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.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's Quiet Around Here

 It's been a very quite blogging week I'm afraid. I'm so caught up in mundane things, like getting myriad loads of washing out on the line between heavy showers of rain, like vacuuming the house out, like tidying out the pigsty that is Kayley's room (and creating a bonfire from the screeds of paper she's accumulated over the year), like baking for her Room Six Celebration and Kite Flying morning tomorrow.

I've also been creating though, but nothing is complete so I haven't taken any photographs. I'm three quarters of the way through Rogan's jumper. I'm making it out of an old jumper so the wool needs to be wound into skeins, washed and dried. I'm out of prepared wool and can't do any more until the last lot is done.

So I've started on a hat from some patterns our lovely swimming teacher, Nicola gave me last week. I'm so obscessed with cables at the moment that this hat is a cable hat. Kayley was funny when she saw what I'm doing. "Wow," she said, "you're knitting with three needles now." Then I realised, they saw me start with one when I started to crochet, then I progressed on to two when I started knitting, and now I'm using three. Just wait until she sees me finally tackle doing a neck band with four needles (not something I'm holding my breath in anticipation of mind you).

But, it's very late at night and I need to quickly whip up the marshmellow topping for our morning tea contribution tomorrow morning. I'm gagging to go to my warm bed and continue reading "Tess of the D'Urbavilles" but I must finish the baking first. Bummer, as I'm just not in the baking mood tonight.

Hopefully my next post will have some photographs of completed garments.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cosy Scarf, Gorgeous Rose Buds


There are times when I have an idea in my mind, I attempt to execute the technique required for achieving that image and the result turns out so much better than the expectation. This scarf is one of those projects.

It has been the butt of a few laughs in it's creation. I was making roses at swimming lessons last week and my friend Anne grabbed a couple, put them in some interesting places and suggested a pair of nipple warmers or a bikini. And my mother has been scoffing for days as it’s all come together. It just showed me how far behind the trends she really is these days. But it did give me cause for concern. What if I wore it and it was just plain silly. Alas, my fears were unfounded (unless my friends are just nice people and too kind to tell me the truth).


I wore it today with all black and I believe it looked really good. Added to this, it’s lovely and warm which surprised me. And the best thing was that some people I have a passing acquaintance with were asking if I made children’s hats, to which I could reply to the affirmative. Perhaps my little industry might take off after all.

Now I have a dilemma. The scarf is complete, the washing is on the line, the toy room is tidied (we have our dear friend Rex coming for dinner tomorrow night and things need to be shipshape) and I don’t feel like getting back into the table cloth just yet. What to make next? I really want to make Rogan a jumper but don’t have a pattern. I’m kind of playing with the idea that I might just start and see what happens. Hmmm, I’ll let you know in a day or so.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sometimes I’m Hopeless


I know I’ve been saying recently how hard I’ve been working on my table cloth and how I’m really wanting to get it finished and I can’t start anything new until it is. But sometimes you just need a change; and sometimes something comes along that inspires you to try something new. Today has been one of those days.

I was looking online for a pattern for a jersey for Rogan and came across some patterns for knitted afghans. This inspDSCF1148ired me to attempt some cable knitting. It’s quite fun really and quite simple once you get your head around it. But it got a little tedious quite quickly so then I remembered Corrine’s scarf that she was wearing on Sunday.

Sometimes I’m amazed at how we “Chicks” manage to colour coordinate on a Sunday morning singing session without one word between us. I was all in black and had managed to get mum to lend me her glorious red scarf. Corrine was virtually all in red with black pants. She had on this fabulous red scarf made out of large rosettes. I didn’t think much about it at the time, except that it was beautiful. Then today when I was hunting through my basket looking for my crochet hooks (that I’ve stored away somewhere so safe, I can’t remember where I’ve put them) and DSCF1146found the red wool I made Janae’s cardigan out of. Well, that was the end of the table cloth and cable knitting (for the time being). I’ve tried two variations of the flower and  this is the one I’m going for I think.

