Monday 30 December 2013

2013 Review

I'm so glad to have this blog to capture the major goings on in the life of my little family. I tend to only blog about the good things or creations I have made so at the end of the year I like to look back and remember and be thankful for what has been achieved.
We had some pretty awesome things happen this year...


  • The year started with Dave's amazing Vintage Bike Restoration and I rode my bike for a good part of the year to and from work.

  • I introduced my cat - Killer and showcased some of the best blog photobombs she made it into!

  • I also gave a tour of our old rental and how I styled it in my Temporary Home series

  • In March I became impatient about learning how to cut glass to make A Pretty Mirror.
  • I made over not ONE but TWO Standard Lamps

  • March also began one of the years greatest journeys - playing Roller derby. I wrote a series called Diary of a Derby Girl
  • April held my first Product Review for Stuck on You which involved personalised towels and kitchen labels.
  • One of the years highlights was attending the Bloggers Connecting Conference in Christchurch. I met so many lovely ladies whose blogs I stalk read all the time.

    • May revealed some great news - We bought a house! I wrote some tips to help simplify the First Home Buying Process

  • I started making a Rainbow Chevron Quilt (which is currently still in process)
  • I repaired my laptop and took a trip down Memory Lane looking through my old photos!

  • August was my first foray into amigurumi where I made a pair of Crochet Giraffes
  • I also revealed some photos from my Trash the Dress Photoshoot I did in 2011

September and October
  • The blog went strangely quiet during September and October until I revealed our Big News
    Turns out the blog was quiet while I fought my way through morning sickness and the glorious First Trimester. 



    • December was a baby month on the blog. I started doing Weekly Updates on Baby C's progress.
    • We also tried and failed to find out Baby C's gender so no gender reveal on the blog yet!
    • Christmas came and went and we are now relaxing on holiday, using the terrible Canterbury weather to catch up on sleep, re-arrange the lounge and watch some TV series.

    What a year! Two huge milestones for us - a house and a baby on the way! This year Dave and I were stoked to become homeowners and even more over the moon to find out that we will become parents. In amongst a lot of projects and yard work and roller derby!

    2014 will probably be the most challenging year for us - sleep-wise anyway. But BRING IT ON!

Saturday 21 December 2013

20 Weeks Pregnant

  • The 'Official' halfway point of my pregnancy!
  • If you haven't already read my Gender Reveal Post, Baby C was being a bit crafty during the ultrasound and decided that its gender is staying a secret for now.
  •  This news is making us up our game on baby names. We have a boy one sorted but our girl name is still yet to be decided.
  • The fluid that Baby C hangs out in is a few degrees warmer than my body temperature so on hot days I am getting overheated pretty quick! I am super glad that I'm not further along which I think would be so much more uncomfortable!
  • I need to start focusing on my posture and the amount of weight I lift. I'm a pretty bad sloucher and it doesn't help that it squishes Baby C when I'm hunched over. I might have to bust out the Preggo Yoga to help out.
  • Every so often I find myself drifting into a Pregnancy waddle 'Swagger'. I can control it for now but now that my bump is growing rapidly it won't be long until I can't!
  • No cravings yet but still enjoying Iced Chocolates, Carbs and a new interest in Cocoa Pops. My sweet tooth is finally returning!
  • One of the coolest things we saw at the ultrasound was Baby C swallowing. It was such a natural, normal movement and made it a bit more real.
  • The kicks and movements are getting stronger! Dave felt a good couple of kicks the other night and I can feel baby move when I'm standing up, not just lying down.
  • I am really looking forward to Christmas this year, I am well aware that it will be my last 'relaxing' Christmas and Baby C will be 7+ months old next Christmas and probably on the move!

I am on holiday now for a good 3 weeks so I am planning on enjoying the time off as much as I can. We are spending a lot of it at home getting some small jobs done around the house and yard.

Merry Christmas to you all! xx

Thursday 19 December 2013

We are having....


Baby C was being most uncooperative at the scan on Tuesday and decided to keep its bits hidden. This means no awesome gender reveal and more creative thinking on my part. I am a bit disappointed because it was going to be our Christmas present to ourselves and I felt like I could really begin to bond with my baby once we could decide on a name and begin imagining it in our lives. 

But we do get another scan in 8 weeks so we CAN find out then. And now that I can feel Baby C having dance parties in my tummy I am feeling a lot more attached to the tiny little life inside me. Plus Baby C is happy and healthy in there so I really can't complain.

The only thing the sonographer could say was:
'I get the impression it is a girl but I can't tell for sure because boys can hide their bits'.

