Sunday, December 30, 2012

Just a quick update ...

Hi everyone,

I hope that you have all survived Christmas. I find this time between Christmas and New Year an unusual time, a kind of no mans land - where time doesn't seem to belong to either year. 

This year it is even more a little unusual as we are working hard getting the property ready to go on the market. There is a bitter sweet feeling about getting things completed that have been hanging around for a while. It is awesome seeing them finished, but sad in that we know we won't be around long to enjoy them. We are having a quieter day today, as yesterday was sooo hot and unfortunately I have a headache which I can't seem to get rid of - dehydration I am pretty sure.

The tree and decorations have been packed away earlier than usual this year, so that we could get the lounge back to normal ready for house showing. The tree looked particularly pretty this year with the white and gold colour scheme that the girls chose.

Here is a photo of my great-nephew as he was being taken home from the hospital the other day. Although he was born three weeks early, he is doing very well and isn't he just gorgeous. His parents and grandmother are going to visit Whangarei next week and we can't wait to have snuggles with this little guy.

Here is the photo of my mothers house again as I wanted to tell you all how she had done in the competition this year. Mum has decorated her house for Christmas every year since moving to Whangarei five years ago, and this year decided that she would join the official list of properties to visit. As a participant she was invited to attend the official announcement where the winner is announced. It was with much surprise that she learned that she took away third prize! This is no small feat as it takes mum a long time to put up all of the decorations and it is entirely her work and design. Well done Mum!

I haven't done any sewing so far apart from a little bit of hand sewing, however I have not done enough to show you yet. I also need to put some more work into sorting out my sewing area. I will give you an update of everything very soon - both, the organised sewing area and projects on the go.

Until then - happy stitching everyone.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone

Well here we are ... the presents have been opened ... the Christmas meal has been eaten and we are all blobbing watching a bit of tele ... well some of us anyway.

Our eldest daughter and her partner have been here to share Christmas with us from Perth, WA. It has been lovely sharing the day with them when they have been here, they have been spending time with Jays family as well. We look forward to more quality time with them before they return to Perth.

I hope that Christmas has been good for you - if you have had it yet and for those that are on a different time zone and are still to experience it, enjoy.

We are without some of our expected house guests this year due to the fact that baby Phoenix was born yesterday afternoon. My sister, her son and his partner were due to drive up yesterday but alas yesterday morning saw Kylie in labour, hence they are still all in Auckland. So I am a great-aunt, my nephew and his partner being the new parents. Yes my sister is now a grandma and my mother is a great-grandma! Very exciting. I can't wait for the opportunity to visit and have a cuddle.

And on that note I will retire, this festive season is exhausting.
Catch up soon,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Decisions ... Quilt Symposium 2013

A few weeks ago now, I got a text from my good friend Leeann saying that she had just received the 2013 Taupo  Symposium classes book in the post, and asking if I had received mine. Off to the letterbox I went and yes there it was. I had to do some errands in town so I made myself do that before I sat down with a cuppa and ripped the envelope open. A quick scan through was all  I allowed myself as I knew I wouldn't take everything in and would need a more in depth read later with a computer at the ready so I can research at the same time! I did however mark things that I thought I would be interested in.

I have sat down and had a better look through the book, several times actually and the decision process isn't getting any easier.

However, time is marching on and I need to make a decision about what classes, lectures and functions to choose for Quilt Symposium 2013!

Some of my friends and I are renting a house in Taupo for this occasion and we are in for a lot of fun. Tauranga is closer to Taupo than Whangarei is, so I will probably get there first - or I can leave a little later to arrive at the same time as them. However I am getting way, way ahead of myself.

I haven't chosen my classes yet! I have heaps of marks in the book but no decisions made. Several of my friends have chosen and sent them away already and I am still dithering. I promised myself to make some decisions on Sunday night, but alas two nights have passed and things got in the way.

I was just having a quick look online at the classes and I am being attracted to different classes than the ones I originally marked in my book. How am I supposed to make a decision?

I am going to think some more on this .... get back to you soon.

