Monday, March 31, 2008

Peter and the Wolf

I play the violin in our local Symphony Orchestra, and on Saturday along with the Youth Theatre we performed three shows of the wonderful classic Peter and the Wolf. This link is the clay animation version on youtube.I wish I could bring you our performance on youtube, but it's not available yet :)
This was such fun to do and the little tunes have been playing in my head for the last month or so....very catchy.
Ian took some of our grandaughters and our little Eve, who stayed for the weekend keeps talking about the "Big Bad Wolf !"
The puppets were very lifelike and manipulated on the stage by the puppeteers from the youth theatre (who were dressed from head to toe in black, so were barely noticed when the show was on) with the clever lighting.

Each show was packed full and it was wonderful to see the faces of the children as they were watching and listening...magic!

A friend who has played with me in the orchestra for many years, brought these to rehearsal the other night. She had found them at a car boot sale and knew they would be filled with treasure for me!

I am certainly thinking about making a pair of the mittens...just don't know when it will be, maybe when we visit Norway in June, it might be nice to have a pair on the needles.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Packaged and Posted

It feels very good to send these away.This month of March I had redoubled my hours of working on Alexander's blanket and Melissa's Arisaig and I was in a fever to finish!

Something that I have discovered this month about myself, is that as soon as I set myself a time limit to finish a project, then the actual process becomes devoid of the same enjoyment that I was experiencing before the self imposed time limit. Interesting, I am thinking. There have been quilts and shawls and jackets (big projects) that I have made over the years, and without a time limit, I work on them when I feel like it, sometimes, as was the case with my anniversary quilt , I feel a little bereft when the work finally comes to a completion.

However in this case, I am very happy to be finished and sending them off and hope that the recipients will be happy!

I am having a great day today thinking about all the other things I have queued up and before I tackle something big, I might just have a little break and knit something for fun , like this,

a little brown monkey from the book "Toys to Knit" by Tracey Chapman.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Crossing over to Autumn

We have just had the most beautiful Easter weekend, weather wise, that I can remember. Brilliant sunshine and hot days, warm enough to still swim in the rivers and the sea. I didn't swim, but I did spend some time in the garden and planted the brassicas for the autumn, and some bulbs for the spring.
I brought some hyacinth bulbs inside, so I can watch the changes that take place.

I always enjoy the process of seeing the tiny green shoots appearing, and watching them grow into large flowers that, last year, needed a couple of my knitting needles to support their stems, the flowers were so heavy and fragrant.

I love the movement of the seasons, and the treats in store that each month brings. Our walnut tree is not quite ready to drop it's treasure, but when it does, I know the feijoas will not be far behind.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Endings and Beginnings

This is definitely a week for for the start and finish line.

I have finished Alexander's woven blanket and I like it so much that I am going to make another one just the same.....grhhh. I don't REALLY want to because this one was a bit of a mission to make and was a teeny wee bit boring in the end to do, BUT having said that, it does look absolutely perfect on my sofa. Of course it goes so well with the one I wove on the other sofa!

I washed Alexander's blanket in a special merino woolwash and hung it out on this gorgeous Autumn morning
It is now incredibly soft . I wish you could all have a feel of how soft it is, perfect to wrap yourself into on a cold winter's night!.The yarns I always use for these blankets are Touch Yarns and they are truly luxurious yarns. It is Alexander's birthday on April 1st, and I have toyed with the idea of sending something else in it's place and writing a birthday message of "Ha April Fool!!"
No, I couldn't be that mean, :)
So, I am about to visit the shop where I buy these yarns and ( sigh) start the process all over again.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Tail End

Yesterday in the late afternoon we were driving on the Whangamoa Saddle. Ian was carefully
negotiating the sharp bends and curvy corners, because as well as the two dogs, we had Uncle Alan sitting in the back, and didn't want him to feel carsick. On this rather ordinary afternoon , in the car , being driven along I had a Eureka moment. Finally, after two and a half years I put the last stitch in the Arisaig cardigan. Oh it was such a good feeling! It was actually quite amazing that I could knit at all, as this is a very winding road ( my father used to call it The Long and Winding Road), but that will show you and anyone who knows the Whangamoas, that I was truly desperate to finish!

I only have this to knit now and then it will be ready to sew together.This tie has to be 80 inches long and then I shall knit another of 18 inches. They will be the ties that make it into the wrap.
Ta Dah !!! More pics before the sewing up

Friday, March 14, 2008

Four Things

I have been tagged by Pebbledash to do a four thing meme, so without too much preamble, here goes:

Four Movies I'd Watch again
As it is in Heaven
Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensability
The Red Violin

Four Places I've Lived
Sandwich, Kent UK
Cowden, Kent UK
Wakatu, Stoke, Nelson
Wakapuaka, Nelson

Four TV shows I watch
Sunday Masterpiece Theatre
TV One News
Doc Martin
60 Minutes

Four Places I've Been
Florence, Italy
Loumarin, France
Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Limerick, Ireland

Four People I email
These are all my children, except Tristan who doesn't have a computer
I email friends of course, and family overseas.

