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Food & other stuff

Its not just about craft.  There’s movies, books, food, friends, family and more food!

It seems we have had a week of food.  Had a hankering for mussels so made this

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Basically it was a lemony cream sauce and it was served over rice.  I made it up as I went along and it seemed to have worked as it was yum 🙂

After her epic journey Kayla has a hankering for Pad Thai.  I have never made one before and this was not my most successfully cook ever.  It was yummy but it was not Pad Thai

Then there was this:

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My world famous in my own kitchen Laksa.  Made this one with chicken only.  Usually I make it with chicken and prawns but I was out of prawns and it was not a planned meal.  I had totally forgotten how good this is as its been 6 months since I made it.  Once upon a time I used to make it at least once a fortnight.

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Forgot to add this weirdness in last week.  This guy was in him mid late 40’s waiting for someone at the airport.  I kept waiting for a kid in late teens or early 20’s to come out and go ‘WTF Dad!’.  One can only surmise that either he lost a very embarrassing bet or that it was laundry day.

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Apparently I have found my rather misplaced gardening bug.

When K was little and I was a stay at home mum I used to spend at least an hour a day in the garden no matter what the time of year.  I had about 100 roses and grew nearly all our vegetables.  I kept about 30 odd planters with my seasonal flowers that I changed at the end of each season into whatever colour or flower had taken my fancy now.  I had bulbs that grew into Tulips and stuff! I also had to mow the lawn twice a week because my then husband was OCD and freaked if I didn’t so that was a downside, we had an acre of lawn.

Nowadays I am lucky if I get a chance to go outside.  Our current home has a postage size lawn and the garden is a mess.  It was planted in the 70’s and hasn’t been cared for.  The trees all need to come out and the soil is solid like concrete.  The fence is also falling down.  Ralph helped it come down completely last weekend so now we have an open plan outdoor living area with our neighbours until the new one goes up.  As an aside I found a carrot jammed into the mesh of the bunny cage yesterday so I think the little ones next door are liking this plan hahaha 🙂 The trees are coming down and the next plan is to get the stumps out before the rotary-hoe goes in

I have planted some stuff.  I have fresh herbs growing on the back deck.  Mint, thyme, sage, parsley, rosemary.  I need more.  I go through tons of fresh herbs during the summer months.  This means that I will need more planters so I foresee shopping in the not too distant future.  I have planted strawberries on the front deck.  I have also planted some petunia’s into a couple smaller planters.  I have tomatoes currently growing on my kitchen window sill.  These will go into a new garden that will be dug next weekend.  I have planted 2 apple cucumber plants but some bastard bug or bird has stolen them in the wee hours of the morning as they have vanished as if they had entered a tardis. I plan to plant watermelon and courgettes, maybe some chilli’s and some radishes.  More cucumber in a more guarded environment. I’m not sure what else I will plant.  It will be whatever takes my fancy during the wandering of the plant palace.

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Kayla and I had a mummy and me weekend.  I took her to Vetro on Saturday morning then we went to The Nourished Eatery.  I hadn’t been there before but had hopes that we could have a breakfast there.  They are organic and also do raw food.  This didn’t work out as there breakfast menu is mostly cereal/muesli and I don’t really like buying that for a breakfast out, but we did take away some treats and the cafe owner was telling me that they are about to move into down town Tauranga and will have a more extensive menu then.  We will definitely return.  K got the giant cookie and I got the rocky road, we also both got the jelly sticks.  All was fantastic and I can’t wait till they move.  We then headed to Grindz which is also organic for breakfast.  I shouted my baby girl and welcomed her home from her adventure.  I had the vege stack with a side of bacon and K had the salmon eggs bene with a side of avocado.  Once again a fantastic breakfast and I would really recommend a visit to them if you are looking to eat in Tauranga.

That afternoon was a trip to my brothers and a family catch up for my girl.

