Creative Chaos

Creative Chaos

Monday, 16 January 2017


I woke up today and on impulse decided to go strawberry picking! Our days are blank mostly, with few plans made, and when they are, it is usually doing things on impulse. They are truly lazy days - most people I know are away (including half of this family!), so a lot of time is spent by oneself or with the youngest.

It was fantastic and oh my - such amazing strawberries - far superior to any supermarket ones!

Then we came home and made strawberry jam! I have not eaten a lot of jam since I had my tonsils out 4 years ago, so I am hoping my likeness of it has returned!! 3kg has been frozen for further yumi-ness! We went to Garelja Brothers at 83 Old North Road in Kumeu. It was free picking and $6.50 a kg, which I think is amazing! A fabulous way to spend a couple of hours. I'll be going back!

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Twelve Days of Christmas Swap

I took part in the lovely Jo's Twelve Day of Christmas Swap. We were paired up with a partner and had to send each other 12 days of gifts, to be opened from Christmas Day. I started mine from Boxing Day accidently!

I am a bit dismayed to read that Jo will discontinue the swap this year due to people pulling out for one reason or another, not getting in contact with partners etc. Poor Jo - co-ordinating a swap is hard work and I always hope that if anyone signs up, they do their part (or really, don't sign up if you don't think you can do your part!). For me, I'm committed right from the start and will always carry through on it - it's like a promise really - I don't break them (particularly around children - if I promise a student or a class anything at school, I'll always come through!).

Anyway, I was partnered with the lovely Tanya. We e-mailed a bit before trying to find out each other's likes and dislikes. This is what I sent off to Tanya -

 Ti-Ora tea (I've a package here still to try); ribbon; baking cases, crafty items and a mug rug I knitted (possibly snow where you live now Tanya?)
 The Merry Christmas box is from Kikki K and is the cutest little stationery kit out; Christmas cards in a tin and jaffas - everyone from outside of New Zealand has to try a Jaffa - a chocolate covered ball (Dunedin has the famous Jaffa Run every July).
 A little notebook; stickers and pens from Kikki K.
 An oven mitt; kiwiana serviettes with the Pohutukawa (The New Zealand Christmas Tree) on them and I've no idea what I had wrapped up there and whether it is in one of these photos already!
And here is everything together.

Tanya's package arrived in good time, quite a bit before Christmas (I am STILL waiting for the last thing to arrive from England for one of the boys!)

 Isn't this stained glass window amazing? It hangs beautifully on a bedroom window.

 A lovely knitted scarf - I'd love to know how to do the border stitch. And look! How cute! A teddy bear in a bag to make! I've enver seen anything like this before.
 Writing paper, note cards and envelopes for the stationery queen (love all stationery!), a gold pen, a sweet little sewing kit (perfect to take everywhere!), robin coasters (oh how I love robins - none in New Zealand) and a cute kitchen sign.

Very funky toe socks; a yankee candle (only the 2nd one I've ever head - the smell is divine!); crystals for a burner and an angel candle.

I so love taking part in swaps and the generosity of everyone involved - thank you so much Tanya for your awesome gifts and it was lovely to have Christmas for a bit longer! Great work Jo too!

Friday, 13 January 2017


OH! I am so angry at the landlord of the neighbours who has just cut over half the height of OUR hedge - the hedge is on our boundary, and even though we have showed her legal proof, she has done what she wanted to. We have told her she is never touching it again - she wants a fence now. We don't (I think hedges are so much nicer, fences need upkeep etc) and it is un-necessary and a total waste of money when not needed!

I'm walking around the house grumpy - I loved my sanctuary of my backyard - we are so close to a very, very busy road, so this hedge gave us a bit of privacy from all the traffic etc

Anyway, I'll get over it, but be grumpy for days now.

These photos were taken in the lovely city of Rotorua - I really do love it there (most of the time - not the July trip last year when a major accommodation bungle occurred) and we had a couple of great days there over New Years Eve. An easy to walk around or cycle city (we took our bikes down and cycled all over the place). These photos were taken in the Government Gardens - the stunning building at the back housed the Rotorua Museum (which was great) until the earthquake in November last year...

Always a neat place to go for a weekend - a ton of stuff to do in Rotorua with or without kids!
You do get used to the rotten egg smell (all the thermal activity which is very cool!).

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Winter Project Link Party

Well it's not exactly winter here, but the real summer has yet to arrive (when we are all back sitting in stinking hot classrooms no doubt!). I'm joining in with Thistlebear's Winter Project Link Party.

It's Cambridge A Level results day today, so I am trying to keep busy! The kid does not really need these marks, as got early entrance into university, but it is still a bit nerve wracking! I think he did kinda give up on the full on study mode though, as the acceptance arrived 3 days before the A level exams started...

I've had a bonanza summer of crafting already and am just half way through my 46 days off school now, so hopefully more will be achieved. You can see here and here the things I have started and finished - the knitting projects were started 18 months ago.

Yesterday I cut out and sewed my first ever top. It went really well, with a fairly straight forward pattern! I really do love it and the best bit? The husband thought I had bought it !!! High praise indeed! (but he does need to pay heed that I am trying to really keep out of the shops - pattern buying cheaply an exception!)

This morning I have cut out the fabric to make a dress using the same pattern -

And I've this fabric too to make another top - I thought I'd try a lighter fabric to see if it drapes more lightly.

I only own 6 or so patterns, so have been on Trade Me buying a few more dress/skirt/bag patterns this morning. A fabric shop down south has closed down, so they are selling them really cheaply for $3/4 each! (sewing patterns can be up to $20 each here - the two times I've bought them have been on a super special at Spotlight!)

Apart from sewing, I've been working on another plain sock for a workmate -

and continuing with this cross stitch!

Loving my days off!

There has been room clearing out sessions with the teens - the op shop pile is growing.
And baking too with my kitchen aid. The boys have either been working, cycling, on the rowing machine or with mates or in front of screens a bit after a 10 day break from screens!

Happy crafting - don't forget my swap!

Monday, 9 January 2017

Cousins' Advent Calendar Swap - Days 16 to 20

Such a lovely day here - 4 loads of laundry getting dry outside and a pottering day again throwing out school and university work and wardrobe clear outs!

***I've added my "show us your country 2017" blog swap on the sidebar ***

My goodness - I've still items to show from the cousins' advent calendar swap! We are up to days 16 to 20. These first items are what I sent. I loved the little pohutukawa wooden decoration. And I thought, living in a colder climate than Auckland, the slipper book might be a good idea.

These items below are what Jackie sent me -

I love the dishcloth! My favourite colour and I must learn how to knit this stitch. The wooden heart is so cool and I've added it to my heart wall display. Another ball of wool to match one sent earlier (will need to think what to knit - possibly a matching hat and skinny scarf?) and good old ecostore soap (bought as a fundraiser - what a cool idea. Much better than chocolate fundraisers!)

But my favourite, favourite item out of this set must be the knitting within the Christmas decoration. Isn't it gorgeous and so cute?! What a fab idea. I must learn where Jackie bought the clear empty decortions from - a very clever idea! We still have our tree up too - I do love the simplicity of the tree this (last) year!

I've still about 3-4 swaps to blog about - lots of little things to use and find homes for still!