So we are not keen on banking on 'probably' a girl so bring on 8 weeks so we can know for sure!

I will do my 20 week update in another post in the next day or so :)


Thursday 12 December 2013

19 Weeks Pregnant

Nearly half way!
This pregnancy is flying by but also going so slowly! I think being in the lead up to Christmas with all its festivities is making the weeks go faster.

This week:
  • I can feel the baby move! It started a week or so ago with a sort of flippy feeling below my tummy, sort of like being on a roller coaster. Now I can feel decent kicks but they are still quite muted. I like to describe them as being like a swimmer finishing a length and doing a somersault turn and pushing off the wall. That push feeling is how I would describe the movements I'm feeling. It is pretty exciting, and Dave got to feel a good kick last week which is even cooler! I know it won't be long until baby runs out of room so I will enjoy these tiny movements while I can.
  • I discovered the slightly irrational preggo emotions. I like to think of myself as pretty easy going but the last couple of weeks have brought out some tears and crazy feelings. However the people I talked to said that it was completely justified. (Calm down crazy preggo!)
  • I can feel myself getting bigger and my centre of gravity changing. Even though I'm not showing much yet, I still feel like I need to counter balance myself by leaning back more.
  • I am starting to feel the heat big time. Working at the cafe is pretty interesting on a warm day, especially next to a hot oven. Lemonade ice blocks are my friend!
  • Food Faves: Iced Chocolates. Cheese scones. Pizza subs from Subway. Apples.
    Food No-no's: Maccas/Burger King burgers, Sausage rolls, Eggs. Bacon Sandwiches. 
  • Baby is growing super fast, it can hear my voice and is starting to grow hair - I hope! It is around the size of a mango and it is only 5 days until we find out whether we are having a wee boy or a wee girl! We have no inclination whatsoever as to the gender so it will be a great early Christmas present. If you are the praying type, I would appreciate prayer for baby's health and also my own as I get into the next half of my pregnancy. 
See you all next week for the gender reveal - all going well!

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Vintage Sheet Dress

Remember how I told you yesterday that I had finished TWO projects? Well this is the second one!

Made on impulse out of an old vintage sheet, I followed an approximate pattern of one of my trusty dresses. And by approximate I literally mean I traced around it. But hey it worked!

What didn't work was my cameras white balance! I sincerely hope I am not that pasty but I fear it is true.

I lined the top piece but left the skirt unlined. Lining is not my strong suit so I just winged it and with a few adjustments (read: lots of unpicking) I managed to make it work.

I love the purple floral with a hint of blue thrown in for good measure. The print is really delicate and less busy than a lot of other vintage sheets I have lying around.

So while I still fit the dress (not much room for my expanding belly and other things) you may see me wearing the heck out of it.


Tuesday 26 November 2013

Ripple Cushion

I finally finished a project! Well, I've finished two so far this week. I guess it's because Christmas is around the corner. Although the projects I finished are both for ME! Typical.

This cushion was an idea in my head, I have a large supply of half balls of yarn so this little project was perfect for using up some of that stash.

One of my favourite combinations is black and white mixed with one other colour to make it pop. In this case - gold.

I used Attic 24's Neat Ripple Pattern which I also used earlier on in the year to make this adorable baby blanket.

I made the edges straight and added a border before machine stitching the crochet cover onto some black cotton. I even pulled off an envelope closure with only one lot of unpicking!

It feels good to have completed a project and to have more Amy-made things around the house.

Thursday 21 November 2013

Week 16 Update

This week:
  • Baby is the size of an Avocado! I don't quite know sometimes where he/she is hiding in there though!
  • My belly gets bigger during the day so when I go to bed at night it feels pretty solid. Time to start the Bio Oil I think.
  • Baby can scrunch up its eyes if I shine a light on my tummy.
  • Baby can now hear my voice!
  • Scan is booked in for Dec 17th! 
  • Food faves: Bacon sandwiches on white bread with mayo, apples (of which I am the noisiest of eaters), mashed potato and gravy (always), bread - savoury scrolls from Countdown to be be specific.
  • Food uh-uhs - Minced beef or eggs on their own. Or the smell of either cooking. Not enough to make me chuck but enough to make me need to remove myself from the room. We are having nachos tonight so the sour cream and cheese should disguise the mince taste.
  • Morning sickness is now seeming to only be a weekly occurance as opposed to its usual daily. WIN! I still am nauseous between 6.30-9am but it is way more bareable.
  •   I am starting the hunt for some of the bigger baby items - a cot and a bassinet. We ticked off the pram a few weeks ago (yay for trademe). We bought this one with the carrycot if you were wondering.
  • Overall I am feeling pretty awesome this week, almost enough to forget I'm pregnant until I reach up too far or get up too fast. I won't mention any of the less glamorous symptoms :P

