Saturday, 28 January 2012

A long weekend

Good evening everyone.   I have been back at work again this past week and after three days off it was hard to settle to routine and catch up on the pile of paper.   Now we have Monday as a Public Holiday and I am enjoying a long weekend and have a long list of chores.
The wedding went well although the weather was a disaster.   Saturday and Monday were fine and hot but Sunday, the day of the wedding was Wet Wet Wet.   And windy -  we all realised afresh why our capital city is called Windy Wellington!   Hence no photos except a few my Little Sister has sent me.   I know I have introduced you to the HDHBEM before but has Little Sister shown her face?   I can't remember - but here we are, the three women of the family.
Besides the bride and groom there were four bridesmaids, a best man and three groomsmen, two flower girls and a page boy so the bridal party travelled by bus!

My new niece-in-law is very creative and made the cake topper herself.  This is the "best photo" I have of the bride and groom at present (ha ha. By way of explanation- my nephew loves Batman)
Now for a stitching catch up. I have finished the Sajou M and it has exceeded my expectations. I love the flow of the letter and the colour of the thread. Now I will need to choose a suitable frame and it can go on the wall.

While away, I did all the tacking on the Red Toblerone and made a start on the stitching.  
 Progress was rapid until the HDHBEM reminded me that this was to be my Guild project so I stopped that and started another project -  Twisted Oaks Designs - 'a patchwork garden ball'.   There are 18 segments done on six different colours of 28 count linen, using mainly Dinky Dyes Silks and Simply Shaker Overdyed threads.   This is my start on the G of garden.
Today, before the HDHBEM and I went into the city on the bus to do some shopping for her, I made a chocolate slice and iced it.   We came back for a quick lunch at home and then out to do the grocery, fruit and vege shopping.   Also, we went to the garden shop and then I planted some lettuce, carrots, silverbeet and some new parsley plants.  A quick 45 minute walk and then I made a new recipe for dinner -"Cod Fillets Pizza Style".   Very nice; we shall try that again.  Wow.   Written like that it sounds a very busy day.   Tonight I will relax with some stitching in front of Midsomer Murders.  

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Before I depart...

Good evening all,
Tomorrow morning the HDHBEM and I leave to drive to Wellington where my Little Sister's younger son is getting married.   It is an 8 hour drive from here and far too much for the HDHBEM to do that in one hop, so we stop off part way for one night.  
Tonight I will finish my packing, but the necessary things like needlework (two pieces just in case, as it would be terrible to run out of stitching!), books (we will be away four nights so of course I need 6 books!) and my cameras are all in the suitcase.   I must rush now to my wardrobe and dig out some shoes and a dress to wear to the wedding so I am not a disgrace to my family.  Don't worry Little Sister, I am only joking.   I promise to scrub up well enough on the day.

Over the past few nights I have managed to get this far on another M for my collection.   This is a Sajou alphabet, stitched in one strand of silk floss over two threads of antique white 36 count Edinburgh linen.  Hopefully this will be completed this weekend. 
I'll be back next week with some more photos.   Hope you all have a great weekend

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Both of us have been busy!!

Two items to show tonight -  one the product of the HDHBEM's knitting prowess.

Isn't this little pink baby cardigan cute?   Tomorrow it will begin its journey to Amy's house, hopefully to arrive before she leaves to visit her new grand-daughter.  
And I have finally take photographs of the Bits and Bobs sewing pocket.   One of the front with the cute beaded berry toggles.

And a side on shot to show the pocket between the folds.

This was a very interesting "pocket" to stitch and I enjoyed learning a new type of construction. 
As an aside, isn't the tartan tin gorgeous?   One of my Japanese friends sent it to me - full of their famed 'Mary's Chocolates'.   Currently it is still two thirds full - I am enjoying the tin almost as much as the actual contents!
Have a good evening everyone.

Message for Barb

I will put my postal address in my profile.   If you mail me a postcard with your address I can send your gift - I really want you to have this!!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Blogaversary Draw - delayed result

Good afternoon to you all.   Yesterday the HDHBEM was supposed to draw the winning entry but she went to bed early. 
Today we had a little discussion.   Not everyone counted the correct number of Hospice Cardigans but the HDHBEM said that everyone should be included in the draw as they had shown such a kindly interest in her work!   So I dusted off Grandma's bowl, folded all entries and away we went.

And guess what??? The HDBEM drew a winner who also had the correct count!  
Yes there were 20 Hospice Cardigans in that photo.  Congratulations Barb.   Please email me your postal address and your prize will be on its way to you this week.
Thankyou to everyone who participated in my blogaversary and gave such pleasure to the HDHBEM.  I  love getting comments and getting to know new blog friends.
Barb, I see you were asking after Madame Muriel.   When she left me she went to the UK to spend Christmas.   You can follow her on this blog.
This afternoon  have made 5 dozen chocolate chip cookies and a Ginger Crunch slice so now I am ready to finish off the Bits and Bobs sewing pocket.  Have a great day everyone.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

One down one to go

Today has been wet wet wet.   I managed to get the grocery shopping done and also went to a local shopping mall to spend vouchers I received for Christmas.   Some new underwear and a new top to liven up a summer skirt=happy Margaret!
It is now bed time for me but I have managed to finish one of the small sewing bags.  

I did finger knitting for the cord and linen toggles for the ends.  I used Wessex stitchery for this small bag and used threads from my stash.   The fabric is antique white 32 count belfast linen.   Although the lining was supposed to be navy and is more grey, I am pleased with how this turned out.    Between the folds of what looks like a needlebook lurks a small drawstring bag.   The whole concept is intriguing and I am pleased to have successfully constructed this.
The back looks like this.
Now I need to see who Inspector Barnaby will arrest for the murders this week - yes I am addicted to Midsomer Murders! 
The HDHBEM has already gone to bed so we will do the great blogaversary draw tomorrow morning and I will post the winner then.
Good night all.

