Autumn · Crafts · Crochet · Fingerless Mitts · Granny Hottie Cover · Granny Square Hottie Cover · NZ Yarn · Outlaw Yarn · Seasons

Maker’s Journal : The Crochet Edition

Granny Square Hottie Cover :

Finishing projects has been a struggle for me lately . I had misplaced two works in progress somewhere.That put a damper on my spirits and I kind of lost my making mojo.

The Granny Square Hottie cover came about as a result a scrappy make along. I had a big tangled mess of yarn which I had frogged from an abandoned project . When I found a hottie bottle without a cover , covering it up with granny squares seemed like a great plan. And it indeed was !

So quick and easy, with the granny squares getting done in just three rows each , I kept reaching out to them until it was all done. The Hot pink colour and the cream ( Kan Ten and Curiosity) made it a very bright and cheerful project.

I think the vintage buttons that came along as a free gift with Molly Makes magazine, tied the cover so well together. It is one of my favourite features of this project, on top of how this hottie cover came along.

Moreover ,an added bonus was the immense satisfaction, of pretty much using up all the yarn ,that was a frustrating pile of tangled mess mocking me.

I roughly followed Alexandra Mackenzie’s Granny Square Hottie Cover pattern.

Pattern Details :

Pattern : Granny Square Hottie Cover by Alexandra Mackenzie

Yarn : Outlaw Yarn Bandit DK in Kan Ten and Curiosity

Hook : 4 mm

Project Notes :

A few things I did differently from the pattern first and foremost , were the granny squares themselves . As a result I had to adjust the number of squares I made for the cover. I also joined the squares using single crochet rather than whip stitching them around. I was really happy to have a guideline in the pattern to follow and then make modifications to suit my needs.

Easy Victorian Shell Mitts :

While I do love a quick and easy granny square, nothing makes my soul sing like a feminine lacy pattern . I have made these mitts before in a cotton mix yarn called Main Line from Knit picks, now discontinued , when we were in Kuwait. For the Winters in Kuwait , that was good. After coming to Christchurch, a 70% cotton and 25% merino did not cut it for the Winter chill here. My hands were froze constantly and I have been meaning to make another pair in Merino.

When I first joined the Outlaw yarn team , Deb gifted me a Bohemia Worsted Yarn in the colour Royal and immediately I decided that I was going to use it for these mitts . Only, I never got around to making them. Even though they are a very quick and easy pattern that hardly takes more than an afternoon to finish the pair.

When I finished my granny square hottie cover, I was pumped up to crochet a little more and decided to just get these mitts done too. I had to go up a hook size than the pattern called for as I could not get the gauge right.That took a bit of time , as I started with a size smaller like I had done the first time, then the size called for in the pattern and finally going up a hook size . Yet, it did not take more than an evening to finish the Mitts.

The Polwarth, Possum and alpaca mix in the yarn makes these mitts so cozy , soft and extremely warm to wear. I love how the yarn and the colour bring out the beauty of this pattern. Needless to say , I’m so pleased with how they turned out and have this long overdue project ticked off my list of to do things.

Pattern Details :

Pattern : Easy Victorian Shell Mitts by Bron Green

Yarn : Outlaw Yarn Bohemia Worsted in Royal

Hook : 5 mm

Being able to create these two projects with yarn I had in my stash, after not finishing anything at all for a while ,has truly been a magical making moment for me.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Until Next Time

Happy Crafting

Autumn · Covid 19 , 2020 · Life · Lifestyle · New Zealand · Seasons · small things

Chat over Chai # 3

Hi Everyone

Lockdown Diaries

What a couple months it has been! No one saw this dark cloud coming huh? The leaves have started changing colour . We had a couple of earthquakes like we didn’t have enough already with the Covid 19 Pandemic.

All businesses except essential services have closed and we are still in level 4 lockdown.It feels strange to see caution tape in the park near our home.

The uncertainty of days after the lock down is lifted ,kind of looks bleak at this pointNevertheless , never have I been happier to be living in NZ like at present. I admire our Prime Minister for the decisions she made during this critical time.

Moreover , since I enjoy being home, it hasn’t been too hard for me .All essential things are available without any hardship. More than anything however, I am so thankful for the family time this quarantine has allowed our family to have. It has definitely helped keep my spirits up , to notice little things and enjoy them.Like someone close to us pointed out, its a strange blessing for us.

The boys are having online classes, although they miss their friends and going out, they seem to be happy to be home. We have now become used to online Church Service, Zoom Bible study, chats and Knit groups . Its good to be connected this way, although I do miss going out to cafes with my friend.

I had to clear out my craft room for my son and now I really don’t have a designated space to hide sew or knit.My routine has gone off the window and I am trying to hold on to some sort of schedule ; successful sometimes and unsuccessful at other times.

