Central Plateau, North Island

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

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Sunday at Home

Te Apiti Wind Farm Sep











Te Apiti Wind Farm in the  Tararua Ranges, north of Palmerston North. There are 158 turbines, with a height of 78 metres, and each blade has a span of 35 metres. Combined they can provide power for about 45,000 homes. This is the largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere,( data from Internet)

This day we were on our way to Napier, and stopped to view these large windmill like structures. They seem to me to be like ballerinas, all the blades moving in unison, according to the wind direction


.kookaburra at Brisbane

This was a young Kookaburra sitting on the veranda railing, at Des and Pat’s home near Brisbane. Birds in Australia have the most magnificent colours in their plumage,




Bearded Iris

This Bearded Iris is in our garden, and the shaded colours appeal to me so much. As always, my favourite colours seem to prevail in the garden, my clothes, and the fabrics I choose for quilting.some years ago, I could not find even a scrap with bright yellow to ZING up the blocks for  a quilt.Now I tend to keep fat quarters of my most un- favourite colours, in case they are needed on a Saturday.


Cheers from Jean

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Writing with Live Writer

Today I entered the next phase of a blog. I have been using blogspot, but find getting the photos into the right shape,size,format and placement a hurdle. Maybe just because I am a newbie, but  thought that this might be good to try.bag pics for Ellen June 2011 008

Here is Poppy on the clothes line, Just as well she wasn’t there the day the Monarch Butterfly settled for  a rest.
Here she is as a kitten.Her colouring has grown a lot darker,and she is so friendly now.

There will still need to be some hours of learning with this, but just like the  cheese in the ad, as the old guys say ,all good things take time. 
                                           Cheers from Jean

Gifts from Japan

It seems fitting that I include some of the gifts I have received from our Japanese friends.The custom to give and receive is very important in Japan, and when our host daughters went back to Japan they took hand made gifts with them.I had asked Mayumi to write in characters her family names, and after much practising, managed to get them written onto bags and aprons. I can still remember her astonishment that I managed to achieve the writing!!! Scarves, and woodwork went another time.Thanks by phone, email and letter always came very soon.
This is the beautiful folder with studio photographs of our host daughter, and her brother and sister. This  was a gift from Akemi, and her 5 day stay with us went too fast. I will need to ask permission before I post the actual photos.They are stunning.And when I look at them I have the most wonderful memories of our year together
This fan was a gift from Mayumi's grandmother, for me to use on hot days.  I treasure it with other memories, and her letters.These needed to be translated, as they were all in character, and with  such fine penmanship,
Folding cloths, I liked the one with small rabbits. Again, treasures that are kept safe. From another Japanese guest who stayed with us.
My little well worn dictionary ( the one in the iddle) was looked at with great dismay by one of our B&B guests some years ago, and he went to his suitcase. Very solemnly he bowed and gave me the larger one, in its own cardboard case, and asked me to accept it. I did, and was so glad to be able to give them a gift when they left the next morning, home made cake and some of Hugh's woodwork each. These table cards were  a gift from our other host  daughter, who lives near Tokyo. Her Mother and Father are accomplished violinists, and we were given a DVD of one of their recitals. Wonderful to see them and listen to the  music.

These are a few of my favourite things.

Cheers from Jean

Thursday, 23 June 2011

A Grey Day

Marie   Williams was off on holiday but
 sent these via a friend.Thanks so much. Lovely colours that suited the pattern so well. Hope the Australian trip went well, and no delays with the ash cloud.
Josie Bliss, these are just lovely  and the children will be so happy to get one each. The little rabbits will bring a smile to  one small person.
No names for this selection, but again  the lovely hand sewn padded toggles on the cords.These came from the Palmerston North area.
Multicolour 9 patch, a beautiful circle  inset and. a soft coloured one with a contrast lining all add to the various styles that are sent to Japan. I am sure they will be very gratefully received. Again these are from" Palmy".

Late afternoon June 23rd. The time is almost 5 p.m. the sky is grey and the  fading sunlight just visible through the trees. By the time this photo was loaded, edited, cropped and compressed the street lights were on. Surely this is a grey day, and more so for the many living in Christchurch who will have found out if they are in a zone where they can rebuild, or if they have to leave and start a new life in another area. A challenge for those who are bold, a daunting prospect for the ones with a gentler spirit, and for many just too hard to even contemplate.My heartfelt caring thoughts to you all.
Cheers from Jean.

