Saturday, September 28, 2013

New Zealand... and busy, busy life!

We have had a busy, busy life the last few weeks. Immediately after finishing painting and cleaning, my German friends came from Köln (Cologne) for a week with us. We did lots of great things and they are so charming that they just love my house and love to stay in and we cook and eat and drink lots of wine and talk a lot!

While we are in NZ, they are driving Brisbane to Sydney, through the Hunter Valley. They LOVE Sydney (who doesn't) and over the more than 20 years we have know each other, have been many, many times. When I am more flush (with money) we usually go to Germany or they come here, but I haven't seen them since 2009 when we met up in Cyprus. It is always like we have seen each other the last week.

 Waitomo caves


We saw some ostriches while driving and stopped. They are huge and were very animated puffing up their wings and flapping them to scare us away no doubt.
 Food is playing a big part in our holiday!
 Riding in the Redwoods on rented bikes.
 Hitting the disc brakes too quickly - me after falling into knee deep mud!
 Lake Rotorua
 Lady Knox Geyser
 This lake is huge and at about 100 degrees celsius!
Sulphur at the hot pools colours the crater waters.

We are having a great time in New Zealand - North Island only. We have visited Auckland, the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, Rotorua and the mud pools and thermal reserves, ridden bikes in the amazing Redwoods outside of Rotorua and are now in Tauranga. We have also been having the most glorious weather apart from some rain in Auckland. A real treat as the weather reports were for rain the whole week and we have had little of that. Actually Auckland can be a lot like what they say in Melbourne - if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes.. but not this trip, luckily for us. A few days left before I get home and fly to Sydney alone to have the last few days with my German friends before they go home. What fun !

Sunday, September 15, 2013

House work done for now.

Remember I was painting my kitchen...

this is what I started with. Now I'm finished. I did the last bit of painting on Friday. It now looks like this...


 I sanded the cupboards on Tuesday and of course blue dust went everywhere, so after I finished painting on Friday, I spent all day yesterday washing everything in the drawers and cupboards. It took forever. Wash, rinse, air dry, towel dry put away. That's why it looks a bit of a mess still. What do you think? These are the original cupboards from when the house was built. I kind of love the simplicity of them.. there are no wall cupboards and they are the narrow cupboards that was the standard back then.

No rest for the wicked, today I washed down my deck with the power hose thing. Because of all the rain we have had the last couple of years and my studies, it hasn't been done for 18 months. It was GREEN! I had to wash every batten by hand, do the ceiling... blah, blah, blah. All the painting stuff has been there that long too so I put all that away and cleared the deck last night ready for today. I thought I'd knock it over in a couple of hours (including the concrete under it). HA! I started at 10.30am (after setting up, doing yoga and breakfast) and finished at 5.30pm - this includes doing the front stairs too but alas no concrete. That will be another day. 



I have 2 clear plastic blinds to allow use of the deck when it rains (it comes in that way), the photo above shows you how it looked on the left when I stared.. the one on the right is how it was after 1 hour of scrubbing both sides. This house is high set so I had to work out how to do it without falling off but being able to get to all corners. I won't bore you with that but it was hard work. I'm not supposed to be doing big jobs like this as my neck and shoulder are really not good the last 10 or so months, but I don't have any money to pay anyone and it was so overdue. I'm in agony now but as of Tuesday, when my friends come from Germany, and the following Monday, when my son and I got to New Zealand for a week, I am on holiday and will be doing nothing but fun. 
Before

After

Tomorrow I have an appointment in the morning and then I will be sewing. I want to make a couple of things (before Tuesday) to take to NZ as it is about 17 degrees max (celsius) compared to our 29! So glad my house work is done for now and ready for summer with drinks on the deck!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Stripes finished.




I've finished my knit top. I'm pretty pleased with it. I don't know what took me so long either... I just needed to hem it sew the cuffs down and finish the neck binding with the double needle. Some nice stripe matching above. Got this fabric at the second hand shop for three dollars and it is very nice.The colours are pretty true as well.The fit is pretty good. The fabric was just enough for length for me (I'm short) but it sits in the perfect spot (just on the hip bone). I didn't have enough for 3/4 sleeves like I wanted so I got a bit creative and I think this looks good. I'm pretty happy with it.
This is the pattern I used.I've just noticed they have a cuffed version too! Some nice options there. I've also nearly finished a My Image top that is a wearable muslin - same, I just need to put neck binding on and hem sleeves and bottom. More importantly I have nearly finished the inside painting. I will be happy to see the back of the paint tins! I will scrape my old kitchen cupboards this week and then I am done inside for a while.