Archive | January, 2013

FO and MOS 1/52: banana seat cushion

30 Jan

While not the first thing I finished this year, my banana seat cushion is the first thing I got photos of, so it gets the dubious honour of getting the first of my 52 moments of satisfaction posts. Once again, it has terrible photos, due largely to the fact I had to take most of them with my cell phone.

I made a giant cushion. Yep, a giant cushion.

You see, I have a giant cane banana chair. It rocks. It swivels. It’s super comfy. And it’s huge!

The base of my super comfy, huge, banana chair. Despite my blog photo failure, I had this buried away from a brief thought of selling it online. But I couldn't part with it!

The base of my super comfy, huge, banana chair. Despite my blog photo failure, I had this photo buried away from a brief thought of selling it online. But I couldn’t part with it!

We really didn’t have room in our home for it any more. But being so comfy, I was loathe to get rid of it. So we decided to take it up to our bach in Whangarei, where it can be comfy while we’re on holiday and enjoy a lot more spacious surroundings. It also suits another one of our bach requirements. Because we don’t go up there very often, all soft furnishings get locked away in cupboards in case of rodents. So all furniture must have cushions that can be removed completely. This chair fit the bill.

So we loaded it into our seemingly Tardis-like van (along with a 2 seater couch, folding table, double futon frame, a sewing machine, assorted motorcycle equipment, and enormous Christmas presents) and took it with us up north at Christmas time.

But as well as being comfy and huge, my chair is also old. I got it off my Nana 10 years ago. She’d had it for at least a decade. And she might have bought it second hand! So unsurprisingly, the cushion on it was in dire need of replacement. The stuffing was decayed and had no sproing left, the ties and buttons had all come off, and the fabric, fashionable 20+ years ago, was hideous and faded. So I decided that I’d replace the cushion while on holiday and leave the new one behind.

The tired old cushion, slumped, miserable, and low on stuffing. Also from my "I should sell this!" days. Foolish me!

The tired old cushion, slumped, miserable, and low on stuffing. Photo also from my “I should sell this!” days. Foolish me!

G dropped me and the cushion at my mum’s and took the seat with him to our bach and after lots of other fun things were out of the way I got into it.

First was removing the stuffing. It was stuffed with foam chip which had all perished, leaving it crumbly and yuk. Even so, getting it out was a hilarious three person exercise resulting in 2 big rubbish bags of foam chip, and little bits of foam stuck to our clothes. For days. Every now and then a little foam ball would blow past outside as well.

Then I unpicked all the sewing to get the original pieces, analysing the construction as I went, and harvested the original zips (which I didn’t even realise it had!)

Then at this point it occurred to me I should take photos of the process but by now was unable to get a Before shot. Grr. Blog fail again.

My mum kindly donated some op shop fabric for the cushion, a soft sage green with fine navy pinstripe denim and a heavier weight blue denim. Both of them had minor fade lines in them, enough to prevent Mum from following through on her original sewing plans, but fine for a cushion for a chair for a bach.  There wasn’t enough of either fabric to do both sides, so I decided to put the heavier denim underneath where it’ll run against the cane, and the softer denim skin side. I cut directly around the old pieces, and was amazed at how perfectly the fabric fitted – I had barely anything leftover.

Mid cutting out the new seat cushion

Mid cutting out the new seat cushion

Sewing it together was pretty easy. The front is unsurprisingly a giant oval. The rear is three pieces, two half ovals with a strip in the middle that goes between the two zips. The zips go in, the whole thing is sewn together, and then it is bagged out through a zip. After bagging, a seam goes through both layers, in the middle of the strip between the zips, which ends up with two hinged pockets. I added three ties to the top (sewn onto the back before the cushion is assembled) and two in the middle on the back (caught into the horizontal “hinge” seam). The trickiest bit was putting the zips in, mainly because of the size of the pieces I was working with and the thickness of the denim, but I’m actually pretty happy with them – I’d wear them that way on a garment. I did use the original zips so the colours don’t match, but hey, free or cheap right?

