Tuesday, March 31, 2015


I have my eye on a Horn Craft Table on Tradme, and am going to check it out this morning in Albany.
There is also one for sale via Trademe in Blockhouse Bay... both auctions close on Friday.
So, hopefully I will get one of them for a decent price.

Otherwise... the lady who owns The Crafty Needle has one for sale.  And I might buy her's if the price is right.  

So, three options.  

I don't actually have room in the sewing room for one... but it will be so handy to use once we no longer use the garage as our 'bedroom' too.

ABOVE: This table is higher than a sewing desk or trestle, so it will be so much better for my back.  Fingers crossed I can get one.

Sewing room.  After I get home I have to re-arrange it AGAIN to accommodate the shelving unit I took out of Griffin's room.  That might be a big job as space is limited.
But it will be great to be able to reach everything, instead of having to get the step ladder out.  

That's the ladder I fell off last year and gave myself a horrendous bruise with.  I'm a bit hesitant to use it now.

So, I shall be out going soon, hoping the traffic is not too heavy.

Yesterday, 5 pm... after refusing to have his mid-day nap:

ABOVE:  sound asleep.  Woke up an hour later in a foul mood.  Over tired.  Hungry. Too hot.  *sigh*  Toddlers.  They are adorable, but hard work.  At least it's Bex and Steve's job to keep him happy, not mine!
I just get the kisses and cuddles.

Looking at him like that... wow he's grown!  A little boy now, not a baby.  And Bex's belly... I'm getting so excited.... Grandbaby # 13 is nearly here.  He's going to be loved to bits in this house.


Well.... I've been, I've seen and on Friday I will bid on that cutting table.  It's just what I want, in perfect condition and hopefully I get it for the right price.

After leaving Albany, I stopped in at the supermarket to get some chickens for dinner... and $122 later. ... I left the shop!
We are having 3 roast chickens, veges and potato pom poms for dinner.
Did I mention we are having my Aunt and Uncle for dinner tonight?

Well... we are.   I've made an Ambrosia dessert for after dinner too.

Now... I have to go and rub Dante's back... he wants me to.
Who am I to say "No" to my darling grandson?  *smiles*

I just spent almost 2 hours in the sewing room... re-arranging shelves etc.  What a shit job, and one I've done so many times it's not funny!

Time to stop now though and concentrate on dinner... we are having family over after all.  In fact, they are due in half an hour!  I hope my face isn't still beetroot red when they get here. 

End of Day:  Well dinner was lovely, the chooks came out really moist and delish. We spent a very enjoyable few hours chatting.
nite nite

Monday, March 30, 2015


Today is my Mum's partner's 80th Birthday.  Ron and his family have been a part of my family's lives since I was an infant. I used to call him 'Uncle Ron' as a kid.  Mum and Ron have been 'together' for exactly 10 years.  

I was supposed to go over for his Birthday Party, but well... it didn't happen for various reasons.  (they live in Australia)
 I'm sure my Mum and his kids will make sure his day is awesome. 

First up for the day is vacuming.  The house is a tip.
The new carpet is fluffing up a little bit.  But not too badly.  But, it does need a vacum.
Now that I have a Kirby again, I'm actually enjoying vacuming!

We have a gate post up...

ABOVE: it's HUGE!  And the guys are talking about having a chain from the top of it down into the garden and attatching it to the wooden garden surrounds to help hold it up too! 

Seriously, the gate is THAT heavy!

It took 10 bags of concrete to set that post in place too.
This is one expensive gate and post.

 ABOVE: looks like he's admiring the garden eh?
He's not.  Bob the Builder is watering the pots!
In front of his mother no less!

I suppose he didn't want to take his boots off and go inside... hmmm.

Bex got busy yesterday too.  She's making Giraffes (5) for a lady from Playcentre.  They are being sent over to children in Vanuatu who lost everything in Cyclone Pam. 

ABOVE:  She did heaps in just one day!

Well done Bex.