Four Things I Love to eat
Cheese and crackers
Raspberries and Strawberries

Four Places I'd Rather Be
Moenui Bay, Marlborough Sounds, NZ
Edinburgh, Scotland
Keri Keri, Bay of Islands, NZ
San Gimignano,Italy

Four Things to look Forward To
Our trip to Norway to visit Melissa and Tom and the children in June
My Mum's eightieth birthday on the 1st November ( a huge milestone for her, having survived massive brain surgery thirty years ago)
The day I put the last stitch in the Arisaig !!!! ( See previous posts)
A wool embroidery and applique workshop I am going to in April with friends, staying at Moenui.

Four People to Tap
Miss Flossy

So there you have it...I have left out forty or four hundred other "things", and when I read it back to myself, I thought it sounded quite boring...truthful, but boring!

Yesterday I made a new friend. A fellow quilter from Chicago. We spent the whole day together and talked non-stop, Mary Jo is definitely my kindred spirit. I took her to visit the local quilt shops and we found ourselves at The Quilters Barn in Blenheim for afternoon tea..I had to snap this

as I am so "into all things Kaffe Fassett " right now. It was hanging on display in the shop as they are in the middle of a class teaching the Kaffe Fassett technique which is all about colour, colour and more colour. They are going to be stocking a rather large range of his fabrics next month., but at the moment for the current class, students are using what they have in their own stashes of fabric.

I don't know why I love his style so much.The quilts that I have made using these bright and bold prints are ones that I give away each time, because I live in an old, newly renovated farmhouse and even though I have a lot of colour in the house, I know that the finished quilts don't really suit my style of interior design, but I am so drawn to the fabrics especially the large florals.I guess if the quilts could just hang around in my garden all year, they would be very comfortable there. Meanwhile I am just enjoying this rather obsessive phase with KF.

Thank you Mary Jo for a very memorable day.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Elegant Giraffe

I have just spent a very busy two days in the capital with my eldest granddaughter and my youngest daughter .

Our first visit was to TePapa where there was so much to see of our natural world here in New Zealand. Lots of animals, birds, insects and fossils. I am not sure how much Esmae took in of it all, at times she was a little overwhelmed by the hugeness of some of the displays, and sometimes she was quite hard to keep up with, as in running from one display to the next and becoming lost for a few seconds amongst the groups of school children!
There was a couple of levels that we didn't see....the art and sculpture. I think another visit one day on my own to browse through would be lovely.

We spent a lot of time on the buses, which E and I enjoyed immensely, as we don't use the bus service here in our home town at all.

The next day we spent some time at Wellington Zoo.

These beautiful creatures were definitely our favorite .

It was great to see all these special animals, but it made us feel very sad when we saw how confined they all were, and I had forgotten how much I dislike zoos.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mystical and magical

My eldest granddaughter loves unicorns and on Sunday she will be six years old.

What a delightful age this is, when you are six and the belief in unicorns is strong, when fairies live at the bottom of the garden and toadstools are magical habitats for elves.

Being the eldest granddaughter E gets to be the first to have special treats with her grandmother, and tomorrow we are off on a plane trip to Wellington, to stay the night in a posh hotel and to visit Aunty Sarah and have other adventures. I wish it was a magic carpet we were flying instead of a plane, but I am sure our imaginations will give us the same thrill.

E will be arriving any minute and I am in a state of huge excitement, her mummy is taking her out of school and coming with her two sisters, and I have baked some scones in readiness.

They are the very easy ones that are made with 4 cups of self raising flour, 300 mls of cream and a small can of lemonade. I didn't have any dates so I had to make do with some cranberries and raz cherries, but they are equally good with cheese, if you wanted a savoury scone mix. Bake at 200 for about 20 mins and there you have it.

I love a trip to Wellington and it will bring back memories of E's first couple of years there, when both her parents were at university and coping with study, classes, and a rather gorgeous infant with huge blue eyes

I didn't have a very good camera in those days, but even with a dodgy digital she is still very cute.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Spinning the wheel around

I have been spinning some beautiful hand dyed fibres this week from Ewe Give Me The Knits.

This wool on the bobbin is a mixture of merino and bamboo and is super soft, just beautiful to spin. I haven't been able to leave it alone, and plan on plying these two bobbins together sometime tomorrow, they just need to sit comfortably tonight to relax the fibres.

This is some merino that has made a very soft yarn , washed and ready to go

Uuumm, something snuggly for a baby I think, don't you?

These roses are latecomers now that we are into March, but they still make a very pretty picture and smell heavenly

Thank you all so much for your thoughts and comments on my birthday, I have had a really lovely week and am enjoying this stage in my life very much.