About Me

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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.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sometimes It’s Frustrating


In my last post I said I was going to make a start on a hat and scarf for myself. Well, after five attempts to make the hat pattern work I’ve given up and gone back to a project I’ve had in mind for over a year now.

You see, the hat pattern has the wrong number of starting stitches and no matter what I tried (including a calculator) I couldn’t get it to work. Never one for a huge amount of patience for errors I gave up and started on a table cloth.

The last time I was in Auckland my mum and I visited a fabric warehouse in Otara. While there I noticed that they had these lovely rolls of crochet yarn for fifty cents each. I rummaged through a huge barrel of them and found 20 of the same batch and splurged my $10 all the while thinking how much I’d like to attempt a table cloth for my little round dining table.


Now I’ve made a start and I’m quite enjoying it. I am very aware that I’m up to round 18 and there are a total of 111 rounds with each one getting larger so there’s a long way to go. But that’s all good. Maybe this will be the project that’ll see me through the rest of the winter.

I say this but a friend informed me that her mother-in-law had worked out the pattern required for a Robertson tartan rug and I have yet to have the pattern forwarded to me. I have a feeling that the rug may take precedence once I’ve got the pattern. We’ll just have to see.

But tomorrow morning I’m home alone so I’m hoping to sit at my table in the sunshine and keep working on the cloth. I’ve got most of my chores done today so there’s very little to be done tomorrow. Little Janae has all but given up her afternoon sleep now so it’s a case of being motivated all day now. I’m determined to keep trying to get her to sleep but I’m not overly optimistic. Ah well, if she doesn’t sleep tomorrow she can play outdoors while I mow the lawn with my brand new lawn mower. That’ll be a welcome break from crochet.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Finished at Last


I feel like I’ve been sewing in little tails of wool for days, but it’s not been too bad and now Rogan’s blanket is finished at last.

I’m a little unsure about some of the colour combinations, but the children love it and I know it’s something that’ll be used frequently and wrapped around little bodies like warm arms. That makes me feel good.



The blanket is currently residing on Rogan’s bed right now but I don’t imagine for a moment that it’ll stay there for long. I’ve also hunted out the hot water bottles that go inside some of our favourite toys. Rogan and Janae had much needed sleeps this afternoon and I’m sure part of their eagerness to go to bed was that they were taking their new bed buddies along with them.

Our home isn’t particularly cold but when I go and cover them all up before I go to sleep at night their little heads always feel a bit cool so I’ve determined they’ll be snug from now on. It also stops me feeling guilty about not turning the heating on every night. I felt guilty last night and ended up turning it off after half an hour as I was sweltering; I also ended up at the bottom of my bed looking for a cool spot for my feet and had to get up to open the ranch slider at about 3am as I was too hot.


So we’re almost heading out the door to take Kayley to her swimming lesson and I’m off to hunt through Nanny’s knitting needles as I want to undertake this hat and scarf as my next project. I feel like I’ve been making things for everyone else lately and now it’s time to make something for me. I even delivered two crochet flowers for the swimming teacher this morning. She donated some wool to Rogan’s blanket in exchange for a flower for the beanie she’s just made for herself. Well . . . it would have been rude to say no.

I’m quite liking this “knit one, crochet one” pattern that’s emerging from this autumn season. Makes for a little more interest. I’ll let you know how the hat and scarf are going over the next week or so.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Some days you just feel appreciated

DSCF1097 Last week it was a big box of goodies from Australia; this week the gifts were from closer to home.

Nana has been working hard on mosaic bedside tables for the children since we moved in here. With the bad weather of late she has managed to get them finished. And they’re gorgeous.

This is Rogan’s table and the nautical star matches his blinds perfectly.


The girls’ tables are the same design but different colours. Nana told them that one heart is theirs and the other is hers. That’s a lovely thought.

Each table has been given a resin finish on top which will protect the tiles from being dug out, drawn on or chipped. Let’s face it, children aren’t known for their gentleness even with their most precious possessions.


Janae’s table is now in the perfect position for her to climb in and out of bed. I’ve been trying to teach her how to get out of her cot so that she can go and join the children in the mornings rather than shouting for me. That’s failed so far and I thought the table might help. I leave the side of the cot down but each morning when I go in she’s diligently pulled it up and can’t get it down again. Ah well, by Christmas she’ll be in a bed and that’ll be the end of that.


And last night we were delivered this beautiful shepherds pie. A lovely lady from our church who is always asking how she can help our little family found out I’d been ill all last week and turned up with this for our dinner last night. She was upset that I’d not told her I’d had the flu. I have to laugh as I’m not the best at asking for help anyway, but there’s no way I’d ever ring someone and say . . . quick, make something for our dinner cos I’m sick. Maybe I should start.

