Creative Chaos

Creative Chaos

Saturday 31 May 2014

Lazy weekend

We have one child down with a bumper crop of tonsilitis - he has slept and slept. White Cross (emergency doctor just around from our house and just as cheap for us to go there than drive a few suburbs across to real doctor) had an hour and a half wait yesterday at 8.30am - we thought it would be quick at that time of the morning. The child threw up in the packed waiting room - poor thing - and he was moved but had to wait longer still. Antiobiotics and we hope it will help. Best thing I ever did was getting my tonsils out last year!

Belatedly into a soccer team with a different club. School could not field a team as too many kids pulled out - grrrrrrhhhhh - but we have saved a club team apparrently (a few unreliables in this team too) and into division one without a trial. He got player of the day today too - it MUST have been a MALE who switched the old green socks to white socks this year. Even soaking in napisan, they will not be able to be kept white! (blue socks from last weekend's game.)
 Sox load of laundry dried outsid today. I am one of those nutter people that hand washing outside the night before - it paid off today. A stunning day!
 Lots of dishcloth knitting here.
 Time to wear my knitted socks. ( I have too many pairs i think!)
Soccer pics -

They were white socks...
Fire wood all chopped. A bolar roast has been in the crockpot for hours. It will be more studying tonight. Hat started on Thursday night and 3/4 way there already! Loving it. HAppy 3 day weekend kiwis!

Friday 30 May 2014

Bendigo Pottery

One of the best parts about my weekend in Bendigo, Australia, was an hour long pottery lesson at Bendigo Pottery. It was the most fun thing I have done in a long time. The tutor has tught for many years at Australian universities and apparrently you spend the first two weeks of your degree learning how to throw the lay onto the pottery wheel pottery. We only had an hour... It was an amazing experience learning how to throw clay and coming out with  vase and a pot. feeling the clay between your hands and learning how just a slight movement, moving hands up, staying put and then off and how tempermental clay is, was very very cool. I kept on expecting the top to go all wobbly and the clay go flying off the wheel (I did come very very close apparrently!). I am amazed at just hat you can do in an hour, how your hands mould clay and the ease that you can make something! The pottery is firing and glazing our masterpieces and for a very reasonable $15 posting mine to NZ! It was a brilliant thing to do - my mum has a pottery wheel which I am half tempted to bust out and go for it! Maybe I should find a pottery night class. Bendigo Pottery is well known all voer Australia - they had an amazing shop with so much.
Out the back was the most incredible antique/op shop place with HUGE amounts for sale. there was so much I could ahve gone crazy over - so many gorgeous embroidered placemats, bone china, books, linen etc ... I was so tempted but stayed strong and didn't buy a thing. The fire place "cover" with teh embroidery I adored... if I lived in Australia it would have come home with me!
We spent about 3 hours here pottering and browsing and having a fab afternoon tea. Such a brilliant place to visit! I am impatiently waiting for my wares to arrive!
Have you ever pottered? It makes me happy with my tiny pottery collection - Temuka pottery pieces (I spent some of my first ever pay packets on a few items)and other pieces I have collected over the years from a few NZ potters while on road trips. Does anyone know if you can still buy Temueka Pottery? I must visit that township one day!

Thursday 29 May 2014

brightening up your day

I'm in woollen tights today, with herringbone type shorts,a  black merino top and my mustard cardigan with my bright yellow cowl. That will brighten up the world.
We've had freezing weather in Auckland; I've had a horrid cold, asthma and horrendous sinuses, but have had to soldier on, as have huge amounts to do at school. Study going so, so.
A lot of time has been sitting by the fire and finding more blankets for the beds. (and dealing with leaking hot water bottles... arrrrggghhh... we are an electric blanket free home. One of my brothers did his best to burn our house down when he was a child with one of them... we have never had them since.) I knit dishcloths while studying... (memorizing). And have started a funky hat for a nephew too. Is it cold where you are?

