Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Sweet Revenge

If you follow me on Facebook, then you may have seen this photo with following description that I posted the other day…

“Does anyone know any good food related practical jokes that I can use as payback?”


(Unfortunately for me it was dark last night when I poured myself a glass and had a sip -ewwww! And the light of day had not yet revealed your deception!) If I was you Toby I would be very suspicious of any food or drink I serve up to you from now on!!!”


Toby is my Brother-in-law.

I was not impressed.

But I could see the funny side of it …


But nobody messes with me and my coke and gets away with it…

Enter Karen of Astra Studio, (my co-conspirator)… Karen makes these beautiful soaps that look like beautiful slices (and other things). And she runs soap crafting workshops too.


Karen answered my plea for food-related practical jokes almost immediately!

She said: “I do. Would you like to email me your address? I can send something that looks JUST like food. But isn't ;o)”

And she did!

I tried to trick Toby yesterday… however this didn’t go perfectly to plan… basically due to two reasons:

1) I am a TERRIBLE practical joker! (I mean TERRIBLE)

2) Toby is my blog’s biggest fan (= with my Auntie Anthea) and must have already seen me feature Astra Studio’s soaps on my Facebook page.

Anyway he didn’t end up biting into the soaps…

IMG_5611 IMG_5614

But I think that is a good thing because that would have been a waste of a lovely soap – these soaps really do smell divine!

I gave one to Toby as a ‘peace-offering’ and I have kept one for us – I’m still getting used to washing my hands with citrus slice.

They say revenge is sweet and in this case it smells delicious!

Check out Astra Studio's Felt shop here and Facebook page here.

Thanks so much Karen!


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday: Peeling back the layers


{Outfit breakdown: scarf- made by my MIL, cardi- Tempt, dress – I can’t remember, sorry (?),belt – Glassons, merino tights – Farmers, boots – Dotti and bag – from a local second-hand boutique.}

Spring has almost sprung here in the Southern hemisphere! And today we have enjoyed a beautiful day.

But with a chilly morning and still some crispness in the shade, meant layers were definitely in order.

I love blue and white stripes – they remind me of the beach.

This outfit was loosely based on this pin. (However I don’t own a mustard cardi… … yet.)

Are you on Pinterest? Follow me, if you dare!!

You can’t see from the photos, but I’m also wearing my Lisa Leonard necklace … but Noah broke the chain the other day, so I’ve just put the Noah and Isabelle charms and the pearl on a chain with another necklace.


It looks quite cool, but it I think it’s time for me to start dropping the husband hints about perhaps getting me this necklace with his and my initials and I could just add the charms to that (… after all he is always complaining that I don’t have an ‘Andrew’ charm!)

While he’s at it I would also like this and this – to tie the whole nautical look together…

I don’t ask for much, do I?

Joining in with the lovely ladies at Wardrobe Wednesday and The Pleated Poppy.

Jen x

Monday, 27 August 2012



Isabelle definitely gets the lions share of the clothes that I sew. I think this is largely because there are so many more cute and inspiring girls patterns out there than there are for boys.

Because of this when I was recently offered a special deal* for the 'Blank Slate Patterns' e-book by Melissa of Melly Sews, I jumped at the chance. (*I was offered this deal because I had previous bought her Blazer pattern.)

And inspired by my new patterns, I took a break from sewing for the market and whipped up two 'Blank Tanks' last night.


My usually uncooperative model proved very co-operative for the small price of a cookie. (Although it was pretty hard to get a photo of him without his mouthful!)

I found this pattern really easy with great instructions and fast to sew. I have an overlocker/ serger but the instructions are for those that don’t, so I would recommend it to all.


My fabric selection, in case you are interested is as follows: Knit fabric used throughout (as per instructions); owl fabric from Spoonflower; grey and white stripe – from an old top of my Mums, purple and green and white stripe – from my MIL’s stash.

The idea with the Blank Slate patterns is that you can customise them anyway you want – this is what I’ve done here with the different coloured fabric on the backs (actually I was just trying to make my owl fabric last as long as possible!

