Uh Oh. Prepare for a long one, folks…plus WIP Wednesday #218

It’s been quite a while since I last wrote. I have no real excuse, just a general malaise with everything. I guess a mild semi-depression that I am working my way out of.

HEALTH – this is the biggie. The growth found on my annual physical in February has now been excised and a biopsy performed. And the best news – it’s benign. I am so relieved. However I couldn’t tell you the last time I went to boot camp & right now, I’m sticking to walking.

WEEK IN THE LIFE – I have completed my album – which was an achievement in itself! I am not happy with the volume of notes I made, & luckily I have enough in the way of embellishments that I can repeat the exercise in November (before December Daily). Ali’s newest Travel collection is somewhere in the NZ Post system so I hope to get that later this week. Photo post to come!

TRAVELLING – We’ve done a few small trips lately, as you would know if you followed my Instagram. We tried to get to a car wrecker in Whangarei the other weekend but due to an accident (no fatalities but two hours on a 2km stretch of road was frustrating) we couldn’t get there before closing. We ended up staying at Lang Beach, just south of Waipu Cove & did a lot of exploring around Whangarei. I also caught up with a previous workmate Jill, who has Si’s total admiration for sailing around the world (multiple times as long term readers will know) and not killing her husband in tight confines. Last Saturday we got up early, drove up & found the bumper we needed for the Toy Car – and the targa glass panels and covers & some other bits too! Also if you’ve coveted one, I can confirm that a Blunt umbrella is awesome. I got myself the Karen Walker limited edition, as it’s pretty and the odds that the boys will want to be seen using it are low!

OTHER STUFF – the Auckland Photography exhibition is on and Rory, a friend & official Briscoes photographer, has an exhibit on at the Wintergarden Café by the Auckland museum. His theme is birds & flowers & there were some pretty things.

20180602_173419

I went to a number of NZ Comedy Festival events – the 7 Days live screening with Louise, Paul Choudry with Si & then Lou treated us to Jamie Bowen – whose surprise guest was Dai Henwood. It wasn’t comedy as such, more a discussion around a wide range of ideas/events, but it still had laughs and things to ponder. I liked it.

20180530_173025I cleaned and re-stocked the big tank. Tubbs is happier! I do have the smaller tank still set up, much to Si’s disgust, and I think I will get some more mollies and a betta for this one – plus a new light. It needs a light desperately, now its winter and the sunshine hours have reduced.

READING – a lot of trash interspersed with some good writing. June/July looks good for me, with a lot of my fav authors released or releasing for the Northern Summer. I read the latest Rosalind James as part of the pre-release group; there’s a Nalini Singh Psy-Changling & a Tracey Alvarez Bounty Bay next week, a Kirsten Ashley Chaos & Eloisa James Wilde in July, and two LH Cosway to come (all pre-ordered to my Kindle). I had forgotten about the last two Nora Roberts releases so they’re on my Kindle now too.

20180519_065758Non-fiction has been Brene Brown & “The Year of Less” by Cait Flanders & “Slow” by Brooke McAlary. I brought Si “Spymistress” by William Stevenson for Audible and he recommends that one.

I also brought Cocktales, not for the writing but because of the cause. If you are not a romance writer you may be unaware of the huge uproar over a certain author deciding to trademark a word, which in this instance was “cocky”. Her reasons are as shallow as a bird bath is to the ocean, and multiple organisations are now funding the court battle against her, including an union organisation for authors. I don’t believe any one person can TM a commonly used word (it’s not like Xerox or Hoover, where the brand is now also the action) & I think her actions were malicious in intent.

STITCHING – I haven’t stitched all that much since I wrote. 8 instances on the LHN Summer Band Sampler got me to a finish; then 5 sessions on a new start, home*stitch*ness Four Seasons (New Zealand) version which I have quickly fallen out of love with (I think it’s the Cashel fabric, it’s not evenweave & very scratchy); two beading sessions on Mill Hill’s Honey Pot so those are now glued onto felt and ready to cut out as FFO’s; and at work/travel I am working on the two Trinidad Santa’s from last year’s Mill Hill/Sandra Cozzolino release. I’m up to the fiddly parts & making sure thread doesn’t carry on the back of the plastic canvas version. And at home I’m back in love with Fairy Idyll and nearly done with the greenery at the base of the rabbit. My round robin also came back; I need to stitch the square left & bead it all but that’s a budgeted finish for when I’m a little tired of FI.

