Central Plateau, North Island

Central Plateau, North Island
View from a friend's farm

Sunday, 21 January 2018

The Fastest Fox Of All

I drafted the pattern pieces on Friday, cut a few parts out, Saturday, sewed some together, and today Foxy is all done. He went on an adventure in the garden, had a wee game with Boris,and maybe, just maybe, might have a lady friend join him later this week.

“ I sat on the table, quite a good view from here”

Foxy #1

“ Maybe a better one from the small shrub”

Foxy #2

“ This is it, high in the hedge, I can see to the front gate now”  

Foxy #3

“ Oh, the best of all, sitting in the shade under Hugh’s Dad’s Memorial  Weeping Silver Pear Tree” A special place for all photo shoots, so I am sure this will look great”Foxy under Hugh's Dad's memorial tree.

“ Time for a game with Boris, I hope he plays nicely!! I know he can be a bit rough at times! Oopsy, over I fall”

Foxy and Boris together

oops!! He fell over.Poor Foxy!!

“ Oh well, there goes Boris to check out the goldfish! That’s my fun for today”

Boris looking for a goldfish #1Boris looking in the pond

The yellow lilies are almost all open, the first ones dying off, and the perfume as strong as ever.

Last of the yellow lilies

Thank you all again for your special words and thoughts. Go slow is the story every day, no running!! Skating !! Housework!! ( as if ) and no stress!!

Quotation of the day, author unknown

‘ Advice from a Fox.”

“Rely on your instincts, Have  a playful  spirit.

Find a cosy den.  Be Bright-eyed and Bushy -Tailed.

Be Light on Your Feet.

Have Good Scents”

Greetings from Jean.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Easy as is Easy Does

Like Lori, over at Skoog Farm Journal, you can visit here here at this link

Takin' it easy ,

  I am a bit the same.

Thank you all so much for your lovely thoughts,  caring wishes, prayers and loving words. Easy, I am trying to, but  nothing is so  simple, meals,laundry, and more still wait each day. Housework, that is more easily ignored!!! But I am doing OK. Still waiting to be on the short list for the scan, my referral has not been read by anyone yet!!!  I will not get stressed, and will wait patiently.

I have 3 lily bulbs planed in pots, they are perfumed, and magnificent.

The last gladioli have no buds yet, they were planted VERY late.

Lily buds waiting

Yellow Lily #3

Yellow Lily #1

One of the comments in my last post was from Louise at this link,

Standing into Danger .

The words  ,  in case you missed them, said

The bird's nest is beautiful. We work so hard to surround ourselves with security, and here there are all these little birds that surround themselves with bits of woven fluff and build their lives!

This is so true. Life is fleeting, sometimes too short, fragile, and needs to be lived each day to the fullest we can.

Meantime I went to the library, and in a Homespun Magazine from June 2015, was this Fox. He is a softy, lots of fiddly cutting out, but he said “ Make Me” so I am. How could anyone resist this little fellow?

When I was young, I had a soft plush rabbit with long legs, pale green, called Flopsy.This Fox might well be “ Flopsy Fox” a tribute to my days with Mum and Dad on the farm,   a calf each year for the school calf club day, a horse, then a bike to ride the mile and a half to primary school, pine trees for firewood, and a 6 bale cowshed. How times change. The farm is now very exclusive and expensive lifestyle blocks.

Magazine cover photo courtesy of the Internet.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ You are never too old for a Teddy Bear”

Greetings from Jean.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Purple is the colour

The Wayward Transparency blocks are together, I have added a border of the pale mauve, and it will wait to be quilted,  “ Join the queue”I said.

This was another wonderful design from Yvonne at

 Quilting Jetgirl,

and it was so apt that after I arranged the flimsy outdoors, a plane flew overhead. It all seemed to be just right. There have been some fantastic choices for the fabrics, the quilting has left me in total awe, and many thanks must go again to Yvonne, for this QAL, the suggestions, the superb pattern that all went together like a dream.Points matched, so did seams,and this will be  a family gift when  finished.

