My 2017 Planner Diary Revealed

I recently got my hands on a new diary/planner for 2017 and I am loving it already.

I have kept a diary on and off over the years and occasionally I stumble upon one and have a little session of reminiscence, reading through old entries. I am instantly transported back to that day and can clearly remember all the details of it, even if I have only written a few highlights.

However, as I said before, I have only ever been an intermittent diary keeper. But reading those memories I have recorded makes me wish I had written them more regularly.

So, this year I went ahead and bought myself a new diary.

There are many different ways to use a diary. Filling each day with to-do lists, keeping note of appointments and jotting down shopping lists are popular options. They all have their place, but I decided, this year, my beautiful new diary was not going to be the keeper for such mundane trivia.

So, what am I going to use it for?

This year, this fresh new diary of mine will be used to record joy. I will write about the special and significant days throughout the year, days that will be brought to mind later when I stumble across this diary in years to come. I will remember fondly birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, Christmas and celebrations that punctuate all of our lives every year.

Perhaps more importantly though, I want to take note and write about all the happy little everyday moments that occur in my life. It’s kind of like a gratitude journal, if you like, helping me to really examine my life and recognise every little morsel of goodness. Because there is so much to be happy about and grateful for in my life and I want to appreciate and remember it all.

My last blog post was about Resolutions. In it I queried why we often make resolutions around things we don’t really want to do. So this year, I resolved that I would dedicate more of my time to creativity, because that is something I really do want to have more of in my life.

I’m pleased to say this new diary of mine has a colouring-in page at the start of every month….right there in the diary!! What a wonderful way to start a month, and remind me regularly of my creativity goals.

 

As well as the title colouring-in page at the start of every month, there are little extra colouring-in places scattered through the month as well. Yay!

Every month has an inspirational quote too. This is the one for January. Very apt for the start of the year, don’t you think!?

I feel like it was written with procrastinators like me in mind!

Already, before the month of January is even over, I have noticed that keeping this ‘Joy’ Diary has really made me stop and take note of everything I feel grateful for in my life.  To find the good in everyday, the simple precious moments that will become my memories in the future.  Summer days at the beach with fish and chip dinners and ice cream treats afterwards,  afternoons relaxing at the lake with family petanque games, going for a pedicure with my eldest daughter, a double date curry night out with close friends, the fun of building our new chook house enclosure, an invitation received to my neice’s baby shower, a bike ride with my littlest….so many things that I have enjoyed this month.

Do you want to see my coloured-in page for January?  I had so much fun colouring it in.  I’m sorry that the photo quality in this post is not the greatest, but anyway, here it is…..

I would love to know if you keep a diary/planner?

If you want one like mine, I have four pieces of good news for you…

1    I’m selling them!

2.   There are two colour options. The black and white stripe or a seaglass colour.

3. They are on sale now, while stocks last.  They have been reduced from $55.50 to just half price at $27.75!

4. I am running a giveaway for my subscribers to win a 2017 Planner Diary absolutely free!  To join the Cupcakes & Bunting Community (it’s free) sign up here.

5. In addition, everybody who orders one will go into the draw to win a full refund of the purchase price of their album….yes, that’s another chance to get your planner completely free!

Ok, that’s actually 5 pieces of good news. But what’s an extra bit of luck between friends, right?!

If you would like to order a 2017 Planner Diary, here’s the link www.cupcakesandbunting.shopctmh.co.nz

Leave me a comment and let me know….What’s your diary-keeping style? What’s important to you, your ‘must-haves’ in choosing a new diary/planner to use?

 

 

Do What You Love

With the start of every New Year there often comes the feeling that we are being given a chance to begin anew, to write on a fresh new slate. All around us there is encouragement to make some changes and improvements to our lives, our routines, ourselves.

We call these plans our New Year’s Resolutions. We have great intentions to commit to them. We get off to a great start, full of hope and determination.

Commonly, within a few weeks or a couple of months we have fallen off the resolution band wagon and perhaps even forgotten what it even was we’d thought we were going to continue all year long.

