Posted in craft, Crafty Bitches Monthly Challenge, cross stitch, diamond painting, Knitting

A Long Overdue Craft Update

Wow this year has been busy.  Between a record year at work and a very very long hot summer the time has just flown and my craft posts have been few and far between.  This shall be rectified right now 🙂

I finished knitting my second bunny well before Christmas but procrastinated way too long on sewing him up.  The twins eventually headed for their forever home in mid february.


I learnt a lot while knitting these guys and considering it was my second ever completed knitted project I am very pleased with the result 🙂

February also saw me making a second stenciled Tiki for a friend.  He wanted to pay me for it but that’s not how we roll 🙂


The green one is the new one 🙂

During February I decided that there would be no more new starts unless absolutely necessary until I had cleared my backlog of WIPS.  With this in mind I spent 3 days cutting up wool for the little rug that I am making.  A small amount of progress on this then occurred.


She’s going to need a wee mow when finished as some of my wool is longer than others hahaha

I discovered a rather large error in the back of my teal jersey so that resulted in redo :/


I’ve randomly become addicted to cooking programs that feature for 1.5 hours 3 nights a week.  As I am a kind and loving wife I made the call not to subject my husband to them and have taken my knitted Stripey Blanket to the bedroom where I prop myself up on the bed and knit away to mindless yet yummy looking TV.  This has resulted in much progress on my blanket and I hope to finish the second strip very soon 🙂

My daughter and her partner are living in our basement while they save to buy their first house 🙂 They are planning on buy in and moving to Rotorua later this year.  It snowed on me while I was in Rotorua last year.  Also, she is an avid snowboarder so spends a lot of time on the mountains during winter.  With this in mind I am knitting her a hooded scarf for her birthday in August 🙂 I’ve never tried cable before so it’s rather a test


This and a pair of very rude mittens which I will show another day will be my only new starts for this year.  I can justify this as they are presents and presents don’t count on the WIP challenge 😉

My sister got engaged 2 days before Christmas 🙂 This means that the whole family will be traipsing off to Perth for a wedding in mid 2019.  I am so excited!!! 😀 It suddenly occurred to me that I haven’t done any of her cross stitch since about mid 2017 so it was time to get it back out again.  Maybe, if I work very very hard at it, I might just be able to get it finished for her wedding.


To help keep me motivated I have joined a Facebook group for cross stitch that runs challenges and issues badges when you complete them.  Always up for a challenge I have achieved a few badges in the past couple of weeks.

Now that’s a lot of stitching 😀

With the long weekend fast approaching, in 6 more hours to be precise, I can’t wait to climb back into all my wee projects.  My favourite annual book fair is on saturday and I am helping a friend move that day also plus there is a chocolate festival in Rotorua that we just have to attend but apart from that I home a lot and keen to sit in the sun with my knitting and my stitching while listening to podcasts 😀 Ahhhhhh some days I really am living the dream 😀

Ka Kete Ano xx

Posted in craft, Crafty Bitches Monthly Challenge, cross stitch, diamond painting, Knitting, Life

Crafty Bitches February Update

Nothing like posting the February update at the end of March, whoops.  Things have been super hectic so its been a bit of a struggle getting any of my blogs done and now they are trying to suffocate me and are a bit daunting in their number so I’ve been avoiding.  Now that the avoidance basket is so full it needs culling I am going to catch up.

Last months theme was Thailand and hosted by Ricki & Jamie

The theme for this year seems to be finish our WIP’s because that’s what we appear to all be doing 🙂


Melodie is continuing with her crochet Pashmina.  Good progress has been made and now it’s also wine scented.


Amy is continuing with her cross stitch and is hopeful of having it completed before Ben goes to school.  All kidding aside, she has made great progress.


Ricki is continuing on with her diamond painting of the last supper.  She’s a little concerned with the lack of features on the faces but we believe it will look fantastic.


Toni is continuing with the stripey blanket and has nearly completed another strip.  The comparison strip is upside down in this picture so the stripes don’t quite match until you flip it up the other way.

Dinner was FANTASTIC and I think we are basically just a bunch of foodies who like to have busy hands now.

