Friday, May 30, 2008


I've put up with a crappy haircut for the past 6 weeks, hadn't done anything about it due to tightening economic situation with my day job (the one that supports me) but it got to the point where I'd just had enough - I couldn't make my hair look good, no matter what I did, and it was affecting my self-esteem. Not good, when I'm having to try a bunch of new and different things to bring in more business, and I need all the help I can get.

It's the Friday before Queen's Birthday weekend here (happy birthday Queenie!), so when I found yesterday that a salon someone with a hairdo that I'd admired had recommended (I hope that makes sense) had a cancellation for today, I jumped at it.

I am SO much happier with the result! It was a very pleasant experience, and they threw in a free eyelash tint. So here's the new and improved me, ready to face the world and take on anything!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What is it with these d*ckheads?

This morning I had to remove FOUR comments from my last post - because someone (I suspect one person) posted advertising links in my comments. Why?

Do they think that I and my readers are going to rush off and buy door mats and swimming pools as a result? (such was the diversity of the links, but they were all laid out in the same format and done the same day which is why I think a single person put them there)


Have you been plagued by this sort of thing?

And to compensate you for listening to my rant, here's a completely irrelevant photo of my orchid cactus when it was in flower:

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Evolution - from supermarket tote to hip city bag

Sophie liked my supermarket bags but wanted something more suited for a big city lawyer. That is, not garishly bright or multi-coloured hand dyes. I rummaged through my bought-for-clothing-originally fabric stash and came up with this red (possibly coarse linen)fabric, and the oriental trim. I then made the handles thinner and longer so it could be worn over the shoulder. The lining is grey suiting.
The result, as modelled by Sophie. Very tasteful and lawyerly. And suitable for carrying heavy law books. Today, it's going to carry lots of frozen meat from my freezer, non-perishable items from my pantry, like flavoured teas and instant coffee, and some yummy baking that Sophie's done to take back for her flatmates. The cost of living in the big city doesn't leave a lot left over for good food. The kids are all from Rotorua, a smaller city where we used to live, and they all like their food.
This weekend, I also started this feather-and-fan variation scarf. This is the same pattern as a jersey I picked up from an op shop (= Goodwill or thrift store) which I wear a lot and really like. I had no idea this pattern was so easy. It's not for me but for a friend as a birthday gift.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ask, and it it shall be given

On reflection, most of what I ask for doesn't get given, but hey! let's start with the small stuff.

Yesterday I was invited to join Ravelry. Hooray!

And I'm also starting a local Stitch'n'Bitch group - I put an ad in the community newspaper to gauge interest, and they censored it to read "Stitch'n'Chat". Well, THAT makes it sound really appealing! Not.

Clearly, "bitch" is just too racy for this paper to handle. The same page features an ad for "Hot Adult Chat" etc - apparently THIS is more acceptable as it doesn't contain any "naughty" words.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Only 1809 people before me

I have signed up to join Ravelry (, an online knitting & crochet community. Alas, joining is by invitation, and I have to wait in the queue. Today there are 1809 people ahead of me (you can check your place in the queue - how thoughtful!).

Nothing creative happening right now, this is as good as it gets midweek.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Following on from yesterday's supermarket-replacement bags, I decided to make something a bit more "arty". I decided to use some of my rust dyed fabric and make a rustbag. I chose this piece, which is fat quarter size, and was rusted with a tyre lever down the middle and artistically (!) arranged nails on the rest of it. Due to the restricted amount of fabric, I cut narrower handles and made the bag body shorter. For the band, I used some unexciting rust dyed fabric that I'd previously over dyed in browns with the intention of using it as accents or trim.
Here's the end result. The bag stands about 10 inches to the top of the band, and I've reinforced the handles by sewing them to the bag. I won't be carrying heavy groceries in this, so the smaller handles won't be a problem. It's lined with a piece of light greyish painted fabric.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

..and another one

Here's Bag #2 alongside the iron so you can see the size. These bags are lined and interfaced, so are strong enough to stand up by themselves. I'm making them out of fabric that's been sitting in my stash for years. The linings are made from old hand-dyes. It takes about an hour to make one.

You could use anything - old curtains, furnishing fabrics, calico - or sew together orphan quilt blocks to make the outer pieces. I found the pattern (in tutorial for) here on Diane's blog.

