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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Wow, how can it have been that long since my last post.
Elf Stocking- free pattern @ Home

I had been crafting, making, baking & creating allsorts of things leading up to christmas.

Chocolate Cranberry Mini Whoopie Pies, Yum!

These were just a few of the things I had made,
(I'm hopeless at remembering to take photos once I'm finished making something.)

Christmas Apron Gifts

The gift of Giving, The Giving Bunny Project @ Urban

     I also made Bath Bomb Fizzys, Coffee & Vanilla Body Scrubs, Relaxing Lemon Balm & Chamomile Bath Tea Bags -which are all natural and super fun bathroom gifts,
(I found all the recipes and how too's on YouTube)
I will be making all of these again, they're so fun to make & use.

Christmas is over -Time to focus on the New Year that is upon us.
So why not sign-up for a year-long craft challenge!
A new craft challenge every 2 weeks, sounds great, hope I can keep up :)
Hosted by Iron Craft @

2013 is going to be a full-on awesome year. 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Michele @ Quilting Gallery is doing her first quilt drive for people affected by Super Storm Sandy.
Simple scrappy wonky log cabin blocks are to be made & sent to team leaders to assemble and finish to then be passed on.
                                                         Sandy Quilt Block Drive
Even though I'm doing too many projects already I've signed up to do 4 quilt blocks to help out the drive, even though I'm on the other side of the world I want to let SS Sandy victims know that we are thinking of them at such a hard time.

My Beautiful Nemeisa's and old fashioned bearded Iris that are popping with colour by my front door, so pretty.

My vege garden is pumping, finally the good weather has come and the plants are loving it.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

It's still crazy spring weather here in the South Waikato, rain,sun, hail and alot of wind.
My pink & blue bells are a lovely show under my Feijoa trees.
My vege garden is coming along nicely thanks to the plastic tunnels I've been using, the mini micro climates have let the broccoli, red cabbage, lettuce & mesclun salad be protected  from all the bad weather we had had for months.  I am going to be brave this week and start to sow my outdoor crops of runner beans, potato's, Sweet corn, Peas, Squash and Kamo kamo.
I planted beetroot, red onions, radish, zucchini & cucumbers a couple of days ago under cover.  
My garden in the early stages.
I am also very happy to let you know that I was voted 14th at the  Beginners Quilt-along @, and have won an awesome Simplicity 6" x 24" Quilting ruler which I'm totally stoked about because I don't have one a 'proper' quilting ruler- so ya!
Thanks so much for the votes, they really did count, I only scrapped in by 1 vote! 

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Time to vote.

The Beginners quilt-along I entered at Quilting is down to the final voting for the grand prizes. There are 31 finished quilt tops in the final, at the moment mine is rating 17th out of the 31, the first 14 win- so VOTE,  VOTE, VOTE for me and "MY FIRST QUILT".
Click this link, check out the quilts, vote for me & submit vote. Only 1 vote per IP address, voting closes October 9th, fingers crossed x

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Block 13's a winner!

Well guess what!
My 13th quilt block I made for  the Beginners Quilt along has won a prize.
Wow, 13 must have been my lucky number.
I've won 4 quilt patterns from, I was so excited when I got the email, goes to show how the Internet has made the world so easily connected, me from Lil New Zealand winning a U.S challenge, Awesome!
 #13 Quilt block is a winner.
I've been a busy-bee in the garden, it's spring-time, lots to be done, seeds to sow, plants to plant, compost to dig and BAD BUGS NEED TO DIE! Aphids in particular. Making themselves cosy in my glasshouse.
I checked out the sprays at my local supermarket & hardware stores and was blown away at the prices, anywhere from $18 for a 750ml ready to use spray or $14 upwards for a 250ml concentrated spray.
I remembered that in a previous N.Z. Gardner magazine there was a article on 10 Easy to make Organic Bug Sprays.
I hunted down the issue from the stack (November 09) and found a Garlic Bug Spray recipe, it's said to tackle many different bugs- aphids, wire worm, codling moth, white cabbage butterfly & mosquito larvae. So back to the supermarket I went to buy the 3 ingredients I didn't have, Pure Soap (sunlight), Garlic & Kerosene, totalling $11.83.The 4th ingredient is water.

