31 December, 2014

Oven mitt(s)

The Monday Modern quilt group did a Secret Santa for our December meeting and I decided to make an oven mitt/glove/cloth for it. I don't know if there is a proper term for this style where the gloves are joined or not.

Oven mitt with HST patchwork.

I was only going to make one, but then the way I made the HSTs unexpectedly (because I hadn't really thought it out very well!) gave me 8 of each fabric and I wanted a good range of prints, so I ended up with enough for two more! Excellent, one for my mum for Xmas and one for me. 

Oven mitt with HST patchwork.

They're linen on the outside and inside they have one layer of thick wool blanket and one of cotton batting. My machine really struggled with that thickness so the binding was finished by hand on the back. Hopefully it will be strong enough.

I got a super-duper wheat warmer thing (again, is there a proper term for them?) from Lou, it's the prettiest thing, filled with buckwheat and scented with lavender. I sat there sniffing it which probably looked rather dodgy but then she was wearing the oven mitts so maybe a quilt group isn't the most normal of gatherings anyways :D

Wheatie warmer from Lou

30 December, 2014

Hot Water Beach

Well THAT happened pretty fast. Things got a bit crazy after my last post and have only slowed down today! There were Christmas preparations, my parents arrived, Hazel got an inner ear infection that makes her feel really lightheaded, school finished, we went away to Hot Water Beach for a few days, I caught the cold from hell complete with a fever and then Mat got it, and then Mat's family came for Christmas and Boxing Day. Phew. Now that's all over summer can start!

Hot Water Beach

Here's a few summery photos from Hot Water Beach. For those not in the know, it's called that because there are two hot water springs that come out on the beach (just at that little rocky outcrop in the middle of the beach) and at low tide you can dig holes in the sand, which fill up with hot water, and sit in them like a outdoor bathtub. Unfortunately the waves were too high at low tide for us to do that so we joined everyone else in the surf and wiggled our feet into the sand. Too deep and it was too hot, on the top was cold from the sea, so you had to wiggle to just the right spot :) To be honest I think I probably enjoyed that communal spirit more than all the digging and jostling for space with holes. You can see photos of the hole-digging on the link above, it looks a little less jolly than nearly being sucked out to sea with a bunch of strangers.
Hot Water Beach

We stayed in a very basic (and dog friendly) bach up above the beach. It wasn't anything to write home about but the view certainly was! Here is my view from the deck chair - 5 minutes down to the beach, it was fan-tabulous.
Hot Water Beach

03 December, 2014

Scrappy colour

I'm at the start of a project for Christmas and have been a bit worried about my colour choices. I had started out with all reds and then had a sudden change of heart and went with oranges and pinks. Doing that always stresses me out because I start second-guessing myself; but as I was clipping corners off I looked down at my pile of scraps and realised that I think they look great together! I've got quite aways to go on this as there's nothing like adding patchwork to a simple object to make it an inordinate time suck, but at least I can relax with my colours.

Colourful scraps

02 December, 2014

A polarising song choice

When I listen to the radio it's always to National Radio, one of the govt-funded stations here in New Zealand. I started listening when I first moved here partly because I was so used to having the CBC going in the house growing up and partly to figure out how this new country worked. I sometimes think National Radio taught me to be a New Zealander! In the last couple of years they've had a segment in the afternoons called The Best Song Ever Written where people nominate a favourite song and have a chat about it and themselves. I've often meant to write in and nominate one song or another and last week I finally did. Four days later I was being interviewed about it, talk about a fast turn around!

I nominated KD Lang's version of Hallelujah which turned out to be a polarising choice with quite a few people expressing their opinion that it was the worst version ever, including one guy who felt moved to say he'd turned off the radio as a result, but several other people were supportive so I didn't feel too picked on! 

It was an interesting experience but I have to admit I was pretty nervous and thought I probably sounded it too! Amazingly I didn't, so I'm happy to share the audio link with you. And yes you can tell me how wrong wrong wrong I am in the comments and how Leonard Cohen has the only decent version, or how KD sucks - just be gentle ;) 

01 December, 2014

Advent calendar for 2014

One day the first of December won't catch me by surprise, but at the moment it's like a yearly ritual, the last minute panic and arranging of daily treats the night of November 30th. This year, to make it worse, Hazel wanted a change from the one we've been using for several years, and I had to make up something new. She'd seen a very cute paper village in a magazine but it turned out to be quite expensive so I went looking to see if I could find a printable of some sort. We both really liked this free one from Mr. Printables so I set to making it. I think in hindsight I might have gone with the option of buying it ready-printed and cut but needs and no time for international shipping must so it was the free DIY version! The only issue I had with it, other than a bit of RSI, was having to scale it down by about 10% to fit A4 paper, which means the houses are a little on the small size but I can just put in paper clues to larger items.

Advent calendar from Mr. Printables

 I love how bright it is, perfect for a summer Christmas, and it looks so happy on the mantelpiece.


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