Saturday, December 25, 2010

A life lived to the full

That was my friend Bethli.  And today she is another statistic, another life lost to cancer.
Photo from quite awhile ago - as that's Tamsin that Bethli is holding. Doesn't matter, as Bethli hadn't really changed any - not the whole time I knew her.  We met, first year university students, back in 1985. Such an indomitable spirit, our Bethli.
She will be remembered.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

now for one I prepared earlier

The very attentive among you will have seen listed in my finishes box "RG comp leos - 7", but will have noticed that only 6 leos have actually been pictured.
So, here's RG comp leo number 7, finished in late August 2010 for one of the L3s whose own leotards were driving her nuts as they were too tight in the neck and too, too small in the butt.  As they were hand-me-ons, she didn't like to complain too much, but it's no fun competing with a wedgie.  So I took the opportunity to practise my leo skills and play with the crystals:

Olivia happily wore it at AKL Champs at the end of August.  I didn't get any photos of her on the comp floor as I was manning the door that day (Xtreme host that comp), but my spies said it looked great on her and really stood out on the floor.  I managed to get Jess to squeeze into it today so that I could have a record of it.  Hopefully, it will appeal to someone else and will sell at Xtreme's 2nd hand sale in early Feb.  All the leos I've made will be up for sale, with any $$ going towards buying more lycra stash for 2011.

yet another leotard...

While it's being modelled by Jess, it's actually a training leo for a gym buddy - Maxine, whom Jess used to train WAG with back at TriStar.  Jess had a group of her old artistic buddies over for what is becoming the annual sleepover: movies, junk food, play in the sprinkler and catch up.
I wanted to make another leotard to extend my skills ready for the upcoming 2011 comp season leotards, and Maxine chose this colour from the stash.

It was remarkably easy to put together - yay!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tis the season

For Christmas crafts!
The lovely ladies at Quench (Hillsborough Baptist Church) put a notice up at Tamsin's school regarding a "Gingerbread House Workshop" they were running.  Joy of joys, it was for a week night that the girls had nothing happening - more rare than a blue moon, that.
So I signed up.
It was such fun.  Really well organised, well run - can recommend it.  Using a supplied kit, icing and lots of lollies I managed to construct...

I kept it minimalist as I have been known to not know when to stop!
All the houses at the worshop looked amazing, and such an incredible range of concepts and approaches to decoration were employed.
The evening was such a success the Quench crew are thinking of making it an annual event.  I know I'll look out for the notice again.

Please welcome....


Jessica's long awaited "do well at Nationals" kitten. 12 weeks old, courtesy of the SPCA.
Cute, huh?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

One from the stash

Way back when Jess was in her first year of gymnastics, she was training in Pakuranga, which happens to be next to Howick, where there used to be a hobby shop with cross stitch supplies.  Needless to say, Tamsin and I found our way over there reasonably often since Jess' class was on a Saturday and went for 3 hours.
Tamsin, bless her cotton socks, never minded being there.  She used to love pottering around showing me things she thought I needed to see (she turned 1 in the Feb of that year) and one of the kits she really liked was only $10, and cute, so I bought it.
When I opened it, I found it to be number 4 in a set of 6, and when laid out in a 2 x 3 grid made a bigger picture.  Good stash hoarder that I am, the next time we were in the shop I ordered the other five kits.
I decided I would stitch them in order, from "A" to"F".  "A" was done several years ago, but then the rest of the kits got left in the stash as other designs took my fancy and got stitched.
With all the "waiting at gym class" I do, I always have a travelling stitch bag in the car - and that's how the Christmas finish of the previous post got done.  So when rummaging in the stash for a smallish kit to go in the car, I decided it was time to haul Tamsin's choice of kit from 7 years ago out and get them done.
So here's design 35B from Pinn:

And here's the one done previously, 35A:
I guess you'd call them "fairybugs"...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Annual Christmas finish

And I can say annual now - this is the third year in a row I've managed to stitch a Christmas piece as a gift for my fellow ballet mom friend, Rachel.  She loves all things Christmas.
None of her kids do ballet anymore, since Paige stopped early last term, so I don't see her hardly at all anymore and it's a shame.  At least this gives me an excuse to drop by, don't you think?  And in plenty of time for Advent too - go me!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Nationals Photos

Champion Photos were at Nationals in force, taking shots of all the action (it was a 5 ring circus there for 5 full days so there was lots to cover) and I've been haunting their web and face book pages in the hope that they got some of Jess.
And they did!  I really thought she'd been missed again - there are none of her from National Secondary Schools, and they've yet to put up anything from North Is Champs.
Here she is, doing hoop - her silver medal routine:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

If Tinkerbelle had curls...

