Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Phoebe's 2012 Christmas ornament

I finally settled on Just Nan's Christmas mouse for Phoebe's 2012 ornament. I was a bit worried about the finishing, and although it's not perfect, it was easier than expected. I was quite chuffed with the result...

I nearly missed out on getting this limited edition kit. I dithered a while, and once I made up my mind I had trouble tracking down somewhere that still had it in stock. Luckily I found an ONS that had it, it arrived quickly and I managed to get it stitched, finished and delivered with time to spare before Santa arrives next week.

Of course, the first thing Phoebe (who is three and a half) did was pull the pin out of it. LOL.

Hope you are enjoying the lead up to Christmas. Two days of work to go before a nice two week break - and summer has arrived, we've had some glorious weather lately. I hope it sticks around.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Freelove Hazard 1792

I am sure most people know about Nicola's new Scarlet Letter Year blog and challenge by now. What a cool idea to inspire others to get stitching and celebrate her milestone birthday coming up in February! (If you haven't come across the blog yet, you can find it - here)

After many hours perusing the internet, I finally decided to stitch Freelove Hazard 1792. I have the kit on order and can't wait for it to arrive.

I didn't want to pick a seriously large piece (Dorothy Walpole for example, which is my absolute favourite) until I finish my Growing Like a Tree sampler.

The Freelove Hazard sampler seems a little more poignant and meaningful regarding the brevity of life after spending Tuesday evening in the A&E ward of the local hospital. My sister was in a serious car accident, and is really lucky to be alive. Thankfully she is not one flower who is going to wither - but hells bells, it shocked everyone to the core. Even though she is going to be OK, it is really difficult to stop thinking about the details and what could have been.

Oddly, my last words to her that morning were 'You should get Dad to drive you today' (I was sick on Tuesday and I usually drive her to work in my car). She said 'Nah, I'm happy to drive'.

As someone has said to me since, you never know what is going to happen five minutes from now and it is so true. So remember to make the most of the days you are given, your loved ones... and your stitching time! :-)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Catching up

Thank you for those who took the time to leave some kind words on my last post about my bunny Tiggy. She is still much missed, and it is hard to believe she has gone forever.

You may know that rabbits form strong bonds and bonded pairs should never be separated, so it wasn't really surprising that Cola was looking a little lost and sad himself. So Cola, DH and I hopped along to an animal rescue centre and let him run around with a little grey friendly bunny who my Mum (the animal welfare officer) thought he might get along with. The meeting went reasonably well and a few days later home came Charlie. He is a dutch dwarf and about the same age as Cola.

Charlie is such a happy little bunny. He and Cola are not yet firm friends, but they are getting there slowly. Here is a photo of Charlie and Tess (who can't get enough of rolling around in the hay!).

I'm currently working on three projects - Old Nantucket, Lil' Jack and the Kitty and Growing Like a Tree. There's no photo of Old Nantucket, as the photo I took looked horribly wrinkly. But here are pics of the other two (both modelled by Meg).

We recently had a royal visit. The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall made a short trip to Wellington. So I popped along to the waterfront in my lunch break and got to see them. They were quite close, but surrounded by people.

Here is what they came to see - wakas (Maori canoes). As they paddled off they sang/chanted a waiata. It was very impressive!

Back in October we had a lovely long weekend at the beach. We own a business with my BIL, SIL and a friend. It has become a bit of a tradition to go away together each Labour weekend (we jokingly refer to it as the Annual General Meeting). DH and I were the first to arrive on the Friday night, and while we waited for the others to get there we walked along the beach. On our way back the sun was starting to go down so we lingered a while and were rewarded with this beautiful sunset.

The weather here has been great this weekend, I think summer is finally getting here. Yesterday my DH did an aerobatic flight where he got to 'enjoy' loop de loops, barrel rolls, weightlessness and speeds of 260 km an hour while plummeting towards the sea out at Kapiti. He LOVED it. My husband is pretty fearless (I am sure that is not normal, lol) and he thoroughly enjoyed himself. Although, I have to say he did look pretty pale on his return and the colour only returned to his cheeks after a stop at a cafe for coffee and a muffin. Luckily they go out over the sea to do aerobatics so I didn't have to watch, so I just got to take this bad pic on my mobile while he and the instructor took off.

