Monday, 30 July 2012

Just Hangin'

I am a real stickler for not seeing things through to the end. I have such an active imagination, I rarely ever end up finishing a project before moving onto the next. This is something which I would like to improve upon, but also something which I reluctantly accept is who I am. However, I have vowed to myself to catch up and tie my loose ends so I can start new projects with a clean conscience.


You may remember my Creations post back in April (or may not; it was a long time ago!) I originially planned to string these little creatures together to make a hanging decoration similar to a felted camel decoration we had back home. Since we didn't have any where to hang things in our previous dwelling, this project didn't really feel like a priority and therefore fell by the wayside. In contrast, we have quite a few hanging places in our new flat, which are all quite high up: perfect for hanging long things! 

I hand-painted some plain wooden beads and strung the creatures and colourful orbs together with jewellery twine. I had a fair few beads left over, so I whipped up some little stuffed Matryoshka charms to hang in the kitchen above the sink. Sweet, no?

Scrappy Bunting

I am a big advocate of recycling and upcycling, using things you already have to refashion into something new. I love taking something old or purposeless and giving it a new lease of life and meaning. As I have said before, my favourite room in our little flat is the kitchen, mainly due to its cosy proportions and homeliness. To give it that extra quaint feeling, I used some offcuts I had in my fabric stash to make some bunting to go above the balcony door. I used lace trimming snipped from an old tablecloth that I used to make my pillowcases and cut the triangles out with crimping scissors so I didn't have to waste fabric sewing two sides together.

Pretty pleased with the result for a 5 minute project. I could put bunting in any room, but I think I will attempt to exercise some restraint; at least until we have a few more rooms!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

A Good Spread

I posted a snap of Mr Bear cuddling up with a work-in-progress quilt a few weeks ago. It has been sat in a bag, unfinished and neglected for the past month or so as I have had so many other projects on the go and not had chance to re-visit it. But now we are in the coldest part of winter, I thought I better get cracking! I have lined the underside with a cheap fleece fabric since the patchwork itself is made from squares of recycled jumpers and I wanted to keep the project as cost-effective as possible. Altogether, the materials cost me around $25: cheap as chips! I might blanket stitch the edges too, just to add a bit more decoration.

Can't wait for a cosy night's sleep now!

Owls Join The Ranks

Yey, another pair of Sly Fox earrings to add to what is now turning into a bit of a collection. Maybe I'll see how many pairs I can accumulate while we're here!

After discovering we have nocturnal neighbours (really living up to the 'kiwi' nickname, guys), I spent Saturday in a haze of tiredness and confusion, shuffling about the Craft Invaders fair like the walking dead. I don't think I've ever visited a fair with such little enthusiasm. I'd been looking forward to it for weeks too. Luckily, the last stall was one of my favourite crafters, Sly Fox, and I fell in love with these Owl Earrings. I adore the whole collection really. All their pieces seem woodland inspired; an array of owls, foxes, raccoons and bird's nests. And all in such miniature detail.

The afternoon was spent enjoying a sandy picnic at Taylor's Mistake, a hidden cove past Sumner that was nicely deserted considering it was such a sunny day. 

Last night, the neighbours seemed to go back into a state of relative hibernation so I feel a little more human today. Farewell Zombie-itis.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Up Close and Personal

For those family members who don't have access to Facebook, here is the video of our lion encounter. Just incase you wanted to see how close we came to being lunch :)

Monday, 23 July 2012

Baking Girls Annual

I bought this Cherry Ames annual at a second-hand market months back. A few weeks later, I picked up a pile of food magazine at a charity shop and decided I would make a recipe book since all our bought ones are sitting in a box thousands of miles away. When I found the annual and mags together when unpacking in our new flat, I thought I would combine the two to make this charming vintage baking book. It now comes complete with butter smudges and chocolate splashes, just like an authentic old baking book should!

Thrifty Decoration

My Best Ever Find - Cottage Tissue Dispenser

A little porcelain pot to keep our laundry coins in

Twin Frame with Cats in Clothes

Sagittarius Bedside Bowl to plop my earrings in at bedtime

Assorted Egg-Cups

Our Mantle Piece

Our little apartment needed some life breathing into in when we first moved in about a month ago. I had a few op-shop finds that I quickly spread around the flat in an attempt to cheer it up a bit and after several more rounds of the second-hand shops, I'd rounded up a few extra things to make this house feel more like a home. I'm also waiting on some Marimekko fabric I've ordered from work to make into a canvas and some Alexander Henry fabrics for new cushion covers; pics of those coming soon!

