Posted in Adventure, Life

Swamped is a mild word for this year

Round up of the first 6 weeks of 2018

This year has started with a bang. I ended the year with a hike up to the top of Wairere Falls.  This is the tallest waterfall in New Zealand at 150m high.  It’s a 5km round trip and the stairs are bloody horrible but the view is spectacular 🙂


We ran straight into the New Years Day with a fantastic breakfast with some fabulous friends.26055911_10155478208429234_3577573412872213921_nA couple of days later my darling husband and  I decided to go for a wee hike out the back of Waihi.


The weekend bought about the first event of the season with a 5km round the mount run at 2pm on a day that was around 30 degrees.  Way too hot for running.  My friend D did it in just over 25 minutes and then had enough time to make 2 coffees while waiting for me to finish 😉 I’m not fast but I’m doing it 😀


Then it cycloned.  The sea was rather scary.


We bought ourselves some new push bikes and as soon as the weather cleared up we took our inaugural ride. 20km around 😀


Sadly this was the end of our summer holiday and it was back to work as well as back into the gym.  Nearly died in the heat.



D immediately dragged us back up the falls after work.  Made for rather a long day but I just love that view 🙂


Two weeks in we had a mini break for a Roger Waters concert.  It was on a Wednesday night in Auckland so I took the rest of the week off. Our hotel had the scariest stairwell.  We were on the top at floor 38.  We visited the Banksy exhibition the next day before heading home.


This was followed on the Saturday with the Taupo Summer Tour Concert featuring Colin Hay (Men at Work), Alanis Morissette and The Orchestra (ELO).  What a fantastic, although extremely hot, day.  Gates opened at 9 and the concert ended at 6.  Seriously going to the one next year if the line ups good 😀


While I was away the world went mental and we discovered that it’s the hottest summer on record.  This meant that when I returned to work on Monday I had 30 inquires requiring my visit.  This was quickly followed by another 10 that morning and it hasn’t slowed down yet.  12 hour days are normal and now I’m doing all my paper work on the weekend.  Still mustn’t complain.  It’s what keeps me employed 🙂

AND just because I wasn’t busy enough I committed to a 6 week challenge at the gym which is taking up an hour and a half of my time each day BUT ITS WORKING! We are 3.5 weeks in and for the first time in 3 years my boobs are bigger than my belly! I will get into all that in another post at the end of the challenge 🙂 Wish me luck because wow todays workout was tough 😉

Ka Kete Ano xx


Posted in Knitting

Adventures In Knitting

Gosh we are busy in my house over the past few weeks.  We are constantly on the go with loads of visitors when home.  Working 12 hour days and all the rest.  Why this weekend coming we are in Rotorua friday night, I have a run Saturday morning, my handsome boy and his beautiful partner are home for lunch Saturday lunch time and then we have Canadian Thanksgiving at a friends Saturday night.  Sunday will be made for sleeping I feel.

In the past month I have been knitting A LOT.

My next door neighbour was very pregnant and I still hadn’t decided on what to get her when I stopped at Spotlight on the way home from work.  They were having a wool clearance and I found some lovely soft baby chenille with a blanket pattern attached to the wrapper.  All three balls required normally $20 each but I got the lot for $15 so we had a winner 🙂

The race was then on as to who was going to be done first, me or the baby.  The baby won by a week hahaha And an extremely beautiful baby girl she is.

I discovered a few very important things while making the blanket.

  1. Chenille is bloody awful to knit with.  Learner knitters drop stitches and you can not for the love all things wooly find the dam stitches again
  2. Don’t knit chenille while sitting up on your bed watching telly while darling husband is watching sports at night with only bedside lamp on.  You will drop even more stitches.
  3. Wine makes it harder to find dropped chenille stitches. Also possibly attributes to number of dropped ones
  4. You can darn holes made by dropped chenille stitches very successfully and no one will ever know 😉 except when you tend to tell everyone
  5. Dropped chenille stitches can cause fewer numbers of actual stitches on the needle making one end of a blanket wider than another. This can not be fixed when you are finished and the baby beat you by a week and you just have to roll with it.
  6. Blankets need long needles for knitting. All those weird little bruises at the top of my right thigh are from bracing the needle to push the wool down every minute or so.  It literally took me 2 weeks to figure out what the heck was causing them hahahaha

After 3 weeks of frantic knitting we had a completed blanket that the neighbours tell me they love, flaws and all 🙂 Of course because I was tremendously nervous about the gift as not everyone appreciates home-made I had to tell them the entire tale of its birth and they laughed till they cried but they assure me they are not lying and do love it.


