Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A lazy day

Today was a lazy day but I was up and out for a walk at 8am. Went to top of the hill with no stops so was pleased with myself. Shower and breakfast with mu and dad. Ewan arrived for coffee. MJ then came with the car and us two decided to walk back home. We stopped for coffee at Pacifica Java whihc was really nice. The walk back was lovely but weather forecast is for more wind. Lazy day at home with stitching, playing word game with Alex and erin and watching the last two Harry Potter movies.
MJ and I walked up to the corner to see if yonder was open but she was closed. A pottery artist and items are really expensive, eg; $90 for scarf. Went into thrift store and found a cute poster for Alex perhaps, boy's flatting nutrition. Walked back home utter up and down streets to see where the water was coming from. Took a while and nice houses up there, would be great for MJs nephews. Back home and the ribs went into the oven for tea. Really yummy.
Finished the last hp movie then news, and live well channel, then home.stephanie on her way now so hope she is having a good flight.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Shopping at last

Saturday 27 Dec, MJ, mum and I drove over the bay to go to the fourth street shopping area in Berkeley. Had a little drive around some of the university first but it is mostly pedestrian walkways so did not see much.
The Fourth Street area was full of fun boutiques and speciality shops so that was s nice change from the mall type of shops. I took a couple of photos of the lights in the trees and as the day got later the lights were really lovely. We had lunch (pizza and salad, with beignets to follow) at a place called Zuts. It was nice. I got a couple of presents so was pleased and also a great stamping, paper making cutter from a shop called stamping territory. Biggest scrapbook shop I have ever seen.
The lights on fourth street

 The view coming home of the sunset over the city. 

Dinner last night at the devil's Slide taproom. Nice food and good beer according to Ewan, Tony and Alex. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Boxing Day trip

Christmas Day was a relaxed affair with mu, dad and I having a quick breakfast at the hotel before being picked up by Ewan. The children were up so we had a cuppa and then presents. Many more presents than expected but I recieved a lovely full stocking care of Mrs Claus. I also received a lovely cardigan from Mj and Ewan, so pleased I have space. Alex gave me a Loyola mug and bag, very excited as I will take to school. Using it in the hotel for my coffee. We had brunch then watched the movie a Christmas story.
We went for a short walk to the devil's slide and had this family portrait taken. It was the most beautiful day with only a slight breeze. A visit to wish DeeDee a happy birthday and then home for the feast with ham, turkey, scallop potatoes, green beans and sprouts and roasted beets and sweet potato. Steam pudding followed. Another movie "Frozen" was ordered on demand. Very good, was tired by the time I hug home
Boxing Day outing at the de Young museum suggested by Alex. It was fabulous and we went through the Keith Harrell exhibition. Some very weird artwork but I loved his chalk works from the New York metro. 
Outside the museum in the park area.

Mum, MJ and I at the top of the Hamon tower St the museum. It was a stunning outlook. Another great day, after leftovers for dinner we watched the November Man, good movie with Pierce Brosnan. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas to all

Well another year is nearly over and after two glorious days of summer weather, mum, dad and I are heading off to Ewan's for Christmas and holiday. It will be fun as next week Stephanie is joining us so we get to be tourists again, travel to Las Vegas , Grand Canyon and who knows what else. I will be updating this post over the next 24 hours as we travel through the night to get there this morning. A conundrum of time travel.

This year has been interesting with several stressful times at school, changes in our staff and processes which haven't always been explained well. Embroidery went well with most of the stitching on my major canvas being done, walk on the wild side is nearly complete. I have only one side to stitch on odyssey so that is good. Heart of a cabin is being given to mum for stitching in the new year. Lots of other smaller projects have been completed, especially if you follow this blog you will have seen some of them. I have several more small canvas pieces to turn into bags which is a good use for them otherwise my walls would be full.
I am still a demonstrator for Stampin up products and card classes once a month at my place has been fun with Megan and a core group of ladies. I have managed to spend up large most quarters without realising it so that is keeping me current. Now I need to find an outlet for my cards so I can make more to sell but not in Taranaki I feel.
I have designed another new ball this year and taught the class as well as made it in two colour ways which both looked good. I did not get as many made for Christmas presents as usual as time was at a premium this year. I will have to start way earlier in 2015. A goal was to learn to use the bead design software but i did not do too well. Sonia and I met most months to stitch, eat and dictate her stories and we have one nearly written. Next year we will have to write more. I think I might ask her to record herself when she is telling the story so it can type at my leisure. It is real fun and I want to see us get one completely written.
Must go now as plane is here.

