Thursday, 29 August 2013


My children have the flu, flu, flu, with some strep throat too, too, too, what about you, you, you?  I can feel bright and sunny about it all now with the worst of it behind us, but to be honest, the last 12 days 4 hours and 37 minutes have been quite draining.  It is probably just my perception of things, but it does feel that in this household, there is always at least one person who is not feeling a hundy.

Something I have often wondered at times like this is what would happen if I was working full-time? No-one I know would come and look after contagious children (at least, not willingly) and you'd always be cast as that family that passed on the bugs. So, how do parents who work full-time manage total mask-wearing quarantine-requiring illness? Do you have understanding employers who will allow you to take a week's leave at a moments' notice or do you pump your children full of paracetamol and send them off to school or daycare and hope no-one notices your child collapsed in a festering heap at the back of the classroom? You do do that, don't you?!

If we absolutely had to succumb to sickness, it probably came at the right time, as my youngest daughter turns 4 soon. Fortunately, neither her nor I have caught the bug - yet - *shines my perfect parenting halo with extra-heavy duty sanitizer that kills 99.9% of germs whilst wearing latex gloves* so we have been planning a few things for her party. Her sick sisters crawled off the couch for a minute or two whenever they felt able to contribute to the cause.

Aimee has asked for a rainbow/princess/Bubble Guppy theme. Nothing like a 4 year old's imagination to get you thinking outside the square. I am very grateful for the internet as I have never actually sat down with her to watch the show *gasp!* and would not have a clue who the characters are but I will find a way to incorporate it amongst the sparkly garishness that is the world of 4 year old girls.

Thusly, a preview of our preparations:

Even if it doesn't sound like it, I love planning my daughters' parties. I know there is such a small window before they get older and will no longer need or want my input. This year will see my older girls having more involvement in decorating, organising and helping to run the party games.

They are just as excited about Aimee's party as the birthday girl is and I hope that their anticipation lasts for a few more years yet.

There just had better not be any sick party guests.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

One for the Eric Clapton fans

If you wanna hang out you've gotta take her out. Crochet.

If you got bad news, you wanna kick them blues. Crochet.

When your day is done and you wanna run. Crochet.

She don't lie

she don't lie

she don't like.


Showing and telling at Leonie's.

Degree of difficulty: Easy. The pattern is available on this blog if you would like to try it for yourself
Time taken: 4 hours
Result: Definitely use a 5.0 crochet hook. I used a 4 as that was the only hook I have that was close in size. The beanie is made from 8 ply wool so there is plenty of stretch in it, but the size is more suited for a newborn. Or a doll. Or just something that doesn't express any opinion whatsoever.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

For the love of blogs

Just when I was starting to feel a little neglected with first Christchurch and then Auckland hosting intensive blogging conferences, an email arrived in my mailbox. Vicki of Vegemitevix fame is organising a Wellington BlogCamp on 31 August. I'm in.

Come and have some fun with me. There's food. And maybe one or two people who actually know what they're talking about when it comes to blogging. I have been debating whether to continue with this blog and just rename it, or start afresh, or simply stop blogging. With my self-imposed timeframe of 12 months almost up under this blog name, the timing of the camp couldn't have been more perfect for me. Hopefully after listening to other more experienced bloggers, I will have a clearer picture in my head over which direction to take head beyond my year of crafting.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Going to the chapel

Crafting has been a bit quiet around here, but I have not been idle. Happy days! My sister has become engaged and she has asked for my help to put her wedding day together.

She asked me if I would make her dress, and once I stopped laughing, I declined - although it is nice that she thinks I have greater sewing capabilities than I actually possess.  Dress trends have moved on so much since I got married less than a decade ago and it has been so much fun looking on the internet and in magazines for inspiration with a more appraising eye.

This is me on my wedding day. So young. So skinny. So satin-y. If I was getting married tomorrow, I would choose a completely different style of dress. But, looking back on the day itself, I wouldn't change too much about it at all. I would have made my final dress-fitting as close to the wedding day as possible because I did the classic lose-weight-unintentionally-before-the-big-day. Consequently, my dress did not fit as well as it could have and it looked like a sleeping bag. A big, off-white satin and lace sleeping bag. But, I was marrying my gorgeous guy, so nothing else mattered.

Today, my sister went down the tried and tested route of off-the-rack gown-hunting. It helps that she has a slender figure as most of the gowns were sample sizes. She tried on several dresses to get a sense of the style that suited her best but the first gown she tried on ended up being The One. Even better, the bridal gowns at Wilkins Formal Wear in Wellington are all half price at the moment as the store is relocating, so she got an amazing brand new dress at an even more amazing price.

Although a theme hasn't really been settled upon, she is leaning towards a vintage look and wants to do as much of the decorating herself so I thought I would share what we do come up with on a modest budget.  This will mean that I am likely to continue blogging beyond this year, and I may decide to start a completely new blog. If I do, I will post a link here so you can find me and follow along, if you like.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

A golden run

It might appear that I am a bit of a serial giveaway enterer, but let me assure you, I only enter the ones that really float my boat. Looks like my luck's in because I won a Penny Scallan bag recently in a giveaway hosted by Elaina from A Little Bit Country.  I realise I am treading a fine line here between showcasing and show-offing, but I hope you will forgive me as this recent run of good luck never happens to me.

I really loved the woodland/bird design, but since I'm not the one in need of a decent kindy bag, I left the decision up to Aimee and she chose the Russian doll one.

I did contemplate ferreting it away until her birthday next month, but she was so taken with it, I have let her use it.  Over the holidays, it has been a rocket booster pack and general tote bag for all her little treasures.
Forget walking on water, this bag makes children walk on air.
It has been used for her first day back at kindy for the new term and if I weigh it up next to what she had been using, there really is no comparison. It is larger, has more useful compartments and is so sturdy. I no longer feel like I have to zip up the bag very slowly in case I'm left holding the zip in my hand.  The bag lining appears to be waterproof, or at the very least wipeable, which is such a handy feature especially when the contents of my daughter's lunchbox inevitably seem to end up in the bottom of her bag.

This has turned out to be quite the product endorsement, I'm sorry about that, but I am really impressed by its construction and truly happy that we were the lucky recipients of A Little Bit Country's giveaway.

Thank you to Elaina and Penny Scallan for making my three year old very happy.