Wednesday, January 25, 2012


This is a word that seems to be affecting my life at the moment.
Don't worry it is all positive enthusiasm, getting my sewing mojo back, being positive about a piece of work at work, having happy meetings at work.

It is amazing how enthusiasm rubs off from one to another.
How one person can bring you down but then the next can lift you up higher than you were before.
Yesterday I got paid a huge compliment and it made my day, it gave me enthusiasm to keep going as it made me feel good. Someone told me I looked "scrumptious" it made my day and I walked around with my head held high, smiling to all and everyone.
Today I have had several meetings, 1 was hard work and deflated me a little but the next suddenly renewed me and got me thinking again, all about the same subject. Funny how one person brings you down and the other lifts you up.

In my mind we need more people around us who lift us up, it is more productive, more positive and leads to more creativity.

Blogs are the same, I think we follow certain blogs as they show us creativity and enthuse us. We see a picture of something someone has made, completed or that we just like and suddenly creative juices are flowing and we want to partake of said activity.
Life runs on enthusiasm, people like to be excited, delighted and inspired.

So the next time you get inspired by something, let us know, you just never know who will read it and get enthusiasm from you.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Near our caravan is 2 gorgeous little townships.
Waihi in one direction and Katikati in the other.
They are both about the same distance away and depending on what we need will depend on which one we go to for supplies.

They both have their own quirky little bits about them.
Waihi is a gold mining town with apopulation of about 4500 and Katikati (pop 3500) is known for its many murals painted on walls of commercial buildings, started in the 1990s as a project to regenerate tourist interest in the town and district, indeed the effort was recognised with the bestowal of New Zealand's 'Most Beautiful Small Town' award for towns of less than 8,000 population in 2005 by the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Society.

I have yet to take any pictures of the beautiful art work throughout Katikati town but I have taken pictures of the fun statues throughout Waihi.
In fact I will invite anyone to go to Waihi with kids and not have a good time for 10 minutes looking at all the statues around the town.

All around the town there are several beautiful statues depicting the old days.

I think everyone who goes to Waihi with kids has a picture exactly like this!

Bath time

I'll just rinse my feet thanks

There are more statues than this but I only have pictures of these ones, next time we are at the caravan then I think we need another day out to Waihi and some more pictures of the fun around Waihi

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ben's Baby

This post is something I have been meaning to write for a long time, but it is only after I went searching for the link to it that I realised just how long I have been planning it!

Heidi over here at Homemade by Heidi once told the story about her then 6 yr old son, who I guess is now 8, and how when he was little he had a baby doll. Apparently, sadly, the doll and himself parted company rather dramatically at the time of her post that I have linked to above. (I sometimes wonder what had happened at the time for the sudden and dramatic exit, maybe some kids had said something at school?)

However this made me immediately think of my son, who is exactly the same age. He too has a baby doll, although unlike Heidi's son, our baby doll is still around on the scene.
Our baby doll is simply known as "Baby".

Ben wanted a baby doll after several education baby dolls had been delivered to our house for an Antenatal class that I was facilitating. They were in our house for about a week and when they left he informed us that he wanted them back because they were now his babies. We asked if he wanted a baby and he said yes, so we went to the store and he choose the one, (think it cost all of $7.99) he must have been about 2 or 3yrs old at the time.
This baby doll has been around for at least the last 5-6 yrs.

Ben is not into teddy bears or fluffy toys he just has baby.
Unlike his little brother, who sometimes has to clear a space to just be able to lie down in his own bed, because he has so many other people in his bed! Ben does not sleep with anything. Never has. In fact neither of my boys were blanket / snuggly baby's, neither had anything that had to be taken with them wherever they went, we never had major panics because we had lost 'xyz', or bedtimes wouldn't work because 'xyz' was in the washing or lost!
All soft squiggy toys tended to stay at home during the day and found for nighttime.
Alex has had his moments of wanting to take someone with him, but it has never been a major effort or caused major hassle. At the time of leaving then we have to make sure we have everyone with us, but sometimes they have gone to bed in the foreign place without said toy and only found them the next morning when looking for something else.

However after reading Heidi's post I realised just how lucky we have been.
Baby is in our house, sometimes she can go missing for 3-4 weeks and not a word is said, but then suddenly Ben will be under his bed for some reason, will discover her and there are big crys of joy and hugs etc and she gets pride of place back in his bed and hugged to death when he goes to bed.
If we go away, then we always ask if Baby is coming too, she always does but if she is not in the bed at bedtime, there are no tantrums etc.

