Monday, November 29, 2010

Kate Buntine Foundation Fundraising

There are another round of auctions ready to go HERE for fundraising for the Kate Buntine Foundation.

Just a selection of the items being auctioned

The auctions are in Australia, so the prices are $AUD. There is free postage within Australia, but people in NZ may need to pay more to get it flown across the Tasman.

From the site:
The auctions will be held during the first week of December.

The auctions will preview for 48 hours before going live on Wednesday, 1st December when you will be able to bid.

They will all close for bidding on Friday, 3rd December with the first item ending at 5pm (AEST Victorian Daylight Savings Time).

Closing times are staggered at 10-minute intervals, with the last auction closing at 8.40pm.

Please familiarise yourself with the ending times of any items you may be interested in.

As usual all monies raised go to the Kate Buntine Foundation, which supports young children who have been diagnosed with Type I Juvenile Diabetes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Baking Therapy

When worried or stressed there are a couple of things I chocolate, knit and sometimes, if the mood strikes I'll bake (though never anything complicated...biscuits are a favourite, you can eat lots of them and no-one else ever really knows how many there were)

I've baked something every day since hearing the news of the 29 Pike River miners trapped 4 days ago. It wasn't until I sat to post the easy recipe I've recently discovered that I realised the relationship between the two. I have found myself watching the clock, making sure I'm by the tv when the media releases are due hoping for developments and progress. I know it's cliched, but my heart and thoughts go out to those who are waiting for news of a loved one. When they read the names and ages today of each of the 29 men, I couldn't help but feel a bit weepy when really realising that the '29 men' were each someone's son, husband, brother, father, uncle, best mate, cousin, neighbour, work colleague....all loved dearly by many I'm sure.

It's made me think of my own Dad too, he was born and bred in Greymouth. No doubt he'd know a family name or two, he'd be really concerned and interested, he'd recognise streets and buildings the media are showing.  Dad was also a fireman and later a volunteer fireman so understood about different gases and rescue procedures - and he was almost the same age as the oldest guy down there when he (my Dad) died. I heard the name of the 62 year old down there today and wondered how his wife, kids, grandkids, brothers and sisters were faring in particular.

While I'm waiting for the 10:30pm news update, hoping that the bore will have broken through the last 30m since the last update at dinner time, I thought I'd post this very simple recipe I've been overusing. The kids like them...and I've eaten more than my fair share too. I like that they don't need much butter, even if they do use 2 packets of highly artificially coloured sugar/gelatine!

Jelly Crystal Biscuits

100 g butter
2x 85 gram packets
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2 Cream the butter, jelly crystals and sugar together in a mixer.
3 Add egg and beat well.
4 Add the sifted flour and baking powder and mix until well combined.
5 Place in teaspoonful sizes on a oven tray. Flatten slightly with a fork.
6 Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes. Leave on tray to cool a little before removing.

That's it - easy (and the tin was fuller...way way fuller by the time I thought to take a pic.These ones are blackcurrant ones, I've also made strawberry one...and I think blueberry ones would go down well with the kids too)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Up With The Larks

For the last couple of weeks, my delightful children have been sharing a room. Let's just say that they've been less than delightful when they wake each other up before 6 now most mornings. Prior to them sharing, they both slept till about 7:15am - and when they did wake they just stayed in bed and chatted away to themselves for a wee while. But it's been a bit of a shock to the system, and I've thought about going to bed earlier - but haven't managed an early night yet.

This morning though, when I heard the rain falling outside, I wondered if it meant that they'd sleep for longer. And to our great relief when they woke and I felt around for my cellphone - I was thrilled to see it was after 7. And even more thrilled that today their father got up and took them into the lounge to watch Sunday morning tv programmes so I could sleep in, or lie in bed and read my book - bliss!

Who would've thought almost 4 years ago BC (before children) I would've cherished sleeping in till after 7 on a Sunday morning?

