Thursday, 26 April 2012

Felt Faves Friday

Gourmet Caramel Apples by SmashPalace
Bear by Minu
Headband by Wildflowernz

Men's Knitting Club Starter Pack by Fat-Spatula

Here are my Felter favourites for the week! Hungering after some caramel appley goodness now! Especially loving the starter kit for membership to the Haumoana Men's Knitting Club. Great to see men are knitting their own jumpers these days! My man has been hankering on at me for months to learn how to knit in the round so I can make him socks. Also loving their slogan: "We've got balls"!

Anzac Day

Governor's Bay

Our picnic view

Feeling anything but blue

The pier

Our picnic

Grumpy Bear

This Wednesday (the 25th) was Anzac Day, New Zealand's day of rememberance. Martin and I decided to take a picnic to Governor's Bay near Lyttelton. We had never been before but knew the views on the drive over to be stunning as our housemate had visited a few weeks ago. At first, it wasn't very clear where we could go to sit on the waterside and we drove around looking for picnic spots for quite some time. After a few turnings around, we decided to park on the street where most cars were and just walk down in the direction of the water. We passed a few people walking back up with dogs and bikes so felt relieved we were on the right track. Over a bridge, we looked down to see the pier and a long path stretching along the cliffs. We plumped for a sunny patch of grass on the path side and dug into our late lunch - pinwheels, champagne ham, olives, pitachios and grapes with fejioa and pear juice. Yum. After heading home, we found we had the house to ourselves for a while so got comfy on the couch watching True Grit, Dumb and Dumber and The Great Escape, pretty much back to back.A good day all in all!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The iPhone's New Clothes

By piimism
By jewellerybraceletcuff

By ShealeenLouise
By MoonBoat

By MoonBoat
I'm hoping to get my little iPhone - iSaac - rejuvenated with a new SIM card soon so we can be loyal friends again and have already set out in search of a new outfit for him. Etsy have some amazing designs, these are just a few of my favourites.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Felt Faves Friday

Bird Notebooks by Paper Bird Society
Periodic Table Brooch by Wendy J

Rosa Pin by Pocket of Posy
She's Got Legs Plate by Odd One Out
Here's my favourites from Felt this week. Happy Friday! I've started the weekend on a great note and I hope this continues right through the next week!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Road Trip. Day Four.

Day Four:

I was surprised to not be feeling my normal 'end of holiday blues' by Monday morning. I was actually quite looking forward to the drive home and seeing some of the landscape we'd missed in the daylight this time. I drove from Wanaka to Twizel, through the stunning Lindis Valley. After a quick swap at Twizel, we were back in Tekapo for some lunch at the Run 77 Deli where we'd had our coffees the first morning. We wolfed down some homemade pies and were on the road again towards Ashburton, where we swapped again and found ourselves on the home straight, an hour to Christchurch. 

Just after setting off from Wanaka, Martin spotted his first roadkill of our journey home and shouted out 'POSSUM!', before proceeding to tape the back of a receipt to the dash and make a tally for our six hour drive home. A lovely game, I'm sure you'll agree. For some reason, we racked up 10 extra strikes driving through Tekapo. They must be real possum-haters there! By the time we got back to Christchurch, we had counted 120. A sad day for critter kind.

Although exhausted from so much driving, it was great to get away. And even lovelier to speak to Martin's Mum and his six-year-old cousin when we got home.

Road Trip. Day Three.

Day Three:

We woke after our exceptionally long night in need of some good breakfast. We gobbled down a banana and a nut bar and were raring to go back 10am (I say raring to go. What I really mean is groggy and marginally enthusiastic). I aimed to drive for the hour to Queenstown, but having dealt with Kiwi drivers driving dangerously close behind me all the way up a steep, very winding hillside, I asked Mr Bear to take over for the rest of the way. Far too stressful! I don't think he minded much since the downwards journey was steep and curvy and for some reason, men like these driving conditions. We even took a picture of the road curving down below us when we stopped to admire the view, thinking my Papa would have very much enjoyed that drive!

Upon arrival, we strolled around for a while trying to find a nice place to eat that wouldn't add the surcharge most places do on bank holidays. We plumped for the Wharf Pub and sat outside in the slight drizzle to enjoy our generously-sized steak sandwiches. I managed to find a good old fashioned sweet shop after lunch and we spent nearly $20 on a box of handmade chocolates; you've got to treat yourself sometimes!

