Sunday, June 24, 2012

tea cosies

Holly gave me this awesome craft book for Christmas. State of Craft, edited by Victoria Woodcock, is full of interviews and bios of really inspirational crafters like Tatty Devine and Urban Cross Stitch. The accompanying craft projects are interesting, quirky and cool. I loved the look of the Over-The-Top Tea Cosies by Teacakes and 78s', with their fun, oversized pompoms on top, so I thought I'd give them a go. I love knitting.... you can interact with people, talk, watch movies and tv without having to focus too much on what you are doing. It's also a portable craft that you can take with you wherever you go. 

The pattern is easy to follow and it doesn't take long to whip one up!
The cosy is knitted in knit-1, purl-1 rib.

Using 5 mm knitting needles, cast on 40 stitches with double-knitting wool. 
K1, p1 to the end of each row (finishing with a purl stitch) until work measures 15 cm.

Decrease to shape the top. 
Row 1: *Knit 2 tog* repeat 'til the end of row (20 sts remain).
Row 2: Knit to end of row.
Row 3: *Knit 2 tog* repeat 'til the end of row (10 sts remain).
Row 4: Knit to end of row.
Row 5: *Knit 2 tog* repeat 'til the end of row (5 sts remain).
Cast off the remaining 5 stitches.

Repeat for other side.

Sew sides up leaving gaps for the handle and spout. I used my tea pot to work out where they go.

Make a GIANT pompom (use 13-15 cm diameter cardboard circles) and sew securely on the top. Gorgeous!!!

So now my new favourite thing to do is to knit tea cosies. They are simple to make and look stunning. Get out the knitting needles and have a go. In the words of Victoria Woodcock "Now go forth and make!" 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

blue skies are calling

This is a song for anyone
With a broken heart
This is a song for anyone
Who can't get out of bed

I'll do anything
To be happy
Oh cause blue skies are calling
But I know that it's hard

This is the last song that I write
While still in love with you
This is the last song that I write
While you're even on my mind

Cause it's time to leave
Those feelings behind
Oh cause blue skies are calling
But I know that it's hard

I don't think that it's the end
But I know we can't keep going
I don't think that it's the end
But I know we can't keep going

But blue skies are calling
Oh yeah blue skies are calling
Oh blue skies are calling
But I know that it's hard

I love this song by Noah and the Whale. It resonates in my spirit. I feel like I've had to say a lot of permanent goodbyes in my life - to my Mum and Dad, John's Mum and Dad and of course my beloved husband - John. I feel like I've had my fair share of dealing with the emotional and physical toll of cancer on the people I love - with my Mum, John's Dad, John's melanoma, my sister's breast cancer (now in remission. Yay!). There's been a lot of sadness, a lot to process and deal with.

This year has been a funny year so far (not the haha kind). I've spent six months with a stress related illness that is taking a long time to come right. I've said "goodbyes" to my precious Holly as she's spread her wings and flown to England. I am so happy for her, with lots of exciting adventures ahead. But now I'm finally living alone and working out what that's like for me. I've had times of feeling really lonely (even though I've got 262 Facebook friends!!) and it feels like a time of transition. To what... I'm not sure!

I'm optimistic for the future... pondering what's ahead... cause blue skies are calling but I know sometimes that it's hard...

Friday, June 8, 2012

mount goodbyes

When my beautiful mother-in-law Merle died last year, it was the end of an era in many ways. With our final goodbye to Merle, came other goodbyes. Her house and beach house were sold as part of her estate. So many memories, family gatherings, good times and holidays reside in both of those houses. To celebrate all of those good times the family gathered for one last holiday at Mount Maunganui. It was so much fun to be with the cousins. It was the usual rowdy gathering round food, drinks, conversation, board games, joking around and laughter.

You know you are nearly at the Mount when you hit Matamata. We stopped for some sustenance from the Kaimai Cheese Cafe. Delicious!

Next stop the Mount, with the first stop there - the beach...

Hugo loved fun times with Beth

Then later that evening we got out this fine looking lady, who was a gift for my 40th birthday. She has spent many happy years here by the beach. It seemed fitting that we would light her up on this final visit. As you can see, she is quite spectacular. Although by the end of the weekend she looked like the gruesome victim of extreme sun exposure!

The beach house is like a time capsule from the 60's and 70's. I love all of the decorative touches. The eclectic gathering of furniture, accessories, fabrics, leftover paraphanalia from all of our houses. It's been the final resting place of many an off-cast piece of furniture, kitchenware, bedding, books and games. Check out these classic "bach" styles. (We were never allowed to call it a bach. It was definitely a bit more upmarket than that - a beach house!)

Archways and shagpile carpet

Decades of glassware styles 

The classic imitation candle sconce

Vintage styles in the sleepout

 Seaside touches

So many complicated, frustrating jigsaw puzzles have been completed on this table. Always the bigger, the more pieces, the better... leading to conversations like "Do you think this blue piece is the sky or the sea?"

All of the paintings at the beach house are oils by Merle. She was the most amazing artist. 

Then it was time to say our goodbyes. It was so special to be able to gather, remember, reminisce... to think about all of those special memories we've shared and the people who helped create them, especially Merle and John. 

 And this is why we love the Mount...


Goodbye. Thanks for all the memories...

Monday, June 4, 2012

queen's birthday jubilee

Well, after almost a year out of the blogisphere, I'm back! I've been pouring a lot of creative energy into my new job and just haven't had much left over for blogging. I've really missed it, so here I am again...

It's been a long weekend in New Zealand, celebrating the Queen's birthday alongside the jubilee celebrations in England. I do have a soft spot for the Queen and royal-themed souvenirs. Here are some of my royal treasures...

 Catherine David "Queen's Head" blackboard 
(from Holly who now lives in London and attended the jubilee celebrations in person!)

 Vintage coronation tin
(from Beth who found it on Great Barrier Island. Who knew such treasures were hidden there?)

 Crafty Union Jack cushion 
(from my sister Meredith who bought it in England for me) 

It's been so much fun to embrace the Queen's birthday and jubilee this weekend. No royal celebrations are complete without freshly baked scones...


Union Jacks


and the most amazing "Queenie" jelly made by Beth. Two litres of boysenberry jelly no less. The mould was a gift from my friend Helen who lives in England (and is also aware of my fondness for Queenly jubilee souvenirs).

Here she is before the unmoulding

 Nervous lifting

 Phew! She is set and looking lovely (if not slightly disturbing when she wobbles)

 Delicious! The destruction has begun...

Kiwi royalists

"Happy birthday and jubilee celebrations, Ma'am!"
(Flags and crowns courtesy of Holly)


Related Posts with Thumbnails