Central Plateau, North Island

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

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Silk Fabrics in Bright Colours

Silk fabric from Bangalore, India

  A few years ago our younger daughter was in India, at Bangalore, for her work.
Not far from there was a wonderful place where you could choose silk, the colour, the pattern, and it would be made in your own design.
These shades were “on the shelf “ and I’m sure  such a small selection of  what was available.
The colours seem perfect for the FMQ challenge for 2012.
I choose the cinnamon one, and bound the square in gold. I used  a viscose/rayon thread, with  clear Gutterman in the bobbin,
on the Bernina I threaded the bottom thread through the hole in the bobbin holder.The needle size was a 70, and  i had no problems with either thread.
The silk does fray easily, and was sewn up with a 1cm seam.When the 12 blocks are done, they will finally be sides on either square containers
for my sewing shelves, or pockets on bags.
The January challenge was to do a FMQ leaf pattern. After several trial blocks on cotton, this one went well.
Close up of a leaf with a vein. A friend who is a cabinet maker, of superb furniture, looked at my trial blocks and his comment" The lines on the veins are not together!!! " WOW, I will wait till I have the next one past a trial stage before I let him near it.
2012 FMQ January block

I might have to put this on Facebook also, will need to read the details.
Some of the blocks on the Facebook page for this challenge  are beautiful, but for a newbie at this, I am happy!!!
Which colour will I use for the February one??
photos below courtesy of the Internet. Silk fabrics by the metre
 and torn silk strips... Would these be from  selvedges, or across the
fabric? And what would I do with them??? Plaited handles? Woven
over a plain fabric?Used for strippy squares? I know if I had them here, they would be used
in all their glorious colours.
Colours, so many to choose from, maybe better that I do not visit there.
strips of silk
Quotation of the day, author unknown
“ Life is like a rainbow:; you need both the sun and the rain to make its colours appear”
Cheers from Jean

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Cool mornings, hot days

This morning we had… wait for it…, 3.5C, so a bit cool, well very cool for January.
What would it be on the track we walked the other day??
We met many people on the way, a young man going to take water samples from streams,
others who had walked from the North side of Ngauruhoe, skirted the edge of Tongariro, down to the Oturere hut, then to Waihohonu, and then to the Desert Road. a good 3 day trip, one day was a 7 hour tramp.
On the way in, we met the Fanstone family on their way out,, along with Jackson Anderson from Sydney,  they  had stayed overnight in the Waihohonu Hut.
Leah and Jez, Jake, Kiri and their cousin Jackson stood with that magnificent scenery as a backdrop.
A backpack each,hats,  and warm jackets in case the morning was as  cold as today.

Thanks, family .Jackson Anderson, Kiri and Jake Fanstone

The Fanstone Family and Jackson Anderson

A fireplace that might have given a hot meal, light in the dark, and welcome heat on a cold day.
Through the trees dappled light, making pretty patterns with leaves and gravel on the track.
The fireplace

Through the trees
Hugh already has the book out and the next tramp is planned.

Quotation of the day,  from John Keats, 1795-1821
“ A little noiseless noise  among the leaves,
Born of the very sigh that silence heaves”
Cheers from Jean

Thursday, 26 January 2012

A One Day Tramp

On Wednesday Hugh and I set off, to tramp to the Waihohonu Hut, in the Tongariro National Park. This is situated at 1104 metres asl. We started off bright,, checked the  GPS , and took some photos .
The view from  the car park, with tussock, and Mt Ngauruhoe in the distance.
The view from the car park
After many footsteps, some deep DOC steps, a small detour where there had been a huge washout, we arrived at the hut. “ It’s a mansion” were Hugh’s words.Bunks to sleep 28, gas burners, solar powered hot water, a huge stack of  firewood for cold days and nights, and the stunning views from the windows.
Waihohonu  hutWindow's view
We ate lunch, and fortified, started the return trip. It was  5.6 km each way,
and back at the wagon congratulated each other. Well Done!!!
On the way up  we met a family, names to be given, so photo will be in another post.
Our water bottles were almost empty by the time we left the hut so Hugh refilled his
by the fast stream.
Here they are Lori, pics for you,(at Skoog Farm), they do keep the water or juice cold for a good while My one at a well known Sports’ Store was almost twice the price of the coloured ones at our local pharmacy.
water bottlesbottle label