Martin wanted to drive around the Lake a bit, so we opted to follow the signs to Glenochy, 'The Gateway to Paradise'. We stopped half way there to take some pictures of the awesome view and got talking to a father and son from Australia who told us some of the scenes from Lord of the Rings were filmed in Glenochy and the mountains we were looking at were actually the Misty Mountains (subsequent research must be done on this point I feel!).

We made it to Glenochy and decided to park up with the car-bed facing the lake and scoff the rest of our choccies whilst watching a kite-surfer awe the onlookers on the peer, with an accompanying chorous of 'oohs' and 'aahs'. 

On our drive back into Queenstown, Martin slowed right down after spotting two strange silhouettes on the road ahead of us. As we drew closer, those strange silhouettes turned out to be two sparring wild cats with their backs arched, their fur on end and their fangs bared. They took no notice of us until we were right up to them, then sprung to life and dived into the bushes. They were quite small so we reckon they must only have been young. I felt like I'd seen my cat Ziggy and have become even more convinced he is half wild cat, due to his distinctive markings. A little further down, we came across a mountain goat chewing tufts of bracken by the road-side, giving us a stare that said 'no pictures, thank you'.

We had hoped to arrive back at the campsite before it went dark, but as we were cooking the light started to vanish rapidly and our candles were battling against the breeze to stay lit. But eating in the dark is quite nice really, especially with the moon and stars shinging above you. Before heading to the kitchen to wash our plates, we lay on our bench, looking up at the twinkling sky, picking out the odd satellite masquerading as a star and making up our own constellations.

Road Trip. Day Two.

Day Two:

We learnt on our second day that the trick to sleeping soundly in a cosy car-bed is to drink a lot beforehand. Although, then you have to find something calm and relaxing to do the next day to aid your recovery. Not hard where we were! We decided to go for breakfast in Wanaka which ended up being lunch as we moved at a snail's pace for most of the day. We dined on lime, salt and pepper squid and thai fish cakes at a lovely eatery called Relishes. I'd definitely like to go there again. I sat there smiling my head off like a goon, feeling giddily happy that we were on holiday and finally treating ourselves to a bit of 'us' time. 

Setting off a little bit away from Wanaka, we took a drive around the lake-side, until we came to a far off point of shore called Glendu Bay, where there didn't seem to be any people (anti-socialites that we are) and took our camping chairs down to the water front, where we enjoyed the view for a while, made some stone sculptures, watched a ski-surfer fall off lots and got a little bit eaten by sandflies.

After stopping at the supermarket on the way back to the campsite, we made a supper of lamb steaks and potatoes on our camp stove before taking a stroll down to the pebbley beach of Lake Outlet to watch the sunset. We just made it in time, after gorping skywards at a passing Warbird plane. We strolled for a while under falling gold autumn leaves along the lake until we came to its source, the River Clutha (NZ's largest river by volume). Both our phones were dead by now so we had no way of telling what time it was. We went to bed, not realising it was probably only about 7pm and woke very early thinking perhaps this was the longest night in world history? I will remember to take a watch next time!

Road trip. Day One.

Today is a perfect day for writing. I will set the scene. I am sat typing away at my dining table while the rain falls softly outside and I just know when I go to collect the post, outside it will smell that gorgeous newly-fallen rainy smell. I am getting toasty wearing my new/old polo jumper (see last week's thrifty post) and listening to a Sol Seppy album my brother gave me for Christmas (and thinking how much I miss those older brothers of mine). We have just come back from four days away over Easter, travelling around the Southern Lakes of the South Island and I am looking forward to starting my new job tomorrow. Mainly because I have never really looked forward to starting work anywhere before (except maybe my first day at the sweet shop back home) and it makes a nice change.

We spent our holiday relaxing and reflecting upon our first hectic months in a new country and all the changes we've been through lately. We were able to catch up on thoughts we hadn't had chance to think and look how far we've come already this year. I feel I am finally on a path that I can confidently walk down, feeling comfortable in my own skin.'s a few posts with a low-down of our escape from the city. 

Day One:

Martin at Lake Tekapo

The Tasman Glacier and Mount Cook in the distance

Enjoying the view of the glacier

Mount Cook

Thursday was spent furiously stitching polka dot ribbon to my thrifted car-curtains in attempt to make them look a bit prettier and then feverishly trying to attach them in some fuctional way to the car to give us a chance at catching some reasonable sleep while we were away. By the time Mr Bear came home from work, everything was all packed up and ready to go so, after a speedy dinner, we departed for the three hour drive to Lake Tekapo for our first night.

