Sunday, June 30, 2013


In approximately 48 hours, the kids and myself will be jetting off, to spend a month with my Dad and Mom back home, in South Africa. As you can well imagine, the excitement levels in this house, are currently at fever pitch !!!
The jetting off part of this adventure, translates to around 36 hours (there and back) of time in the air ..... a fact that terrifies me, as I'm deathly afraid of flying. Luckily Girl Child knows the drill, when it comes to her Mama :-) That 36 hours also translates to some wonderful, can be doing nothing else, crafty time. I decided the other day, while I was making sure I had enough yarn and the correct size needles to take with me - before I even gave my clothing a thought - that I must truly be a craftaholic !!!!
This will be my time, to try and meet my goal of 6 scarves, for The Pink Scarf Project.
Now all of the pretty, pink knitting, needs a pretty project bags of its own to be tucked away in .........
I LOVE Ikea ... especially their kitchen linens. This bag started off life, as a dishtowel !!! Who would ever dream of drying dishes with something so pretty?
I folded it in half, and seamed the bottom and side ..... big bonus was, that the seams were already neatly finished. I made a casing using bias tape, that I opened up, and ironed flat. I threaded two lengths of ribbon through to act as the drawstring.
I decided to box the corners, just to give it a little more shape.
Instead of knotting the ends of the ribbon, I finished them off, by crocheting teeny little flowers and leaves (pattern HERE ....thanks Lucy !!!), and sewing them onto the ends.
 The perfect little finishing touch I thought.
Here it is, with its current resident ..... The Romantic Ruffled Scarf (pattern HERE). There are currently 1260 stitches (yes, you read correctly), on that circular needle ..... each row takes some knitting !!! It has been a very fun project to knit though.
I anticipate my project bag will have many adventures in the coming month .... a visit to the beach, and another to Kruger National Park ..... Oh, I can barely wait !!!!

Another quick knitting project that I finished up, was this pair of washcloths (pattern HERE). This is definately my new favorite washcloth pattern. I used I Love That Cotton yarn - I like it a lot. Until now I've always used Lilys Peaches and Cream yarn, which I've found tends to be very rough (and quite harsh on the fingers), this is certainly not the case with this yarn - I found it quite silky soft to work with.
I added these to my Mother In Laws birthday gift.
I think this waffle weave pattern would also make a great pattern for a  mans scarf  ..... I already have a recipient in mind.

On that note, I must return to packing the suitcases ....... until next time .....

Sunday, June 16, 2013


What do you give someone as a birthday gift, when they have it all ......
I guess you cant go wrong with something practical, so some Handmade Greetings Cards For All Occasions, was what it was to be. They'll be packaged individually with their envelope, in a cello card bag (mine should arrive in the mail tomorrow). I'll make a pretty box to house them, and there you have it ..... the gift that keeps on giving, in a way :-)

The Thank You Cards ...

The Anniversary Cards ...

The Blank (Use For Any Occasion) Cards ...

And lastly, the Birthday Cards .....

I started off, with plain, white 5"x 7" blanks for most of the cards. If I used another color base, I kept it to a 5" x 7" size. It just makes it easier to have them all a uniform size, for when I package them. From there, I decided on the design I wanted. Most of the cards were made using rubber stamps and paper punches. I did use my Cricut for the odd card, but not too many of them. I got a lot of the ideas off of Pinterest - it has a wealth of ideas.
I'm really quite chuffed with how they all turned out, and I hope the recipient likes them.

