Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy 2015

This wonderful picture, (from the Telegraph website), of fireworks on the Sky Tower in Auckland welcoming the New Year sums up all the hope of a new beginning.  May 2015 be a wonderful year for the World and for every individual in it.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Winding Up the Year

Shall I yet again apologise for erratic blog posts?  I seem to have got out of the habit, or have nothing to share!  So much so that Jean, one of my dear Indigo Sisters asked whether I had abandoned Piece n Peace.
So, here are a few things to end the year, before "that" post listing aims and projects for a new year!
I bought this needle case in a bric a brac shop and don't think I have shared it before.  It forms part of my decorations for Christmas but I wouldn't use the needles, I think they maybe past their best!

My fellow textile addict in Norfolk, Ros, was in South Africa while I was in New Zealand.  As well as doing some very wonderful work with a small community and their church she had time to shop and brought me home some splendid things.
This is a length of Shwe Shwe fabric cut and hemmed for use as a head wrap.
These are other pieces of locally produced fabrics and they are all gorgeous.  I am not sure how I shall use them as yet, I just keep stroking them and wondering.
Ros also bought me this vibrant bag, hand painted with a lovely elephant design.  I wouldn't like to risk damage to the design so I think I will make this into a cushion rather than use it as a bag.

I have finally got on with some stitching since returning from NZ.  Even though I have a journal full of ideas it took me a while to pick up a needle.  Maybe Christmas got in the way somewhat.  With only three weeks to "do" Christmas I was very glad to find that I wasn't entertaining at all.  DS David took us out for a wonderful pre-Christmas lunch, DD Sara hosted a splendid Christmas Day and Al's son is cooking lunch on New Year's Day.  I have been so lazy and spoilt that I think I might keep my fingers crossed that this year's arrangements become new traditions.
Speaking of Christmas at Sara's, I promised you Sam...
He had a great time and was overjoyed to receive the train tracks he wrote about in his letter to Santa.
And I love this picture of Saz, "Christmas Lunch....Done!"

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas everyone.  I am spending the day with Sam, there will be photographs.  
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy your day and this poem:

Twas the Night Before Christmas Poem (A Quilters' Version): author unknown

Twas the night before Christmas,
And the quilts were not made,
The threads were all tangled, the cookies delayed.
The stockings weren't hung, the pantry was bare,
The poor weary Quilter, was tearing her hair.
Stacks of fat quarters, tipped over in streams,
Visions of Log Cabins had turned into dreams.

When what to her wondering eyes should appear,
But a bus full of quilters with all of their gear.
They went straight to work with just a few mutters,
Sorting and stitching and brandishing cutters.
The patterns emerged from all of the clutter,
Like magic the fabrics arranged in a flutter.
Log Cabins, Lone Stars, Flying Geese and Bear Tracks,
Each quilt was a beauty---even the backs!

Her house how it twinkled, her quilts how they glowed,
The cookies were baking, the stockings were sewed.
Their work was all done, so they folded their frames,
And packed up their needles, without giving their names.
They boarded the bus and checked the next address,
More quilts to be made, another quilter in distrss.

She heard one voice echo, as they drove out of sight...
"Happy quilting to all, and to all a good night."


Saturday, 22 November 2014

Stitching New Zealand

Today I am doodling with thread.
I have abandoned the plan to stitch a tui on this piece as too "Kiwiana" souvenir style and am now making it my interpretation of our boat trip to the Huka Falls.
It is very windy outside and Al has gone up to Auckland with his brother so I am having a relaxed afternoon just stitching.
Happy weekend, whatever you are doing.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Prayer Flags to New Zealand

Today I can share the stitching I was doing before I left for New Zealand.  I decided to make prayer flags for a few people I knew I would definitely be seeing during the trip. Today I handed over the final one to a very delighted recipient so I can share some pictures without spoiling any surprises.  I took these photographs when we were at Kahoe in Northland, right at the beginning of our trip.  The sunshine was gorgeous, much better than today!
Today we have been into Auckland and escaped from the wind and rain in the lovely art gallery.  We had to get a bus back to Al's niece's home and here's the view from the bus stop - not good eh?!!

Sunday, 9 November 2014


New Zealand is full of inspiring images.  I have taken many, many pictures and I expect that only a few will make it into some form of textile but I have a head full of possibilities.  Here are a few of my favourites so far:
If nothing else I can see what my colour palette is and start gathering interesting threads!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Taupo Power

I got all poetic (and maybe pretentious) and declared to Al that the two things we have enjoyed today have been branches of the same tree.    
In the first the heating, melting and manipulating of a natural material was controlled and exploited by a man to create beautiful things.  In the second the heating of the natural material was powered by the Earth and is really beyond our control (although we do exploit it for hydro-electricity) and beautiful sights are created but destruction (to our lives) can be the result.
Anyway, we firstly visited the studio of glass artist, Lyndon Over, in Taupo and enjoyed his amazing glass sculpture garden.
Secondly, we explored the geothermal environment known as Craters of the Moon, again in Taupo.
I took loads of pictures, here are a few:

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Wonderful Wellington

We are in wonderful Wellington at the moment and having a fabulous time.  

Wellington is the capital city of NZ but is much smaller than either Auckland or Christchurch, much more contained.  It has a great arts culture and I am in love with it!

We are by the sea of course and I have been making progress on my Meeting of the Oceans textile.  I have also taken a few pictures of city dwelling Tuis so I can work on that outline for my other piece!
Today we met up with a school friend of my DD, we haven't seen Jemma for years and years.  We had a great time.  Jemma had arranged both wonderful weather and a great tour of her hometown including Mount Victoria, fabric shops and cake!  
Can you believe today was the first time during our trip that I have bought fabric?  I also bought threads and a back copy of NZ Quilter magazine because it had an article on eco dyeing and one on WOW - the World of WearableArt.  
Three more days to enjoy here in Wellington, I shall be sorry to leave.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Meeting of the Oceans

After a couple of quiet days I have started a new piece of stitchery today.  
We are at BiL for the weekend, which includes Monday as it is a public holiday, and then we are heading south to explore Wellington. 
We have never spent time in Wellington during past visits other than going to Te Papa, the wonderful museum of New Zealand, and having an overnight stop prior to or after crossing between North and South Islands on the Interislander ferry.  As Wellington is the capital city of NZ this seems rather remiss so we are going to stay for a while and enjoy the city and the culture.
Back to the sewing.  
This piece is inspired by the "meeting of the oceans" off Cape Reinga in the far north. 
It will be a turbulent swirl of threads and stitches by the time I have finished.  The piece of embroidery I started at Kahoe is resting!  The next step is to add a tui bird and I am having difficulty getting the outline just right.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Textures on the Beach

I thought I'd take the opportunity to publish another post while I have some wifi.  Today I visited a great beach in Kuaotunu and was taken with the textures of the various rocks and this tree trunk, there's got to be a piece of embroidery coming out of these somewhere, sometime!
And Al found this urchin shell, French knots anyone?

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Tourist Trip

Today we have been to more of a touristy place than usual but it was brilliant and we had a really good time, especially Al who spent ages and ages speaking engineering to the main man.
The place was the Driving Creek Railway, just north of Coromandel.  Here are a few pics.  
Note: the creator of the railway, Barry Brickell, is a potter and, as well as his own creations, the railway is punctuated with those of potters who come to work with him.