Central Plateau, North Island

Central Plateau, North Island
View from a friend's farm

Sunday, 14 October 2018

I know it is there somewhere!!!

the workshop with packed boxes

Somewhere in this stack of boxes is the plastic bin with the batiks for the next bear from Dione over at The Clever Chameleon . I know it was left out, but Hugh, in his  keenness to get things tidy and neat, has picked it up along with the others. Can you see it? Next to bananas and apples!!!

Batik box in storage

Too late, and now Open Live Writer has changed the format from the one  I am used to, so goodness knows what this will turn out to be. We are almost all packed up, a huge marathon, and a lot of disposing, sorting and giving away.

We almost have a new home, should know on Wednesday. We have looked at so many homes,in so many other towns,  and they have ranged from tiny ones to mansions and all in between.  Some spotless, some grubby, some so untidy, but if we  move to this one… I will have a HUGE room for all my sewing and quilting, room for Joyce’s Horn cabinet, no need to stow it away till next sewing session,  and a workshop for Hugh.

In between other things, I managed to get the flimsy sewn together,  for the Fireburst Mystery up north with Tish, at Tish's  Adventures in Wonderland This by itself was a small miracle ,and next thing the Bernina will be packed too.



Fireburst Mystery FlimsyThank you all so much for your caring thoughts, prayers, and thinking of us.

Furry Gnome, I am so glad your card arrived, via Hugh’s cousin who was on holiday in Ontario, maybe posted from Tottenham, as was a small gift for Brady, Sandra’s grandson, you will find them at Musings of a Menopausal Melon , that way was so much faster than posting from NZ, which can take more than 6 weeks.

That’s it for me for today, on to more packing and bubble wrap.

Quotation of the day,  author unknown. Thanks to the internet for this.


Homeis where the heart is

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 14 September 2018

This is the Reason that……,


#1  I have not had anything on my blog for a while

#2  I am so far behind with the  Cat blocks

#3 Dione will be thinking I have abandoned all the Beary Creations

#4 I am tired

#5 We are  both very happy

#6 There are boxes labelled “ BATIK” and “ Fragile” all over the garage . And more empty boxes and bubble wrap waiting.


SOLD sign #2

A lovely family will move here early November, and I am hoping they will enjoy the garden and home as much as we have.

We are now looking for a new home and guess what? I want/need/ earnestly desire a large room for my quilting and sewing, and I hope time for some serious photography. Hugh wants another large workshop  , not a surprise at all.

I am thinking of everyone in the path where Florence will cause havoc and disasters, and hope with all my heart no lives are lost, pets stay safe, and if a blog friend is anywhere near there, a heap of wishes for you to be extra secure and in a dry and safe place.

Quotation of the day, from Ovid

“ To wish is of little account ; 

to succeed you must earnestly desire;

and this desire must shorten thy sleep”

Greetings from  Jean

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The Postman Arrived at 5.25 a.m.

I saw the bright headlights shining  down our driveway , very early.I knew a parcel was arriving from Grandmother’s Garden in Gordonton.

My dear friend Mary-Ann had phoned to say a parcel without a name would come in the post. It did, a panel, a beautiful cat panel and an amazing  and gorgeous  card, hand-made by Jocelyne Leath,  a renowned textile artist now living in Perth, Western Australia.

The panel is by Linda Picken for Blank Quilting Corporation 2018, Furr Ever Friends., and along the lower edge  is  a row of 18  little kitties, in the colours used.


Cat Panel with all the cats

Cat Panel,another Ginger Boy smiling

The card is stitched with a glitter thread, and has tiny beads and more added. Stitched greenery adds to the scene. The centre piece is bound with brown thread, then glued to a gold card, a blue frame, and all on silver card.

Card and cat August 2018

Mary-Ann and I have known each-other for  some 17 plus years,and shared so much. Lambs born, a much loved sheep that finally died after days of being treated with injections ( yes, I learnt to  do that too), and then the triplet lambs and Mouse in the paddock.  Our loved cats that have left us,  Leo, with golden tulips planted by his grave to match his thick fur, new ones arriving, and now new lambs each day. This photo is from the archives.

Mouse & triplet lambs

This July we shared our birthday with Joyce, all in July, a few days and more than a few years apart. With 16 of us there, we all had a name tag, as there were family and friends from all around, and many had not met before.

