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The past two years have been all about adjusting to motherhood and finding my way through it via craft. The out pouring of this came in the form of my blog Aunty Mum. Now I'm finally finding my feet, the children are growing, I'm getting some independence and my interests are morphing . . . into cooking. Join me in exploring creativity in many forms, food, fabric, frowns and laughter.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Creative Week


It's been one of those weeks where the creative juices have been flowing in myriad directions - and not just my own. The lovely Janet arrived back in NZ from her latest contract and it's become custom that I whip up a batch of macaron for her return. Here they are just waiting to be packaged. I had to laugh as I shared one with my new friend Elana and she didn't believe I'd baked them. If only she'd been part of our lives long enough to see how many we've had to eat rather than give away due to sheer ugliness.


I've finally got the teacher's Christmas gifts completed. A wee Santa hedgehog for Rogan's lovely teacher. (I've just noticed in this photograph that Santa is minus an ear . . . better get on to that.)

A postman with a mail sack full of Kisses for Kayley's teacher. And now I'm in full knitting mode working on my three Christmas commissions. I love input from new people because it pushes you to do things you wouldn't normally. I've been asked to make a mouse with pink inside the ears: seems like a perfectly reasonable request, except I'm such a monochrome girl it would never have occurred to me. Well the effect is great and when the mouse is complete I'll be sure to share.


And finally Kayley whipped up a batch of cupcakes last night. I got this cupcake stand at a garage sale a couple of weeks ago and it's been perched on the end of my bench ever since. It's been calling poor Kayley's name ever since and she's asked me daily if I would make cup cakes with her. I've been so bogged down in projects my standard answer is "Not today". So yesterday she took matters into her own hands and made them herself. A little practice with icing and she'll have it licked.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Peter Painter


Good grief it's been an interesting week . . . as in some strange things have happened. On Friday afternoons Janae has swimming lessons and I got everything together and headed off. Got to the main road and realised I'd forgotten to swing by the school to collect the avid swimmer. This morning I went to get in the shower and realised I'd forgotten to get naked first. Kayley sliced her foot open at the beach last night and dear old Granddad rushed her in for some stitches. Janae got a bee sting and had a minor reaction with a foot the size of a melon. So because Rogan was the only one not limping this morning I suggested I could stamp on his foot so he matched the set. He declined my kind offer. Can you tell I'm looking forward to our long and luxurious summer break? Only six weeks to go.

But I've been working hard to get this guy finished. With Harriet Hedgehog off to a new home (she was sold on Saturday) I was determined to get Peter complete. He's a big boy - the biggest toy I've ever made and somewhat of a mission. But he's done and now I can relax with my book and contemplate my next project.


The little darlings are off with the New Floosie for their tea tomorrow night so I've got from midday to about 7.30 to do what ever I like. If you fancy a cuppa it'll be serene in our house. I just need to tidy away my workroom and I'm all set for some solitude. I'll let you know what the next critter to be created is when I've figured it out!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wonderful Weekends

For a bank holiday weekend it's been relatively quiet around here. The children have been gallivanting for most of it and I've even had a night out at a friends with delicious food, great company and a bit of a giggle. What more can a girl ask for? Creativity!


Here's Harriet. I've spent much of my spare time this weekend making this little darling. She's a Jean Greenhowe and I just love her. A few years back I made my mum the Town Mayor hedgehog and I wanted something quick and easy so I picked Harriet.


She's a baby hedgehog with attitude and I love that she can stand up. Sometimes it's the little things in life that bring us joy and a stuffed toy that can stand freely is just the sort of thing that I find utter bliss in these days.

So now I'm busy making Stanley the Painter. He's a bigger and more detailed individual so it may be sometime before I can share him with you. But the neighbour has taken the little darlings to my parents for an after dinner hot swim so I'm going to clear up from dinner and get back to knitting. I'm currently engrossed in the TV series Vera as I'm also reading the books. As with all literature turned into television/movies it's never as good as the written word but Brenda Blythen makes up for all of that. Ahhhh it's almost perfection!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Tessa Teddy

Say hello to Tessa . . . the latest addition to our soft toy family. Janae's gone off on a sleep over tonight and she wanted Tessa finished to take with her.

Again Mary Jane's Tearoom patterns are such a gem. I will confess that her patterns specify 4ply and I have used 8 for all of my creations because that's what my stash mostly consists of.