Tink's school chose to hold a mufti + crazy hair do day on the last day of term.  I didn't get any shots of the actual hair do, but I did get some of Jess and Victoria taking the pins and hair ties out, and the resulting curls...

Very 1940's, don't you think?

October finish

and of course, when one has a gazillion crystals on hand, one has to bling
These word trees from M Designs are such fun to stitch.  This one is on 22ct hardarnger, one over one with WDW Mermaid.  Hope you have some ideas how you want to finish and display it Sarah!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

There will be kittens

Last year, in an effort to keep Jess in WAG L5, mainly to get her to Nationals and keep her fit, strong and flexible to cope with Intermediate Foundation ballet (going en pointe), we said if she got on the Nationals team for Auckland she could have a kitten at Christmas.
Well, as those who follow this blog know, Jess did one WAG L5 comp, quit and transferred to RG 5-6 weeks later.
Jess asked this year if the kitten offer still stood.  At that stage, she was sitting around 12th out of the 37 girls competing RG L4 in the country and top 28 go, so we said "yes, but as RG selection is easier you'll need to get in the top 10 overall at Nationals".
There's also a thing called a Proficiency Pin - awarded only at Nationals for scoring a certain mark and above overall, and for RG L4, it's 46.000 (over 3 routines).  Up until Nth Is Champs, Jess' highest score was mid 45 so it was going to be a big thing for her to achieve.
We also knew the Canterbury girls were good and that of the 4 Auckland girls, Georgia was the only one really likely to threaten their hold on the top 5 spots.
We went to Mystery Creek, had a full on three days of competing and volunteering and cheering hard for the other Auckland girls competing, and came home with one very happy gymnast and an extremely proud Evil Gym Mom:
3 personal best scores (hoop, free, overall)
Proficiency Pin awarded
4th in free
silver for hoop (!!!!)
5th overall

Jess is now gleefully planning for HER kitten.
Auckland's RG L4s also came home with 1st free for Frances, 2nd free/ 1st ribbon/ 2nd overall for Georgia (I knew she could do it - woohoo Georgia).  Canterbury took 1st, 3rd & 4th.

As I was volunteering at the other end of the stadium I only just made it back for Jess' medal ceremony so no photo (sorry! there might be an update if one of the other moms got one), but there is video:


Friday, September 24, 2010

Tis the season to brag it seems

I arrived to pick Jess up from ballet last night to be greeted by a very excited Jess - they'd had their level 1 contempory ballet exam results back...
High Honours
She's thrilled to bits as this was the first year of doing contemporary and she missed most of the extra exam classes due to gym comps, plus Miss Emma didn't decide to put them in for the exam til late so preparation was a bit rushed.
Now it's Recital time, and the girls are having A LOT of fun learning their dance - it's to the Crazy Frog's rendition of Popcorn - big grins throughout every class!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Yet another brag session

The NZ gymsports season ends with Nationals, held every year over five days starting the last day of term 3.
Every competitive gymnast (Artistic, Rhythmic, Trampoline & Aerobic) who is 9+ and Level 4+ aims to qualify and be selected to represent their region at Nationals.
Jess made reserve in 2008 for WAG L4.
2009 was a washout as she changed codes mid year so wasn't able to qualify.
But this year, this year, we knew she had a really good chance of making the Auckland team for Rhythmic L4. 
And she has.

Today was pick up the tracksuit, be in the team photo, and start to get really excited day.

So on Friday we hit the road and head for Mystery Creek Events Centre to be part of Nationals - Jess to compete and me as a volunteer.
May this be the first of many.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Stitching AND Blinging!

Yup, I can stitch and bling - woohoo
Stitcher Tree by M Designs, WDW caribbean on 22ct hardanger, with crystals of various colours instead of beads
Because I scanned it, the different colours of the crystals don't show, but there's topaz, green, light sapphire, volcano and clearAB on there.
It was given to a dear friend, Cherry (who has known me since I was in nappies!!), today at Crafternoon.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Brag Alert!!!!

