It's been all about the quick and easy lately so I've been off the blog writing and onto all my other mediums, make sure you follow me on Facebook, twitter , pinterest and instagram to keep up to date.

We've also got a new desktop and it's giving me a bit of hell with uploading pics here so please bear with  me (good call-centre speak!).

Here is one that's managed to work to keep you happy before I kick off on all my cool season activities.

the river

I picked up the knitting needles the other night! (Ok so I put them down again but at least they're front-of-mind!). I'm looking forward to starting some new crochet projects on the weekend and following through on some hessian crafts now that I have a bulging bag of coffee sacks to work through (Thanks Underground Coffee).

Have a great weekend!


doggy wog

She's starting to turn into a real dog.


leek and chickpea soup

I've been charging along with my New Years resolution to eat more veg meals (I'm being so good and only have fish - no red meat or chicken). Here is a great one I pulled out of a library book. It's oh so tasty! This mighty Italian dish is a meal in one that will warm your cockles and give you some good ol nourishment of body and soul. Be patient with your sweating, its worth it. It doesn't look like much but serve this baby with some sourdough and you'll be blushing in shame at how judgemental you were.
This amount makes two servings.

You'll need:

1 cup of dried or canned chickpeas
1 tblspn olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
1-2 leeks, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tblspn of rosemary, finely chopped
1 litre of stock or water. I used vege stock but you could use chicken if you're that way inclined.
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch of spinach leaves (remove the stems), chop up coarsely

If you're using dried chickpeas, soak these overnight.

Heat the oil in a medium size saucepan. Saute the onion, celery, leeks, garlic and rosemary VERY slowly, until soft but not coloured. We're talking half an hour of sweating, keep your temp low and the veges moving. Don't add salt yet.

Add the chickpeas and the stock/water and bring to a simmer. If you're using dried chick peas cook these for around 60mins, canned only needs 10mins.

Place a cup and half of the soup in a processor and make it smooth. Add it back to the soup, add your salt and pepper now and then just before it goes in a bowl pop the spinach in until its wilted.

Hot Dang, that's some good soup - is what you'll be saying. C gave this one a 10/10.

We had a lovely weekend up in Riwaka. That area is gorgeous, did some sea swimming at Kaiteriteri (no crowds!), wine tasting in Mahana, lunching in Mapua and kayaking in Riwaka.


stretched and scattered

it's been busy.

I've been flat out at work. Excuses excuses right?

It's been a weird time to be honest, when I'm not draining my energy reserves at work I'm at home reading my library books, playing with Lucy and getting as much sleep as possible. I guess it's one of those times in your life where you feel scattered, where you feel stretched and where you look for peace in your spare moments.

The good news is that we're off for a long weekend to Riwaka again. I'm hoping to get some top notch R&R and come back ready to face the world again.

I should really be grateful for the opportunities that I'm getting in my job, the support that I get from C, my lovely family and ace friends. I am grateful. For sure. It's not too bad.

In the meantime, here are some awesome sites that I've found for you all to spend some time on...

The most comprehensive craft blog directory. I could easily waste hours on craftgawker.

Get your own fabric! I'm soooo excited about this site and designing some prints for my own (yes that's right!), my own, fabric.

Funny girl. This chicky is, and she's pretty cluey too. Watch her vids, she's a diamond.

till next time xo



Our beautiful accomodation

Gypsy deathcore. Doesn't get more energetic than that!

Legendary kids playing ghostbusters

A cable car tunnel


parliament house. incredible architecture

view from the botanic gardens

street art
As I mentioned in my last post we went to Wellington over the weekend. It was the first time for C in Wellywood and I hadn't been there in years. Welly is known as the 'cool' city in NZ and certainly lives up to its name with a great selection of cafe's and restaurants (Duke Carvells, Memphis Belle, Fidels), good op shopping (Emporium ex Christchurch is now on Cuba St) and lots of street art. Our visit deliberately coincided with the International Arts Festival. We saw some "interesting" street performers and the high-energy gypsy punk sounds of Barons of Tang. Our accomodation was the stunning Museum Hotel that has the most incredible reception filled with art from around the world.

C was delighted to get a tour through parliament house and we spent the evening pounding the pavement and bar hopping (love cocktails at The Library) on Courtenay Place. We had a great one night break away and luckily managed to get some decent weather while we were there. Oh and for all you crafters, if you're ever there - check out Minerva, the best textile bookshop!

Lastly here is a bit of a shaky video I took of projections on Te Papa on saturday night.


breaking a silence

A serious lack of blogging hey?! Well I don't really have an excuse. But here's what I have been doing when I haven't been tip tapping away on my keyboard.

Watching this documentary. It appropriately screened one year on from our most devasting earthquake. If you're not from Christchurch I sincerely recommend you watch this to understand what the city went through.

Working. Yep, I'm a working girl/lady. I've been busy trying to organise film shoots around the rain, doing presentations to the CEO and managing my largest campaign to date. Quite energy sapping! I don't have a cool eighties suit like Melanie Griffiths but I have been dedicated to working lately to try and achieve one of my New Year's Resolutions to appreciate my job more.

Playing words with friends. Why is it so addictive?!

Listening to this. How good is it?! (Thanks for the link Jeanie). Who said country tunes have to be lame?

Also I've been:

attending beer festivals
rescuing my shoes from Lucy's jaws
renovating parts of the garden
trying to find a good novel to read - recommendations please!
and getting excited for our quick trip to Wellington this weekend. I will post a summary on Sunday when we get back!


the river

spot the nose
C and I had a picnic lunch at Selwyn River today. We managed to escape the easterly wind and find a secluded spot. Lucy retrieved sticks and chased butterflies while we waded in the impossibly clear water. The wildflowers down there were so pretty! I love exploring days, do you?


