summer holiday

Just back from our summer holiday. We spent the last couple of weeks down in Havelock North at my family home, gearing up for my little brother's wedding. We spent the days outside enjoying the sun and working hard, gardening and pruning. So I wanted something to entertain a four year old. I decided to make Moo a swing so I chose a spot under the pepper tree at the end of the lawn, where our childhood treehouse once nestled.

It's a simple wood swing. I used a plank of wood, drilled two holes each end to thread the 9mm orange rope through and painted it red (with the leftover paint from the front door). 

I sadly didn't document the making of the swing, as I didn't have a camera so the only photo I have is from my phone. 

ice lollies

I have been making ice lollies for Mima as a yummy and healthy snack for hot days.
They are super simple! I make two flavours, apricot/yogurt and berry/yogurt.

First get your ice lolly moulds and fill them with water to work out how much mixture you need to make to fill them, I use 1 cup. The basic idea is half yogurt half fruit mixture.

To make the apricot fruit mixture... 

I take a hand full of organic dried apricots, place them in a saucepan covered in water. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes then turn the heat off and leave them in the pan to cool with the lid on. The apricots with become very plumb.

Once cooled blend with the remaining apricoty liquid from the pan. Then mix with the plain greek yogurt and spoon into the ice lolly moulds.
Put them in the freezer.

To make the berry versions... 
Take a handful of frozen berries place them in a saucepan with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and a little water (enough to half cover the berries). Bring to the boil and simmer until the the berries have started to break down. Allow to cool in the pan, then follow the instructions above.


block printing

As a fabric designer I actually don't do any printing as part of my work but I am very interested in the process of making marks on cloth and recently have been experimenting with this. Below is one such experiment which is so simple any one could try it at home!

You will need:
garment - I used a denim jacket
fabric paint - I used white

1. Lay your garment flat and place the plastic inside, this will stop the paint soaking through to the other side.
2. I like to put the paint on a sponge then dab the sponge with my cork, this creates a nice even coverage of paint on the cork.

3. Firmly press the cork onto the garment to print the dot. 

4. I printed the front arms, body and collar first, waited for this to touch dry then I print in the same order on the back.
5. Follow manufacturers instructions for drying and setting the paint.

rainbow connection : five


A friend of ours has all these great stories and fairytale like explanations for everyday things her mother when she was child, one of which is that the little oil or petrol marks on the road after the rain is where a rainbow ended. It's such a nice idea finding the beauty in something that is essentially dirty. I liked the idea so much I've told Moo the same thing, not sure if my story telling is as good though. But yes we are the daughter and mother crouched in the gutter with our umbrella's looking at rainbow marks on the road. They really are quite pretty.

a summer feast

Over the holidays we spent a few warm evenings in our courtyard feasting with friends. We have an old door which we found years ago in an inorganic collection for a table top, we bring our dining chairs out, sit amongst the vegetable garden and look out at the giant trees in the park beyond, I love it, it is so idyllic.
I thought I would share with you the highlights of what we feasted on...
Over the past couple of months I have been following and trying recipes from the blog Petite Kitchen. I am a big fan. I have made a lot of the sweet treats or my variation on them with much success. In particular I have used the honey, almond and vanilla cake as a base to made little cupcakes for Mima, I don't do the topping but add berries to the mix, she loves them.
So I wanted to try some more recipes...
To start we had the chill, oregano and orange zest baked ricotta with the flaxseed crackers.

For our main we had the pork belly with salad, an asian slaw was a particularly good match.
Vanilla and lemon cream pie topped with blackcurrants was the desert, although I used fresh blueberries instead, it was delicious, Mima enjoyed it too.

And to drink Wrights organic Champagne with a dash of cherry and pomegranate six barrel soda syrup and selection of craft beers from Brothers Beer.
Good times!

rainbow connection : four

A rainbow pillow case for the sweetest dreams. 
I made a couple of these pillow cases for two of Mima's friends, one was the rainbow obsessed Moo.

fabric paints - I mixed my own rainbow colors from blue, yellow, red and white
paint brush - I used a thick flat brush
plastic spoons and a surface for mixing the paints - I used baking paper
A3 piece of cardboard - to put inside the pillowcase
plastic cup - of water
a cloth - for drying the cleaned brushes
iron to make paint color fast depending on manufacturers instructions

1. Wash, dry and iron pillowcase before you start to remove any manufacturers dressings.
2. Pace the card board inside the pillow case this is to stop the paint going through to the other side.
3. I found it useful to do a mock up on a sheet of A3 paper with the paint brush I intended to use.

4. Start in the middle and do the smallest curve first. This is the purple curve. First mix your purple, then paint it.
Make sure you clean the brush well in water and pat it dry with the cloth.

5. Then repeat the last step with each color to create your rainbow, blue, green, yellow, orange, red and pink, working from the smallest curve to the largest.

6. Then follow the manufacturers instructions to set the paint. Mine was to dry for 12 hours then iron with a cloth placed between the painting and the iron.