Monday, April 29, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sunday Craft Dabble

Heh.  So - the Mother got the Grandmother into card making as a wee hobby earlier in the year, the best part of which is the machine that texturises paper - in any pattern you  Pretty.  Anyway, post Sunday roast the Mother and I had a wee go (the Grandmother and the Father were "watching a DVD" - read napping in front of the TV).

I think we'll chalk this up to a craft tried, and leave it there.  Its not really my thing.  Most of the time I was thinking about how I could do better design in Photoshop and Illustrator and print it on beautiful thick or textured card and so on.

Still - a pleasant way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon.  And craft paper these days is gorgeous.  Gone are the plain construction paper days of my youth.
 Bloody cat!
Texture, if you can see it:

Paper crafts, eh?  Who woulda' thought.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Guerrilla warfare

"Who, me?!  I have no idea were all the cat's toys have gone!"

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Ginger Monster

The parents have added a new furbaby to their menagerie; a 3 month old, ginger, boy cat called Sydney.
During my volunteer hours at the SPCA for the last couple weeks I had been eyeing up potential candidates, and I think we have found a monster which will prove capable at keeping both dogs, and my parents in line. He is fearless, and runs around with toys held in his mouth.  Lies down and purrs in the face of dog-danger, even.

We're taking it slow with the introductions, but my Trouble is proving better behaved than Mum's schnauzer.  But then, Trouble grew up with Logan, my cat, so its old hat to him.
The greatest problem here, is that he wants to play with Sydney like he used to play with Logan, which is a bit threatening to a cat not in-the-know.  Like lifting him up on his nose, chasing each other around the couch, that sort of thing.  They might get to that point, we'll see.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Quilting Saga: The End

This summer has seen two massive quilting projects through to completion.

We started with the KiwiQuilt, a pressie for the homesick BigSib way back when, which - due to thesis, was delayed.  The Mother and I did a side each, with the cutting and sewing of my side, the border experimenting, the quilting and the final binding/embroidery.  The BigSib introduced the Kiwi Quilt to their dog, Harry, before flying back with it to London.

And my quilt - the big quilt, the quilt to end all quilts, the quilt made to keep, the quilt made to take with me on my next adventure.  While I had the fabric stored up since forever, the conception of the pattern was a bit more recent.  Then came ridiculously tiny-pieced floral side, with cutting and sewing.  And the bright-coloured crazy side with cutting, sewing, and then border trials.  We had it professionally quilted with an epic room-wide quilting machine and by some very lovely ladies.  And then finally, finally, The Mother sewed on the binding and embroidered in my name, as is tradition.  It has taken me till now to do a photo shoot  but look!

Bask in its completed glory

And so ends my quilting exploits...for the present.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Best Parcels are Random Parcels

Was having a bit of a despondent time, last week, before my barrel-bottom-scraping-luck took a dramatic turnaround, and The Married One might have been on the receiving end of a bit of misery on my part.  But today in the mail I received a random parcel full of Squee from TMI, whom is a sneaky thing and completely full of rainbows and magic.
One of the best cards ever.

And this is perhaps the best instructions on the back of a box, ever:

Today I also made a second batch of experimental shortbread - experimental since before one-batch-ago, I had never made it.  This lot is in rounds instead of fingers, and with some chocolate bottoms, instead of tips.

Batch the First:
Batch the Second:
Stamps from The BigSib last birthday, and a very old thistle one; dug out from the detritus of ages (aka kitchen junk drawer).

Also, while I'm at it (why not), I found a praying mantis in the vege garden with a massively distended abdomen:
And we seem to have an 'electric pink sheep' problem, amongst the vegetables: 
(How could anyone see such a thing and not buy it?!)

Not idly do the leaves of Lorien fall.

Everyone's a Critic: Oz; The Great and Powerful

Confession - The Wizard of Oz movie completely terrified me as a child and I always hated it and have only the barest of recollections of it - mostly in visual form; sparkly red slippers, the yellow brick road, the accents etc etc, and of course - the overwhelming dread of being lost & it out of your control.

Same reasons for hating Alice in Wonderland as a child, too.

Not my cup of tea.

However, as an adult and having put aside such childish worries (I have a smartphone now, no getting lost for me) I really quite enjoyed Oz:TG&P, but was mostly struck with the reaffirmation of boys' ability to be complete prats, and totally understanding Theodora's desire to rain down fire upon the land.  And, well - the woman can fly.  Love.

Eponine, Theodora - this year's movies have been a study in women scorned.