OK... I'm off to get the vacum out and get this house tidy again.  Kids are at school for only 4 days this week.  Then it's end of term and they will be home for two weeks.  
I'm actually enjoying school holidays now, they SLEEP IN!
And they are big enough to amuse themselves.

I can see light at the end of the tunnel... AGAIN.


Well... so much for 'only' doing the vacuming.  I've been at it all morning.  Tidying, vacuming, making beds, doing the washing.  And I'm knackered.
Almost time to sit down and have some lunch.

And watch Home and Away.  Can't forget that.

Then I'm moving a shelving unit out of Griffin's room.  

I took a Grandma nap!  And woke in time to get dinner for the family!
Ravioli with a cheese sauce and tomato sauce.
Then... a quiet evening.

End of Day:  a lovely Monday, got heaps done around the house and I love that.
nite nite

Sunday, March 29, 2015


Today I'm going to suggest to Stew that we have a go at getting started on hanging our gate.

That just means getting the big post and concreting it in place.  Then we can go from there.

It's not like I expect the entire fence and gate to be built and hung TODAY.  *smiles*

Though they must know I actually want it all done YESTERDAY!

Seriously, I'm not the most patient person around.  BUT... OMG I've had to learn to bite my tongue and be patient.  

I haven't been able to do a hot wash in my washing machine in MONTHS and MONTHS.... cos a certain part was broken.

Steve got a new part for it WEEKS ago...

ABOVE:  There it is.  I pinned it on the Family Room Wall.  So it wouldn't be lost before getting installed.  

And .. ummm... cos I wanted Steve to see it and eventually remember to fit it.  
Still waiting.

I  KNOW  he's a busy man... he works 6 days a week an' all.  But I live in hope he will find the time to do it.  Like.  Soon.

Love ya Steve.  *smiles*

So, back to the fence.  Stew is perfectly capable of doing it.  It's not a complicated design or anything!  And I can help... like... supervise.

With a whip.

Going now... the day awaits.


Well... Stew and I have done the grocery shopping, it wasn't too bad in the supermarket, for a Sunday!

Then the guys stood outside and nutted out the fence/gate plans.
After lunch Stew is going to buy the post and concrete, and then dig a HUGE, DEEP hole.  *smiles*
I can't find me whip.

 ABOVE:  Contemplation

 ABOVE:  How heavy?  39.05 kgs!

 ABOVE:  Almost ready...

ABOVE:  The first sod dug.

And now the poor buggers are digging... and the ground is rock hard and full of rocks.
I feel bad.  

The FINAL of the Cricket World Cup is on in 2 hours.  I hope they stop to watch it, I don't want that on my conscience!

We lost the Cricket World Cup.  The guys are gutted.  Personally, I could care less.  

End of Day:  a neat day, so happy that the gate post is in!
Now the concrete has to set then the gate can be hung.

Easter might be when that happens.

nite nite

Saturday, March 28, 2015


So, how does he look?...

ABOVE:  Of course, I've got to do all the stitching around the lines etc, and add the name.  So, not exactly finished.
But, you know how it goes, you will get another look once I've done the stitching. 

Except, ya won't get to see baby's name.  That's a secret until hes born.  4.6 weeks to go till he's due.

Today we don't have any plans... but I'm sure we will find something to do.  Maybe start planning the little fence to go with me 'new' gate?

We will have to get really strong posts for one thing, that gate weighs a tonne!  I can hardly lift it.  They don't make gates like that anymore I reckon.

Right, I'm off to see what's up with everyone.  


We have visitors.  Gordon, Kelly and Rena came up to pick something they bought on Trademe, and stopped in here.
So I took Rena Birthday Present shopping.  She turned 7 the other day.

ABOVE:  She got a bit spoilt.  I think Dante was wondering where HIS was.  Sorry kid, not your birthday mate.
Rena was really happy with being allowed to choose her own presents.  

We walked into the toy shop and she literally wanted EVERYTHING she saw.  Luckily, we had Kelly with us to reign her in a bit.  *smiles*

We still don't have any firm plans for the day.  Maybe it ends up being a 'stay at home' day?  That would be a rare weekend event!