Cutting the cake July 2018,Joyce, Mary-Ann and Jean

The cat panel will be a special memory quilt for Basil, I will add a border or two, and it will be on our bed. Thank you so much Mary-Ann for this special gift, it will be a treasure always.

The rooms ,couch and desk are  quiet without our ginger boy, I have to plant some grasses and flowering plants to share his special place in our garden. A few more from the archives.

Basil  perched on the couch cushions as though he had lived here always, and  lying on the desk, surrounded by sewing fabric , pens, and the machine. That looks like a green bear there too.

Basil on the couch July 2018Basil by the Bernina 2018

He loved to sit on Joyce’s knee, and was always so gentle, never  using his claws at all.

Basil on Joyce's knee 2018

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Days shared with true friends are full of joy”

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Basil, February to August 2018

This morning Basil crossed the Bridge, so quietly, with no fuss. He arrived at our home in February, 2 days before we left for the South Island.

He walked in the front door, about 6 a.m. as though he had lived here all his life. He was an old cat, and no-one knew where his previous home had been.

The palest ginger, fluffy, and so loving.

Basil Brush Feb 2018

Gentle, quiet, a meow that was almost silent. He waited for Felicity and Boris to have their meal, then he went to his bowl.A purr that you heard only if your ear was so close to his body.

A few weeks ago he was not well, and although the Vet could not give a definite diagnosis, suggested maybe Feline Aids.

He picked up, until 2 days ago. And from 3 a.m. this morning, I knew today was his last day with us.

Basil Brush #3 Feb  2018

A little over 5 months, we packed so much love and affection into that short time, and he has left a huge gap in our family.

Farewell Basil, your fluffy tail will wag with joy as you meet old friends.

Quotation of the day, from Kahlil Gibran

“ When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,

and you shall see that in truth

you are weeping for that which has been

your delight”

Greetings from Jean.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Did he cross the River Styx?

I marvel at the way some stories have comedown through the centuries. Charon, the boatman, paid with a coin. Did this person indeed cross the river or pass by and go over the bridge?

Skull #4, did he cross the bridge

The library beckoned last week,and two books came home. One was

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, by Sherri Lynn Wood, I read this and  decided it was not for me.

However the second one was a winner. Great designs, fabulous fabrics, and this skull was the first to be made.You could do a single skull or make more and have a wonderful quilt.Here are all the quilts inside,look at those two different log cabins.Can you see the single skull, next to the whole quilt? I used bright pink,  similar to the colour there.

Quilt with Tula and Angela cover photo

He flew on his broomstick, hanging in the Weeping Silver Pear tree,  that we planted in memory of Hugh’s Dad . Waved in the wind, after all the pins were removed and some actual quilting done. Straight lines in the skull, some FMQ in the eyes ( not easy)  and a Bernina stitch # 160,  in the outer fabric, I varied the length as the lines went to the outside edge, to mimic waves in the water.

Skull with a sideways grin

Skull #2, a blowin' in the wind

The red eyes showed up in this last photo.

Skull #3, red eyes.

He might be on his way to another home later in the year.After all,  every good  skull  needs a loving place to rest.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Clouds might come into your life,

with rain or storms,

but they will always colour the sunset with happiness”

Greetings from Jean


Friday, 27 July 2018

July is almost done for 2018


July, another wonderful 12 days of Christmas Blog Hop, and so many thanks to Sarah at                                                                                                  Confessions of a Fabric Addict                                                             

for hosting this event again.A lot of hours and blog time behind it all, and so many new projects to sew now or save for later. New friends, and for me,  wonderful Birthday Messages.

Thank you all so much. Facebook and Blog, Phone and mail. they were wonderful.

I had a wonderful day, that really started on Sunday 22nd, when we met friends at a local café, and celebrated both Joyce’s and Mary-Ann’s birthdays too.And  remembered  our dear Jeanette who left us a few years ago.

I have had so many lovely comments, and now have the fun task of letting

Math Goodies random generator pick a number from this long list.

