Sunday, October 28, 2007

Trip to Calico Christmas Quilt Show.

This is not the post I intended to do next, but as things property wise have been time consuming and moving so slowly, that can wait. Heartfelt Thanks to all of you who sent me messages to ease my "transition of thought" about moving.

As I knew I had paid my money some time ago, to go on our club's bus trip yesterday I worked extra hours to get the 2nd round of Kiwifruit crush tipping finished last week.

Yesterday I got up at sparrow's fart to be at my collection point along the way to join 43 other women hell bent of having a great day out! It was 3 and3/4 hours travel each way as we had a coffee and comfort stop included. That left just over 4 hours to see it all. See what you ask. Calico Christmas is the Auckland Patchwork and Quilters Guild Inc. Annual Show held this time north of Auckland at the Harbour Function Centre at Albany. Just so much to see and not enough time. I realised later I missed one whole floor of display, but went around as much as I could. I think there was nearly 1000 quilts in all the displays and then of course the merchants, were all there; 44 I see when I re read my catalogue this morning. That's a lot of looking and jostling. After lunchtime the crowd thinned for a while and things were easier. Taking photos was really tricky as folk walked in front or knocked my arm so I actually didn't take the usual number. Well how do you decide out of all those quilts. In the end I have some photos of ideas that I might take further or really caught my eye for what ever reason. Many of the quilt displays were in amongst or right beside the shops and that was a bit tricky. ( there is one photo here of the general crowd, no one I know but it shows that girls of all ages were doing the rounds)

The other photos show a 3 panel ( triptych ) hanging by Chizuko Hoy( I think ) of New Zealand Coastal Fish, which were really identifiable. Slice of Heaven - 747 by Marie Harrison shows an imaginative use of tumbling blocks. I'm not sure who made the very simple Japanese style quilt which I loved for it's simplicity, colour use and horizontal and vertical short rows of hand quilting.( I may show some more quilts in a future post )

As well as many nibbles and spot prizes( I won a tube of Frangipani hand cream ) on the bus we had show and tell. Shelley knelt in the aisle and quizzed everyone and held purchases up and some were passed around. We all bought totally different things, nobody had to be thrown off the bus for not buying anything; and the prize went to a lady( not from our club - but a friend and quilter), who bought a new Janome sewing machine and a swift quilter! The sewing machine was not pre meditated . We all laughed when we asked, "How will you break that to your husband?" "Oh I don't have one of those any more, " she said...."But I did just spend some of the money I was saving for a new kitchen!"
I think you can tell this outing did me a power of good. That shot of some lovely purple and black and gold fat quarters are mine along with a couple of magazines and some beads ( a really good buy ) for a gift. We were also delighted to be able to get really lovely reasonably priced food for a quick lunch.
For part of the journey I sat beside an older member of our group who I don't know well at all and we were very compatible and now know lots about each other. Some folk will only sit with friends but I think it is great to move and spend time with different folk, especially some of the quieter ones. I arrived home tired so some of the senior members would have been exhausted I imagine but a good day was had by all. No mishaps of any sort! We were all very mindful of some awful news we had just learnt. The lady who owns my local ( quilt shop ) was on a short holiday with her husband in Paris to see the All Blacks, and she stepped off the metro and collapsed on the platform having had a massive bleed in her brain. After 3 ops she is now in an induced coma to try and keep her head from moving to stop any more bleeds. She is only 40 something. She is getting wonderful care; but so far from home. So ladies try and enjoy every moment you have.( and always take Travel Insurance )

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

In Need of Encouragement.