Time now to go and make Hubby, his Fathers Day dinner of choice :-) Hope you've spent time today making your Dad's and Hubby's feel special ..... It is their day after all !!!
Until next time ....... Take Care.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Yukon Golds to be precise.
I can barely contain myself, I am beyond excited about my first ever potato harvest. The 4 seed potatoes that I planted late March/early April, and lovingly tendered, had reached maturity. Their leaves had shriveled up and died, and they were ready to be harvested. I was apprehensive ..... very apprehensive .....
I'll warn you at this point, there are LOTS of potato photos .....
Girl Child was my photographer ..... I think for a moment, she may have feared that her Mama had gone mad, because I was so excited !!!
 The first potato out of the ground. I think at this point, I may have let out a rather excited squeal !!!
 Slowly my bucket was filling up  ...... this was after 2 potato plants had been dug up.
 It really is like a treasure hunt !!! I started out using my little hand shovel, but I was scared I'd damage the potatoes, so hands it was. Reaching down into the soil, and feeling that potato lump .... such an awesome feeling. I wore gloves, because I really don't like soil under my nails ...... I know that sounds really girly, but it's just something that makes my toes curl !!!!
 I love this picture ...... how you can still see the plant from which it came , and the depth at which they grew ...... it looks like one of those sectional diagrams (like the ones in science textbooks, that show the layers of the earth)!!!
 A clump of them all growing close together.
 The final harvest ...... It amazes me, that I planted 4 small (and they really were small) seed potatoes into the ground, and this is what we got from them :-) There may be more still in the ground - I didn't want to dig to vigorously, and disturb my tomato plants, as they are HEAVY with tomatoes at the moment ...... they're producing at a furious rate. I haven't had to buy tomatoes in over a month now. There is definately a difference in the taste .... my 100% homegrown, organic tomatoes, are so deliciously sweet, compared to the store bought ones.
I will do another going over of the soil, once the tomato plants have finished producing at the end of the season.
 Look at those beauties ..... I may just have to get a basket and make a pretty lining for it ..... I'll call it my harvest basket ...... tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, basil, mint ....
OK, perhaps a special gardening apron too ..... you see, I can turn anything into a crafting opportunity :-)

Our potato barrels, are a way off harvesting yet ..... they should be ready once I get back from my trip home. I am very excited to see what they produce.

Off to search Pinterest, for some deliciously different potato recipes.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Oh yes, summertime is all about the fruit .... it's plentiful and there's lots to choose from. This is my third year of making jelly and jam. This year, I've tended toward jelly ..... I like the challenge of it, striving to get the clearest jelly possible.

 I've strained my fruit juice a number of times, as opposed to the once that seems the norm, with fantastic results. Crystal clear fruit juice has been the result. Very definately worth it. Last years recipes seemed to call for liquid pectin, this years have called for the powdered variety ..... the results seem to be very much the same.
The best way to enjoy this culinary creation ..... well, on a fresh baked English scone of course !!! Butter, jelly and a dollop of fresh, whipped cream (OK, so I cheated on the cream this time. I have 3 cans of the spray stuff left over from a school function ....... we need to finish it up).

There have also been 2 batches of mint jelly made so far this year ..... I think it's almost time to harvest some more leaves off the mint plant ....... I'm determined to make enough to see us through the winter ...... we ran out of it last year.

I hope you're enjoying the slower pace of summer .... more free time to spend together, making wonderful family memories.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Today marks the end of the school year for us ..... Yes, that's me you can hear cheering. It's been a tough school year for us in so many different ways. We're ready for the break - time away from books and study, time to refocus and relax, time to spend with family.
It's a big day for Girl Child ... she leaves Middle School today, and moves on to everything that is High School in the Fall. I found myself, surprisingly emotional when I dropped her off at school today - I guess these milestones doesn't get easier, just because they get older.

With both kids in Middle School now, there is little to no end of year teacher gifts to take care of. However, we do have 2 teachers in our Special Ed team, who have been outstanding. They really have gone above and beyond ....... even taking my 8pm phone calls, and never ever minding. I wanted to give them each a little something. We opted for a gift card - that way they get to choose. But gift cards can still look pretty ....
 I used strips of washi tape to decorate my white mat. I then ran it through my Sizzix machine, using the Swiss Dot embossing folder, before adhering it to the card itself.
 This is the inside. I made and attached this little pocket to hold the gift card.
This was the other card. I made the mini envelope to hold the gift card, and incorporated it, into the front of the card. The brown cardstock, is some of that sandable paper - it doesn't have a white core, so it's perfect for sanding, tearing, crumpling, embossing ...... and so the list goes on.