I am not sure if people (friends) know about Baby? He has her with us at the caravan and I must admit that when one or 2 of the little girls have started playing with her, the boys have mentioned that that is Ben's Baby and it just seems to have been accepted in everyones stride, like it is common place for little boys to have baby dolls (Alex does have one too, although he has baby bear and a Barney who are more important to him, although he is likely to give anyone a home, including a giraffe on a keyring who is now called Tessa and who has even managed a solo trip through the New Zealand postal service after she got left at Grandma's house!)

So luckily for us, our Baby is still alive and well, still living in their room. I hope we don't have a bad break up like Heidi did, although I think I would be inclined to do exactly what Heidi did and rescue her and give her a home until that magic time to reveal her back to her beloved owner when he leasts expects it!

Upclose and Personal

As previously mentioned, that lovely cargo ship "The Rena" caused a little bit of disruption to peoples holidays this summer by chucking a little bit more cargo overboard prior to sinking!!

We managed to get to see one or 2 of the containers in person on the beach.

The boys were fascinated by it all.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Friday Night Sew In Update

Friday night has been and gone and as I write this the weekend seems to have done the same as well.
But man have I had a productive weekend, thanks to FNSI I seem to have managed to do some stitchin all weekend.

I spent Friday night sorting and planning.
I first sorted all the new DMC threads I had been lucky enough to acquire from Christmas. So I had to cross them off my DMC thread list and then rearrange my thread box to accomodate all the new ones.

Then I spent the rest of the evening designing my heart for the swap I am taking part in for Valentines Day. My cross stitch design programme works wonders and I have it all ready to go now.

And then in between other little errands that needed doing around the house this weekend, I have managed to cut out and stitch together a fleece blanket for Ben.
Alex already has one that he received for his 5th birthday 2 years ago from a friend. I liked it very much, as does he, and decided that Ben needed one too as they are very useful. I brought the material to make his about 8 months ago and it has sat there untouched since, but thanks to FNSI I got going with projects and hey presto one finished blanket.

It is a blanket that is sewed the wrong way round and then all the seams are snipped to give it a raggy look. Needs to go through the washing machine now to get it looking really soft and raggy but for now Ben is happy with it.

I also came across the beginnings of a sampler that I obviously designed many years ago for someones wedding.

Sadly I have lost touch with them since then and also I had only stitched about 4 lines of it. The more I looked at it the more I realised that I would be able to adapt it to suit someone me.

So with a little unpicking of stitches I have been able to adapt the date to suit my own wedding date and now I just have to finish it, maybe adding a little more to it to make it bigger.

So for me a very productive FNSI and weekend.
How was yours?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Stitching Bug

So the stitching bug has finally caught up with me.

This pattern is one I have had for more than 15 yrs and I think I have had it on the go for that long as well.

It is all set on my nice wooden frame that conveniently sits on my floor standing frame. So it is already to be completed.

Now I just have to remember where the floor frame is and decide which corner of the house is going to be mine to stitch in....!

Swap Time

One of the big things I see a lot of on the blogging network is 'swapping'.
Sign up, do some work, send it off and see what wonders you receive back.
Everyone always has some lovely things to show that they are sending and then even more lovely things to show when a bundle arrived at their door.

I have participated in one or 2 swaps up till now, ok not for over a year I must admit, a bag swap a few years ago, a secret santa swap 2 years ago.
So when I saw this swap over at Gone Stitchin' I decided that seeing as I had my stitchin mojo back then I would particpate.

I left my comment on the post, answered an email when it arrived and hey presto I have my swap details.

I have been shopping and found some very cute material to use for it, although found 3 different ones, so in good true stitchin mode, I brought all 3 and will keep the ones I don't use this time for something else.

I have sorted what I am going to stitch, I have finished designing it on the computer programme I have and now I just have to sit down and start it now.
Maybe a sneaky peek will arrive on here in a few days this space

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Night Sew In

Handmade by Heidi

Now I know that many of you are fans of this because I have seen your posts popping up telling me about your latest achievement on a Friday night.
Because I have not been sewing etc then I have never felt the urge to participate or show any interest, but with my stitching mojo returning, and the fact that I am planning on doing some stitching tonight, then I decided that for once I would join in the fun and maybe have some results to show you all afterwards.

However at this stage I am sure my evening will be filled with planning rather than actually sewing, but hey, we all know that you can't stitch anything unless you have some planning.

It may also be filled with coming to grips with the new computer programme I have just purchased PCStitch which is a cross stitch design programme for the computer.
I use to have one, many moons ago, and last month I decided to get it out and think about loading it onto the computer to be used again, however what I didn't count on was the fact it had been so many years since I had last looked at it that I had forgottten that it was all on hard disks rather than the usual round CD disks of today.
I have quite a little chuckle to myself at the time wondering where I was going to load these 6 black disks, also realising just how much we have moved forward in the last 10 years with the computer etc

So happy stitching for tonight, lots hope you get some stitches stitched on something.


