Thursday, December 27, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
so the girls are having a grandma day, which they have been hanging out for for weeks now. This means today is photo with Santa day. Jess picked out her clothes last night, but I'm sure Tamsin and I won't agree on her outfit and there will be a hissy in the offing. Oh well, that's parenting.
Also here is my last day in the office before 3 (yes THREE!) weeks holiday and a new job. I've not had more than 10 days off in a row since I left university.
After 5.5 years with Intermax I am moving on. As with most jobs, it will be the people I miss. On the upside, the company I am going to work for is in the same industry (but not a competitor) and does work for Intermax, so I'll still be in touch. In fact, the directors of current job have known and worked with the directors of new job since Adam was a cowboy, so the whole "I'm leaving" thing has been very friendly.
First day of school holidays is also traditionally the day for putting up the Christmas tree. I wonder when the girls will remember and start to nag me about hauling it out and decorating it?
Saturday, December 8, 2007
...then you play in the boat on dry land, of course.
This is my wonderful DH (Steve) with his elder brother (Kevin) doing essential maintenance on Kevin's boat in our driveway.
On the proud mama front: Jess now has her back walkovers on the high beam, glide kip to clear hip circle, and cartwheel straight jump dismount (prep for roundoff back tuck dismounts) off beam. Go Jess!
She has had front tuck off beam for over a year, and can do pike - she's mentioned training front layout off beam just recently, but I haven't seen it. Her handsprings are there now too, so handspring front tuck isn't far away; her round off flicflac x3 is now solid and she's working on getting roundoff flic back tuck. I get the feeling Jess is not sure about back tucks - I think she prefers pike, or even layout position, but she only has a front layout (and the odd front layout 1/2 twist) off the mini tramp. Jess gets to train back salto work on the tumble trak, but she's not fond of it as a training aid, prefers to use the proper sprung floor - says she feels her spring/power better.
Tamsin, on the other hand, will move out of PreComp and into Level 1 next term. I won't know if it'll be 1C or 1B till then. Either way she'll be training 4 hours/week, which will hopefully tire her out a bit more than currently! In swim class she tries really hard and her teacher is really impressed with her progress. I am too as a matter of fact. Go Tamsin :)
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
What amazes us is how there can be nothing at dinner time, but this will be on show at breakfast time. And it proves that air-borne spores do exist.
Very considerate of the fungi to match the wall colour, don't you think?
Friday, November 23, 2007
1 bright orange top (needing a skirt)
2 tank leotards
The leotards are actually a bit big, so back we go to the patterns.
I will make two more in a smaller size. Jess' one isn't too big, but Tamsin swims in hers!
Monday, November 12, 2007
Jess, unlike the the other girls in her group at gym, wears a leotard (with bike pants over) every class. She came home from practice the other day saying that for end of year display a bright coloured tight top would be required, and short black bike pants (all Jess' black ones are spankys from cheerleading and would be too short). Shorts over a bright tank leo would not cut it :(
So, I hauled out the lycra stash, the KwikSew patterns, the overlocker and the sewing machine and made a start.
Take One: size 7 bright orange cotton lycra. Too tight and not long enough. So off to Spotlight to pick up the next pattern up in the size range (8-14). Agreed that the top would make a great Barbie dress for Tamsin if I add organza or similar as a skirt - so will do that over Christmas.
Take Two: size 10 bright blue faux sequin effect nylon lycra. Fit perfectly but still not long enough. Again, agreed that the top would make a great Barbie dress for Jess if a skirt gets added, again to do over Christmas.
Take Three: size 10 (different pattern this time) in bright peach nylon lycra. Perfect length but a size too big. Painted a small purple flower on the front so it gets put on the right way and into the drawer for whenever Jess gets that big.
So, watch this space for Take Four! And while I was at it I cut out two tank leos - one for Tamsin and one for Jess (since she is wearing out the ones she has), utilising a cute white with little pink hearts nylon lycra as contrast fabric.
Once done, I will take photos and post them, in celebration of a sewing frenzy.
