Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

The build up to Christmas day is always busy and can be stressful.

But when the supermarket shopping is all done, presents wrapped, mince pies made, all the lists of "things to do" ticked off, house vacuumed and tidied then..
a contented bliss could descend on one, and Christmas anticipation really begin.

Some knitted items got finished in a hurry, this is a little vest handspun and knitted for our Creative Fibre stall that our group has on a Friday night in town. I plan on making a few more of these. They are knitted in one piece, so not much sewing up!

Alexander is home for a few days so I showed him the progress made on his blanket and I plan to do some more when I feel like closeting myself away with my loom.

But for the next few days it is going to be family, food and fun.

A very Merry Christmas to you all and see you in 2008!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The fruit of my labour

Apricots from the tree, potatoes freshly dug, and a new skein of wool, spun and plyed together and washed in Softly.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A cherry on top

Yesterday we spent the day in Marlborough with some friends. We bought some cherries from a local orchard and had lunch in a nearby cafe.The sun was shining, and we parked the car under the shade of the cherry trees next to a quilt lucky was that!!!

I kept my fingers busy, popping cherries in my mouth and stroking the fabrics and doing a few rows on the Rowan afghan. Blissful day!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A bamboo blanket for baby

A little bird has whispered of a new baby coming next year, and I am already knitting a merino and angora circular shawl to wrap the newborn in, but have decided to crochet a soft blanket as well for the cot.

I chose a new yarn made of bamboo and cotton, 50% of each from Patons. On the wash label it says that it is made in Romania, and I thought how strange to have the wool processed there.
When I was having my babies in the eighties, there were many orphaned babies living in crowded and very poor conditions in Romanian hospitals. A couple of families I knew from our Montessouri preschool flew to Romania and adopted some children, and brought them back here to live in NZ. I wonder if conditions have changed for homeless infants and children in Romania.

All babies everywhere need a nice soft blanket they can call their own!

Here it is in the making

Yesterday after another gruelling session at the dentist, I arrived home still shaking and feeling very sorry for myself, to find a Christmas parcel in my letterbox.

This was a Christmas treat that I had sent to myself, but it came as an unexpected delight yesterday!

A box of beautiful Rowan DK cottons in my favorite colours....yay!!!!

I sat down immediately with a pot of tea and a pattern in my head, and crocheted quite happily for a couple of hours, forgetting all about the pain in my tooth.until Ian came home and said " have we time for a walk up the hill before tea"?

We have a hill behind our house, which Ian is continually clearing of gorse and thistle. It is his work of a lifetime. Yesterday as we trudged up the hill, Ian was slashing thistle and little gorse bushes as we went, with a few hints to me about doing the same. Pity we only have the one slasher! It makes for a good workout though. Next time I might pop the camera in my pocket and take some pics of the view to post.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A wet and windy wedding day

Ian and I flew to Auckland in the weekend to attend Ian's nephew's wedding.The service was being held in the Parnell Rose gardens( under a marquee ) and the rain poured down, but it didn't dampen the spirits of the happy couple and a great time was had by all.

The flowers were pure white peonies and there were some beautful white water lilies on the tables at the reception.They looked stunning and with the continual rain I thought they made quite a good watery theme.

Earlier we had made a quick visit to the Sky Tower.

This is what we saw inside

Some very colourful creatures.

Downtown Auckland had a few Christmas displays

This huge Christmas bauble was in front of a shopping mall and I came across a few other smaller versions outside shops as we walked back along Queen St.

Hummh, dare I say it.? Auckland I don't think much of your Christmas decorations.

There, I have said it for all the world to see. I was pretty unimpressed.!

Arlo, Keira and Sarah helped me put up our Christmas tree a few days ago.I love the twinkling lights and the old favorite decos.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Fit to ride a bike?

I am on a mission to become fitter this summer, and after purchasing a new bike helmet I rescued my bike from it's home in the garage, sadly discarded for many a year.

With my two little helpers busy with thier brushes and sponges, it was given some TLC and air in the tyres.

Today I thought I would ride down the road and see how far I got before my legs wanted to stop.

It is a little hazardous riding a bike on the road out of our gate. Our farm is right alongside the main highway out of (or into, whichever way you are driving) our little town.The traffic belts along at 100km or more and when a truck drives past, you could be sucked into the down draft and fall off! Fortunately this didn't happen to me today, but it was quite windy and with hay paddocks on both sides of the road, it wasn't long before my eyes were streaming and I was barely taking a breath in between sneezes. My ride cut short by hayfever, oh dear, never mind, better get home for a Telfast pill and a refreshing cup of tea.

Huh, I certainly didn't get very far today but I am not giving up, oh no! It was quite funny really because as I was on my way home, thinking my little thoughts to myself and biking very fast ( or so I thought) , a "proper" cylist shot past me all togged up in special racing bike gear, and I felt quite foolish when I noticed how far he had got ahead in just a couple of seconds.

I played in my workroom this afternoon, cutting aqua coloured fabrics and putting squares together and

I made this little patchwork bib with the bits left over.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

what a tangled web we weave

I was reminded of a quotation that my Mother once wrote down in my little blue autograph book that I had in the sixties. Why she chose this particular quote I have no idea, but it certainly came to mind this weekend.

"What a tangled web we weave, when we learn how to to deceive".

