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, March 28, 2012

I need more hours in the day

Life just seems to be getting in the way of creativity at the moment. So much for my ‘square a day’ challenge. Oh well, I suppose I should be pleased I kept it up for so long. We’re up to Thursday tomorrow and I’ve not been home for more than an hour all week. But I’m making progress on the plunket blanket.

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I’ve now got three of the seven rows sewn together. I’m doing a variation on a braid join where I go around the square in dcs, then ch 3, skip two stitches, sc into the third, all the way around. The next square I do the same except chain 2, sc into the ch 3 space of the previous square to join, ch 1 and sc after skipping two dc on working square (if this makes any sense at all).

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I’m liking the effect but, as usual, it won’t be at its best until it’s blocked. Unfortunately I won’t be doing any more tonight because I’ve got Lexi’s birthday gifts to complete. I’ve found a pattern for a La La Loopsy type doll, which I hope to be able to make tonight. Here’s hoping anyway.

There has been some real excitement in our house amidst the business though. Check this out . . .

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My family are no longer squished into my little Nissan Pulsar. Now we have a bus (at least that’s what we’ve called it). Life’s funny really. I’ve wanted a bigger car for so long. And then, a few weeks ago I found some peace about my wee grey bullet. It goes so well, it’s cheap to run and one day we won’t battle with car seats. So I’d resigned myself to having it for some time to come. Just when I get to this point my Dad realises it really is too small and was secret squirrel checking out these. We found just the right one on Monday and now it’s our family car. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to have space to breath as we travel about town. Thank you Dad. (Of course my Mum didn’t find it amusing when I said “wow, I should take another two children now). I was joking by the way.

Now it’s time to feed the hoards I have and make a start on Lexi’s doll.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Comfort Zone

.I discovered just how un-techno geek I am over the weekend. I use a laptop computer and have a wireless modem but have never, in two years in this house, been able to connect to the modem without the cable. Finally, completely over my lack of computer mobility I got on the phone to Vodafone (somewhere in India it seems).

After speaking with a lovely, and very helpful man for about 30 minutes, trying to input my password to connect up and having no success, he said to me “what does your screen say the modem is called?” “Dynalink” I replied. “But, you don’t have a dynalink” was his response. Oh. Right. Well, that will explain it. I’ve spent two years trying to connect to the neighbour’s modem using my password. Boy did I feel a goose.

So now I’m fully mobile and loving it because it’s meant that I can finally get rid of the world’s ugliest computer desk, all the junk that got dumped on top of it and I’ve created my own little creative comfort zone.

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I have a lovely comfy chair, some cushions I made last winter, and the table my Dad made when he was about 17 (it must be an antique by now). I anticipated that every time I wandered by I’d smile to myself and think . . . it’s all mine.

Alas, every time I wandered by I found some variation of this . . .

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I don’t know what it is about my children and the spaces I try to create for myself. I wonder if it has something to do with order versus chaos. Oh well, they aren’t here to pilfer my space during the day so I’m about to settle down to some creativity very shortly. Can’t wait!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wild Weekends

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It’s Sunday afternoon, the children are off looking at ambulances and rescue helicopters with their Nana and I’m shattered. It’s been one of those weekends where we have been on the go.

Friday night was one of our quarterly Crazy Cranium nights. We shared a Mexican style meal together and talked about all sorts of fun ‘women’ type things. We didn’t even get to playing Cranium. In fact, if it wasn’t for the Vicar/Volunteer fireman phoning his wife at 11pm to tell her to come home so he could attend a car accident with the fire brigade I think they may still be here chatting now. DSCF2569

Andrea made the centrepiece of the whole meal . . . a Jamie Oliver chilli chocolate cake. It was delicious and even my children love it. However, with half a kilo of chocolate in it, small pieces are essential.

Saturday was my mother’s birthday so we hung out with her for the day. She loved her blanket and her socks. The socks were such a hit with my dad that he’s ordered a couple of pairs for himself. Better finish mine to get started then.

Never wanting to be sitting around with nothing to do I took all the squares for the Plunket blanket with me and began putting them together. DSCF2565I’m joining them with a baby blue and will do a border of baby pink I think. I’m not usually one for random delegation of colours but I’m liking how this blanket is coming together. I’ll endeavour to show you a more completed version sometime this week.

