Thursday, April 28, 2011


I'm committed to being honest on this blog (well within reason) and not so succesful moments will be recorded with the triumphs...

8:30am - Mr T and I were enjoying a wee bit of a holiday sleep in when we had a knock at the door. I excitedly thought 'gosh some of those deliveries for goodies are keen'... nope. It was the home insulation person popping in to do an assesment.

10am - 2pm - 'official goody delivery time'. Miss K has a wee play date and visit, complete with scones and tea. But no goodies arrive. Feel deflated. Remind self that there are lots of goodies are coming on Monday (according to friends!). I should add here that we also received a big bag of dress up clothes - some that even fit me! Ms K, Master A and I looked cute and crazy (me) in various dance outfits - just as well no one else arrived at the door. What a surprise they would have had to see me in a 'barefoot' flowy outfit!

2 pm. Start to scour Trade me for nz made or handmade t-shirts and leggings to buy. Intermittently work on pre-readings from work.

2:34pm Read email from Aunt B that another gorgeous quilt is on its way. Heather advises there are some more hats and scarves donated by Kapiti Craft Knitters. Heart feeling happy.

2:59pm- Knock on door - heart leaps... delivery of freezer Mr T and I have invested in to store veges and HUGE SACK of granny smiths from in-laws' tree.

3:22pm - Courrier man bangs on door. Gorgeous parcel from Lyndy at Stichbird and Lisa. Absolutely adorable. Hope is restored :-)

Have realised that probably should have made drop offs after work time and not assumed that everyone would be on 'holiday'. Another lesson learnt :-)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Picture Perfect

Am just about to cut out some pants and have another go at the disasterdly skirt I've been attempting - it ain't got me beat yet!

A wee note - if you've got goodies on the way and you're including a photo of yourselves (PLEASE DO), it's important to have it in high resolution. Snapfish's software doesn't like low res photos (it's all grainy).

Please email photos asap to me on - it's been particularly neat to be able to put faces to items. I can also email you a link of the finished photo book.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Date pushing

You might have noticed a date extension for final deliveries for Fukudamachi Kindergarten Project - this is to allow those who met us at Craft 2.0 an opportunity to have a weekend in which to create some goodies.

It would be wonderful if any completed goodies can be dropped off/mailed on Thursday 28th April (and don't forget that photo of you and your creation(s) for the montage - email to This way we get a chance to see if we need to make specific purchases (e.g. singlets or leggings), or if we're going to over the kg limit!

If you have the chance let me know what you're busy beavering away on... we have hats, aprons, sweaters, socks, pants, broches, quilts... make my list longer! (again this helps us figure out what else we need to add)


Heather with some of the wonderful donations we've already collected

Why I love living in Kapiti

A picture says a thousand words... taken last Thursday evening from our deck

Bunnies, Eggs and all that jazz

Easter Monday already! I've been busy with bunnies and making skirts - well trying to - stay tuned for my 'crafting catastrophes' section coming up soon!

We had a delightful day with a group of friends from Miss K's kindy yesterday, complete with egg hunting, an 'egg throwing' competition and cute pompom chicks of the children- what fun! My friend Ms F did a magnificent job with preparing all of this!

Choco-over-fix-mousse My edible contribution was a chocolate Mousse from Jo Segar... after eating this version I decided I either need to add more sugar or make a mix of dairy and dark. It was a very 'grown up' intense flavour. But tempered by some gorgeous berry coulis (by Ms F) and my yoghurt/cream mix, it wasn't too bad. Not up to my usual standard though.

I love rabbits. I found this pattern on a blog called revoluzzza and had a go. First Ms K and I made a little pin cushion using a scaled down version. Then I put my sad sewing skills to the test - I had to have a practice before I made the proper ones to send to Japan. So here are two faceless little bunnies, but with arms and legs. I decided not to stuff them. While far from perfect, they are adored and I guess that is the true test of a softie- you can see Ms K has added her hair accessories to hers.
Master A's bunny was made from a soft brushed cotton, perfect for making Thomas PJs from (a future project) and shaped much better. Ms K's is a stiff fabric (her choice) and far less forgiving! I've stuffed them with carded wool. Still one can only get better! Next time I'll use less seam allowance - following instructions is important! (Miss K has named hers 'Rabbi').