Wayward Transparency pointsWayward Transparency outdoors after rain

Wayward Transparency waiting

You will need to look at this with  very good eyes, no tele lens, and it was so high by the time it cleared the clouds.But the plane is there, a little to the right of the arrow head.

Plane flying Northwards

We have had some rain,some very hot days, for us 34.4 Celsius is a scorcher. Then some wind, and I found the littlest nest of all. Made with such care, lined with white fluff from the poplar trees, and the builder had carted that a fair way , at least 100 metres,I marvel at the workmanship.

I propped it in a tiny shrub, and have kept it as a reminder that in the whole world, there are designers and builders of all types, everywhere.

Inside the littlest nest #2the littlest nest of all #1

On Sunday, I had a  short holiday, another ambulance trip at 2.30 a.m. after angina pain did not ease up with my medication. I am so thankful for our ladies and men who come at all hours, arrange to have another more advanced paramedic meet us half way, more medication, the “jungle juice” stuff!! After some hours on the most uncomfortable narrow bed of all times, doctors finally arrived, blood tests done, troponin levels in both tests were negative, and I am scheduled for a Myoscan, where a small amount of a radionuclide is injected  and  this is taken up into the heart muscle.After exercise, ( can you see me on that treadmill)…pictures are taken with a gamma camera, that will show, at rest, what areas have not taken up the dye.

Or they might do this the other way around, photos first??

Then off I go to have a NO COFFEE lunch. Then another set of photos, to see if my heart absorbs the dye after some rest.

The best, it will show  something is not right, the worst, no COFFEE the day before or on the day. And if they find what they think they will, a trip to  Wellington for an angiogram and maybe stents.

I am optimistic,and so thankful for all the care and fast action.

Stress, rushing, hard work,and walking fast are all out for a while.Thank goodness the firewood is all done.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Be kind,

be thoughtful, be genuine,

but most of all, be thankful”

Greetings from Jean.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

The Time Has Come…..

For me to choose a word for 2018.

This year it is “ORGANISE”, yes in capitals, and I started today, seriously… with fabric scraps, the batik pieces colour sorted, ironed, and all tidied up. Then the cotton strips, then larger amounts of batik.No-one but me would know the 2 or so hours spent resulted in some empty boxes, but I am happy.Plastic bins are so handy.

Quilting, I have some of the  blocks of “ I wish You a Merry Quilt Along”  free motion quilted, and hope to have some joined before Monday. This is Block #12. They will all have red  or blue sashing, then joined with some Christmas cream fabric.

Block #12, Christmas lights

I wish you a Merry Christmas Blocks 1 to 11

Then, along came a new QAL, it said “Please Join” so I did.  Dione, over at the Clever Chameleon…   hop over to her page and see what else there is, a wonderful quilter ,  has the  Beary Colourful BOM, and I loved it from first glance.So much, that before I had a chance to think, “Red Ted” was sorted, fused, appliqued and stitched. I am making another in redder fabrics as the batting did not make him puff as much as I wanted with the  trapunto effect.

So “ Redder Ted” is cut, and waiting for some new backing, and fatter wadding.   A dear friend has a grand-daughter who will be 2 next January, so this is for her.

Further blocks with the teddies will have rainbow coloured  Teds, February will be Blue.

Red Teddy January 2018 finished

And to finish 2017, here is the Super Moon, early the next morning.

Super Moon December 2017

If you read Inger’s blog,     Desert Canyon Living   , you will see that the secret parcel arrived in good time in California,and Rachael received her bag. Then inside, was a bag for Inger too, and a small owl wall hanging.

Rachael’s Bag was made with batik fabric that had cats on,and the  applique owl, one I enjoy so much.

Rachel's Bag 2017

Inger’s bag had colours of Sweden, paler blue and lemon, and her owl was in muted batiks. Inger's bag and owl wall hanging 2017

Inger sent me a lovely email with photos, so I could see Rachael, a lovely young lady,so special, and a huge smile

Her blog title for that was 

“ Celebrating Friendships Across The World”,

and this is so true. I  have many friends, world wide, they are true friends, we share, care, and support each other in good times and sad. I am honoured and know this is a huge privilege in my life. Thank you all so much .

