December 6, 2013
This weekend is really about getting things sorted out – actually, that’s most of December for me. I’m on a tight schedule most days of working, getting stuff done then coming home and filling orders.
It’s all good, I just need to make a lot of lists. Here’s this weekends one:
- Christmas present sort out – I bought most of the Christmas presents months ago when Craft Country closed but just need to sort those out and make sure I’ve got everyone covered before it’s too late
- Wrap and post Dad’s birthday present
- Wash the sheets on the spare room bed and remake it – I always like the spare room to be ready and waiting for people
- Sew some last-minute bags for tomorrow’s craft fair
- Tomorrow from 2-6pm I’ll be at a really nice craft fair in a garden in Greytown. Here’s the details so come along
- Emma Makes orders/traditional Saturday visit to the Post Office
- Tidy my bedroom, which is super messy
- Write a few more Christmas cards
- Buy ingredients to make my first ever Christmas cake
Last night (when it was stinking hot) I made the long-suffering Tom dress up as Santa so I could take photos of my Christmas pencils.
December 4, 2013
About this time of year when it’s busy I spend a lot of brain time visualising myself reading books over the Christmas period. Right now I can’t wait to begin Donna Tartt’s new book The Goldfinch.
2013 has been categorised by some pretty average reading for me. And The Luminaries, which shone bright as a brilliant book. Here’s a few others that you might like to read that I rated five stars this year. I’ve linked them all to Good Reads so you can find out more.
Habibi by Craig Thompson
My first graphic novel and a really enjoyable reading experience.
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
My book of the year so far – although I lent my copy to someone who lost it. Not only lost it – left it in another country. Grrrr. Here’s my book review.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
One of those classics that you finally get around to reading and then wonder why it took you so long. Brilliant, beautiful writing.
The Invisible Rider by Kirsten McDougall
Not quite short stories, not quite a novel, I found these episodes thoroughly enjoyable.
Gorse Is Not People by Janet Frame
This is the stuff of classic Frame. Rich layered writing with immediately imaginable characters – at times with a dose of fairytale and more than once with a desperate and
Edwin + Matilda by Laurence Fearnley
A devastatingly sad and utter heart-breaking story of love and the quest to find and understand it. Laurence Fearnley really is a master of description – her South Island is always so real and so right, her characters are pitch perfect.
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Another classic that I entirely blame for getting me through winter so well. Brilliantly full of wit and whimsy and the perfect winter read. Buy it for Christmas for every girl you know.
And more book recommendations…
December 3, 2013
While Tom was away one of the things I most wanted to do was create our illustration wall. I’ve been saving up prints (reproductions) for a while – some were from birthdays, some were bought at craft fairs – and I wanted to hang them all together in white frames.
I bought the frames online at Factory Frames and got great service – the frames are tight and well made and they arrived quickly and were packaged between wood, which meant they arrived in excellent condition.
My original plan was all white frames but the day I put the wall together I went to Typo and saw that deer head with gold glitter antlers and really thought it should be on the wall. And then once I got home I thought the Frida Kahlo pictures Mum brought back from Mexico and my op-shopped paint by numbers ship should be there too.
In an amazing feat I actually planned out the wall first on the floor, which was a great idea because I had to move things around a good few times before I could get it looking right. And then in a second amazing occurrence I used a spirit level and followed the instructions on the 3M picture framing hooks.
Usually at our house Tom does the planning and I bolt right in. As you can see, this was new territory.
About two frames in I was sick of it – up and down on the bench, measuring, sticking, levelling… but I’m glad I was patient and took my time and did things properly because now I think the wall looks great. And heaps cooler than what was there before – but of course I didn’t take a before photo because I just bolted right in.
Sources for these illustrations:
Lisa Congdon on Etsy
Sweet William on Etsy
Oyprints on Felt
Petite_kiwi on Felt
December 2, 2013
I love a good moochy weekend – by the time I got home from Palmerston North early on Saturday morning it was already grey, raining and windy. The perfect excuse to blob inside catching up on Homeland and Downton Abbey with Tom.
Much of Tom’s weekend has been spent napping and catching up on washing and mine has included the usual sewing and pottering around the studio.
I made a wreath for our front door yesterday – sitting under the walnut tree and using leaves from our bay tree. I wrote an instructional on my Emma Makes blog.
If you ever need a craft assistant take Helen – she not only bought snacks but she then laid them all out like this at the back of my stall.
Our roses are in great shape this year – I made a nice indoor arrangement with roses and bay leaves. This photo is a bit of a cheat because it was for a friend’s birthday but I liked it and it shows our roses well. In other floral news I have a bud on one of my dahlias.
My Society 6 shop has free shipping until Monday USA time, which means you can get new products like cups without needing to deal with postage costs. Hooray!
November 30, 2013
Tom came home on Thursday morning and so everything else has been neglected – hence the late list.
I’ve already done a stack of orders this weekend and been to Palmerston North and back for the great Eagle vs Craft fair in the library. I stayed at Helen’s house and was fed great pizza, cider and coffee. Here’s what else I’m going to do this weekend:
- Sort out my Christmas pencil packs
- Nap – I’ve had a cold so some rest will be great
- Finish sewing up some bags with wooden handles for next weekend’s fair
- Read some book
- Wash my bike
November 27, 2013
My friend Lynn sends great birthday presents and this year posted me a pretty apron and a cookie cutter that came with alphabet stamps.
I decided Sunday night (while it was 28 degrees) was the time to fire up the oven and get into using the stamp set. I used this gingerbread recipe, which was easy and made a good amount and was nice and spicy.
Lynn’s letter set let me stamp out words on the gingerbread. You could easily do this yourself with a child’s plastic stamp set taped together – don’t be tempted to use lead type! I stacked all the gingerbread in a jar and took it to work.
Making gingerbread is a great thing to do with kids – I remember spending hours one day when I was about seven making gingerbread men with our friends. I think Mum and some other Mums got together and there seemed to be an endless supply of dough. The weird thing is I don’t remember eating any of them because for me the fun was all in the making and decorating.
November 26, 2013
Tom texted me from London today to say he was awake at 1.40am because the chavs in the room above him were having a fight.
When he’s not listening to chavs ‘ave biffo then Tom’s been working in London (following his stint in Paris). Luckily he also had a weekend there to take some snaps, which are below.
What I really like about these photos is that they just look like all photos from London but the fact that Tom took them makes them better (for me anyway).
He was super excited to be staying right near where they dropped The Tardis in the latest Dr Who episode, which he watched in London. A strange story there – last week I go an email from Kate (long time reader, first time writer) to say she’d read our blog for years and was a Kiwi in London and did Tom want to come over and watch Dr. Who in their lounge?Tom headed off and had a great time at Kate and Sam’s house – he navigated the tube to get there, ate dinner then watched Dr Who. It sounded like a great night and not at all as weird as going to a stranger’s house on the other side of the world seems.