It’s a pattern I’ve just made up and it’s four rows of double crochet:

Chain 39
Double crochet in the fourth chain from the hook and two double crochet in each chain across.
Chain three and double crochet in each DC across.
Chain 2, single crochet in next all the way across and tie off.
Spiral the piece in on itself to form a bud. You can determine how tight or open the bud is depending on how tight your spiral is.

Now all I need to figure out is how many I’ll need and hDSCF1147ow to join them into a scarf like garment. Any ideas will be gratefully received.

You all know what I’ll be doing while Rogan’s having his swimming lesson in the morning don’t you. The only downside will be that I can’t stitch for a whole hour as I have to accompany Janae in her swimming lesson. Grandad is the usual swimming partner but he’s taken Nanny off for a weekend’s trout fishing so it’s down to me. The things we have to do for our kids huh!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's Growing Slowly

With childrens' hats made and the injured thumb feeling back to normal it's all systems go on the table cloth once again and it's coming along, albeit, slowly.

I've made a start on the bows that will decorate the next section of the cloth which is approximately 300 individual stitches per side with six sides to the item. Whew, it's quite tiring on the old brain making sure they're all there and all in the right place. Thankfully it's been a peaceful day here with children all off in various places.

Aside from the crochet I've been out in the garden. I had always planned a hedge along our road boundary fence and have considered lots of different options. The one I've chose has been because the plants all come free of cost. I'm planting a camelia hedge from seedlings growing beneath established camelias that exist on our property and on friends properties. I thought I'd done well to dig out ten seedlings and replant them along the fence. I thought this until I continued along the boundary and realised I still need about 50 more. So I'm organising a coffee date with my mum and our lovely friend Ann-Marie next week. She has the gorgeous little woodland behind her house and there are hundreds of little seedlings just waiting to be plucked from the ground. The added bonus of getting them there is that the soil is much softer than where I've been digging today.

I'm hoping that they will have grown sufficiently by next summer to afford us some privacy from the road but it's a few years time I'm looking foward to when it's winter, the hedge will be about five foot tall and just coming into flower. Lovely.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Hat Thief


I just had to take this photograph this morning. I left Kayley’s new hat on the bench last night for her to appraise. Before anyone knew what was going on Janae (our resident hat lover) had claimed it and refused to give it up. Even Grandad tried to put it on and met with a great deal of  resistance. And I had to capture Janae and Molly having breakfast together. Molly has spent the first half of her first year in bed waiting for Janae to arrive and snuggle up with her but just lately she’s been dragged about the house more. Poor Molly the Dolly, she’s starting to get a bit grubby but I’m not sure how to clean her as she has a mechanism in her belly that, when pushed, kisses and says “I love you”. I’d hate her to lose that ability.


And I had to include this photograph of Rogan and his friend Sophie doing their starfish at swimming lessons this morning. Until recently Sophie was the star starfisher as she’s got an amazing buoyancy but Rogan’s quickly catching on to the tricks; keep your head back and relax. He’s doing so well it’s almost a shame not to continue for the next term but it’s getting so cold and he’s still so little that winter isn’t the best time for swimming, even when the pool is heated. Janae will also take a break but our tough girl Kayley swims all  year round. She swam about a kilometre in her lesson today. I’m glad I don’t have to swim that distance.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Success at Last

It's been one of those days that started at 6am and just kept on going. I managed to get everyone off to their various places this morning and then mum and I headed off to Bunnings. We were in search of some fairly in-expensive curtains for my living/dining room as winter is here and, even with double glazing it's a bit cold.

We found the curtains, and a hydraulic gadget to stop my back door from slamming and chopping someone's fingers off, and a yard broom, and a new pot for my induction hobb, and a shelf for my laundry so I don't have to keep battling with the kiddy locks on the laundry cupboard, and a door bell so now I'll know if I have visitors rather than them knocking and leaving as we don't hear them, and some more vege plants for the garden. Two hours we wandered around that enormous store and it was lots of fun.

The afternoon was spent putting hooks into curtains and curtains onto tracks. I have to say though, it's been lovely to hide behind them tonight rather than feel like I'm sitting in a fish bowl.

