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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

After visiting the Surgeon on Friday morning, Joshua's toe was healing well enough to have the cast removed. He took it all in his stride, no pun intended, and was bright and bubbly, only letting the nurse know it was painful when she squeezed the toe in question. I gave him the choice of returning to school or coming home to stay for the afternoon, he chose the latter. He did not have his shoe with him for that foot, so he needed to be out of harm's way in anycase. It needs to be protected and no swimming until the surgeon reviews it again in two weeks.

Yesterday I worked on repairing embroidery on an Easter Rabbit patchwork wall hanging, some of the silk thread had worked loose. Another of my Sleeping beauties from what seems like, 100 years ago. When I pulled it out of the 'to do' pile on Sunday, I decided it would be finished and used for this Easter. Another to add to my completions, and about time.

Today I started the quilting although not my preferred method, working on it for about 2.5-3 hours. I have had enough of sitting over the machine so about an hour in the morning will see it ready to bind, attach a sleeve and a label, yet to be made. How I wish I could dispense with all my Sleeping Beauties so quickly.

I had a plaintive call from Nicholas this evening asking could I mend a favourite top that was needing attention. The story is, his Mother, DD#1, saw that the zipper was broken and decided to cut it up for the rag bag. I gather young Nicholas was shattered. Bless his wee heart he believes I can resurrect the item. If that proves to be an impossible task, even for a stitching Mama, I have suggested I could recycle it into part of a quilt or cushion. We all live in hope.

Monday, March 22, 2010

We have just returned from a ten day visit home.

What Joy!

To very dear, Family and Friends who loved, cherished and cared for us during our stay, thank you. I am so very grateful for your warm embraces, the commerarderie and the ties that bind. Something I will always miss living so far from you all, back at home.

As we approached for landing from the North, I eagerly searched for familiar images of of my hometown. How lovely it was to see sights of Sydney, emerge from the clouds.
A very familiar landmark, the Gladesville bridge, appeared below.

We connected with a flight to Port Macquarie a couple of hours after arriving in Sydney. We went to visit our son, his wife and 'our Famous Five,' the children.
Naturally they have grown ever so, are delightful, loving and were very happy to see us. It has been three years since we saw them all, so it was a very special time for us, after so long away. I am eternally grateful for the telephone and internet however, nothing compares to a welcoming smile, enfolding embrace, & eyeballing a loved one, large or small.

Their home looked so pretty and picture perfect, within the beautiful foliage surrounding the property. It is approximately 40klms from town and is very quiet and peaceful. Amazingly, I coped with the heat of 32C for the latter part of the trip. Thankfully, being gently eased to those figues after the first couple of days.

The countryside of New South Wales was looking so vibrant, dressed in luscious green, compared to the drought coloured hues of the time we left, to live across the sea.

We then travelled on the XPT to Newcastle, for a short stay of a couple of days. We stayed with one of my many wonderful cousins, & her husband, enjoying their warm, generous, hospitality & lovely home near the sea amongst the beautiful bushland. All treasured sights for me. A dinner was arranged so we could see many other family members. To my delight, two of my favourite Aunts and Uncles arrived, along with some of their children, & grandchildren. It was a very special family evening. After another great day with them, checking some of the suburb of my teenage years, we left for Sydney to stay with a dear friend for three nights. During that time we were able to catch up with yet another favourite Aunt and cousin, driving to Gosford to meet up for lunch. We met with several other friends for lunches or dinners, before moving on to stay with more friends, at Wahroongah. We spent a great evening and part of the next day, with them before heading to stay with DD#2 at Mosman. Sadly, our last evening at home. Our son was back in Sydney so the four of us celebrated dinner at Balmoral Beach. The idea being, to enjoy the views of golden sand on a tree lined beach, a beautiful harbour setting & the sweet taste of Australian prawns. Some of which, are not readily available here in Wellington.

It was all over far too soon.

I would return to Sydney in a heartbeat if I could cope with the high temperatures of summer. Unfortunately, we would not be close to any of our GC. Travel from Sydney would be approximately the same time away from both families, about five hours. Here, I am near two of the seven, and can enjoy the benefits of a cooler climate.

On our return to New Zealand, we visited DD#1 & her two small sons. The youngest managed a visit to hospital for surgery, while we were away. Last week, Joshua managed to drop the lid of the window seat onto his foot, chipping the bone & almost slicing off the second toe of his left foot. Now he is sporting a cast over his foot, to mid calf, protecting the toe, which luckily a surgeon was prepared to attempt to save. So far so good. We delivered him to school this morning, so he seems to be on the mend. Friday this week will reveal more, when he returns for a check up, with the surgeon.

