked so that I can eat their eggs. I'm committed to making this Easter child-labour free. Will you do that with me?

2. Doing Lent generously. This awesome site has ideas for every day during Lent so you can be all about the celebration and sharing the love. Be inspired. This looks like

Looking forward to Lent? Me too

love you more than a fair trade Easter egg xxx

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Make My Week - New Look 6749

Since we've been here and the weather has been unmanageable (much nicer the last couple of weeks I must confess), and I've been desperate for some 100% cotton dresses. Something light and easy to wear and not too fitted.

Honestly it's been so hot I've got to the point where I almost don't bother with a petticoat - thigh silhouette be damned - almost.

So I grabbed this piece of vintage sheet which was one of the very few pieces of fabric I bought with me and made this dress.

New Look 6749 is a new pattern to me and I made a size larger than I normally would (normally I make a 12 and grade it out at the bust, but this time I made a 14), because I wanted it roomy and because I've been doing a little too many 'last coffee dates' and Christmas and new place 'discovering', if you know what I mean.

Like other NL patterns it has way too much room in the back section over the shoulder blade area (I mean way too much and I'm pretty broad). Because the top is lined and I am too lazy to unpick and re-do I just whacked some large darts into the top of the finished dress and that made a big difference. From now on when I use a NL patter I'm going to do this from the get go. It probably looks a bit messy but when has that ever stopped me team?? Never I tell you :o)

not sure what kind of crazy is going on with this photo but
feel free to feel slightly put off your coffee

Overall, I love the colour - this fabric is probably my favourite ever vintage sheet. The fit is okay and works for what I want it for. The day I finished it and wore it to school Bounce said to me, 'I like it when you wear that dress to pick me up.' Bless him.

I bought the pattern with a voucher before I left NZ and everything else was from my very minuscule stash so I'm pretty pleased with this effort. It's the second thing I've made on my new sewing machine too.

Joining in with super-crafters (I'm pretty sure some of them even have capes) over here

 Show & Tell Thursday's

love you more than no thigh silhouette xxx

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

In My Neighbourhood - treadly

Beacuase we paid forward/loaned most of our stuff prior to leaving NZ it got down to just the bikes, which we were going to ship over. However, the fact that it was only 2 bikes made our options very limited (and extremely pricey).

So in the end we sold my bike to a lovely friend and The Atlas gave away his commuter bike and we took his mountain bike as one of our 10!! bags. Yeah, travelling through customs with that many bags - not my proudest moment!

So, we needed new bikes when we arrived here. As you know I have very strict criteria for bike selection. It must have a bell, I must be able to ride in a skirt and it must have a basket. The Atlas also wanted to get a light commuter bike for his ride to and from work. (Because apparently a mountain bike is just for mountain biking ;-) ?- I guess he might say the same about the range of crafting implements I find necessary!)

We ended up going to treadly which is located just behind the east end of Rundle Mall (the main central city shopping road, half pedestrianised). Sam who runs treadly is super nice. He clearly loves bikes and his shop is filled with all sorts of cycly treasures as well as bikes.

Along this same street there is a gorgeous gift shop and a jewellry designer/manufacturer that uses ethical and vintage stones to make amazing designs, and a cafe and ugg boot shop (I can't see that anyone would need ugg boots in this country but maybe it does get cold in winter??).

He listened to what we wanted and ended up suggesting I get a batavus bike which is Dutch and has 5 gears (my last one had none), a full chain guard and a skirt guard as well. Let me tell you my new bike is a beast (in a good way - a feminine beast!) it is heavy and wide and truly European in its style. I love it. I think I should probably call it Beryl - because it is beautiful but also not the kind of bike you'd want to wrestle with in a dark alley way, if you know what I mean. And Beryl sounds like that kind of name to me too. (No offence if you are called Beryl).

Sam, the owner, also put a basket/tray on the front for me and sourced the wine crate for me from a local store so I can just throw in my keys, phone etc. I chose a stylish helmet too because how could I not want a pink helmet that says 'I love my brain' on the back of it? I'm going to do some decoration of my crate basket and buy some panniers at some point as well. (The photo is before the crate was attached).

