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Some weeks are so busy they just disappear :)

Wow last week was busy.  Short staffed for 3 days so I had to step into the breach and also do my own job :).  Still managed to get to the gym a couple of times and got in a couple of runs.  Its only 4 weeks till the city to surf so I really need to get that run time up.  Didn’t leave much time for crafting during the week but then some weeks are just like that, and this coming one is not going to be much better lol 🙂

Friday was an interesting day.  It was charity day in town I think.  before lunch we had a visit from the girls for Daffodil Day (Cancer society) so we bought a couple of bunches for the front counter.  Then we had a visit from a rather scary looking young Maori man.  All intense face, black sweatshirt with hood up and un-groomed hairy faced. He tells us that he has had a death in the family and is raising funds for his family to travel to Taranaki by selling flax flowers that his mum makes.  They were beautiful and I am such a sucker for a sob story, especially when someone is trying to help themselves and not just asking for a handout, that I bought a couple.  Truth be told I would have bought them even if they were not beautiful just because he wasn’t just asking for a handout. He gave me the most beautiful smile 🙂 Proves once again that you should never judge by first appearances really doesn’t it.  I now am itching to learn how to make them! They truly are beautiful.

Usually I stitch or knit or a Friday night but this week my husband and I decided to go downstairs and played pool for a couple of hours.  I managed to beat him one game, a feat that has only been seen once before.  He knew he was going to be working all day Saturday so it was nice to hang out together for a bit 😀

My excitement for the frame for my brother knew no bounds.  By Monday I had the photo printed and a selection of shells, picked out the frame and had selected the board which was being cut out.  Thursday it was all picked and awaiting the weekend.  Saturday dawned bright and clear and I leapt out of bed as it was the Papamoa Half Marathon and my daughter-in-law was running in it.  As it runs straight past my front door I got changed into my running gear so I could go for my run straight after I have cheered her on, made a coffee and climbed into the frame.

I few burnt hot glue gun fingers later we have a result that I am rather pleased with.  I have it sitting in my lounge currently just in case some of the bits fall off and need reattaching.  Can’t think of anything worse than giving a gift with all the bits lying at the bottom of the frame hahaha.


The cheering of my daughter-in-law did not go according to plan as she apparently canned the big one and just did the 10km run instead.  She thought she had told me but oops.  I was quite relieved really as I was out there for over an hour encouraging the runners on and hadn’t seen her.  Thought I was the worst mother-in-law in the world as I hadn’t recognised by own daughter-in-law!  Went for my own run when it became obvious that I had either missed her or she hadn’t run and was running against the marathon.  This lead to a few laughs with the remaining runners as they jokingly pointed out the direction that the marathon was going 😀

I did manage to make a wee knitted square during the week.  Took a couple of days but it came out alright.  No swearing occurred during its birth.  I give you the ‘Big Chequerboard Square’.

Hmmm the photo remained sideways.  Give your head  a 90 degree twist to the right 😉

Potatoes were very cheap last week so I bought a couple of 10kg sacks and proceeded to make homemade oven fries for freezing and future use.  I slice them into chips and put them into a large pot.  Bring the pot to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.  Drain the pot and then sprinkle with heaps of flavouring (I usually use Cape Herb & Spice Spicy Chip seasoning) and a couple of tablespoons of generic oil, put the lid and toss it all about until all coated.  I then lay them all out of baking paper lined trays, sprinkle with a bit more seasoning if you don’t feel they are quite coated enough and freeze them for a couple of hours before bagging up in ziplock freezer bags. Just treat them the same as you would the oven fries that you buy from the supermarket.  Its a bit time consuming but they taste great and we now have about $40 worth of oven fries for about $10. This is bags 5 & 6 all bagged up and ready for use.


