Wednesday, 29 February 2012

My Creative Space : Patchwork Pillowcase


As mentioned in this post I  recently received some lovely fabric scraps in the mail as part of the Scrap Bag Swap 2012.

I used some of these scraps, along with some scraps of my own (mainly leftovers from Isabelle’s quilt) to make this patchwork/ quilted pillowcase for Isabelle.

I wanted to somehow tie in Isabelle’s quilt (which is shown folded in the second photo) with the thrifted duvet I restyled a while back. Her quilt is made of soft tones, while the duvet is a bit brighter – so I made the pillowcase a combination of the two.

This project was inspired by this pin.

I took a bit of a shortcut by making the patchwork top and then quilting it to the front of an existing pillowcase. But what I saved in time, I made up for in fiddly-ness. (It was hard work trying to fit my sewing machine right in the depths of the pillowcase!)


All in all, I’m pretty happy with the result though.

Not bad for a combination of thrifted and homemade bedding, I think!

Another thing I made yesterday was my blog button – see that thing on the left hand side, just above the followers? Feel free to grab one for your blog if you like. I am in no way computer geek savvy – but this 'how to' made it really simple! (It’s still weird to me to think of something not tangible/ in the ‘real world’ as a creation… but I guess it is!)

Joining in with our creative spaces.

Jen x

Sunday, 26 February 2012


Despite feeling pretty under the weather for most of the weekend with a bad cold, we still managed to pack a lot in and have a bit of fun.

We had a surprise visit from Elysia (sister-in-law) and Natasha (brother-in-law’s girlfriend)who stayed in support of my brother in law Toby who has just moved up here to study at the Bible College (…and also to help celebrate his birthday, which was yesterday – more on that later.)

On Saturday we went to The 'Retromania Bazaar' – a market selling vintage and retro things.

I picked up..


… some retro ‘sugar’ and ‘rice’ tins for my pantry and a cute little notebook (with a roman sandal on the front), perfect for jotting down those craft (and other) ideas that come to me when I least expect it. (And some cute headbands for Isabelle)

Yesterday was Toby’s birthday and as I’d managed to get Elysia and Natasha addicted to Pinterest, naturally they made him a rainbow cake.


While I would love to claim credit for this thing of beauty, alas I can not – it was all Elysia and Natasha (although I did make the bunting and provided some taste testing assistance.)


We actually had him convinced that it was some kind of healthy coconut and raisin combination on the inside! Gotcha Toby!



The birthday boy



The kids (especially Noah) enjoyed our guests, and he got to do fun things like mini golf, while I stayed at home resting, recuperating (and sewing.)

Noah’s also going to love having Toby staying nearby, especially as Toby is fluent in Noah – with such sayings as “Follow my back” and “watch me do!”

Welcome to the Hawkes Bay and Happy Birthday Toby! And thanks for staying Natasha and Lecy!

Jenny xox

Thursday, 23 February 2012

One hot day…

Yesterday was a hot muggy day. I captured some precious moments of my kids eating peaches and iceblocks on the back door step.


Not exactly a life altering event, but it’s all these little moments that together make up our childhood memories, isn’t it?


Monday, 20 February 2012

Reflecting on 22/2/2011

Tomorrow is a big day for New Zealand and especially Christchurch, as it is one year on from the devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake that destroyed buildings and took the lives or mortally injured 185 people.

I remember the day quite clearly, for some reason I decided to turn the TV on at about 1.15pm (which I never do during the day, unless for kids cartoons) and was faced with the breaking news of the quake.

I didn’t realise how bad it was to start with, I just thought it was a significant aftershock from the September quake, but soon started to get worried after I couldn’t get hold of my family down there and the images on the TV became more and more grim. (My Dad and Step Mother, Nana, Grandma,Auntie, Uncle and cousins live down there and my sister was at the time of the quake.)

But it all really started to sink in when I got hold of my sister, she was lucky to be alive.


She was working in a shop on the ground floor of 3 storey building on the corner of Lichfield, High and Manchester streets that was reduced to a pile of rubble 1 metre high. She went through to the basement and was buried alive for about half an hour. Fortunately, she was able to get out with the assistance of a couple of people at the surface, and hadn’t broken any bones (she just had some nasty bruises and scratches).

This is the building ‘before’ – see if you can spot the dome in the after pic.