The kids playing Mummy and Daddy this morning in Timothy's bed.
Don't you love how angelic they look when pretending to be asleep?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sew Excited

I've been thinking about making a whole new stash of bibs for number 3. Since finding out we are having a boy, I've decided it really is high time I got rid of all the grotty and girly bibs (sorry Tim that you've been stuck wearing them!) and perhaps made some new ones. Having had really spilly kids, we've always gone through a bundle of bibs a day - and rather than spending $10-15 each on some lovely new ones, I'd like to try to make some myself.

But I've NEVER been a sewer. Although I like to think most teachers would remember me fondly, I think my sewing teachers would probably not remember me at all. I only took sewing in 3rd form for 1 term, and of course 2 terms over the course of my intermediate years. I seem to recall making things like pillowcases and drawstring bags, and perhaps the odd needlebook or pincushion. Perhaps even a pair of shorts? I also recall getting a bit frustrated and stuck.

But me and sewing never really went together that well. We should've. My grandmother was a seamstress and I think even now at 91 has a hard time realising she probably can't sew anymore (Mum, you might need to correct me on that - does she still sew? I remember hearing that she couldn't thread the needle anymore). And my Mum is an amazing sewer. She's made so many things that I just thought were fabulous - 2 tee pees when we were kids, complete with amazing appliqued scenes on the outside. As kids, we even had our own machine to sew with. I recall sitting at the big fold out of the table machine and sewing back and forth (and hollering for my mum when the material started to get eaten by it)

4 generations - ooooh, look at how cute the kids were!
August 2009 (G'ma's 90th)

So, I should be able to sew some bibs right? I've even found a tute that makes sense here. Isn't the internet a wonderful thing! Information at the touch of a button!

Tomorrow's mission - to find some left handed dressmaking scissors.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Taking Time To Smell The Roses - Part 2

We're really excited to be expecting our baby #3 in February. This time around, I'm really hoping to knit baby items. I've just been through all the boxes of baby clothing (to pass on all the lovely girly things that we won't be needing and so don't need to keep storing - it's a little house!) and one thing I feel a little sad about is the distinct lack of any of my own knitting till my babies were around the 18 month mark.

It's probably due to both (and now all) my babies being summer babies, but I also remember getting to their first winter and struggling to find warm clothes for them. So this time around, I'm mentally making a list of the things I'd love to knit for this fella. I'm yet to cast on anything and haven't knitted anything for him yet, but I do plan to knit a couple of special items between now and February.

Which brings me to a wee announcement. From now till February, I'll only have 1 custom knitting slot available a month. If you know that you would like me to knit something for you, then the earlier to contact me, the better.

I'm unsure of when I'll be picking the custom knitting back up next year also. If #3 follows in the footsteps of his big brother and sister, I'm expecting to be dealing with reflux and so I'm not going to be booking any slots till after he's born that's for sure.

Coco Kids however is made of up 3 fabulous knitters - and so Ali and Kate will be available for custom orders. We do also aim to apply for Craft 2.0 stalls next year, I'd love to still be part of that - it really was so much fun.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Taking Time To Smell The Roses - Part I

Sundays in our house are when we go visit the local library and get out new books and DVD's.

Today however, Whitcoulls was having a big 50% off promotion (off 1 fiction and/or kids book) and so instead we all went and bought a new book for summer reading.

I can't tell you how excited I am to rip into fact, I started this afternoon when we were all outside soaking up the sunshine.

I love summer and I love hanging out in the backyard with my kids, water trough and sandpit out, trikes and tramp ready to be played with, and a whole host of undiscovered treasures in the backyard - a bird's egg, snails, weeds - you get the picture.

And so, I'm really looking forward to knitting less (my wrist doesn't like it much at the moment, and I want to be a grandmother that can hold and cuddle her grandchildren 30 years from now without having to worry about painful wrists) and reading more. This book 'A Song in the Daylight' by Paullina Simons called to me the moment I saw it in the book shop. I'm a big fan of Paullina, I've loved most of her books since I read my first of hers - Tully and I'm look forward to getting back into reading a bit before bed every night.

