Tuesday, 28 January 2014

5000 Poppies NZ Update

Hi There,

Way back in August last year I took on the challenge of setting up the 5000 poppies NZ satellite group.  I thought as New Zealanders we needed to represent NZ servicemen and women who have fought in various wars by crocheting, knitting or felting 5000 poppies in recognition of all that they sacrificed.  Simple task really...

Skip forward 5 months and it has been a very slow and some days very daunting project.  For awhile I felt very alone in this endeavour and never thought I would get people that weren't family on board.  THEN last Friday a lovely lady posted on her Facebook page about the project and I went from having 10 followers (mostly family) to 39 followers.  I was blown away.  Maybe, just maybe I (now we) can pull this off.  

Some examples of what has arrived here so far.

I am still however waiting on replies from the venue.  Once that is finalised we can move forward and start designing how we are going to display all these beautiful red poppies.

Also if you are new to my craft cupboard and want to join us in this project please go to:
We would love to have you.

And so now I wait...

And crochet a few more...


Tuesday, 21 January 2014


Hi There,
It is almost the end of the Summer holidays then it is back to routine, lunches, after school activities and... *sigh* ...work.  I can't say I am excited about the later as I am quite enjoying the lazy relaxed crafty atmosphere here in the cupboard.  I seriously could quite happily stay in here forever making things.  I have tidied in here lately and I can see the floor which is lovely.  I sit in here on the floor, close the door and see how long it takes the little lovelies to find me.  Great game!

This week here I have stopped with the poppy making and blue square making and made a scarf.  My own design.  Just thought up on the spot and luckily for me it worked.  For a little while I have been following Kate over at just pootling. She has a lovely sense of calm and balance in her life which I love to read about.  She is also the one who got me thinking about scarves this week.

I wanted it to be a cowl (a joined scarf) and I wanted it to be long so I could double it around my neck for extra cosiness.

Here is the pattern. (Biting finger nails as we speak, never done this before) 


HOOK:  4.5mm
ROWS:  17
YARN:  Stylecraft acrylic yarn in light grey and charcoal

Ch 200 in charcoal yarn.  Join with a slip stitch being careful not to twist it.  Trust me this can be a nightmare when  it twists as you get to the end and the ends don't match. Very annoying. Double check!
Don't fasten off.

Ch 4 (counts as a tr and space)
Work one tr into the next space then ch 1, 1 tr in next space,  ch 1... Continue to the end.  Join with a slip stitch into third chain of first tr.
Don't fasten off.

Ch 4 (counts as a tr and space)
Work one tr into the next space then ch 1, 1 tr in next space, ch 1... Continue to the end.  Join with a slip stitch into third chain of first tr.
Don't fasten off.

Ch 3 and 1 tr together in first space, ch 1, 2 tr in next space, ch 1... Continue to end.  Join with a slip stitch.
Don't fasten off.

ROUND 4-8:
Continue in the same way repeating round 1-3.  Fasten off.

Attach light grey yarn.
Ch 4 (counts as a tr and space)
Work one tr into the next space then ch 1,  1 tr in next space,  ch 1... Continue to the end.  Join with a slip stitch into third chain of first tr.
Don't fasten off.

Ch 4 (counts as a tr and space)
Work one tr into the next space then ch 1, 1 tr in next space, ch 1... Continue to the end.  Join with a slip stitch into third chain of first tr.
Don't fasten off.

Ch 3 and 1 tr together in first space, ch 1, 2 tr in next space, ch 1...Continue to end.  join with a slip stitch.
Don't fasten off.

ROUND 12-17:
Continue in the same way repeating round 1-3.  Fasten off.

Darn in ends.

So there you go...one lovely grey scarf.  Nice and simple.   

Well I hope it is.  This is the first time I have written out my patten ideas.  I know I should have had pictures accompanying the instructions but this only occurred to me AFTER I had made it.  Writing the pattern out only occurred to me while I was writing this blog.  I thought I better keep a record of what I had done as I will forget later on.  

If you do have a go at this, please let me know if there are gaps/problems with the pattern as I would love to get better at doing this.

Happy crocheting.


Monday, 13 January 2014

New Year...New Things

Hi There,
It is a great feeling, the beginning of a new year.  I love that feeling of potential.  This year has so much potential who knows what will come along.  Every year I like to look at my New Years craft project list from the year before and see what I have achieved and what I need to get on and finish.  Having this list stops me from forgetting anything and I can go back and tweak it when I need to. New Year = being organised.  My favourite thing.

For a long time my resolutions were simple 'I'm going the eat healthy and exercise' but as always I never stuck to it.  Excuses of work and family always got in the way.  So now I'm more of a 'I'm going to eat that slice of carrot cake with double cream cheese icing and I am going to enjoy every mouthful...and I may exercise if I feel like it' sort of person.  Believe me it is a lot more satisfying!

So these days my resolutions are more to do with what makes me happy.  Mostly relating to crafty things.  Last year I wanted to learn to use my camera better so I went and did an eight week photography course.  I loved it!  

I think this year I would like to join a photography group and perfect my skills in this medium.  I need to stop using my iPhone so much and experiment some more with my nice camera.

Another thing that has been on my project list for a long time is to find and recover a winged back chair.  I have a friend who found and recovered a few chairs and she has inspired my desire to do it too.  I have always loved winged back chairs.  Great for reading books in.  So 2014 I am going to try and find one!

Also on the craft list is:
*     Finish blue blanket for bed.  This may take awhile.
*     Make merino top.  I have fabric sitting there waiting.
*     Make littlest lovely a dress out of fabric she chose months ago.
*     Get 5000 poppy project off the ground.  More to come on this gem later.
*     Crochet purple poncho.  I have some beautiful wool that has been sitting around for ages just waiting for inspiration.
*     Start my felt store.  This may take awhile.
*     Make felt Christmas decoration.  Another project I keep putting off.
*     Finish woollen tapestry pillow.  Again, keep putting it off.

