26 August 2011

Finally - our new couch!

This has been a long time coming...

We finally got a new couch! We loaded the old couches into my office, posted them on gumtree, cleaned and vacuumed in time for two very burly men to plop them into our lounge room. Our old couches were bought by the lovely Jacob back in the days of bachelorhood and while they were comfy, they were still separate sofas, which make it very hard to cuddle with said hubby and two dogs. Now, we have rolling plains of space, lounging, cuddling, relaxing and extending our legs beyond large oversided arms.

And not to mention I can layout most of my Granny Squares to design my current blanket... Heavenly!

here it is! in all it's glory and pre-dog haired!

Fill in the Blank Friday...

1.   My idea of pure perfection would be a quiet weekend-ish day during the week, painting in the sunshine, maybe reading a book laying in the backyard and dozing off in the warmth of the sun.

2.   Love and Food make the world go 'round.

3.  If it weren't for  Jacob I'd  never have believed we'd ever be moving to NZ..

4.  Bloggers are  awesome. Even when they're whinging.

5.  If I had  ten cents  I'd buy you a piece of ten cent candy.

6.  I'm glad it's Friday because  this week has been physically demanding beyond anything that I've had to deal with in a while. Will be happy to be home, cuddling on the NEW couch with the boys this evening.

7.  Something I'm excited about is  that we will be back in New Zealand soon for the Rugby World Cup! (very very excited!!)

I'm always late on these. Maybe because our Friday ends before most. But from now on - I'll be playing catch-up a week behind. And you know... That's ok. 

Anywho. I hope everyone's week has been great! What do you have planned?

19 August 2011

Brown Owls - A Crafty Parliament

Every other Wednesday night, a Parliament of Owls congregate at the Sporting Club over on little old Weston Street in Brunswick. It's always a lovely evening filled with drinks, tapas, chatter and a lot of crafting! 

I'm really happy I've been able to be apart of the group, as it's sometimes hard for me to get moving on a project because I may not fully understand or just don't have the time. But having the gals there to ask and putting that two hours aside has really pushed me to try new things and to really feel good about the things I'd like to accomplish. 

A little while ago, our little group was featured on a show called "Made by Hand" It's a lovely piece!! 

I'm hoping to start a NZ Brown Owls group once we get settled in Wellington, maybe after the New Year. I think for me that would be the best thing ever! Not only do I have to move to a new city - and country for that matter, but how amazing to start a group and meet more and new like-minded crafty people... Can't wait!

16 August 2011

Jacob answers - "So - why are you moving?"

For the last two or more years I feel like I've been in a holding pattern. Too busy saving money to go out and enjoy myself (too much) and too close to leaving the country to want to commit myself to any bands or outside activities that I'd only have to leave when we finally move to NZ.

Every time I tell an Australian or migrant living here that I'm moving back to NZ - the question is always 'why'. Even when I tell other kiwis this when I'm back there - the question is also 'why'.

Other than the obvious reasons of my family all lives there, we own a house there and quite frankly, I love it there. I also feel like I've given this country a pretty damn good go and I've enjoyed my 12 plus years here to date but the time is simply right. I could go into a vast array of reasons around lifestyle, general attitudes of people and lack of infrastructure for a bulging population that's still increasing rapidly but I won't. I could wax lyrical about being tired of the sheep jokes and 'friendly jibes' I still get despite having always been pretty much void of any descriptive accent, but I won't.

No - for me, along with all those reasons, a large and driving factor for me is the fact that Kiwis are leaving NZ in droves. According to a survey done last month one in eight New Zealanders were considering leaving the country on a long term basis. Now I understand there are plenty of legitimate reasons to up-root yourself and leave a country but there are so many better reasons to stay that I feel it's my time to go back and be a positive example to those jaded kiwis.

Yes - the economy isn't the strongest in the world but then again, neither is the US, yet you wouldn't hear of a single red-blooded American up and leaving their home country simply because the grass is perceptibly greener elsewhere. (Except for my wife, of course.)

We truly don't know how good we've got it in NZ - yes, there are people that are struggling, but the health and welfare systems are still very stable and aren't run by private capitalists - yet - that is.

