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Monday, April 26, 2010

On Sunday the 18th we cruised the Marlborough Sounds. What started as a bleak, grey, early morning waiting to board the Arahura, InterIslander ferry, turned into an absolutely beautiful, Autumnal day. These are cars waiting to board the large ferry "Kaitaki" sailing one of the regular, daily, scheduled crossings to Picton on the South Island.. Our queue, for the day cruise, was to the right of where the photo was taken. The next photo is of Barretts' Reef at the entrance to Wellington Harbour. This was where the ferry "Wahine" founded in April 1968, in a viscious Southerly Gale.
The voyage was nothing less than delightful! The water sparkled in the sunshine, the scenery was spectacular and the food & company were enjoyable. We were accompanied by a pod of dolphins, frolicking beside the ferry on our outward journey. We also spotted seals basking in the sunshine as they floated on the gentle swell.

We passed shipwreck points, island sanctuaries, saw many sea birds and breathtaking vistas north along the coast. We could see far away up the North Island eastern coast, to Mt. Egmont & in to the Mt. Ruapehue peaks above the haze. There was a delivery of fresh Green Lipped mussels and fresh salmon as we cruised. The on board entertainment was interesting and varied, from cooking demonstrations, wine & beer tastings, manicures & pedicures, massage, safety vehicle inspections, & skeet shooting to mention a few.

I am not the best sea traveller and a friend suggested I watch the horizon any time I felt uncomfortable. I did, with regular monotony, which did work well. By the time we were returning & darkness had fallen with no horizon to see, I seemed to have mastered the swells. It was easy to do a little stitching on my hexagons, while sitting in the sunshine, listening to the on board commentary & watching the points of interest.

We returned home feeling blissfully relaxed and uplifted for the experience.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I spent some time with my hexagon quilt late last week. In view of the fact, this quilt has been in and out of storage over the last 8.5 years, the progress was quite substantial, in the scheme of things. :):):) I've calculated I need three hundred hexagons for the final egde, not including those I need to complete the front blocks. So I have many more to prepare although, I am still undecided about the brightness of the joining yellow. My plan at present is to continue with the fabric as it is, then if it needs toning down, I can very carefully tea dye the joiners at a later stage. There is no photograph of current progress, however the photo above is from the year before last, when florals & contrasts for the last couple of blocks were still being sorted. It has moved on since then & you can see how far, in an earlier post, dated 22.10.09.

Over the weekend, three small cross stitch items were organised, as portions of gifts yet to be completed, for generous stitching friends. I am a little behind in a couple & one has been waiting for the appropriate moment for bestowing, which I think has now arrived. Photographs when they have been received.
Speaking of cross stitch, this one is from 1994. Hearts are for me, a particular design favourite. This photograph is not great as there appears to be a reflection on the glass, which is not apparent in real life.

I am also working on a patchwork jacket I hope to have completed to wear on Sunday. I have wooden buttons to paint, to add a finishing touch. Another item from my 'to do' or, perhaps it should be my, 'to complete' list. It's certainly a great feeling to get the languishing items, out of the cupboard for their intended purpose.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I found a bunch of spinning gum in the florist section of a supermarket last Thursday. My absolute favourite greenery. It's not something I 've found readily available here, however the supermarket was not the regular one I use, so I will know where to look in future.
Normally I have the house bare over Maunday Thursday & Good Friday. I set the greenery out adding the decoration and other flowers late Saturday evening ready for Easter Sunday. The gentle perfume, of this particular species of eucalyptus gum, pervaded the whole house with it's sweet, soft & refreshing bouquet. It was a particular delightful, making me feel I was right at home, in Australia.
These eggs have been featuring in our family's Easter decorations since our children were in primary school. Some are hand painted, marbled by the children from a purchase at The Royal Easter Show, as it was then known. Others I covered with fabrics, ribbons & other trimmings, while some are hand blown, and covered with dried Hyderange, macaroni, or even feathers the children collected from the forest floor.

Friday, April 2, 2010

This is the Sleeping beauty from some time ago. It needed to be quilted, by machine, which was part of the class requirement I had not accomplished. As I prefer to hand quilt, it has kept company with other languishing items needing specifc finishing techniques. It is now completed & ready to hang