I really am in need of encouragement to be strong and positive. You see my lovely Copper Beech tree here with it's new delicate leaves; it was the very first tree I planted when we moved here on April 1st 1978. It has grown to be a grand old lady who gives me much pleasure to sit under on my red seat.I look out onto it from the kitchen and dining room. So? Well we have made the big decision that this is the time to sell our property and I know with certainty I won't be taking that lovely tree with me.
Yesterday we spent an hour with the accountant making sure we were aware of all the pitfalls and requirements of selling an orchard and lifestyle property. Tomorrow morning an acquaintance that we trust, who is a real estate person is coming for the 1st round of details photos etc etc.
Reasons for selling: 1. Our age and ability to do all the work. DH has a few raves lately when something challenges him, ending by yelling," I just can't cope with all this s.... anymore." He's 36 you see...maybe I typed that backwards!
2. The NZ dollar is taking all the profit from growing export crops, while prices to do the growing continue to rise.
3. Demands for more and more compliance ( Eurepgap ) rules aren't going to go away. Carbon footprint and food miles are going to get more and more important.( and other places don't get the correct information about that is political and oil is the thing that really counts! ) NZ is too little.
4. We need to go before any more of our savings are eroded and while we are still sufficiently fit to meet some new challenges.
I could go on but I'm sure that you get the idea. It will be a huge change for us. We are in the top 5% for kiwifruit production off our small orchard. We are proud of that, and our fruit keeps very well and tastes good.( Many NZ orchards are small ) But there are economies in scale. Our avocados are quite biennial with their cropping but I love them.
Okay there are some things I will miss, but my garden is too big , especially since I got the quilting bug. I am getting quite mature to be spending hours with my arms in the air working on kiwifruit vines. ( get someone else to do it all.....yes, we would but can't afford to ) This property has a huge area with creeks ( streams ) and bush ( forest ) and tracks that are nice to have but unproductive that need caring for.
Yesterday afternoon I started doing garden maintenance, so the place will look it's best, so I need to fit in a couple of hours every day to get around it all. We have begun crush tipping the kiwifruit vines, 2nd round, and that will continue for a few weeks. This morning I did time doing extra , extra cleaning of bathroom and one toilet and windows so feel like a navy now. ( that will have to be maintaned till we sell ) So for a change of pace I will go and help with the crush tipping.
On my next post I will tell you all about what we have to a real estate advert. You have already seen many photos of the property and garden any way. Oh, I also need to pot up a few garden treasures; like things that came from my late Mum's garden, that I can't leave behind.
Sniff sniff.
It may take a couple of months or a year or ......

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Classes and Demos.

Friday's Hexagon Day went well, though not as we expected. We set all the quilts ( 4 ) and other items out ready on 2 long tables and were waiting for our time in the programme( after the business part of the meeting ); but as ladies arrived they were straight into looking at everything and taking the samples and wanting to get going so it was a bit disorganised. It didn't matter; and when we started our part we were surprised at how many wanted to make a sample. So we divided into 2 groups which worked well as otherwise we were contradicting each other. Anna did some of the steps differently from me ( both valid) and we didn't want to confuse. At 2.45 pm some ladies were still sewing so that was certainly a measure of how they were enjoying it.
In the photo ( got so busy I forgot to take any more ) you can see Val tracing hexagons to use as a pattern for future projects ( you will recognise her Kirsty) and Anna helping someone at the other end. I am now finishing ( while watching TV ) my demonstration hexagons, into another needle case; this one with a pocket( by using a folded hex extra before the backing is sewn down ). Scissors or cotton could be stored in the pocket.( I'll photograph it when finished to show you )
The other photo I took of all the components for another bucket bag. I have been asked to teach that next month and want to make up my own notes to hand out. That photo is to go with the requirements list. Joyce or Welsh Quilter I can give you both credit for the pattern and inspiration, but do either of you know where the pattern originated?
I think I will make this bag up part way to use as a sample. Finish one handle, but keep the other open so they can see where to put the pull through cord. ( so I can demonstrate ) I think I will make the bag body up to the stage just prior to sewing the side seams and the same with the lining. I can also use my finished red one as the completed project. When sewing the side seams did you 2 just angle off the end ? I started sewing at the top of the bag....did you? 2 ways to do this I guess.
Plenty to keep me busy anyway.
We have been making some big decisions around here, with regards to our future; which is both exciting and very unsettling. I will keep you posted as we go along. So some nights I am not sleeping well at brain stays too active! To give you a clue; running a property like ours is a lot of work for not always great return, so changes need to be made. (having birthdays as we all do seems to have something to do with it too......I refuse to say getting old....ooops I just did ! )

Thursday, October 11, 2007

All My Quilted Hexagon Projects.

This evening I have been getting together all my Quilt as you go Hexagon projects, as tomorrow at my P and G group I am doing a hands on demonstration along with Anna the lady who showed me the technique in the first place. She is bringing the things she has made and we have some started kits put together for those who would like them and 3 handouts with things to make and how. ( a bag and hexagons with pieced feature fabric ) ( and how to draw a hexagon using a compass )We will demonstrate and then help those who are interested.