Blue Bird Blouse

I posted a picture of the pussy-bow blouse I made last month a few weeks ago but since I didn't have much access to the internet then and could only upload one photo, I thought you might like to see a few more with details. I love this pattern and have already begun eyeing-up new fabrics to make peter pan collared, short sleeved versions for the start of Spring here in September. Can't wait to start wearing thinner tights and shorter skirts again! Having said that, I haven't had to wear a coat much in the last few weeks and its the middle of Winter here. But it is getting colder...brrr.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

My First Dress

I have been working on my first dress over the last few weeks at my sewing class and was wanting ideally to finish it in time for the Mid-Winter meal but it needed a few adjustments. I'm pretty pleased since it's my first garment for myself (excluding the blouse I made). Plus, the fabric is the exact same print as shown in the example photo on the pattern itself and I got it in a sale; win!

Love City Shirt

We attended a Mid-Winter meal with Martin's work on Saturday and he asked me to make him a shirt to wear. During work on Sunday, he came and chose fabric for the main shirt and a contrast for inside the collar, the pockets and the inner cuff. The main fabric is Heath in Chocolate and for the contrast he chose Love City in Smoke, both by our favourite US designer, Alexander Henry.

I worked on it during my two days off and we had a fitting Thursday afternoon. It fit perfectly, to my immense relief, and he is really happy with it. It got lots of attention on the night too!

With the remaining fabric, I bought an embroidery hoop from work and turned it into a piece of wall art to decorate our hole covered walls!

To The Lady in My Life

The day we moved into our new place, it was my best friend's 21st birthday back home. She is a bit of a tricky character to buy/make for and both our tastes have changed a lot since we first met. I decided to play it safe and make her something to use rather than wear and opted for this little travel purse to keep all those easily forgetable things in whilst she is dashing around being a globe-trotter. It's my first attempt at making a purse and I'm so chuffed my friend liked it :) Miss you dearest!


In a bid to ensure we make the most of our Saturdays together, we paid a visit to Orana Wildlife Park last Saturday. Located near Christchurch airport, I can't believe its taken us so long to make a trip there but it was a good wintery thing to do. We paid an extra $30 to take part in the 'Lion Encounter'. Basically, once a day, Orana takes a group of 20 people into the lion enclosure to take part in the feeding. Luckily, they are kind enough to provide a cage for the passengers and big chunks of meat to keep the lions happy. We were more than close enough for my liking, with lions on either side and above us.

 Having been dribbled on lots and roared at quite a few times, we spent 10 minutes having a sit down on a bench after the encounter. Even when safely behind bars, you tend to forget to breathe when put in such close proximity to these beautiful creatures!

To see all our pics from the day, have a looksie here.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Hidden Bear

I have been absent for some time, hiding in the wilderness probably, as my elusive bear-nature dictates. We have moved house in the last month and lost connection to the virtual world for some time. But never fear, I have returned.

Since finding our own little apartment and sense of seclusion and relative tranquility here in the city centre, a lot has changed. I feel some of the dreams we had and the visions for the life we would create for ourselves down under are finally being realised. I have been throwing as much of our collective identity into the apartment as possible. Maybe in an attempt to feel rooted and 'at home' in this slightly alien environment.

My favourite room in the flat is definitely the kitchen. It is tiny, full of character and warmth and smells like ginger biscuits. Sometimes, I go in there, close the door behind me and just feel comforted by its sense of enclosure and quiet. Strange for someone who is usually so claustrophobic, I know!

I've had a day of ups and downs. I had a lovely lunch date with a friend and a good catch up, followed by some heavy disappointment due to the cancellation of a course I was due to enrol upon and the struggle to find another suitable to my needs. I'm wanting to learn how to draft patterns so I can bring my designs to life and construct garments from my imagination. As an international student, this is proving quite tricky as the financial implications of not being a citizen/resident of NZ means pretty much tripling the course fees.

 Here's a finished piece that I've been working on at my Tuesday morning sewing class (constructed using a bought pattern but I've adapted it slightly to make it longer at the back ect).

After a brisk walk around the park to soothe my frustration, I came home and drank a pot of tea on our balcony whilst musing over my dilemma. I didn't come up with any grand solutions during that time, but instead spent my time noticing the myriad silhouettes of tiny workmen on the roofs of the city's soon to be demolished high rises. It's quite bizarre seeing the sky-line dotted with little men everywhere! I think sitting on the balcony in winter will become a little habit of mine.