Monday, 30 June 2014

That's a strange birdie!

I'll  get back to the bird watch report later!
I feel like I have more to report this time.  We've had a pretty busy weekend, but I still found time to stitch!
My Geisha is progressing. Those blue stitches on the left mark the bottom of the page, so nearly half way done.  
I am enjoying stitching on her in the late afternoons and evenings.
 I also managed to get back to my sewing machine!
I started this simple project week before last, but gave up in a huff when I couldn't find my elastic!
I went out and bought some in the end, but didn't get back to this until Saturday.
 Nothing special, just a plastic bag collector. Not that we gather many of them, I'm lucky enough to own some beautiful grocery bags made for me by some wonderful friends. :-)
This collector is made from a Manx Tea-towel. My brother gave me loads of them for Christmas. 
Now I just need to work out what to do with the other half of it!
I wasn't alone while I stitched. As well as the feeder at the front of the house, I also have one hanging in the tree outside my play room. 
 On warm days the jasmine bush out there smells so sweet and the tree beside it is busy with birds.
It's mostly the little white eyes and finches who feed here, I think it's a bit cramped for the larger starlings.

Speaking of finches. As well as the pretty coloured gold finches, I have also spotted some green finches who visit regularly.
However, no one visits when this strange looking bird appears! 
Hmmmmm! I said I would try some citrus peel around the bottom of the frame. That seems to have worked. Well I haven't seen him up there since I put the peel out, so keeping my fingers crossed.
After my huff the other week, when I couldn't find anything and tripping over boxes still, Tony and I agreed that I needed more storage in my play room. Something accessible. We didn't want to spend too much at this time as we have another move to make yet and didn't want to be stuck with a piece of furniture that may not work or be needed in our next /last/ forever home.
So we agreed on these cheap pine shelves, if they are surplus to MY requirements in future, they will be great in a man cave or shed. Todays project for me, is to get some more boxes unpacked and have a good tidy up out there.
As I said, we had a very busy weekend.
We were out Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
We shopped for and built shelves.
Visited family.
And drank far too much alcohol!
Sunday was almost a day off.
We stayed home and caught up on the laundry

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Could do better!

If they handed out school reports for blogging, guess what mine would say this year!
Could do better!
I seem to be stuck in a once a week trap at the moment.
For someone who doesn't do a lot in the way of paid work, I seem to be far too busy to blog!
That said, here I am now.
First up today a work stand I recently acquired. Yay!
Except it seems to be missing one vital part. I have been in contact with the vendor and hopefully that will be resolved very soon.
 Should that not work out, Mitre 10 is within walking distance. LOL
I have found time to do some stitching, though not as much as I would have liked. 
Spring has progressed, I have almost completed the top half of the chart now. The area I worked on yesterday is on the left, under the fan. Her hands, sleeves and fan handle made for lots of stopping and starting. I'll be glad to get back to some larger areas of colour. But before I do that I need to get some back stitch done.
 We have had some very warm days down here in beautiful NZ. But the early mornings and the nights are cold, with some great frosts, so I've made sure to keep on supplying food for the birdies.
This little chap is a Goldfinch. He is a European import. I don't believe I ever saw one of these on the Isle of Man, but there are plenty of them down here!
 Another European import is the sparrow, the fellow sat on top in this image, awaiting his turn on the feeder.
Of course the prize for most entertaining still goes to the local white eyes. Such a lively bunch.
I was sat sewing yesterday and just happened to look up at the feeder to see what was going on, to find a cat sat up there!
He scooted off before I could get the camera.
I might need to put some citrus peels around the bottom of the frame.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

They found it!!

Pickfords found and delivered my sewing table last week!!
Huge improvement in my playroom, actually having a table out there. Tony also bought a heater as the heat pump just doesn't get that far!
 I'm still not settled though, there is too much still in boxes! It took me an age to find my roller blade the other day and I gave up looking for elastic, I went out and bought some! 
I need another set of drawers or a dresser in there. 
I keep on reminding myself that it will all happen, eventually.
So, while I still can't settle with my sewing machines, I have been working on my cross stitch.
I didn't get to spend as much time as I had hoped with her, but at least I did manage to catch up on all the back stitches. 
All the leaves and flowers are now looking more defined as are her crown and hair pins.
I spent a lovely afternoon with David Attenborough yesterday getting that done. I think he may be good company this afternoon too, I want to see if I can get the fan completed today.
I always have company when I sit and stitch. I have placed feeders outside both the playroom and sitting room windows. They are very busy with dozens of birds visiting.
 Of course, whenever I try to sneak up with the camera, most of them fly away.
Here you see a native bird called the white/wax eye.They arrive in flocks of over a dozen. What a quarrelsome bunch! There are constant spits and spats over whose turn it is on the feeder and how long is polite to stay! then the whole lot take off in a hurry when the starlings arrive.
There are also sparrows and goldfinches who visit regularly too. 
I love to see them all, but the goings on amid the white eyes is the most entertaining.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

As Promised.