But, even after all this activity I've found time to finish Kayley's hat (version II). And this one will fit. As I'm on a mission not to spend money on wool but use up all my supplies, this hat has turned into a stripy one, which Kayley really likes, thankfully. With the flash it's difficult to see the true colours (as usual). The white has little flecks of orange and pink, the blue is actually purple and the orange . . . well  . . . it's still dayglo orange.

Now Rogan wants one too so I'll have a hunt through the box and pick out some colours for him. With a bit more time on my hands I can whip these up in a day so maybe his will be ready by the weekend. We're off to stay at Nanny and Grandad's on Saturday night - yes all of us. It's a big Rugby test match and as I don't have the sports channel I suggested a nice roast dinner and the game and we'd all stay over. It means I get to sleep in the guest wing which, if my calculations are correct, may mean a sleep in . . .  oh no, the "Chicks" are singing at church on Sunday so no sleep in there. Bummer. Better luck next time I guess.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hmmm An Issue With Sizing


Yesterday I mentioned I’m having a little pain in my left thumb, probably due to over crochet use (or a slip in the shower the other day that’s still too embarrassing to mention) so I decided that I’d make a start on a hat that Kayley had requested.

I have this dayglo orange wool left over from Rogan’s blanket and she wants a hat out of it. I cast on what I thought would be enough stitches, and got going. I don’t have a pattern but I’ve done enough increasing and decreasing to feel confident of making it work.

Make it work I did, but it’s come out the perfect size for an infant as opposed to a seven year old girl with a larger than average head.


Here’s the hat next to Janae’s latest favourite. Now the purple one is slightly too large for Janae and winter hats are best if they’re snug, but as you can see, there’s just no way this orange hat will go near Kayley. Oh dear, I’m so disappointed.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m so pleased that I’ve managed to knit a hat without a pattern and have it coming out looking good but now what to do with it? We have Mainly Music tomorrow and there are a few new little babies who’s mothers might not object to dressing their children in a dayglo hat. Or, option two, drop it off at the Church Op Shop and see if they can make fifty cents from it.

So it’s back to the drawing board I’m afraid. I’ll have to try again tomorrow and use larger needles and more stitches. Hehehehe, I’ll probably end up with a hat that’s too big even for my dad who, as it happens, has a larger than average head as well.

Now I’m off to do a little baking. Last week at Mainly Music I indulged in a piece of coconut slice and remembered that it’s a Kiwi classic and have been searching for the recipe since. I’ve stumbled across this fabulous website dedicated to kiwi baking. I have just enough butter left over from Sunday’s baking marathon so I’m going to whip up a slice now ready for the lunch boxes tomorrow morning . . . and maybe a sneak piece with a cup of tea for supper.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Painting Completed


It’s been one of those days where I managed to get lots done, even though the little ones turned up at home before lunch.

This is the first painting I’ve done in ages that I actually like, which is ironic considering I didn’t feel like I wanted to do it in the first place.

I’ve hung it in my ensuite bathroom where there’s nothing adoring the walls just yet. The bulk of my bathroom is brown tile and lots of cream walls too so right from the start I knew I wanted to go pink. I’m disappointed that it’s difficult to get a shot of how it looks overall rather than just on this wall but you’ll have to use your imagination.


So now I’m back to doing my table cloth. I’m almost half way . . . in rounds. I’m a long way from half way when you consider that every second round is an increase one, which means it’s just going to get bigger and bigger and each round will take longer. It’s currently taking about and hour a round so I can only imagine how long it will take by the time I get to the last ten or so. But it’s still lots of fun.

The only down side is that I may have to put it down for a couple of days as the muscles in my left thumb are really starting to get painful. I think it’s probably the weight of all that cotton. I did a little at the table this afternoon and that was easier so perhaps that’s the answer.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What a Weekend

This weekend we’ve been really busy and it’s been pretty good. In the morning the children went off for a visit with their mother and then the afternoon was filled up with a birthday party.


Our lovely friend Doreen came along to do the face painting. Janae joined her friend Emily and ended up as a butterfly.





She looked so cute. I’m glad she was staying with Nana last night so that I didn’t have to bring myself to be the one to wash it all off.




