Grandma and her boys

Saturday, 30 August 2008

I saw this

I saw this quilt top at a friend Bonnie's house here in Dubai she has just done it for her Daughter in green and blues, I loved it and am going to get the fabric from here to do it as our "Quilt from Dubai "
It is called "Stepping Stone"
This pattern is from Thimbleberries Classic Country Home Front Flannels by Lynette Jensen.
The photo of the picture in the book has not reproduced well, so hopefully in the not to distance I can show you the finished item.

Friday, 29 August 2008

How life changes .. Going home

Well who could have said that yesterday would make such an impact on our life ...
There we were doing what we always do on a Thursday .. Me trying to renew my driving licience ( another story) and Eric working at home doing computer stuff .... Then comes the email to say "Going Home End September"
Well it has happened, we leave in September, not what we expected but September, October or December all the same really, as most folks knew we were going by the end of the year anyhow, so bit of a shock ... but work wise with Ramadam when nothing happens in the Middle East for a month it is the best time for the company which is the deciding factor in all of this of course.

Me I don't really mind it is about time I got back to the family and watch those grand kids grow, they need my in put and influence, when I remember my grandma she was a great influence in my life, I learnt so much from her so I have to go and help mould mine.

I hope the boy's will like quilting, they will like using the machine I expect and we may have another Rikki Timms ( an American male quilter ) in my family who can tell.
It will be Spring in NZ and my favorite time of year so no cold weather to contend with to fast not that it really gets that cold in Rotorua for more than a few weeks a year.
So the big shock is we have decided that when I leave on 9th September for Kathryn's wedding I will not return to Dubai.

So only 10 days to get myself sorted and packed last minute shopping, how many trips to Satwa can I get in for more fabric. Will the packers have a container large enough I wonder for the fabric?

Eric will remain to get packers etc. Now this is a first, I am the one who normally stays to pack up and Eric heads out to pastures new this will be a new experience for him. So I will have to go through the apartment and organise what is thrown away what can be given away and what goes back to NZ.

I will miss the Dubai Quilting Guild very much such a lovely group and so active. Sorry to say they will need a new secretary .
I was also booked in to give a class on "stumpwork" in a group we call Beyond the Guild, shame as I have it all sorted and samples made etc. also kits organised and made up. After I organised last years Block of the month with embroidered blocks many ladies have become interested in embroidery so I have been helping quite a few increase their repitiore of stitches.

So that is it I am retired for real no more living overseas, Eric, well he will never really retire, he is going to help companies here in Dubai travelling here 3/4 times a year and continue running his company in China, I may just have to tag along on ocassions when he returns here if not for anything else it will be for the fabric and catch up with folks in Dubai .. so at least a once a year trip is called for.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Two weeks today and counting

Two weeks today, I head off back to New Zealand to help with the final arrangements of Kathryn's wedding.

I have a list, yep! the perverbial list that has got us in the past all around the world, from camping when the kids were young, moving to Kuwait in 1977, changing countries 11 times, getting kids to Boarding School in UK with the right equipment needed for the term, and back to which ever country we were resident in at the time.

These lists were always a "Oh! no not another list" from the members of my family, especially the kids and including the wage earner sometimes, but without them I hate to think who would have gone where without what ?

So the trusty list is on the counter top and getting ready to be ticked off as I collect each item, or carry out each task written there.

So God bless the LIST.You can almost smell the heady sent of these flowers.....I have borrowed this picture from a blog I follow for it is full of my favorite flowers grown in a place not far from our home, I hope Ali will not mind as they are so beautiful.

I also have a tub just outside of my Dining room in which I grow the self same flowers. The smell is just wonderful when they are all in bloom, I think spring is my most favourite time of year.

In NZ the cafe's make great cakes and scones, all home made....I have missed the scones and I am looking forward to sampling a few in the weeks I am back there.

These scones are should try them....

Lemony fruit scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1 8-oz. carton dairy sour cream
1 egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
2/3 cup snipped dried apricots
2/3 cup snipped pitted dried plums (prunes)
1/2 cup powdered/ icing sugar sugar
2 to 3 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Lightly grease a large baking sheet;

In bowl stir together flour, baking powder, soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Rub in butter to resemble coarse crumbs; set aside.
In bowl stir together sour cream, egg, granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon of the peel; add to flour mixture. combine just until moistened. Stir in apricots and dried plums.