I’m very happy with these – but first we need some better weather for Noah to enjoy them in, it’s raining here now! I also recently bought the Wiksten Tank pattern for me and am looking forward to whipping up and wearing a couple when Summer finally arrives!

I could even use the same fabric, so Noah and I can be alll matchy-matchy! (Maybe not!)

Have you made anything fun recently?

Joining in with 'Our creative Space' and Make it wear it Thursday – later in the week.

Jenny x

Some things I have learnt recently

1) The above is very true. Especially when it involves Isabelle and margarine.

(Andrew and I were enjoying a sleep in the other day – only to discover the TV had been turned into a margarine sculpture.

2) If your husband puts a bag of his smelly gym clothes in the washing pile and says “it all needs to be washed”, it is still worth checking the contents.

3) If an electric shaver does go the wash cycle it can still work provided you first dry it out in the hot water cupboard… However, after a short while it will start eating your husband’s face.

4) A 1.5 year old can consume an average of 3 Weetbix for breakfast, and on special occasions 4.

5) I have quite a complicated answer to the question; ‘What kind of bread do you like?’ The answer is usually multigrain – but can depend on the context.

For example, with sausages and tomato sauce the answer is always white, but for toast then the answer is almost always multigrain (preferably vogels) although if it is with eggs then it depends how they are cooked. Poached = vogels toast, fried = white toast. I think I need a flow chart.

6) It is not a good time to wear non-waterproof mascara when:

a) Playing Balderdash with your husband and he gets the word “swazzle” and it’s your turn to read them out (and his self confessed main objective of the game is to make me laugh.)

b) When swimming at the hot pools and you decide to put your head under.

7) I need to invest in some waterproof mascara and a new shaver for Andrew.


Have you learnt anything new recently?


Thursday, 23 August 2012

Crafts with Noah


Meet Noah and Isabelle of the cardboard (and felt and fabric) variety.

Our local ‘dollars and cents’ store is closing down and is having a half price off everything sale. I went there yesterday and spent about $5 on these little cardboard people and some felt.


Isabelle slept through the crafting session but Noah had a blast.


Noah also made a bed for his little men – at this point he was scolding the yellowed-haired fellow at the bottom of the picture, for wearing his shoes in the bed!


I made a little Noah and Isabelle – do you see the resemblance?


It turns out it is MUCH quicker to make clothes for 2 dimensional cardboard kids than the real ones.

I’ve saved a few of the cardboard people because I have a pretty nifty idea of perhaps using them to make dress up/ paper dolls. I think I’ll make a few hairstyles and outfits and then scan them onto my computer and add tabs, so they then call be printed out on cardstock.

If there’s enough demand I might even make free printables for you good people too! 

As for little Noah and Isabelle … well they’ve made themselves nice and comfy in their new home on Noah’s pin-board.


Have you done any fun crafts with your kids recently? (I think the best ones are where you get to have fun making something too!)

And did anyone else have dress up/paper dolls as a kid like me? I have so many great memories of playing with mine – such a simple yet classic toy!

Jen x

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Twirly Skirts

I’ve made a few twirly skirts to sell at the market and have a few more (as well as a whole lot of other things) in the works.


These 3 are size 1-2 based on Isabelle’s measurements. I will probably make some smaller and larger too – but want to make sure I get the sizes right. (Anyone got a link/chart of lengths of elastic required for little girl’s waists?)

Again your help is also needed regarding pricing. I think $15 and Andrew says $20, so we have agreed on $17.50… what do you think?


You must think I’m a bit obsessed with this beat up old shed, which I seem to use as a background in A LOT of my blog photos. I think there’s something a bit beautiful when you combine pretty and rustic, don’t you think?

I keep getting inspired by different bits of fabric and trims in my stash, it’s quite possible that I might end up with a bucket load of these little skirts. I think I’ll also have to restrain myself from keeping too many for Isabelle… the girl doesn’t really need too many more clothes!

Joining in with 'Our creative space' – head over there for HEAPS more inspiration.

Jenny x

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Second-hand Success

I normally entitle such posts – ‘thrifty finds’ or similar – but that isn’t strictly true of these finds I’m sharing with you today. All of these finds were purchased this week, but some op shop, others the antique store (Finders Keepers in Clive) and my yellow shoes (as I mentioned in my previous post) are from a second hand boutique.