This has made 1 litre of concentrate, with a mixing ratio of 15mls spray to 1 litre of water,
that's approx 66 litres of spray from 1 batch. Had to share the recipe, I will let you know how well it works over the following weeks.
                                                       Recipe for Organic Garlic Bug Spray
                                                         1/3 of 1 bar of Pure Soap (30grm) grated,
                                                         100grm Chopped Garlic (3 bulbs)
                                                         1 tsp kerosene (5ml)
                                                         1 Litre of water (warmish)
  In a large Juice Bottle I dissolved the  soap in a little boiling water, then added other ingredients,
shake the heck out of it, leave it for 48hr.
Then strain/sieve it and it's ready to go.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

I have finished my quilt-top for the Beginners Quilt-along, just in time to be in for voting to win lot's of great goodies.
Judging starts at quilting in two days time. You can check out how my quilt progressed at my flicker page and please vote for me & my quilt in the quilt-along.

I'm very happy with how the quilt has come together.
I just wish the photo's were alot clearer.
The fabrics are so funky, Skulls, Flames, Squiggles, Splodges, Puzzle pieces, Circles, Paisley's and Flecks.
In a colour range of Black, White, Grey &
Duck Egg Blue.

Just the backing & binding to go to finish the quilt completely.
Quilting gallery are in the planing stages for an intermediate quilt along in march next year. Bring it on! 

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Yates Veggie Growing Challenge

I have entered the Yates Spring Veggie growing challenge for a third year, this years challenge is abit different to previous years, less blogging & updates and alot more category's and prizepacks. You can checkout & watch my gardens progress over the coming months at this link: 

I'll be sowing & growing lots of veggie's and herbs. I purchased some 'Roma' & Money Maker' Tomato plants at our local Tokoroa Farmers Market, a great value 8 plants for $5, ready to plant out in my glasshouse this week.

There's lots of digging & compost to be added to my main garden beds. I've planted out broccolii and lettuce plants under a grow tunnel to protect them from the crazy spring weather we've been having. I'll be planting beans(4 types), sweetcorn, beetroot, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, coriander, sage, borage, cucumber, zucchini, eggplant, capsicum, chilli, broccoli, leek,red cabbage, spring onion, red onion & radish to name a few of what I'll try to grow.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Slack Blogger!

Wow, can't believe it's been over a month since I posted my last blog, slackest blogger ever!
I have decided to try posting smaller blogs more often.
I do have so much to share but never enough time to write big posts.
My quilt-along is going great, I've finished the 13 blocks so now it's onto piecing it together with borders

My awesome 1st Iris for spring and the purple ones are ready to burst open, love them.
   My lettuce in the glasshouse have been pumping.
I've picked 18 bags of salad so far, my iceberg's are hearting up nicely. Sad news- my arctic tomato plants stalks frozen 2 nights ago when we had quite a heavy frost, bummer.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Spring is on the way......

Spring is on the way-
my 1st daffodill was out and proud on the 1st of August.
It is so nice to see some colour in the garden and to signal the winter will soon be over and a new spring season is soon to begin.

My veges in the glasshouse are booming, we have eaten our 1st salad with the lettuce I planted and it was yum.

I picked 5 different types of the messclun mix,
the freshness and flavour is outstanding.

I have sown some Spring Onions- Ishkura long White and Radishes- Easter Egg Blend in around the outer of the lettuces.

I've also been abit ambitious and have sown 4 varieties of early growing Tomatos, 2 types of
'Sub Arctic Plenty', 'Baxters Early bush cherry'& 'Cherry Sweetie', fingers crossed X.

 These are the 1st 8 Blocks from the beginners quilting challenge that I joined at I've been learning lots of mad patchworking skills and have recieved some nice comments and feedback on my blocks.
I'm loving this weekly tutorial that is teaching the basics of putting a quilt together- I can do anytime and it's free!