The zips, centre ties, and "hinge"

The zips, centre ties, and “hinge” with bonus charging cord in shot

When G picked me up from Mum’s to go spend a few days at the bach with him, the new seat cushion was all good to go except for stuffing and buttons. Kerikeri, being a small town, didn’t have anything to suit so we stopped in Whangarei on our way out to our place to pick up the necessities. Foam chip was surprisingly easy to find. But disaster! The store G dropped me in for buttons did not have any that suited in sufficient quantities! (On a side note, this was unexpected. Arthur’s Emporium has more buttons in one location than I’ve ever seen in a NZ shop. I consoled myself by buying vast quantities of other, uneeded, crafting supplies.) I picked up a few button options though.  As our bach needs some work to make it habitable again (like a new long drop and water tank) we actually stayed in the workers cottage on the farm. So that was where we were when we stuffed the cushion.

Remnants of stuffing the cushion (and ensuring foam  fight)

Remnants of foam scattered over the floor after stuffing the cushion (and ensuing foam fight)

G and I had great fun stuffing the cushion. The foam chip was crazy static and there may have been one or two foam fights that resulted in us trying to pick foam out of our hair, off our clothes, and in G’s case, off his arm hair (hehehe). We realised when we stuffed the new chip in how much bouncier and sproingier it was then the old cruddy stuff and were almost tempted to bring the whole thing home again! We weren’t sure if we’d overstuffed it and the chair itself was in the bach but it looked ok and was so comfy! We spent a couple of days with it on the floor where we used it for napping. G banned me from getting a photo of him curled up like a cat on it though!

Front of the finished and stuffed cushion!

Front of the finished and stuffed cushion!

Back of the finished and stuffed cushion!

Back of the finished and stuffed cushion!

The ties at the top of the back of the cushion

The ties at the top and centre of the back of the cushion

So now it was almost done! The only thing left is the buttons.

The buttons are not for a closure. They go through both layers of the cushion, helping to control the foam and particularly to stop the foam in the vertical pocket from slumping into the bottom. What I really wanted was a shanked button with a smooth domed surface and reasonable diameter. The selection I bought were much too small a diameter to be much good, as I’d suspected in store. And I hadn’t bought any larger diameter ones as they were all textured, decorative things. I had bought some for fabric covering, but I’d bought all they’d had in store and it wasn’t enough. We were half an hour away from town and far too busy (swimming, sleeping, eating) to go back and try Spotlight, so what to do!

In the end we decided to leave it there unbuttoned. As I probably won’t be back until next Christmas, over the year I’ll find the right buttons and then next year I’ll take them with me and sew them on.

Finally, we took it to the bach in its unbuttoned state and tied it on the chair. Eek! It might be a little overstuffed! But the buttoning will help control that so until I can button it, that’s how it’ll stay.

Cushion stuffed into chair base, awaiting the addition of buttons next summer

Cushion stuffed into chair base, awaiting the addition of buttons next summer

So yes, you could argue that my first blogged finished object of 2013 isn’t actually finished. And you’d be right. But it’s my challenge and I feel that I met the spirit of it. I was so very pleased to get it done (even though I will only get to enjoy it a couple of weeks a year!) and the reason I didn’t finish it was outside of my control, for now. So I’m awarding myself the point and actually, there’s nothing you can do about it.

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2013: obligatory planning post

24 Jan

Yeah, I know, it’s way past the New Year. I did draft this back in early January, the same day I drafted my last two posts. But I couldn’t post a New Year’s post until after I’d posted my Christmas tree and I couldn’t post that until I’d sorted out photos and since then I’ve been busy…

Excuses excuses. Moving along.

So although we’re more than three weeks into the year, I’m still going to post about my 2013 plans. As before, if you’re all over New Year’s planning posts, especially overly wordy and thinky ones, please skip this and we will return to your regularly scheduled finished objects posts soon. Well, as regularly scheduled as they get down in this paddock.

