Where I Am At Home

On her blog this week, Tsh Oxenreiter is celebrating the release of her new book, At Home in the World. I picked up (totally cover lust) Notes from a Blue Bike a while ago and liked it.

On her blog, Tsh is inviting people to write about three things:

  1. Share about a place where you feel at home in the world.
  2. Write about a city (of any size) you love. (there’s prompts for this submission)
  3. Tell me whyyou’ve chosen to stay wherever it is you call home…

 I’m picking number one. And for me, number one is Te Henga or Bethells Beach, Auckland.


It’s a wild, windy West Coast beach with all that the geographical location implies. There’s no swimming here (except in the lagoon that is formed by Waitakere River) and the surf patrol is only during the high season. The coffee cart is in the clearing next to the main carpark – and often the eftpos is down, so make sure you take some cash & don’t expect to be able to use cell phone data or WiFi – and the public toilets are paved with the black sand from where people have showered or simply rinse their feet off before going home.

Walking down the sheltered entry you could be forgiven for thinking there’s nothing much going on here. The carpark may be full but it’s rare that you’ll encounter someone else, except when the tide is out and all the kids want to explore the cave. Dogs run freely down the south end of the beach, wheeling around like the gulls they chase, bouncing into the surf after tennis balls and driftwood. If you want to explore, head left at the heads and climb over towards Ihumoana Island (now fenced off due to rockfalls) and further north, past Kauwahia Island and surf at O’Neill Bay.

Head right, and stretch your legs down towards the old wharf and the caves. You can keep going, moving down the Hillary Trail for hours or days. Your head will clear of anything and you’ll come away reinvigorated. It’s a great place to walk & talk to God, to your significant other, to your kids.

Resources: http://www.waitakere.govt.nz/cnlser/pbr/plans/pdf/tehenga/rmptehenga_pg9to20.pdf


What I Did On My Summer Vacation

So..the family went away. The kids & Grandma flew to Invercargill on the Sunday, then (as regular readers will know) Si & I went the following Wednesday.

I’ve tried to select some different shots from what I posted on IG, and they should have captions. If you want to know more about a place/time, let me know in the comments.


On New Year’s Day, Si & I then drove the Toy Car back up, along the West Coast, catching the ferry at Picton, spending time in Wellington then back home.

Starting Over Feels Like…

Stephanie has set up a mini SFS group to “dummy run” from November thru to January. Yay for the re-start. Now to be disciplined; October was a month of oh-I-can’t-buy-next-year-must-get-it-all-now and that isn’t sustainable in anyone’s life (craft, chocolate or whatever – do drinkers freak out before Dry July? Curious minds want to know).

After a nasty fall last week I’m starting over with exercise. I did walk to the Domain on Friday (just over 4km, so easy; Si & Biebs are now reffing a weekly tournament there in addition to Watchman Tag on Wednesday); we did the stairs on Saturday & the little ones and I walked OTH on Sunday. Last night I walked from work to Patiki; about 6.3km & then tonight is #BBM bootcamp. My summer routine will be about feeling strong.

I am not starting over with Jenny Craig however. I simply can’t continue to work those sums into the budget but I achieved what I wanted to. My portion size is mostly under control; I try to eat 5-6 times a day & I eat a lot healthier than I did. I’m certainly not eating chocolate every day (sorry for the sales crash, Whittakers) I’ve lost nearly 10 kilos and I don’t get headaches daily, even tho I stopped taking that medicine about 2 months ago. I’m counting all this as a win.

What can you start over to give you that “woo hoo” feeling?

PS – don’t forget to enter my giveaway over in Flosstube! Link in a previous post.

Going to Custard

Si and Zac saw some fabric in Spotlight the other week and decided they would like boxers out if it. I thought (based on the success of making Mase his monkey pants) that this was something I could do.


Well Mase’s are great. Almost perfect.
Zac’s? Followed the instructions exactly. The crotch isn’t even going to cover his willy. $25 fabric and an hours work wasted.