DOGSTARS:  Yes it is made up of individual pieces of fabric.  They are held there by double sided, iron on stuff called Steam A Seam.   Once you have decided where you want the animal, or whatever you are making, you position all the parts and iron it onto the backing fabric,  and it stays there.  
Then you stitch around all the different parts to keep them there permanently.

It's a technique called Applique and I love it as it means you can literally make a picture with fabric.

We ended up going to Sylvia Park for lunch.  While there we picked up some groceries for dinner.
I'm making Lasagna, with beef, bacon, tomato and mushrooms.

After that, we went to Ponsonby and did something we haven't done since we lived in Palmerston North.

We booked our NEXT TATTOS!

Stew and I will be getting them done on March APRIL the 8th.  I will not show you what we are getting done until they are actually finished.  *smiles*  

Dinner was OK... not as nice as I thought it would be.  Next time I will buy the pasta you have to pre-cook yourself.  The pasta sheets I used tonight were not that soft after cooking.
Got an unexpected overnight visitor... Sam the Poker Man.  
He's a good friend of Steve and Bex's and he's up here playing in a poker tournament.

I escaped downstairs for the evening, watched me favourite TV programme, Coronation Street.  

End of Day:  a lovely day, with a few extra, unexpected things thrown in (tattoo consultation!).
nite nite

Friday, March 27, 2015


Today I'm feeling a bit sad.
It's the last class at The Crafty Needle Shop as it's closing down.
After Easter Ngaire is having a big closing down sale, so I shall be back there for that.

Otherwise, if the tutor does not start up an independent class of her own, I will only be going to the new class in Mt Wellington on a Monday night.

At least I do have something else lined up!

I packed my sewing bag last night, so no mad rush for me this morning.
Though I do have to find something to take for our shared lunch.  Probably fruit.

I'm starting to feel a bit crabby about that gate I bought from Napier.  I was told it was 'on it's way' last Friday, so I expected it Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest.  It's still not here.
I hope the darn thing gets here eventually.

I feel jinxed.  Just about everything seems to be delayed, stuffed up etc lately.


You know Autumn is nearly here when Auckland Airport is closed due to FOG.

ABOVE: when I first got up the day was very cool and grey.  FOG, first of the year.  And it's closed the airport.  Now it's starting to clear above, but the thick band of fog is still hanging low over the hills... right down to the sea. 
This means it's finally going to get cooler.  Can't wait!
My hot flushes have been out of control the past couple of weeks.  

Right, I better get a move on!

Talk of the devil!  I just got home from class, and see my gate hasn't arrived... and am about to ring Napier to find out where it is... and the phone goes.
It's the delivery man wanting directions to my house!
Gate is almost here!  YESSSSS.  

 ABOVE:  It's here... and it's beautiful!   I got it cheaper than 'normal' because it needed a new coat of paint.  BUT... here's the neat thing, I love it looking old and weathered.  It is NOT getting painted.

And it has some history to it now as well.  
It was the last item picked up by the driver of the truck it was being transported in, and sadly that young man had an accident minutes later and died in his truck.

The gate was damaged and had to have a minor repair before I finally got it.  So, I'm going to treasure this gate.  If we ever leave here, it's coming with me.

While I was outside just now, I noticed this:

ABOVE:  A flower on this Bromeliad.  We have had a few Bromeliad's in pots for about 20 years, and I think I've seen flowers on them maybe 3 times!
So, although the plant is looking rather tatty, the flower is gorgeous.

Class today was very low key, we did a bit of sewing, but mostly yakked.   Our shared lunch was lovely.  All going well we will be meeting up at the Tutor's home next term, until we can find a suitable venue to meet at.

End of Day:  Didn't do much this afternoon, mucked around in me sewing 'room', turned a small trestle table into an ironing board, a much better size than a regular ironing board too.
Got the bumper pad reading for stitching too.  Will show you tomorrow.
nite nite

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Today Bex has a Playcentre meeting, and really doesn't feel like taking Dante.
So ... he's coming with me.

We are going to Spotlight to get the fabrics I need for his baby brother's cot bumper.

