Sunday 4 October 2015

Addison's Room Renovation

It has been a long time coming, Addison is approaching 18 months old and we have finally finished her room! I have been hunting for my before photos but they have gone awol so you will have to make do with a blurry couple of photos from the builders report!

When we moved into the house, the second bedroom was a bit worse for wear. It had a weird stripy wallpaper thing going on - one strip a fawny brown and the next a really light brown, all the way around the room. The window frames were green and the edges of the wardrobe had been well scratched by a giant German Shepherd.
(those photos were from the previous tenant of the house!)

 The first thing we did once our awesome flatmate moved out was rip down the wallpaper. It stayed that way for the first year of Addison's life. Once we had finished the hallway, I moved onto the week-long task of scraping off the wallpaper backing that stuck to the wall with concrete glue. Then we did the all too familiar task of scraping out cracks and then plastering, sanding and painting.

Finally I got to do some decorating and I managed to hold back from my usual style of filling the walls up with stuff, and Dave convinced me to stick with a slightly more minimalist style. The wardrobe alcove will eventually have some louvered bi-fold doors but until then it is the perfect place to hide away some of our junk as well as Addy's drawers.

The general colour scheme is light blue, gold and light pink but we were never going to go all out on colours. Function wins in our household, as well as keeping it neutral for sellability. We also kept the original curtains as they keep the light out pretty well and our small budget didn't allow for new ones.

I feel like this room will transform well from nursery into a little girls room. I am thinking about getting Dave to build some shelving for book storage and to free up floor space. I am loving the job we did and I think Addison will be happy spending her time in this room.


Saturday 5 September 2015

Crochet Star Blanket

This crochet star blanket has been a work in progress for a while now. I used the leftover yarn from this blanket and giraffe and also this blanket. I had 2 balls of each of the 5 colours so 10 balls of yarn went a long way! I got this far then ran out of white yarn which was needed to continue the pattern. But you know what? It is a perfect baby blanket size. So eventually I weaved in the last of the ends and packaged it up off to one of Dave's workmates who is going to be a Dad sometime soon! They don't know the gender of their baby so I think this is gender neutral enough to work either way.

This blanket uses a Free pattern from Ravelry and it's cool because you can make this sucker as big as you want - although once you get to this stage each round uses up a good chunk of yarn! I like this pattern because it is simple and quick to crochet up but is different then your standard ripple or granny square blanket. It also sits well on the floor and doesn't warp out of shape the way some round crochet projects do. I will definitely make another one using this pattern.

It is the first weekend of spring here and we are stoked to have some ever-so-slightly warmer weather so we can make family trips to the park!

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Triangle Cot Quilt

The other day, 6 rubbish sacks of fabric were dropped off at my doorstep to rummage through. A kind soul had done a big clear out and you know how the saying goes - one woman's trash is another woman's treasure!

I managed to withhold myself and only ended up with half a rubbish bag full with the rest passed on to another fortunate crafter. Among my takings were some beautiful vintage sheets. I picked out two blue/teal ones and added a pink striped sheet and a white cotton sheet from my current stash.

I have had this style of quilt in my mind for a while now, but never had the right fabrics to pull it off. With Addison's room coming along nicely, I thought a change of bedding in the theme colours of the room (teal, pink and gold) would work well.

I managed to make a equilateral(ish) triangle template and cut out all my triangles. Then randomly placed them which is harder than it looks. I then sewed together each line and then sewed those together until it was a giant cot sized rectangle. I trimmed the edges, made a quilt-back/batting/quilt-top sandwich and pinned them together using ALL the safety pins. Then sewed along all my seams and trimmed all edges. Next was the tiny white binding which I sewed onto the front piece by machine then hand-stitched the back. Aaaaaaand done. Phew.

I then realised it wasn't quite wide enough to get a decent enough tuck along the sides of the cot. My girl is a wiggler! So I flipped it on its side and used it that way. It works for now!

I also made a cot skirt/valance for the base of the cot in the houndstooth patterned fabric to match. It's so I can hide her porta-cot and other stuff underneath!

I'm pretty stoked with the outcome of this quilt, it is just how I pictured it in my head. I also have a whole lot more fabric to make quilts out of so once inspiration hit again, I'll be ready!

{Crafty Bake} Lemon, Oat and Coconut Energy Balls

You guys, I just made up my very own recipe! The kind where you throw things in a bowl and hope for the best - and it worked!

