Follow by Email

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Some Last Minute Christmas Ideas

A little wisdom from Dr Suess

Here in New Zealand we are a little ahead of the rest of the world time-wise. Christmas Day starts in only a few hours. So if you haven't wrapped all your presents yet, here is an you have any old large art books? I buy mine during the year from school gala sales or garage sales for less than the price of a sheet of giftwrap. I use them for all sorts of art work, but they make gorgeous wrapping paper. Who wouldn't like a spot of Jackson Pollock or Klee with their present?

One quick gift that I made lots of this year was this Peppermint Candy Sugar Scrub. The recipe and the free printable labels come from The Idea Room . 

I hope you all have a safe and happy Christmas and a wonderful 2015.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

A Refashion and an Upcycle

"Basically downshifters seek a life filled with more passion and purpose, meaning, fulfilment and happiness. A life to look back on with no regrets".

 I recently came across an interesting site where I found the above excerpt,  at  If you have a little spare time go take a look. It gives a good explanation of what slow living is, and why it is so beneficial. 

A good example of how slow living is the school holidays here, and I have young Katie (my partner's daughter) home with me. She mentioned that she really needed some new shorts, which made me curious as I'd noticed she had put three pairs out to donate when she cleaned her room.
Turns out those shorts were too short (I'd agree with that), and she didn't like where the rips were on them. The shorts came fashionably ripped on purchase.


I suggested we could make them into something she would want to wear and showed her photos on Pinterest of what they could look like.
So here are the after photos of two of them. Katie sewed some herself, and now she is delighted with her new "designer" shorts.


Oh, and the lace on the bottom of those shorts is off my wedding dress! My mother always said if you keep something long enough you will find a use for it.

About a year ago I discovered these old wooden library cards in a junk shop.

I bought them for a few dollars, but didn't really have any idea what I was going to do with them.
I made wooden postcards with some of them...

... but last week Katie and I painted them up with chalkboard paint to make a banner that we can change the message on at any time! They were already a pennant shape and all I had to do was drill holes to take a cord.

Well this week is going to be busy - so just breathe and enjoy! 

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Christmas Decor - Vintage Style.

It must seem odd to those of you in the Northern Hemisphere how we celebrate Christmas in mid-summer. Christmas lunch is often served outdoors in the shade, and a lot of New Zealanders are off camping, so have Christmas at their tent, or at their bach (beach house). 
Yesterday Derek and Katie chose our Christmas tree, and after slicing a thin sliver off the end to help it take up water, we spent the evening decorating it. 
More tips here for keeping a real pine Christmas tree green for 3 - 4 weeks in the heat of summer.
This year we decided to go with a vintage theme for the Christmas decor. I found this dear old Santa ornament in a charity shop for $1. He's showing a little wear - but hey, aren't we all, and he's probably as old as me.

Actually, don't you think he looks exhausted?

It was a good excuse to use some vintage cream glass baubles that I picked up for a few dollars some years back, and I whipped up a little batch of cardboard houses after finding the pattern in the latest Your Home and Garden Magazine.

Sheet music glued over cereal packets, a little teabag staining added.

This is the pattern I used.

And a little view of some cushion gifts I have been making. I think I am safe putting them on here, knowing that the girls are very unlikely to read my blog!

I finally feel like I am getting somewhere ! I hope your plans are running close to schedule too.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Summer's Started

It's a beautiful day here. By 9.30 I had watered my gardens - mostly by the bucket-load of fertilizer tea...

Looking very tropical - first day of summer here yesterday.

Sunflower from saved seed. Beans racing up the new arbor.

I'm going to be cooking these in 100 different ways soon - 3 courgette (zuchini) plants all producing.

No new plants - just used the runners from last year

Heritage ruby chard - looks beautiful and the bugs don't seem to go for it.

...and been to the beach to see if I could get more seaweed to top up the brew.
There was very little seaweed on the beach, and almost no rubbish or plastic to pick up, and as usual, no other people. Munta had a good run.

I hope your day is fabulous, wherever you are.