Christmas is over, the New Year has begun and the sun is finally shining.
So my blog needs to reflect that so a new design to keep it bright and alive.

Now I just need to start planning a new background and title banner for Autumn / winter.
It is never ending!

Also last night we took the boys to see the local national cricket 20/20 game that was being played between our local team and one from the South Island.
The weather cooperated and we had an awesome evening, although sadly our team lost (which Ben found devestating! Such a sentimental old fool, he shead a few tears!)

However as the game was packing up I saw someone walking through the grounds whom seemed rather familiar to me. I soon realised that in fact it was Dee from dee*construction I have never met her before but decided I couldn't miss the oppotunity to meet a fellow blog so raced over and introduced myself.
So to Dee, it was lovely to put a face to the blog and meet you, if only for 2 mins.
Have a great weekend

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Have We Always Been Green??

This was posted on Facebook, and I loved it so much I wanted to share with all of you.....

Checking out at the supermarket recently, the young cashier suggested I should bring my own bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. I apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days“.

The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations“.

She was right about one thing–our generation didn’t have the green thing in “Our” day. So what did we have back then? After some reflection and soul-searching on “Our” day, here’s what I remembered we did have….

Back then, we returned milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles repeatedly. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s nappies because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 240 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right. We didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of Wales. In the kitchen, we blended & stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right. We didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a water fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I mentioned in a previous post about having to sort out the sunflowers that needed tying up so they didn't fall over in the wind and rain we have been having.
I also mentioned that I would show you a picture of the 1 or 2 that have been successful in growing...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Did I Tell You.....

About the wee little bit of rain we have had during the summer holiday so far?

Sure I did, but just in case you are some pictures to show you just what it was like.
All I can say is just keep watching the water on the driveway...!

I was sat in the gazebo at the caravan at the time of this downpour and it lasted for all of about 5 minutes.
It then took about another 30 mins before all the water had drained away from the driveway!

Toilet Training

I know, I know you are wondering why I am discussing such a topic when I have school age boys who are both toilet trained...?
Well they are both daytime trained but we still have issues with night time.
I am one who has never been worried about night time training, I know it is a process we have to go through but I also know that their body has to have the ability to wake them in order for them to know they need to go when a sleep.
If their body doesn't wake them then how can you growl and scream at them for yet another accident or even how can you run a rewards chart for every morning they are dry and then punish them for the mornings they are not??

Ben was close to 6 when he was stopped wearing pullups, Grandma noticed that when staying with her he would immediately use the toilet when waking and his pullup was dry. So off came the pull up and no worries since. We have had the odd accident but nothing to write home about. In fact it was an amazing feeling when he appeared at the bottom of the stairs one night over a year ago and annouced he needed to wee.
I sat there thinking "thank you, at least now he wakes when needing to go, problem solved"

Alex on the other hand, well he is the child that announced when 3 that he was no longer wearing nappies during the day, 2 weeks later he was dry (took us 5 months with Ben). He would also have loved to have gone nappyless at night but I wasn't ready for that just then.
Several times he announced that he was no longer wearing pullups at night and several times after trying for 5 nights and having been wet for 3 of them then we have said no, we will wait a little longer.
He was always wet at different times as well, sometimes I would find him in a wet bed at 10.30pm sound asleep, very difficult to night train someone who manages to sleep through it all.
Othertimes it would be 3am or 5am that he would wake us to say he was wet.

About 2 months ago we noticed that just about every morning his pullup was dry, so we instigated a no pull up rule and away we went. I expected a few accidents along the way but every 5-6 days is hard work.
Again it is always at different times, 11pm, 3am, 4am, 5.30am.
I am not sure if he wakes because he is wetting or if he is waking because he is wet?

We have tried limiting his fluid intake after a certain time.
We ensure he wees prior to going to bed.
But so far we can find no rhyme or reason for this continual wetting that seems to be happening apart from the fact he is on school holidays and getting a lot of fresh air and obviously is just so tired each night that he is sleeping so soundly!

However we are now at the stage where we have to perserve and just go with it.
The lucky part of it all at present is that we are in the middle of summer and getting the washing done each time is easy.

If you have any suggestions or tips then we would love to hear them.....?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Inspiration has Returned

My mother is a crafter, she can turn her hand to just about any craft (with a needle or thread) if she tries, so it is no surprise that by the time I was 8yrs old I had started to stitch.
I gained my first sewing box filled with threads and material at this age and I have never looked back!
Of course when first starting out I didn't do much sewing but in my 20's sewing took over and everyone got presents for weddings etc cross stitched and personalised.
Go check out my quilting page to see pictures of my first stitchings and more about my story of stitching.

