January 31, 2008

so much for not posting

haha yeah i think i'm procrastinating. 
And excited! We just acquired ourselves a lovely french environmentalist couple for our new flat - could it get any better? Pas mal ma francais est merde. but it should get a gazillion times better now right!
Can't wait to move in...it's so sunny, and big and has the best indoor outdoor flow thing going on...
but i better get to thinking about dinner, and work for tomorrow. Tim has abandoned me for the evening (because it wouldn't have been really good to have his help).

random momentary thoughts

i think Britney is a bit of a muppet...but does she really deserve all the media attention? surely, give the poor girl a break. Imagine dealing with a mental illness with 100 photographers in your face 24/7, with strangers camping outside your house, with every move documented world-wide.

and with the whole environmental report...i really hope people don't blame the government for it. Because really, every single individual is responsible for keeping New Zealand clean and green - every piece of rubbish we throw out, everything we buy, the water we drink, the car we drive, how we get to work...it all effects the planet. This is one thing we can't blame on any one else.

have a look at sustainability.govt.nz and make a pledge, or visit intersect.org.nz

or just get all crafty and make as many, or fix rather than replace, items that you think you need.

January 30, 2008

more slackness

which I anticipate to continue for at least another few days - Martinborough fair has taken over my life. I miss good sleep (all sleep that i get these days is filled with exhausting dreams).
But it will be over in a few days - and then i have to start packing, and planning for the FOUR fairs we're going to do in March.
I am looking forward to sewing tonight - i've bribed a couple friends with food and alcohol to come and help me handsew. Good times.

January 27, 2008

a new definition of stress

New definition of stress: having about 100 ipod covers to make in four days. Coming home to a nice glass of wine and some cake (see photo). Glass of red wine now on beige carpet. Well done, Tash.

January 26, 2008

more bloggy slackness

sorry. But my brain has gone awol - things have been over the top mad. 

I just finished (finally) all the cards i have so far planned to make for the fair. Thank freaking goodness for that. Am yet to decide if i'll do another hundred. Hmm.

Wedding was yesterday. Oh my it was absolutely beautiful. Stinking hot day which made for a bit of sunburn (me) and sweat dropping off hands (the groom). Tim looked fabulous as a groomsman, and i managed (somehow) not to cry, but it was the sweetest, most heartfelt ceremony and the couple looked magnificent. I'm going to try put a couple pics up but they're from tim's camera so they may be a little much for blogger to manage, but i'll try. 
They worked! yay :)
only real crisis of the day was that at about 10am i was having coffee with a friend who is moving to Auckland (sob) and my cellphone decided to seriously kick the bucket. Just what i needed - on the one day all week where i had to be sure that i was contactable at all times, i was suddenly without any means of calling. So i had to embrace the inevitable and replace my four year old, black and grey screen phone. Now i have a swish new pink number, that i managed to chuck on the trusty credit card for $100. Hopefully it too will last four years. Probably take me that long to pay off my current credit card bill (ugh.)

erm, what else. Oh i was asked four times when tim and i were going to get married. Gees, just because we're at a wedding, doesn't mean we all need to get engaged. and tim's cousin just tied the knot so surely one at a time is enough? 

And we had flat viewing number four today. I am so unbelievably sick of them. You'd think the landlord would get the message that they have put the rent up too high when they need four (could be more) viewings in January. The month of flats being snapped up in seconds by desperate masses of flat hunters. 

oh yeah, WIPs - i got both the stole and the clutch done in time for the wedding - they both turned out great - i'll try and take photos tomorrow. I did get a bit lazy with the bag and not do a separate lining, but it did the trick. and it held EVERYTHING. 

Last thing - as i was wielding tim's mega nikon D80 around i ended up being invited by the official photographer to go along to the photo shoot - which was great fun. I think she was a bit threatened by tim and i, and then figured she may as well make the most of me being there. So one of our gifts to the happy couple will be some great relaxed shots.

hmm... i think it is bedtime.

