A little linen top

I've had this cut out and ready to sew for quite a while. I'm trying to be productive and get some things finished. And I'm so glad this is finished now. There is something so lovely about the way natural fabrics wear.
This is a lovely soft and thick linen, which used to be a tablecloth.

I think Isla will be wearing this lots.
I made an extra one and I've put it in our etsy shop.

Crafty Kin turned one

And I didn't even make a cake, or sing happy birthday. In fact I didn't even remember! It was last friday a year ago that I started out on this little blog adventure. And what fun it has been. It really has helped me to slow down in my days and notice and appreciate some of the little things - which was kind of my intention.
And the best thing about this blog is all you people who stop in and say hi. Those that I know well, and the new friends I have made out in the big wide blog world.
And you know a neat thing, I even met one of my readers about a month ago. She lives just down the road! We take our littlies to the same music group. It was so funny, she figured out who I was by the skirt I was wearing! It felt so strange to meet a stranger that's not really a stranger at all. I kind of feel like I've known her for ages even though I've only just met her. And how nice to connect with such a sweet lovely lady (look at the sweet things she gave me).
So anyway, it's been fun. And it's nice now looking back on the last year and remembering some of the things we did and some of the things we made, and seeing how much the children have grown. I'm looking forward to seeing what this year might bring. I do hope you will pop in and say hi from time to time.

Birthday handmades

This is the cake I made for Liam's birthday.

Wholemeal carrot cake with cream cheese icing.

It's a snail if you can't tell. Liam's really into snails, he likes collecting them from the garden.
I made a little Liam peg boy candle holder for the top.
(Inspired by these at The Small Object).
Fun to make. I will make Isla one too for her birthday celebrations.

I also made him a birthday crown, which he wore briefly. Maybe next year he'll be more into wearing it.

I've been saving this sweet vintage trim for just the right project.
I like the idea of these keepsake items that will be stored away and bought out each year for special birthday celebrations.

Part of his birthday present from us was a painting apron. He is really enjoying drawing and colouring at the moment, I kind of prefer him to draw and colour with his pens and pencils rather than getting out the messy paints. But he does love painting so we should do it more. Hopefully the apron will help to keep the mess a little more under control.
I made one for Isla too because I knew she'd want to join in.
Aaron's mum bought him an easel for his birthday and we've already used it for a painting session. The kids loved it. I forgot to take a picture of the aprons before they were used.

Happy Birthday Liam!

Liam turned three on Sunday.
Three! My baby boy is three!
On Saturday we went to Kelly Tarlton's and on Sunday we had presents, happy birthday singing, and cake eating.
Aaron's mum came from Australia to stay and my Dad came visiting with one of my nephews.
Liam had so much fun and was so worn out after it all. The boy, who rarely has afternoon naps now, slept for over 4 hours yesterday afternoon!
Thankyou everyone for your lovely pressies and your love and cuddles and happy birthday wishes.

Liam LOVED Kelly Tarlton's and didn't want to leave.
But the sharks were a bit 'gearey' (scarey).
I was kind of freaked out by the stingrays. I can't believe how huge these things are!
I'll show some better pictures of the cake tomorrow and a couple of other things I made.

What will today bring?

I would rather sleep in. But if I am up I do enjoy the stillness of the early morning. As the day awakens and stretches and rubs it's sleepy eyes. And the birds go about their daily ritual of morning greetings, sharing their plans for the day, and discussing what they dreamed about in the night. That's what I imagine they're talking about.

Nature mobile

This was a fun little project to do with the kids.
One that we will definately be doing again.

I had a piece of driftwood lying around that we had collected some time ago.
I sent the kids out into the garden with a little bucket to collect some leaves. They did a really good job of collecting leaves and came back with a VERY full bucket - which made a lot of mess, but hey, nothing a vacuum cleaner can't fix in a jiffy.

We chose some bright colourful strings to hang our leaves and they helped me choose which which leaves to hang.

The leaves had little holes in them already so they were perfectly suited for mobile making.

