Beach mood

Being French and living in an English-speaking country, I am from time to time reminded that there are a few words I will never be able to pronounce correctly… Sheep / ship, sheet, shit, and beach / bitch amongst others… Had a huge laugh with a friend here a few weeks back about this… ah well, it will keep people guessing!

Holidays are in full swing, and although I have actually been making heaps, I have been unable to record most of it, coz we are forever on the go… Even at the beginning of the year, when the weather has not been all that summery (to say the least: it has been RAINING a lot!!!), the kids have kept me pretty busy with their social calendar!! But that’s really the way I love it. The holidays are about making memories, and the best ones involve friends… So it’s been quite hectic, and doubly so now that the weather has turned it on, dry and sunny at last. Unfortunately, the timing was off for the beach, thanks to the Rena disaster… And this is what we found when we were ready to go to the beach… Utterly disheartening, I must say. How do we not rise up in arm????

Urgh…. It makes me want to cry. What are we doing??

So we have avoided our beloved beach for now. The clean-up is under way, and I wanted to go with the children to help, but have been told it’s not a good idea with kids. Whilst I understand it would be difficult for the logistic of it, I would also have loved my kids to be involved in the clearing. So instead, we talked about this disaster, and Fils has been mostly curious about how or why it has happened. I guess at 8 years old, he will remember.

So amongst quite a few sleepovers here or there (and everywhere!) I have managed Lucy’s lovely crochet pennant. Big love :-). I made these to write Fils’ name on.

The colours of the photo are pretty crap; I am a crap photographer in the first place, and it’s a new camera with loads of buttons!

I am changing bedrooms around; the girls want their own bedroom, and Fils has agreed to let guest have his room on visit occasion. So off to decorate I go! Not my forte, but pretty exciting. Thanks to Lucy, as always, inspiration is abundant. I’ll get there in the end :-).

I have also painted an old round table that we had gathering dust in the garage (yes, there was a photo, but it was sooo bad…) and having yet again moved the furniture around in the living room (a disease of mine…) have found a corner it was needed in. Perfect. I’ll just crochet one of Alice‘s colourful mandala to dress it up a bit ;-)

We’ve baked a lot. there has even been an evening when DH came home to find no dinner ready, but 3 cakes had been baked. He is no longer puzzled: I believe after 15 years, he finally understands that I’ll bake any day over cooking effing dinner!!!! Today we made madeleines with a kid I teach French to (that’s how I “teach” French: he is 6, so we bake or craft in French :-p). It was yum and we even melted chocolate to dip them in!! Sadly, completely forgot to take photos :-(

Now, the following photo could actually be mine, but in this instance I like it doubly because Fille Petite not only made the art, but decided to record it for this blog. So cute. She is 5, and I love what she made!!

I made all our hands as templates for an embroidery project :-D

I am also working on this inspiration, as well as that project, and just finished these. Must have a go at these beauties soon too though!!

‘Till then


Happy new blog :-)

This is what I fell like at the moment!! Quite exuberant… ‘Till yesterday, I was “In stitches’ n bits o’ wool”, but no longer quite right…

I am a lazy perfectionist, a special brand, for sure ;-P… I am learning to enjoy every aspect of my life; the moaning and groaning of a round, middle-aged greying woman, with 3 wonderful, smiling, healthy, bouncy children, and a really special man who still shares my daily grind after 15 years. I am learning to count my blessings after having taken them for granted for so long.

So here goes; the new(ish) adventures on a newly-titled blog, for more of the same, recording my little life on the Island at the Other End of The World, where Christmas happen in Summer (??!!??) and where I am creating memories for our children and ourselves.

Having heaps of fun with Nenette,  the sewing machine. I love the tradition of advent calendars, but really hate the commercial option full of sweets; I like doing things together, with the occasional treat :-). So in order to practice my stitching, I thought it would be fun to make a Christmas stocking that would double as an advent calendar… Originally planned to make 3, but ran out of steam!! There is always next year…

So I’ve put little notes for them to share, and we had baking for our neighbours, walks in the dark, crafts, etc…

As for my UFOs list, pleased to report it’s all gone; the skulls have finally been made and sent to Nanou, the London cushion found his way to Caline and the scarf is just about to be sent to Aunty Jenni. Yessss. I have also been making quite a few crochet bracelets, original idea found here, but adapted somewhat…

A bit sparkly, and with a backing of felt…

There. First week of January gone already, but happy and definitely domestitched :-D

‘Till then



Procrastination [the end of…]