In the end I was actually very happy with it considering.  There is enough wool left to make another one so I may do that next year at a more sedate pace and see if I can make a nice one 🙂

After frantic knittings of the previous 3 weeks I am, surprisingly, totally in zone and picked up my knitted squares again.  This is a weekends worth of them.


Diagonal Striped Square


Mock Rib with Garter Stitch Stripes Square


Big Checkerboard Square


Little Ladders Stitch Square

I think I am getting better at this knitting stuff.  There was hardly any back-knitting and only a couple of minor re-starts.  Might be getting ready for some real stuff 😀

Oh, and in a final word.  It was my birthday very recently and my step mother made me the most beautiful quilt.  Check it out! It’s currently residing on the back of my couch but I am going to get it dowled and hang it in the second lounge 🙂


Ka Kete Ano xx




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

Crafty Bitches July 2017

With September only 2 days away I thought I had better get this posted.

July’s evening was at Jamie & Ricki’s place.  The dinner theme was Syria which turns out to be a lot like Egyptian but slightly different. It was delicious and mum made homemade pita’s.


Ricki’s make for the month was Mulled Wine ala Jamie Oliver I suggest keeping this recipe somewhere safe because it’s a good one 😉


She also got started on her Diamond Painting. Apparently her and Mel have figured out its going to take about 8 years to finish.


Ana & Craig couldn’t make it so it was just us Lunam’s in residence.  Mel made her world-famous Kiwifruit Jam which I am sure she will be pleased to know that mine wandered past being eaten with a spoon by my daughter the next morning.


And I made this


My mosaic was too close together so I ran out of bits and stole some different ones from my daughter. At least it looks like it was supposed to look like this.

Other Mel phoned her’s in and was once more incredibly prolific in her stitching.

After dinner we adjourned to the new outdoor bush entertainment area.  As it’s the middle of winter I had to borrow pants and a jacket.  We got the music humming and lit the fire pit and generally had a fabulous remainder of our evening.

You can’t bet an evening with good food, wine (when you aren’t doing Dry July and aren’t the sober driver), family, loads of laughter and several chihuahua’s

Ka Kete Ano xx

Posted in Life

Counting Blessings

Monday rolled out like any other day and went places we really didn’t expect.

Those that know us will be aware that my fabulous husband and I travel about 40mins everyday for work.  We usually do this together.  We roll out of bed at 5am.  I jump in the shower while he makes the coffee and clears dishwasher.  I get dressed and do makeup and hair while he has his breakfast.  I do minor chores like laundry while he loads the car and catches up on the news.  After 5 years of doing this we are a well oiled machine and usually on the road by 5.45ish each day.  I stabilise the coffee cups while he navigates the road.

This past monday was a little different in that we had separate vehicles as we came home vastly different times on Friday.  This is rather unusual for us and would probably occur less than 2% of the time. Normally we are together.

Thank heavens we weren’t.

Gorgeous husband left about 10 minutes before me as he had hoards to do at work and not having to wait for me meant an earlier start.

About 10 minutes into my journey my phone rang, highly unusual as it was bang on 6am, and I figured that my darling just had something to tell me that he had forgotten.

Conversation went something like this.

‘Toni speaking. How can I help?’ (You never know when a customer will be on the other line)

‘You can help me lots yea um yea’ (Standard opening to all our phone conversations but with a weird trail off at the end)

‘What’s up honey?’ (concerned voice due to weird trail off)

‘Where abouts are you?’ (now I’m starting to get concerned as that’s an odd question)

‘Tikatimu.  What’s the matter?’ (concerned voice cos he sounds odd)

‘Um I’ve had an accident.’ (he’s talking so can’t be super bad right)

‘Oh baby are you ok?’ (concerned levels are very high at this point)

‘Yea I am but the utes f#$k@d. I slid on some ice and I’m down a ditch. I’ve rung 111 and I’m just waiting on the police to arrive.’ (at this point I calm down because he’s talking, he’s making sense and he’s just waiting for the police so that tells me he’s not bleeding, all his limbs are intact and he’s probably perfectly fine.  I’m also thinking along the lines of a minor fender bender type thing)

‘Ok I’m about 10 minutes behind you so I will be there very soon.  I’ll see you when I get there.’