I also made a Lemon Meringue Pie with a biscuit base but forgot to photo that lol

While making the fries and pies I discovered that I had missed a call from my cousin.  She had been let down by the babysitter and was frantically trying to find someone to look after her son so she and her partner could attend his work function.  It was aunty to the rescue and completely changed the chicken nibbles, pie and rugby evening I had planned.  I do loads of stitching while watching rugby so its always good for advancement. I did manage about 2 hours stitching before it was time to head to my cousins so 200 stitches was about all that I managed for Warm My Heart this week.


As Renee would not have proper lighting for stitching I took my stripy blanket knitting for after the wee fella was alseep.  He’s not 2 yet so his bedtime is between 6.30 & 7. Mum and Dad left and we had an hour of dancing and giggling with the Wiggles.  Its been rather a long time since I babysat someone in nappies so there was much relief when it was just a wet one.  He is such a delightful little boy, you forget how little they are.  After he was settled it was aunty knitting time and 2 new stripes were completed before mum got home around 9pm.  Got home in time to watch the end of the rugby and eat pie with my husband.

Excuse toes

Sunday dawned with laundry, running and chores to be done.  Extended my run another km so a good result.  We went to our local club to renew our membership around 1pm and stopped for snacks and a wine sitting in the sun.  Such a beautiful day.  Then a stop at friends for a catch up before home around 3pm.  I was determined to get a bit more stitching in as I felt it was neglected this weekend so I went down stairs and worked on Tash’s one until it was time to come up and cook dinner and fold/iron the washing.  I only got about 200 stitches on this one also, but all progress is good progress.


So I finished a very busy weekend with some mixed results.  Felt like I could have done a bit more but was rather knackered Sunday night so just lay on the couch and watched Transformers instead of being productive.  I think we can all sometimes do with a night of nothing 🙂

This weekend coming I want to get a page finish on Warm My Heart as this is a challenge page.  Once done I will start on Kayla’s elephant.

Till next week xxx

Christmas List Progression:

  1. Kayla: Elephant cushion – Have both fabric and pattern
  2. Levi: Photo of him with Nana Fay – Must track down a decent photo first up.
  3. Jordyn: Dream catcher – Not started
  4. Veronica: No idea – Must come up with something.
  5. Natalie: Scary Movie cushion – Have pillowcase and waste fabric.  She also wants a small stitch for her favourite band – not started.
  6. Ralph: Stencil art? – Find something
  7. Jamie: Photo with beach boarder – Completed
  8. Dianne: Not a clue – must come up with something. Hot chocolate/sundae basket?
  9. Lunam Family Christmas: Need to make 4 things for the secret santa. Dragon cushion – Have fabric. Dream catcher – Not started.  Spice mix basket – Have jars.  4th gift – Not a clue yet. Stencil art?
  10. Dad & Siblings: Memory stick of Great Grandad’s war diary’s and postcards – Have 6 memory sticks, just need to scan the stuff. Individual boxes with quick note inside to explain what is on the stick.
  11. Tash: Cross stitch photo – Finish it! Not going to happen I feel but worth a shot.
  12. Marie – Hmmmm
  13. Margaret – Hmmmm
  14. The bosses – Some sort of gift basket.  Need a theme
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Christmas is coming . . . and I just realised I am going to run out of time

Second post today but this is more of a list.  What I need to get done before Christmas or it will suck big time.  I might run this as a weekly below my usual blog.