Drop dough onto baking sheet (you can make as large or as small as required.)

Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool slightly on rack.
For glaze, stir together powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel. Stir in enough lemon juice to make drizzling consistency; drizzle over scones. If desired, sprinkle with walnuts.

Serve with butter or cream or both.....and home made jam...yummeee!!

You just don't want or wish to know the calorie content !!!just enjoy them.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Along time ago this was sent to me and I thought is was a good one, and worth posting.

I remember my mother saying some of these things. In fact I can almost hear her saying them.....I am sure I have used a few on my kids as well over the years.

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE. "If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. My mother taught me RELIGION. "You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL. "If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My mother taught me LOGIC. “Because I said so, that's why."

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC. "If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to score with me."

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT. Always wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

7. My mother taught me IRONY. "Keep crying and I'll give you something to cry about."

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS. "Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONIST. "Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck?"

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA. "You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER. "This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY. "If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!"

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE. "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION. "Stop acting like your father!"

15. My mother taught me about ENVY. "There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. "Just wait until we get home."

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING. "You are going to get it when you get home!"

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE. "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way."

19. My mother taught me ESP. "Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

20. My mother taught me HUMOR. "When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me."

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT. "If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

22. My mother taught me GENETICS. "You're just like your father."

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS. "Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

24. My mother taught me WISDOM. "When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

25. My mother taught me about JUSTICE. "One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you"

Getting to Pune ( Poona)

I forgot to mention that we flew Indian Airways, also that we flew

Business Class. and that I could get used to this, did mention it to the wage earner but the answer was not really printable..... I take that as meaning " No" and dream on .... Oh! well a good try.
Pune airport is like a really small provincial airport. For the business class lounge they simply give you a voucher that you take to the restaurant where they give you complimentry refreshments.
We did not get to use this as we had walked 8 steps from check in and were at the Immigation Dept (1 desk) 16 steps past this we were at the gate to board the aircraft ... from here we could not return past the immigration desk again.
Your boarding pass was checked by crossing off your passenger number on a sheet of paper, and of course we walked to the plane, amid the tactors taking the luggage and tankers filling the aircraft with fuel, the runway repairs and the general mele of people, amazing that the right people got on the right plane. which was parked about 20 meters from the door.
So laid back they were almost lying down.
I was fasinated by one sign which read....
If any member of staff asks for a bribe please report this to the airport authorities immediately.

Pune - India what a place.

Yesterday we arrived back from a 5 day trip to India, we stayed with the Madison Agent from here in Dubai. Girjit and Pria, so we saw the privilaged side of Indian life.
Eric has been friends with Girjit for more than 20 yrs now, he has asked us often to go to Pune...and finally we have made it.
They entertained us in their home which was a really nice house, of course one of the better in Pune, It was so great to breath fresh air and have nice cool temp's even if they were still in the 30's.
Girjit and Pria's house is run by servants, there is always at least 2 servants around the house, in fact the whole running of the house is done by these servants plus others who come in daily, almost like the days of the Raj. What ever is your wish they produce it, not sure if I could live like this all the time, I would guess the boredom has to kick in somewhere.... but just think of the embroidery and quilting you could get done. But while we were there we loved it.
but we saw houses and houses of course..... most Pune residents are not of great means in fact we saw abject poverty there with people living in tied together plastic sheets and sacks. There is a great number of homeless and stateless people in India from surrounding countries with no passports or papers thus have no rights.
Pune itself is very rundown and dirty, I think the first thing that you notice is the dirt, we were told that the people have lived like this for ever and don't notice it anymore. The only residents that notice it are people that have been overseas and see how others live. Many people from this area of India especially the villages have been with in only a short distance of Pune in their lives..

Now if your idea of India is places like Bombay and Deli.... read on as you will be amazed.

We took a trip to a Lake area two hours from Pune where Girjit is having a new home built, it is going to be amazing with views to die for, it is also in the hill station area, so we are looking forward to visiting it again in a couple of years, when they are in residence there.

For another two days we went off for a trip to Mahabaleshwar south of Pune.
I am sure in the books and films that have been made about the British Forces in India you would have read or seen the "Hill Stations" that the British wives used to go to in the summer while their husbands stayed in the heat of the low lands.
Mahabaleshwar is at a height of about 1300 meters above sea level used to be a summer retreat for the British when they were ruling India. Also, it used to serve as a retention camp for Chinese and Malay convicts. Mahabaleshwar today boasts the finest variety of Strawberries available in India and it is due to the fact that these convicts started to grow strawberries because of their inherent skills and the amazing temparatures and rains. We stayed in a place called, Brighland holiday village, almost at the entrance of Mahabaleshwar. The hotel was built on the side of the hill and all areas had amazing views of the valley.