‘Yea you might not be able to see me as it’s a deep ditch so I don’t think you can see me from the road.’

‘You’ve rung the cops so I will just look for them’ (said with a smile 🙂 ) ‘Chances are very high that they will beat me to you’

‘Yea hopefully.  I’m just going to look for my wallet and go stand on the verge and wait for them’

‘Cool.  I’m nearly there so will see you soon.  Love you’ And I hung up.

30 seconds later I gave way to a lone cop car and thought ‘that’s them’ and nothing more.  I’m still thinking fender bender type thing.

Man was I wrong on that one.

When I go there traffic was backed up about 500m so I went inside lane with my hazards.  Some dick tried to cut me off thinking I was undertaking everyone but I got there pretty quick.

There were 4 police cars, 1 fire engine and an ambulance . . . and no sign of my husband or his vehicle.  They were also on the opposite side of the road from what they should have been.

As I got out of the car a cop came over and I explained that it was my husband off the road.  He looked at me and told me he was fine and stopped the traffic so I could cross all 3 lanes. Man it was icy.  We both slid across.

When I got to the other side I nearly shat. Ditch my great-aunt Fanny. He was standing on the back guard of the ute as it was nose first down a bank and they were helping him up . . . via rope . . . because he was 20 metres straight down!

The only reason I could see him was because he had the lights on so the emergency guys could find him.  The ute was covered in gorse so you really could barely see him!

A few hours later once the sun came up friends got some photo’s.  If you look real close you can kinda make out the utes rear end.

The tow truck guys got this one.  Its video so I screen shot it.


The only thing stopping further dropping is the tree and it was another 4m to the bottom.  Really lucky for that tree because he was about to start rolling.

He came out of this with just a bump on his head, some minor body aches and a bit of bruising from the seat belt.  Incredibly lucky.  Even the cops were surprised that he walked away from this.

The couldn’t retrieve it until 3am because the road needed to be closed and its a state highway.

This brings me to the blessings part.  For something that went so horribly wrong and amazing number of things went incredibly right.

  1. He was passing a truck when he hit the ice and spun across the road before tanking in down the hill.  There was no traffic coming towards him and so he hit no other vehicles
  2. He manage to miss a large tree at the top of the bank and instead went through the fence and down.  That tree would have hurt if he had got it because he was still doing 100kph at that time
  3. He slid down left side first so all damage was to the passenger side allowing him to be remarkable unscathed.
  4. I wasn’t there.  All the damage was to the passenger side including a large branch through the window.  I would not have walked away from this.  I would have been hit with the fire extinguisher when it came loose along with the shovel he was returning and the tree branch that came through the window. They were all on my seat when he came to rest.
  5. The tree that stopped the ute from going over and ending upside down in a creek.  If that had happened then he would have been in real trouble.
  6. People saw him go over the bank.  If they hadn’t no one would have found him and it turned out that he could not have climbed out on his own.  The ute was suspended well above ground still so he had to stand on the door and hoist himself up on to the back window then hoist himself again on to the rear fender and they sent him down a rope to climb up with.

And these are just the ones that I can think of right now.  He was so so so so very lucky.

Makes you wonder if there are such things as angels and if they were looking after my darling that day 🙂

Oh, if anyone finds a banana on the road along SH29 please let us know.  Apparently it flew out of his lunch box so is probably in a tree.

Ka Kete Ano xxx







Posted in ARRRRGGGGHHHHH, craft, cross stitch, Life

Easter Bought A Cyclone And An ‘F’ Word

Twas the night before Easter

And all through the bay

All the things were a stirring

As a cyclone hit our house

Yep that is correct.  Easter arrived along with Cyclone Cook. I have had my car for just a wee bit over a year and on Wednesday night I discovered that when you are aqua-planing down the road ALL the bells and whistles go off on your dash.  It was a minor over reaction by my car as I was on a straight road going in a straight line, but entertaining to say the least.

The rain was rather torrential and this was Cyclone Cook’s warm up.  There was already extensive flooding across the Waikato and I live in the bay and have to travel over the Kaimai Range twice everyday for work.  This can be a harrowing piece of road in a bit of rain let alone a cyclone.