Here are the lovely bags from Colleen Clapperton. It is always so good to be able to add a  name to the photo, and to then talk on the phone.Thanks Colleen for your offer to sew more bags with some of the donated fabrics.The mauve bag with a linen curved band was especially lovely.
These came in the post from Alison Laurence in Auckland.Such bright colours that will be so welcome. The other 4 bags are more from Marj Ussher, applique and bright facings at the top  just add a difference  to each bag.
a delightful bag with hand sewn  toggles on the cords was  sewn by Val and Hannah Devlin. Hannah, I see you are 9 years of age, wonderful to have a younger lady help with this, your card has gone inside the bag.
Today is dismal, cold and wet. Surely the snow will come soon and bring joy to the skiers.

Cheers from Jean

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The Monarch

 Here is the caterpillar that will start to curl up, spin the cocoon and finally cover itself, and become the chrysalis or pupa.( Photo courtesy of the internet)

This pupa is green to begin, and gradually turns darker, until it is finally so dark ,and transparent. This is the exciting stage, and at many primary schools this is observed as a project. ( Photo courtesy of the internet)Here is the outcome, a beautiful Monarch Butterfly, seen on Tuesday 21st June, in the lower North Island.They usually swarm under a huge pine tree near Tauranga and only begin to move further south when the weather gets warmer. It clung to the washing on the line, then moved to my hand and clung on for ages. Finally after I moved it gently to a leaf for further photos, it flew away.
This is the largest butterfly found in New Zealand, and has been here since the late 1800's.In North America they fly thousands of miles south to warmer areas, to avoid the cold winters.
Maybe it was here to herald in the Shortest Day.
Cheers  from Jean

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Orbital Phenomena

The phrases used  for the various stages in a solar or lunar year are almost lyrical.
This week we have Solstice, when the sun is furthest from the earth, and it is called " The Shortest Day" Well, is this a misnomer?? The day still has 24 hours, I and all others still have the same amount of hours to do whatever we are doing, the real fact is that  there is less sunlight.
Other terms are Aphelion, Equinox, Perihelion. Some from Greek origin, others are Latin, none that I remember from 6th form language days.Too long ago, says Hugh.

This shortest day should stir us all on to look  forward to spring ( my spring bulbs are flowering already) longer days, again this just means more sunlight hours each day, until we again reach Summertime.

photos of bags are being edited, parcels have arrived from South and North, and nearby.
Another bag will go to Wellington next week. Look for more pics next post.
The box for comments has been altered, no need to enter odd letters that seem to me to be a rare combination and not a word at all.Other blogs have the same weird letters as well. This, so I read, is just a safety measure to avoid lots of scam.
For some unknown reason, blogger spellcheck isn't working this a.m. Maybe it is having a holiday on the shortest day!!!
Cheers from Jean

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Winter in 2008

                                                            Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand.  
         This was taken in July 2008, on the way to Ohakune , and then up the icy,frozen,  treacherous road to the  Turoa Skifield. Believe it, that is me under the glasses, hat, 3 layers of winter clothing and tramping boots.Needless to say, but I had better make sure you all know, Hugh is with me. This was a birthday outing!!! No fancy hotel meal with candles and cake, just beautiful scenery and a lovely couple from overseas who kindly took the photo.

I'm sure many skiers will be hoping for a season with the same huge snowfalls, fine days and no wind. Cheers from Jean.

Bags of bags and fabric

While I was in Rotorua Freedom Furniture very kindly donated a very large box of fabric for the bags. This has been used and the bright colours were ideal for combining in lovely colour selection .The softer tones are ideal for men's and boys' bags,and again can be combined together. 
Some bags from local ladies, a great assortment with felted wool bags, fabric bags, little purse bags and shoulder bags.
Who would think that there would be so many different styles of bags? I am amazed at the styles and designs of  free patterns on the net, the most wonderful, easy, affordable, place to look.No need to travel, just search, choose, download and print.How easy is that.!!
These were left at Dianne Southey's, From Rose City Quilters, Palmerston North ladies, and others. Many thanks  for  dropping the bags off.  There are bags with toggles on the handles, folded pockets on the  outside, New Zealand motifs, a lovely choice of fabrics and designs. All on their way to Tokyo for sending to  April and Tim Snyder for distribution.
More bags that I collected from Dianne Southey, just so good to have a drop off place in Palmerston North, many thanks for this,
Some bags that have  been screen printed, and the lovely square patch ones, so bright.                        If I have not included your name, it  will be on the card attached to that bag.   
There are bags to go to Wellington  tomorrow, again thanks Russell for taking them down . There is fabric waiting to be cut, there are bags waiting to be photographed, and of course there is housework,  a bit like the song " Why am I waiting"?. Well, some things in life just have to wait.
We have had a  lot of rain, but not as cold as the far south, just 2 degrees Celsius in Lawrence on Friday I hear, and the snow is due on Tuesday and Wednesday, along with gale winds.The ski field people will be so glad if there is a big dump of snow before the school  holidays.
Cheers from Jean.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Photos from the other camera