I hope for us all, 2018 is a year with happiness, courage if needed, restful times, and good health for you all and everyone at your home.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Clutter is simply delayed decisions”

Greetings from Jean.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

The Tiniest Christmas Tree of All

We had pine trees standing tall, then they were felled, cut and split. How soon one goes from a beautiful green, upright, growing tree. to firewood that will give us so much warmth in the winter next year.Trees waiting

The heap of firewood

The pine cones remind me of my childhood,collecting them with Dad  driving the  tractor, throwing them onto the trailer, and then later in winter onto the open fire. Out here in the hot sun, they crackle and pop, and I wonder if the seeds will grow.

Pine cones

I cut a few small twigs off the Lawsoniana tree, and stuck them into a brass flower spike. A  few baubles, some red fancy fabric, a few parcels, and we are all set for the 25th.This must be a record for the tiniest tree for Christmas!!

And there at the left hand side is “ Doozy Lucy” a  cat given to us from Tonya, our darling Jeanette’s daughter, in memory of Jeanette. Lucy is a part of our lives now, thank you so much.

christmas tree so tiny, December 2017Jeanette on  the fence

This year seems to have flown by, with sadness for so many of my friends, here and overseas, joy for others, and for me, new friends,  new challenges, and a lot of UFO’s to finish.

January…The South Island and part of the North Island as seen from the International Space Station, We live about where the brown part is between the fins.

South Island and lower North Island as  seen  from International Space Station

February saw me with crutches and a knee brace, the final decision was maybe a small tear in a ligament.

The Knee Brace!!!

Some partial blocks, still waiting to be used.

Some part blocks #1

March and the daylight is getting shorter. Japanese anemones in early morning light.

Japanese Anenomes in early sunlight

April, and Josh was in the South Island for a field trip, with others from Victoria University. Lake Rotoiti, in the St Arnaud area. Well known for mosquitoes, as we met all their forefathers in 1986!!!

St Arnaud Lake Rotoiti Josh Lee

In April or so,I was one of the guest bloggers to do a tutorial. Hootie Owl was my choice, and since then one has flown to California on a bag for Rachael, and Inger has one as a small wall hanging. I could not send a parcel for R without including one for Inger as well. Inger knew that the parcel was sent, but hers was a surprise.

Applique owl

This was posted to California. This one too.

Rachel's Bag 2017

Inger's bag and owl wall hanging 2017

May saw the start of many frosts, fire lit at night, and our darling Ginger Boy happy to sleep inside at night.

Max asleep May 2017

In June, I finished the QAL with Sandra, at  mmm quilts ;This was a wonderful event, with sadness at the  end  when Sandra’s son in law tragically passed away.

Freefall quilt #2 among the winter grasses

July, I now have a short arm Gammill machine on a wooden Jarrah Frame.Some TLC to be done, here it is in our garage.

front view

August, goodies in the mail from Karen at Tuna  Quilts, travels and Eats. My name was picked out by random generator, and much later I read that Karen was so happy that international readers were included in the give-away. I use those long pins every time I sew or quilt!!!


Then Hugh had a disastrous fall, fractured the Acronium bone in his shoulder. Ambulance, a friend, and the wonderful volunteer fire  brigade all came to his rescue.No surgery, but he needed to be careful not to use his right arm for some time!!!

Fire Brigade, body board and Hugh, August 2017 #2

September, still not fully recovered, ( a small tear in muscles near  my ribs)  retail therapy is so healing. This pattern just happened to hop into my download files. I love it.

Elephant & I cropped

October, spring time, and the cherry blossoms hang down in their beautiful pinks. Pale to darker, so pretty

Cherry Blossom 2017 #4

November, the Wayward Transparency blocks are done, not joined, and I still need to decide if I will add a border. Yvonne over at Quilting Jetgirl  had a wonderful QAL, instructions galore so easy to follow, and a Facebook page where we shared and compared, helped and admired.

