Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Baby wrestling and boat shorts

When I received my scrap bag swap parcel some gorgeous blue vintage fabric with boats and bubbles/ circles literally jumped out at me screaming ‘make me into shorts for Noah.’

If you follow my blog closely you will have noticed that I have a thing for dressing the boy in boat shorts.

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What began as a ‘photo shoot’ turned into an impromptu baby wrestle.

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Isn’t it such adorable fabric?

And it was a great way for me to practice using my new overlocker.

Noah was staying at my Mum’s when I made them, and when he asked what I was doing, she replied “probably sewing” to which he said, “I know Nana, but WHAT is she sewing?” When I was reunited with him and gave him the shorts he said: “I yove (love) my boat shorts” and hugged them close. Cute aye?

Joining in with our creative spaces.

Jen x

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

… and the winner is …!

True Random Number Generator  

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Thanks to all her entered my Foundry 'the many and the few' print giveaway.

The winner is … drum roll please ….number 19 - Roslyn @ sew delicious!

Congrats Ros, and I know you will find the perfect place for that lovely print.

And to those of you that didn’t win – make sure you check Foundry's website anyway because at such reasonable prices I’m sure you can afford to buy your own little piece of prettiness!

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And thanks once again to the lovely Alana from Foundry for generously donating this print for the giveaway!

Jen Xx

(By the way – in case you notice I deleted a couple of the duplicate comments so as to give a true number of entries.)

Monday, 26 March 2012

Home Sweet Home

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When it comes to interior design I like lots of different styles. I like aspects of the modern, minimalist, clean lines idea (although looking at the large to be folded washing pile in front of me, I could not refer to much of my surrounding as minimalist.) And I also love the vintage, floral look too.

But I’m a have your cake and eat it girl and I believe that you can combine styles, or at least I try to anyway!

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The house we are living in is old with high ceilings and wooden floorboards, while a large amount of our furniture is modern. In our lounge we have black leather couches, a modern white desk and cushions and bean bags in both grey and olive green. If there is a room in our house that has some aspect of minimalism in it, it’s this one.

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Recently we hung a lovely little floral painting from the op shop in this room, and although it looked nice; in many ways I think it made the big bare walls seem bigger and barer. Because of this I’ve been thinking of ways to somehow tie in this new addition with the more modern furniture, but still keep it a reasonably non cluttered space.

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So as a breather from playing with my overlooker (which I’d done all morning while Isabelle slept), I made this little stitchery. (In case you wondered Noah spent the night at my Mum’s freeing me up for this craft burst!)

The idea is that the green used in it will tie in the with olive green accents already in the room.

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I really should find a storage solution for the CD/ DVD pile!

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Home sweet home is such a unique slogan (not), but it fits me well, as I’m a real homebody and love just pottering around the house. (This is quite fortunate since it’s my current place of work as a stay-at-home Mum!)

Have you done any crafting recently?

Jenny xox

Thursday, 22 March 2012

A new brother

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Yesterday we welcomed a new member into our family!

No, Isabelle and Noah don’t have a new brother (or one on the way), instead I got my new ‘brother’ overlocker!

Did I fool you for a minute there?

I love it! - And I’m very lucky to have it. I’d wanted one for a long time, but didn’t think it was really in the budget. But I won a $100 Spotlight voucher in an OHbaby Christmas craft comp and then Spotlight let me put this one on layby when it was on sale with $100 off. My Mum contributed $150 as an early birthday present, leaving me with $150 to pay on what was a $499 product! (Who doesn’t love winning, bargains and generous Mums?)

Andrew picked it up for me yesterday, while I took the kids for a dental check up and he said to the lady at the counter: “I’ll be overlocking in no time!” (clearly a joke); to which she replied “hmpff I doubt it” – sounds like someone needs to get a sense of humour!

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Speaking of dental appointments – I’m also loving the fact that the kids teeth passed with flying colours – yay, no cavities!!! (Phew!) and the fact that they still make those awesome critters out of cotton balls and pipe cleaners – who knew?

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I’m also loving that these lovely bibs arrived in the mail from Mum2Mum yesterday.

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You may have noticed from other blog posts of mine that I already own and love a few of these bibs. I won these recently from the Mum2Mum facebook page.

(It’s not even like I enter gazzilions of competitions – I’ve just had some pretty good luck recently!)

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Finally, I’m loving this little guy – who helped me clean the car this morning. (It’s been a scorcher of a day!)

It’s kind of ironic because I won the bibs above by providing this ‘toddler tip’:

“Toddlers love to help, and be told they are helpful. My son helps tidy up and wants to help me clean. Especially if I say I have a special job for him and use the word 'teamwork.' Encouragement really helps too. He might not be super efficient at this stage, but it keeps him out of mischief while I'm doing it and I like to think I'm building a really helpful, considerate boy/ adult for the future.”

l guess this means I take my own advice?