So I took the following day off 🙂

Yes, I was a weather sook 🙂

It rained and rained and rained, so me and the kitties stayed inside and I stitched while they catted.

The following day was Good Friday so nothing was open and landslides had closed most of the roads so we stayed home.  I stitched, the kitties catted and my husband feffed about doing boy stuff.

Saturday dawned bright and sunny and the annual Rotary book fair was on so I was there when it opened.  I hate crowds and hoped to bet them.  I did not. What is it about secondhand books that brings out the asshole in some people?  I got stood on, pushed, elbowed and run over by old ladies on mobility scooters, and that’s not including the time that someone grabbed a book out of my hand or the number of times people reached across to grab something on the other side of me.

Manners people, manners!

But I did score more for my book collection 😀


9 books and a total of $33 spent 🙂 Yes books are very expensive here so this is quite the bargain 🙂

Then after a wee trip to Nosh for dinner noms it was back home and some more stitching.

Sunday arrived with a visit for a bunny.  I had a lovely surprise for my daughter . . .


She snapchatted it with a caption of ‘F%$k you mum, F#@k you’ with crying laughing emoji’s to which I pointed out that wasn’t very polite.  She came back with ‘you are a horrible human being’.

It would probably be important to point out that she is being the gym chick at the moment and only eating chicken and salad but she has a terrible sweet tooth so I was kind of mean haha 🙂

As, once again, nothing was open we just mucked about the house and in the afternoon I stitched.

I managed an epic 3,690 stitches in 4 days


Yes that’s right, I have an F word!

Thank the lord I can finally move on to something with some actual colour that’s not brown!


The photo doesn’t really do it justice.  It has come out quite beautiful and I am hopeful that Tash will love it.

With the completion of the above fast approaching I got out the tray with Warm My Heart on it.  This confused Squeaky Cat no end as he likes to sit under the coffee table so I found this happening.


Easter Monday saw me pick up the knitting needles again and now bunny has 2 legs and is just awaiting 2 arms before completion.

The next couple of weeks is definitely going to be all about knitting I think.  I have about 20 knitted squares to catch up on for my patchwork blankie and they are really playing on my mind and, of course, I have a second bunny that needs a knitting.

I also have a stitching challenge of 1,500 stitches in the next 2 weeks so Warm My Heart will be coming out to play again as well.  And then there is also Bumblebee which will really need some love one day soon.

Good thing its winter because that’s the time to catch up on the WIP piles 🙂

Ka kete ano xxx

Posted in Crafty Bitches Monthly Challenge

Crafty Bitches March 2017

This months gathering was at that lovely Ricki’s.  Snacks a plenty arrived and way too much alcohol flowed.

We had our meeting on April 1st this time.  This also will mean that the next meeting for Crafty Bitches will be in the same month but oh well 🙂

First up was Ana.  This month she continued her theme from January and made wine glass candle holders.  Very cool they are 🙂

She is doing amazing work with glass at the moment 🙂

Ana’s mother-in-law couldn’t make the meeting so Ana bought them along herself.  She had crochet a couple of very cute cushions.


I think they would look great on a TV couch 😀

Next up was Mel (or mum depending on who you are 😉 ) She has been crocheting some christmas bells.  They look fabulous hanging from a christmas tree.  She has already given away several sets as they are rather pretty.  She is trying to get together enough to sell to earn some extra cash.  If anyone is interested please let me know.


Then there was me.  I am soldiering on with my cross stitch at the moment trying to get it finished so didn’t have much time for a crafty idea this month so made this instead.  I picked up the frame which had been gold painted in a 20cent clearance bin at the local thrift shop.  The backing is just giftwrap paper and the labels are just cheap stickers.  We use chalk pens for the writing on the glass and now everyone knows what the feck is happening every night in my house because we are often stupid busy and never sure who is home or not.


Last, but very much not least, is our Ricki.  she has been continuing with her stitching this month.  The is her first ever stitching project and I think she is doing beautifully.  Is going to be lovely when finished 🙂


After show and tell we tucked into the yacking and the snacking when this happening.  You probably can’t see them but there are chickens in the tree’s yelling at us.

