Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Embroidery Hoop Art

Who doesn't love some stitching or beautiful fabric presented in an embroidery hoop?

A very good close friend of mine has recently brought a new home.  She has a love of all things retro and vintage and is slowly creating an amazing, beautiful retro themed space to dwell in.  She has been collecting things for years from garage sales and op shops and is loving rediscovering and placing her items in her own space.

As it was her birthday recently I made her a little something to display somewhere amongst her treasures.  I saw something similar on Pinterest, link here with tutorial.

Check out what others have been creating here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Marshmallow Shooters

Sprat was away on a playdate this afternoon and Danger Mouse was feeling a bit left out.  I had everything needed to make some Marshmallow Shooters and we spent the afternoon firing marshmallows at each other.  It was the perfect distraction with a heap of laughs and a lot of marshmallow eating.  He found it really easy to launch mini marshmallows at any given target. Mostly me.

These are so easy to put together.  Just chop the bottom off a disposable cup.  Cut a tiny bit off the rounded end of a balloon and stretch over the lip of the cup.  Tie the end of the balloon and you are ready for marshmallow wars.

I'm looking forward to finding mini marshmallows all over the house for days to come now ...

Linking up with other mamas here.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Treasure Jars

Danger Mouse is an avid treasure hunter and collector.  We cannot go anywhere without him coming home with his pockets full of 'treasure'.  Often I end up carrying a random rock, have special leaves stuffed in my pockets or a little piece of plastic slipped into my purse to carry.

He needs a place to store his special items, that will display them as well.  I have seen floating all over Pinterest  jars with animals glued to the lids, spray painted bright colours, and thought we'd have a go at the same thing.

I brought some nice big jars from Mitre 10.  I wanted something bigger than a mason jar for Danger Mouse. He collects a lot of stuff.  Animals from a dollar store which the hubby glued to the lids using expoxy adhesive.  Hopefully these animals won't be falling off.

And the kids dictated that they wanted them exactly as they were.  Who am I to argue?  Although slightly disappointed - I really wanted to let loose with some spray paint!

The kids have them displayed on their dressing tables and Danger Mouse is already excitedly telling me about all the treasure hunting trips we'll be doing this week.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Robot Quilt

A Robot Quilt for Danger Mouse.  I finished it late at night and put it on his bed while he was sleeping.  I was greeted with a very excited squeal, followed by a massive hug of excitement when he woke.  I am so glad he likes it.

This isn't my most favourite quilt I've made.  I loved the fabrics when I purchased them, but as I cut them and starting piecing it, it just wasn't coming together like I had imagined.  Sam saw it at this stage and loved it, so I decided as he was happy with it I'd stop fussing and just leave it as it is. It will probably bug me forever that it is not quite right to me ....

I had it quilted by Ashleigh at Donna's Quilt Studio and she quilted it in blue to try and tone down the green, and with the blue binding it has somewhat worked.  Its backed in a beautiful blue mink fabric so is super snuggly and warm.

Danger Mouse is extremely happy in his corner of the bedroom.

Now it must be time to work on some quilts for me!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Op Shopping - Tea Cup Trios

Moan and ye shall receive..... no, not really.....  But I did have a whinge to a friend only a few days ago about how its been months since I have found any teacup trios in the oppies lately.  And today I found two!  A lovely coincidence and I take back everything I said in my moan about my first world op-shopping problems.  *blush*

I love this.  Its Royal Vale and very well loved and used.  I don't actually believe its a true set - I think the saucer is an impostor.  I could be wrong, but I think with these sets the spots were all the same colour.  But I love it all the same and by the wear I think the previous owner did as well.

This is Queen Anne and quite a common set, but so pretty and in beautiful condition.  

Our local SaveMart was having a 50% off sale, so on the same op-shopping trip I picked up a massive bundle of clothing for the children, along with more books.  I miss having the children around me when they go back to school and kindy, but it does mean I get to op-shop in peace.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New Discoveries - Waitomo to Marokopa Short Walks

Another adventure was had by us yesterday.  We headed out past Waitomo Village towards Marokopa, looking for the Mangapohue Natural Bridge.

We pretty much drove into the boomsticks of back and beyond.  25km past Waitomo Village on Te Anga Road, a tight winding road with nothing around us but bush, paddocks and scrub land.  I started wondering what I was getting myself into.  And was very thankful no-one got sick.