I will finish up with a photo of my niece Phoebe (now three and a half), since I haven't shared one for a while. I bought her a book recently 'cool' she said and then threw it to the side, quickly followed by 'have you still got Tom on your phone' (the Talking Tom app!). She forgets nothing and knows how to use an iPad (including keying in the number password!).

Hope your weekend is going well!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Goodnight Miss Tiggy

I adopted Tiggy back in 2008. I had, had my eye on another rabbit - a black one with a curly coat, but it got rehomed before I made up my mind I definitely wanted to adopt another animal.

I had seen Tiggy - a white rabbit with black eyeliner, and a tilted head (this can be caused by strokes, stress or viruses) - and having a soft spot for animals and worthy causes decided wholeheartedly I needed to adopt this bunny!

I couldn't bring her home straight away as we needed a cage. So my DH built her a nice big run. (He still reminds me that what I thought would cost us $100 to build, ended up costing closer to a $1000).

Luckily DH was onto it quick smart, and adoption day soon arrived. As I left the animal rescue centre a gruff staff member said to me 'she'll only last six months'. Tiggy was busy scratching around in the carry cage, so I retorted 'well she seems pretty lively to me'.

I can't remember how long it took, but her head tilt soon disappeared and we got to know what she liked and what she didn't like. She loved sultanas and would eat them out of your hand, she loved the cat tunnel my sister gave her (she loved being in it, under it, running through it) and if she didn't like where you put it she would move it. She didn't like normal carrots, but loved baby ones. Spinach was out, but lawn/garden weeds, mesculin salad and silverbeet were all in. She didn't like lino or wooden floors and needed towels put down or she just wouldn't move. She didn't mind when the cats jumped in her house, and if she was indoors she would give them a bit of a dust up (although they were safe if they stayed away from the towels).

I spent a lot of time worrying about Tiggy - was she too hot, was she too cold, was she happy, was she bored, was she lonely, did she want/need a friend or would that upset her.... so I always tried to do what was best for her.

Eventually I adopted Cola. It took a little while for them to get to know one another - but they had good fun chasing one another around the cage and through the cat tunnel. They loved to snuggle and would fight as to whose nose went underneath (obviously warmer and more comfy) and whose nose went on top.

On the cold nights when I would bring them in to their indoor cage, they would do what I would call the 'hot cross bun'. Tiggy would lie stretched out and Cola would lie across her forming a cross shape. It was very cute!

I took great pleasure in the fact Tiggy had been written off as only having six months to live, but had continued on and on. I always knew she would pass away eventually, but it didn't occur to me that would be anytime soon.

So I was very sad and shocked to find my sweet little bunny had passed away on Monday afternoon. Now that the tears have started to dry, I realise more than ever that I'm so glad to have had her in my life.

Tiggy will always be my first bunny love and never forgotten.

I've got a Tiggy shaped hole in my heart <3

Monday, October 15, 2012

One Soul, One Earth

I was recently cruising around the internet looking for something to stitch for my niece for Christmas, when I came across (and fell in love with) 'One Soul, One Earth' by the Primitive Hare.

Isabella has designed the chart to raise money for homeless dogs, cats and unlucky animals. Always a sucker for a sad story involving animals I ordered the PDF chart, tea-dyed some fabric and after a mostly wet weekend managed to get it all stitched up within a couple of days.

If you like the chart, do visit her blog to see how and where you can order your copy.

Now it is back to looking for a chart for my niece's Christmas ornament (which you will recall is what I started out doing, lol).

I've also made some progress on Old Nantucket since I last stopped by my blog. There's a frog in the cloud so I know what I'll be doing tonight.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's a beautiful day

Here's a progress pic of Old Nantucket with the WDW Morris Blue. I think I'll stick with this one, although I'm not 100% happy with it (I still want the same blue as on the chart lol). What do you think? Has anyone else out there stitched this with a different blue - or even the Pebble? If so, I'd love for you to point me to your blog so I can have a look. Thanks in advance.

Old Nantucket progress

I had a half day today as I had a couple of appointments to attend. I was home by 2pm and able to enjoy the beautiful weather we had this afternoon.

I puddled around in the backyard taking photos and enjoying the sunshine.

A few of my favourite things - blossoms, blue sky, cats and home

I spent an hour trying to tidy up my wildflower garden. I slogged it out while Tess watched. Typical cats! lol After an hour of not getting very far I decided I really need the help of DH to get it prepared for planting. It was perhaps a it ambitious to think I could clear it out in an afternoon. :-)

Instagram ~ It's a cats life - I slog it out while she watches

My cats love company in the garden. At one stage I had all four of them sitting on the deck with me. They are a bit like children at times, as they'll be lying down relaxing and then one chases another and it all turns to bedlam. I think you'll agree though that Giggsy looks pretty relaxed.


