Grandma and her boys

Friday, 27 February 2009

Quilters Acronyms

Quilters from Dubai on a "Charity Sew in Day"

Quilters Acronyms
NESY: Not even started yet
STABLE: Stash accumulation beyond life expectancy
FQ: fat quarter
LQS: local quilt shop
FART: Fabric Acquisition Road Trip
FIU: Finish It Up
HSY: Haven't Started Yet
OBW: one-block wonder
PIGS: projects in grocery sacks
PIPS: projects in process
SEX: Stash Enhancement Expedition
UFO: UnFinished Object
USO: UnStarted Object
VIP: Very Important Project
WHIMM: Works Hidden In My Mind
WIP: Work in Progress
WIWMI: Wish It Would Make Itself
WOMBAT: Waste of Money, Batting, and Time
WWIT: What Was I Thinking
WISP: Work In Slow Progress
WIVSP: Work In Very Slow Progress

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Social History / Diary keeping

After writing yesterdays blog. I continued looking at the blogs I follow, and there on Ali's blog was an artical about her records she keeps, then it got me to think about blog sites, what a great social history these would make in the future, it is just like diary keeping as the people of past times did.
When you think about history of any kind a lot of the information came from Diaries that were kept in the period. Although I must admit I would never have written so much in a diary.
Some of the comments on Ali's page people mentioned printing your blog or making a back up of it.
This really is a point to ponder on, for when you think about it if any thing happens to Blogger or any other blogsite, your blog will be gone into thin air.
So may be there is something to think about here.

If anyone has an amazing way of doing this I would be pleased to hear about it, rather than printing reams of paper.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Ceramic Hob Cleaner and your shower doors

Like most households our shower doors have always got build up of water marks, because we live in Rotorua where there is always sulphur in the air, our windows and doors are worse than the average....I have tried all sorts of things from oven cleaner to vinegar, CLR and other strong cleaners to no avail. I happened to mention it to someone last week and I was given this tip...
Tip no.1 Use CERAMIC HOB CLEANER just apply with a cloth and rub it in , and wash off
I tried it and it worked but did not have a lot of time to spend today, but more time and a little more elbow grease they will sparkle.
Try it!!
Tip no.2 get family to dry the doors with a small hand towel after using the shower so water does not dry on the doors which causes the build up in the first place.
Untried tip
Someone else advised to polish the clean doors with a liquid wax polish which will also stop any build up, I guess like you do a car...but this one I have not tried yet...

Sunday, 22 February 2009

A Sew in Day

This is a picture of a couple of the Charity Quilts that we made in Dubai last year at a "Sew in Day".

But here in Rotorua yesterday Rainbow Quilters had the first of many "sew in days " to be held at weekends during this year, we meet around 10am to sew for the day .
On these occasions we will do our own projects or charity ones as we have them. Also on occasions we will have Tutors giving classes.
Yesterday 7 of us arrived and unpacked machines and UFO's and set to, we achieved an amazing amount during the day. Some were cutting for a new project, some were continuing a already started one and others putting the batting and backing on finished quilt tops.

We did a vast amount of talking, most of the day was taken up talking about our childhoods, it was neat to hear about others experiences with school memories etc.
It was amazing how although many of us were educated in different parts of the world, we did almost the same things at school.
One memory was sewing classes, whether you lived in NZ or Europe you did the compulsory
" school cookery apron" this was the first sewing project you tackled, I remember mine it was blue and white checked and it was unpicked ( reversed stitching as we call it now) so many times the fabric was almost unusable and so many snags where I had caught threads of the fabric while unpicking, of course this was also all hand stitched, machines were only used by the older girls. I remember having to sew my name across the front of the bib part in dark blue, I believe this was the only decent bit of the whole thing for my Mother had already taught me to embroider. I can imagine the sewing Mistress must have despaired of us.
May be someone should tape these conversations they would be a great source of social history in the future.

Just a little "funny" for today

Now this is not so funny when you are the age it is about .... just true.

