Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pukeko Party

My big girl recently turned 5 and surprised me by asking for a pukeko party. Funnily enough there aren't many pukekos on Pinterest, or parties on Google... so we had to wing it (excuse the pun). I figured blue and red with lots of eggs was the theme - if you are not familiar with New Zealand wildlife a pukeko is a native swamp hen, currently New Zealand Bird of the Year!

We started preparing by doing this coloured paper collage together, which I then used as a motif for invitations. With more time I would have also used it for cupcake toppers like these cute ones, the only pukeko cakes I ever found on the internet!

The cookies were a joint effort with my mum, she found a flamingo cookie cutter and used a Belgian biscuit recipe. I made blue royal icing (a half batch of this recipe) and spread it on with the back of a teaspoon. The red was a writing icing tube from the supermarket. Unfortunately the thin legs made the cookies a bit fragile and during a late-night baking session I knocked a container on the floor and half of them broke. But 12 made it to the party intact and they were great decorations on the table.

Other treats included chocolate chip cookies with red and blue mini M&M's and egg-shaped fairy bread (pukeko eggs are speckled).

Also on the table, these speckled eggs I crocheted from the Owlishly pattern here.

My sister made an awesome chocolate cake with landscaped icing and we added some pukeko figurines and chocolate eggs.

We didn't need many activities as we were using our local kindergarten for the party, but I did make this printable pukeko picture for colouring in (the pdf can be downloaded here).

My daughter had asked for a BIG pukeko party so we invited lots of families, and turnout was so good that we actually had too many kids for the one game I had planned - an egg hunt in the garden. So after the first few families left (sorry guys), kids looked for an egg bag on their way out. I hope they were all found otherwise some kindy kid is going to get a big surprise!

Thanks so much to my family and friends their help making it a special day  :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cutest Crochet So Far...

I would have tried crochet years ago if I had seen this amigurumi girl-dressed-as-butterfly. I was looking for a butterfly pattern for a birthday present and actually gasped when I found the Owlishly shop on Etsy.

Mia Zamora Johnson sells patterns for little dolls playing dressups - there are so many but some of my other favorites are the girl-dressed-as-cow and boy-dressed-as-puppy. Even more patterns are in her Ravelry shop, which is where I bought mine (US$5 for emailed PDF instructions).

The instructions were easy to follow, and the only tricky time-consuming part was embroidering the wings. The pattern had gorgeous blue wings but we only see orange monarch butterflies around here so (inspired by this blog post) I improvised. I had also splashed out on some soft worsted pink wool for the face and hands which was lovely to work with.

If you are interested in some easy amigurumi crochet projects, have a look at the Owlishly blog as there are some free patterns including hearts and this too-cute bear hat. I have also tried the egg pattern which is very easy.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

DIY Mini quilt - Space Alphabet

I couldn't find a poster I liked with a space-themed alphabet, but I did find some fabric, so here is my son's new mini-quilt that hangs over his bed. The alphabet panel is a fat quarter (21 x 18 inches) from - in fact it was the winner of the Alphabet contest last year (other alphabet designs here).

I ordered it in cotton here, US$11 plus US$2 postage to New Zealand. Then I just bordered it with some leftover material from his robot quilt, used some light wadding in the middle and backed it with leftover binary fabric from his curtains (previous post on his bedroom here). I even did a little bit of quilting, running along some of the border lines. There are also little ribbon tags in each corner to help with hanging.

Big sister has always had this Pooh alphabet poster above her bed, and now little brother has something to look at too.

This was an easy project - I am no expert at sewing - and came out so cute (approx 67cm x 60cm). I think a fat quarter mini-quilt would be a sweet baby gift (it would be the right size for a changing mat too).

Linking up with Our Creative Spaces, a collection of makings.

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