Update and New Beginnings

How do I write down an update to sum up my life right now? I have tried four times and deleted all of them. Its a bit hard really. So I’ll begin it by bullet pointing.

  • New baby, Xanthe Kylie Louise Hills. Arrived 22nd November 2016. Born at home, no complications. She is incredibly delicious. Gets nibbled every day and keeps me awake at night. Quinn the son has started school (WHAT?!) in April. Love him, he is hilarious and growing up so quickly. Quite hard work at times but thats to be expected with all the changes.
  • Kylie, my love, rock and local funny man is also a zombie tired wreck who is ever hopeful he might get some… sleep at some point in his future.. possibly not in the next few months!
  • Cara – My little sister who was in an awful car accident 18th October 2015. She is in a Christchurch care and rehab facility. She is awake but needs 24 hour care, rest and gentle rehab. This is going to be a very long journey, for her, for her family and friends. We have small signs of her being still with us, but its cloudy in there and beyond hard to try and get out. We do whatever we can to help. Head injuries suck. Head injuries that would kill most people suck even more. Keep her in your thoughts and send whatever get well vibes you can.
  • Creative stuff. I painted a few pictures before I hit huge pregnant. Loved it. I have started a crochet blanket for Xanthe’s big bed. Always knitting, always sketching.
  • Food and Health. Things are tracking really well now. I have worked hard to find out what my body thrives on food wise and have been feeling the healthiest I have been in years, even when growing a baby and having no sleep. Shows how bad I got before i took back some control.
  • Garden, ticking along, quite neglected at present. With all the time spent breastfeeding I have used that time to read books and listen to podcasts, mostly about gardening and permaculture. I have been SO inspired, hoping to apply said inspiration and get in the garden soon. Many new layouts have been sketched, methods to make new beds researched… trying to get Kylie enthused to help also a daily activity… he helps, but usually to keep me happy… which I guess works well enough, I just need some other garden geeks to chew their ears off instead of Kylie!
  • I would like to be filling up this blog more. I have an itch to write, take pictures and create a space to catalogue exploits and ideas, even if largely unread… I know my family and friends read 😀

I’ll leave with some random piccies I have been taking recently. Botanic Gardens

Botanic Gardens

Margaret Mahy Family Playground

Xanthe Hills 6.5 months

Sewing a little Jacket


Recently finished a tweed jacket for my adorable 2 year old. I cannot find FIVE buttons that I like. So we have been managing just fine with the two I took off an old jacket. Buttons are pretty expensive these days, so we muddle through with what I have from a stash I brought second hand and pilfering off garments we don’t wear anymore! Its not like we can’t afford them, but I have been poor in the past and I cannot seem to shake my cheap skate ways.

The Details!

Pattern: Out of Town Jacket from the book Sewing for Boys: 24 Projects to Create a Handmade Wardrobe

Size: 2 Years.

Fabric: A thrifted tweed for the outside and soft check fabric for the lining (hoping the actual fibre content is wool and cotton respectively). Used a thick cotton flannel in the middle.

Review: Easy instructions for my sewing level to follow. Pattern needed no adjustments, may have done a bit more top stitching and edge finishing than specified. This is my second project from this book. Enjoying it thus far, really like how the patterns are pretty basic styling so you can put your own stamp on items by changing out the fabrics.

Mummy review: I get SO MANY comments on this jacket. Its the classic clothing you put on to get smiles and make an impression! Also good for those days where the wee one may all of a sudden throw a wobbly – people seem to be more forgiving when they look cute. Also really handy as a windproof layer that’s not a rain jacket. The three layers of fabric just gives it that warmer edge.

On doing it again I would make the ends of the sleeves fatter and less tapered. I really use it as a layer on top of sweaters etc and the narrow sleeves make slipping it on and off a bit more work than it needs to be.

jacket (1)

Photos and things

The weeks have been full of activity and projects.
Below is a picture I took on the way up to a party at a lodge close to Craigiburn Ski field.
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This is my favorite shot and one of the first on the day (always the way) I have been hankering to go back and try and duplicate only this time with a tripod!

Here is one of the closeup shots i always go for:
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Here is some yarn i am thinking of knitting into a lacy scarfy shawl.
I have been knitting, sewing even embroidering! But have yet to take pictures. I went on a bit a craft bender after I unravelled some socks that didn’t fit. 🙁 So before starting those again i wanted to do some other things that have been looming and boy have i been loving the light relief!

As for light relief, those on facebook saw this little face I couldn’t resist taking a picture of.

Spinning a Yarn – Logo Design


I wanted to start Monday with some deliciousness. So without further adue i show you my newest little purchase. Some 100% SILK 4ply yarn from Spinning a Yarn. Yes it is that shiny and luxurious. Infact, the colour is more subtle and varied than the photo can depict. Even better!

I have ulterior motives however, I designed the logo too. This is the testing ball band Jess printed the logo on and sent to me (how I was told what logo she chose!).

Jess has been dying her own yarn for awhile now and has been open for business selling her fibres since the beginning of this year (or there abouts) every time I go to her site and Etsy she has something new cooking up – she’s the one to watch!

Now some chit chat about the logo. Jess wanted a logo with some movement in it. The logos she sent through to me were all in script typefaces with the letters linking up. The main customers really vary in age in the area of around 25-when ever one feels they dont want to spin or knot anymore…. which is when? So it needed to approachable by a huge age group. The colour red also felt very ‘right’ to Jess.

The results where several logos… and she picked this one!

spinning a yarn logo
The typefaces are, Black Jack and Poetica.

