29 June 2010

days with my father

This website made me laugh and almost cry. It is a son's photo journal of life with his aging father who suffers from severe memory loss. It really is worth a visit if you haven't been before.

28 June 2010

scallop blouse and bloomers

New scallop blouse and rabbit bloomers now in the shop. The scallop blouse can be made up to size 4T, the bloomers up to 18m. I think the bloomers (especially the scallop version) would look pretty cute under an older child's dress too. Either would be good summer shorts too, worn with a singlet or t.

The lace used on the blouse is a special Lisa Ho lace trim, and I took every last metre the shop had. I had to - I cannot resist scalloping! I will be sad when it's all gone, and am tempted to make some pretty grown-up knickers from it too.

27 June 2010

croup is not cool

My sweet little bundle. She has struggled with croup this week, and until now I had no idea how serious this could get. Mum said I had it as a child and i just assumed it was a good barky cough. Totally unaware that it also means inflamed airways causing restricted breathing. I was up most of the night mid last week, and three times during the night almost rushed her to Starship Hospital (a Healthline lady actually advised me to, she could hear her laboured breathing down the phone). But for some reason, motherly instinct I guess, I stayed at home and she just nursed, more like pacified herself, for hours while sleeping in my arms. It was like having a newborn again (ow).

She looks much better today, though still a hint of a seal bark at times, and I hope like anything she gets over this quickly and doesn't suffer from it again. Croup is flipping scary at its worst. And the scarier thing is is that there are plenty more serious things than croup. How would it feel, I just don't want to think about it.

By the way, she is modelling the new scallop blouse and rabbit bloomers. It was time for some real baby stuff.

25 June 2010

sunny food

Ottolenghi, Notting Hill

This morning I dredged the latest issue of Cuisine from my sodden mailbox (our bicycling postie must love all the precipitation we're having this month), and during my initial random flick-through stopped at an article about chef and restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi and his new cookbook Plenty.

Cuisine describes Ottolenghi's recipes as 'effortless, simple yet surprising and utterly appealing'. Not overly creative but true nonetheless judging purely by the recipe names and images (...Puy Lentil Galettes, Caramelised Garlic Tart, Green Pancakes with Lime Butter). It's funny that a non-vegetarian would write a cookbook that is entirely vegetarian but I'm so pleased he has. Now I'd really like to visit Ottolenghi in Notting Hill. Such a pity it's over 18,000 km away! These photos will just have to suffice for now.

Top image via Laissez Fare

Image below via Foodie Hunter

22 June 2010

ghost town

I watched this movie recently, and found it really difficult to get past the scene in the video below (excuse the quality, I had to record it myself as I couldn't find it on youtube). It has me in awful hysterics, and funnily enough the more I watch it the worse state I get myself in. Usually things get less funny as I watch them, but this sort of humour is right up my alley. Téa Leoni is brilliant alongside Ricky Gervais. Such a good pairing.


20 June 2010


I get mocked by friends and family for being an over dresser (as in layers, rather than *bling*). Audrey demonstrates this quite well here, where she seems to appear wider than she is tall. Perhaps pretend you are looking through a rear view mirror.

Anyway, she's off to the park and so long as she is warm and can move about with the greatest of ease (on a flying trapeze...) she's as happy as a cricket.

17 June 2010

wayne pate | rebecca taylor

I noticed Wayne Pate's prints in a magazine last year but wasn't aware of his online store until reading a recent copy of Elle Decoration (UK). I adore birds and seem to like anything New York, so it makes perfect sense I like his work. And I was pleasantly surprised at how reasonably priced they are.

Wayne Pate lives with his wife, New Zealand fashioner designer Rebecca Taylor, in a gorgeous brownstone in Brooklyn. I like her take on the breton top, which there's also a dress version of too.

15 June 2010

simply superb

A tatty old copy of The New York Times resurfaced recently containing a recipe I have been meaning to try ever since I saw it.

It's such a simple recipe with no fussy steps or myriad of non-staple ingredients and yet it still produces the most lovely flaky, grown-up biscuits, like a delicate flaky pastry scone/tea biscuit (which doesn't fall apart). Lucy loves them, and best of all (apart from the cream, if that is a worry to you) is how little (or no) sugar they contain.

I have made them twice; the first time a half recipe and the second time in full and they came out perfect both times. Genius! Go James Beard.

Cream Biscuits

5 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting the surface
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar (optional) - I just use a pinch
1 1/2 cups heavy cream - I use regular cream, which works out just fine

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Brush a baking sheet with a little melted butter. Sift 2 cups flour, the baking powder, salt and (if using) sugar into a large bowl. Fold in 1 1/4 cups of cream. If the dough is not soft or easily handled, fold in the remaining 1/4 cup cream, little by little.

2. Turn dough onto a floured surface, mound it into a ball, and using a rolling pin or your hands, press it to a thickness of about 3/4 inch. Cut into rounds (or any other shape - Lucy chose gingerbread men and Christmas tree shapes, I chose hearts) 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Gather dough scraps and continue to make rounds. Place on a greased baking sheet and brush the tops with butter. Bake until golden, about 12-15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Makes about 9 biscuits. Adapted from "James Beard's American Cookery"

The New York Times (3.16.08)

10 June 2010

pink meringues and lovely bones

On request, I made this for Lucy the other day. A-ha, a big floofy pink saccharine-dripping meringue tutu dress. Can you believe that smile?

That little show of genuine happiness combined with me just having finished watching The Lovely Bones is making me seriously reconsider what is important right now. I absolutely love sewing, no doubt about it, but when I get scratchy with Lucy for wanting attention as I am in the middle of sewing a garment, well it just doesn't sit right with me. It just feels wrong and mean and not what a mother should be doing. The biggest battle for me, a stay at home mother, is being a mother but also having something that is just for me too. And that's why I sew and started the Etsy shop. At times it is wonderful, but there are times when the pressure makes me wonder what I am doing this for (a short life perhaps?). Plus my friends often wonder if I have dropped off the earth. There is only so much one can do in a day, especially a mother.

When I get to the point where I am old and grey (rather than young and grey) and sitting in a rocking chair on a wooden porch on a quiet leafy street (yes!) I'm sure I won't be saying I wished I sewed more, rather that I wished I spent more quality time with my daughters. I still want to sew, I just need to figure out a good balance.

So, my goal in life? To avoid disheartened little faces at all costs; and to get as many smiles from Lucy and Audrey (not to mention my husband), as good if not better (if that's possible) than the ones in these photos. If it means making a gaudy pink meringue dress every week then by god that's what I'll be doing.

6 June 2010

little wooden feet

I bought these old baby shoe lasts this week. At our wedding a friend told me her second child is wearing a pair I made for her twins, now 3. I'd pretty much forgotten about making leather baby shoes, but look forward to tinkering with these - they're so tiny! I am keen to explore baby brogue-style house shoes.

also...there's a few pairs of strutters in the shop, ready to go in sizes 2, 3 and 4. Lucy so needs a new pair herself - she gets squeezed into her 2T pair and she's size 4. Isn't it always the way? Maybe she'll sneak in and remove the listing herself. I would if I were her... Sizes 2 and 4 sold, thankyou!

4 June 2010

warm pins

New wool pants in various colours. I loved this red merino as soon as i saw it, half because of the weight of it, and I keep going back for more. There are quite a few NZ merinos available that are rather sheer and part of me thinks what's the point (I'm not talking fine here, but sheer)? This red (and the light blue available) are made in Belgium I recall, but of New Zealand merino. Double sided and super soft.

3 June 2010


it's shaping up to be a video week...