A little update from my kitchen ..... I have done some  more jelly making. This time it was cherry jelly. The color of it is AMAZING !!! A gorgeous cherry red :-) Hubby hinted that he would not mind in the least if some orange jelly made its way into the fridge ...... of course I have to oblige. So next up, a batch of mandarin orange jelly .... I have everything I need, so it's to the kitchen I go !!!

Wishing you a lovely day.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


I've done it, I made something eventually. I decided to make something just for the fun of it, because it's pretty and it's cute, and it makes a wonderful foot rest.
A little while back, while blog browsing, I came across a sweet picture on Henhouse's blog (if you've never visited her blog, you really should. It's full of prettiness - that's the only way to describe it). The picture was of a chair, but I just happened to notice a sweet bean bag at the foot of the chair. She has a love for vintage, so I suspect that the fabric strips, and the embroidered top were of a vintage nature. I decided I needed one, and pinned it to my board on Pinterest, so I wouldn't forget about it.
I chose a pretty aqua and red jelly roll, that I found at Joann's. I used most of the jelly roll, but do have a few of the green and pink strips that were in the roll left. I have another Henhouse idea in mind for those :-) After turning the strips into a tube, I cut red circles. After gathering the edge, I inserted the circle. Let me just add .... at this point, I decided that the tube needed a lining with some basic quilting, and a zipper in the side !!! A little unpicking, and I rectified the problem. I am so glad I did. It would have bugged me otherwise. It needed the firmness that the lining (I used muslin) and quilting gave it.
Next up ..... what to do about the embroidery piece ..... I wanted it because it added so much charm. A long while back, I  received a pack of those iron on, embroidery transfers you can buy at most craft stores. I'd never used one before, but decided to give it a try ......... I am hooked !!! They work so well, and are just a delight to do. Once that was done and attached to the red circle, I sewed it to the tube. Next up the fun part .... filling it with bean bag beans. I found a 100 liter packet of them at Walmart for $10-00. Oh my goodness, those things could be a source of entertainment for hours .... they have a will of their own. Girl Child and I eventually got the bag sufficiently filled ...... Ok, so I had to vacuum the floor, really well. We lost A LOT of beans !!!
I really couldn't be happier with it ..... it just makes me smile :-) It's just the right height, just the right stuffiness, and has just the right amount of pretty cuteness, and it was made by me, just for me !!!

On a side note .... I was very touched by the messages I got from some readers about my lost craft mojo - thank you :-) To be honest, I didn't know that my blog was read that much. One thing has bothered me though, and it came up a number of times - the perception that you have to have a "trouble free" life to write a blog. I have seen reference made to this before by other bloggers .... so in order to keep my little space in blogland real, I thought I'd clarify. Our family has its fair share of troubles (whose family doesn't?)
We all have to deal with issues from time to time, I'm no different from anyone else out there. This particular issue was one that took me completely by surprise. As I said, I've made peace with it (I've decided every girl needs her mom, no matter how old you are - they always know just what to say at the right time). Hubby is a great listener too.It means that the things that keep me busy and make up my weeks will look different now (especially once school goes back) ..... no more cooking for 60 people, or busy Friday mornings. However, there'll be new things to do ...... who knows, maybe that Etsy shop I've been thinking about forever, may become a reality !!!
So, if that thought has ever kept you from writing a blog ..... don't let it !!! Get out there, and do it, you wont regret it. It's a great way of keeping a "diary" of events, creations and family life ..... you'll be able to look back on it many years from now. In my case too - it's a way that my family (we all live far apart ..... like different continents, far apart), can see what I'm up too.

Hope your weekend has been wonderful so far ...... and the best part is, we're only half way through it:-)