Next month is Ana & Craig’s house and we are heading to Spain 🙂

Ka Kete Ano xx

Posted in Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Spring (Autumn here) 2018 TBR

I discovered this fun blog via Death By Tsundoku Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originated by The Broke and the Bookish now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week the theme is:

This week the theme is: Books On My Spring (Autumn here in NZ) 2018 TBR

I have such a stack! It literally is the spare bedroom which also resembles a used book store.  These are the ones that I can’t wait to climb into.  Everything is on my Goodreads ‘Want to read’ list because I like to keep track of these things 😀

1:  The Wee Free Men (Discworld #30)  by Terry Pratchett

The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30; Tiffany Aching, #1)
 Yes I have read this before BUT its one of my favourites and I have just bought all 5 in the series so yes,  this is going to be a marathon read 😀  These little blue fella’s are not only rude but they are also hilarious 😀

2:  We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

I loved The Haunting movie and this book keeps coming up in various things that see.  When I found it in the classic section of the local book store recently I just had to bring it home with me.

3:  The Woman in Black (The Woman in Black #1)  by Susan Hill

The Woman in Black

Again I loved the movie but in this case I didn’t realise that it was a book.  One of the prompts for the Popsugar reading challenge is for a book that was made into a movie so this was an easy select.

4:  The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones
Another book that’s been on my list since I saw the movie and, again, I can use it for a Popsugar prompt.  Such a beautiful yet sad movie, I can’t wait to read this.

5: Ready Player One (Ready Player One #1)  by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1)
This one’s had a lot of hype so when I found it in a second-hand book shop I picked it up.  I’m going through a wee phase where I’m into dystopian societies so it appealed.  Didn’t realise that it was made into a movie until last night when I stumbled across an Ad for it.  Hmmmm might be tonight’s new start.

6:  River God (Ancient Egypt #1)  by Wilbur Smith

River God (Ancient Egypt, #1)
This keeps getting recommended and I keep meaning to read it but I have never quite got there.  This year will be its time.

7:  Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King (Goodreads Author), Owen King (Goodreads Author)

 Sleeping Beauties
When I saw this one in a sale I just had to have it.  Love a good Stephen King read fest 😀

8:  The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride
I’ve had this one in my ‘to read’ pile for too long.  A lot of my reading for this year could be quite hard going or long so this one will be a nice, short change of pace.

9:  One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
I’ve wanted to read this for such a long time and I recently picked it up in the classics section of the local book shop.  It’s a definite for this years read list.

10:  The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Goodreads Author)

The Hate U Give
 This one will be my exception to the rule for this year.  After reading several really amazing reviews I am itching to read this one but I don’t have it at this time.  I will borrow it from the library or grab it via book depository if I have to but I will be reading this one this year.
Well that’s my must read list for the next couple of months.  Good thing its coming into winter here.  I can cosy up on the couch in front of the fire or soak in the tub and get on with my epic journey’s 🙂
Ka Kete Ano
Posted in Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Surprised Me (in a good or bad way)

I discovered this fun blog via Death By Tsundoku Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originated by The Broke and the Bookish now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week the theme is:

This week the theme is: Books That Surprised Me (in a good or bad way)

For this I am going to scroll through my Goodreads Read List and see which ones were surprises for me 🙂

1: Bad way 😦         

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Hardy tells the story of Tess Durbeyfield, a beautiful young woman living with her impoverished family in Wessex, the southwestern English county immortalized by Hardy. After the family learns of their connection to the wealthy d’Urbervilles, they send Tess to claim a portion of their fortune.

I didn’t like it at all and I actually had expected to as I usually love classics.  I found Tess to be an idiot and the boys weren’t much better.  I struggled to the end only because I am stubborn and don’t like to leave anything half-finished.

2:  Good Way 🙂         

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit
In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life–why did he leave? what did he learn?–as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.
I was rather shocked to find I loved this book.  Normally biographies about people and events I’m not supper familiar with don’t hold me to the end and I tag out about midway but this was fascinating.  How he survived and the aftermath was gripping to the end.

3:  Bad Way 😦          

Go Set a Watchman (To Kill a Mockingbird #2) by Harper Lee

Go Set a Watchman
Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch – ‘Scout’ – returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in a painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past – a journey that can be guided only by one’s conscience.
I was so excited to read this as Mockingbird is one of my all time favourite books and then so disappointed.  Key characters killed off and Atticus behaving in a very un-Atticus way left me sad and disappointed.  I wasn’t expecting everyone to grow up and it all be roses but this side-stepped way too far from where the original story was for me to enjoy it.