The days are flicking past ...

Things have definitely been moving along with lightening speed.
We have had most of the Christmas related social events now, which have been very enjoyable and a little bitter sweet knowing that we wont be here next year.

We are now on the slippery slope to Christmas. This weekend sees our eldest daughter and partner arriving from Perth for three weeks. It will be awesome having them in the same country, even if it is for a few weeks and that we have to share them with Jay's family and their joint friends.

My mum really gets into Christmas and decorates her house with a fantastic lighting display. I admire her efforts especially as it takes her quite a while to get everything set up. I also know that this year she put things up only to take them down several days later and change her grand design and redo it all. This is the first year that she has entered the local light competition - the results aren't known yet. However I do know that there are many, many cars that stop at her place to admire the lights.

Last week we made a very quick trip down to Tauranga to look at possible high schools for our youngest daughter. I managed to take these photos through the gorge coming home. I have never taken photos from a moving vehicle before and was impressed with how well they came out.

We stopped at Paeroa on our way home for a pit stop and I took advantage of the opportunity to stretch my legs and have a look around. Everyone in New Zealand should recognise this photo.

What I didn't know was some of the history - I thought these were an interesting way of displaying that.

Each one of these round things had the information on the top.

I thought this rubbish bin looking like a lemon was cool!

We took presents down for the family when we went down to Tauranga as we are having Christmas here this year, it will be our last Christmas here before all of the changes next year. This way Kelsey and Jay can share Christmas Day with both families. Back to the presents - I created photo collage canvases for gifts and hope that the special people they are for enjoy them. I really enjoy making these and experience a trip down memory lane each time I create one. There are no photos as I forgot to take them before they were wrapped up and delivered.
We stopped here for a break on the way down. Awesome food and they even have wifi!

Anyway, this is all for now, although I know that I have enough to tell for another post - so check back soon.
Until then - happy stitching everyone!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Moving on ...

After moving to Whangarei nearly twelve years ago which we thought was going to be forever, we are on the move - well three of us are anyway. We are off to Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty in January 2013.

I am really going to miss my kitchen garden until we can get a new property and another one up and running.

I am going to really miss this view and having my morning cuppa looking out over the Whangarei Harbour.

Okay that is all for now, I will keep you posted with what is happening. I just wanted to post this for now.
Until then, happy stitching everyone.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pah Homestead

While at the retreat in Auckland at the weekend we walked through the park over to Pah Homestead in Hillsborough. What an amazing place, the building is gorgeous and would have been absolutely amazing when it was a residence. It now houses an art gallery and cafe and while they were enjoyable I couldn't get over the sheer size and grandeur of the place.
 The fireplaces were amazing, including the hearths.
This staircase blew me away.

The side view and very impressive.

This is the floor in the entrance - some quilt ideas here for sure.

The entrance.

The whole front.

The side.

The floor in the main hallway - this is timber!
This side view shows the sheer scale of this building.

There were heaps of people enjoying the Sunday sunshine at the cafe.

This is definitely a place that I will revisit in the future - if you ever get the chance I recommend you take a look for yourself.

Retreat ...

Wow ... what a fantastic weekend with some special friends. I took off on Friday afternoon to Auckland to meet up with a bunch of girls for a quilting weekend and boy did we have some fun.

In March of this year some of us attended a retreat at the St Francis Retreat Centre and we loved it so much that we booked this last weekend so we could repeat the experience. It is so quiet and there is a feeling of peace and tranquility at the centre, the food is exceptional and everyone has their own room, you can check it out HERE

I worked on a quilt as you go quilt project that I am making through The Apple Basket at Kaiwaka. (You can check Apple Basket out here).

Here is one of the four blocks that I made with this block design.

Here is one of four blocks I made with this block design.

I was able to attend a Monday class today at The Apple Basket with Ngaire and Teagan where I learnt to join the above two blocks together, very impressive. I spent a lovely day there working on my project and I also have to say that Teagans Chocolate Biscuits are to die for! Thank you so much Teagan for making them for us.