What a week… Pleased to report my sink is still shiny {!} who’d have thought?!? And my laced-up shoes are on… So it’s official; I am able to function, so long as someone is telling me how. Hmmm. Not sure it’s a very good way to live, but hey. My house is taking shape ;-P

Funny; I was reflecting on the fact that I was never really taught how to ‘keep a house’. Was my darling Mum’s worst nightmare: “Get a job! Don’t stay at home!!” is what I have been raised with. Because of that, I am strong; can take care of a lot of difficult situations… But can not [don’t wanna] be in charge of our house, let alone home! Arrrghhhhhh…

So procrastination has pretty much been the order of the dayS; I am also sliiiiiiightly perfectionist, so if I can’t do it well, why do it at all?!? [and in the case of keeping a house tidy, when children are about, WHY, WHY, WHY DO IT AT ALL???????]

Ahuh. BUT I am seeing the effect on Fils: Rather than risk failing, better/safer not try? Oh dear… Time for a slight readjustment me think…

I started my stitches adventures last year, and it was also a way to show my kids that there is no “end” to learning: it’s a lifelong pursuit and it’s FUN! But a heck of a lot of excuses, and moult {a French word I love ;-p} procrastination has severely delayed my progress… I have not stopped; there are still ufo plenty about regularly picked up… I just haven’t been as efficient/proactive at practicing or finishing my projects!

This morning I came across this blog… Oh my. I am in love… I spent the whole day being amazed/inspired by her blog and the whole time I have *this is what I want* twirling in my head… So many amazing options!!!


The end of procrastination. Time to give a go to all these inspiring projects, but perhaps a deal with myself to finish something before starting something new! ;-P I get soooooo easily sidetracked…

Current UFOs:

All these have all the pieces required to be finished! NO excuses other than ‘later…’

AND there is a scarf in the car that I get to do when I walk the dog, on the beach {bliss…}.

4 UFOs to be finished before I get to have fun with anything else… I can do this… The motto at the moment is “I can do ANYTHING for 15mn”.

*****Note**** In the middle of writing this post, I have eaten dinner/taken photos of said UFOs/cleared the kitchen/downloaded photos/made a cake (!!!!)/ shone my sink (!!!!) and made some phone calls….. TALK ABOUT SIDETRACKED!!!!!!!!!!!

Ah well…:-P

‘Till then

Sink reflections

When Fils was born, I walked around with a book in my hands. Seriously. The book was telling what to do when; have breakfast at such time, take a shower for that long, wake your baby at that time for that long, feed the baby that much, go to bed at that time, etc… at the time, my mother suggested that I probably had gone insane. I did say that I retained the right to burn the book at a later date, should I have been wrong to use it in the first place…

I never burnt the book. I do regret having had to use it. Having so little faith in what I could do as a mother, that I had to look upon pages written by another woman, telling me what to do. But I do not believe I was wrong to use it in the first place; at the time, I didn’t know how to BE a mother to my child… My  own mother was right: I had gone insane. Of the depression kind, I think, looking back. Aaahh… Hindsight…

I was reflecting upon depression the other day with a faraway friend, and wondering why it is that it seems still such a taboo, especially for Mothers…

I blame Cindefuckingrella.

After all; I did get the amazing hubby, the plump babies, especially after the first one had taken such a long time to land. surely that’s when the Happily Ever After was happening, right…????? So many people have worse lives, are not as lucky as me, have no money, no love, no house, no food [Not necessarily at the same time!!!!]**************Spinning head******************** surely I must be happy now.

Well it took me a while. A long, long, long grey while. I thank the gods that I have a very supportive husband. Coz I would have bailed a while ago, me think, had I been in his shoes. But he’s still here, bless his golden heart.

The last couple of years have been a general time of introspection, mainly trying to understand why I was so angry, why I was so lost, why ‘happily ever after’ didn’t taste like I thought it would… (Re)Discovering that whilst I have never really been a tidy person (in my mind or in my house), I was now drowning in chaos. There must be something reasonably true about how the state of your home reflects the state of your mind… Well, mine is not peaceful, put it that way… Only overwhelming. Every corner of it…

Then through the webwindow that is my computer, I discovered a beautiful world. A colourful world; a world that seemed to sing with ‘Happily Ever After’ on a lot of different tunes. Oh WOW… I sunk my teeth there, hoping it would be catching, that I too would start singing that siren’s melody… The journey is enlightening. I am loving every stitch of it, even if I am not that talented, even if my results are not quite what the picture looks like*. It is still true for me that “Out of Chaos comes Creativity”.

But it’s not quite enough. There is still something missing… Perfectionist? Moi??????

