Saturday, July 30, 2011

'Pimp My...' Series: Pimp My Laundry Hamper

Welcome to my next little series!  The 'Pimp My...' Series.  I was inspired by this post on one of my favourite crafty blogs, and I have 3 projects on the hop at the moment.

As of tonight I have just 2 on the hop as I have finished the first.  Whoop whoop!

So... when I was walking through The Warehouse searching in vain for hot water bottles (at the beginning of winter, nowhere to be seen, grrrr!!!) I saw a stack of these:
Don't be fooled by the $9.00 barcode sticker - there was another sticker hidden on the packaging that said $9.99 and guess how much they charged me ... double-grrrr!

My thoughts went immediately to some Marimekko print cotton I had at home and decided this would be the next project for ME.  Not for the boys, for ME.  Something beautiful to have in the house that is also useful and makes me smile.  (And fingers crossed, will not be hijacked to store some of Mr T's collection of balls.)

So I took it home, checked it out, took a couple of shots to remember how it originally looked...
Ugly, scratchy nylon-y, and pink... and in the background is a small collection of the enormous number of balls in this house.

Note that it is sewn on, so if it gets dirty and needs a wash you have to do it by hand as it won't 'slip' off the metal frame.
Then I cut the ugly scratchy nylon-y pink fabric off, laid it out on the Marimekko fabric, cut out the fabric, added a few seams here and there, and VOILA!!  I have a beautiful new laundry hamper!
Yay!  Yes it's a bit lopsided but that's what you get for rushing things...

The material is attached by resin snaps for easy removal - handy for washing, repairs or fixing up the rush-job mistakes.  Oops!
Yay!  My very own Marimekko laundry hamper.  This will be sure to make it easier to see what is washing and what is still on the floordrobe in our ensuite. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011


 19 July - a grumpy start to the day, but we had a lovely trip to the supermarket and the boys held hands in their trolley seats - it was so precious!  PHB handnade items: nappies, beanie and overalls.

 20 July - the beanie teamed with the cardigan I knitted in cream 12-ply felted lambswool while pregnant.  And the boys are in the new buggy - hooray for my new double buggy!!

 21 July - handmade bibs and the long kimono.

 22 July - a bamboo collared cardy I knitted for Mr T, and the fave beanie.  I think it's the chunky pom-pom that makes it super cute!  Added to the current obsession with sticking out his tongue.  Nuts!

... and after chucking all over the cardy we changed into the organic cotton cowpokes kimono.  And yet another bib.  This kid sure knows how to chuck!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


 12 June - our Tuesday morning music  group had a 'dress like an animal' theme (and I forgot, typical!) but they were prepared and popped a tiger headband on Mr T's head.  It lasted all of 3 minutes.  Project Handmade Baby items as seen in the picture are the orange/pumpkin beanie, and the little cowpokes kimono.
(I nearly cried... after my last post I visited my friend Catherine who gave me a half yard of the material that she had in the cupboard and no intention of using it any time soon.  I have wonderful friends.)

 13 July: Stripy jersey, bus print linen bib and duck booties.  Plus other bibs and pocket cloth nappies.

 14 July: a 5am trip to after-hours.  Swollen fontanelle and a bit of a temp.  A girl's gotta be sure, right?  We got all rugged up to face the wind and cold, and made sure the knitted beanie and blankie were wrapped around him all snug.

 15 July: Starbucks.  A Country Road all-in-one.  A matching crochet beanie (thanks Ches!).  And the pocket sling Cathryn made for me.  I have great friends.

 16 July: a little play with Hipstamatic gave me this retro shot of Mr B in a bright green cardy (another $4 find at a Plunket 2nd Hand Sale) playing with a bandana filled with Roses' chocolates wrappers, and lying on the Dino blanket I made.

 17 July: Mr Short gets a double cuddle from Mr T in his soccer uniform, and Mr B in his stripy jersey.  Also another big bibs and pocket nappies day - antibiotics are not my friend, 'specially where cloth nappies are concerned!

