Wednesday, 29 February 2012

My Creative Space : Patchwork Pillowcase


As mentioned in this post I  recently received some lovely fabric scraps in the mail as part of the Scrap Bag Swap 2012.

I used some of these scraps, along with some scraps of my own (mainly leftovers from Isabelle’s quilt) to make this patchwork/ quilted pillowcase for Isabelle.

I wanted to somehow tie in Isabelle’s quilt (which is shown folded in the second photo) with the thrifted duvet I restyled a while back. Her quilt is made of soft tones, while the duvet is a bit brighter – so I made the pillowcase a combination of the two.

This project was inspired by this pin.

I took a bit of a shortcut by making the patchwork top and then quilting it to the front of an existing pillowcase. But what I saved in time, I made up for in fiddly-ness. (It was hard work trying to fit my sewing machine right in the depths of the pillowcase!)


All in all, I’m pretty happy with the result though.

Not bad for a combination of thrifted and homemade bedding, I think!

Another thing I made yesterday was my blog button – see that thing on the left hand side, just above the followers? Feel free to grab one for your blog if you like. I am in no way computer geek savvy – but this 'how to' made it really simple! (It’s still weird to me to think of something not tangible/ in the ‘real world’ as a creation… but I guess it is!)

Joining in with our creative spaces.

Jen x

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday : Tissues and Lemons

Since about last Thursday I have been battling a terrible cold. A really nasty, body achy, feel like you’ve been hit by a bus kind of a cold.

Enough complaining… the upside is, that today I’m feeling a lot better, but am just having a taking it easy, round the house kind of day.


{Outfit breakdown: Black merino top: Thrifted (originally Max), Blue and White stripey top: Cotton on, harem pants: Billabong (from a surf shop), blue scarf: made by my Mother-in-law, jandals: Havaianas.}

I’m not one of those people that likes to slouch around in track pants when I’m sick, I prefer to dress in something comfortable, but that I still think looks good – I find it helps lift my spirits, otherwise I tend to mope around and feel sorry for myself. (Unless of course, I’m completely bed ridden, and then it’s a completely different story.)

The pants I’m wearing here are harem – style pants that taper in/ are fitted around the ankle. They are soooo comfortable and I love them (does that fit with the theme?)I would go out on a limb and suggest that they are just as comfortable as trackies, if not more*.

Today is one of those beautiful Hawkes Bay days that starts with a bit of a frost and turns in a most exquisite day. I think I’ll be loosing my scarf and merino shortly!

As part of my round home day I plan on pottering a bit in the kitchen and doing a bit more sewing…

I have something exciting to share for 'our creative spaces' tomorrow…

Here’s a sneak peek:


Joining in with Wardrobe Wednesday

Jen x

*(This is an un-researched comparison as I haven’t worn trackpants since doing athletics as a teenager. You know those tazlon warm up pants with the zips at the bottom so you could put your spikes on… and around the same time I also may have owned a hideous pair of rip curl trackies that I only got because of the label and as a slightly cheaper alternative to the much desired ‘Barkers’! Ughhh!)

Sunday, 26 February 2012


Despite feeling pretty under the weather for most of the weekend with a bad cold, we still managed to pack a lot in and have a bit of fun.

We had a surprise visit from Elysia (sister-in-law) and Natasha (brother-in-law’s girlfriend)who stayed in support of my brother in law Toby who has just moved up here to study at the Bible College (…and also to help celebrate his birthday, which was yesterday – more on that later.)

On Saturday we went to The 'Retromania Bazaar' – a market selling vintage and retro things.

I picked up..


… some retro ‘sugar’ and ‘rice’ tins for my pantry and a cute little notebook (with a roman sandal on the front), perfect for jotting down those craft (and other) ideas that come to me when I least expect it. (And some cute headbands for Isabelle)

Yesterday was Toby’s birthday and as I’d managed to get Elysia and Natasha addicted to Pinterest, naturally they made him a rainbow cake.


