Sunday, 20 July 2008

Another Weekend Gone


Wendy, Tanner, Ayla, Becca and I went to Crafts Out West at the Waitakere Stadium, with profits to West Auckland Hospice. We got there early, thank goodness, and had a chance to have a look around most of the stalls before the mob arrived. The children got to open 2 of the baskets containing white doves. The doves flew up into the air, and went around in circles for about 5 minutes before they took off.

Just for a change, it was a craft fair with lots of craft stalls, instead of mostly food and junk. I bought Becca a pattern and fabric for a wee dragon, a pattern for a quilt carry/sewing/holdall bag. Becca bought herself a green creature called Greg - I'm not sure if it's a dog or a cat!

I took the kids home for a play-time, while Wendy cleaned her fish tank, and I cleaned mine. Then I took all the kids up to Wendy's and abandoned Becca. Spent 1 1/2 hours at Quilters Dream, Westgate, spent $86 and got 10 fat 1/8ths for the Mermaid Quilt class I'm doing next weekend.


Started on the challenge pack - it's going to be a tote bag, with the house, a pond, flying geese patchwork and .....

Took the dogs for a walk - in between the torrential rainshowers, in the sunshine with blue sky. 2 loads of washing.

Baked some scones.

Went to the Harp Gathering at Robyn Sutherlands' place - 6 learner harpists, Robyn, and her friend who's been playing for 8 years. Damn that house is freezing cold - lovely to look at, 1940's brick and tile sprawling bungalow, but no insulation.

We managed to play a number of songs together, and sounded quite professional. Lots of fun, and would be good to do it again.

David came and took Becca home around 3.30, and I was home by 5.00. Put dinner on, helped Becca finish her "Interview with Rincewind", did some more work on the baggie, had dinner, folded washing, watched tele, now blogging. Almost time for bed.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Walkies & Manuals

11.00pm at night, and time to take the doggies for a walk. It's an almost full moon, with a ring around her, and one star beside her. There's very high, hazy cloud tonight, and it's kept the warmth in - it's only about 17degC outside. The ground was squishing underfoot, the catchment pond is full up, and there's a waterfall in the drain that fills the pond. David and I walked Tara & Kama along the stream boardwalk - it's much colder down there, and the boards are very slippery.
Digital camera's don't take a very good picture of distant objects, but it's still pretty!

The dog's enjoyed the walk, but as usual did a disappearing act, off to find their favourite supplies of cat shit. When Tara did come back, she gave a hearty burp of satisfaction. Disgusting dog!

Well, I've finally given in, and am reading the User Manual that came with my nice, flash car. It came up with TRC/VSC on the display again, when I planted boot coming up a slope into a round-about. According to the book this is the Traction Control system -oooohhh! - and is meant to stop the front wheels spinning on a slippery road surface. And VSC is vehicle stability Control. In other words, don't hoon thru round-abouts when the road is wet and slippery - which takes all the fun out of driving a red car - coz they're meant to go fast.
It's midnight and time for bed - no more time to read any more blogs tonite - I'm systematically going thru Deirdre's Sloppy Studio, checking all the links - some are cool, others don't do anything for me.

Sunday, 13 July 2008


What an incredibly beautiful, glorious day it's been today! Clear blue sky, a high of about 17degC, and beautiful sunshine. I love Auckland in mid-winter - especially on days like today when it forgets to be winter.

Went up to the Waitakere Ranges this morning to tend my trap line. Idiots have been at work, with the first 2 traps missing completely, trap 3 sprung with a beer bottle, and traps 4, 5, 6 also sprung. Traps 12 and 13 both had dead rats - one dating from around 22 June (yuk - not much left of that one), and one within the last 24 hours - still blood on the kill-plate, and rigor mortis.

The dogs love running down the hill at top speed, racing me on my pushbike, and then the slow walk back up from the dam to the top of the ridge.
Disguised all the traps with ferns and stuff to stop nasty Homo Sapiens from messing with them. We've had 2 Hihi mistake them for nestboxes, which was the original reason for the disguise, but I think H.S. are more of a menace!
Came home and did more tidying in my craftroom - order is starting to rise from the chaos - labelmakers rock!
Wine, Whine, Wine
Transferred my Persimmon wine from the 30-odd litre barrel to demijohns - whew - just the smell of the alcohol content could knock you over. Filled one up too high, and once the pressure built up, it blew out through the airlock - messy!
The Rice & Raisin has stopped fermenting, and gone out to the cold garage, but the 2 DJ's of mead are still going.
Sewing Class at Newson's yesterday, with another new block, and a whole heap of techniques we're supposed to learn before we get our next "challenge pack".
Talking of challenge packs, I'm starting to veer towards either a carry bag, or maybe something like a rubbish bin cover.
Wendy & I visited Jillianz Patchwork & Quilting centre afterwards - they've got a Nolting Long Arm Quilting machine, that uses a pantograph and a red laser light to read the pattern, while Jill drives the machine by hand - very impressive.
They had a really cool "Farmyard" quilt they were free-motion quilting - that gave me a few ideas for the bloody challenge.
I've signed up for a Mermaid Quilt class - hopefully I can source most of the fabrics from my stash, and not have to buy too many. Ku, the lady running the class, has a beautiful "Maori Legends" series of quilts, and this class teaches the techniques she uses in them.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

I've got my craftroom back!