And the best surprise of all this week came from my mum. I’d just emailed my birth mother telling her I was disappointed that I wouldn’t get to see her new house in Brisbane for a very long time as I couldn’t see when I’d get the chance to go over again. The next day my mother asked if I thought I could tear myself away from the kids for a couple of weeks in October for a trip to the Sunshine Coast. What a silly question. Of course, I won’t be tearing myself away from them all as I have suggested we take Kayley with us. She’s just about the right age to be a pleasant travelling companion. Shhhhhh, she knows nothing of this and I’m going to try to keep it quiet until the day we leave. There’s still five months to go and I have to organise her passport and stuff so “mums” the word until much closer to the time.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why do they wait . . .

Until you're spending a day in bed feeling very sorry for yourself, slowly dying of a common cold before calling in for a visit?

I'd managed to get the children out of the house without severely injuring someone. We'd even made the bus on time (but Kayley's I Spy word began with G and happened to be grumpy. I think she was sending me a message). Grandad picked up Rogan and Janae and dropped them at their various places for the day and I settled down to wallow.

Once I'd finally fallen asleep and had stopped sneezing for more than five minutes . . .  BANG BANG BANG on the door. It was lovely Anna dropping of some very welcome lemons (which I'm now consuming with hot water, honey and a drop of whiskey). Back to bed and just about asleep . . . BANG BANG BANG. This was a visitor that, on most occasions, would be very welcome but not today.

See this particular lady featured hugely in my childhood and was like a second mother to me. Now she lives in Invercargil and we only see her once in a while. She'd dropped in to tell me that her daughter, my oldest friend, was coming next week and she wanted to bring her round. That will be awesome. But this particular lady is the most fastidious person I've ever met and she walked into utter chaos.

Janae's weetbix crumbs were still under her chair, and littered the bench; the breakfast dishes were still sitting in the sink; pajamas were still drapped across furniture where the children had got dressed, toys had sneaked out of the toy room and taken up residence in the family room. Ah well . . . I'm telling myself that I don't care. It's taking all my effort to get baths and dinner underway and cleaning can wait for tomorrow . . . perhaps.

Let's hope I get a bit more warning next them they arrive so I can give the illusion of a pedant too. Keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Squares Everywhere

It seems that I'm often announcing that I'm child free lately. But this weekend it's been a 24 hour child free experience that's been a bit of a roller coaster time emotionally. Little Rogan has been away on his first sleep over and I will admit I was a bit frantic last night worrying that he was okay and felt safe and all the things we mothers worry about. The girls were at my parents so I wasn't concerned about them.

But this afternoon I made myself some lunch having done the house work and having a living room that just begged to be enjoyed while it was tidy and comfortable, I finally started to enjoy myself. I'm about half way through my blanket and am now at the "struggling" part. I'm being very hard on myself and trying to use up what wool I have at home rather than dashing out to purchase some more and I'm just getting to that difficult part of not having enough to make the correct number of squares.

By now it's probably become obvious that I am very structured in my design. I don't like unstructured colour patterns and things like that. But, I may just have to grin and bear it here as I don't think I'm going to have enough of any one colour to create a complete design. But I still have six hours to go until the children come home so we'll see how we get on.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Now I Remember

Today is one of those wet, cold, wintery days that I now recall helped me make so many wonderful crochet projects last year.

We got Kayley off to the bus early this morning, we've watched our quota of telly and now the children are exploring among their toys in the toy room while eating chocolate chip biscuits (not home made ones I'm afraid). I had to put the fire on as it just needed to feel a little cosier.

Janae and Rogan are unaware but they're off with Nana this morning so I'm planning all sorts of lovely things in my mind. I'll return the toys to the toy library (without the pressure to get some more today), get some more milk and then come home to a quiet a peaceful house to blob on the sofa with a documentary about the demise of the Roman Empire.

And while I'm blobbing I'll carry on with my squares. I'm not even half way through the required number yet and I'm slowly running out of the green wool. I do, however, have another shade of green that I can use to make up the numbers. I'm hoping to make this blanket without having to buy any more wool.

My problem is that I've used up most of the 8 ply wool in my stash so I will probably  have to get a couple of balls for the joining of the squares but I can't complain about that.

I'm quite excited about this dismal weather really. Yesterday I got the lawn mowed, the edges trimmed, the man came and put up my curtain tracks. There were four loads of washing cleaned, dried and put away, a dinner on the table and children all in bed by seven so I can allow myself a lazy day today.

