Grandma and her boys

Tuesday, 29 July 2008


No! not the sort that shoot through the sky.

"Unfinished Objects"

I decided to day that I would get out a Hardhanger / Cross Stitch I started at least 4 yrs ago.

It has got to be the most travelled UFO there is in my stack...

It has seen China and Spain and now Dubai

It has gotten stitches from all these places .. .. may be not many...

but today I have vowed to finish it and have it framed before I return to New Zealand in December / January.

I really don't have a lot to finish just the Holly around the edge.

I will try to keep you updated on it's progress, so watch this space.

Hopefully the next picture you see... will be it all framed.

Monday, 28 July 2008

What do you do with your Tim Tam

I have tried to post every day but things get in the way like Quilting and Embroidery or nothing to talk about.

While sewing today I remembered the blog and thought as I dipped my cookie in my coffee, "what can I say today I wonder."

Now it was the above action with the cookie that reminded me of the following.

If you live in New Zealand or Australia you have heard of Tim Tams if not where have you been for the last **!@#* years.

Arnott's reports that "Around 30 million packs are sold each year - that’s nearly 300 million biscuits, or two packs for every Australian." That's a lot of Tim Tams! Yes, they're pretty popular with those Aussies! and also in New Zealand.

Now we have found out what Tim Tams are....on with the article in question.

What do you do with your Tim Tam ?

While at Embroidery Guild one evening I dunked a ginger nut in my coffee, one of the other ladies said " Have you ever dunked a Tim Tam" a negative answer followed of course as I was new to New Zealand and their ways with their Tim Tams.

She went on to explain you make a small pin hole in the Tim Tam at the top on the cream line and also the bottom.
You then dip it in your coffee or tea and you suck through the hole while in the liquid like a straw. Have a napkin at the ready this can get messy.
You then quickly place it in your mouth whole.

WOW!! EEEE! Don't knock it till you try it.

Seems this is a very old method and used by most students at University.

Now obviously not all the world can get Tim Tams so I guess the same end product could be got with a Penguin Biscuit in UK.
Or any sandwich biscuit covered in chocolate.

Count Downs

Every one around me or we know seems to be on a count down of some sort...

Our Grandson Ben is on a countdown to start school on 6th September

His Mum and Dad Kathryn and Steve are on the count down to their wedding on September 20th

Eric informed me today it is just 7 weeks before I leave for New Zealand to assist with the last minute prep's for the wedding......A few weeks ago there was talk of me embroidering the Wedding that may be another count down in the 10days after I arrive home that I have to do it in before the great day.

Just a week ago our friends were counting down to their holiday in UK to meet up with the Welsh Grandparents, Tika and Phil plus twins Neisha and Isobel are arriving home soon and Mum and girls will leave again next day for Kathmandu to see their Nepalese grandparents so Phil will be on another countdown for them to return.

There are people leaving Dubai for good I know of 3 couples who are on their count down all taking place in next 2 weeks.

Now Eric keeps telling me we have only 5 months left here guess he is on his countdown.

Seems the thing to do lately COUNT just in case you don't have anything to coundown for are some of mine for you to share.....

It is just 10 days to Iain's birthday

40 days to Ben's birthday

89 days to Uncle Malcolm's

114 days to Kathryn's....Oh by the way in case you need to know...

just over 20 weeks to Christmas
Then on 26th December Boxing Day it is Steve's birthday...
That takes care of 2008 of course I could start on 2009 !!!!!!

Friday, 25 July 2008

Today has been a real good posting day

I have done so well with my posts today...sometimes I find it easier than others.

So here is another snippit from my meandering thoughts.

I have often mentioned the cheap fabric we have here, and how I have bought up wholesale almost.

The other item that is used by me a great deal is DMC threads, and yes! they are so cheap here that I have permission from the wage earner to complete my shade card before we return to New Zealand.

So each time I go to the notions shop I purchase a few, this is todays is that correct a stash of threads or should it be a collection, may be someone knows the right collective terminology for threads and can let me know.

Summer Quilting and UFO's

Dubai must be the hottest place on earth to spend a summer.
Because of Kathryn's wedding we are here till September this year before we head out for a vacation.

So most of my time is spent inside. I have vowed to finish UFO"s before I start anything you have heard that before and not just here.
I have done a few so far,
A piece of stumpwork embroidery
and had it framed not a good picture as it has reflecting glass and the flash shoots back at me.

and also a little something for Kathryn's new kitchen, of course can't say here as she has not seen it yet.

A Heart Quilt, this picture gives you the gist of it, but it may be slightly different as I am making it up as I go along.......yeah! daft I know...... am still playing with it
It will have shashings between the rows you see any how.
It is done in Japanese fabrics with the hearts embroidered in a crushed pink which blends with the fabrics, I am also playing with the idea of some Sashiko stitchery on it.
Watch this space who can tell what will happen.


Of course I have done my "Kuwait Bag" and so far 4 people have the pattern so may well be a "Dubai Bag" before not so long.
I am also going to do it again making it slightly smaller this time.

I have various other UFO's that I will not mention but will post the finished items as I manage to finish them I know of another three that I would like to finish and there has got to be 3 or 4 more hanging around.
The other " I have nothing to do " thing some folks have started doing is cataloging their fabrics now this I can see would be useful.
I must tell you about a friend here who was so bored one weekend when her husband was travelling, that she photographed all her shoes printed a copy and stuck it on the box........ so she does not have to open each one to see what is in the box....may be not so daft after all !!!!