I look at some of the wonderful craft blogs and see how amazing and talented people are - part of me wanted to only post what I would consider perfection, but for novice crafters, it's valuable to see that craft doesn't always turn out perfect the first time! Persistence and paitence are a must... I think I'll probably create a page of 'when craft goes wrong' some time in the future!

There is one bunny I am very proud with, now owned by a friend's wee man. I finally finished it 6 weeks after he was born, after beginning it about a month after I knew he was on the way! He's knitted in bamboo - beautiful to work with.

Craft 2.0 and learning curves

I'd love to say that Craft 2.0 was a huge success for us in terms of gathering donations. While we didn't collect any goodies, we did meet some wonderful people who are keen to be involved with the project.

Heather and I both learnt just how much time and energy is required to prepare for being at an event like this and that good signage is vital! We had a cute posi, off the beaten track a little in a meeting room. But while our box isn't any fuller, it was a great opportunity to get some crafting done and catch up with friends.

The applique I worked on while at Craft 2.0

Craft Hope Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a timeThere was a lovely woman who told me this project was a lot like Craft Hope and it was somewhat humbling to be told how neat it was to meet 'the woman behind this project'! There are loads of opportunities to craft for charity, so maybe in the future I'll be able to contribute more.

Not the outcome we had hoped for, but definately plenty of things to smile about! Big thanks to Sue from Craft 2.0 for supporting us and giving us the opportunity. From the bustle about the place, the fair looked like a huge success!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter

We got crafty today with some egg dying with Branka from Kapiti International Women's Group and I tried my hand at making some soft bunnies - it's been a while since the sewing machine and I were last acquainted, and I forgot that paitence is a virtue in sewing... I'll post pictures over the Easter Weekend.

Our dyed eggs
Master A dyes his egg

A reminder for anyone out and about in Lower Hutt, NZ tomorrow - check out Craft 2.0 - Heather and I will be there hoping to collect goodies for the Fukudamachi Project, so if you're there, head upstairs and say hello. Be lovely to see you!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Crafty Art Bag - in 15 minutes!

Any one wanting a quick and easy project to contribute to the Fukudamachi project, or for keeps and gifts in the future, check out Linette's 'Art Bag'.

She's making these cute bags and filling them with little art goodies. Following an on line tutorial from The Mother Huddle, and gathering left over material she had, this is the magnificent result (the art material is new):
15 Minute Drawstring Bag

Bags without treasures also warmly accepted - they can be made bigger or smaller for swimming togs, shoes (very important in a culture where you carry special slippers or indoor shoes for different activities), pjs or toys. Go for it!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Treasures abound

Sweet Georgia and the Crafty Squirrel has been busy, producing these two lovely items - I am so inspired! Maybe I can get that sewing machine out too this weekend. 

Filling the boxes - family contributions

I come from a family of crafters. My two little people and my Dad took a trip over to Wanganui to visit my grandparents today (my Dad's parents - the kiwi side) and my Grandmother (who is a young 90 years of age) produced this lovely quilt and toys to pop into our boxes. My Aunt B has also donated a gorgeous quilt. Unfortunately the photos aren't such great quality to do the items justice - but you can see the work, skill and most of all aroha that have gone into them.
My Grandma
My Aunty B

Drop Off at Craft 2.0

Heather (co-project co-ordinator) has secured us a wee posi at Craft 2.0. April Fair on Saturday 23rd April  at the New Dowse in Lower Hutt, New Zealand. Big thanks to Sue from Craft 2.0

We'll be located upstairs at a meeting room for drop-offs of any goodies you've mader or wish to purchase while at the fair which runs from 10am-3pm.

Look forward to seeing you there - come meet us, stop and chat, share your crafti-selves!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Crafty ideas and suggestions

I'm starting to collate ideas that are simple, affordable (and most importantly do-able) for novice sewers/knitters like me!

If you have a suggestion, or would like to share your contribution to the Fukudamachi project, please do comment!

I'm setting up a page of links and will update the project soon. In the meantime my other job (as a pre-reader for Massey University) is calling (VERY LOUDLY!)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Generous hearts and talented hands

WOW - the world is really an amazing place and people have HUGE generous hearts.

