Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Creative Space - Fairy rant

Spring has finally sprung (well, we've had 3 days of sun anyway) and the beansprout aka Madeleine, has shot up again. Honestly, this child sprouts everytime I turn my back. Whilst we can get away with flanellette pyjamas that finish above her belly button for the last few weeks of cold nights, I can't really let her go out with her midriff showing in her day to day clothes. Honestly, what would the neighbours think?
Appliqued pineapple t-shirt, pineapple print skirt and matching headband

Not only does she keep me busy at the sewing machine by growing too quickly, she keeps losing teeth as well. And that means a visit from the tooth fairy.  Those bloomin' fairies are the bane of my life.
See the wobbly one? Top row, next to that big gap. She keeps wobbling it. Makes me squirm!
Everytime she looses a tooth and the tooth fairy visits, Maddy develops an unhealthy fascination with small winged creatures. Unhealthy for me that is. The tooth fairy always writes a little letter when a tooth is lost in this house (hot tip: type your note up in Word and then make the font really tiny and then print it out. Anything to do with fairy queens, castles,wishes and possibly even unicorns are a sure winner for note content. And remember fairies always have flowery names like Rosabelle or Buttercup).

Appliqued Babushka t-shirt
Unfortunately, after the last tooth fairy visit, Maddy thought she was on to a good thing and decided to start leaving notes for the fairies under bushes in the garden. Oh how sweet, I hear you all say. Let me tell you, scrabbling about in the bushes at midnight with nothing but a light-up Dora watch to show me the way, is not my idea of cute. In fact, when the cat decided this was a really good game and jumped out from said bushes, making me leap several feet in the air, narrowly holding on to my pyjamas, I gave up on the note hunt and wrote a generic fairy reply in the hope that Maddy wouldn't guess.

Pyjama set for Maddy's friend Kate. No my iron isn't broken. I'm just waiting for the fairies to do
 the ironing and they never turn up.
My deceit when it comes to teeth-loosing doesn't stop there either. The same tooth that caused all the fairy trouble, also caused a great deal more trouble when I very stupidly asked Maddy if the tooth was nice and clean for the tooth fairy. She of course took it off to the bathroom and tried to clean it with a tooth brush. It disappeared down the sink within seconds and my poor Madeleine was distraut. My plumbing skills are a darn sight less handy than my skills in pulling the wool over the eyes of my children, so I disappeared into the bathroom with a large number of impressive tools, made a great deal of banging and then re-appeared bearing  the tooth that she lost a month before (now I know why I kept it). I held the tooth firmly in a tissue so that she couldn't get too close a look at it and twig (never underestimate a child's ability to spot a fake). She was extremely happy and sure enough, the tooth fairy came that night with a note about how clever her Mummy was to get her tooth out of the sink like that (the one great benefit of writing fairy notes it the ability to remind your children how wonderful you are). What acts of deceit have you performed in order to keep your kids happy? Go on. Spill. I know you've done it.

The pyjama top.
Now, I'm not sure if she is still on holiday or not but it's worth popping in just in case... For more Creative Spaces, pop over to Kirsty's. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Creative Space - woof

My Creative Space this week is finishing off some sausage dogs for the next Devonport Craft Market and my Felt shop.

and another Luella Kitten.

And I've been having fun with Shrinky Dinks with the kids. I look after two extra children after school for a few afternoons a week. When it's wet and windy they tend to get a little stir crazy. It was particularly horrible weather-wise yesterday, so the shrinky dinks came out. We are totally addicted to these! The kids drew some freehand ones and then traced pictures out of books. It kept a 4 year old, a 6 year old, an 8 year old and a 10 year old entertained for nearly two hours. Worth it's weight in gold! You can buy the sheets of Shrinky Dink plastic from Klutz (via Whitcoulls if you are a Kiwi). Just look for the refill pack so you don't have to buy the entire book. 

Pre-shrunk art works by the girls

How awesome is this Olivia picture? This was done by the 10 year old boy.

Extreme concentration.

And a post-shrunk Maisy.

You can punch holes in the plastic before you shrink it so you can wear it as a pendant. Very cool stuff! Have any of you had a play with this stuff?

For some fabulous Creative Spaces, pop over to Kootoyoo.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Just so you know...

Just so you know, Salmon have wool like sheep and little legs which they use to run along the bottom of rivers. That's how they travel so far and jump so high.

Just so you know, baby Salmon are called lambons. They are wooly like big salmon, but smaller and cuter.

Just so you know, when bears catch salmon to eat, the wool gets stuck in their teeth. Luckily, they can use the little legs as toothpicks.

Just so you know, Mr Cotton Kiwi is not going to be popular when Maddy finds out none of the above is true.

