Wednesday, August 31, 2016


I'll be away from here for a short while. Back in mid September. See you then.

Friday, August 26, 2016

poetry day

Today is National Poetry Day in New Zealand and I'd like to share this poem by the wonderful Jenny Bornholdt from her Moving house collection. I often think of this poem as I pass under street lights walking home in the dark.

Instructions for how to get ahead of yourself while the light still shines

If you have a bike, get on it at night
and go to the top of the Brooklyn Hill.

When you reach the top
start smiling - this is Happy Valley Road.

Pedal at first, then let the road take you down
into the dark as black as underground
broken by circles of yellow lowered by the street lights.

As you come to each light
you will notice a figure
racing up behind.
Don't be scared
this is you creeping up on yourself.
As you pass under the light
you will sail past yourself into the night.

Monday, August 22, 2016


That's me in those photos with my kids "back in the day". Although I can't remember doing it, I must've made the green bib because a few pages on in the photo album my daughter is wearing pajamas in the same fabric. Anyway the photos are here because I've been sewing bibs again but this time for Little Sprouts using my own pattern that you can get here

The pattern is for a simple hard-wearing bib. Nothing fancy. You can use up pieces of leftover fabric and even back the bib using an old towel.

durable fabric for bib front e.g. cotton, drill, polyester
thicker fabric for the back e.g. towelling, fleece
small piece of 2cm (3/4 inch) wide Velcro (loop and hook fastening)

1. Print the pattern to 100% scale. Cut out the pattern pieces and join together.
2. From your fabrics cut one front and one back piece. Seam allowances are included in the pattern.
3. Lay one on top of the other, right sides facing.
4. Join front and back together stitching all around the edge using a 1cm (3/8 inch) seam but leaving an opening along the bottom edge (as indicated on pattern piece) for turning.
5. Trim seams and clip corners.
6. Turn right sides out and use a pointy thing like a chopstick or knitting needle gently poke out the corners.
7. Press all over pressing under the seams at the opening. Hand or machine stitch the opening closed.
8. Top stitch all round about 6mm (1/4 inch) in from the edge.
9. Cut a strip of Velcro at least 3cm (1 1/4 inch) long. Attach the soft loop piece to the front of one of the neck tabs placing a short end just inside the top stitching at the end of the tab. Stitching all round the edge. Attach the rough hook piece to the back of other neck tab positioning it in more or less the same place near the top of the tab.

More free patterns for quick and easy baby bibs:
Front fastening bib
Oilcloth bib with a pocket - easily adaptable to sew in other fabrics. Plus some tips on how to sew oilcloth.
Bandana bib
Placemat bib - this one is a bit like a t-shirt with ribbing around the neck. Easily adaptable pattern. I might try this one myself.

Reading: Lonely Planet Scandinavia

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Spring is happening in the garden with a few flowers in bloom - polyanthus, primula, freesia, daphne. I really like the primula. It's such a simple flower but cute with its little spot of yellow. And I love how the flower clusters branch off the stalk in layers. It reminds me of a wedding cake.

We have new across-the-road neighbours. My lovely next door neighbour organised an afternoon tea to welcome them and I baked and took these lemon and rosemary biscuits. It's one of my favourite recipes and you can find it here. Next door neighbour got out her best flowery china cups and we sat in the garden drinking tea and eating treats and getting to know each other.

Monday, August 8, 2016

postcard from adelaide

Holiday - without a camera. Even though I left it handy by the front door I still managed to leave it behind as we rushed out early for the airport. So these few shots are from my phone.

Best things about Adelaide:
+ late afternoon walks along the River Torrens
+ the Art Gallery of South Australia 
+ drinking champagne at the rooftop Hennessy Bar, Mayfair Hotel
+ browsing secondhand books at O'Connell's Bookshop and the Oxfam Second Hand Bookshop
+ lunch at the Seasonal Garden Cafe at Hahndorf
+ meeting the only giant pandas in the southern hemisphere, Wang Wang and Fu Ni, at the Adelaide Zoo (probably my most camera-missing moment)
+ getting lost at the Central Market
+ the JamFactory galleries and studios
+ federation architecture

I'd been wanting to visit Adelaide for ages - for no particular reason. It was cold and grey most of the time and, maybe because I was so hyped up about it, a bit disappointing. But after making the list of best things I'm beginning to see that for a small city it has a lot to offer. Perhaps a few more sunny days... Or another time of year...

I popped into The drapery while I was there. Such lovely fabrics. I was really tempted to stock up. Instead I bought a Merchant & Mills pattern - "the fielder" dress/top. Have you made it? Or any of the Merchant & Mills patterns?

Reading: True stories by Helen Garner. I enjoyed Everywhere I look so I'm now reading another collection of her non-fiction essays.