For the last 7 months my son has been in my craftroom, while the German homestay has been in the spare bedroom. Except for a two week period when Julien was away, and I had a splurge, my crafting has been very sparodic, and not terribly satisfying. This is what it looks like without the bed, and before tidying.

I've got tomorrow morning off to look after Becca, so I'm going to clean, tidy, spray n wipe, burn incense, rearrange furniture, and dismantle and rebuild my altars - after all, they still think it's Christmas and summer still! - and generally get rid of the smell. (oh, and be at work by 1300).

And now I do believe there is a God/Goddess. All the way along the 50km I had a guy in a Ford trying to drive up my tailpipe, and once we got to the motorway, he drove around me on the on-ramp, and took off, probably reaching around 130k by the top of the ridge. There was I thinking ... and where's a cop when you want one? And on the other side of the ridge - there he was - a cop with a speed camera! Mr Ford braked too late, the cop took off after him and stopped him. HOOORAY. I believe, I believe!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008


My Design Wall. About 4 "works in progress". A sunflower, 3 crazy quilt blocks that will become a cover for the headboard of our bed, a spiral that will be incorporated in something one day and was a lot of fun to make; my first mini-landscape, that's still being added to as inspiration bites, and miscellaneous bits that will become part of something else.

This is my second mini-landscape - thanks Valerie Hearder and "Points of view". I've used this as the front piece of a folder cover. I had lots of fun fussy-cutting the plants and rocks for this, and like the way it's coming out of the frame.

And quilt blocks from Newsons classes.


For the past year, we've had a German homestay student staying with us. Julien Tenardi became a huge part of our lives, and over the 12 months he was here, we watched him change from a quiet, shy boy, suffering culture shock and jet lag, to a confident, outgoing young man, with an excellent grasp of colloquial English (and that's saying something!). I made this Scrapbook from a kitset that contained most of the paper and embellishments, adding some extra touches.

Clockwise: Julien, caving at Waipu;the Billi-ottle family with Julien and Cornelia; Waitakere valley from the Waitakere Dam, Sue, Becca & David, with Kama and Tara, standing in front of a Kauri; Paintball and Auckland's Skytower.

My first post

Well, finally, I've got my own blog - it's only taken about 2 years to get around to it.

In June I joined the Embroidery/Quilting class at my favourite sewing machine suppliers (HA Newson's), and started learning how to make "proper" quilt blocks. I've sewn the first 5 blocks - Streak of Lightning; Woven Ribbons; Pinwheels; Dutchman's Puzzle; Ohio Star.

I rather enjoyed the precision and concentration required in cutting out squares and triangles and joining them together. Basically spent every night for a week joining the dots. Can't say I'm terribly keen on the colour scheme, but who can complain at only $3 for fabric and instruction sheet?

Carol & Liz at Newson's have a cunning plan for joining the blocks, so we'll wait and see.

I've also played with my girlfriend Wendy's embroidery machine to make my name badge (great toy, but can't justify around $1000 for something I'd rarely use.) I've used one of my mini-landscapes for the front of my folder cover, and am going to make up a piece of crazy-quilt to go on the inside as a pocket to hold pen, notepad, name tag etc.

In the last couple of days I've joined 2 Yahoo quilting groups - Quilters Coven (mainly US based), and Alternative Quilters (mainly UK based). Both of course have a scattering of Kiwis, from Rotorua, to Dubai, to France - don't we get around!

I've just finished reading Connie Willis' Passage - stayed up till midnight to try to finish it, but still had 30 pages left - found it un-put-downable. Then watched the Doctor Who Christmas Episode - which had the Tardis running into.... wait for it.... the Titanic. So now I'm having a reading binge on Titanic; Women & Children First - boring; A Night to Remember - excellent. The library has a copy of the movie - mmmm Leonardo di Caprio nom nom.

It's about 6 degrees outside, with a beautiful crescent moon lying on her back, clear sky and the milky way is a glowing river across the sky.

Ok - now I have to figure out how to add photos to this. Ain't technology fun!