Grandma and her boys

Friday, 30 April 2010

Bargain of the week

Life has been a little hectic this week...but I have done numerous things in so many different places.
One of them...
As many will know I have a camper van equipped with all mod cons and any thing that your heart desires when you are away.... one of these items was a CD, Cassette player and radio a most used item, for when I travel I aways take along "Talking Books" from the library.. (these by the way are great if you stitch a lot and wish you had time to read also, you stitch and someone reads to you..fantastic.)
So here is the item now 6 yrs old and cost all of $30 at the Warehouse

... finally this week it packed up no longer playing the CDs... I thought well it owes me nothing so I took off to the Warehouse to buy another.
Of course 6 yrs on they no longer have a tape deck ... "Oh! bother and *!^!!"  I said quietly to myself.

So on searching not believing this is so,  I finally came across one, just the one no box or wrappings also no price tag...on requesting the price I was told $89.99, well I thought inflation and all that , as I was asking where I could find the items on the shelves the assistant informed me this is the last one in the store ...  I debated a awhile for I was convinced I could get a cheaper one around $50 but no tape deck ... now did I really need the deck or could I manage without ... after a moment or two the assistant informed me this one was on clearance " Oh! how much?"   $24.99 was the reply, so here is the bargain of the week.

There is nothing like the feeling that you have just got yourself a bargain... cheaper than you paid for it 6 yrs before....

Monday, 26 April 2010

Monday already

I had great plans for the weekend... shame they did not pan out as expected.
I was determined to do some stitching on Saturday, to be fair I did manage a little of the Punto Antico this is an update picture...
So it is just about 2/3rds done will keep bigger picture for the final showing which I hope wil be just a few days away.
So what went wrong over the weekend ...well nothing went wrong just that the things planned seemed to not happen... Firstly instead of working at home Saturday .....I met Mhairi in town to do some shopping at Spotlight and we finally came away buying just a ball of wool for her... I have a birthday gift voucher and  there really was not anything I was in desperate need of,  so will hang on to it a bit longer.
From Spotlight we decided to have lunch and a walk around the fashion shops  and that was just what we did we walked around and saw nothing that "grabbed us " so bought nothing. Oh! we did pay for the Rosalie and Leanne retreat weekend in Taupo in July... that left a hole in the bank balance, but I am really looking forward to it.
We did find that a fabric shop in Rotorua that has started to stock some lovely patchwork fabrics and that they are to be getting a lot more stock in soon. Oh dear, I tell a fib I did buy some calico and  a couple of 1/2 mters of fabric, I just remembered that.
I had planned laundry and housework and some stitching for Saturday... but never mind the day was lovely just wandering.  I did manage a little stitching later in the evening on the Punto Antico

Sunday dawned a beautiful day and I decided to get out into the garden.. no such luck just as I had collected the shed key .. a friend called to say she was going to the Anzac Day service at church did I want to go and then lunch.. so off I went again, more food and it was a lovely service.
I returned home and went into the garden at about 1.30pm only to find that the house martins were back and had been roosting on my bedroom window frame
and that the deck was covered in bird poop...
I had trouble with them nesting last year.

so off I went to the local hardware shop and got some bird netting and tried to put it up to deter the martins ... you can see where they nested last year I have just removed the nest and need to clean the site.... but deterring them is more urgent,
 so I now have green and white net all over the house around the new deck area...... But will you believe it !  they managed to find a small dip in the net and balanced on it to roost last night, so it is back to the drawing board it may have to be net from roof to floor...
my son came and assisted me but he will have to come back and see if we can redesign the project.
Or if there is anyone with a fool proof method of deterring the little pests.
I would be pleased to hear from you
As you can guess no gardening was achived at all.
And now it is Monday already.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Beautiful Autumn

We are having an amazing autumn the weather is just beautiful  blue blue skies and no wind to speak of, also no rain and we could really do with some, areas of the Bay of Plenty have just gone into drought mode.
Here are some  pictures of the Japanese Maples / Acer trees... I hope you enjoy them, the red ones are such glorious colours this year.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Punto Antico and the weekend

I was very organised this weekend, I was determined to not waffle my way through 2 days with almost nothing constructive to show for it ...all down to my time management push.
So after the normal things of life to keep body and soul together, I got out my stitching and managed to do quite a fair bit of my Punto Antico, and also a few leaves of my applique class project although this is not going quite so fast as I would like.

I also had planned to finish a project that I started at Guild on Wednesday, a class more of construction than stitching it is a Celtic Pin cushion holder or keep. I would love to show you a picture but there is not one of a finished article so here is mine,  just have to sew gold braid around the this space.

It sort of ends up like this

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Jane Austin ... read them over and over .... who me Oh yes !!