  1. Kayla: Elephant cushion – Realisticly this needs to be goal one as I really need this to be done and wrapped before October 23 when she moves home.  She doesn’t usually pay that much attention to what I am stitching but Murphy’s law says this would be that one time.
  2. Levi: Photo of him with Nana Fay – Must track down a decent photo first up.
  3. Jordyn: Dream catcher – Not started
  4. Veronica: No idea – Must come up with something.
  5. Natalie: Scary Movie cushion – Not started.  She also wants a small stitch for her favourite band – Also not started.
  6. Ralph: Stencil art? – Find something
  7. Jamie: Photo with beach boarder – Photo printed, frame picked, board being cut.  Have scavanged some shells and stuff so this one might even be done and dusted this weekend.  We live in hope
  8. Dianne: Not a clue – must come up with something. Hot chocolate/sundae basket?
  9. Lunam Family Christmas: Need to make 4 things for the secret santa. Dragon cushion – Not started. Dream catcher – Not started.  Spice mix basket – Have jars.  4th gift – Not a clue yet. Stencil art?
  10. Dad & Siblings: Memory stick of Great Grandad’s war diary’s and postcards – Have 6 memory sticks, just need to scan the stuff. Individual boxes with quick note inside to explain what is on the stick.
  11. Tash: Cross stitch photo – Finish it! Not going to happen I feel but worth a shot.
  12. Marie – Hmmmm
  13. Margaret – Hmmmm

Oh crud.  I really need to get started.

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Birthday Week – Its a big one

Everyone in our house has their birthday in this week of August.

Yes ok, that is a slight exaggeration but it certainly feels that way, and because of the number of birthdays we have in this week progress on projects can be a little slow.  This year, although less to attend to, was no exception.

Monday was my Step-mothers birthday.  Her and I have not always had the best relationship but in the past few years we have put all in the past and get on rather well.  I could not let the day go by with out popping in and am glad I did.  Out of the 5 of us surviving kids I am the only one who did.  In all fairness my beautiful sister in Perth rang and as its an 8 hour flight we did not expect to see her.  She came home last year for Di’s 60th and I miss her.  Our age gap is eighteen years so she is more like my favourite niece than my sister but her and my daughter Kayla are very close as they are only 3 years apart.   It’s Katy that I am doing Warm My Heart for. I digress.  So we went round and gave my non-drinking step mum a bottle of Baileys.  She very occasionally likes a tipple so we got her favourite 🙂  After a couple of wines with dad to celebrate for our Di we tottled home and it was definitely a non crafty night that ensued.

Tuesday and Wednesday were both a bit late due to work commitments and by the time dinner was done so was I. Tuesday is the mother of our two youngest birthday.  We don’t have to worry about that one.  Wednesday is a cousin and a friends birthday which I try to acknowledge but due to distance don’t visit.

Thursday was my darling husbands birthday.  I made him a special dinner of venison steaks with salad and he shot out to the local chippy and got chips and scallops.  This was all that he wanted 🙂 His after dinner surprise was a bit of a disaster.  I had gotten him a bit of cream filled lammington cake for dessert and hidden it in the car.  He threw his bag in the back and smooshed it.  I had to plump it up to put candles in it and due to the smooshing they tended to all lean in different directions like little miniature leaning tower of Pisa’s all aflame and sliding off the cream.  He was happy though and just stoked that he got a birthday cake regardless of how flat. No crafting this night.

Friday is my darling Kayla’s birthday.  As she’s in Missouri we were not doing our normal birthday dinner.  I sent her a card that depicted a scene from Monty Pythons A Holy Grail, the one with the black knight sword fight, and filled it full of confetti before sealing it.  Apparently it all wound up in her lunch and I am a bad person for laughing.  I also sent some Whittakers Berry & Biscuit which she refused to share.  I also sent her a picture of the new frame on her angel that I posted last week.  She tells me its beautiful.  Friday is also the birthday of one of my favourite people but she lives in England so had to settle for FaceBook messaging and noticing that her card hadn’t rocked up yet.  Learnt last week that if you put anything in a card now it is classed as a parcel so it cost me $13 to send a card and a mud mask ~sigh~ The postal service complain that nobody uses them anymore but the cost is ridiculous.  I had to swing by the supermarket that night and didn’t get home till late.  By the time dinner was cooked I was knackered.  It was a really really really long work week and I was remarkably well broken due to a hell PT so it was wine and couch time.