There are two things I find note-worthy about New Year’s Resolutions.

Firstly, I find it interesting and a little strange that we seem to feel almost compelled to make a change effective from the 1st January.

Why do we need the special date to begin?

If it’s something that we actually want to do, then why don’t we just get on with it?

What’s wrong with beginning on say, February 11th, or October 26th?

I have often told myself that I will start things at the beginning of the following week, or month, rather than right now when the idea has struck me. Are exercise programmes or healthy eating regimes, etc. really more effective if started on a Monday, or the first day of the month?

To address the issue of when to begin, we only need to look a little further than New Year to realise that the whole year is actually full of new beginnings we could utilise.

We all have a birthday that signifies our own personal new year of course. Anniversaries of marriages, new jobs and new homes are all the chance for a fresh start.

Other new starts we can add to our list are the beginning of each season. Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring give us four more opportunities to start afresh.

Every month starts with a new day, as does every week. If we continue this one step further we can see that, in fact, every single day is a brand new start for each and every one of us.

Another day to write the next page of our life story upon, as we shape our days, weeks, months, years and lives as we want them to be.

The other question I have is why we so often choose things that we feel we ought to, rather than taking up something that we truly desire to include in our lives.

Imagine how much easier resolutions would be to keep, if they were ‘to eat cake every Wednesday afternoon’, or ‘to spend an hour (or two) each Sunday evening in a bubble bath with a great book and a fine wine’.

I think I could stick to those resolutions months longer than the usual ‘eat less, exercise more’ ones, that basically instruct me to do less of what I want to do and more of what I don’t.

It is up to us to resolve to create our own version of a life well-lived, one that is authentic, meaningful and precious to us.

So, for those of you who are looking to make a change or two, including those of you who did so on January 1st and have already forgotten what they were, I conclude…

Do what you love and start today.

Leave me a comment below and tell me one thing that you love that you want to include in your life this year.

 

A Christmas Conversation with Mieke from Dreamstitch

What are your favourite memories of Christmas as a child?

 

I grew up in the Netherlands, so Christmas was in winter. The smell of mandarins. Dark mornings with candles on the table.

 

Did you have any Christmas traditions in your family when you were growing up?

Christmas was not a time for presents. That was done at St Nicholas on December 5th. But we always got a book, placed on our plate at breakfast. Then it was off to church for the Christmas service and morning tea.

 

Do you have any Christmas traditions now?

We do presents under the tree. One handmade gift for everyone. One thing you want, one thing you need, one thing to wear and one thing to read.

 

What does Christmas mean to you?

Time together.

 

Where will you spend Christmas this year? Who will you spend it with?

At home with our family.

 

What’s your Christmas dinner style? Traditional, Kiwi BBQ, Something else?

We often have something light, grilled salmon, salad etc.

 

Tell us about your decorating for Christmas. Do you have a tree….real or artificial? Colour-coordinated or anything goes? Do you decorate just the tree….or do you adorn everything you can?

We have been buying a real tree every year, but are planning something different this year, as the spending and then wasting is getting to me. I am looking at making a tree from branches and sticks. We have lots of rustic decorations, made and collected over the years. It is like meeting old friends when we unwrap them.

Do you have a favourite Christmas recipe you can share?

We like to make a gingerbread house. We first saw one when we went to Finland on a December holiday to visit Santa. We have made one most years since.

To learn more about Mieke and Dreamstitch you can read our previous conversation here.

A Christmas Conversation with Julie from Bo and Co

What are your favourite memories of Christmas as a child?

Family lunch at home and then all going to Cambridge for the big family dinner and cricket at the park at my Nana’s.

 

Did you have any Christmas traditions in your family when you were growing up?

The cricket game in Cambridge (for all ages) was a tradition and one we cousins have attempted to carry on, even though Nana has long passed away. We try to make it after Christmas now.

 

Do you have any Christmas traditions now?

We alternate who is the host family each year and with little grandchildren, Santa has now re-appeared!

 

What does Christmas mean to you?