Friday, 6 January 2012

And finally some stitching to report

Before the stitching snapshots I have this to show you.   I went into the city today and visited McDonalds for a Diet Coke.   It came in a paper cup with this exhortation from Ronald McDonald himself.   Who would have thought that clown to be so interested in such intellectual pastimes??

But for once I agree with Ronald:   I too love reading books and thanks to these two weeks of holidays have managed to finish four.   The stalagmite of books besides my bed is not growing at an alarming rate just at present.   However there is a notice from the library that they are holding two of my requests for me.
Mother and I have just finished "reading" this audiobook and I would heartily recommend it -  a murder story to rival any Agatha Christie with a suitable twist in the tail.

Now for the promised stitching update

Tomorrow I hope to construct the small "sewing bits and bobs" bags for which both these pieces of stitching are intended.   There is a small pocket on the inside of each for needle packets or small scissors and then a drawstring bag sits in the centre to hold the "bits and bobs".   The bird will have a green lining and berry toggles on the twisted thread draw cord.   I wanted to try another in the same construction so this Wessex Stitchery piece will have a french navy lining and linen toggles on a finger knitted cord.   At least that is the we shall see.  
I have the grocery shopping and a visit to the local mall to fit in tomorrow as well but we are promised rain (again) so I won't need to feel I should be doing other chores.   Weeding the garden and washing the car can wait until the next weekend.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Sunny weather and a roadtrip

While the morning started off cloudy, we decided it was fine enough to travel and set off for Ngatea, a small village about 100km south east of Auckland.  
First stop was The Copper Kettle for lunch.   This quaint old house is now a cafe but with no Copper Kettle in sight anywhere.   The HDHBEM had a standard New Zealand lunch.   Mince pie and a milk shake.

After that we wandered the street-  and found this shop.  

Fancy one store having exactly what both of us like most.   The HDHBEM immediately saw the wool yarn by the door and I saw the boxes of books at sale prices!!  Of course she purchased some more knitting wool -  it was a real bargain and I didn't have to twist her arm to persuade her.  
Next stop was the Ngatea Water Gardens.

We parked where directed by this sign -  of all those available this seemed the most appropriate!

And went through to the wonderful gardens. 
Five acres of beautifully laid out gardens, a huge pond/lake, lots of wildlife and a plethora of quirky signs.

The white peacock was amazingly tame
This sign made me grin a little
In a corner of these gardens was a Canuseum - the owner' father-in-law had been an assiduous collector of aluminum cans and they had purpose built a shed to contain them all.   There seemed to be many thousand of them.  

I searched high and low among the America/Canada beer cans for what Amy had called Root Beer-  only to find it hidden among the soft drink cans.   So I am still none the wiser what Root Beer is.

In the small shop at the exit I came across some books -  but these too displayed evidence of the owners sense of humour.

I especially liked the volume entitled "Nothing in Particular by Y Reed"!!

No stitching progress to report - perhaps tomorrow.   Meanwhile, have a good night everyone.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Marguerites etc

Today I have been busy stitching but have no photographs to show you of that.  
This photo is of the cooperative effort for the most recent Hospice Cardigan.   The HDHBEM baulked at doing the lacy edge so I offered to do that part and gladly left the sewing up and attaching of all 10 buttons to her.   Looks good though, doesn't it?

On my walk up Mt Eden today I took this snapshot of the lovely Marguerites.   Up until recent months there were cattle grazing on the mountain so the grass was kept under control.   Since the removal of the cattle the sides of the path are lined with grasses of many varieties, purple and white clover flowers, borage, common yellow daisies and these lovely Marguerites.   Nothing common about them!!

Tomorrow I have to go to work for one day in order to print off and send out the customer statements.   Just one day though and then I have Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday off to enjoy.   The HDHBEM and I plan a mini roadtrip on Thursday - we will probably take a picnic and make use of the fancy new picnic basket I received at Christmas.
Have a good evening everyone and don't forget to sign up for the giveaway which I will draw on Saturday evening (NZ time).   Please leave a comment on this post only.

Monday, 2 January 2012

The sun is shining

Today we took a trip north of Auckland City, to try out the new toll road and to visit the small settlement of Puhoi that everyone seems to rave about.
The toll road was just that - a toll road - but the charges are done electronically.   I was suitably underwhelmed!
Puhoi was over in the blink of an eye.   What a small small place for such a large large reputation!   But there were a couple of items that brought the camera out of the bag!

This tiny shop sells gourmet mustards!!

And this library.   How cute is that?  

I especially liked the book stall out side and found four books to add to my pile of reading.
We drove on to another small town, somewhat larger than Puhoi, called Warkworth, where we had sushi for lunch and the HDHBEM had a lime milk shake for afters.   This reminds me.   I have been asked what HDHBEM stands for.

It all goes back to this photo of my Half Deaf Half Blind Elderly Mother!!   Too much typing for that title so I invented the acronym which has been in use ever since.

It is true she is literally that but today she looks like this.

The HDHBEM told me I should show a photo of myself but being extremely shy (in truth I cannot work the self timer on my camera) I resorted to this photo of an old sketch done at the local fair. 

After we got home I went for a walk up the local mountain, an extinct volcano.   This is the large crater that is a delight to local children who slide down on large cardboard boxes.   While they howl with delight, their mothers stand aghast at the top waiting for the disasters that never happen.

And finally my first finish for this year.   A small hardanger needle book to use up two hanks of hand dyed thread.   I suspect this will meet its fate in the sale basket at the Embroiderers' Guild exhibition.

 Have a good evening everyone.