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Catching up with Cross Stitch

This crafting blog as become more of a reading blog of late but you know, I think its really more just about my life.  At the moment most of my focus, apart from work and family, is on the Popsugar reading challenge and getting my cross stitch done for my sisters wedding next year.  I really want it done by then so a stitching we will go.

Unfortunately this doesn’t make for exciting updates so I have been procrastinating until my ‘weekly’ folder has too many pictures in it and I need to clear it out.

Soooooooo with out further ado here are some of the photo’s of my progress over the past month.




To keep me motivated I have, as previously mentioned, that I have joined a Facebook group that has challenges for number of stitches completed and then issues badges.  This is great for keeping motivated 🙂

My most recent badges 🙂

So that’s all for this update 🙂

Ka Kete Ano xxx

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April Crafty Bitches

As we are up for our next Crafty Bitches meeting on Saturday I thought it was probably about time I did the blog for Aprils meeting lol

The food theme was supposed to be Sweden but a last minute find of an over crowded freezer and a ham that required removing caused a change to Hawaii.


As I am completely slack I forgot to get the rest of the food photo’s but at least I nearly remembered in time for the Hawaiian pizza.

Now on to the important bit.

Amy had a remarkably busy month with painting letters for Benny Boy’s door, casting and painting his foot and then the continuation of her sampler.

Due to the elimination of plastics in our supermarket Mel experimented and made bag.


And I did some rug work


Ricki is in the final 2 months of her MBA so has been unable to do anything except that this month and I am picking that next month will be the same.  We are just happy she made it for a wee catch up 🙂

Linda has been a part of our wee group for a while but has never made a meeting before. It was fantastic to meet her and we are looking forward to our next catch up and getting to know her better.

Ana had some last minute visitors so was unable to attend in the end.

Looking forward to the next meeting which is our house and Russia 😀

Ka Kete Ano xx

Posted in Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved, but Will Never Re-read

April 10

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 I Loved, but Will Never Re-read

Please note I am having a ridiculously busy year and am now running really late on this meme but as I love it I want to catch up so you are all about to be spammed with multiple posts as I finish my back log 😉

This is kind of an easy one.  My ‘too read’ list is so long that there are ton’s of fabulous books that I have read but will never re-read as I have other things that would take precedent.

1:  This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel                     

This is How It Always Is

Its about raising a rainbow child and I totally enjoyed it.  Couldn’t put it down even 🙂 but its a book that once read gives no reason to pick it up again so I don’t think this will be a re-read.

2:  Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell                                     

Gone with the Wind

I truly loved this book way more than the movie, which is saying something as I have seen the movie hundreds of times!  Its my go to movie for in the heart of winter when its too miserable to leave the house. Why do I think I will never read it again then you ask.  Because its a really big book! Hard to hold up in bed or in the bath and if you accidentally nod off (who doesn’t when its late and your knackered) then you run the risk of concussion when it smacks you in the face.

3:  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen                                              

Pride and Prejudice

Such a beautiful book. Funny, heart wrenching, romantic, old worlde.  Whats not to love about a Jane Austen book.  Why would I not read it again?  I found it hard going at times because you actually have to be awake and paying attention to read it.  Well worth the effort but, for me, not for a second read.

4:  The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien                                         

The Hobbit

I so loved this book.  I read it over summer break just after I turned 12.  It was probably my transition book, you know, the first one that you ever read that is loved by adults and can’t be classed only as a children’s book.  Why would I not read it again?  For the same reasons as #3.  My uncle who lent me the book when I was 12 would be horrified.  He makes a point of reading all the Lord of the Rings books at least every second year.

5:  The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood                               

The Handmaid's Tale

Wow.  What a fabulous, yet scary, book.  Scary because you can almost see this happening now.  Fertility rates are down in all western countries and there is a rise to power by mycologists in some countries. You can almost believe that something like this could happen in a small country.  Why would I not read it again?  Although beautifully written the pace is very slow and I struggled to finish more than 10 pages at a time through some parts.

6:  Four Fires by Bryce Courtney                                                                      

Four Fires

Such an  engrossing family saga book that I read in the space of a couple of weeks and I have passed this book on to several people since reading it as I loved it so much.  Why would I not read it again? Same reasons as #2, its just too big to comfortably hold on to when reading.

7: Cleo: The Cat Who Mended a Family by Helen Brown                                

Cleo: The Cat Who Mended a Family

If you love books about animals and families this is your book.  My daughter read it and then passed it on to me and I’m so pleased she did.  Why would I not read it again? I cried WAY too much reading this.  Such a beautiful story yet so so so sad at both the beginning and the end.  Consider yourself warned.  Buy tissues with this book.

8:  Primal Fear by William Diehl                                            

Primal Fear

This was a real spell binding page turner.  I loved this book and, once again,  I was given to me and I have passed it on to several people.  Why would I not read it again?  The movie absolutely wrecked it for me.  In the opening 10 minutes the race of the Janet (she was African American in the book) and Goodman (he was white New York Irish ex boxer in the book) had been swapped and that annoyed the hell out of me.  I REALLY hate it when movies mess with things like that! Makes me so angry!