While I would love to claim credit for this thing of beauty, alas I can not – it was all Elysia and Natasha (although I did make the bunting and provided some taste testing assistance.)


We actually had him convinced that it was some kind of healthy coconut and raisin combination on the inside! Gotcha Toby!



The birthday boy



The kids (especially Noah) enjoyed our guests, and he got to do fun things like mini golf, while I stayed at home resting, recuperating (and sewing.)

Noah’s also going to love having Toby staying nearby, especially as Toby is fluent in Noah – with such sayings as “Follow my back” and “watch me do!”

Welcome to the Hawkes Bay and Happy Birthday Toby! And thanks for staying Natasha and Lecy!

Jenny xox

Thursday, 23 February 2012

One hot day…

Yesterday was a hot muggy day. I captured some precious moments of my kids eating peaches and iceblocks on the back door step.


Not exactly a life altering event, but it’s all these little moments that together make up our childhood memories, isn’t it?


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday – Art Deco styles

The theme for this month’s WW is LOVE and I just love any excuse to wear fancy dress.

These photos are from Saturday when we dressed up and sampled some of the weekend's art deco festivities.

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For those of you that follow my blog closely, you will have noticed that I have recycled some of the photos from my initial art deco post. Congratulations, you get 10 points.

If you didn’t, and haven’t read that post, you should because it contains more photos of my kids, and they are dressed more authentically and are much cuter than me.

An actual fact, you should probably instead check out my friend Anna's art deco blog post – now that’s some really authentic, full family, art deco dressing there!

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{Outfit breakdown: Dress, shoes, bag, beads and clip on earrings: all from various op shops, cloche hat: Number one shoe warehouse(!?), sparkly black cardie: Sportsgirl (really old, as in my Mum bought it for me to wear at a ball when I was 15!)

I kind of love that awkward photo of me sitting on the dog, I’m not sure why.

I’m not entirely sure if my dress is from the 1920s/30s… it’s not drop-waisted as many of the styles were back then. But it was in the ‘art deco’ section at the op shop, and the pleats at the bottom are flapper-esque. Besides, all the dresses with drop waists that I saw in the op shops were completely not my size – so I decided that it was all about the accessories ! …Perhaps, I’ll look at hiring a costume next year.

Joining in with Wardrobe Wednesday – click the link to see what others are wearing, and link up yourself too – there are prizes!

Jenny X

Monday, 20 February 2012

Reflecting on 22/2/2011

Tomorrow is a big day for New Zealand and especially Christchurch, as it is one year on from the devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake that destroyed buildings and took the lives or mortally injured 185 people.

I remember the day quite clearly, for some reason I decided to turn the TV on at about 1.15pm (which I never do during the day, unless for kids cartoons) and was faced with the breaking news of the quake.

I didn’t realise how bad it was to start with, I just thought it was a significant aftershock from the September quake, but soon started to get worried after I couldn’t get hold of my family down there and the images on the TV became more and more grim. (My Dad and Step Mother, Nana, Grandma,Auntie, Uncle and cousins live down there and my sister was at the time of the quake.)

But it all really started to sink in when I got hold of my sister, she was lucky to be alive.


She was working in a shop on the ground floor of 3 storey building on the corner of Lichfield, High and Manchester streets that was reduced to a pile of rubble 1 metre high. She went through to the basement and was buried alive for about half an hour. Fortunately, she was able to get out with the assistance of a couple of people at the surface, and hadn’t broken any bones (she just had some nasty bruises and scratches).

This is the building ‘before’ – see if you can spot the dome in the after pic.

I learnt from Holly that all my family was fine and that was a great relief, but other than that I had no communication with family down there due to the busy phone lines etc for what felt like an eternity. Andrew was away working and I just huddled by the TV watching the repetitive bulletins, too scared to turn it off in case I missed something really important.

