Monday, June 27, 2011

soup swapping

About a year or so ago I signed up to a free newsletter from the website Simple Savings. One of their recent newsletters had the idea of doing a soup swap with friends which I thought was a great idea, especially now that it's getting pretty cold here! Luckily I have a few crafty friends who are also great cooks so at our craft morning last weekend we all brought along enough soup to share with each other. We all made enough for 8 adults, so by making one big pot of soup we got 3 delicious soups to enjoy plus the one we made. 
The soups we swapped were a corn and bacon chowder, an Alison Holst creamy lentil and vegetable soup, a carrot, red lentil and kumara soup and a chorizo and lentil soup.  Loving our lentils!
I made the chorizo and lentil one after seeing it on 'Good Morning' about a month ago. Here's the recipe if you like the sound of it... http://tvnz.co.nz/good-morning/nicola-s-spicy-sausage-lentil-soup-4145740.
Lentil and vege soup with cheese on toast-yum!


We're thinking of doing some more swaps too- maybe a casserole swap and a cookie swap too after seeing Sarah's awesome swap last christmas.   
A good idea don't you think!

Megan x

Thursday, June 23, 2011

my creative space: nursery art

I got a lovely email a while back from Melissa who reads my blog and is a primary school teacher in Auckland. (Check out her new blog here http://nzbusybee.blogspot.com.)  She sent me the link to Larissa's blog "mmmcrafts" and the tutorial for these these  cute 'momma bird' cards that she did with her class for Mothers Day. Aren't they gorgeous:)  And Larissa has even kindly made a pdf with the templates for each card- thanks Larissa!
I decided to make the bird art for Jack's nursery as I loved the look of the mummy bird cuddling her little baby. So I printed out the template and enlarged it so the pieces would fit into a frame I bought from Spotlight, and had fun choosing the card from my scrapbooking card stash. (I don't actually do scrapbooking but I love the card you can buy for it!)
The elephant mobile was a fun project too. My drawing skills are very limited so I photocopied the elephant from the Michael Miller fabric I used to make Jack's baby blanket, then enlarged it onto card to make a template. Then I just drew around it a few times on the same card I used to make the bird art. The mobile is one of those ones that is for hanging photo's from so it was easy to clip the elephants on instead!
Thanks so much Melissa for sending me the link. Also I just wanted to say a big thank you to all of you for reading my blog and the lovely comments I get- I really do appreciate them and love reading them (and sorry that I don't always get a chance to reply at the moment!) 
For more creative spaces, click here
Megan x

Monday, June 20, 2011

happy mail

Something I've really enjoyed since starting my blog is taking part in swaps and also finding cool things online that you would never have found without reading other people's blogs! Today was a double bonus mail day as there were two packages in the letterbox. The first was my gorgeous brooch as part of the Flowerpress brooch swap from Kate, the very clever creative lady behind one of my favourite blogs, Foxs Lane.
How lucky was I to have Kate as my swapper- she sent this beautiful crochet brooch which is perfect as I am really loving crochet at the moment. You can read about how Kate made the brooch here.
And in the package was also the cute -as heart brooches, some aussie chocolates and the lovely quilted zip purse....wow!
Thank you so much Kate and thank you again to Susie for the swap- it has been so inspirational to see the brooches made- they really are little works of art!

And in the other package was this beautiful necklace I bought from Lee of Cloud Nine Creative, a design studio based in Christchurch. I found her website via Miriam's blog post about the latest earthquakes in Christchurch.  I just love this necklace :)
Lee has also created a beautiful range of 'Love Christchurch' jewellery with 20% of the proceeds going to the Red Cross Canterbury earthquake appeal.
And I just liked Lee's facebook page and saw this awesome giveaway....Lee is having a one year birthday giveaway with an amazing prize of $500 to spend on Cloud Nine Creative products- how much fun would that be! Check it out on her website here...

Hope you have some nice mail in your letterbox this week too :)
Megan x

Sunday, June 19, 2011

i ♥ bows

After making my bow brooch I'm just loving bows at the moment- here are a few things I've found that I thought I'd share with you...hope you're having a great weekend :)
Bebe Knitted Hat with Bow - Navy
.Green With Envy. Bow Clip


Megan x

Thursday, June 16, 2011

my creative space: apples

 a crochet apple
a crocheted apple 
(not sure if that's grammatically correct!)
Some times it's good to make something that's a bit frivolous but makes you smile...I made this apple cosy just for the fun of imagining my 4 year old's face when she opens her lunch box :) 
I tried a tutorial first but my cosy was looking more like a sombrero....
so I just started again and played around with my baby ball pattern instead that I modified from Kate's pattern here.
Wish I could see her face (and the teachers' who will probably think I'm a bit crazy) when she opens her lunchbox next week...

For more creative spaces, head on over here
Megan x

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Christchurch bloggers

After the events of yesterday, I'm sure these lovely bloggers and crafters would really love a visit...

Nin from The Wardrobe
Miriam from Make It Give It
Deb from Works in Progress
Juliet from Craft and Nappies
Lou from Seaside Siblings (Lou now lives out of Christchurch but do go visit her lovely blog anyway!)
Maddie from Li'l Magoolie- Maddie has moved to Aussie but her fantastic blog is still full of inspiring finds from NZ and Aussie as well as world wide finds
These are just a few of the Christchurch bloggers I could think of from the top of my head, I know there are many more wonderful bloggers there, would love to be reminded of or know of more :)

Thinking of you all,
Megan x

Sunday, June 12, 2011

a bow brooch

It's been a bit of a rainy weekend here - good weather to get a few crafty projects finished including my brooch for the Flowerpress brooch swap. My swap partner is a really amazing crafter so I spent quite a bit of time thinking about what type of brooch to create. In the end after changing my mind a lot I decided to make a fabric bow brooch after seeing the bow hairclip I won from Amber and Hillary's blog last year.