 Mum and dad relaxing at New Plymouth airport before we depart.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Another month gone!

Well the past month has been busy. The holidays went quickly with a bit of all sorts done around home and getting some of the major needlepoint projects done. I did not go to the Stampin up day as it was time away that I could not afford from home.
However, labour weekend saw me in wellington with Stephanie and Holly (see Stephanie’s blog for photos of our weekend). It was lovely and we had the most amazing summer like weather on the Saturday, nice on Sunday, raining on Monday but David came to breakfast with us so that was good.
Since then I have been stitching on walk on the wide side and started the Angelina fibre section. I have also been thinking about things to make to sell and for presents.
I have made a couple of luggage labels and they are quite fun. I gave one to Alice for her birthday this month as she is off to California for a short holiday before her last year of study.
Also I have been making a couple of prayer flags and here is the one that I posted off for a swap on swap-bot. This was great to make once I was started and thinking of doing a couple of bunting swags as well for Christmas to decorate the staffroom. I made bunting at the start of the year for the Amess house as we have been in charge of the social club this year.
Last weekend mum and Fiona came to stitch so we made up the kits for the guild Christmas party. On Sunday mum and I made a Christmas decoration, which was really nice. I am not making as many this year for presents so hope to have at least six done and that will be the end of them. Sometimes I think people don't appreciate them and then occasionally it is easier to buy something. This is always a dilemma for me as I like to make things but then get less in return. As we are off for Christmas I will have to make a couple to take with me. Who knows where we will be for Christmas.
Holly and I at botanic gardens.

A well photographed feature in Wellington airport.

Prayer flag - titled it a windmill of wishes as vanes are open to hold a small paper wish.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lots of happenings

Life has been consistently busy for the last two months.
In August I ran a 1 1/2 day class for beaded ball 'Ruby's Treasure" which was successful. Also I completed the first in the year long banner series (an applique set). Did more stitching on Odyssey and have nearly completed the outside stitching, started sewing on the black beads and purchased some suitable bronze beads.
September saw stitching on Odyssey (only have the bottom to finish now as well as the beads). Nearly completed a square on 'Walk on the wild side', and started to finish two needle books. One will be a gift for Christmas and one for Erin I hope.
This month has seen me start the next banner (snowman) in time for Christmas, make a spider ornament for swapping and commence my triffid for creative stitchers.
I have been busy with swap bot over the past couple of months mostly with postcard swaps but I have done a white Christmas decoration and a Halloween decoration. Next on the list is a prayer flag and some more Christmas decorations. I also have done a little bit of zentangle as well as won a prize on zentangle.com.

Creative Stitchers this month saw us printing fabric so hoping that I have some pieces that I can use. I have to make a prayer flag so that will be my starting point. Card making has continued with a night each month and making of several cards each time. I have been making a few more and now trying to use the Project life from Stamping Up. As I am a demonstrator I need to be familiar. If you want to see it go here. You can order it online by entering me as your demonstrator.

On the social front I have been to rugby with mum and dad several times and may go again this weekend as Taranaki have made the semi finals (top of the pile in ITM cup). I went to Wellington with Shellie to see WOW (World of Wearable Art) and Sole Mio. Both great events. Been to see lots of movies and really enjoyed 100 foot journey. Other things still happening are meetings, and more meetings, theatre trust, WI Conference, Durham WI and guild. Still it is good to be busy.

I have been doing a little bit of beading and made a decoration for the Hawera A&P show so now have to get on with the next items. Also Sonia has asked me to attend Eltham Ladies night with her in December so I will need to make some more snap trays and bags to sell. I will make six of each I think as if they don't sell I can give them away.

A foodie weekend

An interesting weekend spent with Stephanie at the Auckland food show. Lots of fun and different things to taste but not many samples this year, according to Stephanie. I still managed to come home with half a carrion bag full of stuff so that was fun. Lots of coffee samples from JED company so nice coffee as we tried one this morning. Also tried the cyclops yoghurt which was nice and thick.
Relaxing after the show at Stephanie's. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Odyssey commencement

This is the first finished corner of the outer stitching on odyssey. I purchased this pattern in1996 or 1997 in Oregon, and started later that year. I stitched for one weekend a year on it at our annual retreat for our embroidery guild but stopped when we changed venues and I started doing the project. This year I have decided that this is my winter piece and I am hoping to get most of the outside area done this term then to buy the beads for the finishing.this was about three hours work as all these threads need to be laid neatly and not twisted.
Well this is the start of the finishing process. Another week on and I have finished another side section here. 

