Te Puna Quarry Park

In March, Louise made a cake for a first birthday, so we took the opportunity for a night away in Tauranga. The party was being held at the Te Puna Quarry Park, just outside the city limits, so while Lou spent time with her friends, we took the opportunity to explore.

The quarry itself ceased operations in 1979, and from 1996 a group of volunteers have worked to create natural habitats alongside art installations. There’s machinery (made safe), musical instruments, a hobbit hole, butterfly houses and more. We walked around for over an hour and probably only caught quarter of it. And the views!

WIP Wednesday #235 & WIPocalypse catchups

I could quite easily copy/paste the same info as last time we met.

Still plodding away on the reno at MIL’s (deck done, but the weather isn’t conducive to concreting so Mase & I have been planting like mad things)…he took the photos from this last batch. It’s cool to have a gardening buddy. We knew the tags are unlikely to stay with the plants, so at least we have a rough idea of what we planted in this batch. His fav is the Fireworks.

Still radio silence from the SIL (I’m about ready to tell her not to come up, but that would hurt the MIL & actually, I need a break)…

Still working slowly on Fairy Idyll…mostly hour chunks when I can get control of the TV remote from Mum! We watched The Great NZ Bake Off last night, and the guy in the photo was eliminated. GF sponge cake is hard, y’all.

I did start and finish CloudsFactory’s The Princess Bride, as a tribute to William Goldman. If you haven’t seen the movie, you’re in for a treat. And it’s PG, so family safe. I think I want to add his name and dates to the bottom tho. Appropriately, this is on Cloudburst 28ct Lugana from Countrystitch. 

Now, because the stitchy bug has been gone, or superseded with all the other things, I didn’t post in either the Oct or Nov WIPocalypse pages. I’ve given up on Stitch From Stash, as I have been buying ALL THE THINGS and really gone ridiculous (for me. Maybe not if you’re Katy the Stash Queen). I am daily anticipating the first parcel from 123…and the fabric from Catherine at Countrystitch. I went for Urewera Mist (that mottle one). I’m going to return Gail’s Fairy Idyll chart as I have my working copy & will hunt out an original for myself. I really, really want to work on Shakespeare’s Fairies so I will, once the fabric arrives. Stitching & guilt shouldn’t go together IMO, & I also know that if I do park a Mira for a while, I will always return to it. 

So – here’s the Q&A I missed from the last two episodes.

October 28 – Do you prefer to stitch on a rotation or one project at a time? I’ve tried rotation and it doesn’t work for me. I prefer to leave a project out on the bars rather than pop on or off…& I usually have a car project with me to break up the monotony of being monogamous.

November 25 – What new stitches or techniques did you learn this year? Eh – nothing. I brought back some embroidery (two hoops, whoop-de-woo) & perfected my pin stitch, but that’s about it.

WIP Wednesday #227

Hey everyone! I’m half-way thru my week of solo parenting and am pleased to report no casualties as yet. Not even a ding on the ute – as Si took my car away, I’m driving his brute to & fro, mostly work. I have done a heap of “one little things” around the house and spent a good portion of Sunday working on building a personal album – July-now is completed. There is a small volume of personal writing which is hidden from initial view and that’s just the way I want it. Mase is likely to pick it up from my side table to look at the pictures (I need to wean him from this habit) but he does know not to pull the tabs.

Reading wise, I ended up returning Mythos. It just wasn’t right for me. Instead I’m re-reading (as not much effort is required) the Chesapeake Shores series by Sherryl Woods (try these Elizabeth!) and listening to the 47th (??!!) In Death book, Leverage.

20180911_212120.jpgAnd stitching – some progress on the Peridots during work breaks, a wee bit on Fairy Idyll as I wait for Bran’s physio appointments, and I FOUND THE BOTTOM OF THE DESIGN in Persephone. That’s a huge finish motivator – altho I note that there’s about 3 days stitching the hem, plus 3-4 days on the confetti heavy flower trail that’s on the left plus another 3 days on the beading, but I will finish this month even if I get distracted by something else.

WIP Wednesday #226

Hey everyone! If you’re on my IG, you’ll know why I’m late posting. And if you’re not – well. My week has been pretty hard. I was grumpy as (actually, read that as GRUMPY – bold, in italics, 72pt etc), Then I woke Tuesday with a migraine. Ugh. Then Mase came home from school very, very hot and short of breath – turns out he has a chest infection so is at home, on antibiotics. Poor kid. My verse of the week is quite accurate. Thanks for the heads up, Lord.

