Sunday, December 30, 2012

Deja Vu thats not straight forward

Yes, thats how it is feeling.  I was told with this chemo treatment, that my hair would thin a bit.  Ok, so I am prepared for all of this having 'been there and done that' 6 years ago. 
Last week everytime I brushed my hair, more and more chunks of it were coming out, I was sick of it falling out all over the place, so the decision was made to shave off my hair again...just like last time.
Doesn't look too bad, I can cope with it, and this time I am not going to get a wig.  So I go to my old wooden chest that I had all my bandanas in, and there is not one to be found.  I had about 25 of them, all different colours...I was given a lot.  I gave a bag full to the cancer society, and thought I had kept a couple.  But oh no,  my thinking was obviously, "I am never going to need a bandana again, lets give them all away".
I found a green one that belongs to my DH.  I can have that one he says...yippee, I have one in my fav colour.  But because I am a lover of many colours and options, I think just one, even if it is my favourite colour will be really boring for me.  Action was needed, so yesterday I got the sewing machne out and I hemmed up some squares of fabric from my fabric stash and made my own bandanas.  These should keep me going for a while. 

The yellow one is lovely and bright...really bright...but thats a good thing isn't it?

I have made These Are The Days into a small wall hanging.  Didn't take too long to make up...I like things like that.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

One Very Happy Dog

My dog Keira is fairly intelligent, but it doesn't take much to keep her happy.  She loves chasing balls, and she has her toy ducks which she has had as a youngster.  She has never ripped these up, even when they quack.  But give her a plastic toy with a squeaker in and it gets ripped apart immediately.

I wondered how long this years present would last.  A squeaky blue fuffy chew toy that came with a bag of Beneful biscuits.  I let her rip open the present herself...and she has been happy ever since.  I saw that the ducks slept outside the kennel last night, but her new friend was with her in the kennel.

Here are some happy shots of Keira and toy, with Tui the cat wanting to play too.

Keira is left alone to enjoy her toy.....

Of course Tui the cat was wataching all this from the kennel thinking the dog was just being ridiculous... as only a cat of her standing could....

But Keira was not bothered...

It was very hot yesterday, so late afternoon before dinner we went for a drive up to the Meridian Wind Turbine that sits up above Wellington.  The sea and the harbour were as calm as anything.
And here is my lastest finished stitching.  Will post another picture when I have finally made it up into a wall hanging.

These are the Days Boxer Kit - Lizzie Kate

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

This is the most beautiful time of the year.  I just love Christmas.  I love the decorations, the trees, the ornaments and the Christmas lights.
I believe in the spirit and the love of  Christmas.  I am not into the materialistic aspects...the hype with the shopping, the sales, (if I see another Briscoes ad on TV I will scream!!!) the mailers in the letterboxes...totally unnnecessary when so many people don't even have the money to put food on the table, without having letter boxes jammed full of temptations to buy things. The angst that goes on in the shopping carparks, because someone missed a park, left everything to the last minute and now they are in a hurry to get the rest of their shopping done, and everyone else is holding them up.
I was watching Good Morning on TV last week and some guy was promoting electronic goods.  He was waving around smartphones and Wiis for the kids, and then at the end waved a handheld game round worth $40 and said this makes the perfect stocking filler....$40 for a stocking have got to be joking.  stocking fillers for us were a few lollies, a balloon and other small bits and pices to keep the kids amused till the parents got up.
Watching the people line up at the Auckland food banks, my first thought is people want to celebrate Christmas, but if they cant afford it, then the day should be just as any other...why do they suddenly need more food, then I realised that they arent stocking up....this is a normal weekly thing they do, and it has just been highlighted because of the time of year.  Also their children know what time of the year it is and they are doing their best to allow them to celebrate as best they can.  Last year as well as food, I brought packs of ornaments and gave them to Salvation Army to hand out to people to brighten their houses.  Living in Wainuiomata last year, I saw how people were struggling ... This year I had been contemplating helping out at a food hall serving food to others, rather than myself sitting around eating.  I might actually make some enquiries and see what Nadia and I can do on Christmas day.
We don't do the big Christmas dinner at familys places.  We've been stung with that, as some of my friends might know, where gifts given have been questioned as being 2nd hand...or is this from the Warehouse???  We actually don't even get invited on the day now.  Got an invite for the 30th I think it is, because a family member is coming up from the South Island and DH has said hes working that afternoon, when in fact hes not starting till 11pm.  Plenty of time to go to dinner but we really can't be bothered with the token invite.  I miss the Christmas dinners with my Mum and Dad, but we make our day fun.  We usually have a simple meal, then go for a nice drive somewhere, and enjoy the outdoors and just being together.  Nadia is happy with that too...shes a wise soul at her age and isnt into the hype either.
I enjoy giving and never expect anything in return.  And I especially enjoy making things for people.  This is probably the first Christmas I havent done the baking of the sweets and fudges and given them out to elderly neighbours.  Don't really know our neighbours here yet.
I am hoping this wont be my last Christmas...I am going to be really positive and say 'This wont be my last Christmas'  I love Christmas way too much :-)
I wanted to wish everyone who drops by my blog a very merry christmas and safe and happy new year. 
Merry Christmas to you all and may you have a happy and safe 2013. 
May the year turn out to be everything you have wanted.
Take care and God Bless

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I have created a monster...