January 21, 2008

a day for contemplation

I was lucky enough to watch Sir Ed's funeral while i was at work today. I'm glad i did, except that it got me thinking way too much.
How much can one person do? It is quite simply incredible what Sir Ed achieved - the number of people whose lives are worth living just because he saw there was a need and had the means to assist. 
How much can one person do? there are so many things i want to be and achieve - not least of which are the following: create beautiful things, live sustainably, be a good girlfriend/sister/friend/daughter, exercise, be great at my job, find ways to get ahead, give my time to others...but i can't seem to fit it all in. One inevitably must be sacrificed in order to achieve another - i'd really like to do voluntary work but what with all our craft bizzo and the hours that i work, i don't see how i could do it all without burning myself out. Which means i end up feeling kind of selfish because i'd rathe develop my business ideas than help others who need it more than i need the extra cash (much as i hate to admit it).

I'm still getting over my cold. In fact, i think my cough has got worse. Tim's mum (a nurse) said yesterday that if i'm not better today i should really go to the doctor as i'll prolly need antibiotics. Woohoo. 
And we have our third open home tomorrow, so i have to clean yet again while the boy is out at the wedding rehearsal. At least, again, it's pretty easy, but still driving me mad. 
Rightyo, almost news time. Better get the knitting out. :)

January 19, 2008

All grown up

the boy and i just purchased two major items of whiteware. I'm officially an adult. So now we are the proud owner of a fridge/freezer and a washing machine. Brand new. We are also the proud owners of some new knowledge:

1. Hire purchase is the devil. No matter what a salesperson says, HP interest rates mean you will never get a good deal (unless you get an interest free term). My credit card rate is only 13%, so there it went. And there is a contingency plan to get it paid off asap. 
2. If in doubt, call your parents. 
3. I honestly believe that paying for an extra 5 year warranty is a big fat load of bollocks. 

Only bummer is that we won't get to actually use our new whiteware for three weeks - it's getting delivered the day we move into the new flat. ooooh shiny things. 

So more on the WIPs - Am in the midst of cutting a gazillion cards. And about halfway through the stole.
It's not the most beautifully consistent knitting as i'm making it out of hand spun air cell yarn. Think it's merino. Possibly not. Better yet, it was spun by Tim's late Gran. His mum was lovely enough to dip into her stash awhile ago and pass some on to me. This cream air cell and some lovely chocolate brown stuff. Apparently farmers used to give her the wool off the sheep's back to spin for free. So even if my stole is a bit bobbly and imperfect, at least my making and wearing it to Tim's brother's wedding will be very appropriate. Not that anyone is going to be paying the least attention to what i'm wearing anyway.

Haven't even started the clutch. I'm going to try and cut all this card before i do that, so hopefully will get onto it in the afternoon. 
I finally got to take a photo of this wee gem that Tim and I picked up at the Miramar Salvation Army a couple weekends ago - a photo tinting kit. Some of the paint tubes have hardened, but others are ok - just a bit hard to squeeze out. i love the design though - one of those things that are great to look at but will probably never use. Oh well. For $3, does it matter? :)

January 17, 2008

absent WIPs

I had every intention of posting photos today, but now that i've got around to it i've lost all the good light. Hold on, i'm going to do a quick scoutaround to see if anywhere in my mini flat has some decent sunshine. 

OK, got some, in the lame-ass kitchen light. Woop woop. 

Surprisingly, i had a brilliant working day. I finally cleared 95% of my backlog of 
work, and boy, is that a good feeling. I still have loads of administrative stuff to get done, but i have a plan of attack for that. It's called telling my boss on Tuesday that i can't do either job justice whilst i'm doing two, so could she please get someone in to help me? or at least tell the other naughty children in the office to give me a hand with yes, the mundane jobs that noone ever wants to do. And this week has revealed to me that i am confident enough to say that i can do the more senior job, but whether it is offered to me or not is a total dark area to me. I have no idea of the intentions there. So, like most things, it's wait and see. The story of my life.

In the meantime, I have this damned cold to get over - and going from how long tim has been suffering for, i could be stuck with it for awhile yet. Fingers crossed i'm not coughing and blowing for the wedding this time next week. 