In the photo you can see my 2 quilts folded up; the table mat sets; the decoration which now has a wee bell on the bottom; the needle case and right at the front 2 sets of the 3 components cut out ready - the parts of the needlecase that I will use to demonstrate the placing, pinning, folding and sewing steps.
My Spanish bluebells (and mauvebells ) are all flowering. I have many clumps around the garden.
Thank you all for your support of my rave about lack of women's programmes on TV. We have to make a fuss if it is to change. You were right Anne B I am now going to cheer for Argentina in the Rugby as they are the underdogs. If I watch the next matches at least I won't get het up about who wins so can calmly watch .lol. I was talking to my younger son in London this morning and he had bought tickets for ALL the games ( he a sports nut ). He sold the semi final ones to some English fans for double what he paid as they are now all made keen to see their side play.

Yesterday morning I had another session at the Dentists - the 3rd in the root canal saga -( one big one still to go in a months time ) No rash this time as he didn't wear latex gloves! ( so that's a break through - what a relief to know what was causing the rash)
It cost NZ$605 this time. OMG!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

New Zealand in Mourning.

Both New Zealand and Australia will be in a state of shock at having lost their quarter final Rugby matches. Watching the game I thought we were poorly treated by the refereeing, 2 wrong decisions cost us the match. ( I am allowed to have my opinion and my say about that! ) The Rhubarb photo is for the REF! )

I think it is a big wake up for NZ ; for the media and for those who put SO much store in our men in black. I want to have a real rave about just how one sided TV and other media are. MEN'S sport is all that matters. Women rarely feature. They have to do exceptionally well to get even 30 seconds coverage. Usually they get no coverage at all. Netball being the exception. Considering more than half our population is female we get a really bad deal. We have Sky TV and they( are even more one sided than NZ TV ) have nil content for women, or young people, except silly frivolous programmes, or ghastly make overs and tripe like that. There are whole channels devoted to men's sport! Women still are second rate citizens in their ( the media ) eyes! That's why it is great when Olympic or Commonwealth Games are on as Women do get coverage then - but it is not the norm.
And that dear ladies is why I enjoy Patchwork and Quilting and Craft SO MUCH cause it unites women everywhere doing something we enjoy and are really good at.
After a distasteful start to the day with that sport result I grabbed my camera and wandered down the garden. The sun was shining ( and still is ) the bees were really busy and a monarch butterfly was sucking nectar out of the little Kingianum Orchids .... (that photo you have to look hard at to spot the butterfly - I couldn't get close enough). But do enlarge the Rata photo with the bees ...there were so many...the air was abuzzzzzzzz. So Mother Nature knows to just carry on as normal, not worried by World Cups or other passing fads. Thank Goodness.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Blown Around the Mt.

Yesterday during a break in the weather, ( wind rain hail and sun )I suggested we walk around the Mt. ( mt. Maunganui ). Visitors need to get some exercise and fresh air...... it was very windy and the salt spray goes flying as anyone who has done this walk on a blustery day will know. There are sheltered pockets where it is warm then quite suddenly you round a corner and cop the full blast right in your face - very bracing! I like to walk fast and that is a bit rude if others don't, so I pop in and out with the camera - climb banks or rocks to get photos so, then can walk fast to catch up.
We walked in a clockwise direction starting on the inner harbour side ( facing Tauranga ) and walked around to finish on the ocean beach which now has flash boardwalks and steps.( it is protecting the sandy areas from erosion so is a good idea.) Along the way the perching place for the shags wasn't as smelly as it is in Summer and we saw something we've never seen before. In fact we heard them first - about 5 little penguins swimming near the rocks and climbing in and out. I couldn't get close without frightening them so the photo I took was too far away. I wonder where they popped in from?
The starkness of the rocks and side of the Mount contrasts sharply with all the new development; high rises and flash campers vans; it is always a surprise when you round that last corner. By then we were licking the salt spray off our lips, and the sun was trying to shine. Later it took a while to get a comb through my was well tangled and salt sprayed.
In the photo with the board walk fence ( click on it to enlarge ) there are 2 of 3 very cheeky little rabbits who were sunning themselves and nibbling on the grass. When someone walked overhead they disappeared for all of 30 seconds before popping back out bold as brass. Many folk seem to walk by the extra delights like rock pools penguins rabbits without even noticing...wonder what I missed. ( the photo with people in it is left to right DH, my sister and her partner) I was the camera person so miss out . hehe I don't mind.
There did you enjoy your walk? ( I wonder how many of you who are reading this have gone on this walk at some time ?)