It felt a bit of a shame to be driving in the dark and we tried to picture the landscape based on the shadowy silhouettes of mountains and valleys we were passing through. Our first night in the make-shift car-bed was a bit of a restless one. It's a bit cosy in there!

After a speedy wash and pack-up in the morning, we drove into Tekapo and grabbed a coffee to enjoy by the Lake. What a view. Although Tekapo itself isn't much to write home about - it's largely based around the needs of the tourist, with cafes, toilets and gift shops ect - the lake and view of the mountains was stunning. Crystal clear water and reflected vistas: beautiful.

We didn't stay long as we wanted to get to our next campsite in Wanaka before dark and we still had to stop off at Mount Cook and the Tasman Glacier. It's about 120 min round trip off the main road to view Mount Cook and the glaciers, and we ventured off-road on a rough gravel track for 8km while I panicked and got all anxious about our lovely new car and how dusty it was getting! After a steep climb, the glacier viewing point was well worth it. The sight of huge pieces of ice sheared from the glacier floating on Lake Tasman took away the little breath I had left from scrambling up the rocky mountain-side. Staring out to Mount Cook in the distance and enjoying the precious quietness of the place, we realised how lucky we are.

From Mount Cook, I braved driving on Kiwi roads for the first time. It's an enjoyable experience when you're out in the country and not surrounded by too many crazy NZ drivers! I parked up 30 mins down the line at Twizel for lunch. We visited Twizel Bakery Cafe, which had been recommended on a website I'd used to plan the holiday, and enjoyed a nice chunky slice of quiche followed by half a peach and passionfruit crumble tart each.

We arrived in Wanaka just after 5pm, after a disappointing drive through the town in search of beer (which is not sold on bank holidays here, much to our surprise and dismay!) Not to fear though. At the campsite, we were meeting our friend Andy and his travelling companion Michael, who offered us beer, wine and vodka. Not in the same glass mind, but still an evil combination. All in all, a good first night in Wanaka!

Monday, 2 April 2012


Here are some little creatures I've been working on recently. I'm planning to thread them together with some wool and wooden beads to create a hanging charm for our bedroom. It's starting to feel like home now, our little boudoir.

Off Op Shopping

Italiano Casas 50c each
Crochet Blankets $4 each

Colourful Camping Plates $1 each
Retro Flask $3
We are planning a little trip away for the Easter long weekend and need some stuff to kit out of car for camping in. I went on a wander today to do a bit of thrifting at a couple of charity shops, or 'Op Shops' as they're called here in Nuovo Zelanda (short for opportunity). I had some great luck. Found a couple of lovely crochet blankets at the local Sallie's to keep us warm overnight and some handy mini camping plates. I also came across these pretty little houses for 50c each and couldn't resist. They're now sitting on my window-sill making me feel all warm inside as I think of Italy. The lady at the counter rounded it down to just 10 bucks, what a bargain! I then went down to 'The Great Opportunity Shop' in Sydenham, which turned out to be a huge treasure chest with a pretty cool retro clothes section too. I managed to steer myself clear of the retro corner in an attempt not to spend too much money and came across this wonderful flask. I've always wanted one of these and I just love the Scandinavian type decoration. It will definitely come in handy for steaming cups of coffee to keep us alert on our travels! I also snapped up a vintage sheet and duvet cover for $2 each to kit out our make-shift car-bed. Still in need of some curtains and a mattress but I'm nearly there. Maybe I'll be lucky again tomorrow!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Second Hand Delights

Peach Dress $28 (£14)

Jazzy Shirt £2 (£1)
Winter Jumper $2

Floral Shirt $2

Leather Jacket $16 (£8)

Brown Leather Purse $3 (£1.50)
Last week, I went foraging in a second-hand warehouse with my flatmate Gabby. She had been the day before and come home with a gorgeous black cover-up with gold roses for only $2. I wanted to see this miraculous place for myself! I spent $52 and returned from my adventure with a jumper, two shirts, a dress, a leather jacket and a vintage purse. Not bad for a morning's work! My best find has to be the peach chiffon dress. My favourite colour and it hangs really beautifully.