Sure the welfare payments over here is higher than it is there but here's news to any Kiwis moving after 2001 - you can't go on the welfare for a full two years after landing on these fine shores - the same as immigrants from almost all other western countries around the world.

"At least there's work there" you might say - don't be so sure, Australian recruitment agencies have it down to a fine art of messing you around and making you wait right up until you're about to pack you bags and return home before generously offering you that crappy job you applied for six month previously... if they call at all that is.

"Finding a house will be easy".... yeah right - if you're lucky enough to be able to get out of work to actually attend an 'Open for inspection' (I wouldn't bother going to one unless you had the job already sorted either) then you'll have the priviledge of queuing up with 30 other people most of whom already have their pre-filled in rental applications complete with references (yes, you need those too). There's generally a race to 'inspect' it and then a scramble to grease up the land-agent. Even if you are the first to submit your glowing application (working professionals, both employed, no kids, no pets etc etc) you'll more than likely still get pipped at the post by the owners neighbours sisters nephew who needed somewhere to stay, or someone that offered above the asking rental amount, illegal of course, but done all the time.

OK - I honestly could go on, and I might some other time, but for now - I can't wait to purchase my one way ticket to little old Welly town. More cafe's than you can shake a stick at and nearly everything in walking distance, yes please! -

I do remember getting caught in traffic back there, once, for about 35 minutes, that sure beats sitting on the M1 on a Friday where it literally takes you 45 minutes to travel less than 5kms. The short drive over the hill to Makara beach or inland to the beautiful rolling hills of Martinborough and the Wairarapa. Bring on the 50kph 'breezes' and the horizontal walking position are a small price to pay to be back in the city I love.

Sooner or later I believe most Kiwis will come home and those that don't - are welcome to stay away and leave the pristine beauty that is Aotearoa to those of us who appreciate it.

New Zealanders need to be more positive about the country they call home - the only people that can improve it are the ones that live in it and I intend to be one of those people again.

Farewell Australia, I'll miss you - occasionally - I'll visit often and thanks for the last decade or so, it's taught me lots.

09 August 2011

Happy Book Lovers Day!

There is a day for everything! But this is one of the best! How can you NOT love Book Lovers Day!!!

I'm one of those admitted Book Addicts. I'm ok with it. When I lived in the US and was in the loveliness of a great economy, I used to buy a book a week. Now, I have to be a little more fickle about what I buy, but my local library is one of my favourite places to be.
And yes, I love looking through Amazon and getting wish lists together... *Sigh.*

Books are awesome!

At the moment, I have a couple books going on that I've been switching back and forth between.

You gotta love some good old fiction and mystery!

Of course, there are about a million reference books I have on my shelf at any one moment. Cookbooks, How To's, Art books for ideas and motivation...

via soseptember
So, what is everyone reading???

And for those addicts like me - Some visual book "inspiration" ...

via photos.500px.com 
Yes, Peace. Love. & Books.

08 August 2011

04 August 2011

03 August 2011

Recycling Jars.

I have a serious problem.
(Well, according to Jacob.)

I love jars.
I collect them (sort of).
I have a stash of them.
I use them everyday.

Ok, maybe it's not a serious problem. But I love finding ways to reuse jars. Whether it's putting some chopped herbs in them to keep on the window sill, making a tonic or a tincture, bringing them to the shop to cut down on our plastic bag usage. I use them for storing buttons, paintbrushes, pencils, the list goes on...

Ok, maybe compulsive, since I can't bear to put any in the recycle bin. And when I do, it's heartbreaking.
Yeah. Compulsive.

I have found though, salsa jars are by far by favourite for everyday use.They are perfect for :

  • Making Bath Salts
  • Gifting Jams and Preserves
  • Storing small quantity things like homemade teas and small amounts of herbs
And my new happy solution - the perfect container for bring homemade yogurt to work! It's especially good to throw into the bike basket, because the lid will stay on heaps better than those old nasty plastic containers!

My yogurt from morning tea devoured. 

01 August 2011

Happy Birthday.

Hi Dad,
I miss you and think about you every day. 
I emailed Mom a couple weeks ago telling her how thankful I am that you guys raised us the way you did.
I am happy to think that you probably would have been the first to come visit us in a new country and a new house. 

Anyway. Happy Birthday!
We all miss you so very much!