Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Auckland. The Stash.

 We didn't have a great deal of time for shopping during our visit to Auckland.
But I did insist on a visit to Cushla's Village Fabrics while we were there.
 I spent quite a bit of time browsing the store and talking with the ladies. 
My hubby even joined in and asked a few sewing machine related questions!
After much deliberation and contemplation, I came away with two small kits.
I couldn't resist this table runner. The colours are soooo much better in real life.
 I think I need to play about with the camera settings, as the colours on the front of this bag kit are somewhat awry too!
So I really was well behaved wasn't I?
After our flight into Christchurch we had a 2 hour drive to Timaru.
What better place for a rest break than Ashburton?
Annies Country crafts is very, very close to a car sales yard.
Something for me, and something for him.
We were both amazed to discover that I had finished first and once again had restrained myself coming away with another small package.
Two patterns
Another kit
And a very pretty end of bolt!
There is just over a skinny quarter.
There have been extra shifts at work and all manner of other things going on here, but I did manage to get some time quilting my SSCS gift, I also spent a little time unquilting some of it too!
Never mind, I'm happy with it now and it is waiting for it's binding.
Then, onto the next secret project!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Auckland part two.

Most of our time on our recent trip to Auckland was spent with Dave and Nikki. 
Which was wonderful. I enjoyed getting to know them better as well as meeting their families and many more friends who were invited along.
On our final day, we had time to ourselves and decided to play the tourists.
Our first stop of the day was at the Sea Life Centre.
Where I was delighted to find penguins, with snow!
 We were pretty much first through the doors and the keepers were still busy in the enclosure with the snow machine.
There were Emperor and these little Gentoo, who were nesting.
 As is the way with aquariums, for every good picture, we got loads of blurred images.
Thank goodness for digital cameras.
The octopus was good, he posed nicely for the camera.
I was particularly pleased to see him, as usually when I go to these places the octopus is either hiding, or not in his tank at the moment!
Rays are a favourite of mine. It doesn't matter how large or small they are, I just love to see them gliding through the water.
 These guys were particularly large. We came back to them later to watch feeding time.
We took many, many more photos, but I won't bore you with them.
Next stop was the butterfly park.
I was delighted all over again to receive a special visitor!
Like the fish, many of the butterfly shots are a blur of colour.
We also got to watch some brave chaps feeding some very large salt water crocs!
Our final stop of the day was at the Museum.
It was interesting seeing the history of New Zealand.
The Maori exhibit with their meeting house and Waka was beautiful.
Of course as we approach the 100th anniversary of Armistice day, thoughts turn to those who served in that great war and to the many who did not come home.
This is just one of the memorials we saw in the museum.
As we exited the museum and made our way back to the car I got one last snap of the city and the sky tower.
 As we flew home the next day I couldn't resist getting a quick picture of the Cook Strait.
That's Farewell Spit down there, reaching out from the top of the South Island into the ocean.
And the snow topped Southern Alps.
I'm still picking away at my secret stitching and gathering items to tuck into special packages.
But I've taken one or two photos along the way, just to tease you here and there!
I'll show one of those next time, along with pictures of my newly acquired stash!
I swapped shifts today, so I'm not starting work until one o'clock, which means I have time to play, after a few domestic chores!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Auckland, part 1

 As you know, the main reason we visited Auckland, was to attend the wedding of Tonys friend David. Tony was best man for him.
It was the first time they had seen each other in 17 years.
David and Nikki made me very welcome and it was nice to finally meet them. Though we had spoken many times on the phone and via skype.
We spent quite a lot of time with them over the weekend.
 The venue for the wedding was at the Navy base where Tony did his training when he first joined the navy many years ago. There are some amazing views over Auckland harbour, the city and it's surroundings.

The day before the wedding we all met at the venue, for a last minute practice, the bride and her maid of honour wanted to time their approach. For me it was a good opportunity to get some relaxed photos.

Weather permitting, the ceremony was to take place out on the deck.
As you can see, the day before it was bright but somewhat overcast.
The big day!
Tony and Dave helped each other to tweak ties etc.
 A quick photo at home, before we climbed into the limousine.
Dave and his Dad.
Tony and I sat at the other end, it felt like we were sat miles away from them.
The venue, all prepared and ready for the guests.
I brought some of those blue organza strips home with me.
Now I need inspiration, to make them a special memento of the day.
 Nervously waiting with the celebrant.
Here comes the bride, with her very proud father.
 The best mans speech!
That's it, I won't bore you with more pictures of people you don't know.
I think it's fair to say, the sun shone on their big day.
Everyone enjoyed themselves.
The groom tells me I'm now one of the family.
Right, I'm off to do some secret sewing, after I do the ironing!
Then I get to spend the afternoon cross stitching with Sleepy.
I'll have more pictures from Auckland next time..

