31 October, 2012


I forgot to draw the name for the winner of the Little Craft Shop giveaway yesterday so have just done it and the winner was #9 Olga, who said "Chevrons are my favorites. I would make a bag for myself :)" I love the chevrons too! I have to say though, only 13 entries - what do I need to do to give stuff away around here? Perhaps we all have a case of the pre-Christmas blahs. Personally I'm frantically tidying and gathering what Hallowe'en supplies as I can find the day of Hallowe'en in a country that isn't very big on it really. We're having a small after-school party for Hazel's friends so that the mums don't have to take them out trick-or-treating which is not really a goer here despite the fact the kids are very keen - it's broad daylight, 80% of people won't have candy, and 95% of trick-or-treaters make very little effort with the costumes, they just want free candy. Basically it's a massive dud. But parties and special events are much better so I think that's what I'll focus on. I have my costume ready, I just need to get the house ready!

29 October, 2012

Giveaway reminder and Megan's squares

Just a reminder about the Little Craft Store giveaway that I'll be drawing tomorrow - pop over here to put your name into the draw!

At our last Monday Modern meeting we had two people come with their bee blocks so I'm going to try and get them both done before the next meeting on the 5th. Unfortunately I can't go because Mat's working out of town for most of this month and I have a feeling that leaving your seven year old sleeping in a house by herself is frowned on by society. It's also Guy Fawkes so it probably works out well that I'm home to let off fireworks if we haven't done it on Sunday night instead (I hate having to do these things on the wrong day if they fall on a school night, totally sucks the fun out of them!).

Anyways! I've just finished Megan's blocks and I thought she might like to see them. She's asked us to make blocks for a quilt something like Red Pepper Quilt's 'Slice and Dice' pattern. The fabrics are all shot cottons, although the green looks for all the world like silk, it even has that lovely sheen to it. They're more subtle in real life, the photo has made them look a bit neon. At first I was rather intimidated by the concept of these blocks but once I started thinking about placement and the order of things it was much less scary, and quite simple in the end. Even sewing on the bias without the walking foot didn't seem to present much of a problem as long as I kept that piece against the feed dogs and the on-the-grain strips on top.

Megan's squares They look kind of matchy don't they. I really didn't intend them to come out that way, I thought I was doing two quite different blocks but when I was 3/4 of the way through the second block I looked at them both and had a total d'oh! moment because they're almost identical. I mean, usually when I think I've been innovative with something and discover that someone's already done it, it's a stranger, not me! Just stick them at opposite ends of the quilt Megan, and no-one will ever notice! :P

24 October, 2012

The Little Craft Store giveaway

I've had the button for The Little Craft Store sitting over in my sidebar for awhile now, simply because I loved Helen's shop so much I wanted everyone to know about it. She's gone online-only now and has offered me a giveaway for all you lovely people in order to promote her brand-spanking new website. On offer is a pattern and four fat quarters of Moda Bella Solids. Helen is a genius at picking colours so I know that anything you make from this will be wonderful and chevrons are totally hot right now if Pinterest is any indication!


So what do you need to do to get your name in the draw? Head over to The Little Craft Store website and tell me (and Helen) what your favourite fabric is and what you'd like to do with it (hoarding it is a perfectly acceptable answer). I'll use the random number generator to pick a name on Tuesday 30th October NZ time. International entries welcome!

23 October, 2012

The agony and ecstasy of crochet

I have conquered the wallpaper in the kitchen! Unfortunately no rest for the wicked, it's now on to giving the hallway a freshen-up. Sigh. But it's not all endless work on the house and deep (deep) cleaning before it goes on the market, there has been a bit of crafting - mostly crochet as my sewing machine is in being serviced.

I've been working on secret Christmas stuff but I'm going to post intriguing glimpses because I know personally I LOVE it when bloggers get all mysterious and won't show projects and just give hints and write coy little posts. Not. But this isn't a book deal in the offing, this is Christmas, so I hope you understand.

I made this

Crochet cowl

It's in Utiku possum/merino by The Wool Company and it's the kind of yarn you just want to bury your face in and rub it around only that looks really creepy except in the privacy of your own home.

So that was good but this wasn't


Something else had to be ripped out before the mistake went any further. Amazingly I got it crocheted back up again before the cat noticed it.

I'm missing my Instagram widget in the sidebar, where these images would normally have shown up, but it was causing some people to get a rather unpleasant notification that my site contained malware. Hopefully that's all cleared up now!

16 October, 2012

View from a Village

I'm back! Not that I really went anywhere but I had a small operation, came down with a cold, made it through one week of school holidays and went away for the second. Sounds busy but actually at least two weeks of it involved me feeling sorry for myself and sitting in bed a lot. Now I'm on a drive to get the kitchen wallpapering finished and the hallway spruced up with a coat of paint so we can put the house on the market in a couple weeks. Add in a few handmade Christmas presents and some clothes for me and some for Hazel, including a hat that is needed urgently, and the next month is looking rather busy! I think it'll be ok and even if I can't take proper photos of Christmas presents I can at least put up artistic ones.

I've been working on this cross stitch since the Olympics - I thought I'd get it done by the closing ceremonies but didn't make it, and then it languished as I wrestled with amigurumi and other crochet stuff.


The design comes from a neat little cross stitch book, Cross Stitch Patterns by Misako Murayama, that came with a Gerda Bengtsson book I wanted on Trade Me. As it turns out, it was much more fun that the Bengtsson one so I was quite pleased. It reminds me a bit of the book I had when I was learning to cross stitch as a kid, so it's kind of nostalgic.

Copyright 1976 by Ondorisha Publishers ISBN 0-87040-374-5

The colours came as a bit of a surprise when I started, though it shouldn't have considering I saw all the floss together when I bought it! The book's colours are quite different, much more muted. But I quite like the insane brightness.


When I searched for it online to see if I could learn a bit more about it, or the author, I got a bit of a shock at the prices that were being asked for it - Amazon sellers had it for $45+, Alibris had it from $73-314. Wow. I payed $10 for two books, so essentially $5. I felt quite proud of myself for scoring such a rare book accidentally, although $314 seemed a bit crazy. I mentioned to Heleen that I was doing an embroidery from this particular book, and from my vague description of the patterns "70s, Japanese, colourful" she popped out of the room and returned with her copy, which cost her all of $2 in a second hand book store! Needless to say the $314 seems even more ridiculous now - where do they pull these prices out from? I'll refrain from suggesting a place because I might get unwanted hits on my blog from Google searches ;)

After I took these photos I stupidly left the hoop lying on the spare bed, and Lucy the cat promptly slept on it, put a claw through it, and got it dirty. Luckily none of the damage is permanent, but I'll have to wash it and will probably put it in a smaller hoop to hang on the wall. Cats!


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