Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

Weekend in Auckland

We have just spent a pleasant weekend with our young ones in Auckland. The weather was warm and bright. We had visits to the Auckland Museum where we each wanted to see different things so split up and did a floor each.
 I took photos of these things I liked.
 Wow what a colour that glaze is.
 This Giant Ammonite is 145 million years old. An amateur palaeontologist found it at Taharoa (  South of Kawhia ) on the West Coast of the North Island in 1977. It took 3 days to dig out and a year to glue back together. It weighs 800 kilos! 

 Children had drawn these butterflies with felt pen on acetate and displayed with the light behind them made a stained glass window. I later saw a bird one.
 The daffodils were out in Cornwall Park when we walked around One Tree Hill.
 This display had polyanthus,  primulas , cinererias below the magnolia stellatas.
We walked passed this  meeting of owners of Newfoundland dogs ! 
 There were 10 or 12.
 The bays along the Waitemata Harbour were picturesque.

 Volcanic Browns Island( Motukorea )


 Finally I don't think I have ever had a more interestingly displayed breakfast as this. The Nest at L'Oeuf Cafe ( Mt Albert ) 
 2 soft boiled eggs crusted with sunflower seed in a spun filo nest on a bed of beetroot ketchup feta and mesclun. ( with an avocado side. ) Always like to try avos when on a menu. The coffee was good too.
 The others had meals called The Hunter and the Architect.

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Mix of Both.

A mix of both good and bad things have happened in the last week. I guess that's a balanced life. The bad things were I had to go to another funeral. Many of my quilting friends who are just slightly older than me have had husbands die recently. 

That same day,Friday the weather deteriorated and by evening the rain was torrential. The neighbours, who live out by our front gate rang to say their house was flooding as the culvert under our entrance was blocked. R raced out with the truck to shine the lights on  the problem. The younger guy from next door was down in the drain trying to clear a large rock( see photo )  that had been washed into the pipe.He had to stand down in the drain and had water rushing to fill up the gap as quickly as he cleared it. Meanwhile the water washed across our drive and edging bed, down the bank, across the concrete and into next door's garage.  After about 10 minutes a large rock was extracted and the water got away.
 R is away with the truck now getting metal to repair our driveway /entrance. 
 Next door had to water blast their concrete and the carpet is wet about a foot in from the doorway.
 This all happened because the drain at the top of the road was blocked and water poured across the road to our side and was so great in volume it dislodged rocks and washed them down. The County Council pays some other company to look after drains now so we will fix it ourselves rather than wait for anything to happen there.

 The other sad thing that happened was losing the netball to Australia after our Silver Ferns had played so well all last week.

 To balance that some pleasant things happened. We went out for a meal on Thursday night to the Post Bank Restaurant at the Mt.  A friend had given me a voucher for a meal  there, back when I had my Birthday in June and it was still unused and soon to expire. We went here .
 The walls are lined with books ( an easy way to decorate I guess ). It did use to be a Post Bank. The menus come in a stamped envelope and many old artefacts are displayed.
 We both enjoyed our meals . Mine started with a drink called " The Wind in the Willows." R had a Bloody Mary.

 We are back to lovely warming sun today. Every fine afternoon I have been working in the kiwifruit vines listening to National radio with Jesse Mulligan . I really enjoy the programme.
 Over the week end I did 2 stints in the garden. Bright Spring flowers are encouraging signs that Winter will soon be over. I picked the first 2 small vases of Freesias. That scent is divine! 
 There are now daffodils .

And Magnolias Campbelli . ( Charles Raffill )
Magnolia Stelata King Rose  Stellata below.
 And Pieris.

 The area with the most activity was this Rosemary patch.
 It was abuzz with bees.

 Even a large Bumble bee. It decided to fly as I was taking the photo.

 Meanwhile inside there has been more knitting and I have been working on  my next  Felt Embroidered ball # 26 - for a very special little person arriving soon. (photos about that in the next few posts. )

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Matching Beanie and Remembering.

 Now there is a matching beanie for the wee jersey in the previous post.

