05 June 2010

Hoodie Bunny Hop

Isn't he just gorgeous? He has been homed as he was my first attempt from a pattern I bought here. Now I bought this pattern so I can't sell 'as is' because of copyright laws but I will make the necessary adaptations to re-create something very similar or even a different animal at your request... I can come up with all sorts of lovelies :)

He is $15NZD plus P&P or the equivalent in any other currency at the given time of order :)

18 March 2010

Pink Panther and his friend Blue

Something I made :)

My little girl was a Pink Panther in her Ballet show last year so I made her this cute Pink Panther to mark the occasion. It is based on a wolf pattern with a little tweaking of the colours, shaping and attributes.

While I was showing it off a lovely lady from my work (in a chocolate shop, be very jealous heehee) ordered a Blue Panther. This time round I improved the pattern further and my cute little Panthers are now ready for sale :)

12 March 2010

Hand Washing Fun

Sorry it's been a loooong time since the last post but I was busy finding work then busy juggling jobs. All is settled now so let the blogging commence!! (blogging shows up as not in the dictionary, surely it should be by now? Its what I'm doing!! lol - oh and lol hehehee)

Anyway... our washing machine died last week, R.I.P. and bless it's little over-used motor. I haven't rushed to the second hand store to buy another, no no noooo, I have instead taken this moment to learn how to wash clothes by hand. I must say, I'm enjoying it a lot more than I think I aught to be :D

I thought I'd share my experience and Internet findings for those of you interested in this path or maybe who also have a washing machine emergency.

First I had to decide which container to use and I chose our bath as it needs a clean and I could wash more more clothes at once. I used our usual budget laundry powder though I'll be switching to something bio-degradable as that stuff kills your hands. Yes I could have used rubber glove IF I owned them which I don't because I am then more inclined to solve my problems in a more eco friendly way if only to save my own skin! Call it a reminder. You can use a plunger to agitate the clothes but I prefer to get right in there and do it all myself.

Right so, bath 1/3 full of warm water I added only about a 1/4 cup of powder and washed 2 1/2 loads of washing starting with white and filtering to black. Slowly adding clothes and agitating as I went, then wringing and puting in a laundry bastket awaiting rinse.

Next step empty bath, re-fill 1/3 not-as-warm water and repeat process minus the powder. I found this one rinse was all that was needed. Next I put it all out on the line et voila... one very happy clean-clothed Squirrel was I :) (I like squirrels so shhh or I'll start throwing acorns :P)

Now to the comparison...

  1. I actually used less laundry powder than I would in the machine for over twice the load. That's my stupid fault though for always adding more. Still I did get double the wash out of what I should be putting in the machine.
  2. I've washed another 2 loads since then and both have been pretty much the same, they only take an hour from start to finish for 2-3 wash loads, I don't think the machine was ever even finished by then with one lot!
  3. Added exercise and I felt really good about my achievement. I could do with a couple of tubs out in the garden though - much more relaxing.

  1. I used a non-bio-degradable powder so I couldn't use the water for my garden.
  2. duvets... hmmm not sure what I'm going to do about them, and thick or heavy things. Heaviest was one of my cozy jumpers and that was a pain!
  3. I used (in total) approximately 54US/46UK gallons by hand as apposed to a supposed 42.5US/35UK gallons. I can't believe I actually used more water :( Bath measurements calculated using this page (((59*23)*14)= 18,998 cubic inches then convert to gallons). Though, I estimated 1/3 of the full bath and it could be 1/4 I guess? Can't find washing machine manual but online says 65L per load average. Meh, estimations *pouts*
  4. the clothes are dripping wet when you put them on the line so 1 day out there might not be enough, not to mention trying this in winter!

I also found this awesome thread (a little drama in there but ignore it and chew through) where a lot of options are discussed and powder recipies. I recommend you look out for - or 'find' - the post by BikeWarrior.

Good luck in your washing ventures. Please do comment and/or ask questions!

12 October 2009

Shoveling Shit

The chook run has about a 10centimetre layer of the most wonderful black fertile, poo-enriched soil, so with the hope of growing the best asparagus and potatoes in the world, today's task has been to start digging it out and putting it into "raised beds" (the old compost bins I'm moving from beside the shed). It seems to go a long way, and the rhubarb that's already planted in it is doing fantastically well. We'll see how the spuds (or potentially, beans) do.

