Creative Chaos

Creative Chaos

Friday, 31 January 2014

Mad About Bags Send a little Love Swap

I took part in Tracy from Mad About Bags blog "Send a Little Love Swap." I was super organised and sent it off to my partner who was busylittlechicken. She received it this week and loves it thankfully! This is what i sent - We had to send something heart shaped or themed and make something heart based - I cross stitched a heart pincushion, found heart paper clips, little cards and tart tins; something red (heart pegs), something yummy (good old NZ Whitakers almond chocolate). All sent in my favourite NZ made sistema plastic lunchbox - a pink version! A fab swap. My package is on the way to school - i think the office always wants to open my mail! :) Thanks to Tracy for organising it. (need to learn how to do links again as I have forgotten....)

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Oh man

Study seems to have made this house slip......... well this is one kid's bedroom. Diabolical. And this is last year's school work, while he tries to organise this years stuff. The kid used to be perfect until he started in year 7 and year 8 seems to be getting off to the same standard as year 7... This mother is not touching one thing in here! Give me strength! :) The whole house is a tip - i have an amazing husband who cooks dinners most nights - I walk in from school and attempt to study/write notes (soooooooo behind with stuff and exam in 2 weeks....). But floors need to be cleaned (not done for 6 or so weeeeeeks), bathrooms etc. I do keep up with laundry because I really do love it, but there are now 5 baskets of clean laundry around the place and another 3 loads on the clothesline outside... sigh. (Now what is it with all this talk I hear about overseas people thinking it is hilarious New Zealanders and Australians hanging washing/laundry outside??? is this REALLY uncommon??? Line dried is the BEST! I hardly ever use my clothes drier even when it is 4-8 degrees overnight... ) Anyway, back to Gate Pa... A bloggy dinner out tomorrow night meeting with lots of Auckland bloggers.....

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Facebook Pass it on

I signed up via Facebook and a few friends to a "Pass It On" last week.
The idea is that you come up with something random any time over the next year - it could be a visit, an outing, a gift, a good deed, a ticket etc.
My random thing which i am giving to 5 friends is a dishcloth knitted by me, a dish brush and a bottle of dishwashing liquid!
i've told them no-one will have my idea. ;) It was a fab idea gained from Cat of Catalina's Cottage blog fame when she sent me a gorgeous dishcloth and dishwashing liquid in a swap last year. I loved it!
My first friend just laughed and laughed and loved it. I am hoping the others do too, when i catch up with them next week when the last school finally starts!
(Kikki K ordered far too many bags and red tissue paper in for Christmas, so I was lucky to score a decent bunch of both!) >br>

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

back to reality

Two back at school last week,; my school today (IT whizz I am after a bit of angst over file importing etc but i have had success today!) and the last one will be back next Wednesday. (joys of NZ school system!) Last tiny adventure for the days when I need to get out of the house, but cannot be bothered going far, is geocaching in our neighbourhood. fab looking for little items people have stashed all over the world in suburbs/parks/bus shelters etc. Take a look at . But, um, you do get funny looks from people whne looking in clumps of trees behind bus shelters, in parks under sea-saws etc etc. Hilarious really.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

end of holidays

I feel like we have all had great summer holidays (some since December 6!) Loved all the freedom - semi- freedom to me due to study. But also stoked that a few days before Christmas and up to now I have written 2 decent size essays and am now studying for the exam in 17 days..
Hurdle will be school and dealing with that and the rest of my life. it is just crazy at the start of the end with loads of students turning up that we have no idea are coming and the piles and piles and piles of hundreds of books to sort for teachers etc. All good - mostly. Few things to iron out. And the $1200 dollars I spend on new books over the hols - all stacked up at school waiting for spare time.
Loved my travel around the North island. I know Kieran had the time of his life at the NZ Scout jamobree - only super-ceded in his life by our England trip in 2009 and the Europe trip in 2011. I do feel a bit that I have spent a lot of time on study and kinda left the boys to their own devices, but that they are growing up and do not want their mother hovering over them.
last few days... dishcloths - love the new pattern! And a sock knitted in lickity quickity time! Adore the wool used from Knitworld - NZ merino by John Q (Impressionista Autumn.)
A pile of new magazines bought last week which are taunting me - to be opened up once exam over... testing my willpower once again! (yes we are weeks behind in New Zealand with issues!)
And the gorgeous new impulse tin bought at Typo on Friday night.
And a growing pile by the front door for next op shop drop off.
Nice simple things giving me great pleasure at the end of the hols!
Hope everyone is relaxed and ready for the back to school rush (and that you have a bit of money left in your wallet for a mum treat - we survived 6-7 weeks - yeah!)