You can check out my progress on my
flicker page

I found this great pattern for a quick to knit beanie over at

I had some Naturally's Tussock 10ply Yarn and it knitted up awesome with this pattern,  my 'Regular Guy' Hubby loves it.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

I'm really enjoying learning some new techniques and skills from the tutorials for the quilt-along over at  These are the first 5 blocks of my quilt, I've learnt to piece together squares, rectangles & triangles so far. Cut, sew, press- easy so far.

block 1 game of Hopscotch
block2 Peek over the fence (two by 3)
block3 Time for ice cream (shoo fly)
block4 Jump in the pool (Double monkey wrench)
block 5 count the stars (friendship star)

The only real problem I've had is to work my rotary cutter the right way. This is the first time in using a cutter & board, at first I put it together wrong (hubby fixed it), then I wasn't holding the ruler down enough or the handle on the right angle. A few bad words were mumbled, then I checked out U-Tube to learn what I should be doing, I'm getting better.
This block is Count the Stars- aka frienship star
So I've caught up to the quilt-along and submitted my 5th block on time for a chance at some of the great prizes.  

Sunday, 8 July 2012

I'm Having ago, Beginner's Quilt -Along

Beginner's Quilt-Along
I saw a link from Craft Gossip about This beginner's quilt-along at the other day. 
It's a step by step block process that is worked on each week till September and hopefully at the end you have a finished quilt. 
The quilt-along has already started and is up to week 5 ,
but anyone can still hav ago and start it at anytime. 
My family and I went to Dunkleys craft show in Hamilton today,
there was a quilting stall, I brought some fabrics- so I guess I'm having a go at my first quilt!
I purchased the fabric from Cushlas Village Fabrics, they have stores in Waihi,  Auckland and online(
The ladies were very helpful while I was selecting some fat quarters and my son had some input as well.

Once home I had to have a go, I've done the first of the 12 blocks, the 1st is
"Play a game of Hopscotch",
a very simple block to begin with,  the blocks gradually get  more complicated
as the quilt progresses.
I'll take alook at the 2nd block tomorrow, and if I catch up to the Quilt-along/challenge I can enter for the prizes.   

Monday, 2 July 2012

Cold & Busy

I haven't had alot of time to get much crafting (or blogging) done,  I've been hell busy.
The chilli winter weather is here,  the days are shorter and the nights are long and cold, you'd think there's heaps of time for indoor crafting but that hasn't been the case.
The last couple of weeks have been very busy-
my daughter shari turned 8 and we baked and decorated 55 cupcakes for her to share with friends & family.
We baby-sat my parents motel for a night which was busy- I was so knackered after that.
I also altered a ball dress for a friends daughter & she looked gorgeous in a silver-grey beaded grecian style gown - I so love sewing pretty dresses.
And of course I been working most days, busy with the kids & school stuff and theres my crazy animals to tend to as well.
I have managed to knit some clothes for the goth doll I'm makin, a dress, knickers, stockings & shoes and I've also done her hair.


She's a hit with the kids already even though there's no face yet, I've got a practice head ready to have a go at the facial features when I get the chance. There's also suspenders for her stockings, lace wristcuffs & jewellery to make, maybe a peirceing or tattoo too!

IN THE GARDEN my swede & turnip patch is a bit of a disaster, in the 10sq metre patch there are about 12 swede & I can't even find a turnip- what a flop, I had put in about 200 seeds.
My watercress that I have growing in a tub of water is growing well in this cold and frosty weather even when the water in the tub freezes it doesnt care, it's a awesome dark green colour with a wicked fresh peppery bite to it- yum in salads & soup!

In the glasshouse everything is growing nicely, the lettuce is growing well, the sliverbeet not quite as much growth but is strong & healthy with vibriant coloured stalks already.