Must get hold of more cotton lycra. It is by far the nicest to handle/stitch, and it's best for making bike pants and leggings - again needed as Jess is wearing out the ones she has; and Tamsin needs a longer/skinnier fit than I can purchase. Plus it's much nicer for practice leos for summer, as the fabric "breathes" better than nylon lycra.
Speaking of Jess' gym practice: she came out of class buzzing tonight: "I got my long kips Mama, and with a cast at the end! And my russian leaps are at full 180, even my bad leg!"
Her split leaps have been at pretty much 180 for well over a year now - but russian split leaps have an extra movement, so it's great that they're at 180 now too.
I'm mighty impressed that she's got long kips - she's only just got her glide kips 100% (she's had 3 out 5 attempts for about 10 months) - but Jess says she's feeling stronger now so she can really push out her glide and get the kip to pop up, and that the long kip feels easier cos there's more room to swing on the high bar, vs on the low bar for glide kip.
She was sooo happy :)
Way to go Jess!!
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
It is a great subscription. The magazine arrives within days of its issue in the UK, it has lots of good charts and info AND there is always a freebie of some sort. Mostly small kits, like Eeyore, but every year they issue a neat calendar, and a good personal diary.
I look forward to getting it every month.
The kitty in the wreath above my profile was another freebie. That one is a Margaret Sherry design. Thanks to Cross Stitcher I have lots of her designs in my stash.
Now, how to make time to stitch them all?!
Monday, November 5, 2007
Believe Tree, by M Designs - 25ct navy lugana, over one using The Dyepot 12 perle overdye #238.
As it was a variegated thread, I followed the rule of completing each "X" invidually, which I found quite liberating. Actually, this whole design was great, and I'm really happy at the how it's turned out.
M Designs will do the same thing to people's names, and I'm quite tempted to send away for my girls' names to charted. Just need the ole stitching budget to be replenished, which won't be till well after Christmas.
It has been a very lucky couple of months for me. Thanks to the generosity of DH's boss, a contact of my sister's and the travel agency I use at work, I have been able to attend 3 wonderful events: Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds (with DH), The Russian Ballet (with sister, Jess and Tamsin), and We Will Rock You (with DH).
War of the Worlds was great. Hearing the music live was wonderful, and fascinating seeing it brought to the stage. DH wanted to bring the Martian fighting machine home to put in the back yard. He still does, all 9 metres tall of it. We back onto a motorway, so just imagine how many crashes that rubber necking at our garden ornament could/ would cause....
The Russian Ballet was seriously awesome. It was at Auckland's Civic Theatre - the one with the fabulous interior. Tamsin was fascinated with the whole experience - from the lions at the edge of the stage with glowing eyes, to the stars on the painted sky ceiling, and then the dancing, etc etc. I had to remind her at one point that we were in a theatre, there were people behind who wouldn't be able to see if she continued to stand up and try to mimic the dancers on stage! The dancing was good - including a complete setting to Orff's Carmina Burana, a piece I really like and the girls are familiar with.
We Will Rock You. Well, where do I start? It was FANTASTIC. Very funny, very cleverly put together, great use of many, many Queen songs- the whole production was really well done. If you're a sucker for Queen, you so gotta get to this stage show. Really.
Monday, October 22, 2007
I've also got the chart for Winter Quilt in my stash. There's actually four in the series shown in my Nordic Needle catalog but loved the colours on this one and liked the cat on the Winter one, whereas Summer and Spring did nothing for me. So, I was strong and only ordered the two I liked. Along with some packs of petite needles recommended by Dr P at 2muchXS, and they're as fabulous to use as she said they'd be - so thanks Dr P!
As usual, this took waay longer to stitch than I thought. Not stitching for week or so doesn't help admittedly. I find it very frustrating being such a slow stitcher - there are so many lovely things in my stash that I'd love to start but immortality just isn't in my genes so I'm definitely in the SABLE category...
Friday, October 12, 2007
My Aunty Barbara is my mum's best friend - same birthday, same school, same home town, the works. She's also my godmother, and lives in the UK. Mum and Barbara have been faithfully and regularly corresponding ever since my parents came out to NZ in '65. Barbara is legendary in our family for never forgetting a birthday - we all, children and grandchildren as they arrived, receive the most beautiful cards in the mail every year. Lately they've been cute e-cards.