Saturday, 25 January 2014

my list

inspired by Elaina over at
Making - a sock in 2 days while studying and 7 dishcloths in 3 days (can knit both without looking)
cooking - Nosh butterfly chicken for dinner
drinking - water
reading - about General Cameron, Donald Mclean and Governor Grey (NZ history)
wanting - IT issues sorted at school - grrrrrhhh already
looking - at freedom in 17 days after exam!
playing - i wish.
deciding - what to write notes on next
wishing - for things not to be complicated this early on in year
enjoying - bi fold windows and french doors in bedroom wide open every day till late
liking - summer holidays
waiting - for other people to do their job
wondering - why nothing changes
loving - my dear family for giving me freedom to study
pondering - when i will get to a Spotlight next
considering - whether to enrol in number 3 paper shortly or wait
watching - Charlie the rabbit
hoping - that my i-pad here at home (keeps on blanking out), if wiped and re-installed by teenager (whizz at IT) will still go (and i really don't care either way now)
marvelling - at how fast these hols have gone
needing - to sleep - not great lately
wearing - Old navy denim shorts from many many years ago
smelling - Mor body lotion
following - nothing on tv - do not remember what week i last watched any
noticing - garden needs watered
knowing - study will get finished
admiring - not John Key after education shake up - me, me. i'm over HERE. The expert school librarian who has won a ntional award. i'd like more than $28K year... (YEP!)
buying - Typo goodies last night - marked down and then again at checkout - gorgoeus packs of notecards for $4 and a big picnic tin for $15
getting - nowhere fast with study while doing this
bookmarking - new blogs
opening - tin of salmon for lunch
giggling - at Charlie rabbit
feeling - pretty cool about most stuff

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Creative Chaos: Share your country swap partners - Please re-check!

re-posting everyone!  Learnt something about html line break codes...

It should be easier to read now in lines.

Please double check your partners. Sorry for all the confusion! Kimberley xo

Creative Chaos: Share your country swap partners: I am a day early at posting this, so I hope everyone gets to see it. (I have so much to do at school with the new year and with exam study ...

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Share your country swap partners

I am a day early at posting this, so I hope everyone gets to see it. (I have so much to do at school with the new year and with exam study I am starting to freak out a little, so here goes when I have a bit of free time)
Tracy and A Little Bit Country ,
Cat and Joy ,
Creative Mama and Leeanne ,
Katie and lizzy ,
Kimberley and BaaHurrah Farm ,
Leonie KiwiatHeart and Amanda Graham ,
Lisa and TracyP ,
Kimberley and Zara .
(I have 2 partners as there was an odd number of participants. ) Please contact your partner to swap addresses and have all parcels posted by February 28. Plenty of time to get organised. (ick an exam before that for me....) Happy swapping. Please blog about what you sent and receive too and let me know when you do. Any problems, so not hesitate to get in touch with me either.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Book buying

So fantastic to turn up to school today with piles and piles of books purchased over the summer.
I have an almighty backlog of new books already catalogued, covered, stamped etc ready to go out on the shelves too.

And then these big piles of brand spanking new books. It was a drive from Warehouse to Warehouse on the road trip as they always have an amazing book sale starting on Boxing Day. Lots of $5 things like fairy tales, Collins etc.

Tip for Aucklanders who are big into children's books - Scholastic at Lady Ruby Drive in East Tamaki have a little shop there called Lucky's Bookshop which is open Monday to Friday from 10-4.15 pm.
The BEST place to buy books in town in my opinion. Scholastic seems to be getting in a lot of other publishers material too, so it is not just Scholastic.

Yesterday's bargains -
$4 Billy B Brown (such a great series for beginner chapter book readers)
$7 NZ Scholastic picture books
$7 Geronimo Stilton/ Thea Stilton/ Tom Gates / NZ Story / Percy Jackson...
$9 for the set of all 3 Hunger Games books
$9 hardcover picture books
A bin of 2.50 chapter books 
$5 Wearable Arts book (all teachers need this!)

Etc etc. loads of stuff for school teachers too. Lots of chapter books for teenagers too

I came out with an amazing collection for $350 - slowly getting through my grant money!

They also open their warehouse several times a year and everything is 50% off.

Now just to find the time at school to process etc. I think a good weed might be needed or more shelving! I am now at the buying plastic bin stage to have more room for books.

And the Dominion Road Salvation Army shop (one close to Balmoral Warehouse) has a lot of Golden Books too for the retro fans!

Monday, 20 January 2014


One of the delights of our road trip (to me anyhow !) was the town of Whanganui. It is about an 8 hour drive south from our home. We stayed a night in New Plymouth before hitting Whanganui.
This was only the second time I had ever been here - the first when I was at Library School and basically ran into Whanganui to a cemetery to look for Greg Carroll's grave - he was a U2 roadie who was sadly killed in a motorbike accident if my memory is correct. (massively big U2 fan waaaaay back!)

Stephen had never been here, so off we went. A nice central motel saw us walking round the town.
First thoughts on a Monday night? Deserted and tumble weeds blowing down the main road... Kinda reminded me of "Back to the Future". We struggled to find somewhere to eat that night and the place we chose had no idea what a margareta (spelling?) pizza was.... It was average.

Beautiful town though - I did think the old Moutua Gardens needed a good tidy up but I guess being Christmas / New Year no- one was going to mow the lawns which were weeks overdue.