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Hottie Project 2014 - Hotwater Bottle covers for Christchurch

Lisa is doing a callout for hotwater bottle covers for Christchurch again this year. Good old Kidscan is supporting! I am the Kidscan co-ordinator at my school and in charge of handing out raincoats, shoes, pants and the ordering of them too. I also order food and health products - Kidscan makes a world of difference to our less fortunate New Zealand children ( 20% of children live in poverty) - it is so fantastic to see them coming on board again for Christchurch.

This was the bunch I made last year from old school sweatshirts. I am hoping I might have a bit of time this winter to make a few more.

From Lisa -
I can hardly believe it has been a year since the last Hottie Project.  You were one of the amazing contributors which help us make literally hundreds of warm and cosy hottie covers for the children of Christchurch.   (You can see them on the Hottie Project page here :)

Last year these were distributed to school children by KidsCan who were blown away by your effort, and there were many more happy, cosy children because of you - last year a school even did a fundraiser to buy the bottles and the school children made the covers in their sewing class with each child attaching a personal note to their cover.  So special.

After watching the temperatures on the news the last few nights with Christchurch seeing an overnight low of -5 degrees,  my thoughts are going once again to the children living in earthquake and flood damaged homes.  Christchurch seems to be hit with one thing after another and to me this feels like one way we can provide comfort and show how much we care.

This year KidsCan have already purchased us 160 hot water bottles in advance, and pledge to purchase as many bottles as we make covers for!  This means we can focus on making the covers rather than purchasing bottles and also means inexpensive postage too.

We would love to have you join us once again this year, in making a cover (or two or ten :). They are so appreciated and a lovely winter project to work on too.  Why not get a bunch of friends together and have a hottie making night, or share the idea with your quilting groups or school?

Once again I will have my sewing pattern available, along with patterns for knitted, quilted and crocheted covers so you can choose your favourite mode and have some fun!

To get involved, all you have to do is click HERE  Too easy!
Pop in your name and email address, and I will I will automatically send you the "Welcome Pack" with all the patterns, the final delivery date, the address to send your cover/s to and of course a link to some of the incredible covers made last year for some inspiration :)

I hope that we can, once again, make a real difference to New Zealand children's lives and I look forward to hearing from you and being part of this extraordinarily wonderful group of people.

So go ahead - click on the link!  HERE!

Lisa xx

Monday 26 May 2014

Wool Week

Yay for New Zealand Wool Week this week. I have not been into a wool shop here for ages... I buy a lot of NZ wool online. Would love to know if any shops doing anything to celebrate.

I have just knitted up a splittity quick cowl in bright yellow - a Bendigo Woollen Mills wool bought last year for my birthday. this will add a lovely splash of colour to my winter wardrobe! Loving how it turned out!

Today it is a lot colder, but not too cold. I am in my favourite NZ made wool tights from Farmers - I wear these tights all winter. Paired with my favourite $8 op shopped cord skirt and a lovely Australian merino top from Target last weekend. (kindly pointed out by my mate Kristy.) I wear merino all winter  layered. I own many of the Warehouse merino tops. Given up on cotton in winter - all the cotton tops seem to stretch sideways, but merino keeps its shape and is warmer. I love my winter wardrobe, but it is annoying having gone done 1-2 sizes of clothing without trying (due to tonsils being out and no taste for anything sweet anymore.) - a belt is my must have wardrobe item!

Jealous of those further south with the real cold and snow!

