Posted in craft

Weekly craft update

Not an exciting gripping title this week but I didn’t sleep well last night so 😛 that’s what I’m calling it.

Not a lot happened this week in the crafty household.  Its busy and its summer so there is more ‘outside’ going on than you get in winter. Plus, being summer and New Zealand and the Bay of Plenty we have 2 long weekends in a row which also means more of the outside stuff.  Still, relatively good progress was made.

About 1110 stitches this week.  Is slow going again as we are back into the world of confetti.  I think that is why I am not really enjoying this stitch.  Its so huge on confetti that you feel like you are not getting anywhere all the time.  I don’t usually mind confetti because the results are beautiful but all the different shades of brown are driving me batty.

Can’t complain.  2.5 pages to go and then I can move on to bigger and better things 😉 Once this baby is done I have about 20 knitting squares to catch up on but I am refusing to do anything else until completion.

Posted in Crafty Bitches Monthly Challenge

Crafty Bitches January Edition

Saturday dawned screaming hot and perfect for Sangria’s on the deck and the first meeting of Crafty Bitches.  Sun umbrellas were deployed and cobwebs were removed.  We usually use the other deck so this is like the formal dining area of our outdoor placement and the spiders had been busy since Christmas it appears.

We had a couple of last minute cancellations but still I think 7 is a good turn out for our first gathering.

I made the Sangria while all the snack people assembled their snacks and we adjourned to our outdoor wonderland.

Everyone was a bit nervous as most of us hadn’t met before but Sangria quickly sorted that all out and the chatter flowed.  They made me go first for show and tell as it was my idea.  I apologised profusely that my craft was a bit crap but got good feed back.  Ricki, gorgeous sister in law, says its still better that the one she paid $50 for. In fact the girls were wonderful and we discussed improvement options.


Next up was my mum, Melly Moo.  I have put in an order for three of these in various sizes for my birthday, Christmas or mid winter Christmas.  Which ever one suits her.  It really is rather beautiful.  We popped a tea light in it and ooooooo’d and ahhhhhh’d.


She did well.

Next up was new friend Ana.  Ana is Canadian and moved to NZ for love.  She is just gorgeous and going to help me with my eyebrows (because I am looking at changing salon’s so I can go on a Saturday or Sunday.  Eyebrows are not unruly nor mono type) as she is a beautician by trade.  She bought her mother in law June with her and I think June may be keen to get her craft on for next month.

I love this!  Its very similar to one I was given as a gift at Christmas time.  She used a placemat for the lower covering of the bottle and the little reeds were from her garden.

Beautiful niece in picture learning to diamond paint

Ricki was up next and she decided to forgo a craft this month as she was in need of inspiration and is now buzzing to get started.  She was fascinated by the diamond painting and has gone home to purchase and apparently has a wish list.

Hannah, my gorgeous niece (see above photo), was next in line and we have come to an arrangement.  When I discovered diamond painting I went on line and bought 2 kits.  One big one for my wall and one little one for practice.  Big one arrived first and I couldn’t help myself and started it.  Turns out diamond painting is not difficult.  Anyway small practice kit arrived in due course so I thought I had better start that one too. I have found that I don’t really want to do this one as I just want to keep going with the big one. So the arrangement is this.  Hannah has taken the practice one home and is going to finish it for me.  When she is done I will buy her one of her choice as a thank you.  She sat at the table and made a start 🙂

Hannah did not drink Sangria.  We limited her to orange juice.

Finally we have the lovely Amy.  I met Amy last month when the Lunam family descended on the local surf lifesaving club and their quiz night.  It was a fun night and we came in second and discovered that PizzaHut will deliver right to your table when you discover that snacks can not be purchased on site only after arrival.

Amy is not going to do a monthly craft but rather is going to continue with her sampler that she is making for her little one that she is carrying.  We are going to take photo’s each month and track her progress 🙂 Its a beautiful little sampler.

Amy also did not drink Sangria.  We limited her to orange juice and lemonade.  As you can see we are a very responsible group 😉

After show and tell we settled back into snacks and I remember to grab my book rat off my mum.  I found the pattern online a few months ago and made her make it for me 😀 Its terribly cute and I am rather pleased that I made her do it 😀

Turns out we have a wonderful bunch of ladies gathering for this 🙂 I loved how there was no criticisms or negativity.  It was such a joy to spend the afternoon with this bunch.

