Monday, 25 March 2013

a treasure trove

I found one today - the city mission op shop (or thrift shop/charity shop) in town, has a room to the side - and in that room is a little shelf.  On the little shelf, I found  sewing treasures.  See:
I was soooooo excited - but slightly nervous about how much i had racked up.  So I tentively popped everything on the counter, and to my utter surprise was charged $5 for all of it.  The gorgeous vintage patterns, zips, bias binding, metro threads, snap domes, bobbin case, embroidered linens, buttons, and my favourite find - the bias binding maker.  That is the metal thing in the foreground of the photo, lying on a hand written note.  Some lovely old dear has written instructions for DIY bias binding.  SOOOO excited - now i can easily make my own - handy for buntings, and edging bibs for baby gifts....
The patterns will join the 300+ i have stashed in my cupboard - (thats one of my slightly addictive habits!)

Thats my excitment for the day - in fact it will keep me excited for at least the next week! :)

Friday, 22 March 2013

Aotearoa Outdoors

I love camping.  And so does my little whanau - we love to discover new places, explore beaches, climb hills, find rivers to build dams in - all those lovely things childhood memories are made of...

my little whanau 2010 at Kaikoura
campfire and marshmallows graveyards surfbreak
sunset over kaikoura range
fireworks at graveyards beach, Kaikoura
Pohutukawa in flower at Gore Bay
Taylors Mistake beach
andy carving it up at Kaiks
Staying at Onuku Marae in Akaroa, Banks Peninsula
the first Anglican church in the south is, Onuku Marae
Island on Lake Kaniere on a beautiful still day
hut building at Gore Bay
sun sets on Mt Seddon - view from our campsite
gracie at Church of the Good Shephard, Lake Tekapo

Walking up to view Aoraki Mt Cook, with Mt Seddon in the background
the mudslides are awesome at Little River Campground
Little River - Camping at Manaia by the river
free camping at Meatworks, Kaikoura surf break
Dorothy Falls, lake Kaniere, West Coast
tarn building a damn at Sunny Bite, lake Kaniere
So I thought that i would share some of the places we have found on our journies around this beautiful island in the South Pacific....

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

aprons and gumboots

It was definitely a kitchen day today - lovely soft rain fell all day, which is great for our drought stricken earth.  It rained whilst i was picking peaches, collecting eggs and harvesting veges from the garden.  Which meant it was an apron AND gumboots day!  (I quite like aprons - and gumboots just top off the Domestic Goddess look!)

Anyhow, whilst finding my preserving recipe for peaches i got a wee bit distracted by jam.  And ended up making 2 jars of gorgeously red raspberry jam - courtesy of Alison Holst's recipe.  A lot quicker and simpler than i remember and a good quick fix.  Which then led me onto making a jam jar cover. Here it all is:
my hand dyed, upcycled doiley jam jar cover

Next on the menu was a Moroccan orange syrup cake - with almonds, eggs, breadcrumbs and rind of orange and lemon - then the fun part - pouring orange/lemon syrup infused with cinnamon over the top, waiting for a few minutes then tasting it....A citrus symphony i have to say...especially with a bit of cream drizzled over.  I found the recipe on Pinterest:
Moroccan Orange Syrup Cake

Dinner was a garden medley - courgette and feta quiche, with sweet corn and steamed beans.  Lovely to have an abundant garden...thanks to my lovely man, his army of worms, the compost he creates, and my chookies (chickens), who do a fantastic job with weed control and fertiliser.

I have tried a few quiche recipes, and quite like this one, as it has a brown rice crust, which is a bit more filling for my rapidly growing kiddies...
herbed zucchini and feta quiche

Here's hoping more rain falls on our poor parched earth.  And it was just the excuse I needed to try new things in the kitchen!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

PITCH Fashion Show 2012

Two years of full time fashion school studies culminated in PITCH, held on 24 November 2012.  An exciting night, I was really pleased to see how far I have come in my design and construction.  Here are some highlights from my mini-collection
matrix meets sherlock holmes - mens tailored suit
matariki gown - leather, silk with silk corset 
my man dress! merino, leather
kimono style wool silk jacket
joan of arc inspired outfit in wool, leather
my girls rocking the catwalk
silk gorgette, leather and merino coctail dress 

My draped garment - evoking 40's screen sirens
isn't she a sweetie?