Maybe I am being a bit harsh... Really did love the small town feel and the old buildings everywhere made me melt at my toes. And real estate - oh my. Huge old gorgeous houses for $160K plusPocket money ;). (said like a true Aucklander! :) ) 

Very friendly townsfolk , sweet little basic wool shop but enough for me. Loved it! Couldn't live there as too "isolated"  for me and too far to drive to get elsewhere (like on a plane.), but I really did like the feel of the town and thought it would be a sweet little place to live in when older perhaps.

We did the paddle steamer down the river which was fab and also went in NZ's only underground lift which was very cool. Pics coming another day - my i-pad now has no more room to up load photos onto it, so I need to figure out how to get all pics off it onto a hard drive....

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Wardrobe Makeover

Just like that! Decided on and done in a day.
I had a guy come out from Howard's Storage World to measure and give us several layouts for our walk in wardrobe on Thursday. He e- mailed through 5 designs last night .

This morning we woke up and said "let's do it today!"

So we did! Stephen drove up and got all the needed bits and came home and then spent over an hour measuring to make sure it was just right, drilling holes in the wall and then, with my help , building the wardrobe. 
I think I should have been an engineer - (he is) - I am so impressed and love our layout choice!

So it has gone from this to this gorgeous thing! We still have space to put one more bay in at the end wall - one day.

We have nearly been in our extension for 2 years this April- all good things take good time!

Now Joshua wants his bedroom modernised ....

Friday, 17 January 2014

Knitting dishcloths

I've been a bit sneaky around study the past couple of days and have been knitting a couple of dishcloths in between note taking/ essay writing. I so miss knitting as much as I usually do over a summer!

My discovery last year of Sugar'n'creme cotton was a real delight. (Available from at pretty reasonable prices.) Leonie from Kiwiatheart blog made  me a pair for the dishcloth swap and I adored them! I have only just started using them this year too, as they really did seem too lovely to use. But they are gorgeous to use!

I mainly use these two patterns to knit them. (I can crochet too BUT I cannot for the life of me read a crochet pattern.

This one is taken from the "Down to Earth" book by Rhonda Hetzel. (stunning and a very useful book too!)

The pattern is from Deb at the a homespun Blog (

Needle size 6 (US) or 8 (UK)

1- Casting 38 stitches
2- Knit 3 rows for border
3- Row 1 (right side ) knit
4- Row 2 knit 3, purl to last 3 stitches, knit 3
5- Row 3 knit 3 (purl 2 knit 1) 10 times, purl 2, knit 3
6- Row 4 knit 3 (knit 2, purl 1) 10 times, knit 5.

Repeat these 4 rows 6 times.

Rows 61-75 knit and then cast off.

( I just usually repeat the 4 row pattern and then knit 3 rows for a border without doing all 75 rows...)

Next pattern I found off the Love2knit dishcloths website:

Cast on in multiples of 3 (I use either a 4.5mm (UK) for sugar'n'creme cotton or a 4mm(UK) for other cotton) (so 4,7,10,13,16...).
    (I have cast on 28 stitches however these could be a bit wider.. I will stretch them!)

Row 1 (right side) p1, * K2, P1; repeat from * to end
Row 2 K1, * P2, K1; repeat from * to end
Row 3 repeat row one
Row 4 Knit

Repeat these 4 rows until the desired length and cast off.

Enjoy! Knitted dishcloths are the best and a fab thing to sit and knit at night in front of tv (well I watch very very little tv...). I have sent so many away lately for little gifts/ cheer me ups, that I need to build up a stash again!

And I always knit two at once!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Eight days and another swap to participate in!

We have been home bodies for about eight days now! (with the exception of food shopping, post office visits and dropping stuff off to an op shop.)
I am lucky boys do not seem to mind and figure, well, no one has asked to go anywhere , so I sit and work on that essay....
Two of the boys start school next Thursday (!). Stationery bought and textbooks have been ordered and we are pretty much set to go.

A friend dropped in some wool - not just any wool - wool that she had spun herself! I am so chuffed!
I am the test knitter apparently!!! Isn't it gorgeous?! I think some fingerless gloves might be in order.
Late birthday gifts of this calibre are more than welcome. This is so treasured! Thank you so much Melissa!!

Another swap to participate in too - head over to Tracy at to sign up. (I still have no idea how to do links on an i-pad. I apologise!)

My sewing machines were taken in for a service too - long, long overdue , so I will have to get my thinking gear on for this one! It will be a sanity saving one, like the others which i am signed up for, - around study!

Are you all set for the new school year?

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Happy me!

Oh the stress and nearly tears that have gone into this summer university paper! But - ta da! Thrilled at my first essay mark. Given me a huge boost to complete the second one!

Herbs that have gone to seed.

Coriander flowering in my sweet new jug (Christmas gift from husband).

Another new jug - again a gift from husband. (loving yellow!) And on a gorgeous mat which was a gift from my mum!

Tomatoes - yippee. First lot we have grown for years.

Science experiment holiday fun. Kid thrilled when they work!

New frames - adore this artwork. Great to get favourite photos (in NZ made) frames.

And cross stitching. Loving in a big way. My stress buster for essay writing!

Child bunny sitting. Melts my heart. :)