Tuesday, 29 December 2015

How do you spell Christmas

In my house this year Christmas has been spelled C H O C O L A T E !!!
Look, here's the proof.
The HD3QBEM and I went to Lake Taupo for a holiday over Christmas weekend and had a great time with beautiful weather.   Our hotel provided a delicious dinner on Christmas night with really good Christmas crackers.   Look what came out, with a bang, a hat and a crazy joke.  
It was fun.   A young fellow on the piano and his good looking friend on the double bass provided carols as accompaniment.   We had a good time.
I even managed some stitching -  the reruns of old movies on TV were excruciating so I found the off switch and stitched instead.   Woodland Delight is now finished - well, I need to construct this into a small zippered purse.   In spite of my worries I am pleased with the finished product.
Next day we went for a drive around the western side of the lake.   Both of us decided that to have a holiday home here one would need a million dollars, a good architect, a cleaning lady and a gardener besides which a boat and a couple of jetskis would be essential too.   The homes were mostly huge with large landscaped grounds and huge expanses of glass making most of the view.  
The civic authorities had realized that people like me come to visit with library bags stuffed full of books so provided an armchair and a lamp at this superb lookout spot.   Fun!  But it wasn't comfortable -  the mosaic was so very very hot to sit on.
My Christmas gift to myself was to stay up late reading and then to sleep without turning my alarm clock on!   I did just that :-)
We also travelled down the eastern side of the lake and found a less exotic lookout point at which we had a picnic lunch.  We could see Mt Ruapehu across the water, still wearing its snowy cap.
My icecream was about to melt in the 26 degree heat so I couldn't get a photo of that  -  just the smile of delight for a wonderful holiday.
And I have made a start on another project - releasing it from the stash where it has sat for years.  I ordered the basket from CrissCross Row (back in the good old days) and will be pleased to have this project finished and to regain the space on the shelf !
Working for the government does have some benefits and today I had another days holiday (an extra on top of annual leave).   A departmental day!   It felt good to have time to get my hair cut, change my library books and above all to get the grocery shopping done knowing that I wouldn't have to go out again into the mad rush that is retail this time of year.
Back soon - it's dinner time now.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

A Spanish Christmas tree

Look what the mailman brought me!
I am so impressed with this wonderful tree card sent to me from sunny Spain by creative blogger Sheryl.   Isn't it great?   Maybe next year I will try my hand at making one or two of these myself.
This photo is not true to colour.   Imagine Christmas Red, Sherwood Green and sparkly gold, green and red and you'd be right!
Thank you very very much Sheryl.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

The Festive Spirit

Today is hot and sunny so I set off on an adventure

I shall take the bus into The City and admire the Christmas Decorations
I shall ignore the fact that these decorations are showing their age!
I shall admire at length the animated marionette Christmas display in the department store windows.
I shall ignore the small children who creep in under my legs and whose parents excuse such behaviour
I shall find a Christmas tree or two or fifty
I shall admire the plastic Santas adorning almost every retail display
I shall make Christmas Special!!.
I shall refuse to be tempted by the unending array of chocolate, gingerbread and other confectionery
I shall admire the arcade decorations
I shall put life and limb in danger to photograph Queen Street
I shall wonder where all the "foreigners" have come from until I spy this
I shall meet the Jolly Fat Fellow
I shall even wish him Merry Christmas
Hey ho, the bells are ringing

Friday, 11 December 2015

Woodland Delight

Another long and tiring week is over.   Christmas is almost here and the supermarkets are filled with chocolate.   Visitors come to my house and leave behind boxes of chocolate.   Current project, Woodland Delight, is failing to delight.   And the result of all this?  Lowered resistance to temptation!!

However I am determined and so the "ceased to be delightful" Woodland Delight is being put on ice and I am sorting through my stash for a new project.   So before I start something new here's a progress photo of the back-  a completed medallion
 and the front - barely half done
My friend Yuko sent me an early Christmas gift -  this beautiful book.
Cross stitch based on old lace patterns, these are all really intriguing.  The bottom small image is the real Cluny lace and the top larger image is the cross stitch version!
Doesn't this look great?   Stitching on a dark fabric might be hard on the eyes but I'm determined to try and am inspired by these projects.
Methinks I need a small blue purse like the one on the bottom right, although the book cover on the left is tempting too.   Better this temptation that the chocolate though!!

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Christmas is coming

This year I am not putting up my tree at home - my sewing cabinet is in the "tree spot" at the moment and is in use!  But we have a competition at work to decorate our desks and I have put up a tree there!
And I have made a large batch of Date and Ginger Balls, Cranberry Fudge and Ginger Crunch.   Yes! Some of my friends are getting 'home made gifts' this Christmas.   So with the kitchen redolent of Christmas fragrance I am off to watch Kevin McCloud on TV.
Hopefully I will be back tomorrow.