Saturday dawned bright and cheery.  Ralph had to work so he was up and off on the V Rod.  You could really feel summer coming that day.  I had all the doors and windows open and the radio blarring while I washed all the bed linen and did all the chores.  Finished them up around lunchtime and climbed into the stencil art that I started last Saturday.  I finished it up around 4ish and am not 100% happy with the fabric choice that I have made.  I feel it all gets lost a little and have decided that the waterlillies need to be either a red or orange colour.  I will keep a lookout for some that I like then change that bit later.  Meanwhile here she is


I then stitched Warm My Heart for a bit, cooked a Prawn Curry for dinner, then stitched a whole heap more as it was Bledisloe Cup night and as it was in Sydney didn’t start until 10pm.  Was well worth watching as we gave the Australians a recording breaking spanking.  Made for a jolly late night though as it was 12.30 before bed.  When you get up at 5am every weekday this is a long haul.

Sunday dawned beautiful and we promptly slept in.  Why not.  Its Sunday and we work hard.  After chores etc I got hungry so we went out for birthday Tapa’s.  Ralph had bought himself a Grab One voucher during the week so off we went.  Food was mostly average but we had fun and I would go back


Discovered I love Halloumi with Honey and the Coconut Prawns with Red Curry Sauce were delicious.

After lunch we went for a walk on the beach.  I need shells and stuff for a present for my brother and his family at Christmas so we wandered along and found some then sat on the beach being beach people for a bit.  If anyone’s wondering, the water is still freaking cold! I put one foot in then promptly took it right back out.

The rest of the afternoon was stitching watching Blade and Blade 2 (I have a horror movie fetish) and evening TV stuff.  Got to love a lazy Sunday afternoon.  I forgot to get a photo so will take one tonight and edit it in tomorrow.

Added 24/08/2016 – Better late than never 🙂 Here is the photo


Our Sunday birthday was a niece.  Saturday did not have one.  Today, Monday, is our middle daughters birthday but she is in Stratford at school so will celebrate when she comes up. It is also the birthday of one of my husbands best friends.  Tuesday is our ex son in laws who we still see a bit as he is a lovely guy and it all ended amicably.  These 8 days always wreck us a bit financially but they are all people that we love.  Family means everything so it doesn’t matter 🙂 Although we are usually are very over cake by the end of it :0)

This week is looking like it will be a wet one so cross fingers, it should be a good crafty one 🙂

Take care everyone xxx


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When life has its own plan

Last week got rather busy.  We had lots of external appointments, I only made it to the gym once, Friday night was hair colour rotation night and we end up at my husbands parents house for a catch up and a wine.  During the week my grand sum of achievement was half a knitted square.  Some weeks are like that and you just have to roll with them.

One special thing that I did achieve was to pick up a cross stitch that I did for my daughter Kayla when she was 3.  She has just recently moved back home for a while and is currently having her big OE in America.  After she left we tidied her stuff (she only had a handful of days home before flying out and had done her best) and I found it in amongst her storage pile. The frame was hideous.  I had forgotten how bad my framing skills were all those years ago but I hung it up anyway, because I did that 🙂 No matter how bad the framing there is still a level of pride in the stitch.  This, unfortunately, also meant I had to look at it.  After looking at it and shuddering at the horror of the frame for 2 months I decided enough is enough and took it into the framers for a revamp.  Her birthday is this week and as I can not send her anything interesting (sent chocolate and a card) I decided this would be a pretty good present 🙂 I have just picked it back up again have to say I am super impressed with what a difference the new frame has made.  I forgot to take a before photo but it was one of those 90’s thin plastic ‘painted to look gold’ frames with no boarder, just frame.  She doesn’t read my blog so its pretty safe that I can post a photo of it here. I will message a photo of it too her on her birthday, she will be 24 so this is 21 years old 🙂


I woke Saturday morning with a lot of get up and go.  It was bucketing down with rain and my husband was heading out with a mate to do boy things so I had the day to myself 🙂 Very excited I was 😀 I lined all my projects up and took a before shot