                                           We'll be eating fresh lettuce salad soon-ish.
Time to start thinking about spring & summer flowers & the crops we want to grow & eat.
We have just finished the last of the potatoes that we grew last season, they were so much nicer than what you can buy in the shops & my hubbys got the spud-bug & wants to double the plot we planted last year- which was 8kg of seed spud, we harvested between 50-60kg (we had raided the plot for baby taters on a few occasions) and we will to try some different varieties this year too.

IN THE KITCHEN I've tried out a really simple pizza base recipe twice in the last couple of weeks in which I used leftovers to make yummy pizzas quickly for dinner. I forgot to take pics, they looked & tasted great.

                                                 Quick & Simple Pizza Base Recipe
To make 1 30cm X 30cm base (roasting pan size)
1 Cup Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Cup grated Cheese
1/4 Cup Milk
Pinch salt
1TBSP Dried Herbs of of choice; basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary.

Sift together flour, B.P & salt, mix in cheese.
Make a well in the center, add milk & herbs, mix together till mixture combines to a ball
( add a little extra milk if dry) 
roll out with a rolling pin to 5mm thick
place on lightly oiled tray/pan
add all your favourite toppings
Bake in a 200'c preheated oven for 10-12 mins

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

A little plaid mad.

I gone alittle bit plaid mad, making myself a pink & black plaid dress!
It's same Burda pattern I used for the 'I will wear it in public challenge' that I had entered over @ Riccohet & Away last month ( please vote for me-push the vote button link on the right). 
I'm so loving the shirt/dress that I made for the challenge,
the twisted neck is cool- something different, it's super comfy and the pockets are so handy.
So why not make it again- but knee length and with a gathered waist and in a Hot Pink & Black plaid wool blend fabric. 
It only took a few hours to put it together and Pink Plaid dress was born-    
I'm happy with the finished dress, I can't wait to wear it!

GARDEN UPDATE: My winter salad garden is doing really well- apart from 2 transplant deaths. I've watered them a few times and they are defiantly growing, maybe well be eating some in a couple of weeks,  I'll post a growth pic next week.
 I've also been preparing a patch for our seed garlic, it's that time again here- nearing the shortest day, 
I've done a bit of garlic growing  research to try and increase our yield cause we love garlic so much. 
The patch is where our mobile chicken coup was last year, so I'm hoping the soil is not "to rich"- fingers crossed, we'll find out in about 6 months!

WHAT I'M KNITTING at the moment is from a new book I brought from Paper Plus-
Gothic knits by Fiona McDonald and no it's not all black clothes- but Gothic Inspired Knitted Dolls!
Book Cover - Gothic Knits
I saw the book and I had to get it, I've never seen anything like it, their are 9 different dolls- male and female and they are freaks- cool.
I've knitted one doll so far and I put her together last night, the long legs are so funny.
 I've never knitted any type of doll or toy before, it's been good to try something different.
The patterns in this book are quite simple and easy to follow, all knitted on 3mm needles in 8ply.
The dolls have knitted clothes and shoes -so that's next on the needles and embroider the facial features,
I think I might do a test head to have a practise first!  

Monday, 4 June 2012

Winter Glasshouse Garden

It is now officially winter here in New Zealand and after last years vegetable quality and prices  I have decided to try growing some salad veges in my glass-house over winter.
I follow the lunar garden cycle so I started preparing the soil in my glasshouse for the 'planting days' of the cycle.
I purchased some plants from  as I find the traditional value bundles are good healthy plants delivered to your door for less than you can buy in the shops.
I have planted 3 types of lettuce- 'Iceberg', 'Hearting Mix' & a 'Mesclum mix'.
I ended up with about 45 lettuce plants- costing $11.85 for the 3 bundles- about .25c a plant.
The lettuce prices last winter were $4+ so they will hopefully pay for themselves in no time. 
I also planted some 'Bright lights' coloured silverbeet around the edge of my lil glasshouse, to use in salads as young leaves - and to add abit of colour. That 1 $3.85 bundle contained 18 plants!
I left it to late to plant my "Arctic Tomato"seeds, they will grow in sub-zero temperatures as long as they get sun. Which is a bummer as tomato's hit a $17 a kilo high last year. I will try a couple of seeds in the next 'planting cycle' maybe they might do something.