And then what? What author(s) do you love? Who shall I line up to read next?

Oooh, and just one more thing...while we were out I had to buy some more electronic scales.

Mine got dropped (by me) this week and I use them a lot. I'd love to say for baking biscuits and cakes...but the reality is I use them more for testing fabulous knitting patterns from the talented designers I know. I was a girl on a mission today - and was chuffed to pick these ones up for $12 from The Warehouse. They even take 'normal' batteries too and weigh in 1gm increments Exciting I know!

Rainbow Dresses

I am licensed to knit Rainbow Dresses - designed by Georgie Hallam, aka tikki.

The Rainbow Dress is designed to fit snugly, yet the clever design still allows plenty of room for movement and growth. In winter it looks great layered with long sleeved tops, in warmer weather - a short little tee or on it's own looks lovely.

I am able to knit it for you with a variety of options to invidualise your dress:
- picot cast off for the bodice shoulder straps
- eyelet rounds for the bodice (which I can thread a matching ribbon through)
- garter stitch hem
- ruffled hem
- lace hem
- picot hem

In essence, the rainbow dress is a simple dress with simple clean lines. It can be knit with a solid yarn bodice and variegated skirt (which is quite popular) or all in a solid or variegated yarn.

Sizes - NB - 10 years

Contact me via email to enquire or place an order

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's Up!

Our birthday stocking is up over on the Coco Kids blog!

You'll find it here if you're interested in a having a nosy at what we've made and what I think are great prices!

Just a few more pics...little fellow in your life that needs a vest for this in between seasons weather?

Or not sure what to give your grandmother for Christmas? How about some hand-knitted dishcloths? Environmentally friendly even!


And how about a one of a kind summer dress - you won't find one like this on the rack at any store!

But there's so much more to see, go and pop over and check out the site - there are over 30 knitted items for sale!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Making Cupcakes

Today on the walk home from kindy, my princess asked if we could make cupcakes. Normally, at 3 o'clock my thoughts are on getting the kids home, fed afternoon tea, the washing in and folded and then dinner on before we eat at half 5.

But the weather's been SO lovely here in Wellington lately that the washing was in, folded and tea was organised and easy - so it was such a great feeling to be able to say 'Why not? Let's make cupcakes!' As we walked, Penny said she'd like pink icing and sprinkles. I forget sometimes that the bottles and bottles of food colouring in the cupboard aren't just for dyeing yarn - I'm not a big fan of artifical colouring, but today I could make an exception.

The batter was mixed, the patty cakes filled and the beaters and scrapers licked while we made the pink icing. Then there was the icing, Penny was in charge of the sprinkles or chocolate hail.

And finally, they were done...but it was dinner time. They sure helped encourage the kids to eat up with the promise of a cupcake afterwards for dessert.

All this cupcake making fits in nicely too with the 1st Birthday of Coco Kids! We're busy organising to put up some items for sale over on our blog. We're still deciding on the final date and time, but I'll let you know once we've finalised the details.

Monday, November 1, 2010

3530 metres

I can't quite believe it - I've just added all my projects into Ravelry and knitmeter and over the month of October I knit 3530 metres. That's a fair few projects isn't it? Just as an example, the 8ply baby merino I've been knitting with lately is almost 90 metres per ball, so that's equivalent to 40 x 50gm balls of yarn over October.

In fact, here's a pic of the projects I did knit up over October - there are a couple of test knits in there for my kids and the rest was for Craft 2.0

Thanks again to all the lovely people we met at Craft 2.0! Have a look at the Coco Kids blog too for some pictures Ali managed to take of our stall before we opened for business. We had a lovely day and we're just planning a big 'Happy 1st Birthday to Coco Kids' stocking for all those that couldn't make it on the day or are wishing that they'd bought something at the time.

We'll let you know with plenty of warning when they'll go up for sale - keep an eye out on our Facebook page for updates.