Well, I'm a hopeless correspondent. Dreadful. Since the advent of email, I have been a bit better - Barbara at least gets the odd photo and hello now.
I'm a little more reliable at updating this blog, so I took a deep breath and gave Barbara the URL, so that she could "see" what I've been up to, should she wish. Which lead to my mum now having the addy. Up til now my family had no idea I blogged. I did mention it to mum awhile back, but knowing that she hadn't the foggiest what a blog was, I knew it wasn't going to go any further.
So, as Rowyn said the other week: BUSTED! and thus hi mum and Barbara.
And, I'm hoping mum likes the photo of herself posted previously.....
Monday, October 8, 2007
The girls are back to school today. They had a great time at the Extreme Trampoline holiday programme, so file that one away to do again, like with the skate school one.
Tamsin is so nearly six now. Why? Cos she had her first tooth fairy visitation and is now proudly and forcibly showing all and sundry the gap in her lower front teeth.
Have done very little stitching over the last week, so no finishes or progress pics to post.
With the lovely long bright evenings that are now here,MAYBE that will change. Hope so!
Friday, September 28, 2007
The aim of these school holidays was to wear Tamsin out. She's nearly six in so many ways now, and needs challenges and activities to keep her on an even keel. Plus last holidays Jess was away at cheer comps and gym camp while Tamsin was "only" at Grandma's. That Tamsin needed more structured activity (much as she adores being spoilt rotten at Grandma's) was only too evident by the end of the 2 week break.
Next week, they have 3 days at a holiday programme run by Extreme Trampoline, who are based in the gym complex where Tamsin does her rec gym class (TriStar). The girls are looking forward to it.
At the last rec gym class of the term, they handed out the gymfun badges from the testing done the week before. Tamsin successfully passed Level 1 - yay Tamsin.
Evil Gym Mom that I am, I also had a quiet word with one of the rec gym coaches about Tamsin going into competitive gym classes - mainly to get her doing more structured stuff in a more challenging environment. Tamsin being Tamsin was going to be bored by the end of Term 4 otherwise. The lovely coach said she'd discuss it with the other coaches in Tamsin's class and get back to me. Which they have, and they would like Tamsin to try the Pre-Comp class this coming term.
Excellent. I'm not expecting anything fabulous from Tamsin - she's all tangly long legs but momma's gut feel is that she has to have a challenge 90% of the time in anything she does.
So in Term 4 I've booked swim lessons for her, once a week while Jess is at her gym class (there's a teaching pool within walking distance). She's really excited about it.
Heaven help me, but also wondering about continuing the skate school - there's a Sunday class that would fit in the timetable - just to build on the little bit they did this week, and as they want to do the skate school again next holidays it would mean no gap in the learning AND it would help with the keep Tamsin busy idea.
I know, I'm nuts. However, there is no ballet this term as I decided that I couldn't cope with the chaos that is ballet recital. Ballet will happen next year as the girls enjoyed it and the two syllabus programme at Lily Fong's works well for my two. Guess late January will again be the great timetable shuffle as I try to make it possible for both girls to do gym and ballet. No cheer leading in 2008 to complicate things at least!
Saturday, September 15, 2007
The syllabus work is a bit harder and more involved than the RAD syllabus - the two compliment each other rather well I feel. BAL 3 fits nicely between RAD Grade 3 and 4, providing a nice extension to the techniques taught with RAD. The dances are longer, the barre work more complex and from grade 1 up the students have theory questions to answer as well.Jessica hated the BAL work to begin with - cos it made her think and work to master it all. By the end of the two or so months that they had to work on their exam pieces though she was enjoying it. And it showed in her result.
Honours with Distinction.Way to go Jessica!
Mama is so very proud of both her fabulous daughters.
Monday, September 10, 2007
And, yes, that's my mum. Now bear in mind that she hates having her picture taken, so I'm taking her willingness to pose for this one as an indication of how pleased she is to have the l'il critters on her wall at last. Especially as she knew I was going to post it on my blog!
Apologies for the fuzziness, I only had my phone with me at the time.
