Starting to find my creative mojo again..........very happy about that!



I bought a new book last week and it has so many great small projects.  I've started with this small buttoned pouch with a hand crocheted flap.  I did it all by myself!  I can actually read a crochet pattern fairly easily now and it makes sense!  Hooray!  I plan to use vintage linen scraps to make the pouch.  Stay tuned for completed project photos.  Book available at Steph's Fabrics in Moruya.  



These are my felted slippers that I made way back in May 2010, they have served me well but in the last week or so I found they were threadbare in three places on the sole.  As the tops were still in great as new condition and my inability to locate the pattern I have got out my grandmothers sock darning mushroom and set to work.  See the freckly patches, I also couldn't find the matching wool so used a darker shade of the same brand and wove horizontal and vertical threads and then chucked them in a good hot soapy wash and felted them up again.  They now 'like new', I'm sure they'll last a few more seasons, maybe by then I will have found my pattern!  



This is my project that I've been plodding along with, since late January.  I took it to New Zealand as their are only two rows to remember.  I bought 150g of this Australian Wangaratta Woollen Mills 3ply laceweight pure wool on a cone at a thrift store for $1.50.  I had no idea how far it would go but a triangular shawl/scarf just keeps growing, I've used almost 100g now so about a third of the way to go.  I just have to decide when enough is enough and then do the border design and hopefully not run out of wool.  This pattern is called South Bay Shawlette and it's a free one from Lion Brand, available on Ravelry.  It can be crocheted out of any sort of yarn you have and is a really easy pattern to read and decipher, there are both row by row written instructions and a great diagrammatic pattern which I find the easiest to follow.


Souvenir shopping in NZ and Dark Choc Chip Biscuits




I was given this great retro/vintage postcard at a fabulous shop in Kaikora, NZ.  Little Rock is a small kitsch Kiwiana gift shop, it has the best range to choose from.  They have a Facebook page where you can see all their new stock.  The owner told she believes you don't need to spend a fortune to find a great souvenir of NZ, at her quirky little shop she is spot on.


Loved these Kiwiana alphabet cards, great in a kids room or your creative space.


The iconic Kiwi tomato sauce bottle, no picnic should be without one.  


I bought a set of these fun Warholised sheep coasters for my sister, she was once a sheep farmer.



I only bought two things for myself in NZ, I really don't like shopping when I'm on holidays.  I picked up a piece of NZ literally at a marke.  A small ptiece of Pounamu or NZ Jade.  Not sure if it's my thing or not, love the feel of it on my skin, but it definitely needs some leather to hang it on, not budget nylon string.


Found this gorgeous fine hand dyed alpaca and silk yarn at The Omaru Textile Exchange, unsure what I'll make but it will be something for around my neck.  A lovely souvenir that I'll enjoy for many years to come............if I get the sticks out and get knitting.


I spotted these fabulous little kids swing coats, pinafores and capes at the markets in Nelson.  They are all made from old woollen blankets.  I can't believe the beautiful colours of NZ blankets compared to some of the retro/vintage orange/gold/purple ones I see at thrift stores in Australia.




We are both living back at our coast house now and I'm struggling to get a good nights sleep as Dear Husband has become a snorer and I just struggle to get sleep when he's next to me.  So I pulled out a felted cashmere jumper cut out two saucer size circles, stitched them together, fill it with rice and lavender, closed the seam and added some basic embroidery around the seam.  I now have some sound proofing for my uppermost ear and can get to sleep, the lavender makes it a bit easier to drop of to sleep too.  

Anyone got any tips for coping with a snoring partner?  Do anti-snore pillows work?  What about the nasal sprays, anyone tried those?  


A good friend of mine who is very good shopper stopped at this shop last Sunday and brought me home their beautiful card.  This shop looks very appealing to me!  Made By Others at Moss Vale, not on a road we frequent but I might have to do a Southern Highlands weekend with some girlfriends in the near future.  


It's been a very grey and rainy week here on the south coast so a bit of comfort food has been cooked.  A fabulous curry that we ate for 2 nights, lots of leftovers now Surfer Boy doesn't reside here.  Spaghetti and meatballs warmed our tummies one night, and we finished off with an apple and berry crumble.  I'm looking forward to more hearty winter cooking as the cooler weather arrives. 


I made and froze wrapped slices of banana bread, perfect for lunchboxes.  Also made more Bircher muesli and these yummy Dark Choc Chip Biscuits today.  I like baking but have to make things that freeze well these days as there are not so many people around to eat it while it's fresh.  Biscuits freeze so well, they don't really become frozen, they are just cold, so very easy to grab one out when you need a sweet treat.


Do you want my recipe?  I used to bake these by the dozens for our local shop years ago, so glad I don't spend that much time baking every week now.  


Dark Choc Chip Biscuits

Cream together:  

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
125g butter chopped in cubes
a dash of vanilla extract
a good pinch of salt
for about 7 minutes until white and fluffy with an electric mixer.

Add:

1 egg and beat really well.

Fold in gently:

1 3/4 cup SR flour
150g of good quality dark chocolate chopped in small pieces.

Roll into teaspoonfuls, place on paper baking slide and press to flatten with fingers.

Bake for 15 minutes at 170 degrees Celcius in a fan-forced oven.

Remove from slide upon removal from oven and place on cooling rack gently.

Enjoy really crunchy biscuits.  Store in airtight container in cupboard or freezer.