Kidnappers are not very interested in you.

In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.

No one expects you to run anywhere.

People call at 9pm and ask, "Did I wake you?"

People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

There is nothing left to learn the hard way.

Things you buy now won't wear out.

You can eat dinner at 4pm.

You can live without sex but not your glasses.

You get into heated arguments about pension plans.

You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.

You quit trying to hold your stomach in no matter who walks into the room.

You sing along with elevator music.

Your eyes won't get much worse.

Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.

Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the National Weather Service.

Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.

Your supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size.

You can't remember where the heck you read this list.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Lets go Bananas !!!!

LET'S GO BANANAS!!! A professor at New York Columbia University told his physiological psych class about bananas. He said the expression "going bananas" is from the effects of bananas on the brain. Read on:

Never, put your banana in the refrigerator!!! now we all knew that one

This is interesting. After reading this, you'll never look at a banana in the same way again.
Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber.
A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.
Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout.
No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.
But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.
Depression: According to a recent survey taken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.
Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.
Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.
Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school (England ) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.
Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.
Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.
Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.
Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.
Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous sys tem.
Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.
Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.
Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.
Smoking &Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.
Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!
Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!
So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"
PS: Bananas must be the reason monkeys are so happy all the time! I will add one here; want a quick shine on our shoes?? Take the INSIDE of the banana skin, and rub directly on the shoe...polish with dry cloth. Amazing fruit !!!
Now this is a better picture of a banana...Mmmm!!
Pancakes with Banana and maple surup you can't beat it unless you top it off with a bit of crispy bacon.

Thank you for all the messages

Thank you for all the messages and comments I have recieved about my "Weekend " with my reaction to Antibiotics.

I have had some lovely emails and comments left, far to many to post.
I still feel a little like someone has removed my stuffing but also feel tons better, just so tired.
But hey ! an excuse to sit and sew and not feel any guilt at all.
So once again Thank you all.

AGM Season

This time of year in New Zealand seems to be AGM season.

Most clubs and groups start their year in February running through till November / December as of course December / January are the school summer holidays.

If you look at the local paper you will see dates for this club and that one for their AGM's listed.

My groups are not an exception to this rule.

This picture is of me giving a demonstration on "How to tie a Quilt" in Dubai

Tuesday saw Rainbow Quilters have their AGM ... the year looks exciting with our exhibition in June. Plus some classes booked with tutors.We have also moved to different premises which are so good, we now meet at The Rotorua Bridge Club, it is warm, comfortable, good light and so much room with a lovely kitchen. We have also booked it for 8 Saturdays and Sundays in the year to do project days, 2 of these will be to work on the Raffle Quilt for the exhibition there was talk of doing two quilts, now that is ambitious to say the least.

Wednesday evening saw the AGM of Rotorua Embroidery Guild.
Once again it looks like an interesting year ahead with classes at weekends and some classes taking in 2 weekends, there is the Tui Ridge Retreat weekend held here in Rotorua each year run by the Embroiders Guild of NZ where there will be 4 to 6 Tutors running classes for the weekend, it all takes place at Tui Ridge a residential Camp situated just outside of Rotorua.

We also have an exhibition planned later in the year
The good thing about this years meetings is that neither of the groups have had to put up their fees, although there has been a rise in the class fees which is only expected given the financial climate at present with travelling costs for the Tutors and price rises on fabrics and notions required to do the class.
So it looks like a busy and interesting year for my hobbies.
This next picture is not mine but I do Hardanger work, and just love this picture.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

What a Fun Weekend

Oh! what a weekend hopefully never to be repeated.
The story starts last Thursday week, when I went to the Doctors with a bit of an infection.
The Doctor sent away a sample and back came the histology report to say I need this particular antibiotic for this bug that I had contracted.
Now my body does not tolerate antibiotics well I have a list of them that I should not take, but this bug is only destroyed by 3 known anti bugs. ( now anti bugs are what our family call antibiotics just a pet name) this one I had never taken before so did not know if I could tolerate it, but willing to try.

