Tuesday, 16 April 2013

On Site at The Cardboard Cathedral

Right now, I should be packing bags and boxes with our belongings to move to our new house on Saturday. Instead, I choose to share some pictures with you of an exciting little trip I made yesterday afternoon!

Since the weather has been miserable this week, I decided to be thoughtful and give Martin a ride home from site at the Cardboard Cathedral. When I arrived, the site manager invited me in to have a look around and view the progress they've been making. So I donned a hard hat and a fluorescent safety jacket and had a nosey! You can see from the first picture the scale of this iconic building!

Tomorrow morning they will be lifting the stained glass window that will seal one end of the building. The design of the window is based upon the Rose Window of the original cathedral, newly named the 'Trinity Window'. I can't wait to see it in place!

Thanks Muzza for the guided tour!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Phone Cosy Tutorial

Last weekend, I bought myself a phone for the first time. No, I haven't only recently entered the world of modern communication technology. I've always had phones that were hand-me-downs. And that suited me fine. I even received a hand-me-down iPhone from my brother a year ago (which I can't use in NZ, shock horror!!) And these second-hand phones have always fared well and lasted me a long time. But my latest phone was definitely on its last legs so I decided to bite the bullet and just buy a new one!

I'm very happy with my first shop bought phone (although slightly disgruntled Mr Bear wouldn't let me spend thousands on an iPhone), but it feels so tiny and fragile! I thought I would make it a little cosy so it doesn't get mauled by the hundreds of miscellaneous items in my handbag!

And better still, I thought I would share with you how I made it :)

You will need:
  • Fabric - small prints work well
  • An A4 piece of felt for the lining
  • Matching thread
  • Thin elastic
  • A large button
  • Pins and needles
  • Scissors
  • A ruler and pen

1. Begin by cutting your lining pieces from the felt. I placed my phone near the bottom right hand corner and measured 1.5cm on each side for a seam allowance.

2. So you should end up with two identical rectangles that will be the front and back lining pieces of your cosy.

3. Line your two pieces up and sew down the two sides and bottom, leaving your 1.5cm allowance. You may want to pin your pieces together before machining if you're worried about them moving around as you sew.

4. Trim your allowances and clip the corners so the lining will fit better inside the outer fabric. Test that your phone fits in snugly!

5. Repeat steps 1-3 with your outer fabric, making it just a liiittle bit bigger so your lining fits in flat. Turn over 1cm at the top to the wrong side and press. Pin your pieces right sides together before sewing to ensure the pressed edges line up. After trimming and clipping edges, turn right side out and press.

6. Now comes the fun part: picking your button!

7. Using your needle and matching thread, sew your button to the front of your outer fabric near the top.

8. Cut a loop of elastic long enough to stretch around your button. Poke your lining inside your outer pocket, ensuring the stitching is facing outwards. Leave a little showing at the top to stitch your elastic onto. Machine stitch over elastic several times.

9. Push the lining all the way into the outer pocket, making sure the corners sit nice and snugly together. Pin the top edge of the lining to the pressed edge of the outer pocket and slip stitch.

10. Et Voila!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Our Time in Melbourne

Better late than never, ey? When Martin downloaded all the photos from his phone recently, we found lots that had been taken at Christmas whilst we were on holiday with family in Melbourne. There are some lovely pictures of the city, which we adventured around alone on Christmas eve and with Martin's cousin Natalie and her husband Toby before we left, who were the best guides we could ask for with their knowledge of all the best places to eat, drink and have a little boogie.

We saw penguins on St Kilda Beach, played bocce in a lovely bistro pub, drank cocktails from bone china teacups and danced to the toy tunes of DJ Nu-Mark at the notorious Espy.

On Christmas Day, we enjoyed a feast at the home of a family friend, with forty other people we met that day! The house and grounds were incredible and after lunch we strolled over to the paddocks to say hello to the horses before watching the kids battle a homemade pinata to get their pudding!

We landed in Melbourne as strangers, greeted by Martin's Auntie Sandra and her husband Danny. By the end of the week, we left as family and memories of saying goodbye to our family at the airport as we left the UK were suddenly fresh in my mind again. We had such a great time, made really special by our welcoming hosts! A Christmas that we'd been dreading spending alone turned into a Christmas with family that we will remember for a long time to come :)

Monday, 1 April 2013

Easter Down Under

Easter down under is a very different affair. For a start, it's Autumn here when we're used to Spring. Spring makes more sense naturally, what with all the bunnies hopping around delivering chocolate shaped eggs! But Autumn in New Zealand, unlike Autumn in England, is actually rather warm still! Whilst the UK has been experiencing unseasonal snowfall with drifts over five foot lining roads and footpaths, Christchurch enjoyed temperatures of around 30 degrees Celsius this weekend!

So a hot roast dinner with all the trimmings seems a bit strange in this part of the world at this time of year. However, Mr Bear and I have been experiencing bouts of extreme homesickness lately, what with our friends getting married back home last weekend and some friends here moving away from Christchurch. Therefore it seemed only right that we should enjoy a traditional Easter lunch over the long weekend to help us feel a little closer to home!

On Easter Sunday, we tucked into a lovely roast leg of lamb with roast potatoes, honey glazed carrots and parsnips, pan-fried balsamic sprouts and panchetta and mint and apple jelly. Oh and a nice big glass of home-brew to wash it all down! Hungry now?? I don't blame you!

Before dinner, we headed up into the Port Hills to soak up some sunshine and enjoy the magnificent views over the city on one side and Lyttelton harbour on the other, whilst getting a good top up of Vitamin D!

Lovely as our short weekend together was (I worked half of it, you see!) we still felt an ache in our hearts at the thought of our families spending quality time together, eating my Dad's annual porchetta, having a cuppa with Martin's parents and enjoying a tipple with our friends. But we made the most of our time off together and made the most of the opportunity to Skype our loved ones back home. 

Hope you all had a lovely Easter and ate some Mini Eggs on our behalf!