After a restful day we headed off to the school gala. It was chaos in a very child friendly and exciting way. Janae, who hasn’t been since she was about 18 months old was mouth open in awe of all there was to see and do. Rogan and Kayley were off with their pocket money and having a ball.

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The giant bouncy slide is always a hit. You wouldn’t think from the look on Kayley’s face that this is an adventure they get to do quite often during the year as we are periodically invited to Kim and Craig’s house for a giant bouncy slide extravaganza. He puts it up in the drive and the kids go crazy while mums sit upstairs watching, drinking coffee and thinking about how blessed we are to have friends like Craig and Kim.

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I think this was Rogan’s favourite event of the evening. How cool is a motorbike carousel? It was almost as great as the real thing I think.

All in all, there hasn’t been a huge opportunity for crafting this weekend, so with the quiet that’s currently embracing my home I think I’ll sign off, find something for lunch and then carry on adding squares. It’s just bliss sometimes.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hmmmm how did that happen?

I find myself, on a glorious, wet, quiet Monday morning with three works in progress. Once upon a time I’d only ever have one thing on the go, with the next project swirling and twirling seductively in my brain, pushing me to get the current thing done. Alas, I’ve become yarn project trollop and am serial cheating on not one but two other projects.

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Now I’ve introduced you to the glorious cable cardi I’m knitting myself. I’m not exactly whipping through this one at a vast pace of knots as there are trillions of stitches on the needles (not quite but it feels like it) and I’m having to count through each row and keep an eye on which row I’m up to. I am, however, thoroughly enjoying making it and the anticipation of a finished product is almost giving me tingles in my toes.

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You’re also aware of the Plunket baby blanket I’m making squares for. I’m still diligently turning these out and have about 15 more to make before I join them all up.

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But I’m not sure I’ve shown you this. I know I showed you the yarn, but haven’t yet shared what I’m doing with it. It’s a pair of socks for me . . . at least it will be at some point in the future. I did have an initial disappointment with this pair of socks. I had envisaged a zebra type stripe, all funky and fun. Where as the actual yarn is knitting into something much more conventional. I’m over that now though and am not far off completing the first of the pair.

Now, though I have a dilemma. Which one do I choose today? I’m thinking it may have to be squares because I have been inspired by Jay at The Hook Nook. She is making the most beautiful African Flower hexagons and I want to make some too. I must, however, show some restraint and wait until at least two of the above projects are completed.

So I’ll leave you with this gorgeous image:

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Janae is very much her own fashion guru so I was very chuffed when she announced on Saturday morning that she wanted to be beautiful in the dress I made for her a few months ago. Unfortunately the hair up and princess crown under the hat means the hat doesn’t fit so well today. But a girl just can’t have too much bling . . . at least when she’s four she can’t.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It’s a struggle sometimes

I’ve been feeling under the weather this week. I’m not sure I can put my finger on it,but generally feeling quite yuck. I described it to my Mum this afternoon as “Feeling like you didn’t go to bed until about 3am and had to be up again at six.” Ah well, we keep on keeping on.

So to keep DSCF2556my spirits up I have been keeping on with making squares . . . albeit slowly. I’ve been keeping up with my square a day quota, and sometimes even two. This is quite funny really as these squares are quite small and easy to make, but it’s just finding the energy. However, I’m at the half way mark for this blanket so there’s a bonus.

And yesterday when I turned up at my parents to take the children to swimming lessons, she remarked on how truly ugly my red cardigan is. I’m well aware of this, but it was the first garment I’d made myself, it was my first dabble with cables and it’s soooooo comfy that I wear it all the time. It’s worse than fire engine red and I don’t really care. The comment did, I must say, make me decide to get some yarn and get started on a replacement garment.

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I’ve been eyeing up this cardigan for a while now. I pinned it a few weeks ago wondering if I’d have the skill and patience to make it. So I printed it off from the Drops website and showed it to my lovely Mum. “Do you think I’d be able to make this?” I asked her. “I think you could make just about anything,” was her reply, which was a shocker for a start.

So today we headed off together and chose the yarn. She’s so sweet my Mum. We’d both chosen the same colour without consultation and I informed her it was $1 per ball more than I had budgeted for. (I’ve been saving my earnings from last year’s hat sales to make myself something lovely.) “Don’t worry, I’ll make up the difference” She said. Thanks Mum.

