Friday, 31 October 2014

Look what the wind blew in!

No point in trying to slip in and hope no-one notices - no that's not right, so here I am making a grand entrance!  Or rather son Phil with a stunning photo of the surf taken one evening recently off the south coast at Wainui.

I actually went along for the ride, well wrapped up, and took some photographs too - using  my trusty iPhone - couldn't see much so I just held it up pointing I hoped in the right direction - and here's a result -

That's Phil in the distance - look at the size of that surf!

I've been sort of hibernating, don't intend to turn this into a vent, or rant, certainly not a moan, BUT this ageing isn't for wimps!!  As I told my doctor on the last visit, the next person who says to me that I have to expect that "at my age" I shall thump!  So the dear man proffered his bicep and indicated where I could land the blow!  :))

I'm due for the first cataract operation on Monday morning - I know! I shan't know myself afterwards........they grew so quickly I was amazed, I kept blaming my glasses, obviously the coating was substandard, then I thought someone had sat on my sunglasses etc. etc. so you'll understand I've kept my computer eyes for the office, no night driving and I've even been given permission to wear dark glasses in the prison when I teach the quilting class.

I couldn't help noticing this van recently in Petone,

Artificial flowers for display, good advertising I think.

I've done lots of knitting, watching dvds on my computer, Magnum PI would you believe? and the entire Foyle's War.

That's a child's hat, and the banana bedsocks! plus a blanket for use in a pushchair, knitted from corner to corner using up lots of partial balls of wool.  I've since done another blanket and am half way through the third - a friend belongs to a group and they've been asked for these items - happy to oblige.

I think Phil took this on the Kaitoke stream, somewhere quite local anyway - I just love the texture of the log, and how many shades of green can been seen in the bush?

There will be more quilty things next time, I've just had a quilt machine quilted by a friend on her longarm and I love how it looks - just have to trim the edges - and I was somewhat innovative with the border  - so it will be a bit tricky.....

Here's the ultimate in calm and soothing -

one windless, warm day in the Wairarapa and I'll leave you with the thought that "Experience enables you to recognise a mistake when you make it again.", Franklin P Jones

Nice talking with you, take care

Saturday, 20 September 2014


Sunset at Wainui beach - what a great way to say 'I'm back!'  Thanks to Phil of course for the photograph, and here's another in quite a different mood,  -

I'll brush over the intervening weeks since I last posted, apologise, and say that some of the winter bugs around are of the persistent kind, they hang around, very much the unwelcome guest!

I've been to a couple of quilt meetings, Capital Quilters meet on a Saturday afternoon and have some great blocks of the month,

That's a good response from members, enough for the lucky winner to make a good size quilt - how would you go about putting it together?  An alternate block maybe, a snowball for instance, or set on point with sashing to make a zig zag?....... so many possibilities!
And what about the block set to be made this month?

Merge like a zip! if only a few more motorists would learn to do that, particularly at the bottom of the Ngauranga Gorge - I've even had one nervous driver in front of me come to a complete stop rather than merge, grrrrr

The other meeting was Pinestream Quilters and that evening the speaker was Lee-Ann Newton - a quilter whose journey has been unconventional, do check out her site.

She showed several quilts, this one made of canvas - I said she is different!

Free standing segments - and touching was encouraged! as can be seen from the next quilt -

And now for something a little different, we had one day of glorious sunshine in the middle of several days of grey, grey weather - Phil captured Oscar in the garden -

There were member's quilts on show, including another Community quilt for someone who loves flowers -

The next quilt appealed because of the enormous variety of fabrics and the strong lines of the setting,

My apologies to the maker or recipient, I obviously didn't take notes - someone with a sense of humour, I think -

I've not done much sewing lately, I shall get back to it soon but have been knitting, another hat for a child and a pair of banana slippers which have to be seen to be believed! and when they are sewn up I shall show you - I'm sure you will all be clamouring for the pattern :)

To close, I want to share a quote by Ralph Emerson, "A true friend is somebody who can make us do what we can." and with a photograph taken some while ago by Phil on  a calm stretch of the Whanganui River.

Thanks for stopping by, it feels good to be back.


Sunday, 24 August 2014

Churn Dash and kiddie proof caps

You can really feel the power of these waves - one of the reasons I keep thinking twice about crossing the strait in a ferry - makes for a great picture though!  Thanks Phil.....

Now for a little rant - twice this week I've done battle with kiddie proof lids - the first was for the small bottle containing Basil's new pills.  The prescription has been changed so he now has one a day, instead of three and I'm pleased with that - but the bottle defied all my attempts to open it - it's small so there's not a lot of bottle to hang onto in order to push down and twist.......  but I came up with a solution.  Some while ago while at the red painted chain store with one of my granddaughters, aged about ten I think, they were promoting cutlery - sets of kitchen knives actually - get one free!!  Yeah right - anyway I was no match for my grandie who pounced on the chance to get a present for her mother.......but I've now found a use for it!