Every New Years period I enjoy taking some time over the holidays to reflect and consider, looking forwards and backwards. It all seems quite appropriate, given that January was named for Janus, the Roman god of transitions and new beginnings, who had two faces – one for looking forward and one for looking back. I guess there is just something about being on holiday, lazing in the sun, that makes me introspective. What can I say, I’m the thinky type at the best of times. You’ll get used to it.

Janus, borrowed blissfully from Wikipedia

Janus, borrowed blissfully from Wikipedia

As I introspected, I thought about 2012 and what was good and bad about it. 2012 was a bit of an odd year for me creatively. I had lots of ideas and dreams but was quite focused on home renovations/rearrangements, and getting our business in better shape. Although I didn’t quite get everything done I wanted to in 2012, I feel really pleased to be going back into a new state of being better organised, more established, and ready for this year. On the creative front however, while I did make a few things there really isn’t enough material to warrant a review so I decided not to do a “reflections of 2012” post.

Basically, what I figured out is that my creative output for 2012 was very low, and I don’t want to repeat that this year.

So I thought about what I DO want for 2013. And there are all sorts of plans that I could make. And almost all of them have been made by someone, somewhere! So many inspirational New Year’s posts that I’ve read! I could sew to a plan, I could stashbust, I could focus on fitting or separates or cake or frosting or palettes or challenges, blog more often, take better photos, etc. And I do want to do all of these!

But what I really want to do is just make stuff. I have so much pent up desire to Just Make Stuff.

The simplest way to get what you want. From Google Images.

The simplest way to get what you want.
From Google Images.

My fantastic friends tease me that I spend so much time talking about making things and reading about making things and planning to make the perfect things and analysing the things and tidying my sewing room that I don’t actually make anything. And that I can justify my non-productivity at a drop of the hat. And I’ll, grudgingly, admit there is a whole heap of merit in this observation. They are my friends. They know me well.

So for 2013 my focus is on feeding my creative beast. On trying things and making things and enjoying the sense of fulfilment that comes with it – and learning from the inevitable moments of frustration that are likely to also come. On focusing on moving away from theory and dreams and cataloguing, to creating and making and fulfilment, even if it means some losses along the way. Not let my perfectionism, my frustrations, and my fear-of-getting-it-wrong hold me back.

THIS. This is pinned to my wall as the single biggest thing inspiring me make stuff today. Quote by Ira Glass. Image from Google Images.

THIS. This is the story of my entire life. This is pinned to my wall as the single biggest thing inspiring me to Just Make Stuff.
Quote by Ira Glass. Image from Google Images.

You’ve all heard of the cure for writer’s block? Just start writing, even if it’s crap? Well, this is treatment for creative block. Just start making, even if it’s crap. It’s time to “fight my way through”.

So, goal in mind, how does this translate into plans for 2013?

I plan to make/complete 52 items this year.

Holy moly that’s a big one.

I am calling it 52 moments of satisfaction. Or maybe 52 moments of smugness. At the end of the year I want to be able to look back and go “wow, I made 52 things this year! I feel great about that!”

It’s a big jump from the small output of 2012. But it’s my challenge and I set the rules so here is how I’m making it achievable for myself.

  • It’s not a thing a week. If I’ve worked on knitting a cardigan for a month and have produced nothing else that is ok. But I might need to offset that by finishing off a bunch of hems one weekend or settling myself down to make a dozen pairs of earrings.
  • It’s not all garments. It could include sewn accessories, beaded jewellery, embroidery, homewares, or even a really awesome cake or batch of biscuits if I feel so inclined. I’m going to decide what counts.
  • Finishing a UFO that has been languishing for ages counts, even if the UFO has hardly any work left on it. So does refashioning or remaking. Anything that makes me feel fulfilled at the end of it.

Even with me setting my own rules, this is a huge undertaking for me. So that brings me to my second plan for 2013.

I plan to spend at least 15 minutes every day on creating.

Yep, even if it’s only one seam or one row or one piece cut out I want to do something creative every day. Dancing (lessons or socially) counts. So does baking. So does blogging.

