Hello winter

A weekend away; pizza nights; knitting socks and hats; pottery; painting in my sketchbook and winter growing – mushrooms and micro greens… 
Even though it’s dark and more than a little cold, I’ve been busy! What about you, what are you up to? Enjoy your weekend, Ill be busy… making! J xoxo

A quick fix

Grape leaf

When Im working on one or two larger projects I sometimes feel the need for a quick project to satisfy my cravings for making AND finishing something. So this week I did just that and whipped up this crochet scarf, using scrap yarn and a beautiful woven stitch of single crochet, chain one.

Scrap Crochet Scarf

This isn’t the first time Ive used this stitch (you can check out my dishcloths here), I like the fabric it makes and the way it looks, a little more stylish than a plain crochet stitch.

I guess since I joined the ends together its technically a cowl (or maybe a snood or an infinity scarf depending on where you are from), but whichever way you look at it, its lovely and warm and cozy!

Scrap Crochet Scarf 3

And boy did it ever use up a good lot of my leftover wool 🙂

It was very useful today in the chilly wind and rain I had to stand in while watching not one, but two early morning games of Saturday soccer. In fact Im fairly sure, as I sit in front of my roaring fire tonight typing this that I have only JUST begun to thaw out! Scrap Crochet Scarf 2

I quickly ducked outside this afternoon to catch the last of the quickly fading light to take these photos and the wind was still blowing everything around:

In other satisfying, but perhaps less permanent projects completed this week, in an unusual half hour where I found myself at home (alone!) and dinner already sorted, I painted some leaves…

I love autumn leaves, and these magnolia leaves lent themselves well as a lovely sturdy canvas. I used some acrylic paint and markers to create these designs, and while they won’t last forever, they were a fun way to use the time I had to unwind at the end of what had been a busy day.

Painted leaves-2

Ok, so maybe I wasn’t entirely alone. I did have a small furry ‘helper’ who couldn’t quite understand what I was doing and why I wasn’t patting him!

Painted leaves 2

I hope your week has been a good one, and for those of you enjoying spring, spare a thought for me as winter fast takes us into her fold and send me some words of the lovely sunshine and greenery you are enjoying at your place please! J xoxo

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?

Chocolate yogurt

Chocolate yogurt recipeWe eat a lot of yogurt in our family, usually of the make at home in our yogurt maker kind, which I like because it is neither too sweet, or adds to landfill with huge amounts of un-recyclable plastic.

However, we seem to have been on a bit of a kick with chocolate yogurt lately. You know the kind – in the little plastic pottles, lots of additives, not much nutritional goodness, but lots of yum!

So I decided to set out on a quest to make the perfect chocolate yogurt, and do you know I think I may have found it…

The original video is here.  It’s in french, which isn’t too helpful. However it does give the basic ingredients/ amounts which are:

370 g dark chocolate (I used 72% dark Ghana)
500g whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pottle of natural yogurt

And here’s how to make these delicious little jars of chocolate:

Directions:

1.  Heat milk in heavy bottomed pot to 180° F (82° C).

2.  Remove from heat.

3.  Cool milk to 110°-115° F (43°-46° C).

4.  Add a pottle of fresh yogurt culture  (store brought plain unsweeted yogurt) to warm milk and let rest about 5 minutes before stirring.

5.  Add to a bowl which has the chocolate (broken up) and sugar, stir until completely melted together.

6.  Pour into a glass jar or ceramic container (I use five 1/2 cup wide mouth glass jars) and cover.

7.  Place into a warm oven set to 110° F (43° C).

8.  Incubate, without disturbing, for 6-8 hours or until firm.

9.  Refrigerate until ready to eat (at least 4 hours).

10. Enjoy!Chocolate yogurt recipe

So smooth.

So creamy.

So NOT for breakfast…

Nom nom 🙂

 

Early winter snaps and new socks

It was the Queen’s birthday weekend holiday today, and this afternoon we took a beautiful walk through the Hamilton gardens…
DSC_0563IMG_0462IMG_0468IMG_0469 DSC_0595 DSC_0612 DSC_0618 DSC_0620 DSC_0623 IMG_0430

The air has a cold chill to it, but  the sun is still lovely and warm. A holiday on a Monday is a perfect start to the week, if only every Monday could be spent this way 🙂

And, in other news, I finished Carter’s new socks. He’s rather pleased with them… but convincing him to sit still for long enough to take a photo – that took about a week!DSC_0539 DSC_0555DSC_0541

I’ve cast on another pair already!

Thank you for the lovely reassuring comments in the last post. Maia arrived home from camp on Friday, safe and sound. She had a lovely time! But oh was I glad to have her home 🙂

How did your week start? Jxx