Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Going in circles.....

A little sneak peak of what I'm working on this week, a project that contains lots of circles which I have very nearly finished working on tonight so you'll only have to wait till tomorrow to see what it is :-)

In the meantime here's some of my favourites that are inspiring me on flickr recently...
flickr favourites february
1. Crochet cotton afghan, 2. dqs11, 3. ...with a favourite vintage eiderdown!, 4. Liberty Love Pincushions, 5. Bird House, 6. , 7. super duper spring flowers, 8. 10 | 365, 9. Fabric Bundle Springtime in Turquoise, 10. presenting the tuffet!, 11. Colorful Crochet, 12. Buttons & Thread, 13. Baby Rippe Quilt Front


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Custom made......

This is the custom ordered writing/journalling compendium that I've been working on most of the week in between the usual housework, washing, baking, dinner making and keeping my girls happy stuff that happens everyday :-) I have to say I'm really loving how this folder came out and it was a joy to work with these sunny happy fabrics. 

 Inside is pretty much the same as the others except just one pocket for business cards and of course it's 3 big pockets hold the bigger A4 size writing pads/journals.
The back showing some of the embroidery stitches I used to embellish the outside with.

And finished with a handmade button and loop enclosure. I'm going to make an effort to break out of my colour comfort zone of greens and blues and work with this happy colour combo more often I think. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New additions.....

 Now that the school holidays are over I've been keeping busy designing and sewing new items for my shop. I added these 3 writing/journalling compendiums last week made with some more of those vibrant Bali batiks that I am constantly drawn to work with.
The covers of each one are made up of small pieces sewn together 'improv' style then embellished with various machine embroidery stitches which all takes a bit of time but is one of my favourite steps of making these compendiums up.

Yesterday I received a custom order for one of these compendiums in the colour combo of red/orange/yellow and in an A4 size. I rummaged through my stash and came to the sad conclusion that I did not have enough of those colours in my stash so of course a shopping trip was called for. It just so happens that there is a shop about an hours drive away that stock a wonderful range of true Balinese batiks and at reasonable prices. The shop is called "Wrights fabrics" in Morrinsville and has been around for years and the owners are really friendly and helpful. One of the fabrics that I had chosen had a cut in the middle of it so they gave me extra to compensate along with a further extra piece that had been cut previously but tucked into the roll. Once paid for my fabrics were not stuffed into the usual generic plastic bag but carefully wrapped in good old fashioned brown paper. Love that :-) And now my stash of batiks is much more colour balanced :-)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A favourite beach.....

Last week I took the girls away on a 4 night camping holiday at my favourite beach. Yes we do live on the beautiful Coromandel with many beautiful beaches nearby not to mention our beach here in Whangamata but  this particular beach is where we holidayed as a family when I was a child in a family bach so it holds special memories for me. It is on the wild west coast just outside Auckland and is quite famous for it's wild surf and because of that it has a reality TV programme filmed there. So all of you local readers will have guessed already that it is Piha I am talking about. West coast beaches differ from the East coast beaches with their black iron sand. We stayed in the Piha domain camping ground and scored a nice quiet spot with our own little Pohutakawa tree for shade which also held up our makeshift clothesline. I tried to take the above photo without the girls noticing but as you can see Amelia spotted me and tried to make out she was camera shy by hiding behind her shirt.
This is Piha beach viewed from the southern end looking north past the iconic Lion Rock which separates North Piha from South Piha. Lion Rock is actually an eroded neck of a volcano that erupted 16 million years ago. I never knew that as a kid, all I knew was that you could climb to the top and that I was never allowed to because I was too young. Seemed so unfair at the time.
This photo was taken from halfway up Lion rock looking south across the main Piha beach and out towards 'The Gap' another well known landmark in Piha. The large rock formation on the right is known as 'Camel rock' and 'Nun rock' is the end rock formation on the seaward side of Camel rock.

This passage through Camel rock is known as 'The keyhole' and is used by keen fishermen to walk through at low tide to access the rocks on the seaward side. Caitlin and I waded through the surprisingly warm water looking at the little crabs and starfish living in the shallows.

So top on my list of must things to do was to take the girls up Lion rock since I had never been allowed to when staying here as a kid. You used to be able to climb all the way to the top of the lion's head but some rock erosion has made the last 1/4 up and around the head too dangerous. I was quite happy to be able to climb 3 quarters of it anyway as the views are stunning in all directions.

My girls taking in the view halfway up looking northwards.
Another reason I like Piha is because there are numerous bush walks in the surrounding bush clad hills. The most well known and used walk is up to the Kitekite waterfalls at the end of Glen Esk road. Every year we stayed there in my childhood summer holidays we did this walk. The falls cascade over 6 stages and end in a  large pool at the bottom. It is a 1/2 hour up-hill walk so Caitlin and I (Amelia was not so brave) cooled off in this very cold but refreshing pool.......

 .......swimming under the cascading sheet of water as it hits the pool. 

 This is an ancient kauri stump situated at the beginning of the falls walk which you can walk under and through to its hollow centre.
An large old rata tree with some cool knarly roots.

Another bush walk we did was the Maungaroa Lookout track that gave us some beautiful views out over the coastline and beyond. This was one of the longest walks we did (almost 2 hours) and the girls were getting a little tired and grumpy towards the end but thankfully Cailtin started spotting some native lizards (skinks)  in the leaf mulch on the paths and a couple of  kereru (native wood pigeon) which kept their minds occupied. 

These last 3 photos were some of the views we took in on the Mercer bay loop walk we did on our last day. I have never done this walk before but it is a short drive from Piha. It is a loop walk along some 700 metre tall cliff tops with various lookout points along the way taking in some spectacular views up and down the coast.
 This photo and the next few are taken on a walk we did one evening that takes you over the hill to look out over 'the gap' Both the girls were uncharacteristically keen to pose for photos by themselves and with each other and I let them click away on my camera.

 They will kill me for putting this one up on my blog but I love seeing them having so much fun together.
 And yes this is one of 'me' and Amelia. I have decided to put more of 'me' into and onto my blog this year so no more hiding behind the camera :-) Notice the bandage on my left leg? Yes I unfortunately badly pulled my calf muscle a few days beforehand and was worried I wouldn't be able to do any walking while away but it has thankfully healed quite quickly although I have not been able to run again yet. I had been looking forward to doing some early morning runs with Amelia around Piha but it was just not to be :-(
 And 'me' and Cailtin. To get an idea of how high we actually are, see the specks in the water to the left of me? They are surfers waiting for the perfect wave in the evening light.

Sun setting taken from the northern side of Lion rock.

Sunsets taken at The Gap lookout.

I hope you have enjoyed this rather long post dedicated to 'Piha'. I so enjoyed showing my girls around and re-living some fond childhood memories. It was perfect weather the whole time we were away and we came back more tanned than when we left along with feeling a little more refreshed, rested and ready to enjoy what 2013 has to offer us.
As from tomorrow they are both back at school so I am looking forward to getting back into some serious sewing and some more regular blogging of course. 
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