The Tongariro River with all the autumn colours showing .Taken by Hugh, on our way home from Rotorua,  the colours, contrast and just enough clear sky to balance the shot. Mine was pale in comparison. Maybe you will see more of his shots later on.
Mt Ngauruhoe, taken by me on a trip to Auckland,flying from  Palmerston North.There had been a good fall of snow some days before this, and I was lucky to have some clear sky.On the return flight all we saw was cloud.One thing I learnt from this, choose the side  you sit according to what  you want to look at and photograph.I managed to find an empty seat this time to get these shots, this was the best.
Sunrise, from our back door, taken by Hugh,  in December. The glorious colours do not last very long, and you need to be waiting and take continuous pics, then choose the one you like the best. The next one is the sunset, again taken by Hugh, on March 4th at 6 p.m. This is what we see from the front door, and often at about 5 p.m. we see the vapour trails of the big jet planes going from south to Auckland or further.

 A while ago Hugh had a stay in Pureora Forest Park, in from Taumaranui.This is a huge area, and one of many where cycle tracks are being established. In February I went with him and we camped for a week at Piropiro Flats.One of the fellow campers was a young man from New Plymouth way, who worked for a firm that established mountain bike trails in other countries.My dentist was interested in our holiday and asked' Were we staying in a hotel?" NO, "Were we staying in motels?" NO," Would we  be staying  in cabins or with friends?" NO, we were in a tent. He laughed, and he laughed more and more when I told him at my next visit that the larger size, standing height tent  was just somehow left at home, and we had to manage with a small just barely 2 person, crawl
height only tent. However my other name is " Mrs Compromise" so I managed  OK.The highlight of our stay was when a lost hunting dog was re-united with his Dad, and  to see  Jake sit up, jump up and down, ears up, listening to a vehicle kilometres away, then leap up, bark and bark, was a real joy.He knew the sound of that car when we could hardly hear the engine at all.Yes, I will go back again, taking more books, more hand sewing, more coffee, and a bigger tent.
In February Hugh had 2 weeks at Waitahuna, and there was a trip on the Taieri Gorge Railway from Dunedin to Middlemarch. The trip was short, as there was an engine problem.  At every available place, people hung out the windows, perched on the viewing platform, and photographed the stunning scenery.

The bags are arriving, and another lot will go to Wellington on Monday.The ladies in Auckland are getting together tomorrow, fabric, cord and ribbon, and patterns, have been taken up, courtesy  of Post Haste Couriers. Many thanks Bridget, Margaret and Jasmina for all your help in this, especially Jasmina for taking the time to finalise the freight, on a very  busy day, just before the long weekend. The same firm Post Haste, will collect the bags from Marj Ussher, and all this is from our own homes. Door to Door delivery, I couldn't ask for more, and many many thanks Post Haste,
Amy at  The Cloth Shop says she has some bags for collection and there are more at Dianne Southey's, to collect on Thursday.
Pics of more bags will follow.
Cheers from Jean

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Holiday views

She sits up high, watching for birds in the grape vine,now left with some very dark fruit that smells like fermenting wine. Just a few leaves left but enough so the birds can hide.

The float plane at Lake Rotorua was waiting for the tourists to arrive, and then show them around the city, fly over the hot pools and geysers,and circle around all the other lakes,  another 9 to view. I have been on all except Lake  Rotokakahi  (Green Lake),in wooden dinghies, aluminium ones,small boats, cabin boats,some outings with trout caught,admired and then smoked and eaten,others where the weather was so bad we came home,looking at snow falling on Mt Tarawera, huddled in the tin dinghy and very relieved to reach the jetty ,hurry back   to have a hot shower,hot drink and sit by the fire.Those were the days when we were all young, coped with the extremes that a winter could give, frozen roads, icy water that made even the strongest of teeth tingle,washing that hung frozen on the line for days,and we wore many layers of warm clothes.This was before manufacturers made the fine merino fabric that has made such a difference to us all for warmth,design and fashion,layers that can be added for extra warmth or discarded when the temperature climbs.Not the  swandri and heavy garments,thick socks and gumboots  as we remember winter, but swing tunics, camisoles,leggings,jackets and tops that are so smart .
Cheers from Jean.