Archive for April, 2009


April 29, 2009

This is Makimaki Monkey.  Hello!


Makimaki is Maori for monkey, and is pronounced Markymarky.  Though technically, Makimaki Monkey is an ape, not a monkey, as he doesn’t have a tail.

He’s sitting on my bed because it was the only spot in my house I could find that wasn’t covered in pet hair or mud.

I made him using the same pattern as the other monkeys, but Makimaki is made from a 50% wool 50% acrylic blend I picked up at Spotlight.  It was horrible to work with, and I have three blisters on my fingers from making him.  He’s stuffed with 99.9% polyester fibrefill and 0.1% dog hair.

He’s currently squashed up in an envelope on his way to start a new life in Australia, where he will live with my friend’s baby.  Hopefully they will have lots of adventures together.  I’ve told my friend he’s stuffed with 100% polyester fibrefill, as Makimaki Monkey and I decided she didn’t need to know about the dog hair.

Also in the parcel is this book which I found in an antiques shop in Cambridge last week.

book-1Excuse the dodgy photography.

It was a real wrench to part with this book as I love old books, especially old books that are over 100 years old.


It’s a first edition, too.


I hope she loves it as much as I do.



April 25, 2009

I love this.

James Stewart reading a poem about a dog – what could be more cutesome?


April 7, 2009

The 30,000 word report? Finished. FINISHED! Such a relief: it’s the culmination of over 4 years’ work, and I have been working on the report itself for over 18 months. That’s academia for you: s-l-o-o-o-w.

And the heart appliqué? Also finished.


It’s a bit wonky (I hadn’t realised quite how wonky until I took the pic) but I love it. I’ll definitely make more of these, but maybe next time I’ll mark some lines and things on the felt before I start rather than doing it all by eye.

And the baby blanket (the one for my friend whose baby is due in a month)? About half done.

I’m feeling very productive right now. I might have to go and lie in the hammock to recover.

Butterfly money

April 7, 2009

When my family was here a few weeks ago, we paid my niece to do little jobs around the house so she could buy herself ice creams. Her favourite NZ coin is the 10 cent piece:


It’s a picture of the head of a tiki, but my niece was having none of that. “Look, it’s a face. There are his eyes, see? And he’s poking his tongue out, see?”

“No. It’s a butterfly. SEE?”

So now, in our house, 10 cent coins are called butterfly money.

We found all sorts of little jobs for her to do around the house in return for butterfly money: feeding the cats, putting toys away, picking up dead flies… Towards the end of the holiday, she turned to my sister and said, “Mummy, what jobs can I do at home? I can’t pick up dead flies because we haven’t got them in our house.”

When she’s grown up she’ll remember me as the auntie whose dirty house smelt of cats and dogs, and was full of dead flies.

Works in progress

April 4, 2009

This last fortnight I have mainly been writing a 30,000 word report (30,000 words – eek!)  But I’ve also been trying to do some crafting in the evenings so my head doesn’t explode.

First of all, from a woollen blanket I found in the op shop that had this cool label:


I made this stack of felt:


(Following mollychicken’s directions.)

Looks nice, doesn’t it?

And I have almost finished making this:


(Inspired by mollychicken. I should just rename this post “An homage to mollychicken”.)

The sewing’s a bit wonky, especially the bits I did after I’d had a couple of glasses of wine, but never mind.  Maybe the cat hair will cover it up. Once this is finished it will be winging its way off to the UK as a very late birthday present for a friend. So late, in fact, that I might just pretend it’s an early present for this year.

Then what else?  Ah, the baby blanket. Thank you for the nice comments about this. I did start to unravel it, but then decided to put it away for a bit. When I looked at it again after a couple of weeks I decided I did like it after all, but was still worried that my friend would think it was garish, so sent her an email with a picture saying, “What do you think? Please tell me if you hate it. Or tell me if you have so many baby blankets already that you won’t ever use it.” (Which was my cunning way of giving her a get out clause so she could pretend she loved it even if she didn’t, but could turn down the gift without hurting my feelings. Obviously, if she had said that I would have thought she secretly hated it, anyway.) Well, my friend thought I was mad, and said how on earth did I think she could hate something I had made especially for her. So….. I finished off the last few rows (cursing the whole time about the rows I had unravelled), then started sewing in the ends, then realised I had no wool for the border, and THEN realised that my other friend who is expecting a baby is due in FOUR WEEKS’ TIME, so made a start on a blanket for her, too.

So now I have 3 unfinished projects, and I still haven’t finished the 30,000 word report.