I must admit that I have been feeling like I have ten tabs open inside my brain and unable to think clearly. So now I have decided to not check my phone as soon as I wake up. Instead , I wake up at 6.45 a.m when my alarm goes off, brush my teeth, drink a cup of warm water, pray, shower , have breakfast, attend Bible study and only after that, I check my instagram and emails.

This has helped me not feel overwhelmed all the time.Plus I’m taking it easy and not stressing over unfinished projects. I do regular updates of my day on Insta-stories, I rearranged my journaling space and now enjoy journalling my day to day updates and sometimes do creative art journaling with soft music playing in the background.

With everyone being home, a lot of food is being cooked and polished off in like ten seconds

.I may have put on weight but I have gone off sugar during this period and was surprised that for the amount sugar I was taking in, it hasn’t been that hard to give it up.

The one being that has single handedly been drawing us out of our respective spaces of the house, keeping us all distracted, entertained and our spirits up, is our sweet adorable Amber. I think she is the happiest to have all her humans at home all the time.

Have a blessed time my friends and please stay safe at home if you are able to.

lots of love


Autumn · Chat Over Chai · Expat Life · How to · Life · Life style · New Zealand · Seasons · small things · South Island · Winter

Chat over Chai #1

Hi Everyone

The idea to start the Chat over Chai series, has been on my mind for a while now. In spite of sharing a lot on the blog, I felt a certain disconnect, so I’m going to try a bit of blogging like old times.

This is basically simply a catch up series ; to connect a little bit more, by offering a sneak peak into things happening in my life , to chat about things I’m really enjoying ; on the crafty side , slow living , cooking , current favourites – different things , I can share to make note of, look back on , enjoy and be inspired to grow and thrive.

You might want to grab a cup of chai (tea or coffee – whatever you prefer) for this one

This year, Autumn and Winter went by really fast and we are into Spring which is really like being in a whole new world.

It’s just so lovely seeing the world come alive with birds chirping , flowers blooming , there seems to be an aura of gaiety in the air.

While I have struggled a lot with the colder months, I have learnt that slowing down and doing a few extra things, that I normally never did otherwise during these months, helped me a lot to keep up my good spirits.

How did my version of Slowing down look like?

Slowing Down

This was pretty much my every day routine during the cold months. I’m sharing it on my blog hoping that it will help someone feeling down as the temperatures, daylight and sunshine go down

  • Making my cup of tea, taking time to sit down and enjoy drinking it , feeling the warmth of my tea , warm up my body
  • Look out my door , make note of the sunlight flooding the mountains with its golden glow or the clouds completely cover up the mountains
  • Send Steve off to school,
  • Snuggle with my baby Amber, listening to my favourite gospel music, reading the Bible and praying
  • Taking time to shower and get dressed in presentable clothes in the morning with care, put on my favourite perfume,
  • Go for a walk once in a while with Amber
  • Do a bit of skin care once a week
  • Gratitude Journal every week
  • Use Bargain box for dinner ( this way, I did not have to do much meal planning but still had the recipes and the ingredients ,had a chance to try something new and different.
  • In the evenings, I often lighted up some lovely scented candles, put on some dreamy jazz music , kept the heat pump on and cooked dinner.
  • I added fairy lights where every I could, added cushions and throws to create cozy and warm around me.
  • Once a week I went out for brunch with my friends, or invited them over to just chat over home made ginger chai, it felt good to have those little moments of just sharing and enjoying the friendships
  • I joined a low impact exercise class which helped immensely as well.
  • Some days when I just did not feel up to it, I just let go, ordered food from Uber Eats and spent time with my kids watching re runs of Castle lounging on the sofa.

Weekends were a little bit different. We slept in , cooked some delicious meals to last at least a couple of days so that when I felt uninspired to cook, there was something to heat up and eat ready at hand.


I’m sharing these here in the hope that it will help someone who needs it. However these are not set in stone things to do, do what soothes your soul the most .

How do you cope with the Colder Months?

If you also do some of these things please share them with me.

Or if you have some other things that helped you cope through the colder months, please share them as well.

Talk later

lots of love


Arrowtown · Autumn · Budget · Camping · Lifestyle · New Zealand · Singapore · South Island · Travel


Over the Easter Weekend, we decided at the last minute to visit Arrowtown, a quaint little town.

J was not sure if he would have to work or not . By the time we learnt that he would also not work on the holidays, the Holy week was almost upon us.

Big B and J  decided to try their luck finding last minute accommodation in Queenstown when the search showed us that there was a vacancy at the Holiday Park in Arrowtown.

Being Budget travelers,we decided to take it ,as it was very budget friendly for us,even though we had no clue about the place or where it was . Thank God for Technology and GPS!

As we started on our trip, we learnt that Arrowtown was a Gold Mining Town, with remnants of the 19th Century history well preserved in the town.

When we got there,we were so taken in by the old world charm the little town boasts of.

The weather as we drove the scenic route for nearly five hours was just gorgeous!