A few days ago, I came across The FlyLady… At first, admittedly, I had to laugh. I cannot seriously be considering “Go shining my sink”

I mean go my whatwhat now??????? It all sounds like my worst nightmare!!!!! But I kept reading. And thinking… And reading some more.

Here I am, 5 days later; today I took the first step of a program from yet another woman telling me how to tidy up my own life. Right now, I can not decide whether it is very wise or very sad. Let’s see what happen in 30 days :-D

On the stitch front, I finished what was going to be a Lucy bag… Except it’s not :-P Aherm… I made enough mistakes that it now looks somewhat different… *Apologies, Lucy, because it is not doing you any credits to link your name to my ‘Frankensteined’ version… but I kinda like it. Not to carry around I don’t think, but to hold my yarn stash in my living room, cosily somewhere around the fire, ready for my hooking mood… So I won’t make any handles; it will now have a drawstring instead :-P

and it can sit here quietly, smiling its big grinning smile at me. Too many loud colours mixed in there, but like an ugly pet, it will be loved all the more for it… A good excuse to try another one soon…

‘Till then XOX

Sleeves up!!

Sleeves up; time for action. I have quite a few WIPs around the place at the moment. Looks like yet again I am trying to cram a lot of catching up in as little a time as I can. Hmmm. Shouldn’t I have learned by now that I am not very good at this?? I should. I haven’t. Ah well.

Winter in gorgeous Bay of Plenty has treated us very well so far. The weather is mild, sometimes warm. The flowers are out, confused. I think we’ve broken that thermostat thingy ^^ and the weather feels all over the place!

On the creativity front, I have been having fun. Made a few new experiments with stitches and felt

Still have to back one of them; looks nicer :-D But they like it and I enjoyed the process. Since that was fun, I decided to continue experimenting with felt and made this:

Pretty chuffed with it, even if I say so myself…

Then I forgot about a birthday Fille Petite was going to this week; quick, let’s get this experiment into a crown! I originally thought about backing it with fabric and tying it at the back of the head. On this occasion, I had no time for this, so resorted to gluing it to a headband!!

Ah well. To be experimented again. But it was exciting to make something for someone :-)

Then fille Ainee was ailed with a sore back (crap: isn’t she a bit young for that?!? Hoping it’s only growing pain…) and spent a day at home. She was drawing pictures (she spends a lot of time doing that!!) whilst I was working on my latest project: The Lucy Bag :-D… When out of the blue she said “Maman, can you teach me to crochet?” [*huuuuuuh…* blank in my head: how do I teach her to crochet when I just started myself??? I am a very poor teacher!!! Help!! Panic!!] Sure darling, let’s see what we can do. *shmile*

I grab a hook, I grab a bit of yarn. I show her how I position my fingers. I explain (a bit long!) how the most important thing for me is the space between the hook and my index, and how it takes practice to feel right and start getting the hook to work smoothly… She picks up the hook, puts her hand the right way straight away and starts making chains.

She kept at it for a good couple of hours and finished my scrap of yarn. The photo was taken earlier: by the time she was finished, she had a 2 meters long chain! She was in stitches (yes, she was!!) and giggling about how long it was!

That was very good practice, for sure! Tino Pai Fille Ainee: that was seriously impressive :-D

My Lucy bag is ticking along, although I made a mistake in the rounds I thought were going up: In the slip stitch of the previous round, I kept adding a stitch for a while until I realised. I believe it was 4 rounds. Wasn’t up to frogging though so my bag is a bit on the large side. Ah well; I’ll just have to make another one later, just for the ‘practice makes perfect’ spirit…

I also gave a go at making myself a needle book, found in Cath Kidston’s Sew book; for someone who didn’t do any sewing, I ended up having a heck of a lot of needles!!! Obviously it’s not very good, because I got impatient, and couldn’t wait to have the ‘right’ material. And also because I don’t have a cutting mat (that’s my excuse anyhow) and my cutting was so-so, and definitely not at right angle!!!! Ah well; again, I’ll just have to make another one ;-P *later!*

Then it was my ‘bestest’-friend’s (I have 3 of these precious souls in my life, I am so lucky) birthday in June and I decided to make something of course… Found a great fabric on TradeMe (of a place which has heaps of memories for her and me,) and got busy (Though obviously it will be VERY late by the time she gets it!! A question of sad habit with me I’m afraid…). Practiced my zip too ;)

A partner in crime at our Stitch Night suggested that since I enjoyed stitching so much, I should have a go at embellishing and personalising the cushion with beads. Great idea!

