Sunday, April 8, 2018

Fantastic off grid camping

Thanks to our awesomely generous friends the boys and I had a 20 hour break away that feels like a long weekend. I'm relaxed and ready for another week.
Yes that is me at the top of a HILL
We had rugby Saturday until 2pm and by then I almost didn't feel like going. But a quick pack and we were on our way. With Aaron being away it has just been in the too hard basket for us to holiday too and I have really missed the escapism. But here we were in an open sided hut with hot running water, a flush loo (such luxury) and a bedroom with a door to keep out the cold. 

 With the help of my bodyguard? Sherpa? I climbed my second hill in two weekends. Again not having any breathing issues. Such a miracle. I got to the fence line. Now this is not all the way to the top but we didn't set out until 5.30pm and as you can see light was fading fast.
I had carried a cereal packet all the way up, to use to slide down on the grass. Well first attempt and it just split in half. So using my jeans down I went.

Now said Sherpa always scoffs at me sliding down the hill on my bottom. Well he kept slipping so decided that it was best to stay on his bottom too and then you couldn't stop him. It was a great laugh together. He got the advantage of sliding in my wake and by golly he went fast!!!

The photo shows the building we were staying in. On the bottom left is a big 40 ft extra height container and the small building on the right was our stables.

A dinner by candlelight and then a great game of Settlers of Catan finished the night. 

Me being me I still haven't learnt to pace myself, so I headed of up the hill again in the morning. Got 3/4 of the way up and decided that I really should learn not to push it. I don't want to go backward again. But what I did do when sliding back down the hill was come to a crashing halt twice!!! on very sharp little rocks. I think my bottom will truly be black and blue tomorrow.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Finished - recycling my upcycle

A couple of years ago I made this seat from an old bed end and head. At the time the whole family helped strip off the stain and then I polyurethane it. I was never that thrilled with it though as it was just boring pine and I felt it made it look like a park bench that anyone could make and not celebrate the upcycling and recycling ethos. Anyway, after being in the garage for about 8 weeks and slowly doing it bit by bit, here it is. Chalk paint and waxed. 

The picture on the left is how it started life after my original recycle. The update now has it matching the headboard I recently redid. 
To finish the post here is me having climbed without trouble for the first time in months and months. Very happy about that.
Linking to various places here.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Biting off more than I can chew

So a long weekend looms. I'm tired and need a rest and so plan a weekend at home with a couple of day trips. Some sewing and relaxing. I feel alive and well and it's sunny on Friday, so what do I do? Try to finish everything!!!
I started slowly, A trip to the dump with all the garden rubbish and tidying all the bedrooms. Then I started to finish another project in the garage, and then I had the bright idea that polyurethane the wooden window should happen before winter. The weather was warm. We are getting some mould on the window frames in the winter and it's damaging the wood. So a quick sand of the ensuite window and a coat of polyurethane, wow that was quick goes my brain, so why not do another.....and another.... Only it takes three coats with sanding in between over two days. 

So then I am late picking the boys up from Pop and Gran's only to discover Pop has a new approach to Dentistry. But was I finished there? Oh no. We have been having a bit of painting going on and earthquake work happening. It is only the walls so this leave gross yellow door frames and yellow doors. So hey, what is a few door frames on a weekend? Well I've only tackled three and I have learnt some things;
1. Yellow is hard to cover over
2. The enamel paint is not as thick as it used to be
3. I used to do two coats for door frames and I am now on coat three with a potential four as it still is not smooth and white!!!
4. Now I am going to be down to the wire doing a final coat before bed and work tomorrow.
But wait there's more!! I had this project half painted in the garage, so finished that and then waxed it. Last night I got the boys to take it back to my bedroom with the wax not polished as if it sits there maybe i'll be inspired and get it done. Sigh. I never learn.
 Last week our friends came over from England and stayed. I loved loved seeing them. Haven't seen them for nine years. Such a gorgeous family. So we all got together, what started 10 years ago as mum's with baby's going to the baby groups and music etc is now all grown up.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Upcycled blanket and buttons

Well I am really pleased with this. It's come out better than I planned. I used an old blanket from an Op Shop sold as a dog blanket and my husband's Nana's buttons. Total cost $12
On the bed with my hospital quilt. The grey goes fantastically together. 
Finished ready to go on the bed.
 This is the before shot.
Painting and waxing. Using Annie Sloan chalk paint in half Paris Grey and half Antique white
I obtained a MDF cover sheet for $2 from Mitre 10 Mega in Rangiora. There was enough good wood to cut out the size I needed. Put wood glue all over it.
I had a mattress topper previous bought at the Salvation Army Op Shop for $5 sitting waiting patiently as I planned a long time ago what I was going to do. It takes a while to get all the bits you need especially when I don't want to pay any kind of money for it. Glue on all the bumps around the edges.
Once both pieces had the glue getting tacky then it was time to put it all together.

