Home again and a special package waiting for us!

We’ve spent the last week holidaying in the Coromandel – which is about 2.5 hours away from where we live and on the upper east coast of the North Island of New Zealand…

It’s a beautiful seaside town…

And we spent much time exploring the coastline (The children are seen here crab hunting):

They found some tiny (tiny) crabs…

We even managed some exploring by boat 🙂

Parts of Coromandel are pretty famous

You may recognize this beach – Cathedral Cove – from one of the Narnia movies?

We had lots of walks, especially in the evenings, which even though its getting dark much earlier now, are a lovely way to wind down after dinner.

But it sure was nice to arrive home after a week away.  I love my home and love arriving back from a stay away. There’s something wonderful about returning home.

And that first nights sleep in my own bed.  Heaven!

More importantly, there was a very special package waiting for us when we got home! The children ravaged it open as soon as they were in the door… seems we don’t get much mail these days!

Inside a cute ladybug tin were some special hand painted rocks, which had travelled by mail all the way from Berlin, Germany. The lovely Julius had seen our earlier posts about our rock painting endeavours and suggested to his mum Carina, that we could exchange rocks… which of course we were very excited to do!

There was also some gorgeous self striping sock yarn in the package, which I was very excited to see. Thank you Carina and Julius!

One thing I love about blogging is the amazing people you ‘meet’ through shared interests (as an aside nobody in my family understands my love of crafting – my brother often shakes his head and tells me Im an 80 year old woman trapped in a 40 year old’s body!). I have followed Carina and her blog Häkelmonster for the last few (maybe 4 or 5) years and always enjoy seeing what she has been up to. It intrigues me that although we can be half a world apart we can have so much in common, from sock knitting to child raising and much in between.

If you are interested you can read Carina’s post about the rock exchange here and see what our NZ rocks look like 🙂

Have you received any exciting mail recently?

Have a lovely week, friends. Janette xx

Holidays and making days

Term one is over and with Easter the holidays have started…

We spent Easter Sunday with family and a trip to the beach. In between eating chocolate that is.

After the second tropical cyclone in as many weeks, the weather was superb, and the beach laden with treasures for the finding.

The children and my brothers made a beach hut over three days. It was a architectural feat and a sight to behold!

It was ALMOST warm enough for swimming. For me it was perfectly warm enough for photography 🙂

There’s been plenty of making taking place now school’s out. The children have been making some very nice mice... these are much tidier than the slime they spent yesterday concocting!

This is a lovely free sewing pattern from Ann Wood, lots of fun and suitably small and cute!

They look pleased with their efforts don’t they?

Billy doesn’t look so happy with his new make… Maia lovingly crafted this finger knitted scarf just for him (matches the mice!).

In other projects at our house, my Hygge is coming along well:

I really enjoy making the cross stitch on crochet. I’ve never cross stitched before, but its very relaxing (once you get the stitches in the right place that is). The single crochet is getting a little mind numbing, but easy to work on in front of the TV after work in the evenings 🙂

What are you working on, any good holiday projects for kids you can recommend?

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

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

A special little crochet bear

Hello!Crochet bear 6This is the little bear I made for my nephew this weekend, because today he is going into hospital to have a small operation.Crochet bear 7

His satchel was for the very important function of holding the smallest get well card:

Crochet bear 4Here is the proud recipient – as you can see he was very well received. In addition to the scarf and satchel, he got his very own ‘blankey’.

Carter and Jonty 2015 smlAnd I’m happy to report that the op went well, and tonight as I write this both boy and bear are currently tucked up in bed, sound asleep, and already on the mend 🙂

An autumn walk

For  those of you that have been following for a while you will know that we live in Hamilton, New Zealand, very close to some spectacular gardens, maybe even best gardens in the world! This afternoon we took a family walk through them, and in the fading  afternoon light I took these photos – which I thought I’d share with you…

Hamilton Gardens April 2015 2 Hamilton Gardens April 2015 3

Do children always have such boundless energy?

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I love this photo, but for the leaves, the fish could be swimming in the sky!

Hamilton Gardens April 2015 Hamilton Gardens April 2015 11

Hamilton Gardens April 2015 8Hamilton Gardens April 2015 12

Maybe that should be verdant autumn…Hamilton Gardens April 2015 13

Lots of fun with looooog shadows…

Hamilton Gardens April 2015 14 Hamilton Gardens April 2015 15Autumn really is a lovely time of year – the nights are cool but the days are bright and warm. The leaves are changing colour, but there is still so much in bloom. What’s your favourite season? What’s the weather like where you are? J xoxox