STITCH FROM STASH – I had my first “no purchase” month in quite some time. This at least brought me back from the brink & I finished in the positive. I’ve also sold (for the same price as I paid) the second copy I had of the Mirabilia Cinderella design so this month looks good too.

Apr-18 May-18
Budget $25.00 Budget $25.00
Melinda – 4*mags -11.04    
Andie – OOP Miras -40.00    
home*stitch*ness 4 Seasons -9.81    
Spotlight Cashel FQ -34.99    
Spotlight 10 DMC -16.90    
       
Melinda’s RR Gigi 12.56 SOLD Angel of Christmas 10.00
Countrystitch Credit (dye) 4.44 LHN Summer Sampler 14.63
LK Be Bold 9.25    
       
Rollover $25.20 Rollover -$36.29
Total Available Budget -$36.29 Total Available Budget $13.34

WIPOCALYPSE QUESTIONS: I’ll post these in the June entry. I need to make sure I post more regularly!

thanks for reading!

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March WIPocalypse

WIPocalypse is hosted by Mel at her blog http://measi.net/measiblog/ ; it’s my favourite SAL, mostly due to the host organisation (which is spot on), the range of topics & the wide variety of stitchers participating. There’s always something to oooh over! Click on the link to the right.

March Focus:

  • Mira RR piece – started, I hates it
  • CAYR SAL – started Satsuma Stocking #3, the reindeer one
  • Flosstube update – Feb’s uploaded in the first week of March

Yep. March came in and stole my stitchy bug. The weave on the RR piece is very tight (32ct opalescent that was then dyed) and I am not enjoying my progress. I have to wear the reading glasses and work short stints, or my head aches. And bc my reading glasses are so focussed, I can’t do my usual and stitch along to Flosstube, as I can’t even focus on the (very large) TV across the room. It’s going to be a daylight only, headphones on, gripping audiobook to get me to the finish line here. I managed maybe 5-6 thread lengths yesterday. Or the skirt train bit, if you’re more visual.

With our Sydney trip happening mid-month, most of my external, non-work, focus was on this. Extra grocery shopping, paying bills early, getting out of my laundry cycle – none of this helped with stitching! This trip was just Si & myself, and we crammed heaps into the two days in Sydney then tried to do a lot of the things on the cruise ship, so even tho I took Fairy Idyll, even she didn’t see much progress. Still, as Katy says, every stitch completed is a stitch closer to the finish. As always, hover or click for captions.

Coming back has been full on too, with a couple of work projects and the netball – Si & I attended night two of the Taini Jamieson Trophy games. Next for these teams is the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia – we’ll be there for Tag later in the year. FWIW Jamaica won the trophy this year.

April Focus:

  • Finish the Mira RR piece
  • Continue with the Satsuma Stocking
  • FFO a 2017 ornament into a flat fold
  • March Flosstube update – even tho it’s going to be very short!

 

SFS – still in the black! The Stash Unloading things I brought on 01/03 still haven’t arrived, so a refund has been supplied, but the Lizzie Kate charts I brought (Red White & Beach and Be Bold & Brave) did. I didn’t manage to carve out the time to get to Crewel Gobelin but as the bug is missing, I wasn’t too upset. Today I brought two “oddball” cuts from Catherine at Countrystitch – because they are unusual cut lengths left when processing orders, she sells the pieces at a discount. I’ll have about 4” to each side of the Renaissance Mermaid but that’s perfectly fine with me!

Mar-18
Budget $25.00
Jodi – HOD Latte Love -6.76
Jodi – Stitching Feeds my Heart -15.21
Countrystitch Orphan A6 Bourbon -37.67
Countrystitch Orphan A9 Cook Strait -19.93
LK Red White & Beach -12.43
LK Be Bold & Brave -12.43
Refund Supplied Jodi 21.97
Countrystitch Credit 6.09
Rollover $76.57
Total Available Budget $25.20

March 25 – What newer designers and product creators (fabric or floss dyeing, etc) out there have you discovered and recommend? I’m not sure I’ve discovered anyone completely “new”! For fabric dyeing, I obviously love Catherine’s products as the DMC comp is spot on to the actual fabric that arrives, and she allows for shrinkage when she calculates your actual fabric size. Try Countrystitch if you’re looking for something different.

