Ths is a simple little cot quilt that I made for my baby nephew. I actually started making it back when he was a newborn, and had intended to finish it shortly afterward, but it didn't happen, (you know how these things are.) It sat on my desk for (quite) a few months and I finally finished it up in time for his Christmas present.
I wanted the quilt to have a simple and graphic feel to it, so I paired my 'climbing trees' print with a mushroom-coloured cotton flannel, some plain cream cotton and a matching navy stripe. So it really couldn't be a simpler design.
I'm not sure that my little nephew will be in his cot for much longer (other peoples' babies seem to grow so fast, don't they?) but hopefully he'll still be able to use this in the car and pram, etc. I made Keira one when she was a baby, and she still uses it as her 'blankie'- it's quite a good size for dragging along on her various adventures.
A few lovely links:
Have you seen this gorgeous printable Christmas stationery from Geninne?
And how about these beautiful mittens from Quince and Co (as much as I love our summer Christmas, I can still daydream about a handknitted season)
And something I'd make if I could find blackboard paint easily today (without facing the crowds in town) would be these great d-i-y mugs.
I managed to make some gifts for fmaily and friends from my garden this year. Some early-flowering plants went to seed last week, so I gathered the seeds and made little packages of them with watercolour labels. And lavender I dried a couple of weeks back made some nice little linen sachets, a bit like these.
And lastly, some packs of collaged cards were put together late at night - the pictures were but from an old and falling-apart gardening book.
First day of school holidays today- I won't lie and say it's not a culture shock for both parent and children. Luckily we have lots of young neigbours nearby so the children just run as a pack through the houses. Hope your holidays are treating you well so far.
Thank you for your kind comments on yesterday's post! Here are some edible gifts that I have made this week to pass along to teachers, neighbours and friends. They're also a gift to myself because I let myself do some fun 'making' in the kitchen when I should really have been doing dull tasks such as packing and cleaning. So these edible items were made with a lot of love.
From the top:
- cellophane packages of peppermint bark. I used this great recipe and can verify that is indeed a pretty special treat. I had to test the edge pieces before wrapping, of course. Every December I read about this confection on American blogs and wonder about it, and now I have finally tried it myself. I think it's something my Dad would enjoy eating- don't worry, there's some for you in the fridge, Dad.
- apricot balls using this old recipe. I love these and the kids do too- they are easy and (relatively) healthy and who doesn't love that lemony apricot flavour?
- when it rained and rained last week, my strawberry patch got a bit wrecked. I rescued all the watery berries one night with a head torch. And made this jam to capture their summery goodness.
I also have plans to make a few bottles of lemon-barley syrup and some more shortbread. Oh, and maybe some of this sinful stuff, too if time permits. Hope I haven't made your teeth hurt just looking at all this stuff!
These are 'memory books' which I've made for the children for Christmas. I haven't mentioned it yet here on the blog, but we are moving to Wellington in the first week of January and I wanted the kids to have their own little albums recording some of the happy times we've had here in Nelson since we returned home from Norway three years ago.
One of my favourite things as a child (actually, it's still one of my favourite things to do whenever I go to my parents' house) was to flick through the family photo albums, and I've always felt slightly bad about not making albums of all the digital photos on our hard drive.
So now A and K can have their own albums to keep, and I made sure to keep some extra pages blank at the back for some photos from the Christmas and New Year parties and get-togethers we'll have before we finally leave in January. I bought the linen-covered cardboard albums a while ago and used 'magic dots' to affix the photos which I printed through my Flickr account.
We are moving because Tom has a new job in the central city- he was a high school teacher and he'll still be working in education, but in an office instead of in a classroom. We're all experiencing mixed emotions about leaving our family, friends and hometown (and the house we bought 18 months ago and love dearly) but luckily the capital city isn't too far away, and we are looking forward to all the exciting things it has to offer (such as international concerts and exhibitions for example, and hopefully visitors from home who come to enjoy them too.) In addition, Tom has been working up there for 6 weeks already, so it will be good to be together in the same house again.
I hope all your Christmas preparations are coming along nicely. See you tomorrow!
Here are some happy child-related finds that came our way over the past week:
1) This is a beautiful little painting named 'Keira in the blue dress', by Jennie De Groot who blogs here at The Distracted Painter. She wrote to me a while ago, asking if I'd mind if she used this picture of Keira in her new blue dress as painting inspiration. Of course I didn't, and Miss K is very honoured to have had her portrait painted.
