Monday, 30 January 2012

You gotta love em...

Every year my lovely Nan would collect up all of her garden gnomes and lay them out on her kitchen table. She would then clean them all up, scrape off any chipped paint and repair whatever damage that may have occurred over the cold, harsh English winter.
Once out of the 'gnome hospital', the re-painting would begin.  Before long all of her gnomes would be as good as new and replaced in the garden.

Nan's garden was tiny, but this didn't stop her from filling it with all of her funny little red-hatted friends.  My sister and I used to love spotting them,  poking out from under the Hydrangea bushes, in between the Rose tress, standing in a pot with the Rosemary, peering through the window of her small shed...they were quite literally everywhere.

Whenever I see gnomes, I immediately think of my Nan and wish that she was still here.

A while back whilst out shopping I spotted a little gnome in desperate need of some colour.

Oh dear, if Nan were here she would be disgusted 'A gnome without colour!!!! whatever next?'  I could just hear her saying.  So, I bought him and finally got around to painting him last Sunday.

(he had to look worse before he could look better)

Almost there...


All Stanley (well, you have to name them don't you?) needs now is a coating of varnish, then he will be ready to live outside on our deck...hopefully he might do some tidying for me whilst he's there....

Saturday, 28 January 2012


Just spent the last week in Adelaide, visiting family. We had such a lovely time.  It was sooooo hot. Every day reached at least 35 degrees.

We were staying in McLaren Vale amongst all of the gorgeous winery's.  Here we are pictured above with our nephew Josh. (some more shots of the winery's below...)

and of course we had to participate in some wine tasting... well, it would be rude not to wouldn't it?

Although we were only there for a week, we got to see so much including a Koala up a tree in a car park!! (my personal highlight)

we fed some kangaroos...

and held a python called Bailey (well Tom did I just watched from afar... I'm not a fan of snakes...even friendly ones!)

So we are back home now and faced with a bag full of washing...oh well, the holiday has to come to an end sooner or later I guess!

Hope you are all having a nice Sunday? until tomorrow...
PS Thanks to those of you who have emailed with concern about my injured wrist....I'm pleased to say, It's all better now...x

Monday, 16 January 2012

It Really Does Work!

I don't know what's in it....
Or how it works...
But I bloody love it!  Tiger Balm...honestly, it's amazing. 

I have heard people raving about it and now I understand why. Just a smidgen  provides instant pain relief.

'What's prompted this post?' I hear you ask...

I have a wrist injury...I'm awaiting confirmation but think it is ligament damage!   It all started on Christmas day when in a frenzy of dance moves I smacked someones bottom, I wont mention any names (Nonie) and something popped in my wrist (gross)  it instantly bruised and was sore for a good few days after.

It's been fine since then but over the weekend it just started really hurting again and has got progressively worse.

I'm hoping it will heal quickly as its my right hand 'creative' hand to be more precise and while its like this I can't do drawing, no painting, no commissions that are on order (oh god, deep breaths, I'm starting to hyperventilate)

If only I was ambidextrous....

So, as you can see from the photo above, using my left hand in the meantime is a no go...

I guess I'm going to have to be patient and wait it out... where's that Tiger Balm???


Saturday, 14 January 2012

Sunday Morning!

Took a slow stroll around Takapuna Market...
then I took a slow stroll along the beach, back to the car...
and now I'm just about to take a slow stroll into the kitchen to make some bacon sarnies....

Happy Sunday everyone!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Queen of Crochet?

Hmmmm maybe not!!!

I thought I would give you an update on how my crochet blanket is coming along. So, here it is...

What do you think? Not bad for my first ever attempt at crochet is it?

Now, there is a very good reason why I am not showing the ends of my blanket and that is, quite simply because they are a bit crap.
I know I should get over myself and display my errors but I just can't bring myself to take photos of such shoddy work....

I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to creating and so as you can imagine I am tres annoyed at my wonky ends and am hoping that one of my friends who can crochet will be able to advise me on how to create a fabulous border once I'm finished in order to disguise my wonky donkey edging.

Some sections of my edging are very nice and neat and straight(ish) but other parts are so wonky it looks as though I have changed my mind mid blanket and decided to add a wavy border.

Anywho, you will be pleased to know that for the past 10 or so rows my edging has straightened up nicely so as long as I keep this up it shouldn't look too bad once it's done....

