Saturday, 30 April 2016

A rainbow at the end of my walk

Today the HD3QBEM is not too well so after breakfast she got put back to bed and I proceeded to attack my list of chores.
First up was a hair cut and then the hated shopping.   After lunch I decided that a "reward-to-self" was in order so walked across to the Showgrounds, as the city exhibition hall is named, and went to the Stitches and Craft show.  
Almost entirely quilting, card making and scrapbooking, I initially wondered if I would find much to interest me.   But I did!
There was a stand of free form knitting.   I'd never heard of this before but on inspection decided that the lack of mathematical precision ruled it out for me.   Very colourful though.
And then one of the quilting artists had a fantastic display where I fell in love with her depiction of The Lion in the Library  from the Animalia book by Graeme Base.
Each one of the little books on the back shelves are tiny precision cut lengths of ribbon painstakingly stitched on.  I would never even attempt this but it was intriguing to look at.
And just to prove that I also did some stitching here's a shot of the T tin in the process of construction.   Can you see the small tin at the base?
And now a photo of the tin with the "weighty tomes" removed. Top.
And  side
Off to cook the dinner now.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Another surprise

Today brought another surprise.   Little Sister sent a package to my work and in it was this cute coffee mug.   Won't this be the envy of the office?!   Thank you so much Little Sister.
And what is even more surprising.   My stitching mojo seems to have returned and I have finally finished the stitching on the Floral T.   Over the weekend I hope to finish in to a top for a tin and should then have a finish to show you.
Next I want to complete the stitching on the cylindrical hussif and if I can manage that then I plan to reward myself by starting a hardanger angel.   Nothing like bribing myself to complete projects:-)

Thursday, 28 April 2016

The surprise package

Today has been a day of surprises.
First up, the local council came to collect the inorganic rubbish exactly when they said they would!
Secondly, I weeded the plant pots and among the forest of freesia shoots, a multiplicity of daffodil shoots too!  
Thirdly, the mail man who is only supposed to come on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, came today and brought me a surprise package!
Look what the lovely Jo sent me. A Shaker needle roll from Moss Creek Designs (just love that) and the most amazing hardanger angel chart.    Doesn't Jo know me well:-)
The needle roll kit won't help decrease my stash as it is fully ready-to-go.  Isn't that lovely.
So tonight I am planning to steam ahead with the floral T and hopefully finish.   Jo's kind gift has restored my stitching mojo!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Floral progress

A little more progress on the "T".   This is to be a gift for a 50th birthday but I doubt whether I will be able to include fifty different flowers.
So far there are Violets, Primroses, Dianthus, Solomon's Seal, Hollyhock, Shasta daisy, Forget-Me-Not and Lavender.   The white daisies don't show up too well in this photo.   Just as well they do in real life:-)
I have the next two days off: one day to go down country to a funeral and the other to oversee the Council workers who will come to take away my allocated one cubic metre of inorganic rubbish.   Once a year we can make an appointment for them to do this so I have decided to try the service and see how it goes.   I have no great expectations!

Monday, 25 April 2016

Sewing and Knitting but no stitching

This weekend I have been sewing - taking up the hem on a pair of trousers for the HD3QBEM, taking in the side seams of a blouse for me.
I was issued a pair of uniform trousers for work and have very carefully tapered the legs of those so that I don't feel like a prison warden when I wear them!  Our departmental uniform could certainly not be described as feminine:-)

On the knitting front I am on the home straight of the right front.   The left front is done so I feel I am making good progress.    However this combined with the usual household chores and a visit to friends has meant there was no time for stitching.  

So no photos tonight.  I am hopeful of better things tomorrow.

Friday, 22 April 2016

The postman loves me

We only have mail deliveries three times a week now.   Fewer people are sending letters and so to protect profits New Zealand Post are reducing services and increasing prices?!
Anyway today the postman loved me with this wonderful package of threads - all the way from the UK.
Also this natty book mark.   My photography skills are insufficient to show how by tipping the card the kitten's head moves.   Real cute.
Thank you very much Sandra.   Your kindness came at just the right time.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Flowers from the Boss

Today my manager surprised me with this bouquet.
Apparently it is Administrative Professionals Day, or do you think she just made that up?    Anyway, it was very kind of her to cheer me up.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Blank verse

It was a hard day
And tossing her head
She let the grey hairs
Wipe tears from her eyes.

Frustration welled up
From inner springs she
Thought had long dried up
Of all their tears.

Her hand reached to bring
The iPhone within grasp.
A quick flick, and then
Battery flat!

No way to confirm
That bad days like this
Will come to end, in
Forty two months.

