Lavender hearts

Lavender hearts

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Pink bunting and presents

Do you ever have a moment, when you just have to make/sew/do something immediately? You cannot possible wait until tomorrow, or the next day but you need to make/do it now? I had a mad moment the day before Xmas eve (bad timing I know) when I wanted to make some Christmas bunting.
I have not made bunting before, but I had a idea whirling around in my head.
I used a cupboard template and cut out several triangular shapes with a pair of pinking shears, so they made a lovely zig-zag edge.

I quickly ironed the flags, tiresome but so essential as they will look lovely and neat.
Using some lovely baby pink satin ribbon, I sewed one neat stitch across the middle of the ribbon, holding the flags into place.

Viola....homemade 30 minute bunting. Mad moment extinguished.

Nm 2 and I have already decided this will be going in her room, when the Christmas decorations come down.

Christmas come and went and we had a lovely family time.
I am most excited about two presents I received at Christmas. This lovely Cath Kidson beautiful aqua blue buttons box, given to me by my secret Santa at work (thank you kind colleague, most stylish taste!)

And this wonderful present from my dear younger sister in New Zealand, I have been a fan of Tea pea since I first started sewing and I love her handmade items she sells on her website. When I found out she now has a online haberdashery, I asked my sister if she could get me some of her pink divine twine.  What excitement I had when a parcel arrived in the post all the way from New Zealand a few days before Xmas......
I love the colour of the twine, and the hand written note is such a lovely touch.

I am looking forward to the New Year, with lots of ideas whirling around in my head for up and coming projects.  I have had a great 2010, with lots of firsts happening - first family holiday in Europe, first day at school for my baby, first attempt at sewing on my own, first blog entry!
 I am looking forward to many more wonderful years ahead!
Happy 2011.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Christmas Wishlist - Poor boy

Sometimes when we are so busy as Mothers, working Mothers,wife's, friends etc it can be quite easy not to be there for our children. Yesterday my eldest was diagnosed with Flu, proper flu not a sniffle or a cough, but a high temperature, headache, vomiting and so tired he cannot move. It does whirl you into a complete stop and you drop everything and realise how precious they are.
I recently came across a great blog post called 'what I want to give: presence' by Ashleyann at Under the Sycamore, our children's wish list is not 'hang on a minute', 'in a sec', 'I'm just doing something', 'won't be long! it would be - our time , to draw with them, play with them, read to them  'Ashleyann describes this so well in her blog post take a look here .
As a busy working Mum myself, I can feel overwhelmed at times with school, work, home,cleaning, been a good friend etc that it can hinder the time we have with our own children.
So my wish list for the next year, is to give my children more of my time. Starting from now.
Merry Christmas!
PS Nm 1 is on the mend.. the miracle of antibiotics and regular pain relief!

Sunday, 19 December 2010


As always at this time of year I am thinking of my own family in New Zealand. It is such an expensive time to travel, so we normally do not fly over in the Christmas period. In over 12 years I have only managed to have 2 Christmases in NZ.

But this does not stop me from reminiscing about New Zealand and my family at Christmas time. The hot weather, barbecues, salads and a big ham on the table, swimming at the beach and the endless presents of surf boards, wet suits and buckets and spades.

The Tui bird native to New Zealand, this holds a special place in my heart as it is the name of my Grandmother.

I have lots of art work and ornaments scattered around the house of New Zealand images, which on a daily basis remind me of where I come from.

                                                            Another native bird - Pukeko.

A carved mere (native weapon)- think of the All Blacks when they do the Haka.
I remember growing up, my Dad always had a mere displayed in our lounge
My son loves this!

Good news! I am now a member of NZ Kiwi mummy blogs, a great site full of Kiwi mums in NZ and abroad blogging about their lives. I am so pleased to be part of this. I have agreed to do a interview for them, so I will keep you posted when that happens after the New Year.


Friday, 17 December 2010

Homemade food gifts

Every year I like to encourage the children to make a Christmas homemade food gift for their teachers and school friends. The tiny mention of baking, biscuits,cakes,chocolate and they normally drop what ever they are doing and happily join in. Sometimes it is good to give money towards gifts for teachers, and yes normally I am the first to do this (been a busy working Mum!), but this one special time of year, when for me food becomes a central part of every day life, I truly love to do this with the children for lots of reasons.
Last year we made Chocolate biscuit tiffin, the year before that we made homemade chocolate fudge, each year we wrap them in cellophane with tie them with red and purple curly ribbon bows.
This year we decided to do Christmas cookies.

My little girl and I made the mixture in our Ken wood mixer, rolled out the dough and cookie cut them out.
                                                      Pumpkins biscuits with pink icing.