Ana’s husband arrived to pick them up and stayed for a beer with my husband.  I feel that this might work in rather well as later on my brother suggested that the husbands start up Crafty Bastards and begin making, or purchasing and drinking, craft beer while we do the girl thing.  This may result in Dial A Driver learning where my house is without GPS.

Such a fabulous way to end the month.

Posted in Movies & Television

Movie roundup

Its been a few weeks since last movie round up so this will be a bit long I fear.


Se7en (1995): A film about two homicide detectives’ (Morgan Freeman and (Brad Pitt desperate hunt for a serial killer who justifies his crimes as absolution for the world’s ignorance of the Seven Deadly Sins. The movie takes us from the tortured remains of one victim to the next as the sociopathic “John Doe” (Kevin Spacey) sermonizes to Detectives Somerset and Mills — one sin at a time. The sin of Gluttony comes first and the murderer’s terrible capacity is graphically demonstrated in the dark and subdued tones characteristic of film noir. The seasoned and cultured but jaded Somerset researches the Seven Deadly Sins in an effort to understand the killer’s modus operandi while the bright but green and impulsive Detective Mills (Pitt) scoffs at his efforts to get inside the mind of a killer… Written by Mark Fleetwood <>

After moving to a vineyard to start a new life with her husband, a pregnant woman begins to experience terrifying visions.

After moving to a vineyard to start a new life with her husband, a pregnant woman begins to experience terrifying visions.

Turns out the kids had never seen se7en so that was our selection for educate the children night.  I love this movie.  I’m not a huge Brad Pitt or Gwyneth Paltrow fan as a rule but I forgive them both for any and all past sins in this one. Morgan Freeman was, is and will always be mine, and everyone elses, favourite actor so no surprises that he’s good in it.  One of the best thrillers of the 90’s 5/5


Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (2015): The Ghost Dimension, follows a new family, The Fleeges – father Ryan (Chris J. Murray), mother Emily (Brit Shaw) and their young daughter Leila (Ivy George) – Who move into a house and discover a video camera and a box of tapes in the garage. When they look through the camera’s lens, they begin to see the paranormal activity happening around them – including the re-emergence of young Kristi and Katie.

Same old same old really.  The only thing that changes from all the past Paranormals is the cast.  They did mix it up a little by giving you the scary ‘hole to hell’ in the wall above the little girls bed but it really is just another rehash.  However, I love ghost movies so I didn’t care and enjoyed myself and will probably watch the next instalment as well 😀 2/5


Independence Day: Resurgence (2016): Two decades after the freak alien invasion that nearly destroyed mankind a new threat emerges. This Alien mothership is more than twice the size as the last one and once again, the world’s armies must band together to save the world. Do they have enough firepower or will this battle change and will aliens take over?

First daughter said not to watch it as she thought it was bollocks and nothing compared to the first one.  Favourite husband and I watched it anyway.  If you are expecting the epic blockbuster that the first film and sit comparing it constantly then you will be very disappointed, HOWEVER if you go in with an open mind you will probably enjoy it which is what we did.  The story has advanced all the people the full 20 years from the first film so you get a fun ‘what did they do next’ vibe and the kids now for the most part take centre stage.  The movie really is a bit of a rehash but as a stand alone movie its a good adventure/disaster flick and I had fun watching it 😀 3/5

After moving to a vineyard to start a new life with her husband, a pregnant woman begins to experience terrifying visions.


Visions (2015): After moving to a vineyard to start a new life with her husband, a pregnant woman begins to experience terrifying visions.

Not great but ok.  The big twist at the end I had figured out from the first time the character was introduced.  Everything about this was mediocre but worth a watch if there is nothing else on and you like a thriller/scary movie 2/5


Lost River (2014): “Lost River” is a dark fairy tale about love, family and the fight for survival in the face of danger. In the virtually abandoned city of Lost River, Billy (Christina Hendricks), a single mother of two, is led into a macabre underworld in her quest to save her childhood home and hold her family together. Her teenage son Bones (Iain De Casestecker) discovers a mystery about the origins of Lost River that triggers his curiosity and sets into motion an unexpected journey that will test his limits and the limits of those he loves. Written by Warner Bros Home Entertainment

This was one of the weirdest things I have seen for a while.  I really did want to like it but it just never gripped me.  I found that it just meandered a long with little to no point nor any point of interest.  I usually persuasive watch till the end with nearly all movies but I just couldn’t.  I got to about half an hour to go and I just had to turn it off before I either fell asleep or threw something at the screen.  0/5


The Good Neighbor (2016): A pair of mischievous high school kids create the illusion of a haunting on an unsuspecting neighbor. While keeping his every reaction under surveillance, they see much more than they bargained for. 

