mason jar fun

Mason jars get used for all sorts of things around here. Science experiments, sun teas, food storage, paint mixing…they are on high rotation. I came across a blog post about salads-in-a-jar by Cassie of the back to her roots blog … Read More

The Washi Dress. A pattern review of sorts.

The Washi dress was all over crafty blogdom awhile back. I finally splurged and bought the pattern. I am so glad I did. A little sewing therapy was definitely called for. This dress will be a summer staple this year.   The … Read More

a tale of a dress

Some of you will remember the big Vintage Sale of Hazel May’s collection I was involved in. One of the pieces I brought home was a stunning piece of vintage 50’s fabric. Once home, I realised it was the skirt … Read More

transforming vintage pillowcases

At the Auckland Vintage Textile fair I was mainly after two things: vintage pillowcases and inspiration. I got a healthy dose of both. Once I got the vintage pillowcases home I realised some weren’t fit to be transformed into my … Read More

Modcloth did the right thing

For my birthday I bought myself a dress. A new one. Okay, it was on sale on the Modcloth website, but still…a new dress! Not handmade and not secondhand. Here it is. I wore it to a morning of work … Read More

star baby tutorial

Here it is: the promised star baby tutorial. Great for toddler birthday presents. Even greater for older kids to make themselves. What you need: sheets of felt – two colours, paper and pencil, natural wool or scraps for stuffing, thread, … Read More

star babies

I love hand sewing projects. I had this star baby project in a tray in our living area for the last few weeks. They were easy to pick up and work on while Jed is working on a project. It’s … Read More

Sew Liberated – Paloma pattern

I came home from Fabric-a-brac with six metres of a beautifully soft cotton/merino blend in this stripy jersey. I kept fondling it…and now i get to wear it. I finally bought a pattern from Meg McElwee’s Sew Liberated range. I … Read More

my other blog

What? Your other blog?! I hear you say?! Ah, well, it is not strictly mine, although I created it, write for it and beckon lovely guest bloggers to it. It is a fledgling blog. A work in progress. It is most lovely and … Read More

crafting with children (for the brave)

I got the idea for this craft project from Meg’s lovely Sew Liberated blog. It’s a great way to use up all those old crayons that every household with young children seems to accumulate. I have to say though: this … Read More

crafting with the boy

We are about to plunge into our homeschooling term and while looking at some new resources online i came across a cool project on Activity Village: making a set of russian dolls that fit into one another. Great for storytelling. … Read More

opening flowers: a holiday activity

A little craftiness for you (especially those of you in the Southern Hemisphere still in the depths of the summer holidays)… …the magic of the opening flower. Step one: Hand draw or down load a template from HERE (i googled ‘opening … Read More

mountain rescue happy

We have the best time, my boy and i, coming up with good presents for his people.  Jed’s cousin Arlo just turned 4. He lives in the mountains in New Zealand’s South Island and is really, really into rescue. So…we got … Read More

Tutorial – vintage pillowcase to bag

This is the long awaited tutorial detailing how to make your own shopping tote bag from a vintage pillowcase. The blogpost i wrote about the design a few years ago (HERE) has had thousands and thousands of hits and many of … Read More

colour experiments

We have a cupboard under the stairs, and in it, i keep a collection of craft supplies, science equipment, games and projects. Some get brought out for various homeschooling sessions. Mostly all secondhand, this is a treasure trove of ideas, … Read More

an art installation: family

When i was busy doing outfit styling on our deck the other day, Jed was busy doing his own thing. This is his art installation. He called it ‘family’. He worked on it more during the afternoon. I love how he built whole … Read More

leaves and sticks

 New leaf….  Old leaf…  …and a project. A new friend put me onto a great book: Playful Learning: develop your child’s sense of joy and wonder. Written by Maria Bruehl, it has the subtitle: Simple activities to promote reading, writing, … Read More

viking salt

Last week we looked at the vikings. Fascinating. Jed researched all about how they lived (we built a longhouse in the lounge), what kind of food they ate and learnt how they got their salt. So, we did the same. We went … Read More


We did the letter Hh. Which led to a lovely weeklong exploration of the word Home. What it means to us, how others in the world live, what homes have looked like in the past. One of my previous homes … Read More

caffeinated crafting

 A few nights out from our flight to Queenstown i got a bee in my bonnet about gloves. Not just any gloves, i wanted to try making a pair of Alabama Chanin hand sewn fingerless gloves. I photocopied the pattern … Read More