I learnt from Holly that all my family was fine and that was a great relief, but other than that I had no communication with family down there due to the busy phone lines etc for what felt like an eternity. Andrew was away working and I just huddled by the TV watching the repetitive bulletins, too scared to turn it off in case I missed something really important.

Of course, I can’t compare how I felt safe up here in the Hawkes Bay, to how everyone in Christchurch was feeling; but at that time I felt cut off, and unable to do anything, or to know what to do. I found myself pacing a lot. Noah, could tell I was worried and gave me heaps of cuddles, and started hammering the pictures of devastation on the TV, in an attempt to “fix” Christchurch (too much Bob the builder?)

The real point of this blog post, was not really to go into as much detail as I have here, but more to say how proud I am of my family’s reaction to this disaster; for example:

* The next day my sister and family were all out digging liquefaction from the properties of complete strangers.

* My Dad and Step Mother were lucky in that their house was relatively unscathed and they never lost power, so they shared in their good fortune by hosting those less fortunate in their home. 

* My Auntie has volunteered with the Rebuild Christchurch Foundation, which included ”Project Christmas” where she and others delivered Christmas presents and groceries to many Christchurch families struggling this Christmas.

* My Dad set up and is working for on a voluntary basis a charity called Canterbury Affordable Sections (The Canterbury Co-operative Land Trust), aimed at helping red zone homeowners rebuild and overcome the problem of expensive/ unaffordable section prices. (My Auntie mentioned above and her husband, Glen have been heavily involved with this as well.)

And I know that my Gran, Nana and other’s down there have picked themselves up and tried to continue as best they can.

It really makes me proud, my family are sure made of tough stuff.

Jen X

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Scrap Bag Swap 2012

It’s always exciting getting parcels in the mail… and today I received my parcel of fabric scraps inside a beautiful scrap bag as part of the Scrap Bag Swap 2012.

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My partner, Tracy from Stitcherynz was extremely generous and had obviously done her homework on me.

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* Gorgeous vintage fabrics: tick!

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* Super mind reading skills: tick!

…Somehow knowing that I really wished I had more of a certain Alexander Henry bird fabric that I had used the absolute last of on a little wee project… (see the fabric on the far right of the pic above.)

…Annnd Tracy must have read this post, to know that I needed more vintage boat fabric to make Noah more shorts!)

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* Heaps of more lovely fabric, not mention a lovely professionally made bag: Tick!

I’m just finishing up making my own scrap bag to send off tomorrow, and after receiving this lovely haul – I have to admit that I’m just slightly feeling the pressure and hoping mine is loved by my recipient as much as I love mine!

Actually the parcel in the mail was perfect timing as I was just about to start a project inspired by this pin.

Pinned Image

Well, I’m actually just planning on doing a pillowcase like this – for when Isabelle goes into her big bed, in order to tie the colours from her quilt and duvet in together.

It turns out some of the fabric that I received in my parcel is going to work in perfectly!

Have you had any lovely mail recently?

Jen x

Friday, 17 February 2012


This weekend is the art deco weekend in Napier. This was our second weekend going to the annual event and our first dressing up. (Well, me and the kids dressed up, Andrew was too cool for school.)

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It is a really awesome and huge weekend, with literally hundreds of events. We just went for a few hours and soaked up the atmosphere and people watched. I was really tempted to take photos of people who had awesome costumes, especially the little old ladies with their fur coats and parasols on the arm of a dapper old gentleman… but I guess it felt a little obvious, so I didn’t.

I didn’t get many photos of the vintage cars and goings on as I hoped, as I was too busy pointing out stuff to the kids, but I did get a mother-load of my kids all dressed up. (So apologies as this is really going to turn into a kid style, art deco edition type post.)

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{Isabelle wore: beautifully embroidered cream dress: op shop ($3), red shoes: op shop ($2); Noah wore: hat: postie plus ($7), grey blazer: made by me, T-shirt: The Warehouse ($5), shorts: pumpkin patch (old), shoes: op shop ($3), suspenders/ bracers: hand me down from my Auntie.}

We didn’t stay long, only a couple of hours… which was lucky because even the smallest dose of art deco can be very very tiring!

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I plan to share ‘what I wore’ in my next Wardrobe Wednesday post.