1. Wooden pull along toy (this thing is seriously awesome – it kind of makes music when you pull it – the kids are in awe): $1 from the op shop;

2. My yellow shoes: $6 from ‘Vivid’ a newly opened local second-hand boutique;

3. Vintage Edmonds Baking Powder tin (I have a bit of a vintage tin collection) – a gift from my Mum from Finders Keepers;

4. Two rolls of vintage ribbon/ trim (I am making a bunch of twirly skirts for the church fair): $0.80c a metre, Finders Keepers;

5. Two scraps of vintage fabric and a vintage sheet (perhaps also destined for twirly skirts..?): all up $1.50 from the op shop;

6. Denim dress and ruffle pants: all up $0.80 from the op shop. The dress is going to receive a wee bit of a makeover.

And because I forgot to put this in the group photo… the unofficial 7th item on the list is this multi-coloured Nana blankie.. a bit steep at $10, but it is pristine and so snuggly, a perfect buggy blanket or one to snuggle with on the couch. Plus I love the mish-mash of colours.


Have you had any second-hand success lately?

Jenny x

Wardrobe Wednesday: walking on sunshine

I can’t seem to help giving my Wardrobe Wednesday posts a bit of cheesy title. Today is no different… but I can’t help it – when I look at my new yellow shoes I think of this song.

I got these for $6 yesterday at Vivid, a new little second hand boutique that has opened in Hastings.

PicMonkey Collage

Outfit breakdown: Jeans – Levis, grey blouse – Sussan, cardi (underneath)- Cotton on, coat – Kilt (hand-me-down from my sister), blue scarf – made by my Mother in law, necklace – handmade from The Martinborough Fair a few years ago, cuff bracelet – thrifted.

The weather has been pretty odd today with patches of both sunshine and rain, so it’s been nice to have a piece of sunshine on my feet all day long.


I have had a bit of luck with a few second-hand bargains recently – these shoes and a few other things… so I might pop back today or tomorrow to share my successes …

Joining in with Wardrobe Wednesday over at Sailor Spy and What I wore at the Pleated Poppy

Jen x

Monday, 20 August 2012


The Hawkes Bay/Hastings City Council should really offer me a job as some kind of virtual tour guide. Having only lived here for around a year and a half we still have the wide-eyed appreciation of tourists, but also the benefit of a bit of local knowledge and pride. A perfect combination in my book.

On Saturday we went to Waimarama. I don’t think we’d been there since our lovely camping holiday with Poppa and Granny-Lynn earlier in the year. (Ohhh look how little Isabub was!)

Anyway we had a great time and now have a lot of sand (still) in the car to prove it!


Due to some better than anticipated weather and some close encounters with the water, the kids soon stripped off their jeans and footwear.

Isabelle discovered her shadow and was seen pointing at it and telling it to ‘go over there’. Andrew managed to catch these precious moments on camera.


She tried to run away from it and was quite surprised when she turned back around that it had managed to follow her.

We had some family stay on Saturday night and then we all went and enjoyed a soak at Ocean Spa on Sunday night. A good weekend.

What are your favourite things to see and do in your region?

Jen x

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

A ‘parliament’ of owls

Turns out a group of owls is called a parliament… I did not know that! You learn something new every day!

Parliament is definitively in session here at our house!


I’ve been busy making these little guys for a craft market my church is holding next month. I’m also making bunting flags, little skirts and various other things. There has been a bit of a fabric explosion on and around my sewing desk.

This market has come at a great time, because I was starting to think I had more sewing ideas and passion than need and was thinking of selling some stuff. It is also a great way to de-stash!

monster market

If you make, bake etc and live in the Hawkes Bay area or plan to be here in September then you should hold your own stall too! Or at very least turn up to sample our wares!

You could even walk away with one of these guys if you so choose!


I think ‘old vintage doily wings’ is my current fave…


… And these two are lovers… I may have to sell them as a set…

Plenty more to come!

Joining in with 'Our creative space'

Jen x