Pizza night and a bunny

The school holidays are coming to an end this weekend, come Monday we’ll be back to the school/work routines. It’s lovely to take the time together to make some meals a special celebration of the season, the holiday and just being together.

We love a pizza in this family, and now that autumn is here and the evenings are fine but cool, it’s the perfect time for cozying up in front of the pizza oven.DSC_0247Ready to come out…
DSC_0211Maia set the table for us, including picking a bunch of autumnal leaves and flowers and making little place setting name tags…DSC_0215Of course, the pizza was delicious… there are never any complaints about eating dinner on pizza night!DSC_0234And as you might have noticed in the first photo, dessert was also cooked over the open flame – well the marshmallows were anyway 🙂DSC_0255If you follow me on Facebook you might have seen that I recently taught Maia to knit. She picked it up really quickly – I’ve tried and tried to teach her to crochet but it just hasn’t stuck – but she’s taken to knitting like a duck to water…13010748_1170263153026284_6216425662650888505_nDon’t you love the look of concentration?

I found this really easy pattern to make a knitted bunny, which is basically just  a square which you sew up in a triangle to make the head and then along the seam to make the body… that doesn’t make much sense, but  you can find a much better explanation here!

Stuffing the body…DSC_0204And sewing the final seam:DSC_0208Love that tongue!

Here’s the finished bunny, cute huh…DSC_0279Pretty nifty how two of the corners make the ears! Im thinking it would work just as well with a crochet square, and even better if you had a furry yarn. She was very pleased with herself, and I am very proud of her yarny creating 🙂

For me, Im working on sock two of my second pair of socks, this pair is MUCH easier than the first was!DSC_0293This is taken this morning, while having breakfast. Green smoothie and blueberry and apple pancake squares… the raspberries have finally finished for the season.DSC_0295Don’t you love the colors, these self striping yarns are awesome!

What’s going on at your place, what are you working on?

Have a great week everyone!
Janette df

The weekend

Summer has drifted slowly into autumn, and although the weather is still warm, we’re well into the cooler season mode. I’m certainly struggling with moving far from home, enjoying the quieter change of pace that the change of season brings.

Autumn mornings are the perfect time for raspberry pancake squares (yes we are still picking raspberries – yum!)DSC_0047
So what did I get up to this weekend?

DSC_0107 (1)Can you spot what’s peaking out from under this beautiful orchid?

Yes I’ve started knitting a pair of socks.

It’s many a year since I’ve knitted, but I’ve seen so many gorgeous socks being produced all over the internet, I decided I would give them a go.

After the initial fiddling and fumbling with the tiny circular needle, no less than 5 starts on the rib(!), and more than a few dropped stitches, I pulled myself together and finished a sock. I’m well into the next one and I’m happy to report that it’s growing on the needles much more smoothly (and quickly ). Im following this most excellent beginner sock tutorial on Winwick Mum.

Don’t you love the lovely self striping sock yarn?

DSC_0101I also spent a few hours on Saturday making a whole new wardrobe for Maia’s Barbie family (interestingly, not one of the them is called ‘Barbie’!)…

DSC_0057Certainly not my favorite dolls, but I’m actually quite proud of how modest,  yet stylish, they turned out! Plus its the only time I’ve made 3 skirts, 2 pairs of trousers, 1 dress and 4 tops in one day. Maia: “You should go into business making Barbie clothes, Mum. They are so much better than the ones they come with.” Thanks love, will keen that in mind if I need to find a new job!

As with most weekends, I also spent some time in the garden. The winter vege garden is in, and while the summer flowers are all but done, there are some pockets of color still holding on…DSC_0076This time of the year I adore the hydrangeas…DSC_0075Their mottled colors are  so beautiful as they dry on the bushes…DSC_0072I know they are probably not for everyone, but to me they are more beautiful now than when they are in early bloom.DSC_0069I will cut them off, but not until they are completely dead (sometime in the middle of winter), for now I enjoy their shabby chic beauty…DSC_0066So that’s what the weekend looked like at our place. What did you get up to? Ever knitted socks? Got any tips to share? ~ J xox

December and January

There isn’t any snow falling, nor fires burning or chestnuts roasting… but our festive season has had a lot of sun, sand and smiles 🙂

Just before Christmas we spent a week at Mt Maunganui, which was glorious!Mt MaunganuiPohutukawa Mt MaunganuiPohutukawa M & CWhile we were there, my baby girl turned 9!Maia turns 9Since Christmas we’ve been for lots of hikes, and even managed some mountain biking. Not to mention plenty of time in the pool.Hiking 2016Hiking 2016 2I always love finding a heart shaped rock!Heart shaped rockHiking 2016 3I’ve spent much time tending my garden… which is looking lush and green thanks to a couple of days of rain this week! garden jan 2016It’s very productive too – artichokes, potatoes, peas, beans, cucumbers – I’m impatiently waiting for the tomatoes, they just need to hurry up and ripen! garden jan 2016 2garden jan 2016 3Of course we still have one of these; Christmas tree 2015And there were plenty of presents, and all the usual things you would expect at Christmas – like us all eating more than a reasonable amount of festive-y food!

The summer still has another month or so to go, but work starts again later this week which will be a rude wake up call for those of us that have been lazing around in bed until a very late hour (ie, me!), but I’m sure we will manage to fit in plenty more outdoor activity before the children have to go back to school next month.

maia and janette mtSo my friends, I want to wish you a (little late) but very merry Christmas, and all the very best for a wonderful new year…

What’s happening in your world? What have you been up to?