Then we hung the mobile in Liam's room and had lots of fun taking photos of it.

Liam enjoyed having this hanging in his room and studying the leaves.
It lasted a few weeks until one by one the leaves dissapeared.
We still have the stick with the strings attached so we might make another mobile now with some of his treasures that he has collected from the beach.
*The tiles on the wall are canvases covered with pictures from old children's books. Another fun and simple project.*

Turn a page. Trees will thank you.

My older sister Adde bought me a subscription to Country Living magazine for my birthday.
But I won't be receiving any magazines in the post.
They're all going to come to my computer!
How cool is that! I reckon this is such a great idea.
It saves trees and other resources. Doesn't produce waste. And I don't end up with piles and piles of magazines that I need to find a spot for. I like to keep all my magazines so I can refer back to them. I have quite a lot of magazines. But at the moment most of them are stored in our shed because I don't have room in the house for them. But even the stacks in the house now are growing. And I never look at the ones in the shed which kind of defeats the purpose of having them.

So yeah, I'm pretty happy about this new way of doing things.
I've received my first issue and it's really user friendly and easy to read online, you can zoom in and out on the page and when you click the arrow to turn the page it looks like a real page rolling over. You can look at a preview of the new issue of Elle Decor here to see how it works. (Click on the botton that says 'inside').

Thanks Adde for my birthday pressie, and thanks for introducing me to this great new way of doing things.

A little swapsie

With my lovely sis.
It was her idea.
She wanted a pixie hat for Saxon.
She said she'd make me something in return.
While hanging out the washing I had a brainwave.
A peg apron.
I truly truly need a peg apron.

I never expected it to be so cool.

Isn't my sis the best.

I love the little apples she stitched on.

It's really made hanging out the washing not seem so bad.

This is the hat I made for Saxon.
It seems we have a thing for apples.

Hello new pay it forward people

My randomly chosen people are:

Thanks everyone for visiting and for your pay-it-forward enthusiasm!
I wish I could send you all a little pressies in the mail. If only I was an octopus with lots of extra arms.

I will get in touch with you people up there to get your addresses.
And those of you that missed out... perhaps if you keep an eye on their blogs you might get another chance to join in :o)

Happy weekend to you all.
Random photo. Liam loves collecting things. Liam loves organising things.

I've been tagged...

For a me meme by SweetP Knits. I've finally got around to posting it.
What is your current obsession?
Finding a recipe box. You just can't seem to buy them in NZ. I found this cute vintage one on etsy but the postage is a little crazy.

Recipe box from Martha Stewart

What are you wearing today?
The new tunic top I just made from this book.

What's for dinner?
Stew from the freezer with rice. Isla loves rice.
I love it when I make double batches.

What would you eat for your last meal?
An eye fillet steak with creamy mashed potato and some fancy sauce and portobello mushrooms. Then profiteroles (with cream and chocolate sauce) with fresh strawberries.
ETA: Oh my goodness yes, how could I forget to write olives here!

What's the last thing you bought?
Not including food - Beeswax crayons and wooden stacking rainbow for Laim's upcoming birthday.

What are you listening to right now?
Kids music CDs and Radio National in the car. Not much at home. I'm sick of all our Cds. I'm on the hunt for new music.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
Assisi or Gimmelwald- as long as the family could come with me.

Which language do you want to learn?
Umm none actually at this moment in my life. Kinda makes my head hurt thinking about trying to learn another language.

What do you love most about where you currently live?
Having so many beaches close by.

What is your favorite colour?
At the moment it's yellow. Second to that is green.

1. thrifted sunshine, 2. appily dappily, 3. vintage yellow dansk buffer server, 4. bits of yellow, 5. Birdseed Double Half Apron, 6. in/out, 7. warming the neck, 8. Vintage yellow Volkswagen T1, 9. sept7 - friday feet, 10. Yellow, 11. shiny new shoes, 12. lemonade

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
All my cardigans. Love cardigans.

