Thursday, January 29

New Zealand: Volume Two

Queenstown was wonderful. The weather was extremely warm, high 20 degrees Celsius at the least i would imagine.


We went up the gondola.


Each view is so spectacular. I really can't get enough of this place.

Saying goodbye to Queenstown, we made our way to Wanaka. On the way we stopped of to have a look around the quaint Arrowtown.


When we arrived at Wanaka, we booked into a great place. We were right on the cliff top overlooking Lake Wanaka.


So far, this is the only place I have found a yarn shop, although i haven't been looking very hard. Anyway, after a bit of shopping and dinner we went to bed early to rest up for the big trip to Milford Sound in the morning.


Although i say I'm afraid of heights, you wouldn't think I was getting into a small plane like this! On the way there I was in the co-pilots seat!! I felt too silly to take a picture of the pilot...wish i did now, he was a nice bloke. Anyway, I'll let the pictures do the talking for the flight to Milford Sound.


After a soft landing we were at the boat terminal, boarding our little ship for a round trip of the Sound.


And boy, was it a nice day. Apparently it was only the second day without any rain this season. Not sure what we're doing right but i do hope the weather keeps up!


The trip couldn't really get any better – but it did.


Can you believe the dolphins were swimming right by the boat? Its like they were leading us :D So cool.


On the road again the following morning, on our way to Fox Glacier. I did some driving. I don't think my Dad likes not being in control of the car. But i'm sure he was glad he could relax (I use the term lightly) and look at the scenery without having to concentrate on the road. We stopped off to look at the blue pools. We had to cross a swing bridge!


But yeah. I've just woken up in Fox Glacier and we will shortly be heading of to Greymouth.
Monday, January 26

New Zealand: Volume One

Greetings from New Zealand everyone!

And wow.

Just wow. What a country. I fell in love with the place as soon as i set eyes on the land from the aeroplane. And that was when i really got excited, when i finally realised that i was on holiday half way around the world! The flights were long and hard, particularly Dubai to Sydney, but when you finally arrive, you forget all that. Its completely worth feeling like a battery hen for over 27 hours, because its just so breath taking. I can already say i feel at home.

On to pictures and such!

NZ: Christchurch, River AvonNZ: Christchurch, River Avon

Well, we spent our first few days in Christchurch, third largest city in NZ. It doesn't feel like a city though, as its not all sky high buildings and its quite open. It also has the river Avon running through it and some nice small parks, loads of trees. Its really clean and feels really safe too. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

NZ: ChirstchurchNZ: Chirstchurch

We met up with my Dads old work mate who emigrated here 3 years ago. They are doing really well and loving it here. They showed us around, took us on the Gondola just out side of town, up Mount Pleasant over looking Lyttleton Harbour. From here, we headed off for an early dinner at a place called 'She' which overlooked the harbour. Not only was the setting lovely, but the food! Who would have thought that chocolate would go with chicken salad, or lamb!? They knew what they were doing because it went perfectly. The deserts afterwards were even better! We all had a chocolate brownie with raspberry sauce. I really can't describe how delicious it was. I have never had such a wonderful meal.

NZ: Mount PleasantNZ: Mount Pleasant/Lyttleton Harbour

On our last morning, we had an absolutely amazing punt on the river Avon. It was so peaceful and pretty – if you ever go to Christchurch, do it! You won't be disappointed.

NZ: Punting on the river Avon

After we packed up, we headed for our next destination – Twizel. On the way there, I did my first bit of driving. To those of you who drive automatics – you must be mad! I didn't feel like i was in control of the car at all! But i'm getting used to it, the more i do. Manuals are better though.
Anyhoo, we stopped off at Lake Tekapo. B-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l.


The pictures don't do this place justice. The Church is that of 'The Good Shepard'.


Moving on from here we arrived at Twizel, booking in to some nice chalets.


We drove to Mount Cook for some dinner. The cafe was in the most breathtaking of spots. It was fantastic to be so close to the mountains while enjoying dinner!


We are now on our way to Queenstown.
Monday, January 19

Skirt To Pouch In About An Hour.

Lately, I've been inspired to recycle old clothes and either make them into something I would wear again or use the fabric to make something else. This isn't limited to the clothes I own, either. I like to go into the local charity shops and buy unwanted garments I can reuse for projects.

Take this skirt for example:


This cost me £3.20. You may be forgiven for thinking this is a lot, but when compared to say, Hobbycraft which do nice cotton prints for £5 per meter and up, it doesn't seem so bad. That and you're giving to charity and recycling. The fabric is nice quality too (plus, I salvaged the zip :D).

So, it took about half an hour to rip the three panels out, along with the zip. The rest of the time was the usual cutting, pinning pressing and sewing. Which brings me to the final product:


A snazzy pouch for my netbook cables and mouse to go into :D This will be so useful on holiday :)


I have loads left over which I'm hoping to use when I come home for new coin purse designs, along with some other charity shop finds which are waiting to be used!
So next time you go past a charity shop, think of all the things you could do with the fabric in there :)
Wednesday, January 14

Old WIPs...

Its been a while since I've actually posted any projects I'm working on. Sorry, this is going to be a big post to make up for all the lost time :o

First up though, in light of my resolution to make TomatoTea more successful this year I have rearranged my bedroom to be more productive.

Studio Jan 2009P1000322

Uh, no before shot. I didn't think I'd blog about it to be honest! And the second picture is terrible, my room is quite dark, so it's hard to get the exposure right :( But you get the idea.

So on to the projects.

The majority are half made bags; knitted, crocheted and waiting for some lovely linning :) Heres some thumbs from Flickr:


I've also got 'Thermal' on the needles... and the knit picks gloss is staining them XD. Admittedly, I haven't got far with that one but I'm taking it to New Zealand in the hopes of getting it done.

Yes. That's right. DONE.

I just wish I could knit on the plane... I have 16+ hours to kill on the way there and back ;_;

Also, I'm in the middle of crocheting some baskets for my new 'Studio' (can I call it that if I sleep in there? XD). Parcel string is dead hard on the hands though. I need to work out if I'm making the most of the string by crocheting in the round (as shown) or if its more 'economical' to crochet back and forth. I'll get back to you guys on that one at a later date!

I think thats enough of an update for now.

Oh, and Happy New Year :)

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