Creative Chaos

Creative Chaos

Thursday 31 October 2013

Brisbane love x 2

Did you know that it is cheaper to buy a jar of marmite in Australia than in New Zealand?? What is that about????!!
We did a supermarket shop at their Woolworths and I know that this is not the cheapest Aussie supermarket but it was the one closest to the apartment. (Sebel Suites on Charlotte and Albert corners - awesome location ... Target about 100 metres away and the Queen Street Mall!)
Milk was cheaper, Dutch cheese waaaay cheaper, veges cheaper, salami cheaper - yeah - you get my drift! They think they are expensive - they need to come further down under!
Always buy Twinings Australian Afternoon Tea and Madura loose leaf tea. Sweet delight was finding Jamie Oliver tea towels - 3 for $8 which is fab to me. (not as cheap as IKEA - that is another post :) ).
Love supermarkets in other countries! Even if it is Australia!

Love the feel of the city. I have read for years that Auckland needs to be like Brisbane. Listen Mr Mayor. It does! Bikes to hire, cyclists being respected! A super walking city, cultural precinct with museums , galleries and theatres. The most amaaaazing inner city beach at Southbank which we visited every single day to swim in . (what is it about the women there though spilling out of their bikinis? And such short skirts and shorts?? The heat I guess...?) QUT had a cool massive computer metres long n the wall with the Great Barrier Reef superimposed. 

So many places to go. Just walking. Dive bombing by magpies. Oops - had forgotten about that!
Gorgeous places to eat out at. (clear favourite of Ryan's - Vapiano - fresh pizza/ pasta place where you order with a swip card, they give you a little machine that beeps when your pizza is ready and you sit at tables with herb gardens/ pots growing at them to put on your pizza and yummy olive oils. And pretty cheap too.) 

Every time I go anywhere in Australia I always feel like I am home - I mean man, we only lived there for a year sorting out our Melbourne business and I have been back in NZ for 10 years now....
I guess I just like exploring places and that country is huge and you can just go and go and go... My kid's are big city boys and Auckland is not big to them!!!! They have travelled quite a bit for their age in NZ and overseas. Ryan wants to move to Brisbane now.

Books - way way way cheaper! Bought about 40 at good old Big W for school. And a few for myself.
Jamie Oliver's new one was $NZ24 (here $45 on special!); Tim Winton's new one same price and here $55!!!! The chapter books I bought for school were around $8-10 in $NZ - not quite half the price but close to it!!! I came home with piles and copies of the Luminaires for friends too. Stacks there!

Yeah. Great , great city - full of kiwis too and poor displaced Cantabrians!

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Brisbane love

Loved Brisbane! Ryan wants to move there. I could easily. Every single time I go back to Australia - any part of it - I ask myself why we came back 10 years ago...

We did a ferry ride down to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. These pics of Ryan are my most favourite I have taken of him for years. The pure delight and excitement of him was gorgeous!

Many more photos coming - half way through baking kiwifruit plus lemon muffins to keep myself awake....

Friday 25 October 2013


A bit of crafting this week - stitching, another (very slowly) sock being knitted , a new book to read
And the Travelling Stationery Box has returned back to me. What fun going through it - only a few things of my original stationery is left and a bunch of new sweet stuff. But I will be strong and only take 1-2 things I think and send it on its way overseas. Might even be very strong and see what else I can  part with!

Surprise for the nearly 10 year old - just waiting for the husband to arrive home before we tell him we are taking him to Brisbane, Australia tomorrow for 4 days. He will be beside himself!!! I am nearly beside myself at waiting (since May!) for his reaction! We have always taken the kids somewhere when they turn 10 - usually with just one of us, but we decided that both of us would go with him- good cheap $300 return flights! Will be a fantastic weekend!!! 

Tuesday 22 October 2013


Last few days - not terribly motivated to do much but still achieved a few things.
It is summer already which seems scary...

Cross stitch coming along nicely
Side ways knitted merino vest for a baby girl born last week in Sweden
And kale, lettuce, tomatoes, beans, potatoes, cucumbers and herbs planted in various pots/ raised gardens. I get great delight watching them grow and watering early morning and evenings.

Saturday 19 October 2013

Kiwi Christmas Ornament Swap - 2013 details

Head over to here to participate in the 2013 Kiwi Christmas ornament swap - . I had a lot of fun last year making cross stitch ornaments. Not too sure what i will make this year, but had better get onto it before my university paper starts in a few weeks! and I love this over here too! - LOVE! man i wish i could sew like this!!!

LOVE! Back from the framers today

Love, love, love, love, LOVE! Goes so well with new orange curtains too!! Boy was it hard choosing what colour to get it framed in. Nearly went for a tealy- blue - so glad I didn't.

Tuesday 15 October 2013


A gorgeous wee surf beach town about 38 km from Hamilton. Another new place for me to visit.
One funky hip busy little township with gorgeous shops, cafes and restaurants. An afternoon spent eating icecream (not me - do not like since tonsils out...), swimming at the surf beach, walking around the township - a lovely Saturday afternoon.

Oh how I do enjoy discovering small town New Zealand!

Friday 11 October 2013

Using my brain

Spending time working on this sweet cross stitch which I started a while ago! Gives my brain a good work out as it is stitched in 28 count and can do my head in with the tiny counting! I am sure it isn't perfect, so am having to re- space as I go!

Starting knitting a cardigan and hat for a wee baby yet to be born in Sweden - using this lovely bright 4 ply wool from Touch Yarns in Geraldine.

And I have taken the plunge and re- enrolled at Massey University! Taken me a few weeks to work through with them as criteria/ papers etc have changed and it has been so long since I studied at university!!! I am more than half way through my BA in history which I (ahem) started 25 years ago! (along the way I have lived in 3 countries, had 3 children, gained a library qualification , worked through 2 house renovations etc etc.) it won't take me another 25 years to finish as Massey has now put a time limit on finishing degrees - I have 8 years to finish the papers! Actually really want to finish it earlier than that.
The paper i have enrolled in (from November 18 to February 12) is "The NZ Land Wars". I am looking at doing another 2 next year alongside carrying on working, family life etc!!

I am currently doing a digital course through the school library association and also last year did a Maori Course through Te Wanagna o Aotearoa, so I am not outof the study mode, which will help!

Has anyone else done any study with a family?

Thursday 10 October 2013

Lucky me

A couple of surprise parcels in the post these school holidays just for me.

My lovely sister in law Tracey in Switzerland sent over a couple of cute tea towels, jam covers and Swiss serviettes - little things that I love!

And today from a pen friend in Sweden Tina - wool and 2 gorgeous linen tea towels. They were both bought from a Klippan business which has been going since 1879.
The wool is actually from New Zealand sheep and has been spun and dyed in Sweden and now sent back to NZ!

Lucky me knowing such generous people and fantastic to receive in the school hols as a little pick-me-up.

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Around here

There is an awful LOT of mail gong out - pen friend letters, postcards, swaps, surprise parcels to special people, my local body voting paper...
( so good to catch up on letter writing over the hols)

This tree is being manicured by an arborist today and the neighbours are paying :)

Clear out continues. Look at that cupboard ! Look at that pile of clothes!
A bag of bags for school gala. And bags to go to the school gala full of stuff.

All great things !