Friday, August 28, 2015

Redwork Wednesday

I'm back to stitching on redwork projects on a Wednesday evening, getting ready for Christmas, ha ha!

After our coldest winter in quite a few years, it now feels like spring is on it's way.  We're still having frosty starts to the day and cold evenings but the temperature during the day has gone up a couple of notches.

The garden at my work is looking so bright and cheery at the moment with all the daffodils and other bulbs popping up, and soon the freesias will make an appearance, one of my favourite flowers.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

July & August Favourite Reads

As you probably guessed by now I'm a pretty avid reader, enjoying lots of different genres and at this time of the year over the winter months I find a bit more time to sit down and read, and having a two week holiday this July I was able to get a couple of extra books in.

Girl of Shadows and the Silk Thief, are part of a series called Convict Girls by Deborah Challinor, a New Zealand born author now living in Australia. I have read most of her books and this series I have particularly enjoyed.  Three young women meet in Newgate gaol, awaiting transportation to Australia and the series continues to follow their story in the 1830's in Sydney.

The Detective's Daughter is a thriller about Stella Darnell and how she stumbles across an unsolved case that consumed her recently deceased father so she sets about solving the case. The first in a series of three books.

Wife on the Run by Fiona Higgins is filled with family drama and modern day problems, about a Mum who takes her family on a road trip around Australia after her world starts to fall apart. At times quite hilarious, I highly recommend this one.

Girl at War by Sara Novic is a debut novel, and begins with Ana, a ten year old living with her parents and baby sister in Zagreb, Croatia, when war breaks out. The novel then fast forwards ten years to America, where Ana is studying at college and decides to return to Croatia for closure. A very intense story.

Unintentionally I seemed to have picked another book set in Australia, Palace of Tears by Julian Leatherdale, which is about family secrets, betrayal and war time hardship. This saga is centred on a lavish luxury hotel in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. The story is told from the perspective of several characters, from three generations over more than a century. Loved it!

I thought I'd also share some of the books Hannah and I have been reading lately. We read together every night and over the past few months we have been making our way through all the Roald Dahl books. These were some of my favourites as a little girl, especially James and the Giant Peach.

We've also started reading some of David Walliams books:

Hannah thought this was really funny and couldn't believe the awful things Auntie Alberta did to her poor niece Stella.  We are looking forward to reading more of David Walliams books.

What have you read lately?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Knitting Finishes

My Mum asked if I could knit a few items for a work friend expecting a little girl in late September and I was happy to oblige - I love baby knitting.

I recently came across this knitting blog, which has lots and lots of lovely premmie and baby patterns.

This little cardigan is so sweet and didn't take long to knit up.

Pattern found here 

I knitted several "In Threes" cardigans for Hannah when she was small, once again an easy top down knit.  Pattern can be purchased here 

A baby hat using the left over wool, pattern found here

Another hat, pattern found here

A baby beret and matching booties, (pattern from a knitting book)

And lastly some more booties using a pattern I've knitted many many times, Greemy Baby Booties.

The wool I've used for this knitting is all New Zealand 100% pure double knit wool and from The Wool Company, Skeinz and my local sewing & knit shop.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Food: Classic Beef Sausage Rolls

One of my favourite foodie blogs to read is Bake Play Smile and when I spotted the recipe for homemade sausage rolls recently I thought I'd make some to try out with my stitching friends and family.

They were delicious, and a good way to hide some extra vegetables ha ha. 

You can find the recipe here.

Another favourite recipe from this blog is the Lemon Coconut slice - it's very delectable!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Stitching with Friends

Or should that be chatting and laughing as there's always plenty of that too, and internet technical help, and online shopping for qsnaps, whenever I get together with my lovely stitching friends :)

We spent the past Saturday afternoon catching up with one another as we'd missed July's stitching date for various reasons.

I decided to start my Mum's 2015 Christmas ornament.

Here's dear Kath and Clare, please excuse the no wallpaper look behind them!

