DIY for non-crafters

I am a non-crafter in a family of crafters.

Veggie Sis K – quilter and sewer extraordinnaire. She made us this quilt as a house-truck warming gift.

MIL Veggie – knitter and sewer. She makes us each something warm and cozy every Christmas and has taken on the flower girl dresses as her special wedding project.

Momma Veggie – baker and overall crafty queen. Some of her famous Christmas cookies made it past customs this year. Shhh… don’t tell them how good the snickerdoodles were. She’s making our wedding cake.

SIL Veggie – photographer. Here’s one of her “just messing around with the kids one day” shots. Amazing.

And me? I can grow a mean veggie garden, but thus far my craftiness has remained untapped. But every now and then I get the urge to release my inner Martha and do a little project.

I was inspired by all these beautiful hand-made notes to do a little thank you card for Shari, our friend who created our gorgeous STD’s. I remembered Veggie Sis K whipping up these cute little fabric flowers in about 15 seconds when I was visiting them over the summer. If it took her 15 seconds, I was fairly sure I could conquer it in under an hour. I’m sure there are better tutorials out there for making these, but here is the tried and true method of an absolute non-crafter.

Step one: Find some fabric scraps. But wait Miss Veggie, if you’re not a crafter why do you have a bag of fabric lying around? Well, because I am a wannabe crafter, so I picked these up at our local recycling center (dump) just so that I’d be ready when the mood struck. Remind me to talk bit more about the recycling center later. It’s one of my favorite places on earth.

Step two: Cut fabric into strips. I didn’t measure, but i’d say mine were about 6-10 inches long and 1-2 inches wide.

Step three: Do a running stitch (ooh look at me and my crafty lingo), in other words, an “up-down” stitch along the edge of the fabric.

Step four: Pull it tight and tie a knot in it. I added an extra stitch in the middle of the flappy part to make the fabric stay overlapped a bit.

I love them! So adorable.

They look super cute with buttons on them.

But, since I’m not a crafter, the only buttons I have are the extra ones from a new sweater MIL Veggie bought me for my birthday. So, I left mine with no buttons. To attach them to the card stock, I just did one single stitch through the bunchy part of the flower and the paper. I suppose you could use glue, but the only sticky things I had lying around were duct tape and packing tape. And here’s the finished product.

Too easy right?

I know I’ve seen these used in weddings before, anyone have any good ideas? Any improvements on my hodge-podge manner of constructing them? Anyone seen a proper tutorial for these little cuties?

First Whanau

whanau: (n -maori) Family

This past weekend our we had our first visit from family members to New Zealand. Nelson’s dad’s sister and her husband and his brother (did you get all that?) came to visit from California.

Even though I had never met them before it was still fun to show off our garden, our little home, and our town. They stayed here at Solscape for two nights to get over their jetlag before heading out to conquer the Milford Track.
We loaded them up with home-grown food and thought we could give them a little warm up for their trek on our own mountain, Mt. Karioi. (Note to self: test out hiking tracks before attempting them with family.)
Our little adventure begun at Te Toto gorge. We then climbed up through a meadow and walked along a ridgeline towards the summit.

We thought we had hit the most adventurous spot when we came to a 5 meter ladder.

We were wrong. The track got narrower and the trail got bumpier. We stopped to have a little lunch after two hours to consider our options.

Groups of sweaty hikers kept passing us on their way down telling us how close we were to the lookout. We pushed on.
But when we hit the sheer cliff that you had to scale using chains, we decided that we had had enough. Karioi, you win this time, but we’ll be back.

Bob and Suzanne were gracious enough to treat us to dinner that night and then they headed off to Taupo and beyond the next morning. Perhaps we scared them off? Don’t worry other family members, if you come visit we promise we wont try to make you climb a cliff.
Bob, Suzanne, and John. Thanks for the hours of great conversation, the good kai, and for giving us some whanau love in person.