Monday, 1 October 2018

Just Do it!! Advice to myself...

How's this for a view from your window?  No wonder Phil loves being in South Wairarapa.

Had a few hiccups recently with my internet access and computer, do hope it's been sorted; it was a long frustrating story and I've ended up with not just one, but two desktop computers.  The old one "died" and then came back to life with the techie was installing the new one and I've now decided to change my supplier which should save me quite a lot of money. Fingers crossed...

There's lots going on in the local quilting world, great meeting of Capital Quilters on Saturday when we held a competition; several teams had been given a bag of fabric from which they had to make a quilt top.  They could pre-cut but no sewing until the meeting started and at least one piece of each fabric had to be used.  is the website, I'm sure they'll be posting photos of the amazing tops that were made - I was too busy rushing around gossiping with friends I hadn't seen for months.

This caught my eye from the crazy mom blog, bright cheerful colours and strings - I love that the strings are actually itsy pieces - and who doesn't have a lot of those.

I'm enjoying TVNZ on demand - re-discovering old programmes and seeing if I do still like them or have my tastes changed.  ER is standing the test of time; it was made in the mid-nineties when HIV was very much to the fore of hospital issues. Did you use to watch it?

Wellington Guild's exhibition opens later this week, as a Life Member I get to chose a quilt for my award which is always a thrill, and funnily enough not difficult; usually one jumps out at me when I walk around. 


A glorious sunset at the 'ponds' near Ngawi and the thought, "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." Mahatma Gandhi

 Thanks for reading my blog.


Sunday, 29 July 2018

Trees and clouds in the south Wairarapa, photographed recently by Phil, not far from where he now lives.

I'm sure many clever words have been written about putting off doing things, I just love this one - courtesy Bonnie Hunter, quilter extraordinaire -

After I posted the last blog, I was so enthusiastic to get back into communicating with everyone that I started sorting out photographs - then I thought, no, don't rush into it, leave it a few days, people don't want to get too many - that was four weeks ago...     We'll see...

It's been a busy time; I've been invaded -  by ants!  I'll spare you the photographs, sufficient to say I've never seen any ants in this house and I moved in late 2000.  I saw a few - haha - on the kitchen bench, my granddaughter googled ants and raided the kitchen cupboard for cloves which we put along the window ledge...

Next morning there were thousands marching in lines from the front window, up to the top of the wall and along to the kitchen, crossing over the end wall, under the window etc. etc.  I grabbed a lemon from the dish, cut off one end and drew lines - the ants simply walked around the juice.

An sos brought the rest of the family, complete with a tube of ant repellant, we used my masking tape - usually for holding down the quilt sandwich - and dotted the sticky stuff around the rooms.  Next day there were no ants to be seen, but I'm keeping a watchful eye...

As I mentioned last time, the kumera is doing very well -

with a little help from the wooden horse.

 I missed the quilt meeting last weekend, but do have some photograph to share from the previous meeting - and my sincere blanket apology, if you'll excuse the pun, no names were recorded -

 I wish I'd spoken to whoever made this, fascinating - see that almost nine patch at the top?

 Very modern, big pieces - I'm a fan of straight line quilting.

 What do you think? for a much loved family member?

 Great how the touch of red and subtle green add so much to a black and white quilt, imho!

This I do remember as it was made by one of the Shut-in Stitchers, DTU.  Good to see, I really miss going in to teach at the prison; they could use more volunteers - hint, hint!

Did you see the list published by the Washington Post of the  latest alternative meanings, my favourites are: balderdash (n), a rapidly receding hairline and lymph (n),  to walk with a lisp.

I'll leave you now with the quotation, "Don't mistake activity for achievement," John Wooden  and a photograph of the Wairarapa, east of Masterton.

Thanks for reading my blog

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Some Daily Bread

"The sky is the daily bread of the eyes"  Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, with these reflections in the rainwater ponds near Ngawi, we get a double helping.  I've been fascinated by clouds for a long time; I remember lying on the front lawn of the house I was born in, back in the UK, probably enjoying the scents of the grape hyacinths, watching the clouds, 'seeing' all sorts of pictures and making up stories about them.

Phil took this photograph recently.

The weather is milder today, very chilly yesterday with a heavy frost on the lawns though not enough to rescue the man-made ice rink in town.  It was supposed to be the venue for an ice hockey match but the final straw was the wind blowing over the fences.

 A Canadian friend, Gill, has posted photographs of the wild life in her garden, recently a chipmunk - not something we see in NZ unless it's the kind I saw on Facebook recently -

It's so cute- beautifully done [sorry I don't know the name of the quilter]

I had a birthday last month and this is the cake my family brought round -

Isn't it a beauty?

