I can’t believe it! I have made another blanket! I’m really on a roll at the moment, and thoroughly enjoying myself.
This time I used the disappearing nine patch block for the main part of the quilt and then added a border and binding. The material is a Riley Blake fabric and is very pretty and bright. I’m not actually sure if I will give the blanket away or keep it for myself to enjoy. I have never made one for myself as I usually have a person in mind, or a reason for making the blanket before I start.
Here are the instructions…
Now you can try out the disappearing nine patch block on your own blanket. I suggest you make a little babies blanket first so you can practice before commencing a larger one. It really isn’t hard and looks great when finished. It’s one of the first block patterns that I tried, and I have been really happy with the finished blankets. If you look up patchwork in the categories, you can see my previous quilts and blankets. See if you can find the other disappearing nine patch ones 🙂
I have been back home now for nearly a month, and I’m loving it!
It’s funny how you never really appreciate something until you have to do without it for awhile. The saying goes ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’, and although this saying is describing relationships, I also believe it covers things like homes, or familiar places, or towns. If you have been reading my blog over the past six months, you will remember that I left New Zealand on the 15th of August last year and didn’t return again until the 12th of January this year. That is nearly five months away from my country and home town of New Plymouth. Actually we live just out of New Plymouth at a small town called Waitara, but New Plymouth is just a short 15-20 minute drive away and is our nearest city, and yes, I love it!
Walking back into my home, I fell in love with it all over again. Yes it is old, and still has a lot of work needing to be done on it, but it is very comfortable, welcoming, peaceful, and spacious. It is our 16 year old renovation project that will probably never get finished, but it has served us well! It has been a family home to 5 of our 6 children and all the extras that they have brought here over the years. We have had many friends and visitors pop in to see us and maybe stay a day or more and I trust that they have felt the welcome, not only from us, but by the atmosphere that this house helps to create.
I have been thinking about why I am so happy to be home. Yes I do love my house and it’s in a great location in the country and yet handy enough to get to town within 20 minutes, so that is part of the reason. But I think it’s the fact that New Plymouth is such a fabulous city. We have everything here from a Mountain to the sea, and plenty of parks inbetween, as well as the fact that it is a great shopping city.
Let’s start with the view I see from my own front yard!
If I drive south for 20 minutes I would come to the small town of Inglewood. About 15 minutes away from my house heading towards Inglewood, I get this amazing view!
And every winter I try to get up the mountain to the snow at least once. It’s such fun to have our Mountain so close and to have the ability to drive up right to the snow.
And after a play in the snow and you are feeling a little hungry, a stop at Volcano View Café is great for food and play. With flying foxes available for use, and BIG carts to ride. The kids (and big kids) love it 🙂
Leaving Volcano View and heading towards New Plymouth and the next place to stop would be at Lake Mangamahoe. This lake supplies New Plymouth with it’s water. It is very picturesque and also a great lake for hiking around. When you get there, you will find that you can get a great photo with the mountain in the background.
Next place towards New Plymouth is the ‘Meeting of the waters’. Here you can go for a walk to the river, swim, or take some rafts and get out on the river. It’s also a great place for a picnic, a walk or just for relaxation.
We have the most amazing park right in the centre of New Plymouth that is very popular and well worth a visit. There are many magnificent trees and gardens all over the park, along with a Fernery house to wander through. There is also a playground for the children that has recently been updated with new playground equipment, and the children love it.
There are two big lakes. One with a fountain and the other you can hire row boats and take the family or friends for a row. If you would rather have coffee or lunch than get out on a boat, then you can go to the Tea Rooms. There you can sit and relax and also have a lovely view of the lake.
The waterfall at the park looks great during the ‘Festival of Lights’ Christmas Season. The whole park is lit up over that time and is known about New Zealand wide. It is spectacular! There are also stages set up over the season and for a super evening, you can take a blanket, invite friends along and spend the evening relaxing and listening to the various performers on stage.