The Dress Up Box- super heroes

 Jed’s Small Poppies class did a session on super heroes last term. And wow, did that ever go down well…they came up with a super hero persona each, then made a cape (with no sewing involved, imagine!) and a mask … Read More

alabama update

I finally finished the Alabama Chanin ‘corset’. It’s in the same fabrics as I made my skirt in. I am loving the return to handsewing garments. When I lived out a backpack for years I would handsew clothes from upcycled bits and pieces I found … Read More


We have a small house and this birthday is a winter gig in this hemisphere so invitations are a few select. The birthday one is not keen on large groups anyway, so that makes it easy. As ever, he is … Read More

bat wings, rabbits and small boys

 It is truly winter here in my corner of New Zealand. I was missing a layer. I needed something boxy, fairly short in length and with nice drape to the fabric. Something to throw on over whatever i was wearing … Read More

The Dress Up Box – making pixies

So, by popular demand, here is a wee blast from the past and a tutorial (of sorts)- a pixie costume made two years ago and still in brought out of our Dress Up Box and played with.  This same pixie … Read More

a simple thing

 In a late night internet fog i got lost somewhere in blogland and stumbled across a post about a Montessori salt tray. Kids were playing with writing letters or drawing in the salt. They had laid brightly coloured paper on … Read More

no handknitted undergarments here

 The change of season is upon us and that chill is creeping into the early morning air. All attempts at my learning to knit have ended in tears and so i rely on thrifting finds for the handknits i love. … Read More

bits in the sun

 The sun has been shining. And i mean unencumbered by clouds. Those sentences have not been uttered much this summer. But the weather over the Easter weekend has been stupendously perfect. Swims were had.  Picnics sneaked in whenever possible.  Crafting was … Read More

the scrap bag clock

 Notchka from The Wardrobe ran a Scrap Bag Swap recently and i received a lovely package of scraps from the wonderful woman behind Mushroom Lane. I have a bunch of projects in mind. But y’know, ideas are not my problem, it’s … Read More

cards to go

 A couple of years ago i picked up a few boxes of cardstock on sale. All different colours with envelopes and ready to be embellished and made into cards. Previously i had insisted on doing the whole card from scratch … Read More

science at home

So…  Jed has always loved ‘mixing’. Setting him up with a bowl of dried peas and a wooden spoon when he was very wee has evolved into many mixes over the years. Some pretty disgusting, some pretty edible, some left … Read More

minding our beeswax

You might know by now that i like to keep a little stash of projects in the cupboard to pull out in times of rainy days -or just stay at home days.This is one i’d been looking forward to. The … Read More

last minute gift guide

Before we get into gifts to buy…there’s simple gift tutorials galore to be found online. Many folks have enough stuff and sometimes it’s just silly to think about contributing to more of it. But! Some handmade paper bunting for the … Read More

christmas cheer: fast

One rainy morning you and the small fry can set up a Christmas themed printing press in your own kitchen. And, if you live in New Zealand, i am suspecting there is a rainy morning in your immediate future. Not … Read More

seasonal trees

Signs of Solstice and Christmas are popping up all over the house here…and the garden. Here in New Zealand where Christmas means shorts, salads, swimming, picnics and possibly even a surfboard, the beautiful red flowers of the magestic coastal pohutakawa … Read More

lookee here!

This, ladies and gentlemen, is my new creation. I have been waiting for the summer edition of Extracurricular magazine to come out so i can show you. I designed this little beauty especially for this issue. I give you: the … Read More

solstice/christmas chains – a tutorial

I am a bit funny about waste. Making paper chains only to throw them away seems frivolous to me. I know the kidlets love to make paper chains but i reckon there is something to be said for decorations that … Read More

brave little lemon tree

We have a brave little lemon tree at the bottom of our garden that just pumps out the most delicious lemons. Even when the next door neighbours kid decimated it with one of my juggling clubs it hardly missed a … Read More

stop. go

We have had footpaths being excavated and built in our neighbourhood. Yup, alot of orange cones, diggers, friendly workers in flouro vests, concrete trucks…happiness for a small person. I wondered how long it would take for Jed to ask for … Read More

mini scientist in the kitchen

I declared today a home day. It was a ferocious weather day, the ground out there is so waterlogged there will be no gardening for awhile. There were waterfalls down the drive and a pond appeared at the front door. … Read More

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