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.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cakes, Decorations and Tantrums


I can’t decide what’s more stressful: very tired children in desperate need of a holiday; or a stressed out mother who has done no Christmas shopping, almost no Christmas baking and has only one more child free day before the holidays start.

Knowing that cake decoration is not my forte I’ve decided to share with you my effort for a Christmas Cake. I did have gorgeous photographs of the un-iced version as it shows a beautiful Victorian fruit cake from a recipe handed down for generations in my mother’s family. Unfortunately I accidentally deleted the photographs rather than transferring them to the computer as my kids were all having a tanty about something or other.


There are two major flaws with this decorating . . . the first being the heat of our New Zealand summer. Fondant only seems to want to wilt in this weather and gets damper instead of setting properly. The second is that I rolled the fondant way too thin. But we live and learn and the kids think it’s the most beautiful Christmas cake ever crafted. They’re so sweet.

As for the knitting, well it’s taken very much a back seat over the past week. There just isn’t the time right now to relax of an afternoon and enjoy watching the children play while I create. This is the key reason I’m looking forward to next week. Apart from the last minute dash around the supermarket on Christmas Eve to get all the truly fun and naughty food, my preparations should be over with by tomorrow night so we’ll be able to head down to the park/beach for sand and swing fun; we should be able to relax around the house and enjoy the heat and the paddling pool; we should be able to sleep late without worrying about catching busses, making school lunches and driving up to kindy every day. (I know that the “sleep late” thing is but a dream, but that’s the stuff life is made of they tell me.)

Now I’d best go get my oldest girl organised for her school prize giving. She’s not up for any awards but she insists on going along every year. Thanks again to Kim who is ferrying her about once again. I realised today that Kim has fast become a “chocolate cheescake friend” . . . the kind of friend I have to make a double chocolate cheescake for to say thank you for all the wonderful help she gives us.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas may be for children . . .


But Christmas Trees are not!

I hate how anally retentive I get about Christmas Trees, the correct way to decorate them and the perfect placing of each ornament with love, precision and care. So this year I’m trying my hardest to let the tree be, just as it is and not tamper with it when the children are sleeping soundly and unaware of what I’m up to.



Yes, I’m afraid I have been known to take all the decorations off the tree and re-apply them hoping they won’t notice the difference. This year I’m determined to leave it just as it is.

Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m suddenly laden with a summer cold, have sneezed for two days and have a temperature on the inside at the same time our day is having a “temperature” of its own. Colds are so much easier to handle when it’s cold outdoors.

We attempted to enjoy our tree erection process aided by favourite songs like Snoopy’s Christmas, Rudolph and Jingle Bells and the kids had a great time showing off their handywork to their Dad when he arrived so it can’t be as bad as I feel it is.

So it’s the last week of school and kindy and then we’re into the holidays for six weeks. I’m starting to get worried now as I’m fed up after one day: what will we be like by the time school goes back? I’ll be sure to let you know if we survive!

My Brother the Artist

DSCF1441We’ve had a surprise visit from my brother this weekend and the children have had a fabulous time hanging out with their dad. But the biggest blessing came when he handed me his portfolio case and I pulled this partially complete drawing out.

Now, I’ve always known my brother was talented but I had no idea just how talented. This girl is so beautiful that I feel sad she has to return to Auckland with Andrew to be completed and, no doubt, sold on to someone else. Oh how I wish she could stay.


My brother has chosen an interesting life; a life where he has no fixed abode, where he spends his days sitting on inner city streets and creating work like this. I’ve been guilty of being quite frustrated with his choices, disbelieving of some of his tall tales and sceptical of whether he was truly creating works of art or just bumming around. I definitely have to re-think the latter.



My mum and brother have taken the children to play at the school for an  hour so I can begin to prepare lunch in peace and they can have some time with him without me telling them off all the time. So I’m now going to take myself to the kitchen and make quiche and salad and gaze upon this. I must make him promise to draw something for me . . . and I’m even willing to pay for it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Janae


As I write this blog Janae and Rogan are playing on Janae’s new water slide. Well, Rogan’s having a ball and Janae is so tired from all the excitement she’s sitting naked in the middle of the lawn crying. However, don’t let the current mood lead to you believe that her third birthday has been anything other than very successful.


Her gifts were opened excitedly by six thirty this morning. Thankfully, the scooter was a huge hit. Every person who arrived this morning was greeted with a display of how clever she was on it.





All her gifts were received with a very grateful “Thank you” before being ripped into with glee. Here she is carrying Nanny’s gift in.




There was, of course the mandatory licking of the icing bowl to be undertaken this morning.





Lots of yummy food to be eaten . . . most of it sweet and tasty . . . which will account for a good deal of the mood going on right now.



And a birthday cake to be eaten. I apologise for my huge lack of finesse in cake making. It really is not my forte, however, when you’re three you don’t really care do you?


Now I’m counting down the hours until bedtime. We have another huge day tomorrow with celebration lunches for Nana’s 65th birthday and then the Christmas carols in the park tomorrow night. Boy, it’s going to be a long day on Sunday.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Birthday Galore


I cannot believe how many birthdays there are this week. The most important, of course, is that of our little Janae. She will be three tomorrow. Here are her gifts from us all wrapped and waiting to be discovered in the morning.

I’ve spent all day shopping and preparing for the party tomorrow. Seven little girls racing around the lawn . . . can you hear the noise?

But we’ve been so blessed because Janae’s best friend Ava has her very own bouncy castle and she’s bringing it tomorrow. I’m praying for no rain so that they can be outdoors and having fun rather than cramped in the toy room so here’s hoping.


It’s also Anna’s birthday today. I haven’t had a chance to see her so here’s her gift ready for when she drops off her daughter tomorrow morning. She’s a choc-o-holic so it’s just a box of chocolates. But it comes with a caveat: she must not allow her husband to hide them from her and if she wants to sit down and eat them all in one sitting then she jolly well should!


And Nana’s birthday is on Saturday. She’s always been disappointed because Janae was born a day early and they don’t share a birthday, but I think it’s better that way. I’ve bought her a rose from the children. Nana has a lovely big deck off her lounge with lots of pots and plants and, while she’s not strictly a rose plant person, I know that every summer, when this flowers, she’ll think of her grandchildren.

So, it’s happy birthday to all, and to all a happy birthday. The cake is cooling in the kitchen ready for icing tomorrow; the party treats are in the pantry; the gifts are wrapped. All that’s required of me now is a decent night’s sleep so that I can cope with the chaos tomorrow!