Saving the planet...

...from both excessive plastic bag use, and ghastly supermarket eco bags. This is the first of a number of tote bags that I plan to make to carry groceries etc.

I will also have to do some practical sewing, as some of my doors and windows have no curtains or coverings, and I want to keep as much heat from the fire in as I can.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The pleasures of the flesh

Speaking as someone who has rather more flesh than I'd like, I'm delighted to see this lifesize painting by Lucien Freud (grandson of Sigmund) has just become the highest value painting ever sold, going for a mere US$33.6 million to an undisclosed bidder. The blog heading is mine - the painting is actually called "Benefits Supervisor Sleeping" - the model was doing that job at the time.

I don't think a similar painting of, say, Kate Moss (substitute the name of any other stick-thin model/actress/celebrity here) would have the same impact, do you?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Graduate part 2

Here's Cass in his regalia after getting degrees #2 and #3 (architecture) with Hattie (aka Red Delicious). Don't they make a lovely pair?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A weekend away at Hanmer Springs

Hanmer Springs is a small town nestled close to the foothills of the Southern Alps. It's very popular due to its hot springs. This is the 1937 cottage that I rented for the weekend. That's my friend Bronwen coming around the corner.
Autumn is very beautiful here as there are lots of deciduous trees.
Looking up Conical Hill in the township.
We drove up over the hills to Molesworth Station, the largest farm in New Zealand, which is owned by the Department of Conservation. This is the view back over the plains from where we'd come.
This is the terrain of Molesworth, which is a high country station. There wasn't much snow yet.
You can see how rugged these hills are.
Poodles enjoying a run in the tussock beside the river. It was a lovely day.
The poodles and Bronwen's poodle/bichon cross, Buddy, who is mainly poodle except for his tail. They all got along well. There were a lot of wet feet.
Looking back up the river. I love this scenery.
So here's a bit more of it! A lovely place to go for soothing and nurturing. And wonderful to have to make no harder decisions than "where shall we go for coffee?"

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Surprises in the mail, and an irresistable book

But wait! There's more! First up is a completely gratuitous sunrise. Just because.
And then there's this lovely skein of sock wool that I somehow scored from Vintage Purls through my blog friend Stell of Knit, Knit, Frog . Stell is also a Kiwi, as is the Vintage Purls shop. I hadn't come across it before. Am I lucky or what?
Today in the mail I received my first copy of Interweave Knits which I have started to subscribe to.
I have been totally seduced by the photos in this book, and I just want to make them into artwork. I succumbed at lunchtime and bought it (all $90 of it) - it's a large heavy book, with the most stunning photos imaginable. I'll share some with you next week. After buying it, I read Donald's comment on my last post and thought, yes, I AM very influenced by the landscape around me. I guess I hadn't realised how much.

Autumn and Winter Landscapes

New Zealand is indeed a beautiful country, especially down south. No-one captures this better than my friend Donald (this is one of his photos that I've "borrowed").

See more here .

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Autumn Snow

I must have taken this photo on a strange camera setting as it's very grainy - however, you can see the snow on the foothills of the Southern Alps that I can see from upstairs. We had a brisk frost this morning, so that put an end to the tomatoes.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

.....two socks!


I am totally into socks at present and have already started to make another pair for me - using a very unusual pattern where you knit the cuffs sideways, then pick up stitches along one side for the rest of the sock. this fastens with a couple of small buttons.

I've also started a surprise pair for Sophie which are "graduation" socks, in charcoal (like her regalia)pink and blue - she had both pink and blue hoods for her 2 degrees. Also she tends to not wear bright multicolours like her mother (ahem!) so these will be more SUBTLE.

And here is the interesting sunset of the day I arrived back home to a pre-winter cold weather front.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Graduate

I've just spent the last couple of days in Auckland at my daughter Sophie's graduation. Here she is with her Arts hood (pink lined). She was also later capped for her Law degree with honours (pale blue lining). She wore her regalia all day.

I was also celebrating my son's graduation which unfortunately was scheduled almost a week later so I won't get to see him this time. Hopefully I'll be able to post some photos that someone else has taken.

We all went out for meals together and had a great time. Gaudeamus igitur!
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