Wednesday, December 22, 2010

russian dolls and a palomino pony

This year I decided to paint my nieces their birthday presents. Actually, scratch that- last year I decided to paint my nieces their birthday presents, this year I finished them. For E I painted a palomino pony, for she is absolutely mad about ponies and horses. I haven't much experience with drawing or painting horses, but this one has developed a life of its own- look at the expression in its eye- like it was caught stealing apples from the farmer's orchard!
For G I created a family of matryoshka dolls, which I am hoping she'll like. It was lots of fun coming up with different designs for their bodies/dresses/scarves (?!) but also lots of work to paint them. I could only manage short bursts of painting before my hands were shaking or my patience was shredded!
This is most likely my last post for the year- I'm soon to head away to see my family for Christmas (and gift my nieces their paintings), then to be a Kathmandu-clad traveller off to Vietnam! Whew! So here's to a Happy Holidays and a relaxing and fun festive season :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Well, it has been a while..! A lack of internet has put me well behind on blogging about the Amazing Gingerbread Cupcake Cookies... which I had made several weekends ago.
When I had left my last job, as part of my cupcake-themed farewell gift, I was given some cupcake cookie cutters.. what to do but make gingerbread cupcakes. Easier said than done, as there was some technique involved in getting the cut cookie to the tray without it turning into smoosh. Decorating was the fun part, with heaps of brightly coloured chocolately cookies being the result- which only lasted a few days in my household!

Recipe found here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Are you ready for Lucky Penny November?

Hello! Its very nearly the start of a brand new month.. and you all know that means its time for a crafty catch-up! Just a quick wee note to remind you all that Lucky Penny is on this upcoming Tuesday- so don't forget to pencil it in to your diaries! See you there!

Tuesday 2nd November
from 7.30pm onwards
Mezze Bar
Durham Lane Auckland (above Whitcoulls/Glassons on Queen St)

Bring your craft to town!

Monday, October 18, 2010

embroider me a garden

So, I have been a little busy. After getting derailed by a some knitting I am now back on tack with my big project for the year- an embroidery for my niece. I can see a deadline (December birthday) which by the looks of things, I will miss. Perhaps another year won't hurt this project... So from my last update, you can now see that I've added a Ballerina Georgie, a French Knot rainbow, and now a chain-stitch garden (with rabbit) is a-growing. I am really enjoying working on this at the moment- I've managed to get past the 'intricate embroidery' a little and am working on more freestyle shapes, which allows more progress. Also if you happen to be working on a project like this it helps to have several motifs on the go at once- you can see here that the ballerina isn't quite finished- I'm trying to figure out how I will stitch her skin and face- and trying to find the calm space of mind and patience to do that! So in the meantime I'm working on a chain-stitch garden, which will eventually help frame the lower half of the embroidery. I've also added some more thread colours to my collection- I'm now wondering if I may need to invest in another thread box!
Time for some close-ups:

And signs of things to come:

Sunday, August 1, 2010

on the border

Well, this is one of those epic projects that never really seems to end. Several years ago, not long after I picked up knitting again, I had the mad idea to knit a blanket... which kind of grew... as I decided that it simply must cover my bed. The last little section that I have worked on has been hovering on my conscience for quite some time (due to a lack of wool, and a high level of procrastination regarding a trip to the wool shop in town).
Adding The Grey Border has become a bit of a big deal for me... and now its finished! Yayyyy! I had even taken to using it in its unfinished state, as I had realised it may be a very, very long time before I could use it. Also it was cold, and its wholesome homespun look was very appealing.

The knitting of this blanket is a bit of a journey, considering that I started it back in 2007- by the time I am finished (maybe next year..?) it will have a bit of a story to tell.

Its quite satisfying to say that I finally can tick that one off my crafty-project-list (blank available here). Oh! But what's this? The Dark Grey Border. Uh-oh. This one isn't over yet...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lucky Penny... Back for August!

Hello! Hope you are enjoying the craft-inducing winter coziness (or coldness, whichever you prefer..) and are clocking up some quality time with your friends, family and various creative pursuits. I know that I have many on the go-go (sometimes its actually hard to decide what to work on as some of my projects will have important future sentimental value, but others are just there for mindless relaxation... like most of my knitting. I don't go for genius in that category).Its been a little while since the last Lucky Penny- a whole month without a craft catch up and so much has happened... so without further adue:

Lucky Penny August
...from 7.30pm onwards..
Tuesday 3rd August
Mezze Bar
Durham Lane
Auckland (its above the Whitcoulls/Glassons on Queen St)

See you then!

ps. Sorry for the absence of advertising material (aka. the usual poster) But at least I managed to include a picture..!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Today, when I was hanging out the laundry, I glanced upon the neighbour's magnolia tree. It was enough to stop me mid-morning chore to run and grab my camera for a little impromptu photo session. Photogenic, no? I love photographing flowers- especially when they fill the frame of the lense. I don't have a good photographer's eye, but I like these. I really got into photographing cherry blossom trees when I was in Japan- as did everyone else there- people really do seem to appreciate how lovely they are.