This was another odd one but strangely compelling and hard to put down.  Much like a bad book that you just have to keep reading to find out what happens next.  Does bring up some interesting ideas as far as home invasion and accountability are concerned.  It shouldn’t be high on your must watch list. 1/5


Anne of Green Gables (2016): A retelling of L.M. Montgomery’s story of Anne Shirley, an orphan who is accidentally sent to a couple looking to adopt a boy instead

I absolutely loved the original TV series from the 80’s and it was with some trepidation that I decided to watch this.  I put it on in the afternoon while I was alone and prepping dinner as I fully expected to be disappointed by it and was rather shocked that I wasn’t.  Martin Sheen is a wonderful Matthew and the rest of the cast are equally well chosen for their roles.  Its never going to replace the original for me, nor is it going to be a mega award winner, but I really did enjoy it and am waiting impatiently for the next instalment. 3/5

Well thats my round up for now 🙂

All synopsis courtesy of IMDb

Posted in craft

Nothing else MATters

Making some good progress on Tash’s currently.  Finished a page this week. Only 3 more to go!!! Can’t wait to get this out of the way.

With the first monthly meeting scheduled for Crafty Bitches this weekend I suddenly realised I needed to get my a into g and get my craft done.  Would be rather sad if the person who came up with this idea and who is also the host had nothing to show for her monthly endeavours.  So I made a door mat.

Kinda looks like it was drawn on my a 3 year old with sun ripened crayons but I will take it as a win for a first attempt.  First daughter tells me its too cutesy and therefore sucks, yet my cousin is all excited and wants me to make her one identical.  Considering locking first daughter out of the house.

Am going to turn the smiley face in yellow into a paw print I think as it really doesn’t resemble a smiley face in the slightest.

Enjoy your week everyone xxx

Posted in Uncategorized


My family has been a broken and fractured thing in the past.  Not the family I grew but the family I came from. My parents divorce, lies, deceit, selfishness and anger have all played their part in my past.  It was very obvious from a young age that my parents did not like each other terribly much and us kids often felt it keenly and on occasion bore the brunt of it.  Growing up felt tough.  They divorced when I was 15.  This did not make things better.  They went from disliking each other to despising each other fairly quickly and the family fractured apart completely. There were a whole host of reasons for this but that is their story to tell, not mine.

Then my brother died.

This made what was already a terrible family environment far worse.  Tolerances from the past become intolerable from the now and the family fractured apart even further, something that I would have thought impossible until it happened. I had already reached the point of little to no contact with my father and now there was a distance growing between my mother and I, and because of that there was limited contact with my remaining brother, sister and step brother and step sister.

My brother left behind a wife and 2 very young children.  His wife blocked us from ever seeing them again and within a month had changed their last name to her maiden name.  I can understand why she did this.  She needed to protect herself.  There was a whole host of things that lead up to my brother taking his own life and her side of that story is not a pleasant one.  I can imagine that she lives with terrible guilt at times and fear that the children will find out what happened.  Her solution was to remove us from their lives.

I have always believed that you should not allow your feelings about a person guide anyone else’s opinion.  Due to this I would allow my father access to my daughter whenever he wanted even though we weren’t talking.  Over the course of the next 10 years this shared love of my daughter has healed what seemed an impossible chasm.  It was slow progress but we are now 20 years in the future and I am my daddies princess and we are close.  He pops into work all the time with home baked treats for me and the staff as well as little treasures that he finds when his trawling second hand shops.

My relationship with my mother remains fractured.  This is due to a whole host of things but mostly due to us just being very different people.  I am working on this.  I realise that it is I that have distanced myself in a lot of ways and I am working on this.

Over the past 5 years my extended family and I have worked at bridging the gaps.  I now have a lot of contact with my brother and email my sister regularly.  I will go and visit her one day but as she is a rather expensive plane ride away this is a future thing.

My cousins and I are back in touch and we are close.  They came to my daughters 21st.

Its amazing what the joint love of one precious wee soul, my amazing daughter, can do to bring a family back together.

Us, brother, sisters, cousins all with our partners at baby girls (crouching in front) 21st

But we are all still missing something vital.  My brothers daughters.

