Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Good news....

You may remember that just days before Christmas (in the middle of sewing some handmade presents!) my sewing machine broke down. I took it to my nearest sewing machine fix-it man who broke the news that he held little hope of finding a replacement for the part that was broken. Well he rang this afternoon to say he could not find a replacement part BUT he has cleverly fixed it himself and road tested it successfully! Now that's the type of sewing machine fix-it man I like! Obviously I would have relished the chance to research and buy a new machine but our finances won't allow that this year and also my Elna has been good to me over the years we've been together, making numerous items of clothing for the girls and I, mending holes in my husbands shorts and taking up hems etc.. not to mention all the quilts, pillows and other items I've produced over the years. I think my Elna deserves another chance. Might have to for go any free motion quilting though as that was what broke the camels back in the end so to speak.
So in preparation of getting my sewing machine back I went up to my sewing attic to have a bit of a tidy up after my handmade Christmas present sewing frenzy. I always like to start a new project with a clean and tidy space. I guess that's just part of my personality as I can't get totally absorbed in a project if there's housework to do. I know there will be people out there that are the complete opposite and can ignore a mess but in general not me.

I seem to have a fascination with pretty ribbons and ric-rac of all widths so much so that it was getting a little out of hand and messy. Having supplies organised and tidy saves time and frustration when you looking for a particular ribbon, button, piece of fabric or sewing tool. So with my ric rac and ribbons I cut pieces of cardboard, wound the ric-rac/ribbon around and cut slots for the ends to go into to hold them in place.

Of course I had to colour coordinate them so they look pretty.

Here's some of my favourite ribbons, just love the ones with the threads down the middle.
So what do you do to keep your supplies in order?? If you have any great organisational tips for your creative space I'd love to know!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We're back........

Thanks to all of you who left me lovely comments wishing us a great time on our little camping trip last week. I just didn't have time to reply to each comment but they were very much appreciated! Amelia did very well in her running part of the triathlon that she completed the morning we left. I think they came second in the womens group section which was an awesome effort for two 13 year olds. 
As you can see from the above photo I has fun playing with my new camera whilewe were away and took absolutely loads of photos so a word of warning thisisa long post full of photos of the beautiful New Zealand scenery. It was really nice to get away and give the girls some new experiences. One being that they had never travelled further north than Auckland before. We spent our week camping at "Matauri Bay" which is a idylic spot just 1/2 hour from Kerikeri in the far north.

There is a small Maori settlement at one end with a little church and cementry and the public camping ground with one shop at the other. The above photo was taken up the hill situated at the end of the beach.

A miniaturised photo of the camping ground and beach taken from further around the same hill. The first day we were there our friends took us out fishing on their boat then onto an island for a picnic lunch. The girls just loved this and caught a couple of fish each for our dinner that night.

At the top of the hill is this monument erected in rememberance of the "Rainbow Warrior", a Greenpeace ship that was bombed by the french intelligence back in 1985. In 1987 after the investigation was over she was transported to her final resting spot just off Matauri bay to serve as a dive wreck and fishing sanctuary. You can see pictures of her here. The ships propeller is part of the above monuement.

On the Thrusday we took a road trip up to Cape Reinga at the very tip of the North island. It was another hot beautiful day although a little misty with low cloud once we got there. This photo above is looking back down the west coast towards the start of Ninety mile beach. The scenery is stunning up here and there were photo opportunities everywhere.

Another west coast shot with the tasman sea.

Amelia  and Cailtin fighting.....

......but I did manage to get this photo of them both smiling a few seconds later. Caitlin was quite happy to have her photo taken just not with her sister and Amelia mostly didn't want her photo taken at all.

Looking up towards the old Cape Reinga lighthouse which is still in use today although is automatically operated from a Wellington base.

A sign post to get your bearings.

Taken from the very tip showing the two waters meeting, the tasman sea on the left and the pacific ocean on the right. The girls didn't quite believe me when I said you could see where the different waters met. The Pacific ocean seemed a little darker than the Tasman sea....

Another beautiful photo showing the meeting of the waters.

From Cape Reinga we went on to Te paki sand dunes at the start of Ninety mile beach. These sand dunes are just HUGE  and I could not stop taking photos of them.

I found the shadows from the clouds moving across the dunes fascinating.....

and loved the patterns made by the wind on the surface.

Taken from the top of one very large and steep sand dune hill. The girls are only halfway down but you can see how high it is from the size of the people at the bottom. You can hire boogie boards (or bring your own) to 'surf' down which looked like a lot of fun.

Caitlin on another unspoilt far north beach called "Spirits Bay".

Amelia at "Spirits bay".  according to Maori legend the spirits of the dead leave for their journey to the afterlife (hence the bay's name).

On the last day of our holiday the girls and I decided to walk up a single track on the hill at the end of Matauri Bay and discovered this cool little bay fill of dramatic natural rock formations. It was late in the evening when we ventured along this track and thetide was nearly all the way in making it all that more dramatic. Unfortunately I had forgotten to take my camera so promised myself to come upearly the next morning butthe tide was out and it was starting to drizzle so although I did take some photos they weren't as good as they could have been.

The shells at this little beach were abundant and beautiful!

Looking out towards some islands and down on the little bay. You can see the sun on the left trying to peek through the rain clouds which it eventually did and the day turned out beautiful once again.
It took us 6 1/2 hours to drive to Matauri bay but was so very worth it.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Gone camping....

Just to let you all know that we're off camping for a few days so will be taking a short blogging break as well. We're nearly all packed and ready to take off midday tomorrow after Amelia has completed her run as part of a team in a triathlon  in the morning.

The grocery shopping is done although as soon as I got home I thought of a few things I should've got and why is it when I misplace some item, buy a new one I promptly find the original one. This is the reason why I have 4 pairs of scissors, 5 tape measures and now I hopefully have 2 American plug adaptors. Both mine and Caitlin's camera's were purchased in the States so have American plugs on the battery chargers and therefore need an adaptor for our NZ sockets. I remember putting this adaptor in a safe and what I thought was an obvious place but now can't remember where that place was. This is surely a sign of me getting older or I just have too much to think about at the moment and am in need of a holiday, I'm going with the latter excuse.
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