Monday, January 2, 2017

Travels home in October. Part One.

Pregnancy insomnia has it's advantages. Once a week or so I'm wide awake about three in the morning and just can't get back to sleep. I have read a fair chunk of a book over a few of these restless nights. Tonight though feels like a good chance to play bloggy catch up once again.

In October Mae and I spent a week in Southland before our family gathered to spread Mum's ashes. It happened to be the week of my Dad's birthday and also great Spring weather. Time is always a juggle as we balance sorting out the family home and spending time with friends and family. This trip was no different and the days passed by swiftly.

Us girls flew home on a brilliantly clear day. It was a big treat for the wee one to have a lollipop for take-off and landings. Miss Mouse looked so tiny in her own seat and lap belt. We were greeted at the other end of the country by an enthusiastic Poppa and Joh.

Patiently waiting to board. 

All ready to take off. 
Time spent in our family home is so precious. Though Mum is no longer there it is a comfort to be surrounded by her things and memories.

It is bittersweet to see my wee girl explore the rooms that we grew up in; rooms that hold echoes of our family when it was nourished by the most wonderful woman I have ever met. Every time I return I try to soak up all that goodness, attempt to etch just how it looks and smells and feels into my mind.

Fluffy time at Poppas. 
 Mae and I had a few days at home before my sister and Casey joined us. Dad and Joh had been working hard to complete a redo of our childhood playhouse. It it now sits up proudly on wheels, has a mezzanine floor, new windows and furnishings.

The big reveal
Suitably impressed with all the knick knacks. 
Busy in the kitchen.
I can imagine many hours of happy play here in the future as my sister and I once did. Tea parties and cooking. Games of Mummies and Daddies.

Miss Mouse was very excited to have her Aunty and Uncle arrive all the way from South Australia. More people to entertain and play with....and more people to wrangle sneaky chocolate buttons from! 

We celebrated Dad's 60th birthday with family and friends gathered around the home table. Mae spent a few hours at Queens Park, Invercargill with her Aunty Mary. Having fluffies at the cafe, wandering the gardens and meeting the animals. 

This gave me the chance to have a quick catch up with a dear friend. What a treat it was to catch up over hot cuppa in her very own little home. It was rather bliss to both be child free for my quick visit too.  Oh how I wish Sammy and I lived closer. 

Aunty and niece adventures

Meeting the locals. 
Other days were spent doing more sorting of belongings and entertaining a wee girl. She certainly makes the organising process much more fun if not a little longer. Box forts were made. Toy baskets ransacked and all sorts of silly games were made up. 

Fort construction.

Dressing up in Nana Fox's jewels with Aunty Mary

Rediscovering favourite childhood books and sharing them with an eager little helper. 
Taking advantage of the Spring sunshine we tackled a few outdoor jobs too. Mae is never one to miss an opportunity to sit on anything with an engine or hitch a wheelbarrow ride. Sp Poppa's place is never dull.

Testing out Poppa's lawnmower. 
Little legs racing back to the house
Our trips to Grandma and Grandad's house are always enjoyed. Ice-cream, lovely books and fun toys. More sneaky lollies and a fun garden to play means this we girl is in heaven. What sweet memories with very much loved people.

With the sun rising and a toddler now stirring I'll wrap this post up. Time for coffee and family. Another day of waiting for a now overdue baby. Hopefully a bit of sunshine and crafting thrown in for good measure too.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Three Years Married Today

Three years ago today I married my dearest friend. Today we wait on our second little one to decide when he or she wants to join our little home. Our little girl sleeps soundly in her room. The sun is shining and the house is twinkling with festive decorations.

Photo credit; Fiona Andersen

Exactly how I wished our marriage and home would be a few years in. Filled up to the brim with love and simple pleasures. A vegetable and flower garden in the yard. Children to love on and a partnership that remains full of fun, trust and respect for each other.

Three years married, 14 and half years together. It won't be long til we have been together half our lives! That seems just so crazy.
So today we will eat strawberries and ice-cream in the evening sun, a simple celebration of togetherness. No need for fancy restaurants, lavish gifts or fanfare.
Just us. Together.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Handmade Christmas

This year I have been rather organised for Christmas. With baby due on the first of January the last thing I wanted to be doing was rushing around shopping/making things in the final weeks of pregnancy. So in early November I spent an evening writing out a list of who I wanted to give gifts and then perused Pinterest for ideas on what I could possibly craft.

A few hours later I had a few pages outlining all that needed to be done in time for December the 25th.

After completing the list of people and crafts it was just a matter of hunting down supplies; both in the cupboards and with a trip to the craft store. Online shopping has meant minimal time at the actual shops...a true win when you have an active toddler as a constant companion.

It felt rather over the top having lists and wrapping presents in November however it has made for a relaxed December. It is wonderful to have all presents sent to my international family and friends. Most of the parcels and cards have been sent out those who don't live in Auckland too.

Mr. Fox has been rather amused by the early Christmas elf activity. My sewing machine and knitting needles have been busy every nap
time and evening. Items are being ticked off the lists and it looks like perhaps I can wrap the last presents this weekend. A little Christmas baking to be done closer to Christmas and this elf can put her feet up.

I have of course squeezed in some crafting for baby too. A few wraps whipped up with the over locker; extra big and stretchy. Made from cotton jersey in the cutest prints. Perfect for a summer babe. A stack of bibs for both my big girl and baby are complete too.

Light Summer wraps for baby and gifting. Soft cotton dishcloths.

Dribble bibs and regular bibs. A few with Christmas prints too!
 A tiny little jacket of soft wool has been sewn for baby in fabrics carefully stashed by my Mum. These fabrics must have been particularly special to Mum as they were on the very top of her fabric cupboard. No doubt tucked away with a project in mind for her future grand babies.

There is something so difficult but comforting crafting for my little ones using fabrics and wool that she had set aside to use. I tend to always create multiples so as to tuck away gifts for when my sister has her children. Such a tender thought to be wrapping up littlies in my Mum's intended crafting goodness. Oh how much she is missed.

The pattern is free to print; Molly's sketchbook felted wool baby jacket. It only takes a few hours from start to finish and would be a delightful gift to receive. I have another three cut out waiting to be sewn up after the festive season. This combination of fabrics is scrumptious and pretty gender neutral.
Baby jacket for under the tree.

My favourite project ticked off the sewing checklist has been a child size dressing gown. Mae has been asking for her own but I had been unable to find one I liked. Goodness knows why it has taken me so long to realise it would be better just to make one myself.

 I had enough toweling fabric and a beautiful navy owl cotton print to create a toddler size gown. I used the Purl Soho Kids Robe pattern. A surprisingly easy and fast project. Hopefully Mae will be a cosy wee girl next winter.

Finished dressing gown for chilly mornings.
 Many a few hours were spent stitching an embroidered hoop for my dear friend Larissa. Someone who appreciates a tartan and floral combo.  I loved every minute of my time spent on this project. Crafting without a pattern is my preferred crafting style. I let the fabrics inspire the thread colours and let the work evolve. It has been well received by my friend who is a clever crafter herself. There is just enough fabric scraps to make a smaller version for myself.

Floral and tartan hoop.

With lists shrinking and Christmas rolling round fast I am looking forward to finishing up some projects from the year. That green sweet pea cardigan just needs sleeves and the ends woven in. Depending on when the baby arrives it may just be completed in time to be under the tree for Miss Mae.

There is the hexagon crochet blanket that has been in the works for years now calling out to be done in 2017. And with friends expecting babies next year I'm sure a few new projects will be dreamt up too.