So off I trot to the pharmacy and am giving the instructions for taking the pills, must be taken with food this is important 4 times a day for 5 days, yeah "easy "say I .
So I took the pills for 2 days starting on Wednesday evening and although I felt a little " like I was taking something my body did not like " I continued to pop the pills. each pill making me more unsettled inside.
Until Friday night at 2.45am I awoke feeling terrible I had chest pains, palpitations my hands were numb and my mouth and throat so dry I could not speak, I was literally seeing stars, guess what! I panicked.
After a few moments I realised there was something serious going on here, and called my neighbours, who appeared at the door in no time at all and before I knew anything else I was being bundled into an Ambulance and on the way to hospital......I really thought I was going to die. I have never felt any thing so bad.

As soon as I arrived at the Hospital they said "yes reaction to Antibiotic" they wired me up to all sorts of machines for a few hours, but then pronounced me okay, as time went on obviously the drug got weaker in the body. I finally got home on Saturday feeling like someone had taken the stuffing out of me, and it has taken 3 days for me to feel anywhere normal.

I went back to see the doctor yesterday and she told me to take it very easy for at least 3 /4 days.
So I am sewing, and watching the TV and playing DVD's.
Here is a pincushion I made yesterday, I belong to a couple of groups where we do pincushion swaps so this will go to one of them.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Valentines Day

Today is Valentines Day
So to all those people who will not receive a card or flowers
I send this bouquet to you

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

The lament of a Quilters Husband

My Wife, The Quilter

She learned to quilt on Monday. Her stitches were very fine.
She forgot to thaw out dinner, So we went out to dine.

She quilted miniatures Tuesday. She says they are a must.
They really were quite lovely, But she forgot to dust.

On Wednesday, it was a sampler. She says the stipplin's fun.
What highlights! Oh what shadows! But the laundry wasn't done.

Her charm quilt was on Thursday, Green patches, blue and red.
I guess she really was engrossed; She never made the bed.

It was wall hangings on Friday, In colors she adores,
But she never seemed to notice: The crumbs on all the floors.

I found a maid on Saturday! My week is now complete.
My wife can quilt the hours away; The house will still be neat.

Well, it's already Sunday. I think I'm about to wilt.
I cursed, I raved, I ranted--The MAID has learned to Quilt!!
(Author: unknown)

I wonder what happened to my memory

A while ago we were at a family do, where we were talking about our age and every one was going through their illnesses and we were saying how illnesses and things are now know by initials only..... MS, HIV and so on and so on.
So after we had listed all we could I asked what the initials are for the start of senior memory loss and some bright spark said CRAFT..... now I had never heard of this before so of course I showed my ignorance and asked for a explanation and got it.
So it seems I am suffering with:
Can't Remember A Flipping Thing.
So when I forget things now I can say " Please excuse me my CRAFT is really bad at present"
and I don't have to come up with any more excuses.

Rain and Sleep

Our weather here has been wonderful over the summer the hottest for years and hardly any rain and we are told set to continue for a few more weeks yet.
It has got to the point where rain has been prayed for. The fire service are as busy as can be with bush fires with temp's in the 30's and warm winds
The biggest draw back is the hot nights and the lack of sleep this has caused.
Yesterday it RAINED what a glorious sight, I did not hear one moan or groan about the rain. The best part of the whole rain thing is that I actually managed almost a whole nights sleep, feeling awake and fit to go this morning.
I may even get some of those "hot" jobs done like ironing etc. before the thermometer rises again later in the day

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Broadband touble

Now the main provider of telephone and broadband is Telecom NZ

Over the last few years Vodaphone and a few others have been allowed to offer connections but Telecom still have the monopoly.They are the typical provider who have had no competition to speak of and rest on their laurels.

I have had to ring them I do not know how many times with regards our broadband which has got so slow that dial-up would be quicker. Each time they reboot our connection and it works for a few days.

They called me on Wednesday last week to see if we were pleased with our you can imagine my response...!!!**!**

The following is a script of part of our conversation

Them. Would I like to subscribe to a new package...

