Thursday, February 28, 2008

More, And Now

It is my birthday today and I am spending it doing all my favorite things.

More of this doodling, yes, I have found that others do it too, and there is even a book written about it, it is called doodle stitching.

A favorite poem to share by Lauris Edmond
Wellington Letter

More and more she cries, at two years
old, and more again- more plums more
trees more nests and eggs ( and squawking
hens) more pips and melons dribbling
from more lips, more dancing on the roof
more night more day, sun splintering
through cracks of early morning doors,
more floors more bare feet curling on
their woody sheen, more arms and elbows
toes, and breasts, more white and smooth
more round and small, more slips of grassy tips and petal shine, more
gold and black and rosy, smell of feathers
warm,wet,more scrape of gravel, kiss
of dust, more soft sour sharp-sweet,
more shooting stars more midnights,
milk and apples, mountains, cats' meows
and mornings - more, she says. And now.

I do believe that even though I have turned fifty two today, I am still very much the two year old in this loved poem. The "smell of feathers" reminds me of a dear little blue budgie I had as a pet when I was a young girl. His name was Nickie, and he would perch on my finger and allow me to kiss him, and I would breathe in deeply the smell of his warm feathered little body. Delicious.

I have had some birthday surprises already in the post, look at this from Melissa

A beautiful cushion made by her own fair hands, wool felted and a really lovely linen backing.


The most gorgeous belt ever seen in this hemisphere!

From Noa Noa in Norway, and it fits perfectly!

From myself, from purl .This arrived in my letterbox today ( perfect timing) and I have put the skeins in different rooms of the house to see if I can photograph the true colours..I can't.

This photo was taken in the bathroom and what looks like blue is a really deep inky purple.

They are for the Babette blanket I am making,

More to come in the next post.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Playing around with fabrics and threads is always a good stress buster, and I have been rushing through the last couple of weeks, feeling a little like Alice, running after The White Rabbit.

Today I stole some time ( when I should, no could, have been working on a hundred other work related things) to play with this:

some KF scraps left over from A Summer Sea and a few embroidery threads.

After this little piece is completed I am going to be on the lookout for some paisley fabrics. It might be fun to embellish the paisley prints in the same way.

To make it easier to work on I stabilised the fabric with some fine "iron on lawn interfacing". As you can see I didn't have very long to work on it, but it was fun to play for a while and to stop rushing about.

I plied my two full bobbins of the green romney fibre and it made a skein big enough to knit a couple of pairs of fingerless mitts, or maybe a hat for the winter like this one .
I started on the other sleeve for Melissa's Arisaig at the weekend.
I am so tired of this particular project, and when it is finally finished then I shall expect her to wear it every day for at least three months , yep, that should be enough I think. After that she can do what she likes with it. No, a better idea would be to keep it for Keira as an heirloom!!! Only kidding Melissa...don't worry. I just hope it will fit and that you will like it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I had a little wander around the garden this evening to pick some fruit, and the light was so good I decided to take along my camera,

First I made dinner with these. It seems a shame to chop them up as they make such a colourful still life .

We had creamy fettucine with zucchini and mushrooms,

Then some juicy sweet plums for dessert.

I took a bite of a red delicious to see how crunchy it could be

The pears are not quite ready. These poor trees don't get much TLC from us, we don't spray, and the best we do for them is an occasional pruning and some hen poo.

A lemon from the lemonade tree .

This bourgainvillia has just come into flower above our porch. Every year it starts to flower earlier and earlier. A few years ago it flowered over Easter, and the fantails loved to perch in it's branches looking for lazy flies, and the flowers were still dropping as I bought in wood for the winter fire.

I think this is echinachea. It flowers every year and I adore it and so do the bees.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Amongst the Stars

A magical night to remember amongst the stars. A starlit sky, and celebrity stars to marvel at and enjoy their wonderful talents.

That was my evening yesterday. Our little town hosted Opera in the Park with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa , along with Jonathan Lemalu, Simon O'Neill, Helen Medlyn and Wellington's Vector Orchestra, together with singers from Auckland's Opera Factory.

The concert was sublime, and it was a night that I will never forget.

