Triangles 1

triangles 2

Triangles 3

Triangles 4

It’s been a weekend full of triangles. After a few requests for my Christmas Bunting I have spent the past week making some up for my shop, and also for the upcoming Northern Artery Christmas Market. These new ones are quite different from past Buntings – where in the past I have usually gone towards an organised pattern of 5 bunting triangles repeated 3 times, this time I went more towards a repeat of colours so that each bunting has a lot more variety, pattern, and colour. I also have a lot of bits left over from the seasonal fabrics, and so have been playing around with Christmas decoration ideas to use them up, and have come up with these wee stuffed ornaments. They’re fun to make, pretty quick and easy, and I think will make a nice addition to my market table, as well as sweet gifts for family and friends. Next Mia was invited to a birthday party , so that called for more bunting as a gift, based on the birthday girls instructions of bright colours and a favourite of pink (with a little vintage embroidery thrown in for fun). Triangles, triangles, triangles..

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making 1Do you ever have one of those days when it’s your weekend and all you want is for it to rain so you can comfortably stay inside, no guilt at all, and do indoorsy things all day long? My Sunday was a bit like that – the forecast was for rain and I thought great, I’m going to make and create. However it didn’t rain, there was a slight amount of drizzle, but nothing serious, and then the sun came out! Too late for me though, I had already made up my mind- Sunday was going to be an indoorsy day!

making 2

So I made and created – hooray. I finally made this Lemon & Chia Cake from Lunchlady and it is a complete hit with everyone (I also just love any excuse to wander through her blog, it is SO cute!). I also rustled up some Double Chocolate Coconut Biscuits from a baking book I bought a few months ago, and these have also proven to be popular, chewy and chocolate-y – how can you go wrong! And then I made Chelsea Winters Vegetable and Herb Quiche from the Everyday Delicious cookbook… not only was it rather a bit fabulous, it had me making my first ever proper pastry! Yep – Sunday I was a Kitchen Whizz-Kid.

making 3

There have been a few requests of late for my Christmas Bunting – each year I wonder if I should make some, and invariably each year I get messages asking for it which answer that question pretty promptly. Saturday the kids had quite a few hours of dance classes so I headed to the fabric store and chose some new pieces – of course when I got home and had a proper look at my fabric stash it would seem that I still had quite a lot left from last year, but that’s ok, it just means I will be making more than originally intended… and I now have some burning ideas for making some decorations with the scraps while I’m at it… so some cutting was done the following day, in between baking and cooking, and by the end of the day I had a family with happy, full tummies, a pantry full of baking, and rather a lot of Bunting on it’s way to being made up. Yep, happiness is making x

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plans and a bit of quiet

plans - painting

plans - gardening

plans - rainy Sundays

I feel like I don’t have much to report on at the moment, largely because a big whack of my energy is focused on finishing off our home to prepare it for selling. My goodness it’s a big job – every time I scratch something off my list I seem to add 3 more things! I am slowly slowly getting there, and looking to the future to a time where my weekends aren’t filled with a huge list of to-do’s, and we can all focus on the right-nows. It seems crazy to constantly be talking and planning and looking forward to our lives being easier, and all the things we will be able to do as a family once we have finished this home and moved to our new “easy care” (that’s the plan anyway) house. It will happen, the end is in sight. We have learnt a lot from living in our sweet 1800’s workmans cottage – most importantly we have learned that we are not the DIY types. To put it bluntly I would rather spend my weekend reading blogs, getting lost in books, and walking up hills. It is exciting to see a house bloom and change with the work put in, and it’s great to step back and admire a finished job, but I shan’t be volunteering for more than a simple room colour change in future.

I am currently loving..

Reading: I’m still plugging away at Love in the Tine of Cholera by Garbriel Garcia Marquez – it is so lush and beautiful, it just swirls around you. I would quite like to have it finished though because my copy of Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert has arrived and I can’t wait to get stuck into it having heard and read so many good reviews

Listening: to For the Company by Little May and the debut album from Oh Wonder. I am loving using Spotify now that I have finally jumped on that bandwagon, and it has been invaluable so far for discovering new music.

Watching: Breaking Bad! And yes, I see what all the fuss was about. So so good!

Loving: doing an Instagram challenge – this month I am doing only #blackandwhite. It’s rather fun looking at the world through a certain filter. You can follow my feed here if you like.

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tidying - Moeraki Beach 2015

tidying - old pier, Moeraki

tidying - Moeraki, looking out to sea

tidying - Moeraki, Max in the ocean

tidying - Moeraki, Katiki Point Reserve

I don’t really have much to report from this weekend as, so far, it has been largely consumed with finally tackling the enormous job of tidying my photo files on my computer. Sounds like fun right? Yeah, nah. I am ashamed of just how messy my pics have become. It seems to have been a few years since I properly organised, isn’t that terrible, and that has created quite the problem when it comes to finding things. To my credit I am good at creating and organising folders when I first remove photos from my camera, and usually will make sure the files have been re-named so they don’t just read like a date, but what I haven’t been doing is sorting them into months and years. Add to that downloading all of the images from my iPhone and we have a seriously messy problem. Being that I use my phone to take pictures almost daily it doesn’t take too much thinking to understand how many separate files we are talking about… yep, it’s hundreds… and  a majority of them are helpfully called “Joanna’s iPhone”. The new Windows programme, as much as I love it, no longer clumps everything into months, but rather is date driven… I certainly had a false sense of security with the old style!