4: Good Way 🙂          

Mrs Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn

Mrs Queen Takes the Train

An absolute delight of a debut novel by William Kuhn—author of Reading Jackie:  Her Autobiography in Books—Mrs Queen Takes the Train wittily imagines the kerfuffle that transpires when a bored Queen Elizabeth strolls out of the palace in search of a little fun, leaving behind a desperate team of courtiers who must find the missing Windsor before a national scandal erupts. Reminiscent of Alan Bennett’s The Uncommon Reader, this lively, wonderfully inventive romp takes readers into the mind of the grand matriarch of Britain’s Royal Family, bringing us an endearing runaway Queen Elizabeth on the town—and leading us behind the Buckingham Palace walls and into the upstairs/downstairs spaces of England’s monarchy.

This came up on a kindle special so I bought it on a whim and then ignored it for ages.  When I finally started reading it I fell in love.  It was a beautiful, light-hearted whimsical read that I would not hesitate to recommend.

5: Bad Way 😦          

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

The Uncommon Reader

When her corgis stray into a mobile library parked near Buckingham Palace, the Queen feels duty-bound to borrow a book. Discovering the joy of reading widely (from J. R. Ackerley, Jean Genet, and Ivy Compton-Burnett to the classics) and intelligently, she finds that her view of the world changes dramatically. Abetted in her newfound obsession by Norman, a young man from the royal kitchens, the Queen comes to question the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with the routines of her role as monarch. Her new passion for reading initially alarms the palace staff and soon leads to surprising and very funny consequences for the country at large. 

After reading Mrs Queen Takes the Train I was excited to read another version of the same story.  I was not that 😦 Apparently the Queen, who tends to read things that the average mortal would struggle with, doesn’t know what a lending library is.  If they had given her a couple of trashy romances or the latest top 100 thriller then I probably could have gotten on board with the story but this was not the case and I found myself rather disappointed.

6:  Good Way 🙂          

The Left Hand of God (The Left Hand of God #1) by Paul Hoffman

The Left Hand of God
The Sanctuary of the Redeemers is a place where children endure brutal cruelty and violence in the name of the One True Faith. Lost in the Sanctuary’s huge maze of corridors is a boy. He is strange witty and charming, and violent. But when he opens the wrong door at the wrong time he witnesses an act so horrible he must flee, or die.
This was bought for me by one of my children as a gift and I wasn’t 100% sold that I was going to like it.  The first few pages nearly lost me but the love for my child caused me to continue and I am well pleased I did.  I loved this book and keep meaning to track down the rest of the series.  I would have gotten them the next day but neither had been written when I got this one.

7:  Good Way 🙂

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Gone with the Wind
Gone with the Wind is a novel written by Margaret Mitchell, first published in 1936. The story is set in Clayton County, Georgia, and Atlanta during the American Civil War and Reconstruction era. It depicts the struggles of young Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner, who must use every means at her disposal to claw her way out of the poverty she finds herself in after Sherman’s March to the Sea. A historical novel, the story is a Bildungsroman or coming-of-age story, with the title taken from a poem written by Ernest Dowson.
This sat on my shelf for about 15 years before I convinced myself to pick it up.  I bought it because I love the movie but the size of this novel is rather daunting and I feared that might equal boring . . . but it wasn’t.  I couldn’t put it down once I started and not only was it a great read but I learnt heaps.  I live in a different country so my entire knowledge regarding the civil war in America has been gained via movies and television so finding out a bit more about what happened before, during and after even if it was just one woman’s version.

8: Good Way 🙂

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Nineteen Minutes
Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens–until the day its complacency is shattered by a school shooting. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state’s best witness, but she can’t remember what happened before her very own eyes–or can she? As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show–destroying the closest of friendships and families. Nineteen Minutes asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else, and whether anyone is ever really who they seem to be.
I think this is my favourite Jodi book.  I fully expected not to like it as I had just read We Need To Talk About Kevin and Sandy Hook had just happened but I was completely engrossed.  As all of Jodi’s books are, it was poignant and thought-provoking and a little confrontational at times.  Very pleased I picked this up.


9: Good Way 🙂

Angels and Demons (Robert Langdon #1) by Dan Brown 

Angels and Demons (Robert Langdon, #1)
 When a world renowned scientist is found brutally murdered in a Swiss research facility, a Harvard professor, Robert Langdon, is summoned to identify the mysterious symbol seared onto the dead man’s chest. His baffling conclusion: it is the work of the Illuminati, a secret brotherhood presumed extinct for nearly four hundred years – reborn to continue their bitter vendetta against their sworn enemy, the Catholic church.

In Rome, the college of cardinals assembles to elect a new pope. Yet somewhere within the walls of the Vatican, an unstoppable bomb of terrifying power relentlessly counts down to oblivion. While the minutes tick away, Langdon joins forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to decipher the labyrinthine trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome to the long-forgotten Illuminati lair – a secret refuge wherein lies the only hope for the Vatican.

