Category Archives: Gifts

Home made Chai tea recipe – great gift idea

Random recipe post!

A friend passed on this yummy easy to make chai tea recipe. It is a great tasting tea once made and you can make it up as a gift for a family member or friend. It is called Moon Chai and the link is here.

Here is how I have written it out to print off and pop it in a tall bottle jar (like a tall pasta jar) with the dry ingrediants for the recipient (or you) to make up and then savour.

Homemade Chai recipe

In your jar is:

10 pieces of ginger, 1-inch

4 cinnamon sticks, broken

1 tsp green cardamom pods

2 1/4 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp cloves, whole

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp licorice root

1/2 tsp allspice

Preparation:Combine everything with 5 cups* water in a saucepan (* halve this to make concentrate and keep in fridge in a tall jar). Cover pot and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the pot from heat, and let sit for another 35 minutes (covered). At this point you can add some tea bags of your choice in to seep.  Strain out the spices by using a cloth & a sieve.

To make a drink: Pour a few cm’s worth of the Chai mix into our mug and a teaspoon of honey and heat in microwave. Heat up some milk and when near boiling point use a whisk to froth it up. Pour into the preheated chai mix and enjoy!

** You can alter the peppercorns to make it spicier if you so wish. Make it to your preference as this is a great base.

The best place to find these ingredients is at a local Indian/Asian spice shop. Once you have the main ingredients, you then have them on hand to make a jar for yourself or to have ready to make up a give away one.  I keep my Chai ingredients in a container all together to make life easier. 😀


Go on and make a brew up! Let me know what you think.



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Filed under chai, Gifts, Kitchen, Recipes

Recent Test Knitting

I have been busy test knitting a few patterns and some more than once!

In September, I test knitted a new pattern by Julia from Just One W.I.P. called Marji.

A cute modern cropped cardigan, featuring a textured garter stitch pattern.

* Perfect for layering all year long.
* Easy enough for a beginner knitter.
* Uses small amounts of yarn.
* Quick enough to knit for a last minute gift.

Go on and get yourself a copy of the pattern:

Marji on Makayla

Marji on Makayla

I really love this photo of Makayla. Happy and showing her fun personality.

I really love this photo of Makayla. Happy and showing her fun personality.

Another test I have done recently is a new pattern just released yesterday and the first installment in a series of pattern’s based on the Von Trapp sisters from The Sound of Music. The pattern is called “Gretl” after the youngest of the family and sisters. It is a sweet shrug with a smocking stitch detail at the back and bell ruffle. I made one for Ariana first and then thought Holly would love one as she has grown out of her other shrugs. So then HAD to make another for middle sister Makayla! I love Makayla’s one especially as the smocking stitch looks fab in sparkle yarn.

Ariana’s Gretl took 101g

Gretl Ariana collage

Holly’s Gretl used 53g of hand dyed yarn

Holly Gretl Collage

Then I made Makayla one in sparkle yarn – 83g

Makayla Gretl collage


And then I cast on another! This one will be a Christmas Gift to a certain 3 yo niece.

Red gretl collage


It is a quick item to knit as it is knit in a loose gauge. These one’s were on a 6mm  & 4.5mm needle using DK/8ply.

Go and check both of these patterns out!

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Filed under Family, Gifts, Gretl Shrug, Knitting, Marji, My children, Test knits, Uncategorized, Wool dying

St Valentines Day

Yesterday was St Valentines Day or as my awesome Miss 4.5 says “Lovins Day”. I planned to treat some people in my life with some cupcake L♥VE!

I recently went to a wee 1st birthday party and I tried the most decadent cupcakes and I wanted to make them myself well the icing more so! I mean White Chocolate Butter Cream Icing sounds delish doesn’t it? Hell yes! Thanks Nicola 🙂 you certainly inspired me. This is the recipe I used: White chocolate butter cream icing. 

I made a batch of vanilla cupcakes the night before (not sure I love the recipe for those so will try another recipe…) and made the icing up after school & kindy drop offs. Miss Holly made the task of icing the decorating them hard by hanging around my legs. Every now and then she would tickle me or a little hand would creep up to grab a crumb or a bit of dropped icing! 😆 Toddlers ah?

I sprinkled them with some pink stuff as you do and then placed a chocolate heart on each of them. Voila! Done.

It was a real buzz delivering some plates of these to my friends and family 😉

cupcake 1


cup cakes 2

What did you do on St Valentines Day?

