Saturday, 17 October 2009


My blog's been rather neglected this year, I've felt so busy with uni and motherhood. It's been a hard year and it's crazy that it's nearly over - exams in a week and a half. I've struggled this year, struggled to find time to relax, time to do hobbies I enjoy, time to try and remember who I am and who I'm trying to become. Some days I just carry on because that's all I know how to do. Miss S has been a wonderful blessing and joy in my life, an amazing bright spot in a world which sometimes seems too dark.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

ways to celebrate a 1st birthday

Miss S is one today, and my what a day! It has been filled with all sorts of things. Here's just some of them:
-go to a lecture at uni
-eat curry
-spend about 1hr on buses or waiting for them
-talk on the phone while expressing milk
-wash and polish a car both inside and out (with help from the darling husband)
-turn a carseat around
-cut my hair in a new and spunky style
-get Miss S and myself covered in hair clippings
-enjoy some sunshine while reading a book
-plant a flower (not a real one, a bright yellow and pink spinning one)
-blow up balloons
-open presents for someone else
and hug a one-year-old!

Monday, 6 July 2009

embroidered art

I decided to post my recent art after all. Somewhat hesitantly, but then, why not? As a disclaimer, I'm not suicidal, but I have been in the past, and have self-harmed in the past. I've found that getting these types of thoughts out as art helps them stay out of my head (which can only be a good thing). If these sort of images disturb you or prompt you to think in negative ways, please don't look, this is theraputic art for me and I don't want it to affect anyone negatively. So I've put a cute pic in to give you a bit of distancing.

These pictures were all done in soft coloured pencil on the thermal backing of an old curtain, and then embroidered with polyester thread.

contemplating death



Any thoughts?

Saturday, 4 July 2009

cruisin' and crawlin'

I haven't been doing much lately, enjoying my holiday, and keeping Miss S out of trouble now that she's crawling and cruising around the house.

I've been doing a bit of drawing to keep myself entertained, though of rather emotive and heavy topics (suicide/self-harm), I won't post more than a detail here, showing of some of the embroidered detail work, but if you're interested, look me up as khhast on

One week of holidays left, then I'm back into the study. I hope to keep a bit more creativity in my life this semester, but managing pain levels tends to be more important most of the time.

Thursday, 11 June 2009


I had a pretty good day yesterday, despite having my second of four exams. While wandering around uni wasting time before my exam I saw two baby swans, a beautiful soft and fluffy grey, happily waddling around with their parents.
After my exam was over and I was walking back to my car, a beautiful tui (native NZ bird) sang to me from the top of an almost naked tree.
On the drive home I saw a van painted with the following slogan that made me laugh aloud:
"I followed the road less travelled
now where the hell am I?"
Then we went to the in-laws for dinner and they fed us yummy apple and berry strudel for desert.
It was a good day.

hope you're having a good one!

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

raining leaves

It's this time of year when all the beautifully coloured autumn leaves start collecting in the street gutters. Which is beautiful and wonderful, and really quite lovely, except for one thing: at some point it rains for a few days straight (it's doing it right now!) and all the lovely leaves start blocking drains and causing big puddles. They were fun for biking through on the way home from school as a kid, but they can cause some problems.

I am thankful for the rain though, my garden was in need of a good watering. My lavendar bushes are growing fantastically well, unfortunately so are the weeds, as I haven't had much of a chance to get rid of any with lots of assignments to do instead.

Right now, Miss S is out for a walk with her dad, enjoying the rain, while I'm puddling around at home in a quick break from assignment writing.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

a rainbow of trackpants

I've been enjoying my holiday break so far, I've been getting a bit of study done, working on some assignments with some classmates, but between that I've been trying to relax a bit and chill out.

I've started making a few pairs of track-pants for Miss S, and it's been great to get some sewing done and just enjoy myself. One pair is complete and another half done, though I'll need some more elastic to finish the third pair. I'm just using the simplest of patterns based on another pair of pants we have for her to grow into, only two pieces of fabric with a fold over for the elastic at waist and ankles. They look like they'll be super cozy for winter, and of course super cute!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

photos go on holiday

I'm so glad I'm finally on holiday, I'm in real need of a break, though I have plenty of assignments and readings to get done over my break.

I've been really enjoying taking photos lately, exploring my camera a bit, and I've finally worked out how to do the cool depth of field photos that are all over the place. Here's one of my sewing machine...

and one of Miss S's latest toy.

