Monday, 21 January 2019

In which we continue the yellow streak.

Today we were promised rain in the evening and I had decided that I'd forgo the evening walk and stay in to stitch up two small cardigans knitted by the DBEM.   But the weatherman was wrong so I went on my walk and only sewed up half a cardigan!
But I did watch the TV weather and add today's square to the Temperature Chart.   This is fun!

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Only a year late!

Inspired by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching I have made a start on a 2019 Temperature Chart.   Unlike Lowestoft, Auckland does not have such a huge range in temperature from season to season so it will be interesting to see how the colour variations show up.   This may indeed prove the claims to sub tropical climate  which Aucklander's use as an excuse for almost every garden growing hibiscus!
Progress has been slow and until tonight consisted of writing down the daily temperature.   But I now have the colours to hand and have made a start,  These are the first 10 "little squares" that form the centre of the big spiralled square and tomorrow I will catch up and be able to do one a day.   Quite achievable and will still allow time to complete the Octagonal Box - only three sides to complete now and then the final construction.
The Temperature Chart may well prove to be a depiction of the DBEM's health too -  she finds the "orange days" hard.  Today she had insufficient energy to accept the offer of a drive to a nearby park to sit in the cool of the shady oak trees. 
I on the other hand have derived an almost Calvinistic satisfaction from crossing off every last item on my Saturday To-Do list and can now go to bed happy after turning over the page in the notebook -for tomorrow's list!

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Back to Work

Back at work this week and all is still quiet in my department.  But you know what it's like when the days seem long and the evenings short!  By the time dinner is prepared and eaten; the dishes washed and the once round the walking circuit completed there isn't much time for anything else.   I continue to plod away at The Octagonal Box and with the lid and the base complete I'm working on the sides.   Fortunately my 'tennis elbow' seems to have settled a little and I can manage with minimal discomfort if I'm careful.
We are having hot days and muggy "tropical" nights here so energy levels are depleted for the DBEM  who can usually be revived with a stroll for a few minutes in the evening shade and cool.   Her exercise physiologist comes for a review next week and hopefully he will be pleased with how she has maintained her strength and balance.   So all good on that front at present.

I counted up the list of books read last year and found to my surprise that it was 105.   Surprise because I didn't include on the list any of the e-Books borrowed through the Library, so in reality it would have been many more.   Out of that number some of course are forgettable and some eminently memorable.   Yesterday I finished reading aloud to the DBEM - A Year in the Life of The Yorkshire Shepherdess (Amanda Owen) and we both enjoyed it very much.   The DBEM has just completed Anne Frank's Diary on her Blind Foundation Talking Book so a tale of life on the high dales of Yorkshire was a complete contrast.

And so the new year begins Chez Nous.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Goodbye to the old year

It's always an odd feeling, this week between Christmas and New Year, when I am on holiday but at home; have a schedule of Things To Do but no particular interest in doing them; look forward to the new start of a New Year  but feel that the old year is in some way incomplete.
To make bad matters worse I seem to have a repetitive strain injury in my right elbow (tennis elbow when I don't play tennis?) and so my stitching time has had to be severely curtailed.   Baking the weekly batch of scones for the DBEM's lunches was rather painful as is any repetitive task. So I made a double batch of scones and of gingerbread loaves and am hoping the inflammation will have subsided before any more DBEM-baking is required.
Still I have managed quite a lot and have taken the DBEM out on fine days to various little beaches around the harbour where we have enjoyed sun and fresh air.   Jeffrey Archer's latest book followed me home from the library and that held my interest for some hours too!   I have been out walking each day covering quite a few kilometres around the neighbourhood.
Tonight I decided to try some stitching (after doing none at all since 20 December) and found that half an hour's work could be achieved with no increase in discomfort.   Here is where the Hardanger Doily is up to now.   Just the centre square and the outside lacy edging to complete.
I have been through my Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament editions and marked out those I want to stitch in 2019.   Also, I have cut the pelmet vilene (skirtex) for the Octagonal Box and have laced three of the small sides for the inner lining.  And I have sewn one dress and made a start on another.
Not too shabby an effort.
But I am not staying up until midnight so I will sign out for 2018 and wish you all a very Happy New Year.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you all from New Zealand where the pohutukawa trees bloom red and where this year the North Island has steady heavy rain and the South Island has sun!

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Goal Achieved!

Last Boxing Day, 26 December 2017, I embarked on what seemed an ambitious target to walk 1000km within one year.   As of Friday 14 December 2018 I have achieved that goal.   Perhaps on Boxing day this year I will up the distance and see if I can maintain the momentum?
I have no progress photos of the Octagonal Box.   All the component pieces have been backstitched and I am currently trying to decide whether I need more than two thicknesses of Pelmet Vilene (Skirtex) as stiffening.   
While I ponder on that I am scratching my hardanger itch and making good progress on The Doily.  A portion of the fourth side needs eyelets and then the fun begins as each of the "medallions" get their unique filling stitches.
This week Little Brother is coming to stay for a day or two so there will be more talking and less stitching but I have the next two weeks off work and have already drawn up my schedule of projects.
The remainder of the Spring Cleaning, the remainder of the Summer Dressmaking and plenty of stitching.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

All the fishes in the deep blue sea

The inner base of the Octagonal Box is now complete.  It was fun stitching this one with its variety of fish and other sea creatures. 
Next step is to cut the pieces of Skirtex and lace each part and only then can assembly begin.   Such geometrical precision is beyond me at the moment so  I will continue on with my piece of hardanger for now.
My pacemaker replacement went according to plan and after an early start that morning I was home late afternoon in time to ensure the DBEM had a proper dinner!   During my convalescence I have done a lot of reading and sleeping but these last couple of days have felt much better and completed a couple of items off the sewing list.  The lengthy list of instructions included "Driving is not permitted for two weeks" so I have been walking everywhere and consequently am nearing my 1000km target.  945km as of today and I have until Christmas Day to complete the remaining 55km so all should be well.