Here  are all your names,  with a number,

1.       Danice G         2.       Gran Chris          3.       Susan Heather

4.       Anna Brown    5.       Annemarie         6.       Jan Snell

7.       John Horgan    8.      Susan Schaffer   9.       Dione Gardner-Stephen

10.  Vicki in NM    11.  Eileeninmd          12.  jrquilts

13.  Darlene            14.  Louise                  15.  Carole @ From My Carolina Home

16.  Kate                 17.  Meloney              18.  Sharlene S

19.  Susan               20.  Valerie Boudier   21.  Kathy  E

22.  Ursula Yeo      23.  Sewgirl                24.  Lori Smanski

25.  Jayne               26.  tink’s mom           27.  Ohio Lori      

28.  Danette Stankovich                            29.  Carol Mattingly

30.  Needled Mum  31.  Linda Schiffer     32.  Barb

33.  Romance Book Haven                       34.  Sharon Aurora

35.  The Joyful  Quilter                             36.  DebbieM

37.  Anja@ Anja Quilts                            38.  Sarah Craig

39.  Maureen Phillips                                40.  Beth

41.  Julie Fukuda                                       42.  Craft Mad

43.  Christiane Traub                                44 Jocelyn

45 Inger                                              46 Brenda@Songbird Designs

And the winner overseas is #8, Susan. Congratulations, please send me your snail mail address and the fabrics will fly north to you.

Blogger Susan Shaffer said…

Thanks for the tutorials! Love the wine bags and would love some fabulous materials from NZ to make them. So #1, I live in Louisiana, USA. Susanpshaffer@gmail.com

The New Zealand winner is  #3, Susan. Congratulations, and please send me your snail mail address too, and your choice, if you sew, the thread holder, or if you write, the frog pen holder .

Blogger Susan Heather said…

Wishing you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jean.

A huge part of this fab blog hop has been meeting new blog friends,  finding new projects, and catching up with friends from last year and earlier. I hope you have all enjoyed it as much as I have, and have saved some good ideas for nearer to Christmas.

There was no feline supervision needed, but just in case, here is Basil

Basil Brush #3 Feb  2018

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Old friends are Gold,

New friends are Diamonds,

If Diamonds  come into  your life,

remember the Gold,

as every Diamond needs a Gold setting to hold it firm.”

Greetings from Jean.















and for the overseas readers, here is the winner.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

The 12 Days Of Christmas in July Blog Hop, ‘tis My Day Today!!!


The 25th of July down here in NZ,an auspicious day for sure. My Mum was born in Cambuslang in Scotland on this day, at their home,  her birth certificate says ‘ Father present”.  I was also born on 25th July, in Auckland Hospital, I guess even then all those years ago there were emergencies and the caesarean  op was changed  from 23rd to that day.,What a  surprise to wake up to a daughter, .

Once again Sarah has hosted this fab blog hop, where we get to meet others, new readers, familiar faces, and put our minds to a new project or two. Thanks so much Sarah for including me once again.

I have two projects for you today, and keep reading as there are TWO giveaways, one for my friends and readers over the seas,or overseas!!  and one for those who live in our own beautiful New Zealand.Wine gift bags


Xmas Cone fabric trees



First up are the gift wine bags. And they can be used afterwards for storing all sorts of goodies, including  shopping bags, dusters, even socks might get a new storage place.

Choose your fabric. I looked out all  the reds and greens, and chose these.Yes, that is a  spinning wheel there, and you can see just a smidgeon of the Freefall Quilt.

Wine bag fabrics ironed

I chose a variety of fabrics, and used a strip of the same top piece for the top of the lining. They are 12 inches wide and 17 inches long. You can vary the strips to make the total length, or use one fabric  only.  Cut the same for the lining. Sew the strips together, press the seams, and add some interfacing or batting. I did straight lines to hold the fabric to the batting ( lightweight and not iron on). Sew the long sides together and the bottom seam, I had the long seam in the centre of what I call the back of the bag, Sew the lining the same.

Wine bag fabrics with inches

Turn the outer bag to have the right side on the outside. Iron over about 1/2 inch at the top of both the bag and lining.  Place the lining in the bag, wrong side to wrong side., Push the lining firmly down to the bottom. Pin the tops together, and close with a stitch of your choice. I used a wavy one, to make sure the edges are all caught together. Measure down 3 to 3.5 inches, and at the back seam. sew on ribbon, cord, or ties  about 28 inches long.

Put the wine bottle in, tie the cords, and VOILA, there is the first bag.Wine Bag #1

The second bag has a circular base and sides of 13.5 inches  wide by 15 inches high.  To cut the base, I measured 5 inches across on a piece of card, and found a small basin that  fitted in,You can use a compass  , a cup or bowl.Wine bag side and baseI added batting, and also a thicker firmer piece to reinforce the base.

