Wellington, or There & Back Again

NOTE: hover over the photos to show captions!

A couple of weekends ago, we took advantage of a gap in the Tag schedule and flew down to Wellington for a quick getaway. We left Auckland in horrid squally weather (Mase & Si looking at the nearby planes gives it away as to how bad it was) but when we landed in Welly it was much clearer. Perfect for outdoor breakfast watching the seabirds catch fish at Oriental Bay, walking around the city centre & meeting friends for lunch (hello Catherine & Kerry!!).

We took in the Lego exhibit at Te Papa – huge masterpieces with some very clever detail. Si found Jeremy Clarkson’s Robin Reliant next to Big Ben – if you haven’t seen that episode, please PLEASE stop reading now, go to YouTube and search it up. It’s freaking hilarious to see people’s reactions & he even made a live news broadcast! The Mona Lisa is fully made of the 1*1 blocks – like a plastic cross stitch. The boys even made their own addition to the exhibit with a pokeball (I don’t know the name, can you tell?!).

We’d signed on to relocate a car back to Auckland – a dollar a day, plus insurance waiver, 900 free kilometres plus a tank of gas. I’d do it again, but I wouldn’t use Budget purely because of the customer service at Wellington airport. I actually made a complaint & I don’t normally go that far.

The end of day one found us at the Hacienda Lodge in Palmerston North. I do recommend this place; the hosts were lovely, full of useful recommendations; it’s clean & tidy (we ended up with the end unit which is also wheelchair friendly).

Day two & we chose to drive up the lesser roads as far as we could. I found a church I’d love to relocate! Then five minutes up the road, one I wouldn’t – it was one of those 1920’s concrete ones and to strengthen it the contractors had obvs removed the stained glass windows & replaced with plain aluminium, ick. At least it was in use!

We stopped at Waiouru Army Museum (Te Mata Toa) as we do nearly every time we travel SH1. This time they had a new temp exhibition, which consisted of photographs taken in the tunnels under the WWI battlefields in Arras, France. We couldn’t do the Passchendaele exhibit as we were warned that it was too graphic for Mase, but the kids loved the games and graphics in the Food Glorious Food exhibit, especially the game where you caught the ingredients as a rat knocked them off the shelf.

Late lunch in Taupo, then a quick drive to the rental depot at Auckland Airport. It cost me more than either the Jetstar tickets or the car rental to park our car for the 48 hours but we’ve got lots more in our memory bank.

The Hux Part Deux & WIP-yesterday-was-Wednesday # 214

About this time last year, I climbed the Hux with the BBM crew. This year, as a family we decided to do it again, opening up to whomever wanted to meet us but not letting the lack of “me too” hold us back.

The Hux, or Hakarimata Mountain summit climb, can be divided into two portions. There’s the relatively easy walk to the site of the 1922 dam (nice waterfall is just past this) or the more strenuous climb to the summit. 1K almost straight up, 1349 stairs.

http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/waikato/places/hakarimata-scenic-reserve/tracks/hakarimata-summit-track/?region=waikato&park=c46c7395-d05d-44ff-b48a-66d228a7e77e&activity=walking-tramping#activitypanel

Because I haven’t been very active, my personal goal was halfway plus two flights. I kind-of bullied Karl into the same (he originally had halfway) but then we just kept on moving. And moving. And after about an hour, we were there (Si & Mase had done it 1.25 times by then & Louise & her friend A were a little behind us). Woot!

On the way up I’d seen part of the Tuakau and some Rewa league boys & on the way down, some of the Hamilton BBM crew. It’s nice to see familiar faces but even more so, nearly 99% of everyone else on the Mountain is also doing it tough, no matter how you measure them from yourself. There’s a lot of encouragement & good vibes.

On the WIP front, my work/travel piece is still Little House Needlework’s Bethelehem. I’ve finished with the lettering as of last night and YAY it well fits into the fabric with plenty of room. And I got some progress in on Fairy Idyll – not visibly much as it is such a big piece, but counting & double-counting has got me to the far right. Sorry for the crinkles – I am also stitching this one in hand.