Again, it’s my challenge and I can make my own rules so I will allow some exceptions. Those are the days when I go to work and I have no lunch break and then I go straight to a dinner date then to a show then stagger in at 1am. Or the Saturday when I leave the house at 9am and come home at 11pm. These days are not frequent but I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t manage anything on those days.

Progress to date!

The advantage of posting this so late in January is that I already have a sense of how I’m progressing. So far I’ve start and finished a cardigan, a seat cushion, and have almost finished three printed tees and a dress! And I’ve had only one day where I’ve just failed to create, because, you know, forgot.

The frustration is that the number of days that fall into the “exemption” category is high. In 24 days I’ve had five days that have just not been craft compatible. Still, 19 days of creativity for me is a milestone!

I’m feeling very excited about these plans. Wish me luck!

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

14 Jan

Well, sometimes things don’t work out quite as planned do they? I had this drafted up on the 6th of January, hot on the heels of my last post, but never got a chance to upload the photos before I went out to Whangarei, to beautiful weather and NO internet access. We got home Friday night after one and a half days on the road, and I’ve spent the weekend unpacking, tidying up, and doing our business’ book keeping (with much backdated blog reading in between  to procrastinate) before returning to work today (let’s not dwell on that!). But when I sat down to upload the photos tonight I had a chain of thought that went something like this… “But it’s so late and the photos I took are terrible on account of being a lousy photographer armed with only a cell phone that I don’t know how to use properly and really who cares about your tree and maybe I should wait until next year for better photos but next year I won’t be using this tree and damnitall I blog for ME and I’m sure the 7 people who read this can skim over it if they don’t want and I’ve done all the work so bugger it! Up it goes!”

So one last Christmas hurrah, and I hope you’re not all rolling your eyes at it.

I mentioned in my last post that I love Christmas. I got that from my mum who always made Christmas magical for me as a child and I never grew out of the pleasure I take in Christmas. Unfortunately there was a phase in our lives where Christmas lost some of its magic for a few years. In the lead up to Christmas 2003 Mum and I were talking about it and she announced that she was reclaiming Christmas for what it meant for us. As part of that she got rid of her virtually bald artificial tree and the tired battered remnants of decorations; then bought herself a new artificial tree and announced that she was starting afresh and that her desire was for this tree to be decorated entirely in white, with silver as an occasional contrast.

That was my first Christmas after I moved to Wellington and I had already decided not to bother putting up my own tree and paltry decorations as I was coming home for three weeks over Christmas. Instead I went to Kirkcaldie and Stains, a fancy schmancy department store, and bought some exquisite glass baubles that would work well on a white decorated tree.

Just like that a tradition was born and I have bought white decorations home with me every Christmas since, and this year marked the 10th installment of the tradition. I tend towards glass or porcelain or other luxury materials and have great fun hunting every year for white decorations. Some years the hunting has been less effective and I’ve had to settle for solely silver or for materials that aren’t as nice but then other years, like this one, I have had to reel myself in – as it was this year was a big haul, with me bringing with me at least 23 individual decorations (although in my defence some of them were bought in sets).

Each year once I arrive at my Mum’s place, I take great delight in showing her this year’s haul and we ooh and aah over them, before we enjoy the pleasure of decorating the tree. This year was extra special as my brothers were with us before Christmas and got to help decorate the tree for the first time in several years. It was so much fun!

The tree in all its poorly photographed glory

The tree in all its poorly photographed glory

The tree from another angle

The tree from another angle, still not photographed well

All of the decorations out of their protective tissue and ready to go on the tree

All of the decorations out of their protective tissue and ready to go on the tree

I have a few close-ups of some of my favourite ornaments but there are so many more! Look away know if you think this might bore you and be greatful I’m not showing every single one.