Yesterday we went into the Saturday morning underground markets at Wellington Harbour just to have a wander round and see what sort of things people are creating these days.  Ths stalls were filled with lots of wonderful handmade crafty products. 

A lot of the things I saw, look like they have come straight out of the Mollie Makes magazines.  People have been busy with the handcrafted goods, and its great to see.

My daughter saw little monster keyrings, and I said I would buy her one, she decided she didn't like any of the fabrics used to make the monsters, and asked if I could make her one instead.    She trusted that I could replicate the little monsters sitting in front of us.

We got home, and I let her go through all my fabric stash.  Of course she picked out orange...which is the favourite colour, and last night I set to work.

Finished her wee monster today and she loves him.....or her

It is amazing how productive one can become, when you have been given an approximate time frame of life.  Not that I am overly active at the moment.  One of the things I am really missing is taking my dog for her daily walks, the mobility is supposed to return and I can't wait till it does.  But my crafting and stitching is coming along with a hiss and a roar.
I thought it awful to not be as active as normal, but the loss of sight I had was unbearable.  Thank goodness it has come back.  I am onto my 2nd week of chemo...this is to combat the cancer that has found itself into some of my organs - lungs and liver.
I think about all my stitching stash I have, and I know there is countless things that will never get started nor finished.  But I have enjoyed every single purchase.
I will continue with the stitching I have on the go now, the monthly Flock series and I will start off the monthly Virtue Sheep series too, and I will enjoy everything I stitch and finish, and my family will be left with all my projects, which I am sure they will appreciate.
Thanks for popping in to catch up on my blog :-)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

2012 Christmas Ornaments

This year I wanted to be on time with having the homemade Christmas ornaments ready for the tree. Generally when I stitch the ornaments each year, I am running late or even don't get them completed in time.

So I decided to make up a felt set that I had in my stash.  The kit only had 3 ornaments, so I made up a 4th out of the felt stash I have.

The orange one is the one I made up...not too bad, if I say so myself.

And I just had to mention whats coming in 2013 from Little House Needleworks... Little Sheep Virtues  Sometimes I think these companies, do the month by month thing to keep the revenue rolling in...nothing wrong with that.  Because of course if you get hooked on the series, you are going to continue purchasing, if you want the whole set. (I am doing the month by month thing with The Flock by SamSarah Designs)   And because this involves sheep, and one of my favourite designers, of course I will jump on the bandwagon.  Whether or not, I will be here to finish the whole set, is irrelevant...but hey, its something to work towards.  So roll on Little Sheep Virtues and 2013 :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Whirlwind South Island Trip Part 3

This was our big day.  We left Cromwell and headed south to Bluff.  We went via Queenstown Garston, Lumsden, Winton and Invercargill. Beautiful green, sheep filled country, I just love it.

At Invercargill it was pouring with rain.  We grabbed some Morrocan lamb subs to take over to Stewart Island for our lunch.  And carried on down to Bluff.  The area still had the cloudy mirkiness to it, but the rain had slowed down a bit.
We climbed on board the Stewart Island Experience Ferry and headed over to Stewart Island.  Foveaux Strait is often rough and has a well known historry of being a trecherous stretch of water.  The crossing wasn't smooth but not overly rough.

The view out the back...water and waves flying everywhere.


Once we got over to the island we had a quick bite to eat then we got back on the same ferry and did the 'Patterson Inlet Cruise'.  This cruise took us around some of the small islands around Stewart Island showing old Maori history and European settlements...which included old milling areas and whaling stations.

We also saw plenty of bird life...Little Blue Penguins sitting in the water beside the boat, and there were a heap of Mollymawks following the boat looking for food - obviously thinking we were a fishing boat.

The main highlight of the cruise was to stop at Ulva Island and go for a guided walk.  We got our own personal guided walk seperate from the rest of the tourists, which was kind of cool.

A photo of the ferry at Ulva Island wharf.

Saw this wee South Island Robin that happily fossicked away in the undergrowth looking for grubs, as they do.

We saw many different birds on the island as well as the Robin.  Those we saw were Kaka, Saddlebacks, Tui, with one sitting in its nest feeding its young, Kakariki and Tomtits.  Its a truly beautiful serene place.  One of New Zealands gems thats for sure.

Here I am by the various signs on the island.