I went to the library today... there I met a friend and she was holding 2 of Jane Austin novels...We began to discuss them and talk about our great love of this author....
May be you did not know but my favorite author is  Jane Austin.... I know every story by chapter and verse.
The best thing that was ever filmed by the BBC ( UK) was Pride and Prejudice (1995 TV serial)  I have the complete serial on DVD and it is probably my most treasured DVD and also may be the most I have ever paid for one also.  But I have watched and watched it more times than I can count .. if ever a DVD can wear out these ones must be on their last legs almost.

Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle
They played ...... Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett
Who could not watch this lovely man over and over again, I have never gone Ga Ga over a film star before but I could drop every thing for this one.  I am probably old enough to be his mother but who cares.
I have to say that P&P is way up there with   Sense and Sensibility the 1995 British drama film with the screenplay by Emma Thompson 

With not so far behind is my favorite Little Women  ( Louisa May Alcott) filmed in 1949

I did it ...I did it !!!

This is myself our lovely friend Sugi and Mhairi on the right.

We,  that is Mhairi and I, today sent of an email application  for Leanne and Rosalie's week end in Taupo
We said "Hang the expense of Conference the next week"  we can always go on a diet of apples
Whee !! I am so excited,
Thank you for all your encouraging comments
 it is all your fault as I took your advice

I want it all .. and some !!

Leanne Beasley and Rosalie Quinlan Australian designers are coming to NZ to take  work shops... the picture  is the advert for the Christchurch one in Christchurch is an hour by air or about 15 hours by car and ferry... so being practical that really is out of the question.
I believe there has been such response they are adding more classes around the country
I have learnt this week they are coming to our area on  North Island ... in fact just one hour away from where I live, they are to take a  weekend  retreat and it will be held in a beautiful resort  just outside of Taupo first weekend in July ... Whee !! all prepared to book ... when I realise that the date is the weekend before the Embroidery Guild Conference and week long workshops...for at which I have booked 4 days of classes
I am now debating can I really justify a weekend before a big week..... !! Can I afford to miss this opportunity !!  Oh please someone help me with my dilemma  ... I am like a child in a sweetie shop I want it all.

Age and my memory

For some reason on top of the age thing my memory is beginning to play tricks on me ... I have absolutely no problem remembering things after the event ... so why can't I recall them before and save all this heart ache calling people and apologising... solution :

This is it my trusty diary ... if it is written in here it gets done no problem at all

I have had one now for 3 yrs and use the same cover I made for the first one,  it even has my name and phone numbers on it so as I can remember who I am... mind it looks like it could do with a new cover being made ... " someone write that  down please"

Pockets front and back for the important appointment cards

When open it shows  a week  on two pages ... if it is written down here it will get done if not oh! well it must have not been important.... you will see today and tomorrow have been designated as sewing days. so why am I here playing on this infernal computer ?

Butterfly working

Butterfly flitting from one place to another, this really sums up my stitching lately... I have so many things on the go and they are all needed but no one is more important than the other to my brain.
So what am I flitting to and from ... Here is an update of where I am at:

I am really way way behind on my Applique class work, every time I sit down to do it I seem to get interrupted or have to be somewhere else.

Or am I looking for an excuse, one excuse is I can not work on the black in the evenings I find it hard on my eyes... so I have devised a plan I will work 1 hour during the day 3 times a week ... what is it they say " the best laid plans of men and mice" we will see ...

Project No.2

This stitched crazy patch Bag, pin cushion, scissor holder and needle case has been ready to make up now for I don't know how long .... so why have I not gotten around to it ??  that is the question,
I have no excuse on this one at all

Project 3

An Embroidery  guild member had a small packet of fairly old fabrics which she was disposing of, and amongst them was this linen band in a beautiful oatmeal colour and I could just envisage a band of alphabet and numbers so I have been stitching away merrily on this and enjoying myself what I shall finally do with it remains to be seen.

Project 4
This is not really a project as such  .. 
 I was doing some hardanger and it went wrong  ... really wrong .. in fact was going to take to much effort and to long a job to put right so I decided to just start again.
I could not just throw away the work I had put into it,   so decided to use a couple of the parts that could be reclaimed and one is now this key fob in the making another part will probably turn into something of the same... "waste not want not" Linen if far to expensive these days to just waste.

My Punto Antico is in almost the same position as last week  I have done a fair amount on it ..  but it has so much counted work in it I really do have to be in the mood ..  I find I can work on it  at Guild meetings,   but with distractions and people talking to me all that happens is,  it is  inclined to turn into " reversed stitching at home"
Of course there are at least 3 quilts in the making a stitched one and 2 pieced ones and a list of other things that have to be started at some date... I do hope none of them have a date line to be finished by ......or I am up the creek with out a paddle.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

One of my favorite treasures

This park bench is one of my favorite treasures beautifully hand made and as you can see it is no larger than a decent mobile phone, I have put a pen in front so you can see the size.
 I made cushions for it while still living in China and always promised to make a miniature quilt for it.. one day !!..... I bought it in San Paulo Brazil as a souvenir... I had to buy it in the hotel shop so probably paid far more than I should have done.