Then disaster. My kids wrecked the fabric. Accident I know but aarghhh!!!!


And I know I can fix it, but I was so discouraged, I put it aside for a while ^^

What else? Ah yes; over Easter, Jenni came to visit from London and made our holiday in the South Island an awesome memory. So whilst I had made some (more!!!) cushion for my sister-in-law’s birthday,

I still hadn’t got around to make something for Jenni. To thank her again. Heaps. Her favourite colour is teal, which is what I feel the Pacific Ocean looks like most of the time. So I started a little project for her upcoming winter in New Zealand wool ;-)

And to finish this crazy summary, 2 more experiments; one is playing with sewing by hands, which is really not my forte, but I thought I could keep practicing. So made some Otedama bags which I had seen on my (many!!) meanderings through the blogosphere, this one through ‘Living with Punk’ guest Sachiko. They are really cute, and fille Ainee is starting to juggle, so hop! It took me 8 hours to figure out how to sew the 4 scrap pieces of fabric together!! I’m not kidding! and it’s not the tutorial’s fault, it’s just that I cannot seem to be able to ‘visualise’ the process!!! I already realised that in a few occasion, but that day was unbelievable!! I could nearly see it, and then my fingers just wouldn’t put it together, or my brain would not compute… Oh my, oh my, oh my!! It was frustrating. But I just wouldn’t give up. Stubborn, me. big time! Got there in the end… :-D

Then I found a very good book at the library that inspired me to try out more projects! Ah well.

Heaps of fun. But I will try my very hardest and get some kind of ‘system’ going, coz so far, I’m all over the bloody shop!!!!

I spent a heck of a lot of my afternoon posting this instead of doing some housework, so I’d better get my butt off this sofa and go do some real work now! That or have a little go at the Lucy’s? Aherm…

’till then XOX


I went in a strange place. A place in which wherever I looked, I freaked out. Discovering my creative bone sent me in a frenzy of the Wanties. And anytime the Wanties manifest, there is no escape… {WANT NOW, ALL OF IT, RIGHT NOW!!!} But how???? I can’t make this, or this, or these… Not even that one…. The hook, in summer, not really my favourite… Sewing? Mmmm. But where do I start?? So many creative AND talented minds out there in blogland… So I froze…

Then, a funny thing happened: whilst I was tracing round and round and round circles going nowhere fast. I found my kids… And for a change, I watched.

Then I jumped in…

Life, unlimited.

Took  me a while to understand, huh?

Then Fille Ainee started drawing things for me to make

I still roar plenty… But here is my favourite saying of the moment:

“Be pleasant until 10 o’clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself” Elbert Hubbard. We shall see.

Today is second week of the winter school holidays. The kids were away. Yep; all 3 of them… :-D

This was my day

And I loved it!

I’m back in stitches…

‘Till then XOX


Urgh: can’t get this blooming post to put the photos the right way. too tired… Tant pis.

Skull stitching

It’s been a really good holiday…

I used to dread being at home with hyped-up children, but as they get older and I relax into that motherhood thing, it’s becoming much more fun. Christmas in summer in this hemisphere is still quite mind boggling, but making the most of the beach in this gorgeous country is soul soothing…

I am missing my family and friends at this time of year, again…

I try and “invent” new traditions for our family… But it’s difficult to call it tradition, then, isn’t it…

Mostly though, it is easier and easier, and stitching my journey helps me focus on what’s important… And, more and more, this means creating (good) memories with my children. So working on it…

It’s been a good, gorgeous, hot summer so far (that said, it has been pouring non-stop for 48 hours now :-D). The kids and I have done some crafting, but mostly it’s been outdoor, and I wait for the evening to get my skulls out ;-P (The evenings have been shorter though, because excited children go to bed waaaaayyyyy later in summer! Ah well; it only needs to be ready in October anyway!)

Here are progress so far

And I’m loving them :-)

The last one is on the way, but maybe I tried too hard for that one, or maybe it’s getting too much too fast (obsessive, maybe ^^), I’m just not sure I like it… It may very well not get finished… We’ll see

But it looks like I may have inspired Fille Ainee, and she brought me this gorgeous design, and I may well use it instead!


Moods,  in pictures ;-P

Why want to live anywhere else?

To be a child again, even if only for a few minutes…

… No comments…

And suddenly, I simply have had enough of the state of things…

It only seem to reflects inside my head :-o

Inspired by creative minds over the blog-o-sphere… ACTION!!

Aaaaahhhhh… Now hopefully it rubs off, and I’ll get my mind in the same state…

‘Till then


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