I love Christmas. Christmas music, hugs, laughter, and the magic.

 

Where will you spend Christmas this year? Who will you spend it with?

This year Christmas lunch is at our house to be spent with my elderly Mum, my daughter, her husband and our beautiful grand-daughters. Sadly, this year our son will be in Melbourne, but we will be seeing him in January.

 

What’s your favourite Christmas song or movie?

I love most Christmas music, but Jingle Bell rock is always a happy song. And I love that every Christmas, “The Sound of Music” is replayed on TV.

 

What’s your Christmas dinner style? Traditional, Kiwi BBQ, Something else?

We love traditional turkey or ham and all the trimmings.

 

Tell us about your decorating for Christmas. Do you have a tree, real or artificial? Colour-coordinated or anything goes? Do you decorate just the tree, or do you adorn everything you can?

We have an artificial tree due to hay fever sufferers, but most definitely colour co-ordinated each year, including the gift wrap!

 

 What plans do you have for Bo and Co for 2017?

I’m brimming with new ideas so watch the Bo and Co space!

To find out more about Julie and Bo and Co read our previous conversation here.

A Christmas Conversation with Julie from Threadbear Cottage

What are your favourite memories of Christmas as a child?

Well, my family didn’t have a lot growing up so our Christmases were always quite frugal, but I didn’t really feel as though I was missing anything too much.  

My absolute favourite memory is of the year my Mum made me a whole shoe box full of dolls clothes for my Sindy Doll.  I can still remember sitting on my parents’ bed and opening it & finding all the clothes, some knitted, some sewn. All just beautiful and packaged in tissue paper.  I remember Mum had a broken brooch and she had attached this to one of the dresses. I remember feeling sooo very happy and content that Christmas.  I always loved dolls and that feeling has never ever left me.

 

Did you have any Christmas traditions in your family when you were growing up?

Well I don’t recall any particular ones growing up. Our Christmases were very traditional, always with a hot meal at lunchtime. I have continued to cook a hot meal at midday even now and still cook a turkey and ham & traditional Christmas pudding.  We shared two Christmas Days with my stepson’s Mexican girlfriend who joined us, and she cooked some Mexican food for us as well as our traditional food. There was enough there to feed a small army I recall.

 

Do you have any Christmas traditions now?

I have begun a couple of traditions now that I have a grandson (and another on the way). I make them a stocking for their first Christmas and then each year I fill it with gifts and love from Granny Julie.  

Also, I either make or buy them a special decoration each year. My hope is that when they are older, we can go shopping together and choose the decoration, or we can make it together.

 

What does Christmas mean to you?

Christmas to me means getting together, sharing & spending time with family and friends and loved ones. I would like to take the whole gift-giving thing out of it, as I struggle with how commercialised it has all become.  Unfortunately not everyone is in agreement with this, so we still do gifts, but have cut it back quite a bit as we have a large blended family.

 

Where will you spend Christmas this year? Who will you spend it with?

This year most of the family are coming to us for Christmas lunch and my Mum is coming to stay. She comes every second year to us.  My eldest son is a shift worker and doesn’t always get Christmas Day off.   Because I have sons, I fully realise that as they have now grown up and got married, they will often go to their wives’ families for Christmas.

What’s your Christmas dinner style? Traditional, Kiwi BBQ, Something else?

We will still have the traditional lunch of turkey, ham, etc. Even though it will probably be a hot day, we still do this.  We love our barbeques too, but don’t really do this for Christmas lunch.  Although we often eat our meal outside on the deck and I decorate the wooden table up nicely. It is sometimes a little cooler eating out there.

 

Tell us about your decorating for Christmas. Do you have a tree….real or artificial? Colour-coordinated or anything goes? Do you decorate just the tree….or do you adorn everything you can?