Me. "No" was my firm reply.

Them. Never mind we would like to offer you a new modem with all the bells and whistles including wireless... Which should work like magic, quicker and the most up to date technology

Me. "Oh ! yes at what cost?"

Them . "Oh! no cost what so ever".

Me. "Pull the other one it has bells on.........okay I continue give me the details"

Them . "Well! no actual cost that is, we just need you to contract to Telecom for 24 months."

Me. "Okay give me 20 good reasons why I should stay with Telecom"

But to cut a long story short they could really give me none....

So I said..... yes in the end as we needed it desperately and they sent me a new modem.

Now the fun begins first of all no instructions on how to set it up, nothing on how to setup the wireless connections.

So I call the help line where I am sorry to have to say I was answered by a lad who did not speak English or no English I could understand, and after 2 hours on the phone in which time the lad repeated every thing at least 3 times if not more before I could get the gist of what he was talking about I finally said " how about if I try and do this alone and call you back if I hit a snag. " Which is what I finally did and managed to work most of it out for myself.

So please will someone explain to me why such companies use almost non English speakers to man a help line, when our basic language is English.

I did call Telecom and they said "he would have passed the language tests when he applied for the job" ... and there endeth the Story.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Neck Scarves

While we were living in Spain I met a lovely Norwegian Lady Kristin and of course she was a quilter but she also did knitting. She knitted the amazing Norwegian sweaters and cardigans. As seen in following pictures in Navy and White

When we were ready to leave Spain and return to China, she presented me with a fabulous tiny neck scarf...hoping this would be useful in the cold cold winters of China. It was great just enough to keep out the chills but not a large wrap around that gets in your way. it looks fab over plain sweaters or just under a collarless jacket.
So I am being proactive and am going to make some ready for the winter in different colours ...also for gifts.

A driving Licience Finally

While we were in Dubai we made friends with a lovely couple Tika and Phil and their delightful twins Neisha and Isobel.

Tika comes from Nepal but was bought up in Hong Kong .... her father was a Gurkha and stayed in Hong Kong after the war.

Living in HK many people do not need to drive and Tika was one of these that never learnt.

Now living in Dubai it is almost imperative that you drive, so she took lessons and managed very well and was ready to take her test.

I can not count the times Tika took her test.

She felt she was discriminated against as she was a female when she took her tests.

But today I recieved this photo.......

Tika in her car with her driving licience....Well Done

Sunday, 8 February 2009


This Waitangi weekend I have spent with Kathryn, Steve and Grandsons Ben and Alex at Athernree Holiday Park and Hot Pools.
It has been a sweltering hot weekend with some of the top temperatures for the season, in fact it was a little to hot to do anything really.
We spent a hour at the sea where the water was warm, then had an ice cream and returned to the Caravan to sit in the shade. It was so hot that no one used the hot pools all weekend.
I am now at home at 8:30pm on Sunday with every door and window open and there is not a breeze to be had, I think sleep may be off the cards tonight.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Waitangi Day

Every year on 6 February, New Zealand marks the signing of
The Treaty of Waitangi
In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and over
500 Maori chiefs signed what is New Zealand’s founding document.
The day was first officially commemorated in 1934.
It has been a public holiday since 1974. For some people, Waitangi Day is a holiday; for many, and especially for Maori, it is the occasion for reflecting on the Treaty. Since the 1970s the style and mood of the commemorations on Waitangi Day have been influenced by the increasingly heated debate surrounding the place of the Treaty in modern
New Zealand.
Waitangi Day is recognised as New Zealand's national day, but the long-standing tensions associated with it are always likely to surface in one form or another.

