Thursday, June 23, 2011


I had a few pictures in my camera that I thought I had better download and show you "for the record"!!
Mind you, these are specially designed for the New Zealand members of the family, who just don't get to see the progress of the little ones nearly enough. But I hope everyone else will enjoy them too.

This is a rather dark one of our latest baby "Ruby" who is nine months old now and probably fully grown. Here she is sharing a bed with Digby. But if you though that meant they were friends, you are completely wrong. Digby continues to ignore her existence!

 And here is Cloud, our "grandcat", whom we have been minding. Cloud is somewhat psychologically "challenged", probably as a result of having been run over several times, as well as experiencing a number of other mishaps. While her owners were away she lived on the table outside the back door, and would spend almost the whole day looking through the window to the inside. Mind you, she could come in through the catdoor right next to her, but chose not to.

 At night she insisted on sleeping on top of our microwave.
 And here is William, who comes to us every Friday afternoon, when we pick him up from his Montessori school. He has some Nutrigrain, a few stories, and then he usually goes off to sleep. He is still suffering the effects of glandular fever, poor little man.
 But he always has a smile for us, and he never complains!
 And here is his younger brother Nathaniel, who is discovering the pleasures of food!
 Now he is crawling he can find all sorts of toys for himself, including the cat food dishes...

 And the cat door!
The family went off to Rarotonga for a couple of weeks

Here they are at the airport on the day they left.

 Nate has some fun with Grandad. He has a wicked sense of humour just like his father.
 And here are a couple more pictures of Ruby. She is probably fully grown now, but is still not much more than one and a half kilos!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Our QuiltNorfolk ladies have been busy again, organising yet another Patchwork retreat to Norfolk Island . This time, the week was to be more "low key" and instead of different workshops, they stayed in one place as a group, either working on their own projects, or  making their way through a sampler quilt that had been designed by the QuiltNorfolk Team.            

 There were a total of 27 ladies this time, all from Australia. A tutor was brought in from New Zealand, the very talented Debbie Williams. Debbie had brought along some of her wonderful pieces to display and inspire! Below is Debbie's entry in last year's Hoffman challenge. It is amazing, but believe it or not, it was disqualified because it did not fulfil all the strict and unusual criteria!!

 This is a bargello style bag made by Debbie. It has been treated with a sealing medium, ensuring it would stand up to a great deal of wear and tear!

 Debbie's quilting stitches are definitely the smallest and neatest that I have EVER seen!

 Below is a picture of the Norfolk Island sampler quilt. All the particpants were given a folder of instructions for each of the blocks and the techniques used in them. They then worked at their own pace, with Debbie and the QuiltNorfolk team on hand to assist and advise.

 Rowena designed this block of a Norfolk plaited hat, which uses seminole techniques.

 Norfolk Island's green parrot, and a branch of our lovely red guavas features prominently.

 The Chapel Rose Window was the centrepiece. Barbara made a wonderful job of this one, with some beautiful and unusual buttons providing some of the detail!

You cannot pick out the ocean in the background of this picture - but it is definitely "ironing with a view". The venue for the workshops was Maria's Restaurant at the Hillcrest Hotel.

 This picture was taken later on the Friday afternoon, when many of the ladies had started to pack up. But there were a few so engrossed in what they were doing, they found it hard to leave!
 As I said, some participants worked on their own projects. I really loved this one - that is definitely the loveliest form of cross stitch I have seen!
 At the last retreat, participants brought along squares of fabric in beige and aqua. The QuiltNorfolk team turned them into this wonderful mascot, christened "Tintoela." (That is a Norfolk word meaning "sweetheart.")
 Some more of Debbie's lovely work.

Well done QuiltNorfolk.
The next event will be 22nd-29th October of this year. You can make enquiries and bookings online.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


This past week I said goodbye to my friend Annette.

Annette is a Norfolk Islander who has lived most of her life away from the island. However a few years ago she decided to move back here to where her home and roots are, as did her lovely mum Audrey. However, partly because things have not quite worked out as she had hoped, and partly because she is a very adventurous soul, always looking for new horizons and projects where she can use her skills, she has decided to go back to Australia. And from there, who knows where...but some time up on a remote island in the north of Vanuatu is a distinct possibility!
Annette is a person of enormous faith in God, and she is certainly taking a step of faith just now. She has, in fact, over the past few weeks, given away a large part of her worldly goods, including most of her precious books and craft supplies. Many of us have benefitted, but most of us agree that she shall receive most of it back if she does decide to come home again.
I was not sure about a parting gift for Annette. I knew it would need to be small and light and useful enough to find a space in those few possessions she was going to take with her. I decided on a needlebook.

 For the needlebook, I actually used a few bits and pieces that Annette had passed on to me during her clean-outs, including some red wool crepe, a piece of crochet work, and a battenburg lace edging from a scone holder.
 To make it really personal, I made a fabric print of a Picasso painting of a mother breastfeeding her baby. I knew this would appeal, because Annette is a Lactation consultant.

We have other reminders of Annette's loving and skillful hands, including this rug that she made for me to give to William for his birthday. She specially included a red heart in the centre to symbolise a mother's love.

 As you can see, William loves it!

 Annette has been a real mainstay of our Tuesday Craft group. We have so much enjoyed her fresh-from-the-oven cakes and pies made with freshly stoneground flour, and unusual, but tasty and nourishing additions of various fruit and vegetables!
Goodbye dear friend - for now. May God go with you!

Thursday, June 09, 2011


In a recent posting I showed some bags I had been working on. They were originally intended for holding things like specs and mobile phones, but ended up rather too large. So I set to work on a Mark II model, and decided to use some rather lovely old Sanderson upholstery linen samples. They teamed beautifully with the lace and pearl buttons.

 An yes - they are perfect for spectacles, but I am not sure about phones. I do not have a mobile phone to test it out just now. Bernie has one, but is away from the house this morning.
 They are also just right for pens! I hadn't thought of that.
 But they not quite tall enough for remote controls. I wonder why these are not made in smaller sizes nowadays. Probably because we are always losing them, and having them smaller would make them even more elusive and hard to find under cushions etc.!!
 Funnily enough, I had no sooner finished congratulating myself on having "used up" some of this Sanderson fabric than my friend Annette, who is cleaning out prior to moving, brought round heaps more for me!

 Now these little numbers were quick and easy to make. I have made 13, but I will have to "test the market" before I make any more. 

 Meanwhile I have finished 2 more of the other bags. I am really enjoying doing these!

Peggy in New Zealand is going to send me some CD's with heaps more copyright free images for printing on fabric. Boy, am I going to have fun!

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