Also this past week has been very exciting as we had a visit from Sarah. She decided that she needed a break for her university holiday, so she came to visit her grandparents and was in time for a big family weekend. David also arrived home from Germany, Alice came home from Masterton and lots of Terry's family were visiting. I had time at the weekend to make an iPad case, so thinking of making another one for my etsy shop. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Conference is over

Well conference is over for two years and it was a success at least for me. I came home with something that is finished today and even wore it out of the classroom.  Marilyn and I did felted flowers and butterflies with felicity Willis and both got them finished. I made a butterfly while Marilyn did a red flower. Here is a photo of our classes work from today. It was loads of fun and we used this amazing stuff called wash away fabric. It just dissolved in hot water. Most exciting part of the day.
My butterfly is the one in the middle. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Embroidery conference classes

My class with Jo dixey was a hoot. I learned lots and her technique was fabulous. So fast and so sure. No agonising over stitch placement, no wonder I love needlepoint. Here is my face after day one and then day three, no I between photo.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

All posted

Over the past ten months mum and I have been stitching for ANY Auction. These are the pieces that have been sent back for this years auction in Chicago.
Egg stitched by me.

Xmas Deco beaded and stitched by Mum
Christmas deco stitched by Mum

Elf boot stitched by me.

The other piece that we have finished was on my last blog post. It is a cone which was loads of fun to stitch and showed me how much the choice of stitch affects the finished look.

I am hoping that they will be made up beautifully and sell for good prices at the auction. It has been fun stitching and I now have brought one of my canvases out with some inspiration for stitching.

The next project that we are making for our night class is going to be some of the projects from the Needlepoint Now magazine.

This picture below shows the display table from our recent embroidery guild meeting. We also had all the pieces for our guild challenge finished and on display. It will be exciting to see it made up by Lee for the conference in New Plymouth in July. Notice under the display my table runner that Marilyn helped me make. It is the french braid pattern and now lives on the TV cabinet in my lounge. The small rooster piece was another piece stitched by Liz Bartley and I have made into a snappy bag.
May 2014 Guild Display of finished pieces.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

ANG Auction piece finished

Another auction piece has been stitched and one more to go. Hoping this weekend will see the elf shoe completed. This fuchsia piece is made up into a cone to hang on the Christmas tree. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Another month has rushed past.

A few more finishes this month. Set for Stephanie birthday, a giant carrot, table runner for myself and another couple of pieces for ANG Auctions.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Another finish

I was so excited last night that I stayed up to put the last beads in. This piece has history. It was started by a member of our embroidery guild (Central Taranaki) who died at the start of 2010. Last year her husband gifted me with her stitch bags and supplies and this was in it. My night class had been stitching Laura Perins Floral Ribbons and Victorian Ribbons and I was about to start one of them. I decided that I would finish this piece and make it up.

At the weekend we had our regional embroidery retreat and I decided that I would take this piece and stitch everything that needed to be done except the beads. That would be my stitching for Monday night class and this piece would be done. It worked but after a lengthy discussion on the colour of the beads, opal disappeared, the greens were wrong, the pink was too wishy washy, we decided on silver pearl and raspberry. I did most of it during the class time but after all left I sat on the couch, watched my favourite programme “Person of Interest” and sewed on the final beads. It was 10.45 pm when I took out the pins holding it on and took the photo.

My decision now is what type of bag. I have been making snappy bags and don’t really need any more for myself so think I would like to make this into a pocket for a bigger bag that will hold a 14 inch frame. This may be the go but now to find material (is there any in the stash) and a pattern (I have a book).