All wrapped and ready to go.
Back in late summer of this year, we went foraging you can see it here and harvested some delicious Victoria plums in a field close to where we live. The recipe we followed explained that we had to store the chutney for 3 months in a dark, cool place, so for 3 months we have had 10 jars of plum chutney under the bed!
Last week we pulled them out, cleaned them, labelled them and decorated them with fabric, ribbons and Christmas twine.
Another homemade Christmas food gift made and many well deserved people to give to.

Do you have any festive homemade food gifts that you have made? I would love to know!

Have a great weekend.

Monday, 13 December 2010


I am finally writing a blog on one of my favourite craft items - ribbons. When I first started rediscovering sewing earlier in the year, I brought a book called 'Sewing in no time' shown here in a previous post
Most of the sewing designs required ribbons, so along with buying fabric,thread and buttons, I needed to find some ribbons. Away I went shopping and when for the first time I set my eyes upon the rows and rows of beautiful ribbons in a local craft shop, I felt like a child in a sweet shop. I love the fact that with ribbons, you do not need to be a experienced 'crafty' to make something so pretty. By adding some ribbon to say a coin purse, cushion cover, lavender heart or a wreath, it can add that special
something to a handmade piece.

I have slowly added to my mountain of ribbon and I am now seriously contemplating buying a second hand wooden ladder to store them on. I love sourcing ribbons and have brought them from various places, in store haberdasheries, online specialist ribbon shops, eBay, and Christmas Fayre's.

I do love to co ordinate the ribbons with different sewing projects, and currently due to been so close to Christmas, their is an abundance of red ribbon(present wrapping and wreaths) The gingham ribbons are great for other projects, I am currently using them to put in my little girls hair - she loves them. My next sewing project I am about to start will be for my lovely in laws for Christmas. They have asked for a cover for their new kitchen blender, I have some lovely Amy Butler retro 60's looking fabric, with dark orange, browns and greens, a sewing tutorial from sewmamasew, thread and some time this week to make it.
I will keep you informed in my next post.
Happy sewing. Bxx

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Fabric Christmas trees

Since earlier this year, when I decided to embrace my creative side. I have wanted to make my own Christmas decorations. I looked at the lovely handmade advent calenders and sighed, the little intrinsic embroidered windows and the lovely hand sewn numbers where to be honest, too overwhelming for me (at the present!) But I did not give up and when I spotted these lovely fabric Christmas trees using fabric,ribbon,felt and buttons, I instantly knew I wanted to make them. The pattern come from the lovely lucykatecrafts at they are easy to make and you can use any christmassy fabric from your fabric stash. I used some red patterned fabric I had from a previous fat quarter bundle sale.
I used some pretty red ribbon around the tree and the base of the tree. To keep the tree standing up right, I  used two pebbles from outside and sewed them into the base of the trees. I have adapted the pattern and made my own design, which you could easily do. This is what I love about creating something handmade, your own style and taste can be adapted to any design.
I love the idea about a handmade Christmas decoration swap, where you receive handmade goodies from other crafty liked minded folk and you send some of your handmade items in return. This would be a great way to showcase your work and receive some lovely things in return. In New Zealand they are doing a similar thing and I found some cool felt gingerbread houses from Megan @ Mousehouse check them out  I will definitely be making this next Christmas, with perhaps doing a similar Christmas decoration craft swap here in the lovely UK.

But for now these beauties are sitting on the piano in our dining room- waiting to be shown in all their glory on Christmas day when we are having our Christmas dinner.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Lavender hearts and Christmas presents

The first day of December, and the countdown to Christmas begins. In our household this means the ritual of the Chocolate advent calenders, Christmas plans and the mad rush to the shops to buy white tights for the school nativity.  We also have more snow too, lots and lots of it.
Thank fully in the South West the snow is not as heavy as other places and so far it has not seemed to disrupt our day to day living. (No school snow days!)
This time of year is always busy for me, as I have another Hazel and Blue birthday, as well as the deadline date for New Zealand Christmas presents all in the same week. Every year I vow I will be organised and get all my Christmas and birthday shopping done before this week, but so far I have never managed too.
So yet again a lot of mad dashes to the shops, online shopping frenzy and wrapping present sessions have followed. This year I decided to include some thing handmade in my parcels and decided on Lavender hearts made with some lovely fabric I had brought from fabric rehab.

                     They smell lovely and would make a great item for hamper presents.

I also decided to show case some of the lovely ribbon I have become addicted to and wrap all my Christmas presents with them, using brown paper, red tartan ribbon and a gift tag.

                                                         All wrapped and ready to go.

The children are also very excited now, Mister Blister said tonight 'I just want Christmas to come now.' as he munched through his first Advent calender chocolate.
I have brought some Christmas cookie cutters this year for the children and we plan to make cookies together to give to their teachers and friends. Ohh I love Christmas, love it.