I took this third photo on our duck feeding trip last week of the sunshine sparkling in the paddling pool.

I've finally got a bit of sewing done, maybe more on that later. Enjoy your Easter weekend.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

feeding laughing ducks

We had the most fun I've had in so very long last Tuesday with a bunch of old friends getting together and laughing all evening - I highly recommend it. Though my cheeks were sore for the next couple of days from all the laughing and smiling.

On Friday it was an absolutely gorgeously sunny day and we seemed to be making a collection of stale bread and crusts so we went to feed the ducks. It was a fun adventure with Miss S fascinated by the ducks crowding around demanding food.

After we'd run out of bread we wandered over to the paddling pool...

...where we dipped Miss S's feet in, before heading back to the car and home.

It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon as a family - sunshine and fun all round.

Monday, 30 March 2009

relaxing madness

I have had a crazy last couple of weeks with two assignments to get done and two tests to study for, but thankfully it's all over and I can relax a little. Unfortunately I'm quite sore from too much writing and stressing so can't really chill out by sewing, which is disappointing as I have far too many ideas floating around in my head wanting to get out, plus umpteen dozen works in progress. However to distract me from this sad state of affairs my bestest friend from high school is coming to town tomorrow and we're having a big random potluck dinner at my place to celebrate. This is her first visit home from London in two and a half years and it really has been far far too long. So tonight it'll be early to bed so I can rush around after uni tomorrow picking up pieces of house to make room for visitors. We're so excited!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

sheep at 5am

I'm up pre-dawn today, Miss S keeps deciding that she's wide awake in the middle of the night and insists on not staying in bed, so we're up enjoying 5am. To amuse myself I've been catching up on some blog reading, it's been getting a bit behind with some assignments coming due and tests to study for, but 5am is no time to be doing anything productive. I found this incredible video over at Inhabitat and it amazed me so I thought I'd share.

Enjoy your day... hopefully I'll be going back to bed for a while before I truly start mine.

wordless wednesday

washing day

Monday, 16 March 2009

sewing lavender

I got some sewing done last weekend, it was great. I started on a project inspired by Tonya's alphabet piecing, looking towards Christmas presents. These two are part of a "sun, sand, and sea" series for some family.

Over the weekend I did some good gardening, weeding lots, planting a lavender bush into the garden, and trimming the lavender bushes we already have. The lavender clipping are now drying out in my studio, filling the room with wonderful smells.

The last couple of days I've been working hard on my studies - reading and writing - but I keep being distracted by clothing ideas that float in on the lavender smells in my studio/study.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

wordless wednesday

Does anyone even know who started this?

Saturday, 7 March 2009

highchair antics

Miss S has been eating solids for a couple of weeks now, and absolutely loving it! About a week ago my mum brought us their old highchair which they bought second-hand some twenty-eight or so years ago for my older brother. It's since been lent to another family for their three kids and now is finding a warm welcome in our house.

So Miss S can now join us at the table for meals which is great fun for all of us. At the moment I'm baking some yummy bread which we're going to bake nice and crispy so she can suck and chew away on them.

Meanwhile, I'm off to do some sewing! Yay!!

What are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

uncreative creativity

I'm missing being creative. I've been filling my brain with my uni studies for less than two weeks and I'm feeling deprived of creative time. Not that I'd probably do much sewing, my wrists have been too sore with all the notetaking, but I've been feeling a bit paintily, and wishing I had some paints so I could explore it a bit. -not that I have much time free at the mo.

In my blogland explorations I've come across some fantastically inspiring artists, including:

Lisa Lectura

I have, however, spent a bit of time cleaning carrot/potato-mush out of my baby daughter's nose ...not something you do everyday, but one of the joys of starting with solids.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Photo Challenge - Humanity

Over at Dr Cason's blog, she has regular photo challenges, February's theme is "humanity". I took these pics of Miss S and her grandparents.

I really enjoyed the contrast of the small-newness of Miss S, and the more tanned and weathered grandparents.

Pics are clickable for bigger versions.

I look forward to seeing what March's theme is over with Dr Cason.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

brain food

Not much happening around these parts, as I've been busy filling my brain with random info about itself and how it can study itself (or others like it).

University has begun with a vengence, and all my lecturers seem to want me to read two massive chapters of textbooks each, so much brain is being overloaded. But I'm still enjoying noticing the little things:

Like speckled eggs.

What interesting things have you come across lately?