Quite a story about where this treasure came from .. hope you have time to read it.
While living in China ( when ever that was a few years back) Eric needed to go to Brazil to attend an exhibition where they were to have a stand, now normally a Chinese girl or two would have gone  with him but for some reason they were refused visas just a couple of days before they were due to leave for San Paulo....
Having a British passport a visa was no problem for me.
 So I went along and helped at the exhibition, it was a great experience not so much the exhibition but going to see San Paulo the capital of the world when it comes to crime and kidnapping and murder.
The city of San Paulo has the second highest population in the world which stood at way over 10 million people in 2006 ( only Soul in Korea has more) even beats any Chinese city.

I was a little scared all the time we were there ...  the hotel would not allow me to go out on my own or take a normal taxi, only hotel cars, that would drop me off at a mall and collect me at a designated place in the mall to return to the hotel never allowing me to be on the street at all. 
Jewellery was a no no, it would be ripped from your body and clothes, also handbag's these things were kept in the hotel safe,  not even in your room especially passports, tickets, credit cards and any useful  kind of document .. . Money and cards were to be worn next to your body not in a pocket of a jacket or coat,  pick pockets were rife in all areas.

The people lived in such abject poverty I have never seen the like of before and there are not many  countries I have not seen, in our nomadic life.

We went past 10 jails while we were shown around the area with in the city boundaries and told there were 115 in San Paulo area all over flowing with in mates, murder was rife and most would not even be looked into by the police...there was just to many each day, and they never found the perpetrators any way.
Every where is gated and barred,  with bars around every  door and window this  is how you protect your car outside of your home.

We had dinner with a Brazilian customer  (a very rich man ) and he told us of the kidnap of his 17 year old daughter the year before while she was at university, she managed to escape her captors and got home although they already had sent a ransom note to him  ..... which he was going to refuse to pay if she was harmed in any way, but because she escaped the police just dismissed the whole thing. She was then sent to USA to finish her education... what a very sad place it was, gosh how it makes you appreciate the safety we live in .. even if we think we don't ...I assure you we do,  from what I saw of  San Paulo  in Brazil.
This was an experience  of a country  I will never forget.

Monday, 12 April 2010

What I see from my house...

A friend in USA posted a view from her house and I thought it was so neat .... here is mine

Looking to right while stood on drive looking up to Mount Ngongotaha

Looking to the left towards the Rotorua Lake.... our street is a dead end the lake being the end of it

Lake at end of street

View looking back towards the house from lake area.

Every day I am amazed at our view
Some times we forget how lucky we are living somewhere so beautiful and just take it all for granted.

It makes you so so so cross

I went shopping on Saturday morning and used the camper van as transport as it was on the drive not parked in it's usual position, and car was in the garage.

I parked it in the large car park at the Central Mall...
This is what I found on my return from the super market.
Someone had either backed into it  or hit it as they left the car park to my left,  clipping the rear light and scraping the paint work. then driving away... I had been gone may be an hour so it was no good looking for witnesses... and of course they did not leave their name or number for me to contact them.

OH!! it just makes you so cross and frustrated.

A Very Busy Weekend

I have had a very busy weekend..
Saturday I went to a lunch and talk by Gaye (Nee Burnett)  a daughter of a local couple who has taken a trip to Antarctica...she had the most wonderful pictures of her journey and was such an interesting speaker...she is a great fan  of the trips of Sir Ernest Shackleton here is a map of her journey.

Sunday morning I attended the start of the Ngongotaha Fire Station's Open day.
Just a few pictures of Iain and family all doing there bit on the day ...Iain is the one with the microphone.I expect you all know he is a volunteer fireman and how proud of him I am.

Showing you how to put out a fat fire in the kitchen

Harvey helping Dad sell fire alarms
Ellis on the children's education give a ways

Claire getting ready for the onslaught of customers for hot dogs tea and coffee
It was a real family affair.
It seems very quiet as this is also early in the morning as I am off out in the afternoon.

Sunday afternoon saw a few of us driving to Whakatane to visit Ribbon Rose...
Now Ribbon Rose is a Embroidery shop in Ellersley Auckland, we here in our area are very short of such shops .......Steven Furlong  was kind enough to come to the area for the day and half his shop with him and set up in a hall.... every embroidery guild in the area had notice of this and many people went along to was like Aladdin's cave and Christmas all rolled into one, there was beautiful books also that we just do not get to see in the area...
only on line and it is not the same as seeing in the flesh so to speak.....
I managed a fair amount  of linen and other fabric for embroidery.( amount spent is a secret)
The drive across was beautiful and the weather was just lovely it took us about an hour to get there., there was even tea and cakes when you arrived.
There is one piece of linen that has been hand dyed like a rainbow but it is so pale in colour that it does not show up in a photo...which is a shame as it is delightful colours.
I should have removed linen from packets but to late now.....sorry.

We are looking forward to him coming to Rotorua in the not to distant future.