Friday, June 24, 2011

Hearts for Christchurch

I have talked before about heart quilts for families impacted by the Pike River mine explosion and Christchurch earthquakes.

Yesterday our government went some way to address the problems relating to advising families whether they could progress with staying or leaving their properties.

Day to day living has to go on in the meantime and the feedback is that heart quilts are very much appreciated by recipients.

One can only imagine how cold some people must be with winter in full swing and if a heart quilt can bring some comfort then the efforts of those who make them is all the more worth while.

Our small home group of Sweet Pea Quilters committed to making 3 quilts and we finally managed to complete them this week. 3 quilts is only a small number in the whole sum of things but it has been nice to be able to participate and be part of a much larger project.

You can see more about the quilts we made on my sister, Linda's, blog.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I was just looking for silk scraps................

I wanted to add to the variety of silk scraps that I have and I thought that a silk scarf or two from the Opportunity Shop (Thrift Store) might just do the trick.

As I headed towards the scarf rack I noticed a silk wedding dress lying across one of the clothes racks.

It looked as if it had been discarded for some reason and on closer inspection did not even have a price tag.

There was nothing to be had on the scarf rack and so I picked up the dress and took it to the counter to enquire further about the possibility of purchase.

"All our wedding dresses cost $100," said the sales assistant.

"I don't think I could be paying that," I replied.

"Well, it has got some stains on it, so I will enquire for you from the supervisor."

A few minutes later the message came back that I could have it for $30 and so I did not hesitate.

"Are you going to revamp it?" she wanted to know.

"I don't think I would like to tell you what I am going to do with it,' was my reply.

A few silk scarves had suddenly become a full length cream silk dupioni wedding gown with lace. The stains were not that bad although they did not come out in the wash. However, they were not really a problem for someone like me who wanted to pull apart the garment and repurpose it for crazy quilting and such.

The first time I pulled apart a silk wedding dress I felt quite guilty but now I quite enjoy the process and like to see how the garment was made and whether alterations have been made (which they had in this case) for the prospective bride.

This one even had leg o' mutton sleeves, embellished with lace and covered buttons for a very trim wrist.

The process is nearly done now except for unpicking the lace from the bottom of the skirt. The dress has yielded a lot of lovely cream dupioni silk, a lot more than I would ever have got from some scarves, but then I probably would never have paid $30 for a bunch of scarves.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Aaron and Marcele Came to Stay

Aaron and Marcele have spent the last few days with us and will be on their way to Auckland tomorrow.

When they arrived on Monday, Kaiser presented himself as everybody's friend to become acquainted with Marcele.

We have really enjoyed their stay and will be sorry to have to say goodbye tomorrow.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

How Times Have Changed

I am not sure what I was expecting by way of cake decoration at Aaron and Marcele's wedding in Rio, but I certainly was not expecting to see the all conquering bride with husband by the collar.

However, the Sydney celebration was not to be outdone in the cake decoration department.

Aaron has been known to his church friends as snapper for many years, and so what could be more appropriate than to see the bride reeling in her 'catch'.

Times sure have changed when it comes to wedding cake decorations.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The Sydney Ceremony

After attending Aaron and Marcele's wedding in Rio de Janeiro I returned home to New Zealand.

They were to have a second wedding ceremony in Sydney but I was not able to attend.

Fortunately sister Linda was able to be there for me.

My youngest son, Ricky, was best man on the day and I am told he did a wonderful job of speech making.

Brother James, participated by walking the bride down the aisle.

So, with that and brother David (with his lovely wife, Lisa) being able to be best man in Rio, all of the brothers got to participate in Aaron and Marcele's wedding.

This one, at the reception, was worth including.
Aaron and Marcele with brothers, Rick and James and James' partner, Amba.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Floral Aspect to Travel

We were heading into the winter season in Rio but we did get to see some lovely flowers along the way.

These orchids were spotted on Sugar Loaf Mountain.

I also saw impatiens growing in their natural habitat, at the base of rain forest areas.

Our local bed and breakfast had pot plants on the balcony.

Lots of bougainvillea to be seen in the local neighbourhood.

We found that Marcele, Aaron's bride to be, had added a touch of floral art to his apartment.

It will be nice to see what touches she adds to her own home when they get to settle.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Trees Grow Differently in Brazil

Even though we were on the edge of rain forest territory we did not actually go into rain forest area but with images like this one, I did feel that it was close at hand.

I saw this tree with its roots stretching down to the earth below on our first morning in Rio.

It was within walking distance of where we were staying and I was able to return and take a photo of it on another day.

When we went to Sugar Loaf Mountain, we walked along the beach and I saw a similar sight with this tree sending its roots down over the side of a wall and into the sand below.

Tree trunks certainly grow differently in Brazil.

When in Rio

When in Rio, part of my daily routine (well, almost daily) was to use my iPad to catch up on e-mails and communicate with friends and family back home.

For the most part the internet connection was good and I enjoyed the facilities that the iPad provided for me.

I was able to upload photos, edit them and post to my blog, keep e-mails up to date and do any web browsing that I needed to.

David and Lisa gave me a Kindle e-reader as a Mothers Day present and I was able put that to good use as well.

I was determined not to be overloaded luggage wise for my trip to Dallas/Rio and so frugal was I, I forgot to take some sleepwear but that was easily remedied by a trip to the shops in Dallas.

I consider the iPad a must for travel (if you have one, of course) just as much as I do my pair of Croc shoes. Love them or hate them, they proved invaluable to me. Comfortable for travel and walking, even when my ankles and feet were puffy.

The other thing that is a must for me for air travel is not to be overloaded so that I have to put items in overhead compartments. I find I am too short to manage putting items in these compartments and so if I can't fit my items into a bag small enough to go under the seat in front of me then a cull is required.

Likewise, I would rather send a parcel of possessions home by post, than have an overloaded suitcase to contend with for the journey home.

I have just made my fifth long haul flight since starting blog writing and it has taken me all this time to get to a place where I think I have this international travel sorted, well, for me anyway.