Friday, 31 January 2014

Bits & Pieces


{Little bits and pieces of the last week}

1 & 2. On the walls – starting to make this house a home

3. A glimpse of some recent op shopping success

4 & 5.  Rock climbing at Stoney Creek Ranch (a camp Toby and Tash are now working and living at)

6. Playing in the long grass at Stoney Creek

7. Blackberries from our garden. (These were combined with apples to make a fruit crumble)

8. The smallest roman sandals in existance. (Part of Noah’s school uniform)

9. School work. ‘Mother is sewing’ … yes (often) she is!

Joining in with the weekly stills collection over at The Beetle Shack


Thursday, 30 January 2014

A school boy & a pretty good op shop haul

I realise that is rather an odd title. Combining the momentous occasion of your son’s first day of school with a pretty good trip to the op shop? Yip.

Well it was a pretty good haul…


Noah started school yesterday. I’d been feeling a little emotional about this for the last couple of weeks. I had mixed emotions, of course I was immensely proud of him growing up, but also I wanted to hold onto and soak up his preschoolness for just a little bit longer. Prior to this I had been feeling a bit gutted. Up until a couple of weeks ago Noah had been third on the waiting list at our preferred school (my fault for getting the application later than I should have), so we had enrolled him at our second choice.

Initially I bet myself up a bit for being disorganised, but then I decided to make the best of the situation. However, even after deciding to take this attitude, I couldn’t help feeling that I’d somewhat dampened my own excitement of what should be a pretty awesome day. But then, a couple of weeks ago, we got a phone call – Noah was in! Yay! Thank you God! Only really at this point I truly let myself look forward to this milestone.

Andrew was out of town working so we stayed the night before his big day at my Mum’s house. Mum lives less than 5 mins walk from the school. Noah was very excited to put on his uniform in the morning and was running about so it was hard to take photos of him.

Most of them look like this…


He was quiet and seemingly shy at first (he has a whispery polite voice that comes out in such situations), but he was excited to see his friends. He already knows many of his classmates from church and preschool.

When I went to leave he hugged me really tight.

“Are you going to miss me?” , he asked.

“Yes” I said. “Then I’ll hug the ‘miss’ out of you, Mum” *Squeezy hug*

He repeated the question, to which I responded “just a little.” Another hug. “Maybe you could stay just one more minute?”

Just when I thought it might be difficult to leave, they had to go off to assembly. Noah was buddied up with one of his pals who had been at school a while. I made my exit, and wished I had remembered my sunglasses… and worn waterproof mascara!

After that, I took Isabelle to kindy. She was booked in for whole day. I looked at Pipi. What to do?


…So we headed to the op shops. A pretty avid op shopper, I had done very little op shopping in 2013… I’m also a pretty picky op shopper. I don’t want to buy something that’s just going to end up back at the op shop. And just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean I need to buy it. I have to LOVE it. Well there was a lot to love that day.


Essentially I spent $20 total, of which $8 was spent on 6 re-usable nappies (not pictured). They are the same brand as a large number of my stash, they’re in perfect condition and retail new for $20-$30 each. I also bought 4 tops for myself. Including a black Country Road one and that awesome embroidered blouse (my favourite item).

I also picked up a cute floral top for Isabelle, an awesome Milky romper for Pipi and a little cardi for a little friend.


Then Pipi and I enjoyed an iced coffee (ok that was just me) at our local cafe. It felt like a bit of a ritual because I’d gone to the same cafe and ordered the same thing when Noah went to preschool the first time, when he turned 3. Of course, it was just me and Isabelle back then. I sat there sipping my iced coffee, remembering the earlier occasion and how ‘free’ I felt, and wondered where the years had gone.

It was a pretty good day all round.

So far, Noah seems to really enjoying school. He has reading and writing homework and is so proud when he can pick out letters and words. Of course he is finding it pretty tiring and experiences a bit of ‘hanger’ /hungry anger (Andrew’s words) when first picked up, but it all seems to be going well.

Anyone else got kid’s starting school pre school/ school for the first time this year? Had any good op shop hauls recently?


Monday, 27 January 2014



“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Isabelle: Settling down for one of her epic day sleeps by reading one of her favourite books ‘Bubble Trouble.’ (At 3 years old, Isabelle is still living by the mantra ‘play hard, sleep hard’, napping for up to 3 hours most days!)

Noah: Such a helpful boy, feeding his baby sister. I still can’t believe my little boy starts school this week!

Pipi: Give her half a chance and she will steal the spoon. Pipi is much more into solids compared to a couple of weeks ago!

And THIS is a picture I probably should have posted, but instead shared to my facebook page. Such a crack up!

Joining in over here.

For the rest of this year’s weekly portraits (one other so far) see here

And for last year’s portraits see here

Jen x

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

{Sewn} A Kimono for me!

Floral Kimono

Last week I made myself this floral kimono top. Essentially it’s a glorified silky cardi with oversized sleeves. But I LOVE it!

I made it using this free tutorial which I had ‘pinned’ to Pinterest. The only thing I did different from the tutorial is that I continued the curves from the back onto the front panels.

