Thursday, October 20, 2016

August & September Books

Time for a catch up about what I've been reading lately. As you can probably guess, having a two week holiday a few weeks ago I was able to fit some extra reading. In fact I actually read four books in Rarotonga! Nothing better than sitting by the beach listening to the waves with a good book!

Quite a mix of different genres this time.


Before the Fall by Noah Hawley - A plane crash, eleven on board and only two survive, this will keep you guessing if the crash was an accident or intentional.


The Dry by Jane Harper - a debut thriller which I couldn't put down. Set in rural Victoria, Australia, this is another for my favourite books this year.


The Beach Cafe by Lucy Diamond - this is by an author I have not tried before, an easy read with some great characters.


I see You by Clare Mackintosh - I loved the first novel by this author, I let You Go, and this one didn't disappoint either.


Black Hills by Nora Roberts - the first stand alone story I've read by Nora Roberts in quite some time, I really enjoyed this one reading through it in a couple of days. A good romance, suspense and add in some wild animals and a wild life refuge.


The Keeper of Secrets by Julie Thomas - I loved this debut novel. It moves between the past and present day in telling the story of an incredible violin and the different people who owned it.


The House by the Lake by Ella CareyI love historical fiction, and this one alternated between the 1930's and the present. This was a great book and so easy to read. 


The House Between Tides by Sarah Maineset in Scotland in the Outer Hebrides and is about a house. The house's access is controlled by the tides and is quite isolated. It's owned by famed artist, Theo Blake, and where he brings his young wife, Beatrice after their marriage in 1910.The story fluctuates between Beatrice and Hetty who inherits it 2010. A great story.

Have you read and enjoyed any of these?

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Now that Hannah's blanket is finished, I've been planning and getting ready several projects to work on over the next few weeks, including some Christmas gifties. 

I just love red work stitching and have lots of patterns ready to stitch. The Birdhouse Designs by Natalie Bird are some of my favourites so I decided to get Christmas Angels underway the other night.

Here's a few other stitchery projects I've stitched during the year, please excuse the wrinkles!

It's a been a lovely day here today, warm and sunny, so we've spent most of it outside gardening, mowing lawns and other jobs getting everything tidied up after winter. Next weekend, which is a long weekend for us as there are public holidays on Friday and Monday, I'm hoping to get our vegetable garden planted out and some more seedlings underway in the green house.

Enjoy your week xxx

Friday, October 14, 2016

Cupcake Blanket

Back in early May I purchased an Attic 24 Cupcake blanket yarn pack from the Wool Warehouse in the UK. This was the first time I'd purchased any wool from there and I was very impressed with how quickly it arrived here to New Zealand. Cost wise, the Stylecraft wool worked out to be less than $4 NZ per 100 gram ball so it was very economical for the 15 balls.

I just loved all the colours and the yarn was so lovely and soft to work with.

I worked on the blanket on and off again over the winter months, a couple of rows each week. I didn't complete the whole entire 90 "rows" suggested in the patterns, that's two rows of each colour, as I could see by "row" 75 I was getting a bit low in most of the colours. I think it was row 78 I stopped at to begin the five border rows.

As you can see, it's a single bed size and looks wonderful in Hannah's bedroom.

She just loves it, and thinks it's super soft and squishy!

Now I'm very tempted to order another one of the Attic 24 yarn packs, but perhaps for next winter since our summer is on its way.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Stash Additions

These should keep me busy for awhile!

The first part in the Silver Needle's stitching circle club turned up last week, what a great design from Plum Street Samplers.

Looking forward to getting some new projects underway, once a few others are finished of course!

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Unforgettable Rarotonga

Last weekend we arrived home from a ten day holiday in Rarotonga, the Cook Islands.

We flew out of Auckland at 5pm Wednesday 21st September and arrived in Rarotonga on Tuesday 20th about 11pm, its 22 hours behind New Zealand. When we arrived it was about 24c and most days it was anything between 26 to 35 c, very hot!

We chose to stay at the Edgewater Resort, one of the largest on the islands and it has a wonderful lagoon for swimming and snorkeling, an outdoor pool, two restaurants, free kids club and very friendly lovely staff.

Our room had a view of the tropical garden and was on the ground floor, a perfect spot to sit in the late afternoon, early evening to escape the heat.

Most of our dinner meals we chose to eat at the resort, including an excellent meal at the Spaghetti House, a restaurant at the end of the resort drive way. Breakfast was included in the room stay and for lunch we'd either eat out in town or visit one of the local bakeries down the road from the resort.

The cocktails were delicious, and what a gorgeous view.

Fish feeding every morning at 9am, amazing how all the fish just know to turn up, lol.

One afternoon Hannah and I were shown how to make flower garlands which we wore on Island Night.

We spent our time swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, participating in various activities run by the resort staff and exploring the island. Its very easy to get around Rarotonga, you can either hire a car or scooters or like us, just catch the bus, this runs clockwise or anticlockwise around the island throughout the day.

Beautiful flowers everywhere!

One afternoon we booked in for a safari tour and spent an enjoyable few hours crisscrossing the island in jeeps, taking in some of the local sights.

We had planned to take a trip on one of the glass bottomed boats but due to the wind that came up during our last few days these were cancelled, never mind, something to put on the do list for next time.

If you are after a totally relaxing holiday, Rarotonga is the place to go. They use NZ currency, have wonderful fresh fruit and vegetables, very friendly people and you can chose to do as much as you like or as little as you like. No hustle or bustle, just pure relaxation in paradise.

I can't wait to go again!
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