green jug : second-hand shop, littlehampton, nz flowers and herbs :self seeded wild garden at home wooden piece :raumati south beach, nz pumice : taupo shoreline, nz pebble : dungeness beach, uk
Thank you to those of you who commented on the last post. I try really hard to reply to them all individually but this is just one of those weeks when time is running away with me. Know that I appreciate each and every one of them.
My front porch is still a novelty. You get them in the UK but generally, there they tend to be the size of a tall cupboard and enclosed. The sort of place where you hang your coat and take off your shoes. Here, however, you can sit on them all day long and sew. At least, that's what I've been doing and today was no exception.
It usually begins with breakfast on the porch and then, if the sun is shining and I have hand sewing or embroidery to do, that's where I'll stay. It's fast becoming a favourite place of mine. I listen to the birds, watch the world go by, although it is a very quiet, no exit avenue, and dream mainly! I can quite easily lose myself in the stitches. Actually, thinking about, it's quite meditative.
Do you have a favourite place to sit and simply be?
Remember the old garage and car port from a few weeks ago? Well it's all starting to look a wee bit different now. Still a way to go but thought that you'd like a visual update.
This is how it was looking a month ago from the side:
A couple of weeks ago from the back:
And today from the back:
View from what will be the front door. I need to build a path leading to it:
I've started buying old pieces of furniture so that I can display my handmades in the area that will be open to the public. I've just recovered this neat little chair: Will keep you posted as to when developments occur. Until next time...
Several people have asked me recently where I get the lavender from to fill my embroidered squares and hearts. I'm more than happy to share. In fact, today I made the trip out to see Dinah and Richard who run Hauiti in Martinborough, as I was running low on lavender myself. Their farm is just breathtaking and it's never a chore to drive out there. Take a look at the photo gallery on their site and you'll see what I mean.
Anyway, Dinah generously agreed to my taking a few photographs so that those of you across the seas could see exactly where I've just been this morning.
You know what? Each day when I open my eyes, I think about how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful area of New Zealand. Feel free to come visit!
As from next Tuesday I just have 6 more weeks left at dress making class before the end of the Adult Ed academic year. I'm seriously considering enrolling again next year as it seems to be the only time when I allow myself to make things for me. I've recently completed a tunic top that my sewing tutor will be pleased to hear, I've worn several times already. I like to layer it.
Look at my feet! A touch of the Mary Poppins methinks! Here's a closer look at the finished garment. It's made from fine knit in an olive green which is my favourite colour to wear.
I took the pattern from an existing tunic of mine but I added the little inverted pleats that create a soft drape at the front bodice. I've been playing around with printing photos onto fabric and decided to sew a label onto the outside of the tunic. It's a photo of my Grandma and her Mum so my Great Grandmother.
I know that I like to be colour co-ordinated, but this is ridiculous! My current knitting project matches my tunic top!
Asparagus season is here! I think that it has to be my favourite vegetable. Good job really because we'll be eating a lot of it over the next few weeks. One of the great things about living here is that we eat in season. Right now you can get peaches and plums in the supermarket that have been shipped in from California but really, why would you want to? Eating only what's in season and locally produced makes fruit and vegetable a real treat. We look forward to them.
I thought that I'd miss going to Tescos and being able to get whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it and for a while, I did. But now, the seasonal way makes more sense, so much more sense.
Stephspotted the redwork embroidery in the last post and asked for a closer look. These little cushions are filled with Wairarapa lavender that smell divine.
I've been working in pastel shades as well. Great for taking onto the front proch and sitting in the sun.
What a lovely welcome back that was. Thank you so much for your comments. It was really nice to wake up to them the next morning.
Spring in New Zealand is beautiful right now. The doors and windows are flung open and breaks are taken sitting on the front porch listening to the tui's.
I'm working towards the Hawkes Bay 2008 Hospice Holly Trail which, I see, is sold out already. I've started off making the little things that travel well. It means that I can nip off to friends for tea and cake and take my work with me.
It's now 6.30pm. We put the clocks forward at the weekend so it's still light and bright outside. In fact, it's almost flip flop weather ('jandels' if your a kiwi reading this!) On my crafting table right now I have a selection of beaded hearts for the stall. They take forever but I think that they look so pretty hanging from a door handle or a hook.