18 July: another slight photo-fail: today's hippy little PHB garment was these knitted longies I found at the Plunket sale for about $8.  They're a little short but look very retro.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Five Loves

For a bit of a change, here are five things that are warming my heart this winter (that have nothing to do with my kidlets).
 Tip Top Spicy Fruit Loaf.  Thick sliced.  It was such a treat when Mum bought it when I was a kid, and it's just as exciting now!  Especially when I get the chance to eat it toasted, hot and smothered in melty butter while the sultanas/raisins are hot and juicy.
 My red boots.  Purchased when I had a salary and a job where pretty boots were okay for all-day, every-day wear.  Today was just one of those days where I had to wear The Red Boots. They are almost knee-high, leather, fire-engine red and on a one inch stiletto heel.  I love them in all their delicious pointiness, and they came in my size - enormous!!
 My red stovetop espresso maker.  Like many things in my kitchen it is red, and it makes a beautiful brew.  Caffe L'affare make a mean decaf blend which I usually treat myself to, but this week it's a Hummingbird espresso grind that is filling my kitchen with its beautiful smell.  I looove coffee.

And for those who know me well, you'll know that it's filling a big hole where I one day hope a fire engine red Francis! Francis! X1 Classic espresso machine will feature in my kitchen.  If only I'd just gone and bought it when I had one of those salary thingies.  Sigh.
 My clever friends (and mum and sister) are amazing and generous and they fill our kitchen door with jams, chutneys and relishes.  I particularly love my friend Kylie's goodies as they come in these beautiful square jars which sit so nicely together and are all matchy-matchy.
And lastly, Whittaker's Sante bars.  Once upon a time I'd overlook them in their unwrapped 50c goodness in the dairy on the way home from school, but nowadays they are often found in our house - my lovely husband often gets some when he's had to grab some more milk on his way home from the gym.  I have a serious addiction to them - dark, milk or ghana - I just can't help myself!  I dip them in my coffee and slurp off the melted chocolate until it's just a small blob.  Yommmm.

So there's my five loves for winter... what are you loving right now?

Later on that day: (Just for kicks, someone sent me the link to this blog and it just happened to be a 'linky party' I think they're called...  so I'm doing my first ever linky thingy - click the image below and check it out!)


 5 July - I am soooo in love with this Little Cowpokes print that I put on the front of the organic cotton kimono.  When I have a few spare dollars I am going to order more to make some bigger clothes as this one won't fit him for much longer!
 6 July - The handmade item for today is the wool hoodie made by my friend Catherine. 

 7 July - trying out the borrowed Bumbo seat, and attempting to get a spoon in his mouth...  The organic cotton megamess bib (one of many bibs for the day!) is one of the PHB items.

 8 July - another day, another bib!  Still not sure if we like the Bumbo seat though.  Mr B has also been wearing the stripy jersey a lot as it is a perfect fit, and the beanie makes an appearance when he hasn't pulled it off his head.

 9 July - more of the kimono.  The brown bias binding is very old - it was passed on to me when my mother emptied out my late grandmother's sewing supplies - there are metres of ric rac in some darling colours as well, but I haven't found many projects for little lads that use ric rac just yet...

 10 July - all ready to face another chilly winter's day, Mr B's hanging out in his handmade overalls and the blue onesie which matches the choc-blue striped merino lining.  The beanie, made from leftover wool, gets sooo many comments!
The mat he is lying on was made for his brother... Mr T was dragging around some minky fabric one day and I asked "would you like me to make you a special blankie?" to which he enthusiastically replied, "YES!!", so I spent all night cutting, pinning, sewing, topstitching and even doing a tight zigzagged outline of one of the dinosaur shapes in the corner of the blanket, only to be met by lukewarm reviews the next day.  I think my friends who responded to my facebook status about how I was going to surprise Mr T with a blankie the next morning were more excited than he!  *sigh*.
11 July - I've been having a little fun figuring out Hipstamatic/Instagram/Retro Camera applications on my birthday iPhone, and this shot reminds me of some of the summery pictures and films my parents took of my older siblings when we lived in Australia.  The PHB items in this shot are the chocolate brown overalls, and in the foreground (to the left, to the left) is a little toy I made which is a real favourite: strips of stretchy jersey cotton tied in a little spidery bundle.  Mr B is really into his textures and it's perfectly safe to pop in his mouth!