Ok 2014 may well end up being the year I finish off stuff.  This is going to be very hard when the crochet hook keeps calling me to make things.  How will I stay focused?

I think I need a cuppa, a slab of cake and some hooky time to ponder this dilemma.

Take care,

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Holiday Pics Part II

Photos of Sister-in-laws garden

Hi There,
How are we today?
No sun here today, a little cool if you ask me.  Tomorrow + rain = MOVIE!

Enough about that, time to ramble on about the holiday.
One thing I have I liked about being home is all the home comforts you miss when you are away.  The comfy bed and couch, a washing machine that works and the toilet not being that far away!  Oh how I hated walking in the dark across wet grass to the communal toilets.  It was a little scary at 3 in the morning.



The second half of the holiday started with a very wet day.  But this didn't phase us. We set off to Te Aroha for lunch, a look around and a swim.

I fell in love with the quiet slow paced atmosphere.  Not to mention the old cute buildings.  I have a real soft spot for old historical buildings.  If I had the money and could convince Hubby to move into one I would be there in a heartbeat.  There is something about these buildings.  They have a soul and character, something a new home has to work on.  I LOVE THEM!  

I wanted to move into this one.

After massive amounts of 'oooing' and 'aaahing' we ran through the rain to the Te Aroha hot springs.
We hired a private spa for half hour with the littlies.  What a hoot!  They have never done something like this before.  It wasn't relaxing that is for sure as they were so excited, giggling and splashing about.  It was great to see them enjoying themselves though.  

Also while in Te Aroha I spotted this pink canna lily.  I never liked these plants but since planting a few in the garden they had gone NUTS!  So I have now fallen in love with them.  This hot pink one was in someone's garden and it looked amazing.  So I am now on a mission to find my own. 

After Te Aroha the rain cleared and this was the evening view.  All set for a beautiful next day.

The next day didn't disappoint. 28 degrees C.  So where else do you go when it is hot.

Yeap!  The beach.  Mount Maunganui.
It was so hot I actually went for a swim and boogie boarding.  I have never been on a boogie board before.  What a laugh and a lot of fun!  Poor littlies had to settle for castle building until mum gave back their boards.

Oldest littlie's symmetrical fort

The excellent day at the beach ended with Hubby winning the gliding day in his class. Clever man!

The rest of the holiday was spent relaxing back at the airfield, helping in the kitchen to prepare yummy food while chatting with the local ladies. The littlies spent their days ipading, reading, drawing, eating and running between clubroom and cabin. 

Hubby being towed up to those puffy clouds

Also a little bit of crocheting got done.  I am on a mission to finish the 'blue blanket' for my bed before winter.  Fingers crossed.  I will keep you posted.

It doesn't look like much at the moment but I promise it will.

So that is it.  Holiday complete.  Only two and half weeks to go till school starts.  A few trips to the beach are in store I think, if the weather stays nice.

Tomorrow, resolutions.
What are yours?


P.S... Almost forgot clever hubby won the National Gliding Championships in the 15m class.  All in all a great successful holiday.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Holiday Pics Part I

Hi There,

Yes I know it is a little late, but one can't rush these things! 
While the blogging world has been screaming full steam ahead with loads of posts I took a step back (a very very big one) and had a lovely two week holiday. BLISS!! 

But now I am back and I have a dilemma. Do I write about resolutions or holiday first?  

Maybe get holiday pics out the way first then I can babble on tomorrow about resolutions and what exciting things I have in-store for myself.

OH excitement!

Here goes...


On 29th Dec we took a two hour drive to Matamata (Hobbiton capital of NZ).  The Hubby was competing in the NZ Gliding National Championships.  Very exciting!  It was the first time in a very long time that they have had the Nationals in the school holidays which allowed the two little lovelies and myself a chance to 'hang out' with Hubby/Dad as well as have a holiday.  

Matamata weather - changeable 

The little lovelies were that much older this time around and were a lot freer to do their own things without Mum lingering around all the time.  They rode their bikes around the area happily while I crocheted or read a book.  It was nice not having to watch them like a hawk.  I actually felt like I had a holiday.  Another thing I didn't need to do was cook.  OH BLISS!!  There was a lovely lady there who cooked all our dinners for us, even pudding!  I was very spoilt.

While on holiday we went and visited friends in Rotorua and went for this amazing magical walk in the forest. The walk was called 'As You Do'.  As you are walking and breathing in the fresh clean air you have to find all the little creatures that are tucked away in various spots.  It made the kids forget that they were walking for a long time and focus on what was around them.

Here are some of the 90 creatures we found.  The little mouse and the owls were my favourite.

Aren't they cute?!  What a great idea to get kids out and about exercising and having fun all at the same time. CLEVER!

On the way back the walk was a little too exciting for me.  We decided to go back a different way and my friend and myself ended up slipping and landing on our bottoms which was a little painful. The group of littlies thought it hilarious though. Remember NEVER have your phone in your back pocket.

Another walk we did was to 'The Waterfall'.  I am sure it has a proper name but the locals simply call it the waterfall.

So off we all trot on a 45 min walk.  The scenery was like stepping foot into the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movies.  Beautiful!

After loads of rain

After rain has gone

Breathtaking! I'm not sure there is much else to say about it.  I think the pictures say it all.

And so I will leave you all there.  End of part I.  I thought while writing this I would split it as I would imagine like me, you have a lot of other things you need to be getting on with, without sitting here reading a novel length post.

So until tomorrow,
Take care,
L xx