9:  Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks                                              

Go Ask Alice

My mum recommend that I read this book when I was in my early teens so I did and loved it.  I re-read it several times during my teenage years.  Why would I not read it again?  I found out it was a lie!!!

Go Ask Alice is based on the actual diary of a fifteen-year-old drug user.  It is not a definitive statement on the middle-class, teenage drug world. It does not offer any solutions.  It is, however, a highly personal and specific chronicle. As such, we hope it will provide insights into the increasingly complicated world in which we live.  Names, dates, places and certain events have been changed in accordance with the wishes of those
The Editors.
They lied to me!!! I can’t stand a lie.  If they had portrayed it as a story that could be true in countless homes or as a cautionary tale for teens then I would be fine with it and still love the story but THEY LIED TO ME!
10: Lord of the Flies by William Golding                                  
Lord of the Flies
This was a forced read for 5th form English and I was determined to hate it . . . but I didn’t . . . and that annoyed me.  It was the second time in the same year that the teacher did that to me and To Kill a Mockingbird will always remain my favorite book so this poor sausage has been relegated to read it, loved it, won’t read it again pile.
That’s all for this one 🙂 All covers are courtesy of Goodreads.
Ka Kete Ano xx
Posted in Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Liked That Were In Non-Favorite/Disliked Books

April 3

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: Characters I Liked That Were In Non-Favorite/Disliked Books

Please note I am having a ridiculously busy year and am now running really late on this meme but as I love it I want to catch up so you are all about to be spammed with multiple posts as I finish my back log 😉

Crud! This ones going to be tough

1:  Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy                

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Marian, Izz Huett, and Retty Priddle: aka the milk maids.  As far as I could tell they were the only redeeming feature is the tale.  They were fun and loud and even bawdy at times but actually came across as real people and not as lettuce sandwiches (all greenery and no substance) like the main characters of the book.

2:  Asylum Trilogy by Amy Cross                                                    

Asylum (The Asylum Trilogy, #1)

Annie Radford: Although the trilogy is very tedious and disjointed I did like the character of Annie.  It was very obvious that she had mentally taken a leave of absence but the character herself was very readable.  It was a good thing she was the first character up in the trilogy or this series would have wound up in the ‘could not finish’ pile.

3:  Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice                     

Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1)

Claudia: This kid got robbed of her puberty and was not ashamed to be angry about it. Only redeeming feature in an otherwise long winded boring vampire drama.  One of the few times I have ever preferred the movie.

4:  Once Were Warriors by Alan Duff                                     

Once Were Warriors (Once were warriors trilogy, #1)

Grace: She was a beautiful caring soul in an otherwise abysmal home.  She was the only light in the room.  I’m really pleased I read the book after I had seen the movie as I really hated the way the book was written.  Apparently I am one of the few who feel this way about the book so fully expect to be disowned by all kiwidom.

5:  Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult                                          

Plain Truth

Ellie Hathaway: I really couldn’t believe in this book.  Don’t get me wrong, I could see how a traumatised, very religious young girl could block out being pregnant but for it to drag out that long was quite hard to swollow. HOWEVER I did enjoy the character of Ellie and would love to meet her again in another book.  She was just so strong and determined.  Gotta love that in an attorney.

6: Solomon’s Song by Bryce Courtney                                 

Solomon's Song

Solomon: I loved this guy but for me this book was just one too many and I couldn’t finish it.

7: For a Ghost-Free Time, Call . . . by Sean Kelly                  

For a Ghost-Free Time, Call

Jared: I know.  Again he is the main character.  I didn’t find myself gripped by the book but enjoyed the character.  Reminded me a little of Odd Thomas but more criminally.  Am seriously considering reading more in the series and hope they get better 🙂

8:  Mount! by Jilly Cooper                                                           


Rupert & Taggie Campbell-Black:  I adore Jilly Cooper books but this one just seemed a step too far off the track.  After how many years love rat Rupert looks to cheat on his wife?!? Taggie nearly goes down the same path?!? WTF!!!! It just didn’t feel right I’m sorry.  I do, however, still adore these two and can’t wait for the next installment 🙂

9: The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett                             

The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind #1)

The Luggage:  I love Terry Pratchett HOWEVER I was late to the party after reading this one in my teens.  It didn’t rock me.  The Luggage had me in hysterics though, swallowing monsters, protecting Twoflower, eating ships.  It is very homicidal luggage.  10 years later I discovered Nanny Og and it was all over.  Often thought perhaps I should re-read this one. You know.  Give it a second chance as it were.

10.  Tis a Memoir by Frank McCourt                                            

'Tis A Memoir (Frank McCourt, #2)

Frank: Ok this one is technically not a character as it is a real person but I’ve run out of ones to use right now lol I loved Angela’s Ashes but didn’t really enjoy this one as much.  Still, I greatly admire Frank on the whole.

