Central Plateau, North Island

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

Thursday, 31 May 2018

May, the last day.

May 31st down here, frosts in many places, further south it was  –6.6C, then  –4C, and the snow has given skiers a taste of a good season ahead.

Green was the colour for May, and true to form Green Ted made his way onto the platform for Capping Ceremony. He is a BSc Graduate, and for Victoria University in Wellington, Empire  Blue the  hood lining. As this finished quilt will be for a friend’s grand-daughter, and her son is an engineer, I might HAVE to do another Green Ted, with appropriate wording on his book. You might have to click on his photo to read the words.

Green Bear for May, BSC Graduate

Purple for June, so the batiks will get sorted again.

A few photos from the archives, in May over several years

Frost on the lawn, 2017.

Frost on the lawn May 2017

Max, blissful  slumber, 2017

Max asleep May 2017

Snow down south,  2013

Waitahuna farm from front 2 May 2013

Tom, 2009. On the Mariner’s Compass, the centre was still to be done.

Tom May 2009

Toto, 2008

Toto May 2008

Max, Tom and Toto have all left us now, but memories are always there, and they had much  love  given, and we received such affection from each of them  for the time they lived with us.

Quotation of the day, author unknown.

“ Happiness comes when

you appreciate what you already have”

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

The Dream, then The Reality!!!

We can all dream, it costs nothing, we get huge enjoyment, then slowly flutter or fall down to earth with a thud!!

innova Long Arm machine and frameGammill Machine cropped

Hugh and I had a few nights stay at Rotorua,saw Dani’s horse, Joey, and did a short photo shoot.He is a handsome, tame fellow, and no doubt took Hugh back to his pony club days.

As close as he could get, JoeyHugh, Joey and Dani

The clipped coat was hidden under a mid season cover.Joey and his clipped coat

this is where Joey lives. Quiet, green grass, and stables if the weather gets too cold, too wet, or too windy ( gale force winds can happen here too).

Farmland where Joey lives

  On Sunday we  went back to Taupo, where I joined in with some 10 or so other ladies from nearby, and Tauranga and further afield, to have the most wonderful morning with Linda and Peggy.

Their home looks over the Waikato River, and in winter you can see the snow on the Ruapehu and Tongariro Mountains.

Waikato river

There was a little snow as we drove along the Desert Road , in the Central Plateau.

The Central Plateau from high up

Linda blogs at Razzle Dazzle Quilter , and you will find Peggy at             Kiwi Klippings.

We were all introduced to one-another, then out to the “room” where all the goodies are kept.The Innova is a dream machine, and Linda showed us how to load a quilt onto the leaders, why backing and batting need to be wider and longer than the quilt top,  and  use Red Snappers, which make it all  look so easy. Then some ruler work,on a pre outlined pattern, THEN, we were all allowed to have a go!!! Magical, scary, but such fun.Linda’s gentle guiding hand helped the needle stitch a better design than my fumbling attempt,

We all did some swirls, leaves, lines and a bit more, but there were plenty of empty spaces that Linda would fill in later on.

Morning tea intervened, this was scrumptious!!! Thank you so much Peggy.

.I am certain that my ancient Gammill will definitely be re-wired very soon, as this is so much easier than manhandling a quilt into a domestic machine space. Linda had our names in a bowl, one  was drawn out, and Margaret would be the lucky recipient of the finished quilt, cream thread on cream fabric.

p.s. Linda finished it yesterday, so another one for a client could go onto the frame.

Thank you both, Linda and Peggy, for a fabulous morning, and did I mention the morning tea??? Hot savouries, tea, coffee, expresso if you would like it ( I did, please) yummy slice and more.  They are a dream team together, and we all so enjoyed what Linda called

“ A Day in the Life of a Long Arm Quilter”.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ True friendship is based on  trust, honesty,

and  sincere generosity from the heart”

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 4 May 2018

Orange in April

And it continued into May.

It began with Orange Ted,  the Thumbs Up Orange  Bear of Positive Attitudes.     You can find him here with Dione at

The Clever Chameleon

My Bear sat on the Blue Chair, that is the best seat at our place.

Orange Bear April 2018

A happy smile, and he will join the others later next week.

Leaves are also orange… The Cherry Blossom trees have bare branches, leaves are orange, brown, and what a quilter might call “threadbare”!!!

Orange Cherry Tree leaves, Autumn 2018

But the winner for the Orange Ribbon was the sunset this morning.

Officially not in April, but close enough to be in the race .

Glorious colour, the clouds slowly moving along, the trees still, the silence of the early morning , nature at its finest.

Orange, the sunrise this morning, 4th April 2018

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

William Wordsworth, 1770 - 1850

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!
Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

We Will Remember Them

Red ruffled poppy 2016

Ruffled Red  Poppy 2015Very ruffled red poppy

Red Poppy October 2014

Anzac Day 25th  April 2018

The Red poppy, the symbol of war remembrance.