The Atlas chose a much more Australasian style bike. Light weight and narrower, in olive green.

Treadly is a shop for people who love bikes and people who love good service by people where nothing is a problem and they are truly passionate about cycling. It stocks everything you might want whether you are a lycra wearer or a perfectly stylish picture of cycling awesomeness (that is me BTW).

If you just want a bell or the whole shebang, if you are a bike lover in/visiting Adelaide you should totally check them out. Okay? They even have some cool framed prints which I rather like as well.

** In my neighbourhood, recording our journey and writing the kind of posts about living in Adelaide I wanted to find before we left NZ**

love you more than the sound of my new bicycle bell xxx

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


When we moved into our place here we had a furnished house with an unfurnished kitchen and linen cupboard. The car free life and the fact we wanted to eat breakfast the next morning meant we couldn't op-shop everything but I have been picking up bits and pieces as I have found new op-shops.

This was my first op-shopping trip.

We didn't buy any mugs originally because neither of us drink hot drinks but we knew we'd need them eventually. I love the glaze on these ones and their shape. (And the fact they are unlikely to show tea stains which is a particular bugbear for me!)

The cushion was too nice to leave behind and the white thing is a soap dish for the downstairs bathroom to contain the soap scum I have to clean off the sink every week.

The next opshop was super cheap and I got a couple more mugs, 3 mens shirts which I have a project in mind for, a couple of pieces of fabric (ahem), a table cloth, and a nice glass jug as well as a wee ring dish for in the kitchen when I'm baking and one my chest of drawers. The lovely green one is holding salt now and the little blue one is for treasures like feathers that we discover, it sits on the table.

The clock you have seen the before and after of already.

These scarves are going to be sewn together to wear over dresses when I am biking, like a poncho - they look a bit geeky but they'll keep my decolletage from being burnt to a crisp and they'll bundle into my bag light and small.

Joining in with Max and other op-shoppers.

love you more than the feeling of silk xxx

Sunday, February 23, 2014

eight of fifty two

Down at an open tennis court in a local park. There were some balls that got hit back.

Followed closely by some zooming around a great BMX track in another part of the park.

Joining in with all sorts of mamas capturing their babies.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Make My Week - Inside Out

If you've had the misfortune of seeing any of my crafting up close you'll know that I don't subscribe to the school of thought that believes things should look as good on the inside as the do on the outside.

actually, mine often look pretty messy on the outside too so maybe I do subscribe to that school of thought??

Bounce was invited to a birthday last week! (I know, so friendly of them) and I wanted to make something so I rummaged in my tiny (promise!) craft draw and found some calico and black thread I bought over, asked what the birthday boy's favourite colour (red) and animal (red backed spider, or a dog) were and used those as my inspiration.

Then I popped to spotlight and grabbed some red thread and a cushion inner.

I free-hand drew the dog and stitched around it.... and it actually looked very tidy on the inside too! I include a photo for evidence. Of course the final photo of it has disappeared but I assure you it was ironed and a proper cushion.

Bounce was happy to give it and birthday mum said birthday boy took it to bed to cuddle that night so I feel it was a success.

joining in with wonderful talents over here

 Show & Tell Thursday's

have you voted on which pattern I should make? Please do, I'm going with a majority rule.

love you more than a present made from the smallest of ideas and still well received xxx

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

In My Neighbourhood - e for ethel

So I was at the library one day making the most of the free air conditioning and the free Internet, don't hate me I'm new!

.... and the lovely chatty librarian asks if I made my cute crocheted clip (thanks Holly) and I said, 'no but I made my necklace.'

and she said, 'you have to go to this cafe in North Adelaide it's just lovely.'

and so I did, because librarians know stuff and you should always obey librarians - they are a little like police.

E for Ethel is in North Adelaide, which is still part of central Adelaide just at the north bit. Who would have guessed! Which meant I could catch the free bus and a short wander.