You may ask what brought on this sudden need to create some order in this chaos? Well it was Snapfish, one of my favourite sites for printing. They are having a pre-Christmas sale of buy-one-get-two-free on calenders, so I can make one for us then maybe a couple of gifts too. Apart from the occasional year where a Dear Colleen calender is just too good to resist, I usually make a personalised one using Snapfish and the photo’s I have taken of our family over the past year. The programme is easy to use, has great layouts, and the end result is a beautifully printed piece on firm, high-quality card stock. So I thought I would whip one up this weekend, not thinking about how arduous the task of actually finding my favourite photo’s would be. Ah well, whatever gets me finally doing it, and it is rather a fun journey on the plus side. Maybe this will teach me to be more diligent in future.

As a side note, if you are New Zealand based Snapfish are currently developing a new site and also have an app for your iPad or iPhone, and if you choose to download it now you get 50 free prints a month for a year, all you have to pay for is postage! I am guilty of taking hundreds of photos and never printing them, so this will hopefully get me started… now where did I file the photo’s from Wellington…

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Buttars Peak

Buttars Peak track

on the way up to Buttars Peak looking back over Otago Harbour entrance

Buttars Peak

Buttars Peak - native flora

We have a long weekend here and, with the usual long list of things we should be doing, the most obvious option was selected and we have instead walked up a hill. I mean really, when given the choice between housework or trawling through native bush, what was the most likely outcome!

We headed to one of our favourite Dunedin day walks – the Organ Pipes track, and then on to Buttars Peak. This walk is just the best, it has everything from constantly changing layers in flora, the amazing Organ Pipes, and then to top it all off the stunning view you get once you have scrambled up the rock-side of Buttars Peak. Another beautiful day here in Dunedin, we packed a lunch of soft boiled eggs and pikelets and jam and got lost in our little piece of paradise for the afternoon. A few aching muscles later, but a very tired and contented family at the end of the day. We can always do housework tomorrow right..

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Instagram – October 2015

little minx on Instagram - October 2015

little minx on Instagram - October 2015

I was reading this wonderful post from Wonder Forest the other day about re-imagining your Instagram profile, and it had me looking at my own photos with fresh eyes. To be honest, I’ve never really thought too deeply about the overall look of my feed, I just see something, like it, shoot it, maybe mess with some editing, and post. Every now and then I look at my pictures and generally deduce that I am pleased with the overall look and feel, but honestly have never thought to myself what do I want this to be/look like/emanate. I found it really interesting to actually decide what I was trying to express, and aim to stick with a theme. The more I thought about it the more I realised that a lot of the Instagrammers I follow do just that, their feeds have a commonality that I enjoy, a curated slice of someone elses life. So I thought I would give this idea a try, starting with that all encompassing question what do I want it to be? 

little minx on Instagram

This picture pretty much summed it up – I like images to be pale, calming, and based around nature and the ordinary around us. I want to escape into the soft for a moment, and so this is what I have done for the past couple of weeks. It’s been an interesting trial, but I don’t think I’ll be sticking to a themed idea for a few reasons. Firstly it made me look for things to photograph that would fit into this format, rather than letting them organically come. I don’t usually post more than one image a day anyway, but when I do it’s usually because something has caught my attention and made me stop in my tracks. Secondly, I don’t have the kind of life that has a naturally themed flow to it (understanding that other people are curating this perceived flow of course) – I love that some people just theme travel, or food, or their paintings, but my life is a hodge-podge of stuff that I couldn’t pin down to much more of a hashtag than #justliving (in fact I might just start doing that, I’m quite liking that). Lastly, I just simply don’t like being cornered to one idea.

little minx on Instagram

So some great results, but all in all I think I’m best left to roam free. This experiment has definitely made me re-asses my attitude towards Instagram and how I use it, and I think my focus has a little more direction with a few new do’s and don’ts on my mind. Though never fear, there will always be photo’s of run-down old doors.

If you are on Instagram you can follow my feed here if you wish x

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the second half

coffee at Lorettas on Cuba St

view over Wellington from the top of the Cable Car

Wellington Botanical Gardens

Pohutakawa - Wellington Botanical Gardens

Wellington Railway Station

Frank Kitts Park Wellington

Wellington Harbour

National War Museum Wellington

view over Wellington City from Oriental Bay

Well what a wonderful 5 days we have had. We have seen some of the very best Wellington has to offer, drank more coffee than I would normally do in a month, eaten some amazing food, and experienced the wonderful pulsating life that hums underneath this wonderful city. As much as I intended to break my blogging about the city into several small bites, the fact of the matter is that we were just too busy living it to stop and think or write about it. Not a bad problem to have, right?

The last two days we wandered Lambton Quay, caught the Cable Car and strolled the Wellington Botanical Gardens, had a look around the Beehive and Railway Station, played in Frank Kitts Park, returned to Te Papa for a second time, and attended the Anzac Exhibtion on at the National War Memorial. We have truly packed a lot into this trip, and enjoyed every moment of it. To cap all of this off was the reason we visited – to see my dear friend Louise marry the love of her life – its hard to trump any of the experiences we had, but this beautiful, simple, modern, and heartfelt wedding managed to do just that. Now back to real life…

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