Creative Chaos

Creative Chaos

Saturday 28 March 2015

Send us your Country Swap Part Two

We have had much needed rain - huge amounts - but it has left me with about 6 loads of wet laundry to sort out. I am neither a leave on clothes horse inside type of girl nor do I like using a clothes drier a lot. I am an outside all year round laundry person even if it is 4 degrees in winter.. still outside - usually on the clothes horse on the deck. The laundry will now need to be re-spun but at the moment it can stay out there for days - the only things we will need is school uniforms.

I've cleaned and knitted most of today - it is 99% certain that the filming will go ahead on Tuesday and we have been told NOT to touch a thing as the filming people want it exactly like it is.... I am struggling with that... hee hee!

This is what i sent to Anna in Melbourne for the "Send us Your Country Swap". Her package arrived this past week - this is what she said (Anna does not have a blog) -

Many THANKS for the great package you put together for me. Love the Tui fabric
you used for the handy shower cap & the all the rest of the goodies you sent.
The chocolates have been already gobbled up! Even the scrumptious hokey pokey
chocolate marshmallow eggs didn't even make it to Easter!!! (you get used
to that, having to grown up sons & a husband who adore anything chocolate).
Have put the house keys on the lovely pohutakawa ring & have already used
the mud face cream(very nice).

Loved what you wrote on your blog re: Minties; there isn't much made in Oz
that you can't get in NZ. It was very hard to find something just made here.
Should have sent you what I originally thought would be good but didn't
know whether you&your family would like them - Anzac biscuits!

Heaps of Thanks again - kindest regards, Anna :0)

I bought Anna a 'kiwiana' bag; sewed her a shower cap (Thank you Spotlight in Dunedin for being close - i hate driving around Auckland most days and am too lazy a lot of the time to go to a Spotlight to get fabric - in the central suburbs I know of two wool and fabric shops which have shut and another wool shop in the past month... oh dear! I use to frequent all and it is now further driving to get to other crafty places), sent her some Skinfood (a mud mask with mud from Rotorua!) - I love Skinfood products but have not used this particular one as yet - some ecostore soap, and NZ Easter eggs plus good old Whitakers chocolate and a Pohutukawa key ring.

Looking forward to seeing what others received too.

Anyone know of any current swaps happening? School hols in 6 more days... can't wait!

Tuesday 24 March 2015


This is my kitchen and lounge tonight...

Dishes from last night... junk everywhere... more preserved peaches done... bread from the weekend... fruit that needs to be composted (or made into banana loaf at least)... the to do list from 2013/4 still up on cupboards... no futon mattress on futon (still waiting for new bed mattress to arrive)...

and we've been scouted for a tv ad tonight by the neighbours! Photos taken exactly of this! They want "middle NZ un-renovated homes, un-renovated kitchens (that looked lived in and aren't too "flash" or renovated or "modern" looking). Rustic looking is good, possibly with wood details or with character. Ideally NO shiny splash backs in the kitchen". (their words).

The neighbours all work in tv, and they came over to investigate and said we are perfect. And that is so nice to see a real home, that looks lived in and has a really homely feel, that is not a show home, that has a ton of books everywhere, and shows a busy real family.

Oh my gosh - it IS real, we are stupid busy this week (and I am close to tears with everything), yes it is homely, has a lot of books, and it is a TIP and needs a damn good clean.

We find out tomorrow if chosen and filming for the Mercury Energy ad is on Tuesday. Fingers crossed - that is a lot of wool ;). And really really neat to meet the neighbours and wonder why they come and go all hours of the day and night and are always moving stuff in/ around/ out of vans!

Monday 23 March 2015

Send us your Country blog swap (Australia to New Zealand)

Anna's parcel to me arrived at school this afternoon. It was funny as I opened it with a class, who was just as excited as me. I don't think they believed it was "all the way from Australia" as Zosia said.
We had a great discussion about Australia, where it was, symbols, food, animals, big cities, lollies etc.

I love what Anna sent. (Anna does not have a blog). We (at home and school) have had discussions over the minties. :) I always thought they were a NZ thing, but apparently not! But the really funny thing is that the ones sent from Australia are made right here in NZ and are branded Allens. And they are vanilla and chocolate and hard like our "old" NZ ones. NZ minties are no longer made in NZ and are now made in Thailand and have lost the hardness and are now soft and chewey and a fast eat. (lots of complaints over the change!). And they are branded pascall. So there you go.

I have gorgeous bunting, now up above my desk; a really cute tissue keeper (love the pattern and fabric) and a mug hug which also is adorable (I love sewn items!). A new oven mitt which is so needed, a cool luggage tag designed by Kate Hudson, an Australian print artist of Eltham, VIC (I know Eltham well as our manager of our Melbourne business lives there); a retro hankie; an ear-ring and necklace set which made me giggle , postcards, an ANZAC poppy (fab for school too, to show students the difference between our countries' ones) and two coasters.

So many wonderful items. Thank you so much Anna - love everything and such a generous swap too.
I am hoping my parcel arrives within the next few days - mail to Australia seems to be slow these days... Anyone else received any exciting packages from the swap?

Sunday 22 March 2015

the best teacher leaves an impression on everyone for years

There are a few teachers your children may have in their educational life that leave a long impression on their parents for many, many years. Mrs Tsang was one. Always with a smile, a joke, chatting about her garden and many animals, always growing something in the classroom or the classroom deck, a classroom pet. I started the school vegetable garden many years ago with her help and encouragement. All of my boys were very very lucky to have her teaching them.
RIP Mrs Tsang - you will be dearly missed by your school community. (A bit of a worry that the church will not have enough room for everyone that will be at your funeral!)