Yes I decorate the house for christmas.  I have a husband that actually loves it even more than I do.  After many years (18+)of working in a Gift shop and decorating that in October or even September I got a little over it all along the way.   But my husband purchased a huge artificial tree and we decorate that. We used to have a real tree but invested in an artificial one as often our real ones would tip over!! I also have a large collection of Santas that I display at Christmas and I often give my teddy bears Santa hats to wear. I like to try to make the house feel quite festive.  I usually buy one new simple decoration each year. Last year I purchased some wooden angel wings and then kept them out all year long as I loved them so much.

 

Do you have a special Christmas recipe you could share with us?

Yes!  This is something I make my friends at Christmas and if I need to take a plate then I always make these and often get asked for the recipe.

Gingernut Bites

90 grams butter                         2 tablespoons golden syrup            

1/2 tin condensed milk             1 cup sultanas             

1 teaspoon vanilla essence      1 pkt Gingernut biscuits

Melt butter in a saucepan, add golden syrup & condensed milk.  

Stir in essence, crushed gingernuts and sultanas over medium heat until well combined.

Cool to room temperature. This is important before you roll them up.  Roll heaped teaspoons of mixture into small balls and toss in coconut.  Refrigerate until firm.

I have an old blender that I crush the gingernuts in that rattles and shakes and makes a sound rather like smashing glass. You can use a rolling pin on them but it takes quite a bit of elbow grease.  I always, always remember my sister-in-law who puts them in two supermarket bags, puts them under the wheel of the car & drives back & forth a few times!!  I am sure the neighbours wonder what on earth she is up to and think she has finally flipped her lid!!

 

To find out more about Julie and Threadbear Cottage read our previous conversation here.

A Christmas Conversation with Susan from KJdesigns

 What are your favourite memories of Christmas as a child?

Being at my Nana and Papa’s house. Playing with bubbles in their huge back yard.

 

Did you have any Christmas traditions in your family when you were growing up?

We always left food out for Santa and his reindeer.

 

Do you have any Christmas traditions now?

We have just started doing a Christmas Eve Box. Last year I put in a Christmas movie which we watched Christmas Eve, new PJ’s, a Christmas pillow case and a yummy treat for each child.

We leave food out for Santa and his reindeer, and sprinkle fairy dust in the drive way so they know where to come.

We have magic keys for Santa to get into our house, as we don’t have a chimney. These are part of our own range at KJdesigns and they have been very popular this year.  SantasKeys

We also have an Elf who comes to visit and hides and plays tricks each day in December.

 

What does Christmas mean to you?

Spending time with my children.

 

Where will you spend Christmas this year? Who will you spend it with?

At home with my family.

 

What’s your favourite Christmas song or movie?

I am Christmas Music’ed out after working in banking for many years and having to listen to many straight weeks of Christmas songs over and over! If I had to pick one it would be Snoopy’s Christmas.

 

What’s your Christmas dinner style? Traditional, Kiwi BBQ, Something else?

We usually have roast chicken, turkey, and cold salads.

 

Tell us about your decorating for Christmas. Do you have a tree….real or artificial? Colour-coordinated or anything goes? Do you decorate just the tree….or do you adorn everything you can?

We have an artificial tree.   Sometimes it is colour coordinated. Each year the kids get a new decoration, including our angel baby, and they are all added to the tree. The kids like to decorate the lounge as well.

 

To read more about Susan and KJdesigns read our previous conversation here.

Quilt and Craft Fair

Last week I had a wonderful day out with a dear friend to attend the Quilt and Craft Fair.  I learnt a lot of interesting tips about quilting as you go and after months of knitting little cardigans for a few new babies in the family I am hankering after my fabric stash to try the process myself.

I do love making quilts. My favourite bit (apart from the obvious joy of fabric shopping!) is the designing and sewing together of the quilt top.  When it comes to the actual quilting the layers (quilt top, wadding and backing) together part, I must admit my enthusiasm starts to wane somewhat and I start dreaming fondly of what my next creative project will be.

So to discover a way to make a quilt that does not end with that tedious job is wonderful.  Quilting each block separately and then joining all the previously quilted blocks together makes so much sense. I am definitely going to give it a try on my next quilt creation.