If you're a kiwi who shops on felt, it is just how I imagine a felt shop would be. Shelves of beautifully displayed lovely things that feel a little like they could be examined for many hours without coming to the end of them. Some gorgeous big things but also lots of very small things, like the necklace I bought, ahem!

When we left Christchurch I knew I would miss The Make Cafe (hello, best hot chocolates in the world) and The Addington Coffee Co-Op. Both cafes have a good vibe, cool but not pretentious, and they both have shops as part of them.

E for Ethel scratches my itch in that regard. It's not matchy and it has a homely feel (maybe it's the large assortment of mismatched and handmade that makes me feel particularly at home!). Amanda and Dan who run it have the same kind of vibe, they are 'beautiful people' (as in, they look actually cool) but also genuine and warm and friendly.

We ended up taking the boys there the next day and they gave them some lucky dips that were left over from a party they had. And Bounce smashed a plate, and they were super nice about that too. (and they had the abacus and UNO in the toy box which gives them maximum street cred with Flip).

This is the kind of place you meet bloggers and while away the afternoon crafting and purchasing (you know because we want to support handmade and stuff!) and mainly doing a lot of talking and some loud laughing. So NZ bloggers - when you want to come to Adelaide I have the perfect place for us to spend an afternoon.

Actually the day I went in there was a lady/girl crafting on her own at a table - I wanted to pull up a chair and say hi but I had to do the awkward approach counter and ask if they mind me taking photos, 'because I am a blogger', which always makes me feel totally naff. So I used up my quotient of bravery on that instead of ruining her quiet morning of crafting by herself, maybe for the best?

Also though, which made me particularly happy, there was a group of 6-8 older women (like, my great Aunts age) sitting around a table having all sorts of conversations. One of which included a warning not to go and see the Wolf of Wall St - 'oh the swearing and nudity.' Just the kind of warning I am happy to heed.

So if you're in Adelaide and you like a cafe that is more than a production line of shiny, new, soulless, I can wholeheartedly recommend E for Ethel. I'll be going back again soon.

** In my neighbourhood, recording our journey and writing the kind of posts about living in Adelaide I wanted to find before we left NZ**

love you more than a scheduled in, definitely happening, coffee date xxx

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


I haven't stopped with becoming the mama I want to be I just haven't been posting it.

Mainly I posted it for the last 2 years as commitment to myself to find something every week to do with my boys. Something small, sometimes creative, usually a little different than the every day.

I don't feel the same need to make that commitment here this year but I still hold it in my heart. Perhaps now and again I'll share something particularly successful, or just do a post to make the far-away grandies feel happy.

This Saturday I bought a $3 packet of pipe cleaners and we sat together at the table making little creatures.

I gave them free reign on the pipe cleaners and my awesome coloured stick on googly eyes (yes I have them in my craft draw). I bought them from the warehouse actually and I wish I bought more. I think they were $3 and they are self adhesive too, just in case anyone is feeling generous!! :o)

It is against my natural type just to let them go for it with 'nice' crafting things, and when we moved I discovered stacks and stacks of gorgeous paper, and stickers and funny rub off letters that had been sitting in the garage (and other places) waiting for a special activity. And I gave them all away - to someone who will let their kinds use them all up in an afternoon on some random project, I hope.

So this year I am intentionally looking for ways to add little bits of crafty goodness to a box for the boys and to let them use it all instead of save it for a special project that never comes.

In the end there were some pipe cleaners left but there is also a whole 'zoo' enclosure with ladders and swings and animals made from pipe cleaners, and there was play and connection and generosity (on my part, in my heart).

Do you save things? Do you love to use things up? Do you always keep a little bit back - just in case?

Simple. Intentional. Achievable
Becoming the Mama I Want to Be

love you more than an empty packet and a full heart xxxx

Monday, February 17, 2014

Apartment Living

So, we live in an apartment over here, which is pretty cool. Although, if you set your fire alarm off burning toast you have the whole building to answer to and the $$$ fire engine bill to pay - which I must confess kinda stresses me out a little!

Anyway fast forward to Sunday afternoon. It's 5.30 the boys are lounging about in their underwear (it's like 40 degrees remember) and I'm chatting with my sister on the phone.