Here's hoping!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Wrapping Rooms

I love, love, love the idea of having one area dedicated to gift wrap. How cool would that be?

The space above would be ideal...look at all that lovely, natural light coming in through those lovely french doors! - I'm just a little jealous.

The above area would be quite easy to achieve, if you had space in a spare room or something. I like that it's pretty compact but with enough space for everything you might need without being too crowded...yep, I could definitely wrap my presents quite happily here...

If, like me you don't have enough room in your humble abode for a gift wrapping station, there are still some nice ways you can make a space for all of your 'gift wrapping bits' like this small shelving unit above.

I really like this little 3 tier basket stand to hold gift tags and bows (although they might get a bit dusty after a while!)

Now this, I would LOVE!!  A whole chest of drawers allocated for just wrapping paper! If only....

I'm going to be on the look out now for an old wall unit that I can transform into my 'wrapping unit' I'll keep you posted!

Monday, 9 January 2012

At War With Nature!

My day didn't start well.  I woke up to find 10 thousand million zillion ants in my pantry (ok, well there might not have been quite that many but it did seem like it at 6.30 this morning) The little buggers had formed a line all the way from our window, across the cooker and into the pantry.

'Where to start???' that was the question.  I hate to kill anything (apart from evil wasps) but what else could I do? shepherd them out and wave them on their merry way?  Of course not. So I reached for the AJAX spray, which kills them instantly ( a bit worrying considering this is what I use to spray down my  kitchen surfaces)

I must of looked like a woman possessed. There were soooo many (about 10 thousand million zillion to be exact) that I had to move fast. I was spraying with one hand and moving all of the stuff from the pantry with the other. 
Once the ants realised it was a war zone they started to run in all directions (to begin with they were only on the middle shelf where all of the sweet bits and pieces are seems they particularly love Maple Syrup and the sugar bowl!)  I felt like I was spraying and killing ants for hours....It was quite simply an ant massacre.

Not long after, a huge (it was honestly the size of a cat) jumping spider decided to appear on my bedroom mirror  (OMG, I have just made myself feel queasy looking for an image of one to show you- whatever happens DO NOT google Jumping Spiders. I have decided not to include any images, in case any of you have a spider phobia!!!)
So, after battling 10 thousand million zillion ants I then had to get a glass and catch the spider to put outside (I told you I'm not good at killing things) Not surprisingly, I have felt itchy all day.

On a nicer note ('phew' I hear you say) Here is my little farm girl, all finished and waiting to be framed  ( I bet she doesn't mind spiders or ants - in fact I bet she collects them) I'm very pleased with her, although after looking at the uploaded pictures, I've decided I need to 'muddy up' her face a little.

Here's hoping for a 'insect free' rest of day!

Friday, 6 January 2012


Today has been a 'fidget' day. I can't stop pottering about and my mind has been racing 100 miles per hour. 

You see, I've been thinking about all the things I want to achieve in 2012 (the start of a brand new year can do this to you)

Things I want to happen include: starting an Etsy shop, finishing a children's book I have been working on for the past few years (well its been on the back burner for the past year so really I've only been working on it for a year... which isn't too bad I guess?) putting together some rough illustrations to go with it, organise my time better, speak to some local shops about stocking some of my work... the list is endless .

Anyway I decided I needed to stop thinking about all of that rather daunting stuff (once my temples started to pound) and decided to make a cushion (I know I'm predictable) 

I plugged in my beloved Dotty and got to work right away...

Oh how I love my sewing machine, I really think there is such a thing as sewing therapy.   I inhaled the lovely aroma of Dotty as she worked away and felt instantly better (those of you who have a sewing machine will know exactly what I'm talking about, those of you who don't are forgiven for thinking me a bit of a weirdo!)

I love using pom pom trims, and really like this yellow next to the black and white. Lovely.

So, now I am about to make dinner (another distraction thank goodness) or maybe I'll just make another cushion??

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

First Painting of 2012!

Here is the start of my first painting of 2012...

Just a little farm girl posing for a picture. I'm hoping to have her finished by the weekend.

I went to Auckland Botanic Gardens this afternoon. It's a lovely place to visit.

I managed to take some photos in between the heavy downpours. I love taking photos of flowers, especially Roses...

and here are a couple of my favourite sculptures that we found along the way...

Next time I visit, I'll take a picnic, a nice soft blanket and a good book. It's so relaxing, I could have stayed for hours.

Until next time...