But before that we had a good weekend. Father’s Day for us – the card is from Lou, who made Dad one of his fav dinners/desserts as her gift; Zac & Mase “brought” Si a Lego Technics yacht and Mase so sweetly kept his major present a secret all week – he asked me to take them to the Bridgeway cinema at Northcote to see the Spitfire movie. I am so proud of his thoughtfulness & if you’re into military or aviation history, this documentary has a five star review from Mase. We also found a small, almost private beach below the cinema & plan to explore by kayak in the summer.

As for me, I finished the round robin! Apart from a gift or treasure on the Queen’s outstretched hands, I’m done. Yippee! So happy with the way this turned out, frames and all. I think I need to pull out the one I’m not happy with from 2015/16 and add frames to that, and see if it makes a difference. I suspect it will.

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Uh Oh. Prepare for a long one, folks…plus WIP Wednesday #218

It’s been quite a while since I last wrote. I have no real excuse, just a general malaise with everything. I guess a mild semi-depression that I am working my way out of.

HEALTH – this is the biggie. The growth found on my annual physical in February has now been excised and a biopsy performed. And the best news – it’s benign. I am so relieved. However I couldn’t tell you the last time I went to boot camp & right now, I’m sticking to walking.

WEEK IN THE LIFE – I have completed my album – which was an achievement in itself! I am not happy with the volume of notes I made, & luckily I have enough in the way of embellishments that I can repeat the exercise in November (before December Daily). Ali’s newest Travel collection is somewhere in the NZ Post system so I hope to get that later this week. Photo post to come!

TRAVELLING – We’ve done a few small trips lately, as you would know if you followed my Instagram. We tried to get to a car wrecker in Whangarei the other weekend but due to an accident (no fatalities but two hours on a 2km stretch of road was frustrating) we couldn’t get there before closing. We ended up staying at Lang Beach, just south of Waipu Cove & did a lot of exploring around Whangarei. I also caught up with a previous workmate Jill, who has Si’s total admiration for sailing around the world (multiple times as long term readers will know) and not killing her husband in tight confines. Last Saturday we got up early, drove up & found the bumper we needed for the Toy Car – and the targa glass panels and covers & some other bits too! Also if you’ve coveted one, I can confirm that a Blunt umbrella is awesome. I got myself the Karen Walker limited edition, as it’s pretty and the odds that the boys will want to be seen using it are low!

OTHER STUFF – the Auckland Photography exhibition is on and Rory, a friend & official Briscoes photographer, has an exhibit on at the Wintergarden Café by the Auckland museum. His theme is birds & flowers & there were some pretty things.

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I went to a number of NZ Comedy Festival events – the 7 Days live screening with Louise, Paul Choudry with Si & then Lou treated us to Jamie Bowen – whose surprise guest was Dai Henwood. It wasn’t comedy as such, more a discussion around a wide range of ideas/events, but it still had laughs and things to ponder. I liked it.

20180530_173025I cleaned and re-stocked the big tank. Tubbs is happier! I do have the smaller tank still set up, much to Si’s disgust, and I think I will get some more mollies and a betta for this one – plus a new light. It needs a light desperately, now its winter and the sunshine hours have reduced.

READING – a lot of trash interspersed with some good writing. June/July looks good for me, with a lot of my fav authors released or releasing for the Northern Summer. I read the latest Rosalind James as part of the pre-release group; there’s a Nalini Singh Psy-Changling & a Tracey Alvarez Bounty Bay next week, a Kirsten Ashley Chaos & Eloisa James Wilde in July, and two LH Cosway to come (all pre-ordered to my Kindle). I had forgotten about the last two Nora Roberts releases so they’re on my Kindle now too.

20180519_065758Non-fiction has been Brene Brown & “The Year of Less” by Cait Flanders & “Slow” by Brooke McAlary. I brought Si “Spymistress” by William Stevenson for Audible and he recommends that one.

I also brought Cocktales, not for the writing but because of the cause. If you are not a romance writer you may be unaware of the huge uproar over a certain author deciding to trademark a word, which in this instance was “cocky”. Her reasons are as shallow as a bird bath is to the ocean, and multiple organisations are now funding the court battle against her, including an union organisation for authors. I don’t believe any one person can TM a commonly used word (it’s not like Xerox or Hoover, where the brand is now also the action) & I think her actions were malicious in intent.

STITCHING – I haven’t stitched all that much since I wrote. 8 instances on the LHN Summer Band Sampler got me to a finish; then 5 sessions on a new start, home*stitch*ness Four Seasons (New Zealand) version which I have quickly fallen out of love with (I think it’s the Cashel fabric, it’s not evenweave & very scratchy); two beading sessions on Mill Hill’s Honey Pot so those are now glued onto felt and ready to cut out as FFO’s; and at work/travel I am working on the two Trinidad Santa’s from last year’s Mill Hill/Sandra Cozzolino release. I’m up to the fiddly parts & making sure thread doesn’t carry on the back of the plastic canvas version. And at home I’m back in love with Fairy Idyll and nearly done with the greenery at the base of the rabbit. My round robin also came back; I need to stitch the square left & bead it all but that’s a budgeted finish for when I’m a little tired of FI.