For some reason I find this hilarious 😀 half an hour later there was one on top of the garage.  I tried to get a photo of that one too but it torpedo’d at me hahaha missed me by an inch and then ran off down the drive 🙂

Next months meeting will be at Ana’s house, possibly April 29 but will confirm closed to the time, and we can’t wait 🙂

Ka kete ano

Posted in craft, cross stitch

Weekly Craft Update Of Which There Is Not Much

Last week was ridiculously busy and that made crafting time rather a non-event.

Monday saw a meeting that meant that my husband and I travelled separately and dinner came in late.  Tuesday was our only free night but we ended having to visit the in-laws so were late.  Wednesday was eyebrows and a detour through the supermarket.  Thursday was hair and we didn’t get home till after 8.  Friday was a wedding so a late night.  Saturday was a lovely spa day but that also meant that it was after 5.  Sunday was a bike show and K bought all her friends home for a BBQ.  When you leave home at 5.45 each day and your usual home arrival time is around 6.15 each night these afterwork extras added up to not a lot of down time.  We just about need a holiday after that lot.

Still some progress was made.  As I was a bit knackered every night I got the rug out that I am making a couple of times as its a bit mindless to make so doesn’t require masses of concentration.

Left: Start point.  Right: Finish point

I think the cats are going to love this when it is finished 🙂

Saturday night and I got my stitching out for the first time this week.  After chores I managed to get a lot done on Sunday also.

Left: Start point.  Middle: Hoop move.  Right: Finish point

That last page took nearly 6 weeks! Well that’s not really surprising when you consider that it is the middle of summer here so we are not spending many days in the house avoiding outdoors and cold.  We are off climbing mountains and swimming in the sea along with BBQ’s and friends and family.

We are now on the final run with only 2 more pages, or one child, to go 🙂 I am getting excited to get this one out of the way.  I just can’t wait to pick up Warm My Heart again and I have a special project for my dad to get started also that I can’t wait to climb into 🙂  With the very noticeable advancing of autumnal weather I am sure I will start to motor through both those pages in no time at all 🙂

Posted in Book, Movies & Television

3 Weeks of Movies and a Book

If I am going to do this you would think I would do it more regularly lol Sadly I am a little behind.  Am enjoying making a blog about movies though.  I watch so many it can be really difficult to remember what I have seen and what I haven’t.


The Haunting (1963): Dr. Markway, doing research to prove the existence of ghosts, investigates Hill House, a large, eerie mansion with a lurid history of violent death and insanity. With him are the skeptical young Luke, who stands to inherit the house, the mysterious and clairvoyant Theodora and the insecure Eleanor, whose psychic abilities make her feel somehow attuned to whatever spirits inhabit the old mansion. As time goes by it becomes obvious that they have gotten more than they bargained for as the ghostly presence in the house manifests itself in horrific and deadly ways. Written by Doug Sederberg <>

I have the seen the 90’s version of this several times but never the original.  I have to say it was a fantastic watch and I really enjoyed it 😀 It surprised me how much the story delivered when the re-make tends to feel a little trite although also a fun watch.  I would definitely make my kids watch this one as a build up to the big spookers on Halloween 4.5/5


The Enfield Haunting (2015): In August 1977, a series of bizarre and terrifying events begin to take place in a seemingly ordinary house in Enfield, North London.  

Not technically a movie as its a 3 part mini-series but a fun watch.  Kept a lot better to the original book than the Conjuring 2 did and that made it a whole lot scarier 🙂 Mind you I watched this on a stormy night when I was home alone, just me and the cats, and the sound of the wind was probably enough to set the scene lol Meandered a bit a couple of times but I would watch it again 🙂 4/5


AHS Roanoke (2016): American Horror Story is a horror series in which every season tells a different story. The sixth season is about a farmhouse near Roanoke, North Carolina that is besieged by the ghosts of the infamous lost colonists and other strange happenings. Written by Erica Adina Amaral

As I was still home alone I climbed into this one 😀 It was fun but dragged on far toooooo long.  The final couple of episodes could have been missed completely, especially the last one.  It was a bit of a shift from all the previous seasons as the first half portrayed itself in the manner of the ‘my haunted house’ genre where they swap between the actual people telling the story and actors who enact it, then the second half was filmed with hidden cameras and first person footage.  Even with it dragging on I did find myself enjoying it and am looking forward to season 7:) 3/5