Sunday, 22 February 2009

one last fling...

with the sewing machine, as I'm back to university tomorrow morning (not that it'll stop me, just slow me down), leaving Miss S home with her darling dad. I'm sure they'll have lots of fun. But the last week I've been rushing around a bit trying to get things done, which at times got a bit stressful. So to cheer myself up a bit (the study looks rather heavy going by looking at my textboooks) I made myself a new top:

I'm sure it looks better on me than my mannequin.

A close-up of the pleated neckline detail.
Sorry they're a bit fuzzy, I was having trouble cos we were in the hallway for its good light (random, I know).

I based it on a gathered neckline t-shirt with raglan sleeves I got for Christmas. I decided to not have a seam between the front and the sleeves, and just to continue the pleats right around to the raglan seams at the back. So it has kimono-style sleeves at the front, but raglan-style at the back. I haven't hemmed any of the edges, just coverseamed them a cm or so from the edge. The neckline I basted the pleats and then coverseamed over them.

I'm really pleased how it turned out, only a few minor problems (like the fabric doesn't breathe very well, so not good for the hot sweaty days we're currently getting). It's the first item of clothing I've made in a while so I'm a little out of practice.

Friday, 20 February 2009

have books... will study

It is a miserable wet and gloomy day here, and, after dropping the darling husband off at work, I took Miss S adventuring out in it to Uni to get my books and study notes for the semester, both of us arrived home rather damp. So to brighten our days, here's a few pics I've taken recently on a much sunnier day:

Some of the trees in our street think it's autumn.
(apologies for the hideous smudge, I took this photo through my car's windscreen - it obviously needs a good clean!)

The cross on local Our Lady of Lourdes catholic school and church.

What do you do to brighten gloomy days? -Especially all you Northern Hemispherians hanging out for spring.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

snails (the mail variety)

I know I only posted yesterday evening, but I've just received a wonderful bit of snail mail from the lovely Nancy over at all pulped out. She also participated in OWOH, and sent out cards to I think the first 150 comments on her OWOH giveaway post.

Not only did she send me this beautiful card all the way from Canada, she also sent me a wonderful piece of her mixed media artwork which is now gracing my fridge with its beauty.

Thanks Nancy!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

finishing and starting

I'm counting down to this date:

University starts back in only 5 days and my list of things to get done over the summer break seems to be nearly as long now as it was back in November. Eek! Today, however, I did manage to finish one thing on my list: Nappies! I have finally finished sewing nappy pockets and can get back to some more creative sewing, almost. The nappies have had all 360 corners of velcro trimmed (4 corners x 5 pieces of velcro x 18 nappies = 360 corners, and no I didn't really need to know how many there was) and then had a wash so they're now all ready to use. Don't the colours look fantastic?!

I've started on another sewing item on my list, new curtains for our bedroom. We were given some nice full-length curtains which I've chopped the bottoms off so they can be normal length window curtains and curtains for the small window above our bed. So far I've hemmed the large ones, the small ones are still a work in progress.

I found some baby snails (they were tiny! only finger-width in length) while yanking out some very very long grass in our front yard, and had to stop and run find the camera. Most of the grass is still there, I didn't want the baby snails to lose their home. They were so amazingly wonderful. And their shells were translucent in the morning sunshine.

In other news, Miss S is starting on solids tomorrow! She hasn't put any weight on since I went lactose-free to help her reflux 2.5months ago, so we're getting started on solids to see if it'll help. Going lactose-free cut out a huge amount of fat from my diet, which may have been good for me, but not so good for a growing baby. The plunket nurse (free medical service for under5s) will visit again in a fortnight to see how she's going. It will be fun! The darling husband and I are very much looking forward to Miss S's reactions to food.

What are you excited about getting crossed off your list these days?
Or just getting started on that's exciting and inspiring you?

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

My sweet wee Miss S is celebrating with me, with her socks!

They're a bit hard to see, so here's a closer look:

Hearts! How sweet! On tiny wee baby socks! So very adorable.
(It was so hard to get this photo, she just wouldn't stop moving for me!)

To help get you in the mood, here's some lyrics from one of my favourite songs at the mo:

Until the world has stopped revolving
Until the birds have left the trees
Until the winds have stopped from blowing
You'll be loved by me.

Until the rain has stopped from falling
Until the fish don't swim the sea
Until the stars have stopped from shining
You'll be loved by me.

Sorry but I have absolutely no idea what it is or who it's by as it's just a random one on the darling husband's computer.

So happy Valentines Day everyone!