The fabric I used is a very shear chiffon type fabric. I bought a few metres of this and a couple of other fabrics for $3 or so per metre from the Annah S (A NZ Clothing designer) Outlet Store in Otaki at their Boxing Day sale. I was pretty happy with this purchase but was a bit nervous about sewing with such light weight fabric.

The sew went pretty well. I taught myself (with the help of youtube) how to do rolled hems on my overlocker (serger), but I decided to also fold the rolled hem under and sew it down to give a slightly more professional finish.


[Wearing: Kimono top made by me; White singlet: Shanton; Shorts: A recent op shop buy (also Shanton);  Sunglasses: Country Road prescription sunglasses for Specsavers (similar style here) and my favourite green shoes: Isabella Anselmi from Overland.]

I really love the ‘flowy-ness’ of it and it’s great even in the hot weather we’ve been having. I really love the sleeves, but they can get caught on things – like I found on Sunday after church when I became attached to my shopping trolley! he he!

I have heaps of other ideas for more ‘selfish sewing’ projects – but we’ll see, I’ve been enjoying spending time with the kids over the holidays and ‘other things’* seem to be occupying my time.

Have you ever sewed with shear/ very lightweight fabric? Got any helpful hints?

Jen x

Joining in with Show and Tell, Made by Hand, and Make it wear it and Wardrobe Wednesday and WIWW

*’Other things’ … you know that constant stream of feedingcleaningchangingnappiestoilettainingcookinghouseworklovingplayinglisteningtraining etc that you do all day as a Mum and then wonder what you did all day?

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Corners of our home – Pipi’s Room


I thought I’d gradually show you some of the corners of our home. We’ve only been here since just before Christmas so there is still a box or two around.

Pipi’s room is probably the most set up. It was fun to do. Back at our old house Pipi was still in our room and although I loved the (mainly handmade) baby nook it was starting to encroach on our space more and more. Now that Pipi’s in her own huge room; (massive rooms and high ceilings are a trademark of this house) all the baby decorative bits and bobs that I’ve made and collected don’t look like much. But I do like a bit of white space … and perhaps it means a couple of other DIY projects are on the cards? We’ll see!

Out of picture, on the opposite side of the room  than the cot is the change table and this baby gym. We don’t really use the change table for changing these days (I mainly do that with her lying under the baby gym), but it is instead it’s great storage for Pipi’s nappies and clothes. We don’t have a chest of drawers for her at this stage, but I’d love to buy some second hand and do an ombre dresser redo like Jess from Craftiness is not Optional.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your mini tour around Pipi’s room, I’m looking forward to showing around other parts of our home (once I get rid of the last couple of boxes and hang a few more pictures on the walls, of course!)


Sunday, 19 January 2014

Bits & Pieces


1. A strong contender for this weeks portrait project. Who can resist chubby baby cheeks in profile?

2. Tickling tootsies

3. I’m loving my new sewing space

4-5. I tried to get some photos of all three kids together – impossible! But I kind of love these candid shots (and the 5 million others I took)

6. Cute owl eggs

7. Loving our new stools

8. We’ve had some amazing sunsets

9. My boy: helping fill the cookie jar (and then empty it); and playing ‘the violin’

10. My girls: enjoying hand and iceblock

Joining in with the weekly stills collection over at The Beetle Shack




“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Pipi: Such a serious look on my normally smiley little girl. Pipi loves crawling around outdoors (and eating grass) while I’m hanging out the washing. Gorgeous vintage quilt from my Gran (I great memories of Noah rolling around on it as a babe.)

Noah: This boy LOVES his watermelon

Isabelle: Those beautiful brown eyes. Noah and Isabelle were having such a lovely time hanging out on their stools calling each other up on their ‘watermelon phones.’ I love the shot of them together, random cup and crumbs on the floor included – a typical scene around here.

OK – and I know I kinda cheated – I really found it hard to pick just one photo this week. I’m sure you’ll forgive me.

Joining in over here.

For the rest of this year’s weekly portraits (one other so far) see here

And for last year’s portraits see here

Jen x

Friday, 17 January 2014

{Sewn} Two little Tees

You might remember a little cowboy for Theo I made about a year ago. Well that little boy had his first birthday recently so I made him a couple of little tees. (Also, his beautiful Mama has a lovely blog which you really add to your reading list – Do it!)


I used a pattern from one of my favourite sewing books - Growing up Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee. but it’s pretty similar to MADE's 90 minute shirt if you’re after a free tutorial.

Isabelle has now requested a giraffe tee for herself, and Noah wants a lion one.

In terms of my sewing goals for this year, I really want to sew more gifts for people. Not just for the standard birthday/ Christmas present thing – but sometimes ‘just because’. I’ve been inspired recently by seeing friends use their (God given) talents to bless others, and I’m not saying I’m super talented at sewing (I’m not being modest, I just know a lot of people more talented than I); but I have acquired some skills and I do have the equipment and fabric stash (!) to make a fair few things.

I also want to sew some more things for my wardrobe - I know, just when you thought I was being so selfless/ outward looking Winking smile

I also want to stretch myself more and learn new skills/ extend my professionalism and I want to focus on quality over quantity.

Speaking of sewing for ME, Yesterday I completed a garment that I am really rather pleased with and hope to share with you next week.

Do you have any sewing goals this year? Have you sewed anything recently?

Jen x