Monday, 21 July 2008

My Kuwait Bag

While in Kuwait I also met a sewing friend of Kathi's, Sara who came with us to the fabric souq and I noticed they had the same bag, which on questioning turned out to be a class that they had taken at their Guild....

So home I came with the pattern and fabric purchased at the Fabric Souq.

Saturday was a quiet day no particular chores or shopping to do, Eric is off on Saturdays, so he spent a relaxing afternoon and evening watching a police TV series, "Life on Mars " lent to us by a friend. If you have not seen it or get a chance watch it, it's worth watching.
I started the bag.
It has side straps that can be released to make bag larger and a whole line of pockets around the inside for all the necessary bits one has to carry on a day to day basis. The sides are quilted lightly and it has a nice hard base to stop it falling off the front seat of the car when you brake. You can adjust the depth by increasing the top fabric, so I did just that and made the deeper one, the shallower one is more like a hand bag ( may have a go at that one later)

Things went well and "voile" ( bet you are mpressed by the French)
by 8pm in the evening I had a bag.
It still needs a little trimming on the outside and a large toggle or button to close but they will come when I get to the notion shop this week.

Kuwait trip

Well, I did it, I flew to Kuwait last Tuesday on Al Jazeera Airways the Kuwaiti cheap airline...must be the only "cheapo" with leather seats the size of business class...such comfort, it is ashame it is only an hour and a half flight.

I arrived more or less on time and took ages to obtain a what's changed, any one who has lived in Kuwait will ask.

Kathi was there to meet me and off we went on a 3 day tour of kuwait.
Doing a complete full circle we drove around the city and back to her house on afternoon 1.....
Oh! dear it was so sad to see the way the city has been left in the after math of the Kuwait / Iraq war. There were buildings that were damaged that are still awaiting demolition, bomb sites that are over grown a little by weed but still show where the damage was caused. Areas that already had been cleared, a lot of the Beautiful villas on the Corniche were gone, I guess demolished because of damage.

Most of the goverment buildings I remember were still standing also the Kuwait towers they have built a "fun park" around the base area of the towers, the beach clubs were still there but a little worse for wear.
I did not see any of the old hotels although they are there, Sheraton or Holiday Inn, or Hilton... there is a new Hilton on the road out towards Fhaheel...which is now all built along, so Fhaheel and Fintas are now part of the city. They have built some great Malls...but the souqs are still there...okay cleaned up a bit..but still the old souq as we knew it.

Day 2 saw us at the commercial souk, which is mainly fabric, I was very restraint, as most of the fabric was available in why buy and carry back.
We toured around the area towards Jahbriya, but it was so built up that I could not get my bearings at all, I worked out a few land marks and could see the general direction our house would have been in, the roads no longer go in the same direction as the sand roads did before.
Eric's old office block was still there and looked just the same. I asked about Alsorra School that Kathryn and Iain attened but Kathi had not heard of it, there were a great many others there including an American and a few British ones, so it could have been absorbed by one of them of course.
Day 3 more touring around plus shopping and then to the souq in Fhaheel where I bought an Abya and head scarf....will be interesting when I wear it in NZ.....but must admit it looks very smart and has a crystal bead pattern down the front and back and sleeve cuffs. It is also very comfortable when it is on.
The other striking difference is the cars, gone are the flashy cars, lots are driving
around in 10 / 15 year old cars........the war has left many ordinary Kuwaiti's very strapped for cash as they lost everything .
They have built a Liberation Tower in the City, and are working towards cleaning up the city, you can see the building going on everywhere,
I am not sure it will ever be the same place again though. It seems to have lost something, may be the vibrance it had see so many check points and guns around ( although there always was guns before) now they have implacements outside of embassies with large mounted machine guns.
The British embassy is in the same place but now tightly protected ...beside it is a large open bomb looked so sad.

So all in all I am so pleased I made the effort to go and see the country again.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Congratulations Lynne or friends in high places

Lynne Edwards receiving her M.B.E. (member of the British Empire Medal)from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace on 3rd July 2008.
This is what Lynne had to say about the day...
"It was a great day and Prince Charles said how interested he was in quilts, especially old Welsh ones. He wanted to know more and when he knew I had written books, asked if he could have one….perhaps I should put the Royal Standard over our front door? He also asked if the jacket I was wearing was quilted and made by me(it is a tapestry type, so he can be forgiven for thinking this), so I told him I didn't do domestic sewing, only creative……..."
Lynne is a very valued and dear friend to us all who quilt.
She travels the world from USA to New Zealand teaching and judging, her books are invaluable to the new and experienced quilter.
I have met and been to workshops with Lynne twice since we have been in Dubai and also in UK from time to time......a photograph with me and a few others who took her class, on Not Cathedral Windows .... just look to right handside of blog at the gallery there.
Lynne will be in New Zealand later in the year for Symposium. If anyone has a chance to do her workshops at anytime I recommend you take the opportunity.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

The Fire Man

I am not sure how many of you know that when
Iain arrived in New Zealand he joined the Fire Brigade as a volunteer

Well here he is doing his bit on a "Scrub Fire" last month

It goes with out saying that we are very proud of him it is a large commitment to make with family life and work all rolled in.

Well done Son !

On The subject of Bee's

I attend 2 Quilting Bee's here in I have mentioned before, one on Tuesday's and the other on Wednesday's...
So why I ask myself did I get up early and shower and dress, have breakfast with Eric before he went off to the office, collected my stuff together and drove to the address for the Calico Fans Bee
40 kms from home....on MONDAY MORNING ?

Luckily Janina was at home and we visited with another stitcher who lived just a street away so all was not lost, but the guild will have a field day with this, so I had better find a good excuse.