The next exciting thing that has happened is my dad had his birthday yesterday and the birthday surprise was my brother arriving home at 9pm last night. Very exciting.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Finished Amazing Grays

Woo hoo! I have put the last stitch in Amazing Grays. I thought I had finished with the beads but as I put the last beads in I found a stitch that I had missed. This has been a lovely piece to do and I thank nancy for designing it. 
My next challenge will be to get it framed before the start of June. Mum is finished the construction of her box which is looking good. 
My other projects to complete are various snap trays and bags for sale on etsy. Also needing to get the last canvas done on walk on the wild side so hoping the next few weekends will be fruitful.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Weekend activities

I know it has been a long while since I have posted but life has been busy. Since the big bike ride I have been doing a little bit of biking, mostly on the spinbike, wii and some walking. Went to Aqua Zumba with Stephanie this weekend, as I am on the annual anniversary weekend trip to Auckland. Marilyn and I drove up on Friday night, she has stayed with barry and Kathryn while I have been at Stephanie's.
Saturday we went to Aqua Zumba then to the French market for breakfast, really yummy. Did some shopping in the afternoon and had a lovely tea with a pork skewers and quinoa and spinach salad. Sunday was church and flash morning tea (Stephanie made cupcakes) then out to Manukau for lunch and home for a rest in the afternoon. Sunday night tea was kedgeree made with smoked salmon we got from the French market. This morning was a lazy day then off to Frolic Cafe to meet Michael for coffee and catch up. Off out to onehunga for lunch so that will be the end of the weekend and the drive home which should be quite nice as not raining and not too hot. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Done and conquered!

We did it!. The Tenix Round The Mountain Relay team of Beer and Bubbles completed the adventure, did not win any spot prizes but passed the finish line in style. Karen, Phill and I took just over 7 hours to ride around Mount Egmont on a nice sunny, slightly windy Taranaki day. Phill started the first leg, while Karen and I went supermarket shopping for beer and bubbles. Karen took over the ride at Okato and did the 35 kms in 1 hour 13 minutes. I took over from Opunake and a long while later I reached Kaponga (26 kms) where Phill zoomed off up hill to Pembroke Road School. This was when the head wind kicked in a bit but by 1pm Phill and Karen had swapped riders, Marilyn was most impressed with all of us, and Karen had the difficult task of riding the head wind to Inglewood.
Phill took over at Inglewood for the last 20km stretch so Karen and I raced to park the car and ride back to meet Phill a kilometre from the end with beer and bubbles in our pockets. Riding the last kilometre we were passed by a number of professional riders (zooming really fast - they started at 11am) but still we finished as a team and given a warm welcome by those waiting.
Another beautiful taranaki day - what a great view to keep me inspired.

Along the Opunake Road
Finished 26Kms under my belt!!!!!!!
Karen says are we on for next year already.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Ready to ride

The team is ready to ride, just having a last cuppa tea and then off to bed. Early start to be at the start line by 7am.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Relaxing time now

Well the Christmas season has been and gone with great success I think. Erin caught up with the girls in New Plymouth, Alex went to a music festival with David. MJ and Ewan visited Rotorua with Alice and Erin as well as visiting Graeme and Debs and Hobbiton.
Some lovely photos from the party I believe but still waiting to see them. Have one so far which I will post here. It is of Karen and I so a good moment.
Training has been continuing for the big bike ride and I have had the bike checked over and a new tyre put on the front so that is great. Next stop is a new bike helmet possibly but will wait until nearer the weekend as may be able to borrow Alice's.
Biked 14 kms the other day and just getting ready to go around the Cardiff - Pembroke block which is about 15 - 16 kms so that will be great. Very windy today so good practice, Our team is beer and bubbles so you can all look out for us at the finish line on the 25th.
Been continuing to stitch on amazing grays and getting the background done but will continue with beading tonight. Also started a few new phone dangles/key chains so need to finish them to sell/give away. Fiona and Shellie visited on Sunday and we made some cards from the stash so have a few new ideas. I am looking at doing a mass card making afternoon with everyone making at least six or seven christmas cards with 2 or 3 designs so they have a start for December.Will see how it goes.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A very busy day

well today started out with nice weather but has gradually got windier and a bit chillier. I made smoothie for breakfast for Mj, Ewan and myself then biked up to Marilyns (2 km uphill). had a cup of tea, checked out all the party people then decided to bike to Cardiff. Alice tells me this is a 10 km round trip. I managed it quite well but think this was the tail wind on the way. coming back the chain came off the bike and I was a bit stranded as it seemed to be stuck. Walking  back the chain came loose and I managed to get it around the cogs and back on. I was impressed so when the rescue squad came I was on the bike again. A bit nervous changing gears but it seemed okay. Was amazed at myself and how I did this ride so hoping to do most of this each day until race day.

Had all the party food for lunch at my place, then the athletic amongst the family decided that they would have a father/daughter tennis match. Racquets found and off they went so Marilyn, MJ and I were audience and judges.A visit to Dolly's Milk after this and home now ready to go out for dinner.