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So, having cried off a very important meeting to sleep off another headache, I woke a little more refreshed and just had to make a start. I can never leave a new project on the shelf I’m afraid.

This is the easy part, and I’ve still centimetres to go before I get to the tricky part, so this should keep me happy for a while.

Now I have two more kids to get into bed, I’m showered and dressed in my own pyjamas, and I may take myself back to bed to knit a couple more rows in peace.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Beautiful Nine Year Old

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I can scarcely believe she’s nine already, but she certainly is. I was woken at some time around six this morning, dragged Janae out of bed and we did the birthday gift thing.

How strange, also to be giving gifts that are no longer about being a child. Silver jewellery, a digital camera. Kayley was amazed at these things. I’m sure there was a little disappointment that she didn’t get the usual haul of toys, but these things will give her pleasure for much longer.

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Here she is learning to edit her photographs on the computer. She’d taken sixteen within half an hour. Whew, thank goodness for digital.

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Here are some of her photographs both edited and unedited. Hmmm, I think we need some lessons on keeping the camera still etc. Still, not bad for a first effort and the only way is up from here.

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The bedroom makeover is under way. I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t make as much as I’d have liked as time just seems to be running away with me right now. And when I saw this duvet set the other day I knew I’d never make anything as beautiful as this. It’s the perfect match for her bedroom colours, is very grown up (I’d quite like this in my room). And I know there are a couple of other things to add to the bedroom coming this afternoon. I am confident that I’ll have a very satisfied girl curling up in her bed tonight.

Happy birthday my beautiful girl. I love you and wish you a fabulous year full of adventure, achievement and excitement.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Starts and Finishes

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I’ve managed to finish the purple blanket this week. Well, it’s not really big enough to call a blanket, but it’s big enough to lay your wee baby on while he/she kicks chubby legs in the air and chortles lovingly at you.

I did a very basic scalloped and ruffled edge because I think the colours speak for themselves and didn’t need too much adornment.

It was an interesting project to make but not one I’ll be doing again. Here’s the link to the square pattern again.

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And today, while my house has been full of children (six in total) I carried on adding to this little pile of pleasure. It’s been so long since I made a basic little square that I’d forgotten how rewarding it can be.

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I’m loving this little pattern with it’s simplicity and its gorgeous flower in the centre. It’s also helped me choose a border pattern already. Alas there are still five more rows of six squares to make and joining to be undertaken before I can even think about borders. But if you like this pattern you can find it here. It’s a fabulous resource of lots of motif patterns. I used a few in the Gala Blanket so I can vouch for their accuracy.

Now my little darlings are in bed, it’s all quiet and I need some dinner. Then it’s back to hooking my way through another ball of yarn. See you next week!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bags of Fun

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I arrived home from grocery shopping this morning to find this on my doorstep. I’ve been asked to make some baby blankets for Plunket and the St Vincent de Paul group. I was a bit cheeky and said I’d be happy to if the lovely ladies would like to donate some of their wool stash to go towards it.

This bag is full of gorgeous colours and I’m itching to make a start on something. Hmmm what to do first?

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I also had some inspiration about Kayley’s bedroom last night. (Which, after today’s purchase may be obsolete already.) I have some old pillow cases that I never use because they don’t match anything and are kind of blah. Then I remembered how Kate from Greedy for Colour had blanket stitched a pillow case and crocheted on to that. Brilliant! So last night while watching my favourite show “Winners and Losers” I made this.

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I’m so chuffed with how well it’s come out that I may have to hunt out more plain pillow cases and adorn them in the future. I may even have to have Op Shop Queen Andrea to keep an eye out while she’s doing her rounds too.

I used a pattern from the “500 Motifs, Pattern Stitches and Techniques” book that Janet loaned me the other day. I haven’t crocheted with any yarn this fine in a while so it took a couple of rows to get into it and then I was away laughing.

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I’ve also been making steady progress with putting my purple squares together. I’m not sure I’ll ever do a large square like this again. The making of the square takes an age and then the putting them together takes an age. I’m not patient enough I suppose. But I quite like the overall effect. It’s all a bit purple for my liking but I’m sure a wee girl somewhere will enjoy it. Well, here’s hoping!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Oh the Shame

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I can now see why I kept shutting the door on this for over a month. This room has been getting steadily worse since about half way through the school holidays and I just haven’t had the heart to tackle it. Yesterday I finally took the bull by the horns.

