Sunday, November 6, 2011

making the move

Melbourne- looking towards Flinders St Station. 

Melbourne- looking towards city buildings and Federation Square. 

So, I've been in Melbourne for a week now.  Craziness- I can't believe that things have gone SO quickly since my last post for me to be here now.  I'm slowly sorting my life out- there are things that you don't normally consider to be difficult, but are- alot of that has to do with not having a permanent residence (yet).  I have just spent about an hour (!!!) trying to set up a prepay cellphone....!  However I am lucky enough to have found a new flat which I should be moving into in a couple of weeks time- its a little further out from the city than I had initially planned on, but it is on a nice leafy street and there are shops nearby.  It is also close to my work, which is good as I am public transporting it at the moment.

Today I've decided to visit Ikea to get some ideas as to how I can decorate my room..!  Its kind of exciting as we don't have Ikea in New Zealand so it will all be novel and new for me.  I have told myself that there is no point in shopping until I move into the house, so I'll have to wait a little.  I am also waiting on all my tax and pay stuff to be settled as well before I really hit the shops- I suspect with 40 degree summers on the horizon that I will have to update my wardrobe a little...

Living at a hotel is kind of weird, as you can't cook properly in a mini kitchen (hello takeaways!) and everything  is in (messy) suitcases.  I've started to be worried about my lack of fitness and the other day I went for a long walk around the neighbourhood of my hotel nosying at all the houses....! I still have my craft with me and I have done a little bit of embroidery, but mostly I am reading about everyone else's craft instead.  

Oh! And I've just started reading Harry Potter- talk about catching up on lost time.  Its funny though since I've seen most of the movies, that everything seems very comfortable and familar.  Loving them, and suspect that I will inhale these books within a couple of weeks.

Will promise more updates...!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Lucky Penny October (and some news)

Hello there!  Just a quick wee post to say that Lucky Penny is on next Tuesday!!  I'm going to be bringing a fine selection of crafty things to give away to the Lucky Penny-ers (uhhh.. something like- wool, origami paper, buttons, perhaps some fabrics and other interesting things).

Why, you ask, are you giving away your craft supplies?

I'm going to be moving to Melbourne at the end of October- there have been changes with my work, and I've now accepted a job as a designer (yay! But same-same but different).  So this will probably be my last Lucky Penny (unless I take it with me to Melbourne and hit the craft circuit there)  Perhaps I could become a Brown Owl and hang out at Meet Me At Mikes? I'm lucky that Melbourne is such a creative city, but I must say that I am kind of fearing the 40 degree heat that the summer brings...  But seriously, I think it could take me a good few months to even feel remotely settled there, you know, get used the changes with the job, find a new house (and decorate...I think Ikea is going to be making some money from me), and in between that really try and make some new friends. My brain at the moment is really ticking overtime- there is an incredible amount of things that I need to achieve before I board that plane, and connecting with the people who matter most is high up there (as is selling may car...) I remember my jewellery teacher once saying to me that I was nomadic as I seemed to change my address at least once a year.  Now I think he's right as this is the third time I've moved this year.  So I'm hoping that this blog can be a little outlet as I move into another chapter in my life
Anyway enough for now!  Catch you on Tuesday!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

shoes and cupcakes

I like nice shoes.  And I have spent an unmentionable amount of money on them this year (but not like, Carrie Bradshaw level.  I think Manolos and Louboutins are kind of tacky...)  But I have been scanning through the Camper website as of late.  I like these ones.  And these ones.  And also these ones.  And these ones too!  Hmm... too many choices...
(Note to self:  It is not payday yet.  And you have bills.)
In the midst of all the RugbyWorldCupMania which has been gripping my city lately, it has been hard not to be swept up amongst it.  I have watched 1.5 rugby games this week, which surely must be a record.  And my work did an international themed lunch- the country I was allocated was Ireland, and given my lack of knowledge regarding Irish food, I chose to make green cupcakes instead (chocolate mint).  Mmmm.  And I cracked the Holy Grail of buttercream icing- I fiiinallly got the slightly-crispy-edging on the icing happening.  Success.

Friday, September 2, 2011

whoa... its September!

Whoa... it's September! Firstly- Spring- yayyyyy! I love Spring- it's such a great season since I love blossoms. And speaking of Spring-y newness September also means that I now have a new nephew (hello Joshua!).  And September means here in New Zealand we are in the middle of Fashion Week.  I attended the Trelise Cooper show, usually not my kind of look, but a few nice pieces were spotted.  For someone who is into fashion, fashion shows terrify me.  Actually it is not really the shows per se, but the people they attract- think major wardrobe anxiety... September also means the Rugby World Cup is about to converge on Auckland, and more specifically my neighbourhood which is very close to Eden park (I am worried about parking, traffic, and whether I'll be able to get anywhere near my gym...) Ugghhhhh...

