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.

IMG_20160703_184259

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

 

Friyay!

Oh, thank goodness it’s Friday. This week has been full-on, with the middle three days devoted to the work conference. I am pleased to report that I didn’t embarrass myself (or my boss) and didn’t call anyone by the wrong name. Not even once. Admittedly this was helped by being in a group with one other with the same name, 3 other support office people, someone I clicked with right away, and another I thought was OK and not a plonker.

And speaking of the plonk, it was pretty low on the scale, so that was only the half glass with dinner. Just enough to pretend that I am an adult.

And my team won the challenge. We rock.

Stitching-wise, nothing but FFO so far. So at least I ticked off some monthly goal between WIPocalypse updates. Toothless in all the variations is going off to Europe in the post today. Hope my partner enjoys!

Zac was involved in the term art exhibition at Waitakere yesterday. It’s cool to see where his talents are evolving to. This is my super sporty, super geeky kid who is exploring his boundaries and taking every opportunity. Love that.

Have a good weekend, everyone! Don’t forget to get some exercise in! (that’s me in the blue – lots and lots of bear crawls make for a really solid sleep!)

IMG_20170406_205459_184

Back to your regularly scheduled programme…

Important bit – none of the links below are affiliate. Deerskin is actually to a review, not the purchase.

It feels so good to be back writing, and reading, and stitching, and (dare I say it) work! I spent a good portion of the last fortnight ill, five work days away from my desk, and it’s only yesterday that the sleep-deprived me felt kind-of-normal.

SO about the above..

  • I started & finished Deerskin, by Robin McKinley. I’d not read any of her novels but I got hooked in by the cover. And the price (it was free that day). Now I’m adding Sunshine to the Kindle, as @aragonsgirl72 recommended her on my IG post.
  • For those of you that liked my version of Not All Those Who Wander, Emma Congdon has now uploaded this to her etsy site.
  • I brought myself the Palace Cinema from Lego. Loving it. Construction kept my mind tired and from being overwhelmed with solo parenting & worry. I finished it and brought the Bank set. I might have started a new obsession…
  • Mase “helped” with the construction. Cars are still a little boy favourite. Look how long his fingers are now! I miss the true little boy chubbiness.
  • And last night was my first night at a stitch group in far too long. I laughed and really enjoyed myself. It was in Grey Lynn, an older established and PRETTY suburb of Auckland. Love the way the trees grew to form a canopy.

And stitch-wise, I am well into March’s Stitch MAYnia designer SAL, which was Teresa Wentzler. My goal was to back stitch and fill in a lot of the gaps in the top floral border of Tapestry Cat. I’m really happy with the progress.

And as for the other, that’s for an Instagram swap. My partner loves How to Train Your Dragon, so as one of the pieces I am making her a needlebook with the two main characters front and back. Cloudsfactory make such easy, cute designs for this sort of thing.

What have you been up to?

 

The Hux or Why I’m Walking Funny…

I blame Loren. She’s got me into this mess. But Hello, I am achieving things. I’m even starting a bucket list.

Remember how I am part of BBM, or Buttabean Motivation? On Sunday, a portion of us met at the Brownlee Ave carpark in Ngaruwhaia to encourage James, a Hamilton #BBM crew member, to tick off one of his goals – to climb the Hux. He’s the big guy in the white singlet in the photos.

The Hux, or Hakarimata Mountain, can be divided into two portions. There’s the relatively easy walk to the site of the 1922 dam (nice waterfall is just past this) or the more strenuous climb to the summit. No points for guessing what we did. 1K almost straight up, 1349 stairs. Kudos to the Department of Conservation team who maintain the track!

Being honest, I have to admit that by the halfway mark I was pretty much done psychologically. My calves HURT despite frequent stretches and I was sucking back water. Also, being girly, relying on my Evian facial mist to keep me cool. Si was carrying the backpack luckily so we weren’t really limited. It was at this point we kind-of ditched the main group. One of the wall quotes was the Henry Ford comment – Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right – and I took that on board. If I knew I could finish, I would.

Mase had run on ahead with Normo (a fellow westie) and Wayne, Zac following but I needed to pace myself. Si and I broke it down to 2-4 sets of steps, stretch, another 2-4 sets & encouraging each other along. Poor Si had run almost 25k the previous day, refereeing at the last day of the Tongan Tag tournament, so his legs were pretty tired anyway.

It took us the better part of 50 minutes to get to the summit; surprisingly the recommended time. I thought that I would have held us back. The view – stupendous. It was an almost perfect day (on a totally clear day you can see as far as Ruapehu, one of the Central Plateau volcanoes).

 

It took another 40 minutes for James to make it up. The majority of the group was with him, and we all gave him a round of applause and a high-five gauntlet as he came thru the last portion. You could see it meant a lot to him, to have achieved his goal, and that made it worthwhile in a lot of ways.

So next on my list? The Rangitoto climb. Pinnacles, Tongariro Crossing, the Auckland version of Coast-to-Coast. Round the Bays (at a walk). Waitakere’s Slip Track, and from Bethells up to Scenic Drive. I think that of those, probably RTB and Slip Track will be the easiest to implement.

