Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Three Years Married Today

Three years ago today I married my dearest friend. Today we wait on our second little one to decide when he or she wants to join our little home. Our little girl sleeps soundly in her room. The sun is shining and the house is twinkling with festive decorations.

Photo credit; Fiona Andersen

Exactly how I wished our marriage and home would be a few years in. Filled up to the brim with love and simple pleasures. A vegetable and flower garden in the yard. Children to love on and a partnership that remains full of fun, trust and respect for each other.

Three years married, 14 and half years together. It won't be long til we have been together half our lives! That seems just so crazy.
So today we will eat strawberries and ice-cream in the evening sun, a simple celebration of togetherness. No need for fancy restaurants, lavish gifts or fanfare.
Just us. Together.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Handmade Christmas

This year I have been rather organised for Christmas. With baby due on the first of January the last thing I wanted to be doing was rushing around shopping/making things in the final weeks of pregnancy. So in early November I spent an evening writing out a list of who I wanted to give gifts and then perused Pinterest for ideas on what I could possibly craft.

A few hours later I had a few pages outlining all that needed to be done in time for December the 25th.

After completing the list of people and crafts it was just a matter of hunting down supplies; both in the cupboards and with a trip to the craft store. Online shopping has meant minimal time at the actual shops...a true win when you have an active toddler as a constant companion.

It felt rather over the top having lists and wrapping presents in November however it has made for a relaxed December. It is wonderful to have all presents sent to my international family and friends. Most of the parcels and cards have been sent out those who don't live in Auckland too.

Mr. Fox has been rather amused by the early Christmas elf activity. My sewing machine and knitting needles have been busy every nap
time and evening. Items are being ticked off the lists and it looks like perhaps I can wrap the last presents this weekend. A little Christmas baking to be done closer to Christmas and this elf can put her feet up.

I have of course squeezed in some crafting for baby too. A few wraps whipped up with the over locker; extra big and stretchy. Made from cotton jersey in the cutest prints. Perfect for a summer babe. A stack of bibs for both my big girl and baby are complete too.

Light Summer wraps for baby and gifting. Soft cotton dishcloths.

Dribble bibs and regular bibs. A few with Christmas prints too!
 A tiny little jacket of soft wool has been sewn for baby in fabrics carefully stashed by my Mum. These fabrics must have been particularly special to Mum as they were on the very top of her fabric cupboard. No doubt tucked away with a project in mind for her future grand babies.

There is something so difficult but comforting crafting for my little ones using fabrics and wool that she had set aside to use. I tend to always create multiples so as to tuck away gifts for when my sister has her children. Such a tender thought to be wrapping up littlies in my Mum's intended crafting goodness. Oh how much she is missed.

The pattern is free to print; Molly's sketchbook felted wool baby jacket. It only takes a few hours from start to finish and would be a delightful gift to receive. I have another three cut out waiting to be sewn up after the festive season. This combination of fabrics is scrumptious and pretty gender neutral.
Baby jacket for under the tree.

My favourite project ticked off the sewing checklist has been a child size dressing gown. Mae has been asking for her own but I had been unable to find one I liked. Goodness knows why it has taken me so long to realise it would be better just to make one myself.

 I had enough toweling fabric and a beautiful navy owl cotton print to create a toddler size gown. I used the Purl Soho Kids Robe pattern. A surprisingly easy and fast project. Hopefully Mae will be a cosy wee girl next winter.

Finished dressing gown for chilly mornings.
 Many a few hours were spent stitching an embroidered hoop for my dear friend Larissa. Someone who appreciates a tartan and floral combo.  I loved every minute of my time spent on this project. Crafting without a pattern is my preferred crafting style. I let the fabrics inspire the thread colours and let the work evolve. It has been well received by my friend who is a clever crafter herself. There is just enough fabric scraps to make a smaller version for myself.

Floral and tartan hoop.

With lists shrinking and Christmas rolling round fast I am looking forward to finishing up some projects from the year. That green sweet pea cardigan just needs sleeves and the ends woven in. Depending on when the baby arrives it may just be completed in time to be under the tree for Miss Mae.

There is the hexagon crochet blanket that has been in the works for years now calling out to be done in 2017. And with friends expecting babies next year I'm sure a few new projects will be dreamt up too.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Autumn in the Hawkes Bay

You will have to excuse the fact that I am playing catch up here on the blog. There are quite a few posts that I never got round to writing. This space is so perfect for recording family holidays, it's amazing how many details get forgotten otherwise.

Back in May we flew down to the Hawkes Bay for a long weekend with our sweet cousins; Emma and Roman. It was a chance to hang out properly and explore a new part of the North Island. We purposely chose to go in Autumn hoping to catch the leaves turning colour. Luckily the weather was perfect; cool and crisp but brilliantly sunshiny.

It was Mothers Day here in New Zealand that weekend. We had not long found out that I was expecting again and wanted to celebrate this new little life and my darling girl too. Becoming a Mum has been life changing in almost every way and to acknowledge the wonderful privilege it is to be a parent is special.

That said it is bittersweet day too after losing my own Mum in 2014. I try to remember and celebrate her on Mothers Day (and everyday) rather than getting caught up in grief. I hope to share stories with Mae of her Nana on future Mothers Days and perhaps think of a little tradition to do together to honour her.

We decided on visiting Birdwoods that Sunday. A beautiful place to explore. We ended up taking a few hours there enjoying the gorgeous garden and sculptures. There is even an old fashioned sweet shop for those with a nostalgic sweet tooth. Mae loved the open spaces and her doting Aunt and Uncle. 
Mothers Day with family
Look Daddy, fish!

As the temperature cooled we ventured up to Te Mata Peak, up a long and winding road. We arrived just on sunset, perfect for Emma to do a spot of photography. The peak is scattered with rocks and the views are spectacular. Dusky purples and pinks faded to blue as sun disappeared.

Te Mata Peak, Mothers Day 2016

My everything. Mr. Fox and his girl.
The days went by quickly, as they always seem to when on holiday. We enjoyed the local Farmers Market, oh how I wished I had more room in my bag for some of the tasty treats there. Toby had to return to Auckland a day early due to work commitments. It was not quite right to be on holiday without him.

Having never been to Napier before I was keen to check out the Art Deco architecture. Emma and Roman were keen for a winery lunch. We spent a lovely morning wandering along the waterfront and had a quick trip around the aquarium. It was quite something to see the sculpture of Pania too. It has been on my list for so many years. I was expecting her to be larger in real life but she is nevertheless just as beautiful as I had imagined.

Aunty Emma and Uncle Roman

Pania, so excited to see this beauty in real life.
Emma does photography as a hobby and was keen to get some photos of Miss Mae. So after a yummy lunch at Mission Estate Winery the camera was whipped out. There were quite a few giggles as Mae was quick on her feet and ready to run. Emma took some beautiful images that we can cherish. Oh how lucky are we to have such talent in the family.

I really must get a few framed. It is incredible how much my wee girl has grown and changed in the time since May.  Our time away was wonderful we are really keen to go back there for a bit longer next time. It reminded me so much of Central Otago. Hopefully in a few years we will venture back and we must also plan another weekend away with Emma and Roman too.