STITCH FROM STASH – I had my first “no purchase” month in quite some time. This at least brought me back from the brink & I finished in the positive. I’ve also sold (for the same price as I paid) the second copy I had of the Mirabilia Cinderella design so this month looks good too.

Apr-18 May-18
Budget $25.00 Budget $25.00
Melinda – 4*mags -11.04    
Andie – OOP Miras -40.00    
home*stitch*ness 4 Seasons -9.81    
Spotlight Cashel FQ -34.99    
Spotlight 10 DMC -16.90    
       
Melinda’s RR Gigi 12.56 SOLD Angel of Christmas 10.00
Countrystitch Credit (dye) 4.44 LHN Summer Sampler 14.63
LK Be Bold 9.25    
       
Rollover $25.20 Rollover -$36.29
Total Available Budget -$36.29 Total Available Budget $13.34

WIPOCALYPSE QUESTIONS: I’ll post these in the June entry. I need to make sure I post more regularly!

thanks for reading!

March WIPocalypse

WIPocalypse is hosted by Mel at her blog http://measi.net/measiblog/ ; it’s my favourite SAL, mostly due to the host organisation (which is spot on), the range of topics & the wide variety of stitchers participating. There’s always something to oooh over! Click on the link to the right.

March Focus:

  • Mira RR piece – started, I hates it
  • CAYR SAL – started Satsuma Stocking #3, the reindeer one
  • Flosstube update – Feb’s uploaded in the first week of March

Yep. March came in and stole my stitchy bug. The weave on the RR piece is very tight (32ct opalescent that was then dyed) and I am not enjoying my progress. I have to wear the reading glasses and work short stints, or my head aches. And bc my reading glasses are so focussed, I can’t do my usual and stitch along to Flosstube, as I can’t even focus on the (very large) TV across the room. It’s going to be a daylight only, headphones on, gripping audiobook to get me to the finish line here. I managed maybe 5-6 thread lengths yesterday. Or the skirt train bit, if you’re more visual.

With our Sydney trip happening mid-month, most of my external, non-work, focus was on this. Extra grocery shopping, paying bills early, getting out of my laundry cycle – none of this helped with stitching! This trip was just Si & myself, and we crammed heaps into the two days in Sydney then tried to do a lot of the things on the cruise ship, so even tho I took Fairy Idyll, even she didn’t see much progress. Still, as Katy says, every stitch completed is a stitch closer to the finish. As always, hover or click for captions.

Coming back has been full on too, with a couple of work projects and the netball – Si & I attended night two of the Taini Jamieson Trophy games. Next for these teams is the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia – we’ll be there for Tag later in the year. FWIW Jamaica won the trophy this year.

April Focus:

  • Finish the Mira RR piece
  • Continue with the Satsuma Stocking
  • FFO a 2017 ornament into a flat fold
  • March Flosstube update – even tho it’s going to be very short!

 

SFS – still in the black! The Stash Unloading things I brought on 01/03 still haven’t arrived, so a refund has been supplied, but the Lizzie Kate charts I brought (Red White & Beach and Be Bold & Brave) did. I didn’t manage to carve out the time to get to Crewel Gobelin but as the bug is missing, I wasn’t too upset. Today I brought two “oddball” cuts from Catherine at Countrystitch – because they are unusual cut lengths left when processing orders, she sells the pieces at a discount. I’ll have about 4” to each side of the Renaissance Mermaid but that’s perfectly fine with me!

Mar-18
Budget $25.00
Jodi – HOD Latte Love -6.76
Jodi – Stitching Feeds my Heart -15.21
Countrystitch Orphan A6 Bourbon -37.67
Countrystitch Orphan A9 Cook Strait -19.93
LK Red White & Beach -12.43
LK Be Bold & Brave -12.43
Refund Supplied Jodi 21.97
Countrystitch Credit 6.09
Rollover $76.57
Total Available Budget $25.20

March 25 – What newer designers and product creators (fabric or floss dyeing, etc) out there have you discovered and recommend? I’m not sure I’ve discovered anyone completely “new”! For fabric dyeing, I obviously love Catherine’s products as the DMC comp is spot on to the actual fabric that arrives, and she allows for shrinkage when she calculates your actual fabric size. Try Countrystitch if you’re looking for something different.

On Etsy, I like Satsuma St, Jenny @ Home*stitch*ness & Stitchrovia. None are completely “new” either but one thing I know about stitching – my tastes change, & every designer has merit.

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.