I made contact with my oldest niece when she was 16.  This lasted a week and her mother found out and told her that if she didn’t cease contact that she would be disowned and thrown out of the house.  It was my fault.  I told the beautiful girl to be honest with her mother that she was talking to me.  I didn’t want secrets.  After the epic melt down beautiful niece emailed me and told me what had happened.  I told her that as much as it wasn’t fair that she had to listen to her mother and to come and find me again when she was ready.

I have had to wait another 8 years but last month she contacted my daughter via good old Facebook.  We gave her space but last week I added her myself and we started messaging.  She has been told that we were the ones that removed contact.  She figured this might be incorrect after we spoke when she was 16.  Smart kid 🙂 I sent her photo’s from my fathers house showing her pictures on the wall of her up until the age of 3. She rang almost immediately and got to talk to her granddad for the first time in 21 years.

She knows almost nothing of her father.  She has almost nothing of her fathers.  Her mother has attempted to wipe all memory of him from her world.  I have told beautiful niece that she can ask me anything that she wants about her dad, anything at all, except for the major stuff about the ending.  I have told her that it is her mothers story and her mothers journey and I can’t, or won’t, impact on that.

Somebody told me I should tell beautiful niece everything but I don’t agree.  My brothers death has caused enough pain and heartache.  It has to end now.  Beautiful niece is now 24 years old and I am 45.  That means that we have a lot of happy memories to look forward to and to make for the future AND I get to talk about how wonderful my brother was to somebody new who wishes to have known him.  Its time to look forward not back.

We are having lunch together this Saturday.  For the first time in 21 years I get to hug my beautiful niece.

I knew she would come back.  Patience really is a virtue xx

Posted in Uncategorized

One thing at a time


This week was a wee bit more up in the air than I thought so not much was achieved.  Gained about 600 stitches but that is all.  I have decided that I really need to concentrate on this and little else until it is completed.  I really need it do be done.  Have completed nearly 200 stitches for this week already

Oh but I set up a new Facebook group yesterday  along with my sister in law.  Its called Crafty Bitches Monthly Challenge and the premise behind this is that we have to make something for our home each month.  We are then going to have a gathering of the local people at my house and have a show and tell over Sangria’s on the last weekend of each month.  The group with have monthly albums so that our overseas’s friends can be a prat of this as well 🙂 So far there are 7 of us hahahaha 🙂  Its a public group if anyone is interested in joining us 🙂



Posted in Uncategorized

Christmas Debris

Its not all about crafting.

So Christmas came and went with a full house, full tummies and too many Lunam’s (My family name) in one place due to a family reunion.  We drank, we ate, we laughed and we opened presents 🙂 Santa was a kind and generous man this year

Yep, even though they are adults my kids still all get Christmas stockings.  I’m such a sap lol  So one of my darlings made me one this year which was epically awesome 😀


Breakfast was the usual influx of people in search of their presents vying with rumbly tummies.  Mum bought over wine with gold in it and kept making inappropriate references to bodily functions, sieves and inheritance which even caused the cat to go ewww and hide under the table

That’s my seat he’s hiding under hoping to be saved from inappropriate breakfast conversation . . . or ham . . . probably ham

So after we got Christmas out of the way I put the tree away so that Natalie could continue to eat without having to sit in the middle of it.  This was the day after boxing day and we were all knackered.  Its been a very busy few months in the Semmens house.  And it rained.  Just a little but enough for us to not leave the lounge for a couple of days.  This lead to many movies and some were even to educate the kids

So the general consensus on the above is as follows:

Suicide Squad (2016): It feels good to be bad…Assemble a team of the world’s most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government’s disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity. U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose will do. However, once they realize they weren’t picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it’s every man for himself? Written by Amitash Balekar

Pretty much shit apart from the opening scene

London Has Fallen (2016): After the British Prime Minister has passed away under mysterious circumstances, all leaders of the Western world must attend his funeral. But what starts out as the most protected event on earth, turns into a deadly plot to kill the world’s most powerful leaders and unleash a terrifying vision of the future. The President of the United States, his formidable secret service head and a British MI-6 agent who trusts no one are the only people that have any hope of stopping it. Written by Anonymous