The woman who imparted this wisdom is an Australian lady called Pauline.  Quilting is her passion and it was inspiring to listen to her and learn all her tricks of the trade.  What I found even more inspiring though, was to hear how she has taken her passion for quilting and made a business from it. She is an extremely savvy businesswoman who has created a lifestyle for herself doing what she loves.  Pauline spends every year from January to December travelling all over the world teaching people quilting techniques. Pauline even holds a quilting retreat in Bali each August.  She  has also designed a range of ingenious products that she sells in her online store.  I think she would be a perfect entrepreneur to interview for a feature in the Conversations section of Cupcakes & Bunting’s website.  Don’t you agree?  (Perhaps I should go to Bali and interview her there!)

There was a great selection of exhibited quilts at the fair.  I was snapping away with my camera so I could share some with you all.

This beautiful hexagon quilt entitled My Flower Garden was created by Judy Grey. It took her 500 hours to hand piece and hand quilt. A lot of her friends kindly donated fabric so she could do every hexagon in a different fabric! She is now hooked on hexagons of all sizes. For quite a while I have been thinking about working with hexagons. I’m not sure I have the required patience for a quilt of this size though. A cushion perhaps?

Carol Bennett exhibited this wonderful quilt called That Town and Country Quilt. Block of the Month quilting projects are quite popular but this is a Block of the Day project from The Gourmet Quilter. Imagine making one little square every day to add to an ongoing project worked over a year. How lovely it is.  I took a lot of photos because I was charmed by so many of the little 4 inch finished squares. Two hundred and fifty five of them so far and all with such variety, detail and whimsy.  I just loved it.

There were some wonderful examples of stitchery and embroidery on display too. This gorgeous feather was completely hand stitched on dark linen fabric. The tiny crosses added a nice contrast to the straighter lines of the feather as you can see in the close-up photo.  Unfortunately I don’t have details of who made this feather, or the following pieces that were part of the Medieval exhibition. But they are still lovely to look at, so I hope you will forgive me for not having that information for you.

Stitched Together, a textile art group from Queensland, Australia had exhibited some wall hangings with the theme of ‘Our Wishes for the World’.

This one created by Merody Buglar was entitled Forest Gems.

It was made from regenerated tea bags, dyed and machine stitched onto a woollen cloth backing before being hand quilted.

This is what Merody had to say about the inspiration for her quilt.

‘Mining is a major cause of deforestation. Don’t destroy the forests in search of jewels and treasures, gold and gems. The treasures are already there, if only we’d look!  My quilt looks at the colours of the forest – the filtered sunlight, the insect wings, the bird feathers, the moss, the flowers, the trees and the bark – all waiting patiently to be seen.’

Christine Jones entitled her piece As You Sow.  This is what Christine had to say about her inspiration.

‘Sow seeds, nurture them and there will be a full harvest – food and social wellbeing. An entire community will benefit from practical (sowing actual seeds/providing practical projects) and spiritual (sowing ‘seeds of hope’) – whether it is in the poorest areas of the world or in the richest.’

The Creative Fibre group were there with a set up of loom, spinning wheels and some lovely examples of their work, including one of our own Cupcakes & Bunting community Mieke Smit from Dreamstitch.  If you aren’t familiar with Mieke and her beautiful felted creations you can read the conversation that I had with her right here.

Here are a few photos of some of what Mieke had on display.  A unicorn with rider, a mermaid and my favourite of all, the toadstool house.  The lid lifts off for easy play access and it even has a wee letterbox for the resident’s mail.

These last few photos feature one of my favourite fabric ranges, Tilda. Isn’t that tea shoppe the sweetest thing?

My friend and I had such a lovely day out at the Quilt and Craft Fair.  I hope you have enjoyed a wee peek of some of the things we saw there. We came home full of inspiration. What have you found inspiration in lately? Let me know in the comments.

A Balancing Act.

Well, it has been a very long time since I wrote a blog post. I have been feeling a bit down in the dumps if I am completely honest with you.

A couple of things happened in my family recently and they both took my time and focus away from my business which resulted in me getting behind schedule in blog posts, conversation publications, Facebook updates, pretty much every area really.