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Filed under Baking, Gifts, Recipes

Hats for Ethan

Please support Ethan and his family as they fight leukemia by visiting their Facebook page:  CLICK HERE


I have made two soft warm hats for Ethan using the awesome Reid DK/Worsted Hat pattern by Shannon Passmore. I love the construction of the earflaps so mind blowingly simple and it saves having more ends to sew in and casting on more stitches and in general a mess!

For Ethan’s two hats I teamed up two 4ply yarns to make a 10ply.

The first hat was a soft baby white yarn and a self striping sock yarn – I called this one Courage.

Reid Hat for Ethan #1

Reid Hat for Ethan #1

The second hat I used the colour red as this is one of Ethan’s favourite colours and aptly called this one “Red for Ethan”

The red in this one is actually a very soft acrylic! I know! Shock horror. It is not often I knit with acrylic but teamed with another self striping sock yarn it just looked great.

Reid Hat #2

Reid Hat #2

Good news is I can custom knit this hat to sell as once you buy the pattern you can knit to sell from it. I plan to make a few hats and sell them to help raise some extra funds for Ethan’s family to help pay for the many incidentals that are incurred going to and from hospital and appointments.

Here are some other Reid hats I have knitted:

For a first birthday present.

For a first birthday present.

Reid Hat - child size for a Birthday Present

Reid Hat – child size for a Birthday Present

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Filed under Birthdays, Ethan and his journey, Gifts, Knitting, Reid Hat

Upcycle Swap

I was part of an Up-cycle  Swap amongst a group of like minded friends. It was a bit of fun thinking of things to do and what to use. I did a few visits to second hand shops to find things or get inspiration.

I had three swaps to do. One for a Mum and two for children.

The Mum swap:

Do It All bag

This bucket style “bag” was made from a very tired pair of maternity jeans to make the largest bin bag using this tutorial. The stripe material was a duvet cover and an inside layer was an old sheet 🙂  For this photo I had three knitting projects in it and it still had room!

I had two young girls to swap for and one of this rather girly girl 🙂 so when I saw this ladies skirt I had to grab and it make it into something for her! I just loved the material – crisp white heavy cotton with flowers in different coloured thread.

The skirt was from Jacquie E…


Then it became a skirt, head band and detail on a top set 🙂


One happy wee girl! ♥

The second girl swap was equally fun to do. Miss C is not overly girly as the above Miss B however her favourite colour (at the moment) is BLUE! I have had my eye on this tutorial in converting a shirt into a cleverly constructed and detailed  dress.

Shirt Dress

Bodice with vintage lace detail

Here are the three swaps before I wrapped them:

Waiting to be wrapped

So the fun began at crafty where we swapped the swaps around 🙂

Here are our swaps we received:


Felted jersey pot mitts/divets and a cool t-shirt necklace

Agee jars reused as herb pots (parsley, chives and mint) with engraved knives with their herb name. On our windowsill in the kitchen 🙂

Thanks S!!! ♥

Miss 6 got a new outfit which very much suits her! The material has blue sequins on some of the circles so has a bit of depth and fun to it. Thanks SJ! ♥

Miss 3’s swap was cool as well – reused wool blanket into a PJ cushion and hot water bottle cover 🙂

Miss 3 also got a colouring book and some pens 🙂 as she had recently broken her keg! Thanks J!! ♥

Got to love swaps like this….the next one is a Mother’s Day timed one so watch this space.


I am off to bed as Miss 9 months decided the day started at 5.30am. Yawn!



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Filed under Family, Gifts, My children, Swaps, Upcycle/refashion

Christmas Crafting Round Up (Part 3)

Part 3 – I told you I needed to seperate it all out! 😆

This is my favourite lot to be honest as these are the gifts for my family for Christmas.


My friends have been knitting this scarf pattern a lot and I had been meaning too since the Garden City Scarf was released.  It is cleverly knitted in a way that makes the most of the yarn quantity you have. I bought some digital scales to make this process easier and now it is super handy in weighing the wee bits of wool I have as well as be better indicator of yarn used for test knits. With the Garden City Scarf you knit the tip of the scarf and then weigh that part (or the remainder of the ball) so you know how much yarn is needed for the other tip. You knit the rest of the scarf till you have the tip weight left (plus 1 or 2 g to give you some leeway 🙂 ). Easy ah? 😉

The Garden City Scarf is designed by Sheryl Greenfield who wanted to pay tribute to Christchurch, her hometown, which has been suffering thousands of earthquakes since September 2010. On February 22nd 2011, the city was devastated by a 6.3 earthquake that resulted in 181 people being killed. 😦

The once proud Christchurch Cathedral now in ruin.

