Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth hour

So of course we did this tonight.

A little pointless given all we ever have on at this time of night is 2 60W bulbs, but ya know - we did what we should have.

While all these things are great - ultimately its what you do in your day to day life that makes a big difference.

I am a massive one for the old "reuse, reduce, recycle". It ties in with the classic engineers phrase eliminate, isolate, minimise - but dont tell the greenies that.....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Precious....

Its a sad state of affairs when you have a thing for wool. I have a thing for wool. Therefore I am sad. Or pathetic. Or whatever.

Anyway - Wollmeise. Hard as anything to get your hands on, and after almost a year, this is my stash. I sold one to Sam who made a beautiful shawl, and knitted up some of my Saami, and this is what is left!

I love the stuff, and it smells great, and since I dye wool (often to sell....) I feel qualified to say her colours are intense, tasteful and insanely beautiful!

From left to right
Fratello (Yarnissima Kits)
Buxkranzl (Sock Club)
Okzident (Sock Club)
Spina de Pesce (Yarnissima)
Hollerstaud'n (Sock Club)
Petit Poison No 5
Digitessa (Yarnissima)
Jultomte (Sock Club)
Orient (Sock Club)
Campari Orange
Red Hot Chilli
and 2 naturals along the back.

There are 2 more sock clubs to come, and then I think I am done with buying Wollmeise. Its horribly stressful, there is lots of hoarders of the stuff, and the price is horribly inflated on places like Ebay USA. For example the latest installment of the sock club sold on Ebay for $300 USD. Now I love the stuff, but at $50NZD per skein, thats about my limit!! I cannot justify keeping more than this, nor can I justify the constant trading and selling that goes on. I wish people would just buy what THEY want, and leave the rest for other people who want to buy. I never buy more than 3 skeins at a time becuase postage goes stupid after that, and really, dropping $150 NZD on wool in an evening every few months is obscene as it is.

Recently I purchased all four kits from Yarnissima - she sells Wollmeise with a pattern in a stunning kit. They arrived today from Netherlands, and wow!! The wrapping, and the extra goodies all just show what an amazing buying experience this all is.

So watch for future projects. I think I am going to do a shawl with Rhabarber and Jultomte, and I can see a few other projects of mixing the natural and Saami. I also want to do a petit poison and Hollerstaud'd project I think as mine go beautifully.

I think the wool is worth it - its 150g skeins which in itself makes it worth minimum $30NZD (as most nice sock wools are around $20/100g, and with the colours, the quality and the gorgeous smell (Perwoll wool wash) its an enjoyable thing to collect.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I have a new lust.

Fossil hunting.

We stayed here during the weekend, and it was lovely. These are some shots from their farm.

The white parts in the rock are oyster beds, and they are only 20mil years old...

What!!!!!! When is 20mil only young???? This is me who freaks out when I walk through castles that are 1000y old!!!!!

WE went fossil hunting at Kiritehere Beach in West Waikato. At first I couldn't find any (despite the fact people said to me " fossils are lying everywhere under the bridge there..." and I still couldn't find them).

So luckily Shane is infinitely more patient than me, and had the first find. After I saw what they looked like, I jumped all over them, throwing rocks to crack them open, and then asking him to put a large rock in the boot. To be honest - they didn't look that cool. Really - they were just clam shells baked in rock.

Well when I get home I find out that my special rocks (that anyone has access to) are actually dated from the TRIASSIC period, which is really ffffffing old!! 210million years. My little buggers are Monotis, and they are very common for the area, which was covered in sediment 210 million years ago, and then NZ did the freaky land moving thing, and up went these sea beds!

So now I love my fossils, and they are pretty and stunning and clever and gorgeous! We have donated a couple of lovely specimens to Jenna's kindergarten, and I have some cool ones to take to school and donate to the rock collection there.

Some I guess I will keep myself, but I admit that I only understand this better since I started "teaching" geology 2 weeks ago - which I know nothing about!!!!!

Mini break

So we did the whole mini break this weekend. Reality was kicking in, and I wanted an easy night away. Not easy with a dog...