I will have to empty out the vegetable basket more often; I found a sprouting kumera the other day, not sure if it is advisable to eat it when it's sprouting, so I popped it into a container -


a mug I gave to my late husband -  I think it's a perfect container.  Since I took this photograph it's grown considerably!

I went to a meeting of Capital Quilters recently and was again impressed by the number of quilts shown, these took my eye -


Half square triangles are a big favourite; I've made several quilts setting them in different ways though it's difficult to beat Barn Raising.  

The simple looking squares are actually pieces of needlepoint tapestry, or maybe commercial tapestries, either way, it's very effective.

Something about the cute little foxes is hard to resist - though my sister who lives in the UK and keeps chickens wouldn't agree.

The last quilt I know as Inner City - really beautiful.
I came across this little book when looking for something else in the bookcase recently, as one often does, and wonder who else remembers them?

 Funny though, I was sure the School Journals were around when we came to NZ back in 1958, if so how could this be No. 1? Maybe I'm confusing it with another publication.

There's a delightful story called "Yuck" by Marilyn Duckworth and the traditional poem about The House that Jack built...this is the cat, that killed the rat, that ate the malt that lay in the house that Jack built...etc.  I think my ggd will love that one!

I'll leave you with the thought, "Let us go singing as far as we go; the road will be less tedious." Virgil and one of my favourite - heck, they all are - photographs Phil took on our recent road trip around the south 'Rapa.

From a distance, I thought they were buttercups, not sure what they are, just beautiful!

Thanks for reading my blog,

Sunday, 27 May 2018

It's a whole new world.

A different view of one of Phil's favourite spots, Castlepoint,  the lighthouse is waaay in the distance and that's where most of the photographs are taken.  This gives a good view of the spine of land along the outer rim; if you've got Google Earth you can see exactly what I mean...

 Did you see the TV programme yesterday evening about the group of Birders, as opposed to bird watchers or twitchers, who went to North Korea to see the birds that fly from Alaska to Foxton beach,  then on the way back, they stop off on an island between China and North Korea? - ooops, that sentence is way too long!

I found it a fascinating documentary, as much for what wasn't shown or talked about as for what was.  I do hope that, now the ice is broken, we will get to see more of what appears to be a very interesting country.  From the glimpse of colourful clothes, their art appeals to me.

So does this, by Edrica Huirs [do hope I copied that correctly] -

It's called "The Palm House".

Have I mentioned that I used to collect rocking horses?  It started when I was in Canada and I saw a folk art piece, a small blackboard, or slate that was used in schools - many years before my time I hasten to add - something about it appealed to me which I believe is the start of the slippery slope.

Then I  began to wonder whether this was how I saw myself, as someone unable to run freely....hmm so I bought this Pegasus from a junky type shop, can't get much more free than this -

Not exactly a pretty face, but a happy one I think.

It feels good to be talking to you again, thanks for being here, time for my lunch, so I'll leave you with another of Phil's photographs and the thought, "Gratitude is the heart's memory," French proverb.

Closer to the lighthouse at Castlepoint.

Bye for now,

Sunday, 25 March 2018

The times they are a-changing!

What a glorious sunset - photo taken by, Phil and I think that's the South Island in the distance, maybe the Kaikoura Range...

Yesterday I went to the monthly meeting of Capital Quilters; what with one thing and another, I haven't been for months so when I noticed I was down for library duty I knew I had to make a big effort and it was well worth it to see so many quilting friends, including the speaker, Pauline Cave, a fellow scrap quilter.

Part of the big effort was caused by the fact that I am not allowed to drive my car for a month! no, I haven't been a naughty girl... just had some weird sensations early one morning and I wondered about telling my doctor, you know just in case she thought it was important.  So, easy peasey, I put a question on the Health 365 site then jumped into my car and drove to the library, did a bit of window shopping in Jackson Street, had a coffee then drove home.  The phone rang as I walked in the door,  it was my doctor to tell me she had ordered an ambulance to take me to the hospital for more tests! 

Bless them they came quietly and I sat by the phone ready to tell them if anything changed - feeling an absolute fraud, but I do understand they must follow best practice.

I know it's been ages since I posted but this is ridiculous!  the photos have a mind of their own - but since it's here, this is a photo from one of my favourite tv programmes, Cash Cowboys, two Canadian pickers - I have a soft spot for Canada - and in one episode they were picking this very crowded house and in the attic were several dusty boxes, this we one.  You can imagine I was surprised to see the family name on a product in Canada.  Those were the days, cleaning the grate with black lead!

This quilt caught my eye, using a block I used quite a bit in my Five Inch squares class.

On the quilting front I have finally finished the backing for the Venetian Dream and decided on the binding - photo to follow.

Time for bed I think, lovely to be back, I'll sort out the photo problem, hasn't been the same since I had to change to gmail...I think they've all been saved to My Drive - no idea where that is...

