Magical little caravan

Now I’m not claiming to have made this caravan – that’s something only skilled peeps can do like my brother in law Paul (ex coach builder extraordinare…). But I do know a few clever folk who made magic with finding this wee beauty, Dora, who will be a holiday hotspot for many lucky people thanks to the super duper creative agency where I work.

Take a pinch of clever, a handful of designers, 1 crafty wordsmith, 1 little lady with a knack for styling and treasure hunting and that’s a recipe for the best little client Christmas gift ever.

Pillow slips and keys were sent to our clients with the aim to take them to a better place – Dora.  All of our clients were invited to take a trip, a wee break away and go stay in Dora with their friends and family. Lucky huh! She sleeps four and will live at Castlepoint and Hot Water Beach for six months at a time. Her beauty is inside and out. With lots of little cupboards and things that fold out and reveal she’s filled with Crown Lynn and good times.

Having just moved to her first plot I got to go check her out and stay a few nights to make sure she was set up okay for her first guests. She passed with flying colours. Everyone needs a friend like Dora – welcoming, restful and just there for you.



Happy Fritz-mas

When the chap with the red suit and bushy white beard comes to visit us this Christmas he’ll see that there ain’t no cookies and milk left for him.  Meet Fritz. Reindeer. Baking lover. Mantle dweller.  A contemplating sort of chap, he’ll make friends depending on what treats are on offer.

Le petit crochet

With a crochet itch to scratch, extra balls of wool were collected and a petit kitty crochet number was created! Not the biggest fan at first, Imy’s now taken to her own special blankie much to my delight.  A ka-ute (as Melly would say) addition to the sitting room.  Ahhh perfect for cat naps in the summery sun.

To bake is to breath

Birthday’s come and go with the cake being a fond memory of mine. Harken back to my little years I remember clearly mum’s super efforts … Minnie and Mickey Mouse, The Pink Panther, A Hansel and Gretel house made with cholocate fingers – heaven!  With a couple of friends coming over for a spot of afternoon tea to celebrate our birthday’s a cake of meringues was just the ticket.

Piled high on my favourite cake plate courtesy of Tim’s folks cream was lashed on along with roasted slivered almonds, grated chocolate, and berry coulis. Oh baking I do love you!


Woolly wedding wishes

Way back when The Doily Grind began my pal Nicola was getting hitched to her fella Lindsay.  Well the BIG day came and went with much joy and delight for the happy couple.  Awaiting their return from England were lots of their friends and family armed with treats to mark the occasion.

With a gift challenge on my hands my new love of crochet (which has slightly waned with the time it took – I’m a quick win crafter!) came to mind with a woollen wedding blanket the result.  Red being Nic’s accent colour of choice in her beautiful workman’s cottage I got stuck in and a few months later it was ready.

Ta da!  Welcomed with open arms the wee blanket is loved dearly by her cat Brian’s paws and Nic’s shoulders when Skyping late at night to her family back in old Blightly!

What can’t you do with a tea towel?

I am big fan of tea towels but for their textile prowess not for washing dishes! Both items in this shot pay homage to the humble tea towel and a bit of creativity. The ‘home’ pillow is from a trio of Donna Hay tea towels I was given that now sport white vinyl that I hand cut and hand-stitched creating my ‘home sweet home’, whereas the dapper striped rabbit was a Freedom purchase over the weekend to make this chap up for a gift.

Special Guests #5-7 – The Social Knitwork

Like Hollywood movie stars and Kabbalah, Wellingtonians are taking up crafty ventures like nobodies business.  Eager to create and more importantly take a bit of ‘me’ time out each day a few of us have created ‘The Social Knitwork.’

With a goal each in mind to produce our own crewel embroidered book cover, wall art, album cover or stitchiness it’s on like donky kong.

With a few of our founding members out of the country (Nic and Margie) the rest of us started the inaugural session with a puff of enthusiasm. Check out the boys in action. They’re doing well and giving the rest of gals a run for their money.

Party fox

What now seems like many moons ago, was a wonderful day I had off work with two of my stitching comrades, where we enjoyed a day of craftanoon of good fun.

On this stay-cation (when you stay put but have a vacation – clever term huh… a visit to Madame Fancy Pants was had and a Tako Fibres Crewel Embroidery kit was bought by yours truly – named Party Fox.

Now I don’t often buy kits to craft with. I’m more of an experimental lass, seeing what nifty things I can dream up in my imagination.  But this chap was something else and I had to have my own, I am going through a fox phase after all.

In my little box of Party Fox crewel was a hoop, linen with my foxy mate printed on it, tapestry wool, and a sweet book titled Tako Fibers tiny guide to crewel embroidery. So cute and practical. Is that a deal or what?

A small company run by Emily Baier from the US, Tako Fibers is a wonderful place to purchase kits to make your own ‘yarn art’ and add a bit of texture to your life. Take a look, have a read about Emily and what she does. She’s very inspired.

Check out my party fox next to Emily’s… brothers surely? I need some help with my photography though!


Special Guest #4 – Little lady April

I’m finding it very hard to get people to be my special guests so I’m resorting to making new friends online – they just don’t know it that’s all.  So I came across Jillian Tamaki the other day on a blog I was sent the link to  which is so lovely!!!!!!!

So with a love of books and now embroidery check out these Penguin thread covers by Jillian. They are truly spectacular oh la la!

Jillian Tamaki Sketchblog


A little quilt for our little family

I’m not about easy wins but most of the projects I have done to date have been short and sweet just like my favourite pastry.  So what you are about to see is something of a momentous occasion!

Now the gals I stitch and bitch with are a talented bunch when it comes to many things, but when it comes to quilts the wow-ometer goes sky high! They are crazy good, making amazing quilts left, right and centre for their  friends and family.  How could I not be inspired.

Not one to follow a pattern exactly I decided that my quilt would free-range and would feature a few things to make it personal to me and my little immediate family.  First I added our surname. Strange is one of those names that gets a lot of comments. I must say I’ve always found it to be good.  People love it!  Second I wanted a silhouette of my moggy Imogen (thanks Margie!) because she’s just so cute and a big part of our family. Thirdly I wanted to celebrate our first home so I popped in the address of our wonderful we bungalow.  Everything you need to make a ‘our first home blanket’ if you ask me.

Days, weeks, and months of sewing, cutting and hand-stitching have gone by with my quilt now finally complete.  It’s so beautiful (I hope you agree) and will welcome any guest who comes to stay, taking pride of place in our guest room.  There’s just nothing quite like taking all that time to make something really special that you can not only enjoy yourself but share the people who come to stay x