I've had a commission for three little friends as Christmas gifts so I'll need to get busy doing that. there's also a street garage sale next weekend and I'm setting up shop selling macarons and mini neenish tarts so it's a busy baking week next week.


I've had more blood tests and a call from the friendly Doc. It seems I'm still very low in vitamin B12 and will need a B12 injection in the posterior next week. He promises that I'll have lots more energy. I'm hoping so because yesterday I dropped the kids to the bus, went back to bed and slept until lunch then back in bed at 9.30 and slept through until gone eight this morning. I'm expecting by my next post to be flying high . . . well maybe not flying but getting lots done. keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Weekend Away

They say a change is as good as a holiday and we've managed to combine both this weekend. Although my parents live only 10 minutes away it's so different from where we live that it's very much a change. Dad's away hunting so we've come for the weekend to keep my Mum company. The weather's been pretty much awful but that hasn't stopped us from having loads of fun.

There have been numerous trips down to the thermal hot pool. Here's Janae, Rogan and Nanny enjoying a morning swim. The night before I took the kids down and soaked in the hot pool with my kindle. It's a rare form of bliss.

Janae finally found the courage to try out her 'new' bike. About a year ago we were given two bikes by a family in our village. These had been given to their kids who had outgrown them so they passed along the blessing to my little darlings. Janae's hands, until now, have been too small to reach the breaks but she's off like Flynn now.

You should see her racing about. There are numerous cuts, bruises and scrapes from her first day adventuring but she seems to have got the hang of it now.

Here she is racing out the drive. I know she should have a bike helmet on. Thankfully Nanny and Granddad live on a quiet, private road with no traffic so they're as safe as houses.

And due to the horrid weather I've had lots of opportunity to knit. Do you remember Dr. Baxter Bunny? Well I gave him to Di so that she could pass him along to her brand new grandson. Di loved him so much that we just had to make a bunny just for her.

I'd been desperate to get the new bunny finished by yesterday. Unfortunately swimming, making meals and playing cards got in the way a bit and I finished Professor Beatrice Bunny last night.


Beatrice is a botanist who loves being outdoors among the flowers and plants. Hopefully some of her love for gardening will rub off on me.

Well, in the way of life it's perfect that she wasn't finished until last night as it turns out it's Di's birthday today. We've invited her over for afternoon tea and we'll present her new best friend. Di loves to garden so I'm sure they'll have lots in common and find special ways of spending time together.

Now I'm working on my next project . . . Tessa Teddy. I thought that Tessa was a granny but it turns out she's a teacher. Her vocation may change as she's only got one leg and I'm finding that as I create my friends their stories come to life. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Meow . . .

 And here he/she is all finished. I'm afraid the face is a little lopsided - that may be due to my eagerness to get this project finished. And the fact that Kayley is away tonight and I wanted it complete for her to come home to tomorrow.

I'm quite pleased and have to say a huge thank you to Just Jen for sharing this pattern. it's very different from other toy patterns I've made as the body is just one piece. But other than that I've enjoyed making it.

I'm also looking forward to putting away the pink and purple and getting into colours more to my own tastes. I've had a major tidy up in every room in the house today (the classic last-day-of-the-hols activity) and so Kayley's bed is tidy, made beautifully and just waiting for this new addition.

Unfortunately it's too late to start something new tonight so it will have to wait for tomorrow night. And I'm still thinking about Tessa Teddy. I think she'll be sitting in an arm chair to start with.

I hope you've had a great weekend and the week ahead treats you kindly.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Crafting Fun

It appears to be all about bunnies in our house at the moment. Maybe it's the spring weather.

The children had a visit with their mum this morning so I've had two blissful hours in complete silence knitting while overlooking the Tauranga Harbour. It's amazing how a couple of hours of silence can make you want to face the world again. So this afternoon - after Janae had found a secret stash of goodies in my wardrobe - I decided I'd help her make this.

This is a craft that had been given to me by the Lovely Janet. One of the many things she treats herself to when out and about and a few years later realises she'll never really get around to making it.

Janae did a great job with stringing on the body parts, learning to stitch a gathering stitch and firing the hot glue gun - not to mention the awesome job with drawing the face.

Our bunny doesn't have a name yet and has been put down in favour of racing about the lawn with the kids next door but I'm pleased we finally got the chance to do some crafting together.

Now it's back to work on Kayley's cat. With a little bit of effort I may just get it finished tonight. And while I was enjoying the solitude this morning a little bear name Tessa Teddy popped into my imagination. Hmmm I wonder how that will pan out.