06 October 2009

Pumpkin Time!

The pumpkin and zucchini seeds were sown in paper pots less than a week ago. DS wrote some lovely misspelt labels - I think somehow it adds to the charm of the whole operation.
The tomatoes have taken a little longer (they were started on the bathroom windowsill), and I don't know whether they'll actually give us any tomatoes before the season's out.
We've invested in a heating mat from Nuklear Products, which has worked wonders! I leave the adjustments of the growing rig up to Dear Husband, and things seem to just sprout!
Now I've made some space on top of the heating mat, time to go through the seed collection and decide what's next!

23 August 2009

Pom Pom Pom!

We revisited a childhood favourite with the kids today - a great way to waste an afternoon!

05 August 2009

Warm Cabled Beanie

OMG this beanie is sooooo warm! I found the awesome pattern on The Loop Craft Cafe and adapted it to have a ribbed fold edge. I'm getting jealous of the things I'm posting off, better make myself something soon :)

This can be re-made for sale in any colour for the following prices excluding postage: $15 NZD, $10 USD or £6 GBP

26 July 2009

Herb Garden Eye Candy

We've decided to plant our front lawn up as a herb garden. So as we are finishing the plans for the vegetable garden out back and planning in the time to complete it we are now looking to the Herb Garden. I've found a few cool websites along the way:

Our Red House - this lady takes amazing photos! She blogs about family life, cooking and gardening and the post that drew me to her was 'Herbs and Herb Gardening'

The Gardens of a Golden Afternoon blog just left me drooling. This is what I want for the path from my gate to my front door:

And you must see these 2 posts on treehouses: Part 1 & Part 2.

There are a few Herb Garden Designs in a nifty book I bought for just $2 at my local library - The Herb Garden Displayed by Gilian Painter & Elaine Power. Written in my birth year no less! The book has a basic, easy introduction followed by a very large section of plant descriptions. And the best bit is...its written for New Zealand...yippee!

I also bagged Flower Works by Hilary Walden for $2 - what a find! No planting guide with this one but I think the latter has that area covered. This book gives a quick look at how flowers can be brought into the home as food, drinks, cosmetics, medicine, gifts and much more. Lots of great recipes!

Our plan is to ... um ... get a plan. We know we want something structured but are torn between the formal and wild looks. There will definitely be a sundial in there :) As I'm looking for useful plants rather than pretty I guess we can have both as Rosemary and Lavendar are great for formal hedges.

We plan to fashion our back porch somewhat like a bigger version of this:

I would like an area like this somewhere round the back of the house - with a mirror on the door for added effect :)

Now there's an idea for a playhouse, but how to build it to look like stone and stop it crushing Chrissy in an earthquake? hmmmm

21 July 2009

July Gardening

Wooohooo, I've just planted: garlic, peas, beans, onions, swedes, cabbage, cauli, broccoli and more spinach. It's been a long weekend in the garden for our family and my good friend Sally helped me on Friday too creating the garlic bed and giving me lots of free canes - sweet!

Basically, the bald turf bed...

turned into a full plot of vegetable promise...

It's taken heaps of planning and although I'm still not 100% sure it'll work, it sure has been fun :D The 4 plots will be rotated somehow and next time round they'll get fertiliser as this time we just don't have the money. Yes horse manure is free but we'd prefer not to use it.

Last night I made 2 great internet garden finds:
http://www.gardengrow.co.nz/ - tells you what to plant when given 3 climate zones of New Zealand

http://www.thekitchengarden.co.nz/ - an inspirational gardener in Wellington who sells her produce and provides real yummy recipes and courses in gardening

Now I need to plan for August in the garden and sow some cabbage, cauli, broccoli, shallots and onions. mmmmmmm yummo!

14 July 2009

Rainbow Chain Blanket Free Pattern

I haven't got much to say right now as I'm knitting like crazy and planning a garden so here, have a free pattern off the internet - the Rainbow Chain Blanket - but remember...it's copyright for personal use only ;o)

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