For the sides, you can again use one whole piece of fabric or do it like mine, and have the panel in the centre, and strips either side. Cut the lining the same . Wavy lines to add some texture, and again on the base and the base lining piece.

Sew the long sides of the main piece together, and the same for the lining. I pressed that seam open.  Mark the bag into quarters with pins, the same for the base.

Wine bag pinned at quarter marks

Insert the base into the bag, starting at each pin marking. Ease the base, or the bag, I did  little cuts at the very outer edge on the bag, base, and for the lining too. I tried both ways for sewing the base in, having the base at the top, and then the bag sides underneath ,I found it  easier to have the bag sides at the top, and sew slowly round, I did a second row to make sure it  was firm, checking the underside first.This is the lining. Again, iron down about 1/2 inch at the top of bag and the lining.wine bag base pinned

Turn the bag right side out, insert the lining wrong side out, so both the wrong sides are together. Push that lining firmly down ,match up the tops, and sew together.  Measure down 4 inches at the seam, and sew on ribbon.Wine Bag #2

That is the  Wine Bags all done.

Now the fabric Christmas trees. I chose some green glittery cotton, for each one. Cut out the pattern, a wedge of a circle in different sizes. They are all made the same way.

22 cm side length, 11.1 cm diameter  for  circle base

20cm length,  14.5 cm diameter  for circle base

18 cm side length,  9.5 cm diameter for circle base

The wedge is a quarter of a circle,you can do this in a variety of ways. trace a circle with a plate, then cut out the wedge. use a compass for the correct diameter, or start in a corner of a piece of card, and measure down in an arc.

Xmas tree patterns Cone and circle

Cut out the cone, then for the base,  fold the pattern in half, and add 2.5 cm to the long straight edge, and cut TWO pieces.This gets turned back when you sew it up.

Embellish the cone now, before you sew the side seam. If you are adding fancy ribbon lengthways, make sure the ends are either covered by another ribbon going round, or long enough to get sewn in at the bottom.

Add decorations to the Xmas tree cone

Add batting or interfacing to the base pieces, stopping at the line before the turnover. Sew the seam at that 2.5 cm line, but start at one edge, sew about 2.5 cm. stop, reverse to reinforce, then  do the same the other side. Turn back the 2.5 cm, and trim to match the curve. This gap leaves room to insert the stuffing, and the trunk.

Xmas tree base

Mark the base and the cone into quarters and match it up, Clip the edges of both base and cone, and sew together. I tried both ways, and found it easier to have the cone on top. Sew this twice. Turn out the right way, using a pencil to push the cone tip all the way out. I then rolled the hem line, and did one row of top stitching with the cone on top,This gives it some firmness.

Decorate with more ribbons, or fancy streamers.

Stuff with wadding and insert a tree trunk. You can use dowel, or a piece off a tree, or  a thin piece of firewood. I painted my little sticks brown, used some double sided tape, you could use plasticine, or another piece of wood with a nail from the bottom. Arrange on a tray and leave for the cat to admire


A lovely gift for someone in a small flat or unit, with no room for a regular tall tree.

Boris and Xmas trees

Xmas Cone fabric trees

Now, Congratulations if you have read this far. a VERY ….Lengthy post, lots of words, my Dad would say “ You write as much as you talk,     LOTS”!!!

There are TWO giveaways, one  for all those readers who live overseas, and another for local New Zealand people. I am not familiar with Rafflecopter, so will decide how to do the draw on 27th New Zealand time.

It will be done with Feline Supervision

For the  readers who live over the seas, you  can choose,

#1, fabric pieces,  if you are a sewer or quilter,

Fabric for overseas

or #2, a microwave bowl holder and a holder for the cell phone charger , for sewers or quilters or others!!!


Mobile phone battery cord holder

Microwave bowl holder

New Zealand people,  take your pick, all made by Hugh,

#1  a larger size thread holder,

Thread holder for large reels

or #2  a frog pencil and pen holder.

frog pen holder

Please indicate on your comment if you prefer #1, or #2,

That is it for today, I am celebrating in usual style, with some gardening and housework.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Give from your heart,

and you will know real joy”

Greetings from Jean.