On Etsy, I like Satsuma St, Jenny @ Home*stitch*ness & Stitchrovia. None are completely “new” either but one thing I know about stitching – my tastes change, & every designer has merit.

Wellington, or There & Back Again

NOTE: hover over the photos to show captions!

A couple of weekends ago, we took advantage of a gap in the Tag schedule and flew down to Wellington for a quick getaway. We left Auckland in horrid squally weather (Mase & Si looking at the nearby planes gives it away as to how bad it was) but when we landed in Welly it was much clearer. Perfect for outdoor breakfast watching the seabirds catch fish at Oriental Bay, walking around the city centre & meeting friends for lunch (hello Catherine & Kerry!!).

We took in the Lego exhibit at Te Papa – huge masterpieces with some very clever detail. Si found Jeremy Clarkson’s Robin Reliant next to Big Ben – if you haven’t seen that episode, please PLEASE stop reading now, go to YouTube and search it up. It’s freaking hilarious to see people’s reactions & he even made a live news broadcast! The Mona Lisa is fully made of the 1*1 blocks – like a plastic cross stitch. The boys even made their own addition to the exhibit with a pokeball (I don’t know the name, can you tell?!).

We’d signed on to relocate a car back to Auckland – a dollar a day, plus insurance waiver, 900 free kilometres plus a tank of gas. I’d do it again, but I wouldn’t use Budget purely because of the customer service at Wellington airport. I actually made a complaint & I don’t normally go that far.

The end of day one found us at the Hacienda Lodge in Palmerston North. I do recommend this place; the hosts were lovely, full of useful recommendations; it’s clean & tidy (we ended up with the end unit which is also wheelchair friendly).

Day two & we chose to drive up the lesser roads as far as we could. I found a church I’d love to relocate! Then five minutes up the road, one I wouldn’t – it was one of those 1920’s concrete ones and to strengthen it the contractors had obvs removed the stained glass windows & replaced with plain aluminium, ick. At least it was in use!

We stopped at Waiouru Army Museum (Te Mata Toa) as we do nearly every time we travel SH1. This time they had a new temp exhibition, which consisted of photographs taken in the tunnels under the WWI battlefields in Arras, France. We couldn’t do the Passchendaele exhibit as we were warned that it was too graphic for Mase, but the kids loved the games and graphics in the Food Glorious Food exhibit, especially the game where you caught the ingredients as a rat knocked them off the shelf.

Late lunch in Taupo, then a quick drive to the rental depot at Auckland Airport. It cost me more than either the Jetstar tickets or the car rental to park our car for the 48 hours but we’ve got lots more in our memory bank.

#craft31days day sixteen

Not a lot of stitching tonight, maybe 80 stitches in all?

The main reason is that Si is sick, so after swimming lessons I drove back into town so B can go to his Force Fit meet. I walked around Silo Park & the Wynyard Quarter back towards the CBD. #masetheace wasn’t too happy as I only let him use the elevator twice, & forbade him from interupting a yoga class on the most amazing glass viewing platform (there was plenty of room for us anyway) but I enjoyed the fresh air.

And summer is coming! That top left photo? That’s the pohutukawa starting to bud. Its our Christmas tree, as its covered in gorgeous red flowers during December. Old Maori tales say that if the tree flowers early, we’ll get a long, hot summer. Yay!

Bowentown & Karangahake

BowentownThis past weekend, we left B at home (he’s too cool for family stuff, LOL, plus had refereeing commitments) & the four of us went out of Auckland to relax. As is always the way, it took longer to get out of Auckland than the rest of the drive but once we were on the way, it was awesome. Dinner in Paeroa & we see someone from Dad’s work *eyeroll* can’t go anywhere in private!