Kath is stitching a Travelling Pattern, passed onto her by Clare, which has been around the world and has been stitched over 40 times I think.

Clare was very patiently sewing on the ribbon and beads to her Shepherd's Bush Fold pincushion, just so sweet.

Lovely Janet was making great progress on her stitchery by Leanne's House

She finished this piece and was very happy as its been a work - in - progress!

My little friend Miss Poppy was our honorary member for the afternoon, spending her time smooching between Kath and Clare!

Already looking forward to our September get together and I think we might be planning a little road trip to check out some fabric shops, can't wait!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ornamental Joy Finish

I have had this Country Cottage Needleworks chart in my stash for ages so decided to get a start on it just before my holiday break. I did take my stitching to Australia, never travel without it, ha ha, but I think I managed about 10 stitches one evening and that was it!

 Ornamental Joy - Country Cottage Needleworks
stitched on 32ct lambswool linen with recommended threads

I love the colours used in this design - they are some of my favourite bright "Christmas" colours.

I did spend a bit of time the other day kitting up several ornaments and small designs to work on over the next few weeks but in the mean time I've decided to spend a few evenings working on A Yuletide Welcome. I love this design but its quite slow going on the smaller count linen.

My knitting needles have also had a dust off recently, a work friend of my Mum's is expecting a little girl in September so I have knitted a couple of small baby cardigans, hats and booties. I'll have some photos to share once I've blocked the little cardigans.

I'm looking forward to Saturday, hoping to catch up with my stitching buddies, it's been awhile!

See you soon x

Friday, August 07, 2015

My Pink Rose

Over recent months I have been stitching a fair bit but no finishing has been happening so in order to get back my finishing mojo, I decided to finish this sweet little piece.

My Pink Roses by Blackbird Designs
stitched on 32ct spotty natural belfast linen with recommended threads

The backing fabric has been in my stash for ages and I coffee dyed some ric rac for the edging, which I sewed on with some Mill Hill pink beads.

Talking of ric rac, does anyone have any suggestions for some good sites to purchase trims, ric rac or chenille trim, etc either here in NZ or Australia, or online? I've been slowly using what I had but its now getting to slim pickings and my local sewing shop has only a small selection of trims.  Cheers!

See you soon, and have a lovely weekend xx

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

A Warm Holiday

At the end of last week we arrived home from our family holiday to the Gold Coast, Australia. We were away 9 nights in total as we had a stay over in Wellington either side of our trip.

Hannah had been so looking forward to her first overseas holiday for weeks and weeks, and finally we were on our way!

Our flight to Brisbane was leaving very early in the morning so I think we were all awake at the motel by 2.30am! Made the first day in Australia a very long day but nothing a nap and then an early night couldn't fix.

Hannah was fascinated by the model of Gollum from Lord of the Rings at the Wellington airport.

Once we arrived in Brisbane we were met by a shuttle service and then it was down to the Gold Coast, to Surfers Paradise where we stayed for the next week at the Breakfree Beachpoint.  It was raining on our arrival and through the next day too.

The view one night from one of our apartment's balconies:

Then out came the sun! Just what I was looking forward to so much after our cold winter weather, it felt so good to be out and about in the sunshine.

On our list for our trip were visits to Seaworld, Movieworld and Dreamworld, all of which we enjoyed and Hannah had a great time!

I didn't go on many of the rides or rollercoasters, I've always been too much of a chicken,lol, but Hannah just loved all the kids rides she was able to do.

The rest of our trip was spent at the beach, which was right across from our apartment, lots of swimming in the sea and the pool, and hours of walking around and taking in the sights.

We used public transport to get around, mostly the tram and then buses if needed. The tram is very easy to use, we each loaded up a pre paid card and then used this throughout the week.

Lots of shopping was done too, at the local shopping centres and also Harbour Town, a brand direct outlet shopping centre.  We also had some delicious meals out during the week.

What a wonderful week it was and before we knew it, it time to fly back to Wellington and then head home.  We're already planning another Gold Coast holiday for next year!

See you soon x

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