During the week we picked Sunday for a trip to the movies in the afternoon.  The weather forecast was for rain.  It didn’t.  It was a beautiful sunny day but we both decided to still go.  K isn’t really allowed out in the sun yet due to her Shingles.  She’s not contagious at all any more but her skin is still super sensitive and we really don’t need her going backwards.  The guy that served us was a complete arsehat.  He was rude and nearly threw our popcorn and tickets at us.  He snarled that we could sit wherever we wanted and a laughingly said ‘cos we’re the only ones here’ to which he replied ‘yes because everyone else is out enjoying the sunshine’.  That is the first time that I have ever been made to feel bad for going to the movies.  That’s ok though.  There was a hole in K’s popcorn bag and when the lights came up it turned out that she had made a hell of a mess over not only her seat but also the seat beside her mahahahahaha She also wrote a formal complaint when we got home to which I am not going to hold my breath waiting for a response.

So we went to see Ouija: Origin of Evil.

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A piece of advice kiddies, save your money and wait for it to hit Netflix.  It tried hard but it rather missed the mark.  There were a couple of bits that were supposed to be scary but K and I just about killed ourselves laughing.  The girl walking on ceiling looked hilarious and the bungy jumping hanged dude made my coke come out my nose.  It is probably a good thing we were the only ones in the theatre because 2 grown women laughing their way through a horror movie would more than likely ruin the experience for others.

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Just to finish off, as Simon had his picture up here last week here’s a picture of my other little guy Squeak, so named as he is an awfully chatty little fella.  He also likes to hog the scratcher and doesn’t play well with others.

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I did better than last week :)

Weekly Craft Update

Knitting was achieved! The yellow square was a piece of cake and I whacked that out in a couple of hours.  The white one gave me a bit of trouble but mostly because my counting skills apparently went on holiday that night.  I actually finished a third square but I found a 3 major flaws in it after I finished so will be redoing that one this week.  Might have to throw its ball of wool out and get a new ball as I had huge trouble with it as it had snares and ties and thinning to breaking point.  High quality wool my great aunt Fanny! Never believe all that you read.

Started Nat’s cushion cover.  Got nearly no where on it but today is another day.  We have a letter H completed

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I also got in 500 stitches yesterday after noon on Warm My Heart but forgot the photo

Yesterday morning I sat down with my computer and got a good 3 hours in on the war diary.  I only have about 30 more pages to go then I can put them all on stick.  Its really interesting.  His spelling, lack of punctuation and need to put capital letters into weird places is driving me crackers but following his story is fascinating, if not a little scary and sad in places.  He mentions things in passing that must have been horrific to have witnessed and yet seems to keep his rather dry and sarcastic (so that’s where I get it from!) sense of humour intact.  I will definitely publish it when I have finished.

So not as much achievement as I would like but better than the week before 🙂

This weeks planned achievements:

  • Turn the elephant and dragon stitches into cushions
  • Finish Natalies cushion cover
  • Knit 2 squares for patchwork blanket
  • Finish transcribing GG’s war diary

Last weeks planned achievements:

  • Turn the elephant and dragon stitches into cushions – Nope, K’s home so need to wait till she’s out for an extended period of time
  • Start Natalie’s scary movie cushion cover – Yep 🙂
  • Knit 2 squares for patchwork blanket – Yep 🙂 almost got 3
  • Transcribe at least 20 more pages of GG’s war diary – Yep :0) Had a good run and only about 30 pages left to transcribe

Christmas Homemade List Progression:

  1. Kayla: Elephant cushion – Elephant stitched.  Need to turn into cushion
  2. Levi: Photo/scrapbook page of him with Nana Fay – Must track down a decent photo first up.
  3. Jordyn: Dream catcher – Had a practice run which am giving to a friend for her birthday.  Second attempt coming up soon😀
  4. Veronica: Knitted bunny? Maybe not?
  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. Lunam Family Christmas: Dragon cushion – Stitched, just need to cushion it.
  9. Dad & Siblings: Memory stick of Great Grandad’s war diary’s and postcards – Have 6 memory sticks. All has been scanned. Need individual boxes with quick note inside to explain what is on the stick. Am about 1/3 of the way through Word document to translate the diary.
  10. Tash: Cross stitch photo – Finish it! Not going to happen I feel but worth a shot.
  11. Marie & Margaret – Make wine glass candles for them both
  12. The bosses – BBQ Gift basket – Make the rubs and possibly a couple of sauces? Jack Daniels?
  13. Neighbours – Pistachio & lemon shortbread
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Bugger

Weekly craft update

Last week turned to custard.  Our daughter who was in Mexico playing tourist came down with rather a nasty bout of Shingles and we had to get her home.  All plans got cancelled and all flights rearranged.  We then had to get to Auckland and pick her up on the Saturday, a full days event from our house.

