My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Holiday time

(A non-quilty post.)
Dairy farmers are notorious for having their holidays in the's when the cows are dry (not being milked) and it's generally an easier time to leave the farm and stock in someone else's hands. 
My dairy farmer is notorious for not having a decent holiday, be it winter or summer. The odd weekend away here and there is all he's had for Years.
However, recently we managed a whole six nights away. In spite of some wet days and cooler temperatures it was lovely and a much needed break. 
When we get away we like to head for a coast. For a weekend away we stay in Northland but this time we ventured south and visited a few different places.
(I didn't take a lot of photos while we were away, just enough to show where we went!)
First stop was the relatively local Matakohe Museum. The Northland region has a rich history of the Kauri tree - gum digging, swamp kauri, and felling all being important industries in the past. These days the Kauri forests are protected and treasured. This museum is very big and one of the best, I reckon, with plenty to see. It was a good way to while away a few wet hours.
None of my photos show it, but there were some life sized busts carved from the Kauri gum. Fascinating. We're always looking out for gum on our property - the photo below shows the biggest pieces we have found so far —
(Relating to this, previously we have visited the Gumdiggers Park in the Far North [my photo *here*]. That was also a very interesting place.

We stayed at Muriwai. The rain cleared for us to enjoy a nice evening walk on the beach (a lot of the west coast beaches have volcanically formed black sand).

Thames/Coromandel, across the island on the other coast was another stopping point. We always enjoy walking along the main street of Thames and checking out the shops. 
We drove up the coast to Coromandel. Being winter time there wasn't a lot happening but we enjoyed a nice lunch and explored some bays.

We also stayed at Taupo for a couple of nights. The region is well known for its geothermal activity. We had hot water pouring into the lake just outside where we stayed. Underfloor heating and the hotel pool also used the geothermal water.
I could put my hand in the water - but not for long!
The most energetic part of our holiday was a long bike ride 'around the lake' (as NZ's largest lake going around the whole lake wasn't an option!!).
It started to rain just as we finished the ride so we timed it well.
We had decided we needed a holiday where we rested and went at our own pace. It's been a busy time on the farm and we had both been crook the week before our holiday. However there was no avoiding people when we got to Mum's for our last night at Papamoa! It was nice to see my sister and aunties/etc for a lovely shared meal.
And so ended our holiday. Mum came up north with us for a week. A good chance for her to see her grandies and great-grandies. Whoops no photos so a quick (unsuccessful) selfie at the airport before she left was in order!

[I have had a message that Feedburner will no longer be sending out my posts as an email. I have downloaded the list of subscribers as advised and in the next day or so I will switch over to either Mailchimp or FollowIt. They seem to be the main two outfits who offer this service. So, if you are a subscriber who follows by email, you may receive an official sort of notice in the near future. Does anyone have an opinion on which is best to use? I have received emailed blog posts from both and cant decide which way to jump!]

'til next time
happy stitches,

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

End of the month again!

May turned into another of those months where I didn't get as much sewing done as I hoped I might.
The kiddos have all been here regularly and our house guests stayed for nearly three weeks - all good and no dramas but life gets a little out of routine at times :-)
However looking back through my photos, I see I did achieve a little. 
I made another Pathfinder vest. This one was for Odie and was made using more of the old oilskin I have been cutting up one project at a time.
And a brushed cotton lining.
I decided to use the sewn back seam of the original coat (because it looks cool!) but it meant I couldn't avoid a wee hole there. A simple patch job —
which adds to the authenticity, I think —
The button loops were actually cut from narrow straps already on the coat - a little less sewing for me!
Below, being modelled by the young Sir —
And speaking of Pathfinder vests, we had a Gruffalo feeding the chickens the other day —
A fun, versatile pattern.

I did some pattern testing for Juliet of Tartankiwi earlier on. Now that she is releasing the pattern, I can share some photos.
This is a rather clever design and Juliet has got lots of ideas on how to use it.
I enjoyed sewing up these blocks for her and would like to carry on and make some more, using different colours. Visit Juliet *here* to see more.
The photos are either too dark shade or too bright sunshine, sorry!
The one below is a better representation of the colours —
(They aren't as tricky to sew as they look - and Juliet's instructions are always Very Good.)

Deanna and I have challenged each other to make 4 Omigosh! blocks a month. Some months I cruise in but yesterday I had to spend a morning catching up in order to meet the goal!
Each month as I bag them up, I add to the running tally. I'm now very close to halfway with the blocks. It has taken me a couple of years to get this far so this is definitely one of those longterm projects!
And I think I may need to start a new bag - that's a good sign of progress :-)

It's really feeling like winter is sneaking up on us now. We usually try to (stubbornly) hold out till June 1st before we light the fire but we started early this year. With a youngster staying with us, and all the others coming and going, taking the chill off the house won over silly ideas that it doesn't get cold enough till June 1st!
The other day Xavier helped me get the firewood in —
Don't you just love his efforts!!!!

'til next time,
happy stitches,