Believe it or not this one is plastic but I love the beautiful shape and the white glitter surface

Believe it or not this one is plastic but I love the beautiful shape and the white glitter surface

This is blown glass, opaque white, with a sugar-like frosting over it

This is blown glass, opaque white, with a sugar-like frosting over it

This is porcelain, with beautiful cut outs

This is porcelain, with beautiful cut outs

THis little bird is porcelain. The white is hard to photograph but it is beautifully faceted to show details of wings and feathers

This little bird is porcelain. The white is hard to photograph but it is beautifully faceted to show details of wings and feathers

Another of this years - a white feather inside a glass bauble

Another of this years – a white feather inside a glass bauble. You can see a bit more detail on the porcelain bird too.

One of a set of four giant butterflies

One of a set of four giant butterflies, and an owl from this year’s set

This is from this year - it's a silver painted pine tip inside a glass onion shaped bauble that is in turn decorated with floral emblems

This is from this year – it’s a silver painted pine tip inside a glass onion shaped bauble that is in turn decorated with floral emblems

Most of the clear baubles were too hard to photograph on the tree - they all showed a reflection of me and my camera!

Most of the clear baubles were too hard to photograph on the tree – they all showed a reflection of me and my camera!

A selection of textile decorations - velvet, satin, and cord

A selection of textile decorations – velvet, satin, and cord

This little glass bird with tail feather was given to me by MrsC for Christmas a few years ago, who didn't at the time know I was collecting white decorations!

This little glass bird with tail feather was given to me by MrsC for Christmas a few years ago, who didn’t at the time know I was collecting white decorations!

The only hand made decorations on the tree, and the only ones not from me - crocheted snow flakes received as part of an ornament swap Mum participated in. How embarrassing!

The only hand made decorations on the tree, and the only ones not from me – crocheted snow flakes received as part of an ornament swap Mum participated in. How embarrassing!

In that first year Mum bought a bunch of cheaper silver decorations as fillers as it was so tricky to find white. Over 10 years her collection has built up quite a lot so this year I am taking home with me all the no longer needed silver fillers. Why is that?

Well, after 9 years in Wellington I have not once spent a Christmas day at home – I have always travelled north and loved it. And in that time I’ve not once bothered to put up my own Christmas tree as I didn’t see the point in putting it up when I’m away for three weeks. But we have decided that hopefully, next Christmas, family will come to us in Wellington! Oh how wonderful! And even before we’d decided that I decided I’m going to put up a tree every year anyway, and enjoy one of my favourite celebrations just that little bit more.

But I only have a tiny selection of decorations to my name.

Oh yes, I have big plans for next Christmas, regardless of where it is!

First I have to resolve my own Christmas Aesthetic Dilemma (CAD) – do I go for red, white, and silver as my theme or peacock colours in blue, green, and silver? I like colour themed trees and want to pick one of these two. Or maybe black and gold and steampunk? Ok, one of these three. Definitely one of these.

I’ve also realised that in 10 years of acquiring beautiful decorations for Mum I’ve never actually made any – and that is going to change, although she doesn’t know that yet! (EDIT – OK, she knows it now as she read my draft. But she doesn’t know what!) So I am looking forward to producing a selection of handmade decorations and accessories, both for my own tree (post solving of the CAD) and for Mum’s tree. I’m already looking forward to next Christmas so much – and to posting about it! Maybe even on time, with decent photos!

Tis the season…

6 Jan

…and what a season it is. I love Christmas and I love summer and I love that they occur together. Of course, I’ve only ever known them to occur together so I am a product of my experiences, but I recall as a child that when I finally realised that other places had Christmas during winter I felt very sorry for those people.

Every year for the last 10, from when I moved away from my childhood city of Auckland to my current home of Wellington, Christmas and my summer holiday have revolved around travelling north for family and fun. My partner G’s family are in Whangarei and my family have been in Auckland for most of this time although they’ve progressively moved further north and are now based in Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands. G tends to spend Christmas with his family, staying in our little bach, and I spend Christmas with my family.