Finally, I just had to share my gorgeous miniature daffodils. I hosted a luncheon for my mother and a few of her friends on Monday and two pots of the most beautiful daffodils were a gift from Chris. They are taking pride of place on the table at the moment as they're just so cheery and warm and I love to look at them when ever possible.

So, smelly bottom Janae is urging me to finish this post and get her bum changed before Nana gets here, and my craft is calling so I'll call it a day for now.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers Day

It's Mothers Day today and as I look at my beautiful new plant I find I can't even remember last Mothers Day. I'm thinking this is probably because I was still in a state of shock about being a mother to three children.

This year we've had a lovely time . . . so far. As I had to speak at church this morning on my unique motherhood stories I was determined not to be the grouchy, stressed out mother I usually am on a singing Sunday so this morning we put on our High Five DVD and boggied down to some funky tunes until breakfast time. I'd gotten up early and showered, done my hair and makeup and dressed so that I had plenty of time to get the kids ready.

There was the usual kerfuffle getting the children in the car but we got there in one piece and they played beautifully while we practiced our songs for the day.  And the best part was that my mother came along too. It was very nerve wracking speaking with my mother present. I've done public speaking quite a lot through university and things like that, but never with my own mother present. Thankfully I couldn't really see her from where I was standing so that helped.

Afterwards she enjoyed a cup of tea and a piece of very rich chocolate cake with everyone. It was quite funny really as she saw women she used to play golf with and sat there proudly saying "Yes, Belinda's my daughter." I think we always know how proud of us our parents are but don't often experience the full force of it; today I did and it's made me feel very loved.

We met mum back here at home and she brought with her this gorgeous plant and a card she'd filled out from the children. I hadn't expected anything and had just asked the children for good attitudes and a quiet day without me having to put on my grouchy voice. So far, so good. Kayley's helped me make an Oaty Caramel slice for my ladies luncheon tomorrow. Rogan, despite being filled up with a cold, has behaved pretty well and presented me with a lovely card he'd made at Sunday School. Janae got out of her beautiful Sunday dress and into some comfy old clothes, clambered into bed and went to sleep like a little angel.

I know that tomorrow is another day and we'll all be back to our normal selves, but I'm sure I'll remember this Mothers Day next year. I couldn't be happier being a mum and look forward to many more celebrations of our little family.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Painting Up a Storm

I got my wish to get some painting done last night. In fact, the whole non-child experience was lovely really. I got all the house work done (I'm so pleased with it I'm loath to let the kids back in the bath now), I did a whole lot of baking and I painted. And the upshot is that while I write this the three of them are jumping all over each other on the floor next to me, the noise is ear splitting and I've got a renewed sense of patience and can, for tonight, let it slide right over me.

So here are Catarina's birthday paintings. I was going to do three individual ones with the butterfly as the main theme but the flowers and symmetry were so good that I just recreated them in slightly different positions.

I did have a minor panic though. I have given up some of my craft drawers for the childrens' toys when we set up the play room and had forgotten that I'd dumped a whole lot of stuff in a big basket at the bottom of my wardrobe. As I sifted through I could only find two butterflies. Thankfully I took a deep breath and stopped having a "man" look and found the missing insect.

Then I dragged out the Cuttlebug and sorted through the dies Andrea had kindly loaned me. I had thought to use one that had a lovely little flower and accompanying bee but it was all a bit too busy for this project.

The finish in these photographs isn't great as the ModPodge hadn't quite dried but I wanted to get them photographed before hiding them away from my soon returning children. I've checked them today and they look fantastic. I'm very pleased with these and hope that Anna is too. I mean, lets face it, gifts for two year olds are more about their mothers than the child in question really.

And finally here is the one I've been working on for my bedroom. I'm not sure if I like it or not, and I think I'll need another couple of coats of black/purple for the bottom half.

I'm also not sure if the flowers are way to big for this canvas but overall I still like the concept. Perhaps I'll have to get a larger canvas and try again. The beauty of doing something like this is that the canvasses are relatively cheap so if you hate the result, or you like it but grow tired of it on the wall, it's not a huge expense down the tubes.

Now I'm working on a crochet afghan. RedHeart.Com has a free ebook on afghans and I picked one of those. The one decent sized blanket I made last winter has been such a hit that more are definately called for. It gets dragged out of the linen cupboard often to snuggle under on the sofa of a cool autumn morning or evening. It's often used as a cover for a game or a tent. I'm slowly realising, one can never have enough afghans.