Never going to be a classic but a good watch

Shutter Island (2010): It’s 1954, and up-and-coming U.S. marshal Teddy Daniels is assigned to investigate the disappearance of a patient from Boston’s Shutter Island Ashecliffe Hospital. He’s been pushing for an assignment on the island for personal reasons, but before long he wonders whether he hasn’t been brought there as part of a twisted plot by hospital doctors whose radical treatments range from unethical to illegal to downright sinister. Teddy’s shrewd investigating skills soon provide a promising lead, but the hospital refuses him access to records he suspects would break the case wide open. As a hurricane cuts off communication with the mainland, more dangerous criminals “escape” in the confusion, and the puzzling, improbable clues multiply, Teddy begins to doubt everything – his memory, his partner, even his own sanity. Written by alfiehitchie

I love this movie, the kids loved this movie.  Think its the 4th time I have seen it but the first for Nat & Ron

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975): McMurphy has a criminal past and has once again gotten himself into trouble and is sentenced by the court. To escape labor duties in prison, McMurphy pleads insanity and is sent to a ward for the mentally unstable. Once here, McMurphy both endures and stands witness to the abuse and degradation of the oppressive Nurse Ratched, who gains superiority and power through the flaws of the other inmates. McMurphy and the other inmates band together to make a rebellious stance against the atrocious Nurse. Written by Jacob Oberfrank

The first time that the kids have seen it.  Nat loved it, Ron didn’t get it and went to bed

American Poltergeist (2015): A group of friends move into a vacation home with a sinister past in Fall River, Massachusetts. Suspicious of the home’s owner, Taryn feels a strong connection to the house and finds herself at the center of one of the most deadly poltergeists in American history. Written by Nicole Holland

Even as a last resort DO NOT watch this movie.  I love b grades but this was just sadly bad

The Poltergeist of Borley Forrest (2013): After visiting a supposedly haunted forest, a teen girl comes to believe that a violent poltergeist has followed her home and is stalking her and so with her brother and friends, sets out on a mission to unravel its mystery and stop it before it harms someone. Written by Anonymous

Good premise, shit movie

The Fear of 13 (2015): A convicted murderer who has spent 23 years on Death Row tells his story.  

LOVED THIS!!!!! Seriously, its a watcher.  Nick Yarris is a magical story teller and you just kept watching.  Every time someone came in a talked (I was watching by myself) I had to rewind to hear what he had said.  This would be my surprise favourite.

So after all that I went shopping with a voucher and bought we a present 🙂 IMG_6801.JPG

Posted in Uncategorized

New Year, New Beginnings


I’m back 🙂 Did you miss me?

Hope everyone had a fantastic and safe Christmas and New Year period.

Its been a fantastic holiday season here in the Semmens’ house.  All the kids were home and for the most part it all went well. There was lots of lying in the sun, swimming at the beach as well as the normal high levels of cheese and alcohol consumption.

For those on the other side of the world, summer is in full swing here, and from Christmas eve through till either the second or third week of January the whole country pretty much shuts down and we all head off to the beach.  We can’t pull out of our driveway right now as we live there and traffic is backed up for miles.  Ahhh the price we pay for living in paradise.

Now its time to get back into the real world ~sigh~

With all my little Christmas projects completed and a two week holiday I managed to get a wee bit of stitching done.  Around 5000 stitches in just over a week to be precise.  I did do other things as well so my butt hasn’t gone flat and even managed some outside stitching so it I have lovely brown arms 🙂  After the kids all left my husband also took off for a couple of days so it was just me, the kitties and a Greys Anatomy marathon 🙂

The following photo’s are the progression through the stitching time

Some nice progress has been made and I have high hopes for a February finish.

I had a wee parcel turn up that I am rather excited about.  One of my stitching Facebook groups introduced me too it and so off to Aliexpress I went and found a couple of kits that looked like they might be the go.  Pricing is very reasonable so its worth a shot.  If I don’t like it I’ve not really lost anything.

I give you Diamond Painting which is very similar to Cross Stitch but done with little sparkly plastic diamonds instead.



The diamonds are all coded with the same number as DMC threads so now I’m wondering about a Jasmine Beckett Griffith HAED that I have that I think would be perfect so hmmmmmm . . .

Last, but not least, one of my favourite people had a birthday on Boxing Day.  I won’t be seeing her until next week so I made this after her actual birthday to give to her when we catch up on Wednesday.


It came up rather spiffing even if I do say so myself.

This week, and for the next few weeks coming, my entire focus is on getting the stitch done so that I can get it framed up before her birthday at the end of March.   I have a deadline and just need to get plugging along.