I've left the Stitching in the Dark SAL piece in the cupboard for the moment. I was remiss and didn't say, but it is Dimension's Barnyard Kitties.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Here's the result:
This is for my niece's birthday - as mentioned in a previous post some months back.
Just needs a quick wash, then off to the framers it will go, well ahead of deadline.
It's from the UK's Cross Stitcher magazine April 07 issue, by the same designer as the Dandelion Bear I finished last month.
Now to dig out my Marty Bell's The Abbey (for the UFO Challenge SAL) and go through my stash to find a small new one to start. I want to find a cat one to do, possibly a Margaret Sherry... just love having to have a stash fondle :)
Friday, August 24, 2007
Jess, who runs well but hates cross country cos it is just that - across country (and where we are, that means cow pats), had been agitating for weeks to get permission to not do it.
Tamsin never said anything, just taught herself to tie the laces on her sneakers so she could wear them to school due to her teacher recommending lace up sneakers as better for running.
Finally, the actual event did get held, using a circuit around the outside of the school instead of the original around the mountain-through-muddy-fields-and-cow-pats one.
I had compromised with Jess and had sent a note giving her permission to decide for herself whether she ran or not. This solved all her concerns and she worked out an on the day solution which she and her teacher were really happy with.
Tamsin just made sure she had on her lace up sneakers and continued to stay out of all the debates about school cross country events.
Anyhoo, I picked up the girls from school as per usual on a Tuesday - in a hurry as it was ballet, then gymnastics. Tamsin's teacher mentioned as Tamsin and I were leaving the classroom to go meet Jess that Tamsin had told her she'd come first but the teacher didn't know if that was true or not as she hadn't been at the finish line. Tamsin has a great imagination so I, bad momma, didn't pay much attention.
On walking the girls to the car, we ran into one of Jess' friends (Brittney) who gave Tamsin a big hug and a "congrats on winning, Tamsin!"
Jess then answers my "did she?!" with "oh yeah, it was cool! and Alice came second!" Alice being our neighbour's tiny tiny 5yr old. Brittney's mum joins us and confirms this with "Tamsin was great, she was lapping people!"
Apparently the 5yr olds had been split into two groups and sent out 5 mins apart (Alice in the first group and Tamsin in the second), so Tamsin had caught up with and then passed all the other kids.
Tamsin meanwhile is just standing there with the biggest grin on her face, finally being the centre of congratulatory commotion for something she'd done, all by herself and not in the shadow of Jess.
Tamsin, my 5 and a half year old, won the 5yr age group school cross country event.
She really really did.
You see, my bright youngest daughter had worked out that it was a race and by running steadily the whole way (no walking or mucking around) beat all the other 5yr olds - and encouraged Alice along the way so she came 2nd.
Way to go Tamsin!
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Wish me stitching vibes so that I get them done by the end of August. I need Sep/ Oct to stitch diligently on Bears on Balloons so it can be framed for the mid-Nov birthday deadline.
I always seem to have stitchy down time after I finish something. Does anyone else have that problem? Or are you so excited at being able to start something else that the issue never arises?
Tamsin got her certificate for doing her RAD Pre-Primary "exam" today. That means that Jess will get her marks for RAD Grade 3 at class tomorrow. Proud mama promises to post the result.
BAL exam is Sunday Aug 25 and then that's ballet done for the year. Jess wants to drop ballet, and reduce down to just gymnastics from now on. Fees-wise I can cope with this decision. I'm a bit sad otherwise cos she's been doing some really lovely dancing lately. Tamsin I'll keep at ballet to at least the same level Jess has reached - the pros of ballet are worth keeping her at it till at least Grade 3.
Tamsin was doing sautes today in class: she is just as springy as Jess. Miss Lily, in the run up to the RAD exam, was telling Jess that the grade 3 sautes were petite, not grande like Jess was doing. Jess then demonstrated what her grande sautes looked like. And as Jess was perfectly in time to the music, Miss Lily had to accept that Jess' sautes were always going to be twice as high as the rest of the class. Coach Richard just laughed when we told him. What else do you expect from a student who can do standing flics and punch front saltos?
