Creative Chaos

Creative Chaos

Saturday 25 February 2017

Hooray it's Friday

Well it was Friday yesterday - I ditched this and went out for dinner.

I know, I know I had no school yesterday, but I'm still happy it is Friday!
My Thursdays will become my mental health day I think! I'm finding work exhausting and frustrating and the traffic alone to get there these days is just draining. I can't catch public transport as it would take 3-4 seperate journeys and possibly 2-3 hours to get there! I'm not prepared to do that for my job! There are zero jobs out there for me to apply for either and really, I just think I'd quit this city if I left. A small issue of the teens being pulled out of NZ's biggest city and the trauma it really would cause...

I've had enough trauma - a kid time-tabled wrong at school (by the school) and two weeks into the term being asked to totally change his entire timetable, subject teachers and class mates for every single class if he wanted to stay in the drama academy. There was drama I tell you with the kid telling the school that he wasn't moving and that they needed to sort it out as he was still going to do drama too. The school was very good about it, but it didn't go the kid's way and he moved classes with some trauma...

University starts next week, but I'm already well on my way with everything being on line for a month now.

I've new glasses. I've also new contact lenses for the first time in over 10 years. I find it a bit hard to believe that I just throw them away after one wear... and I hated taking them out last night.

We should just sit and think about the sums of money that have just disappeared in the last month...
Glasses $1200 (contacts are trials, so I haven't even paid for those yet); my university fees are $2000; school uniform $500; stupid compolsury i-pad for school $450; school stationery $70; school fees $800 (this is a "free" government school); new coffee machine $600 (the one and only vice for my husband is real coffee in the morning); doctor visit for a rash for me $150.... My head and wallet is reeling.... I just don't know how the average family lives in NZ anymore. There are zero living costs in this amount... apart from $450 for part of the school fees that can be claimed back via tax, the rest (well not the coffee machine!) one couldn't avoid... The eldest has to pay $4000 for university fees next week too. I'm grateful he has a job and can pay those himself!

Anyway, it's the weekend with 2 family events I'd rather just stay home, a mountain of laundry to do, other tips everywhere - it'll jsut have to build up for the next week to grow bigger. Somewhere I need to carve out pages of notes for essays too - i have to get a big headstart with work brain deadness at night and tiredness... do it while I've some energy!

Monday 20 February 2017

Send a little love Swap

I took part in Tracy's annual Send a Little Love Swap. I was partnered with Montse all the way over in Spain. I think this might be the first time ever I've had mail from Spain!

The idea of this swap is to send 5 things to include :
Some sewing or yarny notions that have a love theme
Something heart shaped or themed
Something deliciously edible
Something handmade
Something red 

This is what I sent to Montse -
heart fabric and DMC threads for crafting with
Stickers and socks heart themed
Whitakers chocolate

 New Zealand tea and some ribbon
 a ceramic heart with the Maori word aroha, which means love
I knitted a heart dishcloth too -

My package from Spain arrived at school on Friday - in between the multiple packages of new books (I have ordered SO much already!) and packages for me - school mail can be quite exciting!

Montse sent me all these goodies!
I adore the cross stitching on the notebook and the patterns in the stitching book are fab - little teacups even!
Very bright wool and cute heart buttons and pins (I struggle finding anything but normal pins in NZ!), plus some lollies and a small sample of tea. Pens are always handy for me too!
Thank you so much Montse (she does not blog) and also to Tracy for another fab swap. Always a lovely way to start the year.

Sunday 19 February 2017


Oh it's manic already. I'm exhausted already. Falling asleep after school, hence little uni work done!
Twas Valentine's Day this past week - we really celebrated International Book Giving Day instead with new books all round! Mine was a subscription to my favourite mag "The Simple Things" all the way from England, as I'm sick of driving across town to the one shop I know that stocks it, to find zero copies... But I was spoilt with this in bed! Traffic was hideous this week and I was late to work - oh well.
We've had major fires down south with homes destroyed on the outskirts of Christchurch. Most of the country is in a state of extreme fire risk including my city, but with the rain we've had up here, at least, it must have helped.

I'm hanging out for the next school hols already. I'm a bit over work already. Knitting another sock.
 I start my 4 day work week this week , which pleases me no end. My first university essays are up on the wall - one paper AT university; the other via distance. As the coursework is already up online for both, I've roared ahead already! Lectures start in 11 days time for me.
 I went to the university library yesterday - took a long time visiting 5 floors to get what I want, sort out photocopying, finding my way around - all the new things to learn. I'm used to librarians doing everything for me being a distance student - books and articles just used to turn up in the post or e-mail. The university now considers me an internal student, so i have to do all the dog work myself! Tis time consuming I discovered...
 And this came through for another 3 years - a massive undertaking with a 3 year journal submitted and a bunch of other librarians deciding if I'm up for the task of being labelled a professional! Few school librarians in NZ hold this, so it is like a gold nugget to obtain and keep - 9 years in a row for me now! How has your week been?

Thursday 16 February 2017

Amazing I didn't lose the plot over this

well. yes. a TOP you say. I was knitting a TOP. I finished, put it on, didn't take a photo and then thought I'd block it to flatten the pattern...

it was like this....