Wellington has welcomed us back with a 120-130 klm gale force, Northerly with an overcast & rainy day of only 16C. A rude awakening after the beautiful, almost still, New South Wales sunny, autumn weather. At least it makes one feel inclined to pick up a needle and stitch once more.

A needle roll completion from earlier this year.

I am currently working on another needle roll from Shepherd's Bush, 'Pansy' stitched on mid lavender coloured, 32ct linen, along with the Quaker Seasons' tribute to my late, very dear and beautiful Mother. Progress to now, seems very slow.

I am Elinor Dashwood!

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Time for a new Post.

I 've made some headway over the last six weeks, making more gifts & completing small stitched items. A few appear below.

Some were gifts, another stitched for Valentines' Day not featured here, along with one or two from a while back. Others are kitted ready to start very soon and a couple of patchwork sleeping beauties, have been moved up the 'to do' list.

I had six days at home alone, while DH went to Sydney for a dinner reunion with old friends. I chose not to travel with him this trip, as we both leave for a visit home in the next week. I am so looking forward to visiting family and friends, after what seems to me, such a long time away.

Wellington has finally had brilliant summer days. There is nothing quite as breathtaking as Wellington harbour vistas, on a glorious day. The temps reached 26C one day, hot enough up here on the ridge, to turn on the airconditioning. As soon as the sun disappears over the mountain behind our home, the temperature drops, with evenings cool enough to allow one to sleep comfortably. Something for which I am eternally grateful, after Sydney summers.

The photo below, although before Christmas when it was quite cool, is of a brilliant sunny day from our sitting room window. It looks over Wellington up to the Rimutaka Mountain Ranges at the other end of the harbour. In winter time these mountains are often snow capped.

Last weekend I travelled up the coast, about 60 klms from town to visit a patchwork shop. I purchased a small piece of fabric some time ago and when I phoned to check last week, was lucky enough to find it was still available. It's a great piece of fabric to pick up the kitchen wall colour. I plan to use it as a cover on a notice board, in the adjoining family room. I need to find the correct coloured pins and grosgrain ribbon, to complete this project.

A couple of weekends ago, it was time for the annual hedge trim. On such a steep block, it requires great care, working in tight spaces, from the top level down to the street.

This is looking up to the first level of three, above the rear of the house.

The Shasta daisies have been prolific, so thinning, deadheading & pruning figured in the trimming exercise. This morning, I noticed the last of the Agapanthus, about to bloom. They have been spectacular with their abundant flower heads, in very deep blue, pale blue stripes and a few white ones through the garden plots. The Japanese windflowers are now blooming, looking tall and elegant lining the path and the courtyard, a reminder we have moved into Autumn.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A dinner reunionwith with a six day turnaround & some stitched completions.

Six days at home alone while DH travelled to Sydney for a dinner with old friends, proved to be too long for me. I missed him so much. It is many years since he has been away for any length of time. I chose not to travel this time as we are both going back home, for a visit, in a just over a week. I am looking forward to seeing dear Family and Friends and enjoying once again, all the delights of home, I hold so dear.

I have had plenty of time to sort through many photo completions. Those shared here are in no particular order.
A Victorian Sewing Box, made in a Winter Soltice course last year. It was a delightful class with such wonderful instruction from both tutors. It was a great thrill to leave with a completed item. It is approximately 8 x 8cm square & 9cm high. A great time was had by all who participated.

During last year I joined a stitching exchange with fellow stitchers from home. The idea being to make a stitched cup cake and include a cup cake recipe, for your stitching partner. You are given her colour and theme choices, and you are at liberty to add to that, whatever you please. I decided on a rose in the appropriate colours and added a small piece of pale green fabric, a recipe printed on pink rose paper, along with a needle minder and assorted threads in colours of choice.
My cupcake from my partner was a pansy. An extrememly astute choice as pansies are a particular favourite & have featured in my garden every Autumn . Amongst my gift parcel was a cup cake recipe book & a hand made note card. It was made by my partner depicting a delicious looking cup cake. Thank you Bronwyn, you are very clever.
Below is a Noahs' Ark Sampler. Another one I adapted to include features from both sides of the Tasman. I chose to add some of our extra special animals and birds from both countries, needing to chart them from drawings I had made. I was frustrated at times, trying to chart them to fit with the other animals on the original chart. I loved stitching this, in the end it turned out well & Josh appeared to be thrilled.