There's the lid to the right of the sieve - you can see the bottle and lid were very well constructed, but were no match for the 'cut anything' knife.

Blow me down, I went to open a new container of bathroom cleaner and had the same problem.  I'm obviously not holding my mouth right - couldn't possibly be that I no longer have the same strength in my hands......

I remember making a sort of promise to myself that I wouldn't start piecing more quilts until a few had been finished - i.e. sandwiched and quilted.  I've completed two and given them both away, I'm still hand quilting another so I have permission to do some sewing - and I've chosen these small churn dash blocks -

I want to use more of my vintage scraps, 

and some pale plains - mixing them up a bit.  It's a small block which can be cut from a strip about twelve inches by three and a half -

I look forward to having some fun piecing - it's been a while!

Do you collect 'things'?  At least mine hasn't got to the level of the hoarders on the recent TV programmes -  but it would be easy to let it get out of hand, I think.  I've shown you some of my pincushions - I also have rocking horses, the very small variety and hat pins and this small basket of dolls -

Plus my seventies sunglasses! at the back is a wooden doll made from a bobbin from a mill in the UK, and a well worn teddy, the china doll to the left was from the time it was all the rage to make these - mine never actually got any clothes made, the little ones with lots of hair were given to me by my granddaughters one birthday - looks as though the brunette at the back has had a haircut! and the troll was a present from my sons many years ago - I think the Maori doll came from a visit also many years ago, to Rotorua........

I was leafing through some books recently, one I love "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple"  edited by Sandra Halderman Martz.  

Maybe at Eighty?
They say wisdom comes as you age
Now I'm in a real jam
at sixty I should be a sage
Look what a fool I am!        by S. Minanel

Here's another of Phil's photos showing the sea in a much calmer mood in the inner harbour at sunset, thanks for stopping by.


Sunday, 17 August 2014

Surviving the storm

This was the storm as it made its way towards the coast of the North Island - and boy! it certainly packed a punch when it hit us.

In Petone we had hail, rain, lightening and strong winds  -  but no actual damage to persons or property here, the pansies looked a trifle sad -

but I'm happy to say they weathered the storm remarkably well - such a cheerful splash of colour the next day -

I started to knit a beanie, a friend is doing so as a group project - she's also knitting banana slippers and has given that pattern to me as well; I like to have some simple knitting to do to keep my hands busy...  I decided to use my circular needle with the changeable ends.  Must confess although I give an extra twist with the little spike firmly in the hole, they still work themselves undone...... Anyway, I read through the instructions, several times - yes, yes I know......... oops

Doing the twist!  I'd knitted a few inches before I realised what I was doing......  I re-started but have done three inches of double rib - much more difficult to let that get twisted!

I have done a little stitching, friend PJ came round with instructions for us to make iPad stands, as shown on her blog.  Here are the two she and Jann made - with mine in the middle -

That's the rear end, complete with decoration....... my excuse was I was preparing our instead of a flower like these two, I used a beautiful brooch given to me by a fellow quilter.  It works a treat -

You know what they say about "quilter's eyes" well, I looked out of the front window when I heard the sound of heavy machinery, new owners over the road doing some renovations prior to selling - and look what met my eyes!

Gives new meaning to the phrase that 'hexies are big this year'!

And the other side?

"Who says concrete has to be grey?"
I do hope we get some more nice neighbours ......

Last weekend I met with a group of like minded quilters for a work day, half a day actually and thoroughly enjoyed myself.......even picked up a sewing needle a couple of times, but then I'm fortunate in that I can sew whenever I want to, it's the company I go for and that was first class!!

Good friend Tricia with the pile of neonate blankets she was binding and on the other end of the table - Sharon is showing her amazing hexagons-stitched-by-hand-and-without-papers to an admiring audience.

I was sitting at the end of the table nearest the camera, you can see the tumbling blocks brought out for another airing.....

I look forward to more stitching and meeting with good friends and remember that, "A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest (wo)men." Roald Dahl

And here's another of Phil's photographs, taken after the storm has passed by -

Nice chatting with you, my apologies for missing a week, thanks for reading my blog.


Sunday, 3 August 2014

Cows and camellias

Phil was happily taking photographs at Lake Wairarapa recently when he realised he had an audience!  Well it makes a change from beautiful scenery!

Thank goodness it's a bit milder, which has brought out more camellias - shades of the dreaded pink, but not altogether unwelcome in these grey winter days -

I particularly like the shape of this blossom

Then this is the largest bush of all, and it's in flower most of the year -

After teaching at the prison yesterday, three of us went for lunch at the Pataka complex where there is a great cafe, Kaizen, and the Porirua Library which is huge and very well stocked; thanks to my SmartCard I can borrow from there as well as from my local library.

