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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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

I am…

In my world right now I am: ConeflowerGardening… making the most of the summer that has officially extended into Autumn. These echinacea have been a feast for my eyes all summer long!

Coneflower 2Giving up in the battle to eat all the zucchini. My family now flat out refuses to eat anything containing zucchini – but as their palates are not yet refined enough toย  detected it grated, it’s surreptitiously making its way into all manner of meals undetected heh heh heh. Question, at what point does a zucchini officially become marrow?? These: Marrows.

Marrows 2Potting? Potterying?? *Making* a whole menagerie of clay animals! Loving getting my hands dirty each week at a hand building pottery class I’m taking this term…

This is Petunia. If you follow my face book page you’ve probably seen quite a lot of her!

Pottery pigTie Dying… Deciding to tie dye with two children = reckless… There was dye, it was EVERYWHERE. Some even made it onto items of clothing.

Tie dying I have to admit that for the most part, the results (on the clothes) were fabulous. The same can’t be said for my hands… That black thumb lasted for days! Tie dying 2Crocheting… a little easy sweet crochet in sherbert cotton. More on that soon!

Crochet in cottonEating thisย  taste sensation! My current favourite toast topping? Natural peanut butter, banana and chia seeds. Once made it doesn’t last long! For the most part no body in my close vicinity shares my love of peanut butter creations… Do you?

output_NkY7fFWishing that summer could last forever, but knowing that as the nights begin to close in that its going to be gone soon… So Ill leave you with this gorgeous monarch one of many loving it up at our place right now before summer slips away.

Monarch on dahliaSo now I’d like to know, what are you…

Making

Giving up (it is Lent after all)

Crocheting

Eating

Wishing

Doing?

xoxo – J

Raspberries and a new crochet top

Despite a lovely long hot summer, this year our raspberries are ripening rather slowly… a little like my blogging of late, the pickings so far for 2015 have been pretty slim!!!

crochet top free patternLife just seems to be getting busier and busier. The lovely relaxed days of summer have become all but a distant memory and now thatย  school is back (actually they’ve been back for two weeks), there is so much more on and after school activities are back in full swing. Ive also been working more (and traveling with my job) which makes spare time a rare commodity.

crochet top free patternHopefully this lovely crochet and chiffon top makes up for the wait!

Ginko crochet top 5Simple and easy to make, this top is lovely and cool – perfect for the hot weather we are experiencing. It took a while to get the hang of a small hook and fine cotton in my hands, but once I had the knack, it was lovely to work with. Working with heavy wool in the summer = not my idea of a good time!

crochet top free patternThe only modification I had to make to the pattern was to add a lining/undershirt. Because the crochet lace at the top is so fine, and the bottom is so sheer, I needed a little something underneath – so I whipped up a knit (t-shirt type material) singlet in a similar pale blue which I attached to the inside at the shoulder seams. It worked perfectly, and using the over-locker (serger) means it only required a few seams to complete. If you didn’t want to make something specially, I’m sure a slip or singlet in a complementary color would also work just fine. Ginko crochet top 4I love the rose fabric, which took quiteย  lot of hunting to find – I almost purchased something else but decided it wasn’t quite right, I was so glad when I found this because I knew it was just what I had been looking for. I was so glad that I waited!

If you’d like to make this lovely top for yourself, check out the pattern and most excellent tutorial over at Genuine Mudpie, thanks Trish I love it!crochet top free patternI really wish I could share some of these fabulous raspberries with you all ๐Ÿ™‚ Of all the fruit and veges I grow, they are my favourite crop. Requiring no special treatment and not much water, they give us a huge return –ย  and the taste, did I mention how good they taste? Honestly they are to die for. Luscious little pearls of sweet AND tart that just burst on your tongue. Bliss!

Hope you are having a wonderful week, and enjoying a small (and healthy) treat where ever you are!

Love Janette xoxoxox

Girl’s crochet cardigan

Girls Crochet cardigan free patternIt’s about time I got around to showing you the crochet cardigan I made for Maia, which I finished in December, but what with Christmas and holidaying at the beach and general post holiday laziness I have been a bit slow getting up here on the blog.Girls Crochet cardigan free patternIt’s adapted from a free lionbrand pattern which was a really nice pattern and a great starting point.

To modify the pattern I used an 8ply cotton, the largest pattern size (the original pattern was for Worsted/10ply yarn) and a 4mm hook. I wanted something longer and more classic than the cropped cardi, so I made the body significantly longer than the pattern stated (just kept repeating the body pattern until it looked about the right length). Because the sizing was a little out I had to reduce the yoke a little to get the fit right for my 7/8 year old (it was too big around the arms for her).Girls Crochet cardigan free patternThe beauty of a simple pattern like this is that you can adapt it to suit your needs and the yarn you have available. I guess the only word of advice I’d offer is that if you are going to deviate from a pattern (or use a different yarn and hook than is recommended), is that you have the person you are going to be making the garment for close by so you can try it on and check the fit frequently as you are crocheting.

Another reason this took so long to show you the finished piece is because Maia’s tolerance for my photography ‘habit’ is significantly lower than it used to be. So after these few snaps, this… Girls Crochet cardigan free pattern…marked the end of the photo shoot!

Have a wonderful week everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

Janette xoxox

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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

 

Holiday update and giveaway winner…

Sorry this post is a little late… you see we were on holiday at the beach for a week, having a gloriously relaxing time, which was – as I’m sure you can imagine – just wonderful at this time of year. I had intended to post a quick update from my nice newish (it was only 6 weeks old) smart phone, sometime on Monday. That was until it became acquainted with the bottom of the ocean, got in a huff and now isn’t talking to me anymore. In actual fact, its not doing anything anymore. Well except sitting in a bag of rice praying for a miracle (ok the praying part, that’s me).

Anyway so we got home on Tuesday afternoon and since then I have been up to my eyeballs in Christmas preparation. I thought I’d share a few of our summery holiday snaps. But if you are really keen to find out the giveaway winner, just scroll to the bottom of the post ๐Ÿ™‚

Pilot bay dec 2014 2Maia Dece 2014 2SeagullMt Beach10848640_904375889615013_1423785348868164582_oBeach collection Pilot bay dec 2014 3Carter dec 2014 crab Maia birthday 2 2014 Maia birthday 2014Maia and Carter Christmas pillowcase 2014Pilot bay dec 2014

Thank you to everyone who entered in the Crochet Pretty e-book giveaway.

Without further ado the winner is (drum roll please)… Rose Griffin, who said:ย  Love the draw string purse! Add me to the list!! I want one!!!ย  Congratulations Rose, if you send me an email Ill send you the details for claiming your prize ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy holidays everyone xxoo xxoo