After a week of reduced sleep from working longer than normal hours and then staying up late wrapping presents for our trip, getting pattern pyramid prizes wrapped for posting, and doing all the last minute things you do when you leave your home for three weeks, we got to the beginning of our precious holiday! On the morning of the 21st of December G and I undertook our annual ritual of cramming almost everything we own (or at least it feels like that) into our van, and this time adding a trailer with two dirt bikes to the back, before settling in for leg one of our trip, the nine hour drive to Auckland. New Zealand is renowned for its four seasons in one day and this road trip was quite exciting. We left an overcast Wellington and experienced drizzle and grey skies all through the Kapiti coast. Eventually we left the rain and emerged into full summer. We stopped at Taumaranui for diesel and icecream and by this point it was almost 27 degrees with glorious skies. Amazingly less than half an hour after that we hit the edge of a storm and went from blue skies and heat to torrential driving rain, terribly visibility, and so much surface water on the road we were wondering if flash floods were about to hit. A couple hours after that we came out the other side into Auckland, which was cloudless and stinking hot  – and had been all day. I had plans to take photos of pohutukawa and other beautiful sites along the way but cell phone photos out of a moving van do not nice photos make.

We stayed with good friends in Auckland then were up early the following day for leg two, the four hour trip so that G could drop me at my mum’s house in Kerikeri. We also picked up one of my baby brothers, the Muso, on the way, which was so exciting as I hadn’t seen him since last Christmas! My other baby brother, the Artist, was living with mum until just now so he was already in Kerikeri and there was much delight all round at the family being reunited.

I should clarify – Muso Brother is 19 and Artist Brother is almost 17 and both of them tower over me, so calling them my baby brothers is a bit overstated – but they’ll be my baby brothers forever.

Poor G – when my family was further south his stop in Whangarei was also the furthest north, but now he has to drop me off than double back. He stayed in Kerikeri the night of the 22nd and we had a wonderful night as he caught up with my mum, her partner SB, and my brothers, then he left the following day to head to his place.

Pavlova, just one of our many tasty Christmas treats.

Pavlova, just one of our many tasty Christmas treats.

Christmas was wonderful. We decorated our beautiful tree together and I helped my brothers choose Christmas presents for Mum. It was the first time in maybe 5 or 6 years that my brothers have been able to spend Christmas morning with me and our mum and it was magical.

On the day itself there was much laughter and face pulling and squeals of delight. It poured with rain while my Facebook feed filled up with people saying that my (traditionally colder and windier) city was hot and calm. And I didn’t care.  There was much laughter and pulling of crackers with terrible toys and worse jokes. We wore paper hats until they disintegrated, or in my case drove me crazy by falling into my eyes. There was hilarity and love and good times. Our gorgeous cat Nike joined in and even got a catnip windup mouse that had her briefly entertained until she decided it was too much like effort. Then she was adorned with a paper hat as well.

Me and Artist Brother just before we start opening presents. Artist Brother is 16 - he couldn't help himself.

Me and Artist Brother just before we start opening presents. Artist Brother is 16 – he couldn’t help himself.

Artist Brother helping Nike the cat unwrap her present.

Artist Brother helping Nike the cat unwrap her present.

Muso Brother and Nike wearing their paper hats.

Muso Brother and Nike wearing their paper hats.

Everyone was delighted with the perfectly chosen things they received and I was the lucky recipient of a wonderful range of goodies! I won’t share all of it but the highlights have to be Knitpro interchangeable circular knitting needle set (three different sized tips and three different length cables, and OH they are lovely to knit with – I cast on on Christmas Day!), hand knitted Dr Who dish cloths, and a Yoda Lego-styled key ring, all from Mum; and a Yoda USB stick and Star Wars recipe book with Star Wars biscuit cutters, from my brothers.

Knitting tools! Dr Who! Star Wars! My family know me well…

My pun-laden Star Wars recipe book (Mueslie Admiral Ack-Bars! Wookie Cookies! ) and biscuit cutters, which I have a general obsession with and therefore a huge obsession.

My pun-laden Star Wars recipe book (Muesli Admiral Ack-Bars! Wookie Cookies! ) and biscuit cutters, which I have a general obsession with and therefore a huge collection.