There was a wee break in the weather so I went for a wee run 2.5km run so that I wouldn’t feel guilty for sitting on my butt for the rest of the day, had a shower, quick tidy of the remnants of wine and popcorn from the previous evenings entertainment and put the dishwasher on.  All chores now complete it is TV time 😀 I have the entire American Horror Story Hotel to see me through and decided to start with finishing the knitted square from during the week.  It went really well and needed no unpicking at all! So stoked I was as I am always having to unpick.  This square is Port Banff Rib Square.  Who comes up with these names? I swear to god this is how it is spelt.


First job completed I decided next up would be my stencil art that I want to do for my office wall.  Its very asian themed and complicated, and I knew it was going to be hard work so home alone time was a good as no distractions apart from episode 2 of the show which so far hasn’t really gripped me but I can’t stop watching something once started as I am OCD about TV series’ once I have started them.  Its about 12.30pm at this stage and my phone rang.  It was my girl ringing to say hi so we chatted for about half an hour.  I look up out the window and see one of my oldest friends pulling into the driveway.  That was my big crafty day all over right then.  My friend stayed until after 4 and we had a fantastic catch up.  You can’t beat those old friends that you don’t need to see every day or even year but when you do see them its like it was just yesterday.  It was a great day to spend with her 🙂 This was as far as my stencil work got.


Tomorrow is another day 🙂 By now its 4.30 so I sit and did one 10×10 square on my stitch and then made Thai Pumpkin Soup with Cheese Scones for dinner.  I was just on to the scones when my darling arrived home and big crafty day was officially ended with bugger all completed but a great day had anyway so we celebrated with wine and an extremely odd movie off netflix.

Sunday saw us both feeling a bit jaded and I was feeling a little stitched deprived so after catching up on the washing and going for a run I headed downstairs to stitch the afternoon away.  I worked on Tash instead of the one I planned on and had a great day.  Achieved 910 stitches so I do feel that I achieved something, and my stitching buddy was epically cute.

After dinner I sat and knitted another square.  Again this went so smoothly that I was astounded.  Didn’t have to unpick at all.  Anyone would think that I am getting a handle on this knitting stuff and am figuring out what I am doing.  This square is Double Moss Stitch


So the weekend didn’t go completely to plan but you know what, I will take being interrupted by great friends and family over crafting any day because at the end of the day they are my reason for being

Till next week xxxx

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The ‘I missed a week’ update and a Mid-Winter Christmas

Ooops its been 2 weeks since my last update.  Progress has been a bit slow as we have been tied up with a lot of personal things.  We have just restructure our finances and bought out my husbands business partner so there has been lots of bank visits and lawyers and accountants . . . plus my normal 12 hour day job AND I’m training for a half marathon of which I have a practise quarter marathon coming up in 6 weeks of which I have 3 goals

1:     Finish

2:    Run the whole thing, no walking unless death is immanent

3:    Finish before prize giving starts

As I couldn’t run across the road without requiring a heart defibrillation 18 months ago this is actually a big deal for me 🙂 We will see how I go 😉

Anyway back to the update 🙂 I have completed one of the knitted squares for my patchwork blanket.  This was a Mock Rib Garter Stitch Stripes Square.  I have no idea why they call it ‘Mock’ because the look like actual stripes to me


It actually went really well and I only had to frog back a bit a couple of times on rows rather than whole restarts etc.

Not only but also I made some progress on my photo stitch.  She is coming along nicely and I was happy with the progress of what was only one days stitching, about 1400 stitches that day.  It was a rainy yucky cold Sunday so I went downstairs and hung out with the DVD player and occasionally a cat 🙂IMG_6136

In the middle of all the mayhem I decided we need to have a family dinner.  As its winter I seemed like a really good idea that we make it a mid-winter Christmas theme and, as there would be 4 ‘couples’ attending (my mum is joined at the hip with my aunty so they always come as a team) we would assign a course each and also we each had to bring 1 home-made gift each for the tree.

