Blogtober - Day 29 - 'Twas the Night Before...

6:21 AM 0 Comments

No, not Christmas.  But for MiddleMiss it sure feels like it!  The long awaited B-Day is tomorrow.

At least with it being Saturday, we won't all have to get up super extra early to do presents before the morning school routine.  But I doubt we'll be getting much of a sleep-in anyway.

I've also managed a bit of a cop-out with the birthday party affair and we're just having an extended family BBQ tea.  Saves a lot of baking fancy party food and sugar overload!  I've done a cake at least, and prepared for a pass-the-parcel game with the cousins so it will still be a little bit of a party.  And MiddleMiss will still get presents from everyone and feel special which is the main thing.
If I don't get back on tomorrow with an update, then I'll try catch up on Monday to round off my last Blogtober posting.


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Blogtober - Day 28 - Feeling Ancient

4:32 AM 0 Comments

The conversation at the dinner table last night:

BigMiss (examining the fine print on the placemats):  "When did you get these mats?"

Me:  "We've had them since we got married."

BigMiss:  "It says 'Jason Products Ltd, August 2001'."

MiddleMiss:  "Mama, was there ever a two-thousand-and-zero (2000)?"

Me:  "Yes, but you just say it as two thousand."

MiddleMiss:  "Was that in the Bible times?"


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Blogtober - Day 27 - Watch it Grow!

5:19 AM 0 Comments

It's been another busy day where it feels that nothing has been done.  And the next couple of days will feel the same I can tell!

This Saturday is MiddleMiss' birthday, which means baking and decorating and wrapping and preparing.  But all I managed to get done on my list today was washing and groceries, tomorrow I have to work so that only leaves me Friday to do all the birthday stuff!

But, on a more positive note, here's the progress on my Geodesic.
Please excuse the terrible night-time photography

All that travelling got a lot done on the knitting front!  I've done all the waist decreases, halfway through the increases and have done the first 'tuck'.  And according to the pattern I'm only several rows away from the underarm cast off!

I have just over a month to finish this.  Morag from Vintage Purls (the wool supplier that inspired this KAL) has said she will be doing a random prize draw of all those that finish by the end of November.  Not that I ever win things for my knitting, but I don't mind having a deadline to work to (and I'm enjoying this 'selfish knitting' so much I've got the next project all lined up ready to go - wool and all!)


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Blogtober - Day 26 - And life carries on...

6:13 AM 0 Comments

The holiday is over and routine is back - it was school, kindy and work today.

At least the girls didn't mind - BigMiss even said that it was a good thing that we came home on Monday instead of today as she had so much fun at swimming today (and the rest of school).

I've managed to get a lot of knitting done on the weekend and am about half-way through the body of my Geodesic.  Though I wasn't happy with how the first tuck was looking and had to rip it back.  That was just when J decided that it was my turn to drive (only because he was paying for petrol and saw a new DRD magazine that he had to buy to read the rest of the way home - normally he hates being a passenger).  I'll have to take some photos and update here and on Ravelry where I'm up to.  It's rather exciting to think it might be finished in time to be used this Spring/Summer!  The fabric is really nice and light, but still has warmth to it.


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Blogtober - Day 25 - Home again

5:54 AM , 0 Comments

The last catch-up post, promise!

After a bit of playing in the sandpit (just a sand path, but worked just as good!)

And a bit of turn-taking on the tree swing

We got in the car and headed back homewards again.

It was another beautiful day and we stopped again in Taupo

This time for a bit longer.  We had a brief shop, a quick visit to the Taupo Bungy (just for a look to show the girls - not to do it!), went for a swim in the heated outdoor pools and had a nice sit-down McDondald's lunch (instead of the eat-while-driving we did on the way up).

We decided to take the scenic* route home and took the Napier-Taupo road.  It was a nice change from the usual drive, but looking at the map when we got home, it looks like it would have added and extra 1/2 hour travel at least!

It was such a nice family time and are already planning the Summer holiday back up that way again!

*All of NZ is scenic, though sometimes it can get a bit boring seeing the same thing everytime we travel.  Though there really wasn't that much to see all the way to Napier (over an hour travel!) other than a lot of native bush and plenty of holiday traffic.  But the Hawke's Bay is a nice area to drive through - as much as the Central Plateau and Rangitikei are too.


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Blogtober - Day 23 - Party!

5:31 AM , , 0 Comments

This is another catch-up post...

