Thursday, February 13, 2014

Pushing through my colour boundaries....

 I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I have my favourite colours that I'm always drawn to when I make, buy or choose something. For anyone who knows me it is fairly obvious that I like all things blue and green, actually I lean towards the blues more but green is often in there too. So when it comes to making things to sell in my Etsy shop I have to really push myself out of my blue and green comfort zone and remind myself that not everyone is a fan of all things blue and green. 
 So this past week I intentionally chose fabrics out of my colour safe zone to make up these nice, bright and happy writing folders/compendiums. Yes I know there is a green one in there :-) but not much blue at all.
 The green one is actually green and brown with a little splash of red and okay just a minor hint of pale blue.
 And here's the inside with lots of pockets for pads and sketch books and pens with not a hint of blue :-)
 Each one has a handmade button like this one on the yellow writing folder/compendium.
 Each compendium is made up of scraps of coordinating fabrics that I then embellish with a variety of machine embroidery stitches in a variegated colour thread.
 For me the fun part of making these compendiums is adding the little details like the different stitches, the pretty ribbon down the centre of the inside and the handmade buttons. All these things do take time but I think that is the beauty of buying handmade items on places like Etsy and Felt. Each item is made with love, care and attention for those all important details that make it unique.
Each of these compendiums can be found here for purchase on my Etsy shop. And if there is a colour I have not made I am happy to make a custom item just for you ;-)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Mid-week dinner...

 I spent the day in Auckland today getting through a list of things to do and buy then came home to whip up this yummy summer meal of Courgette fritters stacked with bacon and topped with avocado, plain Greek yoghurt and tomato salsa. This meal is always a hit with my girls who would normally turn their noses up at eating courgettes ;-)
 It looks impressive too but is simple to make and put together which is exactly what I needed after a day driving around Auckland not to mention the 2 hour journey there and back. Actually I don't mind the driving there and back as it's a good opportunity to listen to a podcast and some of my favourite music.
So if your interested in a quick summer meal full of fresh flavours not to mention that it's a good way to use up any abundance of courgettes from the garden, here's my recipe .......

  • 3 medium sized courgettes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tblsp chopped fresh herbs ( coriander or chives or both are good )
  • salt & pepper
Grate courgettes then put all ingredients in food processor and process until well mixed. Heat oil in a heavy based frypan and pour in about a tablespoon of batter for each fritter. Turn when fritters begin to form bubbles and keep warm while cooking the remaining mixture.

To serve : Arrange lettuce (any variety) then chopped tomato and cucumber on plates. Layer fritters with slices of bacon then top with slices of avocado, Greek yoghurt or sour cream, tomato salsa and any fresh herbs. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


 I woke up on Sunday at 6am to go for an early morning bike ride with my cycling buddy neighbour and was greeted with this stunning sunrise as I stumbled into the lounge. It certainly made getting up early on Sunday worth it. It was a bit of a chilly start but once we warmed up it was a beautiful calm morning for a bike ride too with the bonus of very little traffic at that early hour. 
Yesterday I was reminded of how very grateful I am of the people that have been put into my life in the last couple of years. When you go through something challenging in life you learn quickly who in your life are true friends that 'get' what you are going through and know exactly what to say at the right time. They are the ones that stick around and are not just there for the big dramas. One such person is Lily who lives far far away from me in Dubai. We have actually never met but have connected through our blogs originally and now keep in contact as regularly as life lets us. Lily is a very talented creative person and I wish she lived closer. Every now and then, usually when I am least expecting it a 'surprise' parcel will arrive from her containing beautiful things, often made by her for me and my daughters.  She made all of the above earrings and .....
 picked out this selection of Washi tape on her recent trip to Tokyo. She also made me an ' infinity scarf ' of which I forgot to photograph before the light faded tonight. It is of course beautifully sewn and made with some bright colourful fabrics thoughtfully chosen for me. Thank you Lily for your thoughtful, generous spirit and your faithful friendship.
 Yesterday I spent most of my day in my little sewing attic sewing these new journal cover sets for my Etsy shop whilst listening to podcasts and music. My girls are now back at school and it was nice to be able to completely focus on what I love to do and that is to create beautiful things.

These covers fit A5 and A6 journals and with the elastic band that keeps everything together plus with a penholder on the front of each one they are all ready and waiting for inspiration to strike. The small one is the perfect size to fit in a handbag and the larger A5 one also happens to be the perfect size to double up as a mini Ipad cover/keeper as one of my other good friends found out recently.
I sell them as a set of two over here in my shop

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