This is not one of them, but had to throw this in as it is a hotel that is swathed in plastic to help keep out the waters of the monsoons, we experienced the rains...and yes! the hotel is open for guests.

Old Mahabaleshwar, where the famous temple Panchganga is located. This area is of great importantance to the river Krishna as the river originates from here

The views are breath taking.

There must have been some lovely houses in this area in the early 1900's some still remain but very rundown and unkempt, which is so so sad.

We saw monkeys and ground squirrels(Chipmunks)

We went to eat in typical British built race Course in Pune, it was built most likely around late 1800's early 1900's it was still run in the same way and with the same traditions it was like walking back in history.
This area is also a strong military area, so in Pune is all the camps and we saw buildings like the " Officer's Mess" built by the British while there still being used and painted the same as they were, the gardens were like English gardens, again a walk backwards in history
I found Pune fasinating with its traffic and people and on the streets there were hundreds walking all the time, the traffic is unbelievable, dodging and weaving with thousands of motor bikes and scooters, Pune boasts the most 2 wheel vehicals in India.
Outside of the city you saw the children going to and from school all immaculate in uniform, many walking 4 or 5 miles back and forth, these children are fed at school and this will be most likely the only food they will have for the day, thus the children of the poor villages go to school regularly and without fail.
I found the following in an artical about Pune. so I just had to include these Do's and Don'ts from the local police information.

1. Try not to follow instructions of any stranger. Always confirm from local people around. A lunatic may be trying to be fool you.
2. Always buy tickets before entering any tourist attraction. Entering such a place without ticket is a punishable offense and you can be fined for that.
3. Defacing or harming any Public of Heritage property is not at all appreciable act. You can be fined or even prosecuted for such an act. So, try refrain yourself from such an activity.
4. Always prefer police run Prepaid Booths, Private Boothe fool foreign tourists as they are actually fraudulent travel agents
5. Never carry so much cash while traveling in crowded city bus as your pocket may get picked up by someone. Do take care of your belongings.
6. Don't travel around the city during office hours as you may get struck in a traffic jam.
After this trip our views of what India is like have really changed, and are looking forward to a revisit in the future.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Next UFO. read the instuctions

I have a Chuch pattern as per picture the same type of thing as the house with Christmas tree but the church has a stained glass window, the stained glass bit is all finished I just need to do hardanger / cross stitch church building.

The fabric is all ready to go centred and marked, the threads and fabric have been in a small project box for as long as the first one ... so this week I went off to my "Stitching Bee" armed with the UFO number 2.

I settled down to stitch and took out the pattern to begin ... strange I thought there is no centre arrow or any indication of the centre of the pattern, all cross stitch patterns etc start at the centre ..... I thought about this for sometime and decided umh! " a typing error or omitted by mistake"

so I proceeded to count the squares on the pattern and mark the centre across and up the sides, this took quite a while as we were talking all the while and I kept losing my place, so after at least half an hour I had it done.

Okay ready to go.

Now I have no idea why at this precise moment I decided to look at the instructions ...
YES!! you guessed it.....Instructions from Patricia Andrle the designer read as follows;

"I recommend starting at the bottom of the design, work lower portion of the border and then begin at the base of the church"

I seriously wonder why after doing hundreds of projects and numerous amounts of cross stitch and hardanger I think I know best.

So if all else fails as they say READ THE INSTRUCTIONS

The finished "UFO"

Today I collected from the framers my

"Christmas All Around the House"

Hardanger and cross stitch Embroidery.

It looks great, fantastic to see it finally finished after at least 4/5 years of on, off, on, off stitching.

The amazing part of this piece of framing is that the framers ( Indian) had never done anything like this before and said they really couldn't do what I was asking.

So this goes to show you don't know what you can do till you try, the chap who did it was so proud of the work, you would have thought he did the stitching as well.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Weekend Away (Pull up a chair it's a long one)

Four couples and two ladies from Hash House Harriers went off to the Fujairah Rotana Resort and Spa a five star beachfront hotel nestled between the Indian Ocean and the Hajar mountains. Less than two hours drive from Dubai.

