Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Made in New Zealand

I like multi-purpose souvenirs. This one not only is something I can wear here, and expand my little travel wardrobe, but wear at home for the upcoming long winter that I'm bracing myself for. The wool is from sheep here in New Zealand, it was hand-spun and hand-dyed here too. (Do I need hyphens there? I don't know.) And then, I knitted it here too. So that was fun.

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You can read all about it on my Ravelry project page.

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I've already put it to good use and have worn it lots. For example, it was nice to have at Cape Foulwind. Where it was, quite appropriately, rather windy.

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The ladies from Fibre Spectrum, where I bought the yarn were most helpful not only selecting the yarn, but when I lost my pattern for a bit half-way through. Anne, (below with me) helped me select it, and Vernette saved the day by being a fabulous lace knitter and picked up my lost stitches.

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Thanks for being such a good sport Anne, I know you said you don't like pictures. And thanks to Natasha, for snapping this for me. :)

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy, What I Wore Series.

Monday, September 15, 2014

This Face

Belongs to a girlie who makes me laugh, smile, giggle, roll my eyes, sigh, get all excited, get all flustered, bewilders me, causes me to cry, and love her all the more.

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And her "quirls". Even braided ones. Such a trial and cuteness all in one.
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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ever Heard of Possum Wool?

I hadn't till I popped in this store and discovered their merino/possum blend yarn. Possums here in New Zealand aren't quite like the Opossums we have in America. I still don't think they're very friendly looking, but apparently their fur can be rather soft and is used in conjunction with another wool to create a nice blend.

This old building from the 1800's is the home of at least a couple shops, and my yarn store is just inside to the left.

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Once inside the hall, you open the sliding door and voila. You have entered the nicest little shop for knitted items, yarns, wool to be spun, hand-dyed silks and more. I was looking for yarn for an infinity scarf, which I thought I could knit while here to help pass the time, be my NZ souvenir, and be ready for my winter wardrobe when we get back to the States.

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I stopped by 3 times, and on my last visit finally bought the yarn. I debated and hem-hawed around, but finally with the help of one of the co-op ladies who share the tending of the store, we selected a 60% merino, 40% possum blend, hand dyed by a local New Zealand lady. Anne was of great help, walking me through how much I might need, how to calculate how many stitches to cast on for my project, and so on. She said to be sure to come by and show me the finished scarf.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

I'm Not a Fashion Blogger

But I decided to take pictures of what I wore last week for my own amusement, and perhaps yours too. Ha! You see, with packing very, very light for this trip, I'm having fun mixing and matching my outfits. Everything must go with everything, and so far it's going pretty well.

So on Thursday, we went to the gym and had a good workout. Of course, I didn't wear jeans to work out in, but I wasn't going to bike through town wearing yoga pants either.

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My Outfit: T-shirt: Down East Basics // Sweater: Loft, exact one here on E-bay  
Jeans: Levi's, (similar)
Natasha's Outfit: Shirt: Kids Gap //  Skirt: Frothy Bubble Skirt, made by me

On Friday we made a special trip to the Spotlight store, for sparkly pipe cleaners.
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My Outfit: T-shirt: Down East Basics // Sweater: Banana Republic 
             Jeans: Levi's, similar // Shoes: Croft and Barrow flats, E-bay
Natasha's Outfit: Shirt: Kids Gap // Skirt: Made by me
Bag: Made by me

Saturday's outfit ended up being very boring since I cleaned house. So we'll skip Saturday and go right to Sunday. I wore jeans once again for our bike ride to church, then changed once there.

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T-shirt: Made by me // Sweater: Target, similar // Skirt: Target, similar? // Scarf: From Germany last year

I liked Sunday's hairstyle, and it still looked good on Monday, so I kept it in.

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T-Shirt: Down East Basics // Sweater: Banana Republic // Skirt: Gap, similar

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Tuesday was the day I bought yarn, after much deliberation, at the wool, yarn, spinning and silk store in town. I wore my bird's nest necklace, which I made myself from this tutorial, but have never "featured" on the blog. It's probably the necklace I wear the most.

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Shirt: Target, similar // Jeans: Levi's, similar // Belt: Target // Bag: Made by me // Necklace: tutorial here

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One of these days I hope to do a post featuring all the exact clothes I brought as a how-to-pack-really-light-for-3-months-travel.

Linking up with Pleated Poppy for "What I Wore". 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Her Love Language

The other day I began to wonder (again) what Natasha's love language is. I'm never good at figuring these things out, although I do know mine...send me words of encouragement or a compliment and I'm on top of the world for a good long time. After a bit of contemplation, Daniel and I determined Natasha's is touch. She loves to be hugged, snuggled, kissed, and be touching somehow. I easily admit that it doesn't come naturally to me, so sometimes it's hard to give.
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We happened to be discussing this at the supper table in her presence, so we just asked her, "What makes you feel loved?"

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Her immediate response was, "Hugs and kisses!"

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Her new crown came as a result of a pin my sister sent me. (Thank you my dear!) The tutorial is found here and we made a special trip to the "Spotlight" store just to find pipe cleaners. I wasn't sure what the Spotlight store was like other than I heard rumor they had knitting needles. Come to find out it's like a JoAnn's with the addition of a Kohl's, minus the clothes, shoes and jewelry. Got all that? Just the perfect place for me to wander around for a while. We bought the glittery multi-color pack of pipe cleaners, and I love the fact that it's glittery for my diamond-loving girlie, and yet no glitter falls off. It's ideal.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday In Our Home


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Can you believe it? More clothes-washing watching went on today. :)

Thank you for your kind comments; it's so nice to hear something from the other side of the screen in the world of blogging! Especially when we're literally on the other side of the world... I always get surprised when I see a globe or a picture of the world and see where New Zealand actually is in relation to home. I almost always gasp in disbelief.

P.S. If anyone has questions, I try to answer in the comment section. I don't know if that's hard to find later or not. Maybe I should enable the "respond in e-mail form" or something? Is that possible? I'm off to find out.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Homemaking in the Southern Hemisphere

A few months ago I tried to make it my custom to clean house on Saturdays. Mostly because I love having a tidy and picked up house for Sunday. It doesn't always happen, and sometimes I clean on other days too, but anyway, I have resumed my cleaning "schedule" here in New Zealand.

I am overjoyed that this house has my very favorite type of vacuum cleaner: A little bug that follows me. Truly, I have never liked the upright bagged kind, and love it that I don't have to use a broom for all the non-carpeted floors.

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The outlets are different, and they have a little switch above each one to turn the power on or off. I haven't learned exactly why yet...

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The heaters we have are electric wall mounts that simply heat up, and stay hot.

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This is pretty amazing. It heats water to boiling in about 4 seconds. Not quite, but pretty much. Ha!

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Here is Daniel's first cup of coffee in the plunger. Apparently it's not called a french press here, and I'm still trying to figure out what a toilet plunger is called, if a french press is a plunger. :)

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Ah, we have a washing machine. If there's one appliance that I *so* easily take for granted at home, it's a washing machine. In Panama, I did a fair amount by hand, and learned that it's not something I want to do for the long term. I even did some by hand in Germany. Again. Not something I want to repeat.
But I won't have to here! Our front loading washing machine works wonderfully, not only for cleaning clothes, but amusing the 4 year old who has never been able to see clothes flop around inside a washing machine.

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I must say though, front loading washing machines are not speedy. The regular wash cycle takes an hour and a half till completion. Is this normal, or is it just a Kiwi thing? I decided to time the "quick wash" and it's a whole 10 minutes faster. I just have to laugh. :)

We don't have a dryer, but that's perfectly fine with me. I don't think anyone in the neighborhood does either. I've never seen so many men hanging up laundry in my life! These clotheslines are everywhere, as well as laundry racks that you unfold and set up on your deck or something. Here's our clothesline, right outside Natasha's bedroom window.

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