House on Haunted Hill (1959): Eccentric millionaire Fredrick Loren and his 4th wife, Annabelle, have invited 5 people to the house on Haunted Hill for a “haunted House” party. Whoever will stay in the house for one night will earn ten thousand dollars each. As the night progresses, all the guests are trapped inside the house with ghosts, murderers, and other terrors. Written by Tony Mayer <>

I love me a Vincent Price movie and am ashamed to admit that I had not seen this one.  Its a really fun watch! From the skeleton that gets his own cameo credit at the end to the spooky old lady who appears to glide along the screen, possibly with the use of a skateboard, frozen into position you are never quite sure whether you should be laughing your butt off or covering your eyes 😀 A really entertaining B grade horror that must be seen before you die.  2.5/5 compared to the general movie population but 4.75/5 compared to fabulous B grade horrors 😀


House on Haunted Hill (2000): When an eccentric millionaire offer a group of opposites $1,000,000 to spend the night in a so called “Haunted House” with a murderous past, they figure it is a quick way to get quick money and leave. All of them are sure it is some made up story just to mess with their heads a little and test their courage. But, once they stay in the house they start to think about the mistake they made in coming there when mysterious things start to happen. Written by Kyle <>

Because I had just watched the original I thought I would re-watch this one.  I hadn’t seen it since its release in 2000 so it was kinda fun 🙂 Sadly it didn’t make me laugh much but it did try really hard to pay homage to the original with everyone arriving in hearses and the coffin party gifts.  Geoffrey Rush did a fabulous job of playing Price and giving it his own version of what appeared to be a combination of both Vincent Price and Gomez Adams and it did give the film the fun factor even though you didn’t get the LOL moments 🙂 I don’t think the rest of the cast had seen the original and it seemed to end up more 13 Ghosts.  Thank heavens the sense of humour came back to horror movies in the mid 200’s because getting scared to death one second then laughing the next is what makes horrors fun 🙂  3/5


Mrs Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016): When Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, he finds a magical place known as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. But the mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers… and their powerful enemies. Ultimately, Jacob discovers that only his own special “peculiarity” can save his new friends. Written by 20th Century Fox

I may be the only person in the world to say this but I got bored.  I usually love this genre but I nearly needed a nap.  I watched it to the end but would not bother again.  For me it just waffled on and did not capture me in the slightest. That made me sad 😦 1/5


Mother’s Day (2016): Follows the lives of different mothers on Mothers Day. Sandy (Aniston) is happily divorced, until she finds out her ex-husband eloped with a much younger woman. Now she must learn to deal with big changes in her life as her two boys now have a step-mom. Sisters Jesse (Hudson) and Gabi (Chalke) get an unexpected surprise from their mother, who is not happy to find out Gabi is a lesbian and Jesse is married to a man of color. Miranda (Roberts) doesn’t have any kids and is focusing on her career. Kristin (Robertson) is enjoying life as a new mother but is feeling pressure from her boyfriend to get married. Bradley (Sudeikis) is trying hard to be the best parent for his two girls since their mom passed away last year, however his idea of Mothers Day is pretending it doesn’t exist at all. Written by clancy98-101-791445

I was rather surprised to really enjoy this one.  I was a number of story’s that intertwined very successfully into a wonderful, fun, light hearted afternoon watch.  Its never going to be an oscar winner as its mostly a fluff movie but it was a nice watch regardless. It had a load of laughs and even a couple of laugh till you cry moments 😀  3.5/5


The Huntsman: Winters War (2016): Eric and fellow warrior Sara, raised as members of ice Queen Freya’s army, try to conceal their forbidden love as they fight to survive the wicked intentions of both Freya and her sister Ravenna.  

Good god this was boring.  Please don’t ever watch this movie. Your time will be better spent cleaning out that cupboard where stuff that doesn’t have a home goes to die and you won’t feel like you have lost 2 hours of your life that won’t ever come back. 1/5


 Stardust (2007): The passage from this world to the fantasy kingdom of Stormhold is through a breach in a wall beside an English village. In the 1800s, a boy becomes a man when he ventures through the breach in pursuit of a fallen star, to prove his love for the village beauty. The star is no lump of rock, it’s a maiden, Yvaine. Tristan, the youth, is not the only one looking for her: three witches, led by Lamia, want her heart to make them young; and, the sons of the dead king of Stormhold want her because she holds a ruby that will give one of them title to the throne. Assisting Tristan are his mother, the victim of a spell, and a cross-dressing pirate of the skies. Will Tristan win his true love? Written by <>