But after more obessing (I think there were a few of us obsessing about our brooches!) I decided to make a crochet bow brooch as well as my partner loves crochet.
And then I got the idea to make a scarf using the fabric from the bow brooch and some lovely blue merino. (Thank you for the ideas on my Facebook page the other night on where to source merino- I ended up getting some from 'Moreland Fabrics' here in Tauranga but I am going to have a look at some from Global Fabrics too if I make some more.)
I made a few more bows too - some more for brooches and a couple to stitch on to a t-shirt or a bag perhaps.
So the parcel is finally all wrapped up ready to go - hope she likes it!
If you want to check out some of the brooches already made check them out here...I've just had a look and they look amazing, better get mine in the mail before I change my mind again!!
Thanks for a great swap Susie :)
Megan x

Thursday, June 9, 2011

my creative space: a little house

I finally got my hands on a copy of the book "Scandinavian Stitches" by Kajsa Wikman, from our local library.
I've seen this book on lots of blogs and it is just gorgeous with heaps of cute projects, my favourite being the little houses.  I was even lucky enough to receive a house from Leonie as part of the kiwi christmas ornament swap which is now on my notice board in my craft space.
So I made a little house for my kitchen, just a bit bigger than the one in the book.
Kajsa's blog is so beautiful and inspiring too- check it out here http://syko.typepad.com/, her facebook page here www.facebook.com/sykodesign and take a look at some of the things in her Etsy shop- how cute is this little village!
 My village - a collection of 10 soft houses
Love machine - art print

For more creative spaces, head on over to Our Creative Spaces here
Megan x

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sausage, bean and tomato stew

Here's an easy and economical recipe that I'm loving for these wintry nights - great for the dishes too as you can do the whole meal in one pot. And even a non-cook like me can just about manage this one!

Serves 2 adults + kids
4-6 Pork sausages
1 tin Cannellini beans
1 tin Canned tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 onion
3-4 sage leaves

1. Brown sausages in large pot, remove and set aside (high heat)
2. Dice onion and garlic and cook in pot until soft and clear (low heat)
3. Add tomatoes and sage leaves to pot
4. Chop sausages in half and return to pot, increase heat back up to high till boiling, then reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes
5. Drain beans and add to pot
6. Simmer for another 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper
7. Enjoy!

And for a nice winter desert I like this apple and berry crumble recipe from Food in a Minute.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend,
Megan x

Thursday, June 2, 2011

my creative space: more busy book pages

Some more busy book pages for your perusal...made before I had Jack in case you are thinking "how has she got time to make these??!!"
The cute Red Riding Hood fabric on the left from Stitchbird fabrics was the inspiration for me to create these pages.  I'd seen some other busy book pages that had a 'weaving' page so first off I thought of making a basket weaving page to go with the Red Riding Hood theme. 
For the second page I appliqued a little Red Riding Hood and made it a page to practice tying bows.
Looking forward to making more pages when I get a chance! If you're interested in making your own busy book and would like to take part in a swap. check out Rochelle's awesome idea here
And for more creative spaces today, click here
Megan x
PS: a big thank you to
for nominating me for a blog award lately- much appreciated thank you ladies!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

homemade baby bath wash

Hello all, hope you are having a great week.  I made up some homemade baby bath wash this morning from Wendyl Nissen's recipe.
 
I already had the glycerol (it's the same as glycerin) from when I used it to make some homemade bubble mixture and I had the rose water from making Wendyl's pillowspray but you can get both from the chemist. I bought the rose soap from the Trade Aid shop (you use about half the bar to make the recipe). The recipe makes nearly 500mls of bath wash so I worked out that it cost approx $5.50 for 500 mls which is actually a similar price to the Johnsons and Johnsons baby bath wash but a lot cheaper than the other brands, especially the eco-friendly brands.
edit: Whoops just realised that Johnsons bath wash is around $5.50 for only 200 mls so this recipe works out alot cheaper!
I wanted to test it out this morning so it was a good way to give my 2 year old something to do while her sister/playmate was at pre-school.  I ran the bath and put in some paddling pool toys and plastic jugs and she had a great old time having the bath all to herself and filling up the jug again, and again, and again.....I think she was a bit confused that she was having a bath in the morning though! The bath wash was lovely- it smelt beautiful and soaped up nicely. It was quite runny so I'll possibly use more of it than I would using the supermarket brands but it's nice to know its a chemical free bath wash and it's great to be able to make it myself!
Putting the paddling pool toys in gave me an idea too- I remembered doing a simple science experiment back in my teaching days about floating and sinking.  So I collected up a whole lot of little things made from metal, wood, plastic and a few other things and tonight Amelie can decide whether she thinks each item will float or sink and they can test them in the bath. Will keep them busy for a while if nothing else! (Another fun thing to do is try and make a boat out of plasticine or tin-foil - they could see how many marbles their boat can hold before it sinks.)
Well, two kids are asleep at the moment so I"m going to read a mag in the sun before one of them wakes up-have probably just jinxed myself by writing this though!
Megan x
Had to share Jack's first smiley photo, taken yesterday 6 weeks old :)
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