Jenny x

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

A little grey blazer


I have just ‘finished’ (well except for hemming the sleeves) making Noah this gorgeous little grey blazer. I have to say, it’s probably the my proudest sewing moment to date.

I even considered using a really cheesy title for this post – such ‘ A blaze of glory’ or something equally as naff, but then thought better of it.


My ‘model’ proved somewhat difficult, preferring to run in all directions than be photographed, with most of the pictures being blurs of grey and blonde – perhaps better suited to a Striking Keys - pictures I didn't post type post (hmmm… that’s a thought…)

In other information of note; the pattern is from here, the grey fabric is from the op-shop and it’s lined with a gorgeous cream ultra fine merino fabric which my Mum gave me oodles of! Annnnd… the inspiration is from the pic below…


The kid’s fashion spread OHbaby magazine, Spring 2011 (Issue 15.) The theme for the photo shoot was ‘When I grow up I want to be…” and in case you can’t see it, this boy wants to be an architect (Andrew’s line of work.)I was also kind of taken in by the fact that the boy is wearing a pair of Noah’s glasses in the pic (albeit the pair he has now lost! Thank goodness for Specsavers 2 pair deal!)

So… that’s about it, I’m now going to bask in the feeling of sewing success (and the knowledge that I can now do buttonholes! Yuss!)

Joining in with Our Creative Spaces.

Jen x

Monday, 13 February 2012

An ‘old’ Valentines Poem

First I should qualify what I mean by old : not Shakespeare old, but this poem was written in 2005 by me to Andrew for a competition our local newspaper was running. Needless to say, I didn’t win.

To Andrew…

This Valentine’s Day, this 14th of Feb, Is the sixth we’ve celebrated together.

And is the second, we’ll share as husband and wife, still as in love as ever.

Some years we’ve treated it as just another day, and some years made a big deal.

Like the first year when you gave me a rose at school, and the time we went fishing for eels.

However, I am the one, who has more passion for the day, the one who gets caught up in all the ‘hype.’

As evidenced by your collection of heart-holding toys, and other such gifts of that type.

But, this Valentines Day, this 14th of Feb, whether we celebrate in style, or whatever.

All that I ask, as with the rest of our lives, is that we get to spend it together.


That is some mushy stuff!

It’s also ironic in a way because after that bit about ‘always spending it together’, it turns out Andrew is away working this Valentines Day. But I meant together, together as in, in a relationship together, okay? And besides I’m sure we’ll call or Skype each other.

You can probably tell from that last statement that I don’t really get caught up in the hype any more. After all it’s just one day out of 365.

When I was at school or even in the office – I always secretly hoped that I’d get sent flowers, kind of as a public confirmation that I was loved. But now I don’t feel that I need that, I know and am secure in the fact that I’m loved. (Although it is nice to get showered with flowers, chocolates and other gifts from time to time…)

I found the above poem recently in an old notebook that I’d written random thoughts and quotes in. I wrote down a quote from the movie ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ that I thought I’d also share with you:

“Love is what is left over when the feeling of being in love has burned away.”

(I would also add… and once the flowers have wilted and the chocolates been eaten!)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jenny x

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Our little gallery

our little gallery

I had been planning a project like this for a while – something to showcase the kids art, but in a way that we could change it/ put the latest ‘piece’ up whenever we wanted.

I was originally going to do this idea, but then I stumbled upon an idea in an old Your Home and Garden (NZ, April 2009), that involved much less materials, effort or cost – so I was sold.



You basically just need to glue (spray glue is best) bits of paper (wrapping paper, wall paper or scrapbooking paper) to wooden clip boards. [If you’re a kiwi and planning on doing this project yourself, Warehouse Stationary currently has the boards for $5 down from $10!]

The tricky bits are getting the paper cut out in the right shape – its best to make a template/ stencil for around the clip at the top; and also positioning the paper in place once you’ve sprayed it with the glue. The back of the spray glue says that it is ‘aggressively tacky’ – and they are not wrong! I was glad that I’d bought quite thick scrapbooking paper (basically card) as it was more resilient to me pulling off when already half stuck down and repositioning it.

But apart from that it was a pretty simple project and I’m very happy with the results.


I also made one for the kitchen to hold bills to pay, out going mail, shopping lists etc.

Joining in with 'Our Creative Spaces'. Click on over, be inspired.

Jen x