Central Plateau, North Island

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

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Time to smell the roses and other flowers


This past week has been one of some last minute sewing, a quilt and merino tiny tot clothes, on their way to the South Island on Thursday.Deadline was 10.30 a.m. Wednesday. All done!!!Whew,,  great releief at having all finished, and packed !!! The Flopsy Bunny fabric was printed for a fabric book, so the squares did not line up, the lines did not meet, and as I added strips, nothing matched as it should. But I liked it. The merio leggings, size 0-3 months looked SOOO tiny. So I made some more in the next sizes. Tiny wee hats, all double fabric so no scratchy seams on a tiny new-born head .The baby boy is due in March.

The Flopsy  Bunnies

Flopsy Bunny quilt on the back, and merino leggings and hats

We had some lunch, a friend and her grand-daughter came, we had coffee,they went home. I picked some salad veges,  and didn’t feel well. Off to the bathroom, back out to Hugh, and said “ I don’t feel very well. I have the shakes”. His reply, “ Oh, guess I’ll have to turn off my computer game”!! Then I said, Ring the ambulance. They came, blood pressure was so high, they checked the usual responses in case of a stroke, I could smile, that was good news,  but still  off to hospital.We arrived, I was wheeled in, and THREE staff all waiting,  “ In here, off with all the top clothes,” so before I knew it,  the ECG leads were stuck on to those patches, a line in, blood test taken, and blood pressure monitored constantly. It came down slowly, ED was so busy with really extreme emergencies, staff were wonderful. At 8 p.m. they decided to keep me in overnight, another blood test at midnight, ran a drip in, and gave me a portable ECG machine, much like the old mobile phones. Staff came and went constantly, drip out at 11 p.m. blood taken at 12 midnight, truly didn’t feel the needle go in at all. Coffee at 6 a.m.,  breakfast some time later, staff visited, 3 patients discharged, 2 of us left. Doctors visited, “ You are a  mystery, we couldn’t find anything, Would you like to go home” Yes please, …OK, and see your GP next week. BUT… if you get the shakes again, you have to come in immediately.

So I am taking life more slowly,( although they were sure that being in the sun, doing sewing that had to be finished, or anything elsethat could be called stress or otherwise  had contributed) and am so grateful, and thankful for all the care, and equally so to be home.

I wandered round the garden, and looked at the greenery. What a wonderful world, and so glad to be part of it.

Gossamer Grass fronds in the sunlight

Gossamer Grass fronds

Agapanthus flowers among the trees

Agapanthus flowers among the trees

A tall Flax spire, and on the right hand side a cicada flying past. I had to click on the photo and enlarge the percentage to make sure it wasn’t a smudge on the lens.

Flax plant spire and flying cicada

The best news here in NZ, Jake Bailey from Christchurch, is in remission, and will have a GAP year, in 2016,  his words inspire, and on his Facebook page he thanked so many, with his ability  to put that into wonderful words.I hope he continues to be well.

As usual with Open Live Writer no spell check, so hope all words are as they should be. OLW hope to have this added to the program soon.

Quotation of the day, from Marcus  Aurelius

“When you arise in the morning, 

think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive -

to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love”

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 22 January 2016

As the Days Go By


We have had hot, really hot days  here, over 30.3Celsius, and almost as hot at night. Then a slight change, cooler days, welcome rain, and lawns looking greener. The One Block Wonder layout continues to be decided, will I leave it all blue, or add sashing in the purple and black fan fabric, or the green fern fabric???

I had to lay the design boards on the floor to get a decent photo, well half-way OK at least.This is the original  layout  from Cheryl  at  Meadow Mist Designs. This needs to be at least sewn together by the end of February.I would like it all done and quilted by then.

One block  layout January 2016

BUT, although blue is one of my fav colours, I think there is too much blue. And there are different blues, as I could not match up any one of them.Options are to add some sashings.I don’t have enough  purple fabric to try sashings on all the blocks, and the same for the green fern fabric,But I can so easily get more of either one of these. I know which layout I prefer. What do you think is better or best??? Original, or the purple, or the green?

One block with green fern sashingOne block with purple and black fan sashing

This morning, for those fleeting minutes, a glorious sunrise appeared

This morning's sunrise January 22nd 2016

Mrs Thrush continues to wait for her meals. Mr Blackbird, Mr Sparrow, a silvereye and chaffinch have joined the  group.

Mrs Thrush on the lawn

Mr Blackbird with Mr Sparrow

Silvereye and male Chaffinch

In a pittosporum tree at our back fence, there are 4 birds’ nests, all having been well used, and now empty.I wonder if they were parents from the same species, same family, and wish I had noticed them when the baby birds were in them.

Quotation of the day, from Amit Ray

“ A bird is safe in its nest-

but that is not what its wings  are  made for”

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 10 January 2016

The Bags, the Fabric and the “i”…


On Friday night, we met Anne, and had a celebratory birthday meal for her and Hugh, their birthdays are a day apart. I had made her this huge “carpet bag” type of bag,  roomy, double stitched, and very user friendly.I  understand that after Anne went home, she devoured TWO slices of the cake Joyce had made for her, and did a trial  “cram-in-the-bag” to see what would fit. All was good. Then she looked up my blog and read about my sewing!!! Added up the 2+2, and she realised it was her bag!!!

