Welcome to tales of my stitching life, home, family and friends.

Monday, January 16, 2017

All the fun of the Music Festival

Although we are not mad keen country music fans, a weekend music festival still seemed like fun.  Especially as we could take the caravan too and join all the others – hundreds of vans as it turned out.  We just about filled up a huge paddock with all our vans in rural Tauherenika.  We are in amongst the crowd somewhere.

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And we couldn’t say no to a fast food treat for lunch over the weekend.  Hot dog for him, and a curly potatoe for her – delicious!

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Our not so healthy lunch

There were three nights of country music entertainment.  I was thrilled when Eddie Low sang two of my favourite songs with his lovely deep rich voice, “Ten Guitars” and “Save the Last Dance for Me”.  That’s the sort of music I really enjoy, lovely ballads.

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Kiwi singer Eddie Low

But the stars of the weekend were definitely  the Topp Twins, with their funny skits, crazy outfits, jokes, playing the spoons, and yes, they can sing too, as well as yodel.  These two are a New Zealand institution, and certainly well loved.  The crowds gave them a warm welcome, clapped and hollered, and joined in with exhilaration.

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The Topp Twins

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Doing a silly dance

Most of the campers had the hassle of finding a good spot for their folding chairs on the grass in front of the stage each night.  Not us - we were so pleased that we had paid a little extra over the weekend for our “allocated seats” in the grand stand.  And we had a great view.

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Our own personal seats in the grand stand

This country music festival was a first for us so we were not too sure what to expect.  But it  was a great weekend, full of fun and music, and meeting up with plenty of old caravanning friends and acquaintances.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Oops – Christmas not completely packed away

We are off on another road trip tomorrow, so I’ve been traipsing in and out of the caravan with clothes and provisions.  I thought I’d previously taken all the Christmas things inside – but what’s this still hanging about?  For a start there were the two rather knock kneed Rudolph stockings, which get hung each side of our caravan bed.  After I’d stitched the first one, I decided that I really needed to make another for Robin!  He’s thinks they are a bit strange, but I rather like them.

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Two Rudolph (stuffed) stockings

And still hanging on the wall at the foot of the bed were two small Christmas stitcheries I had made some time ago.  Down they came and these last remaining vestiges of Christmas have now been packed away in the crates.

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Two Christmas stitcheries made for the caravan

You would think after all this time, and all these trips away, we would be experts at packing the caravan quickly and efficiently.  We do try, but it always seems to take ages.  And I have to make sure that my stitching bag gets packed, as well as a couple of library book – both very necessary in my view. 

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Caravan packing day

We are off to a Country Music Festival, a first time for us, so it should be fun.  And when we return home I really want to get reacquainted with my UFOs and start sewing again.  I’m starting to get withdrawal symptoms!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Two more Christmas ABCs

Drum roll please – I have two more Christmas ABCs to show you.  Although to be completely honest, the first one had been stitched and forgotten about, so I really only have one little block finished over Christmas.  So here are “R is for Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” followed by “S is for Santa and his Sack”.

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Two more Christmas ABC blocks finished

Christmas has now been put away in our house, and in the caravan.  The lights have been taken down, the ornaments carefully wrapped up and put away, and all placed in the plastic crates which have been cluttering up the spare room (my sewing room) for ages.  Sitting there waiting for DH to carry them up our pull down ladder in the garage up to the loft.

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Christmas is packed away

One Christmas item is still out – my Christmas quilt is still over the back of the couch.  Might just leave it there for a little longer.

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Saturday, January 7, 2017

A little Extra for Christmas

Christmas wasn’t quite over for me, I was told.  My daughter Nicky had ordered me an on-line gift which never arrived in time for the big day.  As we were on a caravan holiday quite close to their home town, we called in and collected it earlier this week.  And what a lovely gift it was – just right for a couple of “Happy Campers” who enjoy going away for trips in the caravan.

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My new cushion

Nicky also gave me a lovely Christmas Poinsettia.  I’m not usually very good with pot plants, so I’ll have to be really careful to look after it well.  It survived several days tripping around in the caravan, and is now safely home.