Saturday was Mum's half-way birthday.  At least she's hoping it is!

The girls had spent several days beforehand crafting all sorts of interesting things and then wrapping them up, so present opening had to happen without waiting for the everyone (well, just the one brother and family as it was just a very small party) to arrive.

And here is my present:

This was the secret knitting I was doing.

Then the big brother arrived and the food was put out and the relaxing began.

As it was my SIL's birthday the next day, I had also (finally!) blocked the shawl I'd made for her at the beginning of the year.
I didn't have any photos of it so had to quickly take this after she'd unwrapped it!

And I got lots more knitting done.


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Blogtober - Day 22 - Travelling

5:04 AM , 0 Comments

This is a catch-up post...
Lake Taupo looking out to Mt Ruapehu

Friday we drove non-stop (except petrol, toilet and buy-lunch quick stops) for 6 1/2 hours to get to Mum's. 

The kids were great, the traffic boring and the weather not too hot.

And we arrived with plenty enough time to relax before dinner.

(I also got lots of knitting done.)


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Blogtober - Day 21 -

4:12 AM 0 Comments

It's been all excitment round here since the girls got home from school.

Labour weeked starts early for us as we're off up the country to visit my Mum for her birthday on Saturday.  It's a special birthday, but she'd prefer not to mention the age as it makes her feel old (doesn't having grandkids mean you are old?)

So we're going to drive all the way to the Waikato - a 6hr drive when there's good traffic and short stops.  But the bags are all packed already so we can leave nice and earlyish in the morning and just take our time and be there by dinner.

The girls are so used to long drives that it's never too big a deal for us.  We've always travelled with them to visit my family (who're spread out all north of here, the closest a minimum 6hr drive away) so to them it's normal. 
It was funny the last time we visited with my family.  It was my brother's 30th, and he lives 10hrs drive away (north of Auckland too, so sometimes just getting through there takes ages!)  We went up in one go on the Friday then broke it up on the way home by stopping at Mums overnight Sunday, but still took most of Monday to get home from there.  Then about a month later, we were visiting J's Oma in Upper Hutt (about 1 1/2hr away which everyone goes on about how far away it is), and the girls very innocently commented that "you don't live so far away, do you, Oma?"

I'm thinking of taking the laptop so I can keep up with the blogging etc, but we'll see what happens.  Though I noticed, reading Hannah's blog today that you can set things to auto-post.  It sounds interesting...


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Blogtober - Day 20 - The Height Issue

3:48 AM 0 Comments

The problem with being "average" height is that they don't sell jeans long enough to fit.
I had to take 3" off my new pair of jeans.  It's really scary cutting into them, hoping I've measured correctly and drawn my lines in the right place.

I am yet to try them on for size.

There's nothing worse than jeans that are too short - except maybe jeans that are too long...

BigMiss is hoping to take after her father and be taller than me by the time she's 10.  I don't think she'll quite make it then, but she probably will eventually.


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Blogtober - Day 19 - Progress

3:50 AM 0 Comments

The builders are back this week.  Today they had to join the new trusses for the extension with the old roof.  That means that the roof above our bedroom is a little open and exposed.

It's supposed to snow on the ranges overnight.  The clouds are black and moving fast.

I think there will be extra blankets on the bed tonight.


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Blogtober - Day 18 - Uh Oh

6:45 PM 0 Comments

(This is another day-late post - sorry!)

I got an email this afternoon.

It was from Telecom Broadband.

It said that I had used more than 80% of the monthly data allowance we're allowed.

I think this posting and reading of blogs every day uses a lot of internet.

I might have to do less.

At least until the 27th - the end of the billing month.  I don't feel like a repeat of August.


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Blogtober - Day 16 - Motorbiking

9:22 PM 1 Comments

Halfway through the month and I was doing so well with not missing days!

I did have this post almost ready to go on Saturday night and just wanted to check it over properly first, but got interrupted and didn't get back to it.  So let's just pretend it was posted on time and I'll do a proper Monday post later tonight.

Here's a little of what J got up to today (Saturday):

One of the races J did at Hairy Hills this weekend.  This one was the 'Pony Express' where you raced in pairs, swapping over after each lap.  J paired up with one of his motorbiking mates, L.  Normally he would pair with his brother, the other J, but he has a broken little finger from the last ride they went on (apparently he tried to take on a pine tree with his bike - the pine tree won).  J and L came in third.