But not to worry as a perfect foil to rugbymania.... I present... Lucky Penny September- all details are on the pic- see you there!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

so, its very nearly spring

So, its very nearly spring. Well at least this beautiful tree outside my house thinks it is. With all the local news fuss over an impending polar chill that is set to sweep the country, I thought that I'd be best to rush outside and photograph the blossoms lest they be swept away by the winds.

I hope that you have been having a lovely weekend! Mine has involved lots of shopping (jeans, new weekend sneakers, hoodie and various other things) And while I was at the mall I stumbled upon this cooking demo hosted by NZ Masterchef's Simon Goult (and handsome assistant). They covered classics like risotto- reminding me to add parmesan cheese, cooking wine and arborio rice to my shopping list (risotto is frequently cooked by moi), and fancy sorbet involving liquid nitrogen cooking. Oooh fancy!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


My what progress I have made! I am totally in the embroidery space right now- talk about working to deadline (something that I am very familiar with my line of work). You can see here that I have added the outlines for a cat, a witch flying in front of a full moon (on a broomstick of course, pedigree unknown- most likely not to be a Nimbus 2000 ;)) and a unicorn. Whew!

I can’t wait to start stitching the unicorn, which is where I can experiment with pastel tone variegated thread, rainbow metallic thread and hopefully some iridescent thread if I can find it. I’m thinking she needs a unicorn-y name- like Aurora or something like that… ideas?

The witch is going to be a black silhouette, which is why its looking a bit rough stitch-wise- especially as I was stitching a little more freehand than I have been lately. The moon is going to be flouro yellow and glow-in-the-dark thread- I have been wanting to use the flouro yellow thread for a while and now have the perfect excuse to. I’m a little concerned about colourfastness of the flouro yellow, so I’m thinking I may actually have to test it- I don’t want the colour to run and ruin the rest of my work, or fade...

The cat- also known as Pipsy- will be black and white- the trick here is capturing the essence of her face and in particular her eyes (she is not the smartest of kittys and her eyes are a little reflective of this)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

embroider me a face

Well, I sort of jumped the gun when I mentioned in my last post that I would not be attempting to embroider the face on Georgie ballerina until much, much later. Turns out after completing the arms and neck, due to the rather addictive nature of this type of embroidery, that it seemed rather natural to continue and embroider her face. I don't know if I am 100% happy with it- I think the eyes are OK, there is a hint of a nose, but the mouth was met with several disasters that would have made a plastic surgeon proud. First there was a trout pout, then she looked like a Bratz doll, then she was Bratz-doll + smiley-face, and now simply a smiley-face smile. I was trying to capture a level of innocence appropriate for a young ballerina on this embroidery. I am not entirely sure that the face 'works'- I think its cartoony in a slightly wrong way and looks out of kilter with the work that went into the dress and the body. I am tempted to fix t, but my common sense is telling me not to touch it for a long, long time...

Anyway... here's a bit of step-by step:

Adding the shading- you can see that I embroidered the cheeks and then added satin stitch shading in a darker flesh-tone. Here I am adding the lighter flesh tone.

With all the base shading added. I was slightly creeped out by this...

With eye, nose and a smile!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


So alot has happened since I last posted here. I have moved across town to a new house ('across town' is like, two suburbs away from where I used to live. Miles! I know!) So as a consequence I have taken much of an interest in home decorating, but when your'e flatting your are kind of restricted to what you and your flatmates can pull together, so the results are looking mish-mash-y...
I have completed the dark grey border on The Blanket. So now I only have to knit the brown border and I will be done with the knitting bit. I have also found the ideal solution to the woven backing- pre-made quilted fabric- in calico, which is a great match to the design. I was so excited when I found it- I had been grappling with the idea of quilting the backing, which frankly seemed daunting for a non-quilter like me. So this all means that I should be able to complete this project sometime next year, all going well.

I have baked these, which I brought into my office. Next time I'm trying them with peanut butter icing...mmm...
And these.
And these, which I also brought into my office. I have never seen such a large batch of cookies. Ever. I still have a tin of them to eat through at home.

Baking in action. Yes I am a modern girl and I bake directly from the internet (although I do have to be careful as flour and computers do not mix).

And if you think that my baking is wholly American, think again. I'm keen to try making Matcha Daifuku Mochi with Red Bean Paste, which I come across at sushi shops occasionally and are my new favourite things. I didn't like them at first, due to some weird flavour/texture combo, which put me off them for a while. I only wish that I liked these when I went to Japan- they were everywhere, especially in Kyoto.

I have embroidered a little, but not alot (bad lighting in my new house and my winter knitting addiction has much to account for here). You can see that I am working on embroidering Ballerina Georgie's skin, which is a very delicate process which I am approaching with a high level of caution. I am betting that her face will be one of the last things that I will be working on in this whole piece. The blue blobby bits are where I have marked out motifs to be embroidered. I certainly need to do lots and lots more embroidery as I have a deadline (late December birthday) so frankly, I need to make this, not knitting or baking, my obsession!

I'm taking my nieces to Kraftbomb tomorrow- I'm looking forward to seeing crafty Auckland and my old neighbourhood.