Thats this weeks another week caught up on.  All covers are courtesy of Goodreads.

Ka Kete Ano xx


Posted in Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Take Place In Another Country

March 27

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 Take Place In Another Country

Please note I am having a ridiculously busy year and am now running really late on this meme but as I love it I want to catch up so you are all about to be spammed with multiple posts as I finish my back log 😉

As I live in New Zealand nearly all of them are set in another country so yay this one should be easy 🙂

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

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

I’m starting with the last book I finished, which I also loved.  Set in Vermont, the Blackwood family can only be describe as crackers.  After the mass murder by poisoning of the majority of the family, followed by the subsequent trial, Merricat (Mary Katherine), Constance and Uncle Julian become pretty much become recluses and rarely venture out although Merricat does the weekly trip into the village for necessities.  The thoughts that go through Merricat’s mind while on these trips pretty much tweeks your spidey senses from the first chapter.  Everything changes one day when cousin Charles makes a sudden unexpected visit . . .

2:  We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver      

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Well that was a disturbing yet amazing read (then watch).  Set in New York State its a story about a child who is, well, difficult.  He is not the average happy go lucky toddler by any means.  The story is told from the perspective of his mother and yea, she definitely makes some mistakes. What would you do if your child came out the womb unhappy, violent and perhaps born with a psychotic personality disorder?

3:  One for the Money by Janet Evanovich                     

If you are after a good girly crime read with loads of laughs, and a little romance, then I highly recommend diving into the Stephanie Plum series.  Set in New Jersey Stephanie finds herself becoming the worst bounty hunter in the world.  Every book has a new old car as she tends to blow them up as well as new crooks to catch.  From falling off a fire escape and landing in dog diarrhoea to befriending the worlds best plus sized former (eventually) prostitute you will find yourself laughing out loud A LOT 🙂

4:  Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt                                         

Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt, #1)

I read this because it was recommended and fully expected to hate on it but, turns out, I loved it.  Set at first in Brooklyn, then later on in Limerick, its a true tale of one mans childhood journey through poverty and his dads alcoholism.  At times the story will make you cry and at others make you laugh.  Truly a beautiful story that will stay with you long after you turn the last page.

5: Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Live with a Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper                          

Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat

I love a good cat tale, and this was a good one 🙂 A true story about a New York City rescue kitty that’s blind as well.  A feel good book to make you smile and remember that not all humans are assholes 🙂

6:  Four Fires by Bryce Courtenay                                         

Four Fires

The Australian version of Angela’s Ashes except its not a true story.  Really really well written and really hard to put down. Set in small town Australia it follows the lives and hardships of the Maloney’s.  If you liked ‘Angela’ then rush out and get this one.

7:  The Help by Kathryn Stockett                                              

The Help

Growing up in New Zealand shields you from a lot of racism and bigotry.  Don’t get me wrong, it still exists here just like everywhere else in the world but we just don’t see it like they do in other places.  Therefore books like this one, set somewhere in Mississippi are always a bit of an eye opener to me because quite frankly, apart from overhearing the occasional nasty comment I have never been a part of a society where segregation or bigotry is even a thing.  We treat people with ginger hair worse than we treat people of different skin tones (Hug a ginger day is a real thing here that would cause both my brother and sister to refuse to leave the house for the day due to random hug bombs from strangers).  I have to say I love the women in this book although I am never eating chocolate pie again 🙂

8:  Angels and Demons by Dan Brown                             

Angels and Demons (Robert Langdon, #1)

I loved this book and could hardly put it down.  Set in most of Europe at some stage or another it was a fast paced mystery thriller that kept my attention from start to finish AND it had puzzles 😀 I am very pleased that I read it first because I really struggled with DaVinci Code as there was too much math in that one for me.  I loved this one so much that I made my non-reader husband read it (he loved it by the way), then passed it on to one of my besties who then passed it on to her husband who then passed it on to someone else and so on and so on 🙂 I love it when a book just keeps moving 😀

9:  One Rainy Night by Richard Laymon                              

One Rainy Night

This was the first Richard Laymon book I ever read.  Sadly I discovered him after he had passed but I have read everything since 🙂 Set in middle class America in a town called Bixby, one night someone is tied to the football goalposts and set fire to.  Not long after it starts to rain a strange black substance.  Anyone who is caught out in it is instantly turned into a homicidal manic and goes on a killing spree with a smile on their face.  Laymon was the master of sex, violence and bouncing boobs with a knack for crossing the line so nothing was sacred.  If you don’t like horror then this is definitely not for you 🙂

10:  Riders by Jilly Cooper                                                            

Riders (Rutshire Chronicles, #1)

Ahhhh my love of bawdy British novels began with this book 🙂 I was in my late teens when I read this and I spent the entire novel with either my eyes popping out of my head or laughing my ass off.  Jilly Cooper is the supreme queen of this genre and even though the books are starting to get a little tired I will still be reading the next one as soon as it hits the shelves.

So that’s my top for this catch up.  All cover shots are courtesy of Goodreads.

Ka Kete Ano xxx