But with each revelation comes another twist, another turn in the plot, which leaves Langdon and Vetra reeling and at the mercy of a seemingly invisible enemy…

I only read this because everyone else was reading it.  Yes,sometimes I can be a bit of a sheep.  To my surprise I loved it.  The beginning was a bit slow but wow the second half of that book moved fast!

10: Bad Way 😦

The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon #2) by Dan Brown 

The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2)
Harvard professor Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call while on business in Paris: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been brutally murdered inside the museum. Alongside the body, police have found a series of baffling codes. As Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, begin to sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to find a trail that leads to the works of Leonardo Da Vinci – and suggests the answer to a mystery that stretches deep into the vaults of history.
Sorry but I didn’t like it.  Too much maths and stuff and I got bored.  Much prefered the rest of the series.  If I hadn’t already read the first one I would not have read this.

A week late but there you are 🙂

Ka Kete Ano xxx

Posted in Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Quotes

I discovered this fun blog via Death By Tsundoku Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originated by The Broke and the Bookish now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week the theme is:

This week the theme is: Favourite Book Quotes


I confess I am very late with this one.  Last week was mad with kids to concerts, husbands attempting to severe toes and nana’s turning 90. Should have been posted last week but you know what they say, ‘better late than never’ 😀

1. To Kill a Mockingbird (To Kill a Mockingbird #1)

To Kill a Mockingbird

“As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it—whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash”
I love this quote although I don’t believe that this just is just biased towards skin toning.  I genuinely belive that this is true no matter who you are cheating.  Anyone who deliberately cheats anyone at all is just trash regardless of their financial circumstances.
Rivals (Rutshire Chronicles #2)
“To bring the balloon of the mind that bellies and drags in the wind, as Yeats had so perfectly put it, into its narrow shed.”
Not even nearly close to a quote from the book that I liked but I am struggling for time so it will do.  Read it yourself if you haven’t already and if you have, read it again.  Loads of belly laughs lie within 😉

3. Carrie

“She did not know if her gift came from the lord of light or of darkness, and now, finally finding that she didn’t care which, she wad overcome with almost indescribable relief, as if a huge weight, long carried, had slipped from her shoulders.”
Ahhh learning to accept oneself.  Such a wonderful feeling before mentally locking down a gym and setting fire to ones peers.

4. Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels #1)

Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels #1)
“A woman with an education may be able to spend more time sitting in a chair instead of lying on her back. A sound advantage, I should think.”
There is some real truth in that statement.

5. Written in Red (The Others #1)

Written in Red (The Others, #1)
“Whether you’re beaten or pampered, fed the best foods or starved, kept in filth or kept clean, a cage is still a cage.”
Again, there is some real truth in this statement.  Coming from a relationship where I could have anything I wanted as long as it was deemed acceptable by him indoors and I did as I was told this really does ring very true.  A gilded cage is still a cage.

6. Wizard’s First Rule (Sword of Truth #1)

Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1)
“There is no such thing as pure good or pure evil, least of all in people. In the best of us there are thoughts or deeds that are wicked, and in the worst of us, at least some virtue. An adversary is not one who does loathsome acts for their own sake. He always has a reason that to him is justification. My cat eats mice. Does that make him bad? I don’t think so, and the cat doesn’t think so, but I would bet the mice have a different opinion.”
Gotta love Zed. Nuttiest wise old guy ever written.
“He was pushing fifty, with a face life had chewed on, and long wisps of graying hair parted low on one side and combed over his balding pate.”
No wonder he lived alone.

8. The Wee Free Men (Discworld #30)

The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30; Tiffany Aching, #1)
“They can tak’ oour lives but they canna tak’ oour troousers!”

9. Cross Stitch (Outlander #1)

Cross Stitch (Outlander, #1)

“Does it bother you that I’m not a virgin?” He hesitated a moment before answering.
“Well, no,” he said slowly, “so long as it doesna bother you that I am.” He grinned at my drop-jawed expression, and backed toward the door.
“Reckon one of us should know what they’re doing,” he said.

Always a bonus if someones got some idea what they’re doing on a wedding night 😉

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1)
“I sounded like Horton the Elephant. “A person is a person no matter how small.” What the hell was I doing standing in the middle of a cave, in the dark, surrounded by wererats, quoting Dr. Seuss, and trying to kill a one-thousand-year-old vampire?”
It’s line’s like that and you laugh out loud that get you addicted to books 😀
Phew that one was hard work.
Ka Kete Ano xx