I really must give you a studio update soon. It's coming along wonderfully well and it looks as though we might even make the end of November deadline. Did I say that outloud?!
A few weeks ago I was approached by a magazine to ask if I'd work with them on their Christmas issue. I couldn't blog about it for copyright reasons but since I've been absent I've been working on that and have also been away on a road trip with Mr Tread Softly. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for a blog break.
Time was spent in Auckland trawling the fabric stores. Mr TS took a good book with him! Very wise! I'll leave my fabric buys to a later post.
image: sky tower auckland
Whilst meandering through Mount Eden, we stumbled across the most beautiful garden between two shop fronts. A building had obviously been pulled down at some stage and in it's place, a garden grew. Quite lovely.
image: unexpected garden auckland
Road trips are amazing here because all the state highways run through the towns and villages. Most have fabulous second-hand stores so there were plenty of stops! We decided to spent some time in Taupo which, as a friend quite rightly said, is an incredibly spiritual place.
image: the lake at taupo
For most of my life (until now) I've lived by the sea and being in Wairarapa where we're pretty much land locked, I miss it. Maybe that's why a felt so at peace in Taupo. I often experience that feeling of total contentment nowadays and spending time by the lake encouraged that. The view from our hotel room was so beautiful.
image: room with a view
More water. This time a visit to the Huka Falls. The noise was incredible.
image: huka falls taupo
And so, we're home now but planning the next road trip as I type!
I do believe I've lost my blogging mojo. Not sure where it's gone so consequently, I've made the decision to take a little break until about...say the end of Septemberish. I have a couple of projects happening right now that I'm not in a position to blog about - not just yet anyway so need some time to concentrate on those amongst other things. Hopefully I'll come back refreshed and ready to blog again. (Just realized that I haven't taken an official break since I started blogging in 2005!)
Just before I go, let me leave you with a few things that have been happening around here. The new garage is up so Mr TS has now officially started on the studio conversion. Hoorah!
A friend and I have started a Stitch and Bitch group. We had the first one last week and loved it. We sit, knit and, well, we don't bitch - we're too nice for that, but we chat and just hang out. Smashing!
I finished another project at dress-making class. It's an apron/smock/frock similar to the last one but with a deep inverted pleat at the centre and it fastens with little buttons. Do you know that this is the 4th garment I've made in class and I haven't worn any of them yet!
So you guys, have fun. I'll be back soon with more nonsense but in the meantime I'm be here beavering away at my desk on projects late into the night, lit by my Grandads lamp.
We've been hibernating again. The weather has been so appalling over the past few days that we haven't had much choice. We always find something to do and much of it has involved cooking. Mr Tread Softly cooked the most amazing Chicken Tika Masala that we ate by candle light.
And no, we didn't get through all of those popadoms. It's such fun making them that we're not very good at knowing when to stop!
The carrot cake was a joint effort. It was really hard work. We don't have a food processor so it was mixed with a wooden spoon. Actually, we don't have a toaster or a microwave either that many of our relatives just can't get their heads around.
For a while I've been meaning to make a half curtain for our dining room window and I can now tick that off the list! Hoorah!
Do you see the daffodils? I love them. I always think that they're such hopeful flowers.
What else to tell you? Oh yes, I received a box through the mail this week from the fabulous Donna filled to the brim with wonderfully soft vintage fabrics. She also included some pretty tape, buttons and a silk union jack hankie. Gawd bless ya Donna! What would I do without you? If you're wanting similar gorgeousness then check out her shop.
I've been working with some beautiful old embroidery and cut-work pieces lately. An Agnes Coy stockist had a grandmother who left her boxes of her work and she's passed a few onto me to play with.
I have a three or four clear days ahead of me so it's wonderful to have the time to play.
This lavender pillow is made from some of my favourite things, antique French hemp, old, old mother of pearl buttons, Japanese vintage silk, old papers, Wairarapa grown lavender and vintage millinery trim.
And would you believe it - it's started to rain again. A great excuse for more sewing!