My Dad told me great big stories like this one too. A lot. He once told me that my Nanna had started World War 2 by putting holes in the parachutes. He took us to the museum to show us the holes (air vents) to prove his point. I think we possibly looked at Nan sideways for quite some time.

My Dad also told me that 3 wheeled cars were for people with one leg. I believed that one until I was about 19.

Did your Dad ever make stuff up? What did he tell you?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Butter wouldn't melt

Oh this guy is in so much trouble at the moment.

He looks like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth doesn't he? Don't let those fairy wings fool you. He is the spawn of the devil.

On Friday night, I had just got the kids off to sleep. Richard was out and I was looking forward to a night on the couch with my knitting and a large glass of vino.

He pretends to be cute and funny but don't let him fool you.

You've got the picture. Domestic bliss, nice peaceful evening. But no. The evil little bugger aka Kipper the cat, brought me a present. He likes to bring me live presents. The last one was a mouse and it ran up my trouser leg when I was trying to catch it. This time he brought me a HUGE RAT and dropped it at my feet. What I said to him at that point is not printable. There was about a minute whilst the rat and I stared at each other trying to work out what move to make next before it decided to make the first move and ran under the couch.

Being alone with not a chance at catching the thing, I rang my extremely long suffering neighbours and asked if they would mind sending one of their great strapping boys over to help me. The boys were unavailable (I think they quite possibly refused and rightly so!) so Andrea and Graeme came over to help me. I should mention at this point that Andrea is absolutely terrified of rats, but she is such a good friend that she came to help anyway. We spent the next hour trying to catch the rat. If we'd filmed it, we could have made millions. You couldn't write comedy like this. There was leaping in the air from one side of the room to the other. There was screaming. There were three adults armed with brooms and sticks and there was a lounge that looked like it had been burgled. The cat, through all of this, sat back and looked vaguely amused.

We eventually gave up. Andrea and Graeme went home with my profuse thanks for their bravery and I closed off the lounge and went to bed. I told Richard the story the following morning but he seemed to be under the impression that catching the rat would be far easier with just two adults. For some obscure reason, he also thought that the cat would assist in catching the rat. Oh what fun we had. The rat would win awards for acrobatic ability. We, on the other hand, would not. The mission was simple, chase it out of the door onto the deck. The rat had other ideas. It preferred to run straight up walls, scale the back of the stereo and wedge itself behind extremely heavy wall units, rather than make it's way outside. I was armed with a broom and big rubber gloves. Richard was armed with a totally useless cat.

Richard would pick up Kipper and point him at the rat.

"Go and catch the rat Kipper."
"Um, no, I don't think so, I'm running over this way."
"Kipper, come here. Right. Now go and catch the rat."
"Nah. I'm going to run over here towards the door thank you very much."
"KIPPER. Come HERE. You little sh*t. You caught the rat. YOU come and catch it."
"Oh, no, no, no, no. I don't think so. I am going to run up your body, over your shoulders and out the door. I'm not playing with a bloomin great rat. That's your job."

And so it went on. Eventually, Richard gave up on his duff rat-seeking weapon and we continued trying to urge it out the door with sticks and brooms. Next time we turned around, Kipper had gone to sleep on a plastic bag in the middle of the floor.

We left the door to the deck open all day today and I've spent the afternoon moving furniture and scrubbing. No sign of any small furry creatures so far (aside from the bl**dy useless one who is currently lying on top of the TV) so fingers crossed, it made it's way outside. I hope your weekend was a lot less eventful than ours!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Versatile Blogger

I had a lovely surprise yesterday. I received a Versatile blogger award from a lovely lady in Lebanon (I LOVE that the internet brings crafty people all over the world together.) Thank you so much Sucrette! And thank you for reading my blog.

Now, there are a few rules that come with this award.

1.Thank the person who gave you the award. So thank you very much Sucrette. Her blog is well worth a visit. She has some wonderful free crochet patterns. I only wish I could crochet so I could try some out! Pop along and visit Le Monde de Sucrette.

2. Tell 7 things about yourself.

Pass this award along to 15 bloggers who you think are fantastic for whatever reason.

4. Contact the bloggers you pass the award to.

I've done the thank you, so here are 7 things about me:

1. I'm not really a Kiwi at all, although I feel like one. I was born in England and have lived in 8 different countries.
2. I studied Social Anthropology and Sociology at University and spent about a year working for a flying Doctors organisation in Kenya
3. I can't crochet to save my life. I've tried but there is obviously a connection missing in my brain that prevents me from learning.
4. I'm terrified of geese and earwigs.
5. I'm ever so slightly obsessed with finding treasure in op shops.
6. I would love to visit South America one day.
7. I have been nipped on the bum by a lion cub and had my toes stood on by a baby elephant (not at the same time).