Yoda USB stick and Lego key ring (with LEDs in the feet!)

Yoda USB stick and Lego key ring (with LEDs in the feet!)

Tardis dishcloth knitted by Mum...

Tardis dishcloth knitted by Mum…

...which goes with my Weeping Angel dishcloth...

…which goes with my Weeping Angel dishcloth…

...and my Dalek dishcloth!

…and my Dalek dishcloth!

In the days after Christmas there was much hanging out with brothers, listening to Muso Brother’s compositions and looking at Artist Brother’s drawings and talking about our favourite bands and our other hobbies (Muso Brother does rugby reffing, Artist Brother does archery) as well as some more deep and meaningful conversations. Muso Brother has just finished his first year studying audio engineering and music composition and Artist Brother is just about to start his first year studying animation and art and they told me all about their courses. I listened to them playing video games with each other while I sat and knitted. I taught them some basic rock and roll jumps because you don’t have to be able to dance to do the jumps and how cool is it to know you can catch a girl when she leaps into your arms! I cracked up laughing at the non-stop barrage of quips and jokes they made. Basically I got reminded all over again that I officially have the most amazing brothers in the whole world and I am so proud of them and adore them to pieces.

Showing Muso Brother where to catch me

Showing Muso Brother where to catch me

Me mid-leap into Artist Brother's arms

Me mid-leap into Artist Brother’s arms

And after being caught by Muso Brother.

And after being caught by Muso Brother.

They headed to their dad’s place in the north of Auckland on New Year’s Eve and after being sad to see them go, our New Year’s was very quiet, just me, Mum, and SB, at home. I really wanted to go to bed about 10.30 but I decided to see the New Year in so I knitted while I waited for the New Year and stuffed up an entire row because I was so tired. Lesson learned – don’t knit when tired. Mum fixed it.

My knitting at the end of Christmas Day on my new Knitpro needles

My knitting at the end of Christmas Day on my new Knitpro needles

Mid cutting out the new seat cushion

Mid cutting out the new seat cushion

In the days since then I have powered through my knitting, almost finished a giant seat cushion, had lots of cuddles with Nike (who has taken to sleeping with me at night, although I’ve had to convince her that sleeping on my chest is not polite), been exploring the local area with Mum and SB, bought brightly coloured yarn from a friend of Mum’s who imports it, and acquired some fabric from the local store. After the initial rain went away there has been glorious sunshine and heat to go with it with one brief tropical thunderstorm over one evening and there has been much ice cream and fresh fruit, both of which I adore. It’s pretty much the perfect summer holiday.

Pohutukawa tree in bloom on one of our trips exploring the area. It's not fancy effects, my poor cell phone couldn't cope with the amount of light on the beautiful sunny day.

Pohutukawa tree in bloom on one of our trips exploring the area. It’s not fancy effects, my poor cell phone couldn’t cope with the amount of light on the beautiful sunny day.

Pohutukawa flower held in my hand for scale

Pohutukawa flower held in my hand for scale

Nike giving me snuggles - she likes to nestle into my neck. Sorry Fissy and Walnut, you guys may be more photogenic but Nike is still the smoochiest, cutest, snuggliest cat and my favourite.

Nike giving me snuggles – she likes to nestle into my neck. Sorry Fissy and Walnut, you guys may be more photogenic but Nike is still the smoochiest, cutest, snuggliest cat and my absolute favourite kitty.

I’m still at Mum’s now, soaking up the last of my holiday time with her, and on Monday morning I will be heading to Whangarei to spend a couple of days with G and his family and hopefully do some fishing before our return trip over Thursday and Friday. My time has been focused on family and crafting and hugging Nike, with very little in the way of technology – my blog reader had 377 items in it at one point! I was originally planning on posting this before New Year so that I could do my obligatory 2013 planning post round about now. I’ve had so much fun with my family and been so determined to finish a couple of crafting projects while Mum is around to help me that I haven’t really minded the lack of computer time – although I will catch up on everything soon!