The first thing that happened was our daughter had a car accident. Somebody hit her in the passenger side of her car. Luckily, she wasn’t seriously hurt, but did have a few osteopathic appointments due to the jolt she endured causing her a bit of back pain.   Thankfully, she appears to be on the mend now, with hopefully no on-going problems.

The insurance company deemed the car irreparable so I became the taxi for my daughter for a few weeks, as she still had to get to work and university, and we live rurally in an area without public transport.

We spent many hours looking for a suitable replacement vehicle, which we have now found.

In the midst of this going on our son visited from Melbourne, accompanied by his girlfriend. It was wonderful to see him and to meet her for the first time. I hadn’t seen my son for a year, so it was very special to be able to spend some time with him and to get to know his girlfriend a little too.

During these times, I found it difficult to give time to Cupcakes & Bunting and before I knew it, weeks had gone past and then I started to feel guilty for not having given it any attention. I got myself into quite a state about it actually, feeling a failure for not publishing a conversation on time and keeping up with all the tasks required to keep things progressing forward. The more time went past the worse I felt and the more difficult it was to pull myself out of it and get back on track. I started to feel rather down and despondent about the whole thing. I was really giving myself a very hard time!

Then I got to thinking about it. Really focussing on my life and everything that was in it…and everything I believed that I was doing wrong in it. Yes, I was really in the doldrums.

After wallowing in that state for a while, having my one-member pity party, I finally came up for air and put aside one session of dedicated time to work on getting an article written up from the last interview I had done. I began to feel a little better. I didn’t manage to finish the article in one sitting, but I had achieved about half of it. I thought I could see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

Once I began to feel better I was able to see things more clearly. Rather than beating myself up for ‘neglecting’ my business, I realised that the reality wasn’t so much about what I had neglected as much as it was about what I had turned my attention to instead. It was about weighing up priorities in my life and adjusting my schedule to make room for what really mattered.

As a mother, my priority will always be my children. As a wife, my priority will always be my husband. As a business-owner my priority will always be my business. As an individual, my priority will always be myself.

But of course I am all of those things and I play all of those roles in my life. So, how to be ‘all things to all people’?

I must prioritise what is most important in any given moment. I must ask myself “Where is my attention most needed right now?”

It is a delicate balancing act, with me being the juggler of all facets of my life. It keeps things varied and interesting and although it can sometimes be challenging, I love my life and I’m grateful for everything and everyone in it and I really wouldn’t want it any other way.

Button Stash

Hello again,

I hope you are all enjoying the website.  I am slowly getting into my groove a bit now and it is feeling like this is a real thing!!  Does that sound a bit weird? It’s hard to explain what I mean and how I am feeling about it! I am loving it for sure. I guess it’s a little bit like preparing for your first baby. You have an idea in your head about what it will be like. About how you will be in your new role. Sometimes it is hard to see past the birth itself, to the next bit when you actually have to take care of the baby….forever more!

Well, it certainly took me months of preparation to get ready to launch this business. It was hard for me to see past the launch date too! But after I had put it out into the world for the first time, I did have a little moment when I realised that now I had to nurture it and help it to grow and become what it wanted to be, to find it’s place in the world.

My role has changed too. I have become a business-owner. I am more than just someone’s mother, wife, daughter, friend. Of course, all of those things are still valuable to me, but I have something in my life now that I have created for myself. Something that fulfils a  part of me that didn’t know it was yearning for something more.

I think that wanting to create something more in our lives is often why we, as women, make such great entrepreneurs. We are determined to be successful in our own right, through our own hard work and dedication. We bring a passion to our business.

I see that passion when I go to chat with creatives to feature in the Conversations section of the website. It is joyful and infectious. I love meeting them and I am honoured that they allow me to tell their stories and share them with you all.

A couple of weeks ago I shared with you Julie Lealand’s story.  Her business, Threadbear Cottage, came about after she suffered a nasty accident which left her with a broken neck.  I don’t suggest that you have a nasty accident in order to launch into business, but it does go to show that even from adversity something good can be created.  If you missed it, you can read my conversation with Julie here.