The other J was in charge of the camera and got some great videos and photos.  If I knew how to do a slide show of photos on here I'd put up the series of photos he took of an awesome jump the winning guy did as it looks so much better seen in succession.  But here's one shot of it:


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Blogtober - Day 15 - Craft 2.0

9:13 PM 1 Comments

Taken from the blog:
"Craft 2.0 is a cult Wellington craft fair for style junkies, craft enthusiasts and fans of handmade."
I would love to go.  I've heard lots about it via some of the blogs I follow.  It sounds like there will be lots of great stalls to visit with creative stuff to buy and be inspired by.  And being able to 'ooh' and 'ahh' over things in real life is much nicer than just looking at them on the 'net like I always am.  If you want an idea of some of the talented people attending and what they're selling, check it out here.

Unfortunately, though, I won't be able to go.  It's MiddleMiss' birthday that day and, especially to her, birthdays are a big deal.  So we will be having cake and family and presents that Saturday instead.

Maybe I'll be able to make it to the next one in December instead?  But I'll be reading all about it in the blogs of people that go, and that will just have to suffice.


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Blogtober - Day 14 - My Creative Space

I've been doing a lot of knitting lately:

A bit of secret knitting, off the needles now.

Another test of my latest design, this one for MiddleMiss.

A little playing around for the next idea.

Hmm, I think I also need to spend more time with the camera working on my photography skills.  Less flash, more colour maybe.

Check out what some other crafty people are up to this week over at Kirsty's blog.


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Blogtober - Day 13 - A Home Day

5:15 AM , 0 Comments

Today LittleMiss and I went for a walk.

Well, I walked and she biked.

And sometimes walked the bike when her legs got tired.

There was a lot of stopping on the way home.

And in other news:
I've finished my secret knitting which is now blocking on my office floor.
The trusses came for our extension so the builders will be back into it all soon.
I did baking.  Actually it was non-baking as there was no cooking involved.
Tomorrow I'm at work again.


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Blogtober - Day 12 - Hmmmm

12:07 AM 1 Comments

I'm starting to see some other people's blog posts mentioning that they've "had this post saved for the Blogtober days when there's nothing else to say".

I think today is one of those days for me.

But I didn't have any posts saved or in mind for posting on days when I had nothing else to say.

So this will just have to do.


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Blogtober - Day 11 - Back to School

5:37 AM , 0 Comments

The holidays are over and routine has descended again.

BigMiss has a student teacher who will be taking the class for the next five weeks.  The teacher, Miss M, seems really nice and has some fun and interesting things she'll be teaching them during this time.  I always feel sorry for student teachers, though, mainly because I remember how much we tried them out when I was at school!  She seems to have a good warning/punishment system in place already, according to how BigMiss was explaining it.

MiddleMiss was all excited when she came home today.  She was telling me that when we got home from the bus stop I had to check the phone messages because Mrs V had left a message about her schoolwork (left during the time I was waiting for the school bus.)  Mrs V wants to try MiddleMiss with the Year 2 work as she needs to be challenged more.  She's been reading with the Year 2 reading groups for most of last term already and she's always complained about how easy Year 1 maths is.  She was quite excited she gets to have spelling words!

LittleMiss was happy to find out that her friend at kindy didn't have her birthday in the holidays so wasn't starting school yet after all.  Also, a girl had bought in a large crate with orphaned ducklings to show everyone and the kids were allowed to touch them which LittleMiss thought was great.  And all that she told for news was that MiddleMiss would be 6 soon (three weeks away so not really soon) and she would be 5 after the next school holdiays (February, but she's counting down already!) - nothing about what we've been up to these holidays or about the builders, but that's obviously not as exciting as birthdays coming.

And we get to do it all again tomorrow...


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Blogtober - Day 9 - Shhhh

11:54 PM 0 Comments

A bit of secret knitting...
Just started today, and only two weeks to finish it.  As if I don't have enough projects on the go!


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Blogtober - Day 8 - New Clothes

Today has been very productive.  For me, that is - nothing happened on the building front.  They get a long weekend as they're waiting on more materials to arrive.

I spent the day holed up in my office keeping the sewing machines company.
It took me most of Tuesday to trace & cut a pile of patterns, then cut out the material for this t-shirt.

BigMiss is quite pleased with it.