Of course, I can’t compare how I felt safe up here in the Hawkes Bay, to how everyone in Christchurch was feeling; but at that time I felt cut off, and unable to do anything, or to know what to do. I found myself pacing a lot. Noah, could tell I was worried and gave me heaps of cuddles, and started hammering the pictures of devastation on the TV, in an attempt to “fix” Christchurch (too much Bob the builder?)

The real point of this blog post, was not really to go into as much detail as I have here, but more to say how proud I am of my family’s reaction to this disaster; for example:

* The next day my sister and family were all out digging liquefaction from the properties of complete strangers.

* My Dad and Step Mother were lucky in that their house was relatively unscathed and they never lost power, so they shared in their good fortune by hosting those less fortunate in their home. 

* My Auntie has volunteered with the Rebuild Christchurch Foundation, which included ”Project Christmas” where she and others delivered Christmas presents and groceries to many Christchurch families struggling this Christmas.

* My Dad set up and is working for on a voluntary basis a charity called Canterbury Affordable Sections (The Canterbury Co-operative Land Trust), aimed at helping red zone homeowners rebuild and overcome the problem of expensive/ unaffordable section prices. (My Auntie mentioned above and her husband, Glen have been heavily involved with this as well.)

And I know that my Gran, Nana and other’s down there have picked themselves up and tried to continue as best they can.

It really makes me proud, my family are sure made of tough stuff.

Jen X

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Scrap Bag Swap 2012

It’s always exciting getting parcels in the mail… and today I received my parcel of fabric scraps inside a beautiful scrap bag as part of the Scrap Bag Swap 2012.

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My partner, Tracy from Stitcherynz was extremely generous and had obviously done her homework on me.

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* Gorgeous vintage fabrics: tick!

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* Super mind reading skills: tick!

…Somehow knowing that I really wished I had more of a certain Alexander Henry bird fabric that I had used the absolute last of on a little wee project… (see the fabric on the far right of the pic above.)

…Annnd Tracy must have read this post, to know that I needed more vintage boat fabric to make Noah more shorts!)

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* Heaps of more lovely fabric, not mention a lovely professionally made bag: Tick!

I’m just finishing up making my own scrap bag to send off tomorrow, and after receiving this lovely haul – I have to admit that I’m just slightly feeling the pressure and hoping mine is loved by my recipient as much as I love mine!

Actually the parcel in the mail was perfect timing as I was just about to start a project inspired by this pin.

Pinned Image

Well, I’m actually just planning on doing a pillowcase like this – for when Isabelle goes into her big bed, in order to tie the colours from her quilt and duvet in together.

It turns out some of the fabric that I received in my parcel is going to work in perfectly!

Have you had any lovely mail recently?

Jen x

Friday, 17 February 2012


This weekend is the art deco weekend in Napier. This was our second weekend going to the annual event and our first dressing up. (Well, me and the kids dressed up, Andrew was too cool for school.)

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It is a really awesome and huge weekend, with literally hundreds of events. We just went for a few hours and soaked up the atmosphere and people watched. I was really tempted to take photos of people who had awesome costumes, especially the little old ladies with their fur coats and parasols on the arm of a dapper old gentleman… but I guess it felt a little obvious, so I didn’t.

I didn’t get many photos of the vintage cars and goings on as I hoped, as I was too busy pointing out stuff to the kids, but I did get a mother-load of my kids all dressed up. (So apologies as this is really going to turn into a kid style, art deco edition type post.)

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{Isabelle wore: beautifully embroidered cream dress: op shop ($3), red shoes: op shop ($2); Noah wore: hat: postie plus ($7), grey blazer: made by me, T-shirt: The Warehouse ($5), shorts: pumpkin patch (old), shoes: op shop ($3), suspenders/ bracers: hand me down from my Auntie.}

We didn’t stay long, only a couple of hours… which was lucky because even the smallest dose of art deco can be very very tiring!

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I plan to share ‘what I wore’ in my next Wardrobe Wednesday post.


Jenny x