Sunday, 25 March 2018

The times they are a-changing!


What a glorious sunset - photo taken by, Phil and I think that's the South Island in the distance, maybe the Kaikoura Range...

Yesterday I went to the monthly meeting of Capital Quilters; what with one thing and another, I haven't been for months so when I noticed I was down for library duty I knew I had to make a big effort and it was well worth it to see so many quilting friends, including the speaker, Pauline Cave, a fellow scrap quilter.

Part of the big effort was caused by the fact that I am not allowed to drive my car for a month! no, I haven't been a naughty girl... just had some weird sensations early one morning and I wondered about telling my doctor, you know just in case she thought it was important.  So, easy peasey, I put a question on the Health 365 site then jumped into my car and drove to the library, did a bit of window shopping in Jackson Street, had a coffee then drove home.  The phone rang as I walked in the door,  it was my doctor to tell me she had ordered an ambulance to take me to the hospital for more tests! 

Bless them they came quietly and I sat by the phone ready to tell them if anything changed - feeling an absolute fraud, but I do understand they must follow best practice.

 
I know it's been ages since I posted but this is ridiculous!  the photos have a mind of their own - but since it's here, this is a photo from one of my favourite tv programmes, Cash Cowboys, two Canadian pickers - I have a soft spot for Canada - and in one episode they were picking this very crowded house and in the attic were several dusty boxes, this we one.  You can imagine I was surprised to see the family name on a product in Canada.  Those were the days, cleaning the grate with black lead!







This quilt caught my eye, using a block I used quite a bit in my Five Inch squares class.

On the quilting front I have finally finished the backing for the Venetian Dream and decided on the binding - photo to follow.

Time for bed I think, lovely to be back, I'll sort out the photo problem, hasn't been the same since I had to change to gmail...I think they've all been saved to My Drive - no idea where that is...

Ok, here's another photo from Phil,


I love that old tree - and the thought, "It's a funny thing about life, if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." W. Somerset Maugham.

Thanks for reading my blog.

June






Friday, 29 December 2017

Season' s Greetings!


+
Thanks to my son, Phil, for this great photograph of the full moon - like our quilts, so much planning goes on before you get the result you want.

Christmas Day was spent with my family and I thoroughly enjoyed myself - once I got over the fact that I'd forgotten the cheese which was my contribution to the 'nibbles'  - I remembered the wooden plate, turned by my late husband, and the fancy knives and the crackers but the cheese was left behind!
                   Not to worry, my dil had plenty in the fridge...

Good choice though to have turkey this year; all that glorious, warm weather disappeared so it wasn't the right conditions for a barbecue,  luckily I had my beautiful "30% alpaca shawl" on hand so I was happy.

Please bear with me as I'm having problems with accessing photos from my phone,   I am working on it and then I got side tracked after Phil sent instructions on how to send photos from mail to Photos, providing I use Safari which I haven't done for ages - fascinating to see all the sites I used to visit.

You know how I love to find spelling mistakes, well this was off a film I was watching -


And this photo is off an episode of White Collar, a crime series I enjoyed on Netflix - no spelling mistakes, I just love the shape of the building.


Isn't that fantastic ? somewhere in New York, I seem to remember it was a museum...a modern quilt pattern, perhaps?

Medical update - I am not having any further treatment for the cancer, the surgeon is confident he removed 99.9%, so no chemo or radiation!  How fortunate is that?  Bad timing though, I am a big, big fan of Christmas food especially mince pies and Christmas cake and they're still off the menu, which is good for my waistline.   I did, however, bake a cake the day before yesterday.  Just decided I could manage something very plain, I could remember the recipe off by heart it's one I used regularly as a pudding when the boys were young, from my Good Housekeeping's Cookery book - called Canary Pudding - 3oz butter, 3oz sugar, 5oz flour, 1 egg & milk to mix to which was added whatever flavourings you wanted.  The favourite was mixed spice and sultanas.

Should I decide to make another, I'll have to lash out on new scales - it's been quite a while since I did any baking, or anything that needs weighing ingredients, and it showed.  I can probably use the remains in a trifle...or two...


It feels good to be back talking with you, I'll leave you with another photograph - truly the land of the long white cloud -




and the thought that "Well begun is half done. " Aristotle

Thanks for reading my blog,
June












Friday, 3 November 2017

Good to see you!



I just love this photograph, taken by Phil recently in the Wairarapa; he said he was about to drive home when he caught sight of this amazing scene in his rearview mirror - so just had to stop.

I think that's called seizing the moment...

 - there's been a few interesting moments lately, I believe I mentioned earlier that I had no wish to turn this blog into a medical report, however in order that you understand what's been going on, here are a few highlights -

I turned up to the Lower Hutt Hospital for a gastroscopy, new doctor trying to get to the bottom of the persistent acid reflux, utterly exhausted after walking what seemed miles through the corridors, some amazing nurses took me in hand, arranged for a blood test, and I was admitted, given three blood transfusions and an iron transfusion.

