Monday, February 28, 2011


Well as I write this from our safe house with power, water, food and knowing my family is all safe and well I feel a bit like a fraud, but even though I wasn't in Christchurch last Tuesday the quake has still changed me just a little bit.  It has made me think a lot about what is really important in life and what is not. It has also made me realise how life can change in an instant and so much is completley beyond our control. For my own sake as much as anything, I thought I would share some musings here.

Nearly 2 weeks ago my nephew move to Chch to start university.  To be honest I thought it was kind of cool that he was going somewhere that I had studied and that I had so many fold memories of.  He was moving into the hall of residence right next door to where I had stayed and where I was when I heard of his safe arrival into the world all those years ago.  Then last Tuesday morning he updated on facebook that his phone wasn't working and I didn't think much of it.  A few short hours later I heard news of the horrendous aftershock in Chch and immediately my thoughts turned to him and close friends I have down there, and I suddenly wished they all lived someplace else.  I managed to get through to a dear friend by text almost immediately and find out that they were traumatised but safe and well.  After frantic texts and phone calls for the next hour or so we finally heard that my nephew was also safe.  As I write this there are still many people I haven't made contact with who are in Christchurch and I hope that over the coming days I will hear that they too are all safe.

It is funny how your brain works at times like this.  I turned on the tele and spent the whole afternoon staring in complete shock at the pictures coming from a place I called home for so many years, I mean surely this is some kind of disaster movie and not actually happening in our own back yard.  As I watched the footage and kept glued to my phone and the computer for news of friends the hours slipped by and the day to day jobs seemed completely irrelevant.  I was constantly thinking of more and more people I knew who wold be affected, many of whom I hadn't been in contact with for far too long, and wishing I had taken the time to text/write/phone all the time hoping they were all ok.

I must say that I am amazingly proud of the way the people of canterbury and NZ have rallied around and helped those in need in the wake of this disaster.  I look at the speed with which the necessary emergency services were there on the ground not only from NZ but from around the world and it helps a little to know that everything humanly possible was done for those worst affected.  I hear the stories of neighbours helping neighbours, the student army and all the other volunteers helping residents with the clean-up and getting food and water.  So often the news is full of the people who do wrong that it is easy to forget how many selfless and amazing people live in this country.

I am not going to fill this post with photos of a fallen city, I feel that these are everywhere as it is.  But I do want people to know that I am thinking of everyone who has been affected by this and wish there was more I could do to help.  As I sit here writing this and thinking of the friends who have lost homes, businesses and loved ones I feel almost guilty that already I am again taking things for granted. I turn on the tap, flush the toilet, take a shower, cook dinner and grump at my kids just the same as I did a week ago.

We spent some time this weekend checking all our emergency supplies and refreshing our emergency water.  Mr A wanted to know what we were doing and when told that we needed to have water in case there was no water coming out of the tap after something bad happened like the earthquake he replied "We could just buy a new tap though Daddy".  The innocence of youth and lack of understanding is a good thing.  I cannot imagine how all the wee ones who have been affected directly by this will be coping.

Take care New Zealand and keep supporting those in need, and please take the time to talk to/visit/hug your friends and family it is all too easy to take the simple things in life for granted.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Going To The Jousting by Mr A

At the weekend Daddy and I went to the medieval festival while Mummy and Miss M stayed home for a rest.  We had heaps of fun.
Here I am arriving at the park, Daddy let me look after the real paper money we needed to get in.

On the way to the festival we saw a real ambulance

When we got there we saw people bashing each other...

...and then they all lay down on the ground. (For the uninitiated this translates to mock battle)

The people were wearing funny helmets and clothes made of metal.

I tried to lift up a jersey made of metal (aka chain-mail) and Daddy tried on a helmet that made him look a little bit scary, but not really.

Then we saw the jousting.  There were people on horses some with big feathers in their helmets.....

...they went fast and whacked poles.

While we were there a man wrote my name on a piece of paper with a feather for one piece of golden money.

We had lots of fun and I hope Miss M and Mummy will come with us next time and Daddy thinks it would be fun if we all dressed up.

Mr A

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Huge Thank You

I just wanted to say a huge thank you t o everyone who supported the auction I ran here on my blog for wee Hope Osbourne and her family, especially Annie who's very generous bid means that a parcel will be winging its way to her today :-)

If you missed out don't despair there are still loads of ways to help out.  There are still a lot of fantastic auctions running and more to come.

Julia has a fantastic yarny raffle running on her blog which closes tomorrow, please go check it out.

We have a variety of auctions running on Trademe:

* Celia's Basket Sock Kit including custom dyed yarn.

* Curiouser and Curiouser hand dyed 4ply yarn.
* Curiouser and Curiouser hand dyed 8ply yarn.
* Maude and Me gift voucher for hand dyed fibre.

* The author of the fantastic children's book "Goodnight Mouse" has kindly donated 100 copies for auction with all proceeds going to Hope and her family.  These can be purchased using "Buy Now" via rolling auctions on Trademe.

There are more auctions in the works as well so I will endeavour to keep this list up to date as auctions close and others are started.

Of course if anyone would like to donate anything to be auctioned please feel free to contact me by leaving a comment here with your contact details.  Or if you would like to donate directly Hope's account details are shown below and I am happy to take donations via paypal to pass on.

Hope Osborne

Please remember that sadly time is of the essence for Hope and her family. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Big Day by Miss M

Hi everyone,

Yesterday Mummy and Daddy finally let me try some things I've been wanting to do for ages, I'm such a big girl now.
At lunch time it was my first time sitting in the hight chair.
Followed closely by my first taste of apple in muslin.  All went well until Daddy took it away to make it a bit smaller and easier to handle :-P
First stewed apple and baby cereal for dinner.  Finally they're letting me taste some of that 'real food'.
First time feeding myself :-)  I might look like I'm not too keen on it was yummy really.
Now that I'm such a big girl I don't need that silly seat thing in the bath Mummy.
Here's my big brother!
And finally my first time sharing a bedtime story with my big brother.