I am really looking forward to getting this quilt together. There is probably a little more planning earlier on than I am used to, however once you have the individual blocks sorted it comes together quite quickly.

That is it for now so until next time - happy stitching everyone.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Where is November going...

November is racing along ... 
Our eldest daughter has returned to Perth following visiting New Zealand for her week here so she could attend a friends wedding. It was just lovely seeing her and being able to have conversations as a part of daily life, even if it was short lived. Don't get me wrong Skype is fantastic and it is awesome having that option but it isn't quite the same. The best part was having her totally to myself as we drove to Auckland for her to catch her plane. Although the saying goodbye bit wasn't easy.  Her and her partner are coming home for Christmas this year and the countdown has started until they arrive.

Auckland on our way to the Airport.

Driving through town yesterday, the scent from the summer flowering plants was just awesome. The port wine magnolias have flowered here at home scenting the air with bubblegum like smells. I noticed returning from town last weekend that some of the pohutukawa trees have started to flower - a sure sign that summer is nearly here. The temperatures haven't been that high yet, we have had a bit if a slow start to the season. The vegetable seedlings in the kitchen garden are growing well though so clearly there is enough heat for them.
Some of the roses at our place.

I am currently supervising NCEA exams at a local high school and it blows me away seeing how much potential is sitting in one room. This is the fourth year that I have done this and so I have seen these girls sit through all levels of their exams. Knowing that they are about to embark on the rest of their lives and their journeys are about to change direction is exciting. I wonder how many will reach their full potential and how many will be involved with making decisions not only for themselves but the future of our country.

That is all for now, until next time. Happy stitching everyone.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Stitching update

I thought that I would give you a stitching update as I have been chipping away at things.

I gave up on the idea of doing a little sewing and tidying the sewing room at the same time and spent a big chunk of time at the weekend moving and reorganising the sewing room. It is not completed but you can definitely see where I have been and it already feels like a more positive and motivating space. I don't have much of a stash at the moment, but I did take time to fold my yardage to fit the shelf in my cupboard based on the idea by Bonnie Hunter, check it out HERE.

Here is my first complete stitchery. I just need to make it into something now. I keep changing my mind about what to use it for - a cushion or put it in a bag. That might need some more thought.

The first house block completed for Home Coming Lane.

I have my stitching group this week, a trip planned to an exhibition on Friday and club day on Saturday. So come back soon to hear all about them. Until then happy stitching everyone.



The end of October or beginning of November always brings Guy Fawkes and the fireworks display. We don't always go to the public display, but we decided to this year. It was held last Saturday at the rugby stadium and it was great. There was a great crowd with people picnicking with their friends and family, bouncy castles and some good entertainment. We got to see some local talent with the dance troupes and the band playing was great too.

The stage where the band was.

The fireworks went for 21 minutes, yes 21! They were spectacular and well worth the money that we spent to attend. There is no way we would have had as much enjoyment if we had purchased and let off our own fireworks. The extra plus is that profits go to local charity, a win win all round I think.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Town Basin, Whangarei ...

Hi everyone 

We all live where we do and drive by everything on a daily basis without a thought sometimes as to what makes our town or city special. So I thought that I would share some photos that I have of Whangarei so that you get to know some of the special things here.

The Town Basin is down where the Hatea River joins the harbour and it is a favourite tourist spot as well as being a great place to meet your friends for a spot of lunch.

Here is the Town Basin looking from Riverside.

Just looking further along.

I have turned around and this is Mt Parihaka

Children's playground at Town Basin

This is the side of the clock museum and the kiosk.

This major sundial is in front of the clock museum.

The front of the clock museum.

Sundial again - different view.

Children's playground in the wintertime as there is no shade cloth and everyone is in long trousers.

There is a neat walk from the Town Basin and this is as the end of it. The Waka and the Wave.

View from afar.
Close up of the wave.

Close up of the waka (boat).

There are a variety of shops and restaurants down here as well, however I didn't photograph those.

I hope that you have enjoyed looking at these photos. Next time I am out and about I will collect a few more!
Until next time - happy stitching everyone.