Kayley was the next of my tribe in line. I’m not so sure about this look . . . having lost two teeth to the tooth fairy over the past week she looks a little scary. This picture isn’t the best unfortunately as Doreen had done some gorgeous pink blending around the forehead and stuff. Ah well, Kayley thought she was the most beautiful child in the world.



And even Rogan finally agreed to having his face painted. He was a leopard. Again, I’m glad it was nana that was washing it off because, even though I’m aware most of it will end up on pillows and sheets, they look so cute that I can’t bear to see it all go down the plug hole.




A great time was had by all and each child got a lollipop in the pass the parcel game with Rogan winning the main prize of a bag of marbles. Great, another obstacle to avoid vacuuming up.



And this morning it is just Kayley and I so wDSCF1133e decided to get creative in a more permanent sense. We got out the paints and canvasses and enjoyed some quiet creativity. I’ve been trying to get the enthusiasm to do this picture for a while but haven’t had the energy or inclination. I’m not sure I had either really this morning as it was a little cramped on our table and, you know what kids are like, they have to use every colour available, every brush at their disposal as well as anything else they can find.


Kayley had a ball I’m pleased to say and just loves her creation. Mine is only about half complete but I’m sure having a child free night might bode well for doing some more tonight.

I can scarcely believe it’s only nine in the morning and we’ve vacuumed, tidied, mopped floors and done some art with still an hour before church. How interesting (or uninteresting) life would be with just one child. I just wish every weekend could be as smooth sailing as this one has been.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ride 'em Cowboy

We have this wonderful riding school for the disabled here in Tauranga and Rogan is now a part of it.

He has a minor spine condition where his spine at the base of his head is slightly twisted and this affects quite a few of his functions. So his physio decided he might benefit from a couple of terms at the riding school.

This was his first ever time on a horse and he just loved it. He was very pensive to start with but after a couple of minutes he had a huge grin on his face and can't wait until next term when he'll be riding every Saturday morning. I think there's also the benefit of the fact that this activity is for him alone. I must admit that I couldn't believe just how little he is. When you see your kids doing the usual kid things every day you forget their real size . . . especially when they're standing in front of you being demanding or ascerting their independence. I'm wondering if we're encouraging a future jockey here.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Maybe I’m not as Mean as the Kids say I am


On Sunday I agreed to get these soft alphabet tiles down from their hiding place in the linen cupboard. I knew in advance (as we do with our children) that they’d end up all over the driveway, through the house and cover the garage floor so I made a deal. Either they were stacked away in a “NEAT” pile when they were finished with or they’d go in the bin. Needless to say they were not left as instructed and I got grouchy (difficult to believe I know) and I ceremoniously dumped them all in the green bin for collection. I’ve left them there since Sunday determined that I hated them so much I just had to throw them away despite the nagging guilt I had in the back of my mind.

This evening I was half way through dragging the green bin to the end of the drive for collection tomorrow morning and I had to turn back and rescue them all. I’m not sure why I’ve done this as we’ll only have a repeat performance the next time I allow them to be used but I couldn’t just ditch them after all.


And today, through endless rain and endless Hi Five DVDs I’ve managed to carry on with my table cloth. I love filet crochet because the end effect is amazing. But, until it’s blocked it’s so difficult to see how beautiful the item really is. Every night I lay it out on the table because I’m still a little scared that it may come out too small for my table, but at round 34 of 111 I’m fairly sure it’ll be fine.

This pattern is particularly difficult as I have to keep an eye on three diagrams at once. There’s the increase diagram, the start diagram that shows the beginning of certain rounds that have pattern beginning at each ‘corner’ and the main design diagram. Thankfully I love using pictures to stitch by rather than written instructions so I’m not getting into too much trouble and so far I’ve only had to unravel a couple of rounds and ignore a couple of mistakes.

But I have to keep going at it as I’ve received my instructions for the Robertson tartan.robertson-red-mod-200 Here’s an idea of what it’s supposed to look like and I’m hoping that the finished product will come out looking right. Thanks to Mrs Keith Snr, the instructions are super concise and I shouldn’t have too much difficulty following them. All I need to do now is to purchase a few balls of wool a week until I have them all. I will require a total of 13 balls of 100gm wool in red, blue and green. Can’t wait to get started on this!