Central Park Hoodie – Complete!

For those of you not on Ravelry, Flickr or Facebook you might not know I have finished the latest knitting project. Its the Central Park hoodie from Interweave. Here are some pictures of the completed cozy clothings.

Latest Knit CardiganLatest Knit Cardigan
Latest Knit CardiganLatest Knit Cardigan

Really fun to knit up. Made it slightly longer than the pattern in body and sleeves (cause I’m an ape). Yarn was Cascade 220, colour# 8229.

As for the next project, here is a preview:

The tops of the latest project

This winters fibre theme is spinning and socks!

And who feels like playing with paint this weekend? Clicked on this painting effects tutorial from somewhere and thought OOoooo if i wasn’t so busy right now….

Have a great weekend everyone!

Crochet Afghan and a Pretty Website

This weekend is going to be a fun one. Originally we wanted to go to the Mokihinui, take photos and explore what is scheduled to flooded and turned into a dam. But it is a bit of drive so instead we will venture out next weekend and plan to leave on the Friday night. This weekend is now turning out to be fun time making things and planning (not to mention writing in the blog!).
Crochet Granny Square Afghan
First I want to introduce you too the granny square afghan I have been crocheting on and off for at least a year. Its finished! I love it much more than I thought I would. At first I wanted something colourful and interesting, but now I enjoy how it blends into the lounge – like its always been there. Feeling understated and comforting. Not to mention how warm it is to snuggle under. The yarns were all sourced out of peoples stash, the main brown colour thanks to Jess and the greens and blacks a trademe find.
Today I found a lovely pretty inspiring website thanks to Kylie spotting something I would like on cellar.org. The link to this site called “upon a fold” – the blog is the coolest! I have been screen-shooting and feeling inspired to do some collage combo painting SOON.
Sewing Pj's!
I will leave you now with the first of the winter sewing. A peak at some pajama pants I made out of some stash re-hash fabric. Using an Amy Butler pattern from her book “In Stitches“.. I changed it up a little by adding an elastic band recycled from an old pair of torn pajama pants and a silky blue ribbon for a bit of luxury. The fabric is so soft and cuddly. Just perfect for the chilly winter nights.

Stash Re-hash

This sunday stash re-hash was on.
stashrehash 1

Crazy long line! Beside three sides of the building and down the street. Next year i am getting in really early! For fire regulations they can only let in so many at one time. Needless to say I am glad I have friends. Due to the sheer amount of people gagging to get in AND I was a bit out of my comfort zone surrounded by so many people, I literally ran to the cheapest stand, grabbed the first likely looking fabrics and notions then had a quick browse and left, filled two bags full in 15 minutes!

stashrehash 2

I got a few more fabrics, but once I got home, I wondered what I was thinking!? No doubt something will pop up.. these ones are the pick of the bunch and will be used to refresh the winter wardrobe.

Socks and Flash Gordon

Lately I have had so many things on my brain that I feel like I am fumbling around getting the odd things done in a constant daze. I keep on saying to myself “how do you eat an elephant” (not that i WOULD eat an elephant, but thats beside the point) I felt like sharing that I watched a funny little movie the other day, that sufficiently distracted me from my abundance of brain activity and I happily finished a pair of socks I have been knitting.
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We watched “Flash Gordon” whilst eating a delicious pizza. I made the superior amazing pizza crust (it was rather good to spin around into a circle apparently) and Kylie put the topping on. It was a perfect pizza, we are very pleased with our Christmas prezzy pizza stone (good guess Gill) the pizza crust was crispy even in the middle!
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Flash Gordon was hilarious. I thoroughly enjoyed the “Oooo Flash” moments as the woman watched in awe of his superior strength and display of human nature. The delightful wooden acting (i don’t think there was any other way to act with such a script) and great 1980 set design (little fact, i was born  in 1980, which means I’m 30 soon!). All in all a good wee night.
flashgordon-movienight 1
I finished the socks and have now started The famous “Central Park Hoodie” I now know why its so popular is sooo fun to knit and after two pairs of socks with tiny tiny stitches, the wonderful FAT yarn and easy knitting is like walking on air. I wake up in the morning and think “O I wonder how much of my hoodie I will knit today” I won’t be modeling the socks yet, I want to block them first. But sock blockers are SILLY prices, so I am going to make one. Add that to the list of things to do that makes my brain overload.

Christmas Tree Ornament Tutorials

Reporting from Christmas Land in Te Puke. We have driven up to a warmer, wetter climate. Kylie’s Mum and Dads place. There is a big tree in the living room with a Christmas village and railway tracks complete with a Christmas train. There are lights outside on the trees and shubs with Santa’s sleigh being pulled by reindeer on the roof.

Today I have put together some of my favorite tutorials for christmas tree ornaments.. or ones that can be used for that. Some I would love to make for the tree next year. This may be the last post before the new years, busy holidaying. Wish you all a Merry Christmas and Wonderful New Years… I am off to the beach! Been hankering for some swimming for awhile… Love a NZ Christmas!
1.Christmas Birds 2. Pom poms (for garlands and hanging off the tree.. plus little “flowers”) 3. Dragon Boats 4. Circus theme Christmas Tree decorations on “design sponge”, the very cool topper on “once wed 5. Fabric pom pom garland (could use for anything) 6. For the knitters, little sweaters (thanks to buzzy bee) 7. Mini Terrariums

Little note to add: Twentycentmixture has just put together a really nice list of ornament ideas and Tutorials!

O and I was featured on Studio Home! Yay! Thanks lots Julia!