DIY upcycle wool blanket cushion

This DIY cushion is a really basic way of upcycling the quality old wool blankets that you can find at nearly any secondhand store. I got an enormous one from the Sallies store for $4. For the applique you can use an iron-on adhesive to hold it in place however I chose to just pin mine which meant the elephant is a bit puffy.

What you need:
Wool blanket
Coloured thread to match the felt, needle
Sewing machine & thread to match wool blanket
Paper scissors
Fabric scissors

Step 1

Find an image that you like that has very few fiddly bits. Search for silhouettes to find nice simple images. I picked this elephant. Print out the image and cut it out. Note: You can always skip the first two steps if you want to free-hand a design onto the felt with chalk.

Step 2

Pin your cut out to a piece of felt in your chosen colour then cut out the shape.

Step 3

Cut out your cushion pieces. I used a strip around 60cm wide and 120cm long. This will make a rather large cushion. I suggest you get your cut out shape and place it on the blanket then measure an appropriate size cushion relative to the size of your cut out. Pin your cut out in place on the right side of the cushion. If you are going to use an adhesive here, this is where you would do it.

Step 4

Get your matching thread and your needle and blanket stitch all the way around your shape. This is why you don't want too many fiddly bits on your shape as it could prove tricky!

Step 5

Turn your cushion wrong side out and fold over so you have a square. Pin your sides together ready for sewing. Make sure you mark a gap on one side where you will leave it open for stuffing.

Step 6

Sew your sides together and then turn the cushion right side out so you have your (almost finished) square. Now for the fun bit! Grab handfuls of hobby fill and stuff through the gap you have left. There is no rule here on how much you stuff in but do make sure it is pushed right into the corners. Fold in the rough seams of your little gap and sew together. Depending on the capability of your sewing machine you may need to hand sew this part as it's pretty chunky. You're done!


five favourite things friday

Hurray! A long weekend approaches and I'm chill. It's Waitangi Day on Monday in New Zealand, a commemoration of the signing of the treaty between the british empire and the maori. The Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of the country and an opportunity for us all to watch the Sevens, go to the beach, have a bbq and watch politicians waxing lyrical on television. So, lets kick on. Here are my five favourite things this week.

If the weather holds tomorrow I'll be moving, breathing and relaxing my way to a peaceful Saturday with Yoga in the Park. It's free, just bring a mat. See you in the gardens at 10am.

The weather has been overcast and chilly for the last few days. It reminds me of this moody Feist video. It makes me groove. Check out her My Moon My Man clip, aren't those airport travelators so much fun?!

Throw the old water crackers on the compost theres a new snack in town. I'm nuts for these walnut oat crackers! Quince paste and camembert. yum gurgle drool. Freaking terrible photography sorry (It's Friday night, gimme a break).

I have a crush on Aubrey Plaza, the queen of deadpan. Parks & Recreation, Portlandia & Scott Pilgrim. Girl, you're too cool.

Since I'm talking about female artists I love, I can't really go past this classic. A glass of pinot, a cold evening inside and good speakers is all you need to slowly melt into a Tracy Chapman moment. Not even that. Just close your eyes and listen.

Happy Friday Ladies of the world.


a dog's bed

So this is how our wee Lucy used to sleep in the afternoons...

But after a bit of sewing and stuffing she can now sleep like this...

 or this..

or even like this!

I put her cushion together by folding in half a length of fabric and then sewing around the sides (like a large cushion). I then sewed the internal square, leaving a little gap to stuff it. After filling the inner section I sewed that up and then stuffed the outside and finished the end seam. I'm so glad the little lady likes it and it's a lot cheaper and colourful than the $50 ones at the pet shop! I think she's having dog dreams about playing with her friends Max and Vader at the park and I know she hopes her big bodyguard Vader gets better soon.


fft friday

ooh look at me abbreviating! In all honesty I just couldn't be bovered writing it out. I'm rather tired, this week has been a serious shock to the system. I have struggled getting back into the old routine in the office. My body is still getting used to work shoes, early mornings and the desk chair. I'm sure it gets easier.
So, let's get on with it shall we? Here are my favourite things from this week.

Flights to Wellington for the arts festival in February! Planning new holidays when you get back to work is the BEST.

Sugar. Sometimes sugar just makes everything better. Sure, the crashes aren't neat, and your teeth resent you but gummy bears definitely improve my mood on the afternoon slog.

Ok so here it goes. I'm a nerd. *Deep breath* I like fantasy novels. I'm talking more than Harry Potter here, they've got elves, magicians, portals to other worlds, political drama in far away lands and epic struggles between good and evil. I have been devouring the Raymon E Feist Riftwar Saga. Shame on me.

Caravans. I spend an abnormal amount of time looking at pictures of caravans online. They are cute, compact little home away from homeses. I particularly like this one I found on pinterest.

We've had some moisture down our way this week and I have to say I have loved being woken up by a heavy downpour and watching the garden thrive. Rain is rejuvenating and relaxing, even though it's meant to be summer.


mini break

Now that I'm back to the office grind I thought putting up some pics of our weekend would be a nice way to rid myself of the back-to-work blues. Here is a wee montage of our mini break at the top of the South Island.

the view from our bedroom at the beach house

lake rotoroa, a stop worth making

the sandflies were out of control

what a view

the house we stayed at in Riwaka was i.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e

little kaiteriteri

C's beach feet

my beach feet