I am on a bliss ball buzz at the moment, they are easy, delicious and good for me and my toddler. But this time I had no dates. And lots of lemons. After searching the internet for an appropriate recipe, the best I could find was one with lemon (tick), coconut (tick), and cashews (nope - doh!).

So off I went hunting through my cupboards and here's what I came up with:

Lemon, Oat and Coconut Energy Balls

No Food Processor Required!


1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup coconut
Zest and Juice of 1 lemon
3-4 Tbsp Maple Syrup or Honey to taste
Optional - 2 Tbsp of any of your favourite nuts and seeds. I used Flaxseed and Chia seed.


Put everything in a bowl except the maple syrup/honey and mix well.
Add maple syrup/honey Tbsp at a time then test after each addition. The sweet/tangy combination will vary each time.
Once you are happy with the taste, roll in to walnut sized balls and put in the fridge to chill (or eat, whatever!).

*Bonus Extra* - Coat or dizzle with melted white chocolate and chill to set.

Monday 20 July 2015

Baby Shower Makings 5.0

I am absolutely loving this season in my life where everyone seems to be having babies! I love that I have the skills to make a gift that will hopefully be treasured and that is totally made with love!

One of my very good friends had her baby shower last weekend and I have been working away at this crochet ripple blanket for a good few weeks. It is a large bassinet/pram/floor sized blanket and since Baby is gender unknown then the light blue will work with either pink or blue!

I used Esther yarn from Lincraft and used a 5.5mm crochet hook. The ripple pattern is one where you do 2x3dc at the points and 2x dc3tog in the valleys with 3 dc between them. That should make sense if you can crochet! I can't remember which pattern I used but it is one of my favourites because the points are more defined.

I also used the leftover yarn and some extras to crochet this little guy. It is a pattern I have used about 4 or 5 times now and I love it. The limbs are long and lanky and great for little hands to grab.

I can't wait to meet this new baby and see my beautiful friend become a mum! It is such a great time and I hope the little bundle enjoys their presents!


Hallway Renovation

When we bought our house 2 years ago, the first thing I wanted to do was paint the hallway. Just one look at the before photo would convince anyone to agree with me. Well 2 years went by and I grew used to it. 'Used to' is not to be confused with 'like' however. 

My initial idea was to wallpaper one side of the hallway with this awesome vintage map wallpaper I bought 4 rolls of but we didn't have enough wallpaper, and once we got painting it was much better.

It took a while to decide the colour scheme of the house, we wanted to go neutral to make it more 'sellable' and also to keep the cottage-y feel while still brightening up the place.
We chose Dulux Haast for the door trim and Dulux Half Haast for the walls. The ceiling is just plain white. Our whole house will be painted like this as we slooooowly move room by room.

For some reason, the floor boards in the hallway haven't been polished like the rest of the house. We may do them eventually, but now wasn't the time. Also the storage/linen cupboard (only one in the house) will have some bi-fold doors eventually to hide the chaos!

The bathroom and toilet were once two separate rooms but they are now combined. The previous owner didn't make the old toilet doorway flush with the wall (pun intended) - he just left it recessed.
Dave made some rimu shelving to fill the alcove and it is now a clever bookshelf.

Alcove on the left...

...Filled with books!

The storage/linen cupboard

In all its cluttered glory!
 The purple trim and green walls needed 3 coats of paint to cover their assault on the eyes! And the front door is not staying blue!!

Our Vintage Frame Gallery Wall has been a dream for a good few years. We decided to spray the frames black to keep it cohesive and mixed and matched them with some modern prints too. I am stoked with how it turned out and I get to see it every time I walk out of our room.

Once Addison is older we will probably put a little hall table in the corner with a nice green house plant, but for now we are enjoying the uncluttered space!

What do you think? Are we making an improvement on the house? Any tips or suggestions for our next room?


Sunday 19 July 2015

Windmill Quilt From Vintage Sheets

Ok guys, it's been a while. This blog of mine is always on my mind and I have been secret squirreling away a whole bunch of projects that never get shown. All these little projects seem to take up so much time (along with the trials of a toddler, trying to be a good wife and making sure I get at least a little bit of me time once the kidlet is in bed). But I just did a browse of my camera and found a bunch of old (and new) projects I did manage to take photos of and I will set about sharing them over the next wee while.