The journey by car from Dubai is quite enjoyable as it involves passing through rolling deserts and desolate mountains. The only hassle involves navigating your way between the huge trucks that are chugging their way slowly along the highway. The hotel blends in with the local landscape. Since it is only four stories high at its tallest point, the hotel does not block your view of the adjacent mountains. The grounds are nicely spread out and well cared for and green, so the entire resort feels roomy and relaxed. The airy surroundings are a pleasant contrast from the beach hotels in Dubai that are growing increasingly claustrophobic as skyscrapers are being built practically on top of them.
It was great to look out at the Indian Ocean and see nothing but clear blue sea right to the horizon (albeit rough) with not a man-made island in sight.
The hotel itself boasts 250 rooms, most of which are in the main building facing the beach. There are also four low-rise outer buildings that are beach-front rooms. We stayed in the one of the outside buildings on the first floor with a nice view of the pools and beach. Our room was spacious and the aircon was super efficient as it was at least 40+ degrees and 60% humidity all weekend. Which caused problems every time we left the comfort of our room as our glasses steamed up for a few minutes making it difficult to get down the staircase.

The hotel is relatively new - it opened in April 2007 ....... Our only complaint on the room was the size of the bathroom, which was quite small in proportion to the rest of the room. Two people could not use it at the same time.

There is a spacious outdoor pool for adults with a swim-up bar However, if you want to do more than lounge around the pool there are loads of recreational activities available. sports, many of which are free, including water skiing, kayaking, windsurfing, and pedalo. We actually didn't take advantage of these as they were cancelled on the first day due to rough sea and the second day it was to darn hot. So we managed to top up our suntans which had almost disappeared due to it being to hot to sit outside in the last few weeks.

Now all the folks with us were between 45 and 65 years of age....this is important to remember.... read on :
On the second evening we tried to book a table for 11 ( one extra had joined us for the day ) in the seafood restaurant .... on being told they could only accommadate us outside and it was far to humid, Martina decided to make up a story about it being someone in the groups birthday ... so they said okay " inside " and asked whose birthday was it, Martina then thinking very quickly on her feet said "Kyoko's "
" We will do a cake " said the restaurant.
So it was to be a Un- birthday for Kyoko.
All went well we had the meal then Kyoko announced she was tired and went to bed...but we had not had the cake! Oh! crikes what are we going to say when they bring the cake... Quick thinking again we decide it's Tom's birthday ( Kyoko's partner).
So out comes this cake with 5 waiters singing happy birthday with a cake saying its Kyoko's birthday and we are singing to Tom. There was some very strange looks on the faces of the waiters, but we pulled it off okay.

This is not the sort of antics you would expect from an adult group, may be a group of teenagers ..... but we were all laughing and enjoyed every minute of it.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Been Shopping

I had to go shopping for threads and fabric for a class on Stumpwork that I am giving in October here in Dubia, we call these classes "Beyond The Guild". BTG.

Check us out at

Basically if anyone has a item or skill that they canpass on to others; we arrange a class of may be 6 to 8 people and you teach or instruct on the item or subject.

This helps everyone and you pass on and share the knowledge that you have ( isn't that what quilting and craft is all about..sharing).

We always have International Instructors come here to Dubai normally each year, at great expense, then the class fees are high along with it, until we realised we have 80 members with a great deal of talent amongst them. So we have tapped that talent and found we have some very gifted people amongst us.

We have done various classes, a Kimono folded quilt, a Riki Timms, an origami folded quilt, needle cases and pinchushions, a Compass Quilt, a Kalidescope Quilt plus various Christmas wall hangings and techniques, there are others that I can't remember at this time.

A sample of my origami and Kimono folding

OH! and by the way I purchased these items also for the stash.


I am confused why my links are not all working some are but other just will not I will try again here and see how we go.....
Liz Needle and Quiltingorchardist

I hope this works this time.....

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

An Award


I have been nominated for an award from a fellow blogger..
Thank you so much Liz.

I have today put on a link for the very first time so I can only hope this works for me...??
Also for the ladies I have nominated.....keep the fingers crossed

To Give an award.

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.

2. Link to the person you received your award from.

3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs for an award.

4. Put links to those blogs on yours

5. Leave a message on the blog of the person you have nominated.

I would like to nomiate life today quiltingorchardist grammas quilting room

Well done ladies love your blogs.