All fine but next the colonoscopy ... not fine and a ct scan confirmed the problem, bowel cancer, but caught early; so keyhole surgery.  there was also a clot in my lung so a series of aggressive blood thinners - which I learned to inject into my belly, no problem, lots of padding there.

A month ago today I had the surgery - and again, I'm full of praise for the staff at Hutt Hospital, great people.

Time for a little eye candy I think, not sure where I saw this, but I love it - bright and cheerful -


There's also a closeup of one of the blocks -


I also like the unusual setting - could be adapted for other blocks, methinks...

 A few more details so you know where I'm at; I'd been having procedures on my eyes when the specialist found macular degeneration behind the cataracts, which had been removed, I'd had to cancel an appointment when I went into hospital, luckily managed to get one this week and have once more had  an injection, so I shan't be driving until after the weekend to give the eye time to settle down.

That'll do for now - oops, fireworks going off - luckily I have no pets to worry about.

My granddaughter, Amy, moved in, together with her 23-month-old daughter, and they have looked after me so well; she is such a capable young woman, it was a joy to have them here and I miss them a lot.  Not only did Amy do the cooking, washing and cleaning but she introduced me to "The Good Place" on Netflicks - a fascinating programme; there's supposed to be a new episode each week but I haven't seen one yet.

I'm still knitting the blankets, and this week went back into my sewing room - Amy helped me to tidy some of the fabric left lying around and I sewed a few more pieces onto the backing I started before all this stopped me in my tracks. 

Before I take myself off to bed, I want to share another of Phil's photographs which looks like a silver ornament.


Thanks for reading my blog,
June









Sunday, 16 April 2017

Thanks for the memory..........


What a fantastic view!  Castlepoint Lighthouse in the distance and a local walking her dog, or rather having a rest after the climb maybe - Phil took this on a recent visit.  [If you like his photographs, he also has an Instagram account]

It's now lunchtime on Easter Monday and I've had my visit to a favourite cafe, the Seashore Cabaret in Petone, where I enjoyed a coffee and had some exercise - walking up the fifteen steps! I even have an App on my iPhone to record that I climbed one flight at 9.03 am,  and then I sat to catch my breath and regret all those years of smoking cigarettes.

I heard from relatives in the UK recently that the iconic Lifeboat house and slipway in my hometown of Selsey,  were to be demolished.  If you look at a map of England, Selsey is on the south coast, about half way along, just to the right of the Isle of Wight.  Coastal erosion has meant the slipway has had to be lengthened several times,


This is the original Lifeboat house and you can see the dip in the slipway where it's been extended - and yes, that's me proudly wearing my brand new coat, bought with the money I earned working all the summer holidays doing housework and babysitting for the 'Londoners' who rented the big houses during the summer months.


I just loved that coat - light green tweed - just look at those fancy pockets!  High fashion in 1949ish!

I notice several groups are making shopping bags- boomerang bags I believe, so they can be used to get groceries home and then returned for someone else to use...........I have a supply of bags in the boot of my car, all shapes, and sizes, and they are most useful.

So here's another blast from the past -


A bag making class in "Patchwork Annie" - great pattern this for carrying quilting supplies, including the quilt.  How trusting of me, bare feet on carpet with pins around!?

The garden is looking pretty good despite our recent wild weather, though Wellington suffered far less than other parts of the country.

I saw this on my way to work recently, gives new meaning to "moving house" -


This is on the corner section of the street, we watched the preparations and I did wonder when I saw that the roof tiles were being removed, then along came the big truck......we now wonder what will be done to the empty section.....

I've not done a great deal in the sewing line lately, though I did take another seven tops, plus backings this time, along to donate to the team who are turning them into quilts for one of the wards at Wellington Hospital.

Time for my lunch, so I'll leave you with another of Phil's photographs



a different view of the Lighthouse - I'm sure it's not only me who thinks that rock formation looks like a rabbit - or Easter bunny?? and the thought that "Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it."

Thanks for reading my blog, feel free to leave a comment, I love hearing from you.

June






Saturday, 4 March 2017

"My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky", Wordsworth



This photo was taken last week off the Wainui coast by Phil when we had some unusual weather with rainbows reported each of three nights.

Last time I mentioned the damage done by the high winds, not so many of those lately so as I'm fascinated by cloud formations I had this bright idea of photographing the sky and garden from the same spot every day, out of my bathroom window!


Not bad, I thought - interesting clouds, there's the lavender, the edge of the bay tree, the orange monsters  - I think that's bird dirt on the window.........


This one you can make out details in the end garden bed - but after five or six days when the sky was gloomy and overcast each day - I decided to abandon my 'artwork' !!



This is more artwork that I abandoned - not mine, but designed by Judy Dales at a symposium more years ago than I care to recall.  You see the Griffins biscuit tin on the shelf? that's the one I used to carry around my hexagons as I was working on them - each to their own, I suppose.