 I have also finished the binding on my Fabricated Flowers quilt. ( I think that is what I will name it ) No label yet. It is too long for the clothes line where I tried to photograph it( - it dragged on the ground), so I will not show it till I can get a full length photo I like.

*******
Today, the 9th of August I thought I should remember that my late Dad, Jack was born on this day 100 years ago.
 His real name was Walter John, but was always called Jack as his Dad was Walter.
 He died at the age of 84, on the 2nd of December, 1999. The small photo shows him with me on his knee, in the garden  at our home in Tutaenui,( 8 miles from Marton ) where we lived.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Knitting and Sewing Binding.

The Little striped jersey from Debbie Bliss's book Ecobaby turned out really well. The pattern was for cotton but I used  NZ merino wool for the darker stripe and Merino/ Alpaca/ Possum for the other.
 The back. It is in the 9 - 12 month size. At the bottom it is a garter stitch band with splits at the side rather than ribbing.

Last Thursday I got my quilt back from being custom quilted by Sandra at Wise Owl Quilting.
 I am now sewing down the binding. I have got it attached almost all the way round and have passed half way with the hand stitching. You will see I decided to use multi fabric strips of several of the fabrics that were used in the flowers and leaves. It looks just right, so good choice. Moving from fabric to fabric makes me think I am making really rapid progress. It also means I am not favouring any one fabric or colour.
 The quilting along the borders is a continuous twisting vine which fits with theme of the quilt.
 This quilt was started at Symposium in Taupo so it will be good to have it finished. For those of you who have made this pattern you will see I did not do the very busy outside borders but opted for the plain white.
 *******
 My little lemon tree that grows in the flower border is doing well and has lots of ripe lemons.

 This Japonica called Allison given to me many years ago by my late MIL because of it's name is looking bright .
Hellebores ( or Winter roses ) have always been a favourite of mine such pretty faces. Here they are flowering in between Bergenia also with pink flowers.
 In the garden I have been pruning roses and hydrangeas.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Finished Cot Quilt and Knitting.

 Folded up and ready to be stored in the cupboard for just a few weeks. 

 It's raining out side so all I could do at this stage for a photo was say, " Hold this up please." It is straight and square even though it doesn't look it here. Holder has a recovering from surgery  shoulder so I had to be quick. You'll get the idea anyway. I am very pleased with how this went together - no hassles. The quilting is very simple to keep it nice and puffy.
 It is a generous sized cot quilt, for Little Honey when he arrives.
 *****
 My latest knitting I am liking, it's soft and cuddly. It is a Debbie Bliss pattern from the her book Ecobaby. ( hers made in cotton mine in Merino wool.)
 The darker grey is Waikiwi 55% Merino; 20 % nylon; 15% alpaca; 10% possum. The lighter shade is Baby Natural 100% NZ wool merino - rare breeds Arapawa fleece.
 Knitted on 3.25 and 3mm needles. 4 ply.
 It has a garter stitch inset at the neck which folds over as a collar and little garter stitch edging that makes a split at the bottom edge when sewn up. I've knitted the 9 -12 month size.
 Tonight I will start the sleeves.

 Till then though as it is raining I need to spend all day in the office. Doing accounts; sorting; filing ;tidying - discarding - plenty of scope.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Maybe Spring is not Far Away?

2 beautiful, clear blue sky days. Yesterday I had to be inside at a meeting but today I both sat and sewed in the sun for half an hour and also walked in the sun. Quite a privilege.
 I just spotted that the new Daphne I got with a gift voucher from my young ones is going to flower, even though it is quite tiny.
 Also happy soaking up the sun are some wee violas friends arrived with last week. I planted them out where they would get nearly full sun to give them the best chance.Cute faces!
***
 The Quilting is done and this means......
 The binding is half sewn on. I need hand stitching to take with me to P & Q tomorrow so I put half the binding on. The rest is cut ready.
 While sitting in the sun I hand stitched down a trial corner to see how I liked it. I do.

 This wee cardigan and beanie got finished. I like it too and it's lovely and soft.
 I have now started a Debbie Bliss striped jersey in a bigger size.