So now for the 15 bloggers who inspire me.

A Little Vintage



Dolls and Daydreams

Fox's Lane

Heart Felt

Little Ted Canvas

Maika Creations

Make Mine Mid-Century


Mon Petit Poppet

Seaside Siblings

Simple Pleasures

Teddy Bears Wednesday

The golden Adventures of a very dark horse

Wow that was tough narrowing it down to 15. Off to contact them now. Have a great weekend. We're having a bit of a disaster here in the Cotton Kiwi household involving something small and furry but I shall tell you about that another day!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thank you!

Oh how lovely to turn on my computer this morning and see that I have hit the century mark on the blog followers list! Thank you so much to all of you crazy people who somehow find the time to read my inane ramblings and often make wonderful comments that make my day. You are a wonderful bunch and you make me smile.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Creative Space - Legless

My kids have had three school/kindy trips between them this week and I've been parent help on two of them. With that and a sicky for one of those days (oh, and a flooded sewing room), my creativity hasn't exactly been flowing this week. I've been working on some knitting (which I've only pulled out once so far. Yay!)

And a sock monkey for a soon to be 10 year old boy. He still needs some eyes (the sock monkey, not the boy) but I'm loving the look of the checks.

And then there's the legless kitten. No comments on life imitating art please. :o)

It's a very soggy day today, I hope you manage to keep dry and warm!
For more Creative Spaces, pop over to Kootoyoo.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I heart handmade craft supplies.

Look at this beautiful bias tape by my lovely friend Cat Taylor of Cat Taylor Design.

She's selling this and others on her Felt shop.

And how about a pattern to make felt icecreams?

I love that pink waffle cone. I know two little girls who would love these in their play food set for Christmas!

And these are patches by Heart Felt but can't you see them with a little ribbon stitched on the back and hung on the Christmas tree? They'd make a lovely gift for friends and family overseas too. LOVE. You can buy them here.

So many gorgeous craft supplies. So little time. *Sigh* .

Monday, September 13, 2010

Little Monkey

I just finished a monkey that was commissioned by a lovely friend of mine for her soon-to-be-one neice.

The baby's uncle has some amazing tattoos so I made a special little addition to the monkey.
A little heart tattoo with the birthday girl's initials.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Grabbing Spring with both hands

The sun is definately starting to shine a bit more around here. And we're making the most of every minute it does.

I decided to make a start on Maddy's Spring/Summer wardrobe yesterday. I was so pleased with the way the skirt turned out.

I made it using Butterick 5778 which I found in an op shop and seems to be out of print. It's a great easy little pattern if you can find it. I made a little yoyo brooch to pin on the skirt. So cute. Eloise has asked for some yoyo brooches too for her cardigans. Thank goodness they are really quick and easy to make. If you fancy making one, you can find a tutorial here on how to make yoyos. To make a brooch, Make two yoyos, one larger than the other. Pop the smaller yoyo on top of the larger one, add a button in the middle and stitch them all together. Cut a length of ribbon and a length of skinny ric rac. Fold them in half so you have 4 tails. Stitch the fold to the back of the yoyos. Sew a safety pin or brooch fixture to the back of the whole thing and it's all done and ready to go!

I bought the t-shirt in the sale at Farmers and appliqued a cupcake onto the front.
Miss fussy pants was actually pleased with this outfit so no doubt I shall be making more for her.

Hope you get your own little patch of sunshine today!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Felt like Helping Out

My Devonport Craft Market partner in crime, Sarah McLeod of Songbird Designs, along with another crafter, Ami Ana, have set up a wonderful initiative with the support of Lucy from Felt to help out with the rebuilding and clean-up of Christchurch. Lots of lovely crafters are donating handmade goodies as I write. They will be uploaded onto the Felt Aid shop over the weekend and some will be available for purchase from tomorrow. I have donated items and I know there will be lots of other goodies available, so why not pop along to the shop and do a little shopping?

Click HERE to go to the shop

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Creative Space

My Creative Space is with Eloise today. We've been making some wooden dolls for her eco dolls house. We bought them from Sarah of Dolls and Daydreams Etsy shop. How cute are the little outfits that you can buy in PDF format for your dolls?
Eloise is so pleased with her little family.

Not quite sure what happened to the boy on the left but she's pleased with him so that's okay! Maddy hasn't had a chance to make hers yet but she's already working out if she can reuse the outfits (you get lots to choose from) and create a little wardrobe for her dolls. She is thinking of laminating them and using velcro dots to wrap the outfits around the dolls. Honestly, she scares me sometimes. 6 years old and her creative little brain works overtime!