Enter my Nana Schulz button box. Choosing buttons to feature on the headboard. Covered the headboard in the (now rather smart) blanket. This is the first time I have done taping etc but I wanted this to last and do it properly.
Putting the buttons on was a dog of a job. I have a 15cm doll needle and I used that with an anchoring button on the back of each of these. The hole through the MDF had to be small though, goodness this took longer than anything else.

The whole project was done over about 2 months as I have just not been able to get motivated, stay on top of my tiredness etc. I am so thrilled with it though and am enjoying the change it makes.
Linking to these places. and crazy mum quilts.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The fog is lifting

I finally did some sewing that I want to do. I'm trying to motivate myself to do a little something that is just for me, even if it is 30 minutes everyday. So far I've failed. But this morning I made these. Slowly I'm doing a new quilt for our bed. Not sure that Aaron will like it, but I'm enthused. 
This morning we are heading out again to pick Aaron up from somewhere in the boondocks. I made some Russian Fudge to take to the walkers as they were hankering after it last time they were home. It's been great having some time with him as he walks the Te Araroa Trail. But by the time I do my rather full on and stressful over full time job, shuffle kids, keep some kind of control on the house and pick him up etc. There is no time left and I'm shattered.
Aaron is tramping in country like this for three months. I've been not coping particularly well, but about 9 days ago things started to turn and I woke up feeling OK for the first time in ages. I've been battling with my full on job, dealing with an ongoing and significant health blow, working through the death of a much loved nephew in January and solo parenting. When you look in writing I think that it is no wonder I feel like I do. But the lid is lifting, I'm starting to feel better in myself. All those things are still there but I can feel myself mentally coping again. 
To be honest I'm really jealous of Aaron, not walking three months! but because my mountain tops have been ruled out once more and potentially for the rest of my life. I mourn for what I cannot do physically anymore. Not just because of the physical piece but that is where I used to calm down, regroup and remove myself from the bustle of life. Sometimes reality sucks as in my mind I can still do that. So enjoyed doing some craft and appreciating time out this morning before heading out to pick up Aaron again.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


We've had a glut of zucchini's (courgette) in the garden as everyone does at this time of the year. So I made chocolate cupcakes, with 3 zucchini finely grated into them. I had talked about doing that and Jakob said that he would never ever eat zucchini cupcakes and he would know if he was eating some. Well he was the only person that did not pick up on it! Amazing what some icing and a few lollies does. I still chuckle. He wont know unless he reads the blog. The recipe was not very healthy though, it was very much like a normal recipe but with added veges. I would have thought that it would have been less sugar or eggs or butter. But no. Anyway, it was a bit of a one off.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Quilt - 13 years in the making

Jakob had his 15th birthday and I finished the binding on this quilt at 10pm the night before. I can trace through my blog 10years of this in the making but it goes back further. When Jakob was two he wanted a star quilt. The nine stars in the centre were made but they didn't fit into the rest of the quilt. It has gone slowly from there as I have been constantly stuck with what to do and how to progress. Running out of matching material for borders etc etc. 

I have been watching a lot of Angela over at "The Midnight Quilter" on Youtube. She also has done a series called the daytime quilter where she takes you through learning to quilt - not the patchwork but the sandwiching. So I have practiced on this quilt. Tried a few different motif's and some have worked well but others I need to improve on! 

In the meantime Morris continues to photo bomb everything when I sew and he is currently trying to sit under the desk which means he lands on the sewing machine pedal quite often. That created some interesting scenarios.

As you can see Aaron came home. It was weird having him home only to leave again.

Linking to these places and crazy mum quilts.

Friday, February 2, 2018


Now I know that I don't need to start yet another project! In actual fact I have a couple of things on the go that have very specific and close deadlines. But hey...I just could not resist. I had the material. The two five inch rolls I bought last year at my quilting retreat from Bronwyn who runs a quilting service.
I was really inspired by a vlog I watch...The Midnight Quilt Show... I love Angela and the fact that she is seriously into the quilting and shows patterns and how to's for that, I find inspiring. I watched this tutorial here and love quilts that are put together with speed.  
I started at 9pm and finished the first set by 9.40pm so just cracked on and completed a second lot. I think that this will be the quilt to do when I just want a wee sew in the evening to feel I have done something. I suggest you watch the video as it is very clever piecing. I had used the basic pattern before for the quilt currently on my bed. But making it into a tube is such a great idea.

Linking to these places and Crazy Mum Quilts.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Trying new thing

While Aaron is walking the Te Araroa Trail the boys and I are cooking our evening meal together each night. We're also trying different recipes. We all love some of the recipes that Chelsea Winter has in her cookbooks. On her website there are some free recipes and we tried the Coconut poached Thai chicken salad.

The scent from the chicken poaching was amazing! Chelsea says to throw away the poaching liquid but it would make an amazing base for a noodle soup or coconut cream curry. Wow I was so impressed.

We all loved this meal. It made enough for us to have leftovers for my lunch at work... even better.

Fantastic off grid camping

Thanks to our awesomely generous friends the boys and I had a 20 hour break away that feels like a long weekend. I'm relaxed and ...