So that's it.  My foray into fashion design.  Who know's where it will eventually lead.  Somewhere I hope!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

bunting fun, and gracie

my 6 yr old is nearly 7.  And very excited about it. She has also discovered buntings, and has decided she wants a fairy one for her rainbow birthday party.  I happen to have some gorgeous Cicely Mary Barker fairy fabric that will do nicely, so am eager to get that underway.

However, back to Gracie - she sounds awfully girlie doesn't she - but actually she isn't.  Up until about 5yrs, skirts were totally overrated - they got in the way of her biking and climbing trees, and we were lucky if we could get her into anything except shorts - even in the middle of winter.  In fact often in her earlier years, naked was her favourite outfit.  Thankfully her pre-school was understanding!
Anyhow, I thought I would show you one of her recent designs.  I gave her an old A3 sketch folder and she has been keeping her designs in it (because she is going to be a designer like her mummy when she grows up - cutey!)
Rosie the Robot, by Gracie aged 6 and a half
Next is a picture of my first attempt at a bunting.  I decided to go the upcycled route, so included are thrifted things - an embroidered tablecloth, floral sheet, vintage lace and a dyed pillow case.  I am quite pleased with the result, and think that this will be my giveaway for my redflax page on facebook - in celebration of the fact that I have passed the 500 mark of followers on Pinterest - we are a multi-social media society nowadays aren't we :)

upcycled bunting loveliness 

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Autumn Harvest

My lovely man harvested more tomatoes from his glass house today, and made tomato sauce - I have to say it is the best batch yet - all because of the tomatoes hubby informs me - its been a bumper crop!
And that is not all that has been fruitful this season - our peach tree is laden - to the point where we had to tie it up and prop up some of the branches because of the weight of the crop....I had one today and it tasted like sunshine and dew all mixed together...
our beautiful peach tree

so I found a recipe for peach and almond tart - as they are members of the same family, I figured it would be a great flavour combo...peach and almond tart is a BBC Good Food recipe
Will keep you posted on how this turns out - it is filling the house with wonderful aromas...

The refreshing of my cushions is also on the creative menu this week - I thought i would share a picture of my latest refashion - the centre cushion is entirely upcycled from the table napkin backing and the hand embroidered table cloth front to the zip i took out of the tired previous cushion cover...
my new cushion covers
 Its lovely to breathe new life into beautiful linens that have been discarded in an op-shop.  The hours of work someone has lovingly devoted deserves to get a second chance to shine!  The cushion on the left is fabric i picked up at Spotlite - which was a surprise, I have to say.  Not often they have such funky fabric.

Off to get the tarts out of the oven - with a verdict to follow... :) J

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Domestic Goddess on a Budget: How to Save Money and Time and Still be Gorgeous

50's inspired Apron

The lovely lady that i made this for is a bit longer in the torso, so i made it a bit longer in the bib.  It was a kitchen shower gift - so i included the book Domestic Goddess on a Budget, by Wendyl Nissen.  Amazing book! Highly recommend it - great for natural remedies, and cleaning products etc...The link is below:
Domestic Goddess on a Budget: How to Save Money and Time and Still be Gorgeous: This is a lively, user-friendly guide on how to get by on less without losing your sense of humour, your sense of style or your commitment to helping save the planet. Wendyl Nissen, New Zealand's very own budget-conscious domestic goddess, brings an entertaining and informative approach to everyday household activities, from cleaning your home with natural cleaning products - that you can make at a fraction of the cost of commercial cleaners - to turning your tiny plot of earth into a garden and furnishing your rooms with vintage furniture. Wendyl also provides lots of hints on how to reduce your grocery and power bills by adopting some of the habits and routines our grandparents grew up with.

PS - here is an apron i upcycled for gracie - the frill is from a pillow case, and the fabric is vintage - it is backed with ripstop nylon for messiness factors - which my daughter has a large dose of!