Describe your personal style?
Eclectic. Quite often everything I'm wearing is from the opp shop. (Not including undergarments!).

What were you doing ten years ago?
Completing the last year of a product design degree.

If you had £100 now, what would you spend it on?
It would depend where it came from. We are trying to save every penny to get our house rennovations started. But if it was given as a gift purely intended for frivolously spending - maybe a pretty vintage dress in yellows (if one could be found).

What are you going to do after this?
Close the curtains and put some rice on to cook for dinner. (Well it's morning here now, so I'm not going to close the curtains actually! Wrote this a few days ago).

What are your favourite films?
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory - the original.

What inspires you?
Other creative people.

Your favourite books?
My bible.
The Hobbit.

Do you collect anything?
It used to be handbags but now I just have one that's big enough to hold snacks, water and a cloth for sticky little hands.
Now I collect vintage fabric. Not purposely, I just can't help myself.

What makes you follow a blog?
Creativity and great photography.

What was the most enjoyable thing you did today?
Out for coffee with a friend.

What is on the top of your to do list?
Make some more pixie hats for the shop. Finish sewing Liam and Isla's painting aprons. Plant carrots and beetroot. Clean the shower.

The rules:
1. Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, add one more question of your own.
2. Tag eight other people.
Ok so eight more people:

Feel free to ignore if it's not your thing.

Pay it forward - would you like to join in?

I have just received the two most lovely packages in the mail.
Oh how I love lovely packages that come in the mail.

I was fortunate enough to be chosen as one of the recipients of Rachel's (from Heart of Light) lovely pay it forward parcels.
Just look at these lovely things.

Hand printed cards. Weekly menu planner. And one of her sweet headbands.

The menu planner is such a great idea. You write the ingredients you need at the bottom there and then it tears off so you can take it to the store with you - cool huh!
And this is so timely, as I was saying to Aaron just the day before this arrived that I need to start planning our meals again!
(Unfortunately the parcel arrived on the rainiest weekend we've had for a long time so it got a little wet. I managed to dry it out ok but the glue at the top of the pad had kinda dissolved - hence the bulldog clip).

But wait there's more!
As if that wasn't enough.
I was extra fortunate to be chosen as the recipient of Jac's (from Coco Sunday) extra parcel she was giving away. (Rachel was one of Jac's pay it forward recipients).

So I received two wonderful parcels in one week!

Jac's pretty photo cards and one of her gorgeous pouches.

I love the fabric on the inside.
(If you want one of these for yourself by the way she sells them in her Etsy shop here)

So anyway, the deal with all this pay it forward love is that now I in turn must pay it forward.
So would you like to join in?
I need to find 5 people to send a lovely package to. If you are chosen you in turn need to send a parcel to 5 people.
It's low pressure - the gifts can be small, and you don't have to get them out immediately.
So if you'd like to play just leave a comment on this post and on Friday I will randomly pick 5 people to join in the fun.

Winter walks

I love going for walks to the beach in winter.
In the cool fresh sea air.
Wrapped up warm.
It feels so peaceful.

Liam loves finding treasures. That's what it's all about for him.

He piles up as many things as possible onto and into the pushchair.

Look another stick to take home mum!
I have to do a bit of gentle discouraging for some things. Like stinky wet seaweed.
Or REALLY big sticks. Otherwise it can get kind of out of control.

The sea air put Isla to sleep. She has had a nasty nasty tummy bug that has really knocked her. Poor wee thing.

This is the pushchair pocket collection. The big sticks are in the front garden.
"Deese my treasures mum."

These are what came home in my pocket. I can't help picking up pohutakawa leaves.
I'm always amazed at how beautiful each one is.
(hmm maybe Liam gets his treasure gathering tendencies from me).

We have a winner

Congratulations to Abi from Little Grubs!
I'm sending you an email.
Thanks everyone for entering!
And thanks for all your birthday wishes.
And thanks to Frith for making these pretty brooches.
If you didn't win and you really want a pretty brooch of your own remember the tutorial is here at Speckled Egg.