What are you doing to celebrate?

Thursday, 12 February 2009

One World - One Heart winner!


Today is February the 12th, the day (as it happens around the world) that winners of OWOH giveaways are announced. Thanks to everyone who visited and entered, I received an amazing 220 comments on my giveaway post, as well as many other lovely comments on other posts from people who I am sure were visiting via OWOH.

So, without further ado, the random number generator over at has declared:

Marilyn to be the winner of my bag.

Marilyn, an email is on its way to you, hope to hear from you soon.

If you didn't manage to visit blogs involved in OWOH, the blogroll will stay up for a few months, so pop on over here and take a look, there's many many wonderful crafters and bloggers there.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

state of chaos

I was gonna do some sewing today, you know, get those nappies finished before uni restarts in a fortnight, maybe even get creative, but instead my sewing room looks like this:

I can't even get in, let alone do anything!

My dad brought up a bed for Miss S, as well as a rather large bookcase. This provoked a mass rearranging of most of the house. The darling husband and I have swapped sides of the bedroom (confusing for sleepily stumbling into bed) and the living room has been totally changed, all because of the addition of one bookcase. The furniture's now mostly in place, but I have much book organising to do, so who knows when I'll get some sewing done. I might have to make some time for it cos I really want to get those nappies (among other things) finished before uni starts, but I'm running out of time. Eek!

In other news, Miss S's first tooth is coming through!

Monday, 9 February 2009

magnetic family

It was a long weekend here, so we went away for a bit of a family gathering at my parents' place, introducing Miss S to one of her aunts and some of her great-grandparents. It was a fun weekend.

My parents collect fridge magnets, and I love this one:

What did you do over the weekend?

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

The Painted Man

A little while ago I mentioned that I had just started reading "The Painted Man" by Peter V. Brett. I finished it about a week ago, it really was fabulous!

I don't usually rave about books, but this one was really really good. It's not yet released in the US, but will be out in March as "The Warded Man". It's also being/been published in a few other languages around the world, more info about that on Peter V. Brett's website. It's a fantasy book in which three young people challenge the fears of their elders. Determined not to accept those fears as their own, they challenge the way their society is built and look towards saving humanity from the darkness. A good description can be found on wikipedia here, without giving away any of the story. If you like fantasy books, I really encourage you to find a copy.

Since I've finally been able to put that book down (it really was that good) I've taken a break from sewing nappy pockets and have been making more cards, more on them another day.

Sunday, 1 February 2009


I did some card making yesterday, it's not something I've ever done much of, but this year I want to try to be a bit more creative with my gifting (having no money to spare on these things helps, but I also just want to be able to give people something made especially for them if I'm going to give anything). So when I was told that my sister had handed in her PhD thesis and gently reminded that my cousin was turning 21 this week (thanks Mum!) I decided that I just had to make some cards. So here's what I came up with, all made with things I already had... gotta use up some of that stash!

Some flowers for my cousin.

And some fireworks for my sister.
Photos are clickable for bigger versions so you can see detail.
Cards are made from ribbon, sequins, beads, button, fabric glitter paint, embroidery thread, and gold thread stitched on heavy denim, then sewn onto card with a really long stitch.

I also made envelopes for them out of scented floral drawer-liners, because they weren't standard-sized, and if I'm going handmade, why not go all the way? But I forgot to photograph them and they're already in the mail.

So after a whole lot of creativity, I'm feeling a bit better, though very much looking forward to starting study for the year in 3 weeks.

What different things have you tried doing lately?

Friday, 30 January 2009


I'm feeling a bit like this at the moment:

A bit battered and worn out. Not really sure why. Maybe not enough me time? I've been hiding away sewing to try and feel better, and though it means the nappies are getting closer to being finished, I'm not really feeling better, I'm just getting sore as well. The darling husband has told me to get out of the house today, go visit the library or something, so I will, we'll see what happens.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

hold the lawnmower

The lawn doesn't get mown very often round here. And that's a good thing. It means I get to enjoy all the random flowers and leaves growing in amongst it, and the exciting varieties of height and leaf shape throughout it. At the moment we have lots of these:

They remind me of when I was a child and I would pick them and blow, blow, blow! till all the seeds were spread to the wind. How many puffs would it take this time?

I was, however, meant to be getting the washing in, but the wonder of our backyard made me run and get the camera instead. And when I turned around to take the washing inside I spotted this:

Cute wee sparrows on the roof!

What wonders do you find in your garden?