Music wise I am slow to the party & have just discovered Sam Hunt. Gorgeous voice and a STORY in the song? Yes please. Also Do Right by The Glades – she has a beautiful voice.

WIP Wednesday #211

As per my goals, I’m working away on Ashley’s Roses. I filled in the missing portions around the top garland, her hair & skin then I treated myself to the back stitch (yes, with Mira/Nora this is a treat. It’s how it all comes together). I did change the colour however as the charted is 844 & that’s odd to me! Now I’m working on her skirt bow (just the blend left), then the gaps in her skirt and the last item will be the garland. Then it’s off to Melinda, who will be the last before it returns to Becca.

I can’t wait to see mine back.

WIP Wednesday #207

So. Here we are again, heading into the silly season. We’ve had a busy week. There’s been a lot of Tag going on (tag is the summer version of league, no tackling but it’s very, very fast flowing). Lou turned 23, & we had a family lunch at hers. Being in retail, work is ramping up so I’m trying to find moments of peace. Like looking at the Pohutukawa (or New Zealand Christmas Tree) at the supoermarket carpark. I even took some stitching into the Shine assembly at school last night – Z was rewarded for having already banked a merit NCEA credit going into year 11 (which is when most NZ children start NCEA/GCSE type standards). He’s got 7, being assessed for another 5 & needs 80 in total by the end of next year.

Stitching wise, it’s been good when I look back. Still too many things for my liking are in the WIP phase, but I got a mini finish – Rose of Sharon for Becca’s RR. I have this one in my stash & Simon has asked to add it to my list – does 2019 look good for you hon?

I have started (at Becca’s noted disappointment that it wasn’t finished) to complete Ashley’s Roses. It took a few hours to mark what had been done on a copy of my chart (yeah, another in my basket of Mira), then floss check to make sure any batch changes wouldn’t affect the overall look. I’d rather frog at this point than later! So this is my start point, I only have a few additional stitches in so not worth showing any progress. I do want to get this way to Melinda in January, so she remains my at-home focus piece.

Also not worth showing any progress on is Jamaica Santa – pathetically I’ve managed only another thread length of beading. But Believe only has one more colour to do before I bead that, and the Honey Pots (work) are taking shape also.

My 2018 plans are starting to come together also – but you’ll have to wait until Jan 7th, the opening WIPocalypse post for that. Are you joining us for year seven? ANNNND Stitch From Stash is opening for sign-ups for the first six months of 2018. Look for the group entitled “Stitch From Stash 2017/2018” to be included in the ongoing saga. There are other groups as well, but Stephanie is such a good admin & this isn’t a pressure point, so I’m continuing where I am.

#craft31days day four

So no true WIP Wednesday post today & probably not for the rest of October. I’m just planning to stay on track with the #craft31days prompt.

So far I love how much progress I am getting in on Fairy Idyll. This is an older (1996!) Mira that I’ve wanted to do for ages, which is adding to my momentum & work ethic.

Tonight I took The Screaming Teen into his pt session in town. That’s an hour of sitting around; I watched some netflix (the Gaga doc) & stitched, as I’d remembered that but not my hoodie. Doh.

So today maybe 180 stitches plus a bit of BS. I’m trying to do that as I go.

Tomorrow morning my wrist is being scanned, as its not healing fast enough. 8 weeks & I still get pain when I hold something & use force, like a door handle or can opener. It’s frustrating. Hopefully it’s nothing broken.

#craft31days day 2

This afternoon was wet and wild again – spring has come in like a lion! My lettuce seedlings had only been in the raised bed for a week & now they’re all scrunched up in one corner. I think I’ll be buying more this weekend 🥕 the carrot & 🥒 cucumber seedlings were still in the tray on the kitchen windowsill, so they aren’t a write-off.

I mucked around with the kids for a bit then settled in. With mum coming home to a clean kitchen & clean bedrooms comes great reward… no time limit on the wii! I grabbed a notebook as I really want to record my progress on Fairy Idyll. I’m conscious this chart is a loan, & I want to get it back to Gail as soon as I can.