Heartbreaking and the story and recovery of the city is still continuing. Sheryl had proceeds of the pattern going to NZ Red Cross who are administrating funds to help people. Christchurch is dear to me as well as I grew up in Canterbury and went to University in Christchurch. Many of my extended family and some of my husbands family live there too. Kia Kaha Christchurch.

I chose colours that the ladies in my family would suit & love to wear. The yarn is 100purewool and it is beautiful and soft so a perfect match for something to be worn around the neck and face.

Four Garden City Scarves

For my Mum I used the vibrant “Happy Rose” colour, for my my sister in law (Husbands sister) I used “Santino Trim”, my youngest brothers wife chose the beautiful “celery” as her colour and for my mother-in-law I chose “splendid” a beautiful blue.

I had one more to create for my other sister in law (wife of my younger brother) but I wanted to do something different for her. The Colosseo Moebius has been in my queue to knit since it was released as well. The construction is unusual and fun at the same time. It is a reversible cowl that you just pop over your head to keep your neck & chest warm. No scarf ends to tuck away.

Colosseo Meobius

I now want to knit one for me now! 😆

So that is the knitting side of things for my family Christmas presents. Now onto the sewing….


For my eldest niece I made this Shirt Dress  which wasn’t a shirt as such but I fashioned it with a mock shirt front to give it that look with some button stacks.

I then teamed the dress up with a circle skirt and one for her sister Miss almost 2.

I also made Miss almost 2 a reversible a line dress that ties at the shoulders. I looked up a tutorial on line to convert the pattern I had (a burda one I think) into being reversible.

I also made another reversible dress for my other niece Miss2 using some vintage material from her Grandma, my mother-in-law’s material stash. 😦 seems I didn’t grab a photo of the dress before I gifted it. Hopefully I get a photo of Miss 2 in it sometime soon.

For my nephew Mstr 4 I pimped up two plain coloured t-shirts with his name on using fabric paint. It was lots of fun.

All in all, December was busy but fun! Lots made with a great sense of satisfaction.




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Filed under Christchurch, Christmas, DIY, earthquake, Family, Gifts, Knitting, Sewing, Sewing stash, Upcycle/refashion

Christmas Crafting Round Up! (Part 1)

It is now January 2012 – how the heck did that happen?? Holly is now 6 and a half months (shock horror) and my big Girl is waiting to go back to school in Year 2! Miss 3 is also hanging out for kindy to start on the 23rd (shhh so am I!!!) 😆

December was fairly busy on the creating & crafting front so here goes a big catch up post for you. 🙂

I was involved in two Secret Santa swaps one with my Crafty Group and an online forum of like minded Mums.


I will split this lot up as there is lots to get through 🙂


Crafty Secret Santa involved me putting together four gifts so the girls and I get a gift back…

The Mummy gift:

Japanese Knot WIP bag, lavender wheat bag and crochet flower necklace

The crochet necklace was easy enough to do.

Child gift #1

Miss L who is 4yo. I made her a Shirt Dress and a circle skirt.

Circle skit & shirt dress

With the shirt I left the pocket on and then cut it into a an “L” which Miss L loves ♥ I did some contrast stitching down the shirt opening and around the L for bit of a funky effect. I also decided against the middle elastic as I thought it would fit best as it was. Fingers crossed I am right!


Child gift #2

This was a challenge but I got there. Mstr 9yo is a tough customer so I had asked him Mum for some help and she mentioned he is into wizards at the moment. I came across a wizard wand tutorial and thought it was possible he may like it & possible I could make it LOL. His Mum gave the nod and that settled that.

It was fun to make and Miss 6yo made a fairy wand at the same time as me.

Wizard Wand

Child gift #3:

This one is for a sweet 1yr old girl. I decided to make her a reversible smocket with one side having a hand painted babushka doll on it.

Reversible smocket.

I was pretty chuffed with myself after all of this…

I would also like to share some of what the girls and I got.

Holly got this fabulous crochet bird wall hanging

Ariana got a “Castle Building Kit” which she wanted to set up right there and then!! The next day we set it up although her Dad’s method was a lot nicer and better. Got to love the Army training for castle building LOL

Miss 3 got a wee bag with Littlest Pet Shop set in it. She has been playing with it lots….

I got some very funky bright yarn in pinks and greens.

It was a fab swap and day of getting together to exchange the pressies.


Filed under Christmas, crochet, Family, flowers, Gifts, Online Tutorials, Play, Sewing, Swaps, Uncategorized