Anne's Carpet Bag birthday present

Then Today it is Hugh’s Birthday. Happy Birthday.

The fabric is for his bag, he specified “ I don’t want a girly one”, as if I would do one in frilly pinks and pale colours!!! I had this wonderful almost tapestry piece with cats on, and two green batiks for the lining. and the “i” that you have been wondering about? An iPad Air2. He loves it, so fast, so  portable,  so lightweight.  I have set it up with his smart phone as a hot spot, so he can surf the net when we are out, as I look for library books, or get my hair cut ,or dilly dally in a fabric shop. Pity about the cake with only one candle.I guess its size makes up for the lack of numbers.IMG_2468


cat fabric for iPad bag

I love this fabric, I bought it in Whangarei so many years ago, and the green batiks will go well for the lining. The pattern? I Googled iPad bags and found one that had been designed for a man!!! I even have the buckles, and he wants an over-the-shoulder strap. Very manly indeed.

The ipad Bag

We have wind, overnight  rain and early morning squalls, the lawn is green, the flowers are blooming, birds are tweeting, Mrs Thrush comes regularly for her meals, and flies away with the family tucker in her beak. What a life she has, feeds herself quickly, then off through the trees, and back in a flash for more. Busy all day, no time to rest, a bit like any mother anywhere.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Remember that when  you’re over the hill,

the downhill road is easier”

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 8 January 2016

Procrastinate, decide or Dilly-Dally, call it what you like!!!


The One Block wonder quilt body is finished, and decisions about the borders are ongoing. Light as inner, or dark? How wide? How many? Or will I wait till I visit the fabric shop and buy a whole new set of batiks that are perfect?  My design boards are not wide or tall enough now, I thought they were so good, until I tried to get all this and some border fabrics on it. So part  of the quilt is draped over the top.

Trial borders on the One Block Wonder Quilt

However, the bonus of this was that there were 6 blocks left over, and I have done some trial quilting lines, crosswise and straight, to see what might be better once I do the large quilt. This is all finished!!! Batting, backing and stitching.  Even the binding!!! This is a little large, but will cover my laptop so well. Dust proof!! Please ignore the camera angle, those borders are really straight.

Laptop cover with 6 One Block Wonder blocks

I am happy for any suggestions about the borders, and the quilting lines. Myself, I like the crossways ones. Please ignore the corners where they were sort of triangles, this wasn’t part of the plan.

Meantime, back at the machine, I have a large sort of “ carpet-bag” type of bag to finish for a birthday present , needs to be done by 6 p.m.

Still no spell check on open Live Writer, hope I proof read it all.

And then on Saturday, more  sewing, a bag for the “expensive shopping” I did for Hugh’s Birthday. Need I say more, but it starts with a small letter “i”….

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ When you are in the right place,

at the right time, do something”

Greetings from Jean.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

A visitor for Three Meals a Day

We have a Mrs Thrush, well she must be, as she calls round, for 3 meals a day, served at the dining room doorway. Some for herself, and some taken away over the stream.She is so tame, she comes inside the door. She is standing on the middle pot of tomato plants.

Mrs Thrush by the tomato plants_thumb[1]Mrs Thrush on the chair_thumb

in the right hand photo, this is where the indoor carpet starts!!!

We had hot, hot days last week, over 31Celsius, and this morning, a shock when it dropped from 4.5Celsius, to about 3.5 Celsius, from 5.30 a.m. onwards. Not a frost, but very cool. Then later heated up to 26C. What do I wear? Winter, almost winter gear early on, not quite the merino stuff yet, then normal summer clothes.

The One Block Wonder morphed from a few blocks to a quilt, ( Guess what, the design boards I thought were very adequate, are too narrow and too short!!) …. without borders it is 52 inches square, it is all seamed, ironed, and now there are choices for 2 borders. The inner one, my pick is the darker blue with teal/green strips, and the outer, either the variegated teal/green/purple with gold swirls, or the paler green with dark splashes. I thought to have the inner one about 4 inches, the outer maybe 5 inches, and have a flanged binding, with a tiny sliver of the darker inner showing.

One block borders Inner #1, with outers #1 and #2_thumb[2]

This is inner border choice #2, dark blue with splashes of almost grey fern leaves.

One block border choice #4_thumb[4]

I am hoping for suggestions, as something has to be finished by  Jan 7th, EST.  So down here, that gives me 3 days from now. I had some blocks left over, so a quilted piece just needs a  border and that can be a throw on  either my laptop or machine.

Day to day normality returns, watering the lawns, gardens, some sewing,  some reading , Hugh’s birthday on Saturday, so I did some serious expensive shopping yesterday when we were in a bigger city. Photo to come after the 10th . I have solved the Open Live Writer no spell check, do the post in ordinary Windows  Live Writer as usual , spell check, then copy and past into this one. The font might alter, but that is so easy to change.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Don’t wait for the right time to come along,

just do it right, and do it  now”

Greetings from Jean