But the drive is more than worth it.  The carpark for the Mangapohue Bridge is well signposted and on the right hand side of the road.  Its a 5 minute walk along a really cool boardwalk to get to the bridge and its spectacular.

Its a huge 17 metre limestone arch, apparently all that is left of an ancient cave system.  You can take the stairs up to the top, and the kids spent a fair amount of time up here listening to their voices echoing about the walls.

From the top of the bridge you can walk around through farmland back to the carpark.  Unless its been raining.  Then its just a big sludgy mud mess and its best avoided from the bridge side.  We went back around and took the carpark path to the farmland as we really wanted to see the fossilised oyster shells.

There were really random outcroppings of rocks with some pretty cool fossils in them.  Great learning opportunity for the kids and for them to explore and touch.

Back to the car, and a further 4km down is the Piripiri Cave.  Again the carpark for this is on the right hand side.

This was another short 5 minute walk to get to the entrance of the cave.  Being a cave, obviously it was rather dark and probably quite spooky looking to the children.  It had stairs to the bottom, and I stood inside at the top for a few minutes to let my eyes adjust to the darkness.

The children were rather hesitant about entering the cave, but after I told them I was going in and they could wait for me at the top they decided sticking with me in the dark cave was a better option than waiting alone at the top.  Don't worry, I would of been able to see them the whole time had they decided not to come with me.

Of course once in there, much more shouting, echoing and fun followed!  You don't need a torch as there is enough light coming from the entrance to see.

And a further 2km down from the cave are the Marokopa Falls, carpark on the left hand side.  This was another very short walk to the most spectacular falls I have seen in NZ yet.  They were huge!

I was slightly impressed....

We drove on from here to the teeny tiny township of Marokopa.  By now the drizzle had really set in and it was a pretty miserable day.  We wanted to explore a bit more in Marokopa but the weather held us back.  It will be there another day but from what I could see it is a stunning west coast beach and well worth the trip to explore and spend the day.

Another day exploring the paradise I am lucky enough to call home.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Loving the School Holidays

We are loving the laid back pace of school holidays.  So far we've spent a fair amount of time just chilling out at home, re-energising and bonding with each other.

The children have made airplanes and boats from off cuts of Dads wood and painted them.

We've had a birthday party for Sprats toy dog Buster, complete with look a-like cake.

We've had a movie night sleepover in the lounge.

And bliss, its been warm enough for water play on the trampoline.

Looking forward to more quality time together this week with no interruptions of school pick up and drop offs.  Love this time at home with my babies.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

New Discoveries - Hakarimata Rail Trail, Ngaruawahia

Excited that its school holiday time again.  That means time to explore more around the Waikato. Today the children and I rode the Hakarimata Rail Trail in Ngaruawahia.

It was totally achievable for their age levels and a great morning out.

The carpark and beginning of the ride on Waingaro Road is signposted and is only about a 100 metres on the right after the Perry Quarry entrance.

Its only 1.5km to the end of the trail.  The trail is pretty flat and grassy most of the way.  At the end of the trail you find yourself in a picnic area by a stream, and its only a short 200 metre walk to some small cascades.  There is even a bike rack to park your bikes up on.  The children had a ball here throwing stones into the water.

Shortly before reaching the picnic area at the end of the track it must be warned that we passed a tall 6 foot high wire fence which had 3 rather loud, growling and vicious looking bull dogs behind it.  They gave the children a heck of a fright and it was a bit unnerving at first until I realised that they were actually contained. It took some time to calm poor Sprat down and he was a bit on edge for the rest of the ride.

Other than that, we had great fun.  We were back home before lunchtime and the children are looking forward to their next adventure.

For more official information check out the DOC info on the Hakarimata Rail Trail here.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Up-cycled Chair Take 2

Finally one of the three old wooden chairs I have been carting around for months on end has been up-cycled for use in my sewing room.  The hubby is very happy to see one less old chair sitting in his garage.  He threatens to dispose of them each time he visits the dump.

I have done one before, the previous post is here, and I basically followed the same instructions except this time I primed the chair twice before painting.

It started off rather humble.

I love the finished result.  Now I just need to finish the sewing room.