Commemoration services have been held throughout New Zealand, the Dawn  Service, a moving ceremony attended by dignitaries, service men and women, the  old and so many younger people..

Photo courtesy of the Internet,the service at Wellington .

Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, New Zealand.

Dawn Servive ,Wellington

Quotation of the day,

In  Flander’s Fields,

by  Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, May 1915.

In Flanders Field

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Foxy’s Flying Adventure

Way back in January I posted a photo of the Fastest Fox of All

He had a wee bit of fun in the garden, and I had a request from Carol in Tennessee to see if I would make one for  Emma June. We decided on the colours, and Foxy was all done. He tootled off to our local NZ Post Shop, was bundled up in a sturdy International postage bag, and flew off.

Little did he know that this was the adventure of his life.(  this is a mythical  tale, as without track and trace I cannot be sure where he really did go). so in his words, here is the story.  photos courtesy of the internet, unless unmistakably from my camera.


I will have a wee sit in the chair as I wait for airline ticket confirmation.

I flew to Tennessee today, 17th February 2018 Foxy #2

Farewell, Foxy  Number one, enjoy living in NZ. I will miss you.

Foxy #1

The first part, off to Wellington  Airport.. A quick trip down the Kapiti Coast.

Ho Hum, all looking good. A wee wait, so will have a harbour trip to Somes Island.  This is in Wellington Harbour.

This was formerly an alien internment camp and a quarantine station.

Somes Island, Wellington Harbour

I met some wildlife there, a Kaka, a Tuatara, and the bright Kakariki.

Image result for kaka bird photos

Image result for tuatara Nz  photos

Image result for kakariki photos

Off through customs,and onto the huge Air New Zealand plane to Los Angeles.( or so I thought)!!! Wellington Airport runways below.

Image result for wellington airport photos

These are some of the routes from new Zealand. Looks like I will have to go up to Auckland and leave from there.

AirNZ flight paths

I was asleep before we left New Zealand, and was woken a short time later, to say there had been an unexpected stop-over in  Hawaii  . .Wish I had packed some spare clothes!!! Look at that Waikiki Beach, at Honolulu.

Image result for hawaii photos

Back on the Boing 777-300

Image result for air NZ 777 300 photos

we set off again for LAX. I hope the pilot knows which runway to use, this looks HUGE.

LAX airport runways

Through customs again , and a domestic flight to Nashville. That should be fun.Oops, this is the International airport.

Nashville International airport

Phew!! New Zealand is 2.5 times as large as Tennessee. The next flight should be so fast.

Image result for Nashville domestic airport photos

Hold on, my ticket said Auckland, and they have bundled me off to Oakland in California.  Guess with a NZ accent, the two places sound the same.!!!

I just arrived, and am now going back the other way. Oakland is the 45th largest city in US. Hope I don’t get lost.

This looks pretty,might spend some time here.No,I need to find an official and get my tickets sorted out properly!!!

Image result for Oakland US photos

Back to Nashville again, this time hope it is the right place to be.

Is this where I am going? Do not think so.

Image result for hendersonville Tn photos

try again, another street… Think this might be the place.  I am  exhausted, it has been 6 weeks since I left New Zealand, and am late for a very important date.

This looks like somewhere I should be, let’s try.

Image result for apartments in Tennessee photos

I have arrived, Carol is happy, and I am on the way to meet Emma June, and have fun with her for the rest of my life.

Thanks to all the pilots and air cabin crew who took good care of me, and eventually found where I should be going. the 10 working days estimated travel time, took 6 long weeks. I know that Jean and Carol were worried,  they thought  customs had  opened the parcel, and taken me away? Was I lingering in some long forgotten postal bag? NZ post was doing some investigating, after they received a LOT of details. Phew, thank goodness I arrived safely.

And that is  the  mythical story of my 6 week travel adventure.


The moral of this story from Foxy is, send any parcel Track and Trace, you will know where  the parcel is , and when, all the time.Even with the docket and transaction number, this has been a good lesson in  taking extra care when posting parcels anywhere.

Meantime I made a Blue Bunny, to keep the three bears company over Easter. He is resting in the bright sunshine,  on the new orange batik, which is destined for Bear  Number 4.

Three Amigos with their Easter Bunny Friend

Easter Bunny with the orange batik

Quotation of the day, author unknown

‘’ Fill  your life with adventures, not things.

Have stories to tell ‘’

Greetings from Jean.

I am off to Tennessee, and will fly over the oceans, travel overland, and arrive in Tennessee in an estimated 10 working days.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Gold and Green and more colours

Do you remember the story of our overnight stay in Oamaru?

Short version, we were in the butcher’s shop, waiting to collect the HUGE ham for the wedding, I mentioned we could not get any accommodation for the night, one lovely tall good looking ( did I mention YOUNG as well )  said we could stay with him. Another  very kind gentleman suggested the same. Then Jill, standing just behind me, said “ Come and stay with Alister and me”. We did. The  ending of this tale is that I made a large toy bag for their grandson Jack, ( our way of saying a huge thank you )   posted it down to the South Island ( this time with Track and Trace ) and it might have flown to Australia by now. In true Aussie colours, dark green and gold applique words.The letters are really yellow, but just do not show as well in these photos.  Here it is.

Jack's Toy Bag #4Jack's toy bag

Jack's toy Bag #2

Jack's Toy Bag #3

Made to last, be dragged round the concrete, dumped in a sand pit, and taken out on trips and holidays. Enjoy your time in Australia, my new so generous and wonderful friends.

The month of March colour was Yellow, and Golden Ted sneaked home by a whisker, one day ahead of closing. He has a blue skipping rope and handles, and again is in batik fabrics. The background is not pale blue, but a homespun fabric  in pale calico colour. This is going to go to Christchurch at the end of the year, when all the coloured Teds are made.

Yellow Ted March 2018

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Yellow, the colour of sunshine,

joy, happiness, intellect and energy.

Let it be with us throughout the world”

Greetings from Jean.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

One Day After Another

The days seems to slip by, with some things started,  and others finished.

The garden continues to show glorious colours, with

Brunsvigia Josephinae, this year 3 bulbs all flowered.

Brunsvigia Josephinae

Brunsvigia, so many flower heads this year,2018

The  Miscanthus Sinesis has the beginnings of those feathery heads on tall stems.

Miscanthus grass with feathery heads on tall stems

The sedum is another  colour below the grasses.

Purple Sedum

I tried to resurrect the post that would not publish, but had an “error 404” every time. So here are some  pics from our last ferry trip coming back to Wellington. They will all have some blur, it is in reality salt spray on the windows.

Waiting in the queue at Picton.It was a cool start. Maybe about 5  Celsius. ( Cool for March down here in NZ )

Picton, waiting to board the ferry

Marlborough Sounds, as the sun started to shine through the clouds.

Marlborough  Sounds, through the window

Cook Straight is ahead, the rocks  are the last  we see of the Marlborough Sounds.

On the ferry,  Cook Straight is ahead

We  were on the lower vehicle deck, it is a “drive through” and 3 cars went out ahead of us. The man is standing in front of the huge door which opens down, with a  lot of sirens sounding, and huge hydraulic rams working.

On the ferry at Wellington

Here is the door partly opened, taken through the windscreen.

Ferry door is opening

I had a full day at Palmerston North Hospital on Wednesday. It poured on the drive in, and was still raining most of the morning. The Myoscan appointment time was nigh!!!

I managed, with some help, to find the “ Nuclear Medicine” department, and after meeting the others in the waiting room, had my weight taken, and the radioactive tracer injection. Then a wait, and the first scan. The machine was like this, but I went through feet first. Not a comfortable table, a bit like concrete!!! But every staff person was so caring, and made the whole day go much better than I had anticipated.( until the stress test!!!)

Image result for Gamma camera photos

Then after that scan, a wait of almost 2 hours, then off to the second floor for the stress test.This was not much fun, in fact it was hard work.Not a treadmill or an exercycle, but a drug, ( Dobutamine)  to make my heart think it is exercising to the utmost. I had to march on the spot for FOUR minutes!!!

“ Pace yourself, try not to walk too fast but lift your knees higher, remember that 4 minutes will seem to be a long time” was what the specialist told me at the start. He was  absolutely correct. He started to give me the countdown, after 2 minutes, and encouragement as well, asking if I was short of breath.YES, did I have pain, yes, could I please lift my knees higher yes , as it became harder to breath or talk.

An ECG was done at the same time, and I think the antidote was also given by  the infusion pump at the end, that took another 4 minutes until I felt slightly better. This was a scary procedure, and after having a treadmill test last year, know which I would prefer.

Then another walk, very slowly, downstairs,another lovely orderly was with me, his reassuring words helped so much.  A short wait, another scan, this time about 10 minutes, then get dressed and off home.Phew, I was so glad to have a coffee after none for over 24 hours.  My GP should get the results on Friday.

All staff were so caring, as we waited, in those in-glamorous white dressing gowns, over the standard green gown that did not fasten anywhere,as staff walked to and fro,  two of us were told “ Ladies, you are so elegant”, another commented, “ Waiting for the Day Spa!!” another “ Good Luck”, how  we  all needed a load of that.

Quotation of the day from Denis Waitley

“ A smile is the light in your window that tells

others there is a caring, sharing person inside”

Greetings from Jean