This early evening, when I was collecting said laundry, I glanced upon the neighbour's magnolia tree. Again I just had to grab my camera- it looked so pretty in the twilight. And I just had to share, while I'm feeling a little impulsive!

ps. Please excuse the very muddly order or this post- me and new computer are trying to make friends with Blogger- I can't seem to move the pictures where I want them, and until I figure it out, they can stay put. Did I just say 'new computer'?! Yes, sure did- so that means that there will be more posting from now on. Yay!

Monday, May 31, 2010


Temple gardiners, Arashiyama, Kyoto.

The best Buddha ever, Arashiyama, Kyoto. This is my number one favourite photo- how can you not like that smile!

Photogenic Buddha 's, Arashiyama, Kyoto.

Boats on the river, Arashiyama, Kyoto.

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Kyoto. As pictured in Lonely Planet etc. What you don't see are the tourists!

About a month ago I returned from a trip to Japan. Here are a few photos from Kyoto, just a few mind you- I took well over a thousand pictures all up. Kyoto is definately a temple-tourist place- lots and lots of people looking around, and I don't think that I got to understand the place until about my last day there. And it was then that I started to miss it, especially when travelling back to Tokyo. Tokyo of course has a charm of its own, but that will be another post, devoted to neon lights, kawaii cute and shopping.

Lucky Penny June!

See you there!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lucky Penny May!

For the crafty-inclined of you, the next Lucky Penny Crafty Club is so so soon! Next Tuesday 4th May, from 7.30pm at Mezze Bar, Durham Lane, Auckland. See you there!

ALSO... those of you who know me personally.. as I have been promising-there are indeed photos from my very very recent trip to JAPAN which will make an appearance on this blog... once I have sifted through 1000+ of them (whew!) I'll also be bringing some of my gorgeous new Japanese craft and fashion mags to Lucky Penny for a show-and-tell. Yay!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

new motifs

Well, its been a little while since I have last posted here. And a little while since I finished working on these motifs, so I think I'm well overdue for a little show and tell...

I at longlong last finished the hot air balloon in the corner (complete with French Knot clouds) which I remember starting about 2007 or 2008. It took me a ridiculously long time to work on. Ok. There was admittedly alot of stop/start stitching and 'put down' time, all simply beacuse all that tiny tiny stitching on the balloon itself was driving me nuts. A labour of love (and an exercise in patience) you might say. Am I pleased with the result? Sure am.

Boo! Next on the list is the ghostie. My niece, who I am making this for, doesn't mind 'the scaries', so I decided to add a ghost. Glow in the dark of course. I couldn't resist checking it out in the dark after working on a section. This time I got an opportunity to work with lovely variegated blue thread which I have been trying to find a home for. Perfect place. A little more aware of the time when working on this motif, I decided to fill in the body of the ghostie with a squiggly couched texture.

So whats next? A ballerina dancing across the middle of the fabric. So pink, pink and more pink. And a candy garden. Of course.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lucky Penny March

Just a little note to get the word around- Lucky Penny March is on in a weeks time! All details on the flyer above- see you there!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lucky Penny February!

Well, the time has come around for me to mention Lucky Penny... Bring yourself and your crafty things for a night of gossip and craft on Tuesday 02 February at Mezze Bar, Durham Lane, Auckland. See you there!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

first post of the new year (no photos)

Ok, so laziness has gotten the better of me, and not only do I delay posting until halfway through the month, but also neglect to add some appropriately summery/crafty photos. Ah well, nevermind... So can I just go onto a 'new years' spiel as to how I'm going to change things around at the Violet & May HQ? I can...? Fantastic.

Somewhere in my new year's resolutions is the words 'blog more' (or was it 'be a better blogger?' Can't remember) Blogging can be a little tricky if you only have intermittent computer access on the sly at work. But blogging would be nothing without some kind of content, so I'm hoping that I can craft enough to make things interesting around here...

Another one of my new years resolutions is to finish the embroidery for my niece GG- think of it like a monogamous relationship with my craft- I won't be able to finish it for her 6th birthday if I get toooo distracted with other crafty things. 2010 is the now the year of the embroidery. Yikes! (If you are wondering at all what I am getting myself into... see what I made her big sister..)

I'm also calling it quits with any market-y or commercial crafts... as fun as they are, I found that I was losing the enjoyment of just making things. This may come as no surprise to those who know me personally, as I've been hinting at it for a while... but don't despair- I'm still a Kraftbomb groupie! And I'm looking forward to kicking off with the first Lucky Penny Crafty Club session this year (February 2, Mezze Bar, Auckland- be there or be square).

Other assorted new years resolutions include: learning something new (I don't what just yet... Am debating if a few words of Japanese for my upcoming trip actually counts.) and to do something charitable- I need to get in touch with my charitable self and contribute back to society.

There you have it. Something to thing about.