Monday, 18 April 2016

A memory lane treat

Near where I work there is a large Korean supermarket and today I found it also has some Japanese products.   I wandered those aisles and in my mind was once again back at home in Japan.   And then despite trying to shed the last kilo, I found myself at the checkout counter and six of these came home with me.
One for me and the rest for the HD3QBEM and I am satisfied.   Yum.

Sunday, 17 April 2016


My best laid plans to complete my trip book were disrupted today when I made a journey to the fabric store and the library.
No photos of the fabric I purchased.  You will all know what a pure wool jet black twill looks like.   I hope to stitch a knee length pencil skirt before the end of the month as I have a new jacket and this will become my "Sunday Best" for 2016.

At the Library these books caught my eye and came home with me.   I have already started "Until I Say Goodbye" and it promises to be a real tear-jerker.
So no stitching this weekend; just a great day out, chores done and some knitting.   Now it's back to work.   Only a little over 42 months to go until retirement:-)

Saturday, 16 April 2016

A day out

Today we decided to have a day out.   Where does the HD3QBEM want to go on a road trip?
We went down to Hamilton City, about an hour and a half south of here.   Hamilton has a scenic lake, beautiful botanic gardens, a great zoo, a lovely riverside park etc etc  So where did we go?
Yes!!!  The first time to this shop but we (by that I mean the HD3QBEM) have had to set our sights further afield as our prior catchment of yarn stores have all closed up and knitting snobs that we are, the acrylic yarns of the large chain stores just don't make the grade.   Goodness me, in a land crowded with white woolly sheep why would we ever want to knit acrylic yarn?
So we gathered further supplies and came home replete and satisfied:-)

Friday, 15 April 2016

A new venture

My local library provided the book and over the weekend I hope to provide the energy to transform these folded papers and this prepared book cover into a reasonably respectable travel journal.
Everything is still pinned as I was in a state of indecision but tomorrow will make a trip to the fabric shop and hopefully find some woven canvas stiffening for the spine.  Theoretically all my mathematical calculations mean the book will close perfectly.  We shall see!

Thursday, 14 April 2016

And there are similarities...

The HD3QBEM has been searching out some photos for a project of mine and came across this one of my beloved Grandmother, her Mother.   I loved Grandma and always felt rather deprived that I didn't look like her.  
But in this photo I do see one similarity, we have the same rounded back!   I blame mine on long years in front of a computer but that would not have been her excuse when this photo was taken in 1924.   

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

A change from knitting

Tonight I made a start on a birthday gift.  
This has to be completed by July so I really do have plenty of time but I know there will be a lot of reversing in this as I'm not too clever at choosing colour combinations.  Looking at this I know that it needs some pinks and plan on Hollyhock flowers for that.   I will be putting this on the top of a 9cm diameter tin so it is small and hopefully satisfying.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Autumn is here

The chestnut tree in the neighbours property is once again creating a hazard for the HD3QBEM when she uses the ramp to go downstairs.
The tree looks positively beautiful and is loaded with prickly fruit but when they drop they are a nuisance.  
I remember with some longing the beautiful chestnut rice I used to cook when I lived in Japan.   But there they were sold already removed from their hard shells and in beautifully convenient bottles.   I am still looking in the kitchen specialty shop for a chestnut cutter like this one.  Obviously New Zealanders don't eat chestnuts much as they are nowhere to be found!

Monday, 11 April 2016

I've been bitten with the bug!

The HD3QBEM's knitting bug has bitten me and last night I started on the re-knitting of the 4ply cardigan.   All has gone well so far but the pattern repeat is 64 rows so there is plenty of scope for errors:-)
Tonight I have been cooking; preparing the meals for the rest of the week which seems to be the only way of dissuading the HD3QBEM from using sharp knives.   Now I am well and truly tired out so time for a cup of tea and time with a book.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

When I killed the computer I successfully killed my stitching mojo too.   Now the computer has been resurrected I am hoping my stitching speed will get back to normal and I can finish off the current projects.  
Last night I did manage to finish this hardanger strip that will be attached to the bib of an apron which is to be a gift.  It's April already and Christmas is coming ;-)   Another gift is in the preparation stages.   What do you think this will become?
Since delivering the knitted goods to the hospice shop, the HD3QBEM has picked up speed and already two new garments are finished.   Methinks there will be another trip to the yarn shop in the near future.   Some small detours for reverse knitting have been taken but the look of satisfaction on her face makes it all worth while.   I do the sewing up now as well as the search through the button tin and the general cosmetics associated with finishing.
Tonight I intend to indulge in some knitting and the Antiques Roadshow while I summon my strength for work tomorrow!