Friday, July 31, 2009

A pink pear pincushion

Add Image Another pear pincushion. I like this design by Heather Bailey.
As well as having room for lots of pins it serves as a needlecase too. The leaves at the top of the pear are felted and plenty thick enough for several needles.
Coming into Spring makes me feel more energetic. I am wanting to spend more time outside in the garden, and going for long walks by the river or the beach. I am in a hurry to finish projects that have been hanging around far too long, so that I can start new ones.

I want to eat lots of healthy green food in stir fries and salads, drink more water and breathe all the delicious smells that are coming into the garden,
and delphiniums....lots and lots of delphiniums, sweet peas, and hollyhocks and larkspur this year...I can hardly wait !

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Seeds and Cuttings and a Pear

This is why I have been a bit quiet on the blogging front lately.

I have been pulling old buxus and lavender bushes out of my garden and taking cuttings from them to make new edges on the front garden beds.

Oh, and planting seeds too, in recycled egg boxes that I can dig straight into the vege patch when the seedlings have grown.

I have been pruning roses and digging in lots and lots of mulch and compost to be well prepared for the spring. Daffodils are starting to appear and I am enveloped by the wonderful perfume of the daphne bush every time I go outside.

Yes, it has been quite an eventful week really, starting with waking up very late last Sunday morning down the Sounds, throwing open the curtains to this view.
Very " Mists of Avalon" I thought, but later the mist lifted and this duo of black swans swam into the picture.
A magical morning.

I have also been cutting fat quarters for a craft stall that our Creative Fibre friends are having soon and I decided to make a pear pincushion from a Heather Bailey design.

This was a bit fiddly to make, but I can't wait to make more in different colour combinations.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


It's raining cats and dogs today.

I awoke this morning to thunder, lightning and flooding in our front paddock, and the knowledge that I didn't have to be anywhere today, except here at home.

Blissful...I disappeared for an hour or more at my loom and finished this.

I think I will use it as a table runner. It was hard to capture the colours on my camera with the kitchen lights on and rainy gloom outside, but I can describe it as seagreen. I used white crochet cotton for the warp and a mix of handspun, hand dyed yarns and some silk for the weft.
We have had a lot of news and music of Michael Jackson recently on the radio, as I expect there has been all over the radio stations everywhere. I am not a huge fan but I do like this song and I heard it today and felt is good.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The day after

Last night's concert was a sell out and went really well. Everyone was happy, and it was a night to remember....phew, all those long rehearsals paid off in the end.

The day after a concert usually starts with a big "sleep in " and today was no exception.
When I finally dragged my lazy self out of bed, the sun had already been up for an hour or so and when I found these delights in the garden waiting to have their pictures taken....I was happy to oblige.

I found this book in the library last week.
Written by Birthe Koustrup, a Danish woman born in 1917, and published six times, the latest in 2004.
It is very beautiful with Birthe's exquisite botannical paintings on alternate pages and decorative motifs using the same plants on the other pages. She has drawn and painted plants from her garden and her walks in the countryside and gives interesting snippets of information about each speciman, and encouragement on drawing and design.

This is one book I do not want to take back to the library.
I think I will have to see if I can procure a copy for myself.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Grey tones

I am looking out my window this morning, it is grey outside and raining. The fire has gone out in the kitchen and I am feeling fed-up...well, a bit uptight if the truth is told.
I am tired, my shoulders are tense and I have a large red sore patch on my neck where my violin has been resting.

I have just watched a gigantic red removal truck carefully ascending the narrow, steep driveway of my neighbours and realise that they must have finally sold their house. It is not a nice day to be packing and relocating. They have lived there for about fifteen years will be quite a change for them to move into town.

Two more rehearsals until the concert and I shall be glad when Sunday is here. Last night I looked at the faces of all my friends in the orchestra, musicians I have played with for many years and thought that everyone looked tired and tense. No one looked as if they were enjoying it immensely. I hope it will be different tonight.
I am very glad that I am not in a professional orchestra although the pay might be quite nice !

I am weary of playing the difficult passages over and over.

Time for a tea break and some knitting of cables I think.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Meeting for Music

Our town is having a Winter Festival right now. Two weeks of shows, productions and concerts every night. There are lots of gigs to choose from and it pays to book early in case of missing something really memorable.

Our orchestra (N.S.O.)is performing this Saturday night. We have been rehearsing for several weeks now and the next three days are going to be intense with practising every spare moment and rehearsals with our conductor every night and Sat. morning.

We are playing Schubert's Unfinished Symphony and Dvorak's Cello Concerto and it is stirring music indeed.

The music seems to get right inside me. I fall asleep each night with it playing relentlessly in my head, and I hear the other voices of the clarinet entry and the flute, then the horns and the lower strings. It is quite strange the way this happens because I know that when the concert is over and we start rehearsing for the next one then this music will be forgotten and the new one will take over, and then several months later, I might be driving along in the car and hear some music on the radio and think " oh, we've played that ...what is it ?? "
At the moment though I am having a big love affair with this music.

I sleep fitfully the week prior to a concert and try to have a little rest in the afternoons so I can be alert for the evening rehearsal.
I might do some more work on this.

I want to start panel four, and it will be complicated enough to dispel the music in my head and replace it with "slip 2 to the back, purl three"....and so on.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mittens for Mum

My Mum gets around in a battery-operated wheelchair. She loves the independence and the freedom of being able to leave the rest home where she lives, and take herself down to her favourite cafe for her cappuchino and cake.
She also makes regular excursions to the local supermarket to buy treats for herself and the other residents ( or inmates, as Mum likes to call them !).
She is partially paralysed but can still use her right hand to stop and start her chair, and this hand and the one resting in her lap have certainly noticed the colder temps. that we have been having.

I thought some warm mittens might do the trick, and knitted these with some wool that I bought from a friend who is about to embark on selling kits for mittens and socks using hand dyed possum/merino wool.

The idea with this super fine, very soft yarn is to felt the mittens once they are knitted.

I felted these using a mild wool wash and dunking them in the bathroom basin with hot water and gentle rubbing. I was a little bit cautious because I didn't want them to shrink too much and then not fit...they could probably do with a bit more felting but I will see what Mum thinks.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Do you ever wish you were a child again ?
I do ( just sometimes) when I remember what it felt like to be on the unbalanced end of the see saw, to feel the little thrill in your tummy when you bounce down rather hard and you fly up in the air before landing back down in the seat with a bang.
Yesterday, whilst playing with my grandchildren, I wished I could become small again like Alice in Wonderland.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Getting ready for Spring

We have had a week at Mount Maunganui ...a wonderful, relaxing time away. Lots of knitting was done in the back of a car by me whilst looking at the rainy, sodden landscapes as we whizzed past on our way to Whakatane, or TeAwamutu.
I needed some colour and hand stitching to do in the evenings and found some lovely KF fabrics on our travels through the little towns.
It rained most of the time we were there, except for one perfectly glorious day (that made up for all the others) when we climbed to the top of the Mount.

When I came home I was desperate to spend time in the garden. It has been sadly neglected over the last two months and the amount that needs to be done is just a little bit overwhelming.

I made a start yesterday...replanting the strawberry bed, mulching them in with some leafy compost and fertiliser.

Today I am going to plant some stocks, poppies, polyanthus and put in the broad beans and a few sweet peas, and prepare a patch for some early potatoes.

Today I feel as if Spring is just a "sniff" away.