We stopped to have a look at the Kawarau Gorge . As much we would have liked to explore the gorge and all it had to offer, we put it off for another trip. This time, however, our hearts were set on reaching  Arrowtown as early as we could .

The gorgeous Autumn palate of gold , orange ,fiery red, purple and greens greeted us as we drove into Holiday Park Arrowtown .IMG_1965It offered the perfect backdrop for the surrounding mountain ranges

Set in this picturesque setting is a very well maintained park with several kinds of accommodation, right from tent and powered camper van grounds to ensuite studios, self-contained flats, lodge rooms , to suit every budget.



We stayed in the Oregon Lodge.

It has an all sufficient kitchen, with fridge, freezer, microwave,T.V, stove and utensils with ample space to cook and have our meals right there. And also sinks and hot and cold water taps to clean and take water from.

I had taken lime rice, cutlets and chicken fry, our standard picnic food along with eggs and bread. Which we could store in the community kitchen. This came in handy as I could store the food in the fridge and heat up at lunch time in the microwave.

Our rooms were heated, with bunk beds. We hired the bedding for a small fee. It was spacious, warm and cozy  for the four of us.IMG_1936


On Day 1, after long drive, we had a long nap when we finished unloading all our stuff. It was almost dark when we went to explore the quaint little Arrowtown on feet.

IMG_1993IMG_1994IMG_1996IMG_1998IMG_2001IMG_2010 (1)

We had dinner at this little pizzeria called Off Piste. It was almost closing time.IMG_2019.jpg

chicken , brie , We were not too hungry .



On seeing the beautiful little town , reminiscent of old English villages we have read about in books,we knew without doubt, that we had we found our own little pot of gold !

We did the actual exploring of the little town only on Day 3.

The historical character of the little town is very well preserved.

Est. 1862!

Est.1862 .

On the fringes of this charming little town is the Chinese settlement. I read in a pamphlet I found at the park, that these Chinese came to work in the goldmines and were racially discriminated from buying things from their stores. But these very self reliant folk set up their own stores much to the annoyance of the European settlers.

There is a fun gold panning activity you could do, there at the settlement memorial.

We mostly walked around in the town and enjoyed it very much.It was just absolutely lovely!

If you are into visiting places with historical character then Arrowtown is a must visit. There is a lovely Museum and one could get dressed in period clothes and get photographed.

Moreover, there are lovely little cafes one could pop in for some coffee and relaxing time.

A few minutes of arriving at the Park, Lil B had made friends with the kids there at the park and spent many hours happily playing with his new friends there

Day 2 was Easter Morning. There was an Egg hunt and Pancake Breakfast at the community kitchen in the park.IMG_1930

IMG_1928.jpgand then there was a very fun Easter Egg Hunt

mom! stop being a paparazzi

After we were done with the egg hunting, and all the treasures demolished, we headed off to Queenstown.Which was like, a 15 minute drive.



Full points to you if you guessed what we did there!

The only thing we wanted to check out first thing, was not any of the many adventure stuff that Queenstown is famous for, but the Fergburger  Burger.

So undaunted by having to walk quite a long distance from our parking

and the long queue

and the 45 min wait,We got our Easter lunch at Fergburger. And we were not disappointed at all!and the wait didn’t seem that long either.

On the way back,  we decided to take our family picture at this ethereal spot with a help of our tripod.


Autumn · Botanical Gardens, Christchurch · In and around Christchurch · Uncategorized


Everytime I heard  people say they love Autumn , I’ve always wondered why?

Why would people like cold damp and muggy weather?!

My first ever autumn was in Auckland . At that time,it rained a lot there.we were pretty stressed out and I failed to truly enjoy the colours ,that were around me, I’m sure.

Then we came to Christchurch,towards the end of Spring.The first couple of weeks proved too cold for me. And that was my gauge of how Autumn and Winter were going to be.

Summer was wonderful! I loved the sun , the beach in Kaiteriteri , our mini vacation . Of course there was a bit of rain and gloomy weather now and then and I was ok with that. I could handle that.

I realized that Autumn had slowly creept in ,when I saw the  leaves slowly changing  colour. When the strong gusts came in. I sank into ‘the woe is me .I can’t  handle the cold’ mode.

Then some wonderful friends told me about wearing merino layers and down jackets. I got a few of those and was super excited to be warm and toasty inspite of the cold.

Once that was out of the way, I started enjoying the weather. I started noticing the colours and the beauty around me.

Now I just can’t get enough of these gorgeous shades of golden yellow ,orange green and brown..Of the leaves falling down like the tick of the clock..

the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets

and natures bounty in the harvest of peaches and apples in our garden.

.. I’m sure if our children were with us and saw us deliberately walking on and crunching the fallen autumn leaves, they would have rolled their eyes, and walked at a far off distance should anyone wrongly think they were related to the two adults who were acting like little kids.