Evil Gym Mom has LOTS to smile about today.....
After a good start to the season with a couple of podium finishes, Jess lost her mojo a little at the last 3 comps much to her distress and frustration.
So last week she tried praticising a little differently, a bit more at home and it seemed to work as she came home from Wednesday's training much happier with her work, plus her coach tweaked her routines a little.
Net result, from today's inaugural North Island Championships held at Counties Manukau:

3rd in Freehand
2nd in Ribbon

1st in Hoop
1st Overall!
Jess was absolutely thrilled - as you can see by the biggest grin I've seen from her on a podium ever.
Way to go Jellybean!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Another chance to brag

The same week that Tamsin did her Grade 1 jazz exam, she also did her RAD Grade 2 ballet exam.  Due to the way RAD process exam marks, the results aren't available the following week as they were with jazz, but come back up to 6 weeks later.  So, here we are, roughly six weeks later and Miss Emma handed out the marks and certificates at the end of class today.
with 71 out of 100,
and nothing below a 7 (there are 10 sections each worth 10 marks)
Tamsin was a bit peeved as she was hoping for Distinction (75+), but Miss Emma said they weren't handing many of those out this year and I told her that this year's mark was better than last year's mark (68) and way better than the year prior to that - so she's all cheerful again.
Go Tinkerbelle!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Evil Gym Mom forgot to brag

This happened last week, and I'm only just now posting it!  Bad momma.

Anyhoo, this is a YAY TAMSIN post cos last Wednesday she got her jazz grade 1 exam result:
That means 85-89% score, and there's only two levels above - High Honours and Distinction.

Now we wait for the RAD ballet grade 2 result (she had that exam the same week as her jazz exam), which won't be for weeks yet.  Patience is not my strong suit.  Tink couldn't care less - she's busy learning the dances for the two recitals she'll be in later in Term 4.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Things you do...

...while waiting for the girls at various ballet/gym classes
Dimensions kit (14ct aida, 5x7)
I love his eyes!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

in case you thought I'd gone crystal mad

Here's a cross stitch finish - finally!
Gold Collection Petites, by Dimensions.
From the stash, bought ages ago.

In a [hot] fix - part two

Blinging just a few hot fix crystals on the front of a practice leotard wasn't enough.
So I spent the last four days - yes, four - blinging a new comp leo for Jess.  The photos don't really show them very well, but I assure you that there are hundreds of the little sparkly things on there!

orange on the red, and volcano on the white
I get to find out this weekend at the Shore RG Champs how well those crystals show up on the comp floor.
Jess doesn't care, she loves this leo!

In a [hot] fix - part one

I bling leotards.
I bling them here,
I bling them there,
I bling leotards everywhere.

It's true, I do bling them everywhere.  I have appliqued and sequinned at home, at ballet and at gym.  I also use fabic paint and crystals.
Ahhh, crystals.  I love me some hot fix crystals - no mucking about with glue on stones for me!  And believe me with this one, gluing on crystals is mucky yucky blech.  Whereas applying them with the Bedazzler is soooo much easier.  So easy that a certain blog friend's hubby, while staying with us recently, was so taken with hot fix crystals that he insisted on being taken to Spotlight on the way home from the airport to buy a Bedazzler for their use. 
Do I get enabling points for that?
Thing is, Swarovski crystals are expensive - Spotlight has them in little packets of 24 for $8. So to get decent coverage on a comp leo, you have buy at least 8 - 10 packets.
Ebay, on the other hand (if one doesn't mind them being Korean via Hong Kong), has a very good store where I was able to get lots - and I mean LOTS - of very pretty crystals for not very much.  How does $60 for 17,300 in various colours sound?  I know I liked it.  The gym coaches did too, although they did look at me worriedly and said "not all on one leotard, right?"
So, of course, I had to do some blinging when the exciting packets arrived in the mail:
Black diamond and orange crystals, on black cotton lycra.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Walking the bridge

Auckland is an isthmus, and requires many bridges to complete its roading network.  Most of the main ones are bottlenecks for traffic.  Whenever you mention "the bridge" in Auckland, everyone assumes you mean the iconic one - the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
We live by the other harbour and its bridge.  It's quite crucial actually, as it is the main route to the airport from the CBD.  And the traffic issues were getting ridiculous - even government ministers were missing their flights due to it. 
Sunday just gone, on a beautiful blue winter day, we got to walk over the latest solution to the traffic woes: a brand new bridge, just like the one already in use.  So now we have one bridge for going north, and one bridge for going south.