It is a rare event that I get Dante all to myself, so we might just have a trip to a lovely coffee shop too.  He can have a 'fluffy'.  *smiles*

Apart from that, I shall be doing bugger all until Bex arrives home again.  Then I shall get on with my sewing.

Poor Tallulah is going mental.  She can't be inside while she's in season... (messy), so she's confined to the laundry and back yard.
For two weeks.
She's taking it really hard.  

I have set the crate up in the lounge for her, but she just cries in it.  *sigh*
It's going to be a long two weeks.

My diet has gone to hell and back.  Really struggling to get back on track.  Emotional eating has taken over.  Feeling really wound up and stressed about 'stuff' going on for a family member. NOTHING I can do about that person's situation ... but it doesn't stop me from worrying.  
I'm trying though... to get healthy, sensible eating under control again.

I did a bit better yesterday.  Maybe today I'll do even better.


Let me introduce you to my gorgeous niece Rowena.  She is having her FIRST baby and a few months ago she ELOPED too!

Normally she is a TEENY TINY girl... it's so amazing to see her pregnant!

 She is due a couple of days before Bex, so I decided to take some photos of Bex today to compare:

ABOVE:  Two gorgeous bellys.  
Thanks for allowing me to post your photos Rowena.

Thanks for the lovely comments about the preggy girls... they are gorgeous girls eh.   AND YES, Brylee looks a lot like her 2nd Cousin Rowena.  But without the red hair.

Dante and I had a BLAST at the mall and Spotlight.
I put him in a Spotlight trolley, not in the 'baby' seat, but in the main part of the trolley, then I proceeded to push him really fast around the aisles, saying "Arooooound the corner, UP the aisle" loudly!  He loved it.  We did get a few amused glances cos I was being a hoon, but who cares?  We had fun.

After Spotlight we went to the mall, and he had to walk everywhere.  Evil motive... get him good and tired. He enjoyed an early lunch of Burger King fries, nuggets and a thickshake.

Now we are home, and so is Bex.  Hes all her's again.  *smiles*

As per usual, it's been a quiet afternoon... I kept meaning to go downstairs and carry on doing the baby bumper... but somehow it didn't happen.

It was takeaways for dinner tonight.  Pizza.

Steve and Bex went out for dinner and some shopping at Farmers.  There was a ONE DAY ONLY sale on clothes and they wanted to get winter stuff for Dante.  They had a good time by the look of it.  

I am going downstairs in a minute to get my sewing bag ready for tomorrow's class.  It's the last class at The Crafty Needle tomorrow.  We are having a shared lunch, I don't know what I'm taking yet.
Time to sort that out in the morning.

End of Day:  a lovely day, it was so lovley spending the morning with Dante... just the two of us.
nite nite

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


HEE HEE.... bet that had ya going "What the heck?"

First time ever, when  preparing the Pork Belly for dinner last night, we had pork belly with NIPPLES!

ABOVE:  Seriously, we laughed out loud when we saw them.... Steve even tweaked them!  Rather funny.  

Once cooked, you could hardly tell where they were... and we actually had 5 nipples.  *smiles*

Moving on... as promised yesterday, here's the first block in the sampler quilt I'm making:

ABOVE:  I only cut off one point... but that's one point too many so I'm a bit cross with myself.  I'm sure the 'secret' to perfect results is TOTAL accuracy in the cutting out of the blocks.

Next one I will try to get it PERFECT.  

That lovely floral blue/multi coloured fabric is the 'main' fabric for this quilt.  I plan on having it in about 85% of the blocks for continuity.

I've decided this is going to be my quilt.  It will be a nice change from the Dresden Plate quilt. I can have them on my bed in 3-4 monthly rotations.

***HAPPY BIRTHDAY KELLY, have an awesome day.***

Right, today.  I'm going to Warehouse Stationary to find a magnetic board and some little magnets.  I'm going to use it to hold the block pieces 'in place' before and during stitching them together.  

