Saturday, January 29, 2011

Another year

Well, as usual my birthday was wettish and generally nasty.  This happens nearly every year as we always seem to get bad weather around this time.  So now I'm one year closer to 60 but I still don't exactly feel any different except for not being very agile and having the usual trouble with hands (that has been ongoing for around 20 years now so nothing new there).

We have a large exhibition of our work coming up in early February which will be good.  It is an accumulation from our first two years as a group with one or two challenges as well.  There will be photos on the other blog :)

Nothing much else to report except that the oven should be here sometime next week (possibly) so I will be able to bake again and make bread properly (I've been reduced to making buns for the last 7 years).  It will also mean that the kitchen will get a mild rearrangement too - or things might not fit.  Can't see that extending to the floor though, or changing the door so it doesn't go through Williams room!  He will just have to live with it for a bit longer. At least he doesn't have to share a room with James. (Too much mayhem that way lies!!!)

There are some photos of the quilt top I am assiduously hand piecing at the moment. This is only at the half way mark on the second round.  There will be one more round after this so that it gets big enough for our bed.  I may yet go completely nuts and hand quilt it too yet.

viv in nz

Monday, January 24, 2011

Weekend mayhem

I spent this weekend at a working bee with the group so I was out from Friday night until late on Sunday and only came home to sleep. Consequently I didn't see the house until this morning and then had to spend quite some time clearing up the muddle. However, we have managed to get a new (secondhand) oven and a new toaster (flybuys) and a new (secondhand) hand mower and a benchtop oven (guess what - secondhand!) which will do until the oven is fitted and hopefully nothing else will break!

The to be fixed list read like a houseful of appliances but, so far, the cost has been minimal for which I am grateful. Only the washing machine has cost a bit in repairs. We have been lucky and have some great friends too which all helps :)

The list so far....
My sewing machine
The petrol mower
The benchtop oven
The electric mower
The toaster
The washing machine
My camera (cry!!!!)

The only thing I haven't been able to replace is my camera and I really miss it big time as I never have liked using Matt's one.

Now we are aiming to get James room finished as it is rather damp and we found two tiger slugs, which are enormous, on his floor! Fortunately he rather likes wildlife :) They have been given new homes outdoors. Once that is done, we can aim for the new shower and then there will be no place left for wildlife to creep in except by the actual doors and windows if left open.

Anyhow, 0ver the weekend I got into the hand pieced quilt I have decided to do for our bed and I think it is going to look really good (especially if you like a cheerful orange :). I put some of the bigger panels together just to see and I think I'm going to like the result - I certainly do so far.

It was supposed to be a preparation time for the upcoming exhibition but I already have most of my entries under control so I just beavered away in the corner with my bits and pieces. It was nice to have the uninterrupted time just to get on with things.

This is the bus stop at the Arrow junction where we caught the bus home and yes, it is the middle of nowhere.

Have a nice week

viv in nz

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Trip to the Catlins

We did a trip down to Blaclutha first and visited the local handwork group where we saw lots of objects made by others which is inspirational for our own work too. We had lunch with them and then the whole lot of us went to a local workshop for wood turning. There were lots of interesting things here and I was given a set of lino cutting tools to try out for wood cuts. I will have a go at this at the upcoming long weekend for our group and I cannot say how grateful I am for the loan.

We then carried on to Owaka where we visited an exhibition at the museum (I'm not convinced about that stuff but it was interesting) and then went on to a small local shop/home belonging to one of our members.

There we were regaled with chocolate cream cake and tea and there was a lot of general chit chat about this and that. I borrowed a book on handwork and have already made my way through the accompanying manual for a mystery quilt. My effort is looking good but very orange at present. The next layer should tone it down a bit. I'm thinking this will be a good addition to my library so I am looking for a copy online. The technical stuff is excellent.

All in all, the trip was extremely useful and I'm glad I didn't miss it.

Photos for the trip can be found on the link so I will just add a few holiday snaps here. The hat beard combination is one of six I made as Christmas presents, all different and all warm and silly :)

viv in nz

Friday, January 7, 2011

garden stuff

I finally got round to taking some photos of the garden with the main gardener and (non) helper. The back yard is finally beginning to look more like it should and may give us a few veg later but more likely, no much until next year as it has taken a while to get it dug. I might even have my long promised steps by then and not have to risk sliding down on my behind :) (It has happened)

My confirmed convolvulus hunter hard at work :) The old apple tree looks to have lots of fruit this year so there will be apple jelly again with luck. The pile of gravel was scraped off the other garden bed because it used to be the end of the driveway but, being that the last vehicle to go there had to be removed with a tow line, it hasn't been used. It makes a really good garden and Matt is going to extend it further up the drive yet to give a bit more space.

Feel free to visually edit out the weeds :) And the very large, overgrown hedge which actually gives a lot of protection so it will stay although it might get trimmed back a bit.

I also finished one of my felted pieces which has been waiting since forever - at least it feels that way. I haven't completely finalised my list of pieces for the exhibition yet so will need to get onto those too. I won't post photos of those because the exhibition photos will be far superior to anything I can do.

For those interested the site is so you can see what other stuff I get up to.

viv in nz