Friday 24 April 2020

Staying at Home - Week 4

As at 11.59 pm Monday 27 April, New Zealand will be moving from Level 4 lockdown to Level 3.

It means we can travel regionally, do online shopping,  get takeaways via drive through , click and collect, or delivery.  We still need to socially distance but at only one metre instead of two, and perhaps extend our bubble to include another family member. Still no front facing shops (apart from essential services) or restaurants/cafes, or public places like libraries, churches or museums will be open.  Basically we've been told if you can work or learn from home - please continue to do so.  In reality there won't be a lot of change for most of us for another couple of weeks.  However, the end is in sight.

So what have I been up to over the past week.
  • I made my sister's Carey shirt.  Pattern from here.  I made a size 6, so I am hoping it fits her well.  She is a little more endowed in the bust than me, but not as tall as I am, so I'm hoping the length is good on her.  The fabric is a rayon she bought wheil shopping with me prior to Christmas, and the contrast strip is actually a scrap of shot cotton from Spotlight which co-ordinated beautifully with the blue in the flowers.  Probably the faffiest thing is making the drawstrings - or sewing spaghetti as I call it.
  • I saved a frog.  Mr J was just about to mow an area of lawn when he saw something move, luckily he had the blades up high.  This is a green or golden bell frog.  Suffice to say it was safely relocated.
  • I made gnocchi with help from Mr J and Miss B.  Recipe from here.  It was tasty, easier than I thought it would be, probably the most time consuming aspect is pushing the potato through a sieve.  Should I make it again, I may experiment with herbs, or a little pesto mixed into the potato dough for extra flavour. 
  • The last of my dahlias have been picked, and enjoyed in a vase inside.  My garden is looking rather boring now. I really would like to visit a garden centre soon to get some potted colour.
Tomorrow morning at 6am, there will be many New Zealanders standing at their letterboxes to commemorate ANZAC Day.  It will be a very different service this year for our country with no dawn services or parades.

Stay home, stay safe, be kind.
Kia Kaha

Thursday 16 April 2020

Staying Home - Week 3

Currently we have survived three weeks of New Zealand's national lockdown.   The teens and I have found this week hard, we are missing friends, routines, being able to go places and actual real people to talk to and work with.  Zoom meetings are not quite the same.

With one  week to go,  it's looking as though we will drop to Level 3 of the alert system.  This means that some students can return to school, though Miss B will be doing virtual university till at least July now. We're waiting to hear about high school for Mr J.  Some  hospitality type businesses will be allowed to operate, and we may be able to travel regionally.  Malls, movie theatres, libraries will still not be open to public, though it looks as though we should able to do more online shopping now.  Not sure if this is good or bad.

I have been compiling a little shopping list of essential to me items, should this happen again. It includes:  interfacing, sewing machine needles, thread to match all my garment fabrics, various widths of elastic, scented candles, hand creams and special teas. 

Over the past week I have been trying to keep relatively busy, walking, sewing and baking and successfully avoiding housework. 

  • another top using a beautifully silky viscose from the stash.  This is the same pattern I made last week, with a little elastic in the sleeve cuff.  I love how this one has turned out and have already enjoyed wearing it. Only one more animal print fabric remains in the stash now too.
  • Hot Cross Cookies - recipe from here.
  • Chocolate espresso pudding with whisky caramel sauce.  From personal tastes, I'd double the sauce quantity next time.  Recipe here.
  • I've prepped the fabric and assembled the pattern for the last top for my sister.  Hopefully sewing will commence on it this coming weekend.
  • my biggest happy moment was adding the last stitches whilst joinging the blossoms in my ice cream soda quilt.  All I have to do now is add the edging then the borders.  I am loving how it looks so far.
Hoping you are all well in your bubbles.
Stay home, stay safe.  Kia kaha.

Thursday 9 April 2020

Staying Home - Week 2

Another week has passed by, and we are halfway through our four week national lockdown.  Wehave been experiencing the most beautiful weather, which is making it easier to be confined to home.  I am still walking around my neighbourhood, five out of seven days, but am starting to miss proper conversations with people.   I do find I am having a moments each day where I lose motivation to do anything and can quite easily waste an hour or so doing absolutely nothing but flicking through my phone for news updates.  On a more positive note, today it was revealed that only 29 new Covid-19 cases (our lowest day since prior to lockdown)  have been confirmed in New Zealand.

This is what I've been working on over the last week or so.
  • First up is another top from some rayon fabric I bought last year at Spotlight.  This is the same Burda pattern I made earlier this year,  I omitted the elastic in the sleeve cuff, and like how lovely it feels to wear in this in between season, it also drapes a lot better in the rayon.  I may make another one yet, in a lovely viscose from the stash.
  • I am still working away on my Ice Cream soda quilt - another row has been completed, two to go.
  • My lock down challenge piece (see post here) is slowly being worked on
  • I got to play with the power tools for my pumice garden art,  I had collected a large bag of pumice pieces about three years ago when we were in Kinloch after a storm.  I finally pulled them out, drilled holes onto them and threaded them onto heavy copper tubing I had from an old piece of art.  Quite happy with it now.  I desperately want to go to a garden centre and buy some flowering plants to add some colour and life to my garden though. A couple of dahlia plants have revived themselves with the cooler temperatures and some recent showers, which makes me happy
  • While there isn't a shortage of bread in the shops at present, I felt like  making some. so I made a loaf in my slow cooker.  The recipe is here.
Wishing you all a wonderful Easter.
Stay home, stay safe.
Kia kaha

Saturday 4 April 2020

A Lockdown Challenge

I was browsing Instagram the other day when a post from Anna Maria Horner popped up showing her latest #amhappliquestory,  I was quite taken with the idea of creating something like this and suggested to Linda,  (check out her post on this here that perhaps we each do one as a little challenge whilst on national lockdown.

Browsing instagram for ideas, I also remembered being quite inspired by some fabulous textile art from @bearsville50, here and here.

I started to pull out my AMH stash, unfortunately most of my fabrics left aren't really suitable for largish fussy cutting now, so I went through the rest of my stash and played with some ideas, which gradually evolved until I was left with the arrangement in the photo at the top of this post.

My backing fabric has been prepared, threads have been selected, the blooms and foliage trimmed and starched ready to apply using the raw edge applique method.  Once this is done I can then embellish with fancy stitches, different coloured threads and seed beads.  I was originally thinking of making a pillow cover, but I feel that if it turns out, I may get it framed.

I have another row to finish attaching to my ice cream soda quilt, then I can have a little slow stitching session  and make a start on my lockdown blooms.