Sunday was the Saturday chores and and I finally got some down time late Sunday afternoon but ran out of puff rather quick and had a nap instead.

Long story short, no crafting last week to report so everything is at status quo.

Here is a picture of my cat Simon instead

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Turning him into a GOT addict and ending with a girl on a train

Its not just about craft.  There’s movies, books, food, friends, family and more food!

It has rained here just about every day since April.  To prove this I took these pictures in Te Aroha last week.  This is actually paddocks.  Te Aroha has a small river but no lakes.

It was raining when I took these so I refused to get out of the car to do it.

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My husband has never watched Game of Thrones.

This needs to be rectified.

Long story short he is not that much of a TV person and I have watched all, except the latest, seasons of GOT while stitching when he is off doing his stuff.  The times he has come in he has stopped and asked if I am watching porn 😉 So I started at the beginning again and I got him to watch with me.  I think I can successfully say that I have near got him hooked.  He can’t watch more than a couple of episodes at at time as he says binge watching hurts his head but that’s ok.  I’m just happy he’s watching it.  I knew he would love it.  I no longer have to watch only when he’s not home AND I get to start again and figure out who a couple of the people are because I can’t remember where they came from or how they link in.  Oh and no more comments about me watching porn, at least not till the next season of Vikings.

Movie watch list this week was a bit eclectic.  With my cousin visiting it was difficult to find something that we would both like.  She tells me she only likes the serious actiony type movies.  So I got her to watch The Lady in the Van.  And she loved it which just goes to prove if you don’t know you can’t comment.  Mind you the beloved Maggie Smith I will watch in anything.  Such an amazing actress.  I totally loved this movie and would watch it again in a heart beat.

I then had pity on my cousin and put on Dead Pool for her as she hadn’t seen it. She made the appropriate ‘Oh my’ noises in the appropriate places.

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I also introduced her to The Great British Bake Off and she is now addicted to that.  She was going home to put it on series link.  I still can’t believe that she had never watched that.

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During the week I made something that looked truly terrible but they actually taste pretty good.

I made mini hot dogs (corn dogs if your American I think).  That’s a wee battered sausage on a stick for those who don’t know.  I made them to freeze so that they can be defrosted and served up over the summer for something quick.  The really do look unappetising but they really do taste ok.  I will make them again but will tweek the batter and I also think the oil may have been a bit old.  Meh, you live you learn.

I’m sure they will look fine once disguised with sauce.

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I finished my book Sunday morning. I finished reading Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.  Not a bad read at all.  I had a small problem with it which most other people won’t have.  This is one of my weird traits and requires a bit of explaining.

I get embarrassed for people.  I can’t watch practical joke programs because I get upset for the people at the brunt of the prank.  Its that bad that if I would be embarrassed I have to leave the room.  I seriously jumped up and ran out of the room 4 times when I watched Bridget Jones’ Dairy.  Its an impulse that I can’t control and I am literally out the door before I realise I have even left my seat.

So the entire premise behind the book is that the leading lady is an alcoholic and a black out drunk at that.  She does dumb stuff when she’s full.  While reading the book every time she did something silly I would have to thrust the book away from me then peek at it till the scene was over.  I’ve never had to do that with a book before.  My husband asked me what the heck I was doing the first time it happened.  After that he just wet himself laughing every time.

Still this was rather a good book.  I had figured out what had happened by about halfway through but it is a real page turner (when not being peeked at from a distance) and I will be looking for more of Paula’s books in the future.

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Taking care of our own

So the weekend didn’t go according to the expected plan.  Life is like that.  My cousin rang me on Friday morning and she was crying as life had become a little overwhelming and she wanted to come home.