Treaty House in Waitangi, Bay of Islands

The Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand's founding document. It takes its name from the place in the Bay of Islands where it was first signed, on 6 February 1840.
The Treaty is an agreement, in Maori and English, that was made between the British Crown and about 540 Maori rangatira (chiefs).
Growing numbers of British migrants arrived in New Zealand in the late 1830s, and there were plans for extensive settlement. Around this time there were large-scale transactions with Maori for land, unruly behaviour from some settlers and signs that the French were interested in annexing New Zealand. The British government was initially unwilling to act, but it eventually realised that annexing the country could protect Maori, regulate British subjects and secure commercial interests.
Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson had the task of securing British sovereignty over New Zealand. He relied on the advice and support of, among others, James Busby, the British Resident in New Zealand. The Treaty was prepared in just a few days. Missionary Henry Williams and his son Edward translated the English draft into Maori overnight on 4 February. About 500 Maori debated the document for a day and a night before it was signed on 6th February.
Different understandings of the Treaty have long been the subject of debate. From the 1970s especially, many Maori have called for the terms of the Treaty to be honoured. Some have protested – in marches on Parliament and by land occupation. There have been studies of the Treaty and a growing awareness of its meaning in modern New Zealand.
The Treaty of Waitangi is not considered part of New Zealand domestic law, except where its principles are referred to in several Acts of Parliament. The exclusive right to determine the meaning of the Treaty rests with the Waitangi Tribunal, a commission of inquiry created in 1975 to investigate the Crown's alleged breaches of the Treaty. More than 1000 claims have been lodged with the tribunal, and a number have been settled some in Maori favour and some not.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Everyones Dream meeting someone giving away money

How great to read something good in the papers insted of all the doom and gloom rising prices and crime figures.
NEW YORK (AFP) - He won't say his name, hides his face, and he hands out cash to anyone who asks in the middle of New York.
The mystery benefactor known only as Bailout Bill sat Wednesday behind a counter in the heart of Times Square giving money to hundreds of people waiting in well-below-zero temperatures.
From a window marked "Bailout Booth," Bailout Bill gave everyone at least 50 dollars, sometimes a lot more. He was dressed in wraparound black glasses and had a wool hat pulled low over his head.
Many of the people waiting for more than five hours were victims of the severe US economic downturn. Tens of thousands have lost their jobs in New York alone.
"I'm very appreciative. I might give some to my mother," said Leon McNeil, 25, after being handed 50 dollars. He was laid off by troubled department store Macy's last December.
Bailout Bill's giveaway aims to raise publicity for a website where you can advertise unwanted possessions.
He also wants to help ordinary people in the same way that the government is bailing out banks and other corporations, a spokesman, Drew Tybus said.
All people were asked to do Tuesday was tell their problems to an assistant standing in the street with a microphone and camera.
"My mother is dying in bed," said Mario, a frail man who wore cowboy boots and carried a walking stick.
"Let's see what Bailout Bill says," the assistant replied, hugging Mario.
Bailout Bill announced: "Today I'm going to give 150 dollars."
This was the "Bailout Booth's" second and last day in New York. Next it goes to Washington, DC, Boston and Philadelphia, said spokesman Drew Tybus.
Tybus said Bailout Bill would distribute 500,000 dollars before he's finished.
"Bailout Bill can't tell you his real name. We assume there's too much of a risk. Everyone knows he's got money, so, well, something could happen," Tybus said.
But for anyone thinking of taking the money-for-nothing concept a further and robbing that cash-filled booth, Tybus had a warning.
"Those guys standing around here and also in the booth -- they're off duty cops. And they're armed."

Monday, 2 February 2009

Another Quilt poem

This Watercolour quilt was made by a very good friend from Holland although she lives in USA it is called "Butterflies in the Attic"

********* ******** ********* *********
A Quilter
A quilter brings us comfort on the chilliest of nights.
With unseen hands she tucks us in and softly dims the lights.
What many others throw away,she knows that she can use.
She brings together every square, arranging varied hues.
With simple needle & mere thread,and batts without a form,
She sews each piece with tender love to keep us snug and warm.
The Lord has helped her understand the value of things old,
She swaddles us in memories
Each precious to behold.

Author unknown .....This poem is dedicated to all quilters everywhere