On Monday night the fan kept blowing them all over the friggin table!
Then I got them muddled up and had to do some 'reverse stitching' cos I'd joined up the wrong ones.  Derrr. 

When I get home I am going to FINALLY get started on new baby's named cot bumper pad.
As he's due in just over 5 weeks I really shouldn't leave it to the last minute.


A successful shopping trip...

 ABOVE:  I got these two file boxes to hold my patterns in.  I've got an old cardboard one, but it's bursting at the seams.

ABOVE:  The magnetic board, it's a bit bigger than I wanted, but rather too big than too small I suppose.  There isn't a lot of choice out there.
That's half a fat quarter on it, in that gorgeous fabric.  It makes me smile just looking at it... it's so gorgeous.

Bex and Dante ended up coming out with me... which was OK until Dante packed a 2 year old wobbly!  He sure knows how  to pick his moments *smiles*.  Bex said "Welcome to my world"... ha ha!  Like I don't know what it's like?  
The kid lives in MY house... AND I've raised ummm... 8 kids, so I do know what it's like!

He was just getting tired though, now he's in bed sound asleep, just like the little darling he usually is.

End of Day:  a quiet afternoon, in which I got a bit of prep work done for the baby bumper for next baby boy.
Then I realised I didn't have the right colours for the project.  Dammit.
Put me feet up for the rest of the evening.  Bex cooked dinner, so that was lovely.
nite nite

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Well... let's repeat myself.
I loved last night's new patchwork class, I really like the tutor and the 3 ladies that were there were nice too.

I decided to make a sampler quilt, so I can get better at the finer points of patchwork.

The tutor said she will help me with that.

While I can sew fairly well... my finishing and accuracy needs heaps of attention.

AND she said she can teach me how to do 'free motion' quilting, so I can quilt my own bigger projects.

That takes about 10,000 hours practice I'm told.  BLOODY HELL!

Luckily I'm up for the challenge.

Anyway, here's the quilt I'm going to be doing, only in different colours:

ABOVE:  I can choose to make it bigger or smaller... depending on what size bed it's for.  On that score, I'm not sure yet.

ABOVE: This is the 'class room'.  It's limited to 7 members at a time.  I loved being there last night cos I had the fan behind me!  Bliss.  Also, the tutor has hot flushes too... lol.  I'm not alone!

Today I'm going to finish the first block the tutor set for me.  Then I will give you a look at the colour scheme I've chosen.  Any guesses?

Nah, scrap that.  You are bound to get it right!

At this stage, I don't know how Steve is feeling, or even if he's gone to work.   

Hopefully Bex is 100% better today.

Nothing worse than being 35 weeks pregnant and feeling sick as a dog I'm sure.

Right, I'm off to make me bed, do some washing, vacum, get dinner ready (we've got my Aunt and Uncle for dinner tonight)... then do that block.


BELLA:  I had already noticed that symbol was the REVERSE of the Nazi symbol, and am not going to use it in my quilt.

For more information on the early origins of that symbol... which was in use way, way before the Nazi Party adopted it, go here : http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29644591  

My morning has been AWESOME!!!  As Steve is home feeling ill, I invited Bex to come with me to check out The Ribbon Rose shop... this time in leisure!

Bex was amazed at the shop, as was I once I had the chance to browse properly.

I ended up spending 'a bit' there, and got this lot:

 ABOVE: I so want to make that amazing wall hanging on the left!  There is a class running right now doing it, but I will just do it in my patchwork class when I've finished the quilt.  

ABOVE: More patterns and a book.  I LOVE the doorstop with the mushrooms etc ... they had one finished in the shop and it is utterly gorgeous.  The photo does not do it justice at all.

ABOVE:  a rotating cutting mat!  Never seen one before, HAD TO BUY IT.  It's going to so useful when cutting/squaring up small blocks etc.  I drooled over it.  The monster fabric is going to be made into a pillowcase or two for grandkids.

This morning has been so cool!  So nice to go shopping with company, and to have to time to really LOOK.

Tallulah has finally got her first 'season'... which means if she follows a similar timeline to Coco (which she should) we will have puppies again in February next year.  Excited!!!