Our son and daughter-in-law got pre-dinner nibbles, my brother and his wife got the entree, my husband and I were main and mum and Aunty Adrianne were dessert.

The food was completely fabulous.  Pre-diner was a lovely cheese board.  Entrée was kumera mash with tiny sausages and a brown onion gravy.  Main was roast turkey and beef, roast vegetable salad, peas with bacon and onion, broccoli and cauliflower sprinkled with cheese and my world famous chicken gravy which is its own food group.  Dessert was Tiramisu, lime cheesecake, my Great Grandmothers plum duff of which everyone got a copy of the recipe and brandy custard.  Needless to say, nobody could walk after all that.  Ralph and I also made a mulled wine and eggnog.  I used the Jamie Oliver eggnog recipe and my word that is delicious!  Mum got rat-arsed on one of it and finished the evening with a slinky slide down the stairs.  She landed safely and giggled so all is good.  The high light of the kitchen time was while they were trying to figure out how to use my microwave.  It opens from the top which threw everyone.  When they did get it open my aunty commented on it being flash because it played music.  It doesn’t.  My bluetooth speaker was below it on the bench and had just changed track.  I came round the corner to my brother just about crying he was laughing so hard.

It was a mad dash to finish all gifts for the secret Santa.  Ralph made a fantastic giant Yahtzee with giant dice.  He painted the spots on at about noon on a winters day.  We had to put them under the heat pump about 2 hours later in a mad attempted to get the spots dry.  I was sewing the back on my epic failure of a cushion at 2.30pm.  We ran out of time to make a drift wood tree so I sent my husband to the garden to get me a leafy stick.  We propped it up in a pot and decorated in the Christmassy tradition.  All was fine until someone opened the sliding door.  Do you think we could get that sucker to stay upright after that? Nope.  Ended up having to tie a string to the tree and then the curtain rail.  It was not a good look


Mum and Aunty mis-read the instructions.  Aunty bought presents for loads of people instead of just one and they both bought instead of made the presents.  Oh well, they still did good with great presents 🙂

My brother made a fantastic wooden wall hanging which my mum scored.  He had a similar problem with wood drying that day and had popped it in the oven on low for a bit.  It is now mildly bow shaped so he does not recommend doing this.

Aunty scored my fabulous mess of a pillow.  I should have stitched it over 2 instead of 1 as it ended up being way too small.  Also I miss calculated on the count at the bottom and by the time I realised that it was now off centre it was too late to frog it as I needed to get it finished and was out of time.  Also I forgot to get the edging braid.  Anyway, my sister in law liked it so she utilised the steal clause and stole it leaving Aunty with the giant Yahtzee.


My brother got the stress ball that my son had made.  He got kudos for actually making something as none of us, including his girlfriend, thought he would.  We were all suitably impressed.  Then this happened . . .


All orders for the stress ball production line were immediately cancelled and nobody except our housekeeper later in the week could figure out how the hell to get cornflour and water out of the carpet.  Our housekeeper is a legend.

Ralph scored a fantastic naughty and nice treat set from our daughter in law.  Naughty was fudge and nice were some delicious cranberry and cocoa bliss balls.

I scored my sister in laws wall hanging which I absolutely adore 🙂 It is now hanging pride of place in my lounge where the serenity prayer used to hang.  She is very happy its bits have stayed on as apparently this was not the case earlier in the week.


It really was a fantastic night.  Way too much food, loads of laughs and probably too much alcohol although I don’t think anyone (except possibly granny) woke with a sore head.  We have decided that we will definitely being making this a regular winter event and the older ladies have promised to read instructions properly and make something next year 🙂

This weekend is a quiet one so fingers cross, should have a good update on the craft front next week 🙂

Be safe everyone xxx