Monthly Archives: December 2015

16 Crafty Things to Do in 2016

Frankie oven mitts Image from Frankie.

So, that’s the first time I’ve typed 2016. Weird. Good weird, though, right? Each year I like to write a little list of ‘things to be done’. Small things and big things. This year I was so….distracted, that I didn’t get my usual craft on. Which makes me a little blue. Because no matter what you achieve, doing the things that make you feel content are always a day month year well spent. So more craft in 2016. Keen? I have compiled a fairly epic list of crafty tutes to get you through the new year. From crochet to cacti – see what takes your fancy. Continue reading

The Post-Christmas Post

Christmas yarn

Hi friends. Happy Boxing Day morning to you. I usually quite like this Day After The Day. It’s got a slow quality, there is leftovers. Well, I hope  you had a really lovely Christmas, if you were celebrating. And also here is a thing that I started making last night with some new yarn from a pal (the pink and pale yellow) while sipping delightful homemade chamomile tea from another pal. There was also Grey’s Anatomy. And watermelon. And Ferrero Rocher. I hope your Christmas had some of these things below (and maybe other things not on the list – educate me!).

– LOTS of funny stories and lame jokes around the table with your favourite peeps.

– The exact right amount of delicious treats + a few sneaky extras.

– A fridge full of goodies to see you through.

– Special exchanges of handmade gifts. Maybe some new treasured possessions. (Hello picnic basket!)

– Emails from around the globe. (There’s no snow in Finland or Germany.)

– And parcels finally opened.

– Sunshine or a toasty home.

– And extra hugs.

– No drama. Just niceness.

– Late night crafting book browsing enjoying winding-downing.

– McDreamy*.

*Not essential but highly recommended.

Why do you like Christmas?

Christmas dec

My favourite and final primary school teacher gave me this Christmas decoration just before I ‘graduated’. Every year when I unearth it from among the other decorations, tucked in their bag at the far edge of the world (my swollen linen closet) I remember the exact feeling of joy and sadness that came with receiving this. I remember my teacher, her warm smile. I remember her finesse at reading chapter books to the class. I remember those heady days of being, what, 12? All tucked up in the little red and gold parcel that is this ornament. 11 months of the year, I don’t think this. I don’t remember the jumble of treats in the closet: the odd assortment of decorations from past lives – childhood, adolescence, a few years ago. Continue reading

A modern way to eat: a delicious review

a modern way to eat

Did you know that I like to cook food, quite a lot? You probably knew that. But in case you didn’t, here is a wee story. This blog started as something a bit different. It started as Happy Pantry, both my love letter to food and my attempt to share what I loved with the world. But a year down the track I made a discovery. Possibly a naive one. Hindsight eh? I discovered that creating good recipes is really, really hard work which requires patience, many hours and a perseverance not known to many. Mostly, I lacked the hours. So I changed gears. Now, more than I ever, I appreciate the heck out of a good recipe book. Firstly, you have to come up with a recipe that functions properly. It has to make sense to the cook and make good food. Then it has to be really tasty. Followed swiftly by simple but interesting, original, affordable, quick and healthy (last but not least). Phew! Hard work? Yes. I borrowed this book a few times from work and found one recipe that ticked every single one of the above boxes. A classic, yet unique dhal recipe. I made it quite a few times. Then my super wonderful friend, much aware of my over-borrowing, gave me the book as an engagement present. Continue reading

Oh look, Christmas!

Flora Waycott cards

It feels super weird writing about Christmas. Like, hang on, I’m pretty sure it’s October. I don’t want to be that person who says “this is PREPOSTEROUS. Where HAS the year gone?” and mostly I don’t think that. So much happened this year. But this tail end of the year always seems to disappear into a puff of festive smoke, leaving me grappling for a hint of the Christmas spirit. Grapple I will! Here are three nice wee things from NZ land very much in the Christmas spirit: something crafty, a tasty treat, something to buy for your beloved (or your dog). Merry Grappling! Continue reading

Happy Spaces v.39

Happy Spaces

Hi everyone and happy Saturday to you. It’s good, isn’t it? Saturday. Summertime (here, at least). Christmas trickling in. A deluge of rain and utter chaos in the garden (mostly good chaos). A freshly baked cake on the bench. A nice breeze stirring the net curtain. Chai tea. A new favourite recipe book. These are my nice things at the moment. I hope you are having a good December so far whether you’re tucked up inside sheltering from the descending gloom, strolling through the cascade of autumn leaves, or sweating it out in the tomato patch. Here are some things to enjoy. Continue reading