Sunday, 19 October 2014

We bought a house

A lot can happen in two weeks.
Not only did we travel North to Auckland to attend a wedding, and have a look around.
Since getting home, we have bought ourselves a house.
The garden needs some attention.
But I'm looking forward to living there.
It has a lovely feel.
Open and spacious, plenty of room for family and friends.
Inside and out.
This is just a small taste of the photos on the agents website.
I'm sure there will be more, once we are in.
We will take possession on 5th December.
Of course, I will have a choice of rooms to use as my creative studio.
Photos of our trip to follow soon, I promise.
Oh, and I found a quilty shop in Auckland, and paid another visit to Annies Country Quilt store just an hour or so up the road from home.
I did spend money.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Still with the secret stuff!

But I can share the fact that it's blue.
 And there is stitchery involved!
I've been enjoying sitting stitching away at all the secret stuff in the afternoons. It's nice to slow down after a morning of dashing about a work, or doing housework.
Like I said last time though, I'm itching to cross stitch again, and more that a little worried that the urge to finish Sleepy will wear off.
Later this week we are off on our travels.
We are heading up to Auckland for a friends wedding.
Tonys BFF!
And Tony is to be the best man.
Yes, I'll have my camera and will take photos.
Lunch break over, time to sew.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Spring Storms

Last night, just after 7pm a storm rattled through Timaru.
First it got dark, the skies were quite threatening. There were some flashes of lightening, one of which was right overhead, I didn't even get as far as saying " one, one thousand", before the crack of thunder rumbled around us and made the house shake. I'm told by a colleague who was on duty that one stroke of lightening hit the out door pool at work and caused some amazing waves.
After the thunder, came the hail stones.
 Our street was turned into a winter wonderland.
 We waved to the neighbours who were also taking photos.
 There were some good sized lumps of ice in all that, many as big as marbles!
But I wasn't going out in it to get them, so you'll have to make do with these slightly smaller pieces.
All of the larger pieces seemed to be this gumdrop shape.
It remained cold overnight, and this morning we still have a white world around us.
A good day to stay indoors. 
I made a sticky cake and now I'm off to play in my den.
Secret stuff again!
At least it has me back at the sewing machine and giving you all a break from the cross stitch!
I am missing sleepy though.
Maybe next week?

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

This, that and other things!

Life, work and house hunting have been getting in the way of my creative pursuits these last couple of weeks. I really didn't manage to squeeze in much sewing at all. What little I did achieve is secret stuff, so I've compiled a few non stitchy photos from the last week, just to prove I am still here.
The other day I noticed a lovely smell as I wandered out to the garage to get garden tools.
I'm so pleased I decided to leave those familiar looking leaves!
 The thing with gaining someone else's garden, is you just don't know what is there.
I was sure the leaves would become something nice, I just couldn't put my finger on what.
The smell gave it away, hiding amid the fern and the parsley, I found freesias.
I've been spending quite a bit of time in the garden. The warmer weather means more weeds. I also planted some spuds! I didn't go out and get seed potatoes, these were some that had sprouted in the pantry. I figured I would put them into the ground and see what happens. They may or may not grow. Either way I'm not fussed. Tony thinks it's not worth putting in any veggies this year as he is hoping we will not be here to benefit from them.
More about that later.
I'm still enjoying baking at least once a week. Today is the day!! But not until I scoot out for more eggs!
Do you remember I asked about nut roll tins?
Well I found some and I baked with them.
 The recipe I found says to use two tins and only to half fill them.
 I did think to line the sides, but not the end! The cake was stuck in the end, but thats ok, I managed to get it out and know for next time. Oh yes, there will be a next time. This date and walnut roll was YUM!
 They didn't last long enough!
About an hours drive South of Timaru is a town called Oamaru.
There is a fantastic fabric shop there! But alas, we were there on Sunday.
How ever, Steampunk HQ was open.
What an amazing place.  There are more photos, but I'll save those, maybe I'll need them another time.
It wasn't until after we hit the road, that I remembered that Shirley is now living in Oamaru! Next time we head South, we will get in touch first. :-)
Shirley and I met a few years ago, when she was on her grand tour. She visited the Isle of Man and stayed with us for a few nights. It will be good to catch up with her again.
I was hoping to be able to spend time sewing this week, but that just hasn't happened. I've had appointments and things to do, along with an extra shift at work, helping out when a colleague was taken ill. I have also been catching up on the housework that didn't get done last week, when Tony was home ill. Apparently housework makes a noise! LOL
Maybe today, after I bake I'll be able to settle and sew for a while.
We have been looking at houses, hoping to find the right one to be our forever home. There have been some that he likes, but I don't. And there are some that I like, but he doesn't. And there were a few that we both looked into and said no!
Tonight, when Tony gets home we are off to view another place. I like the look of it, from the outside and the agents photos. I get the feeling Tony is lining me up for a no. 
Til next time. :-)