This one is fun 😀 I got to see something that I never knew I wanted to see, De Niro in drag 😀 Its a complete family adventure fairy tale romp that doesn’t stop delivering 🙂  If its a rainy Sunday afternoon and you want to snuggle in front of the fire with the wee ones and watch something that entertains them and you at the same time this would be the one.  Its as much fun as the Princess Bride and I must have seen that sucker about 100 times 😀 4.5/5


Casablanca (1942): In World War II Casablanca, Rick Blaine, exiled American and former freedom fighter, runs the most popular nightspot in town. The cynical lone wolf Blaine comes into the possession of two valuable letters of transit. When Nazi Major Strasser arrives in Casablanca, the sycophantic police Captain Renault does what he can to please him, including detaining a Czechoslovak underground leader Victor Laszlo. Much to Rick’s surprise, Lazslo arrives with Ilsa, Rick’s one time love. Rick is very bitter towards Ilsa, who ran out on him in Paris, but when he learns she had good reason to, they plan to run off together again using the letters of transit. Well, that was their original plan…. Written by Gary Jackson <>

I had never watched this.  I know right, what the hell. Truth be told, I am not a huge fan of war movies and reading the synopsis put me off.  Yea yea, never judge a book blah blah blah.  I am now kicking myself.  What a fabulous movie! It was way different from what I was expecting and I loved every minute of it.  No wonder its a classic.  If you have never seen it then go do it right now! 4.75/5


Brokeback Mountain (2005):  Two young men, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, meet when they get a job as sheep herders on Brokeback Mountain. They are at first strangers, then they become friends. Throughout the weeks, they grow closer as they learn more about each other. One night, after some heavy drinking, they find a deeper connection. They then indulge in a blissful romance for the rest of the summer. Unable to deal with their feelings for each other, they part ways at the end of the summer. Four years go by, and they each settle down, Ennis in Wyoming with his wife and two girls, and Jack in Texas with his wife and son. Still longing for each other, they meet back up, and are faced with the fact that they need each other. They undeniably need each other, and unsure of what to do, they start a series of “fishing trips”, in order to spend time together. The relationship struggles on for years until tragedy strikes. Written by maisie stewart

Yes it was Oscar week on Sky so they were playing all the best pictures winners and I finally got around to watching a few that I had not seen yet.  I have put it off for many years as I’m not really into romance movies regardless of sexual orientation.  Its wasn’t homophobic avoidance, it was truly that I’m just not a romance type of girl.  I actually enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would 🙂 The fact that it was portrayed in a very ‘real life’, unapologetic, ‘this is the way it was back then’ kind of way is what makes this movie great.  While it didn’t pull any punches it also didn’t attempt to ‘hollywoodify’ the story and over extend it.  The movie is what it is.  It reminded me very much that I must branch out of my viewing bubble more often and see some of these movies that are what I would normally consider viewing. 4/5

*All posters and synopsis courtesy of IMDb


Oops I nearly forgot the book.

I love Jilly Cooper books as a rule.  I’ve been reading them since the late 80’s and always greatly anticipate the next one.  I have a major thing for Rupert. Usually I can’t put them down and will read them in a week/end.  This one took me nearly 8 weeks and I now have a $9 fine at the library.  I was really rather disappointed in this one.  It read very tired and I would suggest its quite possibly the last one.  Taggie is still being treated like crap by everyone and doesn’t stick up for herself in the slightest.  Now that she is around 50 in age this comes across as drippy instead of adorable.  Then to top it all off Rupert cheats, everyone knows and she ignores it! Again this comes across as tired and trite like the series has run out of steam.  On the plus side Jilly has not lost her sense of humour and there are lots of pockets of mirth and sheep friends that will have you laughing your butt off in the middle of the night when your husband is trying to sleep 😉  I would say that this would be the last Jilly Cooper that I would ever read but I know that that would not be the truth.  Regardless of how long winded and disappointing this one was I will still read another if it were to come out.  The Campbell-Blacks and like old friends now and I wouldn’t be able to help myself, I would have to see what they had been up 🙂








Posted in Crafty Bitches Monthly Challenge

Crafty Bitches February 2017

This month saw the alteration of our name.

We are now known as Crafty Bitches and their Dodgy Bastards.

