#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!

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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.

Long time, No talk…

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Mase at the summit of One Tree Hill, looking towards Rangitoto (the island in the harbour).

I have really neglected this blog! No excuses, just busy elsewhere. I am going to Butterbean Motivation boot camps and have ramped this up from once a week to three – and Si is now joining me. He is also enjoying the eclecticness of the group and how welcoming they are. I know I’m getting stronger – last week I was so ill I didn’t do much from Sunday night to Saturday morning (worked from home tho) & I only managed half Saturday’s set. I had lost 8.3kg since starting on June 27th but after last week I’m sure it will be a gain. I’m still sick so I’ve elected not to attend JC for a couple of weeks & will meal-plan with more knowledge, commitment & a scan of some weight watchers books. It will be nice to be eating the same as the kids for a few weeks anyway. Here’s me at my first bootcamp & then earlier this month. I have cheekbones!! And I’m two sizes smaller. Yay for finally fitting that Fleetwood Mac shirt I brought last November. And Loren – she’s amazingly dedicated. I’m so grateful that she thought to include me in this group.

img_20161015_162710Jen & I gave up some time on Saturday to collect for the Breast Cancer Foundation. Jen looked after the kids; I go the weirdo with the “theory” on how women get breast cancer. Eep. Still, we were clever enough to have an inside spot as the rain continued to cover Auckland & helped bring in cash for a good cause. The text link is still applicable if you’re in New Zealand!!

img_20161014_093422I got lots of haul, some of it yet to arrive. My Stitch from Stash is well in the red – so I need to get some finishes done! Ms Oh Sew Crafty (Stephanie) is running this on facebook – search for the group Stitch From Stash 2017A. It was intended to start in January and run until June, but like some others, I am trying to be conscious of what I am kitting up now in anticipation. Right now I’m in debt until January!! And I’m in a bit of a bid war for L&L Firefly Fairies so that’s still to be added. The Herschners list is from their sale (3 Nora Corbetts and one other) & thankfully I had brought from Jenny (www.homestitchness.com or on Etsy) earlier!

Stitch From Stash Oct-16
Budget   $25.00
Expenses Nantucket Rose -8.00
  CountryStitch FQ x 3 -100.00
  Herschners Sale x 4 -5.65
     
     
     
Finishes Mill Hill Lapis x 2 10.00
  Mill Hill various FFO 16.00
  RR – Queen Mermaid 10.00
     
     
     
Rollover   0
Total Available Budget   -$52.65

Stephanie has created a worksheet for tracking spend/finish. I’ve added the column so I know what items I spent/finished & set my budget (fortunately postage costs don’t come into it!) and set a value for each finish. It’s quite a clever way of being mindful.

01526f42940ce85df07067b60366a180I’ve started using one of the fabrics from Catherine at www.countrystitch.com already (Geyser 28ct Lugana). I’ve looked at Save the Stitches and another couple of Liz Almond designs, but this one was in the Spring 2015 issue of Cross-Stitch & Needlework, which I already owned (stash!!). I’m converting the reds to green threads & started last night: IMG_20161016_204145.jpg

And today is the post date for my Mira RR. I finished the Queen on Saturday – there are no thread conversions in this one. I’m planning on beading the whole lot once it returns, as I suspect I will need to re-stitch the borders. If I do I won’t use DMC satin but find a comparable silk or Waterlillies thread instead. On the left will be Waiting for Ships facing Queen; Gypsy facing Bluebeard’s Princess & Enchanted facing Waiting for Ships. This is on 28ct Lugana in Cook Strait from Countrystitch.

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I’ve also had a blitz on finishing some of the Mill Hill ornaments that I plan to give for Christmas. One set is for the SIL and another for the FIL & his girlfriend. I’ve kept the patterns in case I decide to re-stitch any for our tree next year. There’s one more to do for each set. If you’re curious, I don’t follow the thread instructions. I only use 2 strands, not 3, and the repeated set are on 14ct plastic canvas not perforated paper.

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Production Line! Lapis at the top, the second Holly at the bottom.

Anyway, this is turning out to be a huge post. I’ll try to get back into the regular WIP Wednesday/review/share posts from this week. Thanks for reading, and take care!

Tourists in our own Island

My rotation plan has gone out the window- well, not entirely but there’s an edit. When we checked the referee’s draw on Thursday, neither Si nor B had been allocated games, so we decided to escape Auckland for the weekend (thanks Emma for feeding the fish!). We knew the weather wasn’t going to be sharp anywhere we went, but it’s all about the adventure. We don’t know how many more weekends we will be able to get away as a family of 5 (B plans on finding an apprenticeship for 2017) so we want to take advantage of the opportunities. Raven Queen is too unwieldy to do in the car (32ct dark fabric? ah no) so I picked up Afternoon in London. I needed a jump to get over my stitching hump with this one.

We booked in at a little cottage in Opua, in the Bay of Islands. It’s just before Paihia (too touristy) and it’s where the car ferry for Russell leaves from. Small, but we could see ourselves retiring there. They even have a Stitch & Bitch session! Sadly we did not win lotto so that dream will wait a while longer. Even in the gloom the view from up on the hill was engrossing and I spent time at the windows both mornings. My only complaint would be that the kitchen doesn’t face that view.

Saturday we were all up early so we jumped in the car, planning to get to the northern most tip of New Zealand, Cape Reinga. Mase wanted to be the first boy to have been at both top & bottom of the islands (he’s forgotten all about Stewart Island!) & goal achieved. We did stop wherever we felt the need – lots of junk shops & second hand bookstores. I found some haul too as well as a very thick bio on Mary Magdalene (amazon link here).

The Cape was a bit different from what Simon remembered as a teen. The parking lot is now well back from the lighthouse (a ten minute walk) and the entry has been all tourist-fied with piped in traditional Maori music and planned plantings. Never mind. Once you’re thru that, it’s raw and as it should be.

The lighthouse is smaller than I thought, much smaller than I remember Castlepoint being. Sadly it’s operated by remote computers now, but I could imagine the loneliness a keeper would have experienced. It’s so open and you can see where the two seas meet – Tasman on my left, Pacific on the right – and recall the Maori myth about this being the departing place for the spirits of the ancestors, as they made their way back to Hawaiki (better story here).

20160709_145257Being back at work is kind-of a letdown. I would much rather be back at the lighthouse.

and lastly – Mase reenacting the story of Jonah…

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Wow

Apologies #sorrynotsorry if you follow me on IG or are a Facebook friend as I am spamming you with this image. I’m so so so overwhelmed by the perfection of this year’s Secret Santa gift. And amazed that Mase kept the secret for two whole sleeps!

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My santa was Rory who does all the catalogue still photography here at work (& keen eyed peeps might remember he does the club shots too). He and Simon got the four kids together for this.

I cried. Then I laughed at Hamish,  who genuinely believed all I got was a photo frame with someone else’s kids in it.

Best santa gift ever.