So. 18 thread lengths & as I average 25-27 stitches with DMC, that’s a massive 450-486 stitches tonight. And I cooked dinner, folded washing, hung another load on the rack… really happy with the progress but I know not every night will be like this.

WIP Wednesday #205, WIPocalypse & SFS

IMG_20170927_082813Well – I *might*have blown Stitch From Stash. If I spend nothing more & have no finishes, I will end up at $16.03 at December, which is a very small amount indeed (if we are calculating the whole year, which thankfully we’re not, I’d be at -$88.49 & not in credit until April 2018!!). But it is OK, as I am happy, & unlikely to spend heaps between now and January except on the odd skein or two. Gail so very kindly loaned me Fairy Idyll!!! I have been wanting to stitch this 1996 chart for ages, & couldn’t find it for love or money. So I brought a piece of Applemint Lugana from Catherine at Countrystitch especially for it. This needs to be my focus piece until I complete her. Luckily there is plenty to hold my interest & keep me going!

 Monthly Allowance $25.00
Hospice – MLI Shepherd -1.00
Hospice – JCS pile -2.00
RR Spend -91.00
Fox Collec. Mill Hills -53.84
Countrystitch Applemint -42.60
SELL MLI Blueberry 5.00
Mia Mermaid 15.35
Hawaii Santa Conversion 10.00
Florence Santa x2 20.00
Rollover $56.12
Total Available Budget -$58.97

And this month I finished two of the Florence version of the Mill Hill Renaissance Santa’s, & then found that the Fox Collection sold them MUCH cheaper than the LNS. I’m talking ten bucks cheaper per item, people. Now, I work retail so I understand margin & if it had been only a couple of dollars, I wouldn’t have brought from the online. But overall twenty dollars is substantial.

And I also spent $91 at the LNS, on fabric, Thread Heaven (before it disappears entirely), speciality threads (Waterlillies are ten dollars each here), beads etc. Thank goodness for the finishes I had!

This month, in addition to finishing Mia Mermaid, Hawaii Santa, Florence Santa x2, I also started the Jamaica Santa for International Talk Like a Pirate Day, worked on Nantucket Rose’s tree canopy, finished Blitzen (except the ribbons) is done on my Reindeer Parade & I started Prancer. And of course I managed to work out the start point and did four threads of Fairy Idyll last night (Simon has discovered Taskmaster, & it’s hard to do a new start when you are watching something interesting and laughing you’re a$$ off). So far this month I’ve only had one day where I didn’t stitch at all.

Topic of the Month: Which floss (or colour of floss) do you absolutely adore and want to stash constantly? I’m really only buying thread as I need it. It’s too expensive to stash, but I have recently started using and loving GAST, so if I had a few extra dollars, I’d be buying that, & probably in blues. I really need to finish that Persephone in blue…

Note: SFS is a closed facebook group hosted by Stephanie (Ms Oh Sew Crafty). Registrations for the first part of 2018 will be opening up later this year. WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi over on her blog and in facebook. Click on the link to the right to be taken to the blog.

Blog Hiatus

Hi everyone

yesterday was fairly traumatic. We’ve had some medical issues with a family member and also a close friend & frankly, I need to hibernate. I’ll most likely be stitching up a storm as I find that hugely therapeutic; & there are already scheduled review posts so I won’t be totally gone. I’ll probably be around on Instagram but not here or FB.

If you pray, please pray for C & her surgical team; for K & his quick recovery (to add to his burden, his mum has just had ankle surgery so there’s two down in that household). And that I can hold it together & be brave in front of the kids. And that J can cover my leave requirements without breaking down herself.

Thanks heaps.

Sharing Is Caring; Time to vote with your remote, people.

Before tonight’s zinger..which…I’m fired up tonight, so get ready…. But first, I have some incredibly exciting news to share. I just found out that BeautyBeyondBones was ranked in the Top 25 Eating Disorder Recovery Websites on the World Wide Web! So thank you with all my heart for taking the time out of your […]

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