We had a couple of husbands want to come along in a more male situation so we have set up a crèche area where they can play pool and darts unsupervised.  The rule is that they must bring their own refreshments in the form of a craft beer and such and they must have enough to share 🙂  It seemed to work well with minimal crying and no fighting.

Sangrias were of course the ladies drink of the afternoon.  We began to worry that it was a fizzer when nobody except my brother and his adorable wife had turned up but the remainder arrived fashionably late by and so relief was mine.  Nobody wants to be that party.  You know, the one where only one member of your family and no friends turn up.

We were down a member, Amy, due to prior commitments but she as assured us that she will be back next month and phoned her craft in.

As you can see good progress has been made 😀

Melly Moo was up first with her cat mat


Its a double sided thermal drape curtain that is being upcycled into a mat for under Johnny’s litter tray.  She has been unsure about her edging and was attempting some crocheting for the boarder.  We all discussed and are looking forward to seeing the end product.

Next up was the fabulous Ricki and her chicken


And a very cute chicken doorstop it is 😀 I think its adorable 😀 The lace is one of those plastic plate mats that you get from the all good $2 shops.  I love when people think outside the box 🙂

Next up was our stunning Ana and her fascinators

They are incredibly lovely! Mum (Melodie) said that she made at least one of them while chatting to her one night.  I am in awe.

Then there was little ole me


Very simple.  I just trawled some second hand shops looking for patterned cutlery then grabbed a cheap canvas and raided the husbands spray can cupboard.  Glue was the biggest problem.  I don’t recommend using a hot glue gun when attempting to stick metal to canvas.  It has a tendency to let go at night when the family is away and you are watching The Conjuring 2 all by yourself and dropping cutlery loudly all over your tiled floor.  This is not ideal for either keeping wine in glasses nor wee off sofa’s.  We found a more appropriate glue and have not revisited this issue since.

A good day was had by all I think and we are all looking forward to next months meeting which will be either the 1st or the 2nd of April at Ricki’s home.  Yes this does mean that there will be 2 meetings in April but we are all a bit busy and will run out of March this time 🙂







Posted in craft, cross stitch, Life

Admitting Defeat Gracefully

Sometimes you just have to face the fact that you are not going to achieve what you had hoped.  I have to face that reality with Tash & Kids.  I’m just not going to get it finished in time for her birthday.

Last week I was starting to stress majorly about getting it done.  I was staying up till after 12 stitching on nights when I was able.  When you consider that I get up at 5 every morning to leave the house by 6 for work and not home again until after 6 at night this was making me rather tired and possibly a little cranky.

Then a friend died very unexpectedly.  Massive heart attack they are saying. I don’t know him or his wife super well but enough to say hi and the occasional dinner has been shared with mutual friends, a couple of Karaoke nights and many sangrias and red wines.  Enough to feel his loss.  He was in good shape, had no history of heart disease in his family and only 56.  He was scaling down and going into semi retirement with plans of surfing, fishing, riding and enjoying his family.  There was no sign that anything like this was even on the horizon let alone immanent. This seems grossly unfair.

Makes you pause and re-evaluate things a little.  You just don’t know what is around that next corner and every day really is a gift.  So I have decided that I am not going to stress.  I have way to much other good stuff coming up in the next few weeks that I want to enjoy.  A friends wedding this weekend as well as a spa day, parachuting next weekend and a large BBQ dinner, my grandmothers birthday the one after that, and then the Adele concert followed by a daughter coming home and we are taking her to the 21 Pilots concert the weekend after that.  I’m going to enjoy these things.

On March 26 I am going to pop around to my friends house and show her this gift and then bring it home again with me to finish, hopefully in time for mothers day in May 🙂

I am not going to stress about this any more but I am going to keep on stitching it 🙂  Due to the above there was not as much stitching as there possibly should have been but progress has been made.  710 was the entire stitch count for the week.

Friday night, with everything that was happening, I just couldn’t concentrate to stitch so I hauled my rug out.  Progress is moving along quite nicely with this 🙂  Its fabulous ‘no thinking required’ work so great for days when your thinker is broke.

I might have to start photographing these facing the same way haha

Well that was my crafty world for this week.  Now go hug your friends and family then go out enjoy the fact that life is a fabulous gift and even though there are times when you might just be ready to give up if you look around there are always little moments that sparkle and a reason to smile.