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After two hours of huffing, puffing, the odd swear word and lots of “those ruddy children” I got it looking a bit more inhabitable. Unfortunately, all that tidying up, throwing away and organising left me little headspace to claim the room as my own. Maybe that’ll happen next week. I was reminded, however, of the need for a sofa in here. This is where the children can watch their DVDs and videos to their hearts content on wet and cold days. Currently they use their beach chairs, but I’d love for them to have a proper sofa to sit on. If you know of anyone selling off and old one, be sure to let me know.

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So all that tidying left me free today to start joining squares. I bet you thought I’d given up on the purple blanket. But no; it’s been quietly being made, with little fuss and bother. I tried out a couple of other joining methods before settling on this one and I’m so glad this is what I chose. You can find out how at this link.

I’d love to spend the rest of the day dong this, but I’ve got an Iconz planning meeting. We’re starting up a programme at our Church for the girls. We’ve run Iconz for boys for a while and it’s been such a hit we decided it was time the girls had something. So, I can’t spend all afternoon hooking, alas a bit of a tidy up is in order. Thankfully, however, I’ve learned a bit of the art of delegation and Nicky is bringing the supper. Looking forward to that too!

Monday, March 5, 2012

It Seems Summer is Over

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So it’s perfect sock weather. I was determined to get Kayley’s socks finished this weekend and I managed it last night. I am quite amazed that not only have I made a whole pair, I’ve actually now made two whole pair and am ready to make a third. However, I think I’ve got enough of this pink yarn left to make Janae a little shorty pair . . . we’ll see.

I have only one disappointment . . . as my confidence has grown, my tension has got better and these socks only look like a pair due to their colour. Their patterns certainly don’t match. Ah well, Kayley loves them all the same.

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She had them on first thing this morning (it was quite chilly here first thing). And I think the only reason she didn’t wear them to school as that I’d warned her they were not to be lost in the play ground somewhere. Kayley is notorious for having one of every pair of socks within weeks of her getting new ones. Of course, being neon pink and zany patterns, I’m not sure anyone else would want them anyway.

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But socks aren’t the only thing I worked on this weekend. Keeping with the square theme, I’ve been playing with some ideas for our upcoming Lamp Upcycle Challenge. I’m not sure I’m in love with this idea so I may have to play around with some other thoughts.

Once I’ve got the toy room sorted this morning I’ll have another go at some cotton squares.

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And yesterday my crafty friend Janet popped in and loaned me these two books. She’s clearing out her craft supplies for a craft supply fair at Easter (must put that in my diary) and she came across these two books; knowing my obsession with all things square at the moment she thought I’d like to use them. Thank you Janet. All loans gratefully received!

Right, a very messy toy room awaits. It’s time to claim the space as my own. All the soft toys are off to the school gala, all the broken bits are in the bin and I’m ready to spread my crafty wings. Wish me luck . . . it’s a minefield in there!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Love Love Love

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I didn’t get any hat yarn this morning as I fell in love with these two yarns and couldn’t justify another ball this week.

While I was making socks for my Mum I kept thinking how cool they’d be in a zebra type stripe; you can imagine my delight when I saw the ball on the left. I almost danced in the isle with joy.

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And I’ve made a start with the pink for Kayley. She wanted the same pattern as her Nanny so I’m making the same socks again. It seems I’m breaking down so many barriers of my ‘norms’ right now. I’m so glad that the white is the prominent stripe with this yarn as I’m thinking it’d all be way too pink . . . even for Kayley.

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And I made this little number last night. This hat is from Love Stitches blog and it’s beautiful. She has another gorgeous hat design I want to make for myself. This lovely hat will form part of Lexi’s birthday gift on 31 March. Of course, Janae proved a willing model as usual.

So it’s off to tidy up the house before my mother arrives and asks what I’ve been doing all day. I’ve had one little girl at home today and it’s amazing how just one child can mess up tidy serenity in just a few hours. Still, got a child free night coming up on Friday night so I think I can mentally cope for another 24 hours!