But we found this gorgeous place, that looked nice, and was free the morning we wanted to leave, and was OK with dogs. Actually - thats not quite true. Shane went off on Sat morning to run some errands, and I serached the web, called around, packed up the truck, and when he got home I told him to have a shower, and we were off. He knew nothing about it!

Te tiro cottages was a dream. Gorgeous setting, nice price ($130 a night for all of us), 40 mins drive, and just plain relaxing. It was a wonderful chance choice.

Yes - this is view from the kitchen window!!!!

We spent the afternoon wandering around the farm with Crawford and their foxy Puck, and then had a wonderful evening just chilling and drinking a nice red.

After night fell, we walked about 2mins to their very own glowworm grotto - OMFG. This was the coolest!!!!!! So cool we ran back to the cottage, woke Jenna up to come down and see the sparkle fairies in the fairy forest (as it had been dubbed)

The hosts were amazing - Angus and Rachel rocked, and the kids were lovely too. They were very accommodating and friendly, and I think have a wonderful place to raise their kids.

Book Tetiro the next time you want a break away with the kids! 2 Cottages, sleep about 4-5 each and a wonderful private setting. 2 families with young kids I think is perfect!

(This is where the kids slept - and didn't they love that!!!! Our bed was right underneath them.)

Update on Crawford

So here is the latest shot of Crawford for those who have been asking.

She is a pretty good dog - the allergies are doing our heads in, and she is due to go to the groomer, but she is a GREAT mate for the kids, and generally pretty easy. Keep in mind that in the above shot she has been running around like a loony after a foxy, she is buggered, and dirty and needs a brush and a wash! Still - Crawford at about 5m.

We just need to keep her out of the garden.....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Clothes recycling

Jenna is terribly short of winter clothes. It makes it difficult when your child refuses to wear trousers, so its skirts/dresses and stockings for us most of the winter. We stocked up on stockings at the end of winter, so we should be good.

But skirts - well I decided to have a look in my wardrobe and see if there were any dresses I could recycle, and then I looked in Jenna's. I found these two dresses - both of them expensive, and both too small. The velvet Run Scotty Run was purchased second hand, and is made from beautiful velvet. It used to have a ribbon bow on it, but that has been pulled off.

That dress was turned into this skirt, and Jenna wore it all yesterday, and it was successfully played in at the park.

This pumpkin patch dress was a hand me down, I think from my sister's kids. It is beautiful - patterned cord, and to be honest it's been Hamish's dress up dress for a while as it was too small for Jenna when we inherited it.

I cut off the top, and sewed up the back (It was a pinny style) and made this fuller skirt. Again, gets the seal of approval from Jenna.

Now both are a little rough, I would have liked to do a nice waist, but well - its for kinder, and Jenna is pretty good with simple elasticated waists, and the other thing is my weekend time is definitely at a premium these days!

A 4th birthday is around the corner...

So here I am trying to get the invites done.

We couldn't decide on a specific theme, so we decided on princess fairies.....

Actually I decided after I found a whole pile of paper barbie princess plates and cups for about 75% off - that was enough, theme set.

I am going to try and keep most of the party disposable free, but I am happy for paper plates and cups.

So here are the invites - printed myself, covered in glitter and rolled with a ribbon. I think they will look quite nice in the kindergarten pigeon holes tomorrow. I really dont know what the etiquette is for invites, there are boys and the older kids and the younger kids all invited. We just let Jenna tell us who she wanted. About 13 kids!! Also their siblings, so we may be up for around 25 kids - which would be interesting if it rained!!! Mind you, its at the start of school holidays, in the middle of easter, so I suspect that will be prohibitive for some.

I am doing flower garlands for the girls, crowns for the boys. I'm hoping to make something nice for the garden, and each child invited (not siblings) will get a fabric bag for their goodies. I'm hoping to knit a little korknisse for each of them, and maybe have a few nice prizes for games. I dunno - I'm now over it ;) and its 4 weeks away!

Selfish Dishcloth swap

This was sent to Alison from TNN for a selfish dishcloth swap. Knitted from Bendigo cotton - very soft, probably better for a face cloth.

I liked it - it was loads easier to knit than it looked, just lots of wrapping and shot rows.