After she left I kind of found myself reflecting on the things that you take for granted.  The little things that just are, you don’t think about.

It breaks my heart a little that she considers my house home.  It should be her own or her parents or even a town where she grew up.  She has 4 grown or almost grown children and has just moved in with her new partner but the trials and tribulations of teenage girls got too much this week so its off to Aunty Toni’s (that’s what she calls me even though I am younger) to escape them till she can get her ‘balance’ back.

On the other side of that it is rather cool that we have manage to merge to delightfully different families successfully into one large ball of weirdness and other people will drive 6 hours on a Friday to be a part of it .

Our home isn’t pretentious.  We don’t have the best of everything.  We are lucky enough to have great jobs that have afforded us the luxury of living on one of the most desirable streets in New Zealand and we just have to cross the road to go to the beach  (our only view of water is when we put the paddling pool up so don’t get excited, our jobs aren’t that good) BUT our last house had the same feel and it was an entry level home in an ok part of town.

Our home is a little cluttered.  Between my hobbies and Ralph’s, as well as 12 hour work days, you get a bit of that.  We have always got enough beds and enough food.  We have tables large enough to get our tribe around when ever they all come home, and come home they do.

We have 4 children and nobody is ever referred to as step anything.  We are mum, dad.  The children are siblings and they are referred to as the kids. There is no yours or mine, no us or them. Its us, together, as a unit, being a family.

I class that, my friends, as success.

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Best laid plans and all that

Weekly craft update

Well the week went according to plan right up to Friday morning.  Work isn’t as hectic as it has been recently so I managed to get both my knitted squares completed.  One on Tuesday night and one on Thursday night

The first square was actually teal but as it was stitched and photographed at night the flash makes it look grey.  the second actually is grey.  They both stitched up real easy and I didn’t have to unpick anything 🙂 Starting to feel like a real stitcher I am 😀

Friday morning dawned with me all excited for the weekend because we had visitors last weekend, are having visitors next weekend and then the following weekend my daughter Kayla is due home and moving back in with us so this meant it was our final weekend home allow for what could be a very long time.  This all went legs up with a phone call from my cousin saying she was on her way down and would be with us by 9pm that night and would stay till Sunday.  My stitching was now in the minimal basket.  I had hoped to stitch to at least level 13 on my current challenge but had to settle for level 10. which was for 1001 stitches.  All up I managed to stitch 5996 stitches over 3 weeks whilst working full time and have a life so that’s not too bad. Oh and I managed to finish stitching my dragon cushion.

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Now I just need to cushion it.  That’s not your eyes by the way.  The fabric is a Colour Cascade one and is variegated purples and blues that hint at green.

After finishing me wee dragon I went to start the next project, Nat’s scary movie cushion, but had made a wee booboo and the waste canvas that I had in stash was way too small so it was a non-starter.  As my cousin had just left and I needed some me time, also darling husband needed some also and it was Bathurst weekend, I went and hid downstairs with Warm My Heart for the afternoon.  Some good progress was made and dinner hit the table around 8ish. My bad haha

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Sorry the photo is not the greatest.

As an aside, I removed Dianne from the christmas list.  Nope, she’s not in the naughty corner.  Dianne is an avid quilter.  I found in a second hand bin a collection of novels centred around quilting.  I’m going to basket them up with a mug, comfy Satin pj’s with maybe a matching robe and hot chocolate treats.  As this is just assembly and not being made by me she comes off the list.

I’m probably not going to achieve much of my list this week as we are having friends to stay on the weekend but its worth a shot 😉

This weeks planned achievements:

  • Turn the elephant and dragon stitches into cushions
  • Start Natalie’s scary movie cushion cover
  • Knit 2 squares for patchwork blanket
  • Transcribe at least 20 more pages of GG’s war dairy

Last weeks planned achievements:

  • Finish dragon cushionFinished stitching just need to cushion
  • Start Natalie’s scary movie cushionNope
  • Knit a couple of squares for patchwork blanket Yep
  • Transcribe at least 20 more pages of GG’s war diary Nope

Christmas Homemade List Progression:

  1. Kayla: Elephant cushion – Elephant stitched.  Need to turn into cushion
  2. Levi: Photo/scrapbook page of him with Nana Fay – Must track down a decent photo first up.
  3. Jordyn: Dream catcher – Had a practice run which am giving to a friend for her birthday.  Second attempt coming up soon😀
  4. Veronica: Knitted bunny? Maybe not?
  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. Lunam Family Christmas: Dragon cushion – Stitched, just need to cushion it.
  9. Dad & Siblings: Memory stick of Great Grandad’s war diary’s and postcards – Have 6 memory sticks. All has been scanned. Need individual boxes with quick note inside to explain what is on the stick. Am about 1/3 of the way through Word document to translate the diary.
  10. Tash: Cross stitch photo – Finish it! Not going to happen I feel but worth a shot.
  11. Marie & Margaret – Make wine glass candles for them both
  12. The bosses – BBQ Gift basket – Make the rubs and possibly a couple of sauces? Jack Daniels?
  13. Neighbours – Pistachio & lemon shortbread
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Wowzers the time does fly

Its not just about craft.  There’s movies, books, food, friends, family and more food!

This past week flew by.  Had Monday off as a mental health day, visited my dad, worked late a couple of times, managed to get to the gym 4 times during the week and then there was that rainy weekend.

Monday was supposed to be recuperation day as the Sunday was supposed to be the quarter marathon so I booked it off work.  Unfortunately I have had the most hideous flu for the majority of September so when the day dawned torrentially rainy I made the smart decision and didn’t go even though they didn’t cancel the event.  I have only just been able to go back to running and lifting so the smart money was on ‘don’t be foolish and give that bug a third run at you’ as I can still feel it in my lungs a bit.  There will always be another run coming up so I will keep on keeping on pick another 😀 Just gives me a chance to get stronger and faster 😉

So that said I now had a free day.  Yes I could have gone to work but I have a bit of a build up of annual leave owing (6 weeks to be exact) I thought bugger it and had a 3 day weekend instead.  As the weather was utter shite still it was a couch, kitties, movies and stitching day.

Learnt a valuable lesson while watching Miss You Already.  Its a real tear jerker and while I am on the couch blubbing like a human shaped leaky faucet I could not see the holes in my stitching and kept accidentally stabbing myself with the needle. Not ideal.  The cat didn’t appreciate being dripped on either. Fantastic movie though.  I really enjoyed it even though it gave me both red eyes and a red nose as well as crying headache.

I also enjoyed Burnt but in a meh kinda way.  Was a good lazy afternoon movie but is never going to be on the highly recommended list.

Ralph had to work a bit late on the Tuesday so I surprised my dad with a small visit.  He’s been making Lemoncello, something he had never done before, and due to the high vodka content involved Ralph now had to drive home . . . in my car . . . while I chatted non-stop . . . and sang hahahaha Poor Ralph 😀

Dad also gave me a new cookbook.  He is such an enabler 😀 He knows that cooking relaxes me and that I collect cookbooks so looks for new ones for me in second hand shops all the time.  I have to admit though, this is my first french cookbook so I am going to be perusing this one and picking some new dishes to try.

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Wednesday was, and for the next little while will always be, schnitzel night.  I LOVE SCHNITZEL!!! Finding out that I was gluten intolerant made my schnitzel go away as I just could not get the crumb right.  It was always either too dry or too thick or had the texture of concrete 😦 I have only had schnitzel about 5 times in the past 5 years because of this and the sadness has always been there BUT recently I accidentally discovered that the combination of 2 different GF crumb products make a great crumb and now I am making a pig of myself with it every Wednesday 😀

Good god it was delicious! Yes I did not wait for my husband.  Getting between me and schnitzel could result in loss of limbs.

Friday and my Ralph had to pick up a part for his Norton that he bought off Trademe.  This lead to the discovery of my new favourite shop which was in a really industrial area and seriously not where you would find a gourmet food shop.  If anyone is in Tauranga I highly recommend a trip to Vetro at 111 Third Ave.