I also made these easy bike-pants. 
Artsy photo taken by MiddleMiss

I've been meaning to make some for the girls to wear under their school uniform for ages (little girls have no modesty when playing - or even just tying shoe laces!)  I wasn't sure how the pattern was designed to fit, so only made one to see and choose what sizes to make each of them.  This one fit MiddleMiss perfectly - without even having to put elastic in the top.  (I'll see how it goes with wear as to whether I put any in.)  I have to make a bigger size for BigMiss still.

Then LittleMiss felt she was missing out, so I spent the rest of the day cutting out and sewing up this top.
Excuse the still-half-asleep look

I'm not too sure if I really like it though.  It seems too wide.  It might end up going to cousin J for a birthday present in a couple of months time.

And yesterday I finally got around to blocking the top I finished knitting for BigMiss.
She had great fun posing for me!

I'm halfway through writing up the pattern for it, and already started on the prototype for the DK/8ply version.


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Blogtober - Day 7 - My Latest

4:08 AM , 0 Comments

I've recently decided to be brave and knit myself something bigger than a sock or scarf.
Do you think I'll look like this when I'm done?

This is the Geodesic Cardigan.

It's knit in laceweight/2ply yarn - that's like knitting with sewing thread.

I don't think it will be finished for use this Spring.

But I am making progress:
Though, I'm contemplating undoing it all and starting again.  I don't really like the way the edges are done.

I was planning on actually following a pattern without modifying it for a change.

Oh, well.


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Blogtober - Day 6 - Busy, Busy

11:41 PM 0 Comments

So, today consisted of:

Three extras to entertain for an hour and a half this morning.  (I got in a photo shoot with Nephew D for my Elisaac jersey pattern.)

Off to the shops as soon as the extras were gone to buy school sandals for all three girls.  And the additional three pairs of jandals for only $2 each.  (Making use of the special before it's over instead of the week after as I've done before!)

While up town, getting a text to say that Aunty K was coming in half an hour to pick up LittleMiss for the night, as pre-arranged, and us not being quite finished town jobs or lunched yet.

Rushing to the bakery to get coffee and slice to take to visit with J at work.

Visiting J, eating caramel slice for lunch, then rushing home to meet Aunty K.

Having a natter and look at renovations with Aunty K in the sunshine, before loading LittleMiss into the car.  (Nephew E, 3yrs, was most impressed - "Aunty Amber!  Look, at what they're doing to your house!")

Back up town again to visit the last shop we didn't get to so we could buy some bamboo/wool yarn to make MiddleMiss' top (my latest pattern), then to the library to return overdue books and get more.

Home again to tidy the multitude of puzzles left lying all over the lounge floor from the morning.

And now I have to get the wash in, fold it, and make something for dinner!


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Blogtober - Day 5 - Renovations

12:40 AM , , 0 Comments

As of just last Tuesday, we have been subjected to early mornings and days full of banging and sawing.

This was our house before any changes happened:

Photo taken about a month ago, courtesy of one of the girls during a random photo-taking session.  (These sessions seem to be a common occurance - and it's amazing and interesting some of the photos they take.)

Since then, the fence has been taken down, half the concrete path has been taken up, my clothesline has been moved and the lawns are a bit longer!

By Thursday last week

Friday last week.



The builders have been here.

The girls have been loving it.  They've collected piles of sawdust and offcuts and made themselves a 'shop' that sells food of all descriptions.

Yesterday afternoon it was on the builder's work bench so it had to move today.  Here it is nicely set up on top of the dog kennel.

I asked the girls to take these photos themselves.

This is a cake.

These are hot-cross buns, bananas, and jam.

This is butter.

The stones in the corner are chocolate.  The big thing with the grass & sawdust is a cake too.

And they're quite entertained just watching the builders sometimes too.

The mornings are early because the builders turn up before 8am and we have to be dressed, breakfasted, beds made and curtains open before that.  Normally this happens, but it's supposed to be school holidays and I'm usually still in my dressing gown when J leaves for work at that time!

But I'm not really complaining as it's making me so much more productive on my home days.  I feel guilty if I sit down and do 'relaxing' things like knitting or surfing the internet (like I sometimes do) when other people are busy working hard outside.  So my house is spotless - dishes done, washing folded, lounge tidy - every morning (before morning tea time - helped by the fact that the apprentice always comes in to borrow the jug for their coffees and I hate people seeing my house in it's normal state of 'mess') and I'm doing more useful things.  Today it was drawing and cutting, but maybe more on that tomorrow...


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