Pune - India

INDIA ......This is one country I have not visited yet.... one on our list to do before we leave this area of the world.

Yesterday Eric's Agent here in Dubai invited us to his home in Pune- India ...wait for it NEXT flights to this area are as easy to get as "pulling hens teeth" but The Bossman has friends in very high places and after being told by Air India "all full for months" one call from The Bossman and low and behold we are on the flight.

So we are booked business class on a flight next Tuesday, again watch this space as I will have news to spare... I love this type of off the cuff holiday breaks. By the way did I mention he is very rich !!!!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

I will not be on it...shame

Now I have never been a great fan of flying in the past ... but over the last 8 yrs planes have got better and better, and I actually look forward to flying.....

Emirates Airline flew there brand new Airbus 380 to America on 1st August visiting 5 states while there.

I would love to fly this aircraft, and it is going to fly all the long haul routes in time. Whee !! I thought I will get to leave here on a 380, as Melbourne and Sidney of course are 2 of their really long haul routes. You need to go via one of these places to get to NZ.....

But in their infinate wisdom Emirates have decided to go to New York first, then London starting on 1st December and then Sidney but not until February 2009.

I bet they don't realise that, this is to late for me as we leave here in Dec/Jan.

So that must be a good reason to come back again for a visit in the not to distant future.

But good news I have just read that Qantas will get their first Airbus 380 next month so there is another option open to me.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Summer here in Dubai

I must have mentioned a few times it is HOT here at present, we have had a fair few sandy days and some sand storms in the past couple of weeks, these are different actually.... sandy days are just cloudy and windy, whipping up the sand ... where as a sand storm is when the wind is coming from a particular direction bringing sand from else where some times Saudi or down from Kuwait and Iraq, you can tell where the wind is from by the colour of the sand it brings with it, but neither is pleasant the visability in a storm can be just a few meters.

Add this to the heat on average 43+ daily it gets very uncomfortable to say the least.

Thus the place gets sand splattered there is sand on the out side of the buildings, on and in the car, it swirls on the pavements and streets, it gets everywhere, in your hair and eyes of course, then pop in some really hot winds and you have a nightmare of weather. Our balcony can have up to a bucket full of sand swept up every other day if we were daft enough to do it often.

So people become hermits and stay in.

This last week or two our weather has been just as discribed, so I will not be sorry to get away on vacation in 4 weeks ...whose counting ?

The wind is also frustrating not least of all here in the apartment, I do the laundry and hang it on a rack, putting it on the balcony I watch it dry in about 30 minutes and have to be ready to bring it in before it dries like a board.

I have to be on my toes during the drying time for as the wind whips up .... over goes the rack and sand/dust clings to the clothes and results in all having to be rinsed again which can be more than annoying to say the least.
I have tried shaking and brushing off the dust but it actually stains the washing if left.

Now I can hear people saying "why don't you use a dryer?"

Well! I actually don't like using a dryer, my experience of dryers is not good, so many shrunk tee shirts and other items spoiled in them.

In NZ, I do actually have a dryer in the garage for those really bad winter days when wet towels and bedlinen are hung about.
The washing machine here in the apartment is a combination washer dryer, but I have never even bothered to worked out how it works why would you with perfect drying weather outside..

So summer in Dubai is not all it is cracked up to be or how you would imagine with all this sun,sea and sand, in fact it can be very unpleasant.

The following photo is a picture of an ensueing sand storm as it rolls in ( obviously not one of mine)

Thursday, 7 August 2008

All you need to know on how to get shot of the housework

I was sent this not so long ago; it is just perfect for a busy quilter.

You have always wondered "how can I get rid of the housework and spend my days quilting"

Follow these instruction ;
1. Open a new file in your PC.
2. Name it "Housework."
3. Send it to the RECYCLE BIN.
4. Empty the RECYCLE BIN.
5. Your PC will ask you, "Are you sure you want to delete Housework permanently?"
6. Calmly answer, "Yes" and press mouse button firmly.....
7. Feel better?
8. Housework gone !!!

Now Go and Quilt

Sunday, 3 August 2008

No Great Disaster after all

Whee! no great disaster after all, just a clip that had sheared off, thought it was may be a screw loose myself ( that is in the machines... not one of mine)
I took it along to the Quilting Shop where the gentleman was working today and he fixed it in
10 minutes....there's service for you ...set me back about $45 so we are in business again.