Refill the water bottle

Tributary to the Waihohonu Stream.
This is a first, I have taken a video with my Canon Ixus 800  IS, loaded it onto YouTube,
Back home, long time friend Ross and Olive were waiting, a stop over on their way south.
A delightful dinner at Bulls, and  then this morning another Goodbye, Safe travels.Ross and Olive on their way South

Quotation of the day, from a song written by Cole Porter, “ Don’t Fence me In”
“ Oh, give  me land,lots of land under starry skies above”
Cheers from  Jean

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A Day at The Beach

Hugh and I had a day away from lawns and  garden weeding , and started at Himatangi Beach,  went up to Foxton Beach, where the Manawatu River comes out to the  sea.  The beach  has some steps that beckon the hot traveller, the  surfie, or lady on the quad, to walk up and return with cool ice-creams. Delicious!!!
Further along we stopped for sandwiches, a  cool  drink, more photos, then went  to the Rangitikei River outlet just north of Tangimoana.
Kapiti Island in the distance, and closer up, an English Pointer, who very nicely stood still
for his photo shoot!!!
Kapiti Island from further up the beachWhere is my DadEnglish Pointer at Foxton Beach

On our way back to the wagon  Luca and Oscar whizzed by on the bike.
Luckily they stopped where their family was, and so politely gave permission for photos. Thanks Luca,
That is the BEST SHOT of the day. Hope you do read the blog and see yourself in photo and print.
luca and Oscar after a spin down the beachLuca is there hidden by his helmet

Hugh, with melting ice-creams,  BP Surf Rescue, with the lookout perched high on his chair.
Patterns formed after sand erosion. Driftwood was everywhere, high up,
low down,  some not far from the high tide water line.
Melting in the sunBP Surf RescueSand dunes
Anyone can surf, even the dogs. They are there, one white, one brown, so enjoying the frolics,  the darker brown one came out first , the white one harder to find in the sea.

Dogs in the surfI am out of that

There was a heron in the wetland area.  And in the small estuary, an area so safe  for the younger ones, was a  young lady  , a very capable paddler.

Heron in the wetland area    I can paddle this boat

Oscar’s friend lay quietly, and very soon they all went home.
Oscar's friend
A great  day, with the heat about 30 degrees Celsius. I was so lucky, Hugh handed over the driving to me,
the sand was firm, no banks to go up, no deep water to cross. I  enjoyed that so much. Thanks.Hugh.
Quotation of the day, from Lord  Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron, Poet Laureate, 1809-1892
“ And the sun went down, and the stars came out far over the summer sea”
Cheers from Jean

Sunday, 15 January 2012

No Power,No Blog, No Dinner to Cook.

No blog, no power for hours today, we had the good old kiwi standby, fish and chips, then watched TV with generator power. Three homes here, we all feed off the same pole, had the power cut off after someone ran into the concrete power  pole. No-one badly  injured, but there were  the police, the  ambulance, fire brigade and power company. They finished the power pole installation and check list in the dark.  Wonderful men who have been on standby all  week after huge winds, volunteer men with the fire-brigade, some of them were here last November,Police men who came rushing with  sirens going, road closed as the power cable was dangerously  low over the road.We can be so thankful for all services who come,assist, comfort people, and hold their hands.
I am not the only one who has had problems with blogger, cannot open another blog, cannot post a comment. Maybe  Wordpress would be better.
Keep watching, I see that #100 will be coming up soon. I will have something for a kiwi reader, and something that can be posted overseas to anywhere in the world. Watch for details, snippets of what the chosen gift will be !!
On that note, my blog has opened up so much of the world to me,friends, news, I learn of other countries, their winter scenes, travel, quilting, photography,  and all other interests,
  and now wonder " What did I do before this?"
DO NOT ask Hugh about this thought please !!!

Quotation of the day,  some fitting  words, that fit the day so well,
 the power board man walked back with me to our front door
to check that our  power was on, and all was safe to use again.
 and he commented on the light( via  generator power)  he could see through the window.