Wayward Transparency blocks in mauve and purple

December, and  11 of the 12 blocks in the QAL, I  Wish You a Merry QAL

Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter had a fantastic 12 block QAL, with goodies to be given away, help if needed, and again a Facebook page to share and more.The last block was with Christmas Lights, I had to redo the hanging cord, but did really like the rick rack,That has another place to be used later on. on another project.

Block #12 with heavy rick rack

Then I found this lovely ribbon with words at the LQS.

The blocks have all been trimmed and need to be put together. On hold till after tomorrow.

Block #12, Christmas lights

Sunrise in December 2014, I wonder if we will get that glorious colour  tomorrow,

sunrise 4.26 a.m. on 7th December

I have had a wonderful blogging year, my posts have been sparse at times, but life intervenes.

Our families will be home, in Rotorua, as the grandies are working on 24th and 26th, very early starts at 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. and the family down south have others staying  with them , with Ann and the others,  it will be a very different time together  this Christmas without Russell,  there are  more wedding preparations going on,  and  we travel down in February, for celebrations and more in March.

I wish all my friends a Joyous Christmas, health, happiness, love and laughter.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ May Peace  be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through”

Greetings from Jean.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Pigeon Post is winging love to Co. and a parcel to Ca.

The other day a pigeon hopped his merry way  slowly down our drive, past the trees, and into the glass-house. He was struggling with a very droopy wing.  he could not fly and finally I managed to capture him in a trout net, and he is happily living in the cat cage, in the spare bedroom, where it is cool and safe. On Monday we are taking him to Dawn, the local bird rescue lady. A good examination didn’t show any  bare bones,so he is an excellent  ambassador for a message and a parcel.Pigeon at our place December 2017

First job for him is to carry a message of love to Colorado, for R and his family as they wait for more results and possible treatment. KB, I am sending a   message  of love and hope, with so many caring thoughts for you all. R, you handsome fellow, those ears, the loving eyes, and your shining black coat, let all be well with you.

Next up, he has a heavier load as he takes a parcel to California. Inger, the bag is on its way!1 I thought it was fairly safe to post a photo here, Another R( not her full name)!!! is the recipient, I hope this will give her lots of happiness and good use. R loves animals and birds of all kinds, so the owl was a  good start, and the purple batik fabric has cats outlined in a golden colour.

Rachel's Bag 2017

Pockets inside for phone, goodies and an iPad.Pockets in Rachel's bag

One last photo before he flies away.

He is off to California for Rachel

We have been having very hot days,for us here in November. The firewood work is  tiring!!!  Friends helping make so much difference to the work-load.  I am sure that next winter, we will be so thankful.

the six pines

The last tree, #1 on the previous photo, did not fall the right way and landed in the stream. Along came Richard in the huge 32 ton digger, and in a matter of a minute or so,lifted it up and dumped it alongside #2.

Tree #1 in the stream

Richard in the 32 ton digger #1The digger jaws #3

This is actually the first tree felled, but #6 in my photo. Limbed, and cut into rounds, They are now split and heaved onto the pile to dry out over summer.

Tree #1, cut into rounds.

The thinner branches have all been trimmed and are saved for cutting into smaller pieces for the chip heater, it heats our hot water in winter, and the solar panels take over in summer.

We save the pinecones, the tiny branches are piled up waiting to go through the mulcher/shredder/chipper.. Nothing is wasted!!!

Pinecones, 2017smaller branches, 2017

tree trimmings waiting to be mulched

Hot days for us in November, 29.6 Celsius, and hotter at times. I think of my Northern  friends, preparing for winter, getting out the merino clothing, winter tyres on the vehicles, and furnaces switched on.

Christmas is approaching so fast, we will be home,and having a very quiet day, maybe visiting a friend at night. Our southern family will be staying home, the Northern  family  have our grandies working so many days before and after the 25th, so I think they will be home too. I might save some, just a few,  of those hundreds of pine cones( the photo showed a small amount gathered up so far) and add some tinsel for fun.

Quotation of the day,  by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“ Friendship is a sheltering tree”

Greetings from Jean