I’m going to be in the corner, crying & unpicking if you’re looking for me. Let’s hope I can salvage something.

Hi Five for Friday!

I’m feeling so so grateful right now. Here are some things I love this week:

  1. The doctor & physio are on the same wavelength & ACC has approved the claim. I have a referral to a hand specialist already!
  2. Simon fixed my old tapestry stand. It took me about an hour to attach the fabric to the strips on the frame (I kept stopping to rest my hand and to oogle the sheds in George Clarke’s Shed of the Year) & I will have to learn to stitch either with two hands or left handed, but I will be able to stitch! Next step is to sort out a smaller frame so I can stitch smaller projects.
  3. The forecast for the weekend is awesome. School fundraiser fireworks show tonight, bonfire at the FIL’s hobby farm tomorrow. Neither will be rained out.
  4. Plenty of flowers on my dwarf apple, and lots of bumble bees!
  5. I started shopping for the 12 Days of Simon that I will do again in December. I have a set of Jelly Moulds (that will be day 8, as there are 8 moulds) & a T ornament (for his last name).
  6. While one of the fish I brought last week didn’t thrive, it was easy to get a replacement. Meet Refund (the grey gourami, he’s very curious about hoomans) and Reward (the yellow gourami, I used my reward voucher to pay for him). Yay for Animates.


WIP Wednesday

I’ve had a real up & down week. Early last week I came down with the flu, thanks to my boss and a workmate who just didn’t stay away (ugh). I crashed Wednesday (yay for scheduled posts, altho this is one I would never normally schedule), worked from home Thursday then lazed around all weekend. I think one day, in between coughing fits, napping and doing absolutely nothing, I had the massive achievement of 18% of my activity goal. Hmm. But feeling a lot better now, almost caught up on work after two days at the kitchen bench on the laptop, so here we go!


I did get these stitched this last week. I figured that if I was giving them away, I had better stitch them first! Residence was altered to match my house – we’re at #36, it has a brown roof & beige bricks, and I have lemon & apple trees. Then I altered the colours in Stitching Forever (hubby doesn’t love the sentiment, to be fair, but hey! His laundry gets done and that’s all that counts). Lizzie*Kate designs are so easy to alter to whatever suits you so if you’re at all hesitant on converting threads, they’re ideal to start with. If you don’t like the look of something, there’s only a little to frog out. For example, I was originally going to make the initial letters to resemble illuminated letters – but that looked too odd! I’ve also deliberately duplicated some colours so that when they are hung there will be some visual “same/same”.



Also please don’t forget to enter my blog giveaway! Check it out HERE and make a comment – entries are open until next WIPocalypse!

Original Used featured
470 4045
322 as charted
924 930 door, words
3823 3782
829 839
899 3756 windows
3363 3345
windows – b/s in 839
other – b/s in 3733
lemons MH 02002
apples MH03056
Original Used featured
Stitching Forever
3740 930 lettering
309 as charted
210 309 S back
3364 4045
3363 367
3740 3021 centre letters
3364 3782 H back

IMG_20151011_125930I also made Mase some jammie pants for summer. This is the trial piece – I had to alter the Simplicity pattern to make butt/legs for a 7y.o and the waist for a 4y.o! I think the fabric is perfect – a light cotton with monkeys.

Next up is a big decision – Raven Queen, Roses of Provence or another blitz on Persephone? I do have to buy two threads to complete April’s Mira RR and while that’s on 40ct (eep!) there’s less than a week’s worth of stitching to do here. I ended up using Christmas Elegance, which is another I could start, as I do have the fabric for it, as I think the one used in the model stitch is perfect…thoughts? FB is leaning towards RQ, Instagram towards RoP. That’s no help! Please comment! 


Raven Queen. I do have all the sparklies for her.


Provence. I’d need to get the beads for her.