Postage - we've got it covered
Today NZ Couriers - International confirmed that they will sponsor up to 30kg of our items and ensure that it reaches its destination. Their willingness to help was fantastic. My sponsorship team, Jolene and Heather, have done a fab job!

Donated goodies are coming!
Stitchbird and Crafty Squirrel have both posted images of their fantastic items that will be heading to Fukudamachi. I'm hoping once I get a handle on this admin side of things, I'll be able to sit down at the sewing machine and post some of my own. If you would like to post some of your images here, I'd be thrilled (I need some colour!)

Ideas to borrow, items to make...
I've discovered if you get a bit stumped on what to make for the little people in Japan, there are some really clever mums out in cyber space who willingly share their talents and creations.

 Ikatbag has some great free patterns and fabulous tutorials for making clothes and toys and fabulous creations...Check out her fantastic dress and these shortalls (that can be modified for wee girls).

Made has some great patterns and tutorials to guide you and this dress has a free pattern!

There are also innovative gift ideas coming in. Linette, another Kapiti International Women's Group member will be contributing art items as there is real healing power in art.

Life in my household
I am a mummy of two small people and I 'telecommute' part time to Massey University...with this current project you can imagine I am swimming under unfolded laundry and crumby floors... but its worth it. My babies are learning about the wider world and caring for others. Despite the chaos we're pretty happy!

A friend recently shared this biblical quote, and it seems really apt: Let each one do just as he has resolved in his heart...for God loves a cheerful giver 2 Cor 9:7

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fukudamachi Kindergarten Project - small beginnings, touching hearts worldwide

This week things have really kicked into action. We received our first donation of knitted slippers from Yossarian - she's a fab friend and organiser of Kapiti International Women's Group - I'll update later on the fundraiser the group worked on for Japan once the Fukudamachi Project winds down.

Bloggers have been posting the message for us. Stitchbird included our project on her blog.

Two other bloggers from the USA, Amber (This sew called life) and Betsy (Heavens to Betsy) have posted it on their blogs.

Amber has readied our first international donation, all the way from Hawaii. What a talented and generous woman! I can't wait to send her a photo of us packing her goodies for Japan!
Amber and her gorgeous daughter with their fabulous creations.
Last week my support/project co-ordination team were frantic seeking sponsorship for shipping to Japan - we think we have it (big thanks to Jo and Heather) and all shall be confirmed in the next day or so... stay tuned.

Fukudamachi Kindergarten Project - the details

My first foray into blogging space is motivated by this latest project:

On March 11 2011, Japan experienced a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, followed by a devastating tsunami. One of the hardest hit regions was Miyagi-ken, in particular Sendai, which was nearest the epicentre of the quake. My mother’s family all reside in Sendai. While they are all safe, there are many who are not as fortunate.

Two weeks after the quake, I spoke with my cousin, who teaches at Fukudamachi Kindergarten. The teachers had just completed most of the clean-up of the kindy and were now ready to welcome the children back. While almost all 200 students were safe, some had lost their homes, leaving them without clothing, toys and other basic necessities. Many children will be traumatised from the disaster.

The head teacher of Fukudamachi Kindergarten has welcomed an offer of a care package of clothing and toys which will be distributed to children in need.

We welcome any donation of handmade new items that reflect the following considerations:

• Children are aged 3-5

• Clothing items are required more than toys.

• Clothing can include skirts, shorts, tops, dresses, polar fleece, hats

• Japan is heading into spring, but it is still very cool in the mornings/evenings in this part of the country (in March it is still snowing!).

• Please consider weight and bulk

When delivering your items:

• Include details of age/size and if relevant, gender

If you’d like to...

• Take a photo of you/your family/group and your item and email it to please do this as soon as possible (preferably before delivery of item)

• Include names and ages of those in the photo

These will be assembled into a montage for the kindergarten.

Items can be purchased if you are unable to make them, but we prefer them to be handmade. Purchases at felt aid ( or handmade for christchurch (on trademe) also help those affected by the Christchurch earthquake.

Photos of the kindergarten and its children can be seen here:

Please deliver items between 10 - 2pm 28th April 2011 to 113 Riwai St, Paraparaumu, NZ or to Te Ra School office on Monday 4th May