Sunday, September 25, 2022

Tired but Moving along.

 Thanks for your kind wishes Molly; Janice ; Chooky and Diane. I have fully recovered except for the tiredness and lack of energy. Gradually working my fitness back up to previous levels.

  This cineraria is even brighter than it looks here. It is with other less desirable colours in this bed under a flowering cherry tree.

Tomorrow NZ gets a Memorial Holiday to remember QE II. She did SO well.
 Grandsons are coming over for the day so their parents can spend the day packing in prep for moving to their new (build) house in the next couple of weeks. (very exciting for them as it has taken SO long ) 
 Smaller Grandson comes to us each Monday and we try to do many different activities. He is 4 now.
 R made him this little wheelbarrow in which he is transporting oranges in up the slope of the lawn. He is a VERY willing worker.
 Here he is painting ( with acrylic paint ) the little plane he built ( with only a little guidance ) 
 Using an eye dropper ( so he didn't drown them )  he is watering the New World Little Plants that both boys planted the weekend before.
 Bigger GS  has less time here now  so yesterday I planted out his snow peas into his outside garden. They were growing through the  peat pot. Most of the seeds germinate so fast inside the house, twice daily watering is required. 2morrow we will start some more.

 On the sewing front I am back working in felt . 2 projects -  one a felt embroidered ball ( even tho I thought I would never make another - this is # 32.)

 We have a 2nd bright sunny day. It cheers me! 

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

August has been quite a Trying Month.


 At the end of the first week we attended a small family party for younger Grandson. That was lovely. What followed a few days later was not. I got Covid which I generously shared with R a couple of days later and unfortunately one of my dear sewing group friends.
 If you haven't had it try not to catch it. We didn't like it at all. We had the very sore throat variety with copious snot and coughing. The lethargy  has lingered now for me. I'm almost back to normal, but still  get very tired. R is still coughing. I got quite indignant when twice while I was unwell I got a text encouraging me to get another booster shot !

 During this horrid time I used a bunch of these on the kitchen bench to see if I still had my sense of smell. I did but maybe a bit blunted. They are the Burtonii variety freesias. I made sure some came here from the orchard garden and they are thriving now. All the spring bulbs seem to have loved all the wet we had. The first 3 flowering cherries were magnificent and it was a joy to look out the window and watch the tui and wax eyes getting nectar.

 Also flowering well and attracting Monarch butterflies at this time of the year. Pieris ( not sure which variety maybe Temple bells. )
 Looking forward to September and Spring.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Some Recent Finishes.


 Its the first day it has been dry enough to hang this finished quilt on the clothes line for a photo.

The quilt called "Theses are a Few of My Favourite Things," is a real mix of lovely fabrics, fun ideas, hand drawn objects, fabrics coloured with Intense pencils  and lots of hand appliqué  ( broderie purse ) pieces cut from fabrics in my stash. It was fun to make, especially  collecting the fabrics with the help of my sewing friends. It is very busy so just a simple purple border was all it needed to be complete. The back fabric ( chocolates ) also feature on the front. I made label by hand using the pencils.

 A couple of close ups. 

 I have also finished the 3rd little felt bird. Its a Banded Dotterel ( brown and fawn )., The others are dark blue / black a NZ Robin and the green shades  for the Bellbird. They each have a proper feather under their wings.

Thursday, June 30, 2022



 Wandering along this beautiful Whangamata  Beach  twice last weekend was a real treat for me ( and my 5 sewing buddies ) 3 of the 6 of us have June Birthdays so we had a special celebratory dinner on Friday Night.
 We stayed the Matariki weekend ( a new Public holiday in NZ ) there to go and see the Whangamata Patch and Quilt Groups Exhibition.
 My favourites from the show were Debbie Adding's  "Kai Pai Tau tatou Matariki," 

 with all the stars named ( their Maori names not Pleiades names )
 and these very colourful cushions by Sandi Briggs and Shirley Sparks.

 At the show I was very restrained ( trying to use up fabric in my stash not make it bigger ) 
 but bought a lovely book of cushion ideas. 17,  of which I like 6 very much.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

12 Completed.


I am very pleased to have finished all 12 of my tablemats.

 They can now be used and I can move on to another project. What ties them together as a set is the backing fabric and the quilting design.

Monday, June 06, 2022

Dreary Winter Weather now With Us.


 These are on the kitchen bench brightening up a dull wet day. One of my sewing group friends  Jill gave them to me in bud. She bought us all a bunch when we had lunch out together last week. 3 of us have Birthdays in June. 

Outside the cherry trees are spreading leaves far and wide. Some yellow, some red, some brown. The 2 little persimmon trees on the drive , now all picked are making a bright show.

 From the 2 little trees  we picked 104 lovely fruit, the birds got 2 and some weeks ago in a storm I had to cut 20 off along with the top of the tree to save it from breaking. So very well pleased with the return.
 Possibly my favourite fruit.

 Late yesterday I walked around the back track and spotted the Royal Spoonbills all hunched against the cold along with lots of pest Canadian Geese.

 I am working on sewing the hems down on my last 2 tablemats ( #s 11 and 12 ) 
 I will take a photo of all 12 together soon. What will be my next project? I have to finish machine quilting a top but need a handwork project. Thinking. Thinking.

 I have been reading more Lucinda Riley books. The ones she wrote b4 the & Sisters Series.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

A New Walk.