Ok, here's another photo from Phil,

I love that old tree - and the thought, "It's a funny thing about life, if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." W. Somerset Maugham.

Thanks for reading my blog.


Friday, 29 December 2017

Season' s Greetings!

Thanks to my son, Phil, for this great photograph of the full moon - like our quilts, so much planning goes on before you get the result you want.

Christmas Day was spent with my family and I thoroughly enjoyed myself - once I got over the fact that I'd forgotten the cheese which was my contribution to the 'nibbles'  - I remembered the wooden plate, turned by my late husband, and the fancy knives and the crackers but the cheese was left behind!
                   Not to worry, my dil had plenty in the fridge...

Good choice though to have turkey this year; all that glorious, warm weather disappeared so it wasn't the right conditions for a barbecue,  luckily I had my beautiful "30% alpaca shawl" on hand so I was happy.

Please bear with me as I'm having problems with accessing photos from my phone,   I am working on it and then I got side tracked after Phil sent instructions on how to send photos from mail to Photos, providing I use Safari which I haven't done for ages - fascinating to see all the sites I used to visit.

You know how I love to find spelling mistakes, well this was off a film I was watching -

And this photo is off an episode of White Collar, a crime series I enjoyed on Netflix - no spelling mistakes, I just love the shape of the building.

Isn't that fantastic ? somewhere in New York, I seem to remember it was a museum...a modern quilt pattern, perhaps?

Medical update - I am not having any further treatment for the cancer, the surgeon is confident he removed 99.9%, so no chemo or radiation!  How fortunate is that?  Bad timing though, I am a big, big fan of Christmas food especially mince pies and Christmas cake and they're still off the menu, which is good for my waistline.   I did, however, bake a cake the day before yesterday.  Just decided I could manage something very plain, I could remember the recipe off by heart it's one I used regularly as a pudding when the boys were young, from my Good Housekeeping's Cookery book - called Canary Pudding - 3oz butter, 3oz sugar, 5oz flour, 1 egg & milk to mix to which was added whatever flavourings you wanted.  The favourite was mixed spice and sultanas.

Should I decide to make another, I'll have to lash out on new scales - it's been quite a while since I did any baking, or anything that needs weighing ingredients, and it showed.  I can probably use the remains in a trifle...or two...

It feels good to be back talking with you, I'll leave you with another photograph - truly the land of the long white cloud -

and the thought that "Well begun is half done. " Aristotle

Thanks for reading my blog,

Friday, 3 November 2017

Good to see you!

I just love this photograph, taken by Phil recently in the Wairarapa; he said he was about to drive home when he caught sight of this amazing scene in his rearview mirror - so just had to stop.

I think that's called seizing the moment...

 - there's been a few interesting moments lately, I believe I mentioned earlier that I had no wish to turn this blog into a medical report, however in order that you understand what's been going on, here are a few highlights -

I turned up to the Lower Hutt Hospital for a gastroscopy, new doctor trying to get to the bottom of the persistent acid reflux, utterly exhausted after walking what seemed miles through the corridors, some amazing nurses took me in hand, arranged for a blood test, and I was admitted, given three blood transfusions and an iron transfusion.

All fine but next the colonoscopy ... not fine and a ct scan confirmed the problem, bowel cancer, but caught early; so keyhole surgery.  there was also a clot in my lung so a series of aggressive blood thinners - which I learned to inject into my belly, no problem, lots of padding there.

A month ago today I had the surgery - and again, I'm full of praise for the staff at Hutt Hospital, great people.

Time for a little eye candy I think, not sure where I saw this, but I love it - bright and cheerful -

There's also a closeup of one of the blocks -

I also like the unusual setting - could be adapted for other blocks, methinks...

 A few more details so you know where I'm at; I'd been having procedures on my eyes when the specialist found macular degeneration behind the cataracts, which had been removed, I'd had to cancel an appointment when I went into hospital, luckily managed to get one this week and have once more had  an injection, so I shan't be driving until after the weekend to give the eye time to settle down.

That'll do for now - oops, fireworks going off - luckily I have no pets to worry about.

My granddaughter, Amy, moved in, together with her 23-month-old daughter, and they have looked after me so well; she is such a capable young woman, it was a joy to have them here and I miss them a lot.  Not only did Amy do the cooking, washing and cleaning but she introduced me to "The Good Place" on Netflicks - a fascinating programme; there's supposed to be a new episode each week but I haven't seen one yet.

I'm still knitting the blankets, and this week went back into my sewing room - Amy helped me to tidy some of the fabric left lying around and I sewed a few more pieces onto the backing I started before all this stopped me in my tracks. 

Before I take myself off to bed, I want to share another of Phil's photographs which looks like a silver ornament.

Thanks for reading my blog,