It opened to traffic this morning - nearly 6 months ahead of schedule.


I like rainbows, and my girls do too.  Lucky we live in Auckland, then, cos the weather conditions here are perfect for seeing lots of them!  Rain on a sunshiny day is sooooo not usual here.  In fact, whenever that song comes on the radio with the chorus "have you ever seen rain coming down on a sunny day?" we yell at the radio "often!!!"  We get double rainbows too.
Here's a single one I snapped about a month ago as I was leaving work:
How can you not love that?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I lied...

when I said "last leotard for the year" some posts back, cos here's one more:

Having such fun making these!
Think there might be one or two more before the season ends...
...while the cross stitch lies neglected, oh well.

Views from the fog

Jess allowed me to video her routines at the recent Spiralz comp, so for you diehards out there, here's the link:
Jess at Spiralz 3jul10

Evil Gym Mom thinks her eldest baby is gorgeous (while eldest baby does eyeroll behind my back)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fog update

The full results from the Spiralz comp have been posted on the NZ Gymsports site, and Evil Gym Mom had to brag...
...cos Tamsin did better than we thought!

4th in Ball, and 10th overall

Go Tinkerbelle!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Look who's come to stay!

It's Henry!
On loan to us from Floss

Monday, July 5, 2010

Another foggy day in Te Awamutu

And Tink's competition went much like it did at Counties - ok free, ok ball, shocker hoop.  She wasn't last though, due to the unfortunate habit of the Spirals gymnasts to forget their routines half way through and run off crying.
But - she smiled at the judges during the routines, looked gorgeous and had fun.  Whereas some of the girls, including the really talented ones who have skills to smile about, don't and look like little automatons.

And, when we got home, we got a txt from the Fabulous Floss to ask if we might have room for Tim and one of the Blondinis to stay.  Do we have room?!  For our fave Sth Is friends???  Too right we do, and Tink gets to be with her missing twin (hello Henry!!)
Can't wait till Jess and I go down for Southland Champs in mid August to stay with them.  Happy days.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

One foggy day in Te Awamutu...

It's the Spirals Competition this weekend, held at the very pleasant ASB Stadium Te Awamutu.  This is a very nice, well run, friendly event; and only two hours drive from home.
Jess, being Level 4, was due there to warm up for her session at 9am this morning.  Tink, as a Level 2, is due there to warm up at 9.45am tomorrow.
So, joy of joys, a double road trip.

Anyhoo, here's the mid comp report:
A very foggy trip down - SH1 runs by the mighty Waikato River for most of the trip, and Hamilton and environs are damp and low lying.  The stadium was warm though.
There was a good turnout of clubs - Tristar, North Harbour, Shore, Topaz, Howick, Spirals, Argos and Capital (all the way from Wellington).
Jess did a much cleaner ribbon routine and upped her score by nearly two marks; did an ok hoop routine with one oops so slightly lower score from Counties; did a clean and energetic freehand and just missed getting her first 16 for the year - so here's hoping for the next comp at Shore.
Prize giving was announced very promptly (so promptly that several of the L4s were still in the adjacent pool complex!) and much to our surprised delight we got:
3rd overall, and 2nd in ribbon!!
Jess is absolutely stoked, and Evil Gym Mom is very proud of her eldest baby.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Counties comp - Evil Gym Mom gets to brag...

Tamsin competed L2 - all three routines - this morning, and Jess competed L4 - all three routines - this afternoon.

The bad news:
Tamsin had a shocker hoop routine and Jess got snarled up three times during her ribbon routine.

The good news:
Tamsin didn't have a splatfest with her ball routine like she and I feared, and her freehand routine was ok.  Plenty of room for improvement; she's seen the videos; and there are 3 comps to go; so she's on track and will advance to L3 for next year - YAY Tamsin.
Jess did a good freehand (similar to the last comp), a good hoop (way better mark than the last comp) and her ribbon score wasn't anywhere near as bad as she and I thought it would be given the snarl ups.

4th in Freehand

2nd in Hoop

3rd overall!!
Clean sweep by Xtreme Rhythmix

She is absolutely over the moon, especially as she was devastated after her ribbon routine.

Way to go Jessica!