From Shakespeare, out of context from "Romeo and Juliet"
" But,soft! what light through yonder window breaks? "
Cheers from Jean.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Birthday, lilies and rain

tall lilies

These lilies bloomed this morning, in bright sunshine, on Hugh’s birthday.
Beautiful colour for golden years as some of our friends say.Are they so sure of that phrase??
The stems are so tall I had to tie them up with ribbon.
Poppy waited near the pot with a Hebe in it, stretched out almost in the shade .

just a lick here and there
The shade went, the rain came,and came,and came.We had a DELUGE.Tutaenui stream  dirty and fastwater racing down

I took these just before 9 p.m. with my camera on NIGHT setting. I can now see the rain spots on the lens.
 night sky 10th Jan
The night sky has this wonderful hue, but it was not there for long,by the time I walked back
from the Tutaenui stream the colours had gone to black.
A great day, with cards, emails,phone calls, gifts and cake.What more could a man ask for.
Quotation of the day from Dylan Thomas, 1914-1953
“There I could marvel my birthday away but the weather turned around”
Cheers from Jean

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Flowers,Sadness and Reunions

Jacaranda blossom at  St Heliers,  Hibiscus flowers,
a large Agave plant, and Hydrangeas from a friend.

Jacaranda blossomHibiscus shades
Agave plant

Red hibiscusFlowers from a friend

Hugh and I have been to Auckland for a friend’s funeral, and that morning we went for a walk to St Heliers Beach.
On the way these colours shone some brightness on the sad day.
Ken left his home to go  Purewa Crematorium with  members from the Porsche Car Club following, a fitting tribute . Each one polished and shone to perfection.
last of the carsPorsche carsmore cars again

Ken was  very involved in the McLaren Trust,  that administers the legacy started in honour of racing driver Bruce McLaren.
The McLaren M6 road car was there in the shade, much admired, and shining in the sun.
We met friends we had not seen for many years, from our Papakura days, one from Pukekohe High School, and those whose parents had been great friends with our parents also.
I needed other transport back  to where we stayed with our friend, ,  and  was given a truly wonderful  ride in the 911 Porsche.Then, joy of joys, I was
asked would I like to have my photo taken, and would it be better if I sat in the driver’s seat? Yes Please!!!
The Porsche 911 just purred along, 0-100 kms in 4.8 seconds, we cruised along Tamaki Drive, up some other streets, a short spin around the waterfront again, and up the hill of Long Drive. I felt very special to be given this  interlude , which helped to move some of the sadness from  our hearts . 2011, two farewells for each of us. 
 Thank you so very much, Damien .
look at that nameI sat in the driver's seat

Friday morning ,and we made our way home,stopping for coffee at a roadside spot,overlooking the Manawatu area.
The tall tree stood out in the late afternoon sky. The Manawatu landscape
showed through the gaps in the hedges, and the berries shone , clear white before
they turn to red.
last photo on the way homehazy view over the Manawatuhedge berries

Quotation of the day, from Shakespeare,  “ Macbeth, act 4”
“ Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o’er-fraught heart, and bids it break”
Cheers from Jean

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

January Images through the years

Mount Ruapehu, taken from high above Waiouru, A perfect day.
January 2005
Ruapehu from Tracey's

January 2006, sunrise, capturing the colours that changed every second.
sunrise  8th January 2006

Lemon Day Lily, colours that shone so well against the darker green
January 2007
Lemon day lily

“Long Drop Lodge”
“Short Stay Only”
in the Catlins area, Otago, January  2008
long drop  Catlins area

The old tree at Waitahuna, outlined in the early morning light, January 2009
The old tree outlined in the early morning

A stream in the Kaweka Forest Park, January 2010
stream in the Kaweka Forest Park

Monet’s Hexagon, an original pattern from Shirley Goodwin.
Mine is started, waiting to be bound. January 2011
Monets Hexagon ,Shirley Goodwin's pattern

Dierama, or Lady’s Wand, in the wind and the almost dusk.
Muriel ,my Mum-in-law loved this plant, and her aunt told her
“thems flowers are called Angel’s Bells, my dear”
this must have been about 1924 or so.
Well. tonight the  Angel’s Bells moved as the wind swirled
from the south.
Dierama or Lady's Wand, in the wind

Quotation of the day,  with reflections on the year past,
sadness and joy, old friends and new friendships, and the challenges of  the year ahead,
from Hillaire Belloc, 1870-1953
“From quiet  homes and first  beginning ,
Out to the undiscovered  ends,
There’s  nothing worth the wear of winning,
But laughter and the love of friends”
Cheers from Jean