Monday, July 23, 2012

Tea With The Fishes

For a while our house was swimming with fishes, dolphins and sharks.  Little E had marvelled at the sharks at Kelly Tarlton's.  We saw stingrays, moray eels and baby carpet sharks.  She was drawing them for weeks afterwards.

I snatched aside one of her sketches in January, to turn it into this embroidery.  I kept the sketch close as I copied it, but now cannot find it for the life of me.  I adored the various textures of a 4 year old's rapid felt pen colouring.  With two slightly mismatched blues and sketchy stitches, you can get some idea of the pen running out as she drew the picture.

The only thing left to do was to turn it into a  teacosy to be sent to Nana.  She wraps her tea pot with a knitted cosy and then pops another over the top. Of course, we had to give this a try before posting the new cosy.  I'm pleased to report the cosy works and the super hot tea went really well with stroopwafels.  These are a new treat in our house, where the steam from a super hot cup of tea is used to soften the syrupy filling, before the stroopwafels are eaten, hot and syrupy.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Pink Milo and Printed Glasses

I've been slowly adding to the collection of printed glasses in our cupboards.  It started with the strange yellow giraffes you can see in the background.  then there was diamonds, bamboo leaves and yachts.  this week the little red glass joined the collection.  If I look carefully I can just make out the word "konini"* for the little red flowers above.

My grandmother used to have glasses like this for when we visited.  I found that by refusing to eat boiled carrots, I had my own glass of raw carrots with dinner too.  Like much in the way of thrifting, collecting the glasses is a way of channelling a nostalgia for my own childhood.  I delight in the fact that my kids use them everyday.  Taking photos of the glasses together gives me a chance to introduce another form of nostalgia - Quik, or as my kids like to think of it, Pink Milo.

* NZ's native fuschia, otherwise known as Kotukutuku.
** I'm linking up with Flea Market Finds over at Her Library Adventures where it looks like everyone is finding retro glasses this week.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Wedding Quilt Revealed

The wedding quilt is finished.  It was carefully handed to my new Sister in Law earlier this week.  Now I can share it without ruining any surprises.

The colors have been been chosen to match their house.  The pattern is an eccentric square in square.  the first few blocks were built around the black and white centres.  I grew attached to the optical push/pull of the floating black squares and so they stayed. They remind me a little of Bridget Riley's vector field paintings.

Now a wedding quilt is not a wedding quilt with out some personal touches and so here we have the back.  The blocks were signed between the engagement party and the wedding. They were slowly pieced together in the months following.  It was a privilege to read through all the names and messages.  Though, my favorite would have to be the last one.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Beloved Nordic Cardigan

This nordic cardigan is one of my favourite opp shop finds.  I love to imagine the story behind such beautiful workmanship and why it looks unworn - perhaps it was too small, too itchy, not pink enough.  Someone must have cared a lot to have knitted this beautiful piece.  It has been carefully knitted in the round with steeked openings for the front and sleeves.

After some careful wearing and ice cream eating, I can say that it fits Little E beautifully and it is in no way too itchy.  However, it took some care in washing.  The cut threads to the sleeves needed a little reinforcing before it was worn again.   Fortunately, Grandma knew a thing or two about that.
I still don't quite know where it came from, but I have to admit that we love this cardigan right down to its little reindeer riding buttons.

I'm linking up with Sophie for this weeks Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wedding Quilt - Almost Finshed

It's been awhile since any quilts have been finished around here.  A quick check tells me that I last one I finished was August last year.  I have been working on this one since September last year and trying very hard to improve my project monogamy.  I promise, I haven't been distracted by any other quilts.  Winter jackets, clothes and wooden boxes yes, but no other quilts.  

This one is almost finished - a few threads to cut and photos to take. My fingers are left itching and I'm looking around at my pile of unfinished projects.  Perhaps I should finish some of them while I decide what to start on next.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Building Boxes - Crafting With Hammer and Nail

  Call me optimistic, but sometimes I like to believe that I am just one sorting system away from a tidy house.  In truth, I am one sorting system and a whole life makeover away from a tidy house.  For a brief moment this looks like it will work - a box for each child to carry to their room and one especially for the library books.

Given my weakness for wooden boxes, I couldn't pass up the chance to make some of my own.  These boxes are based on the old soda crates we have them dotted around the house as bedside tables and bathroom stools. 

The making was a group effort with each piece painted before assembling.  While the red and purple does look rather fetching, it takes a lot to wash it off.  The girls helped me to measure out the plank spacings, before I retreated to the safety of a secluded garage to get everything finished.  The side planks are a quite this so predrilling really helps to stop the wood splitting, and if course I felt the need to upsize the nails.

If you are looking to make your own you can get the kitsets from The Plyguy.   The paints are Resene Water Borne Colourwood.  As it takes just over one test pot to paint a box, I'd recommend getting 1/2 L of Rocksalt (the blonding colour) and  using some of it to bulk out test pots as needed.