Wednesday 13 November 2013

15 Week Update

This week:
  • Baby is the size of an orange!
  • The 3 teeny tiny bones in the inner ear are developing so baby will be able to hear soon!
  • Baby is dancing up a storm in there but I still can't feel it. Looking forward to feeling those first movements in the next couple of weeks!
  • I am *hopefully* starting to reach that magical 2nd trimester - Nausea and vomiting have decreased slightly and mornings are becoming easier to manage. 
  • I have graduated to maternity shorts - they will be my work staple over the hot summer.
  • I have a cocktail of pills to take each night - iodine, calcuim and asprin (which are in the shape of a heart!)
  • No cravings yet, still trying to get my appetite to resemble normal.  
  • Dave and I are on the countdown to our 20 week scan where we will be finding out the gender (hopefully). This will probably happen the week before Christmas which will be the best present ever!
  • My parents have been visiting and making a fuss over Dave and I: cooking us meals, helping do our major and minor landscaping jobs and will be taking us away to the West Coast this weekend too!
  • Dave has been the most supportive husband and dad-to-be. He has cooked many, many meals, eaten strange food combinations (chips, gravy and cheese) and put up with all my weird and wonderful and annoying symptoms, all with a smile on his face. I am so, so blessed to have this guy by my side.

Monday 11 November 2013

The BAG Bag

These should be a household staple. Seriously! I have seen that many 'bag drawers' or 'let's use one big plastic bag to hold all the other ones' OR my favourite - plastic bag origami.

How about you have a pretty Bag bag on display in the kitchen? Or a pretty one tucked away in the pantry? Or even a mini one under the sink (or wherever).

My point is - these are SO easy to make - so why not use it to pretty up your place? Smart storage CAN be pretty storage!

eek I took this pic funny, the bricks do go the right way normally!

In case you were wondering, fabrics were scraps leftover from:
Quilted Laptop Case
Standard Lamp Makeover

Monday 4 November 2013

Landscaping Adventures

Nearly 6 months has passed since we moved into our own home. It feels like this has been home forever but at the same time everything is still new and exciting and has so much potential.

Since we are waiting for money to come through from EQC for the interior of our house, we decided to tackle some much needed landscaping, especially in the back yard.

Our section is decent sized (600m2+) with a tiny house (80m2) so there is tonnes of space at both the front and back. So far out the front we have taken out a few big bushes and trees that were blocking sun from our lounge. I even used a chainsaw for the first time last weekend to destroy a camellia bush - so much fun! I also did a big weed killing mission so everything is dead muahaha. Our Big Plan for the front section is to turn most of it into a carport with light coloured gravel stones and a minimalistic carport structure. Since we don't plan on using the front section for entertaining we thought it would be better put to use as low maintenance car storage. The best part of this Plan is that we might have to hire a bobcat - FUN!

But every other fine (and not so fine) weekend since we moved in has been spent in the back yard. 2 trailer loads have gone to the dump already with a third loaded up ready to go. So far the majority of the work has been demolition which is fun and accomplishes a lot with very little money!
Here are a few progress pics of what we have been up to!

First up - the aviary. What the cuss? There was a giant cherry tree growing up through the mesh roof of the triangular monstrosity and a lot of chicken wire and plastic wrap. And not a bird to be seen. Last weekend it came down with some power tools, a sledge hammer and some brute force. We decided to keep the planter that was part of it (?) and it turns out it is the perfect sunny place for some strawberries. The sheds behind are staying for now, since they provide much needed storage. I will probably end up giving them a lick of paint to make my eyes feel better.

Such green grass! Thank you spring weather! I think this was a very prolific veggie garden some 10 years ago - when we inherited it, it was a mess of wooden planks and uneven ground. Now it is one very liveable, playable lawn. 

Before - the yard as it was when we moved in - the junk pile is all the rubbish left on the property. The back right section is the part we have made the lawn in. There was an old, cracked concrete pad front left that our LIM report says was for a garage in the 60s that was never built. So Dave decided it was the perfect place for a shed. 

After - Fully loaded trailer. Picnic table that keeps getting moved for lawn mowing purposes. Lush green grass.

The process of creating such lush lawn. A LOT of digging and turning over soil with a shovel. I *may* have found out I was pregnant halfway through this job (but I kept going because it is SO satisfying turning a horrible section into mud!) After that was a few evenings of putting on our gumboots and stomping over the mud patch to make it level. Then came the sowing of the grass seed and daily watering and thanks to the crazy all-4-seasons-in-one-day Christchurch spring weather we had a lawn in a month!