2) Here we have the kids' absolute favourite new album, There's a dinosaur in my backyard by our local children's songwriter Kath Bee. Kath's songs are clever and funny and children adore them. I won the cd in a giveaway on Kath's facebook page and it has been in high rotate ever since. Cheers, Kath!
3) In the third photo above you can see my latest flea market find: a little selection of vintage handmade Barbie clothes, which I will package up for one of my nieces this Christmas. (I'm afraid my feminist leanings made it too difficult for me to ever buy K her own Barbie doll, but she doesn't seem to mind too much.) My sister and I had the exact same strapless checked dress with the blue ruffle you can see in the photo, which is why I thought I should buy them and hand them on to her daughters.) I also love the little houndstooth cape, lined in satin.
4) Arlo helped me make some Christmas tree decorations on the weekend, a bit like these ones we made a few years ago. This time we used blue and white Japanese origami paper, and we love their geometric styles. You can find the tutorial here, should you need a little something for your own tree.
It stopped raining during the night and the sun is shining again! Hooray. When I went outside this morning, I found that my hydrangeas had started flowering for the summer. I hope the dry weather sticks around.
Tomorrow morning I'm joining some friends at a local cafe for a little vintage/craft market and I thought I'd fill up my suitcase with some vintage fabrics that I haven't used in a while. I also made a few embroidered needlebooks for my table. It should be fun! (Local friends: the market will be from 11am-1pm at Ka Pie Cafe, Alton St, Nelson.)
************** Edited to add: The market has been cancelled due to the flood damage- sorry! **************
I hope you have a lovely relaxing weekend. Here is a catchy pop song for you, featuring some handsome dogs.
It was very flippant of me to talk about yesterday's rain being cosy and atmospheric, because today the weather has progressed to a civil emergency... much too much rain altogether, and major flooding and slips in my town (we're so lucky that our house is unharmed, though.) So please stop now sky, thank you.
I thought these great photos of knitwear models from the 1960's might cheer- they make me smile anyway. Especially the hairstyles. I have photographic proof that my English grandmother knitted many sweaters just like these in the 1960s and 70s... matching family fair-isle sets, even.
These photos came from a vintage craft book in my collection: McCall's Needlework in Colour from 1964.
Thanks for helping me out with my etsy shop sale! I will keep the coupon code active until tomorrow morning, then the sale will finish. All orders from yesterday have now been shipped, my fingers are crossed that most will reach their destinations before Christmas.
Wishing you a safe and happy Thursday.
I'm in the process of sorting and organising my workroom at the moment, and I found quite a few half-finished projects lying around and hidden under other projects. Since today is a cosy and rainy one, (my favourite sort), I thought I'd offer a 30% off sale in my etsy shop to tidy things up in there before the end of the year. Included in the sale will be my fabric designs, cards and some other small giftt-type items. Just use the coupon code TINYHAPPYSALE11 at checkout.
Hope you are warm and dry wherever you happen to be today.
I made a few batches of shortbread on the weekend. The first two lots were made with a moth or butterfly-shaped cutter and for the third, I just cut rough rectangle shapes with a knife. This batch was a bit chunkier and slightly less crisp, for that real buttery mouthful that I love so much. Who doesn't love shortbread though? Other than people on a diet. Luckily I'm never on one.
This shortbread has been wrapped up in some pony-printed paper (using my latest hand-carved stamp efforts) as a little pre-Christmas gift for a friend. I remember my Mum making batches of shortbread each December, and giving them to friends in giant biscuit tins. I think I'll do that this year, too.
If you'd like to make some too, here is the recipe I use (I think it originally came from the Edmond's cookbook...)
Shortbread- enough to fill a biscuit tin
250 grams butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 cup cornflour
2 cups plain flour + a pinch of salt
Cream butter and icing sugar together (I find it easiest to make this mixture in a big bowl with a hand-held electric beater). Sift together the cornflour, flour and salt, and mix in to the butter. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, knead a little and roll to 1 cm thick. Cut shortbread into shapes and place on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Prick with a fork. Bake at 150 degrees celcius until pale golden (about 20 mins.)