Thursday, April 17, 2014

Beautiful Aotearoa (New Zealand)!

When I mentioned to my friend Vivien that we were hoping to make a trip to New Zealand, she extended an invitation for us to visit.  She and her husband, Tony, also offered to show us things that tourists don't normally see.  Of course, we leaped at the opportunity.

Vivien first took us to the top of Mount Eden so we could get our bearings and a good view of Auckland.

After a good night's sleep, we headed off the next day.

Vivien had made arrangements for us to take a bus trip along the 90-Mile Beach.  The beach is an official highway, however only 4-wheel-drive vehicles and some buses can drive on it.  Because of the tides, it's safe to drive only at specific times.

The "90-Mile Beach" is, in reality, just 55 miles long.  By horse it takes three days to travel the length of the beach, and it was widely assumed that a horse could travel about 30 miles a day.  It was later found that a horse couldn't travel that far in the sand, but the name "90-Mile Beach" stuck.

Once on the bus, we learned that one of the highlights of the trip is to go down one of the large sand dunes on a boogie board.  Although Tom wasn't dressed for such an adventure, he decided to try it, and simply rolled up his slacks.

Here he is making his way to the top.

And here he is at the bottom.  (He managed to stay pretty dry.)

We also went to the northernmost point of New Zealand, Cape Reinga.  This is one of the most important cultural sites for the Maori people, the indigenous people of New Zealand.  It is beleived that the Maori people originally came from the eastern Polynesian iskalnds.

The Maori refer to New Zealand as Aotearoa and to Cape Reinga as Te Rerenga Wairua.  In the Maori language the name means the "leaping-off place of spirits" because they believe that this is "where a person's spirit comes after death and departs for their eternal home".

High on a hill is a lighthouse built in 1941.

This is where the Tasman Sea meets the South Pacific Ocean.  In the next photo you can see the difference in the color of the waters.

On another day, we took a ferry ride with our friends.  As you can see, we had beautiful weather to enjoy the spectacular scenery.

Here is a final photo from northern New Zealand.  Every view was truly a "billion dollar" view!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

More Eye Candy from Down Under!!

Thanks for your interest in our trip "Down Under".  It was truly a wonderful trip--we took over 1900 photos!  (Yes, over 1900 photos!)  The scenery was breathtaking! Over the next few weeks I plan to show you some of our highlights from New Zealand and Australia.  Today I'll focus on needlework-related items.

In my previous post I forgot to show you the wonderful gifts that Clare made me.  She had these and a lovely note waiting for me at Heirlooms.  I'm just sorry that I didn't get to meet her in person.  On the left is a darling needlework case, and on the right is a needlework storage roll.  (A storage roll is a wonderful way to store your needlework when you're not working on it.)

Below is a view of the inside of the needlework case with its felt needlepages, a drawstring bag, and pockets.  I've opened the storage roll so you can see the inside.  I should have put a stitched piece on it to show you how the roll works.  (You'll just have to use your imagination.)  Place your needlework on top of the inside panel and roll it, in this case from right to left.  Once it is rolled up with your needlework inside, tie the ribbons as shown in the photo above.

Here's another view.  Isn't it cool that the needlework case and the needlework storage roll coordinate?

Thank you VERY much, Clare, for your very thoughtful gifts.  I'll think of you whenever I use them.

When I discovered that my hotel in Sydney wasn't too far from Julie's shop, The Crewel Gobelin, and that I would have an evening free, I contacted her about visiting. The Crewel Gobelin has been in business for 29 years!  Julie, who had owned the shop for two years, is the third owner.

Below are a few views of the shop and the open house Julie had.

This is Julie.  Behind her, you can get a glimpse of some of the many linens she carries.

With My Needle Examplar

Quaker Needlework Treasures

Eliza's Pyn Pillow (a complimentary design) and Petite Carnet d'Ouvrages, Livre I (cover only)

one of the Quaker Samplings

Julie told me that Gill F. stitched many of the shop models shown in the photos above.  Gill worked in the shop for about 12 of the 16 years Margaret Fisher owned the shop before Jule bought it. Gill is now working on my newest reproduction, Elizabeth Wood 1822.  I'm hoping she'll send me a photo once she has finished it.

It was so much fun to visit Julie's shop and to meet some of her customers!  I was particularly excited to meet Sandra M. because we've corresponded for a few years. Sandra and her friend Karen drove more than two hours to be at the shop that evening.

After the open house, we went to Julie's for dinner with her family.  Gill and her husband also joined us.  Yummy!  Gill brought a delicious Pavlova that she had made for our desert.  There are strawberries and passion fruit are on top.  Thanks, Gill.  (I want to get your recipe!)

Thank you, Julie, for your very warm hospitality, both at your shop and in your home.  Also, thank you to those who stopped by the shop to meet me.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Visit to Heirlooms

Like many of you,  I enjoy visiting needlework shops when traveling.  I was particularly excited to visit Sherelyn's shop, Heirlooms, in Napier, New Zealand.  It was just as wonderful as I thought it would be!   Here are a few photos to show you what I mean.

Above are several versions of  Mrs. Waddelow's Huswif.  The finished huswif was made by Sherelyn's daughter Melissa.

How clever is this?  Sherelyn turned the stitched pages of one of my little books into small cushions that she displays in a basket.

Elizabeth and Diane stopped by the shop the day before the class.  Here is a photo of them along with Sherelyn (on the far right) and me in front of Sherelyn's roses.  Elizabeth is holding her version of A Pair of Pin Cubes.  She stitched her version over two linen threads and made the design into a box instead of a pin cube.  How clever is that?  Diane is holding her A Fair Maiden's Etui.  You can see more photos of both of their projects in my last blog post.

And here are a few final photos before leaving Napier.
Sherelyn and her husband Keith
Sweet Lily

Several of you have asked about photos from New Zealand.  I have hundreds and will sort through them shortly so I can share a few with you.  (I promise not to subject you to all of them.)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Teaching in New Zealand

What a treat it was to have been asked by Sherelyn to teach a class sponsored by her shop, Heirlooms, in Napier, New Zealand. Sherelyn picked a wonderful class venue, Mission Winery.  How much fun it was for me to present Fruit of the Vine at a winery!

In my next blog post, I'll show photos of Heirlooms.  Today's blog post contains miscellaneous class photos.

Here we are headed off in the morning.

Almost there...

And here are some classroom photos.

Here are some views of the shop boutique and also some of the "show and tell".

Here are some of the class participants.  I'm sorry I missed getting  photos of everyone.

Don't let the seriousness in the previous photo fool you.  Below are the the same two ladies
right after I took the previous photo.

Here is Sherelyn loading up her car at the end of the day.

Thank you to everyone for a wonderful day,  but especially thank you to Sherelyn for inviting me to teach for you!