I wet it (not soaking) just by running under the tap (like I always do!), then went to lay it out and hmmm..

I have no idea WHY it grew like it did...

This has NEVER happened to me before...

well ... it kinda looks alright in a dress...

The husband really likes it in a dress... I guess that is the main thing - ha!

Now I'm busting to knit another one to figure out if the wool or if it was just me...

Monday 13 February 2017

Send us your Country Blog Swap Partners

Hello -

Another weekend down and heading into the first proper working week of the year! Here are the swap partners - please get in touch with your partner and discuss likes and dislikes, swap addresses etc. have lots of fun making, buying things from your country. If there are any problems, please e-mail or message me.

Linny ( and Montse (

Kimberley and Pam

Melanie ( and Glenda (

Friday 10 February 2017

Five on Friday

*** My Send us Your Country Blog swap closes today. More sign ups welcome***

I'm joining in with Amy and her Five on Friday. I read it every week, but do not partake usually.

1. I'm tired. Totally exhausted after only 8 days of the new school year. It is crazy. I have a backlog of 2016 things still to do - around 300 things to barcode. An auditor's report to finish (I need quiet to do this - there is no quiet at any time of the day, any day!). New student barcodes to print. Class after class. I talk to them; read a book; show new books. Teach students how to issue. While this happens, I could have up to another dozen students arriving to borrow books; teachers popping in needing things urgently; new staff needing to know stuff; books to scan; books to shelve; students to sort to shelve. This week has been so chaotic, I have had no time to scan returns or shelve or even students to shelve (if they have school work to do, they can't shelve)
So already I've a major backlog. It is crazy. It is chaotic. I'll call in re-inforcements next week to help in the form of friends. The new books just pile up with no time to do them, and with topic books needing to be bought, they are the priority.

2. This weekend will be university work. I'm tracking on, writing notes at lunch while chatting to students etc. And I'm hoping to finish knitting my top too.

3. I'm doing really well at not shopping or spending money on outings... it is miffing a few people too... a friend who sells stationery asked if I wanted to be taken off her customer base, as I hadn't bought anything for centuries nor shown much interest. I am interested. I am just trying to stop buying stuff that I just really just do n-o-t need.

4. We've a reunion and a birthday on the same weekend - I'm very precious with my weekends now and it gives me much less time to keep up with my uni work, of which there is no way I can fall behind in. Guilt if I don't go, but huge frustration for me having to go too. I'll know few at the reunion but am kinda expected to go. Does not help when I fall asleep after school from tiredness!  I think I've also turned into a bit of a house hermit, which really does not bother me.

5. Teenagers are work!

Monday 6 February 2017

Thistle Bear "winter" project link party and winners

It is incredibly hot today. Of course! Schools have gone back so the real summer has started. Many schools have zero cooling in classrooms... on the deck it is 32 degrees ! Tomorrow is scheduled to be even hotter.

As I am a wimp, it is too hot for me to go outside much, so I've been baking for a sick colleague (bit crazy I know!) and and knitting and doing university work. I have joined up with Thistlebear and her "winter project link up" (except it's summer...). I only started this 2 weeks ago and am more than half way through the last bit which is the front. It has been a fabulous knit with the pattern easy to follow and knit (unless you forget where you are... I highly recommend stitch markers at every set of 9 stitches!). I am knitting it in wool which I bought in Hong Kong last year - Lang Thema Nuova - a merino superwash. It is gorgeously soft to knit. I've never seen this wool in New Zealand before. It is a 5ply and the pattern does call for an 8 ply, so I am hoping it works out okay.... it looks like I'll have a few balls left over too.

Go and look at the other winter projects - it is a neat way to see what other people are crafting!

The two lucky winners are: - cotton goes to Creative Mumma  ; the moomin notebook goes to Kerrie. Send me your addresses ladies to and I'll get these in the post later this week.

Saturday 4 February 2017

A Room Renovation

Schools (in our household at least!) are back (the new school year starts January/February here).  Every single New Zealand school makes their own decision on when the new school year starts. My boys' old school used to start around January 23 every year. If students are at a state school, this year they can start anytime between January 31 and February 7.
I've only two at school now. The local state high school. One is just starting out there and thinks it is hilarious after his last very academic school. He thanked his teacher yesterday for all that she had taught him - she cracked up - they've done very little in 4 days. At his old school he would have had 2 weeks of intensive learning already completed (his new school is arguably one of the top in NZ - well his old one was too, but a radically different way of learning/following the UK schooling system).
He is happy though but the size of the school (3000 students and nearly 600 alone in his year) freaks him out a little!

I'm sort of okay about being back...

Anyway - we did a bedroom renovation late last year. We live in an old (for NZ!) original 1940s bungalow. Half the rooms have zero insulation. So this bedroom was again ripped back to its bare bones, and now has new insulation, walls and the original wooden floors bought back to glory. A new window was also added - hooray for more light! I've still curtains to order (back to school expenses are around $2000 for  at a *free* state school with uniform being $500; a stupid I-pad to buy; stationery; *voluntary* fees and subject fees for 2... check this out.... )

These photos go from finished to the before (yeah messy teenage bedroom...)

Hooray for another room completed!