Tuesday, 30 April 2013

That awkward moment when

just two people comment on your giveaway, but you can't be sure if they commented because they felt sorry for you or they actually do want the baskets.

Still, it could be worse.
So, Alicia, they're yours. If you want them.  *Embarassed*.

For a chance to win some truly spectacular gifts, any Kiwi readers of this should head over to Stella's blog for the Mother of All Giveaways.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Mini Nesting Baskets

So those balls of thick strips of jersey yarn that I have been crocheting with have a name, it's called Zpagetti, but you knew that already, didn't you?  I'm always the last to know these things.  I haven't been able to find anywhere else that stocks the product here in New Zealand; if anyone has seen other colours somewhere on these fair shores please let me know as I am desperate to avoid having to cut up some t-shirts to make my second crochet mat.

Since I had a little bit of the black and white striped yarn left over, I worked up some crochet nesting baskets.

They measure 14x10cm, 10x9cm and 9x8cm.

There are a million ways to use mini storage baskets.  Here are four of them:

I bet you've always wanted to highlight your half-dead herbs too.  Well, now you can!  I'd like to send these baskets to a new home so if you'd like them, please leave me a comment telling me how you would use them.

Giveaway is open to New Zealand followers only of my blog this time.  Shot, bro.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

A Date with Bryan

Six months ago, I bought tickets to see Bryan Adams in concert.  He was one of my favourite artists when I was in high school and I think a nostalgic trip every now and then is good for the soul, so when I heard he was playing here for the first time in 15 years, I had to be there.

This was the first time in almost three years that my husband and I had been out without our children. As I was getting ready, I had a laugh to myself at how I do the bare minimum to look presentable these days.  When I was old enough to go out at high school, I enjoyed the process of taking nice long showers, shaving, moisturising and maybe even applying a face mask and then spending two hours (at least!) styling my hair, applying makeup and making important decisions on what to wear.

Last night, my five minute beauty regime consisted of a quick face wash and rummaging through the bathroom cabinet to choose whatever old eyeliner, mascara and makeup brushes would look least likely to give me an eye infection.  Then I applied some lipstick which promptly snapped off at the base.  Of course, by this stage, I was gaining an audience ("Mum, you look different"/"I don't like it") so I gave my girls a sweep of lippy too and off they went happily, leaving me to get dressed in relative peace.

We gave our girls a cuddle and kiss goodbye and headed out to the show with me wearing two odd socks, but at least my top was clean.

It's quite a novel feeling being at a concert and realising you might quite possibly be amongst the youngest there.  The concert was very mellow and Bryan was amazing to watch live, singing almost continuously for two hours with just him and his guitar and a fantastic, accompanying pianist.  Some of my favourites of the evening were Summer of '69 and Straight from the Heart.  If there was one gripe, it was the women, let's say, of a certain age, screaming at him to take his shirt off.  Wrong show, ladies. Yelling it out once is funny, four or five times is cringeworthy.  That dude is OLD, we don't need to see his muscle wastage.

If I had a decent cellphone I would have taken photos but really, it would not have done justice to capture the atmosphere, so I had a little scrounge on Youtube and found this teaser clip.

Thanks Bryan, I'm in Heaven.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Personalised crochet

Amazing what you can do with some craft wire, a crochet hook and a ball of yarn.

My inspiration came from some metal signs that I adore but cannot justify the price tag.  What are your thoughts?  Cool or tacky?

Linking up with Show and Tell again this week.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Old mat, new mat

Brown mat

Grey hue mat.

Inspired by this gorgeous upcycled t-shirt crochet mat, I quickly came to realize that I am too impatient to stockpile unwanted t-shirts in sufficient quantities, and I'm also far too lazy to cut those suckers up into strips, so, on a recent trip to Spotlight for something else entirely, I found a few balls of polyester yarn in the sale bins.  BOOM!  So it's out with the tired, paint-splattered rectangular mat that hung out in the kitchen and in with this soft, springy circular mat.

In my eagerness to start, I forgot to take a photo of the yarn before opening the packets, so here are the slugs post-project:

I spent a few hours over the weekend working up the mat in single crochet stitches using a 12mm hook.  The stitches look quite dense and uneven in this close-up, I figure they will relax a little over time with my rather fetching frame standing on it (ha!).
I like big hooks and I cannot lie

Joining up with Leonie for Show and Tell this week.

 Show & Tell Thursday's

Degree of difficulty: Easy-oso
Time taken: 12 hours
Result: The yarn I used was only available in the three colours I purchased, but I'm thinking a white mat with vibrant, coloured rings would look amazing on a bare polished floor - just not on my kitchen floor, 'cos that would be just asking for someone to drop a whole bowl of spaghetti all over it.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

For the Top Gun fans

Turning and returning to some secret place inside

Watching in slow motion as you turn around and say

Take my breath crochet.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Our Indian summer

With the turning back of the clocks this morning, we feel a bite in the breeze and add another blanket to our beds.  The seemingless endless summer we have enjoyed might just be over.  I wanted to share with you some snapshots of our long, lazy past few months, some of which was spent with family in Taranaki where we said farewell to one family member, celebrated the birthday of another and captured some moments in between.

Mount Taranaki/Fuji*:
* maybe.

Stony River walk:

A rare quiet moment:

And more frequent not-so quiet ones:

Wellington Botanical Gardens:

This cooler weather is making my yarn stash look quite appealing and I hear the crochet hook calling my name...

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Tic Tac Toe cushions

Has anyone else noticed that their children's levels of undesirable behaviour generally escalate the least child-friendly the setting they are in?  McDonalds - perfect table manners.  Restaurant - doing snow angels on the carpet.  We don't go out much.

This is my not so subtle homage to the classic game that I break out with my daughters anywhere they've got their whinge on.

The fabrics that I used for these cushions were remnants bundled together in coordinating colours on the $10 sale table at ES Design.  Because it was next to impossible to see exactly what I was purchasing, what I ended up with was a bit of a lucky dip.  Some of the fabrics were fantastic and had a retro feel like the Sanderson Dandelion clocks that I used for our lounge cushions.  Others were fabrics and prints that are not typical for me to use, and because I absolutely hate wasting material, it has been a good experience for me to work with different textiles and see what I could make with it all.

The Tic cushion is an orange wool fabric cross appliqué on green linen:

The Tac cushion is a linen print. Yes, I know there should only be one 'o' but I took some creative liberties:

Finally, the Toe cushion is also first attempt at cross-stitch using green linen as my base cloth.  See, my crosses get a little teeny-tiny in the bottom left. I had to take care not to create too much tension with my thread otherwise it would distort the linen:

All of the cushions are backed in a floral linen and have zip closures.

Time taken: 3 days
Degree of difficulty: Standard cushions are very simple to make.  The cross-stitch cushion was more challenging.  I have a newfound appreciation for people who can cross-stitch neatly. Before I started this project, I thought it would be quite easy.  It wasn't.  Maybe it was my poor choice of base cloth and thread, or maybe I should have chosen a more simple shape to cross-stitch for my first attempt. Or, more likely, I'm just total rubbish at needlepoint...
Result: Stalemate