Monday, July 30, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Anyhoo, Jessica arrived home safely last Wednesday. She was tired but buzzing from a very enjoyable trip. No photos yet as those that took any are yet to get back and send them to me :( Still, that's what I get for not going. However, I truly believe Jess had a much better time without her family tagging along.
Then it was 3 days of solid ballet plus back to gym class. The BAL exam is the last weekend in August, so the girls have lots to learn and perfect.
Right now Jess is at a gym camp til Saturday. She'll be glad to get back to school for a rest!
Meanwhile, I have been stitching and Dandelion Bear is progressing nicely. Pics soon I promise!
Monday, July 2, 2007
Go Allstars Junior Elite Development, yeah.
Also got a text around the same time from friends over in Surfers for a holiday and coincidentally staying at the same (huge) hotel as the cheer teams to say that Jess had a medal and that they'd managed to get some photos of her with medal and the trophy. Won't get copies of those till they get back in about ten days, but great that they took some for me so thanks Mark & Jo.
The teams have workshops today, then off to Movie World. Seaworld and shopping tomorrow, then they head home on the midday flight on Wednesday. Wouldn't want to be on that plane - figure it will be pretty loud!
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
Saturday went well logistically, phew. Sunday went well logistically too, yay!
Ballet exam went ok for both girls, and then Tamsin had a lovely grandma day while Jess was competing Cheer Nationals.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Anyhoo, here I am at Friday. Comtemplating an even busier weekend. Saturday is ballet class for eldest, after which she is heading off for cheer practice while I get youngest to gym class. Some other cheer moms are picking her up from ballet and taking her for me so that T doesn't have to miss gym. Then T and I will trundle over to join J at cheer.
Then on Sunday we will really be pushing it. T has her ballet exam first thing, so we have to have her, with her just to shoulder length fine hair up into two buns, at ballet by 9am. Then J has her 45min ballet exam at 11.45am (no make up, hair up in one bun). Then J is due at cheer comp for warm ups by 1pm - in uniform, hair done (high ponytail) and make up on. Talk about rush rush, and J eating lunch in the car yet again.
Still, that's two big events out of the way. One to go - J flies out with her cheer team on June 28 for the Down Under Spirit Champs in Surfers.
And then it will be back to mostly normal, yeeha.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Anyway, I finished the needle book part of Lady Scarlett's Secret Garden last night and it's too cute. I'll post pics once I've done the pincushion part.
Well, that's Queen's Birthday Weekend over
Ballet exams and cheer regionals are rushing towards us. Coach/ teacher are looking a bit flustered about the small number of practice times left, so extra practices are popping up all over the place. Some schedule juggling coming up :) Nuts, that's what I am, LOL.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Anyway, here's my 8 random facts
1. I'm a chocoholic, a hopeless case
2. favourite chocolate is dark with peppermint
3. I've only (so far) been in a cast once - broke a bone in my foot
4. I am an evil gym mom. Ask my DDs, they'll tell you!
5. I belong to a fabulous Yahoo group called 2muchXS. Thanks to them I now have waay more stash than I ever used to, but I have actually finished things now :)
6. I'm the youngest, with one sister and one brother
7. i'm 40 next birthday
8. I'm left handed
And I tag Rene, Marisa and Ally (I know, not 8, but I don't know very many bloggers!)
Monday, May 7, 2007
I will try to be more vigilant in future :)
Happy stitching everyone
Not much stitching lately, :(
I did get the Lickle Ted gift away, and it was received kindly so all is good there.
My left hand started to ache so I wondered if I had over done the stitching. It is fine now, so I'll try to get back into it. Out of unread books in the house so really I have no excuse LOL
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I'm onto Penguin #18 and I dug Barnyard Kitties out of the WIP box and put some stitches in after months of neglect. Now that it has resurfaced I'm going to try to stitch on it every Wednesday - the day of my Yahoo group's "Stitch in the Dark" SAL. As Penguins on Ice is my piece for the UFO SAL I'm going to stitch on that every Sunday. That way, those two will get worked on (and who knows? maybe even finished) while leaving other days to work on the other WIPs in my list, and make a start on the Bears on Balloons sampler for Grace's birthday (Nov). It's gotta be worth a try, right? Rotation systems work for other people, I know.