Sunday 25 May 2014

Book Love

While taking a group of school parents to the local community library, I stumbled across their book sale. Fill a bag for $6! Easy done for me and some real gems here too. Some for me, some for my mum and the Crown Lynn one I knew I would be able to get rid of to someone somewhere (and I found someone easily and she is very happy!). A tip for second hand book lovers - these books were all purchased from the Mangere Town Centre Library (I was the children's librarian there 20 years ago!) - this is a beaut of a library which is always busy, but with more of the clientele on computers rather than borrwing books. The bookstock is fab, as issues are lower than other suburbs. And their booksale is phenominal, as people do not buy a lot of books. Lots and lots of good stuff there! And boxes and boxes to clear from their back rooms too!
Then this afternoon I popped into Whitcoulls to buy some chess games for school. They had an amazing sale on. If you are into craft, native flora and fauna, drawing, cooking, NZ art, history  - go and have a look! There are some gems and they were all 50% off. I am thrilled with all my knitting books (Debbie Bliss at 50% off - yes please!). The Maori one is perfect for my next NZ history paper in July (Maori after colonisation). I haven't bought books for so long. Now I just need the time to read and knit cute hats, things with sok yarn etc. A month till my nex university exam. Go fast!

Friday 23 May 2014

Ten Random things

I liked Elaina's list , and thought I'd do one myself...

I'm a twin! I have a twin brother Robert who lives in Tauranga. (3 or so hours away.) It is a very bad thing that we have not seen each other for just over a year...

I wear size 3 (EU 36) shoes - the students at school find this hilarious!

I am only 4 foot 11 (all good things come in small parcels) and was a prem and airlifted from Middlemore Hospital to National Women's, where I stayed in an incubator for 3 months. There is a thesis somewhere that was written about me surviving. I was 2 blocks of butter in weight.

I drink about 5 cups of tea a day.

I have to get on a plane every year to go somewhere.

I collect everything and anything by NZ children's authors Margaret Mahy, Joy Cowley, Gavin Bishop and Kyle Mewburn. I have a massive collection....

I study better late at night - very late.

I am NOT a morning person - it is each to their own in the morning. We all just get up and go... not one bit of housework or chores are done in the morning... (Is that bad??).

I adore doing washing/laundry. Am very particular about hanging out and folding. And I iron.
And clothes HAVE to be hung outside all year round on a clothesline. I am not a big clothes drier person. At all.

I am a snail mail fanatic! (I am always looking for new penfriends worldwide.) I have been writing letters since I was 9 and at one stage had over 30 penfriends. I have met most of them all around the world, been left keys for apartments by them to stay over night everywhere from Helsinki to Schweitzengen, flown to meet them in countries we both do not know , met one at my wedding for the first time! etc. I have boxes of letters I have kept , going back decades. It is written in my will to send the letters back to my penfriends too!

Any unique things about you?

Thursday 22 May 2014

new things from Australia

I was underweight coming home. Yep. Even with a visit to Bendigo Woollen Mills. It WAS fab, but i kinda felt quite over whelmed. This is all I came home with... (for me this is conservative).

But when my bedroom corner looks like this, and I have a new drawer in my wardrobe full of this..

I kinda do not need much more wool! It was a divine place, with an incredible back room - so cheap! All so cheap to me actually! There is always mail order... usually once a year for my birthday. The service was superb. It was very busy with only one poor staff member. The back room was as good as I have heard.And I am thrilled to have a shade card finally.

And these! Don't laugh! :) Organic. Never seen organic in New Zealand. I love! If anyone has seen organic in NZ , please let me know where (probably double the price to Australia.). Bought at both Coles and Woolworths. ( I left my entire toilet bag at home, so had to replace everything).  I love supermarkets elsewhere. And at Coles - clothing!! I bought a $7 tee and a $12 pj waffle top.
H & M - oh my. No words really due to volume of people. Totally overwhelmed by it and grabbed items for boys (organic cotton tees - soooo cheap -and sweatwhirts);  queued for an age and left. A pair of tights and socks for me, and a striped tea towel, nothing else. Too much for me! I'd fly back to England/Europe over the Melbourne store anyday. It will calm down one day i guess.

My most favourite item? This wool cup from Bendigo pottery. Gorgeous! Kristy and I spent a few hours there - it was brillaint!
I don't need a lot. A few small momentos make me happy!