Thursday, 18 April 2013

connected with bloggers

lots and lots and lots of bloggers! From all over the place.  Thank you so much to all the hard working women who pulled this off! I had such a great weekend of chatting, relaxing, eating, crafting, laughing, crying, and dreaming....Just what was needed to help me clarify some of the journey I am on presently.  And the possibility of running some creative upcycling workshops is now looking like it could happen! Fantastic - its got my creative juices flowing (unfortunately in the middle of the night!- luckily i keep a pen and notepad by the bed)...
miriam showing us some zumba moves on The Panel
up on the top of Alice's and C1 building
loving the colour scheme and bag!!!!
shipping crates can look lovely
getting ready to create buntings with Deb
dance-o-mat buddies Stella and Miriam
beautiful day for a boggie!
we have to go up there?!?!?!
making friends on the roof top overlooking CBD Make Cafe
It was awesome....

poppy has bumblefoot!

which sounds quite cute, but it really isnt - its a bacterial infection of the foot, that requires surgery - which is costly, especially now i have worked out 3 of the 4 chookies have it.  So i had a browse online and found that i could perform said surgery.  Bumblefoot surgery - sounds dodgy doesn't it.
surgery  time
So in a slightly nervous state i prepared the operating theatre, aka the laundry.  Hubby moved as far away from the area as humanly possible, whilst i went to fetch poor poppy, whom by this time was painfully limping...
poppy before bumblefoot surgery
And then i proceded with surgery.  At this point i am going to put a lovely picture of a chocolate cake i made a few months ago, when the berries were ripening (just to distract you from thinking about bumblefoot surgery too much!)
After a moment of head between the legs faintness, and several deep breaths later, surgery was complete, and Poppy emerged, not much worse for wear...She even managed some porridge, with echinacea tincture, brown sugar and rescue remedy mixed in for good measure...
all bandaged up and enjoying her porridge
Now i only have 2 more to deal with....(Which is very good motivation to keep their perches clean and change the sawdust more regularly!)    :)

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Princess club

25% of children in Aotearoa live in poverty.  A quarter of all NZ children - its just so wrong.  Our country has slipped further and further down the OECD list of countries for living conditions.

There are many organisations that work hard to address this problem, like the Sallies, City Mission, KidsCan school lunches, food banks, etc.  One place I found a few years ago that is attempting to address this issue in the eastern suburbs of Christchurch is Golden Harvest Trust.  Mel, (an amazingly hope filled woman) and a team of up to 100 volunteers run community clean ups, food parcels, and groups for kids.  The group that caught my attention is Princess Club.  Run for 4-12 yr old girls, they gather weekly and learn essential life skills, all with a Princess theme.  There is Princess Friendship, Princess Manners, Princess Trustworthy to name a few.  Once a month The Palace (a gorgeous space in the Hampshire Street Shops in Aranui) holds Ester's Pamper Palace.  The girls are treated to manicures, foot spas, hair wash and do ups, and they get to wear a gorgeous princess gown.

When I arrived there was one rack of dress ups.  Within a year 120 dresses were hanging on purpose built racks with 80 pairs of princess shoes and 60 tiaras.  A momentus year of design and creation, with lots of volunteers coming and going - assisting with shoe do ups, tiara making and stitching.

Here are some of the results:
black donated dress before
black donated dress after
close up detail to hide stitching
matching tiara to complete the look!

70's bridesmaid number 
refashioning underway!                  
a crazy nightie that the girls loved
crazy nightie becomes empire line gown
my 1st refashion - it was ripped and stained 
beaded detailing for extra princess appeal

$5 opshop taffeta gown
in the throws of a makeover -
lacing to be added

donated fabrics line my shelves
tiara making sessions in the school room

my lovely chaotic work space - rm 14, wainoni primary
a donated shoe rack with
donated shoes

the girls loved this, but too low cut!
solved that problem with insert of satin
snow white makeover

take 1 Pumpkin Patch dress
add some sparkle and bling...
and you have a gown fit for a princess!
butterfly tiara - so much fun to make!
So that's a bit of what i did for most of 2010.  Interrupted slightly by earthquakes, then 2yrs of study, but I am finally able to get back and volunteer some time with Princess Club, starting in May 2013...Yay!!!! :)

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Part 2 of rainbow birthday party cake

this is my second attempt at a rainbow birthday cake - due to gracie having 2 parties - one for family and one for school friends...
rainbow cloud birthday cake
The rainbow is just a paper one with card glued between it to stiffen it.  The fluffy meringue type icing is 3 egg whites beaten till stiff, slowly add sugar syrup (caster sugar dissolved in water and boiled down), and beat till glossy.  Then add whatever food colouring - I used blue for the cake and left the cloud just white.  It works well, but some of the syrup did separate out from the egg white and pool at the edges of the cake.  Also the icing is quite sticky so needs to be stored in cool place, and preferably eaten in one day as it is raw egg.  Found the recipe in a cool DIY kids cake book i got at a local op shop some years ago...Love the effect for clouds and sky!
Gracie dressed up ready for her party
It was rather lovely to see gracie getting dressed up for her family party (she often prefers practical clothes) - but chose her flower girl dress I made her for her Uncle's wedding in England.  And she found the party hat at the local $2 shop to top it off :) Cutie...
rainbow streamers and rainbow coloured balloons

Saturday, 6 April 2013

My little princess is turning 7

Finding this cushion for 50c, in the Dogwatch Opportunity  shop, I almost didn't buy it.  Stained and dated, it looked quite miserable amongst its discarded buddies.   But something made me go back for a second look.  It was duly paid for and stashed away for a year or so in my 'pile of potential projects' (popp's).
 thrifted frilly pillow about to get a makeover
With Gracie's 7th birthday approaching, I re-discovered it, whilst rifling through my popp's.  Miss nearly 7 had spotted the tinkerbell fabric on one of our fabric shop excursions....Me being partial to fairies, let her have it.  I then went back and matched it with some gorgeously soft chenille minky spot fabric (which i have to admit, i have spent quite some time stroking!)  Gracie also finds soft fabric irresistible  and when she first started talking, would call anything soft 'duggy'.  Which i think was her version of 'cuddly'. After washing, removing the frill, tracing the shape and sewing it up, Gracie now has a cute wee pillow with 'duggy' backing.

 She proudly took it to show and tell at school  (I think that discarded cushion would be the envy of its opshop buddies now!)
On tucking her in after a fun-filled day, I found she was sleeping on her new heart cushion - her cheek snuggled into her 'duggy' fabric. :)
So it was time to whip up her birthday cake - carrot cake with pink cream cheese icing and a rainbow, was my design brief, so this is what I came up with:
Gracie's Birthday cake
I think I fufilled the design brief ok!  Lucky Gracie is having a family party and a school friends party this year - to make up for her meant to be special 5th birthday, which was rudely interrupted by earthquakes.  So I will have 2 opportunities to play with rainbow designed cakes...Will post up my second attempt too.  :)

Monday, 1 April 2013

Easter Getaway to Okains Bay

The glorious weather continues, and camping with friends this Easter was the best way to enjoy it...
taking Gracie for a paddle around the estuary
heading out for a tiki tour in our sea kayak
my favourite thing to do this Easter!
hey! Where's my food?!?!
 The horse over the fence from our campsite got used to lots of lovely children feeding him...
Tarn helping decorate
balloons and streamers amongst the trees
Nia's 4th birthday celebrations
party picnic time!
 A gorgeous Easter holiday... :) J