For more on Project Handmade Baby, click this link.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


 1 July - today's PHB handmade items to go with his new threads from Country Road (thank you Nanna!) are bibs, the duck booties, and the lovely knitted blankie from Mary's Market. 
 2 July - hidden under the new jeans are some handmade clothies, and the stripy jersey from my friend's mum.  Poor flushed wee boy - these pink cheeks were the ominous sign of a temperature.  Gah!  Another sleepless night ahead.
 3 July - someone wanted to come and join in the family dinner!  all snuggled up in his muslin blankie (and super blonde hair!). 
4 July - there is just something about bare feet on babies.  They're so cute!  Even when he has inherited his parents' big feet.  Today's PHB efforts are handmade nappies, a knitted jersey under the cotton and merino-lined overalls, and bibs.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

PHB201-206 The Last of June

 25 June - Handmade items today include bibs, nappies and the Little Cowpokes / Organic Cotton kimono.  It's soooo cute!

I'm still learning my way around Instagram and Hipstamatic on my iPhone (happy birthday iPhone!) so the pic isn't as clear or fabulous as I hoped. 
 26 June - It's all a big joke!  How can you be sad when you have duck booties on your tootsies.  And a Wigglebums handmade giraffe print nappy.  (If only it were that easy, right?!)
 27 June - Blue sideways knitted vest, panda goshorty bib and the pumpkin beanie.  (and hiding off to the side you can see a tiny bit of the chunky knitted white cowl I made for ME!  It's toasty and apparently tasty, this bub is always grabbing it and trying to eat it.)
 28 June - The charcoal grey cable knit cardy was knitted by my mother-in-law for Mr T when he was wee.  He grew a whole lot slower than his little brother is now, but we're getting a fair bit of wear out of it at the moment. 
 29 June - a bit more brother-love for ya!  It's so sweet to see the boys enjoying each other.  Handmade PHB items today are nappies, the green knitted kimono (which is looking very short-sleeved now) and of course Dolly.  Between big-bro-squishies her legs were getting a good gumming.
30 June - Some handknitted slippers from the boys' great-grandmother.  These are a gorgeous electric blue and made out of 100% wool, and I would have them on him more often but he has a talent for pulling them off and eating them so we're having the half-pair-issue.  Gahh!!

Monday, July 11, 2011


24 June - covering some of the orange brilliance of the Mokopuna longsuit (I think that's what they call them?) is the bark brown sideways knitted jumper.  Mr B is also having a wriggle around on a quilt made for his older brother's bassinette by another lovely friend's mother.  This is the 'Nanna side' and the other side is very bright and funky.  It's something I will always treasure: originally started for the NICU in Hutt Hospital, it was then finished off for my little premmie baby when he came home from another NICU.

(You should really check out her blog, Delusional Girl.  It's like a dirty little secret when you visit as it has a Content Warning before you can read it.  There ain't anything dirty in it, just some very frank views with the odd touch of potty-mouth for good measure.  This is one amazing mother who doesn't care much for how others judge her, but places great importance on her tribe of children learning about individuality and being true to themselves.)

Thursday, July 07, 2011

PHB Day 196 - Post #100!

20 June - little darling child wearing his little darling cowpokes kimono.
How exciting!  For a while there I thought I'd get bored and give up, but I'm still going and still enjoying the challenge to make sure my little one is wearing at least one handmade item a day.  

PHB Day 194-195 (18-19 June)

 18 June - This little set was knitted by my friend's mother who knits for Save the Children in Wanganui.  The stripy jersey has three lovely little vintagey buttons on one shoulder and surprisingly the beanie fits so well that he'll be able to wear it for a while longer!  Big head, big brains...
19 June - my poor sick little man...  Today was another blue onesie and chocolate brown overalls day, plus the usual bibs and nappies.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

PHB Day 192

16 June - Good morning sunshine!  Blue sideways knitted vest from The Spot in Johnsonville, and a beautiful suuuper soft wool blankie I scored for $10 from Mary's Markets in Wellington.

PHB Days 190-191 New Threads!

 14 June - Can't tell you how excited I am about these dungarees.  I'm reworking the pattern to create new sizes and make it fit a bit better, but I made these overalls using chocolate brown ripstop and lined with light blue and chocolate striped merino.  I made them in one night and am really excited about the next version which will be added to the goshorty line. 
 ... and here's the back view.  Delicious!
15 June: And here's the second kimono I made from the pattern, only this one I made shorter and changed the front panel so that there was no need for bias binding all the way around the front; just around the neck line.  I used organic cotton jersey knit, and the panel is a darling little cowpokes fat quarter I ordered from Sew Pretty a while back.  The ties are great for lengthening the wearing ages of the garment but they are fiddly and annoying so I think I'll whip out the snap press for the next size up!