The day had been cold and cloudy with promises of rain, but when the huge audience arrived at Trafalgar Park, laden down with picnic stuff, warm jackets and raincoats, umbrellas, and chairs, the clouds cleared and the sun broke through.

My friends and I had a "while we were waiting for the concert to start" picnic. It was delicious, we don't believe in denying ourselves anything, and we had the lot..... smoked salmon, special cheese, pickled figs, baguettes, crackers, chocolate, grapes and nectarines, smoked chicken and brie cheese puffs and lots of other goodies, followed by Lesley's beautiful fruit cake. I shall beg her for the recipe and include it in a future post!

That's Lesley in the front, Bronwyn in the red jacket, me (with the glasses)behind Lesley and Jackie and Maria. These are the girls I hang out with every Monday night, we sew quilts, knit, crochet, embroider and sometimes we talk more than doing any of the former!

Jackie is especially very talented and is a stained glass artist. Nelson has a local flea market every Saturday morning, and Dame Kiri Te Kawana called at Jackie's stall yesterday morning, wanting to buy one of Jackie's necklaces, a beautiful glass koru design. Jackie's staff member told her that she was to have it as a gift from Jackie ( J wasn't there, she had hurried away to buy some warm socks as she was so cold, so missed this friendly exchange).

This is a local group called Cairde, they sing Celtic songs and folk music. They entertained us whilst we waited for the main event.
I wasn't able to photo the star performers because the compere asked specifically for no cameras.

We all thought it was great to have the legendary Kiri Te Kawana browsing around our local market. When she arrived on stage at the start of the concert, she appeared very warm and friendly and down to earth...not like a great diva at all, and she had some lovely words to say at the end about Nelson, along with singing Pokarekare Ana. You could hear a collective sigh from the crowd as she sang the first few notes of this, her voice is like molten gold. I have heard her before on CD's and TV of course, but have never seen and heard her live before and wow, what a voice!
All this and more for $15.00 .

We were treated to a magnificent firework display at the end of the evening to cap it all off.


Friday, February 15, 2008

A Friendly Tui

Look at this lovely little friend who decided to perch outside the kitchen window at lunchtime, he is perched on Arlo's little bike.

Clare ( Arlo and Keira's other grandmother ) comes on Friday mornings to help me with the garden and we both felt very privileged to see such a happy little fellow so close to us. He was probably a very inquisitive fledgling out and about on his big adventure.
You can hear a tui's song here.

This is Clare and Billie working in the garden. We have just received some much needed rain, and the plants soak up Clare's loving attention, as does Billie.

My first sewn up block on Babettes's blanket. Lots more to do though :-)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Queen of Diamonds

I have been busy over the last few days cutting diamonds from some "hot" fabrics that have been lingering about in my stash for far too long. Time to give them some action I thought. I intend to piece them together for a "Hot Diamond Quilt". The design and pattern is to be found in Kaffe's book "Kaleidoscope of Quilts".

I love these fabrics with their bright and bold flowers of zinnias, hollyhocks, geraniums, pansies and poppies, and the colours are delicious, but for the last couple of years they have languished in my fabric cupboard until the other day when these "real" flowers arrived and the inspiration for the quilt came too.

I have had a lot of fun cutting,and then running to the spare room to place on the bed. I haven't completely decided on the arrangement yet, and because most of the fabrics I had were fat quarters and I needed larger amounts to make a complete row of diamonds, I have had to play around with the colours to achieve the look I am after.

I made a start on Babette's Blanket ( see 2 posts ago), a very small start, but here it is:

This blanket requires well over a hundred squares of differing sizes and when it is finished it will look just like patchwork, which is very pleasing because as everyone in my family knows, I am slightly obsessed with patchwork. :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

On the Summer Sea

Today I awoke to birdsong in the native bush outside the window. The tide was in and the sea and sun were beckoning. It was too hard to resist and we decided to take our wee boat out .

I rather fancied our chances of catching a schnapper. While I was still in bed having my first cup of tea , my eyes were fixed on a little red boat out on the sea that seemed to have lots of seagulls flying around it. The boat was anchored in a spot that 40 years ago ( yep, I did say 40 !!) was renowned for lots of schnapper. My father and I used to row out there and catch all we wanted in fifteen minutes flat. Sadly, those days are long gone and it is not often that I go out fishing any more, but today was the day.