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So pretty – Christmas Poinsettia

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Laundry - it was hard work in the old days

It’s fair to say that I’ve got a bit of a reputation as a “washer woman”.  I like nothing better than seeing a nice line of freshly washed clothes flapping in the sunny breeze.  And strange as it seems to some, I quite enjoy doing the ironing too.  We are enjoying a week or two away in our caravan and are currently staying in Feilding.   A visit to the Coach House Museum  reminded me that doing the laundry was very hard work in old colonial times.

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Doing laundry the hard way

I always enjoy looking at displays of old household implements – washing buckets, wash boards and old mangles.  All items to make the life of a housewife a little easier, and they must have been so glad to have them.  But how would I have coped, I wonder?  And I loved the old sewing machine, stitching up a sacking work apron, but making it pretty with a coloured edging.  There would have been little leisure time for ladies who lived in these early days.

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Tools of the trade for colonial housewives
Further around the museum I was delighted to come across a “virtual horse and buggy ride”.  I followed the instructions and clambered aboard, picked up the reins and pushed the big green button.  The buggy gently swayed, as the horse on the TV screen took me on a ride along the streets of Feilding.  Such a thrill for a townie like me who is just a little frightened of great big horses.

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Enjoying my virtual ride.

Later in the afternoon it was time to attend to our own laundry.  But I did it the easy way, non of this back breaking stoking the fire, moving clothes around with a copper stick, and working that heavy mangle.  Instead we drove to the local launderette, loaded the clothes, added soap powder and a few dollars, and sat back to read my book while the machine did all the work.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Meeting up with Nancy J

It’s always so nice to have a catch up with a fellow blogger.  We were staying in our caravan in Jean’s hometown – she blogs as Nancy J on All Points of the Compass.  Jean has been unwell lately so I wanted to pop in and see her, and took a bunch of flowers to cheer her up. 

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With Jean

We had plenty to chat about, health matters of course – sad but true as we get older, family and quilting.  Jean is taking part in the 150 Canadian Women quilt project, which pays homage to the women who made Canada great and honours Canada’s upcoming 150th birthday.  She showed me the blocks she had made so far, and the glorious red batiks she has gathered for this project.

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Jean’s Canadian blocks

It was nice to meet up with Jean’s house guest Joyce again, (hello Joyce) and members of Jean’s family who were staying for a few days.  We didn’t see any of the cats, they were keeping well away from the visitors.  This was just a short visit as the house was full, and as we said our goodbyes we reminded Jean to take care, and went back to the camp. 

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Part of Jean’s lovely grounds

Friday, December 30, 2016

A little stitching, and a Christmas Wonderland

We haven’t come too far on our Christmas break, just 30kms up the road to Foxton Beach School to join other like minded people looking for a relaxing time at the Drop In Rally.  People can stay as long or as short as they like – some stay the whole 10 days and others just a few nights.  I’ve been relaxing inside with a little stitching, trying to escape from the cool wind which sees to blow most days.

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Just a little stitching

We felt another earthquake too, as we were sitting outside under the awning.  As  the vibrations travelled up the legs of our folding seats we looked at each other and said, “Did you feel that?”  Luckily it was just a small earthquake and I’m sure if we had been walking around we wouldn't have noticed it at all.

In the evening a few of us went for a walk to check out the Christmas lights on one of the local houses.  It was a wonderland indeed, lights all across the front, up the driveway, and visitors were invited to view even more at the back of the property.

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Lots of flashing lights outside

Then the home owners kindly invited us inside to see their other decorations.  The bedrooms were decorated with Christmas duvets and ornaments where everywhere.  Even the “little room” had a Christmas theme.  The dining chairs had special covers too, and there were beautiful decorations in every room.  This family takes Christmas very seriously!  It was so nice to see it all, and we thanked the owners for their kindness in sharing their love of Christmas with us all.

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Toilet and dining chairs with their Christmas finery