J xox

Rag Quilt

Yesterday I made a rag quilt for Maia… Rag quilt 2Actually it would be more accurate to say that I sewed it together yesterday. I cut out the squares some time ago but lost interest over the summer in sewing it all together (how unlike me!). So in a marathon effort that even gave me a leave pass from making dinner (excellent ploy to remember for future – sorry I cant tonight I’m up to my eyeballs in sewing which I promised Maia I’d finish today) my most excellent helper and I sewed a gazillion squares – first together (batting sandwiched between slightly larger layers of cotton and flannelette) with big crisscrosses, then in rows and finally all the rows together to form a quite lovely pink and purple, flannel backed raggy quilt.Rag quilt

The beauty of this type of quilt is in the imperfectness of it. I promise you there is not a perfectly uniform square in it, and the rows? They don’t exactly line up. I’m ok with that. I know there are some accomplished quilters out there (Nola I’m looking at you) that will not love this quilt. But I’m going with that its supposed to be rustic (can a quilt be rustic?) and of course if it was all perfect it wouldn’t be gorgeous and raggy!

Today its been through the wash, and flapped on the line in the cool autumn breeze for most of the morning, before heading into the dryer for a spin. Out it came, all fluffy soft and frayed and wonderfully snuggly, just asking to be crawled under and read to. Fortunately I know just the girl for such a quilt 🙂

Rag quiltI think this type of quilt is perfect for beginners (like me), and for those that are not that keen on getting everything perfect (truthfully I’d rather poke a needle in my eye than spend days lining up a gazillion squares and then trying to sew them all together neatly –  I can only imagine how much unpicking that would have involved).  Speaking of which I broke three needles in the one afternoon I was making this. One went through my finger so we can’t really blame that on the layers of quilt – this was slightly traumatic for both me and the 8 year old, but the other two were through pushing them and the machine too hard. If I was to attempt this again (which I may), I would buy some stronger (heavier?) needles.

Construction was pretty simple. I got the idea off the interweb, where there are some particularly helpful people who have made many of these quilts and put together lovely tutorials – like this one, this one and this one.

Aside from the cutting and sewing, a few hours last night was spent snipping all the edges to help them fray. My thumb is going to take some time to recover from all the exercise!Rag quilt 6So that’s that, would I recommend it? Yes? Will I make another??? Hmmmmmmm, we’ll see.

The weather has cooled down significantly here this week, and with it the light is fading, so I took the quilt outdoors to get some photos… supposedly just with Maia and her new quilt…

Rag quilt 5But someone else wanted in on the photo shoot 🙂

Rag quilt 4And now he wants in on a quilt too… PLEEEEAAAASSSSSEEEEE Mummy!

When I sat down at the computer tonight to send this I found a couple of other posts which I had begun which I haven’t got around to posting, so all going well I will get those finished and you will hear from me again soon, but until then I hope you are having a wonderful week friends!

J xoxoxo

Christmas 2014

Because we had been on holiday for a week just before Christmas, this year Christmas day seemed to sneak up with alarming speed. We were lucky to spend the day at home with visits from parents, grandparents, uncles and aunties and cousins.

Christmas 2014 3The tree was its usual eclectic mix of ornaments both brought and home made, lovingly assembled by the children in early December. There were, of course, an abundance of packages beneath the tree…

Christmas 2014We celebrate Christmas in New Zealand in mid-summer so there is plenty of fresh summer fruit to enjoy. Strawberries and cherries feature a lot on kiwi Christmas tables… although we do like to add in a bit of mistletoe and some fake snow to accompany the far-from-home reindeer for a bit of Northern hemisphere white Christmas spirit. Christmas 2014 2This year we ate outdoors, the deck brightened with an abundance of colourful blooms from the garden…

Christmas 2014 5Arranged and deposited around the place (and I’m very proud to say all from my garden!)…

Christmas 2014 6Because it was so hot we opted for outdoor cooking, so the dinner was cooked in our pizza oven – we enjoyed perfectly roasted turkey and lamb.

Christmas 2014 4And an assortment of salads and baby potatoes (and maybe a glass or two of wine)!Christmas dinnerNot to mention a LOT of delicious dessert… which left us all feeling a little like this guy 🙂

Christmas 2014 7Merry Christmas, from my family to yours! I hope you had a wonderful day filled with love, joy, family, and delicious food. I’d love to hear all about it!

Janette xxxoooxxxooo

 

Giving pottery a go

Thank you for all the lovely comments about my last post, I feel so blessed with your kindness 🙂 The weather is still all over the show, and while its no weather for tomatoes or cucumbers, most of the garden is looking gorgeous, and this weekend I have three roses, and my peony coming into bloom – lets hope there’s not too much wind! I’m sure there will be more flower photos soon!

What’s the perfect way to spend a wet Saturday? At the local pottery workshop open day! The children tried their hand at throwing a pot on the wheel, free form clay sculpture and raku glaze.  It was a first experience with clay for them and they both had so much fun. One of the (many) unexpected joys of motherhood is seeing my children experience something new for the first time, especially when they adore it! I have to admit I was itching to have a go myself, pottery is something I have always wanted to explore more and I think today’s visit has convinced me to sign up for classes next term!

Carter on potters wheelMaia on potters wheelMaia and Carter Raku glazeMaia pottery flowerMaia and Carter clay sculpture Carter's cermic pendantMaia pottery vase

 

Here’s a couple of little video’s, Maia building her pot on the pottery wheel:

And Carter building his:

What are you up to this weekend? Have you tried any new crafty experiences lately? Much love, Janette xox