Saturday, September 5, 2015

Keeping my hands busy

Keeping my hands busy keeps my heart happy. I have been making time to create more often in past month or so. My unfinished projects are being completed. The entire house except one window has new net curtains. A few more handmade gifts have been added to the stash as I wait for their recipients to be born. The sewing machine has been serviced and waits to be plugged in for another sewing session.
Adding fabric to towels
Sewing fabric onto towels is one of my favourite simple sewing projects. If you use extra soft, high quality towels they make a luxurious gift. I spent a pleasant few hours choosing, pinning and sewing fabric strips on towels for gifts and that she is nearly one she needed some 'big girl' towels! I like to do two rows of stitching both for strength and aesthetics.

Completed towel stash

Mae's new towel stash.

A week of stunning Spring days meant that I was able to scrub down, prime and paint the outdoor table and seat. Every nap time I raced out to the garage and got stuck into it. How wonderful it was to get craft outdoors again.

We had chosen a bright blue; Resene Eastern Blue to bring a bit of freshness and fun to our backyard. It has turned out very bright indeed! A couple more coats are needed on the chair before it is done. I am looking forward to enjoying cups of tea in the garden without the fear of splinters in my rear! I will share photos when the painting is complete.

Our backyard has a brown fence (it seems every house in the area has the same). I really detest the colour. It would seem that brown would be natural and blend in with the garden but this brown has reddish/orange tones that are quite artificial. Since we have moved in I have been itching to change this to a less jarring hue.

This Spring/Summer I have plans to paint the fence, it will be a long term project......prepping and painting when cublet sleeps. A borrowed water blaster waits in the garage for me to fire it up ( a job I am looking forward too!). At this stage we intend to re-paint/stain the fence in  charcoal. Hopefully this will provide a less offensive and more modern backdrop for the greenery of our urban jungle. If time allows I might just paint the raised garden beds too.

Chilly Spring morning in the park
Planning for the garden takes up much of my thoughts these days. Reflecting on past successes and musing on how to avoid past failures. We have two new passion fruit vines to plant. Our last one died; poor thing was attacked by vine hoppers and it's base rotted. Here's hoping with a little tender care these vines might flourish.

The recent rain rotted my last seeds before they had a chance to grow, all except the sweet peas, sugar snap peas and broad beans. I have had absolutely no luck with carrots. When the clouds depart I'll get some more seeds in the ground. A few hours weeding lately has been good for my soul. I even managed to mow the lawns for the first time in months.

Our fruit trees are bursting into flower and it brings me such joy. But the mud, oh the mud is everywhere. Wearing gumboots is not ideal for hanging out washing line. There are plans to install plastic paving and resowing grass when we replace the clothesline. This should keep the area pleasant to use all year round....a must with all the washing a little one creates.

Finding a great view on a recent wander round the neighbourhood!
Running has been keeping my feet busy. Getting up very early during the week means I can squeeze in a run before Mr. Fox heads to work. It has been wonderfully satisfying to feel my fitness return and get out of the house alone. Running invigorates and relaxes me at the same time.

Now that we have Mae fitness is more important. I wish to a healthy role model and know that it also decreases my chances of developing bowel cancer (Bowel Cancer New Zealand has wonderful resources). Mr. Fox training for the Auckland Marathon is certainly inspiration to lace up my running shoes too! As is the bonus of my jeans fitting better.

The last week or so I have hardly picked up my embroidery needle and I am yearning to do so. We have had friends and family visiting almost constantly. Pa. Fox and his girlfriend came to Auckland for a few days. We busied ourselves with meals out, wandering the shops and most exciting a visit to the Auckland Trade Fair.

It was incredible to see the variety of gifts and wares available to stock the shop. What a big job to keep on top of the latest trends and predict what people might like to purchase. It rained cats and dogs nearly the whole time they visited, only clearing on the last afternoon. Perfect for a wander around Ponsonby.  How special to spend time together. Mae just loved the attention!

This week we have Mr. Fox's Dad up from Fox glacier. He is spending ten days here in the big smoke and we are keeping busy with adventures despite the rain. We have explored the Museum and tried a few new places to eat. Including the Miss Saigon Restaurant in Newmarket; my first experience of Vietnamese food. It was delicious and am looking forward to returning for a special occasion. We are hoping to try out our new to us child carrier backpack we got off Trademe with some walks in the Waitakere Ranges. Maybe even a trip to Rotoroa Island if the rain clears....fingers crossed it does. I am certainly ready for a little sunshine.

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