There was an exhibition of work from spinners and weavers, well worth visiting - some of the items took my eye -  now you see her -

now you don't - unless you squint....... I've no idea how this happens, nor sadly who did it.....must remember to take notes! I'll check next week and give due credit  - lots of beautiful rugs and scarves; plus felted garments and the most delicate of knitting.

Still to do with fibre, but a trifle tenuous connection - I was tidying in my sewing room this afternoon, looking for a bi-rangle which is a gadget tool for making half square rectangles - I think!  I read the instructions through a couple of times without being any the wiser, so I'll leave it for another day -unless anyone can tell me in words of one syllable and preferably not depending on cutting long strips on the bias and then joining them.......

Anyway, I came across one of my Op shop finds -

It's backed with hessian and I think is meant to be a somewhat impractical oven cloth - but just look at that patterned fabric, silky too - a real oldie.

My granddaughter Amy came round one day last week, heavens where have the years gone! she now gets the train from the city and is such a big help around the house - she also wrote the label for the baby quilt I've finally finished.

Didn't she write it beautifully?  I've firmly sewed it on and the quilt will be on its way to Tilly in the morning.

I'll close today with a timely reminder from Benjamin Franklin, that "The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness.  You have to catch it yourself."

Thanks for stopping by, here's a recent photo taken by Phil in Auckland one sunset -

A different kind of beauty.......


Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sunrise, sale and stools

I do enjoy seeing the sunrise, or rather Phil's photograph of the sunrise - no way I'd get up in time to drive over to the 'Rapa and be set up to catch the few minutes while the light is right, but the results are stunning.

No doubt the weather is like it is now every winter, I just happily forget - boy! has it been cold this last couple of weeks.  I got a sweet message from the power company telling me I'd used twenty eight percent more power this week than last!  Maybe I need a treadmill hooked up to a generator so I can get some exercise and save money at the same time!

Even Basil has been feeling the cold -

I can't get him to use a basket, or even a quilt on the settee - though he does have a long thick coat and since we got the medication sorted [or rather how to get it into him] he's put on a bit of weight.  I got up one morning to see him sitting by the little heater which I keep in the hall and on all night, so I 'dropped' some fabric beside it and he's quite happy there - but only in the wee small hours.

Yesterday was Capital Quilters' meeting which took the form of a garage sale and work day, I didn't get any work done and I didn't buy anything, but I did get to talk with lots of my friends and catch up on their news.

This was how one of the sale tables looked -

Every kind of linen fancy work you could think of - I have quite a lot of my own so didn't buy any more.  I use them for quilt labels, do you?  And I must confess I have thoughts of making a quilt using them as a friend, Phillippa, did.

Up on the board was next month's block of the month,

much more traditional in colour and design than we've had lately.
And with a Retreat soon, the Block for that was on display too - which looks like fun.

Also on display, apart from some really lovely quilts, were two stools -

Stool one and stool two -

Both made, or rather decorated by Glennis White who takes classes in producing them - great use of fabric isn't it?

I was heartened to learn of more classes being held to teach quilting in other than mainstream situations - Arts Access sent me the link to their blog which featured an article that had appeared in the New Zealand Quilter magazine about a Corrections officer who is also a quilter and who is teaching the men how to make quilts.  Her story of the young man who knew best struck chords with me - some of our stroppy teenagers have had the same attitude - so it's extra good when they discover for themselves how great it feels to do it my way and get it right!

I met a new quilter at the meeting, new member anyway who kindly agreed that I could photograph her quilt -

I love the quilting and the fresh colours - spring will be here one day - so welcome to Capital Quilters, Kylie.

I've nearly finished the hand sewing of the binding on Tilly's quilt, slowed down quite a bit as I had a visit to the skin specialist to have various bits frozen on my face and left hand, the thumb is not scabbing up so I'm being extra careful - we really to need our thumbs to grasp, only reminded of it when the thumb isn't available the way it should be.

I've also been doing my cryptic crosswords when I should be doing other things [like housework!?]  I love the ones by Donald Harrison, as Aussie, it helps to remember that sometimes.  Do you do crosswords?

Bother the quotation, "You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war." Albert Einstein - I think we have realised that,  so what about the next one, "Let arms give place to the robe, and the laurel of the warriors yield to the tongue of the orator." Cicero - don't hold your breath!
I think I'll get a new volume of quotations......... so, let's have another great photograph taken from Lowry Bay, across the harbour and you can see it's raining in Wellington city over the bay.

Nice chatting with you, thanks for stopping by
Take care,