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.