Saturday 21 March 2015

this week

Wow. Things are so busy. Between early starts and late finishes at school; ERO in next week (government check on the school); BOT meetings; 1.5 hour parent teacher interviews for 2 and this coming week for the 3rd; uni work it has all been manic.
Highlight of the week was leaving school and going to a cafe with the principal and talking, talking, talking...
Lowlight yesterday was finding out about someone who took their own life this past week and left behind a wife and two very young children - I am bewildered and devastated for the wider family who lost someone else just under a year ago.
The house is messy; the lounge will be emptied out this weekend and items moved into the new bedroom.
I've a divine new bed and we are just waiting for the new mattress to arrive. The house is still getting a good sort out.
Beans are fab. Knitting is coming along. I am falling asleep exhausted. But two more weeks and then two weeks of hols - yippee.
And I won $10 market dollars at Crafternoon Tea and a divine bib too with a fab recycled book page envelope (found a good home for it already). Found two sweet knitted chicks which Easter eggs can fit under and bought myself another gorgeous pouch - perfect for sock knitting!. Handmade craft stalls are the best and supporting other crafters!
Still glorious weather - slightly cooler at night and in the mornings and the humidity has dropped - whew - finally! :)

Monday 16 March 2015

Peaches, cyclones and knitting

Another weekend gone. I collapse on Fridays after a manic week at school. I could have collapsed tonight - but I've thrown a roast in the oven, ironed a basket load, done 2 loads of laundry and stared at some knitting, while thinking about a uni assignment. Three more weeks till the hols, which I am already looking forward to! I am looking forward to our new bed which arrives tomorrow - the oldest is getting our 12 year old queen size bed in his new bedroom. The room looks divine - still to order roman blinds, but otherwise all finished.

The hot weather has been good for one thing! Peaches. They are glorious and the best lot we have ever had. I spent a few hours yesterday peeling, cutting, making syrup and bottling several big jars of them. Still another big box to process. The youngest wants apples stewed too, but I'll have to buy the apples for those. I love peach plus apple pies in winter!

We had Cyclone Pam come through, but thankfully it was very mild. I did stock up on water, batteries. powdered milk, tins. Pam is now over on the East Coast (Gisborne and surrounds - where we were in January) and is having a much more devastating impact. Thinking of another blogger over there who I hope is okay! Vanuatu is a mess - totally devastated and impoverished already in such a big way before the direct hit. I am running a fundraising mufti/sausage sizzle day for Vanuatu at school. 
Lots of knitting completed over the weekend - another cardigan for a friend and I started a "My Favourite" cardigan for me in a gorgeous rust colour wool from Utiku Wools. There have been a few mutterings and un-doing of the pattern, but I made it finally - whew! Tonight I am finishing off dishcloths as a knit along with Mel. I am a bit behind with her patterns, but will get there!
have a good week everyone!

Friday 13 March 2015

Checking in on my 2015 goals...

These are my 2015 goals I set in January - how am I doing? -

* pass 2 university papers at least (I've done 3 this past year)  -  passed exam Feb 12 and started my first 2015 paper
* visit Christchurch twice (one trip for school library conference) - not yet
* visit Dunedin -last weekend - yippee
* visit Queenstown -  not yet
* shop locally -  yes
* buy more from Felt for gifts -  bought few gifts at all so far
* buy more books - spent $1600 from library budget already :) ; Bought a few for home
* keep vege garden going - going really well
* keep up with letter writing - only owe 3 :)
* make more preserves, marmalade,lemon honey (rest of jam tastes gone since tonsils out nearly 2 years ago) - Preserving peaches this weekend
* scrapbook more - completed LOTS of pages
* cross stitch more - no
* knit more for other people (2 orders for cardigans already this year)- nearly finished another cardigan for a friend
* do more school library outreach - a tiny bit done
* keep the house a lot more tidier - NOPE
* de-clutter once again - half done
* design and build new kitchen - thought about it...
* paint inside / new carpet in bedrooms - renovated a bedroom impulsively instead :)
* blog more - hmmmm not really
* catch up with friends more - yes in a fortnightly craft group :)
* wake up and get up earlier in the mornings (this will be hard...) - yes - a miracle!
* cook more dinners (husband's "job") - ha -  nope
* help guide 2 kids into 2 new schools (one will get a fright...) - a big change for one which is impacting on all of us....
* cut the grocery bill - actaually have no clue whether i have or not (so just buying what i like really!)
* use more natural products for cleaning - sort of
* finish quilt - no
* visit local family more - only for birthdays so far...
* do more local sightseeing - no - too hot for me to go anywhere much!
* spend a few weekends away with the husband - working on this
*live a lot more simply - I have most certainly been using stashes and not buying as much stuff as usual and using up things in the house/ veges from garden etc

So really , overall, going pretty well! Things have been tough at work, and this weekend I am cleaning like a mad women, knitting, knitting,knitting and buying a new bed for the first time in 14 years! Things are so behind at home and the house is a tip.  The new bedroom looks fab and we are just waiting for the floors to harden up a bit before the teenager moves back in. Electrician was in today and we just need to get new curtains made and we are done!

Take care if you are in the way of the cyclone - we need a lot of rain, so that will be welcome, but we can do without cyclone damage!

Thursday 12 March 2015


Gorgeous New Zealand wool from Unwind / Cute little Moda Vera cotton from Spotlight / Divine stitchmarkers and wooden buttons from Unwind and my cousin Jackie / Roses and so many flower buds on the beans - many / Peaches. Glorious amounts too. Have had to run around school giving away jars of 2014's batch of peach chutney, as we will make lots this weekend, as well as bottle peach quarters. / Still hot for this time of the year and many sunny days. A l-o-n-g real summer.