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.

Enjoy!

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.

WIPocalypse begins!

lk-hnyHAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

 

WIPocalypse is hosted by Mel at her blog http://measi.net/measiblog/ 2016 was the sixth year of the SAL, and my second year participating; let’s go for a trilogy.

 

January first is all about setting goals for the year, so that in early December I can go “oh crap!” LOL This year I intend to be multi-platform again, with the daily focus being on Instagram but at least the WIP Wednesday, Smalls and WIPocalypse posts here on the blog, and a monthly Flosstube. I have weekly rotation plans written in my diary to take me thru to the end of March & I will review then.

20161219_113839.jpg

The rotation plans are loosely worked around the following:

  • StitchMaynia’s monthly SAL e.g. Feb is “fandom” (I am thinking Cloudsfactory Labyrinth), March is Teresa Wentzler (Tapestry Cat). December/January has the 12 Days of Christmas, starting on Christmas day and finishing on the 6th – I will be taking my Hands On Design Christmas Chalk away with me. Mostly because I paid for the fabric (32ct!!) and I need to use it, so if it’s all I have with me I should see some progress.
  • StitchMaynia’s colour SAL (this is only on the 15th of each month).
  • The Never Ending Band Sampler (as my learning piece of the month).
  • The Magazine SAL (as hosted by Heather; click the image to the right for more info). This piece will double as my Smalls (click on that image for more info) post as I intend to use the JCS Christmas magazines all year, especially now that I have the CD with the past issues!
  • The Round Robin piece, whatever it is and whenever it arrives.
  • Focus on a Finish – whatever needs completing from the above or a current WIP that is nearly there. Mermaids of the Deep will be high on that list.

I am not going to start a New Year New Mira – mostly because I am away from home and I really do have enough started. Going into 2017, I have the following starts (listed in age!!):

  • TW Tapestry Cat (Dec 2006!)
  • Semco Toy Story Sampler (October 2013)
  • Nora Corbett Arezzo (March 2014)
  • Mirabilia Persephone (May 2015)
  • Nora Corbett Blitzen (as part of my reindeer parade, Rudolph started in July 2015)
  • Mirabilia Mermaids of the Deep Blue (December 2015)
  • Mirabilia Raven Queen (January 2016)
  • Tamara Blackwork (September 2016)
  • Never Ending Band Sampler
  • Lavender & Lace Celtic Winter (December 2016)

Ten’s not so bad, really!

December WIPocalypse

Whoa. It’s December already! And I have just these two days left at work for all of 2016. I’ve taken a loooong break this year so won’t be back until Jan 9th. And – gasp! – I have some cover. Amazed.

WIPocalypse is hosted by Mel at her blog http://measi.net/measiblog/ 2016 was the fifth year of the SAL, and my second year participating.

Anyway, let’s get into the recap. In January, I had a few plans/goals.

  1. Keep a separate portion of my diary for stitching goals AND keeping my WIP blog page updated with pics as I rotate. MOSTLY ACHIEVED – I was much better about recording than I was in 2015.
  2. Mirabilia Mermaids of the Deep. NEARLY COMPLETED – well, the stitching anyway. I had hoped to complete that in 2016 but there’s about 30-35 hours left, and it’s not going on holiday with me.
  3. Mirabilia Raven Queen. WORKED ON.
  4. Nora Corbett Cherub with Tree. FINISHED.
  5. Mirabilia Roses of Provence. DITCHED & FROGGED. I have a different fabric, so planning this for after I finish Persephone. Two Mira skirts would be one too many.
  6. Nora Corbett Blitzen. WORKED ON
  7. Mirabilia Persephone. BLITZED GOALS – currently in the middle of stitching the skirt. So far all conversions are working out.
  8. Nora Corbett Arezzo. DID NOT STITCH
  9. Semco Toy Story sampler. DID NOT STITCH.
  10. Teresa Wentzler Tapestry Cat. MINIMAL STITCH TIME.

I also completed a lot of smalls!

  • Jan – Chinese year of the Monkey
  • Feb – Nora Lily of the Valley RR, Noel mini sampler, Lizzie*Kate Up in the Treetops
  • Mar – nil
  • April – Hands On Design Plenty
  • May – Spring biscornu portion
  • June – Mill Hill fireflies kit, Pickle Barrel Noel, Cross Stitcher bunny kit
  • July – Mill Hill Holly kit x2, Mill Hill Berry kit x2
  • August – nil
  • Sept – Mill Hill Saxony Santa kit
  • Oct – Mill Hill Lapis kit x2, Mill Hill Merry Christmas Santa
  • Nov – Nora Petal Fairy RR
  • Dec – Plastic canvas trees

I also got a few “medium” finishes in. Country Cottage’s Afternoon in London, Cloudsfactory’s A Team and Emma Congdon/Stitchrovia Wise Words Tolkien quote.

For all the missed WIPs in the first section, I feel like I achieved a lot.