This week I will be planting out my own seed garlic that I saved from last season, I've been reading up on what garlic loves so hopefully this crop will exceed the last.
Onto other things, remember the lovely lace pattern alpaca scarf that I knitted a couple of weeks ago?
Well I found the 1st time I wore it that I am allergic to alpaca fibres!  Damn it, it brought me out an eczema type rash on both sides of my neck. It now is hanging in my sewing room doorhandle so I can at least enjoy looking at it. 

I did make the best Lemon Meringue Pie I've made in years this week, maybe it was the lemons that my hubby bought home from Tapu, up the Thames Coast.
It had the most gorgeous flavour and set like a dream.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Gorgeous Colour Livingstone Daisy

I took this pic on friday afternoon, when I got home from work this beautiful cerise/pinky/purple livingstone daisy was smiling out at me from a planter pot by my front door.

I think it'll look great printed on a  canvas to brighten a wall.
I just had to share it:) 

Friday, 25 May 2012

'Lace of Hearts' Pot Holder

Embroidered 'Lace of Hearts' Pot Holder.

Here is my latest finished project, a pot holder.
 I have been doing lots of different machine embroidery designs with my new Singer Futura,
using FREE download designs from
I have been wanting to turn some of my samples into something usable- and here's the first on many.

I plan to make many more quick usable 'things' from my ever growing stack of of embroidered pieces of fabric, any suggestions for projects would be great.
I am loving the way it looks hanging in my kitchen, maybe I'll make a matching Pot-Mitt next.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

I 'wore it' to work yesterday

I wore my 'I will wear it in public' challenge outfit to work yesterday,
my top/dress is definately a top when worn with the lace leggings.
I was behind desk most of the day which was good cause there was abit of thigh showing with the lace.

Super comfy outfit though, the merino kept me snuggly -it's been pretty cold here at the moment, and I just love the pockets. When I got home I put on some jeggings and the top looked awesome with them.
I know I'm going to wear everything I made all the time.
This has been a great challenge, I really enjoyed it. 
I think it's started abit of a plaid trend for me- I've already cut out a Pink and Black Plaid dress :)

Friday, 18 May 2012

Finished Outfit

I've finished my merino fitted tee- my outfit is complete.
My tee was real basic so I used a criss-cross stretch stitch on the hems to finish. It was the 1st time I had used that stitch on my new singer futura and I love it, the seams are lovely and flat, no tension issues that can happen with knit fabrics.
The neckline on my tee isn't 100% centred so that bugs me a bit but I wasn't going to unpick in case I put a hole in it. I do love the length though, I adapted the length when I drafted the pattern from Burda Style magazine issue  7/2011  style#103  . A nice fit on me (my dress form is set to my measurements- her name is Dolly).
I finished all 3 of my garments with my own manufacture label- MADJAM, to give they a store bought look and to help tell the right way with the tights.

I've had some great comments & questions about my previous update post. A few more details about my top/dress , I had to check that it was a box pleat I had done in the back & it is. I pressed it down & topstitched it ending just above my waist line. Here are 2 pics, 1 outside, 1 inside sorry they're bit blurry.

Also the tights/leggings, that I made, I adapted the pattern that is usually 1 piece for each leg buy simply marking 3inches down from each side of the crutch leg-line and folding the pattern across leg. Then I cut the top piece out of modal- I just added a seam allowance at the foldline and the same for the lace leg bottoms by adding a seam allow at top leg fold. I also tried on each leg before I sewed to two legs together,  I had to take in the lace part a few inches because it is so stretchy it was a bit baggy & I wanted a fitted leg. I finished the hem by attaching a cuff, just like for a sleeve.

So here they are waiting for me to wear them in public, I think I'll wear them to work on monday.
 I'll post my final picture of me "wearing it in public".
A Big Big thanks to everyone for their great comments & thanks to Rikka for hosting this challenge.
 I've really enjoyed making something for myself for everyday wear for a change.