When I moved to New Zealand 14 yrs ago I actually started quilting and the cross stitch got put a side. Then 9 yrs ago I gained the first of the 2 reasons that everything went away. The boys!
Stitching on a regular basis more or less disappeared out of the window. I neither had the inspiration or the time but I decided that the pay off was 2 wonderfully growing boys who had lots of attention and loads of loving as they grew.

Well I can honestly announce that this Christmas my inspiration returned.
My interest in stitching suddenly appeared and showed some interest.
I have done some stitching, I have finally put needle to thread.

And I loved it!

Steve brought me some DMC threads for Christmas, I now have more than I realise I actually need but then everyone always needs every shade of pink or blue that is available because you just never know when you might need a shade just 1 tone darker or lighter than the one you were previously using!
My inspiration has come for only cross stitching at present not quilting but I am happy to start with one and know that eventually other types of stitching will hopefully show through.
So for now I am checking out stitchings I would love to complete, I am happily reading stitching blogs and finding even more inspiration and I am getting some stitches on the fabric of a pattern I started many years ago. It is a large pattern but every stitch helps. I will blog more about it an little later.

So for now, happy to stitching to all

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Real News

Last October I mentioned the fact that the ‘lovely’ large cargo ship “The Rena” had run a ground just off the coast of Tauranga.
Tauranga is just under 2 hours drive away from us, plus we don’t have any coastline in Hamilton so not effected by it. However we do have coastline at the caravan.

When the first containers went overboard they stayed around the Tauranga area and went a little south, luckily they never went north. Our caravan is by the beach north of Tauranga (60kms), probably about 20-30 mins by water (it takes us 40 mins to drive)
The Rena has been slowly breaking up over the last 4 months, they in turn have been slowly removing all the remaining oil and also attempting to remove some of the 1200 containers before they go overboard. They have placed transponders on all the remaining containers, so if they go over they can be locate them, as some have been sinking.

This weekend, after all the horrid weather we have been having over the last 2 weeks, The Rena has broken in 2 and containers that are remaining on her are falling into the water, and they have made it north this time!
So yesterday we drove to the beach and showed the boys the mess. They could see 3 or 4 containers bobbing out in the sea, they could see the bags of milk powder that were littering the beach from where one of the containers has broken and they also got to see the 5 containers that had actually washed up on the beach.

Ben discussed the Rena at school last year, so knows all about disaster and how it can effect lives, but not living near it had no idea what was involved, now that has changed. We were able to show them what was happening and also discuss how this affected everyone. What it means now the beach is closed and how long it may be before it opens.
So we have managed to show them real news up close and personal and discuss how this effects everyone, which I think is really important because you see so much on the news and sometimes it is very difficult to explain it all to them and get them to understand the seriousness of it and the consequences.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Finally Beaten!

By the rain that is not my favourite sports team.

Here in New Zealand it is the start of summer.
The schools have broken up for their summer break of 6-7 weeks.
The weather is finally turning nice.
Everyone has gone camping.

We too went camping over Christmas, we left on Christmas Eve and we have had an awesome time.
The first 5-6 days were beautiful, just how you hope to spend a summer Christmas if you are by the beach. The sun was out, the boys loved playing with friends and everyone had a relaxing time.
New Year was slightly different in that it rained and rained and oh yea just for good measure it rained some more! The poor people in tents, got flooded and a lot went home many days earlier than they had planned too.
Then the sun came out again and it has been nice, the odd day of rain but nothing you can't survive.
That is until yesterday when it rained a lot more, continuously all day.

The forcast for today is for much of the same and I finally made the decision that I did not want to spend another day couped in the caravan. So we came home.
We were not wet, we were not flooded, we had plenty of food, plenty of things to do but we had had enough of spending quality family time in an 8x4m space in the rain.
We had washing to do and so I decided we needed a change of scenery.

So here we are at home, sleeping in our own bed, even though the caravan is comfortable to sleep in, with more space to wander around in, the ability to use the toilet without getting wet feet on the way.
We have got a few things to get done.
The courgettes have managed to go wild and we have 2 that are like baseball bats, I think we have marrows! Will get pictures and show you later. (left the camera at the caravan, so the boys will collect it when they go back next week)
The sunflowers are reaching the roof and need tying so they don't fall over, again will show you later in a picture.
The roses need trimming, the tomatoes need tying, the garlic needs pulling.
So just a few jobs that need to be looked at so we don't loose the whole garden in the weather.

We will go back, just going to let the worst of the rain pass before we do!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year

May all your hopes and dreams come closer in 2012.
May your world be settled, may your family be closer, may you have the love around you you so desire.
May you achieve your dreams and goals.

Happy New Year