Biggest decision now is who to pair her with.  Mac, which would produce 100% Shih Tzu puppies, or a Bichon for half/half.  Luckily I have to time make up my mind.

I have had to postpone our dinner guests, due to us having 'bugs' in the house.  Last thing they would want is a tummy bug.

Lunchtime... off to find food and watch yesterday's Home and Away.

I went downstairs after lunch to finish that first block... but got carried away doing some tidying up instead.  So, no finished block today after all sorry.

I managed to prick the side of me thumb, right into the side of the nail with a pin and it's now really painful to type!  So, I'll wrapping up the day.

End of Day:  Pork belly and veges for dinner tonight, really YUM as per usual.
nite nite

Monday, March 23, 2015


I just handed in my notice at the Hospice Shop.
Various reasons... mostly to do with family.  Won't go into details, just need to take a break from being there right now.

If at a later date I feel like life is settled again, I will go back.  Probably in a few months maybe.

Bex is sick today, so on the advice of her midwife, she's taking it easy, and I am looking after Dante for her.  I'm sure we can find lots of things to keep us happy. 

So, today I shall be doing some housework, and playing with a 2 year old.  

Tonight, once Steve is home, I will be going to that new shop I found yesterday, to attend one of their Patchwork Classes.  If I enjoy it I will probably start going there every Monday night.  I think a night class will suit me much better than a 'day class'.   No rushing around in the morning to get ready!

The class I attend at the moment is closing, this Friday is our last day.  If they don't start up a new class somewhere else, at least I have somewhere to go!


YES!  We got mousey! Wanna see?.................
Nah, maybe not.  Once upon a time I would have shown you, but Stew already threw him in the rubbish and I ain't gunna fish out a dead mouse for no one.  lol

Bex is still feeling rather fragile, so she's in for a long, quiet day.  Dante is happy as Larry playing in the family room, watching TV and playing with his trains.
I'm going to get a bit of housework done now.

Dante has been such a good boy for us today, nice and quiet, happy to play with his trains and eat pop corn that I made.

Once Bex and Dante went to bed for a mid-day nap, I popped downstairs and made another little kimono... for fun.

I had to watch a YouTube tutorial to remember how to do it!

ABOVE: The one on the left is the 'new' one, I added gold thread stitching for effect, and the one on the right is one I made the other day, I just unfolded it and fussy cut a cute insect for the front panel.
If only I could think of a project to use them on!  No point making any more if I've not got a project in mind for them.

In this new class I'm going to tonight, you are obliged to use fabrics and materials you have bought in their shop for projects worked on in class... so I'm gunna have to buy fabric tonight for my 'in class' project.   
But... I don't know what I want to make in class yet.  *sigh*   I might spend a lot of time tonight just wandering around the shop!
Dumm dee dooo.. what a nightmare THAT will be.  lol

I'm feeling excited about the new class... it's almost time to leave.  I'm hoping the traffic heading North is not as bad as heading South!  Mad time of the night to be travelling... but it would have been no better getting to the 9.30 am class, probably worse.
How AWFUL that I have to buy some more fabric tonight!

I'll be back later to show you what I decided to make tonight, and the fabric I had to get for it.  *hoping the ladies are nice*

Well.. the class was very small.. only 4 'students' and the tutor.  But it was NICE.  We had several good conversations going.  
I decided to start a sampler quilt, to learn the finer details and how to get things lined up properly, and also try new blocks.

I will show you the 'example' quilt tomorrow.

It took me a good 20 minutes to decide what fabric colours to use for mine... brights of course!  I will finish the first block tomorrow hopefully, then I can show you it.

Steve arrived home from work and promptly threw up apparently.  So, Three DOWN, Four to GO.  Wonderful.   Maybe some of us will be lucky and escape the bug?
When I left, Bex was starting to feel much better... so it's certainly a 24 hour bug.

End of Day:  a good day... very happy with how the class went. It was weird driving in the dark, something I avoid like the plague usually, but it's not so bad on the motorway... plenty of lighting.
nite nite