I'll leave you with one last photo from our Sunday drive of Scorching Bay near Wellington. It's a very popular spot, especially in summer. If you are a Lord of the Rings fan you might be interested to know that Scorching Bay is where a lot of the actors used to hang out during filming of the first three movies.

Scorching Bay

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

In like a lion

Planning on stitching Old Nantucket? Drawn to this design because you like the blue in it? Be warned... there is not a hint of blue in the recommended thread called 'Pebble'. (Pebble is the thread on the left in this photo). While I understand colours are hard to photograph, I was still disappointed. So I headed to my LNS yesterday to see if I could find something that matched the picture a bit more. I bought WDW Aqua and Morris Blue to choose from (the only colours they had which I thought might be more what I wanted). Now I have seen them in the daylight, I am leaning towards the Morris Blue. Anyway, here's where I am at...

Old Nantucket in progress

Spring has come in like a lion this year with some really wild weather over the past week. I am surprised that with the strong winds (winds that damaged the roof of our outdoor area) that all the blossoms on one of our trees haven't been blown away. Luckily they are still here to be enjoyed for a while longer...

Blossoms.  Spring.  Happy.

While I was out looking at my bedraggled garden (we simply haven't had any good weather at the weekends to get out there and clean it up) a flower of another sort popped up and wanted to say Hi. It's one of my kitties... Petal. :-)

Petal <3

Due to the facial injuries she received from her previous owner, when she is happy her tongue pops out the side of her mouth. She's a very happy cat, so it happens often! :-)

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Herald of spring

Look what I found flowering in my garden last week, daffodils! Yay (love Spring!).

Instagram ~ Herald of spring

I finished up Beach Cottage by CCN recently. I like how the design turned out, but wasn't so happy with the choice of fabric and its loose weave. I'll probably keep the rest of it for small designs.

CCN ~ Beach Cottage finish

Continuing on with the beach theme, I've made a start on LHN's Old Nantucket. Loving the colours in this one.

LHN ~ Old Nantucket WIP

Last up for todays post is some new stash. I bought 'Lil Jack and the Kitty' by Bent Creek with the last of my birthday money. I'm having to resist the urge to get started on this little cutie, since I have only just started on Old Nantucket! :-)

Lil Jack and the Kitty ~ cute new stash

I hope you've got plenty of stitching to keep you happy this weekend! Have a good one folks.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

More gems!

Here's what I've been upto stitching wise. I've almost finished Garden Pleasures, I am not going to stitch the words at the bottom - I'm going to add some more flowers or bunnies. I haven't quite decided yet.

Garden Pleasures by LHN ~ in progress

I've also made a start on the Beach Cottage sampler by Country Cottage Needleworks. The colours are actually a bit richer than the photo lets on.

Beach cottage sampler by CCN ~ in progress

As so many of you seem to enjoy the photos I share of New Zealand, here are a few more. The week before last DH and I set off on a little holiday up north. This trip was a little different, as my Dad and younger sister decided to come along with us.

First stop was Tongariro National Park. The mountains were mostly shrouded by cloud this time around, but Mt Tongariro gave us a wee peak of her upper slopes before we left. Less than 12 hours later this volcano which has been dormant for 100 years actually erupted! (There had been an increased level of activity, but it totally took the scientists by surprise).

Mt Tongariro.  Less than 12 hours after this photo was taken it erupted!

We then headed to Rotorua, which is a fun city with lots of geothermal activity (mud pools, geysers etc). We took a walk through a Redwood Forest and found this amazing pond. The colour of the water is true to life. I suspect it had some kind of mineral or something in it which made it so bright.

Pond at the Redwood Forest... it smelt sulphurous.  Amazing colour!

I love that my Dad (who is 70) decided to do a big splash amusement ride (twice) and the luge (where you speed down a hill on a cart) in Rotorua not once, but three times. My Dad also did a lot of reminscing while we were away about places he had taken us as children. I think he enjoyed himself a lot.

We spent the remainder of time in Mt Maunganui, which none of us had ever been to before. What a wonderful, relaxing place and with much better weather than my end of the island.

On the Friday it was 21 degrees celsius and not a cloud in the sky. We took a walk around the mountain then sat outside with an ice cream.