I also picked up 330 photos that i had printed for cards for the fair today. Thank goodness it's a long weekend and i'm too broke to do anything! And i added another work in progress to my pile - i decided i'd make myself a clutch rather than buy a bag that really isn't in my budget or quite what i'm looking for, so, use your imagination:
Basically what i'm heading towards is a simple rectangular bag, zip along the top, and a loop coming out the side that i can put my hand through to make it easy to hold. The coral colour is a bit darker than the secondary colour of my dress, so that is going to be the lining - i'm loving how it warms the colour of the silk so it's pinker. All for a grand total of $10.30. Brilliant.

and going full-tilt with my stole - it's not going to be quite what i wanted, but as with everything, i don't have time. Especially not the approx 4 weeks it would take me to knit a lace pattern in it. Photo of progress tomorrow, perhaps?

Lastly, we have another open home tomorrow. which means more cleaning. fun-ho. At least the place is pretty much under control - a bit of removing the clothes from one wardrobe (the floor) to another (the real one) and a swipe at the dust that collects with abandon in the bathroom. That should do it. 

and um, actually lastly - another WIP - one that takes virtually no work at all. I can't wait to eat all my lovely home grown relatively organic baby tomatoes, that have been feed with worm wees which started off as our food scraps. Ahh, the circle of life.

January 14, 2008

not of the happiest frame of mind

I am extremely pissed at my tenancy agency right now. Heck, why don't  i just name them - Full House. Our really fantastic (gee, is that sarcasm) agent decided that she would tell me, mid afternoon today, that she has just put in all the advertising for tomorrow, and the viewing of our flat will be at 2.15. And i assumed, oh she must mean saturday, because giving us less than 24hours notice is kind of illegal... but no, she meant tomorrow. Oh and the only reason she emailed me was because i emailed her at the end of my tether being told by her voice mail not to leave a message as she's too busy. 
Which lead to a call to Tenancy Services to see if i had any rights there...and he said, well, you can't unreasonably withhold consent for them to come on to the property...so basically if i say no and they take me to disputes  i could be told that i was being unreasonable. I think the least the agent could have done is ask me if it was ok BEFORE she put all the advertising in. Now in one night i have to make sure my house looks presentable enough that people aren't going to think i'm a total slob who doesn't know how to clean. Along with nursing tim through his cold, working on craft stuff, and playing indoor netball. How, in fact, would she have known that I was back from holiday if i hadn't emailed her in the first place? what rights would i have had if they had just bowled through the house while we were away? Probably a small amount, and really, what would we get from going through disputes? Probably nothing. I feel as if i've been intruded upon and they haven't even got to our front door yet.

So after that, I could not concentrate on work at all. But i did everything through email so i have a written record...just in case. I am so, so happy our new place has great landlords who are just a ma and pa couple who really are lovely. So that's my rant. Oh except i had an irate lady who has absolutely no idea who i am, tell me off for answering the phone with the shortened version of my name. Well, lady, just so happens that practically noone calls me by my full name, and who on earth are you to tell me how to conduct myself?! 

off to clean the freaking bathroom, i s'pose.

January 11, 2008

home and hosed

just got the call...we got it! the wonderful, wonderful house! party! (well, or not. very sensible behaviour haha!)

goodbye, Sir Ed

Silly me, i did know when i posted yesterday that the wonderful Sir Ed had died. Not quite sure where that information went when i was writing. I hadn't previously known that much about him, but when we were on holliday, the Mt Egmont/Taranaki information centre (the one up the mountain) told me that he used to climb that mountain all the time. And i've learnt more about him over the past 36 hours, obviously, with all the obits flying around. What an amazing, humble person. How fantastic would it be to achieve either just the mountain climbing or just the humanitarian work that he managed, in one lifetime. Goodness.

I really wanted to try and post a photo with every entry, but i went to take today's and realised that i had just insisted tim take my camera with him to the stock cars. Gutted.

Today was great fun. Not. Oh my god the amount of mess we saw. How is it that some people managed to live in total and utter tips? I saw two bedrooms where the floor was not known to exist. I saw a kitchen that had piles of breakfast and dinner remnants plus the dirty dishes used to make them(it was 3.30pm). I saw socks lying in hallways, didn't even go close to looking at one bathroom that i doubt would have been cleaned in the past year. The most incredible thing was that the worst flats were ones being shown by tenancy agencies. I felt embarrassed for them, some of the places were so disgusting. 

Out of the six or so places we trooped round to today, we filled in one application form. And oh, how i want that flat. It is perfect. Well, i lie. the bathroom could be a little nicer, but everything else about it is wonderful. It felt so nice and homey. Unfortunately the old flat hunt game is starting to resemble more and more what it was like for us in Melbourne - competing with a mass of other people for the few good and reasonably priced flats. So you have to be chatty for as long as possible with the decision maker so that they remember your face when it comes to the crunch. How on earth would a person decide who is going to look after a house the best from the questions asked on an application form, really? There is essentially nothing to differentiate, except for maybe handwriting. 

My fingers and toes are crossed. But we do still have a couple of weeks to find somewhere and we are lucky enough to have a back up in case we lose out on all fronts. The bonus of the back up is that we can be fussy...but the longer we wait to find somewhere, the harder it will be to find flatties.

Crap how did it get to be twenty past 8? Time for more work of the crafty kind while the boy is out being a bogan. Woop woop.

January 10, 2008

the latest obsession

well, other than flat hunting anyway. But how about i fill in the flat hunt progress to start?
I had a great big stress last night. It had been two straights of very below average too expensive flat listings on trademe and i was irritable. Disputes ensued. Then relatively solved. Just before i headed off to bed i checked one more time...and found another place, in Kilbirnie, with great potential. So i've jacked up to see that place tomorrow. Am feeling quietly confident...
And we went to see the previously mentioned excitement creating looked really amazing flat this afternoon. Hmm. Well, it was nice. But not amazing. I had to force myself to envision it without all its studenty overcrowding furniture and see it as i would have it...but it was still nowhere near as big as the photos lead me to believe. I think a wide angle lens was at play there. So we chatted and got on well with one of the current tenants who was showing people around, and the person who decides who gets the place, and we completed our application first. In a very hilarious few minutes, a girl was stressing completely next to me, trying to get hers filled out before i did. Her tension was ebbing out all over the place, it was very hard not to smile. Apparently decision is on tuesday. If this other place tomorrow arvo is better, i'm going to push the guy to let it to us. Wait and see for now though.

The other obsession is more creative and has been curing for a while now. In fact, it began when the boy and i were living in Methven, and i found the coolest girls' annual. They have simply the sweetest and naivest (is that a word??) illustrations. And no ten year old girl in our time would take any of the stories remotely seriously. But they're great fun ... I managed to pick up 3 for $2 on our way up to Taranaki, and Tim's dad had some lying around that ended up in one of the many boxes that got passed our way. Which all means - another project! Hopefully i'll have it ready enough for Martinborough, but if not, it can wait til the March fairs. 
Meantime i have been doing plenty of sewing and embroidery for ipod covers. And mooching around earlier trying to come up with a grocery list i came up with yet another thing i'd like to do this year -try and cook as many different dinners as i can, and actually make proper use of all the Healthy Food Guides and other random cookbooks i have. Gee, how bout i over commit myself yet again? Plus i've come up with yet another small business idea..well, actually, three, but only one is actionable with not a whole lot of capital. Possibly more on that later.

January 8, 2008

dreaming flat out

something is a bit screwed up with the date setting on here, and it's annoying me. Hmm.

I think i have found the flat of my dreams, in kilbirnie. It is perfect in every way, except it's not ours (yet). I even dreamed about it last night. The gutting thing is that it seems everyone else knows it's freaking great flat for a great price so i'm stressing that we won't get it and won't find an alternative place that fits our criteria so absolutely perfectly. I do, however, have a plan of attack. I have already talked to the landlord and she knows i am in love with it, so hopefully that works in my favour. Fingers crossed...

but as usual all this flat changing stuff ain't cheap. At the rate we're going we'll probably end up setting up our own flat rather than going into an established one, which means organising things like a fridge, washing machine and couches. We have everything already except those rather major white ware and furniture things. And what with the wedding, and the fair, and after our holiday...well, i'm going to be beyond broke by the end of it. And then of course i'll make a squillion dollars at the martinborough fair and all will be hunky dory again. 

oh, and i'm going to apply for craft 2.0. And the newtown and petone fairs in the next few days i hope. That'll keep me busy! 

January 6, 2008

frankly, i love frankie...

ahh, the new frankie magazine pounced on me today. Completely unsuspecting, i walked into borders with a mind to kill some time and there she was. Happy, happy me. 
sharing some holiday photos...kinda wish i'd taken  more in napier, or at least on my camera. 
My mountain (taranaki. i used to look out my bedroom window every day and see it, all lonely like)
OH, and congratulations.
in said frankie, i read a little bit about friends suddenly being grown-ups. So this is where i stop and contemplate the year past again. One good friend (and several others i know) became a solicitor. Another graduated as a medical doctor. Another is a primary teacher and moved for love. further to the new year's eve engagement of a friend, an old male friend from my wild and drunk (haha) later school days is too engaged. (four years ago i would have laughed in faces if i was told that!) Several are mooching around on their oes. Yet another has just finished her masters after the year from hell (boy of 7 years sleeping with flatmate, mother being diagnosed with cancer, all that fun stuff). My little sister has a diploma and a proper job. I'm starting to get ants in my pants about the fact i think i'm worth way more than i'm paid. Yet, despite all this i still feel like i'm about 5 years old. More so lately than when i was still a student. Probably because i was taking myself a tad too seriously (work, study, work work work study). I've found though, that the boy has had a massive impact on this aspect of moi. I can be as goofy and stupid as i like and he doesn't care. Basically, i can be myself. Isn't that the brilliant thing about other halves? they teach you so much - how to look at the world from a different perspective, and about yourself. They bring out all those quirks that normally you'd hide away in a corner of your mind. Gosh, it's a bit grown up to claim i know myself, too. I've found that over the past year i've been so busy with other things i tend to forget to stop and have those random moments of suddenly realising what you're like.

But for now, i have to go off and busy myself being all domestic. Dinner calls.

January 4, 2008


It took me a moment to remember what I sat down meaning to write...but there it is, i'm going to put my resolutions down somewhere they won't be lost.

Which requires thought. oh, crap. I'll start with 2007 successes instead.

1. I got fitter and lost about 10 kg. (then put 4 back on over winter. whoops).

2. My first piece of writing was published online, and i got some great free goodies for my later efforts. Haven't submitted anything in the last few months due to things being so mad, but at i least i put myself out there.

3. I quit my horrible boring tedious under appreciated job for a much more enjoyable, busy, dynamic job where in the space of six months i acted in three different positions besides my own. woop woop!

4. I got my full license. Finally!

5. I survived (haha) another year with the boy. Now clocked up 2.5. awww.

6. i grew some of my own vegies...am a bit bummed that my broccoli (gosh thats an odd looking word!) went to flower then died completely during my week long absence, but at least i still have tomatoes growing, lettuce and beetroot that i can't wait to pull out. 

7. I sewed a whole lot more (not much clothing sadly) and got going on the ipod covers again. which led to 

8. our first market! so far, so good, with our cards - have these stocked in a few places and have the martinborough fair coming up. I really should decide if i want to do newtown, kilbirnie and petone soon huh.

9. i got good at snowboarding!

10. i knitted lots. of scarves and beanies.

so for the resolutions: 

Re: 1. Am going to get back on the bike and lose that four plus an extra two by the time winter rolls around. And keep it off. My stomach is starting to remind me that i can't eat whatever i want again. (a boring, boring start to the resolutions but i had to put it in)

Re: 2. Read more. Since our trip i have been fascinated by the things that drove New Zealand as a country in the decade or so after WW2. I think it has something to with Crown Lynn, state house design and the image of the 'good old days'

Re 3. Get a fat ass pay rise. 

Re 4. Um, i can't further myself on having my full so, in total subversion of that, i'm going to try to use the car as little as possible. Might even keep track of it on here a la the minus car project. Will help with number 1 and saving money too. $2 a litre by july! something to look forward to...

Re 5. clock up another year.

Re 6. Expand my garden when finally get into a new flat. I wouldn't mind improving my vegie gardening knowledge to the point i may one day be able to grow all my own vegies. Saving the planet and all that.

Re 7. Sew more clothes. 

Re 8. Make a mint at the markets, and develop more products, and take over the gift card world

Re 9. Get better at snowboarding. I want to make it to the top lift at Ruapehu and make it all the way down. And love it. 

Re 10. Finally learn how to knit something that isn't a scarf or beanie. Tim thinks i should knit a dress. Think i'll start with a big fat jersey for apres ski. 

11. (some extras here) save money. I have a number in my head. I am determined to make it. In the same strain i want to focus on not being as materialistic this year. It starts to get me down knowing all my 'wants', when really, i don't need that much to get by. I had thought i could go totally overboard and say that i'll go a whole year without buying anything new (that is, second hand is ok) , but maybe i'll hold off on that one.

12. oh crap what was 12. ummmmmm oh i don't know. I'll probably think of it later. How about, just do more things that scare the shit out of me. I've done plenty in the past year, why stop now?

January 3, 2008


Unfortunately i am no longer on holiday. Back to work today, technically, as i have to get my ass in to gear for the martinborough fair - now only three weeks away! uh oh!

The boy and i headed away on our little summer meander a bit sooner than we planned. It was a case of, um we're not doing much but sitting around, so why don't we go sit around somewhere else? Like New Plymouth for instance? And then Tim got a bit confused between Napier and New Plymouth as he knew of some people heading east, so we went there too. 

It was the most relaxing fabulous time. Apart from all the freaking crazy drivers that were out. I am constantly flabbergasted at the amount of people who believe that 100ks an hour is too slow. One of my agreements with Tim was no speeding, and he stuck to it, most of the time. I honestly can't understand speeding for several reasons: 
1. It uses something like 13% or more fuel than if you stayed at 100. And the petrol prices aren't going down, that's for sure. Let's save the planet eh?
2. You have to brake a whole lot harder for corners. More petrol, people?
3. I have known too many, and seen too many accidents due to excessive speed. Why do drivers thinks that being one position further up the line of cars is going to get them somewhere faster? Unbelieveable.
4. Why work yourself up at the need to go faster and then get stuck behind slow cars/trucks/trailers/tractors. How about relaxing and looking at that beautiful, beautiful scenery instead? (while still paying attention, of course).

anyway, rant over. 

We managed to stop every few towns on our travels and check out the second hand shops. It was interesting. Tim has revived his vinyl addiction and seems to acquire a huge new pile at every place we go. I seem to have got more selective in my choices. I scored some great old girls' annuals, and another polaroid. But there didn't seem to be much around of what i really wanted - great fabric. I'm trying to avoid picking up too many things that clutter my life at the moment. It's getting to rationalise buying things like beautiful ceramics that realistically, are just going to sit around gathering dust. Instead, i'm going to try and save some money this year - i was very tempted by real estate in the 'naki! 

We picked up a couple real estate brochures and some of the house prices were just incredible, compared to what we're used to here in Wellington. Houses that go for around $400k here were about $250-300 there. There are still many around, that are perfectly decent, for $170 odd thousand. And i still love Taranaki even though i only lived there til i was 8. That majestic mountain, the moody black sand beaches, the wide, wide streets. The art. Pukekura park. It's too beautiful for words. 

I treated tim to all the usual naki sights - we went up the mountain, to the park for the lights (the neon section, sadly, isn't the same without the neon gravel. that was magic when i was 7), the bowl of brooklands, my old school (it still has the giant tree that i was always petrified would fall on the school with all the kids inside), my old church with the Michael Smithers murals. And we took loads of evening walks along the beach...

our road to Napier was endless - because we kept stopping for second hand shops. Typically, one of us would spot one, yell shop! the other would say, do you want to? the answer was always yes. And we'd walk out with more vinyl...

We stayed out at Waipatiki beach - tim's pick, from the advertising photo. He didn't realise it was 30k out of Napier, but by the time we got there, it didn't matter - it was the most amazing place. White sand beach, decent but not intimidating waves for our swims. The sun dropped behind a cliff in the evening to relieve us from the heat (which was pretty full on). We had a potter round in Napier itself, taking photos of buildings, looking at antiques (as you do). And the today we had to come home...which meant last night i started thinking. Of all the things i have to do in the next three weeks. Find or make a dress for the wedding. Make a load of stock for martinborough fair. Find a new flat. Pack up current flat. Attempt to find a way to pay for dress/hair cut/flat moving/wedding shoes all before Martinborough fair (if only it was after the fair).

So i  should go and get on to it. Dishes need doing. Dinner needs cooking. Embroidery needs to be done. Sigh. Holiday is over. Back to work on monday...Hopefully before then i will do a new year's goals post. And  add some photos!