First up is one of my recent completions. I had been helping a friend with her first baby quilt and it sparked an idea in my head for a quilt. As you have probably noticed I collect vintage floral sheets and use them in loads of projects. I love the mix between brights and pastels, large and small scale patterns. I also love how they look with white as the main background colour. I found a couple of brand new white sheets at an op shop for $1 each and along with the vintage sheets and an old duvet inner that had seen better days, I had the makings of a quilt. For a total of $2. Score!

This quilt made me think quite a bit. Literally. I had to do a bunch of math to figure out how big to cut each section of the windmill. I can't quite remember but I think I wanted the finished squares to be around 30cm each. So taking into account seam allowances and the rest of it, my brain turned to mush.

But after cutting and sewing, basting and wrestling with quilting a big quilt on a small machine, making some rainbow binding from the sheets and hand-stitching it on, it was finished. It aint a small task!

I really enjoy making quilts, I learn more each time and I try to do something different as well. This one will be destined for Addison's Big Girl Bed when she eventually gets to that point. But for now it keeps Dave and I warm while watching whatever TV series we are up to. (Currently Elementary)

Monday 29 June 2015

Dear Addison - 13 Months

Dear Addison,

Your 13th month was full of wonder and learning. You are learning new skills flat tack and playing with toys has jumped to a new level. You have discovered your Tupperware shape sorter and try to put them in the holes, you love your Russian nesting dolls and pull them apart, put them back together and stack them inside each other.

You are at a bit of a clingy stage at the moment. Mum and Dad are safe and whenever you lose sight of them the tears start. Sometimes if you are hanging with someone else the smallest thing will trigger the tears and you cannot be consoled without one of us. Food doesn't even work!
The times that you are upset, we can usually calm you down with: stories, food, bubbles, bouncing you up and down, singing or your favourite toys.

You have started becoming very fond of some of your toys. Dolly gets cuddles and kisses and you will try to feed her your food or brush her hair. A couple of little stuffed animals get cuddles too and you will go and find them if we ask you to. So clever!

 Your fine motor skills are getting better too, you have done your first few drawings with crayon which have been proudly hung on the fridge. You also discovered peas as a snack and will pick them out of a container or out of our hands one by one. Or off the floor as the case may be.

First Masterpiece

You love beads, necklaces and hats and will often be seen with one or both on. You can put a necklace on by yourself which is adorable. You also love magnets and you will sit at my feet while I am in the kitchen pulling the magnets off the fridge and putting them back on.

You enjoy pushing along a trolley or walker but get a bit scared sometimes when Mum tries to turn it around for you. Walking is still a way off but you are very competent at crawling, climbing and walking/running around furniture. You haven't quite figured out that you can let go and balance yourself, which is the next step. But for now you are happy that you can get around the house.

Magnet fun

Scooting around in your winter woolies made by Grandma!

Teething is still an ongoing battle, your molars made a big push but didn't cut and your four eye teeth all of a sudden made a push too, the two top ones have cut.

You love books. You now sit still on our knees and have short books read to you. You love books you can interact with - touch and feel and lift the flaps. We read three or four books at night before you go to bed but quite often during the day you will bring some over to me to read.

You are learning to copy more and more sounds, you can now say 'bird' 'woof woof' and 'bath' as well as 'mum' and 'dad'. Lots of babble comes out of your mouth and you are trying so hard to communicate with us. In your cot you have lots of little chats with your soft toys too.

The weather is getting colder now as winter sets in. We have a wood fire most nights and some days. You have been pretty good at staying away from the fire guard. Long may that last!

Hanging with your 3 month old cousin
Clapping rocks in Kaikoura

Sunset in Nelson

Watching the meercats

We took a big trip this month - Dad had to work in Nelson for a week and we were allowed to go with him! Despite my reservations you were so flexible - sleeping most of the way there (7hrs) with a snack stop in the middle. You settled into your portacot fine and had day naps without much fuss. Even night times went smoothly! You got a bit sick of being cooped up in the hotel room though so we tried to get out lots and explore the fine op shops of Nelson. We went to your first animal park and you patted the nose of a goat before he tried to steal the bag of food from your hand and you got a fright!

We have also been going to a few weekly activities - Baby Time at the library, Mainly Music and we have been to Tumble Time a couple of times too. You love the music and songs and like having space to crawl and explore different places. 

Your smile lights up the room and you giggle away if you find something funny. You will blow a kiss and wave at almost everyone. You are a delight Addison. Love you to bits!