Now I wasn't planning on any great deception this weekend, but I certainly got myself in a big tangled web!

It took many hours of untangling this mess, but got there in the end.

So I now have the fun part of weaving it into a blanket.I have my measurements right this time and it will be 58'' wide when off the loom. The wool colours are rather Christmassy don't you think?

I had a dramatic flowering happening in my kitchen yesterday, so had to post a picture of this beautiful amaryliss

This is bringing a lot of delight and pleasure...I wonder how long the flower will last?

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I made this when I was having my blue and white phase.

Taking time today to check out the blue flowers in my garden.

Blue, songs are like tattoos
You know I've been to sea before
Crown and anchor me
Or let me sail away
Hey Blue, THERE is a song for you
Ink on a pin
Underneath the skin
An empty space to fill in
Well there're so many sinking now
You've got to keep thinking
You can make it thru these waves.
by Joni Mitchell
This is what I think of when I think of the colour blue.

Blue skies, and feeling dizzy and lost in admiration when Sarah took a sky dive on her eighteenth birthday.
Here she is, the small dot in the blue, blue sky

And when I am feeling blue, then I find playing a little Bach very calming,

and listening to Murray Periahia playing Bach ( Goldberg Variations), uplifting and soothing at the same time.
and a blue sweet treat is pretty good from a blue plate. Blue shoes are cool when you are holding the hand of a tot in pink!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Profusion of Pink

In the pink!!

My eldest granddaughter and I were having a conversation last week about colours,

"What's your favorite colour SallyNan?" she asked, and I replied

" Uumm, I think I would have to say green, and what is your favorite colour Esmae?"

Her answer...emphasized with a hop on each foot


Especially pink ponies!

A pink place for the bees to buzz out of

and a plate of pink sweets .

Pink is in....definitely!

Monday, November 26, 2007

And the winner is........

I wrote all your names on yellow post it notes, folded them twice and put them all into a large tea cosy ( I couldn't find a suitable hat) . I then asked Ian to put his hand in and draw out a name, which he did with a flourish, and .......

The winner is Gillybean!

Congratulations to you Gillybean. Please email me your postal address and then I can send these on to you.
Now for a
little more patchwork
and I couldn't resist cutting some more floral squares for a simple 12 patch.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Shades of white and green

This is what I saw through my bathroom window when I was taking a shower this morning. The morning was sunny and warm and I was thinking how nice it was to see white and green together, and also thinking that it was the first day in quite a while that I haven't had to take a pain killer for my tooth as soon as I woke.All this green and white, and pain free mouth reminded me that I haven't played with any fabrics in a while and I felt compelled today to get busy with my cutter

Thank you for all your responses to my fishing contest on Monday..I shall draw the name this coming Monday , so it is not too late to be in.

I checked the settings again for the blog and everything looks good Tamsin, if you are reading this, then darling I have to say....maybe it could be something you are doing or not doing?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Catching Fish

One of my daughters told me at the weekend that she is not able to leave a comment on my blog...her comment is never published and she is wondering why , and maybe there is something wrong with the format etc on my setting up page.

So I have come up with a plan. Maybe there are lots of crafty knitters, quilters, spinners and even weavers out there who are having similar difficulties leaving a comment. Now because blogs are supposed to be interactive, I thought I would throw out a line (challenge) and see if I could catch some fish (comments).

You all know how much I love sweet peas, well I have half a metre of sweet pea fabric and half a metre of NZ fabric (paua shells) to give away .

If you post a comment (if you are not able to post a comment then send me an address is on my profile) on this post, then after one week I shall put all the names in a hat and draw the winner. Simple as that, and good luck!

Here are the fabrics.... enough to make bags, purses, patchwork or anything at all.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Laid Up

Having lived as a dairy farmer's wife for many, many years, I have often heard some strange and funny expressions, that I have supposed to be strictly for the farmers.
When recovering from the flu, or any other ailment that might have you scurrying to your bed, then a phone call from a friendly neighbour with the words.." so how long are you going to be laid up?" would invariably send me into fits of giggles, as I would have a mental image of being tied to the bed as if in bondage!

Anyway the last few days I have been " laid up" after having had a nasty tooth extraction on Monday afternoon.........urrrgh.I won't give you the gory details suffice to say I hope like mad I never have to have another tooth pulled( "pulled" being the gentle word to use, rather than wrenched and crunched and extracted in fragments).

Today I haven't felt like doing any of my normal chores and have spent some quiet time making this, after I had read Melissa's post this morning.

I like to make a different Christmas decoration each year and this little bird will be perfect and good to go with a gift of Christmas shortbread or truffles, though having just been given a lovely recipe for biscotti with delicious fruits and nuts, I might make that this year instead.

When I was in Wellington on Saturday I had the opportunity to visit NZ Quilter in Kilbirnie, it was just a walk away from the wonderful Maranui Cafe and I was only there for a few minutes (because they were about to close) but managed to find the latest Kumiko Sudo book "Wagashi".

It is filled with beautiful handsewn gifts to make like these. The folded fabric balls have little bells inside, and most of the gifts only take an evening or a couple of hours to make from start to finish.
I have all of Kumiko's books and I am mad about her work. Her books are full of treasures that I want to make and the fabrics she uses are delicious.