About Me

My photo
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, September 27, 2012

Trials, triumphs and not really knitting


Janae is off to a mermaid party on Saturday and I’ve had this fabric waiting for some time to make up into her little mermaid outfit. She’s so in love with the material that she almost took it to bed last night.DSCF0183

So tonight I thought, it’s all cut out . . . get to sewing. Huh. My machine just isn’t cutting it. There is something about the material that makes the needle all sticky and then the cotton gets stuck to the needle and won’t sew. I’ve tried two other types of needles with the same problem. Thankfully the tail is sewn together so tomorrow I’ll find a sunny spot and sew it up by hand. Not my favourite job, but I can’t let my girl down now.


As for the triumphs and “not really knitting” part of my title, I did make this today. And what fun it was, even if I don’t really feel like it was knitting.


I’ve seen these scarves around a lot and seen kits for making them etc so today I grabbed a ball as I sailed past while in Spotlight, and sat at the Lovely Carolyn’s table chatting. I knitted, she sewed. Within three or four hours (not all of that was spent at her house, we took our collective brood for a hot swim and continued with craft and conversation) the scarf was complete and ready to wear.

Tomorrow Janae and I are making our pre-school-holiday pilgrimage to the library for holiday supplies so I think I might sneak into Spotlight (no where near the library I must confess) and grab a ball of something else. I can’t quite believe I’ve got a fabulous scarf for under ten dollars and made in less than half a day. I could get used to knitting like that!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I didn’t make it


I have been furiously crocheting when ever I got the chance but I just wasn’t fast enough to get this complete for Mum to take to Australia with her. It’s taking me about 15 minutes per round and I still have eight rounds to go. They leave for the airport at 6am tomorrow so there’s just no way.

Why didn’t I have time? Well, it’s all because of mothers.

When I was just two weeks old my Mum and Dad adopted me into their family and I’ve lived my whole life with the knowledge that I’m adopted but they were my parents. When I was about 21 I embarked on years of international travel starting with a mission trip around the South Pacific on a tiny tin ship. I was struck that if I wanted to contact my birth mother I’d better get on to it so I did.

I’m now 40 and my BM and I have been keeping in touch, having holidays together and enjoying each other’s company a lot. She arrived in New Zealand last Friday and this Friday she came down for the weekend with my biological grandmother. This is always cause for great delight and this weekend has been wonderful.


Just one of the highlights was a walk around the reserve in Omokoroa. It’s called the Crapp reserve due to that being the family name of those who owned all the land once upon a time. An unfortunate name, but one I’ve grown up with.


A carving has been done in one of the old Redwoods that needed to be felled as it was dangerous. This man is the Reverend somone . . . one of the first settlers in our little village. The children love to climb up and give him a hug.


The truly great thing about this walk is that it goes in front of lots of beautiful gardens. So there’s breath taking views on one side and glorious gardens on the other. Bliss.



The only fly in the ointment was three children all calling out “Gail, Gail look a this, take a picture of this, watch this.” Thankfully she was gracious to them and indulged them so it wasn’t stressful at all.

So now I’m alone again. Both mothers have been farewelled this afternoon and are jetting off for Queensland in Australia. Lucky them!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Tall Order

My Mum is abandoning her family and is taking herself off to Australia for a couple of weeks on Monday. We’ll miss her, but she deserves a bit of a treat. She works hard keeping us all in line. So, as a bonus, she’s given me a reprieve on the scarf and has me beavering away making a crochet top for her to take away.


So far I’ve spent two evenings on it and I’m probably quarter of the way through. It’s lots of fun to make, and like all crochet items, is super quick too . . . once you figure out the pattern. It’s difficult to see what it will be like from this picture but here’s what it should look like by Sunday night . . .


The pink colour is a little out of her comfort zone, or so she thinks, but I know it will go with lots of things in her wardrobe. I’m just hoping that I’ll have it done in time. Here’s hoping the children don’t want too much attention over the weekend. This pattern is from the Crochet Today August/September magazine I shared with you a couple of weeks ago.

But I need to have a wee confession. I haven’t actually been working on the scarf, I’ve been sneakily making a hat.


This pattern is from a supplement found in last month’s Australian Women’s Weekly magazine. I would show you a photograph but I can’t lay my hands on the pattern right now. It’s knitted in the round, is a lacy beret style hat and is exactly what I’ve been looking for all winter. Typically I have one now it’s spring, but it’ll do for next winter I’m sure. It takes an immense level of concentration and, as with all things lace, I had three false starts before I got going. I’m nothing if not stubborn.