This is encouraging, because I’ve had one of those weeks where you feel like you’ve got all the best parenting intentions, but that you’re doing heaps of stuff wrong – it can be hard work being a parent and I think sometimes we’ve got to take stock of the things we’re doing right and pat ourselves on the back.

Joining in with Paisley Jade's 'Thing's I'm Loving.'

Jen x

P.S. Have you entered my giveaway yet? If not why not? (Let some of my good luck rub off on you!)

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Pixie

This post should really be entitled ‘ My Creative Space, a book review, girl style and miscellaneous ramblings’ – you know me, always trying to stuff heaps of random topics into one blog post!

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When I was pregnant with Isabelle and found out I was having a girl, the first thing I bought was this book Vintage Knits for Modern Babies by Hadley Fierlinger. I’d had my eye on it for a while as the patterns are just gorgeous!

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Having not knitted since childhood (a scarf that got wider and wider as I seemed to add stiches), I set about knitting this vintage pixie cap which is a beginner pattern. I was holidaying down in Christchurch with family at the time and my step mother helped me re-learn to knit. (It’s amazing how you never really lose these skills.)I remember resting the knitting on my pregnant belly.

I made it 3-6 month size and finished it quite quickly (well all but the chin strap.) Last winter I tried it on Isabelle but it didn’t look quite right (I think it was the lack of hair poking through. But I tried it on her now and it suits her a lot better, and still fits (just!)

My lovely Mum finished off the chin strap for me last night (thanks Mum!!)

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I would totally recommend this book and pattern to everyone – it’s such an easy pattern to learn to knit on. It’s basically just a rectangle that you sew together up the back…

Annnd… as fate would have it when googling for a link to the book, I stumbled upon the author, Hadley Fierlinger’s blog which very generously has a free pdf pattern for this pixie cap (amongst other things) – so now you can make your own too!!!

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Here are some other things I love about ‘Vintage Knits for Modern Babies’:

-It’s beautifully presented with lovely photos

- There’s a really helpful introduction, with information on choosing yarn, garment care, some really interesting history and more…

- A Kiwi connection. The author, Hadley Fierlinger, although originally from San Francisco, now lives in beautiful Wellington, NZ (my old home town!)

- And did I mention that the patterns are gorgeous!!!

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I hope to get into knitting a bit more this Winter

Joining in with Our Creative Spaces (you should check it out.)

And, if you haven’t already make sure you enter my Foundry Print Giveaway, to be in the running to win this lovely 'the many and the few' print… As they say – you’ve gotta be in to win!

Jen xox

Monday, 19 March 2012

Giveaway : Win a Gorgeous Foundry Print

Recently I stumbled upon Foundry and instantly fell in love. They have gorgeous prints at really affordable prices and lovely tote bags too.

 

Wanting to brighten up my bedroom a bit I decided to purchase the 'Ever After' print in A4 size. That’s the one on the left in the pic below.

(It was really affordable too at NZD$20 plus postage.)

 

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Wanting to share the love with you guys, I asked Alana from Foundry if she would consider hosting a giveaway here on my blog.

She was super generous and sent me, along with my purchase, the lovely 'the many and the few' print in A4 (see above right); to be used as a giveaway (OR to keep myself!!)

As much as I would LOVE to keep it myself, I have decided to give you all the chance to win it for yourself!

The details:

* This print is A4 on 250gsm Matt Stock and is unframed (it would look lovely in a white frame.)

(Remember this is for 'the many and the few' print.)

* I will open this giveaway to NZ and Australia

* This giveaway will close Next Tues 27 February 9pm (NZ time), I will then draw the lucky winner randomly.

How to enter:

* Visit Foundry's website and comment back here with your favourite product.

For extra entries you can:

1) Share this link on facebook;

2) Tweet about it;

3) Blog about it; and or

4) Follow my blog.

That’s a potential 5 entries!!! Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

The Many and the Few - Foundry print

Good Luck!

And make sure you check out Foundry for yourself, but be warned – if you do purchase from them, expect excellent and super friendly service! (Can you tell I’m a happy customer?)

Jenny x

[NB: Please include your email address in the comment too – if it’s not linked in your profile!]

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Backyarding

It’s so true when people say that if you buy kids expensive gifts they usually just spend hours amusing themselves with the wrapping paper.

When we first moved up here from Wellington (and our tiny little townhouse with no yard) I could see how much Noah loved the freedom of being able to run around outside.

I guess I’ve kind of forgotten about that/ taken it for granted because I had recently been a bit discontent and thinking that I needed some exciting new outdoor play equipment(you know, slide/ trampoline/ playhouse etc…)

… But the kids couldn’t care less – give them some fresh air and each other’s company and they’re away laughing!

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They’re quite a good example for us aren’t they? – being happy with the simple things.

And in a totally unrelated topic – make sure you head over to Stella's blog for a gorgeous giveaway (you could win a lovely tote back with a letter of the alphabet and lovely little drawing by Stella on it.) – If you do pop over from here, please mention that I sent you!