DH and I down by the wharf just before getting back on the ferry.  The building in the background shows the area where all of Stewart Islands mail was sent to.  The Island residents would make a day of it, travelling to Ulva Island to collect their mail and catch up with other people from around the area.  The original postal shed still stands.
The Stewart Island Experience Ferry Visitor Terminal.

We did a bus tour of the Island which was quite nice.  We were taken up to various lookouts, and areas on the island that I would have never been able to get to.  Its a reasonably hilly place.  There is only 20ks of roads and 300ks of walking tracks.  People live on only a small portion of the island, and the rest is made up of the Rakiura National Park.
Saw this phone and phone book stuck to the tree.  Apparently it used to work, not sure if it still does.  It used to be a party line.
Most of Stewart Island comes within the Rakiura National Park. It was established in 2002, making it New Zealand’s most recent national park (as at 2012). This chain link sculpture at its entrance symbolises the anchor chain of the  Māui who, by tradition, fished up Te Wai Pounamu (the South Island) and anchored it with Rakiura (Stewart Island). There is a matching chain link sculpture on the mainland at Bluff.


I am not sure of the reason for these dogs being tied up here, but they seemed quite happy, and I think it is their daily sleeping place.

The ferry trip back to bluff was a bit hair raising to say the least.  The waves crashing over the boat were phenominal, and the crew kept looking round to make sure all the passengers were coping ok.  No one was sick.  I didn't feel like I wanted to be sick, I was just nervous about getting back to shore alive.
After leaving Stewart Island, we drove from Bluff to Dunedin.  Such a lovely drive.  We could have done a detour around the Caitlins, but time was getting on.  We stayed the night in the Dunedin Police Holiday house.  The next day we drove north to Oamaru and spent the day browsing the shops, and buying a few little goodies for Nadia.  Had yummy dinner in the Indian kitchen in Oamaru...unfortunately, we both got horrendouly sick over the following days...argh the dreaded food poisoning.  It was the only place we could have linked it to, unless it was our Morrocan Sub, but I don't think so.
 Travelled back up to Christchurch.  We had forgotten the size of the trucks you can encounter on State Highway 1.  This one spent most of its time in our boot.  Our little rental car was very enconomical and we enjoyed travelling like tourists :)  Maybe that is why the truck stayed in the boot.

We got to Christchurch and spent the rest of the time just driving around looking at the after effects of the earthquakes. It was very depressing driving around some of the abandoned residential areas.

Goodbye Christchurch...

Hello Wellington.  Jumped on the Airport Flyer and we were on our way home.

Thanks to all the people who followed my travels over these 3 posts.  I took way more photos than I have shown here, and if I had of added more photos to the posts, it would have been total photo heaviness.  But what you see is just a little taste of what we did.  And it was amazing to say the least.
I am determined to go back to Stewart Island.  I took away a brochure on the various types of accommodation available on the island, so you never know....maybe, just maybe. 

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Whirlwind South Island Trip Part 2

Thanks to all the people that have stopped by and left comments, I do appreciate it.
Ok so continuing on from yesterdays post, we got to the Cromwell Police holiday home and unpacked the car.  We went for a bit of a drive to have a quick look at favourite places and see if there were many changes, from last time we were there.

First we drove down the Kawarau Gorge and went to Arrowtown.  Loved this place and it would often be our shopping base when we went camping in Macetown (old historic gold mining town about 15 km inland along a very narrow dirt track). 
There was a very old historic hotel that was in the process of being demolished one year we went to Arrowtown and we were shocked, that they were removing such a beautiful old icon.  Now you wouldn't even know that it was ever there.  They have replaced the hotel with beautiful replica historic shops.  The main street is very picturesque.  Its like being able to drive down the main street of Shantytown.  Didn't get any photos here, as there weren't many places to stop and there were tour buses and tourists all over the place.

We left Arrowtown and headed up over the Crown Range Road to Cardrona.

We stopped at the Cardrona Hotel for a lemonade, and sat out the back in the beer garden.  It was a bit of a mess out there because there had been a couple of Christmas work parties that day, but I took a few photos of the area, because I just love the old buildings.

Carried on through to Wanaka.  So beautiful and so full of tourists, especially where all the pubs and eateries are...well it was dinner time!

We left Wanaka without stopping, I was starting to get all achey, so we headed back to Cromwell via Luggate and a quick stop on the outskirts of Cromwell to see where one of my favourite little critters resides. (WARNING - Yawn Alert)  The Cromwell Chafer Beetle lives in a fenced off reserve.  Not a lot is known about the larvae and no pupae has never been seen.  They are flightless and travel only a few metres each night.
So they are fair game for hedgehogs, skinks and also the Little Brown Owl that live in the surrounding pine trees.  There is apparently an Alexandra Chafer Beetle too.  It lives 30 minutes down the road.  I think that one might fly, as most of the Chafer Beetle species do.

Ok so that was the end of day 2.  Lots of driving, but also lots of just looking at some of those favourite places.