It was fun being out there on the water, even though the boat's engine ( yeah, it's also about 40 yrs old, along with the boat), kept threatening to putter out and I thought we would be using the oars to get us back.

We did get quite close to that red boat though, and watched them catch a stingray ( which they quickly unhooked, thankfully, and it was able to swim away)

Here they are unhooking the poor stingray.

This is us bobbing about. See the sandwich that Ian is holding, well that was the only bite that we had all morning. No bites on the fishing lines. We were the ones doing all the eating...chicken salad sandwiches, chocolate biscuits and ginger beer...... yum, quite a feast really.

Of course my "Arisaig" knitting decided to come along for the ride. Ian thought that it had probably put the fish off.

But I didn't mind, it was more fun out on the water knitting, than fishing.

Thank you all for your kind and generous comments on the last post. That quilt was so much fun to make...the squares are cut 5 1/2 inches and I quilted tram lines in a grid on the squares, and quilted wavy lines on the borders. I used "warm and natural" cotton batting in the middle .

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Summer Sea

Blues and greens of a summer sea.
Still reflections in a bright acquamarine swimming pool.
Shadowy olive greens of a local river picnic spot.
An icy frosted glass of lemonade.
The water lilies, with the goldfish darting in and out of the weeds in the pond at Moenui.
These things are what I thought about when making this quilt.
It was fast and easy and the fabrics came to life very simply in squares.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Take Two

Take two biscuits fresh out of the oven, make a fresh pot of tea and put this music on as loud as you you like.

I had such a lovely weekend, and thank you all so much for your kind comments.

It was made extra special by a surprise package from Caireen. She sent some of her beautiful cards

and envelopes, some delicious fudge and embroidery wool and a CD by Rachel Unthank. I LOVE this music and because of listening so intently to her lovely lyrics and harmonies I was able to finish the quilting on my aqua quilt. I sew much faster when I am humming along to great music. I have just the binding to sew on now so I should have a picture of that coming up in the next few days.

I am speeding along with Melissa's Arisaig wraparound. I have finished the two fronts and back and am working on the sleeve now.I really want to have this finished in a month because I intend to knit the sleeveless vest " Twist" for Tom, and the " Cobblestone Pullover" for Tristan before winter . I was lucky to find the wool for Tristan's jumper at half price.It is a lovely dark grey with flecks and I can't wait to get started.
I have sent away for Tom's wool. It is knitted in Rowan Summer Tweed and the patterns for both are in the Interweave Knits Fall 2007.

Then I would like to make the Tangled Yoke Cardigan for me. It is also in the same issue of Interweave Knits. This is such a great knitting magazine isn't it? It is not often that I want to make everything that I see in the one mag.!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Thirty Three Years

I feel quite excited tonight which is a little strange, after all this anniversary has been coming around on the same day in the middle of our Summer now thirty two times. It is always our town's anniversary day as well, which means that everyone living here has a holiday.
We don't even have anything special planned for tomorrow except that Ian won't be working and we shall have a "lazy being together" sort of day all day, with probably some nice edible treats, and maybe a meal out somewhere special.
It seems like such a short time ago that I was walking down the aisle towards him, clutching the arm of my Dad and thinking about the great honeymoon we had planned with such detail, leaving all the wedding plans and fuss and stress to my Mum. I was eighteen and knew absolutely nothing, except that I couldn't bear spending a day without seeing him!!!!
Here we are now thirty three years later and I still feel the same except now I know a little bit more. Actually I do know a whole lot more now than I did then !!

Ian doesn't like this photo but it is the only one I have of us by ourselves on the big day...and hey we can't help the way we looked in the seventies..we were a product of our times.

Ian still has a great head of hair, and there is no grey yet, pretty amazing don't you think for an oldie.

We are looking after our grandchild Eve tonight while her parents are attending a wedding for their friends. I wish for that couple many years of love and friendship, kindness and consideration that I have been very lucky to have had.