Also, stay tuned because next week I will be announcing a lovely little giveaway of my own!!

Happy Weekend

Jenny

Sunday, 11 March 2012

A 10 minute project

In fact 10 minutes is probably being a bit generous. In any event this was one super simple and quick project. (The best kind!)

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Wanting to put some more photos in Isabelle’s room for her to look at when in her cot, I purchased this frame and filled it with 2 black and white photos. The second photo didn’t look quite right and I wanted to use it elsewhere anyway , so I took it out and wondered what to do with the empty space.

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In the lovely pile of fabric that I received as part of the scrap swap, was this lovely piece of vintage bark cloth. An extremely small but gorgeous piece, I knew I wanted to do something special with it.

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I cut the heart frame out of felt and then embroidered around the outside, thus tacking the two bits of fabric together.

Easy peasy!

You should give it ago yourself, perhaps with your kid’s initials, or first name if it’s short… or, you could try something like this (my original source of inspiration.)

Jen x

Monday, 5 March 2012

Happiness is …

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Happiness is … a little painting from the op shop by an unknown artist, with it’s chipped frame just adding to it’s beauty.

The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.”

- Henry Ward Beecher

“It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day to day basis.”

- Margaret Bonnano

 

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Happiness is.. getting to lick the bowl

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.”

- Charles Spurgeon

“Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of travelling.”

- M L Runbeck

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Happiness is… a child with a paint brush in hand.

“Happiness… lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”

- Franklin D Roosevelt

You might have realised by now that I have a book of quotes about happiness – I also like these ones:

“There is this difference between happiness and wisdom, that he that thinks himself the happiest man, really is so; but he who thinks himself the wisest, is generally the greatest fool.”

- C C Colton

“Happiness is not the absence of problems; but the ability to deal with them.”

- Author unknown

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As a Christian, I believe that God does give us these good gifts and blessings in our day to day life to enjoy, however I also believe that while I can get some joy in these things, I can not count on them to give me lasting or eternal happiness.

I recently read an interesting blog post on the desiring God website comparing Jesus and Buddha’s thoughts on ultimate happiness.

- From the article: “Jesus and the Buddha agreed that pursuing ultimate happiness in transient things is futile. But they direct us to opposite solutions. The Buddha says satisfaction is treasuring no thing. Jesus says it is treasuring God.”

Philippians 3:8 (ESV)

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”

So, for me – I thank God that he has given me a healthy and happy family, pleasure in the simple things and most of all because he has shown me the source of true joy.

 

Jen x

Friday, 2 March 2012

The pictures I didn’t post

A couple of weeks ago, Angela from Striking Keys posted a hilarious trilogy of posts entitled 'The pictures I didn't post' (that’s part 1 and click here for part 2 and here for the third instalment.)I literally laughed out loud while reading these.

The concept is simple. In this age of digital photography, we take heaps of extra photos (especially as a blogger) and some don’t turn out as we’d hoped, but that’s ok – we just delete them… well, that is until now! (I had to go through my recycle bin and find some.)

While I can’t promise to be as witty and hilarious as Angela, and I definitely don’t think that there will be a trilogy from me – here is my little offering:

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Clearly getting fed snow and your picture taken close up makes for one unflattering photo. (Taken on our little snow adventure last year.)

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Strawberry picking can be exhausting… At this point Noah said “hard work, Mummy.”

These next series of photos are entitled: ‘The world according to Noah’, from when I let him take some pics last week.

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Clearly Mum spends too much time looking at her own blog.

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“Hello Isabelle, wake up”

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“Hello Camera – look how big my eyes are!)

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This was what I discovered one morning… a little ‘creature’ had eaten all the middles out of my bread. First reaction, grab the camera, of course!

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Taken while using the self timer for a Wardrobe Wednesday post – I get a lot of hit and miss shots from these posts (… mainly miss.) I love it how the camera has focused on the camera strap and the headless me is all blurry (a bit arty perhaps?)

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This perhaps explains why we are still slow going with the toilet training.. Noah thinks its all a game. At this point while wearing the toilet training seat on his head, he was proclaiming: “I’m sheriff Woody!”

These next two are entitled: ‘When Dad dresses the kids”…

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Mittens!! (see the thumbs on the inside) This is an old pic, and when I pointed this out to Andrew (Noah had worn these to bed all night) – he said: “I realised half way through, but decided to continue – just to mess with you.” (You see what I’m dealing with here?)

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… And this is from just a day or two ago – the dress is on backwards, and turns out he didn’t know that the onesie clips under the tights! Dum, da da dah… Super Isy!

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And here is Noah licking the bowl, the best way he knows how!

Unfortunately I didn’t have any good old blink shots (I think I must delete them off the camera immediately)… and I did have a couple of hideous photos of me lying sick on the couch taken by Noah – but they were far too hideous for public viewing.

Got any photo fails yourself?… why not post them too!

Jenny