And not to forget! Lucky Penny is on next Tuesday- see you there!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Lucky Penny May!

Two Lucky Penny posts in a row..! My craft time has been slipping but hopefully I will have something new to show you soon. But don't forget..! Next Tuesday is time for our monthly Lucky Penny crafty-ness. See you there!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hello Lucky Penny April

Hello there! Its nearly the start of a new month and I thought that it was time to let you know about Lucky Penny for April. Bring your craft to town and join us for some coffee and chitchat!

Mezze Bar from 7.30pm.
Durham Lane (above Queen St Glassons)

See you then!

Monday, March 28, 2011

moving moving

Packing up. Dust abound (my poor nose!). Putting my life into an array of boxes, bags and cabinets. I'm on the move again! This is my 4th move in the last 5 years, but this is a short one- just to my sister's house, where I'll be staying until I find my self a lovely new home..! My nieces are super-excited that Auntie is coming to stay (knitting lessons have already been requested. But like this picture, things will get messier before they get tidier. Finding a new flat is never easy, and doubly hard when you have to pack and manage major work deadlines at the same time. Something has to slide, and at the moment it my craft and my exercise, both of which will return when my life has its sense of stability back. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

helping out

I'm putting my craft to use by making a softie for Christchurch kids. Thanks to Leonie from Kiwi At Heart I have found a fantastic and cheerful way to help the people of earthquake struck Christchurch- and signed up straightaway. I'm not quite sure of the design or even what it will be made of yet...possibly a doll or a teddy- classics but easy to understand and relate to. This weekend I will be a-crafting- updates to follow. So, my question is- would you like to help?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lucky Penny March!

Hey there! The last month has just flown by and its time for Lucky Penny. Same time, same place!

...from 7.30pm onwards
Mezze Bar
Durham Lane (its kind of above the Queen St Glassons store)

Bring our craft to town-see you there!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Sashiko. Sa-shi-ko. I love the sound of this word. And I love sashiko, which is a Japanese form of embroidery. I first found examples of sashiko floating around the net a few years ago, and added it to my 'crafts I like' list (no, not an actual list. I'm not that pedantic). So I was very excited to find a kit at the local Daiso shop (yayyyy!). I really loved some of the wording on the packaging- so funny, but kind of true. I carried the kit around for a year before I decided that the time was right for me to work on it. And that was when I came back from Vietnam. It is summer here in New Zealand and sashiko is the perfect summer embroidery- fast, portable, non-commital and most importantly, simple. It helps that it looks good too! It took me about a month to finish these two pieces, which is incredibly speedy given that I have a penchant for long drawn-out projects (Georgie's Embroidery, the knitted blanket, the silver hair-comb to name a few). I'm not quite sure what I will do with these pieces now that I am finished. At the moment they are simply pinned to my wall, loose threads and all. One day they may get transformed into patchwork-y but modern looking cushion.
So what is next? Well.... I have a dress to finish from some gorgeous 50's fabric, and perhaps it is time to return to those big projects. Or perhaps I could make felt donut magnets.. also from the craft aisle at Daiso...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lucky Penny- Back for 2011

Just a quick note to say that Lucky Penny Crafty Club is back for 2011. Next catch up: Tuesday 1st February- details on flyer above. Would be great to see you there!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I've been checking the blogs... and have decided that mine is well overdue for a makeover. Expect more progress sometime soon. Have a fab rest of the weekend!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Not long ago, I was in Vietnam. It was a spur-of-the-moment-hastily-booked-and-plannned kind of affair, but great all the same. I simply decided that I had a great opportunity- longer holidays and my brother planning on being in the country at the same time- it may be hitting me in the pocket, but was simply too much of a good idea to resist. I spent some time in the north around Hanoi and Halong Bay (the pictures show exactly why it is popular with the tourists). Hanoi is like Kyoto to Tokyo- so much more culture. I took a liking to the perilous and crazy traffic- my number 1 tip for crossing the road is to simply forget about your personal safety and walk across. In Halong Bay I went sea-kayaking, took plenty of pictures and endured badly sung Vietnamese karaoke on New Year's Eve. From there I ventured south to Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon as everyone preferred to call it- rolls off the tongue much better don't you think?) and hit the markets, sweltered in the Mekong Delta, and squished into a war-era tunnel. The south of Vietnam is so much warmer and relaxed than the North- less communist propaganda (which incidentally, contained some great illustration). I also spent some time hanging out with my brother there, which was fun- just sitting around drinking coffee/beer/tea/mojitos and watching the local life unfold around us- the streets really are your best form of entertainment there.

So where to next? I'm thinking perhaps Argentina.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

embroidery for my nana

Craft has a strong re-purposing, 'make-do-and-mend' ethic about it.
So what do you do when you kind of realise that you are just not going to finish an embroidery? Patch it up, frame it and give it to your Nana for Christmas! Looks good to me!
(There were meant to be 3 houses in the original embroidery, but the open-weave fabric and multiple other projects got the better of me. This bit of work is now cheering up my Nana's new room in the old folks home)