Now, onwards and upwards...
to do that ironing.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Still, it is a BEAUTIFUL blue sunny day, DH and Tamsin have just left to go fishing, I've caught up on the blogs I like to read and Jessica is supposed to be getting dressed. She is currently sitting on the couch reading, half out of pjs and half in clothes. And by half I mean she has the tshirt over her head, but no further. sigh.
Well, passport application for Jessica is all done, just needs to be sent off tomorrow with a cheque attached, and then we wait for the real thing to come back.
The stitch show was ok. Only half a stand devoted to cross stitch, never mind. It was just nice to spend the whole day with my dearest friend Sarah.
when her DH arrived to have dinner he brought with him the quilt that she had sooo casually mentioned that she'd finished during the week.
It was "our" quilt!!!! the one she designed, made and quilted for Steve and I!!! It is soooooo awesome. It is pansy fabrics (cos Steve loves pansies), there's lots of yellow (I love yellow and our house interior is painted yellow) and it is quilted with hearts all over it. Woohooo - best 10 & 11th anniversary gift ever!!
I promise I'll post a photo.
Lunch with mum & dad then take Jess to cheerleading practice, then home and maybe the fishers will be back.
In the meantime, I'll "motivate" Jess to finish getting dressed, do her stretching, conditioning and ballet practice and hopefully motivate myself to finish penguin #17 and put Lickle Ted on the towel so that I can send it to my colleague as the gift it's meant to be.
Roll on Monday and back to "normal" routine of school etc :)
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Jessica arrived home safely from a week of gymnastics in Napier. She said she had lots of fun and is much happier about some of her skills. Excellent :)
We'll head of in a minute to go to regular gym class (Thursday 5-8pm). Leaving early so that we can stop at West City mall on the way to get passport photos done. That way, her godmother can do that signature thingy for the application tomorrow (since we're meeting up to go to the Stitch show) and then off it goes to get processed. And that will be one more step on the road to Jess in Australia for cheer comp. Plus one more thing ticked off the to do list, yeah.
Monday, April 16, 2007
DH has today and tomorrow off work to be home with Tamsin. Jessica is still in Napier - very tired but getting a lot out of 5 days straight gym training. Home does not feel right without her here DH and I have agreed.
It's official - DH is taking up fishing. With Tamsin's help he bought a rod and reel today while out with his brother (the one who has a boat and goes out fishing). It's only fair. I have cross stitch plus he gets left at home while the girls go to ballet/cheer/ gym. And it's good for him to chill out with his brother. He has to clean anything he catches though!
Lickle Ted is coming along nicely - the end of the x's is in sight, then the backstitching will commence.
So all going well the next post will have a finish to show
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I really should give the house a good going over, but I simply can't get up the enthusiasm to start. With most things for me, once I start I'm fine. Just getting started though is sooo hard. And some days harder than others. So many things I could be doing - have option paralysis!
Right, big deep breath and I'll go do something
really I will
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
It is Easter this weekend, plus I'm taking 2 days leave to cover part of the school holidays. Between my mum, my DH and myself the school holidays are covered. Jessica is off to Napier for a week of gymnastics in the middle, and Easter itself will be spent at ballet doing extra classes for exam prep.
I've managed to do some stitching, so the end is in sight on the teddy, yay! I was hoping to finish last night but was very slow due to it being backstitching and my watching Bones then Heroes. But I can see that it will be my April finish.
It's a fine day today, great. Tamsin is off on her first class trip: Auckland's Botanic Gardens. She came home from school yesterday and lectured me on all the things she needed to take with her. At least I know she listens to her teacher!
Work is a bit quieter for me now. Avocado exports are all finished, including payments to the growers. So my focus turns now to kiwiberry payments and the upcoming persimmon and kiwifruit seasons. The auditors are with us at the moment, driving the admin team nuts.
Next month will continue to be very quiet for me as the manager I do the most for is off on holiday for 4 weeks, to Spain. She's planning on getting to see some of the America's Cup racing, so cool. Go Team NZ!