Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Island Life

I'm on the countdown to finally going home to New Zealand after 6 1/2 years away in Australia and New Caledonia - only 3 weeks to go yippee!!  For the past two years we have been in New Caledonia, a small French governed island in the Pacific, and to be honest it has been a very long 2 years, I really can't wait to leave!

Things I'm looking forward to:
  • English speaking people (they speak French here and I don't, it makes everything so difficult!)
  • The simple pleasure of reading a Sunday paper or magazine
  • Fruit and Vege stores, where supply is plentiful and stock is fresh -some of the stuff they try to sell here is criminal!
  • Shopping - ah  to have variety, choice, cheaper prices, craft stores - credit card get ready for a thrashing!
  • Being closer to family and friends especially with new bubs on the way
  • Living in one place longer than a couple of years - finally I can settle, nest, decorate, start a business!

Things I'll miss:
  • The food - ah the pastries, baguettes, crepes, salted butter caramel sauce, mmmmm
  • The lovely mild winters - we are so going to freeze when we get back home, Miss4 has no idea what cold is, shes in for a shock!
  • The beaches along with their lovely warm water
  • The simple stressfree lifestyle
  • My daughter will miss being able to run round in just her undies 95% of the time!

Things I wont miss:
  • The humidity and the rain (just has not stopped raining here for months!)
  • Shops closing for lunch - lost count of the number of times I was caught out by that one - grrrr
  • The simple stressfree lifestyle - not much to do round here especially when its raining!
  • Not being able to communicate with people, no more pigeon english and charades required!
  • Waiting for the ship to come in - most things are imported here, and you often have shortages on the basics
  • French bureaucratic red tape - they love their paperwork here.
  • Cheques - they are king here, hello NZ circa 1980's - bring on the EFTPOS.
  • The expense - wow this place is really expensive, and I hate being ripped off! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Finger Puppets

I made some finger puppets ages ago for my daughter - they were a bit rough (my sewing skills totally letting me down again!) but still looked pretty cute.  I decided that I would give them another go to add  to my nieces birthday present.  This time I decided to stay well away from the sewing machine and just hand stitch them which turned out to be the right decision!

I used the templates from Handmade by Jill for the cow, pig and chicken and the crocodile.  I'm not sure where the horse came from ( I just copied what I had made previously).  So the crocodile doesn't really fit in with the rest of the farm animals but I thought it was too cute not to make - next time I'll add some teeth - snap, snap!

I then decided that I needed something to put all the animals into so I made a little felt house for them.....ideally it should have been a barn, but I started it late one night and a house was just easier...yes I do roll that way!  I just freehanded it (not really recommended, if your eye is as out as mine!) so it took a bit of trimming here and there to get it looking symetrical, and then a bit of quick stitching and a velcro flap and voila we have a cute little house for all the animals. I might try and make a barn next for my daughters animals - if so I might attempt a tutorial so then I will have to do it properly!

Front of House

Back of house - flap needs to be a bit bigger me thinks - one of the problems of freehanding it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ballerina Cards

Hope everyone had a great Easter....a pretty quiet one here, Good Friday is not celebrated in New Caledonia and then the boy had to work all day Saturday so it was just like a normal 2 day weekend for us......with the exception of lots of easter eggs, homemade hot cross buns, some sneaky pastries and some gorgeous sunny weather.

Last week I made a couple of birthday cards for my daughter and niece, who are both turning 4 next week.  I took my inspiration from these cards that I've had pinned for a while now - I thought they looked like great fun for kids - they're cute right?!

Pop Up Cards @ Ikat bag
Knowing how great my drawing skills are I went in search of something I could cut and paste instead - much safer that way!  I found some lovely vintage paper doll images "Betsy McCall" that looked a treat.  I printed them out and played around until I had the right size for the card.  Next I added some pretty accordian folded paper for the tutu, added some extra bits and voila a card that I am sure two little girls are going to enjoy receiving.

These are the two ballerina images I used:
Purple Ballerina
Pink Ballerina


Monday, April 2, 2012

Hop hop hop hippety hop

There seems to have been a lot of bunnies popping up around here lately...Easter must be on its way!

Easter Bunny Finger Puppets -tutorial from the Purl Bee

Easter Bunny - tutorial & pattern from Revoluzza

Kids Toilet Roll Easter Bunnys - inspired from here

Kids Easter Bunny Cards - inspired from here