I said in my last post that I had a finish and two WIPs to share.
First up is the finish.
I have finally completed the bright and colourful shrug. It is very cosy to wear. 
There was no one around to help take photos and we don't yet have a full length mirror, so you'll have to take my word for how well it fits!
That done, I have returned to the throw I showed previously. It is growing nicely. I have added more rounds of the bluish yarn and last night added two more rounds of black. I plan to keep on going until the yarn runs out. It is also a very cosy project.
 And last but not least, my beautiful Spring Geisha. That's the sky pretty much finished. I spent some time last night putting the back stitches around some of the flowers and leaves. I plan to finish that later today, before getting on with the fan and her hands.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Stash Acquisition.

 Since we moved into our own little rental, I don't visit the Sally shop as often as I was doing. It's no longer on my way to anywhere! I do still make the effort to call in every couple of weeks though, especially when a friend tips me off that they have restocked their yarn baskets.
 I have quite a haul now and I guess it's time to come clean and admit just how much stash I have acquired!
It would have been criminal to leave this pretty green in the shop.
Shame there wasn't more of that variegated yarn, it goes very nicely with the green.
 I've started collecting little colourful bundles for my next scrappy adventure.
 And my collection of naturals is also growing. There is almost enough to make another BIG blanket.
Last time I visited I noticed that there had been a big tidy up and an influx of other needlecraft items. A quick dig through the pattern box brought up these two wall quilt patterns.
So they came home with me too!
I have a finish and two WIPs to show off, but I'll save those for another day.
Still no word on my sewing table, I'll chase them up later today.
Might start looking at prices for replacements too. :-(

Thursday, 5 June 2014

I stitched!

The above shot is how I left her on the Isle of Man waaaay back in January.
I did have her with me in NZ all this time, and I did have her out one day, but only managed about an hour of stitching. I seem to remember not being able to settle.
Yesterday I did settle, I was very settled and only stopped stitching when it got too dark to do so!
Then when Tony got home, he was instructed to set up my daylight lamp and after dinner I stitched some more.
Just a reminder, this is Spring Geisha, designed by Joan Elliot and kitted by Design Works Inc.
I plan to stitch some more today. :-)

Wednesday, 4 June 2014


It's frosty this morning! 
I have to say I'm loving these frosty winter mornings. They all turn into warm sunny days.
Not like a British winter at all!
 While I was out taking pictures of frosty leaves and pegging out an early wash, I popped into the man cave. Here you see the mound of flattened boxes awaiting removal, and a few boxes stuffed with crumpled paper, also to be removed. That neater pile at the back are keepers though.
 And another pile of keepers! We have one more move to make. This is a rental house, when we find the right place, we will buy our forever house. No more moves.
 The washing machine is still earning it's passage. It's on it's third load already today! Having caught up on all the crushed clothing from the container, now I'm onto the usual weekly laundry.
And yes, there are still boxes in the laundry.
They contain some of our MANY pictures.
Great big windows make for less picture hanging space. 
 The play room is starting to take shape. For now I have the big computer in there.
I even sacrificed my cutting table, until such time as we get a desk.
So now I have no sewing tables. Still no word on my folding table, I should get onto Pickfords and see what if anything they might have discovered. The majority of the boxes here are sewing and craft related stuff. I think I need more storage! Did I really bring that much stuff? And to think, I got rid of loads. I thinned out when we moved in with Mum, then again when it was time for the big move.
 Our lovely table, it seems small in this house, but filled the room at mums. (I know some people do, but I will never put a sewing machine on this table.)
 Some very special people followed me.
 And one very elegant lady.
 The place is really feeling much cosier now.
 We even found that vital part for the TV. Eventually. 
 I might sit here for a while later.
I trashed nearly all of my beautiful nails! They chipped and broke in the marathon of unpacking, so yesterday I was off to see Carlee, they were beyond repair and rescue. She gave me a manicure, evened things up and put new colour on. I'll get a picture later.
I really am enjoying being able to have pretty nails after 20+ years of having them for special occasions only.

Monday, 2 June 2014

It's all here!

Our container was delivered on Saturday morning!
We have spent the last three days moving and unpacking boxes.
Most important room first.
Somewhere amid this lot are 4 sewing machines!
Shame my big table is missing though.
The box was opened for inspection by MAF!
The boys on the van said they will look into it this week. Maybe it will be found, maybe not.
 Two more very important machines.
The washing machine has worked very hard over the last two days.
It was lovely of Tonys brother and family to share their machine with us, but it is lovely to be able to just get stuck in whenever I want.
The tumbler has only had a test run. The weather is beautiful so everything went onto the line to dry. 
 My kitchen is with me again.
 There were boxes every where.
 One very important item didn't fit into the box with the TV. 
The bracket which fastens the TV to it's stand was put in a safe place, in a bits of this and that box!!
I could see his growing desperation as he opened box after box searching for it.
There were only two sealed boxes remaining by the time he found it. 
 The rest of our clothing has arrived, it's good to see and wear something different!
Also amid the bedroom stuff was all of our blankets hand made and other wise and of course my lovely hand made quilts.
 Joe was a happy boy when he found his flag. He dashed straight out to the front of the house to tie it up somewhere.
There is still a little work to do, but we are over the worst of it and I can putter on my own to get it finished.
You know how it is, some things go around in circles several times before they find their home.
Time to put my feet up and chill with a glass of wine.
I deserve it.