Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Queen of Starts and some of her Travels

I have decided to give myself a title 'The queen of Starts'. I just can't help myself , there are so many quilts to be made and just not enough years, so I have to start them all.
These elongated hexagons are to go around the centre of the Nancy Horsfall crib quilt. I love fussy cutting, so I just keep making them and when the centre is complete I will then decide which ones will make the cut. I bought a vintage sheet whilst on my travels in New Zealand ,I will applique these blocks onto it , when I can bring myself to chop it up.
I am still working on my clamshell quilt, yep, I am still loving making that, it hasn't been cast aside just yet. I needed a top up of shirting's for the alternate rows.

I also needed a little stash enhancement, some for fussy cutting, some for clams and some to just admire.

Just recently a family member moved into an apartment opposite the Sydney Opera house, we spent our afternoon today just admiring this wonderful view, celebrating an aunts birthday.

it is just a block away from the grounds of Admiralty House (the home of the Governor General). That sign you can see placed in the garden is saying trespassing is not permitted.

just to the right of our view is the Sydney Harbour Bridge, if you look closely you can notice some climbers on the top. For anyone thinking of visiting Sydney a bridge climb is a worthy venture. The view from the top of the bridge is spectacular.
as the afternoon unfolded, the harbour became busier, unfortunately the promised rain made an appearance and the wind whipped up the water making it very choppy.

On our recent trip to NZ we visited a place called Mangawhai. Mangawhai is north of Auckland and the reason for our visit was my SIL had read somewhere that a company called Bennett's chocolates had relocated from Murawai to Mungawhai. We were out and about and had been to Matakana farmers markets, so we dialed up the I phones (as you do) and put the sat nav to use to get us to our destination.
Let me say it was worth the drive, we could have been somewhere in Tuscany. we arrived to fine this huge Italian like villa.
We were greeted by these huge gate like doors and cobbled floors.

The car park gardens were planted with olive trees and lavender, the silver and mauve colours and some of my favourite.

This huge building which is such a destination houses a cafe/restaurant, which I might add serves delicious well presented food.

They have obviously been on an overseas buying trip , they have some wonderful pieces , like this trough

and this old stone sideboard type cupboard.

a sample of soup that was on the menu that day.

scattered throughout the place there were huge urns that were bulging with succulents

very Italian like water features

more plants on very rustic tables

a shaded courtyard

floral arrangements adorning the tables
I so wanted to bring this stone sideboard home
as well as this building housing a cafe/ restaurant, there is also a deli/ supermarket/ green grocer, you can use these lovely basket to gather your items to purchase

Behind these doors is the Chocolatier

They make divine chocolate, we purchased some fejoa flavoured chocolate, it was yummy

There were many flavours, shapes and sizes, unfortunately I couldn't find any that had zero calories

I must add that the decorating of the chocolatier was very french like and the walls were adorned with huge mirrors that had that old mercury type silver so they had that aged patina about them. Gorgeous old chairs with plump linen cushions and lovely washed timber tables that held urns of succulents.

This building also housed a Gelateria, none of us can go past a Gelato so we sat in the courtyard and one to finish off our wonderful outing.
I can highly recommend this place, if you are in Auckland or are planning a visit to Auckland it is well worth the drive, beautiful countryside en route.

I hope you all have a wonderful week , happiness in whatever you do.
I hope you to have some new starts

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Raglan , New Zealand

Raglan is well known for its surfing beach, my brother and sister in law often fly their plane to Raglan to have lunch. It has always been a place we would like to visit.
As a surprise my brother hired a four seater (his plane is a two seater) Piper Cherokee to take us all to Raglan for lunch. He is keeping a watchful eye on the fueler, I thought this photo was amusing as his stance is a family trait. I could also be looking at my father, he used to have the exact stance, legs crossed and hand under the chin.
everything all done and checked, it is time to start loading. I was the lucky one I got to sit in the front which meant I didn't need to get in until last , it was a very hot day and the plane was quite warm inside, until we got airborne.

Here is where we were headed.

Surprisingly Auckland is quite green, they are desperately in need of some rain.

We enjoyed a lovely lunch and a wander around this coastal town. Well worth a visit if you are in NZ. It is approx 2 1/2 hr drive from Auckland. Dotted with lovely cafes and gift shops.
Time to think about getting back to Auckland

A final check before we all pile in and make the return journey

After the most wonderful afternoon it was time to return to Ardmore (Auckland light aircraft airport)

Happy Times

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Can You Guess Our Destination ?

Maybe you are thinking this could be the south of France mmm Still looking like France, maybe somewhere in Provence
The gorgeous rusted iron fence, the overgrown Lavender, Blue flowers , Cypress trees, maybe it is Italy !

This window and door is just beckoning to come inside.

it is just as divine inside

A vista in every corner

You have probably gathered by the tags on each item that these goods are for sale.
It is a wonderful antique shop, full to the brim with items to tempt.

not in Italy, not in France

in Christchurch, New Zealand.
We have just returned from 10 fantastic days in my homeland.
Mr L & R and I celebrated 25 years of marraiage on the 9th February and as we married in New Zealand , we figured we should return to celebrate and catch up with family.
I have loads of wonderful pictures and memories to share.
I will update over the next couple of days and then I will show some sewing, after all this is really what this blog is about.
Happy creating

Friday, February 5, 2010


I am packing my trusty travelling companion my camera (as well as Mr L & R), passport and heading off on a 10 day sojourn.
I am hoping when we return I will be able to show you some wonderful images.
In the meantime I will leave with this small bunch of pansies.

Happy times