See Mummy and Daddy I am a big girl, stop calling me a baby.

Love from 
Miss M

Friday, February 11, 2011


Hope Osborne is a little Wellington girl turning 4 in almost a week who was diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago. In New Zealand when a child is diagnosed with cancer they begin receiving beads at each hospital visit and for every treatment they undergo. Since diagnosis Hope has gone through countless painful and difficult procedures and earned 900 beads as a badge of her journey with child cancer.  As of Sept last year Hope was in remission and treatment free.
Image used with permission from Rachael Brown Photography

This week though we all learned that Hope's cancer has returned and is spreading - sadly this time the only treatment will be palliative. Hope's family have been given a terribly short time frame to enjoy her. It's devastating news for any family to have to try and come to terms with.

And so this auction is as a fundraiser for Hope and her family, to help them enjoy what special time they have together. 100% of the money raised by this auction will go straight to Hope and her family and I will cover any postage costs worldwide!

So what are you bidding on? One truely fabulous one-off skein of Old Maiden Aunt 100% Superwash Merino yarn in colourway Lustre. This yarn is a 4ply (fingering weight) and contains 100g (approx 430y). For anyone who hasn't had the delight of owning OMA yarns before they are just gorgeous, the depth and subtlety of colour are truely amazing. I will also include some sweet chocolately goodness and an OMA badge in the package.

So all you knitters out there dig deep for this amazing family.  And those of you that don't knit bid anyway, this yarn is fabulous to just look at, pet, cuddle etc etc, or con someone you know into making you something truley special out of it.

**This is going well thanks everyone. If it goes over $50 I'll throw in a skein of Knitsch sock yarn in a colour of your choice, and if it makes it to $70 make that 2 skeins**

*Bidding will start at $15
*The auction closes on Fri 18th Feb at 8pm NZT
*All bids will be in NZD and I will accept payment via direct debit or paypal
*All proceeds will go directly to Hope and her family and I will cover postage costs.
*Please bid by leaving a commetn below and remember to include your contact details so I can arrange payment/delivery with the winning bidder.
*Finally thanks for looking/reading/bidding and please feel free to pass on the link to this to anyone you feel may be interested.

Finally there are loads of other fundraising auctions/raffles going on at the moment for Hope.  Those of you in Wellington please check out this TM auction for a photography session by Rachael Brown Photography.
And Julia over at Just One WIP has an awesome yarny package up for grabs as well
Alternatively anyone who would like to make a donation directly to the family can do so by popping money into Hope's account :-)
Hope Osborne 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

FO: Bonnet for Miss M

To be honest I did the knitting of this wee bonnet last year but it took me ages to get around to finding ribbon and then sewing it on (or rather getting Mum to sew it on).  The pattern is Lacy Baby Bonnet by Erika Knight and the yarn is Bella Baby Layette which is wool/bamboo blend.
The action shots aren't the best but my baby has discovered the wonders of commando crawling (at less than 5mo *sigh*) and keeping her in one place for more than a millisecond is now impossible.

Ferry, Family Fun, Flight and Fruit Picking

We have recently returned from a fantastic, if somewhat boiling, break with my Mum and Dad. It was a lovely wee break and the kids both had a ball.  Here is our wee holiday in a few pics :-)

On the Ferry

Aviation Heritage Centre

Fun with the family

Fruit picking

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Yarny Goodness

This package of yarny delight arrived in my postbox last week.

Three Irish Girls Springvale Merino in "Aiden" colourway.

And I might have picked up a couple of new knitting mags on holiday as well, it was my holiday treat to me :-)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Stash Rehoming

Now I know that I mentioned in an earlier post that one of my main goals for this year was to downsize my stash. About now I'd like to clarify that this statement was in relation to yarn only :-P

We have recently been to visit my parents and anyone who knows my Mum will know exactly where I get my craft hoarding ability from. In passing I asked if she had any fabric squirreled away that would be suitable for a couple of projects I have in mind for gifts (so I cant tell you what they are). This got the excited response of "Oh let's go look in the cupboards"! Yes cupboards plural, four of them, large ones. So while looking I may have got a little sidetracked from the original projects but look what I found......



Wool fabric
Now I just have to find room for it all here and decide what it wants to turn into, all suggestions welcome.

I was also gifted a nice wee bundle of girl patterns by a family friend

So let's face it I've done a good deed by giving these things a loving home, a bit like rehoming a pet from the SPCA.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

First Mate Hoodie

Well I did manage to complete my first knit project of the year in January - just!  It is a First Mate Shirt for Mr A and it was a test knit for Elena.  So here it is...
There are lots of things I love about this pattern but I think the main one is the cables!  I have a bit of a thing about cables at the moment, especially for wee boys which is one of the reasons I was keen to have a go at this pattern.  I love that it has two different cable patterns, one down the front and the other down each side :-)
The construction of this jersey was new to me.  It is knit in the round and completely seamless but instead of the usual raglan design it has the set in sleeves which look really nice.  The only thing I'm a little disappointed about here is the fit.  I was hoping that by knitting a size 3T with 4T length Mr A would get this winter and possibly next out of it but in actual fact it is a perfect fit on him now, so he better not grow before winter ;-)
You have to excuse the rubbish modeled pics, it was boiling here and it took quite some amount of persuading (and bribery) just to get the jersey on so arranging any nice shots was out of the question.

So what's next on the needles?  Shhhhh it's a secret, can't tell just yet.