Second confession - I've hated Michelle Williams since Dawson's.  So that probably didn't help.  (I totally snuck in to watch it while the BigSib was a fan, way back when; ohmygod 14 years ago).

Anyway - wow, segue.   This movie is a delight to the senses and I totally dig the opening scene done in half size and black & white; it makes the transition to Oz all the more beautiful, which was no doubt part of the reasoning behind it.  I can't comment on the 3D aspect, since that tech has yet to make it to the wee Whakatane theatre.  I can see however, the potential for it - but it did not lack anything for not having it.  More proof towards my crusade against frivolous 3D.

So - the cinematography was beautiful and I loved the back story explaining how The Wicked Witch of the West came to be.  The china doll was darling.  The redemption of Oz's character was good, but made no overtures to reconciliation or recompense towards Theodora - basically; I'll play you till you become an evil hag, and totally, completely get away with it.  Not ok.

3.5 out of 5 (where: 1=actively burning it, 2=waste of time, 3=don't regret having seen it, but... 4=good movie, recommended, 5=blewmymindwhyhaven'tyouseenityetI'vegottoseeitagaintalktoyoulater).

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Best Blankets

Are Nana Blankets.

I'm working this evening, on a couple of editing/proofing projects, in my commandeered workspace downstairs, with this beauty:
Begun by my great aunt, finished by my grandmother.
Its hideous and clashy and I freaking love it.

I'm cold, which is a shock.  Autumn may have arrived, finally.  And it is raining - which is cause for celebration.  Perhaps in a month more the lawn will be its opposite and more grass than dead straw.

Yin and Yang

These dogs are, occasionally, just too cute.
And today marks the 23rd Birthday of The Ickle Brother, whom I am sure is having a great day, off from work.  The presents were sent last week.
I'm all about the brown paper packages, tied up with string at the mo.

Happy Birthday baby brother!

Monday, April 8, 2013

55 Inches is Totally Normal

When I was still in high school (just), we were still in Hawkes Bay, and flat screen TVs first came in; my Dad and I ended up buying a screen-and-surround-sound set up, for which I believe The Mother has yet to forgive us.

Well, Easter sales forced us to do it again (just the screen part, and over a decade later, so - not too bad, eh Mum?!).
Luckily, it was an...eighth? of the price of the last one (shudder), and Mum is enjoying the HD as much as the rest of us.  Its crazy how cheap they have gotten - and how light.
I found it amusing that these things are more efficient than the scale allows:
And the poor BigSib is going to have to put up with seeing all of our faces over Skype, through it.

Of course, nothing can ever be normal or run without drama in this family and upon trying to install the monster, Dad broke the wall-wired HDMI cable.

His friend, the handy-dandy local sparky, popped round the next night and sorted everything out.

And now - we rejoice.  In LOTR watched in crisp detail and up loud.
Old tiny (Hah) TV for comparison.  And my pretty Trouble 'cause he loves HP


Of course, this is adding a new piece of technology for me to software-update for the parentals when I visit (assuming I ever get a job and move out again...).  I might have to make a list.  Totally worth it.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Bee a Thesis

The Old One has hardbound her thesis for final submission in preparation for graduation in May.
It is very pretty.

I'm liking the yellow a lot.  And the fabulous bookplates (ahem) inside with bee-and-honey, look beautiful with the yellow binding.

So proud.  Heh.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Easter Exhaustion

We ended up with 12 people for Easter weekend, with whanau coming from Auckland and the Mighty Hawkes Bay.

Its was fun.

Saturday we spent at the lake (Rotoma) with the boat and the biscuit and the kayaks and a couple of balls and the chilly bin full of icy drinks and the BBQ and onions and snarlers and Wattie's red-gold.  Oooooo it was good.  The Ickle Bro's gf and I did a kayak mish down round the end of the beach; when I was little you could picnic in the secret coves, but now they are all overgrown, right down to the waterline.

On Sunday, the kids (Yuss! Still a kid!) went fishing off the wharf, with about half the township, apparently.  We had a couple of wee rods and a handful of stick-lines and the prize for the greatest fisher-person goes to - me.  I caught a massive (unidentified) specimen which could have fed the whanau for weeks, had I not decided to throw it back to let it continue living.
Yeah.  My hooks were at least a metre long, and the sinker is the size of your...head.  Yep.

The Ickle Brother held it up for a photo.  The aspect ratio is waaaaaay out, in this photo it looks erroneously tiny.
I might have used it as live bait for a while before I let it go.


All the rubbish little kids surrounding us were reeling them in like crazy; infant snapper were seen, even.  I have invested in some tiny hooks with flies, and will update you with my stellar future success, no doubt.