I've been taking it easy crafting wise over the last couple of days as I'm a little run down but I am going to show you a last minute softie I made for Sunday's market. Her name is Luella Kitten. Do you like her?

I think I might have to make a few more of these. She's made using the Violet pattern from the very talented Bit of Whimsy Prims . I'm seriously tempted by her baby dinosaur pattern too and it's sitting in my Etsy shopping cart right now!

For some fab Creative Spaces, pop along Kootoyoo.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Poor Maddy was really ill over the weekend and it was really hard to leave her at home to go and run the market on Sunday.

She was full of a nasty cold that was giving her really high fevers too. It's so horrible to see your children ill. Maddy suffers from asthma too and I never get any sleep when she is sick because I panic that she will suffer an attack that I won't know about. I always bring her to bed with us and lie awake or doze until her breathing settles.

Richard of course did a sterling job of looking after her on Sunday but it was still hard to leave her when she was so ill. Poor man. Just what he wanted to do on Fathers Day. We're having a Father's day celebration for him next Sunday to make up for his missed day.

No, you're not seeing things. Those are Jennie from A Little Vintage's Dolls who were making a guest appearance on my market stall on Sunday. It's funny how many people recognised them as they walked past and made a comment about them being in the wrong place. Hopefully Jennie will be back at the market next month, but if she isn't, her dolls will more than likely be available on my stall again.

Anyway, back to Maddy. She still wasn't quite right yesterday so she had a day off school. She had spent most of the weekend lying on the couch watching movies and was totally over that, so I had to come up with something else to entertain her. Luckily, the lovely and extremely talented Sarah of Dolls and Daydreams, had given us one of her totally awesome eco dolls house kits.

We had so much fun putting it together. Eloise was a little too keen to have a go with the parcel ripper I was using to cut out the cardboard box and I had to make sure I put that way out of her reach when I left the room!

I did let them loose with the scissors for all the cutting out of the print-out rooms and they had a ball sticking them on. I have to say, it was pretty hard not to reposition everything they stuck on and the house does look a little wonky, but hey, its all their own work and they love it!

Check out that awesome chandelier!
We ordered some little wooden dolls from Sarah and they arrived in the post today so the plan is to decorate those next and evict the Sylvanian Squirrel families from the house. Don't worry, the squirrels have an entire pink princess castle and vintage fisher price dolls house to move into. Maddy is much better today thankfully but still looking a little grey around the gills. Fingers crossed she'll be back to her normal self soon!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

For Dad and some visitors

It's Devonport Craft Market day tomorrow (Sunday 5th September) and I have a few goodies for Dad's available if you need a last minute gift. These heat packs (pop them in the microwave for 2 minutes and soothe away Dad's aches and pains) are now $10. And instead of giving Dad a pair of socks, why not give him a sock monkey? I have this chap and a few others who will be ready and waiting tomorrow.

I also have some rather lovely visitors to my stall tomorrow. These four gorgeous ladies are on loan from Jennie at A Little Vintage as she is unable to attend the market tomorrow. They'll be available for purchase tomorrow on my stall.

If you are planning a visit to the market tomorrow and live the other side of the bridge, don't forget that the on ramp is closed. Trains are free and you can hop on a ferry for a bit of an adventure! There are some great cafes in Devonport so if you are making the effort to come, why not make a day of it?

The Devonport Craft Market, First Sunday of every month, 10am-2pm, 32 Clarence Street, Devonport.
Map here.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Creative Space - Absolutely no help whatsoever.

Madeleine is learning about life long ago at school this term. Apparently, children in the olden days were given jobs to do by their parents to make life easier for the family (what happened? Why did we lose touch with the good old days?!).

A finished Robot t-shirt for this Sunday's market
It's market day this Sunday for the Devonport Craft Market which means life gets a little busy around here.

Shark tee
There's the stocking up of the stall for a start.

Babushka onesie
And the organising of the market too.

I snuck in a little knitting. Some fingerless gloves for the Mister.
And for some reason, my family expects me to still clean the house, shop and cook meals. I decided this morning that I would try some of the old fashioned methods of getting the small people in the house to do their bit. Eloise was very pleased to help. Offered to do the cooking AND the washing up (rainwater soup and plastic pizza anyone?)

Unfortunately, even that proved too much and she was very soon caught slacking on the job.

I blame the sunshine. It did occur to me to find a long extension lead and park the sewing machine on the deck. In the end I decided that procrastination was the order of the day, grabbed my sunglasses and joined the small person for a spot of rainwater soup.

There are some truly wonderful Creative Spaces over on Kirsty's blog. I'm quite sure none of them are procrastinators so hop along and admire.


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