Walking through the park, you will end up at the “Bowl of Brooklands’. It is an amazing outdoor sound shell where we often have performers to entertain. There is nothing more special to sit on the hills with wonderful company, and listen to a well known band or watch a production/show. The Christmas at the bowl held each year is very popular and finishes off with a huge fireworks show.
And just up the hill from the Bowl of Brooklands is our very own zoo. Sorry but the most exotic animal are the monkeys, but it’s still a great zoo. It has a fantastic playground and is very good for young children. With gates and both ends, young Mums can relax while the children have fun in a safe environment. There are some elephants there but only the type seen in the next photo 😉
We have a famous garden just west of New Plymouth in the mountain range called The Pukeiti Rhododendron Gardens. Every year we have the Rhododendron Festival and it happens during the flowering season of the trees. Hundreds of tourists come into New Plymouth to visit the gardens and Pukeiti is extremely popular.
After visiting Pukeiti, it’s just a ‘short’ drive downhill towards the sea and you arrive at Oakura. The best place to go for the New Years day beach carnival. Nearby is the river that is a favourite for swimming, games and BBQ teas.
You can carry on driving towards New Plymouth and visit Back Beach. Its a bit of a climb down and more of a climb back up but the beach is great, and at low tide you can walk over to one of the sugar loaf islands. But make sure you get back to the mainland before the tide turns. You can get caught out very quickly and end up stuck on the island!
Right next to Back Beach is Paritutu Rock. And it’s a huge rock! I have climbed it about three times (I don’t like heights!). Robin was very game and took the grandsons to the top!
Once you get to Paritutu, you are nearly at Port Taranaki. It’s just down the road and good for a look, and then play on the black sand, or swim at Ngamotu Beach. Follow the coastal road and you come to three of our lovely well visited cafes! All with seaside views!
After a lovely stroll along the breakwater, you can find the start of our fabulous New Plymouth walkway! It is 12.7 Kms long and every step is worth the walk. There are magnificent views along the whole pathway. For all the information on the walkway please copy and paste the NPDC link below.
Now don’t you think that the next challenge you should give yourself is to either walk the length of the Coastal Walkway or ride your bike the distance. If you don’t have a bike you can always hire one from the people that hire them out near the café between East End and Fitzroy Beaches.
One day the Coastal Walkway will eventually reach to Waitara. From our place we can already ride our bikes along Brown Road and cross the walkway bridge at the Waiongana Stream, keep riding and end up at the back of the airport.
I haven’t finished showing off about our wonderful Coastline and beaches and favourite places to go yet! If you keep travelling north and head off to Waitara, there is another river mouth with another great Beach. The Waitara one!
If you still want to see more beaches you can venture further North to Onaero River mouth and Beach, or even further and go to the Urenui River and Beach. We’ve had many a BBQ tea and swim in the Urenui River. The mud flats on the town side of the river are a great attraction for the children, not so much for the Mums trying to get the clothes/swimwear back to their normal colour, I’m afraid!
So there you are! There’s still heaps more to see in our wonderful city and actually the whole province of Taranaki. So next time you go on holiday, don’t forget about New Plymouth, and you can visit the places I have shown and also discover some more places for yourself.
Robin and I have just joined www.airbnb.com as a host family. We’ve already met some super people from other countries. We love being able to share our big home and have some company, but what we love the most is having the opportunity of sharing our wonderful city of New Plymouth with them.
Now can you see why I said I am really enjoying being back home 🙂
It’s 7:45 and I’m still in bed, but definitely not sleeping or relaxing. I’m thinking about the thousand things I still need to do today. I need to get up! But, I do have a list! I love being able to tick off jobs as they are completed and then knowing I am fully prepared for our holiday…. Hopefully!
Mostly I am excited! Eeeee! I have just finished checking Facebook and Snapchat, and have seen photos of my family and their travel shots as they make their way to Poland. C1, C2 and G3 are driving from London to Leszno and they crossed from the Uk to France via the Euro tunnel early this morning. And they are now in Germany!
Looking very excited! G3 and her Dad C1 🙂
Visiting ‘The Shard’ in London
Waiting to board the train at the Euro tunnel.
On the train!!!
A stop for refreshments in Brussels 🙂
And now they are in Cologne Germany!
Meanwhile C4 and D3 have arrived in London and are staying on for a few days while C4 has some work to do. They fly to Poland later in the week.
Don’t they look very relaxed! Lovely 🙂
Now, I have to wash my sheets and remake the bed! Clean the whole house including the bathroom! Print out travel documents! Phone Visa! Fold heaps of washing! Pack my bag! Prepare a meal for us and my two Aunties for tonight! And… The list goes on!
I really wanted to finish my crochet blanket before I left but will have to leave it at this stage until I come back home in January!
Another wet day in the Naki! And another day to entertain the grandsons indoors. I taught grandaughter G3 how to make a Pom Pom the last time I was in Sydney, so thought that it was the perfect opportunity to teach the boys as well.
Pom Poms are really easy to make and are a great way of using up all your old balls of wool. Especially if you only have one ball left of a colour, or a batch, or there isn’t enough to make a whole garment.
If you’ve never made a Pom Pom before, here are the instructions…
Cut out two circles of cardboard with another circle cut out of the centre
Put the two circles together and start winding the wool around and around.
Keep adding more and more wool until the centre is full.
Complete filling it up using a darning needle with a super large hole threated with the wool.
Now the tricky part! You have to cut the Wool between the two circles just like the photo below
Wind a piece of wool between the circles and tie it tight so it will hold all the cut wool together
Rip off the cardboard circles and do a little trimming to neaten it up and voila! You now have a Pom Pom!
Our Pom Pom was thrown around as a soft inside ball. Great entertainment for two active boys.
And when the fun of a new Pom Pom had worn off Maisy the dog found it on the lounge floor. She was loving it! Tossing it around like it was made just for her! If I hadn’t rescued it I imagine it would have been destroyed in no time!
All in all our Pom Pom making experience has been quite fun! G2 wanted to make another one straight away. He loved the idea of using a needle but I was happy with just one big Pom Pom for awhile. Perhaps we can make another the next wet day 🙂
Yesterday I drove to Palmerston North to pick up our Grandsons G2 and G4. I love having these boys to stay! You only have to look through a few of my previous blog posts and you will see photos of previous holidays and details of our adventures. I have made a few plans for these holidays but today, their first day here, it is a cold, wet and windy day. So it’s inside entertainment! G2 also has a cough cold and is probably better off staying indoors and keeping warm. So first thing was a game of minecraft on the Play Station 3, and then it was break time. The boys know that Nana Pam doesn’t like them spending too long in front of the television or a computer screen! So, out came the saucepan and a batch of playdough was made for the next form of entertainment…..and they loved it 🙂 If you haven’t made playdough before I suggest you give it a try. It is so easy!
Here is the the recipe….
Stir all together
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup of salt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon of oil
2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
and food colouring (any colour)
Then cook on medium heat, stirring all the time until the dough leaves the side of the pan. Tip it out onto tray and when it cools a little, knead it all together. And then the fun begins!
Here are some photos of the boys and their playdough creations…
Lots of fun to be had! Playdough play lasted for about an hour and I think that is a pretty good return for the time invested in making it. And, the best part of all is that if you store your Playdough in an airtight plastic bag or container, it will last for a month or even longer.
The sun has come out to shine this afternoon so maybe we can get out on the trampoline or the bikes! But if it’s wet again in the next few days, I am sure we will be able to get our green playdough out again….even if it’s only for another hour of play 🙂
Every morning I read ‘The Word For Toady’. It’s a devotional book that I receive every three months from Radio Rhema, New Zealand (RBG). For each day there is a scripture to read followed by a little message that explains the scripture a little further. The explanation is written by Bob and Debby Gass from UCB International.
Now I have been receiving these books for approximately 20 years! How do I remember to read it, you ask? Well, I have it sitting on a shelf in my toilet, and when I go to the toilet first thing in the morning, I read my ‘Word for today’. Too much information….you say… Well it works for me! Hehe 🙂
This morning is the 18th of April, and it is Good Friday here in New Zealand. The title for today’s reading is ‘You get another shot’, and the scripture for today is…
‘…”Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom”…Jesus said… “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.”‘ Luke 23:42-43 NKJV
And the further reading today just touched my heart, and I want to share it with you.
Author Charles Swindoll writes: ‘If ever there was a deathbed conversion, that was it. The thief lived his entire life a sinner, a hoodlum…in no way did he prove himself worthy…so what had he done to receive eternal life? What did Jesus accept? Faith – simple, unadulterated, unproved faith in Christ. That’s all God requires and all we can offer. The snapshot of Jesus’ life the thief saw convinced him He was the Son of God.
Their dialogue teaches us three important truths: (1) No one is ever too far gone. Think of someone you’ve written off… ‘Oh, they’ll never come to know Christ. I’ve tried everything…he’s never going to respond’. When you’re tempted to think anyone is beyond the reach of grace, remember the criminal on the cross. (2) Your real message is your life. Socrates once called words ‘stupid things’. When your life draws the attention of lost people, you have sufficient proof to back up the words you use. When you let God do the work in their lives, and yours, you’ll be amazed how He brings the appropriate words. (3) All God requires and accepts is simple faith. If you’re working hard to earn your way into the Kingdom…you’re on the wrong path. Think about it – how many works will be enough? When salvation is by faith, all the work and all the glory are God’s.
Never doubt your acceptance into His family when you come His way. The thief didn’t doubt…He didn’t have to make any promises. He believed with all his heart, and was saved.’ You can be too!
You too can read the ‘Word for today’ everyday. I will put the link for todays message below and then you can read each days new message via the internet…..enjoy
While expecting the three new grandchildren to arrive this year, I decided to get back into some of my older craft activities. Amazingly, the Scrapbooking has been put aside until I’ve completed these baby gifts! But I will get back to it as there will be so many photos of each new grandchild to make pages with… I can’t wait!
I’ve now been sewing baby clothes, wraps and bibs and also had the knitting needles and crochet hooks out….and I’ve had fun! Nothing like a new baby to give you motivation.
So first to be born this year was G5 on the 4th of February. I made her a crotcheted blanket just like the one I had for my children when they were babies.
And here is beautiful little G5 tucked up and sound asleep with her new blanket. Hopefully she will be able to keep her own ‘Nana made’ blanket for years 🙂
While I was making G5’s blanket I had another pink one on the go. With having two grand daughters arriving I needed/wanted to make one for each of them. The other blanket was quite different. Instead of crocheting in rounds I crocheted in rows of treble crochets.
I had fun making this blanket as it was in 12 ply and grew very fast. Trouble was it used heaps of wool up too and I ran out doing the edge! As it was such a bright blanket I decided to tone it down with a fancy white edging. This blanket is now in England waiting for grand baby girl to be born. And….I can’t wait to hear the news as it could be any day now 🙂
Here is a close up of the lovely white lacy edge…
So G5 was born in February and on the 10th of March I headed for Sydney to be there when Grandson G6 was born. I took a suitcase of wool with me to crotchet G6’s blanket with. I had 20 days! He arrived on the 18th of March, one day before his due date.
I started a pattern of so many rows of the blue/green wool and then two rows of white. The blanket ended up huge, as I had to complete the pattern…and I ended up having to race to ‘Spotlight’ to buy more wool. But in the end I was really happy with it…and I got it finished
And because I had brought more wool I decided to use it all up and make a pillow to match…although the pattern was different as I had more white wool left than the coloured wood.
I have a photo of G6 laying on his blanket in the previous post. Go and have a look at him…he is such a little cutie!
I enjoyed crocheting so much I have started another blanket. It’s so easy to just sit and crotchet while you are watching TV, or a movie, or even while you are talking. I feel like I’m being productive even while doing nothing.
I should really be using a bigger size crochet hook but I didn’t have mine with me when I started and I didn’t want to undo it and start again….so it is very tight crocheting and quite firm! I hope it’s going to be okay when it’s finished.
Now, when I was in Sydney I also finished off knitting a little blue cardy. I started it when D1 first found out she was pregnant….so it has definitely been a work in progress! Apart from sewing the buttons on, which I left for D1 to do (I didn’t have any and didn’t have time to shop for some), I got it finished! Phew!
So along with the knitting and crocheting, I have also been making myself a couple of dresses and some baby items as well. I forgot to take photos of the baby things apart from these two little dresses…
I usually find it hard to make clothes for myself that fit okay once sewn up. I’m not very good at altering the pattern for my body shape! I usually sew it up as much as possible and then put it on inside out and pin the seams to fit better! I decided to buy a new pattern as see how it turned out by just cutting and sewing as the pattern said! This is the pattern…
I purchased my material from ‘Spotlight’s’ 30% off sale. For one dress it cost $12! Now that’s a bargain. especially if you don’t count the value of my time taken to make the dress. I made it for me for free 🙂
This dress has pockets at both sides. It has been cut and sewn just as the pattern said and fits me perfectly. You have no idea how happy this makes me feel. So happy that I had to make another dress!
I just have one more dress cut out to sew up for me, and the crochet blanket to finish, and then I can spend some time creating with these beautiful fat quarter fabrics. They have been washed and are just sitting waiting for me to find some inspiration and spare time! Aren’t they fabulous!
I will be spending a wee bit of time on ‘Pinterest’ looking for ideas I think 🙂
I love my Mum and Dad! They are 88 and 85 and still going strong. Strong in health, living and loving 🙂 What an amazing heritage we have because of them. They deserve to be honoured…and I do honour them 🙂
We have family tea together every Sunday night, missing out only occasionally. Here are some photos of our gathering last night. G2 and G4 are staying so they entertained themselves with clothes pegs….believe it or not!
I should have taken more photos of everyone there, but I am so happy with these photos. They all show the LOVE we have for each other.
One day last week I picked G2 up after School and decided to give both him and G4 a treat. Now if you haven’t been to the Te Manawa Museum in Palmerston North, New Zealand…you MUST go! Especially if you have young children. The museum is filled with interactive displays and it is so much fun watching the children explore and learn while playing.
All the ground floor is free entry so that is also a bonus to visit there. The first area you go to is the interactive house. It has a kitchen, lounge, bedroom/reading/dressing up area, and outdoor area consisting of a clothes line and a tree hut!
But the most favourite area is the scariest. If you walk into the wardrobe and through the hanging clothes a door magically opens at the back….and you enter into a dark secret passage. The door quickly closes behind you and you are left to explore/find your way out, using all the senses minus sight! And believe me it’s a bit creepy. You hear mice scuttling and things are hanging from the ceiling…and you even have to climb a bit! If you are very brave you can feel your way to the very end and find yourself up in the tree hut. If you get a bit worried you can find the escape door and end up in the bedroom and take a rest on one of the beds…or maybe read a book…or try out the dress up clothes.
In one of the rooms you learn how to do some plumbing. If you join the pipes correctly the water will start to run through the pipes. You can also fill up a bath with water and then pull the plug…learning not to waste water!
But my favourite part is the the outdoor area where the children can construct a big wall with the soft bricks that are provided. Talk about great entertainment for boys! They love it….even if we go there every holidays…they still love it.
There are the usual museum features as well and we did explore some of those areas but the real treat is all the interactive components of the place. Have a look at the photos and see what you think…
Today I am suppose to be packing up and driving to Palmerston North. I will! But a bit later. I HAVE to share these photos from our adventures in the Maize Maze.
The boys had been staying with us for the weekend, hence the reason I have to drive to Palmerston North today, I have to take them home….anyway… yesterday, we decided to go to the Maize maze. We had been passed the place a few times, in fact every time I took the boys either to their home or to our place. And because it is well sign posted and Jayden can read, it has been the most asked for location to visit….and it was worth the visit.
Yesterday was such a beautiful day. Not a cloud in the sky! We started off with a fabulous church service, lunch at home (corn on the cobb would you believe), and then we were off to the Maize Maze.
So as you can see it was a GREAT day. We all had so much fun, and finished the fun off with a swim in our pool as soon as we got home. These kind of days are the days that we will remember forever!