Mt Maunganui... 21 degrees and it is still winter!  So different than the other end of the island!

DH and I took a 'stroll' up Mt Maunganui itself. Once you get to the top you are rewarded with 360 degree views of Mt Maunganui, Tauranga and further north. It was beautiful and so worth the huff and puff to get to the top.

View while climbing up Mt Maunganui

DH and I also walked around the base of the mountain early one morning (7am). It was a great way to start the day.

Mt Maunganui, early morning walk around the mountain

No trip would be complete without meeting some of the locals. I thought I'd share a couple of the locals with you.

This is Jenny the Kea (New Zealand alpine parrot). She is 21 years old. She was making quite pitiful crying noises - but apparently this is a game she plays. She usually hides from visitors and then when they walk away she starts the crying noises. Luckily she didn't hide from us though.

Jenny the Kea

This is a baby New Zealand Tuatara, it's just over a year old (they can live for 60-100 years). Like most lizards, they are easy to take photos of as they sit so still and hardly blink - the perfect model!

Baby tuatara (born April 2011) at Rainbow Springs

To finish up, I thought I'd share this photo of a Swan and her babies on Lake Rotorua. They were just beautiful and a sure sign that Spring is here (wahooo!).

Spring is most definitely here

Hope you enjoyed the pics, and that you find lots of stitching time this weekend.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Hidden gems

I've been working on the Weavers here and there, and it's slowly taking shape.

However, I was in need of something to work on with a bit of colour in it. So I managed to find this hidden gem lurking away in the depths of my stash drawers. It is Garden Pleasures by Little House Needleworks. It's nearly finished and I've thoroughly enjoyed stitching on this. So pretty and flowery!

I've also had some great stash in the mail recently, first up is Beach House by LHN.

And the gorgeous Nantucket, also by LHN. This is actually a gift from my sisters. It gets harder and harder to buy each other birthday presents each year, so I put my order in. lol

Last Sunday was a beautiful, warm day and DH and I wanted to make the most of it. So we took a drive to Ocean Beach in the Wairarapa. It is somewhere we had never been, and wow we were wonderfully surprised. It is 40 kilometres from the main road, but the road out there wound its way through farmland, native bush, alongside Lake Wairarapa and finally ending up at a beautiful beach.

Here's DH standing at the lake edge. We are definitely going to have a picnic here in the summertime... it was a gorgeous spot.

We did manage to hit rush hour on the Ocean Beach road though, lol.

This is the view from near Ocean Beach looking towards Cape Palliser (which, if you have been reading my blog for a while, will have seen photos of - it's another favourite spot of ours).

This last photo is of Ocean Beach itself. Even though it was warmish and a great day, there were only a handful of other beachgoers. I love that about living here in New Zealand - even at the height of summer you can have the beaches and beauty spots almost all to yourself.

I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend, enjoying the Olympics (like we are) and getting lots of stitching in.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

By the Bay

Just a quick post from me to share my latest finish.  It is the recent mystery sampler from Donna at By the Bay Needleart.  Thanks Donna - it was a really fun stitch.


Hope you have a lovely, stitching-filled weekend.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cat scan

I came home from work this week and Giggsy was sitting on top of some new charts that had arrived in the post for me.

Judging by the ferocious look he'd cat scanned the contents and realised I'd received some pretty impressive stuff.

I bought these charts verrry cheaply on TradeMe (like Ebay) because I liked them.  Only to discover they are Loose Feathers charts no 1 and 7.  No wonder he's baring his fangs!


We've been hanging out at the beach the last couple of weekends.  There's been some unseasonal warm, sunny days so we've been making the most of it.  What a great pick me up in the middle of winter.

I can see us living by the beach one day, but for now it's more beach visits and seaside themed stitching on the agenda.

Hope you're having a great week!

(P.S. - Giggsy is really yawning, and is not ferocious in the slightest!  He's a big loveable gallah!)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

In need of summer

This winter has gotten off to a chilly start.  One recent Sunday morning it was -4 degrees Celsius.  Brrr!  It made for a pretty view though.

With all this cold weather I've felt like stitching a lot more. Donna of By the Bay Needleart is offering a lovely summery SAL on her blog.  I desperately needed a summer fix of some kind, so got my supplies together and got stitching last night.  I love how it is turning out so far. 

I've also made a more progress on The Weavers since I last stopped by my blog.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend.