Central Plateau, North Island

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

Friday 6 October 2023

Bags, bags, and fabric for more bags

I was once again a chosen tester for Brianna over at Sew Cute and Quirky. Her patterns are a delight to test,  and at my age a huge honour to be given this task, but it wasn't a task at all, a wonderful time selecting fabrics and putting the pulls on zipper tapes. 
It was a treat to see the other bags from the other  testers, every one was different, and stunning. Check out Brianna's web site. 

The last one is for myself,  green and pale mauve,  it was the first one I sewed, and 2 mistakes, all my own fault, So I made sure the next two didn't fall into the same pit.  I now get zipper tape by the metre, and can choose pulls to suit the bags. So much better in choice and price here in New Zealand. 

Next up, some owl applique blocks and bright fabrics for some more bags, own pattern, with boxed corners and probably a velcro tab at the top for little hands to manage more easily. The beautiful tapestry fabric, bought in Whangarei years ago, and a lovely reminder of when we visited my cousin. They will be for myself too, with some lovely zipper pull attachments, a surprise gift.

Spring has arrived here, daylight saving has started again, and we have had rain, a late frost, sunny warm days, and a last load of firewood, I hope, that should surely last until the real warmer weather arrives. 

Quotation of the day from Albert Einstein,

" The measure of intelligence is the ability to change"

Greetings to all, Jean

Friday 30 June 2023

Josh, our Grandson , Happy Birthday.

 Today our Grandson celebrates his birthday, I remember that first day so well.

We are so proud of all you have achieved, and hope you have a wonderful day, with workmates and friends down in Wellington.

A few memories.

You can see he loves the outdoors, high mountains, and trout fishing. 
Many Good Wishes for today and  every day.

Quotation of the day,

" Grandparent Graduation is the best degree of all "

Greetings from Jean.

Wednesday 5 April 2023

It must be time to post some news.

 Hello everyone wherever you are in the blog world.

Down here, the floods have left huge damage, bypass roads have been constructed, and today I heard on TV that some insurance claims might take until the end of the year to be settled. Guess none of the insurance people were in that dire situation, where they lost their home, vehicles, income from the land or buildings, and family members gone forever.

I have been sewing some batik bags, searched for a special pattern, went through so many boxes, then there it was in the box with all the batik yardage, under the scrap box.

I was recently a pattern tester for lovely Brianna over at Sew Cute and Quirky. She asked for testers for a new bag pattern, and after my previous experience with pattern testing, where the 7 or so of us world wide had to consult with each-other with problems, I had vowed NEVER to do this again.

Hop over to her site at quirkyb.com and see what other goodies are there. Wonderful patterns, helpful tutorials and more.

Luckily I was tempted beyond my will power. The pattern arrived, and I decided to make 2, in case I had any problems. NOT ONE hiccup at all, they went together like a dream, even a welted pocket, a new venture for me.The pattern was written so well, no adjustments needed, Brianna, you designed this in perfection. 

One bag has gone to a dear friend,her birthday was the 4th, and according to NZ Post, the parcel should have been delivered yesterday NZ time !!! I am still waiting for an update on delivery .We celebrate our birthdays a few months apart, but were both born in 1940, and next year, will get together and celebrate in big style 60 years of friendship.Starting in 1954 at Papakura High School. 

The second bag will also be a gift, just the right size for phone ,a few coins or notes, and a  double strap to go over your shoulder. 

This is the second bag.

Phone and charger all ready.This one was posted last week.

Autumn is here, mornings are colder, firewood is ready and we have had several fires, one or two kept going all night.

Quotation of the day, from myself to younger daughter in  1976!!!

I was told " Life isn't fair". My reply.

" Yes, and as you get older it is even less fair".

Greetings from Jean.

Saturday 18 February 2023

2023 in New Zealand, January and February

 The New Year started as normal, but in January,Hugh had a bad fall, nothing broken,  he is fine now, I had one visit to ED with angina, not too serious, home after one night, life continued. 

Early February, Cyclone Gabrielle was north of New Zealand, tracking her way south. The met office kept a close eye on her travels, and   gave an estimated arrival here. 

The cyclone was downgraded to an ex-tropical cyclone. 

The rain came, gale winds, Northland and Auckland received deluge after deluge, on the West Coast two volunteer firefighters lost their lives, attending to a callout.

12 February, a National State of Emergency was called. 

This gives Government the power to call on so many other services to assist. Further resources can be used and priorities set in support of a national level response. Army,Navy, Airforce,   and more.

The cyclone travelled south, and caused incomprehensible damage. Flooding, homes totally destroyed, the Hawkes Bay region, where my Mum lived for some years when they travelled here from Scotland, has been hit the hardest. So far 9 lives lost, stock gone, roads destroyed, homes filled with silt and debris and harrowing tales of loss and survival.No power, no water, no cell phone coverage, the Navy ships are arriving at Napier Port and a little further north with supplies, generators, food and water. Helicopters are delivering food and medical supplies to places further out that have no way of travelling.

One family lost their 2 year old daughter, a man lost his 3 precious dogs, as he assisted another family to move horses to a safer area. Many more stories that are way too sad to read or post.

Some photos from the Internet. My friend Maureen in Auckland and I talked this morning, and know how fortunate we are to have had no damage, we can look out our windows, talk to our friends,

One friend has just sent me a txt to say he is safe, another posted on Facebook that he was safe too.

Amid all this our 61st Wedding Anniversary came, and went. I truly could not bring myself to celebrate in the current situation elsewhere.

Quotation of the day, from  lyrics in " The Living Years "

 by B  A Robertson and Mike Rutherford

"....  I  just wish I could have told him in the living years ...

Say it now,  say it loud, say it clear,..."

Greetings from Jean

Thursday 29 December 2022

Garden Flowers

 I am so thankful all my northern friends are safe after the snowstorm that has surpassed all others. So many have lost their lives, emergency services stretched to the max, and travel disrupted all over US and Canada.

Meantime down here, the garden has provided some lovely blooms. Recently our Doctor and the rest of the staff were given Lilies and Callas, along with some edible goodies.We are again so thankful for all the care they have given us , but during  this last year especially. I didn't get photos of their flowers, one bunch for each  , but the tall white lily continued to bloom. Then Google gave me handy hints to preserve Hollyhock flowers. It seems you cut the stems on a slant, then sear them. Hugh had his handy gas blow torch and did the task so quickly, but it also burnt the tinfoil dish I held them over, and his workbench has some marks too.

The mauve petunias have flowered so well, I need more to fill in the whole bed there.

And after some helpful advice from younger daughter, I added more foliage to the lilies  and here is the result. Nowhere near as beautiful as some of her displays. I need some floristry lessons !!!

These are all from her own garden, in the far south, I think this was one of her arrangements for a friend's husband's funeral.
Another display of a  southern floral arrangement, summer blooms from Otago. 

So we continue to the end of 2002, looking forward to 2023, hoping to get some unfinished "stuff" finished, given away, or discarded as in the too hard basket now.

Quotation of the day, from Rudyard Kipling,

" Gardens are not made by singing 
" Oh, how beautiful" , and sitting in the shade."

Greetings from Jean.

Sunday 25 December 2022

Season's Greetings to you all

 The Christmas Season seems to be so different this year, summer here seems to be late in its arrival,  ,  and in the US and Canada, the storm has taken over everything, travel disrupted, plans cancelled, power outages, the last update was 1.5 million without power  in  Canada, with bad weather from B.C. to the Maritimes.

And while you will undoubtably have a very white Christmas, this morning we have a clear sky,  today with a temperature reaching 20C, or 68F.

The Golden Lilies with red hollyhocks showing in some places,  from earlier this year last summer.

And an archive photo of Hugh and myself on my birthday some years ago, July 25th, mid winter here,  we drove up from Ohakune to the southern side of Mt Ruapehu, where the Turoa ski field is.  This is just  to show all my friends in the North that we do get snow here, and I actually have been in it.

So this is to wish you all, my dear  friends here and far  away ,  a Joyous Christmas, stay safe, stay warm, or down here, enjoy the sunshine, sea or lake .

Quotation of the day, author unknown.

" Christmas is a season of great joy:
 a time for remembering the past and hoping for the future.
May the glorious message of peace and love
 fill you with joy  every day"

Greetings from Jean

Friday 16 December 2022

While we were in Rotorua this happened

 We recently had a few days in Rotorua with our older daughter. Meantime at home the flowers bloomed victoriously !!!

Hollyhocks reached for the sky, translucent petals  .

Last year, this was the beauty , the same colour in this year's plants, all self sewn.

This year.!!!

The lilies that grow shorter and in pots all bloomed.

The the Japanese Iris flowered , I thought this was lost, the flowers do not last long but are so beautiful. 

The Rotorua  feline family, Ruby,  Wally, a possible Maine Coon, and Milo, a very recent ginger lad. Milo at the back, obviously, Ruby at the front, and Wally with his tail hanging over the deck.

The lawn needs mowing again,, the passionfruit vines have died, maybe the roots got waterlogged this spring, however we can always plant more.

Quotation of the day, author unknown,

Enjoy your home, it's always a joy to return.

Greetings from Jean