This week’s Conversation featured Louise McLennan and her lovely candle-making business Lulala. Louise’s handmade soy candles smell good enough to eat and the beautiful glass vessels she uses for them really add a special touch to any room. I have a few at home in my cottage and I love them.  When I met with Louise one of the things she told me was that she wanted to increase the number of stockists that were selling her candles. I know that she has been successful in achieving this goal. Her hard work and determination has resulted in a growth in her business of which she can be proud.  You can read Louise’s story here.

The little cardigan I am knitting for the new baby due to be born in our family in early July is nearing completion. I can’t show you yet, as I want to post it to my sister-in-law first.

I have needed a little help as it’s the first time I have used a pattern that is worked from the top down on a circular needle. It means there is no sewing up required at the end of the knitting, which I am very pleased about as that is my least favourite part of making a knitted garment. The tricky part comes when you have to pick up stitches and create the sleeve using four double-pointed needles!

I’ve been really lucky and I’m so grateful that one of the ladies in my weekly craft group is a knitting whiz.  She has kindly started me off on that part, knitting the first few rows of each sleeve for me, to get me going.

Unfortunately, I misread the instructions while knitting the first sleeve and decreased too quickly which resulted in a rather skinny, oddly-shaped sleeve. After I had knitted the second sleeve I realised my mistake, as they looked quite different, so I unpicked the first one and did it again….properly the next time, though. So poor Tania has had to start off three sleeves for me, but I assure you there are only two on the cardigan now!

The next thing will be to choose some buttons.  I’m trying to decide whether to go and buy some or just to have a little rummage around in my studio in my button stash. Will I have enough of one kind of button in there though? Or will it be ok to have mis-matching buttons to add a quirky touch? Should I just go and buy a set from the local wool shop? So many questions to ponder!

At the moment it’s pouring down with rain, so the prospect of going out in it doesn’t particularly appeal. I think I will go and make another cup of tea to help with the decision making….and the warming up!

Leave me a comment below to let me know if you vote for upcycled mis-matched buttons or a shiny new set.

Until next time,

Maria x

 

Thank You

Hello again,

It’s been two weeks since I launched my website and I can hardly believe that it is finally happening and I am having so much fun!

I am very happy, and grateful, with the response I have had from all you lovely readers. Thank you so much for all your supportive and encouraging comments and messages.  It has meant so much to me to hear what you think about it and to know that it is being enjoyed by you makes it all feel worthwhile and spurs me on to make it the best I can.

I had a suggestion that it would be handy to have a printable version of the recipes, as well as the videos, so I have been busy this week putting that excellent idea into action. I am pleased to tell you that there is now a ‘print this recipe’ button below all the recipe videos that I have published so far, and I will continue to do this for all the new ones I add. Please do keep your suggestions and feedback coming as this is the way I can know that you are getting what you want from the website.

My daughter is very keen on the apple roses. I made them the other night and she has been asking me to make them again every day since! (I haven’t succumbed yet, but perhaps we will make them again over the weekend.) They are very simple and they look so pretty. They are an excellent recipe to make with children who like to help in the kitchen.

In the Conversations section of the website I plan to feature a new conversation with a creative businessperson every second Thursday.  In the first conversation I introduced you all to Mieke Smit of Dreamstitch.  If you missed it you can read all about Mieke and her wonderful yarny ways here.

Mieke is holding a felting workshop on Saturday 18th June in Hamilton. If you would like to enrol in her class and learn this new craft send her a message on her Facebook page

In the continuing saga of house renovations our kitchen has been a work in progress for longer than I care to admit to you. This morning we had a tradesman come in to make a template for some pressed tin panels that we are attaching to the kitchen wall as a splash-back. This is the first stage of the process, once they are cut we will need to take them to be powder-coated before they will be attached to the wall. I will post a before and after photo once they are all done. It does feel good to be making a little progress though.