 R kindly dropped me off at the bottom of Jess Road to walk part of the new cycle

and walking track. It was an easy walk, I was passed by lots of bikes but saw no other walkers.

 This is the new bridge that makes it possible. It is parallel to the rail bridge ( on the right if you look closely ) 
 Looking back to the 2 bridges.
 At the top of the track you can see red on a wagon on a train. It was very loud and close above me just that bit of hedge in between. ( wish I had still been on the bridge ) 
 It was a very cloudy day so lots of moody scenes like this.
 The new part of the track ( to me ) only took me 20 minutes so I turned left onto a road near where we used to live and walked down to the beach. That took longer so all up about an hour. At the beach at the end I was pleased to see it is now a designated stop for campervans to stay over night.  Small boats get launched there too   Someone has painted the toilet there brightly and quilt well.
 If you enlarge this pic  you can see the cliff face of the Quarry Park that our orchard was next to  ( a way in the distance ) 
 Looking the other way into the sun this was the scene.
 All photos should enlarge if you click on them. 

Saturday, April 23, 2022

That Old Chestnut.

 The sun was shining the sky was blue and I very much needed a walk. A mood enhancing walk.

 This is the 3rd time I have returned from walking the perimeter of our neighbourhood with chestnuts.
 As a child I remember us roasting chestnuts ( which my Dad came home with from a neighbouring property ) on a metal heath shovel in the open fire place. It is my preferred way to eat them. ( R likes them boiled and put in  casseroles ) I did a little googling about chestnuts and was surprised to see so many benefits ; Lots of Vit C and other vitamins  and minerals and GF and rich in antioxidants. Good for digestion and low GI. ( I might go back for a 4th pick up )  The water birds from the ponds are eating them too.
 Previous generations who had known hunger would not be letting them go to waste like these ones.( mostly mown up! )

 Chrysanthemums also say Autumn. I love their smell. 

Some late Summer flowers are still enticing monarch and white butterflies.

 these Zinnias all grew either self sown from last year or ones I dried and threw back in the same place.

 I've been self isolating ( as a family member had a positive test result ) so didn't go to Patchwork on Friday but  used that same time to cut out 5 more placemats and have them pinned ready. I have enough backing to make one more after that but can't decide which top fabric to pick ( from several ) Ill decide when I have finished # 11.
 Next post I will show the lovely persimmons I have picked.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

An Inside Sort of Day.

 Over night we had heavy rain ( needed ) then gusty winds which resulted in a 2 hour power outage first thing this morning. It has calmed now and the concrete out the window has dried. To save these beauties from the wind I picked the bunch and have them on the bench inside.  I think this might be called St. Mary's rose ( breed locally by Rob Somerfield ).They were the only 2 roses in this garden when we came here. A delicate perfume. 

 The rose bushes are  improving now that big shady trees overhanging them, belonging to next door have been cut back . We didn't even ask- those neighbours are in no way gardeners. (They didn't even notice ) In front of them I have planted 3 low growing white rose carpets.


I am sewing  These 5 are complete and #6 almost. It has hazel nuts on it.

 The back shows the simple hexagon quilting design.

 The new steps are all finished. The plants just need to grow a bit so it doesn't look quite so new.

 Yellow violas and small flax  -  Phormium  Spearmint and dwarf Gardenia Radicans ( suitable for pots ) in the 2 new blue pots at the bottom. I may yet plant something else in the gaps between the flax. Not gardening weather today! Back to the sewing and reading. Stay safe out there.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Quilting Smaller Pieces.


I have been sewing these table mats. The old ones are very stained and not very pretty any more so these are needed. ( I don't really need more quilts) I am using up my stash of fabrics that have fruit or veges or food on them. So far nectarines and green peas. Next will be pears. Each is simply quilted through the 3 layers with hexagon shapes. ( cotton batting so washable  )  ( will take a photo of the back next time ). I am then binding them  using  "edge turned binding." The mitred corners are quite tricky but okay so far. I then hand stitch down the binding on the front side. Finished size 17" by 12".( I made sure that is big enough for a large plate plus cutlery ) 

  The step job is still progressing. A little digger is supposed to be coming today as shovelling too hard and too slow.

 We very much need rain. We are keeping veges and flowers going with buckets and hand held hoses.

 My newish vireya near the front door is flowering for the first time. Dawn Chorus. ( I had this same one at the orchard and knew it was a healthy grower )

 Other bright flowers are zinnias and dahlias.

It is living on that plant I see it every time I look.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Getting Rid of Agapanthus.

 After 18 or 20 years of growth agapanthus can be a real pest. The foolish previous owners who planted it put plants where over time they would hang over wooden retaining walls and wooden steps. The rain then runs down the leaves and rots the wood. That is what has happened down the sides of these steps.

 Which are now crumbling.

 R said if you can dig them out I will

mulch them up with the Hustler ( big mower ). So I did.   ( he sharpened the spade ) This is from the right side. Today I did the left side and rolled the clumps to the bottom.'  We then spaded them into more manageable clumps and I laid them in rows for the mower to go over.

 In a week after another mow it will look green again. ( kikuyu grass / lawn )  This was a 
  much better solution for us than having to lift it all onto the truck and take it to the green refuse station and pay by weight to get rid of it.

 The way is now clear to remove the rocks down the side and R to build some new steps with wooden sides.