After having so long without anything much to show crafty wise, it’s great to finally be sharing some exciting things. All I have to do now, is to remember to get a photograph of mother in her new clothing item . .  assuming it’s complete. Please keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A day out


We took the children out of school today so they could go and congratulate their cousin in person. It was glorious and the sun was smiling on NZ to welcome home her Champions.


We had a long wait but found ways to fill it in. And finally the plane taxied past the window and we shot downstairs.


Another long wait which my Dad filled by chatting up a One News reporter (young and pretty . . . he couldn’t help himself). And finally they came out. I was surprised at how emotional it all was. When we hugged our champion we all had a tear in the eye. Mary, however, took it all in her stride.


Once all the media interviews were over we got to spend a few minutes with Mary. The children got to hold the gold medal (it’s really heavy) and touch it. I was happy to see there was braille on it and Mary read it to the children.


Kayley was astounded that Mary could sign her autograph. I think she’s forgotten the hours they spent together painting the last time Mary visited.

Now I’ve got to go as we’re glued to the news. Apparently Janae features too. How exciting.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Proud doesn’t even come close


I truly and honestly have a tear in my eye while I write this. My gorgeous cousin Mary has won a gold medal and broken the world record in her final swim of the Paralympics this morning. I jumped up and down, shouted and shouted. I cannot quite imagine how she must be feeling. Can’t wait until she’s home so we can ring her up and bombard her with love and congratulations. We love you Mary!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Where’s Wally?


If I said to you that this morning I saw a rabbit being chased down by a pair of ninjas you’d think I’d lost my mind. However, as it’s the annual Book Fair at school and the Book Character day today, it probably makes a bit more sense.


Book Character day is a big deal at OPS. Kayley (aka Wally) doesn’t do dressing up but this is the one day of the year that she really gets into it. A huge thank you to Andrea for lending us the costume. (Andrea is amazing at stuff like this; her daughter was the spitting image of Raggedy Anne.)


Rogan is Prince Caspian from the Chronicles of Narnia. We’ve seen the movies, but have yet to tackle the books. I’m still not convinced he knows a great deal about his character but he adores his costume. This was kindly lent by Nikki who has the most incredible dress-up box you’ve ever seen.


Never one to be left out, Janae had to have her turn too. She was “girl Wally” over breakfast this morning.


Even the teachers get into the spirit of it all and they were colours but with Maori names . . . kakariki = green, kowhai = yellow etc. There were a number of Tinkerbells looking gorgeous in green sparkly dresses and that’s what Janae has decided she’s going to be for next years event. It’s inspired me to find just the right fabric and make her a Tinkerbell outfit for her birthday in a couple of months.

Well, I hope the rabbit has managed to evade the ninjas . . . they’re in different classes so he’s probably safe until break time, then he’ll be running like a . . . well . . . rabbit I suppose.

Monday, September 3, 2012

So many ways to waste time


Did I ever tell you about our new table? We have a lovely little round table that’s perfect for the four of us. However, as our social lives increase our table seems to decrease. So, after a dinner at our house, with seven of us cosily packed around the table, Bill and Janet arrived with this glorious wooden structure.

I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to have a table that is too big for my everyday needs. I can fold washing on it, cut out fabric on it, perform surgery if that was ever required. And now we’re doing a puzzle on it.


This puzzle was another gift from a neighbour. I have no idea if all the pieces are there but it’s fun finding out. And, it shows how much the wee darlings are growing up. We sit around this jigsaw for ages together trying to slot in pieces. If I’m completely honest, it gets a little frustrating when I go to it after the darlings are in bed and have to remove all the bits that are in the wrong place, but I’m forcing myself not to stress about that and continue to see the positives. However, we’ll need to get it done smartly as we’ve got people over for dinner tomorrow night and I don’t think we want to be eating around this little gem.


So, unfortunately I don’t have much in the way of crafting to show you. We seem to be busy doing other things right now. I think, because the weather finally turned nice, we did a lot of outdoors things. Here we are taking a before school walk around the orchard to see if we have any more babies. We didn’t have any at this time, but I think the noise of the children may have sent one mum into labour because that afternoon we came across a new set of twins. How exciting all this spring newness is in our household.

Now I need to get organised. I’ve been inspired by a coffee ad on the telly where some mums get together for a morning break. So I’ve texted some friends to come over. There’s nothing else to do as the rain is pouring down again. The fire is on, the baking is in the pantry, now I’ll go organise the coffee part.