Due to this pit stop I had a beautiful Mozzarella (along with half the rest of the store) that I used in my world famous in my kitchen Taco dipper which is basically fried off mince with taco mix layered in a dish with capsicum, tomato, spinach and cheeses.  Bung the lot in the oven until the cheese is really melty then let stand for 15 minutes before serving with cornchips.  The stand time is purely for your mouth only.  If eaten as soon as it comes out of the oven then the intense molten lava heat from the melty cheese will result in the stripping of all tastebuds and blisterings on the roof  of your mouth, all of which take away from the joy of the eating.  Let this be the one piece of advice that I give you that you don’t attempt to find out for yourself if its true or not 😀

Saturday was a craft day with my mum and a visit from a riding friend of my husbands who came up and stayed the night as he lives nearly 4 hours away.  This lead to far too much alcohol and lots of drinking snacks like grilled Haloumi and honey, fried chorizo, double cream Camembert . . . that was just the beginning.  Ended up not cooking dinner as the world basement championship of 8 ball was too intense and we were all too full from the snacks and wine anyway.

Sunday was recovery 😉 😀 😀 😀

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Wet Spring weekends are starting to wear thin

Weekly craft update

Wow! Another busy week has just flown by.  Didn’t get much of a chance to do anything this past week as we just never got home early enough so I threw it all into the weekend.

Saturday morning and my mum came around for a bit.  After the housework and after she arrived (an hour late which is actually early for her hahaha) it was stitching time.

Mum bought her knitting which is a hat and scarf combo but the hat wouldn’t fit my head, which is ridiculously little, so she spent the first 1.5 hours unravelling it, the poor thing.  Its very fluffy wool so it was really slow going for her.

I was working on my dragon cushion and made great progress on that.

We also had a friend of my husbands arrive from out of town to stay for the night.  After mum left at around 3.30 I made a visit too the supermarket for dinner and snacks.  4.30 and the first bottle of wine was opened and it was all over rover for stitching, or any form of sanity really, for the remainder of that day 🙂

Sunday dawned wet and dreary.  I was rather pleased I took water and panadol to bed as I had grave fears that the wine was going to kick my butt judging by my rather wobbly state at bedtime the night before.

I settled into the transcript of my Great Grandfathers war diary after our friend left with copious amounts of coffee and made some good progress on this.  Its slow going as he was not the best at spelling nor punctuation and this can lead to delete’s, re-writes, google searches for place names or to find if that is an actually word and occasional bouts of prolific swearing. I am up to about page 40 out of over a 100 so this may take a couple more sessions before its done.  I am, however, actually enjoying the process as I am absorbing the detail a lot better than if I was just reading it. I think I will publish a copy of it on here after I am done.

After a quick lunch I headed downstairs and left my husband with the sports channel while I wiled away the rest of the day working on the dragon cushion 🙂 Its moving along rather fast and I can see the end in site.

This week is probably the least amount of achievement that I have done for a while but oh well 🙂 Life is made to be lived and live it was I am doing 🙂

This weeks planned achievements:

  • Finish dragon cushion
  • Start Natalie’s scary movie cushion
  • Knit a couple of squares for patchwork blanket
  • Transcribe at least 20 more pages of GG’s war diary

Christmas Homemade List Progression:

  1. Kayla: Elephant cushion – Elephant stitched.  Need to turn into cushion
  2. Levi: Photo of him with Nana Fay – Must track down a decent photo first up.
  3. Jordyn: Dream catcher – Had a practice run which am giving to a friend for her birthday.  Second attempt coming up soon😀
  4. Veronica: Knitted bunny? Maybe not?
  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: Dragon cushion – Nearly stitched.
  10. Dad & Siblings: Memory stick of Great Grandad’s war diary’s and postcards – Have 6 memory sticks. All has been scanned. Need individual boxes with quick note inside to explain what is on the stick. Am about 1/3 of the way through Word document to translate the diary.
  11. Tash: Cross stitch photo – Finish it! Not going to happen I feel but worth a shot.
  12. Marie & Margaret – Make wine glass candles for them both
  13. The bosses – BBQ Gift basket – Make the rubs and possibly a couple of sauces? Jack Daniels?
  14. Neighbours – Pistachio & lemon shortbread