The house we rented was a decent size 3 bed, 2 bath, 2 lounge that would sleep 8 easy – if anyone wants the detail, please hit me up – and in a really quiet spot well away from the usual holiday residences/camp grounds. Bowentown is down the end of the mini-peninsula from Waihi Beach, which is both more touristy and more settled.  It was a few minutes to walk to the beach, tennis courts, petanque, playground etc & the boys wanted to do everything – except petanque, as apparently that’s only for adults who like wine. Me, in other words.

Saturday morning was GLORIOUS. We were out on the beach exploring as soon as everyone woke & was fed. I had woken at 4 & curled up with coffee, stitching & my eReader. You know it’s time to get up when the other half steals all the duvet, right? So I got to watch the sunrise and drink coffee in peace. Once everyone else was up we went for a long ramble along the beach…

After the beach & a snack we headed out to Karangahake Gorge. On the map above, it’s a little bit to the left of Waikino. This is the site of old gold works & battery, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) who manage the site do a great job. Of course the first person we see is someone we know *eyeroll* but this time it’s Z’s rugby coach Keryn & the Year 12 drama class from college. Z’s year 10, but you could tell the kids were eyeing each other up with the “do I know you?” look.

Anyway, I love this region. History combined with water combined with forest. I am never keen on being enclosed in underground & that 1.1km tunnel does stretch my limits! However the boys love exploring, doing boy things like climbing on old bridge supports, throwing rocks in the river, jumping over streams, bouncing on swing bridges so we happily spent several hours walking. Technically, if you didn’t look at anything and just walked on the one track, it’s only 3.2km & that’s less than an hour.

3a82d9c2bbeb4bcbc1d673c1ef300701--cornwall-new-zealandWe dragged the boys thru a couple of the antique/junk shops in Paeroa (I got a rare ash tray from the 1940 Centennial exhibition. I’m collecting the rarer stuff as it’s cooler to me but as often was in everyday use, hard to find). But they weren’t into it, so we headed to the supermarket then back to the rental.

That evening we napped, had dinner then watched the election coverage until about 11. It was clear reasonably early on that we wouldn’t have a clear government come Sunday, and in fact we might have to wait a fortnight for the special votes to be counted. I’m OK with that. I won’t get into how I voted (we have MMP or mixed member proportional system so you get two votes, one for the person you wish to be your local MP & one for the party you want to govern). Interestingly, it would appear that the Maori Party is gone completely with less than 1% of the total vote. All the Maori electorate seats went to Labour Party (the left) representatives. I don’t agree with many of their policies obviously, being of the “white settler” background & also having no time for racism or secularism or many “ism” at all, but I was astonished none of their candidates made it thru.

Sunday was a bit cooler than the day before. Everyone else slept late, as you should on holiday, but we again explored the area. Si & the boys went to tennis, while I sat lazing in the sun. I did most of the packing & cleaning while they were still in bed, so that there was as little fuss as possible. Being boys, there was still fuss!

We walked around Waihi Beach and surprise! Again there’s someone we know *eyeroll* Z’s principal & his wife. Who were not there with the drama group, but staying at their bach. Then the drive home, & the sheer delight of crawling into our own beds…

If you got to the end of this and asked – but what about the stitching? – rest assured. There’s plenty to show you on Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday

Hello you lovely people! How have you been? I’ve had a pretty busy week, all in all.

  • Watched the first rugby game of the season (Waitakere beat Avondale college, hooray!)
  • Picked up my new toy, a Galaxy S8+. The camera is amazeballs. The moon shot was on auto; imagine if I had taken the time to not have post bootcamp wobbles and had changed to the proper setting!
  • Ordered MIL her Pressie Box, which should be ordered today. http://www.thepressiebox.co.nz for some beautiful things and great customer service.
  • Watched the first hockey game of the season (I fail, I keep calling the ball a “puck”. And Icing is of course not a thing).
  • Survived both Normo’s birthday set (49!) and my own (shared with Lavinia, we had 10 minutes of EMOMs). Not surprisingly, didn’t go to the small session last night!
  • Started my portion of Julie’s round robin. Si liked the colours in Emi, so that is the Nora Corbett pixie that I started.
  • Made another flosstube video. Mase made a cameo appearance. Look for Paula SewScrapMuse on youtube. Yes, my accent is “cute”. Huh.
  • And 3 year anniversary with WordPress. I don’t miss Blogger at all!

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.