The biggest job was removing these two sections of fence and hedge-covered-fence. It opened up the yard so much after it was gone and we discovered another concrete path. We decided to level off and box up the tiny garden in the middle and turn it into a veggie and herb garden It gets a lot of sun and our broccoli are loving it!

Dave's first job (obviously) was building a very man-sized work shed. We bought a cheap kitset and got to work and of course the pre-drilled holes didn't match up so it took more time than anticipated. Dave ended up enlisting the help of two of his most manly friends to raise this beast. Once it was up however, 6 foot 3 Dave discovered that he could only stand up straight in the apex of the roof. It was perfect for 5'6 Amy though! Dave's solution was to add 200mm of planks along the bottom of the shed and add the same amount above the doors and call it perfect. He is a thinker that guy. I am still not sure how he managed to jimmy the shed up onto the planks though - he did it all by himself one afternoon.

This is our latest project. It seems our fingers have become quite green this year. The most I have managed to grow previously was a pot of basil on the kitchen windowsill which went to seed and died. I am now wise in the ways of basil growing - pull off the seed heads and your plant will keep growing!
After hearing stories of sneaky birds eating tasty red strawberries, I insisted on getting some bird proof netting to save the berries. Now the hard part - waiting for them to ripen.

I hope to have more garden updates for you after summer - we have a few fruit trees and I have no idea what they will produce so there will be some surprises there. We might even get the carport done if things go well!

Monday 28 October 2013

Still Here.. and With NEWS!

So I know all has been quiet on the blog front for the last few months and I promise I haven't forgotten about you guys. It is just that I have been a bit busy. Not busy in the sense of actually getting things done or made. But busy growing a tiny baby. And apparently it is a rather taxing task!
I am your textbook case of symptoms - exhaustion, morning (and sometimes night) sickness, and all the other fun and weird things that go along with the first trimester.

Dave and I are over the moon about this little one and can't wait for its arrival in early May.

I also have a few bloggy updates planned, we (mostly Dave) have been busy landscaping our section and have made some decent progress that I need to show you. I did learn how to use a new power tool yesterday though - a chainsaw has now been added to my list of tools I am safe to operate!

Now I have begun to venture into the second trimester I will allow myself to start making and accumulating baby things, there are a few crochet projects planned - especially once we find out the gender! We have already been blessed with the most adorable and soft baby blanket and a matching crochet elf hat made by the one and only Hollymayb. This baby is already so, so loved.


Saturday 21 September 2013

Pepin Design Winnings!

All has been quiet on the blog front lately, I have been a bit crazy busy with life and derby and winter and new house and GARDENING (let's go ahead and call it landscaping because, lets be honest, we are making it less pretty before it will bare any resemblance to a garden).

But seen as how today is cold and rainy and I have the fire going, I decided to snuggle up with a blanket and write a post.

A while ago (over a month - eek!) I won a giveaway from one of my amazing friends over at Sophie Slim. I got to choose any three prints from a very talented local designer Pepin Design. Luckily she happened to have a stall at the same market I went to so I got to choose my prizes from her entire selection which extends so much further than her Felt Shop
I made a quick stop at The Warehouse on the way home and bought these three black frames which were a pretty good bargain at $7 each.



Bear with Antlers
I love these prints. And if they can look this good on a wall that green and hideous then imagine how awesome they will look once the hallway has been painted nice and light and neutral! (work in progress - that will be my job once we get our EQC payout!)

Stay tuned for my next post, which will be all about the LANDSCAPING going on around here. Hopefully all the weeds I sprayed will have died a complete death so the photos will look more impressive!

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Crochet Giraffe

This little guy was my first adventure into the world of amigurumi - or crochet stuffed toys.
I thought I was biting off more than I could chew but luckily I could read the pattern and I think he turned out pretty well!

It was pretty fiddly making the tiny horns and it took a bit of effort to sew the pieces together. My favourite part was trying to get the stuffing down the skinny arms and legs!

I used Emmas free pattern over at I Love Buttons By Emma.

I had caught the ami bug and as soon as this guy was done I started on another. This time in a solid colour with white accents. I accidentally changed up the pattern a bit, making the neck longer and thinner and the head shorter. Pattern following is not my strong point, I tend to pick up and drop stitches like there is tomorrow but I wing it until it looks right. Which is why knitting is not for me.

They are already best of friends.

My next attempt is going to be a version of Sonic the Hedgehog. Winging this one too. Wish me luck!