I went into Wellington city last week, it's been ages since I did shopping there, managed to get a car park almost outside Minerva where I bought a fascinating little book, "Rules for my Son" by Walker Lamond - no doubt I'll share some of the wisdom with you.  

I also spent quite a time in Unearthed - vintage & retro store and have even put my name down for an old typewriter, here's why


Yup, that's me! back in the UK when I worked at the head office of the West Sussex Fire Brigade, in Chichester - probably about seventeen; I just loved office work, typing and shorthand: how lucky is that, as I'm still doing it. Though to be honest, judging by the number of mistakes I'm making this evening, an old fashioned typewriter could be a huge mistake!

Time for bed, I think, so I'll leave you with another of Phil's photos and the advice to "Do your washing often. You won't need as many clothes."



Another rainbow, this time taken on the bank of the Hutt River.

Thanks for reading my blog,
Take care,
June





Sunday, 15 January 2017

Don't mention the weather!


Phil took this photograph on Christmas Eve which prompted me to comment that Santa Claus should have a clear run!

Since then it's been so changeable! the poor orange monsters have taken a beating -


this is what they looked like before the latest storm, but not only did the strong winds toss the plastic recycling container around the porch, it almost flattened these plants - no photo, so you can remember them the way they were!

I have a friend in England who is horrified at the way my lawn looks -



You can see there is actual grass between the buttercups, right?  I have been conditioned from an early age by the books I used to read -



Almost an antique I suppose -

And perhaps you can guess what was my favourite flower?


To be honest, my lawns are mown every two weeks  - they just grow so fast at this time of year.

At a recent stitch-in, a friend had been given some partially made blocks, so she joined them to make a small quilt and I just happened to have some fabric of a similar vintage and colours -


and the view from the other side -



Unusual fabrics, aren't they?

There was one flower I rescued before the winds did too much damage,


  Beautiful, isn't it?  I love the shape of the petals and can accept the pink, it suits the shape and size I think.

I've been reading quilt magazines and enjoyed the Challenge of creative limitations written by Martha Waterman - she suggests ways we can do things differently as we are so lucky to have it made! as she puts it; computerised sewing machines, precision cutting tools etc.   We could change the time taken, number, size and cost of our quilts;  also the colour and method; maybe cut back on the use of piecing to half that on the previous quilt and so provide for more quilting in the 'open spaces' now available.

Does this sound familiar?  This particular article was published in Ladies Circle in 1990, and I'm sure the same things were being said when I started back in the seventies - just as long as we keep on quilting and pass on the baton......... whatever it takes to encourage young quilters!

I'll leave  you with another of Phil's photographs, a church in the Wairarapa - but what glorious clouds!


and the thought that Art is meant to disturb, science reassures, Georges Braque

Thanks for reading my blog,
Take care

June

Saturday, 31 December 2016

I am what I think, so


nothing like some light and beauty to start the new year!   Another beautiful photo taken by Phil - some sort of grass I suspect, photograph taken on the Wainui coast.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I'd bought a new plant, well it exceeded my expectations and here it is -





and the view from the other side, a few weeks later -



I've mislaid the label and my h-a-h doesn't recognise it, so if anyone can help, I'd be grateful.

I haven't done much actual quilting but haven't forgotten the Venetian Dream quilt top needing a backing.  I've reluctantly decided not to take on another pet cat at the moment, so this will probably be the backing -



I have continued to knit, mainly baby blankets of various sizes. 

I enjoy doing them knitting from the corner;  I was asked for the pattern at a recent meeting - cast on three stitches, first row: knit into the back of the first stitch, increase in the second stitch by knitting into the front and back, then knit into the back of the third stitch.  Just keep on doing this, there will be one more stitch to knit on every row.  When you decide it's large enough, repeat the row but decrease by knitting two together through the back of the second and third stitches until you end with only one!




'Wrong' side on the left; I used a plain colour and a variegated, doing two rows of each.



I've mentioned the bear before - he makes a handsome model!

The internet makes so many things easier for lazy people like me; I was able to order a treadmill, talk to the technician who wanted to know how tall I am and how much I weigh ?? he then arranged delivery so no excuses from me, took me some while to get accustomed to using it.  I actually have friends who say they enjoy doing so but what I do enjoy is having it set up in the living room so I can watch my large TV - Netflicks your way to health, as my son put it.

I've enjoyed "Longmire" and "Shetland" and am now onto "White Collar" but while I'm on the treadmill I watch the last fifteen minutes of The Chase - a quiz programme I find quite entertaining, then it's the News - which I would happily ignore if I could..........

Saw something interesting on Longmire - true country-


I think it's about time I sorted through the music on my computer, I have it playing in the background and it makes me realise that's the music from way back, just listening to the words and realising they shaped my growth as a teenager, hmmm



A calm night on Wainui coast, at the beginning of December the same night that Phil took the first photograph.  The mountains are in the South Island, probably Kaikoura - which name now resonates with us all.

I'll leave you with the thought that "I hope for the willingness to live this year in a way that will be gentle to myself....."

Thanks for reading my blog,
June