Whilst doing this I decide to pop my pyjamas on, because you know it's Sunday afternoon already and it's time to let yourself go!

Cue - fire alarm. (not ours thankfully)

Cue - people standing around on their balconies looking totally unconcerned.

Cue - The Atlas shoves on a shirt and shorts and we evacuate. You know, because we are awesome parents who don't want our children to burn to death and we always evacuate, even in NZ when we know it was just just setting it off by burning toast. That's how we roll.

Cue - we are the only people that roll that way.

Cue - I am evacuating in my summer pyjamas in full daylight, and they aren't flattering.

Cue - we get to the bottom and The Atlas says 'oops. I forgot to bring the scan card'

Cue - we are now locked out of our building with no-one else, because they didn't evacuate.

Cue - buzz your neighbours, have awkward conversation and ask them to let you back in.

Cue - gratefulness that you asked them over for afternoon tea on Australia Day.

Apartment living aye? It's awesome for the pyjama exhibitionist in all of us.

love you more than a flattering pair of summer pjs xxx

Sunday, February 16, 2014

seven of fifty two

We took a trip to the zoo this weekend, which I will write more about another time.

I'm not sure exactly what it is about this photo but it encapsulates Flip so well. The gentleness, the stance, the interest and carefulness. This is a quokka - I'd never heard of them before.

Towards the end Bounce climbed a tree. Then Flip pointed out a spider in the tree and all ended badly with daddy having to remove a 5 year old screaming 'spider, spider' from the tree.

This is 3 boys watching from our tiny balcony as the rain came. Apparently since we've been here they've broken the record for most days over 40 in a summer and now most rainfall in 24 hours in a summer. What can I say - it appears we are over-achievers?

love you more than a rainy day in summer xxx

Friday, February 14, 2014

Monthly Stitch - March Challenge - You Pick

So The Monthly Stitch is a blog set up for sew-ers who want to join in on a challenge each month and the challenge for March is pick a pattern in your collection that you haven't made before.

...but you guys get to pick which one!

I obviously have hardly any patterns in that we just moved and there are only so many things you can sneak into the luggage right?

So these are the 3 patterns in my collection I have yet to make:

Simplicity 1849
This one looks a bit naff to me, even though I only recently bought it. However, I do think in the right fabric it could be a very good shape on me.... what do you think and what fabrics should I look for (obv, it's stretch).

Vogue 7964
Quite different from styles I usually go for. Remember by picking this I will not grow legs that are 9m long so I won't look quite like the packet. Also will be above the knee and without shoulder pads. This is another stretch fabric one.

New Look 6699
I'd probably be going for the combo shown in the photo second from the left but a print, or maybe the fuller skirt.

So tell me - what do you want to see me make?

You have one week and I will pick whichever gets the most votes and make it during March. Just leave a comment with the pattern number, or company or some rambly description you think I will understand.

If you like sewing or you want to like sewing clothes you should totally join in too, okay? There are some of you I am staring at very hard right now! If you think it might be you, it probably is.

love you more than a mystery box challenge xxx

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Make My Week - Op Shop Clock

I have to confess a little here - I'm a little (just a little) obsessed with time.

It drives me a little (just a little) loco when I can't see the time. Also, I hardly ever wear a watch (it's too hot and last year I lost my watch for about 7 months and I sort of got used to it)..... anyway I like to be able to see the time in any room I'm in.

Long preamble to justify the $2 purchase of this clock:

not a bad specimen but hardly inspiring so I got to work with some washi tape whilst watching Sherlock on TV and here is the result:

As I already owned the tape I'd define this as a successful $2 project. I think it would be nice of you to not notice the finger marks on the face of the clock - I do need to buy a microfibre cloth. You could notice, however, the amazing job I did matching up all those little wee triangles around the face, yes I am impressed too.

Joining in with practically perfect (just like Mary Poppins) Leonie and other clever crafters.

 Show & Tell Thursday's

love you more than being able to see the time and watch tv simultaneously xxx